The Scoop: Narcissistic Abuse Rehab (NAR) is a mental health platform founded in 2019. NAR’s mission is to raise awareness about abusive power and control, empower survivors and discuss solutions for trauma recovery. NAR’s Founder, Manya Wakefield is a certified trauma recovery coach who deals with recovery from toxic relationships. NAR can help people recognize what an abusive relationship looks like and how to heal from past wounds.
Relationships aren’t always perfect, but when a partner becomes abusive or expresses prolonged toxic behavior, that goes beyond acceptable relationship dynamics.
Victims of abuse face a number of challenges. People trapped in abusive relationships often have difficulty assessing the situation, identifying the level of abuse, and learning how to break free.
And when dealing with a narcissistic abuser, sometimes the victim gets manipulated into believing they are the problem. At other times, the victim’s fragility and inability to walk away may embolden the abuser even more, and thus continue the cycle.
While people tend to think narcissistic abuse is an obvious personality trait, it can often go unnoticed until later in the relationship.
Narcissistic abuse itself is a type of emotional abuse that displays self-aggrandising and sociopathic tendencies like manipulation, gaslighting, and other kinds of emotional control over a partner. Oftentimes the victim can’t properly identify the abuse or feels like there is no escape from the abuser. The long-term effect can be devastating on the victim’s psyche and may lead to other traumas.
For those who are able to recognize the signs, there are ways to seek help. Narcissistic Abuse Rehab (NAR) is an online resource platform that offers support to those who have experienced emotional abuse. The platform provides helpful content, like articles and podcasts, that deals with abusive relationships and how to heal from abuse and seek help.
NAR was founded by Manya Wakefield, who herself is a survivor of narcissistic abuse. She is a certified trauma recovery coach and created NAR so other victims can receive insight and guidance as they deal with their struggles.
Wakefield said the inspiration behind NAR was her philanthropic mother, who encouraged her daughter’s research and training, and provided support for the initiative.
“My dream was to create a digital safe space to provide free tools to help abuse survivors, and my mother made that possible,” said Wakefield. “Because of her, NAR’s mission of healing through awareness, empowerment, and community has helped thousands of people recover from dysfunctional relationships.”
A Digital Safe Space For Survivors of Abuse
People say the first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem. And it’s the same for abusive situations. A person has to recognize the toxic behaviors to be able to take appropriate action.
“Learning to spot narcissistic abuse awakens people to the reality that violence can extend beyond physical harm to the emotional sphere, where the wounds can be psychologically catastrophic,” she said.
The NAR podcast discusses these topics to educate people about the warning signs and unhealthy behaviors that constitute narcissistic abuse.
Knowledge is power, and NAR is dedicated to empowering its audience by raising awareness through a variety of resources. The platform offers informative articles about abuse and provides an option to receive coaching from Wakefield herself.
Wakefield urges people to be mindful in their relationships and look for signs of narcissistic aggression if serious issues persist. She said it can be akin to recognizing when someone has spiked your drink at a party.
If the signs are not obvious but you sense something just isn’t right, you may want to look deeper into the dynamics of the relationship.
“Awareness is intrinsic to healing because it helps people see how and when they have been exploited and manipulated,” said Wakefield. “With clarity, they can make informed decisions about what is best for them.”
Early Warning Signs to Keep in Mind
It’s good to remember that there’s not just one kind of narcissist. Some might flaunt their mannerism in such a way that anyone could notice. And then there are others who hide their manipulative behavior and even disassociate themselves from it.
While it can be difficult to spot a narcissistic abuser initially, there are a number of red flags that give away their antisocial tendencies.
One way that abusers try to manipulate their victims is by “love bombing.” It involves a person giving overwhelming affection and attention to someone to gain their trust and make them emotionally dependent.
“Narcissistic people lavish attention and validation on people they want to put under their spell. Love bombing is purposely intoxicating and addictive because it aims to bypass your defenses,” said Wakefield.
Another sign of narcissistic behavior is when a relationship progresses at a rapid pace. The victim has no time to assess the situation or get more familiarized with all of the abuser’s personality flaws.
Wakefield said that declarations of love and sex happen before the victim has time to find out who the abuser really is. As a result, cohabitation, marriage, and pregnancy may occur within weeks or months after first meeting each other.
Wakefield said that manipulators will also blow hot and cold. “One moment they are love-bombing you, and next, they are aloof, indifferent, or unavailable.”
This type of tactic is done intentionally to elicit the victim’s fear of abandonment. “The moment you fear losing them, you’re hooked,” she said
Moving Forward With Support From NAR
Being able to identify a narcissistic abuser is just one part of the issue. For those who have already experienced abuse, the emotional damage can be overwhelming and the road to recovery may take considerable time.
The effects of gaslighting alone can be devastating. Victims of abuse are fooled into thinking they are the abuser or the cause of the problem when they are only reacting to the abuser’s behavior. This type of invalidation messes with a victim’s mind to the point of not knowing what is true or false.
That’s why it is so critical to hear other people’s stories because they can be affirming. “Knowing someone else experienced and transcended psychological predation is a sign of hope and a reminder to anyone going through it that they are not alone,” said Wakefield.
Trying to go through the healing process alone is ill-advised. People in this type of relationship should call a domestic abuse hotline for professional advice.
Wakefield said that leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time, especially for women and girls because narcissistic people’s fear of exposure and loss of control can lead to tragedy.
“If a victim is unable or unwilling to leave, they usually have a good reason. For example, they may be experiencing intimidation and threats behind closed doors,” she said.
If you happen to know an abuse victim, the best thing to do is to be with them and ask questions. Wakefield said that narcissistic abuse thrives in insolation, and it should not be underestimated.
“Manipulators usually drive friends and family members away so they can act out with impunity and have total control over the person they are harming.” she said.
For more information and support, the resources on NAR’s platform can help victims realize that there are ways to leave an abusive relationship and healing begins with understanding.