Creativity- The Surprising Gift In Narcissistic Abuse And Mental Illness

The other night, I woke up around 3:45 to the funniest sound.  My youngest cat, Punkin was doing this weird three stage meow thing.. “ROWROWROW!!”.  Doing it very loudly, by the way!  He did it several times in a row too.  Why he was doing it, I have no idea.  I then heard the sound of him knocking something over, & running away from it.  I knew nothing had broken & he was fine, so I eventually went back to sleep.

Punkin has the cat version of PTSD.  Something in his life before coming to my home traumatized him badly.  I am guessing a dog killed either some of or all of his family.  Partly because he showed up alone at someone’s home as a young little guy of only about three months, & partly because although he’s been with me since last April, he still is easily upset by my dog, Dixie. In fact, I’ve seen him have a flashback when she startled him- he attacked her, then quickly caught himself & stopped before he hurt her.  That episode is what led me to research if there was such a thing as Feline PTSD, in fact.  I learned there was & that the symptoms are very similar to human PTSD.

Punkin is doing very well, though.  He hasn’t had another flashback since, & he tries very hard to manage his reactions around Dixie. They’re even on friendly terms now, other than occasionally when she startles him & he about jumps out of his skin..

Anyway, as I was thinking of all this at 4:00 a.m., something came to mind.  Punkin is a very creative, fun boy. He thinks of things to do that I’ve never even heard of other cats doing.  I wonder if having PTSD is why he’s so creative.  Many people with mental illness are very creative individuals.  I’ve noticed it also in talking with those who have survived narcissistic abuse.

Unfortunately I don’t think many people really embrace their creativity, especially those who have survived narcissistic abuse.  We’re so used to hearing that we are freaks, weird, strange, etc., that we stifle the creativity because of the negative connotations connected to it.  I’m guilty of doing this, too- it’s not just you!

But, creativity is a really wonderful thing!  Having it means you can see things in a way that makes other people rethink their perceptions.  It makes you more empathetic too, because you truly can see things from others’ perspectives, even if you disagree with them.  Creativity also means you can make things that improve the lives of other people.  You have the ability to write fascinating or educational stories, build useful things, or even improve things people use in their daily lives.

Narcissists aren’t usually creative, which is why the narcissist you know has tried to squelch your creativity- out of envy that you have something she never can have.  It isn’t because creativity is a bad thing!

Why not embrace your creativity?  It’s a part of who you are, & God gave you the gift- use it!  Enjoy it!  Take a lesson from my fun little kitty, Punkin.  He embraces his creative side.  As I’m typing this, he’s currently hiding behind the living room curtains & trying to stretch up tall enough to look out the window.  The other cats are simply sitting on the back of the sofa, looking outside.  Not Punkin- he wants to go about it a whole new way.  And interestingly, he’s having much more fun than the others.

What can you do to explore your creativity?  Did you like to draw or paint when you were a child?  Then pick up a pencil or paintbrush & give it a try.  Did you try writing poetry when you were a teenager like so many girls?  Find something that inspires you & try writing a poem about it.  Maybe try a creative writing class.  Did you once enjoy cross stitch, crocheting or knitting?  Try it again!  Or, if you’ve never really tried to do anything creative, walk around a craft store or look at a craft store’s website.  You might be surprised the amount of inspiration at those places!  They don’t only sell supplies for yarn crafts- they sell supplies for everything from drawing to dollhouses to model car building. You’re bound to find something you enjoy!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

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