Loneliness is normal. It can be both a good and bad thing. On the positive side, solitude can be an integral and indispensable part of the human condition, absolutely essential to self-exploration, growth, and understanding. It’s in those moments that forces you to reflect, research, learn and understand which ultimately leads to healing.
Many times loneliness is triggered by certain life circumstances out of one’s control such as death, children heading off to college, parents separating or finding yourself single when all your friends are married. Other times, loneliness comes from alienation/isolation from your friends and family members. Narcissists have an arsenal of abuses, but isolation is one of their foremost weapons. My ex knew one of my greatest fears is being alone.
Knowing this, Scott isolated me from my family and friends, enabling him to manipulate and control. Moving as often as we did, it was easy. Not only that, when it comes to their partner and children, narcissist isolate them from the outside world, from one another, and even from their own sense of reality.
I recently read an article that loneliness is is related to sense of self: the less solid and stable sense of oneself there is, the less connection to our innermost true self or “soul” we have, the more likely we are to suffer from painful loneliness. In a way, we are unable to fully appreciate our own company, to amuse ourselves, to be good friends and companions to ourselves. This commonly occurs when the narcissist makes us question our own feelings, thoughts or values, which results in low self-esteem, bad boundaries, pathological anxiety, and an inability to tolerate aloneness because of the loneliness it brings. In a sense, we are unconsciously missing and lonely for ourselves.
Once I made the conscious decision to leave Scott, beginning with my Lightbulb Moment, I struggled — and so I began to research and educate myself. I also reached out to friends and family for support. Tragically, when survivors reach out for support, their family and friends often dismiss their experience, due to the fact that the narcissist had already planted those seeds of alienation and launched a smear campaign, further isolating and confusing the survivor.
To make matters worse, very few people truly understand narcissism, isolating sufferers even further. is just one more way that a toxic narcissist will abuse you. Everyone needs a certain amount of social and interpersonal connection and contact to maintain a healthy emotional state as I stated in my previous blog – and the truth is, this need is nearly equally important as other basic survival needs like food, water and sleep.
When isolation doesn’t work, that’s when the narcissist will attempt to launch a smear campaign. I will talk more about this later in my blog. By doing so, their preemptive strike sabotages your reputation and slanders your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on — especially when you try to break free of that toxic relationship.
Many people lack the imagination to understand things beyond their immediate experience. But, to add insult to horrible injury, narcissistic personality disorder is so particularly complex, insidious, ruthless and destructive that it is virtually impossible to comprehend unless you’ve lived it (or something like it) first hand. Even if they know something about the disorder, most people have no idea what narcissistic abuse really entails.
How to Find Support
Survivors of narcissistic abuse often try to go it alone. Fortunately these days there are many resources about narcissism and its related trauma. Books, blogs, websites, online forums, and YouTube videos, often created by survivors themselves, are now widely available. But they don’t replace personal support. There are many people experiencing what you are going through. Seek them out through your network of friends, support groups, and online forums. If you have a loving partner, educate him/her about what you’ve been through. Find a therapist who is trained in narcissistic abuse recovery. Don’t let the narcissist continue to isolate you even after he is out of your life.
Loneliness can often take you into the deepest depths of despair. Don’t let the narcissist win. Now is the time to swim, kick back to the surface, reflect, understand and find those people who support the best you. Find what makes you happy. Be happy with yourself. Believe.