Narcissists and boundaries

Boundaries protect us. Boundaries tell others what we are not comfortable with and what we don’t want. Boundaries remind others to respect us. What happens when you are dealing with a narcissist? Do they understand boundaries?

This is my latest video on the topic:

Practicing gratitude as an empath amidst the emotional complexity of humankind

2023 is finally upon us and it is common for some of us to have plans for a fresh start in one or two areas of our life. This could be to tackle our health, our mental health, a change of job, or to end a relationship that no longer serves us. It could also be a new beginning in terms of getting married, moving home or starting a family. It all depends on how fortunate we are, what part of the world we live in, how blessed we are to have safety, family, a job or even the freedom to live as we wish.

Survival in this world is tough when we don’t have the means, the support system, the education, a good start in life, good health and loving people around us. Leaving our comfort zone can be very scary when we don’t have some of these needs met.

War is still driving so many families to seek refuge in unfamiliar territory and for those who choose to stay, they are faced with daily uncertainty, fear and loss. Why is one human life more important than another? It is such a cruel world we live in yet many of us still want to bring children into it to satisfy our personal needs of being parents. 

In my lifetime so far, I have encountered so much abuse, neglect and nastiness from people that it has been truly disheartening to believe in the good of humans. There is so much inequality, unfairness and immorality. Humans keep making the same mistakes, hurting each other, themselves and other beings. There is generational trauma with no end in sight. 

How do you cope in a world with such emotional complexity when you are a highly sensitive person (HSP) or empath?

As one myself, I truly find solace in the little things and my daily routines. I avoid watching the news, aspire to filling my day with uplifting rituals and by cocooning myself and my family within our own little bubble, I feel completely at peace, safe and content. By practicing gratitude for the things I am blessed with, I find joy in being alive. By supporting and helping others, I feel a sense of reward. When I encounter people who are strong, compassionate and generous, despite the fact that they may have had it tough in their lives, I feel hopeful.

Humans can also be wonderful, caring & brilliant souls that inspire others and bring positivity into the world. I would rather surround myself with these types of humans and have a smaller social circle rather than subject myself to energy vampires or narcissists. There will always be good and bad and a mixture of both. Not everyone is our ‘cup of tea’ and not everyone will contribute to our life in a way that is fulfilling.

How do you cope in this world as a HSP or empath?

How do you deal with the rollercoaster of emotions that hit you when you are overstimulated by the injustice and wrongs in your environment?

What is your experience? 

If you relate to this post, then feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Love Athina 

Emotional abandonment – A result of narcissistic parental abuse

Emotional abandonment is a huge part of growing up with emotionally unavailable parents. Parents who in many cases have NPD but also parents who are alcoholics or addicts or just too immature to have brought a child into this world.

Is this a topic you can relate to?

Did you feel emotionally abandoned and still suffer with people-pleasing tendencies, perfectionism or avoidant tendencies?

Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Love Athina x

4 things a narcissist does to their victim

Narcissists are notorious for wanting to always be in control of every situation, especially in close relationships. Sadly, this is happening more often than not, especially behind closed doors.

Many viewers have resonated with the content of this video sadly.

If you resonate with the content too, please feel free to leave a comment and share your experience.

Love Athina x

Happy New Year! This is how I have greatly reduced my anxiety levels.

Dear readers,

I hope you have all survived the holiday period and are feeling optimistic about this year. I am very much hoping we will see the end of the Covid pandemic this year and our lives can return to a semi-normal state. I also hope that our mental health will improve and that we will find ways to feel more in tune with ourselves, our needs, our bodies and our minds.

Mental health has been affected so much over the last couple of years due to the pandemic but it has been even tougher for those of us who have had numerous other struggles due to a traumatic past, toxic family members, grief, financial insecurity and other physical health issues.

For those of us specifically, who struggle with anxiety and CPTSD, we know all too well how tricky it is to keep our emotions regulated when we are triggered or scared.

Personally, as a lot of you may already know, I have always struggled with anxiety and low mood. Over the last couple of years however, I have been able to manage my symptoms much more successfully. This has made it easier for me to support others through my coaching and Youtube channel and to also continue to work on my own personal development through more training. Yoga has become a big part of my life, as is walking my dog and trying to keep active. Deep breathing and mindfulness has also helped immensely but the one thing I still struggled with until recently, was getting myself to an immediate state of calm when in the grips of anxiety.

The worst of my anxiety is usually when I travel by plane or when I have to do something that puts me in the spotlight. I also get extremely anxious when I think about losing someone I am attached to. Just before Christmas, I decided to try something completely different and was gifted something that eases anxiety. Although I was rather skeptical at first, after reading so many good reviews about it, I decided to give it a go.

This device is called CalmiGO.

@mycalmigo

CalmiGO is scientifically proven and uses 3 methods to lower anxiety levels:

-Relaxing scent

-Multi-sensory stimulation or grounding

-Breathing regulation (exhalation prolongation)

These 3 methods combined, activate the parasympathetic nervous system and lower stress level hormones.

CalmiGO is drug free and safe to use and if you would like to find out more about it, then feel free to click on this link:

www.calmigo.com/pages/about-me

My experience with using CalmiGO so far has been absolutely brilliant.

After trying this device for 3 minutes as recommended, I immediately noticed a reduction in my anxiety levels.

The most important part of the device for me is that it encourages you to prolong your exhalation. This is scientifically proven to decrease those awful symptoms of anxiety such as dizziness, accelerated heart rate, nausea and chest pain. When we are anxious, we end up breathing much too fast which results in a decrease of PCO2 levels. CalmiGO reverses this with exhalation prolongation. Since prolonging my exhalation was always the trickiest part for me, CalmiGO has been incredibly helpful in getting me to do this successfully. It vibrates and lights up whenever you reach a long enough exhalation, so this helps immensely when you are doing this for 3 minutes or more. Take a look at the photos below for an idea of what CalmiGO looks like and how to use it.

When I ordered CalmiGO, it arrived wonderfully packaged and came with a very detailed guide on how to use it effectively. It came with a little rubber cover and also an easy to use pouch to carry it in. There was also a pack of AAA batteries, a small screwdriver and a pack of 2 scented element attachments. One of these scented element attachments is placed on the front of the device near the ‘on and off’ switch. My preferred choice was lavender but you can also choose peppermint or bergamot if you prefer.

Although there is a detailed guide on how to use it effectively, there is also a tutorial video which you can watch here:

http://www.calmigo.com/pages/tutorial

Since I have found CalmiGO so incredibly useful in my personal life, I decided to collaborate with the founders of CalmiGO and I am offering a $30 discount on every purchase made through their website.

By adding the code COURAGE as a voucher when you add CalmiGO to your shopping cart, you get the above discount on the total price. Go to the link below to gets yours 🙂

http://www.calmigo.com

CalmiGO really is an investment in a life with less anxiety.

For those of you who live with CPTSD or PTSD, CalmiGO will help ground you and if used every day for a month during a time where you are really struggling with panic and anxiety, you will see a huge decrease in your symptoms.

If you have any questions or would like to share your experience using CalmiGO, then please feel free to leave a comment below.

Much love

Athina

High functioning and low functioning narcissists

If you have experienced narcissistic abuse or had close contact with someone that has narcissistic personality disorder, then it may interest you to know that there are 2 types of narcissists. High functioning and low functioning.

Over my life time I have had experience with mostly high functioning narcissists but I have also witnessed these same high functioning narcissists move to low functioning at times.

What is your experience?

Love Athina

THE MAIN BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS OF A NARCISSISTIC PARENT

Growing up in a dysfunctional family completely changes the way we relate to the world, the way we behave and feel in relationships, the way we regulate our emotions and how secure we feel in ourselves.

Although I have talked about the traits of a narcissist in an older video, I wanted to do an updated video on this which you can view below.

Love Athina ❤

Complex PTSD is recognised as a disorder in the ICD-11

IMG_0530

I wanted to share the great news that Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is recognised by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) eleventh revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).

As someone who has openly spoken about living with the symptoms of CPTSD, it feels extremely validating to know that it is actually recognised formally. I wasn’t aware of this until very recently so for those of you who already knew this, please forgive my delayed discovery. For those of you who live with CPTSD and are aware of this, I hope this news finds you well.

In my personal opinion, a diagnosis of CPTSD could easily replace many other diagnoses. CPTSD is the result of child abuse, neglect and any other prolonged and repeated traumatic experiences.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression are in most cases part of having CPTSD, as well as the following (in the context of childhood trauma & abuse).

”Attachment – problems with relationship boundaries, lack of trust, social isolation, difficulty perceiving and responding to others’ emotional states”

”Biology – sensory-motor developmental dysfunction, sensory-integration difficulties, somatization, and increased medical problems”

”Affect or emotional regulation – poor affect regulation, difficulty identifying and expressing emotions and internal states, and difficulties communicating needs, wants, and wishes”

”Dissociation – amnesia, depersonalization, discrete states of consciousness with discrete memories, affect, and functioning, and impaired memory for state-based events

”Behavioural control – “problems with impulse control, aggression, pathological self-soothing, and sleep problems”

”Cognition – difficulty regulating attention; problems with a variety of ‘executive functions’ such as planning, judgement, initiation, use of materials, and self-monitoring; difficulty processing new information; difficulty focusing and completing tasks; poor object constancy; problems with ’cause-effect’ thinking; and language developmental problems such as a gap between receptive and expressive communication abilities.”

”Self-concept – fragmented and disconnected autobiographical narrative, disturbed body image, low self-esteem, excessive shame, and negative internal working models of self”.

Formal recognition and diagnosis will greatly help CPTSD sufferers with more appropriate treatment options:

Some current treatments are:

  • biofeedback
  • dyadic resourcing (used with EMDR)
  • emotionally focused therapy
  • emotional freedom technique (EFT) or tapping
  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • expressive arts therapy
  • internal family systems therapy
  • dialectical behavior therapy(DBT)
  • family systems therapy
  • group therapy
  • neurofeedback
  • psychodynamic therapy
  • sensorimotor psychotherapy
  • somatic experiencing
  • yoga, specifically trauma-sensitive yoga

It is also worth mentioning that CPTSD has also been referred to as DESNOS (Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified).

DTD (Developmental trauma disorder) is also proposed as the alternative equivalent to childhood CPTSD.

”Dr. Judith Lewis Herman, in her book, Trauma and Recovery, proposed that a complex trauma recovery model that occurs in three stages:

  1. establishing safety,
  2. remembrance and mourning for what was lost,
  3. reconnecting with community and more broadly, society.”

If you live with CPTSD and have had experience with any of the above treatment options, I would love to hear what you found helpful.

Thanks for reading

This blog post includes direct text from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_post-traumatic_stress_disorder

Love Athina ♥♥