Narcissistic Abuse

Knowledge is Power: You are not to blame

Narcissists are driven by a deep sense of shame, developed from an injury to their sense of self at a very young age.They have developed and are in love with an idealized image of themselves, which they convince themselves is their true self and identity.They work very hard to avoid feeling that shame by using destructive defense mechanisms that destroy relationships and cause pain and damage to their loved ones. (Learn the traits required to diagnose a narcissist here: )

We need to be careful when we search to clarify narcissist abuse, as most people on some level exhibit abusive behaviour. Addicts and people with other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and co-dependency, can also be abusive, although it may also be enacted as self-sabotage. No one should accept or tolerate abuse in any form, but diagnosing and accepting the abuse is a great challenge. You may need to

  1. Clearly identify the abuse – keep a journal and document events
  1. Build a support system – this may be outside your family and immediate environment, which may seem overwhelming and helpless.
  2. Learn how to strengthen and protect yourself from the abuse. It may entail leaving the abuser or finding support via a life coach

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Abuse comes in many forms, be it emotional, mental, physical, financial, spiritual, or sexual. The abuse can be sophisticated, subtle and covert.

  • Manipulationis a method of indirect influence to alter thinking and behaviour of their victim to further the goals of the manipulator. The words may seem harmless – even complimentary; but underneath you may feel demeaned, shamed or imperfect. Keep track of these differences between your feelings and the words being spoken
  • Verbal abuse includes belittling, bullying, accusing, blaming, shaming, demanding, ordering, threatening, criticizing, sarcasm, raging, opposing, undermining, interrupting, blocking, and name-calling. Journal the context, malice, and frequency of the behaviour and the event and experience that enacted the destructive response.
  • Emotional blackmail may include threats, anger, intimidation, or punishment. With the aim to create confusion and provoke doubt in you. Your mind may feel like it is caught in a perpetual “FOG” of fear, obligation, and or guilt.
  • Gaslighting: A psychological technique used to challenge your perceptions of reality, have you doubting your frame of references and create cracks in your sense of self and mentally sanity.
  • Porous Boundaries: continuous invasions of privacy by looking through your room, phone or emails; giving them access to material and space they have no right to know or invade.
  • Isolation: Isolating you from friends, family, or access to outside services and support through control, manipulation, verbal abuse, character assassination.

Narcissists are very Competitive with an innate need to win regardless of the methods they use, be it via cheating, lying or exploitation of your feelings and values. If they start to sense any form betrayal in your loyalty, they may use the withholding of finances, sex and sabotaging your dream and hopes as another means of control. If all else fails they may ramp up the abuse to more overt forms, via character assassination, bankruptcy, affairs or physical violence. Narcissists are incapable of taking responsibility for their behavior and look to shift the blame onto others, as vulnerability and intimacy create feelings of terror and thoughts of annihilation.

Due to childhood trauma and lack of attunement, they have great difficulty in attaching to people, as they have deeps levels of mistrust and fears of engulfment. They self-soothe by attaining the narcissist supply of their victims, who idealize and depend on their great stature, assets, and grandiosity to attain self–worth and validity

Amida life coach specializes in treating victims of narcissistic abuse, as we provide the support to help you understand and become aware of what’s going on, to help rebuild your self-esteem and confidence, and to learn to communicate effectively and set boundaries.  We can explore some of the thinking and experiences they may have led you to be involved with a narcissist, developing greater awareness in noticing traits and behaviours to avoid the very painful experience happening again.