My books have helped thousands to step back, and away, from the damaging effects of a narcissistic person, whether it’s a present-day relationship or one that has haunted them from the past. Now, they may help you, too.

Narcissist ruining your life?

Maybe you love one. Or work for one. Maybe you’re related to one. Or were raised by one. Whatever the relationship, you’ve likely been hurt by the narcissist in your life.

Denial can be a kind of protective shock absorber, a part of the grieving process when something important ends. When the qualities of denial overextend, when I inadvertently label it “hope” or call it “trying harder to make things work”, I masquerade my attempts because I’ve not been ready to make a change. Even though the relationship is getting worse, and I’m increasingly unhappy in it, I keep trying. 

Today I will do something different.

I ask myself if “trying harder” has distracted me from seeing what I don’t want to see. Today I am not afraid of the answer.”

Adapted from Surviving the Narcissist: 30 Days of Recovery

If one cannot experience love, is an “I love you” even possible?

Dear [____],

You’re my favorite. My star.

You hold the key to the universe that is me. 

Actually, right now I hold the key. 

And I promise to give it to you. 

When I’m ready. 

I’ll never be ready.

It’s cute how you try.

And try.

Your unswerving devotion to me no matter what I do or say.  

It makes me care about your struggles. 

As a means of using them to fuel my power over you.

I just want the best for me.

Therefore, the first thing you need to do is tell me what I need. 

It better be correct. 

Don’t fuss. You can’t become my star if you fuss. You can’t have the key to the universe that is me, either. That’s what you want, isn’t it?  That’s what you should want. Believe me when I say that others want it—and don’t dare ask me to prove it.

Don’t overestimate your value, dear. 

You are not that special.

I’m your parent so your faults are very obvious to me. 

That’s what parents are for—to point out, to notice, and help their children fix their problems.
I care about you more than you care about yourself…and about me. That’s what really hurts. And that you think you’re better than me.

I have news for you: you’re needy, sensitive, and a bossy, manipulative know-it-all. 

I’m worried about you and it’s my job as a parent to let you know.

But I don’t deserve this; I did not sign up for this. When I brought you into the world, into my family, into my life, I expected you to be better than this. I can’t accept it. 

Or you.

Now, now, don’t look so sad and defeated. You need help. All right, you need my help. No, no, I’m not going to walk away from you now. Whatever gave you that idea?

Stop asking me if I love you. It’s a foolish question. You’re my child. When you make me feel worthwhile I love you more than I love myself. Your siblings don’t understand me because they are selfish and immature. You’ve gotten over that. You’ve transcended yourself. You’re so adult. You’re the good child. I know you’ll never leave me. 

My very own little star that shines on me.

Signed, Your Parent 

—Meredith Gordon Resnick

Adapted from: WHEN YOUR PARENT IS A NARCISSIST: Uncovering origins, patterns, and unconscious dynamics—to help you grow and let go
Copyright 2016 Meredith Gordon Resnick

Game Over image credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

This article offers an insightful look into closure and forgiveness. In particular, author Bobbi Dempsey writes about choosing not to reconcile with her abusive father at the time of his death:

“Being pressured or forced to reconcile with an abusive figure just because they are dying, or to attend the funeral of a person who inflicted abuse and trauma on them can often end up feeling like a cruel form of group-gaslighting…Doing so means essentially erasing the trauma, abuse, or mistreatment suffered at someone else’s hands. So, please, though you might mean well, don’t do that to anyone. It just adds more emotional pain and stress to what they’re already carrying.”

“From the narcissistic parent’s point of view, the child is a vehicle to temper their own intense fears.  The parent unconsciously turns to the child to fill the dark and cavernous hole inside. This dark hole, the bottomlessness of it, frightens the narcissist parent and eventually the child. Tethered to the dynamic, however, the child tends to the hole in a multitude of ways (none of which actually fill or mend or address the hole) where the parent left off.”

Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist

In a blog post on Psychology Today, Preston Ni M.S.B.A. describes the difference between pathological narcissism and narcissistic behaviors. Ni writes:

“What distinguishes certain narcissistic behavior from pathological narcissism are frequencyintensity, and duration. While some people may exhibit narcissistic traits occasionally and mildly, a pathological narcissist will routinely use destructive narcissistic tactics in order to gain false superiority and exploit relationships.”

Read “Narcissist vs. Narcissistic Behavior” here

“When your parent is a narcissist, the echo that calls back from within is one of emptiness. Prolonged exposure to the narcissistic parent before verbal skills develop means synthesis of the destructive dynamic—without the ability, as a child, to reason one’s way out of it.”

Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist

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