The Key to Healing Narcissistic Abuse
Big thank you to Kaleah LaRoche for this great article!
I was raised in a dysfunctional, narcissistic family system where there was a lack of compassion, empathy and emotional support. I was an introverted, sensitive and emotionally aware child and I found it difficult to cope in the family environment. This led me to developing a severe eating disorder as a teenager that nearly took my life. I ended up in therapy at the age of 19.
The first session was family therapy where the therapist asked each family member why they were there. Each one pointed the finger at me and said, “because she has a problem.”
The primary belief that evolved from my early childhood was “who you are is not okay,” and “you are the one with the problem.”
Even though I understood on an intellectual level this was not true, on a deep subconscious, emotional level these beliefs were running my life and choosing my relationships for me.
I ended up in a series of relationships with narcissistic men, where my core beliefs “who you are is not okay” and “you are the one with the problem” were reinforced.
After my breakup with the first true narcissist in my life I had an emotional break-down. I was unable to cope or function. My anxiety was through the roof. I was unable to eat or sleep. I was diagnosed with PTSD and put on medication.
Finally, I found a therapist who could tell me what was really happening to me. I fully expected she would diagnose me with some kind of mental or psychological disorder but oddly she didn’t point the finger at me. She pointed it at him. “He is a Narcissist!”
This is where I first learned about narcissistic personality disorder.
I did the usual focusing on the narcissist, obsessing, ruminating, and living in a state of high anxiety. I did a ton of research. This was back in 2000 when there wasn’t all that much information on narcissism. Because I was focused on the narcissist and not on myself, I attracted another one within the year and went on a four-year chaotic ride before realizing I needed to get out.
I wrote my first book “Spiritual Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse,” after the second narcissistic relationship. I used tools like “psychic cord cutting” and “psychic conversations” to help me to heal from that relationship. But I still had not addressed the core issues. So, within four months, I met another one.
I believe my soul was trying to get my attention so that I could heal my core wounds, but I was a really tough student. I wanted to continue to focus on and blame the narcissist for what he did to me. I was immersed in the victim archetype.
After my third relationship with a narcissistic man, I had another break down followed by a dark night of the soul. I started on a journey of deep emotional healing, something I hadn’t really done before.
In narcissistic family systems and narcissistic society, we learn that emotions are weak and pathetic. We learn to suppress them and put on a happy face. We pretend to be something we are not. We are not authentic. We are living a lie.
The narcissist comes into our life to expose the lie. But if we are not ready to see it, we will put our head in the sand and go back to our familiar patterns. It is comfortable and familiar to be a victim of abuse and wrong-doing.
After being hit over the head again and again by the same two-by-four, I finally woke up. I realized the common denominator in every abusive relationship was me. I couldn’t blame the men in my life anymore. I had to take 100% responsibility for what I was creating in my life.
I started to develop more awareness, although I was still repeating the pattern on a smaller scale. I would still attract men who mistreated me, but I would cut off the relationship after only a few months. I began to realize that the relationships were mirroring to me my core beliefs: “who you are is not okay,” and “you are the one with the problem.”
There were other core beliefs being unearthed such as, “nobody really cares about you,” “you are not good enough,” “you are not worthy of love,” “there is something wrong with you, etc.”
As I began to confront the lies of my core beliefs and establish new beliefs, I started to feel a lot more confident in myself. I no longer tolerate people in my life who judge me, find fault with me, undermine me, are emotionally unavailable and unsupportive. Sure, they still may come into my life, but they don’t stay.
I’ve gone from having a string of toxic, narcissistically abusive relationships to having a great relationship with myself. And this is the journey I take others through when they come to me for counseling and support.
I was an effective counselor in the beginning of my work with narcissism because I really listened, I validated my clients experience, I truly understood what they were going through and offered genuine support. But as I myself went the next level of my healing and recovery, I could take others the next level as well.
When we stop being victims and begin being investigators of our own inner reality, we can experience real transformation. When we can be honest with ourselves about who we are and how we feel, we become truly authentic.
Emotional healing and Healing Core Wounds and Beliefs are the key to experiencing true recovery from narcissistic abuse. It may be challenging in the beginning but trust me, it is well worth the journey.
Kaleah LaRoche is the Founder of NarcissismFree.com and has been working to support others in their recovery of narcissistic abuse since 2006. She has authored four books on the topic of narcissistic abuse, recovery, healing core wounds and traversing the dark night of the soul. A Clinical Hypnotherapist and Holistic Counselor since 1988, Kaleah brings her compassionate counseling skill and Hypnotherapy to assist in healing and recovery. To learn more about Kaleah and her work with narcissistic abuse, visit narcissismfree.com.