Narcissism,  Opinions

I’ve Unfollowed A Therapist That Helped Me

Months after being discarded for the 3rd time in a confusing relationship with a woman I loved, who I thought loved me, yet couldn’t commit because of her traumatic history, I discovered there was more than just grandiose narcissists. 

There were covert narcissists who would never love you even if they thought they did.

I realized that my ex-girlfriend, her ex-husband, her oldest daughter, and her mother were all covert narcissists. That all their behaviors I didn’t understand, that was foreign to my experience with my friends and family were because they were suffering from a condition they didn’t see or understand. Even her best advisor, whom she’d known since 14 is himself a trauma survivor and is a covert narcissist.

I found all this out by stumbling on a therapist online that isn’t a psychologist, but is a medical doctor, that had come out of a marriage to a narcissist, and is trained in trauma therapy.

She was passionately on a mission to educate and highlight covert narcissism. An ongoing cycle in families that raised children who in turn, raised children that were harming themselves and others as covert narcissists.

At first, I was engaged, reading all her articles, watching her videos, and believing in her messaging; however, it didn’t last.

I’ve always believed that anyone can be wrong. No one is perfect. That even someone that knows 99% of the knowledge on any topic could meet someone who happens to only have 1% of the knowledge on any subject and it might be the 1% the expert doesn’t know.

I used to teach classes on AutoCAD, a successful commercial computer drafting program, and few knew as much about the product as I did, yet in class, I had a few students who taught me something I didn’t realize or changed my perspective on how to use the product based on their opinion even as someone that was completely new to the product with few hours using it.

I know you have to be humble and listen to everyone.

As I interacted with this online therapist who had set in motion an understanding of why my relationship with my ex-girlfriend could never have succeeded. I’ve realized I deeply hurt my ex-girlfriend by exposing her pseudo-self, which creates a fight-or-flight reaction to a narcissist.

All narcissists are made, not born. They have been neglected/traumatized and so all their actions, behaviors, and choices are based on survival skills they’ve learned that are protecting an underdeveloped wounded child inside them they are hiding and protecting. So they have triggers that are unhealthy survival mechanisms even though they don’t realize it. It’s their normal.

The first source of articles on narcissism was on Medium, however, as I dug deeper, I found great YouTube videos by Doctor Ramani as well As Doctor Les Carter. All therapists have different styles, and use different wording to explain the same concepts so following multiple experts helps me get a better overall understanding of the concepts.

This triggered my realization that some therapists might be doing as much harm as good unintentionally.

I’ve always trusted my gut in such matters because I have no trouble with criticism, feedback, or judgment. I wrote an article on that, which I feel is a superpower I have.

My interactions with this first therapist became as frustrating as ones I’d had with my narcissist ex-girlfriend. The therapist was focused on me as a confused victim without considering I was sharing insights either verbatim or blended from other therapists. I never felt like my opinions or ideas were valid. It always felt like she was talking down to me.

I noticed that she is vilifying narcissists and their enablers. Narcissists are victims that are stuck in a perpetual victim state. As compassionate, empathetic non-narcissists, we should feel compassion for their plight even though we realize we cannot have healthy relationships with them. Dr. Ramani in particular, shows such compassion and empathy.

I cannot find fault with this therapist’s goals of wanting to help victims, as well as prevent the cycle of narcissists harming others, especially children; however, comparing her materials to those of others who are trained differently in the same area she is presenting, I began getting concerned.

This therapist was vilifying narcissists, making narcissists the enemy rather than wounded individuals who we tried to help and then hurt those that loved them. Blaming them only creates a scenario where the narcissists’ victim can justify being a victim.

Acting like a victim and blaming others is what narcissists do!

This therapist and other professionals label the friends and family of narcissists, who may be narcissists themselves or don’t realize their friend or family is a narcissist, as ‘flying monkeys’, which dehumanizes them. Vilifying them.

I reconnected with a high school friend after my covert narcissist ex-girlfriend had discarded me. He was in an unhealthy relationship with a woman that lacked accountability and was manipulative and playing a victim, so I soon realized she was a vulnerable narcissist.

I defended my friend; however, months later, I realized he was manipulating me much like her, that he too is a vulnerable narcissist and I was his flying monkey!

I’m a good person with a good soul. I want to help, not hurt. I didn’t want to help him hurt her! I also do not want to be labeled a ‘flying monkey’. I believed his lies for a while; however, I eventually caught on.

I’m not a mindless ape; I’m a caring human who believed in a friend. I’ve ended that friendship now that I realize he, is a vulnerable narcissist. I feel sympathy that he likely hurt his ex-girlfriend as much as she hurt him.

 So the intensity of the therapist’s use of the phrase ‘flying monkeys’ concerned me. I was effectively brushed off when I tried to talk to her about it.

As I began watching videos and reading materials from other therapists who had experience in the field, I realized that they were like I am. I can see a person as a narcissist, feel compassion and empathy, then choose to not have them in my life because they will never change, and their relationship will never be healthy.

I don’t need to dehumanize them. I want to be a survivor, not a victim. I’m not going to blame them for how I feel, just understand why they did what they did, know it’s not conducive to a healthy relationship, and focus on what I can do to heal and be strong.

I know the relationship was as traumatic for them as it was for me.

So, we can understand narcissists as victims that cannot have healthy relationships. We don’t need to create negative energy in ourselves, dehumanizing them. Narcissism is a spectrum. It doesn’t have to be a diagnosis. It can be a description of unhealthy behaviors.

If there is any chance of reaching someone on the spectrum, how can we get anyone to consider changing if we create such a negative stigma about the condition?

So I’ve stopped following the therapist. I appreciate the insights I did gain from her materials that set me on my path of understanding; however, I will not help or work with someone that feels entitled to treat me as inferior by not considering my opinion somewhat and is dehumanizing a condition that although there is no cure at this time, is not something they can control.

Privately I stopped recommending her. My interest in helping her with her mission is gone. I believe narcissism is hurting society and needs to be addressed; however, her methods and communication aren’t based on compassion and empathy for all.