World Narcissist Abuse Awareness Day 1 June 2017

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Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day (WNAAD) occurs on June 1st every year. Established in 2016, WNAAD is a growing global movement dedicated to raising the profile of narcissistic abuse, providing public education, resources for survivors, and effect policy change. WNAAD is an international event that is recognized worldwide.

Many of the people who suffer from narcissistic abuse (a form of psychological and emotional abuse) aren’t even aware that what they are experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse, and when they become aware they are being abused, they have a difficult time describing it because it’s so hard to put the finger on. So much of it can be covert.

WNAAD came up with the hashtag, #IfMyWoundsWereVisible, because unlike physical abuse where a single strike or blow, narcissist abuse is generally invisible. An indiscernible assault on the spirit, identity, and the psyche of the victim. The impact is cumulative, and its full effect isn’t felt until the damage is extensive. Although bruises and broken bones heal much faster than a broken spirit, narcissistic abuse tends to go unnoticed.

Narcissist Abuse is controlling, anti-social and manipulative behaviour. Narcissist abuse is experienced everywhere, workplaces, religious groups, education, not for profits, in the armed forces, and families.

It is also important that those in Human Resources know about narcissist abuse in the workplace, often the victim is not believed.

People need to learn about ‘Red Flags’ before they enter into a relationship with someone and recognize them in workplaces early on, and learn how to handle them and avoid them. Many people living or working in close proximity to full on narcissists have had to leave their family or place of work, some have had Complex PTSD because of the abuse.

My own experience of narcissist abuse experience ranges from emotional neglect, lack of empathy from the abuser , abnormal hostile behaviour ‘behind closed doors’ at home or in the workplace, smear campaigns, emotional blackmail, secretive behaviour, mind games – the abuser makes everything your fault, financial blackmail, lack of support by fellow colleague or family member, anti social behaviour, passive aggressiveness, covert, controlling and public humiliating behaviour, violence and betrayal. Walking on eggshells every day too. Both men and women can be narcissists, and many people have parents and siblings who are ‘narcs’.

Some red flags in a relationship, for example, according to WNAAD.com:

◾As the relationship becomes more established, you may start to see some stronger warning signs, or red flags, such as: You may spot bigger lies, and when you confront them, you never get a straight answer or they will turn it around and accuse you of what they’re actually doing.

◾If you try to raise an issue with them, it becomes a full-blown argument. They may accuse you of causing the fight, or they may use the silent treatment as a way of punishing you for confronting them.
◾Arguments feel circular and nonsensical. You’re left feeling emotionally battered and confused. There is no resolution to the issue, no sense of compromise or seeking a win/win outcome. It feels like they need to “win” regardless of the issue or what’s at stake. You’re left you feeling unsupported and misunderstood.

◾They may tell you something didn’t happen when you know it did, or vice versa. This is called gaslighting and it’s designed to make you doubt your own reality and judgment.

◾You feel like you need to ask for permission before making plans with others. They may try to control where you go, or call and text constantly to check up on you, and interrogate you about where you’ve been/what you’ve been doing.

◾You start seeing less of your family and friends. Perhaps because they openly prevent you from doing so through guilt tripping or threats of abandonment. Or, it could be more subtle, where they make such a fuss about seeing your family and friends that you start avoiding them so you don’t have to deal with the fallout. You end up feeling isolated and lonely.

◾The relationship feels one-sided – like you are the one who is doing all the giving, the one who is always in the wrong, the one who is trying the hardest, changing the most or doing the most sacrificing, just to make them happy. And it still doesn’t work. Nothing is enough for them.

◾You can’t feel at ease or relaxed in their presence. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells, waiting for the next time they lash out at you. You realize you feel a sense of relief when they aren’t there.

◾You feel like whatever you do, it’s not enough. You’re manipulated so that your flaws and vulnerabilities are exploited and used against you at every opportunity. You begin to feel inadequate, unlovable, and like everything is all your fault.

Sign up to the official website for free on http://www.wnaad.com/ and learn about symptoms and how to spot red flags and follow the hashtag #ifmywoundswerevisible. You will be surprised by how many people you know who have it.

There are some good books on Narcissists on Amazon, and one of them is ‘My Narcissist Mother’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Narcissistic-Mother-narcissistic-mother-ebook/dp/B015R9YQHG/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1498224587&sr=8-12&keywords=narcissistic+mother (I have not been paid to recommend this book)

Estrangement: Life after going No Contact with your Family

When you first go No Contact it can be very hard. From my own experience I went weeks initially, then months and it got better. I got over ‘big family event’ days too.

I realised that the family was never there for you when you needed them and they were the last people I could trust. They assume that you will always be there, as ‘you’re family’. Even smaller things like supporting you when you do a charity ride by turning up at the end is something,but they don’t turn up or even ask when it is. I remember I created a huge community project, and they didn’t turn up on the Opening Day and they live two miles from the area. I really have the sense of ‘I can’t be bothered’ in my family. No Contact will give The Family one hell of a shake up.

They did some good things for me, but there are certain boundaries that I have of my own when they do things wrong. For me, their behaviour badly affected my mental health and wellbeing.

We are bombarded with the media saying that being in a family is a good thing which doesn’t help. Being in dysfunctional or toxic family, we have a different concept of what family is. Sometimes the best thing is to ‘get out’.

I have now created a whole new family, and a ‘proper’ one, by going to different clubs, meeting new people, catching up with people from my past, doing voluntary work, having more hobbies and focusing on creating a new life.

When I do have personal difficulties I can contact therapists, online support, the Samaritans, friends who understand and so on. Estrangalistas can even cuddle our dog or horse! We have to be creative. Is an ‘original family’ really necessary these days? We can create our own reality. The whole experience of being ‘family free’ is a new journey of discovery for me.

When you realise you only have family for birthdays and Christmas, particularly in a middle class and upper class family, you realise this is not a family at all. it is just a ‘facade’. Famillies shouldn’t take their clse family for granted, they can go at any time and leave a life completely away from them. Even so-called religious families can have members who are estranged, and sometimes even more so.

If ‘they’ do try to ‘hoover’ me back, there will have to be some changes, and it may mean family mediation, although I really can’t see that happening.

Things do get better and your mental health gets a lot better too, and even better when you change your will!

Famillies are being ripped apart by members with symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD)

Numerous people, both men and women, are having to leave members of family who have symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder as they are unable to cope with domestic abuse, betrayal,lack of empathy and deceitful behavior anymore.

Many have tried to work out why they are their partners and sometimes siblings are the way they are but are coming to terms that there is nothing they can do as the condition is not curable, and that have to leave.Sometimes people with NCD ‘just get worse’ over time. Some family members just do not feel they are heard or loved. They are experiencing a lot of confusing mind games. One moment the Narcissist can be normal, but other times, they have a Narcissist rage out of nowwhere. People are constantly walking on eggshells with these people.

People with children, however, are ‘forced’ to have limited contact with their abusers. Many with no children are leaving their famillies entirely and going ‘No Contact’ whatsoever and building new and better lives without their family and ‘going it alone’.

Those who have been abused have felt depressed and suicidal. Some have committed suicide. The Narcissist wants ‘power and control’ over them.

Some desperate famillies have tried therapy but often it has been a disaster as the Narcissist generally says ‘it is all their fault’ and/or leaves therapy early.Most Narcissists do not accept they have a problem and won’t even go to therapy in the first place.

This isn’t just in family situations but it is happening also in the workplace too, where some Narcissists particularly target occupations where they can ‘control’ and have status, the police, military, security, management, community and religious leaders particularly popular occupations for Narcissists from seeing comments on various Narcissist Survivor forums. Some Pastors’ wives are having to leave their husband because of their behaviour, and this is often frowned upon in the church. Some Narcissists do not want their wives to work and keep them holed up with lots of children at home. If they work, this means the Narcissist has less control over them and the Narcissist will think they will meet other men at work.

Narcissist Personality is a Disorder of the Personality and is not a Mental Illness. There is no known cure.

Some symptoms of Narcissist Personality Disorder are:

1) They have a grandiose sense of self-importance.

2) They requires excessive admiration

3)Have a very strong sense of entitlement

4)Is exploitative of others

5)Lacks empathy

6)Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Frequently they also have these too:

7) Lying and making things up to manipulate you

8) Being Emotionally abusive

9) Physically Abusive

10) Financially Abusive

11) Spiritually abusive

12) Notorious for having a ‘Honeymoon Period’ in a Relationship where things are ‘perfect’ to start with. Things change once the relationship gets more serious, they marry and start to have children. There is an element of ‘control’. Many Narcissists have a poor relationship history, with many divorces and abandoned children. They will provide ‘plausible excuses’ or perhaps withhold background information, and that goes for convictions. The Police in the UK can help people who want to find out more about their future partner if they have domestic violence convictions.

13) Betraying Trust

14) Smear Campaigns

16) Stalking

17) Manipulation

18) Reproductive Coercion

19) Birth Control Sabotage

20) Treating children and partners as extensions of themselves. (Some say they are ‘treated like property’)

21) Trusting strangers rather than their own family

22) Addictions

2) Being friendly with strangers and hostile to close relatives, and sometimes close neighbours. They appear to ‘act’ with others, who think they are very nice people and would not believe that they can even be abusive.

Words Associated with Narcissists are (though these are not used in Counselling)

1) Love Bombing (attempting to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection) in particular to get what they want

2) Gas Lighting (Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own sanity)

3) Projecting (blaming something on you, when he or she caused the problem. This is another tactic to bring confusion to the Target. They will not admit to doing anything wrong.

4)The Supply – the Target of the Narcissist. The Narcissist gets his or her ‘fuel’ from an empathic person who they will try and manipulate and control.

5) Flying Monkey – their friends or those who support the Narc

Get Help:

IAPT Counselling: http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Psychological%20therapies%20(IAPT)/LocationSearch/10008. Ideally, try and find someone who specializes in NPD. Narcissists are notorious for not seeking any help, and if they do, they will blame it on others. It is helpful for the Target to get counseling for themselves and undertake plenty of self care and ask their doctor for help.

Relate: https://www.relate.org.uk/ (They provide counselling, and they have free online counselling but it can be busy

Police: Dial 999 in an Emergency /Dial 111 if not. (You maybe able to get a restraining order

There are also a number of Narcissist Abuse sites on Facebook (though it is safer to use a different name) as they can be stalked by members of the family and the Narcissist themselves.

Women’s Aid: http://www.womensaid.org.uk

A tip:

If you call someone a Narcissist, it is most likely that they will deny it and start further anti-social behavior targeted on you.  The best advice is to recognize what a Narcissist is to Leave, some say to ‘Run!’ though this may not always be easy to do.

Coping Ideas

1) Leave if you can!
2) Join a Mental Health/Wellbeing Support Group
3) Do something creative – art, singing, music of various sorts
4)Go and so some Voluntary Work and meet positive people
5) Walk in nature
6) Do something for animals
7) Raise awareness. Many people have never heard of Narcissist Personality Disorder
8) Ignore Narcissists – they hate to be ignored. Go ‘Grayrock’ – just speak in a general vague way that does not upset ‘the Narc’ on some way
9) Make your kids have love and praise
10) Leave and get a pet if you can. Learn to cope on your own. It is not necessary to have a partner. Learning to cope on your own is real empowerment
11) Do some Self-Care
12) Go on Self-Esteem and/or Self Defence Classes
13) Learn to be Yourself Again
14) Get a job
15) Learn new skills
16) Get new qualifications
17) Have Me-Time
18) Reward yourself when you have done something difficult

Beaulieu has experience of Narcissist Personality Disorder being in the family, and is currently estranged (No Contact)

UK: Being newly estranged from the Family

I have been estranged from my family for a few weeks. This has been my own choice.

I have had periods of 6 months previously, but this looks like it’s going to be ‘a long one’.

There are times when we have to do the best thing for ourselves and our well being. When you belong in a dysfunctional famlly, it is hard to try and keep out of the dramas,the lies and the mind games.

My own case occurred with a family member who has Narcissist Personality Order, She is extremely abusive and untrustworthy. The other family member betrayed his family with family secrets and it is a job dealing with that type of person, without suffering yourself. There are times we can only take so much.

Some people run away from their families, but others like myself,  will try to keep a distance from them as much as possible and blocking them off social media and trying to develop a new life, it could take weeks, months or years. Sometimes it will be permanent.

 

When you are a Newbie Estrangelista, it is challenge to find where to get help and information from and you can feel alone.

In the UK, 1 in 5 families in the UK will be affected by estrangement and over 5 million people have decided to cut contact with at least one family member.

These are things  that helped me deal with estrangement from my own family. I don’t  have much family so it was a big thing for me.

  1. Talking to close friends (however, they can only take so much)
  2. Contacting the Samaritans just to off load
  3. Contacting Relate.org.uk – they have a Free Live Messenger Service
  4. Going for a Walk or sightseeing
  5. Having time on my own to process things
  6. Going to a local City Farm and stroking the animals. Animals are brilliant for therapy
  7. Doing some practical work to keep my mind occupied
  8. Thinking it through and yes, I did try, and get angry.  It needs to be processed.
  9. I set a Countdown dates on Apps so I would target family events ie Easter that I would try and avoid. It was really important to miss these family events. Your absence will be noticed and there will be no photographs of you on that day for posterity.  The more events you miss, the more of an impact your absence will be.
  10. Sign up to Standalone.org.uk the First UK Charity to help adults to have been estranged or cut off

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Toxic Famillies & No Contact

I have come to realise my family is toxic. They have some good points of course, but their toxic points break trust.  I don’t trust my family. They can say one thing and do another. If they go quiet, you wonder if they are ‘up to something’ behind your back.  Quite frankly, you never know where you are with them, the mind games are getting too much. They take you for granted.

There is no point to dealing with them anymore. They won’t understand you. They will continue as they do. Yadda Yadda. You have to have boundaries.

I have started to go No Contact.  I didn’t get involved in any arguments but I calmly stated that ‘what they did was hurtful’ . (I kept it simple). (Then I blocked them instantly. They have already noticed). What they did will affect their family forever.

My main aim is to ‘get them to see what they did’ and that it is wrong, and apologise. I don’t think this will ever happen though. My plan is No Contact for as long as it takes, marking of ‘family events’ that normally I should be there. It will go from 30 days, to six months to up to a year and then tnen we will see.  If there is still nothing, then I will know exactly where I  stand. It is going to be interesting as I live near them and it will be ‘awkward’. However, they made their bid. I am going to have a dignified silence.

I am trying to distract myself by meeting new people, doing new things and being with nice people and learning a lot about Self Care.

Let these toxic people not take our minds