You reclaim your power by loving what you were once told to hate. Bryant H McGill
Initiating No Contact was undoubtedly the right thing to do. Since I severed all ties with him, my life has been moving forward much faster and it has made me realise how negative his influence was and how much he was holding me back and therefore preventing me from moving on.
In the past thirty-nine days I have made huge progress in my healing journey . Life is looking rather good and my PTSD symptoms are much less frequent. It has not been a walk in the park though. It has taken a conscious and constant effort to get myself out of the dark hole of depression and anxiety. But now I can safely say that the worst is behind me and that the best is yet to come.
People who have experienced a life crisis or a traumatic event, often go through a positive transformation afterwards. This is referred to as Post Traumatic Growth. Trauma affects people in different ways and not everyone will experience Post Traumatic Growth. It is very much dependent on the age of the person at the time of the event, the person’s psychological and emotional foundations, their resilience, the support that is available to them and their previous experience of positively dealing with a problem. A childhood trauma will always be more difficult to overcome as children have not had time to build strong foundations.
Richard G Tedeschi and Laurence G Calhoun who coined the term Post Traumatic Growth in the mid-1990s noticed positive changes in five main areas. However, people might not necessarily experience growth in all areas.
- Appreciation of life.
I can say that I do indeed appreciate life a lot more now than I did before. When I met him, I had just divorced after a twenty-year marriage and I had not had time to discover what I truly wanted out of life. I was still upset and vulnerable. Then I got sucked into the terrible cycle of Narcissistic Abuse and life was something that I had to endure. When I eventually broke up with him, I was merely surviving but now I feel as if I am living again.
- Relationship with others
I do not think that my relationship with others have tremendously changed post trauma. I have always had good relations with people. I am outgoing and approachable and tend to make friends easily. Of course, when I was with him I had isolated myself and did not spend time with friends or family. Now I am trying to make time. My relationship with my colleagues has certainly improved as I spend more time at work now, instead of rushing home to check what he is up to.
- New possibilities in life
This is the area which I think has seen the most positive changes. I have so many new possibilities that sometimes I feel as if there are not enough hours in the day.
Firstly, there is my newly found hobby dragon boating. I train twice a week now and last week we won the 200 m Ladies and came 4th in the 200 Mixed in the National League! In two weeks we will attempt to win the 500 m Ladies and Mixed!
Secondly, I have enrolled on a course to train as a life coach. Unfortunately, I have been so busy lately that I have not had time to look at the course material. I am planning to start with my studies this weekend.
Thirdly, I am going to start my own tutoring business – as a sole trader- to teach English and French. But once again, I have been so busy that I have not had time to set up the website. I have finally decided on a name though, so it is a start.
I am very excited about all these new possibilities. I never really did things for myself in the past, so it is a wonderful change.
- Personal strength
I think that I am quite a resilient person, but all my life, I have been dependent on others to make important decisions. Now I just rely on myself. It is safer that way. Whether it is a positive change, I am not sure, but it is a change nonetheless. I know that I can handle difficulties on my own.
- Spiritual change
Many survivors of trauma turn to religion or have renewed faith. However, I have not had a big spiritual change. I have developed a better understanding of spiritual matters though.
I will finish with a quote by Peter A. Levine: “The paradox with trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect.”
The trauma of Narcissistic Abuse very nearly destroyed me, but I am reclaiming my life now and transforming it for the better!
To be continued…