When I moved closer to family and friends after the NX discarded me, I thought I'd get unconditional support. What I discovered shocked me to my core. Many had no clue what I went through and instead turned away from me. That feeling I had is what prompted me to write this post.
It deeply hurt that several people in my life cut me out of their lives. Before doing so, I was even given a lecture about what they felt I should be doing with my life. (For example, I was told I "should" move closer to my children no matter the cost.)
Let's put this out there, readers. People in the survivor's life are rarely ever fully aware of the depths the abuse the survivor endured. Do you know the saying "You don't know unless you've been there"? This applies here. People just won't get what survivors have been through unless they've been there themselves. That's why I feel like the only person in my life to truly "get it" is my mom. She was in an abusive situation herself many years ago. (She safely got out back in April 2000.)
That is why I wrote these thoughts. Society needs a better understanding of the hell survivors endure. To know the survivor isn't crazy. The more we survivors talk about our experiences, the more awareness is brought to the forefront.
Narcissistic abuse is different
Narcissistic and emotional abuse does not leave visible scars. And that's why it's so hard to prove and get others to understand. The damage is left on the inside. Survivors will be very different after the abusive relationship ends. I know I didn't act the same, I didn't behave the same, and I didn't react the same!
You might even be wondering if the reactions to the abuse have somehow made a survivor crazy. Narcissists love to make their victims think they are going crazy. (A technique known as gaslighting is used. Read my post Gaslighting: What You Need To Know for more.)
Please, no judgment
No survivor deserves to be judged. What they do deserve is support from those they love. The last thing survivors want or need is criticism with how they are choosing to handle the aftermath.
I'm not saying that people should agree with our decisions. Just that we need to know we are supported no matter what we decide or how we go about handling our recovery. Many years ago when I was a teenager, my mom told me, "I may not agree with everything you do, but you are my daughter and I love you." To me, THAT was the best thing anyone could ever have said to me! And my mom still tells me that every so often.
After the relationship ends, survivors will struggle to find their way. I know after my marriage ended, I had the support of my parents and a few close friends. As I said, there were people in my life, though, who spoke harshness to me and thought I should be doing the opposite of what I actually was doing. A survivor does NOT need that. Not in the beginning stages of healing and recovery. Not at all, actually.
Seduced by the Dark Side
Just like Anakin Skywalker was lured to the Dark Side in Star Wars, so too are Narcissistic Abuse survivors lured to believing something that wasn't true.
Survivors get deceived into believing that they found "the one" or their happily ever after. We fell in love. But we fell for a lie! Our feelings were very real. But the brutal truth is that we fell for a con-artist. A pathological liar. They lured us in with promises that were never meant to be kept. I, too, was hooked into this vicious game. My NX seduced me into believing his web of deceit. Narcissists thrive on destroying their partners' lives. It stunned me that someone could be so cruel, so vicious. I don't think many people are aware just how dangerous Narcissists are.
Not like high school
I dated guys in both high school and college before I married my NX. I've also had those relationships end. This wasn't like being dumped in high school......or college, for that matter.
In fact, this was a cold and calculated discard. (Read my post on The Discard for more.) The cruel and callous nature of the Narcissist's actions and the debilitating effects it has is exactly why survivors need support.....but rarely find it. Survivors don't need anyone (family, friends or otherwise) to tell them to "get over it." A survivor's anguish is incredibly intense. And the anguish may very well be intense for quite some time. I know that my goal was just trying to keep my head above water. For months, all I wanted was not to drown in my anguish.
The entire time I lived with and near family, I kept hearing what I needed to do. What I should do. The last thing I needed or wanted was for those closest to me to dictate how I "should" be living my life. I had enough of that while with my NX! I sure as heck didn't need it from those closest to me!
I was stripped of all that was good about me. The initial attributes that attracted my NX to me? Yeah, those are the same attributes that he targeted. It was all a sick and twisted game to systematically destroy my goodness. The way I viewed myself was torn to shreds. I saw myself as unworthy, unlovable, unwanted, fat and ugly, crazy.......you name it. My NX drove me to a point of complete and utter isolation. I was alone in my thoughts and my despair.
Healing and recovery take time
One of the many things I wish for others to understand is that healing takes time. I have mentioned this many times in my blog posts and on my Facebook page bearing the same name.
Just like with grieving any loss in your life, the healing it will take requires tremendous effort. Healing is not an overnight thing. In fact, it very well may take years. You will have bad days. You will also have good days. It's okay to have those bad days!
I also wish that people would understand that it's much appreciated when we survivors are met with patience during this time. We need all the love and support our friends and family can provide. The Narcissist's goal is to destroy the victim. We survivors require plenty of room to sort things through. I endured years of post traumatic stress before I was officially diagnosed with PTSD. (Please read my post PTSD As A Result Of Narcissistic Abuse.) Once I was, I was given the option of undergoing EMDR therapy. (See my post on EMDR: How It Helped Me for more.)
The need to be believed
When I opened up to people in my life, there were a few who didn't believe me. I was met with statements like "Well, what did you do to cause him to act that way" and other similar statements. So, it would greatly help survivors in their recovery if you just listened to them. No judgments. Just listen.
I would love nothing more than to see certain people in my life believe me. That is just one of the few things I desperately want. And for many survivors, that is ALL they want.....to be believed. That may be the only thing that keeps them hanging on.
What has been your experience with family and/or friends regarding your recovery? How did you handle it? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your story 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
The Fake Apology
How I Lost My Identity
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
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
The Great Manipulator
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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.