Do you remember a time when you felt your entire reality had been distorted, or when you were violated, manipulated, ridiculed, humiliated, and gaslighted into believing you were imagining the worst? If yes, then you might have been a victim of narcissistic abuse.
Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse that can leave long-lasting psychological and emotional scars. In this article, we will explore how to deal with a narcissistic abuse and rebuild your life after experiencing such trauma.
The author of this article is Dr. Navpreet Kaur. Do you know who she is? You must read about her at the end of this article. Her other article can also be found at https://journals-times.com/2022/03/07/why-are-acid-attacks-on-women-perpetrated-by-gender-biased-mentality/
Narcissistic Abuse: An Overview
Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse perpetrated by someone who suffers from narcissism. Narcissists have a tendency – whether conscious or unconscious – to lie and use words and language in manipulative ways to damage, alter, or otherwise control other person’s feelings and behavior.
They usually follow the idea of projection. They lie effortlessly and are very convincing because they lack normal human emotions or inhibitions. They are insensitive and bored, lack the willingness to show empathy for others, and feel neither shame nor remorse. This coldness of feeling also allows them to lie with minimal inhibitions.
Here is a real Case Study
One of my friends was in a relationship with a narcissist. They met through a social media platform – as new social media have become increasingly popular components of our everyday lives in today’s globalizing society. After their first meeting, she believed that he was a man of words. In just their second meeting he proposed to her. He visited many religious places with her so as to make her believe in him and even asked to marry him. She trusted him blindly. When everything was going smoothly and she was planning her future with him, she found a picture of that man with another woman- someone has written a message on it “Happy Marriage Anniversary”.
Nothing in her entire life had hurt her more than that picture. When confronted he started blaming her for not trusting her but later admitted he is married and had a son. A son! He had a son. He used to lie about his son earlier and that this child in my house is my sister’s son who died during his delivery. That she could not bring herself to utter a word after that because it was the most disheartening moment of her life. After this, within a moment, she suddenly felt there as his mistress.
But here, there was no end of lies. Narcissists use their games to manipulate anyone. He quickly manipulated the situation and said he is not happy in his marriage. He said he wants to divorce his wife and marry her. Once again, she was tangled up in the convoluted web of lies and deceit. And after some days he said he cannot marry her because of his parent but “he love her above all”.
When she dared to challenge the situation and said this is wrong and she does not want to be just a mistress – the narcissist showed his true color. He took his steps back and said it is your fault that things did not work out, not their inability to stay committed. Now that the narcissist knows you well enough to see your flaws there is no point in staying with you. The truth is that the narcissist was never actually in love with her, and he put all the burden on her. He went cold, cutting her off completely, and blocking her number.
Narcissist reveals their true color when you need them the most- you may have fallen sick, you are going through a crisis, you are feeling alone- they will escape. They always seek attention – so they cannot give importance to your special days like birthdays, anniversaries, or something for which you are really excited about-because they want to be the center of attention, they steal your joy. And they hate comparison.
Narcissistic abuse: A sense of self-worth loss
The aftermath of this narcissistic abuse included depression, anxiety, a pervasive sense of toxic shame, emotional flashbacks that regressed her back to the abusive incidents, and overwhelming feelings of helplessness and worthlessness. She left her job and was lost. After experiencing narcissistic abuse- one could start questioning your self-worth and have trust issues with other people.
After a narcissist abuse, it is usual to feel emotionally or even physically detached from your environment, experiencing disruptions in your memory, and perceptions. Many times people also feel suicidal. A person is just left with the question –What was my fault?
You may begin to feel like you are not good enough or that you did something to cause the abuse in the first place. You may also have trouble making decisions due to a lack of self-worth.
After a narcissist is abused people are left alone because the narcissist makes sure that their traits are not openly known in society. They create such situations that you cannot share your feelings openly with anyone. Ultimately, pushing a person into depression and distress. The intense panic and racing thoughts feel like an assault on the senses. Some people feel their brain is paralyzed. They feel catastrophizing anxiety.
Understand the Narcissist Abuse: What are the common signs?
- Blaming: Narcissistic abusers tend to blame their victims for everything that goes wrong.
- Gaslighting: Narcissistic abusers use this technique to make their victims question their own reality.
- Emotional manipulation: Narcissistic abusers manipulate and control their victims using emotional manipulation.
- Isolation: To maintain control over their victims, narcissistic abusers may try to isolate them from friends and family.
- Verbal abuse: A narcissistic abuser may degrade or control their victims by using insults, put-downs, and other forms of verbal abuse.
- Financial abuse: Narcissistic abusers may control their victims by controlling their finances or using money as a way to manipulate them.
- Physical abuse: Narcissistic abusers often exploit their victims by using physical force or threats of violence.
- The triangulation tactic: This is a tactic used by narcissistic abusers to create conflict between their victim and another person or group.
- The love bombing method: Narcissistic abusers may at first show their victims affection and attention, then withdraw it and use it to control them.
- An absence of empathy: Narcissistic abusers often lack empathy for their victims and may dismiss or minimize their feelings and experiences.
- Read more on https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/narcissism-symptoms-signs
Rebuilding Life is not easy…
Rebuilding yourself from a mental trauma is not easy- it’s not like healing from an injury. If you broke your arm or leg, your doctor could give you specifics about your recovery-how much time you would need a cast and when you will be healed. But coming out of depression is totally different task. Each person’s recovery is different. Some recover in a few months but for others, depression may become a long-term illness. Some studies suggest, in approximately 30% of people who have an episode of depression, the symptoms don’t entirely go away.
Life is an enigma. You have to fight to live. When you feel broken you just have to remember one thing it is just you who can rebuild your life because only you know what makes you happy. You deserve to feel well again, to feel as good as you once did. To deal with narcissistic abuse- to accept that you did experience abuse, whether from a partner, family member, or colleague, is an important first step toward recovery. Never give the benefit of the doubt to such a person. It’s not possible to change the past but you still can change your life. Instead of questioning your worth and blaming yourself for judging yourself and letting them mistreat you for so long, offer yourself forgiveness instead.
Considering this situation, what should you do to overcome it? Here are some tips for you!
- Talk to your friends and family.
- Try not to hide your emotions.
- Be real and share how you feel.
- Being abused by a narcissist does not mean that you should stop trusting everyone.
- Rather, believe me, you will be able to better understand other people’s psychology towards you.
- Another good way is to contact a therapist who can help you take a significant step toward improving your emotional well-being.
- Further, self-care practices also make a significant difference in rebuilding yourself.
- Self-care involves meeting your emotional and physical needs which includes staying hydrated by drinking enough water, getting enough restful sleep, relaxing when feeling exhausted, going out for a walk, visiting favorite places, connecting with loved ones, eating balanced meals, meditation, and staying physically active.
Take a lesson from snake story
All of your needs to know the story of a snake and a woman. I read this somewhere on a blog. The woman had a pet snake that she loved very much. The snake was about 7 ft long and one day it just stopped eating. After several weeks of trying everything the lady still couldn’t get the snake to eat. The woman took the snake to the vet and explained her situation. The vet replies “I see – Has your snake been sleeping with you at night or snuggling real close and stretching himself out?”
The woman said “Yes. Every day and it makes me so sad that I can’t help him feel better.” The vet says to the lady “Ma’am your snake is not sick. It has been preparing to eat you. He’s been sizing you up every day so he knows how big he has to be. He’s not eating so he has enough room to digest you.
Moral of the Story: Recognize the snakes around you. Just cause they seem close to you, doesn’t mean their intentions aren’t to devour you. Narcissists are like snakes who snuggle really close and will definitely eat you one day. Narcissist first builds you up and then brings you down. They promise you a dream but end up delivering a nightmare later.
Read about the author – Dr. Navpreet Kaur
A “Phenomenal SHE 2023” award was presented to Dr. Navpreet Kaur on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The Constitutional Club of India hosted the event where 100 women from India were recognized. There was also the launch of a coffee table book of 100 Indian women which included the name, Dr. Navpreet Kaur.
She is known for her work to empower women and socially integrate acid attack survivors, underprivileged women, children, and other weaker sections of society. She works as a researcher, campaigner, and social worker based in Chandigarh, India, bringing attention to the issues facing marginalized communities.
A number of national and international journals and books have published her research papers on women’s empowerment and rights, while prestigious colleges, universities, and departments worldwide have sought out her service as a speaker, chairperson, panelist, and judge. The journey of Dr. Kaur began during her doctoral studies at Panjab University, Chandigarh, where she studied acid attacks on women.
In her research, she met many acid attack victims who were experiencing physical, psychological, social, medical, and legal hardships. Her desire to help these victims led her to join the “StopSaleAcid” campaign against the free sale of acid. As a result of her campaign, Dr. Kaur is now Vice-President of “The Laxmi Foundation,” an NGO that supports acid attack survivors.
ACID ATTACKS ON WOMEN A Socio-Legal Perspective: This research book is written by Dr. Navpreet Kaur. It is an exceptional book that analyzes acid violence within the framework of gender-based violence Inequality. The crime of acid attack (vitriolage) is one of the most brutal against women. Understanding of this subject is greatly enhanced by this book.
As well as analyzing the legal framework regarding acid purchases, it discusses the factors that contribute to the increase in acid attacks against women and its use. The author emphasizes Indian perspectives on acid attacks while highlighting contexts, laws, policies, and interventions in various other countries relating to acid attacks.
Throughout the text, the author emphasizes the role that the Indian judiciary plays in curtailing acid violence attacks in India. After describing various scenarios of acid attacks, the book suggests ways in which this crime can be further curtailed. The book is a comprehensive and integrated guide for a variety of government departments, non-government organizations, legal and medical experts, law and medical students, and victims of acid attacks as well.
Do you want to show your support to Acid Attack Survivors? Please visit the NGO’s page link https://www.facebook.com/thelaxmifoundation/ or email them your interest to support them at
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