Narcissist Abuse Recovery (17 Steps for Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse)

Interested in narcissist abuse recovery? Then this guide is for you!

Recovering from any ended relationship can be difficult, but it is especially so after spending a considerable amount of time with a narcissist.

Although healing will take time and won’t always be on a direct pathway, it will happen as long as you keep working toward your recovery goal.

If you’ve been a victim of narcissistic abuse, there are some steps that you can take to recover that will allow you to regain your confidence and your self-esteem.

1. Cut off all contact with the narcissist

Assuming that you haven’t made this commitment yet, you must cut off all contact with the abusive person.

Don’t respond to messages, don’t answer phone calls, and don’t interact if the individual shows up out of nowhere, except to tell that person that you are done and wish to have no further contact.

Be sure that you also block the abuser on all of your social media accounts. And by all means, don’t stay “just friends.”

Engaging in even an innocent response to a message, it provides the narcissist with the opportunity to get back into her life and potentially eliminate any progress that you have made through the healing process.

2. Understand that it wasn’t you

Know that you’re not the one to blame for how the relationship turned out and that you’re not crazy.

Even though the narcissist probably blamed you for everything that went wrong in the relationship, that person is the one who is actually at fault.

Don’t think about “if only,” and take the time to heal.

3. Let go of the need for closure

You may want to know why the person treated you the way he or she did or why that individual simply abandoned you.

This is normal.

However, a relationship with a narcissist is not natural, and there’s no way you’ll be able to make any sense out of it.

Know that you will never get the answers you’re looking for so that you can be free and move on with your life.

4. Let go of the image

Realize that the narcissist is not the person you thought he or she was.

This was simply an image that this abuser wanted you to have of him or her and is far different from how that individual truly is.

You may long for how things were at the beginning when that person seemed to care about you so much.

However, this was just a part of the narcissist’s game plan to get you hooked.

Let go of any fantasies that things could be different if only something changed.

In all likelihood, it will be necessary to grieve the loss of the image of who you thought this person was or wanted him or her to be and of how things could have or should have been.

5. Overcome denial

You may want to believe that somewhere, deep inside, the narcissist truly loves you.

However, this type of abuser cannot truly love another person.

Don’t make excuses for this person’s behavior.

What he or she has done throughout your time together is wrong and should not happen in a loving relationship.

Most of all, there is nothing that you can do to change this person.

6. Forgive yourself

Now that the relationship is over and you know so much more about narcissistic abuse, you might feel guilty or even angry for falling for the narcissist’s tactics and sticking around for so long.

Don’t beat yourself up over it. The narcissist is an expert at manipulation and trickery, and you may not have known better at the time.

Now that you know what to look for forgive yourself, and look for the signs to prevent a recurrence of this type of situation.

If you’re angry, turn it against the person who took advantage of you.

However, rather than seeking revenge or wanting to give the abuser a piece of your mind, deal with the anger healthily so that you can eventually let it go.

7. Understand your feelings

Unfortunately, love and tender feelings can’t be turned on and off like a light switch.

Although this person has hurt you deeply, there will be moments when you’ll remember the love and the good times you shared with the narcissist.

Know that it’s okay to love someone even though you can’t be with that person because of how toxic the relationship is.

8. Reclaim your identity

Chances are that you’ve changed your life just to please the narcissist.

These changes can be minimal such as changing your hairstyle or clothing.

However, you may have changed so much that you went against your moral principles at the request of this abuser. Think about who you used to be and who you are now.

While you don’t have to go back to the person that you once were, you may want to reclaim those parts of you that you admire or appreciate.

Spend time in self-reflection to get to know yourself and to determine who you want to be, and make that your new reality.

You mustn’t form new relationships during this time of introspection as it can leave you open and vulnerable.

9. Focus on yourself

Because you most likely spent a large portion of your life-giving all of your efforts and attention to the narcissist, it’s time you put the focus back on yourself.

Engage in activities you enjoy, and take responsibility for yourself and every aspect of your life.

10. Set boundaries

Understand that you may have a co-dependency problem.

Now that you know what a relationship should not be like, it’s time for you to create some boundaries to protect yourself from future problems.

If you’re having difficulty establishing independence or boundaries, you may want to seek the assistance of a therapist for guidance and direction.

11. Engage in gratitude

Be thankful that you are now living your life free from the hell that the narcissist made you live in.

Whenever the road to recovery gets tough, just remember how hard it was living with the narcissist day in and day out.

You are finally free from those bonds, and you can take a new, more positive direction for your life.

12. Trust yourself

As you’re working through the healing process, you’re likely to doubt yourself because of all that you went through with the abuser in your life.

Now that you’ve learned the signs of a narcissistic relationship and what to avoid, you will need to trust yourself and your instincts again.

13. Care for yourself

It’s hard to think about the daily activities required to keep you healthy while grieving, but it’s vitally important to take care of yourself while recovering.

Eat a balanced diet, get some exercise or activity every day, complete your hygiene, visit with friends or family members, use relaxation techniques, and get enough sleep.

While you’re healing mentally, it might help if you write out a daily schedule so you can have a visual reminder of what you need to do to care for yourself during this time.

14. Recognize setbacks

While recovering from narcissistic abuse is not straightforward, you may notice that you’re not progressing any longer.

Healing can be a twisting road, with some days seeming like you’re going uphill or even backward in your progress.

If you notice that you’ve gone a while without moving forward in your recovery, take this time to review the steps and focus on those in which you’re having difficulty.

Everyone moves at a different pace, so you may just need to linger on a step or two longer before moving forward again.

15. Take initiative

If you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill or try a new hobby, this is a great time to get started.

Take the initiative to make positive changes in your life that will make you feel like a whole person again.

Keep yourself busy as you learn to let go of the past to advance to a brighter future.

16. Get help

Because you’ve gone through emotional, and maybe even physical, trauma, you might consider seeking outside assistance.

The narcissist has put you through patterns of abuse that can become deeply rooted in your personality.

Whether you choose individual or group therapy or to join a support group, a third party can be a listening ear and bring comfort that you’re not going through this alone.

17. Know you can heal

While recovering from narcissistic abuse will take some time, healing will happen.

Don’t give up on yourself or the process, and soon you’ll notice the light at the end of the tunnel.

There will come a day when you’ll accept yourself for who you are, and you’ll know that you are good enough.

Until then, give yourself a positive or motivational talk each morning to encourage you to make it through this.

Can a gifted therapist help you too?

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, high-stress levels, relationship issues, or other specific challenges, one-on-one support from a therapist can help a lot.

You don’t need to go through this alone. There’s no shame in getting help!

Thousands of people get tailor-made support from a kind, empathetic, helpful therapist when faced with difficult life situations.

I recommend BetterHelp, which is a sponsor of Personality Unleashed.

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Plus, you can talk to your therapist however you feel comfortable, whether through video, phone, or messaging.

Are you ready to break the negativity cycle?

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