Category Archives: Aftermath of Being With a Narcissist

The aftermath of being involved with a narcissist

It’s OK, I’m Just Sad

I start most of my days the same way.

I wake up about 6 am, make myself a coffee, sit on the couch and turn on the tv, Stella comes and snuggles up with her head on my lap or tucked behind my back; and I cry.

Now, don’t feel bad for me, it’s ok, I’ve been doing it for years, and I have accepted that it’s just the way I am.

I don’t think everyone experiences such a deep sadness that it just becomes a piece of you, but I wanted to write about it because I think some of you can relate. It’s not pain any more, it’s a deep sadness that comes with acceptance. It doesn’t follow me all day long, and it’s not that I am unhappy with my life. I am thankful for every day, in fact, I am filled with intense gratitude most days.

For most of my life I viewed sadness as weakness, something to be avoided; no one likes sadness. Friends and family want you to be happy, get over it, move on, you are away from the abuser, you should be happy. They tell you to “find a nice guy”, go out and have fun; and you can barely drag yourself out of bed. Friends give the worst advice because they don’t want to deal with your sadness, they feel helpless to fix it. They don’t have to fix it, they just need to listen, be there with a box of Kleenex and to assure you, this will pass.

When my step dad died after 30 years being married to my mother and she was apologizing for still crying after 2 weeks. I told her, “I would wonder if you weren’t crying”. There has been many times my mother suggested I get “something” from the doctor to help me “get over” my ex, or deal with my life situation. That is the way society is these days, be happy and if you aren’t, take something that will make you happy.

I know that there are people who are helped with meds when they have suicidal thoughts, are depressed for no reason, have post partum depression, or a chemical imbalance; but I had every reason in the world to be sad and depressed. I had lost everything and was starting over from zero at 51 years old. My life had been shattered. I had every right to be fucking sad. To medicate myself into being happy was like putting a bandaid on a wound without cleaning it.

I did that as a child, I had skinned my knee badly doing something I shouldn’t have been doing so I put a bandaid on it and didn’t tell my parents. I didn’t clean the wound, I didn’t put antiseptic on it, I just left the bandaid on and pretended it never happened. Until one day it started to really hurt so I took the bandaid off and it was an oozing ugly mess of infection. What did I do? I changed the bandage and left it a while longer, until it got so painful I had to say something.  By that time the size of the wound had gotten bigger, deeper and more painful. You know, I fought that infection for months, and I have the scar to this day.

If you don’t deal with your feelings now and mask them with meds, the feelings don’t go away, they sit under the surface festering, growing, and someday, maybe years from now, after having another abusive relationship, or when you blow up over something stupid and unrelated, those feelings WILL come back at the most inopportune time. The scars of emotional abuse only deepen when they are ignored.

Did you know that tears are cleansing? It’s your body’s way of clearing toxins from your body. Crying is good for you! Why else do people say they had a “good cry”. No one ever says they had a “bad cry” because 9 out of 10 times, we feel better after having a “good cry”.

After leaving my ex I cried so many tears I was amazed I had any more tears to cry. I couldn’t stop crying. I mean, we have to be able to function, go to work, deal with the kids, we have to eventually get control of our tears. I decided to give myself an allotment of time every morning before I put my makeup on, to have a full body, pity party, good cry. Then I would get ready for my day and get things done. Then at the end of the day, often times while driving home; I let myself cry again.

It never failed to make me feel better. It was a release.

I enjoy a good cry. I can make myself cry over all kinds of things, but you know what? I never cry over the ex narc any more. I will cry out of gratitude, because I am happy my son is happy, or I might cry because I feel guilty about something I need to forgive myself for, or because I think about my old dog Kato, sometimes I am so filled with gratitude I have to cry or there was the time I used the wrong chemicals on the fairways at the golf course and killed the grass; I felt so bad I took Stella for a walk in the forest and cried.

It’s ok to cry. Give in to it, deal with it, analyze why you are crying, feel it, really let yourself enjoy your tears, feel the stress leaving your body, know you are cleansing yourself of all the toxins left behind by the narcissist. Let all the pain and sadness out and then wash your face and get in with your day.

Have a great day!!

It Is What It Is – Let It Be

The wonderful thing about having to put yourself back together after having a narcissist all but destroy you, is getting to create who you are meant to be without the pressure to be  something you’re not. As I continue to put the pieces together and strive to be the best most authentic version of me, I look at how other people operate in life. I continually make note of the characteristics I admire in others and traits that I recognize in myself and don’t like.

As children, we rely on others to teach us who we are. In those first 5 – 6 years our brains absorb information that forms how we view ourselves for the rest of our lives, good and bad. If we are told lies we will repeat those lies to ourselves, over and over until they become truth. Alot of people are oblivious to the fact that they aren’t living an authentic life.

I consider it a gift to be given a second chance to be all that I can be, to be comfortable in my skin, and live a life I am proud of. I believe in life long learning and people should never stop striving to be better. Few people can sit back and say, “I am the best I can be.” The past 10 + years I have come to the realization I have spent most of my life trying to be like my mother; a person I consider to be shallow and self-serving. I have been made to feel something is wrong with me because I cared, loved deeply, and considered how my actions and words affected others. I struggled with knowing what was and wasn’t mine to pack.

I continually listen and read information from experts, Oprah Soul Sunday, Brene Brown, Eckhart, Deepak, and the like; taking in information in my quest to continue to grow. I watch how the people I admire handle their lives.

One of the people I admire the most is my son, it amazes me that a child I raised has such a healthy approach to life. He has the wonderful ability to be a caring, giving individual who still lives life on his terms and remains true to his core self. Throughout his childhood I was criticized for giving him to much of a voice to express his feelings, loved him too much, wasn’t strict enough, and encouraged him too much. I guess somehow deep inside I wanted better for him and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I didn’t want him living a lie and coming up short like I had.

I never had a preconceived notion of who he should be. Never expected him to choose a certain profession, make alot of money, or attain a certain level of success. The only things I insisted on while he was growing up was honesty, not judge others, be hard working, and generous to those less fortunate. I remember telling him the only expectations I had of him was for him to be a productive member of society. I can’t take credit for the man he has become because he has met other people in his life who have influenced him, good and bad.

His motto in life is, “It is what it is”. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, or avoiding responsibility.

“It is what it is”, is accepting life, not trying to control things you can not control, not trying to manipulate things to happen the way and in the time frame, you want them to, and not worrying about things that may never happen. It is not getting angry about things someone does that don’t concern you.

It is owning YOUR actions and reactions. It is accepting life and people at face value, not how you wish they were. It is owning your happiness, it is the source of inner peace.

I wasn’t raised this way and didn’t raise my son this way. I was raised by a mother who pretended to be caring, who controlled her little world, who believes that; how things look is more important than how things are. Who buried her head in the sand and put her fingers in her ears and loudly sang “Lalalala”; because what she couldn’t see, couldn’t hurt her. And she loved me when I played by her rules and presented an image her friends would approve of. My father tried to mold me into the woman my mother wasn’t and said as much through my whole childhood, “you are going to be a better wife than your mother, YOU are going to know how to keep your husband happy.” “If you don’t behave I will take your brother and leave your mother”.

What a weight to put on a small child, no wonder I went most of my life thinking I was responsible for everyone’s happiness or anger and that if I wasn’t “good”, people I love will leave.

It is no surprise to me that I felt totally broken after I left the narcissist. I am thankful for the experience now because I believe it was the only way I was ever going to break free of the expectations of others and my fear of losing the people I love, and live true to my core self and be who I was meant to be.

If I am not aware I can still fall into old patterns, especially when I am with my mother. She always finds someone she can critique and deem, “wrong”. They don’t just live life differently from how she lives her life, they are living their life wrong. They don’t keep their house clean enough, they are fat because they don’t eat right, they don’t dress properly, they don’t parent right (which is the biggest “what the fuck?” because her parenting style was based on how things looked). Forever the expert on every fucking thing and now it makes me angry when she starts “tisk, tisk, tisking”. First of all, who made her the judge of how people should live? People can have a dirty house and still be a good person. I may not want to eat at that person’s house if the cats walk all over the counters, but they are still a good person and it is none of my business how their house looks. Yes, I suppose her friend is over weight because she eats too much, but her friend is 70+ years old and it is none of my business and it doesn’t change who the person is.  My mother could choose to not go out for dinner with her friend, instead of going for dinner and later talk behind her back to me by comparing what she ate compared to what her friend ate.  She could ask her friend to take walks with her. Her friend was involved with an abusive controling man, my mother would never allow a man to treat her like that. But when her friend broke up with the man my mother invited him over to play cards.

Did I mention this woman is supposedly a “friend”. Instead of just listening to my mother and agreeing, like I used to, I now will confront her on her actions by saying, “why would you invite him over when you think he is so bad for your friend?” Her reply, “Well he’s not like that with me”. “But she is supposedly your friend, if you want her to dump him, why would you still be his friend?”

Or, “Yeah I guess so and so’s house is dirty, it’s always been dirty, I don’t know why, I suppose they don’t have a hang up about having a perfect home like you. I don’t really care. They aren’t going to change. It’s not my problem.”

The other thing I have struggled with most of my life that I learned from her. Catastrophing (I don’t think that’s a real word) everything. It’s the ability to turn any positive moment into a negative by projecting everything that could go wrong. It’s the “what ifs”. It’s the false concern, “I hope this doesn’t happen”.

I can think of so many times I was excited about something and my mother was able to burst my bubble in seconds. She doesn’t mean to. She engages her mouth before her mind. For example, I was asked out by a really handsome, popular guy. Her response, “I wonder why he asked you out”. Or I’d have an idea for a business, her first thought was, “If someone could make money doing that, someone would be doing it already”. My art was junk until her friends saw value in it. When my son was in his teens he was getting into trouble, had quit school and she thought I should “wash my hands of him” and when I refused, she sold my house out from under me and gave me 2 weeks to be out.

She did it twice to me, she held my mortgage in order to “help” me and ended up selling it out from under me both times. For a long time I held alot of resentment towards her because of it. I am sure I never would have gone back to my ex if she hadn’t made me homeless, both times. But I have had to let the resentment go. I have told her the consequences of her actions. I don’t let her believe her delusions but I also understand she has her own history, her own warped view of who she is and her own survival mechanisms. We all do. The best any of us can do is to strive to be better and not allow our screwed up past affect our kids.

I still worry about my son but I also trust that he is quite capable of dealing with whatever happens. He is the most capable man I know. He’s an adult and if he want my opinion or advice, he has no problem asking for it. He knows I will always have his back.

So many times in life, the things that cause us the most strife and sleepless night, are the things we have absolutely no control over. When we try to “make” things happen the way we want them to. When we let what we wish would happen influence the choices we make.

My ex hurt me, yes; but the most painful experience of my life was my mother selling my house which forced me into the position of not being there for him. It broke my heart and it made me more reliant on my ex because he encouraged me to not give up on my son.

In all honesty, I can’t say how things would have turned out if my mother hadn’t sold my house. I didn’t know what to do with my son, I was drinking too much, he wasn’t listening to me, my self esteem was wrapped up in whether I had a man or not, my life, I had 3 marriages under my belt. Who knows where my life would have gone. I can’t dwell on the “what if’s”, and the “if only’s”; all I have is “what is”.

All I can do is live life honestly and remain true to my core self. I can hold myself accountable for my actions and what I allow into my life, from this day forward. I can not change the past, wishing things would have been different, is a huge waste of mental and emotional energy. Feeling sorry for myself and remaining a victim does nothing for my self esteem, or to improve my future.

The interesting thing about living true to my core values is; I am more confident and I never feel like a failure. When you live your life trying to please others you can’t help but feel like at any moment people are going to discover you are a fake and not like you any more. When you live true to your core self, you know people like you for you. There is no fear, no self doubt, no second guessing if you are doing the right thing, and no one else to blame.

Live life on your terms, don’t let anyone influence your decisions and you will live a life without regret.

So many times the victim of a narcissist wants the “quick fix” to healing. They think healing will come if they meet a new guy who loves them. I have heard people say it time and time again, “I want to meet a man who loves me for me.” Or someone will say to the victim, “You just need to meet a nice guy”. “Some man will love you for you”. Your self worth should never be reliant on who loves you. Your happiness and confidence needs to come from knowing you are living your best life regardless of whether you have a man or not. The minute you make your happiness dependent on a man, you are giving that person control of your happiness and self worth. Whether you are loved or not should never be determined by whether another person approves of you.

Guilt Is Absolutely Useless-Give It Up


Lately on other sites I have seen women talking about feeling guilt, self blaming and shame for either raising a child with a narcissist and who now is a narcissist and treats you like they hate you.

I just want to say, the one mistake you made is, you chose to have a child with a narcissist. But you didn’t know he was a narcissist at the time so you have to give that one up.
Even if you would have had children with a perfectly normal loving man, you could have had a narcissistic child. Narcissists are born to normal caring people all the time. And narcissists have normal feeling children all the time. It is the “luck of the draw” sort of speak. There is nothing you could have done differently, left earlier, stayed longer, been stronger, more strict, less strict, your child would have been a narcissist regardless of how he/she was raised.
Your guilt is not helping anyone, not you, not your child, not society.
In fact, your guilt is making everything worse. When you are riddled with guilt you can’t live authentically, you can’t live honestly or fully, you can’t find peace or happiness. Guilt eats away at your self confidence and affects every thing you do, every decision you make. Guilt drives good people away.
It is impossible to ever get close to anyone if you are consumed with guilt.
I used to feel guilty about my son, I met the narcissist when my son was 17 and I was with him off and on for 10 yrs. My son HATES him. I wish things were different, I have given my son a heartfelt apology, but I can not change the past. I came to realize my guilt was preventing me from having the relationship I wanted with my son. If I ever wanted to have a close relationship with my son I HAD to give up the guilt.
If your child tries to keep you in guilt as a way of making you feel bad and in their control, you need to refuse to accept it.
The best thing you can do for yourself and for everyone else, (whether your child is narcissist or not); is live your best life, from this day forward.
Apologize, yes! And then let it go. And start living your life with total honesty, act like the person you want to be. You can not change the past, you can not change another person, you only have power over yourself. If you want to be loved for who you are, you must be your honest self. And you can not be yourself if you are consumed with guilt. Read Brene Brown or watch some of her videos on shame.
People will fight any positive changes you make because they like you feeling guilty because a guilty person is easier to manipulate, a guilty person is a martyr.
Live a life you can be proud of, be the example of the person you want your child to grow up to be. That is what a responsible parent would do.
You don’t ever stop being a parent, you can still be an example of a strong, confident, wise, loving adult, no matter how old you or your children are. You don’t know what the future holds as far as your children go.
But I know it is human nature that the harder you try to force someone, especially your child; to do or think a certain way; the harder they fight back.
You do not have to take disrespect or mistreatment from anyone, including your children. If you live honestly and true to your core self, no one can make you feel guilty.
If you are in the company of your child and they are angry, blaming, and generally acting like they hate you, leave. I have done it with my son and it hurt like hell. He was angry about the past about the narcissist and wouldn’t listen to reason. We were in my car and I was driving him home, which was a 2 hour drive and we were only half way. We had stopped for lunch and he started in on me. I tried to explain and calm him down. When I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere, I said. “I love you. I have apologized, I can’t change the past and I can not talk to you right now because you aren’t listening. Calm down and talk to me respectfully or get out of the car”.
That made him really angry and he got out and pulled all his shit out of my car. I wanted to beg him to get back in the car, grovel for his love, cry, my heart was breaking, but I drove away.
God help me, it was hard. I wanted to turn around SO BADLY! All the way home I wanted to turn around, I worried how he would get home with all his stuff. (Xmas gifts, clean laundry, a case of beer, tools he had alot of stuff). I didn’t even know if he had enough money to get home, but he was in his early 20’s, and he would figure it out.
When I got home I wanted to call him to see if he got home ok. I needed to know he still loved me, I felt awful!! I had to take a long walk without my phone to avoid breaking down and calling him. It took until the next day but he called me. “Hi Mom, I’m sorry. I love you.”
And I replied, “I love you too kiddo”.
We have never discussed it again. I did ask him how he got home and I guess it was quite an ordeal and we actually laughed about what he ended up going through.
We always say I love you every time we talk and he has never treated me like that again, never mentioned my ex.
I can still get consumed with guilt, believe me!! But I know I can not have a good relationship with my son if I am feeling guilty about the past. When you are consumed with guilt you are always super sensitive to any indication of disapproval from the person, you analyze every conversation, you read a hidden meaning into the most innocent comment, get defensive over small insignificant things, you get angry when there isn’t justification, you conjole, grovel, accept bad behavior, compromise your values, allow boundaries to be blurred. Guilt is the worst motivation to do anything.
The other thing is, your child doesn’t have to be a narcissist for you to feel guilty or unloved. Years ago my sister in law told me she had never felt guilty until she had my nephew, now she always felt guilty! Haha It’s what mother’s do.
All you can do is be the best mom you can be.
You know my happiest days are the ones when my kid calls. I can be feeling like he must hate me, I haven’t heard from him in awhile and he’ll call. He’ll need my advice, or need a recipe, and all is good in my world again. Our kids are our life, but we aren’t their life.
All we can do is be the best person we can be. You do your best and never stop doing your best. You can’t “win” someone over, you have to believe that things happen for a reason and the truth will win in the end. By living your best life and refusing to allow your child to try you with disrespect they will at the very least respect you.
Let me share from a child’s perspective. I always thought my dad was a controling asshole and my mom was the helpless victim. My dad screwed around on my mom, justified it by criticizing her. He would get so angry around the house we all walked on eggshells and my mom always was the fun parent, always the victim, teaches us to tip toe around when my dad was home. But she also under mined me all the time, my brother was the golden child. Anyway, my dad used to try to get me on his side all the time, criticized my mom constantly, cry to me about how horrible my mom was.
They finally split. And over the years since they split I have been able to see my mom for who she really is, she has caused so much pain in my life, I have caught her in so many lies. I now understand what my dad was trying to do, but it doesn’t justify it. He never should have done that to a child, talk to me about his marriage, how unhappy he was; put that on my shoulders. The truth of the matter is, I was raised by two very unhealthy people and I came away with my own issues because of it.
My dad should have left my mom and gone on to live true to his core self, instead of being a person I couldn’t respect. There were many good things about my dad that were obliterated by his adulterous, miserable self. He wanted me to see him as the poor victim and that he wouldn’t cheat or be miserable if my mom was a better wife.
What I learned was, I wanted to be a better parent than either of them. I could only do that by living true to myself and do what I know to be right. Show who I am by living a life where I am kind, loving, charitable, honest, and never blame anyone else for my bad choices or actions. I know who I am, I know what my intentions are, and I always have a choice.
I have made horrible choices in my life, but I can always choose to be better and hope that if nothing else my son will respect the fact that I never stopped trying to be a better person.
Don’t let your guilt make you into less of a person you want to be.