What Does Narcissistic Abuse Feel Like?

Please listen to this video on the feelings I experienced when I was in a relationship with a malignant narcissist. These feelings were different depending on where I was in the relationship. I hope this will be of some help to you whether you are in a relationship with a narcissist or you know something is wrong but can not put your finger on what that is, or if you are out of the relationship and are still reeling from the abuse you suffered. If you would like to read the video transcription please look below the video.

For years I had no idea that I was in an abusive relationship. I mean none.

l discovered later, that virtually no one has any idea initially they are in a narcissistic relationship.

Like most people, I thought that narcissists were those people who loved themselves, had over-inflated egos, were self-absorbed but this is not the complete truth and it is far from what a narcissist really is.

I knew something was very wrong with the relationship but I thought it was something I was doing or not doing. I would spend hours each day trying to figure out ” what was wrong with my relationship or me.” I read many many self-help books to try and figure out how to ” fix” things. Books like how women were different than men, how men thought differently and behaved differently than women, or what symptoms men experienced if they were depressed. I read books on how to love myself, how to love my partner and what our love languages were but not until I picked up a book called ” Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft, did I begin to open my eyes to the possibility that he was the problem and his anger and controlling behavior was in fact abusive.

I began to identify some of the painful feelings I was experiencing in the relationship but I needed help with this from my therapist and my close friends to see what was happening. These were the actual first steps on my path to healing. My feelings were different depending on where I was on my path to healing.

Here are some of the feelings I experienced which I share in hopes that it may help you. The most pervasive feeling that I can’t forget was the agonizing and overwhelming intense loneliness I felt. I had a busy life with my full-time job, caring for my two young children, and time I spent with family and friends yet I felt so incredibly lonely. I felt lonely because he was unable to identify my needs or feelings. He not only lacked empathy but he could fake emotions quite well and he was like a chameleon. Narcissists have a false self they hide behind and the closest a narcissist gets to feel anything is a ” narcissistic injury” which is the rage and despair they feel when a person criticizes them or poses a fake or real threat to their excessive sense of entitlement and superiority. No wonder I felt lonely.

I began to feel not quite good enough or that I was worthy like there was something really wrong with me. These feelings all started when I was in a relationship with my narcissistic partner. The cruel remarks he said which I initially questioned whether he meant to be cruel or not. This all caused me to turned into a completely different person who resembled nothing like I once was. I began to believe the portrait he painted of me that I was a crazy, overly sensitive person who had lost my sense of humor. Looking back I could not put my finger on why but I felt sad most of the time during our relationship, not really quite depressed but a low level of unhappiness which no matter how much I tried to shove it away or feel happy I could not. It would have been called melancholy in past years. Initially, I thought I had found my soul mate when I met him I thought I could not live without him. When our relationship began I believed he was my Prince Charming. but later I realized my true happy ending lay in the realization that he never existed at all. I eventually discovered to my horror, he had never understood, heard, or validated me in our relationship because he was a malignant narcissist. It was all a deception. He was a lie and so was my life with him. I felt completely betrayed when I found this out.

I also remember feeling somehow I had gotten stupid. Well, of course, I did not lose my intelligence, I know now his gradual subtle and not so subtle critical and controlling behavior, covert and overt put-downs through his manipulation and verbal abuse made me feel as though I was losing my mind. I somehow believed the abusive behavior was not real as he would minimize, deny or rationalize the abuse. This is gaslighting and is truly crazy-making.

I describe myself as feeling confused a lot during the relationship with my narcissistic partner. I could not decipher and confirm my confusing reality in any meaningful way because I had no understanding of what narcissistic abuse was. This made me doubt myself all the time. Of course, my narcissistic partner would take advantage of this because most of society would not have believed me as they did not have any idea what covert violence looked like. I am hopeful that with education on what narcissistic abuse is people will have a clear understanding of what it is. There are now many books written on narcissistic abuse, narcissism and narcissistic abuse recovery as well as a lot of information is available on the internet. Still, it is hard to truly understand unless you have been in a relationship with a narcissist.

At some point, my self-doubt was replaced by anger when I figured out that I had been used, groomed, and brainwashed. Whenever I confronted my narcissistic partner with anything, he would turn it around or twist what I had said and blame me, then I would feel bad instead of mad, but at some point, I did get mad. I realized that my anger helped me but it only took me so far. It was essential to my healing process but it did not bring me the peace I wanted so much.

What it did do was bring me my self-respect and I realized that I deserved so much more. One of the most profound feelings I had during the relationship was I realized at some point how controlled and trapped I felt.

Not in the beginning during the love-bombing phase but later when he began to use his abusive tactics to devalue me. I was not aware of what he was doing for years and I lived this hell for many years. He would plant the seeds in a subtle way in my mind that actually led me to my own feelings of poor self-worth, not feeling enough, and all the other negative feelings I experienced due to what he told me. These might come in the form of a ” joke” or said in a way that is not obviously abusive but of course, they definitely were. Doubts were cultivated in me that I never had before, which I would describe as ” manufactured insecurities”.

If this sounds familiar to you, you may be in an abusive relationship or perhaps you were discarded and it is over but you are still not really over the damage that being in a relationship with a narcissist has done to you.

You may have always felt like you do not belong anywhere. You don’t quite fit in. You might believe that something is wrong with you. You might have grown up with an abusive parent which makes you more susceptible to being a target for an abusive relationship as an adult. This makes you feel like you are always on the lookout for something or someone to rescue them from their intense pain. The pain alone makes them easy targets for perpetrators, like the one you were in the narcissistic relationship with or still are.

These deep core wounds of feelings of not being enough, feeling unworthy, and defective were feelings I had because of the relationship I was in with my narcissistic partner.

Many women who are adult children of narcissists find themselves in situations where their traumas are re-created in relationships, friendships, and business relationships, which bear an uncanny resemblance to their narcissistic parent. They feel like they are held captive by self-sabotage, self-destruction, constant dysfunction, and chaos, throughout their adult lives, without knowing why. Many have suffered chronic bullying, which reinforces and cements the faulty programming and beliefs they learned as children.

This was not true in my case, I am an empath and this was how my narcissistic partner was able to target me. Empaths have many qualities, like caring and sensitivity to other’s feelings, that the narcissist does not have and this is why my narcissistic partner was drawn to me.

Most of my healing journey has consisted of finding a way back to my wholeness. After this toxic relationship I felt fragmented and broken. The healing to recover my true self was accomplished by doing inner work on many levels, including my body and my subconscious mind.

If any of this sounds familiar to you or is raising red flags you may be in a relationship with a narcissistic or perhaps you were in a toxic relationship in your recent past or long ago and you never understood what it even was or why you still feel stuck in your life as though you are not the same person you once were. This is true but when you heal from this abuse you will be a stronger more powerful woman than you ever thought possible.

Learn more about how to heal from Narcissistic Abuse.

I can help you identify your blocks and release them so you can move on and finally from the bonds and chains that have been holding you back. Book a free consultation with me now and let your healing begin.

You can heal and BE YOUR BEST VERSION.

You are a Powerful.



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