Toxic Relationship Recovery: Deciding Who You Want to Be After Narcissistic Abuse

Written by Angela Atkinson

When you’ve been involved in a relationship with a narcissist, you might find that you forget who you are a little bit.

In fact, it’s one of the most common concerns I hear from readers and my narcissism support coaching clients – that they aren’t really sure who they are when they’re in recovery from a toxic relationship that involved narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Tips

Related: Rewrite Your Story After Narcissistic Abuse: Start Here

You may have been so relentlessly tortured by the gaslighting and other forms of narcissistic manipulation that you have literally lost yourself – you don’t even know where to begin to remember who you once were (or who you could be now).

This is almost always true in the case of someone who has served as narcissistic supply for someone they lived with, such as a spouse or parent. 

And in some cases, especially with parental narcissists, a survivor may never have known who she was to begin with. These are the survivors who most often tell me they have no idea where to start. Of course, those in longer-term relationships (regardless of the nature of the relationship) often feel exactly the same way. 

Related: What to Do When a Toxic Relationship Makes You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough

For example, one of my clients is a 47-year-old woman who was married to her narcissist since she was 17. She had no idea where to begin defining herself when she finally freed herself. 

Where do you begin? How do you decide who you want to be after narcissistic abuse?

I’m going to be straight with you. There’s really no mystical equation here. It’s very simple – and yet a little bit complicated if you don’t fully understand. 

You simply DECIDE. You make a choice and you choose what you want. Yes, I’m serious.

You get to choose your life, your personality and everything about you – and you don’t have to listen to anyone else when you’re doing so. Listen up, my friend. 

You are the result of your own thoughts. So think INTENTIONALLY.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” ~Buddha

Vishnu as the incarnation BuddhaThis particular quote, for me, sums up something I know to be true, a concept that has become one of the guiding principles in my life.

To me, this means that we’re in control of our lives–or that we can be, if we learn to control our thoughts, be open and flexible in our beliefs, really feel and fine-tune our vibrations–we can choose our own lives.

I believe this because I have experienced the benefits of intentional thought–and because I have experienced the disadvantages of not intentionally choosing my vibrations.

Does Buddha’s quote resonate with you? What does it mean to you? Are you ready to reinvent yourself after narcissistic abuse? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.

Need more help with a narcissistic relationship? Check out this resources page for victims and survivors of narcissism, right here. 


  • Angela Atkinson

    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 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 and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

Get Guided Help with Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie – packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

Where are you in your recovery?



We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Powered By ConvertKit

Award for Angie’s YouTube Channel

Disclosure – Click to Read


You're not alone.

We have been there and we can help you heal.

Related Articles

Refund Information

We are all going through a difficult time as our community is grieving the loss of our coach and guiding light, Angie Atkinson. All refunds will start processing in January. Please get in touch with us about any refunds that we need to give out. You can contact us at...

What is NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)?

What is NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)?

If you're struggling to recover from narcissistic abuse, you might be interested in learning about Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP.  It's a surprisingly simple yet highly effective treatment for symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD)...

Get Guided Help with Your Recovery & Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Join the SPANily! Start with our free newsletter.

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie - packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

    Where are you in your recovery?
    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Share this post with someone who needs it!