Updated: Feb 20, 2020
As I promised last month I would write my next BLOG on Narcissism...
Take 10 mins & sit down with a cuppa and have a read...this might help You or someone you might know...
Why am I writing about this subject? Well it’s been very prevalent in feeds lately plus I have been exposed to Narc’s a few more times than I care to admit...
So last year I attended an online Summit on this subject to not only understand it better but also to find out how to heal oneself & others who become broken at the hands of such a destructive energy.
I wanted to shed light on an increasing trend so that if you are either in a relationship, have been or know someone else that is, then maybe this will allow you to feel you are not alone and you can survive it & thrive...
Last night I read that a woman who endured 5-6yrs of Narcissistic abuse stabbed herself in the stomach because she would rather die than continue with the abuse...Yes that is extreme but when a person feels that there is no way to make abuse stop we can be pushed to doing things that are harmful...
To be fair and compassionate you need to understand a little about Narcissists before I go into stories & depth... Narcissists are made they are not born with the trait.... they are people that are very insecure, empty, they feel undervalued & unworthy, and have abandonment issues & need constant validation. Don’t ever feel sorry for them or think you can heal them because in their minds there is nothing wrong with them...They will also destroy you as they lack empathy, and don't have the ability to ever see that they are doing anything wrong...
In my 40’s I worked out my mother was a Narc, my girlfriend who I grew up with, her mother was one too...we laughed about how dysfunctional our upbringing was and that was that but it got me curious and I intended on researching it further which didn’t happen until now...
I can pretty well spot people who lie & BS as I am an Empath and I eventually see Narc’s for what they are but, here’s a big but....if I am involved with one as in friendships or relationships I’m blind...Why? I have not yet found the answer to that question...
So why after all these years did I attract several Narc’s into my circle in the last 5 years?
Another good question...my theory is and it’s only a theory, is that I needed to heal a very old wound and gain insight that I never could when I was younger...there is always a gift and my gift is to share my story, heal and offer healing to others with greater understanding and compassion.
So let me tell you a snippet of a recent encounter with a Narc...and then I will share what to look out for...
Last year I ended a long term on & off again relationship which had a rather huge impact on me & that has taken almost a year to get over.
I debated whether to write this BLOG and the other day (full moon) old sad memories came flooding back and I realised I need to feel it, own it, bless it and put it to bed...it’s been long enough and 2020 offers hope of a better time to come...this is a small insight of what came up today...just remember this was a week out of 3yrs of bad behaviour...see “The 7 Stages of Narcissistic Trauma Bonding”
My Narc love bombed me after leaving me or me leaving him...I can’t tell you how many times I got back with him, it’s just too embarrassing to mention...one time while we were travelling overseas he dumped me & stranded me in the UK, he took the car I hired & paid for & took off to his friends place...I had to find somewhere to stay and work out what the hell to do next...however because I have traveled extensively on my own in the past I managed to find accommodation, travel & do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do with him.
The whole trip except for the last week of it was a trip that was all about what he wanted, it wasn’t my idea of a fun holiday, it was stressful and full of inconsiderate behaviour...
He contacted me 2-3 days later & I agreed to meet him a few days later in a town somewhere in the UK & we resumed our holiday that was planned prior the dumping & of course it was back on again, he cried & was sorry and regretted how he treated me & that he made a mistake blah blah blah...I was still in love & I wanted us to have the trip we had planned...
Fast forward 2yrs...
The day that I finally realised I had had enough was when he said “I must love you unconditionally because of all the S..t I put up with from you” that was the moment when I saw it all so clearly....
The years of elevating him, nurturing him, doing what he wanted, putting up with crumbs, being cut off from physical touch & sex, being gaslighted, never being a priority, the constant threat of him leaving...
I was done walking on eggshells, feelings of being ashamed for being weak, needy, the lack of confidence and constantly feeling insecure & suspicious...
The stories I could tell...actually I never really told anyone how bad it was because that would make it real... I really did love him but that eventually died after enduring so much abuse but the love bombing kept drawing me back in, until one day I cut off all forms of communication...every time I withdrew he played the victim card, he never understood
that I needed to leave because of how badly I was being treated even though I told him, it was always how bad I made him feel. The behaviour never changed and in the end I became physically ill from all the stress and grief I was constantly going through.
I mentioned in my last BLOG about being Gaslighted which is what Narc’s use to confuse and undermine you and it is cruel...Narc’s use many various strategies in the stages of a relationship...first is they seem so sweet, attentive they tell you how wonderful you are, they gain your trust which is part of the honeymoon period usually last 2 months tops or until you either disagree or question them...then the bets are all off...if you have ever confided in or told a Narc personal or secret things about yourself they will use this against you as in mocking you or just making you feel bad about yourself...
They will continue wearing you down until there is no sense of self worth left...
When you finally leave them they will love bomb you...yep it’s a thing...it keeps you coming back for more...
When you read on there are a list of what ‘narcissistic abuse look like’ and if any of these ring true to you & your relationship you could be dealing with a narcissist.
So what is a Narcissists?
There are 4 primary types of Narcissists... this is only a brief overview
Grandiose – this person is known to be arrogant, egotistical, attention seeking, needing validation for their greatness & they lack empathy.
Malignant – All the things a grandiose narc is, but they are really mean. They lie, cheat, steal and don’t feel bad about it.
Covert – This person feels put upon by the world, they don’t get why people don’t see their greatness & become very sensitive to criticism. They also look as if they are depressed but they general are just down about life in general.
Communal – This person is the well presented narc that saves the world and wants recognition/validation for their efforts, they talk a lot about how good they are but they lack empathy with it.
Stats...Ratio is 80% Men to 20% Women are Narcs.
So what exactly does narcissistic abuse look like?
Below happens after Stage 5: Control Is Established of The 7 Stages of Narcissistic Trauma Bonding’...
When the narcissist gets to the devaluing stage, that’s when the ‘nasty’ really begins. The will start by doing any or all of the following – and these are just some examples…
They are hypersensitive to criticism so they will turn it back on you... as they lack empathy they take pleasure out of the misery of other people...
Criticize you – your clothes, the way you walk, talk, eat, think… nothing about you is ok anymore at this stage.
Discredit you – nothing you’ve achieved will be of any value. They will constantly play up their achievements, and play yours down.
Belittle you – they’ll make you feel small, inferior and worthless, by ignoring anything you say, rolling their eyes, or butting in with their own glory-story because what you have to say is of no interest to them.
Mock you – they’ll do their best to make you think you are stupid and a waste of space.
Bring up intimate or personal things you’ve shared with them – for example, one woman had shared details with her narc about sexual abuse when she was a child. He threw this into her face several times, saying ‘It’s your own fault. You asked for it! You’ve always been a whore at heart!’… Nothing is sacred and your secrets are NEVER safe with a narcissist.
Lie to you – about everything and anything. They’ll tell you lies your friends and family have said about you, they lie about where they were, who they were with, what they’ve been doing. Frankly, they can’t tell the truth without lying.
Control you – they will try to isolate you from family, friends, and anyone who is important to you. They’ll try to stop you going anywhere without them or without their permission, they’ll check your phone and your emails. They don’t believe you have a right to any personal space or privacy.
Control the finance – they honestly believe that what’s yours is theirs, and they have no conscience about bleeding you financially dry. They will steal, lie and cheat you out of every cent they can get their hands on, and leave you financially and emotionally broken.
Projection – they’ll take all their own nasty characteristics and accuse you of doing/being these things. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so bloody tragic!
Withhold affection / sex – back in the beginning, you felt loved, cherished, sexy, and had amazing sex. Now, there is no physical contact at all and you feel unattractive and rejected. If you try to initiate sex or even a cuddle, they’ll brush you off and tell you you’re a nymphomaniac.
They cheat on you – in their constant quest for more narcissistic supply, the narc is never satisfied with one relationship. He (or she) is usually a serial cheater, with often several relationships running at the same time. If you catch him out, he’ll blame you. It will be totally your fault and you made him do it.
This is not the end of the list by any means, there are many more such as smear campaigns, flying monkeys, triangulation, discarding, hovering, grey rocking, etc.
The fact is, according to Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D, and an expert on all things Narcissism, there are 7 stages to trauma bonding:
Trust and Dependency
Criticism begins (commonly referred to as ‘Devaluing’)
Resignation and Loss of Self
The 7 Stages of Narcissistic Trauma Bonding
Stage 1: “Love Bombing”—The Narcissist showers you with love and validation.
Stage 2: Trust and Dependency—You start to trust that they will love you forever. You now depend on them for love and validation.
Stage 3: Criticism Begins—They gradually reduce the amount of love and validation that they give you and start to criticize you and blame you for things. They become demanding.
Stage 4: “Gaslighting”—They tell you that this is all your fault. If you would only trust them and do exactly as they say, they would shower you with love again. They try to make you doubt your own perceptions and accept their interpretation of reality.
Stage 5: Control Is Established—You do not know what to believe but think that your only chance of getting back the good feelings of Stage 1 is to try doing things their way.
Stage 6: Resignation and Loss of Self—Things get worse, not better. When you try to fight back, they up their abuse. Now you would just settle for peace and for the fighting to stop. You are confused, unhappy, your self-esteem is at its lowest.
Stage 7: Addiction—Your friends and family are worried about you. You know that this situation is terrible, but you feel as if you cannot leave because this person is now everything to you. All you can think about is winning back their love.
So how do you break this incredibly powerful bond?
Well first the good news is that it can be done. People do it all the time. Just like people quit smoking, drugs and alcohol, you can quit your addiction to a Narcissist.
Firstly, take some practical steps.
1. Go NO CONTACT. This is absolutely vital for your sanity and healing. No matter how hard it is at first, and it will be, do it. Cut all contact with the Narcissist in your life. Block them and block everyone you know who knows them.
2. When you start feeling all dewy-eyed about the ‘love’ you’re craving and missing, hit the pause button in your head. Then change your position – if you’re sitting down, stand up, if you’re standing, sit down and so on. This creates a ‘pattern interrupt’ in your brain and helps you to stop letting your thoughts rule you.
3. Now with that button on pause, bring to mind the reality of what the relationship has or had become. Recall with as much detail as you can how much the Narc has hurt you. Really think about this. Call up as many incidents as you can imagine.
4. Now ask yourself if you really want to go back to that reality? Ask yourself if someone who really loved you would do that to a person they really loved? And think about what LOVE really is – what does love really mean to you, when you get down to the core of it?
5. Get out and about and DO things. Take long walks. Go to the gym. Or the cinema. Or the shopping mall. Just get out and about rather than wallowing in misery at home. Self-Care is absolutely critical. Do whatever it takes to make yourself a priority, to make yourself feel better, and do things for yourself every single day.
6. Take a few moments to breathe, and imagine a stress-free, narc-free future for yourself. Do this several times a day. Really wallow in your imagination and feel what it would be like to live in freedom.
7. Keep positive. Keep telling yourself that you can and will get over this. Find a phrase that signifies a happy, narc-free future for yourself, and keep repeating that over in your head every time you start thinking the bleak thoughts, or feel the craving to be with your Ex again. Remember to hit the pause button and go over exercises 2, 3 and 4 again. And again. And again. Repetition is key.
8. Finally, reach out and get support. If you’ve been in a narcissistic relationship for a long time, the chances are very high that you’ve become isolated, because that’s what a Narcissist does… they work to ensure they isolate you from your family and friends. And you are probably feeling very alone and lost. You don’t have to be… join closed Facebook Groups that support & understand what you are going through ie: https://www.facebook.com/groups/infiniteselfworthafternarcissisticabuse
9. Consider getting therapy. Most of the people I know who have recovered, reached out and got therapy to help them understand and get over the abuse. You can’t fight this alone, so please reach out. Take the first big step to healing and let me help you break the Trauma Bond.
Credit to Infiniteselfworth for some of the content of my BLOG....
Here are some more reading & research you can do to empower yourself...
https://www.infiniteselfworth.com/ is a great Website with articles on Narcissim
Books & Youtube presentations by Dr Ramani
Healing from Narcissistic Wounds by Rhonda Freeman
The Empath Narcissist Connection by Judith Orloff
Narcissism in Relationships by Terri Cole
If you have been impacted by Narcissism or other types of Abuse & need any help to get through the trauma & build up your self- confidence & self- esteem to create a better more positive life than consider Holistic Healing with me...
Mobile: 0414 704 560