Narcissists are masters of disguise and narcissistic abuse is a form of thought control, it’s emotional manipulation of another person into handing over their mind and will, and thus their thoughts, desires for the narcissist’s personal gain.
A woman suffering from narcissistic abuse syndrome is often disconnected from her own emotional pain. She tends to obsess over her own failures after years of buying into the flaws her narcissistic partner identified in her.
Her mind is often spinning, preoccupied with trying to sort the confusion — the effects of the use of tactics such as gaslighting and word salad on her mind, with intent to distort her reality and impose his own — seeking an explanation for why the narcissist is so miserable, why he treats her the way he does, why he’s so insecure, why they cannot communicate, why he still doesn’t “get” what she’s trying to tell him, and so on.
In other words, what the victim of narcissistic abuse syndrome feels and thinks about herself, life and the narcissist, in most areas, mirrors to some or greater extent what the narcissist wants her to think, believe, feel.
Not every woman involved with a narcissist will suffer from narcissistic abuse syndrome. Those who are in long-term marriages or relationships are more apt to suffer the repercussions of the narcissist’s attempts at controlling, gaslighting and manipulation.
The result of being on the end of narcissistic abuse is the development of PTSD like symptoms. Some of the symptoms of narcissistic abuse syndrome are as follows.
Symptoms of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome
- intrusive images
- poor problem solving
- poor abstract thinking
- poor attention/ decisions
- poor concentration memory
- disorientation of time, place or person
- heightened or lowered alertness
- increased or decreased awareness of surroundings
- antisocial acts
- inability to rest
- intensified pacing
- change in social interactions
- loss or increase of appetite
- hyperalert to environment
- increased alcohol consumption
- change in usual communications
- intense anger
- emotional shock
- emotional outbursts
- feeling overwhelmed
- loss of emotional control
- inappropriate emotional response
The end result of a relationship with a narcissist is a slow, insidious, breaking down of the self-esteem of his victims until there’s next to nothing left, at which point, the narcissist will frequently throw his partner out in order to look for someone new and full of life to make his next target. Leaving his victim an emotional wreck wondering what she did to destroy their once “perfect” relationship.
Victims are not only spouses. They can be coworkers, employees, children, or friends of narcissists. When the narcissist is the victim’s mother or father, it’s a difficult spot to be in, as most children (even grown children) find it almost impossible to leave the relationship. And the abuse continues for years.
If you think that you or someone that you love is struggling with narcissistic abuse syndrome, it’s important that you seek help. Not only should you make a conscious effort to put the narcissist out of the picture, but you should seek some treatment from a certified professional trained in treating PTSD.
4 Ways to Deal with Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome
Learn all you can about narcissistic abuse. Don’t learn all you can about the narcissist. Knowing what makes him tick, won’t undo the damage he has done. Focus on the symptoms you’re experiencing and the tools you need to utilize to help you heal.
Respect Your Boundaries
The key to setting boundaries with a narcissist is to stick to them. You will want to communicate clearly and directly each time. If you make a mistake and find that you “lose it” or say something wrong, just keep practicing and be accountable for your behavior.
Know what you want and fight for what you want. Don’t engage in power struggles with your narcissist. In fact, don’t engage with your narcissist at all. The best way to be assertive with a narcissist is to go completely no contact.
Get support, seek therapy, and figure out how to move forward with your life without the narcissist partner involved. You don’t need to stick it out with him; it’s your life, and they don’t own it.
Prioritize your own happiness and sanity. In many cases, you might not have a choice, so when you do – get out, now.