New Group Coaching Program for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

New Group Coaching Program for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

QueenBeeing has a new group coaching option to help you through narcissistic abuse recovery!

Can’t afford private coaching but you still need personal attention in your recovery? Looking for a more supportive group environment but prefer to speak instead of type? We have great news for you! Our brand new group coaching program is live!

That’s right: for only $25 per session, you can chat personally with our very own narcissistic abuse recovery coaches, Colleen Brosnan and Lise Colucci, during your group coaching sessions – once, twice or several times per week, if you like.

Plus: we have several times to choose from. A group approach to healing can give you the added support needed to help you recover and thrive. 

Learn more and sign up for your first session, right here. 

Things you should know:

  • Sessions with Lise are Tuesday and Thursdays – 11am and 6pm Pacific Time – $25 per person per session.
  • Sessions with Colleen are Wednesdays – 2pm and 7pm Atlantic Time – $25 per person per session.
  • We are also considering adding a weekend schedule, so if you’re interested in this, please contact program coordinator Lise at coachlisec@gmail.com

Don’t worry: We still offer one-on-one coaching, so if you prefer that, please check out your options here. There is also still free and lower-cost group support available – see your options here. 

 

 

 

Self Care and Trauma Bonds: 5 Ways to Focus on You

Self Care and Trauma Bonds: 5 Ways to Focus on You

If you are experiencing trauma bonds you may notice how difficult it is to put any attention on yourself except to feel the pain of the trauma bonds. One effect trauma bonding to a narcissist has on you is that it creates an overwhelming impulse to be thinking about the narcissist or trying to rationalize what happened in the relationship.

The gripping emotional pain and the way your mind wants only to think about the narcissist or the pain they caused you can make it feel impossible to even try when a suggestion of self-care is given. There are ways to help you through this and ideas for self-care which can be done simply throughout your day.

Self-care can take many forms, the more commonly thought of things like pampering yourself or treating yourself to something nice may not work for everyone when deeply trauma bonded. It may feel artificial or be hard to enjoy when your mind is on the narcissist.  When things are really at a low point you may not even have the energy to do extra pampering things and think self-care will come later, once you feel better.

One thing to remember is self-care works, it just takes repeated efforts and many types of care to get there for some of us. A big piece of breaking trauma bonds is in taking back your life. Once you begin to feel your own joys and your own excitement about life and your activities you will begin to focus more on self and less on the narcissist.

Over time, and with healthy amounts of self-care the bonds lessen and you will feel your focus shift onto things you want to think about instead of things you have been in a sense forced to because of trauma bonds.

Here are 5 ways to use self-care in your everyday life:

Nurture yourself in everyday activities.

As you go about your day barely functioning it may seem impossible to think you can use any amount of self-care or add in anything new because of the exhaustion you feel. This is the perfect time to learn how to make self-care a lifestyle. One of the good things that can come out of being a survivor of narcissistic abuse is you can learn to care for self in a more compassionate, mindful and deeper way through your healing process.

What works great here is to look at the things you will do in a day and add some positive thought or intention to a few of those things.  For instance, you are likely to shower or at least brush your teeth, Instead of going about these tasks in a business-like way and letting them just be tasks, use the time to experience self-care.

As an example, try adding in positive intention before showering by thinking something like, “I will let this water wash away a layer of my pain .” Before you get in set the water temperature to just the way you like it and allow yourself to feel the care you are giving to self through small gestures.

Appreciate yourself and try noticing things like the scent of the soap. Understand that you are taking the time for you.  It only takes a few seconds and with practice can become a part of your daily routine. Try this when you eat, when you dress, when you take a walk (even if it’s just from your house to your car). Pretty much any activity can have an ounce of self-care added to help you regain your sense of self again.

Use your senses

Using your senses for self-care can be the most nurturing thing you can do for yourself. It is especially useful when trauma bonded because it directs the attention, without words, to a more nurturing experience and reaches your emotions without the need for a lot of thinking,

The fastest way to the emotions is through the sense of smell. Since the sense of smell can trigger emotions it’s important to find positive scents that please you to have around. While scent may get to the emotions the fastest, all of your senses are important for self-care.

If you can think of ways to use all of your senses to truly nurture yourself,  you will be showing yourself love and care in easy to do simply ways. It’s the kind of care that needs no words and is simply felt. After all the thinking you are likely doing while healing from trauma bonding it can be the perfect break from thought.

Here are a few for using your senses:

  • Get out in nature and experience the sights, scents, and sounds.  
  • Walk barefoot in the grass or soft dirt/sand
  • Choose a favorite food and really let yourself taste it as you eat
  • Light scented candles
  • Put on your most comfy outfit
  • Curl up in a cozy blanket
  • Pet an animal
  • Sip your favorite hot drink
  • Music
  • Wear your favorite color
  • Get yourself flowers and put them where you can enjoy them

Need some personal help figuring out how to work through your trauma bonds? Want some advice and feedback on self-care n recovery? Get personal coaching with me right here.

Find an outside focus to put your attention on

When you’ve trauma bonded, your mind can feel stuck on thinking about the narcissist or the pain they have caused you. You may feel almost obsessed with understanding what happened and why.

Understanding is so important and I think for some people, critical to not only healing but to their not allowing another narcissist into their lives. Seeking understanding, however, needs breaks of focus so that you are also getting the nurturing you need in your day.

One way to get a break from the thinking about the narcissist is to find an outside focus to learn about or revisit. Maybe it’s a thing you used to love and have not done in a while that you might take up again, or perhaps it’s something brand new.

Taking time each day to seek out not only new things to learn or try but to revisit old things you once did and loved will help you to create a thriving self as the trauma bonds heal. It is never too soon to start this, even if you are still with the narcissist.  

Self-care in this way helps us have a sense of who we are which is so quickly lost to narcissistic abuse. That sense of self, as it is restored or maybe gained for the first time will bring you a freedom that is totally separate from the trauma bond and help to allow those bonds to be less intense and eventually heal.

Allow for your feelings but add in  breaks for your nervous system

The feelings you are experiencing are real and need validating but after a lot of time feeling so bad it can be extremely draining. By giving yourself breaks from the stress you will build hope for healing.

Taking a break will also calm your nervous system some and bit by bit this will add up to feeling better. I am not suggesting dissociating but rather shifting focus for a limited time to get some relaxation and relief from the trauma bonds.   Some ways to get an emotional break in healthy ways might be:

  • Meditation
  • Set a task to do that will take ten-15 min and do it with all of your attention
  • Take a nap
  • Gently tell yourself it is ok to have a break from the pain then take a walk
  • Create art- paint, draw, photograph, anything that allows you to create

Get active

There is a lot of adrenaline and cortisol coursing through you when being abused and that can cause a lot of issues for your health and body. Movement can help to begin healing that. It may feel impossible to get out and exercise and if that is the case do it right where you are.

At any moment stretch, move your arms around, do a squat or two, try a plank, or just touch your toes (or knees if bending hurts). Work within your physical limits and move!! your body care at the same time. Your body takes on a lot of stress from emotional abuse, things, like dancing or even swaying to music, may give you nurturing care.  You may find that yoga, Pilates. dance or another exercise class which includes core work and stretching very beneficial. For now, if that is too much to add to your day, just move your body with love and intent on healing.

What are self-care ways that help you to get through emotional pain? Can you think of things you might do to nurture another person and then try them on yourself? What will your life look like once you are healed and thriving?

Thanks for reading this post! My name is Lise Colucci and I am one of the certified life coaches at QueenBeeing. Learn more about me here or schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me here.

 

Narcissistic abuse is not your fault

Narcissistic abuse is not your fault

The overwhelming feeling of being the one at fault, the cause of the breakdown of the relationship – the persistent feeling of not being enough, hard to love. Feeling like you’re the reason the abuse happened. Often feeling totally broken and alone and as if you had only tried harder, were less argumentative, more giving – then things would not have gone so very wrong.

Holding the burden of this weighs heavily on many narcissistic abuse survivors’ hearts after a discard. We dwell on it. We think about it over and over again, searching exactly for what it was we did wrong.

Can you relate?

Even if you reacted to the abuse in a way that you regret, you have to remember that you were manipulated into it very intentionally and that you can’t blame yourself. A narcissistic abuser uses highly manipulative tactics and methods to ensure their world goes exactly the way they choose – and often it’s so subtle that it’s undetectable. Even psychologists miss it sometimes. 

KNOW THIS: It was not your fault.

The narcissist will repeat this pattern with any and all they encounter as they use people for narcissistic supply to fill their own needs, part of those needs are having a supply to eventually devalue.

They need to have the negative supply as much if not more than the praise and positive supply and blatantly use the ones closest to them to fill this need.

The masks they wear to create a persona pleasing to whomever they are trying to impress or hook as supply will begin to slip and usually by this time the survivor is trauma bonded and fully believing all the manipulations are real. The amount of projection a narcissist throws your way at this point is befuddling and confusing so that it truly seems yuo are the one to blame for all things.

Remember your truth; your feelings are valid and your experiences were real.

After gaslighting, projection and silent treatments, you can begin to feel like you’ve lost your way.  But what you experienced happened, and what you felt matters.

You need to understand that what created this feeling of responsibility of fault in you was the narcissist’s manipulation, which was intentionally committed against you. They hope they come off looking like the good guy (to themselves at least) and they never take responsibility for the abuse or any wrongdoing. This shines a light on things which could aid in letting go of the blame for you as a survivor. 

Releasing self-blame can be critical to your healing.

I hope that by understanding the cause of the abuse was not you, the survivor, and the responsibility lies with the abuser alone, you can begin to let go of that blame which may hold you in a state of internal pain or shame. To begin to disbelieve the fault the narcissist has trained you to believe is yours will increase your ability to venture toward deeper self-love.

If you have experienced this feeling of being at fault what are some ways that helped you to heal? Maybe you are stuck there right now, what thoughts are in your mind that keeps you from letting go of this blame? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Not only could it help you find some peace, but you may help another survivor to know that they are not alone. 

Thanks for reading this post! My name is Lise Colucci and I am one of the certified life coaches at QueenBeeing. Learn more about me here or schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me here

 

Gray Rock Tips: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Gray Rock Tips: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

The gray rock technique is a valuable tool to help diffuse negative exchanges with a narcissist as well as limit the amount of narcissistic supply you are giving to them. Angie Atkinson explains the basic rules of gray rock in this article.

Angie explains:

“There’s one simple rule when it comes to communicating effectively with a narcissist – and it’s so basic that you’ll be shocked when I tell you what it is. 

The rule is: do not engage the narcissist.

What do I mean by this?

It’s simple: keep emotion out of it. When the narcissist tries to manipulate and provoke you, which he or she inevitably will, you have to maintain an air of professional-type detachment. Try to see the narcissist as almost a stranger and communicate with him /her on that level.”

Using gray rock can protect you from emotional turmoil and allow you space to see the toxic abusive exchanges for what they are. This can help reduce your own feelings of cognitive dissonance and abuse amnesia because it limits their own part in any abusive outburst the narcissist is using against them and gives perspective on what’s really going on.

If only limited information is given and done so in a flat, boring tone, you have the opportunity to observe the narcissist’s behaviors and even see the manipulation tactics as they are happening (instead of reacting to them) and losing yourself in the exchange.

But remember: gray rock is a technique, not a lifestyle. It can serve a purpose in many areas of life for sensitive people and empaths because the sensitivities can tend to be used by others to draw us in and then manipulate us.

If you are with a narcissist, this tool can help to both calm the situation, give you space to feel what you actually feel instead of what you are being manipulated to feel and create a low supply situation the narcissist may bore of. To live this way long term is not the ideal, its a tool, for now, as you cope.

For some survivors, gray rock can be a struggle because the urge to react is so strong. There are ways to lighten that feeling and I hope to share some with you in this article.

One area gray rock can seem, well, grey to some people is the feelings of no closure to an argument or the feelings of being misrepresented by a narcissist and wanting to defend one’s own position.

It can leave some feeling like it does not work well, or they are not doing it right because all of the inner feelings they have are not being expressed.

Validation is a basic human need.

We all want to be heard, validated and seen, that is basic human nature and health but with a narcissist, during a manipulative abusive situation where they are projecting, gaslighting, outright telling lies – well, this will not happen.

Generally, with a narcissist, unless the topic swings back to them, they are not hearing anyone else in a deep and meaningful way anyway and certainly not when they are in a rant needing to prove their own ego is what is superior or right.

So what can we do with these feelings of not being heard or validated?

How can we feel strong and maintain our voice by such a technique that at its core is truly empowering, but in practice can feel like giving in or even like you are biting your tongue?

What else can be added to this brilliant technique to help those of us that are feeling slighted and misrepresented or devalued by an abusive exchange with a narcissist?

Here are a few tips that can help you.

Hold your truth.  

One idea to try that works well is holding your own truth within yourself. Keeping hold of yourself while the narcissist continues to gaslight or project. This can be done with silently repeating to yourself exactly what you are seeing, name SILENTLY the behavior you see, then add a phrase that grounds you to your truth.

  • For example, during a situation where a narcissist is projecting their own issues onto you then using gaslighting to convince you it is true, and you stop to gray rock that, before the feelings of wanting to react even start you can look at what is happening. In your silent mind,  “ I am gray rocking this because he/she is gaslighting me. I see they are projecting because they are the one that does that thing.”
  • Then, and remember all of this is silent, to self, only your inner dialogue, never spoken directly to the narcissist, “I know my truth, I know the facts that I have lived and this is their fantasy.”
  • Another simple one could be “I validate my own truth in this, the manipulation is just noise.”

Keep a private journal.

Another tool to add to the gray rock toolkit is after the abusive happens and you have used gray rock technique, write down what happened. Keeping even a simple private log but even better a journal on the manipulations can really help reduce the abuse amnesia many of us have happened.

  • One thing that can happen with prolonged grey rocking is getting so good at it that it becomes part of the dynamic of the relationship with the narcissist, especially if it diffuses the abuse somewhat, THE ABUSE IS STiLL THERE and is happening even if it’s being diffused.
  • A journal can help map the abuses and allow us to see, in list form all that goes on when we are busy managing things to keep us safe from emotional abuse. It can keep it from seeming just part of how life is if the abuse is pulled out from the situation and shown on paper to oneself.
  • With the ultimate goal being a life free from abuse, seeing pages and pages of the same cycles of abuse over and over can help free oneself from the hold those manipulations have over you. If you do this, keep it private, locked away and safe from being found by others.

Seek Support

The last tip I have is to tell a narcissistic abuse trained therapist, life coach or support group what you experienced. Look for the patterns the narcissist has that you see in your journal and share those with a person or group that is either trained or has experienced similar. This will give you more of that validation we need so much after emotional abuse. It can help you to see it even deeper as well to write or speak with SELECT others who truly understand.

Questions for You: Have you felt the need for validation and support after an abusive situation where you used gray rock? Do you ever struggle with not reacting and following through with the gray rock technique? Are there things you can tell yourself that might help throughout using the technique which give you support and reclaim your own power?

Thanks for reading this post! My name is Lise Colucci and I am one of the certified life coaches at QueenBeeing. Learn more about me here or schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me here.

Coach Lise on Self-Care, Healing and Inner Dialogue

Coach Lise on Self-Care, Healing and Inner Dialogue

*Editor’s Note: Please help us welcome Lise Colucci to the QueenBeeing team!

I was feeling really run down and in low spirits today. It’s allergy season and it has begun to hit full force. Before I knew it, I was hit with a few personal setbacks that set off negative thinking.

As the dialogue in my head escalated from a mildly complaining tone to feeling defeated and undone, I realized this was a reality that I was creating for myself based on my beliefs in that moment.

I had fallen out of self-care. I ran right through self-preservation and sped through  “just making due”  before just totally giving up.

That realization woke me up; this is not the life I wish to have, I thought.

This attitude will serve nothing but to carry my burdens all the way to bed and likely into my dreams. Then what?

More of the same tomorrow? NO thank you.

What can we do when the world feels so heavy and difficult, so much so that our beliefs alter our inner worlds to match its gravity?

Observe, then restate the beliefs, that’s what! It took a good half hour to get into it, catching the sighs of bodily discomforts and restating the inner dialogue which came out of those sighs.

“I am so tired” needed to be restated, while respectfully validating the needs of my body.  “I can take a 10-minute rest and restore some energy“ became the new thought.

The phrases I heard myself thinking that felt full of weight and unhappiness such as, “I am alone and I have no help” needed another approach.

That one I could go at head-on by shifting my beliefs. I restated it to “I am capable. I also have friends and know I am not alone, if I need help I am able to ask.”

I realized that in that moment that no one could physically help – but certainly, a loving friend hearing me could lift my spirits and that alone can go far in restoring positive energy.

All I needed to do was ask for a listening ear. So I did, and it worked! The beliefs began to lighten up and I was able to restore positivity in my day.

During and after emotional abuse, it can get dark in our inner worlds. We lose the ease of joy and uplifted outlook on life and often feel hopeless, unwanted, alone.

Worse than that, the dialogue in our heads can become that of the abuser, telling we are wrong and unworthy. The same practice that I used above can be applied here, any time.  

We don’t need to force the beliefs to change.

The beliefs we hear ourselves think can be gently and incrementally restated to improve our self-worth and our outlooks – and to increase our joy. It can be done in a simple, honest way that allows you to believe in your worth and feel gratitude for many things in life.

Ask yourself:

Do you catch yourself believing things that are unkind toward yourself or are dragging down your day? Do you hear someone else’s words echoing in your mind reinforcing the abusive things you were told? What can you do, right now, to begin to create change in your very important belief system? 

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section, below. Let’s discuss it. 

Thanks for reading this post! My name is Lise Colucci and I am one of the certified life coaches at QueenBeeing. I am so happy to be given this opportunity to serve this community and honored to get the chance to witness others healing as they seek the amazing help that coaching can provide. I will be posting short articles on different topics that relate to narcissistic abuse, healing, self-care and more and I hope that you gain some comfort or deepen your own understanding through them. This article is a bit more personal than I normally write so that you can get a sense of how I work in my own life as well as the ways I use to problem-solve the healing process. 

Learn more about me here or schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me here

Pin It on Pinterest