Narcissistic/Sociopathic Siblings—Forever Cruel

One would think that if you share the same DNA with your brother or sister the two of you would hold many similar human values: capacity and demonstration of empathy and kindness, having a well developed conscience, being respectful to other human beings and thinking of the needs of others rather than total self absorption.

This is not the case with narcissistic siblings whether they are golden children or not. If you look back you can tell that this brother or sister was dominating and intimidating you from the beginning. Remember the pinching of your little hands and arms, stomping on your feet, the pulling of your hair, the ugly frightening words that scared you into doing everything their way. Many parents are oblivious to these cruelties. Some mothers and fathers are narcissists. They adore the golden child torturer and don’t give a damn what this cruel cunning beast does to you. Their focus is on the perfect chosen one that acts as a narcissistic supply and impeccable mirror to keep their egos fully inflated.

The following is a true example of what I witnessed over time in a household where the golden child ruled like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. Those of you who have been tyrannized by a sibling of this kind understand all too well. From early childhood this daughter was allowed by her parents to demand, scream, bribe, cajole and threaten her younger brother and sister. If they didn’t cave in to her wishes all hell broke loose.  The parents were terrified of “upsetting” their little darling and capitulated to her wishes. This relinquishing of their roles was pivotal in creating a narcissistic personality disorder.With a sense of no limits, “You can do nothing wrong attitude”, “we are afraid to impose respectful behavior on you”—she grew in outrageous demands and reprehensible behavior.   When the parents were out of sight, she was free to shove, push, squeeze and hit them. The secret threat to the terrified child was: “If you say one word to mom or dad—I will hit you even harder. They love and believe me not you. Shut your mouth, don’t say a word–If you disobey me, you will be very sorry.”

For you to heal from this abuse requires the recognition that you were victimized by a very disturbed human being. You are not weak. Your sibling is a severe narcissistic personality disorder and in some cases, a socialized sociopath. If you haven’t already, go no contact with this narcissistic scourge. Taking this step, you are renewing your own life, valuing yourself as a unique individual and gaining a sense of respite and inner peace that you deserve. Do this for yourself. Do not be concerned what other family members think or say. This is your business not theirs. If mother and father are perplexed about your decision that is their issue. They never protected you.

You can heal from the narcissistic and/or sociopathic  sister or brother who caused you horrendous pain and fear. For some, working with a highly qualified and empathic therapist is part of the process. Be sure you research and interview psychotherapists. It is well worth it. Many therapists are fine and qualified but there are others who are focusing on the business side of therapy and some psychotherapists are narcissistic personalities.

Learning how to calm your body and mind through guided meditation, gentle hatha yoga and other healing modalities gets you in touch with that interior part of yourself that learns to experience inner peace and security.

Healing and individuating out of your family of origin is a lifelong process. You will begin to value yourself as  a unique individual who has many creative gifts. You will find others with whom you can truly communicate and who have deep empathy. Your sense of humor will return. You will seek beauty in life whether it is in art or the natural world. Appreciating beauty on a deep level is essential to healing and a wonderful opportunity that we have to be completely human.

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.

 

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.

Shameless Narcissists Project Shame on Their Spouses

Shame is a complex intolerable feeling of being exposed, wanting to disappear, emotional vulnerability, feeling inferior and worthless. Each person feels shame in his or her own way. A child who feels shame has been shamed by parent(s) siblings or other family members. Shaming a child is a way of controlling them–making them feel small and helpless.Chronic shaming abuse leaves a painful imprint on the psyche..

Narcissists are shameless. They have no sense of limits or consideration for others. Narcissists lie shamelessly, attempt to destroy your reputation, even have you fired—For these serious transgressions of human decency they feel no shame. Not having a conscience facilitates narcissists in their outrageous and hurtful behaviors.

Narcissists are particularly brutal with their spouses. They create reasons to shame their partners. Riding along with the shaming is their volcanic rage. Here there is no let up. They constantly scream in your face, slam doors, hit walls, then revert to the silent treatment. At the end of these wretched scenes the narcissist blames you for disturbing him. Narcissistic spouses are constantly finding ways to whittle you down psychologically, to keep you desperate, to throttle your nerve endings.

Shaming is one of their most effective cruelties. It is especially pernicious if you were shamed as a child. Some spouses take this toxic kind of abuse because it is so familiar to them. They unconsciously turn to a narcissistic spouse to reinforce how they feel about themselves from childhood. Some spouses, after years of being belittled and laughed out and dragged through the mud of abuse, wake up and realize they don’t deserve to be treated in this abusive manner.

The work of separating permanently from the narcissistic spouse has begun. This passage may not be easy or smooth but it is worth the journey. I am in communication with many spouses who have made this final separation from the narcissistic spouse. With the help of the support of family members and/or other members of their social group together with those who benefit from excellent psychotherapy, they taste freedom for the first time in their lives. They don’t have to make excuses for who they are. They feel no shame or hesitation as they move toward healing and wholeness.

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.

 

Narcissistic Women Making Mincemeat of Their Paramours

There are narcissistic women who are particularly skilled at finding male paramours whom they can completely control. They have no limitations to their wants and needs. The illicit lover is the best catch. After all, he is married and tied up in a legal bond (until he breaks it) This provides this narcissistic conniver with plenty of time for adventures with other men. Narcissistic women of this ilk make sure that they have a spare man or two around just in case the current affair gets too bumpy or even goes off the tracks. The partner is in an altered adoring state over his beloved. What this fellow doesn’t know is that he is being taken for a wild ride.These she-devils are takers only. They love bling, expensive clothes, ongoing spa treatments, and jewelry that is heavy on the fingers. NW acquire cold cash, investments even property that have been spirited away by the love to make his gal happy and beaming.

For men uninitiated in these practices, be sure to learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth. You don’t want to get yourself into this psychological, emotional and financial quicksand. Don’t wait ’til you are up to your neck and being pulled under. Narcissistic women of this kind are plotters and planners. They know exactly what they are doing. They use their beauty and sex to play every man that suits their fancy. Their lists of broken male hearts are exceedingly long. Watch for the NPD characteristics: complete lack of empathy, chronic lying (hard to detect but use your intuition and you will identify it), constant manipulations, empty promises, duplicity, exploitation and outbursts of volcanic rage. When the first red flags are waving in the wind about this gorgeous woman, pay close attention—-She is a narcissistic personality disorder who is not going to change. Why should she? She is perfect. You have the flaws. She is wonderful and will replace you with someone else.

Above all, take care of yourself. When you feel that intense chemistry coming from a NPD , take a flyer. It’s worth getting away. These dramas have very unhappy endings for the male paramour.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

You are Wiser than Narcissistic Spouse–Sever the Cord

Narcissists are clever at attempting to make us doubt our inner wisdom. They intimidate and tempt us at the same time. Those with narcissists are in a state of chronic apprehension. “What will he/she do next?” “What have I done wrong?” “Am I as stupid as he/she keeps telling me?”On the other side of the coin are what the narcissist brings to the table and offers us. For some there are financial benefits and lifestyle perks connected with being the spouse of a narcissist. He has no ambition limits (nor does the narcissistic  woman) . He knows exactly how to climb, with whom to become indispensable and whom he must get rid of that blocks his ruthless path.  The narcissist throws anyone overboard to attain his grandiose ambitions, including his so-called friends. These can be individuals whom he has known for years. He has no loyalty to anyone, including you.

Always remember, you are wiser than your narcissistic spouse. You will see many red flags and ignore a lot of them. You will hear the clear voice of intuition, telling you the truth about your narcissistic spouse. Pay attention to what you hear. It is telling you the truth. Don’t allow yourself to be pulled back in with his/her seductive offerings. They are designed to make you more dependent on him and to keep you from achieving your full personal and professional potential.

Once you know who this man/woman really is, create a step by step plan to extricate yourself from the relationship. Cut the cord. If you wait too long, you will become more entangled in his lies, insidious psychological traps and mind bending.

Acknowledge and own your wisdom. This is the key along with your intuition—the ace that you have been hiding at the bottom of your deck. Use it now and for the rest of your life. The more that you activate these gifts the more powerful they become. The narcissist is a weak coward, a false grandiose self, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  Develop a practice of stilling the mind. This can take any form that works for you. Make an effort each day. If you miss a day or weeks, return to your practice. This can be formal meditation, sitting and walking, writing each day spontaneously, working with plants in a garden or small space, sketching, painting, walking in a quiet place, doing gentle yoga movements with emphasis on breathing through the nose which calms the nervous system.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Suffer Maternal Deprivation

Maternal deprivation is the absence of care, lack of affection, holding, looking into your child’s eyes giving the message: “I love you do much”,  listening intently to your daughter’s messages, verbal and nonverbal.  The narcissistic non mother removes all the joy from her daughter’s life. Narcissistic mothers live for themselves alone. Often they are envious of their daughter’s beauty, talents, intelligence, exuberant personality. They hate their child’s spontaneity and pick away with their nasty criticisms. Some daughters learn to conceal their true feelings. Others become emotionally numb. Some harbor a deep mother rage inside that they turn on themselves and becomes self loathing. 

Daughters of narcissistic mothers have difficult life struggles, learning to fully love their unique selves and celebrating it. 

To break the yoke attached to the narcissistic mothers they must recognize that they bear no fault.

They are separate from the cold ungiving selfish self absorbed woman who didn’t raise them. These daughters do the hard work of healing themselves and emerging as strong, loving, gifted women. Many benefit from psychotherapy, nurturing relationships with friends who understand them, spiritual practices that create calmness deep within them,creative pursuits that are healing and transformative, giving their care and affection to others who feel unloved and unwanted. 

Daughters of narcissistic mothers can and do come fully into the own true identities. They can prevail over the past and live fully in the present, expanding and growing all of their potential.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–Give to Yourself

Daughters of narcissistic mothers have spent their lives as servants and even slaves. Never wanted, treated like dirt, the subject of physical and psychological abuse, being compared with other siblings and declared inferior, their moments every day have been filled with fear, humiliation and self degradation. Some adult daughters end up marrying the living nightmare of their mother—another narcissist who in his own style will pull all of the games and betrayals, and cruelties of her mother. This is a repetition of the past that often occurs.

As a daughter of a narcissistic mother, give yourself credit for surviving this hellish life experience. You got yourself through when no one was there to help you or even believe the dreadful things your NM did to you. Your siblings have remained silent and if they are narcissistic golden children they continue to blame and humiliate you. You are the one that is scorned. They learned very well from your NM. A time arrives when daughters of narcissistic mothers can no longer tolerate the abuse. They know they don’t deserve it and it is ruining their lives. Many of them go No Contact indefinitely in order to move toward self acceptance, inner peace, self appreciation and the full use of all of their gifts and talents.This reclamation of the self takes place day by day in treating yourself with kindness and expecting respect from those around you. You can fulfill the promise of inner peace and security to yourself. Create a routine that works with strengthening your body, mind and psyche each day. Begin the day with a practice of meditation or solitude that is quiet and private. Doing gentle yoga is very calming and stretches the muscles and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, that part of us that is calm and at ease. Learn to appreciate your own company. Spend time in Nature even it it is for a short time. Some people find great comfort with their pets. Journaling is a source of free expression that is creative and healing.  Learn to say “No” to those who would manipulate you, deceive you or make you feel small. Surround yourself with givers not takers.

You can heal from your NM. Keep the faith in yourself, do the work of healing each day and learn to feel entitled to use and enjoy all of your gifts and talents.