Hello again, World! I’ve been talking about Physical Health a lot lately, so I decided to switch the gears a bit: let’s talk about Emotional and Mental Health.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of protecting both emotional and mental health is… Narcissistic People.
I have lived amongst Narcissists (or narcs if you prefer it that way) all my life, so I know a lot about that type of personality from experience, besides from psychology classes.
I want you to learn how to identify them so that you can protect yourself before they take control of your entire life. When that happens, you end up doubting every step you take. You feel like you depend on them for everything.. because that’s what they need to be happy: full control of your life.
In the beginning of this year, I made a quick video about narcissists on my YouTube channel, in case you’d like to check it out. (Click here to watch it).
My Personal Experience With Narcissists
I am 99.9% sure that the person “my male figure” when I was a child, is a narcissist. Even by writing this down, I feel the suffocation of the constant guilt that he has poured over me, since my childhood. This guilt was engraved in my soul by his emotional blackmails, arrogance, and egocentrism. I grew up [subconsciously] fearing him and the harm that he could cause my family.
As a child, I never felt safe or really loved by him because he was constantly competing with my brothers and I, for my mom’s attention. Still, he was never satisfied, making himself the victim of every situation. All of the sudden, every problem our family had, wasn’t his fault, but mine and my brother’s, who had to pay for it one way or another. And, at the end of the day, that same person would tell us that he loved us.
He may love us, but his way. Whatever that means to him. To me, love and security used to be only mere words that came from him.
This is the truth, and still, I feel a certain guilt for writing this down. I have been “trained and programmed” to protect him -and the way people view him -, after all, he is my father. My job is to do what he says, because “one day he is going to die and I will remember this very moment, with regret, for the rest of my life.”
I can’t even count how many times I have heard that sentence. It’s almost like he is trying to control my mind even after he dies! The weird thing is that I do remember a lot of things that I did that led him to say that sentence to me. Sometimes I wonder if those things are actually going to affect me in some way, the day he does die…
Some examples are: eating his chocolate ice-cream when I was about 9 years old; or accidentally waking him up laughing because he was sleeping in the living room couch, while my brothers and I were watching a comedy on TV. As I got older, he would say the same thing if I would disagree with him about things he thought important. Nowadays, he will still bring his death up every now and then. That happens when I defend myself from him when I realize that he is trying to manipulate me.
So, even though the narcissist causes you pain, you catch yourself treating them like a victim, protecting them from others, and measuring your own words…. you see how you are then protecting them from yourself? How does thist even make sense? You should be protecting yourself from him! It’s sooooo crooked.
Then guess what? As soon as I turned 22 years old, I got married to an alcoholic abusive. The hardest part of that marriage wasn’t to deal with the daily pain but to leave him. Why? Even though I knew he wasn’t treating me well, I had been “trained” to love men who lied to me and treated me badly.
Of course, this was all subconscious back then, but the point is: my familiar and “comfortable” world, wasn’t safe. But I remained silenced because I didn’t want others to think badly of him; protecting him and his bad behavior towards me. Sounds familiar, huh?
After living many years under those circumstances and becoming clinically depressed, I started seeing therapists and understanding the people around me. Most importantly, I started to understand my behavior and how I reacted when dealing with different personalities. (If you’d like to understand the mind of clinically depressed people, read this series of posts).
Before I had healed completely from that marriage, another narcissist saw my vulnerability (I was a very easy target) and latched himself onto me. I remember thinking of him as a tiring parasite when he forced himself into my life. One day he finally did what he wanted to do: to move in with me. And, even with that understanding, I let him into my life – I was protecting his needs.
Even though I was broken and desperately needed space and time to heal, he made me feel bad for him for not wanting him to live with me. He wanted what he wanted and, what I felt or needed, didn’t matter. — Typical narcissist… Too bad I couldn’t see it back then.
Reading The Mind Of A Narcissist
Yesterday, while I was packing my stuff in my office, I found a bunch of notebooks. I quickly flipped the pages to see what was written in them, to decide which ones I should keep or throw away.
Then I came across a black notebook. I did the same thing, except this time I saw the tiring-narcissist-parasite’s handwriting. I noticed that that notebook actually belonged to him! He either wrote in one of my notebooks, or he mixed my notebooks with that one of his the day he sorted my stuff out and threw everything in the garage, waiting until the day that I could get my name off the house we lived in.
Well, my jaw fell to the floor. I could not believe what I was reading: a declaration of who he is, from his own words. He wrote the letter to himself, as he says it in the letter.
Here are some quotes from his 3-page pencil-written letter:
“(…) I assure you I am not [a good man]. I drift through this life as a agent of selfishness. I am a master manipulator feeling shame for nothing that I take advantage of. Living knowning what I am and what I do. (…)”
“(…) I only fear loss of control. I preach acceptance when I have none.(…)”
“(…) I hate harder and stronger than I love, and I love to fill my need for control. The person I came closest to [me] knows this but only as an angry guess. Having no clue that the person she loved was the same that writes on these pages. (…)”
“(…) you should know I am far from depressed. This isn’t some text to provide clues to my mental well-being. I’m happy to be this that I am. I regret nothing. (…)”
“(…) I pretend to be. I am very good at it. I don’t know why nor I feel the need to be honest. (…)”
“(…) I write this for me, to hear my thoughts, to impress myself. I will live out my days in a make-believe world pretending to care. No one will ever catch on. (…)”
And it goes on… (!!)
Isn’t this creepy?? I have to admit, this letter actually affected me big time… I can’t believe I was living and being manipulated by someone so evil! But you know what? I believe that God put it there for me to see. Amongst EVERY book and notebook that I held yesterday, in the middle of a HUGE mess in my office (I’m moving out), I opened up those very pages. They could have easily gone unnoticed.
Maybe God put them there for me to see so that I could write this blog post down and help one single person. Who knows… that’s why I’m doing this anyway.
Protect Yourself From Narcs!
Deep down, I already knew who that guy was but could have never put it into words better than he did himself. Everyone would tell me that he was such a good person, so handsome, so smart, blah blah blah, but something never felt right to me… I could see right through him and even told him a couple of times to never propose to me because the answer was going to be “no”.
Even though I had tried breaking up with him 100 million times before the day that I actually left him, every time I tried to leave, he would have a “panic attack”… I would then catch myself taking care of him instead of leaving him. — So effing controlling!!
I think I was a challenge for him. That’s why he wanted me around. Narcs love challenges, to become perfectionists at being two-faced.
Anyway, that’s why we should never ignore our deep-down feelings; our “guts”.
Knowledge is power. It is rare that we can read (literally) the mind of a narcissist. And, if we are able to understand how they think, we can protect ourselves and plan our actions accordingly.
If you are interested in knowing what else he wrote in that letter, I will be reading it on my YouTube channel. I haven’t been very active on there lately, but I will force myself to make this video for you. I do think this subject is extremely important.
By the way, I will not share his identity. Please, I ask you to not to contact me with questions about him. Let’s keep it this way and leave it at that. 🙂
Identifying Narcissists And/Or Narcissistic Behaviors
Now you’re probably wondering if there are any narcissists in your circle of friends, or even if your significant other has narcissistic traits.
I will try to paint a simple picture for you, even though those people are far from simple.
- Require constant attention and admiration from others,
- Always feel superior,
- Excessive self-involvement, vanity, and egocentrism,
- Are always talking or lying about money (the lack of, or how much they make),
- Always try to control people and situations,
- Constantly remind you that they are the best of this or that (exaggerates his/her importance),
- Tell you that no one will ever love you more than they do,
- Don’t feel remorse and only apologize when trying to manipulate situations,
- Are very passive-aggressive,
- Don’t have many friends,
- Have some type of tick or obsessive-compulsive behavior,
- Rarely ask you about what is going on in your life (unless they are trying to manipulate you),
- Are always fantasizing about success, power, beauty, intelligence or ideal romance,
- Take advantage of others to reach their own goals,
- Disregard the feelings of others, lack empathy (they pretend to care but really don’t),
- Are often envious of others or believe other people are envious of them,
- Show arrogant behaviors and attitudes,
- Very critical and judgemental of others.
- Never really listen to you. You feel like you are talking to a wall.
If someone you know has many of the traits listed above, please be careful as they may be manipulating you silently. Those people may be your co-workers, family members, boss, significant other, and even your neighbor. They are everywhere. The more aware we are, the more we can protect ourselves from them.
Chances are, if you grew up around a narc, you may be surrounded by them now – unless you have become aware of this.
On my next blog post, I will be sharing with you how to deal with/leave narcissists.
I hope that this post was able to help someone’s mental and emotional well-being. Please keep this list close by and share it with the people you care about so that we can raise awareness of this important subject.
Remember: if you are dealing with a narc, you are not crazy... the narc is trying to drive you mad! That’s how they gain control over you, gradually.
As always, CHOOSE to be healthy by becoming aware!
See you next week. 🙂
Much peace being sent your way,
Disease Prevention Advocate, Blogger, Author, Speaker, Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and Licensed Medical Massage Practitioner by the Virginia Board of Nursing