How Long Does It Take to Heal From Narcissistic Abuse?

Written by Lise Colucci

There is no set time frame for healing from narcissistic abuse. It is important to be patient with yourself when healing from toxic abuse and understand that healing is not a linear thing that can be measured.

Narcissistic abuse recovery takes time and effort at regaining self-love as well as focusing back onto yourself and your life. Recovery is a process, it is going to be different for each person and each situation.

Comparing your own healing with another survivor is really not an effective way of seeing your own growth and recovery. What often helps instead is seeing where you personally have made changes and grown as a person through the recovery process. 

Healing is not linear

We heal in layers, just as we experienced the abuse in many parts of our lives we heal bit by bit in layers in each part of our life that was affected. I think of it as a tangled ball of yarm that takes time to unravel rather than a straight climb up a hill. The thing is it is not just one ball of yarn but many as the narcissist created pain in many parts of your life.

They hurt us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, sexually and to the core of how we view ourselves and our worth.  Remember, trauma bonds can make healing feel slow or impossible in the beginning. For some, it may feel like you were never yet able to break the trauma bonds even after longer periods of time. Patience is needed to heal all of this. It is possible and with active participation in your own healing, you can recover greatly. 

Can healing be sped up?

There are many ways healing takes place after narcissistic abuse. The complexity of the abuse also means there can be the complexity of healing for survivors.

One way healing happens is when we gain understanding and acceptance of what a narcissist really is. It can begin to feel like healing when you begin seeing the truth of how the narcissist is in a relationship with others. The lack of empathy and accountability they have can be difficult for empathic people to really accept. Once this is seen and accepted as the narcissist’s truth, your healing can begin to change from focus on the narcissist to focus on your own life.

As you learn to focus on your needs and life, healing accelerates because you begin to break trauma bonds. Actively participating in your healing by working to shift the perspectives the abuse programmed you to believe about yourself can begin to speed up the healing process. 

Healing is not just about “getting over” your ex or your toxic parent, it is about discovering self and creating a thriving mindset. No matter which path for healing you choose, self-healing, life coaching, therapy or any other method it takes to be your own friend and champion.

Being patient, open and kind to yourself will help you speed the healing up. You can’t get far if you stand in your own way with negative self-talk. You can accelerate healing through willingness to change your perspective that was taught to you by toxicity. 

The short answer is there is no answer. You can and will heal in your own time. The more focus you put towards positive parts of your life the more you will feel the healing as it happens.  

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