The short answer is far longer than you’d like. It takes time to bounce back from narcissistic abuse.
I wish I had a different answer. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do, so you can arrive at a place where narcissistic abuse no longer bothers you. Quickly.
But there’s no easy shortcut.
Sometimes a certain amount of suffering is inevitable.
If you’re suffering now, I can assure you it won’t last forever.
That’s the good news.
You will survive. You will be happy again. Especially if you can find a way to move on.
If you’re not married to or related to the narc, moving on is easy. You pick up and go. Don’t look back.
Establishing contact will drag out the process.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse?
No contact means not driving by the narc’s house. Or checking his or her social media accounts.
It means finding other things to do. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel with a new focus.
But I need to tell you the truth. Recovery can take time. A certain amount of pain is inevitable.
However, moving on feels so good. I remember how it felt when I had said “enough.”
It was a great feeling.
Unfortunately, it took time to get to that point.
Along the way was collateral damage. I had to distance myself from people I cared about. People I loved a lot.
Because malignant narcissists infiltrate your other relationships.Oftentimes, the only way to get rid of them is to walk back from those relationships. Not forever. Just for a time.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From Narcissistic Abuse?
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Causing chaos is what narcissists do best.
Narcissists cause a lot of collateral damage. This means they draw others into the drama.They try to destroy your other relationships.
It wouldn’t be nearly so devastating if you only had one person to deal with.
But oftentimes it’s a group of people. Especially when it involves mobbing in a workplace or in a social setting. We hear a lot about workplace bullying. Much less is reported on adult bullying that happens elsewhere, such as in a young Moms’ group or in a church. Even nursing home residents may be targeted by senior bullies.
So cutting a narcissist out of your life may require cutting others out as well. Temporarily. Until they wake up and realize they’re dealing with a phony.
It’s much better to let people come to this realization on their own. They will. Trust me.
Some of these people you will later realize were never your friends. This experience only served to expose them.
Others can still remain your friends. But you’ll probably need distance while the abuse plays out.
That’s because narcissists are dividers and deceivers. They will use all sorts of tricks to divide. Including deception. It takes a discerning mind to see past this. So the best thing you can do is give everyone some space.
Bouncing Back From Narcissistic Abuse
Meanwhile, do your best to rebuild your life. Find new interests. Try to forgive. I know that’s easier said than done.
Sometimes people get angry when I talk about forgiveness. But, in the end, it was the only thing that set me free.
It wasn’t easy to forgive someone who wasn’t going to apologize, with sincerity. I accepted that this wasn’t going to happen.
Even worse, I believed she derived pleasure from my pain. It made her feel superior.
I had to get to the point where I didn’t care how she felt. (My abuse came from a platonic friendship.) Instead, I focused on how I wanted to feel – at peace.
So I decided to forgive. If it seems as if forgiveness is impossible, I’ve written a book on How To Forgive a Malicious Person. Forgiveness is the only thing that sets you free. This is something you do for yourself. Not for the narc. Actually, an abuser wants you to stay angry. Because it will destroy you.
Tips To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse
I suffered mentally. Physically too. Because the abuse sent my body’s normal level of inflammation into overdrive.
There’s no off button. I’ll probably deal with excess inflammation for the rest of my life. In my case, inflammation causes nerve pain. At times it’s been excruciating.
But I’m okay with that. It’s part of me.
I’m able to keep my pain in check with a clean diet and natural remedies.
So pain is not much of a problem. Usually.
Getting healthy again also meant recovering emotionally. I took a lot of natural remedies. I used homeopathy.
The link above takes you to an earlier blog post I wrote on centaury flower essence, often recommended for the after effects of emotional abuse. Centaury is one of 38 Bach flower remedies. These were developed by a British physician who believed they could help clear emotional trauma.
Natural remedies can ease both mental and physical pain.
I’m so thankful for the many natural remedies available. They allow me to live relatively pain free, without drugs.
Even though I need to take something nearly every day to keep the pain away, I’m so thankful these remedies are available.
One of my favorite natural remedies is frankincense essential oil. It’s a great natural pain fighter.
You can use it alone (with a carrier oil) or you can mix it with a little bit of copaiba essential oil. It’s believed that combining essential oils creates a more powerful synergy.
Recovering from narcissistic abuse is a process. You need to pay attention to your body, as well as your emotions.
But life is good when you reach the other side.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils or homeopathic remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
I am not a mental health professional. I write from personal experience only.
For More Reading
I frequently write about narcissistic abuse because it’s so common and so destructive. It has the potential to destroy your health, as well as your happiness. Here are some earlier posts you may be interested in.