We all will go through different stages of healing from psychological abuse. The question is which stage or step to take first. The stages and steps depend on where you are in the healing process or relationship. Let me explain. It can be challenging to heal if you are still in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. Why? You are still dealing with this person, and they know your triggers. That is why it is crucial to be educated about narcissism and trauma. As of today, July 20th, 2022, I have noticed that over 119 people have listened to the podcast, Can a narcissist change part one, but only 68 people have heard the part two. Part two is essential because you, as a survivor, can become temporally narcissistic as well as someone you love. In that series I explain the different ways someone can be traumatized. I also explain direct and indirect trauma. I know that I did become temporally narcissistic, and I admitted it in the last podcast. So, please listen to part two. Even if you do not want to know if a narcissist can change, you need to learn how to understand trauma better and how trauma might impact your life if you are a survivor. It will help you understand your behaviors and your brain. It will also give you a broader view about trauma, which can give you more compassion, wisdom, and empathy.
There are four stages of healing when it comes to recovering from psychological abuse. The four healing stages are:
- Stage One: Acknowledge the abuse within self without blame, shame, or judgment. Acknowledge the abuse you experienced from your partner and other key people within your life.
- Stage Two: Determine to heal and spare oneself any further harm or abuse. Be determined to become educated and informed about trauma and narcissism keywords, behaviors, traits, and trigger patterns. Set those healthy boundaries and do not bend them. This is about your recovery and healing process. If someone does not respect or honor your boundaries, too bad, so sad. You have had enough drama, pain, heartache, and boundaries pushed. Embrace the warrior within you.
- Stage Three: Develop powerful compassion for yourself and what happened. Take one day at a time and pace yourself. Evict your ex- abuser from your mind, heart, emotions, and soul. If you are happy one day and sad the next; it’s okay. If you need to cry or scream, let it out. Your body, mind, emotions, and soul need that positive and healthy release.
- Stage Four: Become a positive role model for others, speaking and coming from a place of wisdom, love, compassion, and grace. Be the light we all need in this world. Communicate and connect with people coming from a place of love, instead of hate, anger and fear towards your abuser(s).
Now, if you are still dealing with a narcissist and you might need the law on your side, you must first create a trail of verifiable proof. Get a burner phone for safety purposes. Use the burner phone to create screenshots of verbally abusive text messages and physical injuries. Get a picture frame that has a spy camera on it. You can install the app onto the burner phone. The prices vary because some can be as little as $36 and others $119. I believe most do not come with sound, so Amazon does have hidden audio recorder devices starting at $60 and up. One has a 64 GB key chain 64GB voice recorder, which would be easy to clip to your purse, key chain, or pants buckle. And if you suspect your narc has bugged your home to keep tabs on you, you can find this excellent anti-spy detector on Amazon for $44. Do I sound paranoid? I hope not, but in my line of work, I have heard many stories that made my skin crawl. I want to keep everyone safe. Why am I telling you this information? I want you to have peace of mind. Feeling safe and secure can give you that validation. It will also support your recovery and healing process, knowing that you are a step ahead of their games.
To be my authentic self, which is the full expression of love, I had to strip away the hate, the vengeful thoughts, and rage. I had to get to this state of purity, which most people are not willing to embrace. But, I wanted and needed to embody my true essence once again. I missed my connection with Divine Love. Therefore, I had to practice what I preached regarding the Map of Consciousness. And it is important to me to instill this wisdom of love and compassion into my son’s heart. His father is not perfect; nobody is perfect. Even though his father abused us both, I still want our son to see, hear, and feel that his dad was a fantastic teacher of love, compassion, forgiveness, why our actions should match our words, and why everyone needs to be trauma-informed, and why laws need to change. Without our life experiences, there would be no book, blog post, podcast, or website. Therefore, there is only love, appreciation, wisdom, grace, and a willingness to inspire change into the hearts of everyone struggling on our planet. Let me and all of us be that light and inspiration of evolution for humanity.
The first and most critical step for anyone wanting to recover and not attract another narcissist into their lives is to become educated and informed about all the various keywords, behaviors, traits, and ways that a selfish person can and will abuse you. I recommend reviewing the podcast and blog post learn how to decode and detect a narcissist. The second step is determining which traits and behaviors trigger you the most. Which weapon of choice does the narcissist use to break you down or keep you in line. Remember, it is all about control because the narcissist needs to feel in control. Be warned when a narcissist feels out of control or the level of control is slipping. You have to learn to be a step ahead of them. This was something I struggled with because nobody I was working with was trained in narcissism, narcissistic psychological abuse or was able to explain to me how the brain function when a person is stuck in trauma. I had to learn all of this information on my own.
Next, find a trauma therapist – ask questions (you are interviewing them to find the right match). You want to know if they are trained in narcissism. If not, and you still want to work with them, ask them if they would be willing to learn more about narcissism to better support you. You can recommend this podcast, my book, or gift them an audiobook. I know there can be insurance hoops you might have to jump through to find the right therapist. I suggest going online or contacting your health insurance directly. Your health insurance will have a mental health referral department. You can find providers within your network online or by calling the mental health referral department for new providers that might not be listed online. I had to do this when for myself and my kiddo. So, do not be embarrassed. You need relief and there is no shame or guilt in that truth.
While trying to recover, I quickly learned to stop talking to some of my family members and friends about my situation. One family member was friends with my ex. Two other family members struggled with who to believe because they would hear one story from me and another from my ex. Then my father shared my personal and confidential information with my ex. This hurt me in court. I also discovered that my direct trauma was indirectly traumatizing some people. I talk about this fact in part two, can a narcissist change. I quickly noticed that my inner circle of friends changed, the drama created a family divide, and I stayed stuck in the victim role. Towards the end of my trauma therapy, my therapist said I could write a book about trauma. I learned so much. Please do NOT settle for less when finding the right therapist. For example, since my therapist was not trained in narcissism, I gifted her an audiobook about narcissism, so she could better support me.
Why do you want a trauma and narcissist-informed therapist? Well, I wasted a year and a half dealing with three mental health professionals that could not understand or help ease my suffering. Not until I found a therapist that could relate to my struggles I was still in the dark, and I felt no relief. Being in the dark only increased my anxiety and hypervigilance and kept me up at night. I know some people are against going to therapy. Some people will think or believe that you are broken or damaged goods if you confess that you are in treatment. Like something is wrong with you. This is a big fat lie. I am a therapist, and I needed an outside perspective. I did not want to burden my family or friends with my struggles. I also learned that some of my friends and family members gave me bad advice that I regretted later. I wanted and needed professional advice and support. My child was suffering. I was suffering. I needed relief and sound advice.
Once you have been diagnosed by a therapist with PTSD or psychologically abused, you need to request a referral for a neuropsychological evaluation, not a psychological one. They are two completely different evaluations. Your therapist might ask you why you are ordering one, and that’s okay. You are creating a paper trail of proof if you ever have to go to court or file charges against your abuser. It is to protect you and your children. Some therapists might request that you first have a few sessions under your belt, and that’s okay. Just ask for a referral date to be submitted and make sure the referral is for a psychologist trained in domestic violence, narcissism, and trauma. If not, you can be misdiagnosed like I was, which was the main reason I lost custody of my son.
Next, I want to talk about the power of EMDR. What is EMDR? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment initially designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Once I got the neuropsychological evaluation, I could get additional support. Some therapists want a referral or authorization to utilize EMDR from their insurance provider. When I started EMDR, what I experienced led me down a rabbit hole of curiosity, open questions, and shock. The primary purpose of EMDR was to help me recover from the trauma I experienced with my father and my son’s father. I did not expect a whole can of worms to unfold as layers of memories displayed trauma after trauma. Even though the focus was on my father, my mind did not take me there first. My mind took me to memories of my older brother. These memories were so disturbing. All of the hidden trauma memories were like a string of bubbles going down into a period of my life where I lost vital information. One of those memories took me on a quest to discover the truth about over a dozen deeply repressed memory within my mind. I had so many memories about my older brother that needed to be revealed first before the root core memory could be revealed. The main memory that opened the doorway to pandora’s box was when I saw my older brother kill me. I was 4-1/2. I will not discuss it because I do not want to traumatize you indirectly. All I can say is that EMDR is a fantastic tool to help you recover hidden memories.
Since I witnessed my death, I decided to do a Lives Between Lives session. This is similar to past life regression but different. I wanted this type of regression session because I wanted answers about my current life and life purpose here on Earth. I wanted to know if I did die or was my mind was playing tricks on me. Long story short, I did die. Only half of my soul came back, and I was given a soul helper. To make this even stranger, I had a reading by Debbie Griggs, and she spoke of this soul helper. I thought she was nuts at first, but Debbie was not. I got validation during the lives between lives session. Then my mind was blown away when I discovered that my soul contract on Earth was to heal my whole soul group from generational trauma. I guess my heart was big, and my spirit was a warrior. I agreed to experience trauma in my lifetime, which would lead me in search of answers to heal myself and everyone else. When I first learned this information, I felt it was impossible. I had no idea how I could do this, but I do it now every Wednesday at 8:00 am PST with Kim Holman. I can now smile and say, “thank you, thank you, thank you.”
One way that Kim gave me peace of mind was when we first met. I came to see her for writer’s block. When I told her that I died as a child, explained my soul contract, my reading from Debbie Griggs, and this Catholic nun kept telling me that God talk’s to me, Kim looked at me and said, “Of course, God talks to you. You died. When you went to Heaven and spoke with God, you must have been so heartbroken and disappointed that you died. The trauma you experienced was intense. God knew the impossible loving gift you wanted to bestow upon your soul group. That is why only half of your soul came back, the other half went to another parallel Universe with less trauma, and you were given a soul helper.” I thought I sounded crazy, but I was not. Then Kim shared that many empaths work with a soul helper, and she does as well.
Let’s talk about the victim mentality. Do not let the trauma define you? Are you stuck in anger, fear, vengeful thoughts, or self-doubt? Just know that this phase of your recovery is expected. You have every right to feel upset, pissed off, and confused. There will come a time when you will have to make a choice. Who is more important? Who get’s to rule your heart, head, emotions, and soul? If you are stuck feeling like a victim or let the trauma define your life, you are hindering your recovery. You might need to get good and mad. Stop and say enough is enough. You are the most important person here. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and alive. It would help to decide when you want to start living instead of existing.
The hardest part for me, and most of you have witnessed this truth, is my abuser stripped away my sense of self. My beautiful gifts and abilities to support people. When I sat down with the 2nd line editor for my book, the first thing he said to me was, “You are a saint.” I smiled and said, “You are the third person that has said this to me.” He could hear the confusion and self-doubt in my voice. He looked me in the eyes and said, “You need to own that truth and all your gifts. Your ex did his best to make you doubt yourself. He smeared you in court and tried to destroy all the beautiful parts and qualities you possess. You need to take it all back and own it. You are a warrior. Own that shit.” This, for me, is still a work in progress, but I am determined to own it once again and never let it go.
This next topic might be challenging to comprehend, and I will do my best to unpack it. When you first met your abuser, you were this bright light of love. Over time, your abuser stripped away that light leaving you an empty shell. You no longer knew who you were. You longed for your old self. That old self died, and you do not like this new person. I had to ask myself this tricky question, “What do I have to give up to heal? Am I ready to allow this new self to die to re-invent myself?” To heal, you must let the anger, traumatized self die. Let me give you two examples. Lizzo last year was living in her car. She had to let go of the poverty consciousness and re-invent herself as a shining light of self-love and change. The Rock was homeless at age 14. There are many more celebrities that transformed their lives. The old self, stuck in poverty, and lack, had to be released to embrace a new way of thinking, acting, believing, and behaving. There had to be faith, prayer, determinization, and resilience.
Lastly, What is trauma bonding? What are the seven stages of trauma bonding?
- Stage One: Love Bombing. The relationship starts with instant attraction and irresistible chemistry.
- Stage Two: Gain trust and they get you hooked. The relationship is highly physical and sexual.
- Stage Three: The criticism and devaluation begin. The relationship cycles through extreme highs and lows.
- Stage Four: You will experience gaslighting and important conversations are avoided.
- Stage Five: Resignation and submission. The relationship feels like an addiction that you are powerless to quit.
- Stage Six: Loss of Self and identity erosion.
- Stage Seven: Emotional Addiction/Stockholm Syndrome.
Let’s unpack True Love.
- The relationship starts with attraction and curiosity that builds over time. You are given time to pace yourself and learn more about each other without the need to rush into the relationship. You have your time, they have their time, and you have your time together. Boundaries are respected and appreciated.
- The connection is physical, sexual, emotional, and intellectual. Sex is not just one-sided. It feels easy and comfortable to talk about sex, your needs, as well as your partners.
- The relationship is stable and is based on mutual respect for each other, your career, your hobbies, your friends, and family members.
- Important conversations are a priority because it brings you closer together. You enjoy communicating and connecting with each other on various deep levels and subject matters. And you can agree to disagree on challenging subjects and topics.
- The relationship feels like an honor, a privilege, and a choice. You do not feel like the relationship is a requirement or you are powerless to speak your truth.
What is the trauma bonding cycle? Let me unpack this information.
- You feel unsafe and/or unloved by your caregivers. Your needs are not met by them.
- You disown your needs and feelings. Therefore, you do this so you can attach to your caregivers by meeting their needs over yours.
- You see yourself as the issue and not loveable, instead of looking at your caregivers for not being able to give you what you need growing up.
- You associate pain and shame with love. You can associate sex with love. You can associate domestic violence with love, if this is what your primary caregivers taught you by observing them fight or punish each other.
- As you grow up, these core beliefs transfer onto other relationships, especially sexual and intimate relationships.
- When you grow up, you find a partner, friends, colleagues who make you feel the way you did as a child.
- You can disown your needs and feelings to care and tend to the needs of the other person or intimate partner.
- You will experience chaos and a rollercoaster of emotions in the relationship. You see yourself as the issue, instead of the partner or friend you chose.
- These relationships mirror the patterns of our childhood experiences. You are unconsciously repeating the pattern of trying to heal the pain from your childhood through this relationship.
In part three, I will be talking about self-care. I learned that self-care was essential for me in the recovery process. I will unpack different ways to fill your cup of love. Thanks for being with me today, and have a fantastic day! Many blessings. Music by: 220 Kid & Asdis – Release