In all the men and women, I have spoken to who have been abused by a narcissist, I don’t think there is a single person, who didn’t struggle with the notion of whether they were a narcissist themselves. It is a terrifying thought for these people to think that they might be an abuser, and they might be responsible for the constant chaos in this relationship. They examine and re-examine their behaviour and compare it to behaviour they know constitutes narcissism. They reflect on numerous times when they acted terribly and appeared angry and out of control. They desperately didn’t want to be that person as they continued to reflect, but all they could see was behaviour that caused them immense shame.
A victim’s volatile reactions to the narcissist’s abuse are called reactive abuse, where they provide an elicited response to intentional abuse. In these situations, the abuser will poke and poke, and prod and provoke, much of the time in ways that are very covert and not obvious to others. The abuser’s goal is to get the victim to act in exactly the way they react! Crazy! Frustrated! Frantic! Reactive abuse occurs when the victim reacts to the manipulative tactics of the narcissist, by retaliating in often frantic and explosive ways that are out of character for the victim. Victims worry that their reactions to the abuse mean they might be the narcissist.
The narcissist is always engaging in D.A.R.V.O (deny, attack, reverse victim and offender), a classic strategy they use to reverse the roles of victim and abuser, and it is an enjoyable experience for them when they can manipulate you to retaliate. The narcissist in your life wanted you to believe that you were the toxic one, so they could further manipulate and control you.
Nova will help you to work through the self-doubt and shame around the reactions to your abuse, and to realise that you were never the toxic one, or the narcissist.