Abusive Relationships – Substandard Living Conditions

messy house

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Many cases of narcissistic abuse end up in the financial devastation of the victim. But long before the end of the relationship, some victims are living far below what is humane and healthy.

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Because the narcissist does not see you as an individual human being with rights and boundaries, your living conditions are often of no concern to them.

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Basic needs for healthcare, spending cash, healthy environment, and safe living environment are often refused by the narcissist. The victim lives behind closed doors is despicable, inhumane conditions, that they are too embarrassed and ashamed to speak of outside of the home.

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Even after the relationship has ended, and the victim begins to interact with other victims, this is a dark secret that is kept hidden. There is extreme shame about having to live in sub-human conditions and it is even hard to explain.

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Since the victim is so used to being doubted and gaslighted, this secret is never talked about for fear of re-traumatization. The victim just cannot take any more minimization or disbelief of their reality.

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They also cannot tolerate any more shaming than they have already endured from the narcissist, and from others who disbelieved any parts of their truth.

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This post is just to let you know that other victims have also lived in sub-human conditions at the hands of a narcissist. It may be one of the most powerful ways the narcissist controls you.

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When you are suffering just to exist, there is no energy for anything else. Your self esteem is completely crushed and you fear letting anyone into your home to see how you live.

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This has the effect of completely isolating you from potential helpers, friends and anyone who might try to bring any light of truth into the dark reality tunnel the narcissist makes you exist in.

How to Live with Emotional Trauma and PTSD

ptsd facesimage from pinterest source here 

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People who have mental pain, have trouble in day to day situations, where other people seem to float right through.

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Everyone around us seems to have a better handle on just getting through life, than we do. It is so easy to become discouraged by watching other people do things that we either cannot do, or cannot do without mental anguish.

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People are good at things that they have had the background, the support, and the early wiring to be good at. Even the things we learn when we are older, are easier to learn if we were wired properly when we were growing up.

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A lot of the people you are comparing yourself to had parents that helped them to follow the normal development stages and they also had the mental stability to process all of the stages properly, in order for the neurons in their brains to be set up to do these things.

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There are chemicals involved in every process we do. The chemicals in our brains are dominating our feelings and our feelings affect how well we can do things.

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We have behavioral patterns and they are also linked to the organic connections (neurons and chemicals) in our brains.

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If there is any trauma, abuse, neglect during childhood / teenage hood, we can end up with things that are not wired properly. We also end up with the chemicals sending the wrong signals and we feel depression, anxiety and worthlessness about ourselves.

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Your feelings of not being as good as other people are conditioned behavioral patterns of your brain. Past trauma, abuse or neglect may have caused these patterns.

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Your inability to things that other people do, may be related to feeling inadequate to do them, feeling depressed, anxiety etc. This is not your fault that you have these chemical, neurological responses to doing things.

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If you feel anxiety about something and someone else does not feel that, then of course they will be able to do that thing, better and more easily than you can.

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It is not fair to yourself to compare your brain on depression or anxiety with their brain that is functioning perfectly well. It does not mean that you can never learn to do it, but it means that it is much harder for you to do things, than it is for them.

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When we have mental illness issues, it is more fair to us, if we so not compare ourselves directly with people who do not have any mental illness or trauma in their background. I have recently come to believe this is true

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I spent many years wondering why I felt so inadequate to everyone and why I felt so out of place.

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I had so much trauma in my back ground that I could not keep up with the people that had brains that functioned normally. It was not that I was not as smart, but it was because my brain was and is so traumatized.

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I am learning that we have to be kind to ourselves. In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to understand and feel compassion for the fact that trauma, abuse, neglect, depression, anxiety and any other mental issues, does cause us some disability.

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We cannot always compete with the other people. There is no reason that you have to do things the way other people do them. 

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image source here

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We can learn to heal and to slowly re-wire our brains. But mostly we have to talk to ourselves like we would talk to someone else that we knew was having trouble feeling as good as everyone else. You are as good as everyone else, whether you can do everything they can do or not.

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We all have gifts and are good at things. You might be good at something that those other people suck at. I bet you are better are being compassionate for another human that feels depressed and worthless.

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The ability to be compassionate is not a gift that a lot of people have. Compassion is a lost art these days. People who have mental suffering can often also be compassionate to others who have depression and anxiety. That makes you better than them at something.

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You are also probably better are being introspective and analyzing things.  Many people  just go with the flow of what everyone else is doing and they do not think for themselves. If you can think for yourself then you are better at that too.

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I think that we are just better at different things than most people are. There is room for us in the world too. The world cannot be balanced, if all of the people just follow the crowd and just act the same way and believe the same things.

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Once we begin to be accepting of ourselves just the way we are, then we can begin to re-wire some of the trauma that we have.

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People with psychological trauma usually end up with some kind of post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, OCD or other mental disorder. We can learn to show kindness to ourselves.

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We can learn to be functional, compassionate people. There are plenty of things we can be good at. If we cannot answer the phones for a job, because we have social anxiety then so be it.  If we cannot work at certain types of jobs because we are constantly triggered onto post traumatic stress there, then so be it.

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A person with an eating disorder may not be able to work in a bakery. Well if they cannot do that, it does not make them less than anyone else.

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It just means that they cannot do that activity safely  because of their disorder. Someone who has a phobia of open spaces cannot work in the mall. So, what of it?

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We are okay the way we are. We are trying to heal. We are trying to connect with others. If there are things we cannot do, then so be it.

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It is not because we are less than anyone else. They did not grow up, or have the adult past that we have had. Someone else may not have survived your situations as well as you did. How do they know what it is like in your world?

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We all need a break from feeling shame, inadequacy, and worthlessness. We need to show ourselves some kindness and compassion in our thoughts about ourselves. We are doing the best we can with what we have to work with. We have to work with our brains being the way they are, right at this very minute.

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Blessings to all,

Annie

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

girl crying 2

image from Pinterest HERE

Trauma during childhood and teenage years leaves fractured pieces of yourself, existing  in time. As you begin to accept those child parts that feel abandoned, you will begin to realize that time is not as linear as we have been programmed to perceive it. 

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All of those parts of you exists now. You can reach out to them and bring them into yourself to integrate those fractured parts, so they do not feel rejected and abandoned. 
This will help you to be more in the present, so that you can think more clearly and see what you want and what you can do with your life. 
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C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is caused by being in on-going emotional / mental abuse from people that you feel entrapped with. There is no way to leave the situation, when you are a child and you are stuck in whatever situations your parents put you into. 
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Emotional abuse and other kinds of abuse cause emotional wounds.

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These emotional wounds are not able to heal while you are still in the abusive situations. Usually children are so used to the way they are living that there is no real frame of reference to know that you are being abused, or the degree to which the abuse is. 

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Wounded children feel abandoned in time, and there is no proper integration of these child parts into the whole. It is like there is still a wounded child inside of you that is waiting for someone to rescue them. Doing inner child work can help the fractured parts to become integrated. 

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If you have C-PTSD from childhood trauma, abuse, or chaotic events, your may have fractures and wounds in your subconscious. This can cause depression, anxiety disorders, OCD and other kinds of mental illness.

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The feeling that you do not belong anywhere and that you are out of place can come from the fractured child parts feeling abandoned. They need to be accepted and nurtured. 

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I am working on some hypnosis audios for healing the wounded child and helping the fractured parts to integrate. If you want to get updates about the audios, feel free to follow the Facebook Page, or to sign up on the contact page at the Gentlekindness coaching web site. 

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Feeling Lost – Stream of Consciousness Writing

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image from Pinterest – source here 

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If you are feeling lost in the world it does not mean there is something wrong with you. People around you may not get you. They may not be able to see the world the way you do.

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Some people have a different perspective on themselves and on the world around them. If you are more abstract minded than concrete or superficial minded then you are in the minority and there are less people who can see things the way you do. 

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Perhaps your thoughts wander to wanting to know what the meaning of life really is…why we are here…why there is suffering in the world. You want to know there is a greater purpose to living than just existing to work and pay the bills. You feel manipulated and controlled too much by the system and by others who tell you what is good for you…or what you “should” be doing. 

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If you are open minded and have a “searching” type of mind, then people may bore you or frustrate you. You are not always interested in their conversations, and they think that your thoughts are unnecessary or bothersome to them. 

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You might feel lost because your past was different from other people you know. If you grew up with any kind of abuse or chaos, then the way you feel is probably different than other people. Certain things bother you and it is hard to explain why.

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lost girl

image source here

Depression and anxiety disorders often happen to people who come from emotional abuse or neglect.

You may have tried to talk to people about this only to find that they do not understand.

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You have tried to pretend you are normal, but you never fit in. You always feel like you re struggling to find the “normal” things to say. But when you pretend to be normal, it does not make you feel good.

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The feeling that you are different is always nagging at the back of your brain. 

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image source here

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C-PTSD is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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This is PTSD that accumulated in layers, over time, during situations where you felt entrapped. Growing up with the feeling that you have to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, can cause C-PTSD. 

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If you are living under a constant feeling of threat of abuse, or shaming, your brain has to fight back somehow. The amygdala, which controls the fight or flight mode begins to go into a state of hypervigilance. Your brain is on constant alert for things that are threatening to hurt you.

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If you have C-PTSD from your childhood then it is natural that you feel different from other people. Toxic shame from programming that others put into your brain, can be carried into adulthood. 

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You may see reality and your place in the world differently than other people. They cannot relate to how you feel, or the things you think about. If you feel this way, it can be hard to understand where you fit into the world…and you end up feeling lost…

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Just because you are different, does not mean that you do not belong in the world. If everyone where the same, the world would be boring. Special people are able to do special things that other people can not do. 

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If you are misunderstood by the people around you then it can be difficult to understand where you belong. There are many people that feel lost, but they are spread out and do not always see each other, even when they do run into each other. 

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image source here

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You are not alone and there is a place for you in the world.

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No one is here by mistake and no one is a mistake. There are people who will target you because you feel different, and they will use that against you. This may end up making you feel like self isolating. 

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People that feel lost, will often resort to self-isolating, especially when they feel depressed.

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Anxiety disorder often go along with C-PTSD. Living with anxiety over a long period of time can be draining. Anxiety and depression can occur together. One can lead to the other. 

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I understand that this is a rambling kind of post. I am tired and I am going to choose not to edit this. It may be rambling but I am going to leave it the way it came out. The main idea is that I wanted to reach out to the lost souls who feel that they do not belong anywhere. 

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I wanted to reach out to the lost people who are still trying to find their way home. The ones who still have hope that they will find home one day and find where they belong….and those that have lost hope. 

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There are other lost souls and every one is special in some way. There is something important about being different and not wanting to be something you are not. You want to feel authentic and to be yourself, and there is nothing wrong with that. You should be true to your authentic self. 

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If you have C-PTSD from childhood abuse, the  you were trained to keep your true self covered up and your thoughts to yourself. You had too many years of feeling that you were not accepted for who you are. Your authentic self is valid and should be heard and seen. 

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I am going to leave this stream of consciousness now and enter a new realm of consciousness…sleep.

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Good night… to all those who feel lost or out of place. You are worthy of love and acceptance. 

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The answers you seek are all around you…and within you…You just have to seek them and ask the right questions.

 


 

Shame Holds us Back from Our Possibilities

This is a great talk by Brene Brown.

She describes the difference between shame and guilt very elegantly here. She has done extensive research about shame, and states that it is a cause of depression, anxiety and suicide in most cultures. 

She talks about shame as an epidemic in our culture and how the media and society program us for shame. The ads that tell us how we “should be,”
 and what we “should be doing.” …to the people in our lives that expect us to live up to unreasonable standards. 

Shame can come from abuse and emotional trauma in our childhoods, and in our adulthood experiences. Shame is programmed into us by others. You can re-wire the brain with thought patterns that are more supportive for you. Shame is a destroyer.

I believe that many mental disorders are based in shame. I work with abuse survivors that carry loads of shame from their past. Even when people come to the realization that they were abused, the shame does not just go away. In fact sometimes it becomes worse, during the healing process because old wounds are being opened up. 

Walking through the programs that are in your brain is important, to be able to find the truth about yourself. You are a special, unique person.

You do not have to carry toxic shame with you.

You cannot change the past, but you can change the meaning of the memories that you carry of it. 

The people that planted those seeds were just trying to meet their own agenda by keeping you down, and unsure of your value and place in the world. 

Brene Brown makes the point that creativity, inventiveness, and change come from a place of vulnerability. Doing things that are different, and uniquely you means you have to be somewhat vulnerable.

The greatest minds of the world came up with original ideas and creations and discoveries. They were not always met with acceptance. 

You do not have to follow the crowd. You have your own voice…you just have to find it and differentiate that authentic voice from the programs that were implanted into your brain. Shame is one of those programs that is no longer serving you. 

 

Love the Loving

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Love the loving people. Share your kindness and love with people who are able to love and care for people. Waste not your loving energies on people who cannot love others. 

Show compassion for those who have compassion and are capable of empathy with others. Loving people will fill your energies, rather than drain them. 

The energy exchange between two loving people will raise both of them up to a higher consciousness level. You will feel like a part of them has been added to you. This will not cause them to lose anything. 

Being kind and loving to another person who have love and compassion, will add part of yourself to them. They will carry part of you with them, but this will not cause you to lose anything. 

If you feel you are being drained bu someone, be careful not to lose yourself in them. If this is a person incapable of empathy and compassion, then they will take from you and not give anything back. 

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Share your kindness and your special spiritual gifts with other who are special. It will uplift you and you will feel your love for all living things growing inside you.

Holding resentment for someone who abused you can be like a dark hole inside of you. Sharing love with loving people can help to fill this darkness with light. The more light you carry with you, the more it will surround you. Others will feel the warmth of this light that is being generated by your spirit.

Saying NO to Emotional Manipulators

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image from Pinterest link HERE

Saying “no” to people comes very easily to some and is nearly impossible for others.

I have found that many people with  C-PTSD have trouble saying no.  If you were brought up in a mentally or otherwise abusive childhood, saying “NO,” may be associated with severe consequences to you.

If you lived with a parent that had narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, then they probably used confusion tactics on you, to the point where there was “no” way to say no to them.

Gaslighting can confuse our ability to trust ourselves and our perceptions.

It may be difficult to tell what situations that “NO,” would be perfectly okay, and what situations where saying no, would really cause a problem.

If you grew up in an environment where your feelings and thoughts were not considered relevant, then you probably feel that your feeling of wanting to say no, just does not count. Even though the same person may say “No” to you all the time, you do not feel that you have the same right to say no, that they do.

If you were even in an abusive situation where disobeying meant punishment , then you probably have a fear of retaliation from others.  There is an anxiety response triggered by saying no and  refusing to comply with another person’s request.

THE ACT OF SAYING NO, CAN TRIGGER A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE. IN ORDER TO AVOID FEELING  SEVERELY UNCOMFORTABLE, WE JUST SAY “YES” WHEN WE REALLY WANT TO SAY “NO.”

Triggers are very real and the tendency is to want to avoid feeling the bodily sensations  associated with them. Ignoring triggers and going against our conditioned responses, is a very difficult thing to do.

IT IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND ACCEPTABLE FOR YOU TO SAY “NO” TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE ASKING YOU TO DO SOMETHING THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO OR SOMETHING WHICH CROSSES YOUR BOUNDARIES.

You are allowed to set personal boundaries for yourself. You can also set boundaries for certain people that you do not want crossed.

You can set boundaries in regards to your emotions, your time, your energy, your work and your social interactions. You can set boundaries in regards to dating, doing work for people and doing favors for people.

You can set boundaries about your personal space and your personal items. 

 Any situation where someone is trying to get you to do something by using your emotions against you, is a situation where your boundaries need to come into play.  

Sometimes people do not accept your simple NO or your reasons for saying NO. They try to convince you be making you feel guilty or by shaming you. 

They are trying to use your good and caring personality against you.

my love story

image from mylovestory.me and Pinterest

They want you to feel bad and they do this by intentionally pushing whatever buttons they know you have. If they know that you want to feel like you are cooperative they will call you uncooperative.

If they know that you have helped them many times in the past, they will lie and tell you that they do not remember the last time you did them any favors.

Don’t fall for these manipulative behaviors. If someone feels the need to make you feel guilty in order to do them a favor, then they really do not deserve the favor.

People should accept No, especially if you have perfectly good reasons for saying no, even if the reason is that you just do not feel comfortable doing it or do not want to do it.

Here is a list of ways to say NO…

No.

No, thank you.

No, I really cannot do that.

No, I do not want to do that.

No, I am not interested in that.

No, I cannot find time in my schedule to do that.

 No, I am just too overloaded right now, to do that.

No, I am not interested in doing that.  

No, you go ahead without me.

No, please ask someone else.

No, I do not have to think about it.  I would rather tell you NO right now.

I said no. Please respect my answer

If you have a history with this person that tells you that they will counter any reasons you give them for saying No, then you can try something like this..

“In the past my giving reasons for my No, seems to have just been an opening for someone to tell me the reasons are not good enough or to dispute my reasons in some way. So this time I am going to say simply No without going over my reasons with you. “

If they refuse to accept your “no”, then you still do not have to do what they want just to make them stop complaining.

 Just because they are going to upset that you told them “no”,  does not mean that you are responsible for their feelings. As long as you were not intentionally trying to hurt their feelings, then you did not cause for them to feel bad.

If someone  is an adult then they are responsible for their own feelings. Much of the time, manipulative people are acting when they get dramatic with you. They can be very dramatic about how disappointed they are in you or about how selfish they think you are.

These are more reasons not to tell them  “yes”  every time they demand something from you. The more times they are able to manipulate you, the more they will resort to the same tactics over and over again. 

**Please note that this article is not talking about partner relationships where the person will physically abuse you or will otherwise punish you for saying no. Those relationships are volatile and should be escaped as soon as possible but I never recommend to ignite retaliation in a severely abusive person.

It is designed more for situations where you are in no immediate danger  or impending danger.

This article is also not a recommendation to tell your boss no to doing work, thus risking your job. If your boss is abusive it is a different topic and must be handled with a different strategy that is not discussed in this post.

Setting Boundaries with Manipulative People

  1. Other people do not get to decide what upsets you and what does not.
  2. Other people have no frame of reference about your life, to be able to decide if you are being “too sensitive” or “hyper sensitive” . No…they just don’t get to!
  3. Shaming someone is not love or support in any way, no matter how they attempt to twist things around to convince you. No shaming! Don’t accept it!
  4. People do not have the right to tell you how to perceive reality or to question you perception of reality. No they don’t! Just say NO !
  5. You are completely entitled to your feelings and to feel hurt when someone is….. mean, disrespectful, inconsiderate, selfish, sarcastic, deceitful, dishonest, disappointing, exploitative, condescending or minimizing to your reality. (image from Pinterest link HERE)puppet.jpg
  6. Someone insisting you perceive things the way they tell you to all the time is gaslighting you.
  7. You have the right to a conversation with a loved one about abusive or hurtful behavior. You are not being abusive to them when you point out behavior that hurts you and express your feelings about that behavior!!!
  8. Conversations about your feelings that always turn around somehow to be about their feelings, is a red flag of narcissistic abuse.
  9. No demeaning behavior, embarrassing you, disrespectful behavior or condescending attitudes have to be tolerated. It does not prove that you love them…it is just evidence that you have been desensitized to that kind of treatment.
  10. Excuses for their behavior that make you the cause of it, are UNACCEPTABE !

 

*PLEASE NOTE **If you are in an abusive relationship with someone that you fear may become violent, then please do not provoke them ! …. Get help, and carefully plan your escape from them. …..Do not risk violence to yourself or your children….. Pathological people can suddenly become much more violent when confronted by a partner. 

Artistic Expressions of Depression

 

 

Re-framing Traumatic Memories and Re-Wiring False Beliefs

As children we are taught how to see the world. The meanings of incidents and events are programmed into us, along with false beliefs that we carry into adulthood.

We have held onto certain beliefs for a long time and cannot always see that we need to re-assess them. 

All beliefs that we were taught are not true. Believing and following along blindly is not something you have to do. 

Respect your intuition and prioritize your gut feelings. 

Trauma can cause the brain to hold those memories in a way that they are integrated properly, thus causing emotional flashbacks. Emotional flashbacks are triggered by things that remind our subconscious of the memory.

We can learn to re-frame memories, using NLP techniques.

This way we can attach new meaning to those memories, rather than holding onto the meaning that other people out into our brain. 

We can also re-wire false beliefs that we are holding to, that are no longer serving us, or that were never serving us in a healthy way.

It is your brain and you have the right to frame the memories the way that supports you best. Truth and reality are dependent upon many things. 

Enjoy this video and learn some NLP techniques that you can use. For more information about NLP, hypnosis for trauma, and coaching for overcoming narcissistic abuse, and abusive relationships, you can visit the gentlekindness face book page and also the web site. 

Also follow the YouTube channel  for more videos about overcoming abuse, and dealing with pathological people. 

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