The Most Devastating Tactic in the Narcissist’s Tool Kit

Source: The Most Devastating Tactic in the Narcissist’s Tool Kit


Handling Holiday Stress….

Set yourself up for success by adjusting your expectations and preparing for the unexpected.

1. Expect the unexpected. Keep in mind that when you’re dealing with 2 households and extended family, anything can happen. It’s OK if plans get changed without your consent. When you start to feel the anxiety increasing and the frustration bubbling up, excuse yourself and take 5 minutes to calm your mind and body. This simple grounding meditation will physiologically calm you, restoring your sense of peace and enabling you to use the part of your brain where logic lives. (Or have a glass of wine! lol)

2. Have a support system on call. Because holidays can magnify the feeling of aloneness in a step-family, have your favorite people on call just in case you need to feel connected. You can slip away to text, call or Skype with them.

3. This too shall pass. After you’ve taken a moment to scream in your car, beat on a pillow or cry your eyes out (it’s healthy to release your emotions), remind yourself that it’s just a day. Remind yourself that feeling like a family can take years and that it won’t always be like this. Remind yourself that no matter what happens or how plans fall through, tomorrow the sun will rise. (Install a kickboxing or sparring bag somewhere just for you for these moments…works wonders!!!)

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20 Behaviors or Feelings a Target Parent May Experience…

20 Behaviors or Feelings a Target Parent May Experience:

  1. Recurrent, intrusive, upsetting memories of traumatic events of the alienation. Distressing flashbacks.
  2. Avoiding distressing memories, thoughts, feelings, and even external reminders of events related to the alienation or continuing rejection by your child.
  3. Negative Mood or Thoughts.
  4. Difficulty controlling emotions.
  5. Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, poor attention.
  6. Irrational problem solving.
  7. Arousal – or the “flight” part of “flight or fight” which can be part of sleep disturbances and hyper-vigilance.
  8. Staying upset for a prolonged period of time after being exposed to the trauma-related reminders (e.g., people, conversations, places, objects, conversations, activities).
  9. Feeling alienated from others, whether detachment or estrangement.
  10. Exaggerated startle response.
  11. Uncontrollable rage and anger.
  12. Constant fear and anguish.
  13. Paranoia.
  14. Avoidance of the aggressor.
  15. Avoidance of the children.
  16. Distancing themselves from everyone around them.
  17. Putting up walls to protect themselves.
  18. Obsessive compulsive issues.
  19. Over-exaggerated responses.

 Note: Some might argue that the Favored Parent also suffers from some of the characteristics of PTSD, with their primary trauma being the loss of the marriage. Exhibiting any of the behavioral or emotional symptoms from above is not necessarily a way to differentially diagnose a Target Parent from a Favored Parent.