The following terms have been used interchangeably in our culture for years: real self, true self, inner child, higher self. These terms refer to the same core part in humans. It is who we are when we feel most authentic or genuine. Our true self is loving, giving, expressive, creative, and spontaneous. Overall, we feel whole and alive when we are in touch with our true self. This feeling of wholeness and happiness can only come to us when we are open, honest and real with ourselves. We refer to this as the “Real-Self.” Essentially, our Real-Self is who we are when we feel most in touch with ourselves.
Narcissist Recovery Blog
The DSM-V is due out in 2013 and speculation regarding upcoming revisions has caused a great deal of controversy in the mental health field. Some reports indicate the American Psychological Association (APA) will condense the personality disorders. While we cannot predict what the APA will do in its upcoming version, the focus of my next book will be the four Toxic Personalities we most frequently encounter in romantic relationships that prohibit healthy intimacy and closeness.
The Four Toxic Personalities
1) The Narcissist – This person is an elitist and exists to be adored and admired.
• The characteristics of this Toxic Personality describe the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
• A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.
As we close out 2010, I want to thank all of you for being a blessing in my life! We have been through a lot, but I truly believe that what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. I know this has certainly been the case for me. I finally surrendered. What did I surrender? My ego. I stopped lying to myself that everything was ok. I dropped all inner resistance and started being honest with myself. I feel a sense of inner peace now that I never knew was possible. I am certain I would not have gotten to this point so early in my life had I not experienced what I did.
"If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the starts as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A start to discover, And a being within ourselves to bring to life." ~ Author unknown
It is important to realize that when coming out of a relationship with a narcissist our minds are experiencing severe Cognitive Dissonance. Cognitive Dissonance is the difficulty of trying to hold two opposing thoughts or beliefs at the same time. Cigarette smokers are a perfect example of individuals who may experience Cognitive Dissonance. They enjoy their habit, but at the same time, loathe it because they know it’s bad for them, right?
Cognitive Dissonance leads to obsessive thought because we are trying to make sense of a situation that doesn’t make sense. How can I love something that I also hate? How can I be crazy in love with this person, but despise them at the same time?
Elizabeth Edwards was an amazing woman. This statement is so true:
"In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain," President Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up. But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends."
In my opinion, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of treatment for reducing obsessive thoughts. It is important to understand when coming out a relationship with a narcissist, we need to deprogram from them. I can speak from personal experience that working with a certified CBT mental health professional is what finally helped me deprogram and retrain my brain. Thanks to recent advances in science and technology, we now know that our brains are much more plastic (changeable) than we ever thought.
In light of recent news that the American Psychological Association (APA) is considering lumping Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) under Anitsocial/Psychopathic Type, I have done a great deal of reading to understand their reasoning.
It appears there are two schools of thought offering an explanation thus far. One school of thought is that Narcissism has become so commonplace and so encouraged in America that the APA will simply no longer recognize it as a disorder due to political reasons. I certainly hope this is not the case. I do not want to believe this theory, but it's out there and we need to acknowledge it.
It is not easy to face the reality of our relationship with our significant other. We may waste time shifting blame or try to tell ourseleves things aren't that bad. This is understandable. I know I lied to myself for years before getting honest. Let's talk about what prevents us from getting real...
Let's talk about fear. Whatever we fear controls us. Fear, if not confronted, prevents us from truly living. Fear is like a prison.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Narcissists may hope for love and caring, but feel very uncomfortable if they seem to find it. Being in love makes them feel vulnerable and this terrifies them. They doubt the authenticity of real love and devalue anyone who loves them because they believe that person, like themselves, can never live up to their expectations of perfection.
Narcissists cannot grasp the concept of unconditional love that includes the acceptance of flaws. Love does not sustain them. Instead it feels unsafe. Admiration feels safer because it can be earned through achievements and credentials. Since these are things the narcissist can control, they feel much safer being admired, rather than loved.
The emotional abuse that occurs in a relationship with a narcissist is merciless and relentless. Narcissists brainwash their victims. They use several different methods of coercion in order to obtain control over their significant other. They threaten, degrade, shift blame, criticize, manipulate, verbally assault, dominate, blackmail, withdraw, withhold love and affection and gaslight their victims.
By learning from the moments in life, we become more compassionate and can aspire to live in the present. We can relax and open our heart and mind to what is right in front of us in the moment. We see, feel and experience everything more vividly. This is living. Now is the time to experience enlightenment. Not some time in the future. Keep in mind, how we relate to the now creates the future.