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Late Starters Club Podcast

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Ep165 Transcript: Interview with Tracy Malone

December 4, 2023

[00:00:00] Welcome Tracy Malone

Andrea Vahl: My guest today has gone from a marketing professional to an international leading voice in the subject of narcissist abuse in the span of about eight years. It isn’t necessarily where she wanted to be, but it is a mission of hers and she has helped millions of people.

Tune in to today’s episode and find out how she’s done it and what she does to support so many.

Hello, dreamers! Welcome to the late starters club, giving you the inspiration, mindset, and tools you need to start something midlife and beyond remember, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Hey starters. It’s your host, Andrea Vahl. And I am joined today by the fabulous Tracy Malone, who I’ve known for a while. And I have watched her start a new business that no one would have ever really wanted to start, but you were drawn into starting that business. It’s called Narcissist Abuse Support.

She’s the founder of narcissistabusesupport.com and she is an author, speaker, educator and international narcissist abuse and divorce coach. She is a survivor, sur-thriver. love that, sur-thriver of abuse herself and and a global resource that reaches millions of survivors. She has over 2. 5 million views on YouTube. Over 30, 000 subscribers on YouTube and Pinterest and is the author of let me get back to the book, the book title, because I love it, Divorcing a Narcissist: You Can’t Make This Shit Up! As well as over, how many did you say, 35 journals,

Tracy_Malone: 36 journals.

Andrea Vahl: 36 journals. That is amazing. So welcome Tracy.

Tracy_Malone: Thank you so much for having

Andrea Vahl: me.

Yeah. So like I said, this is probably the journey that no one would want to take, but you are taking it and you are helping others survive and thrive and get through it. So why don’t you just talk a little bit about this journey?

You were doing different things before this obviously, and just launched into this. Tell us about how this started, how you launched this business.

[00:02:29] Tracy’s Personal Experience with Narcissists that Launched her Business

Tracy_Malone: I actually was with a lot of narcissists, as you can imagine, and I never knew what they were. So I made it through my divorce, which was called the most tortured in our town’s history by the judge, but no one ever said the word. So then I started dating another guy that friends introduced me to, and I had no idea what a narcissist was at that point, but I did find out he was cheating and I was like, get away, pig-dog. That’s it. We’re done. And he kept coming. Didn’t know what hoovering was. I had a lot to learn. After a church sermon on forgiveness, about three months later, I decided I’ll just stop and forgive him. I don’t want him back, but at least let’s just clear the air.

It was on my heart. He called the police and had me put in jail. And when I got out of jail, someone said, he’s gaslighting you, look it up. And that led to not only him, but then my ex, my ex’s family. And I’m like well, why me? How come my friends haven’t had this happen? Why me? How come my therapist didn’t tell me?

And, I started doing all this work.

[00:03:33] The Birth of Narcissist Abuse Support

Tracy_Malone: My son came home from college and said, mom, you should start a YouTube channel. So it started with that. And then I started support groups and they grew so big that the libraries would kick us out. And then we had to get another library. So we’d have 60 people a month.

So it was unintentional to create this. It was just, I needed support and I just moved into, you know, finding people that needed help and then I wanted to help them. So, I started to learn and not only heal for myself, but learn how to heal others.

It was overlapping my marketing career, which is how you knew me.

I did both of them for five years and now I’m three years only doing this, You know, building a resource, building all of the stuff that I’ve, bring to people. It’s rewarding. And I have people in Singapore and Dubai that say, I heard you on your podcast and I had to talk to you. And you know, it grew accidentally.

Andrea Vahl: Accidentally, but from your own need. And I think that’s so interesting because that’s often times what we see. Like we see something out there in the marketplace or something that we’re like, God, we wish something was out there like this. And it just ends up to be something we need to create.

And you are just so prolific. I was just going through all of the resources you have, you have, you know, podcast, YouTube channel the private Facebook group with people, the, tons and tons of blog posts and resources. It’s just absolutely incredible.

[00:05:05] Growing A Business from Passion to Make an Impact

Andrea Vahl: And I’m sure you’re making such a wonderful impact out there on the world.

And so kudos to you and it’s amazing. Now, I’m curious, did you, when you were in your marketing career, were you also creating this much? This much content, or is this something that’s just grown because of your passion for this?

Tracy_Malone: It’s, It’s grown out of my passion. I certainly marketed for people, you know, dentists, lawyers, all kinds of people, clients, but I was doing it for them. I was never marketing myself other than to get another website or another marketing client. And so I was able to take all my skills and move them into pointing at how do you build your business, Tracy?

How do you reach more people? So that became my mission.

Andrea Vahl: And I love that because it is it can be this great intersection of all the knowledge you have with the marketing with a passion and a service that you are clearly gifted at as well and just being able to help people. And it must be just so gratifying and wonderful to see kind of those different skillsets come into good use.

Tracy_Malone: It’s almost like, even if I look at all the abuse that I had endured again, when I looked at not only the ex and the ex, but then the why me became my family. Oh, my God. I was raised by them. No wonder. I never saw, like we thought ghosting was our family vacation, like that, and it was so normalized to us. Oh, they’ll be back.

They’re just in one of those moods, right? It was just the way I was used to. Uh, And so I had a lot to learn. I had to learn to set boundaries. I had to learn to trust again. I had to learn so much and everything I was doing for me, you know, ended up being something I could help clients

Andrea Vahl: Right. Yeah, if you’re in it, you can’t see it right. You can’t see what’s happening. And I’m sure there’s lots of people who have been raised in that family way that just, you know, think it’s normal way to communicate. So that is interesting.

What has been one of your most viral videos that you’ve done? I know you had some things that really took off early when you first started your channel. I remember watching you when you were doing this and I was like, wow, this is amazing. You know, as, as things were growing really quickly.

What was a moment where you were like, ooh, this is something.

Tracy_Malone: You know, I remember the first one, which actually is still the best one was a narcissist cheating video and last I look and I have not watched it in five years. I don’t want to because I’m not that girl anymore, but it still continues and it’s like over 400, 000 people have watched it. And I was in such a different place, but it’s exactly where the person who’s being cheated on needs to be and they get there, and it validates them. So that was a big one. And that was like, oh my God, look, it’s 20,000. Oh my God, it’s 30, you know, and it’s like over the years. And you know, Google must like it and YouTube likes it because it gets delivered and served as a good cheating video because of the abuse.

Andrea Vahl: And I’m sure that’s just can be a really, there’s all these entry points into connecting with you and working with you in different ways and, all of a sudden, Oh, I, I see that now I realize that I need resources, I need more help and I need more help.

And it’s great that you have so many ways for your business to help people. And that’s awesome.

So you picked out this question from the list of questions that I kind of have as ideas, but I love this for you too.

[00:08:52] The Turning Point for Tracy

Andrea Vahl: It’s just, let’s dive a little bit into something that went wrong for you that at the time you thought was a disaster. And you were able to pivot that around. What has been that for you?

Tracy_Malone: Well, other than being abused my whole life, other than that I think it was probably the arrest. I tell people that it was the worst day of my life and truly just blindsided to how someone could be that cruel to, it was actually the pinnacle that changed me. It was last straw, look this up Tracy, what is going on in your life?

Why do you keep having these horrible people in your life? And if that arrest had not happened, I am not sure I would be here. So as much as I still don’t think that was the right thing, no one should ever have that happen to them. For me, it was the pinnacle change.

Andrea Vahl: Right right. so how did that, how did that happen? How could he get that? How could he make that happen? I mean, I don’t know if you want to get into that whole story, but I’m just, I think it’s curious for our listeners to be like, how could that even happen?

Tracy_Malone: Well, apparently he’s done it before. I later found out from his ex-wife that he’d done it to her three times. He was trying to protect the new girlfriend, we call Supply, who happened to be in his driveway when I went to forgive him for the other one. So I call the other one, the Christmas one, door number two, and here’s door number three sitting in the driveway.

But I was like, but she’s been on Facebook and she always likes your stuff. I didn’t talk to her or him about her that day, but after the arrest, she reached out to me and said, what the hell happened? He had then dumped her because she knew too much. And so we became best friends. She stayed with me for three months. She was from Australia. We compared notes. When did you see him? He’d been seeing all three of us for two and a half years.

Andrea Vahl: Oh, my gosh.

Tracy_Malone: And I was like, when did you see him? He was either with me or this, right? And the bottom line was we compared calendars. I was, we all had a task. I was the babysitter. He would get his schedule every week and go, I’m going to be out of town Wednesday through Friday can you watch the kids?

Oh, this is a big one, I’m going to be gone for a week. Can you watch my kids and take them to soccer and give up your life? And I’d be like, sure. Okay. Right. And when I compared notes with this girl, number three, She was here in town. They stayed at the Westin Hotel down street from my house, but he would send me pictures of him in Chicago.

Not him in Chicago, but. Random pictures of Chicago going, wish you were here, but he was down the street. Right. And so that’s the kind of level of crazy that this man was, and he lost children and he should have, you know, he was a very, very vile man. again I only saw the charm and I ignored all the signs of his irresponsibility and his lack of trustability.

I just was like, Oh, okay. You know, It’ll be back tomorrow. But he was using us. I had the job. I was the babysitter so he could have sex with other people. Isn’t that wonderful? I’m so kind.

Andrea Vahl: Oh my Oh my goodness. That is just crazy. And I’m sure that , there’s the button. There’s the button for podcast listeners. She’s got the button that says you can’t make this shit up. I. I mean, really that’s, I mean, obviously the subtitle wrote itself you know, it does seem wild and when you are in it you trust, and I can see where you have that challenge of being able to trust again and no, no wonder there’s that, that has to be built up again and being able to trust yourself and trust others.

Tracy_Malone: I had to write a book,

I had to write a book on how to trust again in order to make sure I did it right next time.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. That is wild. And I think that’s just it’s just so amazing that you’re able to, again, like you said, you’re working 60 hours a week at this point, just really serving and giving people content and you’ve got all these ideas flowing. How do you manage all that?

[00:13:12] How does Tracy decide what content is needed in her business?

Andrea Vahl: How do you decide what direction to go? What is it, pulling in from your community or is it something that you say here’s what I know that they, they will need next. How do you decide some of that?

Tracy_Malone: It generally comes from the community. Even the subtitle of my book was because three people in one day came in and got on. You’re not going to believe this. You know, You can’t make this up. I was like, you know, but if hear a need in what I’m talking to clients about. I make material for it. One of the most important things that this was again, I think this is my second most popular video and it’s for parents with a narcissistic son or daughter in law that now isolates you from your grandchildren and won’t let you see your child.

Heartbreaking, right? But like, ten of these in a month. I’m like, okay, they all demand a ransom letter. They all demand an apology. They all, like, they have conditions. Buy us a house, a car, and then we’ll come back. And the parents do, and they don’t. Right? And so, it’s, it’s the most painful thing, and I fear it more than anything in the world, because I’m dealing with this all the time, that it’s just, this is the young generation coming in and we’re kind of used to sort of the middle aged and the people who have been with someone for a while, but this is new and these are 20 year olds.

These are 25 year olds that are now saying to the grandparents, you can never see your children, your grandchildren again, just to isolate and control their child. So I made a whole page about that. I made an ebook about that and the video just keeps getting more and more comments everyday. So it’s a need base.

Andrea Vahl: Right. So I’m sure you’re seeing some of these patterns in the community and you can, realize, it’s almost like you, like you said you see all the patterns and then you’re able to provide the framework for, hey, here’s the flags you watch for and here’s, some things that you can do and how do you navigate through that challenge?

I know probably everything’s can be a little bit different, but. Yeah. Yeah and how great for other people to be able to come together and see that I’m not alone in this.

Tracy_Malone: And that’s when I started my Facebook group and now have like, I there’s like seven admins that have been doing it volunteer for eight years. Right. And, we have so many people that come in every single day and you know, it’s just monitoring. So we have that. And I also, have two groups a week with women. And, that’s how I learned so much for my book was listening to them and following them for a year and going, this was their divorce journey. And this is what we learned from that. And that really was the footprint of my book.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah, that’s just, it’s truly amazing work. and probably challenging stories to hear, you know, having come through it, and I’m sure you’ve had to do a lot of your own, healing first before you can help others, I’m sure.

Tracy_Malone: The horrific stories. I know a lot of people that do this work and they’re like two people a day, like the trauma that we’re hearing, the rapes, the beatings, the ribs that are broken, the stealing of their children, these stories are painful to listen to. And I know people that can only do 2 a day. And I’m like, yeah, no, that’s not enough. There’s too many people that need my help.

So, I did have to go to lots of different therapists to learn how to not take on their energy. And I have really big crystal stone under my monitor right now that absorb all the negative stuff so that I can not take it on or sit there as an empathetic person. I feel for them. So I had to learn to dial it down so that I could keep going.

Andrea Vahl: Right, right. yeah. That’s a skill in itself. So different than, you know, marketing background. It’s like a whole new challenge, a whole new muscle that you’re having to build with that. So that’s amazing. That’s wonderful.

I’m curious about, you said one of the other questions that resonated with you was something that you used to be afraid of now that doesn’t have power over you.

[00:17:19] Learning to Overcome Fear

Andrea Vahl: Obviously, other than, you know, narcissists, but I’m curious to hear what else is there for you.

Tracy_Malone: Well, I think fear was a huge thing being raised by narcissists. It was, It was my driving force, right? And I didn’t know how to control it. And I didn’t know you know, the things like I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I had to learn to put all those things down. even facing the book, you know, launching a book that’s 300 pages.

What if I didn’t make a legal mistake or I’m telling people’s lives, this is so important. And I had to go and face that sort of imposter syndrome to go, you know what Tracy? Fears are, are not something that can control you unless you let them, we can have them, we can experience them, but we have to move through them.

And that’s, I’m actually teaching a fear class tonight. So it kind of works out, but that was something that really limited me. And I had to learn to put it down and go, there’s no truth to that, Tracy. Why are you holding on Right. And when you get empowered to let go of something that you’ve been holding your whole life, your life completely changes.

[00:18:28] Battling against Imposter Syndrome to Serve Your Community

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And imposter syndrome is huge. To me, it feels like it doesn’t matter how much education you have, how much background you have, all that stuff that you could have on paper, there’s still, I think, comes a time where like, who am I to be out there?

I mean, you’re out there on the forefront, a very visible spokesperson for this, and I’m sure that it’s challenging to be so visible in a space like this.

Tracy_Malone: Yeah. And and again, I think I’m compared to therapists or psychologists and that’s the education I don’t have. You know, I could teach you Facebook and I can teach you all this other stuff, but I don’t have the, you know, certificate of being a therapist. A coach is different, right? But, I know that because I treat so many psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists, that I have something they don’t have.

It’s not my experience. It’s, I have read over a thousand books. I read four books a month and I often read the book of someone I’m going to interview before I even interview them. So it’s ever growing knowledge. And so that’s what the therapists don’t have. They get two weeks in school to learn about all personality disorders and that’s not enough for them to be immune to it happening to them.

And so that’s why I’ve sort of like, um, okay, I’m helping these therapists and I’m helping the psychologist and they need this. And it’s not about the formal education. It’s about what I’ve done with what I’ve learned.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. It’s so true. And I think the thing is you’re, connecting with people. you’re doing all the reading. I mean, that’s what you do in school. You read books, right? You learn and you read books and you’re in there helping the people in the trenches.

And that is so valuable in itself, rather than sitting in a classroom, you are there. Experiencing it being with people and I mean, the same, I’ve never had a marketing degree. I don’t have any background in marketing, but I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books and taken lots of classes and, written some books myself.

And it does that imposter syndrome still comes up for me where I’m like, oh, you know, I don’t know if I know enough to be talking about this. So

Tracy_Malone:

It So…Ppens.

it’s

It happens to all of us. You know, I, I don’t think that anyone has is immune to that because it made in all of us and we have to overcome that.

And overcome the fear that maybe we are not as smart or maybe we don’t have all the answers, but you know what? I’m not claiming to have all the answers, but I sure can help someone through this pain.

Andrea Vahl: And that’s what if you just focus on who you’re serving and coming from, the highest intent of making sure that they are, getting the help that they need and having this experience and recognizing, where can we pull resources? And if you’re helping people, does it matter that you have a degree or not?  If it’s truly helping people through to the other side and making sure that they are, served and they’re well and they’re heard and they’re healing, then I think that it’s all about doing good in the world.

And there’s, having a piece of paper that says you’re good enough is not where you need to be.

Tracy_Malone: But again, narcissistic parents, right? So many people who have been abused like me don’t even realize, or sometimes they do, the family legacy that’s inside of them. And right before my father died, right before my book came out. He said to me, last thing, “you’re writing a book? Who the hell would read your book? You never even wrote a term paper.” And that’s what I’m holding onto because that pissed me off and drove me to get that book out. I was like, you know what I’ll show you, you know what? It’s a bestseller and it’s still selling a lot every day. So don’t be sitting there telling me what I can’t do because that’s what I listened to my whole life.

And I had That recording of no, no, that’s not true. And sorry that you’re not here, to see that I am successful, but that’s not my legacy. My legacy is to help others and not hold on to the stuff that my parents told me.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Yeah. That’s wild to hear that from a parent. And it doesn’t matter if it’s young or old, it’s still very hurtful. So that’s that is awful. But it, then shows you the breadcrumbs of where things started, right? Where things Can start there and being able to recognize that there’s a reason, it has more power, someone can have more power later in life.

That is amazing and such a great thing that you’re out there doing.

[00:23:15] Being Features on the Narcissist Trap

Andrea Vahl: What is a story that you’re really proud of, or a moment that you’re really proud of in your journey here?

Tracy_Malone: it was actually a year ago this month, probably this week. If I look back at it. I was asked to be part of a Hollywood production on narcissist called the Narcissist Trap. And they called me and flew me to Utah to be in a big studio and be interviewed by Robert Redford’s daughter, Amy, and it was going to reach 10 million people.

And I was so proud. I was so scared in that studio, but I pushed through the fear and I got it. And it came out really good. And I was a little like. Well, There you go, Tracy. Good job. I’m so proud of doing that because it’s not just the people who watch my YouTube channel or any YouTubes.

It’s Hollywood. It’s getting to people that are watching something that don’t know what they don’t know yet. And a lot of people are like, Oh my God, that’s my sister’s relationship. let me, let me point her in the right direction. Right. To have Hollywood come out and do this. Big production was a really big move and I’m so proud to be part of it.

Andrea Vahl: Oh, that is amazing. How awesome. I love that. And it is about just like finding different ways to get that message out. Right? Because, you’ve got a lot of followers on Pinterest and YouTube a lot of material out, but if people aren’t looking for it in a more intentional way, sometimes it’s just not going to reach people.

And so if they’re seeing it in a different way and all of a sudden thinking, hey, wait a second. And just like yourself, you didn’t really recognize it because it was also in your family origin. So that is amazing. And is that out right now?

Tracy_Malone: It is, I actually have the CD of it, but yeah, the Narcissist Trap I’m holding up. It is something that you can go to the Narcissist Trap and watch it there. It’s a whole series and they brought in some of the top heavy hitters. And I’m so honored to be called one of the top experts. I’m like, Oh my God.

Yeah.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And all of this happened in a span of what, seven years?

Tracy_Malone: Eight years. It’ll be eight years since I learned and, 10 since my divorce. So, I learned the hard way, but I’m taking and making such amazing lemonade, I often say, screw lemonade, I’m making a difference.

[00:25:42] Favorite Quote from “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway”

Andrea Vahl: That’s awesome. I love that so much. Oh my gosh, Tracy. This is amazing. You’re amazing. And as these things go so quickly, but as I love to do at the end of the interview is just have you share a motivational saying or inspirational quote that you have that you want to share with our listeners.

Tracy_Malone: Sure. It’s from a book called Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, and I actually have it written and I hold it up for clients all day long. Whatever happens to me, given any situation, I will handle it. Instead of fearing and worrying about it, I’ll handle it. I’m not going to worry about something that’s not happening until February.

I’m just gonna. When I get there I’ll, take care of it. And knowing that you have that power, you’ve already taken care of so much, but it really helps ground people to go, you know what, don’t fear it and worry about it for the next week before Thanksgiving dinner. And you’re going to have a big party like.

Do it and get through it and whatever happens, you’ll handle it, right? And it’s oh, instead of fearing and worrying about something, empower yourself with, I’ll handle it. And it works for me. And it works for many of my clients.

Andrea Vahl: That’s great. I’m sure there’s so much fear related to possibly having to leave a relationship, having kids involved, family, having your, your house and home, everything like that, just all tied up in the mix. And I’m sure it’s just such a scary time for so many people going through this.

So it’s great that you are helping empower people to deal with these situations that they can be in without even realizing what might be happening. And it’s great that you can be such a shining example for how someone can get out and thrive, sur-thriver as you said. And I love it. So congratulations on all your success and on all your impact.

I love how, what a difference you are making out there in the world. Yeah.

Tracy_Malone: It’s pretty powerful. And I’m so grateful that you had me here on Late Starters Club.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:27:52] Connect with Tracy

Andrea Vahl: And why don’t you share with people where they can find you best and we’ll have links of course, in the show notes here, where can people connect with you?

Tracy_Malone: The best place is go to my website, NarcissistAbuseSupport.com, and then you’ll find the links to the Facebook group and my YouTube channel and my podcasts and pretty much everything that you need is right there.

Andrea Vahl: Yeah. And you guys, I was like totally going down a whole rabbit hole of all the support and all the resources that are there. There’s so much there. For anyone all different types of issues and problems that people face. So love it. So thank you so much, Tracy.

Tracy_Malone: Thank you for having me.

Andrea Vahl: Hope that was helpful and make sure you grab the free guide top tools for late starters on the website at LateStartersClub.Com and let’s turn dreamin

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Late Starters Club Podcast
Late Starters Club Podcast

This is the place for inspiration, motivation, and mindset resets. You will walk away ready to take action with practical and informative advice from some of the most amazing “Late Starters” on the planet.

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