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!
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.
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.
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: