Tired of being manipulated? Tired of being toyed with for selfish purposes?
How do our “masters”, that is the narcissists keep us on a “leash” and push our buttons to keep us coming back?
One word. Fear.
Fear of losing their love. Fear of not getting their approval. Fear of their anger. Fear of their retribution… that’s revenge, or as they put it, punishment.
They keep feeding us lies to keep us unbalanced and fearful. We hate standing up to them, because our scared inner voice whispers “what if they’re right?”
We’ve become so conditioned to accepting their lies as our own inner truths, that we fear standing up for ourselves.
They’ve become our Master, and we’re their fearful slaves, playing along in the sickness, for fear of losing the few crumbs of love, respect or acceptance we think we have. Fearful that their lies are true.
What’s happened inside of our brains to allow this to happen?
Fear, and chronic fear activates the Amygdala. The more the Amygdala is stimulated the more dominant it becomes, or rather short-circuited when the Thalmus bypasses the Cortex and goes instead directly to the Amygdala.
Neural pathways which formed during those episodes become stronger and the body responds by producing more Cortisol on demand, which in turn feeds the Amygdala.
It becomes possible that this short-circuiting becomes habitual.
Our brains and bodies become dependent on this function and so we then jump into those situations faster instead of holding back!
By bypassing the Cortex, we don’t fully process all the information at hand, and it makes it very difficult to make good decisions.
We connect with situations and people who trigger these responses within us. They’re “comfortable”, they’re the “normal” we know… and CRAVE!
So, how do we UNTRAIN our brain’s learned responses? How do we go back to processing events through our Cortex?
Step back. Breathe. Stay back. Keep quiet… don’t respond in the heat of the moment… take time to look at all the facts.
This is very hard!
The first few times it feels particularly uncomfortable. Unnatural.
With practice it becomes easier.
Remember, every “emergency” stated by our narcissist doesn’t mean it’s our personal “urgency”!
They’ve trained us into responding to their wants as though it were life and death! I went through that with my personal narcissists: my mother and my second husband!
When we take a moment to step back and honestly look, those events are hugely hyped up.
Could it be that our narcissists are acting out on THEIR own fears?
Fear of not being important enough in our eyes and not having their needs met? This stems from their own pasts which has left them unhealed.
Knowing that our narcissists have unhealed areas is helpful to us so we don’t continue to feel pain of being used for their own selfish ends, but it should never become a “carte blanche” or an excuse to let them off the hook, because each of us are responsible for our behaviors.
They’re experts at making us feel responsible for their actions, so part of our personal work is to give back to them the responsibility for their own actions.
It’s time to take back your emotional “remote control”! The narcissist no longer gets to push your buttons!
Step 1: take a step back! Pause. Breathe.
Step 2: take a look at ALL the facts! Not just the altered facts or selective facts your narcissist has presented!
Step 3: now… see what you want to do!
Remember: it’s not necessary to continue living the same way if you’re miserable!
Your narcissist won’t like the changes you make and likely will give you push-back as you make these changes within you.
This becomes the difficult point where many succumb to the increased manipulations instead of hanging tight and distancing themselves from the ensuing dramas.
Trust me, I understand how bad it can get!
My narcissist, my second husband, became very angry and volatile when my attention was no longer focused on him but on my sick granddaughter who was fighting for her life when re diagnosed with cancer.
I left him in the city we were living in and went to stay with my daughter 1,000 miles away. That distance drove him nuts.
As anyone knows who has had someone go through cancer, there’s the regularly scheduled hospital visits for the chemo treatments, and then there’s the emergency trips when the immune system crashes and a simple case of the sniffles becomes a life threatening RSV.
My daughter took the baby for the chemo treatments and I went with the baby for the emergency trips. The hospital she was being treated in was 3 1/2 hours away from my daughter’s home.
I’m providing all this information so you can see the situation I was dealing with. My narcissist had all this information too, yet for him the most important thing was that I wasn’t available for him to do what he was asking me to do. What was MORE important than holding and being with a baby who was holding onto life by a thread?
I was getting unemployment checks which I paid the bills with. His Social Security check went towards paying bills too, and the rest he spent. Being on unemployment meant that 1/3 of our income wasn’t there anymore, so we had to cut back on spending. He didn’t see things that way.
A narcissist always puts themselves first, even during tough and tight times. His spending continued. He expected me to go out and get a job, which would have happened under normal circumstances, but helping my daughter out during those months meant I was in the hospital with the baby a lot. When she wasn’t in the hospital, I was caring for her at home, as well as caring for the older twins.
Impossible for me to go out and work at a job right?
My narcissist didn’t see it that way. He’d call me while I was in the hospital, screaming at me that I needed to go out and get a job.
He didn’t wish to listen to reason. The facts didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I somehow, miraculously found a way to meet HIS needs. All I had to do was “to support him”.
As extreme as that situation was, it woke me up. I realized how out of touch with reality he was, and decided to leave him.
I still loved him, but that love had become manipulated into something unhealthy.
I realized how deep his own inner damage was, and no amount of love and care I had bestowed upon him was ever enough, not ever would be enough.
Somehow I had come to believe that MY love was SO DEEP and SO POWERFUL that it WOULD MAKE HIM WHOLE again!
That’s part of the flattery they help us buy into! It feeds our inner need to be loved and wanted, while subtly removing the responsibility from their shoulders!
The truth is, we’re each responsible for healing ourselves! We’re each responsible for our own happiness! We’re each responsible for all the choices we make and the actions we take!
It’s time to give back to the narcissist the responsibilities which are theirs, and only carry our own!
After all, we’re adults! That’s what we do!
So… Breathe! Step back and take time to process the facts before you take action!
Peace to you, Tamara
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