Do you have a narcissist in your life that is causing you emotional pain? First of all, know that you aren’t alone. Narcs are often wolves in disguise and their tactics are so subtle, that you don’t realize how harmful they are until it’s too late to do anything about.
I’ve recently gone no contact with the narc in my life and honestly, it’s the most liberating feeling in the world. I feel lighter. I’m sleeping again. And with time, I’ll be able to move forward and onto healthier relationships again. That’s the goal with the healing, at least for me at this time.
First of all – let’s cover what a narcissist is. You may already know this if you’re on the internet doing research. And yes! That’s part of healing too. Arm yourself with information.
Narcissistic signs and red flags
Love-bombing in early stages of communication. This may be declaring that you are like no one else they have met. A rare unicorn. You make them feel things they have never felt before. This is to hook and reel you in – and trust me, it works. It helps to form the trauma bond.
Often are manipulative and controlling to the point you feel as though you are an emotional slave to them. They may try to isolate you from your support groups. They may want to know everything you are up to. And they may stalk your social media accounts – this is what my ex did. At first, I thought it was because he was invested or being protective. Until it wasn’t.
They believe they are superior to others and that rules or boundaries to not apply to them. They will make everything about themselves.
They will never apologize for their mistakes. Or if they do, they will keep making the same mistakes and hurting you again, then finding some way to blame it on you.
I could go on — but I’ll use a separate post for that.
Here are things you must do, when you’ve severed ties or ended a relationship with a narcissist. It won’t be easy. The longer the relationships are, the harder it will be to let go of. But these are necessary steps to help you move on.
This list isn’t complete by any means, but they are things I’ve done personally to help with my healing.
Go no contact
Going no contact is difficult especially when there is a trauma bond or feelings there for the other person. Trust me, I know. I lived with the abuse for nine months, even after the breakup, I thought we could be friends.
To go fully no contact, you’ll need to do a few things:
Block them on social media – that means, don’t look them up to see their new activity. Seeing them move on with their life, will just make you miserable.
Unless you share a child or other responsibilities with the person, block them all together on mobile devices, or phones. Some abusers will use fake numbers to get in touch with you – just keep blocking their new numbers.
If you can’t block the person, then mute notifications so that you won’t see them. That said, it’s better to fully block them out of your life if you can.
One thing a narcissist hates, is being ignored. They will do what they can to get your attention. Don’t give them that satisfication.
Stop beating yourself up
This was in no way your fault. If anything, you are likely a good person with a big heart that attracts negative people. It happens all the time, especially to empaths who have a large social presence online.
Darkness to light. Dark energies are attracted to light energies and their main goals are to feed off your energy, until they almost break you. Break you down to a point that you will be easy to control and manipulate.
Know this wasn’t your fault. Once you recognize that you are in an abusive situation, that’s the start to a new life for you. If needed, ask for help to get out of the relationship. You don’t have to do it alone.
Get yourself in a good mental and emotional place
This is crucial, and I say this as someone who is coming out of a six week depression that nearly ended my life. Luckily, I managed to keep going. I was determined to stay strong and not let him win.
This may mean practicing mindfulness, or daily acts of gratitude. Or it may mean spending time with your friends and going out and enjoying life. Reconnect with nature. Go for walks. Take a camera and go capture the natural beauty. Go on a trip. Go visit some long distance friends.
It’s important to socialize and maintain those relationships. I’ve found that during your low points, you really find out fast who your friends are. Those who leave you while at your lowest, aren’t friends at all.
Take a hard look at the narcissist’s behavior
You’ll find yourself months after the relationship sitting up in bed one night and going, “Oh! That isn’t right. That makes sense now.” when you realize what was going on in the relationship.
Once you see the pattern of abuse, you can’t unsee it. Once you learn their wicked ways, it will be easier to spot in new relationships or partnerships. And that person will never look the same to you as did once you realize how toxic they were.
A narcissist loves to gaslight their partners. They do this by invalidating your feelings or making you think that you’re going crazy. They’ll deny accusations or straight out lie to you. They will deflect and change the subject or pick fights when you try and talk to them about your feelings. They will do whatever they can to control the situation.
The more you learn to recognize the toxic behavior, the easier it will be to set boundaries and match up with healthier partners who value your worth.
Breaking through the fear and anxiety
Narcissist’s feed off of fear and anxiety. They want to keep you feeling low and confused. They may resort to sleep deprivation tactics. This is something I faced and a lightbulb moment went off in my head after the relationship ended. I understood why he’d message me at 2 or 3 in the morning and ask me to stay up and wait for him to get home. Then texts would never come in.
This was his way of keeping me exhausted so that I wouldn’t have the energy to fight him. And for months – and I mean months – it worked. I’m still catching up on sleep now and feeling the physical effects this had on me.
Learn to stand your ground. Set your boundaries. Be firm. If they do not respect those boundaries – then they do not respect you.
Let go of the fear they have caused for so long, it will help. You need to be strong to move on from this.
Get support – you’ll need it
Join a support group or hire a therapist who is trained with trauma bonds and emotional recovery. You’ll need help from friends and family. Think of narcissists like psychological warfare or cancer.
You will go through the motions. At first, you’ll miss the person so much you’ll want to reach out daily to them. Trust me, when I say, this only makes it worse for you.
You may feel periods of extreme sadness, or you may find you want to sleep all the time. This is especially true if your partner has caused sleep deprivation. This can happen by picking fights when you are trying to sleep, or creating noise during your sleeping hours.
You may feel anger at times. Find a healthy outlet. For me, I turn to artwork, music and other creative outlets. Working with my hands keeps me busy. Reading. Writing – especially in journals or here on the blog definitely helps to keep me motivated.
Rely on your friends. Support groups can help but do be mindful of the people you accept into your circle. And do be wary of false friends who only stick around during the happier times in your life. And do be careful — choose to write in a private journal rather than a shared journal that your mutual friends can read. This will only make things worse. Share only what you need to. Keep the rest private or to conversations with a professional counselor.
Thank you for reading – what resonated with you most?
I think I’ll stop there. This post is already long and I feel I could break it up into a series of posts about toxic behaviors.
Yes, it’s possible to be a victim of emotional abuse even in long distance relationships. It’s possible to be abused without even realized that you are being abused. Sometimes the abuse is so subtle, you don’t realize it until later. This is why I’m sharing these posts about my experiences. So, that I can help others recognize what isn’t okay and to let them know they aren’t alone.
Thank you for sticking with this blog through it’s many changes, and through my many stages of grief and letting go. It’s been a year full of ups and downs. And I’m working hard on coming back up from a hard fall.
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Note: I am NOT a professional therapist or councilor. I’m just someone who has been through some abuse from a survivor’s perspective.