Relationships During Recovery

When Paranoia Keeps You Stuck

A couple months ago, I surveyed a FB group of over 20,000 about what they battle with the most, now as adult, after experiencing Narcissistic Abuse as a child.

While there were hundreds of responses, there’s one in particular that I want to talk about today.




‘I’m paranoid that everyone hates me.’

‘The paranoia that everyone is plotting against me’

‘The paranoia that this person doesn’t actually like me and is going to want to change who I am.’


— These were just some of the responses in regards to this topic.

& I had to admit, a lot of their fears resonated with me.


In my opinion, untreated paranoia and anxiety is the exact opposite of peace.

It’s strategy. It’s negativity. A ton of stress. It involves the need to be one step ahead.



Dealing with the struggle of paranoia after Narcissistic Abuse.& I read recently that survivors of abuse are actually pretty self-centered people. (Bear with me, here)


It seemed a little negative, but I kept reading. The next few lines read something like the following;


‘When someone is constantly told they are the problem or that everything they do is inadequate or wrong, they not only develop extreme anxiety and paranoia but they also develop an obsessive sense of this false self. This is all based on survival. Within the development of this persona, the victim becomes obsessed with being perfect and is in constant fear that everyone, including the abuser, will become the attacker. Without being perfect, they fear that they will only result in being a failure.’


“WOW!” I thought.

How devastatingly true.

It really opened my eyes because we commonly only associate being self-centered or self-involved with really obnoxious, loud people who only seem to want to talk about themselves.

What we fail to recognize and talk about, is the conversation we are having within.


Maybe he’s lying. All guys are the same. He’s just playing me. I’m done with dating.

Is she really who she says she is? Why would she want to be my friend?

What if they just want something from me?

They are acting different today. I bet they were talking shit about me.

My boss didn’t say hi to me this morning. I knew he didn’t like me. Why even try?

Another ticket? God the world hates me. I can never win.


And this all makes sense.

Years and years of childhood psychological, mental and emotional abuse results in a very insecure and hyper vigilant adult.

As we spent those years (and maybe still are) listening to projected hate, shame and doubt, we also unknowingly bought into that bullshit and internalized all of that criticism.


And this is a step where we need to take responsibility for what’s going on for us. Because I firmly believe that unless we develop awareness around those limiting beliefs, they stay tucked away in our subconscious, consistently waiting for an opportunity to make us feel bad or second guess something. And we will never feel how we were meant to feel.

For example, and maybe this has happened to you; when you finally interact with someone who you think understands you and then on your drive home, you begin to doubt this person and yourself and start having post conversation regret because you believe you may have shared too much.

The joy you felt was real.

The doubt and fear you felt was your subconscious beliefs recognizing the high vibe and not liking it; ‘Wait. You don’t get to feel good. Let’s interrupt this.’

Thus continuing to get in the way of good things actually happening for you.

Preventing you from letting things just be.

From understanding that either outcome is okay.

No one is out to get you.

None of it defines you.


Furthermore, when we allow those beliefs to take over,

We shut down. We go back into strategy and reinforce our walls again.

And even though you may find temporary relief with no love going out, there is no loving come in either.


& it’s okay if you don’t know exactly what’s holding you back.

Or exactly what the paranoia is about.


And although I know your parent or ex partner created this false reality that everything you do is a problem for everyone else,

what’s really important now is for you to realize that it’s probably unrealistic to think that everyone you meet and know thinks about your every move, all the time.

We are always so constantly worried about what people think of us.

Of what we say

How we do things

How we dress

What we post on Facebook


And even if they do care, what matters is how we feel about us.

If we constantly feel judged, criticized or stressed that everyone is negative or bad, then there’s a lot going on internally for us to focus on.

Key phrase: a lot going on internally for us to focus on. What are we afraid of? How can we stay in our own lane here and shift our experience into a healthier one? What happened to us that makes us believe that no one will ever really love us?

It’s time to get out of your head and into your heart and really develop the awareness behind these thoughts.


Because ultimately if this is what we believe about others, it’s what we believe about ourselves.

How can we believe someone can truly love us, if we don’t?

How can we believe our friends are loyal and have our backs when we don’t have our own?

How can we demand respect when we treat ourselves so poorly?

How can we expect our bosses to be all about us when we secretly can’t stand ourselves?


So in order to change it, we have to reveal the truth about it.

The paranoia is not a fun feeling.

It’s restrictive and stressful.

It prevents us from being in the moment.

It prevents us from being comfortable with asking for what we want.

It creates a war zone and reactive mentality.

So, let’s continue to address this shitty defense strategy.

Take a minute to give yourself a hug. To tell that little girl inside of you that she doesn’t need to worry anymore.


No more isolation.

The world is not out to get you.

The world has your best interest; you just have to stop hiding and continue healing.

The universe can only meet you where you are.

And if you spend your time worried and obsessed with how others perceive you or what they are thinking,

Then you are going to attract people who operate from that place. (Yes, they exist.)


And remember, sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong.

The key is to never stop being fully you.



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