As the year 2019 draws to an end, I think about the realizations that have come up over and over with my clients during the year. So, as my end of year gift, here are some things to remember as a survivor of narcissistic abuse.

  1. Narcissists bet that your need of approval is stronger that your sense of self.

  2. Narcissism is caused by not being loved enough as a child. If we understand this, forgiveness is easier.

  3. Narcissists can wear an “empathy mask” especially outside the family or marriage. This is very confusing for the child/spouse and causes their pain to not be believed or understood by others.

  4. Beware of “love bombing” early in the relationship. This can be an “empathy mask” and will make it harder for you to believe the criticism that will come later. Early “love bombs” allow victims to blame themselves when something goes wrong.

  5. Narcissists can be the masters of the “Grand Gesture” outside the home. This earns them attention and admiration and fosters a belief by those who don’t know them well that they are empathic and kind and concerned about others. Meanwhile their behaviors at home can be critical and painful.

  6. Narcissists have a habit of repeating lies until they become “truth”. Don’t buy in. This behavior is a form of Gaslighting and can make you feel doubtful of your own sanity.

  7. Just because they said it, doesn’t make it real.

  8. Because the narcissist thinks it’s all about them, doesn’t make it so.

  9. Stop feeling badly about yourself when someone else (the narcissist) acts badly.

  10. Narcissists will sometimes put us in positions where in order to protect ourselves, we have to hurt them (set boundaries). Ask yourself if you are causing real pain or just delivering a narcissistic insult. This is a clinical term which means that you are invoking a defended response from the person but you are not evoking real pain or hurt. The narcissist is extremely defended against real feeling, especially those high up on the scale of narcissism.

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If This Time Has Taught Me Anything 

"Know that you are more than your scars. 

Know that every wound that you have healed along the way has taught you what it is to fight back. 

To start again from where you are and with what you've got. 

If this time has taught me anything, it is this: HOPE matters and we cannot live without it. 

The future can be better and can be brighter and we each have it within us to make it so." 

Kevin McCormack






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