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Narcissistic Abuse Victim with PTSD

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My friend was married to narcissist for 6.5 years and not long ago they divorced.
Also about that time her father died and all this was too much for her to handle
and left her with PTSD and destroyed her emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
She thinks she is irreparable.

She does want to live because there is no point as she says. She has sleep
problems too. I don't know how to talk to her because mostly all she thinks about
dying however I have a hope for her because she still tries to do something
about her sleep like biking, she also started taking Melatonin recently. She
also works out sometimes to lose weight.

Another thing that gives me hope that she can recover is that there are
narcissistic abuse victims who recover and say it is possible if one has willingness
and strength to recover.

Can anyone help here? Maybe there are narcissistic abuse victims here too
who can give some advice?


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Hi TechnicGreek,

     I am so very sorry your friend is having such a rough time.  Hopefully many people here with experience in PTSD and being victimized by a narcissist will see your post and respond to it.  This must be difficult for you too. 

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Hi TechnicGeek,

I'm so sorry about your friend. Narcissistic abuse is tough to recover from, especially if you've been exposed to it for many years, but it's absolutely possible. I was living with my narcissistic ex for about ten years before I finally got the courage to leave. That's about two years ago now, and I'm nowhere near healed, but I'm still working on it and I do see progress. I also got to know some other victims along the way who have recovered. There is definitely hope.

The problem with emotional abuse is that it slowly reprograms your brain to believe you are absolutely worthless, and that anyone who claims you're not is just saying it out of pity or because they want something from you. That's a tough belief to break. Add to that the loss of a loved one, and it's not hard to see why someone would feel like there's no point in being here. I feel for your friend.

For me personally, learning about how emotional abuse works really helped. I remember reading about the various techniques narcissists typically use, and reading experiences from other victims, and being just stunned at how incredibly similar they were to mine. Almost as if abusers all use the same playbook; it was seriously uncanny. Realizing that these were intentional techniques, and understanding how they worked, helped me to realize that my mind was playing tricks on me. It also gave me hope that I could do some reprogramming myself to get rid of all the false beliefs he put into my head all these years. It triggered me to want to work on this. Maybe it will give your friend a bit of hope too.

Also, if your friend is open to it, I would really recommend therapy. Emotional abuse messes with your head so much, having someone 'on the outside' to point out when a belief is probably 'planted' is so helpful. I can't count the times I thought I was being perfectly rational in a conclusion only to find that it was based on a false belief about myself.

It's a rough ride, and it takes a lot of time, but there is definitely hope. Sorry I can't be of more help, like I said I'm still healing myself, but hopefully sharing what helped me so far can be beneficial to your friend as well. Wishing you both all the best.

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I haven’t really ended up with narcissistic abuse directly myself, though I happened to have found people to help who experienced it, and by being entangled with it I ended up being part of the abuse as well. Those people were really close to me and helped me very much in life, so I had to do it. I guess . . I don’t really want to talk about it. I’m glad I did that, but I want to put it behind me, so I won’t be specific about the details. 

Other than therapy, it helps to educate yourself about narcissists as much as possible. A lot of people who have experience in narcissistic relationships often end up in such abuse again essentially because they don’t learn from their mistakes of falling for someone’s lies. Yes, victims need to learn how to trust people who could help them, but for their own good so they won’t be severely hurt again, they need to learn who to distrust as well.

I suggest looking for these topics of interest in videos, blogs and especially books. 

1. Signs of a narcissist.

2. Types of gaslighting. (Manipulation tactics.)

3. Types of childhood trauma. (Since those in such relationships often have had experiences in childhood that attracts them to abusers.)

4. Cycles of domestic abuse. 

5. Cycles of narcissistic abuse.

6. How to tell if someone is lying. Whether in words, action or body language. 

7. Self compassion or self love techniques. ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a good choice for this to help someone be independent to stand up for themselves. Get a therapist, or even just look for self compassion techniques, self care ideas or ACT workbooks as well. 

8. Find a narcissistic support group. People usually call these types of victims “Codependents,” so if you would like to research about it, use that term.

9. Look for people with similar stories, so one doesn’t feel so alone.

10. It might help to look for assertiveness or conflict skills to help figure out how to stand up for yourself in a way that is not overly aggressive, but not overly passive as well.

Hope your friend, or anyone reading with similar experiences, can benefit from this advice.

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