My partner of almost 5 years, who had Borderline Personality Disorder, quiet/high functioning (hidden from me) that I did not know, committed suicide last December 2018. This was and remains traumatic for me. And, this followed a two-year period where I was narcissistically abuse by others as well.
Prior to this, I was born into a Narcissistic Dysfunctional Family of Origin, with many cluster B’s and from a young age (infancy) I was diagnosed with IBS. Something that vastly improved over the years as I had a lot of therapy to recover from the CPSTD of that FOO and I recovered fully from BPD in 1995. This, up until December 2018 was, as far as I know, the sum total effects mind/body that I had. I was very blessed. Think I will be again because we can heal these mind/body trauma responses.
This weight-gain and other difficulties began before I realized. Likely as a trauma response to the last two years of narcissistic abuse that I was coping well with until the trauma of my partner’s suicide. Following my partner’s suicide and the trauma and complex grief I knew I was stressed but not to the degree of the mind/body connection. Prior to this I weighed 180 pounds. So 20-25 more than would be best for me. I have faith I will get back to that 180 pounds again!
Though I am a professional, I believe in keeping it real. Professionals are not immune to the reality of human life as all of us are. For some people that think professionals are somehow perfect and superhuman, or darn well “should” be on Youtube, that comes from binary rigid thinking wherein others seek to judge. I won’t take their judgment on. It is theirs, not mine.
I don’t believe when we are abused, that whether one is a therapist/coach or not, that it is reasonable to just “assume” someone like myself should be “perfect” or could not or should not be effected as any other human being – something we all share in common. Just as it is unreasonable to assume that I can’t still be very effective for my clients and in other aspects of my work. I can, I am, and I will continue to be. So I will not hide or be ashamed of a physical illness resulting in rapid weight-gain and mobility issues. Also just want to clearly say I am still working with clients and I am fine to do that. It is healthy to carry on with what we can do. I know that I’ve recently (and still have) zero independent mobility. So there are lots of things I can’t do right now, not even for myself. That makes it even more important, for me, to work because my work is not physical. It is important for everyone to continue what they can in their lives when the emotional/psychological trauma of loss or narcissistic abuse takes certain things you could do prior away from you (in most cases until under-going a process of recovery) due to autoimmune and all the physical difficulties associated or that result from the body’s trauma response.
In keeping with my mission to help others, partly through sharing my own life experience (most of it past – this very current) I continue to work despite the tremendous weight-gain and accompanying (for now) loss of mobility that I am currently experiencing. I am not going to hide away because I am a professional nor will I in anyway, neither should you, take on shame because of this mind/body connection and trauma. We are all human, regardless of profession or career and so that is why I believe I can help others and lead by sharing my experience and in spite of my body’s rebellion right now.
My body’s rebellion right now is the direct result of what happens after abusive and/or traumatic relationships or losses that have exacerbated two underlying medical issues with two glands in my body. The Limbic System in the brain starts looping to try to protect us as if a tiger is about to eat us (as Peter Levine talks about in his books). The reptilian part of our brain is still wired and has been for eons to send our whole bodies into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn responses to actual or perceived threats most of which come at us now in the form of the trauma of losing a loved one to suicide, death, or sudden unresolved and unexplained break-up, ghosting, or discard. Narcissistic abuse across cluster B can impact our health, as much, if not more than it does emotionally and psychologically, which is also very painful, formidable and debilitating for millions of people.
A lot of stress, and so much grief. It was taking a toll on my body and my health before I was even aware. Such is the case so often for so many who like myself, lose a loved one to suicide, or in life in a no-resolution way, suddenly, and for those who have been abused by someone with Borderline Personality or Narcissistic or Anti-Social Personality.
All-too-often those traumatized and suffering tremendous loss and grief (from various different relationship endings) and who have been victimized by BPD or Narcissistic abuse will develop an autoimmune disorder, like I have, and/or other medical condition (as I also have – most of the rapid weight-gain) and even more life-threatening illness up to and including cancer.
This video was recorded just prior to more major rapid weight-gain in the next few days to a week as other pictures from videos within a couple days of this video indicate.
People need to take this mind/body connection and impact of emotional trauma seriously in their own lives for themselves. Albeit I also have a medical condition now along with adrenal fatigue that has caused so much rapid weight-gain. I have gained more since these pictures (from videos) were taken in late April 2019. I am still able to work with clients and currently only able to do audio “videos” or podcast videos as I have currently lost mobility and sitting up properly is not something I can currently do.
That’s the difficult reality news. I also found out I have Fibromyalgia. With that and adrenal fatigue plus another medical problem causing so much rapid weight-gain I am now experiencing what many of my clients have in different ways.
I decided to blog about this to raise people’s awareness of the real physical impact of abuse and trauma on your physical health though not everyone experiences what I am experiencing. Others are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, P.O.T.S, M.E., and so many other autoimmune disorders and/or other diseases.
The good news is that for the last week, with one exception, the meds for the medical condition, along with lots being done for the adrenal fatigue and fibromyalgia – I am resting (obviously no choice) much more and finally getting more sleep. This is helping. Many adjustments to food required to help the body heal have been made as well. It is a joy to still work with clients, blog (via phone) and do podcast videos while I heal and as I can! Dare greatly, open to vulnerability, trust the process.
I believe and have now been told by the doctors etc. that we are now in a position to turn this around. I have, as of today, lost some weight, not a lot yet, but that’s headed in a positive much-needed direction.
The good news, too, is there can be so much recovery from all I am going through right now. I’m just starting to see that in losing a small amount of weight recently which is the beginning of losing much more. Aside from the weight, diet, rest, meditation, and so much more is part of my on-going recovery.
I am still working with clients. I am doing podcast videos. I am blogging, albeit still from my phone or iPad as I am still not yet able to be in a position to use a computer keyboard. I am learning so much from this. I look forward to sharing that in the coming weeks.
I think it is important for anyone with any physical impact/illness/autoimmune challenges from Cluster B – Narcissistic abuse who is also physically suffering, let alone in a lot of emotional and psychological pain and/or grief to know that even when we are in the wilderness or the dark night of the soul how we radically accept what we are going through, feeling, being challenged by, all that hurts in so many ways, that we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude to find the lessons of the light within the dark, troubled, painful trying times.
We can heal. I fully intend to. And, without mobility currently, I have found worlds within my mind, and my soul to be as free as a bird in and to employ in my efforts to calm the reptilian brain down. Within my screaming pained body right now, large and impeding, inside, where I really am there is so much being learned and yes, so much I am grateful for even in the midst of this physical nightmare.
Dare greatly. Be not ashamed. Deflect all judgment. Concentrate on the recovery that each of us can achieve and in the meantime, while doing one’s best, flow with, don’t fight it or get negative about it.
I have been intensely reminded during this journey of just how much each of us needs to find that place of belonging firstly within ourselves. That sacred soul space inside that is peace no matter the storm in the body or mind. No matter the storms of the judgment of others.
I continue to work because I care. I continue to work because I can. I continue to work because I must carry on with what I can and not be stopped in ways that I don’t have to be. There is so much meaning to be found in what we can’t do, yes, but also in what we can continue to do.
I rest a lot more right now. This is going to get better!
As you go through your journey of loss, grief, abuse recovery, with emotional, psychological pain, depression, anxiety, and/or any impacting challenges to your physical health I hope I can inspire you, just a little bit, to know, that you can do this, you got this. It doesn’t have you unless you let it. Don’t fight your process. Don’t fight the grief. Don’t fight the pain. Don’t fight the circumstance or even the isolation. Be with it. Be with it all.
It is the journey of this radical acceptance in practice, and the process of any healing of any kind so central that we remain positive even when it seems impossible to. It isn’t. It just feels that way.
Vulnerability is the strength that will help you face your pain, emotional and/or physical and to not fight it, to not give way to negativity.
So much healing after Cluster B abuse – loss – requires of each of us that we humbly remain positive strong in the knowledge that we will get better and life can and will go on even for those who feel like there is no way forward after all you have been through – I’m here to tell you that these is a way forward.
I am just one person, who works with others to help them. I am just one person, another human being, now also more challenged than I’ve been in a long time. That’s okay. If we can accept that our healing processes from loss and/or trauma are going to demand from us, take us place we maybe never would have ever thought – once we are there, in that wilderness that is its own dark night of the soul all we need to do is be with it. Stay as positive as we can. And trust the process that will teach you as it me much more about not only how to get through and slowly move forward but also so much that prepares us for that moving forward so that we can grasp it all and be grateful for every understanding. Grateful for not being given more than we truly can cope with and learn from.
Believe that. Be positive. See the light all around you in the dark of your pain and challenges, your grief and more. It all comes to pass. The more we can flow with it, the faster, ironically we can help our processes along. Why? Because we aren’t getting in the way. We consciously choose to be a part of the solution and not get stuck in what are the current problems, pain, and seemingly profound lostness sometimes agonizing losses and lostness.
Trust yourself. Trust your journey. Open with courage to the vulnerability of daring greatly as you radically accept what is. Not judging a health crisis or challenge as “all bad” staying with the paradox is the way of the student eager to learn the lessons from all he or she is enduring in the now.
One moment at a time, on we go. One moment at a time, accepting and as I know I can say, still grateful for my problems because they could be worse.
Let yourself fly even when it feels impossible. Even when it hurts way “too much”. Kites fly higher in the wind. I am grateful for the adversity that is this part of my journey – one that will see me to recovery and gently set me down, in that recovered place, yet again, so much wiser, more humble and so grateful for the trip, the ride, the journey.
© A.J. Mahari, May 11, 2019 – All rights reserved. Video content copyright A.J. Mahari, April 26, 2019.