When it comes to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and the consequences of being exposed to someone with it, there are the conventional ways of dealing with it, such as therapy and learning as much as possible, and the less conventional ways. I decided to start a series about what I have tried and what is working for me.
As I try different things, I’ll share my experiences. And before you ask, yes, I have tried therapy. It didn’t work for me. But let me tell you why: I was not able to find a therapist who could put the finger on what was happening to me.
It is not easy to find a good therapist who knows and has studied NPD. As I know I have mentioned in previous posts, many therapists treat the symptoms the patient goes to see them for, such as depression, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, addictions, and any other reason the NPD victim might have reached out for. However, they fail to realize that there are a cluster of symptoms related to NPD and, therefore, they are not looking for them and fail to see them completely. In fact, some of them are not easy to detect until several sessions have taken place and they are detected by a trained therapist, symptoms like Stockholm Syndrome, PTSD, C-PTSD, and more.
With that said, I may or may not try therapy again. For now, I’ll keep steering away from it. In the meantime, I’ll share what I’ve tried and has helped, no matter how small.
The first thing I did was learn as much as possible about NPD. I’m still reading as we speak. I also follow some YouTube channels. Knowledge is power and power got me moving. So the first tool in my toolbox is read and learn.
Learning that I was dealing with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder was the best healing tool I could have ever come upon.
The other tool that is helping me probably more than any other tool out there is writing. I am already writing the draft for a post about writing. It’s taking considerable time since it covers my journal, which is not a conventional journal. I’ll leave this one for the near future.
Starting this blog has also helped me enormously. This tool (starting a blog) might not be for everyone. I like to write and that suits me. Same with drawing and painting. I wish I could know how to play the piano. We couldn’t afford one while I was growing up. So I can only play some tunes by ear and with one hand. I won’t be playing at Carnegie Hall anytime soon. Nonetheless, I know that playing the piano would be very therapeutic for me. Maybe I should try taking lessons one day. Who knows!
This takes me to another tool that has helped me and it is still helping me a lot: Music. I had completely stopped listening to music during the darkest periods in my marriage. One day, I turned my cell phone MP3 player on just like that, without thinking. It was the best thing I had ever done in a very long time, even when I started to cry when I heard some of my favourite songs once again.
I started to cry because those songs made me happy and they brought back memories from when I was a happy, single woman who didn’t need someone to make her happy and who was fine on her own. I don’t cry to that anymore. I can now say that I will find my happiness again and those songs do help find the person I used to be again and little by little. She’s still there, inside of me, slowly coming back. She may never fully come back because I can’t be 100% that person again. As a matter of fact, I do not want to be that person again, at least not completely, because that person failed to see the NPD signs, which would make her vulnerable to falling prey to another narc
hole. Nevertheless, I want the best of that person to come back again. And that person was an individual who could find happiness in the simplest of things; who was optimistic and realistic at the same time; who was not scared to try new things and go to new places; who was assertive, independent, and self-sufficient; who would work hard for what she truly believed in; who would persevere; who would do her part and leave the rest in Good Hands.
Do whatever makes you happy, so long as you’re not endangering yourself, those around you, or both.
There’s something that I have found myself doing quite frequently when I feel about to give up or overwhelmed. On sunny days, I go outside, I close my eyes, and I let the sun kiss my face. After having spent a handful of winters in the Upper Midwest of the United States to where I moved over 15 years ago, I learnt to appreciate sunny days and the sun itself in a way that those who have it in abundance probably can’t.
You see, I grew up in a latitude where the days don’t vary that much from summer to winter, at least not in how many hours of sunlight we would get. But here, summer days are considerable longer than winter days. When you leave home to go to work and it is still pitch dark out there and it is already dark when you leave the office to go home at the end of your working day, then you learn to appreciate the sun, the warmer temperatures, and the lack of ice and snow on the roads.
Even in winter, I would go outside and raise my face up to the sun. Most winter days can be grey and loomy here. When the sun is out, you better rejoice.
Have you ever heard any of these expressions: “cabin fever,” “winter blues”? Neither have I until I had moved to the Upper Midwest.
It is normal for individuals in northern latitudes to have lower levels of Vitamin D. Why? Because we don’t get enough sunlight up here and our winters are long.
Sunlight provides us with Vitamin D, which is a great antidote for depression. Our bodies cannot produce vitamin D. The sun provides us with it and free of charge!
This small moment for myself has lifted me up from the NPD dungeons more than once. Try it. It feels nice!!!
Yes, there’s an app for that.
I’ve been trying some apps on my phone that have helped me in different ways. I will also share those with you in future posts.
Anyway, I am looking forward to sharing what I’ve been trying and doing with you. You never know what could work for you. Hadn’t I talked to other survivors about this very same topic, I would have never found out about some of the tools that are helping me to great lengths. Maybe I might be able to pay it forward in this way.
You never know what can work for you until you have tried it. And if it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to let go of it. The important thing is that you learn about yourself. Also keep in mind that tools may have a shelf life, too. If you exhausted it, do not hang onto it. Be grateful and let it go.