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Narcissistic abuse leaves a wave of devastation in its wake. It ruins lives, businesses, families and human psyches.

Perhaps you’ve been in that horrid place where you doubted your sanity?This is what narcissists do. They seek, idealize and destroy.

The Fairy Tale

The story usually goes like this: you meet someone and they just seem fabulous, fun and charming. The air seems to sparkle around them. In their presence, you feel alive, like you are living inside a movie.

There is constant activity when they are around, and the best part — they are giving all of their attention to you.

Your life is changing at a warp speed. Your phone is ringing off the hook and blowing up with messages. They tell you that they can’t stop thinking about you and meeting you was the best thing that happened to them.

You feel like you are growing wings

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If this is a romantic partner, within a week or so, you feel like you met your soul mate. The sex happens very soon, too soon even, not your usual style, but it was so good, it was worth it. Plus, they seem to only love you all the more.

Being with them is wild, adventurous and you are turned on all the time. You find yourself daydreaming about them and leap with excitement each time you get a message.

You are talking about moving in together and planning a life. Maybe marriage has already come up?

During those first few days and weeks together, they are confiding in you their deepest secrets. You learn about their childhood on your walks, and they even mention things that they never told anyone before, such as sexual abuse or violence at home.

They tell you about the string of unfortunate relationships, all of which ended badly. Until you came along. You feel for them. And they love you all the more. . .

Encouraged by their heartfelt revealing, you begin to open up as well. You are amazed how keenly they listen to your stories, even the sad ones. Especially the sad ones. They want to know your vulnerabilities and all.

This is an interview process. You are being carefully screened to see whether your high empathy traits and easy-going nature qualify you as a target. But you don’t know this yet…

While all this whirlwind of a Hollywood movie romance of the century is unfolding, you are noticing that they are times when you feel a little down and even a little lonely. Maybe painful memories from your childhood are coming up? Maybe you are having strange dreams and it is difficult for you get a full night’s sleep?

You feel like you need to connect. You call and call but get no answer. Sometimes for hours, sometimes for days. When you do finally talk, you are able to only get a few words in. They take up ninety percent of air time.

You shrug it off, thinking that they too have plenty of worries and concerns. You begin to rationalize their coldness. They too are tired and need support. So you give it to them, and they love you all the more. . .

You share your plans to go out with your friends. Your partner pouts next time you see them, telling you how much they missed you when you were gone and share horror stories about their own friends and their gossip and betrayals.

You are feeling guilty and beginning to think that maybe you’ve been trusting your friends too much and should indeed spend more time with your soul mate. They love this and hold you close. You are getting the sense that it is the two of you against the world.

Maybe your new friend is starting a business? Maybe they’ve been recently laid off? They tell you all the intricate stories about their creative ventures, making sure to mention how hard they are struggling. You offer to help.

Soon enough, you find yourself entrenched in their world even deeper, gradually forgetting about your own projects and dreams.

Tension is building between you, but it is nothing that cannot be diffused with sex. You find yourself more and more doing things for them. Shopping, dinner, laundry, office work. You hardly have time to catch a breath.

The Rude Awakening

You discover that you are getting bags under your eyes, your shoulders and neck are getting tight and your performance at work is slipping. If you have kids, you notice that the quality time between you has deteriorated. You become snappier and less patient.

Your soul mate notices too and comments on your appearance and crappy attitude. In your mind, it’s not a big deal. They are right. But it hurts you nevertheless.

The digs, jabs and criticisms are getting more frequent and the good times diminishing. You are trying to bring back the jolly days.

Maybe you cook dinner and light the candles. If you are a woman, maybe you get new lingerie. But instead of reconnecting with your soulmate, he or she is not impressed. Maybe instead of ravishing you, they turn on the television. Maybe they comment that the dinner was too salty, or maybe they flake on you all together.

And when you have a specific event you refer to, they are quick to deny it, and say that no, you are imagining that. It never happened. They never gave his number to this person. You are just being jealous. And you should work on it.

You are at your wits end. You feel like you are going crazy. They only time you seem to get attention and the tiniest amount of affection is when you are doing something for them. You eat up the crumbs but are left starving.

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To add insult to injury, they bring up a new person they just met that is just amazing. Or maybe their ex contacted them. They share the news when you are at your lowest, keenly observing your reaction. You try to stuff your feelings and pretend it’s no big deal. You fake it for days… until finally you explode.

Your soul mate points his or her finger on you. How shameful. They were right. Look how jealous you’ve become! You feel like being swallowed underground.

Their phone buzzes and they retreat to another room. You see them less and less. You know they are harboring secrets. But you can’t say anything fearing another argument that will leave you feeling guilty. Your stomach is constantly in knots.

After days of careful planning, you confront them. They look at you as if you have lost your mind. What? They said nothing of this sort! This is crazy talk!

So you go back to thinking it is your fault. Part of you is even starting to believe it. You recall all the things they told you about their childhood and how others always mistreat them and use them. You feel sorry for them. Maybe you apologize for your behavior.

At this point, things are likely to escalate even more. Your life had been infested with toxicity and you are at your breaking point. Your health and performance at work are atrophying. You are beginning to wake up to the truth that this is a highly manipulative relationship.

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Sensing your hesitation, they drop everything and come to your side. Briefly, they become once more the wonderful person you fell in love with. If you say you are thinking of leaving, they might even cry, begging you not to go.

The earlier days of closeness return briefly. They tell you how they were abandoned in childhood. This is why they fear intimacy. You understand now. And they love you all the more…

The Narcissistic Rage

The atmosphere improves, but the stomach cramp and other body aches persist. Few days, maybe hours go by and the criticism and neglect return. You confront them again and this time they turn violent.

Their rage may be verbal, as they spew fire over all the sensitive things you told them in the early stage of your relationship. Maybe they beat the walls. Maybe they beat you.

At this point, or perhaps after few cycles of this, you know inside you need to get out. But now you are scared. Maybe now you share a home. Maybe you have a bank account together. Maybe you are married, maybe you have kids.

For the first time, you actually fear for your life. Recalling the many instances of uncontrollable rage in your current partner, you can now see that it’s only gotten worse over time. Who knows what he or she will be capable of doing next time?

The Toxic Disorder

Narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths and borderlines feel much more confident and sure of themselves the more their lives are enmeshed with yours. This is because when it is harder for you to get out, it is easier for them to control you.

Once they have you in their grasp, they don’t have to care as much to pretend what a great person or a perfect partner they are for you. Their mask slips more often, revealing a true and often terrifying face.

You can no longer recognize yourself. It is an experience that is so utterly devastating, it often feels like your whole life has been blown apart. You’ve been eviscerated from the inside and your self-esteem reduced to shreds.

You have no energy and virtually no one to talk to. Who could ever help you sort through the piles of lies you’ve been told? You still are not fully sure what was real and what was not. It’s like being in a trance.

You’ve been through absolute hell and there is nothing in the world that feels worse than this. But still, you miss them…

You miss how they made you feel. And yet, each time you think of them, you are in pain. You don’t know whether you love or hate them more. And the early onset of abuse amnesia is making you slide into remembering only the best of times. This is the crazy making of abuse amnesia that can continue to erode the inner sense of self of the victim.

You may feel stupid that you let yourself get entangled with such a horrid individual. But know this — all sorts of intelligent, kind, sensitive people fall for this. These are the people they target, people who can give them the supply they are after and are likely to along for the roller-coaster ride.

So, don’t feel ashamed, it was no your fault. You were trained to treat abuse as normal when you were growing up in an abusive environment. Where your needs were secondary and you were regularly degraded. Where you existed for others, not for you .This sort of thing was familiar to you.

Narcissists are empty on the inside. This is why they need you to fill in that void. As they suck you dry, they inject into you the emotional poison that is at the root of their disorder. The effect? You feel drained, have no energy. Maybe your body is shutting down. You feel isolated from others — part of the grooming process — and are filled with self-doubt and left with an eroded identity.

The Silver Lining

The advantage of having your life blown into pieces is that instead of building it on a fauty, weak foundation, you can now begin with laying new cornerstones. It begins with setting boundaries and practicing self-care.

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Boundaries will give you the self-respect you have lost. And self-care will help cultivate self-love so you won’t ever have to put your sense of self-worth into another’s hands. This may in fact be your first step at having a healthy relationship based on respect, trust and integrity.

You can’t change the narcissist. No amount of your love will help. This is because they don’t want to change. Their parasitic lifestyle is all they know. Plus, they think of themselves as better than anyone else. Therapy makes them worse, as they learn to get better at hiding their true intentions.

The best thing you can do is get away and break all contact. If you are sharing custody with them, practice the ‘grey rock’ technique. Give them nothing, no information, no emotion. It may amaze you, but narcissists and psychopaths seek any attention they can get, even the negative kind. Remember, they want supply. Any attention will do.

Now, The Healing

Initially, your self-trust will be in shreds. You will feel weak and may even want to get back with the abuser. This is because of the trauma bond. The kind-mean cycle conditions our neurology to miss the abuser.

If you don’t respond to their ‘hoovering,’ a type of outreach in which they try to suck you back in, prepare for a smear campaign. They will try to make the people around you to turn against you.

There are times when narcs don’t hoover. If that is the case, consider yourself lucky. It is better to be alone that with a person degrading you.

Remember, what happened was not your fault. You were trained to be attracted to a predator. All the good qualities you possess are wonderful to keep. All you need to do is stop doubting yourself.

If you think back to the earlier times in the relationship, was there something in your body or mind that tried to signal that something was off? That was your intuition.

What you need to do is upgrade your perception and begin to trust yourself. Also, you need validation that what happened was real and you’ve been through the ringer.

I can help guide you through this difficult process. If you are suffering and need immediate help, you can contact me via the email listed in the comment section below the YouTube video (linked below).

If you are willing to share your question with others, please leave it in a comment and I will be sure to put it on my list to answer in a post/video just as soon as I can. I’m sure many others will benefit from it.

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A new life is possible. I’m an example of this. Just a few months ago I saw no point in keeping on. But thanks to amazing coaches and books, and the work I did on myself, I now have a chance for a new life. A better life. An upgraded life. And so do you.

I’m here for you, committed to helping you break away from the destructive patterns that have been holding back your life.

If this article spoke to you in any way, please click the ❤ It means the world to me and is the rocket fuel that motivates me to create content that can help people heal and become empowered in their lives.

If you know someone who suffers from abuse, please pass this article along.

TUNE IN & FOLLOW Soul GPS here and on my Facebook page and YouTube channel for more information on how you can spot and heal from abuse in relationships, families and workplaces.

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Self-development tools for self-healing and authentic relating. #coach #writer mysoulgps.org

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