Life Awakening

AWAKEN FROM LIFE is about discovering who you are and about defining your true self so you can seize the helm of your life! This book is changing lives. Let it change yours!

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Story of Hope Love Destiny

If you like inspirational memoirs about the power of hope, or just want to read a candid expose of my previously misaligned life, FINE…LY: My Story of Hope, Love, and Destiny is the book for you!! It’s a page turner!!

Available in Paperback or as an E-Book

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This memoir written by a woman author tells a compelling, impactful true life story about hope and love, and how she found her destiny. An excellent book for women!

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Inspiring Authors Message

Author, Randi G. Fine 

Living Life to the Fullest

Inspirational Author’s Message

The most difficult people in our lives end up being our greatest teachers.   The hurdles they place before us and the challenges they present to us are only lessons that we must learn for our greater good.   Think of the oyster…without the irritating grain of sand there would be no pearl. ~ Randi G. Fine

We all experience times of joy and times of suffering as we move through our lives. Life is a breeze during the happy times; we get to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. But we must ask ourselves how good joy would feel if we had no adversity to contrast it? The phrase, “nobody said life was easy,” was coined with good reason. The truth is, life is hard work…but the beauty of life is that it has many facets.  We are constantly challenged to learn and grow.  And as we rise to those challenges we become stronger, wiser and better human beings. The universe holds all the answers we will ever need. It’s all there for the taking if we watch, listen, and trust our intuition. I invite you to follow me on my journey as I explore the many paths to happiness, and the many avenues that will lead us to living life to the fullest. I wish you serenity and joy in your life. ~ Randi

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Tyrannical Rule of the Narcissistic Father

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npd-father1Tyrannical Rule of the NPD Father

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

A father’s role is to love, protect, support and guide his children. Narcissistic fathers do none of those things. They are cruel, arrogant bullies who take advantage of vulnerable children—children who so want and need their love.

The narcissistic father has no respect for his children. He does not consider them individuals in their own right but rather extensions of his perfect self. Children are nothing more than captive narcissistic supply. He sees no other reason for their existence.

Though he may occasionally tell his children that he loves them, his words do not match his actions. He is rarely pleasant; he is often explosive, moody and abusive. When he is not exploiting and devaluing his children he is ignoring them.

The narcissistic father is impossible to please. Children are expected to meet his ever changing, self-centered needs without the benefit of reward. He rules them through manipulation, intimidation and fear. Children do not like how they feel when their narcissistic dad is around, but nothing could ever diminish their need for his love, acceptance and attention.

Children are given little to cling to in that regard; there are elemental acts of paternal care, occasional displays of affection, and glimpses of mercifulness. Sadly, the same gestures so prized by his children are just as easily used against them as emotional blackmail. He is heartless in getting what he wants from them.

The narcissistic father expects his children to cater to his every whim. They are expected to be ready and available to him at all times. That is because narcissistic men have no impulse control, no ability to delay gratification. When they want something they expect to snap their fingers and instantly receive it. If they don’t get their way they throw ferocious temper tantrums.

To avoid having to deal with his terrifying episodes of rage, the narcissistic father’s children walk on eggshells around him. That still provides no insurance. He finds any excuse to get angry.

Nothing his children do is ever good enough.  He is intolerant of anything less than perfection— perfection as defined by his distorted ideals. To maintain his delusional, spotless self-image, he demands his children be impeccable in looks, exemplary in actions, and unequalled in performance.

All demands narcissistic fathers place on their children are hypocritical and contradictory. These men are disrespectful to their children but intolerant of their insubordination. They are derogatory and vulgar in the way they speak to their children but expectant of refinement and decency from them. Though mercilessly critical of their children, they are highly offended by their children’s innocuous queries and comments.

Their thinking is backward. The behaviors narcissistic fathers consider disrespectful and insulting—independent thinking, assertion of autonomous beliefs, judgments and opinions, and expression of personal likes and dislikes—are the very things most fathers praise and encourage in their kids.

Children in these environments have no rights and no voice. Their fathers consider themselves lords and masters over their families. All decisions are to be made by them, no questions asked. They feel entitled to choose their children’s friends, clothing and interests. Children who dare to question their fathers’ choices or opinions face terrifying rage and irrational threats.

Fathers may threaten to send the children away or leave them, or threaten bodily harm or death. Threatening statements such as, “I brought you into this world, and I can just as easily take you out of it,” are usually idle, but the children cannot bank on that. They can never be sure of what their maniacal father is capable.

Narcissistic fathers also punish their children through guilt trips with statements such as: “I give you a house to live in, clothes to wear, and food to eat, and this is how you repay me,” or “You are nothing but a selfish ingrate.”

As is the case with all narcissistic parents, nothing brings out more hostility in these fathers than the threat of their children’s autonomy because they fear losing narcissistic supply. As owners of their children, narcissistic fathers feel entitled to feed off of them at will. They claim the right to abuse them mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. Some fathers, the worst of the worst, sexually abuse as well.

Children have no right to their futures. Their fathers quash their dreams, goals and plans. Their career paths are chosen for them without any consideration for what they want to do with their lives. They want their children to be successful so they can take credit for their achievements, but there is one catch: children are not allowed to have more or achieve more than their narcissistic father has.

Narcissistic fathers demoralize their children. Children are told that they don’t deserve to have or receive nice things. Those who dare to ask for anything more than what is offered are told they are greedy. They are accused of only loving their father for his money. Their father chooses what his child will and will not have, and when he or she will have it. Nothing given is permanent; everything comes with a high price tag.

No matter how devoted the children are or how hard they try to please their father, they are forever held in debt. Nothing they have done before gets credited to them. They are only reminded of what they owe their father in the moment.

While all the children in the family strive to please their father, only one child at a time will be recognized for it. As is true with all narcissistic parents, fathers choose only one golden child. The rest of the children are assigned scapegoat or invisible children roles. Typically chauvinistic, they are more likely to choose a son over a daughter, or the most “manly” son in the family as their golden child.

The golden child is clearly favored, but he knows that the stakes for that veneration are high. He never confuses the preferential treatment he receives from his father with paternal love. His father may toss more crumbs his way than he does his siblings, but true parental love is never shown.

The narcissistic father blinds the golden child into believing that he has the most wonderful, generous father in the world and should be grateful for his privileged status. But the golden status is highly conditional. For one, it often requires the child take sides with his father against his mother and less favored siblings. He is deliberately misled by lies his father tells him to ensure that allegiance. He must also be available to his father, comply with all his rules, and revere him. Any infractions could boot him right out of golden status and get him demoted to scapegoat status.

The scapegoat role is typically assigned to sons with less machismo or daughters, but any child can end up in that doghouse.

Boys who are assigned the role of scapegoat have it rough. Their father mercilessly picks on and bullies them. They are called “sissies” or something to that effect. Scapegoat sons can never rise above the labeling their narcissistic father puts on them. All attempts to demonstrate their masculinity are met with ridicule. No matter what these boys do they can never measure up to their father’s expectations or escape the brunt of his hostility. They are constantly being yelled at, put down, teased, and called names.

Scapegoat sons can only endure the relentless abuse for so long before their hurt turns to anger and they act out. Some run away from home to escape the tyranny, some get into trouble at school or with the law. Some hold out until they are able to achieve independence and then leave as soon as they possibly can. Many numb their pain through substance abuse. Whatever the method of self-liberation, most of them will permanently sever ties with their father.

Daughters raised under the oppression of a narcissistic father seem to have a different experience than sons do. They are likely to receive positive attention from their father during the years when they are cute, compliant little “Daddy’s girls.” As they age they become less valuable.

Some narcissistic fathers begin treating their daughters as if they do not exist. Others may continue paying attention to their daughters but in an entirely negative way. Physically maturing girls may be told they are fat or unattractive. They may be labeled “teases” or “sluts” for the way they dress or for wanting to wear makeup.

Narcissistic fathers enjoy playing on their daughters’ emotions. They tease and provoke the girls to the point of screaming or crying and then say they are too sensitive or call them crazy for the way they’re behaving.

Daughters are not the only females in the family treated poorly. Narcissistic men are emotionally and sometimes physically cruel to their wives as well. Though the spousal abuse occurs away from the public eye, it usually happens in front of the children. Narcissistic fathers frequently place their children in the middle of their marital conflicts and make them choose sides. Neither the children’s feelings nor their emotional health are considered. These things do not concern him. The only feelings that ever matter are his own. All family members are expected to sacrifice their happiness for his. Still, nothing about his family makes him happy.

He prefers not to be with his family at all. If he does spend time with them, the activity must always be focused on his enjoyment. Family activities are never pleasant or fondly remembered by the children because they are never geared toward family fun. The children are made to do whatever their father wants to do—no discussions, no compromise.

Narcissistic men bore easily with the daily routine of having a family. Resentful of the mundane tasks of fatherhood that do not feed their egos, they’d rather spend time with other families that are impressed by their charisma, charm and grandiose stories, and are chock full of narcissistic supply.

Narcissistic fathers find every reason not to engage with their families. Having little or no patience with their children, all child-rearing is left up to their wives. While their wives are busy taking care of the family, they are out looking for excitement and gratification elsewhere, often from other women.

Narcissistic husbands typically have mistresses on the side. It is not uncommon for them to have second families and second homes. They are highly insecure, especially when it comes to their masculinity, so validation from one woman, especially a wife, is not enough. They must keep seeking reassurance from new women through a series of affairs. Unsuspecting newcomers rarely know these men are married.

To justify cheating on their wives, narcissistic men tell themselves lies such as: “She doesn’t appreciate me anymore,” “She doesn’t treat me well,”She doesn’t really love me,” or “She’s lucky I even stay with her.”

The “other women” are treated much better than their wives are. They must keep up the grand facade to string these women along. If the men do have second families, those children are usually treated better than their legitimate children are. Much more narcissistic supply can be gained from a new family, one who has yet to see what these men are capable of. Some narcissistic men dump their first family and invest entirely in their new one. It is only a matter of time before the cycle of abuse starts all over again with these unsuspecting victims.

Should the first wife leave or divorce her husband before he abandons or divorces her, he will wage a tireless war of revenge aimed at destroying her life and decimating the family unit. Suddenly transforming from worst father ever to “Dad of the Year,” he will rally the children around him. This wake-up call has nothing to do with loving his children or fearing he’ll lose them. His motivation comes entirely from his compulsion to win. He does not really want the children—he wants to punish their mother.

To gain their allegiance, children will be told fabricated lies about their mother. They’ll be told that their mother is not who they think she is—that she is really a bad person, a fake, a liar. Their father will blame the responsibility for all the marital and family problems on her, maintaining that he always loved their mother and tried to keep the marriage together, but that she never loved him and was never faithful to him (more about this in Chapter Forty: Divorce and Parental Alienation).

This is a very confusing turn of events for children who had always feared their father and trusted their mother. Now they do not know who to believe, who to trust. Some side with the mother, some with the father. The children’s resentments against their other parent and each other build to a point where reconciliation is nearly impossible. The family is torn apart.

Having successfully achieved what he set out to do, he moves on to his next victim.

No matter the scenario, a trail of pain, heartbreak and devastation is left in the aftermath. Victims who have suffered this abuse are left with a tremendous amount to overcome.

If you are an adult child of a narcissistic father who wants to heal the damage done to you, my best advice to you is to enlist the help of an experienced professional who can help you work through your issues.

It is rational to want to confront the man who stole so many years of happiness from you, but it is pointless to do so. The only thing you will gain is more pain, guilt, anger and confusion. You will never get validation or cooperation from your father. He will never acknowledge what he did, take responsibility for his actions, or change his ways. He will always blame someone else—probably you.

Siring a child makes a man a father but not necessarily a dad. Dads love their children. Dads put their children before all else and all others.

You owe this man for nothing more than the sperm he donated to create you. Any loyalty or love you wish to give him is your choice. You are under no obligation to offer either.

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September 11th Memorial Music Video

Wake Me Up When September Ends

by Greenday

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father’s come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father’s come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends

Written by Michael Pritchard, Frank E., Iii Wright, Billie Joe Armstrong • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
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Narcissists Objectify and Dehumanize

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npd abuse26The narcissist’s conscience, though impaired and provisional, does not allow him to abuse undeserving people. Before launching his campaign of abuse against people, he must clear his “conscience” by first objectifying them and then dehumanizing them. Once perceived as valueless, he feels privileged to treat these individuals in whatever way he pleases.

~Randi G Fine

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

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Narcissistic Raging Blaming and Bullying

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Narcissists Rage, Blame and Bully

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

Just below the surface of every narcissist lie repressed aggression, paranoia, suspicion and fear. They are volatile, dramatic, and emotional people who feed off of any kind of dramagood or bad, negative or positive. When there isn’t enough drama in their lives they create it.

The narcissist cannot tolerate any suggestion that he is less than perfect. He perceives criticism as a threat to his self-worth and self-esteem, and that wounds him to the core. By core I mean the fragile underbelly beneath his tough facade that he consciously denies. The emotional torment suffered by a narcissist under “attack” is known as “narcissistic injury.”

When a narcissist’s expectations are not met or he feels criticized, disapproved of or blamed, narcissistic injury triggers erratic responses such as rage, blame, or the cold-shouldered silent treatment.

Negative feedback of any sort, even an innocuous suggestion that a person wishes to be treated better, can trigger the vicious outbursts known as “narcissistic rage.”

There are two types of narcissistic rage: “explosive” and “pernicious/passive-aggressive.”

Explosive rage is akin to a temper tantrum. It is a fury released at even the slightest provocation. Any challenge, insult, lack of respect or defiance whether real, trivial, or imagined can send a narcissist flying into this rage.

Explosively raging narcissists scream, spew horrible insults, belittle their target, dredge up sensitive or confidential information and throw it back in the person’s face, and aggressively act out. The narcissist’s face during an explosive rage is among the most frightening you will ever see in your life.

Pernicious/passive-aggressive rage is a mind game that is vindictive and emotionally torturous. Victims are ostracized and shunned by the narcissist for extended periods of time through sulking, ignoring, or the silent treatment. It may be expressed through body language, facial expressions or tone of voice.

Passive-aggressive rage keeps victims, who in many cases do not know what they have done wrong, in a constant state of anxiety, mental anguish, and physical illness. Since the isolation, rejection and abandonment experienced by victims feels unbearable, they are willing to do anything to end it. That usually means apologizing for something they haven’t done, groveling or coddling.

The narcissist’s terrorization campaign is all about power and control. Narcissists zero in on the weaknesses of their target and then attack when the person’s defenses are down. The punishments are mentally and sometimes physically cruel. It is never a fair fight. The only tool victims have at their disposal is placation. Fully aware of that handicap, narcissists ruthlessly train victims to fear them so they can get what they want.

Narcissists know how to get into others’ heads and learn what makes them tick. They scrutinize people to figure out how they will react to things. Once the narcissist can predict his victim’s reactions he knows exactly how to hurt her. He keeps a mental record of everything his victim does and says, and all the things that pain her. He bullies, harasses and provokes his victims to the point of frustration. When they react he says, “Look at how crazy you’re acting. I’m not the one with the problem, you are.” If his victim gets upset, he accuses her of being overly sensitive or thin skinned.

Narcissists can never be held accountable for anything they do. To avoid being pinned down they use a tactic known as “projection.” They project onto others a reflection of what they are feeling about themselves. When they lie they accuse you of being a liar. When they hurt you they accuse you of hurting them. If they make an accusation, they will later deny ever saying it. They’ll accuse you of being selfish and unloving when it is they who are selfish and unloving. Something or someone else is always to blame. No matter what occurs they will never accept responsibility for their part.

Narcissists have very selective memories. They will say they don’t remember something, deny it happened, or claim that the other person is just making it up. They will obstinately argue that they are right. You can never win a verbal battle with them because they are Teflon. Nothing sticks to them. The harder you try to hold a narcissist accountable, the worse the assault on you will be. They will distort, fabricate, or exaggerate—whatever it takes to make a point.

The narcissist lacks emotional self-control and is prone to wild, violent mood swings triggered by external stimuli. Criticism or disobedience is guaranteed to set him off. He can be happy, loving and fun as long as everything is going his way, he has what he wants, and no one is challenging him. But people around him never know what to expect. One minute he is pleasant, the next minute furious. He switches from euphoria to depression and from passivity to aggression with no warning.

Narcissists have poor senses of humor. They cannot laugh at themselves. The slightest joke at their expense will be met with an angry outburst. They resent others for being able to enjoy humor when they cannot. In their haughty, high and mighty way, they capitalize on every opportunity to dampen people’s spirits. When others are enjoying themselves, they must put an end to it. This is done through humiliation; through the devaluation of others’ senses of humor.

Narcissists do not recognize any of their behaviors as irrational or unacceptable. Blinded by their perfect self-images, they believe all their reactions are justified.

The narcissist continually walks a fine line between fantasy and reality. He confuses imagination with true memories, or he forms false memories and then distorts things to make them fit into his fabricated, recreated world.

Able to justify everything he does, he never believes he is wrong. He does not feel sorry for anything he does, therefore never gives genuine apologies. You may hear a narcissist utter something that resembles an apology, but it is never authentic. He is only imitating what he has seen others do in similar situations. If you listen carefully to the way the narcissist phrases his words you will realize that he is not sorry at all. And since he perceives every “assault” as a denigration of his soul, he rarely accepts apologies from others. Considering himself superior, he adamantly believes no one has the right to treat him as anything but. Lesser treatment is simply unforgivable.

Narcissists are impossible to get along with. You will never be accepted or respected by them for who you are. You don’t matter nor do your opinions, and you will never win a battle with them.

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Understanding and Healing From Complex PTSD

complex PTSDA major factor that makes recovery from narcissistic abuse so difficult is Complex PTSD. All survivors of this horrendous emotional abuse suffer CPSD to some degree. Dr. Mary Wingo explains this in a way that makes it easy to understand and also talks about how to overcome it. You can hear her brief interview with Randi Fine by going to

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How to Save Your Marriage in Three Easy Steps

This marriage was in jeopardy and the husband saved it. So simple yet so profound. A great lesson for all of us – a must watch.

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Time to Heal

This is the new song I am using for my podcast, A Fine Time for Healing. The new show intro will premiere August 19, 2016. I hope you will tune in and listen.

The song is called Time to Heal. Talented singer/song writer Jonny Zywiciel wrote this song as a fundraiser for the Amy Winehouse Foundation. He has a beautiful message for you and I would like you to hear this amazing, uplifting and inspirational song in its entirely.


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Five Gaslighting Techniques Used by Narcissists

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Gaslighting/Ambient Abuse

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

Gaslighting is one of the most insidious forms of psychological abuse used by narcissists. The term comes from the 1944 Hollywood classic film Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman. The story is about a woman who is slowly manipulated by her husband to believe she is losing her mind.

Gaslighting is a guileful and devious tactic, so effective that intelligence operations use it to interrogate prisoners of war. Make no mistake, gaslighting is psychological warfare.

All narcissists, whether they are parents, partners, siblings, friends or co-workers, use this method of psychological control. The tactic is used to confuse victims to the point of not trusting their own memory, judgment or perception.

So subtle and sneaky are narcissists with their cruelty that those on the receiving end find themselves questioning their own reality. Narcissists reinforce the confusion by telling victims that they are insane for believing what they believe to be true, or for not believing what the narcissist claims is true. They tell their victims that they didn’t hear what they thought they heard or see what they thought they saw, that they are imagining things, crazy, losing their minds, or over sensitive. Narcissists even remove or relocate things to confuse their victims and then deny the item was ever there or that they ever saw it.

The narcissist’s goal with this twisted, crazy-making tactic is to erode his victim’s mental stability by systematically chipping away at her self-confidence. By challenging the victim’s perceptions to the degree that she no longer trusts her own memory or judgment, he eventually renders her helpless, insecure, and unable to independently function. His narcissistic supply is secured.

There are five gaslighting techniques used by narcissists:

  1. Withholding:

The abuser acts confused, pretends he doesn’t understand what the victim is telling him, and withholds feelings. He will say things such as:

  • “Why are you trying to confuse me?”
  • “You’re not making any sense.”
  • “I’m not listening to you.”
  • “How can I possibly remember that?”
  • “You know I have a lot on my mind. Stop bothering me.”
  • “I’ve already heard this.”
  • “You know I don’t like to talk about that.”
  • “I don’t have answers for you.”
  • “I have no idea what you want me to say.”
  • “How would I know?
  1. Countering:

The abuser questions the memory and thoughts of the victim, and then supports the accusation with previous examples:

  • “You never remember things correctly.”
  • “You always exaggerate things.”
  • “You have a very active imagination.”
  • “Get your facts straight.”
  •  “You have no faith in me.”
  • “You are always jumping to conclusions.”
  • “You heard incorrectly.”
  • “You know I never said that.”
  • “Remember how wrong you were last time?”
  1. Blocking/Diverting:

The abuser refuses to answer or comment, changes the subject, faults the victim for accusing or blaming him, or faults the victim for reacting the way she did:

  • “I’m not going through this again.”
  • “We already talked about this”
  • “You are always looking for trouble/picking fights.”
  • “I don’t get where you are going with this.”
  • “You have to always be right.”
  • “Just shut up already.”
  • “Where did you get such an idiotic idea?”
  • “That’s just nonsense.”
  • “You are always complaining about something.”
  • “Why can’t you leave well enough alone?”
  1. Trivializing:

The abuser makes the thoughts and needs of the victim seem unimportant:

  • “That is hardly important.”
  • “Why let something so stupid come between us?”
  • “You’re just too sensitive.”
  • “That has nothing to do with us.”
  • “Get your priorities straight.”
  • “Why do you let everything bother you?”
  • “Stop analyzing everything.”
  • “Why are you wasting my time with this?”
  • “You always blow things out of proportion.”
  • “Let it go already.”
  1. Forgetting/Denial:

The abuser denies that things ever happened or denies promises he made to the victim to prevent her from getting a resolution:

  • “I never did/said that.”
  • “That never happened.”
  • “I have never been there before.”
  • “I never saw/moved/took that.”
  • “You’re confusing me with someone else.”
  • “You are making that up.”
  • “You are delusional.”
  • “You never told me that.”
  • “I never promised you.”
  • “There is nothing wrong with my

By creating confusion and anxiety, narcissists throw off their victim’s equilibrium. As a gaslighting victim you may experience any or all of the following:

  • You wonder if you are the crazy one.
  • You feel depressed, anxious, and hopeless.
  • You don’t trust your perceptions, beliefs or judgments.
  • You find it hard to make decisions.
  • You are always apologizing for things you didn’t do.
  • You cannot figure out why you are so unhappy.
  • You lie to protect yourself and others.
  • You don’t know who you are anymore.
  • You have memory issues.
  • You have lost your personal power.
  • You give in instead of fighting for what you believe in.
  • You get confused, disoriented or paranoid.
  • You think you are too sensitive or over reactive.
  • You don’t know what is “normal” anymore.
  • You are the first to take the blame.
  • You never feel worthy or good enough.
  • You always feel guilty about something.
  • You are exhausted and drained.
  • You make excuses for your abuser’s behavior.
  • You are fearful of your abuser.
  • You have shut down your feelings and emotions.

Gaslighting can occur in any type of relationship to even the most discerning, insightful people. Intelligent people believe they are immune to this type of brainwashing, but they are no match for the calculating narcissist. Beware.

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Are People With NPD Mentally Ill

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Can We Hold  Narcissists Responsible for Their Behavior?

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

People often ask me if pathological narcissism is a mental illness. The answer is yes. It is categorized that way by mental health professionals.

Their follow-up response is usually, “Well, if these people are mentally ill, how can we hold them responsible for their behavior.”

To be mentally ill is to have a disturbed mind. The minds of pathological narcissists are no doubt disturbed. But it is the degree of disturbance that determines what they can and cannot control. Those who are able to control their behavior are accountable for it.

Though narcissists are mentally unwell, they are not insane. It often does not appear so, but narcissists have full control of their faculties and are deliberate in their actions. To be classified as insane, a person must not be able to distinguish fantasy from reality. Narcissists’ realities are skewed, but these people are fully engaged and present in the real world.

Those who are insane cannot control their urges. Narcissists can and do control their urges, though it often does not seem so. They know when and where to exhibit their abusive behaviors. Those who are insane cannot conduct their basic everyday affairs. Narcissists get along swimmingly in life. They can be very successful people.

As survivors of NPD abuse, many of us suffer mild degrees of mental illness as well. That does not excuse us from being responsible for our actions. We do not have a “Get out of Jail Free” card, and neither do narcissists.

When we think of “mental illness” we imagine it at its most severe. But mental illness exists on a continuum. It is a broad category that encompasses many disorders and levels of debilitation.

Mental illness is clinically defined in the fifth and latest addition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as, “A syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.”

Mental illness is a very real, ongoing condition that impairs one’s ability to function for its duration.  It is a disease that disturbs the person’s behaviors and thoughts, causing the ordinary demands of everyday living to feel overwhelming. The symptoms that accompany a mental disorder can range from very mild to severe.

Mental illness is not a rare occurrence. These types of disorders affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. According to the National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI), approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (43.7 million) experiences mental illness in a given year.

More than 200 forms of mental illness have been classified by the American Psychiatric Association. Most of us are only familiar with a few; the ones we hear a lot about such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. This book will specifically focus on narcissistic personality disorder, not often discussed or commonly understood.

One in eleven people meet the diagnostic criteria for having a personality disorder. Personality disorders are grouped in the DSM-5 in three clusters; cluster A, cluster B and cluster C. Narcissistic personality disorder is a cluster B disorder, also referred to as “the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster,” along with antisocial personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

Personality disorders are extreme manifestations of common behaviors that significantly impair a person’s ability to behaviorally respond to life in an acceptable way, and create difficulty in the person’s interactions with others. They are sets of chronic, inflexible personality traits, or patterns of deviant or abnormal behavior that those who have them will not change, even when their behavior troubles everyone around them and negatively impacts all their relationships.

Personality disorders are not limited to episodic mental illness, are not caused by illness or injury, and aren’t an effect of substance abuse.

There is a great deal of controversy among mental health professionals over how personality disorders are clinically defined, because people with the signs and symptoms of one personality disorder often exhibit symptoms of one or more other disorders. This overlapping often results in multiple diagnoses, putting the validity of each individual qualification in question.

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Moving Past a Relationship with the Narcissistic Personality Disordered

Beyond the BasicsI was recently a guest on Dr. Meaghan Kirschling’s show, Beyond the Basics. We discussed moving past relationships with people who have narcissist personality disorder. It is a great interview, definitely worth listening to. To hear it, please go to:

*After going to the above link, the player to listen to the show is right below the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest icons

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