“Is it possible to free yourself from the abuse?’ a survivor asks. I get asked this question a lot. Yes, it’s possible. It takes work and courage, but you can do it. First, unless you have kids together, you have to go No Contact (NC). This is one of the biggest challenges post breakup. Sometimes the abuser tries to continue to rope you in with pleas, threats of suicide, good behavior, pity or promises, or you are so distraught you begin to stalk his social media accounts, drive by his home, write letters and emails, send gifts and so on. Healing becomes difficult if not impossible while maintaining contact, even if that contact is only via social media stalking. Each time you respond to a “hoover,” you are reinforcing your brain to continue a relationship with the abuser, whether or not you see him face to face!
At some point you must learn all you can about No Contact and be willing to take the steps to maintain it. When your heart is breaking and your brain is still hijacked by the abuser, this seems daunting. It’s important to find support, and that is not an easy task either. Finding the right therapist is a challenge. Talking to people who have never experienced this type of abuse is futile. There is also a financial aspect to finding help. Books, websites, coaches, therapy all costs. In the resources section of this site you’ll find direct links to online support that is free. Narcissist-Free.com is a hub for great resources, and I suggest you go there and follow the steps to healing.
Once you understand that your brain chemistry and neural pathways have been conditioned, you can begin to retrain yourself to disengage from the toxic relationship. There are ways to do this, many methods are described in books and other helpful sites. (I’ll add a list of links at the bottom of this post.) You’ll have to convince yourself that this person was not who he said he was, and that much if not all of the relationship was an act. Again, not an easy task, and sometimes this is impossible without support. Once you see that person as he really is and not as he presented himself to be, you’ll be on your way to freedom.
No Contact is no easy feat. It takes a lot of determination, a lot of self talk and a lot of support. Please know that I personally have tried everything possible to get over the psychopath that I dated. It took a full year of making several mistakes to finally realize that doing it my way was getting me no where close to being over him. I was filled with longing, rage and revenge. I made myself look crazier by the minute while friends and the police stopped taking my side. It was not a fun place to be, while the psychopath thoroughly enjoyed twisting the knife in my back, laughing while he watched me sink into hell.
But what if you are still married to the narcissist, in a dating relationship? Can a relationship with a narcissist work out? You can stay with a narcissist as long as you can tolerate it, however, the abuse will always be present. There will be some periods of happiness perhaps and a few good times. There might still be passion, wonderful dinners and the occasional bouquet of flowers, but it is difficult for the narcissist to maintain these thoughtful behaviors for long. When you say the wrong thing or forget to finish the laundry, there will be repercussions. Freeing yourself from abuse in this situation is difficult, and often women and men decide they will need an exit strategy.
I’m not an advocate for divorce, but I am happier now that I am free from toxic, abusive relationships. I have the ability to fend for myself and my family and that feels very empowering. I have no covert arrows being fired my way. I am glad I’m no longer under the power of another human being who never had my best interests at heart.
If you decide to stay in your marriage, there will be a lot of changes that need to be made, and sometimes the abuser is not happy with those changes. It’s highly probably once it is clear that you are on to them, they will leave you before you get a chance to figure out your own exit. Once they leave, be prepared for the worst. It sounds like I’m being dramatic, but drama is the fuel for their aggression against you.
It is important to find the right kind of support and commit to engaging in it. If you are looking for a group, I do facilitate small, self-run support groups on Instagram. I am not a therapist, and I have no letters after my name. I wont promise joining one of my support groups will heal you; I am someone just like you who met a toxic psychological abuser and crawled out of the depths of despair. I can point you in the right direction, but it is up to you to take the steps to get well.
It is possible to free yourself from the abuse. There is a way, and if you are willing to give up contact on any level and seek support from experienced people, you will heal. That I can promise.
No Contact in its true form is a very specific system of self-protection. Those who implement No Contact have realized that their abusive partner will not change and, therefore, neither will their partner’s abusive behaviors. It is a very intentional approach for escaping abuse and ending the toxic effects of emotional and psychological manipulation.
Excerpt from www.LetMeReach.com
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