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Old 01-11-2019, 07:17 PM #1
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Default Perpetual regret and fear of retaliation

Is constant dwelling on regret plus living in a fear of retaliation a sign of C-PTSD? I am recovering from a narcissistic emotional abuse. It took me a long time to "figure it out" (by seeing the "pattern" over the years, studying on this subject, and consulting people who are close to me.)

Now I am regretting, "If I could just turn back to the time, I would have never shared that information with her. Now she could use it against me," etc.

P.S.
My counselor implied that I have C-PTSD without ever using the word. She just said, "When you have not just one-time trauma but suffer through a trauma over a long period of time, it can have an impact on your anxiety level and health." So I think she described C-PTSD without using the exact word.

Last edited by ennie; 01-11-2019 at 07:19 PM. Reason: add P.S.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:45 PM #2
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I'm sorry I can't answer your question. However here are links to 3 articles on cPTSD, from PC's archives, that hopefully may be of some interest:

Complex PTSD | Psychotherapy Matters

The Unique Features of Complex PTSD

What It's Like to Be a Complex Trauma Survivor of Narcissistic Abuse

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Old 01-12-2019, 12:33 AM #3
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Default Re: Perpetual regret and fear of retaliation

Then I suggest you ask her if you indeed have c ptsd.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:29 AM #4
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Default Re: Perpetual regret and fear of retaliation

Hi ennie, when a person finally gets free of a toxic relationship there needs to be a grieving period and it's very normal to review that relationship and want to know if we did something wrong. Anyone can get taken in by someone who is on the narcissistic side because they can be very charming and make a person feel important and valued, who doesn't like that?

We all want to feel we have personal control over our lives, it's very much a part of our humanity. We also want to feel valued and loved because that too is in our human nature. This can contribute to our being attracted to someone who is narcissistic in that when a narcissist sees something they want they use their charm to attract someone to them and they instinctively learn that part of getting someone under their control is to make someone believe they are very important and cherished and appreciated. It's important to remember that narcissists don't know they are narcissists either. Truth is more often than not they are taught to be this way. Often a parent teaches them to be this way where they are only loved and respected as long as they do something their parent can brag about or gain a sense of power off of. Often a parent like this tends to punish them by taking away something their child cares about too. And these children imprint from their parent/parents that adults have to have ALL THE POWER and say and control.

When a person NEEDS to have the power and control, this is when that person WILL look for anything they can use that can take power and control away from their target or threat. Honestly ennie, this is EXACTLY what we all witness when ANY election is taking place. A political opponent looks for ANYTHING they can find to convince voters NOT to allow their opponent to have the "power and control".

There is a saying "give them bread and circuses so we can do as we please". Well, this tends to be what people in power and control practice. As we live our lives we slowly learn this reality too and it's very much a part of human nature. Your living in fear of retaliation is EXACTLY what controlling people want, that gives them POWER. However ennie, the reality is that when a person NEEDS to have the power and control and you walk away from that, even if the person doesn't have something they can say about you in hopes to take your power away they will MAKE SOMETHING UP. That is because this person NEVER cared about you, it was always about having the power and control. Truth is, this is something we all have to learn how to navigate in our lives. It's always out there and it's often very clever too. For example, I get emails all the time from individuals who claim to be psychics and they tend to leave a message where it really seems like they actually know I am struggling or even worried about something. They always promise that with THEIR help you can overcome and change things so you can avoid being hurt or if you pay them you will get some kind of "protection" that will end up making you wealthy or stronger, you can even buy some special protective medallion so when you have it or wear it it will keep danger away. In the end though ennie, all it really boils down to is it's a way for this psychic to make some money off of you. There are many things that promise that if you buy them you will be "better" in some way.

The important thing for you to learn so you can navigate all of this crap better, is to not allow people to control you like this where you "fear them" in some way. In all honesty, the longer you live your life, the more of these kind of challenges will come across your life path. This toxic relationship was something that was unhealthy for you, you did do the right thing by getting away from this person. Reflection is not about punishment or even guilt or shame either, it's supposed to help you review the things you experienced that can help you better identify the red flags so you don't end up experiencing this problem again. The truth is we do learn and grow our entire lives ennie. When we come across a toxic person they can SEEM really nice and it's important to understand that toxic people will try to find ways to gain control over you, it's always out there and even when a toxic person doesn't have something they can use against you, they will just make something up, it's simply their nature. These people don't care about anyone else, their mission is more about their own needs and path to power and control. When a person like this casts their spell on you and you end up getting hurt, it's always important to remember, your hurt isn't about your actual value or that you don't deserve to be loved and appreciated. Instead, all this really means is the other person really never cared to begin with, they simply don't have that ability in them.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:59 PM #5
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Default Re: Perpetual regret and fear of retaliation

Thank you Skeezyks, Leomama, and Open Eyes.

Open Eyes, thank you so much for a thorough explanation. It makes sense.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:52 PM #6
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Red face Re: Perpetual regret and fear of retaliation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ennie View Post
Is constant dwelling on regret plus living in a fear of retaliation a sign of C-PTSD? I am recovering from a narcissistic emotional abuse. It took me a long time to "figure it out" (by seeing the "pattern" over the years, studying on this subject, and consulting people who are close to me.)

Now I am regretting, "If I could just turn back to the time, I would have never shared that information with her. Now she could use it against me," etc.

P.S.
My counselor implied that I have C-PTSD without ever using the word. She just said, "When you have not just one-time trauma but suffer through a trauma over a long period of time, it can have an impact on your anxiety level and health." So I think she described C-PTSD without using the exact word.
I recommend this book ...

Perpetual regret and fear of retaliation

My therapist gifted me with a copy and it has been a tremendous help to me!

I think you will find a lot of answers to your questions in it ... Including instrusive thoughts (preoccupation and perseverating) about our abusers even after we've separated ourselves from them.

I kind of liken it to some of the bad dreams I still have where my mind (subconscious when asleep) is trying to work out parts of the trauma(s) that still haven't been resolved yet, but instead of happening when I'm asleep it's happening when I'm awake.

Not sure if that made sense or not, but kind of like talking over a problem with ourselves while trying to make sense or finding some sort of resolution to them perhaps.
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