There are so many different levels of trauma when it comes to a relationship with a Narcissist.
Many victims experience the trauma of the crazy making/gas lighting during the relationship.
The trauma of the “discard” phase, where the victim is dropped and replaced with little to no warning.
The trauma of trying to wrap your mind around what just happened.
The trauma of shattered self-esteem.
The trauma (and oftentimes shame) of telling friends and family the news.
The trauma from the nightmares. The pervasive sense of paranoia–wondering who else has a hidden agenda.
The trauma of trying to get support from people who have never been through anything close to something like this who often give damaging advice such as, “get over it”.
The potential of trauma of getting tangled up with a mental health professional (therapist/psychologist) who isn’t as familiar with Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome as you need them to be.
And then the trauma of trying to pick up the pieces and move on.
It should be no surprise to anyone that victims of Narcissist abuse often suffer from PTSD. Unfortunately, I was one of those that had PTSD, except I didn’t recognize it for what it was–and I really wish I had. If you are feeling overwhelmed, paranoid, having anxiety attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, an inability to trust, or other PTSD symptoms, please find a psychiatrist, and get help.
There are medications, and most likely therapists, that they can recommend to help you through this. You don’t have to suffer through this, and while it’s normal to feel like this for a few months after the relationship ends, it’s not normal to continue to feel this way.
I strongly encourage you to join a support group (there are many on Facebook), here is a link to mine.
More information on PTSD:
According to the National Center for PTSD, PTSD is a stress-induced condition that happens to some people after a traumautic event, such as war, abuse, death or an accident, and causes disruption to work or home life, as well as causes great distress to the victim. Everyone goes through some degree of stress and trauma after an event, but if you are experiencing these symptoms 4 weeks or more after the event, you may have PTSD, and should consider seeking help. For more about PTSD visit, please visit the government sponsored site for PTSD by clicking here.
There are four types of PTSD symptoms:
1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms). Memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time. You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place. For example:
- You may have nightmares.
- You may feel like you are going through the event again. This is called aflashback.
- You may see, hear, or smell something that causes you to relive the event. This is called a trigger. News reports, seeing an accident, or hearing a car backfire are examples of triggers.
2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event. You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event. For example:
- You may avoid crowds, because they feel dangerous.
- You may avoid driving if you were in a car accident or if your military convoy was bombed.
- If you were in an earthquake, you may avoid watching movies about earthquakes.
- You may keep very busy or avoid seeking help because it keeps you from having to think or talk about the event.
- Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
3. The way you think about yourself and others changes because of the trauma. This symptom has many aspects, including the following:
- You may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships.
- You may forget about parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.
- You may think the world is completely dangerous, and no one can be trusted.
4. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal). You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. You might suddenly become angry or irritable. This is known as hyperarousal. For example:
- You may have a hard time sleeping.
- You may have trouble concentrating.
- You may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.
- You might want to have your back to a wall in a restaurant or waiting room.
Again, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms, you aren’t alone, and there is no need to panic. Lots of people that develop PTSD, are able to get through it, and go on to live happy, well-adjusted lives. Be extra kind to yourself, and please reach out for help if you feel you would benefit from it.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
Latest posts by Dana (see all)
- Episode 43: Live Stream June 28, 2017 - July 26, 2017
- Episode 42: Book Club Discussion of “In Sheep’s Clothing” by George Simon - July 24, 2017
- Episode 40: What Does Healing Really Mean? - July 19, 2017