Recovering from Narcissistic/
Do you have a highly narcissistic family member, coworker, significant other, or ex?
Narcissism is complex. It is much more than the kind of shallow vanity and self-centeredness portrayed in the media. And it's not always so obvious to identify as the prototypical braggy, extroverted ego maniac.
More importantly, the effects of being in relationship with a narcissist can be very serious, even devastating, to a person's wellbeing and sense of self worth. If you are in (or have been in) a relationship with someone whose behavior is driven by narcissism, chances are you have been profoundly affected. This is particularly true if you were raised by a narcissistic parent. It's also true if you fell in love with someone whose confounding narcissistic behaviors only emerged after you became attached.
When you try to talk to others about narcissistic abuse, they may not understand. When you describe the outrageous things you went through - the narcissist's inexplicable behaviors - they may not even seem to believe you. (Perhaps it is so dark, people don't want to believe it).
I bet you have spent countless hours online reading and watching videos about narcissism. Let's face it: it isn't easy to understand!
You need a therapist who understands
As I'm told, even well-meaning therapists sometimes don't get it... leaving you feeling more lonely and confused. This is one of the reasons I like to work with clients in recovery from narcissistic abuse. This important area of psychology requires additional learning above and beyond what is offered in many graduate psychotherapy programs. I have made a point to learn about narcissism, and my hope is that you will feel validated and seen in talking with me about your experiences. I have worked with many clients affected by emotionally immature and/or narcissistic parents and romantic partners. I have taken an interest in the many faces and presentations of narcissism. I have learned about some predictable manipulative patterns some folks use to bond with romantic partners before treating them like dirt.
I also understand what healing entails.
Your recovery process may involve...
- Identifying, sharing, and grieving the ways you have suffered
- Grieving the relationship, if you have had to step away or cease contact with the narcissistic person
- Grieving the fantasy you had about the person/ relationship that never was
- Learning to work with your feelings of guilt
- Building back up your self-compassion, self-respect, and self-confidence
- Learning that you are enough.
- Raising your bar for relationships (insisting upon kindness, honesty, respect, consistency, mutuality, etc)
- Learning what love is and isn't
- Identifying patterns and what may have made made you vulnerable to narcissistic abuse
- Identifying any codependent tendencies, and taking responsibility
- Learning how to assert strong boundaries, and how/why to say no
- Identifying red flags and really listening to your "gut"
- Understanding the difference between being self-serving in a healthy way, vs selfish