The Story of Narcissus & Echo

One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?” She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life lonely & feeling worthless until nothing but an echo sound remained of her.

Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, noticed this behaviour after learning the story and decided to punish Narcissus. Once, during the summer, he was getting thirsty after hunting, and the goddess lured him to a pond where he leaned upon the water and saw himself in the bloom of youth. Narcissus did not realize it was merely his own reflection and fell deeply in love with it, as if it were somebody else. Unable to leave the allure of his image, he eventually realized that his love could not be reciprocated and he melted away from the fire of passion burning inside him. He reached into the water to grasp the reflection and drowned.

The irony of the reflection symbolism… Narcissists have no true identity, they wear masks. They are drawn to what they wish to emulate – “reflection” – all but their own. When you find yourself in a “relationship’ with a narcissist, remind yourself of how your spirit was when you first met. All of the qualities they once were so enamoured with, your physical appearance, your unique personality, everything that makes you authentic.. they didn’t “love:”about you, they wanted to hold onto and capture those same qualities for themselves. You became nothing more than an object they “owned”. In their twisted, distorted, sociopathic mind, you belong in a cage on a well organized shelf where they displayed their many possessions to appear “put together” for any and all who observe. You are not a person – you’re an object. Your thoughts, feelings & opinions are annoyances to them that they merely tolerate at best.

Similar to Narcissus reaching into the reflection to drown, Narcissists slowly pull you under the water with them, bit by bit, you slowly lose yourself, by trying to save them, until very little but an echo of your prior self remains.

Narcissist – not a term to be thrown around lightly…

There’s a few overused words I’ve noticed in the last year, “Narcissist” is #1.. Before using any term, it’s important to be informed on the meaning so it can be used in the correct context. This is not someone who is simply conceited, cocky or over confident… the opposite actually, they’re extremely insecure – they’re bullies. It’s someone who truly has no idea of self or true identity… they’ve grown accustomed to wearing masks, and their masters at controlling the narrative.

NDP – Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is just that, a disorder. Don’t get me wrong, this in no way is excusing the toxic behaviour that most certainly will cause damage to others. Psychologists have confirmed, NPD comes from an early childhood trauma while the brain is still developing. It doesn’t have to be physical abuse, it can be emotional of psychological abuse (even not receiving the nurturing one may desire), it can be witnessing traumatic incidents up until the age of 21. During development, these personal traumas can cause the neurotransmitters to shut down/close off to empathy, remorse, resulting in sociopathic or Narcissistic behaviour, NPD. Its a disorder because there is no cure, no pill and this person isn’t capable of being accountable or owning a single action so therapy – isn’t possible.

Surprisingly, I hadn’t learned of this disorder until after 5 attempts, I finally severed ties with a very abusive partner. I knew he was a monster, I questioned if I made it all up in my mind, I knew my reality was shattered and truly felt stable ground was never to be found again… until I began to research my experience for self care and accountability and KAPOW – there it was, point for point… he was NDP personified.

If anyone in your life behaves this way, they may have NDP :

  • controlling every aspect of your time with them
  • your feelings, opinions, personal space, ideas – aren’t encouraged or valued
  • any and all insecurities / weakness’, they use as fuel against you
  • incapable of accepting criticism, zero accountability, remorse or regret
  • Gas lighting : “sorry you took it that way”, “thats not how it happened”, “you always do this”, “you’re crazy” consistently causing you to question your own sanity by either blaming you for their actions (you caused this) or completely denying incidents. They will advise others of how you misinterpreted something or express concern for your mental state causing others to support them
  • they’re usually OCD in certain aspects, their possessions are coveted… including partners & children, but don’t mistake coveting for love – they’re preferred kept on a shelf, like perfect family pictures in frames, to be observed and admired by others, not to be unique individuals “don’t speak unless spoken to” is basically the mindset, your opinion is nothing more than an annoyance
  • holidays will be sabotaged, if something is special to you in any way – they will without question, find a way to take that pleasure away from you… it enrages them that they can’t feel emotions authentically, your goodness, they resent because they can’t ever own it
  • they wear masks, they don’t have any sense of true self or identity… they’ve learned to adapt by wearing various masks… often admired by others, they NEED constant positive feedback and praise. They’re completely different people inside the privacy of the home then they are in public
  • you learn to recognize the triggers in the hopes not to engage the “switch”… this is when Jekyll turns to Hyde – its a literally transformation… the eyes go dead, darting, jaw becomes defined, shoulders raise and almost widen, they stand taller, their gate changes and their personality, like a switch changes into a monster before your eyes. They don’t speak to wound, they speak to gut – and tears enrage them more as emotions such as this, they’re not able to feel naturally so yours – only enrages them and gives them more power
  • if you’re hurt or crying, they’ll yell louder, sometimes even imitating you, mocking the way you look while crying, advising you how pathetic and weak you are, often, once they’ve tired of screaming, they’ll stare and smirk at the hurt they’ve caused – they “won”. Then, like it never happened, they’ll offer you a hand to stand up, hug you and advise “it hurts me to see you hurting”… even hand you a kleenex….
  • whats theirs is theirs and whats yours is theirs – there is no partnership
  • they talk constantly about compliments they’ve received, any good deeds they did, theres no selfless paying it forward – they’ll ensure others are aware of anything they did to be viewed as a “good person”
  • you could read facts from a book, if its something they don’t believe or agree with, you’re wrong – and you’ll believe them

These personalities can be anyone from a parent, sibling, partner, child, employer – because at one time, they were small children themselves – who were hurting but it went unnoticed, perhaps even raised by one – often children of a NDP become one or are drawn to one (empaths) as this relationship is what they’ve known from the male or female role model in their lives.

This personality will, without question, damage those who are submissive to them. Its abusive, toxic and emotionally damaging, Removing them completely or setting healthy boundaries are the only ways to protect yourself. Just know, there is nothing a Narc despises more, than being “told what to do”… the only ones who will resent you for expressing healthy boundaries, are those who benefit from you not having any. They can’t change, they won’t change, you will lose yourself trying and will fail. CHOOSE YOU.

SO, before calling someone a “narcissist”… you’re literally calling them an abusive person who has a disorder…. they’re “monsters” who take pleasure from others pain and suffering that they caused…. choose your words carefully, they matter.

“Bullies” aren’t born, they’re created. Its the worst, best kept secret throughout history. #EXPOSED

Bullying has been saturating the news as of late, its weighing on me heavily. We know the problem – the solution seems simple right? Understandably, when emotions are high, its easy to hate on the bullies, “lock them up and throw away the key” has pretty much been the consensus across the board. The bigger picture is so blindingly obvious and isn’t being discussed… because for generations, it truly has been the most fiercely protected secret – Bullies aren’t born, they’re created… I know, I know.. just hear/read me out, before disagreeing….

Bullying is simply a name used to excuse the mean kid, the volatile boss… this isn’t just jealousy or having a “fight” with their best friend. True bullying behaviour is when someone purposes torments, taunts, verbally attacks and in some cases, a physical assault is made. These kids feed off of another’s pain, it empowers them, sometimes laughing or smiling as they’re doing it. In many cases, “cyber bullying” is becoming a resort, advising someone to kill themselves, they’re ugly, everyone hates them, they’d be better off dead. The victims are afraid, often in tears, crying, feel isolated and extremely alone, the bad is always easier to believe than the good and the “bully” feeds off of this vulnerability, they feel more powerful. Here’s what they don’t feel; empathy, compassion or slight possibly complete void of remorse or regret, which, by definition; Narcissistic Sociopath / Psychopath personality disorders. These personalities create victims. The sugar coating of this can’t be tolerated any longer, which is exactly whats been done to date. These are extremely abusive personality traits and if appearing at young ages – are not only silent cries for help -they should be regarded as immediate flags for a child who either hasn’t received emotional nurturing by their parents or has suffered a significant emotional trauma which studies prove, at a young age can most definitely effect the frontal lobe of the brain during development (up until the age of 21). This is where emotional response is created. During a significant trauma(s) – this can shut down certain neuro-transmitters i.e.: narcissistic sociopath, or heighten them – empath. Some have an ability to disconnect from the trauma and process it without repercussions also.

“What happens in our house, stays in our house”… a term used by generations since the beginning of time. The ones saying this – are those afraid of the truths being exposed. Domestic Violence / Psychological, Verbal Abuse has been hands down, the most guarded secret throughout generations, kept by all who live within the 4 walls. This is exactly why the solution to the “problem” has been such a struggle for schools across the “board”. Social class doesn’t discriminate when it comes to Domestic Violence. Every single true “bully” or the ones labelled as the “freaks” with no friends, gamers, blending in only to stand out… were once innocent little happy babies. Parents may think they’re being the best at secrets and cover ups… kids see and hear all, if they haven’t personally experienced abuse themselves, it imprints on them – plain and simple. The children don’t dare disobey or expose their parent(s) or close family member because these are the same people that nurture them, that love them. The partners of the abuser wouldn’t dare expose the truth as plain and simply – it woudn’t be safe and no laws protect them. They’ve spent most of the relationship with the partner they once loved so deeply – now bonded by trauma and its own addiction manifests, a breakdown of reality and mental health occurs, defending and or excusing the behaviour of their partners, they feel isolated and alone, the partner’s family in almost all cases, protect their “secrets” and have likely dismissed any and all possible attempts to inquire. These victims have children together and so.. the “secret” remains. *** REMEMBER – whats posted on social media, its the hi-lite reel, what we want others to see, the bad the ugly, the truths, aren’t posted… EVER *** . If the school intervenes – in many cases, I’m advised, they fear for the child’s safety (HELLO – doesn’t that speak volumes), after brief encounters meeting the parents or the parents simply don’t care, will dismiss to “kids being kids” … regardless, what doesn’t happen, is the child receiving therapy and or counselling because the parents are the ones who have groomed this child to become exactly who they became. The child grows up, marries and continues the cycle. “Bullies” grow up – into adults who abuse.

How do I know this is factual? Because I was able to escape Domestic Abuse, after recognizing that 5 attempts later, I had no elastic left to spring back, he turned his rage on his child (that I love like my own), I stepped in and faced the wrath for the very last time. I had no idea what a Narcissistic Sociopath even was.. I felt shame, guilt, fear, I knew he was a literal Jekyll and Hyde Monster.. but I’d never heard of any story, experience, hell – even a suspense thriller – as horrifying as my truth…. until I found a support group which literally saved my sanity. It wasn’t one person that understood and could validate every single aspect… it was 10’s of thousands. All on different paths however, we all, male and female, experienced this type of unimaginable abuse. The reality is.. had my abuser, been my children’s father (he wasn’t) … I likely would go to my grave keeping his dark secret… He’d be part of my life forever. I don’t know of a single victim speaking out, when they’re immersed between the “4 walls”. It would be a fate worse than death to be truthful, and as recent Headlines have proven, is sometimes the result.

Think about the hundreds if not thousands in your own personal circle… how many are currently living in a domestic violence environment….? Likely none right, because you’d be getting them out? So if current statistics prove at LEAST 1 in 10 are living with abuse (these are just the ones reported), how realistic is it that nobody we know…. is being abused? I’ll tell you from personal experience… victims become masters at covering up. If you look into their eyes, they are pleading with others, even strangers to recognize they’re in danger.

I’ve been outspoken on multiple discussion forums as of late… for every problem, there is a solution. If the schools are held accountable to their own “Zero Tolerance” Policy Statement, this will immediately hold the abusive child & their parent(s) accountable, it is ABUSE, a report has to be made to the Police, which in turn will activate CAS (Children’s Aid Society) if the child is a minor. This WILL WITHOUT QUESTION… shine much needed light on the secrets between the 4 walls and exposing countless for being the abusers that they are. The victims NEED TO BE RESCUED… current laws don’t recognize Narcissistic Sociopathic Abuse as abuse… “Call us back if he hits you”.. leaving the Victims to Face CAS and the after wrath from their Abuser making it so much worse than before. ABUSE IS ABUSE… there is no mild form.

This “SECRET” kept for generations needs to be EXPOSED for the very real crisis that it is and hopefully with more and more victims speaking out, finding their voice again, recognizing that their silence is creating a future generation of abusive partners…. our generation can be – the desperately needed change. This cycle needs to end. Its starts INSIDE the 4 walls. ALL bullies/abusers are broken, weak, insecure individuals who have been hurt… to one, they may seem powerful, to a group, they don’t stand a god damn chance. Our children deserve better, future generations.. deserve better. WE, as a society NEED TO DO BETTER.

WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST LEAVE; An open letter to the girl who feels “you couldn’t understand”, I do, I was there.

It wasn’t always that way, truth is, if “the greatest love story ever told” was an actual “thing”, you were without question, in the midst of the first chapter. From the first “hello”, you knew as sure as the blood that pumps your heart, he was the one you were waiting for, and didn’t realize it until that very moment when your eyes met. Could it be real, every single attribute, exceeded any and all ideas of what the “perfect man for me”, was literally sitting across from you. I was there.

The last first date was progressing, from days to weeks, the power of this “love” was unlike anything you have experienced prior, you felt completely lost in him and began taking comfort knowing the search was over, you would be growing old beside each other, holding hands on a park bench by the water, as deeply in love as you were from the moment your eyes became lost in eachother. “Soul Mate” was a term created for what you had found together. He literally swept in and there it was PLOT TWIST. I was there.

It was probably the 6-8 week mark, where red flags began to slightly wave in the breeze, not enough to startle you, just enough to catch your eye. Little things made you try to tune out the little voice inside advising these words, actions and responses, just weren’t “normal” behaviours. He began to share insight, opening up a few skeletons from his closet, dark secrets, you won’t ever share, they’re not yours. What you didn’t realise then was that he was scouting you, allowing you the same trust to confide in him, experieces from the past that hurt you, your fears, insecurities, hopes, dreams – how coud you not, you loved him. You were safe. I was there.

A couple of months in now, the lavish dates, limos, flowers, wine, jewelry and other gifts were still regular, it began to feel extreme. He wasn’t wealthy, how was he affording all of these grand gestures, and why were they necessary? It was “too” much, you expressed all you want to do is stay “in”, make dinner, cuddle and watch a movie, go for a walk… “I’m your King and you’re my queen” (this phrase eventually made you feel physically sick to your stomach in the years to follow). You began to realize, these weren’t selfless gestures, they were “things” that would be used against you shortly following. He wanted friends and family to know what he did for you, wanted posts on social media… you will soon learn that nothing was ever done out of simple genine kindess or love, only ever if it would allow him pubic validation. Without question, you would be paying these “gifts” back 10 fold. Nothing was without a meticulous plan. I was there.

Time has passed, many incredible memories, however the “love” you were lost in, slowly was exactly that, you felt lost. You were beginning to feel and were accused now, everything of what the opposite of love was, insecure, questioning reality, self worth and value, too sensitive, sanity, selfish, nervous, afraid. The trusted insight you allowed him early on, was now being thrown back at you in horrible, hurtful ways that you couldn’t fathom. They were cruel and with intent to cripple and injure. Always to be validated later with reasoning that it was your behaviour that resulted how it had, or “I’m sorry you took it that way”, “thats not how it happened”, but always with, “lets move passed this, I love you, you’re the one I’m going to grow old with”. A verbal beat down, and a hand to pick you back up, and you took it every single time. Countless nights horrible nights laying beside him, staring at he wall, tears soaking your pillow, the whole time hoping to god he didn’t wake up due to your sniffling as he’d be angry you disrupted his sleep. The feeling of being trapped and horrible loneliness. I know, I was there.

You began to question why he rarely if ever sees his family, the photos on social media and in frames, emulate “perfect and loving”. Yet; you met them only once in the entire relationsip. He met your family and children, but there was never any expressions of wanting to see them, spend time with them, zero sincere interest in anyone in your life. You slowly almost like quicksand, without realizing it, became focussed only on his life and interests, isolation and control was circling around you so passively, you had no idea it was lurking in the background. I was there.

By this point, you’re all in. Became isolated from family and friends, putting the needs and opinions of your own children to the back burner, attempting to hush them as not to upset or make him angry. Having any sense of reality was gone. Something happened to him when upset or angry. You couldn’t make sense of it, never mind begin to know how to express into words. You didn’t know what would or could trigger this, but without warning, the kind, warm, loving eyes that were JUST gazing at you, suddenly “switched” into the eyes of a stranger, dark, lifeless, frightening, his face changed literally in front of you, brows furrowed, mouth scowled, he somehow appeared taller, menacing, his shoulders hung forward, even his voice changed and the words coming out of it, well, as he mentioned multiple times, “I don’t feel slighted or fight back mildly, I fight back to wound, gut and kill”. There’s no way to describe this “Jekyll and Hyde” change. Impossible, unless you’ve experienced it. You’ve never heard of anything like this, even the most suspenseful thriller, had nothing on how this reality would appear on camera. How could you possibly share this “truth”, you would without question sound dramatic or crazy. So you kept the secret of his dark passenger. I was there.

Those “gifts” from early on, he exceeded what he was able to afford, in the efforts to keep you satisfied, because you’re so materialistic and demanding… so slowly, he wants to go shopping, for large purchases for your future together, because “we’re going to grow old together, holding hands on our favourite bench by the water”, passively whispered in the various stores, “I have no room on my cards right now, do you mind getting this, its for “us”.

The little idiosyncrasies you fell in love with and found adorable in the beginning, were now terrifying. Meticulous hygiene, outfits, housekeeping and placement of all of his multiple items, OCD, like “Sleeping with the Enemy” – clothing hung up precisely, labels facing the exact direction and evenly spaced in cupboards, hand towels, must only lay in a specific direction and centred from edge of sink to counter. Hearing your name called from a different room, became crippling as you knew you likely didn’t place someting back “correctly”. You realize you were no longer viewed as an individual with thoughts, feelings, interests, goals – you were an object, taken off the shelf and used to play a very specific role. To allow him a label of having “his” girlfriend, someone who must always present perfectly so others would view him as admirable. “I love the way people look at us”, this became common, especially when walking hand and hand together in public and he managed to catch a glimpse in a nearby mirror. He had a plan for how events will play out and god help you or anything else that created deviation off the vision in his mind on how things had to be. I was there.

You learned to ask “are you SURE about this, don’t say yes, only to punish me later for acting on it”… regardless, he’d decide later it was a betrayal so efforts to ensure anything at this point was moot. One night, in complete fear for your safety, you did call the police. They arrived 3 hours later, while you waited on the front porch, they questioned him. You were advised to “call them back if he hits you” and that you and your child need to sleep somewhere else that night (2am) as he was too intoxicated to leave the premises. CAS was called, came a week later. How safe did you feel going back “home” the following day? He calmly blamed you for his behaviour and scoffed at how unstable you are as there were no charges. It was all your fault. I know sweet girl. I was there.

Double standards… I could easily fill pages, however, only a french manicure, heels, dresses, constant linngerie, every minute to be focussed on him and his “requirments”, regardless of your own children and home to maintain, playing music only if he wanted it played, never knowing which partner you were going to face when you saw him, his greetings and eyes always showed you before a single words was first spoken. Would he walk to the door, checking his watch to see if you were even a minute late, would he look at you through the door and smile as he was pleased or turn and walk away, so you knew he didn’t appreciate the outfit you chose to wear that day. If he wasn’t pleased it was expressed that you don’t feel he’s deserving of the effort to “impress” him. You helped him with his errands or chores because you loved to just be with him, the person you knew was inside, the man you loved so deeply, anything to do with your own “life”, was of zero interest, a burden, a bother and he made certain you knew it. You never asked for help or assistance because you knew it will be held over your head, pinned for a later date. I get it, I was there.

It became too toxic and damaging, laughing and mimicking you as you cried from his words, you were never good enough, a constant disappointment, reminding you all the reasons why you have problems keeping a relationship, how many women would love to be in your shoes, how weak and pathetic your sensitivity is, reminding you of how he would be able to dispose of a body where nobody would ever be able to locate it, and how, never a direct threat, but a gentle reminder, demanded expectations that you knew nobody could ever live up to – the were inside his mind. Life became anxiety ridden, the only ground below your feet felt not just like eggshells, but eggshells on top of thin ice with a slight crack, somedays you wished it would just break so you could fall in be done with these feelings. He would break you down literally to the ground, until the switch went off, his eyes changed back and he offered his hand to pick you up, tell you how much he hates to see you in pain and to allow him to hold you… never ever a hint of regret, empathy or an “I’m sorry”. You left multiple times. Always with, for lack of a better word, “evil” parting words and actions. It became predictable, the first text would appear, then the email, then the call, always without fail, saying everything he knows you want to hear, what you should hear from someone who loves you, pleading just to meet for a walk, a coffee, a dinner… and every single time, you caved – the second your eyes met again, you were brought right back to that very first moment looking into the eyes of your “soulmate”.. These in-between times, you knew would result the same, but maybe, he would change, this time it will be different… they always had a 3 month shelf life, then it was right back or worse then it was before. I was there.

You reached a point of basic exhaustion the last time you chose to leave. His temper was flaring at someone else, while you sat there, you attempted to calmly intervene – KAPOW, it was redirected towards you. You knew this had to finally end. And it did. You were completely shattered, experiencing not only all the normal stages of grief from losing a relationship, part of your soul now felt broken beyond repair. You spent weeks reflecting, being accountable for why you ever chose that treatment not one time but multi times. You were advised of a support group for this kind of abuse, never imagining anyone else could possibly believe your truth, your pain & trauma. It was then you learned the terms : narcissistic-sociopath, gas lighting, flying monkeys, trauma bond – OMG, not just one person could relate, thousands did. His personality wasn’t unexplainable, every member of the support group dated the exact same “person”. Every single story, bled into another. It empowered but also hurt imagining anyone ever living what you experienced. Now you’re the girl who advises with conviction to others just beginning their journey to healing “6 months from now, you will wish you left today”. And you’re right.

I was there, standing right beside you, every single step along that nightmare. I was you, you forgot about me for a long while but I’m so grateful to see you again, the stronger, wiser more confident version that I ALWAYS knew was there. Maybe it took the elevator crashing down below ground level to bring you back to me again. I really missed you. xx