April 13, 2008

The N-Continuum & Technical tips

The Narcissistic Continuum Blog

1-I'm not a professional writer, psychologist, researcher or relationship guru. So please use critical thinking skills to question whether or not my experience aligns with yours.

2-We are not to blame for the terrible things people do, often in the name of love; but we are responsible for what we do with ourselves in the aftermath. Take ownership of your life again. Give up changing the narcissist. Change your life instead

3-Stop pathologizing yourself because you were in relationship with a narcissist, whether by choice or cosmic accident of birth. And don't let other folks pathologize you either. We are no more to blame for the narcissistic tornado blowing our lives to smithereens, than people building homes in Kansas.

Over the past six years, numerous websites and blogs have focused on exposing pathological narcissism as a mental disorder. These websites, message boards and blogs represent healthy narcissism in action. People are standing up for themselves and untangling their lives from narcissistic enmeshment, ignorance about narcissism and illegitimate self-blame.

If we understand the distinctions between healthy and unhealthy narcissism, it will be easier to stand up for ourselves. That's why my blog focuses on the 'narcissistic continuum' rather than focusing solely on malignant narcissists as the tornados they are. I will be writing about predator-Ns, too; but my initial interest is helping people restore their dignity after being turned upside-down by the confusing (and potentially dangerous) N-relatioNship. Once we get our feet back on the ground, it's easier to brace ourselves against the bag-o-wind. We might even decide to start running...hopefully, the other direction of the tornado.

Learn what it means to be healthily narcissistic and set your goals on becoming the person you’d like to meet.

A word to the Wise
“The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.” ~Judith Herman
People will resist your efforts to speak the unspeakable and you will likely experience a great deal of anxiety about breaking the No Talk Rule. When we question the inequity of power-based systems (this includes 'the family'), we threaten the privileged who prefer we accept our subordination as normal. Or even: mandated by God. Disclosing our personal experience with pathological narcissists may frighten those who resist conscious awareness of their abuse.

Breaking the silence is not easy. Ever. That’s why so few of us do it. Which is exactly how unhealthy narcissism proliferates when good folks silence themselves for fear of being judged by others. So take their accusations as validation you are defying the status quo and making a positive difference in your life and most likely, many other people's lives.
"About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won't like you at all." ~Rita Mae Brown

Technical Tips

In this message, I hope to clarify how people can best use my blog to help themselves while also encouraging each of you to increase your healthy narcissism by taking responsibility for changing your life.

My blog is organized in Categories listed on the right-hand margin of the web page beginning with Healthy Narcissism and ending with Malignant Narcissism. I intend to share my experiences about the distinctions of healthy-to-unhealthy narcissism while also referring readers to credible websites and articles based on current psychological research. I may have a different opinion about the interpretation of research, but for the most part, I rely on professional expertise to keep me on track.

There are Labels at the conclusion of each message posted on this blog. If you are interested in reading prior postings about 'malignant narcissism' for example, click on the keyword and a search engine will bring up prior postings.

If you would like to read comments on a message, click on the Title of the post and comments are added to the bottom of the message. I tend to be long-winded (no, duh!) and sometimes it's easier to read comments if they are not restricted to the limited space of the pop-up window.

If you would like to Comment on a particular message, click on 'comments' at the end of each message and a pop-up window will accept your reply. Comments are not immediately posted to the message. They are subject to my review and will either be approved or denied. Too many years in cyberspace have eroded my naivete about the innate goodness of all human beings. (insert wink here)

If you feel comfortable talking about your life, please feel free to do that on this blog or join a support community. There are so many good people in this world that if you're feeling cynical about human nature, just look around. When we ask for help, help is there.

Hugs all,

Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery


  1. I was correct to be afraid of my abuser, especially because his well developed behavior was increasing in abusive, but stealth intimidation of me, until I decided I would not longer live in fear but would take steps to protect myself and avoid his sneaky, isolated attacks on the normal life that I had a right to expect.
    He was not normal, and he was getting worse each day, fed by my pretense that everything was all right between us.
    I had the good sense to fear him and to reach out for help which was not forthcoming because everyone was so convinced that he was just fine and normal in his daily behavior.
    Everyone but me denied the signs.
    No one wants to admit that there is danger living in your home.
    When I found out that I was not alone in this fear, and when I could understand his consistent, aggressive lying to me as a means of controlling me, he immediately lost his power over me as I climbed out of the dark hole and reached for freedom to live normally.
    That blessed freedom came with his illnesses and death. I don't want to heal to the point that I forget to help others achieve the same victory over abuse.
    Peace of mind is an illusive goal for so many, but a person knows when he or she has reached it.
    There is so much joy in just being at rest, breathing, and feeling your surroundings, with no particular plan for the day except freedom from fear.

  2. "I decided I would not longer live in fear but would take steps to protect myself and avoid his sneaky, isolated attacks on the normal life that I had a right to expect."

    Sorry about taking so long to reply. The past several weeks have been a mess but we're rising above the chaos ONCE AGAIN. If there's anything a N-survivor is skilled in doing, it's Rising Above the Chaos and FIXING messes we didn't create.

    I liked what you wrote about facing your fear. Fear that was not only targeted by the narcissist, but used as a means of control to keep you in your place.

    In a healthy relationship, two people work together to help one another overcome their fears. But in the narcissistic relationship, our fear increases because the N uses it as a tool to guard his 'supply'.

    It's ugly to see the truth of the N-relationship without minimizing, denying, or excusing their ruthless behavior.

    Most people seem to find out that facing their fear is less dangerous than denying they are afraid.

    If you are anxious about anything, (being alone, for example) the narcissist will overtly or covertly play on your fear. It's not in his or her best self-interests for us to break free of our fears, now is it?

    This is heart-breaking to discover about a relationship in which we (as partners) were invested in helping the narcissist become as good as he or she could be. Most of us are supportive and pleasing-type people. Accepting the fact that the narcissist targets our weaknesses for manipulation and control, is a painful experience. As you likely well know.

    Thank you for posting on my blog and writing about the importance of Facing whatever scares us because in all truth, our FEAR is far worse than reality could ever be.

    Your message will be an inspiration to those who are working through their losses and hoping to come to peace with their lives.


  3. emm... thanks for text ))

  4. Hi CZ:

    I stumbled upon your site by happy accident and have found your comments interesting and insightful. I am, curious, however, as to what your credentials are in the world of psychologoy. I suppose this means what is your "authority" to write what you write other than, of course, unhappy experience? I.e. , have you studied human psychology at a university or other accredited educational insitution? Thanks so much!


  5. Hi KL!

    Thank you so much for asking! I wish more people would ask bloggers and website owners about their credentials and/or their authority to be writing about a specific topic---especially a topic as complex as “the narcissistic continuum”.

    I’ve been managing narcissism forums since 2003, having organized Web of Narcissism.com in 2005. My authority is based on active participation with hundreds of people over the past eight years. I have read and commented on people’s experiences nearly every day since 2002. Many forum members have remained in contact providing a long view of narcissistic behaviors and the healing process.

    Other than reading scholarly research and theoretical literature which may be as many as 100+ books, I have NO academic credentials proving I’ve done my homework.

    I do not claim to be a counselor, a therapist, a reverend, a guru, a being of light, a guide, an executive coach, a life coach, a relationship coach, a personal coach, a coach of any kind, an expert. Please poke me in the eye if I ever lay claim to one of those titles.

    If you browse my articles, you will notice a list of Resources for each article. This is because:

    I want to inspire people to study further after reading my viewpoint. I want to encourage people to pick up the research themselves and draw their own conclusions.

    I want readers to know that each of us is responsible for the quality of our lives and we can learn, unlearn and relearn no matter our age, no matter our situation. Just ‘cuz you didn’t get a degree in psychology, you don’t get a free pass on ignorance.

    Access to information is abundant, including psychology lectures from Stanford and Berkeley and Yale. This information is FREE and it’s open to anyone with a computer, some time and enough desire to use a dictionary.

    Anyone reading my blog should use critical thinking. Be skeptical. Ask questions. Examine the research.

    Thanks for asking! Keep asking…we should all be critical consumers and ask more questions, not fewer!


    P.S. I studied Interior Design at University, thus the beautiful blog. ha! My background is in the arts with a smattering of schooling in Women’s Studies.

  6. CZ, cannot get onto forum ( repeatedly get error message: "Incorrect key file for table './webofnar_Forums/smf_sessions.MYI'; try to repair it") nor can I send you a message to let you know. - WTS


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