When you are subjected to narcissistic abuse, you lose yourself. You often feel as if you’re being fake. Sadly, the truth is you are being fake, but not because of some flaw in you.
Narcissists do their best to mold their victims into whatever they want them to be. To do this, they start by destroying their victim’s personality. They convince victims that they don’t like the things they do like, & they like things they don’t like. They also convince victims that they feel a certain way about things that is completely untrue.
Gaslighting is a very effective way to accomplish this. By repeatedly swearing that a victim has said or hasn’t said something & even getting angry about it, a victim often starts to believe that the narcissist is telling the truth. Denial & making a person question their memories
Invalidation is also helpful in forwarding a narcissist’s agenda. Convincing someone that they have some deep flaws for feeling as they do will change their mind about their feelings. No one wants to be labeled as intensely flawed or even crazy, so they change their mind.
Narcissists also make their victims feel as if they are a disappointment, & the narcissist deserves better than that. This guilt makes victims work harder to please the narcissist, yet they can’t do it. The narcissist continually changes what they want & makes the goals loftier & unattainable.
Gaslighting, invalidation & this disappointment all work together to make victims feel shame. They feel ashamed of themselves, of who they are, of their beliefs, of what they want, think & feel… of everything about themselves. Once this toxic shame takes root in a person, they become very easy to manipulate & control, which is why narcissists work so hard to accomplish this.
If you feel this way, you’re not alone! I have been there too. First my mother tried to mold me into what she wanted from me, then my ex husband did. By the time I was in my mid 20’s, I had no idea who I really was or what I really liked, didn’t like, believed… it was a nightmare! It took time but I finally got to know the real me, & you know something? That person is ok!
If you’re reading this now, I want you to know that the real you is ok too! I also want you to know that you need to get to know this person that God made you to be, without the input of the narcissist.
Start questioning everything. Ask yourself how you genuinely feel about things. For example, do you like the kind of music you do because the narcissist told you that you liked it, or is it truly your taste? What about the kind of work you do- do you enjoy it or did your narcissistic parent tell you that you needed to get into this line of work?
If the narcissist is still in your life, question everything he or she tells you, especially about how you feel about things. While the narcissist most likely claims to know you better than you know yourself, this is nothing but a lie. You know you better & if you get to know yourself well, then nothing the narcissist says can cause you to doubt yourself or change yourself into someone you’re not ever again!