5 SuperPowers That Survivors of Emotional Abuse Uniquely Possess

5 SuperPowers That Survivors of Emotional Abuse Uniquely Possess

As a therapist working with survivors of narcissistic abuse, I am consistently in awe of my clients’ willpower, fortitude, determination, and courage as they emerge free from abuse and trauma. Whether impacted in work, family or romantic relationships, survivors of emotional abuse have a special kind of resilience that is akin to possessing several superpowers.

In the psychology community, this striking empowerment is entitled post-traumatic growth, which essentially means rising to a higher level of functioning after experiencing significant adversity.

Connect with your inner Lagertha (Viking Shieldmaiden) and read on below to “get woke” on your kick a*& superpowers….

Again, not all survivors are codependent. The vast majority of survivors I have worked with are actually highly emotionally intelligent and possess the “super traits”.

Emotionally intelligent people are ironically very attractive to personality disordered individuals for the very reason that such insightful people possess the very qualities the abuser is lacking. Survivors of narcissistic abuse are not broken!

Related: 12 Ways To Improve Emotional Intelligence Through Self Care

On the contrary, survivors have SuperPowers that allow them to not only do the work of healing from the trauma of being in an emotionally abusive relationship but to also be great partners in healthy relationships in work, family and love.

5 SuperPowers That Survivors of Emotional Abuse Uniquely Possess

The following are some SuperPowers that survivors of emotional abuse uniquely possess (and I should also add, need to be very protective of):

1. High empathy and compassion:

Survivors I have worked with generally show an amazing capacity to empathize with their fellow human beings and creatures on the planet, and the are quite intuitive, some with deeply intuitive abilities. Many have described themselves as “empaths,” which basically means highly intuitive and with a deep compassion for other living beings and nature.

Related: Why Narcissism Is A Relationship Killer and How Empathy Can Stop It

2. Great ability to reciprocate and compromise/problem-solve:

I saw a meme that showed a picture of a donkey’s head poking out of a barn door with the phrase: ” You don’t have to be a Jack-Ass Whisperer.” So many of my clients are outstanding problem solvers and also know how to resolve conflict and compromise in very difficult situations. They have great people skills and diplomacy. When they are in the throes of a relationship with a narcissist or other emotional abuser, they realize that to have to explain what is common sense (emotionally) to another person says a lot about the abuser, than the other way around. If you have to explain how to be humane, Houston, we have a problem!

3. Integrity and authenticity:

Survivors are often known for their honesty and actions/words lining up very congruently. An abuser is drawn to this fabulous quality because, almost as if by osmosis, they can assume the personality of their partner just by being associated with him/her and the survivor’s good works for the community. Even though these super powers are something to behold and to be proud of, they are also qualities that the survivor must protect and not give away unless and until they know that the recipient is worthy of receiving such gifts and that those super powers can be reciprocated back.

4. Accountability for actions:

Most survivors I have had the honor of working with possess an uncanny strength to be able to have the humility to know when they need to own responsibility for their own mishap and then to take action to make that change.

Unfortunately, their abusers generally do not possess this gift, and thus, gaslighting and blame-shifting/projection exacerbates the already vulnerable position a survivor finds her/himself in. When free of abuse, survivors are able to fortify and reclaim boundaries in future relationships, paving the way for healthier interactions in love, work and family.

Watch out this interesting video to know what makes people stay in psychologically abusive relations:

9 thoughts on “5 SuperPowers That Survivors of Emotional Abuse Uniquely Possess”

  1. Explains a lot of my personality. Has not been easy being labeled the doormat or whipping boy in my life time. But I do see my strengths now. Thank you.

  2. I didn’t realize these were my superpowers! Thank you for this! ❤Empathy, integrity, problem solving and authenticity. Great skills developed over a lifetime of dealing with a narcissistic abusive mother. I’ll be passing this on to my other sisters.

  3. Thank you Andrea, this was a really supportive and uplifting article. Yes, I do have those superpowers :). I was in a relationship with a narcissist and thankfully left after 1,5 years of emotional and physical abuse. It helped me discover that I was growing up with a narcissistic parent, so it kind of opened the doors to deeper healing and understanding of my patterns. I wrote an article about it here:

    1. Thank you Iva for sharing your story with us. We read your article too, and it was heartfelt and very interesting.
      We were wondering if you could contribute such articles on our website too. I am sure our readers would love to read them

  4. I agree that co-dependency is not the essence of narcissistic abuse. Anyone can become duped and trapped in this quagmire, There might be situational vulnerability and being at the wrong place at the wrong time. My son is married to a malignant narc who has abused both of us but is blindsided and defends her behaviour. She is so manipulative that she exploits and objectifies my son which has been very costly financially but since he is addicted–like heroin, he will do whatever it takes to get that fix–even when abusive towards me. My son has been goal oriented but faces the possibility of not realising his dreams as a scientist in order to keep her happy, He benefits from the relationship–especially during bouts of idealisation, love bombing, etc., I have observed her devaluing him in public which was not modelled in my home–even as a single parent. Andrea S points out in her book that narc attachment is not true intimacy and because of lack of empathy and manipulation, narcs have no problem devaluing/discarding people because they are viewed as “toys” to be thrown away when looking for new supply to give them their fix (as junkies). Healthy intimate relationships require hard work with give and take. This is the essence of arguing that many targets who are educated and goal oriented are not true co-dependents and learn how to recognise toxic people down the road. Not easy but can happen but NO CONTACT is the way to regain self and get the drug out of targets’ system. A good therapist trained in trauma has to facilitate the target’s recovery. Targets will also have to drop a few friends who do not get it and further traumatise them.

  5. So good to see an empowering article. As a survivor myself, the whole codependent theory can leave us with self doubt and depression. Assholes are assholes. It’s as simple as that really.

    1. My son is married to a narc and we have both been abused but he is blindsided and defends the behaviour. I recognised my DIL as an asshole shortly after I met her face to face……Very covert and manipulative. This has destroyed our family. I am a target of narcissism as a parent and struggling to maintain a relationship with my son with quality time. My DIL is not allowed in my house and I have a NO CONTACT boundary. I am working on the concept to agree to disagree with my son and each of us left to our own devices because we will not change each others minds on this issue. My son has not fully grasped this but working with a coach on better communication and boundary setting. He is not a co-dependent but trapped in this quagmire and will have to find his bottom and work on himself.

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