abuse, abusive men, abusive relationships, domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

PTSD from Mental Emotional Abuse

.

All people have needs to survive. We need to have proper shelter, food and health care. People need to feel safe and that their needs will be met.

 

.

Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs theory in 1943. He stated that people have needs that must be met before other ones. The basic needs for shelter and safety must be met for all people.

.

There is no room for fun, learning, socializing or self-actualizing without the basic needs being met first.

The person fails to thrive. All the things other people do are just not the priority. The safety is the priority and dominates the person’s thoughts and emotions.

.

When someone is in a living situation where these needs are not met, they are left feeling vulnerable and afraid. The situation is unsafe and potentially life threatening.

.

There are different types of domestic abuse. All of them involve the person being stripped of their self-esteem and being denied basic needs that every human has.

.

There are men and women who experience violence against them in their own home. There are episodes of violence and there is a constant threat of violence.

.

This threat forces the brain to be on alert and suspicious all the time. Your brain learns that it needs to be on high alert at all times, to search the environment for danger. 

.

.

The brain is not designed to be in this state for a prolonged periods of time and damage can occur to the way the brain assesses the possibility and level of potential threats for years to come.

.

There are domestic abuse situations which involve financial abuse. People are controlled financially and cannot take care of their own needs. This kind of abuse can keep the victim feeling trapped into the relationship, because they have no means to support themselves on their own. 

.

I lived in an abuse situation years ago in which I had to go without heat for most of a very cold winter.

.

My money was controlled and I was not “allowed” to purchase heating oil. I still fear the cold and fee post traumatic stress reaction when the winter season begins to make its way into my state.

.

When a person is not taken care of and not permitted to take care of themselves, it causes a trauma.

.

It is terrifying to feel that you are in danger of freezing, going hungry, going without medical care and any other basic needs. When someone denies you basic human needs it is frightening and creates a horrible feeling of vulnerability.

.

Living in these types of abusing situations also causes severe damage to a person’s self-esteem. They may doubt their own ability to provide for their own basic needs for years after the original trauma.

.

The feeling of being vulnerable and in danger is carried in the brain and in the nervous system.

.

.

Any situation which is a reminder of the original traumatic abusive situation can trigger a post traumatic stress attack. The person will collapse under the weight of the fear and not be able to function normally.

.

In addition to traumatic attacks (like severe panic attacks), the person can have a constant feeling of being unsafe. They feel that any minute something could happen to put them in a place of fear and danger.

.

Most people have never been in a dangerous situation of violence of of being in danger of starving or freezing to death. They have never been in a situation where someone threatened to cause them to lose their job unless they were compliant.

.

We have lived through an on-going situation of terror and physical and mental abuse. Being forced to go without basic needs is mentally abusive as well as physically abusive.

.

It is also emotionally abuse to be shunned and made to feel like an outcast in your own home.  We need to be loved. You need to be accepted and supported by others. It is a survival instinct to be part of a family or tribe of some kind.

.

How could the person we trusted and loved, allow us to suffer like that? They made us feel that we were at fault or that we did not deserve to be taken care of?  We did not deserve to be able to take care of ourselves.

.

It is difficult for people to understand the post traumatic stress that can result from living in a domestic abuse situation. It can take years to feel safe again or the person may never feel truly safe

 

.

..A person who survived domestic abuse trusted someone who violated them in the worst possible way. They treated them like they were not human. It is very hard to truly trust anyone again after that happens to you.

.

..

It is a terrible thing to live with post traumatic stress disorder. It is sad that so many people do not understand how we feel. 

.

We have lived through situations where there was a very real threat. In our minds, what is to keep it from happening again. Our good judgement?

.

We feel like our judgement let us down already. How can we trust ourselves? With time you can re-wire the neural pathways that have been affected by the abuse.

 

.

One of the things to understand is that it is not your judgement that let you down. You probably had a gut feeling that something was wrong, early in the relationship. But you were conditioned during your lifetime to ignore that intuition, especially if the evidence you perceive tells you that your gut reaction is not warranted.

.

.

If you grew up in an emotionally abusive house as a child, then your feelings were not given any priority. Your thoughts and feelings were shut down. So you learned to discount them as an adult. 

.

 

You have to learn to listen to your intuition and know that your feelings are there to guide you, as well as to protect you. Your feelings will warn you about predators and people that are unhealthy for you to be with.

.

.

My hope is for awareness that will generate some understanding. I also pray that all of the many people suffering PTSD from domestic abuse are able to one day find peace and a feeling of safety.

Namaste,
Annie

Advertisements
abuse, abusive men, abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, anti-social personality disorder, dating a narcissist, dating an abusive guy, emotional abuse, gaslighting, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, malignant narcissistic personality disorder, mental abuse, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic psychopath, Narcissists, overcoming narcissistic abuse, Psychopath, PTSD from domestic abuse, red flags of a narcissist, Uncategorized, victim of narcissist, women abuse, women in history, women's history month, women's issues

Victim Blaming and Re-traumatizing Abuse Victims

Being in an intimate relationship with a psychpath awakens your reality to a darkness you never knew existed. You always knew that there were serial killers and rapists in the world, but you never knew they could be hidden behind a charming exterior.

You consented to being close to the person they presented themselves to be. But you never consented to being intimate with someone who carries darkness within them.

When you hear people say that you chose to be in a relationship with an abuser, it is confusing and re-traumatizing. They make their point by saying that you had free will and walked into the relationship with open eyes.

They do not understand the mind manipulatiin of a psychopath and how your reality was very different at the beginning of the relationship than it is now.

Not only do you have to come to terms with the cognitive dissonance of the two different realities…the person you thought you were sleeping with….and the person you were actually sleeping with……

You now have to listen to this other proposed reality that you went into the relationship with an abuser with open eyes and free choice.

Only two kinds of people would say this to you….Pathological narcissists….and very closed minded judgemental people who think they are better than you, because of course…it would never have happened to them!

The narcissists that post comments like this on the youtube blogs of survivors are sadistically gaslighting the victims. They are intentionally twisting your reality,  which they are fully aware has already been twisted by one of “their kind.”

Victim blaming is most often instigated by pathological narcissists. Other people may believe their lies because they are being manipulated by the narcissist. So the very people saying that no one can have their mind manipulated….are having their own minds manipulated….and their beliefs fed to them by a narcissist.

 

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

Join the emailing list for special offers, special information, and occasional freebies

abuse, abuse poetry, abusive men, abusive relationships, domestic abuse, healing after narcissistic abuse, mental abuse, psychopaths, Uncategorized, victim of narcissist

Contempt is Your Mistress

I am so tired
My brain is in shock
I can no longer arrange
The thoughts in my mind

My head aches from trying
And thinking so hard
To straighten the pieces
Back into their function

The pieces that are sharp
The pieces that are scalding
The edges that cut like blades
The fragments that shatter bones

My mind is shattered
And disconnected
My body is poisoned
Almost into seizure

My thoughts – explosions
Of anger and pain
My feelings – shock waves
From shaming and blame

Sensations of fire
Sensations of death
Sensations of freezing
Delusions of rest

You’ve stolen my truth
For your own empowerment
You bloodied my faith
To prove your sick point

You forced me to hate you
You forced me to lie
You opened strange poisons
And forced me to try

Your mind is so twisted
With anger and hate
You’ve made me the same
In part of my brain

You felt so compelled
To damage and crush me
Contempt is your mistress
She slept in my bed

abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse, malignant narcissistic personality disorder, mental abuse, narcissistic victim abuse syndrome, Narcissists, Uncategorized

PTSD Triggers and Being Re-Traumatized

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.

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.

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. 

 

abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, anti-social personality disorder, emotional abuse, gaslighting, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, leaving an abuser, malignant narcissistic personality disorder, mental abuse, mental illness, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, narcissistic victim abuse syndrome, Narcissists, PTSD from domestic abuse, PTSD from mental abuse, red flags of a narcissist, scapegoat, scapegoating, self esteem, Uncategorized

Healing from C-PTSD and PTSD from Mental Abuse – Identifying Your Own Voice

It takes practice and patience to learn to hear your own intuition and inner voice, after you have been conditioned over time to ignore your own true perceptions. 

 You have a wisdom inside of you that is compassionate and intelligent. You can choose to perceive yourself and the world around you in a whole new way !

The narcissist tried to silence your voice, minimize it, confuse it and discredit it. But you still have an inner voice inside of you…. that can lead you in ways that will support your mental and emotional health. 

Feel your senses and what they are telling you.

Every sensation is part of your guidance system. If something feels wrong, it probably is.

You can Learn How to Over-ride the Untrue Perceptions 

Learn to trust your intuition and to hear your own guiding voice. There are other voices in your head, but you can learn to tell which one is your own. Programming put into your brain during childhood emotional and mental abuse will cause the negative “tapes” that play inside your head. 

Negative tapes playing in your head, are just left over voices with false information from other people.

Things you hear yourself thinking that are negative about yourself, are like computer viruses that were put into your brain, without your consent!

When you are very young, you depend on your parents and caretaker to interpret the world for you. You turn to them to explain the meaning of things that happen.

Children need to know they have innate value, that is detached from mistakes they make or things they do. You have innate value. The things you do or do not do, do not change your true worth as a person.

Once you know that you have worth, then you will be able to do and try things you could never have imagined you could do !

Self Soothing

Self soothing is an important skill that people who grew up in emotionally abusive households, never were taught. You were not taught to sooth yourself, but rather you were taught to berate yourself and shame yourself. 

Children and teenagers need guidance to learn how to sooth themselves, when something bad happens. If you have C-PTSD from mental abuse as a child, then your feelings about bad things that happened to you were minimized, criticized and called selfish.

Learning what selfish is Not

You need to learn that it is not selfish to set boundaries, and to protect your emotional and mental health. You have every right to take care of your own brain and your own heart.

If you grew up in an abusive environment, then you were told it was selfish when you tried to express your feelings about the things that were happening around you. The controlling parent wanted everything to revolve around them. They never considered your feelings about decisions they made, or their behaviors. 

You probably developed “emotophobia” from being shut down every time you expressed your feelings about ad things that happened. Even expressing good feelings like joy, and self esteem were crushed down, and called selfish. 

The Shaming Voice

Shaming is one of the worst of the “viruses” that was programmed into you. No one self shames naturally. Babies do not come into the world feeling shame. 

Parents that are manipulative, narcissistic, and mentally abusive, shame you for things that you should not have had to feel bad about. Now as an adult, you still hear those voices in your head anytime you make a mistake, or even do anything that elicits a negative reaction from other people.

What Thoughts are Your Own?

Thoughts that you are a bad person, that you are inadequate, and that you will fail when you try to do something….these were programmed into you over years of negative reactions to you by your caretakers and people you trusted to love you. 

Other people may have added to your negative perceptions about yourself. Teachers, bullies that were your peers, abusive babysitters and other people that you were exposed to as a child, may have added their own toxic spice to your view of yourself.

When you feel passionate about doing something that you feel called to do…

When you feel confident about something you want to give to the world…

When you know just for a second that you have something special to offer to the world, because only you have the unique gifts that you were born with….

When you feel called to help someone else, or other people in some way, by using your own ideas, knowledge, love, and other gifts…

These things are your own voice and you can tell because these thoughts support you.

But…..

When that thought comes in that tells you that …

you are not good enough

you are inadequate

there is something wrong with you 

you do not deserve to be happy

you have nothing special to offer

you will just screw it up so why bother trying…

These are the NOT your own thoughts and you can tell because they do not support you. 

You have my permission….to give yourself permission to….. Let Go of All Thoughts and Behaviors that No Longer Support You.
Just because someone told you that these negative perceptions about yourself were true, does not make them true!

Emotional Wounds

Living in an abusive, chaotic traumatic childhood left emotional wounds on your heart. These wounds are carried around by you.

They are fed by the negative thoughts that someone once told you were true. Thoughts that you are not good enough. Thoughts that the world around you cannot be trusted and that you should shut yourself down and never try to bloom into the beautiful flower that you really are. 

Abusive Partners Re-open Old Emotional Wounds

Old emotional wounds were reinforced by any abusive partners you ended up with as an adult.

Abusive partners are highly skilled at identifying and re-opening old emotional wounds. Narcissist and psychopaths target people who are carrying emotional wounds from childhood. They can identify you from other people.

Abusers know how to gain your trust , so that you will reveal all of your weaknesses and wounds to them. Then they will turn the table and throw salt in your wounds, in order to control you.

Your reptilian (primal) brain always tries to keep you away from danger. The abuser know how to activate that fight or flight mode in your brain, and make you feel in danger.

The reopening of emotional wounds is so painful, that it is one of the favorite tools of the narcissist to use against you. 

They will make it clear to you that they will injure you in the worst possible ways, if you do not comply with them. They will use your old wounds against you, by threatening to, and by throwing salt into them.

You will want to avoid this pain by any means possible, and then you will comply with them in order not to have to be re-traumatized by someone recreating your past trauma for you.

You Can Self Generate Feelings of Self Worth

Once you realize that the negative programs in your brain, are not true, then you can begin to re-write these programs in ways that best support you. You never learned to self generate feelings of self worth, but you can learn now.

If you want to find out more…please visit my web site gentlekindnesscoaching.com and add your name to the email list.  ……Also you can follow me on my gentlekindnesscoaching facebook page !

abuse, abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, devaluation, domestic abuse, domestic abuse blog, domestic violence, emotional abuse, gaslighting, healing after narcissistic abuse, healing from domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, healthy relationships after domestic abuse, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic abuse syndrome, narcissistic victim abuse syndrome, Narcissists, overcoming narcissistic abuse, Psychopath, Psychopath abusive relationship, psychopathic abuse, PTSD from domestic abuse, Uncategorized

Let Go of What No Longer Serves You or Supports You

drop

image by Steven Aitchison

I saw this today and I thought it was really great. We need to let go of the things and the people that are bringing us down…keeping us from blossoming and reaching for our dreams. You can surround yourself with people who support you and do not ask you to change to suit them. 

Your dreams matter and you have been through enough pain. It is time to listen to that inner voice that is telling you what is best for you. Emotional pain is telling us not to go in certain directions…and to get away from certain people. 

Listen to your pain…and listen to your passion. No one has a right to crush your dreams. If you feel lead to do something, you should do it. 

Love and Peace,

Annie

gentlekindnesscoaching.com

Discount offered on coaching , if you mention this blog. Just go to the web site and send me a message from the Contact Page . You can have 15 dollars off of one month of coaching (regular price 75 dollars