It’s time you let yourself of the hook Domestic Abuse is complex, I sit here day in and day out supporting new clients, listening to new stories, new struggles and new examples of how Domestic Abuse can manifest itself into your once normal (ish) life. It’s sneaky, you may not notice it, you’re in love so you ignore the warning signs that this relationship is potentially unhealthy. You reach out for support from Next Chapter or those around you, you learn, you over think, your scared and most often you doubt yourself. This is something that can be so hard to move forward from, something that I hear often “It’s my fault”, “Why have I allowed this to happen?” or “why couldn’t I get it to stop?”. Victim blaming is something we have all heard of, it’s something we know is unacceptable but what if we are doing this to ourselves? Getting your own mind to stop sabotaging itself is probably just as hard as breaking away from the abuser. Education and understanding is the key, I have recently learnt more about the psychology of a Narcissist that I wanted to share with you. The most common misunderstanding is assuming that a narcissist has confidence and is “full of himself.” A narcissist is not full of himself. He is not confident. He appears that way. Narcissist’s mimic what they perceive as confidence, but at their core, they are fragile, neglected and often abused souls. It’s not confidence or self-assurance that drives their interpersonal recklessness. It comes from a place of deficit, loss, rage, emotional hunger, and shame. Look at Narcissism as an attachment disorder. The presence of their traits reflects ruptures in early attachment modelling where the infant was forced to orbit around an unreliable, abusive or absent primary attachment figure (mother). They have not formed that early bond, they are unable to receive happy/healthy relationships, this is something that has formed as direct reflection of what they missed out on. Their brain has developed but it’s formed ‘cracks or fault lines’ these cracks remain and will affect their future abilities to feel empathy and true intimacy. No matter what you do – you cannot fix these cracks, nor should you ever be expected to fall down them. The narcissist’s affection is always hollow and self-serving. His emotional scaffolding can only bear the weight of one person’s needs. HIS OWN. “If you dare to act out of your own emotional resonance, you will be discarded. Often without warning. And you may wonder if the narcissist feels bad or regrets his treatment of you. He does not. He doesn’t have that capacity. He will think only of how you have impacted him. The focus will always be on how you serve or fail his needs. This type of behaviour is painful and baffling to anyone who does not suffer from the same emotional deficits.” Reading that above statement really resonates with me – This is your ‘Get out of Jail card’. THIS IS NOT YOU, it NEVER HAS BEEN, it’s time to let yourself off the hook here! So, I guess you can understand the above and maybe for you this will be the first step in stemming your own internal victim blaming, but that still leaves the one question we all ponder upon. WILL HE CHANGE? The reality is, for reasons related to the core deficits that feed narcissism, change is difficult and often unlikely. To change, the narcissist would have to begin a long and cumbersome process of healing from the developmental wounds that serve to reinforce the traits of grandiosity, entitlement, lack of empathy, and arrogance. For most, this task proves far too arduous. You can’t be responsible for what happened way before you met, you can’t keep excusing this type of behaviour. There is no excuse for abuse. We are each responsible for ourselves and until that person can recognise and look to face their fault lines you simply can’t be falling down them. Stop the self-sabotage, take time to practise being nice to yourself and understanding that this is not you. Let yourself off the hook, you deserve it. You’ve been through enough.