Category Archives: Recovering After Leaving a Narcissist

What a person goes through after leaving a narcissist relationship

Being An Empathy Is Not A Flaw – Unless You Make It One

We always hear about Empaths when we talk about Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths; as if, in order to fall victim to a narcissist you must be an empath. AND, it insinuates that IF you are an empath, being a victim is a certainty of life.

I dislike labeling people, or being labelled. I think often times people use their “label” as a copout. “I can’t help it, that’s just who I am”.

We always have a choice. Even the narcissist has a choice. It’s harder for the narcissist because he doesn’t have a conscience to guide his decisions, making it very easy to act solely in his self interest. But he has a personality disorder, key word; disorder.

Being an empath is not a disorder. People may treat you like you’re flawed; my mother always thought something was “wrong” with me. It wasn’t until I was in my 50’s I figured out that, I am normal, there are other people like me in the world and I am part of a rather rare personality type.

The world is made up of all types of people, (not just narcissists and Empaths) with varying degrees of empathy and anyone with a conscience has the ability to change, if they want to.

It’s definitely easier to stay the same than put the work into changing, even if staying the same causes us alot of pain. We don’t want to admit it, we prefer to blame the narcissist, our parents, or the fact that we are empaths and it’s just the way we are.

Too many empaths aren’t parented by people who nurture the empath’s uniqueness and teach the empath how to properly channel their special skills, protect themselves, and how to set boundaries.

If you are able to identify that you are an empath who was somehow involved with a narcissist, whether it was a parent, spouse, boss, friend or sibling, you are able to change how you relate to the world and end the cycle of being a victim.

There are perks to being a victim and it can be hard to give it up. It means you are responsible for your own happiness, your own security, you will have to make decisions and you will be the only one to blame if they fail. Whereas by remaining a victim you aren’t responsible for anything!
The narcissist is the “bad” one and you are the “good” person. Your life is a mess, but it’s not your fault. If the narcissist would just ……… (Fill in the blanks) your life would be perfect, you would be able to be happy. Elusive happiness, kept just out of reach by the nasty narcissist.

Some of you might find what I am saying offensive; but being a victim can be a pretty comfortable place to be. Feeling sorry for yourself can become a habit, and after awhile it becomes part, or your whole identity. You don’t know how to be anything else.

In a perfect world every parent would cherish their children for their unique traits and encourage their child to be all they can be instead of wanting to mold them into who the parent thinks they should be and being critical of their differences.

Let me make this very clear, being an empath does not mean you are flawed but it does mean you have to be smart and force yourself to set boundaries and protect yourself.

I don’t know about you but growing up I was always told I was too sensitive, too emotional, or to quote my dad, “a flake”. I was also the “care giver”, “peace maker” and “secret keeper”. I had no idea how dysfunctional my childhood was until I was putting my life back together after being destroyed by the narcissist.

I grew up in a home where my feelings were scoffed at or ignored, both parents kept secrets from each other and expected us kids to keep the secrets, we tiptoed on eggshells to avoid my dad’s temper and my mother was an oblivious people pleaser who preferred to keep her head buried in the sand because what she didn’t see couldn’t hurt her and “how things appeared” was all that mattered.

I buried my feelings until I would eventually explode over something insignificant; making myself appear irrational and unpredictable. I would feel guilty, end up apologizing and my feelings never got acknowledged or dealt with.

I became a people pleaser anticipating everyone else’s needs and being the person they told me I should be. I felt like a fraud and feared people would figure out I wasn’t who I was pretending to be and not like me.

I felt like a fraud because I was trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be; it’s impossible to feel confident if you aren’t being yourself. It’s hard to be happy when you aren’t pursuing anything you are passionate about and living your life for other people.

I would bet money that you were made into a prime target for a narcissist by people who supposedly loved you and had your best interests at heart.

My whole life had been spent rescuing everyone else, instinctively knowing how to make people feel better and the whole family relied on me to be the stable, reliable one, while at the same time making jokes about what a “flake” I was. My younger brother was a train wreck, my mother moved right next door after my dad left her and arrived at my door in tears every night, my son’s father said, “you wanted him, you’ve got him, deal with it”, then I married a guy who was financially irresponsible and I ended up losing everything because I co-signed debt for him and he claimed bankruptcy. My son quit school and was getting into trouble.

I was SO SICK of being responsible!! Then my mom, who held the mortgage on my tiny cabin (because of my ex going bankrupt) sold my cabin out from under me because she wanted me to wash my hands of my son.

Then I met the narc. Looking back I can see how I was a prime target. He was charming, younger, wined and dined me, thought I was the most beautiful woman he had ever met. I was perfect just the way I was. He was exciting, spontaneous, and madly in love with me, the real me. And I made the conscious decision to let my guard down and let a man take care of me for a change.

When things started to fall apart shortly after I moved in, I had no where to go, my mother had sold my house. I thought, “what have I got to lose?” And stayed when he asked me to.

When he told me I was too sensitive, too suspicious, paranoid; I believed him and doubted my gut instincts; because I had always been told that by my own family.

Had I been taught as a child to listen to my gut, that I was special because of my ability to read people’s emotions and told my feelings were valued and not dismissed. If someone had allowed me to express my anger and validated me; the narcissist wouldn’t have been able to get a strong hold of me.

I have forgiven my mother, she was raised by a very abusive man and her mother was an uneducated weak woman. She married my dad young and had never been with anyone else. She never was a nurturing mother, she was a child herself and she did what she could to avoid anger, and learned to lie, have secrets, self preservation, even if it meant making her own daughter the scape goat.

We all have our own stories of our childhood and I bet few of you were nurtured and accepted as you are. It is up to you to heal yourself by learning how to be an empathic person without sacrificing your own happiness and security. It is possible.

I talk about how you can learn to accept and love yourself in these past posts

https://ladywithatruck.com/2015/03/12/i-bet-you-are-an-empath/

https://ladywithatruck.com/2018/04/16/22438/

https://ladywithatruck.com/2014/07/25/spiritual-growth-and-emotional-maturity-comes-from-pain/

https://ladywithatruck.com/2014/07/25/spiritual-growth-and-emotional-maturity-comes-from-pain/

The Narcissist’s Victim and PTSD

If you think you have escaped an abusive relationship with a narcissist and DON’T have PTSD, you probably aren’t aware of the symptoms of PTSD.

Here’s a brief list of some of the signs you probably have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can start immediately after the relationship ends or up to a year or more afterwards. The symptoms cause major problems in your work, relationships and how you function day to day and can become incapacitating for some people.

Symptoms come in four types, and can vary over time and person to person. They are:

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Obsessively thinking about your ex
  • Flashbacks
  • Upsetting nightmares
  • Anxiety attacks triggered by some seemingly insigficant event

Avoidance

Symptoms include:

  • I developed a really strange avoidance habit and still fight it. When getting ready to go somewhere I avoid looking at the clock. I guess because my ex was always late. I also avoid looking at my bank account, I assume because I was so broke for so long.
  • Avoiding places, or activities you used to enjoy. Although you need to go no contact, this is to the extreme. I had to stay away from not only the neighborhood my ex was living, I avoided the whole town. The minute I got to his town I could feel myself getting anxious. To this day!

Negative changes to your outlook on life, which may include:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world ie: all men are assholes, everyone is out to get you, life is unfair, “I can’t do this”
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hopelessness
  • Memory problems, you are forever losing your keys etc also often times traumatic events are forgotten
  • Feeling like you don’t fit in with family and friends any more and don’t know how to socialize and make small talk
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Deadened emotions, no happiness, no sadness, just numb

Changes in how you reaction:

Which may include:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Constant feelings of impending doom
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as excessive drinking, spending
  • Sleeping disorders, sleeping too much or not at all. Ie: you may fall asleep immediately, but after a couple hours you are wife awake. Or you are exhausted, but the minute your head hits the pillow you’re wide awake.
  • Trouble concentrating on anything, tv, reading a book…
  • Irritability, angry outbursts, I would just SNAP over the slightest frustration or inconvenience, throw things, cry, yell. My poor dog! Then I would feel guilty because it was not me!
  • Guilt or shame

You may also be suffering from some physical illnesses that are commonly found with domestic abuse survivors, such as:

Fibromyalgia, heart failure, head aches, cancer, MS.

So many times victims are told to “just get over it” and people can’t understand why the victim can’t. The victim sees her ex out and happy with his new love interest and thinks there is something wrong with them because they can’t move on. They believe they must really be deeply in love with the narcissist otherwise they wouldn’t be in so much pain. For one thing, it is NOT normal to move on from a love relationship that fast! Two, you are confusing the symptoms of PTSD with the feelings of unrequited love. Sure a love relationship ending is painful and there is a mourning period of certainly months, if not years but PTSD is much more incapacitating.

The real kicker is, you could have been feeling completely healed, years out of the relationship, then something like this pandemic can throw you right back into experiencing symptoms again. Know you are not alone!

I’ll cover more ways you can deal with PTSD over the next few days.

As always, be patient with yourself, you can do this!

Love and hugs Carrie ❤️❤️😉

Welcome and Safety Plan Download

Welcome to my site, Lady Witha Truck!

You may be wondering why its called Lady Witha Truck. Well, when I started the blog I had no intention of writing about narcissists, I really didn’t know anything about narcissist or domestic abuse really. I started the blog because I was trying to promote my business and had planned on blogging about hauling scrap metal with my loyal companion, Kato, a Shar-pei. But I was so broken after leaving my narcissistic/psychopath ex that I couldn’t think of anything BUT him and my pain.

I hadn’t gone “no contact” so almost daily he did something to hurt me and he was already involved with the “new love of his life”. He encouraged me to just kill myself because no man would ever want a suicidal, psycho, nutcase like me. I had made his life hell for 10 years and his new woman was nothing like me.

My suicide attempt failed and even though I had called to tell him what I had done, he never even sent an ambulance or have a friend check on me.

When I woke up and didn’t have any more pills, no money, my truck in the repair shop because he had sabotaged it AGAIN, and no family or friends left, I made the conscious decision to fix myself. Not only would I survive but I would thrive and figure out what happened to me and warm other women so no one ever went through what I did. I thought I couldn’t be the only woman going through this and if even one woman was saved by me sharing, it would all be worth it.

Plus, I didn’t trust myself to not try suicide again and figured the blog would make me accountable. I couldn’t very well announce to the world I was going to thrive and then kill myself.

That was in November 2010. A lot has happened in the last 9 + years and most of it and my experiences while in a on and off 10 years long relationship with a narcissist are contained in this blog.

I found when I was looking for answers the forums I went into were the same women having a pity party and not fixing anything or were experts who shared some facts but nothing about their personal journey. I wanted to hear I was normal, not the only person feeling the way I was and that they did eventually heal and thrive. I decided I would be totally honest about what I was going through as I went through it and share my journey in hopes victims learned from mistakes and benefit from my struggles.

I accomplished that and more. I have helped hundreds of people, been published, interviewed on talk radio, quoted, and had many many people write to thank me for saving their life. It has been the most rewarding experience of my life, by far.

I only write a handful of posts these days, I have said it all before. Besides, if I was to really thrive I had to focus on something other than toxic narcissists and I had health issues to deal with, work, finding a place to call home.

I promised I would speak out and educate people about narcissists and domestic abuse until my dying breath and I plan to keep that promise so keep the blog up, pay my annual fees for my domain, and try to answer any comments or questions people have, so feel free to comment.

Dig around in some old posts, read, educate yourself it’s the first steps towards healing. Read the comments along with the posts to see what other people have gone through and the advice they were given. There is almost as much useful information in the comments as the actual post.

I have a free download for a Safety Plan link below. Please use the information if you are planning to leave a relationship with someone you suspect is a narcissist.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qUkYvybgVMzC0f_6JIr5GGB3jXV8tZul/view?usp=drivesdk

You don’t think it will ever happen to you, 90% of women killed by their domestic partner didn’t believe it would happen to them. 1 out of every 3 women will end up being abused in some way in their life time. 75% of domestic homicides happen either just prior to or up to 2 yrs after the victim leaves the relationship. Stay Safe!

So…….here you are looking for answers and wondering if your partner is even a narcissist. Years ago I read somewhere that people in a healthy loving relationship don’t go looking on the internet trying to figure out “what the hell happened?”

Hugs Carrie. XXX000