Stages of Narcissistic Abuse Recovery


Undoubtedly, overcoming and recovering from narcissistic abuse is quite difficult and challenging.

Narcissists most times tend to be emotionally, verbally, physically, and sexually abusive towards others including family, friends, and romantic partners.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can mentally drain you as they are willing to exploit others for personal gain and always expect preferential treatment and automatic compliance with their demands.

Narcissistic abuse occurs when you're in a relationship with a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

NPD is a mental health condition.

In fact, therapy for narcissistic people is encouraged as some people do not accept that they are narcissists.

It is not easy to identify a narcissistic person before entering a relationship with one as they are most times very loving and charming but change over time.

Recovering from a relationship with a narcissist is challenging.

Stages of narcissistic abuse recovery include separation from the narcissist as well as self-care and support.

The first step to recovery is cutting them out of your life completely.

Also, you will have to learn to heal from the abuse.

Grieving the relationship is also a necessary stage of narcissistic abuse recovery.

To aid recovery, you need to express your hurt from the relationship.

Other stages of narcissistic abuse recovery are finding closure and forgiving the abuser and most importantly, healing and rebuilding your life.

These stages are not exclusive as full recovery depends on you.

The following are the stages of narcissistic abuse recovery.

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Separation From the Narcissist

The first stage of narcissistic abuse recovery is separation from the narcissist.

This may be quite difficult, but you must summon the strength to leave.

You can ask for a break or limit your contact with the abuser.

The narcissist may not let go easily and may even result in gaslighting and threats to intimidate or convince you to change your mind.

You may choose to stay or to leave.

If you decide to stay, supporting the narcissist during therapy would be helpful.

However, it is advisable to set firm and clear boundaries.

If you choose to leave, completely cut them out of your life.

You can go as extreme as unfollowing or blocking them on social media, blocking their phone or emails, and changing cities or jobs.

No doubt, this would not be easy, but you have to make a conscious effort.

The no-contact rule would be helpful when separating from a narcissist.

Quit responding and interacting with the narcissist.

In case of a divorce, do all communication through a lawyer.

Also, if there is a need to interact physically, use a public place to avoid either of you triggering old feelings.

All interactions should be formal and only the specific issue at hand should be discussed.

Self-Care and Support

This is a time for you to prioritize yourself and your physical and mental health.

Create time for exercise, eat healthy food, and sleep well.

This stage is very important in recovery as if not handled properly, you may get depressed.

Go on trips, friendship dates, walks, etc.

If possible, start a journal or engage in arts like painting and sculpting.

These activities would greatly help you to recover and increase your self-esteem.

Also, getting support is one of the stages of narcissistic abuse recovery.

It is important to reach out for help and support.

You can reach out to close non-judgmental friends, hire a therapist who has in-depth knowledge about narcissism and join support groups.

You may be scared about being shamed by people, especially since the narcissist might make you feel ashamed, humiliated, and responsible for the end of the relationship.

If you are scared of being judged, it is advisable to reach out to a therapist.

Grieving the Relationship

Losing a narcissistic partner is not easy.

It may take you months and even years to fully get over the loss.

You are not just losing a partner, you are losing a friend, a lover, and sometimes, the father or mother of your children as well as the future and dreams you've built with the person.

You would also lose money and sometimes properties.

Grieving the relationship is one of the important stages of narcissistic abuse recovery.

This stage allows you to be aware and heal your heartbreak.

Grieving is in different phases.

Firstly there is a denial.

This is followed by anger and bargaining.

Anger is what's going to push you to action to protect and take care of yourself.

You may also enter into depression when grieving.

The final stage is acceptance.

You accept that the relationship has ended and the need to move on.

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Finding Closure

This stage involves you creating the life that you want for yourself.

Finding closure is about moving on from the dark phase of your life.

To accomplish this, you have to become more self-aware so that you understand your own needs and desires.

Most likely, due to your relationship with a narcissist, your self-esteem has been greatly damaged.

There is therefore a need for you to consciously build your self-esteem back and find closure.

You may reach out to a therapist during this stage to help you navigate finding closure.

To build self-esteem, it's necessary to focus on both mind and body. When you are healthy mentally, it would reflect on your physical health.

You do not need to try to prove to the narcissist that you have moved on or try to compare yourself to the narcissist.

Just focus on yourself and find closure.

Forgiving the Abuser

Forgiveness may sound far-fetched.

In truth, forgiveness is a sign that you have recovered from narcissistic abuse.

Forgiveness is for you and not your abuser.

It has to do with you letting go of toxic feelings such as fear, anger and bitterness.

It is a commitment you make to yourself to heal your wounds and allow yourself to commence a new phase.

Forgiveness has nothing to do with whether or not the abuser deserves to be forgiven.

The narcissist need not know that you've forgiven them because forgiveness is about you.


Recovering from a relationship with a narcissist is not easy and is challenging and you will need as much support as you can get.

Therapy for narcissistic people is greatly encouraged.

The stages of narcissistic abuse recovery include separation from the narcissist, self-care, and support, grieving the relationship, finding closure, and forgiving the abuser.


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June 21st, 2024

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