For Empaths and Sensitives Suffering from the Effects of Narcissistic Abuse

By Kim Saeed | Living Joyfully after No Contact

Mar 27
Healing for Sensitives

“The heart nature of Empaths and Sensitives yearns for the world to be just.  We want nothing more than love, justice, and truth.” ~ Jenna Forrest

Healing Empath

One of the reasons that Empaths and Sensitives are subconsciously drawn to Narcissists is because we come into the world wanting to fix people and things that are broken and/or unjust.  We are here to help other people heal.  When we enter into a relationship with a Narcissist, we spend copious amounts of time and energy trying to force lessons onto the Narcissist to correct their heart and make them more loving.

What we don’t realize is that they have their own lessons to learn, of which we cannot assist.  The fact that they often don’t learn from their mistakes is a lesson in itself.  In the meantime, we remain confused and hurt because we cannot comprehend how another human being seems to lack basic human decency.  Because of the injustice we encounter during our time with the Narcissist, we often remain in the relationship long after we should have left because we erroneously believe they will one day “get it”.

Narcissists are also here to teach us our own lessons so that we can get to the root of our past hurts in order to remove blockages.   This enables us to better assist people in healing themselves and educates us on how to deal with “dark souls”.

Throughout my own journey of suffering Narcissistic abuse, the aftermath, and moving forward, I oftentimes found that no matter how much I understood cognitively, I harbored a lingering, vague sadness within myself.  There were times when I was able to shake this and feel a pure connectedness to God and the Universe.  However, the sadness always came back…creating blockages in my recovery and sense of self, not to mention the manifestation of physical symptoms.

The reason for this is because I hadn’t practiced emotional release.  This is extremely important for Empaths and Sensitives (or any victim, for that matter) because we absorb the feelings that swirl around in our environment, which unfortunately include a lot of fear, hopelessness, grief, anger, pride and shame…in addition to our own sensitive emotions.  When we become involved with a Narcissist, we are further bombarded with these negative currents.  According to www.mkprojects.com:

Emotional abuse is a form of violence in relationships.  Emotional abuse is just as violent and serious as physical abuse but is often ignored or minimized because physical violence is absent.  Emotional Abuse can include any or all of the following elements.  It can include rejection of the person or their value or worth.  Degrading an individual in any way is emotionally abusive, involving ridiculing, humiliating and insulting behavior.  Terrorizing or isolating a person is deeply abusive and happens to children, adults, and often the elderly.  Exploiting someone is abusive.  Denying emotional responses to another is deeply abusive.  The “silent treatment” is a cruel way of controlling people and situations.  Where there is control there is no love, only fear. Emotions stemming from emotional abuse are deep and complex, requiring ongoing help from those trained to deal with emotional abuse. ”

One way to overcome the effects of being highly sensitive is to practice nature sound therapy…basically, meditations that feature the soothing sounds of the outdoors.  Nature sounds help to connect us to our earth home and anchor us into the here and now. It is no accident that we sleep more soundly during a rainstorm and many flock to the seaside when seeking a place to rejuvenate. These sounds are wired into our DNA as comforting, nurturing and safe, and we respond physically by releasing our tension and stress.  

Try out nature sound therapy with this “rain on tent” meditation.  And don’t forget to download your beginner’s healing toolkit below!

 

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(25) comments

Kevin Anderson November 6, 2016

Thanks for this. I’ve been doing this over and over and over for 20 years and feeling crazy. I now realize the saddening truth that these people I loved so deeply weren’t even real, but an act and fiction. That’s sad and hard to swallow. My whole life has been this pattern in relationships and I need to find a way to break free…I’m 39 and want to attract healthy non-sociopath partners and experience an actual real love.

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A checklist of narcissistic douche-canoe behaviors | Process of Elimination November 14, 2014

[…] learn from mistakes. Even a fucking Furby learns to imitate human behavior faster than these […]

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    Kim Saeed November 17, 2014

    Ha ha…I like the Furby reference 🙂

    Reply
Melissa September 13, 2014

Your site has helped me so much! I am so grateful to learn what the issue was—not me! I am an empathy and a codependent since childhood, automatically a NARC target or anyone with a BPD/NPD. Researching and learning more had done so much for my healing over the past 2 months. I was in such a dark place and found this so much better than some chat groups as some go back and forth with the ex. I want nothing of the sort. Your blog along with a great therapist have made me become the stronger person I am today and I can’t thank you enough! Its good to laugh and the lies, cry when your upset, get mad, breathe, etc as all of these actions are so healing–I am no longer numb, shut off, detached, I am living through the pain, loving my new life, and looking forward to the future!

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Anna L. Grace July 24, 2014

While I appreciate this blog for the light it sheds on narcissistic abuse very much, it deeply concerns me to see “helpful links” to metaphysical websites that are touting healing methods that are not peer reviewed or scientifically validated in any way. Empaths and Highly sensitive people are as at much risk of falling into pseudo spiritual philosophies or controlling religious groups as they are into an abusive relationship. This is particularly true at the moment of separation from a narcissistic abuser.

I would caution anyone healing from narcissistic abuse to carefully check out and beware of claims made by anyone offering various forms of “spiritual recovery” or healing techniques. In fact, I would caution them against it and advise finding licensed, qualified, professional help in the form of counseling or therapy instead.

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    Kim Saeed July 25, 2014

    Anna, I appreciate your concern, and thank you for commenting.

    You bring up a good point. However, in my own case, and that of many of my clients, professional therapy did little to help with recovering from Narcissistic abuse. In fact, I’ve had a few clients who are therapists themselves.

    Narcissistic abuse goes all the way down to the cellular level, in addition to harming our soul. Traditional therapy might help with cases of PTSD, anxieties, phobias,etc. (as I indicate in my disclaimer on my coaching page),but it simply cannot cover the whole scope of Narcissistic abuse. Sadly, I’ve heard many horror stories of patients who were further damaged because their “therapist” had issues of their own, and used their patients to further their own agendas. The last I knew, there is no required battery of tests for someone to become a licensed therapist or counselor, so disordered individuals do find their way into these careers and cause damage. I’ve heard the stories.

    Obviously, that’s not always the case, because a few select clients of mine have found good therapists, but good ones who understand Narcissistic abuse are hard to find.

    I have these tools listed because they are the ones that have been most helpful for myself, and many of my clients. Those tools may not help everyone, but they’ve helped countless multitudes.

    Healing from Narcissistic abuse is a process of discovery. So, while I do recommend spiritual and energy recovery methods, I certainly wouldn’t advise someone not to try traditional therapy.

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seekerspirit May 30, 2014

Hi Kim, fellow survivors and seekers. While I am trying to find my “voice” to contribute from my own calling, I wanted to thank you for your blogs and for your generous, insightful service to others borne out of the angst and indescribable pain that we all know, all too well. From becoming suicidal after my escape, to gradually healing over sixteen months, I still know there is something I am missing. I have very deep faith in God and we talk daily. My heart “feels” right, I pray for the soon-to-be-ex narcissist husband. (For his own awakening, to save his own spirit, not to bring him back to me, not anymore.) I pray for his new girlfriend, for whom I actually feel badly. I don’t know her. I never met her. But I know what is about to happen to her, to her spirit, to her psyche, to her heart. I am certain she is a good spirit. He’d target no other kind of “source.” There is nothing I can do for her, she wouldn’t believe me. Even if she is at the early stages of being devalued, denigrated, lied to and feeling confused, I wouldn’t have believed anyone else at that early stage. I was in the perfect storm of denial coupled with the occasional fairytale romance turned nightmare, only to find the fairytale again. I believed his healing was my calling, he told me as much. And I believed his act of valor would protect me, balance me. It was all a lie. I followed your link above to mkprojects and I found there what might be the connection I’ve been missing. Specifically, that constant catch-in-my-throat, that pervasive sadness that no amount of praying has released after all this time. I know he has no substance. I know there is no truth in him. I know he doesn’t deserve me and I know my spirit would not have survived another week with him. He was escalating when I left because I enforced boundaries, and for that he threatened to kill me, many times. I know he is the personification of human evil in action. I know he knows about himself. I know he chooses the lie over truth because he is too weak, too inhumane to do any truth work. Do Narcissists “choose” their lie? I think they do. The Bible says they do. Dr. Peck makes a good case for this in his book “The People of the Lie.” Initially, after a couple of months of shock, numbness and doubt following my escape, I fell into a very deep grief and depression. (I stayed no contact 100%) I cried, wailed, sobbed, and prayed daily, for hours at a time, to be repeated throughout the day for almost six months straight. Yes, at first I had abuse amnesia. Thank you for teaching me that also. On some level, I knew the tears were good for me because I don’t cry easily. I learned as a teenager that if I cried, my father would beat me unconscious, and had learned early on that I had to run, not cry. It was as if all of the unspent tears in my life broke the dam and came out in a flood. With each passing tear, I hoped it would cleanse my soul, heal my heart, release anything repressed. Eventually, I prayed I would run out of tears, but they kept streaming, for six months. Even medicine wouldn’t numb me. Now, six months later, I am still taking baby steps forward and I know I’m moving forward. I love inner work and truth. I’ve tried to purge everything possible that needs to be released. I have faced and asked forgiveness for every single mistake in my life. So why does this sadness persist in the pit of my stomach? According to Mary at mkprojects, my very symptoms are related to repressed anger, which is borne of fear. Okay. Now what? I thought I vented enough anger at the Narcissist as I was increasingly repulsed by his behaviors before I left. (Warning, showing your anger or pain to a Narcissist just escalates their rage at you.) I must have stuffed some anger because I don’t “feel” angry. Yes, I could be fearful about my current circumstances and ability to take care of myself, to win my divorce case where the Narcissist is trying to steal a lot of my money that I need paid back. However, I have faith in God. I have a lot of faith in Him. I no longer have any anxiety or panic attacks and my ptsd seems gone as well. I feel healed with a loving heart and healthy thinking. But I am fatigued, I do have that pervasive sadness. Now what? I am now going to embark on the process of facing this anger that must be inside of me. I’ll let you know what I learn. I hope it is that missing connection I’ve been looking for. Then, I’ll teach others who may have this same “block” how to purge it and I’ll share that with you. If this isn’t the answer, well, I’ll just keep searching and praying and being ever so grateful for those who share their gifts and insights with love like you do Kim. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching and giving me, and others, new insights….acceptance….love. I value you. God Bless You!

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    Kim Saeed May 31, 2014

    Seekerspirit,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight. It sounds as if you are on the right path and headed towards recovery.

    It sounds as if you might benefit from emotional release. The only thing is, you’ll need to experiment with different methods because there could be things in your subconscious that will only be released with the proper technique. Crying is good for releasing negative energy, but it doesn’t heal any broken parts you may have.

    I am going to post an article later today with different emotional release techniques, as well ways to heal unbalanced energies. I do hope you’ll find it helpful. Sending loving vibrations your way 🙂 Thanks again for allowing me into your world through my blog <3

    Kim

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bethbyrnes April 23, 2014

Describes me at one time; the narcissist in my early romantic life was definitely traumatized as a child — by his mother, even though she was so ignorant, she had and has no idea of it. He had a sister that was just 10 months his junior and his mother preferred her to him, the minute the new baby arrived, ignoring him and allowing him to raise himself thereafter. Devastating things happen at the subtle emotional level. People should read Primal Theory for a broader understanding of how damaging a permissive or neglectful parent, especially mother, can be.

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    Kim Saeed April 23, 2014

    Thanks for the suggestion, Beth!

    I can relate to his situation. My mother always preferred my younger sister, too. I’ve come to accept it, although it was very hard for the longest time.

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maryleemorgan April 8, 2014

Kim, do you think that a sensitive child could be injured in such a way as to shut down feelings to such an extent that they actually become a Narcissist? The result could be a Narcissist who absorbs the feelings around him and believes them to be his own feelings?

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    Kim Saeed April 21, 2014

    Mary Lee, based on my research, it does seem that many Narcissists endured some type of emotional injury during childhood that caused them to shut down and begin operating solely from Ego. Narcissists are also bourne out of overly permissive parenting where the child is idolized, and not taught any accountability nor suffer consequences for bad behavior.

    From my understanding, a Sensitive’s coping mechanisms may sometimes cause them to appear Narcissistic, but Sensitives don’t operate from ego, so you’d eventually know they aren’t a Narcissist if you are involved with them in a relationship.

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Joe Bradshaw April 3, 2014

Awesome post I loved the insight you shared. I also appreciate the sentiment and thought put into creating the post. I have shared a number of conversations with some friends that are Empaths on the dealing with dark souls and negative energy and what we can learn about ourselves as we deal with those issues… I do love the way you express yourself!

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    Kim Saeed April 5, 2014

    Thanks again for such lovely words of encouragement 🙂 I am just learning the mechanics of Empaths and Sensitives, being both myself. It’s part of my spiritual growth journey. I would also like to say “thank you” for your own inspiring blog. Kudos for being a ‘Bloggers of Peace’ recipient 🙂

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Leisa March 27, 2014

Thank you for this, I feel like I’m drowning in the depths of despair at the moment and am struggling to keep my head above the water, I will go and watch the videos you suggested now xo

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    Kim Saeed March 27, 2014

    Leisa, you are very welcome. I hope her videos will be of help. They sure helped me…you may want to also do some guided meditations at night during bedtime. They help to silence any negative inner dialogue and if you do them consistently over several weeks, you can essentially “retrain your brain”…

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theabilitytolove March 27, 2014

I LOVE HER STUFF!

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    Kim Saeed March 27, 2014

    😀 I know, right? I feel like I hit the jackpot!

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imfree March 27, 2014

Thanks for sharing this information. But I am truly in the flow now, because it seems whenever I need assistance, it is there.

I’m an HSP with a history of co-dependency. My 3 significant relationships in my life (10 yrs, 10 yrs, and 1.5 yrs) have all been with narcissists or borderline women (who also exhibit narcissism).

My awakening 1 month ago, was a beautiful (although occasionally frightening) experience and I now realize it served as a bit of a distraction to my healing process. Because I now find myself back trying to sort my way through my feelings of anger, confusion, loss, jealousy, betrayal. (The awakening happened 2 weeks after I was discarded.) My story is a bit different than, I think, many that have dealt with narcissists. I was in an 18 month long distance relationship with a narcissist. I experienced the intense honeymoon stage which lasted about a year, and then the gradual devaluing stage until the final discard, without any reason or closure. She had found a new source of supply and I was no longer needed. Because of the distance, I only occasionally saw her other side, but I know there was much more going on under the surface with regard to the emotional abuse than I realized at the time or even now. The experience was much more covert. I had some very eye-opening experiences with emotional blackmailing, projection, lack of empathy, degrading of others, complete inflated sense of self, triangulation, etc.

But because of the duration of the relationship and the distance, I don’t think I experienced the same extent of abuse that many of you experienced. And I know many probably think I was spared that torture, and I’m grateful for that, but at the same time I am having such a difficult time getting my heart to come along and see what I can easily rationalize, that she was incapable of loving me. So it’s easy for me to remember that person I fell so deeply in love with initially, and dismiss all of the more subtle red flags. So I feel stuck trying to align my idealized version of her with the reality. I feel like I’m clinging to the person I knew in the honeymoon stage and trying to reconcile who she truly is with my idealized version of her.

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    Christine April 23, 2014

    Geez…I know this blog provides a much deeper purpose than this, but I can’t help but tell you that it sounds like we both are recovering from the same woman. So much so, that my stomach dropped reading your post. As someone in a long distance relationship for 8 years, don’t discredit your pain or abuse as “less than” others. Abuse is abuse and they’re just as vicious and destructive over the phone and text messages, with occasion “honeymoon affair weekends” as they are 24/7 in person.

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      imfree May 21, 2014

      Just seeing these responses now. Thank you :). Christine – As you probably know an LDR with a narcissist has it’s own challenges, right? I was completely blind to, I suspect, several betrayals and many lies. And because the communication is different and physical presence is missing, the dysfunction and abuse is subtle, but I suspect there was much happening on an energetic level between her and I, that I’m still trying to understand. I felt an incredible emotional/psychic bond with her, unhealthy as it was.
      From an outside perspective, there’s a fine line between an emotionally abusive relationship and a relationship with a jerk, but you don’t really understand the abuse, until you live it. Which explains why I can’t discuss this with most people, they just don’t understand. There’s so many facets to NPD and I’m actually morbidly fascinated by it.

      You were with your girlfriend for 8 yrs? That’s a long time for an LDR… I always relished the idea that I loved this person enough to have an LDR, without the possibility of “living together” for possibly another 10 yrs. It was worth it… she was worth it. I had finally found “the one”. All of this was reciprocated abundantly. I was completely committed and I thought we were in it together, because we both realized what he had was special. That was my mindset. That what I viewed as a profession of my love to her (my willingness for an LDR), was viewed by her as a situation to which she could take advantage of me?? … soul crushing.

      Reply
    Kim Saeed April 23, 2014

    Imfree, I’m now seeing your comment after Christine replied to you. I am sorry I didn’t see it before.

    Christine is correct. It doesn’t matter if it’s one-on-one, or a long-distance relationship. For reference’s sake, I’ll explain why. You know how you feel when you see a really sad movie, or even a really happy one? Our subconscious mind cannot make the distinction between reality vs. our thoughts. To our subconscious, the movie was something we experienced in reality.

    It’s the same concept when we are subjected to texts, emails, and a long-distance discard from the Narcissist. Further, once we are out of the relationship, it’s extremely hard to get over because as we remember the hurtful, hateful things that were done to us, we are in essence re-abusing ourselves in the same way. That’s why I teach everyone the importance of eventually letting go and re-training your brain. It’s necessary to grieve and get the anger out, but after a while, it’s also just as necessary to consciously re-program your mind to eliminate limiting beliefs.

    As you go through an awakening, you will feel attacked from all angles (in the beginning) because you’re virtually peeling away all the layers of pain and false ideologies you picked up over a lifetime. There’s stuff in your core you aren’t even aware of. So, though it may be uncomfortable now, you will reach your authentic self…just hang in there.

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Phill Ferreira March 27, 2014

Reblogged this on The Story of my Twin Boys , Oliver and Oscar Ferreira and commented:
A very good article … Thank you …

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    Kim Saeed March 27, 2014

    Wow…thanks so much for the reblog 🙂

    Reply
      Phill Ferreira March 27, 2014

      It’s a great pleasure , I really enjoy your writing , maybe because it hits home in what me and my twin boys are dealing with the past year ….

      Reply
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