The Covert Narcissist

 Warning Signs of the Abuser You Never See Coming

When it comes to romantic relationships, resilient people have this one thing in common. Quite often, they don’t discover that they’ve been enduring actual abuse until their psychological resources are nearly depleted, which takes a great deal longer than others without their strength. It’s not that they don’t see signs or fail to identify toxic behavior. 

They simply have a knack for working around problems, rising above them, and pushing through them for the sake of achieving their relationship goals. In the meantime, these abusive relationships do take their mental, emotional, and physical toll. By the time a remarkably resilient person stumbles across an article or book, hears a podcast episode, or consults with a therapist who is able to accurately describe the dynamics of their abusive relationship and give it a label, they are mind-blown. 

However, it may make some of us even more vulnerable to certain unhealthy dynamics, patterns, and forms of abuse. One such form is narcissistic abuse. It’s important to explore the link between resilient and narcissistic partners because they are likely to pair up with each other, setting the stage for an abusive relationship. The true danger lies in the fact that the narcissist has ulterior motives from the start while their unsuspecting partner is unaware that manipulation will play a primary role throughout their relationship.

Your Resilience Might be a Magnet for Covert Narcissists

Narcissists are attracted to empathetic individuals that have a positive outlook on life and see the best in others. Because narcs lack the ability to truly empathize with other people’s experiences, they see this quality as a commodity. While it’s been a widely held belief that narcissists pursue individuals that are weak or easy, the more strong-minded and resilient you are, the more appealing you may be to a narcissist. You may have survived some traumatic experiences and cultivated the strength to support others. Being educated, successful at work, and healthy at the outset of a dating relationship or marriage are qualities that many narcissistic abuse survivors possess. Other common qualities include being kind, loyal, generous, and willing to give unconditionally once they feel securely connected to their partner. Since narcissists need a constant supply of attention, admiration, and validation, these attractive qualities signal to a narcissist that their specific needs will be met.

High emotional intelligence is another common quality that narcs are attracted to. You may be wondering how individuals with high emotional intelligence are unable to spot the red flags and patterns of a narcissistic abuse relationship more quickly. While there is a pattern to many abusive relationships and narcissistic abuse relationships are no exception, all narcissists are not created equal. The approach of a covert narcissist can easily go undetected if you are unaware of what behaviors to look for. Let’s look at the 3 general stages of narcissistic abuse as well as several specific ways that a covert narc might deviate from more traditional behaviors in a romantic relationship with an extremely resilient person:


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Healing & Empowering Yourself after Physical & Emotional Trauma

It can be difficult to heal and empower yourself again after and any kind of physical and emotional trauma, including domestic violence or a messy divorce.

The process is different for everyone, and there is no manual that can expertly prepare you and guide you through it, since feelings are complex and wounds and scars take time to heal.

But you don’t have to feel tied to your history with domestic violence and sexual abuse. You can escape your feelings of low self-esteem and low self-worth that keep you trapped in the cycle. You learn to think of yourself as less than, because that’s how your abuser or abusers treat you; and they may have isolated you from those who might support you.

So think of what happened as then, and this is now. You may have physically escaped or you are seeking to do so. Now you have to know you can do it, and you can stop the self-blame and feelings of “I’m not good enough.” Instead, you can rise to the challenge and break away from your fears that you aren’t up to the task or that you can’t change. Instead, by learning to heal and working towards your recovery, you can channel your trauma into powerful transformation. That’s what I did for myself, and now my mission in life is to help others experiencing such traumas break free and empower themselves.

In fact, you can gain strength by knowing you are part of a community of women who are survivors and are using their past to build themselves into better women. They are collectively overcoming their fears, and they are using their voices to raise awareness and potentially save the lives of women and children who are trapped in relationships and families that have become the source of their abuse.

I know this change is possible, because I almost lost my home, accumulated over $200,000 in credit card debt, became dependent on alcohol, and even made an attempt on my own life.

But I made it through. I retook my career working in real estate and insurance, and what helped me make it is finding a renewed faith and a supportive community. It was a long journey of several years, but I gained so much knowledge of what we need to do to grow and empower ourselves along the way. I also realized what we need to do to get help and resources along the way.

As a result, I decided to share my story through my book, blogs, videos, and this website, and use any funds to build my Ministry for Women. I have created this ministry because I feel empowered and want to show the love, mercy, and grace I have gained by giving back to other women and communities. A key inspiration for this ministry is a group of elder woman parishioners at my church who showed me the power of selfless love by becoming my spiritual mothers and adopting me as a daughter. As a result, I developed a love towards the ministry, my pastor, and their families, and most importantly, I developed a personal relationship with my Creator, so I gained this new sense of purpose and mission in my life to help other women.

So I invite you to join with me and the community of women who are united to achieve this goal of breaking free of the past and empowering oneself in the present for a brighter and more fulfilling future. I will let you know about my book when it comes out. Now I invite you to help spread love and justice for women who have been abused. Sign the email link below and follow our community at #NikkiHealed

Now let me tell you my story, so you know that if I can do it, so can you.

In 2015, I survived my first suicide attempt. I did so because my body was riddled with pain, shame, anger, and rage, from all of the traumas I had experienced in my life. After my attempt, I spent two weeks as an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital, with dozens of other women who had sadly fallen down the same path. Surrounded by slit wrists and overdoses, I was distressed to see the number of survivors with me in that ward. This two weeks I spent there also gave me a chance to think about my life to better understand why I was there.

At this point, before I subsequently found a new faith in God and Christianity, I had hit rock bottom. When the real estate market crash hit in 2008, I lost everything. I owed over $200,000 in credit card debt, suffered a tornado that destroyed our uninsured home, and had to file for bankruptcy, because I had lost all my assets. On top of this, I was battling an addiction to alcohol, opioids, and painkillers.

I lost my home because an EF-4 tornado ripped through our house and my hometown, killing 43 people. It threw cars off the overpass into the traffic below and destroyed the freeway. Hundreds were left without shelter, because their homes were damaged beyond repair, and none of us could return home until the authorities gave us the green light. In fact, I almost lost my life in this natural disaster.

After all of these losses, for years I harbored bitterness, rage, and anger, not only towards these events, but towards all of the perpetrators who had caused me so much pain from sexual and domestic abuse, including perpetrators who abused me sexually when I was a child, my husband who subjected me regularly to domestic violence, and my mother who rejected me from birth, deeply wounding my soul. So substance abuse was my way of dealing with the emotional pain I carried with me everywhere.

But finally I found a way to cope with all the hurt, heartache, and exhaustion through surrendering my pain to a higher power after my faith was restored in God through the church I attended. This happened in 2015, which was a year of transformation and a full rebirth of my life. I felt blessed to find a caring community of like-minded women who built me up through empowerment, education, and dedication to a cause greater than myself. They taught me how to heal and use my past to forge a new future.

This transformation occurred because during my recovery, I was in close contact with multiple ministries that donated food, clothes, blankets, housing expenses, shelter expenses, and even payment for my damaged roof repair. I had never seen nor witnessed selflessness like this before. The members of these ministries demonstrated an unwavering commitment to me and my recovery through the purest form of love.

After I recovered physically, I and my husband, a devout Catholic, learned to value the importance of showing love and caring for others. As a result, that same year, we found our church and converted to the Christian Faith after we visited several churches and found the one which took us under its wing. We began attending regularly each Sunday, and I met a group of long-time women parishioners who became my spiritual mothers and helped me feel uplifted in prayer each Sunday.

I desperately needed to embrace this faith, so I could have something to cling to after my husband and I lost everything over the previous decade. But after a few years, when our faith was tested by some struggles to find our way economically, personally, and spiritually, ultimately our faith sustained us, so I felt we were blessed with grace and mercy.

So now, besides finding empowerment in my revised business career, I want to share all of the understandings and blessings I have gained to help other women similarly become empowered and overcome past experiences of abuse and lowered self-worth to feel fully free and equal in whatever they want to do. For this is the path to true fulfillment in life.

Accordingly, I invite you to the #Nikkihealed fight for equality and empowerment no matter your ethnic background. The goal is to fight for this empowerment and against any barriers that stand in the way. So we’ll be helping women with everything from employment rights to entrepreneurship, and we’ll be looking at the ways that women are undermined and exploited, such as through femicide and female slavery, which has become an often overlooked but world-wide problem. Together we can do it, because together we are stronger than one. Together, we can become champions, as warriors, businesswomen, educators, and whatever we want to do.

Thus, I invite you to join with us at #Nikkihealed to become the person you truly want to be and were made to believe you never were.

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