This is an important one. Love is calm and understanding. There is no reason for someone who really loves you to rage at you. There is no reason for them to give you communication that is confusing or hurtful.
Saying cruel words to someone, in order to make them feel bad, so that they can be manipulated, is not love. Having battles of who is better at what, who is right, who is in charge…none of this is love.
We love our friends and we support them. We may point something out for their own good, if they are heading down a dangerous road. That is our job as a friend.
If someone reacts to this kindness of your offering a different perspective about them and their situation, in a violent angry manner…this is not love either.
If your partner is telling you his opinions about something and then gets angry or calls you stupid when you offer your opinion..this is not love. Someone should value your intelligence and respect your right to have an opinion. They should also appreciate when you offer words of guidance that are given with care and not judgement.
When someone seems to have one set of rules for themselves and a different set for you and other people….this is a Red Flag of an abuser.
If they can come home whenever they wish and not call you to let you know they are running late…but you get raged at for not checking in every hour with them….this is abuse.
Narcissistic abuse becomes like a two person cult. They control you and they manipulate your perception of reality. The aftermath of this cult like abuse, is severe. It takes a long time to begin to regain your perspective of reality, your self esteem and your confidence to move forward.
If you are in the aftermath stage of an abusive relationship here are a few things I have learned that I offer in kindness and no judgement.
1. Do not do anything RASH. Major life decisions should be left until you are more mentally stable. The abuse caused you to develop some mental illness which needs to be tended to. Making major life decisions life moving to another state or getting engaged or married to someone else during this period are ill advised. Wait several months first.
2. Pay particular attention to your health, even when you do not feel like. Make eating, exercising and keeping a proper sleep routine like a prescription. Do it as if a dr, prescribed it for you. Be consistent as much as possible. Eat out of all four food groups, even if it is small portions because you have no appetite.
Your immune system can easily crash from the stress that your brain is putting on your body. Be your own parent and tell yourself when and what to eat, take your vitamins and get rest.
3. Try not to isolate for too long. At the very beginning you may have to isolate because the damage is so severe that you cannot interact with anyone. During that period, at least interact with other abuse survivors on line.
After a few weeks, you need to get out of the house. Staying in the cave will add to your feelings of devastation. Get out to places where you can interact with some people. It does not have to a bar. In fact , the bar is ill advised.
Go places where you like the activity. Comic book shop, bowling, swimming, library, book store, cafe…and say hi to people and have some conversation. It will help you to begin to adapt back into the regular world, that is not like the cult you were in.
4. Learn. Read, watch youtube videos and talk to survivors about narcissistic abuse and how to heal. The more you learn, the better you can put things into perspective.
5. NLP training. Learn about NLP. You can use some of the techniques on yourself, but it is even better if you get a life coach or a therapist trained in narcissistic victim abuse syndrome. I will write some posts about NLP and you can learn more about it in the next couple of weeks. I am studying to be an NLP practitioner at this time.
6. Self love. You must begin to love yourself again. Take care of yourself like you are your own parent, life coach, therapist, friend etc.
7. Seek help when needed. You may get a few weeks of therapy or life coaching and then you are fine for a month or two. Suddenly you can relapse or crash back into a depression or severe anxiety. You may think. well I already got help. No, if you need help again then you need help again. There is no shame in needing help.
8. Be careful about who helps you. No one who has not been victimized by a narcissist or a psychopath can really understand. Anyone who you confide in should have been through it and has time to recover their sanity. People who do not understand narcissistic abuse will re-traumatize you by telling you that you are exaggerating, paranoid or lying about the abuse. People just cannot understand this experience if they have not been through it. You will sound really crazy to them and the abuse is invisible so they will not see what your problem is.
9. No Contact
10. Learn to set boundaries