Most survivors agree that it takes an average of twelve to eighteen months after the end of a psychopathic, or narcissistic, relationship to begin to feel normal again.
Even then, there will be days when a survivor feels depressed, angry, or sad, without fully understanding why.
There are many reasons why this happens.
A lot depends on the length of the relationship and the degree of abuse the victim suffered.
Another factor is the individual survivor’s commitment to self-healing.
And their desire to thrive. as opposed to merely surviving.
After only three months, you haven’t had enough time to heal properly.
You’re probably still trying to come to terms with the fact that you were with a narcissist.
Now you have to allow your mind, body, and spirit enough time to regenerate.
There’s no way to rush the hard work and gut-wrenching self-reflection required to heal from narcissistic abuse.
And it’s something only you can do.
Therapists, knowledge, and survivors forums will certainly help.
But only you can heal yourself from within.
I’m not going to kid you, it is tough!!
But very much worth the effort.
You’ll have moments when you think you’re completely over your ordeal.
Only to wake up the next day feeling like a dark cloud has enveloped you.
And deprived you of the light you had only just discovered.
There’s no rhyme or reason. No right way or wrong way to heal from narcissistic abuse.
It’s something you have to figure out for yourself. Because what works for some may not work for others.
I had a meltdown myself last week.
I came across a picture that had been taken a couple of months after a painful and complicated operation to replace three ruptured disks in my neck.
My then-husband, a Malignant Narcissist, had thrown me onto our back deck in a violent rage.
The way I landed basically broke my neck in three places.
The surgeon had to make the incision in the front of my neck, leaving an ugly scar, where none had been.
Not to mention the pain and suffering I endured because of what my husband had done.
Seeing that picture sent me into a tailspin of long-held anger and rage.
Hatred and sadness.
It seemed like I was going to explode if I didn’t scream and kick at something.
So I went to the gym and did some kick-boxing.
I beat the crap out of a punching bag, imagining that it was the narcissistic asshole who had caused so much misery in my life.
And I released as much of the pent-up anger as possible.
Then I took a shower and cried like a baby.
I allowed myself as long as I needed to process my rage.
Which turned out to be a pretty long time.
But getting it out released the burden that had been on my heart.
I came to the realization that one of the reasons it takes so long to heal from narcissistic abuse is because there’s so much to heal from.
When we’re living in hell with the devil, we don’t allow ourselves to process our own emotions.
We’re too concerned with trying to appease our abuser. So we push back our own anger, pain, sadness, or whatever the emotion happens to be.
We suppress so many emotions, so many times, that we forget about the need to release them.
We do this out of self-preservation.
After all, processing emotions will always seem less important than avoiding a beating.
Or trying to keep our kids from hearing the vile onslaught of angry words and accusations the narcissist projects on us so often.
Suppressing emotions, but never allowing ourselves to process them, will eventually destroy us from within, though.
Sort of like a cancer that can lie dormant for years.
At some point, the poison begins to spread.
It robs us of joy and happiness, causing crippling depression and anxiety.
For no apparent reason.
Your relationship with the narcissist may seem like only a painful memory from the past when the cancer begins to spread.
Something you survived and thought you had overcome.
Yet suddenly, you find yourself in self-destruct mode.
Or so painfully depressed you can’t get out of bed.
For this reason, it’s imperative to face our demons when they rear their ugly heads.
When painful memories demand our attention, I think it’s best to give it to them.
Give the pain your undivided attention so you can face it, process it, and then tell it to fuck off.
And when another disturbing experience comes to mind, do it again.
Eventually you’ll purge the narcissistic experience and keep it from destroying you. Not only that, you will be stronger, wiser, and more empathetic than you ever were before.
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Originally Answered On Quora By Serena Prince.
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