All her life Betty had been kept in cages and trained by narcissists.

Her father.
Betty’s father trained her to be his soul mate and to hate her mother.  Whenever she hesitated, he bullied and abused her, just like he did her mother.  She never remembered rebelling.  She knew he’d withdraw and be vindictive.  She wouldn’t be daddy’s little princess any more.  When she did his bidding, he praised and stroked her.  She learned what was expected of her and gladly performed.  Then she was fed by his love.  She never had an opinion of her own; her thoughts were subject to his approval.

Her husband.
Against her father’s wishes, she fell madly in love and married.  While they were courting, her future husband praised and petted her.  She was the world to him; she was perfect.  But right after the ceremony, he started acting like her father.  He was critical, sarcastic and cruel.  But when she was docile, he seemed to love her and she glowed with happiness and pride.

When her husband started wooing their daughter and turning her against Betty, Betty remembered her father and mother, and she bolted.  She took her daughter but gave her husband all the money and visitation he demanded.  Soon he controlled their daughter and they teamed up against Betty.  Despite all the horrible and demeaning things they said and did, Betty always remembered the few times he’d complimented her.  She remained madly in love with him, even though she tried to keep him at a distance.

She never understood why she never had a voice with either of them.  They never cared what she thought or said.

Her boyfriend.
Then she met Harry.  He was handsome and charming, and seemed to have his own money.  After a whirlwind week, Betty was madly in love.  She invited him to move into her home.  He seemed thrilled; Betty was perfect.  Betty’s life rapidly revolved around making Harry happy doing what he wanted.  She didn’t even remember why she put his name on the house title, let him quit running the company he said he had owned and let him hang out all day while she worked.

Soon she felt like she was back with her father and her ex.  She did everything to please Harry but every time he was unhappy, she was at fault and she plunged into guilt and despair.  He began making sarcastic remarks and raging at her in public.  Harry always had good reasons why he should do what he wanted and she rapidly gave in.  Every time she thought of rebelling, he complimented her and her heart swelled with love.

Her revelation.
Betty’s whining and complaining about how she felt trapped in a horrible relationship with a guy she was madly in love with, led her few friends at work to suggest she learn about narcissists.  She saw her father, her husband, her daughter, her boyfriend and many others as narcissists – selfish, manipulative and actually totally uncaring about her.  She saw herself as having been trapped in a cage, performing for them whenever they wanted.  She hated them and, mostly, she hated herself.

She felt her Spirit and her anger rise inside her.  Her spirit was calling her to take back her life; to follow her own star.  Answering that call would be hard.  She’d have to fight her oldest rules and beliefs, she’d have to fight her oldest strategies for survival, she have to resist being swept off her feet by the words of narcissists and her need to please them.  

But that anger fueled her courage and determination.  She did take back her life.  She stopped feeling alone and desperate.  She learned to fall in love with a good man who backed up his words with appropriate actions.

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.

AuthorBen Leichtling