Tag Archives: healing after narcissisic abuse

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 ❤️❤️😉

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

I have been there, believe me. Deep down you know you are in danger but when you tell anyone they doubt you and then you doubt yourself. Maybe you are paranoid, maybe you are imagining things.

Please, I was lucky, it took my sister-in-law telling me he would kill me if I didn’t leave. Maybe God let me live because he needed me to educate people, be there to support victims. I should have, could have died several times.

I was reading a post the other day about Flying Monkeys and the damage they do. I always read the comments on posts and this one was no different. That is where I read the following comment.

I’m going through something ive never seen written about. My ex has fm that sneak into my daughters attic and stay above only the room im in….so who hears them right. Plus they have a newly redone attic that make little noise. They throw liquid on me, use something to make burns on my head. Use something to make me so tired i actually passed out withfood in my mouth. What do i do? Pray. Its been 4 years we broke up and we r divorced. I did divorce. He got everything. Our business ect. I had many hospital stays in our 37 yr marriage. I had 11 kidney stones……bladder so red they thought i had cancer. He was always cold and distant. I am 57 never had kidney stones. Got so bad i couldnt pee. Then just blood……he got weird phone call and i heard him say no shes just scared. He has been abusive in everyway. Near the end i was passing out at random times and am again. Help!!

ML (she used her full name but for her protection I am using her initials, just in case I am wrong) you need to move immediately. Find a safe shelter for domestic abuse victims. It is unlikely the police will believe you because it does sound far fetched. I believe you, but only because I have been there. People who haven’t experienced the abuse of a narc think, “But that doesn’t make sense. Why would someone do that?” The only answer is, “because they are a narcissist. They are evil soul destroyers”.
Plan your escape very carefully and covertly. No one can know. Once you have a safe place to go to leave in one fell swoop. Take what you can and leave the rest, nothing is worth your life. I left with $5 and my dog and slept in my truck. It’s been a long haul and life has been tough but I never regretted getting away and now 8 years after leaving my life is anxiety free, and I have good friends I can trust.
As long as you live where they have access to you, you are not safe.
Good luck.

ML, also, if that is your real name stop using it to post on social media immediately!! Do a Google search of your name and see what shows up. Any comments you make will show up in a Google search. If they are spying on you, you can bet they are tracking your Internet activity. Also check your vehicle for a tracking device and get a different phone. It’s amazingly easy to hack into a person’s cell phone and have full access to a person’s photos, text messages, and GPS. They can listen in on all your conversations and actually see what you are doing, even if you think your phone is off.

I immediately got out of that post and did a Google search on her name and the only thing that came up was an Obituary saying she died Dec 28, 2018. She comment was made 36 weeks ago, that would have meant her comment was made at the end of June 2018.

I am not saying her ex killed her. I don’t know her or him at all.

I DO know there are many ways to kill a person, you don’t have to even be in the same vicinity.

There are many ways a rcissist can kill a person; by slowly poisoning them physically or mentally. They can make their life so unbearable they feel their only escape is to kill themselves. (By getting them fired, evicted, cut off assistance, turn their kids against them, ruin their reputation) They can make them feel useless and turn everyone against them. Or they can make them feel (and act) paranoid and crazy. They can badger them incessantly with taunting phone calls, emails and text messages. They can destroy their property until they own nothing at all. Some, like my ex tamper with the victims vehicle, cutting brake lines, loosening lugnuts, the steering.

The stress alone can kill them, a woman leaving an abusive relationship is 75% more likely to get a chronic illness like cancer or like in my case, heart failure. Almost all victims end up with PTSD.

Unfortunately, since I started this blog I personally know of at least 6 women who were killed by their narcissist ex. That is just the ones I know for sure, there are more, like this woman, I suspect their killer is walking free.

The victim is often so deep into cognitive dissonance they convince themselves the narcissist is not really dangerous and deep down loves them and couldn’t really hurt them. They think they know the narcissist better than anyone and can handle him. They think they will be able to talk him out of hurting her or be able to outsmart him.

They also think they can’t live without the narcissist, or they can wean themselves off the narc. Or, they think one day they will have their fill and be able to walk away without it hurting like hell. The narc will hurt them one last time and they will kick him to the curb and never doubt their decision. All lies.

You can not ever be “ready” to leave, you will have self doubt, and he is going to try everything to make you doubt yourself.

As long as you remain in contact with the narcissist, in any form at all, even through friends and family; you are putting yourself in danger.

And yes, I too found myself wishing he would just kill me and get it over with because I didn’t think I could leave and start all over alone. I had nothing, I was 51, I just didn’t feel strong enough, couldn’t see ever having a life worth living but I dug deep and took that first step.

You don’t know what the future holds if you leave, but you know what the future will be like if you stay; and it only gets worse. Your only chance for a better life is to leave.

I am not saying leaving isn’t hard, it IS hard, you are going to cry and go through all kinds of emotions and you will struggle with yourself to not call him BUT it does get better and easier.

That much I can promise you!!

You don’t know how strong you are until you make it through something you didn’t think you could. If it was easy you wouldn’t need strength or courage.

Don’t give up on yourself!!

Don’t let him/her win!

Recipe For A Really Good Pity Party

I love a good pity party, don’t you?

I hate to brag but I have to say, I am a bit of an expert on them. Perhaps a few of you have even been to one of them; you brought the cheese and I supplied the whine.

The problem with pity parties is; the guest list keeps shrinking, friends all of a sudden are “too busy to attend” and those who have attended a few start to roll their eyes and say things like, “OH for God’s sake! Get over it already!!!”

You start to resent your friends who just don’t understand and you may have gotten angry with people like me who suggest you do some soul searching and personal growth. Why should you have to do all the work of healing and improving; you didn’t do anything wrong! The victim’s mantra becomes, “It’s not fair!”

Why do I have to suffer, work on myself and face the ugly truth when the narcissist hippity hops into the sunset arm in arm with “his” new love of his life?

I’ll let you in on a little secret; 99% of the population don’t ask to be hurt, physically, financially or emotionally. Shocking I know! But a fact none the less.

Another truth is; No pain no gain.

Years ago I joined a gym and started weight training. I had been bulimic for years, endlessly dieting and bindging and I was looking for an alternative way to keep my weight down. I had no idea how much it was going to hurt!! I hurt in places I didn’t know could hurt. There were days brushing my hair brought tears to my eyes. Days I walked like I had a broom stick up my butt because my glutts were so sore from doing lunges and to top it all off! I GAINED WEIGHT!! because muscle weigh’s more than fat. I wanted to quit numerous times but something else I wasn’t expecting started to happen; my confidence started to grow and as my body got used to exercising the pain grew less intense and became an indication my muscles were building. I started to look forward to a little discomfort because I knew I was improving. Another amazing thing happened, instead of my scale being my crutch and best friend, I started trusting my own body and how it felt. Instead of gauging my self worth on the numbers on a scale; I drop kicked the scale out the back door and started relying on how I felt, how my clothes fit and how great my ass looked in jeans. The added bonuses to working out far surpassed any pain. Although I don’t go to the gym any more I never brought another scale into my house. With my heart condition I am supposed to weigh myself daily to monitor whether I am retaining water or not and I refused to ever have another scale in my house. I was afraid that if I started weighing myself everyday I would once again start obsessing about my weight and letting the scale determine my mood.

Where am I going with this??

I found the same sort of thing happened to me when I started to actively participate in my own healing. Don’t get me wrong; I can still throw a damn good pity party and when I do I am all in!! I can throw temper tantrums, scream and cry “It’s not fair!!” better than any 3 year old. Then I take a nap.

The theme of my pity parties are no longer the narcissist but life provides amble opportunity for self pity. After leaving the narcissist it is easy to blame all your tribulations on the N. You get sick, if your ex hadn’t been such aN asshole you would have someone there to make you chicken soup.

The car breaks down; if your ex hadn’t left with his secretary you wouldn’t have to call the tow truck yourself.

You would have a wonderful life if you hadn’t dedicated how ever long a time to the narcissist. You would have a successful career if you hadn’t moved to be with the N ……. etc etc

No one knows what would have happened if you had not met the narcissist. But, unfortunately, in life, we don’t get to yell “DO OVER!” As much as wishing you could change history makes for a great pity party, it doesn’t change anything.

I am almost 60 and you would look at my life and think there are many things I wish I could change in my past. But whenever I look at my life honestly, if I were to change anything I would have to give up something good in my life.

So in answer to your question; “Why do I have to improve myself and learn a lesson from my relationship with a narcissist when he gets off scot-free?”

Because you can.

The narcissist can’t grow a conscience, he doesn’t want to change, he can’t feel, he will never know what it feels like to love someone unconditionally. He is doomed to live a life filled with paranoia, plotting, strategizing, living a lie, always afraid of being found out.

You do have a choice though. You don’t have to do the inner work or self improvement. You don’t have to take control of your mind, your happiness, your life. You don’t have to live true to your core self, set boundaries, or be the best version of you that you can be.

There are many ways of coping with the devastation left behind by the narcissist. You can dull the pain with booze or drugs. You can find a new man and “fall in love”, you can stay bitter and dwell on what the narcissist did to you or is doing now.

My ex had one of his victims drink herself to death. After they split she made outing him her life purpose. For 15 years she obsessed about him, until she died a bitter drunk. I vowed I was NOT going to end up like her. There was no way I wanted my ex to think he had that much power over me.

Victims of narcissistic abuse credit all sorts of things for their healing, God and prayer, meditation, yoga ……… you name it, and whatever works for you is great and totally a personal choice.

As with weight training; I discovered there were bonuses to self analysis and self improvement that I had not anticipated. When I stopped looking for a bandaid solution or quick fix and started doing the hard lifting, I started to notice that the discomfort I felt upon disecting myself was well worth the inner peace I was gaining.

It seemed every time I brought up the most pain or had an “Aha” moment I would feel lighter, more at peace. Then one day I had this incredible feeling of inner peace come over me. It was a rebirth, a feeling I had never experienced before, I couldn’t help smiling, like I had a secret no one else was privy to. I have never lost that inner peace, my health may be failing,  I might not have a dome to my name, I may not like where I live but I have inner peace.

I am not the only one to experience this sense of well-being, I have heard from many survivors they also had it hit them out of the blue when they started working on being their best self.

It is what separates the victims from the survivors.

A victim gets stuck in their brokenness and being a victim becomes their identity. They take no responsibility for their happiness and pain.

A survivor takes what happened to them and uses it as a catalyst for personal growth. They own their pain and take control of their lives again.

I continue on my quest to become the best me I can be, not because I feel broken any more but because I know no one is ever completely their best self. We all are flawed, “becoming” is a life long journey and it includes learning from others, adjusting your belief system, examining your prejudices and judgements. It means living your life as a person who you are proud of.

I love Ted Talks because you can usually find a few talks on any topic you can imagine, especially self improvement.

Here is a link to a few you might want to start with.

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/08/life-is-gonna-suck-but-it-needs-to-5-hard-but-helpful-truths/