Resources, Suggestions and Information

Facing our Greatest Fear ...

I began writing a piece the other day on the feeling of powerlessness, which I believe is the most repressed (or avoided) human emotion.

I had some inkling before I sat down to write that I might be walking out onto dangerous ground with this, but poking about in the deepest darkest recesses of the human psyche is what I do here, so with a keen sense of curiosity and adventure I set out to explore the workings of my own feelings of powerlessness.  



Well 2 days into that journey I can certainly share that my initial fear was justified and I truly had no idea how hard this would hit me. 



After a tough night I went back to work on my article (which I had already put 4 hours work into) only to find that for no good reason it disappeared from the screen and then blogger proceeded to auto-save the blank page that was now in front of me. In less than 5 seconds all my work was gone and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

HMMM ... powerlessness is a really tough one isn’t it?

So after feeling my life caving in on me (and some unbelievably painful situations arising for me emotionally), I came to the firm conclusion that although I share a lot of my life here on this site, there are perhaps some things - such as my own feelings of powerlessness - that I need to draw a line about sharing.  



I also decided pretty decisively that powerlessness is not something I want to intentionally call in to my consciousness to explore.

So instead today I have decided to share my ideas on this subject in a fairly straightforward and analytical way, this time leaving out my own personal stories and examples ...

Powerlessness



When we feel in control of our lives and in control of our basic emotional and physical needs, we tend to feel OK and get along in life without too many upsets. 



When we stop feeling in control however and begin to feel powerless - and find no effective “tools” that will put us back in charge of our lives, anxiety and panic may quickly begin to set in. 



The feeling of powerlessness is in fact so unpleasant for most of us, that we will do just about anything to avoid facing this feeling in ourselves for very long.

For example; to avoid feeling powerless we might ...

  • Use our bad moods to try and control others.
  • Use anger to try and get our way.
  • Blame others for our feelings of helplessness.
  • Assure ourselves that we 'have it all together' and have all the answers - when it should be obvious from the problems we are facing that we really don’t.
  • Get sick to gain the time, attention and sympathy we need from others or a reprieve from the unbearable situation or workload we face at home, school or work.
  • Even blame ourselves (for things well beyond our control) and feel guilty rather than admit that bad (and sad) stuff just happens sometimes and there is very little we can do about it.
These things we do to avoid feeling powerless hurt ourselves and the people around us and so exploring better solutions for dealing with this feeling has to be worth putting some time into ...

Don’t sit there feeling powerless ...



First to avoid becoming crippled by a sense of powerlessness we must sometimes accept that some things are beyond our control, and in our mind give these type of problems to somebody else to deal with. This may mean giving the problem to God (or any other higher power that you believe to be a force for good). I have heard this called “Give it to God” or “Putting it in the God box.” 



Second is to consider what success truly is? Are overpaid, narcissistic (and perhaps drug addicted) actors or sportsmen or corrupt politicians really success? Our world has been over run with celebrity worship which has seen our standards for success radically change in the last century. 



You do not need to be a CEO or best selling author to be powerful and I would suggest that the most important people in this day and age are the ones who are simply working to be a stable (emotional and financial) influence in their community, while holding true to their own values and morals, despite the confusion and despair that often surrounds us.

It is important to also share this with your children. Let them know that they do not have to be the best at anything (or a celebrity) to impress you, but rather that you will be proud to see them grow up to become emotionally and financially stable and trustworthy.  



Third, I would like to suggest that you put together as big a tool kit of resources as you can - so that the next time you start to feel powerless you will have some new and better ideas to reach for. If you often feel powerless this is vital, because if you continue only reaching for what is old and familiar - but hasn’t worked for you in the past, you will unfortunately only keep getting the same unsatisfactory result.

Besides my list above can you believe some of these mistakes people will make in their effort to become more powerful? ...
  • Expensive Cars and Homes and Clothes - Leaving you a slave to debt.
  • Smoking (to look tough and cool) - Leaving you addicted, smelly, broke and sick.
  • Drinking (because it's what 'grown ups' do) -  And again - addicted, smelly, broke and sick.
  • Illegal and Prescription Mood Enhancers and Pain Killers (to put you in 'control' of your pain) - Perhaps leaving you addicted, broke, impotent, a zombie and in danger of a heart attack or over dose..
  • Credit Cards - Leaving you a slave to debt.
Ok, sorry if I was harsh there and I could go on and on here - because the traps out there are beyond counting, but I think that you probably get the idea (-: ...

To encourage you to come up with a better tool kit, I will include a list of resources and suggestions here and hope that others may join in the comments section and share their own ideas they have found effective. 



I must admit that I am not too clear on how the Friends Connect social networking bar on this site works, so if someone else does and would kindly explain it in the comments section, I know a lot of potential friendships might also begin here from people writing to each other personally. 



Resources, suggestions and information to help if you are feeling powerless ...  



Simpleology  - Bring sanity back to your day.

 A daily program to increase your personal power by increasing the money, energy and time available to you. (Get organized!)

Catch Him and Keep Him  - Learn skills to create attraction and a deep emotional and sexual connection with the man you want close.

 (I was very sceptical of Christian's ebook before I bought it but I have to admit I learned more from him on this subject than anyone).

The Wellness Audio Institute - Enjoy pain free, drug free and low cost relief from stressful and overwhelming emotions including anxiety, depression, ADHD, insomnia, chronic pain and/or addictions. Great for learning to self soothe. 

(My personal secret weapon which I carry on my ipod in my handbag!).

The Love Safety Net Workbook - Learn to deal with power struggles and tricky relationships. Exercises to build lasting attachment and respect in even the most difficult friend / work / love / family / relationships in your life.



Back from the Looking Glass - End the domestic abuse - 12 steps to bring security back to your home. 



Peak 8 - Free Movie - Learn the the most advanced science of exercise and reclaim your shape and fitness while only exercising  30 minutes per week.   



The little Book of Empathy Love and friendship - Do you wonder why people feel more empathy for some people than they do for others? Learn the basics of becoming someone that people respect and care about.



10 Steps to Overcome Your Codependence - Are you always waiting on that special someone to call? Codependence = Emotional dependence which is behavior you can learn to overcome. Stop the emotional vampire act and walk into a life filled with love today. 



Lovable Me - Know that you are lovable and loved - an anxiety reduction audio with positive affirmations from myself and Steve. 



Reconnect - Empowering discussion topics for yourself and your spouse or the support group you attend. 



Children Full of Life - A free online movie - The most powerful expose on human emotions that I have ever witnessed. Be ready to cry in the first 3 minutes of this amazing real life documentary.  



Validation - A free online movie - A short YouTube movie to put a smile back on your face. 



The Body Ecology Diet - A diet I have personally seen reverse autism. This diet is not easy (because you will have to learn to open coconuts and make kefir), but is tasty and by far the best diet I have ever seen for perfect health. 



Health Recovery Center - Alcohol and drug dependency recovery with over a 70% success rate. 
Treating addiction without treating the bodies underlying nutritional damage and deficiencies can lead to depression and even suicide. Get clean, sober, happy & healthy with “7 Weeks to Sobriety” which you can order on this site.

The World Needs All Kinds of Minds - A free online movie - Social skills are not everything, this is one for all my fellow geeks out there!

* Some of the links above are affiliate links and some are not - but these are recommendations of the absolute best information we have come across (or offer). 

I look forward to your ideas and suggestions too. Don’t just sit there - let’s get in and start working to create more stability in our homes and communities!


Until next time!


Kim Cooper
http://www.narcissismcured.com

17 comments:

  1. Dear Kim,

    Thank you for sharing and would like to express my gratitude for having your wisdom available for those who need it, especially myself.
    I have transformed into a new person and able to see things in different perspective, and hold resentment no more (I AM at peace with myself). However I must say you have been fortunate one I know which you have brought your husband back into your lighted path. I could only do so much but one has to be willing to change for himself/herself.

    God Bless You and your family, you are beautiful.

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  2. I just wanted to say the Body Ecology Diet is not the way to help autism. Its a hard diet for people who have autistic symptoms because of focus issues. Keep it simple. Moderate protien,veggies, High good fats, NO sugar,gluten, casien (dairy), NO complex carbs or low in red potato and brown rice only. All food cooked from scratch. Basic vitamins, C,calcium, shark oil, codliver oil,niacin,E,Magnesium,B12 spray,Bcomplex.
    Diet is so important for everyone. Thank you for your work.

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  3. These points are so on target.
    1. Sometimes we must keep our spiritual awakenings private. Although we wish to be totally open and "naked" -- as the title of my first book suggests -- people can get caught up in the gossip and miss the message. Spirit will sometimes cause things to happen like a lost computer file because we were not supposed to share everything that we had been taught along our journey.

    2. Powerlessness is such a "powerful" lesson. From our private lives to the public political stage, we all could do better with how we handle that energy. Ultimately, we are powerless -- in the grand scheme of things. The power that we do have, though, is the power to love. If we could just get that one right, our world would be a better place.

    3. I am so glad you talked about success. It coincided with a paper I just released, entitled, "Moving from Myopia and Narcissism to Grace and Mercy." I totally agree with you that if we could start delivering a different message to our kids, our culture would change. I had a starling moment as a child when I realized that if one of us grew up to be president, another grew up to be a convicted criminal, and the other was a school teacher, mother would love us all the same. Her love was not a function of our station in life, but of our humanity.

    May God's blessings rest with you as you continue to help guide us on our journey.

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  4. Kim,

    You are truely blessed to have Steve accept his condition and want to change. I've spent 6 years with a girl named Megan, who will not accept the fact that she suffers from NPD. I've educated her on the disorder, shown facts of her behaviors, and she still won't change(even though she says she has). She has spent 2 years in jail, bounces from job to job, and has no friends.

    I've been a God-serving Christian for many years. I've helped many people with different problems. This is my only defeat! The sad part is, that in my heart, I see God's wrath on it's way and I can't do anything to stop it. I've loved her, prayed for, and educated her. Nothing works! God bless Steve! He's one-in-a-million!

    Thank you both for what you are trying to do. I'm sure there are more Narcissists than Steve that have been saved due to your efforts. May God continue to bless you both.....

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  5. I liked what you said about sometimes handing things over to God when they are beyond our control. I have also suffered from anxiety and I believe it largely comes from a need to control everything and everyone. I believe there is some of this in people with NPD, also. I have learned that you have much more control when you "Let go and let God." This is a mantra I sometimes have to repeat to myself and thought some might find it helpful. Thanks again, Kim. You talk about that police officer being a guardian angel to you. You have been this for me. Thank you to Steve, as well. If he hadn't gotten to a place where he was mature enough to share how he used to be, I'm not sure your materials would be as powerful.

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  6. Thank you, Kim!

    as usual i enjoyed your writing (style and content) and your timing is always spot on. even eerie. had just finished a letter recounting the ups and downs of starting my own company when poof! it vanished.

    dashed off a few sentences and sent a photo instead. i knew that the paragraphs i had written were for me. to review how far i had come and solidify my path for the future.

    confessing that i had lost a long letter brought protests from the recipient. a mild scolding, hints on how to avoid losing even one precious word in the future. but i know that life always works out perfectly. like your perfect timing.

    please! keep writing and smiling and bringing knowledge and hope to everyone who visits your site. your light is amazing! you should know that there are many, like myself, who treasure your work and don't often leave a comment. usually, i am so energized by your strength and wisdom that i just get straight to work and i forget to let you know how much i appreciate YOU!

    thank you again, Erin Michelle

    ps couldn't comment unless i used anonymous, not because i wanted to be.

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  7. Thank you Kim for this and all your posts and work. I'm not into writing comments but just wanted you to know that you've helped me immensely. Your Back From the Looking Glass was instrumental in my lifting myself up from a broken down mess. Two years later I feel really good about who I am. Now the man,...? That's a tougher nut to crack! :-) I'll just carry on with the self improvement for now.

    Right on sista!

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  8. What a magnificent article and how I could write forever on this . Is power all it is cracked up to be , sorry the answer is no . In my opinion what is more important than power is teamwork . Also there is plenty of things that are too big for us to take authority over and yes I agree give them to a higher authority than ourselves.
    Your toolkit blew me away and thanks for that , I am guilty of doing things the old unsuccessful way and changes are in motion as we speak.
    I am a reformed narcissist and to be powerless over a situation is extremely trying for me , but I agree with the previous posting the only true power we have is love and love cures all.
    Also Kim those resources you have recommended , I use over half of them and they are great.
    You and Steve keep up the great teamwork and god’s blessings be upon you .

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  9. My question is how do you check your reality when no one see's the destruction the N causes and everyone looks at you as the bad guy. You said in the third page of back from the looking glass that your mother had seen through Steve, That one person who sees the truth can make you believe in yourself. Only my son has seen my N's true self. My whole family and the town of under 2,000 people think he is wonderful and I am the bad guy. I can leave the town, but my family will never see the truth, I feel I need to abandon them (family) in order to regain my sanity. The family all say "you keep going back to what he did, that makes us think you are the guilty one", and just like you keep saying I do doubt my own sanity.I have to be alone and read these books and articles or talk to my son to remind myself I did not make it all up. I just stay near my laptop and keep re-reading the books. AfterI read all the information you have linked to mental and verbal abuse did I realize how he slowly took control of me. I can not convince anyone who knows me that I could be controlled like that .The y say You are not a victim. You are too educated and strong. you would just walk away. they look at me like I am trying to pull the wool over their eyes.I don't want to be around them until they believe and understand a little what happened to me because they expect me to be the same strong person I use to be and I am not yet, I stay away from my family and my mom is dying, Dad died last year, and i have been estranged from my siblings because of the lies N told them for years about me.

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  10. When I post a comment I cant sign it because I don't know what a URL is?
    Also I only see the positive comments that say you re doing so great I don't see any problems anymore and if someone asks a question like I did in my last comment about your mom seeing Steve as an N. you just refer then to your books.I have purchased your books .I still have questions, like how did you get your mom to wee, my mom is dying.MY siblings think N is great Nd he has them believing all he said and I am crazy. Please respond with a real answer. I have seen 9 counselors, I have a BA in psych , soc. and humanities, Yo are correct the schooling does not touch the problem. Do you only post those with good writing skills?

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  11. Hi Anon, we post most comments here - the only ones that don't get through are spam and people who are abusive...

    I understand how scared and isolated you are feeling but it is very important you come up with a solid plan. When asking for help it is very important that you are very specific about the abuse and that you also ask for exactly what help you want.

    In you two comments here I see an example of you asking for help but I am not sure of your question or what you would like me to do.

    You are in a very scary situation and you are going to need to be your own hero - other people can help but only if you are very specific about what he is doing and very clear about what you want them to do.

    It is also important if you want people's help that you try not to criticize them or blame them for not helping enough already as a way of saying they should help you. Your comment came across that way and I don't mind but you need to know that you doing that is much more likely to get people off side.

    It is good that you have your son onside but I am not sure what you are asking about your mother.

    My advice is that you get very clear about the abuse and especially anything he is doing that is illegal. You may need a PI to look into that but that as well as finding a way to restore your own calm and sense of courage is the staring point.

    Kim Cooper
    http://www.narcissismcured.com

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  12. Hi Kim,
    From reading your work and what you share of yourself I feel I know you, but don't.

    Last summer my normally sweet slightly narcissistic bf became verbally abusive, with hints of violence. I found your work, and learned a lot about myself, and have changed so much because of it, with more to come. Thank you.

    Bf has not changed, but has actually gotten worse, and my skills are not up to this, yet. I am beginning to believe bf is depressed. In men, depression causes very similar behaviours to npd with the anger and abuse, plus those of depression.

    I am wondering if you know of or can advise about medical conditions that appear as narcissism, how to deal with it, or how to bring up treatment w/o causing another explosion.

    Thanks again,
    Rachel

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  13. Hi Rachel,

    I am not really qualified to answer that but it is very common for things to get worse before they get better. You getting stronger is making his game much harder to play and he will fight hard to protect his fantasy life (in what ever form that takes with him) just like an addict will do anything to get to their drug.

    Working on self soothing will make you feel better and stronger but it is not enough on its own. You will need to perhaps look at the chapter on limiting abuse in the Love Safety Net Workbook and put those exercises in action.

    This battle is a bit like taming a horse - it is not easy and you need to be prepared for whatever they try. Steve's behavior really did not turn around until I had him well and truly cornered and he saw that he was safe if he gave in.

    I haven't tamed horses but I like that analogy because I imagine it is somewhat the same ...

    The important thing to remember is that his fantasy life is probably only really bringing him pain so what you are doing in bring him back to terra firma really is as much in his own self interest as it is in yours.

    Hang in there (-:

    Kim Cooper
    http://www.narcissismcured.com

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  14. Hi Kim!
    Thanks for all your work.
    What do you do to try to help the narcissist when they feel powerless? He's depressed and not motivated at all. Have trouble keeping a job and has really low selfesteem, even thugh he covers thatup as much as possible.
    If you have any pointers of where to start. As the things I've tried is met by total resistance.
    thank you!

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  15. That is a tough one because when it comes to what they really want for themselves they probably had a parent interfere with that too much in the past and so there may be a wound there and you shouldn't go near that - but maybe perhaps just talk with sympathy about the wound. For Steve that was about playing music.

    On the other hand if you can find something that you are genuinely not good at (so they know there will be no competition) and challenge them to help with that might help.

    A challenge is laid down and then you walk away - if you mention it again it will become something they see you as nagging about and not a challenge.

    It could be anything but you need to get the wording just right so it is back like you were at school! "I bet you can't" often works well.

    Choosing the challenge is the challenge for you. It should be something that stretches them but that you know they can do.

    Start with smaller ones first and work up.

    If they take the bait be careful you don't give them a challenge that is
    too hard or they will get cranky!!!

    Good luck (-:

    Kim Cooper
    http://www.fightbusters.com

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  16. Kim and Steve, greetings from Dallas, Texas (again). I've been having a really busy (for me) couple of months with the holidaze, then freak ice/snow storms which is weird for here, and work issues. Throw in a NPD b/f who I have now struggled with for two years, our anniversary of that first weekend was recent. I played up the valentines day stuff, even made home made brownies and card for him- he seemed mildly grateful. OH GOD I DON"T GET IT! Tonight we had the hang up moment when on the phone. His endless checklist of rants against friends and me. I just couldn't take it so I hung up. I remembered how you say never to just walk away without telling your love when you'll return. SO, I felt guilty! LOL
    But, I have been reading and listening to yall, throughout these past months. I love this forum, as I always can relate to your topics and discussions from your readers. "Hang in there" is my mantra for everything these days! I guess I am like the responder on here that uses the anonymous setting because I don't know my comp. lingo! But to get back to my NPD blues, I get a lot of peace recently, and don't take things so serious that he says (because he is the king of making others feel like idiots)! But when I hit him back with a reality check, he often grins because he KNOWS I am right. Like the other night, and like tonight right before I hung up. I feel depressed right now, and somewhat anxiety filled. But not nearly as bad as it was before I discovered you guys and all of those that reflect on their situations. I find much comfort in these pages of wisdom. And know that all of our struggles with our loves is no different then any others, maybe just in details but the net result is the same.
    So what to do? Tomorrow is another day, and I tell family and friends that (thank GOD) support me, not him- that only time will tell. I honestly don't know from day to day what sort of mood he will be in. Am I the one he holds dear, or just a joke. I wish I knew deep down in his heart, but I have to go on my gut feeling, and hunches. Pretty sad not to know, not to feel the comfort of just that basic human instinct. But I guess I do know that I am with a very sick individual, like your earlier poster, and nobody thinks that a strong person, a smart person, can fall in love with such twits! (SH)it happens...LOL
    God Bless,
    E in Big D

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  17. I've bought and used pretty much all of the resources and whilst my NPD husband is still in denial and in truth probably always will be, thanks to your resources, I'm a cured codependent!
    We'd hit yet another rocky patch. He'd appeared to making inroads, taking responsibility for his actions, seeming to be genuinely sorry for abusing me. Then today, he said he had forgiven himself for his past, he'd never ever harmed me and al the upset was my doing.
    I'd spent the last 5 years giving a lot of myself to help him and support him through facing up to his guilt and shame that had supposedly burden him.
    It occurred to me as the day went on, he had wiped his.slate clean, why couldn't I? I don't owe him any loyalty, he has said he doesn't need me or want me. If he doesn't, I know someone who does, me! I've used up a lot of time and energy on him. Now I'm free of being concerned about him, I'll use that time and energy on me!
    It may not be the end result I set out to achieve, but i'm happy with this.

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