This article is a worthy continuance of the former. This piece seeks to share some nuggets of wisdom on the steps casualties of narcissistic abuse can take in order to effect their emotional healing.
2. Set your boundaries and state them clearly - Therapists and abuse recovery specialists often recommend cutting off all contact with your ex-partner after ending the relationship, whenever possible. At times you may have to apply for a restraining order if the narcissist blatantly refuses to break up with you.
Going no contact isn’t just a boundary for them. It’s also a boundary for you, one you might find extremely difficult at first.
It’s common to feel tempted to reach out or respond to phone calls and messages, especially if they seemingly apologize sincerely and promise to change.
Blocking their number, email address, and social media accounts can help you avoid giving in to this temptation.
Keep in mind they may still try to contact you through other routes, so it may be handy to have a plan for how you’ll deal with this.
Nonetheless, going no contact may be nigh impossible if you have kids from the said relationship.
If so, think about what you want and need: “I deserve to be treated with respect.”
Then turn that into a boundary: “I am willing to have a conversation with you, but if you shout, swear, or call me names, I’ll leave immediately.”
3. Allow yourself to grieve the relationship -Contrary to what some think, casualties of narcissism may find themselves grieving the relationship like any person who has ended a normal relationship. Grief is a feeling that usually emanates from the loss of something or someone even if the latter may have been toxic. A trained therapist may assist you to process and grieve accordingly.
4. Allow yourself to grieve your erstwhile self that you lost during the course of the relationship – Given that narcissists ordinarily prefer someone who is willing to bow down to their endless and unjustifiable demands as they fit into their mould, it is highly probable that your identity would have eroded after a narcissistic relationship. Give yourself permission to grieve the person you were prior to the narcissistic relationship and reclaim your identity if it still fits into who you choose to be now. Who are you outside relationships? What do you stand for? What makes your heart sing? What makes you feel fulfilled and loved without relationships? What colours are you willing to change for love? What colours are you not willing to change for love?
6. Love bomb yourself with self-care – Part of the reason why you probably fell for the narcissist is that they love bombed at the onset of romance. Now after narcissistic abuse it is paramount to create a consistent self-care plan that can remind you of your worthiness and loveliness such as getting enough restful sleep, relaxing when overwhelmed or stressed, making time for hobbies and other activities you enjoy alone, connecting with loved ones, developing coping skills to manage distressing thoughts, eating balanced meals, exercise, mediation etc.
7. Talk to others - Opening up to supportive friends and family members can help you feel less alone as you heal. However, in some instances our loved ones may not fathom the depth and pangs of abuse we suffered. Therefore, it may be germane to identify and join a narcissistic survivor community that can fully relate to your pain and help expedite your healing.
8. Get professional help - Talking to a therapist one-on-one can help you take a significant step toward improving emotional well-being.
If you find it difficult to exit a narcissistic relationship, a therapist can help you identify reasons behind these feelings and create feasible a plan to avoid unhelpful choices in the future.
• Gaone Monau is a Practicing attorney and Motivational speaker. For bookings on gender-based violence awareness seminars, motivational talks or consultations on relationships, confidence building, stress management and self-discovery contact +26774542732 or [email protected] Her Facebook page is Be Motivated with Gaone. • This article was co – authored in conjunction with Tsholofelo Kgwalabatlhe, a narcissist survivor, Psychologist, Founder and Director of Explore Consults Pty Ltd- a company that offers counselling, psychotherapy, workshops, trainings and assessments. Her Facebook page is Explore Life with Tsholo. For bookings/appointments contact 73015012.