Blog

Standing UP, when it feels soOoo WRONG

It just happened. I sent a reply to text to a family member that has been rampant in addiction. The addiction has crossed over into business, my kids and my husband, mother and friends… all who with good intentions, tried to help out and be understanding.

After seeking months of relief from the constant lies, I just spoke my truth. Now if this sounds exciting; I assure you I was brazen in the moment and hit send. Then I was terrified. Almost shaking, to be honest. That’s right, the therapist just spoke the truth to addiction, so why do I feel so intimidated? On the inside, I feel like a child. Why would speaking the truth into what could become a deadly situation, a terrifying event? pexels-photo-746825.jpeg

Well… It took me about 30 minutes to uncover the truth behind why standing up for the truth makes me cower. I am trained to assist in mental health, family relationships, cause and effect of faith, self determination etc. But the reason I feel so terrified has nothing to do with making the right decision or with my ability to diagnose or frame truth. It stems from a childhood where speaking the truth led to problems, chaos, blame and punishment.

Growing up with a NARC mom made me feel responsible for everything! Her stuff, my stuff, my brother’s health, my dad’s stress, all of it was my problem. So, the  adult me approaches situations where I must speak up for myself, with great care. I spend days pondering and over thinking.

The messages in my head sound like this:

  1. “How can I help this person without offending them?
  2. How can I use boundaries when they are going to lash out?
  3. What if they hate me, and tell the rest of the family how I responded.
  4. Is this just me being selfish?”

So thirty minutes after I spoke the truth, my adrenaline was still pumping and I can begin to feel that inner truth and guess what, it’s a little bit louder than it’s ever been.

So what happened to you? When did you need to speak up and instead withdraw? Can you visualize the occurrence in your head and rewrite it with you standing up for yourself? Would you like to talk about how to do this and change your life from here on out?

For an appointment please visit my site: JessicaGaffney.com or call 772-242-6335

Advertisements

A Day in the life of Teen with a NARC Parent

Repost from Barends Psychology.

How do narcissistic parents abuse and punish their children?

There are several ways for a narcissistic parent to punish and abuse his or her child. Here are a few common ways narcissists use.

  • Emotional blackmailing: The narcissistic mother or father must get what he or she wants. To get what a narcissist wants he or she will use emotional blackmail. There are a few ways in which they make you, as their child, do whatever they want you to do. Here are a few examples to illustrate that:
    – ˝If you will tell your dad about this, we will divorce and that’s Your fault˝ – they want to you shut up about it, forever!
    – ˝Because I got pregnant with you I can’t do fun stuff anymore˝ – they want you to feel guilty and do whatever they say to make it up to them.
    – ˝If you become the best in class, I will love you like never before˝ – they want you to study extremely hard.
    – ˝If you continue like this, you’ll give me a headache˝ – they want peace.
  • Excessive parental control: By controlling every step you take and everything you say, you stay dependent. Being dependent of them means that they remain in control. Raising a child like this can cause serious self-esteem problems, autonomy problems and can make them indecisive and insecure about many (easy) decisions.
  • Claiming your success: If you become successful, achieve something good or are attractive, your narcissistic parent will most likely say that it’s because of them that you achieved it. And on top of that: you should be happy and grateful to have such a parent. This way you will never feel like you really achieved something… you will always feel like you owe it to your parents. At the same time, your parent wants to claim your success and that means you have to perform far above average. This brings additional stress!
  • No recognition of emotions: Your narcissistic parent will not recognize your emotions, your needs or desires. They will not and sometimes even cannot feel empathy for you. In other words: whenever you have needs, desires, questions or simply something to share, it’s likely they will (1) ignore you/it, (2) counter it with a story of their own, (3) use that particular need or desire against you, or (4) make you feel guilty for having needs, desires, etc.

Other ways to abuse their children are:
Abusive behaviour of the narcissistic parent

  1. Lying to the child / can’t be trusted.
  2. Neglecting the child’s needs.
  3. Ignoring the child/ makes the child feel as if the child is of no importance to them.
  4. Ignores the personal boundaries the child has.
  5. Makes sure the child becomes dependent of the parent.
  6. Manipulates and punishes for pleasure.
  7. Being very in-consequent: saying A today and saying B tomorrow.
  8. Using everything you share with them against you, sooner or later.
  9. Insulting the child.
  10. Denying the child’s identity.
  11. Makes the child feel like he or she is insane.
  12. Makes the child start doubting about himself (gaslighting).
  13. Makes the child feel guilty for not listening to or obeying the parent, or to obtain something (e.g. money or a favour).

On top of that they also use a lot of mind games to get what they want. To read more about these particular mind games, go to: dealing with a narcissist.

Repost from Barends Psychology.

Narc Sibling: Mom’s Defender

My brother, is an accomplished, well off, religious perfectionist who does not share emotions, concerns or needs because everything is perfect. I am a therapist, writer and creative soul so emotions pretty much color my world. When I meet a person who is unemotional my radar goes off and I immediately see through the façade. And we all know the façade; our mother’s used the façade in our own childhoods.flying boy

So when he text me yesterday to talk about why I didn’t invite our mother over for Christmas; I took a deep breath and embraced the inevitable conversation. My mother was invited for Christmas, we just happen to celebrate it the day after because of a child custody arrangement. It’s been happening this way since 2011. We celebrate Christmas on the 26th. My brother knows that. We travel out of town for Christmas and always invite my mom, but she has declined for the past 4 years. So we see her the falling day. Same plan this year, but my brother called anyway.

He lives 1200 miles away. My mom however moved to my town six years ago. So this year, we didn’t offer to bring her on our out of town plans. Truthfully, we aren’t going out of town. We are staying home. No one knows that, just us. I informed my mom we  would have dinner on the 26th as usual. She sounded rather bleak. Was she expecting me to beg her to come out of town? She always declines and says she has other plans. This is her mode for every holiday including Easter, birthdays, etc.

Was my brother’s call necessary? Christmas is happening the way it always does, one day later. So what changed? Could she be spinning a different story? Once my brother said, she feels so alone, you need to make more time for her, and consider her feelings. I tried not to choke. He totally buys her lies. And that’s my proof that my family is twisted.

Here’s the bottom line of my family, my mom defends her brother who is a child predator and she has been caught inviting him to our home to see our kids while we were out of town.

After years of dealing with this problem, the fact I still speak to my mom and attend the same church as her, is a real miracle. My brother really does live in a world different from my own. He conveyed her hurt and confusion over being excluded. He didn’t ask or confirm that I already invited her to our usual celebration on the 26th, instead he goes on about how rejected she feels and how much she wants to see my toddler. Again, I tried not to laugh. I did not defend myself and kindly asked him if he ever considered the possibility that we do not have the same relationship with our mom.

This question sort of threw him off. He began to talk bout how I needed to consider her feelings. I replied that I didn’t know about how she was feeling because she has not communicated. She has not called or text anyone and has not attended one soccer game for my eldest son, where she used to be at every home game. When he told me she feels left out, I told him we haven’t heard from her. He again, put the responsibility in my lap. Woe is she. Apparently my mom can’t use the phone or invite anyone over. She had us over for dinner twice in the last 5 years, and both times were at my suggestion.

As I began my work on MyNarcMom, I saw the cold truth that my mother, and brother, along with my dad, are incapable of emotional connection. They are shallow, self absorbed people, and I am an overly analytical, anxious compassionate entrepreneur who takes risks. Everything I do is under scrutiny from my mom and brother and my dad rarely replies. He has his own problems.

So my only tidbit of reality to leave with you is that some individuals have more to gain by living in their denial and using the façade that everything is perfect in order to survive. That is a sad existence, remaining with in the boundaries of toxic thinking and beliefs. It’s so limiting. I need truth, boundaries and respect.

Experiencing kindness and love from strangers shows me a better side of the world and I take that as a form of hope. That is how I thrive. I don’t need a physical family to meet my needs. There are many other wonderful people in the same situation who would be thrilled to have you as part of their life.

 

-Take care and Merry Christmas

 

 

Yes, it Happened!

Maternal Narcissism creates significant emotional damage to a child. If not understood, children raised by narcissistic parents grow up in a state of denial, thinking it is their fault and they are simply not good enough. And in order to remedy this faulty belief they will spend the rest of their lives pursuing “Good Enough” or avoiding the faulty belief.

Is Maternal Narcissism the source of your unstable relationships, addiction, or anger? While you will need professional help to determine that question, we offer classes and group sessions taught by Master’s degree social worker who can help you establish if that label belongs to your parent, and help you map out how it has impacted your thoughts, coping skills and world view.