Firstly let's define trauma. Trauma is described in the dictionary as a "deeply distressing or disturbing experience." Traumatic experiences are negative, distressing, and emotionally intense and can undermine a person's ability to cope with every day life, leaving someone feeling helpless, used, violated, vulnerable, powerless, isolated and lonely.
So what is narcissistic abuse trauma? Narcissists inflict intense emotional, mental and psychological trauma on their victims (and often on the family and friends of their victim), and the effects of that abuse causes narcissistic abuse trauma.
The devastating affects of narcissistic abuse trauma occur over time when a person has been living with or spending a significant amount of time with a narcissist. Many of the symptoms are similar to post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) a condition that affects people who have lived through serious trauma (i.e. war) such as:
Intrusive or unwanted thoughts
Unable to concentrate or focus
Flashbacks, where the victim feels like they are reliving a traumatic experience
Avoiding places or people associated with the narcissist
Feelings of high alert or feeling tired all the time
Overwhelm to the nervous system causing dis-regulation
These symptoms are a result of the narcissist invalidating and damaging the psyche of his/her victim.
Often times the victim isn't even aware of these things being associated to being around a narcissist, sometimes they just have a feeling that something "isn't right", and the narcissist will play on the fact that the victim feels ashamed, insecure or delusional that they are the problem not the narcissist!
Often times the person in a relationship with a narcissist is an empath or a codependent, as the narcissist will look for someone to create a relationship with where the victim is dependent upon the narcissist, making the victim and the narcissist codependent upon one another!
If you are suffering from narcissistic abuse trauma you may find yourself questioning everything. You may feel insecure or ashamed of yourself, and be riddled with self-doubt making it difficult for you to make the simplest decisions. You may have lost trust in your family and friends and find yourself obeying the "rules' of the narcissist, which in turn can cause you to lose your self control.
It is best to seek treatment from a therapist or a coach, and to eliminate all contact with the narcissist in order to start the healing journey. It can be very difficult to break away from the narcissist, it takes concerted effort and may take several years to fully heal from the trauma.
Don't give up, heal yourself and heal your body so as to ensure you don't pass the unresolved trauma onto the next generation. Evidence suggests that it can be passed on genetically and energetically within the family line, meaning that people born in the future could end up being involved in a relationship with an abuser, or become an abuser themselves!
Practice setting and keeping firm boundaries and show yourself some grace through the healing process. Forgive yourself, and when you notice you are beating yourself up and blaming yourself notice it without judgement, and then ask yourself what you what you want your future self to be like.