Category Archives: No Contact

I’m Rubber, You Are Glue

trump-glue

Remember back in grade school some smart ass kid that made your life hell and when you told him what you thought of him, he would sing, “I’m rubber and you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” or another favorite was, “I know you are but what am I?”

As a young child you would get angry, perhaps cry,maybe even hit the other child and defend yourself. But no matter what you said nothing fazed the kid, he always had a come back, laugh, and when you tried the same lines, they just didn’t work for you, his words still hurt.

Fortunately most kids grow up and develop empathy and communication skills. We certainly aren’t expecting to have to deal with that kind of childish taunting as an adult but we found ourselves feeling just like we did as a child in the playground, frustrated, helpless to defend ourselves, crying, with our tormentor laughing at us, taunting us.

If you are still with the narcissist you probably haven’t figured out that; trying to reason with a narcissist, defending ourselves, or trying to make a narcissist admit any fault in the relationship is futile and will result in it bouncing off him and sticking to you. You accuse him of cheating, eventually he will accuse you, tell him he is a narcissist and he will research it and accuse you of all the traits of a narcissist; you may not believe it now because you are still thinking he/she is a normal person and eventually you will get through to them.

Trust me that you are not thinking clearly right now. This kind of gaslighting will drive the most sane person crazy. I can’t say I blame you because there is no way anyone could have convinced me he would turn against me the way my ex did. Deep down, through it all I truly felt there was a deep love for me buried inside him that he was terrified to admit or at the very least he had a conscience and could never lie about me so blatantly. I admit I felt superior to him because I was faithful and honest; he was the one screwing up the relationship, there was no way I could be blamed for the relationship failing.

Then came the day when he told me he’d had enough and it was over.

I said, “YOU’VE had enough??? enough what?”

He looked at me with disgust and said, “This”

I was furious, “You’ve had enough of this????? I have been faithful, I have been honest, you are the one who screwed around, you are the one who didn’t come home at night, who lied…….not me!”

He looked at me over his glasses and sneered when he asked, “And what did you do????”

Looking him right in the eyes, I was indignant, “I stayed.”

He spit out “Exactly” before he went back to reading his magazine and I stood there trying to absorb the enormity of three words. “I stayed” and “Exactly“.

It took a few months before I finally moved out, even though my ex said, “I don’t want you to be homeless so you can stay.” For whatever reason my biggest fear had always been being homeless and of course he knew that but I also knew that if I stayed it would be the death of me.

I had suspected he was cutting me down to his work mates but I had always conducted myself with class, honesty, hard work and wasn’t concerned with what he told his buddies. What I had not counted on and sadly underestimated was his vindictiveness and his ability to lie straight faced and be believed. He knew that all he had to do was put doubt into people’s minds, make a few anonymous phone calls, and act like an unwilling victim. It made me sick how he could play the victim, I had seen him do it with me about other people and now I knew he was doing it about me.

It took me a painfully long time to figure out that any one who decided they were going to “remain neutral” was not a friend of mine. I had never had a relationship where friends had to choose, I had never had a relationship end where I couldn’t remain friendly with my ex and I didn’t want to appear unkind or vindictive but I was constantly being put in the position of defending myself. What worked against me was the fact that I had remained loyal to him and not told people what was going on behind closed doors so when I defended myself to his accusations it all sounded like sour grapes. He had already told everyone I was a liar and crazy and I had stayed for 10 years and not said a word, so of course no one believed me. If it was that bad why did I stay, why didn’t I complain to anyone about him? call the police, go back time after time?

I kept thinking, he stole my identity! he had totally reversed roles and taken mine! He even used my own lines on me! Lines like:

“I can’t just shut off my feelings after we have a fight an pretend nothing happened.”

“Try putting yourself in the new girlfriend’s position, how would you like it if I was seeing an ex girlfriend?”

“She kept saying no one would love me like she did.”

“I am afraid of what you are going to do next.”

“She is trying to ruin my life, get me fired, destroy me.”

“She keeps trying to cause trouble in my life, destroying property, stealing from me etc”

It was infuriating to be accused of exactly what he was doing to me! but I knew the more I denied it the guiltier I looked. It was like entering the twilight zone. I had a couple of “friends” who insisted on telling me how happy he was with his new woman and all the things he was saying about me and what I was doing. It didn’t matter that I told them I didn’t want to hear it, they wanted to hear my explanation or defense against what he was saying, and I did play the game for awhile, until I realized that I didn’t need a friend who doubted my character and would listen to the shit my ex was spreading. I knew he was using them as a pawn to hurt me and to destroy my good reputation. Something I learned from being with my ex is; if a lie is told enough times to the right people, it becomes a fact in people’s minds. It’s a rather interesting phenomenon witnessed during the Trump campaign

That is when I decided the only thing I could control was how I conducted my life, I couldn’t anticipate what he would do next, I could only live honestly and true to my morals and principles AND cut all toxic  people from my life and keep trying to be the best version of me I can be.

When I started looking for answers about 2 years into the relationship there wasn’t a lot of information out there. In fact 6 years ago when I started the blog there still wasn’t much information out there, I did a lot of research and from sharing my own experiences and listening to the stories of thousands of women and men, I consider myself to be a bit of a layman expert and I will continue to spread the word about narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, or whatever label you want to give these soul sucking vampires. I am here to tell you that any attempt to make the narcissist admit his mistreatment of you or feel any morsel of guilt or remorse, is not going to happen. In fact, anything you say will bounce off him and stick to you.

 

 

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Happy New Year, Welcome 2017!

 

welcome-2017I am not a big fan of new year resolutions, never have been, never made one that I kept; so I stopped making them years ago. This year I am not making new year resolutions but I AM making new year intentions. 

I think resolutions put a lot of pressure on us and we set ourselves up to fail, whereas, intentions mean you are going to try to make some changes. I used to diet, a lot! and the minute I decided I was never going to eat chocolate cake again all I could think about was chocolate cake.

I never did say “I will never speak to my ex again”, it was too final, too “over”, too much for my heart to bare. Just thinking I would never talk to him again made me want to call.
I did it hour by hour, day by day, and the longer I went without contacting him the more I didn’t want to contact him because he always made me feel bad and I wanted to feel good. I knew any “high” I got from contact with him would dissipate quickly with the end result of me crying and being hurt, filled with self doubt, so now it has been 5 years and I would be hard pressed to come up with the day of our last contact.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with life and what works for them, I share my experience and thoughts in hope they help others, whether it’s to learn from my mistakes or my successes makes no difference, as long as something is learned and beneficial to someone.

Even though I don’t make resolutions I do evaluate the passing year/s and think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year. Years fly by so quickly now, I find it is easy to have them slip by and before you know it 10 years have gone by and you have changed or done nothing yet aren’t happy. As in the 10 years I stayed with the narcissist.

My ex used to quote Oprah and Dr Phil as proof he was so enlightened, using the experts to prove his point, he especially liked “You can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself” or in other words, “If you want someone to change you have to change yourself.” Which is correct but not in the way he meant it to. What it means is; if you don’t like the way someone treats you, you can only change how you deal with it, which could very well mean you have to walk away. I also believe we teach people how to treat us; no we don’t teach them to abuse us but by allowing it and forgiving time after time, we are teaching them that they can do whatever they want and we will always forgive them. Sometimes we have to walk away. I know I forgave my ex because I was afraid if I didn’t I would lose him, but what was I losing? I could explain until I was blue in the face why his actions hurt me and nothing changed.

I was tagged in a Facebook post during the holidays that got me really thinking, well the holidays really had me thinking about my life, my attitude, my people skills. The person was angry, hurting and saying that a positive attitude does not fix everything. I don’t recall ever saying it did and I don’t think I am an overly positive person; but then, that can be how you look at it. I told my brother that someone thought I was too positive, he laughed and said, “You aren’t positive at all!” Which was just as offensive as being told I am too positive. But my brother really has not paid much attention to my life either, he doesn’t know what I have been through, where I have lived, my struggles; only what my mother has told him and that thought is scary because my mom has some pretty far out views and misconceptions, if she even listens to what you are saying before she is telling you what you did wrong or need to do to change things.

As some of you may know, I spent Christmas at my brother’s with my son, mother, step dad, etc. I noticed something happening even prior to Christmas that I didn’t like and didn’t know how to handle which has motivated one of my intentions for 2017. All families have a way of interacting that is pretty ingrained, which isn’t a bad thing if it is healthy, but I find myself getting very upset and offended. I know my brother and son love me and don’t mean to hurt me and I have no desire to start a fight with either of them. I don’t want to get into a debate about what they said or meant by what they said and I know it will end up with them telling me I am too sensitive and me removing myself from the situation. I want to have a relationship with my son and brother that we all enjoy, I want them to enjoy spending time with me and I most definitely want to enjoy my time with them. Which is not the way things are now.

I am sure they would both deny it but I feel they treat me like I am stupid, it feels to me that everything I say is met with an argument and I get sick of it and when I defend myself I am told I am looking for a fight. For example: I mentioned that while we lived in Clearwater the 4 dogs were really good at dinner time and would sit and wait for their dinner. My son laughed and said “No way!!” he insisted there was always a fighting amongst the dogs at meal time. I ended up text messaging the girl that owned the boys and asking her what meal time was like. My son wanted to know why it was so important to me that I was right that I had to message her, my question is “Why was it so important to him to contradict me to the point I felt I had to prove my point?”

I can laugh at myself as well as anyone but when it is a constant barrage of insults, arguments and little jabs, I lose my sense of humor. There was a cougar hanging around the house and I was nervous to walk with Stella to the cabin late at night, I believe rightfully so considering there were cougar prints outside the cabin door in the morning but the guys laughed at me and said I was over reacting. But I left and my nephew stayed in the cabin and they gave him a shotgun to pack when he walked to the cabin. Not that I wanted a shotgun, I just wanted to be walked to the cabin and not laughed at.

I ended up being very quiet and doing a lot of writing and thinking. There were other things that happened, nothing major but I want my relationships to be the best they can be and confrontation rarely works.

When I got home and checked my email and there was a course being offered, something like, “Getting rid of bad Family Karma”, it costs $25 us, and I immediately paid for it (thanks to some donations I received before Christmas). I haven’t started the course yet but will share what I learn as I go. I also bought a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer “Intentions” and am looking forward to reading what he has to say.

Maybe all your relationships with your family and friends have been smooth and wonderfully fulfilling and rewarding and the narcissist was the only one who ever hurt you and that you had problems with but I can’t say that and I don’t many people can. I believe that you can study the traits of a narcissist and not be safe from getting involved with another one. Your best chance of not getting sucked in by another narcissist is by changing how you communicate and how you deal with other people.

Plus I believe there is a tendency for a victim of a narcissist to see narcissistic traits in almost everyone or to second guess themselves when they do meet a narcissist and question whether they are just being too sensitive because of their experience with the narcissist.

I vowed a long time ago to just be honest with my feelings and not try to guess what people mean or why they act the way they do, to take things at face value and not assign feelings to people that they may not be feeling. But when it comes to the people we love it is not so easy. I hope to grow in this area in 2017.

Another intention I have for 2017 is to become more regimented as far as doing posts for the blog and pursuing other avenues and platforms for my activism, hopefully some that will bring in some regular income.

So……. all that said, my Intentions for 2017 are in many ways the same ones I had last year, to grow and become a better person; grow, improve and continue to help people through my blog and most importantly improve my relationship with my son by changing how I interact with him.

What are your intentions for 2017?

Many of you may think that 2016 was one of the worst years for you but I think it is one of your best years, because you did something for yourself and you grew as a person.

Remember in 2017 to look forward and not back.

Merry Christmas and New Year Resolutions

I am with my family at my brother’s but I wanted to take a minute to say Merry Christmas to you all and give a few words of encouragement to those of you who are having a terrible day and feeling lonely. I CAN relate and I can assure you that you will get through this and things will get better.merry-christmas-images-knvirlmt

My ex and I split at the end of November and were still very much in contact that first Christmas. He, in typical narcissist fashion had been bitching to all his friends about how badly I treated him and he had invitations for Christmas day. I, on the other hand had moved into a stranger’s trailer (a friend of a friend who worked out of town and was only home for a couple of weeks at Christmas and again in spring), my mother wasn’t talking to me, and my son lived in another province. I was not invited to attend the family Christmas dinner, I was broke, heart broken, and thought surely I would run out of tears soon, no one could possibly cry that much. I would sit and stare into space forgetting to blink, I thought maybe I could forget to breath and die, but no such luck.

Sometimes I forget how far I have come since then, some of the things I have accomplished.

I strongly advise any recent victims of narcissistic abuse to start a journal, if you are still with the narcissist even better. Make sure you don’t let the narcissist know you are writing a journal because he will read it and the less he knows the better. There is a tendency for the victim to want the narcissist to know how much he is hurting them in hopes he will feel bad. Because they know how badly they would feel if they found out they were hurting someone as much as you are hurting, but you have to remember that the narcissist does not hurt and gets off on your pain.

Journal so you can look back and remember how bad it was and how no matter how many things you tried you could never make him happy. So when the new year comes and you are filled with self doubt you can read how you kept repeating history over and over again like GroundHog Day and nothing ever changed.

If you are with the narcissist, he has undoubtedly ruined another celebration and you are crying and alone, didn’t get any gifts, ended up being told it was all your fault he is miserable or he didn’t show up for dinner at all. I remember one Thanksgiving my ex stayed in bed all day, another Thanksgiving he showed up hours late after we head off eating for 2 hours waiting for him because he didn’t answer his phone. There were the Christmas’s we were supposed to go to his family and never got there, no turkey, no gifts, and he never even called to tell them we weren’t coming and they would wait until they couldn’t wait any longer for us to walk through the door. They eventually stopped asking us and I eventually stopped expecting to celebrate any special occasions.

When we split and he was the life of the party with invitations to numerous houses for dinner, it was easy to feel miserable. Here I was, the one who had always made Christmas so special, who decorated the whole house and baked for months prior to Christmas, sitting home alone.

Things have never been the same since. That is one thing you really must accept, you will never go back to your “old self”, with work on your part, you will be a new and improved version of yourself. I have found that Christmas is overrated, what matters is how people treat you all year long. Most people are not having a Brady Bunch, Ozzie and Harriet Christmas.  The people who matter are the ones who cherish you all year long and when you start cherishing yourself, the people who don’t treat you well won’t matter.

I still love Christmas, but I almost prefer to be alone and celebrate time with my family all through the year.

I hope that you all got through the day ok, it is almost over and tomorrow is another day.

You have all been on my mind.

Lets all look forward to the new year with a positive attitude and determined to be the best we can be.

 

 

 

 

People Who Build Bridges and Those Who Burn Them

burning-bridge

Sometimes you might have to burn a bridge to keep the narcissist from following you. And you have to be choosy about which bridges you choose to cross.

You may have noticed I changed the header picture on the blog. I took the picture this summer while Stella and I were at the river. We were wandering along the river, no houses in site, no sign of people and then there in the middle of nowhere is a foot bridge someone obviously put a lot of time and effort into building.

Of course I was intrigued to see where it led and tentatively put one foot on the bridge to test it for strength, it felt solid so I tried two feet and it held. It wasn’t far to fall if it did break but I really didn’t want to get wet. I was kinda nervous crossing the bridge because I didn’t know what would be on the other side but the bridge held, there was nothing scary on the other side and Stella and I went on our way. Ever since then I have wondered who built that sturdy little bridge and why they bothered.

What also surprised me is that no one had destroyed it! Usually when someone obviously works hard to create something, someone will come along and destroy it, maybe it is built so strong that it would take too much effort to destroy it?

Here comes one of my famous (joke) analogies; the world is full of people who build bridges and people who destroy or “burn” their bridges.

bridges-and-dams

The selfish people who lack empathy burn or wreck the bridge because they don’t want anyone to attain what they do, as if there is only so much good stuff to go around and if they help someone else somehow they will lose out. Narcissists are the bridge burners, once they are done with a victim they feel they must destroy them and any hope the victim has of ever leading a happy fulfilling life. In the narcissist’s sick mind if he doesn’t destroy the victim before he leaves he hasn’t done the job, he failed, he loses and the victim wins. It is hard for a normal person to get their head around that kind of logic; if he leaves the victim with anything, including their self respect and esteem he somehow loses. The narcissist is like some kind of toxic leech that not only has to feed off of a live host, he won’t move on to the new host until he has sucked the first host dry.

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A narcissist sees no point in helping others be successful unless there is a benefit to them, why would they? that just seems stupid to them. They will con someone into building the bridge for them and then they will either charge a toll to use it or burn it so no one else can use it. With my ex ,everything had a price tag and everyone was fair game. He told me once that he would screw his own grandmother (not in the literal sense, he meant figuratively in a business deal. But as I say that, he probably would screw his own grandmother if she was willing)

Empaths build bridges. Their way of thinking is; if I have to go through this I will make it easier for the next guy, I will help the people who come behind me. Why? why not? Like the when the welfare worker asked me why on earth I would have a blog that I put so much effort into, if I was not getting paid.

Or the cop who investigated my ex’s claims I was inciting violence against him through my blog, who asked me why else would I have the blog of not to disparage my ex. He totally understood when I told him that I would never stop sharing my experience because silence that perpetuates domestic abuse and I hoped that sharing my story would save someone else from the same fate or worse.

I also had a selfish ulterior motive and that was; I didn’t trust myself to not attempt suicide again. I didn’t trust myself to value my life enough to keep fighting and to do the work necessary to heal BUT if I declared to the world I was going to heal and survive I couldn’t very well go and kill myself. What message would that send? I valued the lives of strangers more than I valued my own, but at least I knew that about myself and used it to save my life.

Another selfish reason I had for starting the blog was; it gave meaning to everything I had been through. If I didn’t use the experience to help others, if I didn’t experience personal growth and if it didn’t somehow make me a better person; then I had wasted 10 years and lost everything I owned, for nothing and I couldn’t live with that.

I feel it is the responsibility of every person to do what they can to make the world a better place; the narcissist does everything he can to destroy the world and anyone who crosses his path. It makes life harder on the empaths in the world, especially when you marry or elect one. In typical narcissist fashion Trump wants to build a wall instead of a bridge.

What is the point of this post? I guess my point is this:

bridge-not-going-back

I know most of you are hurting, feel emotionally raped and like you will never be happy again but please try to view this as a chance to grow, become a more authentic version of yourself and be a bridge for people who will come behind you. It doesn’t have to be through a blog or any obvious way; you can be a bridge, a light to other victim if you will; by NOT hanging your head in shame or hiding the truth from the world. Be the ear to some victim of abuse when they need to be heard, reach out in friendship when you see abuse happening, mentor a young girl so she knows she is complete and “good enough” without a man. Teach your children how a woman should be treated and show them by example how a strong woman behaves, it is not enough to tell them, you must walk your talk. Be the woman your daughter and son respect.

Even if you don’t have children of your own, you can still be a strong role model. View yourself as you would a friend or your daughter………what would you say to her, what would you wish for her, what does she deserve? and then do it for yourself. Sure it’s a lot of work and it will take time and it means stepping into the unknown, it means leaving your comfort zone, (doesn’t it just make you furious that your “comfort” zone is a place that causes you so much discomfort?)

 

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:

5-prcent

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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When I Knew He Had Lost His Control Over Me

I think all victims of narcissistic abuse feel the same way I did; that no matter how hard they tried no one really believed them. The narcissist was telling outrageous lies about the victim and people, family and friends lapped it up; but when the victim tried to tell their side no one would listen. In court, the police, society in general; no one believed them. The victim gets re-victimized over and over again; and every time they are disbelieved or blamed for the demise of the relationship they become more determined to prove their case. They become panic, their nerves are raw, constantly in the fight or flight mode, they wait for the next attack from the narcissist. What will he do this time? When will he strike? How will they ever prove to people he is a narcissist and they are the true victim? They remain a victim even though they have left the narcissist and feel the only way they can heal and move is if the narcissist admits wrong doing.  The narcissist sucks them in time and time again and the victim is revictimized again and again by the narcissist making it even harder for people to believe the abuse because if it was so bad why do they keep going back?

Why do people believe the narcissist and not the victim? Well, its shitty, but people believe the narcissist because he is so calm, rational and certain about events and his “innocence”. He has practised being a “victim” and he doesn’t feel guilt. Guilt, self doubt, taking any blame whatsoever, makes a person look guilty. The narcissist will take some of the blame; “I should have stood up for myself”, “I should have known I couldn’t fix her”, “I shouldn’t have let her push my buttons”. He will cry real tears, AND he started the whole victim act long before he actually left the relationship; while he was still telling the victim that if only she would do this or that, the relationship would be saved. The victim was so busy jumping through endless hoops trying to get the N to love her again, she was oblivious to his campaign to destroy her reputation and make his exit.

Really, when you think about it, the victim is pretty hard to believe. What other people see from a typical victim:

– She has kept her mouth shut about the abuse. Either she is ashamed of the situation she has allowed herself to get into or she was protecting him.

– The victim is an emotional basket case whereas the narcissist is calm.

– The victim seems uncertain about events, time lines, is generally confused.

– And, she keeps going back!

The more she is disbelieved the more anxious she gets and desperate to prove she is the victim. People are turned off by desperation. I don’t know why, but as much as I fight it, I still find myself pulling away from people who are desperate and “Woe is me”.  Yet I have been there, desperate to be believed, understood and validated. I eventually gave up on trying to find validation. I got sick of sounding like a broken record and I knew I could not keep asking, “Why me?” and keep seeing him.

A common trait of the victims of a  narcissist is; they are extremely adept at picking up on the moods of others, were often the peace keepers of the family and they have honed that skill while with the narcissist. Their senses are heightened to the max, looking for cues to the narcissists mood 24/7, trying to avoid conflict and more importantly keep the N happy. Once they leave the N they are still running on “high alert” and are extremely sensitive to everyone’s moods and often times read things into the comments or actions of those around them. They end up living in a constant state of reacting to others, consumed with “What did they mean by that?” “Are they mad at me?” Because everything was their fault while with the narcissist, they feel everything is their fault, always! I realized that it was pretty narcissistic of me:

I was so frustrated trying to please everyone and I was pleasing no one. My mom angry because I had stayed, my ex slandering me to customers, friends and anyone who would listen; even me! twisting facts and rewriting history to suit his agenda, I was going through my days afraid of offending people, afraid of not being believed and not finding compassion and understanding, so I stopped.

It was then that I decided that I was going to live true to me, I was the only one who knew where my heat was, what my intentions were and I chose to never do anything ever again that I was not at peace with. I decided to never let anyone, a.n.y.o.n.e. pressure me into doing something I was not totally at peace with. I analyzed every feeling I had, was I being too sensitive? did I have a right to be angry? and I also decided to stop guessing at what people meant, what people were feeling, what their intentions were and just ask! If my feelings were hurt I would express that and ask for the other person’s side and often times either I had misunderstood their intension or they had not realized they hurt me. I realized that it was so much easier to just express my feelings than try to guess what people were thinking.

The other thing that plagues victims, is their guilt, that is why I don’t advocate revenge. Whenever I got revenge on my ex it felt good at the time and then the guilt would set in and he would use it to his advantage every time. One time when I discovered more of his personal ads on the net I keyed his truck. It felt great at the time but once the adrenaline wore off and he twisted the truth and made me feel guilty, I ended up paying for it for the rest of the relationship and I am sure to this day he is telling everyone what a nut case I am.

I always forgave and forgot; he expected the slate to be swiped clean after every feeble apology but any little mistake or perceived crime of mine was brought up and embellished forever more.

The line between, telling the truth in order to protect myself and revenge blurred. Here is the link to a post I did a few years ago about that blurred line and the narcissist’s need for revenge.  The victim is criticized by the narcissist for their natural instinct to protect themselves.

The only choice the victim has is to live honestly and true to their core beliefs and moral code, that way they can never be manipulated through guilt or threats of “being exposed”. This was proven to me this year when a police officer contacted my mother looking for me because I was “Inciting violence against my ex” through my blog.

My mother was panicked but I stayed surprisingly calm, I knew I would deal with it and I called the cop immediately.  We played telephone tag for a while but eventually connected.  I was calm, rational and not the least bit concerned about whether the cop believed me or not. I felt it welling up in me, that old panicky feeling, the “but he did this or that”, but I pushed it down and stuck to the facts. I knew why I started the blog, I knew what my intention was and is and I knew I didn’t want to go to court or to jail but I also knew I had a right to speak my truth; I just had to find out how to do it legally.

Initially the cop was all business, and I could tell he thought I was a vindictive bitch but the more we talked I could feel him softening and I could tell there was doubt in his mind regarding what my ex had told him and that what I was saying was the truth. But as much as I was tempted to fill the cop in on everything my ex had done, I didn’t; if he had read my blog he knew and that was not the issue. The issue was, how can I speak my truth without getting in trouble with the law and what are my rights.

The link to a post I did on it is here

The point I wanted to make with this post is this:

For the most part, we give the narcissist everything he needs to hurt us and we have to become aware of that and start acting in our best interest. We all have said, “I didn’t ask to be lied to, abused or slandered”. No, none of us knew what we were getting into, but now that we know what we are dealing with, we need to step back and think clearly and not emotionally. It will work in your favor in all your relationships, believe me.

 

 

 

What Can Someone Do To Get The Victim To Leave The Narcissist

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Lately it seems I have had an abundance of mother’s trying to get their daughter’s to leave someone they believe to be a narcissist. I have a post on what to do and what not to do if you know someone in an abusive relationship but I don’t talk about what you can do to make them leave; mainly because I don’t think you CAN make a person leave a narcissist.

Leaving is a decision the victim has to come to on their own, unfortunately most victims don’t leave, the narcissist leaves them and they are devastated and have exhausted all their resources long before the split.

Part of the reason you can’t make a victim leave their abuser is because; even if they come to you crying about how the abuser treats them, or heart broken that the narcissist hasn’t called in a week, or wants to end it, or did something else to break the victim’s heart; the minute they talk to the narcissist he gets them so confused about what happened, they end up staying.

I remember making bargains with myself; OK, so he has personal ads on the net, he says nothing is going on and he would never actually meet them. I can rationalize that to myself. Really, he is looking for Russian Brides, how likely is it that he is going to actually send for a Russian bride? He is just doing it because he wants to make sure that if I screw around on him like all the other women he has been with, he still has “it” and could get another woman. I told myself that if I ever discover he is actually dating another woman or has an ad looking for local women, THEN I would have just cause to leave and it would be easier for me to leave. I would have “proof”. But then I found his local personal ad and he had like a dozen women on the go at once. That was it!! it was over, I confronted him and he denied it all. Didn’t remember placing the ad, didn’t remember talking to all those women. I started to believe maybe he did these things in his sleep, maybe he was doing crazy drugs, maybe he had a brain tumor!

I would read the emails he sent to these women and I would want to date him too, he was so infatuated with them, so romantic, making them promise to look at the moon at a certain time so they could be looking at the moon together and for her to imagine him sliding his arms around her. Asking her to wait for him like he was waiting for her. Saying how he had a “gut” feeling the minute they talked and he always follows his gut feelings. The same line he used on all of them. They were all “special”. I would be furious and declare “that was it!” I was out of there, he would storm out, I would cry all day (Oh my God, how many days did I waste crying all day and sitting on the internet searching for more evidence?) I would talk to friends and swear that this time it was over. This time he had gone too far, I could never trust him again and I deserved better. I would tell him I deserved better. My friends would agree with me, or they would laugh and say “Yeah right it’s over, you’ll be back together by tonight, tomorrow at the latest.” I would swear, not this time and it always went the same way, he would show up where I was, he would call and ask me if I had eaten, he would just show up and act like nothing had happened or my truck would break down and I would call him to come rescue me. He would be so loving, I would doubt my own recollection of what I had found.

I started to make photocopies of everything because he would erase any evidence and I was too honest to lie to him and not tell him what I had found. But even when I made photocopies he would just rip them up, throw them away and deny it anyway. I knew he was lying, why did I doubt myself? Because I wanted him to love me more than anything in the world so when he would be loving and act like nothing was wrong I would pray he had seen the light, realized the err of his ways, was sorry. Fill in the blanks….. he would leave it up to my own interpretation. (and victims are really good at lying to themselves.)

We lie to ourselves as much or more than the narcissist does, lets go over a few of the most popular lies:

  1. We have something special
  2. He would never find a woman who loves him like I do
  3. He would never really cheat, he just needs an ego boost
  4. It’s his past, because he has been hurt so many time
  5. He loves me so much it scares him so he pulls away
  6. If I don’t leave like all the other women did he will trust my love and relax and let it happen
  7. If I just show him more love and how much I appreciate him, he will love me like he used to
  8. I am too critical, I just won’t bite the bait, I refuse to get angry and will only say loving things and appreciate the good things he does
  9. I know him so well I can predict what will set him off and be able to avoid those things
  10. This is just the way we are, we always get back together because our love is so strong, he would never really leave me for good
  11. Maybe he has ads but he hasn’t dated anyone else
  12. Well, maybe he did date someone else but we were kinda split up at the time (we broke up in the morning because he picked a fight and he was on a date that night)
  13. The other women don’t mean anything, he only LOVES me
  14. He really is sorry, he just doesn’t know how to express his emotions
  15. He is ashamed and that is why he doesn’t admit to doing it
  16. If I would stop being so suspicious, jealous, angry, depressed, crying all the time, fill in the blank.
  17. I am only going to stay until I get through school, the kids are older, I have enough money to leave and pay rent, he pays me back what he owes me, fill in the blank.
  18. I can’t leave at Christmas, Easter, his Birthday, Groundhog Day  ………. again……fill in the blank
  19. He only treats me badly, not the kids and they need their father in their life, the kids are fine.
  20. He needs me, I can fix him with my special love.
  21. I will wean myself off him (or vise versa)
  22. I know what he is now and I don’t let him get to me.
  23. I just have to have solid proof he is cheating, THEN I will leave
  24. I have put so much effort, time and money into this relationship, I can’t walk away now and have some other woman reap the rewards of all my efforts

What lies did you tell yourself?

The victim can always find an excuse why they have to contact the narcissist, why they can’t leave right now or need to go back. They can deny adamantly that they will ever go back and then the next time you see them they are glowing because the N showed up and love bombed them and they are in the honeymoon phase again. You know it is not going to last, the victim is defensive and not the least bit interested in having you remind her that just two days ago her heart was breaking. The victim is thinking, “They just don’t understand how strong our love is, the connection we have. This is not like any ordinary love relationship.”

The longer a victim is in the relationship the less likely they are to leave because they lose themselves and they get further out of touch with reality. They isolate themselves from their family and friends because they start to feel out of place every where they go. With other couples they know their relationship is so dysfunctional by comparison, with family they are afraid everyone will pick up on how dysfunctional the relationship is or they are afraid the Narcissist will do something to embarrass them, make them look bad, get angry over something and of course they stop making plans because the narcissist usually finds a way of ruining any plans anyway.

Lately I have had mother’s emailing me privately begging for help getting their daughters away from a narcissist and I really don’t know what to tell them. Barring kidnapping the victim and locking them up in a room until the brainwashing and conditioning wears off, I don’t know what they can do. Years ago the news was full of stories about parents kidnapping their children away from cults, I suppose it still goes on and that is the only thing I can compare it to. It is not a very realistic solution to the problem when your child is an adult. You could try an intervention of friends and family where you go as a united force and try to make her face reality but they will probably tell you what you want to hear just to shut you up and it will only drive them further into isolation and alienate you.

You can bet the narcissist is working double time to destroy any confidence and clear thinking you might have instilled. My ex used to say things like:
“No matter what I try they just hate me, we should split up, because they will never accept me.”

“I don’t know what you told them to make them hate me so much. You never tell them the good things I do.”

“Your family has never been there for you, they all think you are crazy.”

“I don’t blame you, you can’t help being raised in a dysfunctional family. I thought I could help you to over come it but my childhood was so normal I just can’t deal with your dysfunctional view of reality.”

What lies did your narc tell you?

The person who is trying to get the victim to leave the narcissist has to realize that the narcissist is playing them like a puppet and getting off on your efforts to save the victim. Narcissists love drama!, love conflict, (as much as they say they hate it and use it as an excuse to walk away), they love that you help them confuse the victim, they love that they can destroy all the common sense and confidence you instilled, they love that you are losing sleep over the fact that he has so much control over your loved one. The harder you try to break them up the harder he will try to keep her, so he is less likely to let his mask drop again, at least until he thinks he has destroyed the relationship between you and her. He is not going to give your arguments credence.

Also the harder you try to prove to her that she is wrong and you are right the tighter she will hang on and want to prove she isn’t wrong. I used to tell my ex that I didn’t understand why he and my mother didn’t get along because they both thought I was crazy and it was all my fault. The only difference between the two of them was she wanted me to leave and he wanted me to stay but they both were saying the same thing; there was something horribly wrong with me. My mom had always thought something was wrong with me, I am sure she still does; she does not understand why I am so sensitive, can spend days alone and be perfectly happy, why I feel driven to leave the world a better place because I was here. It doesn’t make me right either; it makes us different.

*An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure*

Most of us do our best as parents, children don’t come with a User Manual, most of us were raised by imperfect people, and we all screw up; the most we can hope for is that we don’t screw up our kids too bad. If we do screw up (and what they consider screwing up and what we consider screwing up could be totally different things) admitting we were wrong, acknowledging their feelings and apologizing goes a long way.

* The one thing we can do to thwart narcissist’s gaining control of our loved ones is this:

Appreciate our children are different from us, it doesn’t make them wrong or us wrong, they are not meant to be “mini-me’s” they are unique individuals in their own right. They may not care about social standing and prefer the company of dogs to people, that doesn’t make they weird or flawed in some way. There would be a whole lot less potential victims of the narcissists in the world if people were confident about who they are and living true to their core selves.

But, you know they are in danger now! and you want to save them! you don’t want to lose them, you are scared, really scared, panicked even, it is consuming you, you can’t sleep, eat, or think about anything other than getting your daughter away from this man. What can you do??

As hard as it is, the only thing you can do is arm them with information, if they don’t know about narcissists, give them website links, the phone numbers of shelters and support groups, tell them you love them, you are there for them, and you don’t blame them, that they can have a happy future without the narcissist and you will help them. But reserve the character analysis of the narcissist because it will make the victim defensive and protective of the narcissist. She will feel guilt about talking behind his back, regret telling you anything and it could put a wall between the two of you.

Drop the subject when you talk to her except if she brings it up, do not cut her out of your life and family functions, make sure he is invited also so she doesn’t feel she has to choose between you and him; DO NOT GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS, TOTAL CONTROL! If he is invited and chooses not to attend, then it falls squarely on his shoulders and she can’t blame you for him not going. By protecting her you are actually assisting him.

When you stop trying to break them up and stop talking about it the sooner he will let his mask drop again. You trying to talk sense into her head is only prolonging his “good guy phase”

A caring mother of a victim is a victim herself and in order to heal you must pull away from the toxicity of their relationship, in order to stay strong and healthy yourself so later you can help her. You must carry on with your life and your hobbies and friends, you need your friends more now than ever, don’t let her narcissistic relationship destroy your life, marriage, health. You have to have a normal healthy life so she can see that the narcissist is NOT all powerful and all encompassing.

communicate

The most important things you can do are:

Keep the lines of communication open – that means calling often to check on her without talking about the N, stop making it all about the narcissist and more about her. How is she doing, take her for lunch and don’t bring up the N unless she wants to talk about it. I know it is hard but you have to back off from trying to prove to her that she should leave.

Arm her with information and help her come up with a safety plan- it does not have to be a plan to leave, just a plan to stay safe.

Make sure she knows she is loved, appreciated and special to many people

Make sure she knows it is not her fault

Never make her feel like she is doing this to you. (this is not about you)

Never let her feel she is wrong for loving him, or sick, or weak, or co-dependent.

Encourage her to pursue some of her own interests

Be prepared for the day she does leave and be there!

If she does leave don’t expect her to “just get over it”, be happy he is out of her life or any other unrealistic expectations about how she should be feeling. Get her counselling, don’t let her be all alone, be supportive, listen, help with the kids, cook for her, just sit there with her while she cries.

What was the catalyst to me leaving? It was when my ex’s sister came to live with us. First it was his son and then his sister, but for the first time in almost 10 years I had witnesses to the abuse, it was not just me telling about the abuse and someone agreeing with me. His sister witnessed it, stepped in at times, and couldn’t believe I was not more upset about things he did (I had shut off my feelings) and it made me realize I was not crazy, over reacting or imagining things. She also told me he was eventually going to kill me and I knew she was right. She also stopped talking to him because he had hurt her and I thought if she can cut him out of her life so can I. Once we were split she was there for me. She came to stay with me for a few days whenever I had a panic attack, she reminded me of all the crazy things he did and having her there helped me to not weaken and call him. She came several times in that first year.

What was your catalyst to leaving the narcissist?

What do you wish someone would have done for you? what would have made you leave the narcissist sooner?

Please share!