5 Signs You Haven’t Fully Healed from Narcissistic Abuse

By Eric Perry, PhD-c

“Narcissistic people are always struggling with the fact that the rest of the world doesn’t revolve around them.” ~Unknown

It is common for individuals who experience narcissistic abuse to suffer in silence or not even know that they are being abused. Because narcissists are master manipulators, they can be very difficult to spot. Narcissist abuse syndrome is a term used by mental health professionals to describe individuals who have been victimized to the extent that long-term negative effects may seem insurmountable to the victim. Before we can heal, we must identify the signs telling us that healing must be a priority. Here are some of those signs.

1. Trusting again seems impossible
If you are experiencing the effects of narcissistic abuse, chances are you find it difficult to trust others and maybe even yourself. Let’s not assume that the world is a safe and harmonious place. Trust must be earned. However, if you find yourself hiding in isolation, this might be a sign that there is room for growth. Don’t assume that people are healthy for you just because you have known them forever or they are family. Start small and listen to your intuition. If you feel like your intuition is untrustworthy, it is time to seek the support of a mental health professional.

2. Constantly doubting yourself
A narcissist will train you from the beginning to doubt yourself. They are masters at love bombing until their victim is reliant on the love bombs. If you are not familiar with the term love bombing, it means to influence a person by demonstrations of attention and affection. It makes sense that a person would experience self-doubt once their steady stream of affection and affirmation are taken away.

3. Blaming yourself
Let’s start here. It isn’t your fault. During your experience with the narcissist, maybe you felt the need to collude with the narcissist in order to feel at least some sense of control. It isn’t your fault that you had to or felt the need to do this. Sometimes, we make unhealthy compromises just to feel like we are not completely powerless. Also, keep in mind that narcissists use guilt and shame as weapons to control their victims. Say this out loud, “It isn’t my fault that a narcissist weaved their way into my life. I will learn from my experience and commit myself to living the fullest life possible.”

4. Feeling confused and sometimes even cr*zy
Gas-lighting means to manipulate someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. Narcissists are experts at this. Journaling is a great remedy for making sense out of where your confusion or feelings might be coming from. As many of you know (to the bloggers out there), writing is a great way to make sense of your thoughts. Try this, take out a sheet of paper and a pen, or open up a blank document and write a short but honest reflection on why you have been feeling confused. Let the words flow without criticism or judgment. After you finish writing, read it back to yourself. Did you find answers? If not, try again soon. Try to go deep. The answers are within you. Here’s a hint, your confusion and feelings are not because of you. Whispers… it’s the narc.

5. Everything feels hopeless
Are you familiar with the term hoovering? The hoover maneuver is an attempt to see if a prior target of abuse can be conned into another cycle of abuse, resulting in the abusive person reclaiming a sense of power and control by causing pain to a target. This pain can be emotional and sometimes physical. Feelings of hopelessness often arise when a narcissist hoovers their victim. Have you completely cut ties with the narcissist? If you haven’t, this might be a reason why you are feeling hopeless.

Have you healed from narcissistic abuse? Do you have tips that might help someone who is struggling? Share it in the comments section.

If this was helpful, but you feel like you need more support click here.

Kind regards,

Specializing in a solution focused and results driven approach to psychotherapy


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39 responses to 5 Signs You Haven’t Fully Healed from Narcissistic Abuse

  1. Thanks for the post. I have only known one narc myself, the other two were/are partners to friends of mine. One thing they all had in common was oscillating between intense expressions of love and withdrawal, which maintained a sense of dependence. One of my friends managed to get out from under the marriage but through befriending his mistress. It was only through sharing the lies and deceit that they were both able to convince themselves of the deep inauthenticity of those good feelings/times. I find this is the hardest to let go of and is often what leaves one confused since it becomes a real task to read people.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Healthiest move is to cut all ties with the Narc. Block from your phone (calls and texts) email and all social media. To break the cycle of feelings you may still have, you must have no contact while trying to heal and regroup.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I have suffered abuse on all fronts from a couple of narcissists. I have been learning the signs and support network to not get gaslighted and abused like that again. This article is great. Thank you so much for writing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s not evident at first, it seems to develop over time and become more obtrusive and it’s only when one day you wake up and say, I’m not crazy! This is real! This is how this person operates you can begin to take steps to remove this person from your existence because unless they can manipulate control and make you feel crazy, they haven’t lived. Thank you for writing about this. I wasn’t familiar with the terms, but I sure understand the effect it has.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Great post. I have unfortunately been both the abused, as well as, the abuser. Not realizing it either time. Lessons have been learned and understood. Never will I make the same mistakes in the future.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. bhock95 says:

    This post is so important. A relationship with a narcissist can be very abusive and confusing. Most people might not realize how common of an experience this is and that they are not alone!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I was blessed. My narcissistic, now ex-husband, left and has spoken to me since the divorce was final. He actually tried to convince me that his affairs and disgusting behavior was partially my fault. I didn’t buy a word. Narcissists don’t like that. Now, he can abuse and manipulate his girlfriend. I’m free, I’m wiser, I’m blessed.
    Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. buffster666 says:

    Thanks for the great post, love it as always. Finally feeling like I’m healing since going no-contact with my Narc. It was a scary transition. Still, it’s freed me from so much stress and I feel confident that my next moves will take me to a happier place.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Such an important discussion, thank you for broaching it in such a straight forward way. Those abused by these personalities can get stuck in an unhealthy default pattern of thinking as a result. In order not to attract yet another narcissist, victims need awareness so to break the cycle. Well done as always!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. It would be nice to completely cut ties with a narc. This may not be possible for those of us sharing a child with one of them. And the court systems insist in joint custody. It’s a nightmare.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. neakris29 says:

    Thank you for the information! Made me think if it applies to me… because all five signs are presented, but I would never think that he can be narcissistic… but who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Narcissistic abuse is one of the most complete ways to break another person and watch them melt, forever more, in their own self inflicted reactions to the berating, demeaning, hatred. Narcissistic abuse is all encompassing and slithers its way into every book and cranny of a victim’s mind, heart, and soul. Narcissistic abuse is a slippery greasy slime that coats everything in contacts, and leaves a trail of decay. Anyone who is able to recognize, learn, separate , and survive such a disease is surely a super hero.

    Liked by 7 people

  13. Misty says:

    I’ve been divorced from the Narc in my life for over two years and am just now realizing how deep the damage he did to me runs. Interesting that I stumbled across this post at the time of my realizations. Thank you

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Trouble says:

    Thanks for this. I need to show it to a friend of mine. She’s married to a Narc. I’m divorcing mine, but it sometimes still hurts. I’m glad I have no contact so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I believe that my ex-husband was a narcissist and an abuser. I often felt sheltered, confused, and he was a master gaslighter. I love your site in general and because I write about self-help, but general psychology in terms of my own personal experiences…I will likely start linking to your site in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you for this article! I am a victim of narcissistic abuse, and I have gone no contact with my sister and now her family. There are ups and downs and great sadness. The reality is that I can now grow, and learn to love myself-without impingement or abuse. I highly recommend journaling, blogging, music, gardening, and doing what brings you joy. Surround yourself with people who have proven to be your support.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. There is life after emo abuse. Learn to value your inner friendship with yourself, nurture your inner joys and really be selective about who you allow into your life for ANY reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. jeannewatson says:

    the blame and shame thing really hit home for me. It’s the most difficult thing to cure yourself of and so difficult to see whats really going on while it’s happening. A talented narcissist has you so convinced there is so much wrong with you, that you are mad, that you are in the wrong, that you are to blame for everything that is going wrong in the relationship and even in their lives once you have managed to make the break. When they are the other parent it’s so difficult to get away from it as they are always going to be in your life in some form.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. jankirton says:

    Reblogged this on jkirtonllc and commented:
    This is a tremendous article. Many who encounter a narcissist for the first time are slow to recognize behavior. It can be a long struggle while the narcissist continues to isolate whenever possible. I found great truth in these 5 signs which cry out seek help to those who have not yet recognized the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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