Most people have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of you reading this blog may have been diagnosed or suffer from the effects of long-term abuse by a narcissistic abuser. If this is the case, you have suffered from trauma. This is very real. Growth and resilience, however, is also available. This is the AND that can widen our perspective on the indescribable suffering you have endured after the effects of a toxic relationship with a narcissistic abuser.

According to   SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) 2014:

 “Trauma refers to experiences that cause intense physical and psychological stress reactions. It can refer to a single event, multiple events, or a set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically and emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”

Now consider the effects of an emotionally, psychologically, and/or physically abusive relationship with a narcissistic abuser. There are lingering effects, the triggers, perhaps the imprints from the unconscious mind that show up in our nightmares; the relentless ruminations, worry, anxiety, and anger. The gnawing resentment and the inability to truly trust others may prevent victims from moving into the fullness of their lives.

 Perhaps the feeling of not being “safe”. Keeping ourselves small and isolated with a dull ache that prevents us from fueling and energizing our goals; feelings of hopelessness or feelings of worthlessness. A lack of true self-care and compassion for ourselves and our suffering may continue to persist.

Why am I writing about this now?

Because there is always the AND. The other side that is available to us. We can shift and widen our perspective. This is not pushing down or denying the trauma. It is opening up to the other ways that humans do respond and grow after the horror of trauma.

Have you ever heard of Post-Traumatic Growth?

Most people have not heard of this. This is a problem. It is critical that we know all that is available to us.

 Why is this a problem?

Human beings need to know of the possibilities that are available.

 If you don’t believe you can change positively you will be less likely to change positively. More people experience growth as a result of hardships and difficulties. Growth after trauma is a testament to the human spirit, to our resilience, and the inner strength that lies within.

The reality is that change is determined by whether we think that change is possible or not. If we think negative change is the only option, then that is the way it will most definitely be. If we think nothing will change, then again, that is the way it will be.

 If we believe that positive change is possible, then we will bring energy, focus, strength and determination to our action. We will act, making it far more likely to upward spiral, to grow, and to flourish.

What is Post-Traumatic Growth?

Post traumatic growth is a real thing. It is an option for all of us. People do survive and thrive after traumatic events. What makes it more likely for us to experience post traumatic growth?

  • making meaning of an incredibly difficult experience
  • identifying your strengths and how you grew through the intense difficulties
  • identifying the lessons learned
  • finding a community of supportive others who are also taking steps to heal
  • enlisting the support of professionals and expert mentors who can guide you on your path
  • bringing right action aligned with goals which are purposeful and meaningful
  • believing that you have a choice
  • believing that you have the locus of control over your choices
  • regaining a sense of who you are at the core; your true essence

There is healing beyond the brokenness and hopeless feelings of despair after the intense suffering of a toxic relationship with a narcissistic abuser. One small step at a time.

Free Audio: 3 Sabotaging Beliefs After An Abusive Relationship With A Narcissist

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