This is a fantastic resource full of great advice for dealing with a NPD in your life.
10 Steps to FREEDOM from Narcissistic Abuse by Invicta Ma
by InvictaMA 2009-2013
POSTED BY INVICTA MA
“love bombing” that I am sure many of those victimised by narcissists experience. In real life, a girlfriend who turned out to be a narcissist thought the world of me, came to me for advice, and would do anything for me; she was so like me, and so perfect until the cracks began to show. They cannot keep up the facade for very long. But they are masters, if you don’t know better, at getting you hooked.
This feeling of “love” that we have is more intense than normal because first they flood you with expressions of love and then they withhold and then they give a little, and over time this changes our brain chemistry- it’s a form of manipulation, control and brainwashing.
There is no doubt that we have loved. It’s just that narcissists can’t love you back. And there is no doubt that it is not a good idea to depend on the strength of your feeling for a narcissist, but to listen to your gut. What happens with these types is that we get so caught up in the feeling and don’t listen to the alarms and red flags that usually guide our way.
1. Educate Yourself
The most important thing you need to do is learn everything you can about the disordered and how they operate. You must educate yourself. Repeat and repeat and repeat. Unless you educate yourself you will never be free of their toxic enmeshment. Because they don’t think and feel as we do, we cannot treat them like we do “normal” people/ourselves. Nor is it any use feeling sorry for them when you are trapped with them because they will simply use all your feeling against you. You need to harden your heart in order to see very clearly what you are dealing with.
2. Observe and Trust Your Gut
Distinguish between what is feeling in yourself and your gut instinct, and switch to trusting your gut. You are in poor physical and emotional and mental health because you are struggling to
understand behaviour that on the surface contradicts the words.
Never listen to words. Observe the behaviour. It is by behaviour that we really know people. Words are just a con job. You are worn out and sick because your psyche and body are telling you there is something terribly wrong when there is an illusion of everything being right (because s/he tells you so) and this is a very hard thing to accept. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. Be a scientist. Silently observe what is really happening.
3. Stay Out of Their Head
Get back inside your own where you belong. It’s a mindfulness thing. Watch how hard that is because they’ve trained you well. Don’t try to figure out what they’re up to, what’s in their mind, or second guess them. Getting into their head means trying to figure out their motives, trying to make excuses for them, trying to rationalise their behaviour, trying to manipulate them, and especially getting sucked into the content.
When you catch yourself, wrench yourself away from it and think about something else. I used to use a Hebrew blessing as a mantra when my mind wandered into poisonous realms. This is a challenge because it takes a huge force of will to do this and goes against all the training they gave you to ensure that they take up all the space inside your head.
4. Ignore Content
There is no content for narcissists except the kind that will suck you in. I had to train myself to ignore the content. It’s not a question of belief or disbelief. It’s about tearing yourself away from everything being about them during all your waking hours and probably your dreams.
Do not listen to or give importance to the content of what narcissists say. It is their way of sucking you into their world and keeping you there, a world of total mindfuck where you always end up the bad guy. They don’t make common sense and keep moving the boundaries and goalposts to keep you destabilised.
Listening to the content stresses your cognitive functioning- it is crazymaking. Know that whatever they say has something in it for them, no matter how reasonable or wonderful it seems. It is all about them and they want you to be all about them as well and they will do and say anything to you to keep you trapped in their little dream world. Instead, observe what they are doing.
5. Protect Your Assets.
If need be, squirrel away money. They will bleed you dry. Protect anything that is precious to you. If you think about being fair and noble, you might be left destitute.
6. Silence is Golden
It is natural to want to share yourself with your soulmate. But you do not have a soulmate; you have a narcissist pretending to be a soulmate. Resist the temptation to tell them everything you think and feel. You cannot move them. They will use it against you. The more open you are, the more artillery they have. They love for you to share. If you need to say anything, either dissemble or be vague or neutral or change the subject. Everyone has ways to withhold, so use your particular way to protect yourself.
7. Who Are You?
Know what you stand for and know what you are willing to live and die for. Or anyone can persuade you of anything. Without knowing yourself, you have few boundaries about what you are willing or not willing to tolerate. Strengthen that belief system and set of values that you cherish. Then you will know what to do and how to act and not waver.
8. It’s a Marathon
Keep observing and reading. Once you learn what manipulative tricks they can use, you will observe them happening. This is a huge reinforcement for you, a way of deprogramming from the illusion of great, soulful love or familial love or friendly love they have set up for you. This does not happen overnight. It’s a long distance goal. Be kind to yourself and patient. You are learning new ways to act in the world and redefining yourself and your beliefs, especially about people and relationships. Give yourself time to deal with all that’s happening. Nothing will change overnight. It’s a marathon.
9. Get Support
Anyone dealing intimately with the disordered is going to be emotionally and mentally abused. It’s important to have support whether it is a good friend, a counsellor, a group for the abused, even the internet though that is a more dangerous undertaking and not one I recommend. Along with support, the most important thing is to start to get back your health and your sanity with small things that give you pleasure or joy or peace. We all have something we love to do.
I would also recommend that if you seek counselling that you find someone in your area that deals with trauma and/or abuse. Do not try this over the internet or by phone. In addition, do not buy e-books that invariably are self-published, because they don’t answer to any mental health, ethical or professional standard; charlatans/narcissists abound on the net.
10. Nurture Your Soul
Once in a while, do some small kind thing for someone that will make their day. Do it anonymously and quietly. Say something complimentary to someone, even a stranger. Make one of your little dreams come true, for yourself. Get back in touch with your religion if you have a faith. Breathe in the fresh air and know that one day you will be free and life will be so much better
There are some interesting blogs and web sites for tips on co-parenting. Here is the first one.
Here are some more sites about co-parenting with a person with NPD.
Hope these help!
1) Are they aware of what they are doing?
Yes, every decision is made with the intention of gaining narcissistic supply.
2) Do they see what they are doing or saying is wrong?
No. Any behaviour is acceptable if it gets narcissistic supply.
3) Why don’t they care about how I feel?
Caring takes empathy and insights into the human condition and requires someone to look past themselves. Narcissists can only acknowledge their own needs. They cannot look past themselves.
4) How can they do this to me?
This is not about you. This is about the narcissist. Your needs, thoughts, feelings, wants, ambitions, dreams etc do not exist for a narcissist.
5) Can’t the narcissist see that what they are doing is wrong?
No. Any behaviour that brings narcissistic supply is acceptable behaviour.
6) How can they tell so many lies?
To a narcissist, reality is only about sourcing narcissistic supply. Telling lies creates their own reality.
7) How can the narcissist be so intolerant but expect me to tolerate their bad behaviour?
Narcissists experience a heightened sense of insult (and hurt) and will lash out with rage – thus the intolerance. They have an inflated sense of importance and superiority and expect to be treated different to others. Through devaluing, your needs are not important.
8) How can the narcissist treat me so badly when I gave them so much?
Narcissists expect and demand to be privileged. You (the non-narcissist) deserve no such privilege.
9) How can the narcissist flare up and turn on me so easily?
Narcissists are hyper-sensitive and perceive insults even when none are intended. This wounds their ‘false’ self. As the bearer of insults, you deserve to be punished, even annihilated if the perceived insult is bad enough.
10) Does a narcissist have morals?
Only when they’re linked with narcissistic supply.
11) How can someone say ‘I love you’ in one breath, then throw me away the next?
Narcissists are the Masters of Relationship Manipulation.
12) How come a narcissist cannot see that what they say or do is wrong?
Right and wrong do not matter to a narcissist. Right, or more likely, wrong only apply to others. In their own minds Narcissists never do wrong.
13) Why can’t a narcissist apologise?
See 12 above.
14) Why does a narcissist get away with such bad behaviour all the time?
Narcissists surround themselves with people who respond to (or feel good about) the narcissist’s tactics. These people gain the narcissist’s attention and thus feel special or privileged themselves. Feeling good outweighs recognition of inappropriate behaviour and thus the inappropriate behaviour gets ignored. By ignoring and not setting boundaries for the narcissist, people enable the narcissistic behaviour.
I have been receiving lots of emails from people all around the world regarding my posts on ‘How to Deal with Narcissistic Rage’ and ‘Narcissistic Victim Syndrome’ which have made me realise the enormous interest in this disorder. For those who’d like more, I’m directing you to two Pinterest boards that you also find helpful:
Please share my posts or boards with anyone you may feel will benefit from them.
Happy and a Peaceful 2013!
A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) displays patterns of deviant behaviour that can create carnage for those around them (spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, peers, etc). Narcissistic Victim Abuse is abuse that has been caused by someone with this personality disorder. The NPD is not often medically diagnosed, so that the narcissistic individual goes undetected in society (home, work-place, organizations, social settings) and the victim’s plight unrecognised.
A person with NPD has an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for attention and admiration, and a strong sense of entitlement. They believe they are superior and have little regard for the feelings of others. As a child, a healthy self-esteem (true self) did not develop in the narcissist so they built up defences to create a ‘false self’ in public. This is akin to wearing a public mask. Wearing the mask is not only emotionally exhausting, it also means that the narcissist is constantly on guard at being found out. They become overly sensitive to narcissistic injury which is any perceived threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth. In order to maintain their illusion and protect their ‘false self’ they seek narcissistic supply from unsuspecting victims.
The narcissist views people as objects which can feed their needs (known as ‘sources of narcissistic supply’). The narcissist will use any tactic, without guilt, empathy or conscience, to make sure they get their narcissistic supply and their needs are met. Narcissistic supply comes from public attention such as fame, celebrity, notoriety, or infamy or private attention such as admiration, flattery, acclaim, fear, or even repulsion. Regular bearers of narcissistic supply include the spouse, children, friends, colleagues, partners and clients. Anything that acts as a status symbol that attracts attention and admiration for the narcissist is narcissistic supply, for example, a flashy car, expensive property, designer clothes, being a member of a church, cult, club, or a business.
With an inflated sense of their own superiority, power and control, the narcissist renders themselves susceptible to all sorts of obsessions, compulsions, and addictions, for example, addiction to: narcissistic supply, grandiosity, control, power, rage, perfectionism, attention, fame etc. The devastating impact of these addictions on their significant others can result in Narcissistic Victim Syndrome. Most victims present with no idea about what has happened to them.
Narcissistic abuse is insidious because the abuse is covert, cunning and indirect. Narcissists go to great pains to avoid being observed publicly as being abusive. The Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde behaviour creates fear, distress, confusion, inner turmoil, and chaos for the victim. The constant ‘walking on eggshells’ and attempting to avoid further conflict can be crippling. To complicate matters a narcissist is rarely medically diagnosed and often goes undetected in society (home, work, organisations, and social settings).
For whatever the reason the victim entered the Dance of the Narcissist (a behaviour known as Co-Dependency) so that in the dance there was both: 1) a pleaser/fixer (victim) and; 2) a taker/controller (narcissist/addict).
Victims present when they feel like they can’t cope. They are unaware that they have been living or working in a war zone. No-one has mentioned Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or narcissistic abuse to them. Victims of this narcissistic abuse often display a set, or cluster, of symptoms due to this physical, mental, emotional or spiritual abuse. In Narcissistic Victim Syndrome you are looking for a cluster of symptoms to emerge, many are the symptoms of trauma (avoidance behaviour, loss of interest, feeling detached, sense of a limited future, sleeping or eating difficulties, irritability, hyper-vigilance, easily startled, flashbacks, hopelessness, psychosomatic illnesses, self-harming, thoughts of suicide etc). Narcissistic abuse victims express feelings of humiliation and shame, and apt to self-blame. They have learned to take responsibility for the narcissist’s behaviour because they are constantly told the problem is their fault. Some victims develop Stockholm Syndrome and want to support, defend, and love the abuser despite what they have gone through.
Victims tend to ‘dissociate’ or detach from their emotions, body, or surroundings. Living in a war zone where all forms of power and control are used against you (intimidation; emotional, physical and mental abuse; isolation, economic abuse, sexual abuse, coercion, control etc), the threat of abuse is always present. Dissociation is an automatic coping mechanism against overwhelming stress.
Victims are often victimized by more than one person. They often internalize that something is wrong with them, that they deserve this kind of abuse, and then resign themselves to their fate. Victims may not have reached their potential in their personal or professional lives because they always have to stand in the shadow of their aggressor, and not upstage them. They learn to live in the shadows without knowing why.
Victims of narcissistic abuse often appear uncertain of themselves, constantly seeking clarification that they haven’t made a mistake or misheard something. Confidence may be so low that they have trouble making simple decisions. They will not be aware that this is caused by an abusive technique called ‘gaslighting’. Gaslighting is a technique of psychological abuse used by narcissists to instil confusion and anxiety in their victim to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment. With gaslighting, the victim initially notices that something happens that is odd, but they don’t believe it. This moves to defence as the victim fights against the manipulation. Confusion sets in after incessant comments such as: ‘You’re too sensitive’, ‘You’re crazy’, ‘You’re imagining things’ or ‘I never said that.’ Gradually, the victim cannot trust their own perceptions and doubt themselves. This often leads to depression. Broken and unable to trust themselves, they isolate themselves further. The victim now doubts everything about themselves, their thoughts and opinions, their ideas and ideals. They become co-dependent on the abuser for their reality.
Victims need validation and education about what has happened to them. They need information about the medical condition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and its toxicity in relationships. They need education about how they have contributed to their situation through co-dependence. They need therapy to deal with symptoms. They will need support to remove themselves from their narcissistic relationship, and to not repeat the cycle of abuse in their next relationship. One of their greatest challenges may come from not being believed by significant others, either because these others have not seen the private face of the narcissist or because they themselves are in the narcissist’s thrall.
For further information see Christine Louis de Canonville’s article at http://narcissisticbehavior.net/narcissistic-victim-syndrome-what-the-heck-is-that/
The Fellowship of Recovering Teenage Masochists
Hello. My name is Mat and I am a recovering teenage masochist.
The only requirement for membership to the Fellowship of Recovering Teenage Masochists is the desire to disentangle from a relationship with a psycho bitch (PB) and to raise your self-esteem and to stop setting yourself up for pain.
For a long time you have been heavily emotionally invested in feelings of anger, fear, rejection and humiliation. Be emotionally honest with yourself. Ask yourself: What’s in it for me? Why don’t I let go? Why do I keep coming back for more (more of what)?
The Twelve Steps of Recovering Teenage Masochists.
1. I admit that I am powerless over the psycho bitch – that my life has become unmanageable.
2. I believe that a Power far greater than myself can hurtle me towards insanity. (Remember, the psycho bitch believes she is God)
3. I have made a decision to reclaim my will and put my life together and will no longer be influenced by She Who Thinks She is God.
4. I have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and my relationship with She Who Thinks She is God and concluded I’m a really nice guy.
5. I admit to myself the exact nature of my wrongs and realise my error lay in the malignant optimism of the abused.
6. I am entirely ready to remove from my life She Who Thinks She is God and all defects in her character.
7. I humbly ask myself to forgive myself for the delusional shortcoming that She Who Thinks She is God can change.
8. I include myself in the list of people that She Who Thinks She is God has intentionally harmed.
9. I apologise to myself for putting me in a position to be injured.
10. I continue to search my heart and soul so that when I encounter another person who thinks they are God I will promptly admit it to myself and run.
11. I pray that I retain this knowledge and have the will and the power to always carry this out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, I will try to carry this message to all other masochists caught up in this cycle of pain and to practise these principles in all my relationships.
Pain can be physical or psychological. Physical pain includes hitting, slapping, punching, shoving, kicking, biting, hair-pulling or that inflicted by the use of a weapon. Psychological pain occurs when someone embarrasses you, puts you down, swears at you, controls or manipulates you, prevents you from seeing your family and friends, spreads rumours or gossip about you, or makes you feel bad about yourself.
In conclusion, repeat out loud every time you make contact with a psycho bitch: ‘I have seen the enemy and it is me’. Repeat a thousand times if you have to.
This site is sponsored by recovered teenage masochists who are no longer PB-magnets or under PB- attack.
In Kiss Kill, my latest young adult novel, the character Mat, triumphs over his abusive relationship with his narcissistic girlfriend, Elle. The following advice is taken from the web site http://www.womenabusingmen.org/whatcanido.html
A WARNING TO MEN WHO FEEL LIKE THEY ARE BEING ABUSED.
Assess your level of danger
• On a scale of 1 to 10:
(1) Everything is changed now from when things were really good between you. She is very controlling and manipulative toward you and things seem to have taken a negative turn.
(2) She is often angry with you, saying mean and painful things. She denies it, but it seems like she is sneaking around behind you, trying to catch you in lies, waiting for you to fail her.
(3) No matter what you do, if it’s not her idea, it’s wrong and causes a fight. You are seeing how angry she can get, and her reactions seem extreme.
(4) She is behaving badly, perhaps even in public now. She is falsely accusing you of bad behaviour, and some of the accusations are the very things she is actually doing to you.
(5) She is likely to throw things at the wall during a fight and be physically destructive to make her point.
(6) She is likely to throw things at you during a fight, and she has physically struck you at this point.
(7) Even during the cooling off period following a fight, she doesn’t seem to cool off. She can fly back into a rage easily and can’t let it go. Things are getting progressively worse now.
(8) When she is angry, you sleep separately with the door locked, just in case, to avoid a physical ambush while you sleep.
(9) Fights are almost always include physical attacks. She says she wishes you were dead or has threatened to kill you.
(10) She has threatened to kill you before but this time she’s acting differently; strangely quiet, smug or secretive. She may make a strange attempt to reconcile suddenly, but it doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t feel right.
These are examples of how abuse can escalate over time, bearing in mind that every relationship is unique. However, there is danger at the lowest end of the scale, and the ultimate danger at the high end. Both require a serious change of circumstances. Listen to your inner voice – what do your instincts tell you? If you find yourself at the high end of the scale, act quickly to put safety measures in place. Don’t just wait to see how it goes.
Kiss Kill is a digital only book published by Really Blue Books
Abuse happens when one person uses different types of abusive behaviour to gain POWER and CONTROL over another.
Abuse can include emotional, mental, verbal, financial, physical, sexual, and social abuse.
Neglect can be abuse too.
Abuse can happen to anyone no matter what their sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, income, education or nationality.
Behaviour Red Flags for Abuse, taken from http://www.teenrelationships.org/abuse/
1) THREATS of violence or past history of violence
2) JEALOUSY/ HYPERSENSITIVE
3) SCARES you
4) BLAMES others for problems and mistakes
5) ISOLATES you
6) Tries to CONTROL you
7) PRESSURES you for sex or is “playfully” forceful when intimate
8 ) PUT DOWNS
9) Sudden MOOD SWINGS
10) Becomes SERIOUS too quickly
Abuse can effect your feelings of confidence, safety and self-esteem.
Seek help! Contact Crisis Support Services, speak to someone you trust, visit your local doctor.
Note: In the digital book Kiss Kill, Mat survives an abusive relationship with Elle.
Watch this YouTube. Is this abuse…?
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