If you have tried to break away from a narcissistic relationship you know that it is excruciatingly difficult.
Just when you think you’re finally ready and determined to leave, or simply know that you have to get away, the narcissist turns your emotions upside down with guilt, intimidation or fear tactics, or looks you in the eyes and tell you the exactly the words you have been waiting to hear.
“I love you, I’ll change, and I will do anything to save us! I love you more than life itself!”
You thought you were at the point of ‘enough is enough’, yet before you know it the narcissist has found a way to hit your buttons and hook you in again.
The narcissist will find every way to keep you hooked.
He or she knows your blind spots intimately.
After all you are the prey, you are a source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissist loves to know that you are enmeshed in his or her web and will remain hooked to copping more abuse, and knows exactly how to ensure this.
Worse than this you are addicted, you’re hooked to the abuse, and no matter how much logically you know you need to get away, every cell of your body is addicted to the narcissist in frightening and destructive ways. You can read more about the addiction in Trauma Bounding – Is it Love or Something Else
This addiction is so severe, that literally seconds after leaving the narcissist and proclaiming it’s over, (especially when the narcissist accepts it like he or she couldn’t care less) you could easily start screaming out to reconnect and apologise for what you just did.
Even though you are trying to leave because you have just experienced another unfathomable mind-bending round of narcissistic abuse.
None of it makes logical sense! Why can’t you break away and stay away?
Get Clear on What’s Happened to You and be Aware of What the Narcissist’s Intentions are
The truth is you are dealing with the greatest cocktail of physiological and emotional addiction you could ever imagine – and you are hooked to a master manipulator who knows every move to keep you stuck, emotionally at the very least, if not physically.
Even if the narcissist has decided to discard you from his or her life, the last thing he or she wants is you moving on and having a great life without him or her. That is the ultimate insult to the narcissist.
The narcissist wants to believe you are pining, addicted and a total wreck – and sadly that is the case for most people who do separate from narcissists.
In order for the Narcissist to live out the story of the grandiose self (look how important I am because I can affect you in this way) he or she will attack your weakest points – your emotions.
This is where you are being derailed if you are not prepared.
It’s important that you know what to do in order to empower yourself before leaving a narcissist, in order to assist the process of disconnecting.
Much of this preparation needs to occur emotionally.
The emotional state you are in when you leave a narcissist is a great indicator of how well you can recover, and how long your recovery will take.
‘Aftershock’ is a very real phenomenon after leaving a narcissist. When you are stuck in the fight with the narcissist you are in survival mode, and somehow that keeps you alive.
When you leave the narcissist you will experience grave Post and / or Complicated Stress Disorder Symptoms. Not unlike a holocaust survivor, the entire trauma has a chance to hit when you have got away.
The abuse from yesterday, last week, last month and last year now activates. You are also caught up in the intense mind-bending withdrawal of the addiction to the trauma.
This is the most serious of time for narcissistic abuse victims, whereby the agony may be so great that the ability to function may seem near impossible, and many people even feel like they have lost the will to live.
All of your survival fears and intense emotional inner agonies and programming hits very hard, leaving you feeling shattered, powerless and helpless.
The biggest mistake you could make at this point is to reconnect with the narcissist, in the aftershock phase, mistaking these feelings as “I love him or her so much this is why I am feeling like this. I can’t live without this person!”
How To Nurture Yourself During This Traumatic Time
Recognise that your emotions and soul are going through trauma and make it a point to nurture them the best way you can every day.
If you are feeling strong enough try and do activities that make you happy, such as watch a favourite film, have a relaxing bath, take a walk in nature, listen to soulful music, read a self-help book and meditate.
Remember it is you who is in control of the way you feel.
If you do the work on recovering yourself emotionally, and getting stronger before leaving the narcissist, the aftershock period can be much more manageable.
The people that execute the most effective separations and recoveries are the ones that do the ground work with their emotions first, and start working on their recovery and support network before leaving.
Please do know, however, if your life really is in serious danger and unbearable, you may need to evacuate, and immediately surround yourself with safety and support and then work on your emotional recovery after leaving the narcissist.
Make sure you do this as soon as possible. It will be the last thing you feel like doing, but it is exactly what you need to do in order to cope with pain, fear and the withdrawal from the addiction – rather than allowing these crippling emotions to engulf you.
The NARP Forum is an excellent resource where you can get help and support from individuals who have been through what you are going through. If you need advice on how to get away safely, or need additional help with your emotional state, you can certainly ask for it here.
If you start working on getting your mind and your emotions worked out before leaving the Narcissist, you will have the strength and self-confidence to get away for good and begin recovering quickly.
It makes the process so much easier.
I can help you gain emotional relief and gain strength in yourself much more quickly via the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program which gives you 10 step-by-step profound lessons to recovering from Narcissistic Abuse, which you can listen to at any time of the day.
During the NARP Module work you uncover your unhealed and unresolved parts which are causing you to play out and stay attached to the pain.
These parts are shifted and released emotionally. By transforming these unhealed parts you can move more easily out of the struggle and the addiction, and reclaim your True Self and power.
This helps to break off the illusions that are holding you susceptible to the narcissist, and causing you to fall for his or her tricks. This also disconnects the psychic binds and addictions so that you no longer feel helplessly hooked to the Narcissist. These healings clean up your ‘blindspots’ that the narcissist is preying on.
Then you will not feel the ‘pulls’ and urges to go back nearly as much, and you will have the confidence and inner strength to move forward and create your new life.
Boundaries are Vital
Whilst preparing to leave the narcissist, work on your inner state as much as possible, and then lay boundaries.
Stop hooking in to the fights, the insanity and stop trying to receive justice and accountability.
Stop trying to fix the unfixable, and stop taking responsibility for any of the messes that the narcissist is causing.
Start preparing yourself emotionally for financial losses. It is very rare for anyone after being connected with a narcissist to come out of the fray better off than before they entered it.
Know this. If you are hanging on trying to receive some sort of financial improvement, your chances are very slim. When you are with an unaccountable narcissist who keeps creating disasters, and does not have your best interests or welfare in mind, you are on a sinking ship and the longer you hold out for the rowboat, the faster the ship is going down.
The sooner you get out the less you will lose.
Reconcile with yourself – there is no price you can put on your emotional wellbeing, sanity and soul, and none of these things are going to improve until you can break away permanently and heal yourself.
None of these things are worth substituting for bricks, mortar, security or the hope that he or she is going to get their act together.
Know that hanging on only supplies the narcissist with more hooks and ammunition to control, manipulate and abuse you with. When you decide to prize your soul above all else – you will discover that this is the one thing that the narcissist cannot control if you don’t allow him or her to.
Your soul is truly untouchable once you reclaim it.
Start reaching out to people who you can trust, who are supportive, and spend as much time with family and friends that you can.
Within the laying of your boundaries, don’t take the control, abuse or threats anymore.
If the narcissist escalates his or her behaviour to the point of threats, taking car keys, bursting into your bedroom without permission, not permitting your to leave the house etc. go to the police / courthouse and report it. Stay calm and rational whilst doing so. Take a support person if you need help.
Get an intervention order against the narcissist and mean it. Don’t fall for the threats, or the fear that the dream you thought you had will be destroyed by reporting the narcissist.
Face facts, life with a narcissist it is a house of cards, the dream is already destroyed, and it never was ‘real’.
You truly have no choice but to remove and reclaim yourself.
Whilst disconnecting, and after leaving, don’t fall for the lies that the Narcissistic has moved on and having a great life. The narcissist will try to hook you with fear of abandonment, fear of him or her meeting someone else, or anything else that will infuriate, hurt you or send you into a panic.
Let it go. Don’t buy into the dirty tactics.
Just keep working on yourself, healing as much as you can and preparing yourself emotionally for your exit.
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I’d love to know whether this article has been helpful, and I’m happy to answer any questions that you may have. You may also wish to help others by sharing your experience of leaving the narcissist.