Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse and Toxic Relationships
Repair What Repeats
Are you in or recovering from a toxic or abusive family and/or romantic relationship?
Do you find yourself in relationships that often start out really good in the beginning with the person putting you on this pedestal only to then feel lost, alone, and trapped? Aka IDEALIZATION and LOVE BOMBING (eg. “You are not like the others” or “No one could ever compare to you”)
Do you have people in your life (friends, family, partners) who deny your reality aka GASLIGHTING? (eg. “I don’t know what you are talking about” or “That didn’t happen”)
Do they get angry when you set limits, withhold affection from you, belittle you, and give you the silent treatment? Aka DEVALUING and DISCARD (eg. “You will never find someone else like me” or “Your trust issues are ruining our relationship” followed by cutting you off completely?)
Do these individuals somehow find a way to make contact with you again days, months, or years down the line when they were the ones who initially cut contact with you? Aka HOOVERING (eg. “I should have never left you” or “I’ve always loved you” only to be met with the same exact repeat of before?)
Do friends and family point out that you seem to have a pattern when picking out romantic interests or partners?
Do you feel like you have “amnesia” about a situation that you knew at the time was clearly unhealthy/problematic but find that you question how bad it was later on?
Do you obsess about individuals or relationships that don’t work out?
Do you feel this pressure to stay silent in your relationships because when you have spoken up, you were met with comments such as “too emotional”, “crazy”, “angry”, or “oversensitive?"
THEN IT’S TIME TO
Therapy can be critical to help you understand the factors at play and how to effectively break free from these harmful patterns.
Although narcissistic abusive relationships are toxic, not every toxic relationship is with a Narcissist. An abusive relationship with a Narcissist falls into three stages of: idealization, devaluation, and discard. To summarize it, victims will often feel intense feelings of joy and euphoria and like they have found someone that aligns with their future. Then little by little, the narcissist will start to engage in manipulative tactics to break their victim down such as gaslighting, blaming their partners for their issues (aka. projection), and eroding at their self-esteem. When the victim starts to bring to attention this change, the narcissist will act defensively, not take any responsibility, and cut the victim off. During this time the narcissist may engage in smear tactics against their victim such as telling others how crazy their partner was and play the victim themselves–all while grooming another victim to supply their ego. These patterns can also play out in relationships with family, work settings, friends, etc.
You are someone that has a lot going for them but has a hard time seeing it because of the narcissist(s) in your life. You have moments where you believe what you are experiencing is in fact abuse, but your mind or the narcissist you are dealing with tries to convince you that you deserve to be treated badly or that you are the problem. You are left always questioning. As much as you try to break the cycle, you find that you get sucked back in somehow or you have a hard time setting those limits with family who may also be toxic. Friends may even distance themselves because they are sick of hearing about your toxic relationship which makes you feel isolated and even more hopeless about making a change.
THERAPY CAN HELP.
You don’t want to believe that a partner, family member, or friend is treating you badly or doesn’t care about you. But you know that you don’t feel good about it and that is all that truly matters. Sometimes you need someone that has the patience and knowledge to help you navigate these challenges.
Because this isn’t just any relationship, people often find themselves consumed with guilt and shame for not leaving the relationship. Therapy can help you resolve any doubts and confusion about how to proceed in the relationship and to give you the safe space to recover if you decide to leave the relationship. Therapy is also a space to delve deeper into the root causes behind these dysfunctional relationships and to find healing. Clients often go through a “grief” process where they can start to process different emotions such as loss, anger, fear, and denial. Most importantly, therapy will help you learn to trust again and to recognize a relationship that isn’t healthy.
What is Narcissistic Abuse? Is that even a real thing?
What If I can’t completely let go of this relationship? Can I still come in for therapy?
I have people in my life that I don’t know if they fit the exact description of a “Narcissist” but they make me feel the way you described, could it still be abuse?
What if the toxic relationship is coming from family and I can’t get away from it?
If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, please call me today.