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.