Toxic Narcissistic Family Members – Taking Your Power Back

While our brain is designed to protect us, sometimes the different parts of your brain fail to coordinate properly. The triunal brain theory teaches us that we are driven by the parts of the brain we are not conscious of.

It isn’t that we cannot discover what beliefs the subconscious brain is holding. It is more that we do not recognize the importance of doing so. There are methods of trance, hypnosis and NLP that can guide you to connect with what is driving your choices and behaviors.

Staying in a toxic relationship is something that many people do. Outsiders to the relationship may either judge you for stsying in it, or they may judge you for considering leaving it. In fact there may be both kinds of social pressure coming at you from different directions.

The subconscious brain holds core beliefs that have been imbedded and programmed since childhood. One belief that may have been programmed into you is that “good family members” tolerate any and every behavior from other family members.

You may be holding the belief that while breaking off relationships with people outside the family is okay, you should never break off relationships with family members.

Toxic family members are often catered to by the family. When other family members become exhausted and drainef of all their energy, they expect you to take over the “catering” role.

Saying No to the toxic family member will be punished and retaliated against. They will shame and guilt you, using yout “brain programming” against you.

It is often the person that put the programs there in the first place, that is emotionally manipulating you. They know which buttons to press because they put them there in the first place. Or they witnesssed how you were trained to feel.

In toxic families, you are not only trainef to behave in a certain way, but you are conditioned to FEEL certain ways in certain situations. A toxic family member will train you to respond to their emotional manipulation, in order to avoid real or perceived consequences.

Getting in touch with our feelings and beliefs that are behind the scenes, can help you to take your power back. Someone can only emotionally manipulate you if they are able to elicit those negative feelings in you.

When you are in a situation where the toxic person is making you feel bad…STOP and evaluate what you are feeling. Decide to detach emotionally from the situation and assess it like an observer.

Observe and notice what thoughts are coming up at the back of your brain. What thoughts, fears and drives are at work in your brain?

Sometimes the very things we do in order to avoid pain, will end up keeping us in a relationship that gives us continuous pain.

The subconscious brain will kick on the fight or flight mode, when we are in a confrontation or conversation with the toxic family member. This function of fight or flight, wants to cause you to take an immediate action to get rid of the threat and avoid harm. But your reptilian brain and your limbic system are only operating out of what associations that have been programmed in, and the beliefs that they hold.

If you were raised in a family with a toxic person ( or people) then there are “false beliefs” that are carried by your subconscious. The feelings you have that drive you to comply with the toxic person, are based on a false belief system.

It is in the best interest of the malignant, pathological person for you to hold onto beliefs like the following.

1. The toxic person does not harm me intentionally

2. They cannot help their behavior

3. They think their behavior is the best for the family

4. I am not worthy of standing up for myself

5. Standing up to the emotionally abusive person is rude

6. I have to do what the manipulative person wants, if I cannot reasonably get them to see my side

7. The toxic person hears me when I explain my side

8. Going against what the family wants would make me a bad person

9 Deep down the toxic person actually appreciates all I do for them

10. The manipulative family member would break down and not be able to go on, if I stopped catering to them

11. The family would fall apart without my holding it together

12. My independence and happiness  is not a priority over the family

13. If I really needed something they would be there for me

14. My needs, desires and dreams are not as important as the other family members, or as the toxic person

15. My perceptions are not valid when they are different than those of the family, or the manipulative person

16. Prioritizing my mental, emotional and physical health over the demands of the family is wrong.

17. I could not survive without the family

18. I owe my family, and the toxic person, to stay and cater to them for my entire life

19.  If I leave they will no longer love me. ( This is based on the false assumption that they love you now)

20. The toxic person loves me. They just don’t know how to show it

21. Taking abuse from someone proves your love for them.

These are all incorrect, untrue, false beliefs that are carried my adult children of toxic families. Sometimes your family is just who you were born to.

You have no obligation to people just because you share a blood line with them. All the time and energy they demand from you could be spent with people who actually deserve it.

There are people waiting to meet you, who would support and care for you. There is a higher path and sporitual connectedness for your life.

You have to emotionally detach from the narcissists,psychopaths, and emotionally manipulative, abusive people in your life.

Chances are the family will not fall to ruins without you, although they may try to manipulate you into thinking that. They can either respect you as an individual with rights and boundaries, or they can live without you.

Blessings,

Annie 🌷gentlekindnesscoaching.com

Very Affordable Coaching for Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse

Join me on facebook gentlekindness facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons Fruit is Good for You….to keep in your purse

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image from facebook  HERE

Touch is a fundamental communication between people. It allows us to communicate compassion better that words or facial expression.

Touch is the most important element of bonding and compassion between humans.

There are neurochemical effects of skin to skin touch. Compassionate touch is critical for the brain and the body to be healthy. We need human touch to be well.

We need  human touch in order to have good mental health. People who are touch deprived can develop mental illness.

People with mental illness can become worse from a lack of pleasant  physical touch.

Compassionate touch reduces stress hormones, including cortisol. When someone touches your skin in a pleasant way, it makes you feel calmer and safer. Anxious feelings  can be reduced and your nervous system can be calmed. 

People deprived of pleasant physical touch  can develop high levels of stress hormones.

High levels of stress hormones on a regular basis will cause a condition of severe anxiety disorder. Depression is often a condition that goes hand in hand with anxiety disorders.

“When a person receives a pleasing touch, the hormone oxytocin is released in the brain. Oxytocin is linked with human bonding, socializing and maternal instincts. It helps alleviate anxiety and fear and is critical in trust-building. There is even a specialized part of the nervous system in our skin, known as tactile C fibers, that is specialized to pick up compassionate touch.” Pracha Touch

Physical touch can promote healing in the body and reduce the likelihood for disease and illnesses.

This includes both physical and mental illnesses. Insomnia can be relieved by the hormone balancing effect of skin to skin touch that is pleasant.

Some people with mental illness may have been touch deprived as infants and as children.

There is research about the necessity of touch for proper development and growth.

There was research by John Bowlby and Renee Spitz, during WW II, about the effect of touch on infants. Infants that were orphans, living in institutional settings were not held by the caregivers.

The lack of compassionate touch caused a 75% mortality rate. Also, the infants had a lower weight and length than infants of the same age. They did not develop properly due to the lack of being comforted. The compassionate touch of the mother is comforting to an infant and reduces fear and anxiety of the baby.

Babies need to have their nervous systems regulated by the mother. Infants do not  have the capacity to regulate their own nervous systems. Infants even regulate their breathing with their mother’s breathing. Babies that sleep with their mother have a dramatically lower incidence of infant death syndrome.

If the baby forgets to take a breath, the mothers breath on the baby’s face will cause the baby to draw in a breath. The baby will be calmed by the sound of its mother’s heartbeat.

“In some of the most dramatic new findings, premature infants who were massaged for 15 minutes three times a day gained weight 47 percent faster than others who were left alone in their incubators – the usual practice in the past. The massaged infants also showed signs that the nervous system was maturing more rapidly: they became more active than the other babies and more responsive to such things as a face or a rattle.” Daniel Goleman New York Times

The United States is one of the most touch deprived countries in the world. In studies, we come up second to England

In the 1960s, psychologist Sidney Jourard, studied the conversations of friends in different parts of the world. He observed friends as they spent time together in a café.

In England, the two friends touched each other zero times. In the United States, there was an average of 2 touches during the conversation. But in France, the frequency of touch was 110 times per hour. And in Puerto Rico, the friends touched each other an average of 180 times!

It is possible that the mental health crisis in the US has something to do with the fact that we are a “No-touch” culture.

Emotophobia

Emotophobia is the fear of unpleasant emotions, not to be confused with emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.

There is little online about emotophobia.

The few articles I found offered the suggestion to “stop treating negative emotions as if they are your enemies and can harm you.”

This is somewhat condescending and implies that emotions themselves cannot harm you.

The person offering this advice clearly has never been in a situation where showing negative emotions could harm them.

So, they think it is rather ridiculous that someone would associate their negative emotions with danger.

The problem with this thinking is that there are situations where someone’s emotions can cause them harm.

This advise shows a complete misunderstanding of emotophobia and its root causes.

People with emotophobia are not “treating” emotions as if they are the enemy.

For people that have emotophobia, emotions were the enemy and they were followed by consequences.

People that grew up in mentally abusive childhoods were not permitted to have emotions like other people are.

The expression of emotion, which represents being an individual, is often punished by abusive parents.

Even children who were not physically abused, could have had their right to individual ideas and feelings violated.

Narcissistic parents and other overbearing, maniplulative parents do not want their children to develop independent thoughts and ideas.

They do not want their children thinking in terms of their own needs at all. When their children expressed feelings, the abusive parents retaliated. If the child thinks independently and can express their feelings then it might threaten the narcissistic parent. 

The narcissistic parent wants to create a false narrative about the family. It is the vision of the family that is portrayed to the outside world. Everyone in the family has to back this story up. 

Children are not allowed to talk about abuse that occurs in the home. The narcissist re-frames the abuse to the mind of the child. The child is taught to believe the shared psychosis of the family, created by the narcissist. 

Punishments are inflicted on a child who goes against the narcissistic parent in any way. These can be emotional or physical in nature. 

Everyone in the house is trained to cater to the narcissist. Everyone knows that there are consequences for disobedience. The family members are made into a kind cult that follows the lead of the narcissist. 

These mentally abusive parents, want the focus on themselves. The needs and feelings of the others in the family do not matter.

They demand for the child to cater to their ever changing desires and demands. The narcissist will set rules and then change them when they feel like it. 

The children are expected to follow the rules, even when the parent has not informed them of changes. It is like playing a game with someone who changed the rules randomly and does not tell you. 

In order to survive in this type of environment, the child must learn to constantly read the parent’s body language and tone of voice.

They must anticipate the desires and moods of the parent. If they fail to do so, it is met with negative consequences.

If the child expresses disagreement, or unhappiness with a narcissistic parent, they will likely incur the anger and wrath of the parent.

The smallest indication of disagreement  with the parent can bring out their anger.

For their own protection, these children and teenagers learn to disguise their feelings and push them down.

They do not want the parent to see their feelings because it will be used against them.

If you grew up in this type of environment, then feeling negative emotions was the enemy. It is not something we have suddenly developed an irrational fear of as adults.

This environment causes C-PTSD, which is Complex Post Traumatic Stess Disorder, in many people. This is carried over into adulthood.

So, the advice to “stop treating emotions as if they were the enemy” and to tell people that feeling emotions is safe, does not make sense to someone with C-PTSD from childhood mental abuse.

Adults can also develop emotophobia from ongoing abusive relationships with a partner. Women become afraid to disagree with their partner because they fear the consequences of his anger.

Abusive people do not tolerate their partner exercising their personal rights, or expressing opinions that are different from them.

Again, the brain rewires the neural connections to avoid showing negative feelings. This is a necessary survival tactic at the time.

It is not easily undone. The brain considers it necessary in order to protect the safety of the person.

It takes years to develop this survival tactic and to learn how to detach from one’s own emotions.  The brain becomes wired to avoid entering into situations that may cause negative emotions.

To undo what was a learned survival skill takes a lot of work in re-wiring the brain.

Telling someone “emotions are your friends” does not work, especially without any idea why the person feels such anxiety about emotions like anger and sadness.

The only people who really understand what it feels like to have severe anxiety about showing anger, and sadness to others are those of us that are carrying the C-PTSD that causes it.

This is not a simple problem to just fix. You have to re-wire your programming. You have to learn that it is okay for someone else to be upset with us when we say “no.”

You need to learn how to identify what you want and what decisions will support you in a healthy way.  It is okay if other people do not agree with your choices. 

It takes practice to be able to stand your ground about things without fear of the consequences making you comply with others even when it is hurtful to you.

 

Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents

Low self esteem.

Lack of being able to self generate feelings of self worth.

Fear of doing things that make other people upset, angry or disappointed.

Difficulty prioritizing oneself.

Trouble feeling motivated to get ahead in life. 

These are some of the symptoms of C-PTSD from growing up with a narcissistic parent. Your subconscious brain is programmed very early about your identity, and  your role in the family and your place in the world. 

Associations are deep in the subconscious.

If you do not comply with the other person, there will be consequences to pay. If you cause someone to become upset , you will pay dearly. 

People from more health families learn to look out for themselves. You learned that in order to protect yourself, you have to look out for others. 

People from functional families were taught to be in touch with their own feelings and to love themselves.

 If you were the child of a narcissist, you were taught to defend against the wrath f the narcissist by not expressing your own feelings. Eventually you began to have trouble identifying what you want at all. 

As an adult this wiring in your brain keeps you from taking care of yourself properly.

You still have that hyper-vigilance that there is a threat of danger when someone near you is not getting their way. 

You may have a fear of being abandoned by the people you love, if you consider your own needs to be equal to theirs. The longer you cater to the desires of other people, in a relationship, the more they come to expect that treatment from you. 

People around you can become conditioned to expect you to always agree, always go along with them, and never challenge them. 

One of the many problems of this “people pleaser” behavior is that it attracts narcissists and predators. Narcissists and psychopaths want easy prey or at least a victim that had obvious emotional wounds that they can use to use against you. 

If you have never practiced standing up for yourself, then you have no idea how to do this, and you fear the consequences of doing so. What would happen to your relationships if you said “no” to someone? 

What would happen to your world of you began to prioritize your own needs? What consequences would follow if you believed that your needs and ideas were just as valuable as those of the people in your life?

Well, you can see the people in the world who are not afraid to say “no.” You interact with them all the time. They say “no” to you all the time. These people are not all in the same category. 

There are people who do what they want all the time. They never let people cross their boundaries. In fact, they cross over into your world and stomp all over your rights and invade your boundaries all the time. 

These are the narcissists. You may have a fear of becoming like that. You do not want to become the parent that emotionally abused you. The very person that caused much of your difficulty in getting what you want out of life. 

But there is another category of people who stand up for themselves. These are people that have healthy boundaries but still respect the rights of other people. They do not exploit and manipulate others. 

They express their feelings and let people know what they want. They go after the things they want out of life and they consider their personal dreams, desires and emotions to be a high priority. 

 These are not narcissists. They do not use aggressive, emotionally manipulative communication. They do not covertly try to get emotional reactions from you, in order to exploit and control you. 

There is a line between assertive and aggressive. You are being assertive when you express what you do and do not want.

You are being aggressive when you make it clear that you do not care what the other person wants. You undermine, lie to, and gaslight people to get your way. 

Being assertive and having healthy boundaries does not have to injure other people.

You are not a bad person for looking out for yourself.

You are not a narcissist if you care about your own feelings and needs. You are a normal human being. 

I will write about this topic again in the future. Please leave comments below about a specific question or particular problem that you have.

Give me some ideas about problems of having C-PTSD  (complex PTSD) that you are dealing with. 

I want to hear from adult children of narcissistic parents. Also from anyone that grew up under the heavy cloud of a narcissist in some capacity. It is not always a parent. 

Also, if you feel that your ability to move forward and get momentum in life has been affected by narcissistic abuse, either during childhood or as an adult, please leave me any ideas about questions I can address in a future post. 

 

 

 

Adult Children of Alcoholics

People who grew up with alcoholic parents usually realize at some point that there are certain behaviors and thought patterns that are happening that are different from other adults.

This realization often comes as a result of problems with relationships, particularly romantic partner relationships. You may have struggled with feelings of inadequacy and depression.

You may also struggle with a mental illness like an anxiety disorder or even bipolar disorder. The situations that people grew up in were similar in some ways but with important differences. This is why everyone did not end up with the same disorders.

The important things to talk about here are the things that are similar between adult children of alcoholics and what you can do to help yourself. If you grew up in a house with an alcoholic parent then your normal emotional ans social development was interfered with in some way.

You were exposed to bad communication and you did not get the emotional support you needed. There was not enough validation of you as a person with individual thoughts, ideas, feelings and identity.

When early programming is screwed up you are left with a brain that does not process and function in the best way to serve you. The proper “software” that you needed to function well as an adult was not installed into your brain’s hard drive.

As an adult you now struggle with feeling adequate and asserting your boundaries. You also may have trouble maintaining a sense of identity and your role in relationships.

There are thought patterns that are inflexible and also work against you. Thought patterns are habits, just like anything else can become a habit. They can be re-programmed with NLP and NLP hypnosis.

Black and white thinking is a typical pattern for people that are ACOA’s. This is when you see situations as rigid and being two sided, with no other possibilities. Things have to be one way or the other and your brain is trapped into this box that you were taught is real.

Catastrophic thinking is also a typical pattern of thought of ACOA’s. This is when your brain begins with one event and projects into the future a series of consequences that you believe will inevitably follow , ultimately ending in your pain or destruction.

These programs were installed into your brain from early ages and trained into you over time. You were brainwashed into accepting your fate about certain kinds of scenarios.

In order to avoid painful communication, shaming, and other abuse, you had to comply with your alcoholic parent, your codependent parent and other care givers that were revolving around the alcoholic parent.

These coping skills you learned were survival techniques in order for you to stay safe and to feel safe. You endured years of various kinds of emotional / mental abuse.

You were made to focus on needs of the  the alcoholic parent.If they were prone to rages, then you were conditioned to always be on alert for anything that would set them off. You had to alter your natural behavior so as not to incur the wrath of the parent.

Your relationship with the non-alcoholic parent was probably not normal either. They may have been a codependent that was catering to the alcoholic and they may also have had other mental disorders or at least emotional problems from living in the situation themselves.

In order to overcome the thought patterns that are working against you now, you need to identify what they are and why they are not serving you.

Your life can improve and you can have more possibilities and options open to you, if you can understand what parts of your thinking are programs that other people installed into you.

Seeing the difference between your own thoughts and feelings as opposed to those that were trained into you, is a step towards being able to be true to yourself and have more possibilities open to you.

 

 

 

 

Arthritis, Chronic Pain and Social Anxiety

Arthritis is a terribly thing. The pain from moderate and advanced arthritis is impossible to convey to people.

Everything is hard. Driving is hard, especially turning my neck around to back the car up. Holding the passenger seat with my right arm hurts my shoulder. Turning my head and neck to the right to see behind me is excruciating. Turning my head to the left to see over my shoulder to change lanes is very painful.

The extended family I live with insists on parking the cars in such a way that i have to back up, re-angle, back up again, several times. For them to park differently would be easy for them. To get understanding and compassion is impossible.

Arthritis, bulging discs, herniated discs, stenosis, some scoliosis. All of it painful. All of it invisible. I can get help and sympathy from some coworkers but usually people that have pain issues themselves.

It is hard to live with chronic pain but what is harder is the invisibility of it.

They don’t believe the level of pain. It is invisible. They get annoyed when you ask them to drive easy with you in the car. They think you are picking on their driving or trying to be bossy and controlling.

Anyone who knows me well would know I am not bossy or controlling. So why would I suddenly change personalities and become that way in the car?

They don’t think. It is too much trouble for them. They say their back hurts too. Their neck hurts too. They think that their stiff neck in the morning is the same as the pain of severe arthritis. But if they had this level of pain they would not be twisting , turning and bending so easily , the way they do.

They think I have a low pain tolerance. They think I am exaggerating the level of pain and difficulty of movement.

The worst part of chronic pain is the interaction with other people. It is the mental torment that becomes a constant pain in your heart from not being understood. From not being shown the compassion that you should be.

The chronic pain turns into frustration getting through the day. It begins to create a new problem which is social anxiety. There becomes a fear of being forced into painful activities by people who do not understand and will not take no for an answer.

It turns into fear and anxiety about how to get through the day. I worry starting in the morning about how the errand, chores, work and social interactions are going to be painful, difficult or impossible.

I worry about how to tell people “no” when they ask me to do something i can’t do without being perceived as rude. I get anxiety over how to communicate with people. They don’t take time to listen and understand. They want what they want.

Then I feel as though i would rather avoid potentially painful situations, rather try to get people to understand. I will find excuses to avoid family functions and other social situations because of the chronic pain.

I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way. I hope that this post was effective in validating people.

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