In creating this website, I decided the second most important topic to write about is identity erosion. Why? I have explored a lot about self-healing for 40+ years. Every person who finally reaches out for help when dealing with a narcissistic person is struggling with a lost sense of self. The light within has been blown out. Here is a visual perception of what I mean.
Imagine a campfire. The flames are strong, determined, and bright. There is motivation, purpose, and a drive for life. After all, fire is alive like all other elements within our universe. You can feel the fire’s warmth, which comforts you and everyone around you. When someone is psychologically abused, it is like a stranger comes along and kicks dirt onto your campfire. It can be even more damaging and destructive when it comes from a person you trusted and loved. Over time, you try to rebuild your campfire and keep the fire burning bright. But each time the same person comes along and kicks dirt on your campfire, the more complex and harder it is to maintain. The fire becomes weak, for some odd reason, the wood no longer supports the fire, and the winds of self-doubt start to disrupt your campfire. Eventually, despite your best efforts, the fire slowly burns out. Everyone around you can see and feel it. You feel empty and cold inside. You do not recognize who you are anymore. You are just existing and no longer living or thriving. This, to me, is precisely how it feels to have identity erosion. It is the death of the old self.
In my personal and professional opinion, seeing and hearing a person struggling with identity erosion is devastating. The circuits in your brain are fried when you have been psychologically and emotionally abused. Your head has been filled with so many ugly lies about yourself from your abuser. Every time you were gaslighted, you were labeled. Here are some examples:
- You are overly emotional and sensitive
- You can’t take a joke
- You have no sense of humor
- You’re the crazy one
- You’re imaging things
- It never really happened
- You are blamed for creating drama when you stand up and try to speak your truth
After a person gaslights you, you can stop speaking your truth because, in the past, you were given the silent treatment. You get punished, and the narcissist will not forgive you until you apologize for hurting their feelings. So, you become a people’s pleasure. Always walking on eggshells and hoping the person who gaslighted you will give you a few crumbs of kindness or affection. Therefore, identity erosion continues until you are hopeless and lost.
I know many people that use gaslighting as a form of manipulation to get out of trouble, avoid a fight, or keep you in the relationship. You do not have to be narcissistic to know how to gaslight a person.
There are other ways that someone can experience identity erosion. Good Therapy wrote a wonderful article going into much more details.
If you are struggling with identity erosion, please be gentle with yourself. You are very fragile and venerable. You will have good days and bad days. One day you are smiling and laughing; the next, you are a mess. I know; I have been there before. It can take you anywhere from 1 year to 2 years to rebuild your campfire. It might take longer than two years, depending on how long you were in the abusive relationship. Your campfire may never be the same again, but that is okay. My campfire was not restored fully in my journey to healing myself either. I built a stronger, more powerful campfire with friends who saw and felt my gift for humanity. Now I am here to lift you up, remove the dirt from your campfire, and support you in building a massive bonfire or campfire that will warm your communities hearts. I am working on creating healing courses that can be downloaded. The healing methods will have audio files and documents to guide you back home. I would suggest purchasing and listening to the guided meditation called, Let me be the Light that I created to help you find your way out of the darkness and into the light.
Thank you for reading this blog post about identity erosion. If you have any questions, you can post a comment below: many blessings ~ Angela Myer, Author of The Undetected Narcissist.