If it Walks like a Duck….

Watching the tv series “Grimm” tonight, reminded me that we all have a frame of reality that we were taught long ago.

As children we were conditioned to perceive things in a certain way.  We were taught by our families, our culture, our friends, and our particular religion, to accept certain realities and to reject others.

Any reality which we were conditioned to reject, was programmed into our subconscious as basically invisible.

We were conditioned to create certain associations about types of people. The brain can sum up a stranger in a manner of seconds based on the way they are dressed, their body language, and the way they speak.

This subconscious categorizing of people can protect you from danger and guide you towards the right person to ask for help. But not all of the things we were taught were correct.

Some lessons were taught to us by misguided, though well meaning, family members,  friends and teachers. People tend to hold onto whatever they were taught growing up. Therefore they pass the same biases and inaccuracies down to the next generation.

Each generation then tried to assess and rearrange their own thoughts and beliefs to fit their own situations, but there is often a lot of bleeding over of false beliefs from one generation to the next.

While grouping certain types of people into “safe” and “unsafe” categories can serve us to a great degree, it can also lead us right into danger.  It can also  lead  us away from people that would benefit our lives if we got to know them.

Your intuition is always your best and first line of defense. It also can suggest to you to go in a certain direction, even when you’ve been conditioned not to.

But typically we are taught to ignore our intuition…our gut feelings…and lean towards whatever biases we were brought up with.

Depending on what kind of parents you had growing up, you might have been given a feeling of independence and  confidence in your own judgement. But that’s not always the case.

You may have had parents that were controlling and manipulative. They may have intentionally crushed down your confidence, as well as your faith  in your intuition. They may have programmed you to believe that their opinions were somehow superior to your own senses.

You may have even been intentionally mislead about how to assess the people that you meet, as far as who to trust and who to run from.

Whether it was intentional or not, the things you learned as a child were taken in by your brain and processed at the age level that they were given to you.  Then those beliefs were reinforced,  or even contradicted to confuse you, at various ages growing up.

No matter what,  the things you learned about your world as a child, must be re-evaluated as an adult.

We cannot rely on what we were taught as children.

We cannot rely on what parents with a hidden agenda, or even good – intentioned parents conditioned us to believe.

We most certainly cannot rely on our own interpretation as a child, on those same things that were taught to us.

As adults, we must identify what beliefs are being held in our subconscious. Then we need to evaluate the truth of those beliefs. We also need to decide which of those beliefs are serving us well, and which ones might actually be harming us.

Our brain will find simple ways of making judgements because it’s faster and takes up less energy and time. If we don’t consciously think about things, we will go right to the associations that were conditioned into us as children.

No one ever told us to re-check these associations as adults. The people that wanted certain beliefs and biases programmed into you will probably  not come forward and tell you to re-evaluate them for yourselves now.

The end result is a tendency to change the facts right in front of you, in order to make them fit your beliefs.

The better option is to look at the facts realistically,  and then to re – evaluate your beliefs to fit the facts.

When you alter the facts, reframe the facts, disregard what you see to be true, or generalize things to fit what you were taught, you are in danger of more brainwashing,  and mind control.

You are in danger of letting that “perfect stranger” right into your house, because you were taught to categorize them as safe, when they may be exactly to opposite. Even if your gut is telling you to keep away, your subconscious belief system is pushing  you to make quick associations.

You can miss opportunities that might be really good for your future, because you were taught to be suspicious of certain things, or you were told time and time again that “someone like you” can’t achieve certain things.

Maybe you were taught that “someone like you” can’t attract certain kinds of people. Maybe you were covertly conditioned that certain types of friends or jobs are out of your reach.

Possibly,  someone was trying to protect you from disappointment, because they were infused with the same beliefs …. that they could not have certain things, or attract certain kinds of people who are “better” than they are.

Or maybe someone conditioned you to deny yourself opportunities because they actually had some hidden agenda for keeping you sheltered from knowing what you can actually do in your life. Maybe they wanted to keep your self esteem low, so they could wield a certain degree of control over you.

It could be that a teacher you had was the one that taught you to “stay in your place” to the degree that you are still holding a subconscious belief that you actually have a “place” or a status that you were born to stay in.

As adults, we need to re-teach ourselves. We need to re – train our brains to see what we see, and to believe things based on what we discover to be true.

As creative beings, we have the right to our passion and our personal inspiration.

You have a right to your dreams, your visions and to realize any talents that you think you might have.

Also remember that your intuition is there to serve you. If someone or something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.

If something feels like its calling you, then don’t give up and run the other way just because someone once told you that those kinds of dreams are for some other kind of person.

Protect yourself and prioritize your needs and desires, rather than always strive to fit within whatever box you were told was yours to fit into.

Let yourself let go of  whatever mental chains were placed on you at a young age.

Love others who deserve your love. Help others when you can, but not to the point where you are being used and exploited.

If it’s walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.

C-PTSD from Emotional / Mental Abuse

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image from Pinterest 

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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. ..

Emotional abuse and other kinds of abuse cause emotional wounds. These wounds do not heal on their own. They need to be cared for and attended to. 

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image from Pinterest

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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 and left behind by their adult self as well as by everyone else.   

There is a need for proper integration of these child parts into the whole of yourself. 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. 

In many cases, many of the memories of emotional abuse during childhood are blocked out and not filed as normal memories. Some things are remembered and many more traumatic events are left unresolved and unhealed. 

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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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You can connect with that child that still resides within you. Tell them that you love them and that you are now able to hold and protect them. Let me know that they survived the situations that they are still feeling stuck inside of…to repeat over and over. 

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You can allow the child to take you hand, and give them permission to stop living in that trauma…repeating the event and the feelings over and over. 

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This will help to ease some of the emotional flashbacks that you experience as an adult. The emotional flashbacks are the child’s way of being heard and telling you that they need to be protected from experiencing similar fear to the originating event. Any similar situations can trigger you to be transported right back the the fight or flight feelings, and chemical response as the original trauma. 

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 Life Coaching sessions are available by appointment, usually scheduled a weak ahead of time. See the gentlekindness coaching web site and contact me with a message. 
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 coachingweb site. 

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

Seducer666

predator.

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His delicious words spilled out upon the page

Like sensual kisses so perfectly placed

She drank them in like drops of sin

And like green ivy vines, those words intertwined

The seducer and the seduced

The dance went on late into the night

As she hung on his every sweet word

Failing to notice his predator’s stare

Or the small drops of blood on his vest

She couldn’t resist giving in to desire

Till his teeth sunk deep into her flesh

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image from Pinterest

Eliza

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image from pinterest

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The midnight wind swept her hair

Like silken darkness across her face

She glanced once from side to side

Then continued with bold strides

Across broken rocks and fallen branches

🌹

Her aching feet finally arriving

Toes pointed toward the black iron gates

Eliza removed an object from her bag

Moonlight splashing a reflection

Onto the cold steel of the barrel

🌹

She thrust as hard as her body could bare

And the object flung over the gates

Into the blackness of the overgrowth

That strangled the cemetary markers

Looking like strange alien spiders

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The cold black steel disappeared

The evidence was swallowed up

Never to have existed in the first place

Eliza trembled at her imagination

Half with dread and half with remorse

That she could never pull the trigger

Even pointed at that god forsaken monster

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The sound of her name broke the silence

And echoed through the streets

She turned towards the direction

From where the creature was beckoning

Dropping her face and hunching forward

She slowly began to make her way back

To home where the creature kept her

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eliza

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Nine Traits of Narcissism and Psychopathy

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder has nine traits. In order to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder a person must have at least 5 of the traits.

Narcissism is on a spectrum.

There are many people that have 2,  3 or 4 of the characteristics on this list. These people may have elements of narcissism. They would be said to have “narcissistic traits” but rather than  “full blown” narcissistic personality disorder.

People that have all 9 traits would be diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder. They are a psychopath. The more traits someone has, the more potentially dangerous they are to you.

It is difficult to know a psychopath well enough to be able to identify all of their traits because they keep things hidden and cover up their pathology by acting like a different person when they interact with others.

Here are the nine traits of narcissistic personality disorder.

1. Grandiosity –  This is an unrealistic view of oneself that they are bigger than life and better than others. They feel that they have a godlike, divine or extremely powerful purpose of being on the earth. Their very being is to be admired and obeyed. Nothing is more important than they are.

2. Arrogant and Domineering – think they are better than everyone else. They know more than anyone else. Controlling of others and dominating. They see others as inferior to them in intelligence, vision, looks, and everything else. They expect other people to admire and be in awe of them.

3. Preoccupation with Success and Power – They have a need to be powerful and have a cult of followers that admire them. They like to have a harem of sorts of people around them, as if they are a king or a queen. Their drive for success and power is due to their need for narcissistic supply and to get into positions where they have manipulate people.

4. Lack of empathy – an inability to care about the feelings of others or put themselves in someone else’s shoes in an emotional way. Actually narcissists and psychopaths have a cold empathy which allows them to understand your fears, weaknesses, hopes and dreams. They can take an inventory of you and then use the your feelings against you.

5. Belief of being unique – They believe that they are very special and that they are better than everyone else. They often think that they have a unique powerful purpose that sets them above everyone else and gives them an excuse to do whatever they want and take whatever they want.

6. Sense of entitlement – They feel that they are entitled to anything and anyone they want.   This includes things that belong to other people. It includes taking over the lives of other people and using people and then throwing them away like trash.  There is no appreciation when people do anything for them because they were entitled to it, in the first place.

7. Requires excessive admiration – they want to be admired and paid attention to all the time. They have no tolerance for anyone else being in the spotlight. Because they need to have their false self validated, they need people to pay attention to, talk about, admire and basically worship their false self. That way the illusion of the false self stays strong.

8. Exploitative – they will take advantage of other people for their own best interest. They will take more than they give, refuse to pay people for their services in a fair way …if at all, and use people up until there is nothing left of them

9. Envious of others – they are resentful when other people have things that they feel entitled to. They become angry when they see that other people have things that they do not.

It does not matter if the other person worked for it and they did not. They are envious of the property,  authority, and reputations of others. There is speculation that they are 

I have included a documentary below that you might find interesting. It goes through each of the nine traits of narcissism and explains them. 

Sam Vaknin is interviewed in this documentary. He is a level 9 narcissist who is unusual in that he is self aware. He is aware that he has this disorder.

One of the things that Sam says in this film, was very familiar to what I heard my most recent ex narcissist say many times.

Sam says  ” …the slightest hint of criticism or disagreement threatens the precarious balance that I have created over many years…the balance that constitutes my personality…you are out to destroy and kill me, so I am out to destroy and kill you..”

My ex used to get disproportionately angry when anyone criticized him or even offered any advice or suggestion that he change anything. Even suggestions from business coaches, that he paid to advise him, were taken as a threat.

Any time anyone disagreed with him or suggested that he change anything, he would become so angry that he would become violent and inflict self harm in front of them.

I think this was a way of acting out and also of frightening people. He would scream, he would hit his own head with his fist. On a few occasions he actually strangled his own neck with his hands.

He also was known to yell in anger and rip and tear his own shirt, in front of his employees. He would threaten self harm and even suicide when anyone asked him to do anything. He said that people should do things for him. They had no right to ask him to do things, because he could not tolerate any demands.

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Bullies and the Damage of the Smear Campaign

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We have been conditioned to believe that we have to think and feel certain ways in order to fit in, succeed in life, please others, and survive.

At the core of the pain we feel from bullying is the survival instinct.

Even the need to be accepted, comes down to the way our brains our wired for self protection and survival. Being thrown out of the tribe is associated with death, in our primal brains….the reptilian cortex.

We instinctively feel threatened and fearful when rejected by a group of people that we need to associate with on a regular basis.

Even the term “workplace harassment” is rooted in this need to be accepted. Otherwise continued emotionally/ mentally  hurtful acts by one employee to another would not be recognized as wrong.

The act on one co-worker starting a smear campaign against you is so emotionally destructive that if it goes in long enough, your mental health will suffer. You will most likely develop depression and anxiety.

Someone spreading lies about you, with the intention of turning the tribe against you, is a menace to the social order. Only the most malevolent member of the social / work. organization would engage in premeditated behavior and calculated actions to remove you from favor within the group.

While I used to believe that what more than one person pointed out about you must be true, I now believe that circumstances like that require further investigation.

I was brought up with the idea that if three different people pointed out some flaw in your character, or behavior, that it must be true. But a situation like this requires some more testing on your part.

If the same annoying trait has been pointed out to you from people who do not know each other, and have no connections with each other, then you might want to take a look at it. But if people who are inter-related at a workplace, a church, a school, or within a family are accusing you of having something wrong with you, that you truly cannot see, then it may be fabricated.

The toxic person will tell others within the social structure  lies about you that make you appear to have a completely different personality than you actually have.

 Often it is something that is completely the opposite of your true character. If you are innately and ethically very honest, then they will tell people that you are dishonest.

Once this circulates back to your being treated as if the lie were true, you will naturally suspect that something about your behavior is giving people that impression. Even if this accusation is very far out of reality, once people begin to react to you as if it were true, you will feel mental and emotional stress.

This is part of the design of this type of slander. The smear campaign is designed to break you down both emotionally and mentally. It is also designed to turn other people against you. It is very effective in blocking your social and professional progress.

Of it takes on a life of its own, one rumor has the capacity to cause you to not only leave the group or the job, but also to begin to doubt your own reality.

This is a form of gaslighting. It is the fabrication an untruth, that is superimposed upon the reality you once knew to be true.

Due to our natural wiring to be accepted by the group, we do not want other people controlling the way we are perceived by others. The personality qualities and values we want to portray,  are important to us, and even a key part of our survival within the social structure.

It is somewhat frightening to realize that it only takes one toxic person, skilled in the art of the smear campaign, to alter who we are, and how we are perceived,  in the minds of an entire social group…even as large as an entire community. I have clients that have had to move to another city to restart their lives, and lots of people have changed jobs due to similar evil being perpetrated against them.

The level of destructiveness one simple rumor can cause limitless.

Hundreds of preteens and teenagers commit suicide over what started out as one rumor. Bullies have caused havoc in the schools for as long as any of us can remember.

The newest mutation of the smear campaign, of course, is cyber bullying. This gives the lazy narcissist an easy way to plant a lie about someone, and not have to be held accountable for having done it. Their identity can be hidden behind a false profile and a fake photo image.

So if you are being accused of having defects that you don’t relate to at all, you should explore the truth of that in social situation and with people far removed from the original source. Talk to people that are far removed from any of the people that have accused you.

If this particular personality trait is not recognized by outsiders to the problematic group, then you probably don’t have it. If people who do not know anyone in the toxified group do not seem to see you in this distorted way, then you can rest assured about your personality being perfectly fine.

In situations where someone is trying to destroy everyone’s perception about you, it is not an issue of your behavior not being in line with how you want people to see you. You are not defective or unclear in your perceptions about yourself.

However, you very likely may have to remove yourself from the place where the toxic person has ruined your reputation. Once people’s minds become manipulated, it can be impossible to get them to see reality.

People tend to want to hold onto whatever reality they have. Shifts in perspective are not often welcome.

It takes too much work for people to do, and they often do not have the flexibility to do so. In addition to those reasons, people tend to feel threatened when they are presented with a conflicting reality to one they have been presented with and have been functioning out of.

The power of the smear campaign comes out of the number of people who are saying the same thing, and reacting as if it were true. Even the body language of other people around you will influence the perception someone has of you. It goes far beyond the words.

One of the most destructive places that a smear campaign can exist within is your family. If you grew up with a narcissistic parent, you may have had your identity challenged or interfered with by your own parent. It can also be another family member.

Even your own adult child can create or contribute to a smear campaign. Luckily most people do not experience this, because it is possibly the most hurtful of all. But I can tell you that I have seen it before withcertain clients.

Being aware of how the smear campaign works does not really prevent it from happening to you. But it can help to validate your reality, and keep you from thinking you are the crazy one.

Narcissists and other  toxic people will probably always exist. It is like the predators and prey in the animal kingdom. We just have to be aware of it and take whatever steps are needed to protect ourselves from the damage.

Your mental stability is the main thing that any good human  predator is going to attack. All the games are designed at making you question your reality and to doubt yourself. If they can take those things from you, the rest becomes easy.

You must maintain your sense of self and your belief in yourself. Detach mentally and emotionally from the behaviors of people who make you feel unsafe.

Listen to your feelings when you are around people. This is your first warning system, long before you have any evidence that they are toxic.

 

 

 

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