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Narcissistic Abuse Survivors: Often Assaulted By The Ignorant

Updated: Apr 4

Image of the words shame and blame represent the experience of narcissistic abuse survivors

Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

Often Assaulted By The Ignorant

Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert and Coach

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

As narcissistic abuse survivors, there will always be issues throughout our lives that challenge us. Though I coach other survivors and extensively write, speak and am highly knowledgeable about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I am not immune to its ugly assaults.

When people hear that I have chosen to have no contact with my highly toxic nonagenerian (90 year+) mother and centenarian (100 year+) father, people often tell me how sorry they feel for my parents. I can only assume that in me they see a happy, well-adjusted adult woman and decide that I have chosen to afflict some sort of maliciously intended punishment on my poor defenseless parents. They cannot possibly understand how violating it is to have to defend the very people who nearly destroyed my life; people who would continue to wreak havoc in it if I chose to allow it. They have no idea what a difficult emotional process proceeded the decision to go no contact.

The judgments coming from those who are uninformed, unqualified, and inexperienced, used to strike a raw nerve in me and put me on the defensive. My stance will never be validated. I may appear callous, heartless, and unloving, But I no longer feel the need to defend myself. People can conclude whatever they wish about me. I am fully resolved in my decision and no longer bothered by these unsolicited assaults.

I know that I am not alone in this experience. Due to the covert nature of narcissistic parental abuse it is one of the frustrations many adult survivors of narcissistic parents endure. The victim is often seen as the perpetrator and the perpetrator seen as the victim. Even when we find the courage to stop the abuse we can never redeem ourselves in the minds of judgmental ignoramuses; professional or otherwise.

As narcissistic abuse survivors our healing must come entirely from our own courageous resolve. Our narcissistic parent will never validate our feelings, verify our memories, or allow us our pain. Our friends, co-workers and acquaintances who cannot possibly understand what we go through, and family members who deny or cannot see the truth, often say the wrong thing, making us feel even worse.

Narcissistic abuse survivors must have a solid support system to keep them from self-destructing amidst the shaming backlash. Rationality does not exist in dealings with narcissistic abusers. We will never make sense of the abuse we experienced, though that does not stop us from trying to rationalize it. It is that effort that confuses us and makes us feel as if we are the crazy ones.

It takes a great deal of validation to convince adult survivors of childhood narcissistic abuse that they are not crazy, that what they experienced was truly abusive, and that they have every reason to feel the way they do. A mental health professional who is highly skilled and highly experienced in working with narcissistic abuse survivors can be invaluable in moving survivors beyond that chaotic mindset. That is the formula for success in overcoming the residual guilt, confusion, and pain that overwhelms them.

Whether you suspect this happened to you or are certain it happened, it's important that you recognize yourself as a survivor. You may not have accepted the abuse as fact, but if you have a narcissistic parent I can say, without any hesitation, that you have survived one of the most treacherous forms of child abuse.

Anytime you get confused or doubt that the abuse you experienced was real, picture your own child or an imaginary child in the environment you grew up in. You will be so horrified by that vision that you will have to look away.

Though largely invisible, the abuse was real and your pain is warranted. The innocent child in you was clearly victimized. You were certainly not a willing participant. You never understood what was happening to you, you did not choose to have the experience, and you're severely wounded as a result of it. It's important to understand the level of victimization that took place. That said, never choose to take a victim mentality. Proudly reclaim your power. You are a survivor.

Randi Fine is an internationally renowned narcissistic abuse expert and coach, and the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing and Recovery Second Edition, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of the official companion workbook Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: A Comprehensive Workbook for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse. Randi Fine is the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.


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