rinspire life coaching, narcissism

7 Deep Hurts of Narcissistic Abuse

From reading through the FB support groups. I realized that there are several things that hurt so much during narcissistic abuse, that it’s REALLY hard for people to let go of.

I know how raw it still is for many people who have been hurt by narcissists, and I know how hard it can feel to overcome the pain of what someone else did to you – especially when it occurs within the inhumane, cruel and senseless behavior dispensed by a narcissist.

Understandably overcoming the complete shock and utter betrayals of narcissistic abuse is certainly no walk in the park. I realize things daily that still have me scratching my head in utter disbelief.

Narcissistic abuse is not ‘normal’ and it is certainly not something that anyone’s brain can normally or rationally digest and reconcile.

Narcissistic abuse is like a disease to your soul, it has been said by many ‘it rapes you at every level’.

The Biggest Things That HURT

  • The lies and betrayals
  • The blaming and deflecting
  • Discovering the relationship was never real
  • The cruelty of devalue and discard
  • No empathy
  • Never being good enough for the narcissist
  • The infidelity

We have an opportunity with everything that happens in our life – to either use it as a transformational event to grow, heal and expand, or to hold on to the shame and blame which blocks any possibility of growth and healing.

I’m figuring out this was not about him; this was about ‘me’ (through the many different N’s I’ve had in my life) showing me something that I needed to deeply heal within myself. Something that was so disowned, and something that was so unconscious that it required the ton of bricks on several different occasions to be dropped on me in order to see it.

People treat you how you treat YOURSELF.

How I Was Treating Myself.

I did not value myself. Everything else was more important than me taking care myself emotionally. I didn’t know how, I was never really shown. Because I lacked self-soothing skills, I would instead get hooked tending to the urges of my unhealed parts that were activated in times of stress.

Therefore, in times of emotional need I distracted myself with “busy work” cleaning, work, or anything else that got my attention.

When I REALLY needed myself, rather than showing up for ME I was focused on granting my broken parts what they wanted instead.

It was a huge ‘ah ha’ moment for me

That abuse from the narcissists had in fact set a fire in my belly to set forth on a path to finally begin healing these parts – one that I couldn’t have ‘seen’ or been aware of before now. I made a conscious decision to take a look within with tenderness, care, love, and support to finally discover “why” this happened, not once but repeatedly. I had to internally make an agreement not to shame or blame myself for being in these relationships, they were part of my life for a reason.

This involves releasing all of the anxieties that keep me hooked into feeding my broken parts, and setting solid intentions and firm commitments to value, love and respect myself.

Yes it is, and it takes incredible energy and effort. However, even in amongst this intense self-work the pain was so much less than staying stuck with no way out.

The work and my emotions have purpose, they have a goal and they have the hope and promise of transforming my life.

Most powerfully it’s all about me and not about the narcissist(s).

How to Let Go of the Biggest Things That Hurt

So lets’ work through the list of ‘the biggest things’, and I would like to make some suggestions so that you can start claiming the parts of yourself that you can work on, in order to heal and transform your life.

The lies and betrayals

For many people this was the WORST aspect of being narcissistically abused. Narcissists are pathological liars, because that is what people who have created an entire persona based on a False Self do. Liars betray people, because they say one thing and mean another. They feign all sorts of love, care and tenderness to secure agendas whilst doing the actions that state the exact opposite.

The questions to ask in self-refection:

  • Did you lie to yourself about what was happening in this relationship?
  • Do you lie to yourself about any relationships in your life?
  • Did you ignore what your emotions were screaming at you within the abuse, and choose to tell yourself ‘acceptable stories’ instead?
  • Did you grow up in a family where members lied, family secrets prevailed, or false appearances were created?

The Transformational Healing:

  • Knowing that you can grow to approach relationships through your adult self who does honor, respect and care for yourself, rather than ignoring the warning signs and your emotional signals and stay attached to relationships that represent the unhealed child within you.
  • Taking forward the gift of healing unresolved childhood wounds, learning how to speak up, set boundaries, and knowing that you do not have to tolerate abuse in order to be loveable or worthy.

The blaming and deflecting

Being with a narcissist is like being scapegoated without mercy for the narcissist’s atrocious behavior. Many people get hooked into trying to justify, argue and reverse this madness by trying to plead for justice and sanity and make the narcissist accountable.

The questions to ask in self-refection:

  • Have you felt guilt and taken the blame in your life previously?
  • Have you been very fearful about what other people think of you?
  • What truly is the way you think about yourself and your own rights and worthiness?
  • What are your levels of self-talk? Are they loving or condemning?
  • Are you usually very hard on yourself, and hold very high expectations for yourself?
  • Did you grow up in a family where you were not trusted, and even blamed for what went wrong?

The Transformational Healing:

  • Knowing that you can learn to heal and release your guilt, ‘feeling wrong’ and feeling responsible for other people.
  • Taking forward the gift of reconciling your own feelings of acceptance and worthiness towards yourself, and learning how to love and support yourself rather than being hard on yourself.

Discovering the relationship was never real

This is another huge kicker for people. There are very few things that could damage a person’s self-esteem as profoundly as being made to believe you are ‘the love of someone’s life’ to discover down the track that they never actually loved you, or even cared about you.

In all the years and cases of helping people recover from narcissistic abuse, I acknowledge this as one of the greatest pain points.

The questions to ask in self-refection:

  • Do you have a ‘real’ relationship with yourself?
  • Do you really love and cherish yourself?
  • Do you really commit to yourself, meaning your self-care and your self-emotional support?
  • Was your family one which did not include regular displays of love and affection, and did not nurture within you the deep feelings that you were loved?

The Transformational Healing:

  • Knowing that your greatest mission in your life is to learn to love and accept yourself – and it was never anyone else’s job, because people can only ever grant you what you are granting yourself.
  • Taking forward the gift of healing the wounds that made you believe that you weren’t loveable and acceptable. Doing the work on loving and partnering yourself emotionally and practically to come home to loving and accepting yourself – which will then create relationships with others who have the resources to grant more of the same.

The cruelty of devalue and discard

Narcissists begin relationships with idolization. They initially ‘treasure’ people as new and exciting sources of narcissistic supply (the relief of escaping their own inner pain), and know flattery is a potent tool to manipulate people with. Because the idealization was false, the reality of devalue and discard inevitably follows. Often these cycles repeat within the relationship over and over again.

The questions to ask in self-refection:

  • How did you devalue and discard your own needs prior to being narcissistically abused?
  • Are you your own ‘fair weather friend’, in that you like yourself when things are going well, but you dislike yourself when things are not so good?
  • Do you beat yourself up and hurt yourself at the times when you really need your own support?
  • What do you do with your own emotional needs when emotional pain strikes? Are you there for yourself, or do you let yourself down?
  • Did the messages you received from your family equal you being loved and acceptable when you were appeasing others, and unlovable and unacceptable when you weren’t?

The Transformational Healing:

  • Knowing that you can heal the aspects of yourself which are separated from yourself and have NOT been partnering yourself unconditionally.
  • Taking forward the gift of healing your wounds that caused you to be conditional with your own levels of self-love and self-acceptance. Learning how to be present and supportive with yourself at all times – knowing this will then create relationships which provide more of the same.

No empathy

It comes as a grave and stunning shock to discover that narcissists are cruel and calculating, and unlike non-narcissistic people don’t pull up when they know they hurt people, but thrive on it insteadIt is then that we realise that narcissists are not human by the definition as we know ‘human’ to be.

The questions to ask in self-refection:

  • How effectively do you have care or concern for yourself?
  • Are you incredibly hard on yourself, or even cruel to yourself when you really need your love and care instead?
  • Did your family use punishing tactics to discipline, or did family members engage in self-punishing behavior?

The Transformational Healing:

  • Knowing that you can learn to have incredible empathy, care and concern for yourself, and act accordingly.
  • Taking forward the gift of learning how to heal the wounds that are making it difficult for you to have empathy for yourself. Leaving behind all self-destructive or self-abusive tendencies.

Never being good enough for the narcissist

The disorder of narcissism includes the incessant devaluing of others in order to try to make the narcissist feel ‘better’ about him or herself. Being with a narcissist creates ‘walking on broken glass’. You can never be good enough in the narcissist’s eyes to feed the insatiable, never appeased requirements of the False Self adequately. It is an impossible task.

The questions to ask in self-refection:

  • Where are you own expectations of yourself unreasonable?
  • Do you berate yourself for the things you haven’t done, rather than congratulate yourself for the things you have done?
  • Are you never ‘good enough’ to love and accept yourself right here right now?
  • Did you family operate through ‘conditional love’, where you never felt ‘good enough’?

The Transformational Healing:

  • Knowing that you can learn to love and accept yourself right here right now, regardless of aesthetics, education, career, or any other variable.
  • Taking forward the gift of learning how to unconditionally love yourself, and know that you are loveable simply because you exist, and knowing that your lovability and worth is never dependent on external sources.

The Infidelity

It is incredibly common for narcissists to be emotionally and sexually unfaithful, and to replace you with another source of narcissistic supply very quickly. This is obviously incredibly painful, especially as narcissists will state ‘whatever you want to hear’ to convince you that they could never behave in such a way. Most narcissists will additionally accuse you of exactly what they are doing.

The questions to ask in self-refection:

  • Do you commit yourself to other people to the detriment of your own values and needs?
  • How have you sold yourself out even when you know how much it hurts to do so?
  • Were other people outside the family more important than the family?

The Transformational Healing:

  • Knowing that you can learn to commit to yourself, your values, your truth and your needs completely in order to create a life which is aligned with who you really are.
  • Taking forward the gift of aligning with your needs and values and establishing a  firm committment of loyalty to yourself – knowing this will then create relationships which provide more of the same.

Bringing it All Together

The reason I am granting you this information is for one reason only – to help you move up and out of this emotional pain.

Naturally, initially we are hurt, intensely so. And this is perfectly acceptable – however the real question is: How long do we stay in that agony?

The truth is: we all went through these aspects of intense emotional agony for very serious reasons – so that we could transform our wounds – once and for all.

If we don’t decide to take the transformational opportunity we are going to stay in the agony.

We will believe our life has ended, that there is nothing lovely to ever look forward to again, and we may never recover. We may be too scared to try to trust someone else again, or it is very likely that our unhealed and raw wounds will attract another abuser. Or we may severely distrust someone who isn’t an abuser and sabotage the possibility of a healthy relationship.

We can only experience events and people in life which match our Inner Identity. If we can’t feel a great life as ‘possibility’ and ‘probability’, and have the ease and grace of ‘space’ within us (the absence of core emotional wounds) then this ‘great life’ is outside the realms of what is possible for us.

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