4 Key Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

4 Key Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

4 Key Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

From shaming and manipulation to gaslighting and emotional blackmail, narcissistic abuse can completely destroy you. The trauma and suffering left in its wake can be hard to overcome.

Healing after narcissistic abuse is never easy. As the abuse has already shattered your belief and confidence in yourself as well as others, it is hard going forward for you. But with proper help and dedicated effort, you can manage narcissistic abuse healing and put it behind you sooner or later.

The worst consequences of narcissistic abuse are loss of confidence, self-worth, willpower, and the ability to set boundaries. Narcissistic abuse will leave you so broken that you will firmly believe that you cannot manage your life on your own. So, narcissistic abuse recovery and healing need to focus on these aspects. 

You need to be realistic in your expectations and goals when attempting narcissistic abuse recovery. This cannot be managed overnight or in a day. Your short-term progress may be so minuscule that it may be hard to detect. Have faith that your work will yield results and you can heal yourself completely from the abuse. 

Narcissistic abuse healing can be made easier by breaking down the recovery into four stages of getting over a narcissist. Having milestones at the end of each stage can help keep your morale up during this difficult process. 

Having a clear-cut plan and knowing your path can help you heal from PTSD from narcissistic abuse. It can make a huge difference in narcissistic abuse healing.

This article details the 4 critical stages of healing after narcissistic abuse for your easy reference. Before you start the process of narcissistic abuse healing, you need to under the narcissistic abuse cycle.

What is a narcissistic abuse cycle?

A narcissist takes over control of your mind in a systematic way. This may come as a surprise to many. Understanding this process helps you figure out your escape.

The narcissistic abuse cycle is how a narcissist approaches their potential victims. This can be broken down into 3 phases – idealization, devaluation, and rejection.

During the idealization phase, a narcissist puts the victim on a pedestal and idealizes them. This is meant to overwhelm and conquer the victim. It is during the devaluation phase that the narcissist reveals their true colors. 

After the euphoria of the honeymoon stage, they let their victims down with a thud so hard that the victims find it hard to recover from it. They are deprecated systematically to destroy their confidence and self-worth.

In the last phase of the narcissistic abuse cycle, the narcissist discards or rejects their victim for someone new or better. This can shatter the morale of the victim.

Healing after narcissistic abuse requires breaking the narcissistic abuse cycle. 

Key stages of healing after narcissistic abuse

Stage 1: Getting rid of toxic shame

Feeling shameful of yourself is one of the most harmful effects of narcissistic abuse. 

A narcissist uses shame to keep you under their control. In the process, you lose your sense of identity, self-respect, and willpower to fight back. 

The feeling of shame will trap you in a toxic cycle, out of which you will find escape difficult. 

The need of the hour is clarity of mind and willpower to overcome this deep-seated belief in your mind. 

The only way out for you is to face your shame head-on. If you’re finding this too hard to manage on your own, get help from someone you trust or a professional.

Tackling shame can be distressing but it is something that needs to be done. During this process, you may feel that your ordeal is never going to end. 

Gather enough courage and faith to help you get through this stage. It’s worth the pain and suffering. You will see light at the end of the dark tunnel you find yourself in.

Stage 2: Recover your willpower

Your tenacity or willpower is your ability to persevere and succeed. This is one of the primary targets of a narcissist. 

By destroying your willpower, they manage to gain complete control over you. As part of the narcissistic abuse healing process, this is the next aspect you should focus on.

Your willpower or tenacity is the superpower within you that helps you to resist and withstand unwelcome advances. It allows you to foil the evil plans of the narcissist and succeed in achieving your goals.

To get what you want, you may have to put up with discomfort and do hard work. This is where your tenacity will help you. By destroying your willpower, a narcissist forces you to give up without much resistance when faced with even minor hardships.

If you want to free yourself from the shackles of narcissistic abuse you need to wrest back that control the narcissist has over you. 

Like anything worth having, this is not easy to achieve. But every bit of hardship you endure in this pursuit would be worth the effort.

Stage 3: Regain your emotional autonomy

A narcissist gains access to your mind and controls it by manipulating your emotions. 

This is a typical narcissistic strategy. When you allow the narcissist to use your own emotions to control you, you are at their mercy in every sense of the word. 

Snatching back your emotional autonomy should be high on your priority while recovering from narcissistic abuse.

Losing emotional autonomy to a narcissist can be devastating to your self-worth. For instance, a narcissist is capable of making you feel guilty when things go wrong, whether you are actually guilty or not. 

You tend to believe what you are told without weighing the merits. Your consequent behavior will make you slip further and further down into the bottomless pit of shame, fear, and guilt. 

Regaining emotional autonomy involves recovering your ability to feel your own emotions and analyzing them without external influence. 

This will give you the ability to arrive at your own decision independently and say it aloud without shame, guilt, or fear. You’re no longer reacting but acting of your own free will rationally.

Stage 4: Free yourself from hero worship

Narcissists manage to keep you under their control by forcing you to worship them. 

Narcissists give themselves an aura of a hero and invincibility and compel you to accept this. 

One of the essential tasks for you to do during narcissistic abuse healing is to shake off this fake image and free yourself from worshiping them.

When you manage to stop worshiping your narcissistic abuser, you will see the world through a different lens. 

You could see happiness, contentment, and possibilities everywhere. You are no longer relying on your abuser for your happiness or your other needs. 

Now, you’re aware that you’re capable of satisfying your needs and accomplishing your goals all by yourself.

Along with this realization comes the ultimate liberation. You will find yourself liberated from your tormentor in all senses.

Final thoughts on narcissistic abuse recovery

Healing after narcissistic abuse can be made easier and simpler by following these four vital stages. 

By breaking down the goal into smaller pieces, you have a better chance to succeed at it. While at it, look out for signs you’re healing from narcissistic abuse.

When you decide to free yourself from narcissistic abuse, it can be quite terrifying not to know how to go about it. 

You may doubt your capacity to manage your life on your own with no one telling you what to do. You just need to realize that life is full of uncertainties but it is yours and yours alone to decide what to do with it. 

You may fail sometimes, but it is your failure. You may face challenges, but the victory will be yours alone. 

You need not attribute it to someone else or share the glory with another person. That is what you achieve through deprogramming after narcissistic abuse. You get your life back.


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