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Do You Miss Your Abuser? How to Escape the Dangers and Temptations of Narcissistic Abuse

by Mar 20, 2023

Abuse is complex

You would expect one instance of abuse to be enough to leave someone forever, but it doesn’t always happen this way. The dynamics of abuse can snare victims to their abusers for many years.

Escaping abusive relationships requires insight into how narcissistic abuse occurs, how the victim relates to the narcissist, and how victims can emancipate themselves from abusive cycles.

This post is about how to gain (and stay) freedom from abuse.

The Definition of an Abuser (Narcissistic Qualities)

Narcissistic abuse intends to exercise power over your psyche by making you doubt your intuitions and self-worth.

Any relationship can become abusive. Abusers can be our primary caregivers, the person we fall madly in love with, or close friends we’ve known for years.

Abusers tend to attract people they know they can control. Victims are often naive to this behavior or have upbringings that make abuse familiar (and even comfortable).

Likely because of their traumas, narcissists feel little empathy and focus only on personal status. Their inner wounds prevent them from seeing what they are. According to Help Guide.org:

“…people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are in love with an idealized, grandiose image of themselves. And they’re in love with this inflated self-image precisely because it allows them to avoid deep feelings of insecurity.”

Here are the qualities of an abuser that confuse victims and keep them attached:

    • They Charm You :
    • When you first meet an abuser, they may ravish you with compliments and make you feel like you connect with them on a deep level. You’re often happy you met them.                                                 **This does not last. Their behavior bounces between praise, criticism, and in the most extreme cases, physical violence.
    • They Never Truly Apologize:
    • Taking responsibility is not something narcissists are capable of. Lacking empathy, they act out of self-interest, with the blame always being passed to the other party. It is never their fault, so it must be yours.
    • They Feed Off Your Reactions:
    • Getting you to feel strong emotions is part of the narcissist’s appeal, even when those are anger and despair. 

**Driving you to a psychological breaking point is a power trip for an abuser and a roller coaster ride for the victim. For all the pain they cause, this is their way of keeping you hooked.

  • They Facilitate Your Dependence on Them:
  • If an abuser continually damages your self-worth, you start to believe that you don’t deserve better than how your abuser treats you.

**They rewrite your reality by convincing you that your worth depends on pleasing them when they are inherently unpleasable. They trick you into thinking that their reality is the only reality and that there’s nowhere else for you to go.

  • They Seem Incapable of Meaningful Self Reflection: 
  • Victims expect narcissists to behave like “normal” people. If you explain to them what awful thing they did, how they hurt you, or what they could do to change, they call you paranoid or say you’re “too sensitive.”

*Narcissists rarely, if ever, change their behavior. This is not something anyone should expect.

The Abuse Trap (What the Victim Gets Wrong)

When you get into a relationship with a narcissist, they show you love in one breath and withhold it in another. This is the foundation of the system they’ve built to keep you attached.

They create a trap of frequent abuse mixed with inconsistent praise and love. Because love is so rare in this system, it feels like gold to the victim whenever they finally get it.

That makes love and praise feel like treasures the victim earned from their abusers. When you receive it, it means there’s still hope. It means putting up with abuse was worth it. 

This is why victims become so attached to narcissistic abusers, even to the point of missing them when they’re gone. The reality of the abuser created for them was so strong that they still crave the loving moments long after they’ve mustered the strength to leave.

Yes, you may have shared great moments with a narcissist. 

But these nuggets of euphoria do not compare to the suffering you endure and the toll the abuse takes on your mind and health.

As we’ll see, breaking free is straightforward.

Pierce the Veil of Narcissistic Abuse

If you feel trapped in a relationship with an abuser, you are not helpless. Here are some things you can do and what you ultimately must do.

  • Gray Rocking
  • This is an in-the-moment strategy for dealing with a narcissist. The Gray Rock strategy is to become unreactive and “boring” whenever you’re around your abuser. This gives them nothing to work with and a way for you to take back some control of your interactions.
  • Know the Game
  • Once you understand how abusers operate, you realize that you’re the one with the power. The abuse loses some of its sting when you can see through what they’re doing and how feeble they are underneath it all. If they can’t get under your skin, they can’t win. You win their game by not playing.
  • Strength in Your Worth
  • Maybe you’ve forgotten your self-worth because of how long you’ve spent with your abuser. You recover it by setting boundaries, taking care of yourself, and divorcing your self-worth worth from their approval.

The ultimate solution to dealing with an abuser is not vengeance, arguments, or demanding change. It’s always some form of leaving.

The ideal scenario would be to sever an abuser from your life permanently, or at least as much as you possibly can. Trying to leave might be met with repeated attempts to win you back, reminding you of the good times and how they’ll be different now.

You need to be above this.

Take stock of your health and worth, and let it all go. You can see through every illusion and temptation if you understand what an abuser is doing. Staying with them is a dead end of confusion and pain.

If you know what they are, they cannot harm you.