There are several books, numerous articles and blog posts about our current culture of narcissism (Lasch, 1991; Twenge and Campbell, 2010; Pinsky, 2009). Much of the recent material focuses on celebrities and the more obvious types of ego mania and entitlement, bad parenting, the boom in social media and the cheap self-esteem that’s been fostered in the last four decades. The fact that narcissism is on the rise is frightening enough, but it’s not just narcissism. All high conflict personalities are on the rise and that includes the other Cluster B disorders: Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder. Read more
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!
I am sharing an excellent article by Tim Field on Victims of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Sanctuary for the Abused
SANCTUARY FOR THE ABUSED: Articles, clickable links & resources for victims & survivors. Dealing with verbal, psychological & emotional abuse and personality disorders.
Narcissists & Psychopaths Cause PTSD for their Victims
by Tim Field Jan 2012
How do the PTSD symptoms resulting from a Narcissist or Psychopath’s abuse and bullying meet the criteria in DSM-IV?
A. The prolonged (chronic) negative stress resulting from dealing with a narcissist or psychopath has lead to threat of loss of job, career, health, livelihood, often also resulting in threat to marriage and family life. The family are the unseen victims.
A.1.One of the key symptoms of prolonged negative stress is reactive depression; this causes the balance of the mind to be disturbed, leading first to thoughts of, then attempts at, and ultimately, suicide.
A.2.The target of the narcissist or psychopath may be unaware that they are being exploited, and even when they do realize (there’s usually a moment of enlightenment as the person realizes that the criticisms and tactics of control, etc are invalid) – victims often cannot bring themselves to believe they are dealing with a disordered personality who lacks a conscience and does not share the same moral values as themselves.
Naivety is the great enemy. The target is bewildered, confused, frightened, angry – and after enlightenment, very angry.
B.1. The target experiences regular intrusive violent visualizations and replays of events and conversations; often, the endings of these replays are altered in favour of the target.
B.2. Sleeplessness, nightmares and replays are a common feature.
B.3. The events are constantly relived; night-time and sleep do not bring relief as it becomes impossible to switch the brain off. Such sleep as is achieved is non-restorative and people wake up as tired, and often more tired, than when they went to bed.
B.4. Fear, horror, chronic anxiety, and panic attacks are triggered by any reminder of the experience, e.g.receiving threatening letters or email from the narcissist or psychopath or their friends, their family or attorneys. Additionally postings on online boards or sites about the victim by the abuser (often to try to make the victim look like the abusive one!) can add to these triggers and health related issues tremendously.]
B.5. Panic attacks, palpitations, sweating, trembling, vomitting, binge eating or forgetting to eat, ditto.
Criteria B4 and B5 manifest themselves as immediate physical and mental paralysis in response to any reminder of the narcissist or prospect being forced to take action against the narcissist.
C. Physical numbness (toes, fingertips, lips) is common, as is emotional numbness (especially inability to feel joy). Sufferers report that their spark has gone out and, even years later, find they just cannot get motivated about anything.
C.1. The target tries harder and harder to avoid saying or doing anything which reminds them of the horror of the exploitation.
C.2. Almost all Victims report impaired memory; this may be partly due to suppressing horrific memories, and partly due to damage to the hippocampus, an area of the brain linked to learning and memory.
C.3. the person becomes obsessed with resolving the experience which takes over their life, eclipsing and excluding almost every other interest.
C.4. Feelings of withdrawal and isolation are common; the person just wants to be on their own and solitude is sought.
C.5. Emotional numbness, including inability to feel joy (anhedonia) and deadening of loving feelings towards others are commonly reported. One fears never being able to feel love again.
C.6. The target becomes very gloomy and senses a foreshortened career – usually with justification. Many targets ultimately have severe psychiatric injury, severely impaired health.
D.1. Sleep becomes almost impossible, despite the constant fatigue; such sleep as is obtained tends to be unsatisfying, unrefreshing and non-restorative. On waking, the person often feels more tired than when they went to bed. Depressive feelings are worst early in the morning. Feelings of vulnerability may be heightened overnight.
D.2. The person has an extremely short fuse and is often permanently irritated, especially by small insignificant events. The person frequently visualises a violent solution, e.g. arranging an accident for, or murdering the narcissist; the resultant feelings of guilt tend to hinder progress in recovery.
D.3. Concentration is impaired to the point of precluding preparation for legal action, study, work, or search for work.
D.4. The person is on constant alert because their fight or flight mechanism has become permanently activated.
D.5. The person has become hypersensitized and now unwittingly and inappropriately perceives almost any remark as critical.
E. Recovery from a narcissist experience is measured in years. Some people never fully recover. Long term and repeated damage by disordered persons become C-PTSD.
F. For many, social life ceases and work becomes impossible. Many develop autoimmune diseases such as lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic pain or adrenal fatigue and even become totally disabled.
THERAPY can and does help. But it takes a lot of time and work. The longer you wait to get help & treatment, the deeper the damage and the more difficult to heal or manage. Hang in there!
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/
I have been in the beautiful city of Adelaide for the first half of a one month literary fellowship. The members of the board of the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust have gone above and beyond to welcome and support me. Thank you!
I arrived in Adelaide somewhat shaken as the day before my departure an unknown man in the street had held a dog’s choker chain up to my face telling me he’d like to strangle me to death. This happened one block from my home and has left one legacy that I won’t walk the streets of Adelaide at night.
After living in a household of 6 -7 people, two dogs, and with ailing parents up the road, living alone has been a novelty. I’m not sure if it’s how I’d chose to live long term, but for this brief short moment I’m reveling in it. I can’t remember the last time I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, however I wanted, for such a sustained period of time.
On the first night here I made a Wish List and am delighted to have ticked all the boxes. In two short weeks this is what I’ve achieved:
1) Five days as Author-in-Residence at Scotch College.
2) Read 4 YA novels as part of my judging duties for the NSW Premier’s Literature Award.
3) Researched how to write children’s Apps.
4) Wrote and re-drafted two Apps. Working titles ‘The Rainbow Surprise’ and ‘Shape Explorers’.
5) Researched Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
6) Wrote the introduction for a longform non-fiction piece on NPD for an upper young adult audience.
7) Attended AVCON – Adelaide Anime and Video Games Conference.
8) Visited the museum to view The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize.
9) Wandered the Botanical Gardens.
10) Met the delightful author and librarian, Sascha Hutchinson, of Unley Library.
11) Given a brief driving tour of the city by Mary Wilson and her lovely husband.
12) Discussed children’s literature with Elizabeth Hutchins.
13) Had several discussions with the lovely and talented performer and May Gibbs organisor, Sally Chance.
14) Went for a brisk walk every day.
Needless to say, I’m delighted with the fellowship so far and eagerly await, Part 2 when I return in September!
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.
+61 407 247 032
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