Tag Archives: trauma

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 ❤️❤️😉

The Narcissist And The Pandemic

I have to admit I have no idea how a narcissist acts during a pandemic. It’s rather uncharted territory for everyone.

I can guess at how he will act. I can imagine my ex thinking he’s invincible, immune to anything that could kill him, using it as a venue to play the hero, rescue some lonely scared woman and also to scare his present victim into staying.

One thing I am certain of is that a narcissist never changes and never has an epiphany that turns him into a loving caring person. Even a pandemic will not make him realize what he has to lose and motivate him to change his ways.

What about the victims how does it affect them? It adds to their fear and uncertainty. If you were planning on leaving, it throws your plans all to hell. How can you leave when you have to socially distance or are on lockdown? Unfortunately it makes leaving all but impossible, so it means riding it out for awhile and staying as safe as you can. It means digging deep inside for strength to fight the fear and panic that keeps a person from acting logically and thinking rationally.

A narcissist feeds off of the emotions of others, maybe because he doesn’t have feelings of his own; playing with the emotions of others somehow gives him the next best thing.

I didn’t even have ID or a bank account and had to literally start all over from nothing at 52 years old. As if I woke up after being in a coma for 10 years, nothing was the same as it had been and I couldn’t remember who I was before the coma.

I will tell you this; I was always able to find a reason to stay. At first it was my brother’s addiction and my family being so worried about him. Then it was my son, then I had lost my job, I had to save enough for rent, there was always some plausible reason to stay. The first time I packed my bags and had my hand on the door knob about to leave was 2 weeks after I had moved in, and he cried and begged me to stay. I remember thinking, what have I got to lose? 9 years later I left with absolutely nothing, less than nothing, because I had sacrificed my pride, self esteem, confidence, the respect of my family and more importantly my self respect.

We split in November 2010 but had actually split many times during the relationship, like almost every 6 months. In 2008 we had split when my mother offered to buy me a mobile home as my early inheritance. Having the security of my own home again had motivated me to end it for good. I didn’t let him stay even one night in my new home and it wasn’t long before he moved away and we didn’t talk for 3 months.

My business was going wonderfully, I had been written up on the front page of the financial section of a prominent newspaper and couldn’t keep up with the calls for my services. I had started to date again, actually flirting with a guy who had been after me for over a year.

Then the economy tanked, but it only meant more work for me as companies shut down left and right. My mom and her second husband started pressuring me to sell my truck and “get a real job”, which was insanity, seeing as everyone was being laid off and I couldn’t keep up with all the work. I made $7500 in February 2009 alone. I was making my payments, my confidence was coming back, life was good except the pressure every morning from my folks. In November they had told me they had to sell my mobile home because of the market crashing, yet they went on an 8 week vacation. Telling me to find a place to move before they got back. They returned early March and true to their word they put my home up for sale.

When my ex called out of the blue I felt I had nothing to lose by talking to him. Take my advice; when ever you find yourself thinking, “what have I got to lose?” Think again! You always have more to lose, even when you think you’ve lost it all, a narcissist will take your soul and if you give him the chance, your life.

Had I done ANYTHING other than go back to him, I would be in better shape now. His whole purpose of coming back was to destroy me completely. The mind is a funny thing, it blocks out painful memories after a while. Like when you give birth and decide to have another child. I forgot how bad it had been and thought I knew how to handle him and avoid fights, protect myself financially and emotionally. But I had not seen what he was capable of yet, not even close. The pure evil that appeared once he had me back was, well, something out of a horror, thriller movie. Or Dirty John, the true story about a woman involved with a narcissist/psychopath.

You may be thinking you can’t afford to leave, but believe me, you can’t afford NOT to leave, even if you have no support. It will be the scariest thing you have ever done, but take that first step and don’t look back, you are stronger than you think.

Each person facing their own unique set of circumstances so I can’t advise you on exactly how you’ll do it but trust that you can.

I have the free download for a Safety Plan on how to leave a narcissist in the drop down menu at the top of the page. Make sure the narcissist doesn’t know you have it, (erase the history on the computer) but start preparing for your exit bit by bit.

If you have recently left the narcissist you are probably thinking you need him, you’re thinking about the new woman he’s isolating with, how you need someone to help you cope with the kids, the finances, and to just put his arms around you so you don’t feel so alone. This is not the time for “if onlys”, it is time to do some major self counsel and keep your head in reality. Who you thought he was, was a lie, an act and you know deep down that he wouldn’t have been there to support you through this or any other disaster, nature or one he created. The narcissist never made your life better, he created trauma and drama and caused you more worry and stress; especially when you needed him most.

Don’t let him sweet talk you into taking him back and don’t think the new woman is getting all the wonderful things about him. Maybe he is making sure you think he’s changed by putting on a good act but believe me history WILL repeat itself.

This is not the time to cave. You can do this.

You never know how strong you are until you get through what you didn’t think you could.

If it didn’t scare the hell out of you, if you knew you could do it; it wouldn’t take strength.

I used to tell myself;

“I can do anything for 24 hours. I just have to get through until tomorrow.” Sometimes it was hour by hour. Often times we look at what’s happening and think I can’t do this forever. It never is forever. Things change, they always get better. Don’t worry about what might never come to be. Keep your head in the here and now, just get through the next 24 hours.

My thoughts are with you all and I want to hear about your challenges and victories. Let’s pull each other close and support each other. I am going to check everyday to make sure you are all ok. Let’s talk.

Hugs❤️❤️❤️

Sharing Your Pain

painempathy

I watched a Tedx Talk tonight that I found interesting. For those of us who have experienced a person’s eyes glaze over when you start to share what you have been through. I think we have all figured out that when most people ask you how you are, they really don’t want to know.

They don’t want you to be honest, unless it is to say, “Fine thank you.”

pain1

I enjoyed this woman, she is a very good speaker. If you notice she does what all good speakers do, she pauses, talks slowly, and takes her time, plus she knows her material well.

Here is her video