I have mad love for Shahida Arabi. She is wise beyond her years and beautiful on the inside and out. Her knowledge of narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths is formidable. She writes a blog, Self Care Haven and has written two books, both of which I have read:
I was reading one of her articles, The Secret Language of Narcissists, Socipaths and Psychopaths, on The Minds Journal and was struck by this quote:
“Their manipulation is psychological and emotionally devastating – and very dangerous, especially considering the brain circuitry for emotional and physical pain are one and the same. What a victim feels when they are punched in the stomach can be similar to the pain a victim feels when they are verbally and emotionally abused, and the effects of narcissistic abuse can be crippling and long-lasting, even resulting in symptoms of PTSD or Complex PTSD.”
I knew this but having it described in this way kind of stopped me in my tracks. What she is saying is true. Emotional and physical pain are one and the same. Narcissists are clever by hurting us in ways that cannot be seen, giving them freedom to cut us deeper and deeper with no legal repercussions. Had this pain been inflicted in a way you could see, they would unequivocably be culpable and subject to criminal charges.
I have diagnosed Complex PTSD. Not ever in my life have I experienced something so scary and debilitating. I have had many days where the only thing that has gotten me through is emergency care, being held tightly by those that love me the best, tender forehead kisses and the wisdom of authors like Arabi who empathize and advocate for those of us who are gasping for air.
How is James not held accountable for this devastation he knowingly inflicted? In December of 2014, the world was mine to embrace. I was happy, light and believed in the goodness of others. I am none of those things right now.
When I think of all the times I said to James, “Are you okay?” “Is everything okay?” “Are you mad at me?” And the always present, “I’m so sorry.” Guess what James? I do not care how you are anymore. Not at all. Nor am I sorry for anything other than meeting you that cold night in January of 2015. I did nothing but try to love you and endure your crazymaking.
I am so grateful for having stumbled upon very smart people who are much further along in the healing process. Arabi is one of them and I love her passion for educating others on all aspects of narcissistic abuse. She is hope embodied and makes me feel less alone in this mess that James crafted and carried out with deliberation. She also confirms what every professional in this field recognizes. That this abuse is done with awareness and intent by the abuser.
In her own words:
“Narcissists and sociopaths are aware of their actions and the impact of their actions – we know this not only from the voices of narcissists and sociopaths themselves but also in the way that they smear their victims and the various methods they use to escape accountability such as gaslighting and projection. You cannot plot to blame someone else for your actions if you are not aware of your own blame and are attempting to escape exposure. You also cannot switch your mask rapidly from the true self to the false self when there is a witness if your behavior is not under your conscious control.”