Category Archives: Self Discovery

The Narcissist’s Victim and PTSD

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:

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Obsessively thinking about your ex
  • Flashbacks
  • Upsetting nightmares
  • Anxiety attacks triggered by some seemingly insigficant event

Avoidance

Symptoms include:

  • 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
  • Hopelessness
  • 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 ❤️❤️😉

His New Relationship Has Lasted-He Must Have Changed

A narcissist can be extremely dedicated to proving his last victim must have been the one at fault. If the relationship lasted 10 yrs he will make sure the next relationship lasts 10 years and one month.

Does this sound familiar? For how ever long you were together was there things you wanted to do, places you wanted to see, interests you had; that he simply would not do? And now with the new woman he is doing them all!! They are taking that trip you always wanted to take, he has started cooking when he couldn’t even boil water while with you. He never took your feelings into consideration but now he is mister empathy with her.

I recall one conversation we had after we had split and I wanted him to help me with something. He had NEVER worried about hurting My feelings with ex’s but all of a sudden he’s telling me that he doesn’t really think it would be right for him to spend time with me. He looked me in the eye with a concerned look on his face, “Imagine how you would feel if you were her in the same situation. You wouldn’t be happy.”

WTF!!?? Imagine how she feels?!!

There are things he has changed. I don’t know if he’s ever hit her but I kinda saved her from the physical abuse because she knows I accused him of physical abuse, he couldn’t be physical without her knowing it had happened before and is a pattern. There were alot of things he had to change just to prove I was a liar.

I know it hasn’t been a bed of roses and they’ve had problems, they never did get married and she doesn’t even wear her ring any more. But! It doesn’t matter.

Something I finally came to realize that helped me alot to move on was this:

How he treats her has nothing to do with me. I was miserably unhappy with him, he treated me like shit and it never got better, only worse. I was afraid he’d end up killing me and I was a shell of the person I used to be. I had compromised my values and standards to the point I didn’t even respect myself and nothing I had ever done had made it any better. I couldn’t change any more than I had and when I looked back at the way I had handled situations I couldn’t honestly say I would do anything different except I would have left sooner.

I had been angry he had personal ads, if that happened now I would just leave the relationship, not try to fix it. If a man didn’t show up for Christmas dinner with family without so much as a phone call, I wouldn’t listen to a bunch of excuses; I’d just say goodbye.

So if the new woman is able to tolerate him longer,if her standards are lower than mine, or if she has more money and can give him more things materially so he sticks around longer; that’s their relationship and good luck to her. I was not able to do that.

The secret to a happy relationship is not molding yourself into being what the other person wants it’s being with someone who values and cherishes you for who you are. Someone who isn’t constantly comparing you to someone else, finding fault, twisting your words, misunderstanding you, and thinks you are too anything.

And if he thinks you are too sensitive, then he should be with you if he can’t adjust his way of treating you. If you know something bothers the person you love, you stop doing it and if you can’t stop doing it, then obviously it is more important to you than the person and you need to walk away. Everyone has their own boundaries and deal breakers. One woman might not mind her man going to strippers, but a different woman might get enraged, it doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong, but the man has to choose if strippers are more important than the woman, not lie about it.

So stop obsessing about the new woman and his new relationship. Reframe how you view it. Don’t think in terms of you weren’t/aren’t good enough, instead, is he good enough for you? was/is he capable of making you happy? Not his potential to make you happy if only he would………… (fill in the blank, but the truth.

In 2020, try to see the world around you honestly, with 20/20 vision and not through rose tinted glasses.

The Lies We Use To Sabotage Our Happiness

This morning I listened to this TED Talk and want to share it with you. It discusses the false narratives we all have running in our heads.

I have covered this topic several times before but it is always worth repeating and sometimes people can receive the same information many times before something *clicks*.

I think most people deal with some sort of false narrative that runs through their head. A false belief instilled in you at a young age that you have continued to tell yourself over and over until it became part of your identity and influenced the choices you make, the people you associate with, the job you do, every aspect of your life.

Now, before I go any further, let me make it very clear, I am not victim blaming; but the narcissist is adept at feeding these negative false narratives and it’s how he controls his victims.

People always want to know how they can protect themselves from get tangled up with another narcissist. They think they must research every trait and nuance of narcissists so they can identify them. When actually, the best defense against a narcissist is to know, accept and love your true core self. Self doubt, needing acceptance, and guilt can not influence your choices if you believe in yourself.

My false narrative went something like this;

“Once people get to know you they will find out you don’t know what you are doing. You’re a fake.”

* Growing up I was always told what I should do in order to be successful, liked, accepted. For example, a good woman has a spotless house (my mother) a good wife gives her husband sex whenever he wants it, (my dad), a good wife is a great cook and hostess. Things that I did enjoy and was talented at were laughed at and ridiculed, like my writing (my father found my journal, called a family meeting and made me sit there while he read it out loud and laughed about my most private thoughts and feelings) My artistic talents were deemed; cute but not saleable.

* As a side note; my writing has made me money and helped thousands of people and my painting has kept my head above water for years and my landscaping is in high demand. They are the only things that have sustained me the last 10 years.

“You are overly sensitive, too emotional, something is really wrong with you, you’re a flake.”

* Something my father used to tell me, my brother heard it so often he believed it and joined in. Hard not to believe something when the two men you love the most telling you it’s a fact.

“You aren’t attractive, you are fat, ugly and you are going to have to try really hard to keep a man happy.”

My mother was always putting me on a diet because we both have a pear shaped figure. I look at pictures of myself now and I was not fat. I have gone my whole life feeling fat, had an eating disorder from 17 to 30 yrs old. My weight would jump 10 lbs in a weekend because I would binge and purge. When I stopped dieting, threw out my scale and started walking and working out my weight stablized and I’ve worn the same size slacks for 15 years. I remember being excited that a certain handsome fellow had asked me out and my mom said, “Hmmm I wonder why he asked you out?”

After leaving my ex I was so broken, felt so worthless and didn’t even know who the “old me” was so didn’t know how to put myself back together.

I had no choice but to dissect all the things I had been told about myself and determine if they were true or not. I knew if there was something about myself I didn’t like it was within my power to change it.

I found that when I listened to my gut and acted on what my core self felt was right and didn’t base my decisions on what I thought others thought I should do; life went much smoother and I never felt like a fraud or flake.

Listen to the TED Talk and tell me what your false narrative is in the comments below.