Ruminating About Your Narcissistic Ex

Today’s topic is ruminating about your narcissistic ex. We’re going into what rumination is, why we do it, and how to stop it. One of my subscribers commented the following:

Ruminating about your narcissistic ex

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A few other people expressed the same sentiments, being stuck ruminating about their narcissistic ex, remembering the details of what went on, with their mind running on autopilot. Many people I’ve worked with describe it as a never-ending cycle of repeating thoughts. You come to a conclusion, then find yourself unpicking it immediately afterwards, only to work your way back to the original conclusion and you go through the same loop again and again.

This continuous cycle focuses on the need to find meaning and make sense of our experiences, especially so when we have been affected by a trauma. The issue is  with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), causality and logic as they exist in the “normal” world, are not a part of the narcissist’s world, and so aren’t present absent in abuse you experienced. Hence why people struggle when they try to find meaning behind the harm they suffered. 

What Is Rumination?

Rumination is a form of repetitive thinking that seeks to resolve a given trauma. So rumination is a sign of trauma, where your brain is trying to desperately solve something that it can’t solve, or change, or fully accept. Rumination could be caused from loss, injustices, threats and/or any direct or indirect harm.

It is also a symptom of many other mental health disorders like PTSD, CPTSD, anxiety, depression – All of which are prevalent in victims of narcissistic abuse.

Rumination is also used as a form of Validation From Narcissistic Ex

Because of the constant invalidation of emotions, and gaslighting, victims of narcissistic abuse unconsciously feel like they need or have to hold on to those painful memories, in order to remind themselves that what happened was actually real, when in fact they are reaffirming their pain. They don’t consciously make the decision to torment themselves with bad memories but they feel like they can’t help it, as their mind replays events over and over again, triggering pain in their mind and body. 

Understanding is the only way. Forgiving or forgetting don’t work. I think you can help yourself from becoming emotionally overwhelmed by the rumination. Rumination is kind of like a spinning wheel that you can either take a moment to really observe, or you can jump on it and let it emotionally take over you. 

What’s behind Rumination of Narcissistic Ex – Why do I do it?

We Ruminate Because Our Body Is Addicted To The Pain.

A lot of survivors of narcissistic abuse I speak with experience ruminating about their narcissistic ex. When we do this, we re-traumatise ourselves over and over again by holding onto the memories of the abuse. The question is why do we do this? In order to know how to stop ruminating, we need to understand the science behind it.

Going through intense trauma of abuse, the more altered you feel inside, making you to pay attention to the cause outside of yourself, ie the narcissist. The brain freezes that image/trauma neuroligically – which is the memory. So you end up thinking neurologically within the circuits of that past trauma, and think chemically within the boundaries of that emotion – which then creates our state of being.

The Part Emotions Play In Ruminating

Any strong emotional events you experience in life create long term memories. If you can’t control your emotional reaction to that trauma, you let that event produce a chemical change in the body. The longevity of that reaction makes us keep firing those same neurons in the brain. That conditions us to stay in the past. The process of firing neurons creates chemicals in our bodies.

The chemicals create feelings or moods, and over time we carry on memorising our emotions. We end up memorising ourselves by living in the past, just to reaffirm that we can’t change. Over time, our body gets addicted to those feelings. The body will then become consistent with the mind, triggering thoughts in our minds. This releases the same chemicals over and over again to satisfy the craving for that pain.

This creates an addiction to the pain, anxiety, and fear. We use the narcissist to reaffirm our addiction to that pain. Over time we become conditioned to those emotions and we continue to use people to reaffirm them.

Breaking Energetic Bonds of Rumination

We end up creating an energetic bond with the person we focus on. You’ve probably heard the saying, Where you place your attention is where your energy goes, and it’s true. The stronger the emotion you have to the narcissist, the more you focus on them. They have totally captured you’re attention, which means you’re giving your power away to them. If you take your attention off them, you can become defined by a vision of the future instead of a memory of the past. 

You have to become conscious in order to stop making the same unconscious choices. You do this by lowering the volume to the emotions, breaking those energetic bonds, and bringing that energy back to ourself. As I said earlier, the body has been addicted to that pain because we use the narcissist to reaffirm our addiction to the pain we feel.

So the body has been so conditioned to our way of being, and if we suddenly try to stop being that way, our body feels a lack of that emotion, its like, hang on a minute, I’ve been used to feeling this emotion, and now you suddenly want to deprive me of it?

It’s similar to what any addicted person would feel going cold turkey – in this case when we are no longer in a relationship with the narcissist. The body starts influencing the mind to think about past experiences that are imprinted in the brain that are based on that emotion (pain) – teaching us to remain in the past. Understanding this, we can recognise why we ruminate post narcissistic abuse. 

How Do I Stop Ruminating? 

Now that we understand the mind science behind rumination, we can look at how to stop it. Some people think it’s easy as saying, forget it, or move on, but it’s not that simple. It’s not our conscious mind that makes us ruminate, it’s our brain. So we have to start there and put a halt to rumination by reprogramming our subconscious mind.

Understanding that our subconscious mind controls at least 95% of our beliefs, fears, and behaviors is important inorder to experience true, lasting change. We have focus on breaking those neuron connections created during the abuse, and replace them with new, healthy, empowering connections.

Change The Program To Stop Ruminating About Narcissistic Ex

We can change and reprogram our subconscious mind so that our past won’t steer our lives anymore. Tby trading Negative Emotions For Elevated Emotions. We can do this by practicing gratitude, and teaching our body how it would feel if the events had already happened. An example would be to feel free and untriggered of any thoughts of the narcissist, what they did, or said in the past.

When we feel and think in this “as if” way, the thought can then make it into the body because it’s consistent with how we feel in our bodies. This will create new thoughts in our mind and reprogram the autonomous nervous system to a better future.

You have to maintain that modified state of mind and body throughout the day, independent of external influences, and our body’s cravings of those past emotions. Doing this consistently will make you recognise that you are in fact the creator of your life, not the victim.

Changing The Story You Tell Yourself

It’s also important to look at the stories we tell ourselves. Each time we reinforce the version of the story that leaves us feeling powerless, and a victim, we are reactivating that wound and experiencing the pain over and over again.

In reference to the subscriber’s initial question: Why is he treating his ex differently than he treated me? What was it about me? – that’s the story you’re telling yourself, but you have to analyse and think about whether you know for a fact that that’s true, and even if it was, does it have to reflect on you and your worthiness?.. and why is that your point of pain? 

There is a difference between fully experiencing one’s pain, releasing it, or continuing to activate the pain body over and over again with the stories we tell ourselves.  When we do this, we are re-living the painful event over and over and re-traumatising ourselves as a result.

The stories we tell ourselves can deeply impact our lives, so we have to be careful about the stories we tell ourselves. We have to take time to assess whether they are victim stories, or stories of empowerment and victory – this is the difference between staying stuck in your pain ie ruminating about your narcissistic ex and living in survival mode, to moving out of pain and into a place of elevated emotions, and peace. 

Breaking The Cycle of Rumination About Your Narcissistic Ex

Getting out of the cycle of rumination means changing our brain and body to live in the future, not past reality. When we’re connected to the past, we’ll always be looking for it. Hence we stay ruminating about the narcissistic ex. The goal is to move towards empowering emotions by changing our energy (and where it goes). Then we can feel connected to the future not the past.

Rumination can be a gift in that when it happens, it brings us to the awareness that unconsciously we want to become aware of something about your experience of that trauma. How it changed us, and use it to learn how to elevated ourselves energetically and regaining our power, which changes everything around us.❤️ 

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