Tag Archives: control

Finding Inner Peace When Your World Is Falling Apart

After leaving my ex I felt empty and hopeless, I had never felt so broken, I can’t even describe the pain. I wanted to beg him, I did beg him at one point, something I had never done with any man. I had no pride left because I felt I had nothing left to lose, I had invested everything I had into the relationship. All I could see in my future was unhappiness, loneliness, poverty, and regret.

My mind was constantly rehashing every aspect of our relationship, I spent hours on the internet trying to find out what my ex was doing, hooked on trying to figure him out and expose his lies. I obsessed about “if only”, “what if”, and I envisioned how happy he was with “her” and how she was getting everything and more than I had wished for and deserved. I relived the relationship day in and day out. He was in my dreams (nightmares), and my every waking thought. I couldn’t talk about anything else, my pain ached through my whole body. I just wanted out of my body, I had panic attacks, desperate to stop the pain.

At times I felt like I was trudging through quick sand, no matter how I struggled to get out of it, I only sunk deeper. Other times it felt more like I was being battered by the ocean, I would break through the surface, gasp for air, get hit by another wave crashing down on me that pulled me under, bashed me against the rocks, until I didn’t know which way was up. I would see the light, break through the surface again, gasp another breath, only to get pulling down again.

Yesterday I had YouTube playing on the tv while I painted and as happens, I went from watching Oprah Soul Sunday to a few hours later watching Eckhart Tolle. Then I remembered how listening to him had helped me stop my mind and find inner peace. Here is a quote of his;

Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Yesterday he was asked by a member of his audience what the catalyst was to him finding Inner Peace and he said it was different for everyone. But most people reach a point of “hitting rock bottom”, hating their lives, themselves, of in his case, wanting to die because he couldn’t stand being unhappy any longer. That is where I was, I couldn’t go any lower without dying. While taking a course on being a life coach the class was asked to think of a time we felt like a failure. I answered, “I woke up and realized my suicide attempt failed.” There isn’t much lower than that. Compounding was feelings of worthlessness was my ex, who; when I told him I had failed in my attempt to kill myself told me to try again because “no man would ever want a suicidal, paranoid, bitch like me.”  It was then, that I fully realized; I was responsible for my own healing, and my worst enemy was/is the voice in my head telling me lies, lies I had been told my whole life.

I became acutely aware of what my mind was saying and started sorting out the truth from lies. The negative voices, my mother’s voice, “you can’t make money doing that, if you could, someone would be doing it already”, “what are you going to do now? You can’t survive”, “you always were too (fill in the blank)”, “that’s nice (my painting) but no one will pay money for it”. That is until I started selling my stuff in a popular antique store and her classy friends were raving about how talented I was.

I knew, if I wanted peace of mind; I had to stop ruminating over; what others thought of me, what might happen in the future, what I could have done differently in the past, how much I had lost, and all the other things I had no control over. I had to start living my life as purely and honestly as I could, every day. If I slipped one day, I could always start over tomorrow morning. All I had was this moment and I was never going to find happiness anywhere but in my own mind.

Life is a series of lessons, either we learn them or we end up stuck and angry, sad, and resentful our whole life. No matter how carefully we plan, or how hard we wish, life is going to happen and we can flow with it or fight it all the way. It is when we fight it that we lose our inner peace.

90% of what we worry about never comes to pass. When faced with a choice or dilemma and people around us demand we make a decision, is when we make poor choices. Decisions made under duress are the ones we often regret. We should never do anything that doesn’t sit well in our gut. I have learned that the best thing to do when you don’t know what to do; is nothing.

“Nothing!!!?? How can you do nothing? I need to fix the problem”

No, you don’t. If the answer doesn’t come easily to you, if you have to canvas friends and family to see what you should do,  you need to do nothing. Try it, more than half the time the problem solves itself or an answer becomes obvious. For example; my mother had a friend who wanted to rent out his basement. It didn’t have a kitchen or private entrance, it was just a bedroom, bathroom and bar fridge with a hot plate, but they would allow Stella. She really wanted me to take it.

In her mind it was the answer to my homelessness problem. (Because living with her with my dog was totally out of the question. Not that I had asked to live with her and was living in my car, sleeping in her carport sometimes, but that didn’t look good if her friends found out.)

I went to see it. They seemed like a nice couple but I didn’t immediately jump on it. My mother made a deal of $500/month with me doing the yard work. I was getting $700 a month on government assistance, I had heart failure, my heart was functioning at 17%. I couldn’t afford $500 a month and couldn’t promise my health would allow for me to physically do all the yard work. Besides that, their big tv was downstairs and he said he’d be coming downstairs to watch his sports and to practice his singing because he belonged to a barbershop quartet.

I was polite when we left, thanked them very much and said I’d get back to them, but needed to think about it. My mother was pissed! It was perfect! I was being stupid and stubborn not snapping it up. What was I going to do? She had gone to the trouble to arrange this, what would they think if I didn’t take it? I gave her my reasons for being hesitant, I would have no privacy, no kitchen and most importantly, I couldn’t afford $500/month and it wasn’t worth $500 a month and I couldn’t DO the yard because of my health.

A few days later the family was invited to my mom and step dad’s for Mother’s Day supper. When I arrived my brother immediately started in on me about not taking this golden opportunity mother had found for me. That I was being selfish and crazy to not jump at it. After all beggars can’t be choosers. I tried to explain why I was hesitant but mom had obviously already made his mind up. I decided I was NOT going to succumb to pressure no matter what, I didn’t feel at peace about it. At dinner my mom sat down and said to me, in her most cheerful phoney voice,  “Did you tell your brother about your new place to live?” I said, “There was no need, you had already filled him in.” She denied it. I said, “oh for God’s sake mother! Stop with the lies! I am so sick of you talking behind people’s backs trying to manipulate things the way you want them. I am done! Stop trying to pressure me into making a decision. I told you I need time to decide and I can’t afford $500 a month.” She looked hurt, (Fuck!!)”But where will you live?” 

I walked out and drove home. I stopped at the gas station close to my mom and contemplated going back, but I knew it would be because I felt guilty, not because I was sorry.

The next day I called the friend of my mother and told him I appreciated him offering me the basement but I had to be honest; there was no way I could afford $500 a month, couldn’t do the yard work because of my health and didn’t feel comfortable about him coming downstairs to watch TV, I am a very private person.

He asked how much I could afford and I told him the government allots $350/month for rent. He said that would be ok and he said he would move the tv upstairs and not watch it downstairs. I agreed to move in and ended up living there almost 2 years. He ended up reducing the rent to $200/month and my health improved so I could do some yard work. I still didn’t like living there but it enabled me to get back on my feet.

Without going into my mother’s upbringing and the demons in her head, her need to control everyone and everything has contributed to some of the worst mistakes I have made. It has taken me most of my life to learn to trust my gut and ability to make good choices.

So many times we get so focused on what we think we must have that we totally miss out on great opportunities right under our nose. We try to make things, people, cooperate with what we want to happen, what we think will make us happy. And we have this “anything worth having is worth fighting for” mentality when we should look at it from the point of view of, “when you have to compromise your core self in order to make something happen, maybe it’s not meant to be.” And never ever make decisions when you are in panic mode.

We all need to look at the under lying reason we feel panicked. Often times it’s ego driven. As with my mother, her need to find me a place to live had very little to do with concern for me and more to do with what her friends think of her. Her need to be thought of as a caring person, her embarrassment over her daughter being homeless. She was prepared to put me in the position of not being able to pay my rent just to save face.

When we split from the narcissist he always rejects us, even if we are the ones to leave and even if we know it is for the best; the minute he rejects us our ego kicks in. The narcissist almost always find the “love of his life” immediately after the split and our ego tells us there must be something wrong with us. When he blames us for the demise of the relationship, it our ego that needs to be proven right. When people believe his lies about us, it’s our ego that needs to prove him wrong. When we should know that true friends wouldn’t believe him and we have nothing to prove. We should live true to our core self and not concern ourselves with what others think of us. “what other people think of us is none of our business”. We don’t like everyone we meet, it’s egotistical to expect everyone we meet to like us.

It’s egotistical to think we are the ultimate woman that any and all men want, able to please every man, nor should we want to please every man.

Does Anger Management Work For A Narcissist?

One of the search terms on my blog today was, “Does anger management work for a narcissist?

If the person asking the question had researched narcissists they would know nothing cures a narcissist, their brains are not formed like a normal brain and they don’t have the capability to feel empathy and they don’t think anything is wrong with them.

In the rare cases where a narcissist isn’t successful in getting the victim to drop the domestic abuse charges and they do make it to court it is quite common for the judge to sentence the narcissist to take anger management classes.

A few years ago I had a class with a fellow who taught anger management groups for men charged with domestic abuse and I asked him how successful the classes were. Like did the classes actually work? Personally I think most abusive husbands are narcissists, I don’t know that they all are and maybe for some it does work. But there are a few facts that make me think it is highly unlikely.

He told me he had absolutely no idea if the classes worked because there was no follow-up. He said the guys told him they were doing better but he admitted he had no was of knowing for sure that they didn’t go home after the class and beat their partner. If a narcissist feels it is the only way to get the woman to come back to him he will promise anything and go through the motions. My ex went several years without hitting me when I had kicked him out and kept him at a distance. Once he had me convinced he had changed and I went back to him the abuse started again and was 10 times worse.

The other problem with anger management not stopping the abuse is; it has absolutely nothing to do with anger. Domestic abuse is never just physical abuse, no woman would stay if it was only physical, long before the abuser hits a woman he has emotionally, mentally and often times financially or sexually abused her. He usually won’t get physical until he is sure he has her sufficiently beaten down emotionally first.

He may use anger as an excuse for abusing the woman, she made him do it by pissing him off. If only she wouldn’t make him so angry by pushing his buttons, he wouldn’t have to beat her. They can control their anger just fine in front of other people. You can be out and having a good time and the minute you are in private he is angry and looking for a fight. No matter how hard you try to avoid an argument he is like a dog with a bone and won’t let up.

I can remember on my birthday one time, he had forgotten my birthday and I had said something about him forgetting. He didn’t say anything at the time and after work he told me to meet him at his work and he would take me out for supper. I was determined to not argue on my birthday. At his work he was the epitome of the loving husband, telling everyone he had forgotten my birthday and was going to try to make it up to me by taking me out for supper. I was thrilled and looking forward to a nice night out.

We walked out the door and I said, “So, are we taking you truck or my car? Or should I meet you there?”

Him, “What are you talking about?”

Me, “Dinner. Do you want to meet there or ride together?”

Him, looking totally annoyed, “What the fuck are you talking about?, dinner? I’m going to the race track. I don’t know what you are doing.”

Me, “I wouldn’t mind going to the track.”

“No, just go home.”

Me, “But you said you were taking me out for my birthday.”

Him, “I’m broke, do you have money for dinner?”

Me, “Yeah, I do. I’ll buy us dinner.”

Him as he got in his truck, “Just go home.”

So I went and bought myself a bottle of wine and went home, determined I was not going to fight on my birthday.

I putzed in my garden until it got too dark to see and then went inside. He came home with a bottle of Rye and case of beer for himself and a carton of smokes and then proceeded to tell me how selfish I was to buy myself a bottle of wine. I said, “Please, not on my birthday.” But he would not let up and kept at me about me being so selfish and I needed to get out and support myself so I knew what it was like (I was in my 40’s and worked my whole life, raised my son on my own, it didn’t even make sense).

He would not let me defend myself and walked out of the house to go to the shop, I grabbed his arm and reached up to touch his face. I was going to say, “I love you. Please lets not fight.” But I never got it out. Next thing I know my head is hitting the cupboard behind me and I woke up on the floor with him straddling me, holding my hands above my head with one hand and his other made into a fist ready to hit me again.

I said, “Go ahead, hit me again, does it make you feel like a man?”

He stormed out to the shop.

It had nothing to do with anger, it was control, it was wanting to ruin my birthday, it was whittling away at my self esteem and keeping me off balance; but it was not that he lost his temper and hit me in a fit of rage. He had controlled his anger just fine at his work, he knew he wasn’t taking me for dinner when we were there.

A narcissist can be in the middle of beating his wife if someone rings the doorbell he can answer the door and be Mr Congeniality like the flip of a switch. He could control his anger amazingly well with everyone else. Guys would rip him off for hundred of dollars and he wouldn’t do or say anything. I would be angry for him and give people shit in his defense because he would never stand up for himself to a man.

If someone has an anger management problem it shouldn’t be selective; if they can control their anger with a man they can control it with their partner.

So, does anger management work? My guess is no. BUT even IF the narcissist stopped hitting you I know when I was with my ex, it wasn’t the physical abuse that left the deepest scars; it was the emotional abuse, the porn, cheating, controlling the money, where I went, disabling my truck and destroying my business, the rejection, the emotional roller ride from hell.

 

When I Knew He Had Lost His Control Over Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

– And, she keeps going back!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The link to a post I did on it is here

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

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