Often a physical injury results in a scar.  Did you ever think about the fact that psychological injuries also result in scars?  They may not be so easy to see like physical scars, but they are there nonetheless.

PTSD & C-PTSD are scars that result from exposure to extreme trauma or multiple traumas.  The traumas were so bad they literally “broke” a person’s brain, causing physical changes, that create some very difficult problems to cope with.

Depression is a scar resulting from living through the horrors of emotional abuse.  The constant berating, gaslighting & more of emotional abuse created depression that can last even long after the relationship has ended.

Anxiety is a scar that comes from living with someone, either a parent or a spouse who is demanding, highly volatile & unpredictable.  The constant feeling of walking on eggshells in an attempt to avoid angry outbursts creates anxiety that can last a lifetime, whether or not the volatile person is still in a victim’s life or not.

These scars are incredibly difficult to live with, I know.  I live with C-PTSD as a result of the narcissistic abuse I’ve endured.  It is a horrible disorder to live with but for me, the anxiety & depression are probably the worst parts of it.  It could be very easy to get caught up in the heartbreaking, discouraging & unfair nature of it all.  Honestly, there are some times that happens.  However, there are also times it doesn’t happen because of the perspective I try to have on these scars.  My hope is this information will help you too.

Scars remind you of what you’ve been through so you retain what you learned.  Having survived narcissistic parents, an ex husband, in-laws & countless so called friends & family, naturally I’ve learned a lot.  That’s a good thing, because now I spot unsafe people easily.  I know quickly either to avoid them or to have firm boundaries in place if I must deal with them.  I also know when they are attempting to manipulate me, & avoid falling for their games.

Scars also remind you that you survived something that was meant to destroy you.  This can be really hard to remember when you’re facing suicidal thoughts, flashbacks or paralyzing anxiety or depression, but it’s true.  The goal of narcissists is to destroy their victim emotionally.  (If they can tear a person down enough, that person will be easy to bend to their will, so it just makes sense that is the goal of narcissists.)  You survived that!  Yes, you still have issues from it but who wouldn’t?!  You survived something really terrible, & that is the main thing!

What I think is the best part of all is that scars also are an excellent reminder of God being by your side, through this “valley of the shadow of death,” so to speak.  Remember Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;” (KJV)  Your scar is reminder that although you went through something utterly horrific, God was by your side the entire time helping you to survive.  He loves you so much, & your scars are a reminder of that wonderful fact.

When you have problems because of the scars you have as a result of surviving narcissistic abuse, please try not to get discouraged!  I know it’s hard, but you can do it.  Remember the points in this post.  Be gentle & understanding with yourself.  Acknowledge your feelings & accept them.  If you feel things like you’re damaged, a burden to your loved ones or other negative things like that, remind yourself that they are simply old beliefs stemming from narcissistic abuse.  And, most of all, lean on God.  Pray often. Ask Him for comfort, strength, wisdom, guidance & anything else you can think of.  Remember, He was there with you “through the valley of the shadow of death.”  He is still with you!


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

32 responses to “Scars

  1. Wow. The passages that stood out to me in this post were:
    “you survived something that was meant to destroy you.”, and
    “The goal of narcissists is to destroy their victim emotionally. (If they can tear a person down enough, that person will be easy to bend to their will…)”

    I was always bullied. So it’s always been easy for me to accept that there are bullies in the world that may not like me and be “out to get me”. It’s been such a shock to accept my original bully was my mother.

    Even 2 years in of binge watching and reading on all things narcissism, it’s still hard to accept.

    All this to say Thank You for what you do here. I appreciate that you are a Christian. So much Christian dogma is used to keep us in submission to the abusive parents and family “tribe”, even though many parts of the Bible speak the opposite.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That really is a tough pill to swallow, that your original bully is your mother. The one person who is supposed to love you unconditionally & protect you should NOT be the person determined to destroy you. When that happens, the brain really struggles to accept it because it’s just so abnormal. You’ll accept it at some point. But, it never will be ok. It’ll always hurt to some degree. That’s what I’ve discovered in my experience.

      Thank you so much. I’ve noticed the same thing with much Christian writing. Honoring parents by tolerating their abuse & “forgive & forget” seems to rule, even though the Bible has nothing even remotely like that to say.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. ibikenyc

    AND you’ve done it again: Over the past several weeks, I’ve become increasingly aware of just HOW damaged I am. That thought — “I’m SO DAMAGED” — has come to mind at random times in exactly those words. It looks harsh and judgemental written down, but it hasn’t felt that way at all.

    Rather, it’s been very much like a ray of sunshine breaking through some thick, dark clouds. At first I was confused and thought I was just trying to sell myself a bill of goods, but I kept feeling that warmth, so I decided to try to stay with it.

    That led me to feel a deep love and compassion for myself and my Inner Child.

    After reading this post, what just popped into my mind is that “Footprints” thing.

    Thank you, my friend! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So much truth in this post, thank you so much for sharing! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on A Blog About Healing From PTSD and commented:
    “Your scar is [a] reminder that although you went through something utterly horrific, God was by your side the entire time helping you to survive. He loves you so much, & your scars are a reminder of that wonderful fact.” ~ Cynthia Bailey Rug

    Sometimes, I feel ashamed of my PTSD scars. But this beautiful post by Cynthia Bailey Rug sheds a new and positive light on my broken areas.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am so glad you are speaking out on this subject, Linda. People need this…There are people who walk around with unimaginable scars in their soul. Some don’t ever recover the lifetime of abuse and are a few of the very ones who shoot up schools. It’s very tragic, but I am so glad there is a Healer!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Linda, you are way too kind.. thank you so much for always being so encouraging! ❤

    I'm so sorry to hear all of what is going on with you & your family lately! Goodness! Yall are in my prayers!

    As for the dogs… you know animals are an area God has gifted me in so I hope you don't mind some unasked for advice here. Talk to them! Sit them down & tell them what is going on with your daughter. Animals need to know what is happening with their parents. I bet it'll help with the potty issues.

    As for you.. goodness! Are you able to do any self care? The PTSD scars are awful, especially when they flare up during times you need to focus.

    As for the comments on that other blogger's post.. WOW! He really went off on you. I get him disagreeing with you (seeing clearly how he thinks), but there is no reason to be nasty about it. You disagreed with him too & I thought you were civil about that. He wasn't. As for your part in it, don't beat yourself up for stooping to his level! All that you have going on, how can you expect yourself to handle things 100% right now? Honestly, he wasn't worth responding to once he started attacking. But, when you're mentally & physically compromised, you don't think that way. I sure don't anyway. I thought your initial comment was totally fine & it's ridiculous how he went off on you. There are so many absolute NUTS on both sides in politics, that's why I avoid politics. You can't say anything without someone attacking you. Sheesh!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh thank you. I really appreciate what you said here. And yes, I have been trying to talk to the upset dogs. The problem is that I am the one who rescued them, about a year ago, from the people who were giving them away and obviously mistreating them. I got them with the intention of giving them to my stepdaughter, because she had recently lost a beloved dog and wanted a replacement. When I told her about these dogs, and sent her pictures, she wanted them. So I got them, put them in a pet carrier, and drove them one hour to her house. She loves them and she is great with them.

      The problem is, they still see me as the kidnapper who “stole” them from the home where their dog daddy and some dog siblings still lived. So they don’t want to listen to me! I think they are afraid I will spirit them away again.

      Cynthia, belatedly, after I left my long comment with the link, I realized that it wasn’t fair to you to drag you into this. Some of his followers may follow you, and they don’t need to be put in the middle of choosing sides. So, if you wish to delete my comment, or at least delete the link, please do! I wish I could delete my comments off of his blog. Sunday, after I finally got 5 hours of sleep, I tried to post an apology to him. But he had closed comments.

      Lots of love to you. Okay, I have a ton of stuff to do today. Later… ❤❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re welcome!

        Good that you’re talking to the dogs. Reassure them you aren’t going to take them anywhere. They’ll probably need to hear it repeatedly, but it’ll sink in.

        Don’t worry about it. If anyone feels pressured into choosing sides, they’re overreacting in my opinion. I didn’t see anything pressuring about your post. You wanted input, that’s all.

        Hugs & love you to ❤ Take care of yourself!

        Liked by 2 people

        • You know what, I really feel uncomfortable about my long comment here. If it’s not too much trouble, would you please delete it? Thanks.

          I am on the verge of either deleting my blog or making it private. That’s how bad this comment war has made me feel.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ok.. I’ll delete it for you. A bit later though because I want you to see this.. please don’t delete your blog or make it private! It’s really wonderful! Comment wars happen sometimes. They suck, I know, but they happen. I had one on here several years ago where a well known blogger attacked one of my readers for agreeing with me instead of her, then the blogger blocked me on fb & removed my book from her site & stuff like that. It made me feel awful too, but I realized something. People who act like that have problems. People can disagree respectfully & they should. If they can’t manage to do so, well, maybe it’s best that they showed us their true colors so we can move on.

            Now that I said my will you please let me know when you read this & I’ll delete your comment as soon as I see that. ❤

            Liked by 4 people

            • Thank you. Sorry it took me so long to see this, it’s been a very busy day. Love to you –

              Liked by 1 person

              • Linda – I didn’t go read the thread on your blog, but if you had something to say, then it was probably important. Either because someone else needed to see it, or just because you needed to say it. You are allowed to be as angry, crazy and irrational as our abusers are and accuse us of being. Gray Rock and taking the high ground is absolutely the right tactic when you are done with a relationship and want “out”. But what the Narc fears most is exposure. If you said something that exposed them, then that was okay. Telling the truth is okay. Sunlight is okay.

                Don’t feel shame. Whatever you said was probably appropriate.

                Liked by 4 people

                • You know what, Doug Ross? You are amazing and awesome. I already knew that, just from reading your comments to Cynthia over the past year or so. But it just now occurred to me that I have never told you this.

                  Thank you. What you said right here, is EXACTLY what I needed to hear, more than anything that anyone else has said to me about this deeply painful situation. You’re right, I am allowed to be human. Especially when I’m being attacked and bullied online.

                  Wow, seriously, I feel like I just had about 10 good therapy sessions, and that’s just from reading your very healing, affirming, understanding, and validating comment.

                  Thank You!!!!!!

                  Liked by 4 people

                    • Doug, I copied your comment and pasted it into the notepad on my tablet, and every time I start beating up on myself and feeling ashamed, I read it again.

                      Just to clarify, I am not taking your comment to mean that we can just behave however, and it’s okay, because we have been abused. I know you didn’t mean that at all. Like it says in the Bible, we shouldn’t just go ahead and sin more and more, because hey, God will forgive us, and then His grace will abound more and more. (That’s my paraphrase obviously, lol.) No, as Christ followers, we are to strive to be more and more like Him. And besides, when we sin, we eventually reap what we have sown, which is never fun.

                      The way I take your comment is that it’s a reflection of the scripture which says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and our own righteousness is as filthy rags. To me, your words are a reminder that: 1) Nobody is perfect, so why do I think I should be an exception?, 2) When I mess up, I need to take it to the Lord in prayer, repent, and accept God’s forgiveness and believe that Christ has already paid the penalty for my sins, and 3) I need to believe that Christ’s payment for my sins is enough. I don’t need to add to what Christ did at Calvary, by beating myself up and being miserable!

                      Your comment also reminds me that yes, I was amply provoked, plus I was beyond exhausted, and very worried about my daughter and my husband, with her recent surgery and his upcoming surgery and tests for cancer. Being only human, not superwoman, I have a breaking point. Who doesn’t? Being bullied and brow beaten online in the middle of this extremely stressful and exhausting week, no wonder I “snapped”. I would like to meet the person who wouldn’t snap, if they were in my shoes.

                      The narcissists don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings, do they? So if we hurt a narcissist by telling them the truth, well, they are just reaping what they have sown. I got that out of your comment, too.

                      Sometimes, Doug, the best advice to give a person who is hurting very badly is… not to give them any advice at all, but simply say “You are fine just like you are, give yourself a break.” I didn’t know that was what I needed to hear, until I read your comment, which said exactly that, in so many words.

                      Breath of fresh air! Thank you!!

                      Liked by 2 people

                  • Linda- Jesus turned over a few tables if I remember correctly! 🙂

                    Liked by 4 people

          • ibikenyc

            I would miss you 😦 ❤ [[[HUGS!]]]

            Liked by 4 people

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