How to Deal with Intrusive Thoughts after Narcissistic Abuse

Updated: Sep 9

When a relationship ends replaying of the relationship and the way it ended is to be expected. It interferes with our focus, our ability to problem solve and most of all, our ability to be present for ourselves and the ones we love. So much so it’s all we can do too perform daily tasks like getting our children to school and hanging on to our careers.


  • “What caused him to change suddenly?”

  • “Did I do something to cause him to stop talking to me?”

  • “But He said he loved me?”

  • “Why didn’t I see this coming?”

If over our lifetime, we do not develop healthy coping skills we develop strong defense mechanisms instead. The more pain we experience over a lifetime the stronger these defense mechanisms become. The mind views pain as an intrusive thought. So, when something painful comes up our mind automatically, without thinking about it, reacts with these defense mechanisms. To change this lifetime of hardwiring in our brains can present as a challenge to change. By using Mindfulness Techniques, you force yourself to pay attention, to do something different. This begins to change the the way our brains are wired for more positive experiences.


We have all heard that thinking about the past causes depression, thinking about the future causes anxiety BUT living in the moment causes peacefulness. We can no longer dwell on the past relationship, asking ourselves how and why it happened. We can no longer think about the future, asking what it means do be without him or who he will hurt next. Because all these questions are about him first and second, they are about the past fueling our depression and about the future fueling our anxiety. It is time to heal and put our thoughts into ourselves and experience the peace that comes with living in the moment.

Being mindful is very useful because you can use it at any time anywhere. Unfortunately, we cannot control when a trigger can send us into a downward spiral, so having some tools for coping can help get us through it. Mindfulness is actively paying attention to the present. When you are mindful you observe thoughts, and feeling from a distance without judgements. Mindfulness is living through your senses in the very moment.


#1. What is happening right now?

How do you feel right now? What thoughts are you having now? Describe how these thoughts make you feel or what are they saying to you? Are you feeling angry, sad or worried?


#2. Pay attention to your senses and what is happening around you.

Pay attention to your breathing. Are you breathing or holding your breath, maybe you are breathing excessively? Inhale counting to four and exhale counting to four.

Pay attention to what you see around you. People having conversation. If you are in your car notice the colors of the cars around you. What make and model are they. If outdoors notice the nature around you, the stone the tree, bird’s, insects etc.

What are you tasting? What are you smelling? These are ways of living in the moment of knowing that right here, right now you are okay.


#3 Self talk

Acknowledge the pain, the fear the worry and feelings of abandonment, and of being discarded. Acknowledge the trauma and betrayal you feel.

Allow yourself to just feel and witness what is happening without trying to fix it or bury it.


#4 Self Compassion

Imagine what you would say to a friend or a child if they were experiencing what you are experiencing. What would you say to them? Would you judge them. NO. So, stop judging yourself. Would you comfort them. YES. Now start comforting yourself. No being deserves to feel the way you do now. Treat yourself with the respect and compassion you deserve.

Take a hot bath, walk your dog or cuddle with your cat. Read a book watch a movie or visit family and friends. Concentrate on your wellbeing. Coming out of this relationship has left you exhausted. If you need extra rest or naps you deserve them.


#5 Practice closure

Become aware of your surroundings and your senses. Take control of your breathing. Treat feelings like visitors, let them come and go. Most of all treat yourself like your best friend.


If you are suffering I can help you. Please feel free to contact me so we can work on your healing process and how to protect yourself from further harmful relationships.


Best Regards,

Heather


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