Confessions of a Trauma Bond Survivor

The Covert Narcissist taking his mask off – in the end.

I met with a woman, I will name “Annika,” (a favorite pseudonym of mine), who told me some details about her life story with men. She gave me permission to write about her story here. I am going to write this in “first person,” as if it were a memoir. She is not a client and, I say this, so if my clients are reading this, they won’t think it is their story. I am breaking this up into different parts. I start with this aspect of her journey: coming back from being in a trauma bond after the break-up with a covert narcissist.

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Loving the Narcissist: Patterns of Survivors

The Journey

Let me in, let me see what is inside

Let me feel that place where you are trying to hide.

Two wounded souls from different places in time

Coming together without a map or a rhyme.


As you suffer in silence, I fly around in the dark

and search for words to help you embark.

Stolen moments meet us half way

to carry us forward thru a whole new day.


Two lovers gather in the evening silence

Yearning to touch and find their way once more.

They seek solace in the arms of each other

Hoping to find what they are looking for.


The past sits on the edge of reason and doubt

While it waits to be soothed and coddled.

Confusion lurks and passions await

Time moves on in haste.


The bed feels empty; the mind is reprieved

By a thought or a gesture that provides some relief.

I wait and I ponder and I wonder as I wander

The roads are clear but the climb is steep.


The painting is finished but the oils have yet to dry.

The journey is in motion and there is still more to do.

The dancers step forward and take their cue

While the room lets out a sigh…


The sounds are released and they move

Two people together, aware of nothing

But the instruments guiding their way.

When you find yourself writing poetry, you might be in love with a narcissist. The Imposter Syndrome, Anxious and/or Avoidant types, Survivors of Narcissistic Parents, Empaths and Highly Sensitive People. These are the patterns of women that I see who attract the narcissistic partner. Often these are very strong professional women in very capable positions. Many times, they make more money than the partner and, in these cases, I see the male taking a more entitled role. For example, the male tends to become very lazy in the sense that he is not pulling an equal share of the weight, in the home, to compensate for his wife or partner making the higher income. This makes her life even more difficult.

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The Survivor of the Narcissistic Parent Meets the Narcissistic Partner

I write what I am learning. I teach as I grow. I make the same mistakes as anyone else, only my skills show me how to coach people based on what I have uncovered. I am not right, I just write what becomes aware to me as it happens. When I have been in relationship to men, I have hidden behind them and not been my true self. I have been afraid, just as my clients have been afraid, because we were taught to be. When it is over, I reflect and feel the guilt and shame of not having said what I should have said. Of not standing up for myself. Of not really being the partner to them because I was too busy trying to make them love me. This is what happens when you are the survivor of the narcissistic parent. You meet the narcissistic partner and dance with them using the same song you were taught as a child. I will make you love me, no matter what it takes. When you do, I will finally succeed in having the love I have always wanted. Because, if I can make you love me, I will have finally turned this wrong into a right. Jeannine Vegh, M.A., I.M.F.T.

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Transpersonal Notes: Lies, Betrayal and Forgiveness

Psalm 64:1-10

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning. But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all  the upright in heart will glory in him!

How can you read this and not recall the ending of “Dangerous Liaisons,” when Glenn Close’s character, the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, is being laughed at, after she walks into the opera house. The movie shows us the conclusion of her lies and deception being flaunted in her face. How often though, does this reality occur for us? What is more typical is that the real life bad guys walk away laughing at us, having felt that they have won the day and thinking they reduced us, the victim, to a piece of trash which they have now taken out with the garbage. Take your power back. Walk away with your head held high. Leave with dignity. Fighting back will make you equal to them and you are much better than this. You deserve better.

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Running Away from the Relationship: No one Wins

This morning, I had a client confront me about being uncomfortable with me in the room. It was so hard for them to do this and they spoke in a roundabout way that it took me a minute to realize it was about me. I had the utmost respect for them that they would confront me in this situation. I began to realize how terrifying it was for them to say this. I acknowledged all of this and set about to make the situation more pleasant for all. I was successful because I approached them with respect and honor. The interesting part of this is that the person was not even going to come in today. They told me that they had planned to just run away and hide. This made me even more grateful to know that they were so brave to come in to session. We ended with both of us having a renewed respect for each other. I could see they were very grateful for having taken a stand as well.

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Amour, Amor, Szeretet, Mein Liebe – Quick, Quick, Slow

“Love is a many splendored thing, Love lifts us up where we belong.” from Moulin Rouge with Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in a duet. I love listening to raw music sung by people who are not necessarily singers but are quite good. I love love, I love being in love, I love feeling love in all its glory. And yet, for most of my life it has come to an end. In fact, it has felt like the end from the beginning. I have lived with several men in my life and never once felt like I was in my own home. Passionate, immature, cocky, egotistical, frightened, PTSD love that was once my life. Now, for once in my life, I am in love with a man who I can be uncomfortable with and this allows me to grow. Someone who allows me to be myself so that I am able to come into myself as a woman. I feel safe and secure, being in love. It feels like it took forever to get here. And yet, we have taken things very very slow. Like it should be. And it makes so much more sense!

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