How Childhood Trauma Makes Us Susceptible to Narcissists

How Childhood Trauma Makes Us Susceptible to Narcissists


Over the years, so many people have asked me this: ‘Did my childhood have anything to do with me being narcissistically abused as an adult?’

You may have made the link between a painful childhood and sustaining narcissistic abuse as an adult. Maybe abuse is all you have ever known.

Or maybe there was something more subtle going on that made you susceptible to narcissists – without you even understanding what that could possibly be.

In today’s VERY IMPORTANT Thriver TV episode, I want to help you understand vital physiological truths about how your ability to deal with stresses was formed as a child; how this may have been compromised and what that has to do with sustaining trauma as an adult.

I know this is going to answer some very important questions for you – as well as allow you to learn how to heal for REAL from these fractures and traumas today.



Video Transcript

So many people ask me often, ‘Has my childhood contributed to me being narcissistically abused?’

The answerer is a resounding ‘Yes’.

Is it enough to know this to get out of the horrors of narcissistic abuse? It’s a starting point but not the complete answer. True healing and solution can only come from rectifying the traumatic emotional inner imprints of our childhood. Because then we can have a solid and healthy Inner Identity which is no longer susceptible to abuse.

Today, in this very important Thriver TV episode, you will understand how your childhood has set you up for abuse and also how to heal for real, even if healthy relationships, love and connection have never been modelled for you.

Okay, so before we get started I want to remind you that if you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.

Today there is so much I could cover, but I want to address the most important points. This is vital because I believe that we could spend decades in therapy without a result if we don’t just cut straight to the chase.

I have done episodes on narcissistic parenting before and I will share these resources with this video, but today I want to talk especially about our impaired emotional development as children and how this has lined us up for narcissistic abuse – as well as how to heal it for real.

Before I explain the trauma received in our childhoods, let’s just lay some foundational understandings about trauma.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is the inability to deal with a certain stressful situation, which causes feeling overwhelmed and powerless.

Trauma, in short, is not being able to process difficult emotions to completion and then enact the solution. This is when trauma is internalised and has a life of its own inside our brain and nervous systems. It impacts our emotions, our thinking and often every part of our life.

Please understand the trauma centres and functions of your brain that deal with stresses are in your right-brain section. Trauma is generated within your emotional and nervous systems centres and therefore is stored in and affects your body.

When we are in tune with our Beings, we know how true this is. What I mean by this is that when you receive a trigger relating to an unhealed trauma you feel the ‘pang’ in your body. It may be a heaviness, a feeling of butterflies in your stomach, a shock of ‘cold ice’ through your veins, or you may start sweating and shaking. All sorts of processes start firing off in your body, including the urge to flee, react into defences (fight) or even shut done where you literally can’t think, answer or even move (freeze).

These are all right brain, instinctual functions; survival mechanisms that fire up when wise, clear and ‘safe’ problem-solving centres within your nervous system and brain are not on-line.

Unresolved stresses become traumas.

Stresses occur in life and will always be a part of our everyday life, forever. Whether or not they take us down and out into trauma depends on how we deal with them. A life of CPTSD (Complicated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and anxiety and depression and powerlessness (victimhood) versus continually up-levelling ourselves and situations into more and more opportunity, growth and joy, evolution and greater interconnectedness with ourselves, life and others (powerful-ness).

The ability to do this depends on how healthily the emotional centres of our right brain and our nervous systems are functioning.

One of the gravest mistakes we can make regarding trying to regulate and manage our trauma is thinking that the answer is cognitive. It isn’t – in fact our left-brain logical functions can’t communicate with our right brain. They don’t help us process trauma through to completion and they don’t assist in developing these centres to deal with challenges and stresses effectively.

Truly, left-brain interception only invalidates and injures the right-side trauma centres even more – as you will discover later in this episode.

The Vital Understanding of What Trauma Does

Trauma is the culprit through and through.

If we have received trauma that has impacted us, it not only affects our brain and our entire nervous system, it also creates embedded belief systems that form our Inner Identity.

These traumatic beliefs become our reality and we can easily remain a victim to them – because they become self-fulfilling prophecies that keep us replaying the same traumatic patterns and disappointments over and over again, despite how hard we may try to avoid them. This is absolutely the case with narcissistic abuse when we find ourselves stuck in grave, and even life-threatening, trauma that is tearing us apart. Even though we know it is shocking and extremely bad for us we can feel powerless to let go.

Trauma does this – we feel like we have no voice or rights and that there is nobody dependable to step in and be the buffer, protect and help. We feel alone, isolated and confused.
Powerlessness takes over.

In our helplessness with trauma, the shame and guilt of not being able to cope is overwhelming; we don’t believe we are good enough or capable enough or strong enough to have a solution. Often we blame ourselves from the problems and stay connected to the narcissist, trying to fix things or be ‘better’ no matter what is happening to us. We feel defective and damaged and ‘wrong’.

This is why it’s important to understand what happened in your childhood to set you up for this and how it is not your fault. One of my greatest wishes for this TTV episode is to let you know that you are NOT defective, no matter how much you may feel like you are. What has happened to you is the ‘normal’ consequences of unconscious parenting, which sadly has been a product of parenting in our former generations. No-one taught anyone better!

Let’s have a look at what happened to us as children.

How Trauma Occurred as Children

Firstly, I want to start off by being very clear about one very important thing – this episode is in no way about blaming our parents. And I really mean that because no matter what they did and how they behaved, they were also a product of trauma – the way they were parented and the levels of trauma that preceded them in their families.

Once you understand this, you will realise how the feeling and emotional centres of our brain are formed and therefore appreciate the capacity each and every human being, including abusers, has in relation to relating to themselves, life and others.

Okay, let’s start right from the beginning – disappointments, challenges, and threats begin as a very small child.

These include being hungry and requiring food; hurting oneself or being scared and needing comfort; or feeling physically distressed and requiring restoration such as in the changing of a soiled diaper. Little children are completely codependent on a stable caregiver granting survival necessities as well as emotional comfort when in need.

If we have a present caregiver, who models safety and comfort for us, then the parts of our right-brain, which is the first side of our brain to develop when we are little, and our connected nervous systems can start to form healthily.

These are our emotional and social centres responsible for developing our beliefs about ourselves, our place in the world and other human beings. This healthy development is essential to having a solid and whole Core Identity.

I want you to understand that the ‘presence’ of a stable caregiver is imperative for the development of our right-brain emotional centres, so as to instil in us the vital ingredients of love, comfort and safety. This has to be ‘age appropriate’ to the child. We have to ‘feel’ the connection somatically in our Being for it to be real for us.

Logical action and provisions and purely ‘adult’ reactions do not translate to right-brain communication.

‘Come on snap out of it!’ to a small distressed child is never going to provide the comfort and healing that a heart-to-heart cuddle and soft cooing will. In fact, it is only going to compound the trauma of feeling ‘unsafe and unsupported’ even more.

To reach and soothe the compromised emotional centres, the input has to be things like caring physical touch and heartfelt words and sounds. Trauma is created from emotional sensory input that registers in the right brain, and the resolution can only come through the physical and emotional senses – the body being an effective way to deliver this.

I have had so many clients and NARP members over the years who, when I talk to them about the necessity to heal core trauma, say to me, ‘My parents were awesome, they always encouraged me and supported me in everything I wanted to do.’

My questions in response to this are, ‘Did they have time to just be with you, hold you in times of need, look you in the eyes and tell you how much they loved you? Could you confide in your parents and have them hear you and be there for you? Would they listen, allow you to be you and let you know how special you are?’

Yes, of course children need boundaries, to learn limits and how to handle disappointment, and to experience cause and effect (personal responsibility), but unless they know they are loved and valuable for who they are, then the emotional centres responsible for self-worth, self-love, self-value and resilience to challenges are seriously compromised.

I know your parents may have been terribly busy in survival mode, most of ours were, either practically or trying to deal with their own trauma. Could they be right-brain present with us so that our own right brain could develop properly?

Probably not.

Now, here’s the thing – right brain and nervous system centres begin forming when we are a foetus in utero. It is now scientifically proven that the mother’s emotional state and her ability to regulate her own emotions is a big contributor to how a child’s right brain centres start developing. If she is stressed without her own resources to integrate these stresses to completion, this directly compromises the child’s right-brain formation.

But the plot thickens and deepens even more, because the scientific study of epigenetics now tells us that the ability of certain genes to switch on or off is inherited. If we have come from ancestors who suffered trauma, then the parts of our right brain that could handle stress effectively for us may be shut down from birth. We may have over-formed, hyper-aroused centres and amygdalae, meaning rather than anchoring into our Core Identity to deal with stresses (which is the centre for our personal power), we will dissociate from our own Being, look outwards and get hooked into trying to control the uncontrollable (which is anything and anyone that is not us).

All of this brings in increased fractures within and without our lives – meaning more trauma and more traumatic events.

How Disassociation in Childhood Leads to Ongoing Trauma

If we didn’t have a functioning developed Core Identity (dependent on right brain and nervous system health), then we were carrying trauma after trauma because we had limited ability to integrate stresses to completion.

The biggest traumas to have impacted us as children were not the disappointments, frights, lack of safety or discomfort that we experienced – they were the traumas we experienced because a safe, functional caretaker did not show up to help us integrate these things back to calm and safety.

As children, we simply did not have the developed inner-resource centres to do this for ourselves, and therefore it became too traumatising to be ‘ourselves’, alone with these unresolved feelings inside of us – it was far too overwhelming. Then shame and guilt joined in, as well as self-blame for having painful emotions and possibly for causing angst or disruption to our parents for expressing them.

We learned it was wrong to feel. We disengaged from our bodies and from our emotions to survive. We checked out and zoned out – we self-medicated our feelings away with fantasy, distractions and even addictive and self-compulsive behaviours.

As we were growing up, rather than becoming more developed in our right brain, which is our connection and gateway to Self, Life, others and our Higher Power (True Source), we became more reliant on our left brain, which is not the master or healer of our right brain.

In fact, the left brain follows the body – it is ruled by the painful and fractured right brain beliefs we have about certain topics. Our left brain will agree with these beliefs and grant us all the excuses and justifications to bring these painful beliefs to fruition.

This is where the traumatic self-fulfilling prophecies that were established in childhood come into play. It’s so important to understand that trauma affects every part of the brain, both left and right.

Let’s say that when we were young no one was there for us to know in a right-brain way that we were supported and protected. We grew up believing ‘It’s up to me. No one is there for me.’ The result is that we will continually connect to people who we co-generate lack of support with – by rejecting any genuine support offered and trying fruitlessly to get it from people who are unavailable to give it.

Then we say, ‘See I’m right!’

Of course, all this is unconscious! Until we wake up and start healing and integrating and coming out of the self-generative trance, we believe that this is happening ‘to’ us rather than ‘through’ us.

The same goes for the traumatic beliefs about things like ‘People who are supposed to love me aren’t interested in me’. And even with tons of cognitive therapy and awareness of this, we may still connect with people who are ‘apparently’ recovering workaholics or who have been in therapy for previous adultery. We believe them to be healed, even though they still act out high-risk behaviours. And then we experience ‘being unimportant and discarded’ again.

The fuel to ‘be’ with people and situations who represents ongoing trauma comes from the right-brain, pre-programmed belief systems we established in our childhood which is then supplemented by the elaborate ideas and justifications that our left brain makes up to follow these beliefs – regardless of what we try to think and formulate.

This all happens because we are not healed and integrated or anchored to inner core truths and values in our body. We are dissociative. We are not yet safe to ‘be’ in our body.

Until we resolve our core trauma through our nervous systems, cells in our body and our right brain, and are able to be self-partnered in our body, this is the sad reality and the prison that we can be continually stuck in – and understandably it makes our trauma pile even bigger.

It makes it even harder to ‘be’ with ourselves – present in real time, in our own Being. We disassociate even more – to the point where we may not be able to feel anything except the rushes of our trauma, which are possibly now being triggered off randomly and continually within us.

This is exactly what Complicated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is. We may believe it is to do with what has happened to us, however, the truth about this chronic reoccurring and ever-constant unsafe feeling is that we are NOT home within.

When we aren’t self-partnered, we are not in touch with Who We Are or what is or isn’t healthy for us. We don’t have access to our True Self power – we are a Being without a compass or rudder being tossed around mercilessly by Life.

This makes us highly susceptible to narcissists – beings who are highly exploitative, manipulative and pathological who pretend to be the person we need for us to feel safe and loved while using our disconnection with ourselves to mine our energy, life-force and resources.

When we awaken, we realise that the answer to all of this is NOT to try to control, research and monitor things and people outside of us or to keep believing and fuelling the self-fulfilling prophecies that our emotional centres keep playing out incredibly convincingly. The only remedy comes from waking up to the truth and turning inwards to do the necessary inner work to repair – where it needs it be repaired – at our Core.

The True Solution to Our Childhood Trauma and Ongoing Adult Trauma

Have I explained to you enough that the issue, the seat of this, is to do with your right-brain and nervous system?

I hope so, because this is where so many people go horribly wrong – trying to heal and restore themselves with left-brain tactics.

Your healing is going to be no more effective with research, cognitive therapy, investigating and learning, than your right-brain development was as a child when being told to ‘Snap out of it!’

I have found that the solution is turning inwards to your feelings, connecting with your Inner Self, experiencing shifts of trauma releasing, which are performed through direct visualisation, and then somatically feeling the subsequent healing.

These are all strategies that communicate with your right brain and nervous system, and start releasing the fractures and healing these centres back to wholeness.

The greatest minds in neuroscience and trauma recovery now understand that bodywork is key – that it’s through movement, feeling adaptation and sensory input that the right brain shifts, releases and integrates trauma so that people can finally feel resolved, safe and at home in their bodies.

Speaking from total personal experience – the entire success of our life is about being safe and whole in our own body. Without that we are constantly in trauma trying to survive ourselves, life and others.

I’ve lived both ways and I promise you the difference between them is heaven and hell.

Your greatest mission to get your life right is to be whole in your body. Everything else will come from there.

The startling thing that completely astounded me when I started healing myself from the inside out – at my Core Identity – was that I didn’t have to try to learn how to manage my trauma anymore. It was simply gone. I also didn’t have to learn how to be different for my life to work, or even how to love and accept myself.

When I effectively released trauma from within, these things organically came on line without me trying to learn anything.

This was a far cry from my previous belief that the best I could ever expect after a complete adrenal and psychotic breakdown (due to extreme trauma overload) was a lifetime of ongoing therapy and drugs to try to survive and manage my trauma.

Until Quanta Freedom Healing, which I developed as my right-brain/nervous system super-healing tool, I hadn’t realised the incredible Higher Power organism that we are and the ability we have to repair ourselves when we release our trauma and fill where it was with Source, through specific visualisations that evoke specific feelings.

I didn’t realise that we have the power to simply come back on-line and re-member and be-come Who We Already Are.

This is where science and spirituality come together as a powerhouse of healing. When you work with the physiological facts as well as enlist a Higher Power that can heal what we logically can’t and connect to it in a somatic, right-brain way, everything heals and becomes more whole than you have ever known it to be.

The new science of epigenetics teaches us this: if we change the environment, which is ourselves, then we can completely change our genes and our life – beyond recognition.

This is what I’m talking about – and what myself and so many people in this community are living. You need to know, to heal your right brain effectively you can’t just keep reading articles or watching YouTube; you have to start the real inner healing work.

And I’d love you to let me show you how, gently, safely and powerfully, by clicking this link.

I really hope this episode has helped you.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

And, as always, I am so looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.