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  • Randi Fine
  • August 25, 2015 05:11:18 AM
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Randi Fine, author, counselor, and radio show host shares 100's of articles on Self Help, Spirituality, Relationship Advice, Mental Health Issues, and many inspiring picture quotes for you to share.

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Cliffedge Road: Introduction

I believe that there are divine reasons for the pregnant pauses in our lives; the times when our life seems to come to a screeching halt and we are rendered powerless over it. Those are the times we should pay extra close attention to, for those junctures may be the most profound times in our lives. The post Cliffedge Road: Introduction appeared first on Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi...

Cliffedge Road: A Memoir

Introduction

Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

Introduction

I believe that there are divine reasons for the pregnant pauses in
our lives; the times when our life seems to come to a screeching
halt and we are rendered powerless over it. Those are the times
we should pay extra close attention to, for those junctures may be the
most profound times in our lives. Though painful, those intervals
cause us to sit quietly and come face to face with our true selves.
They provide tremendous opportunities for our personal growth.

Despair is a lonely, desolate place we have all visited at some
point in our lives. While in its depths, it seems to take an immense
amount of courage to reach for rose-colored glasses and put them on.

I spent the first thirty years of my life as a pleaser, yielding
to everyone else’s expectations of me. Convinced that it was
inconsiderate to ever put myself first, I continually dismissed
my own needs. Having never developed a healthy self-esteem, I
based my identity entirely on the ever-changing opinions of others
and my interpretation of their reactions to me. My boundaries
were undefined; I wavered between unfiltered vulnerability and
impenetrable emotional walls. Those were very tumultuous and
depressing years for me.

According to research conducted by professionals in the field of
psychology, there are common threads that have been traced back
to the childhoods of many adults who suffer from co-dependency.

Many had been “pleaser” children who had been conditioned
from a young age to believe that they were only good or valuable
when compliant with their parents’ wishes. Often, those wishes were
illogical and confusing.

As children, they felt unduly responsible for their parents’ needs
and happiness. Healthy emotional boundaries between their parents
and themselves were never properly established. They often suffered
from depression and/or anxiety in their adolescences, conditions that
continued to trouble them well into adulthood.

The codependent syndrome develops over a long period of time.
Those who suffer from codependency in their adulthoods have often
had erroneously difficult adolescences. But they are largely unaware
of their tendencies until their condition impedes their ability to form
healthy, stable adult relationships.

I am grateful to say that although I suffered from that confusion
for the first thirty years of my life, today, at sixty-one years of age, my
life does not resemble that portrayal in any way. But remembering
where I came from keeps me humble.

It is my sincere hope that as you peruse the pages of my book you
will find my story touching, inspirational, and most importantly, an
impetus for healing.

Randi Fine is the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.

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Beware Marketers Posing as Narcissistic Abuse Healers

Beware Marketers Posing as Narcissistic Abuse Healers Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine We live in a dangerous world where predators abound. It is difficult to recognize them because they wear disguises. Some emotionally destroy us, some physically harm us, and some steal our money. If you … Beware Marketers Posing as Narcissistic Abuse Healers Read More » The post Beware Marketers Posing as Narcissistic...

Beware Marketers Posing as Narcissistic Abuse Healers

Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

We live in a dangerous world where predators abound. It is difficult to recognize them because they wear disguises. Some emotionally destroy us, some physically harm us, and some steal our money.

If you have suffered the devastating effects of narcissist abuse you are hurting. Perhaps you are still being targeted and the abuse continues.

You are in a state of mind that you don’t understand. It is disturbing, frustrating, overwhelming, unrelenting, and painful. It’s important to recognize that this state of mind makes you vulnerable to predators.

With suffering nearly impossible to bear, you just want the pain to stop. There are people who claim that they understand your pain and will offer you a path to healing.  Some are legitimate, many are not.

The charlatans hawking their snake oil appear as shiny, charismatic and professional. Understand that they are business people first; usually talented marketers or coaches who have been taught how to market themselves.  In reality these people are simply trying to make a living…off of you.

Most of the high-priced programs offered are so ineffective that once completed you will not feel any better.  You may feel temporary relief but the root cause of your pain will never be addressed and your pain will linger.

When you don’t feel better, who do you blame? You probably don’t blame the program, sold by a so-called “professional” who claims to understand what you are going through. No—you blame yourself. The disappointing experience just confirms the belief you’ve been carrying around; that you are fundamentally inept. And after having put all your eggs in this one basket, you now feel hopeless and maybe even foolish.

I have recently been made aware of one such charlatan. This person is targeting and hurting the very people I want to help and I am outraged.

The person I am referring to is cunning, a phenomenally talented marketer, and likely a covert narcissist. Innumerable people around the globe have been seduced into becoming followers. Chapters are being set up around the world. It is cult-like and the appeal is spreading like wildfire.

It is easy to buy into the scam. This person writes extensively, has published several books about divorce and narcissism, seems genuine and empathetic, talks the lingo with ease, is endorsed by a celebrity, and has a relatable and believable personal story.  The website provides a referral list of therapists and attorneys (probably some flying monkeys) who have likely been sold on the fraud.

The premise of the fraud is that parental alienation is junk science. This person claims to have fought a narcissistic spouse in court and won full custody of their children.

There is not a victim of narcissistic abuse anywhere who has suffered the alienation of their children by a narcissist who would debunk the phrase “parental alienation.”  Only those who are compelled to ruin the life of their targets would; in other words narcissists.

This person teaches those divorcing narcissists how to be ruthless and win at any cost. Sound familiar?

Good people are getting hurt. Desperate parents who are up against this formidable force are wrongly losing custody of their children by the very narcissists who abused them in the first place. This is disturbing on so many levels.

It deeply concerns me that so many vulnerable people are being led astray and that so many innocent children are ending up in the constraints of an abusive narcissistic parent.

What is the message in all of this?  Do not blindly trust shiny, charismatic, enticing people without using good sense and doing an investigation—and do not give large sums of money in the hopes of healing your pain to anyone. That is entirely unnecessary.  Watch out for cult-like movements with masses of people following one person. That’s a clear red flag unless that person is a celebrity.

Find people who are legitimate; who have a track record of success and an impeccable reputation.

I devote my life to helping victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse. I have not chosen this career. This career has chosen me. I have not been assigned an easy task but I am grateful for the opportunity to help people and am completely committed to doing so. If you want help I am here for you. I am trustworthy.

Learn more about me and my work at https://www.RandiFine.com

Please stay smart and stay safe.

Randi Fine is the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.

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The Key to Inner Peace and Contentment

Self Acceptance and Self Love is the Key to Inner Peace and Contentment How to End the War With Yourself Written by Louise Kramer, Clinical Psychologist Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine The cornerstone to happiness ultimately depends on your relationship with yourself.  If there is self-acceptance, respect and love in that relationship, … The Key to Inner Peace and Contentment Read More » The post The Key to Inner Peace and Contentment appeared first on...

Self Acceptance and Self Love is the Key to Inner Peace and Contentment

How to End the War With Yourself

Written by Louise Kramer, Clinical Psychologist

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

The cornerstone to happiness ultimately depends on your relationship with yourself.  If there is self-acceptance, respect and love in that relationship, then there is peace wherever you go. When you love and accept yourself, you love and accept others. You no longer need the approval of others and you no longer need to judge others. You are the love you are seeking. You are free to be yourself. You are happy wherever you go, and your relationships are harmonious and based on the same respect you give yourself. There is peace in every step you take. This is contentment.

I like to say, your first marriage is with yourself. You wake up with yourself, you have breakfast with yourself, you go to work with yourself, you spend all day with yourself – you go with yourself everywhere you go.

The big problem is that the way we talk to ourselves is like our own worst enemy. The voice is our head is like our worst CRITIC.  There is a war in our head, and the war is with ourself. We don’t like ourselves.

The CRITIC in our head:

  • Blames you
  • Compares you to others, to their achievements and you lose
  • Sets impossible standards of perfection for yourself and others, and then criticises you when you don’t meet them.
  • Tells you if you are not the best, you are nothing
  • Tells you how you should live and what’s wrong with what you do
  • Calls you names, you are a loser, lazy
  • Exaggerates your weaknesses, insisting you have ruined your life, your job, your relationships, your brain – that you are always stupid
  • Throws  up images of your past mistakes / awkward moments in your life
  • Reads your friends minds and tells you they are bored, don’t like you or think your stupid.
  • Tells you, you don’t deserve love.

The voice of the CRITIC is so normal you don’t even notice it is there but it is having a devastating effect on your life and your well-being. It breaks down any good feelings you have about yourself.  It sabotages your endeavours, and causes drama and conflict in your relationships.

What the CRITIC says sounds and feels reasonable and justifiable but it is NOT.  You need to consider carefully there impact. Would you talk to a child the way you talk to yourself? Blame, judge and punish a thousand times for the same mistake. Would that judgement help the child to grow. NO of course not.  What the child needs and what you need is love, acceptance, encouragement and forgiveness to grow. It is unconditional love that makes a child open, flower and flourish. We need the same love, self-acceptance and forgiveness for ourselves. Remember we are born perfect.  We are born good enough. We do not have to earn it but we have learnt to believe we are not perfect. This is a lie. We have to unlearn the lies.

Fortunately, the CRITIC is not real. It is an illusion invented by your mind. People become so used to listening to the CRITIC it takes over their mind.

You need to TURN OFF THE CRITIC in your head. IGNORE HIM. STOP LISTENING AND BELIEVING HIM. It is an illusion and what it says is not the TRUTH.

Is it TRUE you are stupid, ugly, your friends don’t like you, you do not deserve love? NO.

Do these thoughts bring you suffering or peace? Suffering and they are cruelling your life. You need to choose peace.

You need to start a new relationship with yourself. You need to be your own BEST FRIEND. You need to stop rejecting yourself, and talk to yourself with RESPECT, UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION – with LOVE.

You need to REFUTE what the critic says because it is not true. You need to STOP THE SELF-JUDGEMENT, BLAME, CRITICISM AND PUNISHMENT.

OR better still, just IGNORE THE CRITIC. STOP LISTENING.  When you stop paying attention to negative thoughts they fall away. It seems very hard at first, but if you watch your mind and notice the bad thoughts and feelings as they arise, and turn away from them, they stop coming.  The negative thoughts are like a stray cat. If you stop feeding the cat, it stops coming back.

You need to practice, practice, practice.

What helps me is that I try not to talk to myself at all. You do not need to talk to yourself. Just to be THE SEER or THE WATCHER without talking to yourself and not paying attention to any thoughts that arise. To practice being the seer, you just watch the world around you without the internal running commentary. Just look. Do not describe, analyse, classify or judge what you see. Just be the silent watcher, be quiet and be the space in which things happen.

Gradually your mind calms down, gets quieter, and becomes peaceful. You feel good. This is true contentment and self-acceptance.

Another helpful technique to focus your awareness, is to act as if you do love yourself and ask yourself? If I loved myself what would I do? How would I spend my time today? Who would I spend my time with? Who would I allow in my life? How would I treat my body – what foods would I eat, would I exercise, would I ensure I get adequate sleep? Would I treat others how I am being treated, and if not, why am I allowing bad treatment of me?

You need to start a new relationship with yourself and be your own best friend. Be kind, encouraging and compassionate with yourself like you would treat your own child. Respect yourself and like yourself just the way you are. Don’t ever go against yourself. Enjoy your own company.  Say nice things to yourself.  Focus on your strengths. Be grateful for the positives. Do not let others go against you or treat you with disrespect. Treat others with respect for what you do to others, you do to yourself. Do not engage in behaviours that make you feel worse. Be willing and giving when it feels right for you. Also, you need to let go of the past. You did the best you could. You never meant to hurt yourself or make mistakes or hurt anyone else. Forgive yourself. Forgive others for they are also innocent in the same way. Learn the lessons and move forward. It is not what happens but what you do with what happens that counts. Above all, be yourself, take action and do the best you can.

I know you can do it.

In the words of a great Master, Don Miguel Ruiz, in his book “Mastery of Love”:

“Everyone has a price, and Life respects that price. But the price is not measured in dollars or gold; it is measured in love. More than that, it is measured in self-love. How much you love yourself. – that is your price – and Life respects that price.”

Louise Kramer is an Australian Clinical Psychologist specialising in Mindfulness based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Couple Therapy.  Known for her personal, down-to-earth and engaging style, Louise works with adults, couples and children with a wide range of issues

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Everyone Says Love Hurts

Everyone Says Love Hurts Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine Hits: 29 The post Everyone Says Love Hurts appeared first on Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine.

Everyone Says Love Hurts

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

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Religious Narcissistic Abuse: Fifteen Tactics Used to Control You

Religious Narcissistic Abuse Fifteen Tactics Used to Control You Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine 15 Narcissistic Religious Abuse Tactics Written by Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC May 19, 2015 for Psych Central There was a time when your religious beliefs brought you companionship and peace, but now you struggle with intimacy, insecurity, and … Religious Narcissistic Abuse: Fifteen Tactics Used to Control You Read More » The post Religious Narcissistic Abuse:...

Religious Narcissistic Abuse

Fifteen Tactics Used to Control You

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

15 Narcissistic Religious Abuse Tactics Written by Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC May 19, 2015 for Psych Central

There was a time when your religious beliefs brought you companionship and peace, but now you struggle with intimacy, insecurity, and comparison. You used to find security in your faith, but now there is only sanctuary in ceremonies and rituals. How did you get here?

A narcissist uses their religious belief to manipulate, control and dominate you through fear. They systematically take the life out of your faith and replace themselves in the center.

It doesn’t matter the religion. Major organizations such as Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Jewish or even minor sects such as Mormon, Taoism, Confucianism, New Age, or Rastafari can be used. Even those who do not profess a belief in God such as Atheistic, Agnostic, or Satanism can be included.

It is not the type of belief but rather how the faith is used that makes it abusive.

  1. It begins with dichotomous thinking, dividing people into two parts. Those who agree with the narcissists beliefs and those who don’t. Interestingly, only the narcissist is the judge and jury of who belongs on which side. Your opinion is insignificant.
  2. Then the narcissist makes fun of, belittles, and shows prejudice towards other beliefs. This tactic is done to remind you that if you change your views, you will be treated likewise.
  3. Suddenly the narcissist becomes elitist and refuses to associate with people or groups they consider impure or unholy. They prefer isolation and insist you do the same while condemning others who don’t.
  4. Next, the narcissist requires that you completely adopt their point of view. There is no room for differing opinions or questioning their authority. Any voicing of opinions to the contrary are met with threats of abandonment or divorce. There is no free will for you.
  5. Demands of total submission without question follow. You are not free to question their authority and any attempt to do so is met with spiritual, physical, and/or verbal discipline. Name calling, chastising, and the silent treatment are common maneuvers into compliance.
  6. The narcissist is no longer satisfied with private dominion but instead needs the appearance of power in public. They expect strict adherence to whatever image they have created regardless of the accuracy of that image. Even the slightest hint of challenging their facade is met with quick and cruel reprimands.
  7. To further intimidate, the narcissist labels people who don’t comply with their beliefs as disobedient, rebellious, lacking faith, demons, or enemies of the faith. This is done in front of others to reinforce their opinions and instill fear inside and outside the family.
  8. There is huge emphasis on public performance. They demand perfection and happiness at all times. Religious activities such as attending church have extreme demands, excessive expectations, and rigidity. No allowances are given even for grieving over the loss of a friend or relative.
  9. Strict adherence to their rules and regulations are commanded with absolute statements about insignificant issues such as hair color or style. Non-compliance is met with severe discipline and even excommunication.
  10. To further segregate, the narcissist uses secrecy or withholds information to a few select worthy individuals. Sometimes they require proof of advanced spirituality or some deeper level of commitment before they will share.
  11. Questioning the narcissist is worse than questioning the religion. Blind obedience to the narcissist is expected as their opinion is more important than the religion. In essence, they have replaced your religion with themselves and you are expected to worship them.
  12. The narcissist frequently uses their religious position of authority to connive for their own personal benefit which is often financial. They will justify this behavior by saying they deserve it because they are better than others. You, however, will not be included because even your best is not good enough.
  13. For the narcissist, the end justifies the means. They may engage in criminal misconduct or cover up the transgressions of others in the name of their religion. This includes covering up sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial felonies, and misdemeanors. They believe they are above the law and therefore can subvert it.
  14. To complete the isolation, estrangement from extended family members and friends outside of the religion is mandatory. This includes shunning, alienation, or persecution. You are completely alone now with only them as the voice in your life.
  15. At the end of this, you find your own beliefs have lost their vitality and your religious growth is stagnant due to the constant abuse by the narcissist. It is not unusual for you to question you faith and even abandon it due to the sadistic behavior.

You don’t have to be subject to religious abuse. Study these steps and refuse to be part of any organization that encourages this behavior. Your faith is far too precious to be destroyed by a narcissist. Don’t let them steal your joy.

Christine Hammond is a leading mental health influencer, author, and guest speaker. As an author of the award-winning “The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook,” and more than 500 articles, Christine has more than one million people downloading her podcast “Understanding Today’s Narcissist,” and more than 400,000 views on YouTube. Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor by the State of Florida, a National Certified Counselor, Certified Family Trauma Professional, with extensive training in crisis intervention and peaceful resolution.

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Acute Stress Response to Narcissistic Abuse Damages Mind and Body

Acute Stress Response to Narcissistic Abuse Damages Mind and Body Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine It is common knowledge that narcissistic emotional abuse causes stress. We have all experienced, while in the presence of our abusers, the acute stress response that drastically alters our mental … Acute Stress Response to Narcissistic Abuse Damages Mind and Body Read More » The post Acute Stress Response to...

Acute Stress Response to Narcissistic Abuse Damages Mind and Body

Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

It is common knowledge that narcissistic emotional abuse causes stress. We have all experienced, while in the presence of our abusers, the acute stress response that drastically alters our mental functioning. But many do not realize how detrimental it is to our entire well-being.  

According to Sissela Bok, author of Lying in Private and Public Life, when the brain functions normally, the central nervous system predicts ahead and mobilizes appropriate action. Our sensations, physical actions, and emotions are guided by rationality. When it is stressed or traumatized, the physiological and emotional shock ambushes our executive functionality. As a result:

  • Our expressive speech fails
  • Our concentration diminishes
  • Our memory is impaired
  • We become hyper-vigilant
  • We experience feelings of helplessness, depression and anxiety.

When a lie enters a process, rationality is eradicated. A Neural link to rationality is blocked, preventing the central nervous system from predicting and reacting according to rational.

Prolonged stress exposure physically damages our bodies as well. Continuous activation of the nervous system is problematic for all bodily systems:

  • Cardiovascular System – excessive burden put on the heart by stress hormones can cause high blood pressure that may lead to a heart attack or stroke
  • Respiratory System – can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD, emphysema, and can cause hyperventilation leading to panic attacks
  • Immune System – excessive flooding ofstress hormones can weaken the immune system rendering the body unable to fight off foreign invaders. Impaired communication between immune system and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis can cause chronic fatigue, obesity, diabetes and immune disorders.
  • Muscular System – muscle tightening from prolonged stress can cause chronic aches and pain that may lead to reliance on pain medication
  • Digestive System – more likely to have stomach aches, heartburn, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. Can cause chronic inflammatory bowel disorders.
  • Reproductive System –biochemical functioning is impaired causing infections and disease, loss of libido, impotence and fertility(in men), fertility or pregnancy complications (in women), mood swings

For the reasons cited above and many more, it’s important to understand the impact that acutely stressful narcissistic abuse causes on the mind and body, even when we are unaware it exists.

It is crucial for survivors to understand that any exposure to their narcissistic abuser, whether in close proximity or not, whether through intrusive thought or anticipation of possible contact, will trigger their traumatic stress response.  

After prolonged exposure to their trigger, most survivors adjust to the feeling caused by the stress response, get used to living with it, and don’t realize how pervasive it is in their daily life. They may experience chronic depression, anxiety, somatic issues, digestive issues, sleep issues and more disturbing maladies but are unlikely to attribute these symptoms to exposure (or threaten of exposure) to their primary trigger, especially if they have no physical contact with him or her.

Many survivors stay with or in contact with their abuser, believing that with a clear understanding of who and what they are dealing with they can manage or cope with the relationship.

This mindset is detrimental to their present and long-term well-being. The likelihood of suffering permanent mental and/or physical damage as a result of the constant stress their bodies are being put through is great. Our bodies are not designed to endure such a persistent strain on the nervous system.

For those who don’t accept this information as fact, try this experiment.  Take a one month hiatus from your abuser. Free yourself from the anticipation of any contacts by proactively blocking all possible texts, emails, phone calls. Put away all photos and artifacts that remind you of the person. Do not look at pictures on your phone or visit any social networking sites that could possibly bring your abuser to mind. Don’t discuss your abuser with anyone.

Focus on your emotional and physical needs. Pamper yourself. Make decisions that don’t require compromise. Do what you want when you want.

If you follow these instructions your stress level will begin to ease; you may even feel peaceful. You should experience a contrast between how you felt and how you feel.

The effects of narcissistic abuse do not lessen with time. They may go dormant but will reappear at a later time. They will impact every area of your life and wreak havoc in your adult relationships.

While it is worthwhile to educate yourself on all things NPD, understand that the education only works on your intellectual, rational brain. But narcissistic abuse does not impact the rational mind. We cannot think or rationalize our way out of how we feel. What we know intellectually is not how we feel emotionally. The damage occurs on a deep subconscious level that is inaccessible to sufferers of it.

Narcissistic abuse is a severe form of emotional/mental/ psychological abuse. It does not exist on a spectrum. It does not pale in regards to physical or sexual abuse. If you suspect that you are suffering it please seek the help of an experienced professional who specializes in it.

Randi Fine is the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.

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