“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
That’s the truth. You may have noticed throughout your life experience that, sometimes, we come in contact with valuable information that goes unnoticed or misunderstood. You go on your merry way and acquire more life experience. One day, you come across the exact same information you had originally ignored and, suddenly, it makes sense and becomes relevant.
Most of us have also experienced the other side of this coin, when we have the knowledge of something that we know is relevant to someone else and could greatly improve their lives, but no amount of reasoning or explanation is enough to help them grasp what you’re trying to say.
It happens even to children, in shorter time spans, when we warn them about something, they ignore us and do it anyway, only to learn from experience that they made a poor choice and you were right all along.
Timing, it seems, plays an important role in how we learn and evolve. There is no learning without readiness.
I’ll take this opportunity to go on an intentional tangent here, as it’s very pertinent to the subject of matter and too important to skip. Bear with me, we’ll go back to our feature presentation after this important announcement…
The narcissist is playing a different game than the rest of us. If we think about the saying that states that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, we start to understand how dysfunctional the narcissistic functioning really is. While even small children will never again try to eat the whole cute little green ball of wasabi after doing it the first time around, the adult narcissist will loop in his or her cycle of abuse indefinitely, collecting negative result after disastrous result and never learning from any of them.
Whether they sell that result to people as them having been victimized or, deep down, happen to grasp that this wasn’t the case at all and they’ve screwed up yet again, it’s still, theoretically, a negative result, even by their account. But no wisdom derives from this for the narcissist. Why? Because the student isn’t, and never will be, ready. In fact, there is no student. They don’t live in a paradigm that includes evolving as human beings. They live for supply, under a predatory paradigm and the only lessons they will ever spend energy developing, pertain to manipulation, abuse and covering up skills.
Many times I have described my struggles and frustrations about communicating with the narcissist by using the expression “pearls to pigs”. I know, it’s not the most delicate way to deliver an analogy, when you’re comparing a person to a pig, but I know for a fact other victims and survivors can deeply relate because it accurately translates the feelings we are left with. We feel like we are trying to communicate important and valuable concepts and the narcissist pretends not to get it, ignores it, or downright brushes it off, accusing you of being too “deep”, or talking “nonsense”. One survivor told me about how these attempts to reason, communicate and reach resolutions were frequently met with “You think you’re so f*****g smart, don’t you?”
Sigh… Double, triple sigh… Where do you go from there?
The only place to go is in the opposite direction, as fast as you can. This is gaslighting, no doubt, but before we are enlightened about the narcissistic nature of their approach and are still under the assumption that we are dealing with a normal person, this ranks highly among the most frustrating experiences you can have in a relationship, because it LOOKS like they lack the ability to understand basic concepts like trustworthiness, honesty, loyalty and respect. But that’s not the case at all and the joke is really on us, if you think about it. The narcissist is showing us his or her “wisdom” in the art of manipulation, and we simply don’t get it. We aren’t potential students for this art. As we’re trying to invoke enlightenment in them, they are desperately trying to instill confusion and frustration in us and who, consistently, wins this game? The cluster B. So, just be aware that this is the game you’re playing and the rules aren’t yours to make. In fact, there’s only one rule: no matter how it plays out, the narcissist or cluster B always wins.
Now, back to our feature presentation.
The rest of us, normal and empathetic individuals, are going through life actually trying to improve and become better people, learning from our experiences and mistakes. We actually invest significant time and energy in introspection, analyzing cause and effect, behaviors vs results. We all seem to identify choosing to be in a relationship with a cluster B individual as one of the biggest mistakes of our lives. We may understand we were manipulated into the madness, but the fact remains, it isn’t our brightest moment in life.
How do we end up in these situations? How many of you looked from the outside into someone else’s abusive situation and assumed that would never be you? I have certainly been that person to think I was immune to abuse. And boy, are we ever so wrong???
And so, you go through this terrifying experience, constantly rolling in a ball of confusion covered in filth, getting bigger, more confusing, frustrating, scarier and filthier with each passing day, until eventually, if we’re lucky, we stumble across the word “narcissist”. This is like hatching from the ball of horrors and seeing the light for the first time. This could happen while you’re still immersed in the relationship, covered in a pile of crazy-making nonsense up to your neck, or years after breaking free. But whatever the case may be, the healing process is one of hatching, washing off the filth (bleach comes to mind… if only it were that simple…) and realizing you can stand up and walk on your own two feet, instead of being pushed around, flipped upside down and turned inside out in that surreal smoke and mirrors filled chamber.
In this day and age, we’re likely to find that information online. YouTube ends up being a popular destination for this information, as we hold a tightly tangled up collection of wires and try to make sense of it by pulling out one string at a time.
What exactly is NPD – narcissistic personality disorder? Is my current or ex partner (or mother, coworker, etc) really a narcissist? Why did I go into this relationship? Why did I stay? What was that particular experience all about? Will I ever find myself again? Will I ever trust again? We have questions coming out of our ears, the answers are out there and it can feel both overwhelming and satisfying to find them.
But where are you finding your information? What are you watching? What are you reading? Do you find that sometimes you either can’t relate to or understand the information being shared?
"The teacher appears when the student is ready".
Each stage of the healing process is different. Sometimes we need validation, understanding, relating, compassion, empathy, nurturing. Other times we need guidance in the direction of moving past our current stage, being honest with ourselves. A reality check, a jolt out of victimization and into survivor state. Owning our vulnerabilities, shortcomings, deficiencies, childhood scars, past. And having discernment to choose what we watch and read, wisely assessing our readiness as students, improves the likelihood we will learn from the most beneficial teachers at each particular stage.
This is when communication styles and healing come together. Let’s talk about some of the most well-known YouTubers with channels dedicated to the topic of narcissistic or cluster B related abuse. Most of us are familiar with these channels, but I’d like to share my perception of each style in benefit of people who are new to this and may feel lost and overwhelmed.
These are my personal opinions and listed in the order I have found them.
Medcircle – Dr. Ramani
Medcircle is a website and Youtube channel featuring videos with specialists in mental health. This was my first contact with the explanation of narcissism. In interview style, Dr. Ramani talks about different mental health issues, in a professional and factual manner that many will appreciate. The video below contains an overall explanation of narcissism and, while it addresses more subjective examples to illustrate it, it can be a good starting point as an overview. At the date of my writing this post, MedCircle is just launching an entire series on narcissism with Dr. Ramani that I would like to encourage people to explore. You can find the first video in this series here. This is the channel for people who need insight from a clinical perspective, at any stage of their education on the subject. It won’t be the “conversational, youtuber style” approach and may lack the often helpful personal experience examples we can easier relate to, but it offers a very interesting professional perspective, delivered by someone with the knowledge and credentials to back it up. Dr. Ramani can also be found at her own channel if you enjoy her explanations, but are looking for more conversational videos.
Meredith Miller – Inner Integration
Meredith is a coach, speaker and author – and also a survivor of decades of narcissistic abuse. With expertise acquired through extensive training in holistic healing, Meredith delivers a wealth of information through easy to understand explanations. She communicates in a clean and clear style, achieving a well balanced combination of empathy-driven comments, concepts explained in depth and an honest approach to the realities of narcissistic abuse. She speaks in a calm and steady pace, which helps the viewer gradually take in and process the information. A lot of her videos are long and thorough. Her channel offers videos for any stage, from awakening to the abuse through thriving after it. In fact, her tagline reads “Bridging the gap between trauma & purpose”. Meredith also offers paid services through her website, to include group coaching and courses on specific subjects. I find it impossible that anyone, at any stage of learning and healing, wouldn’t find something of value in her channel. A must watch and follow for victims and survivors. The video below is a good representation of her overall style, depth of knowledge and ability to explain more complex concepts in a very digestible way. It is also a very accurate and validating breakdown of what being inserted in a narcissistic family looks like, something I personally dealt with as a result of my relationship with an abusive individual, and always found difficult to explain to others.
Angie Atkinson – Queenbeeing.com
Angie is a life coach with personal experience with narcissistic people. Her channel has a very unique,colorful and upbeat look and feel, in what seems to be a reflection of her engaging personality. She delivers her points through well dosed sarcasm, well constructed arguments, and factual information. Her distinctive personality comes through in all of her videos, defining the overall tone of this channel with the tagline: “to help you discover, understand and overcome narcissistic abuse”. This tagline is all encompassing and a true reflection of the channel as a whole, as Angie covers a multitude of aspects. Angie also teams up with other channel owners and experts, in collaborative videos and live Q&As, giving viewers an opportunity to get answers and different points of view to specific questions. This is one channel you don’t want to skip, due to the variety of subtopics covered. It was through Angie’s channel that I, personally, was able to better integrate and make sense of the conceptual definitions related to narcissism and how they play out in real life. If you are at the stage where you suspect you are, or have been, in a relationship with a narcissist, but feel like there are still loose ends between the classic definitions and what you personally experienced, then Angie Atkinson’s channel will most definitely help you connect the dots.
Thrive After Abuse (Dana)
Dana is a survivor of two different narcissistic partners and, like other survivors, decided to help others and share her story through her website and YouTube channel. Much like Angie Atkinson, Dana teams up with other YouTubers in collaborative videos. In fact, the two of them host periodic Q&A live shows together. Collaboration, as a general concept, is what seems to set the tone in her channel; she speaks from personal experience and acquired knowledge, that she shares with viewers while also inviting others to do the same. Watching Dana feels like you’re listening to a close friend tell a story. Some of the interesting facts Dana brings to the table are that 1) prior to the abusive situations she’s been in, she had actually worked directly with abuse related cases in the health/medical field, which should have made her an unlikely victim – however, it happened to her regardless, not only once, but twice; and 2) she didn’t experience physical abuse, so her explanations on the damaging effects of emotional and psychological manipulation alone, are very validating to people who deal or have dealt with relatable circumstances. Dana is very thorough in her explanations and perspectives, she’s both engaged and engaging and comes across as genuinely kind. The overwhelming majority of her most recent videos are live streams and that can be either very interesting as well as off-putting, depending on what you are looking for. I do enjoy them but personally would prefer to see a combination of live shows and the format she used in her older videos. Whatever the case may be, victims and survivors find mutual support through her channel and website, both of which are worth looking into. The video below is part of a series called “Red Flags of a Narcissist” and will be very validating to people who had a covert or malignant narcissist in their lives, since they don’t come across as the lamen mainstream perception of the word “narcissism”, but rather, sometimes as wonderful people to the outside world, while being abusive and destructive in private. Go check Dana’s channel for the complete series.
Michelle Lie Nieves – From Surviving to Thriving
The most noticeable quality of this channel, for me, is how relatable Michelle is and how approachable she comes across. She is a mom and survivor of narcissistic parenting and marriage, so there’s no shortage of actual life examples in her channel. She has a nurturing style towards viewers, uses a slow to medium paced speech, in a calming and soothing tone of voice. This combination is very conducive to binge watching her videos if you’re interested and have the time for doing so. She also has a series in which she shares other victim’s stories, along with recorded arguments and conversations between victims and abusers. These can be very triggering, so use your own discretion, but they are also valuable in helping victims and survivors identify manipulative tactics through real-life examples. Michelle takes these recorded conversations apart, explaining what is likely going on in each section. There’s a lot of value to be found in her channel, and it’s one I would strongly recommend for people who share children with a narcissist and need practical advice.
Richard Grannon – Spartanlifecoach
Richard is a walking wealth of knowledge and experience, generously sharing his wisdom and unique insights through his YouTube channel. With a background in psychology and personal experience with narcissistic abuse, he doesn’t seem interested in sugar coating absolutely anything. In fact, quite the opposite. His delivery style is candid and more in your face, his explanations thorough, detailed and more complex in nature.
Therefore, his videos are particularly thought-provoking. And while there certainly is a place in his channel for explaining narcissistic behavior and abuse, you will find that he also puts a lot of focus on healing strategies and ownership of one’s life. He is absolutely brilliant in his insights and observations, all delivered in an unapologetic manner. You have to be ready as a student, for Richard to be an ideal match for you as a teacher, but when you reach that stage, his channel is one you don’t want to overlook. If you aren’t yet emotionally ready for his particular style, some points may seem to go right above your head. If this happens, go back to his channel after you’ve covered the basics of your situation and Richard will, no doubt, help you move to another level.
Kim Wilson – Kim Wilson TV
By far one of my favorite YouTube channels on the topic, Kim is someone who, while I can try to describe, I suggest you watch her for yourself to get the full effect. Kim is a survivor of a narcissistic partner, and has decided to share her story, support other victims and survivors and encourage them to connect with each other, creating a mutually supportive outlet for viewers. Kim stands out for her honest, candid, sarcastic and almost humorous style. Depending on your sense of humor, you may find yourself laughing out loud watching her videos – and this can be very refreshing at times. She has a particular way of instilling witty humor into this subject, without compromising its seriousness. She comes across as intelligent, empathetic, brave, very relatable, and driven by a purpose and determination to help other victims and survivors. Kim isn’t a professional in the area but has enough drive and discernment to turn the knowledge she acquired through personal experience and informal research into wisdom, delivering invaluable information with the serious potential to empower viewers. If you aren’t particularly fond of certain language styles, be warned: some of her videos (not all) may not be appropriate for watching if children are around. This shouldn’t pose an issue to adults, though, and if you’re looking for validation and empowerment, Kim Wilson TV is the place to go.
This is a channel I found more recently, so I’m not as familiar with it as the other ones. Videos on this channel don’t show the person behind it, as they are essentially podcasts adapted to video format. I wasn’t able to find any additional information on the website either. Regardless, this channel impressed me from my very first contact with it and continues to consistently amaze me, due to the well-spoken, articulate delivery style, unique perspectives, and depth of practical and philosophical understanding. The format can be a little offputting for some, as we can’t put a face to the voice (much as you probably experience here as well), but the wealth of information makes up for this and I think we can all understand the choice of anonymity after narcissistic abuse. One of my favorite videos on this channel is below; it’s very relevant for those of us who may have dealt with a Cluster B disordered individual that doesn’t necessarily fit the clinical definition to a T, but clearly acted in severely dysfunctional, toxic, destructive and abusive ways, causing extensive harm to our lives. It clarifies many of the misconceptions that tend to be widespread, but not always accurate.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a collection of channels that have been relevant to me, personally, in different stages and for different reasons. I’ll be reviewing other channels in the future, as there are many, many more that are worth watching. But for now, I hope this will be helpful to people who are just getting started on their education on narcissistic abuse.
Remember, coming to a significant understanding of your experience with an abusive narcissist, or any other cluster B individual, is a process that happens in layers. The more you learn, the more educated you become, the more aware you feel about where you are in the journey, and you may have to access different types of information and delivery styles to match and optimize your evolution. Take your time, take it at your own pace, stay safe, be brave and find your peace.