Season 4, Episode 10: Alice - Narcissism

Alice shares her experiences of secrets in an in-family adoption and also how her recent reunion with her biological father alerted her to some of the damaging ways her adoptive mother behaved. Alice and I talk about signs of narcissism and she walks us through some real-life examples of how this behaviour showed up in her life, and what she’s done to walk away from the toxicity.

Show Notes


Topics We Discussed

  • Alice was born in the 1970s to a young woman (15 yo), and adopted by this young woman’s older sister.
  • Alice grew up in a household plagued with domestic violence. Once her adoptive parents divorced, her adoptive mother re-married, this time an alcoholic.
  • Her relationship with her adoptive sister (younger, biological child of her adoptive parents)
  • How her grandmother told her who her biological mother was - and that she wasn’t ever to speak of it again
  • When Alice was 18, she moved out for post-secondary education and how that gave her a clear view of her traumatic experiences.
  • When she realized that her family situation was unusual and unhealthy
  • The shocking and unexpected deaths of both her adoptive mother and biological mother within a few short months of each other
  • Her reunion with her biological father and how that has affected her understanding of what toxic relationships really look like.
  • Alice gives us some examples of what her adoptive mother’s narcissistic behaviour looked like.
  • Seeing the signs (in hindsight) of love bombing, gaslighting, narcissism, co-dependency, toxic triangles/drama triangles, covert narcissism (a narcissist with poor self esteem), martyrdom
  • Journalling has helped to reveal those patterns
  • How and why Alice decided to cut off contact instead of trying to implement boundaries. What were her red flags, and how did she put herself first? Where does the cycle of abandonment end?
  • Haley mentions how when you are working on yourself and your own mental health, you can be moving further and further away from people in your life who just stay stuck and don’t seek any personal growth.


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