New youtube video-I have discovered my parents are narcissists.What now?

It is important to know the steps of what to expect after realising your parents are abusive. It is crucial to finally understand why and how you were & are affected by narcissistic abuse. Giving what you have been through a name, is the beginning of your healing journey. It allows for validation of your feelings and to finally KNOW that it wasn’t your fault – It was your parents fault!

To actually work through the emotions, the acceptance of not having had healthy parents and the grief that goes with it, is a whole different challenge however. To reach a better state of mental health, you have to dig deep and allow a lot of painful feelings to come to the surface. Only after working through these painful emotions, will you then have the opportunity to look at your life through a different lens. To look at yourself with more self-compassion & understanding and to learn to set boundaries, takes practice and you need an experienced therapist on your side.

A psychological coach, which is what I have trained as, can support you in changing self-defeating thoughts or behaviours and can support you in the present to move forward with goal setting. A coach is not qualified to guide you through your grieving or acceptance in depth. That is a therapist’s job.

I have had a lot of teenagers watch my youtube videos and I am very much aware that I have to post videos carefully and support these children appropriately.

With empathy & unconditional positive regard, a child can feel a little bit better.

I know that if I had had this support as a child, it probably would have made a world of difference to my mental health.

This is the main reason I am passionate about supporting young people. They need someone to have their back with no strings attached. With narcissistic parents/step-parents, there are always strings attached. There is always some nasty remark waiting to be used against their child/step-child.

Children deserve unconditional love, acceptance, validation of their feelings and a safe environment to call home. This has to become a priority in our society.

Thanks for reading/watching!

Love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

What healthy parenting looks like versus narcissistic parenting

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In healthy parenting, the following things are needed to bring up a healthy & emotionally stable child.

Love and affection.  “You support and accept the child, are physically affectionate, and spend quality one-on-one time together.”

Stress Management.  “You take steps to reduce stress for yourself and your child, practice relaxation techniques, and promote positive interpretations of events.”

Relationship skills.  “You maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, significant other, or co-parent and model effective relationship skills with others.”

Autonomy and Independence.  “You treat your child with respect and encourage him or her to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.”

Education and learning.  “You promote and model learning and provide educational opportunities for your child.”

Life skills.  “You provide for your child, have a steady income, and plan for the future.”

Behavior management.  “You make extensive use of positive reinforcement and punish only when other methods of managing behavior have failed.”

Health.  “You model a healthy lifestyle and good habits, such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.

Religion.  “You support spiritual or religious development and participate in spiritual or religious activities.”

Safety.  “You take precautions to protect your child and maintain awareness of the child’s activities and friends.

As listed directly from:

https://www.leelanauchildrenscenter.org/98/articles-and-reading/10-skills-of-competent-parents

Narcissistic parents on the other hand do the following:
  • Their needs have priority over those of the children.
  • They view their children as an extension of their own personal wishes, so the child’s individuality is diminished. They don’t nurture their childrens’ own thoughts, emotions or goals.
  • Their ego needs are unquenchable.
  • Due to their own low self-worth they put their childrens’ accomplishments down, so they can always remain on top (as smarter, more capable etc)
  • They are completely unaware of the grief or discomfort their children are experiencing and are not aware of when they have been neglectful or abusive towards their children.
  • They do not feel empathy, and they will only pay interest in the child if the child is achieving or giving them an ego boost.
  • Shame is at the core of a narcissistically run family, so they will shame, ridicule, tease or criticise their children often. They will also use guilt-tripping, blaming, negative comparisons, emotional blackmail and so much more!
  • They create codependent children and expect them to always look after them and cater to their needs & wants.
  • The parents are possessed by their narcissistic ego, and nothing the child ever does will be good enough. The child tries and tries, but never quite manages to receive their narcissistic parents’ love and affection.
When the child gives the narcissistic parent(s) enough of an ego boost and meets their ego needs, the narcissistic parent(s) will reward their child with approval. This approval, however, is not genuine love.
Children of narcissists grow up feeling unloved, ashamed, unlovable and inferior.
Children of narcissists grow up thinking that there is something seriously wrong with them, (because their parent wasn’t able to love them in a healthy way).
Children learn that the focus isn’t on them (as it should be) but on their narcissistic parent(s). They learn to painfully accept this although don’t know that this isn’t normal.
Children learn to do whatever their narcissistic parents want, in hope that their needs for love, comfort and approval are one day met. This approval seeking behaviour follows them into adulthood where they continue to people please to gain approval.

If you found this blog post helpful, please feel free to comment, share or like!

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Love Athina ♥

Why is going ‘no contact’ so hard?

It’s been an extremely busy few days for me recently, which means my blog posts and youtube videos have had to take a back seat.

Work has been a priority, with little time for writing and reflecting.

I have also had an influx of emails from people needing immediate support dealing with narcissistic individuals. It always deeply saddens me to hear all the grief so many are currently experiencing and sometimes I wish I could just take all their pain away.

The ‘No contact’ question has been popping up a lot, so in this video I stress the importance of acceptance. Acceptance in this case, of the fact that a narcissist isn’t able to love or empathize and isn’t going to change and treat you better.

Once you manage to reach a place of acceptance through grief and talking with a professional, it is then easier to make the decision to go ‘no contact’.

Thanks for watching and reading

Love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Mental Health Awareness week

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Ending the stigma of mental health is still proving to be a challenge, although in the UK we are getting ever closer to our goal of a deeper understanding, tolerance & acceptance of the importance of talking about our mental health.

As somebody who has never known what life is like without mental health problems, I know how difficult it is to be open and honest about it..People are still uncomfortable with knowing what to say or not say..Even if they try to be understanding, deep down you can sense whether they get it or they don’t..

Every single one of us is touched by stress or anxiety at some point in our lives, whereas others live with it every day…I am one of those people who lives with chronic mental health problems..Complex PTSD isn’t something to be taken lightly..There are still so many moments in my life at the age of 34 that I still learn new things about myself that I am not able to do, that others would find incredibly easy to complete. The hypervigilance and overwhelm never goes away..The chronic fatigue never goes away..The low mood is always lingering in the background..The voice that says ‘you are just not good enough’, pops up a lot when I am working alongside others…

Self-care is so important in these moments and remembering to accept ourselves when we are struggling can make a world of difference!

Walking the same path as others with mental illness really helps people feel less alone..

All the wonderful people who ran the London Marathon raising money for Mental Health are simply incredible..

If you think about how much these runners must have battled with those nasty little voices inside their head, it makes you feel incredibly inspired. The voice of depression or the voice of anxiety is not an easy task to manage..but yet they did it, and in what an admirable way!

I am also blessed to have many friends & fellow bloggers who do so much to raise awareness about mental health! They have all been personally affected however and live with debilitating conditions themselves..

The most crucial part in my opinion of raising awareness, is to also hear more people talking about mental health that don’t have any personal experience with it..People that feel concerned about someone they know but just don’t know how to respond..People that are lucky enough to live with good mental health and are surrounded by people who aren’t that lucky..

If you have experience with ill mental health, stigma or intolerance, then please feel free to comment.

Lastly, I would also like to share my latest information video on defence mechanisms. I was having a bad day yesterday and couldn’t face the camera to film myself talk, so I came up with this instead.

Thanks so much for reading & watching!

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Parentification

In today’s video, I talk about another type of child abuse known as parentification.

Parentification isn’t always through the known fault of a parent, as sometimes in single parent families or in families with a special needs child, the parent struggles to keep the needs of the child fulfilled appropriately. Sometimes, the parent may be also suffering from a severe disability such as a chronic condition or severe mental health difficulties, and it is only natural that the child may at times become a carer to the parent. This is especially true, if there isn’t an additional parent or family member around to support the child.

Unfortunately, in a family where 1 or both parents suffer with narcissistic personality disorder, this type of abuse is even more prevalent in both a physical and emotional way.

My video describes this in more detail:

If you have experienced parentification, then feel free to share your experience.

If you find this youtube video and blog post useful, then please like, share & subscribe.

Please support my youtube channel on my patreon page. There are exclusive patron only videos on there, which are available specifically to those of you who contribute & become patrons.

https://www.patreon.com/AthinaEhlen

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Infantilization

You might have heard of the term infantilization but you may not realise how incredibly abusive it is when a parent does this to their child.

It is only natural for a growing child to start developing independent thoughts, actions and opinions. For a narcissistic parent this can be very threatening, as they want to continue controlling their child and use them for narcissistic supply.

Check out my video for an explanation of what infantilization is.

Some examples of infantilization are as follows:

A parent stops a teenager from socialising with friends or doesn’t allow them any privacy in their bedroom. The parent may still treat them as if they are a young child whereas a teenager needs growing independence and privacy.

A parent buys their child age-inappropriate clothing and/or arranges age-inappropriate activities.

A parent might not allow the child to speak for themselves, when they are asked a question directly by somebody else.

A parent might discourage the child from pursuing new interests as they don’t want the child to become more skilled at new things than they are.

If a parent isn’t able to have healthy relationships, they may try to influence the child against their choice of partner. They can’t allow their child to leave the family nest. The parent wants to continue their enmeshed relationship for as long as possible.

The effects of infantilization are as follows:

  • The adult child ends up having chronically low self-esteem
  • The adult child has difficulties academically
  • The adult child may find getting a job difficult
  • The adult child learns helplessness and enabling
  • The adult child may self-harm
  • The adult child may have poor social skills
  • The adult child may self-sabotage
  • The adult child may become avoidant

If you can relate to any of what I have written or said in the video, then please re-blog so it reaches more people.

Knowledge is power and with knowledge comes healing. To also further promote healing on a larger scale, I have recently signed up to patreon to further support my creations of videos, pdfs & hopefully in the near future, e-books.

Patreon is a platform that enables creators to reach new goals by having their followers & supporters fund their work.

If you find my videos & blog posts helpful, then please check out my patreon page.

It would mean the world to me to be able to reach more people and help them on their journey of recovery.

https://www.patreon.com/AthinaEhlen

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Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Happy Monday!

Dear readers,

This post today is only a quick one. I thought I would share this week’s Youtube video which will also be shared on my Child Within blog, so it reaches more people. It is a Q & A  video on narcissism and in this case, one of my viewers wanted to know whether narcissists are paranoid.

This is something I have had first hand experience with and I know how detrimental it can be to those that surround the narcissist. My father’s paranoia was incredibly magnetic and my husband and I, as well as his friends and colleagues, all got sucked into his overly paranoid outlook just before and after his suicide attempt.

If you have had to deal with narcissistic family or partners who were overly paranoid, please feel free to share your experience.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

New video- Rules children follow in a dysfunctional (narcissistic) home

Just a quick post with my newest video.

I hope it helps those of you who need validation.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Spreading a little awareness sparkle

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Just a quick post about something that matters as equally as physical health.

We all live with mental health and mental illness can touch all of us at least once in our lifetime.So how openly do we talk about it and how easily do we feel uncomfortable mentioning our struggles to a co-worker, family member or friend?

I have encountered so many of the below unhelpful phrases from ignorant individuals, so for this reason, I will keep spreading awareness of the importance of validating someone’s struggles with their mental health.

‘Don’t dwell on the past’

‘Aren’t you over it by now?’

‘Can’t you just try and be more happy?’

‘Stop focusing on the negative’

‘Strong people just get on with it’

‘Stop being a hypochondriac’

‘Stop being so self-centered’

‘Just snap out of it!’

‘You are just looking for attention’

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Look after yourselves ♥

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Trauma is a loss, so it must be grieved

Trauma happens to all of us..We all go through life with a few small traumas. Most of the time, small traumas or small losses don’t leave emotional scars. We just keep going and adjust to whatever life throws at us.

If on the other hand, the trauma or loss we suffer is profound, then this means that we will be more deeply affected by it and will need longer to overcome it or learn to live with the affects.

In this video, I touch on the importance of grief and the 3 main stages of grief you go through when dealing with a major loss or trauma.

Love ♥ Athina

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.