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.

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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.

How Emotions Go Haywire in Abuse Survivors

 Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“…our pain-based emotions become faulty and lose their intended design functions of being reliable protective safety measures and providing depth and color to our lives. They go haywire and rather than protect us, do us more harm and our children more harm as we teach the same distorted thinking patterns to them as well. We and our children become vulnerable targets of energy and power vampires.”

th-8We are not the source of our pain. No one is. We are the source of our joy. Read this again…and again…and again.

Our pain-based emotions exist to protect us. They exist as cues, as lessons for us to put on the brakes, stop, think, course correct or thought correct to heal from wounds and to keep ourselves safe from danger and further harm.

We are not born with pain and we are not born deserving of pain. There are no “chosen people” better than us who are genetically predisposed to deserve joy more than we do. If you believe this, your thinking is not rational and needs correcting.

th-23We are born with only two fears – fear of falling and fear of loud noises. All, yes, all of our pain-based emotions (and the list is long) like shame, guilt, anxiety, grief, phobias, compulsions are learned, every darn last one of them. Some we developed in order to cope with or avoid another greater fear or pain. Our caregivers in our youth should have taught us how to take cues from our pain-based emotions, as well as our joy-based ones and showed us to self-regulate and modulate them with healthy self-coping and self-soothing mechanisms. They should have taught us to accept, use, and rely on our emotions in order to develop our divine miraculous abilities to care for ourselves and nourish our souls and mature these abilities throughout our lives to become the best joy-seeking versions of ourselves we were put on this earth to be.

Instead they taught us to believe the lies they were taught to believe that caused them and us to maladapt. Toxic pain-based thinking in our families today originated generations ago from our great great great great great grandfathers or grandmothers who suffered some traumatic experience and who never healed and shadowed their pain on and taught their wounded thinking to their descendants. Read more on this subject here.

13166007_822039794617518_5597762351778431864_nThe truth is that we are all born and designed for happiness and to feel safe, secure, and lovable. When we are abused and betrayed in our youth when we are growing at such a rapid pace, our pain-based emotions, through overuse, become toxic and our beliefs about our self-worth and deserving peace, solace and joy become skewed. We are taught and conditioned, instead, to believe that in loving relationships, we deserve pain, we are the source of our pain, we are powerless to the pain, and only those who inflict pain on us have the power and authority to relieve the pain. We may not be able to see the “good” in normal healthy relationships and sabotage them because we were not taught to relate anything positive in a relationship to love or our worthiness.

When we are abused, our pain-based emotions become faulty and lose their intended design functions of being reliable protective safety measures and providing depth and color to our lives. They go haywire and rather than protect us, do us and our children more harm as we teach the same distorted thinking patterns to them as well. We and our children become vulnerable targets of energy and power vampires.

11825868_789154231210160_5369177878722907305_n-1We can replace this distorted thinking with emotionally adaptive and healthy thinking and learn to modulate and control our own emotions and bring our self-esteem and self-worth to healthy levels. We can change our pain-seeking/pain-avoiding lives to joy-seeking/joy-filled lives, achieve emotional sobriety, and thrive. As we heal, our children will heal through us. This is how we break the cycles of intergenerational abuse.

I am committed at Yourlifelifter to teach you how to heal and recover.

I explore these topics in much more detail in my book, Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors. You can purchase and read a free sneak peek and review of the book here.

Am I The Narcissist?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

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I hear frequently from readers who fear they are the narcissist and the one with the personality disorder.

My answer?

“Absolutely not!”

This distorted thinking is a consequence of prolonged abuse that started in childhood and its traumatic impacts on your beliefs, self-worth, self-assurance, gauges of reasoning, and your abilities to trust and regulate your emotions.

The fact that you would even be concerned about this, demonstrates that your emotional capabilities although skewed, are intact.

Prolonged narcissistic abuse is slick invalidation from emotional vampires – carefully planned and premeditated efforts to stealthily through covert aggressive combat maneuvers, take everything valuable that you have to offer (your love, trust, compassion, beauty, generosity, child-bearing abilities, finances, or whatever) that they can manipulate from you to provide an illusion of grandeur and greatness to the world without any of the work.

When we do, we give up our power and energy that per our divine design at conception, were intended to be used by and for us to nurture our souls and become the best versions of ourselves as we search for internal truth – truth that we choose to share with others in relationships of mutual respect.

So, “no” you are not a narcissist. You, however, are a wounded victim of one or more who steal energy from you they cannot generate on their own. And perhaps you picked up some of their bad behaviors that will pass once you are away from them.

The good news is that you can fix your skewed thinking and heal and as you do, so will your children and you will thrive. You will make memories and people will love you just for being you. You will release the pain that made you vulnerable to them in the first place and become a stronger more self-assured version of yourself.

th-14You will take your power back and thrive. I explore these topics in much more depth in my book, Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors.

Narcissists will be forever evil and when they are done and gone, the only person anyone will miss is the one they will never be.

Read more below on the topic from one of my favorite Facebook Pages of “Truth,” “Sanctuary for Awareness and Recovery:”

Sanctuary For Awareness And Recovery

Paradox with several Personality Disorders and mental illnesses: since the ego and perception are both affected, it is common for those with some PD’s and mental illnesses with Narcissistic traits to actually perceive those they are treating poorly as the ones who are Narcissistic, because of their reactions to their behavior, or because they have healthy confidence and boundaries.

The root cause is usually a lack of boundaries, and a lack of respect or awareness for other people’s boundaries.

So the person who insults your teeth might call you “narcissistic” if you don’t just LET them insult your teeth. Apparently you were supposed to agree with them or hang your head in shame, not stand up for yourself against a blatant insult. So therefore in their mind the insult was perfectly fine, it was your reaction to the insult that was “narcissistic.”

Another example of this may be when someone enters your home or room without knocking or without waiting for an answer when this has not been established as the “norm” for them in your home or room, in other words you have NOT told them to “don’t knock, just come in.” They’re already showing a lack of boundaries with this behavior, so one shouldn’t be surprised that they react very defensively and emotionally when asked not to do that.

Saying and doing things that display hostility, arrogance, coldness, aggression, superiority or hatred are blatant displays of poor or absent boundaries, so when such a person’s behavior is confronted, disagreed with, or disapproved of, (speaking in a respectful manner that is), they are most likely going to react defensively and perceive it as arrogance, control, or an attack, and if they have some level of narcissism they may rage.

Why are Narcissists Self-Righteous and Manipulative?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

th-12Have you noticed that the most toxic people have the biggest and the most fragile egos?

Ever wondered why?

They are part of the facade, the illusion of smoke and mirrors masking a core of deep-seated shame and self-loathing and powerlessness. They are crude covertly aggressive parasitic attempts at taking others’ power for selfish self-serving purposes by those who cannot and do not want to generate their own. Oh, they may try to pass it off as power, however aggressiveness and the needs to control and charm and be self-righteousness and manipulate are not power.

Truly powerful and influentially people do not manipulate others and are not self-righteous because, simply, they do not have to be. However, generating our own power takes hard work including putting our egos aside for not only our own good but for others’ as well. And what key character qualities does this require? You got it – selflessness, conscientiousness, commitment, compassion and empathy: qualities these broken personality disordered people lack and have replaced with self-righteousness and manipulation and a sick desire to make others lose.

Read more here on narcissists, character, work and obligation.

th-10Now they cannot show their true colors to the world. Can they? How would they survive? How would they get others to give up the energy they starve for and need for emotional sustenance, for glue to mend their cracked psyches?

Of course! Why not portray a false image (e.g. ego) of charm and aggression (covert or overt) they need the world to see and prey on the vulnerable? Why not defend and perpetuate the false spineless weak persons they really are by judging others to prove their own power to themselves and to others and use whatever or whomever they can including religion to do so? Why not recruit personal assistants, “flying monkeys,” to help them th-11create the magical illusion of power and grandeur and create their own “Land of Oz?” Why not commit the worst of “sins” in the name of God, America, or Buddha or Muhammed or for whatever reason or lie they can muster to justify what is really pure depravity and evil? Why not worship false idols – their own selves!

They want all the benefits we the virtuous folks work for and that the narcissists feel entitled to such as love and marriage and children and recognition without any of the work! In fact, they hate self-improvement! This is why they flock to and frequent churches and religious communities and politics and even companies and “do good” fund raising organizations that are driven by unethical “group think” cultures.

Read more here on narcissists, character, work and obligation.

th-13Now, evil lies on a long spectrum, however evil is evil. It is like being pregnant. You are or you aren’t and being a little bit is irrelevant to the greater purpose. So rather than work to become virtuous people of integrity and character and develop grace, tolerance, kindness, and generosity (which they loathe doing, by the way), these depraved people mask their weaknesses and prey on the vulnerabilities of others who truly are people of virtue.

Read more here on why people are evil.

This is why they target the most vulnerable people like empaths and trauma wounded victims of childhood abuse who they can play like a fiddle. Folks, it is no coincidence that all the adult victims of narcissistic abuse were also victims of childhood abuse and have low self-worth. In fact, they target and bank on the kindness and compassion of the conscientious ones to provide the energy they need to keep their depravity going because they have no desire to change. They like themselves just the way they are.

Read more here to understand who narcissists target.

Read more here on what causes malignant narcissism.

They con us to believe their lies, shadow their pain on us, and parasitically feed off of our energy and our compassion and empathy. And yes, they leave us trauma ridden, emotionally starved, emotionally fatigued and depressed and believing we are defenseless and powerless to them and that we are the source of our pain and they are the source of our joy. They try to turn us into them and them into us!!

This is the core to victimhood from narcissistic abuse. The same principles apply to bullies! However, we can heal and recover. We can repent our “sins” and self-correct and course correct, break the pain addictions, and take our power back.

They cannot.

We can learn to release our repressed pain and trauma and resolve our false feelings of defenselessness to them and build our self-esteem and learn to hang tough in our truth and modulate our triggered pain and regulate our fear based emotions.

They cannot.

We can come into truth.

They cannot.

They will then no longer target us and we will no longer fear them and give up our power to them or rely on them to validate our self-worth. This is how we take our power back. This is how we thrive. This is how good wins over evil! You can learn and read more in my book Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors.

How Do We Heal and Mourn After the Loss of a Narcissist?

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

“We, in essence, have to heal and grieve from multiple doses of betrayal and the accompanying toxic shame and self-loathing and exaggerated feelings of powerlessness.”

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Narcissistic abuse survivors are frequently told to “get over it and move on.” This is not only ridiculous and inappropriate, it is also impossible. Abuse victims have suffered from extreme trauma. Understanding that the people we loved never existed and will never be the people we want and need them to be present huge challenges to victims of narcissistic abuse.

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Narcissist abuse survivors are left with significant inner conflicts because they are faced with mourning someone they loved who will never relieve or take responsibility for the trauma they inflicted on us and who will not ever return the love our hearts long for. Our attackers have, in effect, gotten away with “murder” they were not held accountable for. Emotionally, these can pose serious healing challenges to the surviving victims.

How, then, do we deal with the loss and heal from the trauma narcissists inflicted on us when they are gone? How do we mourn and grieve the loss of a narcissist when they are still alive, when they are dying or have passed away and we are left with unresolved trauma and unrequited love?

WHY IS HEALING AFTER THE LOSS OF A NARCISSISTIC SO DIFFICULT

One of the main reasons that healing from narcissistic abuse as adults is so difficult is because at that point in our lives, we have been betrayed twice and sometimes even more times. To be betrayed by those we intimately trusted is compounded in adulthood as the repressed pain from childhood and the accompanying sense of defenselessness are repeatedly triggered. So after the loss of a narcissist, we are left to heal from the childhood wounds and grieve our childhood and grieve the loss of love that will be forever unrequited. We, in essence, have to heal and grieve from multiple doses of betrayal and the accompanying toxic shame and self-loathing and exaggerated feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. So, effectively grieving after narcissistic abuse provides daunting challenges. It requires a reconciliation and a recalibration of our conflicting beliefs as they relate to loss, forgiveness, unrequited love, our lovability, and our pain and suffering.

“Effectively grieving after narcissistic abuse…requires a reconciliation and a recalibration of our conflicting beliefs as they relate to loss, forgiveness, unrequited love, our lovability, and our pain and suffering.”

th-8We can also mistake trauma bonding (e.g. pain- and peptide-addictions) for love. Narcissistic abuse recovery expert Melanie Tonia Evans explains in “Trauma Bonding: Is It Love or Something Else?” that “we were all conditioned to believe that powerful and all consuming feelings, and the ‘not being able to stop thinking about someone’ and ‘feeling an intense attachment’ must mean love…we were taught very little about real love – as a safe, supportive, calm, regenerating and trustworthy entity. And we didn’t realise that true and real love necessitates a deep knowing that you are the other half of a safe, supportive and genuine ‘team.'”

HEALING IS ABOUT US, NOT THEM

Healing, folks, is not about our attackers. Healing is about us. Mourning and paying respects are not about our attackers, they are all about us. We must heal first in order to effectively mourn and grieve. We must go on a journey to figure out why we loved someone who inflicted unrelenting pain on us. To completely heal we must dig deep to release the inner pain and forgive ourselves for the role we played in our own abuse. Self-forgiveness is a critical part of healing.

Healing Henry Cloud

Read more on the importance of self-forgiveness in healing here.

In healing, rescuing ourselves from our own despair allows us to become emotionally stronger and trusting of our own abilities and self-worth and learn self-compassion that will help us release the shame and the powerlessness and defenselessness we once felt to the unresolved trauma our attackers left us with. Healing will facilitate mourning our childhoods that have passed and the loss or pending loss of the person(s) we once loved and who we once needed to love us by accepting they never existed and will never become who we thought they were. It is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened to us from a neutral position of emotional peace without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us.

Read more on the importance of self-forgiveness in healing here.

knowbetter do betterHealing provides us a divine opportunity to become the authentic persons we were put on this earth to be and thrive. It is at this point that our painful pasts will no longer matter because we have broken our pain addictions and learned to provide our own selves the love and self-respect and self-assurance and self-care that we need to sustain us and thrive and the new found belief that we are worth the effort. We have learned to use our compassion responsibly and we can reliably decide what serves our hearts and souls even in our choices of paying respects when our attackers who we love or once loved have are dying or have died. Even if they are dying, their toxicity is not diminished, just their capacity to act on it. So their “death” or pending death sadly or fortunately (depends on how you choose to view it) essentially forces us into “No Contact” that supports our emotional healing and removes us from the harm from their toxicity.

NARCISSISTS ARE EASY TO FORGET

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Memories of narcissists fade quickly. They leave us very few memories to sustain our love so they are quickly forgotten. And once we are healed, memories of them no longer trigger our repressed pain. So they leave us with little of value or meaning to “miss.” Do we miss someone who is not capable of love and parasitically feeds off of their own children? Do we miss someone who leaves us no loving or pleasant memories to sustain our loss?  Like Maya Angelou said, “we don’t forget how people made us feel.” She was talking about pleasant feelings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Self-Forgiveness is Fundamental to Healing and Achieving Justice from Narcissistic Abuse

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

th-2“Forgiveness is part of healing. It is not a prerequisite to healing. It is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened to us from a position of emotional neutrality without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us.” 


I’d like to share some information on forgiveness, justice and victimization that may not be so obvious to survivors of narcissistic abuse but is critical to their healing.

Survivors of narcissistic or for that matter any abuse were victims, no different than a victim of a crime, a brutal illegal attack or violation of our boundaries, rights, authorities, or freedoms. What is the difference between a brutal attack of one’s body or possessions and one’s psyche and one’s heart and betrayal of intimate trust? Not many. But there are a few fundamental ones.

brokenheart-wallpaperOne attack, you may think, takes place in the conscious physical world – the other, in the metaphysical, the metacognitive world where we feel and think. However, the pain and shame and anger and fear and trauma we experience from a brutal physical or emotional brutal attack are the same. They inflict the same wounds and frequently open old ones. In addition, there are major differences to how we heal from the wounds. This is why.

We can achieve justice and emotional relief when our attackers are found, charged, found guilty, and punished for their evil deeds. Our victimization is then validated, our egos are soothed, and we can achieve some sense of safety, security, and closure. But what happens when a criminal “gets away with murder” and is free to roam and victimize whomever he or she chooses to target?

Isn’t this what serial thieves do?

Isn’t this what serial murderers and rapists do?8cc14d8f-48d2-4d8c-97d9-3e66d991850e-medium

Isn’t this what serial narcissists do?

The answers are an unequivocal YES and pose huge healing challenges to their victims. Let’s explore these challenges closer.

Healing and Achieving Justice

Healing and justice are not acquired through resentment and revenge that serve no other purpose than feeding our egos, keeping us bonded to our abusers, and continuing to give up our power to them. These are reactive defenses that cause us unjustifiably to take on additional pain and blame and continue to suppress our pain and also keep us trapped and hunkered down in shame and inaction that will do nothing more than hamper our healing and recovery.

Equally, healing and justice are not acquired through excusing the evil or pain or betrayal that was inflicted on us by our attackers or by showing compassion for them. Our need to forgive can also be guilt-driven by our moral, ethical or religious 1935078_1109367059096008_7406065166067850262_nbeliefs and convictions. I agree with renowned author and therapist Dr. Alice Miller and others that we do not have to forgive and that forgiving our abusers is a personal choice. We can add a huge amount of emotional burden to an already painful situation by being told if we do not forgive, we punish ourselves twice..blah blah blah. This can leave us conflicted and feeling added guilt and even shame when we really do not want to forgive.

We also while dealing with forgiveness have to deal with other daunting and unique challenges faced while grieving our losses. Effectively grieving after narcissistic abuse requires a reconciliation and a recalibration of our conflicting beliefs as they not only relate to forgiveness but also to loss, unrequited love, our lovability, and our pain and suffering.

Read more here on how to grieve and mourn the loss of a narcissist.

How, then, do innocent victims “get justice” when their attackers get off free of charge? How then do they achieve emotional relief and a sense of security? Victims of emotional abuse do not even have the option of becoming vigilantes because the narcissists like the mutants on X-men and space creatures on Men in Black look normal on the outside, do their dirty deeds, and remain unscathed. In essence, not only are we the victim, but we also become the police, judge and jury.

Healing is All about the Victims, Not the Abusers

th-1Healing, folks, has nothing to do with our abusers. Healing is, however, all about the victims. We are left to heal invisible wounds that were caused by our active but unaware participation in a very harming situation. Abuse survivors must work to turn their compassion and care inward and release the pain, trauma, shame, anger and fear that were projected onto them and inflicted on them by the emotional and conscienceless criminals, vampires, and thieves who also stole their identities. We, to heal, must not only release the pain and anger from the attack but also the shame from betrayal and of our unconscious complicity in the crime and our perceived foolery. This is why self-forgiveness and self-compassion are so important in healing. As Emily R., a community member at Yourlifelifter so eloquently stated, “forgiving a conscienceless person has absolutely zero meaning, thus, the real issue is learning to forgive oneself for not trusting oneself over their manipulative ploys of false promises and fake emoting.”

Forgiveness is part of healing. It is not a prerequisite to healing.

10453112_10150486967674990_1990359670124377576_nIt is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened
to us from a position of emotional neutrality without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us. Releasing the pain and anger will allow us to heal emotionally. Accepting our powerlessness to the pain “permits” us to direct our energy to healing. But to fully heal we must forgive ourselves for the part we played. This is why understanding why we were targeted is critical to healing. We are then emotionally free to see things truthfully and accept what happened to us, accept our powerlessness to the pain, incrementally take back our personal power and redirect it to change our faulty thinking, rescue our own selves, and stop being vulnerable to emotional criminals.

Healing is a process of self-discovery, self-analysis into the root causes of why we were victimized, addressing how our beliefs contributed to that, correcting our skewed beliefs, mourning our losses, building our self-worth as well as healing our trauma wounds. I personally believe, it is close to impossible to fully accept what happened to us and forgive ourselves for the part we played unless we first heal and recover from the trauma and then stop our faulty victim thinking. This requires fully understanding why we love people who inflict pain on us and why we are attracted to power imbalanced relationships.

 “Forgiving a conscienceless person has absolutely zero meaning, thus, the real issue is learning to forgive oneself for not trusting oneself over their manipulative ploys of false promises and fake emoting.”  ~ Emily R., a community member at Yourlifelifter

As a survivor, I can say that I do not excuse the despicable acts of the abusers in my life or absolve them of their “sins” (e.g. outside my pay grade) but I can say that I am clear on what happened and why it happened in my childhood, why I was targeted and why I let it happen into my adulthood. I am also very clear that the abuse no longer continues because I do not think like a victim so I am no longer victimized. I am not powerless to pain and I do not deserve to suffer. I choose not to participate in the dysfunction so they are defused and go away. They continue to target me because that is just what abusers do and but I am not emotionally vested. I no longer fear them. I no longer believe I have to suffer or self-sacrifice to be good or lovable. I do, however, accept them and readily identify them as the abusers and broken people they are.

Healing Henry CloudWe cannot expect things from people who are not capable of giving them. I accept that life is not fair and I was born into a herd of narcissists that I had no choice over. But I do have choices now based on my new found personal truth and not others’ lies. I choose a life I know I deserve, a life of peace, harmony, happiness, emotionally healthy love and mutual respect! I also accept that they cannot. I also accept that truly evil people do exist and that I do not possess the divine power, right, and authority to absolve them of their depravity.

I do, however, have the divinely provided right and authority first and foremost to forgive myself, heal, and to live a joy-filled life I am deserving and worthy of. The best revenge is healing, happiness, and success!

And in the process we achieve the justice we seek.

Self-Compassion and Self-Care Are Fundamental to Emotional Health

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

images-3Most victims of childhood abuse (includes neglect and emotional invalidation) suffer into adulthood and become adult victims of adult abuse. Our self-esteem and personal identity and understanding of our self-worth suffer. We may have been punished for even attempting to care for ourselves. Consequently, we can feel shame for even taking care of our basic human needs. This vulnerability can be exaggerated in empaths who are predisposed to caring for and feeling responsible for others’ happiness.

We do not learn how to use our compassion responsibly and overcompensate by giving of ourselves too much and letting others who do not have our best interests at heart violate our personal boundaries and dishonor us. We allow them to control our emotions rather than we regulating our own. We bring this skewed thinking learned in childhood into adulthood and learn to neglect our own needs.

12651288_953089158121439_8456393630455492212_n-1Self-care and self-compassion are needed for healing because they “neutralize” the toxic emotions and empower ourselves to learn how to regulate our emotions again. These are good “habits” that relieve the pain and help us assimilate and reconnect with ourselves again. So, in effect self-care and self-compassion allow us an opportunity to witness our healing. They allow us to actively participate in our own healing and regain trust in ourselves and feel safe and secure in our own bodies. Self-care and self-compassion allow us to nourish our souls and are also critical to building self-worth, self-assurance and self-reliance and feel like “ourselves” again, not the pain addicted wounded versions who rely on abusers and manipulators who do not have our best interests at heart to alleviate our discomfort.

We CAN learn how to replace these old “harmful” habits with those that are self-serving to our emotional health and personal joy. We can learn to use our compassion responsibly and learn to focus our compassion and self-care more on ourselves.

“What?” You may ask. “How am I supposed to learn how to do that? I have trouble even saying no.”

Well…like anything, by learning how to and by practicing.

Here are some helpful tips that can help to get you on the right track. And remember PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Use the tips that work for YOU!!!

  1. Pay attention to your own needs and wants. Get out of your head and learn to listen to and heed your bodily cues and emotions that exist to protect you.

Listen to what your body, your mind, and your heart are telling you. For instance, if your body is telling you that you have been sitting down too long, stand up and stretch. If your heart is longing to spend more time with a special friend, do it. If your mind is telling you to clean up your basement, listen to your favorite music, or stop thinking bad thoughts about yourself, take those thoughts seriously.

  1. Take very good care of yourself…..ALWAYS!!!!

images-4As you were growing up you may not have learned how to take good care of yourself. In fact, much of your attention may have been on taking care of others, on just getting by, or on “behaving well.” Perhaps you were even punished for thinking about and caring for yourself.

Begin today to take good care of yourself. Treat yourself as a wonderful parent would treat a small child or as a very best friend might treat another. If you work at taking good care of yourself, you will find that you feel better about yourself and you will learn you are deserving of your own self-care and learn self-reliance that will feed your self-esteem and self-worth.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Eat healthy foods and avoid junk foods (foods containing a lot of sugar, salt, or fat). A healthy daily diet is usually: five or six servings of vegetables and fruit, six servings of whole grain foods like bread, pasta, cereal, and rice, two servings of protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt.
  • Exercise. Moving your body helps you to feel better and improves your self-esteem. Arrange a time every day or as often as possible when you can get some exercise, preferably outdoors. You can do many different things. Taking a walk is the most common. You could run, ride a bicycle, play a sport, climb up and down stairs several times, put on a tape, or play the radio and dance to the music–anything that feels good to you. If you have a health problem that may restrict your ability to exercise, check with your doctor before beginning or changing your exercise habits.
  • Do special personal hygiene tasks to pamper and make you feel better about yourself such as a bubble bath, special hair conditioning or styling, manicures and pedicures, and teeth whitening.
  • Have a physical examination every year to make sure you are in good health.
  • Plan fun activities for yourself. Learn new things every day.
  • Take time to do things you enjoy. You may be so busy, or feel so badly about yourself, that you spend little or no time doing things you enjoy such as playing a musical instrument, doing a craft project, flying a kite, or going fishing. Make a list of things you enjoy doing. Then do something from that list every day. Add to the list anything new that you discover you enjoy doing.
  • Get something done that you have been putting off. Clean out that drawer. Wash that window. Write that letter. Pay that bill.
  • Do things that make use of your own special talents and abilities. For instance, if you are good with your hands, then make things for yourself, family, and friends. If you like animals, consider having a pet or at least playing with friends’ pets.
  • Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself. If you have little money to spend on new clothes, check out thrift stores in your area.
  • Give yourself rewards for being a great person such as listening to your favorite music or reading your favorite books or taking a trip to a museum.
  • Spend time with people who treat you well and make you feel good about yourself. Avoid people who treat you badly.
  • Make your living space a place that honors the person you are. Whether you live in a single room, a small apartment, or a large home, make that space comfortable and attractive for you. If you share your living space with others, have some space that is just for you, your own personal “slice of heaven” where you can keep your things and know that they will not be disturbed and that you can decorate any way you choose.
  • Display items that you find attractive or that remind you of your achievements or of special times or people in your life. If cost is a factor, use your creativity to think of inexpensive or free ways that you can add to the comfort and enjoyment of your space.
  • Make your meals a special time. Turn off the television, radio, and stereo. Set the table, even if you are eating alone. Light a candle or put some flowers or an attractive object in the center of the table. Arrange your food in an attractive way on your plate. If you eat with others, encourage discussion of pleasant topics. Avoid discussing difficult issues at meals.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to learn something new or improve your skills. Take a class or go to a seminar. Many adult education programs are free or very inexpensive. For those that are more costly, ask about a possible scholarship or fee reduction.
  • Begin doing those things that you know will make you feel better about yourself like going on a diet, beginning an exercise program or keeping your living space clean.
  • Do something nice for another person. Smile at someone who looks sad. Say a few kind words to the checkout cashier. Help your spouse with an unpleasant chore. Take a meal to a friend who is sick. Send a card to an acquaintance. Volunteer for a worthy organization.
  • imgres-3Make it a point to treat your self well every day. Before you go to bed each night, write about how you treated yourself well during the day and how you will treat your self tomorrow.
  1.   Learn how to manage boundaries.

Abusers and exploiters and bullies and especially narcissists are masters at pushing pain buttons, making people feel powerless, and getting people to let down their boundaries and getting them to give up their power to them. In fact, they enjoy doing it. They use charm and love as their camouflage. We become unknowingly complicit in our own abuse and exploitation. We innocently expose ourselves to some of the worst abuse and harm imaginable.

12654645_941891752514920_7863427450412629576_nPart of healing for those who were victims and continue to be susceptible to their attacks, then, is learning to maintain and protect your personal boundaries so you are not vulnerable to emotional predators.

Unfortunately, there is no electronic monitor like a home protection system you can purchase to warn you of impending “emotional” predators and attacks. However, you can strengthen your own internal monitors and learn new skills including honing your narcissist radar otherwise known as “NADAR” and honoring and “feeling” for and caring for your own wants and needs with compassion and defending your personal rights and authorities. These include assertively expressing what your rights, authorities, needs, and feelings are and recognizing and regulating your own emotions especially your pain-based ones and learning when they are triggered and who routinely triggers them. Just as important, then, is knowing WHAT makes you happy.

Read more on managing personal boundaries here.

Abuse survivors can also become notorious boundary violators themselves. We in healing must learn not only to manage our boundaries but also to respect other’s as well. People who are heavily dependent on others for self-worth particularly may have a hard time sourcing their own power and learning self-reliance. Codependents have learned to routinely not only let others violate their boundaries but also to violate other’s boundaries to source from them what they need to define their worth.

Learning boundary management by re-learning what personal rights are and where healthy authorities and boundaries start and finish will help you replace maladaptive thoughts, beliefs, and actions with healthy ones and help you make great strides in your healing.

  1.   Learn assertiveness skills including how to say “no.”

Learning assertiveness skills will not only protect your personal rights that support your self-esteem and self-care but will also help you keep your cool and prevent you from being manipulated and abused by those who push your pain and shame buttons. These skills can help immensely in boundary management that support and sustain your emotional health and mutually respectful and loving relationships.

  1.   Learn how to set and achieve goals.

Once you do be sure to develop your personal action and accountability plan, your life’s road map to achieving your goals and getting where you want to go and getting back on course when you “get lost.” Remember that your character, people skills, personal limitations, emotional makeup, and motivation level will impact achievement of goals. Mentors and coaches can help you generate your action plan, monitor your progress, hold you accountable, and develop alternate courses of actions when you hit roadblocks.

You Shouldn’t Feel That Way

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-3-08-31-pmEver heard “you shouldn’t feel that way” or “don’t feel that way” or my favorite, “get over it.” This is the single most damaging things anyone could say to another human being. And this is why.

Our feelings and emotions and even our pain-based ones are here to protect us! Our feelings are our internal cues we need to gauge the external world we live in including those who respect and honor us and our personal boundaries and those you don’t.

12715486_1200094996686586_3855673423186007016_n

Our pain-based emotions like guilt, shame, fear, and sadness exist to protect us from harm by causing us to “put on the brakes,” stop, think, and course correct and choose a “safer” path. How do blind and deaf people dream? Of course, in emotions because it is in feeling that we become who we are and dreams are where we “practice.” So our dreams are not all pleasant ones but they reflect our unconscious maturing of our emotional capabilities.

It is the role of parents or caregivers to teach children to trust and rely on their emotions – to become emotionally healthy integrated human beings. When they do not such as when we are neglected and abused, we are taught to betray our own selves and NOT rely and trust our own selves. Our pain-based emotions become toxic rather than serving their protective functions. We are conditioned to not source our personal power and to believe falsely we deserve the pain and are powerless to it.

This is the core to the damaging consequences of all abuse and in particular, emotional invalidation.

READ MORE HERE ON HOW EMOTIONS BECOME TOXIC IN ABUSE SURVIVORS.

20245415_1521798901175880_7119720137647714483_nNot having our emotions validated is called “invalidation.” It is the worst of abuse and the core of narcissistic abuse! If we grow up without having our emotions and feelings acknowledged regardless if we have the best of everything or not, we learn to suppress rather than trust and rely on our emotions. We learn to distrust rather than trust our internal protective mechanisms. We develop chronic uncertainty rather than confidence in our abilities that prevents us from reaching our true potential. We become reactive to situations and people and become dependent on others rather than ourselves to define our worth and soothe our discomfort. We become shame addicted and suffer from exaggerated self-loathing, self-hate, and self-sabotage. We believe falsely that we are the source and cause of our pain and believe we are powerless to alleviate it. This is all a lie!

We are feeling defective pain-based emotions resulting from the pain and shame that our abusers projected onto us when we were defenseless and dependent on them for safety and security and validation. The consequences?

We abandon our own selves! We bring thinking that served to protect us when we were children into adulthood where the thinking no longer serves us but, rather, harms us. We believe falsely that only those who cause the pain have the power to alleviate it. Again, this is all a lie.

Cannot heal at same level as painWe cannot heal at the same level of thinking that causes and sustains our emotional pain! We become self-critical people pleasers with chronic low self-esteem and victim mentality. We not only let others routinely violate our personal boundaries but also ourselves become notorious boundary violators. We become clueless to where our and other’s personal rights start and finish.

Without healthy functioning emotions we have no reliable internal cues to gauge our self-worth. We end up reliant on others who do not have our best interests at heart to gauge our personal value, our personal worth. We become emotionally starved. We become rescuers and do not learn to use our compassion responsibly. We become vulnerable to emotional predators including narcissists, bullies, incompetent politicians, and con artists who know how to play on our vulnerabilities like a fiddle!

This is a primary root cause of emotional exhaustion, anxiety, panic attacks, trauma addictions, codependencies, chemical addictions, low self-esteem, low self-worth, phobias, fears, pain addictions, intergenerational abuse, illnesses, personality disorders, depression and even many health and autoimmune disorders.

If you are suffering from any of these or are just emotionally fatigued or just plain unhappy and think you had a great upbringing, think again. You are fooling yourself and are in denial. It is time to tap into the root causes of your suppressed pain, release it, learn what triggers it, and learn new coping mechanisms to handle your emotions and extreme emotional dependence on others before the pain escalates. It is time to break your pain addictions! It is time to take your power back.

705466_cover_mockup1-1I explore these issues in much more detail in my book Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors

It provides a step-by-step “go at your own pace” recovery plan including lessons, tips, tools, and workbooks to help your recover from your pain addictions and your false beliefs of powerlessness and defenselessness. It will teach you how to take your power back and thrive. You can read a free sneak peek and review of the book and purchase a copy here.

The answers lie within! I am here to help you in your search! It is an honor to do so.

Tips for Dealing with the Shame of Betrayal

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

shameThe primary pain that we experience from abuse is shame. Abuse is betrayal of intimate trust. Abuse is abandonment. Unlike guilt, which is the result of feeling bad about what you do in the external world, shame reflects feelings of failure inside, as a person.

Shame is experienced as self-blame. You perceive yourself as flawed, inferior, contemptible, no good. Shame is a normal unconscious human emotion that helps us “put on the brakes” by taking cues from our external environment.

The problem is that you may have too much of it which is the case for victims of abuse.
Shame can become a normal feeling for victims of abuse. We also give up most of our personal power and abandon our own selves.

Shame is the part of you that you can’t face because it is so intolerable. In the words of John Bradshaw, “toxic shame” is an “emotion that gets internalized as a state of being.”

Toxic shame becomes part of a what I refer to as the “Shame Triad” of self-blame, self-loathing, and self-sabotaging behaviors.

Too much shame can make us targets of toxic manipulators and keep us powerless to them and trigger anger at inappropriate times.

Shame can keep us trauma addicted to our abusers.

Tips for Dealing with Shame

        1. Turn your compassion and tolerance towards yourself to accept yourself, warts and all, as a valuable person.
          • Forgive yourself first. Acknowledge your fallibility as a person and that you were a victim. This will help you release the self-blame and empower yourself to stop thinking falsely that you are weak, powerless, and defenseless.
          • Be consistent and fair with sharing your compassion and tolerance with yourself as well as with others.
          • Go first with your compassion! Learn to be tolerant of yourself first. Know when to quit, rest, say you’ve had enough, and to put yourself first. This is not selfish. This is self preservation and what emotionally healthy people do.
          • Respect your OWN personal boundaries and protect your vulnerabilities. Demonstrate kindness and acceptance to yourself. Do not violate your own personal wishes, body, trust, time, privacy, feelings, and property.
          • Do not let other people violate your personal boundaries. This includes learning how to not say yes when you mean no. It also includes not letting your boundaries down by sharing too much of your personal information with others too soon.
          • Do not violate other people’s boundaries.
          • Stop defending your feelings, preferences, trust, time and choices to 11193380_10153090646497819_7384925641187409522_nabusers. Abusers use this as an opportunity to abuse and exploit you more and expose you to more trauma and shame. If you must respond to their sneaky insults or criticisms, just say, “That’s interesting. Let me think about it.” Then ignore them and turn them into a non-issue.
          • Focus on gratitude for what you have. My mother told me if you have food, a roof over your head, your health and people who love you, you have everything. She was right.
          • Avoid black and white thinking that focuses only on “good” or “bad” outcomes for yourself. Look at your track record.
          • Refrain from complaining about what you disagree with or do not like in yourself. If you have nothing nice to say or think about yourself, don’t say or think it.
          • Welcome and view disagreements from trusted individuals or differences not as criticism but as motivations for you to learn more, for you to become a person of integrity.
          • Give yourself a break. Be careful to understand the difference between rejecting the “sin” and rejecting the “sinner.” Learn to say “who cares?” more.
          • Do not judge a book by its cover. Do not rush to judgment. Refrain from developing an opinion, before you get all the facts. If in doubt, ask a wise trusted friend.
          • Refrain from making yourself the brunt of jokes or laughter.
          • Do not always stand in the back of the line. Allow yourself to go first sometimes.
        2. Educate yourself on shame and its debilitating effects.
        3. Learn to identify the feeling of shame as it occurs in your daily life and write in a journal about situations and relationships that trigger shame.
          • Challenge your emotions. Ask yourself which ones result from lack of compassion and tolerance for yourself. Check the list above.
          • Work on these areas as trigger points of shame and do what you can to avoid them or minimize their harmful effects.
          • Get rid of toxic friends who habitually violate your trust.
        4. Take anger management classes. Shame triggers anger.
        5. Look at your track record from youth. Recall the people in your childhood who had something good to say about you…those who were kind to you. Teachers, clergy, neighbors, a surrogate parent or relative perhaps. What words did they use to describe your best qualities? How did you feel when you were around them? Revive these important people from your past by writing about them in a journal and exploring what their support meant to you, then and now.
        6. If you are religious or spiritual, turn to your Higher Power or Source to cleanse yourself of the shame and unworthiness that you feel so deeply. Religion and spiritual practice can be tremendous sources of inner sustenance and can provide an ideal vision to replace the negative role models and scenarios of the past.
        7. Get honest constructive unbiased feedback. Share your struggles with working this step on support blogs, meetings, a trusted wise friend, and Websites and Facebook pages like Yourlifelifter.
        8. Seek professional therapy if you are not progressing in your healing and recovery. You most likely are trauma addicted. Trauma bonding occurs when you rely on your abuser for your safety, happiness, or security. Here are a few examples:
            • You long for and miss your abusers.
            • You make excuses for them.
            • You replay painful interactions with your abusers over and over again trying to figure out what you did wrong.

In addition, in order to resolve shame addictions, an ongoing reparative relationship with a qualified therapist can help you challenge your internal voice of shame and replace it with a healthier dialogue. A skilled therapist can be an important ally in helping you to transform the shame into self-acceptance.

Talk about your shame with him/her and share how you experienced shame in your childhood and in your life including in your therapy sessions. With your therapist’s help, identify the ways in which you keep yourself from feeling your shame by adopting a role or “false self” that you portray to others based on what you think it acceptable to them rather than yourself. Share this “false self” with your therapist and try to understand what the role gives you that you feel you lack inside. This can help home in on the shame triggers that you can work to acknowledge, challenge, and release and replace with new rational beliefs and emotions that support your emotional health and well being.

Understanding Why Narcissists Targeted You is Fundamental to Healing

Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter

1098228_1187695837924727_3159249499669189930_nAre you compassionate? Empathetic?

Well, if you are, you are one of 40% of the population who are a prime target for scapegoaters, bullies, narcissists, con-artists, and sociopaths who comprise a subset of the remaining 60% of the population. So being a “nice” person is your double-edged sword and most likely why you are reading this.

According to Dr. Jane McGregor, empaths are ordinary people who are highly perceptiveimgres-6 and insightful and belong to the 40% of human beings who sense when something’s not right, who respond to their gut instinct, and who take action and speak up. They frequently like the child in the The Emperor’s New Clothes, will tell the truth and expose lies and wrong doing and are targets of scapegoaters, bullies, narcissists, and sociopaths who are driven by exaggerated envy and fear of shame, lack of compassion, and the inability to self sooth.

LISTEN TO THIS PROVOCATIVE DISCUSSION ON “THE TOXIC TANGO OF EMPATHS AND NARCISSISTS.”

In the 1990s, researchers suggested that there was a positive relationship between empathy and emotional intelligence. Since then, that term has been used interchangeably with emotional literacy. What this means in practice is that empaths have the ability to understand their own emotions, to listen to other people and empathize with their emotions, to express emotions productively and to handle their emotions in such a way as to improve their personal power.

Dr. McGregor describes that people are often attracted to empaths because of their compassionate nature. A particular attribute is that they are sensitive to the emotional distress of others. Conversely, they have trouble comprehending a closed mind and lack of compassion in others. This is a limitation that empathetic “nice” people have and that you need to bring into your level of awareness and glue into your memory banks.

imgres-2This inability to see the “bad” in others also significantly enhances their vulnerability to attacks from emotional vampires throughout their lives. As a result, empaths can be targeted easily by energy vampires such as scapegoaters, bullies, narcissists, and sociopaths who enlist other uncompassionate and apathetic people in their wrong-doing. So in actuality, abused children and adults in the world are some of the “nicest” people in the world. This is crazy making, folks, and is the heart of scapegoating and abuse in families and in my opinion, one of the main causes of evil in society today. The number one reason people seek counseling is because they were scapegoated as a child and suffer post traumatic distress. This is psychological trauma! Read on.

Empaths use their ability to boost their and others’ well being and safety. Dr. McGregor found it interesting how often people see empaths in problematical terms. Dr. McGregor in her research found that most people, the 60% majority, prefer the easy life. She explains that some of us admire people who make a bold stand, while others feel uneasy about them.

Listen to and learn more on this compelling and provocative topic discussed with Evelyn Ryan on Mental Health News Radio here.

images-3Problems escalate for empaths, however, when apaths are in the vicinity. Empaths can be brought down, distressed and forced into the position of the lone fighter by the inaction of more apathetic types round them. This is also how school and work group bullying and scapegoating works. The bullies enlist the apathetic, fearful, and defenseless ones who are the ones most likely to go with the flow, to agree that the emperor/empress is wearing new clothes. Apaths behave defenselessly because they want to avoid unpleasant or harmful circumstances [including the bully turning on them]. Apathy is an avoidance strategy that contributes to abuse…by proxy!

Listen and learn more on “The Toxic Tango of Empaths and Narcissists.

images-2Kim Saeed, a narcissistic abuse recovery expert, says that narcissists prey on empaths and highly sensitive people. Empaths operate predominately from love, humility, and giving. They have a natural capacity for healing and teaching others. However, until they learn how to responsibly use those gifts, they are often taken advantage of…not only by romantic partners, but people in general. Further, empaths have a track record of developing codependent behaviors in childhood to deal with the overwhelming unfairness in the world and to please others, which they usually carry into their adult relationships. It is easy to see, then, how empaths who were abused as children can develop exaggerated codependency issues and dependence on others to define their worth.

Kim further explains that when the empath and narcissist enter into a relationship together, it becomes hyper toxic. It creates a magnetic, yet vibrationally dysfunctional union. The empath’s sole purpose is to facilitate healing in others. Narcissists are insatiable and incurable. The empath gives to the point of complete and utter exhaustion. Because of these natural tendencies, the unaware empath often finds themselves not only being targeted by a narcissist but staying in a relationship with a toxic personality for too long and the damage to them is compounded.

So, all you empathetic and empathic people who suffered and are recovering from abuse as a child, childhood bullying, adult bullying and went on to marry a narcissist or more than one narcissist, bring this into your level of awareness during your healing. Educate yourself, your children and others on their inability to see the “bad” in others, the wolves in sheep’s clothing. This significantly increases your vulnerability to 60% of people, who not only comprise narcissists, bullies, and psychopaths but also the weak ones who join these abusers or harm you further by doing nothing (inaction) because they lack the heart or courage (that you have) to just do the right thing.

I hope you find this useful in your recovery and search for truth!