emotional abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, mental abuse, Uncategorized

PTSD and Retraumatization from Abuse

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psychopath image

PTSD is a term most people have heard, but often they do not really know what it means.

If you tell someone you have PTSD, it may be hard for them to know what you mean by that, unless they have it themselves or maybe they have a close friend or family member with it.

People with PTSD have trouble with relationships, but not for the reasons people think.

Once you have been traumatized, and then re-traumatized by triggering situations, you feel generally unsafe and there is a natural tendency to want to retreat…back up your steps and run for cover.

People with PTSD can be re-traumatized by people who do not understand, and by people who are more concerned with their own agenda than really understanding.

When someone with PTSD has certain triggers, and explains those triggers to someone, it is important that they are validated and respected. If someone wants to care about a loved one with PTSD, they need to really listen to that person, when they talk about what triggers them. 

*A person that intentionally uses your triggers against you is dangerous to your mental well being. 

But then there are people who just don’t want to listen to or respect your boundaries. Your perceptions are not of an significance to them. 

Everyone has personal boundaries, but people with post traumatic stress disorder can suffer severe re-traumatization when a loved one does not honor their trigger boundaries.

Some triggers cannot be avoided, such as loud noises that may occur independently from either person. However, talking someone into going to a loud dance club, or guilting them into going to fireworks, when it has been made clear that loud noises are triggers, is abusive.

People who have PTSD from the military, and people who have PTSD from domestic abuse have different causes for their symptoms, but some things are the same.

The fight-or-flight mode is activated by the amygdala. If the brain perceives a threat, even if that threat is not real, the amygdala will send chemicals into the body like adrenaline and cortisol.

 The feeling in the body of a “perceived threat” and a real threat is exactly the same. The same physiological responses occur, including blood pressure elevation, and feeling of extreme fear and the feeling that you have to act right away.

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ptsd bed

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Someone who had their jaw fractured by an abusive boyfriend, who suddenly stormed towards them in a fit of anger, may be triggered by someone coming quickly into their personal space, especially if that person is angry.

Once you have asked someone not to do certain things which trigger you, it is a terrible feeling when they still continue to do them. It feels very violating, and only serves to break the trust bond.

Relationships need to be based in trust. Intimate relationships, as well as friendships and family relationships have to feel safe. If one person does not feel safe, then there is a lack of understanding and a lack of trust.

Without both parties feeling safe, the relationship will break down. People with PTSD can find it difficult to trust again, after others have invalidated them about their symptoms.

Sometimes someone will disbelieve you, minimize your trauma, or accuse you of trying to manipulate them with your explanations about your trauma and your triggers. This is very painful and re-traumatizing.

People who have PTSD or C-PTSD from abuse were invalidated as part of the abuse process. Their emotions were minimized, disregarded and made fun of.

To have someone close to you minimize your PTSD, or disbelieve you is re-traumatizing. It gives  the victim into an emotional flashbacks or actual sensory flashbacks.

You can only tolerate being traumatized and re-traumatized so many times.

Soldiers that come back from war only to be disrespected by civilians, or invalidated and ignored by the Veterans Administration, are being re-traumatized.

It is a way of invalidating a person’s reality. This has negative effects on the person’s mental and emotional state.

People with PTSD can be perfectly good and caring partners and friends. They just need validation, respect and understanding.

But after repeated re-traumatization, a person feels isolated and too vulnerable to take a chance on trusting another person again. This leads to self isolation, depression, and often suicidal thoughts.

Evolutionary psychology tells us that our subconscious brain feels threatened by the potential that we would be completely isolated, shunned or thrown out of the social circle.

A Little Evolutionary Psychology

In the past, humans lived in social survival groups called tribes.  Being accepted and included by the tribe was critical for survival. Being shunned would have meant death !

Our primal brain  (called the reptilian brain) perceives rejection by the tribe to be potentially life threatening.  When we are feeling a similar kind of threat, it triggers the fight or flight response in our limbic system of the brain. The amygdala becomes active and send all kinds of alerts and chemicals into the body.

Technically, we could survive living alone and isolated these days, but we were not meant to live in isolation… especially isolation due to “mobbing” or “scapegoating” by the tribe.

This is one of the reasons that scapegoated family members, suffer such severe mental and emotional trauma.

People with PTSD need to feel that they will still be accepted by the Tribe (family, community…whatever applies to the situation…).

They need to know that their personal reality will be validated, even though it may be very different from that of other people. The experiences someone with PTSD has endured may seem strange to people that have not ever had that kind of trauma in their reality.

Isolation can cause death by suicide or “failure to thrive.”

Self isolation will almost always cause severe depression. But being re-traumatized is just as bad, and the brain will try to lead people away from that pain.

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psychopath bed

Our primal brains are designed to take us away from danger, or perceived danger….and towards pleasure. But the “away from danger” is the priority.

Re-exeriencing the feelings of danger, fight or flight chemicals and physiological responses, is not something that anyone could tolerate on a regular basis.

We were not built to feel in danger all the time. Being in a state of hyper-arousal all the time depleats the immune system and causes mental disorders.

People with PTSD need understanding and validation.

They need their loved ones to be sensitive to their triggers, and to pay attention to what the person asks and needs. 

Otherwise. the relationships cannot continue in a way that is safe for the PTSD sufferer. The person with PTSD will shut down and crawl inside of themselves. No healthy relationship can be sustained without safety for both people. 

 

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abusive relationships, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, Psychopath abusive relationship, psychopathic abuse, Uncategorized

Are you Friends Telling you That you are Too Obsessed with Narcissism?

abusive relationships, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, blame shifting, gaslighting, Uncategorized

Dealing with Narcissists Everywhere

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Once you begin to study narcissism and psychopathy, you begin to  realize how many narcissists you have crossed paths with over the years.

The behaviors of pathological people are often hard to understand. You are likely to leave interactions with them feeling confused and crushed down.

When you are interacting with a narcissist, your thoughts and feelings are discounted. Any reasoning you try to do with them is met with a brick wall.

It is often better not to even give them reasons for your thoughts and feelings. Giving them reasons, just causes them to laugh at, mimimize and disregard you as a person.

They like to train you not to try to reason with them. They do not want to hear any side of things other than their own.

They will train you with rewards and punishments…. but mostly punishments. You will get anxiety when you even think about trying to get them to hear your side of a situation.

The narcissist will systematically train you to associate negative feelings with discussing anything with them. After having to feel embarrassed, insignificant, dumb, and guilty from repeated interactions with them, your brain will activate the fight or flight mode when you are picturing a conversation with them.

In your mind, you can play out scenarios. You can run through scenes in your head, based on different ways you can approach them and different things you can say to get them to see your side. But these scenes will always play out with the narcissistic getting the upper hand.

They will twist your words around. They will intentionally misconstrue what you are saying. They will use selective hearing, to miss important details of what you say.

You will find your reasons minimized pr disregarded, even if they are based on research that you can show them. They will not look at any proof you have, to back uo your reasons.

Your feelings will always be discounted and you will be made to feel that you have no right to ask them to consider your feelings.

Narcissists have no respect for your boundaries. They do not care how situations will affect you. You simply do not matter to them.

abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, domestic abuse, gaslighting, mental abuse, Uncategorized

Narcissistic Victim Abuse Syndrome

The aftermath of an abusive relationship can seem more painful than the abuse we actually withstood during the relationship itself. The darkness of the predator looms over us, both in our conscious minds and in our dreams.

Weird nightmares awaken us in the darkness of the early morning hours. The shadow of the psychopath seems to be palpable and real. It is as if they have burrowed their wau deep into our subconscious brains.

In many ways that is true. The gaslighting has affected our subconscious. Cognitive dissonance has created confusion, as our brains struggle to sort out who we were actually in love with….the false image that never really existed?    or the person that actually inhabits that body that slept next to us at night?

You feel violated….raped…like your emotions and your soul have been violated in a crime.

It is an invisible crime. No one can prove it ever happened. The evidence is left in the form of PTSD, depression, nightmares, anxiety and often times  suicidal thoughts.

It would not surprise me if a good percentage of suicides could be attributed to some form of narcissistic abuse. That is… if anyone knew what they were looking for.

Even the victims often have no idea what has happened to them.. Why their brains are no longer functioning the way they used to. .. Why they have lost their motivation to live.. to work….to socialize. ..  to take care of themselves….

It is a “failure to thrive” syndrome. The narcissistic has stripped their victim of their dignity, their self esteem, their sense of self….and their confidence in their ability to perceive reality properly.

Narcissistic abuse Syndrome is….

PTSD

C-PTSD

Depression

Anxiety

Hopelessness

Confusion

Loss of ability to prioritize oneself

Suicidal thoughts

Nightmares

And difficulty finding anybody….including therapists…who can understand or help at all

Lack of validation of your trauma

Executive function problems

Fight or flight responses

Emotional flashbacks

Desperation.

This is why it is so important to spread awareness and to validate the victims. The tendency to want to self-isolate is strong.

Some level of solitude is needed for introspection, but too much isolation can be destructive.

The psychopath infects the victim with a virus-like program to self destruct. They want to leave you broken and crushed.

You are not alone. None of it was “all in your head.”

Share your experiences with people who will validate you. Having your story disbelieved by people willonly re-traumatize you.

abuse, abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, healing after narcissistic abuse, narcissism, narcissist, Narcissist psychopath, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic psychopath, overcoming narcissistic abuse, poetry, Uncategorized

Vampire

Things you drained from me…

My worth

My time

My love

My mind

My patience

My intellect

My passion

My common sense

My hope

My dreams

My tears

in streams

My fairness

My strength

My happiness

My pain

You sucked my soul

Like a vampire feeds

With no remorse

For your insidious deeds

abuse, depression, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, mental abuse, mental illness, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, narcissistic psychopath, overcoming narcissistic abuse, psychopaths, PTSD from domestic abuse, Uncategorized

Vulnerability without Shame

You can be compassionate and have great empathy for others, and still have strong personal boundaries. You deserve to have dignity and for others to treat you with respect.

Setting boundaries with people is not selfish. Loving yourself is not selfish. 

We have been conditioned to say “yes” to people, when they are insistent with us. This is especially true for people who come from emotional abuse. But the person who is insistent about things that make you uncomfortable is not being loving to you. 

Love those that are loving. Care for those who are capable of caring. I love Brene Brown and her work on vulnerability, shame and empathy. Sharing your strengths and your struggles with people is being vulnerable, and it can have a healing effect on others. But you have the right to have personal boundaries and you have the right to say NO to people about things. 

You do not have to provide people with reasons that they agree are valid. If someone discounts your reality, then they are not being loving. You do not have to serve their agenda. Save your energy for those who are loving. 

Brene Brown talks about the culture we live in which promotes shame for not being perfect enough, or for being the person that the media says we should be. 

 

 

abuse, anxiety, domestic abuse, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, overcoming narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

PTSD from Narcissistic Abuse – Technique for Calming