If you or someone you know struggles with a narcissist, we can work together to support your recovery as you reclaim your healthy self.
Survivors of narcissistic abuse often suffer silently as they can feel ashamed, blamed and confused about what has happened, or is happening to them. Confidence in undermined, relationships suffer and you are left feeling alone. In the case of gaslighting, you may feel that you have lost your mind or that you are going crazy.
Most commonly, narcissism refers to the more extreme and not uncommon sense the narcissist has of entitlement. It shows itself as selfishness and grandiosity such as always putting him/herself first (not thinking of you), feeling he/she has the right to degrade or humiliate you and others, or they have feelings of superiority, all of which interfere with meaningful relationships and work. For the “successful” , problematic narcissist, these strategies work well; they often get what they want through bullying or other unethical, damaging behavior, but in the process of doing so, they maim those closest to them.
The most extreme form of narcissism is malignant narcissism. In this case we see all of the most extreme narcissistic features with a lack of conscience or remorse. They act with complete disregard for the consequences to their victims. These individuals are the most dangerous. He/she need others to control and manipulate in order to feel good, to feel superior and thus better about him/herself. If they don’t get these “needs” met, they seek revenge and nothing is off the table. They are often confused with psychopaths, but differ in that they need live “relatable” victims (you) to put down, control and hurt to give their lives meaning, (psychopaths are seeking the thrill of the destruction itself). That being said, once you, the victim, no longer serves the function of gratifying them, they can cause extreme damage or simply cut you out of his/her life in cruel ways, such as not giving financial support.
That being said, narcissism exists on a continuum. There is healthy narcissism as well, defined by the ability to act on your behalf with healthy entitlement. In other words, it is the underlying feeling and belief that you deserve to have a good life, to make a living, to have basic needs met, to be in a relationship that is respectful and nourishing, etc…
What happens to the survivors of narcissistic abuse is profound. Your recovery as the survivor of narcissistic abuse has its own unique challenges. A healing and therapeutic relationship can be helpful as you face the deep pain, struggles and consequences of being in such a destructive relationship.