Verbal Abuse - Part 4

Today's article is about how you can notice if you yourself have developed a defensive and possibly abusive mind-set and, if you have, some ideas of how to escape from this destructive kind of attitude.

Up until now the articles in this series have been about dealing with other people in your life when they are in defence but it will be extremely beneficial if you can also begin to see when you yourself are perhaps doing the same. It is much easier to pick in others than it is in ourselves.

For starters, you should begin by first recognising that being in defence feels bad. Even if you do not feel miserable, when you are in defence you will not feel at peace with yourself (or the people around you) and you may also feel that you are perhaps one of the following - a phoney or a fake / needy and craving a hero to save you / stuck in a rut / spaced out / or superior to others and anxious to prove yourself.

Here are some signs that you may be in defence ...

A. You find that you feel indignant and morally superior to someone who has angered you and that it is urgent to prove yourself right and deserving of praise and success. You may feel a victim of being misunderstood and may want revenge and easily find yourself becoming verbally abusive.

Or perhaps ...

B. You feel that there is a hole inside you that can never be filled. You may also find yourself talking excessively (and too quickly) and perhaps smoking and drinking too much, but having little interest in eating or what the people around you are doing or saying.

Or perhaps ...

C. You feel depressed, stuck-in-a-rut and embarrassed about yourself and like time is standing still. While in this type of defence you will probably also feel angry at some people in your life, but you will take this out on them by being rude, moody and uncooperative rather than confronting them directly.

Or perhaps ...

D. You may feel spaced out and like you are not really present and that the answers to your problems may reside in the spirit world. You may even try to contact ghosts, angels, 'spirit guides' or unnamed voices to give you advice. Sometimes your escape into this 'other world' will bring some relief, but the sensations can also move beyond your control and become confusing and stressful and even turn into a kind of waking nightmare.

Or perhaps ...

E. You feel like a phoney or a fake and that you are like a robot 'going through the motions' but that no one really knows or likes you. Similar to the other points here, when you feel this way you may also tend to judge and/or criticise others.

These are some of the ways you may have learned to deal with fear in negative ways and it's important that you forgive yourself for behaving this way while you learn better ways of responding. It is also important to understand that these methods of dealing with fear won't actually protect you and will instead put you in even more danger than you were originally. This is like the kid who eats too much because he is being teased at school but who, by getting fatter, gets teased even worse as a result.

As challenging as it may be to put into practice, I want you to begin to see that the safest way to operate is with your defences down. This does not mean that you should share your innermost feelings or vulnerabilities with people who may wish to hurt you, but staying present and aware and allowing yourself to feel and communicate the true emotion you are experiencing (hurt or sadness for instance) rather than reaching straight for your 'weapons' or running away, will put you in a much better position to deal effectively with day to day situations that may understandably scare you.

The fight or flight response, triggered by adrenalin, was what worked for humans when we were living in an age where we were regularly hunted and eaten by big cats. At this time when we were forced every day to deal with lions and tigers who planned to have us (or our children) for dinner, putting on scary masks and making up intimidating dances that made us look bigger and more threatening or using weapons, screaming, hiding or any other way of creating a scene or diversion to make us appear very threatening or scary, probably made a lot of sense. This is thankfully no longer the case but our 'internal circuitry' remains somewhat overreactive to what life now tends to dish out on an everyday basis. When faced with insult or injury, unfortunately our impulses still, all too easily, jump straight to screaming, threatening violence or even playing dead or playing crazy rather than standing our ground. Saying "Hey I feel really hurt and a bit lost by what just happened and I need some time to find my centre again but hope we can work this out," would obviously not be appropriate with a tiger, but in most cases with a human it will work much better than us making a scene, running, fighting or in any other way acting intimidating.

Once in defence, unfortunately it can also be very hard to "reboot" your inner circuitry and get back to normal and so regretably many people live much of their lives in defence (and hence in fear).

Because this causes so much pain and hurt and can be so destructive, I now want to share a few suggestions that may help you if you find yourself behaving in any of the ways I described in the points above.

1. Try and see that you are in defence and realise that your instincts may be impaired because of this. The same as if you were drunk or on drugs, you may not be making the best decisions for yourself right now. Try and remind yourself of the negative results this kind of behaviour has had on your life in the past and give yourself some 'time out' to find your centre again.

2. It may help to think of your life as a TV that is on the wrong channel. The show may look enticing but is it really what is best for you to be tuned into?

3. If you are feeling that you must rush into action to prove that someone who put you down is wrong (by perhaps telling them so) - instead stop, sit down and remind yourself that you are solid and stable and that you need to take time choosing the best course of action now if you are going to hope to experience a positive outcome.

4. If you are feeling needy or helpless, get up on your feet and make yourself a nutritious snack like a piece of apple with some nut butter on it. Continue having small and regular snacks like this through the day and shower and dress in something you feel confident and comfortable in. Then allow yourself some fantasy time giving the sad baby or needy kid inside of you what ever it is that it wants in your imagination. Be nice to yourself and make a list of all the things you like about yourself and all the times in your life when you felt the happiest. Start taking care of yourself and making plans you can achieve for yourself and not relying so much on others.

5. If you are feeling stuck and depressed give yourself permission to write down everything you are angry about. Don't give the letter to the person you are feeling this way towards, just write it down and hold nothing back. Keep writing until you feel better. After this you should then destroy what you have written. Now, ask yourself what your goals are in life and how you can start taking some small steps towards them? Don't ask anyone else for permission to start work on these steps. Get organised to start working towards these goals while still keeping an eye on your current responsibilities. Don't allow yourself anymore excuses - take responsibility for moving closer to your goals without blaming anyone or anything else for being in your way.

6. If you are feeling 'spaced out', do some exercise or go lie on the grass or on the sand and feel the earth next to your skin. Become aware of your body, what it feels like to be in it and what it needs right now. Ask for a hug or give one to someone else. Listen to the wind or the rain. Try and see how many little sounds you can hear around you and also what you can smell, taste and feel. What can you see right now? Become an interested observer and take in what is going on around you without judgement. Look especially for what is happening that has nothing to do with you but that you still may find interesting.

7. Listen to some music that grounds you and brings you to a place of calm and humility. I like native American flute music for this and find it always grounds me and brings me back to myself when I find myself in ego or defence.

8. If you are angry write down what upset you and then forget it and focus instead on something that will calm you and bring your natural happiness back.

9. If you need to stay grounded while setting a boundary with someone you are feeling threatened by, try staying focused on the outcome you want. By this I don't mean wishful thinking but instead really focusing on a practical outcome. Say for instance your partner has been irresponsible with money and you need to separate your bank accounts. Don't just imagine that the problem will get better by itself and do nothing. Instead focus on getting your accounts separated without a fight and this action solving the problem. If you are focused on a positive outcome it will also be easier to communicate this. In this example you might say that you look forward to this action being completed because you believe it will help stop the fighting and so in turn improve your relationship. Your focus will also help you decide on the best actions that will achieve the outcome you want. This is especially important if someone angers you and you get distracted from your goal and start wanting to hurt them instead. Write down what made you angry and deal with that later but for now refocus by asking yourself what is the outcome that you truly want and focus your sights on that.

10. Get some sleep and try and spend more time with people who care about you and who love you, if simply a grandparent or other relative. As the Desiderata says 'many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness'.

11. Find a copy of the Desiderata and read it often.

12. Give yourself every little thing that you desire in your imagination. Give it to yourself totally and completely. Does your head ache? Lie down and ask it what it wants and then imagine that you have that thing right now. Once you feel better ask yourself why you needed that and why it was important? Then ask yourself, "Now I have that - what do I need next?", and continue in your imagination to give yourself all of the things you imagine. Be your own Santa Clause and create a space in your mind where you give yourself all that you desire in your imagination - not only objects but also respect and love and even revenge if you want it. Give yourself all of it - even if you think it wrong or forbidden. By doing this you will probably find that you stop wanting these things in real life anyway! Make sure you ask why. Why did I want that? What is even more important than that? Keep going till you are completely at peace and not feeling you need anything. When you reach this point go back and check and see if you really needed all of those things after all? If you take an hour or so and do this exercise you will find that peace is something you can give yourself any time you decide to. Once you can choose to be at peace you will stop needing so many things to be different and undoubtedly your life will improve for the better.

13. Except while doing the exercise above stop asking yourself 'why' and instead start asking what and how. Ask "How can I improve my relationship with myself?" and "What can I do to improve this situation?" These are powerful, life changing questions to ask yourself while "Why are they doing this?", or "Why is this happening to me?" are questions that are mostly unhelpful.

14. Worry about your relationship with yourself before you worry about your relationship with anyone else. Listen to what your conscience answers when you ask it each morning what you need to do today to live more peacefully with yourself.

15. Have an "I was wrong party" and invite all your friends over to celebrate! Offer to eat grass on the person's lawn who you falsely accused or think of some other way you might have a laugh at yourself. What will really happen if you admit that you were wrong or that you made a mistake or over reacted? It may feel like the world will cave in but it won't. Admitting you are embarrassed is in fact very endearing to others.

16. Watch a movie that makes you laugh. I won't share my favourites (because I am told I have a strange sense of humour) but I am sure you can remember at least one movie that made you cry laughing? Get it out tonight.

17. Stop telling yourself that you know what everything means. Does your partner ignoring you really mean that they don't love you or if they are always late does it really mean that they don't respect you? Perhaps it doesn't and there are other reasons for them behaving this way that may not have anything to do with you. Do more to respect yourself instead. Stay focused on what you can do for you and have a happy space of your own (in your house and in your head) that you can go to when others let you down or disappoint you.

18. If you feel like a phoney or a fake please read my article on this blog about identity.

OK so that is enough ideas from me for today! I hope that these points help you on your journey. If so, please pass this article on to a friend who you think might enjoy it. Stop and think for a minute now of 2 people you know who might enjoy reading this? I know these ideas work because they have literally taken my family from hell to heaven, so use them and please share them with others!

For example ...

Steve just took me away for an overnight holiday to buy some new clothes to work around the house in. He knows that I hate change rooms in clothing stores, and that I find the whole experience of clothes shopping really depressing, so he said "Lets spend a night in a hotel and you can buy everything you think you might like, then you can try them on in the privacy of our hotel room. In the morning we'll take back what you don't want and get a refund." So we did just that and had so much fun together I can't begin to tell you, it was not only fun but also so thoughtful of him and exactly what I needed right now. Come to think of it, I think it was probably about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me (-: (and BTW - we DID tell the sales assistants what we were doing!).

Imagine this from a guy who only 5 years ago blamed all his problems on me while he planned on abandoning me with 3 kids under 10 so he could go and live like a 'big shot' in another city! Can this be the same man? It's hard to believe but he is one in the same.

In my heart I truly hope that these ideas will work for you as they have for us because I'm going to keep saying it ... "Stable families are what the world truly needs right now", and one way another we hope that you will find the peace you are looking for just like we have.

In the next article here I will write more about dealing with other people in defence such as the 'lights on but no one home' stance and the talker who you can't get a word in edgeways with. "Hey, I used to be guilty of that one you know!" Maybe I will have a 'Sorry for being such a P.I.T.A party' and invite some friends over and listen to their stories this weekend! Ooops I have already had my break this week so I will be catching up on work instead. Oh well, perhaps I will do it in my imagination!

Hang in there and remember to be nice to yourself because you deserve it!

Kim Cooper (-:


  1. Kim--- You continually pour out value and hope. thank you so much. your courage has increased courage in others exponentially around the world because of your willingness to be vulnerable--- you do practice what you preach.... and thank steve for his courage to keep walking his own journey to healing and wholeness with you.

  2. Great to see this today! Thanks, Kim.

  3. Wow! This is so totally unexpected! Image, being a part of the problem, thus finding solutions, rather than being a victim. I heard something recently that went something like "if you spot it - you got it!" It means, pay attention to all the flaws you think you see another person has...they are probably things you have and can't see in yourself. So true. I still think Kim and Steve's web site is one of the best sources of information on this planet for dealing with narcissism - both of others and of our own.

  4. Kim, nice work! Very practical and thougtful suggestions. I really like the part about asking yourself each day how to be at peace.

  5. i really enjoyed this. this is how i think,(positive ideas) but being with an abusive person for so long has distorted my thinking. i never reliezed being around an abusive person can turn on you, and become just like them. i have alot of work to do on myself. thank you. that is what i needed to read today.

  6. I am lost...the guy I love is keeping me at a distance...can't handle the word love...but will accept me as a friend with benefits...but I want to be the girlfriend. I wrote e mails to him...he never writes back but reads them...but now has blocked my e mails since he thought I wrote a Dear John letter and was trying to be mean to him. I was not trying to be mean....I just wanted him provoke him into loving me more at Valentine's day...instead I got nothing and got cut off. I can't contact him anyother I cry 24 hours a day and try to send him an e mail 4X an hour...I am going crazy...and then I am supposed to forget all my hurt and smile if I ever see him again or I will scare him away forever. He misunderstands me and always thinks I am rejecting him....I maybe an "ice queen"...but he is the only person I have loved in my whole life and I am losing him because he thinks I don't care about him and is afraid when I care about him...he runs. I also run from love...Sad. What should I do? It could be the best relationship except lack of communication makes him think I am the enemy instead of the person who loves him most in life!

  7. Hello Kim and Steve:
    I would like to say how proud I am to have been on-board with you both from the start of this wondeful and insightful web-site. You both know where I have been in this. My only complaint is that I am no longer privy to personal feed-back. :) Prior to this article I have been doing some soul searching as well and this one has touched on many feelings that I have experienced in my struggles with my partner. What I did come across in addition to narcissism is passive aggressive behavior personality disorder. This has shed an even greater light on the problems I had with my spouse, some in which over-laps. Much of the two-faced issues that you touched on Kim is a trait of PA. When I read this I saw alot of myself in it. It is very diffcult to step back and observe your behavior, however it is also an admirable thing to do and can bring about healty and wondeful changes to your life. Your article today brings all of inner issues that one may have that can possibly lead to the types of relationships they have with others. It is so true that like does attract like, but we don't always see it because its too painful or we are too close to the forest to see the trees. I thank you for all of your insight and courage to inform and help others to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  8. Everything that you say here is so true and really eye opening to other's who look down upon us who whether married to your partner or not, choose to stay with them due to educating yourself about their mental issues. It is so hard for other's on the outside of your relationship to grasp any kind of understanding to you staying and continuing to love your partner, even your partner him or herself, what I have found is by educating myself about certain mental and emotional instabilities has helped me to deal with and of course understand my part I have played and still play in my relationship. Never having been with a man with drug and alcohol problems as being just one issue amongst other's. Thank you for this as I'm also part of a 12 step programe called Celebrate Recovery at my church and have learnt so much about myself as well as him. I will look into more of your information as I find this a validation to what I already know but one can never know too much and we never graduate out of life and stay learning something everyday from other's who have it worse or similar.

    Thanks to you and your hubby and God Bless the two of you

  9. Hi Kim, When are they going to send you to the UN to council the nations? I am not joking. : ) I do think that when I look back at my situation, it was very clear that the situation that started to make me codependent was, and usually is, reproductive circumstances that my upbringing didn't prepare me for. ie: having a baby with a man who really wasn't that into me, someone who I didn't understand that I had to 'manage'. Now, I don't mind drawing lines, and managing very well now, honestly thanks to Kim's and Steve's ability to share their growth process. This page on defence is excellent. Co-dependence is different. Co dependence is when you connect with the problem, like you go and buy the case of beer with your salary for the abusive alcoholic in your life. Defence is when you leave the house when someone is drinking too much. Confused defence is when you leave the house because someone has one beer. It is really important to see today for what it is, and behave in a new way, and I think that your reminder, Kim, is excellent. If we do leave the house all the time, we don't get to live there. There is enough space and love and life for all of us to be well. Keep up the incredibly wonderful work you are doing. Jen

  10. This article was very timely for me. My friend keeps urging me to take some vengeful, aggressive actions that will hurt my partner who just left me. He was very unfair to me and it would be satisfying in some ways but I would rather take some time to grieve and find my center again before taking action which my friend doesn't seem to understand and keeps telling me "eye for an eye". This article has given me some strength and confirmation about my instincts of what I need. Hopefully just having better understanding will help overall even if it's too late to stop some things set in motion :/ Thank you...

  11. Once again, you have described my feelings, Kim. When I read your article about sulking, I thought "that's more me than him" because I had so much unresolved anger and did not know how to deal with it. I finally realized that I was hurting myself and my son the worst, and only gave him more fuel to say "see, you're the one with the problem!". And yet my unresolved anger came from years of rude behavior towards me when we were around other people, including very flirtatious behavior around other women (which continues to this day), deceit about almost everything (to help keep his "image" perfect), and an almost uncanny ability to spend most of his time away from me(but only because "he's trying to make money for the both of us"). If I try to communicate with him, I'm just trying to cause trouble. He has said he doesn't want to deal with me or my feelings, and that to put up with a wife like me, he must really love me and I should be able to see that. He has hidden women's phone numbers and phone calls from me, and yet he can't remember or doesn't know anything about them when I try to bring it up. I wake up every morning with a broken heart, sure that he has betrayed me repeatedly. But to him, he is the perfect husband.

  12. Hi to everyone and good to hear from you Latonia!

    I am busy updating the workbook but just wanted to say to broken hearted - hang in there and set some truly amazing goals for yourself and start working on them and the steps in our ebooks today (-: Life is too short for you to let him control you any longer. Reclaim your happiness for yourself and your son and then let him scratch his head and figure out what has happened!

    Kim Cooper

  13. Kim, You have the most wonderful attitude, I keep on tuning in so that it rubs off on me! I have come to the concept of centering around my own truths as the only solution. Anyway, it's the only way to live life, and what I was doing when I became out of balance. Could you talk about centering in a concious way? In a way, the narcisstic behavior appears to be centered, which could be why I was really attracted to my wonderful ( really ) man. It's just that he wasn't really centered around his real inside self, but around a lot of superficial social expectations. I do think that we respond to partners who have something we desire, what a funny thing that in the end ( actually I'm in the middle ) it is I who actually really myself all along. Perhaps... it is the narcissist who is totally attracted to a truly sensitive in depth person. They just have a tougher crust, and the connector people have a soft biscuit on top. I guess the thing to do is decide that biscuit is really good for the whole family, and cut through that crust. I am writing from the USA, biscuit is not a tea cookie, it's like the top of a chicken pot pie! Centering.. Jen

  14. I can really identify with some of the strategies you describe that we use as a defense mechanism against the abuse. I had my 'bubble'. I imagined I could step inside when things were really bad. It gave me some protection, but I did detach from reality, not healthy.
    We had a new revelation today. We went away with two single friends, twin sisters, late last year, They were school friends of mine and we kept in touch. I did suspect that one of the sisters had a bit of a crush on my husband, but it never seemed to really come to anything until last autumn. She threw herself at him at every opportunity, even grabbed him to kiss him, trying to push me out of the way when my husband and I were holding hands. It all seemed very odd and she has denied she did it since.
    I had a feeling that something hd building up for a while. Looking back at holiday snaps over decades, I noticed for the first time whenever she and my husband were on a photo together they were often wrapped up in an embrace, she, as another friend described her, entwined around him.her head on his shoulder. I had been so cocooned, I had not noticed all this. I had objected to one or two of the pictures at the time, only to be shouted down by my husband for being mad. So I learned to keep my concerns to myself.
    He now knows how inappropriate this was and that she most likely felt she had the 'right' to be by my husbands side rather than me. She has not coped with our improved relationship and renewed closeness.
    It does echo in some of his other past entanglements. He seemed to go for shallow, vain types who were not after commitment or love. It was about their mutual needs being met, no strings attached.
    What he still struggles with is understanding his own feelings and reactions. he still has what I have come to call 'emotional blackouts' when he has done or said something and cannot recall it. We are working on it, but is tough for him.
    Thanks agaun for the site and all the excellent support materials.

  15. I just can't see how someone who is a
    sensitive person can offset such cold indifference combined with self centered involvement.
    It's like bouncing off a wall to try to communicate with someone who drowns you out by raising their voice louder and louder only to eventually ask you why you're the one yelling.
    I can't be heard, I am not seen as important enough or having the qualities required for the interest to last long enough to resolve any past or present issues with my daughter.
    When I am not a part of her life, she expresses remorse for her actions and takes responsibility for her part in the breakdown of our relationship.
    Once we are close again she reverts back to her methods of control, indifference, blame and self involvement.
    My heart is broken yet again, it doesn't ever get better and the insults and her drive to assassinate my character just get stronger with every passing year.
    By the time I am dead and buried she will be the perfect machine.
    She says "you can depend on me" and then throws me under the first bus that comes by.
    The minute I make yet another new life for myself the calls, letters and her need for me to be in her life starts all over.
    Her husband enables her behaviour and is narcissistic himself only more paranoid and manipulative where she is involved with having others take care of her whenever she summons them.
    Trying to communicate or argue with both of them at the same time is like setting myself up in front of a firing squad, nothing I say is the truth and nothing I say means anything.
    I am A. and C. on your list above.
    I don't want to walk around being angry with her or ashamed to be in her presence but that's how she makes me feel.
    I do know I need to get away from her again
    as I am getting physically sick from the stress.
    Thank you for the insight and suggestions given here, I know they work because I have used them before. I just feel like I can never stop the revolving door effect because I will always love my daughter.

  16. I am so ready to give up. The books i ordered from you cannot come a minute too soon.
    I was abused again last night by my husband and once again i secretly recorded it.
    I have several incidents on tape and really want to take it to the police station and ask for help. He grabbed our childs wrist so hard last night that his nails dug in and cut him in 3 places. Should i photograph his wounds??

  17. I feel so trapped. I really believe he won't let me end this relationship because he wants to verbally abuse and control me...what else can it be? I feel trapped and it keeps getting worse. I used to think that if he knew what his words did to me he would stop but he almost seems to be empowered by the knowledge. When I am crying he becomes irate calling me a child and that I am acting like a victim, yelling at me to just stop. I feel like I am becoming mentally ill and he knows it but has no compassion about it. He downplays his behavior and points out my behavior claiming he knows what I was up to, what my plan was...(?) I am afraid if he doesn't hurt me physically I will hurt myself.I've tried to stop contact until he can talk respectfully but it makes things worse in the long run. I can't listen when he is verbally abusive w/o getting panicked. He won't let me hang up or walk away--he says I know that it makes it worse but he has no concern for what his anger is doing to me. When he gets that angry I get afraid of him and then I do whatever I think he wants just so he won't get angry again but then I resent him for it because he can do whatever he wants and i can't complain because I know it will start more anger and abuse. Eventually i get so mad that I am being controlled that I stop tip toeing around him and then he accuses me of things and it starts over again. I am afraid of myself because I almost jumped out of a moving car when he wouldn't stop yelling at me. It wasn't planned, it was a reaction cuz I couldn't get him to stop. How do I stop this insanity before i lose my mind?

  18. Hi Everyone,

    You must start building a support network immediately and following the advice in "Back from the Looking Glass" about how to do that and stay safe while you are getting help. If for any reason you cannot afford our ebooks - please contact our help desk and let them know your situation - the email address is;

    Please keep in mind that we are not a charity and there are many people in extreme poverty who rely on us for help, so if you are able to buy our books rather than ask for them free we will really appreciete it.

    Please do not spend any more time thinking about hurting yourself as there are much better options than this and "Back from the Looking Glass" will lay it out step by step how you can get out of this situation and get help.

    Please take care ...

    Kim Cooper

  19. Kim, thanks for this wonderful inspiration. I have been feeling like I have been lost since I have found out about NPD. I have been married to an NPD for 33 years and have two adult sons who now have very different forms of NPD. Lately I have been planning on disappearing completely from them all to cause them some hurt back. After reading how to deal with different situations depends on how I react has given me some ideas that I can work on myself. I know my conscience will follow me around and drive me insane if I actually did pull it off. I have never run away from my problems before and will continue to absorb your information as a lifeline for me and my family. Diversified Debbie

  20. Hang in there Debbie,

    Dealing with my sons narcissism as well as Steve was what first made me completely determined that I was going to wage war on this problem no matter what I had to do. I do not envy the task ahead of you and I am glad that my writing can be a point of reference because I know when you are surrounded it can be easy to lose faith in yourself.

    Building a solid support network in your community is important too and Back from the Looking Glass as well as the Little Book of Empathy will help you with ideas of how to best do that.

    Oral people (talkers) particularly fear abandonment so reinforcing that you are not going to leave him and that you want him to feel safe - but that his behavior will need to start to change now or you will be forced to bring in outside help may help.

    I wince when I see people threaten to abandon kids when they misbehave out in public. That is one thing you should never say to your kids as it is very damaging - kids as well as adults behave much better when they feel safe.

    Kim Cooper

  21. Hey Kim, what is "BTW" and what is a "P.I.T.A Party"? Oh, I just figured out BTW - "by the way". I love the articles, Kim, Thanks! I think I am often in defense, because I feel so uncomfortable with what other people say and do and I feel sure your workbook and other materials will be a huge help. My family of origin with 5 grown children were pretty much driven apart by the dynamics. I see that healing can still happen.

  22. Hi - Yes you are right BTW is by the way and P.I.T.A
    stands for pain in the ass!

    WE all use these defenses but learning to take time
    out to get out of defense when you feel bad is a great
    discipline to learn that will leave you in a much more
    powerful position to deal with what you are up against.

    Kim Cooper

  23. I think I am all of the above, except for contacting spirits - although I did have a facination for the occult when I was younger. Perhaps abusing alcohol and drugs are similar or a substitute?

    I so love the suggestions and I know I must learn to care for myself before I can be healthy for others. Feeling miserable is not a good place to be for anyone involved :(

    As we say in NZ, "Arohanui" (much love) and "Kia Kaha" (be strong).... thankyou Kim & Steve - you give me clarity and validation <3

  24. I just want to know, if he ever quits being a narcissist, will he ever quit being a jerk? I'm so very tired of being verbally attacked.
    Tired. Very tired.

  25. Dear Anon,

    He won't stop being a jerk unless you stop putting letting him talk to you this way and start standing up for yourself. You will need to have the upper hand before he backs down.



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