The cycle of narcissistic abuse is certainly a confusing one. It's defined by periods of TENSION, INCIDENT, RECONCILIATION and CALM. So what this really means, is that part of abuse includes the highs, the togetherness, the peaceful calm that seems oh so much sweeter because there's also a great flip side that comes with it all: tension (often seemingly out of nowhere or for the most confusing or irrational of things!) and incident - where allllll the drama and darkness bewilderingly unfolds.
At a fundamental level, experiencing the narcissistic abuse cycle undermines your own sense of reality and self trust. But for those experiencing it, it is typical to go round the cycle many many times before the incident side becomes so dark, so draining that getting away becomes a matter of necessity to save yourself.
It isn't cross-sectional data, but we did a tally of clients and found that an overwhelming ~80% who experienced narcissistic abuse in adult life also experienced abuse as a child, usually due to a narcissistic or toxic parent (mother or father), step parent, sibling or grandparent. Experiencing abuse by a parent in particular sets you up to being vulnerable to repeat experiences of abuse in adulthood, usually in a romantic relationships. This is because, without doing the inner work, we keep subconsciously seeking out a life partner who reflects the same negative traits of our own parents that wounded us. Unconsciously, we are seeking to somehow project our issues and heal them through this person but importantly, much of expecting this sort of treatment from an intimate partner is second nature and an indicator of our own underlying levels of self worth.
With a history of cold, abusive or neglectful parenting, getting reeled back in to the narcissistic abuse cycle can be so toxic because of all these subconscious drivers and self reflections.
The most effective way to END the internal cycle that keeps attracting more of the same in to your life, is to work with the subconscious mind (why I use hypnosis!) to identify the weeds, uproot them plant better thought patterns!
Want to understand more? Watch this video that further elaborates on 4 core self insights in to our own behaviours.