Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse is the recovering empath’s almanac. Packed from cover to cover with sourced research studies, anecdotal wisdom and accessible healing tools, Power takes the healer on a journey of understanding their own inner resources, delving deeper into the chemical and emotional phases of recovering from psychological abuse. The fact that the author somehow made this heavy topic into a how-to-heal page turner is an example of truly inspired writing.
Shahida Arabi weaves life wisdom and insight with empowering scientific research, not leaving any room for misunderstanding or doubt about the harmful nature of this form of abuse. ‘Debunking myths’ as she calls it, is her forté. Her essays are fully sourced from the most cutting edge psychology and research. As a graduate of Columbia University, she is one of the most powerfully insightful Millennial authors of our time.
The thing about this type of powerful insight is that it comes from rigorous study and many hours of thought, which is something many writers aren’t familiar with these days. It is refreshing to read any work as passionately researched and well thought out as Arabi’s.
While Arabi tackles the full scope of how to deal with the different facets of recovering from the abuse, there are a few topics she hits on that really aren’t known about or brought to light at all even in the circles familiar with this epidemic. One that I experienced intensely, but never knew as a symptom of the abuse, is self-isolation. Arabi puts an emphasis on self-isolation after abuse and points out that this is a less covered facet of the abuse recovery. As a recovering abuse victim myself, I found much solace in her exploration of self-isolation and how to heal, which up until this point, I hadn’t found any works that dove into – the good, the bad, and the sheer fact that it is a product of this abuse cycle.
‘During the idealization phase, the narcissistic abuser is able to ensnare us into a twisted fairy tale in which we feel compelled to spend every living, breathing moment with them. However, once the devaluation phase sets in, the victim is shocked and traumatized. They barely have enough space or time to process the trauma, let alone reach out to those who have supported them in the past… Trauma causes chaos in our brains and bodies, creating a separation among thoughts, emotions and memories that erodes any sort of coherent narrative about the trauma.’
Clear insight about narcissistic abuse leads one to a feeling of relatedness which is something survivors of narcissistic abuse often lack, and also need the most to break through the alienation. Power is a book I will read over and over as well as a reference in my healing work and self-empowerment for years to come. Bravo Shahida. The world awaits your next masterpiece with bated breath.
When asked to sum up her intentions for her first three books and which book is best for whom, Shahida told The Shakti Journal: ‘POWER is a perfect introduction for the survivor who wants to learn more about narcissistic abuse and how to recover. For those who want a more expansive read into the research on narcissistic abuse, my most comprehensive book is Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare which features both survivor insights as well as articles by various experts in addition to my own insights. It’s a 500+ page “bible” of sorts for anyone looking for an in-depth exploration into the topic. For my younger readers or those who are just short on time, I recommend reading The Smart Girl’s Guide to Self-Care because it is a much more concise guide to narcissistic abuse and healing.’
You can find more on Shahida Arabi on her blog at selfcarehaven.wordpress.com, her YouTube Channel ‘Self Care Haven’ and by following her on Instagram @selfcarewarrior & FB @The Smart Girl’s Guide to Self Care