Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome and How to Help Victims Heal

Can you spot a Narcissistic Abuse Victim from a crowd?

No, because it can happen to anyone regardless of any age, race, gender, creed, or economic background.

NPD ( Narcissistic Personality Disorderoccurs when a man or woman suffers from deviant or abnormal personality behaviors that are so bad they create a trail of destruction or carnage upon those closest to them.

Victims of Narcissistic Abuse may display a cluster of symptoms such as:

  • Disassociation
  • Trauma
  • Avoidance of Personal Interaction
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeping or Eating Difficulties
  • Memory Loss or Impairment
  • Constant Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Lost Sense of Self
  • Confusion
  • Flashbacks
  • Anger/Bitterness
  • Hopelessness
  • Self Harming
  • Loss of Interest/Detachment

Narcissist are individuals with an exaggerated sense of self having a grandiose ego of superiority over others , and requiring constant need of attention, affection, admiration, and praise. They seek out to find and target those who are most empathetic, nurturing, and sympathetic to their portrayal of having a troubled past, riddled with bad decisions, and bad luck. However, as victims later learn this is all too far from the truth as the narcissist have hidden lifestyles, secretive behaviors, mental disorders, that wreck havoc upon their primary sources of supply in which a trail of destruction is left behind.

Victims are left sadly to pick up the broken pieces of their shattered lives, lives that were turned upside down without warning, simply because they believed in someone who was incapable of providing love, affection, reciprocation, understanding, and commitment to an adult relationship.

Unfortunately, victims are unaware of the dangers that exist in becoming involved with a narcissist until it’s too late and often after years of being subjected to trauma, abuse, and depression which may result in PTSD( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) CD (Cognitive Dissonance) &, Stockholm Syndrome (Much like prisoners of war victims are left feeling they have to defend their abuser , love their abuser, despite years of captivity, isolation, deprivation, and abuse).

Narcissist are not easily detected and often appear shy, coy, very polite, professional and courteous. They gain the victims trust by mirroring and projecting the traits of those they wish to emulate.

Often times, victims have no idea they are even being manipulated, deceived, brainwashed by these toxic persons such as the narcissist until they are significantly involved within the relationship.

Tactics such as love bombing, gaslighting (technique of brain washing used to instill confusion causing victims to question their own memory), and triangulation(creating an aura of desirability to draw victims closer) are used to win the hearts of these unsuspecting supplies and targets.

Narcissists are very deceiving, they are masters at utilizing mind games, they will lie about the most basic mundane things simply to gain the most attention, benefit, and fit their own selfish needs and wants.

They do not care who they harm or what ill lasting effects their targets will then be subjected too.

Victims are often known to feel a loss of self after years of neglect, abuse, denial, self questioning behaviors, and self examination of their own judgement.

Narcissists have a plan from the very beginning of the honeymoon stage, to the love bombing ( use of flattery, declarations of love and romantic encounters to attract victims), to the denial, and ultimately the devalue and discard and that’s simply to take away and destroy the victim in anyway possible.

They are not limited to keeping their victims walking on eggshells and will resort to abuse of all forms to accomplish this task. They have no remorse or empathy for those that are left behind. Victims will never get the apology that they deserve.

Victims are often exposed to abuse of every form including but not limited to :

Verbal

Emotional

Physical

Psychological

Financial

Sexual

Spiritual

They often are unable to figure out that they are being manipulated until it’s too late often at the detriment to their own personal lives and those closest to them. Many victims are left without the basics and have no foundation upon which to rebuild their lives.

When victims do question the actions and behaviors of the narcissists they are subjected to fits of rage, anger, bouts of depression, guilt, blame, threats of harm, intimidation, fear, anguish, pain, and often abuse.

Narcissists have an uncanny ability in altering their behaviors much like a chameleon to adapt to fit their environment and situations.

Therefore, it’s often difficult to diagnose and worse to understand and treat narcissism which often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Why would anyone stay in such an abusive relationship and hostile environment?

This question is not as black and white as it may appear as many times financial reasons are of primary concern. Victims may not have the financial means, may not have proper housing, support, or the basics to survive.

They may have young children or elderly parents that they need to attend too.

They may be unemployed or have been dependent upon their abuser for income. After years of neglect ,abuse, mind games they may be questioning their ability to leave.

They may have been told if they leave the abuser will harm them or further isolate them from family and friends preventing their escape.

The years of abuse may have them feeling depressed, alone, and emotionally drained. Victims may unwilling to change their situation but in fact they may be physically exhausted and unable to help themselves or have medical impairments that prohibit their escape to safety.

Sadly, victims are deceived into believing the relationship they had would be fulfilling, rewarding, loving, nurturing, and kind. What they received in return was a toxic individual who may have had childhood trauma, abuse, or mental disordered behaviors that alter their current state of being.

Victims are blamed, made to feel crazy, second guessing their own actions as a direct result of the false accusations labeled against them by the narcissist concerning something they did or didn’t do.

Narcissist are very good at twisting the truth, exaggerating the facts, and creating drama for their own personal gains.

Often times narcissist will surround themselves with enablers, harem, or loyal followers who often don’t wish to admit they too are victims or may think they are supporting a fake persona who is ultimately the narcissist.

The entire persona of a narcissist is a façade meant to benefit the ONE ​= The Narcissist!

Narcissist feel as though they are above the law, above others, and that the world is out to get them and therefore they go out of their way to showcase and spotlight themselves by selling themselves with their illustrious careers, expensive materialistic possessions, wealth.

Abuse is with the objective to maintain power and control while isolating their victims to become dependent upon them.

How can you help someone who is being abused by a narcissist?

First and foremost always believe the victims. Never blame them or discount their stories. Let them know they are not alone. Allow them the opportunity to speak, and quietly listen being their supportive guidance. When victims tell their story it’s often for reasons such as validation, approval, acceptance, acknowledgement, understanding, love, and support.

Never make generalizations about the relationship or inferences concerning the break up. This is not a “typical breakup” . It’s not simply a bruised ego or a broken heart. The relationship was based upon a foundation of lies and deceit that was enhanced with an evil plan of mind games and trickery from a truly sick individual with a mental personality disorder. The recovery after being devalued and discarded doesn’t involve simply getting over a few “hardships” that everyone has had to endure in life.

Never, ever, ever, tell the victim of any abuse that they deserved the abuse, or that they are seeking sympathy in telling their own personal struggles associated with the relationship, or worse never tell them they are milking the victimization label.

Narcissistic relationships involve years of fear, intimidation, degradation, humiliation, chastisement, beratement, lying, cheating, adultery, deceit, abuse, neglect, depression, isolation,& abandonment.

Years of this type of brainwashing and mental torture leaves victims feeling as lost souls and having low self esteem, low confidence with a low self worth. Trust, confidence, and beliefs levels in oneself are left questionable.

If they need assistance direct them to the proper outlets. Seek professional help and reach out to those who can provide safety , love, support, and guidance. Safety is paramount.

As leaving an abusive situation is the most dangerous time and often can result in harm not only to the victims of abuse but in addition to those reaching out to help. Direct them to professional who can assist them further such as their local domestic violence agencies, shelters, governmental agencies, local police departments.

Many non profits and governmental agencies can help in terms of not only providing counseling/therapy, but can provide assistance whether housing, financial, educational, psychological, employment based or basic needs.

What if your are the victim of Narcissistic Abuse?

Walk away from anything that no longer serves you. Make yourself a priority, if you feel threatened to leave or feel as though you need help in leaving an abusive situation contact your local domestic violence agency, police department, 911 call center, legal aid services, or lawyer referral programs.

Every state offers assistance for domestic violence and abuse victims.

In leaving may sure you keep safety in mind, and take whatever you deem important especially documents that will help you later on such as (Social Security Cards, Credit Cards, Drivers License, Deeds, Birth Records, Marriage Certificates, Car Titles, Financial Documents , Federal/State Taxes, Court Documents/Records, Personal Loans), anything deemed relevant and important to you .

Make yourself a priority and believe in yourself. You are worthy and you can overcome narcissism. Stay strong and never give up.

Once safe, begin to rebuild and reclaim your life after narcissism. Maintain no contact or limited based on circumstances ie. co parenting or business partnership etc.

Have strong boundaries and stick to them understanding that you don’t have to please everyone.

Become knowledgeable about narcissism and what you’ve experienced and know that you are not alone.

Allow yourself the freedom to tell the truth and to tell your story. In telling your story you not only help yourself begin to heal but you may give someone else the courage and hope they need in telling their own.

Uncover your true authentic self by loving yourself and doing things that bring you gratitude, joy, and positivity.

You have the power and control to rebuild your life and rewrite a new chapter and it begins with you. One example I found most helpful was to increase my volunteer hours while searching for employment.

This not only kept my mind focused on my goal, but helped me to understand that there will always be someone less fortunate then myself. Each passing day brings new hope, new possibility and new chances to go after the dreams you have established for yourself. Count every blessing.

Release any and all emotions that were wrongly placed upon you and work towards a happy, healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle. Deal with emotions as they arise to promote inner healing, wellness, and recovery. Challenge yourself by creating goals that are outside a level that you might seem unattainable and accomplish them to aid in improving self confidence. Know that there are others who don’t or won’t understand your situation especially within the legal system and know that often times re-victimization may occur.

*Try to find an attorney or court advocate who is aware and knowledgeable about narcissism and their destructive ways.

Surround yourself with those who will be supportive in whatever you choose to do. If you find those around you don’t understand your situation or past experience or they aren’t as happy for you than kindly dismiss their part in your life and find those who understand, acknowledge, and uplift you during your journey.

Understand that you were targeted and that the traits that brought the narcissists into your life are the very traits that make you unique and important to the world.

It amazes me to this day how little skilled professional(s) know about the true damage a narcissist can have upon their victims. It’s not merely about forgiveness or as simple as walking away.

Victim blaming and re-victimization is not an answer as victims are never to blame.

The journey involves moving forward from being a victim to survivor to thriver but in their own way, at their own pace, in a way in which they feel comfortable and with or without professional assistance.

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