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Why is lying so important to covert narcissism?

Lying is a compulsory defense mechanism for the covert narcissist because remember, he or she is severely insecure and they will guard their false self/representative by any means necessary.

At the same time, they often don’t see it as a lie, because their false constructs are very much real in their minds. If I fundamentally see myself as a victim who must be protected, then even after I victimize you, I can only retell the story based on my understanding of “reality.” It’s not about the facts, but the covert narcissist feelings.

Dr. Vanessa R. Abernathy



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Are narcissists bad people?

Words like “good” and “bad” really do not seem to help the discussion nor the process of recovery for survivors. Though the injuries from emotional (verbal, psychological, financial, spiritual and often physical) abuse from Narcissists or HCP (high-conflict people, to include those with Borderline Personality Disorder) often impair the soul, these are still humans with an illness.

I say this so much in my practice, but stand by it as an important consideration: if a person had a cold or cancer, would we say they were good or bad? We would recognize their limitations and encourage them to get professional help as needed. Granted, this illness is in the areas of interpersonal and intra-personal relationships. They often have such distorted thinking that they respond almost by reflex like one having a flashback as part of post-traumatic stress. They make poor choices and when they repeatedly injure others with their domestic terrorism, it is not difficult to see them as inhuman or at least all bad. This is easiest when they cannot (which is a symptom) see the hurt they cause nor their responsibility to make amends and seek professional help (main source of possible change in behavior). None of us are all “bad,” and yet how helpful is it really to speak of any of us that way.

They are unhealthy and the ways in which they move in the world are unhelpful/harmful for them or for any of us who have been traumatized by their illness.

it may be more helpful to ask if relating to them is making me feel more alive, loved, competent, loving etc it is relating to them sucking the life out of me? Is the relationship MUTUALLY-regarding for am I the primary giver and is she the primary taker? Am I looking for simplistic categories like good or bad to help validate the emotional termoil of being in relationship (romantic, work, congregation, parent, etc) with him?

i honor the fact that we are at least making distinctions and asking the questions. Knowledge is an important early step in the often lifelong journey of healing from the emotional abuse of those with narcissistic traits and or narcissistic personally disorder.

Peace as healing continues,

Dr. Vanessa



vabernathypsyd on social media platforms.

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Can a survivor of narcissistic abuse be successful in life?

Yes, of course! Just as it is possible to live and be successful after having a cold, the flu or even cancer. Also, just as with these biological ailments, the symptoms and source of illness must be removed /treated. The chances of success for a victim of emotional abuse are greatest when he, she, or they move from victim to survivor having ESCAPED* the toxic relationship and/or setting appropriate boundaries on the emotional access the abuser has to the survivor. Escape = you left or they discarded you.

The metal, emotional and psychological wounds (e.g. low self-esteem, Anxiety, depression, panic, confusion, self-doubt, shame etc) of narcissistic abuse can be addressed in supportive familial, spiritual, social or therapeutic relationships. Should one choose therapy, it is recommended that you search for mental health professionals who are knowledgeable of personality traits or disorders such as borderline and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Some of us have training and experience in areas of clinical practice that may or may not be best suited for a survivor of such interpersonal injuries and traumas.

Gaining knowledge of the signs, symptoms and traits of narcissistic abuse is an important first step to healing from the abuse. This is especially true when the emotionally abusive person is prince or princess charming in public and a domestic terrorist in private (even with the invisible wounding of words and mind-games). The inconsistent personality and behavior of the covert narcissist can make it difficult to detect right away. The victim may make concession, make excuses or explain away the abusive behavior at times, because he, she or they may find it impossible to let go of the fantasy that ?that person who wooed me with such intensity at the beginning must still be in there somewhere.?

Reading self-help books (see links below), engaging in psychotherapy with a mental health professional knowledgeable of NPD or taking an online class such as our upcoming ‘Tools To Date Smarter’ After a Toxic Relationship are among the immediate ways one could begin to educate themselves for new life after a narcissist.

Another important step and overall goal to healing after narcissist abuse is at the core of your question: succeeding! Many of our psychotherapy and mentoring/coaching/consulting clients have described calculated efforts their narcissistic Ex- used to sabotage his going back to school or her starting her own business.

One of the best ways to win the battle that was waged against your emotional well-being, is to repair your self-esteem and shift your focus from the false persona you fell for or was parented by (could be boss, faith leader etc) to reclaiming the worth of you and the goals you have for your life. This too takes practice and having a supportive person, accountability group, prayer partners, life coach or mental health mentor may help in making self-care a priority that produces the success you want.

Anyone who asks themselves the question stated here is already facing forward in a mindset of success and new life after a narcissist.

All the best,

Dr. Vanessa



Follow Dr. Vanessa on Instagram, FB, Twitter or LinkedIn at vabernathypsyd.

A Few Recommended Books:

Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist

Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare

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About Me

Dr. Vanessa R. Abernathy is a clinical psychologist based in North Carolina.Hi! I am Dr. Vanessa R. Abernathy, Clinical Psychologist. With empathy and openness, I help clients live in more authentic ways. I focus on a client’s internal motivations for change in order to address what may NOT be working well for them, or to strengthen and maintain what may be working well enough. Clients who work with me in couple’s/family counseling, experience me as affirming, fair, balanced, reflective and interactive as needed. I am here to help clients identify and reclaim their core values and find healthy ways to live out those values, in order to enhance their health, wellness and success.

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