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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abuse, abuse poetry, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissism, narcissist, Narcissist psychopath, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, narcissistic psychopath, narcissistic victim abuse syndrome, Narcissists, overcoming narcissistic abuse, people pleaser syndrome, poetry, psychopathic abuse, PTSD from domestic abuse, PTSD from mental abuse, Uncategorized

Somebody

I looked at things in a certain way

Because somebody told me I should

I averted my gaze when I should have looked

Because somebody told me to turn

I walked away when I should have stayed

Because somebody told me to go

I denied myself and I suffered pain

Because somebody told me to suffer

I worked too hard …or not at all

Because somebody said it was right

I listened to the programs in my brain

Because somebody said they were mine…

I lost myself, and people I loved

Because someone said,

“Don’t waste your time”

I ignored the gnawing in my gut

Because somebody said not to listen

I went down paths that didn’t feel right

Because somebody said it was safe…

But Somebodies do not save you

When the actions you did betray you

And Somebody doesn’t know you

like you need to know yourself

And somebody else’s agenda will just

End you up in mental hell

abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, overcoming narcissistic abuse, psychopathic abuse, PTSD, PTSD from domestic abuse, PTSD from mental abuse, Uncategorized, women abuse

PTSD from Abuse

Trauma from abuse never really goes away. It is a part of us that we have to live with every day. How that trauma affects us, depends on the person and the healing methods you are able to find that work for you.

Domestic abuse trauma is severe and can impact our lives negatively for a very long time. The attack on our self-esteem by our abuser was deliberate and insidious. Our abuser attempted to control our thoughts and behaviors by making us feel inadequate and ashamed.

The feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness are carried with us, until we are able to acknowledge that we were truly traumatized and accept the fact that we sustained psychological injury from the abuse.

Once we can accept that we were not at fault,  and did nothing to deserve to be abused, then we can begin to grow and learn how to cope with the mental  injuries.

The scars of abuse will always be with us, but we can work towards reducing the open wounds in our emotions and our minds. When we have gaping, painful wounds, our everyday lives tend to revolve around them.

We try to avoid being “bumped into” in an emotional or mental way. Our brains cannot tolerate even the slightest thing that might re-traumatize us. 

Anything that reminds us of the abuser, the circumstances surrounding the abuse, or how we felt during the abuse, may be  intolerable. This may cause us to organize our lives around avoiding anything that might trigger a state of post traumatic stress. We will develop behavior patterns of avoidance and may be in a state of hyperarousal almost all of the time.

The  hyper-arousal state is when all of our guards are up. We are constantly scanning our environment for possible threats. These may be physical threat or mental / emotional threats. Because of the damage our brains have already sustained, we cannot risk any more damage.

This is something we instinctively know. We know that we cannot tolerate any more trauma or any more re-traumatization.

When we are newly out of the traumatic situation, our ability to feel relaxed and feel safe has been compromised. There seem to be threats all around us. This is true for some victims, but every individual is unique.

Some people may go several  months or more,  without any noticeable symptoms, and then suddenly begin to show signs of post traumatic stress.

We lose our ability to trust our own judgement and may avoid any situation we are not sure of. We ended up in abuse one time and we are afraid to experience that again. We are also afraid to be triggered into having traumatic memories flooding back into our brains.

The memories of the abuse can be overwhelming and painful to us. We want to get away from them. There are people that remind us of our abuser in some way.

There are situations that remind us of situations we were in. There are also other things like locations, songs, sounds, sensations and objects that can remind us of the original trauma.

The individual triggers are different for different people. It is good to pay attention to what triggers you and be mindful of your reactions and feelings.

The more you understand about your own responses, be them behavioral or internal, the further along the path to healing you will be.

Here is a video from the Show Boundaries YouTube channel about a tapping technique that is for PTSD. 

And here is a video from my YouTube channel about PTSD from abuse

For more info about healing from abuse, visit my web site at gentlekindnesscoaching.com

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abuse, abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, blame shifting, emotional abuse, malignant narcissistic personality disorder, mental abuse, narcissism, narcissist, Narcissist psychopath, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, overcoming narcissistic abuse, Psychopath, Uncategorized

Narcissistic Abuse Blogs and Submissions

Submissions for the on Narcissistic Abuse blog on ConvoZone are being accepted now. 

You can submit your personal stories about your experience with abuse, or poetry. Articles that are designed to enlighten other victims and survivors are also being accepted.

All submissions will be held for my moderation. I will get to them on a first come first serve basis, as soon as I can. 

You are also welcome to submit posts to the Lovely Wounded Lady blog. Or you can always give a link to your posts, in the comments section below here.

Annie

abuse, aftermath of abuse, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, malignant narcissistic personality disorder, mental abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, narcissistic victim abuse syndrome, Narcissists, overcoming narcissistic abuse, psychopathic abuse, Uncategorized, verbal abuse, victim of narcissist

Narcissists Establish Trust with the Victim

abuse, domestic abuse, domestic abuse blog, emotional abuse, gaslighting, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, overcoming narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse – Executive Function Problems

abuse, blame shifting, domestic abuse, domestic abuse blog, domestic violence, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, leaving an abuser, malignant narcissistic personality disorder, mental abuse, narcissism, narcissist, Narcissist psychopath, narcissistic abuse, overcoming narcissistic abuse, psychopathic abuse, PTSD from domestic abuse, red flags of a narcissist, triangulating, Uncategorized, victim of narcissist, women abuse

Narcissists Lie When They Tell You They are Co-Parenting with You

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