Welcome, I'm glad you are here!

My name is Angela. I am the founder and managing partner of a consulting and research company based in the D.C. Metropolitan area. I have extensive research experience and has published articles in the World Bank Policy Working Paper Series and academic journals, such as Development Policy Review.

 

I am certified in brain health, hold a Master's in Public Policy and Public Administration from Northwestern University (Chicago), and a B.A. from Georgetown University (Washington, DC).

My latest publication:


Why Mindful Matters Institute?

 

I created this page to offer validation and clarity on the complex subject of narcissistic family dynamics. 

 

A few years ago, I discovered that my parents (both) were narcissists. The covert type (not so easy to figure them out).

 

My parents have always been popular with their friends and family members. In front of others they act so lovely and so caring. But, once you dig in, behind closed doors, their true personalities come to the surface. Their masks fall off.

 

How did I find out that my parents were narcissists?

 

My husband got a diplomatic assignment, and as a result, I moved abroad for three years. And, boy oh boy, during that time, the mental warfare waged against me became full steam.

 

My parents used fear campaigns to make me want to come back to the USA as soon as possible (even though they knew my stay abroad - in Europe by the way - was a great opportunity and was temporary).

 

The positive side of this story was that I began noticing back then that something was off. 

 

When I returned to the States, I didn't feel the same about them. But, still, I was not able to point out the reason.

 

Upon my return they expected me to fulfill the "social obligation" requirement of visiting them every week. The thing is that right before leaving my house and heading to theirs, my stomach would twirl and hurt, and my heart would start pounding as if I was being chased by a bear.

 

I dreaded visiting them.

 

Still, I thought it was my obligation to see them regularly. Since the motto of “family comes first, and parents are sacred” were at the root of my family's values, how couldn't I?

 

Did I mention that I had to mentally prepare myself, ahead of time, to respond to my parent's comments and derogatory statements?

 

My body knew and it could no longer be fooled as the signs of C-PTSD  came to the surface. I had difficulty falling asleep and was hyper-vigilant all the time. As soon as I woke up every morning, I felt helpless and without energy. 

 

My body was screaming at me, "Enough is enough." And I wasn't paying attention.

 

Finally, by God's mercy, I found out: my parents were narcissists.

 

I began studying the subject, and they fit every narcissistic personality disorder description. Studying narcissism brought back countless memories of the mental (emotional and psychological), verbal, and physical abuse I endured during childhood.

 

I then embarked on a healing journey. 

 

I was determined to do something radical. Otherwise, sooner than later, my health was going to crumble. 

 

It has been challenging. But, totally worth it. 

 

By studying the subject and patiently practicing the teachings of people who have also gone through narcissistic abuse, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

I regained my vitality. I regained my life. 

 

My dear friend, it is a complex process, particularly for someone coming out from a family with a robust religious background like mine. It is hard because there are moments of sadness thinking about what it should have been. But the cruel reality is that narcissistic parents never have your best interest at heart.

 

It is a complex process because you have to fight through the feelings of FOG (Fear, Obligation, and Guilt). 

A Healing Journey

 

This is what I did:

 

I studied and learned about narcissistic abuse.

 

I practiced journaling and uncovered paradigms.

 

I paid attention to what triggered me and used that to deconstruct all false beliefs and defense mechanisms I formed due to mental (emotional and psychological) abuse.

 

I regularly meditate and do somatic and breath work to teach my body that it is safe now.

 

If your parents or any of your parents are narcissists, you need to identify different defense mechanisms like denial or repression you have used since childhood. Also, becoming aware of and addressing maladaptive coping techniques like codependency, people-pleasing, and procrastination that lead to self-sabotage is vital for healing.

 

When I realized my parents were narcissists, I thought it was too late to recover and find myself.

 

But here is the thing:

 

Once you take ownership and dedicate time to rebuild yourself, you will feel like you have regained your power and life. It takes persistence, self-compassion, and patience.

 

Now I can recognize faster when someone attempts to gaslight me (twist reality).

 

When I feel triggered, I have discovered some methods to regulate my nervous system.

 

With self-awareness and mindfulness, I have learned to recognize and disarm my "buttons" (those things that trigger me and make me react). So, I am not at the mercy of other people's emotional agenda.

 

It is not too late.

It takes practice and commitment. But I can tell you it is totally worth it.

 

You got this!

 

Love,

 

Angela