Category Archives: Self Improvement

The #1 Lie The Narcissist Wants The Victim To Believe

no bullshit

Not My Bull

Not My Bullshit

There is a common misconception that drove me and many other victims of a narcissist crazy. The casual observer is guilty of making the same  erroneous assumption; which is…….. if the next woman stays longer than you did, they must be happy and getting along, she must know some secret to remaining happy while with the narcissist. The narcissist loves to rub the previous victim’s nose in it too, loving to point out how this woman is still with him. So YOU must be flawed in some way.

First of all, longevity says nothing about how happy the woman is or how harmonious their relationship is. I have had people say to me, “Well, he’s still with the next woman.” So? and your point is? It is making a statement without making a statement, or it sure feels like it to the victim. For one thing, you are supposed to have cut all mutual friends out of your life so you wouldn’t hear shit exactly like this. Who needs it??

Secondly, how happy were you while you were with him? Sure, you stayed, but were you happy? No, he treated you like shit! behind closed doors he treated you like dirt under his feet, but you looked happy out in public too, didn’t you? because in public he treated you good; especially when you first started dating. You can bet there was an ex sitting somewhere watching you and him and thinking, “They look so happy. It must have been me.”

My ex worked at keeping our relationship somewhat intact until we passed the magic 10 year mark because that is how long his last long term relationship lasted and his ex had said it would never last. He knew it would really bother her for us to last longer than they did. The victim always feels, “He will never find some woman to love him the way I do, who will put up with what I do.” The thing is though, he has told her a bunch of lies and now he blames his bad behavior on the abuse he suffered with the last woman, ALL the women he has ever been with……..except you of course.

Wanna know a secret? I never allowed myself to believe that shit, sure, there were times my mind went down that path and I hauled it’s ass right off of that train of thought the minute it took the self depreciating detour to “what’s she got that I don’t have land?”

The only thing you know for sure is how he treated you, everything else is hearsay and speculation. You need to only concern yourself with things you have first hand knowledge of and have any control over.  Everyone has their own history, personal experience, personality, weaknesses, strengths, and hangups. Everyone handles things in their own way, what worked for you won’t necessarily work for someone else and everyone has their own emotional limit; their last straw, for whatever reason,is not the same as your last straw. For reasons only she knows, she is hanging in longer than you did or he has found more resources to drain her of. OR he knows it is driving you crazy and is working double time to hide his true self from the new woman so she won’t dump his ass.

Leopard’s don’t change their spots, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. No one treats one person as badly as the N treated you and does a complete 180 with the next person he meets, because a nice, caring person would never treat anyone the way the N treated you, no matter what kind of nasty bitch you were.

If some other woman is sticking it out with him maybe she is more gullible than you were, not as smart, in deeper, thinks she has too much to lose, or too far gone down the toxic rabbit hole to see the light of day. It does not mean he has changed or there was/is anything wrong with you.

My ex has been with the “new” woman almost 8 years and with every year that they are together I feel a bit better; Thank God I am not the only woman who got sucked in, I was not the stupidest!! I would have felt worse if she would have picked up on what he is a lot sooner than I did, THEN I would feel there must be something wrong with me.

No matter what; there is no way we can know for sure what is going on behind their closed doors, and it does no good whatsoever to dwell on something we have no control over and does not affect us in any way. It only affects us when we let it. We DO have control over what we choose to think about and obsess about.

Practice saying, “Not my , not my monkey.”

OR Not my bull, not my bullshit.

I am a dog owner and I gladly pick up my dog’s shit every single day, it’s part of the job being a dog owner. Well, being involved with a narcissist requires pickup their bullshit, but you don’t have to, you choose to. We all have choices. Believe me, a dog will never treat you as badly as the narcissist, if you love picking up shit, get a dog. It will be a lot more loving and loyal.

 

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Knowing Your Worth

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Ocassionally I have a woman come into the blog thinking the man they are in love with is a narcissist because he won’t commit. I have to tell them that just because a man won’t commit does not make them a narcissist. For one thing a narcissist is not that honest. There is nothing wrong with a man for not wanting a commitment. Maybe he should stop seeing a woman who he knows wants a commitment but if he is honest and the woman keeps coming around, screwing him, cooking for him etc even after he has repeatedly told her he will never commit, can you really blame him for taking what she is giving? She obviously doesn’t respect herself or her own boundaries, is it up to him to do it for her? I suppose he should but in reality very few men will. She would call him a narcissist and be angry either way for rejected her.
News flash!! Not everyone is going to love you.
The following is my reply to a woman asking me how she can break away from a man she has been seeing for 3 years who won’t commit and never pretended he ever would commit.

Jane, I am not a trained professional therapist so I am not qualified to counsel you, I can only give you my personal opinion. Plus, I know absolutely nothing about you, your past or how your personal relationships are and have been in the past.
I am guessing this is a pattern in your life, with all people; not just in romantic relationships.
I would guess that one or both your parents were critical or distant and no matter how hard you tried you were never able to win their love and approval, you were never “good enough”.
You were the “people pleaser”, the “fixer”, always doing for others and derived your self worth from the praise of others. Sacrificing your own well being, being a martyr, all in the name of being “loved”. But never learning that you were being used and taken advantage of, not loved.
Most narcissists are not as honest as this man, they profess total commitment but lead a double life, often having many women at one time, all believing he is committed to them and that is where the victim gets sucked in. If the narc would have been honest they would have left the relationship.
The fact that you stay knowing the truth tells me that you rely on other people to give you value.
It is human nature to want to be liked, in fact we tend to try harder to please people who don’t seen to like us. No one likes rejection.
But most people wont stick around to be rejected time and time again. You do not love this man, you have made him your “value gauge”. If you can make him commit then you have value, you are worthy, enough, loved.
The truth is; what he thinks of you has absolutely nothing to do with your value, worth or whether you are loveable.
He has every right to not want to commit, and he shouldn’t continue to sleep with you knowing you want a commitment but most men don’t do the right thing and if he tells you he will never commit and you keep coming around he’s going to take what you keep giving.
You are not the victim of a narcissist, you are a victim of your own inability to defend your boundaries.
You want to be loved and have worth but you have attached your self worth to being loved. Your value has absolutely NOTHING to do with who loves you. You are willing to give up your boundaries, what you stand for; in order to be loved and have value. But you fail to realize that in order to be loved you must be loved for who you are, not the pretzel you contort yourself into, not for the things you are willing to give up but for the things you stand up for. If you don’t respect yourself and who you are (boundaries define who you are) you won’t be respected by others. Respect is essential in any loving relationship, in any relationship period. If you don’t have boundaries and defend them how do you ever feel loved for who you are? How do you ever trust yourself to not be disrespected and used?
Loved based on how much you are willing to sacrifice is never real love, it is never secure and you never feel fulfilled and empowered. You always doubt it.
The way to ensure you don’t get involved with a narcissist is to stop dating until you stop deriving your self worth from a man and know your value without being told you have value. When you love yourself, for all your perceived “flaws”, and are willing to walk away from any man who doesn’t appreciate you for who you are, you will continue to get hurt.
I suggest you stop trying to figure out what the man wants, stop trying to be the woman you think the man wants and start looking at men from the perspective of; is this the type of man I want? Is this man worthy of MY love, is this man’s values in line with MY values? I think you need to find a good therapist who can help you do that.
I know it is scary to let go of this guy and be alone but until you can be comfortable alone and truly enjoy your own company you will repeat history.

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.

Is Honesty Always The Best Policy?

I have always believed honesty is the best policy.  No matter what, when it comes right down to it, if you don’t know what to do; go with honesty and let the pieces fall where they may. Lying only perpetuates more lying and almost invariably it will back fire in your face. Lying about other people is a real sore spot with me, mainly because I have been the victim of a smear campaign and dealt with people who chose to believe the lies and refuse to even entertain the idea that they are believing lies. I have had to end friendship’s with people who believed the lies even though they professed to not be taking sides. Sometimes there is no choice, people have to choose sides because if they don’t they are condoning or agreeing with the lies or behavior. 

I really hate dealing with conflict and have always preferred to keep the peace at all cost but I have found since the narcissist I have anxiety attacks at the first sign of dishonesty or if I hear slander or gossip. 

I suppose that’s because while with my ex the honesty line got blurred from black and white to a solid grey and eventually the narcissistic fog obliterated it from sight all together.

My ex was forever being accused of stealing and every job he ever had was lost due to being “falsely” accused of stealing. He lied about cheating on me, about how much money he made, he lied about having 6 months to live for God sake!

He lied when he didn’t even have to lie. It got to the point I just automatically assumed he was lying and was pleasantly surprised when he wasn’t. 

In the beginning I would bring him up on it if I caught him lying. (*hint. If you have to teach a full grown man about the virtues of honesty. Run!!) 

I thought the lying was a rare thing and due to low self confidence or out of fear of losing me. Haha. Rather ironic, I believed he lied about inconsequencial things because he had lied to me about how all the women in his life had screwed him over and left him. I was going to show him what real love was all about. Gawd! Thinking back I was SO naive!

 As time went on I realized his lies weren’t always so innocent and I would try to tell him it was wrong to lie. (If you find yourself trying to teach a grown man how to be a responsible adult, run!)  

I struggled with his lies; I was embarrassed by them, it went against my values and it bothered me.  

Cognitive dissonance had me telling myself that his actions weren’t a reflection on me. I was not responsible for his actions as long as I remained honest. It was not my position to act as judge and jury. 

But it doesn’t work that way. If you live with a liar you are assumed to also be a liar. If you are an honest person and you know your significant other is scamming someone is it your responsibility to warn them? 

Does it depend on the severity of the crime? If you are the wife of a man who sexually abuses under-age girls and you know. As long as you don’t participate in it are you responsible for ensuring he doesn’t abuse any more girls? Should you be punished for turning a blind eye?

As we are seeing now with various celebrities bring accused of molesting women; are the people who knew about it and didn’t say anything also guilty?

As much as I told myself his actions weren’t a reflection on me, I noticed I had become very cautious about who I told he was my boyfriend. I started wanting to warn people, I was not proud to be his girlfriend.   

After losing a 3rd job for being falsely accused of stealing, I found myself explaining to him that when you take things that don’t belong to you people tend to think you are stealing. People are funny that way. (*hint. If anyone is over the age of 3 and doesn’t know this. Run!!)

I had to ask myself why I was with someone I was ashamed to admit I was with? But by that time I was in so deep I didn’t see a way out. He had sabotaged my truck to the point it was only running maybe a 1/3 of the time. The repairs kept me broke, I was fighting a losing battle. 

He started to not come home at night and I didn’t even lose sleep. I knew to get angry was useless. I had gotten really good at suppressing my emotions. If I cried I heard, “That’s all you ever do is cry”. If I got angry I heard, “This is exactly why I don’t come home. You’re always angry!” If I was suspicious I was called jealous and paranoid. I started keeping track of every time I cried or got angry on a calendar. 

But I never left. So I just prayed he would tell me a good enough lie that I could lie to myself. I knew he was lying, that wasn’t the point; I didn’t believe anything he said anyway. But as long as he was lying I didn’t have to face reality. As long as he was lying he still “cared” and I still had a glimmer of hope that maybe he wasn’t lying this time and he really did love me. 

All victims of a narcissist live on hope and that is the hardest thing to lose. The victim knows he abuses her and treats her like shit, she knows he is cheating, she knows he is lying but she has hope. Hope is a big thing, without hope it’s hard to find a reason to go on. 

* NOTE * He is not the only one playing mind games, the worst ones are the games we play on ourselves!

I kept hearing this voice in my head saying, “How can you be with someone you are ashamed of and don’t respect?

After I left him I felt hopeless and of course he took every opportunity to make me feel hopeless. I felt totally broken and I didn’t have a clue how to put me back together, I could not ever get my innocence back. I have compared it to feeling like a puzzle someone dumped on the floor. But pieces were missing and pieces from another puzzle were mixed in. I was overwhelmed to the point of immobility. 

I knew in order to be happy I had to live according to my moral standards and if I was living with someone who was consistently dishonest I wasn’t living true to my core self.

How was I going to put myself back together and ever find my core self, who was I? 

I started the process the same way I would start putting a puzzle together; one piece at a time.

I looked at every horrible thing he told me I was. I owned what was true about me and I threw out what wasn’t. The things that were true but I didn’t like; I vowed to change.

This analysis of myself took me back to when I was a child and things I was told about myself when I was growing up. I had always been told I was “too sensitive”, I was a “flake”, I was never good enough, skinny enough, out going enough. Without even realizing it I had spent most of my life feeling like an impostor who could be exposed at any minute because I was trying to be what other people told me I should be.

When you are not living true to your core self it is impossible to have inner peace and it is very easy for a narcissist to make you feel “less than”.

Somehow I knew that if I could figure out who I was at the core and liked me that was going to be 1/2 the battle of protecting myself from another narcissist.

It has gotten easier over time, (7 years) to not succumb to the pressure from my ego. Our ego gets us in big trouble you know. My mother has a technique that my ex used also. They want you to do something or agree with them that someone else is wrong so they say something like, “You would never do something like that.” Or “You always help me, not like so and so.” My ex would say something like, “you are nothing like my ex’s, I can talk to you. You are calm and rational. All my ex’s were psycho bitches.”  It makes you better, favorable.  

* Later when he was calling ME a psycho bitch I said.

” I would be concerned if I was you.”

He grinned and snorted, “and why is that?”

Me: “Well, all your exs were psycho bitches and now you are calling me a psycho bitch.”

Him: “Yeah. So.”

Me: “Well. I’ve been thinking. Either you are attracted to psycho bitches, or you turn women into psycho bitches. Either way; you have a real problem.”

It is human nature to want to compare favorably to others, to be the “best” and it’s a very subtle way of getting someone to comply.

I have had a dilemma lately where someone I know has been lying a lot about other people and being vengeful to make herself look better. Privately I have brought her up on it. I have been trying to not play into their drama and pity party stating outright I refused to get pulled into the dysfunction. I thought I had it under control, but then they lied before I had a chance to run interference and I exposed them. 

They went on a tearful campaign proclaiming their innocence and I was made to look like the bad guy and now everyone is angry with me.

With a relationship with a narcissist I always advise going no contact but sometimes that is not possible or not easy, say; with a parent or sibling. 

I have had people come into the blog asking what they can do about the sibling who constantly makes trouble and lie’s about them or a parent that causes drama but always comes away smelling like a rose. I never know what to say and these recent events reminded me what a helpless feeling it is to deal with these toxic people. 

They won’t kill you and are not as blatant as most narcissists but damaging none the less. If it is a family member, to go no contact means you lose your whole family. You sit at home for Christmas, you are the one who is made to feel the pariah. 

It’s not so easy to live true to your core self and set boundaries when you face losing your whole family.

Have you ever dealt with a toxic family member? How did you handle it? Did you turn a blind eye or speak out? What was the outcome? 

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

What To Expect When You Leave A Narcissist

There are some common stages a victim of narcissistic abuse goes through after leaving the narcissist; I thought it might help some people to know what to expect because many victims seem surprised by the intensity of their emotions and how they are feeling. Intense feelings are scary.

The victim of narcissistic abuse needs to know what they are experiencing is normal and they will get past it. Here are 10 common steps victims take after leaving the narcissist. They are not in sequence and you may feel them alternately, or feel past a stage only to relapse and feel like you haven’t healed at all.

1. IN CONTROL. Initially you may feel energized, almost on a high, …… empowered; because you are taking your life back and finally standing up to the narcissist. But that is short lived I am afraid. 

2. MISSING HIM. As reality sinks in you will miss the narcissist as if a body part has been cut from you. You will feel like the desire to contact him is so strong it is out of your control. You figure that if he would just give you closure you could start to heal but he blames every thing on you and refuses to take any blame.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2017/08/04/i-am-so-ashamed-why-am-i-missing-him/ 
3. WITHDRAWAL. Like anyone going through withdrawal, the ache is a physical pain, you will come up with dozens of reasons why you NEED to call him. Things that really are of little importance all of a sudden must be dealt with by him and only him. A flat tire, the cat has a fur ball, a letter came in the mail for him. 

Fight the urge!!! Go for a walk, call a friend, anything but contact him, check his social media or contact his friends and family. 

4. BARGAINING .You “bargain” with yourself, all you need is to hear his voice, or see him…… you will be strong. Or you just HAVE to tell him what you think of him or try to hurt him like he hurt you. But just like a junky, you can’t “do just a little”, you  will fall into his toxic web again because it hasn’t been long enough. 

When will it be long enough to not affect you? When you no longer want to see him, when you have nothing more to say to him, when the love is gone, the anger is gone, and you actually never want his pathological toxic fog hanging over you or any where near you. 

5. CRYING! You may cry none stop for days on end. I couldn’t believe how many tears a body can produce!! I sat for hours, unable to even focus on TV, staring blankly into space, I had to remind myself to blink and breath. I even thought I could die if I just forgot to breath. (No. It doesn’t work. You can’t will yourself to die)

After a while you will be able to function a little bit, go to work, grocery shop, get dressed. I used to allot myself time for a really good cry before putting my makeup on. I could go all day without breaking down for the most part but on the way home I would be sobbing.

Sometimes I would go for a day or two without crying and then out of no where it would hit me like a bolt of lightening and I would have tears streaming down my face.

Relax! It is normal no matter what other people might say about you needing to “just get over it and move on”.  Trying to NOT cry or feeling bad about crying only compounds the problem. Then you are berating yourself and feeling bad about feeling bad.

6. OBSESSING.  You become obsessed with figuring him out, what he is doing and why. You are hooked on the “game” of solving the real live game of Clue life with a narcissist becomes. You read all about narcissists, compare notes with other victims on supper forums, you feed off of the shared stories; “OMG!that’s what my ex did!” Or “you think that’s bad, MY N did this……!” 

You may try to talk to old friends face to face about what he did or doing but you will quickly notice people turn away from you and minimize what you went through or simply don’t listen. 

You talk about him and the relationship ad nauseum, even you ate sick of talking about him. But he is all you think about. You relive the whole relationship over and over again. You analyze why he did the things he did, you try to “catch” him treating his new woman badly or cheating on her. 

You feel you have lost all your social skills. You have forgotten how to make small talk, it all seems so trivial and pointless. You fear you will never find your “old self” again.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/ladywithatruck.com/2013/08/29/retrain-your-brain/amp/
7. MOURNING. You mourn the death of the relationship; your dream, your fantasy, your hope. He may be an asshole and lying to the new woman but he used to be your asshole and now she is the one with hope, even if it is false hope. You long for the those brief moments when he was “loving”, you knew he was lying but he cared enough to lie. I used to pray he would tell me any lie, no matter how feeble and transparent it was; so I could continue to lie to myself. 

8. ACCEPTANCE.  He goes on a smear campaign. Little had you known he was slagging you long before the relationship ended and now no one believes you because he has convinced them you are a paranoid psycho butch that made his life hell. After all, he seems so happy with the new woman, it must have been your fault. And if it was so bad, why did you stay so long and not say something sooner? Huh? 

Anything you say at this point is just going to sound like sour grapes and revenge. 

You are going to have to accept that the only closure you are going to get is that you were involved with a personality disordered person who will never make sense or admit to any wrong doing.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2014/04/24/when-people-dont-understand-the-mind-of-a-narcissist/
9. PARANOIA. It will seem like you are surrounded by narcissists. At every turn you run into another one trying to take advantage of you. This is a very vulnerable time, the first narcissist that comes along and tells you how fantastic you are will take away all your insecurities, you will feel renewed, healed from the N by this honest loving guy who treats you with kindness and understanding. You will have forgotten that is how it always starts with a narcissist and before you know it you are out of one frying pan and into another one. That is why it is vitally important to not date too soon.

You are not being paranoid when you think you are surrounded by narcissists. More than likely you are going to realize that some family members are narcissistic AND a victim is a narcissist magnet. 

As you start living true to your core self you will notice some family members and friends will not like the new you. The people who have always been able to manipulate you and used you for passive supply will try to stop your personal growth and self awareness.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2017/08/05/recipe-for-a-really-good-pity-party/

10. FINDING YOUR BEST SELF INSTEAD OF YOUR OLD SELF. Number 10 is strictly your choice. You can bury the pain, continue to do what you believe other people want you to do, like pretend to move on and find a “nice” guy who treats you right. (As if you were looking for an asshole last time). It has been useful to research narcissists and learn what you are dealing with.  It helps to know they can’t be healed and their brains are deformed. It helps to hear the stories of other victims and know you aren’t the only one who got sucked in. 

But, you will never find your old naive self. Remaining a “victim” by continuing to obsess about him, stalk him, “out” him, and expecting that telling people how hurt you were in your last relationship is going to somehow protect you in the future is futile and self defeating.

Some people get stuck in victimhood. In many ways it keeps them attached to the narcissist and being a victim has become their identity.

Personally the last thing I wanted was to be an eternal victim, living in fear of being unable to protect myself from the narcissists in the world. You really can’t get away from them so how do you protect yourself?

https://ladywithatruck.com/2017/07/08/when-will-i-be-my-old-self-again/
Well THAT shold be enough reading material to keep you busy for awhile.

There are more things you go through, I have included links to some posts that delve more deeply into some of the topics but there are more Posts throughout the blog.

And one more for good measure.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2014/02/07/dusty-journals-of-a-healing-journey/

October Is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

Do we really need to make people more aware of domestic violence? We have had many public service announcements, sports celebrities speaking out against domestic violence, and the victims of abuse, some celebrity victims are speaking out. I think everyone is aware it exists, it is no longer considered to be a “private matter”. 

The legal system; police, judges, etc have made some strides in how they deal with the victims of abuse, but any progress is slow. 

Stats actually show an increase in the number of domestic violence cases, which just happens to coincide with government cutbacks to programs and services for the victims of domestic violence since the economic crash.

The Guardian
In Canada, if a woman wants to leave an abusive relationship and calls one of the shelters she is told there are no beds available. When I was looking there wasn’t space in any shelters from Chilliwack to White Rock and certainly nothing if you had a pet.

And as I have mentioned numerous times before; welfare rates are sorrowfully inadequate, extremely so if you are a single woman. There is a bit more help for women with children but let’s be serious; all mom’s want their children to be happy. The prospect of taking them to a shelter or struggling to provide for them is scarey and the last thing a mother wants to do. Then the courts rule that the dad gets visitation, he is on a slander campaign and playing the victim. More than likely the children miss their daddy and he is putting on pressure to “put the family back together”. 

On top of everything else the victim has to deal with, she probably has PTSD, and also is dealing with the prejudices and misconceptions of not only society but those closest to her; her friends and family. Old stereotypes die hard and when you are struggling to find the strength to get up every morning the last thing you should have to listen to is the judgements of others.

All the “awareness” in the world is not going to put an end to domestic abuse. Until we can breakthrough old stereotypes I am afraid we will continue to repeat history. What old stereotypes am I talking about?

Stereotypes people don’t even realize they have; which makes them so hard to break through.

I am almost 7 years out of the relationship and can still feel the sting when someone says something off the cuff that they don’t mean as an insult. I know they would be surprised if they knew how much it hurts. 

Let me clarify, I correct their erroneous belief but I don’t tell them how much it hurts; for a couple of reasons

1. I don’t want to make a huge deal out of it and make them feel bad or embarrass them. 

2. These people have known me my whole life and been with me through the past 7 years. What is it that makes it so hard for them to “get it”. 

I have to dig deep to not let it get to me and I am not freshly out of the relationship with raw emotions and shattered self esteem. 

In the past few months I have dealt with extreme anger because I had gone back numerous times. The same fact was used as justification for someone I trusted to screw me over and lie about me, telling people the reason they did what they did was because I had gone back to my ex. I said to them that I hadn’t gone back to my ex and they said, “But you had gone back many times.” 

My reply, “Yes, I had gone back but not that time. Not until you turned everyone against me and I felt totally deserted and thrown to the wolves did I go back.” 

It seems when the victim is at their lowest they end up being subjected to mistreatment by the very people who should have their back.

The other false assumption is that the victim is stupid, can’t handle finances, and is emotionally unstable. 

I was voicing some concerns for a young lady who recently started dating a guy I picked up some red flags on. I was shocked when someone who I have known 30 years said not to worry about her, she’s not the “type” to get involved with a narcissist. She is level headed, got her priorities straight and not about to fall for an asshole. 

This is so much bigger than telling women to not be ashamed and it wasn’t their fault because if we don’t change beliefs that are deeply embedded in our psyche we will keep inadvertently shaming the victim into silence. Women feel forced to try to solve or fix the relationship on her own. A strong woman will be more likely to stay and try to figure out how to fix things because up until now she has always been capable an able to solve situations. She usually has strong communication skills and keeps trying to convey her feelings thinking sooner or later she will be able to explain, to the N; why she is so hurt and he will have an epiphany and go back to the sweet man she met. 

A strong woman will stick it out longer in hopes of saving enough resources to leave without help from anyone. A strong woman will try to just “get over it” without talking about it because she has always been able to land on her feet in the past. A strong woman is much more likely to keep silent because she is embarrassed to be in the situation she finds herself in.

Silence pertetuates the problem.  

What preconceived beliefs do you or did you hold about victims of abuse? What prejudices have you encountered?

A final thought; 

Yes, I know men also suffer from abuse. I am not saying they don’t.  But! Women are 4.2 times more likely to be abused or die at the hands of their intimate partner.  

Some stats:

1 in 4 women in North America and 1 in 3 women worldwide will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

In the US there are 960,000 reported incidents of domestic abuse annually.

On an average 3 women and 1 man die daily of domestic violence.

95% of domestic violence victims are female.

I speak out primarily for female victims of domestic violence because it is what I have experienced and women are at a much higher risk. Violence against women is at an epidemic level and it is not getting any better.

If you are a man who feels men need a spokesperson I encourage you to do that. I do not hate men, I do believe in love, and I believe there is nothing better than being in a loving, healthy, respectful relationship (except maybe owning a dog)

It is like Black Lives Matter and people saying All Lives Matter. BLM activists are speaking out for black people, they are not saying other nationalities are not persecuted. But each group of victims have their own unique challenges and prejuices to over come.

As a society we can all work towards ending violence and racism by simply speaking out and not turning a blind eye when we see abuse of any kind. Do what is right, not what is easy. Have the guts to speak up when you hear people expressing prejudice and racism.

Its time everyone realized we all play a role in how society functions and take an honest inventory of our beliefs and own how our actions or inaction affects others. “I don’t want to get involved” is no longer acceptable because by not getting involved you are perpetuating the problem.