Relatively speaking, very few victims of narcissistic abuse escape the abuse without feeling intense self-hatred. There are plenty of reasons for this.
The main reason for this of course is narcissists. They do their best to annihilate their victims’ self-esteem in order to control them. A person who doubts their intelligence will listen to what others tell them to do. A person who thinks no one else would put up with them will stay in a relationship, no matter how toxic. A person who feels worthless will tolerate any treatment because they don’t believe they deserve better. But, there are other reasons too.
Someone who was involved in either a romantic relationship or a friendship with a narcissist will feel terrible for not seeing the red flags of narcissism or taking too long to leave or for putting up with the abuse for however long they did. Even understanding that narcissists are phenomenal actors that can fool anyone doesn’t really help a person in this situation feel much better.
Also, other people who weren’t directly involved with the abuse even can make victims hate themselves.
People who imply or even outright say that the victim is to blame for the abuse can make victims hate themselves. When you are in the fragile place of recently having escaped an abusive relationship, someone blaming you for picking the wrong partner or friend or for making the abuser abuse you can be devastating. It makes a person wonder what they possibly could have done any better or differently. In these relationships, victims give their all & it’s not good enough, yet they still feel like failures for not doing enough.
It’s also common to feel guilty for constantly upsetting the narcissist to the point of abusing because that is how narcissists make their victims feel. They never take responsibility for anything but instead, dump all responsibility on their victims. Having survived this then being reminded of your supposed failures with the relationship by outsiders can be utterly devastating to one’s emotions as well as self esteem.
When other people suggest something is wrong with the victim for not being “over it” by now or taking too long to heal, that too can cause self-hatred. It makes a person feel like a burden for not being ok rather than safe knowing they are with someone who won’t judge or criticize them. And feeling like a burden is horrible for the self-esteem!
The minimization & even denial of the abuse also can cause serious blows to one’s self-esteem. Until a person truly understands just how bad their experience was with an abusive narcissist, they are very susceptible to shaming. When someone says the abuse wasn’t that bad or flatly denies it happened, that will create unnecessary shame in a victim which naturally devastates their self-esteem.
If you are experiencing self-hatred due to situations like I’ve mentioned, please, PLEASE know this isn’t right! You don’t deserve to feel that way! You weren’t abused because there is something wrong with you. There was something wrong with the narcissist! If other people are too foolish to see it or unwilling to see it, that is also not a reflection of you. That is their dysfunction showing. Don’t ever forget that! Xoxo
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