Dealing with a Toxic Parent

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Dealing with a toxic parent is frustrating and it can interfere with your personal life. 

Setting boundaries with them can feel impossible. You don’t know whether to go low contact or no contact with them. The feelings driving you are coming from your subconscious belief system that has been conditioned into you by the parent, and society. 

You may feel like you are taking the more noble path by continuing to cater to them, but you are being driven by habits that have been repeated since your childhood. Thought behaviors and conditioned emotions drive your choices. 

You can override your conditioned patterns, but you have to identify what false beliefs you are holding first. 

For more information and help, visit the gentlekindnesscoaching web site, and follow me on the facebook page.

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Coaching for Narcissistic Abuse Facebook page

The gentlekindness coaching facebook page is beginning to get more follows. This past week has been better because I ran a” Boost Post” ad for the page. I am not quite sure yet if it will turn out to be something I will pay for again, but so far it seems to be drawing new followers. 

Stop by the page and take a look HERE

 

Are Flashbacks Just Memories?

If you have PTSD you are aware of how frightening, and mentally upsetting that flashbacks can be. They can occur when there is a trigger than reminds you about the original trauma. 

I have heard from more than one person lately that their therapists are minimizing their experience with flashbacks. Therapists are not all trained in basic neurology, although in my opinion they should be. Understanding how the brain processes memories, and what happens to that process during a traumatic event, is important to the understanding of .

This is a response I left for another blogger who had this experience with a therapist. I have had clients of mine say very similar things about their therapist not understanding about flashbacks. Sometimes people are told that flashbacks are “just memories” and that it is not that bad.

Many mental health professional are compassionate. Some psychiatrists and therapists are also educated in neurology, but there are some that do not understand about flashbacks and what happens in the brain to cause flashbacks.

I have heard stories from my clients about  being traumatized in therapy. Survivors of narcissistic abuse need someone to validate their reality. There are therapists than end up re-traumatizing their clients by invalidating their reality when it comes to flashbacks and also the effect of gaslighting and mental abuse on the victim.

Most importantly, compassion for the client is necessary. You cannot treat someone and help them, if you are going to invalidate their experiences and their reality. Meeting someone where they are …mentally and emotionally…is showing your humanity. 

If you ever feel worse leaving a therapy appointment than when you went in, then something is wrong. If you feel invalidated, minimized, or criticized for things you feel and say, then you need to ask for another therapist.

They are being paid to help you heal and be whole again. So if you feel that your therapist is not a good match for you and your trauma, then it is okay to search for another therapist that understands PTSD, C-PTSD , surviving abuse, or the type of trauma that caused your post traumatic stress.

It is very important that you can express your thoughts and feelings. If you experienced abuse as an adult, or emotional / mental abuse growing up, then you have had years of not being believed and not having your reality validated. 

Here is my message to all of the clients I have helped with this issue. 

Flashbacks are most certainly different than memories. She was minimizing your pain and invalidating your reality. I do not know if she is just ignorant about the neurology of flashbacks or if she was intentionally minimizing you.

At least 10 percent of therapists and mental health professionals are pathological narcissists, because they like to be in that position of power of people’s heads and also it makes them seem believable when they call their partner mentally ill when they claim abuse. You need to be aware of this, and be proactive to protect your own mental health. 

Flashbacks are memories that have not been integrated properly by the brain. During trauma, the brain and body are flooded with high levels of adrenaline and cortisol. High levels of cortisol, especially when it is on an on-going basis, interfere with the hippocampus part of the brain. This is the part that is in charge of filing memories into the correct place.

When the cortisol interferes with the hippocampus, the memories of trauma are not filed into the past, like they should be, They are not processed as memories filed into the long term memory. So those memories are left lingering in the brain, without being put into the right box.

So the traumatic experience, and sensory images and feelings from that trauma, are non-integrated…they are fractured parts of you . This is why when something triggers the memory….like an object, a place, a smell, a sound, etc…the brain brings back the memory of the trauma as if it is really happening to you…in the present….rather than the past.

The adrenaline and the cortisol kick in , just like in the original trauma, and you feel like you are there in the trauma again. The brain cannot tell the difference between the event being in the past or in the present, because it was not able to file the memory into the right place in the brain, ‘

I think therapists should have to have some basic neurology education. Then they would at least understand that flashbacks are not just memories….I am sorry she acted this way to you. It is re-traumatizing when therapists do this to their clients.

Sending you healing and compassion.
Annie ❤

Overcoming Abuse – Creativity

I have found that people coming out an abusive relationship with a narcissist or a psychopath are spiritually damaged…like a spiritual rape…

Psychopaths and narcissists usually have no original creativity. They mimic the creativity of others…often their victims.

They copy and imitate other people. There is no true creation of their own.  They seem to target creative people, in order to watch and imitate them.

Psychopaths often steal other people’s creative work, claiming it is their own.

They like to destroy the creativity of the victim…or at least your ability to feel motivated to do anything creative. The lessened plasticity of your brain, makes it easier to brainwash and control you.

This makes the victim more like them…less spiritual and less creative. It is a way of stripping you of your real identity…and keeping you from being authentic…..thus crushing your reality and your self esteem. 

They also often target people with authentic spirituality, and empathy for others. Again, they use you to learn how to emulate having these qualities. Then they strip you of the energies needed for you to be spiritually connected and to grow. 

The accusations of the psychopath, that you are like them, become more believable to you, when you are in this state. They suck away your creative energies and spiritual energies. They lower your vibrational energies, making it harder for you to access any spiritual , natural healing. 

By lowering your consciousness level, the narcissist keeps you detached from being able to see truths that are right in front of you. Your brain is in a fog of confusion and self doubt.

By doing creative things, producing original things, participating in things like drumming circles or any creative spiritual group things you can get back in touch with your creative side. It can be an important part of healing from abuse. 

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Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents

Parents with narcissistic personality disorder never think of their adult children as adults. There is no respect for boundaries or your right to make your own decisions.

While other parents guide their children to become independent adults, narcissistic parents attempt to condition their children to serve their agenda.

Whether you are the golden child or the scapegoat is dependent on a variety of factors. Usually one child is chosen to be the golden child. If they comply with the wishes of the narcissistic parent, then they will probably retain that role. Otherwise they are in danger of being knocked off of the pedestal.

The scapegoat child is often the one that insisted on being authentic and questioned or exposed the methods of the narcissistic parent. Other times the scapegoated child just got that role because there was already a golden child in place.

The narcissistic parent projects the qualities of their grandios false self onto the chosen one…the golden child. There is unreasonable pressure put onto this child to live up to what the parent demands.

Scapegoated children can be subjected to mobbing by the family members. The narcissist creates the narrative for the family. Anyone who does not follow blindly is usually punished.

As part of this shared psychosis, created by the narcissist, the blame for any faults, failures or shortcomings of the narcissist will be put onto the scapegoat.

Different families have somewhat different dynamics, since there can be more than two children. Some children may be ignored completely because they do not fill the role of either the golden child or the scapegoat.

Anyone can be knocked off the pedestal at any time. Narcissists can be vindictive and quick to punish with emotional or other means.

Adult children of narcissistic parents carry trauma from their childhood. How they interact with the narcissistic parent may keep them in a childish lifestyle, or they may divorce the narcissistic parent and break contact with them.

Other adult children struggle to maintain independence while the narcissist makes their lives a living hell.

Learning about narcissism and pathological liars, can help you to understand why your relationship with your parents is like other people’s. Malignant narcissists are master deceivers and manipulators.

If you grew up with a narcissistic parent then you may be suffering from C-PTSD from emotional, mental or other abuses. Finding out more about emotional trauma and C-PTSD can help you to find freedom from the narcissistic chains that bind you.

Even if you have gone No Contact, or have limited contact, the emotional trauma and emotional flashbacks can still permeate your life.

🌷Check out the gentlekindness facebook page and gentlekindnesscoaching.com site for more information and help with Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse

 

 

 

Don’t Eat the Word Salad

Humans were all made individual, with unique gifts, talents and passions. While society or your family may think they know best what path you “should” follow, the authentic path for you is only known to you.

We have been conditioned to follow the pack, and to blend in with the other worker bees.  The of the heads of the large organizations like businesses and churches, all have their own agenda.

The personal agenda of the leader of an organization may be kept hidden by the leader. If you do not know someone well personally, you have no way to know what their true purposes are.

The machinations of psychopathic and narcissistic leaders are disguised as good will to others, or good will towards the members. It is easy to fall prey to just taking things at face value.

We want to believe that other people have good intentions. Psychopaths that are in the top positions, government, churches, and the ones that control the media, have brainwashed us into believing that most leaders are basically good people.

They go out of their way to shine a light on community service projects they support, and they make sure attention is brought to the few “good deeds” they have supposedly done.

You have been systematically brainwashed into turning the other way when you see things that bother you. Regular people have been trained to assume that their gut feelings are off base, if those feelings don’t seem to match the general consensus.

We have to begin to reactivate that connection with our intuition and our gut feelings. It is part of our neurology for our own protection.

Remember the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, if it was read to you as a child. If you are not familiar with the story, then I encourage you to get a copy of the book and read it.

We are intelligent human beings capable of assessing things that we see. Most people are moral and have empathy for others.

There are systems in place to make you doubt what you see and feel, in order that certain people can interpret the meaning for you. Remember you are an individual as well as part of a society.

Think for yourself and do not let manipulative people override your critical factors, with a bunch of jumbled word salad that makes no real sense.

PTSD Re-traumatization and Self Isolation

PTSD is a term most people have heard, but often they do not really know what it means.

If you tell someone you have PTSD, it may be hard for them to know what you mean by that, unless they have it themselves or maybe they have a close friend or family member with it.

People with PTSD have trouble with relationships, but not for the reasons people think.

Once you have been traumatized, and then re-traumatized by triggering situations, you feel generally unsafe and there is a natural tendency to want to retreat…back up your steps and run for cover.

People with PTSD can be re-traumatized by people who do not understand, and by people who are more concerned with their own agenda than really understanding.

When someone with PTSD has certain triggers, and explains those triggers to someone, it is important that they are validated and respected. If someone wants to care about a loved one with PTSD, they need to really listen to that person, when they talk about what triggers them. 

*A person that intentionally uses your triggers against you is dangerous to your mental well being. 

But then there are people who just don’t want to listen to or respect your boundaries. Your perceptions are not of an significance to them. 

Everyone has personal boundaries, but people with post traumatic stress disorder can suffer severe re-traumatization when a loved one does not honor their trigger boundaries.

Some triggers cannot be avoided, such as loud noises that may occur independently from either person. However, talking someone into going to a loud dance club, or guilting them into going to fireworks, when it has been made clear that loud noises are triggers, is abusive.

People who have PTSD from the military, and people who have PTSD from domestic abuse have different causes for their symptoms, but some things are the same.

The fight-or-flight mode is activated by the amygdala. If the brain perceives a threat, even if that threat is not real, the amygdala will send chemicals into the body like adrenaline and cortisol.

 The feeling in the body of a “perceived threat” and a real threat is exactly the same. The same physiological responses occur, including blood pressure elevation, and feeling of extreme fear and the feeling that you have to act right away.

Someone who had their jaw fractured by an abusive boyfriend, who suddenly stormed towards them in a fit of anger, may be triggered by someone coming quickly into their personal space, especially if that person is angry.

Once you have asked someone not to do certain things which trigger you, it is a terrible feeling when they still continue to do them. It feels very violating, and only serves to break the trust bond.

Relationships need to be based in trust. Intimate relationships, as well as friendships and family relationships have to feel safe. If one person does not feel safe, then there is a lack of understanding and a lack of trust.

Without both parties feeling safe, the relationship will break down. People with PTSD can find it difficult to trust again, after others have invalidated them about their symptoms.

Sometimes someone will disbelieve you, minimize your trauma, or accuse you of trying to manipulate them with your explanations about your trauma and your triggers. This is very painful and re-traumatizing.

People who have PTSD or C-PTSD from abuse were invalidated as part of the abuse process. Their emotions were minimized, disregarded and made fun of.

To have someone close to you minimize your PTSD, or disbelieve you is re-traumatizing. It gives  the victim into an emotional flashbacks or actual sensory flashbacks.

You can only tolerate being traumatized and re-traumatized so many times.

Soldiers that come back from war only to be disrespected by civilians, or invalidated and ignored by the Veterans Administration, are being re-traumatized.

It is a way of invalidating a person’s reality. This has negative effects on the person’s mental and emotional state.

People with PTSD can be perfectly good and caring partners and friends. They just need validation, respect and understanding.

But after repeated re-traumatization, a person feels isolated and too vulnerable to take a chance on trusting another person again. This leads to self isolation, depression, and often suicidal thoughts.

Evolutionary psychology tells us that our subconscious brain feels threatened by the potential that we would be completely isolated, shunned or thrown out of the social circle.

A Little Evolutionary Psychology

In the past, humans lived in social survival groups called tribes.  Being accepted and included by the tribe was critical for survival. Being shunned would have meant death !

Our primal brain  (called the reptilian brain) perceives rejection by the tribe to be potentially life threatening.  When we are feeling a similar kind of threat, it triggers the fight or flight response in our limbic system of the brain. The amygdala becomes active and send all kinds of alerts and chemicals into the body.

Technically, we could survive living alone and isolated these days, but we were not meant to live in isolation… especially isolation due to “mobbing” or “scapegoating” by the tribe.

This is one of the reasons that scapegoated family members, suffer such severe mental and emotional trauma.

People with PTSD need to feel that they will still be accepted by the Tribe (family, community…whatever applies to the situation…).

They need to know that their personal reality will be validated, even though it may be very different from that of other people. The experiences someone with PTSD has endured may seem strange to people that have not ever had that kind of trauma in their reality.

Isolation can cause death by suicide or “failure to thrive.”

Self isolation will almost always cause severe depression. But being re-traumatized is just as bad, and the brain will try to lead people away from that pain.

Our primal brains are designed to take us away from danger, or perceived danger….and towards pleasure. But the “away from danger” is the priority.

Re-exeriencing the feelings of danger, fight or flight chemicals and physiological responses, is not something that anyone could tolerate on a regular basis.

We were not built to feel in danger all the time. Being in a state of hyper-arousal all the time depleats the immune system and causes mental disorders.

People with PTSD need understanding and validation.

They need their loved ones to be sensitive to their triggers, and to pay attention to what the person asks and needs. 

Otherwise. the relationships cannot continue in a way that is safe for the PTSD sufferer. The person with PTSD will shut down and crawl inside of themselves. No healthy relationship can be sustained without safety for both people. 

 

Standing up to Your Pathological Narcissist?

Living with a pathological narcissist means being forced into giving up your own identity, dreams, rights, and opinions. They are always right, , and anything you do that seems like you are trying to be an equal, will be shut down.

It is difficult for people who have not lived under the heavy weight, of the dark shadow, of a pathological narcissist to understand.

People will tell you that all you have to do is stand up to them,  and assert your boundaries. But if you have lived with one of ….”the people that have no conscience” … then you know that the consequences that follow any attempt to assert your individuality, are met with severe punishment.

The malignant narcissist knows the weaknesses of their victim. If you love your children, they will threaten them, or turn them against you.

If you need your car to get to work, they will remove your car and refuse to return it until you submit. If you have friends, they will manipulate them, lie to them and ruin your relationships.

If you are seriously ill, they will tell people you are faking being sick to get out of seeing them. They will “accidentally” run into your employer and tell them you are pretending to be sick in order to get time off from work.

If you are struggling financially,  due to repeated undermining behaviors by the narcissist, they will tell others how much they have helped you financially,  and how ungrateful you are behaving to them.

If they humiliate you be spreading personal information they spied through your computer to discover, they will make it clear to you that they have more dirt on you. ….. Comply or suffer. 

They will convince you to quit your job and then shame you. They will offer for you to move in with them, saying they need you there, only to send out Christmas card letters telling everyone how much you are imposing on them.

When you attempt to get a job, or start a business, to make enough money to move out, they will undermine you at every turn. …steal your keys and take your car out for an oil change, when you need to get to work.

When you complain that they took your car when you needed to get to work, they will tell you that since they are now helping with the maintenance of the vehicle ( the one oil change that it did not need,  and you did not ask for) that the title to the car should actually be in their name… It’s only fair, right?

When you have a business appointment that you have to get to on time, they will block your car in with theirs, so you cannot get out.

When you ask them to move their car, they will demand all the information about your business, so that they can further undermine you.

When you get a pet for comfort, they steal the supplies you bought for it, and put them where you cannot reach them. Then they nail the cage to a table in their yard, so that you cannot take it.

If you purchase any property, like furniture, they will insist it was always theirs. If it becomes damaged they will demand that you pay for it.

If you live with a psychopathic narcissist, they will break your appliances and scream at you for breaking them. You will go without a shower or a stove….even when you rent (which is unreasonanly high) has always been paid on time to them.

When you tell them that these things are legally required to be working, they will tell you they have other projects to finish in the house first, such as new wall paper in their bedroom.

If you use their shower and the pipe behind the wall leaks, they will tell you the water damage was caused by you not knowing how to use the shower curtain. When you show them the floor next to the shower is dry, they ignore you and continue to explain how to properly pull the shower curtain closed, so that you do not damage their house again.

When you ask the plumber, right in front of the narcissist, if water from the shower curtain not being pulled tight could send water pouring through two floors of celings, he laughs and says no. When you remind the narcissist of this conversation the next time they tell you there was water damage due to your not pulling the shower curtain closed, they deny the plumber was ever there.

When the therapist tells you to bring the narcissist to therapy with you, because the therapist feels that everyone can live in harmony once the therapist teaches everone proper techniques for communication, DON’T DO IT!

The narcissist is not unaware of methods for communication. Their methods are intentional and not accidental.

Make no mistake. The narcissist is in full control of their communication methods.

They are able to behave during the idealization (honermoon) phase. They are not confused as to why everyone is not getting along… or about why all the relationships around them are in chaos.

They divide and conquer, with a Machiavellian philosophy.

The ends jusitifies the means.

They say one thing to you, and the opposite to someone else. They deny saying things, manipulating you, and threatening you.

They will never admit what they do, or what they say to you behind closed doors. They deny reality to discredit you, turn people against you, and to create chaos so that they can be on top.

They intentionally use techniques of brainwashing and creating a … “shared psychosis”…in order to  to scapegoat certain people. The family members  who seem to want to hold onto their identity, and will not let the narcissist make them bow down to their greatness.

The narcissist will retaliate against you when you try to shed light on the truth. Their secret identity is hidden under the mask, and they hate you for knowing who they really are.

They will stop at nothing to destroy you, financially, socially, and physically. Their tactics will cause deterioration of your physical and mental health.

Why don’t people simply just stand up to the narcissist they are living with and assert themselves?

Because often times  you have a better chance escaping them without severe damage, if you let them think they have control, while you are secretly filling your bank account and packing boxes that you hide in the closet.

The retaliation by a psychopathic narcissist is so severe it has driven many victims to suicide. Unless you have lived with them, you cannot imagine what they are capable of.

Highly Sensitive People and Empaths ; Dealing with the Dark Tunnel

Taras Loboda - (23) sad  woman

painting  by Taras Loboda 1961 Link to more of their paintings HERE

If you find yourself in the darkness….it is partially a solitary battle. Trying to get out of that tunnel backwards, by retreating will not work.

You are thrown into the middle of the dark tunnel, by your personal demons.

If someone has hurt or abused you then you are realizing that this has triggered your old wounds to open up and your sleeping demons to awaken. 

You have to sit with the darkness and interact with those fears, angers, grief or sadness demons. You need to let your inner child know that you are confronting those demons for them, because the child in incapable to battle them or defend against them.

If you try to run away from that tunnel, the demons will always follow you, because they refuse to be ingnored. Your inner child will continue to feel rejected and abandoned by you, because you are not integrating the demons.

If you experienced trauma at early ages, those demons are still haunting the child.

An incident of coming face to face with evil or darkness, will trigger the old fears, because they were never consoled and accepted.

You can sit with these feelings and let your inner child know that you accept them, love them, and will always protect them.

Once the child realizes it is not abandoned then the process of integrating the fractured child parts, and fractured memory pictures, can begin.

pinterest image

image from pinterest Link HERE

Each picture has a meaning attached to it. The meanings of things during childhood are programmed into you by others, who were concerned with their own agenda. You can change the meaning that your subconscious holds about these memories.

Take your time as you walk through the dark tunnel. You will get to the other side stronger and with greater ability to perceive truth.

Society, and people from your life, have dropped a veil in front of your eyes.

Any feelings you are carrying of shame, guilt, or obligation to violate your authentic self, are part of this veil.

There is more to see and perceive….and there are more possibilities that exist….and more possibities that you can create. People limit you by telling you what you cannot and should not do. 

The darkness does not have to be pushed aside, in order for you to survive it.

Painful emotions are guides, telling you not to go in a certain direction.

Your emotions are an alert system that is important for you to pay attention to.

Others are not living your life. They do not have any right to dictate how you feel about their behaviors and words. They do not have any right to program your mind with the meaning they want you to attach to things.

Your brain and your emotions are your own. You have a right to  feel how you feel, and to care about those feelings. Others who discount your feelings are not supporting you and those people are not good for you.

Highly sensitive people and empaths are criticized by the ones who want to dominate over and subjugate them.

They will tell you that you are “too sensitive” or that you are “over reacting.. “

They may even deny things they say and do, in order to gaslight you.

When you try to set boundaries with them, they tell you they never did what you are remembering them doing….or they just plain say that your needs are irrelevant. 

This is to create ficticious examples of how your “highly sensitive person” qualities are not valid. If these people can make you question your perception of reality, then they can manipulate how you feel about yourself.

Do not discount or minimize your feelings.

Experience them and integrate all parts of you into the whole. Others will attempt to fracture your parts, because this disables you from being powerful.

You have a great purpose and there are many possibilities all around you. Accept and love yourself for who you are.

Karina-Chernova-8 flowers maiden

Photography by Karina Chernova – see more of her work HERE

As you begin to integrate the light and the darkness of the old and new demons, you will begin to see how you belong in the world.

You have purpose and are part of all life. Your gifts are special and unique. .

Listen to those people that nourish your soul…rather than those people that seek to cripple your spirit. Find others who can validate your worthiness ….

Highly sensitive people and empaths are in the minority.

It is important for you to exist in an environment that supports you. Seek out those who value your gifts and accept you for who you are.

Blessings,

Annie

Note – If you are interested in life coaching for expanding and blossoming your unique gifts, or help finding your direction, please feel free to visit my web site and join the email list.

gentlekindnesscoaching.com

-overcoming narcissistic abuse

-recognizing gaslighting

-dealing with the “red pills” and truth being revealed to you

-hypnosis and NLP

-energy healing

-compassionate conversation and validation

Shine and a Cure Bunny Pic

shine

bunny edited

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