However, it does not limit itself to emotional side effects. There can be many physical effects of narcissistic abuse that we may not notice.
Narcissists use words that aim to invalidate the people around them. They belittle and manipulate not only their partners but even their parents and children.
As a result, the people around the narcissist will experience narcissistic victim syndrome.
The person who’s in a relationship with a narcissist changes over time. They end up feeling inadequate, worthless and start to seek approval over the littlest things.
In the end, they no longer know who they are and would succumb to the narcissist’s power.
10 Signs that you are suffering from narcissistic victim syndrome
If reading this makes you realize that you might be experiencing abuse victim syndrome or know someone who might, then here are ten narcissistic abuse signs to watch out for.
1. You thought you had the perfect relationship
People living with narcissistic personality disorder have similar patterns where the relationship starts as intense and romantic.
At the start of the relationship, it all feels so overwhelming. Their partner seemed romantic, loyal, kind, religious, and generous. They were showered with attention, kindness, and loyalty, and like a trap, they would fall in love hard and fast.
They end up believing that the fairytale-like relationship that everyone wants is indeed possible, only to realize that everything was just for show slowly.
As months or years go by, the words that used to make you blush become words that belittle you. The person who supported and showered you with love and affection had turned into someone who thinks you can’t do anything right.
The partner you love has changed to someone who looks at you with hatred and disgust.
One of the most common narcissistic victim syndrome symptoms is fear.
The feeling is like you are walking on eggshells around this person. You become afraid that you start watching your every move, decision, or even every word you say. You’re terrified that you might trigger your partner’s anger again.
Unfortunately, if you are in a relationship with a narcissist, walking on eggshells won’t make a difference.
You will still be the abuser’s target. No matter how much you try to be perfect for this person.
When narcissists are stressed or triggered, they feel that they can use you to relieve their stress – like a punching bag without emotion, just like a thing that they could yell at, belittle, and abuse as much as they want.
3. You feel vulnerable and alone
Another characteristic of being in a relationship with a narcissist is that it won’t show outside your relationship.
Narcissists are masters of manipulation.
They can show everyone that you have a perfect relationship. If you try to let others know about the situation, these people might even side with your partner.
This can cause the abused to start feeling alone.
You start to isolate yourself because you think no one would believe you. These people might even begin questioning you instead.
As you slowly withdraw from society, you become more vulnerable to your narcissistic partner.
You feel trapped and feel that there is no way out of your situation.
4. You experience physical symptoms
Physical symptoms of narcissistic abuse can range from mild to severe pains.
When we’re stressed, our body will react and show up as physical symptoms.
That’s why people experiencing narcissistic victim syndrome will experience many different physical symptoms like:
This is because people who experience chronic abuse will have their cortisol levels skyrocket. This will cause your immune system to become resistant, and you will become vulnerable to ailments.
You hear the narcissist’s voice, and your stomach begins to tighten and hurt. You can’t sleep if you know your partner asks you to do something tomorrow.
No matter how hungry you are, you become nauseous at the sight of food, knowing that you are with a narcissist.
Each day, you will see and feel the effects of narcissistic victim syndrome.
Watch this documentary on narcissism to understand it better:
What you hear or say to you will be your reality. Do you agree with this?
If your partner showers you with compliments and sweet words, you’ll be happy. But what if your partner is a narcissist?
Daily words about how incompetent you are, and that you can’t do even the simplest things, that you have no value, these words will damage you.
Soon, you’ll hear these words in your head, and they will materialize in your actions and words. If the person who is being abused has low emotional tolerance, this person won’t survive narcissistic victim syndrome.
They can sometimes self-destruct to the point that they want to end their lives.
People who experience narcissistic victim syndrome are prone to anxiety and depression.
The signs can start slow but can lead to constant worry and fear.
Soon, you might start feeling alone, unloved, and you begin to lose hope and interest in life itself. You question your existence, and the hopelessness of being trapped in an abusive relationship can take a toll on your mental health.
Depression can even lead to a nervous breakdown or suicide.
Can you leave a narcissist?
This is the number one question that an abused person asks.
“Is there a way out?”
The answer is yes, but before you plan, you first have to realize that your efforts would never be enough for a narcissist. So don’t fall for love-bombing techniques or empty promises.
Be brave and start gathering all your important documents and even a bag with your necessities. You don’t have to bring all of them, just what you need.
You can also start saving money in a secured bank account that only you know. If you have trusted people, you can talk to them and ask for help.
Expect fog lifting
This is the phase post narcissistic abuse syndrome. After the abuse and over some time, you start to think more clearly.
You will experience how to slowly detach from the abuse you once tolerated.
This is very important. All of your efforts would be wasted if you still keep in touch with the narcissist. Every type of contact that has to do with this person should be erased.
Find support for closure
The closure for narcissists is very different from the usual closure after a breakup. Never expect a proper apology or admission of guilt but be careful if this person tries to woo you into believing that they can change.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.