What does narcissistic abuse feel like? I’ll answer this question and give you some real-life narcissistic abuse examples from my personal experience of being a daughter of a narcissistic mother as well as marrying a narcissist. Below I share 15 feelings that abuse evokes in narcissistic victims.
What Does Narcissistic Abuse Feel Like?
READ ABOUT ABUSE
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Manipulated
The narcissist always manipulates you: to do what he wants, to feel worthless, to doubt your reality, to accept the ownership of his faults, to worship the ground he walks on and give him compliments, to admire him, and to be his servant (cooking, cleaning, shopping, running errands, doing laundry for him, as well as paying his bills).
This happens specifically due to delusions. Read Narcissistic Delusions Examples. Once you realize what’s going on and start questioning him, once you stop or reduce the regular dosage of Narcissistic Supply, you begin recognizing his clever gaslighting tactics.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Gaslighted
Narcissistic Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic utilized to distort and erode a victim’s sense of reality. It eats away at her ability to trust herself and inevitably disables her from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment. This mental cruelty technique is leveraged to make you doubt everything, including the fact of the abuse you can eventually recognize. When it comes to Narcissistic Gaslighting, it is difficult to pinpoint and identify right away. Read Narcissistic Gaslighting Examples.
Emotional, mental, and spiritual damage of Narcissistic Gaslighting is enormous. When the Narcissistic Victim is exposed to it for an extended period of time, she begins to lose her sense of self, sanity, and dignity. Over time, so much damage has been done, by the time you can recognize and explain gaslighting you’ve been enduring, you’ve already been rendered by the narcissist as mentally-incompetent and insane.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Guilty
The narcissist uses an eloquent mental cruelty tactic to make you feel guilty for his faults. It’s called Narcissistic Projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility for one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.
Narcissistic Projection is a mental manipulation technique that’s hard to spot, recognize, and explain. Read Narcissistic Projection Examples. The Narcissist is perfect, and you are terrible. That’s his main belief. He manipulates the truth in every situation in such a way that you believe that his faults are yours, and so you feel guilty for his faults.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Discarded
The cycle of a narcissistic relationship consists of the following stages that repeat over and over and over again: idealization, devaluation, and discarding. Read more at Narcissistic Relationship Pattern.
Get a better understanding of each phase by clicking on the respective phase name: Narcissistic Idealization Phase, Narcissistic Devaluation Phase, Narcissistic Discarding Phase. Once the narcissist is done with you, he trashes you like a piece of garbage. Read Narcissistic Discard Cruelty Examples. You are a tradable commodity to him. You are his food. He throws you away and finds his next source of supply to move on to, so you are left wondering what happened to all that love you two had. You never had any love. He simply used you as food for his fragile Ego.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Traumatized
You endure severe trauma induced by the cruel narcissist, so you feel traumatized in many ways. Each clever tactic, used to destroy your sense of self, reality, dignity, and hope, is aimed at traumatizing a different aspect of your psyche. Read Narcissistic Manipulation Techniques and What Is the Impact of Narcissistic Abuse?
You may become so traumatized psychologically that you start bonding with your abuser and excusing his abuse. This is explained by the Stockholm Syndrome in Victims of Narcissistic Abuse. You may not understand what happened and how you ended up where you are, so you start splitting in your head, which is explained in detail in my article Cognitive Dissonance as a Coping Mechanism Used by Victims of Narcissistic Abuse. You may be so traumatized that you begin escaping out of your head and detaching from your unbearable reality, which is explained in my article Dissociation as a Survival Mechanism in Narcissistic Relationships. The narcissist-induced trauma may result in you giving up your voice and becoming a shadow and an echo. It’s explained in my article Echoism as the Result of Narcissistic Relationship Abuse. I experienced all of the above when I was abused by the narcissist. It was a devastating experience where I detached from reality, dissociated from myself, felt crazy, was blamed for everything, and eventually became severely depressed and suicidal.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Crazy
The narcissist intends to make you feel crazy, so you feel crazy. Why? Because he cleverly uses two very eloquent mental cruelty tactic called gaslighting and multiple realities. Read Narcissistic Gaslighting Examples and What Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Do to Your Psyche.
You feel crazy because the narcissist persuaded you so, he planned it, he manipulated the circumstances in such a way that you believe you are completely insane, and he also recruits unsuspecting others to execute his game plan of proving to you and everyone else that you are mentally incompetent.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Pained
You are pained: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Your soul hurts from experiencing such deception. Your gut hurts from all the stress that leads to stomach ulcers. Your head hurts from the neuroticism you’ve developed while enduring the narcissist’s manipulation. Read Ten Signs You’re a Victim of Narcissistic Abuse.
Your pain is real and spills way beyond your private life. It impacts your career, your relationships with friends, your physical wellbeing, your hobbies, your community involvement, and your progress on your goals. Your pain is severe and if persists, you may end up not wanting to live. Read Suicidal Ideation as an Attempt to Escape Narcissistic Abuse. The way I dealt with my pain when it became unbearable is explained in my detailed article called How To Be Fully Human. The only thing that truly helped me was grief. I cried, wept, cried, and wept. I journaled about all my feelings, and I healed. I described my journey in the article called Narcissistic Abuse Recovery. If you keep your pain hidden under the rug, it will compound and eventually grow into a huge monster who’ll come at you and eat you alive.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Doubtful
The narcissist targeted you. He created a game plan. His deception was premeditated. Read The Narcissist is a Chief Deceiver and Liar. His game plan includes the tools and techniques aimed at making you doubt your sanity, your ability to make decisions, your discernment, your capacity to understand reality, and even your memories.
This is the result he planned. He orchestrated this doubt in you. He wants you to be doubtful so that he can continue his masquerade indefinitely and use you for his Ego as long as he wants. His desire is to suck your life out of you, then, trash you like a piece of useless garbage. I know it hurts but I’m here to speak truth in love. You are food to him. No more than that.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Confused
You were pursued by him and thought he was amazing. What happened? You’re so confused! Here’s what happened: the narcissist has a mask, he put it on, he targeted you, he caught you, he deceived you, he used you, and he ultimately wants you dead. But wasn’t he that amazing person you remember? No, honey, he wasn’t. It was a masquerade. Read Narcissistic Delusions of Multiple Realities. Dealing with confusion is hard because you need to begin by trusting yourself, your discernment, and your reality, but you can’t, because the abuse imposed on you is aimed at those very abilities. Read How to Heal from Confusion as a Victim of Narcissistic Abuse.
The narcissist wants you to feel confused, disoriented, and trapped. Read Narcissistic Devaluation Begins When You Become Disillusioned about the Narcissist. He wants you to stop being able to discern right from wrong. He wants you to excuse his cruel abuse and worship him. He wants you to become unable to make solid decisions. He wants you to come to the end of your hope. Read Narcissistic Discarding Is Ought To Manipulate You Into Suicide. He has a mental checkbox to mark as “checked” and it’s for destroying you. He wants you destroyed. He won’t ever stop hurting you.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Deceived
You feel deceived. Why? Because you’ve been deceived. It’s that simple, yet, it’s also complicated because you’re smart and have a hard time comprehending how such an awesome person as you could have been so easily trapped by the cruel narc, who orchestrated this entire premeditated deception. You’re puzzled as to how this could have happened to you.
All this happened during the stage of Narcissistic Idealization. You couldn’t see through his clever mask because you give people the benefit of the doubt, you have hope, and you see good things in people. You are an empath, and he knows is, so he targeted you and groomed you intentionally. The best thing you can do is accept that you, yes, the awesome and smart you, were deceived by the evil narcissist. You can feel empowered again. Read How to be Yourself Again After Narcissistic Abuse. Once you can accept this deception truth with humility, begin your healing journey.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Hopeless
Hope has to do with the future that, you assume, is exciting and positive. You’ve endured unimaginable cruelty, so you can’t see future as exciting or positive. You lose your hope. You become depressed. Read How to Overcome Depression as a Narcissistic Abuse Victim.
The narcissist wants you depressed, suicidal, and lifeless. He wants you to suffer. He wants you to be hurt and pained. He enjoys your pain. The more you become disillusioned, the more suicidal you become. Read How to Deal with Suicidal Thoughts After Experiencing Narcissistic Relationship Abuse. I was depressed and suicidal, holding on to my next breath just to be here. I didn’t want to live. I preferred to die. Life was unbearable when I was married to the narcissist.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Powerless
The narcissist robs you of your power to think on your own, to choose wisely, to discern right from wrong and good from bad, to be hopeful, to be creative, to pursue meaningful goals, to feel like a dignified human being, or even to simply be who you are. The narcissist abuses you to the point where you’re so scared, for such prolonged time, your trauma results in PTSD. Read How to Handle C-PTSD as a Victim of Narcissistic Abuse.
To reclaim your power, you need empowerment. To help you feel empowered, I shared my presentation from the empowerment conference where I was a speaker in 2017. Read Empowered Women Empower Women. I shared how I found empowerment when the narcissist tried to take me down and how any victim of abuse can reclaim her power and heal.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Trapped
Narcissistic abuse makes you feel like you are in a situation that is permanent and there’s no escape. I, too, felt trapped in the house and in the relationship with the cruel narcissist. Read I Lived Through Narcissistic Abuse Cycle. I felt trapped emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, and in many other aspects, so I was contemplating suicide as an escape. You don’t have to do that.
I want you to know: there’s hope. The trap you’re in is an illusion. You are the same awesome you as you were before. You have been abused but you’ve learned your lessons. You are able to stop this. You are capable of moving on. You can heal. You have a future, and it’s a great one! Read Do What It Takes for As Long As It Takes To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse. You need to start by accepting the fact that you’ve been tricked, deceived, and trapped. Accept your losses. Get out and move on. Remember that the narcissist aims at your psyche, so guard your mind and heart with strong boundaries. Practice No-Contact.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Sentenced to a Dungeon
It doesn’t matter if you live with the narcissist in a mention, you feel sentenced to life in a dungeon. Your life is so miserable, scary, incomprehensible, painful, tragic, and unbearable, you become a living dead. You are as free to be yourself and live your life as if you were in a prison cell with a crocodile trying to eat you alive. Read The Narcissist’s Reptilian Stare. The dungeon is your headspace, and I explained this in an article called I Wasn’t Willing to Let Go of My Narcissistic Abuse Relationship.
All you need is to take the first step to freedom from the dungeon: Get Empowered. You need to start somewhere. Start by trusting yourself and your discernment again. Start trusting your decision-making ability. Read Make Up Your Mind and Commit to Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse. Start regaining your dignity and independence. Start healing. You are the one who holds the key to the dungeon in which you’re trapped.
Narcissistic Abuse Makes You Feel Desperate
Despair is the cause of hopelessness. This mental condition indicates that you’re tried everything you believe you could do and now there’s nothing else to try to make your situation better. This is false. Yet, I felt desperate, too. I described my experience in an essay called Depression Feels Like Despair. The truth is this: you haven’t tried everything, you can do something, you aren’t powerless, you aren’t trapped, you have a choice.
There’s a lot that’s wrong, I know, and I agree that narcissistic abuse is bad, that you feel exhausted, and that you don’t see a future. I know, I know, I know. I’ve been there, and now I’m here where I’m healthy, I love my life, I’m free, and I have peace. You need to focus on one step out of your situation at a time. One step at a time. One small change. One breath. One thought of hope. One action. Read Create a List of What Needs to Be Fixed in Your Life After Abuse. I want you to know that I believe in you and I’m cheering you on.
Today, I help women see themselves the way God sees them. I’ve specifically been focusing on identity in Christ. From the Bible, I discovered 52 incredibly-positive things God says about us as His daughters. Those 52 precious discoveries turned into 52 Biblical affirmations I created to encourage and empower Christian women. To help share this life-changing information with you, I created an ebook called #52Devotionals.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
Last Updated on by