This is a term used to describe abuse by an individual who suffers from narcissism. Regardless of how the narcissist presents themselves to the world the theme is the same “my world revolves around me and so should yours.” Often, they are charming but not always. Since the narcissist is so incredibly self-centered it is difficult to be in a truly fulfilling relationship with them. Narcissistic abuse can take on many forms, here are some; verbal abuse, sexual and physical abuse, manipulation, emotional blackmail and threats, gaslighting (intentionally distorting situations to make your think that you are going “nuts”), lying, withholding of financial information & money, character assassination, retaliation when injured, violence and isolating you from your friends, making false accusations about your choices or motives. Being involved with a narcissist is typically exhausting. Recovery from narcissistic abuse is possible once you learn to identify the patterns and get to the roots of the trauma bonds.
Trauma and PTSD
Experiences that threaten our emotional or physical security can leave a lasting impression on our nervous system. Adverse childhood experiences as well as traumatic events from a person’s adulthood can leave a person feeling stressed and frazzled experiencing Intrusive thoughts , flashbacks and avoiding reminders of the trauma. These symptoms can have significant negative consequences on personal like and our work performance. Untreated trauma can lead to substance abuse, bitterness, relationship problems, sleep disorders and loss of employment or under- employment. Working with a trauma trained professional you can put the pieces of your life back together, often even stronger than before the trauma.
Co-dependence is a relationship style which has a negative impact on a person’s functioning with self and others. It is the result of less than nurturing experiences in childhood that cause a child to make adaptations in order to feel emotionally and physically safe. As adults, codependents live in reaction to others and typically experience chaos in their lives. Co-dependents can be highly successful individuals yet be personally exhausted, frustrated and feel empty. Successful treatment for co-dependency includes examining the 5 core issues of self esteem, boundaries, reality, dependency and moderation. Not all Co-Dependents are care takers but most care takers are Codependent!
Anxiety and Stress
Stress and anxiety are related but often confused. Stressed is tension associated with a specific event or series of events. Anxiety is a non-specific worry about future outcomes. To find relief people with stress and anxiety often turn to substances, work-a-holism, over eating, shopping, sex addiction and other avoidance behaviors. Anxiety and stress usually very well to therapy.
Early Recovery and Substance Abuse Issues
Addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, gambling, work addiction and sex addiction destroy relationships and families. Individuals and families in early recovery often need a lot of support and healing. It is important to work with a professional who can help you navigate this fragile time which is filled with hope, fear confusion and often resentment.
Love Addiction / Love Avoidance
The Love Addicted / Love Avoidant relationship is marked by cycles of POSITIVE and NEGATIVE intensity. The partners see it as love, passion and romance. Eventually, each partner is both attracted to and repelled by the other. Withdrawal from a love addicted relationship, the individuals often feels like they are going to emotionally and physically die, causing them to re-engage in the cycle or reinvent the cycle with someone else. In many ways it is similar to detoxing from substances. To recover from a love addicted/avoidant relationship it is important to not self-medicate through another relationship, substances or work and begin to heal the root of the unhealthy attachment.
Everyone gets sad from time to time yet people who struggle with depression often feel down for several weeks. Depression causes a person to loose interest in pleasurable activities, often effects energy and concentration, causes sadness and disrupts sleep and appetite. Depression effects millions of Americans every year. Therapy can be very helpful when a person is depressed.
Self Esteem and Confidence
Self esteem is a feeling of personal worth. How we esteem or value ourselves and others impacts all of our interactions. Our life experiences directly impact self esteem, especially our early experiences. A healthy sense of self or self esteem is the foundation for having success in relationships and the workplace. Individuals with healthy self esteem can advocate for themselves without feeling guilty or needing to bully and manipulate others. Healthy self esteem helps us to create and respect boundaries which in turn reduces the chaos in our lives. Working with a trained professional you will be able to repair the self esteem issues which block you from enjoying a successful, joyful life.
Grief is an emotional response to a loss. It can turn a person’s life upside down! Often high functioning, well balanced people feel as though they have lost their footing and are free falling emotionally. Grief demands solitude as well as demanding connection and attention in order to adjust to “the new normal”. Often the person grieving feels as if they are a burden to those with whom they are close and it is helpful to have an objective therapist to travel this uncharted path with them.