Somitizations are a variety of physical symptoms that the victim may have experienced, and usually they will go to their doctor to get relief from their symptoms. Most doctor’s are unable to give a true diagnosis of what is really happening, as they can not classify the symptoms as they don’t have any identifiable physical origins. When there is no detectable organic pathology evident, the person is often diagnosed as having a “psychosomatic illnesses”. Somitizations pose a major problem to the narcissistic victim’s general health. Many of the symptoms of their ill health are a direct result of their repressed memories from their narcissistic abuse, usually from childhood. For example, a child might get severe cramps in response to the fear experienced by the narcissistic abuse, then as an adult they may wake up with cramps for no apparent reason that the doctor can find. In this case, it is more likely that they are accessing repressed memories that they are not aware of, but their unconscious is now desperate to cleanse itself. These clients with somatization disorder will typically have visited many doctors in pursuit of effective treatment, and many informed doctors do recognize that often the underlying cause is emotional, and they are then likely to refer the person on to a psychotherapist. Very often the symptoms are cured once the underlying emotional cause is identified, and the repressed memory has a chance to surface in order to be released in the safety of the therapeutic space.
Clients who have suffered narcissistic abused are likely to demonstrate feelings of shame, and humiliation, this is partly due to the narcissistic abuser projecting their shame on to them. They also tend to be over responsible, and apt to self-blame, this is because they learned to take responsible for the narcissists behaviour. Whenever the narcissist’s rage is triggered, without any doubt the victim is told it is their fault (i.e “It’s your fault, you should have known that was going to upset me, now look what you have done”) They may act inferior or powerless, and feel great guilt when talking about their perpetrator, even to the point of wanting to protect them. They will often act with disgust at themselves, thinking they are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough etc.
Victims often find themselves being victimized by more than one person. They may talk of a second relationship that mirrored the same experience as with their first perpetrator. Quite often the first narcissistic injury is experienced in childhood. It may have been a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend of the victim etc. Having been re-victimized they often internalize that there is something wrong with them, and that they deserve this kind of abuse, and resign themselves to that fate. It may become apparent that they may not have reached their potential in their personal life, or their professional life, this is partly due to the fact that they always had to stand in the shadow of the aggressor, and not upstage them. They learn to live in the shadows without really knowing why. These are some of the signs you can look out for. But there are more complicated symptoms still to be revealed that will need more of a greater explanation.