PTSD from narcissistic abuse

PTSD from Narcissistic Abuse

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Can you develop PTSD from narcissistic abuse?

Yes.  In fact, it’s almost impossible to avoid it…

Emotionally abusive relationships can leave lasting scars on the individuals involved. The effects can extend far beyond the relationship’s end, impacting their emotional well-being and mental health in profound ways.

Among the potential consequences, the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) are common outcomes. 

In this blog article, we will explore how people in emotionally abusive relationships may develop PTSD and C-PTSD, shedding light on the underlying mechanisms and the challenges they face.

Related Video:  

When it comes to PTSD, intentional shocks inflicted by humans are the most difficult to heal from, such as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.  In regard to significance, these events fall directly under combat and resistance fighting, such as those that occur in the military.

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Many of us have events in our life that are traumatic. A parent dies when we’re in middle age. One of our children gets a minor illness and we’re terrified that they may not survive. A child may be diagnosed with a learning disability, or we may have a fender bender on the highway.

All of us have the resilience in our brains and bodies to bounce back; however, when we experience an event that is over the top in magnitude, such as up-close, personal experience of war, watching a loved one die, being a victim of rape or abuse, and so on, the horrific memories get laid down in our brains and bodies.

Psychiatry names this post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The most recent studies with brain scans indicate that in PTSD sufferers, the fear network is not working properly. 

Understanding Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse refers to a pattern of behavior aimed at undermining an individual’s self-worth, emotional stability, and overall well-being. It can involve various tactics, including constant criticism, humiliation, gaslighting, manipulation, isolation, and control. Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse leaves no visible scars, making it more challenging to identify and address.

The Relationship Between Emotional Abuse and PTSD and C-PTSD:

Let’s say Judy is in a relationship with a narcissist.  Because of brainwashing, the breakdown of her friendships, and constant verbal abuse, she now believes she is worthless and no one else would be interested in her.  Additionally, the last two times she tried to leave, she was stalked, harassed, and intimidated until she came back.  In her mind, there is no escape.  She is experiencing C-PTSD.

In addition to the above scenario, Judy endured a physical assault by the narcissist and witnessed him hurt her pet.  She has PTSD from these events. 

The following are common characteristics of the development of PTSD in emotionally abusive relationships:

  1. Traumatic Events: Emotional abuse creates a hostile and unpredictable environment that subjects the victim to chronic stress and trauma. Traumatic events experienced within abusive relationships can trigger PTSD symptoms. These events may include episodes of severe verbal degradation, threats, physical intimidation, or witnessing violence.

  2. Hyperarousal and Hypervigilance: Individuals in emotionally abusive relationships may develop a heightened state of arousal and hypervigilance as a survival mechanism. The constant anticipation of further abuse can lead to an exaggerated startle response, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, and an ongoing sense of danger, all of which are characteristic of PTSD.

  3. Emotional Flashbacks: Emotional abuse often erodes an individual’s sense of self and distorts their perception of reality. Emotional flashbacks, a hallmark of C-PTSD, involve intense emotional re-experiencing of past abuse. These flashbacks can be triggered by specific cues or reminders, causing the person to relive the emotional pain and distress they endured in the abusive relationship.

  4. Dissociation: Individuals who experience emotional abuse may utilize dissociation as a coping mechanism. Dissociation involves a detachment from oneself and one’s surroundings as a defense against overwhelming emotions and memories. Frequent dissociative episodes can hinder daily functioning and contribute to the development of C-PTSD.

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)

C-PTSD, also known as complex trauma, occurs when individuals are exposed to prolonged and repeated traumatic events, often within the context of interpersonal relationships. Emotional abuse is a common cause of C-PTSD, leading to a distinct set of symptoms beyond those associated with classic PTSD:

  1. Emotional Dysregulation: Emotional abuse can disrupt an individual’s ability to regulate emotions effectively. They may experience intense mood swings, difficulty managing anger, feelings of shame or guilt, and a persistent sense of emptiness or hopelessness.

  2. Distorted Self-Perception: Chronic emotional abuse can distort an individual’s perception of self and others. They may develop feelings of worthlessness, self-blame, or a distorted self-image, leading to long-lasting self-esteem issues and difficulties establishing healthy relationships.

  3. Relationship Difficulties: Emotional abuse can impair an individual’s ability to trust and form healthy attachments. They may struggle with intimacy, have difficulties setting boundaries, or engage in patterns of self-sabotage that perpetuate the cycle of abuse.

Treatment and Healing

The good news is that with time and commitment, it is possible to overcome the effects of trauma after narcissistic abuse.  

If you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse, please make an appointment to meet a qualified trauma specialist who can help you deal with and recover from the emotional trauma you’ve endured.  This level of emotional damage will not go away on its own. 

You may also find great benefit from a healing program to help you stay on track in between sessions.  

The Break Free Program will give you the exact strategies to help you discover the key to transformational healing and overcoming the addiction to drama and trauma.

Proven to be a preferred, therapist-approved online resource for narcissistic abuse recovery, this practical and easy-to-follow program has helped thousands of people from all over the globe to break free from suffering and trauma… and successfully guided them through the stages of healing after narcissistic abuse.  It’s so so effective, therapists are referring their own clients to it!

New here? Your healed life starts with one step...

Join our most popular email series, crafted for action-oriented individuals ready to liberate themselves from narcissistic abuse. Each email sheds light on distinct facets of abuse, offering valuable tips and strategies. Arm yourself with current facts and approaches, empowering you to break free from the grip of narcissistic manipulation.

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Evans, M., & Feder, G. (2016). How do people use coercive control? An exploratory analysis of 31 cases in England and Wales. Violence Against Women, 22(3), 313-333.

Dutton, M. A., & Green, B. L. (2008). Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in battered women: A review of the literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 9(3), 271-291.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. Penguin Books.

Lanius, R. A., Brand, B., Vermetten, E., Frewen, P. A., & Spiegel, D. (2012). The dissociative subtype of posttraumatic stress disorder: Rationale, clinical and neurobiological evidence, and implications. Depression and Anxiety, 29(8), 701-708.

Cloitre, M., Courtois, C. A., Ford, J. D., Green, B. L., Alexander, P., Briere, J., … & Spinazzola, J. (2012). The ISTSS Expert Consensus Treatment Guidelines for Complex PTSD in Adults. Trauma, Stress, & Dissociation, 13(4), 1-42.

Opaas, M., Hartmann, E., Kvarstein, E., & Wallace, M. (2014). Constructing selves: A qualitative study of borderline personality disorder and mentalization-based treatment. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 27(4), 303-321.

World Health Organization. (2013). Guidelines for medico-legal care for victims of sexual violence. World Health Organization.

Resick, P. A., & Schnicke, M. K. (1993). Cognitive processing therapy for sexual assault victims. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61(6), 1046-1052.

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cadavera says July 22, 2019

Reading through the comments makes me wonder if I’m not the abusive party. I’ve educated myself on NPD, narcissists, narcissistic abuse, I’m in therapy doing trauma work and my behavior is identical to the behavior of narcissists! Not the cheating, lying, or any of that, but when I experience what I believe to be abuse, I’m so pissed off that I do the smear campaign based on what has happened, there are no lies or made up events, but rather it’s all from my own perspective. I check up on them and I really don’t know what I’m looking for. I contact them to tell them how upset I am about their treatment of me or to tell them off because once again, I’m so hurt and angry that this person has suddenly started accusing me of stuff I haven’t done and acted like I’m the problem. I love bomb partially because I want them to give a crap about me and partially because I am thoughtful and like to do nice things for people whom I care about. I don’t just do these things for the person who I think is the narcissist but I do more for them than I do others. I don’t ditch them for someone else; I don’t have affairs; what I am guilty of is being the side chick who gets sick of being lied to. I know I’m codependent. I feel more than my fair share and I have empathy, compassion and genuinely care about others. I don’t love bomb, check up on them or send them nasty messages because I’m trying to manipulate them in the sense that I’m trying to screw them over or get one over on them. The only time I do anything malicious is when I get discarded or when I’m used as a scapegoat or doormat. That’s when I get really angry and then I get depressed. I’ve been through this so many times and it just happened again. It’s like I get so focused on what they’ve done and the betrayal I feel that all I want to do is make them suffer too.This trauma has compounded itself over the years and when each new instance hits me, I’m reminded of all the similar situations in my past. I don’t want to be a horrible, evil, toxic person! That’s the last thing I want. I’ve been suicidal for years and have had a few attempts but mostly, I’ve wanted to heal from all of this and can’t seem to. It’s not just been romantic relationships that I’ve experienced this with. My best friend of 20 years and her husband triangulated me a year and a half ago and I was devastated. A month later, one of my oldest friends died. I got involved with someone as his side chick and that ended in disaster. A few months later, one of my closest friends caused some drama and then acted like I was the worst person on the planet because I had a problem with it. That was all last year. The last person just did it to me again, accusing me of some of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard, that made no sense, and now I’m questioning myself as the narc. Maybe I’m better off and everyone around me too if I just end it. I have no purpose and I’m sick of feeling victimized by these people. I apologize to them for my bad behavior and they never do the same, even though they’re the ones who are lying and cheating. I’m the squeaky wheel who has an issue with the way they treat me and I say so. I’m instantly a terrible person and then everyone is against me in the circle. Some I could care less about, some I do care about. But, they all believe I’m some monster who’s doing nothing but creating problems for the one I perceive to be the narc. This last time a month ago, I was accused of being jealous and spying. First off, he allowed this “friend” who he had a falling out with last Christmas, move back into his place and that’s where I had an issue. Not because I care if they’re banging each other but because this chick lied about some things I said which if anyone knows me at all, they’d know I’d never do, but he believed her with zero proof. All he had to do was read the message and he’d have seen that it was b.s. But no, he believed her even though she’s a total loser. That’s what I had an issue with a month ago. I’m upset because due to her lying, it drove the final wedge in between us and because he was stupid enough to believe her, we had a falling out. On top of it, someone keyed his car and of course, he thought it was me. That’s actually what cause the rift last year. I came back and apologized for my part in April of this year. So him having her move in really upset me because as soon as she did, he’s accusing me of all kinds of things like being jealous, which isn’t the case. I’m pissed because he believed her b.s. last year and now, he’s apparently believing it again. So, needless to say, I’m staying far, far away from all of it because it’s so petty and juvenile and I can’t keep up with any of it. I was also accused of “sending a barrage of messages” to this gf he has that he claims isn’t his gf and who decided to focus her attention on me, coming by and yelling about he and I being involved in a relationship. I stayed away from her, didn’t engage like I normally would and left her alone so why would I send her a bunch of messages?And even if I had, so what? The way she’s behaved when I was there was rude and had no purpose. She’s also accused him of putting cameras on her car, invisible ones, so I don’t think she’s playing with a full deck and for all I know it’s an act since she’s able to hold down a decent job. Either way, I’m made out to be some kind of freak but her behavior is apparently ok? She’d show up at all hours of the night pulling stunts like that and finally got him pissed off at me by saying I’d sent her a bunch of messages. Now I wish I had since it didn’t matter that I held my tongue or not, he still believes everything but the truth when it comes to me. I’ve known the guy for 18 years and I had been distancing myself from him when all of this crap hit the fan. It bothers me to be lied about in such a manner and it bothers me that he believed it. I can get myself in enough hot water without doing all of that crap. So, I started once again, thinking that maybe I am the problem but I know what I have and haven’t done. I don’t know if any narcissists ever get the wrong end of the stick constantly, but I do. I’m not manipulative enough to beat them at their own game so I don’t bother trying. I asked for proof of said texts and got a door slammed in my face for it and that’s when I threw in the towel. He apparently didn’t like my truth and I don’t like his lies. But because of my past history and possible trauma bonding, I look like a complete whack job. Meanwhile, the one who shows up and accuses him and me of being in a relationship is normal? I guess I’d better go check on my invisible cameras and make sure they’re all working. Thanks for reading.

    Marlena says December 30, 2019

    I am feeling very much the same. These people suck the life right out of me. It hurts beyond the knife in the back

June mclane says July 22, 2019

Actually I’m doing just fine. I was fed up and walked away over a year ago and never looked back. I have better things to do. Thank you.

Sunday Round-Up - SwanWaters says March 1, 2019

[…] you develop PTSD from narcissistic abuse? According to Kim Saeed, the answer is yes. In fact, she explains, it’s almost impossible to avoid […]

Didi says February 26, 2019

I lived with my narcissistic husband for 40 years before I had the strength to file for divorse, it was extremely difficult because he wouldn’t leave me and my children alone and couldn’t accept it. Just before the divorse was finished he committed suicide. Our children and myself are devistated because of the loss. Despite all the abuse we all still loved him, we just needed separation. This leaves an open wound and makes us all question ourselves.

Jen says January 25, 2019

I was born into malignant narcissicism. It’s generational in my family.
It wasn’t until my last relationship my eyes were truly opened to this insideous evil personality disorder.
My ex was not only a malignant narcissistic psychopath, but suffered ADHD and institutionalism.
It took this personality to bring about my life as it is today.
He just wasn’t like my mother…HE WAS MY MOTHER!!
That’s why I could take all the psychotic abuse that quickly had me reliving my childhood, but now I was in an adult body.
He physically abused me, something that was never apart of my life. After the first attack, I didn’t care. I wanted to die, (having failed four earlier suicide attempts over 20 years). I loved this man so unconditionally like I have never loved anyone before in my life. But I was merely his supply source… which was my normal.
He is currently serving 17 months in jail now because of what he did to me. Parole was denied so he will serve the entire sentence.
Because of him I educated myself in narcissism, ADHD and institutionalism. My God….narcissism! My entire family… malignant narcissicism!!
It was a high price I paid…but after learning the truth about this disorder I have gone no contact with all of my family. I just left the area not telling a soul. I disappeared. No one knows where I am to this day. I originally fled to escape my ex as he will be plotting and planning my demise down to the minutest detail for 17 months and I wasn’t sticking around to live in constant fear of my life.
I realised my family don’t love me either. They never did. I was just a supply source to each of them.
Before I left I exposed all of them for the evil entity they truly are, bringing down the whole deck of cards. What I didn’t expect was their ruthless and malicious revenge on me for doing this…that sealed my decision to flee.
I’m grieving at the moment. The loss of my entire family, the man I thought I was in love with and the reality of the man he actually is.
I’m now alone, 1000 kilometres away from them all…and trying to rewire my brain after 50 years of conditioning.
But I’m safe and I’m free for the first time in my life.
I’m lost with no frame of reference to draw from……. but with each passing day I grow stronger. I struggle through battles I am still conditioned to but I’m getting educated, finally getting support…and the days are becoming weeks which are becoming months…
It’s exciting, frightening, frustrating and energy draining.. spiritually, physically, mentally and psychologically…but I am free and I am safe. I’m at the precipice of my new life. MY LIFE!
A day at a time… letting myself move through the E-motion, no matter how long it takes… this too shall pass.
Academy award winning actors is all these people are. Mimicking their way through life from birth to death. Sucking the marrow out of your bones, and leaving a trail of disaster wherever they go… one of broken, empty, shattered people that have had the misfortune of crossing their path, loving them and exposing them for the hollow fraudsters they are.
One interesting fact I came across in my studies, the malignant narcissist can’t kiss. Kissing is something they can’t mimic from watching… so they avoid it like the plague.
Imitators and actors is their entire existence.
But my God are they good. Until you know what to look for, and have the strength to accept this tragic truth and cut them out for the malignancy they are. The sooner the better. Then you too can heal from the abuse, the conditioning… being born primed for abuse and begin finding your own life. YOUR LIFE ???

    Diana Everett says February 28, 2019

    What a story and Godspeed in your new life, so happy you quietly and quickly escaped. My story is somewhat parallel. Most of my dysfunctional family are dead and the others I have disconnected from. The criminal abuser is in prison for murdering his final victims. I am several states away. Not taking any chances even 20 years out and changing my legal name. Blessings to you for your intelligence in seeing through all of your abusers and your bravery starting a new liberated life.

    Anonymous says July 21, 2019

    Wow! After 8yrs of crazy with my narc I finally stopped doing what I feared the most to stop,and that was providing any more needs or wants for him.He came and went and made life hell,but when he realized I was serious,he left and stayed gone this time,he was living with someone else wthin 2 weeks.GOOD! But 13 weeks later he came back trying to give me his new # and telling me how much he cared.I refused to let him come in to talk and never looked at his #,ot went right in the trash. Then I started setting a goal to get away from him and the crazy family I have. So I moved an hour away and only 2 of my brothers know where I am,and they would never tell him,my mom,my moms favorite born,or any other trouble making toxic family member

    cadavera says July 22, 2019

    That is so weird that you said they can’t kiss! I’ve experienced this and thought it was just too intimate of a gesture for them? (Think Pretty Woman). But wow, that just might be the case here too. I’m so sorry that you’ve lost everything like this and the horrors you must’ve grown up with. I don’t know you but I’m sending you love from CA. Everyone needs some in their lives and now that I’m not giving it away to soul-sucking narcs, I have lots to give.

    Mari says May 15, 2020

    I like you have suffered through too much in my life. But there is now a so much help out there. Nothing feels better than being me. I’ve learned to only invite positivity in, even though those negative thoughts try to creep back. I now have the methods that help so much. It takes hard work to love yourself the way you want to be loved, because we weren’t taught how. I’m in my 70s but at last my fears are being dealt with and life is worth living without feeling selfish. We deserve to be who we are!

June says November 3, 2018

It has been since early May since I have seen her. I haven’t spoken. Nor have I wanted to. I don’t miss her. She had been a “friend” for about thirty years. And nothing has changed in all those years. I had wondered all along what the deal was. This push/pull. The insults, lies, condescendence, etc. why does a person love their abuser? I will probably never know. But it is completely over and i feel happier for it. I have gone on to taking care of my place, fixing things that needed fixing. Got a new car that is 18 years old but real nice. Had my roof fixed. All those things that needed tending to. I see now how she had prevented me from doing things I wanted to do. She always found a way to do it. And I suffered through many disappointments and betrayals. Been subjected to lying. And that everything had to be about her. I am happier now. Even traveled some recently. Just broke that umbilical cord that was keeping me there. Travels weren’t for pleasure, however I enjoyed the long drive across the country and back. My brother is dying from cancer. He flat lined once while I was there, and after another major surgery. I knew that then would be the last time i were to see him. We all seem to slantedly agree that he is on his way out. We had a very pleasant week alone together. And I was so glad that I had gone to see him. But aside from that, I feel happy. There is this liberation even though my life is still the same. It is another ‘’starting all over again”. The last one was a fire in which I lost all that i had spent my life working for. And poof in a day it was all over. And that ended another narcissist in my life. A neighbor. I thought she was disgusting and evil. The closest I could get to it was she was a bully. I think if a bully is not stopped when eleven or so years old, they become skilled bullies as adults…narcissists. That was another liberating time…when that all ended that day and never came back. So my life returns. Slowly, step by step. Your help has been appreciated. I came and went with it. Returning for a little encouragement. It has helped to understand what had been happening to me. Thanks. June

Jacquelyn Downey says August 9, 2018

I’m finding it impossible to find anyone in my area who specializes in Narc Abuse. I find plenty of Dr.’s who specialize in NPD (which I find ironic being that they rarely seek treatment). I have spent a lot of time educating myself about NPD and have noticed that in the U.K. it’s “out there.” It’s everywhere. I had never heard of any such thing until now. My life has been completely obliterated. I’m facing 40 years in prison due to my Narc abusing his position as an elected Sheriff and only on HIS WORD, I was charged with 5 felonies and 2 misdemeanors! I did 2 things the night of May 28. I broke a window in my home and I SURVIVED! There should be 2 HUGE disclaimers on every Narc Abuse You Tube channel. 1 – Do not send videos of NPD to the NARC and 2 – DEFINITELY DO NOT EXPOSE THEM. Lol
Google Jacquelyn Downey, Martinsville, Indiana and you will see the whole disgusting set up. He created such an outlandish media release, I lost my job of 20 years! No one here has ever heard of this disorder. The Narc and I (well mostly just me) have been seeing the same therapist for several years and even she never indicated any type of disorder other than alcoholism. My Narc, I’ve discovered, has been with his mistress even before he met me. My son and I were no more than stage props to paint the perfect family man picture to help him win his 2 elections as our county Sheriff. Now I’ve found money that’s been funneled through a phony church he started in the northern part of our state called “River of Life.” Cute name huh? Over our 13 years of marriage, he, his mother and the mistress have purchased homes in Roxboro, NC. This has been one huge conspiracy between the 3 of them and one other couple who alibied the mistress’ story when he husband “committed suicide.” The night of May 28th, my NARC attempted 3 times to kill me and failed miserably (I have trained for a decade in defensive tactics and am a legal gun owner. I ALWAYS carry my gun and he knew I’d have my gun the night he lured me there. I was going to The Refuge in Florida for treatment for the CPTSD and Trauma. They COULDN’T let that happen. That would’ve put them back to square one of their 2 year mission of just mind screwing me, triggering me, etc. I filed for divorce almost 3 years ago. We have no children, no joint assets and still…I have not gotten my divorce. Now, I’m forced to go through the entire process of fighting these bogus charges with I’m told will take no less than a year.

Sorry I’ve rattled on so long. It just makes me so angry that these NARCs have not been brought to the public’s attention! I mean I had never even heard of such a thing. Since educating myself for the last 6 months, he has done every single step all the experts say NARC’s do including accuse ME of being the Narc! Lol

If you have any resources that lead to any specialists here in Indianapolis or Fishers, Indiana, I would be most grateful. I have depleted everything, lost everything and will like never recover 100% from this “soul rape.” I’ll take any help I can get. Unfortunately, between the $80,000 I’ve spent on the divorce attorney and now $50,000 on a criminal attorney, the loss of my job including my amazing health plan, the $10,500 out of pocket portion I was going to pay The Refuge has now gone to legal fees and the only health plan I’m left with is his “county insurance.” Better than nothing, but coverage is lame. I’m signing up for your ‘Let Me Reach” 10 day workshop. Thank you for doing what you do to try and bring about awareness and CHANGE. I intend to do the same once I put all this “legal trauma” behind me! Lol

Be safe and if you’d like to visit my FB page, I train women in self defense in a little business I started (but haven’t done much with since all this started in 2016). It’s called Win Fit. The website is

My training, setting of the alarm system (putting them on a 10 min clock and the fact that he did not know how to start the BMW suv I drove that night are the ONLY reasons I’m still alive.

Lorie says May 2, 2018

Vicki, it isn’t a quick fix. We go day by day telling ourselves to breathe in & out. I finally understand that my husband is broken & I can’t fix him. Turn & walk away. Don’t ever look back with ‘what if’!!! You can & will do this! It gets better. Stop traumatizing yourself by reliving it. ‘Why’ doesn’t matter! Accept that he did & you will be better without him. You are smart, be confident in who you are. Go live your life & find your joy!!

    Marianna says May 2, 2018

    Thank you Lorie,

    Thank you for your positivity, it is inspiring!

    Thank you for the hope you gave by writing what you did!

Working through the grief, pain and anger - Nyssa's Hobbit Hole says April 27, 2018

[…] it was popular online to say the trauma and symptoms I experienced were a form of PTSD or C-PTSD , said to often result from narcissistic abuse.  But after revisions in the DSM-V (diagnostic manual) to require threats of death, something like […]

Nic says February 23, 2018

Although I am a man, and my abuser was a woman. The points you have highlighted are amazing. I could not imagine someone could know, so completely what I went through. My abuser kicked me out of her flat. Ran up £5000.00 worth of debt in my name. Left me pennyless, with nowhere to live. Then didn’t allow me to see my boys for 7 months. She is still controlling the situation now. Even though I have nothing to do with her. The last time I saw my boys, she showed up to show me her new engagement ring. Back with her ex, who she was with for less than 2 years. Read this article. Absorb the information. Then take whatever steps you need to be free and safe.

Shirley Akpelu says February 22, 2018

thanks for this timely article Kim. We both had counseling from the ministry of our church and through a Christian counselor. That was the first time we threatened to break up, back in 2007. We went as a couple and then I went alone without him. He felt the counselor took my side because she was female. I continued the counseling but never separated. The counseling took place during work hours and I believe led to my job loss years later. I want to seek counseling but during work hours can be risky. I will start by calling the employee help line first.

The second time we broke apart in 2016. We sought church counseling. It did not work out. I

Sandy says February 22, 2018

I was married to a narcissist for 30 years it was a struggle and some days it’s still hard. I have just started RMDR treatments and have done reiki in the past. I wish one day this will be behind me. I have no contact with him anymore, it’s better for me this way. Good luck to all of you, I will keep you informed of how my RMDR treatments are going.

Carol smith says February 22, 2018

I left a 40 year marriage 11 years ago. I still have CPTSD and continue to have. Health issues. I was in therapy and referred to a specialist whose treatment made me worse. I was a pastor and then, Counselor and Reiki Master! What an incredibly difficult terrain to navigate in old age.

Kim Lyon says February 22, 2018

This article hits home. I developed PTSD and many others results of my relationship. I have been away from the situation for almost two years and still learning to function normally. I like many do not have insurance or funds to seek professional help. This has been a self healing and it has been absolute hell at points. 52 years old and my life was totally destroyed and I was a strong woman until the relationship that started after my divorce of 27 years of husband that decided he wanted to cheat right after our o my child left the home. I feel for everyone that goes through this cause it is HELL !!!! Narcs are a totally different breed of humane. My life was ruined and he currently is living the life with no remorse or second thought of his actions.

    Sandra says January 6, 2019

    Kim this is my life I am 52 and been married for 27 yeas.

    I have three kids 2boys and 1 daughter.
    I want to leave so bad but like every one says he tells me I would never make it. My daughter just moved to a place he does not like,I might just move with her. Any way back to my poin. He try to have sex with me of cores after he tells me he will not be married to some over 100 pounds I am at 128 pounds. So I don’t let him tough me. He is going crazy I don’t give a flying fish. He told me that he would devores me if I went to a shift at work we called it 4th-shirt it’s from 6am till 6:30 p.m Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He says what am I going to do? I have been on the shift for 7 months now. He said that I should be married to my mom cuz I was at house for 3 1/2 hours. He tyres to make me fill giltiy. I don’t. But yet I have not seen any papers about devores. He just doesn’t want me to be happy. So am I living with a narcissist? He also blames me for every thing.

mskathybwells12 says February 22, 2018

I married a psychopath and did not know until after he left me and our counselor explained narcissistic abuse to me. I was traumatized, emotionally, financially and physically. My husband played the victim and all of his extended family and friends bought it. He tried to convince the counselor I was demon oppressed and crazy but it backfired. His lies found him out. He had multiple back door relations while fronting a “Good Christian man” facade. I’m coming up on a year, and I have to say, I actually feel sorry for the women, yes plural, that he played with in the process. They bought his lines too, and are unknowingly becoming the next one. His first wife said, “Just wait until the real T comes out. ” Now I understand. And, his poor live-in long-term ex before me died last year because of emotional and mental trauma, or so I learned. There is an undeniable patern of behaviour and they know how to feed your insecurities and needs perfectly. His words were honey. Beware the flattery. This site has helped me work through the pain, so I’m grateful for info and share sites like this. I clung to my faith because God didn’t do this evil, this man chose this. If love is a choice then so is the choice for evil. We aren’t robots. We are lucky to have survived! Best to you in recovery.

Heidi Cecile Schøne says February 22, 2018

Liked a lot what you said in the video! I do have PTSD. Didnt even know that was about 16 years ago when I was diagnosed witht that. Ive been stalked fr more then :
30 years Norway didnt have laws against until very risendly. About 4monts ago since this was passed, so sinceIwas 18 years oldI was l was mostly on my own raped and attempts of taking my life etc. It eventually ended up in news etc. But he wouldnt stop. And NO law could stop him withlout him hurting me physically. And I managed to escpime many times ! So yes, I know what PTIS is! Thanks a lot.. Heidi from Norwayp


Vicki says February 22, 2018

I had been with my narcissist, now my ex husband for nearly 25 years. I had no idea or at least I was use to making excuses for his behavior. He left me in a text message, I found out he had been cheating and lying for years. The divorce is now final and things have been surfacing such as: it put a rag down under the engine block of my car and it came close to starting a fire, he-recently showed me his rifles he bought from money I gave him and explained how he scoped it in at 50 yards. He has not worked in years but I worked two jobs to support us. Then when I was at work he took everything he wanted out of our home. I am so devasted and feel hopeless, at the same time I miss him and want so much to talk to him. He always laughs at me for being emotional and thinks I am pathetic. How do I learn to live again without him?

    Tanja says August 5, 2018

    You can live without him if you want to live. Because while you not living, he is. Your ex will continue to be him, always. They never change. You still have him in your heart and you have to get rid of him first there before you can truly move on. Think of yourself first and take it one day at a time to get to the other side. I know because I did it and you can to.

shannon says January 11, 2018

I think the hardest mountain a person can climb is that of narcissistic abuse. Your exhausted the time you get to the top and have to climb back down through recovery. I wasn’t in the relationship with my narcissist, but used as narcissistic supply. He told everyone I liked him and was being victimized by me. I liked him, but didn’t realize he was a narcissist till much later. I hardly did anything to him that would warrant the smear campaign he waged against me. In fact, it was weird– we had everything in common and I was better looking than his own wife. You would think if he was a narc he would have dumped her for me. However, I soon learned that he was using my attraction to him as an ego boost. I was his narcissistic supply. He had already smeared my name so he could look like the victim. So, he couldn’t turn around and pursue me or everyone in his life would know he was such a liar. Which he was. He told me if I was single he would date me and it was about timing between us. However, he never let his wife or ex know that and denied his emotional infidelity. I now suffer PTSD. I have nightmare over the things he did to me, such as the hacking of my cell phone and computer system that this man did. I even lost my faith– because I couldn’t believe that God would let someone so evil who professed to be a christian do such things to me. Narcissism in my opinion is the most evil and worst mental disorder a person can have. The only happiness I have derived out of this awfulness is that his wife is married to him and she has to put up with his evil and always know that she was an option.

Matthew Johnson says January 4, 2018

I’m now officially diagnosed PTSD due to my NPD ex-wife. Its just a formal acknowledgement of what was very obvious. Its almost four years and I’ve made very little progress. Obsessing over every detail of our lives, her life with others and so much else seems to be holding me back. It was dependency, not love.

I’ve recently discovered her adultery that began the week after we got back from our Honeymoon. The hits keep coming. As is common, she is totally emotionless, without a shred of empathy, that is, unless someone is watching.

I’m doing everything right. I moved away, go to therapy, go to a group divorce support, work hard, take care of the kids and all the rest. Yet it almost seems like I’ve become worse.

When I first read about NPD relative to divorce, I felt like I was reading her biography. She has every single symptom — even the minor ones — as an integral part of her personality. Of course, she’s convinced the world she’s the victim, so I remain isolated. Having all the facts on my side helps me not a bit.

At the very least, I’ve identified the problem and realize how common it is. I’m also surprised how differently men and women present NPD traits, since its mostly a male affliction. Symptoms aside, the disease is identical in all general respects.

I appreciate you showing me I’m not as alone as I feared.

    Kim Saeed says February 22, 2018

    What kind of therapy are you in, Matthew? Sometimes traditional talk therapy isn’t the way to go, if that’s what you’re referring to. The best therapy is trauma therapy using some form of EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, to name a few…plus, a program to help you create new habits.

    Wishing you the best!


      Anonymous says February 22, 2018

      Kim you put out a lot of great inform that a person can read every single day but I’f they have no money or way to seek help it’s
      Pointless to keep reading all of this each day to just reconfirm one has been abused and notning can do about it

        Kim Saeed says March 3, 2018

        Hi Anon,

        I am sorry to learn of your struggles and I used to feel similarly that there was nothing I could do about my life, but now I know that’s not true. The first thing you can do that doesn’t cost anything is to visit your local domestic violence center. That’s what started my own path to healing and a better life.

      Matthew Johnson says February 23, 2018

      Kim, I’ve done it all. I do group therapy with a divorce support group here in town. I have a flabbergasted therapist that often just shakes his head at me because he has no idea. I also see a psychiatrist.
      I’m quite challenging to treat, I guess.

    Larry Beeler says August 5, 2018

    Matthew, I too am male and consider myself an NPD victim. As a male and a healthcare worker, it’s a little tough for me. I should have known better, the signs and symptoms were there.
    It occurs to me that the harder I work on recovery the deeper into despair I get. I’ve suffered all the physical effects, thought I was insane, became very depressed and lost my job. The information that Kim has provided has been extraordinarily helpful. Whether my fiancee is a narcissist to me is up for debate? Her behavior’s match to the model perfectly, Love bomb, idealization, devalue, and discard. then come back when I didn’t give her the satisfaction of interrupting my life in the short term. Then came the final discard and NO CONTACT. To only then accuse me of being the Narcissist? All this led me to research NPD. These people are out there, men and women. Their objective’s are probably validation of self. I have no clue. I do know the emotional emptiness that I’ve felt in her absence, and I’m clear that these people have used us, you, me and whomever in the most horrid of ways while holding themselves out as the victim. They are remorseless. We can no longer allow this to win over us. There is no magic treatment as powerful as our own determination to quash there power by walking away with a WTF just happened. I have no doubt that these people are miserable. Searching for something that we have that they will never have. LOVE of SELF.

    Bethany says January 4, 2019

    Have you tried to have fun? I see you have been doing lots of psychological work…but that keeps bringing it to the forefront of your mind. I too and dealing with the letting it go part. The trying to keep it under control and not let it dominate my thoughts…having to actively choose a different thought in the moment takes practice. But if I shift to the future…what I do want…the partner I deserve (without thinking of where I have been) … What my ideal house looks like, what a new career pathway looks like, what I can do with my gifts…that all seems to change how I feel…then I am just grateful he is out of my way. It has been a little over a month – he continues on…living inside his world – and I continue on living in mine…and look I am making a connection through a shared experience. So not all is lost. I hope you find some peace. I hope you can transmute the hurt and pain to love of your babies and showing them how purposeful their lives are. You will be ok!!! Just have to find a balance between the mind and spirit…limitless potential and NO one blocking the path. That seems perfect to me. ?

Sherri says December 6, 2017

I kept thinking PTSD but felt wrong comparing myself to a combat soldier so this article is the first I’ve seen that unoquivuosly (did I spell that correctly) confirms the relevance and certainty that is really imperative for me right now.
He was able to gain custody of my children and the files from the shelter I was in were overlooked as too old to be relevant. I am now fighting for my kids who endure his abuse and I’m worried for my mental and physical health, not seeing an end in sight. Somehow, people look at me as though my concern is fabricated or motivated by vengeance. I have a 17 year history with this person but had left when my kids were young. Though he never treated me civilly, we weren’t in his direct path of harm. Until four years ago. And life as I knew it ended. I have not been the same since and I’m afraid I may never be able to remember who I was or return to that person and life. The emotional anguish is so deep and intense my entire body aches and I’ve developed multiple physical issues. I’ve honestly never been so afraid and felt emotions through my body like I do now and I actually finally asked someone yesterday if abuse is still illegal because in my experience. I’ve spent more time in jail and defending myself to courts and the police than he ever has. I don’t think the police have ever paid him a visit. And the threat of me going to jail again is still prevalent. Thank you as this article is a little piece of encouragement and a glimpse of normalcy. That I might find the woman I lost four years ago

    Michelle says December 13, 2017

    My ex emotionally abused me for 14 years. He has custody of the kids and I’ve been convicted of domestic vandalism against him. I’ve reported him several times to the police but they are not interested. Apparently being stabbed by him in the hand is perfectly acceptable since he lied saying i was trying to stop me hurting myself.

    Sweety Khattri says January 3, 2018

    I feel your pain and can relate to you. This article helped me see that there is hope..

6 Strategies to Help You Stop Overreacting When Healing from Narcissistic Abuse - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says December 1, 2017

[…] in the aftermath of narcissistic abuse is also indicative of having formed PTSD and C-PTSD, both of which require dedicated commitment in order to heal […]

Chrysti says November 7, 2017

Are there quantitative studies to support this information and the effectiveness of an intervention in a micro, mezzo, or macro setting? I experience symptoms of C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse, and I have decided to write my social research paper on this topic. Any information you can offer would be great. Thanks for your time and helping raise awareness.

    Kim Saeed says November 8, 2017

    Hi Chrysti,

    I have case studies based on my personal experiences and those of my clients. I do most of my own research on Google scholar, but I don’t have anything concrete that I can offer, except perhaps the work of Judith Herman and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I do have a colleague who might be able to point you in the right direction. Her name is Michelle Roberts, and her site is here:

    Wishing you the best.

    Kim S.

Aromatherapy and Meditation: Essential in Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says October 22, 2017

[…] It’s also why certain smells can trigger deeply buried fears and trauma, such as those experienced with PTSD or C-PTSD. […]

Elaine says September 13, 2017

My daughter has a change in personality along with her PTSD after living with a narcissist.
Thank you,

Jo Smith says May 17, 2017

Hello…I am a 29 year old abuse victim. My ex boyfriend tortured, bullied, cheated, gave me STDs, got physically abusive, told me my childhood rape was my fault everytime he got mad at me, he called 911 on me and told the police I was suicidal then the police and ambulance came and I tried to call him repeatedly, find out later he was busy sleeping with someone else while I was “attempting suicide” he body slammed me several times, my family lost a child and we were all upset and crying and he yelled at me to go cry to another man about it….the list of horrifying things he did to me goes on and on and on.

I am generally a healthy person..I work out, eat decently, drink a lot of water, no family history of cancer at all….then I suddenly get Breast Cancer. My doctors were stunned considering how healthy I am, we did testing and everything- cancer does not run in my family.

I am living proof what these monsters can do to a person. One of my doctors believe i got cancer due a traumatic situation. I am telling you now…I know it’s easier said than done but RUN LIKE HELL before he/she literally kills you. I regret and hate myself so much for letting myself go through this.

    Jw Chadwick says June 16, 2017

    I’m terrified to admit that went through some very horrible situations with ex gf of over 3 yrs.
    From the very start, she caused drama daily, constantly accusing me of cheating, assumed I had then passed stds onto me twice in a 3 y r period.
    Drama, her accusations never stopped, was cyclic but never predictable and never did she admit to causing arguments simply for her adrenaline rush which was a replacement for her supposed prior meth habit, always claimed she was clean, Yet acted in ways only drug addicts behave.

    Finally after years of the same problems, always her concerns and issues, never caring how I felt and what she was doing mentally to me, financially as well, I lost all love and faith for her. The mere sight of her just disgusts me. I got to point I wanted to physically hurt as she just would never stop with her accusations of me cheating, not a single time I ever, or put myself in a situation to cheat.

    She constantly with held affection and time from me even if I’d j u st done her the millionth favor she demanded, or provided her with what she would literally demand either in clothes or bills to be paid, Even when sex was used, in her benefit and I wasn’t interested as I knew of numerous times she cheated, she would simply tell me other men would easily replace me.

    Finally, I’d had enough, and cannot stand the sight of her. It’s not bc I miss her, or have love for her, it’s pure anger and it’s been over 6 mos. Still feel nothing but hatred for her. I’ve turned this anger inward, now it’s manifesting as depression, and a low self worth, hopelessness bc I could’ve even get a single apology from her, ever.

    It was her wants, needs and constant demands always, constantly needing to be told how pretty or smart she was, openly stating that everyone loves her….. made me sick and just outright disgusted to be around her.

      Alina Caruso says October 2, 2017

      We will never get the closure we deserve or feel we need. They’re never going to sincerely apologize for what they did to us or explain why. We’ll also never begin to understand having someone in your life simply to hurt them but that is a GOOD thing. It means we have empathy and are capable of loving wholeheartedly. I’ve beaten myself up so much, rattled my brain completely trying to wrap my head around why, or how someone you love (that claims to love you back) could hurt you so badly. And that’s why we begin to fall into these deep depressions, because “there’s no way someone could be this evil, there has to be a reason” and the only way to justify it in our minds is by accepting the blame ourselves, but it is not our fault! Nothing we did caused them to treat us this way- they are sick, narcissistic abusers and that is why. You finding this post means you now know why, and hopefully you can start the healing there. This is your closure.

    Alina Caruso says October 1, 2017

    Did you get out? Your story sounds so similar to mine.. We’re even the same age. I hope you are in a better place ❤️

    cadavera says July 22, 2019

    After being charged and convicted of a felony, along with my narc ex, I developed endometrial cancer while in prison. I recall so many medical people saying how unusual this type of cancer was for my age of 43. It’s not a genetic form of cancer although ironically, one of my prison friends has it now too as did her sister. So, I don’t know but i blamed being overweight and never having kids as the precursor. After reading what you wrote here, it makes me wonder. I had an off and on relationship with my ex for 15 years if you count the prison sentence, 12 years if you don’t. I hope you’re doing better now!

The little-known reasons why you need to leave the narcissist ASAP! - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says May 16, 2017

[…] now, most of us know that repeated emotional trauma leads to both PTSD and C-PTSD, which should be reason enough to leave an abusive partner.  But, what many people […]

Rachael says May 9, 2017

Hi, so I think I am suffering from PTSD or C-PTSD?. First, I had my second child 4 years ago almost, my husband was verbally/emotionally abusive then, he was young, but at that point i was put through a lot, he burned my journals right in front of me from college, and just told me so much mean and hateful things. I then felt trapped because my parents were supposed to help me with the kids while I was working but they jerked the rug out from under me, without any kind of notice, we were struggling, and I was tired of everyone my husband and my parents who i can not rely on, who are also narcissists, my mom is a complete monster and my dad is her puppet, i will get to that later. but i ended up attempting suicide, I asked for help from my family, was told that I didnt deserve my kids from my mom, and was told all kinds of other stuff by her my whole life that is just wrong. So anyways, i ended up being committed for a week,was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and decided to divorce my husband. Well my parents, while i was in the mental facility, painted this picture of oh we will help you and all this stuff. So me being that they are my parents, trusted them, the mental health place wanted to put me in a single moms home which i wish i had done to begin with. Well after a while they started treating my kids like crap, treating me like crap, and in the meantime my Grandmother was on her death bed, and I was supposed to receive an inheritance, that my dad and my grandmother told me about when my grandfather died. I was trying to work things out with my husband, because he was devastated when I left, and he really has changed since we got back together. But my mom told me that I better not get back with him after everything I put them through like a threat. Well they had badgered me about what was going on, and i wasnt really sure at that point in time. My mom proceeded to tell me that i was no longer welcome in her house, my husband and i packed up the kids stuff and my stuff, and I had to move out with my husband. Which my mom claims she never kicked me out. ha! Well, fast forward, and my Grandmother is about to die, the day after my birthday I drove up to see her and held her hand as she took her very last breath. She was my best friend, and that in and of itself was traumatizing. The day After she died, my aunt who was the executor of the estate told me my parents had been sending her emails, begging her to set up a trust fund, because they thought my husband just wanted to be with me for the money I was going to get, and take it and run. I can see where they were coming from, but the emails were absolutely awful. Instead of coming from a place of love and care, they said I was a slob, that I have a bench warrant out for my arrest, that I am a drug addict (all of which is not true),that my sister will do so much better with money (mind you she is the one held up on a pedestal by my mom, my grandparents were my advocates and protectors from my parents my whole life, but they are dead now). They said SO many other terrible horrible things. I was hoping to get my life back on track with my inheritance, but my trustee told me the harder way is the better way so ive been trying my best with that. I never got to have a dream wedding because my mom refused to pay for it. My sister just had one that I did not go to. I do allow my kids to have a relationship with my parents but thats it. I have been told to just forget what happened, but I cant. My husband and I are doing a lot better and we are strong. However my mom keeps trying to rear her ugly head in my life, and im so sick of it. There are nights I literally stay awake just thinking about what happened during that time, and crying and its so freaking confusing. I have so many mixed emotions about it, and I dont even know where to start. It hurts so much that my Grandmother thought all this stuff about me before she died. I mean I just want to think about something else but I cant, its always in my face watching everyone else live their dreams, when we have to struggle paycheck to paycheck, its like my mom gets off on seeing me unsuccessful. It is scary, and devastating, and even though this happened a few years ago its like it happened yesterday, now I do not trust anyone at all. I am taking up drawing and painting, and it does help with getting my mind off of stuff. I was going to therapy, but because I cant get help with my kids being watched I couldnt make the appointments so I just stopped going. Sorry this was such a long post, and Im sure a lot of people have been through way worse, but I literally feel like I am emotionally damaged for the rest of my life.

Resource part 3 – rebuildingmylife2016 says April 24, 2017

[…] PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse […]

Anonymous says February 19, 2017

I have ended the relationship.
He is in jail 100,000.00 bail for violation of protective order, physical, verbal abuse.
Working on healing. Flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety the worse. The constant fear what is next.
Everyone says you are safe now. They don’t even know what is in your head. The physical person is locked up.
Sometimes you think he is coming upstairs. Just habit.
Can’t sleep , eating is all messed up. Don’t eat and then eat.
I just want out of my head.
I know I will get past this.
Just taking so long.
PTSD IS Real. Unless you have been there you don’t know. Like no control of your thought process.

    Kim Saeed says February 20, 2017

    I can relate, Anon. I went through a somewhat similar situation. I hope you’re in a treatment program to overcome your symptoms. Wishing you all the best.


Pat Conlow says February 19, 2017

I’m free but still trapped

tillie says October 17, 2016

i can relate to a lot here, after leaving my abusive husband (which i now think is a narc) i was diagnosed with deppression and anxity but none of the tablets they tried really worked (well i didnt feel as if they were helping me) and always had nigge;ing feeling there was something else wrong, never really had the nerve to tell my doctor that though… stupid idea in my head saying doctors are doctors and they know better x

    Anonymous says November 9, 2016

    I totally understand what you are saying.
    I am so anxious these days – residual affect/effect; I myself, have seen my GP and reluctantly, have now been prescribed anti anxiety meds!

      Kim Saeed says November 16, 2016

      Hi Ines!

      Thank you for your input! Yes, Melanie’s program has helped a lot of people, which is why I’ve brought her onboard in my New Life Academy. She is a faculty member in The Essential No Contact Accelerator Course. In fact, her first session inside the course is happening this evening! Here’s the link for anyone who’s interested:

Matt Johnson says October 12, 2016

My ex-wife fits every single symptom on the list for this sort of abuse, as well as for sociopathy. I don’t mean that she occasionally exhibited them, but that they were an essential part of her personality. The world thinks she’s wonderful. I’ve done everything right: moved away, still see a counselor, no contact, etc. Its almost three years and I still struggle. She did things to me that I can barely admit to myself. As always, I assumed I was repulsive and somehow deserved it.
Its a long road I guess.

    R.C. Dodge says November 9, 2016

    It takes time. I left my ex and went no contact after 27 years of her abuse. Still live in the area and about twice a year would see her by running into her at a store or whatever. It was EIGHT years before I ran into her and did NOT have an very strong fight or flight type reaction. That was about 6 months ago, and I count that as a milestone. I don’t agree with the author, I think I was crazy the last 10 years of so. I stayed with her at the urging of my family, and her family, for the kids sake. Youngest turned 18 and moved out – and so did I the first chance. Like getting out of prison!!!

    Alina Caruso says October 2, 2017

    I know how hard this is, especially having no one that understands and feeling alone. We don’t have to, there are so many who have been where we’ve been and we should be able to get through it together. Talking to a counselor that seemingly doesn’t believe half the things that happened to me, or taunts me for staying for so long, because she simply doesn’t understand, isn’t in the slightest bit helpful. But I believe we can help each other. You got away from her and that is amazing; you recognizing you deserved more means you know you do, and puts you one step closer to a happier life and love. Just know that you are capable and worthy of love, and were not at all deserving of the hell she put you through.

herms says October 12, 2016

after reading this article it all made sense what I have been going through the last 5 years after I left my narcist husband…. i am getting there, but still have that feeling of falling back into this insecure person of who he made me and I had let him do this to me….2 steps and make 1 step back and sometimes 5 steps forward and 2 steps back… step by step I feel I am getting there.
Now 3 out of the 4 kids came to life with me due to the fact their father literally kicked them out of the house with verbal abuse etc etc… you all know what I am talking about. I love the fact that my kids are safe with me but all their scars are taking me back and down to a place I do not want to be anymore and I cannot seem to find a way out … I feel I am being pulled into this hole of desperation, unhappiness, feeling of running away but can’t, depression, panic attacks of which I do not want to be and do not want to feel anymore.

Shelly says August 21, 2016

12 years I experienced this. Until he kicked me out and brought in my former best friend of 35 years to spin his lies to her. I had a lot of emotional trauma in my childhood. Narcissistic adoptive father. My husband dug and dug until he knew everything about me. Then he used that to rape my soul. It took me 5 years and a suicide attempt to realize what was done to me. I already lived with PTSD before him now I have C-PTSD. I used to be a kick ass, confident, professional woman. Now, I have difficulty at work and am no longer the Dynamo I once was. I am also hyper reactive to any perceived emotional abuse from work place bullies. BUT at least I’m safe now. I do isolate myself and love my alone time. I now have major trust issues and am absolutely against letting in any man in my life. I was so fooled by my husband that I no longer trust my own judgment. However, I can feel myself getting stronger and have made a close relationship with another coworker. It’s been a loooong time since I had a best friend. But I know I’m getting better as I now have boundries where I once had none, and I was able to accept her friendship. I will keep on keeping on and encourage the little spark in me and nurture my soul. I am getting better so there’s hope.

    Elisabeth2016 says September 24, 2016

    Hey Shelley
    I have just across this website and just by reading your post – it’s made me feel less MAD! So much of what you said has resonated massively.
    Not sure how this site works, but will post up my response to you…….,

    elisabeth says September 24, 2016

    Hi Shelley
    Everything you posted – resonated.
    ClearlyI am not going mad…the dirty trick about PTSD or this C-PTSD…it creeps up on you months and months later it seems….Hope things are better (or getting there), for you now.

The little-known reasons why you need to leave the narcissist ASAP! | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says January 17, 2016

[…] now, most of us know that repeated emotional trauma leads to both PTSD and C-PTSD, which should be reason enough to leave an abusive partner.  But, what many people […]

PTSD From Narcissistic Abuse | PTSD FORUM says December 20, 2015

[…] is the link that discusses PTSD after narcissistic abuse: PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse Source: […]

Donna says November 15, 2015

I happy to see this article. It took me a year to realize that I have PTSD because almost everything published about PTSD has to do with military combat. More needs to be published about PTSD related to abuse and/or trauma in adults.

    s.creech says July 30, 2016

    Thank you so much for these stories. I was in a 30 year emotionally abusive marriage. I raised 4 very successful children during this time, which is the reason I stayed. I finally walked away and left him a business, 2 homes,100+ acres of land and several investment properties. The agreement was that he would leave it all to our children. He has since sold 75 acres and has remarried making no arrangements for our children. I am now homeless. Can’t get a job in his hometown and can’t afford to leave. Had some health problems, no insurance can’t work full time and not much of a future to look forward to. I’m 58 worked since I was 16, 2 yrs full time so he could finish his college degree, the man took my whole life then threw me away and I was too afraid of him and emotionally dead to fight for what I had worked all my life for. Now I have nothing.

      dee says December 18, 2016

      This is why i continue to suffer in an abusive marriage.

        Alina Caruso says October 2, 2017

        This is why you shouldn’t! Learn from this do not let yourself sink further. My heart broke for her, I broke down immediately reading her story. I am trying to get out of an abusive relationship as well, he isolated me from friends, family, got me fired from my job, I have nothing and no where to run, but this just showed me that regardless, I need too. One day he will be done with me, then what!?
        We need to have some way to take care of ourselves, You need to have something on the side, be it education, a part time job putting away every penny you can, a cushion-something to fall back on, some kind of back up plan. Do not let him take your life, if you take anything from her story please take that. Do not let this be the reason you stay. You deserve so much more, do not waste your life away with this man. And s.Creech I pray that you find solid ground, you did the right thing, he took enough of your time and happiness I truly hope you can get your life back. You are clearly a very intelligent woman and I hope you can find a way to do for yourself what you did for him.

PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse says October 23, 2015

[…] Source: […]

Darla Star says October 14, 2015

The after math of my narc left me with OCD. He made a comment about my cars being dirty and after he abandon me I started to clean and clean and clean and clean. I go to bed at 3 am after getting off an 11pm shift. I wake up to clean. In the back of my head I think he will see how clean I am and return to me. I know this won’t happen though. I got back with my ex Not the narc and he doesn’t realize why I became such a neat freak.

    Kim Saeed says October 14, 2015

    Hi Darla Star, I am sorry you are experiencing OCD tendencies. I can relate, although I developed mine because I felt that they were the only way to have any control over my life. I still have a compulsion to straighten cluttered desks (everything has to be linear – i.e., books lying straight and papers lined up just so), my pantry items must be facing face forward, and gas purchases and the volume on the TV must land on an increment of five.

    With all of that being said, did you know that perfectionism (clean freak tendencies included) is a form of self-abuse? You may want to consider seeing a counselor because I’d love for you to accept yourself without any outside validation (self-love even if your house looks lived in). 🙂

javion says September 22, 2015

I am a victim of narcissistic abuse. he was never physically abusive but I always feared the potential. When I finally left he did what any narcissist would do….pull the child(ren) in the middle of it. He is a police officer and I’m just a regular citizen. Strikes were against me in court considering he filed for full custody of our child (who he can’t even take care of) and we practically got split physical custody. I later learned the judge over the case played basketball with my ex’s attorney. We went through a 3 day trial that resulted in me getting full custody, but when the final order came through, it read “joint custody” and we were never married and that was not what was agreed on. I had to pay an attorney to correct this huge mistake that gave my ex a land field of room, to manipulate, exploit, and harass me with the court order. it’s even stipulated that I have to be available for him to talk to her 3 times a week when she’s with me, when we already shift her from house to house every 3-4 days. It’s been nothing short of stressful. My ex has exploited the whole “parent-child relationship act and used that as his platform to gain sympathy from the courts. Anytime he badgers me and I ignore him he accuses me of “keeping him from our daughter and damaging their relationship”. He harasses and practically stalks our daughter at her school by visiting everyday and going up there in his police uniform to show off to the teachers. He showers her excessively with attention that he’s never done before until court started. She is only 6 and does not know the difference yet. He also plays on her emotions and makes her feel sad about coming home to me. He subliminally makes her choose between the two of us by making her feel bad or sorry for him. He has 5 kids total by 4 different women that he is no longer with, but he focuses only on the child we have together as the one he just has to have all of this contact with. Our relationship was terrible. So terrible I really can’t take the time to name or remember all the awful things I experienced. I never knew a human could be so diabolical. He purposely infected me with an incurable STD and denied it. He also allowed me to go my entire pregnancy with no warning to protect me or our daughter who he all of a sudden “loves so much”. He has since infected other women as a COP and he still either denies having anything, or points blame on me. He tells so many lies he can’t keep up with what lie he tells whatever person. He continually gets away with ruining young women’s lives because he acts above the law since he is the law. It has been a very traumatic journey for me and many times I feel like just giving up. I know if I give up my daughter would be ruined. She is the only reason why I fight, but in this fight, it has taken a toll on me and getting back to my old self has seemed nothing short of impossible.

A Covert Narcissist's Wife says August 11, 2015

Reblogged this on vckhs7.

Melinda says July 3, 2015

I definitely believe that I suffer from PTSD in addition to being depressed.
I have nearly all of the symptoms listed above. I was abused growing up and I’ve had abusive relationships with men.

I have almost no friends because of what I’ve been through, and my inability to trust people.
I’ve had severe insomnia nearly all my life. I find myself being triggered if somebody looks at me in a certain way or uses a certain tone, because it takes me back to the verbal/emotional abuse I experienced; it makes me feel like a frightened little girl again. I cower and flinch when it happens.

Very low self-esteem, constantly comparing myself to other women, hating myself.
Severe depression and thoughts of suicide, fear of the future. No job or career (don’t want to share too much about this). Dependent on pills to sleep. Constant sadness and despair. I used to drink heavily to numb the pain and was very promiscuous for a while, but not anymore. Now about 60 lbs. overweight and unrecognizable to myself…I gained all the weight after the relationship ended. I can’t seem to lose it no matter what.

Yes, the aftermath is terrible. It turns you into a shadow of your former self.

    Donna says November 15, 2015

    You should see a counselor.

    Fi says August 10, 2017

    No idea if you’ll read this, but I can relate to virtually all of what you’ve written.

    Somehow, knowing of others whom have experienced similar, gives me hope for recovering from this. Maybe even by talking with people who have experienced similar.

    It’s two years since you wrote this post. I hope things are getting better for you?


mystraightjourney says June 16, 2015

Reblogged this on mystraightjourney.

fletchenkitty says March 21, 2015

Reblogged this on fletchenkitty.

    Kim Saeed says March 22, 2015

    Thank you for the reblog <3

lynn says March 5, 2015

Can this also happen from a situation as described above except instead of a parter it is at work and from a manager?

    Kim Saeed says March 8, 2015

    Lynn, yes…most definitely. A good book to read (if you haven’t already) is “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout. On a related matter, you may want to consider ways to transfer to another location, or even change companies. I realize that may be an uncomfortable prospect, but sometimes it’s necessary. Best of luck, and thank you for commenting.

sml79 says February 25, 2015

I’ve been in two relationships with partners who at least have narcissistic traits, now I’m really screwed up and no longer trust people.

Rachel crowder says February 18, 2015

I love all the info and insight.

Post-Abuse Link Farm | googly eyes on the prize says February 4, 2015

[…] PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissist Abuse […]

positivagirl says January 25, 2015

I had severe chronic PTSD when I met the charismatic sociopath. 3 years ago. I had had severe chronic PTSD for 2 years previous to this, 1 year of this spent with a narcissist. Prior to that, the initial PTSD was caused when my child died, I thought i would die too. 5 days of being trapped, and forced into induction of labour 3 days sitting holding a dead child who went to the fridge at night. I started my blog in early 2013, people wondered how did I write in so much detail? I have recently gone back to it and sadly (its made me cry) realised it is because I was so traumatised when the abuse was happening to me, that I registered every single detail. I had no concept of the outside world for 3 years (I was blogging with no concept of the outside world), and it was 10 months after starting blogging – I started to have emotional connection. EMDR is good for PTSD actually for me, sociopath mirroring was also good as it mirrored me, and helped to pull me out.

I never thought I would recover…… I really am getting there, and almost there.

PTSD in the Aftermath of Domestic Abuse | 911 for the Blue Line says December 8, 2014

[…] by: Kim Saeed, Blogger […]

jill says November 8, 2014

I was working hard in a city I hated w 2 kids and pregnant. The city itself made me ill after the first couple of months here and I told him so. I have fibromyalgia with severe chronic fatigue.iwasvery ill when pregnant. When he was a baby I collapsed and couldn’t get back up again which caused a whole bunch of problems he won’t let me forget.I got off some nastypills iwas on for my children’s cildhood. I spent in entire length of their childhood living in a backbedroom. I don’t trust shrinks. Pills they made me take made my life worse. I’M stuck in a dirty SOUTH WEST town. Yards from a pool but he won’t get me a suit I did have an inheritance that he spent. I’m in a crummy apartment next to a freeway under a flight path. I want toleave but have no placeto go.when you hage the way your namesounds you want it changed. He’s thrown out .most of mybelongins. I sleep on a couch with my dog. His car is inhis name but my car is ours? I.lm not the group home type and am too old and donr want to hear the problr kof others. I ju just want out please. More than 30 years of vacation in 35 years. My brother said he hopes I find the right type of pills. Ive beenoff them a year and was never depessed as diagnosed in the firt place. It was I who discovered I had fm/cfs & I told the dr who . Wastreating me for .ms. my kids don’t like that I make these accusations
I ve called that hotline and they didnt help but I dont know what to do anymore. There has been physical injury as well as emotional, sometimes I think my migraines and fm/cfs could have been caused by him. This city isvery dirty I hate cement all around andwish for a cc older fresher place with air and to just be alone and away forever. brother has blocked me.

Annie says November 8, 2014

I have been toying with the idea of PTSD for the past few weeks. This post has helped me to realize I likely suffer from C-PTSD from sibling abuse. I have nearly every symptom associated with PTSD, but haven’t experienced a “severe traumatic” event.

I am 56 years old, each year I feel; more anxious, disconnected, and sad. I don’t enjoy social events, I’m on high alert at all times, afraid of humiliation. When I isolate, I feel lonely. The little confidence I have gathered in life is slipping.

As a child from a family of 10, I was the scapegoat. I was tormented by my next older brother and sister. Every day, I was laughed at and teased. If I tried to get away from them, I was followed and taunted. We lived in the country, so were isolated. I was repeatedly told how stupid I was, ugly, worthless, fat, would never amount to anything, and no one would ever want me. Every mistake I made was a family broadcast and resulted in prolonged taunting. My other siblings did not stick up for me, and often joined in on the taunt. My mother looked the other way, or told me to stop being a baby, they were only teasing me. My dad was sick. At age 15, this brother set me up on a blind date, as a joke, with a 22 year old controlling man. This man “loved me”, the first person who ever said that to me. I became pregnant at age 15, and married him, It was my escape from that home. I divorced by age 19.

I’ve been through counseling twice, but it hasn’t “stuck”. I think this may be because I didn’t address the PTSD. I am a successful professional woman, I am thin, physically active, eat healthy, and have been told I am nice looking. I am married to a kind man, who loves me. I have 2 beautiful grown daughters and 2 lovely grandchildren. I have a few friends, but am very slow to trust.

I have withdrawn some from my family of origin. I still live in the same area, but don’t engage much, mostly holidays or special events. My abusive sister has cut back quite a bit on her hurtful comments, but I avoid her a lot. My brother is unchanged, I think. I don’t engage with him much at all and he basically ignores me. I have found myself in a couple of parallel experiences with in-laws and at work, where I had flashbacks to my childhood, and basically felt “re-victimized”. This has left me more cautious.

I am not suicidal or in danger of hurting my self. I have been treated with SSRI’s for depression and sleep medications, but they leave me feeling flat and groggy.
I want to heal. I want to feel joy, not emptiness, fear and sadness. I feel broken and robbed. This blog has given me some hope that there are others out there who have suffered sibling abuse and could help me heal. I would appreciate any suggestions, insights, or ideas anyone may have. I am excited that some are writing a book about their experiences, as it is helpful to hear from others. I don’t want to write a book, I’m not good at writing, but I would be happy to share more of my story.

    Kim Saeed says November 14, 2014


    Thank you for sharing your story. I wish I was more experienced in the area of sibling abuse so that I could help you. Typically, I believe most struggles such as the ones you described are rooted in childhood wounds, and as such, healing our inner child is crucial in most cases. I do have a colleague who might be able to help. If you look towards the top of my page, there is a tab for Dr. Jenner, who happens to specialize in inner child healing. He offers a 60-minute, free consultation. (Just so you know, I do not receive any type of compensation for referrals). It might not hurt to reach out to him. Who knows, it could end up being a life-changer. Please don’t give up on yourself.

    Anonymous says October 13, 2016

    Hi Annie, thanks for sharing your story. After leaving a narcissistic husband I tried many forms of healing. “Breath-work” was (for me) mind blowing! I had 5 one on one sessions then group sessions after that. It’s a life changing experience.. I recommend it for anyone.

Samantha L. Petronave says October 31, 2014

Hi I would like to re-post this article on my Blog. Its supremely well written and will help me and my readers. If that’s okay, I write a Blog about dealing with the effects of having a relationship with Psychopathic/narcissistic abusers.

    Kim Saeed says November 19, 2014

    Absolutely, Samantha. I would be honored <3

Joyce says October 28, 2014

I suffered 27+ yrs under my EXs abuse. Even being back in the same locality fr 7 yrs divorce .. hes tryna weasel his way back into my life. So I’m moving away asap.
I suffered 2 nervous break downs & physical collapses.I was afraid he’d hurt the kids. Life is so horrible terrifying .. he was all the abuses bundled in 1. The SAD part is people thought I was an ungrateful wife. (biblically speaking – he committed adultery 6 months into our marriage; bcuz I didn’t believe in divorce .. I stayed n suffered needlessly)
After 8 yrs of prying my youngest daughter fr his grips – she is severely traumatized. But I have talked repeatedly with her about his actions toward her. And at 1 point I saw a lite of recognition go on in her expression. She has become more open to my words now & in time – she will recover. She has her get away plans.
Narsassistic behaviour is like staring the devil in the face. Many times – I felt he was horribly – not normal !! Those individuals r soul rotten … Run away as far as u can n stay away 4ever. They never change!!

Linda Ortero says October 26, 2014

What a twisted world it is. Sometimes we can feel like the Lone Ranger out there. Your not but it feels that way sometimes. Being victimized where ever it is at work, home on the street it is just wrong. Everyone is spinning around in their own little world today. We don’t want to commiserate with everyone not knowing their story. In a perfectly balanced world right is right and wrong is wrong but in reality it’s not that cut and dry. Being a survivor of a narc mother and husband , sister etc from birth through life my views of the world and my life experiences changed the way I see things. It is the same story for every individual who has been traumatized by someone they’ve loved or by someone who by nature should have loved you unconditionally. ( like a Mothers love )How to fix the damage left behind is my main goal. Just to unravel this big ball of yarn. Not to feel broken or fragile or to be testing everyone’s intentions. Setting up land minds not resting or trusting others or myself. These are the issues rolling around in the mind, coloring your view of the world. How hard can it be to love? God doesn’t like ugly is a saying I heard over and over. Hold on to something that carries you throughout the doubtful times. Find peace in the fact you were so close to evil and you were able to see it. You were fearless to call it by its name. Find Joy in the fact you stand tall some days in spite of what you’ve dealt with. It’s not easy being the one in a family or a marriage who’s been the target of a narc and their cronies. How do you fight the lies and slander? Or do you even bother? Do you feel sadness and compassion for those who did not stand up for you? They knew it was wrong. Why did they not have the strength or love for you to stop the narc? There are so many questions we need to answer ourselves. We don’t all have the same questions either. So we don’t have a one size fits all questionnaire. Just being able to vent helps. So good night my friends may Peace and true acceptance show it face tomorrow for us all.????~ Linda.O~

Joyce Ann Dwulet says October 25, 2014

It happens to both genders. My son was a victim.

PB says October 25, 2014

I’m in brisbane Australia. I don’t know where to start when it comes to help, assistance, healing, treatment, etc. I’m doing the best I can, but I’m drowning. Fast. help?!? Please!

annie says October 24, 2014

I was in an abusive relationship 10 years ago, and even though I’m in a stable, healthy relationship now; every now and then something will trigger those old memories again. It’s not fun. I don’t know if I ‘qualify’ for any type of help with this kind of stuff, because it doesn’t really affect my life any more.

LMR Saturday Survivor – Inspirational Stories from the Front Line | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says September 6, 2014

[…] Each Saturday going forward, I will be posting inspirational stories from people who have been the target of Narcissistic/Psychopathic/Sociopathic abuse, but came out victorious.  It is with great pleasure that I share Let Me Reach’s very first submission by Scott Dougall.  His submission was in response to an article I’d written titled PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse… […]

silkred says September 5, 2014

In a way it takes a while for you to believe that you suffer from something like this, PTSD feels to be something that you suffer from when something real and horrific happens – like may to a soldier in battle or similar – not a middle aged man trying to enjoy flying his hang glider gettng bothered by some self important tosser and his minion followers.

Then when you realise all those revolving thoughts in your mind are the manifestation of cPTSD after years of manipulative underhanded cowardly abuse that resulted in your social disconnectedness and the depressing reality that represents in any persons life, then you get angry at the tosser who did this.

Then, eventually, after going NC, whatever the cost that represents to you in the short term, you find your mind becoming clearer of these revolving thoughts evaporating – I have a therapist now too who helps me reconstruct my self and define a way forward, but it is at this stage when you realise you were really suffering from this PTSD thing you could not come to believe before.

This is real, in a deep sense such that it is inescapably real, not something you can brush away – I think all you can do is accept that you have PTSD and cPTSD and not worry how it got there – the cause – the abuser is an irrelevance – no – what you need to do is accept this and then day by day be kind to yourself – seek happy people – happy memories – write about them – take yourself into peaceful places and enjoy the beauty of each moment.. for me this is my days now – seeking peace..

Feeling joy when I realise I am healing.

    Kim Saeed says September 5, 2014

    This is touching, poignant, and inspiring. Would you mind if I turn this into a guest post/quote? I would love to share this, and I can post it without using your name, if you agree…or, alternately, proudly display it if you so wish <3

      silkred says September 5, 2014

      I would be proud for you to share… And am happy for you to use my name. 🙂 thankyou Kim <3

        Kim Saeed says September 5, 2014

        Great! I’ll post it within the next 24 hours or so! Thank you <3

        Kim Saeed says September 6, 2014

        Hi there, SilkRed…I’m about to post your lovely, inspirational story, but wondered if I should use your Gravatar name or real name, Scott Dooogall?



          silkred says September 6, 2014

          Scott Dougall… My real name… I’m looking forward to seeing this .. Its nice when ideas gain life in the world.. Thanks Kim.

          Kim Saeed says September 6, 2014

          Great! Sorry if I misspelled your name in my first comment. I was going by your email address 🙂

          silkred says September 6, 2014

          Its ok… I misspelled it as a joke… It reads a little like a Scottish accent.. 🙂

          Kim Saeed says September 6, 2014

          Just posted it 🙂 Take a looksie and let me know if you’d like any changes…

          silkred says September 6, 2014

          Only thing would be to change… ” like may to a soldier” to ” like maybe to a soldier”… 🙂 I wrote and posted this quickly… Thanks for doing this Kim.. Feels nice to sense connection.. 🙂

          Kim Saeed says September 6, 2014

          Done 🙂

          I must thank you for following this site and posting about your courageous journey to healing. I believe it may help others who read it <3 It certainly inspired me!

          silkred says September 6, 2014

          Thanks Kim I hope so too.

cyn says August 9, 2014

Kim, could the “relationship” with the Narcissist include employer/employee? I am a Surgical Physician Assistant and work very closely with my surgeon/boss. The hours are demanding, and we are generally together 5 days a week, 10-14 hours a day. To be effective, this relationship MUST be one of mutual trust and respect. My previous boss is the definition of a Narcissist. Initially, I didn’t recognize his methods of control, but over time, he became outright verbally and psychologically abusive. He convinced me that I was a poor clinician and that I was lucky to have a job. Fortunately, I have been out from under his thumb for 9 mos, but the effects are still very obvious. I have nearly every sign/symptom of PTSD listed in your blog. I would be very interested to know your thoughts.


Bryan says July 3, 2014

I am a victim of narcisstic abuse. I’ve burned the midnight oil in order to get ahead while she would consume the profits. I worked two full time jobs while she would drink with her friends. When the weekend would come I’d be stuck cleaning the house and resposibilities overwhelm me while she is blind. Any cries for help would create huge fights. The lack of empathy is appauling with this disorder. I would flee in a beater van for avoidance and sleep in it while she would stay in a north shore home with no shame. The avoidance and lack to protect the family is horrible. My daughter wanted to go to the Dells while I saw a blizzard coming. I stated no although my wife let her go. My daughter was involved in an accident. My wife had sex with me while knowing of the incident and I was told about the wreck when I picked her up. She now left me from my extreme outburst for help in cleaning a once again neglected house. Everyone suffers from the host and it is a downward spiral.

    Kim Saeed says November 6, 2014

    I’m sorry to know of your situation, Bryan…

    I hope you can find a way to leave this situation which has no benefit for you, and may, in fact, be harmful for your health and well-being. You may also be interested in another site that’s specifically for men who have narcissistic partners. It’s

    Best of luck. You deserve to be happy.

      Anonymous says November 6, 2014

      Things have gotten better since my daughters suicidal episode with a 180 BAC. My wife displayed the same behavior and dumped overwhelming responsibility on my 14 y/o. It seems the repercussion of this behavioral issue is parasitic to loved ones. I’ve accepted I’m a caregiver rather than a family member. This reduced my moral anger and have patiently shown corrective behavior. I’m continuing to lead by example for the sake of my 3 daughters. Behavioral issues are as deadly as any disease, just harder to see the bleeding.

Leslie says June 26, 2014

Oh my gosh . . . this speaks directly to me with every word. People if any of you have small children, get them and youself into counseling NOW before they end up like my son.

I was married 12 years. I could not put my finger on it until now . . . almost 20 years after the divorce. After remarrying (another abuser), I started seeing a Christian marriage counselor. I started reading and doing research. My soul was literally blown away when I started reading about narcissist personalities and the abuse they inflict. Almost each and every thing I read took me back 30 years and echoed all they things I experienced and had been saying for years . . . I just never had a name for it. And I have jokingly been saying for some time that I suffer from PTSD from my first marriage.

People just kept telling me to get over it and get on with my life. But since we had a son, now 21, together, the abuse endured. Now that I have been in counseling I now realize that it was not me, but his evilness. The thing now, which is the absolute worst punishment my ex could inflict on me, is the brainwashing of my son. I dedicated my life to my son and the love I have for him is something I cannot put into words. He is a good guy. I often have said that if God gave me the desires of my heart, it would be to raise my son all over again. His father has taught him to hate me. Looking back I can see how he sowed seeds of hate and disrespect for me. Every time Michael came back from summer visitation with his father, there was disrespect and a bad attitude. I always called it Michael’s readjustment period and had to get him back in line with treating me with respect. As he grew older, the attitude was worse and the “readjustment period” was longer and harder. I know my son has always wanted his fathers unconditional love, the kind that he got from me. And the only way he was going to get his fathers approval was to hate me. It kills me to see my son being used as just a pawn. My ex cares more for inflicting pain on me than what it is doing to our son. I have begged the ex to stop and telling him “Michael should love and respect both his parents. You are encouraging Michael to sin and go against God’s commandment to love his mother.” I have tried to just keep loving through all the hate, but I am wearing thin. I have drawn boundaries such as “please do not talk to me that way. I love you Michael beyond words and would give my life for you, but that does not entitle you to talk to me in such a disrespecting way. It is not honoring to me as your mother.” My side of the family has been totally ignored. And it was my family that has always been there for my son as he was growing up . . not the ex’s.

These last few years, I have just told myself that Michael is young and immature. What son does not want his fathers approval and love. To just give him time and space and he will figure out things for himself as he matures. But each and every encounter with Michael is a reminder of his underlying hate for me. He only calls when he wants something from me. I bought a house in the country with Michael in mind. He is a big hunter and I wanted to give him a place he and his friends could come (and he has many times) hang out and hunt. The house is a fixer upper and I need lots of help around here. Does Michael, despite being here with his friends when I am not here, done anything but eat the food I bought for them. No he has not done anything. His father calls him to help him move cross country (which the Navy is paying for anyway), and he is there for a full month.

I am getting prepared to just cut ties. To now be the one who ignores text messages and voice mails. The boundaries have to be make clearer to him. I pray God will give me the right heart and words.

I pray and pray. Only God can fix this.

Aromatherapy and Meditation: Essential Steps in Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says April 8, 2014

[…] Smell is the only one of our five senses that is directly linked to the lobe of the brain that houses our emotions.  Along with all positive emotions, negative emotions such as fear, anger, depression, and anxiety originate from this area.  This explains why the scent of an apple pie baking might remind us of Thanksgiving at our Grandmother’s house, resulting in feelings of nostalgia and comfort.  It’s also why certain smells can trigger deeply buried fears and trauma, such as those experienced with PTSD or C-PTSD. […]

FireAndIce says April 8, 2014

Reblogged this on My Road To Deliverance with the comment:

One blog where I learnt about PTSD following Narcissistic Abuse – Fantastic insights and spot on!

firenice84 says April 8, 2014

Reblogged this on My Road To Deliverance and commented:
One blog where I learnt about PTSD following Narcissistic Abuse – Fantastic insights and spot on!

FireAndIce says April 2, 2014

Like many of you, I am also dealing with PTSD. However, it is not from a narcissistic partner, but rather a narcissistic mother and sister. I have been trying to write a story about an incident with my sister, but the character is coming out too flat. My friend who’s training to be a psychologist said that everything that I felt – including the anger at the characters were all there between the lines. I’ve been spending time trying to analyse the characteristics and behaviour of sociopaths and people with Antisocial Personality try and get into their heads to make my writing all that more terrifying.

Apart from reading Journal Articles, I have spent most of my day at a couple of blogs. They were heartbreaking and yet extremely insightful. I thought that I was the only one wondering what I did wrong to deserve such abuse and heartache. My hurt has actually manifested physically in terms of horrible chest pains when I get anxious. That was what eventually led to the diagnosis of PTSD later when I got a referral from the Pain Unit because there was no physiological cause for my pain.

I understand the fear, the helplessness and the terror; I live with it on a daily basis. The never-ending replay in the head when I’m awake and in my dreams is torture in its purer form. Sometimes I think that my mother and my sister are still winning because I’m still suffering while they are carrying on in their merry ways. Am undergoing psychotherapy.- have had over 10 sessions now. Am also on anti-depressants and additional meds for times of extreme anxiety which lead to panic attacks.

I have cut all contact with my sister since 2010. In October last year, she tried to make an entry into my life via a Facebook message. I ignored it because I know that whatever I say to her will be the wrong thing to say. I’m pretty sure she’s seething about my ignoring her friend request. She tried using her kids as a manipulative tactic that her kids wanted to visit their cousins (my kids) but she has used the kids too many times as weapons, that I’ve had to harden my heart to it, trusting that the person above will look out for them.

I have had to maintain contact with my mum because of my intellectually disabled brother who still lives with her and dad. Dad is very much the victim too, but he would like the delusion of a connected family – at least until he passes on. I told him that I couldn’t expose myself to my sister anymore. 2 years after my PTSD diagnosis, I finally told my dad in February this year.

On the bright side, though, I am married to a wonderful, sensitive, caring man for almost 12 years now and I have two beautiful children. Without them, I wouldn’t be here to share with you my story. So keep that chin up, dear ladies. Somewhere out there is a man just for you – one who will sweep you off your feet – but not the way a narcissist does.

    Kim Saeed says April 5, 2014

    I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this.

    I wish I had more resources on Narcissistic parents and siblings, but I try to write what I know. Although I could research the subject, I still wouldn’t know what it’s like psychologically, and I don’t want to give advice on the topic that might later turn out to be wrong…

    I would recommend is doing some inner child healing, if you haven’t already. I also listen to Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra a lot. Wayne Dyer has an excellent list of “Ways to Transform Your Life” that I listen to often on YouTube:

    I know of other people who’ve had to cut ties with their family, including parents, in order to begin healing. I am glad to hear that you are married to a good person. Having a supportive partner helps in many ways…

      FireAndIce says April 6, 2014

      Thank you for the empathy. It is greatly appreciated, especially coming from someone who has lived with such abuse, albeit in a different form.

      Writing about what you know is understandable. I’m already doing lots of research into Narcissism. I had to take a break from my Psych degree but am enrolled in a creative writing unit now, so have access to the many journal articles available in the uni’s library.

      Thank you for the suggestion of healing the inner child. I had not heard about that until your reply. Will definitely be attempting that, and I think you have given me the push I needed to start my own blog too. Have been thinking about it for a long time, but never got around to it.

      I so look forward to reading your posts! 🙂

      Marilyn says October 31, 2014

      I am an adult survivor of a sibling sociopath, much the same as FireAndIce. I have read a lot on the topic and can attest that there is much more available about Narcissistic / sociopathic partners than siblings or family members, but there are many parallels. My sociopath sister’s behaviour follows the same path as any other sociopath: the nicey-nicey phase, then the lying, trashing, abuse, and discarding. I can’t go into the details, there are just too many. I’m in my 50s and have endured a lifetime of my sociopath sister’s abuse. Finally, in 2012, i had to cut the ties. I was having intense anxiety which led to nearly constant chest pains, and i knew i was suffering from PTSD, so i got myself to a therapist. Like FireAndIce, i would like to write a book about the family aspect of sociopathy, and i think it would be a cathartic thing to do, to get it down in writing, also very educational for others in a similar situation as what i am. I do not ever expect to speak to my sociopath sister again, and it took a very long time for me to get over my feelings of abandonment, regret, hurt, and shame, but in reading everyone’s posts and all the information out there, i am now on my healing journey. The one thing i will say that is true of any healing process, whether it’s a Narcissistic / sociopath partner or family member, the only way to start the healing journey is to walk away and don’t look back. If you try to engage with a Narcissistic / sociopathic person, they will always find a way to dominate and humiliate you. Good luck, FireAndIce, i wish you well. Thank you Kim Saeed for your insight. I’m learning more every day and thus, healing more too.

      Debra says June 12, 2015

      I find it interesting that you derive benefits from listening to Wayne Dyer. Wayne Dyer is the trigger that has sent me crashing back down into the abyss with his “Everything is YOUR fault” philosophy.

    bellam979 says October 16, 2014

    I have the same issues and now added a friend to that mix. I never had chest pains before or any such anxiety until this year. Looking forward to reading both if these blogs. Thank you for sharing FireandIc. My family wants to be connected. Both parents desire that but mother is NOT a unifier especially when she and sister team up. The stories I could tell.

      Kim Saeed says October 16, 2014


      Thank you for stopping by and for commenting. I recently added a tab that talks about PTSD, and also added some various videos that use different techniques to help cope with PTSD symptoms (if you’re interested). Hope you have a wonderful day 🙂

    Debronski says March 5, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your story…..I can really feel for you, you have a lot of insight to see thru your sisters manipulation,I think you made all the right decisions and kudos to you oh and lots of courage too. God Bless and keep you and your family 🙂 !

What abusers hope we never learn about trauma bonding | Avalanche of the soul says February 22, 2014

[…] was exhausted, hypersensitive and anxious – all symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Waves of grief and pangs of longing left me breathless. But, as his hoovering turned to stalking, […]

threekidsandi says February 9, 2014

I have PTSD, from what you describe. Thank you for posting this, and thank you to Teela Hart for directing me here.

Teela Hart says February 7, 2014

I have nominated you for an award, Kim!

PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse | FotoJennic says February 5, 2014

[…] PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse. […]

sweetmarie9619 says February 2, 2014

I will try to keep this one short, because I recall writing a book-length comment on a previous post. 🙂

Thank you for this. It brings some much needed attention to the resulting trauma abuse victims and survivors suffer. The conditioning and the neurosis I have left are the things I struggle with most. Defeating the fear of impending punishment some days takes more energy than I really care to expend. But I really do feel crazy. At times, I feel like I should be able to have it under control, even though in my heart I know for the amount of abuse I endured, I am doing really well where I am right now. Why be so down on myself for things being traumatized and HUMAN when I can focus on the what I have gotten through?

Ixchel says February 2, 2014

Reblogged this on Phoenix Rising and commented:
A thought provoking and informative post by Kim Saeed of the blog, Let me Reach.

Teela Hart says February 2, 2014

Reblogged this on Teela Hart.

PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse & Why I Am Speaking Out | Moms' Hearts Unsilenced says February 2, 2014

[…] PTSD in the Aftermath of Narcissistic Abuse. […]

Teela Hart says February 2, 2014

This post is so informative and has helped me put a few things into perspective. I can definitely identify with the symptoms. Thank you!

Torn 2 Peaces says February 2, 2014

I, too, experienced PTSD from my marriage. The deceit, games, silent treatment, cruel comments, disrespect, threats… And now he’s using my pressure daughter as a weapon. She shows evidence of extreme emotional trauma, but family court doesn’t care about evidence or facts — those can be bought &/or manipulated. I struggle. So. Very. Much.

    Kim Saeed says February 16, 2014

    Torn, have you thought about involving your local Domestic Violence center? They were a huge help to me. They can provide you with a court advocate and transitional housing so you can escape the domestic abuse. Even if he’s never hit you, the staff at the center is trained and they know that emotional abuse can be just as bad, and sometimes worse, than physical abuse.. They also offer other resources like reduced-fee counseling and support groups. It’s important to get authorities involved so that you can start getting yourself and your daughter away from this situation. Also, if you decide to leave, the police will offer to accompany you while you get your things so you can leave. It’s worth thinking about.

    Anonymous says October 24, 2014

    I am walking your walk. The court system really doesn’t care to hear the truth. Devastating.Allows the crazy to continue. I wish there was a judge to step up to the plate & say enough & care about the truth. If it was their daughter or their son,,,,they would have a different opinion. Push forgery & lies under the rug,,& push the case out. The feeling I can’t express is so helpless. All i could do is continue to ask Jesus please help me.

      Anonymous says October 26, 2014

      You are right, most law enforcement dont’ care and won’t do anything until it’s too late

myahava says February 2, 2014

Reblogged this on Courage in French.

StrongerSoulSurvivor says February 2, 2014

Reblogged this on Avalanche of the soul and commented:
If you’ve experienced domestic abuse, you may have PTSD or C-PTSD. Check out this great post on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – both of which arise from experiencing significant trauma.

    Anonymous says September 24, 2015

    Thank you for this. It has encouraged me to do something about the”aftermath” of emotions and healing which it will be awhile !!

      Kim Saeed says September 24, 2015

      Thank you for stopping by and letting me know my article has encouraged you. You’ve given me my own bit of inspiration today. Wishing you all the very best in your recovery <3

gracielynne62013 says February 1, 2014

Reblogged this on Single Parents of Texas Unite – A site to educate, empower and unite single parents.

    Kim Saeed says February 1, 2014

    Thank you for the re-blog. How thoughtful of you. I hope it reaches the people who really need it.

      gracielynne62013 says February 1, 2014

      I do to. I have wondered if I have PTSD due to the constant attack by my ex-husband over the last 4 years. I think I am okay so far but I could identify with some of the symptoms. Thank you so much for posting such an informative piece.

    WORRIED says July 27, 2016

    I’am 33yrs old ‘n already suffer from suvere mental illness…me n my 13yr.old live with my Narcissistic 65yr old mother.i never knew how much of a”controling,minupulating, cold heartless troll” she is until i devolped PTSD. FROM my childhood abuse.. that now i believe she was “somewhat responsible for, because of ALL her narcissistic needs.. right now i can idetifi when her attack will come on. For one she plays “a victim” n lies to the police when, i finally engage off in defense n sends me to JAIL! ANYWAY MY 13yr.old is also caught up in this n i worry about his menal health statuse now?

StrongerSoulSurvivor says February 1, 2014

A really useful post Kim. Is it okay if I re-blog?

    Kim Saeed says February 1, 2014

    Certainly! You can re-blog anytime you’d like 🙂

    Thanks for asking and for sharing!

    Jodi Arcega says May 4, 2015

    I just realized why I broke my toe kicking a heavy bag in a fit of rage over a speeding ticket. Ever, single symptom listed above is ME. My life. Wow! I went through 4-years of narcissistic abuse and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse in my early twenties. Starting intensive outpatient therapy tomorrow. Thanks, Kim.

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