How To Create Calm and Strength After Narcissistic Abuse
If you are reading this, chances are you have recently ended a toxic relationship with a narcissist and are dealing with feelings of confusion and hurt.
Obsessing over narcissistic abuse is draining and often damaging that some people even lose their homes, jobs, and children’s custody. As a result, healing from narcissistic abuse involves many factors.
You will experience depression, anger, grief, and denial like any other loss. Such emotions often affect mental health, leading to prolonged disorders, including headaches and high blood pressure. In severe cases, some attempt suicide.
Narcissistic abuse can be extremely traumatizing, and sometimes healing can take time. If you are on the fence about recovery, these tips will help you regain calm and strength after narcissistic abuse.
Tips For Being Calm And Strong After Narcissistic Abuse
Accept and Acknowledge the Abuse
One of the most critical steps to healing from narcissistic abuse is recognizing that you experienced abuse from a friend, family member, or romantic partner.
At first, you may find it challenging to set aside potential excuses and rationalizations for the person’s behavior. You may see yourself as the cause of the abuse and comfortably carry blame without having to admit your partner intentionally hurt you.
While this is entirely understandable, denying what happened may prevent you from addressing the issue and moving on and healing. It will set you up for a more painful experience in the future.
Prepare For Complex Feelings
After ending your relationship with a narcissist, you will experience shock, grief, sadness, anxiety, and anger. The trauma may leave you with some symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
While you endure deep emotional wounds, you may still question your deeds. Sometimes, if you sincerely love them, you can convince yourself to be the cause of the mistreatment.
Detaching yourself from toxic family connections can also cause feelings of disloyalty or guilt. Working through these emotions is challenging. In most cases, seeking professional help would be wise.
Learn Self-Soothing and Grounding Techniques
Narcissistic abuse is an emotional trauma that targets the rejection wound. When you feel abandoned, rejected, and betrayed by a narcissist, your amygdala (the part of your brain that controls emotions and thoughts) seizures your normal thoughts and sends you into flight-or-fight mode.
If you experience a thought of rejection and then experience an emotion from the thought, say depression or panic, you will constantly run with it.
There is little you can do to halt this, and self-soothing is one of the few techniques. Grounding and self-soothing techniques will help prevent emotional hijacking. They are similar to the techniques used to assist with emotional trauma and PTSD triggers.
Work on Your Self Esteem
You must understand that the perceived rejection is not an illusion. It would help if you then worked to make yourself feel invisible. This means that even if your abuser perceives you as successful, attractive, or fun to be around, they will not admit to it.
Narcissists aspire to get rid of every last bit of your self-esteem because that is how they keep you hooked to thinking you are trash or damaged goods. Building your self-esteem will help you think positively about yourself and enable you to stay away from such people.
You will likely go from good to bad from time to time. But the key is to look at the bigger picture, not how you felt at a particular moment yesterday. When you do something good or feel good, celebrate. It will help you forget your past trauma and develop a thick skin.
Eventually, you will become accustomed to it and soon realize your self-esteem has significantly improved.
Take The Best Care of Yourself
When you pay more attention to putting healthy, exercise, and good self-care of yourself into your everyday schedule, you will find yourself worrying less and feeling more powerful.
Taking care of yourself automatically improves your confidence and prepares you to handle challenges. It keeps you from sinking into depression or breaking down emotionally. Sit in a hot tub, get a massage or do anything else that helps you relax. The key is to prioritize your well-being.
You should also consider keeping a journal of your feelings and thoughts. Writing your insights and experiences on paper is surprisingly validating and calming. It will help you through the confusion and figure out what to do about change. It also enables you to forget and diminish negative interactions with the narcissist.
Talk to others
Talking to supportive family members and friends will help you feel less isolated through your healing journey.
People who care will:
- Encourage and remind you the abuse was not your fault.
- Offer compassion.
- Provide company during tough times.
- Help validate your pain.
Supportive groups can also offer you the space to open up about your experience and encourage you.
Seek Professional Help
Narcissistic abuse leads to complicated grief that often takes over one’s life, mainly because the victim never gets the validation they desired nor a sense of closure.
Talking to a therapist will help you get over your experience and improve your overall well-being. They will always listen so you can empty your stressful thoughts, decompress, and get back on track.
You will also need validation that you are not crazy and assurance that you can endure whatever comes your way. They will help you recognize the reasons behind your feelings and help you make a plan to evade powerless decisions in the future.
Therefore, if you cannot understand the primary reasons that make you vulnerable to patterns of narcissistic abuse, we advise you to hire a compassionate professional to help you understand the effects of the emotions you struggle to offload.
Getting the Right Help
Currently, there are plenty of well-trained therapists specializing in the needs of narcissistic abuse. And hiring a misinformed therapist may be harmful to victims of narcissistic abuse. Here are reliable resources you can find the right kind of help:
- Seek recommendations from other survivors: In the process, trust your intuition in finding the right therapist and provider. If you do not feel heard by a therapist, consider walking out and looking for someone else.
- YouTube: Make sure to look for a platitude-free page filled with informative and helpful content for survivors.
- Look into CBT and trauma-informed therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy can help treat narcissistic abuse. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, you should consider finding specialists in this field.
- Find specialists in anxiety, abuse, and PTSD: Since narcissistic abuse comes with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, we highly advise you to look into the existing literature on such topics and find practitioners in those areas.