free yourself from narcissistic abuse

3 Obscure Steps to Free Yourself From Narcissistic Abuse

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Trying to free yourself from narcissistic abuse through the usual venues simply doesn’t work. 

Getting a ‘Ph.D. in narcissism’ is the route that most people take, and it has become alarmingly clear that this does little in the way of actual healing or liberation from a narcissist and their abuse. 

For one, collecting information on narcissists and their dysfunctional behaviors often becomes an addiction that keeps people stuck for months or years beyond reasonable limits.

But more than that, many people believe that knowledge is power, but this isn’t always accurate.  Getting your ‘Ph.D.’ in narcissism is a massive waste of time if you don’t use that knowledge to make powerful changes in your life. 

Knowledge is a tool…and just like any other tool, it can sit unused, collecting dust.

In today’s article, I cover why knowledge isn’t always power and three keys to true liberation from narcissistic abuse.

 

Video Transcript

If you’ve been reading about narcissistic abuse, you’ve probably come across the phrase, Knowledge is Power, but knowledge is not power unless you actually apply it.  Knowledge in and of itself can be incredibly useless. 

Furthermore, we often get stuck in varying stages through our journey when we rely solely on knowledge as a defense against narcissistic abuse because there are simply too many people writing on the topic and sharing their opinions, many of which are not helpful. 

The reason we see so many folks who’ve (metaphorically) gotten their Ph.D. in narcissism, yet are still stuck at square one, is partly owing to a phenomenon called Information Overload.  According to Wikipedia, Information Overload is the difficulty in understanding an issue and effectively making decisions when one has too much information about that issue. Generally, the term is associated with the excessive quantity of daily information.

Many unsuspecting victims of narcissistic abuse believe that doing hours of research every day will help them get to a place of authority and power on the topic, but what actually happens is that information overload causes your brain to shut down, resulting in many ineffective choices in the process.  

There are three keys to freeing yourself from narcissistic abuse, and gathering information is only a small piece of the puzzle.  

Let’s jump in…

3 Keys to Free Yourself From Narcissistic Abuse


1 – Awareness

Awareness of a problem is a good start. It’s a powerful stepping stone. This is usually the beginning of a person’s journey of recovery from narcissistic abuse. They’re reading all the articles, watching all the webinars, and signing up for all the newsletters. And of course, watching videos on YouTube.

That’s the awareness stage and whether or not knowledge is power, depends on what you do in the next two stages.

Maybe you find yourself not only reading reams of articles, but also delving into narcissism on all the social media platforms, saving all the memes so you can go back to them later.

That’s okay because a lot of times we do need reminders when we’re being abused. But at some point, you’ll want to get out of the awareness stage and step into the acceptance phase.

2 – Acceptance

Acceptance doesn’t mean that you are promoting someone’s abusiveness.  You’re not resigning yourself to continued abuse. That’s not what acceptance means.

Acceptance means you accept the narcissist for who they really are.  Unfortunately, our minds can play lots of tricks on us. When we’re observing that someone is emotionally abusive, acceptance means that you choose to live in reality instead of clinging onto someone’s potential because they were nice to you three or four years ago (or 10 years ago). If that’s not who they’re showing up as every day, you’ll have to accept that that person no longer exists. 

If there is a pattern of verbal abuse, of psychological manipulation and it’s been ongoing, this is what you want to accept. You’re accepting this person is not who they used to be or who they pretended to be when you first met them.

Acceptance means you release the illusions, release the delusions, and accept that the narcissist has abusive traits. This is the second step in your liberation from narcissistic abuse. The third step is action.

3 – Action

What are you going to do with all the information that you have gathered so far from all the webinars you’ve watched, all the videos you’ve watched, and from all the books you’ve read?

Awareness is great. Knowledge is great, but none of that means anything unless you’re putting a plan into action. 

Too many of us stay stuck in the awareness phase, ruminating on it, continuing to read about narcissists well past any semblance of it being beneficial.

It’s normal to do this, in the beginning, because you’re in shock. You’re just realizing what is happening, what has been happening to you, but you don’t want to stay there.  It’s true, healing does not have a timeline, but at the same time, you don’t want to waste your life in the gray zone.

Using myself as an example, I’m going to be 50 in December. I have a lot fewer years in front of me than I do behind me. If I had stayed in the awareness phase, I would still have to go through all the healing work that’s required. I’d still have to take all the steps to create my own life, which would mean detaching from that relationship and working on healing myself every day to get to the place where I am now.

How to Get Started on Freeing Yourself From Narcissistic Abuse

What course of action are you going to take? If you have kids, what course of action are you going to take?

It certainly won’t be easy. Especially if you’re financially dependent upon the narcissist. Sometimes you can’t leave right away.  But, too often, people feel like they’re trapped and they’re looking for reasons why it wouldn’t work out instead of looking for ways to make it work.

You might consider moving in with a family member or getting a place and looking for a roommate, which could be a friend or a coworker or someone that you know.  It might mean that you go on assistance for a while. I did that for a few years back at the beginning of my own journey.

A lot of folks might think that’s incredibly embarrassing.  They don’t want to go and apply for assistance. Especially if they have (or had) a good career.   They may wonder how they could possibly go and apply for assistance!

That’s true. It is embarrassing. But, what’s worse? Feeling embarrassed while you’re there applying or wasting the rest of your life, living under the roof with the narcissist?

These are just ideas and suggestions because everyone’s situation is different, but you’ll need to get to a place where you do step into action if you truly want to free yourself from narcissistic abuse.

Gathering More Information Can Cause More Harm Than Good

You’ve probably come across a lot of different information. Some of which is very confusing. For example, some authors or people who have PhDs keep insisting that narcissists can change; that there’s a way that they can change for the better. That there are ways to make things work with them.

I’m here to tell you that I’ve never seen that happen. A lot of this is based on theory. Sometimes it’s also based on that particular author having a narcissist in their own life, and they’re trying to justify keeping them in their life.


Because someone has a license in counseling and they’re writing about narcissists, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re free. I work with a lot of professionals in the mental health field who are involved with narcissists. Now, these aren’t the people out there writing about narcissists changing. But I do know of some authors who write about narcissists being able to change, and they are entrenched in their own toxic relationships.

How to Step Out of the Awareness Phase and Into the Acceptance Phase

You get to acceptance by radically accepting that there’s a long-term pattern of emotional manipulation. There’s a long-term pattern of brainwashing. There’s the long-term pattern of you not mattering. There’s a long-term pattern of infidelity lies, financial exploitation.

If this has been happening to you, you’ve got to understand that this is not going to change. They’ve already shown you all this time, who they are. So when I talk about acceptance, it means accepting that until you go into that third step of taking action, your life is not ever going to be different. And that is what helped me in my own journey. When I left narcissist number one, who I also share a son with, I told myself that if I wanted my life to be different, I would have to make it happen on my own.

I had to accept my ex for who he was and accept that he wasn’t going to change. I had to stop listening to his excuses, his lies, and his justifications and finally stand in my own power.

I knew that unless I did something to change my life, it was not going to change. And do I want to continue living this way? Do I want to continue being abused? Do I want my children to continue seeing that? No, I didn’t want that. So then what, well, then I had to step into that third phase taking action.

It did not happen right away, but I saved up some money and put a down payment on a new apartment. I didn’t tell him anything about what I was doing. There came a time when he was subjecting me to the silent treatment, as he had done hundreds of times before, after telling me also that he wanted a divorce, he didn’t want to be married to me anymore, and I was such a horrible person.  Sound familiar?

So when he was subjecting me to the silent treatment and had gone out of town, which was like three or four hours away, I moved out.  I had already arranged everything in private. I had my furniture moved to my new place. So when he got back from that silent treatment, he came home and there was nobody there.

One thing that might help as you plan is to come up with a date, just like getting engaged.  You set a date for getting married, right? Or maybe you set a date for the day you’re finally going to go on a diet or start a new lifestyle and be healthy. You might set a date on the day that you’re going to stop drinking alcohol.

This is one of those important milestones. This is going to be the date of your liberation from narcissistic abuse.

Conclusion

There are so many people just like you who have taken a stand against their abusers.  They’ve gotten a taste of the good life–and that taste of freedom is too sweet to turn back to the lives they had before.

If you’re ready to take control of your life, download the free Beginner’s Healing Roadmap. You’ll get a 14-day series of emails with emotional support and encouragement and a 13-pg PDF of healing prompts. Plus, you get complimentary seating to the masterclass, 7 Proven Steps to Break the Narcissistic Spell.

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is hard, and it’s okay to admit you need help. If you’re ready to go deeper now, check out the #1 therapist-approved online program for narcissistic abuse recovery. This program is so effective, counselors and therapists refer their clients to it and it’s also shared in shelters across the U.S.  You can see for yourself here.


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20 comments
Holly Fosso says November 18, 2020

Thanks I am a victory in the making my ex did so much harmful things I’m over the feelings I had but sometimes it’s like I hear him with all the rude comments I have came a long way.

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Carla says November 10, 2020

I left narc relationship of 13 years, two years ago I left him, retired, moved 500km away. He got a new girlfriend within months. Several times I’ve fallen off the no contact wagon, I second guess myself and think maybe he isn’t a narcissist because I remember the times he was loving and spiritual (he hid behind Buddhism). I still cannot believe what is really behind the mask. Had contact with him again and right away realized the reason he called was because he wanted something. I want this shitstorm to end but I am at square 1 again starting over with another no contact. 13 years of my life gone and I’m 62 now.

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Anonymous says October 22, 2020

After days of silence when I go no contact I start to feel sorry for him as if he is a lost child. I am wasting my time as he would never truly consider me like that. He isn’t capable of caring only pretending to, if it serves him some how. I might as well see it through this time and get over this bad choice of mine once and for all.

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    Tuesday says October 22, 2020

    There are so many truly amazing people in the world! People that will like you just the way you are and want nothing from you.
    Take a chance and do something fun. Just you. Or just you and a buddy (not the abuser or anyone that will only remind you of the abuser.) If you have to pretend to be someone else. Someone fun! Someone confident! Someone super happy! (Ok, just happy will do…)
    Thats what I did when I left the abuser that I had become attached to. It changed my life, going out and having fun!
    It opened doors and possibilities for me that the abuser wouldve FOR SURE held me back from.
    Life can be amazing again. Its not too late. Im 50! And living like Im 25! And Im happy ( approaching super happy. Lol) You got this!

    Reply
Sonya Bock says October 14, 2020

7yrs of my life gone , not understand , why I was putting up with this person , who lied cheated left me homeless hungery n empty inside, then I started to read about what he really is , I alwaysthought there was good in him , but I was wrong , I knew physically abuse n mental , but what he did to me made me always wonder was anything real in are relationship, no it wasn’t finally I know , it’s only been a couple of months I ‘ve been reading different articles about this behaver , I’m very thank ful for this information , my heart n soul are broken , but I’m ready to get me back , I l I want to pick up the phone but won’t , he’ll never change n will keep pulling me in feeling loved n then just throwing me away like I’m trash , it’s done I have to tell my self , I just couldn’t figure it out , thank you so much , I use to tell him I rather be punched in head like my first boyfreind to me , then all the mentally abuse , I pray I stay strong n never let him or any abuse me again

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Cheryl says October 12, 2020

Thank you so much, this is hard 40 years marriage Kim brought this out in acceptance is it hard yes but every time I think about please listen my friends the cheating, constant lying, financial abuse, gambling, drugs, different drugs, no sleep n no eating, brain freeze no lights, lost identity, character gone per lying, isolated, more isolated, it’s true u can’t change them it’s satanic it’s dangerous I worked 2 or 3 jobs 30+ years had heart attack on the way to job1 I fell at door legs just left me, I got up picked up purse keys lunch kept going got to work no air worked medical all my life knew what was happening so I talked to my heart when got hospital in heart failure I never called him 4 am. He doesn’t like sick people he hates us I’m not lazy but got real sick. More silent treatment by this time they already have a plan with support yes this is true family so called friends, he promised them money if they could help getting rid of me. May 19th 2020 my son called his sister to pick him up she was so supportive of me a Christian, she was a supporter 40 years they wanted me dead. In 2018 raising grandchild he got very ill put in intensive care n make arrangements I refused I just didn’t pray I begged him to help us. 95 days 11 surgeries n I moved in Ronald McDonald I fell on knees break room sent me by ambulance exhausted n spine disease I can write a book In a divorce nasty one he not once stayed at Ronald McDonald not there 11 surgeries complained about hospital stay I put him out put him n supporters on security list. Why n how did I get here? Someone u can’t see seen it all n not a lawyer. While I was at child’s bedside he n supporters had planned to take my home n property take my child throw me to the streets even now what did I do this bad? It’s called living with not one narcissist but whole group, I was shocked my sister n my sons all involved his friends n family I was completely isolated n beat down, I have a barn out back got so bad slept there sometimes u see we don’t know who will b sent to help us, this case my 11 year old grandchild yes coming from counseling one day he made me pull over I thought he was getting sick, no he had been watching everything his grandfather was doing he knows computer lab real well. Z saved my life he was not supposed to live you see I have to go by my creators rules, he also told therapist his papa wasn’t treating me nice that day my life changed they very quick got me help n a list to go by the next day or so called attorney as I was loading car with important documents he thought I was leaving n cursed me out. The Plan my attorney got me restraining order n because I proved adulterous for 40 years ordered to pay all bills does not. He has bought whole house full of everything for his woman even a engagement ring n has 4 vehicles 2 are brand new n 2017 2010 money stolen for years. I’m not looking back I want u guys to listen, this is real took long time to get someone to listen, because of that I saved paperwork taxes for years n turned in recording of him cursing me out n hitting me then counsel listened. Look solicit your murder, financial, mental anguish, physical abuse n got worse by choking moved my 11 year old out I knew it was bad then he got served he cursed out attorney. Over a year yes been hard but now I sing n dance when cooking started reading again the lights started popping on. I could write a book this is serious he took my childhood 18- 56 you see he’s crazy+ satanic I seen it face to face. Now get away go get help community service free I did I starting selling what I could even the damn rings. Yes Kim I got a taste of freedom I’m steal in danger listen u guys I got long way to go but not going by his rules there sick n they will kill u look at the news girls plan plan get help per out of family as much as u can. Try to get good counseling they will help u n get u out n safe if needed n document. Ok my friends I care I will write the book just let me know….

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tina says September 25, 2020

Kim i am appalled at myself! I cannot break free. I know in my heart he’s a monster, a total sexual deviant, yet 2 minutes after i tell him to fuck off I’m sobbing and want to die!
I’m not desperate for a man. I dont have issues being alone, i enjoy my own company! I read all your articles but can’t implement it! Please say the magic words to make this go away!

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    Kim Saeed says September 28, 2020

    We all pray for those magic words, Tina. At the end of the day, though, we have to be the ones to rescue ourselves. I’m happy you read my articles, but they’re just information, they alone aren’t enough to heal. My recovery program is probably one of the best ways for you to get started on healing and breaking free. You can find information about it here: https://bit.ly/MyHealedLife

    Big hugs!

    Reply
    Carolyn Harrington says September 28, 2020

    Hi Tina,
    I read your comment and felt the need to share my own experience.
    It’s only a few words, but I hope these few words can help you in some way.
    The pain you feel when you’re at the peak of wanting to die, doesn’t get worse than that… That’s the peak.
    And I had an overwhelming epiphany that I was not ever going to be rescued and it was up to me to pull my courage from the depths of my pain and take back my power, my life, my self esteem and kick this abuser OUT of my life.
    When you are free from your abuser, you will look back and kick yourself for accepting this craziness for so long.
    There is a beautiful life at the end of the tunnel…. And it belongs to you if you want it badly enough.
    Best wishes on your journey there. X

    Reply
    Michele says October 13, 2020

    Tina….God love you, I could have written that exact post. xoxo

    Reply
SUE FINNERTY says September 23, 2020

“You get to acceptance by radically accepting that there’s a long-term pattern of emotional manipulation. There’s a long-term pattern of brainwashing. There’s the long-term pattern of you not mattering. There’s a long-term pattern of infidelity lies, financial exploitation.”

This speaks volumes to me. When you finally realise this and that it’s never going to change it’s time to leave. Mine was members of my family of origin so it was probably one of the biggest decisions to go no contact.

Thanks for your work Kim.

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char says September 23, 2020

This is me – 50 years old and realized last year I’m married to a narcissist for 22 years. Abuse has escalated and he abandons and verbally abuses consistently. I have a lawyer and everyone wants me to file and leave and end it – but I feel frozen. My next step has to be the retainer for lawyer and end this marriage so I waste no more of my life in unhappiness and my health has so deteriorated.

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    Carolyn Harrington says September 29, 2020

    Hi Char,
    I am 51 and I can confidently say that the day you take your life back will be the beginning of the rest of your life. It’s amazing how much we can love ourselves once we remove ourselves from situations lacking love.
    Your health issues are real. I’ve been through it. There is nothing more valuable to you than your health, don’t let the narc take that too.
    Wishing you the very best, You can do it, you have to, there’s no choice. Xx

    Reply
Anonymous says September 23, 2020

Thank you for all the help you give us Kim!

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    Kim Saeed says September 23, 2020

    It’s truly my pleasure and honor 🙂

    Reply
Anonymous says September 23, 2020

I always find a deeper learning when reading Kim’s articles. The title may sound like something I’ve already learned, but inside the article is even more help than I expected. Each time. Another great article.

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    Kim Saeed says September 23, 2020

    So glad to know it resonated with you! I really enjoyed creating this one 🙂

    Reply
    SUE FINNERTY says September 23, 2020

    Ditto.

    Reply
Leslie says September 23, 2020

Thanks Kim , you have helped me so much . 16 months in after the brutal discard with my ex narc husband . I am in the action phase now .
Despite the hovering attempts , it is me who is doing the discarding and finding closure myself . It has been hard , 37 years brainwashed . What I have found helps me now is EMDR for the PTSD . I am more connected to my body and my emotions now , this is the path for me . Creativity also , I have started painting again , getting my identity back .
Living a calm and peaceful life , knowing that I am here for myself , I have taken back my power and the ex narc doesn’t come around because he knows this . At 66 years old my life is starting over .

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    Kim Saeed says September 28, 2020

    Wow, I am so happy you are healing and creating your beautiful new life, Leslie! Yes, EMDR is wonderful if you find the right practitioner. Sounds like you have. I’m glad you are proving it’s never too late to be happy. Wishing you all the very best! 🙂

    Kim Xo

    Reply
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