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.

Narcissistic Sociopathic Parents Want You to Remain Their Psychological Slaves

You are a slave to no one. As an adult now you know this. If you do not, tell yourself this every day, during the day. You are a unique human being–love this person who is inside of you, this small child you have known all of your life. Many of us need to take time to hold our babies and whisper “I love you” to them.

In infancy and childhood and through the teen years those who grew up with narcissistic sociopaths were often treated horridly. You were at the disposal of your narcissistic sociopathic parent. The other –mother or father–was too weak, terrified, traumatized to protect you against this monstrous person who ruled the household.

In grammar school you were in stark fear as you counted the steps as you got closer to the front door of your house. Your heart rhythms beat like wild drums. Your mouth was dry. You wanted to scream but knew you dared not. He or she might hear you and the horrible drama already in progress would become more Hitchcockian. You may have asked yourself: Am I going to die tonight?” In the house you walked as quietly as possible, trying to be invisible and unheard as long as possible. Finally, the moment came when you faced the person who terrorized you the most. At night in bed you waited and heard every sound, every creak and murmur, always hoping that the beast downstairs would remain in his chair. (I use the pronoun he to represents male and female narcissistic sociopaths).

You survived that house of terror, desecration and desolation. You are the one who did it through each moment, day, months and years. That deserves our deepest respect.

The narcissistic sociopathic parent is internalized in many of his/her children. The child feels at the mercy of these cruel and unpredictable individuals. Due to this fusion, some children feel like slaves even after they have physically left their homes. Working with the aftermath of growing up with a narcissistic sociopath parent often involves participating in skilled psychotherapy. Others use various healing modalities like gentle hatha yoga, varying forms of meditation, creative pursuits, support groups and friendships.

As you heal you learn that you belong to yourself, that you are genuine and precious. There is and never will be anyone like you on the face of the earth ever again. Let this truth sink deep inside of you. You will find your way along the path to freedom. You will fly like a great bird. I can hear your wings soaring higher and higher into the blue.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.My book Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life is out in Paperback and the Kindle version is available at Amazon.com for 9.99 Paperback and ebook is widely distributed.

Celebrate! You’ve Been Dumped by a Narcissist before It Got Serious

This may sound like tough talk but I have known too many victims of narcissists who married them not just once but two or three times. The psychological and emotional pain of enduring years and decades of verbal abuse, cold manipulations, treacheries, chronic lying, hidden agendas and the constant whiplash of living with a narcissist is astounding. It brings their victims to their knees and leaves some crawling. If you are going with a man or woman whom you suspect is a narcissist and this person has decided to show you the door, give you the cold shoulder, place you in the background of his/her life or simply give you the heave ho–it will smart at first but then remember it is a necessary blessing. If your intuition has been telling your for months that this person whom you are planning to marry has a serious personality issue you can’t put your head around but feel deep in your bones, listen up! You are getting the warning loud and clear, that this individual may likely be a narcissistic personality disorder. Listen to the music of his self absorption, obsession with his looks, over-love of money and status, inability to listen to you and honor your feelings, his authoritarian ways, his inappropriate forcefulness to get what he/she wants. Intuition always tells us the truth. When he or she shows you the door or if you beat the narcissist to it, run out into the clear blue sky of evening and kiss the stars. You are free!!!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Lifewill be published in a paperback edition on August 15, 2013

Martyred Married Narcissists–Spinning Tales of Woe That You Caused

Some spouses become alarmed when their narcissistic partner of many years suddenly appears docile and weak. He moans and mopes around you, making noises that you haven’t heard before. You start to feel sorry for him—but you have done your homework and pull back. “Wait a minute, this is a new act he is trotting out and I’m not buying it.”

The martyred narcissist tells everyone in reach how you have made his/her life, hell on earth. You have pressured him, caused him emotional distress with your unrelenting demands. You talk behind his back and tell lies about his fine character. You are cruel to his (narcissistic) mother who adores him. These mutterings  are bald lies. Turn all of this around and you know this is exactly what he has done to you. He is spinning tales faster than the leaders on the final round of the Tour De France.

Despite all of the drama you are going to win. You are well prepared and ready to end this horrid excuse for a marriage. With all of your documentation, an excellent attorney, the company of trusted support, you are ready to sever this non-relationship. You imagine sweet freedom each day as you move toward your goal. No one can ever fool you again. Be proud of yourself. It’s time to shine the light of your creative gifts, to feel your sails billowing as you move forward with ease and inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Lifewill be published in a paperback edition on August 15, 2013

Narcissists—Can’t Stop Talking About Their Superiority

A short time ago I was strongly reminded of the narcissist’s persistent adoration of self. This occurred after a meeting I attended. The narcissist of the moment came over to a small group of us and started talking about himself in grandiose terms and gestures, giddily swirling with his greatness. I had a strong urge to leave since I could feel the deluge coming but said to myself:  “I want to see how far this fellow will go. Will he ever stop talking about how superior and wonderful he is.” I and the clutch of those within his range were “treated” to an “I adore myself” soliloquy without periods, colons, semicolons or even a tiny comma. This was like a manic sales pitch with him and his innumerable accomplishments as the product. This grandiose classic narcissist presented a detailed professional history with extravagant hand gestures and body postures. He was mesmerized by his presence alone.

Every avenue this man went down led to his street of dreams that all came true due to his brilliance and perfection. (I applaud those who through their efforts and talents experience professional success.) I am speaking about the narcissistic personality disorder’s constant hunger for narcissistic supplies, his inability to listen to anyone else, his manic high on himself/herself as the ego soars to mythic elevations. Psychologically fueled by his delusional sense of self, this fellow traveled out of the earth’s orbit beyond gravity.

Finally, I made a movement toward the door and the spell was broken as others began to leave.

Beneath the surface of this unabashed display of adoration of self, is the broken damaged real self. On other occasions I have witnessed this narcissist’s primitive unconscious projections, perpetrated on unsuspecting others. In these instances this narcissist’s veneer had thinned and his unconscious feelings of self hatred and subjective emptiness were ejected on to innocent unsuspecting recipients.

Learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth. This knowledge will be your guide to recognizing these individuals quickly and protecting yourself from their endless self adoring litanies.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Lifewill be published in a paperback edition on August 15, 2013