How does one lose their sense of self? This is a loaded question. With a child, it begins when you are more focused on your parent than yourself. You realize that their needs are more important than your own. You make decisions that they will like rather than what you want. You compromise your likes and wants and needs to make sure they are happy. It can come from not having boundaries growing up so that there is no space that is your own. One example is not allowing doors to be locked, even in the bathroom. Therefore, when a child is going through puberty any moment a person can walk through the door. This is frightening to hear but yet this has become a life they are accustomed to. You don’t know any different. Another example is a child who does not even have a room to sleep in and so there is no place to go and read or talk to your friends on the phone. Losing your sense of self can make a person feel like a robot; they are just there doing what they are told. As one person stated, it made them feel invisible from those around them.Continue reading
Embracing Me: Moving Forward from a Narcissistic Parent or Partner
Live Facebook event on Wednesday, May 26th from 11-noon (Eastern Time Zone). Once you have paid for the event, you will be able to access the Exclusive Posts which will give you the Zoom link to attend the presentation.
This webinar is for people who have been in a relationship with a narcissistic parent or partner and are having difficulties within their life. Generally this is in regard to relationships with bosses, co-workers, siblings, partners, friends, and others. It is also for adult children of these parents who are struggling with differentiation or maintaining your own separate identity from your parents. Narcissistic parents tend to want to remain enmeshed and not allow you to have your own life. If grandchildren are involved and they have any type of control over them (babysitter, raising them, paying for them), this detachment can cause even more havoc on you as a person.
If you have been in this type of relationship, it is often from growing up with some form of trauma or a narcissistic parent. It is difficult to get into a “healthy” attachment with a partner as it is so easy to attract this type of person if you are familiar with this personality. They come across as really caring and loving people – at first. Often we don’t find out their true colors until six months – to a year as the honeymoon stage wears off. You see it sooner, but often don’t realize what you are looking at. Even I, as a therapist, have been fooled more than once!
We are going to look at these personality types and then discuss how to heal from these type of people and move forward into a more healthier attachment with both parent and/or the partner. The webinar is $9.99 with a discount for purchasing a week in advance. You have to click on the Facebook Event link at the top of this post and sign up in order to access this.
I look forward to seeing you there!
I was listening to Insight Timer, one evening, several weeks ago and decided to have a story read to me so that I could go to sleep. Generally, I put the volume down, very low, and I drift off into slumber land. I choose the tales of young girls or older women whether old fables or new ones. On this particular evening, I saw the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I had not heard this story in a very long time and so I decided to listen. I also liked the name of the reader “Glenda Cedarleaf,” which sounded like a nice fairy tale name. Glenda is the good witch from the Wizard of Oz and leaves from a cedar tree sounded equally comforting to me. I did not turn the volume down though. Instead, I decided to turn it up and listen to the entire story. Within moments, I realized why. The story she had condensed and revised suddenly had me thinking of all the symbols and what they might mean. I knew immediately that this was a story about a narcissistic mother (queen) and her vulnerable little daughter who became her scapegoat (Snow White). I decided to contact Glenda for the story so that I could do an interpretation here for you. Thankfully, she was more than happy to allow me to do this and now I will present my thoughts here for you today.
Over forty years ago, hundreds of people went to their death in a country called Guyana. Back in 1978, I was a teenage girl in high school and two years later wrote my first paper on the topic of “Religious Cults” which would transform my life. On May of
2011, I published “The Child of the Narcissist,” on my blog post and began working with survivors of narcissism in my practice. There are different phases that I see. One is the denial phase which is when the person has not yet let the person go. Second, is the acceptance phase which is when they are in realization stage and feel angry, frustrated, duped, taken, had, and wonder “How could I have been so stupid?” Or the child of a narcissist will say “Can they be helped?,” or “Am I destined to become this way?” Thirdly, I see the healing stage when they begin to set boundaries and take back their power and their life. The third stage is a place that they will be in the rest of their life because you must always be conscious, mindful and awake when you meet someone that seems to have certain qualities.
The people of Jonestown are no different than a woman who meets up with some guy who is playing her. People who fall for a narcissistic type are vulnerable, desperate and yearn to be loved and accepted. These type of people (parents are a different category because you aren’t choosing them, though this could be argued from a metaphysical perspective), are very aware of their power over men and women. They have learned – from the cradle – that they are entitled in some way. This can be from a self-imposed entitlement to protect themselves (by self-soothing) or an entitlement given to them by a parent. I have known and learned of parents who say their child is perfect and will do whatever it takes to protect them. This takes away from a child learning when they make a mistake. It takes away from a child growing and evolving over time. A friend’s father was a criminal attorney in Los Angeles and he once told me that mother’s would take second mortgages out on their homes, sell their cars, jewelry, whatever assets they could give up to pay his fees and get their kids off. When I watched the movie “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones,” I remember noting that he was engaged in animal cruelty as a boy.