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THE IMPACT OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE


Narcissistic emotional abuse can be difficult to detect and often goes unrecognized as a form of abuse. It is a complex web of manipulation, control and shame that can leave victims feeling drained, anxious, and isolated. This type of abuse slowly erodes a person’s self-esteem and sense of identity while leaving them feeling empty and worthless. What makes this type of abuse so difficult to detect is that it is not physical and is often disguised as love or affection. In this way, victims are often unaware of the damage being done to them until it is too late. Understanding the unseen impact of narcissistic emotional abuse is essential to recognizing and dealing with this form of abuse. It is also important to understand the various forms that it can take, as well as how to identify and protect yourself from it.


What is Narcissistic Emotional Abuse?

Narcissistic emotional abuse is a form of abuse that takes place when a narcissistic person uses tactics; love bombing, devaluation, discard, manipulation, control, to gain control of the victim, confusing the emotional reality of their victim. This form of psychological abuse can cause severe mental and emotional harm. Often a covert abuse, the narcissist will be the nicest of people in public while cruel behind closed doors. The lack of physical aspects of abuse may make this difficult to recognize and often leaves victims feeling confused and isolated.



Narcissistic psychological and emotional abuse can take various forms, including verbal abuse, gas-lighting, humiliation, control, leering sarcasm, and manipulation. It can also involve using guilt and shame to control the victim’s behavior. It can be subtle or overt, and it can be inflicted in a variety of ways with the result being a means of control and domination. The abuser may use it to make their victim feel inferior and powerless, while also attempting to control their emotions and behavior. This can lead to the victim feeling trapped and helpless in the relationship.


Narcissistic Abuse vs Emotional Abuse

Narcissistic abuse is driven by a need for power, status, dominance, and control. The victim is a supply source to the narcissist's broken ego and the narcissistic abuser feeds on the pain of the victim.  The more they get reactions from the victim the better and bigger they feel. 


Signs of Narcissistic Emotional Abuse

The signs of narcissistic emotional abuse can be difficult to detect, as the abuser is often disguising their behavior as love or affection. However, certain behaviors can indicate that an individual is being subjected to narcissistic abuse. These signs include:

  •  Constant criticism and belittling of the victim

  •  Controlling behavior, such as monitoring the victim’s activities or restricting their freedom

  •  Blame shifting and making the victim feel responsible for the abuser’s behavior

  •  Gaslighting, or making the victim doubt their perceptions and memories

  •  Playing mind games, such as manipulating the victim’s emotions or making false promises

  •  Isolating the victim from family and friends

  •  Threatening or intimidating the victim

  •  Using guilt or shame to control the victim

If you are experiencing any of these behaviors from someone you are in a relationship with, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.


Effects of Narcissistic Emotional Abuse

The effects of narcissistic emotional abuse can be severe and long-lasting and will most likely require the victim to reach out for help to fully heal. It can cause victims to feel anxious, depressed, isolated and crazy. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and shame. Victims of narcissistic abuse often suffer from low self-esteem, difficulty trusting others, and difficulty forming healthy relationships. It can also have physical effects, such as headaches, stomach aches, and insomnia.


This type of unseen abuse can also have long-term effects on an individual’s mental health. Victims may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping. Victims may also struggle with anger,

anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness.


Tactics of Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic abusers will use a variety of tactics to control and manipulate their victims. These tactics can include:

  •  Gas-lighting: This is a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to make the victim doubt their own perceptions and memories.

  •  False promises: The abuser may make promises that they have no intention of keeping to manipulate the victim.

  •  Isolation: The abuser may attempt to isolate the victim from family and friends to control and limit their access to support.

  •  Guilt and shame: The abuser may use guilt and shame to make the victim feel responsible for the abuser’s behavior.

  •  Threats and intimidation: The abuser may use threats and intimidation to control and manipulate the victim.

  •  Mind games: The abuser may use mind games to manipulate and control the victim’s emotions.

Narcissistic abusers often use these tactics in combination, to create a web of manipulation and control.


How to Respond to Narcissistic Abuse

If you are the victim of narcissistic abuse, it is important to remember that you are not to blame for the abuser’s behavior. Recognizing that you are being abused is the first step in taking control of the situation. It is important to take steps to protect yourself from further abuse. This may involve setting boundaries and speaking up for yourself. It is also important to

reach out for support, either from friends and family or a qualified professional.


It is also important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help victims of narcissistic abuse, including support groups and hotlines.

Steps to Recover from Narcissistic Abuse

Recovering from narcissistic abuse can be a long and difficult process. It is important to take time to heal and take care of yourself. Here are some steps that can help you recover:

  •  Acknowledge your feelings: It is important to acknowledge and accept your feelings about the abuse.

  •  Seek professional help: Seeking help from a qualified professional can help you to process the trauma of the abuse and learn coping skills.

  •  Practice self-care: It is important to practice self-care and take time for yourself. This can involve activities such as exercise, meditation, and relaxation.

  •  Find support: It is important to find support from friends, family, or a support group.

  •  Rebuild your self-esteem: It is important to rebuild your self-esteem and regain a sense of control over your life.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse can be a long process, but it is possible. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help you, such as Narc & Co.

The Long-Term Impact of Narcissistic Abuse

The long-term impact of narcissistic abuse can be severe and life altering. Victims may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping. They may also struggle with anger, anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness.


It can also have a long-term impact on an individual’s self-esteem and sense of identity. Victims may struggle with low self-worth, difficulty trusting others, and difficulty forming healthy relationships. The long-term effects of narcissistic abuse can be difficult to overcome. It is important to remember that recovery is possible and that there are resources available to help

victims of narcissistic abuse.


Conclusion

Narcissistic emotional abuse can be difficult to detect and often goes recognized as a form of abuse. It is a complex web of manipulation, control and shame that can leave victims feeling drained, anxious, and isolated. Understanding the unseen impact of narcissistic emotional abuse is essential to recognizing and dealing with and breaking free of this form of abuse. It is also important to understand the various forms that it can take, as well as how to identify and protect yourself from it. If you are the victim of narcissistic abuse, it is important to remember that you are not to blame for the abuser’s behavior and that there are resources available to help you. Recovery from narcissistic abuse is possible, and it is important to remember that you are not alone.



The mentoring professionals at Narc & Co are highly skilled in overcoming the damaging reach of the narcissistic and codependent dance. This article was written by the Narc &Co team to aid in your healing journey.

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