*Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a fellow survivor of narcissistic abuse. Read more stories right here, and submit your own here.
An Original Poem
Life isn’t the same, Your mask has been removed,
And I know your game.
You’ve manipulated my life,
Given me a bad name & turned it into strife.
You’ve turned my family & friends against me,
all for your own glory.
May the truth be revealed,
that you are only an imitation of love & empathy.
They will come to find your connection with them hollow, I
& your heartlessness hard to swallow.
They will be sorry it was you they chose to follow,
& sad that they gave up on someone who would of been there for them tomorrow.
Your sources of supply, only need empathy & love & support & encouragement, to acquire your reply.
It’s all abt., you & how others will fluff your feathers, soon away will they all fly, without a goodbye!!
Your projection of heartlessness onto others, soon becomes towards you their rejection.
Upon introspect, they soon realize of whose false affections they must reject.
Inverted jealousy, you thrive on, twisting the blame.
Gaslighting one too many a flame.
Narcissism has an end, when many eyes become opened.
Alone you will be, inflicted with your own pain.
A heartless game played by the NarcNessMonster within,
everything done to tie me into your sin.
You brought it upon yourself, strife will eternally be your life.
You played this game in stride, soon you’ll have to dwell alone with the beast inside.
-By Cynthia Lyn Woods
An Original Poem Written September 23, 2018
Having a harmonious relationship in the workplace is essential to make your company more efficient and productive. However, since there are a lot of people that you’ll be working with, sometimes you’ll encounter an individual that is difficult to handle, especially if your employees are complaining about him. This can have a negative impact on your employees’ performance.
As a manager, you have to address this issue. Here are some tips on how you can empower your employees, especially if they have a colleague that is difficult to handle:
- Be open for consultation
If you want to resolve this workplace issue, you have to know first the concerns of your employees with this particular person. This is essential so that you’ll determine the best strategies you can employ to keep your employees performing better and prevent them from being distracted.
Letting your employees know that you are open to listen to their problems, complaints, and concerns will help them become empowered. Moreover, you have to give them comforting words and proper advice so that they can handle the situation properly, especially if they need to work with the problematic person involved closely.
- Give your employees recognition
One effective strategy when you want your employees to feel empowered is to recognize their efforts, even the smallest one.
Employee recognition should not be limited to brilliant ideas raised in the meeting or a great achievement that helped the company reached its goal. It can also be as simple as a slight improvement in his performance and even making an effort to reach out or resolve an issue involved with the individual he’s having trouble working with.
Giving your employees recognition even in the form of a small gesture will create a significant impact on them. It will keep them motivated, and therefore, they will do better in accomplishing their respective job responsibilities. It will also boost their morale as a valued employee of your company./ This will give a positive effect on their overall well-being.
- Give them a little reward from time to time
Reward system is an effective approach to empower your employees. This will make them feel that the management appreciates their continuous efforts for the company. And the best form of reward is food. You can organize a small gathering during lunchtime, or coffee breaks, and treat them with small meals. You can order using HeyYou since it’s hassle-free and the food will be delivered right at your office door.
You can also give them time off as a reward. Employees that are awarded a vacation break or even a day off tend to be more empowered and motivated after they report back to work. Taking a break is vital to every employee, and giving them off from work will also show that you’re concerned as an employer.
- Establish camaraderie and team-building efforts
The best way to empower your employees, especially if they have to handle a situation that they need to work with their colleagues they like the least, is to improve their professional relationship. It’s not your responsibility to establish friendships among your employees, but your objective is to kill the tension between the problematic person and the one who’s complaining.
You can do this by conducting team activities that will make them involved, and there will be no choice but to interact. A successful team building tasks, even when done in the workplace, can remove the tension between coworkers. Sometimes the problem between employees may stem from a lack of communication or just a slight misunderstanding.
Building camaraderie and engaging your employees to work together will not just empower them as an individual but as a whole team. Also, giving your employees an opportunity to work together and making actual interactions can break negative impressions and tension.
- Be a friend and not just an employer
The best strategy to empower your employees is to establish trust and friendship. Sometimes, your employees will tend to build a wall between the two of you because of the work hierarchy. Try eliminating that perception and establish that they can see you as a friend, not just their manager/boss. Sometimes, when two individual is having difficulty working together, all they need is a friend that will bridge their gap to resolve the issue between them.
If you want to empower your employees, an essential factor you have to consider is improving their social relationships with their coworkers.
Having a conflict with their colleagues can hinder their professional growth and productivity.
Follow these tips to resolve this kind of issue in the workplace so that your employees are always motivated and empowered. This will reflect on the company’s productivity.
*Editor’s Note: Dear SPANily, this list of horrible insults and manipulative phrases was submitted by fellow narcissistic abuse survivor, Anna, who tells her story in this post. I’m publishing it here because I agree with Anna in that it may help one of our fellow survivors to recognize their own abuse. Love, Angie
I started keeping a list of his abusive phrases months ago mostly because I needed to see them in writing to believe they were real. I cannot fathom why I’ve allowed him to say these things to me. I am sharing them with you (sorry for some of the language) so you can share them if you like. Maybe they will help another victim to know there is hope and that there are people who understand.
Here is the list.
- I am late because of you
- I have to take care of you
- This is what I have to do everyday-work for you and those fucking cats
- Do you know how much you eat?
- You’re a pig
- Everything will be ok if you just shut the fuck up
- All women are whores
- Do you know how good you got it?
- Get the fuck out of the truck, bitch
- You’re fucking stupid
- You know i love you, right?
- Don’t touch me
- Get away from me
- Here I bought you this
- Has anyone else ever done this much for you?
- Women don’t have friends
- It’s because you’re stupid
- Fix me something to eat, bitch
- I am going to bust you in your teeth
- You are so fucking stupid
- That’s how you do
- Think about it, how good you got it
- You can’t even take care of yourself
- If you show up with a black eye, you better tell them everything is ok
- Why are so mean to me?
- I knew you had something going on, you planned this
- I don’t need you; I don’t care if you are here or not
- You’re nasty
- You know what you did wrong?
- I don’t give a fuck
- You know how much you cost me?
- Get your shit and get out; never come back to this house!
- I will pay for it and then I will own me
- See what you did to me?
- I cannot be happy because I am with you
- It’s about time to beat your ass
- You are almost well enough to be hit
- I have to deal with everything
- Do you understand me?
- Is there anything else?
- I am going to break this phone
My greatest joys in life are (hands down) my children. Since the day each was born, my entire focus was making sure they were nurtured and FELT loved and valued. I was determined that they would have the ego I always wanted for myself. Name the activity and they did it. I had a simple plan: I was going to be THE BEST PARENT EVER!!
Enter the narcissist.
By the time I realized what kind of relationship iIwas dealing with, certain unintentional, unwanted behavioral changes began to rear their ugly heads.
In my case, my son (who had more exposure to the narc than my daughters) is definitely more introverted than my daughters. He struggles in the area of self esteem and confidence.
My ex had a bully side to him (shocking right?) and while he would often verbally abuse my son, I always thought I was protecting him (and thus wiping out any negative impact of his words) by telling the narcissist, “don’t talk to him like that.” But looking back now, I realize that “sticking up” for my son was not a replacement for zero exposure.
My three daughters, on the other hand, are the complete opposite. They’re three very strong, very self aware women who don’t need validation from others. I’m guessing this may be because they saw the toll this has taken on me and have decided they want better for themselves (thankfully).
For years, I was wracked with guilt over all this. After all, I brought this mess and chaos into their lives.
With the help of therapy and the lifting of the fog, I can now see that, yes they’ve been changed, but he never touched their spirit; he never touched their hearts. For that I am grateful. As parents, we do the best we can given our circumstances. Probably one of the hardest parts of parenting that no one tells us is learning to forgive ourselves.
Thankfully, my children forgave me long before I forgave myself. Have you noticed a difference in your children pre or post toxic relationship?
Guest Post Written By Ivy K.
I’m a narcissistic child abuse survivor. This type of abuse is nearly impossible for a child to explain. I’m an adult, and I still cannot explain it to a person.
This is what it sounds like, this is an example of why it’s impossible to tell another.
- An 11-year-old Ivy says, “I don’t want to be like them when I grow up.” (Ivy knows she can’t tell anybody her parents are mean because they are so charming in public.)
- Another teenage girl with normal growing pains says, “OMG, I can’t stand my Mom. I hate her. I hope I’m never like her.”
Think about those two quotes, they are very similar, only one is coming from a child who is being abused.
Related: Why Being Raised by a Narcissist Could Cause You to Marry One
“But why didn’t you tell someone?”
I tried. When I did voice to another about the abuse, I only sounded like a whiny little brat. Here’s a couple of lines I’ve said as an adult:
“They act different when people are around.” and “They are putting on a show for you.”
I can easily see how the comments wouldn’t stick and fly over somebody’s head.
“You could have asked a counselor for help!”
Professionals such as social workers, guidance counselors etc. – they just don’t get it. They do not understand that No Contact is the only way to handle narcissistic abuse. I have been asked to speak to my abusers and again and again, only to open the door to more abuse because these professionals have no training.
Related: How to Find a Therapist Who Understands Narcissistic Abuse
This is one reason why children don’t speak up about the abuse – because there’s always a push for children to interact with their parents. I’m sure professionals with no training on this type of child abuse see the parent “doing everything they can” (when they cry victim as a manipulation tactic) and “the child is just making a mountain out of a molehill.”
No One Believed Me
I tried to tell people I was being abused at age 16. Unfortunately, because of the nature of a narcissist, nobody believed me. So, by the time I was 17, after many years of enduring the abuse I had a nervous breakdown and was sent to a mental health hospital.
I missed a lot of school. I shouldn’t have graduated with my class.
Why I Am Sharing This Story NOW
I’m sharing this for one reason, so that, as Pearl Jam sang in Why Go, “MAYBE SOMEDAY ANOTHER CHILD WON’T FEEL AS ALONE AS SHE DOES, it’s been two years and counting, since they put her in this place, she’s been diagnosed by some stupid fuck, and mommy agrees. Why go home?”
Yes, before anything else, I had Pearl Jam lyrics to let me know I wasn’t alone. Their lyrics seemed to zero in exactly on this unexplainable invisible abuse. I knew something was wrong when I was very young. …. I’m talking age 7.
And then, Pearl Jam came along and a lot of their early lyrics validated my feelings. I didn’t know the abuse had a name until much later.
What Narcissistic Abuse Feels Like to a Child of a Narcissist
When the abuse is at its worse, it feels like they secretly want me dead and they’ll do a real good job of nearly killing me without laying a single finger on me. On a good day, I know their script. I know exactly what they will say before they say it and I’ll have to concentrate hard to keep from rolling my eyes and/or busting out in laughter.
When you’re a child, you learn not to have an identity. If you do discover yourself, you know darn well you had better hide it from your parents. (*Cindy still describes our mother and daughter relationship as the Two-Headed Monster. Because in her eyes, I’m an extension of her. I am Cindy, not Ivy.)
The setup is backward when it comes to toxic parents. The adults are to be the center of the child’s world – not the other way around. You are to know what they want before they know.
The moment you stop making them the center of your universe, they no longer have any use for you. If you wait it out, they’ll forget about you all together.
Neglect is easier than the abuse. You want to be neglected by your parents. To borrow from Dr. Phil, your parents are not A Safe Place To Fall. Meaning you know not to go them for advice or for life skills, such as what to do when your car battery dies or how to replace a clapper in the toilet, etc.
Something simple turns into a stressful dramatic ordeal, because of their need to make it about them.
I’m assuming many who have survived narcissistic child abuse don’t know how to build a healthy and safe circle of support to go to when simple life advice is needed.
Related: Get support in our free online support group for narcissistic abuse recovery.
Narcissist Parents and Victim-Playing
There’s another part to this. Because the narcissist’s inner voice is so toxic, they truly don’t feel comfortable until they believe they are the victim in a real-life situation. They have to make real-life match their toxic inner voice.
Their need to play the victim is so intense that they will create situations that make no sense to anybody else.
As the narcissist is creating these situations to ensure they’re the victim, the problem at hand is easily forgotten about amongst the chaos. Playing the victim is a manipulation tactic used by narcissists.
Two of the most important things to know about narcissists is they lack empathy and will put themselves first in any given situation.
What to know about narcissistic child abuse: it is invisible, it is nearly impossible for the victim to explain, and it is handed down from one generation to the next. It is a toxic legacy.
Terms to know:
*Names changed in the interest of privacy