Every survivor of narcissistic abuse goes through many stages during their recovery, and it begins with acceptance. Until the survivor accepts the abuse happened, it is impossible to heal and move on.
When someone experiences a horrific abuse situation, and narcissistic abuse is full of different types of abuse, it can be overwhelming to process. The brain is still suffering under a heavy cloud of cognitive dissonance and it takes awhile for the fog to lift. The abuser was hoping to keep the survivor under that cloud forever.
How did that cloud of confusion get there? It develops during the first stage of abuse known as trauma bonding via love bombing. The trauma bonding is a complex induction of various chemicals in the body and brain. All the neurotransmitters are manipulated by a push-pull technique. This push-pull is also known as the tug of war with emotions.
The abuser will use many different ways to build their target up with all the “feel good” emotions only to turn around and send them crashing downward with insults, condescending tones, and other verbal onslaughts. The psychological phrase for this is intermittent reinforcement. It creates a dependency of external validation.
Over time, the constant push-pull on the emotions will lead to wear and tear on the body and mind. Many survivors experience severe anxiety and depression because of the abuse. The narcissistic abusers are fully aware of what they are doing. How? Because they learned how to do it from their abusers. And their abusers on the societal level taught them how to do it.
While some of this is may not be new information to some people, it is new to a survivor who is just now waking up from that cloud of brain fog. In order to do that, the survivor must accept the abuse happened and not justify it away. There are many crept in unawares who don’t know they are being abused by society and some who refuse to admit the abuse is happening.
Until acceptance takes place, the survivor will be unable to learn how to process the aftermath and break the trauma bond to the abuser. Very similar to breaking the trauma bond with the world. There will be sacrifices the survivor will have to make in order to let go of the past and begin to heal.
The fact that a survivor can accept the abuse occurred shows not only courage, but an existing mental strength that will grow. Regaining their self-confidence and putting their life back in order takes time. As long as acceptance has happened, the survivor is already on the right path to brighter days ahead.
Accepting the abuse occurred does not mean acceptance of being abused. There is a difference. During the healing process, the survivor will sort through all the manipulative behaviors and make sense of them, which will keep lifting the brain fog. Once all the fog is lifted, and warrior mode kicks in, the survivor starts to thrive.
And nothing can or will stand in their way ever again.
Congratulations to all the survivors out there who have accepted that the abuse occurred!
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