Posts by Irina Bengtson

Irina is a daughter of a narcissistic mother, clinical psychologist and a founder of www.LoveGrowBeHappy.com. She combines her professional knowledge with a healing experience to help other daughters of narcissistic, hurtful mothers break free from their dysfunctional relationships. She’s a creator of online courses How to Set Boundaries and Protect Yourself from Hurt, The Ultimate Guide to De-stressing and Enjoying Life Now, and How to Cope with a Hurtful Mother and Reclaim Your Life.

Irina Bengtson's Website

Emotionally Numb and Physically Disconnected? DDD May Be the Problem

“Of all things, it would seem, make friends with depersonalization. Enemies within consciousness never work, and only escalate the problem. Befriend it, consider it part of life to work with it. We can’t expel it or cancel it. When we try, the pressure makes a volcano out of it. This is true of so many things, it must be true of DDD too.” ~David Hench

Do you ever feel like you’re not feeling anything, although you know that you have feelings? That you’re operating on autopilot, more like a robot than a living person? That your self is hiding …

The Unexpected Impact of Growing Up with a Difficult Mother

“Difficulties in your life do not come to destroy you, but to help you realise your hidden potential and power, let difficulties know that you too are difficult.” ~Abdul Kalam

Do you sometimes daydream that your mom is gone, and all your troubles disappear along with her?

I used to imagine that, too.

When Mom was in intensive care, swaying between life and death, I sat outside, shell-shocked, trembling all over my body, trying to comprehend the doctor’s words: “Her condition is critical, and only time will show if she will make it. I’m sorry.”

For a moment, I …

How to Foster Gratitude If You Have a History of Childhood Abuse

“The pressure to be grateful kept me away from the more painful and real feelings of grief, anger, and abandonment. Growing up, gratitude was one more brick on the pile that kept all of the secrets of abuse in place. It was just one more thing that made me feel like being who I am, as I am, isn’t enough.” ~Vicki Peterson

The pathway to gratitude for a person with developmental trauma is not always straightforward.

You try your best and even purchased a journal specifically to try the ritual for yourself, but all you can think of to be …

Why Joy Is Important for Healing Developmental Trauma

“We all have everything we need within us to create our fullest potential.” ~Abraham Maslow

Did you grow up with a critical, distant, or ignorant mother?

She probably made sure that your physical needs were covered, but she never noticed or understood your emotional needs. If she was anything like my mum, she may even have shamed you for having them!

You’re an adult now, and you have everything you need to be happy. So why aren’t you? Instead, you feel unworthy, disconnected, and lonely even when you’re with people you love. There’s this constant emptiness inside that makes

Simple Truths About Toxic Mothers I Wish I Knew Growing Up

“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people that are reckless with yours.” ~Mary Schmich

After Mom passed away two years ago, I returned home to take care of the remnants of her earthly life.

Clothes and shoes, books with her notes in the margins, old cookware and medication leftovers. Tableware, sewing utensils, knitting needles and thread. And at the very end, the most private part of Mom’s life, something I’d been avoiding for as long as I could: photographs, letters, diaries, and notes. These deeply personal belongings took me on an emotional roller coaster …