Is Self-Love the key to healing from Narcissistic Abuse?
It is! The more I read and learn about narcissistic abuse, and more importantly, surviving it, healing from it, then thriving, the more I realise something I have known all along... that self-love is the absolute key to healing.
One of the first casualties of Narcissistic Abuse is your sense of Self-Worth. You may have been a happy, outgoing, confident person, but a few months (or even weeks), into a relationship with a Narcissist and you barely recognise yourself. You've completely lost your identity, in your desperate attempts to keep you Narcissist happy and in love with you.
Narcissists are impossible to keep happy, but when you start out in a relationship with one, you don't know this. You have absolutely no ideal of what you are walking into. You've been treated to a hefty dose of 'Love Bombing' in the beginning, when this person treated you like you walked on water, and you fell, hook line and sinker for their considerable charm. It was so glorious, so heady, so intoxicating, that when the cracks started to appear, you tried desperately to be and do everything possible to keep that 'Golden Period' alive. You were so desperate to keep that flame burning, that even in the face of blatant disrespect, appalling treatment, lies and deceit, you convinced yourself that there must be something wrong with you. Yes, it's your fault. This person was so incredible, so wonderful, you must be at fault now because everything is no longer perfect. So you try, and try, and try...
But all the trying in the world will get you nowhere, because you can't please a Narcissist. No matter what you do, it will never be enough. You will always be found wanting, and they will always have their eye on t he next target. They'll be engaging in all the usual Narcissistic tactics... gaslighting, ghosting, silent treatment, devaluing, criticising, demeaning, belittling, triangulation, and all of this has you eaten up inside, with confusion, sadness, depression, anxiety... and you continue blaming yourself. Do you see how this kind of false introspection about it being your fault can slowly but surely erode your sense of self? You gradually shrivel up, isolated from friends (very often at the behest of your Narcissist, and in another attempt to placate him or her), you lose confidence in yourself, think you're losing your mind, and you don't know if you will ever feel normal again.
So what can you do?
If you're in this situation now, you basically need to wake the F*** up to what is going on in your life. You need to get angry about what's being done to you. You need to give yourself a good talking to, and a massive shake-down is in order. You're NOT crazy. You're not the one who's turned from a kind, loving person into a freakin' nightmare. You are NOT the one with the problem here, your Narcissist is. You need to start giving yourself the biggest reality check you've even given yourself in your life, and start seeing what's going on in front of your eyes. Deep down, you KNOW this. You know it's not you. But you're too afraid to admit it. Why? What's making you feel that way? It is very often the case that people who become victims of Narcissistic partners have had Narcissistic parents. If this is the case for you, then you have learned how to accept shoddy treatment from an early age. But your guiding compass has always told you that this doesn't FEEL right. And that's because it isn't. Nobody deserves to live a life of pain, suffering and psychological abuse. You need to start demanding more for yourself, and that starts with Self-Love.
You need to start telling yourself that you are worth more than this, that you don't deserve this crap, and that you are going to start caring for yourself. This needs to become a new belief system that you install in your heart. I am worth more than this! I deserve better than this! Start saying this mantra over and over in your head, and then start planning your exit strategy out of this godforsaken relationship. You owe this to yourself.
So many 'victims' or 'targets' I've worked with come to realise this on their long and painful journey to healing... they come to realise that they ARE good enough, they ARE worthy, they ARE deserving, and they deserve SO MUCH better than the unholy crap their narcissist has subjected them to. When they do finally get this, healing starts. And that's when they start feeling good about themselves.
Learning to love yourself starts with tuning in to the truth of who you are, and trusting your gut. Take some time every day to just sit with yourself, to just 'be', as you tune in to your breath and the essence of who you are deep down.
As you do that, realize and reflect on this:
You are unique, you are perfect, and don't for one second believe that the Narcissist can destroy that deep inner part of you because they can't if you don't allow them to. You still have that power within you and you can learn to use it. You CAN take back your power and you can attain infinite self-worth again. You can live life joyfully. But it has to start with YOU.
If you need help to break the cycle of Narcissistic Abuse, check out my contact page and connect with me.