“It took me realizing that a broken heart has never actually killed anyone to find the courage to ask for what I want, in just about every situation. That was part of my own growing up.” ~Ginnifer Goodwin
If you’ve experienced narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship, you might be feeling like your heart is breaking when the relationship ends – even if you’re the one who ended it. But the journey, as painful it can feel, is a worthy one. And, if you want to leave it behind you and move forward, it’s a necessary one.
Emotional Healing for a Broken Heart
Isn’t it true that your emotions really take a hit when your heart is aching? Sometimes it feels like the day of healing is a million miles away. The difficult time you encountered in the past can take a while to be purged from your system. It’s definitely healthy to experience a range of emotions. However, it’s unwise to have the negative ones consume your existence. You’re better off working towards healing the hurt. That way, you can start to experience joy and happiness again. Emotional healing is possible if you work at repairing the source of the hurt. As you’ll see, that may mean making some tough decisions.
Try these narcissistic abuse recovery meditations.
This narcissistic abuse recovery sleep healing meditation might be really helpful for you right now. Use it for 30 days when you go to sleep at night and you’ll see some significant improvements in how you feel emotionally. And, while you’re at it, this narcissistic abuse recovery self-acceptance and self-love meditation is a good companion to use in the morning.
Remove negative influences from your life.
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize something important. Some of the negative influences may very well be the people closest to you! It’s going to be a challenge separating from them. But your emotional health is more important than maintaining those relationships. This is especially true when you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse – when someone you love is actively abusing you psychologically, emotionally, or even physically. This is when you’re going to want to consider going no contact in order to preserve your own sanity and to begin your healing on solid ground.
Are any of your friends guilty of adding fuel to the fire? Can you identify times when they’ve encouraged you to avoid forgiving someone who offended you? You can very quickly identify people whose advice is riddled with negativity. Avoid allowing the years of friendship to cloud your judgment. You can almost guarantee continued misery if you keep them in your life. Here’s a video on how to handle going no contact with someone who is toxic for you.
Learn to set and uphold your boundaries.
Most codependents and survivors of narcissistic abuse have trouble with setting boundaries. This might be due to the fact that they were never actually taught to do so in the first place, thanks to the fact that so many of us were raised by people who didn’t allow us to have boundaries at all. Or, it could be related to the ongoing abuse we have endured in our toxic relationships. If you’re struggling to set appropriate boundaries, this video will help you learn how to not only set those boundaries but also to uphold them as necessary.
Accept responsibility for your part in the relationship.
It’s pretty hard to look in the mirror, right? Deep down, you worry that everything is all your fault – and that’s understandable, given that the narcissist in your life made sure you believed it. But it’s difficult to accept that idea – and even more difficult to imagine that you might have been reacting to the narcissistic abuse. And at times, we feel angry at ourselves rather than the abuser, partially because we feel like we should’ve seen who they were much sooner, or because we think we are weak for tolerating it. In any case, if you’re struggling to see what really happened or what your part in the relationship really was, it can be a good idea to dig in and figure out exactly what your responsibility should be. Confront yourself – what could you have done better or differently, if anything? Maybe you just needed to be less accepting of the abuse. Maybe you struggled with depression and anxiety as a result of it. Either way, recognize what happened and work through it. Be courageous enough to accept responsibility for your part in the relationship so that you can move forward and heal – and avoid these toxic types of people in the future.
Inner peace can elude you if you try to forget about the role you played. Inner turmoil can feel just as unbearable as physical discomfort. In the same breath, be willing to forgive yourself so you can move on to better days ahead. This video offers insight into how you can start to let go of what happened in your toxic relationship and move forward to heal and evolve.
There is also something we call “reactive abuse,” which means that victims of narcissistic abuse will sometimes react to this ongoing torture and manipulation in verbally aggressive and in some cases, physically aggressive behavior. It isn’t okay, but it is understandable given the level to which narcissists will pressure and psychologically manipulate you.
Rediscover your true self.
If you are struggling to figure out who you are after a toxic relationship with a narcissist, you’re not alone. This is a common issue for most survivors, due in part to the amount of us who end up with C-PTSD-related symptoms as a result of our abuse. And, in general, you might just sort of “lose yourself” when you’ve been in an all-consuming relationship. Narcissists have this way of overwhelming us and taking over every aspect of our lives. In this video, I shared the secret to finding yourself and reinventing yourself after a toxic relationship with a narcissist.
Live according to your moral compass.
You likely have a set of morals to live by. And while you know they exist, you may sometimes avoid them when making decisions. Abandoning morals is the easiest way to make missteps in life. Go back to your roots. Take a hard look at what really matters to you. Start to embrace those morals one by one. Start to repair how you approach situations. If making a decision means abandoning your moral compass, take another route.
Just like any other compass, your moral compass keeps you on track. It’s the best way to avoid getting lost in the sea of emotional decision-making.
Commit to daily renewal.
The road to emotional healing is long and winding. It’s something that usually takes quite a bit of time to achieve. But it can be done! All you need to do is recommit to the cause every morning when you wake up.
Daily renewal is the best way to turn your healing into a habit. When you go for days without that renewal, it’s easy to slip back into the heartache. Be fair to yourself. Remember you deserve the healing. At the end of each positive day, celebrate your progress. Congratulate yourself for completing one more day of healing and positive living. You’ll find that you rest more soundly at night.
Achieving emotional healing isn’t an automatic process, especially when you consider the pervasive and consuming nature of narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. It takes time, patience with yourself, and a lot of attention to your own needs. This can feel really hard when you’ve been focused on someone else for so long, but now is the time to really take care of yourself. Focus on what you need and block out the noise around you. But don’t self-isolate and stay stuck forever. Here’s one more quick healing tip for you.
What tips have helped you with your narcissistic abuse healing journey?
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor 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 personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, 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.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.