Did This Toxic Relationship Damage You Forever? The Psychological Effects of Narcissistic Abuse and How to Heal
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This weeks starts the series on the Psychological Effects of Narcissistic abuse and how you can start your healing journey in relation to each one!
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I am Christy Jade, adoring wife, adoptive mama and narcissistic abuse survivor. I now help other women who have gone through abuse (or are going through it) find confidence, power and peace.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
I am so excited to start this series. This is all about the long-term psychological effects of narcissistic abuse. This is something I go really deep into with my clients and we work on it one-on-one and their customized plan. But I’m starting this series to help more people know about what those effects are, and we’ll go as we go on in the series, we will touch on each one more deeply and about how specifically we can help heal each wound. Stay tuned.
Speaker 1: (00:32)
Hey Queens, welcome to, but still she thrives. Do you wanna stop getting caught up in that wicked web of a creepy crawling narcissist and you find yourself up late at night replaying the abuse you put up with and wondering how you can heal now? Do you wake up hoping for healthy relationships and peace only to feel totally exhausted? And mind F girl, I see you. I’m Christy. I too had to disconnect from toxic people in my life and I wished I could undo the damage I felt ashamed, lonely, and kind of lost. But I’m a stubborn Italian and I refuse to give up. I found ways to recalibrate my mind and body more quickly than I thought and can now share them with you. In this podcast, you’ll find coping tools, healing methods, and confidence boosters so you can trust yourself and find peace and freedom. So shields up ladies. Let’s go protect our peace.
Speaker 1: (01:30)
The long-term psychological effects of narcissistic abuse can be significant and have a lasting impact on the victims. So we’re gonna talk today about some common effects that survivors may experience. Let us dive on in. So first, a big one, low self-esteem. Pretty much every client I work with, every victim I’ve spoken to and myself has had narcissistic abuse that results in lower self-esteem. It often involves consistent criticism, belittling and demeaning behavior, right? So obviously over time, especially if you’ve been in a really long-term relationship, whether it’s during your childhood or a romantic relationship or even a friendship, this can erode a person’s self-esteem leading to feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt. I know for myself, between my childhood and my adult sh in between there, starting at a young age because I was put down and told that I was stupid or I wasn’t interesting or whatever it was that my narcissist used to say to me to make it as if I was not as smart as them.
Speaker 1: (02:46)
I was not as good as them would know the right buttons to push that over time. And honestly, pretty quickly in my childhood, I became a person who believed that they were not, not capable enough, especially in the academic area, which I was smart. I am smart, right? We all have our strengths in any academic area. One may be more than the other, like English and creative versus scientific and math, whatever. But I was convinced I wasn’t really good at anything. Even though I was in honors classes, I felt like it was almost imposter syndrome. Like maybe I’m just somehow getting by somehow. That’s not really true. I was really brainwashed that I was stupid. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to that. A lot of us are made to feel like we are not as valuable as the narcissist. We are not smart, we are not capable.
Speaker 1: (03:40)
They want us to be dependent on them and to need them. So they will reiterate and repeat how not intelligent we are in some form. And this completely will trash our self-esteem as time goes on. So if you have low self-esteem, if you have low self-worth, you are not alone. And it makes absolute sense that you don’t if you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse. Another super annoying side effect of narcissistic abuse is anxiety and fear. So victims of narcissistic abuse may develop chronic anxiety and fear due to the unpredictable nature of the relationship. So if you grew up or in a a romantic relationship, any situation with a narcissist where you had to walk on eggshells, you had to look over your shoulder and wonder what mood are they gonna be? Are they going to mentally exhaust me? Are they going to physically hit me?
Speaker 1: (04:34)
Are they going to keep me away from my family? I had plans with today? Whatever it is, there’s always fear underneath when you’re dealing with a narcissist. So this will bleed into other parts of your life, even after you have disconnected from the narcissist. Something that is, that ingrained will continue on. So it’s absolutely necessary, obviously to get help for all this. Again, we will be talking about how to heal these situations and these wounds in this series. So make sure to subscribe on whatever platform you’re listening. Depression, ugh, this one is rough. That big dark gloomy cloud that takes over your life makes you feel like you don’t have any motivation. You don’t wanna get outta bed, maybe you don’t wanna shower. Maybe you feel like you have nobody in your life, you’re alone. Even if you have a couple friends, you might have a million friends, but you feel this isolation, this loneliness, this downward spiral.
Speaker 1: (05:35)
Um, if you’re in a narcissistic situation, you may feel like you are stuck and can’t get out. And even after you are out of this situation, this can still linger. Depression can still linger. You can have guilt, you can have shame. You can have a lot of depression based feelings that occur because of their gaslighting. That can really, really cause depression and being in your head too much cuz you’re always trying to figure out what you did wrong or are you crazy? So victims may feel hopeless, helpless, and trapped even when you are outside of the situation. Your mind can still feel trapped. And this is normal when you are in or out of any narcissistic abusive situation. All right, let’s just gather around for a big warm welcome to the complex post-traumatic stress disorder. See P T S D, you’ve probably heard this, especially narcissistic abuse victims.
Speaker 1: (06:33)
If you had star, if you have started studying this, you know, people will talk about narcissistic abuse, ptsd, it is common. It can cause symptoms similar to those of PTs D but with additional features related to the long-term nature of abuse because some of us have gone our entire lives under the thumb of a narcissist. So survivors may experience flashbacks, hypervigilance, disassociation, and difficulty forming, trusting relationships. I know a lot of you have talked to me about how you feel like you cannot trust not just other people, but your own relationship with yourself. You have trust issues because you feel like you can’t trust yourself, that you’re not going to get yourself into another narcissistic relationship, whether that is just because that’s what you’re used to from your childhood or your upbringing, or whether that’s because you chose a relationship that ended up being narcissistic, which is not your fault.
Speaker 1: (07:35)
I wanna reiterate that. But this is something that can occur in PTs, D and C, PTs D where it can feel a little worse with C P T S D if it is a longer amount of time. You have more time that you have doubted yourself and you look back and think, gosh, I dealt with a and maybe, uh, quote, I chose to, which I hate that. I hate that wording, but a lot of people say that to me. Well, I chose this relationship, right? I don’t like to think of it that way. That’s a whole other episode. But that is something that can happen from that sort of relationship because you look back on it almost with a guilt and a lack of trust. So trying to move forward, trying to gain trust in a new relationship, you can feel totally scared, terrified, and not trusting of yourself.
Speaker 1: (08:26)
Again, these are very normal, normal effects of narcissistic abuse. More of those trust issues, the external trust issues repeated betrayals and emotional manipulation have occurred in a narcissistic relationship, right? So this can make it very challenging for you to trust others. And you may become guarded and suspicious of anyone fearing others will take advantage of you and hurt you. Again, emotional dysregulation. This is a recent buzzword. I’m glad it’s getting more attention. Narcissistic abuse can disrupt a person’s ability to regulate their emotions. Survivors may experience intense mood swings, difficulty managing your anger or your sadness and struggling with stabilizing your emotions. That’s what it is. They’re dysregulated, they’re up, they’re down. You can feel like your own emotions are not predictable. And this is again, a very normal side effect of narcissistic abuse, if you wanna call it that. Um, it’s very common and I think first of all, knowing about it and shining a light on it can help saying, okay, this isn’t me being crazy or being, because we get called crazy a lot when we are abused by a narcissist.
Speaker 1: (09:47)
Can I get a what, what? Yes. So this is finally shining a light on this and saying, wow, this is actually a side effect. This is an effect of abuse, emotional dysregulation. So again, very, very common. And we’ll go to the next one, which is self blame and guilt. So often narcissists will shift the blame onto their victims. Very common. I mean a hundred percent common, making you believe that the abuse is your fault. So this can lead to feelings of guilt, self blame, and a very distorted sense of responsibility for the abusive behavior. We, which we touched on a little bit, especially reflecting back. But even while you’re in it, sometimes that is why we stay in the situations we are, um, made to believe that it’s our fault. And if we didn’t do X, y, z, this narcissist would not act this way.
Speaker 1: (10:43)
I’m here to tell you that’s. They will act that way no matter what it is. Not you, it is them, but they are going to make you feel like it is your fault. And even when you disconnect from a narcissist, you can absolutely still have this guilt and shame and it is a very, very normal feeling to come out of narcissistic relationships, feeling this way, still having that guilt, guilt, still questioning yourself. And you are not alone in this at all. All right? Having boundary issues, this is a huge one. You may have had boundary issues to begin with and they, it can only get worse because narcissists stick abuse often involves a violation of personal boundaries. They don’t respect boundaries, right? So survivors may struggle with setting and maintaining boundaries in their relationships, in their future relationships leading to difficulties in asserting their needs and protecting themselves from harm.
Speaker 1: (11:42)
Even though when we get out, we get this relief and all of that, it’s so ingrained in us to almost people please and be afraid. We’re afraid to set boundaries, right? But I’m gonna help you with that. Yes I am. Stick with me, I’m the boundary queen. Now, social isolation, ooh, those narcissists will isolate their victims from family, from friends and support networks, right? They want you again, dependent on them. As a result, survivors may experience social withdrawal, difficulty forming new relationships, even if you want to. There’s this subconscious pull that it just feels scary or wrong because of what you’ve been through. And you could have a feeling of loneliness. I’ve experienced this myself. I mean, even at a, at a time I had 50 friends. I’m an extrovert, all these people in my life because of narcissistic situations and what you are led to believe in your mind, you can feel very lonely regardless of what connections you do have.
Speaker 1: (12:49)
I want to just add in here, it is very important to have support after you have disconnected from a narcissist or narcissistic situation. Um, especially if they were like your main squeeze. Um, it’s so important to try to reconnect with old people in your life and be honest with those people and try to gain that support or new friendships. And it’s difficult. I have a couple of episodes on friendship that I will post, but also there will be upcoming episodes about this topic. Last but not least, self-doubt and identity confusion. So the constant gaslighting and manipulation can make victims question their perceptions and reality, right? So I get it. You may lose touch with your own identity, your preferences, the values, right? Because you have been dependent on this person or they have created a dependency on them where they are controlling you, you are under their control.
Speaker 1: (13:52)
You are letting them make all of your decisions, right? So you don’t even know what you like and don’t like anymore. And you have now been conditioned to prioritize the needs and desires of the narcissistic abuser rather than yourself. So this is a huge part of what I do is recreating your identity as the new you U 2.0. I’ll keep saying it because that’s what, that’s what I do with a lot of my clients, right? Where are you now? Where do you wanna be? And let’s figure out who the hell you are. I mean, we know it’s a queen, but what kind of specific queen are you ? So it’s important to note that the impact of this abuse can vary from person to person, right? Not everyone will experience all of these effects, though a lot of them are very, very common. So seeking professional help from someone like me who is experienced in narcissistic abuse specifically can be very beneficial for survivors in addressing and healing these psychological effects.
Speaker 1: (14:58)
So as always, you can look at the links in my show notes to uh, find the ways to work with me and I will have anything I mentioned link below in those show notes. Whatever platform you are on, you can find it. And a reminder is this the last week? This may be the last week. I have I think just one more slot open for my blueprint journey two piece, um, which is one call. And then we have like a little mini checkup call, but we do a customized blueprint for you if you are looking for a boost into your healing. Um, I will put that link definitely in the show notes. So check that out. And that is just through the month of May. You are grandfathered into that pricing. If you sign up and you do it in June instead, you’ll still get the same pricing, but you have to sign up in May. So I’ll put that link if that, that’s a great way to start working with me. And it’s, it’s a really, it’s a really great deal. It is half off my regular price, so I’m so excited to work with more of you. So check out my show notes and I will talk to you in the next episode. And don’t forget, you are not your narcissistic abuse effects. They do not define you and you can heal and you are a queen.