Archive for the ‘PTSD’ Category

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The Confusion

The past few months have been a roller coaster ride. On the physical front, I’ve managed to make some headway in my quest to be pain-free. And I am still working on making more progress. On the emotional front, it seems like I’ve taken two steps forward and twenty backwards. This is the focus of my long overdue post.

In November last year, I underwent a hysterectomy. I was fortunate that everything went well, and although I was bored out of my brains, my recovery went along very well. During this recovery period, my mother called pretty much every day. She actually behaved like an ordinary mother – the kind of mother that I have always wanted; the kind of mother I’ve always hoped was in there somewhere. I thanked God that she finally cared about me, that she had changed. I felt validated and elated.

Along with these feelings of euphoria, I was also wracked with guilt. I thought that I had attributed a wrong label to my mother – That she was not a narcissist because narcissists don’t and cannot change while she had. I even put aside my psychiatrist’s professional opinion that she was a narcissist. All because the little child in me that was screaming for her mother’s love for so long had finally been given a handout. I started to feel really guilty about sharing my stories on this blog even though they are my truths, because I thought she had genuinely changed and it would be ungracious of me to tell my story when she had changed.

The Moment of Truth

But that handout of love didn’t last very long at all. True to form, she reverted to her Narcissistic self. And the world around me came crashing down once again. I felt let down because in my opinion, she knew how to be a nice mother who cared for me as she had proven for a month or so. But she had chosen not to be one. I guess it would have been so much easier to cope with if she had just stayed the same, and didn’t lead me on with false hope on top of the false hope that I have always had. As the saying goes “The higher you are, the harder the fall.” It could not be more true in this instance and I was shredded to pieces from the fall.

I have now learned, although the hard way, that she is not going to change her spots. What I thought was genuine love, care and affection was most probably her using a hoovering technique. I am somewhat grateful for this hard lesson as it reinforces what she is – a Narcissist and the hope that she’ll ever be the mother I’ve always wanted to be is diminishing every day as I see her narcissistic traits for what they are.

I may have regressed in terms of my depression and PTSD, but I am now continuing my fight towards healing with renewed clarity. I shall not feel guilty for sharing truths that are mine to share.

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Many people who have been abused seek validation. Validation to me is basically someone saying that “Yes, that was right/wrong” or believing you when you say something. Just listening to a person and understanding where they are coming from makes a lot of difference.

The subject of validation came to me after another conversation with my mother yesterday. It’s nice to know that she’s good for something (inspiring blog posts)! Some time ago, my mother had said something and after I hung up, I was like “Crap, I could have said something there!” That annoyed me for days, but I eventually let it go. She brought the subject up again yesterday, and I was not letting it slide this time. There’s a reason my hubby calls me “a rabid pitbull with a bone”!

She started telling me about how my cousin who was pretty much like her third daughter betrayed her. (It still amazes me that she didn’t know what to do with me but could find the time to communicate with everyone else.) I had heard this story from her before and so I just took a back seat and listened. I was determined not to let anything she say get to me. I observed the conversation, picking out all the Narcissistic cues.

After she had finished her story, she told me that “It’s when you are hurt by those who are close to you, that makes it unbearable.” I told her that she now knew what I felt when my Narc sister lied about me and when my mother chose to take the side of my Narc sister rather than even giving me the benefit of the doubt. I had finally told her the stuff of my nightmares (not that I would give her the satisfaction of knowing that I had them). I told her that she immediately believed my Narc sister and yelled at me 4 years ago – piling on the additional hurt and disbelief (which eventually led to the delayed onset of PTSD).

Ring the Narc alarm bells! Narcissists never/cannot (or should I say delusionally choose not to) believe that anything they do could be wrong. I had called her out on something that was blatantly wrong on her part. Her response? Totally unrelated and irrelevant. She started giving me back story (all the way from when she was 16) about how “naive” and “gullible” she was, believing what everyone says at face value and how she never knew that the Narc sister was having an affair. She insisted that she didn’t know about the affair. Me thinks she doth protest too much. Especially since someone told me that she had told her sister about the Narc sister’s affair when she was drunk.

She later tried to push the blame or fault back to me, by saying “If you knew, why didn’t you tell me?” I replied that all my life she had never believed a word I’d said about the Narc sister, why would she start then?! I returned the blame to where it was due. Her response to that one? Blatant disregard. She ignored it and went silent as though I had not spoken.

I felt proud that I told her what my issues were. But I didn’t have any expectations of her validating them. She was not capable of doing that. Apart from feeling accomplished at what I told her, I felt – absolutely nothing. No hurt, no anger – nada. But my chest pain (which is a physical manifestation of my PTSD) got bad very quickly. While the chest pain used to scare me a lot 2 years ago, today, it almost acts as my guide. When my chest starts hurting, I start to take stock of my thought processes and figure out why it’s hurting. Sometimes I have no clue, but very often, if my chest hurts, it means that I need to acknowledge something.

This time, I had to acknowledge that I am not feeling. I am rationalizing everything again. Telling myself that I didn’t expect to get validation from my mother, so it was all good. But it was not. It’s NOT right for a person who has hurt you to ignore it and pretend like it didn’t happen. I should have felt hurt, disappointment, anger like every normal human being would have. But I felt nothing. I am still working with my therapist on this. Fortunately for me, I have a great therapeutic relationship and I do get validated by her.

I guess after my ranting and raving, what I am trying to say is that it may take ages to finally confront a Narc about what they’ve done, but they are NOT going to validate what you are feeling. Basically, they want you to shut up and take your issues with them and bury them as deep as possible, never to see the light.

Profile Pic for My Road To Deliverance

This photo was taken about 2 hours away from home in South Australia. I have chosen to use this as my profile pic for my blog because it has quite a bit of symbolism – for me, at least.

Firstly, it shows a long two-way road. My recovery from PTSD will be a marathon, not a sprint and this serves to remind me of that when I find myself frustrated that I’m not making progress quick enough or for the times when I feel as though I’ve taken 1 step forward and twenty steps backwards.

Secondly, the dirt and the sun-scorched plants depict me now – sucked dry, dead and even possibly dangerous (to myself anyway).

Thirdly, the canola fields depict where I am heading towards – a fruitful and beautifully breathtaking life.

Last, but not least, the grey skies remind me that there will be stormy days – both now and in my destined future. But storms are ok. They will come through, may cause destruction and mayhem, but they don’t last forever – soon after, the sun’s rays will peek out from behind the thick clouds, making everything bright, beautiful, green and full of life once again. Storms wash away surface materials, bringing out what is buried deeper within – signifying the washing away of old habits, perceptions and thought processes, bringing about healing, growth and rejuvenation.