I am proud to say that I am a Survivor of Narcissistic abuse. I am also proud to say that I have devoted my life to helping other Survivors through sharing my knowledge, research, and expertise.
As a Psychologist, I was enormously surprised to discover that I had been the Target of not one, but two Narcissistic abusers in adulthood. I thought my understanding of people would protect me. I was wrong.
Anyone can become the Target of a Narcissistic abuser, especially those who have been groomed to be vulnerable to them in childhood. As the son of a Narcissistically abusive mother, my understanding of what healthy relationships looked like was enormously skewed, which led me to become involved with my adulthood abusers.
What I learned from my experiences is that a whole different way of thinking about people is required to make sense of how Narcissistic abusers think and behave. We cannot simply apply what we know about "normal" people and expect to come to terms with what has happened to us; we need to learn a whole new framework of understanding.
Through extensive research, discussions and my own Therapy, I have come to understand Narcissistic abusers very well indeed. In my book: "The Vampire Hunter's Field Manual", I refer to them as Vampires because in so many ways they behave exactly like the classic Vampire from fiction. They prey on their Targets for their own existence; drain them of their life-force and resources and move on to another Target without a second thought.
Narcissistic abusers are incapable of engaging in healthy relationships because they create a false identity for themselves and live in a false reality. Their entire existence relies on imposing that false identity and reality on others, and they devote all their time and energy into maintaining and imposing this falsehood. For the Target of abuse, this means that they live in the Narcissistic abusers' crazy upside-down world all day, every day.
At the same time, Narcissistic abusers force their Target to take care of all their emotional needs while giving nothing back, they capitalise all the Targets resources and return nothing, they systematically grind down the Targets sense of Self until they no longer recognise themselves and then, all too often, they simply disappear.
For Survivors of Narcissistic abuse, the experience often feels like a hit-and-run because that's exactly what it is; but it is no accident. The Narcissistic abuser does it on purpose.
The vast majority of Survivors have no idea how to come to terms with what has happened because in objective reality, it makes no sense at all; it only makes sense in the Narcissistic abusers' false reality. That is precisely why we need to understand their mind and behaviour if we are going to start recovery and move on to lead abuse-free lives. It's a complex subject, but one that is explored in plain English and in depth in "The Vampire Hunter's Field Manual".
Recovery is not just returning to where you were before the abuse. It is rebuilding yourself into someone new; someone who no longer tolerates abuse of any kind and will go on to have healthy adult relationships. And it doesn't just involve knowledge and understanding; it requires action on the part of the Survivor to make sure they never fall prey to a Narcissistic abuser ever again.
I am on hand to offer 1-2-1 Coaching to Survivors to support them in doing both. There are a range of skills Survivors can learn and apply that will allow them to recreate themselves into who they want to be and live a happy, healthy, abuse-free life. If you'd like to start that conversation, you can contact me below.
The Vampire Hunter's Field Manual is a Survivors guide to Narcissistic abuse.
It is a plain English explanation of how Narcissistic abusers think and behave and a practical guide to the skills necessary for ensuring that Survivors never become involved with one ever again.
It's also quite funny.