Narcissistic abuse red flags

If you have noticed the following red flags in a person close to you, then you need to take precautions. Below is a check list which you need to pay close attention to. The more of these you can relate to, the quicker you need to remove yourself from a relationship with such a disordered person.

Narcissists are everywhere and can be both male or female. They can be partners, family members, friends, teachers, managers, therapists, coaches, spiritual advisors, neighbours and any person in a position of power.

PATTERNS TO WATCH OUT FOR

  1.  You have a feeling something is wrong or feels off
  2. Constant lying or exaggerating
  3. No regards for rules or laws
  4. Overly concerned with public image
  5. Has too many chaotic relationships in their past
  6. Never apologises
  7. Makes excuses often
  8. Poor financial management
  9. No accountability
  10. Destroyed relationships
  11. No real friendships
  12. Demands trust
  13. Projects their feelings onto you
  14. You feel uncomfortable or in danger
  15. Aggressive/Passive Aggressive
  16. Has double standards
  17. Cheats in relationships
  18. Blames others constantly
  19. Controlling
  20. Isolating
  21. Two faced and hyper critical
  22. Backstabber
  23. Acts differently in private and in public
  24. Drug or alcohol addict
  25. Distorts facts to suit their needs
  26. Plays the victim often
  27. Insults, teases, smirks
  28. Provokes and then blames
  29. Creates circular conversations
  30. Is shaming
  31. Is condescending
  32. Twists your words in arguments
  33. Your feelings aren’t validated
  34. They can have different personas around different people
  35. They guilt-trip you
  36. They thrive on drama
  37. The thrive on causing you pain
  38. They know how to push your buttons
  39. They have to always be right
  40. They can’t laugh at themselves
  41. They belittle your accomplishments
  42. They compete with you
  43. They often gaslight you
  44. They give you the silent treatment
  45. They turn others against you including family
  46. They alienate children from the other parent
  47. They withhold attention or affection as a manipulation tactic
  48. They give you inconsistent details of their past
  49. They are ruled by money and want yours
  50. They get bored easily
  51. They are status orientated
  52. They are self-centred and entitled
  53. They have a big ego
  54. They groom their victims
  55. They badmouth their exes yet return to them to make you jealous
  56. When meeting a potential partner they love bomb them.
  57. They remember things you did years ago and bring them up in arguments
  58. They rewrite history to suit them
  59. Can pretend to be hyper-emotional so they can manipulate others
  60. They might constantly correct you – nothing you do is ever right

If you think you are indeed dealing with a narcissist and need support, then please feel free to contact me. Detaching from or dealing with a narcissist is not an easy task, especially if they are a partner or family member.

If you feel you are in danger, then please contact your nearest Refuge or move to a location the narcissist doesn’t know about. Record all conversations if you can (stick to texts or emails) so nothing can be used against you.

Most of all, look after yourself. Self-care is extremely important!

Love Athina ♥♥♥

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Taking on others’ emotions-Having weak boundaries

When you have grown up in a dysfunctional narcissistic home, taking on others’ emotions becomes the norm. Narcissistic parents teach their children to cater to their feelings & moods and the child learns to ignore their own emotions.

A great book which can help you understand whether you have weak emotional boundaries, is by Charles Whitfield: Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self. 

The following statements from his book, can help you identify whether you struggle with taking on others’ emotions and neglecting your own.

Answer with “never,” “seldom,” “occasionally,” “often,” or “usually.”

  • I feel as if my happiness depends on other people.
  • I would rather attend to others than attend to myself.
  • I spend my time and energy helping others so much that I neglect my own wants and needs.
  • I tend to take on the moods of people close to me.
  • I am overly sensitive to criticism.
  • I tend to get “caught up” in other people’s problems.
  • I feel responsible for other people’s feelings.

If you reply mostly with ”often” or ”usually”, then this is something you should consider getting support for. This means that you are extremely affected by the emotions & moods of those around you and aren’t able to focus on your own needs first.

If this is something you relate to and need support for, then please leave a comment below.

Thanks for 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.

Healing from abuse

The sad thing about healing from abuse is that many people who haven’t themselves been abused, can’t possibly understand the survivor’s journey.

Healing from abuse is unique to each individual who has experienced it. The survivor will be emotionally damaged and/or physically hurt and unfortunately this damage is sometimes irreversible. Abuse leaves behind scars unique to each survivor’s experience.

Although healing means that your mind and body are able to recover, this doesn’t mean that the person can return to being ‘normal’.

The aftermath of abuse is usually permanent.

There might be long-lasting Complex PTSD for those who suffered child abuse, human trafficking, kidnapping or other severe types of abuse.

For some individuals abuse might be all they have known. They don’t have a pre-trauma or pre-abuse identity. They might not know what it is truly like to feel safe.

To all survivors of abuse or trauma,it is very important to remember this:

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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.

 

Dealing with parental estrangement

If you have become estranged from your parents, it’s important to remember that this can be a very vulnerable place to be. Making the decision to become estranged from your family may alleviate some of the instant emotional pain after a huge argument, however, many people find that estrangement is a constant battle in their life, as it can cause them to endlessly think about their situation, even if they do feel an initial sense of relief.

Some people become estranged from their parents because they have been emotionally, physically or sexually abusive during childhood or beyond. This is a difficult decision to make but sometimes a necessary one. It’s immensely tricky to continue a healthy relationship if there has been abuse, and it can be extremely risky to continue a genuine relationship with this family member without the right professional intervention and support.

Others become estranged with their parents or siblings due to conflicts about religion or sexuality. This can also be especially painful, as the adult child isn’t able to truly be who they are. Authenticity is crucial for a happy life.

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Grieving the estrangement from a parent, no matter what the circumstances, is a very important part of healing from it, as the loss of an accepting & healthy parent is an extremely painful experience, even more so than normal grief. Nothing will ever fill the void of not having had what every child so rightfully deserves. Comfort, validation & unconditional love. Realising that a parent was never truly able to love & accept you, is utterly heartbreaking.

Even if there was abuse, children never stop loving their parent unconditionally and never stop hoping that their parent will change. This is the main reason adult children remain in contact with a parent, despite any abuse that may have occured. They will always long for the unconditional love they never had. In cases when the abuse or invalidation was constant, the trauma bond will also be why the adult child finds it hard to cut ties with their parent.

If the adult child isn’t able to fully grieve the loss of a healthy parent, they will not be able to move forward in a new relationship with them. If the parent continues to be abusive, shows no remorse, shows no understanding and doesn’t make any attempts to make amends, then it is healthier for the relationship to end.

In both cases of estrangement and remaining in contact, grieving is essential. Grieving helps lift the intense painful heaviness of not having had your needs met in childhood. It helps lessen the anger, frustration and injustice.

Most importantly, the adult children who end up going ‘no contact’, have to learn to live with the ‘early death’ of their parent before that parents actually dies. They have to continue living their life, without any communication or knowledge of how that parent is. They have to swallow the grief that creeps up from time to time, during holidays, birthdays, Mother’s day, Father’s day and during other emotional times in their life.

Those adult children who were lucky enough to have had good childhoods, with unconditionally loving parents, will never truly understand the deep pain of those who didn’t have good childhoods.

Family estrangement is a huge challenge and living with it requires support in more ways than one. It is important to have counselling from time to time and to be surrounded by understanding friends or a partner that can truly empathize. Lastly, it is crucial for the estranged, to feel the sadness that emerges and be self-compassionate as much as possible.

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

The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Childhood trauma produces physiological effects upon the developing brain that have an adverse effect upon the individual’s stress response system.

Childhood trauma is likely to increase a person’s vulnerability to falling victim to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

FACTS ABOUT CFS.

The symptoms of CFS are as follows :

– persistent fatigue/exhaustion which affects everyday life and is not rectified by sleep or rest

– in the UK, the condition is thought to affect approximately a quarter of a million people

– the condition is more prevalent in females than in males

– it normally affects people between about the ages of 20 – 45 years; however, it can begin during childhood – if so, it normally begins between the ages of 13 and 15 years

CFS can be split into 3 different levels of severity :

– MILD : the person can probably care for him/herself, but may require days off in order to rest

– MODERATE : at this level the individual may well experience reduced mobility, disturbed sleep, as well as a need to sleep in the afternoon

– SEVERE : at this level the person will have significantly decreased mobility, possible impairments to his/her ability to concentrate as well as greatly reduced ability to perform many everyday tasks

Individuals with CFS who were tested in various studies, had higher overall trauma scores than those without CFS.

Exposure to trauma increases the risk of CFS between three and eight times, depending on the type. Emotional neglect and sexual abuse during childhood were most strongly associated with CFS.

It generally appears that CFS is part of a spectrum of disorders that are associated with childhood adversity.

Do you suffer with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

As someone who lives with CPTSD, I would say that I suffer from it moderately.

What is 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.

 

Shame

Shame is caused by negative messages. The shame I am highlighting in this video is caused by dysfunctional parents. Shame is insidious and can have detrimental effects on the way we view ourselves and others.

This is something I am very familiar with as a survivor of narcissistic abuse and I want to highlight the cause of shame, so people can maybe identify with what might have been said to them as children and so they can find a way to move forward and heal.

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.

 

Intolerance to vulnerability is NOT OK!

Intolerance to vulnerability is everywhere.

Dysfunctional homes have this at their core.Children don’t feel safe to express emotions of sadness or pain..Children are taught that it is not ok to have sad or angry emotions..that they will be a burden if they dare to express these emotions..

This is not acceptable..This is emotional abuse..

Physical vulnerability is different to emotional vulnerability..When someone is physically disabled or physically ill, he/she seems to have more understanding from others..because you can see his/her illness physically..When a disability is emotional or mental however, people are quicker to dismiss it..This is where the stigma of mental illness comes in..Every single person out there with a mental disorder, is vulnerable..If they suffer with anxiety or depression, this makes them vulnerable..Just as much as someone who has a heart condition, or cancer or any other condition..

A vulnerable person is someone who struggles with day to day life.

Vulnerability refers to the inability to withstand the effects of a hostile environment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulnerability).

People with mental illness frequently become vulnerable and easy targets of physical and mental abuse.

People with mental illness can have poor boundaries, emotional dysregulation and many other extremely debilitating symptoms. They deserve the same compassion as those with obvious physical disabilities. They deserve the right to be able to talk about their struggles.

Love ♥ Athina

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CPTSD= Courage Progress Tenacity Survival Determination

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Healing from PTSD is tough! Healing from Complex PTSD is even tougher.

In honour of World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day, I want to tell every single one of you survivors out there that you can look at your PTSD & CPTSD differently, just for today! ♥

C-PTSD = COURAGE PROGRESS TENACITY SURVIVAL DETERMINATION

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.

 

September 10th-World Suicide Prevention Day

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Recovery from abuse- 3 basic stages & how to identify whether you have reached the acceptance stage of recovery

Happy Monday fellow bloggers. This is quite a late post, so I hope it reaches some of you.

I have just done another video on YouTube, where I talk about the 3 main stages of recovery that someone goes through, in particular concerning the recovery from childhood narcissistic abuse. I also talk a little bit about the acceptance stage of recovery, which I personally found the toughest in my own recovery.

Acceptance that you parents weren’t able to love you unconditionally, is a painful, rejecting reality. It is easier to spend most of your adult life being in denial of this, as it is such an incomprehensible reality to accept.

Once you are able to reach this stage of acceptance however, you feel like a huge burden has been lifted off you.

I wish all of you who struggle with this sort of realisation, to be able to finally reach this stage one day.

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.