A narcissist’s coping mechanism is only abusing. It’s what they do. You will feel worthless, doubt yourself, and will constantly feel guilty. That’s what narcissistic abuse will make you feel. You’ll continually be walking on eggshells and no matter what you do, it will never be enough. The obvious decision and the best thing you can do for yourself is to break away from the narcissist. But, we know, sometimes reality is not as simple as it is to write about it.
Do you know how it feels to be in a toxic relationship with a narcissist? Have you experienced narcissistic abuse? And can you recall the first time you really started to realize that something wasn’t right? It’s this ache in your gut, that one stray tear you can’t control and as it rolls down your face, it almost burns. It’s like your body gets it before you do, somehow.
It’s this feeling that something is missing or isn’t right. So, you try to figure it out. So, you start thinking and you go through all of the obvious possibilities.
Am I hormonal?
Am I being unreasonable?
Are my expectations just too high?
Could I be overthinking this whole thing?
As much as you rack your brain, you aren’t clear. You just know that it is something else. Something you can’t quite put your finger on….like a piece of you feels like it’s missing or gone somehow.
But how do you lose a whole part of yourself? You might kind of laugh at yourself, but the thought makes you feel almost nostalgic … but in an unidentifiable, achy way that can’t be logically explained. Maybe you have this sense that it might be some kind of other life calling to you. You think maybe it’s on the soul level.
Not sure you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship? Take this narcissistic abuse self-assessment and find out now.
Relationship With A Narcissist
1. Narcissistic Abuse Causes You to Lose Yourself
You start to feel like you’re living inside your own head. You’re so internal that you might even start to hate everyone and everything. You start to see through it all, and everyone seems artificial. Their lives seem small and petty.
Their problems seem unreal somehow – they are so far away. They are blind to your struggles and you can’t even begin to verbalize them, because they sound so petty when you say them out loud.
But you do your best to keep looking perfect on the outside and you pretend like nothing is wrong. You keep smiling and pretending that all is well.
2. Perfect on the Outside, Broken on the Inside
You maintain a perfect social media presence, photos of your beautiful home, and successful kids. You feel like a huge fraud as you try to project the image you want to see in your life, rather than what it really looks like behind closed doors.
It’s like social media gives you a certain amount of validation that you can’t get elsewhere. It makes you feel better somehow like it’s okay that you’re dealing with all of this internal conflict because you project that perfect life image.
Meanwhile, the narcissist in your life is always threatening to leave you. Threatening to stop loving you if you don’t conform to their will. They threaten to stop caring about anything if you don’t shape up. We will just live our separate lives, they tell you. See how you like that, they say.
Apathy, Brain Fog and Cognitive Dissonance in Narcissistic Abuse
It’s like you’re living in some kind of bubble and nothing feels real. You’re not even sure YOU are real. You’re exhausted and pretty much numb at this point. But every now and then, something reminds you of who you used to be, the fun and silly and passionately driven person that the narcissist seems to have beaten of you (emotionally anyway).
And when that happens, that person who you used to be…that person gets sad. Then you feel angry and like you’re finally ready to go. But inevitably the scary thought that is change takes you down this stupid road that imagines that things can be better.