Have You Ever Been Called Toxic, Narcissistic, or Borderline?

Have You Ever Been Called Toxic, Narcissistic, or Borderline?

by | Aug 1, 2019 | Uncategorized | 0 comments


Have People Called You Toxic, Narcissistic, or Borderline?

toxic, narcissistic, or borderline

 You aren’t toxic.  You just have Trauma.

Being called toxic, narcissistic, or borderline can feel devastating.  Our initial reactions may include getting angry, lashing out, or denying we are toxic.  But chances are, it is more than 1 person who has uttered those words in our direction.

It’s not time to mope in self-loathing or denial.  It’s time to do some inner work and figure out what the hell is going on.  Usually, the root of being called these names is our own early relationships and trauma.  Let’s talk about trauma.

How is being called toxic, narcissistic, or borderline related to trauma? 

A researcher named Mary Ainsworth conducted an experiment called the Strange Situation.  The children went into a room with their parents and another person who was a stranger.  The child spent varying amounts of time with the mother and stranger, mother, and stranger.  Moreover, the research found the following attachment styles: Secure Attachment, Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment, Anxious-Avoidant Attachment, and Disorganized Attachment.

Now, the more research we reviewed the more we find the non-secure attachments being related to trauma.  Also, our attachment style affects how we behave in relationships.  If you want to learn more about attachment, check out my blog at this link: CLICK HERE FOR ATTACHMENT BLOG.

So, let’s set up a scenario.  We have a mother who we instinctively know takes care of us. But what if our mother has some issues.  What if she yells at us?  Calls us names?  And ridicules us?  Well, the woman who was supposed to take care of us is now hurting us.  We become anxious, worried, or unsure of how to interact with her.  We enter into a protective mode.  From there, we tend to protect ourselves from people who are close to us.  We fear that if we trust them too much, they will hurt us.

This is when people start getting told they are toxic, narcissistic, or borderline.  It isn’t that there is something wrong with you, it’s that something has happened to you.  Often times the awareness of trauma isn’t there.  Sometimes attachment trauma takes place pre-memory.  Even having a parent who was depressed can interrupt the attachment process and result in life long relational problems.

You may not think you have trauma, but in reality- you don’t know.

What Can You Do To Figure Out Your Trauma? 

There are a few things that can be done.  The best option is therapy.  I really can’t say enough the power of therapy in self-exploration, self-awareness, and the healing process.

But there are some things you can do if you aren’t ready to make the leap into therapy.

1. A Family Tree

Yes, a family tree can give you insight into the common experiences in your family.  Create a family tree that includes names, relationships, and information you know or can find about that family member.  For example, I like to include major events, divorces, separations, and trauma you know about.  Include what the family feels and thinks about this person, and your own thoughts and feelings about them. This process can help you begin to piece together the family culture, and an understanding of the world you came into.

2. Name the Trauma

Ever heard of the concept, “Name it to tame it”?  Well, it is often used in the therapist community as a beginning intervention to process trauma.  When we give language to our experience, our experience begins to lose its power over us.  So.  Start naming your experiences! However small you perceive them to be, name them.  It’s time to get them out.  Examples such as bullying, dad left me, I was alone, no one played with me, my mom name called, etc.   Get it all into words.

3. Journaling

The power of journaling is underestimated.  Many use it as a cathartic exercise; however, I believe the best use of journaling is to find themes and patterns that show up over time.  I.e. Do you frequently journal about loving someone, then fearing they don’t like you, then getting angry, and then breaking up?  That could be a fear of abandonment that is playing out via self-fulfilling prophecies.  Journaling is best done with a therapist who looks through them and sees the emerging themes.  Moreover, a therapist can help process difficult themes that surface.  It takes someone who knows the psychological concepts that show up in your journaling.

4. Therapy

Did I mention this?  Usually, by the time people are calling us toxic, narcissistic, or borderline- we need professional help.  It’s not a judgment.  It’s a reality check.  If someone notices a cancerous wart on your arm, do you go to the doctor?  Heal the freaking wart.  Go to therapy.


Being called toxic, borderline, or narcissistic is a wake-up call to start facing the trauma you experienced as a child.  It is an opportunity to look at family dynamics and the secrets of the past.   There’s good news! You have an opportunity to do the inner work and transform your relationships.  #paxcanhelp.  You can reach out to us on the form at the bottom of the page or on our contact page here: CONTACT



Recent Posts

Depression Therapy in Riverside, CA

Welcome to PAX Therapy, your new beginning for healing depression. We know that living with depression can be a heavy burden to bear, and it can make it hard for you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But take heart, because you are not alone. We are here to...

Anxiety Therapy in Riverside, CA

Feeling overwhelmed by anxiety? You're not alone. Our team of experienced therapists understand the impact that anxiety can have on your life, and we're here to help. We offer a safe and supportive space where you can explore your thoughts and feelings, and learn...

Healing from Betrayal Trauma with Therapy

What is Betrayal Trauma? Betrayal trauma is a type of psychological trauma that occurs when an individual experiences a breach of trust from someone they depend on or have a close relationship with. This type of trauma can be caused by infidelity in a romantic...

Talking to Your Teen About Going to Therapy

Talking to Your Teen About Going to Therapy Being a teenager is a difficult time.  Well, being alive is a continuous adventure of change, overcoming obstacles and celebrating victories, that’s a given.  However, adolescence is the rite of passage between childhood and...

A Brief Introduction to Boundaries

A Brief Introduction to Boundaries It took some brainstorming to pinpoint exactly what it is we do at PAX Therapy and Family Services.  What does therapy with us help achieve?  What gets better?  After a sit down with our therapists, and looking at what our clients...


Gaslighting What is gaslighting?  How do you know if you are being gaslit?  Click on the photo above or this link to check out our youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwFK0Gx_Jj4 Gaslighting So what I wanna talk about today is gas lighting. It gets thrown...

The Therapy Relationship

The Therapist Guide When I think about the journey of therapy, I visualize the journey of Dante through the 3 epic poems of Il Inferno, Il Purgatorio, e Il Paraiso.  In order for Dante to experience the fullness of paradise, he experiences the horrors of the rings of...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *