Mourning Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

Uploaded 3/15/2023, approx. 1 hour 18 minute read

Cabernet Sauvignon and my new haircut? What could go wrong? Don't ask a lot.

Ok, so I'm a little bit tired and I'm a little bit tired and every other species of animals, YouTube animals.

Today we're going to discuss grief.

Grief is my favorite subject. It brings me so much joy.

Ok, this content was actually first uploaded in I think November 2021. Then it was removed by YouTube and now I am recasting it, rewriting it and re-uploading it for your benefit.

And so before we proceed, I suggest that you watch the video titled Narcissist as a Grieving Infant.

There is a link in the description and all you have to do is molest it. In other words, click on it.

In the video titled Narcissist as a Grieving Infant, I expound on a new concept, a new clinical entity, prolonged grief disorder. It was previously known as complicated grief and it was incorporated in the text revision of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published last year.

So, complicated grief or prolonged grief disorder, PGD for short, is the inability to move on once the grieving or mourning process has started.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who was a Swiss-American psychologist in 1968 and 1969, described five stages of grief. These have been now augmented to six.

So there are six stages of grief. And what happens is people get stuck in one of these stages.

There's anger, there's denial, depression, acceptance, etc. And people get stuck in one of these phases and they just can't move on.

They can't seem to be able to move on. They keep ruminating. They keep obsessing. They're stuck, for example, in the anger or rage stage and they can't outgrow it and somehow accept the loss.

They deny the loss, actually. In prolonged grief disorder, there's a denial of the loss, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a workplace.

Because prolonged grief doesn't have to be about a relationship. It can be about losing your job. It can be about moving to another place, relocating.

You could grieve your hometown. You can grieve a period in your life, nostalgia. You can grieve your family of origin. You can even grieve a fantasy, something that is about to happen in the future and will never happen.

So, grief that is fossilized, that is ossified, grief that never goes away, grief that is nagging and knowing, that feeling that the loss is there to stay, that it is all-consuming, it's all-pervasive and it's never ever going to let you go.

There's a lot of catastrophizing involved. It's like telling yourself, "I'm going to be stuck in this forever. It's a swamp. It's quicksand and I'm being sucked into the bottom. There's no way for me to extricate myself."

Now, prolonged grief normally goes with depression, with anxiety and with other dysfunctions, mental, physical.

And so all of us had experienced at least one episode of prolonged grief.

The technical definition is this. Grief that lasts longer than one year is pathological. Something's wrong with it. It shouldn't be this way. We should be able to overcome any imaginable and conceivable loss in one year's time.

Now, when I say overcome, I don't mean forget. I don't mean forget, but I do mean, for example, forgive. I do mean, for example, move on. I do mean, for example, socialize, date, work, develop new hobbies, travel around the world, cultivate a garden. I do mean expanding the horizons of your life.

Grief involves a phenomenon which is known as constriction, a constricted life.

And so the test of whether you have exited your grief, whether you have put your grief behind you, the test is, is your life constricted? Are you stuck in one location? Are you doing the same thing over and over again? Are you unable to find pleasure and interest in anything, anhedonia?

And so if the answers to these questions are yes, then you may well be facing prolonged grief disorder.

And so it's nothing unusual. It's pathological, but pretty common, actually. Even narcissists go through prolonged grief, as I will describe a bit later.

Of course, the definition of prolonged grief disorder is arbitrary, like why 12 months? Why not 11? Why not 15.3? I mean, why 12? It's arbitrary. You have to put the boundaries somewhere, to put the points somewhere.

I think feeling that you are as grieving now as you were grieving 12 months ago, same intensity, same ubiquity, same intrusiveness, intrusive thoughts, same emotions, negative affectivity, negative emotions that weigh you down and drown you and overwhelm you, a sadness that is overpowering and colors everything. Everything you do is imbued with this tinge, depression, a feeling that you don't want to go on with life, even in the extreme suicidal ideation, anxiety.

And all these are as mighty, as powerful, as strong, as intense as they were 12 months ago. That's not normal. That it doesn't fade, that it doesn't disappear. That's not okay. That's not the way it should be.

Because this is the slope of grief. It starts high and it ends low.

Grief transforms into a memory, a sad memory for sure, but a memory all the same.

And when it fails to do so, something is seriously wrong. When you grieve as if the loss had happened yesterday, every single day, day in and day out, night in and night out, because there are intrusive dreams, when your grief imbues everything, permeates everything, colors everything, it gradually becomes a straitjacket. It becomes an ideology. An organizing principle, it helps you to make sense of yourself, your behavior, the world.

People ask you, why are you like that?

Well, you say, as long as I'm breathing, you know, I'm likely to be sad.

I've lost my son. I can't recover. I've lost my lover. There's no way out. These are unhealthy answers. These are unhealthy answers.

You lost your son like five years ago. You broke up with the love of your life 12 years ago.

I mean, get a grip.

Yeah, you say, but I still can't recover, you know.

And so that explains why I'm like that. That explains why I'm misbehaving or that explains why I'm self-defeating or self-destructive or dysfunctional.

Why don't you date?

Because I'm grieving. Why don't you go out? I'm a hermit. Why? Why don't you consume entertainment or culture? Why don't you buy new things? Why don't you move somewhere? Why don't you travel? Why don't you socialize?

And so grief becomes a kind of creed, a kind of religion. You know, you organize your life to accommodate the grief, to reflect the grief and to conform to the grief.

The grief informs every waking moment and even your dreams.

Grief is an explanatory principle and it's very dangerous because it then makes sense of your life.

And once your life has gained some sense, it's very difficult to let go of the grief.

It's very difficult because it's gratifying when you have a single fact or a single event or a single thing or a single loss that seems to explain everything else that is happening in your life, why you behave the way you do, why you are feeling the way you do, why people relate to you the way they do.

It's like this single entity that suddenly imbues everything with meaning. It makes sense of the world and yourself in it, your place in the world. It kind of renders your interactions comprehensible and predictable.

It's very seductive.

Grief is seductive. It's enticing. Grief has the power of a religion. God, for example, as a single principle, explains everything you know.

You don't need science. You don't need anything. All you need is God.

Same with grief. All you need to know is that you're grieving.

Ah, well, that explains it. I'm grieving. Grieving, grief becomes a pivot, the axis around which your life revolves. And you revert to grief all the time when you're trying to make sense of your life. And you know what? It works. It's working.

It simply works because it has an answer to everything.

Why am I sad? Well, because of my loss. Why am I not dating? Well, because of my loss. Why am I not pursuing my academic degree? Well, because of my loss.

I mean, everything suddenly makes total sense. And grief is also an alibi, an excuse for inaction. It's not victim blaming. I'm just saying you need to extricate yourself from your grief because it will devour you. Your grief will devour you.

And I'm not the first to say this. Theodore Millon in 2000, 23 years ago, described what he called the morally righteous abuser.

Now, grief leads to victimhood. If grief is not contained, if it is not reframed, if it is not reinterpreted, if it doesn't fade, if it becomes the principle that organizes your life and makes sense of it, explains it, interprets it, then you become self-contained, self-sufficient.

You don't need to refer to reality. You don't need to refer or interact with other people. It all comes from the inside.

And so you become morally righteous. And moral righteousness is another name for abuse.

Consider, for example, the narcissist.

The narcissist believes himself to be a victim. And so the grandiosity, the locus of his grandiosity is usually his superiority. Sometimes his superiority consists of the moral high ground. The narcissist would say, I'm a superior moral person. The narcissist is sanctimonious. And this justifies abusive conduct, abusive behavior.

Grief can lead you there because grief renders you self-centered, egotistical.

Grief reduces your empathy exactly like trauma has the same effect.

Grief is a form of complex trauma, actually. So grieving could legitimate behaviors which are essentially dysregulated, hurtful, abusive to others, antisocial, asocial.

Because, hey, I'm grieving, you know, you owe me. You should cut me some slack. It's not my fault.

I am still digesting my loss and contemplating it.

I'm grieving. Can't you see I'm grieving? I mean, you shouldn't judge me. I'm grieving.

I think there is a percentage, there is a proportion of people who experience prolonged grief disorder, complicated grief. These people gravitate towards this kind of essentially narcissistic behavior.

Grief legitimizes. It's an explanatory principle. It's an excuse. It's self-justifying.

So like, why am I behaving like this? Why am I misbehaving? Because I'm grieving.

So grief and victimhood are first cousins, movements which are essentially self-aggrandizing, self-moralizing, sanctimonious and self-righteous. We are angels. Our abuses are the demons of the devils, you know, empads, super-empads, super-nova empads, super-galactic-nova empads, etc.

These are sick pathological behaviors and self-justifications.

And so grief can pathologize you. Grief is deforming. Grief molds the mind in ways which are unhealthy for you in the long term.

Entrenched grief reactions exist on the individual level, but also on the collective level. On the collective level.

I'm a Jew. I know it comes as a shock to many of you, but I'm a Jew.

And so Jews have this thing. I'm sorry to say it might be construedas an antisemitic comment, but it's not.

Following the Holocaust, especially, there's an entrenched grief reaction, prolonged grief disorder, which is memorable.

I mean, we have a memorial day every day for our collective grief. It's called Holocaust Day, every year in April. So it's a day of collective grief.

And it's not only grieving, but there's kind of a linkage between the grief and the wrongs done to the grief.

But wrongs done to the Jewish people.

I am not denying the Holocaust. It happened. I think it's underestimated, actually. I think more than six million people died.

And of course, the Jewish people over the last two thousand years, at least, until the state of Israel had been established, suffered a lot, has been wronged, egregiously beyond possibly most other nations.

So these atrocities, these horrible things did happen. I'm not saying they did not happen, but the reaction of the collective was, in my view, pathological.

There's a linkage between this grief, collective grief, and a series of assertions about rights and commensurate obligations of other people.

In other words, grief legitimizes legitimizes behaviors like demanding or insisting.

Or so when grief becomes actionable, that's the problem. When you weaponize grief, that's the problem.

So let's go from let's revert now to narcissistic abuse.

One of the main reasons I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse in the early 90s was that it's special.

It's not the same like other forms of abuse.

Many people said at the time there's no need to coin a new phrase. I mean, why do you need to have a specialized subtype of abuse? Why not just say abuse?

Because narcissistic abuse is different.

One of the things that narcissistic abuse engenders is prolonged grief disorder in the victim.

The narcissist induces in you prolonged grief disorder in a very pernicious, subtle, subterranean way.

Now, this is not done in a psychopathic manner. In other words, the narcissist is not conniving, skimming. He's not steeped in penumbral or occult or Machiavellian machinations. That's the psychopath.

But the narcissist is a predator. The behaviors of the narcissist are totally reflexive. They're automated. They are in some part unconscious. They flow naturally.

The narcissist does what he does. The way a virus does what he does. The narcissist infects your mind and trains it, penetrates it and leaves its residue inside your mind for a long period of time. The way a virus infects a cell and coops it into manufacturing additional viruses. There's no thinking involved. There's no skimming. There's no cunning. There's nothing there.

I mean, people tend to glamorize the narcissist by rendering the narcissist some kind of supervillain.

Academia is complicit in it to some extent because academia introduced the concept of Machiavellianism.

But narcissists, as distinct from psychopaths, are not really Machiavellian. They are a-holes. They do what they do because that's who they are. They are predators the same way lions eat antelopes.

What can you do? Antelopes are much cuter than lions. And yet antelopes don't eat lions. Lions eat antelopes. That's the way it is.

Narcissists engender prolonged grief disorder in you. And they do it in four ways.

So I'm going to use the male gender pronouns. Please don't give me a hard time.

50% of all people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder nowadays are women. So yeah, women are taking over.

I think shortly there will be more women narcissists than male narcissists.

I'm using he because that used to be the literary convention when I was growing up. So whatever I'm about to say applies to female narcissists as well.

As I said, the narcissist induces in you a prolonged grief disorder and he does it in four ways.

He does it in four ways.

So the first thing the narcissist does, the narcissist allows you to experience selflove, I know this sounds crazy, but humor me. I beg your patience.

The narcissistI repeatallows you to experience selflovefor many of you, for many of the victims of narcissistic abuse.

It is the first time that they have experienced selflove. It's the first experience of selflove.

The problem with that is that the narcissist allows you to fall in love with an image of yourself that is grandiose, unrealistic, idealized, not with a real you, but with a fake you, a perfect you.

And this perfection is not realistic, of course, no one is perfect. Well, with one or two exceptions.

So you fall in love with a phantasm of youin a way with a fantasy of you. You fall in love with a fantastic figment inside the narcissist's mind that represents you, an internal objectand in a way an introject that is you, an avatar of you.

And the narcissist holds the key. He can lock the door to this internal space, to this hall of mirrorsat any minute. He gives you access to the hall of mirrors.

And as you walk, you see yourself replicated a thousand times over, beautiful, intelligent, dropdead gorgeous, amazing, unprecedented. Who can resist? You find yourself irresistible in this hall of mirrors.

But access is granted by the narcissistat his whim and call. He is the sole decisionmakerand he can lock you out of the hall of mirrors.

This is known as intermittent reinforcement.

And so when he were to lock you out, when he locks you out, you won't be able to see your glamorizedidealized reflectionand you won't be able to love yourself anymore.

So the narcissist can turn your self love on and off.

And that's the first thing the narcissist does. He holds the key to this new, amazing, fantastic sensation of falling in love with a perfect rendition of you, with an amazing you, the stunning you, with a brilliant you, with a perfect you.

This grandiose image is inculcated in the love bombing and grooming stages.

So here's a narcissistand he's able to give you the thrill of your life, is able to make you feel utterly enmeshed with yourself. It's a kind of merger, selfmerger or selffusion.

You finally accept yourself fully because you're perfect.

What is there to reject?

You finally are able to love yourself without any qualms, without any doubts, without any suspicionand without any selfcriticism and denigration.

Your harsh inner critic is silenced, decapitated.

The narcissist now tells you you're perfect.

So there's no need for criticism or selfcriticism.

Here's the key.

Do enter, please, and look at yourself in this infinite hall of mirrors.

That's the first type of addiction that the narcissist fosters in you, an addiction to your idealized image.

And then the narcissist offers you what your mother should have offered you.

The narcissist offers you unconditional love.

In the love bombing and the grooming phases, the narcissist simulates highly effectively, unconditional love.

He loves you because of who you are. He tells you that you are the most incredible thing. You're the most beautiful thing. You are a genius. You are stunning. You are unique and unprecedented.

He never felt this way with anyone else.

Et cetera, et cetera.

This is the kind, this is a mother's speech. These are the speech acts of a mother.

That's how a mother sees her baby, her infant, her toddler, her child.

Mothers idealize their newborns because otherwise they won't be able to survive the ordeal of raising a child.

Actually, what's happening?

The narcissist is using projective identification to inducein his intimate partnermaternal emotions or maternal effects.

The narcissist, I repeat, the narcissist induces in you a mother instinct, a reflex to mother him, a maternal complex.

And he does this by becoming a mother.

Now, this is a head spinner.

So I repeat it.

The narcissist loves you unconditionally because he tells you that you're perfect. He says you're perfect.

And so I love you unconditionally. There's nothing to not love.

Unconditional love is motherly love. Only mother loves her baby unconditionally.

So this is maternal love.

The narcissist becomes your mother.

By becoming your mother, he induces in you maternal responses.

Because as you see him, as you interact with the narcissist, you're interacting with the mother and it reminds you that you could also be a mother, that you're also a mother.

So the narcissist, your intimate partner is a mother and it makes you a mother too.

And this is called projective identification.

Now, it's very important to understand that narcissists never separate from their mothers, from their real mothers, biological mothers of origin. They never separate from them.

The separation/individuation phase among narcissists fails.

Narcissists don't separate from their mothers and never become individuals.

As children, narcissists fail to separate from mommy. They fail to become full fledged individuals.

So they remain in a state known as symbiotic fusion. We'll come to it a bit later.

Half of every narcissist is his mother because he couldn't, he failed to separate.

The narcissist carries with him his mother, his real mother, wherever he goes.

So it's easy for the narcissist to become a mother. He has a mother inside him. Even if the narcissist is a male, it's easy for him to become a mother because he has a mother inside him, because he is half mother. He never separated.

When the narcissist interacts with the intimate partner, he becomes her mother. He gives her unconditional love through love-moming and grooming, as I said, and he induces in her a counterreaction, which is maternal.

Now, at some point, the narcissist withdraws the mother projection, takes it back, takes it away. He stops being a mother.

And that is one of the major sources, if not the major engine, of prolonged grief disorder.

Because when you lose your mother as a child, the grief is infinite and it is prolonged by definition.

So what the narcissist does, he regresses you into an infantile state, pushes you to become a child again. He is your mother, so you should be a child.

If he's your mother, you're an infant.

The narcissist provides you with unconditional love and you become a child again. It's like a second chance at a childhood and this time getting it right.

And then the narcissist withdraws his love and you become an orphan. The unconditional love is gone. Mother is gone, is absent. And you are the only mother now on the scene. And the grief is enormous because you have lost your idealized self-image, you have lost the unconditional love, and you have lost your mother in the shape or form of the narcissist. You've lost your mother yet again.

And there's this uncompleted, unfinished business. It's like you got a chance, the narcissist gives you a chance at a second childhood with a new mother, which is the narcissist.

Then you start a relationship with this new mother and then she walks away.

And this unresolved conflict, an unfinished business.

And I call this the dual mothership system.

Now to remind you, this is a rendition or a recap of content that I posted online in November 2021, about a year and a half ago. So I call it the dual mothership.

Most people and most scholars would say that the narcissist is forcing the intimate partner to become his mother.

But it's not actually about forcing. It's a trade-off. It's a business deal or a Faustian deal, if you wish.

"I will be your mother," says the narcissist, "if you will be mine."

Like, "Let's be each other's mothers. I will love you unconditionally. I will idealize youand I will let you love yourself in your ideal, perfect image.

But you should do the same for me."

And this is known as co-idylization.

"You should do the same for me."

Everything in narcissism is bargaining. Everything in the narcissist is upbeat in his relationships. Everything is a trade-off. Everything is very cold and calculated and mutual and reciprocated, but not in the good sense.

The process of idealization is co-idylization because that's the narcissist's condition to love you.

In this way, if you think about it, the narcissist's unconditional love is very conditional.

"I will love you unconditionally, that you love me unconditionally." This is the narcissist's convoluted logic and mutilation of language itself.

Narcissist says, "I will idealize you, but in order for me to feel ideal, I own you, you're my property, I possess you, you're mine, so that makes me ideal and perfect because I own and possess an ideal and perfect object."

So here you have it, the dual mothership.

Narcissist says to you, "I'm going to love you as your mother should have loved you. I'm going to love you unconditionally. I'm going to love you this way because you're amazing, you're a genius, you're incredible, you're a beautiful woman on Earth, you're unprecedented, this and that. I've never seen anyone like you. So I'm going to love you unconditionally, I'm going to love you as a mother.

Because only a mother loves unconditionally.

But mind you, adult love is never unconditional. Adult love is conditional. Only a mother loves unconditionally and love bombing and grooming pretend to convey and to afford and to provide unconditional love.

So love bombing and grooming convey the message, "I'm a mother."

Because the love they offer or love offered during these phases is supposedly and purportedly unconditional.

Or in only a mother loves unconditionally.

Hence the narcissist slides into the role of a mother.

Narcissist says to you, "I'm going to love you as a mother if you love me as a mother."

So the narcissist lets you see yourself through his eyes.

Narcissist says, "I will let you be seen through my eyes which are the eyes of a mother. I will let you see yourself through my eyes which are the eyes of a mother.

So that you can finally love yourself and accept yourself through me, through my agency as your mother."

Love yourself through this second chance at having a mother.

By the way, there are religious equivalents.

When people say, "We love, we love through the eyes of God, we love ourselves the same way God sees us." Jesus sees you, God sees you.

Because God is supposed to love you infinitely and unconditionally. And that way you can love yourself infinitely and unconditionally because you can love yourself through God's love.

So the narcissist normally assumes the role of God.

He strikes the same deal with you. The same deal.

You can love yourself through my love for you, which is maternal, a mother's love.

But at some point he withdraws everything. He withdraws access to your idealized image because he starts to devalue you. He withdraws his maternal love, his so-called unconditional love.

And then of course you grieve. You grieve these losses. There's a grief reaction. And it's a prolonged grief because what child can overcome the loss of an infinitely unconditionally loving mother?

Similarly, people who had lost God describe an identical grief reaction. People who have lost their faith. For example, there are testimonies of people who have survived the Holocaust in Auschwitz. And they have lost their faith.

So they describe a prolonged life-long grief reaction that they cannot overcome. Because they have lost the source of all love. They've lost God himself.

Indeed in the New Testament, God is identified with love. It's a love in God.

Part of the grief is that you can't catastrophize. You say, "This is never going to happen to me again. This is never going to happen to me again."

Because you see the whole situation as a child. Remember, you have been infantilized. You've been regressed.

The narcissist's deal was, "I'm going to be your mother if you agree to become a child."

So you see everything through the eyes of a child.

And to be a child is once in a lifetime experience. You have only one mother. You have only one mother.

So once in a lifetime experience is a use-it-or-lose-it experience.

And you have the same sensation, the same feeling with the narcissist.

You say to yourself, "Having lost the narcissist, this is never going to happen to me again. I'm never going to find someone like him again. No one is ever going to love me again the way my narcissist loved me."

This was so unique.

And there's this sense of loss. It's all permeating. It's like you were expelled from the Garden of Eden, from Paradise.

And you don't think you're ever going to be readmitted to this garden. You know?

The next thing is, narcissist exports his grief.

If you watch, I mentioned at the beginning of this video, when we were all a lot younger, I asked you to watch a video about the narcissist as a grieving infant.

So I explained there that narcissism is actually a post-traumatic condition coupled with prolonged grief.

The narcissist is in a state, a constant state of prolonged grief.

Because the narcissist as a child had been denied. Many things had been denied to the narcissist. And the narcissist himself as a child had been denied. Unconditional love had been withheld. Acceptance had been avoided. The ability to become an individual was never given.

And so on and so on.

So narcissists have a grief reaction. They mourn.

The narcissist mourns who he could have been. He griefs over who he would have been had he been given the chance.

Nancisists are imbued, oozing grief.

And so what they do, they export the grief to you. They kind of dump the grief on you.

And this is the toxic emanation that people feel.

People misidentify this with abuse.

Abuse is actually easy to survive, easy to withstand.

Proper outright abuse is, you see it coming and you can build defenses and resistances.

I don't know, you go somewhere. Someone punches you in the face, someone insults you.

You know how to cope with it. Usually there's no lasting effect.

But what is difficult is when you are immersed in negativity and negative affectivity.

What is difficult is when you are drowning in negative emotions such as grief.

It's toxic, it's poisonous and it's difficult to cleanse yourself.

So in religion we have these cleansing rituals.

When you come across evil and you go through exorcism, I don't know why.

The narcissist tries to immerse you and drown you, kind of baptize you with his grief.

And so there's a sense of having failed the narcissist, having disappointed mother.

Because remember the narcissist is your mother.

Having disappointed mother, having let mother down.

So there's always a kind of ambient emotional blackmail.

This grief is converted into leverage.

The narcissist says, "I'm grieving, I'm sad, I'm broken, I'm damaged so you owe me." You owe me special consideration, you owe me obedience, obeisance, you owe me whatever it is, you owe me. You owe me support, including financial, you owe me because I'm grieving, I'm sad, I'm a tragedy in the making. I'm a victim.

To be with the narcissist is to drown in his grief.

The narcissist is dead, dead inside. The narcissist is a zombie, it's a dead entity, it's the walking dead. It's a corpse, it's an animated corpse. There's nobody there, only death. Death permeates and engulfs the narcissist, emanates from the narcissist as some kind of miasma and enshrouds you as well. You're both enveloped by death. It's a dead relationship.

Abuse victims will tell you the relationship was dead. It's a very common utterance.

The narcissist exports his grief to you, he's trying to lay it out on you. He's trying to kind of cleanse himself by infecting you, by polluting you, by contaminating you.

And this is another source of prolonged grief.

On the one hand, you wanted to make the narcissist happy and joyful and cheerful. You wanted to take away his grief.

Having failed, you feel guilty, you feel ashamed, you feel inadequate.

And the last thing is the narcissist becomes a symbiont.

A symbiont means that the narcissist creates with you a symbiotic relationship akin to a mother-child relationship. He becomes your mother, so he becomes a symbiont.

Now to disentangle symbiosis in a relationship, today we don't use the word symbiosisby the way, we use merger and fusion.

To disentangle this, it's the exact equivalent of amputation. If you amputate one of your organs, there will be a grief reaction. There's even a sense of a phantom organ, the narcissist is still there somehow, even if he's physically away or absent. So there's a grief reaction over the amputation of the narcissist from your life.

The symbiosis is broken, but the symbiosis was you. You were part of the symbiosis, the symbiosis was a part of you. There is a grief reaction which is prolonged and complicated, pathological, because cutting off the narcissist, pushing him away, breaking up with himis giving up on a part of yourself.

Separating from the narcissist, divorcing him, disentangling the symbiosis, this is self-grief.

You're grieving yourself. It's not grieving only the other person, it's grieving yourself. You're grieving yourself in multiple ways.

First of all, you are denied access to the idealized image of yourself, so you can no longer love yourself.

And then you lose the symbiont in the symbiosis, you lose the narcissist, so you're losing a part of you.

And you grieve that too. And then there's the grief over the narcissist.

Somehow you convince yourself in your own grief, because somehow you're letting the narcissist down.

You are hurting him. So you perceive the breakup as betrayal. You're betraying the narcissist.

It all comes back to you all the time. It's like you are losing your mother, you're losing your child, you're losing yourself. You're losing yourself.

It's about you. The prolonged grief is not about the narcissist. It's more about the fantasy.

And by the way, the narcissist mourns and griefs the fantasy as well, not you.

Clinically, the narcissist has made you into another narcissist, infected you, exactly like a vampire or a zombie.

The narcissist stops mothering you, but you want to continue to mother him.

To you, he's a child. There's a feeling that you're missing out on something or on someone, that you're losing something or someone.

You're just giving and not taking and not receiving because you continue to be a mother.

So what the narcissist succeeds to do, he makes you mourn yourself. He makes you grieve over yourself.

I think the core issue is that in typical healthy grief, we mourn losses which are external to us. We mourn a loved one. We mourn the loss of a possession or an object or a job.

And if you're Jewish, you mourn the loss of money.

So healthy mourning, healthy grieving has to do with an external, an object that is external to you.

But in prolonged grief disorder, I think the grief is over yourself, not over something external, but over yourself.

I don't believe that for long grief is possible without a big component of self-grief, grief over oneself.

And I think this is the missing element in the DSM's definition.

It says that grieving anything, any loss for longer than one year is pathological.

But I think they're missing the point.

It's not possible to grieve anything external for longer than one year if you're not at the same time grieving a part of yourself.

Grieving yourself.

And this is the power of the narcissist over you.

Narsis makes you mourn yourself because you are no longer.

You've been hijacked by the narcissist. He transformed you. You've been made to love an image of yourself which is not you. You have been mothered by an unreal mother.

Things have happened to you which are surrealistic and so you're mourning this dream, this fantasy, a part of you that has never been true.

And there's no end to it because it's never been true.

How can you put an end to self-grief?

If you terminate the grief, you admit that you are no more.

Think about it for a minute. It's not easy to digest.

When we grieve, we grieve the loss of something. When we stop grieving, it means that we have accepted the loss of this something. When grieving stops, acceptance sets in. When we accept the loss, we stop grieving.

If I lose a loved one, an external loved one, with whom I've had a healthy relationship, it hurts. I cry. I'm sad. Right.

But at some point I accept that he or she is no more, no longer in my life.

But what do you do if you've lost yourself?

How can you stop the mourning? If you stop the mourning, it means that you have accepted the loss of yourself, that you have given up on yourself. It's self-defeating. You can't stop grieving, and you can't stop mourning as long as you are grieving and mourning over yourself.

There is someone who is doing the grieving and mourning, and this someone is you.

The minute you stop grieving and mourning, it means you have accepted the loss of you. You have accepted that you are lost, that you are gone, that you are no more. And that is the power of narcissistic abuse. It doesn't allow you to terminate the grief because you can't accept the loss of you. You can never extricate yourself from this. And this is the missing link in the DSM's definition. All prolonged grief includes a strong element, if not a dominant element, of grieving over oneself. So grief is interminable because the minute you stop grieving, you have accepted the loss of you. The minute you stop grieving, you have accepted that you are no more. Prolonged grief must include this element of self-grief. There's no other explanation.

So to end the grief, you accept a loss. You accept that something is gone, accept that something is no more.

But how can you accept the loss of you? How can you say, "I am no more"?

And this is what the Nazis does.

It creates an ambience, an environment of fantasy.

It's a whole of mirrors, but actually it's a shared fantasy.

This is a term coined by Sanders in 1989.

It creates, the Nazis creates a shared fantasy where you fall in love with yourself through him. Through him, you see yourself as an idealized image. You fall in love with your idealized image.

So when you talk to victims, they say, "I loved the way that he loved me. I just loved the way that he gazed at me."

They actually fall in love with a mirror.

The narcissist is a mirror. If you look into his eyes, you're going to see on reflection because there's nothing behind his eyes. Nothing.

A vacuity. A black hole.

His eyes reflect, but they don't allow access.

So you look into the narcissist's eyes and you fall in love with yourself through his eyes.

And then he becomes your mother and he gives you unconditional love.

And it's again about you.

It's not about him. It's about you.

Love bombing and grooming phases are about you.

The narcissist gives in these phases, he gives you unconditional love. He doesn't take. He just gives. And he gives a great simulation of a motherand againit's about you.

And then he becomes a symbion. He creates a symbiosis and againit's about you.

Because in the symbiosisyou get nourishment from the symbiosis.

So the narcissist creates an environment which is everything to you.

That's the irony. People are totally getting it wrong.

They think the narcissist creates an environment that's about him, about himself. That's not true.

That's not true.

The power of the narcissist is that he creates an environment that's 100% about you.

Not about him.

He enslaves you by rendering your narcissist and so you become self-centered. You are the limelight. You are the life of the only party.

And so everything the narcissist creates, the shared fantasy, the dual mothership, all this is intended to get you addicted to him. He is your drug of choice.

But consuming drugs is about you. It's your habit.

And againit's all about you.

Let's all remind ourselves of the factnarcissism is a childhood artifact.

If I regress, if the narcissist regresses you to infancy, he automatically becomes a narcissist because children are narcissistic.

If the narcissist infantilizes you, makes you a child again, he also makes you a narcissist again.

End of story. There's no child who is not narcissistic or actually clinically a narcissist.

So if the narcissist becomes your mother, if he gives you unconditional love, if he makes you fall in love with an idealized image of yourself, the way a mother does, he's regressing you to childhood, is infantilizing you, is creating a dependence in you automatically, unwillingly, you're becoming a narcissist because children are narcissistic.

Freud and Jung and many, many others afterwards, all the way down to Baulby, they all said that narcissism is by far the most critical psychodynamic feature of childhood.

They disagreed among themselves.

For example, Jung said that narcissism is healthy in all its forms.

Jung didn't recognize that there is pathological narcissism.

He said that narcissism is healthy and it's a part of introversion.

Freud said, well, narcissism is healthy, but if it continues into adulthood, it's pathological.

But there is no debate among these scholars over decades, not even among modern psychologists. There's no debate even among people who mock and deride Freud and Jung, object relations schools, even among these people, even among these professionals. There is no disagreement.

Narcissism is a critical feature of childhood, development, personal growth, maturation, transition from self to others.

So if the narcissist makes you a prisoner of war, if he puts you in a civilian penitentiary, puts you in a boot camp, he regresses you, you become dependent, combination patient and child.

So in all these situations, the minute you are dependent, your locus of control is externalized. That moment you automatically become a narcissist. You can't help it.

The narcissist does this to you. He pushes you back. He regresses you to infancy.

In nice ways, smoothly, with sweet talk, he makes you fall in love with yourself as a mother would. He becomes your mother for a while during grooming and love bombing, and you become a child and you allow yourself to become a child, because it's an oceanic feeling. It's a wonderful feeling.

Victims describe that the relationship with the narcissist is unique. It's technicolor. It's amazing. Everything else is black and white. It's unprecedented. They've never had this before or after.


Because victims were allowed to revisit their childhood.

Narcissist intimate partners are permitted to become children again.

And when the victims become children at the beginning of their relationship, they become narcissistic, whether they like it or not, politically correct or not.

The minute they are pushed to become a child, they become narcissist.

So narcissist infects you.

This is why I keep saying that narcissism is contagious.

Narcissism today is no longer a clinical entity only. It's a morality play of good versus evil, you know, Manichaean, a Manichaean battle of cosmic forces. It's stupid because that's splitting defense.

If you say I'm all good and the narcissist is all bad, that's a narcissistic defense, primitive, infantile defense known as splitting. It's prime narcissistic behavior.

That's what narcissists do. They split. That's what borderlines do. They split.

Splitting is primitive. It's a type of, it's very typical of grandiose narcissistic structures.

So ironically, the very victims, sub-styled empaths and supergalactic hypernova empaths and so on, they're splitting all the time.

And they are by clinical definition, they're being narcissistic. They're acting the way narcissists do.

And that's exactly what the narcissist does to his victims. He renders them narcissistic.

And then when he walks away, when he's out of their lives, they remain narcissisticunless they subject themselves to therapy or become self-aware or extricate themselves from the victimhood stance by force.

We no longer use the word symbiosis, as I told you, use the word merger fusion, but symbiosis has been studied in the 50s and 60s and 70s.

And if you want to go, if you want to learn more about symbiosis, you need to read the writings by Mahler, M-A-H-L-E-R, Masterson, Parnas, B-A-R-N-E-S-S, and so on and so forth. These are the scholars who studied symbiosis.

It's pretty stunning.

Symbiosis is an amazing concept, and the narcissist triggers it in its full power, in its full color.

Symbiosis is a rainbow.

A narcissist makes it come alive.

It's a bit like the Wizard of Oz behind the machine, you know?

He triggers this cascade of processes which are entombed in childhood.

After childhood, you put many things in a vault, in a safe, and you never access it. You never touch these things again.

The narcissist opens the vault. He cracks the safe. He activates or reactivates the symbiosis.

And in this way, he creates dependency in you.

Everyone goes through a symbiotic phase which lasts in healthy conditions until age 18 months. Everyone goes through this phase.

Healthy people, relatively healthy people.

And people end the symbiotic phase with a process called separation/individualization.

They separate from Mami, which allows them to become individuals.

Of their own right, allows them to attain personhood and to develop personality.

With a narcissist, this process is disrupted.

Separation/individualization is disrupted.

With codependence and borderlines, this process is disrupted.

In some mental health disorders, this process is disrupted.

And then the narcissist or the borderline or the codependent remain fused with the mother. They carry the mother with them wherever they go.

It's like an alien invasion inside them. They can't get rid of mother. They possess if you want to use religious terminology.

So this fusion is known as a fused self-state or a fused self-object.

The fused self-object simply means that you are not fully yourself.

There is a substantial element of you that is mother and that you carry this element with you for life, life-long, lifespan thing.

The fused self-object is the core of the narcissist being. It's the core.

And the narcissist brings the self-object with him to any relationship.

Now these are the easy targets of the narcissist because borderlines and codependence are easy targets because it's much easier to trigger symbiosis with them.

They equally have a fused self-object.

So they resonate with the narcissist. They echo. That's why echo and narcissus.

There is a target for symbiosis.

And the narcissist triggers in them this regression, infantilization, and reversion to the womb or to the symbiotic phase.

Symbiosis, as I said, terminates between 18 and 24 months.

And it's not active in adult lifeif you're perfectly healthy.

It ends because you separate and you individuate.

But the narcissist knows to unlock this.

He unlocks your symbiosis by offering you an irresistible drug, unconditional love.

No one can resist this. No one dead or alive can resist this.

Unconditional love is the nectar and the brosia and the drug. It's life itself.

It is through the mother's unconditional love that we begin to realize that we are entities. We are separate. It is through the mother's unconditional love that we actually create boundaries and create the self.

Because if mother sees us, then there is us. If mother's gaze defines us, we are defined.

It is the mother who delineates and demarcates our boundaries with her infinitely loving gaze.

And so it's a very critical phase, supercritical.

You could easily say, and you would be accurate, that someone who had failed the separation and individuation phase didn't come into being, did not become. There's no one there.

The mother's unconditional love also provides us with a sense of safety. It's known as secure base.

It's true, her unconditional love that we feel empowered enough to take on other people in the world because we know that she has our back. As children, we know she loves us. We know as toddlers, we know that we can venture forth, take on the world grandiosely, but we can always wade back or go back to mommy. Mommy is always there.

It is true, her unconditional love that we develop the grandiosity that is required to explore the world. As a two- year- old, you need to be seriously grandiose to do that.

To explore other people is even more risky.

Object relations in adolescence, which is the second phase of narcissism. Mother's love is super, supercritical. It's the glue that holds you together. It's the end- all and be- all.

If you did not receive unconditional love as a child or even adolescent, you're effed for life.

Here comes the narcissist. He's offering you a second chance, a second dose of unconditional love. He's like a drug dealer. He's offering you the drug of unconditional love.

You fall for it because it unlocks the symbiosis.

When you receive this love, however simulated, however unreal, it triggers the symbiosis.

When you merge and fuse with the narcissist, you create a second alternative fused self- object with the narcissist.

You're catapulted back like a rocket to age 18 months.

Here is mother in the form of the narcissist. He offers you.

He's the perfect mother because you're the perfect child.

Remember, the narcissist idealizes you. By idealizing you, he idealizes himself. So you're both ideal. He's the ideal mother. You're the ideal baby.

Acceptance and admiration, adoration, and so on.

And you sink deeper and deeper because you're a baby.

The infantilization process never stops. It stops. You regress up to probably three months according to some studies.

It's a seriously dangerous process because when it stops and it does stop, it always stops. And when it stops, you find yourself and you're three months old. You don't have the capacity to separate from the narcissist anymore. You're in a symbiosis called shared fantasy, so you can't separate anymore. You can't even grieve properly effectively because if you were to give up on the whole thing, you would be giving up on yourself because you have become the narcissist.

Your self- objects are fused. You and the narcissist are now one. You're one object. If you give up on the narcissist, you break up with the narcissist, you automatically are giving up on yourself.

The only way for you to recover and to heal is to go again through separation, individuation.

There's a need in therapy, for example, to simply replay the whole process of symbiosis and then separation and then individuation and then constellated self- object and then self- object. That is me, that is I, that is not I, boundaries, external, internal, the whole thing.

It's like you have to grow up again, you have to go through the whole process from zero.

Initially, when patients present themselves in clinical settings, having endured narcissistic abuse, they present very narcissistically, they have narcissistic style at least, because the victim carries the narcissist with her the same way the narcissist carries his mother with him.

They are all fused self- objects.

When you are telling the victim, give up on him, forget him, delete him, lose him, what you're actually telling her is give up on yourself, kill yourself, delete yourself.

Now, there's a rule, there's a law in psychology, which is borrowed from the Old Testament. It's called the Talion rule, I for an I, Talion, T-A-L-I-O-N.

Talion is a pretty amazing rule.

It means that you will always create a mirror image of your own emotions.

Let me explain.

If you hate other people, you will end up hating yourself. If you want to kill someone, if you hate someone, if you enrage someone, you will end up having suicidal ideation. You will tend to internalize emotions towards others. You tend to internalize them and redirect them at yourself.

There is a kind of reaction and action and then reaction, karma, karma if you wish.

SoNewtonian action and reaction, and let's call the Talion law.

Psychology is pretty bizarre coming to think of it, but it's well documented.

So, for example, as I said, if you want to kill metaphorically the narcissist, you actually end up wanting to kill yourself.

Sothe narcissist capitalizes on the Talion law.

He knows that you cannot afford to go all the way because if you will go all the way, if you will try to hurt him, the symbion, you will end up hurting yourself.

People develop OCD, obsessive compulsive behaviors. They develop rituals to defend against the Talion law. They hate the narcissist. They want the narcissist dead metaphorically at least, and many of them want him dead period, not metaphorically.

But that creates a backlash through the Talion law.

And then they feel they want to kill themselves. They feel they want to hurt themselves. They feel they want to die.

When you talk to many victims, they tell you, "I want to die. It's so bad I want to die." That's the Talion law. That's the Talion law in action.

They don't want to die. They hate the narcissist. They want the narcissist to die, but then they feel that they want to die.

So they develop these rituals, protect them against this, and they become highly obsessive compulsive.

Wait a minute. Obsessive compulsive. What is grief?

If you couple grief, if you couple it with obsession compulsion, what you get is prolonged grief.

Prolonged grief is grief plus compulsion, compulsive grief.

It's to stop to grief, to cease and desist, to stop the mourning. It's suicide.

If you end the grief, you end yourself.

It's the Talion law. The extent of negative emotions you have towards the narcissist, the extent of negative affectivity the narcissist provoked in you through abandonment, actually backfires on you and you become suicidal. You internalize these emotions.

Rather than externalize them, you end up internalizing them.

Because you are the narcissist. Anything you feel, you want to kill him, you want to kill yourself. You hate him, you hate yourself. You're fused. It's the same self-object.

So you're not very effective at directing emotions, externalizing them towards the narcissist.

And to fend off against these negative emotions and suicidality, the imminent looming, dooming catastrophe, you develop these obsessive compulsive rituals that I've mentioned.

What is a ritual? Prolonged grief is a ritual. Prolonged grief is an obsessive compulsive ritual. It's a ritualistic defense against suicidal impulses which are generated through the Talio law.

If you can stop grieving, if you stop grieving, you will feel that you have died.

It's catechism. It's kind of Catholic catechism, if you wish.

It's not by accident that people, when they try to describe narcissistic abuse, they talk about vampires and demons and zombies or whatever.

People, when they try to convey and to communicate what the experience of narcissistic abuse, they go nuts. Language loses its power.

You go to forums which deal with other mental health disorders, for example, bipolar disorder. No one uses these terms there. No one in bipolar disorder forum uses vampires and zombies and demons.

No one.

When you go to other forums, so no one uses metaphors like similes, like vampires.

But in narcissistic abuse forums, this is very common. People resort to mythology, religion, sci-fi.

They run out of imagery and they're right. They're not lying. They're not exaggerating.

The experience of narcissistic abuse is so realistic in the fullest sense of the word.

It's nightmarish. It's dreamlike because it's a shared fantasy. It's a fantasy escape. It's a fantasy defense, a particles.

It's like being transported to another planet or another galaxy. And there are only two strategies to exit the symbiosis.

One is separation, which I've mentioned. And the other one is actually to merge.

Either you run away or you run towards. These are the two options.

If you merge and fuse with the narcissist, it means that you cease to exist. If you merge and fuse, it means you're not. You're no more.

And if you separate from the narcissist, it also feels like you cease to exist because you then lose the maternal gaze.

You're not seen as a child, as a three month old, and not being seen is not being when you're three months old.

And additionally, there's the fuse self-object. Getting rid of the narcissist is getting rid of a substantial part of yourself.

So whether you separate from the narcissist or merge with the narcissist, you would still end up feeling dead.

It's it appears to me that there's no winning strategy.

Both separation, I mean, separation is perceived as amputation. And both separation and merger are the exact emotional equivalence of death.

In the first case, separation, there's a lot of guilt.

Victims ironically perceive themselves as abandoning the narcissist.

If you talk to victims, they will tell you that when they left the narcissist, when they broke up with him, they felt highly uncomfortable to walk away. They felt many of them felt like they were abandoning a child or a parent figure.

Separation is perceived as betrayal, creates a normal shame and guilt.

But the alternative merger in fusion, fusional symbiosis also creates negative emotions because it requires self-sacrifice, self-immolation, it requires self betrayal.

When we betray ourselves, we develop depression. We don't feel good with it.

So there's always a lot of shame having betrayed yourself, having degraded yourself, having disrespected yourself. It's shameful. Either way, you end up with shame and guilt.

Masterson, I think in 1972, he said that a relation, a symbiotic relationship in adulthood is a real rendezvous with death. And I don't think he was overdoing it. Those are his words.

So what happens is when you separate, you're left only with bad introjects. You're left only with bad internal objects.

Either you had betrayed others or you had betrayed yourself. In any case, you are Judas Iscariot. In any case, you are traitor. One way or another, you can't emerge from this smelling like a rose. It is.

And this is the source of the shame and the guilt.

The narcissist goes through exactly the same process with his mother, by the way.

Narcissism is grounded in shame. It's a react compensatory reaction to shame.

Narcissism, Masterson said, the child is ashamed by the parents. There's a huge enormous or pervasive reservoir of shame in the narcissism.

Narcissism compensates for the shame with a grandiose reaction.

Narcissism says, not a shame, not guilty, I'm superhuman. And this is, of course, a child reaction when he's ashamed.

I said before that narcissism creates emotional artifacts. Those of you who have had medical education, medical imaging, we have many images, many outcomes that are not real. Shadows, echoes, they're not real. They're easily misinterpreted as disease processes. They're interpreted wrongly. And we call these imaging artifacts.

So X-ray, MRI, CT, you have imaging artifacts. They're very misleading because they look like real things, but they're not.

The narcissist's creed is emotional artifacts.

Your shame is not real. It's an artifact. Your guilt is not real because you're ashamed and you feel guilty for something that had never existed.

The Paracosm, the shared fantasy is not real. Your idealized image was never real. The mother figure in which a narcissist had enacted for you was not real. His unconditional love was not real. Your reaction to his unconditional love was not real.

In short, nothing was real. Nothing was real.

And I think this is what's killing the victim.

The victim suddenly realized that nothing, but I mean nothing was real. There's not a single element in relationships with narcissists that is real.

Not the cognitions, not the emotions, not the effects, not the behaviors, not the traits, not the perceptions, not the information. Nothing is real.

The problem with this is that you're talking to an adult. What you've just communicated.

When we try to communicate as therapists, I'm not a therapist, I'm a counselor, but therapists, when they try to communicate with victims and with narcissists, they treat the two parts of the dyad, victim and narcissist. They treat them as adults.

But they're not adults.

The narcissist is two years old. His victim is three months old. These are children. These are infants. These are not adults.

And trying to communicate with the victim as an adult is no good.

The regression is catastrophic under the influence of the narcissist. The symbiosis is total. The immersion is complete.

Extricating the victim from this requires a process of growing up.

Before you can have any meaningful dialogue with a victim, the victim needs to grow up.

The message will not be absorbed. It will be rejected in a variety of ways if the victim is not allowed to grow up, to separate, individuate, mature, develop object relations again, trust again, and so on.

If you try to communicate with the victim from the get-go, as if the victim were an adult, your message will be rejected, passive-aggressive.

Message victim will say, "You're right. It wasn't really... I know that."

But then they would go on to continue to act as if it were real.

If you continue to attack the narcissist for not loving the victim, abandoning the victim, betraying the victim, you're missing the mark because narcissists have never betrayed the victim.

You cannot betray something that is not real. Narcissists never lie to you. They never gaslight you. They never do anything to you because it's all a video game to them.

They're not embedded in reality. They're not even fun to relate, but whatever they do is just a game.

The fantasy... shared fantasy is a game. The relationship is a game.

And the other person is a baby and also just an object. Not real. Narcissists don't perceive his intimate partner as real. It's not real in any sense.

That's why these objects out there, also known as insignificant others or intimate partners, they're interchangeable. They're fungible. They're not real. They're like coins.

So would you complain about the events inside a video game? "Oh, this guy just shot me. It's horrible.

It's a game. You can't complain.

Narcissists internally perceive all this as a video game. They have this perception that it's a movie, kind of movie. They walk away unscathed and unperturbed because game over, you know?

So when you talk to a child, these messages which absolutely capture the essence are wasted. The child is an opportunity to become an adult again. Exit the symbiosis.

And then maybe you can talk to them. Exiting the symbiosis is not about telling the patient that nothing was real. Nothing was real. Now exit.

What do you mean nothing was real? Now exit.

The victim had experienced it as real.

You need to break the fused self-object.

Your patient is fused with the narcissist. You need to break this.

And the only way to break the self-object is to force the patient, the victim, to separate an individual. And the only way to do this is to actually practically separate.

So the first step is a rigid regimen of upsending the narcissist.

Not even mentioning him for a prescribed period of time. Walking away physically, of course. Distance. If you're in the same apartment, move. If you're in the same city, relocate. If you work in the same company, I don't know, resign.

Physical distance is critical. A critical first step.

But only a first step. The next step is to eradicate the narcissist's introject in your mind.

And there's a video here that I've made about the narcissist's serpent voice.

So watch this video. It's the second step.

The first step is visible signs of separation. Realphysicalgeographical. Symbically, when you act, this is translated in your mind to separation.

And the second step is getting rid, suppressing, silencing the narcissist's voice in your head. His introject.

Then the self-object breaks. The fusion breaks.

And this is important because it can lead, and this is separation, and it can lead now to individuation.

Victim. In merging and fusing with the narcissist in a fused self-object, the victim had lost her individuality. She became separated. She became merged with the narcissist.

So separating from the narcissist in every conceivable way, physically, geographically, mentally, socially, over a prolonged period of time, it's like detox.

She's now ready to become an individual, which is another process.

And there are techniques developed since the time of Heinz Kohut how to individuate patients.

Once individuation is complete, the message comes into play.

Then you can talk to the victim. Now you are faced with an adult. Adult, separated, individuated adult, which recognizes her individuality. An adult who is no longer symbiotic with the narcissist, no longer fused.

And now you can talk to her about how unreal it all was. Now you can tell them everything, and it will be absorbed. It will not be wasted.

Tell them that what they've come through was a simulation, simulated scenario. It's a game. And that there were merely characters in a video game.

They don't need to take it personally. They don't need to react because their emotions were never real. They were simulated emotions. These are artifacts.

This message is not wasted on an adult, but totally wasted on a child.

And even many adults will find it difficult to comprehend or to accept.

Victims, narcissists were never adults. Narcissists don't have a phase in their lives where they were adults. They've always got stuck. There's arrested development. They got stuck at age two.

That's it. But most victims have had a phase of adulthood in their lives.

So there's hope. They've had this experience before.

It's like, you never forget how to drive or to have sex, I think.

So I tend to compare this to an accident.

An accident. You lost use of your extremities. A really serious accident. A vertebra is shattered. You lose your body completely.

But there's physiotherapy and various other treatments, electricity. I don't know why. And it can restore motion to some of your body parts, to some of your organs gradually. And maybe restore you completely. And this is individuation.

You had this skill. You were individuated before.

So you used to do adult before, but the narcissist took it away from you, disabled that part, deactivated it.

You need to reboot. You need to reactivate. You can't do this if you're not separated from the narcissist in your body and in your mind. You need to be away also in your mind. You need to never mention the narcissist in any context, directly or indirectly. Not think of him if you can. Punish yourself if you do. Somehow.

I'm not kidding. Reinforce yourself. Incentivize yourself.

To not be connected to the narcissist anymore.

Reduce the number of times the narcissist is in your life or in your mind.

So you need to give yourself reinforcement, negative and positive, to structure a regimen that will help you to separate.

Once you're separated, you can individuate. And we will discuss individuation in a future video.

So there's individuation therapy.

Technically now you're an adult after you've separated.

And then you can confront the facts. The facts that what you had experienced was a dream, was not real. And the emotions you're feeling now, the new cognitions, they're not really yours. They're not real in this sense. You can't take ownership of them. They emanate from an introject, a foreign body inside your mind.

The relationship with narcissists is not the only case where we enter the simulated zone.

They're not the only case where we confuse fantasy and reality.

Relationship with narcissists is definitely not the only case where we resonate. There's a resonance, emotional and cognitive resonance with an outside source.

The resonance is so powerful that we tend to misattribute it, the voice, to ourselves.

And this is called attribution error, attribution bias. It's only the only case.

For example, if you go to a political rally, I mean, just watch online. The Nazi political rally is a nerve. You see this in action. It's a simulated zone. It's a dream. It's a fantasy.

But people become one. There are studies of crowd psychology and mob psychology, you know, rock concerts, in a good rock concert.

There are many situations where you lose yourself into a simulation and you begin to perceive the fantasy. And everything that's happening is real. Even when you watch a movie, there's a lot of dissociation going on.

That's why you jump when things happen in a horror movie.

So many of our experiences are like that because we are storytellers. We inhabit imaginary spaces. We're made of dreams. We are the only type of organism that sacrifices its life for fiction.

Not for anything real, not for food, not to raise our offspring, not for a female. We sacrifice our lives for fiction.

Outer, unmitigated total fiction, for example, a nation. A nation is a fictitious concoction. It's not such thing in reality. There's no reality of a nation. It's an agreement. It's a contract between people. It's abstract. It's fiction.

And yet hundreds of millions of people died, sacrificed their lives for a nation.

So don't be too hard on yourself. That's what the Gnosisus does. He is a great spinner of yarns, is a great storyteller. He charms and enchants via fables, as Bruno Bettelheim had observed.

And the advantage of the Gnosisus, he is the story. He is nothing but a narrative. He is a piece of fiction.

So it's easy for him to believe in his own story. He doesn't feel that he's calling you or deceiving you. He believes that he's offering you access to a privileged universe of magic, enchantment and charm. He invites you in and he thinks you should be very grateful for it.

Because it's such a once- in- a- lifetime experience. He's the mother of all Disneyland's, you know, and his world is stunning. His fantasy is transcendental. It's almost supernatural in his mind.

And here you are, the one and only chosen. You're chosen. It's an irresistible temptation to be selected.

And here you are, one out of eight billion. And if you spend six months or six days or six weeks with the Gnosisus, and then he dumps you, you should still be grateful. Even if he had devalued and abused you, you should be grateful.

Because you've just had six months or six days or six weeks of your life.

And because another eight billion people didn't have this blessing, didn't have this chance, the Gnosisus creates perfect simulated environments replete with cognitions, emotions, behaviors, traits, expectations, narratives, laws and so on.

And we have a name for that. It's called a cult.

Many people fall prey to cults.

When we discuss individuations, we can also discuss deprogramming tools, because the individuation of a victim of narcissistic abuse involves deprogramming cult messaging.

It's a lot of literature and practice on how to deprogram cult members.

Cults, what is a cult?

A cult is a simulated space where there's a narrative that is extremely little to do with reality.

Cults engender in their members' emotional and cognitive artifacts.

The members of cults resonate with each other and above all with the leader.

And so when I'll give you an example, which was discovered two years ago.

If you had to heterosexual and you date a woman and you click, you hit it off. It goes great. Your hearts synchronize totally. Even if your heart beats, the rhythms are naturally very different. You have fast heartbeatlike Icardia. She has slow heartbeat, baricardia. Even then, both your hearts start to beat to the same rhythm. They synchronize. Your skin conductance synchronizes. Skin conductance in men is very different to skin conductors in women and yet it synchronizes.

And finally, the amount of sweat secreted by your body is synchronized. The minute you click within a split second, your bodies become one. And that's a scientific fact.

Human beings, people, we like to think of ourselves as individuals. In individuals, divisible, utterance, totally self-sufficient, totally unrelated, totally in control. That is a mother of all nonsense in psychology.

And I blame psychology for this nonsensical concept.

We are not individuals. We don't have a self. We have self-states and so on.

But we are colonies. We're like, in some ways, like ants. We're like bees. We are absolute colonies. We resonate like colonies. We work together as colonies. We synchronize biological factors and performance the way members of colonies do. We affect each other up to 100 meters away by emitting a molecule called H-E-P-A molecule.

It conveys information about us.

The minute you meet another person, you become one.

And the narcissist knows this viscerally, instinctually, reflexively, and he takes advantage of it.

Instinctually, not cunningly, but he does take advantage of it as a predator does.

And then he synchronizes not only his body with yours, he synchronizes your minds.

He melts with you. It's mind melt. It's a hive mind. You become one colony with the narcissist.

And so don't feel bad about it. Don't judge yourself too harshly.

It's a very common human experience.

The only thing the narcissist offers you, the only kind of simulation that you will never, never be able to resist, the narcissist offers you unconditional self-love the way a mother does.

That's it. You're not to blame. No one would be able to say no to such an offer.


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