Guilt From A Narcissistic Relationship Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: Healing Guilt, Remorse And Regret

Guilt, remorse and regret are three words that play into narcissistic abuse.

I know them well. I entered into my second marriage with a narcissist by leaving my then husband (who was not at all a narcissist).

Let’s just say I fell off the wagon. Again.

The extreme love-bombing had me convinced that this was my true soulmate and the person I was meant to be with for all time. (After all, he said so.)

And we were also connected through life purpose. (I thought we were going to change the world for the better with our healing work.)

So the emotions ran very deep.

But after the marriage, the devaluation began. (Because it’s not easy for the narcissist to have to work so hard at idealizing us, so it has to end sooner than later.)

With the temper tantrums and put-downs (unlike anything I had ever seen before), I felt that I had made a terrible mistake.

Adding to that was the fact that my former spouse really struggled with my leaving. (Jumping ship from a marriage with a decent human being wasn’t my normal nature, but I’d been duped and thought it was meant to be.)

So the guilt hit hard, along with the remorse and regret. And then I just tried to bury it; because after all, I had declared to the world that this was my soulmate, and it’s hard to completely change course.

What did I miss?

It’s also hard to admit that we didn’t see it, and we stay in it, hoping that the amazing love-bombing returns. (Which it never fully does, but maybe just enough to be caught in the trauma bond.)

And we do it because we question our own judgement, wonder what we didn’t see (those pesky red flags), and then there’s the narcissist’s gaslighting, which leads us to believe that we’ve lost the plot and so we ruminate in mass confusion.

This isn’t to say that we’re perfect: And that’s the catch.

It took me several cycles and repetitious narcissistic abuse to finally get the message: We need to work on ourselves. (And I mean that in the most loving way.)

We need to go deep to understand what it’s all about, and how we can stop the cycle from happening again.

So let’s cover the definitions of these words, and then deconstruct them in the area of narcissistic abuse to begin our healing journey.

Guilt: Feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy.

Let’s unpack this: We’re not to blame for their manipulation. We could not see the bad behavior because they fooled us with charming behavior in the beginning AND we need to fill the inadequacy by feeling adequate and saying to ourselves “I Am Enough”.

Remorse: A gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs.

Here’s the thing: We weren’t wrong. We made the right decision for that moment in time because again, we were shown a different side of the narcissist.

“Why didn’t I see it?” We couldn’t have seen the devaluing when the narcissist was idealizing us, because that’s what drew us in. Their changing personality is what creates the negative cesspool of emotions in us.

Regret: Sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one’s control or power to repair.

In other words, we need to let go of the need that control it, and know that we can’t repair it because they have to fix themselves, which they won’t.

We can only work on ourselves.

The three emotions combined can seem overwhelming, but I want to share this concept that’s helped me over the years:

Everything happens for a reason. What’s the lesson we’re getting out of it?

There’s always a lesson. And the lesson can be that we’ve been given the message that it’s time to understand what we went through, and begin to heal (our entire past, because that’s where it starts).

Our past trauma makes us vulnerable to the narcissist.

So the work begins and ends with us; there’s nothing we can do about the narcissist.

We can’t be responsible for them. Instead, we must let ourselves “off the hook” of blame.

And then love ourselves, forgive ourselves and work on ourselves.

That’s the deep meaning of it all.

And when we get it, we can finally get unstuck from the cycle of abuse, step into our power and move forward with our head held high, knowing we did the best we could at the time. (While going deep to transform our life; with the right tools and support.)

And never go there again.

(Watch me talk about this on my YouTube channel.)

PS: Ready to get unstuck and on track after a relationship with a narcissist?  You’re invited to join us in the Facebook group for tips and support.

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