Unhealed Cptsd and Emotional TriggersMay 03, 2021
Unhealed Cptsd after narcissistic abuse is like walking through life with an open bullet wound in your soul. The side effects bleed out into every aspect of your life from romantic relationships, friendships and even your relationship with yourself.
But even more concerning is the fact that those wounds keep you susceptible to psychological abuse. If you have an untreated physical wound that someone keeps poking their finger into - that's going to create a tremendous amount of physical pain. You can go through life trying to make sure no one ever bumps into you or brushes against your wound..... or you can heal the wound and be unscathed if someone were to touch where the wound once existed.
The latter is obviously the better choice.
The same action is needed when it comes to emotional wounds.
Narcissists love to 'poke' their finger into your emotional wounds, simply and sadistically because it gives them narcissistic supply. They ENJOY seeing your emotional pain. This is a hard truth pill to swallow if the narcissist in your life is a parent or significant other, but it is truth.
There are 2 things that people accidentally do wrong when trying to stop or end the pain from emotional triggers:
1. They try to explain, and explain, and try over and over to get through to the narcissist with the thought being - "If I can just explain myself correctly they will see what they are doing that's hurting me and care enough to stop." This logic is great and healthy .... if and when you are dealing with a reasonably healthy person. But when you say to a narcissist 'Stop doing this, this hurts me' their brain hears: "Do this!! This hurts them." In the end, the only way to stop being triggered by them is not by getting THEM to stop, but it's about healing the wound so that if they do keep poking, it has no ability to emotionally dysregulate you.
2. They hope the narcissist heals the wound. For example, if your narcissistic parent makes you feel unlovable... and you are trying harder and harder to prove that you are 'good' and 'lovable' and 'enough' - without realizing it you are doing so in the hopes that they SEE your worth and therefore STOP triggering you by making you feel unlovable or unworthy. But.... pain can't heal pain. Narcissists are in pain all the time - they are shame based, full of self hatred. I know that it doesn't seem that way - it seems like they LOVE themselves and hate YOU - but the truth is they are constantly projecting how they feel about themselves onto you. They cannot heal your wounds and sadly they don't want to because if you feel lovable and enough and valuable, they know that first you will not tolerate abuse by them and you may leave them. The second thing they know is that they will not be able to project themselves onto you anymore and that would mean they would have to sit and marinate in the core emotions they fear the most: shame, unworthiness, low self esteem, not feeling enough. The sad reality is they would much rather project that onto you and emotionally regulate themselves through dysregulating you.
The most empowering thing you can do is give yourself time to work through the side effects of complex ptsd. It doesn't go away overnight - it does involve rewiring your brain, working through emotional flashbacks, strengthening your self identity, upgrading your subconscious beliefs, learning to let go of external validation, etc - yes it does take work - but it feels so good to be free of the side effects of narcissistic abuse.
If you struggle with overcoming complex ptsd - you are not alone! In fact the Thrivers School of Transformation is an interactive membership with members from all over the world that are on that very healing journey. If you can use weekly live support, come and join this international community!!