What is New?


April 6 New Post: Some Personal Gratitude to All Who Have Enlightened Me, and a Little on Why I Decided to Research Topics on Narcissism (edited over typos)
March 25 New Post: Silencing From Narcissistic Parents: "I wasn't allowed to talk about my feelings, thoughts and experiences, and if I tried to I was told to shut up or get over it."
March 21 New Post: A New Course on How to Break Through the Defenses of Narcissists?
March 2 New Post: A Psychologist Speaks Out About People Estranged From Their Family, and Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Speak Out About Suicidal Thoughts, Scapegoating, and Losing Their Entire Family of Origin
February 4 New Post: Part I: Some of How Trauma Bonds Are Formed with Narcissists
January 15 New Post: Do Scapegoats of Narcissistic Parents Get an Inheritance? Are There Any Statistics on This Phenomenon?
December 15 New Post: For Scapegoats of Narcissistic Parents: "I'm being invited back into my family after being estranged, and I'm pretty sure my parents are narcissists. Have they changed? Is this an apology or something else?"
November 3 New Post: The Difference Between Narcissists and Those with Antisocial Personality Disorder: Narcissists Feel Shame and Regret for Hurting Other People Even When it Doesn't Have to Do With Empathy, and Antisocial Personality Disordered Do Not
PERTINENT POST: ** Hurting or Punishing Others to Teach Them a Lesson - Does it Work?
PETITION: the first petition I have seen of its kind: Protection for Victims of Narcissistic Sociopath Abuse (such as the laws the UK has, and is being proposed for the USA): story here and here or sign the actual petition here
Note: After seeing my images on social media unattributed, I find it necessary to post some rules about sharing my images

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Some Personal Gratitude to All Who Have Enlightened Me, and a Little on Why I Decided to Research Topics on Narcissism

This is a personal post for a change. And it comes with a picture I found on social media that grabbed my attention in a big way. 

(Whew! I had so many typos and rewrote this hours later!). To continue:

Most of my posts are research oriented and if you have been reading my posts, you know this.

But this one is about showing some gratitude to my readers and also the people who are in my present life, people who have informed me on this topic, and people who leave comments.

When I first started blogging, people weren't commenting much. I wrote anyway.

When I first started reading about this subject, it was the scariest, most depressing stuff I ever read. It wasn't something my 20 year old self would want to tackle at all. And yet, in some ways, I was writing about this quite a bit even then, only in short story formats.

My last post was about being silenced. But in the most silenced people, there is a story that needs to come out even if it is not in writing. It can be art, or dance, or even conversations with the most enlightened, or understanding people you've ever met. 

You walk around on eggshells for a co-worker, or parent, or partner, or sibling, and then after you can get away from it for any period of time, viola, you've made something out of the experience. 

For instance, a lot of my angel paintings were done during a time when the person I was attached to was not very angelic at all, for instance. I explored what it might be like to be angelic, to be thinking angelic thoughts. I thought about angelic intentions and intuitions. I thought about the mindset where you might think about angels in a lot of life situations and experiences, i.e. more than usual. Angels were the good people, or perhaps they were too good to inhabit a body, so they inhabited the spirit world instead, floating around mostly inaudible and unseen. Perhaps they didn't exist and perhaps they did. Perhaps it meant tuning in, such as you would a radio. Maybe they are stars that would blind us if we truly looked at them (so separate, but influential). Perhaps when you have really cruel people around you, your mind goes to angels so that the cruelty is not a constant reminder. Maybe, for me, I just didn't want to think about cruel people and what they tried to do to others, so the allure of traditional angels in their white gowns and soothing blue heaven with their ultra-compassionate energy and supernatural ability to read minds in an accurate way put me on that path for awhile. 

Most of all, this subject of narcissism that I write about is also about humans who are much more resistant to change than the rest of us, and really do not want to change, doubly scary and depressing. Dealing with the darker personality disordered means they are stuck with their personality disorder and you are stuck with it yourself if you are in their life in any way, whether that be at work, school roommates, your parents, your siblings, schoolyard bullies you barely know, or your friends. You come out of these relationships feeling like you've had the worst experience of your life, exhausted and sometimes sick, often with your life totally turned into tatters. You even wonder why all of their provocations and desire to hurt others were so necessary for them because they don't exactly seem better off for having gone that way; they seem worse off. 

Most of us find out that they have hurt a lot of people if you dig deep enough. And often they hurt them in the same way too. 

I mean, really. Why is it all so necessary for them?

"The necessary part" is the personality disordered part of them going to work, emanating from thoughts and desires of wanting to punish or bully. That's all. If you had narcissistic personality disorder, you'd be expressing things the same way they do. You'd probably be insulting and gaslighting others a lot. You'd be enraged if someone got an award that you think you should have been given. You would hate anyone who looked at you cross-eyed or who criticized you in the slightest. You'd want power, and you'd think you deserved it, and because you think you are superior to just about everyone on the planet, you would think it was owed to you. You'd be lecturing people a lot at the very least. And if you were Antisocial personality disordered too, you'd be a control freak and trying to take from others as much as you could get away with. You'd rationalize any sort of entitlement to other people's belongings, or their job, or their spouse, and you'd be planning on how to take from others, no matter the circumstances. And afterwards you'd have no remorse, as hard as that is to fathom. 

If you were narcissistic and antisocial personality disordered, and you were in charge of a country, you'd want to invade countries without provocation, to take as much as you could possibly get, and if you couldn't, you'd want to destroy countries they live(d) in. Most of your thoughts would be consumed with how much you could get, in fact. Building up an army and an arsenal of weapons would be paramount in your thoughts. You'd be trying to influence other leaders with charm, some trading of goods and raw material, some purchases of weapons, maybe even some minor gifts, while Machiavellian-like you'd be working on plans which only suited you, and you'd also be spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out which lies or gaslighting strategies would keep you in power for as long as you want, and getting rid of enemies who criticize you or your ambitions. 

Why is it necessary, or even wonderful to them, to invade countries, take away people's land and homes, and torture them? Why is "man's inhumanity to man" still even on the radar of human activity and consciousness?

This is the kind of thinking that this subject requires, however. 

Otherwise, to a rational, empathetic person without a personality disorder, it makes no sense. And very few people are going to tell you it makes sense unless they are one of them, or enabling the behavior, kind of the way people can enable the terrible behaviors of alcoholics with domestic violence tendencies: "Oh, he was just drunk! He never meant it! Just forgive him already! He didn't know what he was doing, get it?" 

I was lucky early on to have a friend whose family is full of therapists walk me through everything that was said and done to explain how the personality disorder was speaking through that other person. 

I was lucky in high school to have a best friend who was living through similar circumstances I was going through, and offer solace and so much more perspective than I ever could on my own. 

Eventually there was so much knowledge at my feet, that writing about this subject became as "necessary" to me as all of the narcissists that perpetrate attacks on other individuals. I hope this knowledge provides some good defense strategies against narcissistic attacks, at least internally, at least in knowing that their way of thinking and feeling is never going to be the way that you think and feel. With the lack of empathy and lack of understanding that narcissists have in spades, they will not understand who we are, and unless we study their abuses and tactics, and why they all tend to use the same ones, we will never understand them either. 

If we imagine an organ in our body that has gone numb, that's what they are dealing with in terms of their lack of empathy. 

Anyway, your comments do help me to plunge forward into more and more discoveries. The fact that silent treatments that are long, confusing to most of us, and are meant to punish, are primarily found to be perpetrated by dark triad individuals (narcissists with antisocial personality disordered traits). It is the latest news about this subject, and nothing that I would normally find unless I was plugged into this topic. I had to pass it on to my readers.

It means you don't have to scratch your head if you get a punishing silent treatment, or try to figure out how to resolve it, or spend lots of time on what was said that could have set it off. It's just another narcissistic-sociopathic punishment at work, period. It's part of their "arsenal of weapons", if you will. 

It also means, in the end, that it's something that is pretty exclusive to them.  

The other side to this is that most of us are not equipped to deal with punishing silent treatments, just as most of us cannot live with active alcoholics who perpetrate domestic violence. And especially if it was done more than once. It's going to turn most of us into "runners" in terms of getting away from them. We know that too from the Gottman Institute because of the research that they'd done on this phenomenon, and that psychologists and psychiatrists have tried in similar experiments, to see if they came up with the same conclusions. Yes. 

Who knew that an aggression and responses to the aggression were so predictable? It takes research, and has to include people who bring these subjects to the public. 

So, to get back on topic, the comments keep me going forward.

I found out that a friend on Facebook had been reading my blog in the first years after I started it with the words "narcissists in the workplace" in a search engine. At first she didn't recognize that the article she was reading was from me. I have another life as a visual artist, and that was how she knew me, so she did not make the connection at first. And then she saw one of the art works I made on Facebook, and immediately recognized it and responded.

From searches, to trying to find out ways to heal from narcissists, people have been showing up.

So thank you!  

I do have another life away from this blog, and since I was inspired by the picture above, I decided to write about my own life in those terms too: 

     For me life is very much an artistic journey, whether I'm drawing and painting, putting designs on doors in my house, writing, and even my cooking mostly gets a creative spin on it and is different every time.
I feel lucky that I can look at everything as a creative project. Even my marriage is chock full of creative endeavors, a lot of intelligent thought and perspectives being put into experiences and projects we share together and apart, and we never run out of things to talk about. It's pretty much always a fascinating journey with him, very rarely mundane. And best of all, we are allowed to be ourselves, to be fully loved for who we are. Never under-estimate a good marriage, I say. We didn't start out this way (it was rocky and tentative at first), but I think the fact that we are both creative and share so many interests, and really appreciate what each other does, it's a dream to wake up each day with each other.
My life has had a lot of hurts in it, too many really, but even that gets a creative work-over with artistic expression, marriage, and even healing has its creative off-the-beaten-path avenues.
a painting I did last year that seemed appropriate to how I feel this year:

Monday, March 25, 2024

Silencing From Narcissistic Parents: "I wasn't allowed to talk about my feelings, thoughts and experiences, and if I tried to I was told to shut up or get over it."


This will be part of a series on stonewalling and silencing. This post concentrates more on silencing than on stonewalling.

Silencing is different than the silent treatment, but they do share a few things in common such as that the narcissist, malignant narcissist or sociopath (the more likely people to use it) has decided that what you have to say is either not worth hearing or worth understanding ... or that what you say doesn't fit in with their world view and general perspectives, or that they are not interested in what you have to say.

This can happen even if they accuse you of something and they walk away from any kind of defense or rebuttal to what you say. It can happen when they abuse you or hit you: they may say that any reactions you have towards their abuse are not to be expressed, or are not valid, and that they do not care how their abuse is effecting you. 

It also happens in war, and that would be the more extreme example.

Let us say some invaders have taken over a city, and a few residents are still left. The soldiers march into someone's house and tell them they have to leave, that the house belongs to the invaders now. A family member says to the soldiers, "You are stealing our house? Is that right? Would you like it if someone stole your house? We have nowhere to go!" 

A few soldiers don't want that kind of resistance, even if it is the truth, so they rough handle the member and toss him out the door and tell him to run or that he will be shot. 

So, that didn't work. Another family member decides not to handle things this way, so asks the soldiers if they can be transported out of their house in a truck with their belongings and food. 

"I think this one needs to be tossed out too", one soldier tells the others. "Listen, lady, this is a war, and you are lucky you didn't get killed in the bombing! If you want to live, I'd leave now!" And she does.

So the survivors that are left start shaking and clustering together in an ever tighter bunch, and try to compromise another way forward. "You will at least let us have a suitcase with clothes! We have to walk quite a ways out of here, and we need clothes to keep warm. We could die otherwise in the elements. You seem to have an interest in keeping us alive, of not shooting us, so can we take some clothes, please? Maybe let us take some bedding too? Is there anyway we can get some transportation out of here?" 

The head soldiers says, "Listen lady, I'm not up to hearing demands from you. Like I said, this is a war and our duty is to clear out these residences so that our people can move in. We have the right to kill you if you resist. Our leader has made that clear. If I were you, and some heavily armed soldiers walked into my house, I'd want to leave."

Some other soldiers suggest a meeting. They decide that the family can carry one suitcase or bundle out, and that they have 15 minutes to pack while being overseen so that they don't carry out anything the soldiers disapprove of, that can be made into a weapon. 

If anyone asks for a little more they are told to shut up, and if they ask for more time, they are told to shut up, and if they ask if they can carry another suitcase, they are told to shut up, that the orders are clear. 

And then if they cry, they are either beaten or told to shut up, and tossed out the door without their suitcase. They are told to be grateful that they are allowed anything at all. 

This is to say that silencing is very common when any type of aggression is going on, including child abuse. And child abuse with silencing is what this post is about. 

Some silencing kinds of sentences used in child abuse, and adult child abuse are:

(note: trigger warning):
- "We've been over this, and you are not to talk about it again." - even if the subject is something egregious that has to be solved (even lawfully solved, like the abuse of another family member). 
- "You need to get over the past. Live in the present."
- "You won't talk about this again if you know what is good for you."
- "If you're going to continue to talk, you will be punished."
- "If you insist on talking about that when you've been told not to, there will be dire consequences for you!"
- "If you know what is good for you, you will not continue down this path. You will learn to shut up when we tell you to."
- "I have never been interested in what you have to say, so I'd stop now."
- "You need to get over things. So you were hurt! Big deal! Everyone gets over it, but not you!"
- "I have no interest in continuing to hear what you have to say. I'm done."
- "I can't stand to hear you talk! It's all drivel. You can't even talk without stuttering. And stuttering is a sign of lying." - no it is not. Stuttering and stammering, and forgetting words, can happen when a survivor is around abusive people. It is actually a sign of trauma. 
- "Have I ever cared what you thought? No, I never did! So you can stop talking now!"
- "You need to let these things go! It doesn't do me any good, and it doesn't do you any good either if you think about it." (again, this kind of person doesn't understand how trauma works)
- "You are so brain-dead! You have absolutely nothing to say! I have better things to do than to listen to someone so stupid!"
- "You need to apologize to me, and then maybe we can talk. But we're only going to talk for five minutes and never talk about this again." (this person would also not understand trauma).
- "You can never say anything right, so you might as well not talk at at all."
- "Did I say I wanted to hear that!? No, I didn't! You can be silent now!"
- "You need to sit in your room until you can apologize to me for saying that! If you don't apologize for talking about it, then you won't have a parent who cares about you. Is that what you want? It's up to you to apologize and to be silent about this."
- "I can't stand you when you talk about this!"
- "What a bunch of nonsense! We're not talking about this subject again!"
- "If you continue with this, I'll never be able to hear another word you say!"
- "Shut up already!!"
- "Hearing all of your crap is never going to be good for me. You need to stop now!"
- "I can't stand to hear you talk!"
- "Okay! You're going to be punished for talking when I've made it clear I don't want to hear any more of it!"
- "You seriously need to get over the past. No one is going to go back into the past with you, no one cares about your past, and no one wants to hear about it any more."

One reason a child might bring up a subject over and over again is that for the child, issues are unresolved. They are unresolved for two reasons: 

# 1. To be redundant, but to also make clear this is important: If children keep bringing up a subject over and over again, it mainly means that it hasn't been resolved. Actually adults do it too, but they may not be as persistent about it. A narcissist would say, "it mainly means it hasn't been resolved in my child's mind."

No, that isn't what is happening. A parent who makes it known that they will silence a child out of some kind of existence in the parent's life, or in an on-going event like a silent treatment, means that the child will have trauma symptoms. Trauma isn't just a mind situation; it is an evolutionary involuntary brain situation: experiences which brought on the trauma are located and experienced in a different part of the brain than memories and are often experienced more as a present event than a past event, effecting the anterior cingulate cortex. And no, narcissists don't care about this. 

This means that unresolved trauma has to be resolved so that the brain can go back to normal. And the way it is resolved is to heal it to the extent where it becomes a mere memory than a nightmare (nightmares are the result of the intrusive memories and often the profound lack of sleep associated with PTSD, which are the result of the activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, as well as amygdala hijacking). This is where trauma therapy comes in, and why narcissists have to be out of your life altogether to give the activated parts of the brain some peace. 

And it is also necessary because narcissists typically love the silent treatment and other traumatization measures.  

If narcissists aren't interested in anything, they aren't interested in healing anyone, let alone healing anyone from trauma. They are not healers and never will be. Most of them are barely capable of remorse, and their type of empathy does not exist enough to be true healers of any kind of malady. They will continue the silencing and their hostilities. The good news is that this means that exceptionally few narcissists are going to be in the trauma therapy business, so it is likely you'll get the healing and empathy that you need there, as well as more sleep, more peace, less intrusive memories. 

The desire to talk to family members you used to be able to talk to can be problematic if they are not sympathetic to your plight. Most survivors make the mistake of sharing intimate details with certain family members they should not be sharing with (I've done it myself). And that lack of empathy in others, and especially if you are silenced because they want control over the topics you bring up, can bring back the intrusive memories, the anxiety, the lack of sleep, etc. You might not have to cut them all the way out, but realistically they are probably making you feel like you are dealing with another narcissist.

Families with narcissists in them typically do not want to be reminded of the traditions of abuse that the narcissists practice, and the silencing that they do, and they don't want you talking about all of the healing modalities you had to go through because of the family, so a narc will just have to get a smear campaign going, and brainwash a few minds and ---> out you go: as close to zero family members with empathy as the narcissist can create!

# 2. The second reason is that narcissists are not interested in resolving issues in relationships; they are only interested in getting their own way, chronically ... and manipulating character, and events, and the truth to suit getting their way. This is no secret. They let you know it over and over, and over and over again throughout your relationship with them, if you can call it a relationship at all. In their ambition to try to get other people not to hear you out, which can frustrate you, it will be bottled up until you can adequately share it with a trusted person - it's unhealthy, no doubt about it, and unhealthy blockages make for a lot of horrific symptoms and suffering, but unless you want to get hurt, you have to stop talking to people who have an agenda against you (and yes, silencing you counts). 

A real adult relationship is not going to be full of silencing other people. 

However, narcissistic families end up that way eventually, going against victims in favor of serving the narcissist, even if it takes 7 - 10 years to turn their backs on the victims. Calming and helping the narcissist usually comes first because narcissists are much louder than victims, and they make it plain that their emotional regulation (i.e. keeping them from raging and attacking) is more important than empathy for traumatized members - and they also get people more oriented towards panicked decisions (also the result of narc rages).

Reasonable decision-making by letting a member decide what they want to do about healing family discord is not all that likely in narcissistic families.

Loyalty to narcs tends to be high because they get people panicked, out of sorts, and hijacked by fake victim stories and false narratives enough to create fawning in other people, to do what the narc wants, and become sycophants so as to avoid their inevitable punishments and rage (we even see this in government). 

Also I would be extra careful and private if you are silenced by people who know the narcissist and who have chosen regulating them over compassion for you, or if they aggrandize the narcissist. Member-comparing is also a narcissistic family trait that they may practice, another bad sign. Again, real adult relationships aren't about comparing family members, and who is sweeter than whom, and who does more of something for a narc than another family member. And it goes without saying that narcs who insult and call members names should be avoided.  

 These are some of the things that can be going on with people who start to withdraw empathy from you and silence you from talking about things which effect you:
- They are being used or lied to in order that they go against you
- They are narcissists themselves or have narcissistic traits
- If you are a scapegoat, they are afraid of being scapegoated themselves, so they sacrifice the relationship with you to keep the head narcissist(s) happy or from going into a potential rage
- They are receiving money from the narcissist and feel that has to come first before you and your feelings do
- They are being charmed or promised something and feel they have to sacrifice you to get it
- They do not treasure the relationship with you, and don't really care what you say or feel 
- They think you are expendable "for now", but that they can get you back again if they want
- They aren't feeling well, and they need a temporary break from talking to others (but usually they tell you this so that they don't hurt your feelings, so that you won't think the relationship has been trashed)

What ever the reasons are, you're not likely to feel comfortable sharing anything with them. They have broken the trust that you used to have in them. It is just another walking on eggshells situation where you are being asked not to be yourself, not to share much of anything of import with them, and where you have to manage down the relationship to breadcrumbing diminishments. When you have to do that, it is a broken relationship that does not take you into consideration, only them.  

If they are silencing you with contemptuous words or tones, they often don't care about you any more than the narcissist does. Their brains have been hijacked by both fear and attention to the narcissist. It is a challenge and test for them: to submit to the narcissist and be ego fodder and a flying monkey for them over and over again.

These days, if I'm in a situation like this, I look for a lack of empathy first to clue me in as to their intentions towards me. If I hear, "I'm sorry. I know you have good intentions, and that you've been through a lot, and I don't want to lose you, but I just can't talk about this now. Can we be agreeable to that?" shows more empathy, more of a relationship than, for instance, "I'm not interested in what you have to say and I refuse to talk about your trauma, perspectives or issues again." The latter shows more hostility, that they aren't interested in an adult relationship; only a relationship on their own terms.

They may not be interested in a relationship at all.  

Ghosting is pretty common these days too, especially with the younger generation (or that's what I've heard from my own older generation). Don't talk to people who ghost you. Ghosting is a definitive statement. And if it is coming from someone who is part of a narcissistic family system, and you don't know why it was done, it's toxic.

Again, in real relationships, at least you are in communication as to why.  

A lot of people know you are traumatized, because they know what violent, power hungry, raging, gaslighting, rejecting people (who tend to be narcissists, or alcoholics with narcissistic traits) can do to your life, and if they don't show empathy for your plight, and can't see beyond what they want for themselves only, I'd say put them on some back burner (you might relegate them to the "unicorns, rainbows, bubbles and fluff" talk, if even that). The more insistent they are in not wanting to know you, or what you experienced, or how you think and feel, either they are extremely brainwashed, or lied to, or self serving, or entranced/traumatized by the narcissist, or they don't want a relationship with you to begin with ... or unfortunately they can be narcissists out to shut down people who are too much of a liability to them, or tell them what they want to hear.

Information should only be shared with people you trust whole heartedly, and where the relationship is not lopsided. That is obvious. It doesn't matter what the relationship was before they silenced you. Silencing does not belong in any close personal relationship, period. It falls under the category of "stonewalling" and is one of the four horseman of the apocalypse. When one of the four horseman is part of a relationship, usually what follows is that once that one person withdraws from wanting to hear what you feel, think and experience, then you will turn away too. It's the very normal common response, and scientifically vetted and proven.  

If you are trauma bonded, you may not turn away altogether or right away, but you will turn away ... until there is finally nothing left of your former relationship. 

I would also say silencing falls under contempt too, which is another one of the four horseman, unless the person is going through something temporarily and just cannot listen to upsetting information. Most people don't shut other people down unless contempt is present, which in these terms is "inconvenient hearing", "adversely hearing", and "hearing with prejudice or hate".   

When it comes to children, the damage of not being able to trust a parent with pertinent or critical information about you, also means both parties turning away from each other unless there is a trauma bond. With children, that is likely, unfortunately.

The "turning away" will be easier and more complete if you are falsely accused, but anger over the injustice can stick with you longer than the grief of losing a parent to silent treatments. 

A trauma bond with silencing, stonewalling and contemptuous parents is not just unhealthy, but downright toxic, and actually, if we are honest with ourselves, dangerous for a child, physically, emotionally, psychologically, including altering their immune system, altering their brain in some instances, and altering their ability to emotionally regulate efficiently. It is a lot of psychological and emotional neglect and harm at the very least. But usually there is so much more to it than that. 

A parent who stonewalls, silences and has contempt for their own child's thoughts, feelings and experiences, and is trying to intimidate a child with a continual trauma bond too, is probably abusing them - I'm 99 percent sure about that. I'm all for letting a child have another chance in a foster home with this going on. 

In terms of the sayings I featured above, every child abuse survivor I have ever known has gone through more of the silencing kinds of sayings than they can count. And what is even more incredible is that these parents keep doing this to their child when the child is a full adult. Go over these sayings again, and you will see that they are completely unfeeling and inappropriate adult-to-adult behavior. Imagine a parent talking this way to their adult child in front of children, and husband, and in-laws, and even great grandchildren. It's no wonder so many adult children eventually go no contact with parents who think this is fair, adequate, good behavior. But that is one of the things that never stops: child abuse doesn't stop unless the child stops it by removing themselves, whether a little or a lot. 

In fact, these phrases are typically part of daily life with a narcissist, malignant narcissist, and a sociopath. Most of these types of people like to silence individuals. The reasons they like to silence are pretty similar from one narcissist to the next, and one sociopath to the next. And they particularly silence children, and shame them about not being silent, and shame them for talking about any topic that is not something they want to hear, whether the words are or are not an immediate boost to their ego.  

When done to children, it can have serious ramifications, and one of them is stuffing thoughts, feelings and either giving up on verbal communications with their parent, or giving up on themselves as verbally competent intelligent people who can decipher right and wrong, truth and non-truth, and what their feelings and thoughts really are without interference from their out-of-control parent. All of the ramifications will be explored in another post. This post is more of a 101 introduction to the topic. 

As I've hinted at before, silencing has a lot of components of perspecticide, invalidation of feelings and thoughts, pretend mind-reading (very typical of narcissists), as well as a lot of gaslighting, and escalating contempt and prejudice due to the exceptionally fixed confirmation biases that narcissists are known for.  

What it sounds like when perspecticide, invalidation and pretend mind-reading are part of silencing:
- "I know what you are feeling and thinking, so you can stop talking now."
- "You think I'm going to sit here and listen to a bunch of lies?" - when their child is not lying. "You must really take me for a sucker! Ha! I'm not listening to any more of what you have to say! So you can be quiet now!"
- "You really think I'm going to believe that's what your feelings are!? Well I'm not, so you can be silent now!"
- "You really think you can talk people into believing anything! Well, you can't! I have the last word on who is going to believe what! So you can be silent." 
- "Sure you feel that way! I know a liar when I see one!" when they didn't lie. "You sure do think I can be hoodwinked! And that's why I don't choose to hear a word you have to say!"
- "I can't stand to hear what your feelings and thoughts are because they are all bullsh%t! You might as well keep that trap closed so no one has to hear you anymore!"
- "You don't really think that way. What you really think is that you have a lot of respect for your aunt, but that you are pretending not to so that she won't discipline you. So you can stop talking about your aunt now. I don't want to hear any more of it."
- "What a fake apology! You made me look bad! Next time just keep your mouth closed and I'll do the apologies for you!" (not a good idea, and here is why).
- "I know that you can't possibly feel that way. You just had a bad day. You're not looking at things straight. You need to listen to me. I know what you feel. You only think you do."
- "Why can't you see anything straight? Obviously I have to tell you what you think because you're too crazy to get it right. Now I'm burdened with that!" - all narcissists try to take hold of verbalizing what their victims are thinking and feeling, and they tell others that it is a burden that they are dealing with a crazy person who doesn't know their own mind, so they won't be accused of being controlling, and going for domination and power over that child (it is perspecticide, invalidation, mixed with gaslighting)
- "Do I have to listen to your feelings again? Perhaps you need to take this to a therapist." - good idea, except therapists will usually want you to separate from narcissists and sociopaths. 
- "I really don't want to talk about your feelings. I have better things to do. You should learn how to control your feelings so you won't need to talk about them."
- "I could care less about what you have to say about your feelings. I don't even think they are real feelings! I think they are excuses to hurt me, and to pretend that you didn't have the best parent."
- "Your feelings aren't important! They only exist when you want to see me as a bad parent. The rest of the time, they are put away. So I'm not listening to this any more."
- "I don't really like listening to your feelings and thoughts about anything. You should have been able to tell that I don't like listening to you. But you continue to hound me. Why can't you be nice and quiet like other children? Why can't you just be silent?"

What it sounds like when gaslighting is part of the silencing:
- "You know what you did, and I'm not hearing any more lies about it!" - trying to convince a child that the truth is a bunch of lies.
- "You know that you're acting like an innocent princess which is why I'm not listening to another word you say unless it is about your guilt!" - when they aren't guilty for anything
- "You are never aware of things that you do. You're crazy, do you understand? You know that you are because I let you know that you are. That's why I never listen to you, and why you need me to tell you of all the bad things you do, and all of the bad things that you are" - quite evil on the parent's part. 
- "You make a lot of assumptions and conjectures based on your own twisted mind which is why I don't listen to you. You need to stop talking." - also evil. 
- "I don't care to hear another word from your crazy perspectives!" 
- "I can't believe you still talk! You should have been silent long ago! You don't have anything worthwhile to say."
- "I wish you knew when to talk and when not to talk. You get it wrong every time!" 
- "Poor thing! It's your mind again! You never know how to perceive things, so I guess I'll have to tell you what is really going on. In the meantime, you need to be quiet because you get things wrong all of the time, even though you think you are right!"
- "I don't know how many times I've told you not to talk! But you keep doing it, and it all sounds insane! Stop now!" 
- "Your thoughts are so distorted! How can you think this way?! You should have had your head examined a long time ago! The least you can do is shut up already!"
- "You are faking at being sick! I can tell! So you better stop talking about it and get ready for school!" Narcissistic parents usually tell at least one of their children that they fake illnesses. I was in a study group about this phenomenon myself (perhaps some day I will share the findings).
- "Why, oh, why, can't you stop thinking about this and getting over the past. What's wrong with your mind that you can't just stop talking about this nonsense? Your feelings aren't that important to anyone but you!"  

What is incredible is that narcissists like being this way. They don't want to change it. 


Power, control and domination. They like being in charge of their child's self image, as well as telling them what they feel and think, and what they are doing wrong with how they might be feeling and thinking. 

Is it more compulsion than thinking about the ramifications clearly and "going after this aggressively"? I would say it depends on the narcissist.

(from a trauma perspective)

Any person who tries to reach in aggressively to take over your feelings, thoughts and self esteem and verbalize them for you is probably on the Cluster B spectrum. There is a very good explanation for why narcissists feel they have a right to do this, and one of the reasons is that they were probably exposed to a lot of lying when they were a child. They learned that nothing is as it seems, so they assume people are lying a lot of the time, or most of the time, and that they, the narcissist, needs to fill it in with the truth. 

But by doing that, they also drive people away because the relationship is not about knowing what you truly think and feel; it is about them deciding whether you are lying or not, and filling it in with what ever they don't understand to be the truth right away. They compulsively decide what they want to believe or what they think your words should be replaced with.

And typically what they want to believe and what they want to replace it with will be a lot more hostile than what was meant, because narcissists typically grow up in abusive hostile circumstances. As we know, abusive environments can create as much PTSD as war does. And if the environment is also full of lying, which it usually is, then they are at war with lies too, except their overly-aggressive approach to replacing what people think and feel with their own spin on it, or their own flawed mind reading is, can create even more illusion (i.e. where they are lying to themselves).  

It has a lot to do with why and how they have scapegoats who they deem to be "all bad" too. That individual may remind them of the person in their early environment who lied all of the time, so they assume their scapegoat child is lying all of the time too. 

And to make matters worse, if their scapegoat disagrees with their narcissistic parent's assessments about them lying, then their narcissistic parent is likely to rage and hate the scapegoat more for pointing out the narcissist's flaws (at not being a perfect mind-reader and lie detector of the child). 

Scapegoats are told they are liars a lot, as well as being crazy, so it is no wonder that about 90 percent eventually go no contact with their parent. 

If the narcissistic parent isn't willing to work on all of their judgements and assumptions, then being in a relationship where you are constantly accused of lying, of not feeling what they say you feel, and of not thinking what they say you think, it is not a relationship that can work. It eventually ends up to be all that the relationship is about: constant accusations, constant judging (and lots of wrong judging at that), and so much silencing that it is barely a relationship at all (because most relationships are about talking things out and sharing). Again, it isn't about knowing you, but about aggressively invading you and your mind and your feelings with their dirty interpretations. 

The more wrong they are about their perceptions, the wider the rift, the less likely anything can be resolved. 

For instance invaders that try to convince a population that they are all Nazis and all hostile liars, and must be weeded out as vermin, and especially when it isn't true, are not going to gain the enemy's trust with that thought. They are going to meet with resistance at every turn (and possibly lose their entire standing army). Close personal relationships aren't much different. 

The "wrong turn" that narcissists take when growing up in an environment like this is that they decide they are going to be lie detectors (which is okay if you do it the right way, slowly, gathering a lot of evidence), and aggressively invade and punish people who they think are lying to them, while at the same time lie a lot themselves to protect themselves from any abuse or fall-out of their reputation. That often means keeping secrets, and extra-marital affairs, and can mean stealing and hiding things. None of this works in close personal relationships. 

One reason why scapegoats tend to become the truth-tellers and why truth tellers tend to become scapegoats in most narcissistic families is because they see more of the downsides of lying than the upsides, especially if a sibling is lying in order to get an unfair advantage over them. But they also tend to be more truthful than other family members because they see much more clearly the way lies are destructive to the entire family unit, and can also be disgusted with a narcissistic parent who will give themselves permission to lie over and over again, even for nefarious self serving purposes, but be completely rageful, intolerant and punishing of even the most innocent white lie of other family members. 

In other words, they are aware that the narcissistic parent that tells lies about them is destructive. They see that the narcissistic parent's lies about others to be destructive too. They see relationships become ruined over lies. They don't see the positives of lying, so they don't do it. 

Golden children can be rewarded for lying, especially if they are lying for the parent, and parent's reputation. 


I grabbed these from a number of forums and groups. Each entry marked with a "*" is another survivor.

 I did contribute to this in one entry (but again, anyone would be hard-pressed to know which one). Again, I chose entries where I didn't need to clean up grammar.

I thought these would be useful to see what others go through.

* I was never allowed to talk about my feelings about how I was abused and mistreated. But the prevailing attitude has always been that I “live in the past” when I try to talk about how emotionally hurt I was because nobody cared. And so because of that there is something wrong with me.  * Hard relate! My mother's go to response "quit feeling sorry for yourself".
There is nothing wrong with you. People have set you up to feel like you need permission to heal from being affected. They train us up to be always in survival mode and fear the day we begin to thrive.
Closure is something they will never allow, and they believe our closure is impossible without them. It's all a lie.
I so get it!

* I was told to forget about my oldest sister who died in a terrible accident! They didn't want to see me cry any more after five days !!! They wanted me to re-focus my attention on them. These people are monsters! They will never have empathy for us or anyone but themselves! Maybe the point is to forget about the parents who say these kinds of things so that you can adequately grieve and pay homage to the sister.

* I relate. My family does not understand why I can’t “let it go.” They are not interested in the truth or how the past affected me and the family as a whole. Instead, they soothe themselves in harmful ways and pretend everything is great. It’s not you. It’s them. Big hug.

* You don't just get over trauma. There is a reason why we don't snap out of it, and if we did, it would be a really unhealthy experience of compartmentalization. We all have a right to have our feelings heard and addressed. They certainly want their feelings addressed ALL OF THE TIME!! We're supposed to shut up about our our own feelings and their feelings are supposed to be front and center at ALL TIMES. Crazy-making bs that I don't want to be a part of any more. NC for me.

* “The past is alive in the present”…we can’t forget trauma because it haunts us in the present. People who invalidate us have no idea. There is nothing wrong with you, this is just what trauma does and people who are ignorant don’t understand. (Trauma therapist and trauma survivor here)

* Trauma experiences are stored in a different way than most memories. The trauma is experienced as more of a present event rather than a past event. This is why pushing the memories out often makes them bounce back harder in the form of disturbed sleep, anxiety and nightmares. It isn't healthy to stuff the feelings, and stuff your narrative no matter how much they want you to. You owe it to yourself to talk freely about traumatic experiences and have them addressed. Our minds keep them valid, and you have a right to keep them valid too. (another trauma therapist here)

* And these parents get away with it over and over again. Everyone else looks frozen while they push their unempathetic responses at you again and again. That's such a flaw in human beings and leads everyone else around them to be flying monkeys eventually, to feel that they have a right to shut you up too when ever you want to express yourself. Or they talk over you as though only their perceptions and feelings are valid. If you have to be that quiet in your family, and tiptoe around like your mind and feelings don't matter, you might as well be no contact.

* It's why a lot of us feel better when we are no contact. We weren't seen or heard any way. We didn't matter in that situation. We will always be more comfortable in situations where we matter to others. They think we go off and that we don't matter to other people too, because they have this iron-clad bias and devaluation against us, and an internal arrogance that tells them that that the way they experience things is better than the way you do. They would probably be surprised at how much we are loved.

* I hated being a scapegoat of this kind of crap. They would do it to me over and over again, at least a couple of times a week. Rage and then blame me for reacting. It's the game they all play so don't take it personally.
When I went almost completely silent and refused to answer their insipid self serving questions, and realized that showing my feelings or thoughts to them wasn't wise, they not only devalued me, they discarded me.
Lesson: they want you to talk, but only when asked, and on their terms. They want you to say what they want to hear, so that is all on their terms too. They want you to feel something, so that they'll stop raging, so that's on their terms too. They want you to only feel the way they want you to feel. They try to manipulate certain feelings out of you which doesn't work out so well for them because they aren't you and you have different feelings than they have. If you don't have the feelings they want you to have and demand that you have, they will call you crazy. That is obviously all on their terms too. Rinse, repeat week after week, year after year.
Then they send you to college and expect a phone call every week - without ever telling you that. When you don't call the first time, they rage and threaten to take college away. When they take college away, they call you inept because you don't have the skills they need you to have, and the money they require you make.
This is why it is no use to relate to narcissistic parents in any long term way. Everything they do is about ordering you around and manipulating certain feelings and calling other feelings you have that they don't want to deal with as "crazy". They want to control us to every little detail, even when and how we respond to them and their rages.
Not that I liked being discarded over not having the perfect feelings they thought I should have, but I definitely felt relieved when I could finally feel something without it being thought of as "Wrong! You need to feel this way!"
These kinds of parents don't know anything about trauma and traumatic reactions to being raged at twice or more times a week, and they rarely help us with the healthy expression of feelings. In fact, they don't even understand the workings of a healthy mind at all. For their sake we are supposed to stuff our feelings.
Everything they do is meant for them and their ego. I wasn't enough of an ego regulator and up-lifter so they just had to get rid of me somehow and cooked up a lie they refused to hear me refute.
After 14 years I am okay with it. I wouldn't have healed without it. I would be more like my sister who is nothing more than a constant ego think-u-lator for our parents. All of them seem so ignorant. A family's ignorance can definitely hurt you for a long while, but once you know more about this stuff than they do, your life will be much better, richer, more colorful than theirs ever was.
If I was still a kid, I would have put up a sign on my bedroom door that said, "You cannot control other people's feelings at all. Or their thoughts. Do not enter unless you understand."

* I never knew this before! I think you could actually use this to your advantage. Like pretend to have feelings you don't have to give them an ego boost. Kinda too late for me as they discarded me too and I was always confused because I didn't know this was how I was supposed to play their game. Confusion ended!

* Yea, it's how to play their game, but it isn't genuine. What if they tell you that you don't mean it? A lot of scapegoats are told by their narcissistic parents that you are a liar, that you are constantly pretending to get something out of them. It wouldn't have mattered no matter what you did. They are such paranoid individuals that when you are authentic, they think you lie, and when you lie they think you are authentic. That is because they are like that!
Just let them leave to their head games to use on other narcissists and psychopaths they know. I don't think this kind of game can end well for an empath. And besides it's a time-suck. I don't envy my sister who, as I said, is the ego think-u-lator. Having to think about their feelings while denying - or pretending - is no way to live.
Life is about finding your own feelings, thoughts, power and purpose, and putting descriptors and words to them. It is not about being sucked into their game of getting you to prop their ego for them 24/7.

* Thank you. I needed that. Yer right. It's time for me to stop being concerned with the way they think and feel and to find ways to understand the way I think and feel. My own feelings and thoughts were denied so long by them, and I also denied my own to serve theirs, even though nothing worked, and even though I never understood they were trying to play a game.
I'm totally out on my own without any contact, and it was their choice years ago, so I might as well use the time to figure everything out that I wasn't allowed to even wonder about when I was with them. It's not exactly like if I said, "Oh, I get the game now! I'm supposed to boost yer ego by pretending to have feelings different from the ones I actually had! I get it now! I'm supposed to deny my feelings and pretend to have other feelings that boost yers! Then I'm accepted! You're ego satisfied! Right?" - they would have beat me up AND kicked me out.
Granted, I didn't want to hear what you said about this, but it was the best thing I could have heard. Yer right that it is the wrong path for me. I would have had a role just like your sister!

* Exactly. She hasn't really done anything with her life except to pretend to think and feel the way my parents want her to. They don't like everything she feels and thinks either, and gets corrected constantly. But at least she's a willing slave to it all. I wasn't. My sister is the one who they hang up as an example of a "good child"! When she is a woman of 32 years old, not a little girl, and all she does is serve my parents? Anyone should be suspect at their claim that this is their good child and that I'm their bad child when I am married, have children, and help run a business with my husband, and have never been arrested or drunk. Any parent who wants to keep their child a child and who is touting that example as "the best child" is both evil and toxic.
Note that my sister has no ambitions except counter-manipulating my parents! And she pretends plenty! It's not a life I wanted, nor should any parent, so I accepted giving it up, and I'm way better off for it.

* When you are with parents like this you aren't allowed to talk about anything. They talk over you or they tell you what is real, what you're thinking and what you're feeling. Whether you are no contact or in contact, the result is the same. It's totally about silencing us so that we don't really exist for them. They make sure their existence, and their thoughts and feelings are known to everyone, and that we're their audience.
I think this is the worst thing about child abuse

* Therapy. That’s the safe place to work out stuff in the past and overcome issues to be more adaptive in the present. Unfortunately generally people don’t do the work and don’t know how to do the work to help others get there. So there are observations and feedback and not always too sensitive and hurts from the interference of others and lack of growth because of it allegedly, but there is a place to pursue that growth and the public or private arena just aren’t suited well to help. If you want to actually heal go talk to someone who knows how to help with it and don’t settle for the feedback of the prevailing attitude.My family’s favorite saying, ‘oh get over it.’

* I have gotten to the point where I have been silenced so much that it has destroyed my capacity to listen to my NM. I am finding that I blank out when she talks. Is it years and years of being manipulated by her, and my mind has just said, "No more manipulation"? Is it years and years of gaslighting to the point where if I respond to anything, she will call me crazy? Is it my choice to blank out when she talks? It doesn't feel like it. It might be good to know what she is talking about so that I don't get a surprise attack. I have no idea what she has said most of the time these days. It's like I come out of a dream after she is done talking. No one else creates this in me, except her. Actually Trump on T.V. can make my mind go blank too. I hear only so much and then "wipe out!" and I'm gone.
Is this common?

* I have no idea if it is common, but it might be trauma related. I think if we compare it to war, we turn off the continual sounds of guns, bombs and airplanes to survive. When your brain is over-loaded with attacks, maybe you just enter a space where those noises are cut off?

* Yea, like when she begins to say anything, I roll my eyes, and then I don't hear anything more. Maybe there is nothing worth hearing, but I wouldn't know because it seems automatic at this point. One time she was screaming at me and the people around us were surprised I didn't respond. I feel like I live in my head so much. It's like I've got a separate world going on inside, and why bother pretending I'm in a one sided conversation with an NM who can't hear or understand what I'm saying. She either has layers of defenses if I respond, or goes on the attack if I'm not saying something she doesn't want to hear. Maybe she blanks out on me too when I talk which is why she interrupts me every time I respond. I'm not really a part of her monologue. I'm just a gravestone she decides she needs to vent to and about. 

* I think we are always dead to them. They are primarily assuaging how much power and control they can detect we are willing to give them, and as a side line, wondering what we think of them, and whether we place them up or down on a hierarchy that for a lot of us doesn't even exist.

* Oof, I could have easily written this.
There is nothing wrong with you. Someone(s) traumatized you and it's hard to move forward when you've never been able to get validation or resolution or closure.
Idk if this helps, but coming to the conclusion that my family would never be able to give me any of that and working on myself was how I got my closure.

* agree with all of this
♥️ we’ve all experienced this to some extent in this group. So, share those feelings whether it be rage, disappointment, rejection, whatever it is here with us. It’s a safe place to get the recognition and validation. You’re seen. Keep going lovely. You’re not alone

* This is all gaslighting. It's about saying, "You're too crazy to know what you think and feel. So I'll tell you!" And the worst of it is that they can punish you for how they interpret your feelings and thoughts, especially if they sense that you are bucking their so-called entitlements to control you all of the time, especially if they think you are hurting their ego.
Be careful of going along with this belief that they are mind-readers and can tell what you are thinking and feeling just to get some peace. I did this, and it made them even more entitled to tell me what I was thinking and feeling, and gave them a sense that they really were great mind readers. They are not.
Even tho defending yourself and arguing with them is really uncomfortable, it keeps them from going down the rabbit hole of thinking that they are super human mind readers. They are not even close. We all know that. It takes empathy to be able to understand other people. They don't have that ability and that needs to be drilled into them over and over again.
Once they get the feeling that they are mind readers - watch out! They will punish you for all sorts of things that are not even happening! They act more like sociopaths at that point than narcissists.

* Having people tell you what you feel is the worst kind of human interaction I can fathom. It's like being imprisoned for crimes you did not commit. When I was a child I was constantly accused for things I didn't feel. And yes, I was punished for them. It's like our parents have decided they are in a war with us and that they have to strike us down before we find out what they are trying to do to us. It's like they are in fear of phantom enemies.
I think this is why parents have scapegoats.
Needless to say I was discarded once I turned into an adult.

* Ongoing gaslighting and emotional manipulation. This is the way they keep the dysfunctional system in place and their foot pressed on our throats. I'm in the process of growing my capacity to honor my needs and validate my experiences within that toxic system, regardless of their agenda to keep me prisoner of their toxicity.

* My mom's favorite response is, "So what do you want?!" Or, "Well, that was a long time ago. Time to move on, that's what adults do." Not only is this stuff *not* really in the past because the abuse continues to this day, but we werent allowed to feel and process our feelings when the incidents were happening. They're never going to take responsibility. They're never going to understand that the closure we need is healthy and normal, and they're the dysfunctional ones for denying and hindering that. The way you felt and feel about what happened to you is valid. This is part of how they try to silence us so they can continue as they always have. You deserve better. Talk to chosen family and friends you trust who are in a good place to support and listen, and if you have access to a trauma-qualified therapist it can be a wonderful help in self-validation and processing all this stuff that you've never been safe to address. You are not alone.

* Narcissists will silence you over things that bring them shame, as parents, as people, per their reputation in the family or community. They don't like to know they aren't perfect either, that they make as many mistakes as other people, if not more of them. It is typical for them to silence you, and then give you the silent treatment, as though you have callously hurt them by bringing up a topic, even if it is an important topic that most parents would discuss with their child. Realize that this is part of narcissism, and if they refuse to talk, you can walk away. Some narcissists will make sure the shame lands on your shoulders instead of on theirs, which is why this sometimes graduates to the silent treatment, were they try to make you out to be the most shameful person that ever lived. Don't be influenced by that. It isn't your fault.
(said by a therapist)

* I have gotten numb to the silent treatment. When I get the silent treatment, I tend to talk to other people more. And when NM is in not in one of her silent treatment modes and gets really talkative, I get quiet and so reserved you'd probably think I was a zombie.

* Please call a domestic violence shelter and ask if they offer trauma consell8ng. That is what I chose to do. Trauma is sonething they 7nderstand and can help with. Or ask your doctor for numbers of other associations that may. . You are worth it. Childhood trauma is just as valid as any trauma. Your feelings now and your feelings as a child are also valid.

* Look at it this way. Manipulating us to have certain feelings or no feelings at all means they don't know us and never will. They will claim to know us throughout our childhood, and even through adulthood even when we are estranged, but how can you know someone when they can't tell their parent what they really think and feel, when the parent tries to take charge of that? They don't know anything. Literally, they don't you any better than a neighbor they wave to but never talk to.
And we are expected to live in that environment full time?
We are nothing more than a neighbor they wave to. They can register that we exist and that is about all.
And that is what makes them really, really bad parents. You can't just acknowledge that your child exists, and that you're the only one who gets to decide what they are feeling and thinking, any more than a neighbor would put up with another neighbor deciding what they are thinking and feeling based on what they see through a window.
But that's what it is like growing up with disordered parents.

* Yea, and it's one of those situations where the window is translucent, where they can tell you're there, but only the rough shape.
This is all so relatable. I can't tell you how many times I thought, "My father doesn't know me or understand me." His accusations of hostility were so off the wall. He determined that I ruined his life! No use in defending myself or talking. He decided whether I defended myself or not. I tried to get him to hear a reasonable perspective on what I was actually thinking and feeling. He was determined to wipe it all out and put his interpretation on it.
Getting away from my father was the best thing I could do. I could explore what I thought and felt rather than have it shot down over and over again without discussion. I still see him once in awhile in large family gatherings, and he still does it there, does all of the talking about what I do, feel, think, etc., but I also make it clear how often we see each other, like once every three years and only at big family events, and that he doesn't know me or my life at all.
They say that family will stick together against a scapegoat, but I think he is just too domineering and crazy for a lot of them to take seriously. He's seen as an interrupting attention-seeking blow-hard with a bad swearing and drinking problem. An unpleasant person in other words.

* Classic manipulation by ppl who don't want to face what they've done or be accountable for their actions. This is one of their favorite go-tos.

* This is why the gray rock method doesn't work. Who ever thought that up had to have their head examined. It only works if you want to keep the more egregious abuse at bay, but only for a little while. They will still want to start up an argument to get their narcissistic supply, and denying them that by distracting them with boring subjects is going to make them enraged.
They constantly make up what you feel and think whether you are gray rock or not. And they try to get arguments going about it too.
Every therapist should suggest going no contact first and foremost, and really press their clients to consider it, and if the client refuses, then only talk about the gray rock method then. However, I think people who decide what you're feeling all of the time are going to be the people who will not stand for gray rock and be determined to punish you for not being drawn into an argument.
Narcissists are not reasonable and they are pathologically stupid about how to relate to other people.

* Highly relatable. The general public have a very low emotional tolerance for hearing about abuse. The denial is strong. Nothing compared to our abusers though.
I can confirm that having therapy with a psychologist specializing in trauma has been incredibly healing and massively cathartic.

* Same here. My NM always said: "You've always felt like you got the short end of the stick". And I always believed I was not worthy of her love- let alone anyone else's. I'm at the beginning of my healing journey and so far going NC has been the best decision I've ever made.

* I tried the gray rock method. It means your family can attribute more feelings to you that you're not having because you are no longer defending yourself.
NC is the only way to go. It frees you from the internal depression, rage and helplessness you feel constantly when your parent guts out your real feelings and thoughts with their evil intentioned ones over and over for eternity. You can never get out of feeling that way without going NC.
The depression, rage and helplessness can eat away at your soul.

* And not only that, but they think they are good parents when they do this, and that we should be eternally grateful to them for getting us wrong all of the time. Cuckoo.

* Don't most of us stop talking when they get us wrong? Won't they punish us for explaining ourselves more than if we kept silent? Don't most of these parents want us silent so they can attribute things to us without blow back?

* My GC has denied my truth forever and I’ve finally cut him out of my life for it, among other things. My husband and kids however give me the validation and understanding that I need and I appreciate it so much. AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!

* They'd tell me, "You're obsessed with the past!" the day after they shouted me down and wouldn't let me talk about an experience I had that any parent would be concerned about. They didn't want to listen to what I had to say no matter what.
Why didn't they want to listen to it? Because they have no empathy. So instead of saying, "I don't want to listen to it because I have no empathy, and you don't want me to fake that, do you?" they say, "You're obsessed with the past!" They try to find the flaw in you rather than make it about their own lack of empathy.
In your mind, just call it for what it is: their lack of empathy speech. And then laugh at how they desperately, desperately, and without success, try to make it about a flaw in you. It's their "perfect" blame-shifting tactic at work, except it isn't so perfect because we can see right through it.

* You have to be very selective of who you share with. If I would ever get that comment my response would be that I live very much in the present but I have not forgotten the past. The past informs my future.

* I think this is just another patriarchal thing that narcissists take advantage of. You are only allowed to talk if you are a man. They can say absolutely anything want, but the girls and women in the house have to shut up and listen to a man order them around. It is how my mother used our stepfather. She'd tell him what orders to give us, and he gave them. I was hushed into submission so many times and my brother was asked for the truth. It was a barely survivable environment and one in which I felt I had to go no contact with.

* Interesting about that. Yes, they will use any old standard to get girls to be submissive. My mother wore the pants in the family, and my father was the one who she decided needed to listen to her. If he confronted her, she'd get retaliatory and run away. Years later he no longer wanted to hear her words because she lied about so many affairs. He said she'd lie about anything at that point. Then the family split up, and after that she decided I had to listen to her and become an absolutely submissive part of my former self. My brother was spared and was allowed to say anything, and he took after her, lying all of the time about nearly everything.

* Wow, so he let his wife talk and decide everything, including silencing others of the same sex?

* She said she liked men more than women. She said that all mothers pretend to love their daughters, but that they really don't. They only love their sons first and their husbands and lovers for a little while until they get sick of them and want to find another. She said she had no use of little girls unless they were like maids. She had no trouble hiding her feelings about that to me. At age 16, she no longer wanted me and I went to live with my grandmother. My grandmother didn't really like girls any more than my mother. I went no contact with that side of my family when my daughter was born.

* I have to say that I'm still in shock over the fact that my NM refused to talk to me about my brother's bullying and his domestic violence of his ex-wife and most of his children. She insisted I apologize to my brother, and when I wouldn't (I did say it was crazy to apologize which probably injured her poor ego), she said she didn't want to talk about my brother again. After a couple of months went by, she gave me a life-long silent treatment. She spread a lot of false narratives about me to get other people to vilify me.
It's amazing that they think their lies will re-instate their bigger than life ego. It's amazing when you find out they don't love you and that all they care about is that you apologize to abusers in the family.
It's amazing that they'll give you up just to promote a false fantasy. It's amazing that they don't care about you at all when they do their final discard after a life time of pretending to love you. It's amazing how little they care about and for their own children. It's amazing that they can live with what they've done without reflection or remorse. It's amazing that social services said that they'd take me if they didn't straighten out their act, but that they keep re-playing their act after your childhood has ended, and that they show no self reflection over being a bad parent. It's amazing that they are out to prove that you are a worse child than they are a bad parent, and again, when they have to make up stories about what you did, and what they did is in writing by a head psychiatrist at a mental health facility.
It's amazing that they will do anything, and I mean anything, to protect their sorry ego. It's amazing how far they will go to that end. They will sacrifice everything and anything to honor their ego. If they have to protect their ego with that many lies, maybe their ego isn't worth protecting, but do they consider that? No. They'll give up every relationship, everything they have, everything they are, to hang on to protecting their ego, but will stop at nothing to shoot yours down, over and over, and over again.
Maybe silence is golden when their ego protections have gotten to this kind of toxic level.

* Protecting their ego when they have done wrong is always going to be toxic - for everyone. Most of the people left in their lives will be effected by it too, but they don't realize it right away.

* Narcissism is always going to about protecting their ego. It's a disease of admiring the self at all cost.

* Knowing this, it is possible not to care about them any more than they care about you. The requirement to pump up their ego doesn't do you any favors, and it certainly doesn't do them any favors. They make it a life and death issue, and it is not. They need to learn that. They can't have you around if they want to pretend the mirror has no cracks. If they have you around, they have to be reminded that they sacrificed their child and lied about their child to protect their ego. Is that what they want for their lives? No way.
It is why they move on in a cold way.
I think we owe it to ourselves to realize that talking to them is always going to be about how well we are ego pumping. Enjoy the silence as much as you can, and don't take their silent treatment as a reflection on you.

* I have learned how to deal with my NM's silencing and silent treatments and I am no longer effected by them. I have learned they are ego temper tantrums and that they are responsible for building themselves back up by right action instead of wrong action. I have a right to accept or refuse her ack into my life. There are a lot of boundaries now. She refused to talk to me, and now I have refused to talk to her about any personal subjects. She is the last person I want to share that part of myself with. We have managed a very simplified relationship, and when ego dramas rear their ugly head again, I tell her that it's not my job to fluff her ego up while she tries to destroy mine, and that the best thing for both of us is to take a break from each other.
It is how I've managed the relationship. So far there is more silence between us than talking, but that is fine with me. It keeps me having to deal with the narcissistic side of her. She only really wants to parade me around as her "successful daughter" to her friends any way. Aside from that, the relationship doesn't consist of much.

* I'm a truth teller and they love shouting me down and trying so hard to get me to stop talking. To no avail!!!
These people love lies and living in lies! Who is kidding who? 
I used to be abused for speaking the truth, but now I'm not scared at all. I succeeded in life, and that scares the hell out of them, so now they are quiet. 
I love how I could turn the tables on them. 

* Silencing someone is a gaslighting tactic. Don't be influenced by it. Just say to yourself, "I'm being gaslighted" and talk to people who can better handle the important things you need to talk about.
Remember that narcissists have their ego in everything they do and everything they say. That is why they can't hear you, and can only hear you based on how it is effecting their ego.
(written by a therapist)

* I'd get, "You never said that!" when I said it over and over and over again, but they'd shoot me down and tell me not to talk about it. Then when something happens that they don't like, and all of a sudden they pretend that I never talk to them about important stuff. It's a dirty rotten game, and I'm done playing it.

* With me, they shut me up when they don't want to hear what I have to say and then demand that I talk if I don't want to talk about something. They will punish me if I don't shut up, and they will punish me if I'm the one who wants to stay quiet and not tell them things. They have to be in control of when I open my mouth, what I say, how I say it, and what they don't want me to say. Sometimes there is literally nothing I want to say to them, and they decide that there is, that I'm keeping things from them. I can't win at their game and like another poster above said I can't listen to them any more anyway. They can't keep on subject and because of that they accuze me of things I never said, or even experienced. I think I just need to give up on them in terms of any more long discussions. I don't know oif that means no contact or just moving, but I'm in the process of putting my own life together.

* Growing up with parents who don't want you to talk, and can't hear what your saying is sooooooo hard! Its easy to fall into the wallflower role. Like trying to match the wallpaper so that they don't see you and pick on you. Once they pick on you, they don't want to hear what you have to say. Only they get to interpret the world around you. Your supposed to listen to them and get an idea of what is happening only. That is just not right. Their versions, even tho they spend way more time talking than we do are more insan, if we can't get more than a word in edgwise.
I think the reason why they like to talk about what is real is that they know they are out of touch with reality so much that the only way they can convince themselves and us that they aren't living in a fantasy is to persuade us and others that they are the ones with a grip on reality, never us.

* I am so allergic to being told to shut up and keep quiet that I no longer want a relationship with my parents. It was my way of giving them exactly what they wanted: quiet in their world forever.

* So do any narc parents care what we have to say? Or are they always more focused on getting us to shut up so that they can coerce us with their words?

* I think they know that scapegoats can't be coerced because we are allergic to them as authority figures. We know that what they have to say is only for their benefit. I don't listen to my parents any more than they listen to me which is almost never. I'm not going to have them talk at me and deny me a response. Not happening!

* My family is like a bad cult. My parents only give themselves permission on when to talk and what to talk about and most of it is BS. We are supposed to be entranced and follow the leader. Didn't work. I was the first one to leave.  

* Yep. My mother would say "I don't remember that." Or she would remind me of the terrible things going on in the world. Just another way of minimizing my feelings.

* I don't tell anyone what's going on with me anymore. Just 1 friend and my husband.

* Talking with narcissists is like walking in a minefield. You never know when they will blow up at you. I have no problem with keeping silent these days. They can tell me to be silent all day long if they want. Much more of a relief than when they demand gossip.

* I could have written this , im currently in the last few months at university and writing a dissertation.
When i was a child i was never allowed to express myself, and was told off talking about myself, in the dissertation we were told to write an artist statement which is talking about your self. I've found it very difficult to separate my personal self from my artist self. I was told today to talk less about myself and more about art. I understand what she was saying but it brought up a lot of past trauma. Im nearly 38. I've been refured for therapy but it could take a year before i see someone. It is such a hard road ...

* I am in a very similar situation. The waiting is hard. I feel I have suffered so much for so long it is time for me. I am worth it, and so are you

* I know exactly how you feel, people will abuse you and when you react to their abuse they will call you the crazy one

* I used art to express myself because I couldn't at home with my NM ruling the roost. I was encouraged by many teachers because they said I had talent. I thought it was one way to avoid feeling frustrated at never being able to express how I really felt and thought around her. If I dared to talk, she'd rephrase and correct everything to make it sound bad.
My father drank as his escape and refused to stand up to her no matter how awful she got.
Wouldn't you know that she couldn't stand my art, my last mode of expression. One day while I was at school she ripped it all up and told me that I was no longer allowed to make art. It broke my heart and a couple of my teachers told her that I had real talent, that I should be encouraged. She wouldn't listen to them, and when I got home she yelled, "How dare you get your teachers to call me! I will not stand for it!"
It was like she threw away my identity.
Somehow I managed to pursue my passion any way. When I was crying that my mother would just rip up everything I did, my grammar school teacher came up with the idea that she could save my drawings and paintings until I left home. She saved the work I did in high school too.
It was clear that I was only to be a drudge for my mother. I wasn't willing to accept that in the long run even though I had to accept it living under her roof.
I put myself through art college and I have been a practicing artist ever since. And I don't have a relationship with my mother any more.
God forbid I sneak around doing art instead of drinking like my father and eldest brother!

* I've heard that many narcissists disapprove of artist daughters. I wonder why that is?

* Probably because they have talent and the parent doesn't. Narcissists don't like anyone outshining them.

* Why not pick on male carpenters and woodworkers too? "They're making something that I can't make! Oh, no! Put a stop to that!"

* Yer right. There is a bit of a double standard there!

* Patriarchal society. They are proud of men and in competition with women.

* Mine focused so much on the past, that I dared to sneak art making into my life despite her disapproval, but had no trouble telling me that I focused on the past too much when a discussion got uncomfortable for her, which was about always.

* I can very much relate to this, it has been used against me many times.
Remember.... just because they say it doesn’t mean it’s true ( probably the opposite)
Something that I have found helpful lately is that I have been rephrasing their rubbish in my mind to the actual reality of the situation so for this one it would be...
“ I have seen exactly who you are from your past actions and behaviour and I will act appropriately on that information ”
They can call it living in the past or holding grudges or whatever they want but in reality who would keep touching a fire when they know it burns? Saying that something was in the past doesn’t excuse it at all, without a genuine apology and without a change in behaviour it is nothing more then manipulation.
It’s just another tactic to keep you exactly where they want you to be.

* Sometimes I find talking about things helps me heal or understand more. Then I find it easier to let go or in fact not let go sometimes and know that someone did something to me and I don't have to just forgive or feel guilty. I don't have to live in the past but understand it more good or bad.. so you talk but find the correct person or people to talk to. The narcissist will use what you say against you or say your crazy or you live in the past. They don't care or want to care about you. Sending strength and positive thoughts.

* Yep. Same for me. Therapy and no contact is the only way to peace. These people don't change.

* There is nothing wrong with you.. you’re allowed to talk about your feelings and hurt. People that tell you that you live in the past are invalidating you and shutting you down. Have your voice heard and speak up.
Similarly I’ve had parents treat me like this. Try and talk about something and I’m told I have problems. More like they are blocking and don’t want to acknowledge my feelings or their behaviour

* That's gaslighting. They love to ignore that you were hurt by them. If you got over it really fast, they'd say, "What's the matter with you?! You never think about anything?" too. It's a no win situation.

* Gaslighting. I can not say anything referencing my past or its ‘stop living in the past’. Narc families most toxic and invalidating mantra towards the scapegoat. Yet they are allowed to make jokes and poke fun about things in my past THEY’VE chose to make a topic to embarrass and exploit me.

* I love it when some family member comes to me and tells me to stop talking about family dynamics. They really, really love living in illusions and lies and posturing. Phonies to the max!! 
While I won't talk to them any more, poor pitiful things, I can just as easily talk everywhere else - and they HATE, HATE, HATE me because I won't stop!! And I have so much evidence to back up the false facades!

* I tried to make sense of why they feel allowed to talk about anything and everything, and why their own children, even when 40 years old, are not allowed to talk about anything except what narcissistic parents allow. There is simply no way to understand this. I found that the best thing to do is to share only with people who don't try to shut you up or shut you down. If they start that, it's time to walk away. They are just not safe people if they are doing that. 

* Oh, they act ferocious, but really they only act that way because they are wimps when the big bad truth finally shines a light on them. Once the truth is out there, they look like victims for a change, instead of us. 

* "The past is in the past" but only for you, not for them. They hold grudges forever. But it's their favorite saying to get you to shut up about any subject except for them!!! 


Stonewalling: Narcissist’s Silent Treatment Method - by Saul Mcleod, PhD & Julia Simkus for Simple Psychology
     ... Stonewalling involves withdrawing from communication and deliberately avoiding providing any information, feedback, or emotional response, effectively shutting down a conversation or interaction. ...
     ... Stonewalling is commonly observed in conflicts or disputes between individuals in a relationship. According to psychologist John Gottmann, this behavior can have serious consequences for a relationship because it creates a sense of disconnection and frustration between the people involved. ...
     ... While stonewalling is typically used as a way to avoid conflict, narcissists will use stonewalling as a tool for manipulation. ...
     ... The narcissist consistently ignores your requests, needs, or concerns, showing a lack of consideration or empathy for your emotions. If you speak to them about something important to you, they might dismiss you, ignore you, cut you off, or say something like “who cares” or “just be quiet.” They might also dismiss you by belittling or laughing at what you are saying. ...
     ... Feeling ignored, dismissed, or shut out by someone you care about can be hurtful and can lead to feelings of rejection and inadequacy. Social rejection and exclusion can evoke significant emotional pain. Stonewalling is a form of ostracism and is often interpreted as a threat to the body and brain. In response to stonewalling, our alarm system (fight/flight response) is set off. This can lead to feelings of panic, anxiety, depression, and/ or anger. Stonewalling threatens our fundamental need to belong.

For abuse to occur, a child’s voice must be silenced  - gcyp.sa.gov.au (Australian government site)
11 July 2017
     For abuse of a child to occur, the first necessary condition is that the child remain silent, that their voice not be heard. 
     This silence may be engineered by the abuser, using their status, fear or shame. It may be engineered by institutions that are passive in protecting children or complicit in covering it up or by adults and peers who are not alert to the signs or do not know how to respond. ... 

Silent treatment from parents: The psychological implications on kids and why it should be avoided - Times of India

Ways Manipulative Narcissists Silence You: Part IV (Narcissists enjoy making malicious remarks at a survivor's expense) - by Shahida Arabi for Domestic Shelters.org

Ways Manipulative Narcissists Silence You: Part II (Does your abuser shift blame, change the subject, name-call or nitpick?) - by Shahida Arabi for Domestic Shelters

How Narcissists Silence Their Partners - Narcissisms.com

Unknowingly Silencing Others – Are You A Conversational Narcissist? - by Tatiane Garcia, Executive Contributor for Brainz
     Have you ever noticed a friend who, despite giving you sporadic moments of attention, primarily uses your presence as an opportunity to unload their thoughts and feelings without truly listening to yours? Indeed, we've all experienced the one-sided nature of such "friendships." ...
     ...Growing up in a family of women, I was always fascinated by our unique social skills. However, none of us possessed the necessary skills to truly listen to one another. Taking into account factors such as our culture, environment, age, beliefs, and ambitions, I often listened to my sister's narrative with a certain bias. I sometimes disagreed with their wrong or incorrect views, comparing my struggles to theirs without realizing that the conversation was about them, not me.
     When we find ourselves in the opposite position, needing a secure space to express ourselves, we quickly realize our mistake in speaking. Often, we feel stifled, misunderstood, embarrassed or even smaller, and the conversation ends up revolving around the other person. The sensation of being ignored induces an immediate feeling of sadness and discouragement. ...

The Effects of Silencing Your Child’s Voice - by Dr. Ernest Waith, DMin. for Medium

Silent Treatment: Preferred Weapon of People with Narcissism - by Andrea Schneider, LCSW for Good Therapy