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.

 

Divorcing a Narcissist–You Are the Enemy

Those in the midst of a divorce from a narcissist, know that all out warfare is taking place. You started with the idea of a fair settlement with all of your research and details. This was quickly rebuffed as a non-starter.

You didn’t know that your spouse has morphed you into The Enemy. He or she has never been a true partner. The narcissist is incapable of having an authentic relationship with anyone, their spouses and children in particular. You tried with all of your inner resources and ounce of strength and conviction to help this partner to change. You hoped, you cried, you prayed, you researched, you didn’t sleep—-and so much more you did to keep the marriage alive and moving forward. But you didn’t know that being with a narcissist always moves backwards for the partner. It is regressive and psychologically harmful to you.

Recognizing that you are in enemy territory is difficult if you have been married and have loved this person for a number of years–over half of your life–even longer. It is a shock and that is understandable.

You are blamed for everything. He/she is lying about you, making you appear to be crazy, immoral, a substance abuser, tramp. You name it and you are accused. Lies are spread to your friends, acquaintances, even reaching at times your work environment.

One of the first offensive moves is the lightening transformation of the spouse from being affluent, well healed, even very wealthy or uber wealthy to, in an instant, being impoverished. The “records” show that there is no money, no assets, no credit—-nothing! It is that quick. These moves have been planned and plotted for some time without your knowledge. Narcissists don’t have insight but they are exceedingly cunning and strategic, especially when it comes to material assets. They are greedy–I mean the Seven Deadly Sins–Greed.

I think of the Middle Ages and the Castles built during that time of great violence. This reminds me of the narcissistic spouse and what he/she does to protect his castle. The Moat is filled with high waters or sharp wooden barriers or both to keep enemies from approach. The drawbridge is drawn up and tightly secured; the iron gate is locked and bolted.

In the Keep at the top of the Castle the narcissist feels superior and invincible. No one can touch him. (Noblemen during the Middle Ages held large collections of precious stones-sapphires, emeralds, rubies, diamonds and gold). Today, the greedy narcissist has other instruments of tremendous value that can be whisked away with key strokes.

If your narcissistic spouse does not have monetary means, he or she has made you into The Enemy as well.

First, know that this is not true about you. It is a profound unconscious toxic projection on the part of the narcissist. You are not to blame, You are very sane. You are a fine human being. You have special talents, creativity and a unique core that belongs to you alone. Feel this deep inside and remind yourself of who you are.

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.

 

Narcissists Always Want Something From You–Everything

I am reminded again and again, constantly, from the victims of  narcissistic mothers, fathers, spouses, ex-spouses, siblings that narcissists don’t ever have genuine relationships. Their false relating is based on What They Want From You–money, use of your creative gifts, your adulation, your life service to them, your role as the ongoing, endless recipient of their abuse. They intend to take your life psychologically and They Do. 

You are the one who is not sleeping, who is anxious all of the time, exhausted, even physically ill. So often I see that the narcissist does not become sick but his spouse, child, sibling does. Yes, the person who loves this psychological vulture for decades is the one who has chronic illnesses or surgeries or stress reactions.

The narcissist goes about his/her life without any illness whatsoever. He is projecting his venom constantly and it is being absorbed by his victims. I know of a number of narcissists (who probably have great health genes) who have rarely been ill. Everyone around them is suffering emotionally, psychologically and physically but they continue to go about their business of aggressively, treacherously, even criminally making their way in the world splendidly while those around them are dropping like flies.

Narcissists are rewarded in our world today for the very qualities that destroy those closest to them. This is a time of an epidemic of pathological narcissism, the rise of the ego to the highest crest of the wave, the idolization and endless pursuit of power and material possessions, the complete lack of empathy and a horrendous disdain for those who have not succeeded, who have become weak as a result of the burdens, tragedies and tenuous fate of their lives. Narcissists eye you and make judgments. You are a winner or a loser. There is no humanity in their distinctions, no mercy, no compassion. They take and take and never stop until they destroy you unless you identify them, sever your relationship with them and begin the work of self healing for the rest of your life.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

You Survived A Narcissistic Mother–Be Kind to Yourself

I hear from sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers who went through hell and back as children of narcissistic mothers. They psychologically discarded their kids except when it came to harsh torturous punishments. As adults they remember their mother’s screams thundering through the house:”I never wanted you.” “You are a piece of trash.” “I wish I had aborted you.” “You are to blame for every bad thing that ever happened to me.” “You make my life miserable every day.” When children are very little, some narcissistic mothers tell their children that because they are so bad, they are going to send them away. There is never an explanation to the child of what that means but it strikes terror in the heart of the child that lingers as a morbid threat.

The father in these family constellations is often very weak and terrified himself of his spouse. He becomes a workaholic and in some cases an alcoholic. He is completely unavailable to his children emotionally. Some fathers disappear and leave the home early in their childrens’ lives. They are irresponsible and infantile and flee the scene without ceremony.

Moment to moment these children are living in what can be described as a prison. Their nervous systems are constantly jarred by the NM’s demands and intimidations. Some children learn to tune out mother and they become numb to their own feelings. Others are in a constant state of fear, always waiting for the next catastrophe to arrive. Some children leave the home early and find relatives or friends who will take them in. And others stay in NM’s gulag for the sentence of their childhood and teenage years. Some kids act out through alcohol and drugs and sexual escapades to numb the pain and take them temporarily out of their living nightmare. This is self destructive but not surprising.

As older teenagers and young adults some abuse victims leave the home from hell and make efforts to forge their own lives. Some of these children pick themselves up and move forward with their education and careers. On the surface some are successful but inside they carry the painful imprint of their time in the house of desolation with the narcissistic mother. Others have a difficult time functioning in the outside world. Some adult children repeat the childhood pattern by marrying narcissistic spouses who psychologically incarcerate them.

Blame and shame are often the legacies of having a narcissistic mother as well as residual feelings of anxiety and depression. First—don’t blame yourself. You didn’t ask to be born to a narcissistic mother. It happened and it is horrible but don’t take this upon yourself. Focus your attention on a deep appreciation of who you really are and that you did everything to survive and achieved something great and very difficult.  Learn to be kind to yourself. This begins with self care. Acknowledge the wonderful unique person you are. Take time with the basics—good sleep, healthy eating, exercise in a form that works for you. Give yourself time each day to be quiet and uninterrupted where you can meditate, do basic yoga poses with emphasis on breathing through the nose which calms the nervous system. Writing what you are feeling and thinking privately offers many a source of freedom. Listening to music and allowing its beauty to become internalized inside is a source of healing. Some adult children find that excellent psychotherapy can help them work through many of the residual issues. If you decide psychotherapy is a possibility, I recommend that you interview several of them. I have found that there are fine therapists but there are others who are narcissistic and out for the money motive and making you dependent on them for that purpose.

Use your creative gifts–You have them. Be receptive to knowing what they are. Above all, use your intuition all of the time. It tells us the truth and is a companion throughout every moment of our lives.

I hold a special place in my heart for children of narcissistic mothers. I stand with you always.

The following comment is one I just received from a wonderful man, a great survivor of a narcissistic mother. I have his permission to share his life story with you:

My mother is a Covert narcissist. She wears the mask of the do gooder, the angel of mercy, the saint…the community praises and raises her to Sainthood, yet I know the truth. I was the golden child, but never a narcissist. The golden child is chosen as the one who is lavished upon, shown off to friends and family as the smartest, brightest, most attractive. She groomed me to be the best at everything I did yet never for my sake. It was all done for her, so she can say “look at my son, look what he can do, look at how much he knows!” Everything I did, whether it was winning at the swim meets, or running faster than anyone, and specifically in my case, being the most intelligent, was for her. I was quizzed everywhere we went since i was 2. And I reveled in it. This all began to change when I reached puberty. I began the natural rebelling state of pubescent boy. But she wouldn’t have it. She knew she was losing control so she tightened her grip. She became hateful, yelling and screaming. Emasculating me at every chance she could. My father was always working and when around, had no control because he was a victim of this Narcissist, as well. She had won, my puberty was the worst time of my life. I had learned to fear woman, mistrust them. I was looking for affection everywhere I could and a boy my age who had been molested himself, molested me. As deeply shameful as it was, it was still attention and in my twisted mind, affection. I spent 35 yrs. never knowing a woman, always befriending them, but terrified of letting them in. I didn’t think I was gay, but I was a tall, attractive person who spoke well on many subjects and I found friendship and attention in the gay community. I never had a sex with these men, but always went back to the first one who molested me. Throughout my life I used drugs and alcohol to medicate myself and to make it easier to be with this person and not feel the pain and confusion my mother caused. The thing is, I never consciously knew any of this. I had pushed it so far down I didn’t know what was wrong with me. And everytime I’d have contact with my mother, she knew exactly what to say to pull me back in and push me further down. I hated her, but wasn’t allowed to hate her. She is a master manipulator and confuser to such a degree that I didn’t know up from down, left from right. And she reveled in it. I knew something was wrong, but was never allowed to question her, or anything she did. I was hers. At the age of 40 I quit all drugs and alcohol cold turkey. I went through severe withdrawals. At one point I thought I had cancer. I told my mother this and she didn’t say a word. A month later, after my mind was clearing up I told her I didn’t have cancer. She screamed at me “I was going to take care of you while you died, how dare you take that away from me!” Pretty sick. But during my withdrawal, I was also withdrawing from my mother. I began to gain a strength I didn’t know I had. I started fighting back, and with every step forward I took, the less power over me she had. This was and still is a very long process. Today I don’t talk to my mother. There’s no use. She’ll twist whatever I say into something else, she’ll try to manipulate. What I’ve finally learned is that nothing I do, or say is going to help her make changes. So I finally said no more! And with that, my life is changing everyday for the better. I would never have known any of this if it weren’t for finding Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi’s Site. I would have gone to an early grave, which would have been satisfying to my mother because she then would have won. As sick as that sounds, it’s how these people are. My deepest and most sincerest thank you, Dr. Martini-Lewis, you literally have changed my life!

Doug

From Budding Narcissist to Adult Narcissistic Scourge

Many of you have had the experience of watching a narcissist grow from early childhood into adulthood. You heard the ear shatteringtantrums, saw the parents make no attempt to get their “golden child” to behave. Their efforts were feeble because from the beginning he/she was never corrected for inconsiderate and boorish behavior. This child was considered special from the beginning–a little king or queen who was raised to the highest pinnacles. I have been astounded and chagrined by the outrageous behaviors of these chosen children. (This post refers to both male and female budding narcissists).

I have bitten my tongue in social situations to not say: “Make that brat behave. He is not the only one on  the face of the earth.” “You are growing a monster who will come to hate you, exploit you and make the lives of others intolerable.” But in social situations I have kept quiet in the past. Now I refuse these invitations. I would be watching a parent creating a mini monster who will grow into an abominable human being.

Adults especially  parents make excuses for their unempathic, selfish, materialistic, cruel, sadistic children. And others in the family go along with the charade. After all this child is so bright and attractive, what could be wrong with him. He is excelling in school as he charms everyone. What else can a parent want? You as a member of this family are expected to believe this delusion and to adore the child as much as his parents. Beneath the surface, the budding narcissist, day by day is becoming more self obsessed, grabby about what he must have, more grandiose that he is superior to everyone else and cannot make mistakes. He lies impeccably to trick others and make fools of them. He intimidates his brothers and sisters who live in sheer terror of his footsteps. Mother and father are oblivious and reluctant to correct or criticize the little prince. He has become a  reflection of their perfection. They cannot be objective. The family image rides on the their son’s (daughter’s) perfect narcissistic facade.

In the current societal climate today,narcissists are ruling. They get away with their treacheries because they exude confidence and are often very clever and forceful personalities that no one will buck them. If a member of your family is a narcissist and you have known him/her since childhood—-he is not going to change. Now as an adult he is a larger, more ingrained, more vicious facsimile of his younger self. In fact many narcissists become meaner with age, more duplicitous and malicious.

Do you need this person in your life? Is it worth all the  hurt feelings, cruelties to be a part of this pathological drama. Ask yourself these questions and trust your inner response. You don’t deserve this savage treatment. Learn about the inner workings of the narcissistic personality. Protect yourself and insist on respect even if that means no contact. You deserve to move forward with your life.

Divorce Your Narcissistic Spouse Before You Get Sick

So many of those who are married to narcissists “stick it out” for decades and suffer horribly in every way: emotionally, psychologically and physically. Living with one of these self absorbed, highly manipulative, raging, cruel individuals every day takes a toll on your health. You are living in a war zone. Your sympathetic nervous system–the flight or fight mode—is in overdrive all of the time. This is not good for you. Many of you live in denial because you don’t feel entitled to lead your own life and have decent sleep, emotional respite, respect and inner peace. Some stay for the sake of the children, even after they are grown.

Learn everything you can about the true nature of the NPD who is not going to change. This is a fixed personality disorder. These individuals live for themselves alone. They may give you material things that are part of their image but you cannot have any emotional connection or intimacy with them. They are takers not givers.

Put yourself first. Practice self care. Get the sleep that you deserve and need. Exercise and gain strength and stamina. Talk to the few people whom you trust. Do not share your inner personal life with your narcissistic spouse. This is your business and your life not his/hers. Sense your deep entitlement to lead a good life as an individual. If you find it helpful, practice gentle yoga. This will be calming and you will gain strength from doing this work. Use guided meditation or a form of prayer where you feel comforted inside. Do some form of exercise that works for you.

You will begin to see the narcissist as he truly is and make the decision to take back your life.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissistic Brother Intimidates His Siblings

Having a narcissistic brother in your family is exceedingly painful and frightening. There is no way of controlling him. If he is the Golden Boy,mom and/or dad view him as perfect and make no effort to create psychological boundaries that must not be crossed with his siblings. He has been chosen for a variety of reasons: he is very attractive, bright, confident, even cocky, has athletic skills and is socially adept. The parents who are often narcissistic themselves and  have found the perfect son who reflects them and enhances their external image.

He is not taught to respect his brothers and sisters, to be kind, to learn how to be empathic.  The narcissistic brother rules the household by intimidating his siblings. He strikes fear in them, goads them, laughs at them, humiliates them.  Some narcissistic brothers are monstrous. In public they can win anyone over. They know how to make people like them. It is one of their well honed skills that they use to get whatever they want.

I hear and read many life stories of children who grew up dealing with narcissistic golden boy brothers. Some kids hide and stay away from the house as much as possible. Others literally find a place in the house where they will not be discovered. These children are always frightened, wondering when this monster will appear and terrorize them. Children who grow up in these households are in a state of fight or flight much of the time. They cannot relax. They don’t feel safe or secure. In some instances the siblings create alliances to protect one another.

Some children learn to create entire worlds with their imaginations and to tune out the ugliness of their narcissistic family members. These kids learn early that they must go it alone to survive. They call upon all of their resources and strengths to get through each day. Many children leave these homes early to escape the wrath of the narcissistic brother and their enabling parents.

I have great respect for the children who must live with these loathsome siblings. They are courageous and inventive. As adults children from these highly dysfunctional families benefit from high quality psychotherapy to work through the core issues of growing up in a constant unprotected psychological war zone.

Don’t wait for your narcissistic brother to “get his” as they say. They best way is to create your own life and to be proud of yourself as an individual of integrity with many gifts.

 

Narcissists Abandon Their Families and Re-Invent Themselves

Narcissistic men and women cannot sustain authentic relationships in marriages or as parents. They act out, having multiple affairs, mistresses, girlfriends, boyfriends, secretly on the side. They have no shame about their reprehensible, destructive behaviors. If they have power in the world and are venerated publicly as high level executives, part of the entertainment and social elite, they get away with it. These days, living in a narcissistic society, most people shrug about these matters. If someone is “very important” it doesn’t matter what they do in their personal lives and some believe that they are above reproach because of their extraordinary success.

The narcissistic man or woman has a severe personality disorder that is not going to change. There is no motivation to become different since the narcissist believes that he is perfect and every one else falls short. If the narcissist has a loyal professional and social following, a source of constant narcissistic supply, excuses will always be made for him/her despite the abominable behavior toward spouse and children.

After causing horrific trauma to a wife or husband and children who have been abandoned, he moves on to re-invent himself and re-burnish his image. For the narcissist, there are no genuine relationships. One person is replaceable with another—one wife with another, one child or two children with others. Some narcissists go on to produce children with two three or even four other partners. It doesn’t matter as long as he is getting the adulation, praise, adoration that he needs and maintaining the power and money that he holds on to and that defines him/her as a person.

Study the narcissistic personality in-depth so you don’t get caught up in a partnership or marriage to one of these individuals. I hear many stories of those who have had children with narcissists and have gone through painful ongoing experiences, worked through divorces that were very stressful and complex. I give those who have weathered these storms great credit for their forbearance.

Remember to take good care of yourself. You are authentic. Seek those who are like you—authentic and compassionate.

Divorcing A Narcissist–A Walk on the Wild Side

Narcissists wearing their masks of brilliance, talent, ultra confidence, attractiveness are irresistible. Most are fooled by them. That is how convincing they are. They have been doing this act with their eyes closed for most of their lives. They know the drill–It is an essential part of them that we mistake for the real person.

Don’t blame yourself for not recognizing the narcissist for who she/he truly is. The narcissist’s real self is hidden deep in the unconscious. This is the part of them that has been severely damaged and is projected out on to others, especially those close to them.These projections are primitive, meant to cause great pain. Those on the receiving end–spouses, ex-spouses, children, etc experience deep hurt and lingering pain. It is a dreadful experience to be the recipient of a narcissist’s incoming pathological fire in the form of primitive vituperative projections.

When you finally decide to divorce a narcissist and have created your plan of action, give yourself a lot of credit for taking this course.It is a complicated one. You have pulled back so many times in the past, telling yourself that if you had tried harder and been more patient, this person could have changed, have understood your thoughts and feelings and that issues would have worked out. No! That is not the clinical case in dealing with narcissistic personality disorders.

During the process of the divorce you find yourself at times flat footed. The narcissist and his attorneys have changed their game plan. This wasn’t in the play book. You are ambushed and feel like you can’t crawl out of the weeds. The other side is lying and getting away with it. The mediator went in the enemy’s camp and was convinced by their lies. Then the battle moves more favorably toward you and you take a deep breath. It’s like watching a boxing match and you are getting bloodied and stitched. You are able to get some respite between rounds but know that the battle is long and you summon up your strength and reserves.

In many divorces with narcissists it gets very ugly. They are always lying. obfuscating the truth, deluding those who should be believing you, bribing some of the players with money, etc.

When you divorce a narcissist you discover the darkness of human nature–how desperateness on the part of narcissist leads to accusations, flagrant lies, vituperative rage, pitched battles over financial assets. It is a walk on the wild, dark side of consciousness. Those who go through divorce are often shocked by the tenacious fury of the narcissist to get exactly what he or she wants—–Everything! Your work is to take care of yourself while you are going through this tough process. As I have stated before and it is worth repeating, choose your attorney with great care after doing research, interviewing and checking with your intuition. This is Your advocate that will weather this process with you throughout. You are wise and will make the right decision.

Study the narcissistic personality so that you understand them very well and will not be surprised by their antics and ruses during the divorce and afterwards.

Take time with yourself for ongoing healing–whatever it takes to keep you healthy, sleeping at night, eating well, exercising the way you choose, calming the body/mind with guided meditation, prayer, etc., spending time with those whom you can count on at any time and are truly authentic. Take moments to escape into audio books, movies, music that you love and that carries you to another place in your mind and heart. The universe is abundant–open yourself to it and all of its blessings and gifts.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.