Signs of Progress:

  1. You’re beginning to respect yourself.
  2. You’ve set some new boundaries.
  3. You focus more on what makes you happy and what’s important to you rather than making others happy or knowing what’s important to them.
  4. You’ve found activities that you love, and you do them regularly.
  5. You’re in touch with your intuition, and you’re learning to trust it.
  6. You realize it’s not your job, and it never was your job, to treat or fix your mother or anyone else.
  7. You’ve examined your childhood programming, questioned each of the misperceptions you were expected to believe about yourself, and are working on letting go of someone’s faulty perceptions of you.
  8. You’re creating new ideas about who you are, based on how far you’ve come and who you are today.
  9. When you see narcissistic or selfish behavior, you recognize it for what it is, and you steer clear.
  10. You’re learning to fulfill your own needs, and you don’t feel guilty about it.
  11. You recognize that someone has a problem with thinking and perceiving and that they’ll probably never address it.
  12. You understand that the crazy-making feelings you have around your mother or someone else are a normal reaction to abnormal behavior. Your brain is functioning precisely the way it is supposed to, to protect and help you try to make sense of a situation that doesn’t, and will never, make sense.
  13. You’re aware of when you’re self-gaslighting, and you stop as soon as you become aware.
  14. You feel grounded and safe most of the time.
  15. You’re getting comfortable having difficult conversations.
  16. You’re getting comfortable confronting people who need to be confronted.
  17. You stand up for yourself, calmly and confidently.
  18. You are fiercely on your own side.
  19. A person’s character and integrity matter more to you than their popularity, sense of humor, success, or physical attributes.
  20. You’re not interested in continuing people-pleasing behaviors.
  21. You like yourself much of the time.
  22. You’re aware of your self-talk, and make sure that it’s positive.
  23. You focus more often on what makes you happy and what is important to you.
  24. You’re developing personal values.
  25. You’re working through your anger.
  26. You’re working on forgiveness.
  27. You’re learning to allow others to earn your trust.
  28. You notice when “red flags” are present. When it’s not possible to avoid those individuals, you maintain low contact and enforce your boundaries.
  29. You’re doing recovery work on a regular basis and acknowledging your progress.
  30. You believe that you’re a strong person.
  31. You’re educating yourself about narcissism, toxic people, and toxic relationships.
  32. You’re creating new beliefs about yourself based on who you’ve become and who you are becoming.
  33. You’ve begun to prioritize self-care in its many forms.
  34. You seek out and practice guided meditations that help you feel positive, strong, and peaceful.
  35. You journal.
  36. You no longer allow people or events to intrude on your plans, privacy, safety, or serenity.
  37. You don’t worry about whether your life choices will make someone angry or upset. You’re making life choices that are all about you now.
  38. When a narcissist invites you to an argument, you decline.
  39. You’re aware of relationships that take advantage of you.
  40. You focus on solutions, not problems.
  41. You’re more concerned about your life than anyone else’s.
  42. You no longer tolerate people who devalue or disrespect you. You kick them out of your life, and you feel good about doing it.
  43. You’re becoming your own advocate.
  44. You’re beginning to know what’s good for you and what isn’t.
  45. You’re no longer willing to accept someone else’s version of reality.
  46. You’re not willing to minimize your education, talents, skills, or abilities in order to accommodate someone else’s personal insecurities.
  47. You’re not willing to minimize your education, talents, skills, or abilities in order to accommodate someone else’s faulty perception of you.
  48. You know when you’re being manipulated by guilt, shame, passive-aggressive behavior, and other forms of control, and you no longer let yourself be controlled.
  49. You’re getting comfortable communicating about the things that you will and won’t accept and/or do in your relationships.
  50. You recognize when you’re being gaslighted and refuse to let your reality be re-written by someone else.
  51. You’ll absolutely leave situations that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
  52. You feel worthy of being seen and heard.
  53. You’re uncomfortable when you’re in denial, and you recognize it for what it is.
  54. You recognize that you are a complete person, and you don’t need validation or acceptance from anyone except yourself.
  55. You don’t need permission to exist.
  56. You’re no longer interested in being a people-pleaser, and you understand and accept that this enabling behavior makes you a potential victim.
  57. You refuse to give up your own plans or dreams to achieve somebody else’s.
  58. You refuse to spend your precious time doing things you don’t want to do that might gain someone’s attention, affection, approval, or love.
  59. You’ve decided to stop over-functioning.
  60. You’ve decided to stop “rowing the boat” all by yourself. You understand and believe that others need to do their share of the work.
  61. You say “no” more often and set limits for others’ behavior and expectations.
  62. You understand that there are consequences for every action, and you let others deal with their own consequences.
  63. You recognize that all relationships are two-way interactions.
  64. You no longer make excuses for or minimize someone else’s behavior.
  65. You don’t tolerate “walking on eggshells.”
  66. You empathize, but you draw the line at being taken advantage of.
  67. You realize that boundaries work two ways: you no longer violate others’ boundaries by rescuing, or trying to fix them or their circumstances.
  68. You ask for clarification when you’re confused by something someone says or does.
  69. You’re getting comfortable disengaging from toxic people, and you know when and why it’s necessary.
  70. You recognize that people who use mind-games, manipulation, secrecy, intimidation, hurtful sarcasm, or teasing, are toxic individuals, and you enforce the boundaries that protect you.
  71. You see that praise, flattery, compliments, or charm can be subtle forms of manipulation, and those simply don’t work on you anymore.
  72. You’re not willing to stay in a relationship that makes you feel drained, confused, or doubtful of your sanity or self-worth.
  73. You don’t tolerate others crossing your personal boundaries or talking about: your appearance, weight, relationships, or achievements.
  74. You accept yourself in all your imperfection.
  75. You understand that “perfection” doesn’t exist, and that your vulnerabilities, strengths, and weaknesses all combine to create the complete and lovable person you are.
  76. You trust your decision-making abilities, and you make decisions more easily.

You’ve probably already started to notice some changes in how you think, perceive, and feel. The order in which the changes occur is irrelevant, and the changes are entirely unique to you. You’ll heal where and when you need to, on your own exclusive timetable. Keep going! You’ve got this!



Claim your superpowers!

Have you thought about how living with the ongoing hurtfulness has affected you? You know I have. At first, you might see all of the negative ways your life has been impacted. But what if you turned it around and gave it a positive spin? How would that feel? Try it and see!

I compiled this list from the answers given in a support group for Adult Children of Narcissists. They were asked the question: What superpowers have you developed from living with a narcissist? (or from being affected by a dysfunctional, mentally ill, or toxic person.)

Find the ones that apply to you, and add more if you want!

Superpowers Checklist:

  • Dark sense of humor
  • Able to sense toxic people
  • Able to detect mental illness or something mentally wrong with a person.
  • Able to read body language
  • Able to sense danger
  • Fiercely independent
  • Resourceful
  • Resilient
  • Psychoanalyze everyone
  • Strong intuition
  • Self-sufficient
  • Good at pretending to be asleep
  • Self-mothering/nurturing
  • Anticipate multiple outcomes and prepared for almost anything
  • Content being alone
  • Able to tolerate high stress
  • Know when something bad is going to happen
  • Feel other people’s energy
  • Feel calm in an emergency or crisis
  • Able to figure out complicated things
  • Nurturing
  • Patient
  • Able to read micro facial expressions
  • Able to detect changes in people’s energy
  • Can hone in on certain sounds: keys, footsteps, voices, car engines
  • Move stealthily/silently
  • Become invisible/unnoticeable
  • Able to sneeze, cough and cry silently
  • Good at keeping other’s secrets
  • Empathic
  • Remember every detail of events and conversations because of former gaslighting
  • Great at dealing with angry people
  • Able to sense a con-artist
  • Great at cleaning
  • Great at anything to do with image: designing, decorating, clothing, accessorizing
  • Great at detecting narcissists
  • Able to hide emotions
  • Able to detect untrustworthy people
  • Able to lie well if needed
  • Able to manipulate others if needed
  • Very discerning
  • Well organized
  • Able to admit when wrong
  • Resourceful
  • Quick thinking
  • Able to escape situations
  • Able to see other’s perspectives
  • Able to manage people
  • Able to emotionally detach
  • Able to tune people out
  • Can switch emotions on and off
  • Adapt to any surroundings
  • Able to dissect a situation in seconds
  • Able to diffuse arguments
  • Good emotional control
  • Cook well, able to make meals out of nothing
  • Outspoken
  • Great self-preservation skills
  • Super observant
  • Deep self-awareness
  • Able to save money for unforeseen trouble
  • Thrive under pressure
  • See the red flags
  • Problem solver
  • Perfectionistic
  • Successfully sneaky when needed
  • Have bionic ears
  • Diplomatic
  • Can get along with literally anyone

How many superpowers do you have? Put a checkmark next to them. Review these lists every 6 months to see where you’ve made progress and where progress can still be made.

I hope you feel a sense of personal power and recognize more of the amazing qualities that make you unique and strong! I wish you continued growth and recovery.

All the best of life, love, and happiness~