Narc Recovery Boot Camp

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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.

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Jessica` says March 17, 2021

Good Morning,
I am looking for a spring or summer camp for adult children of narcissists and/or children. Maybe this doesn’t exist but since this appears to be a focus of yours I hoped you would know if it did. Please let me know. 
Thank you, 

Dear Kim: How Do I Deal With The Anger From What the Narcissist Did to Me? - Part II of the Healing Series - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says April 15, 2017

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Dear Kim: How Do I Deal With The Anger From What the Narcissist Did to Me? – Part II of the Healing Series | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says May 5, 2014

[…] the negative thought with a positive one.  I also have many helpful suggestions in my post, Narc Recovery Boot Camp.  If these methods don’t work after persistent effort, you’ll need to schedule an appointment […]

Dear Kim – How Can I Get Over The Excruciating Pain from Being Discarded? – Part I | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says May 1, 2014

[…] If you have Modified Contact (which is strictly for cases of shared custody or visitation), it’s very easy to slip back into discussing the past or other topics that don’t involve the children.  Don’t do that.  It’s only a form of Narcissistic supply, and also brings back the feelings of needing closure, which you will not get from the Narcissist.  Closure is something you’ll need to give yourself.  How?  I offer suggestions in my article, Narc Recovery Boot Camp. […]

made58 says April 27, 2014

Reblogged this on MadeleineMaya.

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silkred says April 24, 2014

There is a simple truth in what you say.

As an example – I had a sore back not long ago, it limited me on a day I could have done with being free within, when I looked up what to do to help it was so simple. To sit up straight, move with mindful awareness of you posture. Nothing about what I have subsequently done has been complex, simple mindful awareness and the stiffness and pain have gone.

I had been sinking into myself due to the weight of a depression I now have to cope with because of the affect of narcissistic abuse.

That the abuse continues to manifest tells me that I am not responding well and while my situation is not a relationship but is instead a group activity the dissonance between ‘no contact’ and continuing with something I deeply love is what is destroying me.

Fudging ‘no contact’ does not work, its that simple.

So now I unwind myself from all instances when I will see the loser N, remove myself mindfully and with graceful surrender. Doing this positively feels good, I already feel better, its an act of regaining control and it helps.

All of what you say is true, for me I recognise how your advice works among my days – it is little things for me – seeking and allowing to happen little simple moments of kindness or calm. These add up to feel good over time. They are your own choice fully outside the scope of any N – never can they touch the kindness and love inside your heart.

That, quite simply, is yours to keep.

Anon says April 23, 2014

Incredible post, Kim! So true on every single point. I haven’t used essential oils though, and I’m going to add that to my extreme self-care. One of the other things that’s dramatically improved my despair and fear was when I truly began to address the fact that I wasn’t living the life I wanted. I played by everyone else’s rules, mostly my ex’s, trying to prove my worth, responsibility, maturity, and be the “catch” my ex insisted I wasn’t for a long time. Even during times of No Contact I was still so miserable inside and it was more than just trauma responses. I’d lost myself completely. I had not remotely considered throughout my entire 20s what made me happy or feel good. I’d been emotionally punished when I had pursued my own happiness and never tried again. Something in me felt (still working on this) that I couldn’t be trusted to make good decisions about my life and others (my ex) knew best. Now, for the first time, I am exploring my own desires and interests. Personally and professionally. I don’t feel nearly as scared to fail or disappoint someone. I’m actually looking forward to making some mistakes and learning more about what works for me. It’s an indescribable feeling to start living life on my own terms. I had spent years trying to understand the severe abuse I had experienced, but there’s been a massive shift energetically by harnessing that knowledge, continuing to validate my experiences, but focusing now on creating my best life. Thank you for all of your amazing contributions!

    Kim Saeed says April 23, 2014

    Awesome insight, Anon! I recently discovered the same about living the life I want, and not others’ idea of how I should live. As you mentioned there is often an emotional price for being true to ourselves, but it is only temporary. Better to suffer the fallout from another person’s disappointment for a short time than to spend our life resenting ourselves for not being authentic.

    I finally learned that lesson in my current relationship. When we were first together, I worked two teaching jobs to make ends meet. When I chose to start my blog last summer and work part-time from home (along with some residual codependency on my part)that was the beginning of the decline. Once I realized I was doing everything to make my partner happy instead of myself, a switch was flipped. That’s what started my spiritual and personal awakening. So though our relationship is over, I finally learned my soul lessons, and for that I am thankful.

    So, I’m riding shotgun with you on the energetic shift 🙂

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