Covert narcissism-The hidden narcissist

Today’s post and youtube video is about the more hidden type of narcissism known as covert narcissism.

I know how destructive this type of narcissism can be from personal experience and I believe that more people need to be aware that covert narcissists sometimes hide behind a mask of generosity, fake empathy and self-sacrifice.

They walk among us more often than anyone realises and they can be doctors, healthcare workers and psychologists.

Covert means: not openly acknowledged or displayed, concealed or hidden

If you find the video or this post useful please feel free to comment, like & share it with anyone who might benefit.

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.

 

Grief

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Grief is a huge part of life and yet a very painful one. We all experience it and for some people grief can be an even bigger part of their lives than for others.

Grief can be about so many things, not just the death of a person.

Every new beginning means that there was also an ending and every ending can leave a trail of grief. Grief can be experienced at the end of a relationship, the end of a job, leaving the town you grew up in, saying goodbye to friends or family, saying goodbye to a beloved pet or business or even saying goodbye to life as a single person.

What are your experiences with grief?

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 loss of what should have been

When you don’t get certain basic needs met in your childhood, there will come a time in your future where you will eventually become awakened to these unmet needs. Although this isn’t the same for everyone, there is usually one feeling which is most prevalent for most: ”The feeling of being ripped off”

This feeling of being ripped off, because you didn’t have a healthy family or because you no longer have a family to turn to, starts a very real and painful journey of mourning.

A lot of people who grew up with abusive parents, or in one parent families, or in families where their parents were chronically ill, learned to ‘live on autopilot’. They either had to push down their feelings to keep the peace, be a confidant or carer to the sick parent or learned that they had to solely rely on themselves. Even when they were scared and had no one to turn to as children, they had to keep going. As early adulthood approached, they may have found many ways to cope with this underlying feeling of sadness or anger, by drinking too much, working too much and generally trying to find ways to numb out any uncomfortable feelings that would creep up.

When an adult child is first awakened to the reality of what really was and what now is, they somehow know that things will never feel the same again. It might be that a certain event in their adult life uncovered feelings that had been buried deep inside them and suddenly the strength that they thought would always keep the safe, slowly starts to crumble. New anxieties, fears & losses start to unfold and the world suddenly starts to feel like a scary & unsafe place.

At this early stage of realisation, when adult children come to terms with the fact that they needed so much more than what they were given emotionally, the grief can feel overwhelming. Grief for adult children is a complex emotion because so much of the loss has been built up over time and they have long learned to adapt to the constant loss of an ideal childhood. Looking into the future feels bleak and they feel as if things are only going to get worse rather than better.

Through my own journey of grief, I learned that it isn’t a straightforward process and that it doesn’t have a certain time limit. When the grief was so overwhelming at times that I couldn’t imagine a better future, I reminded myself that it was necessary for me to truly feel the sadness. When your heart feels broken you have to let it heal and healing requires compassion & patience with yourself.

Pete Walker is a truly Inspirational Psychologist and survivor of childhood abuse. His words below really resonate:

 “…the broken heart that has been healed through grieving is stronger and more loving than the one that has never been injured.  Every heartbreak of my life, including the brokenheartedness of my childhood, has left me a stronger, wiser and more loving person than the one I was before I grieved”

The last thing that is worth mentioning, is that a lot of people don’t start their journey of recovery & grief from childhood trauma, unless it is emotionally safe for them to do so. It might be that they are in a supportive relationship and a stable environment and this enables them to ‘let go’ and just be vulnerable. It might be that they have found a therapist which they feel comfortable enough to be themselves.

Recovery from the losses of one’s childhood is necessary in order to restore balance & new found hope in the future.

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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

Narcissistic abuse-Trauma bonding with a parent

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As many of you already know, my journey to qualifying as a Life Coach, was based on my own recovery from my narcissistically abusive parents.

For those of you who don’t follow my more personal blog, I wanted to just give you a little insight into my own struggles.

In the last few days, I have been struggling with contact again from my father, after 1 year and a half of not speaking.

I sent him a letter, so he could stop harrassing me by phone.

I never exclusively told him I wanted no contact, but after a very traumatic time following his attempted suicide, (as a way of stopping his wife from leaving him) he gave me the silent treatment for a year, so I just went along with it.

I was not willing to respond to him and was already in a grieving process, even though there was no closure of any sort.

When he finally decided to start hoovering me back in with his phonecalls and sudden caring, I continued to ignore his calls. This communication from him went on for 8 months. I finally got fed up with the constant calls that I decided to send him a letter to end our relationship. I briefly explained my reasons and gave him the chance to reply.

I received his reply and it hit me really hard! More than I expected it to.

I realised that I still had a tiny glimmer of hope that he might change his behaviour and this was a huge setback for me. I also realised how incredibly strong the trauma bonding is between us, even more so than with my mother.

As a means of coping with my recent distress and the final letter to him, which I am in the process of writing at the moment, I created the below video!

It outlines what I have been going through and what many other survivors of abuse face all the time.

Please feel free to share it, if you think it may help others.

Just visit my Youtube page and embed it into your page.

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.

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.

Grief

Although grief is a huge part of life, it is something that none of us want to experience.

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We can grieve over the loss of a loved one or beloved pet.

We can grieve over the loss of a job or home.

We can grieve whenever a new change happens in our lives, such as the loss of personal freedom when we have children or the loss of certain abilities when we become physically or mentally ill.

Sometimes the reasons we grieve are very subtle.

In general though, the journey through grief is a long one and it is important to give oneself time to grieve and to endure the overwhelming emotions that often accompany grief. Everyone moves at his or her own pace and along this path there will be circumstances which hinder one’s progress and circumstances which assist one’s progress. It may even take a lifetime to reach the desired goals of acceptance and inner peace.

If you are someone who grew up in an abusive & invalidating home, you will experience a more complicated type of grief. You will go through a grieving process which can take several years and will sometimes never completely go away. To not have had a nurturing & safe childhood means that you never experienced yourself as feeling nurtured & unconditionally loved. You will never, ever know what it is like to have healthy parents because this only happens once in your lifetime.You might only get glimpses of healthy families from friends that are lucky enough to have this and this will deeply hurt in its’ own way. If you were fostered, you might have finally managed to experience unconditional love later in your childhood but this still doesn’t completely undo the damage you have already experienced.

There are many ways to deal with grief. Ways that most of us have experienced to be healthy, such as allowing ourselves to cry and deeply feel our emotions of despair & unfairness.Crying doesn’t make us weak, it can actually strengthen us emotionally and physically. Crying stimulates production of endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones in our body.

Other ways are to turn to friends for support, write a journal or blog online. Exercise is also a great antidote to grief, no matter how hard it feels to actually do any.

The thing about grief that is important to remember is that it can feel mentally and physically exhausting. Practicing self-care during periods of grief is crucially important.

Rest & healthy eating are paramount during times of grief and reducing things like alcohol & drugs is also very important, as although you might feel like numbing yourself, this will only prolong the process of grieving.

If you are spiritual or have another faith, then this will also help you when you are feeling at your lowest.

It is also very important to try and avoid other stressful situations, especially at the early stages of grief.

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What are your experiences with grief?

If you are currently grieving, then please feel free to use this page as an outlet for your painful emotions at the moment and for support.

Comments are always welcome..

Much 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.

 

Supporting others through adversity the right way

Today’s video is important because it raises awareness on the importance of what we say to others currently facing adversity. When someone is suffering with mental health issues, has just found out some terrible news or is drowning in grief, the last thing they want to hear is what someone thinks they should do in their situation.

Projecting our own beliefs onto someone who is suffering can sometimes be detrimental. Telling someone how we think they should feel at times of difficulty, can be very harmful.

Always speak with caution.

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.

Courage

Today’s post will be short and sweet as unfortunately my internet is playing up and keeps having long disconnection periods. I have barely been able to post anything today due to this, so my apologies if this blog post is a little short. I think short and sweet, will be the theme of this day! 🙂

I wanted to write a little bit about why I chose Courage as the name of my Coaching business.

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First of all, courage is very important when challenging ourselves at times where we need to make big changes in our personal life, our work or our health.

Courage is necessary when we deal with grief, physical & emotional pain or overwhelming fear.

As survivors of abuse would agree, courage is crucial for getting through the trauma and emotional pain that starts with the abuse, continues throughout the abuse and then unfortunately becomes a part of the long journey of recovery after the abuse.

For those affected by war & overwhelming grief, courage is what keeps them going every day, when all they want is to stop feeling so frightened & devastated.

Courage is important for survival, for better quality of life, for the ability to self-reflect and for getting through adversity.

Below are some definitions that I found online when I was deciding on COURAGE as a name for my business.

Courage is:

  • The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.
  • Strength in the face of pain or grief
  • The choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.
  • The power or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc..
  • Courage, also called fortitude, is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. It can be divided into “physical courage” — in face of physical pain, hardship, and threat of death — and “moral courage” — in the face of shame, scandal, and discouragement..
  • The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

 I also selected a few of the most inspiring quotes about courage, in my opinion.

”You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along”.
Eleanor Roosevelt
”I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”.
Nelson Mandela
”Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”.
Dale Carnegie
”You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor”.
Aristotle

 What is it about courage that inspires you the most?

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.