Narcissistic abuse is trauma.
The emotional manipulation and coercive control we suffer with this kind of abuse can also result in physical, financial, sexual and spiritual abuse.
It really can be a crushing experience.
Narcissistic abuse is a pattern of abuse perpetrated by people who have either high narcissistic traits, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). When perpetrated by someone we are in an intimate relationship with, or by a family member, it is domestic abuse.
We can experience narcissistic abuse not just within an intimate or familial relationship, but also within a friendship and even within the workplace...in fact, any kind of relationship.
With the right support, we can recover, heal and thrive after the impact of this insidious abuse. It takes courage, time and a commitment to ourselves.
Post Traumatic Growth is just as real as Post Traumatic Stress.
If you have suffered narcissistic abuse, you could still feel very confused about the relationship, even if it ended some time ago.
You may find yourself searching for answers and not being able to find them.
If you were the one that managed to break free from the relationship, you may wonder why you do not have the sense of peace or closure that you thought you would have.
Narcissistic abuse can feel devastating, but we really can recover ourselves.
There is a particular kind of painful loneliness that can be experienced with narcissistic abuse.
We may have been isolated from our friends and family and feel that we are totally alone.
It is often such a hidden experience and the person who has perpetrated the abuse often presents as charming, generous and very likeable to others.
You may feel that others don't believe you and at times you may not be able to believe yourself.
When we have experienced gaslighting, it can be difficult for us to trust our own judgement, especially if this has been perpetrated by a parent throughout our childhood.
I know, firsthand, what it can be like to experience such abuse and not be believed.
Feelings of shame and guilt can be crippling after experiencing narcissistic abuse, but none of this has been your fault.
You are NOT responsible for what has happened to you.
Your kind, empathic nature will have been taken advantage of, especially if you have a pattern of putting everyone else's needs above your own.
Being intentional with your healing will allow you to step back into your power...it may not feel like it right now, but it really is possible.
We are very likely to experience Complex PTSD after being subjected to this kind of sustained abuse.
The support of a therapist who understands this will help you to effectively navigate your recovery and healing ~ See my Qualifications & Training page to check out my specialist trainings.
Healing will mean different things to different people, but time alone will not give us the nervous system level of recovery that we will need.
From counselling in Women's Refuge and facilitating Pattern Changing courses, to counselling and coaching in the NHS and private practice, I have been supporting my clients to recognise, recover and heal from the trauma of narcissistic abuse for many years.
My somatic trauma informed approach allows for deeper, nervous system level healing. Working with our nervous system dysregulation really is an important part of trauma recovery.
Please hear me when I tell you that you are not going mad, despite what you may have been told by the person who has abused you.
If you are still in the relationship and you are feeling confused about what is happening, why the person in question is so lovely one moment and then so cruel the next and why you find it so difficult to leave, trauma-informed therapy can help you to find some clarity and safely navigate your needs.
Walking on eggshells around someone is just one of the reasons that we may feel so exhausted.
I am here for you when you feel ready to take the next step towards reclaiming your self.