Surviving Sexual and Psychological Abuse: My Story

Surviving Sexual and Psychological Abuse: My Story

Editor’s note: Trigger Warning: This powerful true story of surviving narcissistic abuse and sexual abuse may trigger negative emotions and other issues for you. Please don’t read it unless you feel strong enough to do so.

This is my story of how I survived narcissistic abuse and sexual abuse. Usually, I feel like no one can relate to my life, everything that happened is just way too “extreme.” That was until I discovered the SPANily. Now, I’m sharing my story because I want other survivors to know they aren’t alone.

I grew up in a very sheltered environment. On the outside, my family looked great, and was very respected in our small community.

It’s only now, years after I left them and moved across the country, that I was finally able to open up the huge can of worms that was my past, and face the reality of what happened to me.

My father molested and raped me regularly. My grandfather also did. I was punished if I reacted in any way to their abuse.

Once, I threw up after my father abused me with oral sex. He got so angry because maybe my mother would realize something from seeing or smelling the vomit. I’ll spare you the gory details and just say that he punished me by trying to rape me until I bled. I was 6 years old. This is just one example.

But it wasn’t uncommon: everything my father did, he always blamed on me.

Either it was a punishment, or he would somehow imply that I owed it to him to “cooperate.”

Or he would say, “I know you want this. I know who you REALLY are. But don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”

He would slyly imply that this was the only way to “be good,” or to appreciate him. Often he would do something good for me, and then it was “expected” of me to at least listen to him, no?

Even now it is hard for me to say what it was he was doing to my mind. All I know is that he was smart and sly, and he had my entire being wrapped around his finger. He played with my feelings, my physical sensations, and private things I told him.

Everything was twisted around and used against me.

Being sad in our house was never allowed. He would make us dance and sing even when we didn’t want to. He had this unspoken rule that you are never allowed to be sad, and definitely never allowed to be angry. I lived in terror of anyone finding out my secret, and I learned to dissociate and forget it all myself, in order to survive.

After I moved away, I slowly started realizing how controlling and manipulative my father was. I could not place what it was he was doing! I started feeling awful every time I spoke to him or to my mother.

I started realizing that he was a tricky slippery person. I wished I could just break off contact, I dreamed of it because I was finally realizing how low and horrible he always made me feel.

I reached a point where I finally had the support I needed to remember the stories of abuse. As it started coming back to me, I was filled with such a strong fury. It was like a huge tsunami, powerful and uncontrollable.

It was at this point that I finally broke off all contact with my toxic family. It was hard, but that anger of realizing what he did to me gave me the strength I never could have had otherwise. I was remembering extremely graphic and horrible things, and as I did, I finally gave myself permission to trust my own inner voice and follow my heart.

I started getting rid of everything I owned that was from my former life or my former family. This clean slate enabled me to go further into my past.

Step by step.

I uncovered my mother’s role in it, then the fact that my father would bring other people to abuse me… I realized that my brain has this amazing ability to heal, even the most horrfic and deep wounds.

I saw that my mind knew how to do this, and that my heart was able to guide me as to what step to take next on my healing journey, if only I would be courageous enough to listen to it.

Finally, I was in control of my life, I was free from my family’s toxic hold on me. As I started healing I grew more confident in my own body and mind, and now I am continuing to build myself anew, one step at a time. I feel better than I ever did. I am learning what it means to live a normal healthy life and I am loving every new part of it that I uncover.

When you survive hell, and come out, you are strong and also you’re able to appreciate and enjoy life in a deep and meaningful way that I think only a survivor can enjoy. Sometimes when I do something for myself, I feel as excited as a six year old, like I am experiencing the joys I missed out on as a child.

Life is so bright on the other side and it IS POSSIBLE TO GET THERE! YES FOR YOU also! Don’t take my word for it – don’t give up and you will see for yourself.

Finding Angie’s videos, and this site was exciting for me, because I was finally able to have some sort of place to put my father. He checks off every box on the list of narcissistic characteristics. I connected to everything about what Angie calls Narcissistic Abuse Rehab.

To those of you out there who are here, like me, with the courage to face your pasts and heal, my message to you is: please take a good deep look inside of yourself. Don’t be scared to listen to that niggling deep down voice in your heart. Follow what you know is true, with courage. Don’t let anyone stop you. It is SO WORTH THE FIGHT!

Want to share your narcissistic abuse survivor story? Here’s how you do it. 

What to Do When Your Loved One is Suffering

What to Do When Your Loved One is Suffering

Whether your loved one is dealing with an abusive relationship – or an illness, addiction, career change, or other serious issues, it’s hard to watch them suffer. You want to wave a magic wand that makes them happy and solves their issues. However, you don’t have a magic wand. So what can you do?

When your loved one is struggling, you can help in several ways:

1. Avoid letting your fear take over. You may be incredibly worried and concerned, but fear can make things more difficult. It can cloud your judgment and make you choose the wrong path to help those you care about. Ensure that fear isn’t affecting your decisions.

2. Listen to their wishes. Your loved ones may want to talk about big decisions. It’s important to refrain from interrupting them or stop the conversation. As their support system, one of the best things you can do is to listen and pay attention to what they want to say.

  • They may say things that are hard to hear. They may discuss how they want to handle their illness or addiction. They may talk about relocating for a new job or trying a different career path.
  • Avoid the impulse to judge, criticize, or argue. Your loved ones need to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you. You may be the only support they have right now.

3. Recognize that you can’t fix everything. It’s tempting to rush around and try to end their suffering, but it’s not possible for you to fix everything in someone else’s life.

  • Accept the limitations and try to make the best of the situation. Understand that sometimes your loved one needs to be in charge and make their own decisions.

4. Ask for help. You don’t have to do everything alone. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Many times, it takes great strength to ask for help.

  • You may be using a great deal of energy to help your loved one. To be at your best, take time to take care of yourself, too. If you’re sick, worn out or tired, then you can’t be an effective helper.
  • Reach out to others to grow your network of support so you can get help when it’s necessary.

5. Be careful how you try to cheer them up. One of your natural responses may be to try to cheer up your loved one. However, this may not work out well. Be sensitive to their emotions.

  • If you try to show them pictures or videos of happier times, they may become sadder.
  • If you try to invite friends over and throw a party, they may feel uncomfortable and out of place.
  • Even comfort food may not be effective in cheering them up. They may be on a special diet or have difficulty eating. Your cooking efforts may be wasted, and you may end up resenting the time you spend making special dishes.
  •  Before you jump in and try to cheer up others, stop and think about how they really feel.

You can reduce the suffering of your loved one. You have the power and the ability to lighten their burden. Try these techniques to help you both get through this challenging time.

Free Weekend Reads to Make Your Life Better

Free Weekend Reads to Make Your Life Better

This is a list of currently free  (but not always free!) books you might like to grab and read this weekend. 

Free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Books

Other Free Self-Help Books for Weekend Reading

Useful Links:

30-Day Too Blessed to Be Stressed Challenge: Reduce Stress & Find Peace with Me

30-Day Too Blessed to Be Stressed Challenge: Reduce Stress & Find Peace with Me

Join me in the brand-new 30-Day TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED Challenge!

When you join the challenge, you’ll get a daily dose of inner-peace-packed content from Angie Atkinson, certified life coach and narcissistic abuse recovery expert.

That means that over the course of the coming month, you’ll be learning new things and new ways to handle relaxing and reducing stress.

In addition to the abuse you’ve suffered, you’re dealing with the hot mess that our society likes to call a “life” – and boy, life is really overwhelming these days, right?

The fact is that we live in such a busy world where we’re always reachable, constantly bombarded with news updates, email alerts, and of course advertisements. Social media puts us under a lot of pressure to document the perfect life, and in between all that we’re juggling family and career, while paying off student debt and a large mortgage.

It’s really no wonder we’re more stressed than ever and stress related illnesses are on the rise.

It’s high time to relax more and take a more active approach to stress reduction – and you MUST do it before it kills you, my friend.
 
I invite you to do just that right along with me over the course of the next 30 days. Each day I’ll have a new tip or idea to share with you on the topic.
 
To make sure you don’t miss a thing, sign up here and subscribe to Angie’s YouTube channel.
 
UPDATED: 71+ Best Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Books (According to 143k Survivors)

UPDATED: 71+ Best Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Books (According to 143k Survivors)

Updated January 25, 2021

I present to you the ultimate list of best, most-effective narcissistic abuse recovery books out there, according to our surveys of more than 133,000 survivors of narcissistic abuse.

The Best Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Books, According to 143k Survivors

To find the right book for you, click on the appropriate toggle buttons below.

Want us to add your favorite narcissistic abuse recovery book? Contact us here.

Did your favorites make the list?

If not, leave them in the comments below – let’s make this post a comprehensive resource for our fellow survivors of narcissistic abuse!

These are THE best books on narcissistic abuse recovery.

PLEASE help me make this a comprehensive resource by sharing the names of your favorite books on narcissistic abuse recovery in the comments section.

I’m always looking for ways to help my fellow narcissistic abuse survivors, and part of the way that I do that is with this website (and a few others), my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery YouTube channel, my books, and of course my coaching. But another part of my mission includes gathering up resources that will help you – whether I created them or not.

That’s I asked the members of my SPAN (Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships) Support Group (it’s free, confidential and another part of my mission), I asked the SPANily to help me out – by sharing the titles of the most helpful books they’ve read on narcissistic abuse recovery, whether they were mine or not. And boy, did they deliver!

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Not all abuse involves narcissists, but in a large percentage of abuse cases, a narcissist is involved. Narcissists of the toxic nature are those who have little to no empathy for the people around them and who act from that perspective. That is: they don’t care how you or anyone else feels, and you can tell because of the way they treat the people around them. Narcissistic abuse involves subtle manipulation, pervasive control tactics, gaslighting, and emotional and psychological abuse.  Many narcissistic abusers might be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder – if they actually go to a psychologist for diagnosis, but this rarely happens as narcissists don’t feel that there’s anything with them. They may be overtly narcissistic, or they may be more of a covert narcissist. In either case, anyone in a close relationship with one of these toxic people will be used as a form of narcissistic supply and not treated like an actual person. Sadly, even the most intelligent and educated people can be manipulated and abused by a narcissist.

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