Will I Always Be this Broken?
One of the most important and potentially life-saving concepts in terms of healing from narcissistic abuse is that of Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). A large part of healing involves breaking free from limiting beliefs about what is possible for you in this next chapter of your life. It’s vital to realize that what happened to you doesn’t have to define you, and it doesn’t mean that you will be, or feel, forever broken.
Post-Traumatic Growth is a concept that is associated with the positive psychology movement and represents a significant mindset shift when it comes to trauma. Traditional psychology views recovery from trauma in terms of “resilience,” which would be for a person to return to their previous level of functioning (baseline) before the traumatic event happened. The problem with this is two-fold:
1. The person’s previous baseline for normal may have been imbalanced to begin with.
2. Life always involves growth and change, and healing from anything, let alone trauma, is never about returning to where we were before the event happened.
While we can’t go back to who we were before abuse, we can create a new and empowered sense of self now. We do this on a moment-to-moment basis, which can serve as a powerful catalyst for our personal growth.
PTG aims to replace resiliency with thriving so that a person goes above and beyond who and what they used to be and can take what happened to them and use it for their highest and greatest good. Post-traumatic growth involves massive, positive changes resulting from the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event. This struggle can bring a person to a higher level of awareness and overall functioning in their life that they may not have achieved in any other way.
Having your life blown apart is overwhelming. I understand—I’ve been there. However, what I wished someone would have told me is that the beauty of having your life blown apart is that you can now rebuild it—consciously—piece-by-piece, creating a life that you love.