Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Here’s a scary statistic; 35% of women report either a current or past relationship with a narcissist.  35%.  Are you one of us?  Are you uncertain?  Let me help you clarify.

~ You firmly believe that your partner is smarter, wiser & more capable of managing life.  You depend on him/her to help you navigate your life because they have helped you realize that you are unable to do this on your own.  Your thoughts & choices cannot be trusted because you have made some grave errors in the past.  He or she is more likely to provide a solution to the sticky situations you find yourself in.  Without their constant guidance, instruction or input you would not be able to complete even the simplest of daily tasks.  Tasks you thought you could manage, such as choosing appropriate outfits, how to properly clean a home, effective discipline for children and managing finances are too much for you.

~  Your partner is very compassionate about the abuse you have suffered in the past and understands that because of the damage done to you, you are too broken to survive on your own.  He or she is your protector, your hero.  Your partner can see through the manipulation of your family & friends.  He or she knows that you are unsafe with them alone.  Your partner has suggested that you start to create distance between you & the people you thought loved you.  To keep you safe from these people causing further harm to you, perhaps you should cut ties all together, because your partner is the only one you can trust to keep you safe.

~  Your partner is always considerate enough to point out that little changes would be a great improvement.  “It’s too bad you can’t put together an outfit like her.  She’s hot in those heals with her hair up like that.”  He is also very careful to point out that you do not suit an up-do in heals, because it makes you look like a hooker.

~  Your partner encourages open dialogue to discuss the relationship.  You feel valued when you offer suggestions for improvement and he explains the reality of your situation: “I wish you looked at me they way you look at her.” “I look at her that way because she is strong & confident, something you will never be because you’re too broken.”

~  There have been times when you have doubted the wisdom and the authority of your partner, but each time you question this, he is able to mention a friend or co-worker who feels the same way he does, thus proving that you are once again to broken to form an opinion about anything.

~  You are fully aware that you are damaged goods and are so grateful that your partner was willing to take pity on you and love you in spite of your past.  You are unlovable to everyone and without him to save you, you would be lost.

If any of this sounds familiar, then you are in a relationship with a narcissist.  Let’s insert the appropriate terms for each point above:

Gaslighting – creating uncertainty in your thoughts, beliefs & abilities.  This is used to diminish your self-worth and create dependency on the narcissist.

Isolation – creating distance between you & your support system.  With your family & friends out-of-the-way, your abuser has more control.  You are no longer guided by outside positive influences and are fully dependant on him.

Shaming – sounds like a compliment, but leaves you feeling small & insecure.  Used to reduce your self-confidence.

Deflecting – blames you for their indiscretions.  Narcissists are unable to accept responsibility for their actions.  They deflect accountability and choose to be the victim of others.

Triangulation – Bring a third-party into a conversation to back up their thoughts & beliefs.  Used to force you to second guess your thoughts & beliefs.

Projection – they are unable to accept their own feelings of worthlessness, so they cast these feelings on to you in such a way that you are convinced they are true.  They project their insecurities onto you.

How do I know this?

Because I was one of the 35%.  I was in an 11-year relationship with a narcissist.  I was told that he was forced to sleep with other women because my being pregnant made me fat (I gained 12 pounds in 9 months).  I was told that cocaine & hookers were necessary because of the burden I placed on him.  I was told that he deserved the settlement from my injury for dragging my sorry ass around all these years.  I was told that I was lucky to have him because no one else would put up with my stupidity & laziness.

I was also told that it didn’t have to be this way.  I heard whispers of strength & determination.  I saw the fear in the eyes of my daughters.  I heard the inner voice tell me that this is not what I would choose for them.  This is not the example I wanted them to structure theirs lives on.  They were worth more than this.  They deserved more than this.  They, my girls, gave me the strength & the courage to want more, believe more and hope for more.

How do you break free from a narcissist?

Start by listening for that voice.  The voice buried deep inside you that tells you this isn’t right.  The voice that brought you to this article.  The voice that has led you to secretly seek out alternative solutions, choices & possibilities.  Look around you.  Find your source of strength.  Is it in your children, your family or even a memory?  When you’re ready, reach out.  There is always someone close by that will support you.

  1. Contact your local abuse shelter: they will help you with a safety plan, housing & Legal Counsel
  2. Contact your local Police & tell them you are planning to leave a toxic relationship& ask for a Police Escort if needed. Let them know of any weapons in the home.
  3. Begin to slowly save & hide money.
  4. Pack a bag of essentials & leave it with a friend
  5. Download this Safety Plan for Domestic Violence 

You cannot fix this person.  They do not see themselves as the problem.  They feel you are the problem.

The honeymoon (those moments when you are treated like a queen, the apologies, the gifts, the promises) won’t last.  You know this.  This is just another manipulation tool to get you to stay.


You are never alone in this.  There are thousands of narcissists in this world, but there are millions of survivors.  When survivors band together, we begin to thrive, to dream, to create & to conquer!!  Together, we will change this world.  We’re ready for you to join us.  Let us know how we can help.

Click here to read more stories of survival.

Andrea Scarborough
Life / Parenting Coach

26 Years of Parenting

parenting

As of today, I have been a parent for 26 years.  Most of those were good, actually all the years were good, but we sure did have some rough moments.  Let me take some time to review a few of our struggles now that time has put them into perspective.parenting

Croup – there is not a parent in the world who wants to deal with this one.  Your tiny little baby is so sick.  Leaving her in a croup tent for a week, just about killed me!!!

Asthma – probably should have seen this one coming.  Other than a few misguided supply staff at school this wasn’t a big one.  Just the odd trip to emerg for a quick treatment and we were good again.

Rockin John – your imaginary friend.  Not sure where he came from, but he lived under the stairs and you loved hanging out with him.

Sister – you were skilled at tormenting your sister.  I’m not sure how many times I had to rescue her from the clothes dryer….come to think of it…I should have seen this one coming too – I vaguely remember lifting the lid to the toilet at 3 am and having a very pissed off cat jump out at me…..

Pulmonary Embolism – this was the worst.  I was never so scared.  But you were a trooper, took it all in stride…

High School – had I known, I probably would have sent you to an all girls school….

Driving – you were so happy when you bought your car, you were never home.  You were everyone’s chauffeur….until you weren’t…

Car Accident – “you hit a mailbox, took out 7 trees,  jumped a fence and did a barrel roll in your car and lived to tell the tale…”  Please don’t do this one again….

Concussion Collection – the next few years were interesting….I’m glad you are finally receiving recognition for the symptoms.  Try collecting stamps…

Boyfriends – some were abusive, some were just idiots and a couple of them were really nice guys.  I kinda like the one you have now, he’s my fav so far…

College – I am so proud of you for choosing a career path that suits your nature and desire to work with people!!!

parenting26 years and we’re both still alive.  I have never been more proud of you (I know I say that every year, but honestly you amaze me time and time again!!!)

Here’s the point of my story, parenting, in the moment, is difficult, confusing, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching; but when you look back on all of it, the pain, the suffering and the heart ache melt into love, pride, admiration and the realization that all those tiny moments, were just pieces of a greater puzzle that is creating the most beautiful memories.

Hang in there parents, it will all be worth it.

If your family is struggling to adjust to or accept some of life’s hurdles, I can help you all get “Back On Track“.

Loads of Love

<3 Andrea

What is the most outrageous thing your child ever did?  Leave a comment below.

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Victim vs. Survivor

I am not a victim anymore.

I spent the better part of my life as a victim.  A victim of abandonment, bullying, sexual assault, abuse and others opinions of me and as a result,  all this lead to a very negative self-image, low-self-esteem and a belief that this was how it was supposed to be.  It was difficult to see past all the negativity because  I was surrounded by it, I physically experienced it, heard it, and I repeated it in my head.  It seemed as though it was a slow, never-ending journey down a very dark tunnel void of light, hope and love.

The Journey Begins

I am a survivor.
~ Patricia Buckley – I am not a victim.

Years ago, a friend of mine strongly urged me to attend a retreat for Co-dependency and  I’m not sure why I went, but I did.  Thinking back, I wanted to be surrounded by people that would support my role as a victim.  Turns out, I was wrong but I didn’t want to be.  I fought the messages that were offered because proving them wrong was the only way to survive this hell.  “Do you know what has happened to me all my life?  This isn’t my fault!!”  I would demand.

Through guidance, gentle persuasion and unconditional acceptance, I slowly began to change my thinking because  I was not a victim!!  I was a SURVIVOR!  The best part of being a Survivor is that to date – I have a 100% success rate!!!  The abandonment, bullying, sexual assault, abuse and all those harsh criticisms…. didn’t kill me!!  I survived!!

I Survived

The longer I survived, the stronger I became and with strength, came determination.  Determination grew into confidence.  Confidence had a sneaky way of nurturing self-esteem and a desire for more.  Ever so slowly, my thought process began to change and as a result, I began to believe in myself.

I am a survivor.
I survived that which was supposed to kill me.  Survivor!

Over the years, this transformation has had a lovely balance of ebb & flow to it.  A little rhythm that keeps me wanting more.  I still have hurdles, but they are manageable and they are the moments that allow me to reflect on the journey and assess my current situation and ultimately, perhaps choose an alternate path.

Without the hurdles of my past, I would not be the person I am today.  It took a lot of work, and as a result, I can honestly tell you, that I am a survivor and will never be anything less!!

Surviving Life with a Teenager

Surviving Life with a Teenager

Back when we were teens

Twenty-five – thirty years ago, the world was a different place.  The internet was in it’s infancy, cellphones were massive & usually installed in your car and satellite dishes were just making their way into homes (or backyards).  Kids played outside with their friends and were involved in after-school programs, community groups and sports teams.  At home, there were chores to help out around the house.  In high school, you had a part-time job with the responsibility of getting there unsupervised.  School projects were researched in the library using a very heavy set of Encyclopedia’s and pictures cut out of magazines (cut & paste had a much different definition).  If there was a question to be answered, you had to go find an adult.   Back in the 80’s or 90’s, life was a little simpler and the world just a little smaller.  Our basic needs were met through interpersonal relationships that do not exist today.

Today, with the internet at our finger tips and cable TV, our children have access to information 24/7.  Not all the information is helpful or accurate.  Today, we have an extreme influx of Teens diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety.  Today, we also have a government that feels they are being helpful by making prescriptions free to those under 25 (but we’ll talk about that in a later post).

I recently read an article  by Johann Hari “Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?“**  Hari talks about his search for answers regarding his own clinical diagnosis and comes across some very interesting points to ponder.  The outcome is a new thought process surrounding depression & anxiety – yes there are biological components in some cases that may require medications combined with therapy to over-come, however; there are key factors to how we live today that directly contribute to these diagnosis.

So, let’s compare 1980 to 2018.

 

In the 80’s, kids played outside.  Their friends were physically connected, by streets, school, teams, relations.

Face to face relationships teach us a multitude of skills:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Social skills
  • Team-work
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Compromise
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Self-esteem
  • Patience

Physically connecting with people also serves our basic psychological needs of belonging, acceptance and value.  We, as humans need to belong to a group.  We were not designed to be solitary and thus we live in colonies or families and communities.  We need to feel as though we are a valued member of the group; our thoughts, feelings and opinions matter.

It is believed that some diagnosed cases of depression or anxiety are rooted in denying basic psychological needs and thus we have the influx that we are seeing today.  There is also growing research that tells us that technology has the same effect on the brain as heroine or cocaine.  Creating a strong, debilitating addiction.

Creating Stability

If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair, is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs – a deep connection, to the things that really matter in life. ~ Johann Hari

If you have a Teen that is struggling, take a look at the broader picture.  Are their basic needs being met? Do they have the skills they need to succeed?  Do they belong to a group?  Do they feel valued?

When one member of the family struggles, the entire family struggles.  I have found that the best way to create stability in the family is to look at the family as a whole.  Raising children today is difficult, I know that.  We are rather quick to point the blame to external forces rather than admit that perhaps we are less than perfect.  There are no perfect parents, but I will tell you, the best ones are the parents who are willing to take a look at themselves to find solutions for their children.  It’s not about what you’re doing wrong, it’s about finding processes that fit your family, and the needs of every individual in your family.

Getting your family back on track may not be a long, complicated process.  We may be able to find solutions and implement processes  that will see dramatic results in as little as 6 weeks.  Together we will explore the processes that work for your family, and through simple conversation, a few fun & engaging games, we will begin to implement strategies that ensure basic needs are met.  We will expand your awareness and allow you to visualize your family’s unlimited possibilities.

Let’s start a conversation.

I’m ready when you are,

Loads of love,

~Andrea

 

Reference:

**Johann Hari 

To Our Children;

To Our Children;

In light of all the hatred spread across social media this week, I ask that your voice be louder than those that hate.  Your voice of love and acceptance be the voice that is heard.  By giving the haters a platform, they have won.  Create your own platform.  Stand united in acceptance – race, colour, creed, religion and ability; become one.

I do not follow a specific religion, nor am I political.  I am, however; a person who still believes in the power of love, acceptance, compassion and the human spirit.  I’m not really sure what my message is here, except that Good must triumph of evil – always.  We must learn from past mistakes.  We can do better, because we are better.  We have learned the consequences of inaction & silence.

Stand up against injustices, feed the hungry, dress the poor, house the homeless, educate the  sheltered but above all….teach those that hate to love.

Everyone of us needs a hand at some point, whether its in recovery, financial ruin, loss, disaster or empathy. Help those that do not understand the power of  unconditional love and acceptance.  By hating the hater, we have become haters.  Please do not do this. 

The stage is yours.  As young adults or up & coming adults; today is the day you decide what your future planet looks like.  Is it divided by hatred or is it a world where differences are appreciated and love is nurtured ?

RandomYou can sit idle and hope this just passes, after all it doesn’t really affect you….or you can make a difference; small, simple acts of kindness.

The choice is yours.  What will you do?

Here is a little  John Lennon – Imagine, if you need more inspiration….

Loads of Love

~Andrea

Are You Excited To Go Home Every Night?

Remember When….

…….this relationship first started; full of curiosity, excitement, joy?

……The hopes & dreams that flooded your heart when you first held your child in your arms?

…….You & your partner watched your child achieve all those first milestones; sitting up, holding a bottle, first steps, first tooth, first day of school?

Where did that excitement go?  That feeling of desperately wanting to hang on to a moment and cherish it forever?  Never wanting it to end.  The feeling excitement when you spoke to your best friend about this new adventure, new person, new milestone?  Let’s get that back!! 🙂

Today…

…..you are multitasking meals, work emails, homework, sports, laundry and quickly scanning a blog.  Are you able to offer your full attention to any of them, do you have the  time?

Every member of your family is in a different room, on the internet chatting with friends, responding to emails, checking quotes, playing games,  watching videos, and everyone has 1 thing in common.  Do you want to know what that is…..

Let’s back up….

Remember that feeling the first day you left your tinny toddler at the day care?  Going back to work was something you dreaded for months.  You have to work, but this tiny little creature full of poop & snot somehow brings you so much joy and again, we have a feeling we don’t want to let go of.  We have bills to pay, college to save for and all the toys, sports, clothes that comes with being a parent.  Kids aren’t cheap.  And somewhere down the line, we lost that feeling of excitement.  Somewhere, bills, tantrums and deadlines sucked the excitement out of parenting.

You were so full of joy, it spilled out of you and the whole world knew how happy you were, but now there is barely enough joy to fill your big toe.  The rest of you is filled with stress, frustration, anxiety, worry and expectations.  Now you have teenagers and life is no fun anymore.

I Want YOU To Get Excited About Your Life & Your Family!!!

What’s on your To Do List?

Are you getting everything you possibly can out of LIFE, or is LIFE getting everything it can out of you?

We all have a “To Do” List and most of us have a “Bucket List”.  Which one is more important for you?  What’s on your partner’s wish list?  Do your kids have wish lists?  Start a conversation!!

 

 

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

~Ghandi

Be the change you wish to see in your FAMILY!

~Andrea

I have faith in you!!  Mom to Mom, I know how hard it is to see members of your family struggling.  I understand how incredible hard it is to reach out and ask for the help you need.  There is so much judgement, and we are expected to know how to keep it all together.  I am a Mom and I, too, had a child who struggled.  I spent hours searching the internet for help.  Any piece of wisdom I could grab, and use to make my family better.  From that struggle, I gathered loads of the most useful pieces of information and compiled them together to create a plan to unify my family and all of us  help you create a plan, strategies that will actually work!!!

I know you have the drive, determination & motivation to create positive change in your family and that all of this is fueled by the LOVE you have for each of them.  Get started today.

Reach out with any questions, I’d love to help you stir up some excitement!!!

~Andrea