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Today is June 1st, making it World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day.
A few weeks ago I wrote Why I’m Grateful For My Abusive Relationship, in which I discussed my experience of Narcissistic Abuse. I didn’t go into much detail about the actual abuse, but I talked about how this experience and the trauma attached to it shaped me into who I am today.
I’m not angry about the relationship. I don’t regret it happening. But I do wish I had known the signs of Narcissistic Abuse earlier.
When I entered this relationship I had no idea what a narcissist was, or how traumatic a relationship with one would be. The only way the word narcissism had ever been used around me was interchangeably with vanity. When in fact, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a complex disorder of which vanity is just one symptom.
From early on in the relationship I could sense that something was off, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. I was extremely unhappy but I couldn’t work out why.
For months on end I was in an abusive relationship and I had absolutely no idea.
It wasn’t until much later that I even came across the term narcissism, but that’s when I began to see a way out.
Leaving this relationship was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life so far, but the key to getting out was knowledge. I read all the articles I could find online, before moving on to studies. I stalked online support forums daily. I read about the tactics he would use to stop me from leaving, and I read about what I could do to counter them.
I read countless stories from other survivors of narcissistic abuse, hundreds of which mirrored my own. And it became clear to me that all narcissists are the same. They all display the same set of symptoms, and after having spent hours of my life researching them, they’re now so obvious to me.
So please, if you’re like I was and don’t yet know the signs of narcissistic abuse, take some time to research them. Narcissistic abuse can happen to anyone, whether that’s to you or someone you love. Once a narcissist sucks you in it can seem impossible to get out, but the more you know the easier it becomes.
A narcissist will most likely be a narcissist forever. Nothing you can do will ever change them, as much as you want it to. The only thing you can do is to know the signs of a narcissist, and run as soon as you see them.
If you think you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will do everything I can to help you, whether that’s offering you a safe space to share your feelings or helping you find some organisations that can help get you out safely.