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Top 10 Emotions People Feel from a Narcissistically Abusive Relationship

If you have ever been in a narcissistic relationship of any kind, you more than likely have experienced one of these top ten emotions people feel from a narcissistically abusive relationship. In fact, if you haven't experienced these feelings during a relationship with a narcissist, I would be very surprised.

All ten of these feelings you may feel while involved with a narcissist are very normal...

1. Confused or Disoriented

  • Because our relationship moved really fast—like whirlwind romance—but deep down we had the feeling that something was “off” yet couldn’t place it

  • Because they told us they loved us so soon into our relationship, and it seemed odd that someone their age would be so immature about love

  • Because they seemed so certain we were the one for them…but they hardly knew us

  • Because we’d see flashes of behavior like anger, rage, extreme jealousy and, at first, it seemed really out of character for them

  • Because the abusive person might be very charming, witty, intelligent, and come across like Prince (or Princess)Charming when they are not being abusive

  • Because the abusive person seems to have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality that flips on a dime

  • Because their promises to quit lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, or abusing seem so convincing, but they never last for long

  • Because we are uncertain as to who has the problem: them or us?

  • Because we can’t tell if our relationship is going through the normal highs and lows of a relationship, or if it is indeed problematic

  • Because they might be a different person around other people, and no one else seems to see their problematic behavior

  • Because we are continually being told that we are somehow the problem—that we are too sensitive, too emotional, can’t take a joke, etc.

  • Because we are blamed for them abusing us—that our behavior pushes them over the edge

  • Because they would spin conversations and arguments and somehow the conversation would go way off topic and we’d find ourselves apologizing for things just to get our relationship back on track

  • Because they always had an excuse, and nothing was ever their fault

  • Because they told us that we were crazy, irrational, illogical, abusive, manipulative, and problematic—when in fact they were the ones acting this way

  • Because we knew our relationship had issues, but we kept telling ourselves that the person being abusive would or could change

  • Because they accused us of doing things we weren’t doing, and we spent a lot of time trying to prove our love and loyalty to them (only to later find out they were doing exactly what they accused us of!)

  • Because we couldn’t figure out how things could go from being so great to so awful, so quickly, for no apparent reason

  • Because when we fought, there was never any resolution—it was only silent treatment, them leaving, or us apologizing for bringing up their problematic behavior

  • Because we don’t know why we feel so addicted to them, and can’t let them go, or keep wanting to go back.

2. Isolated

  • Because we were so excited to finally meet our soul mate, that we wanted to spend every waking moment with them, or talking to them, and quickly making them our whole world

  • Because we thought that their continual texting, calling, Skyping—wanting to be in constant connection with us—was love when really it was a form of controlling behavior

  • Because, over time, they didn’t like our friends and family, and wanted us to spend time with just them

  • Because if we did reach out, no one seemed to understand

  • Because friends and family grew tired of hearing about us talking about the same issues but never leaving (because we held onto hope that things would change)

  • Because we didn’t understand what was wrong with our relationship, or who had the problem, so we quit talking about our issues; then we quit talking to other people altogether about anything because all we had were issues going on in our life

  • Because it was too painful to hear about how happy other people were in their relationships

  • Because they insisted we quit our jobs, drop out of school, or otherwise stay home

  • Because they drained the accounts, or we didn’t have access to our accounts, and couldn’t afford to leave

  • Because we didn’t know how we would be able to manage being a single parent

  • Because they insisted we work while they stayed at home, so we never got out to see friends or have a life apart from work and our relationship

  • Because they insisted we move to a new city, state, or country to be with them and we didn’t know anyone there

  • Because when the relationship ended, no one believed us about how bad things were at times

  • Because when the relationship ended, we were embarrassed and ashamed that we didn’t get out sooner

  • Because when the relationship ended, we didn’t trust anyone and just wanted to be alone

3. Anxious

  • Because if we brought up any issue we had with their behavior, they would spin things around and either give us the silent treatment, threaten divorce, or leave

  • Because we felt that our relationship was always one conversation away from being over

  • Because they began devaluing us by making snide or sarcastic comments about our gender, intelligence, education, appearance, or where we were from, so that we began to believe that we were lucky to be with them

  • Because they were continually acting squirrely by hiding their phone, or “friending” people (or exes) we didn’t know on social media, then trying to convince us we were just jealous and controlling

  • Because deep down we don’t trust them, but really want to

  • Because we know if we bring up any issue we have with their problematic behavior that they will “punish” us in some way (silent treatment, leaving, divorcing, not paying child support, etc.)

  • Because we didn’t know how we’d make it without them

  • Because we knew something was up, so we were always playing detective, fearful of what we might find

  • Because we are having really vivid dreams, trouble trusting other people, paranoia as to who else has an agenda, and we feel like we are losing our minds—and then get angry with ourselves for feeling all of this

4. Depressed

  • Because we feel so alone

  • Because we feel like we will never heal from this

  • Because no one gets it

  • Because we know we need to leave, but we don’t know how

  • Because we are sad that they hurt our children verbally, emotionally, and/or physically and there’s nothing we, or the courts, can seem to do about it

  • Because they’ve manipulated our children, turning them against us by telling our children that we tore the family apart, or that we were abusive/hurtful.

  • Because they’ve launched a smear campaign against us and now everyone thinks we did all these terrible things we didn’t do

  • Because we don’t know where to turn for help

  • Because we don’t feel like we fit in with our other friends

  • Because we feel like they’ve stolen time from us

5. Numb

  • Because we are trying to make logical sense of their illogical excuses

  • Because we aren’t allowed to be angry with them, so we stuff it deep down and numb out with drugs (prescription or illegal), or alcohol

  • Because we know what they are up to, or feel miserable at times, but don’t want to rock the boat so we escape into daydreams or numb ourselves in other ways

  • Because our feelings have been invalidated for so long that we don’t even know how we feel

  • Because they upped and left us like we never mattered to them

  • Because we were replaced in a matter of days or weeks, and they erased all traces of their relationship with us

  • Because we can’t believe we fell for all their excuses and lies

  • Because we can’t believe we stayed for as long as we did

  • Because feeling our anger and hurt can be unbearable

6. Fearful

  • Because after we broke up we saw their “mask” slip revealing their total indifference, their lack of remorse, and we felt like they could hurt or kill us

  • Because no one seemed to take our fear about them seriously and thought we were over-reacting—especially if they’d never been physically abusive to us

  • Because they were leaving thinly veiled threats that went undetected or invalidated by friends, family, and even law enforcement, causing us to wonder if we really were going crazy

  • Because we don’t feel that we can trust anyone—even police, therapists, friends or family—for fear they will think we are crazy, or somehow will tell our abuser where we are

7. Angry

  • Because we gave so much of ourselves and they treated us like dirt

  • Because we stayed for as long as we did

  • Because other people like church members, friends, and even therapists were encouraging us to try and work things out

  • Because they used our religion against us, telling us we needed to forgive them

  • Because of how they continue to abuse our children when we aren’t around

  • Because no one seems to believe us about what happened

  • Because people seem to only recognize abuse if it’s severe physical abuse

  • Because we didn’t know that we were in an abusive relationship—and no one else did either

8. Feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse.

  • Because we spent years of our life in this “manipulationship”

  • Because we wanted something better for our children, and don’t know how we got tangled up with this person

  • Because every time we tried to leave they’d lay a guilt trip on us to stay—that they need our help to change

  • Because we wish we would have seen the red flags for what they were

  • Because we wish we would have left sooner

  • Because they’ve told us time and again how everything is our fault, and that we’ve ruined their life

9. Embarrassed and ashamed.

  • Because we didn’t see their abusive behavior for what it was at the time

  • Because we can’t believe we didn’t see through them sooner

  • Because other people continually ask us why we stayed

  • Because we don’t really know why we stayed or how to even explain things

  • Because our children saw a lot of what was going on and we feel awful for that

  • Because we can’t believe we put up with all their cheating, lying, manipulating, triangulating, and otherwise toxic behavior

  • Because we continually feel judged by others—that our ex’s behavior is somehow our fault

  • Because we feel like we should have healed by now—that the manipulationship is over and they’ve moved on without looking back, but we feel stuck

10. Revictimized.

  • Because the abuse from them, from those they have manipulated into believing we were the problem (aka their “flying monkeys”), sometimes from therapists, attorneys, our own children, and even ourselves, continues long after the relationship is over

  • Because we get really angry with ourselves for feeling stuck in our pain after the relationship is over, and try to force ourselves to “get over it”

  • Because there’s a part of us that still misses or loves them, and we feel disgusted and angry that we feel this way

  • Because friends, family members, and sometimes even therapists tell us to just “get over it” or “move on”

  • Because we may break down and reopen contact with them, believing that things will be different this time, only to have the abuse return—then feeling stupid and angry with ourselves for falling for it again

  • Because they are running around town telling everyone how we are some form of crazy, bipolar, abusive, manipulative, compulsive liar, an addict, alcoholic, neglectful partner or parent—and people believe them

  • Because they are convincing other people to abuse us for them—so we are getting calls from strange numbers, people driving by, people calling us and harassing us at work, getting dirty looks from total strangers

Please know that you are not alone in this. You are not crazy. And yes, you really can heal from this.

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