Sunday, February 25, 2018

To love an empath

╦łempaTH/ noun - a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.

My path over the last year has crossed many others, most of which have parted ways pretty quickly. I always joke that I have rabbit in my blood, I'm a runner. Mostly from people, I cherish my alone time. Being an empath is not easy, and finding someone who knows how to handle my empathic ways is even harder. I am highly sensitive, being able to absorb emotions of others is quite draining. Empaths must have a space that is all their own to re-energize. It can be tiring always feeling the energy of the people surrounding us, most people don't understand and become angry or annoyed. It doesn’t mean we don’t love or want to be around you, it just means we need to quiet our mind and replenish our energy. We will come back happier than before, please don't interpret it as anything personal.

We sensitive creatures are born with an ability to feel things before we can even logically make sense of the feelings. Loving an empath can be rewarding because we live on touch, sound, and other senses. Unfortunately, what we know doesn’t always have a logical explanation. We can be incredibly accurate with our information but not be able to tell you how they picked up on it. If you are in a relationship with this type of personality be sure to always be open to your feelings. You might not understand how your energy is portraying to your lover or mate. Loving an empath is like being on a magical carpet ride. You never know where it will take you. Living with an empath means you must detach from watching the news at times. They get overwhelmed by noises and distractions. Part of their survival is about desensitizing.

It’s overwhelming being an Empath. Some days all it takes is for somebody to say one “wrong” thing to me or to see an image of something terrible or hear a story about a person I don’t know who’s gone through the unthinkable and I’m crying like a baby. My hearts break easily, I wear my heart on my sleeve. It’s very difficult to stand back and rationally understand why we can get so self-absorbed with someone else’s drama. It can be devastating at times to be an Empath, so on those days, let me cry. No questions or advice needed, just accept empath's hearts are heavy from this world and we need to cry it out. While we thrive on the loving and positive feelings, we are unable to escape feeling negative emotions that can be somewhat daunting. Feeling so deeply makes it difficult to adjust to new situations and forces the empathic person to proceed slowly when meeting new people or taking on new projects.

Caging me will cause damage. Like the dog tied to a tree in a person's front yard, I need to be able to run wherever my emotions take me. There will be twist and turns with the highs and the lows and all the turns in-between.Trying to cage and control me will cause me to become rebellious and self destructive. Eventually I will just shut down and the love I have to give will disappear. Humor is important in our relationships with other people. Sometimes we need someone to pull us out of our minds or the mood that we have adapted. I know that childish fun and immature banter is great therapy for me. To find someone who can share that with me is becoming a endless search.

I know I'm different, it isn't a surprise to me. The way I view life and the things around me doesn't make sense to most people. Most people just try to change me, toughen me up. I will never change being an empath, embrace my uniqueness and support me. My ideas may sound quirky, but the desire and drive to change the world is inside of me. Supporting an empath to gain the energy to take on anything will also help us feel safe. We don't open up to people often, but once an empath feels safe sharing their world with you it's a beautiful thing.

Because of the overwhelming emotions we look for ways to numb or cope. This is where addiction rolls into the picture and turns a misunderstood process into a disaster. Because we are not aware that we have collected everyone else’s energy into our already overloaded systems, we meltdown and look for a way to become comfortable. Think about this, even those coming from the most comfortable homes in America have emotional baggage, it just happens because that’s what life is, a collection of hurt, loss, anxiety and so on. So let’s take those that have all of these amplified by the extreme, add everyone else’s energy to theirs because after all, they are EMPATHIC, and throw them into the world to see how they “deal.” Empaths are always seeking an escape. They want to block out all of the emotions that they are feeling as a form of self-protection. Because of this, they often turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, or another addictive habit. Many addicts are actually emotional and empathetic people looking for a way out. It is simply a self-preservation and survival technique.

It’s no surprise that when you feel deeply connected to almost everything, you love with great intensity. I truly feel “one” with my surroundings! So when an empath loves somebody, we feel one with them and our love is intense. It’s powerful. It can heal but in the wrong hands, it can be dangerous. In the right hands, it will change you forever. And for the better. Poking fun at my sensitivity is one thing. Judging, ridiculing and belittling who I truly am is another. Acting as if “this” is something I will “get over” is a kiss of death when in a relationship with an Empath. Accept me. Love me. I have a unique ability to see and feel the world differently. It takes a secure man to really love an Empathetic woman. That is the God’s honest truth. If you want to tear me down by casting your insecurity on me, sadly it may work. Feeling how others feel isn’t something I can turn off. But I know if you do that, I will hide the best of myself from you. I will temporarily clip my own wings and it will be your loss. The beauty and most amazing parts of me happen when I'm in motion.

Maybe you’ve met me at the wrong time, or it wasn’t meant to be forever or this is too much for you right now. Either way, love me by leaving gracefully. Do not cage me, put me down or make me feel insecure about who I am. Love me by leaving with respect and honesty. I will love and thank you for it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Casualties of the isms

Before I ever used drugs, I was an addict. Moderation is not something I ever knew, I was (and still catching myself being) impulsive and would always be extreme with it. Before I ever used, it was shopping addiction, eating addiction, even attention seeking addiction. All the 'isms' were there, I was, and always will be, an addict. I didn't love myself, the need for more consumed me. Although I do not regret using (in a way it saved me), I did have innocent casualties because of the war inside of me. 
I hurt so many people when I was hurting. I never saw the pain I caused until it was too late. The people who will never understand addiction fled, while my fellow addicts could relate and only left to feed their own pain. When my addiction started I had an amazing man in my life, recently celebrated 6 years of our story together. He is an amazing man, I loved him more than I loved myself. I don't know that he will ever truly understand that there was nothing he could have done to not lose me. I cried out to him and he couldn't fix me. I was unhappy, I didn't know who I was, my insecurities destroyed us. He is everything I ever wanted in a man, he will always be the man all the rest have to compare to. He helped start my journey and helped start the path to a better future. I will always love him and I will always be his biggest cheerleader. He will always be my Captain, I pray he eventually understands that I never meant to hurt him. Without him, I wouldn't have started seeing my worth.

Then came the man who introduced me to the drug. I met him when he was sober and I was sober. We instantly were attracted towards each other, but sober us didn't even make it a matter of weeks, blink of an eye and we were in the madness together. My life started spinning out of control and we were toxic using together. Every sober friend and family member blames him for what I became; he blames himself a lot too. I am an adult and I make my own choices. He never forced me, pressured me, or waved it in my face; I asked to try it, if it wasn't with him it would have just been a matter of time til I did use. He was suffering too, neither one of us could kill ourselves fast enough. He's also sober now, I never knew his pain was so deep til he asked me 'how many times did you find me dead'. Too many to count honestly, I never knew if I could revive him. I can't count how many times I cried over his lifeless body hoping I could wake him again. He explained 'I didn't care if I died, it didn't matter to me'. I remember trying to hold him up in the bathroom after he did too much. He was too heavy for me, I woke up on the bathroom floor three hours later with a huge knot on the back of my head. I cried out for him, when he woke just as confused as me, his first reaction was to comfort me. I cried in his arms the rest of the night, the next day we went to treatment together. He OD'ed and I was knocked out trying to save him; we may not have loved ourselves, but we loved each other enough to try sobriety. Today we are both sober, like when we were first attracted to each other. I love getting to know him more and more everyday.

Friends I have had for close to 20 years have been hurt, my family has removed me from their lives, and people I knew less than a year have been hurt by me. I can only blame myself, I'm no good to others when I am no good to myself. If anyone I hurt isn't eventually able to forgive me, I can only blame myself. I never meant to hurt anyone when I was hurting, I just hope they know I am sorry. For those that can forgive me, I hope they can love the new me and understand I am still a work in progress.

I still have no regrets, without the wreckage of my past I would never have learned who I truly am and how to grow as a person. I don't aim to be perfect, I never will be. As my journey continues I may still hurt people, I am only human. If I do hurt anyone in the future, I just want to know my intentions were never malicious. I still have so much grieving, pain, anger, and trauma to accept; my journey of self growth is far from over. Hopefully it never ends. I aim to be a person who is kind and fair. In a world that is full of unexplained and unfair treatment, I want to always strive to be the small glitter of hope left.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Just for today I make that choice for me

Quickly approaching is a lot of 'one year since... ' days for me. I have spent a lot of time over the last few days reflecting on who I was one year ago to who I have become today. I am still grieving the loss of who I was.
That wonderful girl I was a year ago will never be here again. I wish I knew how amazing she was back then. She was kind, loving, nurturing, but she was niave, too trusting, and viewed the world as fair and just. She was ignorant, but it was blissful. If she was happy, I would never be here.
It's been over seven months since my last run. Although physically and mentally I feel better, I fear I will never escape the control it has given my mother over me.
On my last birthday I went out to eat with my mother and father, against the advice of my sponsor and counselors. Talking about being in the treatment center she chose, my mother looked at me and asked 'aren't you so happy you did this?'. I could no longer bite my tongue, I responded 'am I glad I have been forced out of an apartment I had, lost a wonderful job I had just started, lost both my dogs and almost everything I own to be thrown in a homeless shelter and forced to eat at soup kitchens everyday?'. When I asked why she did this to me she responded 'because you wouldn't let ME get you help'. This was never about me, this is about her. At thirty years old I was able, for the first time, choose a treatment plan for myself. She found a way to force me into what she wanted, simply because she wasn't involved. After that meal I walked five miles back to the shelter in the rain.
After seven months sobriety I am back to being on the run. I can't move on with my life, I don't even feel like I can have a life. I will never be viewed as my own person, I am merely an extension of her and until I submit to her control, I will be punished.
I will be turning myself in, and this time begging to serve out the 6 months. Maybe after that I can finally have freedom from her. It will be living in a constant fear though, scared that one day she will find me and systematically destroy my life again. After reading my blog, all she could say was that I am 'too smart, too manipulative, and have too much time'. I am my own person, I should be allowed to express my own emotions. I do not choose to feel this way, I can not simply choose not to be hurt.
My mother likes to tell people 'she is an addict' to devalue anything I say. It is unnecessary as I will be the first person to tell anyone that. I have fought a battle that is life or death. The enemy is myself and the victor is myself. Until a person has battle the demons inside of them they will never truly understand one of the hardest battles known to man. When you have truly lost everything and you can't kill yourself fast enough, finding the strength to fight for anything is nearly impossible. Just hearing the word dope and my whole body shuts down, remembering how easily the poison made me feel nothing tempts me to escape the claws of control. I have never had control over my own life, shooting the poison in my veins was the only thing I felt I could control. But even that was a delusion, it controlled me just as my mother continues to try to do.
Just for today I will remain sober. Today I make a deep and personal commitment to remain clean and sober. God, grant me the serenity to accept the people that I can not change, the courage to change the one that I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me. Just for today.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Chasing Death I Found Life

Knowing that no other attempts to contact me after this hurts. I can imagine they believe that I continue to get high, but how are my mother and sister to know if I am or if I am not. I have been shunned from my family, I am the black sheep that is an embarrassment to them. I am okay with that.

The choices that I made during one season of my lifetime do not define me. I am more than the poor choices I made during this time, more than the sleepless nights and dope sick mornings. Being a recovering addict is something that I am proud of. We addicts do not always make it out of the madness, death is getting to common and jail can be a savior. Everyday is a struggle to stay clean, with temptation and triggers at my every turn. I am winning the battle as I watch so many of my fellow addicts continue to lose.

2017 was a very trying year for me. Giving up seemed like the best option, sometimes the only option. Over the past year I have been broken and beaten down. I have lost friends and lost structure. I have seen death and desperation. I've meet sober snakes and dope sick angels. I lost fear, knowing no one on these streets could do anything to me that hasn't already been done.  For a while, I lost myself. I will never be the same person I once was. I hate that I will never be the same person again. My qualities of being trusting and somewhat naive will never be there again. Instead I feel like I walk around in a trance waiting to wake up from this nightmare. From here though, I can only go up.

The hardest things I learned over the last year was how to grieve the loss of someone that is still alive. Someone that I sometimes can not avoid being around for now. I have had to grieve the loss of a mother figure that I have always sought and understand that I will never have. The anger and resentment that I have carried over the years is only hurting me, she doesn't, and never will, see the trauma and effects of her actions. I recently learned that, as the child of a narcissist, the volatile and unpredictable emotions of my parents made me a textbook empath. As a defense mechanism, I learned to read people's emotions without ever hearing them talk. Body language, movements, and other indicators tell me what a person is feeling, I can better protect myself from any possible out lashes.

I have learned so much about myself this year, I have no regrets. Understanding why I react certain ways or why I do certain things has really helped me work on my character defects. Growing as a person is important to me, but also being a person who is kind with strong morals and ethics is even more important. Without destroying myself over the last year, I would have never found myself. I truly have been humbled.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Letting Go

I had to learn that not being my mother didn't have to mean losing myself and fixing every broken thing in life. I read the book Boundaries and saw so much of myself. With the help of my therapist, I'm learning that it's okay to stop having contact with my mother. And I haven't.

So I'm letting go. I'm letting go of expectations. I'm letting go of gifts she gave me and told me I was not allowed to get rid of, ever. I'm letting go of my desire to fix things for everyone—instead encouraging them to learn how to help themselves (with my support, of course). And in the process of letting go, I'm taking myself back and learning who God created me to be. It's a much different person than the girl my mother raised, and I'm enjoying getting to know her more each day.

So where do I go from here? Well, I've learned a few things from my experiences. First, I learned that the term "narcissist" is overused in our society. Narcissism is a personality disorder, and being self-absorbed is not the same thing. Second, I've learned that it's okay to not have contact with my mother. She is toxic, and she does not have a place in my life. And third, I've learned she will not change. A narcissist cannot understand or accept that they have a problem. The problem is always with someone else. The victims of a narcissist often seek treatment, but the narcissist will not. And finally, despite not having a mother in the traditional sense, I have God. And He fills all my needs. I've learned not to be reliant on my mother to fill voids in my life. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

My Story

When Casey’s law was passed in Kentucky, it was intended as a legal means for the loved ones of an addict to intervene and force them into court-ordered involuntary treatment. For some, this may be the last available approach for saving the life of a loved one. However invaluable a tool this prove to be, Casey’s Law provides what can be an excessive amount of power over the fate of the alleged drug user.

Being labeled an ‘addict’ comes with a stigma that can greatly affect how someone is perceived by others. If it becomes known that you are an addict, for example, a nurse at the hospital might be scornful and dismissive while treating you, friends might decide to sever ties with you, or you might even lose your job. While some might decide that an addict deserves such treatment, this doesn’t establish that an addict deserves to lose their rights guaranteed by the constitution. As an American, it is understood that you have the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, and you have the right to a fair trial. With Casey’s Law, the petitioner submits allegations that the respondent is suffering from an alcohol or other drug abuse disorder and presents a danger or threat of danger to self, family, or others if not treated. What happens when the petitioner doesn’t have the best interests of the alleged addict in mind? In that case, the result is decided by taking one’s words over the other’s. Who would you be inclined to believe?

But wouldn’t that be perjury, for the petitioner to lie in court and provide fabricated evidence? And if that happened, wouldn’t the respondent simply provide evidence negating said proof? According to Casey’s Law, the respondent will be notified “(KRS 222.433B) (b) concerning the allegations and contents of the petition and the date and purpose of the hearing.’ In theory, it would simply be a matter of providing evidence to counter the allegations, which would lead to a dismissal of the case, and that would be the end of that. Unfortunately, sometimes complications can occur.

When I was notified of my hearing on May 16, 2017, I received a copy of the petition that had been completed by my mother and the contact information of my public defender. Being unfamiliar with Casey’s Law, I was unaware of the fact that I should have received a copy of the allegations made against me. And because I did not receive the allegations against me, I was completely unable to prepare for the trial. Had I known, for example, that I was accused of “checking myself out of detox”, I would have been able to bring the document I received from Our Lady Of Peace when they medically discharged me after successfully completing detox. Whether the omission of this crucial information was intentional or not, it was still only the first obstacle in the case where everything was already stacked against me.

Let me establish: prior to receiving the summons, I had struggled with a heroin addiction that began in November 2016. However, also prior to receiving the summons, I had completed detox at OLOP in February 2017 and was already 3 months into my self-initiated voluntary treatment in Cleanse Clinic’s 6 month outpatient program, which I attended weekly. Though one might argue that I could have benefited from a more intensive inpatient program, I was employed with Nine Sixty Nine Productions and living with my two dogs in a home I was renting-to-own. The outpatient program was a good fit, and I was able to stay clean while continuing to work. I successfully passed each of the weekly drug tests, and I felt optimistic about my future.

Prior to the court summons, my relationship with my mother was already strained. To put it nicely, we have struggled to get along for as long as I can remember – being able to control me always seemed to matter more than my actual well-being. In adulthood, I learned that my quality of life vastly improved when I kept her at a distance and established strict boundaries. Though she resented this, she still only called about once a month, and the one time in a years’ time we made plans together, she ended up cancelling. When I received the summons, and saw the petitioner was my mother, who was definitely aware that I was already enrolled in effective treatment, I was unsurprised. If I had to guess, I’d say that her motivation behind filing the Casey’s Law petition was not only a ploy to gain sympathy for having a difficult addict daughter, but also as a means to gain control over my life.

Casey’s law is running and ruining my life. I did drugs for six weeks, did not like who I was becoming, knew that was not the life for me, and took myself to medical detox treatment on February 2, 2017 and complete it on February 6, 2017. By KRS’s definitions, someone ‘who enters a hospital voluntarily would be someone who shows no imminent risk of danger to self or others”. My understanding is this would show that I do still have the capacity to make the rationale decision that I needed help, being that Casey’s law was filed on me I was still in active treatment that I initiated.

When I met with the Certified Medical Health Professional I was completely honest about my addiction and that I felt I did need to be in treatment. We spoke for close to thirty minutes about my short lived addiction, my troubled history with my mother, and how I planned to continue treatment. Finding out from another professional that the treatment plan I had chosen for myself was also what she would have chosen made me feel that I would be able to quickly overcome addiction and maintain my sobriety. She stated she was going to recommend I continue what I was already doing, as statistics show voluntary treatment has a higher success rate than involuntary. I then met with the PHD long enough for me to sit down, say two sentences, and get right back up. He dismissed me within a few minutes without any information about me or my addiction.

For involuntary treatment to be delivered outside of an acute emergency, the doctor must petition a court to order it and there is a standard guideline that is followed and ruled in favore of doctors that show that the respondent meets as followed:

1. the treatment is necessary for safety and recovery.

I was currently in voluntary treatment of my own doing. Prior to receiving the summons that this had been filed I asked my father to accompany me to one of my appointment in hopes that this would help ease his mind and my mother’s that I was actively working on my recovery.

2. all efforts at voluntary treatment were exhausted.

The treatment that I signed myself into had been my first time in a drug treatment in my life, no other attempts, successful or otherwise, had been made prior. Although I had used drugs in the past, I had never been in a treatment program before.

3. family and others were engaged to help persuade the patient to accept care (and were not successful).

My family and friends made zero attempts to discuss treatment options or any concerns related to my drug use, nor did they even contact me prior to November 2016 thru the filing of Casey’s Law and present day. This was the first choice for family and other, ultimately taking away any choice I had.

4. the benefits of treatment are likely to outweigh its risks.

Since it has been filed I have lost two jobs directly related to having been order to complete Casey’s law, my dogs are sitting at the humane society currently at risk of being euthanized because no one has showed interest adopting them and I am can not to take them with me as I am unsure of what will be ordered by the courts, and I am unable to provide stable housing for myself or my dogs without income or knowledge of court proceedings.

I wish I knew to research this up prior to my original court date, but was very confused and uneducated about Casey’s Law being that it is so new. To this day I am still unaware and have not been given the opportunity to review the allegations made by the petitioner. Because I was unware of what I was going to being accused of, I was unable to know what proof to bring to debunk allegations. Had I been fully inform, I would have been fully prepared in court, instead I walked in blind with all the odds already stacked against me, as I was the only one that did not know any of the allegations made. I feel very confident that if I had been notified, or informed, of the allegations and contents of petition I would have been able to prove that it was mainly false information I was accused of. Unfortunately I was not given this right, or opportunity.

Currently I was denied to enter the treatment facility that I was ordered to complete because the facility felt it was unethical for me to be put into their program after contacting, and being evaluated, by a medical doctor. A letter from my doctor that was written to The Healing Place stated that I suffer from significant mental illness that was diagnosed prior to my substance abuse, so it was not caused by substance abuse. The Healing Place is a non medical facility and will not allow clients to be on any type of mental health medication. I have had a warrant issued and am completely embarrassed to learn that I was listed in ‘Crime Times’ magazine. I had already sat in jail for three weeks (longest I have ever been incarcerated) and chose to walk out of the treatment facility before I could be taken back into custody, knowing that is a decision that can negatively affect me. I am choosing to hide, against my better judgement, until I either get caught or secure my dogs a place to stay, or new home, while I complete the Casey’s Law, whichever comes first.

It feel as though there is no one here that is advocating for me. The moment I walked into that court room, I felt I was labeled as a stereotypical addict and everything I proceeded to say was ignored and presumed false. All allegations I heard in court were presumed as truth and were provided by a source that was unknown to anyone in the courtroom, except petitioner and respondent. Not only did I learn that unknown source provided manipulated information, I learned that the ‘proof’ was provided by someone who is considered a career addict. This has become a living nightmare and all I was right now is to get my life back. I would give anything to have a job right now and to be working towards building a better future. I have never been a person to run from my legal issues, but I have lost everything and I am trying my hardest for my furbabies not to suffer too. What I have felt and experienced in the last few months of my life is not a place I have ever been. I am more out of control of my life and at a lower point then I have ever been. I have always been proud of the work ethic that was passed down to me and feel ashamed to have gone through as many jobs as I have since the filing of the petition. The last few months I have felt more out of place, unlike myself, and so much more despair and hopelessness then I would have ever dreamed could be possible. This is not the life that I wanted when I chose to sign myself into detox February 2, 2017 and this is not how I want to feel today. I miss the structure, consistency, and stability that I have always relied on.

I do believe that a law similar to this, or one with stricter guidelines then this, is necessary as heroine has become an overwhelming epidemic that needs to be addressed and fixed, but should not be solely or mostly based on hearsay. Not everyone that walks into this courtroom will be like the one that did before them not the one that comes after them. Although I will not make any accusations in my case, or any past or future cases, the few that abuse the system make it for difficult for a person and their family members who could truly, and hopefully will, benefit from such an opportunity like this. Unfortunately there is too much grey area left open within the written law itself that it is easily misused.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Narcissist's Child

When a toxic person can no longer control you, 
they will try to control how others see you. 
The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, 
trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, 
just like you did. 
~Jill Blakeway

Growing up I had a friend I spent all my time with, and mostly at her house with her single mother. I remember a time when her mother had got home from a hard day at work, frustrated from trying events she had endured, and snapped at my friend for something that typically wasn’t an issue with her. As I waited upstairs, I overheard my friend tell her mom that it embarrassed her for it to have happened in front of me. Then something I almost couldn’t believe happened, her mother apologized. But that’s what people when they love each right? Rationally explain how an action made them feel, and when you care for someone you don’t want to be the cause of their pain. The behavior is corrected to ensure that you don’t cause any more pain to a loved one and the relationship is happily restored by mother and daughter.

That was never how it worked when you grow up with a narcissist. Naturally we all want to be in control of our own life, it’s when you try to control the lives of everyone around you, truly can’t sleep until you get your way, it’s defined as a disorder. No matter how rational and calm, literally spending hours rehearsing and practicing the perfect way to word your feelings, when you tell a narcissist that their actions hurt you, be ready for a blown out of proportion, nasty argument. Why should asking for a little consideration, and wanting to share your feeling, cause so much turmoil? I spent many years sitting my room after one of these episodes wondering what I had done wrong. What could I have said differently for that to have ended in a more tranquil discussion?

It wasn’t until adulthood I learned that there wasn’t anything I could have done differently; there was just no other outcome when dealing with narcissist. These are people who typically came from a home with the same type of dysfunctional narcissist. Deep down, they feel vulnerable and protect themselves by controlling everything in their lives, even the people in them. The need to control can be so overwhelming to the narcissist that they don’t see the stress and destruction it is causing the people around them. Being so wrapped up with anxiety, unhappiness, anger, and insecurities they can’t rationally process what they are feeling, fear of failure or exposure. Compromise is nearly impossible and negotiation is a waste of energy; they are very exhausting to live with or socialize with.

Into my adulthood I realized that when those heated arguments happened, the person felt they had to win, or they would feel exposed or vulnerable. We all lose an argument at some point in our lives, we take our defeat and grow from it. A narcissist sees that defeat as a failure and will do anything to avoid being seen as such. The stakes in these arguments take on the role of their identity, so they deploy control tactics to gain a temporary illusion and sense of worth. These tactics can manifest as threat of loss, threat of suicide, and acting as victim, which is all to gain the sympathy of the other person and end the argument before exposing their vulnerability. The favorite tactic in my childhood household was the narcissist using self-pity in the form of continuously repeating ‘I am just a horrible person’. We want our loved ones to know they are important so, naturally, we start to comfort the narcissist and argument has ended; the narcissist doesn’t have to fail this time. Once this has worked once, and proven to work, it will continue to be used as a tactic.

This is just the beginning of the roller-coaster. After one of these fights, the narcissist excepts you to go about like nothing ever happened. An apology for anything they said or did during an argument will never happen. Humility is not something they are equipped to deal with, and typically lack remorse or empathy to understand the pain they inflict on others. They see it as you are choosing to feel that way, that you could just as easily choose not to feel pain. If you apologize for any hurtful actions you made, they will forgive you and take with them a sense of reassurance that they remain in control. Once again, we are the picture-perfect family, except with a ticking time bomb that will explode again.

Being the child of a narcissist, we are often walking on egg shells, unsure as to when the rage will be unleashed. The ability to change their mood from aggressive to loving in a flash keeps us feeling unstable and clinging to them. This only boost their confidence and self-worth. Traumatically, this only teaches us to obey out of fear rather than love. No child wants to constantly be in a never winning battle, so we work hard to please the parent at all cost. Learning that you only receive love and affection from your narcissistic parent when you are obedient gives us the image that all love has conditions on it. Regretfully, that means that the child will grow up to be confused about what love looks like. They know that to receive the narcissist parent’s love they must act accordingly and please the narcissist at all cost. The moment they turn away from the narcissist all hell can seem to be breaking loose. We end up attracting narcissist as partners with the people pleasing behavior we learned to survive with; or end up growing up to be narcissist ourselves.

When we reach adulthood, we reach the time that is hardest to deal with our narcissistic parent. When we start to become independent and fully functioning adults, the narcissist still feels the entitlement to control our lives. A term that I have heard about a certain type of narcissist is “mailignant narcissist’. Having this type of narcissist as a parent means you know the meaning of punishment, you know what fear is. They must activity win and they intentionally want to see you hurt in the process for the sheer pleasure of it. They need more than the control to satisfy their inner self worth, they want to make sure you are punished in the process.

Growing up in the control of a malignant narcissist parent, is a terrifying and emotionally agonizing experience. It is often described as being rejected and denied value as a person, being exploited and used for the narcissist’s profit or advantage, terrorized by intimidation, control, coercion, and stalking, being dismissed, humiliated, manipulated, and belittled, violated by pathological envy, greed, and entitlement, being plundered, pillaged and systematically destroyed. Narcissistic abuse tears at a person’s self-worth and displays in social withdrawal, anxiety, fearfulness, depression, self-blame and self-destructive behavior. It results in feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy and powerlessness.

Narcissist are very good at adapting and being able to choose what side they wish to show you. When they first meet someone, they can be very charming and caring. They have many sides to them and will choose which to show you depending on what their needs are. Characteristically, they will not show you the other side until they are denied what they want. Their sense of entitlement cannot fathom why they would be denied anything, but there is one thing you can guarantee, they will make you pay. They will obsess and hold resentment until they are able to deliver that punishment. It may even be years down the road, when the memory has been warped and escalated in their mind, but they will unleash punishment for denying them control. To deny control to your narcissistic mother she will feel it is her duty to exact that punishment. No matter how old her adult child is, she is still to be in control of them and have full obedience. It becomes a type of obsession, controlling the narcissist every thought and action. They will manipulate and control how others view the situation to gain support and often sympathy. 

One instance of this that happened in my household was during a family Christmas several years ago. My uncle’s wife had made a scene and stormed out of my grandmother’s home. As we all talked about the events that had just took place, my narcissistic parent made a comment to my uncle about how awful his wife was, and he shouldn’t be with a woman like that. Becoming defensive for the woman that he loved, my uncle snapped back at her “she helps me, you don’t help me”. My narcissistic parent couldn’t fathom that he would snap at her and over the next several years systematically worked to destroy him. When telling people why she was doing it, she left out the part of the story where she had made a nasty comment to him first and simply claimed ‘he snapped at me out of nowhere’. The memory of that event had become so warped in her mind that she believed herself that she was innocent of any wrong doing. It became an obsession for her, daily she would look him up on her computer just to read his background, which was only updated every 120 days. It consumed her life and became her mission to inflict punishment on him.

“Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.” Narcissistic parents rewrite what has factually happened in the past, to make themselves look righteous, and deny certain events ever occurred. The narcissist uses gaslighting to inflate situation to make the audience, or the people she is receiving sympathy from, see the child as being at fault. Often, as the child, we feel as though we are going insane as we are not able to find anyone who identifies with what we are going through.”

The most important thing for us, as the child, to remember is that although the actions of the narcissist feels cold, calculating, and meditated, the parent is unaware of the damage and trauma they are causing.  Unable to identify other’s emotions, and lacking compassion, they are simply unable to understand and feel empathy towards others. We solely exist to benefit them and are merely an extension of them. As the child of a narcissist, the parent doesn’t grasp that I am my own person that developed my own emotional requirements and manipulates so I am unable to express my own feelings. 

As we grow, we must start to heal from the emotional turmoil we have endure all our lives. Understanding that what we experienced is not our fault, and the narcissist is unable to maintain a healthy parent role, we can slowly heal and form healthy relationships in other parts of our lives. It may take a long time for use to understand the actions of a narcissist, but as we learn more about the condition the easier it becomes to heal.  Boundaries are essential if continuing a relationship with the narcissistic parent, as denying access to the emotions they need to trigger in order to control you will help the child and parent have a healthy relationship in the future. Sometimes, regretfully, maintaining a healthy relationship is not possible and knowing when to separate yourself is critical to leading a healthy life with healthy relationships.

To love an empath

em·path ╦łempaTH/ noun - a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual. My path over...