"I'm listening to it now, darling. Sleep well xx" More than 50, even. It's time to talk about gaslighting. To begin - it's subtle, corrosive. insidious and it's dark. On every level - political, social, commercial, personal and public, domestic and international. You may be being gaslighted or you may be doing it yourself. Unknowingly, …
Without exception, the greatest source of pain my clients report experiencing is the gnawing, visceral agony that results from being separated from their children.
Your narcissist owes you nothing. Their sense of entitlement invariably results in a "what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine" mentality. It also results in a loathing of accountability. They are above that.
survivors are in the relationship they cannot see what is happening to them. Being labelled "co-dependent" is unhelpful. And judgemental. One of the questions survivors are asked time and time again is "Why didn't you leave?". If the question is being asked then the door for education has been opened widely.
This is a bold post asking you to consider your part in the relationship or situation. If you acknowledge your part and take responsibility, you can change. In many ways this is your superpower.
Narcissists are pathologically envious. You'd like to think they'd be pleased when you get that promotion or win the award but any perceived threat to their status as the only one deserving of attention, ever, is noted and brutally dealt with.
In many ways, it's easier, because you have a label/certain expectations/a state of alertness. Just as you may have engaged in maladaptive behaviours to manage your own distress, so has the addict. However, at some stage, it got out of hand. They never intended to become an addict but it happened. They are are broken in their own way and this is not the place to speculate as to how they find peace. Our work here is to keep you safe and manage your way out of the darkness. If you are both drowning , one of you will get pushed under.
This is the deepest wound. As a therapist, I feel this requires the most focussed of work. NA by a parent creates confusion and self-doubt. It results in a an exceptional brokenness of the person. There is cognitive dissonance. Leon Festinger* identified this state as one where your set of beliefs contradict how you feel. So, you know your parents love you (they tell you) and that they look after you (you have a home/food) but you feel anxious/scared/unsafe, around them.
Your partner tells you he or she was in a narcissistically abusive relationship. What to do with this information is of concern to you. As with recovery for the survivor, psychoeducation is a powerful antidote to the hurt. Currently, there is no specific diagnosis for this type of psychological injury but experts in the field are discussing whether Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome should be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
Make no mistake, narcissistic abuse kills. Not in any obvious way, of course. It's cowardly. It's usually without distinctive evidence. It's smoke and mirrors. As with the narcissist, it's disguised. In terms of demise it may present as liver failure, pneumonia, cirrhosis, addiction, an eating disorder, depression, or another form of neglected health.