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I have two questions for the group that I am thinking about.

NowImNarcFree's picture
[27915]

I have two questions for the group that I am thinking about.

1) When you move forward after leaving an abusive situation, how do you tell the difference between "normal" disagreements or conflicts and something that's really wrong? (Most recently, someone did something that really bothered me as I described in another post, I told him, and he apologized and will never do it again. I'm trying to figure out how I can know if it was a normal interaction or a big red flag? And how to trust my judgement, either way?)

2) Recovering from abuse is a time to learn to trust your gut, listen to yourself for the first time, acknowledge your feelings, etc. But how do you trust your own judgment, after realizing that you have made such a HUGE misjudgment in the past? I know I've made a lot of progress personally but I am constantly questioning myself since I did allow myself to basically be brainwashed for 10+ years and was blind to it most of that time.

What are your thoughts?

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NowImNarcFree's picture
[27915]
Mar 18

@crowningglory19 Thank you! The counselor I see specializes in trauma and she seems very happy to see me getting to be vulnerable again while still realizing that I can have my boundaries and protect myself when appropriate. I think my red-flag detection is stronger than I realize -- I get set off pretty regularly by small things that don't sit well with me. And some may be harmless or normal, but to me they show it's not someone I want to be overly involved with. The guy I'm talking to is definitely very gentle and extremely...stable compared to the ex. Like his kindness doesn't depend at all on what I do, what my opinion is and if it is different than his, what boundaries I set. But sometimes there are also innocent things that can be triggering that aren't related to being a narc but just related to my memories of the past. Like a word or expression that my ex used to use, a TV show or song he liked, etc. That I think will just take time so those memories aren't so fresh.

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[3135]
Mar 18

Very true, it's good you recognize that, just let him know and ask for patience in it. =) <3 I am happy for you!!

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[129440]
Mar 19

@NowImNarcFree You’re very welcome!... I totally agree that you need to make your own list to decide what your boundaries are. The above list can serve as an outline or a guide. But it’s your judgment of acceptable and unacceptable behavior and treatment that determines the perimeters of your boundaries. It’s also true that without a basis of comparison from other romantic relationships, it is hard to decide what is “normal.” That’s why having a vague standard of normal can throw you off track. Asking someone if something is normal tells you what they believe is right for them. This is the area to fully develop and learn to depend on your basic instincts, or your feelings. When you’re not sure about something, I suggest you stay very quiet and focus on how you really feel about the issue in question. It’s about you and how you feel, and if something doesn’t feel right to you, then there’s a reason for it. Your instincts, or voice of the soul, is trying to warn that what you see on the surface may not be what’s really going on. It requires going slowly and observing, not only obvious actions, but the little details and non-verbal cues, that can reveal so much about the person’s true character and whether they show empathy. Victims/survivors of gaslighting and narc abuse, understandably have difficulty in trusting their judgment, because the effects fill them with a great deal of self-doubt and second guessing. I’ve experienced that as well. But like confidence, trusting oneself builds on previous successes, which is why you need time. The more you rely on trusting how you feel, the sharper and louder the instinctual voice becomes. That builds confidence for trusting it the next time, and so on. Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs and expectations, as his responses, and the way he responds (non-verbal cues), will reveal a great deal about the person........

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