Updated: Jun 2
Congratulations on being ready to take the next step! Making the decision to leave your narcissist is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make! You are ready to move forward and thrive now that your narcissist is no longer a part of your life.
If you have already actually left your narcissist, this is by far the most difficult step. You are amazing, there’s no doubt about that! Leaving a narcissist is more of a process than a singular event. According to psychologists, it takes an individual an average of seven attempts to actually permanently leave. Maybe you are on your first attempt, and maybe you’ve successfully completely cut them out of your life. Since narcissists are masters of weakening their victims to the point to where they are intertwined so much that it’s almost impossible to leave, no matter where you are in the process, you deserve a gold medal!
Most people don’t even get to where you are as it takes an incredible amount of fortitude, grit, and determination to actually leave. If you are in the process of leaving, remember that it takes incredible determination to get out and that you need support. The narcissist will use every tactic in their arsenal to get you to stick around, including love bombing, gaslighting, and every other form of manipulation. Being in a relationship with a narcissist is all consuming and many people are unable or unwilling to do the work to escape.
But the fact that you are here, reading this, means that you are unique. You are a survivor! You’re in the process of leveling up to ensure a successful transition away from your abusive relationship. You are already amazing and powerful! I can’t emphasize that enough. Now that you’re on to the next step, rather than settling with simply surviving, you can now heal and THRIVE!
If you’re anything like me, your energy has been sucked away from you by your narc for years and years. I grew up with a narcissistic stepfather. It wasn’t until I was 35 years old that I was finally able to cut him out of my life and remove his energy suck permanently. It took me years following to regain peace and a sense of real normality in my life.
There was a time where it was normal for me to spend entire days in bed. Can you relate? Now that I’ve removed that negative influence, and gone through the process of healing, my energy has increased tenfold. I’m not dragging anymore during the day, and I finally have a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-worth. It took some time to work through my grief and anger even after removing myself from his influence. Especially since I believe that his narcissism was the cause for my mother auto immune disease, and ultimately her untimely death. He was able to suck her completely dry in the end.
During the process of extricating myself from his influence, it has been easy for me to get drawn back in on multiple occasions as I’ve attempted to get some sort of restitution or acknowledgement for the wrongdoings. Which, as you already know, is impossible to actually get from a clinical narcissist. But, I have found so much freedom and satisfaction as I’ve greatly released myself from the hope and expectation of justice. Don’t get me wrong, I would still love to see some sort of justice come about eventually. But I’m not fixated on the outcome in forcing that to happen and I’m okay with the idea and fact that that may never happen.
Rather than expending my energy fixated on the narcissist, I am free to thrive and live my best life. I am thriving away from the negativity, and I’m here to help you do the same. So that life can be free of this all-consuming trauma that can trap us in negative patterns and can negatively affect our families for generations if we don’t do the work to heal ourselves now. If we aren’t careful, narcissists can tear our entire lives away from us, even if they aren’t directly involved in our lives anymore. In other words, it is not my fault that I was abused. But it is my responsibility to heal myself and not perpetuate the sadness and sorrow associated with narcissism.
Both you and I have spent enough of our lives with an energy vampire on our neck. It’s time to take the power back and take the next step and let go of their toxicity completely, move forward, and Thrive! Take back your power with these six secrets that your narcissist never wants you to understand.
SECRET 1: KNOW YOUR WORTH
Your narcissist has worked to devalue you over the years and assert their dominance. Let’s face it, you began to believe it at least to some degree, that’s how they lasted so long in your life to begin with. They’ve made you believe that you absolutely need them in order to survive and that you’re practically helpless without them. When the truth is quite the opposite, they need you to feed their addiction to power.
My stepfather once told me that he believed he was in the top 99th percentile of intelligence, while he rated me in the 30th percentile. Believe me, I felt like I was in the 30th percentile frequently when I was around him. I couldn’t find my words, and I always felt like his inferior. He had a way of eating at my confidence. It took me a long time to believe that I am actually as smart as I am.
You need to understand that the fuel that has kept them going through the years is competition. The need to be superior in every way. They have placed this superiority like a weight on your shoulders, holding you down and holding you back. Requiring you to compete for their favor. But the truth is that you do not have to compete in order to have value. Stop the competition! Your innate value has nothing to do with competition. Once I understood this dynamic, my world drastically changed as I no longer felt the need to prove myself.
For years I vainly competed with my family in order to gain favor with my stepfather. It was only after I left his influence that I fully understood the toxic nature of this competition. His conditional love that he liked to twist and position as if it were somehow unconditional, in order to maintain control and mess with my head.
The great news is, now that you are away from the influence of your narcissist, you no longer have that weight on your shoulders. You have immense strength that will begin to unlock with time and as you actively work to heal yourself from the emotional damage that was delivered to you over the years.
Remember that you are amazing! Getting out of a relationship with a narc is arguably the most difficult part and you did it! Or at least you’re in the process. There’s nowhere to go but up from here. Understanding how powerful and fantastic you are is the first step to thriving as you move forward in life.
One word of caution. This doesn’t mean that you are superior to anyone. Remember, it’s not a competition. If you are feeling superior in any way to others, or the need to somehow compete, you are taking on traits of the narcissist which will come back to haunt you in your future relationships. You are amazing and powerful, but not superior. It’s a hard mental transition, at least it was for me, after being trained all my life to compete and prove myself. That’s why I point it out.
SECRET 2: Mirror Work
You have been told for years by your narcissist how unworthy and worthless you are through backward compliments and straight up insults among other tactics. It’s going to take actual physical work to overcome the psychologically damaging effects that you have sustained from this prolonged abuse. One of the best ways to overcome this, especially since it would be difficult to find someone to run around giving you compliments all day to counteract what you have experienced, is to do Mirror Work.
Normally spending time in front of the mirror admiring yourself can lead to vanity. However, in this situation, it’s an important tool to help you rebuild your self-esteem. Actively looking yourself in the mirror on a daily basis and telling yourself how awesome, intelligent, and attractive you are, is actually an effective tool that I’ve used to overcome the negative effects that my stepfather has left on me. Tell yourself that you can do it, that you are powerful and capable. The more ashamed and embarrassed you feel while you are doing it, the more that you should probably be doing it.
Believe me, the first time I tried this, I cringed inside. I wanted to go hide in my bed. I felt like an idiot. I didn’t believe what I was saying in the first place, and I didn’t want anyone to see what I was doing because I was that embarrassed. My self-image had been torn down so thoroughly over the years, that the thought of complimenting myself in the mirror made me want to curl up and die. But the more that I did it, the easier it became until I finally realized that I was better than everyone else! Haha! Just kidding. But I have been able to develop a much healthier self-image and healthier more positive beliefs about myself.
SECRET 3: Removing Narc Fleas
Not only has your self esteem been destroyed over the years, but you’ve been given a bad example of what a healthy self esteem looks like from someone who only feigns confidence. It’s important to be aware of what are referred to as Narc Fleas. Narc Fleas are the narcissistic behaviors we have adopted in order to protect ourselves.
Narcissists are frequently created by a traumatic event, or traumatic series of events early on in their life. They are frequently unable to develop healthy and secure attachments in childhood. So in order to compensate for this, they have to be bigger and better than everything and everyone around them in order to compete for protection.
Since you have been abused for a prolonged period of time, you are primed to exhibit similar behaviors in order to protect yourself. You need to be actively aware of the narcissistic characteristics that you display in your current relationships, otherwise you may be setting yourself up to exhibit abusive characteristics. Which may cause you to lose other relationships and fuel the narcs satisfaction concerning your failure without them in your life.
I really had to be aware of this dynamic in my marriage in order to avoid exhibiting the same toxic behaviors that I was raised with. It wasn’t until I fully understood narcissism that I understood how it was easy to use the abuse that I had received as an excuse to abuse others the same way. I was unknowingly and inadvertently consistently competing with and degrading my spouse. I still have to be actively aware of where I am repeating patterns. I found myself with the uncomfortable realization that I was becoming the narcissist that I had worked so hard to fight against with my stepfather. Therefore, thoroughly understanding the inner workings of a narcissist and how they weaponize their trauma against others, has helped me in greatly reducing the underlying competition that I was inadvertently promoting with my spouse.
SECRET 4: Healing Is A Journey
As we go through the journey of healing, we will find ourselves in any one of the stages of grief which are shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. It is important to understand that we don’t need to place a value system on where we are in this process. For example, feeling angry is not somehow inferior to feeling acceptance. Even though the goal is to reach a level of acceptance, I think that when we lose focus of experiencing the moment, when we push ourselves too quickly through the stages of grief, we actually fail to obtain the true healing and acceptance that we are seeking. There is no exact processing time that is key. Each stage of the grieving process must be embraced and experienced. The point, however, is to not get stuck in any of these stages and to keep moving forward.
Additionally, there are times that we end up cycling back on certain things. Or we even cycle back into the realm and influence of our narcissist. That’s okay. It’s to be expected. As I said, it takes an average of seven attempts to completely leave your narcissist. The point is to not get trapped and stuck again and consistently move out of their influence. If you don’t anticipate this pattern, you might get discouraged or give up, or feel like a failure.
I know that there are still times that I feel very real anger and/or sadness with my stepfather as I may be triggered by one event or another. Just because I have largely reached the stage of acceptance within my journey does not mean that I’m somehow above circling back on some of these other stages of grief. Rather than seeking or expecting some sort of unrealistic constant state of Zen, the goal is progress. Sometimes those around me don’t completely understand why I circle back around to it. But rather than shun that anger, or deem it somehow inferior or inappropriate, I lean into it and embrace it. I work to resolve the issues surrounding the anger the best that I can, and then I work to let it go. Again, my effort is to not get stuck in the emotion and let it fill my life and consume my mind.
As I’ve processed my grief, I have returned to my stepfather in the past, in order to confront him. It’s only been recent where I believe that I am in a space where I will never ever cycle back into contact with him again. While I cannot rule out the possibility of contacting him again completely out, I have said my final goodbyes and I content and at peace with my efforts.
Generally speaking, no contact with narcissists is preferred. But I am a firm believer in firmly confronting them at least once for who and what they are, so long as you can do that from a safe distance. Everyone’s situation is different, so confrontation may not actually be possible in certain circumstances. The point is that each person heals in their own way and we need to embrace the journey as we go through it. Again, the goal is to reach a level of acceptance. However, life is complicated and sometimes we need to retrace our steps and work back to acceptance and peace again. The more that you are okay with the journey as it comes, the less disappointment you will experience, and the faster you will heal overall.
SECRET 5: HEAL YOUR PAST: TRAUMA NEURAL REMAPPING
Narcissistic abuse, especially from a covert narcissist, can easily give victims Complex PTSD along with a myriad of other physical, psychological, and emotional ailments. I know that I have struggled with a variety of conditions due to the prolonged exposure that I had to my stepfather. Healing this trauma isn’t an easy prospect because the abuse frequently has been so long standing and envelops every aspect of your life both physically and mentally.
Whenever there is trauma, there is both a psychological and physiological response to the trauma. Both your body and your mind stores the information in order to remember and protect yourself in the future. This is what causes individuals with PTSD to have flashbacks as if they are literally experiencing the trauma all over again. For example, those who are returning from war may have episodes where their heart rate increases and they begin to sweat in response to being triggered. They have a very real physical response. Therefore, the memory and emotional energy needs to be released from both the body and the mind in order to heal. While you may not have been in an actual physical warzone with your narcissist, you’ve been in an emotional warzone for years, and the physical and mental responses are the same overall.
Traditional talk therapy can be helpful in identifying the issue, telling your story, understanding your story, and provide some emotional relief. Telling your story is an extremely important part of the process. In fact, I do recommend finding a trained therapist to help you process your feelings this way. However, talk therapy largely fails to release the physiological response that is causing your body to react negatively, as well as your mind. Ultimately keeping you trapped in the trauma.
There have been various methods developed in order to bridge this gap between the body and mind, and sync them long enough to be able to release the trauma stored in both areas, such as EMDR and Trauma Neural Remapping (TNR). I teach Trauma Neural Remapping which guides you through identifying the negative emotions you have trapped with your trauma, and syncing the body and mind together, then rewriting the trauma. Which will allow your mind to choose a different neural pathway once the trauma is triggered, thereby releasing you from the automatic PTSD response that you have been conditioned to exhibit.
Within our Thriving After Narcissism Course, you will receive a Trauma Neural Remapping session to help clear the emotional traps that you have experienced. Providing you with true freedom and the ability to move on with your life and thrive.
STEP 6: FIND YOUR PASSION
Once you have healed, you will finally be in a position to move forward with your life and thrive, rather than being held back by preoccupation of the trauma and wrongs that have happened to you. You will be in a position to live your best life and find your passion. Go out and serve the world and those around you and be a light in others lives. Especially those lives that have been darkened by abuse like yours has been.
There are many ways to serve and to find passion in your life. As you can see, I fulfill my passion to serve in part by providing this service to help heal others and clear them of their past trauma. Additionally, I have quite a few other passions to fill my life with richness away from my stepfather. I of course have my spouse and three beautiful children who fill my life with joy. I also work quite a bit with real estate. Additionally, I’m a piano composer and a writer among other things. The point is to not allow yourself to be overly preoccupied with the traumas of the past by filling your present and future.