PTSD: The Aftermath of the Narcissist

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#1 May 12, 2009 - 6:09pm
Anonymous (not verified)
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PTSD: The Aftermath of the Narcissist

Most of us build our lives around the belief that we will be relatively safe. Granted, normal daily life involves many stressors, especially in these hectic times, but we expect these pressures to happen and we become accustomed to handling them. The more flexible we are and the more we know ourselves and are in touch with our abilities, the easier it is to deal with normal everyday stress.

Sometimes, however, any of us could be subjected to catastrophic stress. Our feeling of safety in these circumstances can vanish. We could experience terror and a complete inability to know how to handle these situations that are outside of the ordinary realm of experience. These catastrophic events can include physical or sexual abuse, physical attack, mugging, being used, "taken" or emotionally raped or the sudden death of a loved one. It is not only the victims of these events, but also witnesses, families of victims, and helping professionals who can develop severe stress symptoms which can last for months or even years after the event.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the term used to characterize people who have endured highly stressful and frightening experiences and who are undergoing distress caused by memories of that event. It is as if the person just cannot let go of the experience. The event comes back to haunt them. The anxiety experienced during or immediately after a catastrophic event is called traumatic stress. When the symptoms last several months after the event, it is called post-traumatic stress. PTSD can last for years after the original trauma and may not become evident initially. For example, an individual may witness a murder as a child, but not experience the associated stress until mid-life.

Some people are more likely to develop PTSD than others. Experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD after a relatively minor trauma while others exposed to great trauma do not.

Symptoms of PTSD
People can be considered to have PTSD when they have been exposed to an extreme trauma, the symptoms last at least a month in duration, and the symptoms cause excessive distress so that social functioning and job performance are impaired. One sign of PTSD is that the traumatic event is relived repeatedly in the person's mind and this appears in the form of flashbacks, recurrent images, thoughts or dreams about the events, panic attacks...and even nightmares.

Reminders of the event can cause distress so many people go out of their way to avoid places and events that remind them of the catastrophic occurrence. Many people experience anxiety, restlessness, concentration difficulties, decreased memory, irritability, sleeplessness, hypervigilance, or an exaggerated startle response.

Some people even experience what is called "survivors guilt" because they survived and others did not or because of certain things they may have had to do in order to survive. (Or feel guilty they were "so stupid" and didn't see the red flags)

There are three main clusters of PTSD symptoms, and all three of these groupings must be present for a diagnosis of PTSD.

Intrusive Symptoms: Intrusive and repetitive memories which stir up negative feelings experienced during the trauma can overwhelm a person. These memories can appear in the form of:

* flashbacks (a feeling of reliving the trauma)
* frequent, distressing memories of the trauma
* nightmares
* emotional and physical distress when traumatic memories are triggered.

Arousal Symptoms: PTSD sufferers experience physiological reactions, which indicate that they don t feel safe and they are physically on the alert to deal with danger. These can include:

* being easily startled or feeling jumpy
* hypervigilance (feeling on guard even when the situation is safe)
* concentration difficulties
* sexual numbness or hyper-arousal
* outbursts of anger and irritability
* problems in falling asleep or staying asleep.

Avoidance Symptoms: People suffering from PTSD go out of their way to escape the overpowering memories and arousal symptoms. This pattern of behavior can include:

* avoiding places, people or (online) situations that serve as reminders of the trauma
* avoiding thoughts or feelings associated with the trauma
* memory loss about some aspects of the traumatic event
* feeling emotionally numb
* feeling estranged or detached from other people
* feelings of hopelessness and helplessness about the future
* decreased interest in pleasurable activities.

There are other emotional and physical problems that may accompany PTSD. Unfortunately, some people seek relief from these symptoms without dealing with the root cause so that the symptoms persist. (this can include: having drinks to 'relax,' smoking, pacing, obsessive or repetitive behaviors, shopping, etc) These problems may precede PTSD, in which case they become exacerbated, or they might develop after the onset of PTSD.

The emotional problems include panic disorder, agoraphobia (fear of being out in public), social anxiety (speaking in public), depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse (drugs such as sleeping pills or relaxants or alcohol abuse).

The physical problems can include skin problems, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, respiratory problems, low back pain, muscle cramps, headaches, adrenal fatigue, cortisol insufficiency and cardiovascular problems. Some go on to develop autoimmune illnesses such as CFIDS, chronic myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, lupus, adrenal fatigue, M.S. and so on.

It is important to remember that PTSD is a normal reaction to a very abnormal situation. There is no shame in experiencing these symptoms, nor is having these symptoms a sign of weakness. Help is available from trained professionals so that in most cases, with the appropriate effort and courage, the symptoms can disappear completely, or at least substantially decrease and become more manageable. PTSD can be cured.

Getting Help for PTSD
We live in a world of relative safety most of the time but it is a world in which people often lack support for dealing with calamities. In these times we may not have the extended families, long-term friendships, sense of neighborhood, feeling of community or the support from religion that have historically helped people endure times of crisis. We usually get along without difficulty as long as things go smoothly. But when a crisis occurs, we sometimes simply do not know what to do or where to turn.

Traumatic events can leave us stranded. We may lack not only social support when a crisis occurs, but also the language for understanding the place of tragedy in our lives. We may not know how to conceptualize it how to use words that can describe a disaster and make it real. We may not know how to react emotionally when crisis comes into our lives these are feelings that we may have never experienced before and they may frighten us. So we refuse to accept the crisis or to deal with it. We think we are strong and able to endure anything.

Denial comes easily. Refusing or not knowing how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that accompany a major catastrophe, unfortunately, sets us up for PTSD. And it is not our fault.

PTSD is highly treatable, especially if it is caught early. The idea behind the treatment is to process or work through the traumatic event, as well as to manage the immediate troublesome symptoms the person is experiencing. A properly trained therapist can help the PTSD sufferer to find the words, in a safe and gentle way, to talk about the event and to confront the feelings that accompany the experience. This is not an easy step, but it is a necessary one. While it might seem natural to avoid reliving a painful memory, it is important to face the memories, feel the emotions and try to work through them. When this happens, the trauma no longer controls the person the person is now in control of the memory of the trauma to the extent that he or she can approach it objectively and flexibly.

A person who has survived a traumatic event will probably never feel as if the event never happened, but the distressing and disruptive effects of PTSD can be alleviated. In therapy, a person can learn to describe a coherent account of his or her life. People who are able to do this are much less susceptible to the effects of trauma. Therapists use a number of techniques to help a person work through traumatic events, some involving talking and some involving more physical interventions. Sometimes medication can help to lessen the anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties, as well as the physical symptoms, which go along with PTSD. DO NOT let anyone convince you medication is BAD THING!

PTSD Awareness-- for loved ones (plain)
The old way of thinking was that the strongest people were those who could hold in their emotions and face tragedy stoically.

Unfortunately, this is precisely the pattern which leads to PTSD.

Real strength comes from knowing oneself and expressing that sense of self in the world with openness, honesty, integrity and courage.

Some PTSD Statistics
Most people who are exposed to extreme stress are able to process their way through their reactions and never develop PTSD.

* It has been estimated that 70 percent of people will be exposed to a traumatic event in their lifetime.

* Of those people, 20 percent will go on to develop PTSD.

* At any given time, an estimated 5 percent of people have PTSD.

* Approximately 8 percent of the population will develop PTSD during their lifetime.

* Women are about twice as likely to develop PTSD as men, mostly because women are more susceptible to experience interpersonal violence, including rape, exploitation and physical beatings.

* Victims of domestic violence and childhood abuse are at tremendous risk for PTSD.

Do You Have PTSD?
Do you have any of the following problems? If you check at LEAST seven of the following items and it is after you have experienced a catastrophic or emotional event, it is advisable to have a professional consultation to determine if therapy for PTSD is indicated.

____ 1. I have strong physical sensations (e.g., sweating, rapid heart beat) when I think about the event. or person.

____ 2. I try to avoid having upsetting thoughts or having contact with things or places associated with the event.

____ 3. My feelings are numb and I have difficulty experiencing normal pleasure and happiness.

____ 4. I am always watchful to make sure I don't experience the same event again.

____ 5. I have feelings of guilt associated with the traumatic event.

____ 6. I have the feeling of being unreal or that the world is unreal.

____ 7. I feel alienated or isolated from others.

____ 8. I get irritated or angry a lot.

____ 9. I have flashbacks of the event (feeling like the past event is happening all over again in the present).

____ 10. I have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because memories of the event come into my mind.

____ 11. I have memory difficulties and trouble concentrating these days.

____ 12. I am easily startled when I hear a loud noise or when danger seems imminent.

____ 13. I have been relying increasingly on alcohol or drugs (or cigarettes) to get through the day.

You never have to go through this alone. Know that there is help for you!

RESOURCES FOR THOSE WITH PTSD:
http://parasitesofthemind.blogspot.com/2009/04/ptsd-healing-resources.html

February 16, 2010 - 2:11am
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

toxic

where is the option where you want to try and continue what is lost because it is comforting? Like trying to go to the places you once you to go to together in order to help make you feel better Doing that is poison & toxin that will continue to infect your mind. It is part of the brainwashing he's instilled that you will feel better by doing this. You must stop. Completely. http://www.lisaescott.com/forum/2009/03/20/cognitive-dissonance-obsessional-thoughts No wonder you are having problems!! ~~~~~~~~~ The truth will set you free... but first it will piss you off - Gloria Steinem Visit My Abuse Website
February 16, 2010 - 9:28am (Reply to #36)
Piscesdream
Piscesdream's picture

Thanks for the link. I am

Thanks for the link. I am currently seeing a cognitive therapist. It is helping. I've been stuck doing this with my thoughts after each break-up since I was 13.
February 16, 2010 - 3:09pm (Reply to #37)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

another good read

another good book HOW TO SPOT A DANGEROUS MAN by Sandra Brown, MA https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=136236&c=cart&aff=21165&ejc=2 ~~~~~~~~~ The truth will set you free... but first it will piss you off - Gloria Steinem Visit My Abuse Website
February 16, 2010 - 1:31am
Piscesdream
Piscesdream's picture

I see the avoidant option,

I see the avoidant option, but where is the option where you want to try and continue what is lost because it is comforting? Like trying to go to the places you once you to go to together in order to help make you feel better. I definitely have insomnia problems, flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia. In order to stop these things, I focus on the good times we had in order to feel better and feel comfortable again. Along with some pretending because I just can't handle all the stress and heartbreak.
February 16, 2010 - 1:22am
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

The Aftermath of the Narcissist

READ TOP POST ~~~~~~~~~ The truth will set you free... but first it will piss you off - Gloria Steinem Visit My Abuse Website
September 25, 2009 - 5:14pm
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

PTSD - the narc's parting gift

SEE TOP POST ~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Pathologicals only discard the best, most precious of gems of people... not the worst. They despise the strong, principled, decent & honest. Their discarding of you is then their highest commendation of your worth!" - A.V.
October 9, 2011 - 10:35pm (Reply to #32)
susnebraska
susnebraska's picture

Agreed

The bigger the prize, the better the ego trip at our expense.
August 25, 2009 - 5:59pm
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

the aftermath of the Narc

SEE TOP POST ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
July 25, 2009 - 9:19am
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

barbara

I went thru the check list and while I dont have ALL of them I do have maybe half, maybe you could say my ptss is mild?, however still present. I saw a picture that took me back to a situation with him and my mind wondered to that time, I think of the intimacy as just pure RAPE now as I look back, oh of course he had my consent but it is the lack of what the predator has in mind or withholds from the victim while engaged intimately. intimacy was a chore for him he hid it very well and acted like he looked forward to it but I know now differently, it was just a tactic he used to keep me believing he loved me. It was just to keep me on his long list of supply. Then there are the lies that flash in my mind all the time, I see his dead, black fixated eyes that would look at me like he was mesmorized or something, I do feel numb at times and other times I can feel. I will always believe in my mind he raped me, and just the fact I ran into one of these disordered individuals and the damage they can do some days I want justice, but that will never happen, some days I want to tell him you are a very sick man (counselor advised that could be dangerous dont expose this man he said just leave and pretend you left because he didnt love you that is the safest way for you,) and I pretty much did that. I told him once that I wished for ONE HOUR he could love, and he said to me, THAT WAS A BULL SHIT STATEMENT TO MAKE, eww it pissed him off so I never went there again, that is about as far as you get when you try to talk to these freaks. I am going to work on my ptss start working out, so I physically feel better and avoid as much stress in my life as possible and I will know in my heart and mind when I am on the other side of all this I wondered what was wrong with me that its taken me sooo long to recover, the recovery is long and slow and its something I NEVER NEVER want to go thru again, here is a thought if you want to develop healthy boundries just get involved with a psychopath you reach a point where you say enough is enough or you will self destruct and destroy yourself, I am not saying that is the way to do that but mine certainly made me see REAL FAST I needed healthy boundries in a relationship, something I never had, well I have them now I quit moving the goal posts,
February 16, 2010 - 4:12pm (Reply to #29)
narcsurvivor
narcsurvivor's picture

Cynthia, wow, my ex had that

Cynthia, wow, my ex had that same look in his eyes. They were fixated on something else, even though they were looking at me. He seemed distant. It was false intimacy.
July 25, 2009 - 3:12pm (Reply to #26)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

cynthia - ptsd

I went thru the check list and while I dont have ALL of them I do have maybe half, maybe you could say my ptss is mild? like pathology - all of them, a few of them or a couple of them... PTSD IS PTSD. Mild or severe its PTSD and its SERIOUS. I hope you are in therapy and perhaps on low-does meds short term to get you thru this. PTSD mild or not, DOES NOT GO AWAY ON ITS OWN!!!!!!!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Articles & information for abuse victims - Updated Daily Online Coaching for Victims of Narcissists/ Psychopaths
July 25, 2009 - 5:10pm (Reply to #27)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Am I clearly understanding this

From the very good articles you have given us to read when one experiences a traumatic encounter in their life its a process, in my case, the lure, falling madly in love, the mask cracks, the awakening, acceptance and lastly healing. Barbara there was a period when I discovered I had been had I would cry so hard I would throw up, losing over 30 pounds, for some reason the experience affected my appetite, could hardly get a bananna down, so I drank lots of protein shakes, my doctor monitored me very closely and said to at least try and consume protein, I dont think I ate meat for three months it was too hard to get down so I ate soft foods, I never experienced anything like that it scared me because I kept losing weight and I really did want to eat and wondered if I would ever feel hungry again, it was like my stomach was nervous all the time EXTREME anxiety I was on xanax 2x daily for several months now I take one maybe a couple times a week, so its getting better. I am 5'9 and I went down to a size 6, I looked horrible, now I am back in my 10's and 12 I am also on a mild anti depressant, and the doctor said to stay on that until you are completely thru this, it also helps with menopause too, talk about everything hitting at once. So I think I have the worst behind me but I wonder why the PTSD lingers on for so long, I have come far in healing I have accepted what he is and what he did I have gone thru the stages of EXTREME anger, extreme pain, extreme feelings of being violated in every sense of the word, mostly I feel anger for the chunk it took out of my life and WHY this had to happen to me, I know that is really stupid to say why did this have to happen to me, just because people are good doesnt mean all good things happen to them, life is not fair. So if I go back to counseling for struggling with the PTSD which I still have to some degree from your experience how do they help you with that? Do you have any thing that helped you get thoughts of them out of your mind? I no longer walk around saying oh poor me, I was so victimized, I am forever doomed to feel this way because we have the power to change that but it takes ALOT of work as you once stated. We have to work on ourselves and I have done that, is the key the healthier we become, the sicker they will look to us? I remember during one of my sessions with my Doctor he said you are doing good Linda but you are still not mentally healthy where I want you to be, you are not mentally ill but you have been mentally damaged by a very disturbed person. Barbara the healthier I get the sicker he appears and this is what I am experiencing right now and one day all the things I once desired in him will fade 100%, I shouldnt really say that because all the things I desired in him was just a fake act he played knowing what I wanted. Someday I hope I wont need this site but If ever I am in a position to help others from what I learned I would be more than willing. I turn to this site when I want to call him or wonder why he never loved me, then all of you wonderful people remind me WHY, PATHOLOGICAL and I take a deep sigh and tell myself to accept it for what it is an keep moving forward. MY GOD you endured alot I read your story a few times and remind myself IT CAN BE DONE look what you endured and look how much you have accomplished. You endured much more than I did while I wont dismiss the destruction he caused in my life I also see how much worse it could have been. SO PTSD, tough thing to battle but now I realize I still have it and it must be addressed
August 25, 2009 - 6:00pm (Reply to #28)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

cynthia - WHY

I went to the hospital 3x from non-stop vomitting. It lingers for so long because: 1. THESE MONSTERS CHANGE OUR BODY & BRAIN CHEMISTRY - it takes years to get it to calm down. Weeks or Months to establish and years along with FORMAL therapy to deprogram. 2. Women believe their friends and family and thing that can or should 'just get over it' and are ashamed to go to therapy and get medication their bodies & mind are screaming for. The long it goes untreated the firmer it becomes implanted. Women want instant or quicker relief. It doesn't work that way. With a pathological TIME DOES NOT HEAL IT. So if I go back to counseling for struggling with the PTSD which I still have to some degree from your experience how do they help you with that? Do you have any thing that helped you get thoughts of them out of your mind? Thank goodness I had a therapist who GOT IT about PATHOLOGICALS, hypnosis, NLP, embedded commands and so on. First I was in an In-Patient program for about 2 weeks but still the thoughts, obsessive thinking, anxiety & anger took about 4 years to really stop. I still have them but it will ALWAYS be there however, it is SOOO much more 'normal' (whatever normal is) Other things that helped: Getting & Reading WOMEN WHO LOVE PSYCHOPATHS Journaling... which I still do http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/hypnosis-for-repairing-the-aftermath-of-pathological-love-relationships http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/4-pack-book-combo Time will not do it unless you put in the WORK and Self-Education. And a therapist who GETS it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Articles & information for abuse victims - Updated Daily Online Coaching for Victims of Narcissists/ Psychopaths
July 24, 2009 - 9:46pm
admin
admin's picture

information on PTSD

See Top Post
July 2, 2009 - 3:10am
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

PTSD

if you think you have it - doing nothing is NOT the answer. You don't get "get over" PTSD. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Free articles & information for abuse victims: http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com Effective Coaching for Victims of Pathologicals http://one2one4victims.webs.com/
June 26, 2009 - 7:25pm
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

PTSD

stop fighting/ denying that your narc may have done this to you - and start healing! see top post and know when to ask for help! http://healmyptsd.com/2009/06/treating-ptsd-symptoms-knowing-when-we-need-to-ask-for-help.html
July 25, 2009 - 9:40am (Reply to #22)
James (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

AD/PTSD

Three years ago I had 12 of the 13 on the list. In fact after my psychosocial testing and seeing a psychologist she put me on AP (anti-depression) for a year. I explained to the psychologist how I struggle with talking them but kept finding it harder and harder to maintain a normal persona when dealing with my current situation and jobs. She (the psychologist) explained that should be long enough and wouldn’t adjust my dosage if it wasn’t needed. I am still very grateful that my introduction dosage was all that was needed. We both kept the promise and I was able to stop taking the medication after the first year. But I like to be added on this board and record that they did help with the symptoms of PTSD.
May 20, 2009 - 10:17am
quietude (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

avoidance

This is so true. I find myself avoiding things that can potentially be stressful or remind me of my ex. It's hard to do because there are reminders everywhere...movies, songs, places. I mentally put a stop to some of it because even my then therapist threw out the word 'agoraphobia' which was very unsettling! So I force myself to work through the panic or anxiety at times so it doesn't get worse. Sometimes, I allow myself not to be exposed to a stressful situation if I'm feeling particularily vulnerable. I'm still avoiding getting rid of everthing that was his that he left behind. I know I need to do this as an cleansing exercise for myself though. I have lots of photos on my computer in a folder, I haven't had the courage to look at them, but neither the courage to altoghether delete them. One day...baby steps :)
May 20, 2009 - 6:42am
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

ptsd

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Free articles & information for abuse victims: http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com Effective Coaching for Victims of Pathologicals http://one2one4victims.webs.com/
August 26, 2009 - 6:19am (Reply to #2)
dolce (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

ptsd

When I was 16 I was raped by an off duty cop. He was a friend of a friend. He saw me on the street one day and asked if I'd like to take a ride. You're supposed to trust cops, right? Well, he took me to a back road in the country, pulled over, and in a joking way, took out hand cuffs and cuffed me to the inside of the car. Then he raped me. I felt it was my own stupid fault for going with him so I told no one. I put it out of my mind. Yes, its possible. When I was 28 and living with my first husband who became emotionally abusive, I felt trapped in the marriage because I had 3 babies. That trapped feeling brought back all the memories of the rape. I had a horrible time back then, dealing with the original trauma and going through the divorce to better my life and my sons lives. I did go through years of therapy. Now, after another N has affected my life, and the trapped feeling again, I have panic disorder. Especially driving. A fear of getting stuck in traffic or driving too far from home where I feel safe. I dont sleep well, have TMJ, back pain, mystery pains. But most of all I've got to now find a way to support myself and without being able to drive far enough or take public transportation, getting and keeping a job is difficult. On top of it all I feel like a failure that I cant support myself. I want to go back to school for training and am looking for places that may be possible to handle driving to.
August 26, 2009 - 8:17am (Reply to #16)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

dolce

It didnt surprise me that a cop raped you, my psycho was a cop actually a sheriff, like any profession of power you will find the narc/psycho. Although I wasnt forced raped as you were I was physically and mentally raped and didnt even know it until the honeymoon stage was over (probably like most of us) The mental devistation the experience did to you leaves us to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and reliving the trauma. You CAN get past that as my counselor helped me get past my sexual abuse from my natural father when I was small, thank god there was no penetration but sexual fondling. I am not ashamed in any way to share that information on this board, it was not my fault as it was NOT your fault, we both were children violated by highly disturbed predators. I guess if you are a predator goes without saying you are highly disturbed, at any rate.... The best professional advise I got from my counselor when I was working thru all this was, "even though none of this was my fault, it is still your responsibility to address it, get the proper therapy for it and do the hard work to recover from it". At that time that didnt seem right, he should be the one to pay for such extreme violation of another human being, but as I really thought about it I realized even if he were put in front of a firing squad it still would not undue the damage he did to me, same with us here trying to heal and work our way through, I am sure a great many of us would get some satisfaction of hurting them as they hurt us, we want at least an apology or maybe even hear them say, hey I am not right it wasnt personal, .... That still would not heal what he took away from me. I would like to see them locked up and isolated from society but there currently is no program such as that, take all interaction with humanity away from them, their supply. Having no conscience is an extreme danger to society, more so than a common thug who vandalizes. You mentioned "getting and keeping a job is difficult", I was terminated from a job I had for six years, gee cant imagine why my concentration level was affected (ha) had to go on unemployment, found another job in three weeks, was let go of that job (hated the job anyway) took it because the economy is so bad, now back on unemployment, what do you do try to get mental disability because you were the victim of a psychopath? That will look good on my record. If the system cant lock them up at least the victims should get benefits for the damage they did until they can function again. Look at the $$$$ they cost society by what they do, while they hold down their jobs and make a fortune with their investments and business scams. Oh and rape women on the side, cant forget that. We take one day at a time, and try to keep moving forward.
February 16, 2010 - 4:22pm (Reply to #17)
narcsurvivor
narcsurvivor's picture

Reading all of this is

Reading all of this is waking me up to the realization that my ex did more damage to me than I originally thought. I too can't travel far without panicking somewhat for the comfort of my home. I used to love to travel too. I've been unemployed for over a year. After being laid off from one job where my boss changed her personality it seems, I jumped right into another one where my boss was just as crazy. I quit after ten months because I felt like I was losing my mind. Before that, I had a stable job history. Now, the thought of starting a new job is frightening. Since I voluntary left, I'm not on unemployment so I'm living off of my savings. I knew I needed to take a break from the corporate world. But now it seems like I dont ever want to go back, yet what other choice do I have? I've been doing the same thing for the last 10 years.
February 16, 2010 - 6:21pm (Reply to #19)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

alternative

temping that was my alternative from crazy bosses when I needed. I registered with 2 different agencies so if one sent me someplace nutty - I would say I was ill - not go in for a day or two - then go someplace else! It also gave me a chance to check a place out before they offered me a job. ~~~~~~~~~ The world is a dangerous place, not only because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. - Albert Einstein Visit My Info. Website for Abuse Victims
February 16, 2010 - 5:00pm (Reply to #18)
Piscesdream
Piscesdream's picture

I too panicked about leaving

I too panicked about leaving town for the first time since the break-up. It was my best friend's wedding and I missed her bachelorette party because I was freaking out about leaving my apartment. As far as the job goes, hang in there. You might find something not-so-corporate, but will pay enough to make you feel better. I got a part-time job with Starbucks for the meantime since I was laid off. I got laid off a week after breaking up with my narcissist. He obviously affected me enough to where I was VERY unstable while being at work. He is poison! PS- I love Starbucks, doesn't pay enough, but I have health insurance!
August 26, 2009 - 6:51am (Reply to #3)
grossot
grossot's picture

dolce

What does your therapist recommend. I do hope you are still going. I wish you didn't have to live your life according to your panic disorder. Is there any way you could drive distances again without the panic? There as got to be a way for you to work with your therapist on this instead of working around it. What do you do as a relaxation technique? You certainly have reason to have a panic disorder. I'm so sorry you are living with that. Your post has a sense of hoplessness about it even though you are planning ahead its like you are placing these limits on yourself. I have thinking about taking an assertiveness training. Maybe there is something like that near you. Keep posting and never give up. Don't let these N take one more thing from you. Anything is possible. nolongercontrolled
August 26, 2009 - 7:02am (Reply to #4)
dolce (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

grossot

I do have a relaxation technique that sometimes works well. I am in therapy. It all depends on the day ..how the panic will be that day. If I slept well the night before, how confident or stressed I feel.If there is someone available I could call if I am out and in trouble driving..that helps a lot. I keep these numbers in my cell. I have even bought a teddy bear that I put in the passenger seat! haha! A therapist once told me to do that. Told me the bear was a transitional object! I also do hypnotism as a last resort. It has helped a little to relax more when driving. Its the traffic that really bothers me the most, because you cant simply escape out of it. I will not give up hope. I will keep trying. I am a survivor after all! I am woman hear me roar and all that..haha. ...thank you.
August 26, 2009 - 8:24am (Reply to #5)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

teddy bear

thats a neat idea, I will try that one too, that is right, we will keep trying and we can survive this. We will have good moments and those bad moments that creep up on us and soon the good moments will take over and we can leave the bad behind us, I am looking forward to that day, that is my hope and why I NEVER GIVE UP.
August 26, 2009 - 5:51pm (Reply to #6)
neveragain
neveragain's picture

I've Often Felt Like Giving Up

Cynthia, I too was molested by my natural father. I started therapy for that trauma when my own daughter was four. She's 25 now. I have spent YEARS working on recovery from that. Last night I realized that all three of my significant relationships were with Narcissists. I obviously have not recovered my self esteem. Today I feel hopeless, helpless and beaten. No matter what I do, it's never good enough. Today when I came to work, I had to sign my performance appraisal that said "doesn't take an active role....blah, blah, blah" when in fact I DO. But, once again, what I do isn't good enough. I am realizing that for whatever reason, I was the target of a pedophile who stole my self esteem. I have struggled and fought to regain it. Meanwhile, the predator Narcissists found me to be a great source of supply and then got the tasty treat of devaluing me and discarding me. What fun. I am practicing living a gentle life. I am nurturing myself the best way I can. I go to therapy. I exercise and eat super healthy. I am taking a class. I am a member of a book club. I have great friends. I have a loving family. I am a good mother. I pray. I read. I write. I come to this website. I do things for others. I practice random acts of kindness. I yield. I get up every morning and do everything I can to do the right thing(s) during the day. I don't save my fancy perfume or dishes for special days, I use them every day. I give myself pedicures and take long baths. I do everything I can think of but every now and then (like last night) the underlying monstrous feeling that I can never escape from rears it's ugly head. And then I know that I am damaged forever. Maybe I will find some self esteem somewhere. Maybe there are particles of it floating around that I can find again. I don't know. Today I feel like I was a target (yes, Barbara, I'm reading Women Who Love Psychopaths) because I don't know how to define and enforce boundaries. I was betrayed by the very man who was supposed to protect me. The affects of that are life long. I know I sound like I'm whining but I read your post about what happened to you and thought maybe you'd understand. neveragain
August 26, 2009 - 7:32pm (Reply to #15)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

yes

i understand very well indeed, part of not allowing anyone to abuse us is NEVER REWARDING BAD BEHAVIOR WITH GOOD BEHAVIOR, that is called setting boundries, I never did that I always gave more than I ever received in relationships and thats wrong, honestly with my psycho for such a long time I was thinking oh I better do as he says and behave as he wants or I will lose him, now today finally I can say, WHO CARES let him go to a greater power than I could ever keep with him, he would have left anyway no matter what I did for him, it didnt matter in the end. I think this is what lead us into our journey with the psycho neveragain, our past abuse our lack of self esteem, our wounded selves that just wanted to be loved oh they gave us love alright they knew what we ached for they could smell it a mile away. They took advantage of a person hurt, and broken and this is the stock and trade of a psycho. We know now the skills it takes to seek out trusting, honest, good people - we now know the dangers of individuals like we were involved with, if its too good to be true IT IS. We have come far we are surviving this in fact, WE SURVIVED THIS, just think about that for a minute we survived something that most people cant even imagine I am pround of that and you should be too
August 26, 2009 - 5:53pm (Reply to #7)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

predators hunt the wounded

when you're done reading - let me know what you think. You will like this article: http://net-burst.net/hope/survivor.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
August 27, 2009 - 9:54pm (Reply to #14)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

good reading

i read some of the literature you gave me, it makes sense as you tell me over and over predators hunt the wounded, and i WAS wounded deeply before he came into my life he saw it all over me/ My greatest challenge I think is not so much recovering from my psychos wounds as it is other wounds over the past 20 some years on top of that. I can heal from this man who did this to me, this man was a very very bad man and I clearly see him as I should see him as someone highly disturbed, but I must heal my other wounds so predators and abusers are not attracted to me and dont see it written all over me I was simply hurting as the article said, I did no wrong
August 26, 2009 - 7:19pm (Reply to #13)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

That is no line or act

You are intimate and obvious and delicious and satisfying and intoxicating and sobering You are passionate and steady and amazing and gentle and invigorating and oh so very quiet . . . I am out of words for now words describe . . . and limit words contain – restrict – define and explain Let me be out of words for now Let me stay here in this silent love . . . Resting in the glaring mystery of you Hushed in the majestic awe of you . . .
August 26, 2009 - 7:03pm (Reply to #8)
neveragain
neveragain's picture

Good Article

Thanks for that article Barbara and with it, the links to more. Unfortunately, my pedophile father is a Christian. Growing up, I was forced to go to church and all my friends thought that my father was a pastor. Whenever I did something "wrong", he would lecture me literally for hours and read to me from the Bible. At night, it was a different story............... I can't tell you with words how devastating that was. I am now living the legacy of being the target of Narcissists and Psychopaths. I will be alone for a long time. Sometimes (like today)I feel very lonely and sad. I guess that's the life God thought would be the best for me. I must be part of one of his experiments.....like the ones where they shocked the dogs. I've done some research on self-esteem. Seems to me that it's not something you find, you're supposed to "build" it. Okay, I'm doing all the recommended things to "build" it but I'm not succeeding. What do you do to build your self esteem? neveragain
August 26, 2009 - 7:51pm (Reply to #9)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

neveragain

therapy journaling you should like this site: http://www.christiansurvivors.com/us.html survivors of abusive parents are usually magnets for Ns & Ps (I know I am) ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
August 26, 2009 - 8:20pm (Reply to #10)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Faith

sometimes i JOURNAL on this site, write down my thoughts. I have lost my faith, not because I feel God left me but because I left him and now that my life is troubled I turn to him? That doesnt seem right, I know God would want me to help myself and maybe then he will guide me the rest of the way. I think back to a time this was when I realized the psycho played me and I was crying so hard I couldnt even see the road, screaming in the car and screaming for God to help me I didnt know who else to turn to, I HAD NOBODY TO TURN TO but myself and God I prayed for him to take me in his arms and heal me - maybe he did just that by showing me the truth I dont know.
August 26, 2009 - 10:06pm (Reply to #11)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

cynthia

God sometimes shows us the truth and we don't want to see it. Not something to blame God about. check out that site! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. Beck
August 26, 2009 - 11:40pm (Reply to #12)
cynthia (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

thank you

thank you for listing the abuse hotline numbers I wrote down the domestic abuse national hotline number. I havent really said much about my awful marriage I have also been dealing with plus trying to heal from the bad man. I am in a awful abusive marriage, (real good for my PTSD huh?) I am now on unemployment and I think this would be a good time to sell our house pay off the debts and go our separate ways, he refuses marriage counseling, blames me for everything, name calling, horrible horrible things he says, which are not true, i had to leave the house a few days ago he wont allow me to even defend myself, tells me to shut the f--k up, or get away from me, my daughter told me she thinks her dad is nuts he does the same thing to her, all of her friends are losers, my friends are losers, you will like this one and it should pretty much sum it up for ya, I am a loser because now on top of the fact he doesnt get f--ked, I also lost my job so I am pretty much useless. Oh and my friend is a loser too because she doesnt work. I wont even justify or go into the cruel things he says, so I just got up and walked out of the house and told him I am not listening to this, if you cant speak to me like an adult I am leaving. The next day my husband wonders why I am ignoring him, after what he said to me you have got to be kidding, I cant be intimate with someone that abuses me, I look at him with disgust, he makes me sick to look at, so I told him you are right I am just no good and all the things you said were true so I will leave and then you will be happier. He stood there in shock and went to bed, he must have got out of bed three or four times to try and talk to me. I finally had enough confidence and self esteem in my life to confront this vile, foul mouthed abuser told him I dont want to be with you anymore, and I watched him squirm and get nervous and pace. I knew none of what he said was true about me, he uses abuse to control me and has all our married life so I put him to the test and the bully backed down, I am on to him. I dont want to be married anymore I just want to move on with my life away from these abuser types, I dont even want to save my marriage, I know I will be more at peace without him, I would rather live under a bridge than to live with someone who is controlling and abusive. Did the N destroy my marriage? No, my marriage was over long time ago I stayed in a rotten marriage for the wrong reasons and I learned that the hard way, now I believe I have the strength to follow the course that is right for me. The narcs are just great arent they? They love the weak, broken, lonely, and abused, so they can give em a little more in the end. You know what happens pretty soon all that abuse turns into strength, we emerge into something the abusers no longer want, we become strong and we fight back to survive we stand up for ourselves thru no contact or we leave, I am leaving two abusers