The Superheroes Against Narcissism
I am able to write this blog post today a much smarter and safer human being because of two of the most true, reliable, honest, and unconditional friends: Christina and Steven Ford. Day one of my journey on accepting the realities of narcissist abuse was because of the diligent education I received from two of my most dear friends in the world. I suppose I might have figured it out eventually without their help, but I’m not sure exactly what shape I’d be in psychologically today. There are many bruises, scars, and nightmares I’ve avoided because I listened to what they had to say about my abuser with an open mind.
Among the many lessons I’ve learned at the beginning of my journey, I can attribute to them:
1—They will always tell you the truth.
As soon as my abusive relationship was over, my friends sat me down and blasted a bit of reality into me, even if I didn’t want to hear it. They knew exactly who my ex-boyfriend was and who he would become to me if I continued to go back to him. It was all very painful to realize, but I went with my gut and trusted my loved ones. After all, they had never done anything to hurt me, but what had my partner done? As much as he could to hurt me. At that moment, the truth was crystal clear.
2—If you find yourself slipping, seek out their support.
For the next few months, I wasn’t completely confident I had made the right choice in leaving my abusive partner. Of course, my mind knew it was the right choice, but the heart and the mind rarely make a great team. So, I tossed aside my ego and leaned on my support system. I asked questions to lead me back to where I should have been, and even though I still wasn’t quite as strong as I needed to be, I was still in a safe space. I was alive, and I wasn’t being hurt further by him.
3—Spend more time with loved ones who understand what’s happened to you.
To contrast the support of the friends that helped me through my abusive situation, there were also others who judged me for not leaving my partner sooner. One so-called friend actually said to me: you deserve what you got. Needless to say, that person is no longer a close, personal friend. It’s in situations like these that you realize how small your circle should really be. Losing friends who had no desire to be empathetic to my pain wasn’t a huge loss in hindsight. It just sucks to realize that someone I once trusted a great deal turned out to be a crappy person in the end. Not everyone will be that cold and heartless, but some will lash out if they don’t work to understand what you’ve experienced. Choose your time and friendships wisely. Now more than ever it is extremely important to be picky about how you invest your time and your heart.
4—More people understand what you’ve been through more than you realize.
I didn’t realize how prevalent narcissist abuse was until I was able to recognize that I’d experienced it myself. Just do a Google search for narcissist abuse, and you’ll see that there is a real need for information on true narcissism and narcissist abuse. Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) has been an official diagnosis for over two decades, but it hasn’t been heavily in the spotlight until the past several years. I think one of the reasons why it runs so rampant in our society now is because the ease of Internet dating has given narcissists an easy way to pretend to be whoever they want to be to target their next victim or victims. After I’d opened my eyes and looked around me, I realized I knew a countless number of men and women who I had this journey in common with. Two of them are even writing books about their own experiences as well.
5—You will learn how real trust and honesty works in a relationship.
These are two of the most challenging things about suffering narcissist abuse: you don’t know who you can trust, and the truth doesn’t seem to exist anymore. So, how do you function socially when you can’t experience these two things in a positive relationship? You really can’t! Through the guidance my friends and family members gave, I started to learn exactly who I could trust to tell me the truth, and they taught me by example on a consistent basis. Being able to see what trust and honesty looks like, also allows you to determine what it looks like when someone is trying to lie to you or deceive you. And trust me, your bull shit meter will grow stronger than it’s ever been.
Without having learned these lessons the way I did, it’s not clear how I would have maneuvered through the emotional trauma I suffered as a result of my personal experience. Luckily, I don’t have to find out, and I hope you don’t have to either. If you’re having challenges finding a trustworthy ally, look a little deeper, and you might be surprised to find out that someone close to you understands exactly what you’re going through.