There isn’t a magical phrase or declaration.
You can’t simply listen to a self-help CD one time.
One therapy session won’t do the trick.
The change won’t happen as you sleep.
You have to retrain your brain.
It will be an exercise in mental toughness. No one can rescue you, although there may be people that will try. The only person that can save you is yourself. That means going No Contact, not entering into a new relationship too fast, learning which healing methods are beneficial to you, and lots of self-pampering.
Just as it took months or years for you to grow into the mindset you have now, it may take months to re-condition your mind with different beliefs, especially if you are codependent due to a painful childhood.
It’s like military boot camp and it will entail a similar process. Every day, you’ll need to do something new and different instead of giving into the impulsive urge to ruminate, obsess, and engage in the same self-defeating patterns. While these are all very normal reactions to being abused, you must eventually find a way to change your thoughts because ultimately they don’t serve you and will only feed off of themselves, making you feel badly and unable to move on.
Essentials of Recovery
If you’re just out of an abusive relationship, anger is very appropriate. You’ll need to vent, release your anger, and get it out of your system. Alternately, if you’re two years out and still feeling the same as the day your relationship ended, you need to acclimate into a new routine because your emotions and life will not improve in this way. In fact, they will only worsen over time if you don’t enforce a new routine and new way of thinking.
You need to invest in yourself. Make a conscious effort every day to seek out healing methods that work for you. I visited several counselors, but wasn’t able to find one who could help me. I took matters into my own hands and tried various alternate methods of healing. However, many people do benefit from seeing a therapist. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. We have different childhood experiences, different life experiences, and different personality types. Empowerment and growth also have different meanings depending on the individual. One woman might decide she’d like to learn pole-dancing, while I’d like to learn to play Native American flute music.
Regarding healing methods, here is a sampling of things that have worked for me:
1) Inner Child Healing – Most of our reactions to the Narcissist come from our Inner Child, which is the core of our codependent behaviors. In many cases, the Narcissist symbolically represents a parental figure and all we want to do is please him or her. We strive to win their approval by any means, and we end up accepting abuse for the cause. Our hurt Inner Child is also why we don’t love ourselves and look for outside validation from other people.
2) Guided Meditations – Meditations aren’t just some hobby for new -agey people who are into Metaphysics. Guided meditations are crucial for eliminating subconscious limiting beliefs about ourselves. They reach the part of our mind that we cannot reach by reading with our conscious mind. Educating ourselves about Narcissism helps us cognitively understand disordered behaviors, but it doesn’t heal our subconscious mind, which is what causes us to feel so destroyed.
If you’re not doing guided meditations, you are missing a critical factor in recovery.
3) Essential Oils – In order to access and release emotional trauma, we must stimulate the amygdala. The only way to do this is through the sense of smell. Our sense of smell is directly related to emotions that have been stored, often as far back as childhood. Click this link to read why meditations and aromatherapy are crucial for recovery. Essential oils can also help us overcome illness, disease, and sometimes even cancer. (Please do not take essential oils internally without doing the proper study. While I use various quality oils for aromatherapy, I only use Young Living internally after having done adequate research).
4) Extreme self-care – Romance yourself. Be the person you’ve always searched for who will take care of you. Do all the things you could never do while with your abusive partner. Buy yourself flowers, buy those golf clubs you’ve always wanted, get massages. If your budget is limited, walk in the park. Go to the library. Instead of rushing back to an empty home, take your time. Many of us who are out of an abusive environment still feel the illogical need to rush back home because we were conditioned that if we were gone too long, there would be hell to pay. If you’re no longer with your abuser, train yourself to stay out a little longer each day until you overcome this old habit.
These are all methods I researched on my own, experimented with, and found to be helpfuI. I practice them regularly… as close to every day as I can. I also work with people to help them detach and heal from abusive relationships. Some people do the self-work and others don’t. The ones who don’t make little to no progress.
Recovery takes time. Further, it won’t happen until you leave your abusive partner. There’s no way around these two facts. If you’re still with your Narcissist, the best you can do is learn coping methods, but that’s not healing. That’s surviving in a toxic environment.
Regarding stages of healing, here is a wonderful site based on Judith Herman’s stages of recovery from traumatic experiences. There are some references regarding medications. For those of you who don’t like taking prescription medications, that’s where the guided meditations and essential oils come in.
**Medications may help lessen feelings of depression and anxiety, but they don’t heal our core hurts, which is why I personally bypassed taking medications and am working on the root causes of my negative and limiting beliefs/emotions. However, some people have chemical imbalances, making pharmaceuticals necessary.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. I wrote this article at the request of several of my followers because they’ve been seeing counselors and still haven’t made much progress in their recovery. I recommend implementing these activities and sticking to them for 4-6 months at the very least, but ongoing is best. Besides, once you incorporate them into your routine, you’ll likely find you enjoy them so much you’ll want to continue them anyway.
Suggestions? Write them in the comments section below.