I'm back in North Macedonia until the end of the week while I keep praying for some furniture to arrive to my old apartment in Israel.
By the way, this apartment is a replica of my old apartment in Israel. I made it to Spex.
So I'm back here for several days, two or three days, and I thought I would give you a shout.
And today we're going to discuss individuation.
You have separated from the narcissist willingly or unwillingly. You were able to silence the narcissist, interject the narcissist's voice in your head.
Separation, to paraphrase President Bush, separation accomplished now onward, soldiers, Christian and Jewishonward to individuation, which is a topic of today's video.
My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and a former visiting professor of psychology.
Before I start, though, I would like to make a public appeal on behalf of this guy.
The Russians just arrested a journalist, Evan Gershkowitz. This journalist is a Wall Street journalist, but he has written for the New York Times and many other cases. He was arrested, I think, last night or this morning. The article is dated today, March 30th, so I'm not quite sure when he was arrested.
I would like to appeal to you on his behalf. Do whatever you can. Write to the Russian embassy in your country. Protestand so on and so forth.
I happen to have come across this guy. I used to be the editor-in-chief of one of the biggest websites for geopolitics, global politics. And I was also a member of the analyst network. On these two internet domiciles, I came across his amazing investigative work and very courageous in Russia and then much later in Ukraine.
There is no doubt in my mind that he has been framed. I would ask you to do whatever you can.
This small bit helps.
Ivan Gershkowitz arrested in Russia last night or this morning. I'm not quite sure. This is the BBC article, but you can find news articles on CNN and everywhere.
Okay, from Russia to individuation, naturally. It's a natural progression. You can't say that I'm not taking you on a whirlwind tour of the entire world.
Early yesterday morning, I was still in Israeland today I'm back in North Macedonia. In a few days' time, I'll be back in Israel. Hopefully with some pieces of furniture, less echo and a new location to shoot my video within the apartment.
This stage, this apartment in North Macedoniawill have to fulfill its old role.
Many of you wrote to me that you miss the background. So here's the wooden panellingand here's my altar.
Yes, my altar with a painting of myself made by one of my fans.
Okay, Shoshanim, you've suffered enough. Let's get to the point.
Why is it so difficult to separate and individuate from the narcissist?
Before we proceed, you should watch the video which deals with the narcissist's serpent voice. You should also watch the interview that I've given regarding the four steps you should take before you attend therapy for narcissistic abuse.
Because if you don't do these things, if you don't separate from the narcissist, if you don't silence the narcissist's voice inside your head, nothing will help you, no therapy.
The narcissist is firmly lodged in your mind. The narcissist talks to you, negates you, puts you down, destroys you from the inside like some toxic miasma.
So you need to get a hold of this processand then you need to reverse it. Otherwise, no amount of commiserating with other victims, venting or attending therapy would help you.
Why is that? Why is the narcissist a special subspecies of abuser? Why doesn't this happen with other types of abusers?
And it doesn't.
Well, because the narcissist is a duality.
It's like the wave particle in quantum mechanics.
At one timethe narcissist is a waveand at another timeit's a particleand yet it's the same entity.
The narcissist sometimes is your abuserand at other timesyour saviour, your rescuer, your best friend ever.
At one timethe narcissist reifies your death, your mental death, he reifies extinguishing, he reifies your disappearance, assimilation, he consumes youand then digests you, he empties you and follows you from the inside.
He is the green ripper.
And at other timesthe narcissist is your life force. He energizes you, he eggs you on, he's your greatest friend and supporter.
At one timethe narcissist is punitive, hateful, resentful. He is out to destroy you, to devastate you, to ruin you.
And at other timesthe narcissist is your substitute mother, he loves you unconditionally, he accepts you exactly as you are, he idealizes you and puts you on pedestal.
And it is this duality, also known as negative intermittent reinforcement, it is this duality that makes it exceedingly difficult for you to say goodbye externally and internally.
You can break up with a narcissist in your real life and he may upset himself having devalued and discarded youbut he is inside your mind.
And so it's very difficult, it's very difficult to break up with a narcissist in your mind because the narcissist is not a single malevolent demonic entity.
The narcissist is a contradiction in terms, it's mutual exclusivity, reified, it's all good and all bad in one body and one mind, his mind.
You have been subjected to the impossible, mixed signals and extremists.
Who is the narcissist? Who was the narcissist in your life?
Did he hate you? Did he love you? Did he save you from yourself? Did he give you another second childhood? Did he afford you self-love via your idealized image or was he merely out to penalize you for offenses which either to remain unclear?
What is this duality?
This is why it makes it almost impossible to separate from the narcissist and to silence the voice inside your head that is actually the narcissist introject, the narcissist voice, the narcissist representation in your mind, the narcissist avatar, the internal object that is the narcissist collaborates with the narcissistthis Trojan horse that you cannot expel out of the gates of your fortified mind?
This fifth column that is working from the inside to undermine and challenge you, your identity, your beliefs, your values, your hopes, your wishes, your dreams, your preferences, your priorities, everything is corroded by the narcissist voice.
And yet it's extremely difficult to silence it initially because a narcissist voice is a hybrid.
Sometimes it speaks to you in the language of a mother or a father. And sometimes it speaks to you in forked tongues. Sometimes it's devilish and sometimes it's angelic. It's a morality play unfolding within your mind inexorably.
There's so little you can do about it.
And yet somehow you are entranced and enthralled by this morality play. Sometimes somehow you want to be there to see how it unfolds, to convince yourself that maybe just maybe it wasn't all bad.
Maybe just maybe you had benefited somehow.
Cognitive dissonance. You have to somehow prove to yourself that you weren't naive and stupid and gullible, that your mate's selection was more or less okay. That the narcissist was a lover, not a hater. A mother, not an abuser. Life, not death.
And of course it's all counterfactual. It's all nonsense.
So you need to separate from the narcissist physically.
Then you need to separate from the narcissist mentally by silencing his voice inside your head and go to the description.
There are links to videos which deal with how to do this.
Today we're going to limit ourselves to the last phase, the last phase of healing from narcissistic abuse, the phase of individuation.
Once the narcissist's voice has been silenced, you should move on to become again a personality, a personhood, to reacquire personhood.
Why do you need to do that?
Because the narcissist infantilizes you.
The narcissist regresses you to age two where he is.
He is also age two.
He wants a playmate. He wants you to be two years old as well and his mother at the same time.
So the dual mothership concept, he becomes your mother and you become his mother. He is a two year old to you and you are a two year old to him.
And so he regresses you, infantilizes you.
And now as a two year old, you don't have knowledge of the world. You're defenseless. You have no theory of mind or none that's working too well. You have no theory of the world. You have no internal working model.
You need to reconstruct. You need to rebuild from scratch. You need to grow up and identify and become an adult. You need to go through the entire trajectory of personal development. It's all been erased. It's all been erased by the onslaught of the narcissist and training, enchanting, magical voicewithin the shared fantasy.
You have created a narrative of enchantment and magic. This is why it's a fantasy and that's why it is shared.
You need to extricate it yourself by again becoming an individual with boundaries.
You know where you end and the world begins.
Reestablish proper reality testing.
Drita is by far the most difficult phase in healing from narcissistic abuse because the narcissist's voice, once it has been silenced, the silence is total.
The abuser has been silenced, but the savior has been silenced. The hater has been silenced and the lover has been silenced. The child has been silenced and the mother has been silenced. It's a package deal.
Silencing the narcissist's introject in your mind, the narcissist's voice means that you lose all these functions, negative and positive.
You were idealized. You were loved by the narcissist. You saw yourself through the narcissist's gaze and you fell in love with what you had seen. It's gone. The narcissist saved you and rescued you and protected you and provided for you in a variety of ways. It's gone.
Positive things are gone as well as negative ones.
So what are you left with?
It's a little like cancer surgery. A huge chunk of you had been removed and what are you left with? A hollowed out body.
Your authentic voice is the only thing left, but it is disembodied. It floats in space. It drifts among the clouds of your erstwhile existence.
Try to get a hold of it. Try to grasp it. And you can't because it's ephemeral. It's vapor. It doesn't feel right and true and real, your authentic voice.
You have been forced or coerced into divorcing yourself early in the shared fantasy process.
And so now the authentic voice sounds strange and alien even more than the narcissist's voice.
You need to go through a process called embodying. You need to embody your authentic voiceto remind youyour authentic voice is your real voice, not your mother's voice, not your father's voice, not the narcissist's voice, not the voices of influencers and peers and teachers and society at large, not the voices acquired in during socialization or acculturation.
None of these voices is yours. You have a single authentic voice, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche even. You have a single authentic voice and you must cling to it because this is the only raft you have in a very, very royal ocean as the Titanic of your shared fantasy is sinking in the background, having hit the iceberg of abuse in reality.
You now need to embody your voice, your authentic voice. You need to reconnect it with your body.
Individuation requires mind-body work, owning your voice also by attaching it or reattaching it to your body.
So techniques such as EMDR and trauma-based techniques that involve the body, they're very critical as the first phase of individuation.
Whenever your authentic voice speaks to you, you need to somatize it. You need to have a somatic reaction. Your body needs to react to it. Your body needs to rejoice at rediscovering your authenticity, who you truly are.
Your core identity needs to form inside you and it needs to feel real as if it were some object. This core identity, this iron globe of your essence and your quiddity, you need to feel it. You need to be able to touch it if only metaphorically.
So body-mind work, that's the first stage.
Having mastered this phase and having befriended your body, having begun to trust your body to do some of the healing work for you, by befriending your bodyfor example, you will learn techniques to reduce, ameliorate and mitigate your anxiety so it feels good to be connected to your body.
And there's a variety of techniques, well-known techniques, I won't go into it. It's known as mind-body therapies or mind-body work.
Having accomplished this, you move on to the next three phases.
Phase number two, self-mothering or self-love.
How to do that?
Go to the description, click on the video titled "Love Yourself".
Here's how the four pillars of self-love, I explained there, how to become your own mother and how to love and nurture yourself.
The very functions that were offered to you by the narcissists when you first met fallaciously, of course, the narcissist's goal was never to truly mother you.
The narcissist's goal was to convert you into his mother and then separate from you, cruelly and individually.
The value and discard is always the only goal of the narcissist in any intimate relationship.
So you were not receiving self-love. What you were receiving from the narcissist was idealization, which is a lie, it's a figment of fantasy and then regressing you to infancy and then as an infant or a baby, you fell in love with the idealized image of you as a mother.
The narcissist split you, split you apart. He broke you to two pieces.
One piece was a two-year-old child.
The other piece was an idealized mother figure.
That's why you fell in love with yourself. You fell in love with yourself as a child would with his own mother.
You need to reverse this whole process. You need to self-mother via self-love, true self-love, of yourself as you are.
Negatives and positives, pros and cons, warts and all, shortcomings, flaws and failures, as well as your strong points.
Know thyself, self-awareness, self-cognizance.
Go and watch this video.
Love yourself, here's how.
Okay, so this is the second stage of individuation as a part of the healing process.
The third stage is self-saving.
The narcissist acted or pretended to be your savior and rescuer and fixer and healer.
Actually many narcissists pretend to be all these things. This is their bait.
They bait you into the shared fantasy, pretending to be exactly these things.
So you've learned to outsource your own saving, your own rescuing.
You learn to outsource it to the narcissist, take it back, take your power back, save yourself, rescue yourself, fix yourself and heal yourself, develop in other words what is known as agency, become agentic and self efficacious.
Now, this is a bit of a complex thing, more complex process.
Again, you can't do it yourself.
You need a therapist to teach you how to do it. A therapist, a coach, a counselor to teach you how to do this. You need to learn to rely on yourself. You need to avoid infantilizing yourself. You need to become self efficacious. You need to accomplish things. You need to set realistic goals, not grandiose onesand then having materialized them, feel good about it. You need to self actualize. You need to create a life plan, life goals, etc.
These are all known techniques, no point in rehashing them here.
Develop agency, develop autonomy, develop independence and develop self-efficacy.
Define these as your treatment goals with your own therapist.
And finally, the last point, the last stage in separating from the narcissist and individuating, aka healing from narcissistic abuse, the last stage is choose life, affirm life.
This will negate your depression, your anxiety, your catastrophizing, your automatic negative thoughts.
Choose to be rather than to not be, humlet.
The narcissist wanted you to disappear into him.
Narcissist merged and fused with you in the process, making you vanish, rendering you a non-entity, an extension of himself, an internal object he snapshotted you.
Take your life back.
And there's again a video here. Take your life back. Watch it.
Just take your life back. Listen to your silent voice.
Go inside the desert of your mind and make it flower with your essence. Listen to all these videos in the description.
There's no point in repeating all this.
And then go on, go forward into the individuation process.
It's terrifying. This individuation process is about becoming again. It's about being reborn.
And birth is a form of trauma.
But you need to go through all this. You need to become a person with personhood. You need to know that you can define who you are and you need to never allow anyone again to tell you who you are and to hand over your identity to you on a platter. It should all come from the outside. You should never outsource regulation or any other internal function to anyone else. It's too much power to give to other people.
I wish you success.