Sanctuary for the Abused

Thursday, January 18, 2018

How to Help Those Abused by a Narcissist

by Kathleen Krajco

Those abused by narcissists usually need two kinds of help: expert help and comfort/validation.

The expert help needed varies. Narcissistic abuse and slander inflict psychological injury (not to be confused with mental illness) and therefore the victims often need psychological counseling. Women abused by their husbands or boyfriends often need practical advice and help getting themselves and their children away safely. (A qualified TRAUMA-certified counselor is necessary.  Domestic Violence Centers often provide free counseling; and you do not need to be a resident)

Children need help from Social Services. In any case the victim may need legal advice. Especially when the abuse is a bully in the workplace in a private institution (e.g., a parochial school), the victim has usually been lynched and needs pro bono legal aid. Indeed, no lawyer expects to profit battling the interminable stonewalling such a secretive institution throws up to escape accountability. The same goes for narcissistic abuse in the form of pedophilia.

When signing up for any group, I also suggest using a screen name and an email address from a free webmail account like you can get at Yahoo or Gmail. This is just a precaution when interacting on a message board: Remember that you never know who all is out there reading your posts. You don't want any weirdo trying to contact you, so it's best to be anonymous. You do this through a free webmail account under a screen name no one would recognize. You can create one of these webmail addresses just for group memberships. Through it nobody can find out your real name or where you live. Doing this also helps keep your regular email account free of spam.

Comfort anyone can give. The word comfort comes from the Latin word for "to fortify." That's what comfort is. It's the strengthening embrace that supports a person weakened by injury or abuse. It's the strengthening embrace that helps them to their knees and then to their feet. It's not rocket science. All it takes is compassion.

Those abused by a narcissist have had their self-esteem brutally bludgeoned by a bully who jumps up and down on their back to break it and then thump his or her chest.

What they need is someone to be there.

To say that the narcissist's value judgment was wrong.

They need somebody to treat them like a human being.

Somebody to say that they are NOT nothing and that stomping on them is NOT nothing.

Somebody to say and show that it matters.

That's all. Any real human being is qualified to lend this aid. And it's not too much to ask.

All you have to do is listen. Show that you're listening by responding now and then. Say something that amounts to "Boy what she did to you really sucks," showing that it makes you sad or angry or both to hear about it. Then just show that the victim means something to you, that he or she is NOT a hunk of dirt in your eyes. It's not hard. It's easy and natural.

What the victim doesn't need is any more criticism or fixing. They don't need you to tell them how they should feel. They don't need you to act like it didn't happen. They don't need any preaching that they should forgive an unrepentant abuser who fully intends to keep right on abusing them. If you need to do things like that, then you are the one with heavy-duty needs and are in no condition to fulfill anybody else's needs.


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shared by Barbara at 12:53 AM



My mother has been abused my my dad the length of their entire marriage, 19 years. My dad has finally made the move to get the divorce because like a narcassist he got sick of having a family tying him down. After my mom heard this she feels as if she has waisted her life. She verbally abused her and made her feel like crap by cheatting on her several times.
I'm off to college in the fall and I think it's going to hurt her even more. I don't know what to do or how to help her. She's on several medications, visits a professional three times a week, and has three children that love her very much, but I don't know what to do. Any advice?

11:41 PM  

Just love her and visit her when you are away at college. She is fortunate she has children. I will have no one whenever my marriage finally is ended.

10:48 AM  

Have her look into a support group online where she can anonymously discuss her issues with people who understand what she has gone through. There are amny good ones...I am currently recovering from the same thing. It's wonderful that you care and worry about your mother...that means you are a healthy caring young person despite being raised by an abusive father and she should be very proud. Good luck to you in college.

11:32 PM  

Stay strong. God can see everything; he knows what we need and he is always with you.

2:48 AM  

I will pray for your family. I myself is recovering from the injuries given by my N husband. I have my 9 month old baby with me. I am getting better day by day through prayers. I am sure that your mother is going to have her beautiful days in her life after the trauma from which you will have to help her to get relieved. God bless.

11:30 AM  

I am in the process of divorcing my N husband. We have had one temporary custody hearing. Of course it was nothing but lies during that hour. It ended up being he said/she said. Arkansas laws is now joint weekly custody. I am trying to gather evidence to prove those lies and his abuse. The hardest thing about this whole thing is the additude of he and his family. They tell everyone that we fought all the time and it was a personality clash that ended our marriage. His mother even says this to my face. I stopped fighting back years ago because I realized after reading up on his behavior that he was a N and there was nothing I could argue to make him see reality in the situation. He has been put on seizure meds in the past for explosive behavior. It has been a tough journey. All I want is for my kids to live in a safe and emotional/physical healthy envirionment. His parents deny and laugh at me and the issue. The problem is, is that this was a learned behavior and his mother and father had this type of relationship. During his week, his mother has most responsibility of my kids. I am so worried for my kids. His N behavior has put my kids safety in danger because instead of him understanding danger in some situations he sees only his own wants. Erratic driving (boats, cars, atvs), heat adisory temperatures (116 degrees +8 hour fishing trip) and lots of others. How do you fight these types of people in court. They think if they deny it, all will be okay. His father (a deacon) even lied in court to save his abusive son.

8:17 AM  

I think you are very brave. Children of N's often end up N's or completely depressed.
You are a credit to your mother and proof that she is a good loving mother.
Just talk to her about these issues and let her know you are in her side.
My son and I discuss these issues often about my ex NARC husband and it always helps me through the confusion. I know im not crazy as my children are witnesses to what has been going on.
Good luck to you and your family. This is an awful thing you have all had to live through.

5:13 PM  

I just wanted to give you some words of comfort.
Children with a NARC is one of the hardest things to have to live with.
You can't protect them from the NARC and you can never ever completely make a fresh start as the NARC is always trying to take or maintain control over you using the children as pawns.

My ex NARC seems to make babies with every supply but not give a toss about them unless he can cause harm or control the supply. Children with NARC parents have it very tough.
The parent child relationship is strained and toxic so count yourself lucky.
Maybe when you have moved on from the NARC you can have a child with someone that is good to you and will be good to your child.

5:20 PM  

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