Don’t get sucked into the vortex of Parental Alienation

Just arrived home after 4 days away from Facebook and all the things I don’t want to hear about my alienated children. Feeling loved, appreciated and energised after the break. Remember its their choice not ours, we have not chosen alienation (or whatever you may want to call it) they have. We are not alienated parents – they are alienated children!!!!! Don’t get sucked into the vortex – we cannot change it, so learn to live with it and enjoy each day. Believe me the pain does go, yes I do miss them but I don’t hurt anymore. After 30 years on and off I have learnt to live with it and now enjoy a happy normal life – be kind to yourself – remember you have done nothing wrong.

 

“Narcissism is increasing,”

“Narcissism is increasing,”

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) — “Narcissism is increasing,” concluded W. Keith Campbell, head of the department of psychology at the University of Georgia, “notably in the form of grandiose narcissism and NPD [narcissistic personality disorder].” Campbell made those observations in a recent article for the British newspaper The Independent, titled “Are we more narcissistic than ever?” He noted that American college students in the 2000s were more likely to be narcissistic than their counterparts in the 1980s. http://www.bpnews.net/firstperson/43266/firstperson-the-increase-of-narcissism

Parental Alienation

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If they like where they are, who are you to try to change that?

Unfortunately, there are so many broken people in this world and so many people who need saving or at least guidance. There are so many people who want to heal but have no idea how to get there.

I think that we’re all a little bit broken. We’ve all been through hell at some point of our lives and we fell so deep that we became so desperate and allowed ourselves to think that there was no way out.

The bottom line is that we all went through hell and survived.

What we want for others doesn’t work unless they want it for themselves. – Bryant McGill

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Continue reading “If they like where they are, who are you to try to change that?”

Mental illness is a terribly frightening and frustrating experience

Mental illness is a terribly frightening and frustrating experience. At times, when I was in a particular dark place, I would lash out at anyone who was nearby — which, unfortunately, often was my mother.

But, amazingly, my mother never held it against me. She continued to love and protect me.

Sometimes she would apologize for “aggravating” me, which would immediately strike my conscience. Then, when apologized, she would kindly say, “It’s okay, I understand.”

My mother taught me by example what a love that “keeps no record of wrongs and is not easily angered” looks like. She has been the single most important person in my healing process. Continue reading “Mental illness is a terribly frightening and frustrating experience”

Understanding a tactic that keeps a toxic person in the driver’s seat

Gaslighting versus blame-shifting

To be clear, both tactics are verbally abusive and depend on an imbalance of power in the relationship between the person using them and the person on the receiving end; the powerless intended target is usually very invested in the relationship, most likely loves or cares deeply about the abuser, and is often dependent on him or her.  The person doing the gaslighting or blame-shifting is actually more interested in feeling powerful or in control (and the buzz that comes with it) than they are emotionally connected to their target.

What is gaslighting precisely? It takes its name from a play and then a 1944 movie called Gaslight starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. In it, Boyer manipulates Bergman and distracts her from his criminality by trying to convince her that she is going insane. And that’s what gaslighters do: They make the target believe that his or her grip on reality is tenuous at best and non-existent at worst. The most common tactics are insisting that something that happened didn’t, dismissing a claim by saying it was simply imagined, or telling the person flat out that she or he is losing it or crazy. Gaslighters exploit their target’s fears, insecurities, vulnerabilities, and neediness to their own ends.

While it takes some concerted effort to gaslight another adult—even a needy or insecure one—gaslighting a child is remarkably easy because of the enormous power and authority a parent has by definition. What child can stand up to the words “You’re imagining it because it never happened” when uttered by her or his mother or father, each of whom is the ruler of the very small universe in which the child lives?

Blame-shifting also exploits whatever disparity in power exists in the relationship and, again, is remarkably easy in a parent-child relationship. But, between adults, it has certain subtleties that gaslighting does not and, as a net, it catches more fish. This behavior is always about power and the sad truth is that the victim tends to be the one who loves, needs, and depends on her or his abuser in ways that are significantly different from the motivations of the person shifting blame. Continue reading “Understanding a tactic that keeps a toxic person in the driver’s seat”

Projection: A Gaslighter’s Signature Technique

Whatever the gaslighter/narcissist is or whatever he is doing, he will assign those characteristics or behaviors to you.  It’s done almost to comedic effect – if it wasn’t so potentially damaging to your career.  At work, your gaslighting/narcissistic boss will write on your performance review that you are always late.  However, you are punctual to a fault – it’s your boss who consistently shows up late.  Your coworker accuses you of hacking into their laptop – however, you have seen him lurking around your laptop when he thought you couldn’t see him.  Your kleptomaniac cubemate is constantly accusing you of stealing things off her desk.

In a relationship, the gaslighter/narcissist will constantly accuse you of cheating.  He will check your phone, barrage you with questions when you are 30 minutes late from work, even have you followed.  You have given no signs that you are cheating, yet your gaslighting/narcissist partner brings up your supposed cheating all the time.  However, as is the case with many gaslighters/narcissists, they are actually are doing the cheating (McNulty and Widman, 2014).  When you confront the gaslighter/narcissist about his cheating, he turns it around on you and says you are accusing him because you are one really doing the cheating. The  gaslighter/narcissist continues his game of projection- now using it as a strategy to deflect from being caught. Continue reading “Projection: A Gaslighter’s Signature Technique”

Do Not Accept A Narcissist False Accusation Of You

Narcissists are often fond of accusing another of the very things or attitudes they are culpable of.

While such false accusations are often done in your absence (e.g. to your boss at your place of work, or with friends). Narcissists are also bold enough to accuse you of a trait they know they are culpable of.

They do this in order to make you feel you are wrong and they are blind. But no matter how convincing or confident they may sound, never accept their false accusations.

Of course, there is every tendency you will fall and accept their accusations. But you can refrain yourself from doing so by understanding that they are masters when it comes to convincing or confusing people. Continue reading “Do Not Accept A Narcissist False Accusation Of You”

Projective Identification: How Narcissists Project Their Identity Onto Others | The Exhausted Woman

Twisted Perception. The distorted perception of reality that narcissists possess allows them to be the stars in a world that are centered on their wants and desires. Everything they see is colored by that viewpoint. Narcissists have a limited picture of life as they are the superior ones in beauty, knowledge, power, or influence. It is easier to think of it as seeing the world through 50 shades of yellow. Yellow because they are the bright shining stars in a world that caters to their demands.

This client viewed herself as perfect with an imperfect husband who needed to be fixed. She would play the victim card when backed into a corner of realization for her contribution to the marital issues. There was no acknowledgment of her wrongdoing, a complete lack of remorse, and no empathy for anyone but herself.

Unhealthy Coping. This twisted perception is the perfect stage for utilizing denial, projection, and intellectualization as coping mechanisms. In order to maintain their perfect world, narcissists need to cope with anything that poses a threat to their reality. They usually start with simple defense mechanisms: denial (refusing to acknowledge the existence of a problem), projection (taking their negative emotional responses and assigning them to others), and intellectualization (distancing through overthinking so as not to feel). If those fail, they escalate to abusive measures.

Within the first hour of the meeting, all of these defense mechanisms were exploited. She denied any issues with her children, which is impossible with a narcissistic parent. She showed text messages from her husband that were mild in nature and claimed instead that he was furious. When asked how she felt about an incident, she dodged the question by talking about her thoughts on the matter. When pressed for any signs of abusive treatment, she insisted that he could be violent but lacked any explanation of how or when.

Projective Identification. Taking projection one step further, a person assigns an aspect of his or her personality onto another person. In the case of narcissism, all of the narcissistic traits may be splintered off and attributed to a spouse. This is done at an unconscious level where the narcissists are not even aware of what they have done. In some cases, it may be malicious but for the most part, it is due to their twisted perception of reality where the narcissist must remain perfect.

While it appeared in our first encounter that my client was doing this to her spouse, it was further confirmed by meeting her husband. He had zero signs of narcissism and instead was extremely co-dependent. His natural tendency was to enable the narcissism as he adopted the viewpoint that she was perfect and he was the one with the problem. He even agreed that she was right and he was narcissistic.

It took many sessions to reveal the actual narcissist. The projective identification was so integrated and well managed that it required much convincing to expose the real narcissist. The unraveling of the truth was painful at first but then it transitioned into healing as the husband was able to see the multiple colors of reality instead of only yellow narcissism.

Source: Projective Identification: How Narcissists Project Their Identity Onto Others | The Exhausted Woman

MALIGNANT NARCISSISM: FROM FAIRY TALES TO HARSH REALITY

SUMMARY
Introduction: Malignant Narcissism has been recognized as a serious condition but it has been largely ignored in psychiatric literature and research. In order to bring this subject to the attention of mental health professionals, this paper presents a
contemporary synthesis of the biopsychosocial dynamics and recommendations for treatment of Malignant Narcissism.
Methods: We reviewed the literature on Malignant Narcissism which was sparse. It was first described in psychiatry by Otto Kernberg in 1984. There have been few contributions to the literature since that time. We discovered that the syndrome of Malignant Narcissism was expressed in fairy tales as a part of the collective unconscious long before it was recognized by psychiatry. We searched for prominent malignant narcissists in recent history. We reviewed the literature on treatment and developed categories for family assessment.
Results: Malignant Narcissism is described as a core Narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial behavior, ego-syntonic sadism, and a paranoid orientation. There is no structured interview or self-report measure that identifies Malignant Narcissism and this interferes with research, clinical diagnosis and treatment. This paper presents a synthesis of current knowledge about Malignant Narcissism and proposes a foundation for treatment.
Conclusions: Malignant Narcissism is a severe personality disorder that has devastating consequences for the family and society. It requires attention within the discipline of psychiatry and the social science community. We recommend treatment in a therapeutic community and a program of prevention that is focused on psychoeducation, not only in mental health professionals, but in the wider social community.

Fairy tales allow parents to help children prepare for the realities of life. Although we imagine leaving fantasy behind as we grow up, we continue to mix fantasy with reality throughout life and often deny reason to hold onto our fantasies (Bettleheim 1981).

Fairy tales arise from folk traditions. Things that are too dangerous to accept consciously are repressed and reappear in dreams and fairy tales. Fairy tales take place in a transitional space between fantasy/magic and reality. The dangerous becomes less frightening in fairy tales where good always triumphs over evil (Bettleheim 1981).
As youth we are inducted into society by finding ourselves reflected in folk images. Initially, we live in a world saturated with elementary folk images, and later,
we encounter the elementary ideas themselves. Jung described these elementary ideas as archetypes. We must struggle over time with life experiences that put us
in touch with good and evil and if development is to be successful, then, metaphorically, the serpent that represents the struggle between life and death has to bite us strongly enough to awaken us to an internal world of transcendence. We need to die in the world of the ego to transcend ourselves. However, not everyone can master this and not every elemental idea is transcended by society (Campbell 1981).
In the fairy tales of Snow White and Cinderella an evil stepmother is presented who humiliates and tries to psychologically and physically kill an innocent stepchild. She is presented as an aloof, arrogant, cold, person with high social status and power who is
preoccupied with external beauty and the need to impress others. She has no remorse for her evil actions. She is loyal to her biological children whom she treats with entitlement and projects all her hatred and anger onto her stepchildren. The world is divided into that which is hers, which is perfect, and that which is not hers, which includes bad objects she believes should be humiliated and destroyed. The father figure is frequently absent or passive in fairy tales. He is ‘handicapped’ in his relationship with the stepmother because he has a child. The cruel woman is not his first choice, but she is beautiful and powerful. He may be attracted to this
image because he feel  inadequate for loosing his first wife and wants to be seen as a success. His primary interest is not in protecting his child. In the end of the
fairy tales, the evil stepmother is banished and disappears into the void. She is never punished or asked to redeem herself. The evil stepmother portrays a classical
malignant narcissist (Moore & Goldner-Vukov 2004). Continue reading “MALIGNANT NARCISSISM: FROM FAIRY TALES TO HARSH REALITY”