Being in a relationship with a narcissist is confusing and can completely change the way you feel, think or believe things about yourself for a reason. They are constantly manipulating! There are many forms of abuse and manipulation in the narcissists repertoire of toxic behavior, the following video gives a brief description of 6 of these. Understanding the ways you are being manipulated can help you to see the situation for what it is and the narcissist for who they are. If breaking trauma bonds is the goal, understanding and acceptance that the abuse is real is one thing needed to help you get there. What are some ways you feel you have been manipulated by a narcissist?
Check out other videos for more information on any of the 6 ways a narcissist manipulates at Narcissistic Abuse Recovery by QueenBeeing.com.
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery by QueenBeeing.com offers free video coaching each week on YouTube on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays along with videos and help on recovery from toxic relationships. Featuring certified life coach Lise Colucci and supported by QueenBeeing founder and certified life coach Angie Atkinson.
If you are looking for an affordable way to get ongoing personalized support as well as peer support and validation in a small group setting join our private coaching group https://lifemakeoveracademy.teachable…
What do narcissists want in a partner? What traits do narcissists appreciate in their targets? Dana Morningstar from Thrive After Abuse and I covered these points and more during our recent discussion on the characteristics of narcissists and what narcissists look for in a victim.
“We all come from dysfunctional families. The issue is not whether our family was dysfunctional but whether we can put meaning to the experience of our lives.” ~ Stephen Porges, author of the Polyvagal Theory
I had a narcissistic abuse recovery counseling client who was really struggling with deep childhood trauma combined with a psychopathic ex who had horribly abused her since she was a teen. Now that she was free, she was feeling anything BUT. In fact, she felt frozen in fear, nearly all the time.
Are you living in a constant state of fear?
Can you relate to living in a constant state of fight or flight, or worse, freeze? That was this woman’s reality. She had tried traditional therapy and spent thousands of dollars on various doctors, practitioners, and even alternative medicine. Yet, she was still at a complete standstill in her recovery and she still felt fearful and miserable every day. I deeply felt for her, and I really wanted to help. So, I started digging to help her find a solution to overcome her C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms so she could heal.
That is what led me to Dr. Stephen Porges and his Polyvagal Theory. My client found significant relief, and I learned new ways to help people in narcissistic abuse recovery.
What is Polyvagal Theory?
According to Porges, “The polyvagal theory describes an autonomic nervous system that is influenced by the central nervous system, sensitive to afferent influences, characterized by an adaptive reactivity dependent on the phylogeny of the neural circuits, and interactive with source nuclei in the brainstem regulating the striated muscles of the face and head.” Read more about Polyvagal Theory in Porges’ 2009 paper, here.
In this brief video, Dr. Stephen Porges explains offers an explanation of his Polyvagal Theory and how it works.
How can we use Polyvagal Theory and vagus nerve stimulation to help us heal from narcissistic abuse and trauma?
Going through a toxic relationship often leaves victims feeling fearful to a debilitating level. For most of us, it affects our nervous system in profound ways. In some cases, survivors find themselves living in a constant state of anxiety based on the feeling that they need to be constantly on guard – hypervigilance. This makes it almost impossible for them to relax or even to feel “normal.” They feel FROZEN or STUCK.
Through the use of vagus nerve stimulation as described by Dr. Porges in Polyvagal Theory, many survivors find relief of their C-PTSD symptoms. Even better, these exercises can be done by almost anyone from the comfort of their own home – or anywhere they happen to be.
Self-Help Exercises for CPTSD Symptoms Based on Polyvagal Theory
In THIS VIDEO, I talk about a theory developed by Dr. Stephen Porges that could change the way we heal trauma, and once I’ve given you a brief overview of the theory, I’m going to share some self-help exercises that you can do at home to help you get through the hard times.
As I mentioned, one of my clients found herself stuck, afraid and feeling frozen, and she had tried everything but struggled to find relief. After discovering what I’m going to show you today, she began to find some relief. As I learned more about the theory, I shared some of its ideas with other clients in similar situations.
In the majority of these cases, they were able to find some relief all on their own by doing surprisingly simple at-home exercises. Several reported that they felt these simple exercises made a significant difference in their ability to feel safe enough to recover.
The Role of the Vagus Nerve in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Porges proposes in his polyvagal theory that the vagus nerve has more function than previously thought and that the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems are only part of the equation in how people react to the environment and trauma. Because the theory is very complicated, I’m only providing a very high-level overview and focus on the parts that will specifically help us as survivors. The Polyvagal Theory says that the parasympathetic nervous system is not only associated with relaxation but also symptoms of PTSD.
Porges developed the theory to help us understand this dual function of the parasympathetic nervous system. It points to a human survival mechanism in which the parasympathetic nervous system leads us to FREEZE or “faint” in the face of a life-threatening event. Most importantly, the polyvagal theory teaches you to engage your social nervous system to consciously slow down your defensive system.
This allows you to finally find freedom from CPTSD symptoms and to feel safe. In other words, Porges’s theory makes us look beyond the effects of fight or flight and put social relationships in the forefront so we can understand our symptoms better.
Additional Resources for Learning About Polyvagal Theory
The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” ~Virginia Satir
After you go through a toxic relationship with a narcissist, you are very likely to have an impaired ability to see yourself clearly. Thanks to months, years or even decades of conditioning, you probably have a very damaged self-perception. But it’s time for you to take another look at your amazing self and see the truth.
You’re much better than you’ve been giving yourself credit for – and it’s time you recognize, accept and embrace your greatness. Stick with me – let’s work together to change your self-perception, one baby-step at a time. I promise you, this will change everything.
How To Change Your Self Perception (After a Toxic Relationship)
Well..this one’s for you! This videocontains 7 powerful tips and techniques on how to change your self-perception after a toxic relationship.
1. Your previous beliefs and knowledge can prevent you from gaining new knowledge. If you think you know something already, you won’t be open to new views. Knowledge is great, but when it gets in the way of learning something new, it’s poison.
2. Ask more questions. Be curious.
3. Pretend that you’re a beginner.
4. Determine if your beliefs are truths, or merely just beliefs. Beliefs are personal, often unprovable, and often no more correct than another belief. Truths don’t require constant validation. For example, gravity is a truth.
5. Where did your belief come from?
6. Let go of your identity. Our identities are largely built around our beliefs.
7. What is the cost of your beliefs? Some beliefs come with a heavy price. Look at your beliefs and consider the impact they are having on you.
Are you living in clutter? One of the least-discussed symptoms of CPTSD as a result of a toxic relationship with a narcissist is the way you keep your space – your home and/or office. This can take one of two forms: extreme organization and obsessively clean – or cluttered and disorganized. In both cases, there parallels we can draw to our pasts and our toxic relationships.
But when survivors are obsessively clean and organized, most people won’t see this as a negative issue (unless it gets to the point of OCD, but that is another video). Today, though, we are going to discuss clutter and how it is often a symptom of CPTSD, as well as some solutions you can try to resolve this in your own life.
I remember seeing this episode of Oprah years ago where she talked about how your home is an external representation of your mind and your soul – this really struck home with me because there I was, living in a cluttered mess. And when I thought about it, I realized that she was right – something in me had been broken and it left me flailing. I didn’t know how to get out from under it, and every time I even considered trying, I would walk in, take one look and then turn around and walk out.
Here is the thing.
When we are in a toxic relationship, we have no control. Whether the narcissist dictates our cleaning schedule (like my first narcissist did) or they make us feel out of control in other ways (like my ex-husband did), we often find ourselves feeling stuck, lethargic or just plain exhausted during and after these relationships. We keep things for sentimental reasons, for example, or we keep them because we think we will use them one day. We might keep stuff because it helps us feel secure or in control in some way.
Some of us even have “organized clutter” – tons of boxes and bins, all labeled properly and stacked neatly – none of which we will ever use or need.
But in any case, we can look at clutter like extra weight in our lives – it’s overwhelming and feels impossible to drop, but when we begin to take one baby step at a time, we can drop both the weight and the clutter. (Often when we get control of the clutter, we also figure out how to get control of our weight).
The solution isn’t going to happen overnight but there are things we can do to change our ways for the better and improve our lives.
You already know that clutter can make you feel stressed and leave you less free time to enjoy your life. We know it can ruin our social lives and cause tons of other issues. But did you know that simple mindfulness can quickly allow you to cut through the clutter (even more than cleaning)?
Why We Can’t Let Go of Our Stuff
Most people hold on to clutter because they assign the possession some kind of emotional significance. For example, a broken toy might still be in the closet because it was the last toy that a loved one gave a person before they passed away. So the owner of the wagon associates the love with the wagon.
One of the reasons that so many people struggle to get rid of things, both physical and emotional, is because the decluttering process can be painful and overwhelming – especially when you look at it as a whole.
The Key to Letting Go and Decluttering After a Toxic Relationship
Mindfulness can help you get rid of clutter because it allows you to maintain your focus on one area or one issue at a time that needs to be dealt with. You’ll be able to simplify your life, keep what needs to be kept and let go of what you need to be free from.
Focus only on what truly matters to you. By using mindfulness to help you clear out the clutter, you’ll get rid of stress, too. The things we keep and the emotions we won’t let go of can be reminders of what was.
You might think that if you don’t address them, then you don’t have to deal with these things. But clutter hovers and you sense it in your subconscious. When you let mindfulness help you declutter your life, you’ll be able to maintain a better ability to focus in all areas of your life.
You’ll feel better emotionally when you let go of things. You’ll also be able to find things when you need them instead of searching and getting stressed when you can’t find something.
Plus, you won’t spend as much money buying things that you forgot that you already had. A big benefit of using mindfulness to let go of the clutter is that it does more than give you more room in your home or in your office.
It allows you to let go of the mental and emotional clutter so that you’re able to have more improved mindfulness, too. For the best results, go through every area of your life one portion at a time and clear out the clutter.
Practical Solutions for Decluttering After Narcissistic Abuse
1. Get some help! If you can afford it, pay someone to come over and help you get things organized. Or recruit your kids. Or offer to help a friend declutter their home and in return, ask them to help you declutter yours. It can be very overwhelming and sometimes just having a second set of hands makes all the difference.
2. Take baby steps. I have a free 30-day decluttering program over at Life Makeover Academy – go check that out and sign up. You don’t have to do it all in 30 days – but if you take the time to work through the steps when you can, your home will be decluttered by the end of the program.
3. If you’ve always found it too difficult because you think the task is too big, give yourself fifteen minutes a day to focus on the clutter. When you break a task down, you’ll find that it’s easier to do.