One of the most difficult things about overcoming narcissistic abuse is shifting the dynamic from dwelling in pain and ruminating on the past to gaining momentum that will launch us into a brighter future.
The pain is a natural response to the abuse, which broke our heart and in most cases destroyed our sense of self. So we are dealing with a lot.
The cognitive dissonance of two clashing ideas — one being the narcissist as our soul-mate, and the other our ex as a heartless oppressor — is at the root of massive confusion that is left over after the relationship falls apart. Many people that I speak to in my coaching practice, express an attitude of disbelief. How could she or he have done all these things? I thought they loved me!
It is important to remember that narcissists, borderlines, psychopaths, sociopaths, histrionics and any combination thereof, are not people who go from being normal only to switch into the disorder in moments of pressure of stress. It is called a personality disorder for a reason. This is who they are and how they are all the time.
Many partners of Cluster Bs are notorious at projecting their values and perceptions onto their disordered partner. Our traits of empathy, compassion and forgiveness run deep and make us question the motives behind the narcissist’s horrendous acts. So we give them benefits of the doubt. Over and over and over again, in essence enabling the abuse to continue and even escalate. Instead of resolving anything, our kindness coupled with rationalization of their behavior keeps the abuse cycle going.
So we finally awaken to the harsh truth and get away. Now what? Now the true healing begins. Initially it will feel like trying to climb a muddy mountain. We keep slipping and end up exhausted getting nowhere. But it only seems this way.
Each time we do a kind act towards ourselves, it adds up. The body and mind indeed do keep a score.
Eventually my small self-care practices began to gain momentum until months later I reached the tipping point. Eight months later I’m no longer pulled into the downward spiral of despair. Instead, what happened fuels my desire to be even kinder to myself, and to spread this information to others who are suffering with the mission to provide relief and understanding.
Below are the ten practices that I incorporated into my healing practice that helped me to overcome the devastation caused my narcissistic abuse.
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