The Narcissist's Idealize, Devalue and Discard Cycle - Inside the psychology of both the narcissistic supply and the narcissist or person with NPD when it comes to the invalidation of the toxic relationship cycle at the hands of these manipulative people. Also featuring Lise Colucci and Colleen Brosnan.
The Handmaid's Tale and Religion: Shining a Light in the Darkness of Religious Narcissists - As the premiere of Hulu's The Handmaiden's Tale second season recently came out, I thought it only appropriate to point out the light it's shining on a topic no one wants to discuss - but one everyone needs to know about. Awareness is so important.
The Handmaid's Tale explores themes of women in subjugation to misogyny in a patriarchal society and the various means by which these women attempt to gain individualism and independence. The novel's title echoes the component parts of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, which is a series of connected stories.
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
- 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:
- 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
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?
Narcissistic Abuse is Subtle: Have you experienced this? (Healing After Toxic Relationships)
Looking for off-Facebook, private, secure support during your recovery from narcissistic abuse? Visit the SPANily Home and see what you think - maybe it's exactly what you've been searching for.
Sex and the Narcissist - Narcissists have some very strange issues around sex. This podcast launches a series on those issues, including the spectrum of narcissistic sexuality, the abuse and manipulation that can be involved, and the ways that narcissists use to control their victims with sex and the related emotions.
YOU are invited to join us at this event! Come participate in our all-day event on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 10 a.m. CST to 7 p.m. CST.
About our SPANily Home
How the SPANily Home is Different
SPECIAL Offer - Buy This Course & Get a Free 12-month Membership (Psst: the couse actually costs LESS than the membership for the year!)
Why did we create this program?
SPANily members have asked for a private coaching & connection forum that would be away from Facebook. And, if you ask me? With good reason.
- Their abusers had access to their accounts or could see their activity
- Their families and friends were asking questions about their groups
- They didn’t want to share anything on Facebook
- They had left Facebook to hide from their abusers
Plus, as many people noted, they sometimes felt triggered by those who were in different levels of recovery.
For example, one survivor who was still in the discovery phase (she had just recognized the abuse) was upset by another survivor who was in the evolution phase because it made her feel hopeless about her own situation.
And several survivors who were early in the overcoming phase or early in their efforts to go and stay no contact found themselves triggered by people who were still in the relationships and still posting about what they were going through with their abusers.
That caused people to ask for a way to only see the posts that were relevant to certain stages of recovery.
Facebook didn’t give us a simple way to do that, so when we found a way to both create recovery level groups AND a way to make a completely private and secure home for the SPANily, we jumped at it!
Since this setup isn’t free, we are asking the SPANily to help us out with a very small investment of just $3.99 a month. This covers both the cost of the platform as well as our coaches to support you and staff to help keep everything in order.
Still, a lot of SPANily members said they didn’t want to pay for something they couldn’t try out - and I totally get that! So, I talked it over with my team, and we decided to give you a free one-week membership trial so you can get a feel for the platform and how it works.
If you decide that you don’t want to continue, you can just let us know and you won’t be charged. Sound good?
Quick Announcement: Navigating No-Contact with a Narcissist: A Recovery Roadmap for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse is free on Amazon.com through Thursday, May 17 only. Be sure to grab a copy while it won't cost anything!see it here: https://amzn.to/2rFrE9x .
You can download the free Kindle app for any device - check it out here: https://amzn.to/2IGuGoi
About the Book:
Navigating No-Contact with a Narcissist is a practical and inspiring guidebook that will help you to let go of the feelings you still have for the narcissist and to stop feeling like you want and need to engage with him or her.
Inside the guide, you'll learn how to reclaim your sense of self, take back your life and as you move forward, to safely move on to a better relationship.
You'll learn what "no contact" really means in terms of narcissistic abuse recovery, where the term came from and how to implement it in your own life. Plus:
- How to break an unhealthy relationship cycle
- Dealing with smear campaigns and rude narcissists
- How to deal with co-parenting with a narcissist
- How to help your kids through the separation and divorce
- How to find yourself again after recovery
- Why no contact works so well and why it's hard to execute
- The steps you need to take to make it happen
This book is for you if:
- You've done your research and you already know or are pretty sure that you're dealing with a narcissist.
- You've been abandoned, or you've left your narcissist.
- You're still in the relationship, but you know you want to leave the narcissist, and you need some help.
- You've gone or recently decided to go "no-contact" with a narcissist.
- You want to go no-contact, but you're not sure how.
- You're already no-contact, but you are tempted to go back to the narcissist.
- The narcissist is trying to hoover you and you need help resisting.
- You are ready to take back your life, right now!
The book will also take you through the stages of recovery and show you what to expect in each one, as well as offering exercises and activities for each stage. Learn more here.
These narcissistic abuse recovery videos have manual closed-captions added for the hearing-impaired and anyone else who prefers to read instead of listen. I'm trying to do all of them and I could use your help. To contribute closed captions (and/or translations), please click here: http://www.youtube.com/timedtext_cs_panel?tab=2&c=UCBnyC5I55W__RBj1PMybF5g
Grey Rock: What It Is, How to Use It with a Narcissist and Grey Rock Examples and Psychology - This is how you use the grey rock technique with a narcissist. You'll also see grey rock examples and tips for how to grey rock no contact and low contact situations. Communicating with a narcissist can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it matters that they comprehend what you're saying. I can't tell you how many times I've felt exasperated when trying to have simple conversations with narcs who have become agitated and who are actively gaslighting.
Rule number one when it comes to practicing the Gray Rock Method is to never tell the narcissist you're doing so. If you do, they'll definitely figure out a way to use it against you. Never ask questions of the narcissist and don't offer any "committal" responses - just say things like "hmm" or "mhmm" - keep it casual. If possible, discuss only "safe" topics, such as the news, social media - fashion, cooking, etc. Nothing that would be personal - even if the narc begs you for it.
Try to be distracted during the conversation so that you don't have to directly look the narcissist in the eye the whole time. Make it something simple like doodling in a notebook or checking your text messages, or something more complicated such as knitting a scarf or working on a document for work. If you focus a bit more on your activity, you won't be as directly affected by the narcissist's attempts to manipulate you during the conversation.
Most importantly during this practice, keep your head in the game and don't allow the narcissist to get inside your head. Narcs are expert "guilt-trippers" and have no qualms about making you "feel bad" so that you'll try to justify or defend your intentions - don't fall into the trap.
- Discover. Understand. Overcome. It's how smart people change their lives! Subscribe to my channel on YouTube.
- On this channel, I offer free daily video coaching to help you discover, understand and overcome narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships! I like to call it toxic relationship rehab. If that sounds good to you, hit that subscribe button.
- **LIVE EVERY MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY! Never miss a live session! Just text "AngieLive" (no spaces) to 33222 and I'll send you a text each time I get ready to go live!
- Schedule a coaching appointment with me at http://narcissisticabuserecovery.online
- Get my books at http://booksangiewrote.com, schedule a coaching appointment and/or pick up your free 5-day fear-busting email course (specially designed for narcissistic abuse survivors) at http://narcissismsupportcoach.com.
- Join SPAN (Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships) - AKA "The SPANily" - at http://queenbeeing.com/span.
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Narcissists Isolate You - From Your Friends, Your Family Members and Anyone Who is WIlling to Support You. In this video, I'll offer a detailed explanation on why narcissists and people with NPD are so likely to isolate you from everyone you know - and how their flying monkeys play into it. Plus: self-help for dealing with isolation with narcissists in relationships.