How to recover from narcissistic abuse: last date

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In this episode with Chelli Pumphrey, learn how to recover from narcissistic abuse and what red flags to watch out for.

Chelli Pumphrey, MA, LPC is a licensed psychotherapist, world-renowned relationship coach and author. With more than twenty-seven years of clinical experience, she is known for her work with trauma, adult bonding, and recovery from narcissistic abuse. Chelli is the author of The vision is 20/20: how to trust yourself to protect yourself from narcissists, bullies and toxic people.

joIn this episode of Last First Date Radio:

  • Why Chelli helps people recover from narcissistic abuse
  • How to define narcissistic abuse
  • Some of the red flags that identify if a partner or potential partner could be a narcissist
  • Why is it so hard for people to leave an abusive partner
  • What to do if you think you may be in a relationship with a narcissist

EP 492: Chelli Pumphrey – How to Recover from Narcissistic Abuse

How do you define narcissistic abuse?

Many people have traits of narcissistic disorders and others have diagnosable narcissistic disorders. Pathological love affairs were coined by Sandra Brown to define narcissistic abuse. Unless you are a therapist, it is not your job to diagnose. But it’s good to look for narcissistic red flags and understand your own red flags.

A great narcissist has a lack of empathy, is full of himself, thinks he is smarter than others, and doesn’t follow the rules. They are often very charismatic and have a magnetic drive.

Concealed narcissists do not have empathy, they think they are superior to others, but they act passively / aggressively. They are not the life of the party, but they believe that they are better than others.

What interested you in helping people recover from narcissistic abuse?

I have dated several narcissists, although I am a therapist and I see it in my patients. I kept attracting these guys, and I couldn’t understand why. After marrying the love of my life and not realizing that I was a covert narcissist, I started doing the work to identify narcissists from the beginning so that I would not do it again.

I realized that there are traits of our personality that appeal to a narcissist: a high degree of awareness, kindness, loyalty to a relationship, and a willingness to ignore bad behaviors. Trauma sets in when you are being gassy and abused.

Can you share some of the red flags that people might look for to identify if a partner or potential partner could be a narcissist?

At the beginning:

  • The relationship moves fast.
  • Idealizing you.
  • You feel that you have known your soul mate.
  • Bombardment of love.
  • They are in constant contact, which can be a subtle form of control.

As you progress in the relationship:

  • Replicate everything you like, such as your language
  • Gas lighting, where you go back and start questioning your reality
  • Endless arguments that go from one topic to another
  • Lack of empathy

The biggest red flag is cognitive dissonance. As you get to know the narcissist, you see the personality of Jeckyl and Hyde. You have moments when you are in love with them and times when you hate them. These are two opposing beliefs, which cause anxiety, but keep moving forward despite misbehavior. You need help leaving.

Over time, you start to get annoyed with yourself. I don’t think my partner should cheat on me, but I stay. With cognitive dissonance, there is PTSD and trauma that builds up. You need to know how the trauma feels in your body. Your body can become inflamed by relationships like this. You will feel horrible. PTSD in this case, you remember the horrible things, but there are also intrusive thoughts that you love.

Why is it so hard for people to leave an abusive partner?

Your cognitive dissonance keeps you stuck in the relationship. The rational part of our brain goes out when we experience the trauma of cognitive dissonance. Fear sets in, whether you feel isolated, have no money, or worry about the effect on your children. Contact a therapist who is trained in this field.

What are some tips for anyone who thinks they might be in a relationship with a narcissist?

If you are questioning your relationship, keep a journal and write down everything you can about the relationship. Rest assured with your diary. Record conversations securely, too. It helps you see clearly how things are going over time. Listen and trust your body. Our body tells us a lot about what is going on and they help guide us. Take a look at your five senses (listen to the exercise on the podcast).

Get help. Find a narcissistic abuse therapist.

Watch this episode on YouTube

Connect with Chelli

Listen to Chelli’s previous episode on Last First Date Radio here.

Please subscribe / rate and review the podcast here.

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