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600721 tn?1229100572

Suffering from PTSD

I was married for 4 years and I was with my ex-husband for 5. I went from being a strong, independent woman to a resisting slave. He was somehow able to change things about me that no one else  could - who I hung out with, how much I spent, how long I was gone from the house...even what I wore and how I cut/what color I dyed my hair. He used my mental illness against me until it got to the point that I could hardly function because he would pick fights and push buttons that he knew would set it off. Somehow, I let him do it to me.  I was able to get out of it because I was still strong underneath. That's what I keep telling myself.

It has been 10 months since I left him and I feel weaker than ever. I hate him and I will never go back, but I feel weak. I panic out of no where. I flinch and cry after certain things, most often they would be things that wouldn't phase most people, happen. I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

So, my question is this - does anybody know of any online support groups for abused women dealing with PTSD? I can't drive yet  (that was one of the things that he would scare me with because he knew how I felt about reckless driving and speeding. It's the fear of police above all else that sends me into a panic before I even start the car, among other factors,) but I am tired of dealing with this alone. There are things that I can't tell my family or people that I know - heck, I can't even talk to my psych about it and I've been with her for 3 years. I need to talk to women who understand -  who won't find me filthy for things that I felt that I couldn't control. I can't do it alone.

Thank you for your time,
12 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
I am sure others here will respond to you aswell, have you put this into your search engine ,I will try also and see what I get and post it here for you, I am sure you are not alone and other Women have had similar experiences, possibly you are over thinking, we are appt to do that ,I know it sounds too trite and simple, but our thoughts are our worst enemy,see it as an exercise, if you can stay in the Moment ,dont think back at all and dont plan on the Future live with what you are doing now. Be busy and if you find your mind wandering off, tell your self' 'No I will not go there' and use distraction to get back to focusing on what you were doing. You are well out of the relationship you had and you are moving on even if it doesnt always seem as if you are,the fact you left shows your strength, give yourself time.
600721 tn?1229100572
I took a class that included learning Mindfulness techniques. It's the hardest part of the course to learn. I try to turn my thoughts towards other things and sometimes it helps, but sometimes the thoughts, the fear, won't go away. It happens the most when I am trying to go to bed or when I am RC-ing. I do need to give myself time but how long is too long? Most days I feel like I am running in place, gaining a few inches at best. The problem is that I DON'T have much to occupy my time. You start to run out of things to do when you can't work. I'm trying to get back into college but everything moves slowly, it seems. You're right, though. I just need to keep on reminding myself that I was able to leave/divorce him, so I'll be able to get past this, too. Even if it seems to take forever.

Thank you for replying to me. I really appreciate it. :)
600721 tn?1229100572
After extensive searching, I found what seems to be a good abuse site, especially focusing around rape victims and people dealing with PTSD for whatever reason. They also have links for other sites that help with specific problems. I want to share this site with others but I don't want to get into trouble legally. Google Pandora's Aquarium if you need the same thing as I did.
600721 tn?1229100572
Thank you for that warm welcome. I am glad that this is a safe place and I look forward to speaking with everyone.
100019 tn?1335919717
Welcome to the forum.  More people will drop by to say hello.  I just wanted to extend a hello and let you know how glad I am you are away from that situation.  I'm also glad to hear you have a psych.

Best Wishes, Valorie
Avatar universal
I feel for you.  I am still in a relationship with a man who was daignosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I'm reluctant to use the word breakdown, but 2-1/2 years ago I was so depressed that I went to see my family doctor who referred me to a counselor.  I was teary, depressed - not in any way suicidal.  After 10 minutes, she tried to persuade me to admit myself to a psychiatric hospital - I refused but I did do a 5 day outpatient program.
I saw the intake psychiatrist at the hospital for all of 2 minutes ... but the program did help.  The upshot is I was diagnosed as Bipolar.  My mother (who lives out of town) had been in a life threatening car accident, so I could not talk with her.  I was put on medication, which made me extremely tired and even more depressed.  Finally my mom got well and I went to spend 3 days with her.  We researched bipolar together and she (who knows me better than anyone on the face of the earth) believed I was misdiagnosed.  So did I.  I had been on a very large dose of prednisone for refractory rheumatoid arthritis, so I was suffering from insomnia.  Also, I was able to do things (like clean, ride my bike, etc.) that I had not been able to do for over a year because of the pain.  This coupled with my diagnosis led to a bipolar diagnosis.  My counselor was having her own issues ... she ballooned before my very eyes in the six months I saw her gaining 60 lbs.  Also began sharing a lot of personal info, etc.

Anyway, I through the meds away and slowly but surely I began to gain ground.  I got a referral to a different counselor who believed I was suffering from PTSD - both from seeing the father of my children die at home from a heart attack (1989) and from the abuse and lack of emotional support in my current marriage.  I have seen a divorce attorney but I am watching my p's and q's.  

One thing that has happened lately is that I am beginning to feel spiritual stirrings again .. that has been gone from my life and it was once such a powerful source of strength to me.  You keep going forward ... When you say you can't talk about things, I thought I could not either.  But I did.  Sometimes we all need validation.
600721 tn?1229100572
I have heard of NPD but vaguely. I am sorry that you had to go through this, I wonder if my ex may have NPD as well. He was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when he was a child but his mother was the advocate for BD so it makes me wonder if it was because of her that he was diagnosed with it. As far as I could tell, while I was married to him, he didn't portray any signs of BD. I plan on looking into NPD further because I am curious. I wonder if he does have it. If nothing else, he was the epitome of a narcissist.
Thanks for responding and for the support.
Avatar universal
The physical abuse I experienced with a man was for 5 years....I was stomped, slapped, broken bones and sexual abuse was my experience....In the end he was jailed for 5 years because I finally pressed charges.....The time away from him allowed me to get over him but i have never been the same since...I have lost my joy..I am clinically depressed and taking meds....ptsd is inevitable after such trauma to your person and soul...I am fighting flashbacks and old feeling from this abuse....I also feel real stupid for allowing myself to be subjected to this situation for so long before I did something about it.
Avatar universal
I am a Vietnam vetrean diagnosed with PTSD. Are you a veteran?

We live in a world that existed 40+ years ago. Except we keep applying the same 'fight or flight' solutions that we used then. If you are a veteran, get to the VA, they have changed a lot in the last 20 years. They have somewhat effective treatments for PTSD.

My nightmares were true psychotic events for the first 4 or five years, then just dwindled into intrusive thoughts and memories. We who have seen war, or any life altering event, will never quit seeing it. But there are technices (sp) that we can employ to lessen their impact on our lives. If your PTSD is not service connected, then seek out a private mental specialist that is experienced in treating it.

I give you my love and my hope.

Avatar universal
You all might also check out the PTSD forum here. My eye surgeon was narcissistic and sadistic.

Here is something about narcissism:

Pathological narcissism can develop from an impairment in the quality of the person's relationship with their primary caregivers, usually their parents, in that the parents were unable to form a healthy, empathic attachment to them.[citation needed] This results in the child conceiving of themselves as unimportant and unconnected to others. The child typically comes to believe that he or she has some defect of personality which makes them unvalued and unwanted [6].

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is isolating, disenfranchising, painful, and formidable for those diagnosed with it and often those who are in a relationship with them. Distinctions need to be made among those who have NPD because not each and every person with NPD is the same. Even with similar core issues, the way in which one's individual narcissism manifests itself in his or her relationships varies.[citation needed]

To the extent that people are pathologically narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of others' needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen.

Some coping mechanisms include
Surrender: Choose critical partners and significant others; puts him- or herself down.
Avoidance: Avoids sharing "shameful" thoughts and feelings with partners and significant others due to fear of rejection.
Overcompensation: Behaves in a critical or superior way toward others; tries to come across as perfect.
Note that an individual with this schema might not employ all three schema modes.

Narcissists rarely enter/are sucessful with therapy, because of their shame/need to feel superior.
The disorder does not usually respond to meds.
600721 tn?1229100572
I've done quite a bit of research on NPD and I have come across a pretty good website, the Mayo Clinic website.

"Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism."

These are what the Maya Clinic define as the symptoms of NPD:

" Believing that you're better than others
Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
Exaggerating your achievements or talents
Expecting constant praise and admiration
Believing that you're special
Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
Taking advantage of others
Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
Being jealous of others
Believing that others are jealous of you
Trouble keeping healthy relationships
Setting unrealistic goals
Being easily hurt and rejected
Having a fragile self-esteem
Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional"

These are what the Mayo Clinic defines as the risk factors for NPD, which you were right about:
" *  An oversensitive temperament as a young child
    * Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
    * Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
    * Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
    * Severe emotional abuse in childhood
    * Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults
    * Learning manipulative behaviors from parents"

When a person who has NPD does not get what they want or feel that they need, they may become violent and end up hurting themselves and/or others.

My ex-husband had no problems in hurting others, namely me. But thanks for the post. It was helpful.

Avatar universal
The Mayo is great. I forgot to say that my stuff came from Wikipedia, which probably quoted some Mayo.

Too bad that either of us need to research in this area. But it does validate us and help us heal, I feel.
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