The holiday time can be difficult, especially if you have recently been "discarded" by a narcissistic romantic partner. Narcissistic abuse recovery most definitely is multi-layered and long-term, punctuated with emotional rawness and resurgences of traumatic grief at milestone times (like holidays and anniversaries, birthdays, etc). There are self care strategies survivors can engage in to ramp up efforts at recovery and healing during the holidays.
Hoovering: (definition)- noun– The state in which a psychological abuser (typically an individual manifesting symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder or perhaps a blend of other Personality Disorders) returns to attempt to abuse a former source of narcissistic supply (i.e. ego fuel) via text, email, phone or in person (Schneider, 2015). The term “Hoover” refers to the vacuum (by the Hoover brand), as an analogy to suctioning up and reconnecting with prior sources of ego gratification by the narcissistic abuser.
"Donald Trump is in the therapy room and he is blowing it up. Counselors, clinicians, and life coaches report that their clients are showing up with exacerbated experiences of paranoia, hypervigilance, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, somatic complaints, difficulty concentrating and sleeping, and nightmares.” -Bella DePaulo, PhD
"Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross I so admire Latinx culture, specifically the emphasis on celebrating the lives of their deceased loved ones on a special day, Dia de los Muertos. November 2 marks this tradition, originating in Mexico, to honor ancestors by creating altars with cherished photos, favorite foods, candles, and sugar skulls. Family members gather at grave sites and altars in the home to share stories of their loved ones who have transitioned to the next place, finding comfort in family support through holding the space to narrate the story of their ancestors impact on their lives. A general spirit of celebration and remembrance is the emphasis, including laughter and camaraderie. Death is not feared. It is merely a passage to a different phase of transcendence.
"Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir As a mother, a therapist, a partner, how good am I to any one if I am not taking care of myself? Not so good at all. Those of us in the helping professions (or roles that give out a lot of nurturing energy) especially need to take a pause and focus on replenishment and self-care. When our cup is not topped off, we run on fumes. And that's not helpful to anyone, least of all our selves.
"So, whoever is trying to intimidate those of us who write for the public as journalists, columnists or bloggers, understand that you will never break us. We are intrepid and we cherish our freedom of speech above all else." - Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT
"Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat any time and be yourself." - Hermann Hesse With the latest news cycles churning out politically heated and disturbing information on a daily basis ad nauseum, many trauma survivors are finding they are particularly triggered. Specifically with the recent two-week-long-Kavanaugh-confirmation-to-the-Supreme-Court-drama, sexual abuse survivors (both male and female), are reminded of feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, and lack of safety. Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you fall on, if you have a trauma history, you are likely quite triggered when you see news which portrays themes of assault survivors being ridiculed and chastised, blamed and shamed, and devalued and discounted. Many feel that politics has taken on an entirely new level of impacting mental health for many people who feel disenfranchised, stigmatized, and shunned. Below are some suggestions for riding this wave of political trauma:
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller
**This article is Part 3 of 4 in a series entitled The Nuts and Bolts of the Traumatized Brain - See Part 1 here, Part 2 here**
Continuing the discussion of the human brain and the subsequent impact of trauma exposure, today's article will focus upon five additional tidbits of information. Prior articles (see above) have addressed the role of the...
"Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on " Bessel van der Kolk
In last week's blog post on the 5
In last week's blog post on the 5