Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 7 months ago

Part 1 of an interview with Dr. Nadine Macaluso, LMFT

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Part 1 of an interview with Dr. Nadine Macaluso, LMFT

nmacaluso1@me.com

Restoring Resilience

https://www.nadinemacaluso.com/

Some abuse is dangerously obvious, while other types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways. Keeping Family Secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying are just a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Often, victims ask why did this happen to me, or what can I do, while abusers will excuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this? Victims and abusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and break the cycle for their future generations. In Christine Hammond's latest book, abuse exposed, you will learn the wide range of types of abuse, both overt and covert, the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and after abuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, finding forgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid future problems, and much, much more. Look for Christine Hammond's latest book, abuse exposed, now available on Amazon. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in heart by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Hi, welcome back. I'm so glad that you are able to hear and excited for you to actually hear Dr Nay today. She is a wonderful person of that I've had the privilege of getting to know just recently, and she has quite the interesting story of dealing with a narcissist and having been married to one for many years. And I'm not going...

...to like jump to the punch line. I'm going to let her do that and do some of the talking and kind of share some of her journey with you. And we're actually going to do several of these podcasts with her because she has so much wonderful information to be able to share with you. But the very first one in this series is all about her and it is her story. So, Dr Nay, I'm going to let you go for it. Thanks, Christine, and thank you for having me on today. Yeah, so my story is definitely has they say, one for the movies. I guess. Yes, literally, right, letterally, right. Right. So I am today a license marriage and Beamley therapist and have my doctrine and somatic psychotherapy, which are really just a fancy title to say that I use the body and my therapeutic encounter with my patients. But my journey he started a long time ago so I am fifty four, but I was raised in Brooklyn in the s and s by a single mother who was fascinated with psychology and she was always reading about Freud and young and she would always say to me on the dinner table every night of n eighteen, do you think it's nature or nurture that shapes us? And I'd say, mom ten, I don't know. All right. So those seeds were planted in me, those psychology seats as a as a very young girl, and growing a poor in Brooklyn. My parents really were not financially resourced and so I, after much struggle about what to do and how to support myself, I decided to become a model in New York City and that's a tough gig, very tough gig. Yeah, but you don't how big skin, don't do it right. But Luckily I grew up in Brooklyn and I did and I needed to make money. I mean that was the my financial reality. So I was modeling and living in the city and having fun and going to the Hamptons on the weekend, because that's what you do when you live in New York City and it's hot as tell in the summer. Right and I would say the summer...

...of one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine. Yeah, I think I'm twenty one, twenty two, twenty two it this time I go to a party and I meet my ex husband, Jordan Belfort, the wolf of Wall Street. MMM, yes, yes, so now it's twenty two. I I was clueless, I was naive. He was having a party. I left because I thought actually, the people at the party were acting very strange. But I guess he saw me and became obsessed with me and pursued me and we got married at for eight years and had a very tumultuous marriage because he was a severe drug addict, right, and very emotionally abusive. And then, lucky for me, though, he did get arrested right so I was able to leave him because he told me the only way I could leave him while we were married was in a body bag. So yeah, I mean I was very afraid of him and so luckily, like I said, he did get arrested. He had an ankle bracelet and then I decided to leave him. And so I left him and then I took my two beautiful children, Carter and Chandler, my daughter's now therapist, and yeah, and we came to California and we built a new life and then I decided at thirty nine to go back to school because therapy had helped me so much when I was married to Jordan, because after I met him, after six months of being with him, I put myself right into therapy. Thirty years ago. I mean, people weren't even really going to therapy thirty years ago, nor were they really talking about this either. Now they weren't talking about it. But again, I think because I was raised by my mom, who was so interested in psychology, I was open to that idea thirty years ago and it's saved my life. So I figured, why don't I do something as I get alter that can help people? And so that's what I ended up doing and I love my work. That's really great. And so, you...

...know, I want to talk a little bit because I know some of the people that are listening are also in situations in which they feel like they've been threatened. They're dealing with a very narcissistic spouse who is making it all about them. They feel very torn as to what to do, especially if there's children involved, and so can you talk a little bit about how you were in that situation when? What advice are you offering now to people, having had a different perspective on it? Yeah, sure, you know, and I think what makes me good at my job is, of course, that horrific experience. I didn't know that at the time, right, but it was. When you're dealing with someone who's completely self absorbed, callous, entitled and they really just look at you really as another prop to propel their positive image, you're really not a person. So they can't have empathy. And so if you find yourself in this situation, the first thing is don't judge yourself, because these sorts of people. That doesn't mean you're codependent, it doesn't mean you're this or you enable them. No matter who you are, if someone has such serious personality pathology, you don't stand a chance. Right. So the first thing is you have to accept it and not judge yourself and then get highly educated about it, and not really as a way to manage it or stay in the relationship, but just to know the beasts that you're dealing with. I say, you have to name entertainment. And then there are yeah, there are three ways that women usually leave and it is usually women that get in these situations, they actually they really fear there their safety or their children safety, and that really can be a wakeup call for...

...women. Some women, you know, the partner has just been so abusive and over so over time that they can emotionally detach and that's another way that they're able to leave. And another way that women are really able to leave is that, I think when we live with someone like that, they demand so much attention in time, because a really like four year old twentying around it in an adult body. Right. So if you can find a way to because they really will break down your personal strengths to keep you trapped in the relationship, but if you can find a way to go back to school, to get a job, to become part of a community that can support you and build your self esteem and self worth back up, you will be able to leave right and and those are the three ways that that people do that women do end up leaving. Yeah, that's great advice and I can't help but think like you had a bit of a double whammy in all of this. Like first in the modeling industry, right, which is very much kind of like demeans you or makes your worth all be about your appearance, yea, and then being married to somebody like the wolf of Wall Street will who also is valuing, obviously, appearance over everything else. Yes, yes, yes, I did. I did have a double whammy and you know, just like everything, it's a double edged sort. It's a paradox. I found that as I've gotten older. And so of course there was some like bricks to being a young, pretty girl, right, but the bad side of it is that you might fall into the hands of someone who really doesn't care about you. And I think that when you have empathy and you're a relatively normal person, I mean who is girls on a spectrum, you don't, it's very it was very hard to me at that point in my life to wrap my head around the fact that he didn't have empathy for me. MMM, he he couldn't put himself his self in my shoes. And...

...so when you know he was such a severe drug addict, I mean I'd come home to him doing something as crazy as like cutting up, cutting open the furniture, you know, to find drugs, right. And so how do you reason somebody like that? And Yeah, it wasn't Appowami, because he didn't see me as a person. He saw me as a utility belt. Yeah, to watch just kids, to keep a beautiful home, to go beautiful parties, to show up in the right outfit, and that was really it. Right, right, and I'm good at that. I was goodn't that right? But it's also destroying to your self esteem alone. Oh, drawing destroying. And you know, I always say this, we all have shame at the end of the day, and I know I did as a neglected child. I wasn't abused, I was more neglected, and so I was addicted to perfection to overcome my shame and he was addicted to power to overcome his shame. So we were a perfect couple in that way. And when you're married to somebody like that, you like you think, I, Oh, if I just look better, or if I dress better, or if this dinner party goes perfectly, or if I just could meet every single one of his needs, it'll be okay. And that's what kept me on that treadmill. And of course perfection is an unrealistic expectation. And Yeah, it just it didn't work out, and you're only on almost killed me, because you know he did. Why? Now I finally asked him to get so over he did kick me down the stairs and drive my daughter and I into a garage draworb. Wow, yeah, yeah, so don't try to mold and bend yourself for this type of person, right, because their needs are insatiable. Right. Yeah, yeah, no, they really are. But I also like what you say, like they awareness that you have of not only yourself, right, and what what you were really seeking out...

...in that kind of a relationship, but also an awareness of what he to was seeking out in that type of a relationship as well. So it works both ways, right, like you met each other's dysfunctional me. Yes, completely, completely, and you know it, because I grew up in Brooklyn with a single mother and we weren't very well financially resourced. I mean a lot of love, but I really thought that Jordan was going to protect me and keep me safe. So, but there was the most dangerous place to be. So I offer that to people in that you know, my work was to really understand that. That was really my job to do that. You know, I think I had because my I didn't have a great father. I was that piece of like a protective piece, was missing and I thought because he was so wealthy and powerful. He could offer me that, but not so much. No, exactly the opposite, exactly. So I'm sure we have some listeners that are kind of curious who have seen the movie before us, like what kind of involvement did you have in in the development of the moving so, okay, if this is this is interesting. So Jordan actually wrote a book first. So he wrote the book. I can't remember the exact here, but he wrote a book first and I read the book and I like through it and cried on the bed for five hours. I was like I pulled him up was like, how could you write this? This isn't even true. I never the water in your face. I didn't do this, and he was like, well, I did it for us, and I'm like no, you didn't. I'm married, I live in a house, I'm very happy. But again, you know, right the he was exenoiting my life. That was a great tragedy that I spent twenty five years in therapy getting over, right for his per usal? Right, okay, because there's no we're just a means to their end. Right okay. So then I go back to school to be a license marriage and...

...be on the therapist and as I'm and I had breast skins or two in two thousand and seven. So sorry. Yeah, and that was actually when he was all of this was happening about the movie and the and all this, and so I really was not really that focused on that. And then he said to me they're going to make a movie, and I was like you've got to be kidding me, okay, and I was. I was angry and and all these different feelings that I had, but I just said, you know what, there's nothing I can do, this is bigger than me and I have to surrender. And and I did. And so I didn't have any creative input, I didn't make any money. I left my marriage without taking any money because it was all blood money. And but I did write my master's thesis about my time with him and I compared my life with him to the myth of persephone, hmm. And so I spoke all about archetypal themes, about greed and betrayal and loss of self and just said how these things have been going on since the beginning of time. So marn Scorsese did not reach out to me, but I had sent my thesis to his stage and I think. And so then one day Jordan said to me, you know, they want to use your name for the movie. I said they can't use my name. He goes why? I said I have make no money, I have no creative input, and now they can't use money. Right. And so that made Martscrossese's office gets scared, and so they called me and said so they I'm it's was a signs. I was in the pool and I came out and they said Hi, this is am of Marn Scorsese's office. I said, it's about time you called me. Said you're going to make a movie about my life and not ask me anything, and she said yes, well, I heard you. I'm sorry, but I know you're not going to use your name and I said no, and I it, but I'm not going to sue you. That's not how I make my money. I realize this is bigger than me. I said, but if you portram it for training in a way that my children like, it really affects them, will have a problem. Right. And she...

...because I'm not to really who I cared about. Right. And so she said, okay, Margot, can you will you meet with Margot to get your accent because anybody wanted to listeners to your mind. And so I met her. She was twenty two, the age I was when I met my ex husband. She was lovely. They taped my accent and when I came downstairs she said you don't look for you like you're from Brook and I said how the fuck would you know? So that said the tone, that which is lovely. Yeah, I just wanted her to get a taste and she was lovely and we had a great time and then that was it. They made the movie. Okay, so it really didn't have anything to do with you or your stoll story or your journey, and it was just part of his recreation. I guess I would be the best way of saying. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and also, somebody like this really wants to control the narrative. Yes, right. So he really got to control the narrative, and I always say the movie and the book were like the ultimate form of gas fighting, right, which I think is the point that we're trying to make, right, that that if it's some point in time like you look back on it, it's not like the narcissist is ever going to walk away and say, Oh, you know, I can see what's happened from your point of view. They're going to continue on with their own narrative and it's so far from the truth of what actually happened. Right, right, that's that's such I mean, that's such a good point. And Yeah, he just and this is a really important issue. Two that I want to speak about is that after my ex husband got sober, we were together for a year before I left him, and one of the reasons why I really left him was I try to explain to him over Sushi one night how hard it had been for me our marriage when he was addicted to drugs and how abusive he was, and he looked at me and said, wasn't that bad? Inside of me now I didn't know the word callous, I...

...didn't know anything right, but inside of me something turned, and so listen to that turn. You know, we're trying to offer your words and apply story to what you're feeling right now, but I now know that was complete calloust's right. Right. So listen to your gut, listen to that turn, don't ignore those internal signs. Right, good, I love that. Okay, so for our last few minutes, what I want to do is just give you a chance like just to say something to someone who might be in the middle of this and then also share how people can reach out to you if they would like to reach out to you. Sure so. If you are in the middle of an abusive relationship, there are so many resources right now that you can reach out to. First of all, get a therapist that knows about it, that can help you, and there's a beautiful or website, domestic shelter dot org, that I really believe in, and reach out to people. Talk about it, talk to your doctors, talk to your therapist, talk to your friends, because the more you talk about it, the more people know, the more support support you'll get to leave. Don't don't feel any shame. It happens to the best of us, and if you have any questions, you can reach me at needing macalusocom or my instagram, where I post daily, at Dr Nag or Nadine macalouso. Thanks, Christine. Thank you so much. I so enjoyed having you. This is part one of our three part series talking to Dr Nag. Thanks for listening to understanding today's narcissist with Christine Hammond, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom for more information, visit grow with christinecom.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)