Deep-Six the Narcissist: How to free yourself for good
It feels awful, but you can’t stop thinking about them, what happened and why.
It doesn’t stop, going over and over how they hurt you, why they did this.
Was this love even real?
You keep reading articles about narcissists.
You stalk their social media to see what they’re up to.
You analyse how they behaved when they were with you.
You can’t stop posting online about your relationship and read pages and pages of other people’s experiences that sound just like yours.
You go through all the events in your head over and over trying to make sense of it all. Because there must be answers!
There’s no end to the constant rumination, to the point where it really feels like you’re going crazy.
Wouldn’t it be nice to switch it all off?
Let's unpack how to really deep-six the narcissist and get them out of your system for good.
Two Reasons you Obsess over the Narcissist
1: Making the Narcissist the centre-point
It’s part of the nature of the abuse.
Both from my own experience, and every single person I’ve spoken to and helped in their healing journey, or read about that has experienced narcissistic abuse, there’s a common feature of obsessing over the narcissist.
To not be able to stop thinking about the horrible things the narc did to them, of what they might have done differently to fix the relationship, and wondering if it would have made a difference.
Missing them, glorifying ‘what could have been’, questioning whether something can be done now, stalking them online and trying to see what they’re up to, being heartbroken over being replaced with someone else, and wondering if their new relationship is better.
It's part of it for a reason.
During the relationship, your whole being was conditioned to revolve around them.
To please them. To make them happy. To give up parts of yourself that they didn’t like. To sacrifice. To be silenced. To not express how you feel in fear of raging them.
To think twice before making any move that could trigger them. To think of them before making a decision about your own life because you must consider them first, above all.
Naturally, after any time period of this conditioning, these thought processes and actions become a part of you. Like muscle memory. Embedded in your belief system.
It’s no wonder that even once they are no longer in your lives, you can’t stop ruminating over them.
It feels exhausting to go through this every day, and it can hinder your ability to function in your everyday life.
2: Loss of your identity
While the first reason is the ‘focus on the narcissist’, the other is also the lack of attention on yourself and the loss of your identity. Connecting your ‘self’ only in relation to them.
Your worth is tied to their opinion of you. You find yourself unable to place yourself in this world without them, or their connection to you.
You pursue an image of how you want to be seen by them, so you act only to achieve this, leaving their thoughts and feelings about you to control your every move, even when it makes you unhappy.
Not only do they become the centre of your world, but the idea of them, or thinking of them also places your very being to their existence and their power over you - like there is no ‘you’ without them, losing all true significance of who you are and where you really come from.
Why learning about the narcissist is important
It might sound contradicting but, I’ve always encouraged people in abusive relationships to learn as much as they can about the nature of the relationship, narcissism, toxic behaviours, and so on, to get the ah-ha moment where you realise – oh so that’s what I’ve been dealing with all this time.
I believe it’s essential and beneficial.
It’s a powerful starting point. It jumpstarts the whole healing process because, without this knowledge, you’d still be stuck, going out of your mind, confused, repeatedly hurt, self-esteem lost, and still unable to see it for what it is, even from the smallest external lens.
It's a good thing to recognise this is a toxic relationship. A big reason people endure years of abuse is that they’re not truly aware of it in the first place, even though they’re suffering.
However, when you’re lucky enough to have recognised it and have either been dumped by them or you’ve left them, the last thing you want is to keep obsessing over them and what happened which keeps you from really healing.
There’s no one-size-fits-all in the case of narcissistic abuse. Everybody’s healing journey will be different, how long it will take is debatable, if there’s even a point in time you could identify as being ‘fully healed’. It’s subjective.
But what you can achieve for certain, is a more peaceful mind and heart. It’s possible to stop thinking about what you could have done differently or wonder if they feel bad for what they’ve done, or wanting to get revenge, or wanting to tell them how you feel and hoping in vain that it will register.
You can live without obsessing over the pain you went through.
And it starts with refocusing on yourself.
The Hidden Piece
The reason you’re going through turmoil is that this pain isn’t just in your head, it isn’t just in the thoughts wrestling with each other. The pain is felt much deeper than that.
There’s a force inside you that’s begging you to listen because it is being denied and snatched by a hungry wolf for play instead of having its cries heard and protected.
Your soul has been pulled away from its real home. The uneasiness, the restlessness, and rejection you feel are not only because the narcissist discarded you with their actions, but your soul rejects the abuse of being taken away from where it thrives – connected to you and your Creator.
If you haven’t felt like yourself in a long time, it’s the separation from your true inner self.
Every time you did something to please them, even though you hated it – was separation.
Every time they insulted you and you didn’t speak up.
Every time they dismissed your feelings, every time they denied you your rights was separation.
Separation from your desires, your emotions, and your needs.
This was separation in the different levels that make up who you are.
You can think of yourself made up of the following dimensions (see footnote 1):
• The lower self, referred to as the nafs in Arabic – the one that has basic desires and, in this case, it is this part that engages with needing people’s approval, blaming yourself for what’s happened and opposing the horrific actions of the narcissist.
• The emotional and psychological self – the qalb - the one that needs to feel joy, wanted and seen, to have deep relationships and be loved by others, one that has desires beyond basic survival necessity. It is dead if it’s concealed from the Truth, and alive when it knows beyond itself.
• The spiritual self – the ruh – the higher self, the one connected to the Highest Power, Our Creator, the One that gave us life by breathing into us.
These levels are always linked, they communicate with each other.
When the narcissist strips you of your basic needs, gaslights you, blames you, keeps you occupied with your lower self, you are unable to reach your other levels. You’re in survival mode.
Your every minute of every hour is occupied trying to get their approval, do more to change the condition, anything you can to get a small hit of their praise.
If all your time, energy, effort, thoughts, feelings, and actions are busy rotating in the realm of the lower self, how will you even recognise what your heart and spirit are saying? How can you ascend to those parts of yourself?
The communication between the levels is lost, and you can’t hear anything anymore.
What you might feel as a physical crushing feeling in your chest could be your soul knocking hoping that you may open the door.
But what occurs instead is since you are separated from your inner self, you are seeking answers and solutions outside, from the narcissist, from others, from any information you can gather, desperately seeking it to soften the crush.
Unfortunately, what you’re met with are people who dismiss your experience, flashbacks or current news of the narcissist don’t bring relief and your endless research only refreshes the pain. Reaching at this level will only give back at this level. It’s like tuning in to only one frequency.
And what this is all essentially doing is ignoring your soul’s existence further.
Connecting to your Inner Self
The reality is that the answer is within you and always has been.
When you allow yourself to listen to the communications deep in your heart, uncover your gut instincts and the whispers from your higher self, the truth comes to the surface.
You allow all your dimensions to work as a team to serve you.
The voices and ruminations, your trauma (and their association with the narcissist) from the lower-self, although useful in alerting you to the problem, now start to quieten down.
You become in touch with your true self.
You ascend to your higher self, the one associated with The Supreme.
This connection brings a sense of calm, a peace that doesn’t get disturbed by outer chattering and lower frequencies. You are sure that what is meant to be, already is.
What’s inside is truth, regardless of what is being said or done outside.
Your soul was created to be.
It has never been defined by a person and it isn’t meant to be.
It was given to you by the Creator Himself, made by Him, defined by Him, and your value and worth given in abundance by Him. And He’s the only One with the power to do this because you belong to Him and nobody else.
If this becomes engrained in your soul as it was intended by the Highest Power, there isn’t anything in this life that could minimise your worth or steal your identity again.
What’s incredible about your soul is that when you open that door and let her breathe freely, nobody in the world can touch you.
1. While there are endless studies and highly qualified scholars who can delve much deeper into the inner workings of each of these, for example breaking down the nafs into nafs al-ammara, nafs-al lawammah, and so on, responsible for different feelings and behaviours, I’ve taken a more simplistic approach to the aspects of the self I’ve discovered in my own journey so far.