If you are in a relationship with a narcissist and suffering abuse but unable to let go of the relationship, then you must read this post to know how narcissistic abuse causes brain damage and changes you.
If you were raised in a healthy home with loving parents, then chances are you would have been well-rounded and balanced. If your parents were neglectful, abusive, or absent, you might be struggling to find yourself, at the very least. You might also be living with a form of post-traumatic stress disorder that significantly affects your everyday reality.
In either case, if you happened to end up in a relationship with someone who turned out to be a toxic narcissist, or even who had been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, then you would have had to endure their abuse.
And if you were in that relationship for a long time, then you might feel like you’ve lost yourself – or like you’ve never really known your true self at all.
That is due to the fact that narcissistic abuse changes you. It changes who you become. It changes what might have been a happy, confident, secure person into someone who doubts their worth and their value every day. It takes away your ability to have a healthy, full life and causes you to hyper-focus on it as you try in vain to resolve it, repeatedly, over and over again.
What happens during a relationship with a toxic narcissist to lead to these changes?
You’re probably wondering exactly which parts of this kind of relationship will lead to this metamorphosis. I’m going to walk you through some of the most common feelings and experiences that lead to the loss of self in a toxic relationship.
You go through these ups and downs. One week, you might be feeling elated because you’ve finally figured out the exact right thing to say to this person. You rehearse it in the mirror. You go over and over it in your head.
You know that THIS TIME, it’s going to work. THIS TIME, the narcissist will finally see the light and become the amazing person you know they can be – or at least, see you for the decent person you are.
When the conversation happens, you are ready and on point. You say all the right things and you think you might see a spark of understanding that will ignite a firestorm of positive change in the relationship.
You finish up what you’ve got to say and you pause, looking expectantly at the narcissist, hoping that look on their face is one of comprehension and realization. The pause feels like a full minute before the narcissist begins to speak.
And when they do, you feel yourself utterly deflating. You hear the same old responses. The same narcissistic rage, and when you don’t respond to that, because you’ve learned the gray rock method and you understand that reacting emotionally will only further encourage them to act out? They pull out the old narcissistic injury card. You know, the “poor me” act? Yep.
And it is at this very moment when you realize, for the 547-thousandth time, that this person will not change. That there’s nothing you could possibly do or say to be enough for them, to get them to wake up and see this person standing in front of them, just asking them to love them. And you mentally resign yourself to one of two things. Either you realize that you’ve got to leave, or you realize that this is now your life.