Updated June 2020
Have you ever loved or cared for someone so much, that you would do anything and everything to make the relationship work? Most of us do. In a healthy relationship, two people support each other and work as a team.
You are not going crazy
A few years ago, I didn’t know what a narcissist was. As the fights happened more frequently and lasted longer, I turned to relationship expert – Google (lol). I remember lying in bed night after night trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I’d listen to relationship coaches and tried everything to make the situation better, but nothing worked.
I thought I was losing my mind, and maybe I was. I was afraid to confide in people I trusted. The narcissist is excellent at portraying a different image to the world as compared to the treatment I received behind closed doors.
I wasn’t sure if anyone would have believed me and when I eventually spoke out. When I did speak out, I felt as if I was going crazy.
I am writing this article with the hope that if someone is going through narcissistic abuse, they recognize the signs and seek help before it’s too late.
What is a narcissist?
A narcissist is a person that is described as having a personality disorder. In my case, the narcissist that I dealt with, had a sense of entitlement and disregard for my feelings.
They do not know how to communicate. They respond immaturely when faced with a problem. Examples of immature behaviour are silent treatment (not speaking for long periods), lashing out and blaming you, name-calling, or discarding you.
A narc will never view their actions as wrong. You will always be at fault and the narc will always play the victim. You will be called all sorts of derogatory names but at the same time, you will also be showered with gifts. One moment you will be treated like royalty, and the next minute, you will be non-existent.
These inconsistent actions will confuse any sane person. The challenging part is that this mixed behaviour mostly happens behind closed doors, so nobody else will be able to understand what you are experiencing.
There are narcissists everywhere. This person could be your significant other, parent, sibling, friend or even boss.
What are the signs of a narcissist?
They are ALWAYS right, so be prepared to always be wrong
Nobody is perfect. In a healthy relationship, people take responsibility for their actions and move forward through communication.
With a narcissist, a simple disagreement can lead to a major fight. If a person refuses to acknowledge the consequences of their actions, it is difficult to move forward.
A narcissist will always blame you for every problem or fight. If you try to bring up any concerns, the narcissist will blame you for being too sensitive.
It is difficult for the narcissist to understand that a healthy relationship requires open communication. You cannot make a narcissist understand your point of view, it is impossible.
You are always wrong (since everything is black or white, there is NO in between)
Since the narcissist believes he/she is always right it can only mean that you are always wrong. Even if the situation does not call for anybody to be blamed, you will still be the one who is wrong.
I remember when a huge truck hit my car on a busy highway, it was my fault. When a random car rolled into my car in a parking area, it was also my fault. I am sure you can see where I am going with this…the list goes on. There’s no way that you can make a narcissist understand your side of the situation.
The narc treats everyone great…except you
To others, the narcissist is a successful, caring and helpful human being. The narc will always help others because the narc’s reputation means everything to the narc. He/ she will not do anything to jeopardize the way others view him/ her.
But with you, a different side to the same person is experienced. You can be crying your eyes out or going through the worst situation, the narcissist doesn’t care. There is NO support offered.
When it comes to emotional support, being with a narcissist is almost the same as being alone.
The only difference with being alone is that nobody is there to make you feel even worse when you are already down in the dumps. Being alone is better, you can pick yourself up without anyone kicking you when you are down.
Disrespect becomes the norm
Disrespect in any form should NEVER be tolerated.
Do not tolerate disrespect and do not allow another person to drive you to a point where you have become disrespectful. A narc will break your spirit without you realizing it.
When you start to fight back but stay, there will be constant fights which makes you a toxic person as well.
Instead of wasting all your energy fighting for a relationship that was never there to begin with, leave and build yourself up. Don’t stay and allow someone to tear you down.
If you stay in an unhealthy situation for too long, it will become your norm too and you will eventually become part of the problem instead of the solution.
It is difficult to leave
This is one of the most difficult situations to leave because a narc is also extremely capable of showering you with ‘love’, affection and gifts.
Gifts are given and those around you see these gifts and think that you have a loving and caring partner. Maybe this is what the narcissist wants everyone to see, I don’t know.
Leaving is hard but you need to use logic and not make decisions based on feelings. You can still love the person, but you don’t have to stay in a toxic relationship. You may think the person loves you, but they don’t.
A person that buys you gifts but makes you feel like the scum of the Earth does not love you. Being constantly blamed for situations you cannot control is not love either. Wish the person well, and learn to let go.
Make peace with the situations that happened to you because you didn’t know better. You don’t have to hate the narcissist, and I know that love doesn’t just disappear. But just because you might love the person, it is no excuse to stick around and tolerate abuse.
You may feel like you are unworthy of love, you may feel as if you deserve the situation you are in because as time passes, all the negative thoughts become part of who you are as a person. DO NOT let the situation get to this point.
I can tell you that I have successfully removed narcissistic people out of my life and I am on the road to recovery. Recovery will not happen overnight, it may take months or years, but you will soon start to regain your self-confidence and passion for life.
Do not give up on yourself. Know that you are not crazy, there is nothing wrong with you. You will find your strength again. One day, hopefully before it’s too late – you will find YOU again!