The Long Road to Healing After Narcissistic Abuse
Can trauma be a gift?
Triggers are all around me every day but I have learned to live with them in relative peace. Anxiety makes me push myself to accomplish much and keeps me from being able to relax completely. These are both things I am working on now. I am also working on being totally present with my children. I am a playful parent when I am relaxed but I don’t often allow myself to join my children on their level.
I have found that working through my anger towards the abuser and my mother has allowed me to forgive them. Forgiveness has brought me great peace and healing. I realized that when I was angry I was giving the energy I could use for healing away to the abusers in my life. Seeing how they were stealing from me through my anger has helped me to reclaim what is mine and help myself become stronger and healthier.
I am not saying that you should skip over the anger phase in your healing. It serves its purpose and is something you have to go through. Just hold onto hope that one day it will lesson and then be over. You can still work on forgiveness while you are in the anger phase. It may be more of a future intention than something you think is true at the time. I still work through anger with the abuser from time to time but it comes and goes much more quickly now.
Part of forgiveness is acceptance. I have to accept who and what the abuser is and stop hoping he will change. He may never change. Realizing the painful truth and letting him go completely allows me to focus on myself and my journey as a survivor. I have given him enough of my life and now it’s time to live free and be who I was meant to be.
When I begin to feel “bad” I realize that I am probably ignoring myself. I have to stop and breathe. I need to take the time to check-in and see what I need. I want to keep going and doing but that is not what I need. I need quiet and rest to calm my nervous system so I don’t become worn out and reactive to the ever-present triggers I live with. When I am well rested mentally and physically life is not too intense to experience.
I want to caution that we all keep our healing journey in proper perspective. It is not something we should compare to others. We are each on our own unique healing journey and have individual timelines. I think it’s important to hear the stories of other survivors and of their healing because it gives us inspiration and encouragement to keep going.
Those of us who grew up in an abusive household and then married an abusive spouse may never know what “normal” is. I realize that I have passed on the family “disease” of trauma to my own children. I pray that I can heal enough to raise them in a healthy home so they may end their childhood knowing the difference between a toxic and a healthy environment.
I am trying to see the effects of trauma I experience as a gift. I will probably live with this for the rest of my life so instead of fighting it I am trying to embrace it. Trauma helps me with self-awareness and personal growth. It gives me compassion for others and may allow me to help others overcome their trauma.
Do you have anything to share about how you have healed from trauma? I wish you well on your healing journey. Peace.
Thanks for reading,
Julia Freeman, an anonymous survivor
I write from my experience of being raised by a narcissist and being married to an abusive narc for over twenty years. I hope my experience helps others live free.