Do The GOOD That Makes You Feel Good

You feel like you've lost your personality, or a big chunk of who you are. You feel like you don't know how to feel good about yourself anymore, like you've lost that ability forever.

Here's what may have happened: Narcissistic abusers, regardless of the relationship, will convince a target that they don't have those parts of their personality that used to make them feel good, that used to contribute to their self-esteem and confidence.

So if helping others used to help you feel good about yourself, that's what a narcissist will try to take away, and convince you that you were never actually a person who helped others, that it was all in your head, that you didn't do anything real to help anyone. They may even convince you that you were actually harming those you helped, or that you were only doing it to get attention and praise (even if you actually got nothing of the sort, or very little).
A narcissist will also try to place a fear/anxiety "switch" in your subconscious that will activate when you go to help anyone else.

The narcissist doesn't want you to help others; that would take your attention, time, energy, and resources away from THEM. It would also contribute to helping someone in a real sense, which means someone else is receiving a benefit from you. It would also contribute to your normal self-esteem and confidence; it's part of who you are, so you're fulfilling your own goals and carrying out your own ideas and plans. Other people might see how valuable your efforts are, and that would draw them to you, giving you more allies and increasing your good reputation. The better light more people see you in, the less control any narcissist has over you. Also, they fear that others might compare you to the narcissist, and find that they think more highly of you, and ostracize them (paranoia, projection). All of these things upset and scare a narcissist who is connected to you, and can make them feel left behind if they have abandonment issues as well. Fear makes narcissists anxious and angry, so they must put a stop to the source of their fear.

You also have probably helped the narcissist on many occasions and got nothing back but criticism, or a total lack of acknowledgement. This treatment can do a lot of damage to our motivation to help others when they need it, and can bury the feeling of joy we get when we can see some result from our efforts. It can make us CYNICAL, or worse. It can even turn us on ourselves, in a literal way; when we need something, we can refuse to give it to ourselves, and refuse to ask anyone else as well for fear of being denied. So we don't get our needs met, and we don't get the needed self-esteem boost from doing something effective.

How can we cure this?!?
One step toward healing this can be helping someone ELSE, or something else, other than the narcissist, outside of our usual patterns and people, and other than ourselves for now. If we have children, we can do something to help them, even if it's something small like helping them with something that is good for their future, or opening a savings account, or looking into lessons and further academics. We can help another relative, or a neighbor, or a total stranger. Even if we need to keep it secret, we can do this. We can do little things or bigger things, and we can keep doing them until we can FEEL it again.

Do what used to make you feel good about yourself, do try to remember. Your subconscious remembers all of it, it's in there.