There is something every one healing from narcissistic abuse should be aware of; I had one commenter call it a healing crisis. I can’t think of a more fitting name for it.
It is a phenomenon that happens to a person when they are recovering from an extremely traumatic event. We have all heard how the mind will block out extremely traumatic events. They find it happens often with young children who have been abused, they have no recollection of the abuse but later in life; as an adult something, perhaps the birth of their own child will occur and they are flooded with memories. They go to a psychiatrist because they think they are having a breakdown and don’t know why.
The same thing often happens with victims of domestic violence. You were in a situation you felt helpless to leave, you were confused, afraid and feeling trapped. Plus the narcissist was using alot of the same techniques used for years on prisoners of war to brain wash them and torture them into submission.
Your mind only allowed you to absorb as much as it thought you could handle.
You might find that as you heal more memories will come to the surface. You will be feeling like you are over the worst of it, feeling like your old self, not even missing him, laughing again, you’ve gotten the spring back in your step and then it happens. Out of the blue you have a dream about him, or watch a movie, or see him drive past or maybe read something here and all of a sudden you are in the pits of despair again.
You can’t believe it; you are no better than you were when you first left him. You are crying all the time, can barely function, you are flooded with memories of him again. You feel crazy again and if you don’t know what’s going on you panic. You had been doing so good and now you’re back sliding, you fear you will never heal and he will haunt you forever more.
What is happening is a healing crisis, your mind is allowing you to feel those emotions you weren’t strong enough to handle up until now. Its a very important step in your recovery, if you don’t deal with those feelings they will lay dormant and could pop up at any time in the future.
Try to just allow the feelings to surface, cry, get angry, whatever you have to do to release them and know this will pass. I have gone through several; the first time I was afraid it meant I wasn’t making any progress at all but I have found that every time I go through one I feel so much stronger and lighter when it passes.
It feels like slodging up to your waist through thick mud; you can barely move your legs and it takes forever. But as you go through it the mud thins and by the end you are in fresh water and the sun is shining.
So rest assured you are not having a breakdown, it is all very normal, you are healing and that is a good thing!