Had a client today share something with me they’ve never shared with anyone out of fear of being judged or rejected. We sat in silence while she looked down at the piece of paper where she had written what she wants to express. I asked her about her hesitance. I asked her what she was afraid of. I told her she will never be forced to share something she is unwilling to share. For 30 minutes she opened her mouth and then closed it again, scared to reveal her truth. I sat there with her and held her fears so she wasn’t carrying them alone. Finally, she looked up, handed me her notebook and said “I want to tell you and this is how I can.” Today is one of those days where I am so grateful for what I do. People forget that safety can be so hard to come by yet so easily shattered. Knowing that my client felt safe enough with me to let me into the deepest, darkest, most hidden parts of herself was humbling to say the least. There’s something about sitting with and holding a person’s pain that reminds you what it means to be human, to be fallible, to be broken, but also to be safe enough to begin to heal.
I’ve learned a lot this year. I learned that things don’t always turn our the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you
1. Don’t negotiate with them. For emotional manipulators, it’s all about having, exerting and gaining more power. So they’ll always push for more and they’ll never compromise.
2. Don’t engage with them. Don’t try to talk, or reason, or discuss some matter with them - as they’ll try to twist your motives, and leave you feeling “bad”.
3. Don’t confront them. They’re quick to take offense and they love an argument. They’ll then turn and attack you – and never let things go.
4. Know your own personal buttons. They’ll aim to press your buttons to get a strong reaction. But knowing yourself well means you have the upper hand. Plan how to “not react” and to stay detached and calm.
5. Refuse to accept help as they’ll treat you like “you owe them”. You’ll then be in their debt – so it’s hard to feel you’re free.
1. Don’t expect empathy, understanding or praise and recognition from a narcissistic person. Keep your private thoughts and feelings close to your heart, and don’t open up and make yourself vulnerable.
2. Expect them to be rude and to say offensive things.
3. Don’t be offended by the things they say and do as it’s not about you – they treat others the same way.
4. Make a lot of their achievements and praise them publicly as they’re always looking to be noticed and affirmed.
5. Don’t try to get a narcissist to see things differently as they’re not going to change, or be influenced by you.
6. Understand that a narcissist is going to drain you dry – and will guilt you into think that you haven’t done enough. But it’s actually not true. They just can’t be satisfied.
7. Don’t push for a meaningful relationship with them as it will always be one-sided … look for love from someone else.
Whenever I post about going to the Dr. and more specifically, therapy, I always get questions in my inbox asking what type of therapy I go to and how it went. I thought I’d share this vulnerable side to my life in more detail, as I’ve found by my being candid, it helps others that have gone through similar things (which is one of the rewards of having this blog).
I’ve been in and out of therapy for years. By therapy, I mean counseling with a shrink. Because of my past, some of which I’ve divulged here, I suffer from PTSD. It’s mild, thankfully, but lurks in the shadows and strikes without much warning at times, accompanied by panic attacks caused by a trigger.
There’s a negative stigma attached to therapy, and mental illness that closes the door for a lot of people who suffer in silence. There are those who’ve mastered the art of donning a smile and upbeat attitude in hopes they can make it through the day without any indication they’re anything less than okay…those who cannot go half the day without a meltdown…and those that are somewhere in between the two.
At any rate, I go to therapy once a week for an hour. I’ve been to many different therapists over the years and have finally found one that I REALLY enjoy talking to. I usually walk in with my list of things to unload on her and one hour is never enough. In reality, a 3-4 hour session each week would be ideal. That’s how much I enjoy my weekly shrink visits. I trust her opinions and education and often times need her feedback to help validate my own opinions. It’s also nice to have an objective point of view on things, from someone who’s not personally and emotionally invested in you.
At first I thought, “I must be really fucked up if I’m looking forward to going to my shrink!” That may very well be the case, but I figure I don’t have anything to lose by going, and that’s the first challenge to overcome. I may be fucked up, but at least I’m a work-in-progress! 😂😂😂 💙💯
**BTW- I highly recommend therapy to everyone! Whether you’re struggling or not, there’s nothing to lose by having someone to talk to. A safe space with someone you trust. And sometimes it takes going to different people to find the right fit. I didn’t click with the first 3 I met. It’s nothing personal, I just kept looking until I found the right person. There’s nothing to be ashamed about for trying to be the best you can be.
Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.