From a Shamanic perspective, Narcissistic Victim Syndrome is a rape of the soul.
Many therapists would say that the victim of narcissistic abuse seems to unconsciously choose abusive narcissists again and again in a bid to correct their own maladaptive behavioral patterns. And that this pattern of behaviour is the victims attempt to resolve old conflicts, and hopefully soothe their old wounds. This is a plausible argument, and personally I can concur with that to some degree, but personally I believe that the phenomenon is a bit more complicated than that.
I would like to add another level to the argument; it is a spiritual dimension that I have come across in the course of therapy with victims of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome. On many occasions, I have worked with victims who had already completed therapy before coming to me, they thought that they had dealt with all the issues of their past experiences with abusive relationships, and yet they felt something was not right.
The victim could articulate that they felt as if the source of their primary narcissistic abuse was still under their skin; as if their abuser was still living off them in some way or other. In spite of having done all kinds of therapy, the victim knew (at a deeper level of the self) that something was not quite finished, or something was missing from their life. It has been my experience that traditional western therapies work well when working with victims of abuse on a mental, emotional, and physical level, but generally not so strong when it comes to working consciously with the victim on a spiritual level.
Therapists need to be able to work with the victim of narcissistic victim syndrome on a spiritual level, because “Narcissistic Abuse is truly a form of soul defilement”. It seams that whether a person considers themselves to be spiritual or not, they can tell that on a deeper level of the self that something is not right. The Shaman knows that soul trauma is a big part of victim abuse; it is created through the dyadic relationship that exists between both the narcissist and the victim. For the victim to recover on all levels of the self, it is useful if the therapist is familiar with transpersonal therapy (the psycho-spiritual component), or at least be able to refer the victim on to a therapist who can complete the recovery work on a spiritual level if they are not feeling confident enough themselves.
Shamanic diagnosis of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome:
Apart from being schooled in western psychology and psychotherapy, I have also studied Medical Anthropology with a variety of indigenous Shamans. The Shamanic view of western psychotherapy is that it tends to lack a good understanding of a psychology of spirituality (transcendent states of consciousness). By so doing, it has lost a sense of the sacred that awakens man to his sense of wholeness. Furthermore, as a result of this loss, most western therapies overlook the process of Individuation (the processof integrating the conscious with the unconscious, for the purpose of self-actualization), something the Shaman feels is vital for a full recovery for the victim of narcissistic abuse. When a victim is traumatized or shocked (as in narcissistic abuse), it is possible for the whole self to become fragmented; the Shaman calls this phenomenon “soul loss”.
Individuation is a centering of consciousness through which the self forms the personality into a coherent whole, bringing back the fragmented parts to a totally integrated “true self”, (the totality of a Divine Self). To reach the goal of the individuation process, the Shaman would take the victim of abuse through the pain of the contents of their own unconscious mind in order to access the contents of the psyche, and bring that knowledge into consciousness where it can be processed for healing. In this process, the victim begins to understand their relationship with everything, with themselves, others, including the relationship with their narcissist abuser.
Shamans (indigenous healers), were the first psychotherapists on earth, they have understood for millennium the phenomenon of the narcissistic dyadic relationship where perpetrator and victim merge in twinship, enmeshed in each other. When a victim is emeshed with a narcissist, especially if this began in childhood, the individual learns to give their attention, affection or emotional support to their abuser above all else, in time they begin to loose a sense of self. It appears that the victim puts the needs of the narcissist (and then others) before their own needs. This is true to a point, but actually, and more importantly, the victim’s first daily need is to remain safe in the environment with the narcissist. Becoming a “pleaser” is a way to stay safe, it works by way of “changing the mood” of the abuser, thus avoiding there rages, which usually meant punishment, guilt, shame, and abandonment for the victim. However this behaviour of pleasing may continue into adulthood, where it can cause a lot of resentment in the victim.
Many victims loose the ability to be able to ask for their own needs to be meet, as a result, they may find themselves acting in a way that is passive aggressive. The passive aggressive style of communication develops as a result of fear at not being able to have honest communication with their aggressor (because of fear of reprisals). The victim will need to examine and understand their behaviour, so that they can develop an assertive style of communication for a healthier balance in their relationships. These victims never knew reciprocality (“give and take”) when in a relationship with a narcissist, they learned to give, give and give again. Part of the recovery work with the victim will be to bring this awareness to them, and to encourage them to forge reciprocal relationships in the future with others, and reconnect with their own self.
The Shaman also understands that a part of a human soul is free to leave the body, and it may choose to do so for many reasons; indigenous cultures refer to this phenomenon as soul loss. Western therapy also recognizes this phenomenon; they refer to it as dissociation. From the point of view of contemporary psychology, the therapist may understand this better in the context of a victim experiencing a “vital loss of their essence” whenever they dissociate or split off from the body while experiencing a traumatic event. This soul loss (or vital loss of essence) is a defense response to many forms of physical or emotional traumas; such as fear, the stress of combat, incest, loss of a loved one, suicide, abuse, accidents, surgery, long standing illness, miscarriage, abortion, addiction, depression, narcissistic abuse etc.
The Shaman accepts that the soul part flees in order to survive the experience as a means of self-preservation, and they have a technique for mending this common human predicament, which they call “soul retrieval”. Similarly, the psychotherapist (whether they know it or not) also does a form of soul retrieval by a process of uncovering and integrating the split off parts of the victim’s self. Take for example, a child who dissociates because of rape by her father and escapes to the top of the wardrobe. The Shaman would say that the child had experienced a soul loss when a part of their soul’s essence left the body due to being overwhelmed in that moment. However, both therapist and shaman would agree, whether it is called dissociation or soul loss, what is now needed is to integrate that fragmented split off part of the self back into the person’s system in order to make that individual whole again.
The Shaman also knows that there are other ways one can loose a part of one’s soul. In a case of soul loss, a person may unconsciously give part of their soul to another person in ignorance because of their co-dependence. For example, because a child’s psychic defenses are not strong enough to withstand the constant abandonment and rejection from their narcissistic family member, the child, in a bid to get love may give a part of its soul to the narcissist in order to survive. In this case the soul loss is a natural protective mechanism.
Many people inadvertently give themselves away when they are in grief. For example, I worked with a client whose narcissistic partner had died; she explained that it was as if a part of her had died also. She went on to tell me that she had put a photo of herself into his pocket before the coffin was closed. She said she could not bear to think of him being alone in the after-life. Her explanation of the event may well be true, but it also demonstrates the extent of her co-dependency. In effect, she sent her soul essence to her loved one in order to keep him company, but more importantly, she did this unconsciously in order to remain attached to him. By this act she was actually creating her own soul loss.
There is also a flip side of giving your soul away, and that is when a soul is stolen. In most cases of “soul robbery” by a narcissist, it is most likely their “acting out” is due to their sense of envy. For example, a narcissistic parent may see their children as both mirrors and competitors, and they may become increasingly fearful and envious of the child’sgrowing independence. They may equate the child’s independence as a threat to their sense of power and position in the family environment. Feeling a sense of powerlessness, the narcissist may set about stealing a part of the child’s soul in order to gain power over it; this is done through violent acts, such as the rape of that child, or severe mental or emotional beatings. That way the narcissistic parent regains their domination and power over the child, while at the same time depleting the child’s power. However, in the attempt of getting more power, sadly, the narcissist fragments the child’s soul, that is a high price the child has to pay for the narcissists envy.
By the way, it is important to say that it is not possible for someone to rob your soul without your consent at some level of your own self (usually it is an unconscious act, as in self protection). It is also possible to give your soul-part away inadvertently; this can occur during a trauma, when there is a partial or complete disruption of the normal integration of conscious or psychological functioning (and the individual fragments or splits).
Just to remind you, soul loss is comparable towhat psychology refers to as “dissociation”. When a shaman is working with a victim of narcissistic abuse they look for signs of soul loss, and they can recognize many symptoms that would confirm that a soul loss had occurred, especially by listening to the words they use, (i.e. “I don’t feel like the same person anymore”; “it feels like a part of me has died”, or “I have never been the same since…..”). Another tell tale sign is when a depression does not manage to heal.
To the Shaman, soul loss or dissociation is a sign that the person is not fully able to engage with life, the person is technically unable to stop “depressing”. Apart from looking out for soul-loss, the shaman would also check if the client was holding a part of someone else’s soul. For example, the victim may hold on to a part of the narcissist’s soul as a result of psychological conditions and reactions due to survival identification (such as happens in Stockholm Syndrome and Trauma Bonding).
Going back to the point I touched on earlier, where we raised the question as to victims seeming to choose abusive narcissists again and again in order to heal their old conflicts and wounds. The shaman knows that when they witness the victim’s maladaptive behaviour, (where they find themselves repeating the narcissistic trauma over and over again), they are being privy to the victim’s unconscious motivational drive towards its own self-actualization. Self-actualization means to fulfill one’s potential. The question then is to ask, “Potential for what?” The Shaman knows that man’s driving quest is to become “whole” to the core of their being…..incorporating body, mind, spirit and soul. To the Shaman, this is the only drive by which the human life is determined.
To be “holy” means to be “whole”. When we are whole we have integrated all the fragmented parts back together. The Shaman understands that this phenomenon of healing the fragmented soul is man’s primal and innate drive towards “wholeness.”, when man becomes fully actualized, an Authentic Self. When a person self-actualizes they possess an extraordinary ability to detect the spurious dishonest personality that is the narcissist, and they will never again need to repeat the narcissistic trauma. This is the journey home to oneself, it is a spiritual one, and each therapist is called to make this journey for themselves, because we can only ever bring others as far as we have gone ourselves.
Please Note: The term Narcissistic Victim Syndrome was the concept of Mary Jo Fay, she first wrote about it inMedicalNewsToday.com in 2004. Here is a link to her original article: https://www.sott.net/article/144549-Narcissism-Victim-Syndrome-a-new-diagnosis
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As a Holistic Health Practitioner I see this a lot with my clients. A lot of ego attachment disorders to their abusers. Very nice post Christine!
Why is the description of the covert differ from all the others that I have read about and listened too. Are they really shy, introverts, not seeking grandeur, not seek others for their own gain and self importance through lies and other means of deceit. Misleading others to the reality of events by twisting words to the point that it benefits them. Spending like there is no tomorrow and expecting others to be responsible for their debt.
I come from a Christian back ground. I am a quiet and shy person, takes a lot of scorn for me to anger, like helping people in need but not for glorification, following don’t be boastful, be humble, don’t be self seeking, don’t argue with an angry spouse but retire to the corner of the house, keeping the peace, discussing and aggreging on maters only for the boundaries to broken time after time. Maybe I’m not understanding the above correctly. The other references all indicated similar characteristic for both except for the covert, one will never see them coming, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, until it is to late and the victim is deep into being a victim and broken completely. Trying to understand so I don’t FALL BACK into a similar trap.
it has been a revelation, thank you for your share this.
I have been thinking that the experience we have had with the narcissist is the same experience that the narcissist had with his parents in his childhood. With the only difference that the child does not know how to manage it mentally after that period of pain, it creates a fake defense mask. But he/she has it in the deep subconscious, so it would be more difficult to bring it to the conscious and recover that part of the soul lost by that pain.
They experience the same pain with us (they believe that we are not equal to them, after the idealization, and that we could hurt them as their parents did because they are afraid of people) and it should bring to the conscious the memory that someone they said to love them, can not love them.
Therefore, the universe brings this experience with us to bring the conscious experience with their parents and bring back that fragmented part of the soul. (The same we, as a child, at least I, after spending this experience, brought to the conscious an experience of my childhood of pain, in which I’ve noticed or my i bring to my consciouciousness that my soul was gone, and I have recovered it, that’s why my relationship with him).
Now, I hope they will be able to bring it to the consciousness and recover its part of the soul, if they know whay the had this experiences in their relationships. If not, they will have to repeat the same experience… another opportunity. Maybe, shamanic help?
Thanks a lot. Best regards.
Loss of soul … this is exactly how i have felt since meeting my ex 3 years ago. I felt as if my soul had been stolen quite literally. Weirdly the very first time we met i had a visceral reaction; it felt as if i had been punched very hard in the stomach and a reaction of nausea. The abuse left me feeling as if i eas ‘beside myself with fear and as if id left my body. This article is revelatory and confirmatiry too. I have been thinking about going on an Ayhuaska retreat to try and heal myself.I feel Shamanic guidance is required for me. Thank you.
I do feel like I have lost my light once I fully realised my sister was a narc, playing mind games with me.. I am still trapped by her and seem to run only into other narcs… Thank you for this article, it helped me understand my journey better.
Linda, you are not the only victim who dislikes the title “co-dependent”. I discussed this on air with another psychotherapist, perhaps you would like to listen to it. Rather than referring to the victim as a “co-dependent” I speak about them as a “Co-narcissist”….. if you would like to know why I use that term, take a listen. Here is the link below:
For over 35 years working psychiatric hospitals- my late husband was a psychiatrist- I am also victim, empath and student of shamanic practices. I very much dislike the word co-dependent, and yet I actually “feel” in a relationship with NARC a re-experience of my childhood. To me, Shamanism provides the most respectful and insightful way to recognize soul loss- the behaviors formed as a result of it – all the while offering dignity- an adventure of ‘salvaging’ the self-dignity. Its charm is in its absence of dogma- places, eras. And the first psychoanalysts were brilliant to include what is “uncivilized” in the power of the unconscious mind. Thanks- Will read your book.
IN TERMS of shamanism
I did some online research
and came up with an aspect that relates
to mainly in the Americas
it was thru migrations from Siberia when there was a land bridge
as the means to get to the americans
one group that maintains a shamanistic tradition
dating back as I recall aboutr 5000 uears
is also a group where there is some clear connection with reincarnation beliefs
here is a url link on that group
Throughout recorded history, the Hmong have remained identifiable as Hmong because they have maintained their own language, customs, and ways of life while adopting the ways of the country in which they live.
In the 1960s and 1970s many Hmong were secretly recruited by the American CIA to fight against communism during the Vietnam War.
At the end of the Vietnam War, some 300,000 Hmong have been settled across the globe
Each person is thought to have 12 main souls. These souls must remain in harmony to remain healthy. Some souls have specific roles. One of the 12 main souls is reincarnated after death while another main soul returns to the home of the ancestors. Another main soul stays near the grave of the deceased. The souls of the living can fall into disharmony and may even leave the body. The loss of a soul or souls (poob plig) can cause serious illness. The number of souls lost determines how serious the illness. A soul calling ceremony (hu plig) can be performed by shamans, when the soul has been frightened away, within the community to entice the soul home with chanting and offerings of food. Shamans perform rituals because they are the ones who have special access to go in contact with souls or spirits, or in other words, the otherworld. Rituals are usually performed to restore the health of an individual, or family, and call one’s wandering spirit back home. For soul calling, there are a couple of different ceremonies; One usually done by the head of the household and one by the shaman.
my first query Christine is….
has to do with
some aspects here seem suggestive of reincarnation
but I am not sure if that is an aspect of some shamanistic schools of thought
in connection with the article
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT NARCISSISTIC BEHAVIOUR?
are you familiar with the American psychic EDGAR CAYCE
I think his case for reincarnation as being an aspect of salvation thru jesus
is well done ….
Cayce gave a figure of 30 some incarnations of jesus
the first one was an atlantean
which connects in the Cayce material with atlantis
as the spiritual discipline of atlantis was shamanism
and thus originally I would think shamanistic perspective included reincarnation
Cayce speaks of the final destruction of atlantis in terms of its remaining continant
after the first 2 karmic chastisement partial distructions
there were 5 islands that remained and these were sunk during the 3rd destruction
but there were many colonies in the earth yet
as well as lemurian colonies
the atlanteans who has remained true to spiritual principles
were involved in the building of the great pyramid in Egypt
around 10000 b.c.
I think the Cayce material says the stronghold of remaining atlantic shamanism
was Siberia …
I am not sure if it was the pure form or the corrupted form or a mix
the pure form was as the SONS OF THE LAW OF ONE
and the corrupted from ..THE SONS OF BELIAL …a soul known as belial was its founder
and the name I think is connected with the pagan god BAAL in the bible
as I recall … few if any American indian tribes believe in reincarnation
tho the eskimos for the most do , I think
what the case might be with Mexican, central America, and south America..
I would be interested in finding out if some to believe in reincarnation
I am a parent of a son married to a narcissist. Over time, to survive, he defended her abuse towards himself and me. I am working with a coach to improve communication with my son and go grey rock with her. We had an incident in Europe when they visited in public that could have endangered all of us because of her views towards outsiders. I called her out on her dangerous behaviour and she went into a rage in public followed by a smear campaign that turned my family against me.
Over the past 7 years, I have described scenarios with my DIL and son and family and many friends do not believe me. I have described the damage done to my son and how he has changed because of the love bombing, exploitation, idealisation and dismissive behaviour. I have had to cut my family off as well as some friends because I am also a victim of this abuse and revictimized when trying to explain my experiences as well as my son’s.
I think “soul defilement” is aptly described. The changes in my son to survive this narcissist are obvious. It is interested that Christine pointed out that to some degree victims allow this but this is glibness and naive because narcissistic vicim abuse is terrorism coupled with Stockholm Syndrome in order to survive. Also, victims reflect on the love bombing as the body releases pleasure chemicals similar to alcohol and drugs, thus resulting in withdrawal symptoms and difficult to eradicate.
Although the coach has helped with better communication with my son, the true issue is not being addressed–making sense out of being a victim of narcissistic abuse as a parent by my DIL and the horrific abuse my son is enduring but does not recognise this. I have to be his rock in the event he finds his bottom since being sucked into the rabbit hole. As an educator, I am working with students using quality literature to help them recognise narcissists as dangerous people. I want nothing to do with my family and former friends who do not offer support to my son and me.
Hello I have found so much comfort in reading this..I grew up with a horrible narcissistic father and a codependent enabling mother….I married a narcissistic gas lighter. …been divorced and separated for a long time yet not successfully nor emotionally well..until just recently I have acknowledged and am pursuing all the counseling and help I can get.I’m struggling to find my self to make decisions to be a whole person…to just live and stand in me…I struggle with doubting every decision or thought with enjoying life with having any confidence or any self worth …I feel damaged ,broken unable to be somewhat normal or whole…I get fed up with my self defeating mind my self destructive doubting ways… i have been unable to work fuil time or to truelly functioning well..I am chronically fatigued i get dizzy ,confused and completely overwhelmed with life…but i fight back with my God and my counselor my accountability to my friends who understand the narcist and see the part fall pray to…this information is life giving to me..
I thank you for it,,,please continue to shed forth your wisdom as I believe it will be a life long battle for me to overcome and find and become the person I was meant to be…but I know it’s possible if I’m willing to do the work..I thank you deeply and pray all of life’s best upon you,
im 64 and having a hard time digging up unprocessed trauma/emotional trauma from early childhood w/ a narc mother. like a cauldron, the stuff on the bottom starts to bubble up when it is heated (triggered) and bubbles to the top, but who knows how long it takes. then it can be seen & processed. the longer it’s been in there, the harder it is to see b/c its become so much a part of one’s functioning that the mind/psyche fears changing it. this is the integration process she describes. narc parents dont teach us to emote, much less process emotions, and provide us with tons of trauma to deal with. dissociation/repression is a common child’s way of dealing. it’s a big adventure if you see it that way and the discovery of a new you is exciting.
Hi Jocelyne, How true, narcissism is a spectrum disorder, with each level of pathology crazier than the one before it. That is the reason I wrote my book The Three Faces of Evil. I especially wanted therapists to know the difference so that they could understand the victims abuse fully, and the insidious nature of narcissistic abuse.
P.S. I must add that the term “narcissistic” for this disorder confuses a lot of people. Without the experience of being a victim, most would just think that a “malignant narcissist” is a person with perhaps an inflated ego and the victim is over reacting. In a way, there should be a completely new term to describe this form of soul murder. I add this point because uninformed people’s perceptions of what we are going through can be devastatingly isolating.I was rejected by most long term friends who suspected I was off my rocker when I attempted to confide in them about my experience.
Hi Christine, Thank-you for all the work you do. For me, the hardest part of “soul retrieval” and healing from this kind of victimization was that friends and extended family never actually believe your story. That’s what is isolating! If a family has colluded in “gaslighting” you, then they have to be cunning at manipulating people to keep their image afloat, especially if the family is rich and powerful to the public. Which is my experience. I literally had to move across the country, give up everything I had including most lifelong friends. It’s brutal. The only way to success is self love, compassion, insight, spirituality and creating new healthy relationships. Whatever you do…don’t drink or use any mind altering substances. It will just add to the confusion. You need a clear concise mind to wade through all the craziness. Stay strong and appreciate every joyful experience you can manifest for yourself. Blessings, J
After being married for 34 years and now divorced for nine, I find myself struggling for something that is missing. I realized that something was missing in my marriage and that something was ‘me’. But divorce and the time since, has not helped me fill that missing part of me. When I read your article, I cried for I finally knew what it exactly was that was missing. Yes, my ” wuz’ is a narcissist. Yes, my mother was a narcissist. I am now 67 years on this world and I so want to be whole again and I have no idea how to go about doing that. Maybe at least recognizing and learning what it is, is a true beginning. If I have another 20 years on this earth, I deeply want to go through it, whole again. Thank you for the article , it has opened me up.
Hi Jenna, Sounds as if you have had a really bad time. Educating yourself in a way that you can identify narcissistic behaviour when you see it is the first step for staying safe. However, as you grew up with a narcissistic parent, you would have learned unconscious defense mechanisms that would have helped you avoid trouble, for example, being passive, being a pleaser, etc. The problem then is that you would most likely have brought those unconscious defenses into your adulthood, and other narcissists would be very attracted to you “like a moth to a flame” as a result. You do not need to feel bad about your particular defenses, they served you well, and were indeed very clever ways for survival. That is why I suggest that victims do go into therapy to find out about their own particular defense mechanism, because they may later be working against them as adults. Once aware, they good news is that they can change their behaviour around, and put better boundaries in place for the future. Regards. Christine
This describes what I have been through… 3 times, including growing up with my narcissist mother.
I feel more whole than I used to… as I’m now able to recognise a lot more warning signs.
Do you have any advice on continuing my journey towards becoming whole?
There have been times when I lost myself so completely that I had no personality, and was barely functioning. There have been times where I was suicidal because I couldn’t see any reason to continue living, I had lost the ability to feel happiness and had forgotten what it felt like.
I want to be me again. Totally and completely me.
Thanks so much for your website… I can’t express how valuable it is..
They will also try to recreate you, a false version of you, an imaginary, projected version of you, which will feel psychologically uncomfortable to you, through re-framing and enmeshing they will try to impose a false personality on to you! And it is all intended to disempower you!
If you enjoy running, for example, if the big joy in your life is running in nature, through the hills, along the beach, wherever, the narcissist will try to entreat you, as if they were on your side and sympathetic to your cause, and discourage you from running, stressing that there is no reason for you to go so far out of your way to try to impress others, etc., as if what you are doing and enjoying reveals your personal insecurities and mild psychological affliction. If you do not eat fast food, they will try to find out why you don’t, as if it were a problem for them to sort through, and then they may try to get you into a fast food joint and actually insist on ordering such food for you, any resistance on your part will be taken as a minor flaw within your character, something that they are bent on helping you to overcome, by showing you how it is done…
Hi Lisa, I believe that therapy can help a narcissist, but unless they wants help, there is nothing you can do.
There is a book called Disarming the Narcissist by Wendy Behary that talks about the treatment for a narcissist.
Perhaps you could contact her and ask how you can get your narcissistic person to look for help.
Take a look at her uTube clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDCxxKZE12s
This is not my area, as I worked mostly with the victims, so I am sorry I cannot be of more help. Warmest regards.
I was wondering if there is a way to help a narcissist? Is there a healing path that could help them be better people and if so where and how do we begin?
No. There is no “there” there in being a “victim” of a narcissistic partner. Like digging at the beach, it feels you’re going to find something the deeper you dig, but all you get is colder and wetter sand. It’s just as false as the false self of the narc.
I was reading this and thought wow! Finally I understand what has happened to me.I now know why even though im a survivor of a narcissist I dont feel as if I truly survived. I mow understand why after all of these years I still feel like a part of me has never been recovered.
I wish I could have all of my soul once again. I can only dream about how it would feel to love and trust without fear, what it would be like to not be bond by the hurtful emotions of my past.
I understand now what I’ve been searching for and its devastating to read, my soul. I need help, I need to heal. I need direction. Can anyone help me find a Shaman?
This is wonderful information, thanks very much. I have found it very healing. I am still on the path to true healing, and working on trying to get total integration after a two year relationship with a narccissistic. I just learned to day about the victim syndrome and recovery so thanks very much!!
This information is helping me to understand the dance I have had throughout my life. The last relationship I was in, that lasted 7 years, ended the night I was trying to tell him I wanted out of the relationship, due to his having so many other female friends including his wife. He ran over me, with his truck, in a rage. I suffered a broken femur, I now have a rod replacing the right femur, a knee replacement, the tissue and muscle were ripped off of the front of my left calf, a crushed left ankle, and a brain injury. The road to recovery has been extremely difficult due to my suffering from narcissistic victim syndrome. He has repeatedly said he feels no remorse for running over me. The night he ran over me he drug me from his driveway, into his house going over the threshold, and then dragging me up onto his sofa and left me in a seated position. I am still struggling to get over this event and still being in love with the couple I thought we were. I am 58 years old and this incident occurred 2 1/2 years ago. I am now living with my mother.
When the dangerous issue comes up regarding women being attracted to abusive narcissists I always attempt to paraphrase a remark made by Truman Capote describing Marilyn Monroe. “She never learned to be afraid of the things the rest of us were taught to fear.”
It sounds to me like you are well on the track to healing yourself. Even that you know that you attract “narcissists” is amazing wisdom in itself, most people cannot work out what is happening to them in these types of relationships. Also the fact that you are on this website tells me that you are continuing with your research….. and that is vital. I think it is time for you to stop being so hard on yourself.
You say you are an Energy Worker, so the chances are that you are also an “empath”…… and empaths are the narcissists dream partnership, for a while at least. It is important to know that (generally speaking) the empaths soul purpose is to facilitate the healing of others through love and compassion, so this makes them vulnerable to those people who have been wounded badly…. and I believe narcissists have been victims of their own lives, during childhood. Empaths are not good at taking care of themselves, they tend to ignore their own needs in favour of others needs, and this is an aphrodisiac to all narcissists. Adding to this, the empath’s soul purpose is to facilitate healing in others in a peaceful way. Because disharmony upsets the empath at a deep level, they try to resolve conflict in their relationships, and unfortunately stay in the toxic relationship with these narcissists far too long.
Empaths grow up as very sensitive children, and in order to survive this harsh world and the injustices they witness they develop unconscious defense mechanisms (i.e pleasing, passivity, compliance, patience, etc.) which they then bring into adulthood. Unfortunately, these behaviours can tend to make them a little naive (seeing only the good in people)…… these behaviours are often called co-dependent behaviours. However, the universe offers “crisis” situations, (n your case, and mine), a series of narcissists in order to enlighten the empath into a spiritual emergency where they are forced to wake-up, and being themselves into balance where they can become a more fully Authentic Self.
In a strange way, the narcissist and the empath are a magnetic duo. The narcissist thinks only of their own self before others, and the empath thinks only of the other without thinking about their own self, both are out of balance. Unfortunately the narcissist is unlikely to learn anything from the union, but the empath, once their eyes are opened they can see the gift that is offered to the soul, and with some personal work can make the changes that are necessary for self growth.
Good luck on the journey to wholeness that most empaths have to make.
Warmest regards, Christine
I have done so much work on myself (16 yrs, I’m 42) yet still attract narcisstic relationships in work & living circumstances, now I am forced to move again due to discovering my housemate is a covert narcissist, who is passive aggressive with me as I won’t buy into his ‘poor him’ stories and provide narcissistic supply. I am physically, psychologically and spiritually exhausted from these experiences much of my life. People in my life who genuinely love & support me are confused at the drama & quality of people I attract, I’m tired of asking for their emotional support when I go through yet another catastrophe, I’m embarassed at my disfunction even though I’m so capable & together at many levels. So this article on the spiritual aspect really feels like it gets to the core of the issue, I’m an energy worker yet still deeply felt something was amiss. The most helpful aspect was your acknowledgement that we are working at a deep level with self actualization and should be honouring ourselves for that rather than putting ourselves down for failing at yet another relationship, its so easy to go to self denegration in these situations. Now just to find an ethical shaman…thanks wholeheartedly for this article Christine.
Thank you for your insightful articles. I have been in two relationships; married 30 years and another relationship of close to three years. After a four year recovery from my marriage, I thought I had achieved a better understanding of myself and why I remained in an emotionally abusive relationship for so many years. I thought I had a stronger sence of myself and I could avoid a manipulitve person in the future. Was I ever living in a world of illusion. My second relationship was with a covert aggressive / gas lighter. I am aware I attract these individuals through my personality and I am lost. I know I need to change something deep within myself but it is difficult to find or afford the help that is needed. The Shamanic point of view has lit a light bulb for me. It scares me to think that my past my have caused and worse continue to cause damage to my children.
Thank you for helping to clarify some of the issues
Thank you for this article. As someone still dealing with the daily effects of soul loss–do you offer one on one help using this Shamanic practice?
You are an incredibly gifted healer. The Shamanic article was amazing. The process of true healing resides within its concepts. Thank you for sharing your gifts and insights into this bizarrely destructive and painful personality disorder.
I have a similar situation with the comment of Emily. I think though that, the rage, comes out of having to suppress that feeling for several years. I also thing that in some degree we all are narcissistic at some point but there is a fine line between healthy and not healthy narcissistic syndrome.
I was told one time by a professional numerologist that I choose the people that surround me since before I was born, in order to grow and take care of some Karmic issues. I do highly agree but it is hard to understand and manage!
Thank you for this article, it explains a lot and gives me light in my life.
I have a history, practically from birth…and I’m 64 y/o now…of being involved in abusive relationships. Most of them were with Narcissists. What is really scaring me now is my ‘rage’. Does this mean I’m also a Narcissist? Or do those of us who have had multiple relationships w/Narcissists develop our own rage from being in these relationships? One of the latest was with a supposedly ‘good friend’ who ended up gaslighting me. She trashed my reputation on all fronts…leaving me no choice but to have no contact with anyone we know. Then my last romantic relationship of 7 years was abusive mentally and emotionally. The list goes on and on. Do you think I’m experiencing ‘rage’ as a victim or as a Narcissist myself? I think I have N tendancies, but much of the characteristics don’t apply to me…like lack of conscience. Would certainly appreciate some feedback. Thanks! This is a great resource…and it is sorely needed.