Narcissistic Abuse can take a lifetime to process, even if only a few cross words were said that traumatized you. Individuals who have spent sometimes decades being completely disrespected, taken for granted, and constantly ridiculed or talked down to by a friend, parent, sibling, faculty at a school, workplace bully, or even a lover tend to develop a conditioned PTSD response to abuse over time.
Toxic shame sets in when Flying Monkeys, Abusers, and Enablers ridicule victims who are traumatized. Resist the urge to pay attention to the rude and callously short-sighted demands of any person or group of people who have been impacted by narcissistic or anti-social behavior or who gaslight, minimize, and/or give a trauma victim bad advice.
The condition or syndrome is called C-PTSD — and it’s certainly a psychology term that can and should be looked up using a web browser like Google or Bing to familiarize yourself with its affectations and symptomatology, but we digress. In a perfect world, such a process would happen instantaneously as the human mind reaches out to grasp complex concepts.
But when it comes to actually having C-PTSD, most individuals who suffer from it tend to report that overthinking while striving to make sense of incomprehensible human reckless behaviors and literal human animal cruelty they have witnessed or experienced is not only time-consuming to have to go through. In all reality, it’s physically debilitating. For that reason, we’re offering a brief article here to share a few handy, dandy coping tips.
If overthinking is your thing, bookmark this page and every time you start to notice your thought patterns spiraling back into toxic shame, overwhelming grief, or any feeling of sourceless anxiety that sends your brain on a metaphoric walkabout, come back and reread this list again and again. It’s a habit to overthink — and just like any habit a person strived to break, repetition of a new pattern while eschewing the old is key to mastery.
The following excerpt is from an article published by PsychologyToday.com in a post titled, “6 Ways to Stop Overthinking Everything”. Since a common side effect of trauma is for a traumatized victim to appear a bit histrionic at times, bordering on ADD or ADHD-inspired “flighty”, learning to self-care regulate your own emotional needs is a crucial part of taking back psychological and emotional power most emotionally hemorrhaging abuse victims tend to leak out of their tear ducts with alarming regularity.
1. Notice When You’re Thinking Too Much
Awareness is the first step in putting an end to overthinking. Start paying attention to the way you think. When you notice yourself replaying events in your mind over and over, or worrying about things you can’t control, acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive.
2. Challenge Your Thoughts
It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. Before you conclude that calling in sick is going to get you fired, or that forgetting one deadline is going to cause you to become homeless, acknowledge that your thoughts may be exaggeratedly negative. Learn to recognize and replace thinking errors before they work you into a complete frenzy.
3. Keep The Focus On Active Problem-Solving
Dwelling on your problems isn’t helpful, but looking for solutions is. Ask yourself what steps you can take to learn from a mistake or avoid a future problem. Instead of asking why something happened, ask yourself what you can do about it.
4. Schedule Time For Reflection
Stewing on problems for long periods of time isn’t productive, but brief reflection can be helpful. Thinking about how you could do things differently or recognizing potential pitfalls to a plan, for example, can help you do better in the future. Incorporate 20 minutes of “thinking time” into your daily schedule. During this time, let yourself worry, ruminate, or mull over whatever you want. Then, when the time is up, move onto something more productive. When you notice yourself overthinking things outside of your scheduled time, remind yourself that you’ll think about it later.
5. Practice Mindfulness
It’s impossible to rehash yesterday or worry about tomorrow when you’re living in the present. Commit to becoming more aware of the here and now. Mindfulness takes practice, like any other skill, but over time, it can decrease overthinking.
6. Change The Channel
Telling yourself to stop thinking about something can backfire. The more you try to avoidthe thought from entering your brain, the more likely it is to keep popping up. Busying yourself with an activity is the best way to change the channel. Exercise, engage in conversation on a completely different subject, or get working on a project that will distract your mind from a barrage of negative thoughts.
— excerpt How to Stop Overthinking
Learning how to self-regulate your own emotions by mindfully monitoring your thoughts is key not only to success as an adult in life but also to finding inner peace. Narcissistic Abuse recovery is a process, something to be savored along the way. The destination is far less important than experiences grokked upon your journey.
Like Robert A. Heinlein, author of the great fiction work titled “Stranger in a Strange Land” once wrote, his main character’s true goal was to FEEL (not avoid perceiving). Make time for your thoughts to wander without intellectual reins being held to restrain.
Cry it out in the shower and be happy to pay the extra few dollars on the water bill. Soak in a bath full of Epsom salts daily during periods of high tension to ease the stress on the mind as well as relieve pain and discomfort of the physical body.
Read up on things like fight or flight syndrome, adrenal fatigue, and C-PTSD to learn more about how your perfect form is already hot-wired to protect you physically, psychically, and emotionally. If your spider senses are telling you something is not quite right about another person or they stress you right the heck out, show yourself mercy by taking a voluntary pass.
Going LOW CONTACT is the first step with a narcissistic peer group or toxic family when and if you decide the pain of losing everything is so much less than staying. Go NO CONTACT with any person who actively abuses you, including people who [while acting like minions or Flying Monkeys] enable Abusers or abuse you on your aggressor’s behalf by proxy.
Learn how to spot the red flags and warning signs a person with a Cluster B personality disorder or a sadistic, voyeuristic streak has infiltrated your social media network. Phase-out all humans from your life who insist for ANY reason that they spend social time with a predator or in any way tried to make you feel ashamed or responsible for someone else’s choice to behave like IRL monsters.
While the first few months or years away from an abusive family or romantic interest that abused you tend to be rough, understand that the average amount of time it takes to START to feel even remotely like yourself is after 18-24 months of having absolutely zero interaction with your old crowd of toxic or narcissistic people.
Set healthy boundaries, mindfully learn how to create your own lifestyle, and don’t feel bad when and if some narcy asshole demands you overlook their bad behavior. The life you save might not be yours or your children’s directly, but by God, the moon and the stars will take note when and if you choose to treat yourself with respect.
Create mindful rituals like setting aside time to read every day to improve your own self-help academic fluency on various topics. Take 24 hours down to 23 hours of needing to think things through. As time progresses and comprehension expands, soon enough it will be 22.
After that? Each person heals according to their own input effort.
Comparing ANYONE’s healing time to another in an effort to compete for closure can actually delay (rather than speed) healing for people dealing with complex trauma and victimization ordeals. Stop overthinking abuse and overcome trauma using any or all of the aforementioned and mindful self-help rituals.
Some people might need only a few guided meditation minutes a day or to read a short passage or two from an academic or online resource. Others may need to play cave kitty for several months or years in order to give their adrenal system a chance to recover if and when they have been profoundly impacted biologically by C-PTSD and trauma-related issues.
How fast or how slow you heal really does depend on you… but before anyone starts over-thinking what we are suggesting here and falls back into a toxic shame cycle (thinking they were supposed to “Let it GO!” like that silly Disney princess commands us all to do, here is the number one thriving survivor rule.
How you choose to manage and work through the stages of grief related to social injustice and anxiety issues is 100% up to you. No one who truly has your best interest at heart would ever tell you to stop thinking. That’s what dead people and Zombies do.
Unless you think it’s a healthy lifestyle choice to strive to emulate corpses, stop listening to people who 1) could care less about your well-being or 2) have already devised a plan that includes how to spend money from the life insurance policy they took out on you.