Often, my clients who are recovering from narcissistic abuse tell me that they don’t even know who they are anymore – and even if they do, they all think they’re too old to start something new.
Still, sometimes life forces you to start over – and that’s especially true when you leave a toxic relationship. So lemme ask you….
Do you feel like it’s too late to achieve a significant amount of success? Many of the most successful people did start at a young age. It can be disheartening for the late bloomers among us. But many of the most successful people you know didn’t get started until much later in life. If you think you missed the boat because you’re middle-aged, you couldn’t be more wrong. You’re wrong even if you’re 80. Success often isn’t achieved until later in life.
1. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first big role until the age of 43. Prior to that he was a struggling actor with little future. Now he’s known by people all over the world for his acting. How many movies, TV shows, and video games has he been in since that first big role in Jungle Fever? 140!
2. Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart at the age of 44. He had been successful in the retail environment in his younger years, but nothing out of the ordinary. Wal-Mart went on to become one the biggest companies in the world, and Walton become one of the world’s richest.
3. Stan Lee. Known to everyone as the creator of Spiderman and the X-Men, Stan Lee didn’t experience success until the age of 39. And his most well-known work didn’t occur until several years after that. Who says it’s too late to do something incredible with your life?
4. Ronald Reagan never held a political office until the age of 55! He became one of the most popular presidents in modern history.
5. Colonel Sanders didn’t invent his famous chicken recipe until he was 50. His famous chain of restaurants is still doing well today. His likeness has been used to market KFC since the very beginning.
6. College students everywhere owe a debt of thanks to Momofuku Ando. At the age of 48, he created those Ramen noodles that poor students rely on for life itself. How many times have you had Ramen noodles in your life?
8. Taikichiro Mori became a real estate investor at the age of 55. He was a professor before that. He was the richest man in the world in 1992 with a net worth $13 billion. He inherited his first building from his father. The rest he accomplished on his own.
9. Grandma Moses started painting at the age of 78. If you have the gumption, you can still make an impact after 70. One of her paintings sold for over a million dollars.
10. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t publish her first novel until she was 65-years old. She wrote an additional 12 novels after that. A successful television series was built around her series of books. Older children still read her books today.
11. Peter Roget created the first thesaurus when he was 73-years old. He was trained as a medical doctor but had an obsession with words, especially words that had the same meaning. He quit his medical career to focus on the creation of the first thesaurus. The most popular thesaurus in the world still bears his name.
It’s never too late to leave your mark on the world! But time is constantly passing, so it’s time to start making it happen. Spend the later portion of your life pursuing something you love. There’s still time to do something amazing!
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. (Little Gidding)” ― T.S. Eliot
There are no victims here, only warriors of truth.
If I tried to explain the last five years of my life to someone who knew nothing of the abuse, who knew nothing of “narcissists,” it would be like trying to explain color to the blind. For this reason, I am sharing my story of narcissistic abuse and how I survived it.
Five years ago, I met a girl. I hadn’t necessarily been looking for love or even the One. I know now that that mentality of looking without, instead of within, to fill the void was perhaps the greatest weakness of my character. To believe in love at first sight, to believe in princess charming, to believe that one day I would be saved from my own inner loneliness…
How wrong was I, in this whole experience?
Experience, that I sorely needed; I have come out now with fresh new eyes, a new mind set, new knowledge of what people can truly be like. I once believed in monsters, the ones hiding under the bed, the ones lurking in the shadows of our closets, ready to pounce at us, to grab at our ankles.
It was the same for believing in love, I think. I grew out of being afraid of the monsters but still believed in Love, with a capital L.
How naive I was, how innocent. How trusting, how loving was I to trust the Devil with my heart. I look back on my life, realizing that I had always had a brush with narcissists, but this last one was the worst, staying in my life like a piranha on prey. Something about me, some inner vulnerability must have led her to me, like a shark to blood in the water.
She love bombed me, made me feel like the only person in her whole universe. Made me feel like we were soulmates; made and created for one another. She made me feel safe to share everything about me with her, my strengths and weaknesses. My hands are trembling, memories just below the surface, twisting and fighting, like a pit of hungry snakes, writing and slithering.
I try not to dwell on what was, but what will be. I do not see myself as a victim. I am a survivor. The day I realized that all those years she was simply abusing me, using me; with a fake smile on her lips, reveling in the misery I felt, her nails painted red with my blood as she had clawed at me, like a hysterical animal snared in a bear trap; I knew what madness had claimed her.
She was not like me.
She would never be like me.
These creatures, these human “beings,” lack everything necessary to grow, to become whole themselves. For this reason, they seek us out, hoping to capitalize on our own securities and vulnerability, brainwashing us, taking us for a ride. They mirror all of who we are back onto us. The saddest part of all this is that despite having all of our wondrous qualities and strengths mirrored at us, we think we can never be without them. This is all an illusion. A perfect performance worthy of an Emmy.
The truth lies in understanding that we fell in love with ourselves. That we fell for an illusion of who we thought they were. Nothing about her was real. It was like falling in love with a dream, one that felt so real; a lie we wanted to believe so strongly, out of fear, out of desperation.
She was my everything and I hers.
But soon, after the months and years of struggling for money, and her tearing into me like a hungry shark, that illusion was being challenged, every day. Why was she always criticizing me, why was she always talking about herself as a victim, why were things always going wrong, why did I feel so nervous and unsure in her presence? Why was I always doubting myself? Why was my health, slowly but surely, getting worse?
I spent years fighting to get her to admit to her faults, to take responsibility for her words and actions. I tore myself in two trying to get her to love me as I loved her. I burned the candle at both ends to prove to her that I was worthy of her love, her trust, of her time. I spent so much of myself trying to get my ex-narcissist to love me.
And in all this madness, I felt like I deserved it. Some sort of karmic retribution? But for what? Even God himself was not that spiteful, and yet, I allowed this daily ritual of chastising to happen to me, to allow my whole soul, mind, and heart to be assaulted by her own damaged thinking, and her own twisted version of what love was.
I felt I deserved it, even as she brought an ex-lover into the picture. I allowed it, out of love, trust, and to prove I wasn’t insecure or jealous. I should have left so many times before that day. But I think the worst emotion to have when it comes to these kinds of people, is to have hope. Hope that they can change, that they will change, that if you work at it things will get better.
They use hope to keep us captive; we basically put our own selves in chains and give them the key.
I had no boundaries. No self-respect for my own self. The worse thing I thought while with her was, “If she loved me, she wouldn’t do this.” “If I trust her, she’ll respect me enough not to do this.” “If I do this for her, she’ll need me.”
All these thoughts I’ve had, all created to keep me trapped and in a relationship that was eating away at my soul. I became a ghost of my old self. I was ashamed to show my face to my mother, to my father, to my siblings. I was ashamed at my own weakness, at how love had made me a victim. I was also stubborn; I never asked for help. I just rolled with the punches, every single one aimed at my soul.
This whole time, there was a spark in me, that would rise up for a week, every month, coming out of hiding, crying and screaming at me that I wasn’t happy, that I deserved better, that this was not love. That I had to end things, I had to move on, I did not deserve this…
THIS ISN’T LOVE.
It was like having Tinkerbell, arising out of the shadows, shedding light and reason into my world.
The day it all ended was when I said NO!
No to giving her money, to disregarding my feelings, to being abused, used, and discarded. NO! to having my own kindness turned into a weapon against me. NO! to having my boundaries constantly tested. NO! to being treated like an object.
It was over. I had reached my limit.
On the drive home, my face red from a numbing slap unmistakable with the scratches on my face, neck, and arms, I cried. I hadn’t even touched her. Nothing in my behavior had warranted that attack on my person. I was numb. There was only numbness for how I felt but there was also acceptance.
There was Tinkerbell’s voice, chiming in my head telling me, “I told you this did not love.”
As I drove home, I cried, talking to myself out loud.
“This is not love. This isn’t love. This is not love!”
The last came out in a scream as I gripped the steering wheel, blinking away tears to clear my blurred vision. I was done, so done with all the pain, the madness. I exhausted. I was tired of trying to save someone who didn’t even have a soul, tired of throwing myself down the rabbit hole. She could stay there, in her own version of Hell. She didn’t need me there when all I was was something to keep her afloat in her own madness, while drowning me at the same time.
I was done with it all.
And when I left, she didn’t fight for me. She already had her next supply. A girl that I had hated, a girl that mirrored my own kindness. A girl that was also in love with the idea of love itself. Another person who wanted to save an already lost soul, and who was just as naive and innocent as I had been, despite being present in more than half of all the drama.
There was anger and hate, but I realized that wasting that kind of energy on those emotions is like drinking poison, waiting for the other person to die. I take it one day at a time, being grateful for the experience, for the pain I had endured. It was something I needed to learn, pain that I needed to feel, madness that I needed to touch, and have it envelop my whole world to know that I did not want this in my life any longer.
So, I say this; your kindness to the world, your naivety, your innocence is not a weakness. It is only such viewed in the eyes of those who have none. Be as pure of heart as you can possibly be in this world. Not all who love, can hurt us as much as their kind can. Be pure, be honest, if a little bit cautious. You aren’t blind to the truth of the monsters. You know they exist, and they walk among us.
Be strong, be brave, my survivors.
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today
Why are narcissists so difficult to deal with? Why are they so mean to the people they claim to love and so nice to everyone else? What causes narcissists to be the way they are? Why are they like that?
Next, they put you through the hell of the devalue and then the discard phase – and often these cycles are repeated for years. But how is it that these patterns are used by most narcissists in varying but identifiable iterations?
Why do narcissists follow identical relationship patterns?
YouTuber Mary Cutrone asked:
I’ve learned so much about the narcissist abuse tactics, but still have one question. How do they follow the same pattern? They don’t go to “narcissist school” … but follow the love bombing to the final discard like it’s a formula. What’s up?
Narcissist Relationship Patterns (You MUST Know!) Identifying Narcissism and Codependency in a Toxic Relationship
When you’re in or have recently left a relationship with a narcissist, there are many negative side effects you’ve got to deal with as a result of the gaslighting and manipulation that goes along with it – and one of the most common issues for survivors and victims of narcissistic abuse in relationships is PTSD and C-PTSD.
PTSD has been talked about in the media as a serious problem that affects soldiers returning from traumatic experiences involving combat, but what we don’t talk about as often are people who have been emotionally and mentally abused by narcissists, psychopaths, and other negative people.
That’s why soldiers are what most people think about when they hear that term. The fact about PTSD is that soldiers aren’t the only ones who can be drastically affected by the debilitating reality of traumatic experiences – and it doesn’t have to result from physical combat.
In fact, for those affected by C-PTSD, which occurs when the traumatic event is spread over the course of weeks, months, or years. In these cases, the trauma usually involves some form of emotional and/or psychological trauma, whether or not physical injuries are sustained.
How PTSD is Connected to Narcissistic Abuse
A person who has been in a car accident, storm, plane crash, been raped, or suffered some other type of external trauma can develop emotional illnesses that may morph into depression, and it may also become a form of PTSD. People who have suffered from a variety of types of trauma and abuse over the course of weeks, months, or years through hostage situations, abusive and toxic relationships, sexual abuse, and other forms of domestic violence can be affected by this same type of PTSD. This group, of course, includes people who are suffering from narcissistic abuse.
Victims of narcissistic abuse and other ongoing forms of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse can be affected by a form of PTSD called C-PTSD, or complex post-traumatic stress disorder. This is related to the fact that their trauma was ongoing over the course of weeks, months, years, or even decades in many cases. Conversely, those who experienced one-time or shorter-term trauma may have PTSD that would not be labeled complex.
What is C-PTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)?
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a serious mental health condition affecting a large percentage of victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse. This disorder can take years to treat and many professionals aren’t familiar with its symptoms or misdiagnose it.
Some therapists and other mental health professionals may even victim-blame if they aren’t familiar with the subtle tricks of a narcissist. Unfortunately, it can be a lifelong condition, but it can be managed with mindfulness and behavior modification, among other therapies and modalities.
Identifying PTSD or C-PTSD in Yourself or Someone You Love
Those who are experiencing PTSD or C-PTSD often first recognize they are affected by having had a freeze-response or a “fight or flight” response to a traumatic experience. This normal reaction to impending danger is ingrained in our psyche to prevent us from harm, but in PTSD, that natural response may deeply change a person.
Even though the person is out of danger and no longer needs to be afraid, he or she often reacts to non-threatening experiences and events with a “fight or flight” response.
What does PTSD look like?
The three main characteristics you might notice if you are suffering from PTSD experience include the following.
1. Exaggerated emotional and physical responses
A person with PTSD might become frightened from loud noises or being surprised. He or she may begin to shake uncontrollably, shrink from the situation, or leave the premises. Anxiety is always present in the PTSD or C-PTSD affected person.
PTSD may cause a person to frequently recollect the traumatic event. He may become very irrational and emotions may run wild because he’s mentally ‘rewinding’ the event and playing it in his mind over and over.
If you have PTSD, you might have a hard time trusting anyone. You might become suspicious and jealous of people who love you and want the best for you. You might feel angry and depressed and extremely detached from loved ones.
PTSD and C-PTSD-affected people sometimes feel like no one understands them, so relationships can be difficult to maintain, especially when they get involved in toxic relationships. Other areas that become problematic for the PTSD or C-PTSD-affected are their job, performing the most basic of daily tasks, and the fact that they can’t comprehend that what they’re afraid of isn’t a real threat at that moment.
This is further exacerbated when a narcissist’s abuse is involved because in this case, the messages are initially coming from OUTSIDE your head – they’re the narcissist’s attempts to slowly and methodically break you down – and they work way too well.
The mental stress of C-PTSD is devastating and can take a toll on your relationships with others and the ability to function if not identified and treated properly. There are certain types of trauma that can typically cause C-PTSD.
Who Can Be Affected by PTSD and C-PTSD?
Besides traumatic combat experiences (such as narcissistic abuse), there are other events that might precipitate PTSD. People of all ages and who have experienced all types of trauma may fall victim to this devastating disorder. Other than combat veterans (mostly men) here are some trauma victims who are more likely to be affected by PTSD during and after toxic relationships than others:
Children are some of the most likely victims to be affected by PTSD and react to it in various ways that could cause mental and physical illnesses.
Events such as car accidents, being bullied at school, violence at home, a loved one’s death or illness, child abuse or a serious accident can precipitate PTSD in children.
Symptoms of PTSD in children include re-living the experience, nightmares, avoiding situations, blocking out his feelings and memory of the event and being easily frightened of events that pose no threat of harm.
If you notice some or all of these symptoms of PTSD in a child who has been through a traumatic event, make sure you seek help immediately from a health care professional.
Women are statistically much more likely than men to develop C-PTSD and the reasons could stem from domestic violence, being neglected or abused as a child, being raped, physically attacked, being in accidents, having a crushing medical diagnosis, or experiencing the loss of a child or other loved one.
Symptoms of C-PTSD in women might include severe depression, abuse of drugs or alcohol, developing an eating disorder, or increasing the risk of heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain. Suicidal thoughts or actions and other maladies may also occur.
Treatment for C-PTSD in women might include anti-depressants or anxiety medication prescribed by a health care professional. It may also include coaching or counseling with someone experienced in helping trauma victims.
People who are alone can suffer from C-PTSD and PTSD. Although some people who are alone in life may enjoy it, most of us need a help and support system that we can call on when depressed or medically impaired. Those who have no one to talk to or interact with are much more likely to develop PTSD.
This might include divorced men or women of any age, including but not limited to single parents, whether or not they are primary custodians of their children.
People who are the primary custodians for children may have a more difficult time connecting with a support system due to being solely responsible for most day-to-day parental responsibilities.
Prolonged social isolation, even when related to taking care of others, can increase and magnifiy C-PTSD symptoms signficiantly.
Perhaps a bit ironically, the trauma associated with narcissistic abuse can lead to the desire to avoid social situations and can even cause social anxiety.
The elderly are sometimes at risk for PTSD when they’re abruptly pulled away from their home and placed in a nursing facility. Friends may have passed on and family may live in other areas of the world.
It can be scary for the elderly to be alone, especially when they’re struggling with big personal changes and mental or physical health issues.
Treatment for PTSD and C-PTSD in the elderly can range from medication to counseling and helping the victim join in other activities as much as possible.
The truth is that anyone who has been through a traumatic experience is at risk. Men, women, children and the elderly may all experience PTSD if they’re victims of extreme trauma and/or the mental and emotional abuse that comes along with a toxic relationship with a narcissist.
What types of events lead to PTSD and C-PTSD?
Some events that could produce enough trauma to cause PTSD are sexual molestation, experiencing a threat by someone with a weapon, rape, kidnapping, car accident, devastating illness, natural disaster including hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes, and civil happenings such as divorce or being sued. Emergency response workers such as firefighters, medics, pilots, and policemen are likely to develop PTSD if they witness or are part of a traumatic event where the loss of life or devastation is involved.
Symptoms & Complications of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD you should look for are the same as the ones previously mentioned. They may also include life-altering mental, emotional, and physical health complications including suicidal thoughts, alcohol or drug abuse, and depression.
Complications of PTSD are varied, including the disruption it can cause in jobs, relationships, and functioning on a daily basis to complete even the most menial tasks or experiencing enjoyment in anything. PTSD shouldn’t be ignored. It won’t go away without treatment.
Symptoms & Complications of C-PTSD
Symptoms of C-PTSD include those seen in PTSD, but they tend to be longer-lasting. C-PTSD will usually also present with added symptoms including the following.
Distorted perceptions of reality, yourself, or your abuser.
Longer-term memory issues around the trauma or traumatic periods in their lives.
Your beliefs and your thoughts might not be in line and you may lose faith in your religion or another long-held belief system.
Certain physical health issues are often also associated with C-PTSD, including but not limited to adrenal fatigue, and various types of autoimmune diseases.
The Best Ways to Treat PTSD & C-PTSD
If you or someone you know falls victim to PTSD, treatment is imperative – and the sooner, the better. Symptoms may occur immediately after a traumatic experience or even months or years later.
One type of treatment doesn’t fit all for those who suffer from PTSD, but there are various ways to get through the disorder and get rid of the symptoms that plague and disrupt your life. These include:
This type of therapy helps a PTSD or C-PTSD affected person to realize that events that took place weren’t his fault and helps alleviate feelings of guilt. A therapist listens to them describe the traumatic event(s) in detail and then helps the person understand the incident and why it happened.
When the person suffering from C-PTSD is otherwise mentally stable, a good narcissistic abuse recovery coach can help them discover the answers they seek and learn new coping techniques for dealing with the issues that come along with it. This can work together with or independently from traditional therapies.
These types of treatments and remedies work because when the PTSD or C-PTSD-affected person demonstrates that they have a good understanding of the event, they then understand that they’ve been suffering stress because of their thoughts about the situation. If this is something you are personally dealing with, it might help you to know how the therapy-focused treatment and guided self-help coaching options work.
In general, you would work with your therapist or coach to develop a plan for your healing or a self-help plan to address the effects of and overcome your issues related to PTSD or C-PTSD.
Change Your Mind to Change Your Life: Reprogramming Your Brain
You know by now that narcissistic abuse and the complications of it, including C-PTSD, changes you. The fact is that a toxic relationship involving a malignant narcissist changes who you become. It changes what might have been a happy, confident, secure person into someone who doubts their worth and their value every day. It takes away your ability to have a healthy, full life and causes you to hyper-focus on it as you try in vain to resolve it, repeatedly, over and over again. What happens during a relationship with a toxic narcissist to lead to these changes?
This video will walk you through some of the most common feelings and experiences that lead to the loss of self in a toxic relationship, plus we will talk about self-help techniques you can use to heal and start to find yourself again.
The next step is to learn to replace the frightening and negative thoughts with less traumatic thoughts and put the incident into perspective. These therapy sessions will help you learn how to cope with fear, anger, and guilt that often plague people after a traumatic experience.
Neuroplasticity and Healing After Narcissistic Abuse-Induced C-PTSD
Did you know that narcissistic abuse causes your brain to literally change its structure? The good news? You can change it back, thanks to a recently-discovered concept called neuroplasticity. Here is an introduction to neuroplasticity that can help. By using this simple sort of “brain training,” you can overcome the effects of abuse – including panic attacks, stress, depression, fear, and more.
Neuroplasticity offers a new kind of hope for survivors of narcissistic abuse, this is how our brain can “rewire itself” by forming new neural connections throughout life. This means that the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain can compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. Even better, we can intentionally control this process if we choose to do so.
Eliminating fear is one of the goals of exposure therapy and is based on the theory that after a traumatic event happens, a person learns to be afraid of thoughts, feelings, and circumstances that remind him of the traumatic happening. This can work with PTSD, but not generally with C-PTSD.
A therapist can help you control those thoughts and feelings and learn how not to be frightened of the memories associated with the event. If you have PTSD, you might spend a lot of time focusing on memories of the event and reliving it.
Exposure therapy can help “desensitize” your reaction to the memories and replace them with less stressful thoughts. Relaxing is key to successful exposure therapy and the therapist might use breathing exercises to help with this.
A supportive group of people can help PTSD and C-PTSD-affected people overcome their fears and emotions. A group can be family members since they are most affected by the person’s PTSD.
A good therapist will help the PTSD and C-PTSD-affected person and their family communicate with each other and voice concerns. Honesty is paramount in family group therapy and can help mend and foster relationships that are repairable.
Supportive group coaching and/or therapy may also be with those who have experienced the same or similar traumatic experiences. Sharing stories and emotions with others who are in the same boat helps each person build trust and self-confidence and realize that he’s not alone.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a way of enhancing communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s. This is a modality that is often used to help in healing from narcissistic abuse.
There are three main components that create the human experience: neurology, language, and programming.
Our neurological system regulates our basic bodily functions, while our language determines how we interact with the people around us. And then our programming is what helps us to perceive the world – it determines literally what we experience in our lives. So, NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, basically means using the fundamental dynamics between your mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how the combination of those two things affects our body and behavior (programming).
In other words, to use NLP for personal change is to intentionally choose to change your thought patterns and processes in order to achieve the life you really want – and not more of what you don’t. Read more about NLP here.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
An experienced, trauma-informed counselor trained in EMDR can help you change reactions to remembering a traumatic experience by focusing on the memories while performing certain actions.
Actions you might perform could be eye movements, sounds, and tapping.
The documentation isn’t totally clear as to how EMDR works to solve problems, but studies suggest that PTSD and C-PTSD-affected people will often experience fewer symptoms after the therapy.
One of the problems with PTSD and C-PTSD is that sufferers have trouble sleeping. Light therapy has been shown to drastically reduce symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD and is a very inexpensive method of treatment.
Bright lights affect a person’s internal clock and metabolism and also cause positive reactions to inflammation, the immune system, and stress such as that caused by traumatic experiences.
Depression can also be alleviated with light therapy.
It may seem out of the box, but dog therapy has been found to seriously help those who may be suffering from PTSD. A dog is known as a “soldier’s best friend,” and many dogs have had specific training to help soldiers with PTSD as a result of combat stress and experiences. They can benefit victims of narcissistic abuse the same way.
Dogs can help PTSD and C-PTSD-affected people express and feel love again, they are great companions for those who feel alone and they can help reduce stress, frustration, and feelings of loneliness by encouraging outdoor walks and socialization with new people.
Dog therapy for PTSD and C-PTSD-affected people hasn’t definitely been proven to be an effective treatment for PTSD, but you may talk to your doctor or therapist about acquiring an emotional support dog that has been trained to help provide companionship for the PTSD or C-PSTD-affected person.
Even the military is now using this ancient Eastern practice to treat soldiers with symptoms of PTSD and recognize its ability to help PTSD and C-PTSD-affected people to gain an awareness of their feelings and heal from the experience.
Yoga brings a sense of calm to both the mind and body and those who suffer from PTSD find that it helps them see things differently and recover enough to go on with their lives rather than reliving the past.
Anxiety caused by PTSD can also be relieved by practicing Yoga. The poses, stretching and meditative thoughts soothe mangled nerves and allow the person to calm him or herself without using medication, alcohol, or other means to seek relief.
Recovering from PTSD
Recovery from PTSD can take a long time, depending on how fast it’s recognized in the PTSD or C-PTSD-affected person as a problem, and the treatment is obtained. There are health professionals who specialize in the treatment of PTSD and can diagnose and prescribe the treatment that’s going to be of most help for a child, woman, man, or soldier.
Most types of treatment last from six to twelve weeks, but it could take more time, depending on the severity of the disorder. Even though good and helpful treatments are available, the person with PTSD may not recognize they’re having a problem.
Sometimes PTSD can be treated by an antidepressant medication or SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) that can help with feelings of sadness and worry. Much of what causes PTSD are the chemicals in the brain – and the lack of serotonin – so medications can be used with some success.
If you or a loved one is under treatment for PTSD, make sure you ask the therapist or health care professional how long the treatment may take and what you can expect from it.
It’s very important that loved ones or others close to the PTSD or C-PTSD-affected person and help get them to a therapist as soon as possible. That’s why helping someone realize they’re affected by PTSD or C-PTSD can be so vital.
Due to the importance of treatment, whether the person in your life who might be C-PTSD-affected is yourself or someone you love, it’s important to research and discover all you can about the symptoms of PTSD, treatment, and recovery options.
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse-Induced C-PTSD Today
Often, a narcissist will humiliate you in public as part of an active smear campaign – and while I’ve previously explained smear campaigns, today I’m going to go a little more in-depth on the public humiliation part of it – which, in my opinion, is one of the most traumatic parts of the whole smear campaign tactic. So, first off, I’m going to give you a few real-life examples of how toxic narcissists have used public humiliation to hurt the people who loved them.
In today’s digital world, nearly everyone can admit to having snapped a sexy photo for the one they love and even, in some cases, participated in on-camera sexual activities with that person.
And you know how narcissists are, right? Yep. SEVERAL of my clients have told me that their narcissists – both male and female – have either used or threatened to use nude or otherwise compromising photos of them in order to blackmail them into doing what they wanted.
For example, a narcissistic wife of one of my clients managed to humiliate him by spreading gossip among his female co-workers about his sexual health – none of which were true, but all of which really changed the way his co-workers saw him.
Her intention, of course, was to ensure his fidelity as he worked alongside his attractive coworkers each day. But in her selfishness and lack of concern and empathy for her husband, this narcissist had managed to make sure that he felt completely isolated, alone, and humiliated in his workplace every day. The environment eventually became so toxic that my client moved on to a new company – and thankfully, he got divorced (and eventually moved on with a much healthier girlfriend).
In all three of those cases, there’s a similarity – and I’m not talking about the obvious one (the humiliation factor). I’m talking about the fact that none of these people recognized at first that they were even being abused – or at least, they couldn’t admit it.
So let’s talk about that.
The Humiliation Factor: No One Wants to Admit They’re Accepting the Abuse
So, how can you possibly “miss” the fact that you’re being abused?
The problem with abuse is that most relationships don’t begin with abuse. Instead, there are subtle shifts along the way, silent reprogramming until the abuser feels confident that they can control the relationship.
In most cases, by the time the abuse becomes recognizable, the victim has been so brainwashed that she or he (men can also be victims of abusive relationships) doesn’t recognize the actions as abuse and actually takes the blame for his or her predicament.
Victims often can’t be convinced that they’re experiencing abuse. They’re so busy justifying the behavior of the abuser that they don’t see it for what it is.
In many cases, the simple answer is that it’s hard to admit you’ve allowed this to happen. But if you recognize some of the following patterns in your own relationship, it’s quite possible that you are in fact, a victim of abuse.