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Interview

Dr Linda Martinez-Lewi p3

The narcissism epidemic and how people can recover from the effects of a narcissist…

READERSVOICE.COM: Your book mentions how some people allow themselves to be used by narcissists, because they want to be in their orbit, and then are consumed by rage when they are discarded. Do most people eventually look at themselves and wonder why they associated with someone so parasitic in the first place, as suggested in your book, and move on, or do most keep obsessing about them?

DR LINDA MARTINEZ-LEWI: It takes a long time and a series of complex, painful ordeals for many individuals to identify and recognize that their mother, father, spouse or sibling(s) is a Narcissistic Personality. Growing up, children have to survive and part of this process is normalizing the psychopathology of the narcissist. Some adult children blame themselves for not being the impossibly perfect person the narcissistic parent demanded of them. Those married to narcissists are often repeating the childhood patterns of psychological denial of their unresolved traumas and deprivations. Many individuals have the insight to recognize the narcissist for whom he or she truly is. This is the beginning of healing and recovery.

RV: What’s the best way for people to come back after they’ve allowed a narcissist to manipulate them, and he’s broken their spirit, perhaps destroyed their reputation, and they’ve given up on dreams or careers?

LML: Returning to the true self with the full use of one’s creative gifts and energies is very possible in the aftermath of the narcissist. The most important step is putting oneself first. The development of a practice of self care includes getting sufficient quality sleep, downtime, exercise, some form of meditation or quieting the mind, gentle hatha yoga, the experience of nature, creating healing reciprocal relationships and making full use of your creative gifts.

RV: Would you describe certain styles of government or institutions as narcissistic, in that they see people as an extension of government, for example, to be used, rather than as individuals to serve; and how can people avoid having their identities subsumed by narcissistic institutions?

LML: At present there is a narcissistic epidemic that is integral to the corporate world, government and educational institutions. As we individuate and separate out of our families of origin we evolve as true selves who view things as they are and are not swayed by the delusion, inflated egotism and excessive greed of these false realities.

RV: Are humans evolving [or, should I have said, devolving] into narcissists, or will empathy win the day, which you promote in your book?

LML: There is a plethora of narcissists today who are rewarded extravagantly for their cruel self-absorbed, extreme self entitled, exploitive, non-empathic behaviors. Despite this, there are exceptional individuals who have deep insight and genuine empathy who are growing spiritually and psychologically and contributing their unique gifts and sharing what they have learned from their hero’s journey to inform, support and comfort others.

RV: Do you have any other books planned?

LML: I have written a book on healing and recovering after the narcissist that will be published soon. I am working on a third book on the Narcissistic Personality that focuses on the type that is deeply hidden and difficult to detect.

– See Dr Linda Martinez-Lewi’s website thenarcissistinyourlife.com.
– copyright Simon Sandall.