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narcissistic abuse recovery

So You Have Complex PTSD, Now What-6 Steps

Have you recently been diagnosed with Complex PTSD or have you been researching your symptoms online and wonder where this rabbit hole will lead you? Check out my post on the signs and symptoms of CPTSD here.

Complex PTSD is not something that is well known, even in the mental health industry. This disorder plagues people who have encountered narcissistic abuse and trauma. If you do not learn to manage and minimize the symptoms associated with CPTSD you will be bound to a BPD like life. This was enough to scare me straight after experiencing the wrath of BPD trauma filled individuals my whole life. Recovery is the divider between personality disorders and survivors. Cluster b personality disorders stem from trauma, so you have seen your future if you choose to skip this step.

The journey to recovery is far from simple, but it is manageable if you break it down into steps. These are the steps that helped me make progress without overwhelming my body and mind with uncontrollable anxiety and igniting my fight or flight response. Your body and mind want to heal, you just have to give it the right tools.

  1. Arm yourself with knowledge about cluster b personality disorders-know thy enemy
  2. Identify your root wound and original abuser-you were groomed by someone in childhood to accept these kind of people and ignore the red flags
  3. Identify the toxic people in your life currently-find the red flags you have been ignoring and the people who make you feel uneasy, bad, guilty, unworthy, less-than, etc
  4. Go No Contact with all the toxic people in your life-use the Grey Rock technique when you cannot go No Contact
  5. Find a knowledgeable counselor, coach, or friend who is familiar with narcissistic abuse and recovery
  6. Let the healing journey begin and be patient with yourself-healing is not a linear process

The shock of realizing that your whole life has been preparing and grooming you to be a pawn for cluster b personality disorders to use is a heavy reality to swallow. However, feeling sorry for yourself will not help your healing journey or recovery. Realize you are human and this is apart of your evolution. The real tragedy would be to continue to live in the dark as a pawn for toxic people and become toxic yourself.

Xoxo

ZiFi

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Tools I Used For Recovery

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The other night when I was making gluten free, grain free, paleo, keto, vegan, no sugar added pancakes, I had a light bulb moment. These moments happen at the oddest times, but clarity is always priceless. My pancakes fell apart in the pan on the stove and I got frustrated. However, I refused to give up. So with my frustration, I threw the rest of the batter onto a cookie sheet(see the frustration) and put them in the oven. Well, they actually turned out to be really tasty cookie like things.

Life is like making pancakes. If we do not give up, something good will happen if we continue to channel our energies in a productive manner. It may not always be what we aimed for, but a good outcome is a good outcome and there is always something to learn from not giving up. My “pancakes” showed me that I may not always get exactly what I want, but I get what I need when I keep going. Life is always providing lessons if we choose to listen and be present.

I am choosing to be present with others who are doing the same. Recently, I started coaching and enjoy learning through helping others create a plan of action to make their life and recovery from narcissistic abuse more streamline. There is only so much I can learn from reading books, research studies, and consuming information. Working with people and being a creator rather than a consumer is way more enriching and rewarding for me nowadays. Knowledge is all about learning, but wisdom is about acting on that knowledge.

This idea came to me tonight, as I am snowed in. There are moments when I have extra time that I do not always have a plan for. On days like these, I will be offering same day free coaching sessions. Connect with me on Instagram, because I will post on there when these times are. I will choose people who message me at random. All I ask from you is the desire to progress in life, no matter where you are in your journey. Let’s connect while having a cup of tea together and find some solutions to streamline your life, health, and progression.

I look forward to chatting with you.

Xoxo

ZiFi

Instagram @zifi_writing

P.S. I have made my “pancakes” in the oven again since my discovery!🔥

13 Signs Of Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD is one of the parting gifts of leaving narcissist abuse behind. It really is the gift that keeps on giving and many people do not understand how deep it’s effects run. Yes, you survived the abuse, but now you have to process it all and reprogram your brain and body to realize you are safe and worth love.

Growing up in a narcissistic family cult means I never knew what safe or love actually felt like. I had a weird obsession with the Holocaust as a child, because it was the only group of people I could relate to. I had prison guards, rather than parents, and felt like a prisoner of war. This is what separates PTSD from CPTSD. PTSD is an isolated incident and CPTSD is living on-going trauma.

I do not know if many people can understand what living a life of trauma feels like, but it is a corrosive experience that washes away your soul. Growing up as a prisoner of war made being in a romantic relationship with a narcissist seem like a cake walk. I stayed because even at its worse, it was still a hundred times better than the abuse I grew up with that I thought was love. When you are raised in a war zone an encounter with a terrorist is not really enough to make you see the red flags.

Even after being diagnosed with PTSD when I was 20, I still did not feel understood and/or resolution. I continued to downplayed my childhood abuse, because I had forgotten most of it. My brain was protecting me and I am very grateful. During this whole period of being diagnosed with PTSD and having a nervous breakdown, my BPD Mother was present enough to gaslight me and to get the information she needed to garner sympathy from everyone she could. Staying in contact with my BPD Mother added over a decade to my trauma and recovery. I spent over 15 years on anxiety medication continuing to think the problem was me and my inability to be resilient. This is why I write about narcissistic abuse and growing up in a narcissistic family cult.

Here are 13 signs you are suffering from CPTSD:

  • experienced childhood neglect
  • experienced other types of abuse early in life
  • experienced domestic abuse
  • experienced human trafficking
  • experienced being a prisoner of war
  • lived in a region affected by war
  • Difficulty regulating emotions, which can manifest as extreme anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and quick swings from one to another
  • Losing memories of the trauma or reliving them
  • Dissociation, feeling detached from oneself
  • Changes in self-perception, including feeling totally different from other people and feeling ashamed or guilty
  • Challenges in relationships, including difficulty trusting others, seeking out a rescuer, or even seeking an abuser
  • Distorted perceptions of the perpetrator or abuser, which may include ascribing all the power to this person, becoming obsessed with him or her, or becoming preoccupied with revenge
  • Loss of a system of meanings, such as losing one’s core beliefs, values, religious faith, or hope in the world and other people

CPTSD does not have to rule your life. Healing is a process, but it is possible. Recovering from narcissistic abuse and CPTSD is one of the most rewarding and difficult experiences I have ever had. There is so much hope on the other side, start your journey today.

Xoxo

ZiFi

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Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322886.php

Codependence, People Pleasing, & Addictions

Codependence, people pleasing, and addictions all stem from looking for happiness outside of ourselves. When you are raised to please others first, rather than yourself, life can be a slippery slope to navigate. Learning how to put yourself first is one of the most difficult steps in narcissistic abuse recovery, because it goes against the grain of how we were raised. Growing up with a narcissistic parent, or parents, you understood that your feelings did not matter and if you took a stand to express yourself you regretted it later, because it never turned out well.

Codependency or self-love deficit, as Ross Rosenburg puts it, is the tendency to not be authentic with yourself and/or others. As a child, you were never shown how to unconditionally love and honor yourself. Thus, you seek security and love from others. This pattern often repeats for a lifetime, until there is someone who uses this need for love against us. When the effort and lessons to finally unconditionally love ourselves are less pain and work than staying with someone else who gives us conditional love, only then do we address this issue.

People pleasing is merely an addiction to keeping the peace and getting approval. When you have a parent/parents that deny your emotional reality, you start to do this to yourself as a survival mechanism. This trait/addiction becomes deep-rooted into the person you believe yourself to be. However, in actuality, as a human being you are an emotional creature. Denying this reality is denying who you are as an individual. This leads to all kinds of addictions that may vary, but all stem from looking for comfort outside of yourself.

After a lifetime of not addressing or acknowledging your own feelings, keeping the peace, and looking for approval outside yourself, it is almost unheard of to not have developed some maladaptive coping mechanisms that have become addictions. Addressing these addictions is just as important as acknowledging your feelings. Addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol, they can be anything from working out, shopping, sex, eating, playing video games, people pleasing, ect. What do you do when you feel lonely or depressed? Is it making you a better person or is it holding you back?

Being honest with yourself about addiction is one of the key components of narcissistic abuse recovery. If you cannot admit to having a problem or issue you will not be able to resolve it. This requires digging deep and looking at all aspects of your life and actions. What do you do over and over that hurts you? What do you do that makes you a better human? What do you do that you picked up from your original abuser? What is the motivation behind your actions that you take when on autopilot? Now is the time to ruthlessly question everything.

Xoxo

ZiFi

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Sources:

https://fherehab.com/news/people-pleaser-personality-addiction-recovery-good-bad-2/

11 Traits Of Cults & Narcissistic Families

Narcissistic families are run much like cults. They believe in brainwashing their members to believe the world is to be feared and family is the only thing that will and can save you. When you are born into a narcissistic family cult you know no different or better, so everything seems normal and you assume everyone’s family is similar. No child would assume their family is at the root of their difficulties in life.

Here are 11 traits of cults and narcissistic families:

  • The group(family) displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader, and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  • The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel.
  • The group(family) is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and its members 
  • The group(family) has a polarized, us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  • The leader is not accountable to any authorities
  • The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and control members. Often this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
  • The group(family) is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  • The group(family) is preoccupied with making money.
  • Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
  • Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

Growing up in a multigenerational narcissistic cult is the experience that scarred me the most. It distances your reality from actual reality, by design, and makes you question yourself and the validity of your feelings for a lifetime. If you are the only one who sees and feels the dysfunction it must be something wrong with you. Understanding the abuse that your mind, body, and soul endured as a result of your narcissistic family cult is the only way towards healing and recovery. These people are not family and they are not motivated by love. Narcissistic family cults merely want to keep you stuck, so you have no other choice but to endure their abuse for a lifetime. Love is not supposed to hurt, you deserve better.

Xoxo

ZiFi

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Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201105/the-narcissistic-family-tree

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