Soul Deep: Alternative Ways of Healing from Gaslighting and Narcissistic Abuse - Ashley Brothers
Good morning soul family. Thank you for joining my blog today. I decided to write about a very controversial topic that has been a front-runner in my practice this year. 43 of my clients have experienced the intense psychological, emotional, and physical effects of gaslighting and narcissistic abuse at some point in their lives and have found themselves unintentionally recreating the same wounding events, circumstances, and relationships over and over again, leaving them with a lifetime of mental, emotional and physical health problems that are unexplained by Western Medicine.
Each client, in the aftermath of leaving a toxic relationship with a narcissistic individual (family member, friend, lover, spouse, or coworker), has reported vague symptoms of feeling disconnected, lost, erased, confused, empty, or like they had died. They didn’t know what to think, feel, believe, or how to act. Their perception of themselves and reality had been utterly distorted, if not destroyed, and they had no idea how to come back to themselves.
Thankfully, the application of HeartMath techniques, Energy Medicine, and Shamanic Healing has helped me and my clients overcome the damaging effects of a prevalent, yet hidden, plague in modern-day society. In this blog, we will delve into the detrimental impacts of gaslighting and narcissistic abuse and explore strategies for restoring health and well-being after leaving such toxic relationships.
Gaslighting and narcissistic abuse are a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or group makes someone doubt their perception, memory, or reality. These tactics that can have profound psychological, emotional, and physical effects on victims. Those who have endured such toxic relationships often find themselves struggling to regain their sense of self, trust in others, and overall well-being.
The term originated from a play and subsequent film titled "Gas Light," where a husband uses various tactics to make his wife doubt her sanity. Gaslighting techniques can be subtle and insidious, making it difficult for the victim to recognize what's happening. Here are some common gaslighting techniques:
Denying: The gaslighter denies that they ever said or did something, even if there is evidence to the contrary. This makes the victim question their memory and reality.
Withholding Information: The gaslighter purposefully withholds information to create confusion and uncertainty in the victim's mind.
Trivializing Feelings: The gaslighter belittles the victim's emotions or reactions, making them feel overly sensitive or irrational.
Projection: The gaslighter accuses the victim of behavior or feelings that they themselves are exhibiting. This deflects attention away from their own actions and onto the victim.
Shifting Blame: The gaslighter places blame on the victim for their actions or the situation, even when they are not responsible. This makes the victim feel guilty and doubts their own innocence.
Creating Doubt: The gaslighter repeatedly questions the victim's memory or perception, causing the victim to doubt their ability to accurately recall events.
Twisting Information: The gaslighter distorts facts or events, altering the truth to suit their narrative and making the victim question their own understanding.
Isolation: The gaslighter isolates the victim from friends, family, or other support systems, making them more dependent on the gaslighter's version of reality.
Changing the Subject: When confronted with their behavior, the gaslighter abruptly changes the subject or diverts the conversation to avoid accountability.
Minimizing Concerns: The gaslighter downplays the victim's concerns or fears, making them feel as if their worries are insignificant or unfounded.
Overloading with Information: The gaslighter bombards the victim with excessive information or contradictory statements, leading to cognitive overload and confusion.
Feigning Innocence: The gaslighter acts innocent and unaware of their manipulative behavior, making the victim question their own judgment.
Selective Memory: The gaslighter conveniently forgets certain events or details to create confusion and doubt.
Undermining Confidence: The gaslighter subtly criticizes the victim's abilities, appearance, or decisions to erode their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Mocking and Ridiculing: The gaslighter mocks the victim's thoughts, feelings, or concerns, making them feel foolish or insecure.
Recognizing gaslighting is an important step in protecting yourself from its effects. If you suspect you're being gaslit, it's essential to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, therapist, or counselor for support and validation.
Psychological Effects Of Gaslighting:
Gaslighting, a form of emotional manipulation, erodes the victim's perception of reality and self-confidence. Victims often experience self-doubt, confusion, disconnection from self and others, and a distorted sense of their own thoughts and feelings. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and a diminished sense of self-worth. In addition, victims of narcissistic abuse may internalize the belief that they are unworthy or deserving of mistreatment, perpetuating a cycle of emotional pain.
Gaslighting and narcissistic abuse can result in intense emotional turmoil. Victims may experience heightened levels of fear, anger, guilt, and shame. The constant invalidation and manipulation can lead to a diminished ability to regulate emotions, causing emotional instability and difficulty in forming healthy relationships in the future.
The stress and emotional strain of gaslighting and narcissistic abuse can manifest physically. Victims may suffer from chronic headaches, fatigue, insomnia, racing heart, shortness of breath, chest pain, digestive issues, and other stress-related ailments. Prolonged exposure to high levels of stress hormones can weaken the immune system, making the individual more susceptible to illnesses.
Soul Retrieval and Energy Medicine For Trauma Recovery:
Soul retrieval and energy medicine techniques can play a significant role in helping individuals recover from the trauma of narcissistic abuse by addressing deep emotional wounds and restoring a sense of wholeness. Here's how these approaches can aid in the healing process:
Soul retrieval is a shamanic practice that focuses on recovering and reintegrating fragmented parts of the self that may have been lost or dissociated due to trauma. In the context of narcissistic abuse, victims often experience a disconnection from their true selves as a result of the manipulation and invalidation they've endured. Soul retrieval can help by:
Reconnecting with Lost Parts: Through shamanic journeying or guided meditation, a shamanic practitioner can help individuals locate and reclaim the aspects of their identity that were lost during the abusive relationship.
Restoring Wholeness: By reintegrating these lost parts, individuals can experience a sense of wholeness and self-empowerment, which is essential for healing and moving forward.
Energy Medicine Techniques:
Energy medicine approaches, such as Shamanic Extraction, Reiki, acupuncture, and chakra healing, focus on balancing and restoring the flow of energy within the body. These techniques can be particularly beneficial for survivors of narcissistic abuse by:
Releasing Blocked Energy: Narcissistic abuse can create emotional blockages and energy imbalances in the body. Energy medicine techniques aim to release energetic blockages, wounding imprints, toxic programming, intrusive thoughts, and memories, allowing the body's natural healing mechanisms to function optimally.
Promoting Emotional Healing: By working with the body's energy system, these techniques can facilitate the release of suppressed emotions and trauma, helping individuals process and heal from the emotional wounds caused by the abuse.
Creating a Sense of Safety: Victims of narcissistic abuse often experience heightened anxiety and hyper-vigilance. Energy medicine practices can help individuals feel grounded, safe, and more connected to their bodies, mitigating the lingering effects of trauma.
Combining these practices with traditional therapeutic approaches can provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to healing from narcissistic abuse:
Seek Professional Help: A therapist experienced in trauma and abuse can provide invaluable guidance. Therapy can help victims process their emotions, rebuild their self-esteem, and develop coping strategies for healing.
Establish Boundaries: Learning to set and enforce healthy boundaries is crucial. This involves recognizing one's own needs and asserting them in relationships, preventing future exploitation.
Practice Self-Care: Engage in activities that bring joy, relaxation, and emotional nourishment. Self-care can help victims reconnect with their interests and passions, fostering a sense of self outside of the abusive relationship.
Rebuild Support Systems: Reach out to trusted friends and family who can offer empathy and validation. Reconnecting with supportive relationships can help counteract the isolation often caused by gaslighting and narcissistic abuse.
Educate Yourself: Learn about the tactics of gaslighting and narcissistic abuse. Understanding the manipulation techniques can empower survivors to regain their sense of reality and self.
Cultivate Mindfulness: Practices like meditation and mindfulness can help victims ground themselves in the present moment, reducing anxiety and promoting emotional regulation.
Focus on Personal Growth: Engage in activities that foster personal growth and self-discovery. This could involve pursuing education, hobbies, or career goals that were neglected during the toxic relationship.
Healing from gaslighting and narcissistic abuse is a challenging journey, but it is entirely possible. By recognizing the psychological, emotional, and physical effects of these manipulative tactics, survivors can take steps toward restoring their health and well-being. With professional support, self-care, and a commitment to personal growth, survivors can gradually rebuild their lives, cultivate self-compassion, and thrive beyond the shadows of their past toxic relationships. It's also important to note that while soul retrieval and energy medicine techniques can be powerful tools, they should ideally be conducted by trained and reputable practitioners. Each person's healing journey is unique, and a combination of approaches tailored to individual needs can provide the most effective support on the path to recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Ashley Brothers - Institute of Conscious Evolution LLC, Bend OR
Author of A Living Prayer Blog, public speaker, holistic practitioner, and teacher of energy medicine, shamanic healing, and psychic channeling