The aftermath of being in a relationship with a narcissist is riddled with revisiting the trauma and retraumatization. You may be well aware you are experiencing these things or you may not know why you are feeling and reacting in the ways that you are.
You may react to things in a way that does not seem consistent with what is actually going on. This may be a reaction out of a traumatized brain to stimuli that is threatening to you, even if you don’t really know why.
Revisiting / reliving the traumatic events can be different for different people. Some people will be triggered by watching movies, seeing news articles or reading books about similar things that happened to them.
Someone who was traumatized by being constantly screamed at, belittled and called names may be triggered into a state of post traumatic stress by a tv show that shows a character screaming at and criticizing someone.
This kind of trigger is an obvious connection to the traumatic situation that the person endured. Watching the character being treated in the same way you were treated, brings up the past feelings of helplessness, shame and confusion. Your brain may flashback to a time when you were treated in a similar manner.
Flashbacks may include vivid, detailed memories of what happened or instead bring up the feelings without a clear picture. Sometimes the brain goes into a kind of shock that creates an amnesia effect.
You may have events or entire periods of time blacked out from your memory. They may come back over time, but I would never suggest pushing yourself to force the memory.
Anything that is an association to your trauma, can trigger a severe anxiety state, called post traumatic stress. It could be a song, a noise, an object, or a location. It can even be a type of situation. If you were repeatedly embarrassed and humiliated in a diner, then being in a diner at all (any diner) may bring feelings of extreme fear and discomfort.
You may never be able to eat in a diner again. That’s ok. There are plenty of other places to eat. You have to respond to your trauma with compassion and kindness.
Living with a traumatized brain requires mindfulness and compassion towards yourself. Be mindful of the things that trigger you, Be aware and allow your feelings to be. You may be able to do things, when you are further along in the healing process that you cannot do now. There is no need to retraumatize yourself by subjecting yourself to disturbing or anxiety provoking things.
Be kind to yourself. You deserve some kindness and acceptance.
Just Another Lovely Wounded Lady
I loved you because
You were injured and lonely
You needed an angel to save you
I took on the role
Because it suited my soul
And it felt good to be
But one day you changed
You turned on me fiercely
Your anger no longer contained
Your contempt seeped right through
You were no longer the person I knew
Your rage suddenly exploded
Like a freight train derailing
Coming at me a hundred miles an hour
Broken glass shattered
I thought that I mattered
But you have torn off
Your angel’s soft wings
Feathers all over the floor
You will love me no more
It was all an illusion
Good morning ladies ! Well actually it is 2:25 pm and I am still in bed. That’s the way it is going today. I am hiding under my covers.
I can hear the wind blowing too loudly. I live on the top floor of this old house. It is like an attic. The wind sounds different up here. It is so loud and it whistles and makes a kind of howling noise. There is actually a pitch to it, as if it is singing a creepy song, that might be in a horror movie.
It is funny that when I write out those kinds of thoughts that go through my head here, it is ok. But if I actually talk that way out in the real world, where the “normals” live, then my words are met with contempt.
Apparently there are people that do not want to hear you describe the wind or the fog in such painted detail. They do not want to hear your feeling about the wind making noises at you or the fog looking like it could engulf you.
Those are thoughts that I have learned are better kept to myself. So, when I remember to bite my tongue then I keep my thoughts to myself. When I forget that my speaking of such things will scare the straights, then I get into trouble.
When you have survived domestic abuse, you have a different perspective on life and even the wind than other people do. If you are still in a domestic abuse situation, then I am very sorry for you and I hope you find the support here that you need , to give you that extra push to get out.
When you have lived through months and years of another person tormenting your mind, it does something to you. It does something to your mind. I would not go as far to say that all of us are mentally unbalanced. I would say that we have been psychologically injured.
We have been psychologically injured in such a way that things do not have the same priority and perspective that they used to. We see things differently than other people. We feel things and react to things differently than other people.
We appear the same as them on the outside, but the damage is on the inside. There is a place where we are always bleeding. There is a place inside of us where we know we are different. We were broken, Our minds were tortured in a way that only other victims could understand,
I hear the sound of the wind, and it blows and makes those howling noises. It reminds me that I did not choose to live in the upper most floor of a house, with my ex in laws. I am terrified of top floors, to the point of a phobia.
If I chose my own place to live, it would be on a first or second floor. The wind howling reminds me that I should not be here at all. I should not have had to escape and hide from some. It never should have happened.
It should not have happened to me. It should not have happened to you.
The fact is that after leaving an abuser, we are retraumatized again and again. I am constantly reminded that I had to leave an abuser because I ended up living where I hate to live. I do not like the people and I hate the creepy attic.
I hate carrying my laundry down and up 2 flights of steps. I hate carrying bags of groceries, for 3 people, up 2 flights of long torturous steps. My arthritis is advanced and the pain in my knees and hips, when I carry things up and down the steps is torturous.
When we have to leave our abuser, we often have to settle for whomever will take us in. We have to go somewhere fast, because the level of violence is escalating in our house. We are in danger to stay there, so we just have to go somewhere to get away.
I am mentally tormented by these people I live with, that are supposedly loving family members and the grandparents of my children.
As adults, we should be able to choose where we live and how we want to live. As victims, we have to go to the only option we have that opens up first. We have to go where we are safe. But us being physically safe the same as being mentally safe?
Feel free to reach out with your thoughts in the comment section below
There are many red flags that you may be in an abusive relationship. I have chosen some here to explain. I will make other posts that go over other red flags.
Excessive and quick commitment to relationships.
Narcissists are like hunters. They see what they want and they take it. Whereas most people will be cautious when choosing a long term partner, the narcissist will seemingly decide that you are ” The One” right away. There is no time of getting to know you. The usual amount of time from one level of the relationship to the next level are ignored completely. You date a few times and then they talk about moving in with you. They are very quick to asking you to be exclusive with them.
Extremely possessive and jealous, confused with love
The narcissist does not love you, they own you. They tell you that they are protecting you for your own good, by limiting and controlling who you talk to and who you socialize with. It is not unusual for them to tell you not to wear makeup when you go out. This is because they do not want other guys even looking at you. Most guys take pride in showing off their beautiful woman, but narcissist men.
Do you have to check in with them every hour? Do they need to know where you are and how long you will be there? Do they become upset if you made a stop on the way home that they were not aware of? Narcissists have to know where you are at all times.
Narcissists will demand your time, even when you want or need to do something else. They will interfere with your sleep, your studying, preparing things for your job, your social life, your yoga class and your me time. They will not be there for you when you need them to be. They will set clear boundaries about their sleep, their work schedule and whatever is important to them. Their things are important but your are not.
Extreme sense of entitlement
There is an extreme sense of entitlement. This is one of the things you can possibly pick up on, early in the relationship. You will see them become angered when their co-worker gets promoted over them. They expect to be treated better than any other customer at the restaurant. They feel entitled to things that other people get, even when they do not deserve them. This will flow into your relationship when you want to spend time with friends and your partner feels entitled to that time. They will not negotiate or compromise things. When they do not get what they want , they become angry.
Domestic abuse results in mental breakdown. There is no physical abuse without mental abuse. There is no sexual abuse without mental abuse. There is no financial abuse without mental abuse. gaslighting is severe mental abuse and anything else that is targeted to destroying your self esteem, your individuality, your independence and your ability to think for yourself, is mental abuse.
The men that abuse women’s minds are doing it to gain control over your thinking process. They do not want you to have an original thought. They want you to agree with their ideas and their thoughts. They do not want you to have any independence. This would be threatening to their control over you.
They want to have someone to dump on and take their anger out on. They want you at their beck and call when they want sex, money or someone to rage at. They want a scapegoat for their mistakes and their faults. Did I say “their” faults? Oh. I forgot…they don’t have any! Not according to them anyway.
If they are incapable of doing something, you must be to blame for it. You are not supportive enough. You are not picking up enough slack at home. You made them angry before they went to work, therefore, it is YOUR FAULT they lost their job! They would have been in a better mood at work and not “acted out” in front of the customer or their co-worker, if you had not caused them to do so.
If they have not had enough sleep, it is…Yep, You guessed it!…YOUR FAULT! again. If they overslept, it was your fault too. If they are low on gas, it is your fault because they drove you to work yesterday.
The narcissist abuser is full of contradictions. You are lazy about taking care of their home, yet you are too ambitious about your job. You are slutty when you wear make-up out of the house, but you are a prude when you are not in the mood to have sex with them (after they have been raging at you.) You are too demanding of their time when you need something but you are too unavailable when they want you.
The mental abuser wants you to feel inferior to them. You are not intelligent enough to understand things, even though you graduated from college and they dropped out of 2 trade schools. You are not as pretty as the other girls he dated but he is kind enough to let that go, because he is a wonderful man.
You do not keep the house clean enough or make dinner from scratch often enough. This is true, even if he is out of work and you are working double to cover his part of the bills. This is true even when he just got fired and you are working extra hours while he sits home and sulks.
You can never ever, never ever be good enough. The house will never be clean enough. The meals will never be good enough. You will never be on time, even when you were ready early, because somehow you caused him to take too long to get out the door.
He is angry when you go to work and acts as if you are going to a party without him. His job is very hard men’s work but your job is just women’s work. You would never understand what REAL work is about. Women just think they work hard!
I was working as a nurse aide in a nursing home once. This is one of the most difficult jobs I have ever done in my life. It is extremely physically demanding because you have to lift people all the time. You are constantly pushed too hard and yelled at by the supervisors. You get attached to the patients and then you watch them die.
My boyfriend said… “Your job is easy. All you do is push wheelchairs around all day!” This was after I had told him many stories about what I had done at work and had come home in extreme pain so many times from injuring myself while lifting someone.
There are constant snide and sarcastic comments at your expense. My ex once said to me “Are you sure you went to college? I don’t know what they taught you there. You can’t even pick out the “right” bread at the grocery store.”
So, yeah! That is life with a mental abuser. I have many stories from my own experience that I will share on this blog. I want to create awareness so that other women can identify the fact that they are being abused or that they were abused in the past.
We lose our self esteem and we feel like we have lost our minds because the abuser has a way of twisting reality around. They constantly change the facts, to suit their purposes. Eventually you begin to question your own sanity, your intelligence and your ability to survive without them.
Let’s collaborate! Let’s put our heads together and figure out whether we are really stupid, crazy, lazy, slutty, and insensitive or if we are truly lovely ladies who have great gifts to offer the world!