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FREE GIVEAWAY DURING MONDAY'S PREMIER!!!!!!! VALUED AT $1,200.00 
 https://micheleleenieves.com/
As a thank you to those that have supported my healing journey I have a gift!!!!! Some of you are aware that not only do I offer face to face life coaching for victims of narcissistic abuse -but I also now have a certification course to train Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaches. 

There is such a need to help those still stuck in the web of emotional manipulation. This is a 6 month online course that takes place with the zoom app - the current course was full of people all over the world from Croatia, Philippines, Argentina, Mexico and the U.S. 

My channel alone has had over 10 million views, imagine the combination of views of all the channels dedicated to helping victims of N.A. - there is a need for people who 'get it'. For more information about the course please see my website: https://micheleleenieves.com/narcissi... 

AS A THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT I AM GIVING AWAY 2 SEATS IN THE NEXT CLASS COMPLETELY FREE.

 If you have already taken strides on your own healing journey and you have the desire to help others and think that life coaching would be for you - make sure to be at the premier and even if you can't stay - express a desire for being in the class and please email me your story, your why this would be for you to micheleleenieves@gmail.com and I look forward to giving this gift away!!!!!!!!!
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When Gifts Are Synonymous With Poison: 

It's very difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that the significan other,  parent, family member or close friend of yours purposely wants to harm you and/or destroy you (preferably the latter, if we are being honest with each other). After all, most relationships that are rocky, combative, and dysfunctional - want what's best for the other even if they may not always know the best way to show it.

Holidays, anniversaries and vacations are all proof that both parties are capable of putting their differences aside for special events that mean something - yes, they are willing to put their ego aside for something far more important - for those milestones, those sentimental values that bring even the most  incompatible families together.

That is - as long as none of those family members are malignant narcissists.

Malignant narcissists can never put their ego aside, not for anything special - not a celebration, a vacation or even a cremation - it doesn't matter the event or how special or sacred or sad that event is to the family of the malignant narcisisst - they view it as one thing and one thing only - an opportunity to extract narcissistic supply.

Why do they need to do this at important or special events or times of the year? 
Once we know why they cannot put their ego aside for anything - we can let go of hoping that one day, one year, one special event or another - they might, just might, allow you to enjoy or at least allow you to give your attention to something or someone other than them.

Narcissists hate when people are able to feel or have things that they themselves are incapable of feeling or having. Close connections with family, bonds of love, acts of kindness, a sincere display of generosity, the desire to truly make another person happy - those are just some of the things a narcissist is incapable of, to mention a few. To see their own family indulge in such things provokes pathological jealousy - and jealousy is according to the bible "rottenness to the bones." Proverbs 14:30.

So the narcisisst is like a toddler, who sees another child having fun without him/her; or sees another child with a toy that h/she does not have - toddlers react with frustration and anger. I remember my daughter at 3 years old getting upset with her twin cousins for playing together and not including her. Well, she took her barbie doll and bopped it on one of her cousins heads. We tease her now and laugh about it becuase for a three year old - that kind of behavior is common. 

It's not funny however, when it's a grown adult acting like that. It is so difficult to understand that narcissists intentionally try to 'bop you on the head' or hurt you, simply because you are enjoying something that they cannot take credit for nor experience themselves.

Malignant narcisists have a bag of tricks - they don't all act the exact same way during special occasions, but their underlying motive is the same. Some will rage and have their family walking on eggshells all the way up to the start of the event, when they will suddenly become happy and calm and point the finger at you for being so miserable. Talk about crazy making.

Others will simply refuse to participate - they will never give you a gift (not one that you really want anyway) they will act bored, or criticize every thing you do to make the event special, but they will do it as if they are "helping you" or trying to help you to make it "better." Regardless, the effect of their lack of love and personal interest is like drinking the coke without the fizz, when it is flat - it's drinkable but there's certainly not an ounce of enjoyment in it.

Another reason narcissists hate holidays is due to their self entitlement. They are entitled to govern their feelings and moods (as well as the feelings and moods of their family) so how dare a holiday, or special event - how dare it dictate or obligate them to feel something specific. Nobody tells a narcissist how to feel!!! What makes it confusing to their family is that they will 'pretend' around others or in public and until you realize you are dealing with a person with a personality disorder - this is extremely confusing. Narcissists love to use gaslighting to make you think you are crazy for being the only person to view them in a certain light, after all no one else thinks they hate celebrations or special events. 

So yes, narcissists are the only people that enjoy serving poison as a gift; they enjoy holding happiness at arms length and raising it each time you jump higher to try to obtain it. Narcissists enjoy getting your hopes up, so that they can pop it like a balloon and watch you deflate emotionally. Narcissists especially enjoy when other family members think that it's you that has the personality problem, you that is causing the unhappiness at these special occasions, you that is destroying the family. When malignant narcissists achieve any of these things - they are filling themselves of their drug of choice - narcissistic supply.

YOU CAN HAVE HAPPINESS DURING SPECIAL EVENTS IF YOU DO THE FOLLOWING: 

1) Recognize that your happiness is not dependant on their happiness. If they hate anniversaries - celebrate a "family day" with your children. If you don't have children, buy yourself something that would allow you to feel loved and beautiful and special. The narcisissist wants you to think you can only feel those things if h/she give them to you - but that's a lie. You CAN generate a self-love and self-respect that is truly empowering!!!
2) If you live with the malignant narcissist and cannot get away on special events, invite people - friends from work, parents and families of your childrens friends, neighboors - people that you feel good around. You may have to use reverse psychology and act as if they invited themselves, or that you felt you couldn't get out of it - or if there is a way to make the malignant narcissist feel as if they are benefiting in some way to this unexpected change - regardless, narcissists love to perform and if you are dealing with a covert narcissist, at least the presence of others will have them on their best behavior!!! Use what you know to your advantage as opposed to disadvantage.
3) Be willing to say NO!! If you are invited to a friend or families house where you are accustomed to going, yet getting abused - you are allowed to say no, you are allowed to have boundaries. The narcissistic family member will make you feel guilty or fearful of what others in the family are thinking - but truth be told - narcissistic family members ALWAYS talk bad about you behind your back anyway. However, by not allowing yourself to be in a position of getting abused, you are loving yourself and cutting off their narcissistic supply.
4) Know what makes you happy and be willing to give it to yourself. I was speaking recently with someone that I was coaching, and when I asked her what she would like to do, what she would enjoy taking place during a special event where the narcissists in her life consistently attempted to hurt her - she said " I would love to go dancing, the way I used to in the past." Knowing what you would love is the first step - being willing to give it to yourself will provide you with a deep sense of inner love that has the ability to help us to feel alive, passionate, loved and empowered.
5) Use the past to help you avoid falling prey to the traps. Ask yourself the following questions: What was done in the past to stamp out your happiness? What did you learn from those events? How can you use that knowledge to help you to avoid falling prey to the same toxic behavior? When you find the answers - trust your gut. Your gut instinct will never send you in the wrong direction - we only wind up in the wrong direction when we choose to ignore that voice within.

Let's make 2019 a shifting year - a year we shift out from under the power of toxic people, shifting into empowered, confident souls that embrace the happiness that was denied by people who had no right to deny it from us in the first place!!!!
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If someone strikes you - they are being physically abusive. If someone screams obsenities at you while foaming at the mouth - they are verbally abusive.  If someone purposely forces you to live in poverty, on a stipend of barely existing - they are financially abusive - among other things.

 There are some forms of abuse that are so easy to notice - while others are often like carbon monoxide - odorless, tasteless, flying under the radar yet deadly.

Narcissistic abuse is one of the worst types of psychological abuse that one person can do to another, not only are they creating emotional damage with scars that run deeper than most can imagine, but on top of it - it can be considered physical abuse because of the brain damage that victims of narcissistic abuse undergo.

Has your brain been affected by this brain damage?

Did you at one time in your life have a great memory, and now have difficulty remembering things that happened just yesterday or last week?

Were you extremely intelligent, yet now find learning new things quite difficult?

Have you gone from being a a happy, passionate person to one that feels as if you are existing rather than living, with no enjoyment in life?

Have you gone from a calm demeanor to one stuck in anxiety?

Are you easily triggered and thrown into fight, flight, fear or fawn?

Are you developing out of control fears that are creating anxieties and phobias in your every day life?

If you answered yes to the questions above, there is a good chance that due to narcissistic abuse you have experienced damage to your brain - two specific areas of the brain - the hippocampus and the amygdala.
 
Yes, the emotional and psychological distress of being in a long term relationship with a person that cares very little about your well being; with a person who enjoys destroying your well being, better yet -is only the surface damage that is being experienced.

However, there is a physical aspect of brain damage involved - when a person is suffering consistent, coercive, emotional abuse - victims experience a shrinking of the hippocampus and a swelling of the amygdala; both cause devastating effects. 

The hippocampus is vital to our learning and developijnjg memories. Many victims of narcissistic abuse claim that their abilitiy to remember is not what it used to be. Hippocampus is the greek word for "seahorse" and it's the part of the brain hidden inside each temporal lobe, shaped distinctly like two seahorses. One of it's most important functions is that it's responsible for our short-term memory, which is vital to learning. Information first gets stored in short-term memory before it can be converted to permanent memory - without this part of the brain working - we are unable to learn and store new information. 

Not only is our memory affected by the shrinking of the hippocampus, but there is a strict correlation between high levels of cortisol (a hormone caused by stress) and the shrinking of the hippocampus.

As the hippocampus shrinks, another part of the brain is affected by the emotional abuse, the amygdala does the opposite - it grows in size.
The amygdala is where negative emotions like shame, guilt, fear, and envy come to life.

The amygdala controls our primal emotions and functions such as fear, hate as well as regulating our heart rate and breathing. When triggered, the amygdala is where our trauma response get activated - fight, flight, freeze, fawn. 

Narcissists never allow their victims to relax, rather they keep them in a heightened state of anxiety where their amygdala is constantly on alert. When this trauma response becomes our everyday mental state of mind, eventually victims are stuck in a permanent state of anxiety or fear, with the amygdala hypervigilant to the slightest signs of abuse.

The sad part is, even after escaping destructive relationships, victims suffer with phobias, panic attacks, C-PTSD all due to the enlarged amygdala

The narcissists create an external cycle of abuse by their push and pull, intermittent love and hate - and the abuse cycle is mirrored within our own bodies. 

The body releases cortisol when under stress, the cortisol damages the hippocampus thereby shrinking it by attacking the neurons in the hippocampus. The amygdala is stimulated by the cortisol, with turns our thoughts and nerual activity from increasing mental acuity to worrying and stressing.
When this is done over and over, repeatedly, our brain activity is pushed "beyone its zones of effectiveness."

For those that reason - "The abuse is not constant or it's not so bad, others have it worse." - Remember, extended durations of average stress can be just as damaging if not worse than short-term extreme stress. Even if a narcissistic abuser never takes it “too far”, it could definitely still be causing destruction to your brain.





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When Your Child Grows Up To Imitate The Narcissist

     Being raised by an emotional predator makes childhood equivalent to a war zone; a word, an accident, a false interpretation, breathing wrong can cause the toxic parent to go off like a bomb leaving a child feeling fearful of their very life. Leaving that dysfunctional, abusive environment represents an indescribable freedom. Sadly however, many that were raised by narcissistic, sociopathic or simply toxic parents wind up recreating their unresolved childhood wounds in the realm of a romantic relationship.

     When a child is taught that love is synonymous with manipulation, and without the proper knowledge as to what happened in childhood and who was rightfully to blame, that child, now adult, reenacts manipulation. Depending on their trauma response as children (fight, flight, freeze, or fawn) they will either be attracted to people pleasers and imitate blindly the way they were treated, or they will use how they were treated as what NOT to do - but.... often find themselves in relationships with others that treat them exactly how their abusive parent treated them - if not worse. 

     Often, it's at this point in a person's life that they seek help - therapy, life coaching, counseling, etc. A healing journey begins, after googling traits they stumble upon the word narcissist and their search creates a lightbulb effect - suddenly life makes sense, they are not crazy, it was not their fault, they have been abused!! So many spend years, decades in toxic relationships without even realizing they are in abusive relationships - especially with covert abusers who have two personalities - the one they show others, and the one that tortures their family behind closed doors.

     The road to recovery takes time, is not linear, rather feels like a one step forward two steps back kind of travel. But little by little victims of narcissistic abuse come back into their skin, they shed the meshed personality of the abuser and finally get in touch with who they truly are at the core.

     Everything so far seems so much better, life is so much clearer, we feel so much more in control of who we are rather than feeling like someone is pulling our strings, like a puppet, with the goal of bringing out the worst in us. But...... sometimes it's only when we are further down on our own journey to heal that we begin to see the damage that was done to the children living in that toxic environment.

     There is much debate whether narcissism is genetic or learned; personally I think each child has their own genetic make up and one child's genetic make up could make them more predisposed to narcissistic behavior - especially children who have a strong fight response, however I genuinely feel environment can either assist in that child's narcissistic traits or prevent them from ever taking shape. I liken it to cancer cells, we all have them, but they often only turn on when environmental factors assist - such as a persons diet, smoking, stress, etc. 

     The reality is that some that were victims of narcissistic abuse will leave one nightmare and find themselves in another, even more excruciatingly painful situation - when their child has become the narcissist. In my face to face coaching I have spoken with many beautiful, resilient, compassionate and loving parents who found themselves in this situation.

     As a parent I know how deeply the pain of losing a child to narcissism can be - it's almost as painful as losing them in death, if not more so; in death a child is gone physically, with narcissism a child is gone emotionally - an experience of truly living through death. For that reason I wanted to give some encouragement to those that are in this situation as well as some tips that can help.

1)     DO NOT DROWN YOURSELF IN BLAME:
It's easy to blame ourselves, to find fault within, to be angry with ourselves for not knowing sooner, for not being able to prevent this. But the truth is, as a parent you yourself were a victim as well, blinded by psychological manipulation and confused due to the never ending gaslighting. Without your mental faculties working properly due to abuse, it was impossible to help anyone else - in fact a victim of narcissistic abuse is hanging by a thin strand to sanity. Knowing this does not take away the pain, but it does help ease it a little. If we could all go back and change the past - we would, but marinating on our mistakes only does us harm and helps no one. Be compassionate and understanding with yourself.

2) FOCUS ON THE PRESENT:
It's never too late to live in a healthy environment. One of the most powerful ways we can help our children, no matter what age they are, is by our example. Some victims make the mistake of trying to show their children fault in the other toxic parent. Just as trying to expose truth to flying monkeys never works, just as trying to reveal truth during a smear campaign never yields good results, trying to point our the other parents mistakes often pushes children to side with the other parent as the "poor victim that's being badmouthed." So, the most powerful way to expose truth is revealing what healthy behavior is on a daily basis. If you want your children to be happy, give them the example of what happiness looks like - strengthen the joy within you. If you want children to respect boundaries - make sure that you exhibit strong boundaries and enforce them calmly yet firmly. If you want your children to talk as opposed to yell when making a point, give the example - talk calmly, peacefully - if they raise their voice let them know that you will continue the conversation only if they lower their voice - enforce your boundaries consistently. Many adult children of narcissists DO NOT have NPD, which means they CAN unlearn narcissistic behaviors that they soaked up as children but words will not help nearly as much as your example!!! And for those that do have NPD, by living in accord with you values, morals and self love you can learn to allow yourself to be happy in life and exercise healthy boundaries with those you love who may be dealing with narcissism. 

3) BOUNDARIES ARE OUR FRIENDS: 
 When you've grown up with no boundaries and had a relationship as an adult with no boundaries, enforcing boundaries as a parent is foreign, sometimes it  even creates intense feelings of guilt.  This guilt is often an emotioanl flashback from when we, as children, tried to have boundaries and they were slammed down causing us to suffer emotional distress; our brain then associated boundaries with that distress and we learned to live trying to avoid that distress. We came to view boundaries as the bad guy - and giving in as love and acceptance. But when we give in and have no boundaries, we are unable to teach people how to treat us in a healthy manner. Boundaries are vital if one of your children has been affected with narcissism, an adult child of narcissism who now exhibits those same characteristics has the capacity to learn to respect boundaries - they may not like them, they may try at every chance to see if they can guilt you into bending them, but if you are consistent, kind yet firm.... you can have healthy boundaries even with an adult child that's narcissistic - unless of course that child refuses to have a relationship with you due to your boundaries - that would be a sad turn of events however, that is how we exercise self love and self respect and teach others to show us the same - those unable to love and/or respect us will leave, but that's their choice and not due to any lacking of parental love. Loving your children is not synonymous with allowing them to abuse. 

4) TAKE TIME TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE:
So many parents that grew up in unhealthy enviornments, only to marry into a smiliar enviornment - spent decades trying to please everyone but themselves. Pouring themselves out, they give and give until one day they feel hollow inside. I encourage you to take time to connect with your passions, to spend time not only existing - but living and appreciating every day of life. There are things that are out of our control - we are not responsible for other people's feelings and actions - it's hard to let go of that control, it's hard to let go of hope - which is why it's best to hope that one day they wake up and see what's really going on, but as you hold onto that hope - keep living....keep loving...others and especially yourself!!!
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I received an email in response to a reader of the book Dating Harley Quinn (https://payhip.com/b/a31b) which basically stated that any man that would go through what this true story portrays - would go mgtow.
What is mgtow and could there be a connection between the acronym - which stands for -Men Going Their Own Way and female narcissistic abuse?
That was my question and I searched this whole weekend for a connection between why men would reject relationships with women, and puposely choose to be alone rather than chance starting another relationship with the potential of finding a loving, healthy, reciprocal relationship.

The more I read, the more personal experiences I learned about, the more I was convinced that so many of these guys fell into the claws of female narcissists and hadn't realized what happened. If you are a guy raised by a female narcisissist, possibly codependent because of the mother son dynamics that narcisistic mothers create - then sadly, it's quite likely that a guy like that, winds up dating women with those same characteristics - you know, the kind of woman that is the sun and you are expected to revolve around; the kind of woman that is oblivious to your needs (you mean you have needs?) yes the kind of woman that only TAKES in a relationship and gives only crumbs of what love may appear to be like. Narcissistic women fuel themselves by breaking a guy over and over, and just when he feels broken and has one foot out the door.....narcisistic women relish in the power of being able to convince the guy to trust her and love her one more time. How empowering it is for these women to fool a man once again, the only vendetta is to break him even more.

Now imagine you are that guy - and this is ALL you know!!
Mgtow begins to sound really, really good at this point. And for some, they are happy being alone and that's ok. But if you're not.....

That's why knowledge regarding narcissistic abuse - especially the emotional, psychological abuse that narcisistic women inflict on men is so vital.
If you do not know or recognize that you have been raised by a toxic, narcissistic mother and then dated narcissistic women or borderlines, histrionics or any cocktail of cluster b's - then you are bound to give up and think ALL women are evil, toxic, soul sucking creatures not worth the time of day. Sadly, there are a lot of narcissists out there, but there are also a lot of amazing people as well. True strength and healing doesn't come from cutting oneself off from society, rather it comes from having the inner strength to live among society yet still be able to carve out a life in which you feel happy, enriched and have embraced a life that is truly rewarding.
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No one, and I mean NO ONE understands the turmoil, the damage, the prison, the nightmare.... the HELL that a person undergoes while in a relationship with a narcissist -unless they have been there themselves. This TRUE story is so insane that unless you are familiar with narcisissm, narcissistic abuse and histrionic personality disorder - you almost wouldn't believe it was a non fiction book!! And even if you have never heard of narcissistic abuse - your eyes will be opened to what expert manipulation looks like and how it can reach into a person and yank their soul inside out so that they are no longer recognizable and become strangers to others and to themselves.
She tried to kill me twice, I tried to kill myself once, an employee of mine tried to kill me and in the end - I tried to kill HER!!! I went from $2 Million dollars a year to homeless; in the span of 3 years I sank enough Meth to keep a herd of elephants awake indefinitely and yet as hard as I hit rock bottom, I didn't stay down and from the bottom of my heart I hope that inspires YOU.
I had arrived in Bulgaria driving a 140’ Stretch Limo weighing over 6 tons -it was like sailing a ship down the interstate -you didn’t turn right, you simply just stopped turning left. I went over the ALPS in that Limo! On the way down the mountain, the front brakes were on fire; I had to stop every mile or so and cool them down with a CO2 fire extinguisher. And then there was the drive through the center of Venice -now THAT was a laugh. Venice is designed for Gondolas and tiny, city cars -NOT 30’ Limos. And yet as crazy as that ride was -while I was fully prepared to face a new country, a new culture, a new language, and a new business adventure -  I was most definitely NOT prepared for the new breed of women that I would be introduced to by Angel. 
The beginning of the relationship was surreal - if ever I had fantasized about what the perfect girl would be - it paled in comparison to what Angel was truly like and how she enhanced my life. If I were to compare her to anyone I had ever dated - it would not be fair; it would be like comparing a painting done with finger paints hanging on a refrigerator door, held up with a magnet, to Michelangelo's art scenes from Genesis painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. 
I quite literally could not imagen a girl more totally perfect, my imagination was stretched just to take in the reality of her. She took me in every way she possibly could to the heights beyond the tops of Mt. Everest in sensual and hedonistic pleasure. 
She brought me to the edge of the stratosphere where the air is so thin you have to wear a space suit - but the view - the view is all humanity stretched out before you and you can see the curvature of the earth and the blackness of space.  You know that above you, there isn't even enough air to support your wings, there is no higher.
 Beyond this point there is no measurement of height, from here on it becomes - distance.  As you glide in perfect tranquility at the edge of space, the sun so bright your visor is almost black, gasping at the beauty of life that you never thought possible.
And then ...... she dropped me.
What looked so innocent and enticing in the beginning, quickly turned into a covert poison that cost me my million dollar business, my health, provoked a suicide attempt and left me homeless and suffering brain damage.
I am so thoroughly convinced that you will enjoy this book that there is a 100% money back guarantee. If you do not think it's worth ten bucks when you have finished reading it - we will refund your money!! That's how confident we are that you will not be able to put this book down. 
 https://payhip.com/b/a31b
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          It's so easy for people to identify physical abuse and even sexual abuse, but for the thousands...millions of children that suffer the invisible pain of emotional abuse and neglect by a toxic parent, they carry their scars unseen by the naked eye, and often times unrecognized in their own eyes.


          If there are no bruises to be seen, no broken bones, no ribs protruding out from a small, starving body then it's easy to dismiss neglect and emotional abuse. But the truth is, being raised by a toxic parent not only wreaks havoc on your childhood, it also sets the tone for the rest of your life.

          What is a toxic parent? A toxic parent is a parent that displays any negative behavior that winds up causing emotional damage or contaminates the way a child sees himself/herself.
             

          When a baby is born they have no insecurities, no self loathing, no hate, no anger, no shame...…..they are waiting to be cherished, loved, and taught like willing sponges they soak up everything they learn from their parents. It's sad to realize that the ones entrusted to care for you are bent on hardwiring you with limiting beliefs and teaching you conditional love.

          Toxic parents begin their abuse and neglect immediately after the child is born. The cries of an infant in need become a burden, something that dares take them away from what is important to them - and so the baby and then young infant learns to hide their own needs because they not only want the approval of their caregiver, but also they are not too young to recognize that their life depends on this person.

         Toxic parents stare blankly at their young infant as the child flails his/her arms and legs seeking to connect, even at this young age a child is longing, craving for emotional connection. The blank stare is confusing to the baby. Do I not matter? Can you see me? Am I alive? Why are you ignoring me? And then it's born.... the belief - there must be something wrong with me. Rather than developing self esteem, the baby loses confidence, self worth. 

          And everything is so confusing. One minute the parent is ignoring the child, the next doting on him/her and showing the child off to others. But how is a young toddler able to know that this is for show? Will my mom or dad love me today? Will they be happy with me? What's wrong with me? And the intermittent approval and neglect teach the child conditional love. You are only good when you are pleasing me, you are worthless and bad when you do not. Another belief is born - I am here to make others happy. My needs and wants are not important, I am put here to serve my parents needs and when I don't I am a bad child.

          Toxic parents are hypocrites. They demand from their children what they are unwilling to give. You must give your toxic parent complete respect, even when they are disrespecting you and your other parent. You must go above and beyond to please this parent, even if they are only willing to take and not give even when it comes to your basic needs. They teach, do as I say not as I do and a child is never allowed to question such hypocrisy, after all that would be disrespectful. Which behavior should I copy? When my toxic parent is demanding and disrespectful, people comply with him/her, everyone walks around on eggshells - they are powerful. And traits begin to emerge in a child - either the child begins to imitate the abusive behavior as a coping skill or they think that they were put on this earth to fulfill the position of doormat for the family. Either way - the child grows up warped in their view of family dynamics, thinking that this behavior they are seeing is "normal."

          It's so easy to make a child feel guilty. When a child expresses their desire to do something - if it interferes with the parents time table - that child is selfish, uncaring as to how much the parent does for them. How dare they have an interest? How dare they enjoy something when the toxic parent is having a bad day? If the toxic parent is miserable then the whole family must be miserable. And another belief is born....I have no boundaries. I cannot stand up for what is important to me. I don't even have emotional boundaries - I cannot be happy without my parents "permission" and they never grant it. 

          Toxic parents are great at teaching their children they are unlovable. They have so many statements and comparisons they employ to drive this home. 'I love you because you're my son, but I don't like you as a person.' 'Why can't you be like you're (golden child) brother?' Sometimes they teach more by what they choose not to say....' So and so is such an amazing child, he/she does this and that and wow, the parents must be so proud and feel so blessed to have such a perfect, amazing, lovable child. I wish he/she was my child.' Meanwhile their own beautiful, precious child sits there listening thinking....wow Mom can compliment children, she is capable of seeing good in kids....just not in me. The sad part is knowing that that's exactly the conclusion she was hoping her child reached.

          Growing up with toxic parents is like walking through a mine field on a daily basis. You never know when you are going to set off a bomb, maybe by something you said, or something you did, or possibly didn't do. And so you work so hard to try to watch, you become hyper vigilant in order to learn the rules....and just when you think you have them down pat, it's never understood why they keep changing. And so that battlefield of mines that you have to cross every day, must be crossed while in a state of emotional vertigo. You never make it to the other side without some crisis or another. If only you could be like your brother, or the neighbors kid....or anyone but yourself. 

          Growing up with toxic parents is difficult. And it takes time to uproot the limiting beliefs that they instill within you, but it is possible to break the cycle of generational abuse. It stopped with me and it can stop with you too if you are willing to do the inner work to eradicate the 'virus' that was placed within you and if you are willing to learn how to install empowering beliefs!! I want to send out a huge hug to anyone raised by toxic parents - you are not alone!!

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