Self Soothing ; Coping with Anxiety and Depression

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.Self soothing and having a variety of coping methods for anxiety is an important part of surviving life in this world. Some children are guided to learn these things, while others are not. If you grew up with parents that were neglectful or abusive, then you most likely grew up with no self soothing skills. 

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Everyone has anxiety and stress to deal with, but some people end up with anxiety disorders that overpower their lives, and their ability to interact with others in stressful environments.

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If you never learned coping skills for anxiety growing up, then you can still find methods that will work for you. 

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If you suffer from depression and anxiety, then you need to be able to self sooth. You need to find special methods that work for you. Everyone is unique and not all coping skills work for all people.

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It does not matter what your go-to methods are, or how silly or childish they might seem to someone else. You can buy yourself a special stuffed animal and a soft blanket if those things are soothing to you. 

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Sometimes it is the inner child that needs soothing, in which case doing the same things that would sooth a small child might be just the thing you need to do. I don’t mean carrying around a stuffed bunny rabbit with you out in public, but in your own home you can do what you want without worrying about outside judgement.

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If you are living with people who would judge you, then you probably are getting some of your anxiety from living with those people and that might be an issue you will need to deal with at some point. 

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If you live alone, or at least sleep in your own room, then your self soothing and comforting activities can be ones that made you feel safe as a child. If you grew up in environments where you often felt fearful, then that inner child is still looking for a safe place to be. You may be triggered by things that remind you of your fears from childhood.

Other self soothing activities for you might be coloring in a coloring book, reading a favorite story from a children’s story book, or an adult story book. You can carry items with you during the day that you find comforting. It is easy to keep small things in your purse or in your car. 

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Indoor or outdoor places can be soothing environments also.

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If you feel relaxed and safe at the park, by a lake, at the beach, or someplace in nature, then you can take yourself for a visit to a place that makes you feel connected with nature. You do not have to feel guilty for taking time out for yourself, even though you may have been conditioned to feel that way. 

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You might feel safe and comfortable someplace like a book store, a library, a bowling alley, a movie theater or a museum. Whatever makes you feel more able to deal with your anxiety is a good place to go. There is no reason you cannot take some time out of your day for yourself. It does not have to be expensive or cost anything at all. 

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Yoga and meditation are great ways to center yourself also. You can take a yoga class or do yoga at home. There are meet-ups you can find in your area by searching a site like meetup.com.

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Being with people of similar interests might be helpful for you, and the exercise is very good for regulating the nervous system. There are small groups that meet for meditation and spiritual activities at churches and other places that people rent for the purposes of getting together. 

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If you enjoy animals more that people. then there are places where you can be around animals. Even walking around Pet Smart for a half hour can be a great break from the anxiety of the day. There are animal shelters that would be glad to have visitors to help with the animals or to volunteer on a regular basis. 

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Music is helpful for many people in reducing anxiety and increasing dopamine, as well as reducing cortisol.

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The levels of these chemicals in your body alter the way you feel, your mood and your anxiety level. Anything that reduces cortisol and raises dopamine and the feel-good chemicals is probably good for you. 

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You can find what works best for you with a little trial and error. If you are not sure about something but you want to try it, go ahead and see how it works for you. Once you begin to explore different kinds of activities you may find that you discover new ones that you would not have otherwise thought of. 

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If you are introverted then you will probably be most soothed by doing things alone, or in small groups of like-minded people, or people with similar interest and values. If you are extroverted then you might find the most relaxation with larger group activities. But you can vary your coping activities between introverted and extroverted ones. 

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It might help you to take a free Meyers Briggs test online. You can find one if you search google, or I can give you a link. If you learn more about your own personality type, it can help you to discover the kinds of things that trigger your anxiety . You may find validation for why certain things make you feel depressed. 

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Another thing you could consider is what you are taking into your body.

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The food and drink that you bring into your physical body can have a strong effect on your mood and will power. Sometimes a small adjustment in the kinds of food you eat, or adding a vitamin that you may be deficient it, can make a marked difference in your mood. 

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I have offered you some ideas, but you can discover many more. Be creative and open minded. Sometimes just the simple act of trying new routines and spending 20 minutes doing something that you don’t usually allow yourself to do, can have am effect on your nervous system. 

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The nervous system can become disregulated from stress, from abuse, and from having PTSD from a past trauma. You may be living in the present physically, but emotionally connected to things that happened in your past. Sometimes hypnosis, inner child work, and compassionate dialogue with a trained therapist or life coach can be helpful. 

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Make sure you choose any professional help with care, and don’t feel that you are stuck with someone that is not serving your purposes, or is not a great match for you.

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You can ask the person questions about what they specialize in and why. Someone who is going to be talking with you about a abusive past for example, needs to specialize in that area or they will have difficulty really understanding what your responses are about. 

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I hope this finds you all well, and I wish you healing and empowerment. You are a special individual. You are unique. You have just as much of a right to have a meaningful and empowering life as anyone else does. 

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Namaste,

Annie – gentlekindness coaching web site

http://www.gentlekindnesscoaching.com/

visit my youtube channel HERE


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJw1QUDzb59PbWTcnGjGJ7g/videos

Dealing with Depression

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Depression is a serious condition that is all encompassing for the individual sufferer. It is sometimes seen as a mental problem or an emotional weakness of sorts by people who do not understand it. But sufferers of depression know that it can permeate all aspects of your life. 

Depression can begin as a mild depression and then over time it can grow to a more serious condition that interferes with daily functioning. Some people have depressive episodes that tend to pass in time, while other people feel like they have been sucked into a black void that will not let them out. 

It can almost feel like an external entity is either crushing you down, or pulling you into an altered state of consciousness that becomes like a prison. This prison is filled with darkness, sadness, hopelessness and apathy about things that you once cared about doing. 

Getting any motivation, or traction in your life can be difficult to impossible, if you are suffering from depression. It can be hard to do activities, work, or even clean the house and do basic daily tasks. This can quickly begin to lead you into a downward spiral that is very hard to get yourself out of. 

One element that is common with severe, or chronic depression, is the element of shame. There is sometimes toxic shame to begin with. That can be something that goes back to childhood. It may be shame that other people programmed you to feel. 

If you grew up with people that were critical about your feelings, the way you expressed yourself, or critical in general, then you are probably carrying toxic shame in your subconscious. If you were abused physically, or otherwise then you may be carrying a feeling of shame from that abuse, even if you are not aware of it. 

Why would someone who was abused be carrying shame about that, when the abuse is the fault and choice of the abuser?

This is a question that is often asked by people who did not have an abusive childhood, and have never been in an abusive relationship. There are aspects of mental abuse and emotional abuse that program shame into the victim. People who have not experienced emotional abuse or mental abuse have trouble understanding this, but it is very real. 

It can be difficult to talk with people about your childhood, and also about adult abusive relationships because they may invalidate what you experienced. This makes you feel worse, and it reinforces the shame that you already feel. 

The other aspect of shame that is often felt by sufferers of depression, is the shame of feeling that there is something wrong with you because you suffer from depression.

Other people around you function better than you do, and they seem to be more equipped to deal with life than you do. If you feel like the depression is something you have to hide from others, then that can lead to feeling shame about it. 

Depression is not something you have to feel shame about, but it is not easy to just turn that feeling off. Shame is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with because it can feel out of your control. It feels like an entity in itself that takes hold of you because you deserve it to. 

Feeling guilt about something you have done wrong is different than shame.

Deep seeded shame is extremely painful and it makes the person feel like they deserve to be punished. You might even feel like the depression is your punishment for being an inadequate person.

There is nothing that is inadequate about you. Even if other people are able to deal with their lives better at this time, it does not mean that they are better or more deserving than you. 

Shame is an emotion that is programmed into you. You feel ashamed in comparison to other people. It could be that you have been compared unfairly to people and situations that are not the same as you. You may have grown up with disordered parents who manipulated your feelings, in order to superimpose the feelings they wanted you to feel, in place of the true feelings that  you had about things.

All of these childhood experiences are carried in the subconscious because it was the time that you were learning how to interpret the world, your reality, your feelings, and your place in the world. If you were made to feel that you had a lower place in the world than other people do, then this belief was filed into your subconscious brain. 

Just because you may feel like there is something about you that makes you less than others, does not make it true. It is just the programming and the false beliefs that were put into you. 

As an adult with depression, there is stigma that you have to deal with. The perception by the general public about mental illness and depression is often not correct.

The media tends to misrepresent aspects of depression and mental illness. Most people who have never experienced any mental illness do not have a real picture of what it is like. 

If you are suffering from depression, you may feel isolated from others even when you are in a room full of people. You feel different and broken somehow. The inability to be able to communicate about how you feel and what you might need, can make you feel like an alien on an unfriendly planet. 

The feeling of isolation can make the depression worse. There is a need for understanding and connection, but you are afraid to be made worse by being invalidated, minimized or disbelieved. You feel like you are surrounded by a strangling darkness that no one else can see. 

It can help to know that you are not alone. There are many other people who feel like they are the target of this crushing dark pain. It is not a sign of your intelligence or you ability to be competent or functional. Many depression sufferers are extremely intelligent and creative. 

The more isolated you become and the more alone you feel, the worse the depression can become. Forcing yourself to be among people does not always help either. In fact it might be something that makes you feel even worse and more alone. 

Being around people who do not understand mental illness or depression can make you feel out of place, and like you do not belong or fit in with anyone in the world. But this does not mean that you do not belong in the world, or that you cannot find people that you do fit in with. 

Depression is physically painful, as well as emotionally painful. Strong emotions are always felt in the body. You may even be able to identify and point to the most painful places where you feel emotional pain. 

Over time the places you feel the physical pain from depression may manifest illnesses and disease. Carrying shame can also lead to physical illness.

Emotions that are repressed, held inside, or not healed can cause all kinds of diseases and sicknesses, including heart conditions, gastrointestinal diseases, cancers, arthritis and joint pain, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, nervous system disorders and more. 

If you have fatigue and chronic pain, in addition to depression, then it becomes a loop that is hard to get out of, where one things leads to the other. 

Insomnia and anxiety disorders are also common with severe or chronic depression. Sleep deprivation from insomnia can increase the depression and also illnesses. Many of these aspects of depression end up feeding back into it. It can feel like you are literally being attacked by your own body, your brain, or an outside force. 

Even though it seems like no one understands what it is like, it is important for you to know that you are not alone. You are not crazy or imagining things. The pain from depression is very real, and worse because it is invisible to others. 

Invisible disorders can be the hardest to deal with because it hard to get validation about your day to day reality. You feel like you are living in a different reality than other people. In many ways you are living in a different reality from most other people, but there are others who feel the same way that you do. 

You are not alone. It is important not to minimize your feelings, even if it seems like the people around you do not know what you are going through.

Allow yourself to accept the reality you experience as valid. Believe that you are just as worthy and deserving as anyone else, and that having depression does not make you less than anyone else. 

You may be having trouble getting through the day right now. Things may really be harder for you to do than they were before, and than they are for many other people. Be kind to yourself and allow compassion for yourself. 

Allow yourself to feel compassion for what you are going through and for how it feels to have this depression pulling you in and surrounding you. Accept this depression as your brain letting you know that something is demanding attention. 

You are very important and there are times when your brain is trying to protect you by letting you know that something really needs attention and care. Do not judge yourself for having depression, or for having difficulty with daily things because of the depression. 

There is no benefit if judgement, and it will just make things worse. If you are feeling judge mental towards yourself, then try to identify where this judgement is really coming from. It may be someone else’s words that are actually speaking in your head, and not your own. 

It is necessary for you to care for your depression, just like you would care for a sick friend or a sick child. Care for yourself and care for the depression you are feeling. Look inside of yourself and see what needs are not being met. 

It is not selfish to take care of yourself, or to be extra compassionate towards yourself during depression. It is a serious thing that is demanding your attention and care. 

Love yourself as much as you would love another who was suffering.

Find ways to nurture and heal yourself. Connect with others who understand. You do not have to base your feelings about yourself on those beliefs of other people who do not understand mental illness or depression. 

You are not inadequate and you are not an alien. You are not exaggerating the way you feel in your own head and your own body. You know how you feel , and only you know how serious your depression is. It cannot be judged by anyone outside of yourself. 

Allow kindness and compassion to flow towards yourself.

Accept kindnesses from others and begin to let go of any negative beliefs about yourself that others have put there. Your past does not define you, and you are allowed to love yourself just as you are at this moment in time. 

 

Be What You Imagine You Could Be

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As you are walking along your path, you can be who you are at any time, even as you discover new things about your true self. You are not consigned to have to be imprisoned by your past, or the story of your life. It does not have to define you. 

Just think of the story as events that happen to have occurred, and things you have been in the midst of at various times. The choices you made in different circumstances were based on your programming and the beliefs you were holding in your subconscious at the time. 

Many of the beliefs you hold in your subconscious brain, are things that were programmed in by other people you have interacted with, by your family of origin, and by society. Any toxic shame you are carrying was brainwashed into you. Self doubt and ;earned helplessness are other things that come from believing that “you are your story.”

You are not your conditioned thoughts. You are not your story. You are not your past. 

You are infinitely more that anything that has happened to you, and anything you have ever done. You are expansive and go beyond this illusion that you have been told is the only reality that matters. 

There is more to reality than you see. There is more to you than other people tell you. Your feelings and intuition can guide you. You must re-train yourself to feel your feelings without self judgement. Your feelings are not your enemy, and they never mean that there is something wrong with you. 

The more you shove down your true feelings and your true thoughts, the more the illusion draws you in. Who says that your inner thoughts about how your reality should be are wrong, or that they have to be approved by society?

What visions and dreams would you have, if you did not fear your own judgement of yourself? What possibilities are there that you tend to shut down, because you fear the judgement of others? What things have you denied in yourself,  because someone else told you there was something wrong with it? 

You are in this life to explore the dreams and possibilities. You can expand beyond the role you are playing.

This pattern of feeling obligated to repeat the same kinds of behaviors day after day is like a self imposed prison. You can be who you are, even if that does not match what people expect from you.

As a child you had imagination and played out roles and situations in a way that allowed you to explore your ideas and your feelings. Society and the people in your life may have crushed your imagination down, and discounted it as childishness. 

Imagination is one of your greatest gifts. It allows you to explore possibilities and come up with creative solutions for problems. Imagination can take you outside of the box you have been restricted to and to mentally explore your own expansion.

Dream and allow your visions to be free. Imagine and create as you desire. Be who you dream of being. Follow your passions and part the veil that has been limiting your potential to be your true amazing self.

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Depression and Connection

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Depression affects many people, but the people that suffer from depression have trouble talking to anyone about it. People that do not have depression, and have never suffered from it, do not usually understand.

This has the effect of isolating the people that do suffer from depression. The loneliness and isolation just make the depression worse and it can feel hopeless to the person.

Close relationships are important. People need to feel supported and accepted. If you feel that you have to hide your depression, then those relationships can feel false or plastic.

It is easy for you to get stuck in repeating circles of thoughts and there is no one to tell them to. Fears can become bigger and feel more ominous as they repeat and circle around in your head.

Sadness needs a release of some sort. It is part of the human condition to grieve and feel sad about things. The normal process of feeling sadness or grief has a progressive element to it.

Once those emotions and thoughts are caught in a never-ending circle, it can feel hopeless, like there is no way out.

Just being able to talk about those thoughts with another compassionate person can help to lift the burden. Even if you have to find someone in the blogging world, or another place online to talk to.

Therapists can help in certain ways, but it is not quite the same as being supported and understood by another person who cares about your well being.

You may have to proactively reach out for someone to talk to. Don’t give up just because you are met with roadblocks along your path. There may be someone waiting just on the other side of the roadblock.

There are so many people in the world. Even though it may feel like no one can understand you…there are some people that can understand.

When you feel like self isolating and giving up, just rest up and then try again. Try different places to meet people and different places to connect with people online.

You matter. There are other people that will care and not minimize your feelings of depression.

Depression is serious. Your emotional and mental health are very important. You have  value as a human being and your experiences do matter.

Sometimes reaching out to someone else who is suffering can also help you. There is value is connecting with someone who has had similar feelings and experiences inside of their own mind.

If you feel like you don’t matter and that there is no reason for anyone to care…those thoughts  are just coming from conditioning that you have experienced.

We are not born feeling worthless or inadequate. Childhood programming and societal brainwashing puts those programs into your head.

You do matter. Realize that you have just as much of a right to be loved and cared for as anyone else does. Some people just ended up in different circumstances.

Namaste,

Annie

Video for Depression and Anxiety

Authentically You

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You are a unique being. Your gifts and dreams are important.

We were not made to be plastic dolls to be used like puppets by the manipulative ones.

Society is so brainwashed by all sorts of media and organized social structures. You are not their puppet either.

You are not a cardboard cut-out , here to play the role someone else thinks you should play.

You are not here to just be part of someone else’s narrative. You make your own movie and your own story.

Be free and be authentically you.

Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy and Self Doubt

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Any negative thoughts about yourself that have to do with not being good enough, or not being worthy, are programs that were conditioned into you.

These programs are like viruses that start as a small toxin and quickly replicate, until they become pervasive. The on-going background voice that says “who do you think you are” is not coming from your authentic true thoughts.

Being told you were not good enough, or made to feel inadequate, by parents or care givers as a child, you were instructed to feel that there was something innately wrong with you. This is an illusion created by others who should have been building your self esteem.

Not all parents do this on purpose. But the repetitive tapes that play at the back of your mind are just as destructive, whether they were intentionally installed or not.

It is not a matter of being judgemental about the parenting styles of your parents. It is about recognizing the false beliefs you are carrying in your subconscious.

As long as you feel these beliefs are true, your brain will search for and interpret situations that prove these things to be correct.

Looking at these negative beliefs about yourself as conditioning, can begin the process of disproving the false beliefs.

Emotional abuse can lead you to see things in black and white about yourself. You are either right or wrong, successful or a failure, good at something or bad at it.

Life is more than a black and white picture. Reality is malleable and a rigid view of reality can be like a prison.

It can help to remember who the sources were ( or who the current sources are) that These black and white views of yourself come from. Are these sources capable of really knowing you, your full creative potential…your value to other humans?

Once you can see that the people who programmed inadequacy into your brain had some personal agenda of their own…then you can begin to realize that your brain has accepted opinions and manipulation as reality and truth. It has become embedded in your subconscious As truth.

But you do not have to accept things as true just because someone told you it was true. Other people’s opinions about your true value and worth have power when you believe they are based in reality.

Questioning the false beliefs about yourself and about your reality, that were taught to you, can be the beginning of re-wiring harmful conditioning that goes back to your childhood.

Blessings,

Annie

 

Who Are They to Tell You?

Who are They to say that we are…
too fat
too dumb
too afraid
too uneducated
too quiet
too shy
too loud
too impulsive
too set in our ways
too sloppy
too independent
too compliant

Who are They to say that we are only…
a nurse
a teacher
a stay at home mom
a working Mom
a playboy
a rebel
a womanizer
an addict
a mental case

Who are They to say that we can’t…
change jobs
change cities
change our minds!
get married
get divorced
learn yoga
dance
go to college
learn something new

Who are They to say that we have no right to…
talk to them
confront them
disagree with them
stand up to them
defy them
leave them

Who are They to say that we can’t become…
a poet
a businessman
an entrepreneur
a parent
a friend
a traveler
a lesbian
a mother
a spiritual adviser
a leader of men
a thinker of new ideas
a creator
a visionary
Ourselves

Aftermath of Narcissistic, Mental Abuse

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If you grew up in an abusive household, then you were desensitized to abuse. You were conditioned that abuse is part of your life, and you may not even recognize milder forms of abuse than what you experienced as a child.

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When I say “milder”… I don’t actually feel that way. Society has conditioned us that certain kinds of abuse are not really abuse. Plus, the covert tactics of abuse often cannot be seen or proven.

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You have probably had toxic people sneak across your boundaries, and permeate the cracks in your borders, many times. You may have some clear boundaries, or none at all.

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Children in emotionally healthy families are taught about personal boundaries. They has someone to teach them what to do when someone was abusing them, or taking advantage of them. If you has one or both parents that were conditioning you that your feelings don’t matter, then you were not given the proper “software” for your brain.

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Having your self esteem crushed down as a child /teenager, is detrimental. It has long lasting effects on the subconscious.

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As an adult, you now need to learn the skills for survival that you should have been taught as a child. You need the support to build your self esteem back up.

Being surrounded regularly by people who minimize you, is the worst thing that can happen for your self esteem. If you continue to draw toxic people towards you, then you will never realize a sense of self.

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Your identity is being controlled by others. They are not treating you this was because you deserve it. That is just a gaslighting tactic they use to make you stay around them.

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No, people don’t mistreat you because there is something innately wrong with you. In fact most codependents and  empaths are compassionate, creative, intelligent people.

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Of course, the narcissists are not creative or empathic. They are rarely as intelligent as they will tell you they are. In fact, you should put up a red flag in your mind, anytime you hear someone constantly, and repeatedly telling you how intelligent they are….how successful they are…how much people like them….how people always do what they say….or how much of a “good person” they are.

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Anyone can say those things. How someone describes themselves should be compared to their behavior and actions. It is not a normal behavior for someone to spout about their intelligence…etc…regularly.

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If you have C-PTSD from on-going emotional / mental abuse growing up, then you will be targeted by narcissists. That pattern will continue, as you re-play the events and situations of your childhood….subconsciously trying to reslove the un-resolveable.

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You cannot change these kinds of people. Their treatment of you has probably caused you depression, PTSD, an anxiety disorder….and possibly suicidal thoughts …..All of which you may feel is due to some kind of mental illness in you.

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It is all part of their game. They intentionally cause you to be emotionally and mentally unstable.

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Then they make you believe that you need them. You are helpless…according to their “supposed” opinion of you . ….and you are convinced by them that you cannot possibly navigate the big bad world without them.

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In the mean time, the “Big Bad World” is either living in your home, bossing you around at work, or undermining any efforts you make towards being independent and autonomous.

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If you are an adult with a living narcissistic parent, they are probably still disrespecting you, and treating you like a child….and not in a good way. (I don’t treat my children this way)

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You need to re-wire the false beliefs that were programmed into your brain. You can Get Coaching, to help you with that.

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You need to evaluate each of your relationships, and see whatever truths that you have been brainwashed not to see. You can Get Coaching for that too.

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You need to be validated for all the abuse and gaslighting. You guessed it….you can Get Coaching for that one too !

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Do you need a compassionate person to listen to you…and really hear you? You can Break the Chains that hold you back from really blossoming in the world.

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Isn’t it time that these toxic people stopped using us? Isn’t it time for their cruel tactics to have some light shed on them?

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Why should we continue to bow down to their fear tactics…or even care what they think about us? The opinion of a toxic person, about Who You Are, does not count at all.

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Why?

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Because malignant narcissists constantly lie. They twist the truth around, and spin things in their favor….ALL THE TIME.

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We are NOT subservient to them. Their version of the truth is always twisted. Therefore, their opinion about you is not valid.

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Wouldn’t you like to get to discover the Real You? Unravel the lies from the truth. Counter the effects of the gaslighting on your mind.

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You need to feel calmer and more confident. You can Get Coaching  for that.

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You need to be heard, and to realize the beauty within you. That beauty that has been crushed and bruised.

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You can get your situation validated. You can be heard. You can get coaching for dealing with the aftermath of narcissistic abuse.

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Don’t let wondering about the cost stop you from calling to get coaching.

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I work with anyone who is a good match for coaching with me. If I feel I can help you, then I will work with you to individualize a plan.

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Gentlekindness coaching.com  – Annie

 

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