narcissistic abuse causes soul loss

Narcissistic Abuse Causes Soul Loss

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In the intricate tapestry of human experiences, the soul is a delicate essence that can be profoundly affected by various external forces. One such force is narcissistic abuse, a toxic dynamic that can leave deep emotional scars. 

A traumatic experience or intense shock to the mind and body can result in what’s referred to as Soul Loss, and indigenous people have been aware of it for millennia.

It’s becoming alarmingly clear that traditional Western medicine and therapy aren’t successful in wholly treating narcissistic abuse.   While they can be effective in helping some patients deal with clinical conditions such as PTSD, anxieties, phobias, and other similar mood/emotional conditions, traditional therapy often has no framework for dealing with the suffering that results from narcissistic abuse. 

In this article, we delve into the profound impact of narcissistic abuse on the soul, explore how it can lead to a phenomenon known as “soul loss” and explore insights on healing and reclaiming our true selves.

The Missing Link in Traditional Therapy

Why do victims of narcissistic abuse often find such little relief from traditional therapy?  Because it doesn’t address the largest underlying factor of what happens in cases of emotional trauma…loss of parts of the soul.  Many times a patient is diagnosed with a mental or emotional condition when what’s happened is that parts of their soul have fled in moments of extreme emotional shock. 

Soul loss is similar to what psychology refers to as “dissociation”.

In indigenous societies, it is broadly accepted that when life experiences are traumatic enough, they can fragment our inner spirit, or soul, which is described as ‘soul loss”. It is understood that this loss is temporary, helping the sufferer deal with the aftermath of a traumatic experience.

However, in cases of narcissistic and emotional abuse, the trauma is ongoing, resulting in serious illness, both psychological and physical.  Victims effectually lose some aspects of their personality and life force, which is why a common complaint is that they don’t know who they are anymore and that they can barely survive day-to-day. 

It also explains why narcissistic abuse is often coined “rape of the soul”.

“Beside himself.” Why do we describe a distraught person as being beside himself? 
Because the ancients believed that the soul and body could part and that under great emotional stress, the soul would actually leave the body. 
When this happened a person was “beside himself.”   – Dictionary of Word Origins

Symptoms of Soul Loss

Recognizing the signs of soul loss can empower you to begin your healing journey. Common symptoms may include:

  • Daily life seems pointless
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction
  • Not knowing one’s purpose in life
  • Blocking out parts of one’s memories
  • Obsessive or ruminating thoughts
  • The feeling that something is missing in life
  • Suicidal thoughts or fantasies
  • The inability to receive or give love
  • Persistent feelings of emptiness
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • One’s belief that they cannot change their circumstances

So how do we go about getting those lost pieces of our soul back?  Lissa Rankin, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, states:

Sometimes the soul needs space in order to heal, and this may require the courage to make some external changes in your life. Perhaps you need to switch careers in order to give the soul more room to breathe. Perhaps an unhealthy relationship is constricting the soul, and it’s time to get into therapy, set boundaries, or even end things. Perhaps you need to find more people to love or relocate to a place that helps your soul come alive.  Perhaps you need to give your soul permission to engage in more creative activities. Such external changes may be part of the prescription the inner doctor of your soul writes.

But very often, those kinds of major life overhauls are NOT NECESSARY!  Reconnecting to the soul allows you to find peace and happiness right where you are in ways that are much simpler and more profound than you might think. It can be astounding to discover that you’ve had what you needed all along and have been looking in all the wrong places. Perhaps all that is needed is to see the life you’re already living in a different way.”

One major life overhaul that is necessary is leaving an abusive relationship.  Sandra Brown, the author of Women Who Love Psychopaths, indicated in an interview that psychopathy is our nation’s number one health crisis and costs individuals and insurance companies ten times more than depression.

Reclaiming the Lost Soul

The dangers of staying with a narcissist are very real.  While it may feel like your situation is different and you might be the one rare exception, it’s simply not possible due to the fact that psychopathic and narcissistic abuse create spiritual emergencies.  

Healing from narcissistic abuse and reclaiming the lost soul is a profound and transformative journey.  Here are some spiritual practices and approaches that can support this healing process:

  1. Self-Compassion and Inner Child Work: Nurturing self-compassion and reconnecting with the wounded inner child is crucial. Engage in self-care activities, express self-love, and offer understanding and compassion to the parts of yourself that have been hurt. Inner child work can help heal emotional wounds and restore a sense of wholeness.

  2. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation cultivates present-moment awareness and helps develop a stronger connection with the core self. By quieting the mind and focusing on the breath, one can explore the depths of their being, gradually reintegrating the fragmented aspects of their soul.

  3. Energy Healing Modalities: Explore energy healing modalities such as Reiki, acupuncture, or sound healing. These practices can help release stagnant energy, balance the chakras, and restore the flow of life force energy within the body, aiding in the healing of the wounded soul.

  4. Spiritual Connection and Nature: Seek solace in spiritual practices and connect with the divine or higher power that resonates with you. Spend time in nature, allowing its healing energies to rejuvenate your spirit. Engaging in prayer, meditation, or connecting with spiritual communities can provide a sense of belonging and support during the healing process.

Final Thoughts

You deserve so much more than emotional abuse. 

Soul loss isn’t something that gets resolved on its own. You will need external support to heal the traumas that get in the way of your healing.  Moving on isn’t easy, but it is possible. You deserve the opportunity to heal and live a meaningful life. 

The best way to begin is to address and overcome the brainwashing and mind manipulation that were inflicted upon you.  

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Roderick says December 28, 2023

Kim I really don’t know how to thank you for your work and devotion, you literally saved my life with your work, I got away from someone I never thought possible and would not have done it if not for your program to help me see what I was living with and around, I’ll never be able to thank you enough, sincerely Roderick

    Kim Saeed says March 13, 2024

    Your heartfelt message has touched me deeply, and I am incredibly moved to hear that my work made a positive impact on your life. I’m so glad to have been able to provide you with the support you needed to make such a significant change. Remember, the strength to break free was within you all along, and I commend your courage.

    It warms my heart to know that my program played a part in helping you see your situation more clearly, Roderick. Your words of gratitude mean the world to me, and I am genuinely thankful to have been a part of your journey to a better and safer place.

Renee says November 25, 2023

I truly no of a way out. My husband had help my land has a high position in the small county we live in. Which is our home town. We don’t ouw a home. We never did. After leaving a place where I found out he had a girlfriend and a baby. I was 43 then. . He stole my life.That day he turned into an evil monster that was out to destroy me. I never sen the man I knew again. He has thrown my in jail. Had help taking my license sos says there revoked. Filed takes with his girlfriend. Since 2015. I was cut off financially since 2015. Constant harrasment from both of them. Things on my criminal record that aren’t true. They cleared all of his criminal and driving records. He never. Been caught. I have no one no family no friends. Either they don’t believe me or they dont care. I have no friends. No one has called 9r stopped by since 2018.NO ONE.. The saddest part is our son came home in 2015 and he has involved him in all of this. He’s 34 doesn’t work no girlfriend. 1 friend. He involved him with the landlord that helped him destroy me. The police will not take a report from me.. They said we had to go to florida. This landlord botched about my son. It’s insane . I cannot process all of it. I Canandaigua no longer want to fight my out. I5s to much. Everyone laughed at me. Saying I’m mentally ill. Off coarse they say this about our sonMy husband works for Canadian National Railroad. She gets all the benefits. I have had no teeth, since he knocked them out in September 26 2015. Also all the places that should be helping me won’t. Because she has family members working in all of them. MCOP HOUSINGLEGAL AID. THE SHELTER AN ADVOCATE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. ALL HAVE SAID NO. THANK YOU FOR LETTING WRITE TH8S. THANK YOU. RENEE RIDENOUR MI.

Kimberly Allison says May 17, 2023

Everything you say and talk about is everything I’m going through and I just do t know how much more I can do this!! I’m scared, mostly of the thoughts I have.

John Johnstone says May 17, 2023

In support I recall Guy Finley spiritual teacher say that “Silence Is The Workshop Of The Soul”

Bridget says June 23, 2022

I’m four years out of severe narc abuse,my father so covertly abusive I looked at him as a victim of my malignant,cluster b personality mother and he only abused me because she hated me and to make her happy he had to go thru with the abuse.I spent several years believing that.I never in a million years wouldve thought my father could cause me to loose everything about me.Ive been severely traumatized and still four years out I’m still suffering the pain.i cant verbally express the hell I’ve been thru inorder to get help,I’m drowning in pure pain.i dont know how to live without my abuser and I’ve tried to go back multiple times,the abuse was so slow that I didn’t even know how far over my head I actually mother hates me,tells my dad I’m nasty,she hates my daughter and when disgusted with me always makes the comment of if we could only go back in time,what does that mean!? My father removed the covert mask and he too let me know that the love I thought he had for me was all a lie.i found out a few years ago my mother slept with my dads brother back long ago,I cant but wonder if I’m a product of that..they love my brother yet hate me,and I haven’t deserved any of empty inside,still no voice and I go thru life just completely in a different world,no one is aware I’m dead and only going thru the emotions.I was so pathalogically gaslighted I feel the whole looks at me as crazy,I’m isolated and alone and can’t move on,sometimes afraid because I dont know how to Handel life tonight I lie awake at 3am.alone and scared,my only outlet is reading anout this sbuse and knowing I’m not alone,others have faced this anuse..if I are currently going thru covert,malignant abuse relize u must leave,run don’t walk,it will destroy your entire life,soul murder is the best term for this hell..get out snd go no contact,know your not crazy nor alone.God bless everyone who is going thru such pain

Gowrie says April 11, 2021

Very helpful. It describes my life perfectly. I see myself in everything that was said cause I have lived that life for over 30 yrs. Thanks for sharing. I understand so much better from your blog.

Van School: Following our True North - SprinterFam says February 28, 2020

[…] “soul loss is similar to what psychology refers to as “dissociation.” – Kim Saeed. Narcissistic abuse causes soul loss. The Siskiyou School creates a culture of tolerated group abuse. To learn more about trauma, […]

Carmen says January 15, 2020

I like this article a lot, but it really bugs me that you said “pharmaceuticals that alter the DNA of those who take them”. Drugs literally cannot change your DNA. It’s physically impossible. Drugs do affect our brain’s neurotransmitters, causing changes in our brain chemistry, but they do NOT change our DNA. DNA is the code of our entire bodies, it’s what makes up every cell. It cannot be altered by pharmaceuticals.

    Kim Saeed says January 16, 2020

    Hi Carmen, I’m glad you liked the article. Regarding the DNA topic, pharmaceuticals can change your DNA, as can things like cannabis and alcohol. The older studies suggested that this wasn’t possible, but newer studies have shown that many things can alter our DNA, including stress.

B says July 24, 2019

Stealing of ones soul I believe is very possible.I lived most of my life with a cluster b personality person (malignant narc) and she told me herself she was gonna make my life a living hell and she wasn’t kidding.It took me into my 40s to understand not to ever argue or piss off a malignant,without any care in the world they are capable of compleatly destroying you and they have fun doing so! This person to me is mother,its been a lil over one year no contact but I still cant move on,its pain like I never felt.You dont ever picture your mother and father stealing your soul,walking around daily feeling dead but it happens and unfortunately I am very much a victim (survivor) of this hell.God bless u all.

Emotional Abuse and 7 Signs of Covert Narcissism - Kim Saeed: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program says April 23, 2019

[…] Not all narcissists, however, have the dead-eyed smile of the covert narcissist.   […]

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[…] full-blown wetikos are soul murderers who continually recreate the ongoing process of killing their own soul, they are reflexively […]

Anonymous says November 28, 2018

I ended my relationship and am no contact. I do feel my soul needs to be recovered. I understand traditional therapy wont help, but what therapy will help me while dealing with such intense emotions during this process?
I feel helpless, and I refuse to allow him to win as I suffer.

    Kim Saeed says November 28, 2018

    I’ve received the most relief from working with spiritual healers and Shamans. Traditional therapy never helped.

    Kim XoXo

Carl says August 11, 2017

It felt like she took my soul out of my body, put it on a meat slicer and destroyed it one slice at a time. What was left she threw on the ground and stomped on it with her feet. One book I read said a part of your soul dies every time you divorce. This relationship, created by divorcing my first wife, managed to get a good part of my soul. The second divorce left very little left.

    Kim Saeed says August 11, 2017

    Hi Carl,

    I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. Although we may lose pieces of our soul when we get divorced, I truly believe we can get those pieces back and become whole…and be even better than before the divorce. I hope you find that one day.

    Kim XoXo

      Jessie marie says June 5, 2018

      I agree, staying away from toxic people and loving yourself, eventually you will come back with a vengeance

What IS a “Narcissist”?? - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says April 6, 2017

[…] Narcissistic abuse is an assault on the heart and soul of a target.  Ultimately, it’s an inner struggle between the target and the Narcissist, which is why other people do not recognize or understand it. […]

Nicole says September 15, 2016

Well said Kim! And great article! I knew if I stayed I would be selling my soul. I know I am worth more then his money, malipulation, and control. I am in the process of divorce and and I feel stronger every min. I win because I get me and he is stuck with himself.

Broken says September 6, 2016

Kim in a previous comment you said it was predictable he got back with his ex. Why? I was dumped by a narcissist after a 5 year relationship. Within a few weeks he was already in another serious relationship. It’s been 6 months and I can’t even imagine dating again. I feel completely broken.

Tjay says January 17, 2016

Narcopaths have to be QUARANTINED, like any other virus.

jlewis3047 says September 1, 2015

Narcissist comes in your life tries to hijack your spirit but its decerning enough to leave until your ready for its return. Until then your a just a hollow shell.

Liz Says Hi says December 12, 2014

Narcissistic abuse truly is soul depleting. In my case, people around me get frustrated and annoyed that I do not leave but they simply do not understand that often the wrath one suffers as a result of leaving a narcissist can be more soul destroying than the torment of constantly living with them.
I know of people who have lost children to narcissists. Narcissists know how to play the system. They don’t want custody of their children because they feel that they are truly a better parent. If that were the case, they wouldn’t be constantly palming their children off to family and friends to take care of whilst they ‘do their thing’. No. It’s all about ‘winning’.
Everything is a game to them. The narcissist needs to constantly have their ego stroked and be reminded of how magnificent and intelligent they are.
If a narcissist is ever challenged, criticised or questioned, then god help the person doing the challenging. I don’t say that lightly.
They (the narcissist) will take any and all of the above as a personal attack and will stop at nothing to make you ‘pay the price’ for daring to question, criticise, or hold them to the same unreasonable standard which they hold you to.
Religious narcissists are often the worst of them all. They hide behind the fasade of dutifully dragging their children along to church on a Sunday and partaking in volunteer work at their children’s catholic school, but as soon as they are ‘free’ to be themselves at home, the mask gets thrown down quicker than you can say tally ho.
It is then that they rapidly move to criticising their partner’s cooking/cleaning/parenting skills and ‘womanly duties’ before retreating to ‘their’ separate bedroom, locking the door behind them and listening to religious sermons to soothe what little conscience they actually may have.
The narcissist is fully aware that what they are doing is wrong in the eyes of others, which is the reason why they go to such great lengths to hide their behaviour from those they admire.
The reason they continue to throw ethics in the waste paper basket behind closed doors is because they find ways to justify their abuse in their own minds. The phrase I have often had levelled at me is ‘you don’t do what you are meant to’.
What the victim is ‘meant’ to do of course, is at the discretion of the narcissist, who changes the rules as he goes along.
If questioned as to why he himself doesn’t follow his own rules, the narcissist will appeal to the same defence that insane people use called ‘diminished responsibility’ (i.e. he will either blame you, blame someone else besides you, or he will blame someone/something in the spiritual realm for his failure to adhere to his own impossible standards).
I don’t think its any great coincidence that people who claim to be possessed by the devil also use this defence as justification for their actions.
I often find that the narcissist will ‘ramp up’ his mean cycle during festive occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, or when one happens to be suffering from a crisis of some sort such as illness or upheaval in the family.
He sees this as the perfect opportunity to draw attention to himself and/or really lay the boot in.
I often find that I will be tossing and turning at night, reeling from the mental anguish that I have endured throughout the day at the hands of the narcissist in my life. Meanwhile, the narcissist will be sleeping like a baby in ‘his’ special room.
This I also believe is no coincidence.
You see, I believe that a narcissist is quite literally a predator or parasite, feeding on the life energy of the vulnerable. Have you ever noticed that narcissists seldom become ill, whilst their victims seem to come down with every cold, virus as well as numerous chronic conditions such as eczema, asthma, and CFS?
I have spoken to other victims of narcissists and there seems to be an unmistakable pattern here.
People who are in-touch with themselves can be honest about their own faults and look to resolve them, particularly so when they see that they are causing heartache to those around them. I believe the primary issue with the narcissist is the fact that they have been so out of touch with who they really are for such a long time, that they look to pin the same traits on others that they (on some unconscious level) recognise within themselves.
The only way that I have been able to insulate myself psychologically (to some extent) from the wrath and torment of the narcissist is to play a sort of spiritual Ping-Pong with them.
For those that cannot walk away such as myself, this has been my only line of defence. The only time it seems to fail me is when I am feeling particularly vulnerable to his verbal daggers, such as when I am feeling ill, haven’t slept well, or there is a crisis in the family.
Basically what I have been doing of late when he accuses me of being a bad/neglectful parent, a lazy partner who never does the housework and never sexually satisfies him and am not ‘lovable’ in any way, I agree with him, but I do so in such a way so as he knows that I am onto his game.
For example, if he accuses me of not spending enough time with the kids, or having a facebook addiction, I’ll say, “Sure. You’re absolutely right. I should try to spend as much time with the kids as what you do”. And if your partner is a complete hypocrite who spends many days addicted to watching Dr Who re-runs, you could also add, “I should also spend less time on Facebook and more time watching Dr Who. You are the epitome of perfection and more people should strive to be just like you. Lovvveeee youuuuu”.
This may anger the narcissist greatly because you have stroked his ego in the most sarcastic way possible, whilst subtly pointing out the ridiculousness of his verbal barrage. Whilst he will be angry, he will most likely say “f*ck you” before storming off like a spoilt four year old who was just denied a lollypop at the grocery store.
Whilst most people would feel uneasy about anyone storming off in such a fashion, to the victim of the narcissist, having him storm off and give up his unrelenting barrage of abuse is often a blessing.

    Robin Wessel says September 6, 2016

    You are so right in all you have said. People around you have no idea of what is really going on. They just admire that person and enjoy his company, and gives him many praises. In the meantime they treat his partner like she is a problem, and what is he doing with you. If they only knew you should be getting praised. It has been 2 months now that i walked out on my abuser. I have no contact. Ran into him and and he wants to say hi to me, as i casually walked away. He was in disbeliefe and hurried and left the establishment. I left july 4th 2016, and he got backwith an ex from long ago and posted they are in a relationship as of august 28th 2016

      Kim Saeed says September 6, 2016

      Hi Robin,

      Kudos on walking away! I am not surprised to learn that your Ex got back with his Ex so quickly. They really are so predictable!

      Best wishes for your continued healing <3


    Susan Allenbaugh says December 11, 2017

    I am so sorry for all the pain you are enduring. My narrcissist wasn’t this bad and I understand every cut. They will not only destroy you but eventually take your life as well by breaking your health. I know you said it’s not possible to get away from him but it is and you need to do so to save yourself . You’re not doing any favors for your children as well. Even if you had to eat beans and rice everyday would be better than being subjected to daily abuse.

lilacs says September 11, 2014

I like the article and I can relate to it. I had been put under so much pressure and abuse from more than one narcissist at a time. It was so draining, it was such a gouging of my insides. A cruelty so invasive and violating, I just could not protect myself from the mindlessness of their fun and games of tearing at me. I was finally finished with the semester at school and I wanted to escape and I left right away for the ocean. I felt somewhat better right away. As time went on though and I walked to the waters edge and looked out I could literally feel how devastated I was inside. I was concerned, worried that I had lost myself and that it was practically impossible to ever recover after the damage they had done to me. It was a sad moment and I think it was painful and frightening to realize that a part of myself was gone and that I may never be a whole person again. It was very much a devastating moment.

aishasoasis says August 22, 2014

Hi Kim, thanks for visiting me! I was thinking of you lately, because I read an interesting article I think you will like:
Just one simple question can identify narcissistic people

Date: August 5, 2014

Source: Ohio State University


Scientists have developed and validated a new method to identify which people are narcissistic: just ask them. In a series of 11 experiments involving more than 2,200 people of all ages, the researchers found they could reliably identify narcissistic people by asking them one question.

♥♥♥ ;^)

reikihealingg says August 17, 2014

Reblogged this on Shifting Energy-Creating Synergy.

firenice84 says August 15, 2014

Thank you, Kim, for re-blogging this article.

I am learning the most amazing things from your blog on how to heal myself. This article seems to ring true for me. Thank you again.

gypsy lake says August 15, 2014

Hi Let Me Reach, Kim Saeed,      Good Day to you and to everyone looking for answers to these pressing issues. Your website and counseling are the best hope I have. My life has been ravaged and devastated daily. There feels there is so little of a recognizable me in it. I was preparing for physical death awhile ago after the soul left me in grief. You have given me some hope that some how, some way,  I may survive and be restored to living again and moved from this  experience of being hollowed out and ravaged by such gross inhumane cruelty. I have tried to endure these ravages for such a very long time, it has been about 25 years now. I have not known what to do and I have been treated at all times as the crazy one and medicated while the abuser just keeps on partying down on destroying me. I am not sure whether I will survive, but it is worth trying, I am aware that I am looking for hope. I have not found much but you seem to offer that and I am willing to accept. Thank you for offering hope for a life that is my own and to all others who are also seeking their lives to be restored to them. Cordially Gypsy Lake

Gypsy Lake says August 15, 2014

I agree with what Kim Saeed has said. I felt that loss recently, with such a heavy sadness. Within two or three days I felt an energy leave my body. I sensed it in the chest area, the heart and spirit were in sadness, I was in a severe state of grief and morning that has gone on for a very long time. I was not sure at the moment but as I gave it thought I sensed there was a part of my being that left me, that went away looking for some safe and happy place to be. I accepted that it was necessary because I was not able to protect it. I became a fractured person, my spirit left me where it could go freely to live in love, and my physical body stayed behind to cope with whatever was left. I have the loss of the soul to morn for also. I weep regularly for I am kept in this state by the abuser who refuses to leave me and my life to my own care. His cruelty just grows like an untreated infection. It is sad, frustrating, painful and cruel.

    Ana Nim says June 17, 2015

    Narc Spectrum people NEVER leave. EVER. They will stay and get back in your house like a cockroach thru the 14 gap in the door if you let them. They will NEVER leave…YOU and only you can make them go. But, it has to be hardcore, tough-love (tough for you) style. At *least* you know what and who is the problem. It may take a while for it to settle in all your “bones”, but once your eyes are open they won’t shut.

    Your soul won’t abandon you. You won’t abandon yourself. We are not wired that way by our Creator. Maybe the part of you; the hope and dream part for this other person is what left, and was replaced by the grief of the loss and the reality of the situaion (hence the chest pain).


happinessweekly says August 15, 2014

So there I am, sitting at my computer about to do my major work about reconnecting with the soul through coaching and this comes through! Yet another outstanding post – and it’s going to help me with this thesis. Thanks! 🙂

Astrid says August 15, 2014

I want to let you know I can relate. I used to have a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, and felt that the non-traditional approach to thsi disorder helped me somewhat. Now I have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and I’m treated with a form of CBT. It doesn’t address the deep inner pain that I feel.
May I say that soem cluster B personality disorders may in fact be due to soul loss? I don’t mean this to justify narcissistic abuse (I’ve never been involved with a narcissist myself), but I do mean to say that untreated soul loss can continue cyles of abuse.

Axiom says August 15, 2014

excellent article .. thank you

silkred says August 15, 2014

I found this very moving to read, recognised in your words something I have only felt inside me, it is so true, the damage done is deep and difficult to define, the notion that it has been the loss of ones soul is profoundly true.

What a beautiful insight, it already resonates strongly with how I am now trying to put myself back together, a sort of self redefinition in a way. I go to a counsellor now which is letting me articulate those things I feel in a safe and none judgmental space all my own. It is helping me find some broad structured path forward.

Your illustration here of the damage done has fitted seamlessly into all that healing thinking…

I thank you Kim – beautiful.

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