Studying and learning about narcissistic abuse is the easy part of recovery. Integration is what separates the survivors from the thrivers. Intellectualizing what you experienced is something that even cluster b personality disordered individuals can do. Without integration and practical application of what you have learned there is still a disconnect where people perpetuate narcissistic abuse.
This disconnect is deadly. It is almost better to be around a toxic person who is unaware of what they experienced, because then you know there is still hope if one day they choose to educate themselves and get honest. When someone understands logically the abuse they have encountered, but remains detached enough to not apply what they learned to correct the issues; they themselves become a predator. The worst kind of predator is one who knows what they are doing, but plays dumb when confronted with the reality of their actions. This is not wisdom, this is cruelty.
Some people get stuck in the helplessness for moments in time and that is completely understandable. However, when this moment becomes a way of life that is when we need to identify the person as toxic. They have chosen to stay stuck in a toxic cycle and playing helpless is a manipulation tactic in itself.
Recovery is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of correcting your programming and knowing it is a life long process. When you know there will always be little things that come up and need to be addressed and changed, you are recovering. When you have intellectualized the abuse and do not implement change on a daily basis you are merely living in the past and acting out it out in the present.
Choosing to not be a victim and being empowered is the only way to get the life of your dreams. No one will hand you happiness on a platter, you must work for it. Mental clarity and health are a personal job we all have to address with integration of knowledge. Merely reading books and watching recovery videos is not enough. One must live the recovered life to fully recover. This does not mean perfection, but it does means progress on a daily basis.
Some of my favorite recovery tools