12 Steps of Recovery for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors
(Taken from Alcoholic Anonymous)
1. We admit that we were powerless over narcissism - that our lives had become unmanageable. Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
2. We know and believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
3. We have made the decision to turn our will and our lives totally over to the care of God for He knows us better than we know ourselves. Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
4. We have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves – not according to our abuser’s standard, but in alignment with God’s. Galatians 6:4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.
5. We have admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of the wrongs done against us as part of our healing process. This was done not to take revenge, but was necessary, even if that meant reporting a crime done against us to local law enforcement for justice to be served when deemed appropriate. Romans 12:17-21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the LORD. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
6. We are entirely ready to have God remove the narcissist’s list concerning our defects of character from our minds and allow only the things of God to infiltrate our mind, body and spirit. Philippians 2:5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
7. We have humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings, self-doubt, and low opinion of ourselves by teaching us first how to love Him and then ourselves. Ephesians 5:28-29 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
8. We have made a list of all people who have harmed us and turned our enemy list into a prayer list. Matthew 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute.
9. We accept that the narcissist may never change and cannot change independent of God, but know that the change will begin in us. Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
10. We will continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, but we will promptly admit it so that we will not take on the characteristics of the narcissists. When they try to devalue, gaslight, triangulate or manipulate us, we will totally disregard their attempts even if that means a modification of contact and turn them over to God. Psalm 34:17-20 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
11. We will continue to seek God through prayer and fasting to improve our relationship with Him and for guidance in our dealings with others. We will ask for knowledge concerning His will for our lives and the power and wisdom to carry it out. Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
12. As a result of following these steps, we will be able to carry this message to other narcissistic abuse survivors and show them how to practice these principles in their daily lives. 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
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