I’ve been working part-time on a pro bono basis, helping other survivors, since 2017 before moving into the field full-time. During this time I have been privileged to assist in the following situations (locations and initials changed for confidentiality purposes):
Mr W – USA
An ex-US Marine with a string of relationships involving abusive women. Depressed, and suffering auto-immune-related health issues, the first task was to emotionally extract and protect him from further abuse (made tricky by ongoing work-related contact), validate his experience and teach about NPD in depth, before going on to root out and resolve the underlying wounds. Encountered throughout early childhood, these involved extensive physical abuse at the hands of a parent, since deceased – resolving these involved learning to let go of the pain, the bitterness, the guilt and the resentment in order to forgive and let go. From here the work of rebuilding self-esteem and purpose in life starts, filling the dark void with light, joy and happiness, and firmly establishing self-love before looking forward to new and rewarding relationships. Now in his 50’s, a good deal of focus is going into restoring physical health – not by tackling the apparent symptoms but going to the heart of the underlying causes.
Healing Childhood Wounds
Mr S – UK
Abused by his father and sent away to boarding school from a very early age, Mr T had spent three decades underperforming professionally (in his view), lacking in self-worth, and unable to hold down any meaningful long term relationship. His relationship with his birth family has always been strained. Mr T initially came to me looking for assistance with his latest troubled romance – we quickly validated NPD as a probability and moved forward on that basis – isolating him from further abuse and arresting the ruminations. Taking a break from all things romance, we then focussed on the childhood scars – putting them in perspective, understanding the whys and hows, and letting go of the baggage that has been carried for so long and securing forgiveness. Building self-esteem, never allowed to establish in his youth, is an ongoing focus.
Managing Sex-drive Mismatch
Mrs X – USA
A single mother fending off ongoing skirmishes with her ex, the father of her 3 children and a likely Narc, Mrs X faced challenges on a number of fronts – financial, managing a large home, running her own business and kindling a new, but unusual, romance. Whilst she has a high sex drive, her new partner – so perfect and supportive in many crucial ways – was just not able to keep up. Between the three of us, we have navigated the very tricky decision to open up the relationship to polyamory where she now enjoys the company of a number of friends-with-benefits. Whilst I am invariably a big advocate of taking time out following the breakup with a narc before entering a new relationship in order to fill the void with oneself first, this situation proves all situations are unique and should be treated bespoke. We are therefore running a process of post-NPD healing whilst simultaneously developing a new, unusual but healthy relationship. I love challenges!
Halting Ruminating, Breaking the Trauma Bond
Miss A – Canada
With parents divorcing when she was young, her stepfather was abusive and her mother enabled. Now in her 50’s, Miss W has always struggled with self-esteem issues and people-pleasing – a classic empath product of a deeply dysfunctional childhood for which she was not to blame. A succession of abusive adult relationships have followed – each partner from the same mould as her abusive step-father in a recurring cycle of trying to resolve the same problem. Recently agonisingly trauma-bonded to a classic Narc, and not even the main girlfriend but a mistress, our work has been as focussed on learning about co-dependency as it has been NPD. Establishing a life without the apparent comfort blanket of abuse has required patience and time, as has breaking the habit of ruminating and relapse. Establishing self-respect and esteem follows before it is time to enter any new relationship.
Establishing Self-esteem in a Feminist Environment
Miss Y – London, England
Despite being a high achiever academically, professionally and on the sports field, Miss V has struggled with self-esteem since the divorce of her parents in childhood. A recent long-term relationship to an older man, sadly probably a Narc and most certainly coercive, left her devastated, depressed and confused. Our work has been to understand and validate the NPD experience as a foundation, to then concentrate on building self-confidence. Resolving NPD-related issues developed into dating coaching – compare what she thinks she should be offering vs what gents tend to be looking for. We’ve enjoyed philosophical and enlightening discussion around the roles of masculinity and chivalry, vs feminity and grace, as much as we have discussing online dating platforms and profiles, photo selection and drafting blurb. Actually not so clear cut striking the right note for an attractive but formidable career lass in her 30’s…..
Mrs R – Brit in Spain
A wife of 20 years, she was accustomed to her husband’s long trips away on business, but started to become suspicious and approached me for guidance. We quickly uncovered enough to reveal evidence pointing towards an NPD character heading towards discard, and so swiftly made plans to safeguard up finances, her job and reputation. By this stage the marriage was sufficiently loveless for emotions to play a lesser role, and as a result this assignment has been less of life coaching, but more of legal, financial, and reputational strategy planning.
Mrs A – Brit in France
Into their 60’s, Mr & Mrs A emigrated from the UK to the continent in search of a better life and more sun for their retirement. Their lovely home was understandably a popular destination for visiting friends and family, but Mrs A could never understand why she got so stressed and uptight with impending visits by her brother, and began to notice health issues developing that coincided. Her doctor suggested that she research NPD, a recommendation brought her to me. Much about her statements confirmed the suspicion that her brother was likely to be a narcissist, and consequently our sessions branched into a variety of areas – understanding NPD better, understanding sibling co-dependency, developing methods to manage and mitigate NPD abuse, managing fraught family politics and sensitivities. We also focussed on the relationship between NPD abuse and auto-immune ailments that often develop in victims, developing strategies and regimes to restore good physical health and wellbeing.
Mrs Y – Saudi Arabia
A Muslim lady, well-educated and from a good family, but nevertheless marooned in a Muslim country where the legal framework did little to protect women’s rights or interests. Cast out by many including a degree of disapproval and isolation by her own family, I continue to be a key virtual lifeline to an outside world to assist with understanding of NPD, providing moral support, offering tips and tricks on physical security, and securing specialist forms of therapy and further specialist support. With young kids in the mix, much of my help is also directed towards developing solid parenting skills in the absence of a healthy father figure. At a personal level, this engagement has proved to be one of my most challenging and rewarding – not least because I am acutely aware that my role, undertaken as an intuitive and compassionate man from a very different ethnic background, I need to tread a very fine cultural line that will set her up properly for a new relationship one day, we hope, with realistic expectations.