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Why Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Is Frustrating and Challenging

What You Know Intellectually Does Not Match What You Feel Emotionally

Written by Narcissistic Abuse Expert and Coach, Randi Fine

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

You have finally discovered the reason for the strange behavior exhibited by your abuser and are beginning to understand why you've been suffering as much as you have. It has been a huge relief to put the disjointed pieces of your life together in a way that makes some sense. You have read everything there is to read, listened to everything there is to listen to, watched everything there is to watch. You have connected with others through forums and online support groups and received some level of validation. You are so educated in the topic of narcissistic abuse, you could teach a master class on it. Sadly, you do not feel any better. Logic tells you are safe but you don't feel safe.

Many people experience narcissistic abuse, learn about it, and perhaps even seek traditional therapy for it, then blame themselves when those efforts fail. Self-compassion gets blocked and they turn on themselves.This leaves survivors who cannot seem to move forward feeling frustrated.

Narcissists are highly adept at brainwashing, conditioning and grooming their victims. While some of their tactics are obvious, most are not. You probably do not realize the depth and breadth of the damage that's been done to you. It is your subconscious mind, not your conscious mind that has been and continues to run the show, but you aren't cognizant of that. Your thinking feels normal to you; the shame you feel, the blame you've assigned to yourself. These are not your thoughts but it's hard to tell the difference.

The traumatic events you've experienced; the emotional intensity, significance, and behaviors related to them have been imprinted into the part of the brain called the amygdala. That is where you experience the fight or flight survival mechanism. The amygdala is part of the limbic system which is located in the midbrain.

When we experience threats, whether real or imaginary, the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol prepare our body with a rush of energy that allows us to respond to the threat or escape it. This is commonly known as the fight-or-flight or acute stress response.

Likewise, traumatic memories, such as those related to narcissistic abuse, hijack the rational part of the brain, making it impossible for us to reason or make meaning of the experiences. We remain stuck in survival mode.

As a narcissistic abuse survivor, you've likely relied on a different area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, to rationalize what has happened to you. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for abstract thinking. One of the most fundamental activities of cognition is logical reasoning. Simply put, you've been relying on cognition/logical thinking to heal your trauma. That is impossible to do and the reason you have been unable to think your way out of your pain.

Many who suffer narcissistic abuse never heal. They never reach out to a professional for help because they believe they can think their way out of what happened to them. They just keep trudging forward. And while it may seem as if they feel better, what actually happens is that they talk themselves into denial, slip into magical thinking, and/or stuff the problem behind an already unstable emotional wall.

These solutions are temporary ones. In a few years or perhaps even decades, the pain will burst open again. Without having developed healthier tools for living and with the inevitability of more trauma having piled on in the interim, the problem will be much harder to deal with the second time around.

My expertise is in helping survivors, whether the abuse is childhood or adult related, fully recover from narcissistic abuse and become the best possible versions of themselves.

Isn't it time to free yourself from the tremendous burden you've been carrying? Reach out to

me. Let's get this done.

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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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