Let’s Educate Ourselves: Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day
May contain explicit details of abuse that may not be advisable for everyone to read. Written with the purpose to raise awareness about Narcissistic Abuse.
Tell me if this has happened to you,
You are in a relationship with someone. It’s been a while – and you sense the relationship getting more serious. You are happy for some time, but suddenly things start changing. The lovey-dovey talks and the gifts and flowers are replaced by shouting at you and giving you a guilt-trip. The person is aggressive towards you, maybe even violent and abusive. You have full realization that this person you’re with and this relationship is toxic, but you are not able to pull the cord. The person somehow charms you into staying and giving them another chance. And you are on the receiving end of the trauma and stress.
If this story feels relatable to you or you have heard this story before, you probably know that this is a form of abuse – distinctly known as Narcissistic Abuse.
Narcissistic abuse is a hypernym for the psychological, financial, sexual, and physical abuse of others by someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
But let me first tell you what NPD is!
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Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. People with NPD have a grandiose image of themselves that they are in love with, and an inflated self-image – which helps them avoid deep feelings of insecurity. But propping up their delusions of grandeur takes a lot of work—and that’s where the dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors come in.
People with NPD are unable to change their problematic behaviors and/or accept it – which leads them to blame others for their behavior. They can be manipulative and charming at the same time.
They don’t love themselves. They love the grandeur idealization of themselves that they have created. A lot of this is driven by shame and low self-esteem. So, destructing a relationship and causing pain and damage to their loved ones are defense mechanisms abusive NPD people use.
However, people can still be abusive, and not narcissistic.
Related Article: WHY ARE THE GRAPES ALWAYS SOUR? – UNDERSTANDING DEFENSE MECHANISM
How to know if you are in a relationship tending towards Narcissistic Abuse?
The narcissists’ relationships are characterized by:
- A period of intense involvement and idealization of their partner,
- Followed by devaluation, and
- A rapid discarding of the partner.
When does it turn into abuse?
Once the narcissist has taken you into the spiral of idealization, devaluation and discarding, they begin to belittle you. It may involve passing some nasty comments, or giving you a silent treatment. Even, blaming you for their mistakes. As you start compromising and submit to their toxic behavior, they grasp full control and begin the abuse.
This can happen to anyone without full realization of what has happened.
Note that narcissists may believe themselves to be the victim in the relationship even when they are the perpetrator. So, they won’t apologize or correct their behavior.
Some of the forms of narcissistic abuse are:
- Emotional blackmail
- Verbal abuse
- Negative Contrasting
- Exploitation and Objectification
- Privacy Invasion
- Financial Abuse
By now, you know what NPD is, what narcissistic abuse is and how to identify the abuse.
Now, let’s say you escaped the abusive relationship.
How do you cope from the trauma of the aftermath?
Helpful tools for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery:
- Acknowledge and Accept the Incident of the Abuse. Denial will only make it worse!
- Set your boundaries!
- Prepare for complex emotions – You can always get professional help!
- Reclaim Your Identity by Self-exploration and Rebuilding.
- Practice self-compassion. Be kind to Yourself! You’re doing great!
- Understand that the memories won’t just fade away. Give yourself time!
- Take care of yourself!
- Share your story whenever you feel comfortable doing so!
In a nutshell, abuse can be traumatic for a long time even after you have escaped it! Toxic people can leave an imprint on you and your whole life. However, healing takes time and effort. Give yourself the time to heal. Commend yourself for fighting!
If you are in an abusive relationship right now (of any form), and don’t know how to escape it, call your local abuse helpline number, if you can!
Helpline numbers for Nepal:
- National Women’s Commission Helpline – 1145
- Police – 100
- CWIN Child Helpline – 1098
- ASHA Crisis Center – 9801198088
- TPO Psychosocial Counseling – 1660 01 0 2005
- Mero Sathi Helpline – 1660 011 9756