How Do We Heal the Rage After Narcissistic Abuse?

Listen to your imagination

Amy Punt

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Mask of an orange sun on a red brick pillar, nestled in trees.
Photo by author.

I sometimes feel immortal because I walk with death. My dreams have always said so. But so has my body. I grow tired for no reason. Often, I do not have the stamina for a regular workday. The only relief I get from the constant pressure and pain of what happened to me is writing. I do yoga and meditate because the studies say that’s good for trauma, and I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, but lately, I pushed myself too hard, and I’m afraid I’m not recovering as fast as I should be, as fast as someone else might. I fear that’s just my state of being and I need to make money. I fear I just don’t know how. The pressure of this stops me and pushes me further from it.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; your rod and your staff; they comfort me.” These words from Psalms float up from the depths to taunt me. I feel no comfort and certainly felt no comfort from any God that should save children from a fate worse than death. But today, a new idea about those words emerged as I wandered a path taking photos. It isn’t the end of that Psalm; it’s the beginning that carries meaning for me. Pausing over the phrases emerging from my subconscious is important. Because I spent my entire life suppressing what occurred, I have to look closely at the paper slips that appear in the transitions of my day. Otherwise, they’ll haunt me with paralyzing repetition. That one started playing long before I left my mother’s home and was still deeply embedded in my faith — a faith I’ve long since abandoned.

Nevertheless, the trappings of it never leave you. I filled my empty spaces with Bible verses, church services, and countless hours of volunteering. My faith became a self by proxy. I secured no other identity and feared I’d die without it.

Then, one day, I recognized how toxic it was to bury rage beneath religion.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.” Today, these words refused to leave me alone. Then I saw it. I survived, and that’s the eternal mystery of my life. Why? Why me and not the millions of others who experienced similar horrors at the hands of a psychopathic mother and older brother? To be sure, I only survive…

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Amy Punt

As a child, writing saved my sanity. As an adult, writing saved my life. Now, I write in hopes of helping someone else.