A narcissistic abuse survivor turned trauma recovery coach has revealed five reasons abuse victims get stuck on their recovery.
Since 2017, Ronia Fraser, 39, who is based in London and LA, has been helping abuse survivors from all over the world get back on their feet, regain their mental health and recover who they were always meant to be since 2017.
‘ T he narrative of the “crazy woman” has been around since the beginning of time to label, shut up and institutionalise abused and traumatised women,’ she explained, speaking exclusively to FEMAIL.
‘What’s important to understand is that this “craziness” is intentionally orchestrated by the abuser through very calculated manipulation techniques such as gaslighting, triangulation, emotional blackmail and tactical identity erosion to first create and then feed the narrative.
‘The symptoms an abuse survivor exhibits are a normal reaction to an abnormal situation and their mind and body’s way to keep them safe and alive.’
Now, ahead of World Mental Health day on 10 October, the award-winning trauma recovery coach and clinical hypnotherapist has shared the most common reasons she has seen victims struggle on their journey to recovery.
Narcissistic abuse survivor turned trauma recovery coach Ronia Fraser, 39, who is based in London and LA, has revealed five reasons abuse victims get stuck on their recovery. Pictured, stock image
1. You are still in touch with the narcissist
‘No contact is the number one rule of narcissistic abuse recovery,’ the abuse recovery coach explains. ‘There is often a great resistance to this due to false hopes or promises and the addictive nature of a narcissistic relationship with the victim hooked on love and the abuser serving as both drug and dealer at the same time.’
She goes on to say that as long as you’re connected, ‘you will not heal.’
‘This is a non-negotiable and a pre-requisite to recovery,’ Ronia continues. ‘Unless you go no contact, the best therapy in the world won’t work.
‘This is one of the most difficult steps to take, but also the most liberating, and the benefits to the survivor’s well-being are almost instant as the nervous system starts to quickly re-regulate itself.’
What to do: Sharing her advice, Ronia urges victims to block and delete the abuser and anyone connected with them from all social media platforms and communication channels.
‘There are situations where no contact isn’t possible due to logistics like shared custody or legal proceedings,’ she adds.
‘In that case the contact needs to be highly modified with no personal touch at all, ideally through a neutral third party or at least a modified contact app.’
2. You obsess about the narcissist
Many narcissistic abuse survivors devote themselves to studying the topic of narcissistic abuse.
‘But while all the research is a vital stage of the recovery journey and needed to cognitively come to terms with what has happened, no actual healing is taking place here,’ Ronia says.
‘It also comes with a false sense of security, making survivors prone to repeat trauma.
‘The damage caused by narcissistic abuse is on such a deep level, it also needs to be addressed on such a deep level. Figuring it out cognitively and logically isn’t sufficient and won’t reduce the symptoms.’
What to do: ‘Shift the focus away from them and what happened onto yourself and your healing,’ says Ronia.
‘Instead of reading books about the abuser and what has happened you start to focus on yourself, your well-being and begin to learn about things and take steps that actually will move you forward.’
3. You tell your war story on repeat
Ronia points out that most survivor stories are straight out of the movies.
‘In an attempt to finally being heard, understood and acknowledged, many abuse survivors tell their story to anyone who will listen and join countless online support groups and forums,’ she explains.
‘Many of which provide linguistically bad content, are run from a place of anger, resentment, hurt and hate by victims who have not done their healing and are merely a contest of who has experienced the worst (***trigger warning***, anyone?). Engaging in these is very damaging and actively hindering the recovery.’
She goes on to highlight the importance of understanding that the brain cannot distinguish whether something is happening for real or whether we imagine it.
‘The chemical reactions and neurological responses are the same. That’s why no healing ever happens inside the story,’ she says.
‘The opposite, telling and analysing the story over and over again is retraumatising.’
What to do: ‘Stop telling your story, accept the past and focus on the present, 100% committed to recovery and moving forward,’ Ronia suggests.
4. You are waiting for the knight in shining armour
According to Ronia, this is nothing more than a romantic notion that Hollywood has been selling us forever, which in reality however doesn’t exist.
‘There never was and never will be a knight in shining armour that will come save us, take all our pain away and fill this deep black void inside of us,’ she explains. ‘This is exactly what got us into trouble in the first place. No-one else can fix this but you.’
What to do: Ronia says: ‘Take responsibility for yourself and your healing, be proactive in finding the tools that work for you.’
5. You are looking for a shortcut
Ronia points out that many abuse survivors want a magic pill, that’ll make all of this go away in a blink of an eye.
‘Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist,’ she continues. ‘What we are dealing with is multi-layered deep and complex trauma. You will have to put the work in. 100% dedicated to your healing, all in, whatever it takes.
‘The good news is that with the right tools and the right support this is actually much easier than you think and doesn’t have to be a long and painful process.’
What to do: ‘Put the work in and ask for professional help,’ suggests Ronia. ‘You can’t do this all on your own. And you don’t have to either.’
The recovery coach goes on to say how we can’t change them, or what happened, but we can change how we feel about it and ensure it won’t ever happen again.
‘The key to getting unstuck is selfcare,’ says Ronia, who posts on her Instagram page rocknrollcoachroni. ‘It’s something that doesn’t come easy to abuse survivors, as they’ve probably spent their whole life sacrificing themselves for the sake of love, validation, acknowledgment and recognition and have always put others’ well-being before their own.’
‘This needs to change now. Just like putting on your oxygen mask first on the plane before helping others. You want to be treated well? Well, that starts with you.’
‘Selfcare is something that can and has to be learned and practiced diligently to finally be able to move forward. And the positive impact is pretty much instant. If I could, you can too! Always remember, energy flows where the attention goes.’
From survivor of narcissistic abuse to trauma recovery coach and clinical hypnotherapist
Ronia Fraser has gone on to become the UK’s first narcissistic abuse recovery coaches
Ronia had been living her ‘California dream life’ – she was head of finance for a multi-million pound global music business in Los Angeles and had a beautiful home in the sought-after Hollywood Hills.
But behind the successful façade, she was trapped in an abusive relationship and she says that abuse survivors rarely fit the concept of abuse victims.
Her award-winning trauma recovery programme has helped the likes of doctors, lawyers, accountants, head teachers, senior managers and executives, business founders and high-flying performers, who are strong, independent, smart, successful and powerful women.
Considered a pioneer in the field of narcissistic abuse recovery, Ronia has come a long way from the dark days of that relationship.
‘He would break me down emotionally and psychologically and then made sure to leave a knife or box cutter behind for me to use and do his dirty work for him,’ she explains.
‘I was drugged without me knowing for almost a year, resulting in blackouts and a loss of reality. I suffered gaslighting, brainwashing, intentional sleep deprivation and emotional blackmail.
‘I developed a most profound and unimaginable sense of loss and sadness and deep self-loathing. No-one on the outside world however would have ever known that my life was less than perfect – sunshine, palm trees, the career, the lovely house in the Hills and all…’
To survive, she quit her high-powered job, dropped everything she had created for herself in America and returned to the UK where she went into hiding for two years.
‘Back then, I was really struggling with my mental health as a consequence of the abuse,’ she says. ‘Narcissistic abuse wasn’t really a thing at that time and there was little information available. I got very frustrated with the lack of results I was getting from therapy so went out on my own with a mission to find something that would fix this.’
Nowadays, Ronia is an internationally-certified, highly sought-after coach and has run her narcissistic abuse recovery coaching business for the last five years, helping and supporting women from all over the world to get back on their feet, regain their mental health and recover who they were always meant to be.
‘I was convinced that there had to be something that could undo the damage as effectively as it was caused,’ she says. ‘I had nothing left to lose so I went all in. Once I found it, it took me only five months to become symptom-free.’
‘So I got extensively trained in the modalities that worked and modified and refined those for the particular purpose of recovering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD), which narcissistic abuse always causes.
‘Today I’m a certified Trauma Recovery Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Hypnotherapy Trainer, NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer, and Havening Techniques Practitioner.’
She adds: ‘Today I’m leading a drama-free life I couldn’t have even imagined before. Healthy, free and so authentically me.’
‘I let go of everything that didn’t serve me and held onto all the good qualities I like about myself. Ronia 2.0. I love my life, I love my work. This is what I’ve been put on the planet to do.’