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6 Stages of Trauma Bonding with Narcissists, According to an Expert
These six stages will leave you acting out of character.
STAGE 5: Identity erosion: Distortion and enmeshment with the abuser makes you lose a sense of self. You become “enmeshed” with the identity and beliefs of the abuser while foregoing facets of your own identity. You may also react in ways that are out of character for you in order to try to regain a sense of control in the relationship – such as finally raging back at the narcissist when they’ve attacked you chronically, snooping through their phone or combing through their social media when they keep dropping hints of betrayals, or comparing yourself to others you would never have dreamed of “competing” with before due to constant jealousy induction that leaves you on edge. This stage is like the “reversal” of the love bombing stage – whereas before the narcissist mirrored you, now you are forced to become more like them or who they want you to be in order to survive the trauma of the relationship. Before, your energy was full of life and vibrant while the narcissist was dependent on you for fuel; now your whole psyche is deflated and you are dependent on them for emotional sustenance while they appear energetic, having been “fed well” by your energy. Instead of nourishment, they give you more punishment…