Category Archives: Recovering After Leaving a Narcissist

What a person goes through after leaving a narcissist relationship

Announcing A New Blog

I have been busy trying to organize my life, blog, house………you name it. It has been 8 years since I left my ex and it seems my life has been in a constant state of limbo ever since. There has always been something to hold me back, I have kept saying, “As soon as this or that happens, THEN I will do…..whatever”. I have felt “at home” at times but then something would happen and I would have another set back and have to move. Where I am was supposed to be temporary but it’s been over a year and I am still here and I can’t foresee being able to afford anything else any time soon. It doesn’t feel like home but I have gone through my cupboards and closets and cleaned out stuff I don’t need or use and been cleaning; something I haven’t done unless absolutely necessary since I moved in.

I saw an ad on our local Bidding Wars from a young woman with two young boys who is starting all over and asking for household stuff for free. I have a microwave that was given to me that I don’t use and some other odds and sods I can give her. I know what it is like to start over from scratch and it motivated me to clean up.

I have also been consumed with the mass shooting in Florida.

Lately I find I have a strong opinion on a lot of things and hate to high-jack other people’s Facebook or blog with my opinion. My opinion is not always the most popular and were I not on the net and speaking in person I would have been stoned or worse by now. I don’t make knee jerk decisions any more and I really hate to look stupid! Not many things irritate me more than people who adamantly defend their opinion but are totally uneducated on the topic they are pretending to be an expert  on. Being socially responsible requires more than jumping on the most popular bandwagon, it takes research and excuse me; common sense and logic.

I also answer questions on Quora and always seem to get a fair amount of upvotes no matter what topic I am questioned on so I thought it would be fun to answer letters like Dear Abby used to. I used to love her newspaper column (or Ann Landers) and since they have been gone no one has taken their place. Until  now!!haha

I have very little left to say about narcissists, except I do have some interesting information to share in regards to them and mass shootings and will be sharing a link to this blog when I publish that post. For now here are a couple of links to my most recent posts in case you are interested.

https://reimer2017.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/nra-boycott-targeting-wrong-people/

https://reimer2017.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/is-the-nra-to-blame-for-mass-shootings

It takes a bit of time to set up a new blog and to write posts so now that my new blog is up and functioning I will be back here answering questions and commenting.

Thanks so much for your patience and understanding!!

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The Blog-Where It’s Going and Where The Hell I’ve Been

I started the blog in 2011 and it’s been my baby ever since. I don’t do things half assed and would absolutely panic if I couldn’t monitor the blog and reply to comments even for one day.

Now I don’t even remember the last time I was here and I feel awful about it and want to bring everyone up to date.

I am hesitant to post about it because I know my ex reads the blog and I know he would get great pleasure from hearing I am not doing well. But to hell with him, I really don’t care what he thinks.

New people to the blog probably don’t know about my health issues and well, even my Facebook friends don’t know the full story.

I had my first heart attack in 2011. I felt great afterwards, went straight back to work and didn’t take my meds or follow any doctor’s orders. I had a business to run, bills to pay, a life to put back together. When I left my ex I left with $5, my dog and my truck. That was it.

I ended up living in a holiday trailer with no running water, no sewer and an extension cord for power. The dogs water dish froze inside the trailer and I slept with my parka and boots on. I didn’t have the facilities to cook proper meals and ate fast food and precooked meals, all high in sodium.

My ex had sabotaged my truck to the point I broke myself trying to fix it. I got a job offer and jumped on it. A couple of months after getting the job I went into heart failure. My ex was making anonymous calls to my boss trying to get me fired and the strata where I lived trying to get me evicted. That was 2013.

This time I was told in no uncertain terms to quit work, take my meds and eat properly etc. I had no choice. By the time I had driven myself to the emergency ward I was so far into heart failure I would have been dead in 24 hours, my lungs were filling with fluid and I was literally drowning.

I had worked long enough to qualify for sick benefits for 4-5 months and then got an office job. I got enough time in there to qualify for unemployment benefits when that company went bankrupt. I had put the last of my retirement funds into purchasing a small cabin and lost that when I could no longer work and was denied disability benefits.

From there I lived in my car for awhile, bought a trailer cheap and fixed it up (had another heart attack while fixing that up) and couldn’t even afford the cost of a campsite for the trailer. Back into my car I went.

In 2016 the cardiologist told me I had to get a pacemaker defibrillator implant and he quadrupled my heart med (carvidelol) . The pacemaker was supposed to take 45 minutes to implant. Four hours later and 3 heart surgeons attempts they could not get the pacemaker wire hooked up and had cut one of my ventricles. I was sent home to heal and they would try again.

That was last winter and I was in horrible pain and was horribly sick for over 6 months. No doctor seemed to take me seriously and I just wanted to die.

I have always told the doctors that my quality of life is more important to me than quantity of life.

Struggling to get by on $610 a month welfare, in excruciating pain that was only bareable if I was laying flat on my stomach.

I went to 5 chiropractors trying to find relief for the pain in my ribs and ended up taking pain med that were bad for my heart and they didn’t even work.

I started to research carvidelol on my own and discovered it can be a miracle drug for some and a death sentence for others. If not properly monitored it can actually damage the heart and cause heart failure.

They tried to hook up the pacemaker again and AGAIN it took 3 cardiologists 4 hours and they still didn’t get it hooked up.

I complained to the doctors at VGH where they did the procedure about my pain and horrible side effects and all they said was it couldn’t possibly be due to anything they had done. Yet I had come out of the anesthetic while they were still working on me and the doctor was pushing on my chest so hard and I was in such pain I tried to climb off the table. They gave me another shot and I was out but now knew how rough they treated me.

They said they wouldn’t try to hook up the wire that way again, there was another, more invasive way they would try next time. One where they go through my ribcage and recovery is 4 times longer.

I told them no one was touching me ever again! ! Any mention of another attempt to hook up that wire literally gives me an anxiety attack.

I finally found a chiropractor (thank God!!) Who was able to get rid of pain. It turns out I have an extra rib and in their attempts to hook up the wire they had moved one of my ribs and irritated an old whiplash injury.

Although I was out of pain I still had terrible side effects and decided to cut back on my carvidilol myself. So what of it was “saving my life” it was a life not worth living.

I had to go to VGH to have the defibrillator checked and mentioned to the technician how horrible I had been feeling and the angel went and got the head of the UBC Heart Function Clinic to come talk to me. It was the first time I felt listened to and he spoke with my mom and I for an hour. I left with the first hope I had felt in over a year.

Long story short; the UBC Heart Function took on my case, changed my meds and I was feeling pretty good. I tried working and collapsed on night last summer while letting Stella out for a pee. Well actually she had woken me up and I assumed she had to pee but in retrospect I think she sensed something was wrong. My defibrillator shocked me and brought me back.

I lost my drivers license for 6 months because of it. UBC read my defibrillator printout and I had 84 “episodes”, 4 shocks, and 1 major heart attack in 6 months.

I am positive that being on the wrong meds and being in such horrible pain for so long has damaged my heart.

My meds were adjusted and I was hopeful. Tried to keep myself positive.

I found a cheap place to live and been here a year but it is just a basement; no kitchen, no real privacy. The owner snoops whenever I go out, and has made a play for me. He’s 20 years my senior!

I have a hot plate to cook on and a bar size fridge, no kitchen sink, a mattress on the floor and it is located in a really hilly area but they allow Stella and the rent is doable. I can’t walk Stella because of the hills and can’t cook proper meals or buy cheap food in quantities because I don’t have a proper fridge.

I have just applied for disability for the 4th time.

I have a partial plate and just before Christmas a tooth in the front broke off. The dentist said I need to have all my teeth extracted and my gums are all infected. Welfare only pays a portion and I can’t afford to pay the difference. Welfare doesn’t care that it is a strain on my heart to fight the infection.

I got the flu on Dec 27th, 2017 which turned into pneumonia and I was flat out on the couch the whole month of January.

The first week of February I went for a checkup at UBC Heart Function Clinic and was told that they have done all they can for me, my only option is a heart transplant. I refuse a heart transplant because I see no point in prolonging a life not worth living. I really don’t want to sound negative and some people want to live no matter what. But living on welfare, always struggling, always broke, not able to eat properly, rotten teeth, living in substandard conditions; is not a life worth prolonging in my mind.

I am hopeful my application for disability will be approved this time. My heart is functioning at below 20%, according to the Nurse Practitioner, “which is barely enough to keep your organs functioning, how much blood and oxygen do they think is getting to your brain in order for you to hold down a job?”

The Heart clinic is transferring my records close to home because they have done all they can.

So…… that is what I have been doing lately. I had to take time to digest the fact that I am not going to be around much longer. I around not afraid of dying and don’t really have any regrets. I have led a pretty great life over all. I have a fantastic son and grand daughter but it is hard to really accept the facts.

I have made arrangements for Stella because she will be lost without me and I really worry about her. My son is grown but I know he’ll miss his momma.

I turn 60 in April and I just feel it’s all gone by too fast! Realistically I know that no one has any guarantees about how long they will live.

I must admit though that I have spent a lot of time staring into space, awake at night, thinking. As much as I tell myself I need to visit the blog, or wash dishes, or get dressed I can waste a day watching mindless TV or on Facebook.

The only way I can describe how I feel is this;

After 10 years with my ex and 8 years trying to recover (5 of which he stalked me and tried everything he could think of to destroy me). Eight years of doctors not listening to me, welfare not listening, always struggling I feel like I am floating in a huge ocean. The ship has gone down, I am alone and panic but tell myself “You can do this. Hang in there. Someone will come along to rescue you.” So I manage to tread water for awhile. A piece of wood floats by so I hang onto it for awhile and don’t have to swim so hard. But eventually it breaks apart and I am treading water again. I see a ship in the distance but it never comes. I get more and more discouraged and hopeless.

I am tired, but I don’t want to spend what time I have left, just treading water. I am going to make some changes to the format of the blog and start to write my book. More on that to come.

Please keep me and Stella in your prayers and if you can see clear to make a donation I would truly appreciate any help I can get towards my dental work.

Talk to you all soon.

Love and hugs 💞❤💕

Merry Christmas To All And To All Good Night and Peace On Earth

 

xmas

I want to wish everyone a heart felt Merry Christmas and a new year filled with only the best of things, top of that list being…….Peace. Peace of mind, peace in your heart, peace in your physical world and among your family and friends.

Some of you are probably miserable today fantasizing about the wonderful Christmas the N is having with the new “soul mate” or you are with your narcissist still and once again he has done something to ruin the holidays, either totally disappeared, or for certain he didn’t buy you any gifts, he started a fight and no matter how you tried to not get pulled into it with him this year he finally pushed you to the breaking point. IF….. and that is a big if! the narcissist IS “behaving” you are watching your words very carefully and walking on egg shells in hopes of not putting him in a bad mood.

The narcissist might not be your partner, it could be a sister, brother, or parent, but no  one can ruin a celebration like a narcissist, they have it down to a fine art.

With family it isn’t as easy to avoid their toxicity but when it is your partner you DO have a choice, no; you are not going to leave today, but you can start a journal today and start writing in it every day for the next year. It doesn’t have to be well written, or even complete sentences, it’s for your eyes only. But it is so that next year when Christmas rolls around and you are in this exact same spot, feeling these exact same feelings, having the exact same fights and when you look back you see that you are repeating history, over and over again and nothing ever changes ……….. maybe you will finally muster up the courage to walk away.

I am with my family this Christmas and it has been fine, 12 of us in one house for 3 days, along with 6 dogs, people are going to get on each other’s nerves, tempers may flare once in a while. It happens. It is not perfect, I really don’t think “perfect” is possible when you get so many different personalities together, but I am in the moment. I am not worrying about any one or any thing, I am not watching what I say, no one is pushing my buttons and you know what? I am taking time away from the group when I feel overwhelmed with all the activity. I don’t pretend to be ok when I am not. I don’t do well with crowds and I accept that about myself and if my family doesn’t know that by now I have told them this year and they have to accept it. I don’t expect anyone to cater to me and while I am downstairs snuggling Stella I can  hear them upstairs, “Where’s Carrie?” “Is Carrie napping?” “What’s Carrie doing?” and I stay quiet and recoup until I am ready to go back upstairs and join the masses.

I make no apologies for being me and taking what I need to feel centered and in balance.

Christmas doesn’t mean the same thing to me that it used to, it doesn’t hold the same expectations it used to. I suppose I could blame my ex for that, because I learned to never count on anything and since we split I have spent several Christmases all alone, but I think it is more what I have learned from life in general.

For one thing, if you need a holiday like Christmas as an excuse to get together with family you don’t have much of a relationship with your family. So many people put on the act for a couple of days at Christmas and the rest of the year never see their family. I much prefer a day alone with my son having some one on one time than trying to get a word in edge wise when he has been drinking, people are interrupting, gifts are being opened in every direction and no one is even taking the time to really appreciate the gifts or the meaning behind them. Gifts bought out of desperation because the gift giver knew they HAD to buy something. I hate it!

I couldn’t care less what I get for gifts and I usually give something I made for the person.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas!! I just don’t like all the pressure we put on ourselves and others because of the commercialism and hype we are fed our whole lives. Christmas is not romantic for most people, Christmas is not a happy time for most people, most people do not get the perfect present wrapped with the perfect bow. Sure it would be nice to ride off in a horse drawn sleigh with the man I love beside me under a big fluffy blanket while snow gently falls and the stars twinkle in the sky. But that doesn’t happen usually unless you are involved with a narcissist who is love bombing you.

Christmas is one day out of 364 days in the year. I hope it is an ok day for all of you but my heartfelt wish for everyone is that they find/create/insist upon nothing less than being treated with respect, kindness, honesty, and fairness every single day of the year. No matter how bleak life may seem right now, it will pass, life will get better. While with the narcissist, nothing ever changed, you rode the same roller coaster, up and down, over and over again. Give life a chance. yes the unknown is scary but it can’t be worse than being with the narcissist.

Learn to appreciate what you have, I know what it feels like to think you have nothing, the narcissist took it all but there is always more to lose, don’t let him take your future also. Don’t let him waste any more of your time.

Last year this time I didn’t think I would live long enough to see this Christmas and it was the worse 6 months of my life, I was so sick, in so much pain, so depressed, I just wanted to die, life was not worth living. The print out from my defibrillator showed 84 episodes in 5 months plus 1 major heart attack. They say I need a heart transplant but I am not agreeing. I am living my life the best I can with the days I have left. No time for regrets, no time for wishing things were different, I am grasping every opportunity I have to enjoy family and friends because tomorrow might not come, next Christmas might not come.

Wishing you many cherished memories this Christmas and in 2018.

Here is a link to another post from 2014 on why the narcissist is like Santa Claus  Santa, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy

Hugs and love to you all!!

What Do 35 Christmas Movies All Have In Common?

xmas movies

They all could be an educational film on “How a narcissist hooks their target”. I didn’t watch them all, all the way through, really, once you have seen one or two the story line doesn’t change much and they all end in the same way.

The heroine of the story is engaged to a guy who doesn’t really know or understand her and is a work-a-holic or something similar. She is going home to her family for Christmas, or going to meet his family for the first time, either way she does not fit in because she is a sweet sensitive girl who loves Christmas and the simple things in life. Then quite by accident she meets the handsome broken hearted hero of our story who is either widowed or recently dumped and afraid to get involved.

There is an immediate attraction but one or both do their best to ignore it, several misunderstandings occur, ie: his ex comes back and the heroine sees them together and jumps to conclusions, the woman accepts the promotion over seas and the hero thinks she doesn’t love him but she thinks he is playing her.

There are many variations that involve, cheating, misunderstandings, miscommunication, a love that just can not be denied even if one of them is involved with someone else, someone is fighting their feelings, but on Christmas Eve, at the final hour, they admit their feelings, admit they are soul mates and nothing else matters except being together. They stare into each other’s eyes, they kiss, they linger, they smile, one of them says, “It’s always been you, I could never love anyone else.” They embrace, the snow flakes fall gently, the music starts to play and the credits start to roll. We are left to believe they live happily ever after.

No one ever tells us what happens after the credits roll.

In real life, the only name in the credits is the narcissist’s (because he is the writer, actor, director and producer; there is no happy ending, it is just the beginning of the emotional roller coaster ride from hell.

How many of you felt like you were living in a real live romantic movie you had seen a million times on TV or read in a soft cover romance novel, when you first met the narcissist? I remember feeling giddy, part of me wanted to just end it because he was so intense and I felt he cared much more than I did, but another part of me was saying, “What can it hurt to just see where it goes? He’s a nice guy, you just aren’t used to a man being so open and honest about his feelings, besides, it never hurts to be the one who doesn’t do all the giving. Let a man take care of you.”

We had misunderstandings and I was ready to break up with him but he cried and swore it was a misunderstanding. You all know how it goes, I don’t have to tell you.

With all the advances society has made with women’s rights we still teach our children that a knight in shining armor is going to ride in and save her and true love happens when two people’s eyes meet across a room and they are swept away with their powerful feelings of love.

I believe in love and I believe in romance, I have to be one of the most romantic people I know, but even before I met my ex I didn’t trust any man who fell in love with me too quickly or who couldn’t be without me for a few days and had to call 10 times a day. In fact, I used to dump a guy if he “fell in love” too quickly and with my ex I felt the urge to stop seeing him because he called me far too often, but I didn’t follow my gut instincts.

Our minds only know what we feed into it. If a girl is raised on typical fairy tales and romance novels and movies when her gut tells her that a man is not being honest and she shouldn’t start dating someone who is already involved, that there is a good likelihood that he is not a trust worthy person; she won’t listen because she wants the whirlwind romance. We don’t teach our young girls to think rationally and logically.

We have not allow ourselves to be sucked into the believing the fairy tale the narcissist pretends to be. Believing in Santa Claus was fun too, but as we got older we realized there really wasn’t a Santa and we were able to survive the disappointment. Just like there is no Tinkerbell, Peter Pan or Winnie the Pooh, the narcissist is make believe and just like wishing Santa was real won’t make it so, wishing the narcissist actually is capable of love will never make it so.

 

 

If Leaving Was The Right Decision – Why Does It Hurt So Bad?

Quite a few people on the blog have just left or are planning to leave their relationship with someone they consider to be a narcissist. This applies to them and anyone else who has just left a relationship and is thinking maybe they made a mistake, because if it was that bad why does it hurt so bad?

Family and friends are surprisingly unsympathetic, it’s been 7 years for me and I still remember some remarks by people that really stung, like:

Why are you so sad? You should be happy to be free from him?

If it was so bad why are you so upset?

You guys have broken up before, you’ll get back together, you can never stay away from each other?

Self doubt does not mean it was a mistake, it means you are normal.

Here is a Matthew Hussey video on the topic of self doubt after a breakup. Do yourself a favor and take 5 minutes to listen, the link is right here.

Profound Insite From A Member

I received a comment on the Support Forum of the blog today and couldn’t wait to make it into a stand-alone post. It is so profound and critical to the long term healing for the victim of narcissistic abuse. Although I have done posts on it before, it needs repeating and hopefully our combined effort will help people stugging to heal.

This is the comment.

MyLife

I remember thinking of myself as a hero of sorts for putting up with the abuse, for keeping the relationship alive and the family whole. I endured the insults and the pain and was grateful for crumbs. I was such a good person! I forgave, I overlooked, I accepted, and doled out second chances until they numbered in the thousands. Come to find out I was just as disordered as he was in my own saintly way.

Ugh it’s hard to admit even now and even harder to understand some of his slurs were actually true. Too sensitive? Actually yes. Too emotional? Yup. Passive aggressive, I could check that box too. I was a hot mess dancing with a cold one, he pitched and I swung and I played my part like a champ until I finally got tired of losing to his unfair rules.

Looking back I guess that’s when I became pretty crappy supply. The raging got really bad and I without realizing it caused him some hefty narcissistic injuries. We went from crazy to outright bedlam and the worst part is the kids went there with us.

That’s when I had to stop playing saint, that was the true breaking point. But even when you finally get to your breaking point it’s not enough you have to start fixing what was wrong with yourself to get into such a place in the first place. No contact with the abuser but major in depth contact with yourself which should be your one and only focus, not the abuser. All of the thoughts you continue to give the abuser are energy that should belong to you and must belong to you and alone if you’re ever going to heal.

At first each and every time you start thinking about him (or her) you will have to very deliberately refocus your thoughts to yourself and that’s hard work. You might not want to. Your brain might not cooperate. But until you master this you will continue to suffer at the abusers hand whether you’re near or far.

* No truer words have every been spoken.

I can remember feeling extremely offended and being very defensive the first time it was suggested to me that I had anything to do with my own abuse.

It was when I was once again lamenting “why does he keep hurting me?”

Someone said, “Because you keep letting him.”

Ouch!!

First you have to get the victim away from the narcissist before you suggest they need to look at themselves because to suggest it too soon will only give them an excuse to stay or go back. You can not live true to your core self while you are with a narcissist, its impossible.

As long as the victim of abuse thinks there is something they can do to save the relationship they will continue to go back. It is only when they have tried everything that they admit defeat and leave. That is why the victim stays, the narcissist keeps saying things like, “If you would stop doing that….I would stop hurting you.” “If you did this…..I would be happy and we could go back to the way we were.”

When the victim leaves or gets dumped (in the end the victim always is the one to leave the narcissist because the narcissist never truly leaves completely) and (I think every victim has said the same thing) “How can I ever trust again? How can I make sure I am never hurt again?” And they think the answer lies in studying the narcissist so they know everything there is to know. Malignant, Covert, Sociopath, Psychopath, they become experts on every trait and study done.

The problem with that is; the narcissist changes his personality like he changes his clothes. He morphs into whatever personality suits his agenda at any given time. We have all seen him change right before our eyes.

The only constant and the only thing within our power to change, is ourselves.

MyLife spoke of what I call “doing the dance”, we all did it. He swings, we sidestep, we move, he moves, we anticipate what he will do next and he KNOWS what we will do next, he plays us like a violin.

We become martyrs, martyrs are not attractive people. We lament that we are “just that way. I can’t say no. I love him and I am sensitive, I can’t say no when he begs me to take him back. He lied. It wasn’t my fault. I am just a victim.”

I listened to myself and thought, “Wow! If I insist on not taking any responsibility for my own situation I am always going to be a victim, helpless to ever protect myself.” How could anyone heal and find happiness if they have no control over what happens to them?

What the narcissist wanted changed hourly, you twisted yourself into what you thought he wanted and it was never good enough, you were never enough. Now you don’t have a clue who you are any more, he was the only one who ever loved you just the way you were; no wait……only while he was love bombing you, once he had you things changed.

I started by taking every single criticism he had of me and looking at it honestly. Was I too sensitive? I had been told my whole life I was, by my whole family. I did a personality test. Yep, I was a sensitive person, probably an empath, I was not a freak, 4% of the population had the same score I did. That was reassuring.

I didn’t want to stop being a sensitive person but I knew I didn’t always handle it in a positive way. What could I do to change it, why did I get SO hurt when others didn’t, why did I panic when someone rejected me?

Intellectually I know I can’t control what happens to me but I have full control over how I react.

From that point on, every time I felt that anxiety building, the anger growing when someone hurt me, I stopped. Stepped back, took a deep breath and did nothing.

It seems to me sensitive people tend to make rash decisions, they feel they must do something immediately. It caused me so much heart ache in my past.

I make lousy decisions when I am emotional. I say and do things I regret and I have to back peddle and then I feel guilty, giving the narcissist the power position to twist things to be my fault, lay guilt trips and sweep what he did under the carpet. I was forever giving my power away and then wondering how things always got turned back on me.

The biggest thing I learned was to not make any decisions and sleep on it. Oh sure, I would want to rage, give the person a piece of my mind, demand I be treated with respect etc etc. Or if the other person rejected me I would fight the urge to grovel and beg their forgiveness. I would sit down and write out my thoughts, with pen on paper because it seems to connect me more to my true feelings.

I would try to be an observer of my own mind. Why was I feeling this way? I know anger is always based in some other emotion, fear,  jealousy,  sadness, hurt….. you are never just angry. I would identify why I was angry. Once I could identify why I would ask myself was that feeling justified or was I being too sensitive. (You must come to this conclusion on your own. You can not rely on someone else to tell you that you are too sensitive).

This is another epiphany I had. Being sensitive is often times your ego messing with your head. A lot of times if someone seemed to reject me it really had nothing to do with me at all!! Another ouch! Excuse me! It’s not always about you! Maybe they had a bad day, maybe they don’t feel well, maybe they had other plans.

One Christmas I was looking forward to my son and grand daughter spending Christmas with me. I envisioned them spending Xmas eve, opening gifts Xmas morning, going to my mom’s for Xmas dinner. My son had not been home on Christmas day in 8 years and I had it all planned.

Then we were talking on the phone and he told me how Christmas was going to go. He was picking up his daughter after work, driving to his dad’s and spending Xmas eve there. Then they would go to my mom’s from there and coming to my place on Boxing Day. I was so angry I could barely be civilized enough to say I would have to call him back. I know he must have wondered what the hell happened, all of a sudden I had gone silent. I was furious!! No, my feelings were hurt, my ego was hurt. “How dare he put me at the bottom of his list. His father had never been there for him, I had earned Xmas day (entitlement). I am always the one who has to compromise.” (Martyrdom) I cried, I wrote pages and pages of angry hurt feelings until I was able to calmly express myself without lashing out.

I contemplated just being a martyr and not saying anything but I knew my son would feel something was wrong, that old passive aggressive thing MyLife touched on would rear its ugly head OR I could be honest.

I called him, asked if he had time to talk, he said, “Sure momma, what’s up?”

I said, “I have to tell you that I am having hurt feelings because I am being put last on your list this Christmas. I was really hoping you would be spending Christmas with me.”

He said, “oh mom! You are never last on my list. I was just thinking I am picking Kaela up after work, it’s a 4 hour drive to my dad’s and 5+ hours to your place. Four hours in the truck is going to be about max for a 4 year old. If we stay at my dad’s I can get her into bed at a decent time. My dad has a spare bedroom so Kaela can go to bed whereas at your place you only have one bedroom and you insist on sleeping on the couch.  Dad lives 10 minutes from Grandma’s house. If we drove to your house Xmas Eve we would be driving right past my dad’s and grandma’s and then have to turn around and go back the next day.  I was just thinking of logistics.”

He went on to explain he had to move his stuff out of his apartment and into storage while he was on the coast and thought he would do that Boxing Day and him and I could have turkey when he was done.

By the time he finished I felt nothing but love and understanding for him. I suggested that I help him move his stuff on Boxing Day and we could just grab a burger or something. He sounded so relieved. It was one of the best Christmases I have ever had and Boxing Day I had him all to myself, reminiscing, laughing, crying, and I felt so close to him. I treasure the day to this day.

It could have gone in a totally different direction. And with a narcissist, it would have. I hear you saying, “So how does this new approach protect me from the narcissist?”

It protects you because you are coming from an honest, healthy place and a healthy person will respect that, a narcissist won’t. If you find yourself being pulled into an argument and being told you are wrong to feel the way you do you are a lot less likely to get sucked into the toxicity of the narcissist if you are calm rational and confident. If you lose your temper, cry, accuse him of disrespecting you, even a healthy person will be defensive. If you ever did get to the truth there would be hard feelings, you would feel guilty and hurtful things would have been said.

If you act responsibly, if you are confident that your feelings are justified, if you don’t blame and own your feelings, no one can make you feel “less than” again.

The same thing applies to saying yes and no. As simple as it may seem, victims of a narcissist have a problem with saying “No”. It was hard to admit but I often said “Yes” and then resented it. I would say yes so people would like me, so people wouldn’t get angry with me, because I felt obligated, guilty, or because I was a martyr and liked to look good and charitable. I didn’t want to appear selfish, I wanted people to talk about what a nice person I was. Very rarely did I say yes or do things, for the right reason;…… because I really wanted to do it.

Many times in my life I said yes I would do something and then grumble about having to do it.

Once again I stopped making a rash decision and would say, “I will have to get back to you.”

I would analyze how I felt about it in my gut. I only did things for the right reason. It does not make you selfishould to say no and you can say no and not provide an explanation for saying no.

* No, can be a complete answer.

There is so much more to it; it is a lot of work. You have to be diligent and brutally honest with yourself and not validate yourself through other people. No canvassing others to see what they think you should do. No taking a survey to find out if they think you are right. You have a right to your feelings and you have the power to express them in a healthy productive way.

It does not happen over night, it takes retraining your brain how it thinks about you (your mind only knows what you allow to be put in it), it takes learning to trust your gut, getting control of your ego, giving up your need to be right, giving up your need to be liked by everyone (you don’t like everyone, not everyone is going to like you. It doesn’t make anyone right or wrong), and it takes a commitment to living an  authentic honest life to the best of your ability. And when you “fail” which we all do; we slide back into our old ways. You start again, keep trying to be the best you that you can be, every day is a new day, we can and should always strive to be better.

We know instinctively when we are not living true to our core self. When we feel like a failure, when we need others approval and to tell us we are right, we are not living true to our core self.

We are not bad people. If there is something about yourself you don’t like, you have the power to change it, alter it, or throw it away. It is a totally personal journey. My faults will not be the exact same as yours, what I consider a flaw will not be the same as what you consider to be a flaw.

Most people never get the chance to totally rebuild themselves from the ground up. We come into this world a clean slate with nature abilities, talents and personality and then our parents start trying to form us into who they think we should be. Some parents encourage a child to be an individual and find their passion but many try to force the child to conform to their interests and dreams for the child and inflict their hang ups on the kids. We grow into adults not even aware that we are not living true to our core self only feeling we are impostors and a failure somehow.

I am not saying we were all abused as children, our parents wanted what was best for us. Embrace this opportunity to discover who you were born to be.

One thing is for certain; when you concentrate on your feelings, your reaction, your values and live true to your core self, life becomes much easier and no matter what happens in your life you have inner peace and no one can make you feel “less than”. 

It is when we allow others to tell us who we “should” be that we give them the power to make us feel “less than”. 

And it is when we feel “less than” that we are our weakest and most vulnerable.

Shame Can Cripple You

I have a very special event being put on by my Facebook friend 

David Bedrick JD Dipl PW.

The event is about overcoming shame. Shame is crippling and something victims of narcissistic abuse regularly deal with. 

It starts Nov 2, short notice, I know but it will be well worth the investment of time and money.

I love David’s , “Say it like it is” approach and I just know so many people here could benefit from this course; what a wonderful Christmas gift to yourself or to start the new year not hobbled by shame!

Here is David’s Facebook post from today and a link to the event.

Friends, if you are interested in exploring shame more deeply, I am starting a 4 week class November 2nd, at 7:30 EST. Classes are 1.5 hours each Thursday for 4 weeks. Message me if you are interested.
https://www.facebook.com/events/818296725018939/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A%22%5B%7B%5C%22surface%5C%22%3A%5C%22page%5C%22%2C%5C%22mechanism%5C%22%3A%5C%22page_upcoming_events_card%5C%22%2C%5C%22extra_data%5C%22%3A%5B%5D%7D%5D%22%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D