Narcissistic Siblings Steal Your Psychological, Emotional and Financial Inheritance

One of the most painful familial situations is to be the brother or sister of a narcissistic sibling. From the beginning they “have it in” for you as the old saying goes. I have heard from so many of their victims. The stories told are hair raising. Even in early childhood there are memories of being pinched, squeezed, shamelessly slapped. All of this is perpetrated with impunity. The parent(s) of the victimized child is often a narcissist and gives the special , golden holy terror free reign in the household. There are no rules for this brat turned tyrant. The embattled child is always in fight or flight mode. There is no letting down, no relaxing of hypervigilence, no rest or freedom to express oneself authentically in this family constellation.

In some instances in adulthood the narcissistic sibling far in advance plots how he or she will deceive the parent (s) and gain full control over the family finances or trusts. This is shocking but it happens more often than one would think.

There are cases in which the golden narcissistic sibling intimidates brothers and sisters into taking his/her side against the scapegoated children. These battles become very ugly and can eventually rip families apart.

Rather than live in these dreadful circumstances many siblings break completely from their family of origin and move into a no contact mode. This is often painful since it is difficult for some to believe that a sibling with whom we share our DNA could be so treacherous. Coming to terms with this reality is essential to the healing process.

Learning about the psychological core and dynamics of the narcissistic personality recognizing their specific traits and the naked truth about them is the beginning of healing.

Acknowledging and appreciating your authenticity, the fact that you survived this series of hells is a huge step toward becoming whole. You went through these wars since childhood and have survived into adulthood. You deserve tremendous credit and acknowledgement for this achievement. So many of these survivors are among the kindest, most empathic and intuitive individuals I have every known. Here is to your continuing healing, your triumph as an individual and the unbounded use of all of your creative gifts.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–Be Compassionate with Yourself

I have had conversations spoken and written with a number of daughters of narcissistic mothers. It has been eye-opening to meet so many women “raised” by exc narcissistic “mothers’ who are highly empathic.

They suffered so much growing up with a mother who was cold, distant, often emotionally abusive and for some, physically cruel. Often the narcissistic mother was extremely jealous of her daughter and created psychological ambushes for her child. Constant criticisms and humiliations were part of the daily fare for  these daughters. Many of them grew up thinking that there was something fundamentally wrong with them, even that they were intrinsically bad human beings. Time after time they were blamed for simply being born and making an effort to be an individual. What the narcissistic mother demanded could never be achieved because it was always a set-up, a trap, a road to nowhere.

These daughters grew up, often raising themselves and helping with their younger siblings. Another source of psychological pain was the brother or sister who was “golden”, chosen by the narcissistic mother as the absolute favorite who would fulfill mother’s need to have a  living facsimile of her “perfection.”

Growing up with a narcissistic mother and golden narcissistic sibling is exceeding difficult and that is an understatement.

Some narcissistic daughters report that they learned to keep their heads down from oncoming fire meted out by the cruelties and deprivations projected on to them. Some of these women describe creating entire worlds of the imagination in which they lived. Some escaped into books. Many hid in plain sight and became very quiet to hide and deflect from the frequent bursts of psychological venom projected by mother on to

For many of these daughters there comes a time of reckoning, of knowing that they can and will no longer take the maternal narcissistic abuse. They decide that they must be free to lead their own lives. This can involve a complete no contact break with the narcissistic mother. Other family members who have no understanding of the cruelties sustained by these daughters will often interfere and criticize them for their decision to separate from mother and become free to lead life on their terms. Relatives of this kind will never comprehend what these daughters have decided to do to reclaim their lives and this is none of their business and they deserve no explanation. Besides many of these relatives are incapable of seeing through the delusion, the false mask of their narcissistic relative.

As you experience the breath of freedom and feel your nervous system quieting for the first time, think about what you have done. You have survived despite all of the pain and  deprivation, as a unique bright talented kind and compassionate individual. This is huge! Now move forward with self care and compassion directed to yourself. Love that little child within you that kept faith with herself. Talk to her and cherish her loveliness and beauty. Take time to be with yourself  each day to quiet the mind in any way that works for you. It can be prayer, guided meditation, going into Nature. Follow your intuition as you allow yourself downtime, sleep, food that nourishes you and that you can savor, being around people that appreciate you and where there is a genuine exchange and warmth. Your creative gifts will move within and you will be surprised by their abundance. Feel the ease and grace within you and the inward smile that warms your lovely heart.

Narcissistic Bridezillas–Honor Your Boundaries

Brideszillas are here to stay in our current narcissistic culture. Their tyrannical hold on entire families causes emotional chaos, disruption and psychological pain. From the smallest detail to the grand delusional vision of their royal role as “Bride” and Queen they are controlling and manipulative to the max.

Before the wedding you can know that you are dealing with one of these highly pathological individuals. Their level of civility and manners is thin and transparent. The smile is forced. The unblinking eyes tell you: “I am in command. You must do what exactly what I want or else.”

Narcissistic bridezillas or not–Learn to practice self care. You might not have had anyone in your life who helped you to internalize a sense of entitlement to deep inner peace, to respect your thoughts and feelings, to treat yourself with gentle kindness. It is essential that we admit when we are wrong but to not continue to castigate ourselves. Learning to appreciate your individuality and your unique gifts is one of the most important realizations of your life. Part of self care is getting rest and sleep,having downtime when you can use your imagination, go deeply into the music you love, write spontaneously, dance and sing to music and do anything that brings you joy. Sometimes the smallest acts are the most profound from hugging our pets to speaking to friendly strangers, to covering ourselves with a favorite sweater or blanket.

If the narcissistic bride to be is part of your family, this is a special challenge. First, you cannot control the decision the couple has made to become wed. You can take charge of your internal and external behavior. Knowing who this woman really is will help you all along the way. Do not spend time with her completely alone if you can avoid it. When we are solo with any narcissistic personality, they find this opportunity to assault us with their negative primitive projections. Make every effort to stay out of that orbit. You don’t deserve this kind of treatment; it is not about you. This is her psychopathology.

You are growing and becoming whole each day. Honor yourself and appreciate your authenticity.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Children of Narcissistic Mothers–Push the No Contact Button–Restart Your Lives

Those who have grown up with a narcissistic mother have endured  the emotional and psychological pain of narcissistic abuse and neglect. The narcissistic parent may have provided the essentials for you to survive, even given you material advantages. But there were empty pockets devoid of love, affection, respect, or genuine attention. These were absent from your life.

You may have been the golden child, the one chosen to be groomed to reflect the perfection and delusional expectations of the narcissistic parent. You may have been the child that was emotionally discarded and neglected. You always had that feeling that mom wanted you to disappear and never come back. You were a burden to her because you were a child. How dreadful is that! Or you may have been the invisible child who lived under the radar in your own home. Narcissistic mom went about her business of being the only person on the face of the earth who had any value; you didn’t exist. You learned how to survive on your own early. In some instances siblings take pity on you and throw you a crumb or two. In many homes it is everyone for themselves–constant survival mode. In others some siblings bond together in order to deal with narcissistic mother’s unexpected onslaughts and incoming fire.

 

Even in adulthood the narcissistic mother will not stop interrupting your life in her devious and obstructive ways. She riddles you with guilt when you don’t call her. She criticizes your choice of marital partners, she wonders why you don’t have children, she doesn’t approve of your friends, etc., etc., etc.

Narcissistic mothers are clever at manipulating their adult children. They use guilt, threats of being removed from the family business or family trust, being shunned by the other family members if you don’t stay in line. She has endless arrows in her quiver and knows just where to plant them.

For many adult children of narcissistic mothers a time comes when they can no longer take the abuse. It is gone one too long, taken too much from their lives, caused perpetual undeserved suffering. This is your call to make. The narcissistic mother is not going to change. She may have the rest of the family convinced that she is a wonderful, even loving human being. (These people have never seen her style of low down guerrilla tactics behind closed doors.) You are the witness; the one that knows the truth. Even other siblings who grew up in the same home with you continue to make excuses for her corrosive, damaging outrageous behaviors.

Recognize that you are entitled to lead a life that is free of this abuse. You deserve inner peace, a sense of freedom within yourself and in your relationships. You have many creative gifts and dreams you want to fulfill. Some adult children of narcissistic mothers decide that they will no longer be exploited by their narcissistic non-mother. They are reclaiming their lives. You can start by initiating a No Contact policy with the narcissistic mother. Your concern is not what other relatives or your mother think or feel about this or how they are reacting. Remember this life belongs to you. Take the reins in your hands, listen to the messages of your heart that are telling you this is your time to restart your life. Some individuals find that excellent psychotherapy helps them through this transition. If you go this route, make sure that you interview several therapists and that they are clinically trained and very empathic, have no money motive and, of course, are not narcissistic personalities. And always—take very good care of yourself.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers—Stop Feeling Guilty–It Wasn’t Your Fault

I hear and read many life stories of adult daughters of narcissistic mothers who suffered horrible psychological deprivation and verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of their exceedingly cruel narcissistic mothers. They were as the great psychoanalyst Alice Miller said: “Prisoners of Childhood”. That is a profound phrase that sums up the horrific experience of life with a narcissistic mother. This woman never wanted you and if she did it was her plan that you reflected her perfection. She needed to mold you into a mini-me child. When you objected to that, she punished you with terror, threats, violent rages and betrayals. She went down the list of her children until she found the one who was most like her and whom she could mold. Very likely that child became a narcissist and was the bane of your existence. No only did you have mother breathing down your neck you had to be wary of your sibling at all times. The other children cowered in the presence of these two and became shadows and echoes of mom. You were the stand out child–the one who knew that there was something very wrong and dark in the family.

Along the way you carried a lot of guilt about not loving your narcissistic mother. That’s the rub. Now that you are well into adulthood, ask yourself: How is it possible to blame myself and feel guilty over something I could never control? I was a small child and had to survive. She was the one who punished me constantly, terrorized me within an inch of my life, had night raids when the greatest punishments even tortures took place.

Take a long look at yourself and your life. I know those who hold on the guilt and they are still suffering. You can and will let go of this haunting from the past. You deserve so much more. Believe this with all of your heart. I know that you can heal. You have so much of yourself to activate. Learn self care–yes for the first time in your life–put yourself first. Rest, sleep, enjoy your spontaneous self, become immersed in what you love to do, learn to laugh out loud–even if people are looking at you funny. That’s the best of all. Not giving a damn about what others think!!! Go for it all the way. Feel the joy of letting loose like a child dancing wildly to a great tune. Flow with your creativity–Feel your lovely heart open. Fly, Soar, Transcend!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

BooK: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Gaining Strength and Wholeness After Narcissistic Abuse

When we have been raised by a narcissistic parent or been married to a narcissistic spouse, it takes time and effort to first recognize the truth about what we have suffered. So many individuals blame themselves for narcissistic parents who controlled, manipulated and projected great cruelties upon them throughout their lives. Those who are married to narcissists are often in denial about the true nature of their spouse. They make the assumption that they don’t deserve to be treated kindly, respectfully and with empathy. Abused spouses and children of narcissists go along to get along. They are in survival mode. Quite often, those who grew up in a home surrounded by narcissists tend to marry one. How dreadful is that! I know many of these individuals through my email and blog. There is a tendency to repeat with the choice of a narcissistic spouse what we experienced as children. There is a lack of entitlement to peace of mind and being valued for one’s authenticity, creative gifts and precious individuality. The first step is to stop blaming yourself. The next is to learn everything you can about the narcissistic personality. This gives you the control and power to psychologically separate from the narcissist in your family of origin or your narcissistic spouse or both.

After you know the truth and are holding fast to it, your healing proceeds with learning to take very good care of yourself. Healing is a process that we work on all of our lives. Many of us don’t know how it feels to be calm. We have lived in the Fight or Flight mode since before we can remember. It is “normal” for us. There is another way of being inside and in the world. That is the calming part of the nervous system–the parasympathetic nervous. In this place inside we feel safe, protected, grounded and free. This is your true nature and you deserve to feel this way. Your body/mind is inclined to put you in this state when you practice self care. This requires discipline and routine and a lot of patience and perseverance.

There are many avenues to the calming part of the nervous system. You will find your own that work for you in s special way. I will mention a few. One of the finest is acupuncture—ancient and powerful intervention that puts the patient in the parasympathetic mode of relaxation, inner safety and feelings of expandedness  and well being. Another is using yoga with the breath to focus on basic poses that lead to calm and the acquiring of body strength and excellent mental focus. Listening to your special music that you find calming is another way to access this part of the nervous system. Go deep into the music–let it take you to a lovely place. Be spontaneous with it. Music is magical in its power to heal. Some people find that writing spontaneously frees them up to express anything that is in their mind and heart. Some people find great peace in Nature–gardening is a refuge to many, cooking is another one that brings joy and relaxation.

Find what you love and do it regularly.

The healing is waiting for you to activate it inside yourself. Remember, you deserve this. Wishing you a lovely voyage along the road to your inner  peace, creativity and discovering beautiful mysteries that lie within you.

 

From Budding Narcissist to Full Blown Pathological Narcissism

There is a young woman whom I have known as an acquaintance for the past ten years. I  met her when she was ten years old. This was in the context of a neighborhood party. Her mother is a fully developed narcissistic personality. Exceedingly self entitled, expecting perfection of others, physically vane to a fault, highly manipulative of her husband, friends, etc. this lady demands having her way and gets it. Her husband is a weak man who gives into her constantly. She is the ruler of the household and has complete control over her very naive spouse.

On one occasion I went over to their home to return some mail that had been sent to the incorrect address. After the preliminary greetings, the daughter who was ten years old at the time, suddenly asked me in a stark cruel tone: “What’s wrong with your eye?” I was shocked by this personal question. I wondered for a moment if she could tell that I was wearing contact lenses. Many scenarios passed through my mind as I felt anger, outrage and shock run through my nervous system. My eye was healing from a  minor infection. Silence reigned. The mother didn’t say a word, look at her daughter, apologize to me, tell her child not to invade some one’s privacy and cause them emotional hurt and pain. I stepped into the breach and said: ” There are personal questions you never ask another individual. This is impolite, disrespectful and inconsiderate.” My words hung in the air. The girl sat defiantly in her chair, staring me down, daring me to speak further. Mother didn’t react at all–not one eyelash quivered. In fact narcissistic mother appeared to be bored and restless and needing to “move on” from the entire incident. It was over for her before it began because it wasn’t about her and how perfect she was. Her daughter was becoming a narcissistic Mini Me.  In addition her father was and is a fool about his little girl. She got away with whatever she wanted with him. I left this scene, knowing that there was a process in motion that would result in a full blown narcissistic disorder.

Recently, I spoke with the daughter in the company of her mother and got a more narcissistic vib from her. She is now a college student so full of herself she can hardly stand still. This young woman shows no interest, concern, understanding or care for others unless she is narcissistic supplies –praise, adoration, favors, accolades, intros into social circles, etc. from them. Her friends are Yes Sayers to her, small echoes of her highness. They laugh at those whom they see as inferior—meaning people who are not exactly like them.

This daughter will go through the rest of her life as a narcissistic personality, hurting everyone in her reach. She will make the lives of others pure misery unless they learn about the complex in-depth facets and many faces of the Narcissistic Personality.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Relationship Cycle: Use, Abuse, Dispose

We live in a narcissistic society today. Look around at those wielding the most power and influence. A large percentage of them are narcissists. (There are exceptions—individuals who have tremendous success and have great character and integrity).

Narcissists adopt a predictable cycle of Use, Abuse, Dispose. This pathological repetition can last a few weeks or decades, depending on how long you put your fate in the hands of a narcissistic personality. With a narcissist there is never an authentic relationship. He/she is a grandiose false self without conscience, empathy or compassion. Narcissists are ruthless and exploitive to the core.

Learn to recognize the NPD quickly and accurately. If they are oozing with too much charm and you get the intuition to step back, pay attention to this inner wisdom. Giving you the rush is part of their scheme to control and manipulate you. Narcissists always want something from you. If you think they love you, give that one up quickly. NPD’s are users only–They put on the show of a lifetime–consummate actors at center stage with their adoring audiences.

Narcissists completely lack empathy–the ability to feel and understanding what another person is experiencing on a deep level. They also lack compassion and are not introspective. They are street savvy and know how to find your most vulnerable parts and learn how to play to perfection.

Once the narcissist has gotten what he wants–status, pleasure, power, connections, intrigue, romance, etc. he sends you out the door without an apology, true explanation or a hint of guilt. Remember, these individuals do not have a conscience so they don’t experience guilt. They sleep very well at night while you are tossing about in emotional and psychological agony. Don’t let this happen to you. Study these NPD’s deeply and you will know how to identify them and keep them out of your life or show them the door with great dispatch.

Your life is precious. It belongs to you. You have many gifts. Use them—all of them and more. You deserve deep inner peace and relationships that are warm, loving, supportive and empathic.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Socialized Sociopaths Do Their Dirty Work Unscathed–Free Yourself from Them

The socialized sociopath is alive and very well in our culture today. Their numbers are growing and they are striving at the expense of those who are most vulnerable–their children, siblings, spouses. The image is impeccable. They convince everyone to believe their lies. They lead many lives and continually deceive, exploit and destroy. They commit crimes of the heart by abandoning their children, literally and emotionally and through their perpetration of great harm upon them. They treat their spouses like dirt and wipe the floors with them. (But no one sees this horrific display of multiple treacheries).

Those who are awake and aware need to spread the word about these monsters living in our midst. Many of those whom you tell will not believe you so be selective. The truth is a rare commodity these days. Money is speaking more loudly on the public stage and in the offices of our CEO’s and the movers and shakers in business and government.

It is time to rise to this occasion and extricate yourself from socialized sociopaths. If they are family members, go no contact with them. You don’t have to explain yourself or give them any reason. It is none of their business. After all, they have made your entire life a living hell. Why make excuses for the disasters they have visited upon you.

Your best counter play is the way you lead your life, your healing process, the discovery and use of your many creative gifts and finding those who deserve to be in your company. Finding the best ways for you to calm your mind and your nervous system is an essential part of your new life. Do this daily and it will become a habit. Did you forget to laugh? Smile broadly? Be very silly? You never forgot. Get back into practice.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Stop Cycling Back to the Narcissist for More Torture

I frequently–more times than I can count–hear from men and women who are trapped in a severely painful pattern of returning to their narcissistic spouse or narcissistic parent. Each time they go back they believe that life with the NPD is going to be different. This is not true. With very rare exception –Once A Narcissist Always A Narcissist! If you are involved with a narcissist it may help you to repeat these words to yourself and recognize that you can no longer tolerate sharing your life with this highly pathological person.

I use the word “torture” (“the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or to force them to do or say something, or for the pleasure of the person inflicting the pain”) in the title to emphasize how impossible narcissists make our lives with their multiple cruelties. Sadistic, cold, controlling, treacherous–they gain pleasure from weakening us, to have ultimate control over our being and in some cases to destroy us.

You don’t deserve this. You didn’t when you first became involved with this person. If you are the child of a narcissistic parent, you happened to be born by fate into a highly pathological family. First, know that this is not your fault. You are not to blame.

Some children grow up only knowing cruelty and torture. This is how their identities are shaped. The idea of being loved, feeling peace, protection or freedom is not part of their psychological repertoire. They have a prisoner of the gulag mentality and that is not surprising. We tend to repeat what we have experienced early in our lives. Some children have a sense that their narcissistic family members or their narcissistic spouses are very disturbed and they make a break for it early.

Being a child of a  narcissist lingers in the psyche, mind and heart. This innocent person did not get the bonding, loving touch and kind words of affirmation that he absolutely needed. He was criticized, thrown away, discounted and in severe cases—tortured.

Why would anyone return to this horrid scene of psychological massacre that almost killed our souls. Because human beings tend to repeat what they know, what is familiar. A child raised by a narcissist who feels undeserving and worthless and un-entitled will be drawn to partners who have a similar personality structure and will abuse them.

Over and over again the victim returns for more abuse, then leaves, then comes back and on it goes. In some cases the victim is broken and this is tragic.

Don’t wait any longer. Understand who your narcissistic torturer is–through and through. Then make a decision that you will sever this non-relationship. Do the work of healing yourself through the methods that work best for you–excellent psychotherapy (Be careful–don’t choose a narcissistic therapist), yoga practice that is gentle with emphasis on the breathing that quiets the nervous system, getting the sleep that you need and deserve, discovering and using your creative gifts, finding and nurturing loving and caring relationships.

I know that you will end this cycle of abuse and torture. I have faith in your decision and action to change your life along the pathway of healing and wholeness and yes, peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.