On A Scale Of One to Ten How Stressed Are You?

Ok lets just lay this all out there for those of you who think you should be a lot more healed than you are; for those “friends” who keep telling you to “just forget it” “move on” or you don’t know how to grieve and heal (who do these people think they are, telling you how to heal and that you aren’t doing it right? do they even think before they engage their mouths? What have they dealt with lately? Like the saying goes “Walk a mile in a man’s shoes……….”

I found the scale that the professionals use to calculate a person’s stress level. The more of these items on your list of things that have happened in the last year; the more stressed you are going to be. What does stress do to a person? It can make them;

– irritable easily angered over seemingly insignificant issues

– emotional – crying over seemingly insignificant issues

– cause eating disorders – either eating too much or not enough

– cause sleep disorders – either sleeping too much or not enough

– substance abuse

– paranoid

– vigilant

– fearful

– depressed

– health issues such as heart disease, fibromyalgia, and much more

– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which consists of some or all of the above symptoms and more

 The Stress Scale

To score your stress levels, simply select Yes or No for each of the events in the Statements column that have happened to you in the last year. I am using it to demonstrate the things that cause stress in a person’s life. If you want to take the test you can find it here.  I am only giving you the top 10 stressful events, there are over 40 in total. Notice “being in an abusive relationship” is not even on the scale; but I am sure that it would be at the very top of the list. 

Consider too when you go down the list that most times with a narcissist there is continuous infidelity, many breakups and reconciliations, you are constantly walking on eggshells, you are living a lie and hiding the truth from family and friends, you are ashamed of the situation you are in, and you constantly have someone finding fault with you.  Here is the list, how many things can you tick off?

  • Death of a spouse
  • Moving
  • Debt
  • Divorce
  • Relationship breakup or separation
  • Illness or injury
  • Marriage
  • Pregnancy
  • Losing a job – getting fired
  • Reconciliation of a marriage

Now tell me again that you should be further along in your recovery, I know when I was with James there were some years where I moved, we separated, we lost our home, we lost a family member, I lost my job (due to James sabotaging me, doubly stressful), we reconciled, broke up again, I caught him cheating, got a job, lost a job, we were homeless, ….. all in one year. You pile 10 or more years like that on top of each other and you are off the charts with stressful events. They haven’t made a scale for people who have left an abusive relationship. It is a miracle you are walking and talking and not locked in a padded room somewhere banging your head against the wall. The fact that you are getting up, getting dressed, taking care of children, trying to find work, and manage to keep it together at all is a statement to how strong you are. So tell those armchair psychologists to stick their advice where the sun don’t shine because you don’t need to be told you can’t even grieve right or should not be grieving. Tell them that they are welcome to come back and give you advice once they have lived a couple of years in your shoes, until then; they can keep their “concern and advice” to themselves.

People who tell you stuff “for your own good” and only “because they care” when they have never experienced anything even close to what you are going through, are not being a good friend they are being critical, holier than thou, superior, and like to make you feel bad about yourself. IF they were really concerned they would be one of the handful of friends who come to this site trying to get information in order to understand and help their friend. THAT is a true friend. Someone willing to put in the effort to learn so they can truly help and not do more damage.

If someone doesn’t want to do the research to find out how to help you they don’t really want to help. They think they should help, they want to look like they care, but they really don’t want to have put themselves out to do it. “So get on with life already, because I don’t have time to be a true friend and you are making me look like a bad friend.” “In order to avoid looking like a bad friend I will blame you for not healing fast enough and maybe that will force you to put a damn smile on your face and stop making me feel inadequate as a friend”.

17 thoughts on “On A Scale Of One to Ten How Stressed Are You?

  1. kim

    carrie your post sums it up i have major stress issues im off the scale trying to stop my ocd at night have to check things too much thats just one symptom also its hard for us to stay as sane as possible when we have children i know i would have crumbled completely if it wasnt for my daughter and my mum and dad although my dad thinks i should forget him and move on its not as easy as that as we all know especially when you have lived with the n longer than youve lived with your parents my doctor as much has said i am having a nervous breakdown but they dont call it this anymore i am still no contact and quite pleased how long i actually feel fearful of contacting him anyway why would i think its ok to allow him to abuse me again no i have more self respect in that way now i want to show my daughter that a woman doesnt need a man to be happy im working on it i moved 4 times in 3yrs packed every house on my own with pain condition then was critised for the way i packed them tried to keep up with his demands cooking cleaning shopping etc other more disturbing things started cheating late in marriage was critisised from day one nothing was to his standards i was a doormat even though i did argue back but didnt realise what a narc was then you can not win threats to make them feel control cheking up on me worries about my daughter nearly lost my mum he left me dating all the time money worries my sister was unkind to me dont keep in regular contact he turned my daughter against my parents i have a illness theres more but will be here too long a few weeks ago i had thoughts i didnt want to be here but not suicidal on a good note i am concentrating on the present not the past too much stress is something we are all having after abuse we are the ones that win in the end it takes such strenghths to get through and become stronger and live a life true to ourselves the best therapy is coming on here and knowing others feel the same and become n free and are happy thankyou for this post carrie love the new picture at the top so serene hope youre doing ok too xxx


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Kim, love to hear you sounding more positive about the future and actually looking forward to the future. You really have come such a long ways since you first came here; congrats on staying no contact. I remember getting to that point of thinking “Why would I want to contact him when all he ever does is hurt me?” It felt so good to not hurt all the time. When you don’t have someone bringing you down constantly you begin to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, maybe there is hope. But the N does everything in his power to kill all hope.
      I am doing fine thank you. For all my worrying about money etc I always make it through another day and aside from the stifling heat I had a very good week.


      1. kim

        thankyou carrie and im pleased you are doing ok taking one day at a time sometimes its the best way the only way its quite hot in england but it must be boiling where you are we need some rain


        1. Carrie Reimer Post author

          Kim. I hate to say it but I am sick of all this nice weather! We usually get a lot of rain, not as much as England but we don’t have summers like this ever! it is stifling hot, dead air all day but I know that when the rains start and don’t stop for days on end I am going to wish it was hot again. Actually I can’t complain, it is almost 11 am and the boat is still really cool and a cool breeze is coming through the window beside me. I have it figured out pretty good I keep the curtains closed on the sunny side until late afternoon. It is only really hot in the boat for about 4 hours a day and the nights always cool off nicely. I sleep with a duvet on every night. Everyone kinda comes alive about 7 pm for a few hours. Last night there were a couple dozen people milling around on the dock chatting and having drinks. All day it is pretty quiet around here because everyone is hiding from the sun. It would be a lot worse if I was in an apartment somewhere, being on the boat you do get the breeze off the water and at least Stella gets to go for a couple of swims a day. I just wish I could jump in with her.


          1. kim

            it sounds lovely on the boat just saw your post it cheered me today hope it cools down for you there its raining here thankyou carrie xxx


            1. Carrie Reimer Post author

              Kim, lol be careful what you wish for. It is raining here also! All day and I keep thinking “When is it going to stop/ I want to go for a walk?” never happy !! but we certainly need the rain so I won’t complain just yet.


  2. Helen

    Well Carrie I think I have finally learned my lesson. As you recall some time ago I told you my story. Thinking it was his wife who was the N. I was new about what a Narc was did some reading up by what HE was telling me and she came up with full colours of being one. I still believe she might be or have some traits. Any how you and a few other on here came out and it is he who is the N. WHAT I thought, didn’t believe it. As I have know this man for nearly 50 years. I knew he had problems and the last time I had anything to do with him he was not nice to me. So we split that was 25 years ago, during that time I had the odd call wanting me to go for coffee I refused…couple years later he came to my home 3 times in a row, I never opened the door and then 3 years later he saw me on facebook and sent me a message I never accepted him. He left me alone after that. I was the one who contacted him 5 years after.
    We started off being friendly, did this for 8 months only saw him twice. He kept bring up our past a lot and did ask him question why this and that happened. We past that stage. 2013 December.his daughter (aged 43) died and he was telling me how his wife showed no care what so ever and has always been cold towards how he spent time with his daughter and he told me he is going to divorce her. Which he did. He told me there was no intimacy between them for over 18 months so he got a quick divorce, sold their home. All this time she never wanted a divorce so a lot of arguments happened between them. So he bought a home 2 hours away.
    So he and I became closer, no affair just meals out or drives. I met up with his sisters (who I have known since my teens) so we had a lot of catching up. They told me he has always loved me…and when he and I split 25 year before they told me he was so upset took him 2 years to get over me. So naturally I believed in him. Starting relaxing around him ( oh yes I was acting very cautious because I didn’t trust him as he hurt me once before). But as time passed I was very placid around him and we got on so well. I fell in love with him.
    Then little things happened, he kept saying his ex wife keeps contacting him or she popped in and stayed the night she was doing me a favor as i needed my computer working BUT we had no sex. Then she came another time and stayed the night and he let her because was too late at night AGAIN she slept with him….he told me again no sex as he has no feelings towards her and all they talked about was me…and she was so angry with him.
    So much other stuff happened in when I came over he always through his ex name as in joking (eg. calling me her name)
    In May, I stayed home as it was mother day and had my family over…he phoned me that day and told me his ex is over. he thought he should tell me as he wants to be honest with me. He said he had no idea she was coming…so i said did you tell her to go..no….so that ruined my day. All this kind of games were happening here and there. I would have a couple of days with him and they were nice but on the last day he became negative about our relationship. So by that time because of his games my emotions were all over the place.
    Two months ago his son set his house on fire so he lost everything…he moved into his sisters. he called me daily and we chatted and we were still good even his sister was telling me he misses me. I didn’t have a call for 2 days and then that night he called and told me he just needs 6 months away from me, needs to miss me, he has 4 friends he can stay with and his ex wife has offered and she has all the needs he wants as in cable tv and internet and she said no strings…I said to him he could stay with me. Other things were said very hurtful things. So after the call I just broke down. I have never been so upset in all my life. One minute we were good and next he needs to have 6 months from me to see if he misses me.
    Well I wrote him a text and told him what I thought of him and told him I am done with him.
    He wrote back saying he was glad it was me to dumped him and none of this was my fault.
    He told me he is staying with a male friend until the house is being rebuilt.
    A few weeks passed and yes we both are texting each other. I had forgiven him and apologized in what I said. But he kept twisting everything being nice and next making me the bad person.
    So he told me lets have 2 weeks break no contact and lets see how we think after that. We did. We met up for coffee and HE said I was being nice which has been a change. We left happier i thought….Then we met a week later. He said he has something to tell me.
    He told me he was the one who kept in touch with ex wife while i was with him. Also he never stayed at his mates place but is living with his ex wife.
    Well for some reason I was totally calm, most women would of hit him or screamed at him. I did nothing. Maybe deep down I knew he would of done this. So we carried on chatting because he was wanting us to get together again. He told me he had made a mistake going to her. Its me or no one he told…everything he said was just a repeat from when we started.
    So I said ok lets go out to dinner, which we did. I had a lovely evening with him. His ex wife text him and said when are you home for dinner. He told her he was with me and we have eaten..She phoned he switched phone off. He dropped me off at midnight.
    He knew he was going to be in trouble..I didn’t care.
    Any how she sent him 30 text messages while phone was off plus email saying she hates him. Got drunk fell down the stairs and hurt her self and she cut up all his clothes into little pieces. When he got home she hit him bit him screamed at him.
    He phoned me two days later and told me all this and I was killing my self laughing. But he is still with her and she has forgiven him. He is still contacting me.
    I know what you are all thinking..no I am not going back to him…not after what he has done…but all I can say is it seemed I had to put my self through all this shit to wake up to see what was happening.
    I know sit back and see what he had done to me..it was just a game..he played well.
    Yes I was terribly hurt…felt sick to my stomach…and what makes me mad is he gets away with it.
    I don’t know if he is a narc. but he defiantly has something wrong with him.
    So right now, because I have no feeling for him. What his ex did pleased me.
    He now wants to move in with me….I don’t want him. he will never change….this time he went to far with me…I was too nice for him …his ex can have him.

    It took a while for me to get this far. Thanks Carrie for everything.

    I actually am feeling good and a lot stronger. I don’t hate him not angry feel nothing.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Helen I am glad to hear you “saw the light”. Once you get away from their crazy world you begin to think clearly again. You are welcome. I am just glad I was able to help in some small way.
      I am sure you will have good and bad days, just know we are always here for you and you are on your way to happier days!


  3. Brookn Hart

    I do not know if I should roll in the floor and laugh or just ball up and cry. Even by so called normal, sane, reasonable people, it would be difficult to minimize or dismiss what has happened to me. But yet, I seem to not be entitled to any pain or emotions that were harshly inflicted on me. Even when you look at my red whelps and strike marks, the multiple bruises, I am told to pull myself together. My mind was battered along time ago and now my body carries the wrath of his anger. My only defense to protect myself is to be numb. I couldnt count the traumatic events in my life if I tried. If I
    did, I might completely lose it. This is my safe haven. No matter what I say, can’t say or dont know how to express, I am understood here. I am not a number. I am not a casualty. I am not his victim. I am a warm loving woman. I may never trust again but I also dont need to rely on anyone else. He took more than my love and trust from me.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Brookn Hart, I am glad to hear I have helped in some way and you now know that you are not alone, to blame and most of all you ARE understood and you are loved and appreciated for the warm kind beautiful woman you are. It is early yet in your recovery but i believe you will find that anything he took from you will be replaced with inner peace and self awareness and confidence you never had before. I hate cliques like “Every cloud has a silver lining” “Everything happens for a reason” “Something good always comes from something bad happening” because when we are broken and hurting it is impossible to ever see something good coming from it; nothing good enough to make this pain worth it.
      All I know is what I have experienced and when I emerged from my brokenness and started to put myself back together (an I did it all alone, without support from family or friends or with the benefit of a counselor) it was a life lesson I never would have gotten if not for the Narc tearing me down and I have grown so much and appreciate myself and my life so much now I wouldn’t change the past if I could because I wouldn’t want to go back to being the person I was before I met him.
      And THAT is my revenge on him. His attempted to destroy me actually made me stronger and the peace he tried to steal from me gave me an inner peace I had never known before. the self doubt and insecurities he tried to instill made me more self aware and accepting of my imperfections.
      You will heal and you will become mighty! i can tell!


  4. Cx2

    Hello Carrie.
    I like your comment about friends.Real friends. I am so lucky to have such good friends. I’ve been living with them since last April when I was forced out of my home. D is on my ex’s list of women he hates. There are a LOT of women he hates: his sisters-in-law, other wives of friends, my daughter and, of course, I’m at the top of the list now. D has taken the time to read up about narcissism and psychopathy and really understands my situation. She never tells me I ought to be doing this or feeling that. She just listens. Sometimes she offers her take on things that I don’t agree with and that’s okay. We can agree to disagree. We’ve been friends for thirty years. We know one another’s quirks. We know nobody’s perfect.
    I think it’s important during recovery from an abusive relationship to mix with people who have similar interests. I spent too long in hiding to begin with. I couldn’t face people. Gradually, I’m coming out. I joined a painting group where I’m re-learning how to use soft pastels. Last night I went to listen to a singing group who were raising money for the local lifeboat.
    The fact that I’m a thousand miles away from my ex is helping me. It must be dreadful to have to cope with bumping into him at any time. The only way I’d like to bump into my ex would be driving your truck! Ha!
    Best wishes,


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Cx2, I like the way you think! You are truly blessed to have a friend like that and it is great that you know that. Give her a hug for me! It makes such a HUGE difference to be heard and understood and to know someone cares enough to just listen and accept you, just be there.


  5. Ladylass

    I’m moving in 2 days. I’m so scared. He is being a real bully. I have thought of staying in the hell just so I don’t have to feel like this any more. I have heart pain and I was throwing up last night. This is hard. He continues to be the ultimate n. Negotiating the tiniest amount for money with me for a toaster….


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Ladylass, staying will only prolong the pain indefinitely. You know what life with him is like, do you really have a choice any more? I know that I got to the point where whether I liked it or not, whether I thought I could do it or not, I had no choice; if i was going to ever be a whole person and ever be happy I HAD to leave. I think you are at that point. He is going to try every thing to break you down and then he is going to love bomb you. Use least days to fortify you for the love bombing days.
      Change is seldom easy and no one ever said leaving a narcissist was easy but i have yet to meet one person who regrets the decision a year or two down the road. Unfortunately we got ourselves into an ugly position and we are the only ones who can get us out. The sooner you are out the better, staying is not going to help your stress or your heart.
      If you can, stay focused on today and the tasks at hand and not project to much in the future, just get through it day by day and really; a toaster? is it worth fighting over? let him keep the fucking toaster and make your toast in the oven for a while if you have to. Don’t let him drag you back into his toxic warped reality, it is NOT the way normal people live. You just don’t know that because he has controlled you for so long.
      Try deep breathing, removing yourself from the room if he is harping on you, journal everything, come here often, and know that this is the first step to a healthy, happy life where no one has the power to ruin your day every day.
      Keep safe. My thoughts are with you now and in the days to come.



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