If you are suddenly slammed with a marriage proposal and you feel like it’s too good to be true, the pace is dizzying, the sex is mystical, other-worldly, and spell-bounding, you best slow down and take a deep breath.
More than likely your romantic partner has commenced love-bombing so as to secure you as a source of Grade A Narcissistic Supply. All the potent bonding chemicals of endorphins and oxytocin are bathing your system to create an irresistible bond.
Devaluing and Discard will be shortly around the corner; what goes up must come down. And down it will come, with abusive language, silent treatments, gaslighting, verbal and emotional abuse and put-downs, blame-shifting/projection, and smear campaigns. Cortisol and adrenaline surge in the survivor during this trauma of emotional abuse. A trauma bond has been formed. All to elicit ego fuel for the extreme narcissist.
When survivors go No Contact from their abusers, they cease to provide that desirable cocktail of essential Narcissistic Supply. The survivor generates a shield of protection from further abuse by instigating and continuing with No Contact, in addition to healing from the trauma of emotional abuse by working with qualified helping professionals.
Recovery work includes further reduction of cognitive dissonance through trauma-informed psychotherapy, enhancing self-esteem and fortifying boundaries, developing healthy and strong social support networks and self-care regimes, and of course, working through the traumatic grief of the relationship.
As a survivor heals through all these stages, s/he is able to hold on to their precious life energy which includes the beautiful qualities of empathy, integrity, authenticity, reciprocity, honesty, compromise, accountability, and compassion.
The survivor turns these healthy qualities towards themselves and is empowered to share their psychological and emotional strengths with deserving and safe others who can reciprocate such compassion.
The extreme narcissist eventually ceases to sink fangs in the survivor’s neck, because the survivor has embraced his/her strength and inner knowing, fortifying self-awareness and compassion with solid and healthy boundaries, strong social supports, and renewed self-confidence. When the inevitable hoover occurs, the soul vampire is not able to partake of a prior love interest’s lifeblood. And eventually, the emotional abuse is extinguished.
Healing for the survivor is inevitable with No Contact and trauma-informed psychotherapy with a compassionate psychotherapist skilled in understanding narcissistic abuse.
Are you ready to heal?
Originally appeared on ANDREA SCHNEIDER, MSW, LCSW
Republished with permission