Self-Examination For Abuse Targets

One of the really difficult things to deal with for those who are recovering is one's own "issues". Being inside of an abusive, unsafe situation, group, or community actually makes it UNSAFE to explore one's own personality or issues, because there's someone right there to pounce on them, inflate them, and use them against the person. So when we are INSIDE of an abusive situation, or dealing with people who are aggressive, hostile, and controlling, our subconscious often knows not to go exploring into that side of recovery, no matter how much we want to, or a therapist wants us to.
Protecting ourselves from abuse and a hostile environment automatically takes precedence over self-examination (you're not going to self-examine while, say, trying to get away from a mountain lion. It's no different when the hostiles are human).
So while it's definitely part of recovery to discover ourselves, our 'issues", our "flaws", even N. traits that we might have, it's a very important part, we might not be really able to do that while we're feeling unsafe. Even if we're "safe and sound" at the moment, roof over our head, kids are safe, food to eat, we can still not feel safe enough to come to terms with certain things about ourselves, and that's okay. No one should be hammering a person to self-examine, especially if they're dealing with a crisis situation, or haven't had a chance to recover from the ordeal. Of COURSE you have flaws, every person on Earth does. Some of them might turn out to surprise you completely. So when you're feeling safe again, and you'll know when that is, you can then start to explore yourself without your subconscious shutting it down in order to switch on the "protection" mode. Many of us absolutely have "N" traits, some behaviors; it's not just "okay" because we've been targeted, but it's not something we can really do much about unless we're in a SAFE environment, not feeling pressured, bullied, or threatened by manipulation and abuse. And a target having one, or two, or a hundred N traits does not make it justifiable in the least for someone to treat them abusively, or manipulatively, so don't believe that having "flaws" gives ANYONE some kind of 'reason' to behave abusively. That's insane, and actually another Narcissist Entitlement.

So go don't be HARD on yourself with self-examination, especially when you're dealing directly with aggressive people and unsafe environments, try not to be one of the people who are causing you undue stress by "beating yourself up" for not recovering fast enough. It's much easier in a relatively safe situation to do self-examination and self-improvement. It's true we do learn a lot from hardship, and that can be a great and wonderful thing. And we also learn from that hardship once we feel safe.