Overcoming PTSD after Narcissistic Abuse
Being in a relationship with a toxic partner can be traumatic.
Whether your partner is a narcissist or has other traits which make them toxic, being with them can have extremely detrimental effects on your mental wellbeing. Those who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) have an inflated sense of their importance and lack empathy. Due to their lack of empathy, they often lie, manipulate, and use control strategies to get what they want. Unsurprisingly, this means that their partners are often subject to thought-control tactics and constant abuse. Those who are in relationships with narcissists and experience their abuse may often feel afraid, uneasy, and insecure. Moreover, their confidence tends to gradually diminish until one day, they realize that they no longer have faith in themselves and their abilities.
The gravity of the trauma becomes evident once the relationship is over.
Many victims of narcissistic abuse realize that they have, in fact, been abused after the relationship dissolves. It is only once their partner is no longer in their life that they can see the negative effect which they previously had on them. Naturally, the realization that you have been abused by the one person you trusted most can be devastating. Many begin to blame themselves as they wonder how they did not see it earlier and why they even let it happen. It is not surprising that after months or years of torment, neglect, and abuse, one can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The symptoms of PTSD which narcissistic abuse can bring about are:
- Feeling lost, confused, and stuck.
- Feeling hyperaroused; this means feeling jumpy, afraid, overwhelmed, anxious, and having obsessive or racing thoughts among others.
- Feeling guilt and shame.
- Feeling unable to control your emotions.
- Developing physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pains, stomach aches, nausea, IBS, etc.
- Developing self-destructive tendencies and coping strategies: self-harm, eating disorders, etc.
- Having nightmares, reliving events, and having flashbacks.
- Having suicidal thoughts.
You CAN overcome these feelings.
It is absolutely possible to heal. Of course, healing will take time and things may become harder before they get better. However, there is no denying that, no matter how long or painful, the journey will be worth it. In the end, you can come out stronger and better than ever before. The most important step to healing is first being kind to yourself and acknowledging that you are not to blame for what has happened. Furthermore, while many people refuse to seek help and believe that they can handle their feelings on their own, it is highly recommended to speak to a therapist. This is especially true for those who may be having suicidal thoughts or fantasies. Remember that you are never alone and that there will always be someone who can lend a helping hand. Reach out, speak up, and remember that you are not to blame for the abuse.