Narcissistic abuse is emotional, verbal, sexual, psychological and financial abuse, gaslighting, manipulation and nervous system dysregulation. This abuse is suffered in romantic and platonic relationships.This abuse is insidious, hard to understand and even harder to define.
There are two types of narcissists: covert and overt. This abuse can be perpetrated by someone who is not a narcissist but has tendencies, so a diagnosis of narcissism to the offending party isn't required. These individuals over all lack empathy.
Overt narcissists are individuals that are more easily spotted. They are the ones who boast about themselves, take up all the oxygen in the room and openly manipulate those around them to get what they want. Often these people have superficial relationships and see people as a means to an end.
Covert narcissists are individuals who are less easily spotted. They are the ones who get others to do their dirty work for them, act one way in public and another at home, and use 'behind the scene' manipulation to get what they want. Often gaslighting by family and friends (secondary gaslighting) is prominent with these individuals- "He/She is so nice, I don't know what you are talking about!" Sound familiar?
If you are or have been in a relationship with a narcissist, it can feel lonely and isolating. Like you are alone. Like no one understands, and even if you tried to explain, no one would believe you. You feel 'crazy' and often question if you are 'making this all up' or 'over exaggerating'. You may google if you are a narcissist. You are struggling to understand what is going on, and the narcissist in your life if thriving off of your turmoil.
Narcissists and narcissistic type people thrive on altering a person reality and sense of self. This alteration allows the narcissist to have control over you, your thoughts and behaviors. The goal of a narcissist is to manipulate to the point of 'crazy', where your internal dialogue is their words. Ultimately, the narcissist maintains control because their words, thoughts and beliefs are now yours.
It can be hard to come out of the cloud of narcissistic abuse, to clear the smoke and find yourself again. Narcissistic abuse is pervasive and insidious, and requires complex trauma work to heal the self.
It's important to begin your healing, so you can prevent yourself from being in another narcissistic relationship again. Protecting yourself from the narcissists smear campaign through trauma therapy can help keep you grounded when your world feels like it's coming undone.
You are not alone in this. You are not crazy. You are not making this up. You deserve to heal.
Therapists at Onyx will work with you on identifying your wounds that attracted the narcissist and help heal them, so you no longer welcome these types of people in your life. The goal is for you to heal your sense of self that has been taken away and find healthy relationships in the future.