There is no shortage of resources available online for narcissistic abuse survivors. Our stories are the most powerful contributions to the resources available, as they validate that we are not alone.
Beyond the personal stories and blogs, however, there are thousands of other resources across the Internet about narcissists and narcissistic abuse. It can feel rare when something unique comes along that brings a new idea or perspective to the table.
From my perspective, the more new ideas and perspectives we are exposed to, the more that may help us leave our relationships and heal from them when the outside world still does not even understand or recognize narcissistic abuse and have the tools to help us do these things.
I’d like to introduce “Chad.” He has been offering some rather unique opportunities and resources to survivors by combining his own perspective as a survivor with his creativity and talent.
But I’ll just let him tell you more about it.
Q. You are the creator of a fabulously-titled podcast called “Narcissist Apocalypse.” How would you describe the general focus of the podcast?
The general focus is for the podcast to be like a support group where every week it’s someone else’s turn to tell their story. So within their story, these days we do our best to hammer home a few big themes per episode. Sometimes a guest had lots of proactive discrediting of their character to others, as well as to themselves at the onset, so we do our best to keep that theme running throughout the story.
We do our best to discuss feelings while this is also going on, so people feel less alone, and then we discuss healing and everyone is in different stages. But listening to all different stages of healing is helpful.
Q. Who do you think would enjoy or could benefit from listening to it?
It’s for people in all different stages of healing from narcissistic abuse and domestic violence. But also, therapists and lawyers who specialize in this type of abuse would gain a lot of insight from it as well.
I think a hardcore True Crime fan might find the show interesting because they’ll get to listen to first-hand accounts about how Conpeople are able to knock down a person’s boundaries and have free reign to wreak havoc on their lives.
Sometimes it’s unconscious and sometimes it’s very calculated. But make no mistake, a crime is being perpetuated.
Sometimes it’s unconscious and sometimes it’s very calculated. But make no mistake, a crime is being perpetuated. Some cons are short, some cons are long. Some are showing you their cards and don’t care, some are masterful at sleight of hand and you won’t know what hit you until it’s over.
Q. How long has the podcast been around?
I started it in February of 2019, but I didn’t stick to the only survivor story format until April and that’s when I started a regular weekly schedule.
Q. Tell me more about the background of the podcast and what motivates you. How did you come up with the idea for the podcast?
The podcast was an accident. HA!
I had a phobia website where I’d post creative blogs on different mental health topics. But all my phobia profiles brought in my traffic. I had over 500 of them. Then one day, Google updated their algorithim and they deemed me fake news and I lost 95% of my traffic in a day. It was pretty devastating. It took me a couple of months to fully comprehend that the traffic was never coming back. Once that did happen, I will not lie, I cried.
Then I looked at my blogs and said “What’s the best thing you made?” And in my opinion, it was a blog called ‘The Narcissist Combat Handbook’ and it was written from the perspective of a 35 year old man-child who was beaten down by narcissists his whole life and he finally found his way back to share his knowledge with the world. It was fiction but yet it was all based on my real emotions from my own life experience.
So I set out to write the most unusual self-help humor book about narcissism. I renamed it ‘How To Survive The Narcissist Apocalypse’ and my right hand just took over. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Two months later, I had a first draft.
Then as I was starting to edit, I said, I don’t have an audience to sell this to, so I started this podcast. Originally it was as my character, which is why I use the name Chad. And why the first episode is so weird. On that episode, I did interview with my friend about her relationship and it became partly serious, and a few weeks later I got an email from someone that said the episode helped them and that I should continue interviewing people.
So I went on a search for a second guest and his name was Elliott. We had differnt stories, but he also grew up in a dysfunctional home and talking to him was quite cathartic. I really enjoyed talking to him and I knew this was the right path.
So I put out a feeler on Instagram for another guest…..and BOOM! People from all over the world emailed me. I knew right there that I was on a ride and this was just the beginning. I just had a feeling. I take my role very seriously.
I create a safe space for people to tell their story and feel validated or heard for perhaps the first time in their lives.
I create a safe space for people to tell their story and feel validated or heard for perhaps the first time in their lives. I know how big that was for me. The day a stranger validated me, was the greatest day of my life.
And now I get to do it for others. It might seem small, but being heard or seen for the first time by someone who can see what you’re seeing too, there’s no words to describe the feeling.
Q. What types of things do you talk about on the podcast? What are some of the topics you’ve covered?
As my views change, the podcast changes. We always interview a survivor of abuse, but these days, when it comes to narcissistic abuse romance, I like to focus on the true crime aspect of it all. I believe there are 3 Acts. Act 1 is trust building. Act 2 is boundary testing, devaluing, and creating control aka The Fog (fear, obligation, and guilt). Act 3 is brazen acts and the end.
I feel through the power of story, we can show how a person was psychologicaly broken down. So we point out different tactics that are used, based on the weaknesses in your boundary fence that the narcissist has discovered. I started showing it this way for two reasons.
First, to show the survivor that it wasn’t them, so they’d feel less shame and guilt, especially for those who stayed for a long time. I think if you understand how you were broken down, that you had no chance. Literally, the other person had a blue print of what to do. In my opinion, by understanding this, it’s easier to start the recovery process and move forward.
And second, I do it this way to show people why survivors of abuse stay. It really bugs me when someone says ‘why can’t they just leave?’ So I want to show them why. It’s part true crime, but the abusers also get you hooked on them as if they were drugs, and now you’re a drug addict. So it’s also kinda an addiction podcast too in that sense.
Q. You’re a survivor of narcissistic abuse. Can you share a little about your experience with other survivors who may be reading? How long ago was it?
I have experience with family as well as relationship.
I grew up in a dysfunctional home. I knew at a very young age that my older brother had issues, but nothing was ever done. He had a horrible temper and he was feared. He was also a thief. When I was 10 and he was 12, he impersonated me, went to the bank and took all the money I saved from my paper route. This happened again two years later.
He never got grounded. Never faced any consequences. In fact, he got a car when he was 16. Nothing I owned was ever mine. I had to have it on lockdown or it could be sold or stolen. I had absentee parents when it came to being protected by him. It’s a long story. But I was taught at a young age that my voice didn’t matter, how to let things slide, and let people abuse me.
It was inevitable that I’d date a terrible person and I eventually did. We were friends for a long time first and a trust was built. I saw how this person operated and I knew starting a romantic relationship was a bad idea, but I was already hooked.
To make a long story short, as soon as I started putting up a stink, and she got a whole new set of friends, I could see the writing on the wall. I could see everything. I could see how I was being used. I realized nothing was real. That I was a stepping stone.
That’s not to say that moments weren’t real, but I believe that her motives were just filling her needs, and in a sense, mine were irrelevant. It didn’t matter if it was me or someone else in my spot. I was a supply. A fix. And I was used up until she found a better batch.
And when it ended, it was just all so disrespectful. That’s when the pain of it came in. I went from relief to pain when I realized that this person never respected me as a human being at all.
That’s what people don’t understand who have never been through it. Someone who you trusted and had all these great times with, never gave an ounce of respect to you when it came down to it. It’s a lot to mentally wrap your head around.
Q. How is your recovery going?
Relationship wise, I have no issues. I believe people who grew up in dysfunction have an easier time recovering from narcissistic abuse relationships because they’re used to the behaviour. It’s not as shocking.
Family wise, I have very solid boundaries these days, but that’s not to say that I don’t get triggered. But my boundaries are very firm, and if they don’t like it, tough.
Q. How does the podcast fit into the rest of your life? Can you describe why the podcast is so meaningful for you?
It’s become my life. I do my best to answer every email in a timely fashion and sometimes those emails are people that just need an ear. So we go back and forth. Sometimes folks need to talk on the phone and don’t want to be on the podcast. I do my best to take those calls too.
We started fundraising so a guest could start therapy. I also help people search for therapists and coaches or free services in their area, which is why I’m currently in the process of building my own mental health professional directory.
As far as why is the podcast so meaningful, I hark back to the first time a stranger validated to my experience growing up. It was around 10 years ago, I was in a pre-intervention meeting for my brother’s gambling problem. In the room were my parents, my sister, my brother’s ex-wife, a social worker, and a psychologist. They were collecting information and everyone in the room was really sugar coating the information.
It was like they didn’t want to say anything bad about him, like they were remembering the good guy version of him. They were probably feeling guilty just being there.
Anyways, eventually the psychologist just stopped, looked at me, and said, ‘You’re not saying a thing. All of these people are lying to me, aren’t they? You know the truth. Tell me the truth.’
Anyways, eventually the psychologist just stopped, looked at me, and said, ‘You’re not saying a thing. All of these people are lying to me, aren’t they? You know the truth. Tell me the truth.’ It was the greatest moment of my life. I had been seen by someone who didn’t even know me. There are no words to describe that feeling. It changed me. I was given a voice. This person gave me a voice and did it in front of some of the people who took it away from me and they now had to listen.
So I broke into a story to explain what my brother is capable of when he’s desperate, and when I was done, my mom says to me ‘how come you never told us this’, to which I relpied, ‘here’s another one.’ And her instincts just took over, she put her hands up in fron of her face, and she blurted out ‘I don’t want to know.’
I then looked her dead in the eye and calmly stated ‘And that’s why we’re sitting here right now.’
I went off on a tangent there, but to answer the question simply. I now get to do for others, what that psychologist did for me. Validating someone’s life or their existence, that they do matter. It seems small, but I know how big it can be. I lived it.
Q. What is your favorite moment from the podcast so far?
My favorite moment happened off and on the podcast. I wanted to learn more about divorcing a narcissist, coparenting, and the court system. I was researching local laywers to contact, and that’s when the universe stepped in.
I received an email from a former district attorney named Helen. She was now a domestic abuse/divorce lawyer but has since retired. She said she liked the show and wanted to help. We chatted on the phone and then the next week she sent me an outline about what she wanted to cover.
The outline was a work of art. I was floored. I got onto Instagram and accumulated questions from listeners and then we recorded. The whole recording, I kept on saying to myself, ‘this is going to help so many people.’ It was an education. It’s amazing. That episode is my pinned tweet on Twitter and always will be.
Q. Has there been anything that surprised you about having a podcast? Anything you didn’t expect?
When I started I didn’t really realize what I was doing, so it’s all a surprise. Being part of a community and having a bunch of new friends was something I didn’t think about at all. I mean, if you told me in January of 2019 that I’d have a podcast about narcissistic abuse, and by September, I’d be running fundraisers to help people, I would have called you nuts. NUTS!
Q. What are your hopes for what the podcast can accomplish in the future?
Right now we’re working on building a mental health professional directory with a community forum. People will be able to ask questions about narcissistic abuse, and the pros will be able the only ones who can answer.
We hope to start a podcast just for those professionals to answer weekly questions or to discuss specific topics. And hopefully our ‘Letters To My Narcissist’ specific episodes can spawn it’s own stand alone podcast as well.
We’re just trying to build a system to help people get educated, heal, become advocates for others, and to find you the help to move forward with your life.
Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for fellow survivors?
Ultimately, everyone has to do the work by themselves, but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. There’s tons of different communities on Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, and others.
They were built for you, by people who understand what you’re going through. Lean on them. They’ll help you through. And sometimes you’ll move five steps forward then take four steps back. And that’s ok. It’s a process. It’s a learning experience. There’s no shame in that. I’ve done it countless times.
Q. Finally, where can readers find your podcast?
Narcissist Apocalypse can be found on all podcast apps or you can visit our website at narcissistapocalypse.com but it’s easiest to sign up to a podcast app like Apple, Google, Castbox, Stitcher, Spotify etc.
Q. Anything else you’d like us to know?
Sometimes I miss an email here and there or forget to send one back because I get tons of emails these days. Things get lost in the shuffle or buried and my memory isn’t quite what it once was. So send me another email to remind me. And…..Please check your spam email as I may have emailed you back and that’s why you never got it.
Also, the quickest and almost guaranteed way to be part of the show is to be on our ‘Letters to My Narcissist’ episode. That’s where we play Voicemails of actual letters you did or didn’t send to the narcissist in your life. It’s cathartic and powerful.
We have a voice recorder on our site at narcissistapocalypse.com It floats on the right side of the page. Click it and it records up to five minutes. Click it again if you need more time.
And thanks for listening and being part of the community. Big hugs.
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Thank you, Chad!
You can also tell your story about being in a relationship with a narcissist and have it published here on Fairy Tale Shadows.
I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to read and listen to the stories of other survivors, and to consider sharing your own.