addiction, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, emotional healing, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissist, narcissistic abuse

Keeping Sane After an Abusive Relationship

love is calm

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 ย 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 ย 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

no contact

10. Learn to set boundaries

boundaries

31 thoughts on “Keeping Sane After an Abusive Relationship”

  1. This is so important. Thank you. I have learned so much and was able to help a friend realize he has been in an abusive marriage with a narcissist for 19 years. It won’t be easy to break free as they have 2 kids and he is addicted to the abuse. But he is reading, learning n going to therapy. Seeing the truth was very difficult for him after years spent in denial.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What things are you referring to? Parents should have rules and guide their children. They should have good intentions towards guiding the children and communicate in a way that is authentic.

      Parenting is hard and no parents are perfect. We all make mistakes. That is not abuse.

      I was referring to intimate partner relationships in this post.

      Parenting is similar but different. Narcissistic parents see their children as property and do not see them as individual people who have rights to personal boundaries depending on their age.

      Without knowing what age , what situation, or whether you are on the side of the parent or the child, in your situation, I am not sure how to respond in a way that will be helpful.

      You can comment again with a more specific situation and I will try to help, if you like.

      Narcissistic parents abuse their children in the following ways. These are only a few examples of what abuse would be and how narcissistic parents mentally abuse their children.

      1. The narcissistic parent will make a rule. The child attempts to follow the rule. The parent then lies about what the rule was and tells the child they broke the rule, even though they actually followed it.

      2. The parent, who does not want to compete for attention with the friends of the child, criticizes and embarrasses the child in front of the friends when they come over. The child stops interacting with friends due to the humiliation and thus becomes isolated from friends.
      A narcissistic parent will intentionally and deliberately isolate their child from friends.

      3. Narcissistic parents will criticize, ridicule, call their kids stupid, fat, ugly, etc. They will tell them they are not good at things, even when they are good at things. This is to crush their self esteem in order to control them.

      4. A narcissistic parent will gaslight the child by denying that conversations occured or events happened. This is to confuse their reality and make them feel that they must cling to the parent in order to have their reality validated. The child or teenager loses their trust in their own perceptions of reality

      These are things that are narcissistic abuse of a parent.

      I have not written any posts about narcissistic parents with children or adult children.

      I can write one sometime this week.

      I had been focusing on partner abuse, because it is part of my recovery from my last abusive relationship.

      Parents and children are a different relationship than two adults. Yet there are still boundaries that people have a right to. It depends on the age of the child.

      Teenagers should have the right to their personal drawers, letters, conversations, diary etc.

      Adults should have the right to relationships without their parents interfering. ..calling the boyfriend and telling lies about the daughter in order to break them up…..Parents inviting the child’s best friend for dinner by lying and telling them everyone will be there. Then having private conversations with the best friend about the daughter in order to manipulate their friendship.

      Narcissistic parents always operate out of their own agenda. They intentionally crush, undermine, and sabotage the child.

      Is this the kind of behavior you are referring to? I have the feeling you are just thinking of parents making rules for their children and having good intentions for their lives. That is not abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi. I was taking time to think about this before replying here…..and I still don’t know what to think. I thought I should think it all out, figure out where I am before replying to your comment. But I still don’t think she does anything bad. I don’t know. I always assume her abuses are accidental. She only beats me when she is very mad, and she gets mad at the silliest things sometimes.

        Whenever Mom hurts me, I assume it is for my own good. Whenever I tell her why she is doing this, she makes me feel guilty. She tells me, “I am here cooking for you. I am here without a job. DO YOU think I am simply here to beat you?” And that sort of makes sense but I really don’t know what to think or feel. I just try to forget it.

        Sometimes I tell her of things she did to me and she refuses. At one point I thought whether I was going a little mad. But I always seem to forget the intensity of those feelings. Pretty soon I get all idiotic, happy-go-lucky and smiling and joking. I guess what I am saying is, I don’t know what to feel. And if I should feel angry, I don’t know how to bring myself to even feel that when I feel guilt for having her sacrifice for me. Even if I didn’t feel guilt, I still don’t know how to get angry. I don’t *want* to get angry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        I recently told her to go back to her job because I started to feel better mentally, which is the main reason she left her job, I would cry everyday for the pain of severe OCD (I think I forgot the feelings of OCD too, until I get hit with the feelings from time to time)

        Thanks for the long reply.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I am concerned for your situation. I would like for you to do some research on gaslighting and narcissistic personality disorder.

      I can give you some links.
      Let me think through some things for you to read or watch.

      I am half awake right now. I had to wake up for a few minutes but I have to go back to sleep.

      Your situation is weighing heavy on my heart. It is abuse and she is gaslighting you by telling you things like ” do you think i want to abuse you”

      There are tactics narcissists use to intentionally confuse the person into not knowing whether they are being abused or not.

      This makes the person distrust their own perception of reality. There is a “cognitive dissonance ” that is created by the abuser. This is the co existance of two contradictory realities.

      One reality is that she hit me and I feel abused.

      The other reality is she tells me she does not want to abuse me. I must cause her to get angry and deserve the abuse.

      These are common tactics used by a narcissistic ( and your mother is probably co-morbid with borderline ) person, in order to keepv their victim confused and feeling toxic shame.

      Please send me a comment here or an email later today to remind me to send you some links. Michelemimimish@gmail.com I still have some free life coaching hours left that I can give you. See the Life Coach Page at the top of my blog.

      In the mean time you can watch any videos on the Spartan Life Coach channel on youtube. Look for his videos on narcissistic abuse, gaslighting, and People Pleaser Syndrome.

      Love is calm.
      Love is patient.
      Love is kind.
      Love does not use emotional manipulation as a punishment.
      Love does not put blame, guilt or shame on the person.
      Love admits when they are wrong and does not shift the blame onto you, for their angry acts against you.
      Love is understanding.
      Love listens and cares.
      Love protects you from danger and pain…does not put you in it

      Much love,
      Annie

      Check out that recent post I wrote about narcissistic parents. It has links to videos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Annie ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much again for the long, thoughtful answer. It is making more sense now. I will be sure to check that post out, although the videos I have to listen to at a time when my Mom is out of the house :I

        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I sometimes watch videos on youtube from my cell phone, with ear buds, in my car alone.

      I dont know if your cell phone gets YouTube.

      Please be careful. If you have to live there for now, you don’t want to do anything to upset her.

      One of the most important things you can do right now is to find ways to build your self esteem and to learn about people pleaser syndrome and drawing boundaries.

      It is common for people who develop people pleaser syndrome from mental abuse growing up, to end up with narcissistic abusive partners when they become adults.

      Learning the red flags of narcissistic abuse will serve to protect you. I should have one or two posts about that on this blog and on my Lovely Wounded Lady blog.

      Have you seen that blog of mine? Another really good blog about narcissistic partner abuse is Better Not Broken.

      The lady who has that blog and I would not want you to end up with an abusive man, and go through what we did.

      Annie โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Annie, thanks for that info :I I used to think that since my father treated badly with my Mom, I thought I could watch out for signs of abuse. But I guess I merely saw my Mom as this wounded angel all along, so I need more to learn, definitely!

        BTW, I sent you an email last night to both of your email-addresses regarding free-coaching, I hope it didn’t get in the spam box!

        Thank you so much for your concern for me, I really needed this support ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know who else to share my problems with except on my blog.

        Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging. I still see too many women in abusive relationships and they do not realize it.
      The more awareness of what abuse is the better.
      The healing process takes longer than anyone wants to think, once they finally get out.
      I am glad if my posts help some people. Others will see the reblog.
      Blessings,
      Annie

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an excellent source of logical information. I have been going through those steps. Yes I moved (glad I did, but sorry I took the first place I saw). Wounded, I isolated for a long time. Today I left the cave, went for a long drive and tried to talk to people, got depressed and cried all the way back. I want to hide awhile longer. And yes, I had an emotionally unstable, abusive mother for whom I would do anything just to keep the peace. That’s how I ended up married to the same type of person. What is NLP?

    Like

    1. I am sorry. You can stay on the bed for a while. When you gotta then you gotta ๐Ÿ™‚
      You are still connecting with people here. This is much better than not talking to people at all. I love wordpress for being able to connect but not have to leave the bed …
      NLP I will see if I can find a good link for you.
      It is a method that you can use on yourself or a therapist or life coach can use with someone else.
      It helps with the memories that are bad and bothering you. It is a way to make the memories appear differently, quieter, less loud, less bright, farther away or in a faded way. Then the memories do not have such an impact on you.

      It is also a way that you can help yourself or someone else be able to change their state of mind. It is kind of a hypnosis but you are not all the way hypnotized….you are just in a relaxed state and then someone (or yourself) talks and changes the images and takes control of the thoughts in a sensory way…or by reframing them .

      One example would be if someone is afraid to make a phone call…..I have this issue myself…Then you would ask then how they picture the person on the other end of the phone. The you change the picture from intimidating to something else..something silly, or someone very tiny and small, or someone who is very kind and agreeable.
      You can change yourself in the picture to someone bigger and more powerful…
      It is interesting .
      Talk to you soon.

      Like

  3. I just happened by your blog and I really like your advice on keeping sane after an abusive relationship. The only thing I would add is that many times when children are involved, you are forced to communicate with the abuser after the divorce on a regular basis. This is very frustrating, as the mental abuse continues, although not as severe since I am no longer married. I must speak with my ex on a daily basis as he and I share custody. Just yesterday, I was attempting to talk to him about a topic of importance, and he told me “You are just pathetic”. This is not the first time, but my daughter overheard it too. So sad. I look forward to when I no longer have to deal with him on a daily basis (in 6 years my daughter turns 18).

    Like

    1. Yes, it is very frustrating to have to continue communication with them.

      I have had to continue communication with my ex husband for the last 10 years because of joint custody. It is not him that is really bad, but his parents are very abusive to me.

      They are one of the main reasons the marriage began to fail. The continued contact due to the children is just continued stress, interferance and undermining of my parenting.

      If he did not live with them, there could be more seperation, but he has lived with them for most of the last ten years, except for the year he ran away to California and then I was forced to deal with his parents exclusively.

      So I truly empathize with you. You do have a long six more years to go. I am sorry for that.

      You are right that your children should not hear them say mean things to you or call you names. Hopefully they can sort it out and also know that it is not the behaviour they should adapt as an adult.

      My ex in laws criticize me behind my back to my children and undermine my authority by pointing out things they think should be done differently.

      Blessings for peace of mind,
      Annie โค

      Like

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