Rumination according to Wiki:
Is defined as a way of responding to distress that involves repetitively (and passively) focusing on the symptoms of distress, and on its possible causes and consequences. Rumination is more common in people who are pessimistic, neurotic, and who have negative attributional styles. The tendency to ruminate is a stable constant over time and serves as a significant risk factor for clinical depression. Not only are habitual ruminators more likely to become depressed, but experimental studies have demonstrated that people who are induced to ruminate experience greater depressed mood. There is also evidence that rumination is linked to general anxiety, post traumatic stress, binge drinking, eating disorders, and self-injurious behavior. Rumination was originally believed to predict the duration of depressive symptoms. In other words, ruminating about problems was presumed to be a form of memory rehearsal which was believed to actually lengthen the experience of depression. The evidence now suggests that although rumination contributes to depression, it is not necessarily correlated with the duration of symptoms. Rumination is similar to worry except rumination focuses on bad feelings and experiences from the past, whereas worry is concerned over potential bad events in the future. Both rumination and worry are associated with anxiety and other negative emotional states.
Many professionals state ruminating is unhealthy:
When it comes to victims of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Abuse, I can’t help but disagree. In order to heal, we have to “Process” what we’ve just experienced having been trapped in the web of a Narcissist.
In the early stages of recovery, as victims we experience what is known in most NPD Abuse recovery circles as Cognitive Dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance according to Wiki is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent beliefsIt is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology. A closely related term, cognitive disequilibrium, was coined by Jean Piaget to refer to the experience of a discrepancy between something new and something already known or believed.
In layman’s terms, Cognitive Dissonance is metaphorically speaking, the brain’s short circuiting as it tries to make sense of two opposing thoughts that no amount of reasoning can ever fit together. It is the side effect of the mind attempting to create “logic” from the insane and irrational (that would be all the crap from the Narc). It is the equivalent of attempting to make 2+2=5…it can’t be done.
When we discover we have been victimized by an NPD disordered individual, we experience Cognitive Dissonance. We are struggling to come to terms with the fact that the Narc FAKED AN ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP, sometimes living a very disordered and potentially harmful second life… while we were living in the illusion we were in a relationship with a partner for life. Under such circumstances, it is natural to ruminate as we are trying to process and compare the new information we’ve learned about NPD and determine whether or not it applies. The only way we can make a determination is by replaying the “old tapes” and connecting the dots….we RUMINATE…
It is important during this time to find support systems and engage with others who share in this experience, as those who have never been a victim of NPD abuse really don’t understand why we are so traumatized. The abuse was stealth, and in most cases undetected by us the victims until the mask came off. Up until that point, the Narc appeared to others, charming and affable and even had us convinced we were temperamental and over sensitive with their conning little ways. Due to the Narc’s expert ability to CON, we are doubted when we cry abuse. Don’t be fooled, this is ABUSE. The abuse was covert, psychological and a direct result of the brainwashing. Under such conditions, it is only normal to become unraveled, we began to display signs of PTSD or C-PTSD (which can mimic symptoms of Bi-Polar) except we didn’t know what it was, we could not articulate what was ailing us due to lack of awareness, we just knew we were going through incredible mood swings, that the narc blamed on hormones or our being too sensitive and perhaps our therapists not knowing our baseline, also chalked it up so a problem with US.
The truth is, the narc was slowly pushing buttons and projecting their insanity onto us, using tactics such as intermittent reinforcement, gaslighting, manipulation, passive aggression and power plays until we didn’t know which way was up. The Narcs created chaos, smoke mirrors, illusions and delusions, until we ended up depleted with nothing left to give…then they brought out the trump card…triangulation by sucking in their next victim where they began their sick song and dance of victimization all over again, labeling you the crazy one and spotlighted themselves as the VICTIM. This is called “The Pity Play.” Unfortunately, it works for a Narc MOST of the time. During my OWN dance with rumination I remembered the Narc sat at my table and said: “I am a Master Manipulator”…this went RIGHT over my head…hindsight is 20/20 and we end up amazed at how PERFECT our vision is in HINDSIGHT…nonetheless, this experience is not in vain, if you do the work, you CAN HAVE THE LAST LAUGH…
Many do not believe us when we share we’ve been victims of abuse because while simultaneously abusing you and breaking you down, the narc maintained ITS (that’s right, only humans get proper pronouns) facade to the public, engaged in campaigns of “Pre-emptive” damage control by initiating a campaign of defamation against you. IT called you crazy, and cried to all ITS friends, your friends and your family and perhaps even the family dog, just how ‘undone’ you were becoming and also used this to lure ITS next victim…the classic: “She’s crazy and doesn’t understand me, and I tried soooo hard”…YEA…okayee…IT acted like IT had no idea what caused you to act out this way…except the Narc engaged in psychopathic behaviour and you were lucky to get out alive…many that are traumatized to this degree have attempted suicide. The professionals don’t get this either most of the time. While the victim is locked up in the psych ward, the Narc is laying in bed with ITS next victim – male, female or goat – this is one “Cassanova” or “Casanovette” that does not discriminate! These individuals are just that “sensitive, caring, loving and attached.”
In ignorance, we had no idea of the slow poison They exposed us to. Narcs can be deadly…the fact we’re here is testament to the fact that we are strong and we will overcome…pray for their future victims. They know not what train wreck is on it’s way to hit them…
It is unfortunate that so many therapists are un-skilled in helping victims of NPD Abuse. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you seek professional help during this time of crisis. My personal recommendation, learn all you can about NPD Abuse so that you are able to articulate when seeking help and will know whether or not the therapist is on the mark. There is a ton of information on NPD Abuse out there, it is easy to find. It is the understanding and support that is rare.
As a result of my being a victim of NPD abuse, I am committed to raising awareness and helping bring knowledge and support to any and all victims of this stealth form of abuse.
Keep in mind, while it is important to think positive thoughts and not get stuck in the past…if you wish to heal, despite the NARC’S favorite slogan: “Forget about the past” in this case, if you wish to heal, a certain amount of RUMINATION will be necessary in order for you to process.
Tantamount to healing is educating yourself on NPD; however I do caution, try not to become obsessed with your education. Learn enough to understand what it is, process it, then begin the journey of healing. It is okay to be a victim for a period of time, it is okay to feel sad, angry, enraged…it’s okay to lick your wounds and let it all hang out…but there is also a time to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and begin the work of recovery.
Ballpark estimate, 18 months – this is not a hop skip and a jump; however, having gone through the process, I can say that if you approach the work in earnest, planting seeds along the way, the harvest will be plentiful…