Complicated grief can occur after the death of a loved one, after the suicide of a loved one, and also after a narcissist discards you.
Complicated grief is like being in an ongoing, heightened state of mourning that keeps you from healing. Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic Lists the signs and symptoms of complicated grief as follows
- Intense sorrow and pain at the thought of your loved one
- Focus on little else but your loved one’s death
- Extreme focus on reminders of the loved one or excessive avoidance of reminders
- Intense and persistent longing or pining for the deceased
- Problems accepting the death
- Numbness or detachment
- Bitterness about your loss
- Feeling that life holds no meaning or purpose
- Irritability or agitation
- Lack of trust in others
- Inability to enjoy life or think back on positive experiences with your loved one
The problems of complicated grief are severe.
People lose touch with their friends and tend to isolate themselves. It is a mammalian response to want to go crawl into your cave and hide. You want to get away from any triggers and have no desire to be around other people.
It can result in losing one’s job and friends. If it continues, complicated grief can lead to very severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
There are factors which can cause a person to be unable to accept the death of a loved one. The death may have been senseless or violent. The death may have been of a young child or teenager.
This can be a result of miscarriage or still birth. Any death of one’s child can cause mental trauma.
Some people can experience Complicated Grief after the death of a spouse, especially if they are now left to care for a child with no other parent.
The child’s grief only serves to compound the grief of the parent. They have to carry their own grief and the grief of their child for the lost parent. The more the surviving parent claims, internalizes and feels responsible for the suffering of their child, the more likely it will result in Complicated Grief that they cannot seem to recover from.
The child is a constant reminder of the lost partner. The child is grieving the lost parent. This can easily overcome the strongest of people, who are struggling to keep their child and themselves together, in the midst of their own grief.
There is seldom time for them to deal with their own feelings, because they are dealing with their child’s trauma over the death. This repression of feelings, in order to keep going, can cause the grief to not be resolved. The parent needs to get help with their own feelings.
Sometimes people do not understand why their loved one is still in the same state of grief that they were in months ago.
When they comment that the person should be better by now, it makes the person draw into themselves more, which is the opposite of what needs to happen.
There are any number of circumstances in combination with the person’s mental state at the time of the death, that can lead to ongoing grief that does not heal normally.
This is a very serious mental health disorder. It may need to be treated by a mental health professional. Telling a person to “get over it” or making them feel bad for continuing to feel grief, will only cause the person to further isolate themselves.
Complicated grief can also occur after the victim of narcissistic abuse is cruelly discarded. Their reality has been corrupted intentionally by a psychopath or a narcissist. When the abuser discards you, the world that you know completely falls apart.
There is a chemical addiction that the victims of narcissistic abuse suffer from and there are actual physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. There is also a sudden, rude awakening of the reality as they knew it, being shattered.
The realization that you were with someone in an intimate way, that was very dangerous, can be frightening and cause you to question humanity itself.
So, victims of narcissistic abandonment can go through a similar but different experience of Complicated Grief. As I said, it is a severe mental condition and can cause the victim to contemplate suicide.
Not all people that suffer from complicated grief will become suicidal but it does not make their condition less important to get help with. There is a lack of being able to accept the reality of what happened. Every day the person wakes up and re-experiences the death all over again.
Every day is the same trauma replaying itself.
People cannot go one with this level of severe grief and still live and function normally. It can cause destruction to their mental health and to their functionality in life.
If you are or have experienced the symptoms on the list above, you should reach out for proper help. Do not let people tell you that you “should” just get over it. You cannot get over this condition all alone.
It is not a choice that someone makes to stay have Complicated Grief or PTSD.
It is a state that your brain goes into. Your brain is always trying to protect you, but sometimes it does the wrong thing in the process.
The brain is causing the amygdala to work overtime. You become in a state of post traumatic stress. The brain decides to put the fear centers and the pain centers of the brain, into alarm mode. It is trying to defend you against more trauma.
The problem is that you cannot live and function if your brain is keeping the alarms on all the time. We were not designed to tolerate stress and anxiety in an ongoing, continuous manner.
The fight or flight mode is a chemical reaction in the brain, that wakes up the amygdala and the frontal cortex. It is supposed to get your body ready to fight or to run. It is like that super adrenaline rush you get when someone does something on the road that is about to cause you to crash.
It is like if someone were to hold a gun up to your head. It is like any kind of severe life threatening situation occurs. One example might be if you saw your baby in severe danger. Your entire body would feel that. Your blood pressure would rise, your heart rate would increase etc.
PTSD and Complicated grief are similar in that the alarms are in a permanent ON position.
Someone traumatized from narcissistic abuse may have both of these condition – PTSD and complicated grief. The grief causing the severe sadness and lack of acceptance. The alarms are on that have to do with not wanting to accept the trauma that you have to experience about the death.
People who have lost a loved one and were not prepared for it, can end up with complicated grief. If the death was violent, or there were circumstances that the person’s brain just cannot accept, then they may also have PTSD.
The conditions of PTSD and Complicated Grief can exists as comorbid conditions in the same person’s brain.
What the exact thing that is going on the brain is not as important as the fact that the person is in a severe mental disturbance. It is not sustainable for them and they cannot live normally with this ongoing critical mental disfunction.
God bless and protect those that suffer,
Please reach out for yourself and catch the hand of others who are sinking,
Breaking up …
Insignificant other – I want to break up with you
Blogger – Really? Why?
IO – I just want to
B – What is your reason? What is the story behind it?
B- That will only make a 20 word post. Come back here, you selfish prick
IO – Why do you always have to know why about everything?
B– because the “why” matters. It gives things meaning. You can’t just cause random pain and injury and refuse to give someone closure. ..or at least the courtsey of a decent blog post, you ass.
IO- Yes I can. I can do whatever I want to do. The universe centers around me, not your fucking blog
B- I hate when you say that “F” word. It makes me feel disrepected
IO- I never say that word. You are thinking of someone else. You have some ptsd about your past, and you project old situations onto me.
Your bipolar disorder makes you out of touch with reality. You misinterpret things i say
I am always trying to build your self confidence. That is what i believe in. You should know that by now
IO– you are always blogging when I am on the phone with you. I told you many times….i can hear you clicking the keys..
B– I tried to type softly
IO– that is deceptive and disrespectful
B– while you were on the phone with me, you would tell me to wait…while you took calls on your other cell phone…
talked to other people for 15 minutes at a time…went to the drug store and talked to the clerk…
went to the deli and ordered food and told me it was too loud in there for you to hear …you i just made me wait for you…listen to you interact with other people. ..wait ..wait…
IO- you have to wait for me. I am the center of the universe. There are times to stop blogging and pay attention to your partner
B– I would have stopped anytime, when you turned your attention onto me and our conversation
IO– you were abusive and insensitive. You did not focus on me
B- I stayed on the phone for 4 ot 5 hours at a time, because you asked me too, and sacrificed things i had to do
IO– you never sacrificed enough. I am the center. I need attention. I could hear you clicking. .on the keys..and not paying attention to me
B– I always stopped when you turned back to our conversation. How can i just sit and do nothing for 5 to 8 hours a day, while i like listen to you do other things
IO– YOU HAVE TO
IO- because that is your role
B– why are you breaking up with me?
IO– why do you have to always bring everything back to you? Everything Isn’t About You !
B– This break up makes a sucky blog post. Can’t you give a reason that makes sense or even a proper good bye?
IO– yes obviously I could. I do not feel like expending that much effort on you. You are not worth it.
B– I see
IO– now i will not say that i am leaving you. I am not breaking up with you right now.
You can wait and wonder. The more confusion there is, the more you will suffer.
Lets look at houses on the internet. I want you to show me a beautiful house, so that i can tell i will buy it for us to live in.
But one day i will randomly hang up the phone and never call you again. There will be no argument, no misunderstanding…well unless i fabricate something.
There will be no warning whatsoever. You will never see it coming.
IO– i told you…sooner or later, everyone turns on me.
B-i don’t do that
IO- sooner or later, all of the women turn on me..they say i abused them..when in reality they abuse me. You will do the same.
My last girlfriend sent a lawyer to break up with me for her
IO- don’t take her side! See i told you…it is already beginning. .everyone turns on me..
B-are we breaking up or not? I would like clarification
IO- that sounds like a demand. Everything is not about you….i can hear you clicking the keys on your laptop..
B- no I stopped earlier in the conversation, when you said it bothered you
I have always tried to do what you ask
IO- that makes you look good, doesn’t it ? Everything is not about you !
Everything is about ME
B– yes i know
IO– when i break up with you, you wont see it coming. I will hang up in mid conversion. I will never answer your calls again
but until then I love you so you must serve me
Stop clicking the keys…i want you to listen and pay attention while i put the phone down on the bed, scream and yell into my empty apt, until it hurts your brain. ..throw things and trash my apt…
If you stop listening. .or tune it out by clicking on those keys, then i will threaten to stab these scissors through my neck
B– are there any scissors there?
IO– you will never know. That is the point. It is worse for your mental stability, if you have to wonder if there are scissors or if i am intentionally fucking with your head..
B– i hate when you say that word fucking
IO– i never say that word. You are having ptsd and your brain is projecting old relationships and blaming me.
You are being abusive. Just like all of my other girlfriends. Demanding. ..telling me what i can say..
everyone turns on me…
How to stop thinking about your ex and how to resist the urge to call them or take them back. This is a typical psychological thing that many people go through. This happens when you are a teenager and it happens to adults.
When you are in a relationship and the person is up close, you see all of the things that they are made up of. You see both the good and the bad. The bad things are right in your face.
If they were abusive to you, then you remember the things that they did to you, at first. Once a few days or a few weeks pass, it is common for our brains to begin to filter our the bad things about them. We will start to remember the good things for a few reasons.
One reason is that we are not alone and we feel lonely. We begin to think that maybe they were not that bad and maybe we should be more tolerant of their behaviors. We remember the nice things that they said and did for us.
We forget the bad things or they get fuzzier in our minds. We forget how frequently those things happened and we forget how badly they made us feel.
It seems that there were more good things that bad things and the bad things were not that bad anyway. Right?
NO, This is not right. If your partner was abusive, disrespectful, cruel, inconsiderate, sarcastic, jealous, manipulative, dominating, selfish or a anything else like this, then those behaviors were most of the time. People are not just sarcastic and mean once on a while.
If they made comments to make you feel like you were less than them in any way, or that your needs were less important than theirs, then they were like that all the time. There may have been times, at the beginning of the relationship when they masked those feelings, of being more important than you.
But the feelings they have about themselves being dominant over you were always there within them.
Do not let your memories play tricks with you. How many times did they really do something nice for you? Were they standing to gain from it, in any way? How much did they remind you of the nice thing that they did for you?
If they had to remind you about the time that they did something nice for you, then maybe they did it for that reason. They did that one nice thing, so that when you asked them to do something for you, they could say …”But I did something nice for you last month…”
Maybe you needed to talk to them about something and they said , “I am always listening to you. I listened to you for 2 hours that one time. You cannot dominate all the conversations. I have to get a turn too.”
Sound familiar? If it does , then don’t go back to them. Your needs will never matter and they want the entire relationship to focus only on themselves.
They want to do 1 nice thing for you,,,and then ask for 100 things from you.
Then they might throw in 1 nice thing for you. The they will remind you about how nice they were to you that 1 time, every time you want to make any requests about the relationship or talk about your relationship in any way.
They will not give you are turn to talk about things going on with with you, They will not give you a turn to talk about the relationship itself.
If any of this is true about your ex, then don’t call them. They are a narcissist and you will only cause yourself injury by reconnecting with them in any way.
The brain wants to remember the good things, The brain does not want to retraumatize itself by remembering the times your ex screamed at you, humiliated you, embarrassed you, and manipulated you by making you fear that they would leave you…or give you the silent treatment.
You have to make your brain remember things in a realistic manner. Make yourself remember the mean things they did and how thoughtless they were.
Do you really want to live that way again?
How did it feel to have to walk on eggshells all of the time, because you were afraid to make them angry at you?
How did you feel about yourself , that they were controlling what you said and what you did not say?
How many times did you want to discuss something with them, but you held it inside because you feared their response to it? How many times did you sacrifice your own needs for theirs? How much did you lose, in the relationship? What did you gain?
When you feel like you want to call your ex and you are remembering only the good things about them, try this. Make a list if 5-10 things that you really disliked that they did to you. Then make a list of things they said or did to others, that made you feel uncomfortable.
Here is a list for an example
1. Told me to always call him before interacting in any business situation, so that he could make sure my state of mind was okay and also so he could instruct me about what to say. This was for my Protection.
Then when I told him ahead of time that something like that was coming up he….made sure he was busy and unavailable to talk to me. Then made a point of my finding out that he had spent that time talking to someone else, about something unimportant and not urgent.
2. Insisted that I do work to help him with his company. Even insisted that I get on the computer late at night, telling me it was an emergency and had to done right now. Then the next day, when I asked him how it worked out, he said “Oh I did not do anything with that work you did yet. I can’t just drop everything I am doing to do that. You should be more concerned for me and less concerned about your ego and how your ideas worked out.
3. Threatened to be feeling suicidal, anytime I said anything that he did not want to deal with. Said that too much anxiety from me was going to cause him to want to kill himself.
4. Gave me money for the work I did for the company, one time, by crumpling up bills and throwing them on the table in the diner we were eating in. I felt like a prostitute picking up the bills, in front of the people in the diner, and putting them in an orderly fashion again.
I asked him not to give me money by crumpling it onto the table like that. I told him that it made me feel cheap and also they it felt like he resented paying me for the work. He then grumbles something about how everyone wants money from him.
I had not even asked for the money in the first place. He paid me the first few times, after I had done like 30 hours of work and paid me for about 5 hours of it. After the first 2 months of the relationship, he never paid me for work. I did not want to ask him, because the memory of the crumples dollars on the table made me feel like a prostitute if I asked him to pay me.
SO, I worked for him whenever he asked and neglected my own work that I needed to do. Any time I told him I needed to work on my own small business ideas, he made me feel guilty that he needed more help than I did. In the mean time, he has much more money than I do and I am barely able to buy the groceries I need each week.
5. He was rude to waitressed, hotel clerks and taxi drivers and made me feel embarrassed at his behavior to these people that he considered “lower than himself”
6. He insisted that I call him back right away, but got angry if I took too long to call him.
7. He would schedule “together time” for us and then spend the entire time ignoring me or making me work.
8. Anytime I felt upset or sad about something, he told me I was in post traumatic stress and that I was really upset about something someone had done in my past. I was not really upset with him, because he could not possibly have done anything.
9. He left me standing outside in the streets of New York City. This was after I had told him that I was afraid of the city. He left me standing on the street alone, while he brought things up to his office. He would not take me up to the office. He just left me there by myself for 10 minutes, even after i told him I was very afraid.
10. He jumped out of my car once, because he was too impatient to wait for the light to change. I was about to make the turn for the restaurant. I could see he was about to open the door to the car. I told him it made me uncomfortable for people to just jump out of my car, in the middle of traffic. I asked him to wait and we were about 30 seconds from parking. But he jumped out anyway . Then I parked at the restaurant and sat in the car and cried. he actually ordered and ate, leaving me in the car.
Now, I do not want to call him. The urge had passed. You try it. I bet it will keep you from calling them.