It sucks that you were isolated by the narcissist and made to feel alone for so long that you’re still dealing with the feelings after the relationship is over.
Narcissistic abuse involves a complex series of harmful behaviors, but without going into all the details it’s safe to say that feeling alone and isolated is one of the major after-effects.
It can be overwhelming and difficult because you want to go back to your life before the narcissist but something is holding you back.
While this is a normal part of narcissistic abuse recovery, there are ways you can actively deal with feeling alone and isolated.
Let’s look at why you feel this way as well as what you can do to stop feeling so alone all of the time:
Why Do I Feel So Alone and Isolated?
While dealing with narcissistic abuse syndrome, the aftermath of being abused by a narcissist, you may be ashamed to talk about your experience. Many people blame themselves for putting up with the behavior and it may be that you feel guilty about not leaving sooner.
(Pro Tip: It’s not your fault!!!)
Plus, during your experience with the narcissist, you were made to feel guilt, shame, fear, and embarrassment. It’s hard not to carry those feelings with you even after the relationship is over.
You were also led to believe that everything you thought and believed was incorrect. The narcissistic abuse cycle includes gaslighting, devaluing, and invalidation so when you come out the other side you may feel that no one is going to believe your story.
Heck, you may not even believe it yourself yet!
Because of all the unwarranted and undeserved treatment you received from the narcissist, you are going to feel abandoned and lonely. Either you are still “stuck” in the relationship (even though it’s over) or you are going through narcissistic abuse recovery.
Either way, it can be a lonely time.
Why Do I WANT To Be Alone All the Time?
Even if you are surrounded by wonderful and supportive people during your narcissistic abuse recovery, you may still find yourself seeking solitude.
While this is a normal part of the healing process, it can be stressful and annoying. But there are some very good reasons as to why you are choosing to be alone during this time:
You’re Emotionally and Psychologically Exhausted
Dealing with a narcissist takes a lot out of you since their behaviors are extremely overwhelming. When you finally leave the relationship, you may find yourself emotionally and psychologically exhausted.
For this reason, you may be isolating yourself to recover. Again, totally normal and this solitude may be exactly what you need to build up your strength.
You’re Conserving Energy
While you’re trying to heal from the narcissistic abuse, it could be that you’re desperately holding on to whatever energy you have left.
Narcissists use their victims as a supply to fulfill their needs such as feeling important and superior. Being that source will take a lot out of you to the point where you struggle to function normally.
At this point, you don’t want to give up, so you hide away to save the energy you have left. You don’t want to talk about your situation because you know it will only cause negative feelings to resurface and you don’t have the strength to deal with these yet.
You Feel Safe When You’re Alone
Do you know what animals do when they are injured? That’s right, they hide. Why do they do this? So they can heal without the risk of being hurt again.
The same goes for narcissistic abuse recovery. When you’re alone, you can’t get hurt.
Plus, you are likely afraid to depend on anyone again after what you went through with the narcissist so it could be that you are not ready to trust others just yet.
Or it could be that you are not ready to trust yourself since the narcissist made sure you had no confidence to make your own decisions and rely on them instead.
Fortunately, you will come to a point in time where you are ready to change your situation and get back out into the world. While it’s important to not hide for too long and avoid dealing with the abuse, you’ll know when you’re ready to face your experience and start to let others in again.
How Can I Stop Feeling Alone and Reconnect With Other People?
The first step in beating the loneliness and reconnecting with other people is to be honest with yourself about what you have been through. Just like we know that the baby playing peekaboo hasn’t really disappeared, you can’t ignore the situation and hope it will go away.
Even if you’re not ready to admit anything to another person, write it down in a journal. This will also help you process the abuse and comes to terms with what happened to you.
Once you become more open with your experience, you will start to realize that the relationship and the treatment you received were not your fault. Narcissists operate in a meticulous way to entrap you into a narcissistic abuse cycle – it’s so subtle that you won’t even realize it’s happening.
The second step is to take responsibility for your own healing. You have the right to live a peaceful life and be loved by someone who will support you. You also have the right to be who you are and decide where you want your life to go.
Now that the relationship is over, you have the ability to control your own perceptions and you will be able to view your experience intellectually by labeling the narcissist as what they are and learning how to heal from narcissistic abuse syndrome.
This involves a lot of things but one thing you can do is work on figuring out who you are. Once you find that person, you will begin to feel more confident to make your own decisions and move on with your life.
What Do I Do If I’m Ready To Stop Being Alone But I Have No Support System?
I’ve talked to many narcissistic abuse survivors that have literally no one to turn to. Not having a solid support system makes it difficult to overcome the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
However, the internet has made it easier than ever to reach out and find support! Talking to someone online is not the same as doing so face-to-face but it will help you realize that you are not alone.
Plus, reaching out online may lead to connecting with someone in your community who has suffered the same as you! There’s something so powerful about talking to someone who deeply understands your situation.
You can start by checking out my Facebook group. It’s focused more on parents who have to deal with narcissistic exes but everyone there has gone through narcissistic abuse as well!
Or you can visit my resources page for sites and hotlines that can help you out as well.
All in all, you may feel alone but it’s a big world out there, and plenty of people are be more than happy to lend you the support you need!
Helpful Tips for Feeling Less Lonely
While you’re in the middle of dealing with being alone and isolated, there are ways that you can make the situation seem less lonely without putting yourself out into the world when you’re not ready.
Here are some tips for dealing with your loneliness:
- Change your narrative. Instead of seeing yourself as “alone”, see this as a time to work on yourself, reflect, rediscover hobbies, and find relaxing activities you enjoy.
- Write in a journal. As I said, writing in a journal can help you make since of what you went through but it can also be an opportunity to raise your spirits by writing about happy memories or what you are grateful for.
- Reach out to old friends. Maybe you’re not ready to talk about what happened, but it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to old friends! Plus, these are the people who knew you before the narcissistic abuse and they can help you rediscover who you are.
- Go for a walk. You can still get out into the world without dealing with people. Walking has so many physical and psychological benefits and can be a good way to start working yourself out of isolation.
- Join an online community. Whether you join a support group or an online community that shares your interests, having someone else to talk to can help you feel less lonely.
- Get a pet. As long as you have the time and means to take care of it, getting a pet is a great way to feel less lonely. Trust me, even when I’m home by myself, I’m never alone with three cats swarming me for attention!
Ultimately, if you find your loneliness is impeding your day-to-day life, it may be time to seek professional help. Therapy is a common part of narcissistic abuse recovery for many individuals and there’s nothing wrong with having a professional help you work through the mess the narcissist put you in.
You’re Not Alone!
Despite how you may feel, you are not alone and eventually you will overcome these feelings of isolation and begin to live a normal life again.
It just takes time and effort, as most things do.
But seeking information on how to heal is an important part of the healing journey! I know that by reading this article, you are ready to tackle your loneliness and move on with your life.
You can do this!
How about you? What do you do to feel less alone? Let us know in the comments!