Classic Narcissists Demean Your Feelings and You

Classic narcissists, larger than life, bombastic, charismatic to some, sail through life in the fast lane—always moving to their next cascade of narcissistic supply. If they are very successful they have more opportunities to be adored, praised and rewarded handsomely in this current world of rampant pathological narcissism. Those at the top of their game don’t do the hardest work. They have adoring followers, psychologically dependent individuals, hangers on, at their beck and call.

If you have narcissists in your family, I am sure you are too keenly aware of how they demean you and/or ignore you or both. If you are having a difficult time and you share this with them, they completely ignore what you are saying or they wonder what is the matter with you that you have caused such trouble for yourself. “Is there something wrong with you that you have so many problems?”

Some of the most cruel, cold human beings I have known are classic narcissists. Since they have no internal psychological consciousness or a well developed conscience, they move swiftly and smoothly through their professional and personal  lives with ruthless abandon. They choose partners whom they can dominate and control. They ignore their children or choose only those who will become their living ego supplies—little narcissists who will grow up to be just like them.

Do narcissists care about you if you are their child, spouse or sibling? Not so much or not at all. They are too taken up with themselves to give any energy to your life with its many painful twists and downturns.

Narcissists are  peripatetic –They always have their engines running. They go from one project to the next–one trip to the next—one acquisition to the next–one full makeover to the next–one partner to the next, etc.

They get a kick out of running circles around you. You are depressed or very anxious or going through a  period of loss, confusion, financial distress, etc. You share some of your deepest issues with the narcissist and there is no response. It’s as if they are unable to hear you—literally. They jauntily move along in the conversation to tell you about how swimmingly their lives are going, how busy they are, what they are achieving and don’t forget–”their successes” (There is nothing wrong with success in the world. Here I am talking about all out bragging when the other person is going through a very tough time and needs to be heard). I find this kind of interchange to be nauseating and cruel. On some occasions the narcissist wonders out loud about what is wrong with you that you can’t overcome your problems. After all they did!

Remind yourself that you are genuine and that having psychological pain is part of a life that is lived authentically with real feelings and deep caring for others as well as oneself. You are not deluded. You do not brag about yourself. You are highly empathic and care deeply about the feelings, the problems and the suffering of others–family members, friends spouses, etc. You are the opposite of the narcissist.

Give yourself credit for being a true individual who is growing and evolving. Know that this is a process that takes time and effort and that you are moving toward developing a stronger, expanded true self. (The narcissist is a false self that leads his/her entire life in delusion.) There are others who are real whom you know and will find.

Let the narcissistic world twirl by at ever increasing speeds as it goes nowhere.

Stay with your path and your rhythm. Practice self care. Access and use your intuition for direction and validation of the truth.

Maintain distance from narcissists, especially in your personal life. Don’t engage with them at all and if you must, keep it  short and detached.

Focus on your creative inspirations, your spiritual life (if that is your choice), the boundless beauty and comfort of Nature and a few human beings who want to share their lives with you. Learn from one another; help one another.

 

 

Narcissistic Parents–Buying Off Their Children

Narcissists are incapable of developing and sustaining genuine relationships of any kind with spouse or children in particular. (This applies to male and female narcissists.) They are parents in name only. Many of them spend most of their time away from their kids. They can’t be bothered taking time and patience to listen to their children, comfort them when they are upset, encourage them with school, show deep affection and love for them. So many children of narcissists with whom I have communicated describe their lives with a narcissistic parent as horrific. Those who are not the golden child and don’t have the physical attractiveness, academics, athletic prowess, social skills, etc. that the narcissistic parent values, find themselves marginalized and demeaned.

The narcissist parent is obsessed with his/her image. Because of this need for narcissistic supplies these parents make sure that to those living outside of the home, there is a look of perfection and normalcy about this family. A portrait of loving attentive parents is cleverly created for public image purposes for the narcissist.

To keep his/her children quiet and in control, narcissistic parents who have the means often use money and generous gifts as a way of buying off their children. This becomes a way of life for them. Money is used in exchange for love. Some children of narcissists go along with these manipulations; others recognize that their parent(s) is incapable of genuinely loving them. The narcissistic parent makes empty promises that are never kept. Some children remain tied to the narcissistic parent in a psychologically parasitic relationship. These children never grow up and realize their potential. They spend their lives waiting for something that will never come—genuine love. In exchange they accept the narcissistic parent(s) gifts, material largess and special privileges of being part of the familial inner circle.

Children who awaken to this truth go through painful realizations, recognizing that their parent cannot love. This is a difficult psychological and emotional process for children of narcissists. Surprisingly, many children of narcissistic parents are loving human beings, capable of deep empathy.

Coming to terms with the process of severing the relationship with a narcissistic parent is a complex process. There is a period of grieving over the loss of not having a parent–the person from whom you needed unconditional love. Some of these children benefit from psychotherapy in working through these painful issues. Part of the healing process is in their recognition that they are loving individuals, capable of emotional and psychological intimacy.

Some adult children find that healing practices like gentle hatha yoga and meditation help to quiet their body/mind, attain a deep sense of inner peace, detach from the narcissistic parent and rediscover and appreciate the unique authentic human being that they are.

You Discovered Narcissistic Parent’s Destructive Family Secret

Growing up with a narcissistic mother and/or narcissistic father is one of the most difficult and painful life experiences of all. You were treated dismissively without love and in its place was cruelty, criticism and humiliation. In some instances you were always compared with the golden child in the family who became a narcissist right before your eyes. This brother or sister taunted you and scared you. Mother or father always came to the defense of their “dear”  special son or daughter. You were left with a back of the hand and any psychological crumbs you could scrape off the floor.

Children of narcissists are often highly intuitive. They know when something secret is going in their family. They may not be able to put their finger exactly on it and it usually takes time for the exact truth to form but by keen observation, eventually they know the truth. Children of narcissists are often truth seekers. They are among the most empathic of individuals.

Narcissists have secret lives. They lie effortlessly. They are two faced–appearing with a perfect public image that most people believe. In the shadows, when no one is looking, they do tremendous damage to family members, including their children.

The narcissistic parent shows favoritism to one child and extreme cruelty to another. He/she dismisses one as non-existent and raises the other to a state of royalty. The narcissist is always out for psychological supply that will keep his/her ego inflated and uses his golden child in this way.

There are narcissistic parents who perpetrate crimes on their children. I am talking about incest. (There are non-narcissistic parents who commit these crimes as well.) Incest is still a subject that is not approached openly in our society. It remains a taboo subject to this day. There are children who remember what happened to them. They were incested by their mother or father. This could have been one incident, several or a pattern of incest that ran through their entire young lives. Incest affects a child psychologically in a very deleterious way.

In many instances the child “forgets” what happened at the time because the experience was psychologically intolerable. At some point in their lives, some children remember and are horrified and haunted and overwhelmed. These experiences can reawaken to the surface at any time but often they occur when a person is under extreme stress, psychological trauma, a tragic incident or during psychotherapy.

The child may go to the narcissistic parent and confront them with this dreadful memory of what was perpetrated on them. The parent skillfully denies what he or she has done. Narcissistic parents are so cunning and clever that they lead the child to believe that this never happened. So much pressure is put on the accuser and victim that the victim becomes the target of psychological abuse. There are brothers or sisters who were not the victim of incest in the family but knew bits and pieces of the crimes that were occurring but were too scared to say anything.

The narcissistic parent adroitly has his/her story cleverly composed. “She/he has made up this accusation to get attention.” “She/he has this  confused with something else that happened.” “She has always been highly dramatic and over the top; you can’t believe anything she says.” ” Her/his therapist implanted this incest memory during psychotherapy. It is absolutely untrue.”

The victim becomes the “crazy one”, the “liar”, the “histrionic”, etc. The narcissist’s lies usually ”work” with other family members. No one wants to think or believe that this mother or father did the unthinkable. Well, this is not unthinkable. It happens more frequently than most people want to believe. Because the thought or the deed of incest makes people feel uncomfortable does not mean that it never happened or shouldn’t be discussed with candor and as often as necessary to bring these crimes into the light.

There are no words that are adequate to tell those who have been affected by incest how sad and horrified I feel for you. I wish you continued healing.

Those who discover the narcissist’s horrid secret should not be surprised that the rest of the family either is in total denial or if you reveal it, will turn against you for discovering it and revealing it.

You know the truth. Take strength and comfort in this, now and for the rest of your life. Most people do not want to know the truth about anything. They remain in denial and delusion and keep it that way for the rest of their lives.

There are rare individuals who seek and live the truth. That is a gift that they give to all of us.

 

 

 

 

Vissisitudes of Living with Narcissistic Rage

Rage.

Rage. (Photo credit: Neil. Moralee)

You have felt the ever sharp knifing through your body innumerable times if you are married to a narcissist, the son or daughter of a narcissist or sibling of a narcissist.  Narcissistic rage is always on a boil within this person. It explodes at full force without provocation. He/she is filled with charm, magnetism, grace, conversation that moves so skillfully—yet when you are alone, in private the dynamic changes 180 degrees.

Now he is rampaging through the house–yelling, screeching, howling like a person gone mad.If you are the child of a narcissist you remember too vividly how close your narcissistic mother got to your face, her eyes gone wild, her mouth fully open, your nervous system quaking–you telling yourself: “This time she is going to kill me.!” Being on the receiving end of a narcissist’s primal rage feels like imminent death. But you don’t die and wish you had because the primitive sound does not stop. It feeds on itself. You run and the narcissist pursues you in the house. You can’t get away. It’s like a recurring dream that haunts you every night.

Finally, this round is over for now but you know that it will return. The monstrous tone, the menacing look in the eyes, the body that feels like it will strike and flatten you will come again. That you know—but not when and there is the terror. There is a dreadful unpredictability about these seizures of rage. As a result you are awaiting annihilation.  Your nervous system is on vigil, in fight or flight mode at all times, even when you are asleep. There is no inner safety, no secure place in your mind and body where you can go when this human Vesuvius erupts.

As an adult who is healing from the narcissistic parent, spouse or sibling remember that you are entitled to change the way you feel inside. You did nothing wrong. You were victimized by a highly pathological human being. None of this is your fault. You could not have nor can you now change this person.Tell yourself each day that you are entitled to lead a life that offers you peace, security, a feeling of steadiness inside. The body/mind is prepared to heal. Be receptive to this process. You may find that excellent psychotherapy, gentle hatha yoga, forms of meditations, healing relationships, using your creative gifts, music, Nature and all of the ways that you intuit will make you whole. Gather your faith and hold it close. Do the work of healing every day. You deserve this inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Children of Narcissistic Mothers–Heal and Evolve

We are always in the process of evolving. We feel the internal gashes, blows and deep bruises of childhood cruelty and maternal deprivation, especially if we are children of a narcissistic mother. This is one of the greatest challenges in life. There are those who have that moment of awakening and recognize that there mother is a narcissistic personality. Something deep inside them stirs and says they must free themselves of this deep wound. They are determined to break from the psychological and emotional shackles of the parent who never was.

This insight about your narcissistic mother puts you on the path to healing yourself. Your are a unique human being—an invaluable one. Although you may share the DNA of your mother and father and your ancestors, you are not them. You will never be on the face of the earth again–Your special imprint will never appear again past, present, future. You have time left to fulfill the evolution of your original self–the person you were meant to be.

Healing often begins with grieving the mother you did not have. You feel like crying. You are infuriated by all of the years of brainwashing, cruelties, put-downs, constant verbal abuse that has made you wonder if you are too blame. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. Always remember this. You didn’t ask to be the child of this mother. An aspect of your healing very many is to sever the “relationship” with this non mother. Other members of the family may object or wonder what you are doing. WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS, NOT THE OTHER PARENT,NOT OTHER SIBLINGS, NOT IN-LAWS –MATTERS. THIS IS YOUR DECISION TO HEAL.

Individuals heal in different ways. Let yourself cry, Give yourself the solitude and time that it takes to move through this process. Some individuals benefit from excellent psychotherapy. Make sure that you interview a couple of therapists and make sure that are not narcissists or people who have a strong money motive.

There are a number of healing modalities including gentle hatha yoga with emphasis on the breath, sitting and walking meditation, the company and contact with a couple of friends who care deeply about you and are available at any time. Spontaneous writing done consistently without editing gives your a portal to your feelings and access to your creativity. If you draw and paint, do this–Start a healing art book. Remember, no judgements. Look at yourself. Give yourself love and credit for your psychological survival under horrendous childhood circumstances. I have a deep commitment to those who are children of narcissistic mothers. I am amazed by their compassion and kindness. I am honored by their presence in the world.

Keep evolving–there are no limits—keep loving–Keep giving solace to others as you have all of your life.

You will find peace and your gifts will expand and deepen. We are so fortunate to share a place with you in the world.

You Can’t Fix A Narcissistic Mother

If you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother, you have worn yourself out, trying to make her different. She suffers from a severe, fixed personality disorder that does not change. Her lies, the terror that she inflicts, her psychological and emotional blows upon you are unconscious projections of her self hatred. This is not about you; it’s about her psychopathology.

Stop blaming yourself, if that’s what you have been doing since you were a child. Free yourself of guilt. If a brother or sister of yours has been treated since birth as a prince or princess, that’s because mother chose them to mirror her belief that she she is perfect. She aspired to create a clone of herself. Having a chosen brother or sister in the family makes life more painful. You were always compared with the perfect one and of course came up short. None of this is true but how could you have known when you were a smallchild. Now you know that this sibling is a full fledged narcissistic personality—another person you want to avoid and who has a complete lack of empathy.

We can heal and change our attitudes toward ourselves. We must develop self mercy and look at the small child inside of us who has suffered so much and soothe and give love to this little one. Great healing takes place by going into the calming mode in the nervous system. This is done in a variety of ways. Gentle yoga with emphasis on breathing through the nostrils brings a feeling of deep relaxation into the body/mind. Cardiovascular exercise (what works for you) removes obsessive thinking and brings us to a state of peace. Some people benefit from working with an excellent acupuncturist who facilitates your dropping down into the most restful state. Listening to calming music, sketching, journaling are all ways to switch us back to where you belong–in  a state of rest and peace.

Narcissistic Abusers–Their Human Beasts of Burden

A beast of burden is defined as an animal who carries heavy loads or must do very hard work.

Narcissists often put their children, spouses, siblings and others in these roles as human beasts of burden. In effect their children, spouses and siblings are their servants.

The narcissist is imperious. He/she is the ruler in every “relationship.” Children of narcissists lead their lives at the mercy, whim, impulse, psychopathology of their highly disturbed parents. The narcissist gives orders–quite literally–and those close to him/her are expected to obey on the spot. Growing up, children depend on the parent for survival. They have no alternative. Being raised by a narcissistic parent, the child has no real support, validation, emotional closeness, feeling of security or protection or sense of entitlement (unless he is the golden child and adored).  Children growing up with a narcissistic parent(s) describe that they felt like prisoners in their own homes. Often they hid from the narcissistic mother or father, fearing that they would have to tolerate one more screaming session, accusation, humiliation, volleys of criticisms and threats. These children live under emotional and psychological siege. They have trouble sleeping at night. They feel unsafe in their own homes. Some suffer from constant free floating anxiety.

The narcissistic parent is highly demanding of what he or she wants and must have. Angry commands must be responded to. Chores must be done perfectly on the spot. Nothing is ever good enough for the narcissistic parent. He/she always finds flaws and the child is at fault. This is the narcissist’s serious delusional state not the child’s.

The child of a narcissistic parent is likely to marry a narcissist, repeating the psychological pattern of abuse.

The narcissistic spouse is impossible–making outrageous demands, throwing criticisms right and left, making the partner feel unworthy and defective. Many spouses of these narcissists stay married to them. They continue to take the psychological blows and to become human beasts of burden who will do the bidding of the narcissistic partner, regardless of how depleted, exhausted or frustrated they are. They are devoted to someone who is hurting them. They feel the stress and pain in their bodies and the mental distress—yet they continue in these roles, often throughout the marriage. When the narcissist gets too bored with someone he/she can kick around too easily, this person will be discarded and replaced.

Some narcissistic spouses keep their human beasts of burden indefinitely. They have found someone who is loyal, will always fulfill their every need–regardless of its outrageousness and continue to adore and provide the narcissist with cascades of narcissistic supplies.

Adult children of narcissistic parents have a long road that they travel to recovering their true selves and repairing their psyches from their exposure to emotional and psychological battlefields. Many find wholeness and inner peace through a variety of practices including guided meditation, gentle hatha yoga, exercise that works for them, finding support from those whom they trust and understand what they have endured, through creative spontaneous writing, music that soothes them, acupuncture that puts the patient in the parasympathetic nervous system, etc.

Those married to narcissists who awaken to the truth that they have been the victims of narcissistic abuse, sever these relationships, go through the divorce process and begin to put their lives back together in the ways that are healing to them. They no longer live under the control of a narcissistic partner. They are human beasts of burden no longer. Their role now is to lead the life that they deserve–to awaken to the fact that they are entitled to inner peace, a healthy sense of entitlement and a strong knowing that they are more than good enough. Remember that if you have been in one of these dreadful marriages, you can and will heal.

 

Narcissistic Parents–The Baby Who Could Not Stop Crying

A few weeks ago I was having dinner in a nearby restaurant. The environment was comfortable, well appointed and service oriented. I had been looking forward to this evening because I knew about their high quality food and Italian ambiance.  There was a large table of people a short distance away. It appeared to be an extended family situation. I heard a cry coming from a baby (less than two years of age)  sitting next to a man whom I believe was his father. The cry grew louder and I noticed that not one member of this group was paying any attention to this child. It was as if they were unable to hear his rising hysteria. There was no move or gesture toward this little fellow. He threw back his face and neck and screamed loudly for some time before his father turned without any emotion on his face and began to quickly scoop food into this child’s mouth. During this time none of the members of this group made a move or looked the baby’s way.

The crying grew louder and louder. The man whom I believe was the father turned away from the child and ignored him for at least five minutes. I was alarmed and wondered what the hell was going on. I thought about telling one of the waiters about what was in plain sight. I wanted to rush over a number of times and pick up the baby and soothe him and never give him back. The other restaurant guests appeared to be ignoring this horrible painful emotional meltdown. The cry became primal, like an animal that is pleading for its life and losing the battle. Finally after at least fifteen minutes the father or father surrogate picked up the baby. This procedure was done stiffly, without any emotional attachment or concern. It appeared that the dad realized that a scene was occurring and wanted to avoid a further public display. The baby stopped crying briefly. Soon dad put baby down and the screaming resumed–head and neck back with full throttled crying—endless waves of severe distress. The dinner guests at the table finished their meal and left with the crying baby. I do not know what happened to the baby after the party left the restaurant. I would not be surprised if they let him scream indefinitely until he got on their nerves so much that they put him in a room far away and let him cry himself to stupor and finally sleep. This scene is indelible in my mind. It was so real yet completely ignored as if it had never happened.

I am thinking about the cries of children of a narcissistic mother or father or both that are responded to with a slap,  a sneer, a snarl, a threat or a removal to a room where the child cannot be heard and therefore will not disturb or disrupt their needs. No thought is given by narcissistic parents to the emotional and psychological needs of their children. Children of these parents exist only as narcissistic supplies for them. They are not loved or valued for themselves. If they are chosen by the narcissistic parent it is because they are attractive, bright, talented, etc. and can be molded as their perfect mirrors. Some children of narcissistic parents are completely ignored and abandoned. They must fend for themselves to survive. 

“A narcissistic parent is incapable of empathy, the ability to understand or care about how someone else is feeling. The focus of the narcissist is selfish and insular. A life dedicated exclusively to self cannot encompass a genuine love of one’s children.”(From Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life)

 I hear from children of narcissistic parents through my blog and book. Their psychological pain and the abuse and deprivations they have endured are immense and often overwhelming. So many of them are healing from this painful legacy. They have great courage and are committed to a healing themselves and do this hard work each day. They are finding their true selves through many healing modalities. Excellent psychotherapy helps them to work through the pain of the past, release it and redefine themselves. The practice of some form of quieting the mind or meditation puts the individual into the calming part of the nervous system where all healing takes place. Others discover their unique creative talents in a form that works for them. They have courageously pushed the reset button on their lives.

 

You Cannot Communicate With A Narcissist

The narcissistic personality lives in a delusional world of his creation. Although he/she gives fine speeches and is highly articulate in his profession, he is incapable of the give and take of true communication. I am talking of a meeting of minds. The narcissist is of one mind—his. That is all that exists at the center of his universe. You share his reflected light only if you can provide him with major narcissistic supplies–becoming an adoring spouse who acts as his servant, provide him with sources of power and paths to wealth, introduce him to influential movers and shakers. If you are in his life and cannot fit his bill, especially if you are a spouse or child, you will be treated with disrespect, dismissiveness, constant ridicule, searing criticism, verbal assaults, mental gaslighting and psychological sabotage.

The current narcissistic society gives these individuals a large pass, especially if they are successful academically and professionally and are highly confident. Recently I had an encounter with a narcissistic fellow. I had spoken to him previously and suspected that he was a narcissist. Every word that he uttered was about him. He bragged incessantly about his entry into a medical residency. I made an effort to engage him in a conversation but it was impossible. At one point I mentioned a renowned surgeon who was in his field of study and he didn’t make a verbal or nonverbal reply. It appeared that he was unable to hear anything that I was saying except the sound of his own voice. He flashed a pasted smile with pearly teeth every time he spoke about his grandiose ambitions. He was obsessed with his perfect false self. I talked about a person whom I knew that had a medical problem in his prospective specialty. He was uncommunicative and disinterested.  I watched him puff himself up like a peacock as he spoke about his future. When he did mention others there was a sharp disdain in his voice and nonverbal demeaning gestures signaling his superiority.

I left the Prince’s throne room and went outside into the night and gazed at the twinkling stars —so beautiful, magnificent and real.

Study the narcissistic personality in-depth.You will learn how to recognize them much sooner. Trust your intuition as well. It always speaks the truth. Work on your own self entitlement, clear boundaries and demand self respect. You are a person of many gifts and have unique value. You are empathic and each person you meet is fortunate that you have passed their way. Stay on the road less traveled, the one that leads to higher consciousness and inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Unmasking the Narcissistic Personality

Narcissists, especially those who are very successful in the social and business worlds, wear many masks that are highly appealing to most people. Often they are bright and attractive and have tremendous charisma and fine social skills. They learn how to “act the part of the Charmer” when they are very young. Often they are chosen by the mother or father as the exalted one in the family. The other siblings are secondary to this special child.

Early on the narcissistic child grows in the fertile atmosphere of extreme self entitlement. There are no rules for him or her. He is given the run of the house. In some cases the mother and father usurp their authority to this little tyrant to whom they bow. I have seen this happen in some family constellations. In other cases the mother molds the budding narcissist as her possession as if she has given birth to a  godlike living being. The mother is psychologically fused with this “perfect” child. She gives all of her attention to this one and not the others. They are unimportant to her and must fend for themselves.

During childhood the little narcissist learns to put on a number of masks that eventually become the false grandiose self. The child knows that h can do anything he wants and will not be corrected or contained. When he doesn’t get what he must have, he throws royal tantrums and then is rewarded for this obnoxious behavior. Some mothers reinforce their golden child’s cruelties to siblings. This is exceedingly hurtful and damaging to siblings who have not been picked for special positive attention and adulation.

Throughout the years the narcissist develops a false self that is put in place of the real self. The real self resides in the unconscious of the narcissist and is revealed through primitive cruel projections that are pushed on to those who get in his way or try to deflate his enormous ego. These unconscious projections are exhibited and ejected on to others through the narcissist’s life. If you find yourself being the target of this venom it is essential that you find ways to deflect and avoid this toxicity. Often the only way to do this is through going no contact with the offending person. This is difficult if it is a family member but often necessary. These outrageous behaviors on the part of the narcissist are very painful and psychologically corrosive to those on the receiving end of this cruel treatment.

Study the narcissistic personality so that you understand how they operate and why.Take time to appreciate your unique individuality, especially if you grew up with a narcissistic mother, father, or sibling or if you are married to a narcissistic spouse. Begin your self healing now and carry this through each day. Put yourself first. This is not selfish but an essential part of the healing process that will lead you to inner peace and deep grounding in your own authenticity and appreciation of yourself.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.