Thursday, September 10, 2015


Earlier, I posted about toxic shaming, which is done by the narcissist in order to destroy your self esteem, and it's highly effective. It's a rare person who endures toxic shaming without serious damage. So, how do you restore that self esteem and recover the person you used to be? Here's some ideas...

  1. Go no contact with your abuser, and anyone else who is negative with you, or tries to get you to resume contact with the narcissist. These people are toxic to you and will constantly give you shaming messages, which you certainly don't need. Think of yourself as having been in a car wreck and being in the hospital and needing to heal. You don't need someone inflicting more damage on you, right? If this is true of the body, it's doubly true of your mind and heart, and your self esteem. My thought is that I beat myself up enough for being with the narcissist, and I sure don't need YOUR help, if you know what I mean.

    If you have children with the narcissist, you'll need to have absolutely the very minimum possible, and communicate only by email. At first, you may need to have someone screen your emails. You block him on your own account then set up a separate account to communicate about the kids ONLY. You'd have your friend tell you anything that's truly about the kids.....she can tell you and you tell her the answer, but she should NOT tell you about any personal attacks, hate, and venom. Some people use the site called Our Family Wizard which costs about $100 a year or so. Eventually you'll become strong enough to handle the emails.

The most common thing is for the narcissist to violate your boundaries about personal contact in order to keep abusing you. You have to plainly and strongly state your boundaries AND ENFORCE THEM, and if he won't respect them, get a restraining order. That will made him go nuts, so make sure you're safe.

2. “Gray rock” him. What a narcissist hates is to be irrelevant to your life, so he will do ANYTHING to stay inside your head. He actually doesn't care if he's in your head in a positive or negative way, so long as you never detach from him. So, he may, inexplicably, hoover you, that is, try to draw you back into his orbit. He may say crazy, hateful things to make you shrink up from the abuse....anything. So, when he does this, you show him the same emotion as a “gray rock” would....nothing....nothing at all, no emotion, no matter what you're feeling. ANY emotion will only encourage him and make him get worse.

  1. Find a good therapist. This is tricky. Not all therapists are created equal. I went through several before finding the right one. My now wife had several that actually made things worse...telling her to be good friends with her ex, and to drop “no contact”. She sounded like her ex's “flying monkeys”, essentially saying, “Why can't you just get along?” Terrible. So, interview them and try out the ones with experience with narcissistic abuse. If things feel wrong, or if she's pushing you in what feels like a very uncomfortable direction, try another therapist. Also consider a recovery group for abused women. My now wife attends “Celebrate Recovery”, which is a specifically Christian group but open to everyone. It may also be in your area. If you can't find a group, call a women's shelter, who will give you good advice about where you might go. Staying on a site like this and reading good books helps as well.

  1. Notice your “self talk”...that is, what you're saying to yourself and what kind of thinking goes on in your mind. You've no doubt internalized the narcissist's voice, so talk to yourself, giving yourself positive affirmations and stopping negative thinking in it's tracks. You may well have PTSD, and in that kind of therapy it is common to recommend “mindfulness meditation” as a practice to stopping negative thought and gaining inner peace. The beginning of being mindful is to notice your thoughts and say them out loud, and questioning them, being aware that you once never thought of yourself this way and that you're allowing the narcissist inside your head, and there's nothing he wants more. Question what he this really true? You'll realize that it isn't true, but rather, the opposite is true.

It's very common to be filled with doubts and fears. Am I crazy, like he says? Ungrateful? I've heard this from victims and it seems to be invariable. They question whether feeling these doubts at times, and anger at times are their own fault, as the narcissist says....but, of course, it isn't. She's just hearing the narcissist in her head.

  1. Get back in the game, but AFTER thinking carefully about what you want most of all from a new partner. For me, it was personal traits....kind, considerate, giving, caring, loving, stable and reliable, honest and faithful. I chose this traits, or habits of character, because they are the mirror image opposite of my NarcX, and I knew someone like this would be very easy to live with on a daily basis, whereas my NX was a nightmare. Know what you “must have” and what's a deal breaker for you. So, when you do meet someone, your mind will be working overtime to see where he's at on your list. That also keeps you from going to the default, which is often “he cute” or “he's hot”. This time you need to go for depth in a guy instead.

So, remember....take your time. Pay attention to how you feel. Notice when you feel uncomfortable and when you feel on solid ground. Know also that the healing process can be scary, but give yourself permission to just go with it for now. Stay strong.

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