I think all who suffer Narcissistic Abuse go through various stages, similar to those going through grief, and then some. But the 5 stages of grief for example, are not enough because they end with acceptance, which is what happens when you lose someone to death and you finally come to terms with it. However, it's just not that simple when NPD is involved.
But with a narcissist, you can’t just ‘accept it’. Your sanity and mental health depend on the next stages, those of getting out, seeking support, therapy, and ultimately healing and fully recovering.
Typically what ‘Victims’ might be feeling include any, if not all, of the following:
Horrific betrayal / hurt / confusion / rejection / denial / shame /
Anger at yourself for not knowing /
Anger at yourself for the lost time, and the love you gave to the narc /
Anger that you didn’t see it sooner and do something about it /
Guilt / shame - for being so ‘stupid’ /
Fear – over finances, children, your future
Abandonment / loneliness / depression / anxiety / grief
– and maybe, if you are lucky, anger at the perpetrator of this string of crimes against you.
So what can you do at this stage to help you regain your sanity?
Learn About NPD
So the first step, is to learn about NPD so that you know the extent of what you're dealing with.
Then you will know and understand that you are dealing with a mental illness.
But keep on learning, because your journey has only just begun and the more you arm yourself with knowledge of this insidious form of abuse, the more you can protect yourself.
It’s not your fault
It’s also vitally important to know one thousand percent, that it was NOT your fault, and there was no way you could have known the horrendous trap you were being lured into.
Because that’s what it was… a carefully orchestrated plan by the narc to ensnare you. It might seem hard to grasp this, but actually, it was NEVER personal.
Now I know that might seem strange, and I can hear you saying ‘what do you mean it’s not personal? Of course it is! It couldn’t get more personal!’… and that’s true, it couldn’t – for you.
But the narc has no feelings or regard for you as a person with individual desires, wants, needs and tastes, and they never did. You were merely a means to an end… their end of getting narcissistic supply. As soon as you stop giving them that, they go onto the third stage – discarding you.
Get Support – You Need it!
Find a trusted family member or friend who knows you well enough to trust and believe your side of the story. Unfortunately, a big part of the whole narcissistic regime is to discredit you to all your family and friends, or to paint you as crazy, unbalanced, impossible to be with, and to lie about you left right and centre to anyone in your circle.
Also, the narc may have already started this ‘smear campaign’ long before the actual break up – they are smart, and think ahead. They very often will have been telling lies about you behind your back, and gradually undermining you to people who should know better, but don’t.
And remember the narc will use his charm offensive to get everyone to think he’s a great guy – so the problem must be you. You can find yourself standing alone, with no one to help, support or believe you. In this case, find a support group of people who understand what you have been through, or are going through.
You can’t fight this alone and you need people who can assure you that you are not crazy, and most importantly, that you can heal again. Come and join my group, Infinite Self-Worth after Narcissistic Abuse. There’s lots of love and support for you there, and much more.