Victims of NPD abuse go through the most staggering and confusing types of abuse, often without even realising it. Their journey towards healing is a challenging one. Your support will be invaluable throughout.
Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome
Narcissistic abuse is like no other – very confusing and highly damaging. As the supporter of such a victim, please understand that they are very likely to be suffering from what is called Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome (also known as Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, please google it) and C-PTSD. The worst thing you can do is treat the same way you would someone who has dated a common-garden jerk and just needs bring to their senses. Please avoid phrases, or indeed the mentality associated with comments such as “You just need to get over it”, “It takes two to tango”.
Crucial to the victim is validation. They will get no closure from the narcissist in the way a normal range person will let down their discarded ex – no sorry’s, no explanations, so consolations, no respectful behaviour post-discard. By and large, that closure and validation needs to come from within. They will need to educate themselves about NPD and make sense of it all.
Protect the target from ongoing Abuse
It is also very likely that their narcissistic ex will try and continue the abuse post-discard in whatever way they can – including, but probably not limited to “hoovering”, financial abuse, triangulation, parental alienation (if kids are involved), a smear campaign aimed at undermining their reputation socially and professionally, and isolating them from friends and family. So establishing a rock steady and highly protective support group around the victim is great where possible. Counter the lies of the smear campaign with their friends. Encourage and support the policy of No Contact and/or Grey Rock. Help them establish and maintain strict boundaries with the narcissist. But most importantly, try and support their need for validation. Listen and sympathise as much as you can. Help them make the parallels between their experiences and the many traits and tactics of the narcissist. Don’t recommend the sort of tools that you would deal with a more common but difficult relationship such as apologies, compromise etc (because you are dealing with a vary manipulative personality that will take advantage of such things and use them against the victim).
Understand the Incomprehensible
Normal-range people who have not been targets of NPD find it very hard to comprehend the abuse. Even trained psychologists have a hard time spotting it if they have not had first hand experience of it themselves. So it will help enormously if you are able to gain an understanding of NPD alongside your friend – and in this respect there are plenty of useful online resources out there to assist. This website should be a great start point, from which there are countless links to additional information.
The article, How Society Gaslights Victims of Narcissists, Psychopaths and Sociopaths , is an excellent read and I would strongly encourage you to read it.
How Society Gaslights Victims of Narcissists, Psychopaths and Sociopaths | US Health Secure