I left a 14 year marriage to a Narcissist. I started seeing a counselor several months before I left, and the visits have been helpful, but I feel that I am nowhere near full recovery. I’ve been divorced almost two years now, and I wonder if I will ever be back to my old self. I’m much better than when I first left, but why is it taking so long? What can I do to bring my recovery full circle? I’ve already been working on setting boundaries, self-esteem and self-forgiveness, but there must be more because I still feel somewhat lost.
First, thank you for trusting me with your question and for reading my blog.
Narcissistic abuse recovery usually takes more than visits to the therapist’s office, especially for a long-term situation such as yours. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot of benefit to seeing a counselor, though it’s difficult to find one that’s familiar with this specific type of abuse. To date, I still haven’t found one in my area, and I’ve seen several. However, if you’ve found a good one, I would recommend continuing treatment. You may also want to consider finding one that specializes in trauma recovery, Emotional Release Therapy, Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome, and/or energy healing.
Now, on to why you haven’t fully recovered. The nature of the relationship with a Narcissist puts us into a very specific role of giver, while the Narcissist is the taker. On top of that, we are disrespected, taken advantage of, mistreated, cheated on, stolen from, etc. But because we’ve been essentially brainwashed by our disordered partner, we suppress our emotions in order for the relationship to endure. These repressed emotions include fear, anxiety, insecurity, anger, helplessness, loneliness, jealousy, and so on. We keep the brunt of these emotions inside of us, until layer upon layer builds up. These are all negative feelings when they come out, so imagine what happens when we keep them inside!
Most of us already have layers of unresolved, repressed emotions that have accumulated during our lifetime before we even meet the Narcissist. Then, when we enter into a relationship with them, we are emotionally assaulted beyond what anyone can bear. As a result, not only do our emotional and physical bodies become diseased, our soul and psyche become damaged due to being in a constant state of resistance and non-acceptance. By all accounts, the Narcissist invades our very subconscious, as well as our energy system. That’s why the aftermath is so difficult, because people don’t realize that recovery must take place on the mental, physical, and spiritual levels.
My approach to recovery is holistic, which involves all the components I listed above. It’s very important that we practice the art of extreme self-care to include practices such as:
There is more to healing our whole being (like Yoga and emotional release), but these are the main ones that I include on my blog.
In order to truly recover from Narcissistic abuse, it’s crucial that we practice the above steps on a regular basis. That’s why there are a lot of people who never really heal after Narcissistic abuse. They might read suggestions, then shrug their shoulders and head back to the forums while they wait for their next therapy appointment. However, until we make the conscious, repeated effort to address all levels of recovery, we will never fully heal.
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© Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach, 2014