recover from narcissistic abuse by deciding how you’re spoken to

Recover From Narcissistic Abuse by Deciding How You’re Spoken To

I want to talk about a destructive tactic used by a narcissistically abusive parent and how you can begin to heal from it and live in defiance of it. Let me start with a fictionalized example of a client named Terence. Terence grew up with a narcissistic mother who would yell and berate Terence for the slightest supposed ‘offenses’ throughout …

when language gets weird after narcissistic abuse

When Language Gets Weird After Narcissistic Abuse

Do you find it difficult to know your own opinion in life? Do you tend to regard others as the ‘experts’ and defer to their judgment? Does it seem like whatever you conclude is going to be wrong somehow while others are going to be right? If you’re familiar with any of these experiences then today’s post may be useful.  …

recover your status after narcissistic abuse

Recover Your Status After Narcissistic Abuse

If you have survived narcissistic abuse then you likely felt singled out and treated with unbridled contempt and devaluation.  I think that one of the worst features of this form of abuse – or any form of bullying for that matter – is how the abuser regards you as lower status than him or her.  It’s the narcissist’s assumption that …

journey of the scapegoat survivor of narcissistic abuse

Journey of the Scapegoat Survivor of Narcissistic Abuse

Being the scapegoat in a narcissistic family is to be saddled with all of the narcissistic parent’s problems and sent into exile.  The scapegoat child has to keep finding ways to hold onto the narcissistic parent in the face of this rejection.  Usually that’s done by that child believing things about themselves that lets them perceive the narcissistic parent’s abuse …

scapegoat’s mental frame after narcissistic abuse

The Scapegoat’s Mental Frame After Narcissistic Abuse

Someone who had survived narcissistic abuse as the scapegoat in his family of origin recently described what it was like for him to play his favorite sport – basketball.  We’ll call this person ‘Steph’ (no relation to Curry).  Steph loved shooting baskets and playing in pickup games with his friends since he was 5 years old.  Something just felt good …

scapegoated

The Bigger They Are…Why Narcissist’s Target Big People

In my practice, I see a fair amount of people who have been scapegoated in their families of origin. There is a conspicuous bigness that scapegoated people seem to possess. I mean ‘big’ in the size and strength of one’s body and personality. Over time I have come to conclude that the ‘size’ of scapegoated individuals is no accident. A …

children of narcissists

Why adult children of narcissists can be so money and not even know it

I have a very smart and wonderful client, Karen*, who recently said: “I feel like you are always telling me that I’m right and everyone else is wrong Isn’t it somewhere in the middle?”. Her question gave me pause. Was I erring on the side of being too supportive and excusing her of responsibility? Had I abandoned ‘therapeutic neutrality’ in …

Good Will Hunting

‘Good Will Hunting’ through the lens of Control-Mastery Theory

Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies. Will’s character is so compelling. By day he hangs out with his hard-living friends. By night he exercises his genius by solving quadratic equations, reading voraciously, and thinking big thoughts. Put another way, his public self seems to contradict his private self.   And the contradiction goes in an unusual direction. …

parentification

Kids taking care of parents: Why The Godfather and Dave Chappelle say parentification is bad

Don Vito Corleone in the Godfather was not a paragon of gender equality. Witness his famous statement: “I spend my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men.” His statement on women is false and misogynous but he offers a truth about children: they need to feel safe being careless.   …