RECOGNIZING WHEN YOU’VE HAD ENOUGH
Narcissists are vampires who suck everything out of a person emotionally, physically and mentally. The constant crazy-making, love/hate, devaluation, Hoover rollercoaster ride in living with them is enough to make the most sane person feel like their life is spiraling out of control. This is the first time I’ve written about Empath Exhaustion, but I believe it is a true symptom and sign before we reach full blown post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is when you are so worn down, so fatigued and exhausted it’s hard to function or even get out of bed in the morning. I believe these are serious warning signs to all the stress the narcissist is placing on your life.”
You Stop Caring About Your Appearance
This is a big red flag that you the narc is keeping you so busy jumping through hoops you miss hair cuts, dental appointments and even important doctor’s appointments. You may have even noticed the narc picks on you more the days he/she knows you have one of these appointments scheduled! You stop buying nice clothing for yourself and settle into your favorite sweat pants and t-shirt you’ve worn for the last month. If your narc is overly jealous, if you are attractive–this is a way to make you feel ugly and project how the narc sees himself/herself. When you stop showering and basic daily care of yourself, it’s a big clue something isn’t right.
You Further Isolate Yourself from Friends/Family
If you are not taking care of yourself, falling into a deeper depression and isolation is sure to follow. It’s just another way you are starting to fall into the trap the narcissist is setting for you. By wearing you down, making you feel hopeless–he/she can exert total control and influence over you in complete confidence you are not going to tell a soul about the torment you are going through at home.
You Sleep But Never Rest
In my experience, I felt extreme fatigue for years. I often tell my closest friends, I feel I was sleepwalking through the last decade! When I would sleep, I never rested. I had nightmares, toss/turned, and the man sleeping next to me made me feel unsafe and insecure when I was most vulnerable sleeping. I would wake up the next morning as tired as I was when I laid down the night before.
You Lack a Proper Appetite or Eat Uncontrollably
If you are a person who never gained weight and now can’t stop eating or can’t eat at all, it’s a warning sign you are eating your emotions. If your regular eating habits have veered way off from your norms, it is a warning sign to check your emotional and physical health.
You are Sick More than Ever Before
Extreme stress can wear down our body’s ability to fight viruses. If you find you are sick more than you have ever been and struggle to fight a common cold, it’s a big clue your body is under extreme stress and your immune system is suffering.
Your Body Aches
I remember my body aching like I had been hit by a car! I ached nearly all the time. My bones, joints, arms, jaw, even my toes hurt. I realized it was just another way stress was expressing itself through my body.
You Have Migraines
I had more migraine headaches during my marriage to the narcissist than I had in my entire life. There was no specific pattern, but there were most prevalent during the devaluation and Hoover periods of our marriage.
You Constantly Question Your Thoughts/Decisions
I found myself constantly trying to outguess outcomes for decisions. If I did this, how would the narc respond? What would he want or think? If I guessed right, I believed it would avoid a lecture, outburst or argument at home. No matter what I tried to out guess, it was never right and usually ended in disappointment anyway. The reality is we can’t outguess the narc, because they reserve the right to say/do whatever they like to extract precious fuel from us. It’s a sick and twisted game they like to play with us to make us feel crazy.
You’re Unusually Irritable
While I was tired, my body ached, I was hungry, and feeling sick all the time–I was much more irritable with the narc. The narc LOVED telling people how big of a bitch I was becoming. “You see her. See that? That’s what it’s like living with her now. She is always yelling and angry at everyone.” In reality I was emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted and playing right in to the narc’s intentions all along. . .to make me look like horrible and him look like the victim.
You Stop Trying to Communicated with the Narc and Completely Comply and Give-In (Because it’s Easier)
When I was at my breaking point, I found it was just easier to give the narc what he wanted. The thought of this makes me completely sick today, but at the time, I lacked the energy to fight him anymore. This is EXACTLY what the narc wants to happen. To wear us completely down to a shell so they can exert total control over us.
You’re Experiencing Weight Extremes
In 20 years, I went from wafer thin to heavy, starving myself to binge eating chocolate. I tried to maintain a healthy weight, but no matter what my size (I’m vary between a size 8-10) the narc always attacked my weight. I would be down to a size 6 and he’d comment how he’d never seen me so heavy or up to a size 10 and he’d tell me he liked my bigger boobs, but hated how large my rear had become. He once told me I had a double chin when I was a size 8! I was never the right size or shape no matter what diet, exercise or eating habit I was adopting at the time.
You Never Recharge
This is a big one for us empaths. We are wired to be caretakers and it’s so easy for us to fall into the trap of caring for everybody but ourselves. If you are still with a narcissist, it is more important than ever to take time away, establish healthy boundaries, and recharge. We are good people, but we aren’t made to be superhero do-gooders. Nobody has the stamina for it 24/7.
The Narc Suggests You Need Medication for your Mental State
*NOTE: If you are person who had mental illness prior to being in a relationship with the narc, the following statement will not apply to you and you should continue taking your medication as prescribed by your physician.*
If you are someone who NEVER had a mental illness, depression, anger issues, etc. before meeting the narcissist–you need to know this is a serious trap and pitfall set up by the narc to gain further compliance and control of you. I highly recommend caution in taking medication for any “new” mental health symptoms until you speak with a licensed therapist about narcissistic abuse.
What You Can Do
If you fall into any or many of the warning signs described above, it’s time to take steps to heal an get well again.
Recognize the Warning Signs
By simply reading this post, you are becoming more aware of your mental, physical and emotional health needs. Continue researching topics like: empath fatigue and narcissistic abuse topics online. Begin journaling online (penzu.com) to document what you are experiencing and how your stress is impacted by your interactions with the narc.
Seek Help from our Life Coach or Therapist with Experience in Narcissistic Abuse
Reach out to a licensed therapist who has experience working with victims of narcissistic abuse in clinic. DO NOT engage with the narc in therapy together. He/she will apply every tactic in the book to charm and convince the therapist you are in-fact crazy and need help/medication. Know the narcissist will not change. If you seek a professional, go with the intent to heal yourself NOT the narc.
Release the Narcissistic Vampire in Your Life
Some of us empaths choose to stay with the narc even after therapy. We believe if the narc can’t change, then it’s up to us to save the marriage or relationship. Some of you may believe you can’t live or function without the narc (which you’ve been conditioned to believe BTW). At the end of the day, the stress you are experiencing that is causing your Empath Exhaustion will not change as long as you remain with a toxic person. Things may get better for a while, but there will be no long-term change because living with a narcissist is a complete death of self.