Thursday, June 10, 2010



YES, you can recover from NPD Parents!
First of all you need to learn about recovery and what recovery really is. There is 12 step recovery and then there is therapy and then there is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT \"Tapping on Emotional Issues to Clear Them\") and there is the recovery model in the mental health field.
There are stages to your recovery: First you realize something is wrong and you go about searching for answers. Then you discover what NPD is and it is a devastating stage to go through as it is like losing a parent that never existed in the first place. Seek support from someone who will listen and validate you and not deny your reality. It is extremely hard to find someone who can supportively listen to someone talk negatively about a parent to the extent of never wanting to speak to your parent ever again. This is shocking to people who had loving parents. Thus, your reality is invalidated which causes further injury, emotional abandonment and rejection. Then one may look further to either find a therapist who \"gets it\" or to seek your own kind - to see if there are any other adult children of NPD parents.
The sad yet good news is that there are many of us out there and they are forming online support groups more and more. Just do a Google search on what you are looking for, like \"narcissistic parent forums\" or something like that and do some research. If you found your way here, you know enough to do some searches.
There you will find support and MOST IMPORTANTLY - VALIDATION. It is the one major thing we did not have growing up, we had no voice, we had no boundaries, we had no loving care and our reality was invalidated so much we were left not knowing what to believe, even our own gut intuition. Thus we had to guess at what normal is. And so forth.
Then the next stage of recovery once you have found your \"tribe\" is the stage of just being able to finally talk about it, hear how others are talking about it, hear how others are dealing with it, etc. etc. This is a bittersweet stage but it can bring a sense of a new freedom and renewed hope. You get what you never had - support, validation, listening. It's like the family you never had. You may not like everyone but you know they \"get it\" and that forms a special bond that helps repair the fact that you had a mother/father who could not bond.
When you start to get the feeling that you are starting to get tired of hearing all the venting and complaining and realizing that the focus is still on the NPD person, past or present you may be one of the lucky ones to look for further recovery. There is more than just being validated and seeing how wicked and bad the NPD is. That is when you begin to look at you.
This can be done in therapy and or via 12 Step, say Alanon or Codependency type recovery or Adult Children type of recovery. It's not really enough, but close enough. Some of them don't really \"get it\" either because their focus is on alcoholism of course and most people in society don't even know what a Personality Disorder is. But if you take the Pro-Active suggestions for SELF-CARE you will be recovering. You will be recovering yourself and your self-neglect behaviors that you internalized from having a parent that programmed you to love them but not yourself.
Self-Care is extremely important - I can't emphasize this enough. Why? Because when you take care of yourself and all your needs :
(1.) you are providing what you did not get as a child and
(2.) you are experiencing what you did not get as a child. There is a healing magic in that experience.
OK, back to recovery. There is also The Recovery Model which is relatively new and it's in the Mental Health field and it's about Wellness. So you can search for WRAP - Wellness Recovery Action Plans. Basically it's about self-care to stay well and knowing your triggers and red-flags and having wellness/healthy strategies in dealing with them, new ways. This is great because you are creating your own individualized recovery program. Your recovery can include going to 12 step or other support type meetings - support for emotional abuse, childhood abuse, relationship abuse, etc. etc. Your recovery can include working the 12 Steps which is really about taking a look at yourself and stop blaming the NPD for all your problems which in turn helps empower you to make changes to be more in control of your life and your reactions and not feel like a helpless victim anymore.
Once in Recovery, alot of emotions come up naturally. The best, easiest, painless, fastest way I have found - and I've been looking for a good 20 years now - is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). They don't call it Emotional Freedom for nothing. It truly helps relieve you of distressful, intense feelings and the body sensations that go along with them when you are triggered and upset. All those fears and anxieties, all the regrets and resentments, the rage, the deep sadness and pain, all the stuff you put up with, all the sick dysfunctional relationships you wasted your love and energy and time on - ALL of these things can be "Tapped" on. You Tap on acupuncture points while feeling the distressful feeling - you don't even have to get all the way into the feeling, you don't have to have a breakdown or breakthrough or whatever, and you don't even need to analyze or figure it out and all that. All you have to do is tap and your body relaxes, the emotion subsides and your brain then naturally sort of processes the issue and you feel like it's behind you now.
You can learn EFT for FREE right from the source at where it's creator Gary Craig offers a FREE manual of how to learn it - it's really very easy, you just memorize about 12 tapping spots, and the site has hundreds of pages of examples and tips etc. all free. So why not use it on NPD Parent Recovery issues? You can use it on anything. You can also search YouTube for videos showing you how to use EFT.
So that brings us to the final stage of recovery which is basically getting a life and living it for the rest of your life. It is about creating your life the way you want it, self-care, learning how to socialize with the good people, learning what to do with your triggers and issues, learning what you enjoy in your life, taking actions that are positive and have positive experiences and results for you. And therein lies the recovery life - you do things that give you a positive experience. Notice I said DO things - you don't wait until you "feel like it" or until you are recovered or healed enough or until your depression goes away or whatever, you are pro-active and you take action and you just do it like Nike says.
You can Tap you can read spiritual and recovery material, you can pray, you can work the 12 Steps, you can devise a WRAP, you can go to therapy, you can read books on your disorders, you can express yourself in groups or in journals, but until you begin to IMPLEMENT healthy actions into your life not much can or will change for you. Why? Well, what the heck do you think you are recovering? You are recovering your life and yourself. It's more than what you are recovering from; it's what you are recovering to. What are you moving toward? What action can you take today that will make you feel good, valued, special, loved, healthy, well? What are you even like when you are well? What actions do you have to take every day to stay well? Every week or month or once in awhile? Because if you did not take these actions what would happen?
You would relapse, whatever relapse means to you. You can relapse into old behaviors, old ways of thinking, depressions, fears, addictions, isolating, etc. You know how you've been dealing with the affects of NPD - the best way you could given that you had no knowledge or resources. But now you do have knowledge and resources and though you were not in any way responsible for what happened to you, you are responsible for yourself and your life and your recovery now and for the rest of your life. So you might as well make the best of it.
Recovery is the reward for all your hard work my friends. Recovery is more than the absence of pain, it is the new freedom and joy of life that you never even knew you could ever have. It's new friends, its peace and serenity; it's what you make it and many surprises along the way as well. Life will not always be great, no one said you are exempt from further traumas, tragedies, illnesses, hurts, losses, etc. life is still life, the good and the bad - but - you don't have to trudge it alone and you have tools now to help you get through.
Then when you are there, you will turn and look and see how far you have come and you will see and know that there are so many more out there still suffering that you may want to share your recovery with others so that they too have a shot at this thing.
Lastly, one huge aspect of NPD recovery for adult children is the topic of relationships. It's not bad enough we had NPD parents, but guess what? We get to have all the fun of marrying them and working for them and having them as best friends and the like until we have hit our bottom so to speak and take a look at why we are always victim to them, attracting them or attracted to them in some unconscious way. This is a big part of the recovery process, too much to write about here, but it includes taking a look at what you were thinking when you first met the N's in your life, and challenging beliefs you have about yourself (I'm too damaged, Healthy people are boring, I can fix him, I'll be rewarded for all my sacrifice, I can get approval from her, and finally I will be alright then.) When this survival plan does not work it is a devastating place to be in. You've tried your upmost best, given all of yourself and all of your prime years, your energy, time and money into trying to make these relationships work. Of course you did, you were programmed from the cradle to do so. It's ok that you did this, but now it's time to take a look at it and learn about choices you have, learn new ways of being in the world, new ways of relating to others, etc. And the reward is real, supportive and loving relationships in your life. Don't be surprised if this takes a bit of getting used to. You're not used to love and support. But my friends, you deserve it. You have been giving it your whole life - just imagine someone like yourself giving that love to you. Hopefully you are smiling with tears in your eyes right now because I am. I am smiling because This response to the question "Can we recover" is the result of my recovery and I'm so grateful I have so much to give to you. Stop by and visit me some time, I'm working on a website to do more of this - give recovery tips and teach people to Tap for emotional freedom, healing and growth. I call it RecoveryTapping (dot com). It will be a work in progress so more will be added to it over time. I might just post this whole answer there as well.
I ran away from home at 14 and was in and out of foster and group homes. I've been on my own since age 17 and went to community colleges because I was so interested in psychology to try and figure out what the hell is going on here. Is she crazy or am I? That question led to a life time of social work and a Master's degree in Psychology. I attend 12 step meetings, I've done some great therapy and some not so great and since 2002 I've been Tapping my problems away to a new life. I tap on my fears when I want to take a healthy risk. I practice self-care and take recovery actions on a regular basis. So my recovery has been a combination of these things, and your recovery will be a combination of things that will work for you. Take what you can use and disregard the rest.


  1. Hi Jeanette. I just (this moment) read your article/answer at wiki. Answers.
    I have recorded the various info and websites’ you offered up as well as found your blog just now too.
    I still have tears in my eyes as I type. What you wrote was so everything I have been through, am going through, and God willing will get to next. I haven't read your blog pages yet and the other links you offered in your post at Wiki, but am so excited to do so asap.

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU so MUCH for what you wrote and the blog pages and info you offered up. I can't believe there are people like you to be found as I have lived in a cold dark corner of myself for 49 years now. I have been paralyzed and fetal for large periods of my life including the last 16 years and my family of origin that I have been (and still am just getting to a place of no contact) has not changed and has no interest in it and finds ways to tell me how much more worthless and stupid I am to be exploring "psycho babble", etc.

    I could go on forever, but I am drained (in a good way, a way that touched me deeply and gives me much needed hope) today after reading your article above. I have to go blow my nose, wipe my eyes, take a breather by having some lunch and watching a little mindless TV for a moment now, lol. But truly, I can't say thank you enough and can't wait to explore what you have offered.


  2. Dearest B..,

    First off I am so sorry that you had to endure so much pain in this life. My heart goes out to you in deep understanding and empathy my friend.

    I too have tears in my eyes for I have found my true calling in being blessed to have been able to turn my pain around into something that is actually helping others. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know what an effect my article had on you - that just gave me the spark I needed to keep on writing.

    I've been having my own doubts and fears come up as I am writing a book on how to use "EFT for Codependency and Recovery” and then I want to write one on” Tapping into Recovery for Personality Disorder Abuse", well you can imagine the internalized fear I have going on that says I'll get in trouble if I dare write such a book. What will they say? But then I tell myself I am not writing the book for them - I am writing it for people like you. For the survivors.

    Please continue on your recovery path and visit me whenever you feel like it. I am sending you also an attachment - it is a list of empowering positive affirmations that you can "tap" on (if you know how to do the tapping) - or not - just reading them has a positive affect. I hope you like them and get something positive out of them.

    I will be posting them on my new BLOG ( - and later at which I am working on right now at. It isn't even up yet, but it will be there by the end of this month if I can make it work.

    Thanks again for your support and encouragement. You are not alone.


  3. P.S. It is now July 25, 2010 and I am still working on my site, but it looks like it will be up by the end of this month. Wish me luck. I found a great marketer to help me, some things you just can't do alone no matter how hard you try.

    I hope you will come visit me again soon. Feel free to leave a comment or a question.


  4. Dear Jeanette

    Thank you for the most beautiful,loving, insightful and helpful article I have read in 10 years of searching for a way to let go and recover from 50 years of narcissistic relationships.

    Your encouragement and advice on self-care: you are the first person who put into caring rather than admonishing words, and it has made all the difference to me.

    Thank you also for so willingly sharing practical advice and web references,and explaining the recovery techniques so simply.

    I wish you well in your own journey, and encourage all others who are struggling to embrace self-care. We DO indeed deserve to love ourselves better.

  5. Dear Jeanette,

    I have tears in my eyes as I read this. I have been suffering for 46 years. It has gotten to a point when I have stopped communicating with this person but she keeps repeating her hurtful behaviour and then wants to talk to me like nothing has happened. I will like to ask you a few more questions regarding this problem. I am so glad to have found you. Now I don't feel I am alone anymore. I have you and these other women who been through the same pain. That itself makes it so freeing.


  6. Hello sisters, I appreciate you letting me know that my experience and knowledge can do what I've always dreamed of doing. I have lots more coming out in 2011.
    I hope you all come join me on facebook, the link is on top of every page. I am so excited to find TinyChat and have people on any of my lists do Recovery Tapping - freeby taste of the eBook - on a live hopfully regular chat. If I can get people on 1 this month that would help. Otherwise I'll try agai next month if I can afford an assistant to get all this out for me.
    Keep coming by

  7. thank you
    I have hit that bottom and found this... nothing could be better right now. To know I am not so crazy and there is a reason for placing myself, my entire life in repetitive situations. I plan on working hard on learning myself and accepting positive experiences. So much what you have said is so true and to see I am not alone.
    thank you

  8. Dear Jeannette,

    Thank you so much for writing this book. As you stated in your bio, you've tried everything humanly possible to end the cycle of attracting dysfunctional people. I did too. I did not know where else to turn or what else to do, until I GOOGLED and found your website (coincidenc?) I don't think so. Before starting the exercises, I know it's the answer I've been looking for. Therefore, I will make it a part of my daily routine.

  9. I escaped my mother at 15 to live with my partner and at 17 following the death of my partner all contact with my mother was severed.
    Now at 22 I have a 2 year old have been with my partner who has helped me through so much along with his mum and family and I am doing well, I could push it all to the back of my mind and just cope, because I left the emotional abuse behind when I was still young and was instantly accepted and given the love and a mother figure, it took a long while to accept that this woman my now mother in law really loved me- without making me do awful things fight her battles and lie for her in exchange for dregs of false affection that we're more often then not insults shrouded as concern and 'love''.
    So I climbed my mountain alone and never looked back, but now my older sister once the golden child sought therapy to cope with her guilt at being mums lacky and her deeply imbedded psychological issues, she is pregnant and was diagnosed as bipolar, she and I got back in contact and since then we have found so much on narcissistic mothers it is unbelievable, and so relieving to have a name, an answer to know we aren't alone and for me to be able to reassure her she like me can move on and get through this, even without the relationships love and role models I was lucky enough to be thrown into.
    What really hurts us both though is our much younger siblings who sought us out desperate to leave home miserable and aware of her abuse and lies and the power she still has over them, in her domineering and guilt trips she has made them go from begging us to take them away to cutting us off again, blaming us and being what we were at her age so desperate for dregs of affection that they will do her bidding and abuse and attack us, she turns them against eachother and us so they trust no one and are isolated, I would do anything to stop them now and help them reach the realisations we have come to but know that I can't do sweet fa till they are both 15-16 and can legally leave home of their own free will, I would do anything to support them and stop her abuse, but I can't... That is the hardest part for me and I cannot find any help or support on the topic!
    Mum divided us and continues to for so long, can that too be overcome?

  10. thankyou for your article

  11. Thank you so much for writing the above. It must have taken an awful lot of courage to say all that. It matches my story in so many ways. I've spent over 20 yrs trying to make things better with my narcissistic mother and my enabling father/sibling. Eight months ago, I walked away for my own sake and the sake of my husband and children. I am devastated on so many levels but hope to find a way to lay the past to rest and finally, after 40 yrs, discover who I am and what is out there!=)

  12. Thank you so much for writing the above. It must have taken an awful lot of courage to say all that. It matches my story in so many ways. I've spent over 20 yrs trying to make things better with my narcissistic mother and my enabling father/sibling. Eight months ago, I walked away for my own sake and the sake of my husband and children. I am devastated on so many levels but hope to find a way to lay the past to rest and finally, after 40 yrs, discover who I am and what is out there!=)

  13. Thank you all for sharing! I am almost 50, and after not having any contact with my mother and 2 older brothers (golden boys) for 11 years my life finally has made sense.

    My wonderful loving Dad passed away 11 years ago, and without him, there was no more reason for me to continue taking her abuse. I loved him so much! I owe him my life!!! He taught me to love my children the way he did me, unconditionally. All the way through my childhood, adolescence, and right into my adulthood to 38 years old, he and I shared the abuse. There was no help. My husband and children adored my Dad, which made it even worse for him, and for me. It was a losing battle. So when he passed away unexpectedly, I thought I would die. The only comfort I had was that I believed my Dad was in a far better place than where he'd been for 45 years. So, because she no longer had him to use to manipulate me, I finally removed myself from her life and my brothers because the abuse became so unbearable.

    So for 10 years my family and I had lived in peace. But, you know that little nagging was always there. Has she changed in 10 years, etc.? Well, my wonderful loving Aunt (my mother's only sibling) told me that maybe I should consider writing her a letter. I know she was only thinking of me. What if my mother died? Also, my mother had been calling her and telling her that she really missed me and my children, and that she really didn't know what she did wrong. I can laugh now. So because I love my Aunt, I thought, okay I will write a letter. I will test the waters with a very generic letter about my children and their lives, and send her pictures. They were 13 and 15 the last time she had seen them. Well, she never responded. I wasn't surprised, and somewhat relieved.

  14. Then, just before this past Christmas, she continued to call my Aunt and tell her that she really missed me and my children (no mention of my husband), and it was just so hard on her. So my Aunt and Uncle asked if I would be willing to give her one more chance and my uncle would be the middle man. She agreed, and I agreed, and if I didn't have to have direct contact at first, great. I could walk away if I felt like it was going in the wrong direction. Well, it didn't take long to have my answer. She decided after thinking about it and talking to he boys she didn't want him to be the middle man, she wanted to keep it between her and I. So she wrote me a nasty mean letter, by-passing my uncle, and then sent my aunt and uncle a 10 page letter telling them all sorts of lies, unbelievable lies about me, my husband, and my children (so much for wanting to keep it between her and I). And, in closing in of our letters, she was "leaving the door open for me". They sent me their letter and I sent them mine, as our agreement was at the beginning that all communication was shared. I really don't think she realizes that I have read her letter to them yet, but she will soon as my uncle said he would tell her because she needs to know. Well, so far I know she is thinking she has told them enough lies for them to take her side and end their relationships with me and my family. What she doesn't understand is they know the truth, and they know us and they can't believe how sick she actually is. It made them feel so bad that they even suggested for us to try to have her back in our lives. But, I am so grateful that they did, or I NEVER would have found out what I did. My mother has NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER.

    I was so upset after reading the horrible lies again, and the realization that she had not changed in 11 years, that I couldn't sleep. I took my phone and for some reason punched in "mothers that hate their daughters". Wow, the answer I have searched for my entire life, NPD. Everything I read was like a light bulb turning on in my head. I shared this with my family, and my aunt and uncle the next day, and we are all actually relieved because there is an answer to her madness and destruction. I am now gaining knowledge and I also started therapy. It's hard, and I'm nervous, but empowered! And, my beautiful amazing Dad is my biggest cheerleader, I know it!

    I have yet to respond to her letter, but when I do, it will be written in confidence, and knowledge that she has no power over me because I know the truth. I hope that i too can pay it forward and be an ear for any one that needs it. I know I still do. We are not alone! You are all in my heart!

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