What is resentment? Oxford Dictionary defines resentment as “bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly”.  Abuse at the hands of a narcissist is unfair. You were sold a dream and bought a nightmare. You were stripped of yourself and redefined by a monster who molded you into their image of the perfect partner, then despised you for becoming it. Your vulnerabilities were preyed upon and exploited by someone with no empathy. Feeling resentful is natural.

Why is dealing with resentment so important in recovering from narcissistic abuse? And does letting go of resentment mean your narcissist deserves to be forgiven for the cruelly destructive things he did?

Forgive, but Don’t Forget

Forgiveness doesn’t equal absolution. Forgiveness is for you and is about breaking the negative emotional chains that bind you to your ex-narcissist. Absolution is for the benefit of the wrongdoer and wipes the slate clean and its purpose is to pave the way for a fresh start. That is only deserved by those who are truly remorseful for the harm they’ve caused and a narcissist is not that person. The narcissist may be sorry they lost you but they’re not sorry for how they damaged you. They’re only sorry for themselves.

What you can’t afford to do with a narcissist is “forgive and forget”. If you forget how toxic they were for you, what engagement with them did to your sanity, health and self-esteem, it can lull you into abuse amnesia. This leaves you vulnerable to hoover attempts when they’re in need of future supply. So occasionally tapping into a memory of some of the righteous anger and the sadness you felt when you were with them can actually serve you by protecting you from predatory love-bomb efforts to win you back.

How Resentment is Disempowering

Holding onto resentment after you’ve left a narcissist keeps you locked into the pattern of obsession over being victimized by them. It keeps the focus on how unfair it was and how they’ve wronged you. And it allows their darkness to remain your driving force. Think about it. When you were with your narcissist, your entire world was him and all of your emotional energy was invested in managing the relationship. You stayed in a constant state of hypervigilance, navigating the ever-shifting landscape of his whims, moods, lies, temper tantrums, flirtations, dalliances and worse. It takes time to detoxify your mind from that all-consuming pattern. When you continue to ruminate on “what my narc did to me” it keeps you stuck there, in a problem-oriented way of thinking, and that can be an impediment to significant healing work if it remains your focus.

Fully understanding what happened to you and sharing about your losses with those who can understand and validate you is an important and necessary part of processing your grief and moving forward. But ruminating forever enables your narcissist to continue to dominate your thoughts, emotions, and conversations. There is more to you than “your narc”.  Letting go of resentments can help you shift your energetic focus from being your ex-narcissist’s victim to becoming a survivor who is taking control. That can become your new narrative.

How Anger Can Serve You

Anger is a reactive emotion that begins spontaneously when some form of harm is perceived. It can be managed in healthy or toxic ways. Resentment is what you do with your unresolved anger when your feelings of bitterness, hatred, indignation, and victimization persist.

I hold onto a little piece of my anger. It has helped me survive numerous hoover attempts, lovebombs, guilt-tripping and the occasional nostalgiac moment. I deliberately call to mind reality:  I was with a liar, womanizer, and rageaholic and it was completely demoralizing. The psychological abuse was nightmarish and the smear campaign is still ongoing. It conjures up some anger when I remember. It broke my heart while I was there. But I no longer have any emotional connection to that information; I simply have the awareness of it. I no longer feel victimized because I know I put a stop to his ability to ever hurt me again by ending the relationship. I feel free!

The fact is, as a person who escaped from an abusive narcissist, you truly were once a victim. Nothing will change that fact. The danger of resentment is that it can keep you locked in the disempowering role of victim for as long as you allow it. But if you’ve escaped, (or even if you were discarded), you’re no longer a victim. You’re now a survivor.  You may have scars, many of them deep and painful, but you’re recovering and you have a chance to be happier someday.

@Coach Amy @Narcstalgia
@Copyright March 7, 2018, All Rights Reserved

 

If you’ve spent your life living the shadows of a narcissist, you may not even exist as an autonomous entity in the eyes of his admirers. You’re just his plus-one. So as comfortable the discomfort of isolation is, this is actually the time to begin rebuilding your face-to-face and social networking worlds as your authentic self.

It’s emotionally refreshing to develop relationships with people who have no allegiance to your narcissist and a side benefit is that you can make important connections with those in similar circumstances to your own. They can offer invaluable advice and support and help you network for roommates, job leads, and other useful resources you may not have had to think about before.

There may also be mutual friendships you value that you can take steps to maintain before you leave (without dumping an uncomfortable amount of information on them or asking them to take sides). The narcissist is likely to smear you later, so you can preempt it by laying a foundation of truth by seeing these friends one-on-one, and then by simply showing yourself to be the decent person that you are. don't isolate when you're depressed from narc abuse

There are no guarantees, but the ones worth worth keeping should still be there after. If you do nothing, they will have only the narc’s version of events to work with later.

Social media management

If you are connected to your narc on Facebook or other social media and are in the habit of including him in your posts, take steps to limit interactions but don’t make him disappear completely until you have ended things. Put him on acquaintance status, limit what he can see, gradually slow down exchanges and keep what you post about him generic. Don’t share fake lovebomby posts and don’t post rants complaining about him. (If you want sympathy, seek it in a private support forum).

If your Narcissist (or her flying monkeys) monitors your social media activity, an abrupt dropping of narc news updates may alert her to the fact that you’re no longer a worshipful subject promoting her precious image, and this could result in retribution.

Increase high-value contacts

If your social or professional networks contain mutual connections, carefully prune your contact lists and limit your visibility settings to include only those you can trust. Make a point to rebuild your networks with new and relevant contacts regularly: those you are genuinely close to, those with common interests, those in your professional field and exercise caution with those with whom your narc has a relationship. It’s very difficult to predict who be able to resist narc kryptonite, so err on the side of self-preservation.

Think before you post

Don’t make posts that will add credibility to a future smear campaign. If your wall contains a 24/7 litany of angry memes, come-hither selfies, inappropriate comments from the opposite sex, passive-aggression and woe-is-me posts, these could be exploited by your narcissist to make you look like “the crazy one” or “the cheater” later.  As a rule, drawing public attention to your relationship problems will only make you look indiscreet and unstable. This will serve the narc’s agenda and not your own.

Don’t engage in digital drama

In theory, you can be lofty and believe it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. But in practice? If you need to make a living, your digital drama could cost you job offers and promotions, because recruiters and prospective employers do look at your personal social media. So control what your audience sees, and don’t put anything in public view that could offend your potential future boss.

Clean up your public digital drama and reserve your overshares, tirades, political rants and religious testimonials for closed groups of like-minded individuals who will genuinely appreciate it. Be sure to check the membership lists for Flying Monkeys first.

Do control the new narrative

Start re-branding yourself with new personal and professional narratives showcasing the autonomous being you’re becoming. This is a crucial time to protect your career and boost your employability so be sure your posts will reflect well with recruiters.

block your narcissist on linkedin

Rebuild your F2F Networks

Online social networks provide great resources for survivors who have isolated as a result of the many facets of narcissistic abuse. But many of us become so emotionally dependent on our online networks that we neglect our lives outside of the cage we occupy with our narcissists. To narcprooof your network in the most meaningful way, you will have to seek social and professional interaction without the narcissist. This means, see friends and attend work functions off the clock. If you don’t feel you have any friends, pursue a special interest. Join a support group. Volunteer. Start a side hustle. Go to a business after hours or Chamber of Commerce function. Get out and interact with human beings in non-threatening environments.

All it takes to get started is that first step… out of the house. You can do this!

Crazy Ex Wife@Narcstalgia
Copyright April 18, 2018, All rights reserved

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, the average domestic violence victim returns 7 times before leaving for good. It took me four attempts to leave my narcissist before I could make it stick. I loved him and struggled with letting go, and I had also become financially dependent on him.

There’s more to think about than just having enough money to go. These 9 tips consider not only the financial, but some of the practical and emotional issues surrounding a long-term transition away from a narcissist.

1. Be okay with being on the fence

img_8814-1 You don’t know what the future will hold and you can be committed to your relationship and also act in your own enlightened best interests. Honor your vows, hope for the best, work with whatever good is there, and seek the help of a professional counselor, for your own benefit. But don’t be naive and surrender your financial power to a narcissist. Make a dual commitment to your “futureself” and stay open to however that will manifest. (You can’t predict whether your partner will change his or her behavior, so let go of the idea that looking out for yourself is a betrayal).

2. This is a no-brainer, but …

Do not tell your narcissist why you are interested in gaining financial independence or use your ability to provide for yourself as an ultimatum. Narcissists thrive on disempowerment of their victims and knowing that you’ve got resources will be threatening.

He may retaliate by hiding assets, denying you access to important papers, and if you are financially dependent on him, put even tighter restrictions on your access to money.

3. Don’t assume the unhappy narcissist wants out too

Don’t assume that because your narcissist threatens divorce on a weekly basis, or has side supply that he is going to let you go easily with a fair and amicable divorce.

img_8953-1Remember, its not you he’s vested in, it’s control of what he believes belongs to him. Your presence serves him in some way and when he loses you,  he will see himself as the wronged party (no matter what he did). He may lash out at you by withholding what rightfully belongs to you when you break up. Bottom line, if he is a controlling financial bully during the relationship, he will be the same guy during a divorce, but with a score to settle. You need to look out for your own interests now.

4. Set up a top-secret email account 

Do not access it on a computer you share with a narc. Use this for e-statements for your private bank account and credit card transactions. Use the document storage system attached to the email to create a resource database of useful information you will need later such as contact information for apartments, utility companies, job leads, support groups, and also upload any important documents you might need like your resume, insurance information, medical records and school transcripts.

Don’t assume that you can rely on your resourcefulness to find this information later. You are going to feel like crap on the days leading up to the breakup, more than likely fatigued and in a brain fog. Use your good days now, when your mind is feeling sharp, to upload resources as you find them. You futureself will be grateful.

Get a decent smartphone, (preferably with a separate bill in your own name), and learn how to use it because it can serve as a hub for most of your important information and transactions. You can keep it on you, and you can lock it with a secure password or fingerprint.

5. Put aside money the narcissist can’t touch

Financial abuse is a common tactic of narcissistic abuse.  If you’re the breadwinner or if assets are shared, your narcissist can strip your joint accounts bare without your knowledge.

img_8945-1Or, your narcissist may be the breadwinner who pays the bills but is a financial bully, and denies you access to disposable income and assets on the grounds that “you didn’t earn it”. Either scenario can financially devastate a trusting partner because everyone needs financial autonomy and the ability to obtain credit to be able to survive. (Don’t think your narcissist isn’t aware of this). Even if leaving is not something you’re planning, if you’re with a financial bully, create a separate account and find creative ways to add to it.

6. Build and protect your credit

Get a checking account in your own name and keep it somewhere other than where your narcissist banks. It’s technically a joint asset if you’re married, (he will be entitled to see yours in discovery too) but these funds will be available to you and can be used for your escape before he knows they exist. Be sure to set up online banking and e-statements to your secret email account so your narcissist won’t see paper statements.

If you don’t have a credit card in your own name, get one. Use it for your normal expenses, and pay most of it off every month. The key is to establish credit but not to amass a burden of heavy debt and interest you can’t pay.  Your good credit rating will help you qualify for practical things when you leave like better insurance rates, and waiver of apartment application fees, and get you better deals on credit for major purchases when you get re-established later.

Be sure to keep your your money in a regular checking account or safety deposit box NOT a CD or interest bearing account on which you will receive 1099-INT form. Your narc will see this at tax time and your stash will no longer be secret.

7. Find and copy relevant financial documents

Your narcissist may not want to cooperate with disclosing financial information at the time of a divorce. (Click here www.lawyers.com  to see what will be relevant in discovery). Quietly make copies of the information while you have access. This could include bank statements, retirement accounts, insurance policies, investment portfolios, and tax returns. Keep your copies in a safe deposit box or at a friend’s. If you can’t make hard copies, copy them with your smartphone and upload to your database of important documents. While this may feel uncomfortable, advocating for yourself against financial abuse is not unscrupulous and could protect you against stonewalling, stall tactics and narcamnesia later.

8. Increase your income stream

Get job, a better job or a side-hustle. If leaving isn’t eminent, you won’t be feeling a sense of urgency and can use this time to ask for a raise, work toward a promotion, update your resume or develop some new skills to improve your earning power. You will also perform better on job interviews and make better choices if your emotional state is manageable. You will be feeling unpredictable emotions in the months directly before and after leaving so you may feel more secure about leaving after you’re established on your new job.

I learned to leverage the silent treatment to my benefit. Since I wasn’t required to use that time catering to my narc, I used it to network, take on-line classes, made crafts to sell, and sold my unwanted items on eBay. I put away every penny in my escape fund.

Your narcissist may balk at the idea of new income streams for you, so sell him on the benefits to himself, not what’s in it for you. You can garner his support through his self-centeredness. Just be sure you maintain control of the extra income that comes from it.

If you are professionally connected with your narcissist, you should also begin narcproofing your social and professional networks and quietly begin building your own brand and networks independent of him.

narcproof your network

 

My networking helped me find a roommate, a part-time side-hustle, a 12-step program, an affordable therapist, and led to innumerable doors opening later on. But for any of this to happen, I had to learn to leave the house for social occasions-without my narc.

9. Get a complete health workup

Pap smear, mammogram, eye exam, dental, therapist, and anything else recommended for your age group. Follow up with any care recommended by your physicians, and get maximum refills of any prescriptions for yourself, your kids and your pets. Keeping up with doctor visits or coping with an illness may be overwhelming for you later.

Whether you’re in the purgatory of “too good to leave/too bad to stay”, or you’ve committed to an exit plan but simply can’t afford to go yet, committing to your futureself will empower you and put you more in control of what happens next.

Having some means to escape and re-establish myself gave me a sense of personal empowerment during the desperate times. I never felt financially secure, but when the abuse escalated to intolerable levels, I had basics: somewhere to go, enough money to get started, and an income stream sufficient for basic necessities.

Crazy Ex Wife @Narcstalgia.com
Copyright 4/12/18  Narcstalgia All Rights Reserved

Missing your ex-narcissist doesn’t mean you’re still in love any more than craving cigarettes, drugs or any other harmful lifestyle habit you’ve left behind.

What it means is that recovery is an ongoing process and that there are still voids to be filled with healthier habits.

How does a narcissist become a habit?

Many people find themselves with narcissist after narcissist. Why is this? Programming. There is something in you that makes you 1) attracted to narcissists and 2) attractive to narcissists. While it may sound simplistic, it’s anything but. Choosing a partner who routinely creates chaos and causes you to feel insecure and off balance, who fails to accept responsibility for their share of the relationship issues, who subjects you to overt or covert put-downs that chip away at your self-worth, and who makes you feel like you must constantly adapt to anticipate their whims and moods is not a choice based on your own best interests, but a default to what feels comfortable.

Comfortable discomfort

For those of us who were raised in dysfunctional families where chaos, addiction, abuse or neglect were present, that may have been how we first learned to love and to behave in intimate relationships. Those of us who experienced childhood trauma may be unconsciously reprising our familiar in new dysfunctional adult relationships because we are operating from our unhealed wounds and unintegrated childhood trauma. Those whose wounding has caused codependent traits gravitate toward narcissists. (Those whose wounding has made them more narcissistic gravitate toward codependent partners). These dysfunctional habits of relating developed and became ingrained over a lifetime, became our normal. So when we lose that, we aren’t necessarily longing for our narc, but grieving the loss of our very selves. This is quite possibly, the only person we were comfortable knowing how to be. Until it became too painful to continue.

Want to discuss the issues with others on a healing journey?

Join us at Attachment Injuries Peer Support and Chat Network on Facebook. It’s an inviting, judgement-free zone where we talk about the issues of how childhood programming shaped adult relationships and we work toward supporting each other as we reprogram our limiting belief systems. All who want to give and receive support are welcome.

Coach Amy @Narcstalgia.com

Copyright 3/26/18  Narcstalgia All Rights Reserved

A forum user casually prefaced her post with the words “the autoimmune disorder I came down with since my relationship with my narcissist”.  She was considering going back, and mentions his love-bombing is a series of “poor me” texts. He is so lonely. He wants someone to love him. He needs someone to hold him. He wishes she could just accept him. Him, him, him!

This so closely mirrors my own experience. After I left, my ex-narcissist also felt sorry. For himself.  (Not for the great harm he had inflicted). All of the empath alarms went off in my head and got me thinking about how profoundly important her words were. While we are in the throes of narcissistic abuse, we sense our sanity slipping away, but we become so consumed with the relationship that we may not be aware of what’s happening to our bodies.

My narcissist was hazardous to my health

I was always high energy and a reasonably healthy person. I was a former fitness instructor, I homeschooled a houseful of kids and had an intellectually stimulating career. A few months into my six-year stint with a narcissist, in addition to deep depression, anxiety and panic attacks, I developed chronic migraines, severe muscle spasms, and some alarming digestive issues. I went on meds and holistic remedies to treat each condition and changed my diet every couple of months, blaming the latest popular food allergy for my malaise. What I failed to notice was my that my energy levels were waning and I was having increasing joint pain and inflammation, edema, and was operating in a brain fog. I thought I was just tired from sleepless nights spent fighting and crying, and that I was feeling sluggish from anti-anxiety meds, and sore from spending so many nights sleeping on the couch.

When I finally accepted that I was going to have to leave, I focussed only on coping with day-to-day survival and my escape plan. I didn’t worry so much about the health issues. I knew the end was in sight once I got the resources to leave and I assumed once there was no narcissist, there would be no narcissist-related illnesses. I was wrong about that.

When I first left, I felt great physically. I could finally breathe and was energized; I wanted to get out of bed in the mornings and was ready to start my new life.

But after about 8 months, random health symptoms started showing up. The first thing I noticed was a mild cold that seemed to linger, followed by a bout of fatigue and the return of brain fog. It lasted about two months then seemed to lift, but my energy levels never quite returned to normal. Then my finger joints swelled up by two ring sizes and I started seeing odd rashes and swelling in my legs. This now appears in “flare-ups”. I’ve been tested for Lupus, RA, and Lyme diseases, which were all finally ruled out, and I still don’t have a clear answer as to why I have positive ANA results and feel so exhausted.

My current energy levels are still low. Driving back and forth to my (sedentary) part-time job is draining, I rarely have the have the motivation to leave my house if it involves driving. This just isn’t me. At least it wasn’t me pre-narc.

This isn’t a woe-is-me post. I’m well past living in victim mode and I know others have suffered so much more at the hands of narcissists. My pain level is manageable and other than feeling sluggish and out of shape, I’m much better off than when I was married to a narcissist. But it has definitely affected the quality of my life and touches my relationships, my moods and my level of career ambition.

The disease that really isn’t

Most of those of us in the narcissistic abuse recovery world have heard about adrenal fatigue. But adrenal fatigue itself is not considered a “real disease” by the medical community. I do not recommend self-diagnosing, but if you are experiencing any combination of the symptoms I mentioned and you are involved with a narcissist, I do recommend reading up on C-PTSD, childhood trauma, sustained periods of stress, “fight or flight” response, and Narcissist Victim Syndrome and the effects they have on the body. The effects of this toxic stress can compromise your immune functioning to the point where you are susceptible to getting multiple other diseases that manifest with some of the symptoms mentioned.

How did I miss it?

The love-bombing narc the forum member described was concerned only for “poor me”. And apparently, so was she. When we’re in a relationship with a narcissist, that’s our main concern too. The “poor narcissist”. Everything is about the narcissist, and their demands suck us into a vortex of codependent hyper-focus on them. We become numb to our own needs.

My life revolved around managing my relationship. I lived in a volatile emotional minefield, never knowing when I was going to trigger his rage. I felt my emotional health slipping away, but I missed the signs of my deteriorating physical health. My sanity started returning when I left, but I’m not so sure my body is going to make the same comeback.

So please, take care of YOU. Don’t take your health for granted. Pay attention to your body. Don’t assume that someday, when you leave your abuser, your chronic stress-related health issues will magically disappear. The longer you stay in the abuse cycle, the more damage your brain, body and nervous system will sustain. If you can’t leave, look into some stress management tools and get some support to mitigate the effects.

The decision to stay or leave is a deeply personal matter of the heart and other practical factors. But I do wonder, would my health be better if I had left sooner?

@Coach Amy @Narcstalgia

Copyright January 31, 2018

All Rights Reserved

Narcstalgia is looking for amateur writers. The ability to create a literary masterpiece is not required. Perfectly imperfect expression from your soul is what we’re looking for. Are you are a survivor of narcissistic or other toxic abuse with a have desire to help others by sharing your experiences and insights? Do you love to write, but are not quite ready to launch your own blog or compromise your privacy? This may be a place for you to start.

I’m no longer scared into silence

Narcstalgia is the realization of an intent I set many years ago, while I was still with a narcissist.  I felt so trapped, so misunderstood, and like no one, including clinical professionals and even my own family, believed my accounts of the increasingly devastating forms of emotional abuse he was inflicting. It was my dream that someday after I left, I would discretely share my truths, and I would help others do the same. And that someday, “they” would read our words and they would know… and yet, I have no desire to shame my narc or draw attention to myself.

This has never been about me

I’ve got plenty to say, so why didn’t I just create my own blog? First, I’m simply not that interesting. (Really!) What is interesting is that so many survivors from all walks of life, socioeconomic groups and ethnicities have such similar stories.

Second, I’m not a subject matter expert. What I offer is limited to my personal experience, opinions, and observations from hearing survivor stories as a coach. What works for one person may not work for another and I’m a big believer in the power of collective wisdom.

write about narcsBy sharing our personal stories about surviving narcissistic abuse, we empower each other. We learn that we are not alone, we are not crazy, and that there is hope. What makes our stories significant are the real, raw human parts, and our personal insights and stories of triumph. Survivors who are recovering are among the wisest people I know-never underestimate the impact your words will have on the reader who needs to see them at the right time.

Welcome to Narcstalgia, my safe place and yours. What’s your story?

@Coach Amy @Narcstalgia.com

Copyright August 2017, all rights reserved

Please email narcstalgia@gmail.com for details on how to submit material. No previous writing experience is required. You will need a pen name. Basic editing for privacy, grammar, readability, SEO, and to add relevant artwork will be provided.  All inquires and participation are strictly confidential.

Narcissists are emotionally wounded and lack empathy

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Not for narcissists (or similarly emotionally crippled people), and definitely not for their partners.  Nothing can suck the magic out of the holidays like trying to fake cheer when you’re feeling depressed and anxious because someone is projecting their negativity all over you (and telling you it’s all your fault).

My ex was not a full-blown narcissist but was high on the spectrum with some overlapping issues. To outsiders, he was a gracious host, a charming guest, and as generous as Kris Kringle himself (everyone could see how he spoiled me with those conspicuous gifts). The reality was, Christmas behind closed doors meant a gaslit season of oh, holy hell, filled with devaluation, rages, silent treatments, martyrdom and Xanax in my eggnog.

Do They Know it’s Christmas?

Some narcissists and those with full-blown personality disorders operate with malicious intent and take delight in ruining the holidays. Others simply don’t care who they hurt.

But what about the others? The ones we experience as “not all bad”? There are many who fall on the narcissistic spectrum (and even more who do not meet the criteria but who are narcissistically wounded) who may also wreak holiday havoc because of their inability to manage their negative emotions. They are wounded children in adult bodies, and unlikely to have any mature insight. They believe the chaos they’re creating is something that’s happening to them.

Blue Christmas

Narcissists may feel a confusing mix of contempt, envy, loneliness, and longing they can’t quite comprehend. One narcissist I knew described it as feeling like being there, but not belonging.  Overt narcissists will mask their angst behind an air of superiority and entitlement, while coverts will hide behind martyrdom and victim-speak.

Their woundedness, combined with their foundational lack of empathy inhibit their ability to immerse themselves into the holidays with joy and connectedness, on equal terms with the rest of humanity. The sense of envy for what they think everyone else is experiencing makes them resentful. And their empathetic deficits make them unable to perceive that holiday blues are pandemic, the holidays are painful for a lot of people, but because narcissists are so unique and special (and isolated), they believe it’s somehow different for them.

They feel an acute sense of their own hollowness but they can’t connect the dots between this and the negative emotions they’re experiencing. They look outward and project their anger and sadness onto external receptacles. The most convenient targets are intimate partners and anyone close to them.

You’d Better Not Cry, I’m Telling You Why

Narcissists are incapable of deep self-reflection and will not recognize that their holiday blues are driving their negative behavior. So if you confront them about it, act disappointed, or cry in front of them, it will be taken as criticism. This is going to trigger a narcissistic injury, and the response will be defensiveness and rage. Your inconvenient display of emotions has made the narcissist feel bad and that will now become the issue.

They will create a narrative about how you are ruining the holidays and they will be completely convinced it’s true. To prove their point, they will provoke you until they get a negative reaction, and then they’ll be deeply offended and the epic holiday fight will narcissists blameshiftbegin. Even if it starts over something trivial, they’ll use every tool in the narcissist playbook to prove that you were wrong, and there will be disproportionate amounts of punitive anger for “your meanness” followed by silent treatments. When your joy is completely sapped and you are walking around in a brain-fog, drained and defeated, the narcissist will ruefully declare that you’ve “ruined Christmas again, just like you always do”.

Narcissists do this because behind the mask of arrogance and bravado lies latent insecurity or even self-loathing.  They get a release from their eruptions of anger and a sense of reassurance that they’re still in control when they can provoke a reaction like tears. But ironically, those same negative reactions evoke feelings of shame they can’t process and they project project blame onto whoever has made them feel bad.

Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him

Grandiose narcissists have no desire to relinquish their Center of the Universe status, and holidays are a time when their narcissistic supply source (namely, you) is being diverted into something other than catering to them. Narcissists expect to be catered to at the holidays They must now share the spotlight with holiday parties, gift-giving (that does not solely benefit them), charity work, children’s activities, and even the “reason for the season” himself.  Narcissists are competitive by nature and feel very threatened when anything interferes with their supply, even if only temporarily. A narcissist does not want you to adore anyone or anything but the narcissist.

This type of narcissist will become anxious and depressed because holiday activities do not primarily revolve around their wants, needs, and glorification. Their low comes from deep-rooted insecurity and self-centeredness. What’s worse, to some of them, supply means survival, and this loss of being #1 feels like the way things will stay forever.

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Narcs

There is no justification the onslaught of verbal and other types of abuse that those sharing the holidays with a narcissist will endure this year. But the reality is, not everyone can “just leave” (or leave yet). So the only option is to find ways to disengage with some narc management strategies and cope with what you have, right now, this year. While the idea of placating the narcissist may not be very palatable, it’s worth the effort if it means you get a more sane holiday.

The narcissist does not deserve a free pass for escalation of abusive behavior, and boundaries should remain intact. But if there was ever a time to practice Gray Rock, this is it. And pick your battles; don’t confront the narcissist about any nagging old business or stand up for yourself just to make a point. You are probably already hyper-vigilantly attuned to the narcissist’s triggers, so this is a time to be more mindful of your own so you can be less reactive to button-pushing. Keep your expectations realistic based on history, and don’t try to get the narcissist to do things they don’t want or show disappointment when they don’t keep their promises or opt out at the last minute. Love with detachment, don’t take things personally or be defensive, make self-care a priority and try not to isolate. Engage in holiday activities you enjoy that are not contingent on narc participation. It’s hard to have the energy to even leave the house while a “narcisode” is in progress, but you will feel better once you are away from the toxic atmosphere and around more positive influences.

Above all, remember that the narcissist lacks empathy, but you don’t have to. It can be extremely difficult not to see them as human and focus only on how they hurt you. Keep in mind that you may be dealing with an emotional toddler who doesn’t know how to do anything but lash out when they’re hurting. Practicing detached compassion and mindfulness can help you endure their unkind words and safeguard you against getting sucked into arguments.

Crazy Ex Wife @ Narcstalgia

@Narcstalgia |Copyright December 2017 | All rights reserved