You’re still raw from the pain of the “relationship from hell”, that just ended. Or maybe a short time has passed, since you left your narcissist or other emotional abuser. But you don’t know how to even begin moving on from the excruciating pain. A list here of tips and ideas, large and small, to help you on your way. I just know this is what I needed to have in front of me, when I was at my lowest point(s). This is an Emergency list for the Survivor.
- Begin No Contact with your abuser. This is the first and most crucial step you will take towards healing. I can’t stress this enough: You will never heal as long as you remain in contact in any way with your abuser. (Separate upcoming post/category about No Contact).
- Get support. Family/friends, anyone you trust. If there is no such person, try posting (anonymously) in a support forum for survivors of narcissists/psychopaths. It is crucial that the person(s) you confide in, can empathize. If you get comments like “It takes two to tango”, do NOT proceed talking to that person about this subject. People invalidating your experience could worsen your trauma.
- Seek out therapy, (and/or a trusted physician if you might need medication). Therapy especially if no. 2 on this list is not helping/not available. There is no shame in seeking help, you were traumatised emotionally (and perhaps physically. If risk of violence/threats: contact the police and a women’s shelter for help! ). Make sure the therapist has knowledge about narcissism/trauma. Same here as no. 2: People who don’t understand narcissism can (unknowingly) hurt your healing.
- Educate yourself: read all you can about narcissists/psychopaths/sociopaths. If your ex-partner was one of these, your break-up/healing can not be tackled as with any “normal”/healthy/caring person. (By all means, read some of my blog and see if you recognize yourself in some of it). Read all sites you can find about the subject (as long as they seem serious, no “blame the victim”-kind of thing). You may need to do soul searching of your unhealed wounds that you might have had even before this relationship, but leave that for later! And focus on healing your “fresh wounds”, here and now.
- Whatever you do: Do not engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as: *Contact with the abusive person/ the ex, *Self-medicating/overconsuming in a negative way, when it comes to alcohol/drugs. (Or other ways of self-harm). This will set you back and work against your healing process. Find healthy ways like therapy/creative arts/speaking to a trusted friend/crying and listening to a sad song, etc. Anything to get your grief out, as long as it doesn’t hurt you/others.
- Try to do at least one thing every day, that gives you peace and/or a little joy. Even if it’s only some food that you like, a feelgood-movie, talking to a friend on the phone. Something that can help you see that there are still good things in life, despite what you went through.
- Lastly: Accept that your healing will take time, but trust that you will feel better, in the future.
Believe me, I’ve been there, in the very darkest of places, at the end of a narcissistic relationship. There were moments I was unsure whether I would make it through.
But look at me now, blogging away, on my path to healing (but still have a long way left). This day is already like 3- 5 times better than my Monday 1 week ago! 😉 Believe me: Getting free from your abuser is the best thing that ever happened to you, even if you’re in pain right now. You will heal, day by day, week by week, slowly at first, then faster. Remember the great saying: This too shall pass.