Retraining Your Brain To Be More Confident and Positive

Jason Mraz Sunshine Song

The narcissist is a master at faking it. He is so good at it that he doesn’t even have to “make it” ( fake it til you make it, you know?) The narcissist/ psychopath comes across as confident, in control, intelligent, worldly, and trustworthy. At least mine did, and as with most people I found those traits to be very attractive and sexy.

Let’s face it, people are drawn to confident, intelligent, in control people. We tend to trust them because they seem to know what they are talking about, what they want out of life and they seem to know how to get it. People don’t like wishy washy, sorry, they just don’t. They don’t like loud and brash egomaniacs either but my narc didn’t come across that way, did yours at first?

Many of us were targeted by the Narc because we too were self assured, intelligent and trustworthy, and trusting and giving and forgiving and empathetic and good listeners and  and and……..

By the time the narcissist/psychopath was done with us we were none of those things, we were left a shell of the person we once were, not even a good looking shell. We had either lost a lot of weight or gained it, some of us lost hair, others got a lot greyer, more wrinkled, and we all lost that sparkle in our eyes and our zest for life. Most of all we have lost all confidence in our ability to do pretty much anything. We are barely functioning with the N waiting for us to drop so he can kick us when we’re down or kick our feet out from under us if we get up.

Pretty hard to muster up any confidence when this is where you are in your life. I love Ted TalkX, that is my “go to” place for inspirational videos on any subject, so that is where I went today looking for resources to help some of you with your confidence and changing your life around from negative to positive. I have always done self talk and positive reinforcement with myself, for years I have had conversation and arguments in my head with myself so when I was left a shell I did have some past experience at building myself back up. It took me a long time because i didn’t have help so I am hoping these videos will help you speed up the process for yourselves. First I found this Ted TalkX video about building confidence.

And then I found this video on Ted TalkX about how people get stuck in the negatives. I have noticed that people tend to get stuck in a negative state and can’t bring themselves out of it, I didn’t realize there had actually been a study done on it. (I should have known there would be a study, there is a study on everything under the sun) I found it very interesting though.

Black_Clouds_by_aowTNT

Negative breeds negative so it is very hard to break away from that mind set and to break the cycle. I had never experienced the effects of negativity before in my life until I met my ex, yet he always told me he couldn’t handle my negativity! Right.

In my life BJC (before JC), things always had a way of working out, I didn’t expect bad things to happen. I looked forward to Christmas, birthdays, going home after work, I looked forward to my days, my life, and then with my ex I stopped expecting positive things to happen and found myself waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time. If I had plans to go somewhere, I grew more and more nervous and tense wondering if I would get there or would he start a fight, would the car break down………..I knew he would do something, but what? It got to the point that IF I did make it to wherever I wanted to go, I was surprised. But you can never enjoy anything when you are always on edge waiting for something bad to happen.

You get programed to expect the worst, your brain stops thinking of all the good things that can happen and only focuses on the bad stuff. And you know what? if all you think about is negative shit, that is what you get in your life. It just works that way.

I had managed to maintain a positive outlook on life for most of the 10 years I was with my ex. Every time we split good things just fell in my lap. (he wasn’t around to screw it up) It was amazing, I would only have to think “I need a couch” and by the end of the day someone would give me one. I would pray in the morning to make $500 and by the end of the day I would make $499.95. Even my mother couldn’t help but be impressed by how reliable my good luck was.

It must have pissed off  my ex emmensely!! They hate happy people who get stuff, they want it all for themselves.

So when I left the last time I was confident that things would go as they always did, once I was out of the control of the ex my life would fall into place again, good things would start happening. But they didn’t. nope. I was so deep into negativity I couldn’t see the light of day. That last two years with him, without the support of my family, without friends, and with him doing his level best to make sure he destroyed me this time had taken its toll and I was fearful, negative and had lost all faith in God or anything good ever happening in my life. I tried to fake it til I made it, I prayed and nothing happened, i sunk deeper into despair and negativity. I knew the negativity was not working in my favor but how do you think positive when nothing good is happening around you?

There were good things happening, but I couldn’t see them for the black cloud that hung over my head. I was also still in contact with the ex and he fed my negativity by continuing to sabotage my truck, texting and then not replying when I answered, saying he was coming over and then not showing up, promising me money and then reneging, you name it he did it, dropping a little crumb of nice every once in a while to keep me hooked. I was totally dependent on him to feel good. Scary position to put yourself in, one call from him, a short conversation and I could make it through the night. He was my drug, my oxegen, he was my life.

So how did I turn things around? It took a long time, the results of my efforts didn’t appear for a long time and I was about to lose hope but I kept faking it until I made it. I would go out there and smile and chat with people and pretend I was happy. I might cry all the way home but I put on a happy face when I was out. I blogged a lot. I loved my puppies and trust me I bitched a lot about how unfair the world was and how I was never going to overcome all these obstacles.

But I would take a long walk with the dogs and appreciate the mountains, the babbling creek, the fresh blueberries I picked every morning and I did a lot of self talk. All it took was for one good thing to happen and my whole life took on a more positive glow. I got the job at Ccon, it was the catalyst and i went with it. I got the house deal, I found money I didn’t know I had and once I was on a roll it just kept coming.

Now, bad shit has happened since, I have had two heart attacks, two strokes, I lost my job and I can no longer afford to buy this house. The ex tried his best to destroy everything good that had come into my life and it didn’t work. I still can find myself worrying about what he might pull next but I don’t dwell on it because I don’t want to bring that negativity back into my life. I have never lost my positive attitude since things switch over. It is so much easier to stay positive than try to dig yourself out of negativity I am afraid of the ex and his black cloud. I would never go back to him because i found out how hard it is to rid yourself of that black fog that permeates everything and blocks the sun. A toxic black cloud of evil negativity that will suck the life right out of you.

Start small, keep a journal and write down something you are thankful for every single day. It may seem silly, or impossible, but everyone has something to be thankful for, force yourself. You may think it can’t help, you are too down, there is no help for you. I call bullshit. I have been there and I know it works. You have to start somewhere and sometime, might as well be now.

sun through clouds

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19 thoughts on “Retraining Your Brain To Be More Confident and Positive

  1. Pingback: Shared from WordPress | Treebeardgarden's Blog

  2. lonely

    I understand everything you say and believe it. I am trying so hard to be happy, i take my dog to the beach and that used to bring me such joy but i can’t find that joy at the moment, i see couples and remember what a lie i have been living, i see a single male and want to run for cover, i see children playing and that doesn’t even bring a smile to my face. I just got a job and it’s great to be learning something new and distracted, i try to practise mindfulness and stay in the moment, but then i really just want to collapse in a heap on the floor and sob, i hold it in cos i think i will never stop crying, i can’t talk to anyone because of the shame i feel for taking him back into my life, he worked me so well and has left me destroyed, time will heal says my therapist, but time won’t go fast enough, the hurt is so painful. The best i can do these days is force myself to eat three meals a day. In hindsight there were so many red flags that i choose to ignore, blame i took for things i never did, walking on egg shells to keep the peace, putting my needs and wants last, giving everything i had to him, propping him up financially, supporting him through illness, basically letting my life revolve around his needs and at the time believing he loved me, but one who loves doesn’t do what he did to me, i have a reoccurring nightmare that haunts me all day. I JUST WANT IT TO BE OVER, THE PAIN TO HEAL, i would rather have been shot.

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    1. andrea from raising peanut

      lonely,

      I get it. I was there, I am there. I felt like you feel only 3 months ago. I felt it for two full months. I lost 35 lbs. I’m 3 months out from when he went silent. Have you been reading a lot on this blog and others like this? It’s amazing what you will learn.

      My therapist said the same thing. Time. It will pass. Time takes time and that sucks so so much. Keep doing what you’re doing. Make a list of all the things you love about YOU. Make a list of all the things you did NOT like about him, how he hurt you.

      You will need to give all those lovely things he gave you to yourself. You have to do it, no one else will right now. And you are already doing so much.

      Listen girl, YOU DESERVE BETTER. You WILL have better. You will! There is someone out there BETTER than him. All those great things he did for you at first? Someone else will bring them to you life too. Even better. You’re beautiful, inside and out. Don’t forget that. You have to hold on, you can’t let him kill you. You have to sit in the sunlight and take in any warmth and love from that. You can do it. I did it and I am full of suicidal thoughts. I wanted to stalk, snoop, beg… all of it. I got thru that stage. YOu will too. I found out horrifying things about him after we broke up. What a liar he was! My man, my comfort, my lover, my best friend. He said I was his best friend. I loved him! My child loved him!

      But I’m getting better daily… set backs included. I’m doing it and so can you.

      Girl… there’s a whole world out there waiting for you to grab it.

      Hugs…

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  3. Andrea from Raising Peanut

    Two heart attacks Carrie? Oh my! You are so young!! And strokes? I am so glad you survived. You have no idea how you’ve helped me in the past 24 hours. And the fact that you still write about it all even tho you are well past it is amazing. I am so grateful I found you and that you are out here sharing your story. We who benefit are all so fortunate.

    Gratitude is helpful and I do write those lists. I send them out to a few people. We call it a daily dozen altho I rarely do it daily.

    You said, “There were good things happening, but I couldn’t see them for the black cloud that hung over my head.”

    And

    “So how did I turn things around? It took a long time, the results of my efforts didn’t appear for a long time and I was about to lose hope but I kept faking it until I made it. I would go out there and smile and chat with people and pretend I was happy. I might cry all the way home but I put on a happy face when I was out. I blogged a lot.”

    I have the black cloud right now. I dream of him, think of him so often. The only thing that helps as of late is prayer (lots of it) and reading your blog (and another one or two).

    Did you work steps around this? There seems to be a method or two out there. A support group? How did you turn it around? I hear you say make it till you fake it. I get that. I am doing that daily. I am faking it like crazy. Anyone looking over will see I’m OK and so is my child. But inside, alone I’m crazy. I am dying inside. Hurting. I cried often. I can’t say on a public site but I found evidence that he is still with her and that he threw my letters away. I cannot believe he will make a curtain call as you said. I am willing to bet (as you said). I will wager. I will donate money to your site if he does. Name the price. I cannot believe it.

    What did you do to get better? I want to be where you are at! 🙂 🙂

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  4. Carrie Reimer Post author

    Andrea, and Lonely. I don’t want to discourage you but I started my blog 3 and 1/2 years ago after I failed in my suicide attempt. I know what hopeless feels like believe me. I could not see a light, anyway I would ever find happiness again, or recoup from the financial disaster I was (am) in. I had no one, no friends my mom had turned her back on me. I understand pain, I could sit for hours on the couch staring into space, the TV on but not absorbing any of it. I would realize I was reminding myself to breath and I even thought “maybe I can just forget to breath and die”. You can’t.
    I slept on the couch for the first year (a friend found me a trailer I could live in for free because the guy was out of town working, it was a real dive but I cleaned it and it was ok) I could not go to bed, the minute I did I would be wide awake so I would leave the TV on and just sleep on the couch. That way i got a couple of hours sleep at a time.
    Part of the reason I had the heart attacks was my horrible eating habits. I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to eat so I ate TV dinner and they are so high in sodium; killer. Plus the stress and I hadn’t been to the dentist for so long and had abscessed teeth for years. But they say that a woman who has been in an abusive relationship is 70% more likely to have heart decease. It can kill you. There is actually something called Broken Heart Syndrome. I always thought dying of a broken heart was just a saying, but it is an actual medical fact. You can die of a broken heart.
    The first 2 years after we split I woke up every day and thought, “I can not do this one more day.” But I made it through the day. I was living in a hell hole too. In winter so cold, no running water. I can’t believe I survived.

    When I tried suicide I took a bunch of dif pills and when I couldn’t swallow any more and couldn’t walk any more I text my ex and asked him to come get the dog in the morning. He never responded.

    When I woke up the next day I was disappointed I lived but I also realized he had never come, or sent an ambulance or called anyone to check on me. He had just left me to die alone. It was a really harsh reality check.

    Then a mutual friend showed up at my place. He said that my ex had called him and asked him to meet in Abbotsford (where I was living, my ex lived in another town an hour away) for coffee. My friend said he was sitting waiting for my ex when it hit him that he should come and visit me. He messaged my ex to say meet at my place. (none of our friends believed we would stay split because we always got back together and no one ever saw it when it was bad) My ex never showed up and never asked him if I was ok.

    He showed up a few days later and acted like nothing had ever happened. I asked if he was seeing someone and he said,”I don’t know why you get so upset. I always come back to you.”

    A couple of weeks later I found out he was dating someone and I was upset and he told me to kill myself because no man would ever want a suicidal, paranoid, demanding bitch like me. He had found the love of his life and she was nothing like me, she was calm and rational and he didn’t have to lie to her.

    I sat there for a long time with more pills and I thought No I am not going to give him the satisfaction. But I didn’t trust myself to not be strong enough. I had heard somewhere that if a person is suicidal you should get them to sign a contract stating they will not kill themselves without calling you first. Apparently a contract makes the person accountable. So I started the blog, and I declared to the world I was going to survive and I was going to get over this, I was going to keep researching and sharing what I was going through until I made it to the other side. I thought if I am going through this there has to be some other woman out there somewhere going through it too and if I can save one woman there will be a purpose for what I went through. That was April 2011. I split from my ex in Dec 2010. So 5 months after I left I was still suicidal.

    The first year I just wrote about the pain and the struggles I was dealing with and then finally one person commented and then two and they were really supportive. That first year I had 2070 hits in the whole 9 months.
    I get that in a day now. LOL

    Somewhere along the way people started to call me an inspiration and the rest is history.

    But honestly, the real healing started when I went no contact. it hurt, God it hurt but I started to heal. You can’t heal if you keep seeing and talking to him. it is like ripping the bandage off of a cut too soon. You rip the scab off and it bleeds again and hurts again.
    I didn’t hear from him after he told me to kill myself and I never contacted him again. I really couldn’t subject myself to that any more. I knew it.
    It was Oct 2011 I had my first heart attack and then in Nov he popped up out of no where, where I worked and said he had heard about my heart attack and he needed to tell me something.

    He cried and was full of apologies, always loved me etc. I was a mess, like I had never been away from him. He started coming around where I was living and so I unblocked him on FB and found out he had gotten engaged only a few days before he had shown up crying and apologizing saying he would always love me.

    That is when I went no contact again and it has stuck. He has stalked me, hacked into my phone GPS, put a tracking device on my truck, tried to get me fired and evicted by making anonymous complaint calls. That is when I had my second heart attack. But I was more positive by that time and I also realized how dangerous he is.

    But this month it is 4 years since we split.

    I am still getting better all the time. I still have the odd dream with him in it but I don’t wake up crying any more and I never cry about him any more. I don’t cry about my situation much either. I really try to stay in the moment, and trust that things will work out for the best.

    I mended things with my mom, my son has moved back closer to me, many things have changed. I think almost dying made me realize that he wasn’t worth it. And then to know he was stalking me and trying to ruin any chance I have of a secure future. Plus I found out more about him after we split that were really ugly.

    Every time I found out something else it would set me back but I would have a bad week or two and then get through it. I have done a ton of soul searching. Rehashing the relationship to see where I could have changed and the more I did that the more I realized I did everything I could and it was never enough. And i realized that it didn’t matter who he was with, he treated me like crap and he almost killed me several times, why would I want to be with a man who wanted me dead?

    There was no one thing, no event, no aha moment that did it for me. it was just time and reading, researching, soul searching and refusing to let the bastard win.

    That is why I wrote the blog, to give everyone else the benefit of my journey. There are over 800 posts, it would take forever to read them all and some are boring but I have shared the whole journey in hopes it would help someone else and recently I have tried to recap what I learned so people have the cliff notes and don’t have to do the research themselves. I have learned a lot over the past 4 years.

    I figure if it took me two years and I didn;t go no contact until 9 months out a person who goes no contact immediately and reads my posts and does the inner work should be healed within a year.

    Well that was long!!!
    Hope it helped.
    Hugs to you both and I Andrea, I am so glad you have found something helpful here. Really this blog has saved my life and taken the worst experience of my life and turned it into a positive.

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  5. Kristine

    Very good point about us being confident and positive women before the nar entered our lives. You couldn’t get more independent then me; positive; raised myself; drove myself to college alone; lived with a friend when I couldn’t afford a dorm; then my senior year I met my nar who was 7 years older; established; wanted to give me some peace and be a partner. 20 years, 3 kids, later, I find it hard not to wait for the next drama. It’s been 7 years since I kicked him out, but the battle, the control, and the hate I get from him leaves me depleted. When he left, i just gave birth to my 3rd son (planned), and was a depleted, skinny mess. I never knew I could be that way! I’m still in the battle to make him pay for what he owes me, because the part of me that does feel entitled for justice never died and he’s trying to make me give that part of me up too….and I won’t…and that justifies the legal fees for me. Over the past year I have been more positive and confident, yet I still have much to go to reclaim that woman before she trusted a nar.

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  6. Andrea from Raising Peanut

    Carrie,

    I cried just now reading your story. I feel for you. I feel for that woman you were… I feel for myself right now! I’m blessed and my N didn’t destroy my whole life, but he took my self-esteem and my desire to parent my child away from me (I let him).

    And I’m still so sad that he rejected me. I can’t imagine he would ever take me back (ha, see how sick I still am?) after what I did to him. I did some things too after I found out about his kinky weird side. After I saw him with another woman, after I found out he slept with her and said all the things to her that he said to me. I wanted to hurt him. I was crazy in pain and I acted out. There is NO WAY he would come back. No way. And despite what I’m learning, I WISH he would! I wish he would….

    Because then I could have the last word. Me. I want that. I want to slam the door shut in his face. I want to hear him beg. I wish he would. It’s all I’d need.

    He never will.

    And I’m sad too because as I walked to my car this morning after taking my little one to school I wondered how I would ever feel the same about someone else. Would I ever have a man in my life who looked as good as my N did in his jeans? Oh those jeans! Oh man. He was so good looking…

    I try not to think about it. I try to think about how weird he looked when he walked. How embarrassed I was sometimes to be with him bc of how he slicked his hair back. Ugh…

    What a journey this is.

    And yours? I just want to hug you. I’m glad you’re out this far. I hurt for you, the woman on the couch. That’s me sometimes. I just want to get thru my day. I plop on my couch staring into space. I want this black cloud to go away.

    I loved this man, dammit. I loved you, you creep. 😦 I would have went to the moon and back for you.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Andrea, Sorry for taking so long to reply, I was busy with my son all weekend.
      I understand totally the jeans thing, when I read that I had to smile. My ex was the sexiest man I had ever been with, not the most handsome, but from the moment our eyes met across the bar (I know just like in the movies) I was hooked. from the first time we kissed until about a year and 1/2 ago I never thought of another man, kissed another man or thought I could ever make love to another man. I had resigned myself to just get healthy and live a full life with my son and grand daughter and being 56 I felt I would just live without a man in my life. It didn’t make me sad, it was just a fact.
      I can look at a picture of him now and wonder why I thought he was so good looking, I can remember being with him and thinking “he isn’t so great” but when he would dress up, oh myyyy the man had a great body and he had these strong big hands, I loved his hands.
      There were times I didn’t think I would survive the sex it was so intense; I was afraid to be with another man.
      Most N’s are extremely good lovers, but I also think that a large part of it is the rejection and indifference, then they want us and it is the combo of being wanted by them and their skill that makes it so good. The best times were when we would have had a fight or he would have dumped me and then we would meet up later and we would have sex, sometimes right in the vehicle and he always was so attentive when we were split. The minute we were back together he stopped caring about if I was enjoying it. I think it was all part of the control, he could treat me like shit,break my heart and have me a basket case all day and then call at 6 pm and ask if I had eaten yet. I would meet him somewhere and it was such a relief to be with him, the anticipation of if he would call, then will he be loving and then the sex. It was all part of the game.

      All very intense emotions at opposite ends of the spectrum but so opposite them are almost touching. (If you know what I mean) Have you ever cried after making love? you’re not sad, it is just so intense you have this release of emotions. I have thought “What the hell? why am I crying” But when they dump you, reject you, they are so cruel about it and blame the other person and they aren’t just angry, they reject you. Rejection is one of the hardest things for a person to deal with, not just in love relationships, any dealings with people. In business, family, friendships, the relationship is always more important if the person rejects you. It is human nature to want to be liked, accepted, loved and that is what attracted us to the N to begin with. They accept and love us totally, flaws and all. No matter how confident you are, not many people have ever been loved exactly the way they are. So when they reject us it is monumental!! then when they “forgive” us and we make love the tensity is incredible.Like they say there is a fine line between love and hate and it is true, because they are both such intense emotions. Does that make sense?

      I felt the very same as you for geee, a long time after we split. I would dream about us making love. I truly never thought I would make love to another man. But I did last year and although the relationship didn’t go anywhere and I was find with that; I did enjoy sex. The guy had to really work at getting me into bed because I just wasn’t into it, I was scared and it was like 2 years after my ex and I split but it was ok, I was ok, and now I know if I meet someone in the future it will be ok then too and it has the potential to be great also.

      How I got through the loving him is I allowed myself to love him. Everyone always says “How can you still love him after what he did to you?” “Just forget him” “there is something wrong with you if you still love him”

      We start to get defensive because we still have feelings for him, we worry about the fact that we love him, what is wrong with us? I will never get over him.

      One night I thought to myself.

      I don’t care, maybe his love wasn’t true, maybe he is with someone else and doesn’t care about me. BUT it was the greatest love of MY life, and it ended when I was not ready. I can’t shut off those feelings like that. I don’t have to stop loving him. I have to accept he doesn’t love me, I have to accept it was unhealthy, I have to accept it is over but I don’t have to stop loving him. I can love him til the day I die if I want to. I don’t have to act on it but I can feel it.

      For me, it made it so much easier. I was in love with loving him.
      Lets face it, we didn’t love him because he loved us so well. We loved them because we loved them so well. We liked how it felt to give of ourselves to totally and unconditionally. I had never loved like that before in my life, it is such a pure love. They challenge us to love them that way, they make it all but impossible to love them. I remember my ex actually saying to me “its not so easy to love someone when they aren’t loving you back, is it?”

      If you have ever dieted you know the minute you tell yourself you can’t ever have cake again it is all you can think about and it is almost impossible to not run out and buy a cake. The diets that really work allow you a little bit of cake once in a while and they don’t tell you that you can never have cake again. NOW that does not mean you should break no contact and go get a piece of cake but it means you don’t have to deny yourself loving him. Accept that you still love him and allow yourself to miss him. I used to set up a time when I would allow myself to have a pity party. I would read old letters or look at old pictures and miss him, have a good cry and then get on with my day. Tears are cleansing, grief is healing and it does not have to rule you. You are taking all the right steps, doing stuff for you, 12 step program etc……….. all exactly what you should be doing.

      You don’t have to throw all the letters and stuff away. That is not doing no contact. No contact is continuing to send emails, call him, look at his face book etc because you are just setting yourself up for more rejection and heartache.

      I couldn’t make decisions either after we split. I would go out for dinner in a restaurant and not be able to decide what I wanted. it was frustrating as hell and I felt so stupid, it wasn’t that he told me what to eat or that I had a hard time deciding what to eat when I was with him, it was just something that manifested after we split. I found it hard to function period, I had to work so I would force myself out the door. I had to walk my dog so I forced myself to do that. But some areas I just was not myself at all.

      The big thing for me was I had been an immaculate house keeper. I never went to bed with a dirty dish in the sink, my house was always perfectly clean and organized. After we split I turned into a slob. I didn’t do dishes until there was no clean dishes. I drank my coffee from a cereal bowl because there were no clean cups lol I threw dishes away because I didn’t want to wash them. I was ashamed of how my house looked but I could not bring myself to clean it and if i did it would take me days to do it. I don’t know why but it just was. I am not that way now but I am not the neat freak I used to be either. I still not as organized as i would like but I am working on it. I cooked dinner for my son and his g/f on Friday night and didn’t do the dishes until Sat night. Who cares? they got done. I just didn’t feel like it Friday night. No one died cuz I didn’t do dishes. I have learned to let things go.

      Everyone and we want to go back to the person we were, and I don’t think that is possible nor do I think it has to be a bad thing. We will be forever changed because of the N, we have to accept that, believe that like you said, we are where we should be at this moment in time and God has a plan for us.

      I used to be an excellent cook, I never had a fail when I cooked a dinner and I had lavish dinner parties and open houses, and Christmas dinners that I prepared days in advance. Everyone raved about my cooking. But half way through the relationship I couldn’t make anything taste good. I would burn it, or it would be tasteless. I thought I had lost my talent for cooking and it bothered me. But lately I have made some really good stuff!! I gave my brother some salmon chowder I made and he called me after his 4th bowl and said he couldn’t stop eating it and was sick but he was having another bowl. My mom told me today he even called her to tell her how good it was. I made pulled pork that everyone raved about and my kid called to say the guys were talking about it the next day.
      I don’t know why, don’t know how, but it came back to me.

      We get the shit kicked out of us. Our reality is destroyed, We were set up to take the biggest fall of our life. People lose everything in life, the economy tanks, they make a bad investment, they have a tragic accident and there is always something we can blame, there is a reason for it. It may be a shitty reason like a drunk driver, or we made a bad decision. We can always find a reason or something to blame even it is ourselves. But with an N, we did our best, we loved better than we ever loved before, we believed in the person we loved, and then it is gone. He dumps us and blames us for everything, but we know it can’t be all our fault because we tried everything we could and nothing was good enough. We know he screwed around, we put up with so much thinking he would appreciate our loyalty and dedication to him and instead he loathed us and laughed in our face. Do we blame ourselves for loving someone who presented himself one way and was a lie? He won’t own any of it and blames us and we have no way to defend ourselves. So what do we do with it, how do we live with it?

      We just do. We do an honest self inventory, we own where we screwed up;
      I can think back to a ton of times I lost it on my ex and acted in ways I would never act before or since but I look at why I acted that way and there was always days of him doing something to drive me to that point. When i was away from him I was always calm and rational but when someone is purposely driving you insane you can’t be calm and rational.

      We were living in a world where nothing made sense, two and two didn’t make 4 ot made 5 or 46 or 1 and1/2, where what we saw didn’t happen and where what we said was twisted to mean something else. It takes a long time to find centre again. We have to analyze the whole relationship, where we are now, how we want to live now, what is important to us now. If we don’t do that we have are almost guaranteed to repeat the same experience.

      I looked at it much the same way you are. An opportunity to learn something, become a better person and a chance for some real personal growth. That means that the N will always be a part of you because it is bringing about big changes in you as a person. If asked “who had the biggest impact in your life,” or “who is responsible for the most positive changes in your personal growth” I would have to say James. No pain no gain as they say. It was a long journey and who knows where I would be had I not met him, I find it hard to envision going through anything worse but I don’t know what else would have brought so much personal growth. No one looks that deeply at their core beliefs and what makes them who they are unless they suffer some major life altering event. When life is going along smoothly we don’t do any soul searching, challenges make us stronger, make us question ourselves, show us what we are made of. I can not regret anything that made me a better person.

      My whole life I wanted to know what my purpose was. I wanted to the world to be a better place because I was here, i wanted to make the world a better place beyond being a mom or wife. I feel I am doing that now. I am right where I should be at this time in my life and that is enough for me right now.

      But it has taken me 4 years to get to this point. Life is not perfect and I still have challenges and I still have doubts but they aren’t tied to James any more.

      Give yourself time and permission to feel whatever you are feeling, you want vindication, answers but you haven’t given it time. You don’t get things necessarily when YOU want them, trust that things are unfolding as they should.

      You are doing great! just keep on keeping on.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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  7. ellie2013

    Andrea,

    I am sure Carrie will have some words of comfort for you, much better than mine. But I just wanted to let you know that the thing I see most in your post is the desire/need to “be” with someone. You speak about how good the ex looked, once you can recognize how “ugly” they are on the inside the outside will not be looking that good to you, trust me 🙂 You ask if you there will be another man in your life that “looks” that good, and w/o spending some time alone and figuring out why you were so addicted to the ex , I assure you will find someone just exactly like him 😦 I am not thinking that is really what you want, do you? To go thru it all again? The extreme high at the beginning and the lower than death feeling at the end. They say that N’s are masters at perceiving exactly what it is we want and then giving it to us, then ripping it away ( THE GAME ). They pick up on what is important to us and give it back ( except in the extreme) 10 times over to “hook” us in and then GAME OVER.

    I know someone as pretty as you, intelligent with a gift to express herself as you exhibit doesn’t want to go thru life alone BUT if you make that your top priority I can guarantee you won’t be, but you may be with someone that won’t love you like they should. Someone that can’t be a good role model for your beautiful son.

    You, IMO, need time to find you, who you are, set boundaries, and learn as much as you can about NPD. Take time to breathe, to like yourself for the amazing person you are 🙂

    I left for the last, unfortunately, it will take time to heal, to feel better, to enjoy life again. There is no miracle cure. But I am really thinking it is a good thing there is not. We need the time to find ourselves, to love ourselves to develop a relationship with ourself that is not based on someone else.

    Be happy and stay strong,

    Ellie

    Liked by 1 person

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      1. ellie2013

        LOL! That is a wonderful compliment coming from you! Thank you 🙂 I am glad you did not see it actually. I enjoy what you write. It makes me think. Look at things sometimes in a different perspective than what I may not have thought about if you hadn’t put it into words.

        You have a God given talent. You use it so well.

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        1. Carrie Reimer Post author

          Ellie, you are too kind!! It takes me three times the words to say something. did you see the length of that reply to Andrea!! That is a short novel in itself LOL Long winded or what?
          But thank you, I am glad you get something out of my ramblings. 🙂

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  8. andrea from raising peanut

    Ellie,

    Thank you. I do agree with everything you say. You’re very insightful. I am a believer in God and I am amazed at how everything has worked out for the best in my life. This thing, the boyfriend thing, is something that has not had a “resolve” yet. I lost my home recently (no fault of this man, it was lost due to my ex-husband and divorce) and so may other things have happened. My life is better than I could have imagined it. But not this. I am hurt still and there has been no miracle in this area. I’m not healed, He hasn’t apologized. No vindication. No justice. No apologies. No healing on my part. And I wonder why, especially since everything else seemed to work out for the best.

    But… I think I’m not being patient and that this too will work out. No, not the relationship. I don’t expect that. I do expect to be healed, vindicated, to feel better at some point in time. Yet I know this is going to take time and that I will be better. THat this is exactly where I need to be right now. I have the wonderful opportunity to heal and get to know myself. I’m in a safe place: a beautiful new home with zero responsibilities. No worries. AT ALL. I have everything I need.

    And so I am using this time to heal, feel better, learn about myself and become “UNHOOKED”…. I am a strong independent woman who became insecure and dependent upon my boyfriend for almost everything. I put up shelves myself here in our new place. I lost 35 lbs and look great. I changed my hair color. I am going to 12-step meetings and a study group at church. I have decided not to date no matter what for at least 6 months (even if i feel ready to before then) and then maybe even longer if I feel I need it. I am busy with girlfriends. I haven’t lost my support system thank god. You can read about what I am doing on my blog. For goodness sake, I used to consider myself fashionable and having a style. It got to the point where I couldn’t even buy panties anymore without asking him–not that he required me to ask him either! What the heck? I see what happened to me and I know I have to get better so it doesn’t happen again. You are 100% right (and so insightful).

    I’m sad. I do miss him. I so appreciate your comments. I don’t know how long it will be before I believe he is TRULY a narcissist and ugly on the inside and outside. I don’t know. I still have my doubts.

    The thing he made clear, legally, is he wants nothing to do with me. And I wore his shame, the shame I felt when he left me. And I am learning to get rid of it. I am trying to build up my self-esteem again, not thru a man but thru God and myself. 🙂

    Your comment is so perfect. I am going to print it out and read it often. Please, please, stay in touch. I would love to have your support.

    I haven’t the courage to mention this all on my own blog: that he is an N… I’m not there yet. But if you could keep your eye out for me either there or here, I’d so appreciate it. I’m scared sometimes that I wont get thru this. I am doing what I can. I’m going to work the steps that Carrie writes about or I will work the steps that Lisa E Scott writes about. (I”m not 100% sure about that website and the moderators tho. They seem very very mean!) Or there is another site that has a workbook I might use.

    Trust me, I’m doing all I can to get better. I’m not 100% ready to go NO Contact (I cannot throw out his texts, emails or photos just yet!!!! Some were so so sweet!) …. but I will try it at some point. Just need to sum up the courage.

    Hugs to you and THANK YOU!

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    1. ellie2013

      We’re always here Andrea, and we do care. And we can get tough too LOL But unlike the website you mentioned I think we at least here explain why we are being tough. I also have battled with the “depression” part, and I understand it is so very tough when the black cloud seems to follow you all over. I really think it is a by product of the relationship stuff the feeling like we are stuck, Empty. It usually happens when something is lost, a job, a home s partner. We’ve used these things to “fill” us , so when a “hole” appears, something is lost we are uncomfortable with it, we have used things for so long to make us happy that we don;t know how else to fill it other than with other “things”. The thing that has worked for me is to allow the “hole” to remain, feel the cold wind blow through it, mourn it and then let it heal naturally w/o trying to fill it w/ something else artificial.

      I too am a Christian and God is my rock. There have been times in my life I have had nothing else but my faith. Nothing. He ALWAYS come through, perhaps not in the way you would like him too, but HE knows best. Nothing is impossible for him, all we have to do is believe. When things sometimes become overwhelming I just have to let them go and give them to him. And trust he will handle it for his glory. Its a relief actually to know HE is in control 🙂

      You will get through it 🙂

      Ellie

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  9. Pingback: I Bet You Are An Empath | Ladywithatruck's Blog

  10. healing

    Carrie,

    This is very sad, but very poignant. This was/is exactly how I feel. You’re the strongest woman I’ve ever come across in my life, and a true inspiration. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise, as stupid as this sounds. Leaving the area would be like leaving the “looming” behind. My prayers are always with you.

    Love and Light!

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Healing thank you. I am trying to look at it in a positive light, but I have my apprehensions. And life is what it is. If I don’t go to live where my son has his place I end up in sleeping in my car with my dog. I keep thinking I have a choice but I really don’t.

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  11. Pingback: Finding Inner Peace Even When Your World Is Falling Apart | Ladywithatruck's Blog

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