Below are the most important websites, books, videos where I discovered what I was dealing with and how to work through the issues I need:
Where my eyes were really opened, was through the website of Dr. George Simon, as well as his books In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance
When I read the list of characteristics displayed by covert-aggressive manipulators I felt like Dr. Simon had at some point met the family member I was dealing with. As much as manipulators and narcissists feel they are unique and special, they are identical to each other in their tactics. They’re clones of one another, predictable and so not unique!
The information I read saved my sanity. Manipulative abuse is insidious, dangerous and almost anyone can fall prey to it, until you learn about their modus operandi and your own vulnerabilities.
Qualities like empathy, sensitivity, kindness, altruism will all too easily be turned against you at the hands of a narcissist.
Knowledge and insight will give you tools to know when and with whom you can be empathetic without becoming a victim.
Healing from the inside out:
- personally, the most effective tool I stumbled across was something akin to inner child work: www.melanietoniaevans.com (youtube channel, website, ebooks (many free resources). One caveat: I don’t subscribe to all her views on why narcissists act the way they do, nor do I share the same belief systems about past lives; however, her paid-for modules are what I used to dig into the issues I needed to get past and finally find the strength to say: enough is enough. She specifically targets narcissistic abuse recovery. There is incredible support and help in the private forum for members, worth the price of admission on its own. I’m in no way affiliated with her other than having benefited from the modules. It worked for me, and that’s what I was looking for.
- Another person I found insightful is Lisa A. Romano: www.lisaaromano.com (youtube channel, website, books). She has a lot of free meditations, podcasts and videos that zero in on the triggers and behaviors adult children of alcoholics. I often found myself thinking “That’s why I do that!” “She just described exactly how I feel!” A lot of good, practical advice on co-dependency issues. Her clarity and insights into adult children of alcoholics and other types of dysfunctional family dynamics are invaluable. I bought two of her books but have mostly used her free resources on her website and youtube channel.
- Patricia Evans (http://www.patriciaevans.com/) (books dealing with verbal abuse, controlling people)
- The Inner Child Workbook, by Cathryn L. Taylor
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- Richard Grannon (a.k.a. Spartan Life Coach). If you don’t like swearing you better not listen to Richard Grannon. I like his directness, it’s to the point and very helpful. He has a lot of free info (i.e. Build Better Boundaries).
- Maybe therapy is an answer for you. Just make sure the person is experienced with helping victims of emotional, narcissistic abuse. If you feel the least bit victimized again, find someone else.
None of the above is a quick fix. I researched the traits of manipulators and narcissists for almost a year, then spent over a year on the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (Melanie Tonia Evans), which I still revisit from time to time.
During the same period I used many of Romano’s and Grannon’s meditations and also subscribed to and used EFT techniques (tapping).
No one else can do the work for you, and it may take a long time and a lot of tears and feelings of “it’s not fair”. But you’re worth the effort and you will come out the other end with clarity and peace and energy for evolving into who you really are under the layers of pain and abuse.