Breaking out of the trap is nearly impossible to do on our own. Most of us need some kind of support to get through this process. Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed if you feel like you need help with this. Just get help! As survivors of someone with NPD, we have had to be strong, tough, and self-reliant in ways that many people never experience. But it's not a failure of self-reliance to need help with something this huge. It is a testament to our self-reliance that we WILL get the help we need when our entire world is shaken to the core. Pain, self-doubt, worry, even panic, are all normal feelings that flood us as we go through this process of understanding the trap we're in and seeing the pathway that will free us. Help is vital for almost all of us!
There are many sources of help for survivors in the modern world. These are just a few:
Online Support GroupsUse search terms like "Adult Children of Narcissists" (ACON), "Narcissism Survivors," or "Narcissistic Personality Disorder" to find the ever-growing number of suport groups. Try out a group and see if it is a fit for you. If it isn't, try another group! Keep trying until you find the right group for you, and don't settle for less. Some suvivors are angry and intense, and need a place to vent. Others are confused and distressed and need a gentler place. There is every kind of group out there, so keep looking until you find the one that works for you.
TherapistsWhen we get lost in the morass of doubt and confusion, a therapist can cut through the fog very quickly for us by reassuring us that what we're going through is a normal reaction to what we're seeing. There are therapists who understand this kind of long-term trauma, and can help us immeasurably. If you're afraid or think you don't have the time to go to face-to-face therapy, try an online therapist. Their numbers are growing every year, and you usually have the advantage of being able to send them one email of inquiry before you actually start therapy with them. If their answer to your email doesn't feel right, then try another therapist until you find one who feels like a match for you. Don't be afraid to keep looking! It is crucial to find a therapist who makes you feel comfortable, safe, and hopeful about the future.
LiteratureReading is one of the most therapeutic things we can do to find our way out of our narcissist's trap. There are many types of books on this topic, and new ones appearing all the time. There are books with specific steps you can take to get through this metamorphosis. There are books that explain narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder to help survivors better understand what is going on in the minds of the narcissists in their lives. There are books for adult survivors of narcissist parents, or for survivors of a marriage or love relationship with a narcissist. Most of us read through many of these books in search of answers, and along the way, we find ourselves, our truth, and our way.
An Understanding FriendFind someone to talk to - anyone who understands. It doesn't matter who they are or how much they know. All that matters is that they believe you and understand how huge this is for you. If your friend doesn't understand this or tries to minimize what you're going through, find someone else. Don't stop looking for someone to talk to until you find someone who does understand. If you're very lucky, it may be your spouse, your partner, or your best friend. If you're like many of us and have surrounded yourself with narcissists like your narcissistic parents, then you'll have to look for some new friends. But don't settle for less than complete love, acceptance and understanding! That is the minimum to even start a friendship in our new butterfly world! No more crawling like worms to appease disapproving friends. No more laughing off toxic remarks as if they didn't hurt. No more toxic relationships of any kind! It's time for us to find true friends, because nothing less than a true friend will be able to help us get through this metamorphosis.
Step four, Discovering Our True Selves.