Recovery after a breakup with a toxic narcissist can be hard to overcome.
Psychological trauma from their abuse will not just go away. In fact, this type of abuse can cause long lasting post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
The abuse from a narcissist is overwhelming. It is hard to identify and sufferers tend to blame themselves and continue to suffer long after the relationship is over. When there is divorce and child custody or child support involved, it can go on and on and you may feel like it will never end.
Post-traumatic stress affects individuals who have one extreme traumatic event. And it also arises from prolonged abuse, also called complex trauma. This can certainly result from a relationship with a narcissist.
The Psychological Baggage of a Toxic Narcissist
A narcissist is a person who is concerned only about themself. Though seemingly charismatic, they lack empathy for others.
They believe that they are more important than those around them, which easily leads to relationship problems. This includes emotional abuse, such as manipulation, lying, and blame-shifting.
Often, a narcissist inflicts suffering by frequent infidelity. In the worst cases, a narcissist uses finances and children to inflict even more pain.
A narcissist is needy. He or she demands your attention and will go to extreme or even abusive measures to obtain it. They don’t care about your emotional well-being and their abuse can leave you bewildered. You may end up feeling worthless or believe that you don’t deserve to be loved as much as other people.
Narcissists don’t have the empathy to care about the damage they cause, which is why they’re able to inflict pain and abuse so effortlessly.
And while it may feel impossible to move on with your life, be assured it is not. Help is available.
Finding Support If You Have Suffered Severe Relationship Trauma
It is common to feel extremely fragile after any breakup. Separating from a toxic narcissist can be much, much worse.
Your ability to trust a future relationship may be compromised. You may find yourself wanting to go back to the narcissist. It is not uncommon for one who has suffered severe relationship trauma to have feelings of jealousy and insecurity. They may have convinced you through his or her words and actions that no one else will ever love you because of your short comings and that you were lucky to have them.
These intrusive thoughts can be extremely detrimental to your emotional health and sense of self-worth. Friends and family will probably remind you of your self-worth and value and that you are lovable, but severe relationship trauma calls for more intensive help.
That’s why it’s crucial to seek professional help from a specialized therapist after a breakup with a narcissist, especially if you’re experiencing psychological turmoil.
But, how would you know if you’re suffering from PTSD?
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
If you or a loved one has just gone through a breakup with a narcissist, watch out for these signs of PTSD:
- Episodes of panic and fear that come out of nowhere
- Extreme reactions—physical or emotional—to traumatic reminders
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Nightmares, flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts
- Hyper-awareness, vigilance, anger, and irritability
- Misplaced sense of blame, low self-worth
- Avoidance of certain situations or people or a sense of detachment
- Uncertainty about one’s self and others
Though not a complete list, these symptoms are common in trauma victims. Panicky, absent, or avoidant behavior are strong signs of PTSD.
If you are experiencing any of these, it is vital to seek help from a specialized trauma therapist.
The Benefits of Spending Time with a Specialized Trauma Therapist
After suffering the abuse of a narcissist, you may find yourself struggling with confidence, blaming yourself, or unable to trust anyone else.
An experienced trauma therapist can equip you with specialized skills, tools, and resources to take back your sense of control. While many people in this situation feel they want to just bury and forget about the pain, traumatic stress symptoms keep coming back and rarely just go away.
Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) is a specialized mode of therapy that helps trauma sufferers reframe negative and limiting thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs. They will encourage you to see your experience and the break-up from a new, more positive perspective and promote new patterns of behavior.
RRT uses specialized tools designed to help you work through the past events with resources you did not have at the time of the original incidents. This work utilizes the power of your own mind for healing and transformation.
You are inspired to use your own imagination to direct your thoughts in a new positive way.
RRT is designed for therapist and client to work together to achieve a certain goal. You are empowered with the knowledge and skills to take control of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Sessions enable a state of total relaxation, which is designed to help you process those deep feelings and transform negative beliefs into a positive perspective. It allows you to feel safe as you’re going deep into your emotions and process feeling on a much more profound level.
Thus, you are no longer held hostage by the past!
Without the professional help of a specialized RRT therapist, PTSD sufferers may never break the cycle of self-doubt or shame.
A New Beginning Is Possible
Do not keep recycling the problem. Shift to the solution and what action to take.
If you’re having trouble moving on with your life after you’ve broken up with a narcissist, please contact me. I can help you find hope through recovery from the trauma of that relationship, as I have helped many others.