Fran’s old role in her dysfunctional, toxic family was to be the fixer, enabler and rescuer.  Her parents were an alcoholic and a narcissist.  They were incompetent at most everything in life except bullying and abusing the children, creating chaos and destroying everyone’s self-esteem.  Fran held it together for everyone while everyone ignored her hurts and her wants.  The rule for her was get over it and move ahead, which meant to give in, eat the pain and let them do it to her again and again.

Even when Fran became an adult and had her own family, her parents and siblings still expected her to drop everything and serve them with a smile, no matter how rude, abusive and taking her for granted they were.  If she resisted, she felt guilty and they twisted the knife; “Stop being selfish and arrogant.  Set a good example for your children.  Take care of us, your family.  If you don’t, no one will like you and you’ll die alone.”

Fran finally said, “No!” but they attacked her harder.
She said she was not playing her old role any longer.  Her parents told her she was responsible for ripping the family apart.  Her siblings said she was causing her parents too much grief, she should be a better person and overlook what had been done, she should rise above and keep the family together, it was her duty.

Fran laughed, agreed and told them exactly what she wanted.
Fran’s hurts and hints had been ignored.  Clearly they didn’t care about her feelings or boundaries.  This time when she was attacked, she laughed and said she knew that’s what they’d say, and she’d won a bet with her husband.  She was delighted to be the most selfish and stubborn of the children.  She was going to cause all of them grief because they needed the grief in order to grow.  They’d better get used to it.  She told them they were to blame for breaking the family.

They were taken aback that she wasn’t beaten into submission by their usual tactics.
She told them each exactly what they’d have to do to get back into her life.  And she waited.  She would not be the first one to approach.  After a while, some of them approached her with their usual name calling and manipulation.  She laughed at them, said that wasn’t good enough and hung up.

Fran’s husband and children cheered her on.
She was done with guilt and regret.  They started enjoying life together without Fran’s having to run off to be a servant to her toxic family.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Ellie was so frustrated, she was ready to give up.  She could never set boundaries with her bullying, narcissistic parents, her controlling, manipulative husband or her demanding, entitled adult children.

They ignored what she wanted.  Actually, whenever she said she wanted something, they got busy demanding she do the opposite.

They always used her as their servant.
Her parents acted as if her time was their time.  She should drop whatever she was doing and do what they wanted when it was convenient for them.  Her husband ignored her opinions and demanded she wait on him.  Or he criticized her and showed her she was too stupid or too selfish to vote.  He never wanted to be with her or interact with her unless she said she was very busy.  Then he’d need her to do things for him or he’d demand she talk or watch television with him.  Her children said her job was to make them happy.  If she didn’t, she was a bad mother; they wouldn’t love her and they’d estrange from her.

Ellie was riddled with self-doubt.  She had low self-esteem and no confidence.
She was always either angry or she was sad and depressed.  They said they were happy except when she’d failed them so why couldn’t she be happy.

She thought, if only she were a better person, she could serve them better and not carry around a huge weight of guilt.  And if she deserved better, she’d be able to set effective boundaries.  Since the people closest to her were so unhappy with her, something must be terribly wrong with her.

Ellie thought they were so unpredictable, she’d never be able to satisfy them.
Ellie finally saw that, actually, they were very predictable.  They wanted her to serve them, instantly; to do whatever they wanted at the moment.  Her voice never mattered.  Actually, whenever she had an opinion or wanted something, they’d instantly change in order to thwart her.  Thwarting her and making her serve them was most important to them.  Servants or slaves are not allowed to have personal wants or preferences.

They never listened to her boundaries because she only talked but would never act on her “No.”
The only consequence to them was putting up with her threats.  They seemed to enjoy her frustration and anger.  They knew her anger would blow over and she’d get so frustrated, eventually she’d give in and do what they demanded.  Then they could enjoy beating her up for being angry at them.

Ellie set effective boundaries only when she acted on her opinions and wants, without their agreement and approval.
Her assertion of her boundaries mattered only when she couldn’t be talked out of doing what she’d said; when her opinion was the only one that mattered and she actually did what they didn’t like.  They protested and argued, they guilt-tripped her and they ganged up on her.  But when her “”No” actually became “No,” whatever they wanted or thought, she able to take charge of her life.

Ellie finally honored her Spirit.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling
2 CommentsPost a comment

The short autobiography below captures many parts of the recovery from trauma perpetrated by bullies and narcissists.

Bullies and narcissists usually cause complex trauma and stress by:

  1. Overt intimidation.  Adults have control and power over children.  Their relentless mental, emotional, physical and spiritual negativity, criticism and abuse leaves scars.  The threat of being destroyed is ever-present.
  2. Sneaky Bullying.  They manipulate, guilt-trip, back-stab and lie.  They never believe us when we complain about our treatment.  They mock us and put us down, while saying they’re just kidding.  They use emotional blackmail words, saying we’re over-sensitive, have no sense of humor, are unloving, uncaring, selfish and arrogant.  They say we owe them and we’re bullying them.

Self-Bullying.
We carry their words in our heads as self-bullying.  We continue to suppress our “Inner Knowing,” our “Accurate Intuition,” our “Gut Wisdom,” like they trained us to do.  We repeat the old self-doubt and lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.  We stop ourselves because “They might be right.  How do we know for sure?”

They want to convince us resistance is futile.
They want us to give up because they’ll never give up.  Their bullying seems like a matter of life or death to them.  When we’re children, resistance might be futile but since we’re adults now we can become free in our minds and hearts, and free physically and financially.

They want to use us as slaves or servants because:

  1. Slaves and servants do all the work and masters don’t have to pay them much.
  2. Slaves and servants have no lives of their own.  They’re supposed to be standing at alert; ready at any moment to respond to their masters’ wishes.
  3. Slaves and servants are supposed to smile and laugh when their masters beat them for any whim or reason.
  4. Slaves and servants can be useful for a long time and then discarded whenever bullies want.

We have power over ourselves and, therefore, we can create an Isle of Song for ourselves.
I hope this short autobiography makes you laugh with recognition of part of the path of recovery you’ve taken.

Recovery: An Autobiography in Five Chapters - Anonymous

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in, again.
I can’t believe I’m in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out…

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I fall in…it’s a habit…but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down a different street.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Dana was an empath, always compassionate and understanding of her sisters and her youngest daughter.  They’d suffered so much that Dana felt she had to give into them, try to make them happy and overlook or minimize their criticism, bullying and abuse of herself and her other children.

Dana was stuck in the “Empathy Trap.”
The more she understood how they’d suffered growing up and the more she psychoanalyzed their pains and motives, the more she believed she had to accept and tolerate their overt hostility and sneaky negativity, whining, manipulation and back-stabbing.  Their greed and emotional neediness demanded that she understand and forgive them.  If she didn’t, she was cruel, heartless and guilty.

That kind of psychoanalysis makes targets put up with being victimized.
Psychoanalysis trivialized Dana’s pain to make her explain, understand and forgive them.  Dana wanted to be a good person; kind, loving and understanding.  There seemed no way out for her, even though she knew her other children were also suffering.

How could Dana resist when she felt so sorry for them?
When Dana realized she had believed a lie, it was easy.  She’d been taught the only way to show understanding and empathy was to give in to them.  That’s what they wanted her to believe.  But it’s a lie.

Dana realized she could have strong feelings for their suffering; she could understand and feel sorry they chose narcissism and bullying as their default styles.  And that giving in and catering to them never changed their feelings or behavior.  They felt more powerful and increased their demands.

Giving in to them only perpetuated their behavior; she’d become an enabler, a colluder, an accomplice.
Dana decided the best way to help them was to show them that their chosen victimhood, their outrage and attacks, their vindictive, sneaky manipulation and guilt-tripping would not get them what they wanted.  Kicking them off her Isle of Song was the best teaching lesson for them.

Now she could love them and feel compassion for them from a distance.
She could light candles, she could pray, she could hope a miracle changed their hearts and their favorite tactics to get what they wanted.  And sometimes she’d say, “You must do better and I know you can.”

As Maya Angelou said, “Being kind doesn’t mean one has to be a mat.”

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Cindy’s parents used her like a slave.

  • They knew better; she was always wrong, stupid and shouldn’t trust herself.
  • They corrected, criticized, yelled and threated; they lied and manipulated; they bullied, punished and abused her.
  • They convinced her she’d be alone and a failure unless she did what they wanted.  They convinced her she was disobedient, selfish and uppity if she disagreed.
  • She was supposed to accept their treatment as love and caring; she was supposed to be smiling, happy and loving of them.  If she resisted, she was bad and guilty; she should feel ashamed.  She deserved their wrath.

No surprise: Cindy married a man who treated her the same way and raised children who continued the pattern.

Cindy lived in a world of selfish, bullying narcissists.
She never trusted her opinion or judgment.  She had low self-esteem and no self-confidence; she even beat herself up with self-questioning and self-doubt.  She knew she was never good enough to please the people most important to her.  Her future was a life of servitude; dark, dreary and depressing.

Cindy’s empathy, trained into her from birth, meant she always tried to please others first; maybe she could earn their caring and respect.
Of course she never succeeded in pleasing them enough; they never listened to her needs or even showed they cared about her feelings or voice.  She was supposed to be a humble, obedient servant to those who knew better.  Her job was to serve and to please.  

Cindy spent her life trying to prove herself, as if she was defending herself in front of a hostile judge and jurors in a court of law.
She never knew what was true, what to believe, what was right or what to do.  She was always on the defensive, always trying harder and never succeeding.

Cindy finally realized her childhood survival strategy wasn’t necessary or useful to her as an adult.
When she was abused as a child, she thought the big people knew better and she was supposed to obey.  It was natural to think she had to do things for them so they’d finally listen and be nice to her.  She squelched her anger, knowing if she let it out they would have destroyed her.  She was helpless.  And she perpetuated that silence and victim-attitude even when she became an adult.  Her husband and her children reinforced her slave mentality.  It served their desire for power and control; their desire to be waited on and catered to.

Cindy found the place in her that signaled her “Accurate Intuition.”
Her history showed her she could always trust that specific feeling in her gut.  She could stay in her body, see truth clearly and decide what she wanted to do.  She saw when she’d allowed them to talk her out of that truth or when she’d talked herself out of her truth, she was bewitched, deceived and taken advantage of.

Now she’s an adult.  She decided listen to herself always; she took power over herself and, therefore, over situations.
She decided to always trust that feeling (her Accurate Intuition) and act on it even before she could understand or justify it in a court of law.  Of course, the whole family was thrown into an uproar.  Of course, they tried to force her back into her assigned role as their humble, obedient servant.  But the more she trusted herself, the more wonderful, free and powerful she felt, and the more her future brightened.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

When Barbara’s son started having children and began to succeed in business he became a different person.  Previously he’d been sweet but self-centered.  Now, he lashed out at his parents and at his grown sisters over nothing and everything.  He criticized everything they did.  Nothing was ever good enough; he was abusive because they were guilty.  He claimed he’d never been given enough and they’d better start paying attention to him first or Barbara would never see her grandchildren.  They had to follow all his rules about family get-togethers and communication with him or else.

Pretty soon the whole family was focused on him.  Barbara and her daughters thought about him, talked about him and worried about him every day.  They obsessed on figuring out why he was angry; what they done wrong.  They became codependent peacemakers, and empathetic to his every whim.

The more they focused on him, the more demanding, selfish, bullying and narcissistic he acted.

Bullies and narcissists are nourished by power and control; by your focusing on them.
They insist on being the center of everyone’s attention and concern.  Barbara felt like she had intravenous feeding-tubes connected from her arms to feed him.  She felt more drained than when she was nursing him.  The girls felt like they were spoon feeding a baby 24/7 and couldn’t even spare time or energy to take care of their own families.

Finally Barbara and the girls made a pact: they wouldn’t think, worry, talk about him; they’d withdraw the drug he wanted.
In a deep reverie, Barbara removed the intravenous tubes and watched them attach at both ends to her son.  Her daughters put down their spoons and turned away from him to pay attention to their lives.  They stopped feeling guilty, stopped wondering what they’d done wrong, stopped thinking about his criticism and demands.

They felt free and started having fun.

Even before they did anything, her son reacted loudly, as if he could sense that his food and drug had been withdrawn.
That’s the way it seems; as if bullies and narcissists can sense a withdrawal of concern about what they think and do; as if they can sense when you’re not bullied by their feelings.  At first he doubled his attacks on them.  When that had no effect, he blamed on them.  Then he tried to manipulate them to argue with each other.

They remained clear; if he wanted attention he’d get it for good behavior, not bad.
Staying on track was hard, but their path was clear and simple.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. 1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. 2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling
3 CommentsPost a comment

Alice’s parents reinforced Alice’s natural tendency to look outward, to sense what they wanted and then to satisfy those whims.  Alice grew up empathetic, knowing if she didn’t satisfy her parents she’d be punished severely.

She was taught to distrust what she knew (saw, heard, felt – her judgment, her inner truth).  She was told she was wrong, didn’t know what was true and if she followed her own heart or gut, she’d end up alone and unloved.  The way to get love was to turn to them for truth, explanations and direction, and to give them what they wanted.  If she listened to herself she was selfish, arrogant, and judgmental, and caused confrontations, which she always lost.  If she showed anger she’d be hurting her parents feelings and they’d criticize, bully and abuse her because she was guilty and a bad person.  She’d asked for it.

You can guess how her husband and children treated her.  She catered to everyone; she never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings by denying them what they wanted.

With help, Alice finally saw that everyone else got their desires met except her.
Her desires were ignored or scorned, or she was punished for having desires.  She was convinced that, by nature, she was an empath; controlled by other people, incapable of getting what she needed and doomed to be totally focused on satisfying others forever.   She was doomed to have low self-confidence, low self-esteem and to be co-dependent.  It was her fate.

With help, Alice found her own center and decided to be empathetic toward herself.
Now that she was an adult, she could use her empathetic skills to recognize what was actually happening in interactions with other people, to recognize how she felt and to listen to the voice of her Soul; to never talk herself out of listening to her “accurate intuition.”  When she did this, her mind stopped racing and she found herself calm, joyous and full of inner peace.  The bullying external voices from her parents, husband and children were muffled.  Her inner dialogue quieted and her self-bullying inner voices stopped.  She was able to hear her own voice and felt strong enough to act on it.

Everyone protested angrily.
They were enraged that Alice was no longer their servant.  They told her she was bad, selfish and would go straight to hell.  And she’d be alone and lonely here on earth before she got there.  Alice persisted.  She said, “That’s what you want me to believe but it’s not true.  I feel fine.  And if you’re nice to me and take care of me also, I’ll still take care of you reasonably.”

Alice did not turn into a selfish, narcissistic person.
She simply trusted her own judgment and to meet some of her needs.  She saw who the greedy narcissists and bullies were.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situationThe best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Zora’s husband and children were mean to her.  She recounted many incidents when they were negative, critical and sarcastic in public and in private, even when she was fixing wonderful meals for them or she was driving them wherever they wanted to go.  They never considered what she wanted or how she felt.  They seemed to know when she was weakest or trying her best to please them, and then they tore her down mercilessly.  She kept explaining the way loving people should treat each other but they either laughed or ignored her.

Zane’s parents and wife were demeaning, demanding and abusive.  In public they’d put him down and criticize him to anyone who’d listen.  They tried to control everything he did and thwarted his attempts to do what he wanted.  They’d laugh, even years later, at every mistake he’d made and they ignored his successes.  He felt like a servant who was never good enough and who could be whipped whenever they felt like it.

Why does it matter whether they meant to be mean?
To Zora and Zane, it mattered totally.  They couldn’t believe the people they loved could be intentionally mean; they must be trying as hard as they could.  Since they assumed the torment was unintended, their job was to educate and teach those people better ways…forever.  They shouldn’t give their tormentors any consequences since they didn’t know how hateful and hurtful they were being.  Their job was to forgive their tormentors as long as it took.  Surely, someday, their love would be strong enough that their perpetrators would wake up and see the error of their ways.

Zora and Zane realized why they could never set boundaries.
No one listened because there were never any consequence for being mean.  It was as if Zora and Zane had no voice in their families.  When Zora and Zane began to look with new eyes they saw the people around them as uncaring, not merely ignorant.  They saw their tormentors enjoying being selfish, narcissistic and bullying.  The choice to be uncaring was easier than paying attention to Zora and Zane.  They enjoyed having a servant or a slave they didn’t have to pay attention to.

They’d chosen to be mean so often, it’d become a habit.
By now, they didn’t have to plan to be mean; it came naturally.  They were the center of their universe; their feelings, whims and fears mattered.  Zora and Zane’s didn’t.

Zora and Zane broke the family dynamic.
When they stopped accepting the pain and hurt, when the said “No,” and, especially, when they applied consequences, everything changed.  Words didn’t have an impact, only deeds were effective.

At first, their tormentors protested loudly and tried many methods of emotional blackmail, manipulation and guilt-tripping.  But when Zora and Zane remained steadfast and committed to the standards of how they wanted to be treated, when they stopped giving reasons, debating and arguing, when they stopped asking for permission to do what they wanted, when they said, “I don’t care what you think and want, you’re not nice to me so you get nothing,” their oppressors had to adjust or get nothing.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situationThe best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Wendy’s parents had gotten her to serve them forever by telling her a good, kind, spiritual person must give without expectations.  Her husband had insisted on the same rule.

She could see one way in which they were right: she did all the giving and she never got anything back.  They ignored or laughed at what she wanted.  It was trivial; she was silly.  She felt like a servant; no, like a slave.

All the people who told Wendy to give without expectations were freeloaders and takers.
They never gave in return.  And they were never satisfied with what she gave.  It was never good enough or sufficient.  There were always more demands.  And when she wanted something she was called selfish, needy, greedy.

Wendy said she was told to have low expectations of people but to hope that if she gave enough, she’d finally get back eventually, maybe in heaven.
But what did “have low expectations” really mean.  She was told it meant she should accept and tolerate their poor performance and not giving back, it’s all they’re capable of.  Even more, it was all her fault because her high expectations were arrogant, greedy and demanding.  That’s why people didn’t give back.  She was also told her low expectations caused them to perform poorly.  It made no sense; it was confusing.

Exhausted, drained and in despair, Wendy realized their lack of giving, caring or appreciation was not her fault; it was them.
They were selfish and narcissistic on their own.  She was bullied and abused because that’s what they did.  She was blamed and guilt-tripped because that’s how they manipulated her.  Her fault was letting it continue.

The question was not really what she could do to explain, educate or enlighten them.
She’s been ignored by them all her life.  She was important only as a provider of what they wanted.  She realized they hadn’t changed in all their lives.  They’d never change by anything she did.  She couldn’t educate, convert or win them.

The real question for her was if she wanted to keep wasting her life tolerating their behavior or trying to rehabilitate them?
She’d have to pit her judgment against theirs.  She hadn’t done that successfully before and they had a lifetime of experience manipulating and emotionally blackmailing her.  But the pain of thousands of examples she kept in front of her mind helped her be strong and persevering.  Wendy decided she didn’t have to convince them she was right, she could act on what she decided was right, without their understanding or agreement.

Wendy stopped wasting her life being the person who fed everyone while they picked her flesh like vultures.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Vera couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop obsessing on her two adult children who were continuously selfish, bullying and abusive.  She knew it hadn’t started when one was displeased that the wonderful wedding Vera and her husband had provided wasn’t lavish enough, while the other was angry that Vera and her husband hadn’t bought her a house as a wedding present.

They’d always been entitled, demanding and narcissistic.  They’d begun working on the third sister to estrange from their parents also.

Vera was overcome with grief and failure.  They were so angry; she must have done something wrong.
Not true.  Vera hadn’t done anything particularly bad to them.  She hadn’t even over-indulged them.  She’d tried to teach them the value of hard work and the importance of gratitude for the things they got.  But they hadn’t wanted to learn those lessons.  They’d whined, complained and demanded when they didn’t get what they wanted.  They thought the world owed them everything they wanted.

Vera kept asking, “Why so many selfish, narcissistic, entitled, adult children now?”

Her friends gave Vera explanations that depressed and immobilized her; that made her feel powerless, helpless, hopeless:

  • If the kids are spoiled it must be the parents’ fault.  She’d either been too harsh or too indulgent.  And she should never talk about it.  It was too embarrassing.
  • The children were subverted by the experts, the media and their friends.  The forces in the world were too strong for them to resist.
  • There must be something wrong in the water or the tooth paste because so many adult children were like that.  Or, maybe, Vera simply had bad genes that ruined her children.

I do think many commonly accepted rules of parenting are wrong.  For example, I think it’s false that making children happy builds inner strength, character and kindness.  But knowing that now is not going to help Vera or other afflicted parents.

These excuses and justifications for her adult children only made her feel more ashamed and guilty.  She kept obsessing on every incident she could remember in order to identify the thing she must have done wrong.  Then, maybe, she could apologize and reconcile

Explanations that gave Vera clarity and hope were:

  • It’s not Vera’s fault.  An epidemic of selfish, entitled, arrogant adult children has occurred in every society I’ve studied that has gotten wealthy.  For example; we have Greek plays written 2,400 years ago, after the Greeks conquered Persia, where the next generations of adult children treated their parents even worse than adult children do now.
  • No matter what happened to them, the individual adult children always made the choices.  Fear, greed and the pleasure of torturing someone only stimulated their selfish, narcissistic behavior.  Vera decided the problem was her children, they were making choices while being swept away by their thoughts and feelings.  They chose to be weak, lazy and cowardly.  They chose to remain childish; manipulating or beating their parents into giving them goodies.

Could Vera teach them they were being selfish, arrogant and narcissistic?
She saw that everything she and her friends had tried with their children had failed.  The problem couldn’t be solved by lectures, education, scripture.  You can’t educate people who don’t want to be educated.  You can’t educate people who enjoy feeling victimized and responding with righteous anger.  You can’t get a scorpion to stop stinging, a vulture to stop wanting carcasses to pick on or a narcissist to change her spots.

Those children would have to learn the hard way; through suffering when their tactics no longer worked.  Narcissists need a complete change of heart.  Miracles are above Vera’s pay grade.

Were her friends right when they told her to always keep the door open, no matter how much pain they inflicted on her?
No.  Keeping the door open made the predators happy and gave them feelings of control and power.  One of her daughters had even said she wanted to inflict on Vera ten times the pain she’d felt when she hadn’t gotten what she wanted.  Keeping the door open only reinforced her daughters’ joy at tormenting and torturing her.  Keeping the door open guaranteed failure.

Vera decided to protect herself from predators and parasites who wanted to bleed her dry.
She told those daughters she was done with them the way they were.  She was no longer their servant, slave or whipping-girl.  She stopped making excuses for them, stopped reaching out and stopped apologizing. When they attacked her, she laughed at their temper tantrums or told them off angrily; especially in public.

 She told them she’d find people who would return her love and kindness with love and kindness of their own.  She cut them off and started going out and being as happy as she could.

She told them she’d always love the potential for good she still saw in them, but she despised the narcissistic, characterless people they’d chosen to become.  She hoped their struggle to make themselves happy would help them develop good character.  She knew they could do it if they wanted to.

This path has the possibility of success, which is better than the guarantee of failure on the path of accepting blame and always reaching out.

Of course, it was hard.  Vera’s heart was broken for a while.
Her daughters were stunned and upset.  They’d lost all their power and control.  One became even more vicious but the other learned the hard way.  And that daughter and the youngest one turned against the vicious one.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Once again Tracy’s narcissistic, toxic parents told her she was wrong and bad.  If she didn’t do what they wanted, she’d bring shame on them and the whole family.  They’d have to punish her by having the whole extended family estrange from her and by shunning her children.  It was bad enough that she married someone different from the person her parents had chosen, even worse that they’d moved away, totally unacceptable that Tracy and her husband were successful on their own and completely shameful the way she was raising their grandchildren.

Tracy didn’t need her parents’ money but she didn’t want to shame them.  She wanted their love and approval.  And she wanted the comfort and security of the extended family.  Her guilt and shame waged war with her anger at the bullying, manipulation and abuse she’d endured all her life for being independent and different from them.

Tracy had left the culture that had always ruled her and caused her pain. Some rules in the old culture (“cult”) were:

  • Tradition and her parents’ decisions were more important than anything Tracy wanted as an individual.
  • The name of the relationship, “daughter,” determined rules and roles that were more important than any other standard of behavior.  Tracy must follow the old rules and the role ordained for her as a daughter and female or else she would be made to suffer.  
  • Her parents could do whatever they wanted to draw her back into the tradition and culture of the old ways.  Any abuse or punishment was her own fault.  Tracy’s parents tended to use shame, guilt and emotional manipulation.  Her mother often wailed, “I nearly died having you and this is how you treat me.  You’re throwing our love back in our faces.  You’re selfish and ungrateful.”  Other parents in their old cultures will use threats of withdrawing money and love.

Tracy’s anger provided motivation, strength and courage for her to live her life in a new culture in which:

  • She could marry the person she loved and raise her children in the way she wanted.  Her individual decisions were more important than tradition and her parents’ rules for “Right and Proper Behavior.”
  • She could decide who she’d have a close relationship with based on how they treated her, not on the name of the relationship and someone else’s rules and roles for her.

Her bullying, toxic, narcissistic parents and their allies tried to subvert Tracy’s children and co-opt them back into their culture.
They tried to convince the children that Tracy and her husband were uncaring and unloving of their grandparents.  They tried to bribe the children with presents and money.  When these tactics failed, they were willing to pressure Tracy with the threat of estranging or abandoning her and their grandchildren

Tracy does have to protect herself and her children by distancing them from attacks by whoever in the family tries to control them and drag them back into the old ways.
But she does not have to distance herself from everyone in her extended family.  She can still be close to those who simply want to enjoy a good relationship with her and her family.

If her parents continue to turn their backs on Tracy, she’ll have to find and create a new family; a family of her heart, mind and spirit.
She’ll have to stop wanting love and approval from people who won’t give them to her unless she submits to their rule.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Sarah finally felt it forcibly when her husband said he wouldn’t talk about her complaints; she didn’t deserve an opinion and she certainly didn’t get to vote on his behavior.  Then he walked out of the room whistling.  He’d said and done things like this before, but she’d never felt his contempt so clearly and strongly before.

Bullies, narcissists treat you with contempt.
Of course, toxic parents, abusive adult children, fake friends and co-workers also treat people with contempt.

She allowed herself to see that he chose to get stuck in normal, early-child development.
Most babies are born selfish and demanding.  They demand food and changed at 2 in the morning whether we like it or not.  As we grow, we learn to take other people’s feelings and wishes into account.  Usually, we learn because there are consequences if we don’t.

Sarah’s husband thought he didn’t need to take her into account.   He was right.  Years of getting what he wanted had only increased his contempt for her, not his love and caring for her.  He didn’t even try to bribe her by promising to change but then not doing anything.  He could get what he wanted by ignoring her, making her submit, manipulating her or guilt-tripping her.  The worse he got, the more she tried to save him.

He usually said, “You’re not perfect so you have to accept me as I am.  So shut up!”
Sarah knew she wasn’t perfect so, in the past, she’d talked herself into accepting and submitting.  But now she felt different.  She realized when she lost her temper, he’d provoked her.  But he was always angry and took his rage out on her.  She was the dog he kicked.  Now she decided her 10% failings did not equal his 90%.  It was not the same.

Something snapped within her.
She was done trying to help him see how cruel he was; how he was throwing their marriage away.  After years of constant criticism, negativity, scorn, bullying and abuse, she gave up trying to save him from himself.  He’d never listened to her; never cared about what she wanted.  In his eyes, she was good only for the money she gave him and how good he felt when he beat her, physically, mentally and emotionally.

When I’d said he treated her like a slave or servant, she hadn’t felt the impact.  But his contempt had broken her desire to put herself on harm’s way anymore.  She’d pray for him but she wouldn’t save, rescue or enable him anymore.

Maybe if she tried harder one more time, he’d understand and change.
This thought had kept Sarah attached and playing his game.  She’d always talked herself out of leaving by thinking, “Since I don’t know the future, maybe one more loving attempt will save him.  Maybe if I loved him more?”  But no more.  Now she decided her task in life was not to save him.  She was done trying because she didn’t want to endure the pain any longer.  She decided that was more than enough reason for her.  She wouldn’t waste the rest of her life on him.  She’d take her pearls elsewhere.  She’d save herself.  He was on his own.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

One of Ralph’s daughters tried to bully Ralph into giving her everything she wanted at every moment to make up for the sins she felt he’d committed years ago.  Ralph and the other children thought his only fault was giving her too much.  She tried to rally the other children to beat Ralph into submission or she tried to manipulate them into hating Ralph.  Everyone in the family knew it was her way or the highway; there was no in between, no peace except through taking her side.  They knew disagreement started a war to the death with her.

Rachael’s parents always controlled her.  When she was growing up, if she didn’t do exactly what they wanted, she was abused physically, mentally and emotionally.  Her most important job was to be obedient, to submit and to serve.  Even though she was now grown and had her own family, they told her she had to honor them by doing everything they wanted immediately.  If she ever protested or refused, they got everyone in the extended family to threaten her.  They also got everyone in town and in the Church to pressure her.

Bullies and narcissists create cults.  Some of the characteristics of these cults are:

  1. You don’t know what’s right or true; you can’t trust yourself or your judgment.  That message to Rachael created great self-questioning and self-doubt all her life.  She lacked self-confidence and self-esteem.  She couldn’t trust her intuition.  For example, when she was tormented by her parents, they said those were acts of love.  She should feel guilty if she disagreed or was angry.
  2. They’re right; they know everything; they can justify everything; you must submit to their wisdom and authority.  Ralph’s daughter knew the truth about every voice tone or facial expression she didn’t like.  Everything Ralph did showed he loved the other children more.  Nothing he did was ever right or good enough, even when she changed her mind every moment about what she wanted.  It was all-or-none, black-and-white; she knew everything, he knew nothing.
  3. You must believe everything; you must follow all the rituals the way they want.  Rachael’s parents insisted she never doubt or question their authority.  All family holidays and birthdays must be done exactly the way they wanted or else.  Rachael’s parents insisted she shun anyone they didn’t like at the moment, including her husband’s parents.  She was not allowed to be nice to them.
  4. You must be their slave or servant.  Ralph must sacrifice everything for that one daughter and leave everything to her.  He must rescue and enable her whenever she wanted.  His wishes didn’t count, only hers were important.  He must submit to her verbal beatings with a smile and grovel for her forgiveness.  He could show he was sorry and took all the blame by giving her everything.  She treated him with contempt.
  5. You are held hostage; if you try to leave the cult you’re an infidel; people who are not in the cult are infidels.  Anyone who didn’t agree with Rachael’s parents were bad and sinful, and whatever was done to them was deserved.  Minor infractions could be treated with major punishment.  If Rachael ever tried to leave the cult, they would pursue her, ruin her; she would fail in life, starve, be alone forever or be damned to hell.  Everyone should attack her because that’s what we must do to infidels.  They used force, emotional blackmail, manipulation and guilt.

Ralph and Rachael felt stuck.
They correctly saw they were being presented with all-or-none choices: submit or lose everything.  Ralph would never see one set of grandchildren and might be estranged by his other children also.  Rachael was haunted by guilt and fear if she didn’t give in to her loving and needy parents.

Both Ralph and Rachael faced their choices and decided they would not be slaves or servants to bullies or narcissists, even in their own families.  They would not accept the abuse; temper tantrums were not acceptable; no excuses.  They required high standards of behavior.  

They were surprised.
When they took strong stands, many people took their sides, including Ralph’s other children and Rachael’s husband and children.  They’d simply been waiting for Ralph and Rachael to stand up for themselves and for high standards of polite, civil behavior.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

One of Polly’s daughters had always been selfish, narcissistic, entitled, demanding and RIGHT.  At 35 she’d become even worse.  Polly or her other children could never do anything good enough.  Her daughter’s demands changed and escalated every moment.  She was relentless in her bullying and abuse.   She fought as if every little thing was life-or-death.

Sometimes she was overt – throwing things, yelling, spitting or hitting whoever she was angry at.  Sometimes she was sneaky and manipulative – making up lies, slyly spreading poisonous opinions, stimulating people to feel insulted or left out, lying and backstabbing with a smile.  She’d organize other people as her “flying monkeys” to attack her scapegoat of the moment.

One rotten narcissist can spoil a whole barrel of good apples.
Polly was very competent.  She could always find ways of bringing other people together and negotiating peace.  But nothing had ever changed her bullying, narcissistic daughter.  It was her daughter’s way or a fight to the death.  The rest of Polly’s children gave in; “That was the way she always was.”  Polly had never stopped her, so they simply abandoned the fight.

Holidays always ended in anger and fights because somebody had always offended her daughter.  Polly’s family was falling apart.  Her children didn’t want their children to be with their sister and her children.  The pain and poison were spread all around.

Polly finally accepted she couldn’t rescue her daughter; it was above her job description.
The price of enabling her daughter to control the whole family was losing her family.  The other children were becoming selfish and nasty, or victims in order to protect themselves from emotional damage.  Trying to reason with her daughter would not save the barrel.  It’s as useless as trying to resist gravity by flapping your arms.  Giving in to gravity is hard for smart, competent people who’ve always been able to find solutions.

Polly accepted she was not giving up on her daughter; she was simply accepting gravity and the need to remove a rotten apple before all the other apples are ruined.  It was her job as the mother to save as many of the good apples as she could.  And to pray for her daughter.

Polly had to use strong measures, e.g., police and social services, before her daughter was forced to accept help.  That was the only way Polly could see to save her grandchildren from their toxic, narcissistic mother.  Polly was surprised that when she stopped letting her daughter act out, her other children rallied behind her.  But that’s the way it usually is.

We can also look at narcissists like we look at infected splinters or cancer cells.  We all know what we need to do.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Olive’s abusive, bullying, narcissistic parents always knew better than she did.  She learned very early never to speak up.  Her wishes were simply ignored or she was beaten physically and verbally for being selfish and prideful enough to voice her opinion in defiance of theirs.  She was guilty of the worst sin – thinking she knew what was best for her.

They married her to a man who started where they left off.  She must submit to his authority, values and wisdom.  She could never convince him she was right.  When she had evidence, he lied or changed the subject.  As far as he was concerned, she was selfish; never loving or caring enough.  She was not a good enough wife.

Beware of bullies and narcissists who know better than you do.
Kids must learn to trust their accurate sense of what’s going on and then to distrust their suspicions based on fear and wishful thinking.  Bullies and narcissists try to destroy your inner sense of self; your inner Knowing that you see and hear what’s actually happening.  They try to create self-doubt, to destroy your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. They want you to think you’ll be all alone if you leave.  They’re trying to convince you that resistance is futile.

Olive could never set boundaries.
No matter how logical and reasonable Olive was, no matter what evidence she offered, her parents and husband never gave in.  They told her to take the “High Road,” which meant doing what they wanted.  Whatever she demanded something, they simply ignored or manipulated her by agreeing but not doing what she wanted.  They felt justified trampling on her boundaries.  She just didn’t understand; they knew better than she did.

Trust your gut’s Knowing even if you can’t prove it in court; protect and defend yourself from their mind-control.
When we’re kids, we need people to feed us.  One survival strategy is to duck and keep out of harm’s way as best we can.  We accept their control in order to survive.  Good idea.

We must keep our Spirit hidden and strong until we can get out of prison.  When we’re adults we can escape.  Then we must pit our own experience and wisdom against all of theirs.  We must stand up in the face of all of them and say, “No.”  We can escape from their cult, which was established on our fear and guilt; our distrust of our own feelings and Knowings.  

Stop talking to bullies and narcissists and go where your voice is respected.
With narcissists and bullies you can never set boundaries through talking or threatening.  End the torment by getting away.  No matter how hard.  No matter how long.

Only by clearing our personal space of bullies and narcissists can we fill our lives with people who respect and appreciate our voices.  With them, no need to prove, defend and fight.  Find and create your life with your true family; the family of your heart and Spirit.

Olive did and you can too.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Nancy felt pressured by everyone – husband, Church members, friends.

Even though her husband had been verbally and emotionally abusive he’d only hit her a few times.  Even though he spend most of his evenings eating out with other women, there was no evidence he was having affairs.  Even though he didn’t bring in any money and insisted on controlling all she made, he did allow her to get their grown children Christmas presents.  He even said he loved her and showed it by sometimes forcing her to have sex with him, especially when she was sick or in physical pain.

Everyone is a mixed bag, she was told, so you have to accept him as he is.  You shouldn’t try to change anyone.  After all, she wasn’t perfect either.  For example, she resisted his control, her life wasn’t focused on making him happy and she even disagreed with some of his decisions.

Nancy looked at what she wanted in her life, especially her marriage.
She made a target with a series of circles around a bull’s eye.  In the bull’s eye she put the things she didn’t want to tolerate – ever.  One strike you’re out.  And also the things she must have in different areas of her life.

Then in the next outer circle she put what was very important to her and what she felt very strongly she wouldn’t put up with.  In the next outer circle she put things that were more negotiable and so on until she go to the outer circle where she put things she didn’t care about.

People are mixed bags but acceptance depends on what they’re mixed about; how and when.
Nancy finally saw she could accept a few of mixed-bag parts of her husband in the fourth and fifth circles.  She also saw that most of his mixed-bag actions were in the bull’s eye.  He was narcissistic, toxic, bullying and abusive.  He was relentlessly critical and never cared what she thought, felt or wanted.  

In the bull’s eye, hitting, even once, was intolerable.  So were verbal and emotional abuse.  She had no tolerance for his going out with other women and then demanding supper the moment he came home.  No emotional affairs whether they were physical affairs or not.  Also, she’d control all the money she made.  Most important, when she said “No” to sex, her “No” meant “No!”

She saw he never gave what she wanted most.  She even saw that the other people he’d gathered in their life didn’t care about her as a person.  They only cared about her as his slave or servant to do the work and to accept the verbal and physical beatings and control with a smile.

Her decision to remove him from her personal space became blindingly obvious, even though carrying it out was hard work.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Mona was drained and exhausted – she wanted to run away and go where no one could find her.

She’d been raised by narcissistic, bullying, guilt-tripping parents to give them their every desire.  To show empathy, caring and compassion she had to make them happy, no matter the cost to her.  Her toxic, abusive adult children used the same tactics to bleed her dry.  She had to give them everything they wanted immediately or they’d attack her privately and in public as a bad parent.  Whatever she gave was never enough, they always wanted more.

Mona realized her pattern when a needy friend asked her to buy her an expensive car.

Some of Mona’s old rules were:

  • A good and caring person is empathetic and compassionate, especially for people who are not getting what they want and feel like victims.
  • Empathy and compassion meant that when people are unhappy, she must give them what they want to make them happy the way they want.
  • Empathy and compassion meant that she must understand how hard it is for people so she’s required to overlook when they’re selfish and mean, when they blame and attack her, when they never apologize or change their behavior.
  • Empathy and compassion meant that her wishes, pain and feelings don’t count, other people’s are much more important.  Empathy and compassion mean that their suffering is so great they don’t have to listen to her voice or respect her stated boundaries but she must always jump to respond to theirs.

How do you know their relationship, friendship and “love” are merely because you’re the bank?

  • They’re greedy.  They always want money, food, baby sitting, emotional comfort, acceptance that whatever they do is good enough.  They expect-demand you give them what they want and they question your motives and character when you don’t give it.
  • They never accept your hints, feelings or boundaries.  They listen to you only as a prelude to asking you to give them something.
  • You avoid them because you know they’ll suck your blood and eat your flesh.
  • They get angry when you don’t do what they want; you’re cruel, mean, heartless.  They lie, manipulate and get other people to attack you.  You walk on egg shells.
  • If you don’t submit to their anger, they get sweetly manipulative and then guilt-trip or blackmail you (like, by withholding the grandchildren).  If you still don’t give in, they drop you and blame you.

How can you have empathy and compassion, and not make them happy?

  • Know the difference between their Spirit and their personality-ego.  Love the Spirit – have empathy and compassion for its struggle to take over their lives.  Protect yourself from their personality-ego.  Don’t feed their personality-ego by giving it what it wants.
  • Have empathy from a distance – pray, light candles, demand good behavior and don’t be a rescuer-meddler.  Fixing them is above your pay grade
  • Be a guiding light as a child, parent, friend.  The most empathetic and compassionate, the kindest and most caring acts are to give them what’s best for them whether they like it or not – the opportunity to suffer, to become independent and strong, and to develop character.
  • Give them the opportunity to develop a reciprocal, caring, loving relationship independent of money.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Lenny’s toxic parents were total control-freaks and narcissists.  He had to follow their orders or else: yelling, beatings and damnation to hell; bullying and abuse.  He could never go anywhere or do anything without their approval.  Through high school Lenny prepared himself to be physically and financially free.  He learned a skill, got a job and starting saving to get his own place.  But his parents were still on him all the time.  Lenny fought back.  The yelling, cursing and fighting raged continuously.  Even after he was independent and married with children they tried to manipulate and control him.

Laura would never acknowledge that her back-stabbing sisters simply hated her guts all their lives, hated that she lived and breathed, hated that she succeeded.  They jumped at every chance to put down her and her children.  They made up lies and spread malicious stories through their extended family.  Laura defended herself to them and to the family.  She spent hours proving she wasn’t as bad as they said or that she never did what they said she had.

Lenny and Laura will never win; never get those enemies to admit they’re wrong.
The jury of his parents and her siblings will never let go of the fight.  It’s life-or-death for them.  Because they want to be right about what they think, they’ll never admit anything, never accept facts, always change the subject, always find new examples, always attack.  Lenny and Laura will always be defending themselves.  They’ll never defeat people who think their lives depend on victory.

The people who attacked Lenny and Laura wanted to see them bleed.
They were thrilled when Lenny and Laura got hurt or felt guilty because they hadn’t been perfect.  They were ecstatic when Lenny and Laura got enraged and fought back.  They knew Lenny and Laura were bleeding internally when they blew up.  The more Lenny and Laura fought back, the happier were their tormentors.  The predators wanted Lenny and Laura as emotional food all their lives.

Both Lenny and Laura said they had to keep fighting.
Even though they didn’t see a way to stop the fight by proving their innocence and goodness, they had to keep fighting.  Youngest children like Lenny and Laura often trap themselves more than others.  They grow up fighting and defending themselves, and proving they’re right, so it’s very difficult for them to stop fighting.  If they stopped fighting, they thought their tormentors would win.

There is a way to win the fight.
Lenny and Laura had more years ahead of them than they had behind them.  All they had to do was to let go of the fight and walk away.  That would mean making those long years ahead rich, full and wonderful.  And without those parents, siblings and extended family.

At first, the idea of walking away from the fight was too difficult for Lenny and Laura.  They’d no longer belong to the people they’d been fighting all their lives to belong to.  But who wants to belong to masters who treat you like a servant or slave?  Who wants to stay with tormentors?

Lenny and Laura remembered the true fable of “The Ugly Duckling.”
So they screwed up their courage and started looking for their true families; not the families of their DNA but the families of their hearts, minds and Spirits.  A personal ceremony-ritual-sacrament help them bury their past or put their past yearning behind them.  Then they could open the door of the present and walk into the rest of the life they wanted for themselves.

And, yes, they did find and create families who appreciated, valued and loved them in ways that felt soothing and healing.

Laurel Keyes once told me, “If someone tries to give you a rattlesnake and you don’t take it, ‘who has the rattlesnake?’”

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Kate had been raised to be a good steward.  She’d get reprimanded, scorned and punished severely if she wasn’t.

She grew up frugal with money and spent hours to save every penny.  She took care of all her things and clothes, avoiding any activity that might soil or damage anything she had.  She was a good steward of everyone who wanted anything from her, always putting their wants ahead of her needs or deadlines.  She wasn’t much fun.

She woke up in middle age surrounded by grasping, greedy, needy people (bullies and narcissists); surrounded by stuff that needed huge amounts of time to take care of; worrying obsessively about small amounts of money she was hoarding for a rainy day.  She never had fun; she couldn’t remember the last time she’d been gloriously happy.

Kate woke up feeling trapped by her guilt and her duty to be a good steward as she’d understood it; wanting to run away from it all; just disappear without an address or phone number.

Kate hadn’t been a good steward of her time and energy, of her Heart’s Desire, of her Soul.
She wasn’t feeling trapped because she’d sacrificed her ego’s pleasures and gratifications.  She felt trapped because she’d paid no attention to the core of her being, her Soul.

If you haven’t felt the core of your being, your Soul, no one can explain it to you.
Kate couldn’t define that and neither can I.  But she could point to how she felt when she felt full, whole, at one with herself and God.  She could point to the activities that charged her solar batteries, that expressed her essence, that made her feel she was living the way she was supposed to.

Kate could see how she’d wasted so much time and effort taking care of things weren’t important and people who were using and abusing her.
Now she could see how to be a good steward of her life energy while doing the things that mattered most.  She simply had to clear her life of what mattered so little it wasn’t worth thinking much about.

As her focus improved, her energy and joy returned.  She felt strong enough to weed her garden.  She didn’t have to run away.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling

Jane knew her boyfriend Jerry, just like her father, was cheap and selfish, a bullying, abusive narcissist.  But he wasn’t cruel and he didn’t yell at her all the time.  There would be whole days when he adored her.  But every time he had to spend any money or help her do anything he didn’t want to or keep it together for more than three days, he was guaranteed to blow.

He never apologized; he’d blame her for his rages, claim she was hyper-sensitive and over-reacting, and minimize how bad he’d been.  And point out when she had criticized him.  She constantly doubted herself.  Her confidence, self-worth and self-esteem rode a huge roller coaster.

Jane researched internet experts to see if bullies and narcissists could be cured.
The experts disagreed; some said they could be cured, others that couldn’t.  The only way she’d know would be at her last breath.

The ones who said they could be cured, said it was a full-time job.  Both of them would have to be in therapy all their lives and Jane would be have to be ever watchful for Jerry to revert.  Bullies and narcissists were boundary pushers.  If Jane had power, Jerry might decide to give in temporarily, and act submissive and charming to get what he wanted.  But then he’d slowly revert when she relaxed or he’d worn her down.

There’s a wide range from bullying through narcissism to narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathology and psychopathology.
Jane couldn’t lump them all together when she looked for answers. Sometimes Jerry promised to change and then almost immediately took it back.  Or he said the only way he could change was if she was with him completely.  She had to marry him and support him.  She knew, in her heart-of-hearts, he really wanted power and control of her.  And he wanted her to be happy with him doing exactly what he wanted at any moment.

Jane asked herself a better question: Did she want to go along for a lifetime of battering rides on the roller coaster of Jerry’s narcissism?
She was thrilled with Jerry when he said she was the most beautiful woman in the world.  Jerry said he needed her; give him what he wanted and he’d be with her forever.  She was thrilled when she thought she could rescue Jerry.  His therapist said he could be saved and she was the only one who could cure him.  But of course, he was most concerned with what Jerry wanted, not with her happiness.

Jane decided she didn’t want to take the risk and the beating.
She decided he’d have to cure himself on his own time with his own therapist.  Now, in her middle age, she’d look for better love from a person without those issues.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Posted
AuthorBen Leichtling