It wasn't until after I was away from my Narcissistic Ex that I realized I didn't recognize myself. I lost my identity. My sense of self. How does this happen? How does one lose their identity? How is it possible to become so engrossed in a relationship that you lose who you are?
I have heard other survivors talk about this very thing. I was so relieved to know that I wasn't the only one!
After the NX discarded me (read my post The Discard for more), I went to live with my family. I was so meek and subservient. I hated to speak up, for fear of my thoughts getting shot down. I always went along with what others wanted to do.
I didn't recognize the girl I saw in the mirror. My eyes looked tired. My skin was dry and cracked. My nails were non-existent. I couldn't smile, and even when I tried, it was forced. I couldn't take a compliment from anyone! I was a shell of the girl I used to be. I kept asking myself, "What did he DO to me?"
Losing their identity
Narcissists will starve their victims of love, attention, validation, and suck the life out of them until there is nothing left. They will play on a victim's vulnerabilities until the victim cowers in fear and shame.
The Narcs will use every tactic in the book to tear your self-esteem to shreds. They will want to completely strip you of your identity. To become totally dependent on them. To be their servant. The Narc will force you to lose your identity.
I had always had body image issues. My NX would take that and unleash a barrage of hateful things at me - I was fat, lazy, ugly. More than once, I was told I looked horrible in certain clothes that I wore because it didn't suit my body. So I started dressing in baggy pants, sweats, large t-shirts and sweatshirts....all to hide my hideous body. That is, of course, unless we went out in public to a military function or shopping on post. Then, he'd tell me what to wear so that I could be presentable.
Narcissists will also rage on you, too. (See my post The Narcissistic Rage for more.) The more my NX raged on me, the more I learned to stay quiet. I stopped fighting back. I lost my fighting spirit, my moxie. This is exactly what the Narc wants - to annihilate your independence and your self-worth.
And when that happens, we look to others for validation, acceptance, confidence, and value. And where do we look for that? The Narc. But we never get it. Instead, we get ridiculed, judged, criticized, and abused.
As I began to heal, I slowly began to realize with the help of therapy, that I was never at fault. It was the abuse that I endured. The more I continued therapy, the more introspective I became. I began to take a close look at myself and analyzed where and how I could get my moxie back.
I realized that I was not flawed. You are not flawed. You are an amazing person full of love, creativity, warmth, compassion, and strength. You are not to blame for the abuse. You did nothing wrong. All we did was love with our hearts.
Our identity should not come from what others think of us. It should come from within. And I began to realize that with therapy and plenty of patience. I rediscovered myself. And you can too.
When did you begin to rediscover yourself? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
How Narcissists Make Sure You Never Solve Problems In A Relationship
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
How I Lost My Identity
The Fake Apology
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.