Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse, is slow and painful.

40 Comments

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Narcissists thrive only for themselves. They are completely self motivated, feel entitled to everything they want to do, have no compassion and no remorse. They lack empathy completely.

Narcissists and sociopaths, operate in similar ways.

They use you as prey.

They get close to you, build up your trust, mimic your emotions, take full advantage of your vulnerability, get you on your own, build a relationship where you begin to need them and depend on them.

They groom you and are highly clever at this.

They are emotional vampires, and narcissists are dangerous, abusive people.

Then once they are done with you, or you leave them, it all changes.

The narcissists worst nightmare is being exposed.

They will resist this at all costs, lie, deceive, deny and manipulate those around them, they will act outraged at what you are doing to ‘them’ and if all else fails, will manipulate those around them into believing they are the victim.

Not once in all of this, do they actually care about their ‘supply’.

All the fake emotions they have shown, all the words they used to ‘reel you in’, all the ‘I love you’s’ and ‘I care deeply about you’ and ‘I want to help you’s’ , were all fake, they didn’t mean a word of it.

Once exposed, you see their real motives and their real feelings about you.

Then, they are hot on the pursuit of ensuring no-one believes their ‘supply’ and will set out with the help of their supporters, to make you seem crazy, or a liar, or evil.

All along, they have no concept of the fact that they have ripped your heart out, stomped all over it and the pain you are left in.

They have no empathy for the hurt they caused, just a complete sense of entitlement, complete lack of insight, complete lack of courage to face what they have done.

And complete lack of love, care, compassion or empathy.

It takes a long time to recover from narcissistic abuse and it’s so hard for many victims to just watch them carry on enjoying their lives, whilst the victim grieves, is confused, is hurt and cannot understand how they can do this, after all they had said and done.

It’s so hard for victims to understand how they were not loved at all, just used and abused, chewed up and then spat back out of the devils mouth and left to deal with all the hurt and pain and deal with others who now believe a whole pack of lies too.

Recovery is slow and painful, especially when it is multiple narc/sociopath abusers and especially when the abuse is still raw.

Recovery includes grieving, twice.

1. Grieving the person you thought they were who you loved and believed loved you too, and then..
2. Grieving the real person they are, the narc, who never cared and used you as supply, with no remorse.

Matt 7:6 Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

I will never forget this verse.

At the moment, I won’t be giving any of my pearls to anyone. My heart, my vulnerability, my past, my tears, my trust.

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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. With my strengthening relationship with God, my wonderful husband, my highly experienced therapy team and my friends, I am on my journey to recovery, after decades of abuse. I am truly blessed.

40 thoughts on “Recovery from narcissistic abuse, is slow and painful.

  1. I totally relate! It’s as if you just described my husband & my experience this past year to a T!

  2. On New Years Eve (2013) when my husband treated me as a piece of garbage in front of his friends, while we were on holiday in the mountains with no means of living from there and I had to apologize to him,I had a shock ( I saw his hate for me, i thought that he loved me) and I new that something was terrible wrong, but I blamed myself, I felt broken and I got into a depression, I just wanted to die, I couldn’t see a way out, how horrible I am that the only person left in my life hates me ( After being married for 5 and1/2 years with him, I got no more friends).
    I realized that my husband is a narcissist, only in March as I did a course about abuse and more as I researched about the disorder, all made sense, all the lies. The way to recovering, I think that was the hardest thing that I have done in my life. Is November, 2013 and I feel free, my sadness had disappeared, I love life again and I ‘ve learned a lot about myself, I came to terms with the abuse suffered in childhood and the fact that the narcissist did this to me and I praised him for that because I was still that child that couldn’t escape and believed that the adults are good and if I will be good that will treat me nice.
    From all the pieces, I build a stronger me and next step is my divorce, but I know that I will win officially ( in my mind I am already divorced).
    Good luck to all that are dealing with this devil in human form, there is light after this and you can do it.

    • Good for you. It inspires me. I left one after only a year together. Hating me and coming to the point of wanting to die made me realize he did not love me in any shape or form and it was all just lies to have me support his kids and his hidden cocaine habit. I am 5 months free. Found work and am still finding myself. I cut all contact with him and refused to allow him to continue to hurt me. Regaining trusting myself has been the hardest as I fell for him hook line and sinker. All fake on his part… Thank God for miracles of life after abuse !!

    • Good on you hun, this really inspires me too. I have suffered from narc abuse my whole life from my mother and multiple narc men and woman who have come in my life. I have attracted them all as a co-dependant. Now I am finally aware of this vicious pattern in my life and here I am picking up the pieces of my broken self. I am taking steps to heal, I have decided to leave my mother and live on my own which took a year and half of yelling and fighting to achieve, I am seperating myself completely and taking time to heal from all the trauma. I wish you the best of luck with your recovery, I hope we all get to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • I liked what you had to say, except the “in my mind, I am already divorced” part, because that’s what my ex-narc had said to his next target, long before we were divorced and during the time that he had given me and my pastor the impression that he was also doing individual counseling…neat ex use for someone incapable of looking at himself or.of.being accountable or keeping to his marriage vows…

    • Thank you, I am five months out of the relationship and am still in so much pain , but you give me hope…

  3. Reblogged this on Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD and commented:

    This is one of my most popular posts, so I will re- blog it again.

  4. Hah! Just googled my own tag line from my own blog, and landed here.

    Thank you so much for being yet another brave person to get the information out.

  5. Totally relate to this. I’ve been “recovering” for a year now. I’m proud of myself for taking back control of my life and for coming as far as I have. I left the home we built together with only my clothes. The rest of it- he could have, but he was no longer having me and that’s all that mattered.

    I’ve come a long way. Moved to a new town and have built a completely different life. I lost a lot a long the way, but it’s so trivial compared to what I gained- myself and my freedom. Although it’s been a year, I’m still on the same page as you. My heart, my vulnerability, my past, my tears, my trust-they’re all for me and no one else.

    Thanks for this post!! :)

    • How do you break away?? It’s a Living nightmare. He’s a control freak, manipulative, vindictive, completely mentally abusive and an alcoholic. But…..outside these walls everyone thinks he’s fun go lucky. He prides himself on being “truthful” and blunt but he distorts the truth of actual events and happenings. He’s already told me just last week if I EVER leave him again I’ve never seen crazy like I will(acting like he was “joking” but the look in his eyes said differently)…i replied if I did you’d never see me again. To which he said Id find you no matter what!

  6. I can totally relate to this!It took me 12 years to find the strength to leave.Its now been 2 years but he is still trying to control me.I got a DVO,Consent Orders drawn up for Access to 2 of the kids,oldest hates him and refuses to see him.Then I got CSA to collect the payts so I didn’t have to deal with him as constant threats to not pay if I went against his decisions.Now,any chance he can,he is still verbally abusing me and. Having a go at anything I do regarding the kids without consulting him.Last week,I have put my Autistic child on additional meds to help with the behaviours.He went mental,screaming and swearing that any decision has to be agreed by him,threatened to take me to Court cos I am not complying with the Court Order,suggested that I re-read them cos I am obviously too stupid! I could not get a word in until the end when I yelled ‘take me to f……..Court then’ and hung up!I looked up and realised 2 of my kids were standing there,oops!sorry,then we all laughed. :) If they hadn’t been there,I would have been very upset or angry all night and that’s what he wants,the reaction and then knowing how he has made me feel.I am now seeing a Counsellor to help me with strategies and noting it down each time he does this to eventually go back to Court and amend DVO and reduce or remove Access.The latest wasn’t about my child’s meds cos he doesn’t care,it was something else for him to use to control me again.I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that I had him removed so me and my kids could get away from the Domestic Abuse.In his head he still has every right to abuse me or the kids cos he always said he didn’t have anger issues,there was nothing wrong with him,it was me and the kids!Oh dear!

  7. Can you remove my surname please.

  8. Sandra, I have removed your surname. I am so sorry you have been through abuse from a narc and have children being affected by his abuse too. They are highly manipulative and highly abusive. You are very strong! <3

    • Thank you.I put my post up to hopefully try and warn others who are in a similiar situation to get out if they can for the sake of your sanity and for your kids.They don’t deserve to live in a situation where he goes into a total rage cos there is Lego on the floor etc I was making arrangements for my kids to get counselling,Carers for my Autistic son but forgot about me!The Counsellor made me realise that everything he has a go at me about is not about my sons meds or that I didn’t pack enough clothes it’s just that now he has lost the immediate control over me he will do everything possible to discredit me and regain some of the control! X

  9. Pingback: Recovery from narcissistic abuse, is slow and painful. | ~ListeningHeart Kim~

  10. i have just “escaped” a very violent, controlling, manipulating, lying, cheating monster. i have had four days being in a safe place but as more and more friends and family members find out about all the horrible, venomous, vile things he did to me over the years, many ask me “why did you stay” … well, i don’t know why i stayed – that’s what echoes over and over in my mind. i know that my body and spirit and heart will heal but as more time i sit alone with my thoughts and remember all the times i made excuses for the bruises or the lack of communication with friends/family (on and on as you can imagine – even a broken tail bone once from being thrown down so hard) – how can i get back into normal life calming the voices in my own head but handling the “whispers” and questions from everyone else? why would he lie to me? why did he tell me he loved me more than anything, that i was the most beautiful person in the world? why would he ask me to marry him (we dated and lived together for 3 years) and then hurt me? i even found out that when he told someone of the time he kicked me in the crotch (which lead to me not being able to walk for weeks) that he laughed!!! why would someone who says they love you so much hurt you so bad? we were only married for a few months and after our honeymoon (where he threatened me with a gun, locked me out of the hotel, called me a bitch in the middle of a store to name a few things) we get home and i very calmly say we need to talk about what happened. he didn’t know what i was referring to so i told him what he did and all he said was, “i was drunk” … no “i’m sorry, i’m an idiot, please forgive me” nothing … i took a deep breath and walked away. went outside to check the mail and there was a card with hearts all over from his ex girlfriend. i took it to him and said, “here’s a love letter to top our honeymoon”. after a few minutes, i asked if i may please read it – he said he flushed it down the toilet and that he wants a divorce! so not only did i suffer years and years of physical, emotional, verbal – cannot go anywhere, wear anything, talk to anyone abuse but i got the humiliation of him divorcing me …. he’s a liar, controller, abuser, cheater – he’s a monster. he broke my tail bone and didn’t even check on me for three days :(

    • Middlespace, They don’t make sense, try to not drive yourself crazy trying to make sense of it. I know how hard it is. I did 10 years with a narcissist/psychopath and left with my clothes, dog and $5. It has taken me 3 years to feel “normal” again. I don’t think anyone ever fully recovers, how can you when you slept with the devil?
      People don’t understand, we don’t understand why we stayed. The abuse is subtle at first, it is a slow insidious type of brainwashing, the same as what cult victims experience, or hostage victims, prisoners of war etc. There is a very clear set of steps taken when brainwashing someone, that occur over a long period of time. They know exactly when to give you a morsel of kindness to keep you hoping and trying. They use your own morality and loyalty, faithfulness, and guilt to manipulate you into believing if you do this or stop doing that, if you explain it in such a way he will understand that what he does hurts you. We live on hopes, prayers and promises and all we get back is lies, infidelity, and abuse.
      They are born with their brains wired differently than most people and it is a proven fact that they are incapable of feeling guilt, remorse, compassion or empathy. it is not even a choice, they do not feel it and they never will. Without guilt or empathy they are free to do whatever they want, take whatever they want when ever they want. We are disposable, when he is done with us or a new supply comes along he can toss us as easily as garbage because that is what we are to them. Why do they say they love us? Because they want something and the word love is a currency they use to get it.
      Your “friends” who don’t understand why you stayed are the reason why people have to speak out about domestic abuse; to dispel the myths and false judgments of society. You are not alone, there are many strong, attractive, intelligent women out there who have experienced the same things as you and they stayed because they loved the man they met, it was a facade but a well executed one. you had never been loved so completely, you could not believe your good fortune to meet such a wonderful man and then he changed over night and you have been trying to figure out what happened ever since. You were sure you could save the relationship if you could just figure out what went wrong. A few times you thought you had figured it out but nothing was ever good enough, not for long. But he kept you hopeful by giving you glimpses of the man you fell in love with every one in a while.
      Be prepared for him to do a curtain call. They often come back just when you think you are beginning to heal, just to see if they can suck you back in. They will cry real tears and admit to things you long ago gave up any hope of getting an apology for and they are so sorry and see everything they did wrong and you think he must mean it because why would he admit to things and apologize if he doesn’t mean it? He will do it just to see if he can and if you go back the abuse will be worse than ever before.
      Be patient with yourself, it takes a long time to get over narc abuse. Just know that it was not you, the new woman is no better and no different than you or the next woman or the woman before you. They love to triangulate women, get a couple fighting over them. The best thing you can do is stay no contact, don’t check his FB, change your phone number, don’t read any emails from him, tell friends you don’t want to hear what he is doing or saying. (Because he will be telling everyone that it is all your fault and you are a psycho bitch). Stay safe. There is light and life after the Narcissist………..I am shining it, can you see it?
      Hugs
      Carrie

      • Thankyou Carrie your well written article/words were my life raft this morning . Amazing insight and validation for me on so many levels. So so healing to read and take to heart. Nancy

      • Thank you for commenting. I’ve discovered it’s not me, it’s him!! He is a dangerous abuser and I’m not going crazy!
        Now I need to get away somehow. Your comment on the “curtain call” was a light bulb moment for me to get away or this cycle will never stop. Thank you again for your words.

  11. Thanks Carrie, I’m trying see the light. Sometimes it’s really hard.

  12. This describes a number of people I have had the misfortune to meet in my life. These sorts of repeated experiences can make you feel very low and feel like giving up on people and life. When you realise that people can be uncaring, selfish and out to do harm to others, it is very disheartening.

    Most recently, I met a man on a dating website who made me believe he loved me. He knew that I was vulnerable, due to having been abused as a child (physically, emotionally, sexually) and struggling with associated mental health issues. Nevertheless, he went ahead and callously played with my mind and my emotions. He broke down my barriers and won my trust, all with the sick ulterior motive of conning me out of a large sum of money, which he successfully did. I reported him to the police, but he has not been caught. He ran away with my money and did deep damage to my heart and mind. I leave him in God’s hands now.

    Thank you for sharing this. It helps. I realise that my parents were narcissists with sociopathic tendencies. My father is dead, but my mother lives on to continue to try to wreak havoc. I have gone no contact, but am still struggling to deal with the profound damage they have done to me.

  13. Pingback: Healing From Narcissist Abuse | Protective Mothers' Alliance International

  14. Reblogged this on Blog Of A Mad Black Woman and commented:
    I left my abusive husband, and believe me, he is trying his best to destroy me. He has told anyone who will listen, that I was the abusive one, not he and much more.

  15. I relate to a lot of what people here write. My ex has repeatedly tried to stop me from writing my blog, for example, telling me that I risk ruining his reputation if people know about what I write, and that it is more evil to write a blog about what he did to me than to do what he did to me (abuse, stealing, lying, discard, PTSD, economic ruin…), as PTSD and economy can be restored, but a reputation cannot be fixed. I find that so sick (and yes, he acknowledges that I write the truth about what he did, expect he says he is not a psychopath). He now says he will befriend psychopaths who live close to me, to make me never feel safe in my life again. It is sad and scary, and … well, psycho… but if we let these people get to us, we let them victimise us forever.

    Focus! Focus on what you want in life, what you need. Don’t focus on defending against his crazy words about you. Don’t focus on building a case against him. Don’t focus on understanding his ways. Don’t focus on what can happen if he is back. It is not worth it. Focus on what you want in your life and build it. Think through what your path is and trust your feelings to guide you on that path. Secure yourself as best you can, but don’t go into discussion with crazy.

    Gentle hug. <3

  16. Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for the reality check. You just described my mother to a tee. I have been trying very hard to heal from a very dark, abusive, nightmare of a childhood. My mother time and again, promises her undying love, and says time and again, “I will do anything” only to secretly be criticising me, resenting me, and finding things wrong with me and has my siblings believing it too. And she is in complete denial of the horror that I, and my siblings, went through, despite counsellors being shocked when they hear my story. It has taken so much strength to let go of this relationship, as she reels me in so often with her pretence of love and care, and the temptation that maybe this time it will be different, only to spit me out and completely abandon me in my times of need, or criticise and put me down and brag about how wonderful my siblings are. I have tried for a lifetime to keep up a good relationship, but it has been at great personal cost and it has been incredibly emotionally painful!! Now I do not pursue the relationship at all. The only contact I have is so that I can see my handicapped sister and because of my teenagers. And it is so much better this way. Any phone calls I have, I take good care of myself before and after the call!! Good luck to all in separating from narcissistic personalities. Love and care for yourself first.

    • I am so sorry you have also endured a narc mother <3
      It is horrible and painful to endure and takes considerable time to recover from.
      You have boundaries and self care, which is so important when you need to remain in contact with them.
      You are very strong and have much courage to accept the horror of the past and to know not to allow it to continue.
      Lots of self compassion and continuing self care.
      You are an inspiration!
      Much love <3

  17. Bless and thank you so much! Your article has helped me tremendously and given such clarity to what I knew was the case but couldn’t express it. Thank you for giving me more strength.
    I wish you love, care, connection and so much healing on your own journey.
    With much gratitude :)
    Robyn

  18. Thank you for posting this! I didn’t know this existed.

  19. The worst abuse because you’ll never be able to convince a narcissist that they are one! I’ve dealt with more than one and like it mentions-they don’t stop! You have to walk away and omit them from your life because they never change! 2 years of research as I wrote my book (Love Should Not Hurt:Letting Go of the Pain to Live in Freedom) proves this every time! They are destructive and manipulative people who will throw anyone they are supposed to love under a bus for their own selfish needs! This is a fantastic post!

  20. Thank you for your article! It touches my heart deeply because I have recently went through something similar 3 years ago before all this spells and spell casters madness on the INTERNET started which makes people to be confuse and scam them of their money. ALSO IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC AND SPELLS, I THINK YOU ARE MISTAKEN, DON’T GET ME WRONG, I ONCE HAD MY DOUBTS, TOO.
    THIS IS MY STORY: I was married for 6years with 2 kids a boy and a girl and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that My Wife filed for a divorce. I tried my best to make her change her mind & stay with me because I love her so much and I don’t want to loose her but everything just didn’t work out, she moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. I was surfing the internet for solution on what to do when one Dr. Zigaga of islea shrine DUPED me of my hard earned money because I was so desperate to get my wife and children back, Dr. zigaga it will not be well with you were ever you are. The breakthrough came when Jason my best friend introduced me to this wonderful, great prophet named Prophet Abayotor who eventually helped me out. I have never been a fan of things like this but I just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice, behold within a week after the regular prayers and proceeding, my parent call me on phone and said that I should come home immediately, when I did my wife was with them immediately she saw me she came to me and knelt down begging me to forgive her that she was so sorry for how she treated me. Immediately she opt out in filing for the divorce from there we moved into our new apartment together. As for Prophet he is real and cleared my doubts, me made me belief in thing I never believed in Prophet Abayotor you are the best I say Thank you, you can contact him here at ajamugashrine@gmail.com and tell him I introduced you to him.

  21. I am just “Completely Wiped Out.” My former significant other of 10 years is a “Vampire,” who sucked every bit of emotional life out of me. I am completely empty. A shell of a human being. It is an effort to function and only bit of emotional energy I can muster is for my children. Talking to people I have this facade that everything is good in my life and I feel great. But they wouldn’t really understand and I don’t bring it up. And yeah everyone thinks what an “Awesome” guy he was.
    Everything is SO TRUE in your article. I completely gave everything within me and then some to him…to THAT emotional abusive roller coaster relationship. At this point in my life, I don’t think i will ever be with anyone a again. I definitely have No Energy to give to anyone. I could go on and on, but I now know I am not alone…Good Luck to ALL <3

  22. I was with a man for 4 years on and off. He never laid a finger on me, but I never felt myself. I always felt like I was controlled, confused and commitment could never be mentioned. He told me lies, always said he was nice and if I asked about anything ‘it was always in my head’ or as he told my daughter ‘its ok your mother is off on one, don’t worry we will be back together and I am here if you need me. Everything was on this mans terms, he would borrow money and never give it back. He wanted affirmation of how great his work was and how well he was doing. I wasn’t allowed to his unless asked. Several times I was aware of him on dating sites, and texting and meeting other women. He would call on other women like he was lining up his next project if that makes sense. He is a steroid user and seems to hit depression in winter months and then binge drink for weeks on end, excessively so. Then he would constantly be texting and calling saying how he would kill himself if didn’t help, or he was going to fit because of withdrawal and needed me. On top of this he was like he was addicted to sex but couldn’t always have sex because of problems. I believed all this was in my head at first but after cutting contact and being away from him for 3 months the doubt is less, still unsure whether a narcissist?

  23. I need to stay strong, very hard though, I sometimes do think it is all in my head :( xx

    • Dont believe it. Abuse isnt just physical! My husband used to threaten to kill himself if I would think of leaving, then he started holding medown instead, then it turned into him threatening to geta gun on me. To top it off he completely trashes me to his community of enabenablers and makes himself look like the victim. Dont second guess yourself.

  24. This hits so close and deep to home! I was completely used and treated as a slave to his insecurities. Once I finally started facing it I was threatened w guns, completely lied and trashed to his community and continue to be manipulated. If I dont do as he thinks he is vindictive…withholding grocery money, etc.

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