Many of us who have experienced trauma have been very deeply affected by it. We not only develop mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD or C-PTSD, but we also develop some very skewed beliefs. In this post, I’d like to address some of them & hopefully help you to realize a healthier way to think.
It’s ok to have bad days! Mental illness is no joke. It’s incredibly difficult to live with & very serious! Not all days are going to be days where you can cope well & manage your symptoms. Some days, you’re going to want to cry all day long, have panic attacks, wake up exhausted from having several nightmares in a row & barely be able to function. Some days you won’t function at all. These scenarios, horrible as they are, are also normal. It doesn’t make you unlovable or unworthy! It doesn’t mean you have no faith in God or are a phony Christian either! It means you are struggling with a mental illness.
You’re not a burden, even on your worst days. I don’t care if all you could do was get out of bed long enough to make a sandwich today, that doesn’t make you a burden. Would you consider someone a burden that is suffering from cancer & could do virtually nothing? No? Then why would you be a burden when you have days you can barely function?
You’re ok. It seems all of us with mental illness have experienced the same thing- someone thinking we’re weak or attention seeking. After all, they went through trauma & are fine! (Or so they say..). It can make you feel as if something is wrong with you for developing the mental illness, but nothing could be further from the truth! Every situation is different & every person in every situation is different. There is no indicator who will or won’t develop ongoing mental illness as a result of their trauma. Those of us who do however, aren’t “less than” those who don’t. We’re simply different, & different does NOT equal bad!
Nothing that happened was your fault. Narcissists do love to blame their victims, don’t they? “You made me do it” is a common gaslighting phrase. As if that isn’t bad enough, their flying monkeys reinforce this by saying stupid things like, “You should’ve just stayed out of his way when he was in a bad mood.” “What did you do to make her so angry?” While such behaviors can make it easy to believe the trauma was your fault, it truly wasn’t. The only fault in the situation is that of the narcissist for choosing to be abusive!
It’s ok to talk about the trauma. Narcissists love secrecy & depend on their victims never discussing the abuse. Talking about it may feel impossible or as if you’re betraying the narcissist somehow. I get it! Truly! Until my parents were gone, I was terrified they’d somehow find out what I wrote about even though I knew it was highly unlikely. I also felt guilty for betraying them by “outing” them, so to speak by discussing the things they did to me. The truth though is that I was wrong to feel that way. When people abuse you, it’s not your job to stay quiet. You have every right to divulge what they have done to you to whoever you wish. It’s your life too, not just theirs. If you want to discuss your situation either with a close friend or therapist or even write books as I have, that is your right!
Your feelings are valid. I know, narcissists will say otherwise but truly, your feelings are valid! You are entitled to them!
You owe no one an explanation. Your life is just that. Yours. You owe no one any explanation for how you choose to live it, how you choose to heal, who you choose to have in your life or who you choose to eliminate from it. What you do is up to you. So long as you aren’t deliberately hurting others, what business is it of anyone’s how you live your life?
Please remember these points, Dear Reader. You deserve to take care of yourself, to love yourself, to be treated well & to be respected! xoxo