by Ether Marin
Warning – Any close involvement with a narcissist is likely to lead to loss of self.
One of the most agonizing hurdles to overcome after dedicating so much energy to a narcissist is that we are left with a looming inability to derive the same enjoyment out of previous interests and the smaller things that used to touch and move us.
We lose our value for ourselves and how to appreciate value in other things. We don’t know where to begin with moving on.
This is the damage that narcissists do to others. It is characteristic of their abuse and has nothing to do with your real value. It is a slow attack on your very own beautiful spark of life and, concurrently, the toxic and inevitable effect of a narcissist.
Whether they mean to do it or not is totally irrelevant because of their fundamental and irreparable character flaws. Interacting with a narcissist weakens the vital part of ourselves that is so precious; our beautiful connection to the spring of inspiration and the recognition of our uniqueness.
So what can we do when we feel we are nothing and there is no one left to move on? When we stop deriving pleasure out of anything that isn’t related to the narcissist‘s life?
In the beginning, getting out of the narcissist’s reach (despite the emotional abuse) can feel like moving from glorious Technicolor to black and white, but it is temporary. Initially, you feel that they have hijacked your brain and soul.
The first thing, indisputably, is to recognize that even if you feel that you love them very deeply, you must come to an acceptance that they are dangerous to your health and you cannot see them anymore. Many of us actually have to experience real physical health problems to finally come to this conclusion.
Remove the influence of the narcissist out of your life. Stop romanticizing them. Narcissists lack character and life skills. When you think of them, try to picture them in your head dressed as a spoilt princess wearing a dress and tiara–who cannot do anything at all unaided–having a tantrum. Make their image humorous and ridiculous because, really, this is what they are underneath all the charm.
In order to connect with our spark again, we must realize that we are rehabilitating ourselves and begin to treat ourselves as the highest priority and with care and love.
You are unique and valuable and connecting to the value of your uniqueness is the key to recovering from abuse.
Pushing yourself to slowly develop in an area or a hobby that you were previously good at and derived enjoyment from is fundamental in recovering. By pursuing your own previous interests and removing their influence on your emotions, gradually, your love of life will return and the narcissist will become a memory.
In the beginning it seems impossible but, eventually, you won’t even remember how they managed to have such a profound negative influence on you, because you will become fully engaged in your life and path.
But tread carefully, it takes some time to recover yourself and one short encounter can set you back. They are dangerous to your very essence, to your love of life and each step towards recovering yourself must be guarded fiercely.
Be patient with yourself. Your beautiful qualities are what got you involved with a narcissist in the first place and their lack of appreciation or validation of them is what damages you.
You haven’t disappeared. Your spark may have shrunk, but it cannot be extinguished as it is life itself and you can encourage it to grow and glow brightly. It is these very qualities deep inside of you–waiting for you to rediscover them or, in some cases, find them for the first time–that you need to recover slowly and that will bring you back to yourself, help you to recover your identity, and to flourish as the real you, far away from these ruinous abusers.