Narcissistic abuse and its cure

Narcissistic Abuse: In-Depth Guide to Signs and Recovery

Are you starting to feel like you might be dating a narcissist?

It can be hard to tell for sure, as this is part of how a narcissist operates.

This can be a scary realization, especially when you aren’t sure what to do next. You might even be thinking that you are the crazy one. Don’t panic just yet, and keep reading to find out if you truly are dating a narcissist and what steps you should take if so.

Narcissists thrive on emotional manipulation and make you think you are in the wrong even when you are not. Studies show that narcissism is directly linked to individuals with low self-esteem, which they will try to project onto you.

Narcissistic people are characterized by the way they execute control as they make others feel bad about themselves. They may manipulate you into doing things for them that you don’t want to do. They’ll frequently lie about you to others, and they may even call you names to your face. This is a form of verbal and mental abuse.

This abuse is hard to spot because narcissists are usually smooth talkers and good at what they do. If you are being abused by a narcissist you are likely to feel that whatever negativity or problems arise in the relationship-it’s somehow ALWAYS your fault.

If narcissistic abuse is left untreated, the victim may begin to have symptoms similar to PTSD.  Therefore, it’s important to learn the signs of narcissistic abuse so you can recognize them before it’s too late.

Perhaps you asked a simple question, or maybe you just wanted to bring up something you noticed. Either way, your narcissist is quick to tell you that you are wrong or that you are overreacting.

They may even spin the situation back on you, making you think that you are being crazy. For example, you ask your partner why he or she was home late from work. What should be an easy question to answer has turned into the narcissist claiming that you don’t trust them or treat them as an adult.  You feel bad for asking, even though you have every right to ask why they were late.

Gaslighting isn’t harmless. It’s a form of psychological abuse. If you let it continue on, you will find yourself questioning your own memories and view of reality.

Beyond just gaslighting, a narcissist will have problems with small lies and denying that things ever happened.

If they say something mean to you, and you bring it up later, they’ll deny that they said that. In the same way, they will change stories with white lies to discredit you.

This may frequently happen when you are out with friends or not just with the two of you. The narcissist does this on purpose because he or she knows you won’t want to fight in front of others.

Let’s say you are telling your friends at a dinner party all about a vacation you and the narcissist took. While you are telling the story, the narcissist will frequently interrupt saying things like “that didn’t happen like that” or “that’s exaggerating, you know it didn’t go down like that.” You’ll be embarrassed to be corrected in front of friends, so you may change your story, even if the way you remember it is exactly how it happened.

A narcissist may say they plan to marry you, or they may promise to take you somewhere you love. Either way, the plans will never formulate and they will never follow through.

This works the opposite way too. A narcissist may promise they won’t do something, yet you will constantly find out they are doing the one thing they promised not to do.

Narcissists know that others will not approve of how they are treating you. For this reason, they will do their best to isolate you from your friends and family, as well as from hobbies you enjoy.

They may tell you that your hobby is stupid, or say that it annoys them for X reasons so you can’t do it around them, or in general. They may comment about your friends and family the same way.

You’ll eventually feel very isolated, as you will realize the only friends you have are their friends. This is exactly what the narcissist wants, as it makes you less likely to leave them.  

Narcissists don’t have any empathy, but most will try to fake it. Some are very good at faking apologies, while others will turn them around on you.

Perhaps you asked a narcissist for input on a project you are working on. They start laughing because they think it looks horrible. You then become very emotional because you worked hard on the project. The narcissist may see you becoming emotional, and they’ll apologize, but it won’t be sincere. They will say something like “I’m sorry it was so bad I couldn’t help but laugh.”

This apology will not make you feel any better, and it will not contain any empathy. But you will tell yourself that the narcissist apologized and therefore they are nice to you, which isn’t true at all.

When you are dating someone, you should feel comfortable enough to discuss anything on your mind with them. If you find yourself constantly walking on eggshells, this is a sure sign you are being abused.

You know that saying the wrong thing could set them off. You’re also afraid they might leave you because you don’t have anyone else (thanks to their isolation tactics). This isn’t healthy at all. You should never be afraid to speak your mind in a relationship.

So, you’ve discovered you’re in a relationship with a narcissist. But you love them! You can just fix them, right?

A narcissist will try to mentally trap you in a place where you overlook their flaws and get stuck in a vicious cycle. Even though you may love them, it’s not usually a healthy situation to see this relationship through.

Still not convinced? Staying with a narcissist who is abusing you long-term can cause physical and mental damage to your health. You may even already be experiencing some of these damages if you’ve been with the narcissist for a long time.

Below are the long-term effects which can occur when you stay with a narcissistic abuser.

Anxiety will stem from all the walking on eggshells you’ve been doing. You will be afraid to say what you believe, even with people you trust. You may develop separation anxiety or even anxiety about leaving your home. This can escalate to panic attacks and typically needs professional help to overcome.

Dating a narcissist takes its toll. You will eventually feel worthless and stupid, which will lead to symptoms of depression. This depression can last years and need professional help to resolve.

Most victims of narcissistic abuse develop PTSD. This is because you always have to be on high alert when you spend time with a narcissist. You never know what a narcissist may do next that could hurt you physically or mentally.

This PTSD will likely continue after leaving the relationship, and you will probably find yourself avoiding certain places or things.

When you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you will constantly be changing yourself to suit their needs. This is because narcissistic abuse is a type of brainwashing where you begin to associate your self-worth with how the narcissist treats you.

You may find one day that you no longer recognize yourself. You may also see yourself as worthless when you leave your narcissist which isn’t true at all. These feelings of worthlessness can escalate to depression.

Narcissistic abuse has physical manifestations as well. You may experience headaches or body aches as a result of the abuse.

These body pains are caused by stress, which is never-ending when you date a narcissist. You will also have trouble sleeping or may be plagued by nightmares. The sleepless nights will further increase the physical pains you are experiencing.

Not sleeping well at night will also cause you to have difficulty concentrating. You may even experience short-term memory loss.

Both of these symptoms are caused by the stress you are experiencing and your body releasing hormones to try and combat it. This causes damage to the part of your brain which is in charge of your short-term memory.

With no sleep, short-term memory loss, and body pains, mood swings are inevitable. If you are still with your narcissist, they will see this as affirmation that you are crazy, and use this against you.

This creates a vicious cycle where they will in turn make you feel worse, the symptoms will intensify, and you will act worse. The narcissist may also try to convince you that you are emotionally unbalanced.

Spending time with a narcissist is taking the time to try to figure out what is a lie and what is the truth. This will lead to trust issues in all aspects of your life, even after the relationship is over.

These trust issues won’t just be in romantic relationships. You may also find you have difficulty trusting friends, family members, or even the checkout lady at the grocery store.  

Most victims of narcissistic abuse become a people pleaser. This is because they had to work so hard to get approval from their abuser. Now they feel as if they have to work that hard to get approval from everyone in their life.

People pleasers will also bottle up their feelings and hide their needs in order to avoid a confrontation. This isn’t healthy and it can be difficult for a people pleaser to take care of themselves.

The first step to overcoming narcissistic abuse is to recognize it for what it is. Even if you love a narcissist, you have to know that what is happening to you isn’t right. Then, it’s time to take some steps to get yourself out of the abusive situation.

First of all, you need to forgive yourself, as you had no way of knowing you were being abused. This step can be especially difficult if there are kids involved in the relationship.

Feelings of shame and embarrassment will get you nowhere. Forgive yourself and accept that now it’s time to make some changes so that the abuse doesn’t continue.

If you’re still in the relationship, seek help immediately to get out. Ending a relationship with a narcissist is extremely difficult, and you may have trouble leaving.

It’s best to involve a friend, or family member if you can. Sometimes leaving a relationship with a narcissist can turn violent, so be sure you have someone there to help.

Narcissists have an innate ability to locate people who are easy to control. Yes, if you’ve dated a narcissist, this means you are one of these people.

The only way to avoid falling into a relationship with a future narcissist is to learn all about narcissism. This will help you recognize the behaviors and signs that you are being controlled before you get involved.

Leaving a narcissist is never easy. You will have many unresolved feelings and emotions. You should set up appointments to see a therapist.

You should also consider joining a support group with other victims of narcissistic abuse. This will help you to forgive yourself. If there is no support group in your area, you can talk to supportive friends about how you are feeling.

When dating a narcissist, you put your needs on the backburner. This ends now. You need to make your needs a priority again.

Start by eating healthy, sleeping enough, and taking the time you need to relax and recover. Your self-esteem needs a boost now more than ever.

When leaving a narcissist, you will feel extremely vulnerable. You need to be careful in this state as it will be easy for others to abuse you. You need to set boundaries that prevent the narcissist from seeing or contacting you.

Actually, set boundaries with everyone in your life, friends, and family included. These boundaries should specify when and where they are allowed to contact you. This will also help you to feel more in control which is something you haven’t felt in years.

Additionally, this will help to prevent you from falling into a future relationship with another narcissist.

Sometimes, you may not have a choice and may not be able to avoid a narcissist, for example, when you have kids together. This is a very sticky situation, particularly when the narcissist is granted partial custody of your kids.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to deal with a narcissist. But there are some things you can do to help you feel better and heal from the abuse.

The number one action you should take is to attend therapy. You should send your children to therapy as well. This will help improve your self-worth. Your therapist can also advise you of mental coping mechanisms you can use when speaking with the narcissist.

For example, if the narcissist has weekend custody of the children, he or she may volunteer to pick them up from your home. This is a way for them to see where you are living, make verbally abusive comments, and possibly even try to interfere in your life by not leaving right away.

Don’t let this happen, and anticipate how to stop it from happening. You can volunteer to drop the kids off instead, or meet in a public area. This will keep you, and your home, safe from the infiltration of the narcissist.

If all else fails, get law enforcement involved. You want the narcissist to have as little access to you as possible, even if this means getting a restraining order.

Overall, it can be depressing and horrifying to find out you are in love with a narcissist. But you have to recognize how they are abusing you, and know that there is nothing you can do to fix them.

It’s a long road to heal from narcissistic abuse, but you will feel much better after you take the first steps. Healing from narcissistic abuse is a powerful thing and it will leave you so happy you will wonder why you ever fell for the narcissist in the first place. We believe in you!

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