Many times, victims of narcissistic abuse talk about their experiences once they are free of their abuser. A lot. To many who haven’t had similar experiences, this often looks like some unhealthy coping mechanism or simply not healing by being stuck in the past. That actually isn’t the case though. There isn’t anything wrong with discussing those terrible experiences. In fact, it can be a very healthy thing to do!
Talking about the traumatic experiences we endured at the hands of narcissists help us to process what we went through. Narcissistic abuse is not only incredibly cruel but it can be outrageous as well. Even having experienced it first hand, sometimes it’s still hard to believe it happened. Talking about the abuse is helpful in making it more real. It also can help you to accept what happened for what it was rather than sugar coat it or even completely deny aspects of it.
When talking about abusive experiences with other people, we also can figure out what’s normal & what isn’t by their reactions. Since narcissists are so very good at gaslighting, it can be hard to tell what is truly real & what is only what the narcissist says is real. Narcissists work so incredibly hard to distort their victims’ reality that we need help to figure out what is real & what isn’t, sometimes even many years after the abuse has ended. The deprogramming of the narcissists’ toxicity is a long & difficult process, so any help in this area is a wonderful thing!
Narcissists convince their victims that normal is bad, so learning what is normal & also that it isn’t a bad thing is healing. Narcissistic parents & spouses speak of normal things that their victims want in such a shaming way, it leaves victims feeling horribly for wanting normal things like respect, civility & even love. Victims often feel like something is wrong with them for wanting these things. It is so helpful to learn that nothing is wrong with you for wanting these things, but instead, something is very wrong with the narcissist for shaming you for wanting such things. It helps you to release a great deal of shame & gives such freedom!
Talking about our experiences with other people also can give us the empathy we have lacked with the narcissist. A functional person who didn’t experience narcissistic abuse may find your experiences hard to believe, but won’t assume you’re lying. They also will feel badly that you went through & offer you comfort & validation. Narcissists give their victims nothing of the sort, & often mock their victims for wanting such things. They label normal feelings all wrong. They shame victims for feeling sorry for themselves when their reaction is completely normal to the abuse the narcissist just inflicted on them. After suffering through that, it can truly be a comfort & helpful when someone else sees that what you went through was truly abnormal & even horrible
While discussing your traumatic past can be healthy, I believe what is equally healthy is to take breaks from thinking & talking about it. It can be easy to get too caught up in the terrible things that were done to you & even wanting to learn all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Doing that can burn a person out emotionally, so taking breaks is truly vital to good mental health. Be sure to set aside time where you refuse to think about any of that & focus on lighter & more fun topics. Watch fun movies. Participate in your favorite hobby. Spend time with close friends who make you laugh. Take yourself out to dinner. Whatever you do doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or expensive, but it does need to be a pleasant distraction. Your mental health is very important, so please, always take good care of it! xoxo
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