Category Archives: Emotion Abuse

That Smirk, Those Eyes, Can Freeze The Blood In The Victim’s Veins

At first you don’t know what it is exactly that makes you uncomfortable. My ex wore glasses, tinted usually; so you couldn’t really see his eyes and I thought he was extremely handsome as long as he kept his glasses on. But when he had his glasses off I avoided looking at his eyes, they made me feel very uncomfortable, I was repelled by them. There was nothing warm and loving about them, they scared me. Thankfully, or maybe unfortunately, he didn’t go without his glasses often. He had a picture of himself from a few years before I met him, it was like looking at the devil himself; and it could freeze you in your tracks or make you recoil.

I only saw it maybe a dozen times at the most in 10 years and it was something I preferred to forget or pretend never happened. It would be easy to pretend I didn’t see what I saw because he could recover from it like nothing ever happened while I would still be trying to absorb what just happened. A person doesn’t want to believe evil exists so when he would come back like nothing ever happened it was a lot easier to pretend nothing happened than to try and figure out exactly what I was dealing with.

cartoon-evilevil

We have an idea of what “evil” looks like from movies, books, even fairy tales; we sure don’t expect evil to look exactly like the person we love with all our hearts. If we tell people about our experiences, the minute we mention that he has a “smirk” and there is something about his eyes that scares us; they shut down and start acting like we are crazy, change the subject or walk away. Everyone continues to remain their friend and we doubt what we saw. After all it is so ambiguous, it’s a “feeling” and a fleeting feeling at that.

During our 10 year relationship there were times I feared for my life and it was at those times I left him. It seemed he could only be normal for so long before things would start to unravel for him, he would slowly start acting more insane, become more violent and out of control. The minute we split up he would be the sweet, kind, soft hearted man I met, crying and professing his love for me and swearing I had misunderstood his intentions, was paranoid or he was only responding to my craziness.

Near the end he started acting really crazy and his sister was living with us so I had a witness, which made it easier to believe and harder to ignore.  Like one night I woke up at 3am and he was nowhere to be found so I went out to the barn to look for him and he was came towards me out of the shadows with something in each hand; a couple of dead chickens. I was speechless and just went back in the house. The next day I went looking around the farm and there was a pile of dead chickens near the barn. To this day I don’t know what that was about. Then another time I went out to look for him in the barn I called out for him and didn’t hear a sound, the lights were all out so I went to the far end to flip the light switch and that is when I saw the red ember of his cigarette across the barn. I flipped the light switch and he was standing there, leaning against the wall smoking. Totally freaked me out.

His abuse got more blatant, not caring if he attacked me in front of his sister; he was pissed at her because she hadn’t taken his word over mine. I have given up trying to figure out what he plans were because the thought patterns of a psychopath, what they determine to be right or wrong or justified, will never compute to a normal person. I know he felt he was justified in doing whatever it took for him to get my truck. I know that whether I died or not made no difference to him as long as he was not suspected in my death.

When you are in the middle of it, the gas lighting, the lies, the manipulation, you are not thinking clearly; it is impossible! You think you are, you are caught up in the game of clue, figuring out what he is up to, catching him. You think you have one up on him when you catch him and prove you were right all along, he was lying. I see women go years , literally years, I did; caught up in the need to be right. The thing is, every time you prove you are right and he is doing what you suspected him of, he always denies it and makes you feel guilty, so you stay……… until you have proof.

You must, keep your head in reality, not succumb to the challenge of “fixing” him, proving you are right, being better than all the other women, and face the truth;

  • No, he does not love you, he is incapable of love

But how can you be sure he is a narcissist and it isn’t you?

Look around you, do you know of any other woman who tolerates this treatment from the man who is supposed to love her?

A normal loving relationship does not involve walking on eggshells, lying, belittling, a feeling of impending doom, being tortured emotionally by your partner, ever! a normal loving relationship is never an emotional roller coaster.

A person who loves you takes no pleasure in your pain and would never smirk when they realize they hurt you.

Those reptilian eyes that make you recoil and your gut twist in knots, are telling you all you need to know, this person is not normal or safe.

 

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Rewiring Your Brain For The Holidays

(It has taken me a week to write this post, I started before Thanksgiving but I have been going through a depression lately due to my health and being denied disability yet again. I simply have not been functioning, the house didn’t get cleaned, I didn’t answer the phone, I withdrew. I am ok, just grappling with this living day to day lifestyle I am forced to live with. This is not the life I saw for myself and I struggle with being alone, not with being without a man during the holidays, I am ok with that. It’s the not being with my boy and my granddaughter. When you only have one child it’s just the way it is sometimes. Anyway, here is the post I have been working on)

brain-ewired

It’s that time of year again; Thanksgiving, with Christmas in hot pursuit; and you are already anticipating how lonely and sad you are going to be. If you are in contact with the ex narc he is taking every opportunity to rub salt in your wounds by making a big deal of gift giving, attending functions with the new woman and showing the world just how happy and in love he is.

The little voice in your head is repeating the mantra, “Maybe it was all your fault.” “You are going to be so lonely” “You will never love like you loved the narcissist ever again”, “If only he would have loved you like you love him”, “If only he was the man you met” (but he is with the new woman, he is that way with every woman when he first meets them, until he has them firmly hooked), “All you wanted was for him to love you”, “Maybe if you wouldn’t have confronted him about the other woman, not coming home, the personal ads, not having a job, or whatever else you confronted him on; he would be with you this Christmas and there is always the, “What if the light finally went on for him and new woman is reaping the rewards of all your hard work?”.

You have a whole month to get yourself really depressed by Christmas and you could come up with many reasons why it is the narc’s fault. 

You would be correct that he is to blame for much of your pain and I am not trying to diminish the narc’s responsibility for your pain; but if you ever want to get past the pain you have to somehow start viewing the whole experience with realistic eyes. You have to keep bringing yourself back to reality. 

You allowed yourself to get sucked into the fantasy, you didn’t realize it was a fantasy but it was and in the end you were lying to yourself as much as he was lying, in fact; in the end you were the one doing most of the lying, he was showing his true colors and you blindly refused to see or accept it. It’s hard to give up your dream, your fantasy. I know, believe me I know; when I was going through it I was thinking, “Yeah, it’s easy for you to say that, you have never loved like I love my ex. What we had was special, I loved/love him with my whole being, with every fibre of myself.” I truly never thought I would stop loving him, I clung to my pain and to that “love” like it was my lifeline. I thought I had to know what he was doing, I had to love him; loving him had become as much a part of me as breathing, eating, functioning day to day.  Even if I could talk to him once a day I could function, but go no contact? The thought of it was enough to put me into a panic attack.

We had a pattern, he would say it was over, I would move  out, he would start being nice, call to see if I had eaten supper, my truck would break down and I would have to call him to rescue me, we would be friendly, I would pretend to be casual, he would try to get sexy and I would pretend to say no, we would end up in bed, I would assume we were back together, he would stay the night and not leave, and the cycle would continue. After we had done it half a dozen times I thought, that is just the way we are, we will never really break up. The last two times we got back together I didn’t believe his lies but I told myself, “It can’t be my fault if he hurts me because he is lying, how can it be MY fault?!” It was easier to believe the lies than walk away”

The moment I knew I had to let go of that dream was when he was gloating to me when his ex died and had spent the last 15 years of her life pining away for him, stalking him, warning the new women in his life and the whole time she would have taken him back in a heartbeat. She couldn’t let go of the fantasy, even though she could recite everything he did to her and how much he hurt her, you could tell when you listened to her that she still loved him and had sacrificed the rest of her life to revenge, she had become her pain, it became her identity. I could relate; she had lived to love him and ended up living to mourn the loss of him. I was not going to be like her, I was not going to go to my grave caring what he was doing or who.  Spend 15 years reciting all the ways he hurt me and packing venomous hatred that would slowly kill me? I don’t think so!

  Before my ex, I used to believe that we had no control over what we thought; victims say it all the time, “I can’t stop thinking about him and the new woman, I can’t stop wondering if I was to blame.” Although it is easier to just let your mind take you on these pity trips and keep you in victimhood, you CAN change what you think about if you are diligent about making yourself face reality. Every time your mind starts to lie to you, repeating the same mantra over and over again, you have to argue with it (if you are out in public it is best to have this argument in your head and not use your outloud voice). 

It won’t be easy, breaking bad habits seldom is, you have been brainwashed,neuro pathways were formed in your brain and every time you are triggered to think a certain way your brain takes the path of least resistance, it goes where it knows, which embeds those thoughts or beliefs even deeper in your brain. But all is not lost, the brain CAN be retrained and new pathways can be made and over time and practice you will develop healthier and deeper pathways than the ones left by the narcissist. Here is an excerpt from an article I read on the topic of trauma survivors; 

Here is how it works: as a young person, probably around the age of 15 or 16, you learned to drive a car; this took a great deal of intentional thought and effort. Remember how you gripped the steering wheel and carefully executed every action? Now, you hop into the driver’s seat without giving it a second thought. This is because your brain laid down a neuro pathway for the completion of this task; from start to finish, a set of synapses occur to complete the action.
In trauma, a similar pathway is set down; it can even be additionally ingrained due to shock or intensity. Therefore, when a single trigger or set of triggers occur, the emotions associated with the trauma are revisited.

But, due to neuroplasticity, this does not always have to be the case. New pathways can be created through changes in behavior, environment and neuro processes. Not only is the brain capable of creating new pathways, it is designed to do so. The brain is highly resilient and desires flexibility. The brain functions at its best when it is limber and rich with options. The incredible thing is that the human brain has a very real desire to heal itself.

Creating new pathways necessitates a great deal of awareness, mindfulness and acknowledgment of the present. Yet, in time, these new pathways will eclipse the old, thus allowing trauma survivors. 

You can find the full article here:

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95% of the time a person is thinking with their subconscious mind, that is scary when you think how twisted your thinking became after being with the narcissist, the warped way he expected you to view things; is it any wonder you are having trouble dealing.

I know personally how a person’s mind can lie to them. I have shared before about being anorexic/bulimic for almost 20 years and how when I looked in a mirror I saw fat, it didn’t matter how much weight I lost, feeling skinny was as fleeting as my next meal. I weighed myself 20 or more times a day, being up a pound could send me into a tailspin and depression and self doubt. It took me years before I could look in the mirror and see that I was not fat, every time I looked in the mirror and thought I looked heavy I would tell myself that my mind was lying to me, I was not fat and prove to myself that I was not fat; I threw my scale out, (no contact with the scale), that was a huge step! and I gauged if I was gaining weight by how my clothes fit, I joined a gym, I ate healthy and I allowed myself to “fail” once in awhile.

I still have cognitive dissonance when I paint something or write something; I never think it is any good at the time I am doing it, but later I will see something I painted and find myself thinking it’s pretty good and then realize I painted it, or I enjoy reading an article that sounds familiar and  realize I wrote it.

I admit I still have a ways to go on the self confidence front. I used to think I was the only one who had self doubt, but you know what? I think almost everyone has it from time to time. Narcissists have learned to monopolize on everyone’s insecurities and then criticizes the victim for being insecure and needing reinforcement.

Some people would disagree with me but I believe self improvement is a lifelong process, you never finish the job and if there is something you don’t like about yourself you can always change it.

So what does all this have to do with Christmas and being happy through the holidays? Being sad and lonely is totally a mind thing, your mental attitude can be helped a lot by how you view your life, if you believe the lies your mind is telling you and if you let go of your expectations.

Most families are NOT having a Norman Rockwell Christmas and you and your ex certainly didn’t have them. People on FaceBook post pics that would make you think otherwise, but believe me, there are more family fights and tears through the holidays than any other time of year and a lot of it is because of expectations and disappointment.

If you have children you have a responsibility to make it special for them, you can fake it for a day or two for your kids can’t you? I know it is hard, it seems the narcissist is all you can think about or talk about but if you can put your mind to something else, anything else (except finding another man) I think you will find people are much more supportive and friendly to you. People are uncomfortable around unhappy people, people get bored hearing the same complaints over and over again. Yes, you need to talk about it but you also have to learn to not talk about him/her, it’s all part of retraining your brain to think about other things.

You will never regret time spent on self improvement but trust me, you WILL regret the time you waste obsessing about him and what he is doing. If you are going to be alone through the holiday season think about volunteering at a soup kitchen, seniors home or animal shelter, places are always short of staff through the holiday season. If you have money, how about contacting your nearest women’s shelter and adopt a family this Christmas. I have already done that this year, a woman with 3 children just left her abusive ex with nothing. I don’t have much money but it was amazing what I was able to find when I dug through cupboards and I painted them each a Christmas bauble.  To help someone else always makes me feel better, it feels good to do nice things for people, and most people are very appreciative.

But no matter what happens, remember Christmas day only has 24 hours, just like any other day and you can do anything for 24 hours.

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I Know Everyone Is Sick Of Hearing His Name

I have debated doing a post about Trump because the net is inundated with election rhetoric, everywhere you go someone is spouting about him or Clinton, it seems everyone has an opinion.  Friendships are being destroyed and people are being unfriended and blocked on Facebook. People are rioting in the streets, crying and fearful.

Being Canadian I have never paid much attention to US politics or problems in the states, I just kinda thought they lived like we did north of the border. I wasn’t really aware of prejudice, police brutality, Black Lives Matter, and even though I have gay friends and had a gay brother in law that I loved dearly; I never really thought about gay rights. Even with domestic violence, I had very limited knowledge of the dynamics of abuse and I admit I had a pretty narrow and judgemental opinion on the topic.  As is the case with many people, unless it affects them directly, they don’t think too much about it; leading them to have erroneous judgements. Just as dangerous as a psychopath, is a person who has strong emotions about a topic they are uneducated about. Nothing infuriates me more than someone speaking with authority on a subject they know nothing about. Equally annoying, are the people who refuse to take a stand and turn a blind eye to what is happening, “Why can’t we all just get along?” “I don’t want to discuss it””Let me keep my head in the sand” They think they are safe by not taking a stand, staying neutral, (many victims have “friends” who “didn’t want to sides”), but many times by not taking a stand, they are taking a stand, because if you don’t stand up against violence, prejudice, bullying and racism your silence gives the perpetrator strength, silence equates to acceptance, you are saying it is ok.

Being a victim of abuse tends to (or it did me) make you so much more aware of any abuse, be it to dogs, seniors, child trafficking, LGB, police brutality or racism. After being a victim and having people turn their back, not help, not believe, and even join in the abuse; I can no longer keep my mouth shut and I don’t care who I offend while standing up for the rights of others.

There is nothing I can do as a Canadian citizen about an American election, except try to educate people about psychopaths and to be honest I really didn’t think he would get in, I don’t think many people did think he would get in. AND if the people of the USA would have used their vote productively he probably would not have gotten in but people either didn’t vote or threw their vote away by voting for someone not even in the running. Their apathy did as much damage as if they had voted for Trump.

I get it, that people thought Hillary was as bad if not worse than Trump, personally she is not at the top of my favorites list, but come on people, the FBI has investigated her about those damn emails as thoroughly as is humanly possible and found nothing, nothing that warranted charging her.

She was criticized for Bill’s actions, she couldn’t win for losing with some people. The woman’s husband had an affair that was dissected publicly worldwide and she chose to stay with him and keep the family together. I think the president of the country has a responsibility to act with integrity and honesty, he has a duty to keep his prick in his pants and because of association the First Lady has a responsibility to act with integrity which Hillary did, in my estimation. Why she had it thrown in her face NOW, how many years later, and have it turned into a flaw of hers, I do not understand. I sure the hell don’t envy her, she is a better woman than I, she somehow managed act with dignity when I am sure there were days she wanted to just run away. Anyone who has been the victim of domestic abuse knows the strength it takes to stay, let alone forge a public name for yourself. Imagine the hit her confidence took?

Then she was raked over the coal for defending a rapist, she was fresh out of law school and a public defender, she had no choice. I have often wondered how a defence lawyer lives with himself, but we have to have them.

I could barely contain myself when I saw a woman comment on someone’s facebook that Bill and Hillary prefer sex with women. I asked her how she knew this. She immediately copped an attitude and repeated the information with authority. And I have read articles that say Michelle Obama is really a man. My good God people, I suppose you used to read the Inquirer and believe it too! that is just so trailer trashy, red necky of you, really!

I love these people who spout off “facts” about things they know nothing about. Do they not know how foolish they look? Do they not know that a lie told enough times becomes “fact”? It is a favorite tactic of a narcissist, they tell a lie to someone they know will repeat it, often referred to as “Flying Monkey’s” and sit back and wait. Gossips love to spread dirt, “I know something you don’t know” One person tells 6 people, those 6 tell another 6, and now with the internet and social media, people are telling thousands of people in a few minutes. In a day or two it has been heard so many times by people that it must be true and it becomes a fact.

I am actually quite amazed at victims of a narcissist who jump on the “blame the new woman” bandwagon. I agree that there is never a good enough excuse for screwing another woman’s man; but as a victim, you should know from experience that the narcissist must have spun a fantastic web of lies.

But then we saw it with Trump and Clinton during the election, it’s no wonder victims of abuse around the world were being triggered into PTSD. I may not have researched Hillary extensively, I did go and verify plausible “facts” I heard, but I didn’t research Trump any deeper than Clinton. There was no need, my opinion of him was formed long before the elections, long before the women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse. I didn’t have to go looking for dirt on him, I didn’t check to see how many times he claimed bankruptcy and I didn’t have to see his income taxes; those things only served to verify what I already knew, that he is a narcissist/psychopath. A person had to look no further than to his own words and actions. I was amazed that he was not charged with inciting violence by offering to pay the lawyer fees of anyone who punched a protester, when he insinuated harm should come to Clinton.

I cried when I heard Trump won, not because I thought Clinton was that much better, but at least she has experience and if she was going to show signs of being a narcissist it would have come out long ago. I was upset because it is eye opening and fricken scary to witness first hand how people can easily be manipulated into a hate filled mob of racism and anger………no rage!

I won’t bother repeating all the horrific things he said about so many people, races and genders (and then denied it adamantly in typical narcissist fashion); I was dumb struck so many people were accepting of it, to the point of voting for him. I was under the naive belief that humanity had evolved past that redneck, uneducated, narrow point of view. It shook me to the core to realize that many people actually swallowed the poison. No doubt they could never understand why a woman stays with her abuser or how someone like Jim Jones could convince the people of Jonestown to drink the koolaid.

If I mentioned Trump was a psychopath people would snort as if I was exaggerating, over-reacting, after all, “guys will be guys”, “he didn’t mean it”, “after the election he will change”, But CLINTON, what about those emails!!?? I felt like bashing my head against a brick wall. As with all narcissists he was misunderstood, misquoted, set up, the mike didn’t work, Hillary was a “nasty woman”. He popularity would drop and he would go on his best behavior, tell the people what they want to hear and boom! the next day he’s got everyone back in his camp.

I didn’t judge Trump on hearsay, on pending charges, gossip or prejudices, I judged him on his own actions. Like I said to my ex one time when he accused me of making him look like an asshole by talking badly about him behind his back.

“If me telling the truth about the things you do makes you look like an asshole,

maybe you should stop acting like an asshole.”

I had a conversation the other night with someone who was saying the people wanted a change and we all have to sit back and wait to see what he does, after all he has advisors, he doesn’t really have any power, everything he does has to be passed by senate. Well, I listened to an expert talking about the damage Trump could do and really? who honestly thinks Trumps ego is going to let him take advice from anyone? I have heard people say his advisors will have to teach him how to act and monitor his behavior, omg……. does that sound familiar to anyone? Those of you who have thought you were special and you were going to teach the narc how to be a decent human being know how futile it is to try to teach a narcissist anything; he doesn’t want to have empathy or a conscience, he doesn’t want to care, he can’t care.

I realize it is totally out of anyone’s control and I hope he is investigated and watched closely; Trump getting in doesn’t bother me near as much as the realization that there are that many people out there who believe in him.

Did society learn nothing from Hitler? Hitler promised to make the country great again, he promoted violence, but I highly doubt people thought he was capable of the atrocities he committed. The thing with psychopaths, you never know how evil they can be until it is too late.

 

 

Solution To Ending Narcissistic Abuse Begins In Grade School

I am sure most people do not realize that in many ways we groom our young women to be victims, and no one likes a victim it seems. We have no problem making children accountable for what happens to them but not so good at making they accountable for what they do. We are  society of “blame shifters”.

I have been saying for a long time that we need to educate our young women about narcissists and teach them self respect and how to set boundaries at a young age but it was a call from someone this weekend that gave me an epiphany.

  • Names and some of the circumstances have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.

A six year old little girl takes her rock collection to school for show and tell and the rock collection gets stolen. The teacher says, “If you wouldn’t have been taking your rocks out and showing the other children they would not have been stolen.”

Nothing earth shattering there, we have all heard a teacher or parent say the same thing but can you see what is wrong with how it was handled?

What was stolen is not the issue, it could have been a bag of rocks or a bag of diamonds, something important to the little girl was taken from her and she feels bad; her feelings were not acknowledged and in fact she was blamed it happening. Whoever stole the rock collection is given the message that it is ok to steal or take whatever he/she wants.

15 years down the road the girl is a young woman who gets too drunk at a party (perhaps her drink is spiked?) she passes out behind a dumpster and a young man rapes her. His father later says that his son is having to pay a stiff price for a few minutes of fun, the girl is blamed because she was drunk.

How can some seemingly insignificant event in grade school end up with rape? Simple really.

They say that a person’s self worth and personality are formed by the time they are 6 years old. Until the age of 7-8 a child absorbs every bit of information they receive without the benefit of logic and reason.

The teacher missed a golden opportunity to teach an important life lesson to her class and could have done damage that will manifest later for the children and in the very least perpetuates one of the biggest contributors to the cycle of abuse continuing.

How c+ould she have handled it in a positive way? By explaining to the class that it is wrong to steal and by asking the little girl how she felt about her rocks being stolen. The teacher could have taught empathy by asking the students to share how they would feel if something valuable to them was taken. There could have been an opportunity for the thief to apologize and return the rocks. But at the very least the little girl’s feelings would have been acknowledged.

The message that was sent was; it’s your own fault when someone does something mean to you. The little girl will hesitate to speak out when she is abused because she doesn’t want to be blamed and will grow up thinking that her feelings don’t matter.

Teachers have a lot of influence over our children, not all teachers have the skills to do their jobs well, luckily most do. I encouraged the parent to take this as an opportunity to teach the teacher by explaining calmly how she could have dealt with it in a more positive way. If he didn’t get a satisfactory response then go into the school and talk to the principal. The parent was worried about the affect on his daughter and was very angry, I explained that the teacher may not be as aware and that there are good teachers and bad teachers; what is important is that the parents consistently support their children and ensure that the child always knows that no matter what they can go to their parent and be listened to.

self-esteem

We all have to be very careful of the messages we send to our children, messages we send every day without even being aware of it; verbally, visually, by what we do and what we accept. “It takes a village to raise a child” has never been more true. And fathers teacher your daughters how they should be treated by setting an example and showing her how a real man treats women, after all they usually marry someone just like their daddy.

Take This Short Quiz To See If You Could Be The Victim Of Abuse

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Society has many misconceptions of what kind of person becomes the victim of domestic violence. Seeing as October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month I thought I would discuss the common traits of a typical victim.

I held many of the common judgements of abuse victims all through my 20’s and 30’s; I can remember saying things like:

  • “A man would only ever hit me once.”
  • “If a man ever hit ME, I would be out of there so fast his head would be spinning.”
  • “She must provoke him.”
  • “It can’t be that bad if she keeps going back.”
  • “It would never happen to me, I am too independent.”

I felt sorry for a victim of domestic abuse but I also thought she was weak, co-dependent, needy, and to be honest; not too smart.

By the time I was in my 30’s, 40’s, I felt immune to domestic abuse, I was self supporting, independent, confident, a homeowner, had a good job, AND I had never been in an abusive relationship. (I took shit from no man and could live without a man in my life better than most women)

When I met my ex I couldn’t believe my good fortune to meet a true sweetheart, someone who could talk openly about his feelings, who called when he was late, who couldn’t get enough of me and loved me just the way I was. He never got angry, we had so much in common, he had a great sense of humor and although he seemed like he was a little too sensitive and loved me more than I loved him; I had always been told by men I was too independent and I made the conscience decision allow a man to take care of me.

Little did I know 10 years later I would fear for my life and leave him with nothing, not even my self respect.

Take this quick quiz to see if you have the traits of a typical abuse victim.

  1. Are you honest and trust worthy?
  2. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance and can change?
  3. Are you a romantic at heart?
  4. Do you have high morals standards?
  5. Are you self sufficient and independent?
  6. Do you have a good job?
  7. Are you attractive?
  8. Fed up with men taking you for granted?
  9. Intelligent?
  10. Are you always there for your friends?
  11. If you say you are going to do something, do you follow through?
  12. Are you empathetic and intuitive; picking up on the emotions and moods of the people around you?
  13. Are you willing to admit you are wrong and try to change?
  14. Do you seem to instinctively know what people need and want?
  15. Are you generous and charitable?
  16. Have you been told you are too sensitive your whole life?
  17. Do you put the needs of others before your own?
  18. Do you try to resolve problems calmly and rationally?
  19. Do you believe relationships take work and if you love someone you don’t abandon them at the first sign of trouble?
  20. Do you believe everyone has a good side?

Who wouldn’t want to be described to have these traits? It doesn’t matter how many of the traits you answered yes to, because there is no typical victim, they come in all ages, races, economic backgrounds, they are lawyers, doctors, cleaning ladies and stay at home moms, they are grandmothers, and teenagers. No one is immune.

The things that led to me staying with my ex was my belief that I was immune to domestic abuse and that I was too strong and independent to ever let a man control me.

If we are to ever end domestic abuse we must dispel the erroneous stereotypes we have assigned the victims of abuse.

Narcissists generally do not want a weak needy woman, there is no challenge; the ego boost (narcissistic supply) comes from breaking a strong woman.

For years people thought women stayed because they needed the man to support them, so women fought for equal rights, equal pay, and they hold high paying power positions. Women now need a man less than ever in history and yet the stats for domestic abuse are not going down. In Canada, every 4 days a woman is killed by a family member and every 6 days a woman dies at the hands of her intimate partner. One in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime. THAT is despicable!

Your best defense against ever becoming a victim of narcissistic abuse is knowledge, knowledge is power. Share your knowledge with others, not to expose your abuser, there is no way you can warn every woman he will end up dating and it just makes you look bitter and vengeful. If you want to end domestic abuse, educate society whenever the opportunity arises, educate our young women.

 

 

 

 

Advice If You Are With A Narcissist But Don’t Want To Leave

I got a comment on the “30 Red Flags” post the other day and thought it was a topic worth talking about again.

broke own heart

I mean really, there must be some other advice when you discover you are with a narcissist, other than “RUN”. I remember how frustrated I’d become when searching for answers years ago; every single site I came to (there weren’t that many 10-12 years ago) said to leave. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted advice on how to stay, I loved this man, there must be a way of coping with his issues, some secret to having a doable relationship. I didn’t need a knight in shining armor, I was willing to compromise, communicate differently, feed his ego more. If I needed to give him space, or love him more, or express myself differently, I was willing to do whatever it took, just tell me so I can go about saving him and our relationship, but I was not going to jump ship and desert him. I loved this man with all my heart!

I have always thought that nothing is impossible if you are willing to do the work, that there is a solution to every problem if you don’t give up, and that true love will prevail. All relationships go through rough times but if you weather the storms you will be rewarded with true love and devotion, at 80 you will be sitting side by side in your rocking chairs with the love of your life laughing about the stupid fights you used to have. You will look knowingly at each other, because the storms will have brought you closer together.

Ah, yes, true enduring love! I do believe it exists, and I do believe that these days of instant gratification and “out with the old and in with the new” mentality are making “happily ever after” a lot harder to find, but it can be found; just not with a narcissist.

Sticking with the person you love is an admirable thing, it shows good character and that you are a person of your word, responsible, and have a heart, all the things of a narcissist does not have. *Hint number #1 – Both people must have these qualities in order for it to work.

 

Anyway, here is the comment:

I am newly married.. Im 23. I feel like everything you posted reminds me of my new husband. I have recently felt so uncomfortable in our home. No he isn’t cheating. He is just really mad. And under ” a lot of stress” when there is nothing to stress about. He never says he loves me or kisses me for no reason anymore. He used to be so loving and so caring about my wants and needs. Now nothing.. We have been together over 4 years now. I thought we were best friends, we enjoyed everything together.. Now everything is opposite and fights. I don’t know what to do.. Any advice other than run away?

psychopath

My reply:

Keisha, I know it is not so easy to walk away from a marriage, a new marriage. I am sure you don’t want to give up on your marriage, are afraid of what friends and family would think and say, plus you thought you had met your soulmate, your partner for life! You don’t want to think it was all a scam. You want the fairytale, happily ever after relationship you signed up for. You vowed, “For better or worse” and you sure don’t want to run at the first sign of “worse”.
By asking for advice, “other than run” you are in essence asking for tips on how to be married to a narcissist; and there are none. If you want to know how to be reasonably happy with a narcissist, how to manipulate a narcissist to do what you want, how to argue with a narcissist, how to reason with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist happy, how to avoid conflict with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist love you, how to make a narcissist be faithful, – there are no tips or advice to be given because all of the above are impossible.

So then we come to how you can change yourself so you can be happy and yet stay in the relationship; there are lots of things you can try but you have to remember, the narcissist doesn’t like you to be happy so you will constantly have to lie and sneak to be happy, in other words hide your happiness from him which is an oxymoron right there.

Even if you give up all expectations of the narc, don’t expect gifts for any occasions, don’t expect to ever go out, never expect the narc to show up, keep his promises, be faithful, or care one iota about you or the kids you will have, even if you give up your family and friends and live only for the narcissist and be at his beck and call 24/7, smile happily when he saunters through the door after being MIA for 3 days; He will still find fault, push your buttons until you break, to the point of you finding him in bed with your best friend and then him being angry with you for being upset. “But he should have known, you always have been a selfish bitch and he can not deal with your warped view of reality.”
Take it from a woman who tried everything, sacrificed everything, far more than material possessions, I sacrificed my self esteem, values, morals, boundaries, friendships and family and he still cheated and later even taunted me to kill myself. That is the one thing I refused to give him; my life and he has been pissed about it ever since.
But if you are determined to not run, this is my advice to you.
First of all, know this; they do not ever change.
What not to do:
– Don’t tell him that you think he is a narcissist in hopes he will want to change. They can’t change, they are born this way, their brains are wired totally different than a normal brain, he can not feel empathy, guilt, remorse and he really just can not care nor does he want to. Telling him he is a narcissist could put you in danger.
– Don’t believe a word he says, if his lips are moving, he is lying, get used to it.
– Don’t have any expectations
– Don’t rely on him for your self worth, keep your friends and family
– Don’t try couples counseling, he will just manipulate the counselor into thinking it is all your fault and he is the victim or if you get a counselor who knows anything about narcissists he will decide the counselor is a quack and refuse to attend.
– Don’t bother trying to explain why the things he does hurt you in hopes that some day you will be able to explain it in such a way that he will finally understand and stop doing what he is doing.

Accept that this is the way your relationship is going to go. It will eventually get so bad that you feel you have no choice but to leave because he will act like he can’t stand the fact that you are breathing his air. BUT if you do leave he will do everything within his power to get you back, even apologize for everything he ever did wrong.
If you go back, the abuse will be worse than ever and the cycle will continue. The honeymoon period will be shorter and the abuse worse.

Keep reading up on narcissists, keep coming here for support, keep a journal so you can see the pattern and that you are repeating history over and over again and nothing ever gets better.

  • Journaling is the number one best thing you can do for many reasons; it will help you keep your sanity for when he gaslights you and says things didn’t happen, twists your words, rewrites history, when you find out 6 months later he was lying, to be used in court to prove abuse, when he eventually kills you it will give the police and your family answers to what happened. (Please visit Myinnerchick.com it is written by the sister of a woman murdered by her soon to be ex husband)
  • Don’t stay 10 years like I did, or God forbid 30 years like some women
  • Please read the Safety Plan download at the top of the blog and other posts I have done on staying safe while in or leaving a narcissist.
  • Please do not have children with this man, do not bring an innocent life into this mess.

You say he isn’t cheating; I never thought my ex cheated on me either, I didn’t think he was capable of that kind of dishonesty, I really truly thought he loved me deeply and even when he had personal ads I didn’t think he would actually do anything about it.
I read somewhere that if you think your narcissist isn’t cheating you just haven’t caught him yet or he doesn’t feel he has you mentally beaten down far enough yet to take that step, but eventually he will cheat, 90% of them do, multiple times and with multiple women.

You are 23, with your whole life ahead of you, 30 years can fly by amazingly fast when you are dodging bullets, putting out fires, playing detective, and dancing as fast as you can while jumping through impossible hoops; all the while playing an endless game of “If only” in your head.

Look around at the married people you know, how many of them are recently married and always angry with their partner; I bet none.

We are here to help, encourage and support, but there is only one way to deal with a narcissist and that is to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and never have contact again.

Positive vs Negative

It was recently suggested to me on my Face Book to not read anything negative for a month because I should surround myself with happy thought for my own good.

I think many survivors of abuse have heard similar “advice” from well meaning “friends” and family. They view your pain as a negative thing, the fact that you are not “just getting over it and putting it behind you” is perceived as staying in the past and dwelling on the negative.

I remember worrying about being a “downer”, when your whole world comes crashing in around you and no one seems to understand your incapacitating pain it can force you to suppress your pain which is so unhealthy. Pain does not have to be a “bad” thing, it usually means you are going though a life changing period of growth. Unfortunately real personal growth often comes from personal loss or some traumatic event.

I don’t believe in feeling sorry for yourself and forever being the victim; yes something horrible happened to you and you need to put your big girl panties on (or man up) and play the cards you are dealt, no one can do it for you. BUT the odd pity party is allowed, tears are healing, in fact it is scientifically proven that tears wash toxins out of your body. That is why people will say they “Had a really good cry” because often times you do feel better after a good cry. It DOES help to talk about what happened to you, your brain needs to process the events in order to understand and know what to do with it. When you are in an abusive relationship as a form of survival the brain blocks a lot of the pain, you simply can not deal with it all at once, there is so much drama and trauma going on, the victim has to just let some things go. But it is never gone, it lays dormant until you are strong enough to deal with it. That is what I have come to describe as a “healing crisis”. Just when you feel you are finally starting to heal and get stronger, something happens and you are thrown back into a pit of despair. You feel you have made no progress at all, you will never heal!! you feel like giving up. DON’T!! believe it or not it is a good thing, you have gotten strong enough that now you can deal with some of that buried hurt. Believe me, you want to get it all out now, cleanse yourself of all those toxins so you can face the future free of all that negativity. Talking about your ex, crying, reliving the past are all signs of healing and that is a positive. Looking at the “bright side” is what kept you in the abusive relationship.

Facing reality can be perceived as a negative or a positive. Fluffy kittens and inspirational poems can be perceived as positivity but then a video of an abused pit bull being rescued from a dog fighting ring might provoke tears and even anger at the thought people who would do this to any living thing exist in the world could be perceived as negative, or is it positive because there are people out there who will not tolerate it and do what they can to bring awareness and dedicate their lives to saving these poor dogs and giving them a life of love and caring?

Is it negative of me to make people face the fact that domestic abuse is rampant in the world and one in 3 women will suffer abuse at the hands of someone they love or is it positive of me to take the most horrific experience of my life and use it as a tool to inform society and tell other victims that they are not crazy and they are not alone?

It is negative to go through life as a victim but I see nothing negative about going through life a survivor, raising awareness and helping others who follow behind me.
Jane Goodall has spent her life saving gorilla’s and speaking about how we are destroying the world and trying to educate society on how to live a more sustainable life. Is that negative? I see her as an amazingly positive strong woman who stands by her convictions and has been relentless in her pursuits no matter what the perceived cost was to her personally. I am not comparing myself to Jane Goodall by any stretch of the imagination, she is someone I have the utmost respect for and could only hope to cause the positive changes in the world that she has. But I do feel driven to do what I can, I am only one voice but maybe by speaking out I give others a voice or the courage to speak out, or at the very least by example show other victims that they too can be a survivor.

Some people may view my life and think that when I had the 3000 sq ft home and entertained friends and family with lavish meals and spent hundreds of dollars on elaborate Christmas celebrations and $100 hanging baskets adorned my house every summer as positive and living in a 14 ft 40 year old holiday trailer with its seams busting open as a negative. But in order to judge you would have to know how I feel inside. When I was in the 3000 sq ft home my face broke out so badly it looked like someone threw acid in my face, I was in so much pain with my neck my shoulder atrophied and I was hooked on pain pills and after every dinner or party I hosted I agonized over every little detail thinking how I could have done better. Whether my toilet was clean or dirty was more important than spontaneously hopping in the car and going for a picnic with the family. Doing what others thought I should be doing was more important than doing what made me happy. I also drank copious amounts of wine every day.

Today I can barely make it through one cooler and two will make me rosey cheeked and giggly, my toilet can be dirty and I can actually go to bed with dirty dishes in my sink. I do what makes me happy and if other people don’t like it, well too bad. And I am very proud of the little glamperized trailer I managed to fix up. Oh there were times I was pretty negative about that dang thing, I tried so many different ways to close in that back end, it challenged me in many ways, my tools are still in Clearwater, I was doing it alone and having a man to help would have made it easier (actually I probably wouldn’t have been doing it at all if I had a man around to do it), I almost killed myself while stripping the paint off the counters and table top, but now that it is finished I am so proud of what I accomplished. People who were too polite to tell me what they really thought admitted they thought I had just bought a piece of shit I would be stuck with forever. I could live in 14 feet and be happy, because I have inner peace and pride in myself. That is why my ex can’t get to me any more. I don’t care what he has, where he lives or if she was able to exorcise the evil out of him and give him a heart, I know how he treated me and so far all he has done is blame me for my own abuse and try to sabotage anything good that comes into my life. That is not the actions of a healthy or changed man. I rest my case. No one can ever make me feel less than because I live true to me.

Of course practicality has to come into play also and I have moved into a basement suite where stella has a fenced yard and it is cheaper than a campsite. I could view it as a negative that I did all that work on the trailer and now can’t even live in it or I can view it as a positive learning experience and use it to one day fix up another little bit larger trailer to live in.

I was at my first visit with a counselor for PTSD on Monday. She was asking me questions and I was answering truthfully and as you can well imagine I only skimmed the surface of what I went through with my ex. At once point she blurted out “Holy Fuck!” and then covered her mouth and excused her language. At the end of the session she asked me what I got out of the relationship with my ex and I for the first time in the whole hour I had been there I got tears in my eyes as I told her about the blog and how gratifying it is to me every time I get a comment or email saying I saved someone’s sanity or even life. I also told her about feeling like a puzzle someone had dropped on the floor with some pieces missing and pieces from a puzzle that didn’t belong and not having a clue how to put myself back together. How I took every piece of the puzzle that I have always been told was me and examined it and decided whether it belonged in my puzzle or not and some things I kept but worked on changing some aspect of, like being too sensitive or reacting without thinking and the end result is; I would not change a thing from my past because I have gained so much from the experience and have so much more inner peace and live my life true to me and no one else.
She concluded by saying she thinks I have a very clear idea of who I am, have dealt with things appropriately and she is actually amazed I was able to do it without help. What I am dealing with is no longer the abuse from my ex, it is the abuse by the welfare system and society post abuse. She said that sometimes it helps a person to deal with situational stress and depression to just talk about it in a safe environment and I agree. I am not depressed about my ex or the abuse, I am depressed and frustrated by a horribly inadequate welfare system that does nothing to help a person get back on their feet, in fact they put obstacles in the way.
For a long time all I could talk about was what I went through with my ex, it consumed me at all times but I could see people shutting down and I actually got sick of talking about it. It took a long time and I can’t tell you exactly when things changed but I am able to have a normal conversation, even make small talk (something I had totally forgotten how to do), my sense of humor is back and my ex is not the top thing on my mind.
Have no doubt, if someone near me makes a false judgment about victims of abuse, makes some uneducated declaration of “what they would do” I take the opportunity to educate them. Is that being negative? I don’t think so, I think it shows a person can survive abuse, discuss abuse in a calm and rational way without falling apart without it consuming every conversation all night.
Negativity vs positivity is all in the individual’s perception and mindset. Burying pain, ignoring a problem, putting your head in the sand, never ever makes a problem go away.