Empowering Women In Conversations

Breaking Free: Unmasking Narcissistic Abuse and Empowering the People Pleaser Within

February 10, 2024 Anita Sandoval Season 3 Episode 18
Empowering Women In Conversations
Breaking Free: Unmasking Narcissistic Abuse and Empowering the People Pleaser Within
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Episode Highlights:

  • Understanding Narcissistic Abuse: Definition and insights into how narcissists use coercion, power, and control in relationships.
  • The People Pleaser's Plight: Examining why people pleasers become prime targets for narcissistic individuals and how their natural tendencies can prolong toxic dynamics.
  • The Mask of Narcissism: Discussing the initial charm and subsequent reveal of a narcissist's true nature, and the psychological impact on their partners.
  • Signs and Patterns Overlooked: Identifying the early warning signs that people pleasers often miss, including the dangerous cycle of justification and self-sacrifice.
  • Breaking the Cycle: Strategies for recognizing, addressing, and healing from narcissistic abuse, with an emphasis on self-awareness and boundary-setting.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Narcissistic Abuse Beyond Physical Harm: Understanding that emotional and psychological manipulation is a form of abuse.
  2. The Danger of Mirroring: Recognizing the early phases of a relationship with a narcissist can help prevent deeper entanglement.
  3. Empowerment Through Knowledge: Providing listeners with the tools to identify and escape abusive situations.
  4. Healing and Recovery: Highlighting the importance of support, therapy, and community in overcoming the effects of narcissistic abuse.

If you want to learn more you can connect with Sybil Cummin at:
Email: info@risingbeyondpc.com

If you've been looking for a supportive community of women going through the topics we cover, head over to our website to learn more about the Rising Beyond Community. - https://www.risingbeyondpc.com/
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Domestic Shelters.org

Follow us on our social media platforms for more resources, and join our community discussions to share your experiences and insights.
If you enjoyed this episode feel free to listen in to our previous episode:
Unmasking Manipulators and Becoming a Woman Empowered!
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Anita Sandoval@PACCTX
Anita Sandoval
Conversations That Work
Empowering Women In Conversations

Anita: [00:00:00] Before we begin, I do want to remind our listeners that this episode is purely for psychoeducational purposes, and if someone has experienced narcissistic abuse or if today's topic triggers any emotions, please consider reaching out to a mental health professional for support. Let's welcome Sybil, a licensed professional counselor, to the show.

Sybil Cumin: Hello, thank you for having me. Thank you for making the time coming in for my community over here in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Can you please share how your journey led you to specialize in supporting survivors of narcissistic abuse and why it's important to empower yourself and for women in this space? I came into the field in a different way than most of the advocates and therapists that really specialize in this area.

, so I started out as a play therapist and I thought I only wanted to work with children because kids are way more fun than adults are for sure. , [00:01:00] and what I found was in every arena or environment I was working in, there was this dynamic that I did not understand with some of my cases. And so the more I kind of learned about things, I, I learned that the dynamic that I was seeing through my children that I work with was domestic violence and narcissistic abuse.

And unfortunately, in graduate school, I was not really taught a whole heck of a lot about how to work with this or what it looked like or what I might see, like those nuanced, Things. So it was like I was a a couples and family therapist. That's the schooling I took. And in one class it was like, if there's domestic violence, don't do couples therapy.

Moving on. And so I had very little information on what this looked like and what this was. My supervisors didn't really have much more information or training than I did as a young [00:02:00] clinician. And so I just started reaching out to advocacy agencies in my state reading, just really trying to understand I got deemed by the county child protection that I worked mostly with that I was quote unquote good at DV, good at working with DV.

I don't know what that actually means. So great. But what it did is it gave me a ton of experience because that is who was being referred to me. Okay. Over and over and so then I got to see what it actually looks like all the nuances and then where it really became a passion for me working with these families is.

Because I, as a child therapist, I will be subpoenaed into court, into family court. And I am, what, a unicorn that if it is in my children's best interest, I will testify in court. Okay. And sometimes I was, like, talking to a brick wall. They, [00:03:00] at times, I'm telling them this is what I, I might think is, is, you know, causing distress for the child or, or lack of safety for the child.

And it's like I wasn't even there. Like, why am I here? Why am I wasting their money talking about it? And so I consistently saw children being put in harm's way through our family court system. And so that I just, nope, couldn't do that. That just didn't sit well with me. So I had to know everything I could about this.

And I have a loud voice. I've been, I wear it as a badge of honor, but people have called me a squeaky wheel. That's actually how I came into this is just through this kind of other backward way from the child's perspective. I love how you said squeaky wheel, because if you were a man, you wouldn't be called a squeaky wheel.

You would be called an advocate. Look at him a go getter. Look at him how much he cares about his profession and the difference with gender squeaky wheel. I've been [00:04:00] called aggressive. For being an advocate for something we believe in, which is the children. Yes. Yes, exactly. I love that. And how you said, you know what we, I can't get through.

There's a brick wall. I'm going to have to go through another route and that persistence to make sure you help them heal forward through another route. And you don't just say, okay, I give up. You kept persisting and fighting for their rights and for them to heal forward, which says volumes. as you being a licensed counselor.

That's amazing. Yeah, I appreciate that because, you know, those of us in a position of power, which I am as a therapist, people will see me as an authority figure. I'm not a survivor of, and so. I'm not emotionally triggered the same way a survivor might be, and so I have this privilege. I'm white, so I have this privilege, and so it's so important for those of us who do to be as loud as we [00:05:00] can to support people who don't.

Oh, I love that. That other avenue, because I know some patients will come and say, well, if you haven't experienced it, well, then you don't know. Well, you're saying, you know what? I haven't, but that's also a positive thing because you can advocate for them. You don't have that emotional trigger and when they do, you are there for them, this is why I always recommend for everyone to seek someone as a counselor professional, not a comadre, not the vecina, not the neighbor.

Because they're going to give you a subjective opinion and us as licensed professionals will give you the objective. We won't get emotionally distressed and therefore we can help you come up with solutions, some strategies, some techniques to help you move forward from that situation. Oh yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. And that I have learned, and this is like back when I was trained in school, so I graduated with my [00:06:00] master's in 2007, so this is, was a little bit of a no no back then, but I learned from my clients, from the survivors I worked with, because book learning and learning from the survivors is completely different.

And so it used to be, you know, I needed to come into the space as the expert that was, you know, back in the early 2000s, that was how it was seen. Thank goodness there's been a shift of our clients and our patients are the experts in their lives. And so I think it's really important because I'm not a survivor of that.

I learn. from people who have been there. Oh, yes, yes. And now that you've learned this, I do want to follow up with that question. How would you define narcissistic abuse, especially in the context of people pleasers? Yes. So people pleasers are very [00:07:00] great targets for someone who has narcissistic traits because so narcissistic abuse is anytime someone uses coercion, power and control to get what they want from the relationship.

So it is abuse. So it is abusive. So even if you have never been hit, you've never been shoved to the ground, you've never been sexually assaulted by this person, if they are using any form of coercion to keep you, I'm air quoting, keep you in line, that is abusive. And so the narcissistic piece, there is a fairly specific, , Look, I guess, of these cases is where there is such an extreme sense of entitlement that you owe them to be how they want you to be.

They very [00:08:00] often will wear a mask. In front of everyone else and then behind closed doors, it looks really different. And initially when you were in that relationship, they wore the mask. And they made, they modeled or kind of mirrored your value system. So that you think this is your person. This is your person and you believe the same things and you like the same things and then they get you hooked and then all of a sudden that starts to shift.

And so someone that is more people pleasing and they've used that for a lot of reasons and we can talk about that, is they are more likely to look inward at themselves to say, What can I fix because our relationship isn't good right now? And so they will take on that role of like fixing themselves, fixing their partner, taking responsibility for things that are not theirs.[00:09:00] 

And that is what a narcissistic abusive person wants. That's like bread and butter. You'll take ownership for me being abusive. Great. Yes. Let's all have that. Oh my goodness. And what are the common signs and patterns that are not in the narcissistic abuse relationship that people pleasers tend to overlook?

. So I think that initial piece of the mirroring the mirroring your value system, because, oh my gosh, it feels good to have, to meet someone that has really strong, you know, a similar value system as yours, even though it's just a mask. I think there will be excuses for their partner's behaviors when they start to shift subtly.

So, Oh, you know what? My partner there, they just had a really rough day at work. They're tight at work. I'm going to make sure when they come home, everything is the dinners on the table, the house is cleaned. I'm going to make life [00:10:00] easier for them. And it actually doesn't matter if they had a hard day at work, or they didn't have a hard day at work, or even if they're working, it doesn't matter.

You will find yourself doing anything and everything to make things better. better for them at home, which then leaves you not thinking about you at all. And so you're really focused on pleasing them. And then the, I guess the sad piece is, is that it then shifts to where you're people pleasing or fawning for safety.

Oh, my goodness. And in the narcissistic abuse, then because they're narcissists, they wouldn't even consider that you're exhausted or that you're tired. So you're just literally giving and giving and giving till you're so burnt out. And then what happens after that? Through this process, right, it is a process, so a lot of people see narcissistic abuse or domestic violence or whatever language you want to use as, [00:11:00] like, incident based.

So, like, there was an incident of domestic violence, but it's actually a process. It's a process where they have slowly Take in power and control over you, and the piece that's gross is that it is willful, like it's on purpose. They do it on purpose, because it meets their needs. And so, do they care that you're tired?

No. You should be doing this anyways. Do they care that you're scared of them? No, that's a benefit and builds their ego. The more they can break you down so that you still feel like this is all your fault. It is your responsibility. You are crazy. Then they have you and you are less likely to leave.

And so people pleasers do get really stuck in that because in a lot of other arenas, you limit conflict by people pleasing. [00:12:00] That's true. So then when there were there's problems, which is going to be, it's about pleasing me. And if you're doing anything else, then it's wrong. And so you're constantly just having to people please, but there's only so much you can do, because we have to work on, , empowering ourselves and pleasing ourselves meeting our needs first before you can meet them, but they don't understand that.

And that is actually a threat to them. So the more empowered you are, the more of a threat you are to them. , maybe they suggest you go to therapy because you're crazy, in their words. So you go to therapy, you start developing some sense of awareness sense of self. Yeah. And you start trying to set boundaries.

Well, that's not okay. So, it may be that they will say, you know, you're crazy. Start to say things or do things so you stop going to therapy. You know what, that therapist, they don't know what they're thinking, they don't know what they're talking about. I, I read reviews of that therapist and they're, they're horrible, [00:13:00] they're feminists or whatever that might be said about the therapist.

Or they may just cause so much conflict when you go. Okay. That it's just easier not to go. And so that's a way of people pleasing, too, of like, I need to stop this conflict. Anything to avoid this conflict, anything to avoid the stonewalling or the physical violence or whatever it is, I will do whatever I need to do to stop.

And then the part that is just horrible is for people pleasing in the normal world, there's like a goalpost that you know what it is. In a narcissistic relationship with a narcissistic partner or abusive partner, the goalposts will always change. So you're never going to be enough. You're never going to do it right enough.

Wow. And so you are exhausted, you are broken down, and [00:14:00] your sense of self is gone. It's just gone. Wow, I know Dr. Shefali likes to call that soul erosion. When you do more and more for others, you do less for yourself and you're just, your soul just erodes and dies and withers. Yes, I like that term. I like that term.

 Why is it important to address this intersection of the process? Why is it so important to address that? Yeah. I think that. You know, initially there's that first you need to see it and learn it, right? It's like even just like learning when somebody first realized this is like people pleasing is a thing.

Yes. Right? They just hear the language. Yes. They're like, what? There's a word for this? Yes. Or gaslighting. When people first hear the term gaslighting, guess what, Webster Dictionary or now it's Wikipedia. Like I've just aged myself, but, they didn't create that word for you. This is a this happens.

And so it's, you know, first, there's that idea of like, you [00:15:00] just need to learn what this is like what's going on, because then you will feel less crazy. Yes. And accepting the word people pleaser, because it has such a connotation that sometimes people are in denial and going no. No. And I actually had a patient, which I use interchangeably and that's okay.

She says, no, I want to see it as fun. Okay. We'll use it as fun. It's just, you know, such a negative connotation to women. Yeah. Because. get they're doing it, they can't seem to love themselves and meet their needs because they consider it selfish. But then they don't want to be known as people pleasers. So they're stuck in a catch 22 with that.

Yes, yes. And I feel like that is the experience of anyone stuck in this relationship. There's not it doesn't feel like there's a win. Okay, you go this way, there's not a way and you go that way. There's not a win right with language with with [00:16:00] anything. And so it's like, Understanding that process, understanding, you know, your, how your nervous system works.

Okay. And why you would fawn, right? Okay. So it could be you're just really uncomfortable with conflict. In general. Okay. But when you are in this relationship, it is less, it's not just conflict, it is for your safety. Okay. Right? It is for the threat of harming you. Maybe it's the threat of, you're so crazy, I'm going to call child protection and we're going to take your kids.

Or if you divorce me, we're going to go to court and no one's going to give you the kids because you are a disaster and you're crazy, I'm going to take the kids. And so there doesn't even have to be physical violence within the relationship to be scary. It can be these other pieces. It can be financial.

 Understanding, like, that process of how did I get in this? How does this work? And then, why was kind of my way of working in the world as a people pleaser, as fawning, [00:17:00] why did those two intersect so, I say it beautifully, but not really, right? It's horrible that they intersected that way, but they did.

My goodness. So knowing how people pleasers, it's like a magnet to narcissists because it's a type of codependent relationship there. Are there any particular support systems, resources that you might recommend for women in this particular position? I wish there were more there are a lot of resources for if you are in a physically violent relationship.

There are a lot more resources and that makes sense to people, right? Like, this is domestic violence. This is not safe. And then if you're in this abusive relationship where it's coercive control and You can't put your finger on it, the abuse, it's so hard to find resources [00:18:00] on what that is, I think finding a mental health professional in your area that understands and this isn't the language that people, like normal people, like therapists use this, but normal people don't I'm going to say like, are you, well, you know, are you trained in coercive control?

Like that's strange, right? Okay. Like that would be weird. But if you did ask that, you could get a better read on if this person is going to understand what you've experienced. I think asking for therapists, if I struggle with setting boundaries. Okay. It's probably a good, more like, Normal human way of talking about people pleasing because there's struggle with boundaries I guess my thoughts, that feels a little bit less scary, but mental health services is important.

There's some really good resources, and I can share this with you, Anita. The domesticshelters. org is, and it's shifted and changed into Alliance for Hope. But a [00:19:00] lot of times if you search one, you'll get the other. That's like a brand new. Okay. Shifting, connect, you know, rebraining. But they have tons of resources, articles, podcasts fewer support groups, again, for if there's not physical abuse there's a group in my state.

So I run a community for this specifically but there's another like group in my state, in my state that is which I'm in Colorado, but it's called Boundaries of Steel. Finding groups around boundaries, some, I feel like now people are using the term people pleasing, is, yes you can find more resources for that.

If you Google search narcissistic abuse there are going to be a lot more resources now than there used to be for sure. But I wish that there were more. I just wish there were, there were more to get people out of this. I know. I think the first step is them knowing they're not alone in this.

Yeah. In this path, this journey, which is why I do what I [00:20:00] do, because I want the audience to know, guess what? You're not alone. This is common, normalizing people, pleasing, normalizing that there is types of abuse. It doesn't have to be physical and yeah, and we can take part in that and we can feel the fear regardless whether it was something physical, but it could be emotional, psychological as well.

 Is there any specific strategy that or technique that you might recommend in the beginning process of them breaking free from this pattern of people pleasing, narcissistic, codependent type of relationship? Yeah, I think one of the first steps, first of all, is that education piece, so that you learn, like, wow, other people go through this, I am not crazy, again, they wouldn't come up with these terms if it was just me, and FYI, if you're searching, is my partner a narcissist, or is this narcissistic abuse, it likely is.

Like, it likely is, you know, [00:21:00] something is not right and so listening to that intuition is really important and so something that we do a lot of work with is identifying your value system. Because so often that has been kind of not taken from you. Your autonomy has been completely taken from you.

Your values cannot be taken, right? That's not something that can be taken, but it's feels like really hidden because if you value independence or education or something like that, that goes against what your narcissistic person wants you to value. So, You hide those a lot of times and then you kind of forget that they're there.

 Really starting to identify, like, what do I value in this world? What is important to me? And start to really remember, like, who you are. Yeah. At your core. Who you are at your core and what is [00:22:00] important to you. That is usually kind of that first step of learning to trust yourself again because that goes.

Out the window, like think about people pleasing in general, trusting yourself to make a really concise, short, like a decision. Yeah, it's hard. Yes. Is it going to hurt someone's feelings? And you know, what are they going to think about it? It's just very hard to begin with. And then knowing that you're going to make someone unhappy and still do it anyways.

Yes. Going through that. And so if you can kind of go back to what do I value does whatever I'm saying yes to match and fit with my value system. Oh, if that's a no, then it should be a no. And if it's, if it's like, well, yeah, it fits here. It might be a yes then. But I think that because specifically for narcissistic abuse, your autonomy has been taken from you.

You no longer [00:23:00] trust yourself because you've been gas lit. So you doubt everything. You're not allowed choice. And so going back to how do I build trust within myself? And I think that it really is determining what do I value? That's like the first step with that piece. Now, something I encounter here in the Valley and it might be anywhere, but it's just, I see it here in the Mexican culture is we value family.

I mean, it's intense to where it could be the most toxic, but we have to be there for family no matter what. And one of the common beliefs that I even work with patients in with using EMDR to get that out of the nervous system, which is a type of programming. From generations that when I get married with this person, I have to make it work, no matter what.

And if not, it's my fault because I'm the woman in this relationship. And so that's blocking them to even see what do I value? Because they say, well, I value [00:24:00] family. My husband's my family. So it's ? Ride or die type of relationship. Blood is thicker than water. Oh my gosh, and I'm like, well, you really aren't related.

Well, in the eyes of God, we are. And I, I'm, you know, I'm not against religion. Yes, I know. What do you, what advice do you have for those, for those listeners who have those beliefs? I think it is, it is trickier when we run up against cultural generational belief systems that have been passed down.

And if you're the one questioning, usually your family wants to pull you back to not be questioning the generational values that they have , shared. And we know more now than we used to, right? Like, that's a good thing. Like, we know more than we used to know. And so we know how harmful abusive behaviors can be, whether it's a family member or not a family member.

We know these things. And so I think, it's [00:25:00] like when I ask my young, like, teen clients to tell, like, we do value sorts, like, and we look at different values, or I'll ask them what do they value, and they actually tell me goals. And so I will tie this back, I promise. So they'll be like, well, I'm going to get married before I'm by when I'm 23 or something like that.

And then I'm gonna have two kids and I'm gonna have twins, you know, and you're like, Oh, good luck with that. But I say, so actually getting married. Is a goal. Like, you can check it off a list. What does it actually mean? Like, what would be the value? What does the marriage look like? So, similarly, I will ask, because no one's going to say, Oh, yeah, we're he has full control over me, and I don't get to make decisions, and I do anything they say just to make him happy.

Like, that's not what any of my people are going to say. And so, it's like, family is a really strong value. What does [00:26:00] family look like? How does family treat each other? What is your definition of family, if it's just blood relation, or if it's just that paper of being married? That doesn't tell you how a family should treat each other.

Oh. Beautiful. So how should family, in your opinion, treat each other? And again, very, they may say, well, in, you know, growing up, like, and if you're going to rewrite it, how would family treat each other? Because it's similar. Like, you can say, like, family is my value, but what does that actually look like?

Because it may not fit what you believe or what you need. Or what you want and that's a whole nother, you know, gosh, that's, that's like 10 podcasts long of how to go about starting to set these boundaries with family. , and knowing and realizing, okay, this is what I have envisioned as family. This is what I have envisioned as marriage or my partner and knowing that if it doesn't [00:27:00] fit.

Am I going to change my belief and adapt to what they're doing? And if you don't like it, then it's time to break free from that. But those are your only two options. Yeah. And it's, and it's hard and it can be a slow process. And over time you can start to shift those patterns. But especially if you're in patterns where there's generational trauma, generational abuse, do you want to be the one to continue?

Mm hmm. That pattern or, and I say this, it's so much easier said than done. Do you want to be the one to break the pattern? Yeah. And that is a lot on your shoulders. It is a lot. If you're the one that is willing to break the pattern. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I mean, I'm the black sheep of the family. I have morals and values.

It's what I tell people and like Brene Brown's book is Braving the Wilderness you have to be brave enough to know that it's going to be [00:28:00] an alone ride at times, but that's okay because I'm still being authentic and true to my values. Which brings me to my other question. How does self empowerment help women break free from the effects of narcissistic abuse?

Empowerment is, it's a slow process of gaining and it is kind of like parallel alongside the whole healing process, right? It's like with you throughout the whole process is building that. And as you become empowered, you will believe that you are worth more. And as you believe that you are worth more, you will be more likely to set boundaries.

And you will be able to forgive yourself for the things. If you don't believe you're worth anything, how can you forgive yourself? You're not worthy of [00:29:00] forgiveness. You're not worthy of a better life. You're not worthy of being treated better. And so finding that sense of self and being able to know your inherent worth is this, again, it's this ongoing process, if you've been taught that you're not worth anything since you were a teeny tiny person, your journey's gonna be longer than someone who grew up with a lot of support and You know, sharing that you are worth something just because you are but yeah, that, that finding sense of self, empowering yourself, knowing your worth goes alongside, I feel like almost any healing journey, like I'm thinking healing from addiction, healing from any trauma, healing from religious trauma, any of these things, finding healing.

You're worth and knowing your worth because you have it, you have it, whether you believe you have it or not. But you need to see that. I love that. [00:30:00] I love that. And yes, it's a journey, not a destination because we're always learning, growing and changing and becoming the person we envision in our minds.

Wow. And so as we wrap up, is there anything else you would like to share with our listeners about the journey of liberating people pleasers from the subtle traps of narcissistic abuse? I think we've talked about it a little bit and I'm glad you asked me that question because then I can go back to what my brain didn't go like, it didn't pin it, clearly.

Is that idea that as you do this work, you will potentially feel really alone. You are not alone. And Healing within a community with other people and finding your people will speed up your healing process so much, so very much. And so finding. A community of people doing a similar thing.

Maybe they don't fully understand, [00:31:00] but they're willing to. It's really finding your people so you don't feel alone. Yep. Because from a narcissistic perspective, the goal is for you to feel alone. Because if you're alone, you are less likely to be able to leave. If you're not alone, and you have support, and you have other people, and you can understand, you know, then you're more likely to leave.

End. Find something different for yourself. So I think that finding your people, it is not easy. It is not, especially if you're in a smaller community, like I'm in the Denver metro area. We got, we're huge, right? Like and so it's easier in those areas to find your people. Yeah. And you can find your people.

You need one or two safe people. Find one or two safe people in your world that's going to support your journey. That is so important on this. Yes. Yes. I totally agree. I've known the difference when I found [00:32:00] my people because it was a lonely road for a little bit. And then because I said, nope, not, I am not adapting.

I just either yes, or if not. I'm out the door and I finally found my people and I'm like, wow, this is worth it because I am worth it. To know and understand that these people in my audience, the people hearing this podcast can know, Hey, you know, this can happen. This can be you because now with social media.

Now with communities, we can easily access that on the internet, which now brings me to you. I would love to promote your work, what you're doing. Please share with our audience, all the awesome, amazing stuff that you're doing so they could hear and maybe reach out to you if they need. Yeah, I appreciate that.

And because through my therapy practice, I saw the extreme differences between those who had A safe support system, and those who didn't have a support system, and the differences in their healing [00:33:00] process. I started a community it is an online community for survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence.

Most of which are dealing with the family court system, so they share children with their abusive ex partner. Because that's a whole ballgame in and of itself, because you can't just cut them off. You share Children. So it's a whole different arena and you need some support. So I started a community. It's called the rising beyond community.

And then I am really well aware because I've worked with this population for 13, 14 years now that financial abuse. Is a for real thing. The goal is to decimate you financially a lot of times. And so because not everyone can access my community. I started the rising beyond podcast to give people. The information I share in a way that is free to them and that they can access and they can [00:34:00] access me and they can access all of these different experts and guests and things to help support them on their journey if they don't have the financial resources to join a community like mine.

Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I'll make sure to add all the links on the show notes, everyone. I do want to end this episode with two questions that I usually ask , my guests. And question number one, what is your definition of an empowered woman?

I think my definition of an empowered woman is a woman who knows themselves. The goods, the bads, and the uglies? Yes. And are at peace with the goods, uglies. Yes! I love that! Oh, beautiful definition. I love it. Yeah, I think people have this idea, like, empowered woman is doing a hundred things and balancing all these plates, and that [00:35:00] may not be I don't think that's accurate for everyone.

That might be your empowered, but that's not everyone's empowered. Yes. . And I will leave you with this last question for you to answer. So imagine a scenario where everything about you due to whatever unforeseen circumstances has been lost. And three generations down the road, your future great great granddaughter is discovered a letter and it is from you sharing a profound truth that will further progress the woman journey of empowering themselves with other women within your family line and beyond.

What would that truth be? And what message would you want to convey to inspire and empower the woman in the future? We have lots of thoughts. This would be a memoir, not a letter. Love it. Yes. Yes. Definitely. I'm thinking the things that are important to me and go again, [00:36:00] kind of going back to what you're talking about is that values and knowing yourself,

especially I've built a lot of things. I have a family, I have two businesses, I have this podcast, I have a lot going on. And if it were to all be lost, I would be devastated, FYI, at first. It would be devastation. Yes. That would be horrible. Yes. And I think there, this inherent piece of me is that there is always hope and this idea that I already created.

 I have already done these things that I think I could start over from scratch, and if I started over from scratch, I would actually know more than I did when I first started. And so, using the lessons, I think, that I learned in the first journey, before whatever horrible apocalypse just happened, and I lost everything, but I've learned from all of [00:37:00] that.

And I can use all of that knowledge moving forward. What would you share with your great, great granddaughter? I think trusting yourself is, you know, and again, knowing yourself is probably the most important thing and it will get you where you need to go. And that there's not a, a specific path of needing.

So I, example, I am raised Jewish and my grandparents told me since I was a little person that I'm going to grow up to marry a rich Jewish doctor or lawyer. Well, I didn't do any of that because that's not who I am at my core. That's not, that wasn't what I was, my goal to look for. Right. It was. Being [00:38:00] able to stand on my own two feet and if that was In my path, that person matched my value system, that, that's what I would do.

So I think, great, great granddaughter, really focus on who you are, what's important to you, and that will guide you. That will get you where you need to be. That was beautiful. Thank you so much, Sybil, for coming and showing up for my community here at the Rio Grande Valley. Thank you so much for having me.

Introduction and Guest Welcome
Sybil's Journey into Narcissistic Abuse Counseling
Challenges in Recognizing and Addressing Narcissistic Abuse
The Role of the Court System in Narcissistic Abuse Cases
Gender Bias in Advocacy and Counseling
The Importance of Professional Counseling and Advocacy
Understanding Narcissistic Abuse and Its Impact on People Pleasers
Recognizing Signs and Patterns of Narcissistic Abuse
The Consequences of Narcissistic Abuse on People Pleasers
The Importance of Self-Empowerment and Boundary Setting
Resources and Support Systems for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse
The Role of Self-Empowerment in Breaking Free from Narcissistic Abuse
The Importance of Community in Healing from Narcissistic Abuse
Conclusion and Final Thoughts

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