If you think you have escaped an abusive relationship with a narcissist and DON’T have PTSD, you probably aren’t aware of the symptoms of PTSD.
Here’s a brief list of some of the signs you probably have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can start immediately after the relationship ends or up to a year or more afterwards. The symptoms cause major problems in your work, relationships and how you function day to day and can become incapacitating for some people.
Symptoms come in four types, and can vary over time and person to person. They are:
Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:
- Obsessively thinking about your ex
- Upsetting nightmares
- Anxiety attacks triggered by some seemingly insigficant event
- I developed a really strange avoidance habit and still fight it. When getting ready to go somewhere I avoid looking at the clock. I guess because my ex was always late. I also avoid looking at my bank account, I assume because I was so broke for so long.
- Avoiding places, or activities you used to enjoy. Although you need to go no contact, this is to the extreme. I had to stay away from not only the neighborhood my ex was living, I avoided the whole town. The minute I got to his town I could feel myself getting anxious. To this day!
Negative changes to your outlook on life, which may include:
- Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world ie: all men are assholes, everyone is out to get you, life is unfair, “I can’t do this”
- Suicidal thoughts
- Memory problems, you are forever losing your keys etc also often times traumatic events are forgotten
- Feeling like you don’t fit in with family and friends any more and don’t know how to socialize and make small talk
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Deadened emotions, no happiness, no sadness, just numb
Changes in how you reaction:
Which may include:
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Constant feelings of impending doom
- Self-destructive behavior, such as excessive drinking, spending
- Sleeping disorders, sleeping too much or not at all. Ie: you may fall asleep immediately, but after a couple hours you are wife awake. Or you are exhausted, but the minute your head hits the pillow you’re wide awake.
- Trouble concentrating on anything, tv, reading a book…
- Irritability, angry outbursts, I would just SNAP over the slightest frustration or inconvenience, throw things, cry, yell. My poor dog! Then I would feel guilty because it was not me!
- Guilt or shame
You may also be suffering from some physical illnesses that are commonly found with domestic abuse survivors, such as:
Fibromyalgia, heart failure, head aches, cancer, MS.
So many times victims are told to “just get over it” and people can’t understand why the victim can’t. The victim sees her ex out and happy with his new love interest and thinks there is something wrong with them because they can’t move on. They believe they must really be deeply in love with the narcissist otherwise they wouldn’t be in so much pain. For one thing, it is NOT normal to move on from a love relationship that fast! Two, you are confusing the symptoms of PTSD with the feelings of unrequited love. Sure a love relationship ending is painful and there is a mourning period of certainly months, if not years but PTSD is much more incapacitating.
The real kicker is, you could have been feeling completely healed, years out of the relationship, then something like this pandemic can throw you right back into experiencing symptoms again. Know you are not alone!
I’ll cover more ways you can deal with PTSD over the next few days.
As always, be patient with yourself, you can do this!
Love and hugs Carrie ❤️❤️😉