Mental health, Relationships

Ugly Truth 58: The Teachings of Adversarial Love

“I’m coping with my trauma by trying to find different ways to heal it rather than hide it.”
-Clemantine Wamariya

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Deskraven Blog where we unearth the ugly truths of mental illness as it relates to life, love, and happiness.

In my spiritual quest to process and release the trauma that binds us all I began to learn about the lasting impact relationship injury can have on future intimacy, as well as the soul contracts we may not even realize we’re tangled up in. In general, insecurity is not a personality trait of mine, but recently I have been feeling more of it so it prompted me to look inward.

In examining my past relationships I realized they all hurt me in their own way, and I no doubt casted my own pain toward them. Indeed, no one escapes companionship unthwarted. While seeking out my relationship patterns I noticed they would invariably come to an end around the two year mark like some sick clockwork. Likewise, I found myself chasing the unobtainable, often seeking those who lacked a promising foundation, let alone mutual respect and reciprocity.

My current relationship offers a stark contrast to control dynamics and the threat of an invariable end, and yet I found myself soaking in a tearful uncertainty as if past transgressions were any indication of what the future may hold. A large part of therapeutic work involves accepting the good that is being offered to you without question, however, I find value in dismantling previously held beliefs that result from mistreatment. Am I deserving of love? Am I capable of sustaining another blow? Do I have unresolved hurt? The answer to all of these is a resounding yes.

True love is passionately engaging, but more importantly it is practical and mature. It never seeks to harm, create jealousy, or endorse possessiveness. Love remains the most written about subject in music, film, art, and other areas of the creative industry. Even the Bible offers a famous and promising passage: love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Within my reflection I found a most reoccurring theme of fear that surfaced as a product of hate, manipulation, infidelity, trauma, and abuse. In the past I was consistently exposed to lying, cheating, stealing partners. Partners who tore me down. Partners who informed me of my inadequacy, my inability to communicate, and left me with the kind of manipulative circular reasoning that would make even the most sound mind question her sanity. Partners who indicated to me I would be nothing without them. Partners who physically restrained and abused me. Partners who resorted to name calling and weaponized my vulnerability. Partners who robbed me of my peace of mind, my sound sleep, and my financial stability. Partners who slit their wrists in front of me.

In the face of adversarial love I found that when I wasn’t being abandoned, I was being told on a regular basis that I was unreliable, insufficient, and incorrect – and maybe I was. I had a lot of work to do. In learning how relationships serve as a reflection of self, it became apparent that my self worth was greatly suffering. The truth is we accept the love we think we deserve, and we teach others how to treat us, indirectly or otherwise. Clearly, I needed to raise my bar in more ways than one.

Fortunately, my first liberation in mindfulness work was learning that being less controlling in how we love allows the experience itself to take precedence over the fear of it passing. In a world where autonomy has only recently become desirable, the most radical thing we can learn is the fact that true reassurance lies in the space we provide our loved ones to choose us everyday, not in the ugly jealous strides we make to exert our possession over them.

My mind can rationalize the hurt I’ve endured, and the way it contributes to my behavior. I have had to rebuild and relearn my own definitions of healthy relationship dynamics as they relate to trust, intimacy, and devotion. I have had to tap into those areas of my life that exist apart from my partner, and begin to nurture them in order to be a more loving and less wounded human. The heart and body are different creatures, however. They keep score – and if you’re not careful to grieve properly – the wound will spread to other major organs. Healing from relationship trauma begins with setting hard fast boundaries that allow you to insulate yourself long enough to do the work. Take ownership of your well-being with the understanding that no one can do it for you. Remember you are safe and capable of creating lasting change in your life. Remember the ability to discern between the idea of something, the memory of it, and the reality of it.

Sadly, many people would rather be abused than be alone. I think it’s safe to say we have all fallen for the idea or concept someone is offering us, even if the reality of it is littered with red flags. Likewise, human memory is inherently faulty. You must consider the possibility that the way you remember things, especially traumatic things, isn’t the way it went. We tend to remember how we felt during an experience rather than the experience itself. I would be the first to admit I have turned to others to validate my memories for me, and it has been very helpful.

Ultimately, you should never go into any kind of relationship that asks you to compromise fundamental parts of yourself, or your ability to communicate them effectively. While no relationship is perfect, your heart will never seek to change or fix the right partner. While some work is required in every union, there should also be equal parts natural flow – that space that allows you to rest in the love and peace you’ve created for one another – free from doubt, stress, and drama.

Finally, the spiritual perspective teaches us about the potential for soul mates and twin flames. The idea is that they are sent by our higher self for our own soul’s growth and development. There is a lot to unpack here, but that is another Blog for another day. For now, ponder all that you have learned from those who have hurt you the most. It may feel impossible, but seek out the value of your suffering. Our perpetrators have the potential to be our greatest teachers.

True love is a victory march, not a sprint or a competition. Do not let your past overcome your successes, or cause a great dividing disservice to your current life. It is important to honor your grief, even your regret, but don’t allow it to take up residence with what you value now. Don’t allow the actions (or inactions) of others to invent dissatisfaction or breed contempt in your relationship. Whenever I catch myself slipping, all I have to do is look at her – and remember the way she casts the very light I could never manifest for myself on my most ambitious days. Oozing with gratitude never fails me.

Discuss: How has your past impacted your current relationship? What is your communication like with your partner? What lessons have you learned from those who have betrayed you?

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!

Lifestyle, Mental health

Ugly Truth 42: Why I Quit Drinking for 12 Days

Artist: Leonid Afremov

Good Morning Forum,

Lately there has been so much on my mind, and yet I found myself unable to lift pen to paper. More than that, I found myself falling further away from the small things – those little endeavors that make me an individual. My self awareness has taught me that my inability to create or be cognizant is a sure-fire sign that a change is needed. The devil is in the details, and maybe that is our greatest tragedy.

I come from a deep genetic pool of trauma, alcoholism, mental illness and addiction. In general, I have an addictive personality. Drugs, alcohol, self-injury, and disordered eating have all been on my list of poor coping skills over the years. Anyone who knows me personally knows not to mess with my cigarettes or coffee before 8am, but I would be remiss if I did not confess that while I may not be a textbook alcoholic, I do have a spotted history of problem drinking.

I live with Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Panic Disorder and Chronic Pain. I was properly medicated for two years. After two hospitalizations and ten years of therapy, it didn’t take long for me to learn how to self medicate. I have always done my best to balance my poor choices with moderation, mindfulness, yoga, and creative outcomes such as writing, painting and knitting. However, in light of this quarantine and the way the month of April always seems to dig its claws into me, I soon found myself drinking more and coping less.

Since quitting three days ago (again), I have found that each day feels better than the last, although it has not been without its setbacks. I have experienced mood swings, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, blood pressure changes, and extremely vivid dreams and nightmares. As a seasoned scary dreamer, I have learned how to keep myself calm in these scenarios, mostly as a result of PTSD, however these dreams have been visceral even for me.

The truth is I haven’t read an actual physical book in years, something I typically have a passion for and take great pleasure in. I strayed far from my yoga practice, and have felt a general sense of imbalance and unease as a result. I was feeling run down, and had become complacent toward my loss of previously held enjoyment. I became disinterested in my intellectual pursuits, and my education began to suffer a little more than usual. Perhaps in juggling being gentle with myself, I let my personal accountability slide, too.

The good news is I know exactly how to get it all back. I am not a sobriety preacher or twelve-stepper, but I look forward to reclaiming my wellness, restoring my energy, and reconnecting with my loved ones. I look forward to being slightly less cerebral, sleeping a little better, crying a little less, and reading more books.

So often the trouble is just in starting something new to promote a positive change. Certainly, one can not achieve self development without stumbling along the way. We are hardwired to self-sabotage and make excuses for ourselves, even surrounding the things we want most out of life. Perhaps our greatest triumph is learning how to set meaningful boundaries in order to return to ourselves over and over again.

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!

Lifestyle, Mental health

3 Ways to Cope with Discouragement

“I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.”

Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Dear Readers,

As much as I love writing for others, it is important sometimes to write for myself. All of the topics featured here are an extension of a recent personal struggle, and this is no different.

This week I was struck with a series of blows, but also some small victories. My fluctuating days, though dispairing they may be, then inspired me to investigate the fine line of positive thinking as it relates to mental health. One of the most important things I learned in therapy is the power of negative thinking.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

-Henry Ford

As someone who has lived through a great many heartfelt experiences of pain, it is only natural that I developed a catastrophizing mind along the way. It continues to take daily work to untangle the habit of seeing the danger in everything, including success.

The sensation of discouragement for any living thing can be a harsh blow, but for those of us living with mental health conditions, it can often lead to proufound devastation and a resurfacing of symptoms. This is significant because the role of goal setting is paramount in recovery, and can become fragile when faced with opposition. Therefore, it becomes pertinent in knowing the steps one can take to retrain their brain.

Mental Health America outlines three ways to cope with discouragement in their article, Stay Positive:

Foster Optimism

▪ Write about a positive future

▪ Search for the silver lining

Practice Gratitude

▪ Write a gratitude letter

▪ Keep a gratitude journal

▪ Remind yourself to savor

▪ Share your good news

Avoid Negative Thinking

▪ Avoid dwelling on downers

▪ Change unhealthy self-talk

▪ Ask yourself if your negative thought is really true

▪ Remember any achievements that disprove your insecurity

▪ Imagine what you’d tell a friend

▪ Beware of all-or-nothing thinking

▪ Consider alternative explanations

There you have it, some self work we can all adhere to! If it were up to me, I would add self-compassion, self-care, and worry limitation to this list. The truth is there is so much we can do to reverse our thinking, and it starts with problem solving in the present moment. Like anything skillful, these things take practice.

What do you do to feel strong?

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!

Lifestyle, Mental health

Gratitude is the Guardian of Your Joy

ggsc-gratitude

Dear Readers,

I am not a particularly religious person. I prefer to think of myself as spiritual rather than assign myself a religious label. Instead, I prefer to take the good from all of the major pillars of religion and apply it to my life in a practical way. Unlike most, I am okay with the not knowing. Occasionally, I will experience a thirst for knowledge and attend church for my sheer love of lectures, philosophies, and human understanding. On one of these days, the pastor’s wife stood at the podium and said these words, “Gratitude is the guardian of your joy.” -And it stuck.

These seven words of wisdom highlighted my genuine understanding of fundamental happiness. If we can be grateful, then we can shift our perspective just enough to glean some positivity from a painful situation because gratitude suggests choice. Therefore, there seems an intrinsic link between happiness and choice. As Thanksgiving approaches, these words sit with me still. More so since I am sitting in the unknown of unemployment- one of the most infamous stressors for any young family. So, perhaps a little self-examination will do me well, and help someone else along the way.

6 Things I am Grateful For & the Why:

1.) My Family.

My family dynamic has never been conventional, and so my definition isn’t either. I have had many unions and separations with men and women. One of these was fortunate enough to have produced a child. His father and I are no longer together although we maintain a loving and respectful relationship despite our differences. Somehow, the family we build becomes our own, having less and less to do with blood. There is so much value in the blending of differences, re-definition in the face of traditionalism, and the daily choice.

2.) My Home.

For most of my life I lived with others. I had boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates, friends who never left, and family to take me in. It wasn’t until my divorce that I was faced with the heat of a Texas August, and the choice to provide for myself independent of the provisions of others. I was not without help, of course. Now, almost two years later, the apartment I live in is mine, the bills I pay are mine, the car I drive is mine, the books on my shelf, the clothes on my back, and the food in my pantry is mine. The fear and the responsibility is my own, and the reward all the greater.

3.) My Health.

I am 29 years old and while not in perfect health, my chronic pain and mental health conditions pale by comparison to those I know and love with chronic medical ailments. Having been a caregiver much too soon, I have had a front row seat to the way illness can run amok on individuals, families, and bank accounts. While I would consider my functionality level below that of a typical twenty-something, I still balance the choice to get out of bed each morning.

4.) My Son.

Most people insinuate their children are their life, and it is probably perfectly true. However, my son saved mine and that is a fact. As a young woman, I was in the grips of horrendous grief and madness. My mind, body, and soul were dripping with chemicals and hell bent on fast tracking my self-destruction for a solid five years prior. I made a series of repetitively bad choices in great succession of one another if not to end my life through intent, then through sheer negligence and a complete lack of self-care. I was never malicious toward others. I was simply flailing through pain with zero guidance due to my own lack of language. My pregnancy taught me preservation of self for the sake of someone else, and forced me into fearless maturity. It taught me the choice of good health and good company, safety and security, and my full-time preoccupation with the truth.

5.) My Cat.

Pets provide a strange relationship free from circumstance or condition, one you may even be quick to resent. But if you look hard enough, you’ll notice that our domestic companions await eagerly each day for nothing more than our company and good graces. They misbehave, damage our over-priced goods, and cry into the night. And yet- there remains a middle ground where our choice to care for them meets the purity of their friendship and promised love.

6.) My Diagnoses.

I live with three major mental health conditions. It is something that has taken me all my young life to understand and manage wisely. Human suffering is universal, and therefore, has the power to inform. Suffering teaches compassion, empathy, and gratitude for the boring and mundane through shared experiences of loss and abuse. Suffering provides perspective when the unexpected uproars happen, giving you the strength and reassurance that it could always be worse. It gives us art, boundaries, and grace. Illness gives us the choice to victimize ourselves by ceding to self-absorbed unhappiness and self-medication, or to assign pain a function through self-love and recognition, to release it from its all consuming vanity, and serve those in need.

So it seems this free-association piece has secured my livelihood by circumventing my subconscious, and coming full circle on the reoccurring theme of choice.

What is guarding your joy this holiday season?

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!

 

 

Mental health, Parenting

How to Cope with a Narcissistic Mother

sg

Dear Readers,

In my experience, people get the concept of narcissism correct fifty percent of the time. Most people gather the first definition, when in reality there are two:

A.) Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

B.) Self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

The reason this matters is simply because one can be more harmful than the other. Most people generalize narcissism as an irksome personality trait to be avoided, however, in the event of a full blown disorder it can become catastrophic, specifically within the context of the mother-daughter dynamic. That is to say, there is a difference between a pesky inflated sense of self, and conceptualizing others as part of your own ego to reap a benefit regardless of the pain it causes. This topic truly makes me ill. So, onward and upward to the coping strategies!

JP Thorpe at Bustle Magazine writes,

“You may think your mother hits all the items on the narcissism inventory, but the odds that she’s received a formal psychological diagnosis are slim. However, lack of a formal diagnosis doesn’t mean that knowledge about how narcissism operates can’t inform your interactions with her. It’s important to note that if your mother only fits a few traits, rather than the majority of them, you shouldn’t dismiss the entire idea out of hand; narcissistic aspects to a personality can be deeply harmful, and even just a few can still deeply impact your relationship with your mother and the way you were raised. The good news is that there are psychological strategies that can help us attempt to deal with the difficulties of narcissistic mothers; the bad news is that the methods can be difficult themselves (and your mother almost definitely isn’t going to like them).

1.) Recognize the Competition

McBride is quick to point out that it is daughters who tend to face particular difficulties with narcissistic mothers, in part because their mother often see them as competition. “A narcissistic mother,” she writes, “sees her daughter, more than her son, as a reflection and extension of herself rather than as a separate person with her own identity.” Separating out your own identity from your mother’s can be an immensely tricky thing as a woman, even without the added pressure of years of demands that you conform to behaviors that make your mother look good. It’s a double bind, though: daughters of narcissistic mothers will recognize the feeling that they’re meant to be perfect, but not quite so perfect that they overshadow their mom. Psychology Today pinpoints the source of this competition in your “youth and sexuality”: in your mom’s eyes, you are effectively your narcissistic mother 2.0, and she sees you as a direct threat.

This is not how we’re conditioned to see mothers, particularly ones who “look good” from the outside. Alas, it’s a key part of narcissistic maternal behavior. The next time your mother is thwarting or disparaging towards you, look at it like you would a competitor in some small contest in 4th grade who can’t accept losing. It won’t hurt less, but it might give you more of a handle on the situation.

2.) Understand That She is Unlikely to Change.

The notion that your mother may, bit by bit, eventually learn how to become a better maternal figure might have been a sustaining hope for years, but it’s important to know that this probably isn’t likely. Dr. Craig Malkin explains in his writing for Psychology Today that people with full-fledged narcissistic personality disorder may be capable of change, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen: “It’s not that people with NPD can’t change; it’s that it often threatens their sense of personhood to try.” Narcissistic people need to learn to empathize and feel vaguely insecure, and most are deeply uncomfortable with that feeling.

The psychotherapist Michelle Piper, who specializes in narcissistic mothers, points out that “ironically, though the people around the narcissistic mother can identify the source of their suffering, the narcissist does not believe she is the one who should change. Therefore, it is unlikely your mother sought treatment for narcissism.” Narcissists, she says, are “highly resistant” to treatment. The way to cope, therefore, is not in trying to force your mother to make changes in ways that will end in failure; it’s largely centered on you, and how you interact with her (or don’t).

3.) Trace How Her Behavior Has Influenced Yours. 

If you’re going to fully confront your relationship with your narcissistic mother, you need to do the uncomfortable work of looking at just how badly it has affected you — and then work on defusing or combating those particular aspects, so that she has less power. The Huffington Post has a solid collection of six signs that you were raised by a narcissistic mother: you fear her disapproval, you experience chronic indecisiveness because of her constant control over you, you experience the need to have others fulfill your needs, you have difficulty expressing feelings, as well as a fear of tantrums and anger, and a lack of boundaries with your mother herself.

Collectively, this can be categorized as “co-narcissism,” or the condition of adapting to life with a narcissistic person and developing weird emotional problems as a result. Dr. Alan Rappaport explains that “co-narcissistic people, as a result of their attempts to get along with their narcissistic parents, work hard to please others, defer to other’s opinions, worry about how others think and feel about them, are often depressed or anxious, find it hard to know their own views and experience, and take the blame for interpersonal problems.”

So once you’ve realized the patterns, what can you do? First things first: get a very good therapist, one who accepts the idea that your mother is a narcissist and will help you through the results.

Secondly, reassess your boundaries with your mother. Normal parenting does not require the majority of the child’s energy be devoted to soothing or attending to the parent; you are allowed to have your own life and needs, something a narcissistic mother will not understand. Consider developing boundaries, including the necessity of consequences every time she violates one.

4.) Don’t Feed the Inner Voice.

Many children of narcissistic parents will have a constant feeling of flexibility in their sense of self and a constant, nagging “inner voice” — what psychologist Lisa Firestone calls “an inner critic… that reminds them they are not good enough or that they need to be the best or they are nothing. Because their parents only value their accomplishments as they reflect on them, the child never truly feels they are good enough.” This inner voice can be deeply damaging and highly powerful, and it can take years of work to detach value from its proclamations of “nope, not good enough.” Cognitive behavioral therapy can be a very useful tool in gradually lessening the power of this critical inner voice; the tricky bit is that even if you know it’s not true, it can still be very loud in your head.

5.) Distinguish Between Conditional and Unconditional Love.

The Counselling Directory recommends that one of the main ways that daughters can heal from a narcissistic mother is to “[recognize] the internalized messages of conditional love and the effects in your life and relationships, both with others and yourself.” Conditional love is the key aspect of narcissistic maternal relationships: they only dispense love when you do something worthy that makes them look or feel good, and at all other times you have no value and therefore deserve no affection. Unconditional love, on the other hand, continues even if you are not “performing” or doing anything to deserve it; it assumes constantly that you are deserving, purely by dint of being yourself. Yes, this exists. No, really. Find people who give it to you, and hold onto the sense of contrast.

6.) Do Not Allow Other Narcissists to Come Along for the Ride.

Kathy Caprino at Forbes makes the salient point that daughters raised by narcissistic mothers can often be conditioned to view the narcissistic condition of love as normal, and therefore are open to relationships (friendships, intimate relationships) with other narcissists. “They are so familiar with narcissism (because they dealt with it all their lives),” she writes, “that they unconsciously attract it into their lives, through their adult relationships, and in their work cultures and careers.” If you’ve identified your mother as a narcissist, apply the same test to others. Do they bear the hallmarks? Is the way in which they deal with you unnervingly familiar? This is not normal and you should not accept it as such.

7.)  Consider Cutting Her Off.

Sometimes establishing boundaries, working on yourself, going to therapy, understanding your past and finding unconditional love still isn’t enough. Narcissistic mothers can have the power to make life utterly miserable (and to be totally unrepentant while doing so). And there is weighty evidence in favor of cutting them out of your life. Psychologist Dr. Pat Frankish, writing in The Guardian in 2012 about a woman who had cut off communication with her mother, commented that she “had her identity, her vitality and her energy sapped – and if she stays in touch with the person who is taking all that from her, she’ll be unable to maintain a sense of herself. It’s a question of whether you succumb or survive – and she has chosen survival.”

It’s excellent phrasing to emphasize just how horrific the experience can be, and how justified a complete cut-off can be. If this is the choice you’re considering, you’ll likely find Gabrielle Moss’s guide to guilt at cutting off contact helpful. Otherwise, many experts recommend “low contact“: strictly controlled interactions where you determine what is and isn’t acceptable, and leave or hang up the second she crosses the line. If you choose this, don’t feel guilty. You’re not being a bad child; it’s justified self-protection. ”

It goes without saying that this dynamic can have a harmful impact on the heart and mind of a developing child. When narcissism exists within the space where love and acceptance should be, the end result of this shaping is considerably altered from that of a healthy fruitful parent-child relationship. If this sounds all too familiar to you, I recommend starting with low-contact boundaries while slowly incorporating the above mentioned coping strategies. Anything worth doing is never easy, but removing avenues of abuse in your life is always called for.

Discuss: Are you in a narcissistic mother-daughter dynamic? Which of these resonated most with you?

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!