Right now I’m about 15 months into my healing and recovery from narcissistic abuse, and have been no contact with my ex (although he has attempted to hoover multiple times). Life has been a whirlwind of change in this time, I’ve moved house twice in the last 12 months, changed jobs, celebrated my 30th birthday and to top it off recently had no working fridge for almost 2 weeks! (first world problems I know, but really inconvenient when you aren’t a big takeaway eater and like to have meals). With such big changes I easily experience stress in my body and as I’ve shared on the blog over the last couple of years struggled to manage my chronic fatigue and mental health at times.
Having experienced such great change recently I’ve felt like my recovery has regressed, having experienced two near panic attacks as well as mild anxiety and depression. These are all things I have in recent years managed extremely well naturally and with the help of professionals who help me manage my susceptibility to stress. For some of these symptoms to reappear I knew that my self care was waning and I wasn’t reaching out enough to my toolkit of strategies that help me manage my body, mind and soul.
Talking about this regression is important I think as I know it’s not talked about a lot in the narcissistic abuse community. This idea that we start to magically heal and move on with our lives after narcissistic abuse is not only unrealistic but also damaging to the individual when they are not having this ‘healing’ experience that leaders in this field talk about. We can often be triggered, stressed, isolate ourselves, struggle with day to day life yet are expected to show up and function as if nothing ever happened!
Much of our journey recovering from narcissistic abuse involves validating OUR OWN experiences, but I understand how hard this can be at times. The narcissists ability to unbalance us, constantly remind us everything is all our fault, that were the crazy one, that no one will ever love us the way they do…it’s damaging and destructive and therefore means that it does take a lot of energy and persistence to HEAL.
The big difference between who I am now and the person I was 15 months ago is that I now have the tools and experience to navigate these aspects of narcissistic abuse recovery. Something I have gently been reminding myself during this more difficult time is that while it may feel like we go backwards, we are always moving forward in our recovery as long as we have the self awareness, tools and persistence to make long lasting changes. Our over critical and perfectionist self, health, trauma and general recovery doesn’t just happen….it does take time. And unfortunately there is not set amount of time - heck I am still navigating it myself. But what I do know is that it DOES get better! I have been so committed to improving my life and the quality of it the proof really is in the pudding.
Having run the narcissistic abuse recovery support group here in Perth for the past year, the big difference I see between women who come and then stop receiving support and the ones that show up consistently and are willing to learn is that the latter are the ones who are thriving and changing the trajectory of their lives with lightening speed. I do believe that there are many contributing factors that impact an individuals ability to recover and heal and the length of time in which it takes but I am a firm believer that we MUST take our recovery seriously! When working with my clients 1:1 I help them to establish what their triggers are, what their current coping strategies are and give them additional tools that will lay the foundation for their ongoing recovery.
So today I wanted to share with you some of the tools that I have been using to navigate my own healing and recovery.
Make sure you take time to get outside in nature. Mother Earth has a way of healing and supporting us during difficult times plus grounding is actually a really big and important tool that I teach my clients. Grounding not only helps to calm the mind but also helps to calm our over stressed central nervous system. Try taking a walk along the beach in the water/damp sand or if you’re not near a beach head to your local park and walk with bare feet across the grass.
Sunshine (Vitamin D)
Getting outside and getting just 20 minutes of sunshine a day is going to help your mood and overall wellbeing significantly. Most of us are stuck indoors too much and don’t actually receive enough intake of vitamin D. Here are a couple of quick and useful resources as to why vitamin D is so important and how to get more if you can’t get out in the sun enough.
Getting pen to paper and those thoughts (probably mostly negative ones) out of your head is so important for your recovery! Writing is not only therapeutic and helps our brain process our experiences and thoughts, but also by writing out what is going through your mind will help you to gain clarity on what you’re struggling with/what your brain is trying to process. I will be sharing more about powerful journalling practices in a future post, so stay tuned for that. For now, just try getting into the habit of writing for 5-10 minutes a day and getting pen to paper what your thoughts are. Don’t filter or censor anything just write it out as the thoughts come to mind. That alone will help you to gain clarity.
If your ex narc was like mine and made it their purpose to disrupt your sleep pattern and routine, I feel for you! It’s quite common and I hear it from my clients a lot. See narcs know that by disrupting your sleep you will be more irritable, moody and emotionally unstable. It’s only natural that we end up feeling the shell of who we used to be when we consistently have our sleep routine disrupted. And this is exactly how the narcissist wants you to feel - moody, emotionally unstable and easily triggered. This is particularly true for when the narcissist is no longer able to get positive emotional supply from you, and therefore negative supply is just as good to them. Being sleep deprived ensures the narcissist of his or her’s emotional supply without having to even try.
Having said that, when recovering from narcissistic abuse it should be a priority to get your sleep routine back on track. Not only will this help your body start to heal and process the trauma it will also help you feel much better! If you are experiencing nightmares or insomnia this could well be a sign of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and it’s highly recommended that you seek professional support from a doctor or mental health professional.
If you’re like me then you may want to support your body with some natural options - magnesium supplements before bed (please seek advice from naturopath/health practitioner or products most suitable and dosage) and essential oils such as lavender, cedarwood and vetiver and amazing options to support you to relax and sleep better.
If you’re currently spending a lot of time on your own and feeling disconnected from the world around you that’s ok. Recovering from narcissistic abuse is going to take some time and patience with yourself. The more you’re able to create and nurture the relationship with yourself during this time the better. Trusting and being vulnerable with those around you is a process, especially because of the nature of narcissistic abuse. How quickly you recover and bounce back will depend on the level of trauma and abuse you experienced and the amount of personal work that you are doing. As I’ve mentioned earlier there is no set amount of time. When it comes to dating and relationships the general consensus to wait to explore new relationships can be 6 months - 2+ years. It is also dependent on your readiness and willingness to navigate dating and relationships - you’ll go into it with such a different perspective after narcissistic abuse, and hopefully have the tools and awareness to navigate dating in a whole new positive way.
Positive affirmations & positive self dialogue
Much of what I teach is about gaining self awareness around the way in which you relate to yourself. How is your relationship with yourself? How do you treat yourself? And most importantly WHAT do you say to yourself and about yourself to others? Much of our self dialogue will be unconscious programming playing in the background. It’s been on repeat for years and so we start to tune out of the same old stories. Those same old familiar stories are played out in our day to day lives where we unconsciously are seeking validation of those exact stories and beliefs!
When it come to healing and breaking the cycle of toxic relationships it is SO important that we start to break these limiting beliefs and create healthier new stories about ourselves.
Essential oils have been one of the most powerful tools that have supported me in my recovery from narcissistic abuse. I am a firm believer in pure and essential oils like doTERRA - my absolute favourite! As anyone who knows me can attest I don’t go anywhere without my oils!
For me essential oils have not only supported my physical health, they have also been a big part of my emotional healing and have supported me through managing my anxiety and depression naturally (although not suitable for everyone I personally have found they have worked for me and my mental health). As mentioned earlier calming oils such as lavender, cedarwood and vetiver are powerful grounding and soothing oils that help lower our stress levels and fight or flight response in the body.
I’ll be sharing more about specific essential oils that I love for emotional support after narcissistic abuse in another post soon!
I hope these tools will help you navigate your journey, remember it’s a slow and steady process. Breaking old patterns and behaviours will take time and consistent practice to change, but trust me it is so worth it.
You ARE worthy and deserving of healthy love - for yourself and from others.
PS. Do you Live in Melbourne?
If you live in Melbourne and are interested in receiving 1:1 support or support in a group setting I’ll be travelling over in October 2018 and running in person events and coaching!
Breaking the Cycle of Toxic Relationships Workshop
This workshop is specifically created for women who have experienced toxic/abusive relationships in particular with narcissistic individuals. Together we will explore the relationship between your self worth and your pattern of attracting toxic relationships.
Uncover your beliefs around love and relationships
Connect with a group of like minded women who understand and have had similar relationship experiences
Experience what it feels like to be fully present and in the joy of being in your body
Receive practical tools to build your self worth, self esteem and regain your personal power
Gain a toolkit of emotion expression and release techniques to help you navigate your healing and transformation journey
To find out more click here - https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/breaking-the-cycle-of-toxic-relationships-tickets-49838928577
DISCOUNT CODE - use melbourne15 to receive 15% discount on your ticket on checkout!
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Group
In this 3 hour narcissistic abuse support group we will explore some of the core concepts that I teach on a regular basis in my Perth support group:
* Understanding the cycle of emotional abuse
*Abuse tactics used by narcissists
* Co-dependency and other core issues
*Healing after narcissistic abuse
*Reclaiming your personal power after narcissistic abuse You'll receive practical tools and hear from other women.
To learn more and book click here - https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16571855&appointmentType=8003795
1:1 In Person Coaching Intensive
Want to work in person with me?
I currently have 2 spaces left to have a 1:1 in person 2 hour coaching intensive with me.
How I work with clients...
I am a big advocate for self awareness, reprogramming old limiting beliefs and embodiment practices to help clients break free from toxic relationships. I do this by working with clients on the following:
* gaining awareness of your limiting beliefs
*recognise and shifting unconscious programming
* using self awareness techniques to change behaviour and cultivate a new healthy sense of self
* emotional expression and release techniques
* embodying techniques for self care to develop and build healthy self esteem
By doing this work my clients have been able to:
* break the cycle of toxic and abusive relationships
* clear and create healthy ways of communication and managing your triggers
* learn how to foster a healthy sense of relating to yourself and others
* build and sustain healthy loving relationships