Understanding Trauma and the Cycles of Narcissistic Abuse
Do you feel caught in a narcissist-inflicted cycle of abuse?
Which part of the cycle are you at? Is it idolise? Or is it devalue? Or maybe you’ve been discarded?
Each phase is traumatising, deeply so, exactly because they know how to hook into your unhealed trauma and make it hurt.
First, they will purport to fulfil all your dreams and desires and then turn them against you one by one.
In today’s Thriver TV episode I’ll explain to you how to relate these cycles of abuse to the trauma that we are experiencing in our body.
I deeply hope this helps you, by being able to untangle what is going on, so that you can access a faster and much more powerful recovery journey.
Today, I want to truly help you understand trauma and how it relates to the cycles of narcissistic abuse.
There are three main cycles of narcissistic abuse that are perpetrated on you, these are idolise, devalue and discard. You may have heard about them and studied them.
But how do these cycles relate to the trauma that we are experiencing in our bodies at the time of these stages?
I hope that not only will you find this episode fascinating, but that it will also help grant you vital information regarding your recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Okay, so just before we get started I’d like to thank all of you who have subscribed to my channel for supporting the Thriver Mission and spreading the word that it is now possible to heal for real from narcissistic abuse.
If you haven’t yet subscribed, please do so by clicking the link below this video.
Okay, so now, let’s get started!
The Trauma of “Idolise”
In the love bombing stage of narcissistic abuse, the narcissist is hooking into our past traumas.
Let me explain. These are the traumas of not feeling seen, heard or met.
Maybe, we felt invisible in a family of origin or in previous relationships. Yet, now, the narcissist has turned on the love gushing and attentiveness in such a way that we feel SO “met”. This causes us to feel like a parched person lost in the desert who has just found their oasis.
Narcissists are highly skilled at working out very quickly what has hurt you and what you are missing in your life. They then turn it on to seemingly grant you the rectification and a surplus of these specific things.
Thus, you bond very quickly with this person and let them into your heart, soul and life. It totally is the feeling of having connected with your soul mate.
In relation to a family member, or a work colleague or friend or another connection in your life, the idolise stage is about flattering you or being nice to you in order to groom and mine you to fulfil their own agenda.
Trusting the narcissist is vital for them to secure narcissistic supply, which is the energy from you that allows him or her to feel that they exist.
Possibly, you have experienced deception, betrayal and even adultery in your previous relationships. If a high functioning narcissist realises this, then they can purport to you that honesty, loyalty and monogamy are very important values to them and that they would never hurt you.
Of course, you may feel like you have hit the jackpot!
The same goes if you feel that you have been engulfed, controlled and distrusted previously, and this person seems to grant you space and trust in spades!
Here is this dream person you have been waiting for all your life!
Of course, we can say “How horrible that people dupe people in this way, pretending to be something that they aren’t!” Yet I promise you that thinking you’ve been “duped” equals how to lose regarding taking your power back and generating your safe, loving and healthy life.
As a Thriver, it’s vital to understand that we are responsible for our own boundaries and not to put them in the hands of other people who could be lying to us!
Healing and empowering and shoring up our own lives is never about stopping everybody else from lying, it’s about us being anchored in our loyalty, truthfulness and healthy boundaries to ourselves.
Absolutely, once upon a time, I chose to trust people blindly, even when my Inner Being was flashing extreme warning signs to me.
I ignored the signs because I didn’t want to speak up, rock the boat or risk this person leaving me because I didn’t “trust” them.
Now, as a result of trusting myself, I understand the following truths that apply to all of us regarding the previous traumas that have caused us to be susceptible to pathological and toxic individuals.
These understandings are vital to shore up not being able to lay boundaries or create our healthy and safe truth regardless of what other people are or aren’t doing:
1) If we inwardly meet the traumas from our birth families and previous relationships and heal them, then we will not be susceptible to somebody offering us “being saved” from these traumas. We have already achieved that for ourselves.
2) When we are healed and whole, we can take our time with people and get to know their character before committing our soul, body, life and finances to them.
3) If we have done enough inner work on our traumas, we can be ourselves. Meaning we can easily speak up, have the difficult conversations and be willing to walk away from any person and deal that starts to become unhealthy for us.
Okay now let’s get onto the next stage of the narcissistic abuse cycle.
The Trauma of “Devalue”
In the devaluing stage of narcissistic abuse, the narcissist is triggering our past traumas as well – the traumas of being invalidated, unloved and others not recognising us as good and honest people.
When the narcissist switches from being attentive, loving and caring, into starting to attack the very wounds that we thought that he or she was easing for us, it is intensely painful.
The promise of love, wholeness and safety that we were feeling, is now in dire jeopardy.
In regard to a family member, or any other narcissistic relationship, it’s extremely painful that this person, now, is not treating us how they should.
After feeling seen, heard and met (in the idolise stage) now there is cruel indifference, insults and abandonment.
After once being assured of loyalty and fidelity, we are now incredibly anxious that the narcissist is being disloyal and even adulterous behind our back.
After believing that we are honoured and given space and trusted, the accusations and insinuations start flying. And they cannot be appeased or resolved, no matter what we say or do.
What is happening?
The life that we thought we would be having with this person, or should be having, has turned into a nightmare.
Again, we get horrifically hooked into the insanity of it all, fighting to try to get this person to return to the “wonderful” person who we believe they should be. The harder we try to get them to do this, the worse things get.
So many of us have been there.
I was there too, fighting for accountability, sensibility and kindness that were impossible to get, and experiencing escalating abuse every time I tried.
What is the message in this?
This … the narcissist was never going to stop this behaviour or help us heal because he or she is not the saviour of these traumas.
The narcissist is the messenger of them.
What is it that is getting triggered from within you?
For me it was injustice, invalidation, betrayal and feeling intensely engulfed and distrusted.
These have been traumas which had plagued me all my life, and as a result of narcissistic abuse, they had hit critical mass. They were making me sick; they were breaking me down, they were destroying the fabric of my very Inner Being.
I was being attacked by him with my wounds. They were the bullets that he was using against me.
I had missed this message before. Now it was a whopping great billboard that had almost completely flattened me.
The message is the same as it is for all of us …
Turn inwards and become our own saviour by finding and healing these original traumas that are keeping us hooked into the narcissist trying to force him or her to “do it differently this time”.
The truths to embrace in this stage of the narcissistic abuse cycle are:
1) If we heal the traumas that are being dreadfully triggered in the devaluing stage, then we will emerge unaffected, no longer trying to get the narcissist to stop behaving like this. This is because we are no longer triggered by this person.
2) Then, because this behaviour is no longer our reality, (we no longer have the inner wounding that matches it) we will speak up, lay boundaries and leave if healthy behaviour is not forthcoming.
3) There is no longer a need for “closure”, “accountability” or the narcissist to “get it” or “make amends”. We have taken the gift of our own healing and evolution forward as well as the personal resolution and up-levelling in our life that was necessary.
4) In the future, we can be very quick to reject people who don’t have the resources to have healthy relationships with us. This is because we are no longer playing out the painful unconscious patterns of our old original wounds.
The Trauma of “Discard”
In many ways, this stage of the cycle triggers the most intense and panicked emotions of all.
This is where we come face-to-face with the huge terror of “abandonment”.
This one was enormous for me, as it is for so many of us who have experienced narcissistic abuse.
When I was abandoned by both narcissists, I freaked out. I would feel like I was dying. I would literally shake and even vomit with the terror of being “left to die”.
This deep primal trauma is embedded in so many of us, deeply within our Inner Identity.
When it goes off within us, we may hand over all our rights, values and even soul to try to not be abandoned. We can’t stop going back to the narcissist, even though he or she may be treating us terribly.
This is why, when separating from him or her, despite the horrific abuse, you can’t seem to let go, move on, stop obsessing or believe that you can live without this person.
There can be many deep inner wounds tied up into these feelings, but fundamentally “abandonment wounds” as well as trauma bonding is the reason for this. Such wounds are why it is so hard to stop breaking No Contact or move on from the obsession of what happened to you.
Personally, I know that if I hadn’t turned inwards to find and completely heal my abandonment traumas that I would not be alive today. They were literally killing me.
My heart goes out to so many of you who I know and recognise are dealing with these deep primal wounds as well.
These traumas powerfully hijack your entire being and have a life of their own. Mere logic or any amount of talk therapy and cognitive information can be completely useless in the face of such intense and engulfing urges.
This is what I know is necessary when this critical mass breakdown hits you:
1) Going within with an effective tool to find, load up and release those panicked, powerful traumas in order to go free from them, is what will save you. My NARP Program does this more effectively than anything else I know. It removes the panic and the intense addictive urges to reconnect, allowing you to stay away and safe.
2) Once you are no longer triggered into young and powerless wounds that have been causing you to retain connection to somebody for deep primal needs of survival, then you start to emerge as a healthy and whole self-generative adult force of your life to yourself. (The relief of this is indescribable!)
3) Going forward you are in a much more solid, mature and whole inner emotional position to make healthy choices regarding people and situations and look after yourself no matter who or what other people are doing.
4) This establishes a powerful healthy platform to be attracted to other healthy and whole mature people in your future.
Trauma Recovery is Key
You may have realised that my work is ALL about trauma recovery.
Trauma is responsible for everything in our life that derails us.
Trauma is not our natural state. As humans, we think that it is normal because it has been a normal part of the traumatic human experience, but in no way is it natural.
Trauma is not Who We Really Are.
The experience of narcissistic abuse and its three cycles are all about forcing us to our knees to go within to face and release ourselves from the trauma that has been causing us to have less than humane, fulfilling and safe interpersonal experiences.
When we emerge as trauma free, we are able to make healthy and empowered choices, that eliminate unhealthy people and situations from our life.
I hope that this has helped inspire you to know that there is a way out, no matter what stage of the cycle of narcissistic abuse that you’re in.
If this deeply resonates with you, I would love you to check out my NARP program, which to date, humbly, is the most effective trauma releasing and healing system that I know of to move you up and beyond narcissistic abuse.
As well as anything else that you feel plagued and stuck with.
You can learn more about NARP by clicking this link.
And, as always, I look forward to answering your comments and your questions below.