narcissistic abuse

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Narcissistic abuse is a very serious type of emotional abuse that can take years to recover from, and if unseen, can do lifelong damage. The more we can understand about this type of covert, callous cruelty, the better we can protect ourselves, learn, heal and eventually help others.

Repost:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-narcissist-relationships-can-cause-trauma
Image by Evgenij Yulkin / Stocksy

Leaving a narcissist doesn’t end with simply physically leaving, packing up your belongings, and building a new life. Women, for instance, go back to their abuser an average of seven times, even if she was the one who initiated the termination. During one of these times, she may lose her life.

Even after a person has permanently ended their relationship with the narcissist, oftentimes they can find themselves still shackled by the trauma of what happened. As a psychologist who works with survivors of narcissistic abuse regularly, I’ve seen the way a past relationship with a narcissist can continue to haunt someone and hold them back considerably even years down the line.

The lingering trauma of being in a relationship with a narcissist.

If you’re fresh out of that relationship, you’ll blame yourself and fall prey to their requests to meet because they’d love to apologize and thank you—during which they’ll hook you back. They’ll intermittently appear and disappear from your life, especially when you’re starting to live better again, because they don’t want you having a good life without them. Sometimes, you’ll miss them and want to reach out. Or you continue keeping in touch because you think that’s the polite thing to do, and that’s how the narcissist continues to subtly poison you, impeding your healing.

But the effects of having dated a narcissist can continue to linger even after you’ve cut off all contact and your legal entanglements with them are over.

The thing about trauma is that our brains need closure. And so sometimes we end up in similar relationships, or what we call “repetition compulsion” in psychology. It feels like a bad magic spell, and we feel more helpless and hopeless with time.

Or, fast-forward decades. You can be in an amazing relationship with someone who loves you, but you’re always looking over your shoulder. You’re haunted by the trauma and anxiety, which you may manage by medicating yourself with work, overthinking, or praying, but it’s always in the background. You wonder why people hurt you and why you can’t trust most humans. And one fine day, the trauma catches up with you, and you break down.

This trauma can even pass on to your next generations—some evidence suggests that unresolved trauma passes on genetically and energetically within the family line so that it can be resolved by one’s descendants eventually. In the case of narcissistic abuse, that means people later in your family line could end up being involved in relationships with abusers, or become abusers themselves. In spiritual circles, the saying that the same lessons will present themselves over and over again until we’ve learned them.

Leaving is the first step; it’s staying gone that’s the real legwork of healing from a narcissistic relationship. Gone from them in your head, body, and soul.

How to heal from your experience with a narcissist.

Let’s use an analogy we all understand. There is a wound, and we cannot merely slap on Band-Aids. We have to go deep and clean it and harness our natural ability to heal and rejuvenate. At the same time, we’ll ensure that the surface of the skin strengthens and beautifies. In other words, we work on both the roots and symptoms at the same time.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Don’t do this alone.

You can pick up books and articles about breaking up with a narcissist, but chances are, you’ll be fumbling with the DIY process and losing heart. When it comes to this type of trauma, working with a professional who can help guide you through is extremely important.

2. No or minimal contact.

If you do not have any more entanglements with them, keep it that way. Do not even dream of staying friends. Keep accountable to someone you can contact when you want to communicate with the narcissist. If you have joined responsibilities and assets, engage professionals and intermediaries. This applies even to going to your previously shared property to collect your belongings.

Co-parenting with a narcissist can be more difficult than parenting on your own; they’ll use your children as puppets to hurt you further and undo the parenting you do. If you are fighting legal battles with your narcissistic ex, they’ll use the court as their new playground for abuse. Remember, they know which buttons to push to discredit you; so do your part by engaging trusted lawyers and therapists who truly understand narcissistic abuse, have your back, and support you to be in an emotionally stable place. It takes a village to reclaim true freedom.

3. Don’t bypass the healing process.

One thing that infuriates me is the myth that trauma and mental health problems can at best be managed your entire life. That is not true. Make sure that the professional you engage is trauma-trained and understands the specific struggles you are experiencing and knows all the traps to look out for and the way the human brain can sabotage your healing. For instance, panic attacks are common when you’ve been with an abuser, so your professional must know how to treat them.

It’s not enough to simply talk and bypass the pain intellectually or spiritually; trauma is stored in your body, and you have to actively rewire the fear center and timekeeper in your brain. Nor is it enough to simply “work on the future” or tell yourself mantras you don’t believe. You cannot bypass processing what you’ve gone through. Otherwise your past will haunt you with a vengeance eventually

And remember, your job isn’t to forgive your narcissist; it’s to forgive yourself.

4. Build strong foundations.

You’ll need to have a present and future to look forward to. You’ll need to learn to reclaim the things you loved and the parts of you that were wrestled away from you during the relationship. Your goals must sync with creating strong foundations in who you are and across different aspects of your life—such as your body and health, mind, relationships, money, and career. Bad things happen in life, but they don’t last forever. When you build strong foundations, you actively grow and practice resilience. You become unshakable and learn to ride the waves of life.

5. Keep practicing boundaries, and know you have permission to have them.

We didn’t go to school and learn how to identify dark personality types or what boundaries are, so it’s not your fault. What you do with this experience henceforth, however, is your responsibility.

There are likely relationships in your life where your boundaries are eroded or poor, mirroring your relationship with the narcissist. Start by creating a list of your personal boundaries—the Hell No’s—in your life. Take boundaries as your litmus test—respectful people who’ve unwittingly violated your boundaries will be apologetic and not do it again, whereas toxic people won’t. Write scripts for what you’ll say in certain situations. You’ll sound awkward at first. Just as it’s painful when you start training your muscles, you’ll get stronger and feel so proud of yourself.

6. Don’t tell everyone.

You don’t have to explain to everyone about what’s going on in your life, what you’re doing, and why you ended up in a toxic relationship. People will pry, some out of concern, others out of nosiness, and then a few because they want to signal superiority because they never landed in your predicament. Difficult people will force their opinions and prescriptions for your future down your throat. Not everyone is on your side—take this as an opportunity to streamline your relationships.

For those who have your back who you don’t want to talk to about this, you can simply say, “I’m working on this with a trained professional, so let’s keep our time to what we can both enjoy.”

7. Stop bullying yourself.

You may be physically removed from the narcissist, but they can often live in your head. Abuse trains us to blame ourselves. You may realize that you’re angry with yourself for everything—not recognizing the abuse, falling in love, staying too long, or for even leaving. You’ll blame yourself for many things you continue to do.

To truly exorcise the narcissist, you have to commit to growing the muscles of forgiving yourself and taking good care of yourself. That means whenever you catch yourself lapsing into self-blame, you notice it without judging yourself and then do something to break that vicious cycle.

8. Make new memories.

Perhaps you’ve had tons of memories in a place you used to frequent with your ex. And you really enjoy that place. You don’t need to taint that solely with the past. Make new memories in activities and places with yourself or people you trust.

This may seem overwhelming at first. In psychology, we call this a behavioral experiment—we practice experiencing that our nervous system can regulate itself, and then we know we can prevail. And then these things you once held dear to you start becoming a part of your life again.

9. Make empathy your superpower.

Many clients I work with despise their empathy because they believe it got them into trouble. That’s not necessarily true. Empathy may be your Achilles heel because you aren’t selective of who you give that precious resource to; it’s also part of your identity, and you don’t want to be cynical and jaded. You can practice discerningly diverting this empathy to yourself and those who deserve it. This way, it works for you rather than against you.

10. Know that we believe you.

The intricacies of an abusive relationship are such that it’s hard for someone who’s never been in one to truly understand. There’ll be a lot of doubt cast on you, making you wonder if you are truly silly for having fallen for one. You’ll also doubt yourself if your narcissist was “that bad,” or if you’re being dramatic, because gaslighting erodes your sense of reality. Moreover, no relationship is 100% bad. There were good times, whether or not the narcissist’s intentions were real.

You don’t need everyone to believe you. Know that I believe you. There’s a whole bunch of us out there who believe you.

The bottom line.

Truly healing from a narcissist takes effort, as with anything. But the steps you can slowly gain proficiency in are fundamentally simple. What you have to watch out for is how we’ll always talk ourselves out of it.

Ask yourself: How do you want to see your future self—do you want to respect this person, or would you like to see them calcified into a worse version of what they are today? And then ask yourself: What legacy would you like to leave behind? By healing, you inspire the people around you, your future generations, and other survivors of narcissistic abuse to believe that they have a future.

We can choose to whitewash our past by pretending it doesn’t exist, but secrets make us sick. Instead, I choose to live by this—I want my past to pay dividends, and I want my demons to work for me.

Writing from the other side, it is my deepest prayer for you that you’ll get there too.

34 replies
  1. dawnlhamo
    dawnlhamo says:

    Here is a quote from a Reddit support forum for victims:
    “Remember dont EVER talk
    It will only get you more hurt. You cannot be rational, you cannot think, you cannot express your concerns. Their behavior will be justified until the grave.
    Its useless, your useless, the relationship is useless.
    You are working to repair things while someone behind you is tearing apart all the work you do.
    Save yourself.”
    https://www.reddit.com/r/NarcissisticAbuse/comments/hyi9oh/remember_dont_ever_talk/

    My question, are these people truly soulless and not-redeemable, is there no hope of any trace human conscience?

    Reply
  2. Jordan Hoggard
    Jordan Hoggard says:

    Yes, I found that the best way to argue with one (in a relationship or in general) is… Don’t. You’re just giving them free bait for their shaming behavior bait box to fuel the OOOHHH SHINY thing dangling in front of them as an Angler fish. Gulp you up and spit you out every time… well, until that day When they suddenly come at you and you are suddenly in an intense state of calm. Not frozen. Not flight. Not not-flight. Calm. Yourself. Sovereign. And, they gnash and scream and attack and and and… your eyebrows go up a little as your mouth settles into being comfortable closed. And, then they fore the big guns, whatever big guns they have developed. Though, there you stand, right in front of the unmoved, like trees with strong roots laugh at storms kind of unmoved. And, in that sovereign moment everything they dish with their short-fuses bounces right back to detonate where it should… inside them. That’s where they need to hear the noise. And, they explode. Out a slammed store. Stomping up the stairs. And, there I stood… ahhhh, it’s quiet now. And, I safely took the Thoughtful steps to relieve myself of that dangerous and toxic environment.

    Reply
    • Jordan Hoggard
      Jordan Hoggard says:

      I will add. They are redeemable, though often only by a Professional Psychologist. NOt redeemable, though, that one should have to endure years of their therapy and wait, though… unless one so chooses the investment.

      From what I’ve learned psychopaths are born, though sociopaths/narcissists are made… most often from trauma that has not been unfolded, unknotted, resolved.

      Reply
      • dawnlhamo
        dawnlhamo says:

        I have not yet seen one ever seek professional help, I think full specs. are considered untreatable, since the mindset is predicated on projection. I have seen some with borderline overtones seek treatment, so there is some hope, always. Yes, I was told that psychopaths (ASPD), are mostly neurological, forget it, most end up behind bars, with any luck. I only have a BA in psychology, so I’m not at all equipped to diagnose, and no one person is a label, but I’ve been the sad recipient of narcissistic abuse since the crib, so it helps to use terms that express certain patterns. See the life of Carrie Fisher, (Postcards from the Edge, first scene) maternal narcissism, by a cold, unloving, verbally and emotionally violent, Capricorn full spec, what a prize! What doesn’t kill you, indeed makes you stronger, but the effort is herculean. That’s the entire premise of this blog, looking at practical ways of becoming whole and flourishing. https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/postcards-from-the-edge/id291438231

        Reply
        • Jordan Hoggard
          Jordan Hoggard says:

          I know one whole went for help, couples counseling as an ultimatum for me entertaining staying in the relationship. Ironically, she was also a Psychologist. During the 3rd session when she got check-mated by the Therapist for HER to answer rather than to put it on me, she got up and quit and walked out. Ahhhh, he asked me If I needed to follow after her. I laughed, “What, and quit, too? I hear you do Brainspotting. Tell me more about that.” That started 3+ years of bi-weekly Brainspotting for myself, and of course when I got home later began taking the step to remove the trouble safely.

          I appreciate the premise of your blog of looking at practical ways of becoming whole and flourishing. Brainspotting certainly did that for me. Now, I have a whole lifetime to keep becoming whole and flourishing.

          Glad to have found your blog, Dawn.

          Reply
          • dawnlhamo
            dawnlhamo says:

            Well, what diligent codependent wouldn’t LOVE to take it all to the mat, gladly go into counseling, for however long it takes and heal these deep wounds and dynamics? The problem is, one party sees the other as 100% wrong, and is often very intelligent, insidious and can even triangulate a therapist against you. There isn’t much hope for a bright awakening when the ostrich sticks his head in a hole.

          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            Yup, she did just that, and I had a blast of getting my creativity and imagination back. I wasn’t codependent so much as I did not buy it could be THAT bad, amplified in movies, though for real? Yes, very much for real. Yes, it wasn;t that she was always right, it’s that everyone one else was wrong and needed her myopic guidance. 🙂

          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            And, I couldn’t agree more. I grew up in a family where we did what we said we were going to do with all the toxic arabesques and poisonous drip-traps of manipulation. Like any family my ‘rents were of course both Mentor and Tormentor. Though, there’s a difference between solid comms and flipping people around on the end of the whip like with codependents and NPD and BPD tend to do.

            It was clear in that 3rd session when the ostrich stuck her head in the hole so to speak, that the THERAPIST would have a slim to no chance to help her help herself. And, that outs me as NOT a PSych Professional in a “Yup, futile. Leave” kind of place. Very eye opening.

            There’s more than a red flag in my wits in regards to that. There’s simply a NOPE.

          • dawnlhamo
            dawnlhamo says:

            Actually, you see, if we run away from these people who trigger us, how then can we bring to surface that which needs to heal? I was recently triggered by “one of these” and it’s interesting, sociologically, in it’s excruciating and cyclic pain. It shed light on deep childhood skeletons that I though I was well healed from, maybe as the cliche goes, if we are really brave “that way out is through?” As much as I think that Scientology is some form of cult, they have an interesting premise about “becoming clear.” You expose yourself to painful memory, stimulus again and again until you process and cry it all out until it doesn’t affect you anymore. If we run, aren’t we in effect running away from ourselves, and how then, is healing possible? Maybe what we need is a harem of narcissists and borderlines to hobnob with, a one way ticket to enlightenment? (if we survive) 😉

          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            I don;t agree with the harem of NPD and BPD, and hope you were tongue in cheek with the (if we survive) :). No reason to suffer to heal triggers.

            In fact that’s what Brainspotting is all about. Working on yourself with yourself with a Psychologist who does Brainspottting. I see no reason to suck on the shaming behavior drip to trigger me. I found plenty in Brainspotting. Now? When someone triggers me, I have the wits to keep silent, say thank you inside and look at what it is, AND to “Well, your words not mine. Glad you can describe yourself so aptly and clearly and that you trust me enough to attempt to put it on me.” If I say anything at all. Sovereign with healthy boundaries came from Brainspotting. And again, I decided to not cotton to me being a part of their healing when someone such as a Psych Professional may even have a hard tie getting to them.

            Rather than my life on hold in submissive service to someone else’s lack of taking self-responsibility has been supplanted by an untold amount of support and compassion I can extend to them, empathy for the tragic pain they were, are, and continue to be under, though it’s simply not mine. I find that to be an important distinction to back up standing up for oneself. 🙂

            Still laughing at your harem of them. We have sewage plants for that? 🙂

    • dawnlhamo
      dawnlhamo says:

      Yes it’s inherent to full spectrum Narcopaths/ Borderlines that they project their shadow onto others and are incapable of contrition, regret and empathy. All apologies are perfunctory and a baiting tactic. Yes, they go through life sadly breaking many in their wake, we are nothing but disposable fodder to uphold an ego, rooted in self hatred. We see this in our president, this culture forges unwell people sadly. This type of abuse is soul level and core damaging because of it’s subtlety. If the recipient can somehow extract themselves from the narcissists power and control, yes we can rise up and heal completely, stronger than before. We can have deep self love and not accept disordered relationships that have no hope of resolve. They however, will stay the same, trapped in a sad, predatory loveless existence until their last breath, yes they win. That’s all they ever wanted.

      Reply
      • Jordan Hoggard
        Jordan Hoggard says:

        Yes, On all points, especially POTUS and the forging. They win… they win a continually miserable existence that they can’t even relish in, have to hang the rot on others.

        Yes, to completely healing and coming out stronger. I have the sniff sniff of knowing when the Angler Fish with its glowing bait orb is near, and my mouth closes, my eyebrows go up a bit, and inside I simply chuckle now with NOPE. They talk SO much about connection in that way they often teach what they most need to know rather than connecting where water raises all boats.

        Reply
      • Jordan Hoggard
        Jordan Hoggard says:

        Yes to full spectrum NPD and BPD. The BPDs are sneakier I find, though, as they’re not as full boat gone, can get you to smoke their personal hope… though, they, too, only get you to do things. Gawd forbid they actually practice what they preach.

        Reply
        • dawnlhamo
          dawnlhamo says:

          Yes, BPD’s some hope because they do seem to have some emotional depth, but I have been reading up on all of this for a year, someone said that borderlines, when triggered, have the least amount of empathy for the damage they do, of any of the personality disorders. I used to work in group homes with people with mental illness. The homes had a capacity of eight clients per home, and the state would only allow 1 borderline per house, as that diagnosis was considered the most difficult, insidious and took up most of the staff time because they “entrained” with us. It’s often, sadly related to very early childhood sexual abuse. All I can hope, is with transparency and forthright conversations like these, we all bring awareness to these still hidden social problems, so that real healing is possible, for everyone involved. It’s a secondary serious issue, the vulnerable and well intended people that try to love and fix disordered people. Once you get caught in the “helping” dynamic it can be a deadly, life draining bear trap. https://www.amazon.com/Types-People-Ruin-Your-Life-ebook/dp/B0716ND89J

          Reply
          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            I agree on the BPDs having elven less empathy. From my experience the BPDs are often not the one directly abused, simply swam in an abusive environment. So, I gather their quality of less empathy is being triggered to protect their sibling or parent, and then of course vigilante justice taking it out on. The person they are interacting with.

            Yes, on the bear trap. It came around to NO I will not even respond to her every-2-month text after I ended the relationship, It was like clockwork. Then, no more being an enabler. They get help, they show results, excellent, though I am not going to bide my time on some kind of hold being subjected to their shaming behavior. I had enough of that within myself pre-Brainspotting to handle and fire a couple of internal managers by listening and receiving their message without any considerations of control. They had to learn that it’s my mouth, and they can only advise, and tantrums are not advising.

            It’s a rich process.

  3. Jordan Hoggard
    Jordan Hoggard says:

    Dawn, Interesting point about running away, though running away or simply cutting narcissists out of our life is not running away From my perspective. It’s leaving them, period, end of story. And, from my perspective that opens us up to find those deep and dark places ourselves. I feel each of us is qualified for life, when we allow ourself to be. Narcissists and sociopathy are not proper tools for unseating deep-seated traumas to unfold the messages from the traumas and consequently engage them to release the triggers so the Part can re-integrate into ourself, dosing ourself with more of ourself. Brainspotting directly engages in this, and with not much talk. You meet your Parts. Over time you gain their trust. Some come in like Kali dancing on Shiva ferociously rage fun Tasmanian Devils. Some creep in. Some peek around the corner. They present untold ways in a Brainspotting session, and that’s why it’s important to have a trained, professional Psychologist there with you. Might as well be a Shaman for an Ayuasca trip, as Parts Therapy can get kind of trippy, sometimes even like the sensory deprivation chamber in the movie “Altered States.” Over time, sustained, like with most things, you get good at it. It becomes a disciplined ritual of a method to get to know yourself literally through the Parts in you Inner Self. Brainspotting is simply the modality that most aligned with my Nature.

    Narcissists and sociopathy simply pour more poison ON rather than removing internal thorns. Like, they may trigger you to open up, though in the opening and removal of a thorn, they water the empty space most often with the poison of shaming behavior, one of the only modes they truly are good at… instead of letting the space breathe like your own spaces between your own internal music, the chords that strike to resonate with you. Harsh. Terrifying. Happy sad glad mad. They come in all forms, only limited by the traumas one has experienced that put them there in the first place.

    The place I’ve come to in life with this is to give everyone credit where credit is due. Everybody’s good at something, and until the day they get sustained help, narcissists and sociopaths are good at something. They are good, professional level good, at both Psychological Project and Projective Identity. And, mostly, they are good at being dicks. And, I leave it that.

    Yes, I can feel empathy for the torrential and tragic pain they’ve experienced, though that empathy is more a deep knowing of how difficult it is for them. It does not in any way, though, gift me any kind of impetus to be the target on their firing range or the dart board they continually send out barbs at… and certainly not ask them to shaming behavior filet me open so I can access deep places within. That sounds more like torture than healing. And, Brainspotting was intensely focus, and often very difficult and painful. Sometimes, it might have been better to sit in a giant box of tissues than on the couch. Though, ablution came, and for that I am thankful to myself for hardcore work. 3+ years of Brainspotting, most months a session every other week. Again, may not be for everyone, as EMDR may not as well.

    Simply my perspective here in no way intending to be pedantic. I’m simply no sheep about the merits and value it provided for me in getting at the things that get my goat. Now, I have few goats, and replacing them with more me, dosed FROM them.

    Happy to have found your site, and do let me know if my response is too much or not in keeping with the theme and tenor of your blog. Thanks much.

    Reply
      • Jordan Hoggard
        Jordan Hoggard says:

        I appreciate that, Dawn. And, I wholeheartedly agree that they are intense sociological issues, that the evocative brings in the personal portion with each of us, and are directly expressive of the human condition.

        I tend to run at the mouth with this kind of topic because saying something simple like, The best way to argue with a Narcissist is to not (do so),” as it’s too fine a grain, and pervasive and ingrained in our culture, especially in more ways that most people are even aware of. All the abuse scandals and domestic violence. I feel that these things have always been present throughout history. It’s just that people are growing up into their sovereignty to say “enough! Nope, not taking that anymore as it’s a poor way to parent/relate/etc.” So, the long-winded side-steps simplistic over-generalizations, and like the intent of your site here, speaks to opening up to truths. That’s the biggest thing. Shame comes calling (from inside) when most people sniff near these topics. Until, of course, one dispenses with shame altogether. It has no place. We’re all different, just like everyone else. Not to be quipped, though some levity in what I’m expressing will be peppered in so as not to dial into Losing the fluidity of dialogue and where then I’ll do better to screw myself to the floor and talk about how mobile I am. I tend to work with a net, firmly stapled to the floor. Relating directly to people while still in these types of relationships is often difficult. I know that from personal experience where the more clear you get the further those drops go in, and you lull, and dull, and dim, and then the creativity goes. Then the imagination. Those two dying on the vine are par for the course when in a relationship with one of these kinds of people. I had to buck up and take the long road home as my livelihoods of Art, Architecture, Tarot, Astrology, Poetry, and Writing depend on it. It was the closest thing I can equate to prison camp and torture, more difficult than my most intense mountain climbing experiences gone wrong all put together… and then sustained. 🙂

        I’ll also dialogue and respectfully listen like I’m reading Latin, working more in concept than in just the right/wring words. That is to say I’ll keep semantics as some-antics, and listen to the message rather than pick like an expert witness or defense attorney. 🙂

        Reply
  4. Jordan Hoggard
    Jordan Hoggard says:

    On another note. Your blog is an important forum for these intensely important issues. DO I have your permission to include an entry in my weekly Serendipity Itineraries post that comes out on Fridays? There, I select sites that I feel may be of interest to others to provide avenues of exploration to find new people and blog spaces they resonate with, like a serendipity field trip agent o sorts. Let me know. Here’s a link to the last one. And, feel free to moderate-edit out the link as, your blog, your way. https://jordanhoggard.com/2020/07/24/si-7-24-serendipity-itinerary/

    Sidebar: Interestingly enough, my post this morning was titled “Echo and Narcissus Compose The Phoenix.” Kinda diggin’ the sync of that, and it was inspired by another’s post, so that sync via serendipity is running well.

    Reply
      • Jordan Hoggard
        Jordan Hoggard says:

        Oh, that’s actually the point of Serendipity Itinieraries, to give people places I’ve discovered to go visit and see if they find more places and people to resonate with. Each entry is a blurb about each site, directly linked.

        Reply
        • dawnlhamo
          dawnlhamo says:

          This nails it: “Part of the borderline high-conflict personality is preoccupied with revenge and vindication. They often end up in court suing their alleged abusers (really, their Targets of Blame) for “abandoning” them one way or another. While some are actual victims of specific abusive behavior, from which they truly need protection, others have taken a victim-in-life position that allows them (in their own minds) to punish their former lovers, employ- ers, and friends for minor or nonexistent behaviors.
          According to the DSM-5, someone has borderline personality disorder if they have five or more of nine specific personality traits. The following three key characteristics make them very likely to create high-conflict situations or be HCPs.

          1. Fear of abandonment; constantly clinging and seeking reas- surance.
          2. Wide mood swings, with rapid shifts between friendliness and rage.
          3. Splitting: Seeing people as all good or all bad.”
          https://www.amazon.com/Types-People-Ruin-Your-Life-ebook/dp/B0716ND89J

          Reply
          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            Yes, nails it. Excellent piece.

            And further, the revenge nails it most often not because of their abusers, but revenge for their jealousy of their siblings who were abused (chosen, paid attention to) instead of them. A good portion of BPD people weren’t directly abused, though grew up in loud and/or abusive and or generally violent environments, especially within the home. Call them children of war.

            There was a Twins Study that came to the horrifying (though makes sense when you approach it conceptually without charge) conclusion that the twin that was NOT abused was more often the one with the greater Psychological set of problems to address. The twin that was abused only had to go through therapy (“only”, qualify that as intense not to minimize it) for the abuse. The twin who was not directly abused still had most of the same issues with similar therapy. It was discovered that the twin that was not abused verbally/sexually/violently ALSO was dealing with the conflict within themselves of, “Yes, abuse is bad, but Mom/Dad didn’t choose me.“

            My eyes went wide when I first read that back in the early 2002 or 2003. My head cocked, different perspective really hearing them, and suddenly it made very much sense. Their Mentor/Tormentor parent showed “love” that way, and most likely only that way, and they didn’t receive any of it.

          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            Interesting turn of legal Tort phrase: Targets of Blame.” I make a distinction there. People who are in relationship with them become Targets of Blame, though their abusers when not alleged but actual abusers have the responsibility to shoulder that targeting… not of blame, but of owning their actions openly. There’s a big white lie theme that plays out with many abusers after in many ways though here are two:
            ~ the “baby baby baby I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to break your leg.”
            ~ the “No Mr Smith I didn’t hit the baseball through your window.”

            Both of which express a lack of Self sovereignty and a fear of getting in trouble rather than stepping up and owning one’s actions. Yes, there are consequences, and yes people can discern scales of consequences prior to acting in lieu of just trying to get away with it.

            I frame the responsibility this way in regards to not wanting to get in trouble. There’s only one Principal in my Principal’s Office. Me. And, I don’t keep office hours. Like, sharks don’t complain about Mondays, or that the hardest days of the week are the 5 days after the weekend. Sharks are up doing shark stuff, biting things, testing, moving around exploring, patrolling… on their own terms. Their life, their way. No Principal in the Principal’s Office, just the Sovereignty of Nature. Consequences. There are always consequences. Sometimes not one that feel good, sometime inspiring influences. I don’t dial into our “social predicament.” I explore the workability in the system with what I can do with my work a person, a session, at a time.

            I look at therapy/healing/Tarot/Astrology as Japanese Kintsukuroi. Repairing a broken vase with gold lacquer to express that a thing is more valuable for being broken, and putting itself / being put back together once a more natural understanding of oneself is present… the abuser experience is flipped into a message… that is many things except one. Never blame the victim. The whole “you asked for it” gig only expresses a lack of impulse control on the part of the abuser, and as well a use of shaming behavior by the abuser as a tactic afterwards to hide In their weakness from their responsibility.

          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            In regards to splitting, I’ll flip to the workability rather than address the cause:

            “As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in the heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with,and criticizing others others weakens and defeats you.” ~ Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
            I’ll add to extend:
            ~ too focused on ‘good’ = favoritism
            ~ too focused on ‘bad’ = shaming

          • dawnlhamo
            dawnlhamo says:

            Yes agreed, hardly enlightened or integral, and I will add (of course), karma is a perfect system. Who is good, who is evil? If I have the causes and conditions to be born in a fortunate and supportive environment I will have a better chance at success than someone who came from early abuse. Hurt people hurt people, it’s sad really. Narcs and those with disorders lead really harsh, lonely and angry lives if they go untreated. I hear 45 sleeps alone, loveless really. 🙁 In order to not play victim which is a forever, toxic holding of hurt and blame, I deconstruct the causes and conditions of those who hurt me, and see that mistreatment, physical and sexual abuse are often cyclical, and the way out of all of this firstly, is education and transparency. https://dawnlhamo.com/2019/10/07/on-love-message-from-amitabha-buddha-to-all-sentient-beings/

          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            Hmmm, I can’t follow you down the “karma is a perfect system” road. Like I expressed quoting Morihei Ueshiba in regards to ‘good’ and ‘bad’, that to me extends to there are only consequences. I find pervasive shame and guilt to be pretty much propogated by religion With their dogma for crowd control purposes, and karma to be just the same, for crowd control from the spiritual community… for centuries. Except, when you add consequences, you can fold in shame and guilt and dogma and karma together like folding in egg whites to a soufflé. Make it rise… under the right conditions.

            Nice people hurt people, too. Favoritism versus choice. Bullying versus favoritism. Etc etc. I feel we get into all these 1st world bubbles of cause and effect. I also don;t believe in lineage abuse on the nature side of nature versus nurture. This kids swim in that abusive environments who grow up to fill their home pool with the same environment that their family swims in. I don’t that to be lineage. I find that is people not inspecting their expectations. Just because someone did something to you doesn’t mean you have to hand it off down the line. It’s difficult and sometimes dangerous, though standing up as a Rock of Gibraltar sea wall and stopping it in its tracks is the only 1st step… as reasons are unreasonable with abusers. Plus, they are accustomed to it. T+From an empathy standpoint, I might objectively lean a little compassion their way as that’s the only place they’re comfortable.

            Of course rather than draggging the narcs kicking and screaming in some vigilante justice, … that wouldn’t work. Too much witch hunt trappings where innocent people wold get hurt… which is not for the common good.

            Like Jung expressed: “Thinking is difficult. That’s why most people judge.”

          • Jordan Hoggard
            Jordan Hoggard says:

            You know, Dawn, I haven’t thought about karma in a long time. I smile remembering being asked to leave a spiritual group in Denver (name withheld) when I discounted karma out of hand with, “Whyever would I want to feel ashamed or guilty about something someone else before me did? That just seems to me a wonderfully effective recipe for crowd control to both set me up for failure and primes me to be a victim who personally then brings that concept present of taking responsibility for things people did to me that I had nothing to do with. Those things that ‘I did’ in past lives. I suggest you go get THEM and bring them back if responsibility needs to be taken. Nature’ll kill ya. I know that from the mountain. Life comes with enough problems without some abstract and infinite ancestry library to do penitence for. In fact I firmly feel our Ancestors are here to help us. Don’t you?”

            It was a bit of the Pallas-Athena voice, though thinking about it again today. Rather than a perfect system of good and bad, because I don’t See who determines which is which. Can’t be morals, that’s too prude. Can’t be hedonism, that’s too too. Can’t be a Nihilist ‘cause they won’t care. Certainly won’t be a Solipsist, unless they also see Self in others.

            I don’t see where the “system” part comes in in regards to karma. Seems more like it makes indentured servants of everyone. How convenient. Shaking head. Nope, only good and bad. I don’t see that as a system. I see it as black and white, and not the kind with sharps and flats with which to play music.

            Dawn,
            Please clarify your position on karma if you would. I guess I’m not clear now and where you stand on it. Thank you.

          • dawnlhamo
            dawnlhamo says:

            Jordan,
            The term karma gets misconstrued in a theistic, punitive magical thinking way. You asked a great question, that I once asked my teacher about karma directly. I will reply soon, and do a writeup about what he said in a full blog post. Much of what we discussed here, could account in depth for many posts, and even a book or two.

  5. dawnlhamo
    dawnlhamo says:

    The revenge and use of the courts for these people, who are perfectly capable of making up lies, do make it unsafe to “process” with. I guess healing from an encounter can only be done outside of any contact. The road to recovery is counter intuitive, we tend to gravitate back to those who hurt us to fix it, but in retrospect, if they were well, loving, empathetic, they wouldn’t have been so destructive and cruel in the first place.

    Reply

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© Copyright 2020- Dawn Boiani DBA Sakura Designs, LLC. *Disclaimer- Poems, Articles and Posts are the personal reflections, political positons and views soley of Dawn Boiani and do not necessarily reflect those of Sakura Designs, LLC.
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