Yes, of course! Just as it is possible to live and be successful after having a cold, the flu or even cancer. Also, just as with these biological ailments, the symptoms and source of illness must be removed /treated. The chances of success for a victim of emotional abuse are greatest when he, she, or they move from victim to survivor having ESCAPED* the toxic relationship and/or setting appropriate boundaries on the emotional access the abuser has to the survivor. Escape = you left or they discarded you.
The metal, emotional and psychological wounds (e.g. low self-esteem, Anxiety, depression, panic, confusion, self-doubt, shame etc) of narcissistic abuse can be addressed in supportive familial, spiritual, social or therapeutic relationships. Should one choose therapy, it is recommended that you search for mental health professionals who are knowledgeable of personality traits or disorders such as borderline and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Some of us have training and experience in areas of clinical practice that may or may not be best suited for a survivor of such interpersonal injuries and traumas.
Gaining knowledge of the signs, symptoms and traits of narcissistic abuse is an important first step to healing from the abuse. This is especially true when the emotionally abusive person is prince or princess charming in public and a domestic terrorist in private (even with the invisible wounding of words and mind-games). The inconsistent personality and behavior of the covert narcissist can make it difficult to detect right away. The victim may make concession, make excuses or explain away the abusive behavior at times, because he, she or they may find it impossible to let go of the fantasy that ?that person who wooed me with such intensity at the beginning must still be in there somewhere.?
Reading self-help books (see links below), engaging in psychotherapy with a mental health professional knowledgeable of NPD or taking an online class such as our upcoming ‘Tools To Date Smarter’ After a Toxic Relationship are among the immediate ways one could begin to educate themselves for new life after a narcissist.
Another important step and overall goal to healing after narcissist abuse is at the core of your question: succeeding! Many of our psychotherapy and mentoring/coaching/consulting clients have described calculated efforts their narcissistic Ex- used to sabotage his going back to school or her starting her own business.
One of the best ways to win the battle that was waged against your emotional well-being, is to repair your self-esteem and shift your focus from the false persona you fell for or was parented by (could be boss, faith leader etc) to reclaiming the worth of you and the goals you have for your life. This too takes practice and having a supportive person, accountability group, prayer partners, life coach or mental health mentor may help in making self-care a priority that produces the success you want.
Anyone who asks themselves the question stated here is already facing forward in a mindset of success and new life after a narcissist.
All the best,
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A Few Recommended Books:
Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist
Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare