Narcissistic Abandonment: Find, Feel, F……., Forget

220px-Manananggal_of_Philippine_Mythology_Commons“I used my desires for sex, alcohol and pleasure to get my basic instincts met to dominate and control.  “Find, Feel, F…k, Forget” (Secrets of a Narcissist).

Narcissists are people who have no capacity to empathize and cannot feel your pain.  They don’t care about the damage inflicted by their ruthless negligence and are clearly sadistic in their emotional abandonment of partners.  Narcissists break hearts and humiliate partners to feel all powerful or punish for not getting the attention he or she craves.  Uninterested in experiencing an intimate connection, many narcissists lead hidden sexual lives compulsively watching pornography, masturbating, having affairs and/or visiting prostitutes.

Narcissists draw hostages to them that are fearful of rejection and suffer with unhealed pain in childhood.  A certain vulnerability or “woundedness” is appealing to them. Particularly vulnerable are those with absent fathers, angry mothers, or a history of abusive partners.  Narcissists are selective vampires with a psychic knowing of what emotional vulnerabilities to prey on, exploit, devour or destroy.  They look for naïve people and will present themselves as a person of honor and virtue.

A person who was physically or emotionally abandoned by a parent or caregiver may struggle with loss throughout life and not develop healthy self-esteem.  Experiences of abandonment growing up often contribute to feelings of worthlessness as well as a distorted view of how to care appropriately for one self in relationships.  Children who experience chronic loss without parental protection internalize incredible fear and believe they are not important or of little value. As adults with low self-esteem they often seek narcissistically unavailable partners and friends.  Additionally, rejection fears can impair a person’s ability to trust others and may cause anxiety, depression, and codependency.  Codependency is the inability to leave a chronically abusive relationship behind, whether that relationship is ongoing or past.  The codependent is a perfect match for the narcissistic relationship.

Abandonment, physical or mental, is very cruel and a plain act of insensitivity.  A narcissist can be physically present during conflict yet emotionally disappear in front of your eyes.  They will not talk about problems and will isolate themselves. Refusing to acknowledge the emotional distance with resounding silence can drive you crazy. Narcissistic vampires will continue to stick around aloof and cold until they suck the life out of you.  The emotional and mental violence is excruciating.  They perceive confrontation, disagreements, needs, respect for your boundaries, or being ignored as threats.  This pattern of emotional neglect destroys any chance of happiness and is traumatic.  As you get to know him better and begin to withdraw sexually and emotionally for protection the psychic vampire senses this change.  He disengages abruptly to maintain control of the abandonment and might start looking for a replacement relationship. The interpretation of events becomes a mixture of lies, distortions, half-truths, and bizarre accusations to make him look like the mistreated.  He becomes a saintly hero and his partner the abuser.  The narcissist controls the whole show and becomes defensive and resistant.  He is at risk of becoming enraged and suicidally despondent when you finally walk away from the insanity. No contact or ignoring a narcissist is the final torture.

Healing from abandonment takes time as you go toward it in stages of denial, anger, negotiating, and sadness.  The only way to get through your pain is to go through it.  Getting support from a healing professional is a good choice.  You can choose the direction of your new life.  By pursuing direction and happiness you begin the healing process.  Above all, choose to be kind to yourself; leave behind crisis and chaos.  Develop self-compassion; it is a necessary step towards removing yourself as a victim.

Thank you for reading my post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes put an end to relationship abuse.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

 Roberta

 

 

 

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Psychic Vampires: Recovery from Narcissistic Victim Syndrome

220px-Bela_lugosi_dracula

Courtesy Wikipedia

Narcissistic abuse is behavior that feels like evil.  For narcissists the compulsion to emotionally destroy is so strong they’re unable to resist the urge no matter how grave the consequences.  The victim’s feelings are denied, avoided, discounted, and held in contempt. 

In the beginning you thought you had met your soul mate, a real life version of a gentleman or princess, charming, and somewhat mysterious.  You instantly fell for him or her.  Within a few months you were married or living together.  The nightmare then began…

You misread some very important character clues.  You saw a superior person who was exciting, outgoing, and entertaining.  Unable to see past the charm, you ignored warning signs about the inner person, didn’t evaluate your inner needs or question what your life together might look like.  As time went on you realized your partner had to be the center of attention and was totally self-involved.  Your admiration became unchallenging and he needed a bigger audience.  He got bored with being nice.  You became more focused on recapturing attention as your newly aloof and withdrawn partner barely acknowledged your presence.  Quiet desperation set in.  Your identity developed into an extension of his; you gave up aspirations and outside activities to meet insatiable needs.  You were isolated from loved ones and the road narrowed.  You were in constant emotional pain; feelings of loneliness and abandonment were part of daily life.

Your friends grew to be impatient because you stayed in a relationship that was clearly damaging your self-esteem.  The thought of having to face alone the emotional pain of a breakup terrified you.  Focusing on your partner allowed you to avoid dealing with your true emotional state.  In the beginning you felt euphoric.  Then the negative experiences became more frequent, but the emotional price was not significant enough yet.  You worked hard at being to your partner what you thought he wanted you to be, losing sight of your identity. In a fog of denial you became lost.  The denial impeded the possibility of real change.  When you thought about leaving fears and anxiety blocked your way.  Eventually the emotional pain was so great you surrendered.

You accepted things as they really were.  You admitted “I am powerless over this relationship and my life has become unmanageable” (1st Step of 12-Step Codependent Anonymous).  Even though scared, you began trusting in yourself; trusting that you would be fine without an intimate relationship.  Finally, you cut off all means of communication with the narcissist and detached yourself; minute by minute, day after day, you walk into your new life.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse is an ongoing, uncovering, and self-forgiving process towards wholeness with self and others.  The abuser must be released forever, the desire for revenge extinguished to begin developing self-awareness and love for who you are.  You must give up the obsessive thoughts to hurt your abuser for what has happened to free yourself.  You must eventually stop telling your story of abuse.  If you don’t give up the victim identity you are likely to repeat the experience in another relationship or go back to your abuser for more pain.

Often emotional work needs to be completed with a critical and/or narcissistically abusive parent.  Many adult victims of relationship abuse were used as children for emotional support and the release of anger and tension.  You may have been treated kindly one minute and abused or shamed the next, which resulted in a confusing mixture of love and abuse.  Your happiness might have been dependent on the mood of a caregiver.

Recovery from narcissistic victim syndrome requires the willingness to accept temporary discomforts of change once you commit to being true to yourself.  Anxiety and panic can arise when you risk finding out what it’s like to be unattached and allow maybe for the first time in your life to feel a range of conflicting emotions.  Healing requires you to look at the life lesson of getting caught in a destructive relationship and being victimized.  Detachment from an abuser does not mean disconnection or aloofness it means seeing reality as it is, not as your illusions would like it to be.  It means separating your personal boundaries from your abuser, getting a clearer sense of where your limits are or need to be.  The initial uncovering, the gradual detachment and awakening to reality, the intense grief, the slow process of recovery, and forgiveness must take place to end the abuse. Giving yourself emotional space to make sense of the past, to learn about what happen to you, and grieving dreams lost is important for future loves.  By building endurance to withstand the grief process you may avoid repeating the same mistakes in your next relationship.

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Thank you for reading this post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to create a healthy relationship with self.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

Roberta

 

Why are Narcissists so Angry?

Courtesy Photo Stock

Courtesy Photo Stock

At the beginning of the relationship a narcissist is in need of constant attention, admiration, and approval.  Much like a child he or she is dependent; any sign of disapproval transforms the charming angel into a sadist.  As children, most narcissists grew up in families where explosive behavior and verbal and physical abuse were common.  Many experienced a consistent sense of dread that things would go badly and they would not survive.  To avoid feelings of failure and inadequacy they learned at an early age to control others with rage.  The narcissist tends to be anxious by temperament.  Self-hatred, feelings of powerlessness, fear of abandonment, and emotional deprivation are sources that fuel their rigid, systemic pattern of abuse.  Eventually attempts to control these feelings fail because the anxiety is within them, not in their environment.  The narcissist resents dependence on others for attention.  The frustration between an all-pervasive dependence on adulation and any perceived lack of subservience makes him or her prone to outbursts.

The narcissist cannot feel others pain and will never put a partner’s needs above theirs.  Anger and jealousy are the only authentic emotions they ever experience.  They are incapable of acknowledging how their cruelty hurts others and erupt compulsively without regard to the negative consequences.  The most devastating part of being involved in a narcissistic relationship is you love them and they don’t care.  Brief periods of stopping fury may occur out of concern for losing a mate or until a replacement can be found, but eventually the narcissist will be off again on another tantrum.  Control over anger is lost as a relationship progresses, much like the progression of drug addiction.  The narcissist is addicted to the rush of negative excitement and the look of pain on the face of a victim.  They sometimes pick fights for the high.  A partner’s trapped desperation makes the emotional sadist feel self-important and all-powerful.    The abuse becomes increasingly cruel as the partners self-esteem is no longer under their control.  Anger, revenge and vengefulness destroy any chance for happiness.  This power over people provides pleasure as they pull you into their shadow.

Narcissists are often preoccupied with resentment and fantasies of retaliation which continually leads to uncontrollable outbursts.  Most are professional martyrs who dramatize their lives to manipulate, deflect responsibility, and feel special.  The academy award-winning displays of emotion is not caring or empathy, it’s a trap.

“Stonewalling” or resounding silence are a favorite sadistic weapon meant to punish you for disagreeing with him or her.  The person is left feeling abandoned, unheard, undesirable, and insignificant.  The emotional abuse tends to happen every day and the effects are insidious and cumulative.  Living in an emotional combat zone, partners lose dignity and become unable to think, feel or act autonomously.  The narcissist’s voice becomes so well internalized in his prey that he no longer needs to say anything to control their submission. The heartless infliction of emotional pain contributes to a partner’s hyper-vigilant stress response and frequent mood swings.   The sadistic narcissist delights in cruelty and is vindicated in anger.  Anything short of obedience is not tolerated.  Why are narcissists so angry?  Because narcissists hate themselves and are true cowards with empty souls.   They are forced to suck the joy out those they take hostage to feel alive.

Thank you for reading my post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes put an end to relationship abuse.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

 Roberta

 

The Codependent’s Struggle with Substance Use in Abusive Relationships

Photo Courtesy Wikipedia

Photo Courtesy Wikipedia

Codependents often struggle with drug and/or alcohol use in abusive relationships.  Denial about living in or with a nightmare is a coping strategy that perpetuates self-destructive behavior.   It is extremely painful, and extremely lonely.  A codependent suppresses dreams and desires to fulfill the wants of another.  Compulsive behavior is more common when a person cannot live their life without being subservient to the needs of another.  Suppressing needs and lack of emotional fulfillment begins the search for an escape.  Substance use can be the by-product of a codependent relationship.  Relationship neediness may be so extreme that the person believes they can’t live without an abusive partner. This keeps the door open to being treated poorly and excessive dependency on substances.

Codependency develops in families when problems are not discussed, abusive behavior is ignored, secrets are kept, and substance abuse and denial are common.  As a result, family members learn to repress emotions and disregard their own needs. This learned behavior affects a person’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. The emotional and behavioral conditioning contributes to “relationship addiction” with people who are emotionally destructive and/or abusive.  Codependent substance abusers give to others from fear rather than love.

The codependent creates an illusory world by using denial, delusion, and dissociation to decrease the pain that would be experienced if reality were accepted.  The unacknowledged feelings trigger a need for relief.  They may use eating, gambling, indiscriminate sexual activities, and/or relationships to escape emotional pain.  The codependent resorts to substance abuse and other compulsive behaviors to relieve anxiety and handle building pressures.  They find it hard to be themselves.  Self-worth is determined by the happiness of a partner and they will attempt to control a relationship by being needed.  Any perceived unhappiness in others around them feeds feelings of inadequacy and fear of abandonment.  Self-esteem is derived by their ability to control situations and please others.

Abusers want a lot of control and are afraid of being controlled.  They are resistant to doing what their partners want them to.  They resist with denial, irresponsibility, indifference, withdrawal and rage.  The codependent’s compulsive caretaking renders them feeling powerless in an abusive relationship unable to stop the cycle of behavior that causes it.  As relationship conflict increases all too often the codependent turns to substances. They identify as victims and are attracted to that same weakness in abusers and friendships.   Walking on eggshells, emotionally battered codependents second guess themselves and feel lost in a deep hole.  The emotional abuse inflicted by a partner can be subtle by way of implying or saying that you are stupid, ugly, not worth attention or that no one could love an addict. The codependent believes they can’t live life or stay in purgatory without drinking or using drugs and this behavior increases the likelihood that they will blame the mistreatment on themselves.

Generally unsatisfied with their intimate relationships, they feel constantly unappreciated, and are preoccupied with their partner.  This way of intimate relating combined with substance use becomes the backdrop for living in quiet desperation.  Codependents take drugs or drink alcohol for mood change, excitement, relaxation, distraction, stimulation, or sedation.  They stay in abusive relationships and deny or make excuses for their partners due to a high (insane) tolerance for emotional pain and inappropriate behavior developed in childhood.  The codependent gradually loses touch with who they really are and their sense of self.  They become numbed out unable to feel or express true feelings.  This loss of self results in low self-esteem.  Denial of feelings and pretending nothing is wrong fuels substance use.  They start feeling out of control and repeat self-destructive behavior to feel better which often leads to symptoms of demoralization and depression.  The painful existence progresses as the person forgoes interests because they are worried about what the abuser is or isn’t doing.  They often drink or drug more, feel scared, alone, hurt and angry.  Trying to fix their partner and staying means they will continue to be hurt.  The cruelty often becomes more severe and frequent over time.  The codependent doesn’t trust in their capacity to deal with life as it comes, so they are in a perpetual state of fear.

Fortunately, treatment for codependency and substance abuse can be highly successful in restoring a healthy sense of self.  The codependent can learn to set personal boundaries to protect themselves from victimization.  Many find the support of the 12-step program Codependents or Alcoholics Anonymous effective in uncovering the underlying cause of self-destructive behavior.  Intensive outpatient treatment programs or individual therapy can help begin the process of caring for oneself rather than trying to fix someone else.  Ending an abusive relationship or discontinuing drug use will not stop the learned behavior or protect against harm.  The heavy emotional burden inside the codependent must come out to be healed.

Thank you for reading this post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to create a healthy relationship with self.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

 Roberta

 

 

 

 

 

Addicted to Abusive Love

Broken Heart Courtesy Wikipedia

Broken Heart Courtesy Wikipedia

Obsessing over an abuser is an all-consuming and compulsive preoccupation.  The emotion is often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety and a resistance to alternative viewpoints. The abusers hook is usually a whirlwind courtship where excitement is in the air as romance moves swiftly.  The thrill of the unexpected is mood altering.  It’s fast, it’s stimulating, and it feels alive.  When sexual intimacy is added the speed and intensity of the emotions become greater.  The relationship passion provides a false intimacy which is then mistaken for genuine closeness.  The swift and strong emotions overwhelm an intended victims perceptions. Anything that interferes with the picture of the new love as “ideal” is denied.  The relationship focus is on how the other person is making one feel and not on who the other person really is.  The thinking goes:  “Since he makes me feel wonderful, he must be wonderful.”  The partner’s pleasing characteristics are amplified and overemphasized.  Any hint of trouble gets ignored.  When the person makes you feel terrific it’s easy not to see the red flags about someone’s past relationships, emotional problems, or character.

The codependent personality is the perfect match for an abuser.  Codependent people tend to have an anxious attachment style due to emotionally unavailable, dismissing, and rejecting caregivers growing up. The need for a love attachment can be so extreme that the person believes they can’t live without an abusive partner.  This opens the door to being treated poorly and excessive dependency.  Attachment style with our parent serves as a model for adult experiences in intimate relationships.  Children that are rejected by a caregiver fear abandonment more than others.  When unmet dependency needs arise the person can become extremely clingy and unable to contain anxiety.  This anxiety becomes the foundation for people pleasing to get attention from others and to quiet the excessive worry about rejection.  Rejected adult children often experience pervasive feelings of sadness.  Some therapists call it the “Smiling depression.”   Generally unsatisfied with their intimate relationships, they feel constantly unappreciated, and become preoccupied with their abusive partners.  This way of intimate relating becomes the backdrop for attracting a sick partner.

Where the person with an anxious attachment style cares obsessively, the abusive person doesn’t seem to care as much.  This behavior triggers fear of abandonment for the codependent. The rejecting partner wavers between being distant and cut-off emotionally, to being critical and controlling.  They are reluctant to disclose, have a negative view of others, and are mistrustful of their partners.  They are less invested in partnerships and feel less grief or distress when a relationship ends.  They just don’t seem to care as much and tend to get tired of being nice shortly into a courtship.  Suddenly the end of the honeymoon begins usually over an insignificant incident.  Charm turns to rage and the partner is subjected to an unreasonable attack on his or her character.   Withdrawal symptoms begin when getting the “fix” or desired relationship satisfaction is denied.   The anxious and abusive match find each other to complete unresolved dependency needs from childhood.   Each is attracted to the other because of familiar painful traits.

Dealing with feelings from the past can stir up anger over old hurts and grief for the child that had to endure them.  Acknowledging and dealing with these feelings is essential to diminishing their control over your love life and resolving abusive relationship addiction.  When we don’t feel worthy of love we look to relationships to “fix” us and the addictive cycle of looking for relief in others begins.  With self-compassion we choose to be happy and learn to build healthy relationships.  Seeing your happiness as dependent upon another person is where many enter the world of relationship addiction. Long-term happy partnerships begin with people who are already happy before they meet.

Tips for Resolving Abusive Relationship Addiction

  1. Invest in your well-being by learning about attachment styles in addictive codependent relationships.
  2. Give yourself a break from intimate relationships until you are comfortable being alone.
  3. Commit on deep levels to practice loving actions towards yourself. Trust that the change taking place is good.
  4. Give yourself permission to seek help with a therapist when you are ready to change.
  5. Build endurance to fully grieve your lost childhood, so you can feel joy and happiness.
  6. Show up for yourself. Repeat over and over: “I am worthy,” “Sad feelings won’t last forever,” “I will make it out of this,” “I’m doing the best I can do.”
  7. Stop blaming yourself for family problems over which you do not have control.
  8. Take responsibility for your relationship history. Accept the lessons and learn from relationship pain so you don’t repeat it. Ask yourself, “What is the gift” from this relationship?
  9. Spend time each morning focused on forgiving your partners/parents for not being able to love you.  Let go of resentments so you can be free from the desire to hurt them. Move on to a new freedom and happiness.

Thank you for reading this post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to create a decent relationship.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

Roberta

Curing Your Fear of Intimacy in Relationships

250px-Dramaten_mask_2008aMost everyone carries fears about intimacy and being vulnerable.  We are afraid of being hurt, abandoned, rejected, humiliated, or betrayed.   Some of us are more afraid than others because of experiences that shaped us growing up.  Attachment style with our parental relationship serves as a model for adult experiences, particularly in the most intimate of relationships.  When a parent is emotionally absent, dismissing, inattentive, constantly distracted or downright cruel and rejecting, the distress confuses the child and desperate behavior begins to intensify.  As adults these children fear the threat of rejection or abandonment more than others.  They can become extremely clingy and angry, overwhelmed by their unmet dependency needs and unable to contain anxiety.  Often, they become people pleasers to receive approval from others.

Adults that have a negative self-image are fearful and doubting in their ability to keep a partner interested and maintain a loved one’s attention.  They worry excessively about rejection.  They are emotionally dependent and constantly feel unappreciated.  In intimate relationships they are romantically obsessive and jealous.  They tend to take hostages and are preoccupied with their partners.

Some adult children are dismissing and come across as emotionally disconnected, cold, and uninterested in intimate relationships.  They can waver between being distant and cut-off emotionally, to being critical and controlling.  These people are cynical and have negative views of others.  They are particularly guarded, mistrustful, and reluctant to self-disclose in most intimate relationships.  They tend to have more break-ups and are less invested in partnerships.  They feel less grief or distress when they have break-ups than others experience.  They just don’t seem to care as much.

Those who don’t care at all and are emotionally shut down as a result of trauma are often incapable of human intimacy.   If their behavior is characterized by a lack of remorse, lack of empathy, manipulations, and emotional coldness they may be a psychopath.  True psychopaths are constitutionally incapable of normal human interaction.  If you are in a relationship with someone like this, run, get out.  You cannot experience genuine intimacy with someone who abuses power and control and deals with emotional discomfort by blaming and attacking.

Many of us have these problems because we are afraid of being hurt or betrayed.  We still want intimacy, but are afraid of depending on someone and then getting wounded again.  These experiences are a driving force in ambivalence about intimacy.  The more painful and unresolved our earlier experiences are the more we crave intimacy and the more we feel threatened by it.  This is demonstrated by “come close”, “go away” relationship behavior.  We get close, get afraid, find fault with our partner, feel hurt and sabotage the relationship.  We then find ourselves alone, crave closeness again, and the repetitive behavior starts all over.  So if you sabotage intimacy and see it as a negative behavior you want to change, focus on the fear that fuels your actions.  You can learn to be compassionate with your fears and with others.  When you can see your fears and needs more clearly you can stop the cycle.  Love is what we really want and often we are afraid of love without consciously knowing it.

If you love someone and want more intimacy, and a decent relationship, you can learn how to create intimacy better.  Find out what your partner needs and how to support those needs.  If you pay attention and care about your loved one’s feelings, you can learn to be a better (not perfect) partner.  And when you stay in a relationship over time you can build your capacity for intimacy.

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Thank you for reading this article. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to create healthy relationships.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

Roberta