You can’t fall asleep at night; you are anxious, your mind is racing. You listen to your thoughts and wonder when you will get respite. Morning comes and you face exhaustion as if you had been up through the night. Exhaustion has a pain of its own, a feeling of weakness that can seem unending. Finally you face the day and wonder  if your strength and stamina will ever return. It is very difficult for those who have not experienced this level of exhaustion to understand. This is way beyond tired or worn out..

You are distracted and miserable most of the time.  On top of this is the dark presence, the horrific shadow side of the high level narcissist.  What you know for sure is that eventually he or she will start screaming at you, picking you apart in a low voice filled with derision and mocking. One of his/favorites is humiliating you.  Humiliation is one of the worst sensations we can experience. It is intolerable; we squirm inside, we become small and want to disappear, to become invisible.  These cruelties visited on you by the high level are  a regular feature, sometimes daily, wearing  you thin, jangling your nervous system causing  anxiety and panic, For some re-activating their childhood trauma as children in a narcissistic family.

You feel the old vulnerabilities, the childhood deprivation, the raw fear.

All of this is particularly alarming since your narcissistic partner/spouse doesn’t give a damn about you or you well being. In fact he is incensed that you are ill and pulling him down. You are bad for his image. Having a partner who is not “Up” all the time is very unappealing. The flawless narcissists despises your chronic exhaustion and uses every opportunity to both deride and abandon you.

Slowly at times very slowly you begin to sense that you are moving through the exhaustion, feeling the beginnings of strength.  You do research and seek good professional help. With time and an inner resolve and connection with a few individuals whom you trust you know that in order to heal and restore your physical and psychological health you will need to move along your own recovery pathways that activate the restorative parasympathetic body/mind systems, daily self care:  rest, sleep, excellent nutrition, hydration, Nature’s healing gifts, the use of your unique creative gifts, your form of spiritual practice: basic restorative yoga, stretching, gentle ancient movements of chi gong.   Another phenomenal gift of healing: listening to beautiful music that moves inside with its beauty and the promise of renewal, strength and transformation, the fullness of your original true self.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.