Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation
One of the tragedies of narcissistic abuse is that victims never get the validation so desperately wanted from their abuser(s), to help them recover from narcissistic abuse.
When a Healthy Person Hurts Someone
When healthy-minded people hurt someone, whether deliberate or not, or whether they agree with an alternate account of what happened or not, it is their validation of the other person’s perspective that allows the other person to recover. And it is that validation that allows the relationship to repair.
When a Narcissist Abuses Others
That never happens with narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), by nature, blinds the abusers to their responsibility for the devastation they cause. When confronted with the casualties of their behavior, they always believe that they are the ones being victimized.
Victims of NPD abuse are met with rejection, judgment, dismissal and disproportionate rage at any mention of wrongdoing by the perpetrator. NPD abusers infamously tell their victims to “stop living in the past” or to “get over it already,” even though they remember everything their victims ever did or said and will use these things to hurt them over and over again.
It is very difficult for any of us, abused or otherwise, to move forward from any type of assault or tragedy when our feelings and emotions are so adamantly discounted. It is especially trying for NPD abuse victims who have suffered constant devaluation and “gas lighting” (invalidation) of their perception of reality.
How to Recover from Narcissistic Abuse without Validation
Healing and moving on from pathological narcissistic abuse requires immense inner strength, the very strength that narcissists systematically try to strip from their victims. Survivors must rebuild what they’ve lost, or create what was never created in the first place. That is not an easy feat, but it is an attainable goal; something that must be done for personal sanity and peace of mind.
It doesn’t seem fair. Survivors must do all the work; they need extensive counseling, must stay dignified under the pressure of unfair judgment, must take actions that feel contrary to their natural behavior or inclinations, and must accept the reality that they will never make sense out of the irrational behavior exhibited by their narcissistic abuser.
Survivors have the right to live their lives unencumbered by the abuse of their past. They have the right to live happy lives, despite the malevolent intent of narcissistic abusers that wish them otherwise. And they have the right to do whatever is needed to protect themselves from abusive relationships. Saying “yes” to happiness means saying “no” to toxic relationships.
If you are suffering from narcissistic personality disorder abuse, do not waste another day in pain and feeling powerless. Seek professional help with someone who has lived and fully understands this confusing disorder. Decide to take your power back today.
This article was written by:
Randi Fine is a narcissistic personality disorder abuse expert, radio show host of A Fine Time for Healing, author, and life issues counselor practicing by telephone worldwide. She resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Find Randi on Facebook and on her website.
To be a guest author on the Your Mental Health Blog, go here.
Author, G. (2015, October 15). Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2015/10/recovering-from-narcissistic-abuse-without-validation
Author: Guest Author
I thought I had strong boundaries, a keen sense of self, and a promising life. But my mystical thinking, my belief that this person was potentially “my person”, led to a complete breakdown of my well-being. I never lost my identity, per se, being incredibly strong-willed and practiced in self-centering, but I did begin to doubt my worth, values, and sanity as well as doubt other people and relationships in my life. Being in a relationship with a narcissist caused me to behave in ways I never imagined I could (breaking objects because I was just so angry I couldn’t contain it), to feel things I never thought I would (severely depressed and suicidal). I am still spinning, trying to make sense of it all.
I also feel the shame of being a man in this relationship, often feeling like no one will really believe me or will think that I couldn’t possibly be abused because men have more systemic power. She also told me she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and used that diagnoses to explain her behavior. Was that a lie? Or a misdiagnosis? Whatever the case I ended up becoming so disoriented from the gaslighting that she suggested I might be bi-polar, and actually I was convinced for a little bit until I went to therapy and he was like, ummm no I think not.
It’s so so so sooooo hard to swallow that they manipulated me and hurt me intentionally. It almost seemed like a compulsion for them. Like they knew they were hurting me (sometimes) but didn’t mean to but couldn’t stop.
Does anyone else have experience with the Vulnerable Narcissist as opposed to the Malignant version? This is what I think I was dealing with and I just cannot wrap my head around it. It was so subtle and insidious and yet I was protective of them and dismissed anyone’s concern who expressed that it might be a toxic relationship because they were struggling with mental illness and I wanted to make sure they knew I loved and supported them unconditionally. Why would they take advantage of that and tear me down over and over...The confusion is unbearable.
I completely understand the head spinning mind f**k. She swept me off my feet 7 years ago. I thought we had a connection that was deeper than anything I've ever known. She walked away like it was nothing to her.
Then at the end be was gone most of the time. He would leave earl when he woke up and come home late. When he was here all i was to do was sit with him doing nothing. But yet he would not act like i was even there. He would not talk or acknowledge me unless it was for se ual favor. Yet if i would try to do something else he would tell me not cause he wanted us to talk and then would go back to ignoring me. He has kept me on a drug since late the first year. I went to a meeting about one of my kids and they gave me a drug test. I had ecstasy in my system at really high levels and i have never done or been around it. Before that point i believed i was going crazy. I was confused and he swore i was doing things i thought i knew he had done. It was after this i. Came across a website about narccisism. I had never heard of it before. He still says he loves and needs me. But its always followed by he wishes i could love him or he accuses me of cheatting. When he knows for one i never would but also that its not possible. It has been about 24 hrs since i left and currently i feel numb no emotion at all. Could this be normal. Part of me wants to miss him but then he was rarely here. I have alot of confusion and im seeking to find help. But any advice would help. Am i crazy or was he wrong or maybe both. I really dont know anymore. Nothing makes since.
He has a boat in the barn at my house but he is refusing to collect it. If I do anything with it he will have me arrested for criminal damage as he has done in the past. I have children so I don't want to put myself in that situation. I just don't understand if I'm all the things he says I am and he is clearly seeing someone else.....which he denies.....why won't he just collect his boat so I don't have to keep looking at it?...it hurts....its like he won't let me move on yet has made it clear he doesn't want me. He has now joined the Jehovah witnesses. I'm a mess but I don't want to feel like this forever
I do not know your exact situation, but I think you have already made a very positive step by recognising this as narcissistic abuse. It took me a long time to acknowledge that, and was the first step to recovery. Then I looked into my legal rights, from a business point of view. Not something I wanted to do to someone I was so close to, but it was necessary. It helped me a lot to discover that I had rights, that there was something I could do.
One thing I learned is that you can not save a relationship with a narcissist, or end one amicably. A narcissist never really knows who you are, because you are simply a source of fulfilment for them. Once they move on, you become irrelevant. I think this is why the narc in my life accused me of stalking. To him, I was a stranger annoying him, so he genuinely believed it. I did the worst thing I could possibly have done, and tried to defend myself. I pleaded with him to stop saying these things, which of course made it worse. When I started to realise this, I started to let go of the relationship, or hopes of an amicable parting. But I was still trapped by business issues and property, and like you I did not want the reminder. I think a part of me wanted him to collect this stuff, so we could have another chance at an amicable parting.
This is why it helped to discover my legal rights. I have not yet decided what I will do, but it did help to know that I could do something. I don’t know where you are, or the law there, but there must be some system of fair notice. If you offer him the option to recover his boat by provable means (such as an email or registered post) and give him a reasonable amount of time to collect you should be free to dispose of it after that time. Maybe worth looking into? I know that for me I will never truly be able to move on while I still have this stuff reminding me, and probably still deep down hope for that last interraction....good luck! Xx
Codependency the easier it will be to seek help. ANY ADVICE you could forward along would help me and my kids immensely . Thanks so much , Lisa
I'm 22 and the relationship in actuality lasted for about 8 months. The worst time of my life.
It started with the usual love bombing phase and since it was my first relationship I even though after knowing something seemed "off" went ahead with the relationship.
He never seemed to hear any of my emotional pleas and was never ever there to have my back. The abuse started 3 months into the relationship. Everytime he would treat me like shit and never resolved the issues. I would inevitably take him back. He purposely tried to make me jealous of other females even though I'm considered an attractive and smart woman. By the time it reached the six months mark I was reduced to a former shadow of myself with constant abuse and hits on my self esteem.
He left me after final physical abuse eventually but continued to take advantage of me both physically and financially, which I did in the hopes that he would come back.
He is in the same class as me so I have to look at him everyday. He has made me chase him and then blatantly ignored me and destroyed my reputation as being the crazy ex , at times going to the length of saying to.his friends to date me so.that I'm off his back. He told me all this himself with a smirk.
He still continues to toy with me while knowing how things are affecting me and I believe he sometimes take pride in my miserable times.
I've been following no contact but some days such as these are very hard on me, especially when I have to see him everyday with his new supply.
I hope to make through this situation without losing myself.
Even though I'm divorced from him and live clear across town, I can't seem to get away from his reach of Narc behavior. I'm trying to move on but still feel like I'm drowning in his abuse.
Then I met narc spouse. Some stupid things I remember was being afraid that he would hear me pee. But I thought that was just nervousness from starting dating. Then when we lived together, I'd be scared to pee in the middle of the night because he'd get mad if I flushed and woke him up.. but if I didn't flush he'd be mad about seeing what was left in the latrine. And I had so much undo stress about something as dumb as that. And THAT was just the beginning. it just kept getting worse on every facet until I started taking Prozac right after we got married. When I finally left is when I was considering taking ADHD mess because I couldn't think and had no motivation to do anything. I had a constant eye twitch. And my wrists/ hands didn't work. So I left the house to figure things out. And when I was out of his influence, I realized that I'd been abused.
I wasn't even planning to divorce then, either (baby steps). Until one day I went back into the house to pick up our young son and spouse lost his mind. He was screaming and crying and saying I was hollering at him (when in fact I was cowering on the floor in fear). So that's when i decided I would not be married any more.
I've lost a ton of friends because things have been set up as if he's the good, responsible partner and I'm the crazy, irresponsible one. But knowing that they will Never understand has made letting them go easy. Plus they were his friends. They are not ppl i would choose to befriend on my own. As an exhaust valve 2 years ago, I started doing stand up comedy. It's been therapeutic. I go to Al Anon, therapy and yoga.
Keep climbing, friends.
But i just don't understand what it is I feel like I am not myself I feel drained dead inside. I was bubbly confident person before I met her.. I find it really hard to move on with life and she's drilled my head I will never ever find anyone like her and the grass is not always greener her exact word . I feel bit lost and stuck.
Can this be me in the fault am I just playing mr softy and probably feeling sorry for myself or is she just a wrong character. I don't know the difference or right or wrong no more.
When we first dated he was the ideal man, kind generous and loving. As soon as we got married his behaviour changed, he became cold uncaring ...it was , secretive, just strange I could never put my finger on it. I began to think it was me and that I was argumentative and unreasonable. He admitted he had an issue with OCD so I took him to see a psychiatrist - I never got to find out the results of the sessions due to patient confidentiality. It all came to a head when I became exhausted by his behaviour never eating, sleeping, silent treatment, refusing to share money , refusing to work and rude behaviour towards my family . It escalated into a massive argument which resulted in me finding out he had been previously been married, is violent and a compulsive gambler. I had a lucky escape . For me it was comforting to find out from his ex that he had already behaved in this manner with someone else. It wasn't me and I wasn't imaging it. I've only just realised that I have married to a narcisst and suffered narcisstic abuse . It's not something I had ever heard of before. My advice to anyone in a relationship with a narcist don't think they will ever change. They won't. The only person who will change is you - you will lose who you are . You have to be strong and leave before you forget who
I am nearly 4 years divorced from my NPD wife after 11 years of marriage. Mine was the terribly easy connection of an NPD with a Codependent - a dance that is easily started, difficult to end, and horribly devastating for one of the participants. I had never known about NPD until I sought therapy post divorce, and the "epiphany" of learning about this dynamic took so much off of my own psyche. But still, all this time later, I'm feeling the effects in many aspects of my life.
Part of the issue is that we have children together, so I am constantly exposed to my abuser and she still has ways of purposefully making my life miserable and exerting control wherever she can - and using the kids is fair game. Like many of you all have experienced, at times my NPD reaches out with kind words and false regret to draw me in. I realize it's her need for narc supply, but that does not prevent the heart strings from being pulled. We all know that this then cycles like the moon, and later she presses the buttons she knows will hurt me the most in order to inflict pain. The most terrible part is her innate knowledge on what to say to get the most pain possible. During our time together she stored all of my vulnerabilities, my fears, and my insecurities in her mind for the sole purpose of weaponizing them against me - and she is a master weapons maker.
I see her effects on my children, but courts and lawyers are just not as educated as they should be to this and my efforts to gain more custody fall on deaf ears. Thankfully, my kids naturally sense this and now that their parents apart they can feel the difference in their time with me compared to my ex. As they get older and have more control of where they stay I'm thankful they are choosing the safe environment that I am providing.
So we all know the abuse. We know the manipulation, the blame projection, the isolating, the gaslighting, and the loss of self. The trick here is where do we navigate after and try to find ourselves again? I've done therapy, medication, and read everything I could and I think I have a certain portion of the person I once was. I'm still so sad though and even a bit disappointed in myself. I seem to make certain choices still out of fear. Fear of conflict, fear of failure, fear of in any way doing something that could lead to that pain that almost killed me after my marriage broke up. I never was one to shy from a challenge or embrace a change in my life, but after this I am just so hesitant to step out of my comfort zone. It applies to work, to my finances, and even to relationships I've had. I hope that sites like these can help us rediscover our true selves. I know we won't be like we were before these abusers entered our lives, and that's OK. I just hope we all find a way to live for ourselves again and let go of these tendrils that still might have their grips on us.
I read your story and for some reason felt like you were telling mine. I'd like to talk with you if possible can you please email me? Thank you.
No contact only email about the business and please don't think hell change because he wont.
It's scary. I still live with him. If I contact his ex To find out then tRuth, I would be in danger so I ant.
I try to tell myself I don't need her words to confirm, I know the truth already.
I have to get out of this but how can I afford to live in my own.. I'm working on it but will take a few months during which time ihave t keep my sanity.
I've dated men in the past who were initially drawn to me because of my looks, but they were also very critical of me. "You need to straighten your hair, you need to wear different clothes" etc.
Over a period of time, they would become more insulting and abusive, sometimes even allowing their families and friends to disrespect me. I stayed with an abusive partner much longer than I should have.
If a person only "loves" you for WHAT you have instead of WHO you are, it isn't love. A man who can't accept the flaws that make you human is not worthy of you.
It sounds like he defined your relationship based on shallow things like your money, your home, your appearance. But what about YOU? Did he truly care about you?
Maybe this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for you. This guy left because you gained weight but it is his loss. Think about it...what if you got sick and the illness changed your appearance?
If a person leaves you because you gained weight or your hair falls out or you show any hint of being human, it is THEIR problem, not yours.
You are no less beautiful or worthy because this guy walked out on your life.
I've forgiven only one of my abusers and this is because he died a few months ago. I made the choice to forgive him despite his lack of remorse for hurting me. The way I see it is that he can't hurt me anymore. I am still alive and I am determined to rebuild my life no matter what happens.
What we need to do is set boundaries and protect ourselves from toxic, harmful people. I have distanced myself from a lot of people who have hurt me in the past.
Life is too short to spend it with abusive people who only aim to tear you down. Now I focus on being with people who appreciate me, uplift me, and infuse happiness into my environment.
Both positive AND negative energy are contagious. When I was constantly surrounded by narcs and couldn't escape, the negativity affected my mental/emotional state to the point where I felt suicidal.
When I am in a positive environment with positive people, I feel renewed, like a whole new person who can do anything. Narcs are vampires that drain us of positive energy.
This is why I've learned to spot these kinds of people and avoid them or limit contact in cases where I still have to interact with them.
I once had somebody try to tell me that I'm a bad person for not wanting narcs around me. "You have no compassion" this person said, "you need to understand that they act that way because they're in pain".
Well, maybe that is true for some of them, but that is still not my problem. It's sad if a narcissist became that way due to being abused themselves, but at some point they have to learn that hurting others is not OK.
As survivors, we should never apologize for wanting to protect ourselves from anyone who tries to hurt us.