Post Narc Aftermath - Grieving & PTSD

When my "relationship" ended with my ExN I felt I had been through a car accident. After his dissapearing act nothing was the same for me in my life. I had never had this feeling with any other break up. Especially one of short duration. It is incredible the amount of pain he was able to inflic in a relative short time period. I had never experienced depression or been in such a low place in my life. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, did not want to do anything. I had no focus. I did not even want to work or walk my dog. It was a new low for me. I had obsessive thought of the N. I replayed things he said and our conversations over and over. I dreamed of him.

I badly wanted answers, the truth. No matter how painful coming to understand what really happened was vital to help me move on. I understand the heartache so many of us feel and the way life closes in around you, making your world feel small. I found this article on PTSD and find it very helpful:

The Rewind Technique for Victims of Narcissistic Abuse

In working with victims of Narcissistic abuse I realized that most people who are just coming to the realization that they have been with a narcissist come out of the relationship with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I remember in my own case I was diagnosed with PTSD and tried everything to alleviate the painful symptoms. I couldn’t eat or sleep. Leaving the house was a major ordeal, I avoided situations I thought would trigger my anxiety, I had panic attacks and overall disbelief about what had taken place. I remember trying desperately to get some kind of relief for these symptoms. I tried traditional counseling, EMDR and medication. But still the symptoms persisted.

After working with so many clients who are experiencing the same horrible symptoms of PTSD I started searching for a better way to help people to deal. Since I was already a seasoned clinical hypnotherapist my preference was a hypnosis technique so that I didn’t need to learn a different modality as well. I had studied tapping (EFT) and learned a bit about EMDR and finally I discovered the “Rewind Technique.”

The “Rewind Technique” is a hypnosis technique that is proven to greatly reduce the anxiety levels and symptoms of PTSD even to the point of completely eliminating these symptoms in only one session. This was what I was looking for.

In studying this technique further I discovered that the reason people get PTSD has to do with how their brain processes the trauma. About seventy five percent of people who experience traumatic events never develop PTSD. About twenty five percent develop these symptoms which include sleeplessness, loss of appetite, poor digestion, intrusive memories, flashbacks, heightened states of anxiety when reminded of the trauma, panic attacks and other physical symptoms like pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating.

When trauma occurs in a persons life it is processed in the part of the brain called the hypocampus and then moves to the neocortex where it is stored as a normal memory. Normal memories are more distant and removed. But when one experiences PTSD the trauma continues to be reactivated in the hypocampus which causes the victim to experience the trauma again and again as if it just happened. Just passing time doesn’t tend to have much effect on PTSD. Something needs to happen to change the way the brain processes that trauma.

Although “talk” therapy is highly beneficial for clients needing to process and understand their trauma it doesn’t do a lot to alleviate the PTSD symptoms and this is where I began to feel helpless in my work. So I was excited to find a technique I could learn in a relatively short period of time and begin using right away over the phone.

The rewind technique is one of the most effective methods for alleviating symptoms of PTSD. The rate of success is higher than other commonly known treatments such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping” and EMDR (Rapid eye movement therapy.) This technique changes the way the brain processes the trauma moving it from the hypocampus to the neocortex where it is processed as a normal memory.

I’ve had many clients tell me that they have been through break-ups before but never have they experienced these kinds of symptoms. Often the symptoms are mistaken for “love” leaving the client believing that the narcissistic partner can somehow make it all better, if only they would come around. But even if one returns to the abusive relationship the symptoms remain, even if slightly below the surface of their awareness. A war victim who is traumatized on the battlefield will likely not experience their symptoms quite so intensely when they are thrown back on the battlefield. It is when they are back in society having to cope with day to day living that the symptoms become unmanageable.

When one comes out of a narcissistic relationship the symptoms of PTSD develop as a result of the horror of the abandonment, betrayal, devaluing and discarding that takes place not to mention being constantly subjected to crazy making behaviors within the relationship. Often the process of the illusion of the relationship crumbling, is enough to create trauma. Victims wake up to realize there never was a “normal” relationship going on. Everything the victim was lead to believe was true ends up being false. The mind has a difficult time processing through this new realization. There is often denial and refusal to accept the truth. Fighting with the encroaching “truth” is traumatic in and of itself. Who wants to believe that the “beloved” never really cared about them?

With the rewind technique I lead you into a relaxed, hypnotic state and guide you through a process that desensitizes you to the traumatic events of that relationship. The result is experiencing the memory differently. You may find your anxiety level around the narcissistic relationship dropping from a high state of anxiety to a very low state or no anxiety at all. On a scale of 'one' to 'ten' with 'ten' begin the absolute most intense state of anxiety and 'one' being no anxiety at all, people who undergo the “rewind technique” usually find their anxiety levels going from a 'seven' or 'eight' down to a 'two' or 'three' at the most. The alleviation of the PTSD symptoms allows you to resume your life without the usual anxiety, panic attacks and constant reminders of the narcissist.

I'm excited to tell you that I recently graduated from the program I attended to learn the “rewind technique” and with flying colors. I received 100% proficiency on my exams and have been certified as a “Rewind Technique” practitioner.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD there is help. It is not something you have to live with for months and years to come as many do.

momoya's picture

Here is the link: http://www.narcissismfree.com/rewind-technique.php momoya

momoya

Briseis's picture

http://www.traumaregister.co.uk/Skills/Rewind.htm This might be the site in question: http://www.narcissismfree.com/rewind-technique.php and another: http://www.hgi.org.uk/archive/rewind-technique.htm Sounds to me like a technique specific for trauma therapy. I have been hypnotized once (it was not unpleasant or scary, time just went by really fast), and done lots of guided imagery in a therapeutic setting. Those nasty intrusive memories are so awful . . . if you have one (or a bunch) that are wrecking your daily life, I'd say go for it. People use hypnosis to lose weight or stop smoking all the time. I did a guided imagery with one of the hideous physical and emotional abuse episodes with my father. It was some technique I read in a book, where you go back into the memory and then CHANGE what happened. When I did this, I imagined that I busted into the house as an adult (a very, very angry adult me :D ) and rescued the abused child, stopped it in it's tracks, took her by the hand and led her away. Doesn't sound like much . . . but I did this YEARS ago and I can remember this really well. It made a deep impression. I think I wrote it out in a journal, which is another good idea. I've also induced a full on panic attack by "overdoing" it with working with really awful memories. I called 911 because I thought I was dying (lol) . So I encourage people to use their smarts and if this stuff is really heavy, don't do it on your own like I did. Get a good therapist specializing in trauma. They can help you contain it, and not get overwhelmed.
jen79's picture

yesterday I did the same exercise, I realized that the anxiety and guilt I experience towards my father is the exact same feeling I always had as a child...constantly, I always feared him, watched out in which mood he was, trying to sooth him so he is not angry at me...of course it never worked cause he is an angry man by himself. So I went back, so him blaming me, accusing me for his anger, and I went in this scenery as an adult, taking the abused child behind me, and said, NO, its not HER fault she IS there, I will not allow you to blame her for just being there, I will not allow you to blame her for being a bad child. YOU are a nasty bad father, you've done a crappy job, its NOT her fault you are unhappy. I will not let her take your blame and guilt. YOU should feel guilty for letting her down, YOU should feel guilty for not caring for your own flesh and blood. Like this I felt relief, and I realized this program was running within me since I can think on autopilote. feeling of being unworthy, a burden, not being good enough, and feeling guilty for let myself nurturing me. He has put this seed in me.
Briseis's picture

Good for you! When I remember this incident now I also remember how I "changed" the memory. How I marched in there and pretty much laid waste to that disgusting excuse for a father. I was pretty "lucky", in some ways. My emotions toward him were not all that complicated (I'm pretty uncomplicated in general). I just loathed him. I must have loved him when I was very young, like any little girl loves her dad, helplessly. But I don't remember loving him. Only fearing him. He'd go to the hospital for some self-inflicted BS, after trying to kill himself, or whatever, and I'd feel RELIEF, not fear or sorrow that he was sick. Howz THAT for weird :P He made quite an impression on me. I'm grateful he wasn't "loveable". I'm grateful he wasn't the type to hoover with flattery or sweetness much. It's part of why I fell so hard for the exNarc, who DID hoover and emit the most beautiful words (bait). All my father did was spew vileness and I was terrified and angry because I knew it wasn't RIGHT. LOL this post belongs on your other thread too. I don't like to admit it much, but my redone memories where I go back and rescue myself involve a bit of putting him in his place, too. I can't even kill a bug, but my father and the exNarc are the two beings on this planet I imagine seeing suffering without a twinge. I probably could not do it IRL.
jen79's picture

I remember the exact same thing, he went to hospital for some BS due to drinking, something with his lever. And we all felt so relieved these days. I guess that was the day, that I realized we could be a happy family if he'd not be with us. We were laughing and had fun these days and then he came back and all the darkness and anxiety came with him again. I dont think I will seek any sort of closure with him, even if he dies. What shall I forgive, he didnt do his best, he just didnt, yes he was poor, and he was abused too blahblah...but abusing us and being envy of us and seeing us as a burden and abandoning us the minute my mother decided to not sleep with him ever again...yeah great, he DIDNT do his best...he's a sick asshole, and when he dies he can come back and visit me as the angel he then is, and then we can have a chat again, and maybe closure, but I wont for sure with his nasty physical incarnated self...just saying, my sisters want to make me feel guilty about not forgiving him.
Susan32's picture

"My sisters want to make me feel guilty about not forgiving him"-Yikes. That DOES hurt. My maternal grandfather was a Narc... he died as a result of alcoholism when I was very young (only 3) But my mother remembers the constant drama. It's no wonder she was praying that I didn't end up with the ex-Psych professor as a boyfriend, lover and/or spouse. She KNEW the pain of having a Narc father. My mother and one of my female friends are conservative, very traditional Catholics... and yet they NEVER made me feel guilty for NOT forgiving the ex-P. And they really believe in forgiveness. They're very devout. After the final D&D, my Catholic friend said that it was more about forgiving myself than forgiving him... because the ex-P hadn't come to me like St. Mary Magdalen weeping, or the prodigal son throwing himself at his father's feet. She said he hadn't shown repentance and remorse. Even my good devout Catholic friend said that I had no "duty" to forgive the ex-P... and that's saying something! You shouldn't feel obligated to forgive your Narc father. Forgiveness is an act of FREE will. You're not bound to it. You can find peace in forgiving yourself.
jen79's picture

Thanks for your words, maybe I can forgive him one day from a distance, who knows, but right now just realizing what a full blown Narc he was, yikes no forgivness is far away from me now, I think what my sister really means is, avoiding it, feeling numb about it, rationalizing his behaviour. I guess she hasnt really emotionally realized, that he really never loved us. And yes Susan, now that I process myself through it all as a child adult, I see now, what would have happened if he had chosen me, then I would have given my children the same type of father I had...creepy. And you too, be lucky you got away, you saved yourself alot of drama and pain, and who knows what else, cancer... Yes you are right also, I need to forgive myself first anyway.
truetotruth's picture

Thank you for this.... "When one comes out of a narcissistic relationship the symptoms of PTSD develop as a result of the horror of the abandonment, betrayal, devaluing and discarding that takes place not to mention being constantly subjected to crazy making behaviors within the relationship. Often the process of the illusion of the relationship crumbling, is enough to create trauma. Victims wake up to realize there never was a “normal” relationship going on. Everything the victim was lead to believe was true ends up being false. The mind has a difficult time processing through this new realization. There is often denial and refusal to accept the truth. Fighting with the encroaching “truth” is traumatic in and of itself. Who wants to believe that the “beloved” never really cared about them? " I am so lost. These wounds wont seem to heal. I am going to ask my shrink about this when he stops telling me his problems!
jen79's picture

also momoya??? This is so strange, I wanted to ask my sister today about hypnosis and the effects it could have on my recovery, she is working as therapist. And I forgot it, and now I see your timely post. Please post the link?
gettinbetter's picture

remember I told you I had read something about this. I hope Momoya posts the link.