Recovering from narcissistic abuse is hard. Because mind control techniques have been used to control you, it is like waking up from the Matrix. Sometimes you wish you could just go back to unknowing.
But you just can't.
While you're trying to pull your life back together, you will go through all the stages of grief. It's not for your ex (at least not the true person he or she is), it's for the self that you lost.
Recovery will be one of the hardest things you've done. But don't ever forget that, as hard it is now, it is far better than the position you were in.
Here are tips for recovery:
- Get help. Friends, family, mental health, legal, financial – build the largest support system you can. Your local domestic violence resource center is there to help. Don't be too proud to use it. Go to group counseling. Go to individual counseling. Talk to legal aid and learn your rights. They will connect you to the resources you need.
- Take is slow. If you're like me, you will have the urge to rush the process. The process is the process and it has it's own timeline. The steps might not come in the order you expect and may take a long time to truly heal. Take that time – you deserve it.
- Take care of yourself. This is a step I'm still working on. I tend to through myself into work as a coping mechanism, leading me to skip meals, workouts and sleep. You need to take care of your physical self as well as your mental health.Psychological abuse takes a toll on your body. Eat properly. Exercise. Get enough sleep. But don't beat yourself up if you just aren't up to it. Treat yourself as if you are recovering from a major illness – because in reality you are.
- Learn about Narcissistic Abuse & Abusers. Knowledge is power. Understanding what you went through and why and how to avoid it in the future will ease your mind. You will know what to expect during recovery – and it will keep you from glossing over the past.
- No contact. This is easier said then done, especially if you have children together or if your ex is constantly contacting you. Block them from social media, email, and block their numbers. If you have to collect evidence for cyberstalking/harassment like I do, try to get someone to do it for you or limit it to one day a week. If you don't have someone that can do it for you, limit it to one day a week or month. Screenshot and save to a file. Get back to it when you are stronger.
- Take action. When you are recovered enough, take action. Become the survivor instead of the victim. Be the warrior by taking whatever steps you need to take to protect yourself. Learn self-defense. Turn to activism to to strengthen laws. Or simply lead a great life and move on.
Being a victim doesn't define you, it's just part of your story. It's your story to write through living.
You've got this!