Is the Thriver Model of taking 100% personal radical responsibility one of “victim blaming?”

Occasionally people tell us it is …

And there are times when I have received some very angry messages from people who are infuriated by the idea that we have to take any responsibility for the abuse we suffered.

I felt that it was time to write an article about this, and deeply look into it, and also to invite a discussion here after this is written.

My dear friend, Simone Waddell, and myself had a fascinating discussion about this in Japan.

Exactly about this topic … regarding people who feel it is wrong for people who have suffered harm at the hands of narcissists, to focus on changing and healing themselves.

These people believe this healing orientation blames victims and doesn’t focus on holding abusers accountable.

If ONLY the trying to force abusers to be accountable did work …

When we look around at the state of our world, the effects of abuse / abused and blame and punishment, we can see it hasn’t. All too often victims, despite all efforts to hold abusers accountable, stay wronged and stuck in ongoing trauma.

Why doesn’t it work?

Throughout this article my desire is to share with you exactly the reasons why, and how victims can and do find their way to relief and release for their trauma.


Is Our Healing Reliant On Abuser Accountability?

Do I believe trying to hold abusers accountable will heal us?

No … I don’t, and I have previously written an entire article about this.

In fact I believe that the more you try to blame an abuser and hold them accountable, the LESS likely you are to get accountability and heal from the abuse. My beliefs even go as far to include: our righteousness about us being “right” and a “victim” and them being “wrong” and a “perpetrator” is what holds us in the indefinite pain.

See my video about what our righteousness creates.

The interesting thing is, even if people did get “justice”, if the justice was a condition necessary in order for that individual to get on with their life, the pain would still linger. The abuser being held accountable is not the magic healing pill they hoped it might be.

The reason why people regardless of whether or not they receive “justice” will still suffer the horrible effects of the abuse that happened to them, is because of not addressing the healing of the trauma directly in their body … believing that how they feel, and the state of their future life is determined by what does or doesn’t happen to someone else.

Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth …

The result of ongoing trauma is Universe’s away from the people who did deal with the trauma in their body (take personal responsibility for it) and then received justice. The justice in this case was “the cherry on the top”, an addition to their already up-levelled, relieved and released self that was unconditional in regard to what did or did not happen to the narcissist.

In short, up-levelled people do not need “physical justice” in order to heal. They have already generated it themselves within their own being.

The incredibly interesting thing is this – within this Community I have seen umpteen cases of “justice” happen for up-levelled people, as opposed to the people who feel they “need” justice and simply never get it.

I guess for those of you who already know my work, it is no surprise that I am very pro personal responsibility. For those of you who don’t know my work, you may initially find my viewpoints foreign, confronting and even highly triggering – because they may push against everything you have been taught to believe.

Yet, it is my deepest and humblest mission to present the truths as I know them and have experienced them personally … truths that come from the foundation of personal responsibility.

How can I not when that was the ONE orientation which saved my life?

This is what I know as a result of living my previous life in the victim orientation:  every moment we spend reliant on the outcome of trying to force and get reform and atonement from unconscious people, who have no inclination to reform and atone their ways, is another moment we are denying ourselves our own healing, breakthrough and recovery from abuse.

A recovery which MUST be independent of whatever the abuser does or does not choose to do, in order for it to be real and empowered.

In fact, recovery HAS to self-generated and non-reliant, because the absolute truth is this …

We have NO power over what anyone other than ourselves does or doesn’t choose for their own lives … let alone ours.

And … as soon as we make the state of our self-love, self-approval, security and survival dependent on what another person is or isn’t granting us, we will hold them responsible for our life and DANGEROUSLY forgo that responsibility to ourselves.

This is the definition of personal powerlessness which leads us to be susceptible to being abused – point blank; and truly these are some of the deepest reasons in regard to our original emotional formative years that led us unconsciously into abusive situations in the first place.

I can nearly feel the triggers of certain people going off … please read on …

This is NOT because as “victim blaming” advocates would argue, I am saying “we asked for it”, but rather because the Thriver Orientation (my work) recognises and deeply understands that the parenting we received from our role models did not allow us to grow up healthily from our dependencies.

Our childhoods did not sponsor our ability to be a confident and “whole” generative source of our own life non dependent on the reliance of specific others.

“Others” who we are still assigning as “parents” unconsciously.

“Others” who we are handing the power of our life to, and then holding solely responsible when they don’t do a healthy job of it.

And if we have been on this trajectory because of having received unconscious parenting (incredibly common in a world of deficient emotional training and intelligence) we may have NEVER realized we are, because it became our “normal”.

The people who demand that taking ANY personal responsibility means you are being “blamed” for the abuse that happened to you, will tell you these things:

“You are not to blame at all, it wasn’t you,” and …

“The onus, blame and responsibility lies with the abuser wholly and solely.”

These statements means there was nothing about you that got you into that situation (it was random and senseless) and therefore there is nothing to change about you to get you out, healed and immune to it ever happening again.

And the nature of your healing now solely lies on what does or doesn’t happen in regard to the abuser in your life being held accountable.

Now here is the massive issue with this … after the initial relief of not being “to blame” and therefore being able to assign “all blame” to the abuser (who has been blaming you of course all long), you will find the relief does not continue and you will not be released from your abuse symptoms.

I know this, because I used to live it.

I initially gobbled up Abuse Forum and my psychologist’s statements which were totally about the focus on how bad he was and how I was the victim.

And my psychologist and the on-line Abuse Forums all told me how necessary it was for me to know that what he had said for years … “It’s all your fault Melanie”, was not true – because it was actually him all along.

But, why didn’t the relief of being told the problems in our marriage, his insane behavior and even the reasons he felt incensed enough to abuse me horribly “were not my fault” STOP me obsessing about him every minute of every day, wanting to change and fix him, being terrorized about how I was going to rebuild my life … or breaking No Contact constantly when that terror completely engulfed me?

And … yet I was fully “supported” … being told constantly and ADAMANTLY by abuse recovery “specialists” that he, the unhealable narcissist, was to blame and I was a Victim of Abuse who had nothing to do with generating the abuse, and who must get out and stay away.

Surely these “answers” should mean I would be able to disconnect, be resolved and get on with it?!?

After all … doesn’t the truth set us free?

It sure does … and if we’re not released it’s a sure sign we haven’t reached it yet.

In this Model I was nowhere near being free … and I consistently see this Model fail to deliver people to relief almost always.

Yes – I mean that … almost always.

Rather than this start a process of healing for them, in stark contrast I see them still mired in victimisation – meaning they are hooked, obsessing about the narcissist and what happened and still suffering intense abuse symptoms.

Just as I was.

Is this considered normal?

Is this what so-called recovery is supposed to look like?

I adamantly declare … NO WAY!!

What I live and facilitate is Universe’s apart from this level of “effectiveness” … because the Thriver Model of 100% radical responsibility works spectacularly virtually every time it is adopted.

Read on and I hope by doing so, you will understand why …


Personal Responsibility is Not Blame

Here is the BIG clincher … the thing that changes the understanding of the Thriver Model forever – the Thriver Model of personal responsibility has zero to do with BLAME!

And “blame” is the BIG thing that advocates scream out – “By asking people to take personal responsibility you are victim blaming”.

The Thriver Model is NOT about blaming people, it is about empowering individuals to heal the aspects of themselves that have suffered abuse so that they can evolve beyond the pain and never suffer abuse again.

Our human beliefs about “blame” and “responsibility” have not helped matters …

This is what Wikipedia has to say about “victim blaming”

Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them.[1] The study of victimology seeks to mitigate the perception of victims as responsible.[2]

Now let’s have a look at how the words “blaming” and “responsibility” are intertwined, which is a common societal belief.

The dictionary definition of blame is this:

Feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong. “The inquiry blamed the train driver for the accident”

The definition for responsibility is this:

The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something. “The group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders”

This is the interesting part – the synonyms for responsibility …

synonyms: blame, fault, guilt, culpability, blameworthiness, liability.

So we can see from this that “taking responsibility” to be the healer and the generator of our own outcomes independent of others (also known as the Thriver Model) can be interpreted as “being blamed” for what went wrong for us.

Anti Victim Blaming websites have a very limited surface level view of what “blaming” means …

Statements said by “victim blamers” such as:

“She provoked him”

“They both have big issues”

“She shouldn’t have stayed with him after the warning signs”

etc. etc. etc.

The Thriver Model has nothing to do with such “blaming statements” or simplistic surface level judgments that having NOTHING to do with how to access and generate true healing.

The orientation of personal responsibility takes place at a much deeper, wider and more profound level of truth.

Okay … so now I want to really get down to the brutal base note of these “blaming” claims.

Claims in relation to my work of: the recognition that there is something within us that unconsciously led us into abuse.

Meaning the DEEPER levels of self-partnering possible that enables us to heal, up-level and graduate our previous emotional unconscious programs to much healthier and solid ones in order to get us out of the pain of it and the possibility of it ever happening again.

In other words change our own life by changing the ONLY person we ever have the power to change – ourselves.

The “blaming” angle truly is childish … let me explain …

Maybe such “blaming” would go something like this … (Imagine this being said to a 45-year-old person who had suffered a long term relationship with a narcissist).

“You are such an idiot and totally useless for having unhealed wounds in your childhood that made you pick a narcissist and stay with him / her for 20 years. You did not leave when the mask fell, you endured, you clung on, you tried to change this person… you lost all of your resources, all of your ability to hold down a job, your health, your wellbeing, the respect of your children, and vital years of your life and you are to BLAME because you have issues!!”

(Please ….!!!! WHO believes the Thriver Model addresses people like that?!)

Now let’s look at the entire thrust of the Thriver radical personal responsibility Model. (This is the example of what is conveyed to the same 45-year-old individual, over a period of time as they work with the Thriver Model).

“What has happened to you is so painful, and what you are going through is incredibly traumatic.


However there is a deeper truth here, and a reason why this is happening to you.

(This is not just some random senseless, powerless act of “fate”).

The narcissist in your life is bringing you the evidence of your as yet unhealed wounds. There are unconscious painful programs from your childhood which represent this person, which keep you hooked to this person, and incite you emotionally to try to make them do it differently. What your subconscious is doing is trying to rewrite your painful childhood.

(There are definitive reasons WHY this is happening to you.)

When you let go of fruitlessly and devastatingly trying to get this person to do it differently and go inside your own body instead, to track, find and heal your original wounds you will no longer be hooked, affected and trapped in the agony. You will piece by piece evolve beyond the pain and beyond the need or desire for this person to do it differently, or even be in your life at all. Also, your unhealed wounds will never need to get your attention via an abuser again – because they will be gone.

(There is a REAL way to get out of the pain and never have to relive it again).

You will also be freed of what has been holding you back in other areas of your life, because after cleaning up your original wounds you will become a higher, Truer, happier, more expanded version of yourself than you have ever experienced … even before abuse.”

(There is the promise of a more incredible and expanded life than was ever being lived previously.)

Now here is the startling part – Victim blaming advocates state it is dangerous to suggest personal responsibility, because it further damages victims.

Really … REALLY?

I take the stand it saves people’s lives, and then grants them their True Life!

It saved mine literally and emotionally, and it has saved thousands upon thousands of other people’s lives in this Community literally and emotionally as well.

Every day I receive emails and posts from people stating the RELIEF that they now know there is something within them to heal, and thank goodness they can get the focus off the narcissist and onto and into themselves to actually do something about changing their life …

Because, before finding the information that this was possible, the victim model of zero personal responsibility was NOT helping them.

These people feel relief even before they start doing the work on themselves, because within themselves they now recognise, there was a reason for this, and there is a way out.

These are people who do not want to accept the prognosis of being a victim indefinitely, or for the rest of their life.

They want what they went through to mean something and elevate them to something.

They want what they went through to have a higher purpose.

People who state “victim blaming” believe that by taking personal responsibility we are saying the narcissist was not to blame and is not at fault, and they get off “scott-free” – because it was “all our fault”.


That is sooo not true.

It is ANYTHING but the truth!

Our Thriver statement of getting healed, up and out and away and no longer feeding power to the narcissist is the MOST powerful declaration we could ever make.

It states POINT BLANK, “What you have done is NOT okay in my life.”

As is the power to take appropriate action against this person in custody and property battles because we are no longer terrorized and regressing back to a fearful child emotional container within ourselves.

When we are soild, adult and anchored in our own bodies without our original wounding, the narcissist comes apart – because they can only operate in our life when they can use our wounds against us.

That is when the narcissist is “held accountable”.

And it never happens when we are not healed on the inside and not in our power.

Another claim by victim advocates is this: “victim blaming” marginalizes the victim/survivor and makes it harder for them to come forward and report the abuse. In other words victims will be less likely to report the abuse if they feel “blamed” for it.

This could be the case for a nasty, childish surface “blame” model, but it certainly is NOT the case for a Thriver Model.

In stark contrast Thrivers learn to love, honour and respect themselves.

Their boundary function repairs as a result of doing the work inside their bodies that allows them to release and up-level the original childhood fears of abandonment, criticism, rejection and punishment.

The very fears that were threatening their sense of love, approval, security and survival that keep them bonded to abusers rather than report, assert and leave!


A Deeper Look into the Word Blame

I really believe the BIG issue with enforcing victimisation is with the word “blame” … it is a word metaphysically and on a quantum level which doesn’t serve us healthily at all.

The word “responsibility” empowers – the word “blame” disempowers.

The reason the word “blame” is a false premise is because it implies people know what they are doing, have emotional control over what they are doing, and are purposefully doing “wrong” – and should be shamed, held accountable and punished accordingly.

It does nothing to recognise people act out their lives emotionally in accordance to their own inner wounding and painful subconscious programs.

Hurt people hurt people, and until their wounding is addressed by themselves as adults they will continue to do so.

Shaming and blaming people is the LEAST likely way of making them take responsibility for their own healing. In stark contrast it will only make them more hurt and defend and push back harder.

What DOES work is when these people have nowhere to go but inwards to heal their own wounds.

That only happens when other people stop handing them energy and attention, and let them go. When abuser’s lives, including the drama of others that distracts them for being with themselves, can no longer go on as normal – THAT is when they would be most likely to recognize themselves as the generative source of their own life, and go to the only place left to go (inwards) and attend to their inner wounds.

This has NEVER happened because people are “blaming” them.

Look at the wars and fighting in our world on micro and macro levels to see the truth of what blame creates!

I have never seen anyone mired in “blame” (of others or themselves) be in a Thriver Recovery … EVER.

In fact I know it’s impossible.

The energy of “blame” is completely shut off from the deeper truths regarding consciousness and unconsciousness.

How does blaming others make anyone do it differently?

Blame and shame are both dark insidious energies that create more darkness and dysfunction. Look at the blame and shame the Catholic Church passed on sexually to people, and what THAT created.

It created people en-masse acting totally in accordance with what they were being blamed and shamed for. As a healer who has worked with numerous clients in Ireland affected by generational sexual incestuous dysfunction I can promise you – there is NO coincidence.

Blaming and shaming yourself or anyone has never created healing, reform and atonement. It has only ever created more of what the blame and shame is about.

Have we ever felt better or healed by using blame and shame as emotions to “move on with”?


Did we think blaming another extricated ourselves from the blame? We are kidding ourselves if we think it does.

If you were to hook yourself up to the laboratory equipment that would register how your nervous system felt about “blaming”, you may be astounded to discover that physiologically and chemically (which means emotionally) your Inner Being knows NO difference between you blaming another or blaming yourself.

It is all the same dark, toxic emotions telling you FIRMLY you are in wrong-town when applying it!

People who advocate victim blaming are blaming abusers to escape being blamed themselves (unhealed inner programs of the trauma of being blamed as children?) … BUT they are swimming in blame regardless … and they are NOT healing.

Every time we say, “My life and world has been ripped apart by you, and it was your fault and you are accountable for it”, hands our power over.


Because we have to wait for that person to set us free.

What if they don’t?

How do we heal if they don’t?

How do we forgive if they are to blame and we keep holding them accountable? (Forgiveness is not a gift to someone else it is a gift to ourselves).

And how do we release ourselves from the trauma that we believe is someone else’s responsibility to fix for us?

How do we get “closure” when we are reliant on the narcissist to grant it to us?

The answers are … we don’t … EVER.

And there you have all of the components of victimhood in a nutshell – with every single one of them organised around the notion of “assigning BLAME.”


Believing What We Have Been Told Instead of What Our Inner Truths Are

Shouldn’t our truths be what our emotional gauge (God within) tells us, instead of what our outer world has programmed us to believe?

Maybe, just maybe we have accepted many “truths” that haven’t been working for us, and haven’t allowed us to take our power back and heal ourselves regardless of what other specific people are or aren’t choosing to do (which is the definition of real personal freedom).

Maybe the models of victims and perpetrators and blame and shame are antiquated models – with very few true healing results.

If we look around us we have to admit the contemporary healing model from abuse is frightful –  there are far too many people sick and alive, who are merely attempting to battle symptoms and are reliant on systems such as psychiatry and medication to try to deal with their abuse symptoms – because they are never actually healing and getting free from them.

And as a result these people are living gravely diminished lives, way beneath their ultimate potential – all blamed on perpetrators – because these people are not doing the work in their bodies to up-level and release and relieve themselves of the trauma.

And … they believe there is NO need to do that.

This is the “no personal responsibility to take” path because they are the victim and all blame and responsibility lies with the perpetrator.

These people point blank are stuck in the vicious cycles of trying to deal with abuse symptoms that will never be healed.

What a wonderful way to feed the Big Pharma systems that our world is presently based on – narcissistic systems that strip away personal power, and the ability to be self-actualised and heal ourselves.

Systems that keep people stuck in their pain, and render people sick and alive and reliant on outside costly intervention in order to continually try to escape the pain.


As A Victim Powerlessness is Always Felt and Abuse is Always A Possibility

Another way to keep people powerless is by keeping them stuck in the fearing of things outside of them, as a result of not having found and activated their True Power within themselves.

If we are told, “It was not your fault”, “there was nothing about you that co-generated this” and “all of your painful outcomes had nothing to do with you and everything to do with the abuser” … then the abuse we suffered must have been random, and we must be totally powerless in all of it.

This also means there is nothing we can change about ourselves to release or relieve the abuse from the past, and there is nothing we can change about ourselves to stop the possibility of it happening again in the future.

This makes us terrified that evil exists, we are susceptible to evil, and we are powerless against it if it turns up again.

Naturally this makes us protect, close down, dim our radiance and not GO for life in the way a free, empowered, self-actualized person would.

The way a Thriver releases themselves in order to BE in life.

After suffering significant abuse, if we are not doing the work inside our body to release our original and accumulated traumas, the trauma is trapped inside us.

Then it takes on a life of it’s own, compounded with the fear of not just trying to survive it, but of more trauma happening to us again.

As a result, emotionally we are tormented, and battling depression and anxiety and a host of other nervous system disorders such as agoraphobia and C-PTSD.

Because we are not connected to Life organically in the ways that our Soul ecology always intended – love, inspiration, freedom and being a self-generative source of power – we are in emotional discord.

In fact, the further we are away from our True Self state the more it hurts.

To try to relieve the inner pain of this disconnection from our True Self and the trauma of abuse and the fear of it happening again in the future, we will continue to try to relieve our inner pain through outer substitutes.

Such as medication to try to shut our symptoms up, or addictions (self-medicating) that grant temporary relief but create long term dire additional issues.

This is the perpetual self-defeating loop of trying to avoid self that was caused by the original false premise of “zero personal responsibility” – meaning there are NO original traumas or faulty unconscious programming inside me that has kept me separated from self, trying to assign false substitutes to grant me my own wholeness, or unconsciously held me in difficult and painful situations that are not serving my highest being and greatest truth.

Such is the unconsciousness of the victim model – which declares that any personal responsibility is “victim blaming”.


The Power and Safety of Taking Personal Responsibility

In stark contrast Thrivers know that when they up-level and heal the aspects within them (unconscious programming) that made them susceptible to narcissists in the first place (even if they were born into a narcissistic family) that they will no longer be unconsciously handing power over.

They know they will SHOW UP completely differently. They are able to lay boundaries and speak up – facing and having the necessary difficult conversations if required.

Thrivers know they are developing themselves into the self-value to be authentic to their own truth and be able to stand firm in and generate with life what they need, and walk away if necessary in order to retain self-love and self-worth.

Because no longer are they assigning specific other adults as their source of love, approval, security or survival.

Not when they have firmly become that source to themselves as a result of growing up their wounded inner childhood parts to adult solid maturity.

Thrivers also get to experience the up-leveling of their outer lives which has expanded in ways they never previously had access to, as a result of the transformations they have made on the inside.

Thrivers start living on a life trajectory which bears no resemblance to their abusive pasts.

Abusers have lost all pulling power and emotional hooks … they become “benign” to a Thriver … and people and situations which represent wholeness, wholesomeness, and real support, abundance and love start showing up instead.

None of which would have been possible without taking the radical personal responsibility to meet and address the Thriver’s own inner subconscious programming and re-program it.

Soooo there it is … my case in regard to why the Thriver Model has NOTHING to do with victim blaming and EVERYTHING to do with empowering people beyond victimisation and mere survival into True Thriving.

Also … If this article spoke to you and if you wish to connect with and personally experience the Thriver Model of 100% personal radical responsibility in order to heal from narcissistic abuse, I would love you to join myself and other Thrivers from all over the world in my next FREE Webinar Group here.

Now … I am happy for any and every discussion on this topic to begin!

I look forward to responding to your comments and questions.


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88 thoughts on “Does The Thriver Model Place The Blame On The Victim?

  1. Melanie, you speak truth. It’s not about blaming the abuser or even yourself as to the “why” in all of this. For many, the abusive relationship began within themselves (inner) and then there was the narcissist whom was the louder, physical manifestation of that abuse (outer). There is nobody to blame. But if only somebody to heal. Heal the wounds that laid the foundation for this type of relationship to even begin. Inner and outer.
    When you make the shift to see where the pain really began and release it, only then will anyone be able to truly live. Not unlike the mask of the narcissist but the mask of unworthiness must be addressed. It’s not an easy task, to look for the pot holes in your soul but I can personally attest that when you start to do this theory of self partnering, you as you are as a divine being, truly begin to show up. And that’s when the beauty of life begins to unfold. And not dependant on any other being for it to be created for you nor taken away.
    God bless your efforts and strength, Melanie.
    You are a speaker of truth, pillar of strength and a beacon for those whom are lost at sea.

    1. Hi Josephine,

      That is great this article resonated with you.

      I totally agree with you, as in my healing journey I firmly understood that No-one (not even the narcissist) had been as consistently self-judging and self-condemning as I had been to myself.

      He was simply reflecting back to me so many of the ways I really felt about myself, and the never to be appeased conditional love standards I continually enforced on myself.

      I adore who you stated that “the pot holes in your soul” … amongst so many others things you wrote.

      Your post is wonderful Josephine, full of wisdom and thank you so much for sharing.

      I am so, so happy for you that you too are on this path and reaping the gorgeous benefits.

      Mel xo

      1. Thank you so much. This makes perfect sense to me. As long has we hold on to victimization, we are stuck. I will read your article as many times as it takes in order to understand that this is my only hope for recovery.

  2. Good article and no trying to hold the narcissist accountable does not work. My mother would find her way around ever admitting guilt for what she had done. However in order to emerge from the victim state, we need people who are willing to listen and validate us as well as finding the knowledge within ourselves to say Yes, this happened and I am angry now where do I go from here. Many people have previous issues before they encounter narcissists or APDs. That doesn’t give anyone the right to blame them for their current situation. Thanks.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      agreed … that initially that validation would be helpful.. Sadly however it can be the case that we don’t receive it, and this really is because people can find it very hard to “get”.

      Again this leaves us with needing to validate and work through the healing ourselves (self-responsibility) because truly EVERY time we make our own state reliant on what others are or aren’t doing it means we are precariously NOT a generator of life, able to create “more of who we are already being”.

      This article explains:

      At a deeper Quantum Level of manifestation – we are always receiving from people more of how we are partnered or not with ourselves. Therefore at this level “there is no others”, people are supporting us only if we have started at some level granting that to ourselves.

      It’s when we start doing the profound inner work that these truths became incredibly apparent to us.

      Mel xo

  3. I agree with you about personal responsibilty as liberating and appreciate getting the information from this site a few years ago. I think I had a fairly bad case of narc abuse at that time, and it really wasn’t until recently, when a friend insisted over and over “it’s not your fault” that I could breathe enough to start looking deeply at my own subconscious patterns more accurately to heal. Good people want to fix themselves naturally, but sometimes the shame and confusion of believing you might be the narc/ taking huge responsibility for the narc’s actions or even who they are, can be so debilitating that a simple “it’s not your fault” can kind of break through the waves of confusion and pain to start the process and settle into the more nuanced work. Two cents of my experience. <3

    1. I agree that to start to break out of the victim model, you first need someone to tell you,”It isn’t your fault. Stop taking all the blame.” In my case, it was a psychologist who noticed that I spoke as if I were a defendant on trial, constantly trying to defend myself, fearful of being misunderstood, anxiously awaiting attack.
      The severely disordered husband (28 years) who I left last May, as well as his mother, had scapegoated me so harshly and for so long that I did believe everything was my fault. And yes, I know it was deeply connected to my own father having scapegoated and abused me. I accept your theory of trying to rewrite childhood scripts, and I have made many strides in the past year; however, hearing what this psychologist, as well as my wonderful, supportive sisters, said about it not being my fault lifted the terrible burden of self-blame that I had carried.
      In the end, we have to guide our own vessels, attend to our own souls, and go deep. I no longer care if this man changes. That has nothing to do with me changing my life for the better. And I do take medication for the terrible panic attacks I had endured in the marriage–but I haven’t had one since I left him. The kind of attacks I had involved my throat closing up to the point where I could not breathe. They could have killed me, so I stay on a small dose of meds, in case they come back.
      Once I started to believe that no, I did not deserve to be treated as I was treated, that in truth everything, from his terrible false accusations, his cheating, his physical and mental abuse, even his mother developing Alzheimer’s, was not my fault, I was able to start trusting myself and my own authentic reactions.
      I would modify your Thriver approach to include a period of time for the person who has believed he or she is worthless, bad, completely at fault, to be unconditionally supported by people who love her/him. The more balanced approach that you advocate needs to come in time, in my opinion. It’s okay to go through the rage at what was taken from you, even if, in the name of love and holding the family together, you endured, allowed, unspeakable abuse.

    2. Hi Healing2,

      agreed, that this is very true for many people.

      And what I have seen in the time of being connected with so many, is it is those who have been engaged in personal development previously are usually more aware that what they are living is crazy and there is something within themselves that is hooked in.

      And even though they are confused and gaslighted (as we all were) they are more aware that the narcissist blaming them is a maddening PROJECTION of the narcissist – and not so much “their fault”.

      These people do not need that validation as much … and yes for some people it IS helpful there is a fine line .. very much so …

      What I believe is REALLY important initially is to understand what a narcissist is – and I REALLY believe the word “fault” should be removed from the English language and NEVER accepted.

      Because narcissist are products of unconscious parenting and painful inner trauma …

      Was that even THEIR fault?

      Or can we realise that they are highly damaged people who do what they do because of the damage?

      I think the latter is SO MUCH more helpful.

      The “it is not your fault” can be helpful at the start for victims, but then the truth (us being a generative source of our own experience – and therefore DO have the power to change it) needs to come into the picture, otherwise the trauma in our body (original and compounded by the narcissist) would never be attended to.

      Mel xo

  4. I believe some people have placed such a guard up around their self after enduring narcissistic abuse in a relationship. I was fortunate to have already begun healing my spirit, from the inside out. Though I was open to all aspects of the “what the hells” of enduring narcissistic abuse, including my part in mirroring before I knew what NPD was and my own subconscious programming carried from childhood, there is a quote that helped me to wrap my (mind f@#ked) head around what you are saying and that is “ONLY WHAT WE ALLOW WILL CONTINUE”. And that is true in all aspects of our lives. We are either in control or we are not. I didnt even have much of a clue about boundaries or how to even set them, carried from my childhood. We have to respect ourselves enough to demand the respect we deserve and if one doesnt want to respect that then its a choice to remain with disrespectful person or have enough respect for our self and leave a toxic situation. Its quite complex, especially when youve had someone toying with your mind in such a messed up, cruel, covert way its difficult for many to see through the fog. Someone needs to, and maybe they have and ive just not seen it, but along with the stages of the narcissists abuse, theres the victims stages, or phases we go through. From our initial thinking of something just isnt right here, to finding out what that something is, then the trying everything to remedy the issue and so on up until the devalue and discard phase. But the bottom line is to recognize the viscous negative cycle and its soley up to us to either jump out of the viscous cycle or choosing to remain in a NPDs viscous cycle that is never ending . Only thing that changes is the narcs supply. I do see all of it as a delicate subject. I had all kinds of ah ha moments when i was looking for my subconscious attraction to my NPD hubby (other than im an empath, though i wasnt aware of all that when he and I married). And alot was devistating at first. Like my realization that i married the oppitomy of the side of my father i refused to see all my life. Meaning the unfavorable aspects of my dad is who my husband is and my mother didnt ever stick up for herself. She didnt live or respect herself. Far as im concerned, and im aware its easier said than done for many, but we have to be open to self reflecting and be emotionally honest with ourselves to figure out our contribution that we arent seeing due to staying a victim. And see what we need to change of our own actions and take steps to change our own negative patterns. Because ultimately, we cannot change another person, we can only change our own negative cycles. You cant force and control another person to change either, that is part of what keeps the viscous cycle spinning.

    1. Hi Christy,

      its very very true so many people, who have not healed the inner trauma, go into contraction to try to protect, but which only creates a whole heap of “life and living” that is not our possible or potential True Self state.

      It can be a hard pill for people to swallow – “What we allow will continue”, but that is the absolute truth. And we only allow what hurts us when we are regressed back into young underdeveloped parts of ourselves which do not believe we can be a a whole source of love, approval, security and survival to ourselves.

      Our boundaries and wellbeing are NOT another adult’s responsibility – they are our own.

      And if we are NOT there yet, it is NOT our fault – we didn’t have the resources yet, and that is the part of ourselves we need to heal and grow up … if we want a healthy, happy, sane life!

      (I was the same as you Christy – I had NON-existent boundaries!)

      You have named so many aspects and cycles of N-abuse very accurately and thank you for your very powerful, accurate and honest share.

      Mel xo

  5. Hi. I am divorced from a narcissist/psychopath/sociopath. He is trying to get custody of my 7 year old daughter, that’s the only thing left he can take from me after he took our home away from us and our personal freedom. I moved on and rebuilt our lives but he forced us in 2013 through the legal system to have to put up with his power and control games. He is misusing the rights of a father to destroy me by using her against me. I have done a lot of research, that apparently those individuals choose people with childhood issues, but in this particular situation I don’t understand why he chose me and my son to use and abuse, because we came from a beautiful life in Austria, I had a good, solid upbringing, I gave my son a good childhood, until we met those people. My ex had childhood issues, was abused by his father and therefore thought to mistreat us the same way is all right, no matter how much I stood up to him. He exposed my son to spousal abuse and to his drinking buddies and their habit of partying and drinking and driving behind my back until they let him drive off of their yard drunk and that got him killed in 2007. Now I’m fighting for my daughter’s rights to a safe and secure upbringing, to prevent her life from falling apart the same way as my son’s and mine did. As her only responsible parent it is my duty to tell people the truth about him and his paranoid schizophrenic sister and their ulterior motives to take custody away from me through the legal system. They ly, cheat, manipulate, fool the professionals to get away with their plan to destroy our lives. His dysfunctional family members helped him to take our home away which I renovated with my son’s estate money. They left us homeless with no equity from our home, where my daughter was so happy. I wouldn’t be a good mother to stay silent about so much injustice, greed and cruelty. If I would just give in and let him have all the negative impact on another child’s life that would make me a bad mother. My last child alive needs to be protected from those individuals who caused so much damage and harm to her physical, mental, emotional and psychological development and her wellbeing after they forced access visits in 2013 through the courts on us!! He demanded from me to get an abortion when I was 5 months pregnant, he did not look at her almost 5 years, ignored her, did not support her financially or in any other way. He can’t be called father, but yet he is trying to win a court case at all costs because I dared to go to court for child support in 2013. Now my child is suffering the consequences of his and his lawyer’s actions and misconduct and of my weak lawyer’s inactions and the wrong advice and no explanation of the Canadian law she gave me. The only way I can heal is when those forced access visits stop and we regain our personal freedom, the restriction has to be lifted so we can move to wherever we want to live and we need to be allowed to travel. Our lives need to be back to normal, to the way it was before he got the court to allow him to continue to torment us, before they resticted us in 2014. I very well blame him and his cruel lawyer for taking everything away from us and for continuing to take, take, take, because he wants to make our lives miserable and wants to keep taking. He needs to be held accounerable for his behavior. In my case to get justice and get him and those other sick individuals out of our lives is the only step in the right direction. The cruelty went on far too long. Nobody should be forced to have to live with abuse and to feel trapped and imprisoned in a tiny 30 km radius in a city we are not meant to live in. There is no logic in that and it is completely irrational and unreasonable. How can a good hearted, decent person heal and recover when the trauma and terror continues for years to come with no end in sight???

    1. Hi Gabriele,

      I am also divorcing a narcissist who I was married to for 15 years (it’s been a five year process, so far). Although he never showed any interest in our three children during the marriage, he is now trying to expand visitation with my 8 year old. He has completely discarded my two older children, who spent the majority of their lives in the household with him and have a clear understanding of the kind of person he is. He suddenly has great interest in my 8 year old (his new source of narcissistic supply) who has not grown up with his father in the home because he moved to another city when our youngest was 2. After five years of my older two and me trying to convince lawyers, judges, mediators, and court appointed therapists what a horribly abusive person my ex is, I had a glimmer of hope when it was ordered that he go through a parental evaluation. It turned out to be a nightmare. As narcissists often do, he completely fooled the evaluator by lying (completely discrediting me, my older children, and whoever else spoke out against him), and passed the psychological testing. Now his lawyer is suggesting I get psychological testing, as I’m being accused of parental alienation/counter parenting treating my ex with hostility and resentment. Absolutely preposterous! While I am looking forward to healing my own wounds with Melanie, my main concern right now is protecting my children from the abuse of my ex as well as the abuse of the legal system. I, like you, would also like to know how to go about dealing with this. I wish you and your daughter the best. Take good care.

    2. Hi Gabriele,

      Please google my name and children and custody etc.

      I have written many many articles on the topic and conducted interviews, radio shows and you tube videos.

      Truly Gabriele your emancipation and yours and your children healing require you to focus into healing you and getting strong, solid and unwounded in this.

      Then things can and do change, even in co-parenting with a narcissist.

      As in my answer to Savannah above – I truly have never seen a case where our answers DON’T lie within.

      Wishing you strength, hugs and healing.

      Mel xo

  6. Mel, you are absolutely right. I can say this because I have been through all the stages including blaming my ex husband because after all he’s the one with NPD. I started off like most, researching everything I could about narcissism because there are questions you want answers to, most of them start with why: Why is he so cruel to me? Why did I allow him to abuse me for twenty years? There were three things that got me to the thriver place I am in today. Firstly it was a video by Sam Vaknin on Youtube which implied wives of narcissists are weak people. I was livid! How dare you I thought, I am not weak, its him, he’s the abuser, I am the victim! Then I found you and I realised why I stayed with him for all those years. I set about healing the wounds and taking responsibility for myself. And the third thing: Someone said to me everything your husband does, every decision he makes and the way he behaves belongs to him, it is his responsibility and you must give it to him, hand it all over. Likewise everything I do and all the decisions I make are mine and my responsibility. We have no control over what others do or say, we only have control over ourselves. To blame others entirely, to not forgive and fester in the injustice is like drinking the poison yourself and expecting them to die. I fully understand why I married a narcissist and why I stayed with him as long as I did. I have healed those wounds, I have levelled up and taken responsibility. I set healthy boundaries, something I thought I’d never be able to do. This is the part of your blog that really stood out to me and for anyone who is just starting a journey of healing:

    Every time we say, “My life and world has been ripped apart by you, and it was your fault and you are accountable for it”, hands our power over.
    Because we have to wait for that person to set us free.
    What if they don’t?
    How do we heal if they don’t?
    How do we forgive if they are to blame and we keep holding them accountable? (Forgiveness is not a gift to someone else it is a gift to ourselves).
    And how do we release ourselves from the trauma that we believe is someone else’s responsibility to fix for us?
    How do we get “closure” when we are reliant on the narcissist to grant it to us?
    The answers are … we don’t … EVER.

    So, once again Mel, thank you for all the sense you talk! Its the only way. X

    1. Hi Kirsty,

      I am so pleased for you that you are in the orientation of healing you and taking your power back.

      Oh … so so true we have NO power over someone else, and the more we try to control the the more we get controlled by them!

      And yes that oldie but such a goodie re hanging onto resentment and blame.

      I LOVE what my good friend Katherine Woodward-Thomas says – “The more you resent and blame someone the more you are NOT willing to take responsibility for your own life.”


      Bless you and your post Kirsty! 🙂

      Mel xo

  7. Hi Mel. This is a touchy one for lots of people. I believe that their problem with this premise lies in the misunderstanding of what you are saying here. It is not that the abuser gets off scott free that is the point here but that certain wounds inside the victim will automatically attract the narc to you. Blame is not what is essential here, I feel. What is essential is that if you work on clearing those inner wounds, you will find that nothing the abuser can say or do will have an effect on you any more. Such has been my experience. Thank you Mel for this most important topic. Lots of love, Helen x

    1. Hi Helen,

      it sure is!

      Yes, the incredible irony is that the abuser is SO much more likely to be held accountable when people up-level and get into their power.

      THAT is when I have seen narcissists time and time again fall apart.

      (Premi and Nora”s Thriver Shows are classic examples of this!)

      I am so pleased you have experienced so much breakthrough as a result of healing your inner wounds – it has been an absolute joy to watch your blossoming in the Community.

      And .. you are so welcome Helen 🙂

      Mel xo

  8. Melanie, you speak the truth. I had an awful period of abuse at the hands of a highly narcissistic person. It turned my world on its head. I was (and remain) very angry at that person’s unconscious treatment of me, but I also know that the reason I tolerated and endured their abuse was because of deep needs arising from faulty programming in my childhood. No amount of raging at the narcissist will cause them to change or fix the issues that made me vulnerable in the first place. The focus needs to be on me, then I know I will have a chance at healing and having an authentic life. It is a monumental battle for sure, but one I know is worth fighting. Thank you. Martin

    1. Hi Martin,

      so correct, healing the shadow part of ourselves which has shown up via another person is never facilitated by trying to change that outer person.

      It is a Quantum impossibility – no matter HOW much we would like it to work!

      I am so pleased Martin you are willing to fight the ONLY good fight!

      Mel xo

  9. Your response doesn’t support the position that children without “programming” are abused, Jackson Katz’ work on the sociology of men supporting/accepting the patriarchal history of men in abusing women, Steiner’s work on why abused women don’t leave relationships and the website that you referred me to. Melanie, it’s an AND issue not a BUT issue. Narcissists will not be held accountable by the very nature of what they are of course and of course focusing on exposing them and publicly getting them to change is futile and a waste of time one can use healing which is different than saying you got targeted because you must have some problem with your narcissistic immune system going back way back then. It’s a tautology. You got a abused so you were abusable. It’s a yes, but… Meaning lots of research on how victims of child abuse and neglect are way more likely to be targeted and manipulated than protected/ nurtured/ humans with intact social tribes. “Normal” people use narcissistic defenses at times and we forgive and forget. The very nature of the slow boil and toxic chemical bonding, intermittent reinforcement is enough in itself to create complex ptsd in a healthy person which requires focusing on oneself to heal the wounds of course. Your model is based on putting 100 Percent responsibility on the victim for targeting if I read this correctly. I genuinely don’t believe that’s what you mean. It’s not testable, even. Why not emphasize the nebulousness of this rather than making it an untestable “fact”: Anyone can be and is emotionally manipulated day in and day out by media obviously and other forces. It requires introspection, skillful means and retraining the conscious and Unconscious aspects of our minds and bodies ( Van der Kolk’s work on The Body Keeps the Score) to heal from chronic emotional manipulation and thrive again. Babies who fail to thrive were never brought to health by talking about that wire monkey/ cloth monkey problem but by nurturing and emotional support necessary for thriving so of course the idea of identifying the abuse, naming it, stopping it, and healing is the way to go rather than staying stuck in reliving it not because it’s 100 percent our fault but because our brains light up and reinforce abuse when we remember it as does our body— Van der Kolk’s work. That’s the simple reason to stop it, not this good/bad victim blaming. Your model, remember is not a ME ME ME model, it’s your lovely voice, supportive, kind, encouraging, connected asking the listener to utilize/imagine their own internal archetypes of care and nurture to heal their wounds which your voice is suggesting, encouraging to tap into mind/ body/brain resources that are intact and resourceful still. To strengthen those parts and extinguish the traumatized areas. It physiology. There is nothing about this model that can’t also acknowledge the abuse suffered was not caused or perpetuated by some preprogramming. What your blog is focusing on is the incessant need to BLAME the emotional abuser as a tool of healing. Of course that doesn’t work as a healing strategy anymore than swatting mosquitos cures Malaria as one is constantly searching for Mosquitos the vector or harm and also re-activating and making stronger neural connections associated with trauma. Once you’ve been damaged, absorbed the emotional abuse you have to apply the healing tools to it AND you can loudly and clearly say I once was whole and was damaged and it’s not my fault and if I can’t find some smoking gun of abuse in my past I don’t have assume I’ve got repressed memories or something. One of the healing tools that really helped me “get” the sadism of the emotional manipulator was doing this exercise in a workshop where the environment was very safe and clearly we were role playing. I suggest doing this lovely drama-play with a trusted friend. You change roles for 3 minutes each: A’s role is to say “I want it.” B’s role is to say: “You can’t have it.” ( You could also use: I want you to stay/ I need to go) You’ll notice quickly a power dynamic emerge. Narcissists essentially make deals in our human contract of reciprocity and give and take where they “get the stuff” legitimately by earning it like any good predator. The science is also there of the high percentages of re-victimization likely for people who have suffered child abuse and neglect in particular — perhaps they stay because of the intermittent reinforcement of “getting it” after saying “I want it” so many millions of times rather than a person who’s had consistency and fairness will see the hopelessness of the power dynamic and walk away as quickly as possible ( Pete Walker, Van der Kolk’s work). Why not throw in the Adverse Childhood events list for folks to help them notice/ be aware of what objective predisposing troubles they have been exposed to for them to reflect upon AND that sometimes one is just in the wrong place at the wrong time ( One has to keep “wanting it” and asking for it because survival depends upon it – one becomes expert at operating from a one down position in a world stacked against them) one can hold another accountable AND accept life isn’t fair, there ARE predators. Living as well as possible is the best revenge. We create the world with our minds and the world creates us with it’s mind also.

    1. Bessel Van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score, and Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery are masterworks.

    2. Hi Arian.
      Can you explain just the remark ‘ children without “programming” ‘
      I can’t understand this ?

    3. Hi Adrian,

      I don’t actually believe there is a “without programming” possibility.

      Not when a child’s voracious subconscious before 7 or 8 especially (and then to 12) is soaking up every message as “right” regardless of what it is.

      The work of neuro scientists are now proving how profound this is.

      Epigentics has also now discovered that trauma parents pass on trauma brains to their children genetically even when no trauma was ever present in their life – and in fact this can and is passed on not just from parents but much further back in the genetic history.

      Look at the trauma of our planet the human “survival of the fittest” ego conditioning and truly we have a planet suffering C-PTSD to varying levels!

      AND … the effects of that can be seen everywhere!

      Exponentially I have discovered point blank then when working with individuals (and myself) that ever trauma can be tracked back to original wounding – and at times the subconscious reveals information such as “in the womb” that was NOT consciously known but later was substantiated by parents as 100% correct information as to what the mother experienced or what was happening in the environment at the time.

      And this isn’t even starting to touch on DNA trauma – which is also substantiated time and time again by history, family members who know … etc.

      The body – the subconscious – IS the vault!

      How do you explain any of that, unless you are willing to look MUCH deeper than “usual” contemporary psychology models?

      Yes Adrian it is proven, and is becoming more and more so … scientifically, quantifiably … do your research on the topics that open you up to these understandings (Bruce Lipton and Jo Dispenza for a start), or / and experience deeper subconscious healing yourself and you will truly not dispute it.

      Mel xo

  10. I am a very new reader of this blog having discovered it by accident when looking for something else.
    I say ‘by accident’ but a higher power decreed it as I was emotionally destitute and completely shattered by the very sudden eviction from my home and the life I had happily lived for ten years by a close and much loved friend. Details don’t matter but in effect my life was over. I read one blog by Melanie and my tears were dried because SOMEONE, you Melanie, knew what was going on in my head and actually I was not going mad.
    Back to the subject in hand.
    I have long held the view that the only person we can change is ourselves, but how? Where to start?

    My ex-husband, who I divorced over 30 years ago, has recently been jailed for 20 years (essential for the rest of his life) for the abuse he inflicted on others so I definitely don’t feel that he has not been held accountable, though a long time coming. He had a strange upbringing and since reading this blog can see a textbook case a NA. He did try to go on controlling me after the divorce but I wouldn’t play his games and managed to detach myself completely and go on to lead a successful life.
    11 years ago I made a new female friend. We got on really well and shared a lot of interests and the same sense of humour. 8 years ago my circumstances changed and as we were both alone in the world we decided to move in together. I hasten to add that this was a loving friendship, we were not partners. For 10 years we had a fantastic life. I suffered none of the abuse I have read about since discovering Melanie. We shared our domestic life, embarked on projects, travelled, worked and laughed. If we had a problem we talked it through. Imagine the shock when she met a new friend, the ‘new, shiny toy’, and I went from the best thing that had ever happened to her, to a nuisance who must be disposed of, in the space of a few days. I was given a month to pack my bags and get out of her life. I was destroyed.

    That was when it started, the smear campaign, the lies, the attempted alienation of friends, the justification of her actions………..You have heard it all before.

    So it happened to me twice. How could I not realise that it was something in me that provoked this.
    I don’t feel anything for my ex-husband who was a thoroughly unpleasant person and disliked generally. But my friend?
    She was popular, outgoing, fun, admired. I was proud to be her friend. However, she also had a horrific childhood and had overcome the most incredible difficulties to even remain sane. The last I heard of her she was unhappy and was having difficulty in her work.
    Two classic cases of damaged NAs. I feel nothing for my ex but huge compassion for my friend. I have resolutely instigated no contact but until I met Melanie, what happened and the cruel things she said were going round on a loop in my head. That has largely stopped, thank you Melanie.

    Everyone has said to me, ” Now you can be yourself again. Now you can do what YOU want do. Now you can live

    1. Hi Joy,

      I am so pleased you divinely found your way here!

      The changes that we make to ourselves can be done by self-partnering and meeting and re-programming our inner wounds. That can sound really “nebulous”, but when we know how to do it, have a process and the right tool – it is very possible.

      I developed Quanta Freedom Healing and the NARP Program to achieve this, and it saved my life and has helped countless other people in this community as well.

      Joy, this is very true, that unknowingly there was still some “reliance” and sourcing of yourself through her rather than being free to be that true source to you. Now it is your time to heal this once and for all, if you accept that mission.

      Wishing you hugs and healing.

      Mel xo

  11. YOUR life.
    But who am I ?
    What do I want to do?
    What life?

    I am a fixer-upper. I cannot see anyone in need or any sad situation without feeling that it is encumbent on me to make it right for everyone. Arrogant or what?
    I certainly need a bit of fixing up myself.
    Next month I am 77 years old. I am longing to meet the ‘me’ I have never known.

  12. I think you are both right and wrong, Melanie. I don’t believe everyone who falls for and stays with a narcissist is a co-dependent personality. The abuse starts off subtle, and by the time a (usually) woman realises what is happening she may very well have child(ren). It is not so easy to rally the energy which has been beaten down, in order to plan on leaving.

    Some women who stay with a narcissist bully are very superior, moral, responsible people who grit their teeth and show courage because they know what their children will be in for without their protection if they separate. In effect, they give their own lives for their children.

    As far as hoping for expressions of remorse from the narcissist, you are very right. It will never come. They are 3 years old and arrested in development and see themselves as the victims. Your program of self-sustenance and self-regard is the way to go.

    But I don’t think the real victims of narcissist bullying should be shamed and made to think they have contributed. Sometimes they have, from the past, but not always. In any case, nobody deserves this sort of horrible treatment and it is completely understandable that people accessing your website need to express their horror and hurt.

    Then to move on internally and hopefully externally as soon as humanly possible.

    Thank you for your work which helps many people. Janine

    1. Hi Janine,

      You know I will disagree .. and that is okay – this is healthy forum to do that!

      The reason I disagree, is I have seen and heard from countless people who do NOT tolerate the abuse and leave as soon as the mask falls (that certainly was not me and many others, who did have unresolved wounds) …

      (In short there are many people who just do NOT have the matching wounds to be taken in and down by narcissists!)

      And also too since up-levelling myself personally, (and I see this with many others) we are VERY able to show up authentically, no longer derail ourselves with the fears of abandonment, critics, rejection or punishment … have the difficult conversations, lay healthy boundaries and if they are not met we can walk away VERY quickly and healthily without emotional pain and fallout.

      A boundary and an ending for me that can take one hour used to drag on for 2 years when I had connected unhealed childhood wounds (as an example).

      Yes it is more complex with children – but the premise and truth IS the same … because the most destroyed and disturbed children are the ones that deal with YEARS of parents saying together … (my worst adult traumatised inner children for example) were the product of an N parent and traumatised other parent who did not leave.

      This TAUGHT children that abuse / abused was normal …

      Again none of this has ANYTHING to do with blame – it has to do with empowering people to get out, stay out and not create legacies of damaged children who will continue the cycle of abuse / abused.

      Our world NEEDS a different, real and true model that works on the causation instead of looking at N’s to achieve that.

      And if this is going to unfortunately cause some people to feel “blamed” (just as I would have felt once upon a time when I wanted to take NO responsibility and stay a victim – and would have DIED as a result) that can’t be helped …

      Fortunately more and more people realise this has noticing to do with blame and EVERYTHING to do with getting out and getting healthy – for us AND our kids.

      Mel xo

    2. In my experience of trying to heal for years and actually doing a good bit of healing (and about to embark on Melanie’s program to finish healing) — with regard to what the victim of narcissistic abuse may need most at the start is yes, validation of the pain and affirmation that “you are safe,” which can include a few stages of shock, rage, grief, anger, research to understand what a narcissist is (information to understand) and especially validation that “you are not to blame.” The thing is, it depends on the level of where the abuse victim is at (how deep the wounds, how traumatized), and the doorway you need to enter, to access and begin the healing. For me, I absolutely needed to hear at first that I was not to blame. During this time, therapists told me I needed to “take responsibility for the part I played” and I absolutely could not “hear” this as anything other than blame of me, and worse yet, my abuser agreed “yes, she needs to own her part — which is of course ALL of it!!!” (we were in couples therapy at the time) — first, I had to be validated that I was blameless (and temporarily blame HIM). Then, I could begin to understand that there was a difference between blame and taking responsibility — two entirely different things! Responsibility is empowering! Blames makes you powerless and stuck. But I had not been taught this difference, and the defense mechanism of shame/blame was too loud and strong in me to be able to hear. Once I healed enough to not blame myself (though I blamed my abuser), I was able to listen and learn about what it means to own my part in it. Now, I am able to accept that I am entirely responsible for my experience. Not just “my share of it.” It has been a step by step gradual learning for me. If I had found Melanie sooner, perhaps I could have learned these lessons sooner. But I am ready for the lessons now. I’ve come a long way.

    3. Wow!! I absolutely related to your comment:
      “Some women who stay with a narcissist bully are very superior, moral, responsible people who grit their teeth and show courage because they know what their children will be in for without their protection if they separate. In effect, they give their own lives for their children”.
      THIS is so completely accurate with my situation. I know just from the multiple times I grew fed up and had epiphanies that not just me but MY KIDS, they didn’t ask for any of this
      and have endured enough abuse and toxic behavior all because I DID believe he was going to go to that counseling we discussed while I leased up the kids and fled to Ohio to seek refuge at my Dad’s. Of course my Narc promised the world and everything in between yet 8 years later and here we are. I feel like as a Mom, it’s my job to protect and love my kids unconditionally even if that means sacrificing my complete happiness, that’s the least I can do for them!!

  13. Hi all. Yeah, blame is the wrong word IMO. I / one was, as a child, at the mercy of the environment I / one was in. Agreed ? Whether there is any component of past life existence or not, the pure vulnerability of childhood should cause us to give this period of our lives sanctity. I was left vulnerable to the whims and misguided intentions of my brother, sister, father, mother. As an Aspie I couldn’t bare touch, how where they to know that sarcastically smothering me more, was abuse to me ? So what could the word be ? The shame felt is equal to the abuse dealt.
    When you reach out for help after you boat has sunk do you really want to be BLAMED / SHAMED for your misfortune ? The enlightened approach here in the Thriver model is proper self actualization as remedy. Remember the Moral righteousness point Mel makes.
    The half baked religious retribution model has poisoned your moral truth with a fear based revenge agenda. YUCK ! IMO.

    1. Hi TimC,


      Exactly – none of us were to blame!

      Our programming happened to us – it was NOT something we consciously chose!

      Just as our parent’s programming was NOT something they consciously chose!

      Soon correct – self-actulaization has NOTHING to do with blame an shame!

      Great share Tim – thank you and bless 🙂

      Mel xo

      1. Hi Mel.
        Thank you for your vision and inspiring my poem before.
        Does this from A.Quindlen reach the spot ?

        “ I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.”

        A. Quindlen

  14. Melanie, I have been following you for years. In fact, when I found you, it was truly the very beginning of my search for healing. You gave me great understanding of the interplay between codependent and narcissist. I was shocked to find I was codependent and simultaneously thrilled and excited to learn about myself. It was fascinating. Did a lot of crying, a lot of shifting, a lot of growing. I had a hard time with the harp modules and learned that I needed face to face support when going that deep.

    I found a local quantum touch healer and worked with him for a bit. Always continue to read your articles and more recently watch all of your videos. it has been a difficult struggle at times because I have felt alone for much of it. About two and a half years ago, I serendipitously crossed paths with a healer who suited me closely. As I mentioned, I personally needed the face to face support when going to certain deep wounds. She has taught me about how important self kindness is. Kindness is a big thing with a capital K. The thriver’s focus is on self and healing. Yes. The narc is an an angel in disguise. Yes.

    But here’s the thing. And I know you know this. I think some healers may forget how harsh the wounded can be on themselves. Movement and change cannot happen until kindness is practiced. With our childhood program, we can often forget to receive certain parts of ourselves with kindness. What I’m getting at is many of these people who are feeling “blamed” may be missing that piece. The need for strong and consistent reminders from loving teachers and masters about self compassion. And allowing parts of ourselves to come into the light and giving those unhealed parts showers of love. Grieving what we have been through as innocent children I believe is a part of the healing process. necessary before release and transformation can happen.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that maybe weaving more self compassion messages into your already-awesome teachings might soften what some of these broken hearted sisters are hearing . There is that deep part of them that knows what you are saying is true. I am not suggesting that you don’t know the importance of this piece, I’m just saying from out here It helps when teachers remind me about this.

    1. Hi Paula,

      It is fascinating when we start to learn about ourselves … and when we replace self-judgment for self-fascination and self-love we have turned a VERY big corner!

      Paula, I just want to check in with you that you are in the NARP Forum , and also it could be really good to come into a Three Keys Group as well, so that you can connect with other NARPers, Thrivers and feel supported that way with NARP as well.

      In those Forums is incredible kindness, support and love on this journey.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly how powerful and vital compassion is when healing.

      For ourselves HUGELY, for others we share the journey with, and also ultimately for all beings, including narcissists who are a product of their torturous path with no way to become conscious and come out ..

      Compassion is God In Action … our Community on the inside … those doing the work abound in it and share it profoundly.

      It is KEY.

      Mel xo

  15. I notice a lot of victim-blaming on websites dealing with narcissistic injury. Under most expressions of concern lurks “but why is she still with him?” There is not just one reason (co-dependence, which is the reason du jour) but many possibilities. Every decision of a victim of a narcissist, trying to cope, needs to be respected.

    The whole point of love is to be prepared to make oneself vulnerable to another. To do this with a narcissist will lead to a tragic outcome but that is not known at the beginning and probably for a while. Then, confusion sets in with the hurt. If there are children, it is so much the more difficult.

    I don’t really see it as helpful to ask “What did YOU do to invite this?”. You can see from your website that many people say they had a happy childhood. I do believe that anyone can fall for a narcissist and get themselves in very hot water.

    The best thing is to put out as much information as possible, and especially tips on how to survive and thrive. When or if a person can take this advice–“No contact” being the one to strive for but can be difficult–is in their court. They need patient support for as long as it takes. Which might be forever. Narcissists are the scourge of the earth. They can’t help it, but I think they deserve all the blame, really. Their aim is to hurt you. If this is love, save me from it.

    1. Hi Janine,

      I completely agree – wherever someone is at – someone is at … and that decision and choice is their own and personal.

      Self-love Janine does not include being vulnerable to another at the cost of our own demise.

      And that is not “blame” … it is a hard truth that many of us (myself included) needed to face when taking responsibility for our lives, and deciding whether or not we wanted to create a life that reflected loving ourselves healthily.

      Regarding not affecting childhoods and “anyone” falling for a narcissist, I have received the real evidence time and time again in real time in the trenches in this work that dispels these myths.

      When we thrive for real Janine, narcissists cease to have power in our lives …

      And there isn’t feelings left of blaming anything …

      Bless and I wish you healing and release.

      Mel xo

  16. Dearest Mel……You have so much courage and have left fear behind. Blaming someone and being responsible are 2 different things. To see the truth takes time and effort and is not handed to us on a silver patter. The easy way out is to play the blame game. Those angry letters are written proof that you are on the right track!!! If there was no alternate reaction, you would just be floating along with the current……..doing absolutly nothing to help the situation!!!
    You give is more than enough tools to deal with NPD. Now, I will go and read your article!!!!
    Peace and lotsaluv

    1. Hi WJB Motown,

      Yes they are different and it is a truth that we can’t really somatically feel until we “get there”.

      Which is perfectly understandable …

      I agree, the resistance is wonderful, because it inspires me to write and bring more truth ups and out!

      Peace and love to you too 🙂

      Mel xo

  17. My N family is really working on my nephew to see me as this pathetic loser, and after his initially resisting it, I think it’s finally working, and it’s breaking my heart, or should I say I feel very sad about it. I want to correct myself here, because before your THRIVER program which has totally changed my life, I would be completely devastated and on the floor, whereas now I CAN pick myself up off the floor and I will continue to thrive. I tell myself I will give NO ONE, not even a cherished loved one, the power to destroy me. I finally got my sister “the Golden Child” to put all the family pictures (which she took from the family home) on a disc, and when I went over there to pick them up my 23 year old nephew was there and we took a neighborhood walk. I’ve always loved him so much, I cared for him when he was little (I’m a nanny), he’s the apple of my eye. When he was little I stayed in contact with my N family of origin, tolerating all their abuse, because I wanted to continue to have a relationship with him. 2 years ago my nephew’s father, sister’s husband and one of the main culprit’s in my N family abuse was ( unfairly?) convicted of sexually abusing a child and sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole. As you can imagine this was devastating to his family, including my nephew. I’ve tried to offer emotional support, but my sister has turned to the rest of the N family instead, excluding me. They visit together and take family vacations without me. A lie told about me is justification and I’m shut out, which is ok, because I’m leaving away. My nephew really went through a hard time when he was about 12 years old, he was being mistreated by some kids in the neighborhood and he chose to distance himself from them, and on our neighborhood walk, he ran into one, now grown, who asked him of he wanted to play ball in the park with him and his friends. My nephew declined. The rest of the walk there seemed to be a negative vibe towards me, he was asking me questions which seemed to echo criticisms and negative comments about what he’s heard about me from the n’s. We stared having an awkward silence, which I really fear, when I have nothing to say, I become afraid of silence and become frozen. I think I should have clarified I am empowering myself, but I’m still dealing with my own shame about where I am in my life and my own fears about him seeing me the way they are depicting me. When we got back, he wasn’t hungry and didn’t want to go out to eat as we had planned. I think when people haven’t healed their own shame from childhood they are susceptible to negative messages about you, and start projecting their own shame onto you, and it’s painful. Becoming a thriver for me has included learning new computer skills, which I find very empowering, and I asked him if he would help me if I had a question about social networking marketing computer strategies. That’s when he asked me what I intent to do with my life and I’m 61! I know I don’t make as much money as his senior vice-president mother makes, so I am vunerable to these questions. When you am taking responsibility for your life and thriving you are like a little child learning how to walk, you first fall and appear clumsy to others. You may have to start at the bottom. You are not running away from your life anymore, but I guess I like feel like I am coming across as needy and helpless if I ask for help, when in reality I am really authentically trying to spread my wings and become empowered in my life. I feel like I am going to lose my nephew who is getting sucked in by the N’s messages (his mother) who comes across as really great and you don’t! How can you maintain a relationship with this loved one under these circumstances or defend against the lies?

    1. Hi Danielle,

      are you working with NARP, because truly you are in a triggered wound(s) and this is when our mind jumps in and obsesses, beast us up and only compounds the pain more.

      What is necessary here Danielle is to access the wounds in your body with the NARP Program and start shifting them out.

      Then you will get relief

      Then you will evolve and heal beyond this.

      Also have you been in one of my 3 Keys Webinar Groups yet?

      That will help you so much – the workshopping in there – regarding how to locate and shift the inner wounds.

      I hope this helps.

      Mel xo

  18. I totally agree with you Melanie.
    I am 2 1/2 years in recovery after a 26 year marriage to a narcissist.
    I have been reading your articles and listening to you for all of my recovery.
    Thank you is all I can say. I don’t know where I would be, or what I would have done without you.
    I truly feel that I am not a victim and he is not go blame. I had alot to learn about myself, and I learned it the hard way!
    I feel better every day, but I have to say…it does take time for it all to sink in.
    I see my X from time to time, and each time it is a little easier.
    I hope he is happy with his woman, and I am happy on my own.
    We have one life to live and we need to make it the best it can possibly be. And that is not going to happen by being a victim or blaming.
    Once again, thank you very much!

  19. I just talked to my nephew and those were just my fears. He is able to keep his relationships with me and the N’s separate. He thanked me for calling him and sharing my feelings with me, and I can see that by risking my feelings with him and getting a positive response, not an N response, I can gauge where he functions on a psychological level and I can trust him in the future to share more of myself and risk a deeper level relationship. You take a risk, you see how someone reacts, if that goes well, then you risk the next time to take it to another level of intimacy. I think we’ve all been hurt by these N’s, it’s hard to know who to trust, or the mask suddenly comes off and you’re blindsided or you risk disclosure and they **** all over you if they are an N. You don’t know how happy I am to know that about him. When I started taking care of him when he was only 2 years old, one of the reasons I did that, is because he was really hyper as a child and he was thrown out of daycare for hitting someone full in the face with a wooden block! I stepped in when I saw he was on a downwind spiral by age 2 and I took really good care of him, and really loved him. I knew those were the formative years, and I wanted to break this destructive family N cycle. And I did! Or at least helped! It means so much to me he’s not “one of them!” I’m sure anyone who’s parented with a N knows what I mean. I also think part of the Thriver model is finding out who you can trust and I think trusting slowly and taking a small leap of faith and seeing how the other person reacts helps to reveal their true nature. Because I need new, healthy people in my life and I don’t want to end up with the same old ******, you know what I mean?

  20. Hello Melanie-

    I am having some difficulty applying this in my situation. My last experience with a Narc was as a student having a hostile relationship with a mental health counselor in my school. After he groomed me I had an affair with this man. I ended the relationship and he and his significant other began to harass me. When I first discovered he was a narc I thought by going no contact, not giving the messages or calls any attention it would eventually end. Instead the harassment escalated and became more threatening and vulgar. I reached out to him to ask him to stop and he denied sending any of it. Ultimately after it continued months after it originally began, I went forward to school administration. After a week of no response from the dean of students another person stepped in to report the abuse at which time it became known the administrator was covering for the narc. By the time the harassment became investigated the counselor had enough time to file false police reports and court orders to portray the student as the wrong doer. Ultimately his smoke screen was successful and he could not be charged with harassment. The student was pressured into recanting, leaving the school, and intimidated by fear of legal action. Administration down the line covered one another’s inappropriate action in assisting student. Each person involved in the process placed negative pressure on the student going against policies. When she pointed that out she was bullied into keeping her mouth shut. The 20 year old student was left battling against 40-60+ year old persons in position of authority who are supposed to be the voice of students who ultimately were just a sham and it is all business and politics.

    I know the Narc is just “doing what a Narc” does but how can you walk away from a situation like that not feeling defeated ? How do you heal the guilt that the very poster children for helping young students from harassment on their very own school campus are covering to keep predatory behavior from being revealed? I want to heal from this but I cannot free myself of the guilt that the school officials will continue to shut down victims of harassment or abuse who step forward needing guidance.

    Please share your wisdom Mel.


    1. Hi Natalie,

      The truth is everyone in this “play” is playing out a part of their own necessary evolution – and then there is the possibility of evolving what it is their soul wishes to heal.

      The N as we know is unconscious doing what N’s do, and also erupting everyone else wounds to grant them potential evolution and healing (if they choose to do so).

      Re the affair .. what was vulnerable within you – (and of course this has NOTHING to do with blame or making him RIGHT … you were a student and OF COURSE what he did was predatory ..)

      And this is important .. what was vulnerable within you for you to be a part of the dynamic (and this is NOT saying you asked for it … ) What were the relationships at home with your Mum and Dad, did you feel loved and accepted and solid emotionally at home?

      What was the healing opportunity for you at such a young age, and if missed could have kept replaying for you as an adult (this is also very important ..)

      With the harassment, how did you feel about standing up to authorities, or being backed and supposed by others? What were your beliefs at that point in your life? Did you feel believed, supported, and able to have rights? Did the parenting your receive allow you to feel solid in these areas or not?

      Have these areas of your life still suffered and been under duress as a pattern?

      If not and you have worked through that – that’s great!

      How do you heal the guilt?

      That is simple, you track it through your body and use an energetic process to find it, load it up, release it and replace and then it just WON’T be there anymore.

      That is the level of Quantum Tools we have access to now.

      Truly .. come into my Webinar Group and you can experience that directly.

      Then you can evolve to the next level and even become an advocate for healing and awareness and an active force of reform in these areas. .. because isn’t that surely what part of your life mission is about?

      And one that you can connect too when you become your up-levelled self regarding this?

      That’s truly how I see it … we experience what we came here to heal as well as the healing contribution we can share with others – in BIG ways.

      That’s what I feel for you.

      Mel xo

      1. Thank you for your reply Mel!

        The relationship I had with my parents definitely primed me to be attracted to this type of dysfunction. My mother was a narcissist whose largest weapon was “guilt”.. She reminds me a lot of Sylvia’s mother, who she stated didn’t like her getting too much attention or she was seen as disobedient. My father was abusive and my mother protected him. Seeing how I fell into this situation is definitely no surprise.

        This situation is fresh but overall I feel thankful for it. As you say the N is an “AID” and in a lot of ways I feel fortunate I got to experience this ripping of my wounds at 23. I feel in a lot of ways the universe “had my back” as it subjected me to just enough chaos to heal and grow and allowed me to leave the situation with no major tieups say perhaps children or worse actually staying with the N! I cut things off with him and that angered him and started the harassment that followed.

        Although like you say this was still my doing a lot of positive that came out of this situation was seeing that although this man offered me money attention and emotional security, I still saw past it and decided the love and respect for myself was worth more than anything he could ever give me.

        As far as standing up to authorities it felt great to move past my initial fear and be willing to advocate for myself in such a David & Goliath fashion. I was truly the underdog and I went through all the court proceedings and dealt with being questioned by cops at my work and never did I stoop to their level during their smear campaign. Instead I was calm and just did everything I could to stand up for myself in legal ways and following all correct policies. It felt truly amazing to be a 23 year old poor college student going against 40+ year old adults with power and high salaries. Looking back at that makes me feel very empowered and proud! There are a lot of people much older than me who said they wouldn’t have been able to do it. Overall this experience although it had its very frightening moments, truly opened me up and brought me face to face with some of my greatest fears. It was a wonderful opportunity to heal. Although as you can see I still have much more to heal.

        With the legal authorities (for example: campus police, judge in court) I was able to gain a lot of respect as being willing to stand up for myself. I was also very pleasantly surprised by the people who really stepped up and showed their support during this process. With the school administration, I was honestly disgusted at how they could handle such serious issues as a game to them. There is still possibility to take action against administrators who did not follow policies but I don’t know if I should follow through those process’ or if I should let themselves get “found out” eventually..

        I think most difficult than anything has been the bittersweet revelation that I do have it in me to stand up for myself and what I feel is right but it comes with the price that the more you stand up for yourself, the more people will be out there wanting to tear you down. I know this is connected to the relationship with my mom. You asked what was the opportunity for healing a long time ago and I’m sure it was probably in realizing if I want to be true to myself and be happy, it can come at the expense of disappointing or loosing approval from others. I think my life is going to continue to put me in tough positions where I have to rely on my own inner guidance if I plan on making it out in one healthy piece. It is so very true that when you follow your inner self- no matter the outside environment, the universe will move mountains to line the world up for you.

        Sometimes I feel very discouraged and overwhelmed at dealing with these issues at a young age but honestly I feel that I should be grateful for the opportunity to be so aware of my wounds so I can heal them instead of continuing to replay the same dynamics.

        Overall I think like you said having this experience was and is an opportunity for me to heal and up level into my best self so that I can go forward and heal others later in life.

        I will sign up for the webinar :)! Thank you Mel!!


      2. Hi Mel,

        Sorry for the follow up comment but I just read your “karma” article and had a revelation. At the end you mention an example of the little girl learning she doesn’t have to take poor behavior from others and personalize it. I think my wounds are being more triggered with the administration not having mine (as a student) best interest although they advertise and led me to believe they did. For example, they tried be supportive until I called them out on breaking policies, that’s when the fangs came out. I think in some ways I connect that with my mom, the original Narc in my life. She played the role of appearing loving and supportive but as soon as you point out what they’re trying to cover up they turn on you. Could standing up to these authority figures and not taking their behavior be my opportunity to heal the wounds of not sacrificing standing up myself to please the authority figures/crowd, despite the “guilt” I’ll receive? In example, ppl tell me not to get them in trouble and to let them slide.. I drew this connection! Or am I over analyzing ?

  21. Melanie, thank you for writing about this issue. I imagine it took a lot of courage to write about this honestly, and I very much appreciate it. I would like to share my own experience with a similar issue.

    I have a website that supports survivors of therapist abuse ( ) — people who have experienced severe boundary violations within therapeutic relationships, such as having the therapist sexualize the relationship, manipulate the client into extreme dependency on the therapist — basically turning the relationship around so that the client is caretaking the therapist. Many (if not all) of the abusing therapists are severe narcissists, so we have been looking into narcissistic abuse on the site.

    SO many victims of therapist abuse start off believing the abuse was their own fault, that somehow they asked for it, and they feel such a sense of responsibility toward their therapist (since many of the therapists convinced the victim that what happened was a “gift” or for their own benefit) that to take any action against them or hold them legally responsible for their actions feels like a violation of trust or the “love” they believe they shared. They feel GUILTY about taking action on their own behalf. So in our case, where it needs to start is with getting the victim to STOP blaming themselves and instead see the therapist as perpetrator. And, when appropriate for the victim, to hold the therapist legally accountable. When the victims DO take action against the therapist on their own behalf, they can start to feel more empowered, and that can start them on the road to recovery. (This only works when they’re not attached to the legal outcome.) They must first acknowledge that what happened wasn’t their fault, that they were the victim of a crime, and that the therapist was not the idealized parent and/or spiritual figure they imagined, and was instead a very flawed human being. Then they can start to process the deep feelings of anger that perhaps got buried, especially if they spent the relationship in a dissociated state. So in our case, holding the narcissist accountable can help.

    HOWEVER, as you know, it’s easy to get stuck in the blame and need for accountability/revenge. And many victims do get stuck there — stuck in the blame and the anger and the righteousness. It’s only those who choose to look at their own histories and what brought them into this symbiotic relationship that move forward in their healing. And they also need to be able to process the trauma that is stuck in their minds and bodies. Unfortunately, because the abuse came from a therapist, many victims are not able to go back into therapy and aren’t able to trust therapists or other healing practitioners. It gets really messed up. There are a lot of victims who don’t heal from this type of abuse and stay stuck for years.

    I believe that so much of healing does require letting go of the need to get anything from the abuser — and it absolutely requires coming back to yourself and taking responsibility for your own wounds and your own healing. But many therapist abuse victims become intent on holding the therapist fully accountable — as if they were the victim of a random act of violence instead of something that got co-created on a deep, unconscious level. It’s a very tricky area and I have not been able to be honest about my perspective in the way that you have, so I really admire your willingness to speak your truth in this article.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kristi,

      you are so welcome!

      How wonderful that you are working with helping people in this way – and dealing with specific N issues and traumas.

      Correct … that is true that therapists manipulating people (N’s) will hit any and all gaps to disarm and manipulate.

      If being “blamed” and “scapegoated” are unhealed patterns that people are susceptible to …. from childhood … that works powerfully.

      I totally get what you are saying – that it is vital to recognise that the therapist was not well and a predator. Just as it is to recognise that a narcissist is a narcissist and that is why a narcissist does what they do.

      Yes – it is a tricky area .. and the truth is I am not fond of co-dependant therapy because I do believe what it still does in many cases is NOT empower us, and keeps us reliant on systems outside of ourselves.

      We can require help and support initially ABSOLUTELY, however ultimately we need to be able to become our own source.

      True masters empower others to NOT need them – rather than need them!

      And this is where the therapist model – even when not abusive and manipulative can be tricky …

      And … here is the clincher for me … IF people DON’T the work to heal the original wounds of feeling small minimised and not potent, not having rights, not having a voice and not being heard .. (blamed, guilty, scapegoated, persecuted) then they can struggle to stand up against predatory therapists.

      No matter how angry or violated they feel. In fact these feelings can cause power to be handed over, and to NOT generate the results desired (we get more of how we are vibrating internally always ..)

      If up-levelled there is amore of a True Power, a calm, a detached certainly (how empowering I am walking and standing in my truth and rights), a solidness that goes with taking action. And it is far more effective in the results it generates.

      The work with Quanta Freedom Healing is always the same regardless of what trauma is being dealt with – start with the original trauma in our bodies (in this case .. what the therapist has done is WRONG and TRAUMATIC ) and then underneath it will be original wounds that match – truly (always).

      And once these are released up and out and up-levelled with Source (True Higher Self replacement) out not only is the trauma of what the therapist did GONE, but also the individual is in healthy adult power to stand up, take charge and take action without getting derailed by young powerless fears.

      Thank you for your share Kristi, and keep doing your important work!

      Mel xo

  22. Melanie,
    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your radio episode. I couldn’t agree more with everything you have said. Collectively, this frame of thought has provoked me to take my thoughts a step beyond just narcissistic abuse. I am new to your work and 6 weeks into my no contact with my previous relationship with a narcissist.
    Currently, I am working through Module 1 in your program. In doing this, I have up-leveled several childhood memories and pain from sexual abuse.
    I couldn’t help but listen to today’s broadcast and try to apply the idea of zero blame to my childhood abuser. In my adulthood I have worked diligently to take responsibility for my own life/reactions/feelings. However, if my mind attempts to apply some of this work to my childhood person/situation (an innocent child lacking understanding or means to escape) with no previous wounds, except for my childhood abuser, how can responsibility and or blame escape the abuser totally?
    I realize that your work is focused on narcissistic abuse and not sexual abuse (though I understand how the two could cross paths) but I am finding a great difficulty dealing with the sexual abuse as a child and the adult abuse from a narcissistic relationship simotaneously.
    I am committed to working through this season of life and look forward to up leveling myself into a whole, self loving, thriving individual.
    If you could provide some feed back, videos, or articles specifically directed towards the topic of sexual and narcistic abuse to help me and so many others in our journey I would greatly appreciate it.

    1. Hanna,

      I too had the same questions about the principles of this blog and healing from original trauma of childhood abuse. I read your post after I posted mine. Hopefully Melanie shares some feedback with us. 🙂

    2. Hi Hanna,

      I am so pleased you enjoyed listening to the radio show.

      It is so important to understand that The Thriver Model does acknowledge that perpetrators are wrong and that what they have done is not okay.

      Clearly sexual abuse (and any abuse) is damaging and not healthy and “off”.

      But what we are eliminating is the powerlessness of not looking at “what can I heal and up-level?” to 1) get out of the agony, and 2) create myself into a life where the pattern does not continue.

      I relate to your question – I (as many others) know what child sexual abuse is (1 in 3 women do).

      My take on it is there is deep DNA pain and fear within the female pain body collectively which sadly has been passed on from generation to generation. Sexual abuse on this planet has been a major wound, and in many countries is still rife.

      My mother had also been abused and possibly her mother (this was/ is common) – and I still 100% believe that if we have trauma in our body (inherited or otherwise) then we can at the Quantum Level re-live that trauma in order to make the unconscious conscious so that we can heal it.

      Does this mean that perpetrators should NOT be brought to light?

      NO! Of course it doesn’t!

      But there is a much deeper wound going on here than what societies that just “blame and “punish” want to look at – and that is we all live in a world of dire unconsciousness where pain, fear and punishment has been the norm.

      As HAS sexual abuse …

      Who are the people likely to abuse others sexually? Many of those who WERE abused sexually.

      Who were the people who originally abused others in this way – deeply traumatised and HURT people.

      This is the thing .. in the wound of humanity … abuse / abused are very very closely related, and the whole thing needs to be healed.

      How can it be healed?

      ONLY in one way … every adult taking responsibility to heal their wounds and become a “whole” version of self treating others in whole and healthy ways.

      Punishing and BLAMING is NEVER going to get that job done.

      And it certainly does nothing to heal the wounds of victims, who then pass on the trauma and the energy to their offspring who then become abused / abusers …

      Make sense?

      Please know healing sexual abuse is totally the same as healing any wound of narcissistic abuse, we go into our body and up-level the trauma with Quanta freedom Healing … truly … there is NO difference.

      And sexual abuse histories are CRAZILY common with people who have been N-abused – so please know yes NARP caters for that specifically – (and every associated trauma that created us as traumatised or susceptible).

      Trauma is trauma. (Not to minimalise your experience, my own or anyone else’s .. this is just the truth ..)

      This Thriver Show may help you too Hanna

      It is specifically about sexual abuse.

      I hope all of this helps …

      Mel xo

      1. Hi Mel!

        Thank you so much for your gracious reply and for sharing the link to Annie’s story with me. I found both to be very empowering.

        I would say that despite my severe sexual abuse that I have been able to find strength and love within myself and succeed in many areas of life; but not totally.

        I had been pushing and determined most of my life to break the cycle of abuse and succeed for so long, but despite my attempts to understand what was really happening through self work and counseling I was drawn to my NARP. After finding your resources and work I can say I finally get it. I never knew what narcissistic abuse was and I actually found a link to your website from a comment on a blog that had little to do with this subject. It was truly a Godsend.
        Everything I have found or read related to your work puts a lifetime of sexual and narcissist abuse into perspective that enables and empowers me to do the work, to break the cycle once and for all, and to be the best person I can be for myself and my son.

        Although I didn’t like the term AID at first, I understand now that my former boyfriend really was just that. Because without that, I wouldn’t have found these resources, and I wouldn’t have been able to really understand, up level, and most importantly break the cycle of abuse and help others.

        I had no idea about the connection between sexual and narcistic abuse
        You are so right about the statistics related to sexual abuse and I find it absolutely astonishing that we are not doing more to bring to light this tabu topic in society as a whole. I just don’t get how we are missing the “unconscious” in our counseling and resource centers wich are helpful, but essentially placing a bandaid on the problem as a whole.

        Although I have just begun the NARP program, I am confident I will emerge as a whole, self loving individual. It’s only been a few weeks and already I have a different perspective on life.
        I sooo look forward to what is in store for my life and I hope to also one day help others.

        I’m so thankful for this community. I look forward to continuing the program, watching videos, and blogging.

        Thank you Mel and thank you Annie for sharing your story.


  23. Hi Mel! I loved this blog( all of your blogs) so much. You have helped me make sense of emotions and confusion I had about narcs and myself. It is so liberating to know that personal responsibility can help me( and others) heal. It feels so empowering for me to take my focus off blaming the narc and focusing on myself. My question is if personal responsibility is an important part of healing then how does personal responsibility fit into childhood trauma and abuse which is often the original wound that we recreate over and over as adults? I know a child is not responsible for themselves. Without the personal responsibility piece I then feel not empowered and a victim which hurts. I’m confused about this and really want to truly heal to improve my relationships and live the life I dream of. Thank you!

    1. Ashley,

      Thank you for asking this question. This is the piece I am currently trying to understand as well. I get how I ended up gravitating to a NARC as an adult but, how then do we make sense or understand our childhood traumas because at that time there was nothing we were gravitating to, just “being”?

      Looking forward to Mel’s responses.

      Please help!

    2. Hi Ashley,

      I am so pleased you get a lot out of my blog!

      Correct, Ashley it is totally empowering when we drop all of the “blaming” ideas!

      Ashley, I 100% believe that we all have a genetic history and soul evolution path even before we get here – and that none of it was “random” … it was all by soul design given what our soul was up to and what it wanted to achieve.

      Then it is up to us to get “conscious” enough to get on board with that higher truth.

      My blog about this may help:

      Yes, as children we were powerless, and as an adult we are not … our highest potentiality is to awaken through what we are experiencing to evolve beyond who we were being … in order to become a more ascended self – and the “childhood” in question was required to achieve that.

      This is by design, it is nothing to do at Quantum level with being “a victim”. At the highest level of truth there are NO victims or perpetrators … simply the soul experiencing life in order to the free itself into higher states of consciousness (God).

      I hope this helps.

      Mel xo

  24. There are some wonderful posts.

    From my experience I believe there are two types of people who get caught up by the narcissist. One type is the co-dependent who has issues from childhood trauma and who will put up with almost any abuse for a long time because they don’t at heart think they are worth more. This would be illustrated by Melanie’s story.

    The other group is “everyone else”. When we are looking for love we are vulnerable. We try to make allowances because “nobody’s perfect”. This is a good trait. Unfortunately, good and normal responses are no good around narcissists. Narcissists love the “good girl” who offers love with flexible boundaries. By the time these women start feeling ill and desperate, they may have children. I do believe that being a mother is a game-changer.

    There may be a dance between a co-dependent and a narcissist which can only be cured by methods such as Melanie’s. But for normal women caught up with a narcissist there is tremendous suffering and confusion as their best traits are used against them. This is the sense of injustice. These women need to be helped with kindness. To leave the narcissist means questioning the wonderful qualities that allowed them to “put up” with unconscionable behaviour. It is all incredibly sad.

    1. Hi Janine,

      I am so pleased you are enjoying this conversation.

      If only Janine you could see the overwhelming evidence from where I sit – that NO not everyone gets taken in by N’s … not by a long shot.

      It is only people who are not a solid source to self and who have deficient boundary function.

      Yes that is MANY people, and it was certainly myself and scores of other people in this community, but in NO way is this everyone!

      Looking for love healthily does not include forgoing loving self healthily. It is a myth that it does … and it is NOT a good trait to endure abuse at the cost of self because we don’t want to go empty or alone … or we believe THAT person (despite terrible and abusive behaviour) is necessary for our source of love, approval, security and survival.

      Janine I get reports from people ALL the time who walk away when the insanity starts, I also have friends in my life (and my son as another) who would NEVER tolerate a narcissist when the mask drops – ever .. they have too firm a sense of self.

      In fact I would bet my life on it – because they have ALL walked away with no second glance when that level of unhealthy begins.

      These people have BOTTOM lines.

      Truly, your view is a dangerous and powerless one – and would mean there really is no hope for anyone – and Narcissistic abuse, IF we want to “love”, could happen at any time.

      I adamantly don’t agree.

      I do agree that our world has perpetuated these myths and encouraged and promoted the powerlessness around it (very conveniently I might add), but it is SO not true!

      Mel xo

      1. Of course there are people who walk away the moment a potential partner shows their true colours. But I would say there are a lot more who stay, at least for the time being, because of the societal injunction to “work on the marriage”, don’t be judgemental, life is difficult, children need to live with two parents etc etc.

        Most of these people have never heard of narcissists. What, the nice guy they married? All their friends and associates are taken in, so it must be them. Too picky.

        I don’t believe you have a fair sample, Melanie. This is a hidden problem in the community. It is true that those who access narcissist websites in their despair may be helped. Slowly the insight might dawn that this is a dangerous person they are with, dangerous to both them and their children. But the narcissist has most likely tied up the finances that make it as difficult as possible for the family to move out and survive. It is devastating to truly accept that they have sacrificed their peace and happiness for a selfish bully. But at least it explains things and gives them a chance in the future.

        I agree that there is no point wasting what is left of energy in trying to get justice from a narcissist. It will never come. But I do not agree that everyone who has been conned is suffering from some inner childhood wound. Anyone can get taken in. Anyone can stay. Anyone can ruin their lives in the cause of what they see as the greater good. It depends on the luck of many factors whether this torturous saga ever ends.

        The good luck is to see that nothing more is worth suffering for this partner. And the gamble is that all the potential consequences are worth getting away for. Some will lose that gamble.

        I don’t think it is all down to feeling bad about oneself and gripping tightly to the narcissist. That is surely the case for some. But not everyone. What can let a person free or keep them constrained is a result of many factors, many cultural or societal or familial.

        I know this is true.

        1. Hi Janine,

          What you’ve said in your comments really resonates with me. I myself was raised by a family of malignant narcissists(mother, golden child brother and sister, I was the scapegoat). I of course came out of that mess codependent as all hell with terrible boundary function(if any at all). So yes there definitely is a dance between the codependent and the narcissist like you mentioned above. They’ve been attracted to me my whole life. Not so much in romance, but in the workplace, in the healthcare arena, they can smell my wounds from miles away like a shark detects blood in the water.

          But something I’ve often wondered about after reading Melanie’s stance on how a narc can ONLY prey upon, victimize those with unhealed childhood wounds was, if that’s the case, how did my narc brother victimize his ex-wife/highschool sweetheart for as long as he did? She seems to me to be a very healthy, happy, whole person who comes from a very loving family.She more than seems to be that she IS all that. The only weakness I might attribute to her is good old fashioned gullibility. That mindset of “the way that I feel about and treat other people is the way other people feel about and treat me.” But I don’t know that I would call that a childhood wound. It is definitely a vulnerability that my predatory brother knows how to exploit, that’s for sure. From what I gather, he’s back after her now after being apart for 15 years or so, now that their 3 kids are grown and he’s a middle-aged loser with no money or anything of value.

          He’ll zero in on her gullibility and her sweet heart for sure. But unhealed childhood wounds? I really don’t think she has any and after reading your comments, I’m even more confident of that.


          1. Thank you very much for replying to my posts, Troy. I felt like a voice in the wilderness, although I do detect some equivocation on this topic from some other posters.

            I have found this youtube video today from an expert Sandra L Brown. She uses the term “psychopath” to include narcissists. I really appreciate her research and what she has to say.

            Obviously I have a vested interest in this topic. This is because of the fate of my daughter who was the best person I have ever known. Her relationship with a covert narcissist destroyed her and her family. She was a brave, smart, stable and glorious girl who used her strength to stay in order to protect her children. I really hate hearing that she did it because of a childhood wound. I don’t believe that. She was totally unselfish and loving, not because she didn’t respect herself but because she loved her children more. Her boundaries in order to preserve them, were infinite. I did not agree with her decisions but I admired her inordinately for sticking by what she believed was right. She lost.

            I stand by what I have said. I was glad to hear Sandra L Brown agree that the very best of people, whom she specifically objects to being labelled as “co-dependent”, are also victims of the narcissist. I support Melanie’s work with the co-dependent cohort but this is not the full picture.

            I hope you get some insight from the youtube video. Thank you for the illustration from your life.

          2. PS I probably should have clarified that Sandra L Brown who is an academic who has studied those “deficient in empathy” for 30 years uses the term “psychopath” loosely to define those with an empathy bypass. In which category she of course includes narcissists.

            My daughter never had any problem in flicking off bad guys…..until she quickly became pregnant before the mask dropped. This was the game changer. Sandra L Brown defines the “best” people as those with an excess of empathy, kindness, forgiveness and tolerance. They are in a sense their own worst enemies. Not because of an unhealed childhood wound but because they just are wonderful people. As you say, perhaps gullible enough to believe they can stand and take the blows for the perceived best interests of their children in not leaving the children alone with the narcissist by separating.

            Sadly, this is not so.

          3. Thanks for the link Janine. I enjoyed watching that video very much. I’ll have to save it and perhaps send it to my ex sister- in- law if I get the feeling she can handle it. I’m very sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter. The abuse can be so devastating.

            I’ve been thinking about what I said to you in my comment about my brothers ex sticking with him through all the victimization. As I look back on the conversations I had with her where I was trying to glean information from her without outright professing “You know my brother’s a psychopath, right?”, it sounded to me like he wasn’t truly victimizing her with what could be called Narcissistic Abuse-that crazy fun house mirror stuff. At least she didn’t let on about it. I don’t think he was cruel to her like he was to me growing up. I think he kept himself in check so that he would be able to return to her when their kids were grown and out of his way.

            There was definitely the whole deception thing with the mask dropping as soon as they were married. He did the whole Prince Charming routine, I’m your best friend/Soul Mate, I’ll be a great provider etc etc. They had three little boys that he couldn’t have cared less about. He kept on partying and sleeping around as if he were still single. The mask did drop quickly. Prince Charming was proven to be a frog in no time. She tolerated it, probably for the children’s sake primarily but who knows. Over the years they grew further apart and finally split up when the oldest boy was in high school.

            He seems to have saved his more cruel forms of punishment for his girlfriends. I saw on Facebook a few years back that a girl he was seeing had tried to take her own life. Probably as a result of his deviousness.

            I agree with the Dr. in the video about how the narcs go after the best of the best. I feel very strongly that my brother targeted his Homecoming Queen ex for the purpose of using her as a medallion, a banner that says “look what I got here, look who’s with ME! What does that prove to y’all about the kind of man I am?”

            I’ll do what I can to prevent her from being victimized by him for another round. All the best to you as you heal from your loss.

          4. Thank you Troy, and all good wishes to you and your family. They are lucky to have such a nice man concerned for their interests.

  25. Another great article Melanie! I’m so inspired by your dedication to educate us and your profound insights. Your words and wisdom are always a sigh of relief!

    I re-read the following sentence from the article 3-4 times, and was confused…. I am wondering if the word “abuser” below is really referring to the “abusee?” Thank you for clarifying, and keep up the great work 🙂

    “When abuser’s lives, including the drama of others that distracts them for being with themselves, can no longer go on as normal – THAT is when they would be most likely to recognize themselves as the generative source of their own life, and go to the only place left to go (inwards) and attend to their inner wounds.”

    1. Hi Resilient,

      Thank you and I am so pleased you enjoyed it.

      In that sentence yes it was “abuser” … and it means that IF people stopped feeding them energy by trying to fix, change them or even force accountability – and honoured themselves by detaching and leaving and granting NO energy – THEN abusers would be left JUST with themselves ..

      And THEN they would HAVE to go inwards …

      Make sense?

      Mel xo

  26. Melanie, thank you! Two simple words which hold a great amount of gratitude and sentiment. An attorney friend who has been a very good friend since 1984 and has helped me through various parts of my life told me about you. After I began reading your articles and blogs and watching your tube videos when time permits, I told him that he literally saved my life. You have helped me to save my sanity and my life. I am currently still with my second narc husband. We have a business together and I am not strong enough financially or emotionally to get completely out of the relationship yet, but I am working on myself more and more every day towards healing wounds that I must have and learning to rely less upon him to feed my emotional needs. It is not a relationship I would wish on my worst enemy, but your words help me survive, heal and cope day to day until I make it safely to the other side where I will live in peace in the not-so-distant future. I am a survivor and a thriver! You are a remarkable woman we are blessed to have in our lives. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I am so, so happy I could help you.

      Big hugs and blessings for you as you make your way out to the other side …

      You’ve got this Cathy, and you have this whole Community standing with you and for you.

      Mel xo

  27. Whether I blame others or myself it is still the blame game. has been what I have learned from experience. So grateful for the Thriver Program

  28. Hi Melanie,

    First of all, your quantum tools and understandings are the most valuable gems I have come across in my personal growth. I am so grateful I found your site and bought everything and worked through NARP (and continue to use it) and am working through other materials of yours. There’s no way I can express how essential it has all been to me.

    I really appreciate you putting this post out there also. I have been thinking some about these issues too. You know what, there are a lot of easy situations that primarily seem to be about the relationship of two people with each other, and one person can just walk away (not easy, but they really can). And the one who walks away can heal himself or herself. Then next time they can avoid the situation by not being drawn to it, or by recognizing the trigger and changing their pattern. No doubt about it.

    On the other hand, there are some situations that are harder for me to see with such confidence. In genocide, when an entire ethnicity is targeted for abuse or extermination, would you say your plan of up-leveling is an appropriate response by a survivor? What if we consider the Buddhists and Hindus who were eliminated from India over hundreds/thousands of years by Muslim conquerors (just one random example)? Some of them presumably had traumatic childhoods and others probably didn’t. So for those who didn’t but got abused or killed just the same – releasing stored related trauma would help – but could they taking personal responsibility for their role in co-creating it, would that help them – or would it pacify them and end up with the abuses going on more? Or, what if we think about the example of someone whose family was on the Titanic, and all but one died – is upleveling by addressing stored body pain past trauma the appropriate technique for the survivor to Thrive? Should they also consider a role they had in co-creating it by not stopping the family getting onto the Titanic? I don’t mean to suggest these hypothetical scenarios detract from your insights; I’m asking because I’d like your thoughts on them in the broader context of situations involving “victim thinking” that aren’t specifically narcissistic abuse.

    Thank you so much for your time and energy teaching all of us.


    1. Hi Peter,

      I am so pleased my work and NARP has been key for you!

      I would say that my process of up-levelling is appropriate for every trauma situation WITHOUT exception – and the reason is this ..

      Trauma in our bodies makes us contract – dims us to “less than” and stores fear that then is an energetic attraction point for “more of what we fear”, as we’ll as spreading (infecting) unwholesome energy throughout the Entire Field (life).

      Releasing trauma allows expansion, love, inspiration, True Self emanation and creates and generates “more of that”.

      This is the deal – every time we up-level trauma we are NOT just healing ourselves. At the Quantum Level it is All connected. And every time we release a wound from ourselves we are lightening the load of the “consciousness soup of humanity” of which we are all a part of.

      As we heal ourselves we not only start to free collective abusees, but also abusers …

      Because the truth at Quantum Level is that abuse / abuser is two sides of the one coin … it is all fear / pain / trauma / unconsciousness.

      It is SO SO important to realise that just our “childhoods” are not all of what makes up our programming … there is genetic DNA, past life trauma, and also at the deepest, widest levels of truth a soul evolution process that we are undergoing … see my article here:

      I also firmly believe (and I wrote about it that article) that at some level we have been every atrocity that we have ever experienced (and that REALLY blows some people’s brains) .. I FULLY acknowledge within my soul journey – I HAD been a abuser .. absolutely 100%, hence why I chose the experiences of being “abused” as my soul’s evolution.

      (I can’t tell you how many shifts I have done in my own body letting go of the energy of me being past life extremely abusive and the up-level that granted me!)

      And look at the state of tour world, and the history – BRUTAL history.

      Would it REALLY be any surprise that in trying to survive BRUATL times in past lives that we would have resorted to being violent and even murderous in order to SURVIVE?

      Does that mean we should be to blame?

      Does it mean anyone should be blamed?

      Or does it REALLY mean that we need to drop the RIGHTEOUSNESS .. and our world needs to have its consciousness – one person at a time – crucially cleaned up?

      BIG food for thought!

      Mel xo

  29. Hi Me,

    this is wonderful that you have recognised the triggers, are going inwards to claim them and know it is an up-levelling opportunity.

    That is the very definition of evolution success!

    You are so welcome 🙂

    Mel xo

  30. Mel,

    Bless you and your work. I cant begin to express m gratitude towards you, your knowledge, insight and courage with sharing with this community the thriver model.

    I am very hard headed and thought I had everything under wraps. My ex as the altruistic type, very charismatic, good looking and positive..would give you her underwear if you needed it…and that is what I feel soo deeply in love with. I did not want to acknowledge that she had cheated on ALL her previous partners, needed more attention than God and if some one said ‘oh my God such and such’ she would say you, can just call me….(her name)…my gut instinct told me the relationship was moving to fast, the marriage happened too fast..but hell I thought this was the real deal…and two years into the 5 we were together she had at least two affairs that I know of and I had told myself that infidelity was a deal breaker but even with my biggest suspicions (she didnt confirm the affairs until after we split and followed that by saying, you knew how I was before we got together..which is the truth) I stayed because I wanted to make it work.

    Mel..this blog is spot on…I am also listening to all your old tune in radio shows and the show ‘the journey to self love’ is epic…I purchased NARP in OCT 2015 and just started the program. I thought I had my emotions under that time I still hadn’t implemented NC, because I THOUGHT once a week emails were harmless..I mean it was only once a week..but 6 weeks ago..I said i can’t do this anymore..she has since moved and haf moved on while we were together..and I was stuck..paralyzed by my own I sent a very short final email that wished her the best but that I couldnt continue to hurt myself and blocked her from all forms of communication and for the past 6 weeks ALL pain has manifested itself in the form of motivating me to change. I do not blame my ex because it was entirely my fault for making poor choices and silencing my inner voice..I killed her off because I thought what I was receiving was love..but never realized I didnt love myself.

    Mel..I appreciate and value all your insight. Personal empowerment and improvement is all about us and not anyone else…we all went through these trials to propel us into becoming thrivers.

    Thank you Mel

  31. Hi Mel! I think this discussion is very good. It’s important to talk about these issues, all of which advance our collective understanding and aid us all in our recoveries!

    I have been in recovery for many years myself, and Mel, you’ve been incredibly helpful. Truly, it wasn’t until you started talking about the need for me to take responsibility (and stop blaming) that I really turned the corner and began making the most progress in my recovery. I wasted many, many decades of my life in the “pity pool” feeling sorry for myself.

    I wanted to share my understanding of this blame game, something I learned long ago but didn’t “take” until recently: I am only responsible for myself and my own actions and behaviors. “They” are responsible for their own actions and behaviors, not me.

    This was life changing for me, given that I was the scapegoat in darn near every relationship I had, from childhood onward. Because I had been taught from a young age I was responsible for what other people do. To me, this is the crux of the issue. Narcissists NEVER take responsibility for what they do, unless it is an achievement (especially someone else’s achievement).

    What you are correct in telling us, Mel, is that we are responsible for our own behavior and choices. If we choose to stay with an abuser, even if for the sake of the children, we have to own that behavior, that choice.

    Yet we do NOT allow anyone else to hold us responsible for THEIR behavior.

    Understanding this, for the first time in my life, is what has saved my life. The “magic words” I was taught (and taught my son from a very young age, so he might break free of the insanity of my family) are: “What I think, feel and do is about my history, my past, and not about you. What you think, feel, and do is about your history, your past, and not about me”.

    When I finally made the connection between the magic words and what you were saying, Mel, is when I also finally made the breakthrough to something resembling “more recovered” instead of “more blaming” and a possible future of happiness instead of yet another decade in the “pity pool”.

    I want to note: in my 53 years on this earth, I have never received any validation for anything from anyone in my family. Until recently. I had to let go (as you’ve taught) of not needing any validation. Once I did that, validation started to “appear” and some people (especially my son) are beginning to understand that I’ve been right, all along. He now takes steps to protect himself, and he and I talk more honestly and openly than we ever have.

    And I give him the gift I never received myself: I take responsibility for ALL my choices and actions, without blaming others (and without taking responsibility for what any of them do or say). I apologize if I ever hurt him in the past. I demonstrate to him the difference between what manipulative behavior looks like, and the imperfect, sometimes emotionally messy, but always kind and good hearted mother he has always had. For the first time, I have a future that looks brighter than not.

    Keep on with the good work, Mel. You are making a huge difference in my life, and I’m sure in many, many others as well. Thank you!

  32. Melanie,

    What I have learned through you in one way or another has completely changed the way i see myself, the way i treat myself, what kind of emotions i feel and how i understand my emotions, how i can handle them…how i handle my thoughts…how i handle my LIFE !!!
    I have fundamentally changed, i have never in ma life felt this peace within before.
    I am truly so so so very grateful for this adventure named life and for YOUR PRECIOUS HELP. : ))
    I could never thank you enough.
    Love Sofia

  33. Hi Melanie,
    I have come across this article just this morning and it really reasonates with me. My ex N is excellent at minimising his own behaviour (after so many lies, having multiple other women, possibly another child – he’s not sure!!! and making various stupid and unsafe parenting decisions that have put our child at risk while in his care.) He shows the typical triangulation of lack of moral reasoning, impulsivity and lack of empathy that all these characters seem to possess. After almost 7 years and 2 lots of couselling, one with a family therapist, one with a psychologist, I am frustrated by my inability so far to move forward. Of course the N has moved forward and even he can see what I am doing. He constantly tells me about it, because I am still shit at the no contact rule. (I find a shared child makes this difficult. The manipulation I see the adult put the child through to fill his 45 year old emotional bucket makes my blood boil and I react, every time, thereby giving him a double dose of the attention he is looking for!! Well actually he gets triple, because he then gets to get off the phone and make out to the OW that he is some sort of alienated parent and then she gives him attention too!!!) He is also still in contact with his first wife – he says they are friends, despite her having been driven to the point of suicide numerous times during their relationship. He has us all right where he wants us, feeding his need for attention, still, after all these years and I have only just woken up to it. For a long time I tried to point out all the injustices of the situation to the N and sometimes to members of his family. I spent years thinking – “If I just find one more way to explain this to him, some part of him/them that has a similar life experience will be capable of empathy.” Wrong!!! Never going to happen!!!! The N has kindly pointed out to me that I always need to be right, that I am a white supremacist, that I am demanding, that my therapy is not working and I need more of it etc etc all for expecting better behaviour from him. After all it was “only 1 little lie” that he told and that’s “just the way men are”. I can see now that he has mirrored to me perfectly exactly what I need to wake up to in order to finally be free. And this article confirms it!!! Gratitude for him sending me this message – and only slight gag reflex involved as I type this!!!! I will read and re-read in depth. It is a piece of the puzzle that has been sadly missing in all my councelling sessions. Thank you so much Mel.

  34. This piece speaks the truth, but I think it can be one of the most difficult and terrifying truths for some survivors to allow him or herself to embrace. I grew up with a malignant narcissistic mother and an (actually diagnosed) sociopath father (ASPD). As a warped scapegoat/savior hybrid throughout my childhood and teen years, playing my role (which back then I did not realize was some sick conditioned game in which I was desperately trying to mitigate abuse and earn love, so I just went with it, full-bore, to the best of my ability) required being able to alternate at a moment’s notice (preferably preemptively by being able to spot subtle signals) between the terrible child who deserved whatever was done to her, and the hero child who made everything all better for mom and/or dad. It was like a constantly looping nightmare for year after year after year, which included the following stages in no actual order because they all bled into each other with no clear beginning or end:

    1. Being inherently horrible and deserving of abuse.
    2. Having to take full blame for the abuse endured, in order to make it stop.
    3. Spending a period as a ghost that didn’t really exist.
    4. Being summoned to fly into super hero mode and save the day requiring hella-creepy and unhealthy enmeshment (or worse).
    5. The abrupt fall from grace over potentially anything, back to #1

    So for a very long time even in adulthood my brain had a hair trigger internal crisis whenever it was indicated to me that I needed to take responsibility for something bad that was done to me or happened to me. I would alternate intensely and wildly between fight, flight, freeze and appeasement.

    But that obsession with integrity bit from another article here on this site, I think is pretty relevant. I was a full-blown codependent by early adulthood, and had major issues with being hooked and obsessed in that manner described. But I was eventually able to turn it into more of a strength. It blossomed when I finally connected the dots between all the materials I had read about how narcissists never take responsibility for anything, and my own trauma response to being encouraged to take responsibility for my life. Little light bulb just finally lit up. That was the core of it. Narcissists don’t grasp when transitioning into adulthood that they are not dependent anymore, that they don’t have to pretend and be terrified of criticism anymore. They stay terrified and mentally caged, which creates all sorts of extending pathological issues. If I really wanted to break the cycle in my family tree, I had to push through that fear.

  35. this is , of course, my main area of confusion. I have always been taught to be the ‘bigger person’. Meaning I had to put of with more crap becos someone else deserved more compassion and enabling . i’m so glad to be using the modules now and am praying my confusion will lift once and for all so I can walk in wholeness and live with out guilt and shame.

  36. Unreasonable forgiveness
    Unreasonable grace
    Unreasonable love
    For yourself
    For your abuser
    Be JESUS to the broken world!

  37. A victim mentality obviates personal healing and sets the stage for personal inertia, and repeat performances of abuse. True justice or accountability are rarities in this world, and those abused who seek it are often looking for vengeance or validation. First dig two graves before setting out for the former, and the latter comes from within when you finally become the advocate for yourself that each of us deserves. Whoever coined the phrase “The best revenge is living well” understood the futility of blame.

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