Stop the Cycle of Narcissistic Abuse and Win

Narcissistic abuse is often generational. It is not genetic. Studies have not shown that there is a genetic marker for this severe personality disorder. However, with many individuals there is a destructive cycle of repetition that occurs. From narcissistic mother to narcissistic husband–from narcissistic parents to narcissistic wife–from narcissistic siblings to narcissistic spouse. There are many other combinations and permutations of these painful psychological patterns.

Having a narcissistic parent is one of the most difficulty psychological legacy you can have. You grew up without a parent who was capable of love, who blamed you for everything that went wrong (according to them) who undermined your taking initiative for yourself, who dismissed your feelings, even made fun of them and told you that you were weak and even crazy. You had a brother or sister who was venerated and adored because he or she was being groomed to be the family star–the chosen one–a young lord or lady of the manor. You were not even second best. In some cases when the narcissistic rage went out of control you were a punching bag–in some instances, literally.

After leaving this house of desolation you found someone you loved. You were swept up by the charm, the energy, the attention you were getting from this special man. It was like a fantasy that had come true. He was too good to be true but you were going for it. Sometimes early–for others late–into the marriage you recognized that you were married to a narcissistic personality. After years of suffering under his bubbling rage, outrageous demands and threats, lies and multiple cruelties, you divorce the guy. He doesn’t make it easy but you walk away to re-establish your life. Some of those who leave the narcissist benefit from excellent psychotherapy. If you decide to take this route be sure to do all of your homework. There are a some narcissistic psychotherapists who are out there for the money, even individuals who collect retainers in advance. Working with a strong therapeutic alliance with a gifted therapist can help you through the transition to becoming a person on your own again. Even if you have had a solid career throughout the marriage, there are adjustments to be made in your new role of running your own life completely without the narcissistic baggage. Give yourself credit for stopping the cycle of narcissistic abuse you have endured all of your life starting with the narcissistic parent. When past memories come to the surface especially those from childhood , be kind to yourself and recognize there and then that you are not to blame for having a narcissistic parent and that you were ripe to marry a narcissist. Let go of this past—do not let it hinder you.

Energize yourself in the new life you have chosen. No one can ever tell you how to lead your life again. You have won. Now use all of your creative gifts to the max and beyond. You will find friends and a support group of those who are not living in delusion like the narcissists. When you meet a narcissist you will recognize him/her immediately. Keep your distance—you know what they are all about–Using you to get what they want. Your life is different now. Some of those who prevail send out the message to others that they too can be free without excuses or guilt. Rev up your intellectual and creative engines. You are rediscovering your real self.

 

 

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Narcissist’s Secret Envy

Narcissists, especially those who are highly successful, appear to glide smoothly through life, taking everything they can. They cheat people and get away with it, lie at every turn, manipulate everyone in their circle, especially family members, psychologically harm the most vulnerable around them and still are not brought to judgment. If they are very high level narcissists most of those who venerate these highly entitled individuals give them a pass despite all of the pain they cause others. With all of their professional triumphs, constant adulation and financial success, narcissists secretly envy what they perceive they cannot have. Envy is a feeling of unease that becomes an obsession of coveting another’s success, possessions, public image and importance. People keep their envies secret. Narcissists would never share these feelings with anyone. We see this envy in their blood thirsty competitiveness. If they are worth hundreds of millions, they seek billionaire status like their brothers and sisters in this special enclave. Many narcissists are all about money. I have had the displeasure of sitting next to a high level narcissist at a dinner event. Besides a running litany of self, he spent most of the evening talking about money—his status and power, how clever he had been at acquiring money and his grandiose vision for accumulating larger sums and multitudes of material possessions. Conversations with narcissists are always one way streets—they do all of the talking and bragging. You cannot get in a word without being rude. If you manage a half sentence, they will interrupt you and move back to their favorite topic—themselves. Narcissists secretly envy what they cannot have. On an unconscious level they know that they cannot ever have an authentic relationship with anyone, even their own children. This obsessive need is played out in their chronic restlessness and frenetic acrobatics from one relationship to another. Narcissists crowd their lives with constant activity that will bring them an abundance of narcissistic supplies, particularly praise and adulation. Envy fuels the narcissist’s rage. If he loses an important contract that is feeding his narcissism or is overlooked for a power position he has prized, the narcissist flies into a fury. He despises and envies the individual who bettered him. The narcissist doesn’t have any real relationships. Empty, shallow and alone, he leads a counterfeit life, unable to create a warm meaningful connection with anyone. Having people in our lives whom we can count on and care about us deeply, have our welfare uppermost in their minds and are supportive of our growth as individuals is invaluable—worth more than every possession, material acquisition and accolade that the narcissist ever received. His/her world is delusional and inauthentic. Your daily life is a testimony to your personal healing and growth, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually in the way that you define this. As you leave the narcissist behind feel your heart open, sense your creative juices flowing and be grateful to yourself for all of your hard work done with great integrity.

 

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Immunizing Yourself Against Narcissistic Abuse

Our physical immune systems are a wonder. If we maintain them, they are constantly fending off diseases and infections of all kinds. We are in charge of our immune health. We learn how to eat foods that will support the immune system and avoid others that will suppress our powerful defenses. Our daily habits strengthen the immune system. The exercise that we do on a regular basis boosts our immune systems. Making efforts to get quality sleep is another source of strengthening this  protective function that enhances our physical well being. I use this example to explain that we can develop an immunity to further narcissistic abuse. Of course if we don’t have a professional obligations to be around narcissists, we avoid them. They are a toxic presence. There are growing numbers of narcissists every day. We find them in our spouses, siblings, parents and with our bosses and co-workers. The narcissist has no incentive to change. At this time of growing acceptance of narcissists in our current society, we have to learn to deal with them. They are not going away and they have no reason to change. They experience themselves as perfect and others as inferior and defective.

We build psychological immunity by first understanding and appreciating who we are. It is not the sum of our accomplishments in the world. It is based on the strength and integrity of our character and our capacity to know and seek the truth. It is recognized in our efforts to move beyond the compelling narcissistic delusion that you can be ruthless, cruel, merciless, without conscience and destroy others as long as you win.

Don’t be surprised at the number of people who follow and are true believers of narcissists. They crave being a member of the inner circle even if they are infrequently thrown crumbs or are honored to kiss the ring of the anointed. They have thrown away their identities, strapped themselves to the narcissist for the E ticket ride. They will do anything to be identified with this person. They believe that he or she is a good human being because of outside trappings and the wielding of power over others.

The focus is on developing and evolving as an individual who is solid and strong. Some who have been victimized find that psychotherapy is helpful in building a therapeutic alliance with a professional and developing trust, being heard and understood. If you go in this direction, do you research and trust your observations and reactions to prospective therapists. Remember you are hiring them to help you with your life.

If you are verbally attacked by a narcissist who is a family member, an acquaintance, an ex-spouse, learn to detach from their inappropriate, incendiary comments and criticisms. First, you don’t have to respond to such cruelty in the first place. Some statements are so delusional that they do not deserve engagement —silence on your part can be golden, when the narcissist knows you mean it. There are times when you make the decision to defend yourself. There are many replies to toxic questions and queries and cruel statements. Make your statement clear and short. Do not re-engage the narcissist. That’s what he’s waiting for—to pull you back in. One good response to inappropriate queries is: ” I don’t respond to personal questions.”

One of the best ways to immunize yourself is to create an internal space inside that cannot be penetrated by the attacker. Develop habits and routines that you consistently use to quiet your body and mind. Regular exercise that works for you is one of them. Getting sufficient sleep and eating good foods strengthen the body, mind and psyche. Following your creative track is inspirational and empowering. It separates you further from the narcissist’s arrowed quiver of recriminations, manipulations, deceptions and blatant cruelties. Learn to go within, using a way of  stilling the mind that works for you. It can be a form of guided meditation, chanting, gentle yoga with emphasis on the breathing, keeping a private journal, etc. Develop a small but faithful support system. These are people you can count on when you are discouraged, worn out, burned out and when you feel alone. The listening ear of a supportive person is one of the most powerful forms of psychological immunization you can have.

Search for and follow your dreams. Allow you mind to move unchoreographed and free. You will be surprised at the results of this practice.

 

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Narcissistic Mothers–A Pain in the Pit of Your Stomach

Those who haven’t had narcissistic mothers cannot completely understand just how dreadful they are. Each narcissistic mother is ghastly in her own special way. Some are concealed and pretend to be good, even holy. They walk around with golden coronas circling their heads. The family members are often impressed with their piety and spiritual devotion. Then there are the flamboyant, grandiose types who are socially very skillful and charming. They are often the center of attention. They magnetize many people to them who believe that they are superior. Above all, despite the outward persona the narcissistic mother always has certain attributes. She lacks genuine empathy and is incapable of feeling and understanding or caring deeply about another person’s feelings, including her own children. What great performances these women play. In private they are holy terrors who cause fear, anxiety, panic and immobilize their children. The exception is the child chosen by the narcissistic mother as the perfect reflection of herself. This son or daughter (in some cases more than one child is picked) gets free reign of the house, never learns how to treat others with respect, has a superior attitude toward himself and overrides the psychological boundaries of other family members. The children who are not chosen are under the heel of the rampaging narcissistic mother. She is hell to live with. Often these women emasculate their husbands and dominate them completely so that they have no say about their own children.

Adult children often report that they suffered from anxiety,tension even pains in the pit of their stomachs when in the presence of narcissistic mom. You never knew when she would threaten you with punishment or take a swipe at you. Narcissistic mothers are tyrannical and get away with it. In the world they are often considered to be wonderful human beings who are considerate and caring and very charming. This is their great acting job at work. So many people are fooled by them. When you tell someone the truth about a narcissistic mother, they will look at you quizzically as if you are being cruel or simply have something wrong with your thinking processes.

If you are the adult child of a narcissistic mother it is past time for you to get rid of the metaphorical or real pain in the pit of your stomach. To lead your own life, it is often necessary to sever the “relationship” because it has become impossible and abusive. Some victims find that excellent psychotherapy helps them to heal. Be careful in picking a therapist. Make sure they understand this personality disorder very well and be sure that they are not narcissistic personalities themselves.

Celebrate your individuality, learn to quiet your mind through gentle yoga practice, meditation–sitting and walking, opening up to your special creativity, finding friends who care deeply about you and are capable of empathy.

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Divorcing A Narcissist–Plan Your Exit Strategy in Advance

In the emotional chaos of a marriage to a narcissist that has soured and become very ugly, it is difficult to think clearly about how to make an exit that will benefit you the most. First, pay close attention to the signals and red flags you have been getting all along that the person you married is a narcissist. He/she is self absorbed, selfish, given to rages, secretive, a chronic liar (who plays the part beautifully) manipulative, exploitive and completely lacks empathy. You have seen these behaviors throughout the years and they are escalating. If you have researched this personality disorder, you have all of the information you need to make your decision. You can stay with this person and talk yourself into believing that he is going to change at some time down the road or be convinced that you can alter him. This is never going to happen because this disorder is fixed. The false self of the narcissist develops very early and the defense mechanisms these individuals use are impervious to change. They believe that they are superior, perfect and over-entitled. They have no motivation to change.

If you decide to break up the relationship, do all of your homework in advance and detail. Interview several attorneys and choose one who has a lot of experience with divorce and has worked with clients who have this personality profile. Your attorney needs to be highly self confident, well trained, intuitive about human nature, have superior communication skills and an excellent legal temperament for times when the narcissist and his attorney come down very hard. This is the time of reckoning when your attorney is being tested and will either win with flying colors or fail to represent you properly. Get all of your financial records in order. Get your support group in place of friends you can completely trust–one is enough. Keep yourself in good physical condition. Do cardiovascular exercise like walking or going to the gym. Do not wear yourself out. Get quality sleep and make sure that you following an eating plans that provides your body with the nutrients it requires. Dial down the fight or flight syndrome with practices like gentle yoga poses, forms of meditation that work for you. Appreciate what you are doing. Don’t share your exit plan with anyone unless you are sure you can trust them completely. I know you can do this. You are beginning a new cycle of your life that is richer, deeper, more meaningful, creative and peaceful.

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Narcissistic Spouses Delude and Corrupt Their Partners

Those who are married to narcissistic personalities and continue to adore  and obey them  have put themselves in psychological danger. (This post refers to male and female narcissists)  When  the narcissist is a forceful personality in the marriage and has “successfully” deluded the spouse into believing that he is perfect and superior, the weaker partner capitulates to the narcissist’s outrageous demands and grandiose expectations. I have seen this happen in a number of marriages. The sensitive, often empathic individual is drawn to the physical attractiveness, blind ambition, intellectual brightness, social savvy and overriding confidence of the narcissist. He or she feels fulfilled  and completed by this person who is so sure of himself.

Rather than evolving as a separate individual the spouse psychologically fuses with the narcissistic  life agenda which often includes  an obsession with material wealth, the acquisition of possessions, the disparagement of those who have not obtained their high status, the restless search for continual leisure and pleasure and the worship of self in its endless varieties and permutations.

I use the word “corrupt” to describe the serious negative psychological changes that the narcissistic spouse has on the partner as a result of this dynamic of worship, emotional  fusion and dependence. The partner goes off track and does not evolve as a true self.  The need to continue this “worship” increases as the partner becomes more deeply deluded  and entrenched into the narcissistic life style.

(Not all narcissists seek wealth and the endless acquisitions of possessions. I am talking here about a subset of the narcissistic personality population.)

In some cases the partner “awakens” from the delusion and realizes that he or she has been the narcissist’s servant not a true spouse. He has given up years of his life to this person who only took, never gave and didn’t have an ounce of empathy for his genuine feelings. When this happens, there is a chance for the partner to extricate himself from this unhealthy fusion and to break free to be himself.

Study the narcissistic personality in-depth. This is the character disorder of our time and these pathologies are continuing to grow and are highly accepted as the norm throughout much of our society today.

Continue to evolve as an individual. Do the hard work of getting to know and appreciate yourself deep inside. Give yourself credit for surviving your previous life experience, especially if you are the child of a narcissist, been married to a narcissist or have cruel narcissistic siblings.

Trust yourself and your inner wisdom.

 

 

 

 

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Rising Strong and Steady after Divorcing Narcissist

Rising Strong and Steady after Divorcing Narcissist

You have spent years denying that you were married to a narcissistic personality. Don’t blame yourself. You couldn’t have known. You were serious about building and preserving your marital union. You tried so hard. It seemed to work for a while. Then the narcissist became “very difficult”–well, Impossible. and blamed you for everything that went wrong in his/her life. Narcissists only care about themselves. Everyone else including spouses and children are living narcissistic supplies that will get them to their goals of ultimate control and winning.

Now that you know that you were married to a narcissist and have gone through the painful divorce process, your life is beginning anew.

It is a very rough ride for many toward recovery. You are exhausted from the marriage wars and the divorce hand to hand combat that in some cases goes on for years. You feel beaten up but you have won back your life. Take time for yourself to rest and recover.

Don’t pay attention to anyone who is telling you to “Get over it.” Forget them. Pay attention to what your deep inner self is saying to you.  “Take it slowly. Be kind to yourself. Rest and repose and quiet. Enjoy those whom you can trust and with whom you feel the most authentic. They have your back.”

Develop routines that focus on your healing each day. Put yourself first!!!!!.  Don’t be judgmental.  Take time to be alone and quiet with yourself. You may want to meditate or write in a journal. Listening to soothing music lifts us out of obsessional thought and feeling patterns and brings us into a positive state where we can begin anew and feel refreshed. Find or create a small support group of people with whom you can share the truth and who care about you. Be appreciative of what you have been through. Work with your creative gifts which have been in cold storage during your marriage to the narcissist.

Do a form of cardiovascular exercise that works for you.This increases endorphins, boosts the immune system and helps you to sleep. Many find that gentle yoga is a source of calming, strengthening and healing the body/mind. Pay close attention to your intuition. It will speak to you and offer wise words or present you with pictures or ideas, indicating the way forward for you. You deserve deep inner peace—claim it! It’s yours.

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Siblings of Narcissistic Brothers and Sisters–You Deserve to Heal

Growing up in a narcissistic family with siblings with the same personality disorder is beyond challenging. Mother or father narcissist (or both) has seized upon one of your siblings (or more) as the perfect living model of their excellence. From the beginning it is obvious that this child is the One. All of the attention is placed on this child. Narcissistic mother idealizes this living supply and experiences this child as a perfect replica of herself. The blooming narcissist is allowed to psychologically demean, humiliate and harm his/her brothers and sisters.

Mother dismisses her other children as inferior. She makes fun of them, tells them they can’t measure up to the chosen child and that she is too drained to listen or do anything for them. These narcissistic mothers have their priorities. The “imperfect” children are treated as servants in some cases. They do the cleaning, cooking, errands. They even pick up after the golden narcissistic child. One of the most painful incessant patterns is that they are constantly compared with the chosen one as inferior, lazy, dumb, ugly, a behavior problem, untalented, socially backward.

Those who survive this nightmare background need to take time to sort out who they really are. It certainly is not what their narcissistic mother projected on to them. That was coming from her dark unconscious. Some of them find that quality psychotherapy helps them acknowledge and experience their pain with a strong therapeutic alliance. Other forms of healing are learning to quiet the mind, gentle yoga and of course the use of your many creative gifts. Self care is the beginning of this process—getting the sleep that you need and deserve, taking time for yourself to use your creativity in every way that gives you pleasure and peace. You are rediscovering your true nature. This process continues throughout your life.

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Narcissist’s Paranoid Core

“Paranoia is a pervasive fear that others will harm or even destroy us. The narcissist lives in an unfriendly and dangerous inner world..Inside, he is paranoid, tormented by anticipated attacks of perceived enemies.” (From:Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life)

All narcissists are paranoid on some level. They look over their shoulders, fortify their ramparts, create traps to assure their psychological safety. They are highly secretive about this. They don’t want anyone to know their secrets.

Narcissists have never developed Basic Trust–which is the human capacity to feel internally protected and secure within yourself and to learn how to develop meaningful relationships with others.

Narcissists throughout their lives have psychologically, emotionally and financially crushed countless people, especially those closest to them—their spouses, ex-spouses, siblings, children. There is a pervasive pattern of narcissistic abuse that involves the stealing of financial security by the narcissistic spouse. I have heard and read innumerable life stories of spouses who believed that they could obtain a fair divorce settlement only to discover that monetary assets had been hidden and then placed under the control of the narcissist. In a number of cases the injured spouse is not able to obtain legal representation because they have no funds. The narcissist hires a very savvy high powered attorney who prevails in the divorce court. Some of these malicious narcissists end up with custody of the children. They don’t give a damn about their children. This is a form of revenge for them and a way of maintaining their image of “good father.”

Despite their success professionally in the world and lack thereof, deep inside the narcissist is paranoid deep inside. From the beginning of his life he was unable to trust anyone. He/she grew up as a false self who danced to the tune of the parent who molded him rather than accept his child as genuine and precious as an individual. On an unconscious level he never developed trust and couldn’t feel safe or cherished for himself.

The tragedy continues with those who are victimized by the narcissist and their number is legion. Those are the individuals to whom I reach out. Learn to protect yourself from the pathological paranoid narcissist.

 

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One Narcissist Causes Pain to an Entire Family

If you know the narcissistic personality disorder well, especially if you have divorced one of these individuals or been on the receiving end of a narcissistic parent, you know that this one person can cause extreme stress and psychological pain among the members of an entire family. Everyone surrounded by the narcissist’s destructive traits–chronic lying, deception, betrayal, manipulation, exploitation, emotional sabotage–is highly aware of the severe damage that this highly pathological individual can wreak. Narcissists do not care who you are–a stranger, an acquaintance, a close family member, a child. If you get in their way, they will intimidate, threaten and retaliate if you buck their wills of steel.

Some family members make excuses for these horrific people. They will say: “Oh that’s just the way he/she is. Don’t be so tough on him.” “He is so bright and successful. Look at his good points.” This person is running roughshod over the minds, hearts and psyches of those closest to him. No one person has the right to invade your boundaries, demean you, humiliate you or taunt and terrorize you. I don’t care what this individual has accomplished in the world, how much power he/she wields.

We are at a time right now when narcissists are applauded because they are so driven to move ahead as they trample on everyone else. Those who have suffered under this treacherous treatment write about the terrors and tortures they have endured under the sadism of one narcissist. This happens all of the time but most people remain unaware of the severe psychological and emotional damage this highly disturbed person has caused. Become fully aware of the nature of the narcissistic personality psychopathology. Listen to those who have suffered under its iron boot and merciless treatment.

If you have a havoc wreaking narcissist in your family, you may have to make a 180 turn away and sever the relationship. I know this can be difficult but remember this severe personality disorder does not change. The quality of your life–psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual–is invaluable. Learn to put self care into your daily life. You are entitled to quality sleep, to exercise in the way that is best for you, to explore your many creative gifts, to listen to guided meditations that appeal to you and to follow your intuition in all things.

 

 

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