I’m really excited because today I have another incredible Thriver story.
If you were abused as a child, by a parent or family member, you are especially going to want to make some time to listen to this story.
It’s pretty incredible!
This story is about a Cindy, a wonderful woman within our NARP community and is also a moderator in the NARP forum. (Like Phil who I had on the show a few weeks ago.)
Cindy grew up in dairy farm in Wisconsin with foster parents. Her mother was the narcissist and her father was the co-dependent enabler.
She spent her youth growing up trying to win her Mother’s approval and inevitably became the scapegoat of the family.
If you grew up with a narcissist in your family you will definitely relate to:
Being told you will never amount to anything and trying countless things to win their approval.
Being manipulated by shame, guilt, gaslighting and emotional blackmail.
And the vicious events of rage that escalated throughout your youth.
I have seen personally just how far Cindy has come since joining the NARP community, and I am so proud of how she has managed to step into the beingness of her True Self and become a Thriver.
Cindy aspires to be an author and you will clearly see how talented she is by how articulately she illustrates her narcissistic abuse experience and how she recovered.
One thing that blew me away is how she describes the state of “Thriving” so perfectly … And the interesting thing for her was that it was very different to what she expected.
Click play at the top of this page to listen to the show or read the show notes below.
Cindy, please describe your situation to the community.
I had been narcissistically abused since I was placed with my adoptive family. I was born as the result of a love affair between a single 19-year-old girl, and an engaged 23-year-old man. My birth father married his fiance, and my birth mother gave me up for adoption. I lived with a foster family until I was 4 ½ months old, then placed in my adoptive home on a Wisconsin dairy farm. My adoptive mother was the narcissist, and my adoptive father, the codependent. They were 33 and 36 years old.
My earliest memory is standing up in my crib in the morning, waiting for my mother to come in my room to pick me up. I remember waiting a long time, but I did not cry. I had already learned that crying was ineffective to achieve attention. I was probably two or three. I must have felt anxiety at that age already, because I remember feeling great relief when my mom came in the room and picked me up and held me in her arms. The memory ends abruptly at that point. I don’t remember anything after that, until they adopted another baby, and my mother was changing his diaper. I must have been about four. I remember my mother refusing my help. I think that was the point where she started to ignore me completely, and never carried me again. I know I spent a great deal of time in a playpen as a toddler. I don’t recall ever sitting on her lap or hugging her or her touching me in any way. She never, ever told me she loved me. She never said she was sorry. Actually, I never heard her say those words to anyone. I never felt loved by her, even though I desperately wanted to believe that she did, and sought her approval all my life.
My father was a quiet, easy-going, pleasant man, but very child-like. Although he was kind to my brother and me, he was largely absent from my life. I only saw him at mealtimes, or when he watched TV. He worked in the fields all day in the summer, and did repairs in the winter. I think he was just trying to stay away from my mother as much as possible. He rarely spoke to me, or made eye contact with me. I think that was mostly because he had no idea how to be a father, or even how to connect with children. So he just avoided all contact with us as much as possible. My feeling then was that he loved us, but was not capable of showing us or telling us. Now I believe he was very emotionally immature – too damaged in his childhood and marriage to manage truly loving anyone, although I did feel some empathy from him. After his retirement, he did develop a close relationship with my brother’s sons.
As I grew older, my mother gave me more and more chores to do. The tasks were always a bit too hard for someone my age to be able to handle, and there was never clear instructions, patience, or empathy. I had to keep at it, even if I cried, even if I was home sick from school, until the task was done. There was also no schedule. I had no idea when I would be told to do something, and I was always on call. By the time I was a teenager, I was basically a house, farm, yard and garden slave. When I wasn’t working, my mother wanted me out of sight. We had to go outside every day, even in below-zero weather. My brother and I were left alone at too young of an age, and could have been harmed in any number of ways. Miraculously, we weren’t.
I once locked myself in a storage container when I was about ten. I did not panic, probably because I was really good at dissociating from myself by then. I kicked at the door sporadically for hours in complete darkness, until my mother finally walked by and heard me. She opened the door and said matter-of-factly, “so that’s where you’ve been,” and then just continued on her way.
As we grew older, my mother’s rages increased in frequency, duration and volume. I was terrified of her. She yelled at my father constantly, barking orders at him like he was a dog. As I got older and challenged her more, she turned her rage full on me. My brother soon learned to use humor on her, and it worked like a charm. She petted him, would giggle with him and no longer yelled at him. He could do no wrong, and I could do no right. I became the scapegoat, and my brother became the golden child. When she wasn’t raging at my dad or me, she would go into rants degrading the neighbors, my dad’s relatives, and other people we knew. Meal time was the ideal time for her to have a captive audience for these rants.
Although I was well-fed, clothed and given money for anything I needed at school, she was never emotionally available to me, and treated me with indifference or disdain – depending on her mood.
In public, she was the sweetest woman, always giving freely of her time and labor to the church and the American Legion. I was very bright in school, so she always bragged cheerfully about me to others in public, but I got nothing but blank looks and criticism at home: how I was never good enough, and that I wouldn’t amount to anything. These were her constant mantras directed at me. She was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
No one knew how horrible she was to me in private, although her mother and siblings caught glimpses of it, and must have known somewhat of her temper. They were caught up themselves in the family dynamic of her NPD, and either were in denial, rationalizing it away, or just turned a blind eye. I had no one to turn to for help, although I appealed to my father one time when she was at her worst. He just brushed her off saying, “Ach, you know how she is,” and turned away. He was trying the best he could do just to survive her onslaught with his limited, childlike emotional capabilities and intellect. He never, ever harmed me, but wasn’t capable of helping either. It was like being raised by a six-year-old bully and her six-year-old victim, but both with adult privileges.
Despite the verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, and despite knowing something was terribly wrong with my mother, I convinced myself that she had to love me, especially since she spoke so lovingly and cheerfully of me in public, and I tried in countless ways to win her love and approval throughout my childhood and on throughout my adulthood. I argued, fought, and pleaded with her to no avail. I tried humor like my brother, but it never worked for me. I was firmly stuck in the role of scapegoat.
I can count on one hand the times I felt close to my dad. Try as I might, I can’t come up with one with my mother.
I moved out of my childhood home after I graduated from high school, and went on to college, but the abuse continued. In my adulthood, she would use guilt, shame and emotional blackmail to get me to do what she wanted. She used my loyalty and sense of obligation against me. I was only too willing to try to please her, in order to get her love and approval. It never happened. She would also bait me and gaslight me, until I reacted and blew up. I was too busy defending myself, trying to appease her, and to appeal to her non-existent sense of justice to notice that this was on purpose. She wasn’t very bright, so I always excused her for this reason as well: that she really wasn’t aware of what she was doing.
When I had children, she largely ignored them, except to criticize them. I would continue to visit her and my dad with my kids and husband 2-3 times a year out of obligation, and hoped that she would change, and give me the love and approval I was desperate to have from her. Instead, I had to endure the pain of watching her ignore my children and husband, like they didn’t even exist.
How were you as a result of the N-experience?
I had developed complex-PTSD as a result of the abuse. As a child, I suffered from acute anxiety, and was painfully shy. I never asked for help because I was thoroughly conditioned that that was fruitless. I was also conditioned to feel that I didn’t deserve help — that I had no value. Once when I was about six, I got my fingers trapped between the metal bar and the back of the driver’s seat on the school bus when the driver pushed his seat back. I sat there and endured the pain for 15 minutes until the driver decided to pull his seat forward again. No one was aware that happened. It actually happened to me again a year later, and I endured the pain nearly an hour before I successfully pulled my fingers out, wriggling them free little my little. I had all of the C-PTSD symptoms with anxiety, depression, catastrophic thinking, and being full of shame topping the list.
I suffered from digestive problems constantly. I was sick with a terrible cold almost all winter. When I entered puberty, I endured horrible menstrual cramps and had to come home from school every month. I was never taken to a doctor. Although my parents had sufficient finances, aspirin and band-aids were meagerly distributed. I just suffered through my illnesses. I was tired all the time. My adrenals were burned out, and my iron levels very low. My immune system was greatly overtaxed.
I cried a great deal and so often from the stress, overwork, pain, absence of love and injustice of it all, that crying almost got boring. Whenever my mother said or did something particularly cruel, which was quite often, I would go to my room and bawl my eyes out until I got coughing fits and dry heaves. She never checked on me.
All of this continued throughout my childhood. I did develop a spiritual connection with nature, though. I could feel some power higher than myself shining through the trees, the clouds, the sky. I felt this connection inside of me, and it gave me some solace through my suffering. I also read novels every chance I could, and watched a lot of television. Escaping into another world gave me a needed break from my own painful life. Escape was the only way I could survive my life.
After my junior prom, I got drunk for the first time. All of my anxiety left me immediately, and I felt calm for the very first time in my life. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Although, something in me was telling me I’d never drink normally again. That voice was spot on. I became an instant alcoholic in that moment. From that time on, I was compelled to drink until I had enough to pass out once I got home. I found a sure-fire way to medicate my anxiety out of existence. I could only drink at about four more episodes in high school, since I was stuck in the role of a straight-A, straight-laced student. My success at school got me the only positive feedback and the only self esteem I had, even though I had not much sense of who I was, so I was obsessively focused on my grades, extra-curricular activities and reputation. But I got drunk enough all five times to pass out in my bed once I got home. I got good at timing it perfectly.
When I got to college, I could drink exactly how I pleased, and my alcoholism really took off. Although my anxiety levels were still really high when I was sober, my digestion and monthly cycles improved dramatically as soon as I moved out. I no longer got those horrible colds, although my iron, adrenals, and energy remained very low.
The alcohol made my inhibitions go away, and I started looking for love in all the wrong places. I think I was always craving my mother’s arms to hold me, going back to the time I was standing up in my crib.
Of course, the horrible consequences of drinking rapidly overshadowed the benefits of temporarily being anxiety-free. My alcoholism escalated very quickly from drinking only on the weekend to practically every day over a six-year period. I had to drop out of college, and worked as a cook in restaurants just so I could pay the rent and keep drinking, although the alcohol no longer worked as a medication. I was heavily addicted. My depression deepened, the anxiety came back, I was hardly eating, chain-smoking cigarettes, and I was in so much pain and so full of shame that I just wanted my life to end. I had hit rock bottom. I was very broken indeed, and felt completely dead inside.
What had you tried to do to get well Cindy?
After a couple false starts, I had a spiritual awakening and truly dedicated myself to recovery from alcoholism. I was 25 years old. I’m 52 now. Chemical dependency treatment saved my life, and Alcoholics Anonymous kept me alive and became my life-long treatment – going beyond keeping me sober, to giving me spiritual tools to heal, and cope with life on life’s terms. Although I don’t go to meetings anymore, I still use those spiritual tools everyday. I recalled that spiritual connection I had with nature as a kid, and that became my higher power.
Even though I found great relief from the terrible consequences of alcohol, and I could use the spiritual tools of the 12-step programs, I still had an addictive personality. I went through the gamut of addictions, from smoking to men to shopping to overeating. I used the 12-step programs to work through all of my addictions with varying success. I did alleviate the addictions to smoking and men, and cut down on the shopping and overeating, but I now realize that there is only one Addiction with many different faces. It all comes from the same place of trying to fill some gap in me, or to use as an avoidance of facing the pain of unhealed wounds.
I found that the stronger my relationship with my higher power, and the more I could plug into the spiritual world, the better I felt and the more serenity I had. I did have progress in my healing over these years, albeit slow and gradual, but I couldn’t get totally over the pain my mother’s abuse caused. I did gain some self-esteem when my counselors asked me to publish a newsletter for the alumni of the treatment program I had gone through. This got me in touch with my passion of writing, and I went back to college to finish out my bachelors degree with a minor in creative writing. Those three semesters were the happiest I had ever been because I was doing what I loved, acting out of my authentic self. I was getting to know who I am.
I still wasn’t very good at relationships, though. Even though I never dated a narcissist, none of those men were healthy, and had lots of narcissistic and codependent traits and were emotionally distant, just like me. I had one particularly painful breakup because I was so addicted to him. It took me over a year working the 12-steps of codependency on a spiritual level and following the advice of Melody Beattie, to get over him. It wasn’t until I had been in AA for about 7 years that I started dating my husband to be. We had both been in recovery a while, and were getting healthy. At least we were both willing to support each other and were committed to grow together.
Besides 12-step programs, I also went to couples counseling with my husband, I practiced meditation, yoga, went on retreats, visualization and journeying workshops, got psychic readings, read tarot cards and lots of self-help books. One of the last books I read and did the exercises from before I found NARP was The Legacy of the Heart by Wayne Muller. It really helped me start to understand that I deserved my own life, and helped me begin the separation from my family of origin and forgiveness for them and myself, and that I could and should separate myself from them.
After I discovered my mother had NPD, I began distancing myself emotionally from her, setting boundaries, and visiting her less frequently. When it was very clear that low contact was not causing her to act any differently, and my symptoms were only getting worse, I decided to go No Contact.
At this time I was involved on a forum for adult children of toxic parents. Although the leader of the forum was pretty positive and focussed on healing, I felt like I wasn’t getting any better, and reading the comments was making me feel worse. After a private Skype coaching session with her, I realized that she wasn’t a good fit for me, and I knew she couldn’t help me to the extent I needed.
Then I found Richard Grannon, The Spartan Life Coach, online and resonated with his youtube videos. I had three Skype coaching sessions with him in which he identified my C-PTSD symptoms for the first time, and recognized that I still had my mother on a pedestal. He helped me understand my mother for who she really is, and identified my wounds. I felt better after doing the Neuro-linguistic programming audios he made specifically for me. The last audio was mostly targeting my block to engaging in life without feelings of dread, overwhelm or fear of not being perfect. I felt good right after, but it didn’t seem to have a lasting effect.
However, after discovering I suffered from C-PTSD, I immediately found the most experienced person I could find on the subject, Pete Walker, and bought his books. I was greatly disappointed to find out that even he could only offer treatment. There was no real cure.
I started searching Youtube videos online, looking for a cure, and somehow came to inner child visualizations. I had always scoffed at getting in touch with my inner child as being nonsense, but there I was meeting my inner child for the first time. I felt a deep, deep connection, like a coming home, so I knew I was on the right track.
Speaking of your Inner Child, and parenting – when did you discover you Mother was a narcissist?
In February of 2011, I had a friend who’s mother was very similar to mine. She told me that her mother was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder through her stories to her counselor. I had never heard of NPD before. I looked it up on Mayo Clinic online, and my jaw dropped to the floor. My mother very clearly fit all the characteristics.
I immediately started researching NPD through books and online. It became clearer and clearer that my mother had NPD, and I was the scapegoat.
How did you find my work Cindy?
That same night I did the inner child visualization, I felt a deep knowing that there was a cure for C-PTSD, and I was convinced I would find it. I immediately started searching for it on youtube. I can’t remember the search words I used, but there was your program. I started watching the videos, agreeing with the peptide explanations, and anxious to get to the end of your talk to try the actual healing. I finally got there, did the Quanta Freedom Healing, went from an 8 down to a 2, and was tremendously excited. I felt the relief. I thought I might have found my cure.
How long was it before you started the NARP Program?
After considering the investment, I decided it was worth a try, even though the program was targeted at healing from narc abuse from a romantic relationship. I thought I could probably make it work for me with my NPD mother. I purchased NARP within a couple days, joined the forum, and started Module One. That was April, 2014.
After combing the forum for members with NPD parents, I didn’t find much, and my dysfunctional brain was trying to get me to self-sabotage, telling me I didn’t belong there. Despite my faulty thinking and false guilt in going No Contact with my own mother, I reached out for validation, and belonging in the community. I started the topic “Any members out there with NPD parents?” in late April. Moderator Tami Boaz and other moderators and members responded immediately, and I felt much better and accepted.
I wanted more validation, so I started another topic: “Anybody have narcissistic parents?” in July. Tami was the one who had the great idea to make it a sticky topic. And so “Advice for people with narcissistic parents” was born in September, and made it much easier for new members to come forward to talk about their healing from narc parents. As more members came forward that had gone NC with their parents like I did, the more relief, validation and belonging I felt. I no longer felt like odd man out, and my healing continued to deepen.
I just want to emphasize right here that it doesn’t matter who the narcissist is in your life, and it doesn’t matter if the abuse happened in the past or if it’s ongoing. The narcissist could be a parent, a teacher, a sibling, a spouse, a boss or just a friend. The abuse could have happened in your childhood or an early marriage, and even if you haven’t had contact with your narcissist for 10 or 20 years, you are still probably carrying around unhealed wounds which are affecting your life, and preventing you from living life and enjoying life to it’s fullest. NARP focuses on healing you, no matter your background, or who the narcissist is. The healing process is exactly the same. The narcissist is just the symptom, just the red flag pointing to what needs to be healed in you. Once you get to NARP and healing, it has nothing to do with the narcissist and everything to do with you.
I had to change a word or two in the modules from partner to mother, but that was pretty insignificant. I was relieved that the modules were totally addressed to me and my healing, and had nothing to do really with who the narcissist is.
In fact, I personally believe that anyone can shift their unhealed wounds out using QFH, even if they haven’t been narcissistically abused. My husband hadn’t, but after he saw the incredible changes in me, he started doing the modules and has seen fantastic results.
What started to shift as a result of working with NARP?
The very first thing that came up in my very first shift of Module One, was the pain of not really having a mother, never having a mother, and having to let go of ever having a mother. It was about LOSS. It was about the acceptance that I was truly ALONE. I went from an 8-10 down to a 1-2. Although I bawled my eyes out and shook from the pain during the shift, like so many times in the past, this time the relief was immediate and immense. That particular pain was simply gone.
During the four months I worked through NARP, little by little all my C-PTSD symptoms were leaving me. The first thing I noticed the absence of was the pain of realizing the illusion of my mother. I then noticed I wasn’t doing any catastrophic thinking, like being convinced my husband didn’t call because he was dead in some car accident. I found that I wasn’t micro-managing my children anymore, or being hypervigilant of them or my husband. My anxiety was leaving me bit by bit, and thoughts of doing normal things like making a dental appointment didn’t overwhelm me.
To replace the dysfunctions, waves of well-being started washing over me more and more. I had moments of feeling great liberation and joy. I had more energy because I wasn’t wasting it on anxiety and overwhelm. I was calmer, and life seemed much easier. I found that I wasn’t blaming anyone for my moods or reactions anymore. I was taking complete responsibility for my own stuff, and not for others. I wasn’t feeling anything for them. They had their own feelings and I had mine. I found myself speaking my truth more often, and standing up for myself, instead of putting up with other’s behavior, and swallowing my truth, because I was afraid they wouldn’t like me anymore. I didn’t care if people liked me anymore at all!
By the time I finished NARP and had gone through the TFOW course, I was pretty well grounded in myself. I felt loved and adored by Source and myself, and I felt a lack of nothing. Source and I could give me anything I needed. There was abundance everywhere, and all I had to do was ask. I no longer felt like I needed to please others in order for them to give me love, attention and approval. I simply didn’t need anything from them, and so I could be my authentic self for my own integrity. This doesn’t mean I was brutally honest with people. But it did mean that I didn’t have to explain myself to anyone, while still finding the way to be compassionate and kind. I can take care of myself without hurting others.
What did you discover about your inner programs that you were carrying within you, that had co-generated the abuse in your life?
Not surprisingly were the dysfunctional programs my mother instilled, or the survival programs I developed as a result to protect myself from the abuse. Most of all I believed I had no value, because my mother told me I wasn’t good enough, I was lazy and wouldn’t amount to anything. I used these programs to abuse myself by never pursuing my dreams of becoming a writer. I just worked at minimum wage jobs, because I thought that’s all I thought I could do. These programs were greatly responsible for my being frozen, not engaging in life, and wanting to escape.
Also not surprising was the rejection and abandonment issues from my birth parents giving me up for adoption, and my adoptive mother’s degradation of me. I played these out by believing I would never be worthy of love, and left relationships before they could leave me. I constantly set myself up for abandonment and rejection in many ways, and were largely responsible for my anxiety, and made me a people pleaser.
Both of the above worked together in pointing me into the direction of becoming an addict. I could escape and find relief from the anxiety at the same time.
What did surprise me was the huge amount of servant or slave mindset, and actual servitude and slavery I played out in many lifetimes. I had the victim role down pat. I don’t know if I was ever allowed to be my own person, with my own mind, and to act as a sovereign individual. Of course this played through with my mother treating me like a slave, and living basically in poverty during my adult life, giving more of my time and money to others than I did to myself – always putting others before myself. I didn’t really even have a sense of myself at all, especially when I was a child, l until I got into AA recovery. I think I had a bit of Dissociative Disorder; perhaps Depersonalization Disorder.
I had always felt like I was never as deserving as others, and not even being a real person.
What has happened in your life since doing the inner work?
I would say that I’ve been doing inner work since I went into recovery from alcoholism 27 years ago. Although I did see some healing from all the work I’ve done pre-NARP because it was mostly spiritually based, nothing I did was so quick and effective, thorough and long-lasting as QFH. It could be that because of those 25+ years of inner work, I was totally primed for QFH, and just needed the last push over the edge, and that was why I went through NARP so quickly.
I. The deep changes inside my mind and spirit are phenomenal:
- All of my c-PTSD symptoms are gone: anxiety; catastrophic thinking; dissociation, micro-managing and feeling responsible for other’s lives as if they were my own; feeling overwhelmed over having to do simple tasks.
- Obsessive/Compulsive tendencies and narcissistic tendencies are almost all gone. Codependent tendencies are vastly reduced.
- Feeling more deeply connected to my husband and children, and others as well.
- The absence of dread when doing housework, yardwork, etc.
- The absence of fear of what my mother, brother or anyone will do to me.
- The absence of false guilt and shame.
- Stopped blaming others, or focusing on their faults.
- Feeling a great sense of well-being, wholeness, trust and connection to myself and Source.
- Not feeling panicky, overreaction or needing to rush when an action is asked of me.
- Full forgiveness for myself, my mother, my brother, my father, and everyone else.
- Deeper compassion for myself, my mother, my brother, my father and everyone else.
- The ability to let go on a much deeper level of everything outside of myself.
- I don’t beat myself up for my shortcomings.
- More clarity. Able to think things through calmly and rationally.
- Greater intuition.
- I have more control over my ego.
- I feel safe in the world.
- I am falling deeper in love with myself.
II. Changes in my body are great also:
- Digestion and elimination are normal for the first time in my life.
- Iron stores are no longer depleted and up to normal levels for the first time in my life.
- More energy.
- So much trauma has left my body that I am no longer constantly stiff in my neck and shoulders. The pain in my lower back and hips is gone as well.
- I am perfectly healthy.
III. There are behavior changes as well:
- I am less “frozen”: I’m engaging more in everyday life by:
- Becoming much more active and motivated in raising our backyard farm animals.
- I preserved all the fruit we grew last fall. Not one cherry, raspberry or stick of rhubarb was wasted.
- I’ve gotten rid of more clutter and garbage out of my house and basement. I’ve organised my living space much more.
- I am travelling to places I’ve only dreamed of before, and having so much fun!
- I am not travelling to places (visiting relatives) which I’ve only done out of obligation and were no fun.
- I am not doing any activity simply out of obligation or habit, where I gained nothing.
- Engaging in activities while remaining true to myself.
- I am a more responsible wife and mother, paying more attention to the needs of my family – what they really need, not what I think they need. (I’m also giving myself what I need, so I am not longer asking from them what I need to provide for myself.)
- I quit putting energy into relationships where I mostly gave, and got little in return.
- People are treating me with more respect.
- I honor my mind and body, and follow what I need to do for my health as best I can without false guilt.
- I am not in a panicked rush while doing any activity.
- I complete tasks in a good-enough manner. I’ve let go of the compulsion to complete everything perfectly.
Since I wrote the above, I’ve done ES Modules 4 and 5, and a Goal Setting Module with the intention of “I have a normal energy level and a vital life force.”
This last month I feel like I have arrived at the turning point to becoming a Thriver, and made that turn around the corner. For the first time in my life I feel like I am finally ‘engaging in my life,’ which would be my definition of a Thriver. However, this place of thriving is so amazing to me, because it is so much different than what I expected! I thought thriving meant (to me personally) that I would be fully engaged in writing a book – picking up a project I had shelved 20 years ago. I have discovered that thriving, or engaging in my life, is simply a “being” – a shift in attitude and perception, and not really a “doing” at all! Well, I am doing things differently, and I am more active, but it’s really more of a letting go of all superficial constructs and expectations – especially my own! – and being ‘tuned in, tapped in, turned on’ (to quote Abraham) and recognizing while I am in that state, that I am pulled by Source into service to myself and others in the most meaningful way available to me in that moment.
That may include my life-long dream of writing, and it may not. I’ve found that I just don’t care! I know that at this point in my recovery, there is no going back. I will continue to be pulled in the direction of where Source wants to take me, and it just doesn’t matter what that is to me! I’ll just continue to do the next right thing according to my authentic desires, and it will be perfectly satisfying. I’m ready to be totally surprised, or just continuing to enjoy my quiet little life in Upper Michigan.
Have you had to deal with or are you still dealing with any matters with the previous N’s?
I did have a property I jointly owned with my brother that we sold last year. Even though we communicated through attorneys, it was really hard on me emotionally, and I was still working NARP. Of course, my mother got in the middle of it, making crazy demands, but I held firm, even though I was frightened and still having catastrophic thinking.
After I signed the papers and got my check in the mail, I found out that they resold the land and had cheated me out of $100 K. Even though this was like a sucker punch to my guts, the money itself wasn’t the issue, even though this is a colossal amount to me. It was the fact that they could be so heartless to me, so unfair, and so criminal since both an attorney and an appraiser had to be in on it. They don’t know that I know that they cheated me, so I was relieved that they were probably satisfied that they came out on top, and wouldn’t pursue any more punishment to get more supply. I was just happy I operated out of my own integrity, and I am done with dealing with them.
This was also a huge capper to my commitment to NC. Not only was the door to contact nailed shut, it was double-barred and with the bolts welded shut after this experience with them. There was nothing left to tie me to them. I had absolutely no reason to ever see them again. This was so liberating, I can’t even describe it.
How has the inner work helped with your children?
I have an 18-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. As soon as my C-PTSD symptoms started disappearing, my children got closer to me. They trust and respect me even more, and really have loosened up. We have a lot more fun together, since the atmosphere is hugely relaxed. My husband is more relaxed around me. I am so, so grateful to have a deeper emotional and spiritual connection to my husband and kids, I could just weep.
When my daughter was going through a lot of anxiety during her first year at college away from home, I started doing the Goal Setting Module for her as her proxy with her permission. Her loss of connection to Source came up a lot, and she had issues with feeling lost, alone and abandoned that she brought forward into this lifetime. She feels much more grounded to me now, so I think it help quite a bit.
I just want to emphasize to get through NARP before you attempt to do healing by proxy with your children, and be sure to get their permission. I needed to be real grounded in myself before I could be objective and face the suffering of my children, and help them find their way.
What message Cindy do you have to share with others?
Your state is all important. Getting in the proper state with an attitude of gratitude is most conducive for healing. Connect to Source in whatever way that resonates with you: a walk in the woods, meditation, music. This is the best way to feeling grateful and humble. Then when it comes to doing your inner work, HOW, for how it works, is the best acronym in the world: Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness. Acceptance for where you are at is also key, owning your own issues. Allow Patience to set the pace, and Compassion for yourself to set the tone, treating yourself like your own precious child.
Say affirmations all day long, only word them in a way that you truly believe them. If you don’t believe you love yourself, don’t look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” Say, “I’m growing to love myself more each day.” instead. Eventually with NARP, you will get to the place where you do really love yourself, and can look yourself in the eye and say it, and mean it.
Understand that in the beginning of your recovery, your thinking is extremely dysfunctional. Don’t trust everything you think on face value. Be especially suspicious when it’s of a negative nature. Accept that sometimes your mind is out to get you, and your ego will be mounting resistance like crazy, putting up walls to keep you from getting to your authentic self. As real as all these fears and doubts may seem to you, it is nothing but smoke and mirrors. As soon as you can get objective about your recovery, the sooner you will gain the upper hand over your ego. See yourself objectively as an ICU patient, who needs especial gentle handling.
Instead of trusting your brain and logic, move your focus downward toward your heart and guts. Feel into this part of you to see if the information you are receiving really resonates with you. Does it feel good and solid, or give you a feeling of tightness or unrest? What helps someone else, may not help you. It’s totally okay and proper to leave it and move on to something else.
You are a star, no more and no less dim than any other. This work only allows you to see yourself clearly, for who you really are. You have been this all along. You have just gotten a bit lost and bogged down in the muck and mire. When you do some healing and understand yourself more fully, you will be fully liberated to thoroughly enjoy shining with love and joy.
I joined the forum in April of 2014, and have completed NARP, the Transforming Family of Origins Wounds course and the Empowerment Self course up through Module 5. I have grown tremendously, not only from the QFHs, but by the rest of your outstanding program, Mel. The structure of the whole website is tremendous – you have covered all the bases! From the eBooks, to the emails, to the blog and radio show, and facebook pages – everything is organized so well, and so accessible, and packed full with leading edge information to assist every aspect of our healing.
The forum has been an exceptional godsend to me. The healing is definitely in the modules, but I have gotten validation, support, acceptance and love from the forum in the early days. Through my healing so far, I am now experiencing an even deeper connection with my NARP family. The current active members on the forum are so incredible, and so honest, willing and open minded. They are not afraid to be who they are, and watching them blossom has been such a lovely experience. I really enjoy all their personalities and humor. I am so impressed with everyone’s wisdom and willingness to help others. Honestly, I feel honored to be connected to all of them. There are too many to list on this show, and I probably would forget someone, but just know that if I’ve ever responded to you on the forum, I have been touched by you, and I think of you. As I am in the place of the moderators before me, you will be in my place in the future. It’s inevitable. I have learned so much from others, especially since I’ve been a moderator. Melanie, thank you so much for inviting me to become a moderator on the forum! I can’t tell you how much I have grown from this experience.
Not only have I grown from this role in relating to the members, but I have found a deep connection with the other current moderators, and have grown so much from interacting with them. Clarie is an outstanding source of information and a tireless source of support. When she responds to you, you know you have been clarie-fied. Phil is also deeply dedicated to lend a hand wherever needed. He is constantly there to welcome the newcomers, and is a steadfast presence on the forum. It was a just pleasure hearing his voice, and getting to know him better in the last thriver show. Nora is just the sweetest person I know, really. Compassion and understanding just flows from her when she responds to members’ questions. She is also a fount of information.
I don’t know if members realize this, but a moderator’s time and efforts are totally volunteered. We can come and go as we please. Even so, each moderator is extremely dedicated to the forum and takes their role very seriously. We collaborate often to decide the best course of action for the highest good. We are all different so we each offer a fresh perspective, but we also work well together with respect, support and compassion. I am so honored to be a part of this group.
Most importantly to me though, is my own healing. I cannot be of very good service to others while I am just coping with life – and I mean authentic, interdependent service, not codependent service. Through my healing I have come home to myself to this place of intense love and joy. You know how a family must feel when a soldier comes home from a tour of duty after being gone for months. This is about a 100 times better than that. I have tears of joy every time this thought even crosses my mind, because I never believed that this was even possible! My survival programs were so ingrained in me, that I thought they were me, and I’d have to live with them. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have discovered my authentic self under those layers. There are still layers left – I’m not done yet – but I can see them clearly now for what they are, and know that my true self lies just underneath. This is a life-long journey, but the important thing is that I have turned the corner into thriving and I will never go back.
I Hope You Enjoyed This Thriver Show!
Wow I can’t believe it … We are up to the 25th Thriver show already!
If you are someone who has suffered narcissistic abuse from a family member Cindy and I would love you to reach out in the comments. Remember you aren’t alone … There are so many people at different stages of recovery here to encourage, support and inspire you.
If you are not yet a member of NARP I would like to invite you to take part in my next Webinar – The 3 Keys To Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse which is taking place next week.
Or if you are someone who is had enough of the pain and want to start getting your life back on track starting now…
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