What You Should Know About The Express With Gary Alan

As many of you have probably already heard, I’m going to be on The Express Radio Show with my good friend, Gary Alan, on April 28th. If you haven’t heard, be sure to tune in to 880 The Biz at 5 pm ET this Sunday!

 

When you listen to The Express, you will hear Gary Alan talk about all sorts of interesting topics, from entertainment and sports to all things business. He has been in the radio business for a long time, and he really knows what he’s doing. He has studied Broadcast Journalism at the University of Miami and TV/Radio Broadcasting at Miami Dade College. He knows how to keep the conversations honest and professional while also being fun and entertaining at the same time.

 

Now, he wants to interview me about my experiences with PTSD and dealing with people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I could not be more excited!

 

We’re going to be discussing some serious and relatable topics, and I’ll even let you in on some secrets and give you a bit of advice! I’m really glad to be able to share with you through this blog, but now you can get the real inside scoop when you tune in with Gary Alan and me on April 28th at 5 pm on 880 The Biz!

 

You can always catch Gary Alan on the radio every Sunday from 5 to 6 pm, and this Sunday, you’ll get to catch us both! That’s some pretty exciting news and something that you won’t want to miss out on.

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Could Mental Illness be the Cause of your Divorce?

We now live in a world where divorces are a common event, and unfortunately, it occurs more now than it ever has before. You might think that your divorce was only caused by falling out of love or some conflict between the two of you that could never be resolved, and while these are common causes for divorce, you might be interested to hear that it could have all been influenced by you or your partner’s mental health state.

 

At some point in our lives, we all face difficult times. Stress can cause lots of problems in all areas of your life, and that includes your marriage. It can bring on mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. Any one of those things can make you foggy-headed and irritable, making it more difficult to communicate the issues that you’re facing. When this happens, you might find yourself getting upset and arguing with your spouse more and more often. Regardless of whether it is you, your spouse, or both that is struggling, it’s no doubt that when stress levels are high, the tension between others grows more too.

 

Sometimes though, we later find out that the mental health issues were not caused by stress or trauma alone, but by a personality disorder such as narcissism or borderline personality disorder. Being married to someone with those kinds of mental health issues can be a real and constant challenge.

 

If you are the one suffering from any sort of mental health issues, the best thing to do is to try to get some professional help. It can be hard for your spouse to have to handle everything all on their own, and they shouldn’t have to.

 

If you are the one supporting a spouse that is struggling, just remember to be calm, patient, and understanding with them, but do not accept any sort of abuse. Your partner is likely going through some difficult stuff and could use all the support that they can get. Give them your shoulder to lean on, but don’t let them drag you down either.

 

If both of you are dealing with stressful situations or have experienced trauma together, you might want to consider getting couples therapy or marriage counseling. It can be difficult to be a support for someone else when you need lots of support too, and marriage counseling can go a long way in ensuring that there is proper communication going on about each other’s needs.

 

If you have suffered through a divorce that was caused by mental illness, regardless of whether it was you, them, or the both of you that were going through a rough time, just know that it is not your fault.

 

A lot of things can happen to you in this life that you have no control over. But you can control how you deal with it. There are a lot of things that you alone simply cannot fix, and it is important that you don’t dwell on those things. Instead, focus on yourself. Your only responsibility now is to focus on growing stronger and getting better. You are strong and capable of achieving anything you set your mind to!

Setting Boundaries with PTSD

When it comes to overcoming PTSD, setting boundaries is a crucial part of your recovery. There are many different kinds of boundaries that you might need to set, and these are going to depend on your own personal needs and preferences. The most important thing to remember when setting any sort of boundaries is that you need to be practicing open and honest communication. If you know that certain places and things are going to trigger you, everyone else around you might not. Communicating these things to them can go a long way in helping you, and helping them to help you.

 

If you’re in therapy, you might find yourself feeling uncomfortable with the things that your therapist wants you to talk about. Or, if you’re doing exposure therapy, your therapist might be moving you along too quickly.  If either of these is the case, it’s perfectly okay to tell them that you’re not ready to go there yet. Communicating this to them can help them to know where you are in your progress, and help you to go at a pace that works for you. After all, no one knows yourself better than you do, and that includes your therapist.

 

Another boundary to remember when taking therapy is that your relationship with your therapist should remain friendly, yet professional. Thinking that you have feelings for someone who you share private details of your life with can be an easy thing to do, and can even be a normal outcome. But acting on these feelings is not, and keeping things purely professional is a strict boundary that you should always keep with your therapist.

 

You should also consider setting boundaries with your family and friends. Again, communication is really important here. The people that you have in your life might not know your trigger points, and they can only have an idea if you tell them. Sometimes this is difficult to do because you don’t want to have to admit weaknesses to them, or you don’t want to seem like a burden. Your triggers are not weaknesses, and telling your loved ones can actually help them to help you.

 

It also helps if they know more about PTSD. Sometimes, friends and family can make things worse without meaning to. If they don’t realize the seriousness of what you’re asking them, they might think that overstepping your boundaries is a harmless game. You can help to educate them by giving them informational pamphlets or even inviting them to one of your therapy sessions.

 

If someone you know violates the boundaries that you set, it’s also important to enforce them. Set consequences and let them know what those consequences are. Stop spending time with those that don’t respect your boundaries or that make you feel less than you really are. Instead, hang out with those that support you and help lift you up. This will help you develop into a stronger person and lead you on your way to healing from your PTSD.

Why Narcissists Hurt Their Loved Ones

Dealing with a narcissist can be a really difficult thing to do, especially when it is someone you are close to. Many times, you don’t realize that you have gotten yourself into a relationship with a narcissist until much later as things continue to get worse and worse, and they begin abusing you. In fact, they might not even act narcissistic at the beginning of the relationship.

Narcissists are predictable people, as they usually follow the same patterns of behavior. There are three stages of a relationship with a narcissist:

  1. Falling head over heels for you – In the beginning, the narcissist will want to do everything in their power to try to win you over because they want you. They believe you are the best thing to ever happen to them, and there’s no way you could ever let them down. You are the perfect person for them, and they want to show you by showering you with affection and gifts.
  2. Trying to fix you – Unfortunately though, the head over heels phase won’t last, and they’ll soon find flaws in you. They’ll start pointing them out and insist that you start changing them in order to make them satisfied. No matter how much you do to try to please them, it seems like it’s just never enough.
  3. Pure abuse – Soon, you’ll find yourself in the pure abuse phase, where life for you is miserable. The narcissist never has anything nice to say about you, and not only will they criticize you, but they will do it in public and around friends and family.

So why do narcissists always end up turning their relationships into nightmares this way? Wouldn’t they eventually learn that everyone has certain flaws that should be expected and accepted? Wouldn’t they soon be able to figure out that criticizing and putting their partner down is not a constructive way of handling conflicts?

As it turns out, there are two big character traits that those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder carry and these traits are responsible for the narcissist’s way of acting.

  1. Narcissists have no emotional empathy. Empathy allows us to feel and understand what another person is feeling. It is the thing that helps up to hold out tongues and think before speaking because we know that what we’re about to say could hurt them. We know this because we can imagine what it’s like to be in the other person’s shoes, then picture how we would feel if the same thing were said to us. Narcissists can’t and won’t do this. Even if a narcissist is able to intellectually understand that they might be hurting the other person, they don’t care because they are not personally hurt by it.
  2. Narcissists don’t have “whole object relations” or “emotional constancy”. This means that they think in extremes in terms of whether a person is good or bad. This is why at the beginning of relationships, a narcissist falls so hard and genuinely believes that person is perfection, but soon turns on them once they realize they have normal human flaws. Then, they can only think of them in horrible ways and are unable to see the good in them. This is where “emotional constancy” comes in, and it is when the narcissist is unable to maintain an emotional connection or good feelings about their partner when they fight or get upset with them.

The behaviors of a narcissist can sometimes seem like they don’t make sense and are completely unpredictable. But when you look at the bigger picture, you’ll find that there is usually a reason behind it all, and narcissists repeat patterns of behavior.

 

PTSD In Partnerships

Dealing with PTSD can be really difficult, but not just for the one with the diagnosis. If one person has it, it can cause friends and family to struggle too – just in a different way. If you are dating someone who has PTSD, you know that it can cause some tension in the relationship. This is especially true for people who suffer from Complex PTSD.

 

Complex PTSD (C-PTSD)  is very similar to normal PTSD, except the victim is unable to escape the stressful environment that is causing it. With time, people that suffer from normal PTSD can learn to cope with the event in the past and overcome the fears that arose from it. But with C-PTSD, there is no break from the event to give the sufferer any relief or time to heal.

 

Your partner having PTSD could be something you’re just now finding out about as you go further into the relationship. This can be upsetting and hard to deal with, especially if you feel that it is something that they have tried to keep from you. But remember that them admitting their weaknesses to you is a big sign of trust from them, regardless of how long it took them to come to you about it. For those that suffer from PTSD, problems like trust issues, anxiety, and paranoia are all part of the disorder, so the thing that they need most from you is your loving support and understanding.

 

The PTSD diagnosis could have also been given to your significant other during your relationship. If this is the case, remember that this is all scary, if not scarier, news for the sufferer than it is for you. Go to them with open arms, but also remember to give them the space they need too.

 

PTSD can be the root cause of many relationship problems, as it can make the sufferer feel less understood, which can fuel unnecessary arguments. Many PTSD sufferers also experience emotional outbursts, as they are unable to keep their emotions in check. Sometimes, these bursts are taken out on the person nearest to them. That person tends to be their significant other, which can cause even more fights. More fights can mean more time apart and even isolation from each other, causing a downfall in the relationship.

 

At least with normal PTSD, there is some hope that by getting proper treatment, the relationship can be restored and the two of you can go back to being normal and happy again. But when your partner suffers from C-PTSD, it can feel as though there isn’t an end in sight. Your partner likely feels hopeless and worthless, and understanding this can go a long way in keeping a relationship alive. Try to practice open communication, and always be there to offer support and motivation. Encourage them to seek help, and maybe even try couple’s therapy if you feel that things are just getting to be too much. Remind them that the pain is only temporary, and whatever is causing their C-PTSD is bound to be put to an end eventually.

How to Identify and Stop a Narcissist BEFORE They Trap You

If you’ve just gotten out of an abusive relationship with a narcissist, it can be hard to begin dating again, for fear that you might end up in yet another abusive relationship. What if you find yourself repeating the same patterns and being with a narcissist once again? After all, if you were with a narcissist before, you might have just the right personality that attracts them. They thrive off of those that they can take advantage of and control. They like those that are all too giving and completely willing to put others first.

 

So here are a few things that you can do to avoid repeating those mistakes:

 

Choose Your Relationships Wisely

Don’t let yourself fall head over heels for someone without feeling them out first. Keep your distance when beginning new relationships, and really try to measure out their words against their actions. If they stay true to their words, there shouldn’t be much to worry about. But if they are constantly making empty promises, that could certainly be a red flag. If they seem to always be in competition with you to try to get the upper hand instead of accepting you as their equal, that is another big warning sign.

 

Expect Failures and Disappointments

This might sound a little harsh at first, but you should never let yourself get your hopes up with someone who you suspect is a narcissist. Don’t let yourself get sucked into their persuasive words and charm. Doing so only gives them more power over your emotions and well-being. Instead, have a backup plan for when they don’t follow through on their word.

 

Avoid Trying to  “Fix” Them

A narcissist can’t be helped, especially if they don’t want to be. They can even thrive off of the arguing and frustration that it can bring out in you when you find that you can’t save them. They know that in this way, they can get under your skin, and that gives them even more power. Instead, the best thing to do is to keep your distance, maintain your own personal boundaries, and even cut them loose completely.

 

Practice Mindful and Effective Communication

Good communication can go a long way in solving many problems. Most narcissists are likely acting from their wounds, and having an understanding of this could help you in how you deal with them. Regardless though, you must be assertive and not give them any opportunities to run you over. Learning to say no is very important, and if a narcissist does not respect your answers or wishes, let them know that there will be consequences, and follow through on them.

 

Narcissists are not fun people to have in your relationship circle, but sometimes it’s hard to not fall for their tricks. Luckily, there are ways to identify a narcissist before they are able trap you. Keeping a good distance from those you’re unsure about, expecting failures, maintaining boundaries, and practicing good, solid communication are all great ways to help avoid being sucked in by another narcissist.

Why do Narcissists Discard Good Supply?

If you know a narcissist, you know that they can be difficult to understand, due to their volatile personality. They tend to go from one extreme to another pretty quickly, and this can make it hard to keep up with them. In one of my last blogs, we talked about how and why narcissists act superior – why they think they are better and deserve better than everyone one else around them. But this act that they put on actually stems from low self esteem and a dependency on needing constant validation to make them feel better about themselves.

 

And they feed off of you to get that validation.

 

So if a narcissist needs you to help them feel that they are actually worth something, why would they want to then discard you? You are a good supply, and you give them everything they need to thrive, so even when you are giving them everything they want and ask for, why do they still want to destroy you and scare you away?

 

The answer is simple. They are out to destroy. Narcissists don’t know love or trust, so they see people as objects and tools. This makes you seem dispensable to them, and they know that they can find someone else to take advantage of.

 

The longer the narcissist is with someone, the more easily they are able to find flaws in them. These flaws make them feel better about themselves, which boosts their ego, making them think that they deserve someone even better – someone with fewer flaws.

 

It’s a vicious cycle for the narcissist, and no matter how great you are, you can never fully please them.