Imagine the impact of predatory unpredictability, manipulation, and control on the mind and the body of the victim.
Every word and action of the victim is twisted, contorted and turned on its head to torture and terrorize the victim. Punishment waits around every corner.
The narcissist believes that they have the final say and demand deference. He/she demands that all actions, efforts, and energies should revolve around his wants and needs. You are there to serve.
Actions of independence or having a separate identity without “permission” is punished. “Defiance” is unacceptable. He/she believes that he is the one who will dole out the scraps of freedom.
A narcissistic abuser keeps score. On the surface, all can appear calm, but the victim can “sense” that tension is building and makes futile attempts to circumvent the wrath, rage, and explosions of the narcissistic abuser.
These raging events can appear to come out of nowhere over the slightest “offense”. The reality is that the narcissist has been keeping score and storing away these tidbits for later use against the victim.
In the end, the narcissistic abuser has determined that you “deserve” to be punished.
This alone causes an anxiety and underlying terror for the victim that is palpable.
When victims are exposed to this repeatedly over time, this chronic post-traumatic stress means that the Sympathetic nervous system is on physical and mental overdrive all the time, even when there is no imminent danger or threat.
The trauma stored in the mind and the body are very real. Some of the symptoms include:
- intense anxiety/worry
- difficulty sleeping
- scattered focus
- rapid heart-rate/shortness of breath
- easily startled
- flashbacks/ memories/nightmares that interfere with daily life
- negative thinking/spiraling/rumination
- avoidance behaviors
In the end, we must acknowledge the presence of the trauma so that we can commit to healing the body and the mind.
There is hope and the promise of a new way of being through our thoughtful, purposeful action.
One small step at a time.