Based on your answers most likely you are experiencing narcissistic behavior from your partner and you are involved in a narcissistic relationship ( or have been if you are doing a test for your past experience ).
1. Please be safe. This test is to help you recognize behavior and patterns in your relationship from where you can start looking for safe options and choices to start your recovery and healing journey while you keep your safety as a priority.
2. Educate your self what is mental-emotional abuse ( narcissistic abuse) either by listening to many great podcasts, YouTube videos, or reading a book. There is a ton of content out there on the theme of narcissistic abuse. Education is the first step to gaining a sense of control and power back to yourself. Remember, you are not a crazy one!
3. Make sure not to escalate tension in the relationship and jeopardize your safety but to look for support in therapy, reliable friends, peer groups, and or if necessary calling 911 or looking for a safe home. Write down and keep a record of all instances when you didn’t feel safe and share with a reliable person. Also you can make a safety plan using app My Plan: https://www.myplanapp.org/
4. The most common question I get is: Do they change?
No, they don’t change, unfortunately. Therapy is simply not working with Narcissistic personalities because of the Entitlement /Grandiosity persona they have and lack of capacity to see another person as a completely independent individual with own integrity and needs. They might show up in therapy as highly empathetic, charming, and collaborative but good therapists will pick up on different cues and traits and partners shouldn’t be deceived by that. Usually, the cycle goes back to old narcissistic behavior and the cycle of trust and betrayal continues.
5. What is the difference between Narcissistic Abuse vs Sociopath Sadistic Abuse:
- In narcissistic abuse, we see more anger and rage.
- Narcissistic is not cold and calculating but more prone to outburst and acting out, or having adult tantrums or rage.
- You do not feel seen at all. The narcissist is not taking any time to see your needs, wishes, desires but projects his needs and desires on you.
- Based on that they are distorting your reality and disregarding all that you feel, need, and experience.
- They might say: no you don’t feel that, no you don’t want that, you don’t think that”. They can not comprehend you are a separate individual with your own thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
- You become them. Their wants, needs, dreams. Not yours.
- You experience cycles of seductions, manipulation, trust, and betrayal.
- The narcissist is turned off by pain, arousal is decreased if they see suffering or acknowledge the pain.
In Sadistic Behaviour:
- We can see the abuser as very cold and calculating.
- Sometimes they will leave a partner in waiting and they will tell what is coming as consequence.
- There is contempt in the eyes and arousal when you are in discomfort and in pain or fear of them
- Anger is not so common or rage, it is more present aroused controlling power over you and intimidation.
- They threaten you if you break a silence they will harm you or people you care about.
5. Signs and Symptoms you might feel as being with someone who was emotionally abusing you with narcissistic traits. This can be also covert insidious abuse, nothing big you might say, but over time it affects your mind and body and trauma and PTSD can be developed.
So you might feel and experience:
- You feel emotional invisibility. You are more aware of your partner’s wishes and feelings than you are aware of your own.
You start to question your own reality. This is the most common sign. You question things as: “did I just say this, did I just feel this, did that happen? ” – well most likely yes it did, but the abuser will make everything for you distorted – that is crazy-making. You are NOT crazy. You are in a toxic relationship.
Your fundamental sense of existence is attacked because you are not seen in a relationship as a separate person with individual needs and desires. You can not see yourself anymore as a person with integrity.
You might experience dissociation as a survival mechanism ( numbing out, more use of food, alcohol, more work, daydreaming).
You walk on eggshells and you are more hyper-vigilant when you are with your partner.
You can’t recognize yourself anymore and wonder what happened, and you wonder how you lost your sense of self.
You are afraid now to talk in front of others when it is an abuser close to you. You feel you will be humiliated and ashamed.
You lost your personal authority.
You stop laughing, and you stop looking forward to living and experiencing the next day, next month, next summer.
You start to hide your plans, emotions. Deception is more present in this relationship because of fear of shaming.
You put aside your basic needs and desires, sacrificing your emotional and even your physical safety to please the abuser ( partner, sibling, parent, co-worker, boss, friend ). When did you ask yourself last time: what do I need, and claim that?
You are struggling with health issues and somatic symptoms that represent your psychological turmoil because the body takes the score ( insomnia, anxiety, fear, asthma, migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS ).
You develop a pervasive sense of mistrust.
You find yourself comparing yourself to others, often to the extent of blaming yourself for partner toxic behavior.
You self-sabotage or you somehow start to think you “deserve” this.
You fear doing what you love and achieving success is just a dream or you might even forget what you love.
You protect your abuser and even ‘gaslight’ yourself.
Rationalizing, minimizing, and denying the abuse to yourself or your family and friends.
You start with self-blaming and self-criticizing yourself.
You lost your boundaries, or you are scared to voice them out.
If a narcissist is covert, you might feel constantly guilty. Blaming you is part of passive covert abuse coupled with manipulation and victim playing.
6. Next Suggested Steps:
- Please don’t be alone. Silence brings a lot of pain and shame. Share what happened to you with someone you trust, look for online support groups, talk with your friend, or family member, or HR if it is happening at work. You do not need to face this alone.
- Also, call the police or lawyers and see how you can safely plan an exit if you feel your safety is jeopardized. Do not expose anything to your partner. Your safety is a priority. Exposing plans to a partner can lead to provoked behavior and rage where you might not be safe.
- Take care of your body. Your nervous system is in a survival state, so take as much nourishment and healthy choices as you can. Even taking a conscious walk outside, your body can benefit from it.
- Start with therapy with someone who specialized in mental abuse and with someone you feel safe with. You have the right to pick and choose who is right for you in therapy and your recovery journey.
- There is a way out of this. Stay safe and allow yourself to start a healing journey and gain your dignity back. You deserve this plus much more. You are a worthy human being. And no one has the right to silence you, harm you, and make you feel less. No one.
If you are not sure what is happening he list of best resources to start your healing and self education click on the link.
7. How to deal with narcissistic: no contact.
Yes, sometimes it is not what we want to hear but so far what we know from research and data is that narcissistic traits are not disappearing. The most effective way is to safely exit the relationship and make less emotional and moral injury to self. If you are sharing kids minimum contact through a third person ( as your mediator ) can be arranged. Some companies are offering these services now.
8. Remember this:
- A) Violation of human rights. It is against the law to hurt and harm someone. Including emotional, verbal abuse, intimidation, and neglect. It is against the law, and someone did violate your human rights.
- B) If the mind of the person who hurt you hadn’t existed, you wouldn’t be hurt and harmed in this way. It is NOT about you. You are NOT a crazy one, or less then.
- C) Traumatized minds make traumatized choices and traumatized patterns. You can not beat yourself up for repeated survival choices ( labeled as “bad). Shame can prevent our recovery and what happened to you is not because of you. The shame belongs to the person who harmed you – not you.
9. If you know someone who might be experiencing narcissistic abuse please share taking this quiz and support bringing more awareness so the recovery journey can start sooner than later.
Thank you, be kind to yourself and stay safe!