So you’ve made the choice to end your relationship with a narcissist. Or maybe the choice was made for you. I want to tell you to feel amazing about that right now. But first, let me tell you this – I know it hurts. And that’s okay; it’s going to get better. I promise you.
However the relationship ended, you’re working on recovery from the narcissistic abuse you’ve been suffering.
From gaslighting to playing the victim to flying monkeys and beyond, narcissists know only one thing: they want what they want when they want it, and nothing else will do.
Research proves that narcissists, regardless of their classification and level of extremity, all share four basic traits – they lack empathy, they are self-centered, have a serious disregard for other people and they are selfish.
I polled several of my narcissism support groups and they agree that this seems consistent with their experiences. How about you?
Back to you: Starting the Healing Process
The first thing I want to tell you, whether you’re already gone or you’re planning your escape, is congratulations.
I know that might seem inappropriate at this moment, but try looking at it a new way.
Imagine the level of freedom you can now enjoy. Imagine how you’ll be allowed to make your own decisions, to be the person that you truly want to be.
The Big Secret: Deep Down, You Really Are Who You Want to Be
See, the truth is that the person you want to be is secretly who you really are – so the best way to begin to find yourself and figure out your life after narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship is to indulge in the things you love, the things that make your soul feel alive.
That’s going to help to discover yourself and bring that “true you” up to the surface.
But what if I love to do something I’m no good at? What will that serve?
First of all, you’ll never know until you try.
Plus, you don’t have to be “good at it” to enjoy it; but about now, I’d love it if you could stop feeling like you’re not good enough.
You being “not good enough” is simply a lie you’ve come to believe thanks to the mind-numbing experience of being involved with a narcissist.
It’s a narcissist’s nature to tear down the people who are closest to him or her. The narcissist must feel in control, and they must obtain what he considers the appropriate amount of admiration and attention from their various sources of narcissistic supply.
When they get it, he feels validated and he might be the best guy you’ve ever met – or she might be the coolest girl.
Note: Narcissists come in all shapes, sizes, colors and sexes. I’m going to use the “he” pronouns from here on out simply because statistically, narcissists are slightly more likely to be male (and for ease of reading).
But when the narcissist finds himself spending too much time alone or with a lack of attention and admiration, or he’s directly defied, he becomes a whole other person.
Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury will set in and the person in the line of fire is most likely to get the brunt of the narcissist’s rage.
When you fall for it, they might just inadvertently recruit you to become one of their toxic flying monkeys.
Or, if you don’t, you can probably expect the injury to become rage. And then if you don’t finally comply with serving his needs, the narcissist will likely send a flying monkey your way to do his manipulative bidding.
When you feel weak: How to stay strong in the face of a love bomber
You know, that’s when he places you on a pedestal and makes you feel like you’re perfect and amazing and like no one can compare? And where he suddenly seems humble and sweet and you start thinking maybe he really can change, after all? And then before you know it, he’s back in and you’re back to trying to figure out how to deal with his gaslighting?
Yep. And remember how crazy-making it can all be? Remember that life?
Good. Now You Remember Why You Left.
When you feel weak, you have to remember why you left. Or why you’re planning to leave.
The gnawing feeling in your stomach when you hear the names you’re called or the horrible way he seems to see you as a person, maybe.
How your entire being, your character and your integrity were called into question for every little “infraction” of the ridiculous (and often unspoken) rules and double-standards he required of you?
That’s why you left. Or maybe its why you’re leaving – or maybe, it’s just one reason you can stop crying about the narcissist who left you.
Because now, you are the one who decides what happens. Now it’s all about what you want, what you choose, what you say is best.
ABOVE ALL: Don’t scare yourself into staying
The narcissist is going to try to make you afraid and insecure. They want you to think you can’t live without them and that you can’t do better.
Don’t let that scare you – I know that being in full control of your life might be a little freaky after having been under someone else’s thumb for awhile, but you will very quickly find yourself feeling light and happy in a way that you can’t remember feeling before.
You can do better. I don’t care if your overweight or you’re frumpy or you’re very, very shy – no one deserves the mental and emotional abuse of a narcissist. It’s pure torture and you can do better.
Know that. And remind yourself when you feel weak. You can do this. You can be who you want, and you can take care of yourself. KNOW IT!
Change is hard but you will come out so much happier and more fulfilled.
While your initial reaction to any sort of change is going to be difficult sometimes, this is especially true when it involves separation from someone you’ve spent many years or even months with.
That’s because a lot of times, you literally sort of forget who you are – you’ve become so enmeshed and codependent with your narcissist that you literally don’t know who you’d be without him.
REMEMBER: Your situation and what you’re dealing with now doesn’t make you wrong, less than anyone else or stupid; it makes you human.
People who have not experienced the hell of narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship have absolutely no idea how incredibly it takes over everything in your life.
Before you know it, you are literally putting every single word you say and choice you make through the “narc filter,” which is your understanding of what will and will not upset the narcissist.
Removing the “Narc Filter” From Your Self-Identity
So now that you’ve made the choice to leave, it’s time to begin to shed the narcissist’s version of you and start to create your own perfect version – what you consider the be the best possible version of yourself.
If that means you need to spend a bit of time getting over your relationship first, fine – but set a time limit and stick to it.
And then, you can get on about the business of deciding who you are after you end a relationship with a narcissist.
Ready? Let’s get started together. Here are some resources we can dig into.
Articles & Info on This Site
- Re-Write Your Story After Narcissistic Abuse: Here’s Where You Begin and Pain Ends
- Toxic Relationships: Why Gong No Contact is So Hard
- Why Even Very Smart People Can Be Gaslighted
- Resources for Victims and Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse
- It’s Not Supposed to Hurt: Overcoming Toxic Love and Narcissism in Relationships
- Your Love is My Drug: How to Shut Down a Narcissist, Detoxify Your Relationships & Live the Awesome Life You Really Deserve, Starting Right Now
- Take Back Your Life: 103 Highly-Effective Strategies to Snuff Out a Narcissist’s Gaslighting and Enjoy the Happy Life You Really Deserve (Detoxifying Your Life)
Are you ready to get started on your narcissistic abuse recovery? Let’s Discuss It. I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and questions on this stuff.
- Have you been in and escaped from a narcissistic relationship?
- Are you still in one?
- What advice would you give someone who is doing what you did (or plan to do)?
Share your thoughts and experiences in one of our narcissistic abuse recovery support groups.
Related articles that can help in your recovery from narcissistic abuse
- Narcissistic Rage and Narcissistic Injury: What You Need to Know
- The Narcissist’s Soulmate Scam: Identifying a Love Bomber
- Secrets and Self-Loathing: Identifying a Covert Narcissist
- Do Narcissists Really Know Right From Wrong?
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel and Be Brave
- Narcissistic abuse support for children of toxic parents
- Why Narcissists Disappear (Hint: It’s not just the Silent Treatment!)
- My dad is a narcissist
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.