In a world filled with narcissistic dynamics, how can empaths heal without losing their empathic gifts?
In this episode today our guest Lauren licensed mental health therapist in the state of Virginia helps us discover the Path to Healing 🌟
🤔 Join us on our healing journey as we explore the intricate balance of preserving your empath traits, setting boundaries, and avoiding the Wendy syndrome.
Let’s empower ourselves to break free from toxic patterns and emerge stronger than ever. 💪✨
Empathic Healing: Navigating Narcissistic Abuse and Boundaries
Learn how to heal from narcissistic abuse while maintaining your empathic traits and setting crucial boundaries. Explore practical strategies to break free from toxic patterns and preserve your emotional well-being. Discover the keys to empowerment and self-care.
Lauren is a licensed mental health therapist in the state of Virginia who recently completed her credit hours to provide supervision for up and coming counselors in her state. She has been practicing in a variety of settings since 2017 to include public schools, acute inpatient hospitals, and outpatient. Lauren has always been passionate about the performing arts to include, singing, theater, and Irish dance. She is passionate about implementing these experiences to include expressive arts, metaphor, and storytelling in all settings as a form of healing. In April of 2023, Lauren experienced a major heartbreak from a man she loved dearly. While she had to begin her spiritual/healing journey and the re-discovering of herself after the event, Lauren had some professional as well as personal revelations which has motivated her to tell this story in order to help others. She discovered a concept that was first coined in the 1980s by Dr. Dan Kiley called Peter Pan and Wendy’s Syndrome. While these aren’t official terms and diagnoses in the DSM-V, Lauren couldn’t help but find that these pop culture psychology terms are very relevant in today’s society. Lauren hopes to use her story to help and educate others about the damages caused by emotionally unavailable, immature people as well as ways to move past the “Wendy’s Syndrome” which includes anxious attachment, people pleasing, and codependent tendencies. As a recovering anxiously attached people pleaser herself, Lauren hopes her story helps others see their worth and ways to avoid being caught in a Peter Pan and Wendy Syndrome dynamic in their relationships.
Terms we cover:
- Empathic healing
- Narcissistic abuse recovery
- Setting boundaries with narcissists
- Healing from toxic relationships
- Empath traits preservation
- Wendy syndrome avoidance
- Self-care after narcissistic abuse
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Peter Pan Syndrome aka narcissism
Peter Pan Syndrome aka narcissism
[00:00:05] Raven: welcome to the Empath the rising podcast, where we are healing from narcissistic abuse, with human design, tarot, and astrology.
I’m your host, Raven, Scott.
Make sure to share this podcast with a friend. Spread the love spread the light. And subscribe. Welcome back. To the podcast where we delve into the depths of personal growth, spiritual healing, and understanding. The complex scenarios and healing from narcissistic abuse.
Through human design, astrology and tarot, as well as our expert guests. In today’s episode, we have a special speaker, Lauren, who is a licensed therapist. And she will guide us through the intriguing world of the Peter pan syndrome. And shed light on how you can heal from the aftermath of a narcissist discard. The Peter pan syndrome is often overlooked or not even talked about and misunderstood. And it refers to a set of traits and behaviors, commonly associated with individuals who resist growing up. I won’t say anything further. I’m going to let Lauren dive in to her description here. And Lauren, as a seasoned expert. And I heard her field. , we’ll share with you some of the reasons why she still fell for the traps of the covert narcissist.
And just, I loved. Her recording. So what I’m doing now, because I’ve got multiple. Job’s going on. I’ve got so many balls up in the sky. I am experimenting and having our guests record a snippet. So you’ll hear that . They may be a little shaky, cause they’re used to just doing interviews where they speaking to somebody. But I think Lauren really killed it and she did an amazing job. And so she shares with us the impact on herself and probably on. On what you’ve experienced from that. Narcissistic discard. And then you feeling like you need to be pulled back in.
So without further ado, let’s dive into Lauren’s recording for you.
[00:02:28] Lauren: Hi everyone. I guess I wanna start off by saying thank you to Raven for this amazing platform, the Empath and Narcissist podcast. I really think that you’ve helped validate a lot of survivors and people who are on their healing journey, and I just wanna say thank you for. Giving me this platform to tell a little bit of my story and as well as to share some experience that might be able to help others.
I will say I’ve never done a, just a hard recording of just me speaking without an interview format, so we’re just gonna kinda dive right in and it’ll probably be imperfect, much like healing. Am I right? We’ll get into that later. But again, thank you so much for having me and I’m really honored to do this recording for all of you.
So I guess the main thing I want to discuss and what I wrote into this show about was something called Peter Pan Syndrome. And as you know, with this show’s main platform, it’s about how empaths. Tend to end up in narcissistic relationships. And one thing I enjoy about this podcast is it discusses ways you can not get into these sorts of relationships and how to heal and things like that.
So what I wanted to sort of. Tell everyone was I recently had an experience with a major heartbreak. I was discarded in April of this past year by someone who I have known and been on and off again, dating for six years, who has Peter Pan syndrome, which is a form of. Covert narcissism or narcissist light.
And I will go into that a little bit more in detail and I really hope that my tips and my experience can help someone else, as I said before. So I guess for a little introduction, my name is Lauren. I am actually. A licensed therapist in the state of Virginia. I work in a variety of settings. I work in a hospital inpatient and I also do outpatient therapy as well.
And what’s really interesting is me saying this, and part of my, my blog story, which is you can find on my Instagram, is basically talking about how. These dynamics and these relationships can happen to anyone if you don’t have this self-love and self-awareness. Because one of the first things you’ll see when you, if you decide to read my blog is the word shame and the word hypocrite.
Because when this happened, my, my discard and my breakup, a lot of people said, well, Lauren, you’re a therapist. You, you have all the resources. You should have seen these signs. You should have seen the subtle things. And the answer is, yes, I should have. But that involves doing a lot of self work. So I guess I sort of wanna go over a little bit of what Peter Pan syndrome is.
And I do wanna make this clear that this is not an official diagnosis. It’s not found in the DSM five, but however I do, I. Think that this term needs to make its way back around since there is so much more awareness about things like narcissism and emotional immaturity on social media, places like Instagram, TikTok, all that.
So I’ll kind of go over a little bit what it is, and I will also sort of go over what Wendy Syndrome is, which is what empaths. Tend to have. So long story short, you, you can find a lot of this information online through articles. But Peter Pan Syndrome was first coined in the 1980s by Dr. Dan Kylie. He wrote a book about this and essentially, in a nutshell, it’s about a man who never grows up.
But with that comes specific issues. And some of these issues are as follows, people who have this. Tend to have narcissistic traits because as we know, narcissism is a spectrum. It’s, they’re not necessarily full on abusers. But it’s a spectrum. So people with Peter Pan Syndrome, they have these traits, they have difficulty with responsibilities and often have a fear of commitment to anything or anyone.
Issues with work and career interest. Being self-centered. Difficulty controlling impulsive behavior, reliance on others. Avoidance of criticism, that’s a big one. Avoidance of responsibility. They will often take accountability for their mistakes and they’ll blame others. And also female relationships.
And this is something according to Dr. Dan Kylie. People with this syndrome have difficulty with maternal relationships and treat future romantic partners as mother figures. Hence here is where the Wendy Syndrome comes in. So, and this is where I get into my personal story on my blog and my healing journey.
So the traits of Wendy Syndrome, as you probably guessed it, it’s very much a, a codependent. Kind of syndrome with an anxious attachment. And some of these characteristics include things like feeling essential for others, and you wanna think that you’re indispensable. They see love as sacrifice and resignation.
They assume a motherly figure with their partner. They try to control others in order to avoid. Upsetting them, and the biggest thing that I get out of Wendy Syndrome is they feel the need to care for and protect others at the expense of their own wellbeing. So please pay attention to that. I’ll say that in bold again.
Feeling the need to care for and protect others at the expense of their own. Wellbeing. And that’s where the bullet point I really want you to think about. Because as empaths, if we don’t have good boundaries, this is what happens. We tend to fall in these again, I’ll just go ahead and start coining the phrase myself.
These Peter Pan and Wendy Syndrome, codependent dynamics, and unfortunately someone with Peter Pan Syndrome with narcissistic traits, they can cause a lot of hurt and a lot of suffering, even if they’re not outwardly abusive. So. I guess I, I will start a little bit of where my mental health was before I was sort of forced into this healing journey.
I was in a relationship with this man for, well, I guess we could say officially a little over a year and a half. However, he has always been a very inconsistent figure in my life. Much like Peter Pan. There were things like long distance issues but there was also. Issues with his lack of communication.
I essentially was bread crumbed for about six, six years and I’m sure most of you’re familiar with that term. Bread crumbing is referred to little tidbits of affection and love and that sort of thing. And even though we were never really established, This situation, ship, I will call, it was never established.
He very much wanted to keep me on standby in case something ever goes wrong. So I was essentially his Wendy. He literally flew in and outta my life for several years. About, while always remaining a little, a shadow in the background, but when it became time for him to quote unquote grow up, we were starting to plan a future together.
So I thought things started to get more serious. That’s when he discarded me and literally flew away. So that’s what essentially sparked this healing journey and my mental health when after the breakup happened, as with most breakups, were in a discard. I will call this. It was not good. As you all know who have dealt with narcissistic abuse, you kind of go through these phases of, am I, am I the narcissist?
Did I do something wrong? You have these moments of self-doubt, of where you’re questioning your reality, and then of course, the physical features, you know, crying and not eating that well. Sleeping issues, all that sort of thing much like a lot of people would experience in a normal breakup. I definitely had all those things and I, I felt I was just sort of going through the motions day to day like a zombie.
But one thing I will say that I did have an awakening moment is when I started listening to all these podcasts and I started going back to my own basics of myself, realizing, oh, wait a minute, you know, I’m a therapist. I have the knowledge, I have the tools. I can figure this out while still recognizing.
My own healing. So that’s when I found these terms and this dynamic, the Peter Pan and Wendy Syndrome, and I guess that is what Raven is talking about as my aha moment of my awakening, if you will, and realizing that I have to go on this almost what, not almost, but very spiritual and healing journey of essentially getting back to myself and getting back to who I was before I knew this person, but.
A better version of myself, which is still very kind, compassionate, but with boundaries and more wisdom, which is. Which are things I did not have before for sure. So that’s sort of where this whole thing began. And so I guess some tips I will have for all of you empaths out there is Really just checking in with your body on a daily basis.
And I posted a video about this, about embracing days where you will feel empowered, but also embrace your low days too. But I’ll talk about that a little bit more. You’re gonna have days where you feel wonderful and a sense of freedom, and this is empowering and I got this. And then there’s other days you just wanna cry and not get outta bed and just feel like you.
You question everything again. Just recently, it’s been almost six months and just about a few weeks ago I had a, a low day where I almost questioned myself again and found myself maybe I should reach out to him. Maybe we should talk. And then of course, no, no, no, we don’t do that. So yeah, that’s a, that’s the main thing is making sure that you’re checking in and embracing all days.
But I will say from a therapist perspective, Be mindful of your low days because if you find yourself having more low days than not, it is absolutely okay to seek some extra help. And that could look like therapy, medication management. I have been doing that for myself too, because, you know, we don’t, it’s okay to be sad, but we don’t wanna fall into that depression state to where, you know, you’re losing interest in things.
Loss of appetite, suicidal ideations, that sort of thing. So that’s when you really have to monitor the low days and seek extra help if you need to. So a few other tips. Definitely surround yourself with supportive people and have good assertive communication and recognize what you need at that during that time.
So I’ll give you an example. I, I’ve got wonderful friends and I’ve. Some friends that I can confide in about this recent breakup and then others, I just say, Hey, can we just have dinner and can we just talk? I don’t want to talk about this, the breakup anymore. I just wanna laugh and have fun. And we, like The other day I went to Bush Gardens and ride rollercoasters.
So paying attention to what you need in that moment is gonna be super helpful to you too. Because yeah, you need different things for different days. ’cause I, I know this is a cliche, but it’s very true that healing is not linear at all. So just please keep that in mind and just be gentle with yourself.
Another thing, and I, I will be posting about this later today, is, Re reclaiming some small things in your life that might remind you of the narcissist. So I’ll give you another example of what I did today. This person really got me into tea. I’ve always loved drinking tea, but he really exacerbated it and made me appreciate it more.
So, unfortunately for a while, my teapot that I have was just a negative memory of him and made me sad. So what I decided to do is I got some Japanese ceramic mugs and got rid of the traditional cups, and I decided to do something completely different so that way it’s. It’s my enjoyment. It’s not his. So this for you guys, this could be things like going well again, when you’re ready.
You may not be ready for this right away in the beginning of your healing journey, but it could be things like, let’s say you and the narcissist always went to this brunch. Place it when you’re ready. It could be no. I get to enjoy this brunch. I get to enjoy this. Without this person, I’m gonna take my friend, I’m gonna make new memories.
So that’s another thing that you can do too, is just when you feel up and ready for it, start reclaiming things. Even little small things will help. Big time. I. And the other thing too is just make sure that you’re being mindful of your substance use and you know what I mean? Things like going out drinking.
A lot of times I see people, I mean, it’s great to celebrate your freedom, but if you’re going out and like drinking a lot, you are kind of masking feelings. And that’s not good to do either. Because again, we do have to sort of go through it to get over it, if that makes sense. So just, just make sure you’re being very mindful of just basic body functions like substance use.
Be careful of that, making sure you’re getting enough sleep, hydrating, that kind of thing. So just the basic health things. And now would be the time to really check in on your he, your physical health too. You know, go get some blood work, see where you are. Physically, your heart rate, your your blood, how can you improve your, how can you improve your health, because that’s gonna be a essential part of the healing too.
And so that’s sort of the advice that I have in a nutshell. And again, always seek out therapy if you need to. I, I have my own therapist. I think all therapists should have their own, so you can be a good therapist and it has been truly helpful for me. So I so I do have a, a blog website where, and my Instagram where I’ll be posting my healing journey as well as just tips and tricks and that sort of thing.
So my blog site, it’s his very basic, because I’m a nineties. Woman and I, I like 90 stuff. So my, my blog is, it’s called Lauren wic w c k, therapist.blogspot.com. And I also have my Instagram page. It’s public. Please come find me, send me a message, email me. My Instagram is Lauren Wiki Wiki. That’s W I C k Y, w I c k y, and I think Raven will probably tag me for so you guys can reach me as well.
, a favorite book or quote a resource for further healing. , well, again, I’m showing my age by this, but back in 2010, I eat, pray, love is always a gold standard for me. For me as an empath, that was kind of. The one that started my healing journey from way back when, but I did not realize what a heartbreak was until I experienced this from a narcissist.
But Eat, pray, love is a wonderful book about spirituality and just getting back to yourself, reclaiming things. I mean, there’s a movie, but I just think the book is a lot better. Another book too about trauma is called The Body Keeps the Score. I can’t remember the author’s name right off the bat, but that’s also a good one to I.
Kind of help you understand a little bit what you’re dealing with so you don’t feel like you’re going crazy. And also Dr. Ramani and her YouTube channel, I think she kind of started this virtual movement about narcissism and realizing what they are and how you can overcome and how you can cope with.
With the abuse and she breaks down the different types, covert, overt my case, a narcissist light, and so that’s really good. Education as well. Her channel is really wonderful and helpful. I can’t recommend that enough. I really appreciate, again, Raven, for having me here, and I really appreciate all of you listening to me. And I, I really wish all of you success on your healing journey. Make sure you reach out. It’s okay to isolate sometimes if you need to just for that recovery or recharge period I call it.
But reach out to people, reach out to me, reach out to your friends, family, a therapist. You’ve got this. Hang true to what an empath is, which is a, a kind, caring person. Don’t let what happened to you. Get rid of that for you. ’cause I felt like that I was going down that path for a long time where I, I was so sad.
I almost envied people like narcissists and sociopaths. I, I, because there were times where I was thinking, oh, if I didn’t feel so much, it’d be so much easier. But that’s really the essence of who you are and you’ve got so many gifts to give this world. And don’t forget that. And I wish you all the best in your journey and take care all of you.
Thank you so much, Lauren, that was so powerful for you. Vulnerably sharing. And it is uncomfortable. A scenario for you just. Recording for us, what we needed to hear. To hang true to what an impact. Is hang true to your true nature of love. Caring. And spirituality.
So now, you know, if you’ve ever wondered or possibly heard or never heard of. What Peter pan syndrome is. This is truly the episode that shared. That shine, the light on this. And if you’ve ever found yourself struggling to recover from the emotional rackage left by a narcissist.
I hope that this episode has helped you. Helped you pause to say, oh, Nope. I’m not going to reach out again to someone who is just. Using me. Ah, for their own pleasure.
Stay tuned for more invaluable insights and practical steps to guide you on your path to healing and growth in The next episode on Tuesday
until then remember, always keep your unique light shining.
[00:21:20] Raven: Thank you so much for investing in yourself today to become more empowered and listening and tuning into your own inner voice. Join our Empath Healing community for free and receive your free 10 day live narc free audio workshop. Grab your copy of the empath and the Narcissist book, either on paperback, a hardcover, or audible.
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Have then just keep sharing it with the friends and remember, always keep your unique light shining.