Traumatization from this abuse.
From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @ Amazon.com
Trauma can be caused by a wide variety of events, but there are common denominators. There is frequently a violation of the person’s familiar ideas (belief system) about the real world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity. Recovering from a traumatic experience requires that the painful emotions be thoroughly processed. Trauma feelings cannot be repressed or forgotten and should be treated immediately or as soon as there is a realization that you are caught up in the trauma. If they are not dealt with either directly or at any other point in your recovery, the distressing feelings and troubling events replay over and over again in the course of a lifetime, creating this condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Every bad moment in your life will connect you with those negative messages that the Narcissist manipulated you into believing and you will feel those old feelings of worthlessness, fear, and vulnerability. You will always feel like you are not good enough, scared, and indifferent as far as how you see yourself in a world you were once part of, happy and familiar with. Events do not always define you especially negative ones, but sometimes we define ourselves through these events especially after this type of traumatizing abuse. The Narcissist taught/conditioned us to blame ourselves and feel completely worthless – and if that message is still cycling in our heads from this abuse we will let it define us forever. Whatever inner resources people need to mobilize to achieve recovery, they still should not try to accomplish this task alone. Depression and trauma are ‘disconnective disorders’ and they do not improve with isolating ourselves. To fix them you have to be connected to others and accept that there is goodness and real love out there.
A couple other facts about trauma. Intellectually, you lose from 50 to 90 percent of brain capacity, which is why you should never make a decision and why you feel so lost and empty when you are “in the trauma zone.” Emotionally you don’t feel anything and your old belief systems and spirit is disconnected. Physically all your systems shut down and you run on basics. You are in the ‘fight or flight mode’ or a hyper awareness of always feeling like you are in danger or surrounded by doom and hopelessness. When your system starts to recover and you can handle a bit more stimulation and energy, THEN real thoughts emerge that will guide you back to reality and help you process the information and start on your road to recovery!
Some important clinical information about the Common Features of PTSD from emotional/psychological abuse. These are consistent symptoms that identify the abuse as a psychiatric injury and different from a mental illness. That is an important differentiation to make so that you don’t internalize a message that says you cannot overcome the effects of the trauma and live with it. The Narcissist is definitely the dysfunctional person in this equation that disabled and traumatized you!
- An overwhelming desire for acknowledgement, understanding, recognition and validation of their experience.
- Fatigue with symptoms similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
- Extreme anger from feeling the injustice and almost seeming ‘manic’ instead of motivated for recovery purposes, “obsessive” instead of focused, and “angry” instead of passionate to fix yourself and regain order and reality in life.
- A desire for revenge.
- A tendency to cycle between reconciliation/forgiveness and anger/revenge where objectivity and reality become a causality.
- Feeling extremely fragile, where formerly you were stronger and had a stable character.
- Numbness, both physical and emotional (inability to feel love and joy.)
- Hyperawareness and an acute sense of time passing them by.
- An enhanced and hypersensitive awareness.
- A constant feeling that you have to justify everything you say and do.
- A constant need to prove yourself, even when surrounded by good, positive people.
- An unusually strong sense of vulnerability, victimization or a feeling of persecution!
- Occasional intrusive visualizations connected to an extreme anger.
- Feelings of worthlessness, rejection, a sense of being unwanted, unlikeable and unlovable.
- A feeling of being small, insignificant, invisible, and lost.
- An overwhelming sense of betrayal, and a consequent inability and unwillingness to trust anyone, even those closest to you.
- Depression with occasional sudden bursts of energy accompanied by a feeling of “I’m better!”, only to be followed by a full resurgence of the symptoms a day or two later.
- Excessive guilt about your situation and why you can’t overcome this.
Today I can clearly see that intervention is so vital. Trauma is real and debilitating in situations like this abuse that is born from a hideous betrayal of a person’s spirit and belief system. It can shut you down completely and keep you locked up in isolation because your replaced belief system from the abuse doesn’t trust that there is goodness in life. Sometimes we don’t see this until many years after the fact. This is not recovery, this is living in fear because of a traumatic event and this is what this abuse does. A Narcissist cannot live or survive on their own, they need us (people) to feel alive and be alive, but they are akin to a predator that feeds off of people, erases their personality, and takes their healthy emotions and spirit away from them. We don’t need people to survive, but we want to enjoy people, like them, bond with them, and even love them – and we deserve to be a participant in this wonderful world AND healthy as we once were – THIS IS OUR GOAL with recovery and that is to come back again as a whole person. What this Narcissist forced into your head can be desensitized and you CAN recover completely. It all starts with you and a journey away from the traumatizing reality of what they are and what they have done. You deserve that same love that you gave so freely and unconditionally. It is still there and with self-compassion you CAN and WILL give it back to yourself because you are resilient and a survivor and YOU are just that amazing to be able to do this. No/minimal contact always! Greg