8 Rep Day

strength

I had an epiphany today watching Matthew Hussey. He was right.

What am I talking about?

Well, let me step back a bit. i have been asked, or even had the statement made; the counselor said it on Friday after hearing about what i have gone through the past 10 + years, especially the last almost 5 years. I don’t know how you did it and then she asked me flat out, “How did you do it?”

So many times victims of abuse come into the blog and they say, “I don’t know how I will ever love again.” “how will I trust again?” “How will I survive this?” and they sometimes email me thinking I must have some secret that I don’t share on the blog, and if they email me privately i will share it with them. The secret to surviving and healing after narcissistic abuse.

I used to weight train, I was really into it like an addiction, it was an addiction. I traded an eating disorder for weight training and I was always pushing myself to lift heavier and heavier and sometimes like Mathew Hussey relates; your mind tells you, “There is no way you can do this, it is too much weight.” but if we lower our expectations our brain says, “Oh I can do THAT.”

stay with the program

This is the Mathew Hussey video I am referring to, watch it and then I will explain further how i healed and put myself back together.

When I thought about doing no contact forever, i would panic and immediately feel like calling him. Being told I should not love him and never speak to him again was too much for my brain to handle and it would immediately give up. if I couldn’t do it forever, what was the point in even trying?

I knew this thing the mind does from when I used to diet. If I thought “I can never have chocolate cake again” I would immediately crave chocolate cake. So it made sense to me that when I told myself I could never talk to James again I immediately craved James. So I told myself I will not call or text today, or in the beginning it was this hour. Once I made it through a couple of days, I wasn’t making it through an hour it was day by day. I didn’t tell anyone I was going no contact, most of all not him. I knew that if I verbalized it to him I would immediately want to talk to him and once again I would prove to him how weak I was.

After a couple of weeks it became easier to not call because I had gone this long……I didn’t want to have to start over again going hour by hour. I had enough time away from him that he was no longer making me feel guilty and less than and I didn’t want to take the chance of talking to him and being put right back to where I had been for so long; feeling like shit and being treated like dirt.

I never marked the days off on the calendar, I never wrote in my diary that “today I stopped talking to James.” I didn’t tell him, “I will not be talking to you any more.” It was just me, taking it one hour at a time, I could call him at any time if I wanted to and I didn’t want to, not bad enough to do it.

It was the same with not loving him, I gave myself permission to love him. My love had been real and true; just because he didn’t love me, it didn’t diminish MY love. I wish it was that simple, but it isn’t. If we had loved them just because they loved us we would have fallen out of love long ago. We loved them despite the fact that they didn’t treat us lovingly, so really nothing had changed, we just stopped burying our head in the sand. So I told myself “you can love him, you just can’t be with him.” I would envision myself with him after we both died, together for eternity. I just could not be with him now in this world at this time. It may not work for everyone but I didn’t make a decision to stop loving him and could not tell you when I actually stopped loving him, maybe I never did stop. There is a part of me that still loves that part of him that I originally fell in love with. Hell it was the most romantic time of my life, it was exciting, I never felt more loved and alive than I did at that time. I loved the most unconditionally and deeper than I had ever loved before and as painful as it was; I loved loving him. I can’t erase that, I can’t and don’t want to erase 10 years of my life. Sure it is painful to think he never really loved me, but I loved him and that is who we are talking about here, ME and I loved well and loved doing it so why should I diminish MY love because he was a sick son of a bitch?

The putting myself back together again was overwhelming. I had no idea where to start, how to start, I was totally broken, how to do fix something when you don’t even have a starting point? I remember thinking to myself that putting myself back together again was just too insurmountable and I gave up. But then I decided I would take one trait, whatever one popped up that day and work on that one trait. Really analyze it and decide if it was mine to own or not. Did I like this part of me? if I didn’t I didn’t keep it, but then I had to decide what would take up that spot, if I was not going to handle that facet of my life like I had in the past, I had to figure out how I would handle it and honestly ask myself if it was reasonable of me to expect that of myself.

When I moved into that hell hole of a trailer with no power, sewer or running water; if I would have known I was going to live there over a year, I probably would have killed myself. For 2 full years I thought every single day that I can not do this one more day. But I would do it one more day, and then another day and another, until I had done 2 years of singular days.

If I would have known how tough the last 5 years was going to be and in the beginning told myself, “you have to do this for 5 years.” I would have given up. Those 5 years have not been all bad and I learned a lot from them, I grew a lot and now I would not trade them or wish them away but if I would have projected too far ahead I would have given up before I even got started.

If I allow myself to go there I think, “I can not move one more time. I just can not do it.” But deep down I know I can and I will when the time comes, but that time is not now so I have to let it go and not worry about it until it is time and know that when the time comes I will move again and I will get through it.

All I am saying is this, don’t overwhelm yourself by projecting to far into the future. Don’t worry about loving again or trusting again; deal with the issues at hand, they are enough for right now. When the time is right, you will love again and you will trust again, and if you don’t trust again, you will deal with it at that time. How can you worry about trusting a man you haven’t even met yet?

make it an 8 rep day, not a 1o rep day, maybe it will only be a one rep day at first. But trust that you can do anything for a day.

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23 thoughts on “8 Rep Day

  1. wotzina

    Oh Yes!! & I get the addiction bit – I became a workaholic. Now I see that was to avoid my Narc. Then as life keeps throwing the lessons up until they are learnt, I kept working for & with narcs.
    I have found it hard not to criticise myself for not leaving earlier, being suckered, handing over my power. Little bit by little bit, I am stopping the bad behaviours, starting to feel, starting to love & honour me, letting go what is not mine, facing up to what is, and holding onto my power.
    It is the unexpected incidents, that make me acknowledge how far I have come.

    Another description I heard last week – “The heaviness of Have-to’s”. I feel heavy & lose motivation when I think of the have-to’s and the shoulds. 8-reps, here I come!

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Wozina, yes the “have-to’s” have the same effect on me and the “shoulds’. As soon as some one says to me that I “should” I shut down; even if I know it is something I really should do, the word “should” just has the opposite effect on me.
      Yeah I like the 8 rep day, I think I am going to use it for all areas of my life.
      Thanks for commenting and keep up the good work you are doing on yourself. Like they say, “We can only change ourselves” and all we can ever do is to strive to be the best we can be.
      HUgs

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  2. kim

    carrie i was about to come off for tonight but had to look at your new post i cant sleep anyway and trying so hard to cut down my medication its hell anyway i take one day at a time i dont feel as depressed as i did just trying to deal with my health i have resigned myself to the fact i will never go back to the situation of being controlled again so i am listening to a lot of music and am up all night on u tube keeps my mind off of thinking about things hope i can relax one day but it has and is a rollercoaster but by starting to think at first one hour at a time for me i am feeling overall much stronger in mind as time goes on i think of positive things i have like my daughter and my parents roof over my head at the moment the sky the birds small things i look for it is too overwhelming to think too far ahead noone knows the future i am a worrier but am not thinking too far no point i have lots of things that worry mein my life but try not to dwell sometimes easier than others the longer i dont hear from him the saner my mind feels he used to like to plant worries in my head im starting to become more resilient i might slip back but will keep picking myself up and go on with healing myself thankyou for this post carrie xxx

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Kim I used to be a horrible worrier, OMG I could work myself into an absolute frenzy worrying about stuff that “might” happen. If my son was late I was calling the hospitals, listening for news reports of any accidents, I could always think of the absolute worst case scenario. What do they say, it is something like 90% of what we worry about never happens?
      You are doing the right things and just keep doing it, if you backslide oh well, you’ve still got tomorrow.
      I didn’t sleep in bed for the first year and 1/2 after I left James. As soon as I went to bed I would be wide awake but I could sleep on the couch. So instead of fighting it, falling asleep on the couch and then getting up and going to bed like I people said I “should”, I would get my pj’s on and I always had my pillow and a toss blanket on the couch; and I would watch TV. Fall asleep for a couple of hours and wake up watch an hour of TV and fall back to sleep. I would end up getting a few hours sleep that way. If I did have a bad dream I wasn’t waking up to a dark quiet room and it wasn’t as bad.
      I say do whatever gets you through and be kind and understanding with yourself, we put so many high expectations on ourselves and end up making things worse because we start to get upset that we are still upset about the N. Talk about compounding the problem!! Making yourself sick thinking about how sick you are and all the things you can’t do is not going to make you well. Your ex has made you feel so guilty about being sick he has made it so much worse. There is a fine line between giving up and giving in. I have struggled with it many times myself. Accepting the way things are and going with the flow is not giving up and not trying. We expect ourselves to be so strong all the time and that we “should” be stronger and more capable. The fact that you get up every day and get through the day is a testament to how strong you are.
      Like I said, for 2 years I didn’t think I could do it until one day I had done it.
      We don’t know how strong we are until we have to go through something we don’t think we can. If we knew we could get through it we wouldn’t need to be strong.
      You ARE doing it day by day. and I am proud of you!
      Hugs

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      1. kim

        thankyou carrie i think i am putting too much on myself expecting too much today i did nothing just watched tv i felt bad that i should be trying harder to go out and find friends trying to manage my pain is a struggle enough at the moment i feel my daughter doesnt mean to but she gets frustrated with me but half of that is because he put so much pressure on me to try harder im fed up with feeling i have to try hard to get a new life i will take my time and go with the flow like you say and not feel pressured by anyone to move faster than i feel comfortable my parents also dont mean to but they say i need to meet people i will take my time as i am very shy too and feel i need to first find myself before anything else somethings cant be rushed thankyou carrie xxx

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          1. Carrie Reimer Post author

            it is part of our nature to put pressure on ourselves and have high expectations of ourselves that is why the narc loved us and why we stayed so long; we are over achievers. I have never been able to just relax, well not until recently but even now I have to fight the little voice that says, “You didn’t do enough today”. “you weren’t productive>” I did it just yesterday. Being so hot here and then the added stress lately I was having pains behind my shoulder just like I had before both my heart attacks. I didn’t do anything all day had several naps and that was it. My inner dialogue was saying “You should be doing the dishes” “you should be looking for work” “You should this you should that” I just tuned it out and rested because I know my inner voice does not always know what is best for me and I know that. We have been programed to over achieve and have high expectations of ourselves and that is all our mind knows we have to give ourselves permission to rest or relax and eventually it will not be such a battle.
            Our family and loved ones really do mean well, they don’t like change, no one does. They don’t know what to do, they just want things to be back to “normal” for you to be strong again, they relied on you being a certain way and it makes them uncomfortable for you not to be the way you were. It will take time for them to accept the new you, but when you are living more true to your core values and taking care of yourself, living your life according to YOUR morals and boundaries they will see such a positive change they can’t help but embrace it and respect it.
            Wait and see exciting times are coming. It is a slow process but worth the effort.
            Hugs

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            1. kim

              thankyou carrie i hope your shoulder pain goes resting is the best thing it is soooo hot here unberable too cant do anything in the heat oh well in england we are always complaining about the weather if it is raining and cold we complain if its hot we still complain he has been texting me i ignored it i still find it hard to ignore the urge to reply is still there but i didnt he said i hope you go out today the weather is lovely i am just encouraging you not pressuring he added you can ring me tommorrow if you like omg if thats not pressure dont know what is they really dont stop whats it got to do with him its up to me what i do he left me they are relentless i just want to be left alone i will carry on ignoring him its the only way lots of mixed feelings today thats how it goes hope everything goes ok with you carrie xxx

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  3. maryleemorgan

    Once again, Carrie, a very good one! That’s exactly how it’s done, and I know I will be in the process for some time still, since I am only one year out of a fifty-year marriage to my N. Part of me will always love a part of him (he had some good parts, after all–he had all the potential to have been a wonderful father, husband, and partner), and I loved him deeply and well. I gave of myself fully whether he ever recognized it or not, whether he could return love like that or not. So I am doing what you say you did: not telling him, myself, or anyone else that I am going to stop loving him or that I am going no contact. It will just come as it comes. And when certain milestones are reached, as you say, I don’t want to ever go back across that line again. Already, contact is less and less. Eventually, it will be no contact. Eventually, taking our fifty-year conjoined life apart will be done, and there will be no further reason for contact. I feel like taking our lives apart is like a huge, massively destructive explosion, and I am living it in slow motion. So one day at time, one step at a time, one piece removed at at time, and eventually the slow motion explosion will be over and the dust will settle and it will be done. And I will look back with sadness that it had to happen, and that I had to be the one to pull the pin, but I will be free. And I will no longer have to live with the fallout of who he chose to be.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Marylee, breaking away from 50 years of abuse………..they should give purple hearts to people like you!! I love the last line of your comment.
      “I will no longer have to live with the fallout of who he chose to be”
      Exactly!!
      HUgs

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    2. kim

      marylee to really touched me your words are how i feel a life time with someone is a massive thing to get over i have felt numb for ages couldnt cry not for a while anyway i read your post and it made me cry feel again i think we need to allow our feelings to just come whatever or however we feel grieving is a uncontrollable feeling and its ok to let it happen good luck and i wish you well xxx

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      1. maryleemorgan

        Yes, Kim, you are right that we do need to let our feelings come whatever or however. We each need to grieve in our own way and for as long as we need to. We must give ourselves and each other permission to do that. It’s so great that we can have these online communities to come together in mutual support. Wishing you well, also.

        Thanks, Carrie, for making this place!

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  4. Eveg

    I look forward to your posts. My daughtes
    Husband is a narcistic socapath. Her son
    Is fighting Luckimia , and the husband has
    Alaiated him ( PAS) she us not allowed to on one B C children’s hospital to find out his prognosis . I suggest you folks air there read A kidnapped Mind . A true story
    This us what a narcistic person can do your
    Children . Keep up the good work Kerrie

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Eveg thank you for the suggested reading and your kind comment. My heart and prayers go out to your daughter she is lucky to have you for support.
      Hugs to you both and I will pray for your grandson.

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    2. maryleemorgan

      Eveg, I had not heard of PAS before, so I looked it up. So sorry your daughter is going through this. Sounds like this would be affecting you as a grandmother, as well. Joining Carrie to pray for all of you, especially your grandson.

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  5. Rosi

    Hi Carrie and All;

    Only two months ago I couldn’t stand another day of the he’ll I was living.
    After that, I believe it has been such a catharsis and I ve started day by day a brand new life, even whether it is not always that easy and sometimes – as Carrie once told me – it still hurts a bit. I can enjoy life again, I don’t care for love for now ,there are other priorities at the moment, I am taking a ride by bike on my own into the wild, no money and a tent and enjoying the wind blowing through the trees, the sun warming my skin, the people I am meeting. Things can change, I am changing them or I am the one who is changing. If I can so can you, everyone will find their own way.

    Ciao

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    1. kim

      rosi i am so pleased you are finding pleasure in life again it seems impossible sometimes you are a constant inspiration to me i think where there is a will there is a way its just taking things slowly and believing it thankyou rosi it sounds lovely where you are xxx

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    2. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Rosi, you are such an inspiration to others who are starting on their journey of healing. Look at how far you have come!! My heart is full!
      It is not that love is not important to you; It is that; now you are loving yourself and not relying on someone’s else’s love to give you worth. THAT is HUGE!!

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