• When narcissistic parents starts ageing, people eventually see through the false charm and see the person for who they really are. Their behavior tends to get worse with the passage of time. As time takes its toll on their looks and their health they painfully realize that admiration is a thing of the past. Time has taken its toll. Narcissistic parents are immature, angry, volatile and controlling. Sadly, their parenting was not nurturing but a dictatorship where they have all the power and control. Eventually, their children get sick and tired of their behavior and reduce or eliminate contact. Much like a drug addict without their supply, the narcissist can’t cope when supplies become scarce and run out. They become chronically depressed and angry and find no pleasure in anything and become more demanding and worse by the day. Narcissists love the idea of family and take comfort they have a reliable support system...which means knowing that they have people who enable, embrace and justify their selfish behavior. Narcissists see love as very one-sided and not as a genuine experience of connection, empathy, and warmth.


    "The Tide Is High " is a 1967 song written by John Holt. Used for entertainment purposes only.

  • All-or-nothing thinking is a a cognitive distortion. Cognitive meaning the way you understand, think, and perceive. And Distortion meaning misleading or irrational. All-or-nothing thinking and fear of failure paved a perfect path to perfectionism. I was raised with impossibly high expectations that I could never meet and as miserable as that made me, it was familiar, so I stayed on that poison path for far too long and continuously moved the goalposts for myself. I still cringe when I recall my flawless execution in my attempts to control everything. I over-planned, freaked out when things don’t go according to my plan, obsessed over small details and catastrophized everything. I was addicted to friction as if perpetual struggling was my sole purpose here on earth. Believing that I had power over people and situations was abusive both to myself and the people around me.

    " For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound) " is a song written by Stephen Stills. USED FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES

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  • Object Constancy is a cognitive skill we acquire at around 2 years old and is defined as the ability to maintain an emotional bond with others, even where there is distance and conflict. In adulthood, Object Constancy allows us to trust that our bond with those who are close to us remains whole even when they are not physically present. We understand that absence does not mean disappearance or abandonment, only temporary distance. Babies that are instilled with object constancy develop secure attachment and cultivate sense of trust from within themselves, rather than relying on constant reassurances from external resources.
    Children with no object constancy are plagued with an intense fear of abandonment. If we experienced severe early preverbal attachment trauma, and have extremely distracted, chaotic and emotionally unavailable caregivers, our emotional development is stunted and we never had the opportunity to develop Object Constancy leading to Fear of Abandonment.



    Right Back Where We Started From " is a song written by Pierre Tubbs and J. Vincent Edwards. USED FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES.

  • Toxic family rules live at the center of a dysfunctional family system and are designed to keep secrets hidden, enable abuse, keep children in line and avoid responsibility while also preventing safety, growth and connection. Toxic family dynamics can have far-reaching impact on our lives as adults. Children of toxic parents are emotionally starved. The family dynamic functions around the needs, wants, desires, and chaos of the parent. Children are viewed as objects, things to be controlled, used and manipulated. There is no amount of storytelling we can do that will be more powerful than the societal standard held to never separate from family. We live with a grief not accepted or understood by society.


    Parody of Our Lips Are Sealed by Jane Wiedlin, and Terry Hall used for entertainment purposes only.

  • Albert Ellis, who is considered the 2nd most influential psychotherapist in history died in 2007 and believed psychological problems are due to pervasive patterns of irrational thought. It is not events that create emotional states, but the way we interpret them. Chronic unhappiness is not caused directly by adversity but by us, it is our irrational beliefs and thoughts that cause suffering. He said “There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy”. These 3 musts are illogical, they distort reality, prevents us from achieving goals, lead to self-sabotaging behavior and makes us miserable. Life is not fair, and things don’t go as planned. We cannot control everything all the time. Albert Ellis explained the emotionally mature individual should completely accept the fact that we live in an unpredictable world and there will never be any absolute certainties. The emotionally intelligent person knows that it is not always horrible when things don’t go as planned. If we choose to stay addicted to certainty, our perception of and reaction to life experiences will be self-defeating and counterproductive.


  • “Something happened to us a long time ago. It happened more than once. It hurt us. We protected ourselves the only way we knew how. We are still protecting ourselves. It isn’t working anymore.” ― John C. Friel, Adult Children Secrets of Dysfunctional Families: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families

    “recovery is a process rather than an event.”
    ― John C. Friel, Adult Children Secrets of Dysfunctional Families

    Millions of people grew up in alcoholic homes. But what about the rest of us? What about families that had no alcoholism, but did have perfectionism, workaholism, compulsive overeating, intimacy problems, depression, problems in expressing feelings, plus all the other personality traits that can produce a toxic family system much like an alcoholic one? Millions of us struggle with these kinds of dysfunctions every day, and falsely believe we are alone.

    Self-Love Recovery Institute: (selfloverecovery.com)



  • Boundaries are a way to take care of ourselves. It means verbalizing what impacts your comfort levels. It means learning how and when to say "no." When we set boundaries, we’re less angry and resentful because our needs are getting met and our space is respected. Boundaries make our expectations clear, so others know what to expect from us and how we want to be treated. Toxic people will do everything they can to ignore and bulldoze through the boundaries we try to set. They will blame, ignore, manipulate, guilt trip, abuse and criticize until you concede.

    Recommended reading
    The Monster Under the Bed by Kim Fiske

  • The healing journey was and is not easy for me. It is a continuous and rigorous cycle of aha moments followed by grief followed by acceptance. If your parents were narcissistic, controlling, smothering, unavailable, overly critical, manipulative, angry and emotionally immature...you may feel as lonely and disconnected as I have felt and battled the same crippling anxiety and depression that I did. I fantasized often that my parents would admit their mistakes and makes amends, that I would achieve more success than them and shove it in their face, and that the outside world would see my parents for who they really are and reject them. Having these fantasies reinforced and intensified my misery and kept me stuck. In this podcast I share the knowledge I have acquired during peaks and valleys of my healing journey. I hope it helps.

    Link to Brene Brown

  • In March of 2021, my youngest daughter and her teammates experienced horrific emotional abuse from the coach of a Division 1 collegiate athletic team. It was a sickening combination of narcissism, toxic leadership, and verbal abuse and I was crushed by it as there was nothing I could do. I witnessed my daughter getting the exact same treatment that received during my entire childhood and I worked SO HARD to make sure she never experienced it. And here we were. The panic attacks that disappeared 30 years ago came back. The anxiety and depression that I had diffused a few short years ago returned with vengeance. I could not think straight or sleep much less do a podcast. I had to disappear. After a couple of months when this coaching situation resolved itself, I accepted a full-time job and also sold my house in the suburbs and moved to the city in 2021.

    But now I am back...and begin with detailing the first visit with my mom in a year.

    Link to Glennon Doyle's new book - Untamed

  • Coming from a home filled with alcoholism and abuse, Gina knows the grit & grace it takes to not just survive, but to move into a life filled with peace. She trusts that her immediate instinct to follow her intuition (which she calls her light) has been the catalyst to every success she has been blessed to experience. Her greatest passion is to help others find, and trust, the light inside of them—no matter their past.

    With a mom who wasn’t ready to relinquish her party lifestyle, eight-year-old Gina was thrust into a world of alcoholism, drugs, sex, and molestation. Abandoned by daily parental guidance, she was forced to fend for herself and navigate a world that brought more darkness than security. As her childhood was scraped away bit-by-bit, Gina held true to something within that guided her, a light that burned brighter once a brief interaction with a stranger connected her with the truth. Everything will be okay.

    The Parakeet Drawing is a powerful memoir about the ripple effects of a small act of kindness, and how it helped one little girl find the strength within to save herself.

    Buy Book
    Web Site

  • "I am four years old in that photo, half-naked and burned all over. I am propped up into a sitting position. My hair, which had been honey blonde and bouncy with waves, sprawls in a dark, stringy mess. My chest is completely covered with tight, raw bands of scars. My right arm, also constricted by scars, is attached to my torso by contractures. My left wrist contracts in as well. You can see my tiny right ear and my nose unscarred, still sweet and untouched. The lower half of my face, however, is obliterated. My mouth gapes wide open because I have no lower lip to close it with. Fire has devoured my lip, chin and neck. The remaining skin tightly draws my face down into my chest, like a reverse face lift, preventing any emotional expression. The black band in the photo covering my eyes was to keep me from being recognized. If you could see my eyes, though, I would have been trying to smile as best I could. I was a good girl, and I aimed to please. Effort were paid to keep my tiny face in profile and to hide my eyes. But burn scarring is as unique as fingerprints; no two burned people get burned exactly the same way. It was clearly me. This was one of several stunning revelations I uncovered as I began to investigate the fire that nearly killed me a half-century ago."


    Flashback Girl Book

  • Vera Wilhelmsen was once ill with "incurable" chronic illness as a result from narcissistic abuse from her parents and grandparents. She fought her way out on her own, realized the root causes, cut contact with her entire family and all toxic people in her life and went deep into her own trauma to heal.

    She states on her web site “I was severely ill. Around Christmas 2018 I was preparing to die. I had been bedbound for 3,5 years. No sound - I cried when I heard cutlery. No light. No appetite. Dizzying headaches. Severe,. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for 6 years. I was sometimes crawling from the bed to the bathroom. I had trouble getting food and water in me. My hygiene and shower-routine was nonexistent. But I refused to give up”.

    She is now living her best life and helping to do the same. Her dream is to continue healing herself and help other people heal. She emphasizes “I learnt that you CAN save yourself and you CAN heal yourself. I am not a qualified health professional, but I can share my story and the resources I used, and be a friend”




  • There is significant truth behind the statement "everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about". A conversation with my stepsister reveals how toxic parenting, favoritism, manipulation and emotional immaturity can fracture family ties - usually beyond repair. My stepsister was the scapegoat and I bounced back and forth from golden to lost child. All the assigned roles have their poisonous ripple effects.

    It may help to first check out the episode titled "1 single revelation every BIG STEP she takes".

  • "It is my goal to help other who grew up in homes with Alcoholics. I tell my story in hopes of bringing awareness to Alcoholism. I want to help other children of alcoholics, find community, develop their voices and heal. My work is dedicated to help create community, promote healing and change the attitude around Alcohol." - Colleen Perry


  • Codependency, the habit of gaining your self worth from pleasing others, is something most people know of nowadays. But it’s lesser known opposite, called counterdependency, can be just as much of a problem and is often related to codependency. Those who suffer counterdependency have a dread of ever depending on or needing anyone, at heart of which is an inability to trust. If there was a mantra that all counterdependents have, it would probably be “I don’t need anyone.” It can cause intense (if often well hidden) feelings of loneliness. This can often spiral into depression and anxiety. If it isn’t the loneliness that causes severe low moods, it’s often the hidden low self-esteem that counterdependents suffer from, which is one of the leading pathways to major depressive episodes. I appeared strong, secure, hardworking, and successful on the outside. On the inside, I was ashamed, insecure, and fearful. Counterdependents may function well in the world of business, but are often insecure in the world of relationships. Frequently they have poor social and emotional skills, are afraid to get close to others, and avoid intimate situations as much as possible. They also create a lot of defenses to prevent anyone from seeing their secret weaknesses, neediness and vulnerability. I put on a good front to prove that I was okay and do not need anything from anyone. These defensive tactics create feelings of loneliness, alienation, and a sense of “quiet desperation.”


  • On my healing journey, I wrote (but never sent) a letter to my toxic parents. Journal therapy originated in the 1960s with psychologist Dr. Ira Progoff's Intensive Journal method. With his developments, the therapeutic potential of journal writing moved into public view. One of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy way to express yourself. This makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health. It can make us more aware (and self-aware!) and help us detect sneaky, unhealthy patterns in our thoughts and behaviors. It allows us to take more control over our lives and puts things in perspective. Further, it can help us shift from a negative mindset to a more positive one, especially about ourselves. All the experts encourage us to write freely. Silence your inner critic and ignore the urge to edit your work. Therapeutic journal writing is not meant to be pretty or grammatically correct; it is meant to be real.

    Journaling can help you:

    Manage anxiety and reduce stressCope with depressionCalm your mind, examine your thoughts and shift your perspectiveReduce rumination and promote action

    Link to poem

  • Emotional abuse is a way to control another person by using emotions to criticize, embarrass, shame, blame, or otherwise manipulate another person. In general, a relationship is emotionally abusive when there is a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviors that wear down a person's self-esteem and undermine their mental health. Children often lack the perspective to be able to identify the abusive elements of their emotional relationship with their parents, and it's only in adulthood that they're more able to detect them.

    The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal. ~ Astrid Alauda

    Forms of emotional abuse

    Ignoring and withholding attention and affection, including the silent treatmentDisapproving, dismissing, and condescending looks, comments, behaviorThreats of abandonment – physical and/or emotionalInvalidation – inability or refusal to acknowledge the child’s feelings or experienceCovertly or overtly make you feel in the way and unwantedBlame child for their problems or circumstancesProjecting their pain and disappointment onto childrenEncouraging overdependence and crushing individuality Intentionally undermined my ability to take care of myself and reinforced self-doubtNegative comparisons to siblings or peers – creating solid foundation of deficiencyExpressions of disgust that emphasize and emphasizes rejectionConstant switching from engulfing to ignoring, intrusive to indifferent, depending on moods

    Free E-Book

  • Shame is often referred to as “the toxic cousin of guilt. Guilt says “I’ve done something bad”. Shame says “I am bad”. Shame may show up in some of these ways: feeling inferior, defective, flawed, worthless, phony, and unlovable. For codependents, shame can lead to control, caretaking, and dysfunctional, nonassertive communication. Shame creates many fears and anxieties that make relationships difficult, especially intimate ones. Many people sabotage themselves in work and relationships because of these fears. You aren’t assertive when shame causes you to be afraid to speak your mind, take a position, or express who you are. You blame others because you already feel so bad about yourself that you can’t take responsibility for any mistake or misunderstanding. Codependents are afraid to get close because they don’t believe they’re worthy of love, or that once known, they’ll disappoint the other person. The unconscious thought might be that “I’ll leave before you leave me.” Fear of success and failure may limit job performance and career options. When we feel guilty, we are looking outward and seek to reverse the harm we caused. When we feel ashamed, we turn our attention inward, focusing on the chaos churning inside us and are unable to recognize what is going on around us. Authentic parental connection, unconditional love and attunement from the day you are born is a foundation for self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-love. Too many of us don’t get that. Instead, we get ignored, rejected, criticized, judged, belittled, controlled and manipulated and grow up into adults that feel undeserving, inadequate, angry and inferior…all leading to shame. I perceived everything through a shame filter, even when it wasn’t intended that way, it distorted my perception, created a manic hypervigilance to my environment and blocked authentic connection with myself and the people in my life. Compassion is the anecdote to shame. Healing requires a safe environment where you can begin to be vulnerable, express yourself, and receive acceptance and empathy. Then you’re able to internalize a new experience and begin to revise your beliefs about yourself. It may require revisiting shame-inducing events or past messages and re-evaluating them from a new perspective. Usually it takes an empathic therapist or counselor to create that space so that you can incrementally tolerate self-loathing and the pain of shame enough to self-reflect upon it until it dissipates. When we step back from momentary experiences that trigger shame and observe it without self-loathing, we are strengthening our capacity for self-reflection. Toxic parents shamed the real you into oblivion. Awareness and acceptance will expose the “you are not good enough lie” that we were told by people who didn’t know better. When you bring compassion to your daily thought process, you’ll be empowered and liberated by a shift in your thinking and well-being and you will feel less isolated.




  • Comparing ourselves to others allows them to drive our behavior. I often worked too hard to determine what others expected so I can make sure I fit in. I was constantly feeling less than, wanting to be greater than – leading to an ultra-competitive and unhealthy mindset.

    You can be anything but you can’t be everything. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re often comparing their best features against our average ones. Not only do we naturally want to be better than them, the unconscious realization that we are not is self-destructive.

    There is one thing that you’re better at than other people: being you. This is the only game you can really win. Once you acknowledge that lifebecomes about being a better version of yourself. And when that happened for me my effort and energy was directed at being awake and aware and raising my emotional IQ. I became more content, experienced a freedom that is hard to put into words, accepting and graceful rather than bitter and angry. Comparison fostered a false identity – once that identity went away I was able to focus on the present moment and be authentic.

  • When parents emotionally ignore children, they feel invisible, invalidated, worthless, and disconnected from their true self. Parents with unhealed emotional wounds are unable to authentically connect with their children and this lack of connection makes children chronically question their value. They then turn to OUTSIDE forms of validation in an attempt to block feeling the deep pain of rejection. And then grow up to unconsciously teach their children to do the same thing. It’s a horrible addictive cycle. If you grew up believing you had work hard and prove yourself to be seen and loved, you will perpetuate these toxic behavior patterns through your adult life in the form of unhealthy relational dynamics with yourself, your partners, your career, your social circle and your children.