Say Good-Bye to Codependency

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“Self-Love Deficit Disorder” (SLDD) has been officially trademarked by Ross Rosenberg!

Hallelujah! We can all stop being labelled “codependents.”

The last thing abuse survivors need is to be labelled. Becoming dependent on others to define our self-worth and soothe our repressed pain is a consequence of abuse not a cause of it.

This is a major theme in my book Take Your Power Back and in this article “Codependency Does Not Cause Abuse.”

Self-Love Deficit (SLD) much more accurately describes what happened to us and the consequences of the abuse we suffered. It points to the causes of the damage, not to us personally as having a flawed condition that causes the abuse that is promoted by addressing people as defective “codependents.”

Personally I refer to abuse consequences as “pain addictions.” Others refer to it as “Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome” and “Narcissistic Victim Syndrome.” The point is not what we call it but that we correct and take down obstacles that prevent our healing.

sldd2Labeling abuse victims as “codependents” creates an obstacle to healing. It implies that we are the cause of abuse and that we are flawed which adds to and compounds our already existing toxic shame. The term as Dr. Rosenberg points out has been misused. Dr. Rosenberg’s new trademark will level the healing playing field and enable folks to understand that we were and are victims of emotional predators and to be aware of our vulnerabilities and protect ourselves from these emotional criminals.

Abuse survivors have been starving for truth and were conditioned to live lies. Being labelled “codependents” perpetuated the lies.

Thank you, Ross Rosenberg for helping to share the truth with abuse survivors from around the world.

Hear more from Ross Rosenberg and Self-Love Deficit Disorder here.

On Functional Medicine, Truth, and Healing from Abuse

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein

Let’s look at traditional medicine and ask the same question that Doctor Phil frequently asks:

“Is it working for you.”

th-5-1Well, it is very obviously not working for the patients who continue to suffer but a lot of people are benefitting from treating symptoms of disease, autoimmune illnesses (hugely on the rise), emotional fatigue and trauma, or whatever.

The functional approach is a long overdue new direction in medicine that focuses on root causes to disease and ailments and promotes our bodies’ natural defense mechanisms to prevent and heal illness and disease related to our physical and emotional health.

However, functional medicine is not based on a new concept – not in the least. I have used this for over 35 years and it is pretty basic. It goes like this:

“It is impossible to heal and prevent a problem if you do not address what causes it…pure and simple.”

It is impossible to effectively heal a problem and sustain healing if you label it with something after going through a checklist of SYMPTOMS and do not investigate to identify and then address the root causes. Addressing what happened does not address why it happened or the events or series of events leading up to the mishap.

th-1Albert Einstein said it eloquently in his statement (and my favorite quote):

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

The same applies to illness or sadness or whatever we know “needs fixing.”

We also need to acknowledge it needs fixing because if we don’t, our human nature as creatures of habit takes over and we revert back to what we are comfortable doing even if is doing us harm or brings us angst. Why? Because, if we were abused, neglected, invalidated as children, we can have so many fears we are accustomed to living with that we choose the one or ones we are most comfortable with and deny the others.

shameLet’s see…should I stay with the abuser because my fear of abandonment overrides my fear of emotional pain or should I select abandonment over shame? Sound silly? Maybe. But this is exactly how the human mind reacts, how it copes after it has been overly taxed, traumatized. The brain is capable of so much but it is not capable of spontaneous healing.

Now these beliefs and immature coping mechanisms may have served us in the short term when we were defenseless to our heartless uncompassionate caregivers and caretakers, but they do not and will not serve us in the long term because they are just bandaiding symptoms. They will sustain your happiness because pain and the sources of pain DO NOT EVER GO AWAY. Just because you cannot access them does not mean they do not exist. Believe me. They are there ready to raise their heads when you least expect it and most likely when you are emotionally challenged such as during an illness, death, divorce, or after some major loss.

This example demonstrates the damage that is done to our belief systems and to our mechanisms for self-regulating our pain-based emotions. So abuse survivors’ emotions become toxic to themselves.

This is why traditional therapies frequently do not work for narcissistic abuse survivors and this is why millions of people worldwide are on Facebook and the Internet looking for answers. They are in emotional pain. They are emotionally fatigued. Their souls need emotional nourishment. They need truth.

You cannot treat trauma from abuse by prescribing a pill and treating symptoms and not accessing the trauma back to its source – childhood. It is as simple as that.

Gregg Zaffuto told me that reach at his groundbreaking healing page on Facebook, “After Narcissistic Abuse” reached over one million people worldwide last week and that is just one of many legitimate and credible healing pages.

Yes, folks there are millions of us looking for answers, millions of us whose souls are unnourished and starving for truth.

What? You say you were never physically abused? Well, emotional abuse, covert aggression, invalidation, coddling are all forms of abuse so no one is immune.

HEALING IS ALL ABOUT YOU. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE ABUSERS.

Healing is all about truth! This is why I focus on the truth and your healing. This is what I am committed to share with you at Yourlifelifter and what I documented in Take Your Power Back along with a step-by-step program and the tools to help you in your healing journeys.

705466_COVER_Mockup1Take Your Power Back is the product of my decades long search for truth into the root causes of pain addictions in abuse victims.

I wrote it to help you find yours, stop believing lies, break your pain addictions, become the joy-based people you were all put on this earth to be and THRIVE!

May your spiritual source guide and protect you in your search for truth!

Together we heal! Together we thrive!

Five Major Fundamental Healing Truths

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

Excerpted from Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips and Tools for Abuse Survivors. Purchase a copy here.

As discussed in detail in Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips and Tools for Abuse Survivors, victims of abuse have been conditioned to think like victims. It is this thinking that hinders recovery. Victims can get so accustomed to living cyclical patterns of seeking and avoiding pain that they do not understand the real extent of their unhappiness and level of dependence on harmful power imbalanced relationships.

You may live and work in environments where these dysfunctions continue, the boundaries of personal respect are habitually violated, and personal rights are not honored. Your self-esteem suffers, and you live to avoid pain rather than pursue and seek joy. Perhaps you do not even know what brings you joy. The distorted thinking and skewed beliefs that create invisible barriers to your happiness can also create barriers to your healing.

So, here are five fundamental truths to help you challenge what I believe are the biggest falsehoods in your thinking that have hindered and will continue to create obstacles in your healing journey.

TRUTH #1

hopeBelieving lies does not make them true and not believing the truth does not make it a lie. Truth IS truth. Lies are lies. This is indisputable!

TRUTH #2

We manifest in life what we believe to be true!

We live to provide the evidence that our beliefs are true – even if in reality they are not!

Read this again!

We manifest in life what we believe to be true (even if our beliefs are really lies).

TRUTH #3

The human brain cannot process two opposing thoughts.

Let’s break this down a bit more.

Cannot heal at same level as painIf we believe we are the source of our pain, must suffer to be lovable, deserve pain rather than joy and we are powerless to the pain (all lies we were taught to believe in childhood), then when we become adults, we create the lies we believe and become attracted to relationships and people that continue to bring us pain.

This is how and why abuse spreads from our caretakers to us and from us to our children and is perpetuated from generation to generation. Yes, the broken ones before us taught us to believe their lies; we became pain-based inauthentic versions of ourselves who teach the same lies to our children. We attract those who prey on vulnerabilities we developed because we did not and do not live authentic lives based on our personal truth and divinely provided human design.

Read “What You Don’t Know About Dysfunctional Families and Intergenerational Abuse” here to learn more.

In addition, emotional vampires like narcissists and psychopaths who cannot generate their own power, bank on our vulnerabilities and the false beliefs that we are deserving of pain and are powerless to those who trigger it.

TRUTH #4

Abusers find us. We do not find them!!

Sorry to disappoint you, but abusers do not have some magical power over us and no, we are not the source of our pain and we do not deserve to be in relationships with weak, spineless, aggressive, uncompassionate, lazy people who steal our energy from us and who want all the benefits we can provide without any of the work.

Listen and learn more on the “Toxic Tango of Empaths and Narcissists” here.

They are aggressive but the truly weak ones who cannot generate their own power so they steal ours from us. Aggression is not power, folks. Abusers hunt for and prey for those with our vulnerabilities, the false beliefs and fears we were taught in childhood. In fact, they bank on our vulnerabilities so they can feed off of our compassion and benefit from us, like a parasite feeds off of its host, for a very long time. Read more here on the differences between harm, fear and real danger.

TRUTH #5

We can heal. Our abusers cannot.

The good, and really not so surprising news, is that with hard work, self-compassion, and self-care, our brains can rewire. Absolutely they can. We have the divine ability to release the pain and replace these false beliefs (the lies we were taught to believe) with truth, build our self-worth back up to their true levels, take our power back, and then find others whose truth aligns with ours in power balanced mutually respectful relationships we truly are deserving of.

This is how we heal! This is how we thrive! This is how we become the deserving joy-based authentic versions of ourselves we were put on this earth to be!

I explore these truths and share many more lessons, tips, and tools that will facilitate your healing in Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors. You can read more about the book and purchase a copy here.

May your spiritual source guide and protect you in your healing and in your search for truth!

Take Your Power Back is Now Available for Purchase

 

705466_COVER_Mockup1

Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors is for sale!

You can read an excerpt and purchase a copy of this groundbreaking book here!

Thanks to Dr. Patrick Gannon, PhD, Co-Founder of the ASCA (Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse) Self-Help Recovery Program for this great review!!

Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips and Tools for Abuse Survivors is a practical and inspirational guide that focuses on key issues faced by adult survivors. Evelyn Ryan’s words of support and encouragement will be a source of emotional nourishment for adult survivors as they go through recovery. The book gets inside the emotional consequences of abuse. In particular, it shows how abuse impacts self-esteem and how survivors are inclined to unconsciously seek power-imbalanced relationships with narcissistic partners. The 7 Healing Lessons are cogently described dynamics tied to one’s past and the corrective thinking that is necessary for recovery. The focus on the ASCA Self-Help Program (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse) in the chapter on the Healing and Recovery Journey dovetails perfectly with the central message of this inspirational book: you can recover your authentic self by committing to make specific changes that are essential to life success but it will take hard work, persistence and most importantly, a COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF. I can see that survivors will want to read and re-read sections of this book for on-going support and inspiration – THE WORDS ARE THAT POWERFUL! Full of helpful lists, psychological insights and practical suggestions on how to take charge of one’s inner life to facilitate recovery, this book is an undiscovered gem!

Patrick Gannon, PhD
Co-Founder
ASCA Self-Help Recovery Program

Can Malignant Narcissism Be Cured?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

Here’s the simple answer:

No!

Can narcissists have redeeming character traits? Intelligence? Of course they can. But they permanently lack the qualities we as humans need to build and sustain integrity of character and meaningful healthy relationships.

thTherapy can help narcissists put on the brakes if they go to therapy and the therapists are skilled in their covert aggressive personalities and know how to deal with their perverted thinking including their manipulation, lack of compassion, aggression, combativeness and need to win. However, as summarized below, based on research and the collective opinions of the “real experts” on character disturbances who have studied and treated thousands of narcs and their victims, there is no cure.

Read more at http://drgeorgesimon.com and listen to Dr. James Fallon  in “Crime Talk.”

ST-21-1_-1How Do Our Characters Develop?

Our characters incrementally build through our life experiences, hard work, mistakes and successes and are chiseled permanently like sculpture into our being. Our characters that develop as we age, whether ones of integrity or disturbed manipulative ones, cannot be undone.

We all have to work to build self-worth, self-esteem, self-assuredness, and self-reliance, the qualities, skills and abilities that motivate and sustain us through life. However, this process goes haywire in narcissists (and some other disordered individuals) who lose these abilities as well as the ability to self-soothe. Instead, they learn to manipulate power or whatever they want or need to sustain themselves from others. They remain like small children, always dependent on others for survival. Their characters do not develop and predictably remain “childlike.” They forever remain human “parasites.”

images-2Their thinking, as they grow into adults, distorts and they believe they are entitled (like any small child) to all the benefits of humanity and of life without working for them. They permanently view their adult hosts as a small child views its mother. A child cannot care for itself, right? And does not know it is dependent on its mother and does not care if the mother is generous or self-sacrificing or not. A small child does not even understand it is a separate being from its mother and has no empathy for its mother. It just gets and takes from its mother what it wants as well as needs and, as a child, is validly entitled to. And if it does not, well, it then rages, cries, and has tantrums.

Sound familiar? It should because arrested development causes the characters of narcissists to remain forever in a helpless child like state and not develop the elements needed as they age to adapt, improve, self-soothe, regulate their own emotions, love unconditionally and to work for what they need to sustain their own happiness. They permanently lose the ability to become a normal functioning human being similar to a feral child raised in the wild who loses many of the human cognitive and emotional abilities if not developed by a certain age.

Narcissists permanently lack the human capabilities to ensure our normal emotional development and that allow us to integrate and interact in emotionally healthy ways with other humans. They have lost those functions because their brains have lost the functions that allow them to do so. Their thinking and beliefs are skewed. They are sort of like mutants who look normal on the outside but in reality are not. I refer to them as “The Lacks” because they are permanently missing the key elements we need to function “normally.” They are forever stuck in a “less than as adult humans were designed” state. And, so, their characters and thinking become disturbed, disordered, broken. They are forever unable to act on their “free will.” They have learned instead to maladapt by filling these gaps with energy parasitically sourced from and manipulated from others.

Let’s explore these “gaps” further.

The Roles of Compassion and Empathy in Human Existence

Having compassion and learning to use it responsibly are critical to our individual and collective existence. It allows us to function in relationships with others and as a society. Compassion is critical to our emotional health and our character development and personal relationships.

We need compassion to care about and for ourselves and others and they for us. It enables us as we mature to learn emotional empathy, the ability to actually put ourselves in other’s shoes and feel what others are feeling. Empathy is a potential ability those with compassion can learn and matures as the brain develops and as our characters develop. That ability to “mirror” ourselves emotionally in others allows us to love and to be loved reciprocally. Compassion allows us to value ourselves and others and motivates us to care for ourselves and others and strive to end our own and other’s suffering and pain. Compassion allows us to tolerate and adapt to change and other’s differences and to coexist in peace and harmony. It prevents a total chaotic society.

The levels of compassion and empathy vary from person to person. Unfortunately, some of us can be born with too much (e.g. empaths) and some of us are not born with enough (e.g. narcissists and psychopaths).

What are a Narcissist’s Major “Character” Gaps?

Well, at the top of the list is the lack of compassion. They lack empathy and the ability to love. They have exaggerated fear of shame. These are the most significant gaps in their disturbed characters that prevent their self-worth and self-reliance from developing and that cause them to become emotional parasites and prey on others and not have effective healthy relationships with others of their own kind. So, doesn’t it make sense that empaths who have too much compassion would be targets of narcissists who lack compassion?

READ MORE ON WHAT MAKES US VULNERABLE TO NARCISSISTS.

Preeminent neuroscientist, Dr. James Fallon reports in “Crime Talk” that narcissists and psychopaths are genetically predisposed to aggression, violence and lacking compassion and emotional empathy and for psychopaths, lacking conscience. They do, however, possess cognitive empathy, the ability to recognize emotions in others. The pleasure centers of their brains are also affected so narcissists and psychopaths do not get pleasure like normal folks would get such as from reading a book.

What I find most interesting is Dr. Fallon’s description of how their “evil genes” are “turned on” by abuse (including coddling) in childhood. Psychopaths and narcissists, however, use the functioning parts of their brains and those that support reasoning and planning to con you and manipulate you. Their brains, according to Dr. Fallon, create a work around in order for them to survive and abuse and con from you what they want and need and they do not care what impact that has on you.

We can also see major flaws in a narcissist’s thinking when it comes to work, commitment, and obligation (or more accurately lack thereof).

“Why would I work for anything to achieve a goal that I do not know I am worthy of achieving and I am not confident I can achieve when I am entitled to do minimal work and use others’ successes to make me look good and provide an illusion that I am successful?”

As depraved as this sounds, this is a realistic example of the skewed thinking of what Dr. George K. Simon, a preeminent expert on manipulative aggressive personalities and author of the best sellers In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, and The Judas Syndrom refers to as the “covert aggressive personalities” that include the pathological narcissists and psychopaths. Dr. Simon confirms that narcissistic personalities lack the capacity to love because they lack empathy and the warning signs of such empathy deficits are always in the attitudes they display toward accepting work and obligation. Narcissists simply detest putting out effort that might, even in part, benefit someone else.

READ MORE ON NARCISSISTS AND CHARACTER, WORK AND OBLIGATION HERE.

Dr. Simon also verifies that narcissists can work very hard and can spend inordinate amounts of time and energy to get something they want. As most of us very well know, they can put in extraordinary efforts to groom and love bomb a potential mate or spouse. But putting the same amount of energy into finding or keeping a legitimate job or a personal relationship, taking care of a sick family member, demonstrating the loyalty and consistency necessary to be considered for advancement, or making the investment in personal self-development to merit consideration for more advanced positions are completely different matters and very unattractive enterprises to them. They want all the benefits of marriage, for example, without having to work for them or earn them!

Dr. Simon emphasizes that narcissists resist working to become better human beings more than any other kind of work. So even when it comes to respect and love and admiration, they want to come by them in the same manner as everything else  – without having to earn them. And guess what folks? How do we build integrity of character?  You got it …by working hard to set goals, make a plan to achieve them, being successful, and learning lessons through mistakes we make along the way. The normal human desire to work for those things to improve themselves are lacking in the disordered. And as a result, the characters of the narcissists do not mature or develop. They remain “deficient” humans with questionable to poor characters and even criminal ones who manipulate from the truly good people what they need to sustain themselves. So in essence, they are and remain human parasites, man and woman “babies” who are dependent on others for emotional sustenance.

Malignant Narcissism, Cures, and Change

Narcissists rarely, if ever, seek professional care or ever want to change because they like themselves just the way they are and loathe working on self-improvement. Very few psychology professionals are even trained or equipped to deal with them. So, if they choose to change (which the probability for is close to zero), very few professionals will be able to treat them competently anyway. And even if they are treated by a competent therapist who teaches them to become aware of their depravity and how to temper it, they will still lack compassion and empathy, and they will continue to fake the new “behaviors” to con you and others to serve none other than themselves. They will remain unable to love and sustain the behaviors that support reciprocal emotionally healthy relationships. They will still think like and be narcissists.

So, you cannot “love” a narcissist to change or teach them to be compassionate. Narcissists have a conscience and know exactly what they are doing. They simply do not care and no one can make them care. It would be like telling you to stop caring about others or to stop having compassion or to tell a leopard to change its spots. These are the skewed and permanent parts of a pathological narcissist’s thinking and emotional development that cause the irreparable damage to their “lacking” characters.

Can Narcissists Learn to Change Bad Behaviors?

Of course, they can. They are master manipulators and while they lack emotional empathy, they do not lack cognitive empathy. So they readily can identify emotions in others and learn and plan to manipulate them. They conned you into “liking” them or loving them and they learned to charm you. Didn’t they? They also turned on you on a dime when their pathological envy and sick needs to destroy you and manipulate from you what they believe in their evil minds they are entitled to take without any of the work kicked in. This is because the disorder, like Dr. Fallon reports above, does not impact parts of the brain where they plan and scheme and strategize.

Can Narcissists Be Cured?

Can you cure a vampire? A parasite?

Our characters, as discussed above, are permanently chiseled into our being. Disorders by definition are permanent character flaws. Disorders are not bad habits that we can break and replace with newer and healthier ones. Can the disordered “behaviors” be diagnosed and perhaps treated? Of course. But changing a behavior (which is close to impossible in narcissists who love themselves just the way they are) will not “cure” the “permanent” gaps in their characters or distorted thinking and the ability to change a behavior does not make a disordered person now “normal” or “healed.” And, in fact, for a narcissist, changing a harmful behavior by learning to “put on the brakes” masks the disorder and actually, in my opinion, makes them more dangerous since it adds to their portfolio of combat tactics and better enables them to change their outward demeanor like a chameleon changes its colors to match the “environment.” Most importantly, remember, they can never regain compassion and emotional empathy, the key emotion and character trait, respectively, that humans need to sustain not only themselves but also normal emotionally healthy relationships and that are needed to build integrity of character. 

Accepting this along with learning how not to be vulnerable to them and in some cases, protecting your children are huge in healing for narcissistic abuse survivors. Dr. Fallon, who is a self-diagnosed narcissist himself, believes that if we as parents see the signs of pathological narcissism in our children early enough (assuming we are knowledgeable in the signs and are healed ourselves), we can try to get them competent care which may increase the likelihood that they do not turn out that bad, however there are no guarantees. In the best case, they will still be narcissists, however, they will fall at the lower end of the severity spectrum of harm they can inflict. Read more here on what parents can do.

However, there is one fundamental difference between narcissists and the people they target. The brains of the abused can rewire and heal the skewed beliefs that cause their susceptibility to power imbalanced relationships. The damage can be addressed and reversed. The brains of narcissists whose skewed thinking is caused by arrested development lose their ability to rewire and, therefore, narcissists, as Dr. Fallon confirms, cannot heal and cannot be cured. The damage is permanent.

Control and Personal Power in Power Imbalanced Relationships

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“If we live in fear of anything, we give it the power to overcome us.”
~ Michele O’Donnell, Healer, Minister, Author, and Counselor

th-29I have been researching personal power and how it relates to personal success and happiness for decades. Sadly, this is what I discovered. That we have been misinformed about the relationship between abuse and an abuser’s need to control. This does not accurately describe the causes of power imbalance in abusive relationships and actually can hinder an abuse victim’s healing. Let’s break this down.

WHAT IS REAL PERSONAL POWER?

People with real power do not covertly or overtly aggressively go after others’ power because, simply, they do not have to. People with real power work for it. They use their free will to set goals and do the work including getting the education and building the relationships and the integrity of character to achieve them. When they hit a wall, they take further action to course correct or thought correct. They become proficient at creating value for themselves and others. They have what my cousin Alexandra calls “skin in the game.” They tap into themselves to generate the energy and use it freely and willingly to create value that benefits themselves and others that they know they deserve and are worthy of. They use their own energy to nourish their souls and fuel their spirit and self-esteem. They share their power with others, who voluntarily of their own free will, share theirs back.

Life and relationships, in particular, require a balance of work, commitment, and obligation. It is when this balance of give and take becomes “tipped” that things can become unhealthy fast. The more tipped the balance, the more unhealthy the situation can become. Think about this. Isn’t it always when someone is giving too much and putting in the extraordinary effort or someone is taking too much and not putting in the work (and especially over a long period of time) that things get crazy, stressful, exploitive, abusive, unpleasant, or just plain suck?

Why?

Because, we are not benefitting from the investment of our time, energy, pain, love, effort, education we are expending commensurate with the level of effort we are putting in. Our efforts and our value are never validated. What we believe to be true about ourselves is not validated and what we aspire to never happens so our personal truth and personal worth are never “proved.” We are stuck in a give and give and give (and “no take”) dooloop of unfulfillment and emotional exhaustion.

Read more here on the The Five Pillars of Personal Worth, Power, and Authenticity.

WHERE DO NARCISSISTS AND OTHER EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES FIT IN?

abraham-lincoln-power-quotes-nearly-all-men-can-stand-adversity-but-if-you-want-toThere are huge differences between real authentically powerful people who have integrity of character and people who are inherently weak and pretend to have power and integrity of character. The latter are what preeminent psychologist Dr. George K. Simon refers to in his best seller, Character Disturbance: The Phenomenon of Our Age as the character disturbed with covert aggressive personalities. These are the ones who want all the benefits of life without earning them because they believe they are entitled, because they believe in their disordered brains that the rules of life, law, love and personal honor and respect do not apply to them.

Read more on narcissists, work and obligation here.

These are the energy thieves, the narcissists, psychopaths, abusers, con artists, criminals, and manipulators who aggressively and offensively go after others’ power because they cannot generate their own and because they do not want to work for it. These human parasites want all the benefits of life, marriage, friendship, a successful career without any of the hard work. Now, mind you, I am not claiming that they these folks do not have potential power or perhaps even redeeming personal traits or talents, skills and abilities. Of course they do. But they will use those talents, skills and abilities to serve themselves and to manipulate you and your children and not to better themselves. They abuse their power and use it to manipulate others’ power.  In fact, their greatest aversion is working to better themselves. They will have no interaction with you unless they in some way benefit and you in some way are giving up your power to them. They have to win always. They are in constant combat. This is just how these predictable and annoying characters tick.

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Read more on narcissists, work and obligation here.

We cannot survive without emotional sustenance, folks, so these energy vampires, like the blood-sucking vampires, will shrivel and die if they do not steal attention, adulation, love, winning, coming out ahead, or whatever they need by creating illusions of normalcy by grooming you, telling you they love you, conning you, putting you on the defensive, and preying on your vulnerabilities. So they have no problem working for what they want and what will serve them and aggressively and covertly go after the power they want and need and target the most vulnerable and easy to manipulate and who do you think the best to feed off are. Other narcissists? Other character disturbed people? Others of their own kind are very very unpalatable but no one is immune to their attacks not even other narcissists. But the most tasty and yummy to feed their emotional gaps are none other than the survivors of abuse and, in particular, empaths, people with high emotional intelligence and compassion.

Yes, the evil of society, the emotional and energy vampires prey on the wounded, the ones who unknowingly give up their power to those who trigger their repressed legacy pain. These are the ones discussed in the Bible that “call evil good and good evil and put darkness for light and light for darkness.” They will cease at nothing in order to get not only what they need but what they want and believe they are entitled to take.

The wolves, by the way, are continuing to pose as sheep and are becoming more creative in their combat tactics. Narcissists are now even posing at healers and are starting healing Facebook Pages and websites in the guise of having compassion and wanting to help the exact people they victimized and traumatized and people are falling for it. So they have figured out a way to continue even to feed off the healing energy of their suffering victims that should be reserved for themselves and their survival.

BELIEVING ABUSERS NEED TO “CONTROL” US IS MISLEADING

th-1Be wary folks. Reading that abusers “need to control others” is very very misleading. This, in my opinion, can significantly prevent healing and actually keep people in abusive
relationships by causing us to focus too much on the abusers and falsely leading us to think they can be healed and feeding our toxic shame by communicating the untruth that somehow we are the weak faulty ones and the abusers are the strong ones with some magical power over us. In fact, it is totally the opposite. Abusers are covertly or overtly aggressive but they are very very weak individuals with extremely low self-worth who cannot freely generate their own personal power.

Let’s examine this further.

We (not others) are the only ones who are able to use our free will to nurture our souls and our self-esteem and self-assurance that serve our personal needs and sustain our emotional health. This is the human design. This is authentic legitimate personal power. Abusers, on the other hand, are character disturbed and believe in their distorted minds that aggression and manipulation and taking from others (what they have worked for) is power. The last time I looked, that was called theft, exploitation, weakness, character disturbance, covert aggression, bribery, burglary, abuse, and evil.

So contrary to what we are taught, magic llusion truthabusers don’t need to “control” you.  More accurately, they use aggression to create an illusion of power that intimidates you and triggers your fears and makes you feel powerless so they can manipulate your power from you because they lack real ability and desire to generate the power needed to sustain themselves. This is why they move from victim to victim to victim. The level of aggression and their combat tools vary but abuse in any form is abuse be it physical, violent, emotional, invalidation, or neglect and criminal activity is criminal activity. This is why we have laws to protect us, right? Whatever the case, it is all aggressive offensive combat and they use love and grooming and other tactics to play on our vulnerabilities including our overly developed consciences and compassion and insecurities to trap us. They want all the benefits of what we can provide them without the work. They are weak powerless predictable parasites in human form. They are, simply, depraved and broken.

Read more on narcissists, work and obligation here.

THE DIFFERENCES IN AGGRESSION, POWER, HARM AND CONTROL

Now, let’s look a bit more at abusers’ aggressive combat tactics and how they impact personal power and control. There is a huge difference between aggression, power, harm and control. Abusers use aggression to create an illusion of power. They use their covert aggressive skills to manipulate you to believe you have no power and they are the “All Powerful Oz” who, remember, was actually a great creator of smoke and mirrors that was discovered by Toto a very small scruffy dog. In between the abuse, abusers groom you. So the cycles of abuse and makeup sessions create peptide addictions in the brain. We end up mistaking the chemical trauma bonding for love. We were conditioned to believe we must suffer to be lovable and that we are defenseless and powerless to emotional pain. We are conditioned to believe that only the abusers can relieve the pain. As healer, minister, author, and counselor Michele O’Donnell states, “If we live in fear of anything, we give it the power to overcome us.”

Cannot heal at same level as painThis is not love, this is not power, and this is not the basis of emotionally healthy relationships. This is, however, the basis of power imbalanced abusive relationships and what causes us to unknowingly give up our power to abusers, become complicit in our own abuse, and perpetuate the cycle of intergenerational abuse.

Abuse, folks, is not about control. Abuse just like healing and recovery is not about the abusers. Abuse and healing are all about us, fixing our skewed beliefs and taking OUR power back. I explore these issues in much more detail in Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors. You can read a sneak peek and review of the book and purchase a copy here.

 

How Abusive Childhoods Cause Us to Sabotage Our Health and Happiness

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“We all have inalienable rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Absolutely we do. However, if we are prevented from pursuing them because we have damaged the only vessel that we have to travel in that journey, we are sabotaging not only our own health and happiness but also our children’s by teaching them the same maladaptive unhealthy thinking patterns and beliefs. And, frankly, we and our children all deserve so much better.”

th-12The article, “The Damaging Effects of Living An Inauthentic Life and How to Change It,” by Tracey Crossley provides probably the most important lesson to adult survivors of childhood abuse on the damaging effects of childhood abuse.

This is why.

Because abuse survivors were punished in youth whenever their authentic selves emerged to protect and care for themselves and they were rewarded for being who their abusers wanted them to be to serve none other than the abusers.

We learned, as a result, at that moment in time when we were defenseless dependent children and our brains were in critical stages of development, to become inauthentic versions of ourselves in order to cope and respond to pain. We disconnected rather than integrated with ourselves emotionally, did not learn self-care and self-compassion, and learned to maladapt and rely on others who cause the pain (we think we deserve) to soothe the pain. As we took in too much pain and trauma, our bodies defensively repressed it, temporarily stored it away in our memory banks until we were more mature and better equipped to handle it.

As is described so eloquently in Tracy Crossley’s article, as we go out into the world and live our lives and develop relationships, go to school, and pursue our passions, we make decisions based on false perceptions and beliefs about the world and ourselves along with our unhealed trauma wounds. In the process, we never learn what the real things are that nurture OUR souls and OUR self-worth and that make US happy and how to pursue them. We end up neglecting our own needs and become overly dependent on other people to tell us what we are doing is worthy and we use, by default, their happiness to bring us happiness rather than sourcing that from within our own selves.

Let’s explore this not so obvious point a bit more.

th-5-1Living Lies Cannot Sustain Us

Living lies just like physically abusing or neglecting our bodies cannot sustain us because our bodies were not designed to work that way. We are fighting nature by fooling ourselves and what will nature do? It will rebel and when it does, the consequences can be severe and for some irreversible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when you do not supply the body what it needs to function properly, it will attempt to take from somewhere else.

So if you do not provide the body the proper nourishment it needs to survive and sustain itself or you take in too many toxic substances or stress your body above what it was designed to do, the body cannot develop normally and visually, you look bad and physically and emotionally, you feel bad. You become physically and emotionally unfit.

c8201dd7ec25ba33ef0f4148c07a5d9bNow for a while, the liver or body systems that are being taxed will filter out the crap and your natural defenses will take over until..wham! You have overtaxed them and they no longer are able to filter out the garbage faster than it is coming in or you have strained that vertebrae or ligament or muscle as far as it can be stretched. You experience emotional and physical pain. These are the cues that what you have been putting in the body is not sufficient to nourish and sustain it and you need to stop doing what you are doing and course correct.

So you could take an aspirin or an antacid or put on makeup or get false teeth or take high blood pressure medicine or cholesterol medicine that will mask the damage and temporarily relieve and sustain yourself, nevertheless until you provide your body the proper nutrition to care for it and ensure its works as it was designed, something will continue to give and you will continue to risk being at some level of pain and suffering.

How Overtaxing the Mind Starves Us of Emotional Nourishment

Equally, when you do not provide the mind what it needs tostarving soul hunger flourish or you overtax it and take in too much emotional toxicity or pain, the spirit will starve for nourishment and you will exceed the pain threshold your brain was designed to handle. Read more on nourishing our souls. The brain has remarkable plasticity but it is not good at spontaneous healing. The mind and spirit will become traumatized and malnourished and you will become emotionally fatigued, exhausted, stressed, or depressed. Sustained emotional stress also results in more physical damage to the body because the human body is comprised of integrated systems. The neurological system is connected and interrelated to all the body’s systems, hence, healthy body, healthy mind and vice versa.

In essence, when you mess with nature, you mess with your own divine AUTHENTIC and integrated design. To be happy we have to learn and embrace a healthy life style that includes not only our emotional fitness but also our fitness related to our achievements and relationships and our physical health. Read more here.

Masking Pain Will Not Address It

14445943_10154619521823628_8931312378332167929_nAnd like an aspirin that provides temporary relief from physical pain, we can bandaid our emotional pain. Absolutely, we can. Doctors can label us with this condition or that and prescribe antidepressants or mood elevators or we can self-medicate with alcohol or illegal drugs or food or people and find many other creative ways to mask the pain and continue to be someone we are not and look to others, even abusers and manipulators, or things to define our worth and for instant relief and gratification. We can even deny it. The body when the trauma is too much for the mind to bear, even represses it. However, wounds that cannot be accessed cannot be healed. Some of us may even believe this works for us. That is until we get older and our liver or kidneys or heart or soul become stressed to capacity or until we face some major emotional catastrophe that tests our self-reliance, self-assurance, and coping skills. Then and for some, only then, do they experience the perfect storm and are faced with reality and like Dr. Phil says learn in the hardest and worst way that what they have done has not worked for them and has resulted in immeasurable and, for some, irreparable damage.

th-13We all have inalienable rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Absolutely we do. However, if we are prevented from pursuing them because we have damaged the only vessel that we have to travel in that journey, we are sabotaging not only our own health and happiness but also our children’s by teaching them the same maladaptive unhealthy thinking patterns and beliefs. And, frankly, we and our children all deserve so much better.

How Abuse Makes Our Emotions Toxic

Let’s now look at abuse and how it impacts our abilities to regulate our emotions and engage in healthy relationships. Everyone who is abused is most likely not able to recognize the “good” in a healthy relationship because they never learned to relate good treatment to love and to defining their worthiness. The belief filters in abuse survivors become skewed. The magnitude of the damage depends on what “fears” are driving you as well. Read more in “Why Did I Get Involved with a Jerk and What Can I Do About It.”

Read more on how emotions can become toxic in abuse survivors.

take-your-power-back-300x300

Don’t forget that in life, we move in the direction of, create in reality, and do what we believe to be true even if it is a lie and even if it does not serve us and harms us. That is what makes us get involved with abusers and not leave them on the spot. Our filters for screening out narcissistic jerks were damaged in childhood and most likely many other abusive power imbalanced relationships we have had in our lives.

The problem is that if we meet someone who is authentically a good person and who is NOT inflicting emotional pain on us and NOT pushing our fear and pain buttons, we are at risk of feeling unloved, unfulfilled and unworthy and then proceed to sabotage the “good” relationship to keep ourselves in our comfortable and familiar state of shame that, of course, while painful, we nevertheless “believe” we can handle better, say, than our fear of being betrayed and abandoned and do not believe we are worthy of anything better.

This is an excellent example of how abusive childhoods cause pain addictions and skewed beliefs in personal power that rule our lives that become “pain-seeking” and “pain-avoiding” rather than “joy-seeking” and “joy-filled” (e.g. joyful). While we do this unconsciously and not deliberately, these vulnerabilities make us susceptible to attacks from emotional predators and for a life of chronic unhappiness, unfulfilment, and emotional pain and fatigue.

“The problem is that if we meet someone who is authentically a good person and who is NOT inflicting emotional pain on us and NOT pushing our fear and pain buttons, we are at risk of feeling unloved, unfulfilled and unworthy and then proceed to sabotage the ‘good’ relationship to keep ourselves in our comfortable state of shame that, of course, while painful, we nevertheless ‘believe’ we can handle better than, say, our fear of being betrayed and abandoned and do not believe we are worthy of anything better.”

Let’s break this down a bit further as it applies to relationships. Do relationships with jerks bring you pain? Absolutely, however, it is pain that you associate with being lovable and a good person and believe you are powerless to and you do not believe you deserve better. You also in your childhood most likely developed codependency tendencies and learned to self-sacrifice for other people. Perhaps you are an empath with too much compassion and believe you must fix other’s problems before you take care of your own needs? Perhaps you never learned you are worthy of being happy and were rewarded only for taking care of other’s needs?

This maladaptive thinking is what keeps us vulnerable to abusers and how abuse makes our emotions become toxic to our own selves. We learn to maladapt and confuse self-worth with avoidance of pain rather than pursuing goals and relationships that bring us real joy. Our decisions become heavily based on our learned pain tolerances and perceived weaknesses rather than our personal value and power and worthiness of joy. We become attracted to power imbalanced relationships because we believe we should suffer to be lovable and can “handle” the shame and emotional pain from abuse better than our fear of abandonment from being alone. So a relationship with a “good” person would not be appealing to abuse survivors who would not relate being treating well to being lovable or worthy and would not be able to “see” the good in it and therefore, would perceive no value in it.

Here’s the good news!th-23

We are only born with two fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. All others fears, pains, apprehensions, anxieties, phobia, bad habits? Well, those we learned. And just like we learned them, we can UNLEARN them.

I am committed here at Yourlifelifter and wrote Take Your Power Back to help you do exactly that and show you where to look to discover the real truth, facilitate your healing, and live as the joy-based authentic person you were put on this earth to be.

Why Healing From Abuse Is Never About The Abuser

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

Excerpted from Evelyn Ryan’s book, Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips and Tools for Abuse Survivors. Read a review of the book here.

th-8The only person you are here to serve is your authentic self. When you serve your authentic self, your decisions and actions fulfill your legitimate emotional needs. All of life’s pieces fall into place, since the core of your being is truth-based and authentically you. You know you can rely on yourself for your safety. You feel safe in your own body.

What happens to us when we are abused, betrayed by those we intimately trust? Betrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. The victim’s response is shame, internal pain, self-loathing, trauma, and fear. We translate that into the false belief that something is wrong with us. But there is nothing wrong with us! There never was. We did not do anything wrong. Being who we are is not wrong. Our love was real. Our trust was real. Theirs was not. We were innocent defenseless victims.

GET TIPS FOR DEALING WITH THE SHAME FROM BETRAYAL.

Our attackers are character-flawed, disordered. We were betrayed because we trusted and depended on unhealed abusers, manipulators, and untrustworthy broken people. They betrayed us. We were betrayed because that is what betrayers do. It was not personal in that sense. Our attackers targeted us because they are experts on homing in on people with our vulnerabilities.

th-2

They need people with our vulnerabilities so that their manipulation tactics will be
successful, so that they will win the challenge and the ultimate prize: our energy, attention, and adulation. Before you and me, there were many, and after us, there will be many more. We were betrayed because we were vulnerable. We did not ask to be victimized, but we played a role in the abuse that we need to understand and accept.

imgresMany of us are empaths—highly sensitive natural healers, compassionate people with
high emotional intelligence. We did not learn to use our compassion and trust responsibly; we depended on untrustworthy people to define our self-worth. Our emotional vulnerabilities make us complicit in our own abuse by keeping us susceptible to abusers who preyed on us and kept us addicted to pain. This truth can be very painful, and yet it’s life-changing. It will change your life forever and for the better. When we know better and that we are worthy of the knowledge, we do better.

knowbetter do betterAnger, resentment, and revenge will not heal us. Self-avoidance will not heal us. Focusing on our abusers will not heal us. Taking responsibility and accepting without judgment will. In healing, we learn to become our authentic selves—and to stop seeking approval of our worth from others. Healing is a learning process. Through asking the right questions and seeking and finding truthful answers in a safe and trusting environment, we learn to turn our compassion and courage inward to support shifts in our thinking that lead to long-term emotional health and happiness.

We learn to befriend ourselves (who we long ago abandoned) by accepting our powerlessness, committing to our healing, challenging our thoughts, releasing our fear and shame, and incrementally taking our power back as we lift up our thinking and discover and honor our real selves and our personal divinity.

Do we need to understand our abusers to heal? Yes. But minimally and only in order to understand what they are missing and what they exploited in us and what faulty beliefs make us vulnerable to them. In fact, focusing too much on them will prevent you from healing.

Read more here on how much do we need to know about narcissism to heal.

Narcissistic abuse recovery expert, Melanie Tonia Evans, cautions us frequently that focusing too much on our abusers and our fear of them rather than on our healing and the role we play in our abuse can keep us trapped and prevent our recovery. I can relate.

One of the most difficult lessons I learned was that I was vulnerable to attacks by manipulators and bullies. I felt threatened by them and believed I was not safe. I became fearful and resentful. My fear drove me to overestimate the harm from them and underestimate my ability to deal with them. I felt defenseless. I became hyper-vigilant in my attempts to avoid shame and pain as I waited for their attacks. I became hyper-reactive to attacks that I was sure would come and did come. I became intolerant, which did not serve me.

In the process, I gave up my power to emotional vampires who continued to target me. Trying to avoid perceived threats kept me emotionally trapped to the people and events that triggered my fears and caused me continued pain. So, I remained a victim of the emotional vampires because I thought like a victim. I was held captive by my own fears. I became emotionally fatigued. Focusing on them rather than myself kept me from healing. I learned and accepted that my fear was giving my abusers the power to overcome me.th-14

So I put on my big-girl britches and, little by little, took on and challenged my fears and
my false sense of powerlessness, replacing them with courage and self-assurance. I took my power back as I came into my own truth and accepted what I could change as well as what I could not. I accepted what happened to me, took responsibility for the role I played, and shifted my thinking from that of a victim to one who wanted to take her power back, detach from and defuse the abusers, and thrive. I took action!

I adapted by turning the irrational fear and hypervigilance into compassion and tolerance. I turned that wasted fear-driven energy to the source of that fear within myself and not only challenged and released it but replaced it with self-compassion, self-knowledge, self-power, self-respect, and self-love. I honed my ability to identify and cope with evil people. Instead of focusing my energy on them, I shifted my attention to me and my self-worth and abilities. I protected my personal boundaries because I know and believe I am worth it.

In the process of healing and witnessing my own healing, my fear of aggressors became pity for the powerless annoyances they are. In the process, my self-esteem and self-respect and self-assuredness soared, and I took my power back. I chose not to give my power to powerless emotional vampires and to protect my personal boundaries and honor my personal rights and authority because I know I deserve respect. I taught my daughter the same. In the process, my daughter healed through me and thrived. It is never about the other person, folks. My dear friend Jim Upshaw told me that years ago, and I never forgot the message. Now I know the true meaning. Now I never forget the lesson: When you serve your authentic self, your decisions and actions fulfill your legitimate emotional needs. You know you can rely on yourself for your safety. All of life’s pieces fall into place, since the core of your being is truth-based and authentically you.

In the healing process, we regain our self-trust, self-power, self-respect, and self-esteem. We learn what our true value is to ourselves. We learn to rely on and trust internal emotional cues that have been recalibrated with our personal truth and core beliefs. Oh, of course, we must get cues from our environment and from others who have our best interests at heart. We also become better able to recognize those who do not. But we now can readily use those cues to gauge where we are and to tweak our internal truth-seeking filters based on our choices and their outcomes.

th-29In healing, we learn who we really are and to love ourselves. We become fully integrated people of integrity whose thoughts, actions, and beliefs align. Our healing allows us to be the best version of ourselves. It is the best demonstration of self-love we could give ourselves. And in that newfound truth, we thrive.

Power Imbalance in Abusive Relationships – Part 2

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

th-1This is Part 2 in a two part series on power imbalance in abusive relationships.

Part 1 discusses misperceptions on the relationship between abusers and their victims and describes the predatory aspects of abuse and the not so obvious causes of power imbalance in abusive relationships.

Part 2 discusses further the differences between aggression, power, and control in abusive relationships and how healing allows us to access and rely on our own personal power.

No matter what you think or what you read about the abusers’ need to control, people who abuse or exploit others have no superhuman magical powers to inflict pain and also alleviate it. To the contrary, they are much more simple and “weak” than that. Abusers are, in reality, aggressive fearful parasitic spineless cruel individuals who lack compassion and the ability to generate their own power and energy.

thPeople who abuse “simply” are aggressive character deficient hunters who easily betray trust and do not and cannot follow the rules of respect, honor and decency. Aggression and control, however, are not synonymous with power or danger.

Abusers may be overtly or covertly aggressive but they abuse because they lack power no different than the creeps we see on world-wide news who lure and track a defenseless creature, kill it, skin it, behead it, and put its head over the mantel to ogle at and think in their depraved minds that now he or she is more powerful than the truly powerful and majestic creature whose life they selfishly took because they “simply” “wanted to” because it made them “feel” better. What is the difference between these “big game” hunters and narcissistic emotional vampires. Well, not much.

They target us, because our pain addictions and false beliefs of powerlessness we brought with us from wounded childhoods make us vulnerable to their attacks and they WANT AND NEED our power to feel better. They target you, like the hunters “simply,” because they can and YOU are beneficial to THEM and they are character or personality disordered and aggressively go after and take anything they want! They believe they are entitled and that the rules of normal respectful human engagement or honoring life do not apply to them. They make their own rules that serve them. They have distorted views on work and obligation. They “simply” are depraved and have become human predators.

Read more on narcissists, work and obligation here.

However, because we were powerless to our abusers in childhood, we believe falsely based on our unhealed wounded thinking that we are defenseless to these limited individuals who inflict pain on us and they are the only ones who have the power to take away the pain they inflict. Folks, we do not have to suffer or self-sacrifice to be lovable! And we are not powerless to these creeps. THEY are the powerless ones! And frankly, you DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER.

Read this again!

Healing requires major shifts in our thinking so they are based on truthful and adaptive beliefs that serve our authentic needs NOT the needs of parasitic energy vampires who like the big game hunters need the power of trophy wives or husbands to feed off of and hang over their “ego” mantels. Healing requires us to take our power back, regulate our emotions and not rely on soul suckers and weak spineless people who would sell their own mothers and children for a nickel if it serves them.

Do you have neuroses, compulsions, fears, anxieties, phobias? Most of us do and this is why. In childhood, our abusive or neglectful or invalidating caretakers caused our pain emotions to become toxic and did not, as they should have, validate our emotions and teach us how to functionally and effectively control our emotions and self-soothe. We all have those capacities. They just never developed because we were neglected and were never taught how to use and mature them to benefit our own selves.

th-23Pain-based emotions are here to protect us and not do us harm. We are born with only two fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. Every other pain, phobia, and maladaptive emotion-based neurosis we have, we learned. We become reactive to our emotions that control us rather than using them as cues to willfully course or thought correct. Read more here. When we are emotionally starved and fatigued, guess what? We get depressed. And guess what? When we are emotionally fatigued and depressed, we cannot set and achieve goals to support our self-esteem and self-worth that sustain our happiness and emotional health.

Read this again and again. This is no secret.

Real power is willfully and confidently choosing to do what we want to do and when, taking actions sourced from our own power, our own free will to authentically serve our own selves! This is how the human body was designed to function. And as we live our lives, through our experiences and interactions with other and our successes and our mistakes, we incrementally build wisdom and our characters.

Read more on living an authentic life here.

Learn more about building personal power and worth.

This functional capability goes haywire from the trauma from abuse including neglect and emotional invalidation. Rather than developing and maturing these abilities, we, maladapt, and learn to rely on other unreliable people, things, and substances to cope and for emotional sustenance and to define our self-worth. So instead of willfully controlling our lives and making independent decisions that serve our goals and nurture our souls, we become pain addicted and dependent on weak abusive exploitive people who do not have our best interests at heart and who trigger our fears and feed off of our power and use “love” to manipulate it from us. They become our conscious source of the pain and the unconscious source of relief to the pain no different than addictive substances, drugs, alcohol.

Cannot heal at same level as painFolks, the source of our joy is none other than us and the only ones who can rescue and relieve our pain are our own selves. Fortunately, we can heal! However, we cannot heal at the same level of thinking that creates our pain. Healing requires fully understanding why we love people who inflict pain on us and why we tolerate it.

Healing requires us to take our power back and learning to protect and honor our own divinity, reach our highest potential, be our authentic joy-seeking selves, and thrive.

Read more on living an authentic life here.

705466_cover_mockup1-1I cover these topics and more in much more detail in my book, Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors. You can read an exclusive sneak peek and review of the book and purchase a copy here.

Heal Your Children Through Yourself

th-3Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

Our children will be exposed to narcissists, nasty teachers, selfish room mates as well as kind generous people every day. Healthy boundaries go in both directions and we can only teach our children how to protect themselves and to make wise choices. Why, then, should it be any worse or more dramatic because they have a narcissistic parent? Why do we, the parents, feel we are responsible for putting our children through this? Why are we so hugely emotionally vested and fearful?


Healing Takes Action

As a parent and a survivor of narcissistic abuse, I was beside myself with worry every day that not only would narcissists harm my child but that I was powerless to stop it. I learned through my healing that this was faulty learned thinking that I risked transferring to myif-you-dont-heal-your-pain child if I left it uncorrected. Along with it, I carried profound guilt, shame and trauma and believed falsely that I was an ineffective parent. This was my inner critic’s guilt and shame I carried with me from childhood that was projected onto me by my abusers! I came to learn that the pain I was carrying was not even mine and was unhealed pain that had been transferred to me generationally.

 

Read more here on dysfunctional families and intergenerational abuse.

I realized soon that focusing on my guilt, shame, pain, angst, and fear and protecting my daughter from harm, was just keeping me from healing and preventing my daughter from acquiring the full benefit of my love for her because I was not emotionally healthy and functioning authentically at one hundred per cent. Why should your children and my daughter and our relationships with them suffer because we did? Let’s explore this.

In order for my daughter to thrive (and she is), I and no one else had to own my pain and understand that I was worthy of healing and being pain free and to honestly express that ownership and my responsibility for healing with my daughter. She and I both deserved better as do you and your children, right? So I focused on my health and wellness, made a plan, and took action. I put on my big girl britches and apologized to her for my poor choices and told her the root causes and what I was doing to course and thought correct. It was not her problem to correct or take on as her own. It was mine! I can only be her mother and she had the personal right to an emotionally healthy and honest one and to be raised in an emotionally healthy home. Not only did I heal, I thrived and when I thrived, guess what? So did my daughter.

Did I make mistakes when I felt helpless and overwhelmed and lost? Of course. Did that make me a bad mother? Of course not. To the contrary, it made me an awesome one, a powerful one. Did my daughter drive me crazy through her teenage years? Of course. Did that make her a bad child? Of course not. But once again, I took on the guilt of “ruining her.” In times of stress, we go back to what we are comfortable with though it may not be effective. Thank goodness for the National Geographic edition on the teenage brain that explained the teenage years are a sort of “retarded” stage humans have to go through for normal development. What relief I had when the burden of shame was replaced with truth and empowerment.

Do Not Normalize the Abuse

Abuse victims are frequently unnecessarily conflicted about alienating the child against the other parent. Don’t ever think your children are too young to learn the truth about being victimized or exploited that you are “saying something bad about the other parent.” This is a lie that results in nothing more than normalizing the abuse, shaming the victim and adding to their pain. There is a big difference between speaking crap about a person and speaking truth about a crappy person. Always speak truth because it does set us free.

Healing is your right to act on your free will and to live as you were designed. Healing is all about you, not your husband or wife or partner and a child is never too young to learn about good and evil and what healthy relationships and boundaries are. You can tell your story to your young child in a healthy constructive manner, while holding the abuser responsible for their actions, and at the same time stay accountable to your healing goals. Absolutely you can! Take this as as example.

Why not present situation as a child would understand such as in a fairy tale about good and evil and put yourself in the story. Be creative. The brain is growing and processing and she is mirroring, seeing herself in you. You ARE your child’s reflection and you are teaching her how to become as she is divinely intended and to respect herself and to understand personal worth. You are teaching her to become the best version of herself she can become. You are teaching her to have compassion for her mother, the person who gave her life. You are facilitating your child to become a participant and compassionate witness in your healing and rebirth in the same way you participated and witnessed hers.

What if My Child is a Narcissist

If we marry narcissists, sadly we run the risk of having narcissistic children. You did nothing wrong. Nature did and you cannot fix it.  Empathy and lack of it are both inherited and hopefully if our narcissist children are at the lower end of the spectrum we can have some semblance of a relationship with them.

Learn more on what causes narcissism.

That, nevertheless, may not be possible if their toxicity level, combat tactics, and manipulation tactics are severe. Your safety and that of your other children always come first. If you let them, narcissists will, without a doubt, consume every single bit of narcissistic supply you give them at the expense of your other children, joy, happiness, energy, life, bank account, reputation and whatever else they can exploit from you. We also, remember, run the risk of having empathetic children who are vulnerable to their attacks as well. So we also need to protect our children and teach them to recognize narcissists, manage boundaries, and protect their vulnerabilities. Frequently, empathetic children can have too much compassion so we must focus on teaching them how to use their compassion responsibly and not become overly reliant on others for validation of their worth that makes them vulnerable to narcissistic predators. 

The best any parent can do for narcissistic children is guide them with love, compassion, moral-based teaching, and consistency and perhaps they will end up falling at the lower end of the spectrum of less harmful character traits but there are no guarantees. Managing them takes very finely honed skills that very few therapists are even equipped with and are capable of handling. If you notice lack of compassion and serious self-centeredness in them and the failure to thrive, have healthy relationships or self-soothe, and engaging in bullying, get them into competent counseling right away.

In adulthood, the best option may be to follow the TDS (Time – Distance -Shielding) Rule and minimize your time, maximize the distance with them and put shielding between you and learn how to maintain your self-preservation when around them. The rest is in divine hands.

READ MORE HERE ON HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR SELF-PRESERVATION WHEN DEALING WITH NARCISSISTS

READ MORE ON USING THE TDS RULE TO MANAGE BOUNDARIES.

Your Children Will Heal Through You

Years ago, in the midst of an unhappy period in my life, my dear friend, Jim, told me, “Evelyn, It is never about the other person.” I, at the time, did not know what he meant but I never forgot that advice. Now I never forget the lesson. Here it is:

th-8Until you own your own pain and shame and get rid of it and stop blaming others for it, you will not heal and you will continue to think like a victim and transfer this angst to your children. Your children will then needlessly suffer collateral damage and abuse will be perpetuated.  This was not your pain to begin with.

 

Read more here on how abuse is perpetuated generationally in dysfunctional families.

Heed more Melanie Tonia Evans’ healing words of wisdom.

“The true remedy for getting out of this emotional charge is know who you are and have no need to defend it to anyone – especially your children. The truth of the matter is, however, that the more we get emotionally charged, the more we fight back, and the more we try to defend ourself against the narcissist, the atrocities escalate even more, and the more the atrocities work in the narcissist’s favor…There is nothing that an individual’s soul does not co-create that isn’t right for the purpose of the opportunity to create evolution and healing….heal your children through yourself.”

Read more on healing your children from Melanie Tonia Evans here.