I’ve lost most of my friends over the past two+ years due to being in a narcissistic abusive relationship. Not many knew about the relationship, but the ones who did couldn’t understand or relate.
“Just leave, you’re too good for this,” they’d say. Or, “Why don’t you just leave?” Clever, I mean I guess if I thought of those solutions that would just solve everything… NOT. The truth is, you can’t find comfort from friends or family who have never lived through this, in that sense (of course they can be your support system, but don’t expect them to be able to understand and relate to narcissistic abuse unless they’ve lived it). In fact, my friends used to make it worse for me. I thankfully found a great therapist who has been there for me at all hours of the day and night to be my support system. While he may have never gone through this experience himself, he gets it.
Your friends and family mean well, you know that. But they don’t understand the physiological damage your narc is putting you through. They don’t understand that just because you were a confident person before you met him (I’m going to refer to narcissists using “he,” but they can be female too, of course), that you’re not anymore. They don’t know he’s literally destroying you, your confidence, and your well being. No one truly understands that while he’s destroying you, he’s still throwing you crumbs to keep you coming back for more. You’re slowly becoming co-dependent on him due to his manipulative tactics. And this is what feeds his narcissistic supply. It’s truly a dangerous, messed up form of manipulation.
For those of you who have a loved one in an abusive relationship, keep these few things in mind:
- The narcissist is literally brainwashing us. They use manipulative techniques, such as gaslighting, to make us think we’re going crazy. For example, after the first time my ex-narc beat me, I was so upset, and at that time actually had the courage to call him out on it. His response was, “What are you talking about? I never put me hands on you.” And that was the end of that conversation, because I actually thought since he was denying it that I imagined it. They slowly make us think we’re losing our minds.
- If it was that easy to get out of the relationship, we would. But because of these manipulative tactics, the narcissist is brainwashing us to think we can’t live without them and to trust no one else. Sounds crazy, right? Well that’s because it IS crazy, but take it from me… someone who was strong and confident before entering this type of abusive relationship… their tactics work and we slowly lose our sense of self, worth, and being.
- Please don’t tell us you “understand,” unless you’ve truly been there. Also, please don’t bash our narcissistic boyfriend/ex-boyfriend (whatever the relationship is). That’s the last thing we need. These actions actually used to isolate me more and make me feel like the only person I could depend on was my narc.