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.

Let Go of the Hurt the Narcissist Has Caused You

Narcissists are very cruel beings. I am discovering endless varieties of their horrid treacheries all the time. It is incredible that they continue to wreck havoc in the lives that they touch and in some cases, destroy. Their projections are meant to be mortal, kicking the air out of your spirit, making you doubt yourself or psychologically throwing you into deep humiliation.

Narcissists are masters of total control over others at all times. Whether they are in the preliminary stages and intoxicating you with their magnetism or intimidating you with their veiled threats or disposing of you when you are at your lowest ebb, the narcissistic personality is a highly predictable human. You are his/her possession. He will manipulate and mold you into the perfect replica of a living narcissistic supply who will be a perpetual source of adulation, praise, even worship.

Narcissists hurt us deeply when we are unable to identify them and psychologically fuse with them. Some of those who become involved with narcissists continue to return for more punishment, thinking that they can change these individuals or believing that they are the ones to blame for the relationship not working. Over and over again their victims blame themselves and return–each time becoming more distressed and feeling lost, confused and depleted.

Once you know that you are dealing with a narcissist—spouse, mother, father, sibling, etc., do your research and learn everything you can about this personality disorder that is growing exponentially within our population.

Be kind to yourself about your self blame, your returning for more pain, your thinking that there is something the matter with you. Let go of any guilt that you are carrying. You will find your burden lifting.

Begin to take good care of yourself: physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. Sleep, rest, enjoy your own company and that of friends who are empathic and understanding and who know how to listen and to give and receive.

Think about your many gifts–those that you know about and others that have remained in the background while the narcissist took center stage and stood in your light.

Feel your individual power—your healthy narcissism—a deep respect for yourself. Be grateful for the life that you have and the one that is ahead of you. Cry when you need to–without shame or holding back. Sing when you feel the tunes coming through you–write freely without editing—go inside the music that you love and sing tunes that you create on the spot. Do this and so much more–Use your imagination–let it fly!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissists–Their Bottomless Well of Emptiness

“In narcissistic personalities the experience of emptiness is most intense and almost constant…” (Otto Kernberg, Md. clinical expert on the narcissistic personality).  “The narcissist’s experience of emotional emptiness is beyond sadness.  It is a severe and intractable wounding, a pain…savage and deep. The psychological (inner) landscape of the narcissist is bleak.” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life). This is the narcissist’s unconscious experience of himself. (I use the male pronoun “he” in this post to represent male and female narcissists).   As a result the narcissist is a very restless human being, always surveying his external environment for narcissistic supplies: adulation, praise, self indulgence, the company of highly attractive men and women, sexual escapes, the pursuit of material possessions, seeking raw power to control others, manipulation of those whom they experience as competitors.

“The successful narcissist creates an intricate system of positive feedback in the form of friends, associates, partners, spouses—who perpetually fulfill his endless needs.” (From Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life) The narcissist is incapable of having a real relationship with another person. He doesn’t have a relationship with himself. Everything in his life is externalized and the most prized possession of all is the elaborate golden image that he creates and perpetuates all of his life.

Beneath the surface, in the unconscious, molten rage is bubbling. This fury is projected on to others, especially spouses, children, siblings, business associates, etc. The narcissist cannot perceive that this rage is completely inappropriate and harmful to others. He simply spits it out or vomits it forth in a projectile that is highly disturbing and hurtful to its recipients. This is the narcissist’s extreme self loathing in action. The narcissist cannot own any of these unconscious feelings and therefore they are ejected out on to his victims.

When you learn about the dynamics of the narcissistic personality, you have gained knowledge and power. Now you understand what makes them tick, why they react with such venom and why they are constantly searching for narcissistic supplies to fill up the bottomless pit of their psychological emptiness. Learn to detach from the narcissist. Keep your physical distance (if possible since they are very unpleasant to say the least) and maintain your psychological boundaries. You are entitled to respect. You are a separate human being who has intrinsic value, integrity  and dignity.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Renew Your Life–Go No Contact with Narcissistic Sister

All of your life, your older, younger or twin sister has been putting you through hell–The reason—She is a Narcissistic Personality and in some family constellations, she was chosen to represent its sterling image. You felt psychologically dispossessed, a stranger in your own house that was not a home to you. In every way your narcissistic sister undermined you. When she wasn’t doing that, she was scaring you, intimidating you, demeaning you, humiliating you, threatening you. She was going to get you into trouble with mom and dad no matter what. Not by telling the truth but by her very convincing lies. Narcissists lie about everything in order to get exactly what they want. This is easy for them since they do not have a conscience. And—They Get Away With It!

Now that you are an adult, your narcissistic sister has continued her Weird Sister act and she is never going to stop. The NPD is a fixed personality disorder that does not change.

It is time to stand up for yourself by focusing on taking very good care of yourself. I mean that you decide on the best program that helps you to heal from your narcissistic sister’s ongoing abuse over a long period.

Spend time in a quiet way with yourself. Listen to music that you love and has meaning to you. Get the sleep that you need and deserve. Sleep puts us into the quieting mode of the nervous system and is essential to healing on every level. Let your creativity flow. Write spontaneously every day or when you can, the thoughts and feelings that come through your mind without editing. Do exercise that you enjoy or at least can tolerate. Think of other ways that you relax–Cooking, Gardening, Sewing, Reading, etc.  Spend time with individuals whom you trust and that contribute to your healing. Go with the givers and cross out the takers.

This is the beginning of a new life cycle for you.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissists’ Tyrannical Control

“The narcissist is a tyrant who controls the world that he/she creates…The iron grip of the narcissist’s control extends to all the significant people in his life: spouses, partners, children, ex-spouses, siblings…Those under his control are not free to lead their own lives, to make decisions and mistakes, to use their talents and energies, to have their own dreams.” (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life).

I hear from individuals who are married to narcissists–They can’t win. They are too afraid to divorce their captor and in the other case, terrorized through each day, year, decade of confinement. Some spouses have identified with the aggressor and told themselves that they have it “good” with the lifestyle and all of the entitlements that come with it.

Children of narcissists are savagely trapped, especially when they are young. Where can they go? They are surrounded by the enemy–the narcissistic parent. Often the mother or father married to this person will not psychologically and emotionally support the child due to intimidation. The non narcissistic spouse  caves in and “abandons” the child out of fear and denial.

The controlling narcissist will do whatever it takes to remain in charge. He/she will lie, threaten, verbally, psychologically and emotional abuse whoever is standing in his way. Retribution is sought and paid if you defy a narcissist and even think and share your own thoughts. Narcissists squelch any joy or feeling of comfort in the home environment. It is living in a war zone or  being in captivity behind enemy lines and the military forces are not coming to save you.

The need to control on the part of narcissists speaks of their unconscious fears of losing power and influence. At their core beneath the steel defenses they feel worthless and empty.

When you recognize and identify the true nature of the narcissist, you are further along toward liberating yourself from their iron grip. Remember, you deserve to lead a separate life and experience inner peace, the full use and enjoyment of your creative gifts and energies. Take charge of your life and your entitlement to lead a good one that is unfettered by fear, intimidation, control, deceit or tyranny. Move into the zone of freedom where you belong.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Sister’s Psychological Torture

I have heard a number of life stories about narcissistic golden daughters who treated their younger or older sisters sadistically. Talk about pinching skin, pulling hair, spitting in the face of a small child—all of these horrid events have been perpetrated and much more. Some sisters tell me that they were locked in closets for hours when mother was not home. Their screams were unheard and only stopped when the victim was so exhausted that she fell to the floor in a heap. There are knives put a few inches from the skin in threat to a little sister. So cunning are these wretched narcissists that they don’t get caught. Rather the blame is placed on the victim and mother goes along with the lies that Golden Girl tells. Often, mother is a narcissist and the two of them double team the scapegoat and get pleasure from the pain they inflict. This is sickening but true. Read this and know that it happens much more often than you can imagine unless you have been victimized in this way.

I am sorry beyond the words that I write about what happened to you. You deserved to be cherished and to feel safe and secure. Now that you are grown I know that life is often a day to day struggle for some. I am committed to getting the word out about these atrocities that are done in secret. I see clearly behind the curtain that reveals these horrors. I wish you deliverance from the memories of what happened to you, an innocent, lovely child–now an adult.

Give yourself credit for surviving this.You are heroic. I hold a special place for you in my heart. Embrace the child inside of you. Comfort her. You have strength, integrity and the capacity to heal.For some, excellent psychotherapy is a good beginning point. All healing starts with self care and a feeling of entitlement to lead a good life that has inner peace and hope and compassion toward yourself and from others within it. Take care of your needs for rest, sleep, use of your creative gifts, listening to healing music, spontaneous writing, finding individuals whom you can trust.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

 

Narcissists Worship Image Not Authenticity

The Original Self is authentic, alive, spontaneous. It is a great joy to be in the presence and to share our lives with a person who is genuine—always himself or herself regardless of the occasion. I know a few of these individuals and feel an acceptance, calming, openness and hopefulness with them that is healing. These people are no frills–come as you are. They look into your eyes and you engage with them on a deep level.

Narcissists are disingenuous and false. They play roles–give premiere performances that are believable to many people. Often they are very successful, especially during this time–a new age of narcissism. For the narcissist, image is reality. He or she must project the perfect image–physical attractiveness and beauty, youth, extravagance, elitism, wielding worldly power that spells personal superiority to others. Narcissists exploit and look down on those who are not at their level of success. (Being successful is a positive pursuit. I am talking about those who use their ruthless climb to the top as a way to make others feel small and worthless and to control them by intimidation.) Narcissists often insist that their spouses and children be externally perfect as well. This level of perfectionism is very extreme. Personal looks must be just right–literally one hair out of place, a tiny wrinkle in a shirt, makeup that is not exquisitely matched, a small facial asymmetry–any visual flaw of person or possession is sharply ridiculed.

If you have been raised by a narcissist or married to one, you know how difficult this obsessive focus on image and the lack of substance and authenticity. Narcissists try to hijack our genuineness. They make fun of our spontaneity, our mistakes, our human emotions. Living with a narcissist we are imprisoned by their strict sense of image—turning true reality inside out.

When you break free from them, you breathe deeply and begin to feel the stirrings of the real self that you had to leave behind long ago. You find yourself remembering who you really are. You begin to feel entitled, sometimes for the first time, to express yourself fully–emotionally, creatively, intellectually and spiritually. Celebrate Your Authenticity. You are alive, in the moment, feeling the gusts of freedom’s winds at your back.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Healing Memories of Narcissistic Sibling’s Deceptions and Cruelties

Although many years and decades have passed since you grew up with your narcissistic sibling, there are painful memories etched on your psyche. You remember the pain and feel it keenly–all of those times when you were treated deceptively by a narcissistic brother or sister–the taunting, baiting, bullying, even sadistic cruelties–they crowd your memory. You try to distract yourself but the scenes replay in your mind.

In order to heal childhood memories it is important to acknowledge that they happened. Many individuals remain suspended in disbelief or complete denial that they were treated so cruelly by a member of their own family–someone who was supposed to love them. Denial is not you psychological ally. Rather, it is in facing what you know happened to you, the true reality, that is the beginning of the healing process. Don’t expect other family members to understand the truth about your narcissistic sibling, especially if he or she was the chosen one. Mother and/or father or other siblings will immediately come to his defense. You will be the only family member who knows and holds the truth. This is a very difficult position that you hold but the truth is powerful and essential to you and always has been. This knowing is a manifestation of your authenticity and your precious unique individuality. These are great gifts that flourish inside of you.

Allow yourself to feel sadness and regret for the brother or sister you did not have–the parent(s) who did not protect you from them and the little child you were who was subjected to horrible undeserved pain.

Hold yourself close and know that you have survived and are prevailing. Remember, none of this was your fault. You are not to blame. You were an innocent child. Love that dear child inside of you and comfort him/her.

As you move forward, one of the most powerful tools is in finally putting yourself and your welfare first–for the first time and the rest of your life. Create a program of recovery that includes eating nourishing food, getting the sleep that you need, exercise that you like or can tolerate, doing some form of quieting the mind–this can be guided meditation, relaxing music that you love, journal writing done freely. Pay attention to the intuitive messages that you are receiving—These are gifts from the unconscious that are always guiding us, helping us to evolve, create new directions in our lives. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from you forward  momentum. Take no detours, even if a narcissistic charmer finds you irresistible.

Your striving each day is part of healing those old memories and creating new ones. Have faith in this process and give yourself enormous credit for following this pathway of higher consciousness and recovery.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Hollow Men Trample Our Feelings

T.S. Eliot, the great prescient poet wrote in “The Hollow Men”: We are the hollow men, We are the stuffed men, leaning together…Our dried voices, when we whisper together are…meaningless…”

Eliot intuited the ascendance of the narcissistic personality in our society. That time is now and has been coming, growing to epidemic proportions.

I am in communication with many individuals who are suffering from the rampaging of narcissistic personalities in their lives: daughters and sons of narcissistic mothers and narcissistic fathers, narcissistic siblings, those married to narcissistic spouses. Their pain is deep and continuous as long as they are in contact with and part of the narcissist’s life. They are living too close to an individual who is empty and “hollow” inside and who lives in a way that has no meaning, warmth, empathy or truth.

Narcissists trample on our feelings. They make every effort to destroy what is deep inside of us and gives us meaning. They have overwhelming personalities that are forceful, manipulative and cruel. They constantly lie and exploit those closest to them.

Being the child of a narcissistic mother or father is one of the most painful fates. The narcissistic mother hates genuine feelings, even in her infant. When the child cries she ignores her/him, makes the little one feel ashamed, screams and threatens the child if he does not “shut up.”

Those married to narcissists are continuously gaslighted–told that they are crazy, especially if they express deep feelings of sadness, fear, joy, anger, etc. No feelings are allowed in this household–except for the narcissist who bubbles with constant fire hot rage. Day after day–rage after rage—the spouse takes this abuse and feels herself getting weaker. She tells herself that she needs to be more understanding, that she is the one at fault, that there is something intrinsically the matter with her. NO! That is not the case if you are married to a narcissistic personality. Yes, you are imperfect. You are the frequent recipient of the narcissist’s insidious projections that wound deeply and leave scars.

Your narcissistic sibling is the king or queen of the family–the special one chosen. There are no rules for this child from the beginning. You are treated by your parent(s) with strictness. You are often criticized and demeaned but the chosen, budding narcissist can treat you like dirt and the parent will not defend you.

God help you if you cry–that is a serious sin in this kind of family. Often the mother or father in this constellation is a narcissist. You become the scapegoat, the one everyone targets for cruel comments especially when you show feelings.

Expressing feelings –all of them is part of being an authentic human being. I don’t trust anyone who is incapable of expressing feeling–genuine ones. I know that many are taught very early that showing feelings is a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. Being comfortable with our feelings is essential to evolving and growing as an individual. This doesn’t mean we make out of control public displays. We learn to have good manners and to be considerate of others.

Remember that the narcissist is a Hollow Man, a dry, empty, personless being who can neither give nor receive love, compassion or empathy. This personality disorder is fixed and does not change. Hollow men are made of stone. I always look and feel into the eyes of others. I know them by the expression in their eyes and the energy that I feel from them. When we look deeply into the eyes of a narcissist we experience what Eliot saw in The Hollow Men: “The eyes are not here, There are no eyes here in this valley of dying stars….”

Feel your authenticity, celebrate the real self within you that continues to evolve, learn, create and, always, Feel.

Narcissistic Siblings Steal Your Psychological, Emotional and Financial Inheritance

One of the most painful familial situations is to be the brother or sister of a narcissistic sibling. From the beginning they “have it in” for you as the old saying goes. I have heard from so many of their victims. The stories told are hair raising. Even in early childhood there are memories of being pinched, squeezed, shamelessly slapped. All of this is perpetrated with impunity. The parent(s) of the victimized child is often a narcissist and gives the special , golden holy terror free reign in the household. There are no rules for this brat turned tyrant. The embattled child is always in fight or flight mode. There is no letting down, no relaxing of hypervigilence, no rest or freedom to express oneself authentically in this family constellation.

In some instances in adulthood the narcissistic sibling far in advance plots how he or she will deceive the parent (s) and gain full control over the family finances or trusts. This is shocking but it happens more often than one would think.

There are cases in which the golden narcissistic sibling intimidates brothers and sisters into taking his/her side against the scapegoated children. These battles become very ugly and can eventually rip families apart.

Rather than live in these dreadful circumstances many siblings break completely from their family of origin and move into a no contact mode. This is often painful since it is difficult for some to believe that a sibling with whom we share our DNA could be so treacherous. Coming to terms with this reality is essential to the healing process.

Learning about the psychological core and dynamics of the narcissistic personality recognizing their specific traits and the naked truth about them is the beginning of healing.

Acknowledging and appreciating your authenticity, the fact that you survived this series of hells is a huge step toward becoming whole. You went through these wars since childhood and have survived into adulthood. You deserve tremendous credit and acknowledgement for this achievement. So many of these survivors are among the kindest, most empathic and intuitive individuals I have every known. Here is to your continuing healing, your triumph as an individual and the unbounded use of all of your creative gifts.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.