I am here to shed some light on C-PTSD with Narcissistic Abuse. I hope it helps one person to feel like they are NOT ALONE.
the classic bs
I am writing this for the person that needs this the most, myself. There aren't many sources online about C-PTSD and the connection with domestic abuse, as the scientific community is just now acknowledging the existence of C-PTSD. This acronym stands for Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it works the same way as PTSD.
What makes it tricky, is the reaction to the everyday sounds and sights that accompany life. We know that going into a war zone can cause mental health issues that spill over into our physical lives. We see that when we are around somebody who has returned from serving overseas. For example, the loud sounds from fireworks can trigger tons of people into their body's response to the noise. This is where it differs.
Imagine being triggered by the things you deal with daily, breaking down because of something you deem to be trivial. The phone goes off, and you jump out of your skin.
You hear a truck that sounds like "the truck" of the person who hurts you, and your body starts shaking, your heart starts racing. All you can do is cry because you are scared, and then you cry because you feel ridiculous. Your memory is gone. You cannot focus the same way you once did. You find it hard to live daily, without your brain resorting to its "Flight or Fight" response. It is doing what it is required to do to help you, however, in this circumstance, it seems to be hurting you more than it is helping.
Nobody understands who you are anymore. Hell, you don't even know who you are anymore. The other party has drained you of all energy to defend yourself, because your body is tired from dealing with the mode it has to be in. It is walking on eggshells every day, all day. It is easy enough to stay away from the things that remind you of war, how do you do that with things that make up your daily life?
This is not written to diminish the importance of regular PTSD, on the contrary, it should bring more awareness to the complexity of this disorder, from different perspectives.
I was hit and isolated, gaslit, and pretty much discarded by a narcissist. I loved him. Why? That is the million dollar question.
In the beginning, the narcissist becomes everything you want them to be, in order to reel you in. By the time you know what is going on, you're invested. It took about 3.5 years for me to realize what was going on. I was completely dumbfounded that I could be tricked. Then, I stayed hoping things would change. I had already spent so much time and effort trying to make this work, that I could not allow myself to give up without giving 100%. I felt if I did it this way, and the relationship failed, I would have no regrets. I could honestly say at that point I did all I could do, and that would keep me from the "What If's?" that could come down the road.
In reality, I had a deep-seeded issue of my own that needed to be addressed. Had I done that, I would have seen things for what they were at that time, and I would not have spent another 4 years trying to fix a doomed relationship. Once I figured out the phases to narcissistic abuse, I could easily see them playing out in my life. I could pick what game he would play next to hurt me, or how he wanted to bash my name for no reason. The pain of him actually doing it, never stopped though.
Truth be told, I loved this man more than I loved myself (obviously)...and I stayed against my own wellbeing. I kept holding out hope that we could get back to what we used to be. One day it hit me, what the hell did we used to be though? If it was a lie, who was he in the beginning? And was that a facade? If so, was our whole existence together a lie? That is a very hard pill to swallow. What was real and what was a part of the ego boost? Did he ever care? Could he even care in the capacity I needed to feel better? And if he could, would I be important enough for him to try?
The fighting escalated, the lies and cheating did too. And I honestly do not know to this day how much I wasn't told. Not that it matters now, but it mattered so much at one time or another. I love unconditionally, and it sucks to be that way sometimes. He knew I had abandonment issues, and he played on that. Those issues are something that I have since began to work with, and I am trying to build by memory back up somehow. I saw the decline, and I was even in denial about forgetting things. I used to pride myself on my fantastic memory, now I feel like that has been taken from me too.
Over the course of the years, I have lost everything. Even the relationship. (Which is a blessing in disguise). I chose to work on things with him so many times that people had to step away instead of watching me drink the poison. I cannot blame them now, because we all have a right to keep our own mental health at the forefront. At the time, I felt alone. I felt like my abandonment issues were slapping me in the face daily. I lost everyone that I cared about. I do not hold it against them, they simply did not understand how complicated and crazy this shit is.
We are groomed and it takes time to do that. Our reality will completely shift the deeper we fall into the rabbit hole. We cannot change others, we can only change what we allow. I had to learn that the hard way. Many physical altercations, and horrible name calling, things that have been said that cannot be unsaid....I live with that daily. I have physical symptoms that I wish I could reverse, including pain that will never leave me I'm sure.
I am dealing with it all. One step at a time. He is on to the next victim, using them for their money or ego boost. He is all for whatever makes him appear better off than what he was. I feel bad for her, because she is clueless as to what she is getting herself into. People like that won't change unless they want to change. Maybe he does, but then again, based on the deception I have already seen in their 4 month relationship...shit will hit the fan eventually. I will not be the backup plan for this dude. I will not go back to this unhealthy heartache.
I love myself more than that. Him cheating on me and leaving me, then running my name into the dirt as if I did anything wrong, is just the classic MO of the narcissist. I tell myself daily that I am worth better than that, and yes it hurts to be rejected, but it is okay to feel that pain. That is a completely normal human reaction to any situation where rejection is prevalent. I am working through my demons. I am going to survive one way or another. My whole life came shattering down in an instant, the moment he decided to love somebody else more than me. I am tired of not being good enough, but I do know that he has preconditioned me to feel this way, to a certain degree. The rest is on me, and is my fault. I cannot let him have power over my life anymore. He controlled it long enough.
For anybody out there who has ever felt this way, or has dealt with abuse (of all kinds) at the hands of somebody who says they love you....I am here. Please reach out. You are not alone and the more we put this out into the public, the better off it will be for the victims of this screwed up scenario. It will be a long road, but you do not have to walk it alone. You will have to rewire your brain to feel assured in all moments, so you do not become triggered by somebody yelling, or by certain words, or sounds. It can be done.
It will not be easy, but something tells me, you are not one to take the easy way out huh? We never are. God gave us this battle because He knew we could overcome it, and then show others how to do it too. It is a blessing and a curse. God has us. He will not bring you this far to let you do everything else alone. I offer what I could not find other places, a safe place of understanding.
We quite literally just want validation for all the crap we endured, instead of being told it never happened. We want somebody to know we went through all this shit for a reason. This is my reason. I want to be a light for others, and by doing that, it is helping me as well.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Bri Smith