When we start to recover after narcissistic abuse, there are some potential pitfalls that we need to protect ourselves from:
- Not all therapists understand narcissistic abuse. It may not be covered in their training in very much detail. When searching for a therapist, it is essential to ask them what their knowledge of narcissistic abuse and domestic abuse is. If you are invalidated by a therapist, this can causes secondary gaslighting, which can re-traumatise you (know as sanctuary trauma).
- Needing to get others to understand and to validate us: It is typical for narcissistic abuse survivors to be invalidated by those who do not understand narcissistic abuse. Although extremely painful at the time, this can force us to learn the essential lesson of how to validate ourselves.
- Putting others above us and believing others before our own truth.
- Trying to get validation from those who have an agenda not to see us, such as other narcissistic abusers, or from those who would rather remain in denial due to being afraid of the abuser themselves.
- Allowing others to be the judge of us. Not feeling entitled to ask for what we need.
- Dealing with symptoms, rather than the cause, and believing that recovery is possible without processing and releasing past traumas.
- Being told to forgive and forget, particularly when we have not yet understood how we got trapped in an abusive dynamic in the first place.
- Being told it is wrong to judge.
Have you managed to break through barriers during recovery? I would love to hear from you in the comments.