With the narcissist…

Many people realize late in the game that someone very close to them may be narcissistic. How do you know? Well there are the obvious signs of self-centeredness, grandiosity, constant need for praise and attention, self-entitlement and lack of empathy but what else?

As a therapist and counsellor, my question to you is, what are you experiencing on your side of the relationship?

Do you feel de-valued? Do you feel taken for granted or even like a doormat to this other person? Do you feel a deep-seated need to maintain the relationship, despite suspecting that it’s harmful to you? Maybe you desperately want to be loved and adored again in the way they have at times behaved towards you. Sometimes we feel pretty special ourselves when we are in the good books of the narcissist. But that never lasts. Although it helps figure out our problems to understand that the other person may be narcissistic, what really matters is, who are you? Do you have terribly low self-esteem? Do you feel beaten down and worthless? Do you feel unappreciated or used.

Perhaps you are still drawn into the relationship with a sense of neediness or longing you just can’t explain or understand. Grandiose narcissists have a magnetic-like aura of importance or being special, with a sphere of influence we want to belong in. Some will bend over backwards to feel included in their circle which can seem exciting and enormously appealing. It can be like a circus and all their little admirers are likened to flying monkeys!

But somehow, no matter how close we get, we never really achieve that sense of belonging in their world or being as important to that person as we want or need to be. Other narcissists are manipulative and controlling to the point where you can’t have other people in your life. They are so jealous that constant praise, attention and loyalty is never enough to satisfy them.

Then there’s the rejection. If you’ve ever been betrayed by the narcissist, you’ll know how devastating that can be. After giving in to all their demands, and becoming completely isolated from any other loved ones, the breach of trust, can be a devastating betrayal that cuts deeply and the pain and loss can be staggering. You may even turn on yourself saying, “How could I have been so stupid?” or “I knew I shouldn’t have believed in them!” or “I ignored all the red flags and warnings.”

This is a truly awful place to be. Self-worth can become zero.

You’ve gone from Hero to Zero in the eyes of the narcissist and nothing you do is good enough.

Often people need to be free and clear of the influence of the narcissistic person completely, to really get a grip on how much we gave up of ourselves, how hurt we are. You might ask, “How am I ever gonna be fine again?” We can feel broken and crushed. The self-hatred can lead you into a deep depression.

There is hope. You can recover. Through self-compassion you can rebuild your self-esteem. Self-awareness and mindfulness can help you regain your sense of self, find peace and joy in your life and learn to be differently than how you were with the narcissist. But it takes commitment and determination. I’m here to help you on your journey. I have been there before myself so I am familair with the route although only you know your path. I am here to walk with you and be the support you never knew was possible. Recovery can happen but you have to want it and take the first step.