I have come to the conclusion I am suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome); nightmares, flashbacks, depression, anxiety attacks.
I am not sure how to cope with it. Right about the time I was filing for divorce my therapist moved, and I have not made any move to try to find a new one. It's been a whirlwind of adjustments ever since. Husband moved out. Figuring out how to work full time, maintain the household and care for my children alone. It's quite the juggling act, I must say. I am not putting in a stellar performance, and that bugs me, but I am getting by. I’m trying to take the advice of family, to learn to forgive myself for all the rest and be satisfied, for now, with just getting by. Boy, do I expect a lot.
Getting clear from my divorce.
At the bottom of my heart is this little voice of faith that says I am held in the palm of His hand and that I shouldn't think that just getting by is unacceptable. So I take comfort in that. I have been aware that my heart possesses no joy right now. I lost it somewhere along the way. You all know why. I struggle just to get out of bed each day, get the kids to school and myself to work. I am adapting; finding my way. Yet, I make to do lists and have whole months (not hours or days or weekends) where very little gets checked off. I just can't seem to manage anything much besides eat, sleep, parent and work. I know things will get better. I know I just need to go final and get clear of the divorce. The inventory and assessment, taxes, other ridiculous discovery requests were daunting. I thought I would feel better once I got past that but, no, it didn't - I'm not there just yet. At least we finally got him paying child support regularly so that helps. I am riding on an even keel right now financially, but it's still full of ups and downs.
Detaching is key to healing from narcissistic abuse.
Emotionally, I have gotten more detached from my ex-narcissist. When he is civil and talks decently I don't dive deep in it - don't have a single thought (hope) of us getting back together like I once did. Nor do I feel great disappointment and sorrow like I always felt after a good exchange. My mind would reel out the line "see how well we get along? I don't understand why it didn't work?" Before I would weep in mourning, but no more. I just take in the moment now with gratitude that the most recent exchange was not ugly. I know the next moment could be entirely different. I am not fazed by that thought either. It just is what it is at any moment. I have read here and other sites a lot lately, and 3 books on narcissism and recovery are shaping my healing. I understand so much more now. The guilt is loosening its grip.
Two things have happened recently that are a sign to me that my feet have found the road to recovery. This is in addition to my improved attitude of detachment. One is that without intending to I did get a measure of revenge on my husband already. I have learned in my readings that the narcissist extracts pleasure from us by using us up and discarding us. The "discard" is monumentally important to them. Now, I have never been one to hold a grudge or step out of my way to exact revenge on anyone. I did this to him unintentionally. I realized our marriage was not livable and I filed for divorce first. He had plans to file and dump me in grand fashion. I am sure. I look back and all the signs were there. I just did not recognize them until now. No wonder he was so mad! Score for me! Lol.
The second thing that has happened is as follows. I am still having nightmares but they have decreased a bit. Now I started having this dream where a beautiful, sweet and innocent toddler sees me and runs to me. This kid looks like a cherub-but without wings and it's so real! I kneel down to greet him (or her - it changes nightly) and he runs into my arms, giggling joyfully, and I am enveloped in this hug like no other. I wake laughing still feeling his touch. It's strange but it comforts me. Getting out of bed is getting easier. I thought about it for a long time, pondering... what does it mean? I think it is a promise. A promise that blessings are coming daily and joy will return - I just have to kneel to accept them on whatever level they come; open my arms and my scarred heart to embrace the changes as they arrive in my life.