How long does it take to heal after a relationship with a narcissist?
It depends on the individual. Counseling is so, so important. The narcissist is controlling and bossy to boot. Often a victim of a narcissist who has left the relationship will show signs of some of the same actions as the very narcissist she/he detests. They can either become docile in their future relationships with little feelings or can become extremely controlling because they refuse to let anyone tell them ever again what to do, think or how to act and they simply lose balance. One should become more independent, more secure, but never lose the good part of themselves. It's because the victim has had to live in that situation for so long. Also, narcissists are destructive and egocentric. They are incapable of experiencing love and bonding. They use, abuse, and throw people away. I think they have a chemical imbalance. I think the rational/empathetic parts of their brain chemistry become smothered, either, in adolescence or childhood or late teens. I know it is hard to believe that a chemical could prevent somebody from loving others, but what other explanation is there? I was raised in an abusive family, and I can love, so I don't think it is always environment. They used to believe that bipolar and autism were environmental too, but now that has changed. For that matter, they used to think that anyone with a mental impairment was a witch, so we've come a long way. LoL. I think getting out from under the abusive relationship is the best idea. Reinvent your life. Get on with your life, without them, and show you don't need them. Love your life. Get a hobby. Something you love to do. Give yourself things that you can look forward to. Realize what a wonderful person you are, and that their opinions are a result of a flawed mentality. You'll bounce back. That helped me. It took me about two years to get over a person who displayed those traits. It won't take long, if that is what you are worried about. I would like to help them, but don't want them around me, unless they do something that really improves their mentality. If it is a loved one, that is different. But, still, only take as much as you can stand. Don't take the abuse. Have the option to walk away, any time. If they are violent, love them from a distance. Try to get them to look into current medications, or whatever is available. I read that therapy only makes them more astute at bad behavior, and I tend to agree, so adjunctive therapy for them might not be helpful. There is research in this area, so don't feel too hopeless. Maybe someday soon, they can be helped to lead a more normal and enjoyable life, cause it can't be fun for them to have this pathologically abusive, egomaniacal, totally self centered, accusatory, destructive life, that is devoid of real joy, love, sense of well being, empathy, calmness, bonding, attachment, and so on.