About PhoenixRising

Singer/songwriter, human rights activist and author of the book series and podcast, "Where There's Smoke: Covert Abuse". Demian Yumei's creative focus is on reclaiming your dream and healing the wounds that prevent that. Her artist activist site: keepingthedream.com

A New Creative Space

So, without really planning it, but perhaps making the changes within myself to be ready for it, I am in the process of embracing a new creating space. And perhaps a new way of living. I think this is what I’ve been working on for most of this year, and now that this year is coming to a close and a new one is dawning, I’m beginning to see my efforts manifesting in the loveliest of ways, heralding a new stage of my life. There are still many challenges I’m facing — financial for one. I find that many people who have been involved in abusive relationships take a hit not only in the emotional and psychological realm, but in their financial world as well. But this is a very powerful step for me, and while I know I’m sounding somewhat nebulous, I can say that as soon as this move is completed, I’ll be in a much more empowered position to not only create but to live the kind of life I’ve always wanted to live — a creative life without apology within a peaceful environment. There was a time I never thought I’d get here. Maybe that’s where … Continue reading


I’ve been pretty busy writing and recording podcasts and taking care of all the behind the scenes stuff that’s involved with creating an online presence, while getting ready to go back to work for the time being to support my writing. This has been a difficult decision to make, but a necessary one at this point in time. Juggling all these things at once, I’m so thankful I just have Life to deal with and not toxic dynamics. It’s hard enough to deal with life’s normal challenges, isn’t it? Than to have to continuously trip over obstacles a supposed partner throws in front of you. I encourage you to persevere. Even if you’re in the midst of manipulation, head games and gaslighting, and your child or children are in the midst of that too, take a moment… I don’t care how you get it. Claim it, seize it… just take it for yourself. No matter how often or severe the assaults, emotional or psychological, you can stop and remember yourself — why you’re here, who you love and what’s really important through it all. For me, it used to be in the middle of the night, in the bathroom, looking … Continue reading


When your child’s other parent may have issues or show traits of being a narcissist, there are two things that can happen. One, you feel the need to protect your child, and rightly so. The second is that you can project the narcissistic parent’s trait onto the child without meaning too. Of course, we don’t want our children to emulate the behaviors of a narcissist. We don’t want to see our beautiful babies grow up to be entitled, selfish people who see other people as resources to be used, who manipulate and can “do integrity” rather than actually be or have integrity.  But children, by nature, can be quite selfish — that’s not a moralistic judgement. It’s normal. And what we call narcissistic traits are part of the growing up stages of children, especially as they enter their teen years. This can throw a concerned parent into a tizzy. In a sense, you are fighting for your child’s life. Make no mistake about it. When one parent models hurtful behavior, when science is out on how much personality disorders are the result of environmental influence and how much is genetics, if your child’s behavior shadows the narcissistic parent’s behavior in … Continue reading

An On-Going Process

Over a year ago, DD made the decision to go no contact with her father. Since she was 16 he’s been trying to convince her to drop out of school, get a “real job” and move in with him. She had other plans, but his perception of her being in school as a waste of time or something she would not be able to attain impacted her. So a number of things combined with this underlying pressure caused her to decide to remove herself from an energy that had more invested in her failing than succeeding. Her senior year stood as a testament to the rightness of her decision. Her attitude improved and with that her grades and with that her self-esteem. She took more risks and expanded more artistically than she ever had before. When she first made that decision, I had long talks with her. I posed different scenarios to her that she might face if she went through with this decision and asked her to consider how she might feel in those situations. However, she was not only thoughtful in her responses but articulate in her reasons. I could see she had made this decision mindfully and … Continue reading

It Does Get Better

I know you hear this all the time — a lot of times from those who don’t understand, who haven’t been there, who can’t comprehend the depth of toxicity and wrongness of having the other parent of your child personality disordered. Like it’s just a phase you will all grow through, your child, the other parent. Only it’s not a phase. It’s a dynamic — a toxic, poisonous, spirit crushing dynamic. Even without meeting the criteria of clinical narcissism, someone who is “just abusive” or “just a jerk” can wreck so much damage on a child. And now you have this. Not some kind of generational gap or personality clash or the usual conflicts between adolescents and parents or differences in child rearing styles or just someone who has poor parenting techniques. This isn’t something a course on parenting can help or insights from others that can clarify better dynamics or choices. In those cases, things do get better as the parent, in good faith, attempts to do a better job, when real efforts at communication are made, when realistic expectations and consequences are laid out that speak of respect and love. Or simply, in the case of older kids, … Continue reading

How Do I Teach My Child to Stand Up to the Narcissist Parent?

You don’t. You teach your child to value him or her self. It’s not easy for anyone to stand up to a narcissist, to address them head on, to hold them accountable, to draw the line. Never mind a child, with the narcissist being your parent on top of that. If narcissistic rage is terrifying for an adult, imagine what it’s like for a child. When you teach a child to value himself, you teach him to have a stronger sense of self. When you have a sense of who you are, you know where your boundaries are, where you end and another person begins. Standing up to any violation or trespass of that happens over time if the child has been given enough respect and role modeling on which to build a foundation for something healthier. “Enough” varies from person to person. Personal choice, also, factors into it greatly, but in my experience the human spirit is hungry for anything that acknowledges its dignity. Even intermittent examples of empowering acts can go a long way. Your task as a parent is to  model and set as many examples of that before your child as possible. It’s so hard to … Continue reading