Narcissist Abuse Recovery and C-Ptsd
The Aftermath of Abuse
I honestly am in shock at how much I have learned in my research on this topic. I had no idea just how much I was affected by my abuser. That sounds dramatic, but I am telling you, its the absolute truth.
I thought there was something wrong with me. First of all, i am a genetic female. I am a woman. So I have all of the female reproductive parts that will make a doctor say things like "does this happen around the same time every month?" Yes, that question is valid. No, my reproductive organs are not always the reason why something is happening to me. I understand checking off boxes, but honestly sometimes those questions just feel so insulting.
I am by nature, a sweet person. I am genuine, empathetic, generous, concerned, curious, and loving. I have a good sense of humor. I don't tend to take things out of context, and I've always given people the benefit of the doubt. I'm understanding, meaning there's really no reason to lie to me. Most of all, I am introverted. Not exactly shy, but id rather stay at home and read than go to a party if that makes any sense. And apparently, because of everything i was put through in my relationship with a narcissist, i now have something called CPTSD.
CPTSD stands for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Isn't that lovely?Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, and PTSD is what i started out with. I had some sporadic trauma in my life and a few of those instances really dug their claws in, and because of that I have PTSD. PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There's a pretty wide range of symptoms for PTSD. The symptoms I suffer with are as follows:
- dreams related to the events
- mental and physical distress due to trauma related triggers (IE: a loud knock on a bedroom door makes me shaky and anxious)
- attempts to avoid trauma related triggers (yea this one makes it fun to look for a job)
- alterations in how I think and feel
- increase fight or flight response
They do say that people with PTSD are at a higher risk for self harm, but thankfully I have not had that experience. I've never wanted to end my life. But i know people in my family who have wanted to, and tried to, so i guess I'm extremely lucky that I've never felt that way.
So now that I've explained what I started out with before the narcissist, let me tell you what that horror of a human left me dealing with afterwords.
Like i said, I now have what is known as CPTSD. CPTSD is a psychological disorder that develops in response to prolonged repeated experience of interpersonal trauma.
It's main distinctions are a distortion of a person's core identity and significant emotional dysregulation. Emotional Dysregulation is basically when your emotional responses don't line up within the accepted range. So like... its basically a mega overreaction that people who have CPTSD cant help. Ill list some examples
- angry outbursts
- behavior outbursts such as destroying or throwing objects
- aggression towards oneself or others
- being impulsive
- difficulty calming down when upset
- focusing on the negative
And because I already started out with GAD, All of the emotions manifest for me in a physical way. The CPTSD feeds my anxiety and I get a fight or flight reaction inside of me that either makes me run away or hide under covers or be a compete and total BEE word.
This is a little problem for me. It has affected every aspect of my life. It started when I was in the relationship with the narcissist, and has been with me ever since. Fun fact, its REALLY hard for me to hold a job. I can get them just fine. But holding them is an entirely different matter. Keeping a job was never a problem for me before the abuse.
How Narcissistic Abuse causes CPTSD
The toxicity of a narcissist can be extremely detrimental to one's mental health. If regularly exposed, it can cause severe psychological damage. When and if you do leave a narcissist (which i highly recommend) you can go through sort of a set of "release"stages as i like to call them. These stags include but are not limited to
- severe self doubt
- panic attacks
- intrusive memories that provoke anxiety
- sleep problems
- an obsession with one's own failures
- self blame
- being easily frightened
What does the narcissist do that evokes these psychological traumas? Just what is it that they do to be able to inflict this mental aftermath onto their victims?
Narcissists emotionally manipulate you. They trick you into handing over your mind and your will to them. I'm going to list some of the things below that I think will help you understand from a victims perspective. You may have previously heard me speak about this exact list but I've done it before from more of a predatory perspective language such as "abandonment" as opposed to "makes you feel abandoned." I think this list will help you understand what the result is from the victims POV.
- they make you idolize them
- they make you WANT to win them over
- they make you want to give in to whatever their desire is
- they make it so that you start to see less value in your own hard work than is proportionate.
- you start to obsess over your faults or mistakes
- you feel abandoned by everyone else. you start to think only the narcissist cares about you
- you turn on people who care about you. especially if they seem to distrust your narcissist or have spoken against them.
- for some reason making simple decisions becomes harder than it should be
- because of all of the triangulation, you start to possibly question your own sanity or your own perception of whats happening or what has happened.
I mean surely they cant possibly be knowingly causing you all of this trauma right? Wrong. Yea....they know what they are doing. This is who they are. They know by trial and error the things that have been able to get them what they want. They know what fills their needs. They aren't capable of the same emotions you are capable of so as hard as it is to understand, they know full well that they are hurting you and I know this is a hard pill to swallow but...they don't care. They are manipulative selfish liars that greed and thieve to get all they can take and leave nothing behind. They are emotional pirates.
If in fact there is a remote possibility that some narcissists aren't out to hurt other people, as in that is not their intended goal, rest assured the hurt they cause is a side effect of the original goal, and they couldn't care less about it.
Honestly, I am to this day not sure what upset me the most about the daily abuse I endured from my abuser. The fact that he knew he was hurting me and did it anyway, or the fact that when it seemed to register that he had hurt me, he didn't care. In the beginning he would act like he cared. But you could tell something was off. In the end it was blatant disregard for my misery.
Its kind of chills me when i think about it. Those empty eyes that wanted only for themselves and that blank look on his face while i cried so many times. I know I pepper in personal experience into my writing, so to say "on a personal note" is kind of redundant, but every single time i think back to the callused, calculated systemic denationalization and destruction that was inflicted upon me, It just feels kind of....evil. And I'm not a religious person so to speak. We are coerced, degraded, controlled, and left to deal with it alone, and i honestly wish that there was a way of making sure they weren't able to move on and do it to someone else. Sadly, it's not likely that you can accuse someone of this type of abuse and get justice for it. All we can do is spread our knowledge of the signs and red flags, and hope that when sees these red flags, they run from that relationship as fast as they can. Its why I'm writing about it. No one deserves this.