Aug. 6, 2021

E95 How to take your power back from narcissistic abuse | Mental Health Podcast

In this episode, I talk about how to take your power back from narcissistic abuse, and I want to share with you that it was a real big part of my journey, and that was learning how to take my life back in control.

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In this episode, I talk about how to take your power back from narcissistic abuse, and I want to share with you that it was a real big part of my journey, and that was learning how to take my life back in control.

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Hey! What's up, my friends! Hope that you're doing well. Wherever you are in the world today. Super excited to be back here with you for another episode of the podcast.

I was thinking about something today that I want to share with you that was a real big part of my journey and that was learning how to take my life back in control. And in this process, some of the things that I've learned and discovered in it, we as trauma survivors, often have parents who are narcissistic, who groom us, who control us, who put this in this place of being a meshed that leads us to our adulthood and a place in which we cannot figure out how to control our lives. Part of this is what you have to understand is, as an adult we have been for lack of a better term brainwashed by our narcissistic parents and narcissistic people in general and other variations of general people not to just pigeonhole, any particular kind of a person into this place, where we don't know how to say, no. Where we don't know how to say yes, where we don't know how to live life on our terms.

Growing up, one of the things that I always experienced was not only my mother, my stepfather, and my grandmother, the direct people who I would consider being the adults in my life for whatever word that you can define as we're always doing whatever they could to get me to bend to their will. Now I think to some aspect and I don't have children but I would have to believe that to some aspect you have to set your children up for success, by teaching them and helping them understand what is wrong, what is right, how to go about their daily life, how to understand the world, and how they should function as a human being?

Now that obviously was not the case scenario for many of us, that was not my case scenario, and because of that, what I found myself in was a situation in which I was not allowed to use my voice, I wasn't allowed to trust my intuition, I wasn't allowed to make decisions for myself and I found myself even as an adult limiting what I was capable of doing, because of the narrative in the self-belief that they had, instilled in me. When you think about this idea about being groomed, what it really means, and this is my interpretation of it is that someone is creating a framework in your life to force you to understand the person that you should be as opposed to giving you the space to explore the person that you could be. What do I mean by this? You know, I remember, once when I was young, I wrote my first book, I've mentioned this before, and, you know, you, I was like, nine years old and it was a vampire romantic comedy hilarious like it was super funny, it's probably still funny, I wish I still had it but my mother found it and she destroyed it. And I'm sure the story briefly before, but what I didn't understand then was not only the impact of the things that she was telling me that I could or shouldn't do, but the impact of understanding all the situations in which she was setting me up, as well as my stepfather, and my mother to bend myself to there will. Part of being groomed is getting put in this position in which I hate to use this word but I don't have a better way to phrase it where we stop thinking for ourselves thus this idea of being brainwashed and so every time that you try or attempt to move towards the things that you want in your adulthood you're often stuck or controlled.

One of the biggest things in this was my experience with my grandmother was doing things for her even though we're not to the benefit of me, and this was a multitude of things I won't get into the details, but you probably have had these experiences. I posted something on Instagram, probably, two weeks ago and I said, for some of you, your parents are in the way of your success in life, and that is because often your parents are mirroring their failed attempts at creating the life that they want to have down onto you, and then telling you that you don't deserve to have the life that you want or worse what is starting to happen is every time you move towards the things that you do want in your life, they come back and they guilt trip you or they shame you or they tell you they're going to leave you. And one of the experiences that I had with my grandmother, she would always just go into this fit about how sick she was and how it was my fault, and if I left or if I did this, or I did that, she would get worse. And the truth about it, and what we have to understand as trauma survivors, who have dealt with narcissistic parents like this, people who intentionally gaslight us, or even unintentionally because I do believe that some people actually don't even understand what they're doing because their parents did it to them and their parents did it to them is that when you are trying to step into your life, it's much more difficult to do so because you automatically have been set up for failure by your parents because they have told you who you should be. And then when you try to move through that into the person that you want to be, then comes the guilt trip, then comes the gaslighting, then comes the well you don't love me, you don't care about me and I'm your mother, I'm your father, you have to do this, bend over backward for me and then the whole list keeps going and I think about these small incremental moments as a child in which I wasn't allowed to do the things that I wanted to do, without filling a tremendous amount of shame and guilt, being laid upon me from my parents, from my community, from my grandmother, right?

And so what happened is I’ll step into my adulthood I started thinking about this idea of control. I've shared this before at 14 years old, I put a restraining order on my mother and my stepfather because I just needed them out of my life. My grandmother had adopted me at the time, but there was still this part where my mother would call me all the time. And this was back in the day when we had my space and she would message me on MySpace if you know what that is, and if you don't it was like a social media platform and she would send letters and notes and in every one of them, she would blame me for all of the misgivings and her life, all the things that happened would be my fault. And so at 14, I was like, okay, I'm going to end this right now because I see the direction this is going.

At 18, I made a more difficult decision and I told my mother, I would never talk to her again and that held true because I looked at my life I looked at the potential future I could have and I will tell you right now and I can't there's no time machine, I don't know, I don't have a measurement for it, but I feel very strongly had I not made that decision to cut off the relationship with my narcissistic mother, I would not be here talking to you today. And then in my early 20s, I had to make the same decision with my grandmother, which was incredibly difficult because in part, she is the person that raised me and I'm not saying there wasn't love involved in this because, obviously, there was, but I had to think about what was happening in my life, being a biracial kid, being raised by a racist white woman who even into my late teens and 20s would not allow me to step into any capacity of my ethnicity became this, really this huge precursor for me having an identity crisis and I knew but every single time I wanted to move towards being the person that I wanted to be, she would guilt me. I didn't raise you to be this way.

And we're talking about simple things, I remember, I was listening like Will Smith and of all the rappers on planet Earth, Will Smith is probably the least intimidating, right? Probably the one that you want your kid to listen to and she's like I didn't raise you to listen to this music, right? Being hip-hop, being cultured music, being people of color amusingly, anything like even one time I was listening into this like mixtape in Spanish and she's like, you don't do that in this house. And in every time that I tried to move towards that, there was some kind of shame or guilt from the clothes that I wore, to the hats that I wore, to the way that I spoke, to the things that I was reading or watching, there was always this thing about, I'm not showing up to their expectations of who I should be.

Now when I made these decisions to eliminate, don't say eliminate, that's the wrong word, I'm not like it's not taking, I don't fucking know of them.

When I made the decision to remove them from my life, it was predicated on the understanding that I had to take control back. One of the things that we have to understand about people, who gaslight us, who guilt trips us, who shame us, is that they are trying to have control over us, and if we want freedom, if we want independence, we have to remove ourselves from that. And sometimes, unfortunately in probably the harder part of this conversation is that you have to cut off all ties.


Now, that's the worst-case scenario. I think the precursor that is, can you have the conversation? Can you sit down and say, hey, I don't like what is happening here, I'm no longer going to allow you to control or dictate any part of my life. Who I date, who I hang out with the clothes I wear, the music I listened, to the food I eat, ad nauseam, all of it up, up top to bottom just getting super clear and concise and saying you don't get a say in any of this.

And I'll tell you this as you do this and this was my experience where I felt it the heaviest, was just this inundation of guilt and shame because I'm your mother, I'm your grandmother, these are your parents and this is your family so on and so forth. And it came down, it was like this rain upon me and in that, I understood something, and this is what I want you to understand. When people try to control you and you take your control back, the number one thing that they want to do is to belittle you and make you feel small, so that you believe that the only way you are going to be capable of succeeding in life is by giving your control back to them.

And so in this what I want you to think about as you're dealing with relationships and it does not necessarily have to be a parent, this applies to anyone in your life who is trying to control you, who's taking away your capacity, to be the hero of your own story, anyone who was not in support of the view, is going to combat you, is going to fight you, is going to shame, you bring you down, say the nastiest shit to you, to make you feel small and belittled, so that they keep the power.

And the only way that you're going to move through this, is to stand up for yourself, say ‘no’, and do what you have to do to make sure that you step into freedom in your life.

And look, my friends. I'll tell you this, it's not easy, but it is necessary because your parents, your relationship, your partner, your job, your business, your career, everything around you, if there are people in your life who are pulling you down, ask yourself this question, ask yourself this question.

If every single day you had to walk into a room, and when you walked into that room, you got punched in the face. How many times would you walk into that room before you stopped?

And I know this is a hard question, I know that analogy, may at home for some people and may not for others, but at some point, you have to understand every single time that you allow them to take from you, you are giving them your power and until you put your boundaries in place and hold true to those boundaries, they are going to be in control and I believe that you have the ability to take your life back.

So thank you, my friend, for listening as usual. I appreciate you so much.

Please do me a favor, it means the world to me.

If you would leave a review, if you would subscribe, if you would comment, if you would share with a friend, someone who needs this today.

And Until next time.

My friend, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you.



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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.