Blogging, Life Coaching

One of My Own Fleas

When I teach people about narcissism the concept of fleas comes up. It is slang for a trait you brought with you. It was a maladaptive response to the emotional abuse you were receiving. In my case, it took years to unearth them all.

I thought I was fine till I realized I’ve been putting off getting my work done. It occurred to me that I was having trouble making videos because I was still having difficulty accepting my own appearance. A hold over from a man that blamed me for not being enough. It’s subtle, but real. Nothing direct, just a pattern. The only women he showed respect for were the beautiful ones. Respect that was subtly always out of my reach.

I did not measure up and I’m judging myself that way. Wow! What was that about? So I need some flea spray. Let’s try something new with the hair, or not. My appearance does not determine how valuable I am as a person.

Rock what you got.



Yes, this is the fourth post on the same topic. It is taking a lot more work to get this into a blog than I imagined it would. I know that not writing about this has jammed up the works. I find I cannot get to the next thing when something is in queue and I won’t write it.IMG_6926

In my mind’s eye, I envisioned myself as having an ability to write cutting edge stuff, provocative, interesting, controversial and the only reason I was not able to write that way was because I was forcing myself to write blogs for my coaching and about narcissism.

So I decided to take the gloves off and write what I actually was thinking about and what was going on in my real life, right now.

Despite being bombarded by bugs, birds and beasts very little is going on. Turns out, in just over a hundred short blogs I’ve said most of what I wanted to say. None of it was earth shattering or cutting edge.

Was my self-image a flea? (There is a link there. I know they are hard to see, because at this point NONE of them have been clicked in any of my blogs.)

Do I have an inflated self-image, based on nothing more than an attitude that I was brought up with and married into? Am I actually just an average writer with banal thoughts who just has a desire to write?

This is hard to swallow. How much of my life is just that? An unrealistic view of my talents and abilities brought on by living in an environment when anything less was belittled. That is why I am sad.



Wow, third post, all to make the same point. Is that avoidance or thoroughness? Is this intro just a delay tactic? 🙂

I guess I’m not under any obligation to admit that I just returned to my computer. I left after that first paragraph. It is as though admitting what I’m about to say will somehow diminish me. Committing it to a blog makes me vulnerable.

So, I recognized a flea. (There is a link there. I know they are hard to see, because at this point NONE of them have been clicked in any of my blogs.)IMG_6739

One of the fun things, I mean that sardonically, about being with a narcissist is they think so highly of themselves. They are the best.

Appearances are very important and I have yet to coach any male or female who has been captured by a narcissist who is not better than average looking.

Narcissists lie. They will make up stories about how great they are and what they’ve done. In turn, people treat them as though they are special, at least initially. This special treatment becomes self-fulfilling. People see it and treat them like they are special, at least initially.

Also, the narcissists often believe they are “smarter”, “better”, “more focused”, “more entitled” etc….

My mother put me in competitive swimming when I was five. I was the best and swam against children as old as eight. But let’s face it. I was five. There were no other five year olds in the pool, so it was easy to be the best.

In hind sight I have no way of knowing if I was a great swimmer or if I was lied to. Not a fun thing when you have based so much of who you are on the fact that you were an olympic level swimmer. I never did find out because I broke my back and had to drop out right before the national finals.



Writing this blog has been forcing me to confront truths about myself. Sadness comes with seeing who you are more clearly, especially when you don’t like what you see.

As a life coach with a sub-specialty in narcissism. I often coach people during their recovery from a relationship with a narcissist. “Fleas” is a term that comes up in this process.

Fleas are things you catch from a narcissist. I like the term because not unlike catching fleas from your pet, it is possible to get rid of fleas, once you know you have them.

Part of my current sadness is recognition of another flea I have from my narcissist influences. Let me back up a bit.

This is Harriet. She lives in my office at work. I have asked others to water her.

This is Harriet. She lives in my office at work. I have asked others to water her.

An easy example to explain is: asking for help. For those of you who are lucky enough to have never experienced a narcissist up close and personal in your life, let me explain why asking for help becomes an issue.

A true narcissist is not someone who is arrogant. It is someone who is unable to feel the emotions of another person. Narcissists have no empathy. In real life this means they don’t care if they hurt you, because they don’t care how you feel.

When you ask for help, they make it all about them. If they are not trying to gain advantage, make up for a wrong or manipulate you in some other way, they will not help you. It does not stop there.

The reason they do not help you is because, “you should be able to do it yourself”, “you did not ask properly/on-time/nicely/far enough in advance……”, “you are too lazy to do it yourself”, “you are useless”, “you are too demanding”. I think that is enough examples.

Long story short. A “flea” people develop is to stop asking for help. This is reasonable with a narcissist, because asking leads to an attack. This is not as helpful when you are dealing with others because they don’t understand why you didn’t just ask for help.