Number 1: Healing and recovery.
First, you have to take time to heal, and I mean with deliberate intent. Not just time, no contact, and distance, although they can be helpful, they actually do little to heal the lasting damage caused by narcissistic abuse. In order to heal for real, you have to be willing to take your obsessive focus off of the narcissist and all the horrible ways they showed up and all the horrible things they did and said, and instead, pour all of your time, energy, and attention into your own healing and recovery journey. And not just paying lip service to do the work either.
Meaning, there’s a whole lot more to healing from these issues than just binge-watching YouTube videos and reading a few books, and calling it doing the work. I mean actual healing and recovery work, the kind that shifts you both consciously and subconsciously. The deep, hard, uncomfortable work of going within and meeting yourself, healing your wounded inner child, learning how to love yourself for real, developing deep down unshakable self-love and self-worth.
No bypassing, no self-medicating, and no avoiding. Actual excavation of the real issues that brought you into this kind of abusive relationship, to begin with. And when you give yourself the gift of doing that work for real, everything changes. And this, by the way, includes taking the time and the space to grieve the losses, the loss of what was as well as the loss of what never was and never will be.
Here’s the thing, you cannot sidestep this vitally important work and expect to walk off into the sunset and live happily ever after. That’s not going to happen. Rather, all avoiding, self-medicating, and bypassing this much-needed healing and recovery work is going to do for you is cause you to repeat the pattern on autopilot. No matter how much you want to convince yourself, you won’t, I promise you, without taking the time to heal for real, you will. Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes.
I always recommend this book: “Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse.” For people who want to do the healing and recovery work.
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