Traumatization from this abuse.



From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @



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.)
  • Clumsiness.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • 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

Posted on May 11, 2016, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Hi Greg….I ordered your book and read it within a few weeks. I could not put it down. I was discarded by a Narcissist Aug of 2015 and have been struggling with all kinds of emotions. Reading your book was exactly what I have been experiencing. I just didn’t know how to put my thoughts into words and you did that perfectly for me through your book. I never knew about Narcissist until someone told me that my ex sounded like one. Since then I have devoured information about it and still try to deny that he was one. But he has so many characteristics of one-from an incredibly charming person to being very abusive psychologically. I feel like I will never fully recover and it has certainly affected every aspect of my life. After reading your book, I am moved to want to write a book of my personal experience. I want to use my voice to make this horrible debilitating abuse public.


  2. It wasn’t till I found out about narcissism that my childhood started to make a lot more sense to me.

    The overt identified patient in my house was the ‘old man’, who was a drunk by his going to rehab eventually. So with him being diagnosed along with that, was the old lady as being a co-dependent. For many years I hung my hat on everything having to do with alcoholism.

    So far so good, but even this amount of knowledge didn’t seem explain things adequately. Always seemed to be something missing.

    The therapist I’ve been seeing for a few years didn’t even think to introduce me to narcissism. I found out about it on line from FB, and the description of just added another layer of things to deal with.

    I eventually got it from the therapist that it didn’t surprise him that there’d be narcissism involved, but it surprises me that he never mentioned it being a possibility till I brought it up.

    Unfortunately as a ‘normal’ part, from what I can tell of the narcissism, is PTSD, which now that I look back over my life, I’ve had in spades. Combine these two and it feels like I’ve been ‘shovelin’ shit against the tide,’ emotionally since I can’t remember when, it’s been that long.

    I’ve noticed that I get along with guys who were Vietnam era vets, who are my peers pretty good, and now that I know PTSD is part of narcissism, it makes sense to me that I do.

    The shitty thing about the realization is that it comes when I’m 64 y.o. Would have been a lot better earlier on so I hadn’t used/wasted a life time, or so it seems, runnin’ around with my head up me arse emotionally.

    Oh fuck…. more to deal with. What else is new ???


  3. Dear Mr. Zapputo, I was in a 22 year – 17 year marriage to a Narcissist. I am also a LCSW (renewing license at this time). I am extremely interested in your work and would love to ask you for an opportunity to work with you and pool data you may have collected over time from your audience, myself being one of them, to contribute to or enhance and submit to the existing literature, even via Psychiatry Associations and Journals/Publications. Is there any way we could connect on that level? I was also wondering if you are open to developing a counseling methodology more enhanced than that which already exists. I would like to work for you if it is at all feasible or consult. At present I was completely annihilated financially by the Narcissist and would like to embark on work I enjoy getting up in the mornings to do. If you are interested please let me know. I currently live in two different countries and intend on obtaining your book this month once I return to the US. Thank you for your time!

    Best Regards, Gillian Murray 876-539-8898

    On Thu, May 12, 2016 at 1:54 AM, After Narcissistic Abuse wrote:

    > ANA – After Narcissistic Abuse posted: ” From my Book – From Charm to > Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @ > Trauma can be caused by a wide variety of events, but there are common > denominators. There is frequently a violation of the” >


  4. Melody "Michelle"

    People need SUPPORT from family & friends (I had very little…I was told to ‘move forward’, as if it were that easy). I would like to contribute my reflection on how the WORLD & REALITY AS YOU KNOW IT HAS CHANGED: The absolute cruelty of suddenly being destroyed, abandoned, and met with zero empathy as you cry out in pain, leaves you reeling wondering “How can this person I shared so much with, trusted, and LOVED…now be this totally different person once he has completely drained me, left me for dead?!?”

    It is truly SHOCKING to our entire definition of people, what is possible even if you are good to the person and loving, and how you feel utterly confused on how to trust people again. It is life-altering. I call the narcissist a “LIFE RAPIST”.

    God Bless Everyone.


  5. You are so right about minimal contact. But how do you deal with it when absolutely needed. Our nephew is in Neuro CCU. I got so angry and agitated having to be around my ex. Our nephew is 23 we were together for 22. One thing I promised throughout the divorce was i would always love him and be there for him. It’s very difficult to be there for him and encourage him to fight to get better and at the same time be around the ex and in-laws all at the same time. I’m having a hard time controlling my anger. Any advice here?


  6. The stagnation of ones inner being , half in half out …. It will happen in time . What has worked for me is looking at my experience as a book ,chapter by chapter. Then I wrote the end ,closed the book in my mind and placed it on the shelf , not hiding it but aware it’s there.Then I started a new chapter a new book , each event different reinventing myself and the world around me . Life will never be the same , I know this it’s a good thing. Bad events are like flat tires , you don’t want them but they happen and knowing they may “can not keep you from driving down the road of life ” . Write the end to your old life . Start writing the next chapter of your life , always leaving out the past injuries and reaching for the inner good that you have yet to discover. Your next book will always be better. I wish I could give you all a big hug to make you all feel better. YOLO


  7. Wow!!! This article really spoke to me. For a long time I’ve failed to understand the detrimental affect the abuse I’ve endured, at the hands of my BPD/ NPD, has had on me. Over the course of the past 13 years I’ve:

    *Been unable to maintain consistent employment to the tune of 18 jobs in 13 years (no exaggeration).
    *Gained 50 plus pounds due to developing an eating disorder.
    *Struggled with severe depression as well as cognitive dissonance.
    Most days if I didn’t have to pick my kids up from school or go to work I rarely leave home.
    *Struggled with poor memory and symptoms of PTSD.
    I’m nervous and on edge constantly even when I think I’m relaxed.

    Although I had none of these issues prior to meeting my wife she sees no connection to her abusive treatment of me as the cause. Prior to discovering she had a mental illness I was working really hard to improve myself- for her. I realize now it’s futile. Articles like this have helped me slowly get my life back on track. I am able to circumvent many of her tactics now which has allowed me to function in the face of her BS! I am currently in therapy working towards improving myself and my life. I meditate and journal daily. I’m pursuing old and new interests as well as relationships. I’m also gainfully employed on my way to earning the most income ever in the past 13 years. I still have a ways to go but I am beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Life feels as if it’s worth living again. I’m really enthusiastic about my future prospects and adventures.
    At times I pity my wife because no matter how hard she tries she’ll never know true peace. After understanding her struggles, I’ve tried to help her get the help she needs but she doesn’t think she has a problem. She knows the way she grew up was abusive but doesn’t want to seek therapy. As her husband, I’ve realized that my job is to be supportive and not to attempt to “fix” her. One this is for certain, if I don’t take care of myself then I’m doomed because this situation will kill me-literally. To all of you out there struggling with a BPD/ NPD partner learn all you can about this illness and get out. Your life is in danger- literally.


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