So what is this magic formula for emancipation?
In a nutshell, cultivating the strong belief that: you are not a victim.
Now, I don’t write these words lightly. There’s a stage every ex ‘cult’ member goes through where it’s actually good and healthy and part of the healing process to recognize the wrongs that were done to you, and the emotionally-ill mind games you were trapped in, and all the guilt trips, and destructive criticisms and blame games you were made the scapegoat for.
You can’t leave the cult if you don’t acknowledge just how bad cult behavior, and cult thinking really actually is. If you try to short-cut this part of the process, you’ll end up excusing things you shouldn’t, and justifying all sorts of evil attitudes and cruel actions, and then as soon as you whitewash those things, you’ll inevitably carry on doing them yourself. That’s human nature.
So stage one is definitely to recognize just how bad things were around your NPD relatives (and others), and to acknowledge and validate your own, very real, pain and suffering.
And depending on how bad things were, and how badly your own life was messed up as a result, that stage can often take a pretty long time - even years - to properly process and digest.
But that angry, raging, furious place you have to pass through in order to leave the cult is NOT the place to stay, long-term.
Because here’s a little secret you should know about people with personality disorders and other mental illnesses: Every single one of them justifies their crazy, horrible, selfish and destructive behavior, and has a million excuses why it’s ‘OK’ for them to do it.
Every single mentally ill person out there feels like a victim - of life, of their parents, of circumstances, of horrible siblings, of racists, of anti-semites, of nasty neighbours, mean classmates, grasping employers, lazy colleagues, unreliable friends, the tax man, the other guy….
The list goes on and on.
And the way ‘victim think’ works is that as soon as your evil inclination has convinced you that you’re a victim, it’s a piece of cake to convince you that you DESERVE to treat others horribly, and to be treated specially, and not have to take anybody else into account in your mad rush to get what you need and want, because life owes you big for all the suffering you’ve already been through.
This state of mind is present in all mental illnesses, to one degree or another, but has pride of place in Narcissistic Personality Disorder-ed people. Every single narcissist out there, whether they admit it or not, feels like a victim, and that any ‘bad behaviour’ you could ever ascribe to them is only and ever in response to being victimized by others.
To put things another way, staying in a place of perpetual victimhood paves the way to developing full-blown mental illnesses like NPD, and that’s really not where you want to end up.
So how to resolve this feeling of being a perpetual victim? Again, I should state upfront this is a process, and often a long one. It’s not straightforward, it’s not linear, and there’s often a lot of going forward just to fall back again. That’s life, in all it’s imperfection. But it IS still possible to see some big changes and movements very quickly, by doing some or all of the following suggestions:
- Top of the list is get God involved in solving the problem. How? By talking to Him for a fixed length of time every single day, working up to a full hour, where you take a moment to try and examine ‘the other guy’s side’ in all the issues and problems you’re currently having in your own life. Remember, you are not a victim. That means that in every nasty interaction you have with others, there is a message that God is trying to get across to you about something that you really do need to acknowledge, look at and change. Figuring those messages out only happens when you get God involved in the process on a regular basis.
- Accept you are not a victim - at least in principle. Your soul chose this life. Your soul decided that you needed to have all these NPD experiences in order to get rectified, and to fix negative character traits left over from previous lives, and to help you reach your full spiritual potential. Everything that happens to you down here on planet earth, you signed up to when you were still just a soul. Again, this isn’t easy, but making this mental leap out of victim hood is crucial to breaking out of the cult for good.
- Explore more ‘body-based’ methods of letting go of things like bitterness, hatred, anger, vengeance and guilt - the way traumatic experiences work is that they ‘hard-wire’ parts of the brain to become super-sensitive to slights, danger, and other potentially traumatic experiences, while ‘dulling’ or switching-off the parts of the brain that are more altruistic, spiritual, thoughtful and generally plain nice. Trauma needs to be tackled across all three levels of body, mind and soul, so explore which ‘body-based’ methods could work for you, including:
- One brain
- Energy psychology methods like EFT, EMDR, or Tapas Acupressure Technique (to mention just some of the most popular methods, that can even be self-adminstered.)
- Meridian-based interventions like acupressure or acupuncture - my books ‘Talk to God and Fix Your Health’ and ‘How your emotions are making you sick’ both give a good introduction to how to start using simple acupressure techniques yourself. You might also want to pick up a copy of Donna Eden’s book ‘Energy Medicine’, for other ideas (not all of which are appropriate for believing Jews, so buyer beware.)
- The trauma release technique (TRT) - a very simple technique that involves ‘shaking’ the trauma out of the body, and can also be easily done at home.
But I want to leave you with this: The main reason God put you through all this terrible, horrible stuff with your NPD relatives is because He wanted to give you a reason - a big, unmissable reason - to get back in touch with your soul, and with Him.
If your life hadn’t been so hard and challenging and painful up until now, maybe you’d live your time out in a completely superficial bubble of materiality. God doesn’t want that for you. He wants you to dig deep, and to start asking some hard questions about what life is really for, and why it’s so hard.
There’s really one solution to the problem of NPD people, and that’s get God involved in the process, ASAP. If you do that, sooner or later, the clouds will part, and you will find the way out to true happiness, acceptance and peace of mind.