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After the Cyclone: A Recovery Journey from Narcissistic Abuse

abuse recovery complex ptsd hypnotherapy narcissistic abuse narcissistic abuse recovery coaching narcissists ptsd tamara boggio Sep 27, 2022
After the Cyclone: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

If I stayed, I would die. If I left, my children would suffer. 

I was stuck. Depressed, heartbroken, confused, scared, frustrated and angry all at once. Lying awake unable to relax enough to sleep, and searching every corner of my brain during the day for hope of a way out of this. I had to think of the consequences to everyone this decision would affect. I didn't want to hurt my children. I felt ashamed for wanting to give up on the marriage, but at the same time, I was furious that I was essentially being judged by my ability to silently tolerate truly horrible treatment from my spouse. If I stayed, I would die. If I left, my children would suffer. I couldn't win. 

I felt the painful pressure in my chest and stomach as I read "inspirational" posts on Facebook about "being an adult because adults work through their problems," and "sucking it up for the kids because their needs should always come first," and how "real moms would willingly die for their kids." Seeing other moms like and share and comment their "Amens" on these posts should have given me insight on what was to come, but I was still surprised by the complete lack of support after I decided I couldn't do this anymore.

I was in a toxic, abusive relationship. I knew it didn't matter what I changed about myself- I would never be good enough. There would always be something for him to criticize, laugh at, and put down. I was tired of struggling, stretching myself beyond reasonable limits trying to make him happy enough to toss me a few crumbs of affection. Understanding now that he could only give me those tiny crumbs because he never actually felt affection for me. He didn't ever see me as an equal. I was a liability. 

He showed me this in so many small, nearly-invisible ways for years. I just didn't want to believe it. I didn't want to accept the reality that someone could lie to my face about loving me and then deliberately do things to hurt me. 

And because he was so careful to keep that version of himself secret- just between us- by the time I accepted that he would never love me, never respect me and certainly never accept responsibility for the damage his abuse had on me- his public image was beyond reproach. So no one else would believe it either. 

The smear campaign against me had started well before I moved out of the home we shared. He had to be ready to explain to people what was happening and make sure they were all on his side. People I had known for years averted their eyes if we met in public. I watched my friends list dwindle down and realized that most of these people were "friends" that he had introduced me to over the years. I only knew them through him, and they could only value me based on what he told them. So I gave up. 

I was very alone in a world full of people that suddenly hated me for reasons that weren't even real. 

That loneliness eventually became a blessing, as I had far less distractions during what was coming next. I was doing some research for a school project, and came across an article on Narcissistic Abuse that stopped me in my tracks. I felt the hair stand up on my arms and my hands started buzzing like they had fallen asleep. Reading through the description of the traits, symptoms, and signature narcissistic abuse tactics, it was as though the author had been watching me for the last ten years of my life. For the first time in my life, I felt like someone finally understood what had happened to me, which helped me confirm what my body and mind had already known: the abuse was real, it actually happened and it was definitely not acceptable. 

Over the next three years, I worked through my recovery with various mental health professional treatments from CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), to Hypnotherapy and finally, a targeted approach to Narcissistic Abuse Recovery. The CBT did help me considerably to have a therapist guiding me to understand what had happened and the different feelings that came up during the contentious divorce and custody proceedings with my ex. The EMDR was also effective in focusing on healing and releasing specific troubling memories from recent incidents of abuse that I had attached to other events in my life. Finally, the Hypnotherapy and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery coaching allowed me to heal and protect myself from Narcissistic Abuse in a permanent sense. 

I have dedicated the last two years of my life becoming certified in Hypnotherapy, RTT® and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching so I can help others who have experienced Narcissistic Abuse to heal, recover and move on with rediscovered joy and renewed hope for the future.  

If you or someone you know has been affected by Narcissistic Abuse, subscribe to this blog and Join my Private Facebook Group for Survivors. 

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