This is a hard one isn't it? They have been studying you and your pressure points for ages and they know what buttons to push. You have shared your vulnerabilities with them from a place of trust and now they are using it in their effort to abuse you. These are the kinds of grief that narcissistic abuse survivors go through.
Here are my top tips.
1. Pause : Do not start typing a response. Your immediate reaction is likely to be to defend yourself, point out how unfair some of their comments are, point out they shouldn't be doing that so on and so forth. The minute you do that, they achieve their agenda; getting narcissistic supply from them. So, pause.
2. Regulate : You are likely to go into deep grief, resentment, anger and all sorts of complex emotions. This activates your fight, flight or freeze response in your body. This shuts down pre-frontol cortex which is responsible for our focus and attention. It won't serve you well to make decisions from this state. So, regulate yourself. Have a shower, go for a swim, do some cooking, go for a walk, bring your anxiety level down by using tapping etc. Do whatever works for you to regulate yourself. You can download the Trauma Tapping video here. This is one of the most helpful ways of regulating yourself.
3. Unpack the message : Assuming that you are in a better place to respond, it's time to unpack the message. Read the message to filter out the facts. Take a piece of paper and write down the facts under the heading facts. Then, write down your reality; what's true for you in front of that. This enables you to form a better answer. Continue to do this until you get into the groove of responding to these texts better. Once, you have filtered out the facts, you will realize that the rest are projections, manipulations and gaslighting.
3. Read aloud : Write a response factually. Take yourself away from it. Do not personalize, explain or defend yourself. Just write a factual response. Read it out loud before you press send. Pay attention to your body. When you read the text, if your body reacts energetically in a negative way, go through the process of pausing, regulating and unpacking again.
This may seem like a lot of work and it's not fair that you have to do this. However, this process will put you in a better position when dealing with the narcissist's behaviour towards you. As always, do your inner work to heal and get your life back. I am delivering a workshop on the 7th of December on "Co-parenting with a Narcissistic Partner or Ex 101". We will do some practical exercises on how to unpack these messages during the workshop. You still have time to claim your early bird ticket which is only £20 and from 1st of November it will go up to £30. Click here for more information and RSVP.
Helping parents who co-parent with a narcissistic partner or ex.