Friday, June 6, 2014

Narcissists Take Your Life Away

"The narcissist is a master at extracting the pulp and juice of others-their time, talent, creative ideas, energies-to serve his purpose alone...All relationships with narcissistic individuals are exploitive..." (From: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life).

The narcissist's charm, the way he zeros in on you, appears to read your mind and knows exactly what you want and need is truly remarkable. Narcissists are gifted at the chase. Once they decide they want you in their lives it is very difficult to say "no". You have no idea what will happen to you down the road because you have been hypnotized by his charm, his focus on you, the way he makes you feel.

There is the real narcissist beneath the irresistible facade--the highly developed false self. Eventually if you stay with a narcissist long enough----marry one, have children with them--you will encounter the dark side just beneath the surface. Here there is seething rage, criticisms that cut to the bone, demands that can never be met, humiliations that no one should ever endure, threats to take away your children and to ruin you financially. Yes, that is what is waiting beneath the seductive smile that promises you everything.

(This post refers to male and female narcissists).

Ultimately, staying with a narcissistic spouse means that you are eclipsing your life. Some spouses make this agreement and decide that they have gone down this road so far that they cannot turn back. The lifestyle is what attracts and sustains them. However, they become psychological prisoners of the narcissistic spouse.

Your life is not your own even if you are able to emotionally detach from the narcissistic spouse. He is always on your mind. There is no real solitude or peace. You deserve to lead your own life despite your marriage or partnership. One road to your freedom is to study the narcissistic personality in-depth. This will reveal a very different story and wake you up. You are entitled to use all of your creative gifts, to expand you individuality not contract to fit someone else's vision.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Narcissistic Parents Sabotage Their Children

By definition sabotage is a "treacherous action." Treachery when perpetrated upon a family member means destruction and annihilation. It is beyond ruthlessness.

Growing up in a narcissistic family is like being in the middle of a deadly fire fight twenty four hours a day. The child who survives these skirmishes and all out wars is truly remarkable. I hear and read life stories of those who found survival techniques. Many of them hid in their own hoes, spent time with friends to keep out of the war zone, slipped their minds away into books, video games, drawing, writing, other creative activities.

Some children who have this experience are in a constant state of anxiety--fight or flight syndrome.The narcissist--mother or father or both rule the household. Screams and demands--slaps and threats can be heard and experienced frequently in these homes. The narcissist lives for himself (herself) alone. Narcissists don't love their children. They use them to prop up their egos if they perceive that a particular child can add to their perfect image. In this case the child is indulged. The rest of the kids are cast aside and neglected or treated abysmally. Some of these children find ingenious ways to save their sacred flame, to camouflage their creative gifts but continue to use them and to keep the inner fire of a sense of self burning brightly. I have known individuals who have been able to accomplish this despite all of the narcissistic pathology of their mother or father or both parents.

Adult children heal through a combination of pathways that they discover work best for them as individuals. There is no one way, given the trauma ridden childhoods that they sustain. Psychotherapy with highly empathic trained psychotherapists is one aspect of this healing for some. Bring the body/mind into balance is essential to this process. This takes many forms including the practice of gentle yoga, meditation, support groups, the re-awakening of your creativity, finding relationships of trust and respect, learning to put yourself first and to practice self love and self care. Learning how to received the affection that others have for you is all part of this healing phase. Healing is a lifetime process, an evolution of the self that takes as many forms as there are individuals.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Narcissistic Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists Prey on Desperate Individuals

I hear life stories of individuals who have suffered not only from their psychological problems and emotional pain but in addition have been harmed by narcissistic therapists of all kinds---psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, etc. There are dedicated, brilliant, empathic professionals who help their clients and patients to heal. These individuals go the extra mile always to be present both in the office and on call for their patients. They help to change the lives of their patients so that they can move forward to become their true selves and to live freely with full use of their many gifts.

I have had the experience of "working" with several highly trained narcissistic therapists whom I have personally seen. They did very little good and in some instances--harm. They took my money without a hint of doubt and kept me going to them as long as I met their need for narcissistic supply.  The longer I attended therapy sessions, the more money they made to satisfy their greed motive. Fortunately, I learned to recognize non-therapists and extricate myself from them. I want you to be able to do the same and to find therapists who are doing the real work of helping you heal.

Narcissistic therapists are in very large supply these days, just as they are in our population. The current society rewards narcissists handsomely for many of the traits that make them harmful to others: extreme self entitlement, ruthlessness, lack of conscience and ethics, complete lack of empathy, winning at all costs at the psychological peril of those closest to them, lack of genuine emotional and psychological intimacy, deceitfulness, chronic incessant lying.

I am not talking about becoming successful as negative. It is wonderful that people do well, use their gifts, move up in the world, become educated, are creative at their work and are paid well.
Narcissistic therapists control patients who come to them often in a state of emergency and desperation. They feel emotionally dependent. They are in crisis. They have tried many ways to heal themselves before they knock on the door of the narcissistic therapist. They are at the mercy of this person with the credentials, the education and the clinical experience that speaks of their qualifications to treat them. It doesn't matter how great the credentials and training is if the individual you are seeing is a narcissistic personality disorder. By definition this person is incapable of genuine empathy which is essential to the healing process in psychotherapy.

Narcissistic therapists have a money motive. Often their fees get higher and higher as the patient becomes more desperate. Narcissistic greed is running their show.
Pay attention to the signs of a narcissistic psychotherapist:
1. Inability to listen carefully and take in what you are saying and how you are feeling.
2. A lack of empathy--the incapacity to experience what you are feeling from your perspective. Some narcissistic therapists blame the patient for his problems. Narcissistic therapists are bored with their patients. You notice boredom particularly in the nonverbal behaviors of the therapist (lack of eye contact, sleepiness, restlessness, inability to be still and listen).
3. Inordinate focus on fees and insisting on very large fees that are out of line with the professional services offered.
4. Psychotherapists who project their unconscious venom on to their patients.
5. Psychotherapists who foster unnecessary dependence on patients to make them come to additional sessions that will bring them more money.
6. Psychotherapists who talk about their private lives. You are paying them to talk about themselves. That is completely unprofessional and a red flag that this person is a narcissist.
I hear from individuals who are in the process of healing from narcissists in their lives. They are doing the hard work each day of becoming the person and leading the lives that they deserve. You are entitled to find and work with a psychotherapist who is worthy of you. Remember you are in charge. You decide after doing your research and interviewing who will work best with you. And remember as well, that you do not have to stay  with any therapist. You can always terminate. You hired this person to help you heal and you deserve the very best.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Children of Narcissists--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.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

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.

Friday, May 16, 2014

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 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 small
child. 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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Don't Get Back on Narcissist's Dangerous Ride

When you live with or are married to a narcissist you are in psychological danger. Once you have recognized who this person really is--a pernicious, totally selfish, often vicious and vengeful human being--make your exit. Previous spouses and partners of narcissists are often drawn back into the narcissist's lair with promises of having everything they want. A narcissist knows how to "apologize" and make up. This post refers to male and female narcissists.)  He offers you the most tempting rewards. He says that he has changed and learned from his mistakes. This is his run of lies that sound so appealing---He took you for granted. He cheated on you and now says he was a bad person. He adeptly puts on his humble act. That's what this is --Acting-- Method acting in its highest form. He wants you back as one of his narcissistic supplies. You are an integral part of his image (which is his reality). You may have other assets that he covets--social and business connections, high professional standing. He knows that he can fool you again. Don't fall for the "changed man" "I saw the Light" routine.
Narcissists are fixed personality disorders that do not change. They are etched in early childhood. Many of these men are golden boys who learned by the age of five that they were perfect and superior and that they could use and abuse anyone to get to their goal.

You hear the familiar words, the music begins--Don't grant the narcissist another dance!!! Create your own production. Get the professional help you may need. Surround yourself with a small cohesive support system. Pay attention to your intuition. Take good care of your body, mind and spirit.
You will recover and prevail.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife