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I Don’t Have PSTD From Narcissistic Abuse, Do I?

Stuck in Fight, Flight or Freeze Modes

I know when I was in the worst times of my relationship with my narcissistic father, I didn’t even use the term narcissistic abuse, never mind recognizing that I’d suffered any kind of trauma. When you experience this severe, cruel, emotional abuse, over a period of time, it affects you.


For so many people, we don’t realize what’s happening.  This constant emotional manipulation and abuse over such a long time have conditioned us to think it’s normal.  We actually don’t spend much time analyzing our narcissist’s behavior.  We just know their triggers and we’d do anything to avoid them. 


Emotional abuse doesn’t look like abuse at all.  When you suffer manipulation, insults, conditioning, and gaslighting, it’s like being a frog in a pot of boiling water, you don’t feel the abuse until it’s too late.  When you put the frog in the pot, the water is tepid.  The increase in temperature is so gradual, that the frog doesn’t know what’s happening until it’s boiled alive.  This is what narcissistic abuse feels like.


What is Complex PTSD from narcissistic abuse?


PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. When you experience complex PTSD, your limbic system gets flooded with stress hormones. As a consequence, it stays stuck in fight, flight, or freeze mode.


Fight, Flight, or Freeze Modes


These are known as the main trauma or stress responses we may have. This is how our body reacts to stressful, traumatic or dangerous events.  Fight or flight is well-known as how our bodies react in a state of hypervigilance. We now recognize freeze additionally as another reaction we have. Fight is your body’s way of facing the perceived danger. Flight is your instinct to flee from the danger. Freeze is your body’s inability to act in the face of this danger.


What are the symptoms of C-PTSD that you might have?

  • Sudden mood swings

  • Irritability

  • Nightmares & sleep disturbances

  • Loss of reality/perception that you’re going crazy

  • Distorted sense of self/lowered self-worth



How do you heal from C-PTSD from Narcissistic Abuse?


Healing from long-term trauma takes time. You need to give yourself some grace.

I wrote about this in my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships: How to Identify, Live With or Leave the Narcissist in Your Life.”  


“Once you accept the narcissist will never change, there are things you need to do for yourself. Apply the concepts in The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Live your life knowing no matter how other people act, you’re consistently impeccable with your word, and not taking things personally, not making assumptions, and always giving your best. This will help you maintain your good mental health and accept what you can change and what you cannot. Their bad behavior isn’t your fault. Focus on the good moments in your life.

 Find ways to practice self-care. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”  This means paying attention to you, keeping yourself healthy to the best of your ability.”

Self-care can be experienced in many ways

Examples of Self-Care Activities:

  • Meditation or prayer LINK amazon shop

  • Sitting in sunlight

  • Exercising

  • Eating right

  • Getting a massage

  • Laughing with friends

  • Reading a book

  • Having a hobby

  • Even just putting on clean clothes



PTSD is born from anxiety. It catches you off guard. You have experienced the most mind-boggling emotional abuse and you don’t even realize it. It will prevent you from having healthy relationships.


Do something for yourself, today.

It is critical to recognize the signs of narcissistic abuse, as it can have long-term effects on your emotional, mental, and physical health. The narcissistic abuse cycle typically involves a period of love-bombing, where the narcissist showers you with attention and affection, followed by devaluation, where they criticize and belittle you. This cycle can repeat itself over and over again, leading to feelings of confusion and self-doubt. Enroll in my newest course – Trauma Bonds 101 where I will lead you through the narcissistic abuse cycle and show you how the trauma bonds are holding you back and how to break them for good.  


Healing from long-term trauma takes time. Don’t stay in this kind of emotionally abusive relationship.  It won’t get better.  They won’t change.  You don’t deserve this abuse.


You see, I didn’t get here by accident. I didn't set out to become a narcissistic abuse recovery coach. But after I’d suffered this kind of abuse, I realized that my story and my experience could help so many people who’ve suffered similarly. 


Often, we stay in these cycles of abuse because we don’t believe we deserve something better. I kept trying to make our relationship work, but he didn’t want me in his life. It took me a long time to understand that I deserved better.


You deserve better, too.

 You can't do this alone. I can help you.

Work with me one-on-one or take one of my courses.

Free yourself from the narcissist. Break the ties that bind. Break your trauma bonds for good.



Take this as your sign to take action today. Learn how to break the trauma bonds for good this time in my course.


You can find my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships” on Amazon,, and










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