Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Resource Page: Healing

"Simply put, there is nothing, nothing in the world, that can take the place of one person intentionally listening or speaking to another. The act of conscious attending to another person---when one once discovers the taste of it and its significance---can become the center of gravity of the work of love. It is very difficult. Almost nothing in our world supports it or even knows about it." ~Jacob Needleman

by Mary Frances Schneider and Wendy Sadler
"...The longer and more complicated the partner's relationship with the individual with NPD (years  of marriage, biological children, shared business, unified resources) and the more troubled the partner's family  of origin, the more complex the process of recovery.  In our experience, the process of recovery for the partner  of  an individual with NPD  is often  a long journey characterized by the development of two major skill sets in individual therapy and peer group work: (a) awakening  to and detachment from emotionally "reactive" participation  in  a relationship laced  by mechanisms  of power and control and (b) empowerment through active cultivation  of practices and processes  of emotional intelligence which result, first,  in the partner's learning and establishing emotional leadershipof the self and, second, in the partner sharing emotional leadership with family and friends.  

In our experience, the individual therapy fosters awakening and empowerment  in the partner through four stages of therapy: (a) awakening  to the mechanisms  of NPD with the ability  to recognize and name power and control tactics  in daily life; (b) empowerment through support groups and networks that help partners disengage from power dynamics and develop practices  of emotional intelligence; (c) empowering the partner  to deconstruct the reactive fear bonds established  in relationship with the individual with NPD and  to practice emotional intelligence  in the face of these fears; and (d) empowering the partner  to engage  in leadership  in emotional intelligence through proactive development  of the self and engagement with others..." 

"...I proposed that we as a society recognize that grief and loss cannot be medicated away. As one friend who recently lost her husband so eloquently put it, "Grief is a powerful release that validates your loss, relieves stress, and helps you heal." Certainly medication may be an adjunct, particularly when people are so incapacitated by their symptoms that they are unable to function. But if we as a culture validate the experience of grief, if we offer the time and space and resources to support people through the difficult process, I am quite certain that in the long run we will not only spend less on medication, but will help people to heal and return to being productive members of society..."

by James J. Messina
"...In order to establish healthy boundaries between yourself and others, you need to: First: Identify the symptoms of your boundaries currently being or having been violated or ignored. 
Second: Identify the irrational or unhealthy thinking and beliefs by which you allow your boundaries to be ignored or violated. 
Third: Identify new, more rational, healthy thinking and beliefs which will encourage you to change your behaviors so that you build healthy boundaries between you and others. 

Fourth: Identify new behaviors you need to add to your healthy boundary building behaviors repertoire in order to sustain healthy boundaries between you and others. 

Fifth: Implement the healthy boundary building beliefs and behaviors in your life so that your space, privacy and rights are no longer ignored or violated..."

"...Whether you choose to stay in an improving relationship or to leave it, your automatic defense system will likely undermine your relationships in the future - including those with children - unless it is reconditioned. 

Research shows that imagination and memory are opposite sides of the same coin, almost impossible to distinguish with any certainty and highly dependent on current physical and emotional states. Healing is never tied to the past; it is a matter of willful focus in the present.

Emotional healing occurs when the brain associates painful memories with restorative images. Repeating the association over and over conditions the painful memories to stimulate the restorative images automatically, in lieu of the automatic defense system.

Common grief over loss of a loved one is an example of how this process occurs naturally for most people. Memories of the deceased are acutely painful in the beginning of the grief process; they keep you focused on loss and inhibit premature reinvestment of value in others. Over time, you begin to focus on positive experiences with the deceased - what you've gained rather than what you've lost - and it becomes pleasurable to think about the loved one. Restorative images of love, meaning, purpose, and appreciation have reconditioned your focus from loss to value-orientation. At that point you are free to invest value more fully in other people and in other areas of your life..."


  1. this is gol.
    i can say this whole site might even save myself from years of torment.
    thank you

  2. That's my hope, Sensei! There's more information on this site than most people are interested in reading.

    Hopefully, you'll find it easy to use and informative (as well as 'pretty'. I do love 'pretty').

    Plus, many of the articles are written by people who have dealt with narcissists! So there's research and experience all in one place!


  3. Yes, this is just what I needed to hear. I have just come home from a networking meeting. I have to say after finding this site, I feel hope for the future and know I will heal, learn new methods of relating to N's or protecting myself, and create a confident and productive future. Thank you. I love pretty too! Thanks Charlotte. Clearskiesahead.

  4. Hi Clearskiesahead!

    Thank you for your compliments AND your validation. I hoped to organize a site that was based on 'real' experiences with narcissists, not just theory. We have access to psychological theory now---bookstores, research articles, websites...

    What truly starts a deep healing process though is 'connection' to people---this ends our 'isolation' and connects us to the world again.

    It's common for people to feel 'all alone in their pain', as if they are the only person on the entire planet who's been hurt in this way. OR, as if they are the only person on the planet who believed LOVE could conquer all. That belief does tend to make a person feel alone and gullible.

    I'm so glad you found us on the web and I do hope that this Digital Scrapbook of real-life experiences coupled with current research, will be a comfort and guide as you move through the aftermath.


  5. I am new to this site and will tell you - thank God for it!! Someone who has been working with me for several months suggested I look at it - WOW, so happy to have a place to learn and heal!!!!

  6. What an amazingly beautiful website!! Does anyone know about any research or articles written on intergenerational narcissism where a particular grandchild develops NPD mirroring his/her grandparent? I've found a lot on narcissistic parents (which I have); however, can't seem to find anything on narcissistic adult children and their narcissistic grandparent. I hope this makes sense! Thanks. Nancy

  7. Hi Nancy!

    In general, pathological narcissism is the result of developmental failures in the child. If grandparents were actively involved in parenting the child, then perhaps there would be a 'mirroring' between grandparent and grandchild. Some theorists contend that narcissism is completely developmental, withouto biological precedents.

    However, you may find research by A.M. Benis to be interesting. He examines genetic character traits (personality) that are 'narcissistic'. This combination of traits would create the narcissistic personality but NOT pathology. In other words, a family could inherit narcissistic traits but that does not mean they are 'pathological' or dysfunctional.

    You can google his name for more information, though I have included a PDF link for a brief overview of his theory: http://www.npatheory.com/files/NPA.personality.theory.pdf

    Welcome to the WoN Connection, Nancy! I hope we hear more from you!


  8. I am grateful to have found this website and am astounded at how robust and thoughtful it is. I was raised by a N father and am now married to a N husband. I have been taught to believe that I am crazy and have been bullied into agreeing to that in order to end punishment. However, there has always been a little spark of sanity deep within me that I have clung to somehow. I have studied this site all afternoon through tears and despair that what I know and have experienced with my husband for 16 yrs is real and it's not going to change. It helps me to know, through researching this site that I am not crazy after all. This site has also helped me to know that the little spark of sanity I have always clung to is really there and maybe I can grow that into something that will light my soul and fill the empty places inside.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for commenting! We've tried to include information most people need when learning about narcissistic relationships. So I'm very pleased to know you've found it helpful! As you know, there's lot of tears to be shed and anger to be expressed, too. Anger is part of our healing journey just like our tears---in fact, we go through a roller coaster of emotions by the time we come to peace with it all.

      I'm so sorry you have a narcissistic father and husband. A lot of people believe they were "groomed' to partner with a narcissist because of the family they grew up in. If you are interested in support, check out our forum here: webofnarcissism.com

      We have a nice friendly group of people who know what it's like when first hearing about narcissism! It's amazing how much friendships help us during this time. As the top of this page says, "Tend and Befriend."

      You are not crazy, I"m sure of it! But yes, you do feel crazy before you understand about narcissist's "projections" and the crazy-making things they do and say to avoid responsibility. Just knowing what's happen when it is happening gives us strength and that is why this site exists!