trauma bonds in narcissistic abuse

Break Free of the Trauma Bonds in Narcissistic Abuse

Do you fear that if you listen to what you’re unhappy about in a relationship that it will be impossible to be happy with anyone? Do you fear a terrible retribution, comeuppance, or profound humiliation if you dare to move away from a friend or partner who is treating you poorly? Does it seem like having someone there is a …

what you sacrificed is what saves you

What a Scapegoat Sacrificed Is What Saves After Narcissistic Abuse

Most scapegoat survivors of narcissistic abuse struggle to know they can safely experience themselves as they actually are.  They’ve had to don a costume of being abhorrent to the people who they first met in life and tragically learned how dangerous it was to take off that costume.  The crux of recovery from being the scapegoat in a family structured …

scapegoat survivor

The Scapegoat’s Instinct To Include Others

In my work with individuals who have survived being the scapegoat in their family of origin I am almost always struck by their deep capacity to understand, empathize with, and offer acceptance to the experience of other people.  It’s striking because these people exhibit these instincts despite – for the most part – not knowing this treatment firsthand in the …

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 …

Why a Narcissist Deceives the Public and Abuses in Private

Did you have a narcissistic parent who showered people outside the home with deference, respect and charm? Did that same parent have no trouble turning against you once the doors to the outside world closed? Did you have to worry constantly about your narcissistic parent feeling embarrassed by your behavior ‘out in public’ such that you would hear about it …

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 …

how to talk to others about a narcissistic parenthow to talk to others about a narcissistic parent

How to Talk to Others About a Narcissistic Parent

So you’ve done a ton of work to take stock of how you had to adapt to a narcissistic parent’s abusiveness.  Now that you live with a hard-earned awareness of the truth about your parent, you are talking to your longtime friend from high school who asks you how that parent is doing and tells you how much they always …

quest to be important to the narcissist

Giving up the Quest To Be Important to the Narcissist

Have you had a parent or partner in your life whose approval you wanted so badly yet always seemed out of reach? Did life feel more exciting or even more worth living when you were in the company of this person and much less so when away from him or her? Has the quest to be important to the narcissist  …

orbit of the narcissistic parent

Free Yourself From the Narcissist’s Orbit

I think there’s a lesson in how the most basic unit of life – the atom – is structured and how our inner experience is meant to be structured.  Here’s what an atom looks like: You have the center or nucleus of the atom that has these sub-atomic particles called protons and neutrons that carry a positive charge.  Then you …