PTSD and Narcissism ~ and that feeling of Emptiness

This article is wonderful explaining the huge impact emotional abuse and narcissism has on a child growing into adulthood.  It’s a bit longer than most of my postings yet well worth the read.

I experienced emptiness during my childhood as a daughter of a narcissistic mother who either ignored me most days or spewed vicious words of criticism and anger. I spent many hours in my bedroom reading, a huge relief from my mother outside my door.  Which was worse, being ignored or the vicious words?  Either way, I felt empty. 

Emptiness:   It’s not a disorder in and of itself, like anxiety or depression. Nor is it experienced by most people as a symptom that interferes with their lives. It’s more a generic feeling of discomfort, a lack of being filled up that may come and go. Some people feel it physically, as an ache or an empty space in their belly or chest. Others experience it more as an emotional numbness.

You may have a general sense that you’re missing something that everybody else has, or that you’re on the outside looking in. Something just isn’t right, but it’s hard to name. It makes you feel somehow set apart, disconnected as if you’re not enjoying life as you should.

People who don’t have it don’t understand. But people who feel it know:

In many ways, emptiness or numbness is worse than pain. Many people have told me that they would far prefer to feel anything to nothing. It’s very hard to acknowledge, make sense of, or put words to something that is absent. Emptiness seems like nothing to most people. And nothing is nothing, neither bad nor good, right?

But in the case of a human being’s internal experience, nothing is definitely something. “Empty” is actually a feeling in and of itself. And I have discovered that it is a feeling that can be very intense and powerful. In fact, it has the power to drive people to do extreme things to escape it.

Continue reading “PTSD and Narcissism ~ and that feeling of Emptiness”

My Mother is a Sociopath

 

How does a parent with mental illness impact their children?

Psychopaths

Also known as Sociopaths, have personality disorders, characterized by their use of charm, manipulation, deception, and lack of remorse for their continual vomiting of cruelty towards others. They tend to ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving their playing field littered with massive chaos and destruction and they maintain a grandiose sense of entitlement. “They selfishly take what they want, and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret (Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.).”

Because Psychopaths are master manipulators and typically wear cloaks of deceit to mask their true identity, it is often difficult to recognize them, unless you have the great misfortune of living in their household. It is their immediate family members that are able to see the inside of their real world, however, it is the immediate family members who are manipulated the most; and their world of chaos soon becomes their norm.

THE TYPES OF PEOPLE THEY CHOOSE AS MATES OR POTENTIAL VICTIMS

They include: lonely (often rebounding from a hurtful relationship or not currently involved in a satisfying relationship), financially stable, have good credit, believe in the basic goodness of others, do not consider themselves very attractive or have a lower self-esteem, enjoy helping others, are not street-wise, are typically very nice people, and believe in honoring their commitments.

Continue reading “My Mother is a Sociopath”

Are you faking PTSD for attention? or is this a scam?

I have CPTSD (sexual and emotional abuse), and just hearing the word “fake” & “scam” was an enough to cause an actual trigger to my past, coupled with huge anxiety and intense anger.

Yesterday, while sitting in a coffee shop sipping tea and reading a book, two women around 30 – 40 years of age sitting behind me, actually had this conversation. True story. I’ll call them A & B.

A –Do you believe in all of this PTSD shit?

B –I don’t know what to think sometimes. I do know a co-worker who’s sister is going to therapy for it, I don’t know what exactly for, but she just said something that happened to her when she was young and has PTSD now.

A –Do you think it’s for real, or is she looking for attention? How old is her sister?

B –I think she’s in her 30’s, not sure. It’s something about molestation or something, I didn’t want to ask and be nosey.

A –Yeah right, like she can remember things that happened when she was a kid!

B –Well it’s her business

A –I’m just asking because I saw a show last night showing how some men in the military and some police are actually faking having this PTSD, just to collect disability. Some of them have collected $100,000.00, what a shame when people that have an actual disability need it.

And, their discussion continued……..

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault. PTSD is a real illness that causes real suffering. (source: psychiatry.org/ptsd) Continue reading “Are you faking PTSD for attention? or is this a scam?”

What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?

There has been a secret you’ve been concealing, that’s most likely eating you up inside, however, you now have mustered enough courage to tell someone you trust. It’s rough, and you’re just a kid.

Protection and trust have already been shattered by your abuser; you just couldn’t take it anymore, now it’s time to receive compassion, tenderness and told you were so courageous for coming forward and that person will be punished.

It may perhaps have been very positive for you, you were believed, acknowledged, obtained love, affection, sorrow and apologies for this ever happening; possibly counseling. You went on to recover with perhaps some difficulty, but you received support.

OR

Instead, it was the most regretful day of my life.

Continue reading “What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?”

Finally, a clearer understanding of Narcissism & how it relates to CPTSD

If you are a survivor of PTSD, CPTSD or raised by a Narcissist this video is a must.  Don’t worry about emotions, I was tearful throughout the entire video. This gentleman showed empathy and shared his experiences.

TRIGGER WARNING!!!!  This may be upsetting for some people.

He has a series of excellent and informative videos on YouTube explaining various Narcissism and Complex PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) traits. Source: (https://youtu.be/L6l59nEn2ZY)

PTSD: Seeking out a Trauma Therapist? 4 Important Things to look for

To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect, combat experiences, or a natural disaster or a violent assault. How can this be done, however, when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings – feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?

Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their trauma without being retraumatized in the process. Getting the right support is key, however. Not only is it important to connect with a therapist well-versed in effective therapeutic approaches, it’s also vital to seek out a person with whom you feel a personal connection.

Multiple studies confirm that a person who feels good about their relationship with their therapist is more likely to have a positive outcome. A recent study from Bowling Green State University researchers takes the concept a step further, noting that a deep connection between a therapist and patient can lead to “sacred moments” that increase well-being on both sides.

With that in mind, here are four things to look for to make your therapeutic experience most effective:

Continue reading “PTSD: Seeking out a Trauma Therapist? 4 Important Things to look for”

Toxic Mothers: “How was I supposed to handle your sexual abuse?”

“Well back in the ‘60’s, we didn’t know how to handle things like that”

That was my mother’s asinine come back to my question, “Why didn’t you even take me to the doctors’ as a caution?” when discussing the sexual abuse a few years ago. I’ve always questioned this, whether it be any decade, wouldn’t a mother ensure her child was ok? All around, I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother which explains everything.

My parents didn’t believe me when I was 8 years old, revealing that our neighbor was sexually abusing me, and making matters worse, had to ask for forgiveness from the abuser. I doubt my mother truly believes me to this day or recognized that she made a huge mistake or perhaps ashamed how it was all handled.

She has never fully expressed regret for her actions, never acknowledged or empathized with the crap I went through (PTSD, major depression, hospitalizations, etc.) including years of therapy to heal and wipe up her mess. (Showing no validation or empathy is a common trait of a narcissist).

She slept peacefully at night during my hellish years, while I was awake feeling guilt, shame, and worthlessness. I finally severed ALL contact with my mother a few years ago, which was the wisest decision and the only alternative allowing me to continue healing and living freely.

(I finally received validation from a stranger (therapist) 45 years later which began my healing journey from feeling anguish and pain).

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy 2016

Reminds me of my Narcissistic Mother In Law and how her adult children's are always turning a blind eye towards her bad behaviour. My narcissistic mother in law got all her adult children to worship and fear her.:

How true is this?  Hugs to all, Deb

7 Ways to Avoid Re-Traumatizing a Trauma Victim

I found this article somewhat helpful appearing in PsychCental.com.

Trauma is a complex phenomenon. Many of us have probably experienced an event that we struggle to not only forget, but emotionally cope with. If I were to ask you if you have ever experienced a traumatic event what would you say? Was it severe, moderate, or mild? Was it long-term or short-term? Were you able to easily get over it? Whatever the case may be, a traumatic experience must be an event that we find difficult to cope with over time. Sadly, many people who tend to lack knowledge about trauma fail to recognize that anything a trauma victim comes in contact with can re-traumatize them.

For example, I previously had a client who witnessed his mother slit her throat and commit suicide. Prior to this suicide, the mother had been playing hiding-go-seek outside with all 4 of her children. This child struggled with understanding why his mother would walk away during hiding-go-seek and kill herself. Now, at the age 10, he watches movies with his father that often include crime scenes, murder, and suicide which tends to trigger memories of his mother’s suicide. He is unable to sleep at night, relax, or put the past behind him. Yet, his father is unaware of the reality that he  is possibly re-traumatizing his own son with these movies.

This article will discuss 7 things we, who are close to trauma victims, should be mindful not to do. I will also give suggestions on what we should do instead.

It is sad to say but a large amount of individual, families and parents come to therapy with unrealistic expectations about the therapeutic process. I often have parents and families ask the following questions when they see me for the first time:

  • “How often will he/she see you?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that if the child/teen sees me more often throughout the week, progress will happen faster.
  • “Will you make him/her talk?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that I am someone who should make an individual talk about the “bad” things that have happened to them in order to stimulate great progress.
  • “Has she/he talk to you about what happened to them?” This question is also asked with the unrealistic expectation that an individual, who just met me and may be slow to warm up, will open up like a fountain and start talking. Many families often tell the child/teen “your therapist is not going to judge you so just open up.”
  • “Why isn’t he/she talking about what makes him/her so mad?” This question is asked with the unrealistic expectation that if the person talks about their past, they won’t be so angry anymore.

Remainder of this article @
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2015/06/7-ways-to-avoid-re-traumatizing-a-trauma-victim/

(repost)

 

How do Survivors pee after the Pain of Female Genital Mutilation?

Image: Wikipedia A campaign against female genital mutilation – a road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Country based surveys on the rates of FGM suggest that 200 million women have undergone the procedures in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan. The practice is also found elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and among communities from these areas in other countries.

This article appeared on BBC News.com Magazine

Some 200 million women and girls across 30 countries have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). But how do survivors live with the pain of peeing, periods and childbirth?

“The first time you notice your physicality has changed is your pee,” says HiboWardere.

Hibo, now 46, was subjected to what is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “type three” mutilation when she was six. This means all of her labia were cut off and she was then stitched together, leaving a tiny hole she compares to the size of a matchstick.

She grew up in Somalia, where 98% of women and girls between 15 and 49 have had their genitals forcibly mutilated.

“An open wound rubbed with salt or hot chilli – it felt like that,” she recalls.

“And then you realise your wee isn’t coming out the way it used to come. It’s coming out as droplets, and every drop was worse than the one before. This takes four or five minutes – and in that four or five minutes, you’re experiencing horrific pain.”

Hibo came to the UK when she was 18, and within months visited a doctor to see if they could relieve the pain she experienced when she passed urine and during her periods.

Her translator didn’t want to interpret her request, but the GP managed to understand.

Eventually, Hibo underwent a procedure called defibrillation, when the labia is opened surgically. This widened the hole and exposed her urethra. It is by no means an outright fix, and can never restore sensitive tissue that was removed, but it did make it slightly easier to urinate.

Sex, however, presented a new hurdle. “Even if the doctor has opened you up, what they’ve left you with is a very tiny space,” says Hibo.

“Things that were supposed to be expanding have gone. So the hole that you have is very small and sex is very difficult. You do get pleasures – but it’s once in a blue moon.”

Image: Wikipedia Female genital mutilation (FGM)

The trauma of the assault also had a bearing on intimate situations with her partner.

“First you have a psychological block because the only thing you associate with that part of you is pain,” says Hibo.

“The other part is the trauma you experienced. So anything that’s happening down there, you never see it as a good thing.”

Figures released by Unicef in February raised the number of estimated FGM survivors by around 70 million to 200 million worldwide, with Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia accounting for half of all victims.

In the UK, FGM has been banned since 2003. Last year the government introduced a new law requiring professionals to report known cases of FGM in under-18s to the police.

Activists and the police have raised awareness about the risk of British school girls being flown out of the UK specifically to be stripped of their genitals during what is known as the “cutting season” over the summer.

Image: Wikipedia FGM in Africa, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen, as of 2015
Additional source for information: Wikipedia 
Article continues @ http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36101342

Originally posted on my Niume.com  blog

Trauma Therapy ~ 4 Important Things to Look For

To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect, combat experiences, or a natural disaster or a violent assault. How can this be done, however, when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings – feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?

Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their trauma without being retraumatized in the process. Getting the right support is key, however. Not only is it important to connect with a therapist well-versed in effective therapeutic approaches, it’s also vital to seek out a person with whom you feel a personal connection.

Multiple studies confirm that a person who feels good about their relationship with their therapist is more likely to have a positive outcome. A recent study from Bowling Green State University researchers takes the concept a step further, noting that a deep connection between a therapist and patient can lead to “sacred moments” that increase well-being on both sides.

With that in mind, here are four things to look for to make your therapeutic experience most effective:

Knowledge. Your therapist should, of course, be up to date on treatment options – techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches new ways of thinking of old experiences; neurofeedback, which can help rewire the brain to overcome trauma-induced changes; equine therapy, which can be a helpful supplement for those who find it hard to trust human connections; and EMDR, which can help with the process of moving beyond the past.

Continue reading “Trauma Therapy ~ 4 Important Things to Look For”

Childhood Trauma Tied to Migraine Risk as Adult

Study found witnessing parental domestic violence produced most powerful association

(HealthDay News) — Experiencing a traumatic event during childhood may raise the risk for migraines as an adult, new Canadian research suggests.

“We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” study author Sarah Brennenstuhl, from the University of Toronto, said in a university news release.

“For those who reported all three types of adversities — [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse — the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women,” Brennenstuhl said.

The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18.

“The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines,” study co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, a professor and chair at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, said in the news release.

Girls who had witnessed parental domestic violence grew up to be women with a 64 percent greater risk for migraines, compared with those with no such history. For men, the bump in risk amounted to 52 percent, the investigators found.

And the team noted this association held up even after taking into account a wide range of influential factors, such as age, race, a history of depression or anxiety, and any history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse.

However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between childhood trauma and migraine risk.

From HealthDay.com:
http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/domestic-violence-news-207/childhood-trauma-may-up-risk-for-adult-migraines-700726.html

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more on migraines.

SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, June 24, 2015

Child Sex Abuse Case Sheds Light on Warning Signs

This brief news article appeared today, forewarning once again the importance that parents be aware of adults who are in contact with their children.  Note to parents out there:  If your child is courageous enough to approach you, please validate and believe him/her.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A West Meade man is in jail accused of repeatedly molesting an 11-year-old boy.  Investigators say, 44-year-old Darrell Fisher was a “father-figure” to his victim and that is often how something like this starts.

Fisher was reportedly often at places where children were though he didn’t have any children of his own.

He coached for a club lacrosse team started by parents at JT Moore Middle School from 1998-2008. He was a boy scout leader at least from 2001 and he also started a military history group for young men.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “stranger danger” is rare. A child often knows his or her abuser.

The Center for Disease Control says, one in six boys are sexually abused before they’re 18. For girls, it’s one in four.

A few warning signs of child sexual abuse are if your children becomes withdrawn, self-destructive and/or shows poor school performance. Sometimes, though, there are not outward symptoms.

Continue reading “Child Sex Abuse Case Sheds Light on Warning Signs”

PTSD ~ Ways to Eliminate Recurring Nightmares

I’ve struggled with horrific dreams and nightmares for years, never giving it much thought that it may be connected to trauma (PTSD).  After, discussing memories and flashbacks in therapy, I’m now understanding the impact trauma has on dreams.  A couple of years ago, my psychiatrist prescribed a medication called (Prazosin) to alleviate the nightmares, and it has been fairly successful so far.

This article in PsychCentral.com By  talks about this issue:

All of us have nightmares. Maybe in your nightmare you’re being chased by some terrifying but unknown entity. Maybe you’re surrounded by bloodthirsty vampires or hordes of zombies. Maybe you’re trapped in a room with snakes or spiders or any other animal you fear. Maybe you or a loved one is involved in a car wreck or a violent assault.

Maybe you keep having this nightmare over and over. And it’s so real, so vivid, so frightening that the last thing you want to do is fall back asleep.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Ways to Eliminate Recurring Nightmares”

PTSD & Women Veterans

Female Vietnam vets have higher rates than previously thought, a study says

I haven’t come across as many articles regarding female veterans struggling with PTSD and found this one on Next Avenue.org written by Joan Cook

She writes — My friend, Marsha, is the oldest of seven and the daughter of a World War II combat veteran. Marsha’s father, like most men of his generation, spoke very little about his war experiences, and what happened in the war was never directly known by most of his children.

Like many in her generation, Marsha studied nursing. The military trolled schools of nursing for recruits, desperately in need of women to care for the injured and dying in Vietnam. As with most of her fellow students, Marsha had no experience in traumatic nursing. And, when she found herself in Vietnam, war was all she heard and smelled, even when she closed her eyes.

Continue reading “PTSD & Women Veterans”

9 Important questions to ask at your 1st Therapy Session

A first therapy session can be very intimidating for both therapist and client. But first sessions seem to be more  intimidating to clients because they are unfamiliar with the process, do not know what to expect, aren’t sure if they will like the therapist or office, are anxious about the conversation, and are sometimes fearful of the therapist “psychoanalyzing” them.

That first therapy session could also be the very first time you have ever seen a therapist. Whatever the case, the first session can be so stressful that you forget the most important questions to ask. This article will discuss questions you should be asking during the very first session.

Continue reading “9 Important questions to ask at your 1st Therapy Session”

Social Anxiety Disorder

 

This seems to cover a wide range of social situations and I question… so many people would be diagnosed with this disorder.   If you were traumatized or abused as a child, would a psychiatrist come to the conclusion that this is probably what you would have and perhaps not dig further, stamping Social Anxiety Disorder on your file?  I would hope not.   So many people are uncomfortable and fall into the “speaking in public” or “eating/drinking/writing/working in front of people” category.  …. Just my opinion.

I do agree with their treatments though, they would alleviate anxiety.

 

PTSD ~ Controlling your terrifying nightmares. How?

Those terrifying, nighttime dreams in which you show up at work naked, encounter an ax-wielding psychopath, memories from childhood trauma or other tribulations may become a thing of the past thanks to a discovery reported on Reuters.com.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Controlling your terrifying nightmares. How?”

Treating depression: drugs or therapy?

I’ve struggled with depression for countless years and for me, well, I’m undecided if it’s the medication or therapy that eventually plucked me out from the bleakest of black holes, yet I haven’t required hospitalization in years.  Hmmm, kind of has me questioning the approaches, meds vs. therapy or if both are essential?  I remain on the remedy of both, but I also continue to live with this crappy depression.

On (well.blogs.nytimes.com) ~ by  ~an article was written about this very subject.

Continue reading “Treating depression: drugs or therapy?”

Reclassification of PTSD diagnosis potentially excludes soldiers diagnosed under previous criteria

A new head-to-head comparison of screening questionnaires for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, shows a worrying discordance between the previous version of the PTSD definition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — fourth edition (DSM-IV) and DSM-5, released in 2013.

Continue reading “Reclassification of PTSD diagnosis potentially excludes soldiers diagnosed under previous criteria”