There are 5 stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse, provided that you happen to notice the abuse first. Many victims develop a trauma bond with their abusers that keeps them from accepting that they are being abused in the first place.
Once you become aware and accept the existence of abuse in your relationship, then the healing journey can begin.
Now, let’s take a look at the 5 stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Stage 1. Shock
Welcome to the first stage of recovery. No recovery, treatment, therapy can be done without having an awareness of the issue. In the case of narcissistic abuse, the first thing that you experience is shock. A reality shock that shakes all the illusion and denial away from your relationship. You start to see the many ways you have been allowing yourself to be abused in the name of “making it work”. You discover that there are all these people online who have experienced something similar. It’s shocking for you to see that what you’ve been experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse and that you are being abused and manipulated by the person you loved the most.
Now, when you accept that something is wrong with your relationship, you move onto the next stage and start understanding the abuse.
Stage 2. Understanding abuse
Stage 2 is about understanding the abuse. This is where you come to utilize the internet to the max. You start Googling, watching endless YouTube videos on every topic related to narcissism, read all the blogs and articles, follow Instagram handles, and do all your research. You learn new words, definitions and understand the abuse closely.
The most common reason people fail to recover is that they get stuck in this second stage of recovery. They start to perceive understanding the abuse and the abuser as healing from traumas.
It is normal to think that way because of our mind’s answer-seeking nature. We get the answers and clarity regarding abuse and our mind feels like it has solved the puzzle and can now rest, whereas what you really need is professional help to guide you on your healing journey. This is where people go wrong and fail to fully get rid of their traumas, inner wounds, and triggers, but the good thing is that it’s never too late to heal yourself.
Stage 3. Seeking help
This is a crucial stage where you finally decide to get professional help to heal your traumas from the abuse you endured. Here you work on understanding your inner emotional wounds, your traumas, your childhood issues and work towards resolving them.
It is inevitable to not find a connection between your relationship issues and your childhood. Hence, a professional who understands it and works with you holistically would always prove to work best. Traumas tend to be stored in your mind, body, and subconscious, so the treatment required requires needs to be holistic. If traumas are not addressed and resolved holistically then one can experience blockages in living life wholeheartedly or the resurrection of the triggers in the long run.
Stage 4. Taking time to let therapy work
The very big mistake that I find people do is dating right after coming out of a toxic relationship. Any therapy that works needs its own time to make changes to your subconscious. Now if you make the mistake of rushing into another relationship then chances are that you will end up getting yourself into another toxic relationship.
That’s why I always suggest that after seeking professional help, you should take a break from looking for a partner to date. This will give your subconscious enough time to move on from the triggers and traumatic memories.
Stage 5. Getting back to life
This the when you have addressed your traumas, healed your emotional wounds and triggers, gave yourself enough time, and are well equipped with the tools that work.
Now you are ready to go on living the life that you desire.
Once you are healed, you gain clarity of who you are and what your strength and weaknesses are. Here is where you set your boundaries, know your self-worth and on top, you start loving yourself. You will be able to love again without any fears of falling victim to abuse, as now you know your self-worth and you will recognize red flags on time.
There is nothing more peaceful than healing from traumas and getting back to life. I can assure you that you can heal from traumas, provided you have the right guidance and a zeal to heal.
These 5 stages are the progressive milestones that life wants you to cover. With each passing milestone, you will come closer to yourself and this will help you be the person you always ought to be.
Nature wants you to heal and grow, you just need to take the opportunity that’s coming your way.
If you are feeling that you are stuck in one of the first two stages then it’s time to get help. You can join my healing & support group on Facebook and learn more about narcissistic abuse.
You can also explore recovery programs or write to me and request a free session by visiting www.healwithsumit.com
Written by Sumit, a narcissistic abuse recovery coach and a survivor of narc abuse.