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.
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.
It’s organised, widespread, and growing. Some describe this form of harassment as, “A psychological attack that can completely destroy a persons life, while leaving little or no evidence to incriminate the perpetrators.”
Growing up in a narcissistic extended family cult means you never get to forget the past and/or where you come from. The people/family members left behind will forever go out of their way to remind you they still exist and a complete escape is impossible. The heard mentality of a narcissistic family cult is all they have when it comes down to it. The one who escapes threatens their shared reality and their self worth. If you escaped that means they failed to escape, and there really is a world out there beyond the madness they perpetuate.
Kudearoff Family and Associates,
I invite you to keep up your toxic antics, but know I will be publicly sharing my experiences with gang stalking from now on. This is your warning and your way out of my story. No longer will I suffer in silence.
Growing up with a Narcissistic Mother is one of the hardest things I have ever endured in my life. I always knew there was something wrong with my Mother, but never found the words until last year. Honestly, I just looked at her as damaged and someone I was supposed to feel sorry for while looking after her as my own child. This is the root wound and original abuser in many of our lives. Narcissistic Mothers prepare and condition their children to be in relationships with narcissists and other toxic people throughout their lives.
If you grew up with a narcissist Mother then you did not get to have a childhood. Life was all about them and their needs and wants. Here are some signs of a narcissistic Mother with some examples from my own childhood.
Competition-They are always in competition with their children.
Emotional Incest-My little brother still lives at home at the age of 27. My Mother likes this because then she does not have to be alone and face her fears of abandonment.
Do not validate feelings and/or allow children to be seen.
Fear of abandonment.
Do not have the ability to love, so they love bomb occasionally to save face and keep up appearances.
Will turn their children into slaves/personal servants. It is your job to take care of her because she is the forever child and you still have the opportunity to grow. She punishes you for this opportunity.
Will tell you the world is an awful place to be feared. This instills the fears she has about the world onto you.
Withholding of everything, but especially love.
Has to be the center of attention.
Neglectful because being a Mother does not provide the payoffs she expects.
You are to live up to her expectations and not your own. She is the one that you have to impress and her standards are the rule, not the exception.
Jealous of children’s successes. My Mother told me that she deserves credit for the books I have written because she taught me to read.
Manipulative-Guilt trip, Blame, Shame, Emotional Coercion, etc.
Child is the source of the problems.
Love is conditional and used as a reward to reinforce behavior that makes her feel superior.
These are just a few of the signs/tactics of a narcissistic Mother. When you realize these traits are just apart of who they are and have nothing to do with who you really are, the sooner you can heal. Rewiring your brain from childhood is quite a large task, but it can be done. Loose all hope for her and know that your hope needs to go into making your future the brightest it can be.