Category Archives: Help with Narcissism–

Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog

“There is a story I love about a butterfly struggling to leave it’s cocoon, it is tempting for someone watching to want to try and help – because the whole process looks so painful and takes many hours. But if you step in and cut the cocoon off the butterfly it will never leave the ground and soon die – because forcing itself out of the cocoon is what pushes the newly hatched insects vital fluids into its wings.”

This link is from a couple in Australia who have a recovering narcissist/codependent marriage. They have powerful support and a great ministry around their own experience. I don’t know if Steve was a clinical NPD; he sounds more like a programmed one or the son of an NPD, but they have great articles and books, and do an excellent job of getting information and support and HOPE to those in these kinds of marriages.

via Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog.


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Filed under Bullying, divorce, Help with Narcissism--, Love ed, Marriage, Mental Health, Respect and disrespect, Uncategorized

The Importance of Your Perspective

My thoughts turned to my ex-son-in-law while I was sitting with God this morning, and I found myself grieving again. In over ten years I grew to love him even if his parenting and attitudes drove me crazy. I remembered some of the work we’d done, some of the opportunities he’d had, his love of me, and cried. It’s so sad, he lost so much by not choosing to face himself.

My daughter told of their last encounter that left her shaken–over an air compressor that she wanted (she got her dad’s mechanical ability and loves to fix things but has to have the strength of the compressor). He threw a tantrum and tried to control her with fear and guilt as always, and she was second-guessing herself in guilt. She’s always too soft on him–in my opinion. (It’s a God-thing that she could leave.)

But from his comments I could tell that he is back to blaming everyone else, in typical narcissist style, hiding from his brokenness. He’s obviously heard, “You’ve sacrificed so much to keep your kids in their home,” and he replays it regularly. I’m not diminishing what he did for a year and a half–it was big and commendable to give her 2/3 thirds of his check so she could scrape to stay in their house. It was important to keep the kids’ lives as stable and normal as possible, the youngest was a year and a half when they separated. And the earlier a child is disrupted, the harder it is on them. Most people don’t know that. 

But it sounds like he has made a new “persona” or public mask out of being the one who has sacrificed so much–the good guy–the hero–the one who was left–the martyr.

That is so sad to me. He is even further away from facing himself, the wreckage he caused by not being willing to face his faults and grow. She had done most of the emotional heavy-lifting, and he wanted her to do it all–which she couldn’t. You can’t do someone else’s work. She was so into making things perfect, I’m sure she would have if she could have. And he got angrier and angrier at not being him. She hid it as long as she could. Until she saw how it was affecting their three little boys. And she began to see she would die young if she stayed.

Sad, sad, sad. Mostly for him. He’s the one who loses the most.

There’s a saying in my field, “Nothing changes until it becomes real,” which just means that unless you face your part, your faults, your dark side, you won’t grow, your relationships won’t get better.

There is no one on this planet that isn’t broken, that doesn’t have faults. We are all mistake makers here, ALL of us. And to pretend that we aren’t, is just fooling ourselves and maybe our children (hopefully only for a time). Everyone around us knows our craziness long before we do.  The smartest thing we can do for ourselves and those who love us is take off our masks, look in the mirror, and get honest. It’s painful, but so worth it, and a lot less pain for a lot of people in the long run.

God will help if you ask–He’s into honesty. I’ve always wondered why Jesus’ disciples started the good news about God with telling people they were sinners, which just means we are broken, separated from God, and can’t fix ourselves. I thought that would raise defenses; maybe it was a short-cut for honest, open hearts. If your defenses are so developed that you think you’re good, you don’t need God. You’re perfect–and hopeless.

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Filed under Becoming real, Help with Narcissism--, Mental Health, Separation, Uncategorized

Parenting today is Complicated

When you hear of a teen who committed suicide from cyber-bullying, what do you think? Typically we blame parents: Why didn’t they pay attention, do more, give more, listen more, set boundaries, get help?

Most parents today want to give, they don’t want to be cops, they want to be happy and they want their kids to be happy too. But I can tell you many kids today are not happy. They are stressed and pressured by peers. Cutting has become an epidemic way of handling pain temporarily.

“Mean girls” has become a label that everyone understands. I think many if not most of these girls (and it’s boys too) are personality disorders. They love to stir up trouble–love to create drama–sometimes super sweetly. Why?

It isn’t their fault. They didn’t create the trauma in their early years that causes the lack of safety that twists their perspective and shuts down trust, causing disordered personalities. But you need to let your children know to stay away from these types of peers. Bullies abound today.

The best way you can protect your child is to make them secure in your love and their value. Spend quality time with them and listen. Help them protect themselves. Change schools. Change technology.

But if your child is the bully, face the truth. If you pretend they aren’t, you can’t help them. It will ruin their lives and others’ lives.

If nothing is ever their fault, if they lie, cheat, steal, or talk trash about other kids, you likely have a bully. Teamed up with another bully they can be deadly, as we all witnessed on national news this past week.

You can’t force them to change, but learn about their disorder. Then explain to them that it came from trauma in their early years and it makes them feel unsafe, untrusting, unloved. Tell them it isn’t their fault, but it is their responsibility–they are the only ones who can choose to change. Tell them it will ruin their lives.

I find my clients who have personality disorders have a much better chance of changing if they have someone who is willing to tell them the hard truth kindly, with support.

And know that their parents weren’t trying to mess them up. They were trying to figure out their own lives. They didn’t know that their choices were going to ruin their kids lives. They were trying to deal with their misery or results of their own poor choices. They were just trying to be happy.

Pursuing happiness is a problem in this society–spotted by a visiting Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, in our Constitution one hundred years ago. He said it’s impossible.

Chasing happiness will take you to addiction, and NOT happiness. De Tocqueville was right. Happiness is a byproduct of doing the right thing. If happiness is your goal, you are ruining your life and your children’s. Face your own pain. It will help everyone around you.

What is important to you? What values are you teaching your children? Are you all about money, or looking good? How do you spend your time? Working? Shopping? Seeking your next feel-good?

The only personality disorders that recover are those strong enough, determined enough, to stop the drama and wreckage, get honest, and work. They stop lying to themselves and admit that they feel scared and unloved. (They are usually very bright and have worked up incredible systems of defense mechanisms.)

If you are the parent (and not disordered yourself) you have to kindly and firmly hold their feet to the fire–truth–until they can hear you.

More next time…

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Filed under Becoming real, Bullying, Cyber bullying, Help with Narcissism--, Mental Health, Parenting, Personality Disorders

A Perspective on Irreconcilable Differences

Yesterday I listened to yet another marriage dissolving over Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). That’s two this week. Having an NPD spouse (male or female) is a tough road, not impossible as I can personally attest, but very difficult.

I was musing today on why I have a good marriage. Usually I think it is because my husband has changed so much in the last 12 years of our 22 year marriage.  He really has, with a little divine intervention.  Maybe someday I should tell the story here; it’s quite a story.

But this morning, I was thinking about the things we enjoy doing together and how we have made them work for us. There aren’t many, maybe three. We think very differently about most everything, (part of that is just male and female I know) but we have learned to appreciate the good in the other and build our own lives while really enjoying what works between us: spirituality, gardening, movies, and sex. I guess there’s four! You can make a nice life out of your own fulfillment and those four.

We start the day by reading scripture together all snuggled up in bed. Sometimes we make love, sometimes we just snuggle, but we both agree it is one of the best parts of our day. Then he goes off to the gym and I exercise with my body ball.  (I hate the gym; he loves it.) Many days we go out and garden together. We don’t agree about that either, but we both love being outside together, and we have decided that we love each other more than being right. We enjoy the same movies on the nights I’m off, and reading together in the evening.

It’s a simple life but it’s good.

Choosing how you look at things really makes a difference. All of us bring baggage into a marriage, being willing to look at your own, your beliefs your lies, and get them healed is terribly helpful in cleaning your side of the relationship street. Each person has a side to clean.

Today, I read the following quote in an email and thought, I used to do that all the time, thank God that has gotten better!

 “Negative attributions-finding an unfavorable explanation for what a spouse does-constitute one of the more common thinking problems in marriage.” (p. 165 Love is Never Enough)

Aaron Beck says it’s common, and am I glad, because it was one of the hardest things for me to get over. I had beliefs inside that took awhile to get to, beliefs that said everyone was out to get me. (Because my older brother was jealous of me and made life hard.)

So if you are struggling with huge differences in your marriage, put the best possible interpretation on your spouses actions, usually they aren’t trying to make you angry or hurt you, but you might be set up to see it that way. 

Stop mind reading. You’re no good at it. Ask for an explanation before you assume. Get your beliefs healed by asking God to tell you the truth. And then find some things you can agree to enjoy together. Research shows the more you play and laugh together, the safer you will feel together. That is good.

If you are married to a narcissist there is more to it. But this is a good start.

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Filed under Help with Narcissism--, Uncategorized A Perspective on Feeling Abandoned — To Love without an Escape Plan

If you felt abandoned by your dad,  you will love the pathos and triumph of this blog. I will print it here for convenience, but it’s better at her site.

“To Love without an Escape Plan”

I dial the numbers slowly. A bit of hesitation in my fingers. In my heart.

It’s later than I’d planned to call. But that is the way my life goes. Tucking in all the littles. Wrapping up the day.

And this night has brought with it a resonating ache. A friendship strained and stretched. The weight of it sitting heavy on my heart. Slowing my every moment.

So with this heart already opened raw… I speak into the phone.

“Happy Birthday, Dad”

He mumbles thanks and I quickly ramble off the information of an   e-card created just for him by the littles, our latest in emergency-room visits, a bit of uncomfortable chatter.

He, in his natural way, makes a joke about me only having ten toes. It is him in a moment. The soft bantering humor. It connects me to him as if once again my hands are little.

And then as quickly as it started it’s over and he’s gone. Connection disconnected.

He still doesn’t know how to stay. Not even on the phone.

I want him to know it’s ok. I understand it. Understand him. My heart feels the sadness in his voice. The helplessness.

He doesn’t know how to stay.

I’ve spent my whole life watching him leave.

Watching him. Wishing just once he’d stay. Just for a moment see me. Know me.

There are few things that drive you toward God like an absent father. 

Few things that leave the vacancy, the caverns of blackness. Of empty searching. Grasping.

Looking to be loved. Defined. Beautiful.

I spent half a lifetime wishing he’d died. Somehow thinking it would be easier if he’d had no choice. If he hadn’t walked away. And this last half so grateful to just love him from a distance. Knowing that it’s all he has to give.

Today is his birthday. A day for celebration. Joy. And for me it is filled with ache.

Not the same paralyzing pain of the little girl that waited for him, face pressed against the glass.

No this pain is sadness. The twisting, burning ache of loving from the outside. The sorrow of watching a heart withered, wrapped up tight and unmoving. A heart unaware of what it truly means to be open. To love without an escape plan.

A heart that has missed the joy of a daughter. The indescribable blessing of knowing a child as well as you know your own face.

And I want to tell him it’s ok. I understand.

My heart grieves. No longer for me, but for him. For all that he missed. All that will never come again.

I am well. Strong. Beautiful. Loved.

And he never need feel guilty. For I know how it feels to have a Father. To have the One who never leaves fill your heart. I know how it refines you to love with your Whole Heart. To be the child of a devoted mother. To be a committed wife. To have a child. To have three.

I love him. I love me. The bits of him that are reflected back at me. The parts of me that want to leave when the struggles begin. The pieces of me that can figure out how to do anything.

I am proud to be his child. Honored to have come from him.

He wasn’t there… And he is completely forgiven. Completely loved.

Because he never learned how to stay, I have learned how to fight for love. Because he was afraid of the work of loving, I am not.

Because he left, I know how to stay.

Everything is a Gift. Grace poured out into this fragile soul. I am here in this moment because he is my father. I am part of him. And I love him.

Even though he doesn’t know how to stay.

And birthday’s are for new beginnings…

for Grace.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11

Posted By Loxlia to lovelycrumbs at 1/21/2012 12:37:00 AM 00 AM

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Filed under Grief, Help with Narcissism--, Uncategorized

Perception of Yourself and a Narcissistic Mate can Change Everything

The following is an excerpt from an excellent resource if you are living with a verbally abusive mate.  Kim was living with abuse, her husband Steve, a narcissist.   She was told by therapists to leave because narcissists don’t  change, but they had three children, and that “didn’t  feel right in her heart,” so she sought another opinion.  Today they are helping couples all over the world–together–through their website  Below is part of her experience, taken from one of her blogs.

Once upon a time I did not think I could possibly stand up to Steve, but then once I had learned to, I could not believe how easy it became. Eventually I saw that it was me who had kept myself his victim by not rising above my own fears. I was scared he was sleeping with other women and would let this thought tear me apart. I would think I needed him to believe in me to believe in myself. I would live to please him and be shattered when my efforts were in vain. I thought I needed him to be trustworthy instead of trusting and relying on myself.

via Narcissism Daily Mirror: Verbal Abuse – Part 2.

Sound familiar? Keep reading, since I took this out of her blog in three different places, it may appear as three different blogs, but one follows the other. And if you have questions feel free to email me at

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Filed under Help with Narcissism--