Tag Archives: Finding Happiness

It Is What It Is – Let It Be

The wonderful thing about having to put yourself back together after having a narcissist all but destroy you, is getting to create who you are meant to be without the pressure to be  something you’re not. As I continue to put the pieces together and strive to be the best most authentic version of me, I look at how other people operate in life. I continually make note of the characteristics I admire in others and traits that I recognize in myself and don’t like.

As children, we rely on others to teach us who we are. In those first 5 – 6 years our brains absorb information that forms how we view ourselves for the rest of our lives, good and bad. If we are told lies we will repeat those lies to ourselves, over and over until they become truth. Alot of people are oblivious to the fact that they aren’t living an authentic life.

I consider it a gift to be given a second chance to be all that I can be, to be comfortable in my skin, and live a life I am proud of. I believe in life long learning and people should never stop striving to be better. Few people can sit back and say, “I am the best I can be.” The past 10 + years I have come to the realization I have spent most of my life trying to be like my mother; a person I consider to be shallow and self-serving. I have been made to feel something is wrong with me because I cared, loved deeply, and considered how my actions and words affected others. I struggled with knowing what was and wasn’t mine to pack.

I continually listen and read information from experts, Oprah Soul Sunday, Brene Brown, Eckhart, Deepak, and the like; taking in information in my quest to continue to grow. I watch how the people I admire handle their lives.

One of the people I admire the most is my son, it amazes me that a child I raised has such a healthy approach to life. He has the wonderful ability to be a caring, giving individual who still lives life on his terms and remains true to his core self. Throughout his childhood I was criticized for giving him to much of a voice to express his feelings, loved him too much, wasn’t strict enough, and encouraged him too much. I guess somehow deep inside I wanted better for him and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I didn’t want him living a lie and coming up short like I had.

I never had a preconceived notion of who he should be. Never expected him to choose a certain profession, make alot of money, or attain a certain level of success. The only things I insisted on while he was growing up was honesty, not judge others, be hard working, and generous to those less fortunate. I remember telling him the only expectations I had of him was for him to be a productive member of society. I can’t take credit for the man he has become because he has met other people in his life who have influenced him, good and bad.

His motto in life is, “It is what it is”. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, or avoiding responsibility.

“It is what it is”, is accepting life, not trying to control things you can not control, not trying to manipulate things to happen the way and in the time frame, you want them to, and not worrying about things that may never happen. It is not getting angry about things someone does that don’t concern you.

It is owning YOUR actions and reactions. It is accepting life and people at face value, not how you wish they were. It is owning your happiness, it is the source of inner peace.

I wasn’t raised this way and didn’t raise my son this way. I was raised by a mother who pretended to be caring, who controlled her little world, who believes that; how things look is more important than how things are. Who buried her head in the sand and put her fingers in her ears and loudly sang “Lalalala”; because what she couldn’t see, couldn’t hurt her. And she loved me when I played by her rules and presented an image her friends would approve of. My father tried to mold me into the woman my mother wasn’t and said as much through my whole childhood, “you are going to be a better wife than your mother, YOU are going to know how to keep your husband happy.” “If you don’t behave I will take your brother and leave your mother”.

What a weight to put on a small child, no wonder I went most of my life thinking I was responsible for everyone’s happiness or anger and that if I wasn’t “good”, people I love will leave.

It is no surprise to me that I felt totally broken after I left the narcissist. I am thankful for the experience now because I believe it was the only way I was ever going to break free of the expectations of others and my fear of losing the people I love, and live true to my core self and be who I was meant to be.

If I am not aware I can still fall into old patterns, especially when I am with my mother. She always finds someone she can critique and deem, “wrong”. They don’t just live life differently from how she lives her life, they are living their life wrong. They don’t keep their house clean enough, they are fat because they don’t eat right, they don’t dress properly, they don’t parent right (which is the biggest “what the fuck?” because her parenting style was based on how things looked). Forever the expert on every fucking thing and now it makes me angry when she starts “tisk, tisk, tisking”. First of all, who made her the judge of how people should live? People can have a dirty house and still be a good person. I may not want to eat at that person’s house if the cats walk all over the counters, but they are still a good person and it is none of my business how their house looks. Yes, I suppose her friend is over weight because she eats too much, but her friend is 70+ years old and it is none of my business and it doesn’t change who the person is.  My mother could choose to not go out for dinner with her friend, instead of going for dinner and later talk behind her back to me by comparing what she ate compared to what her friend ate.  She could ask her friend to take walks with her. Her friend was involved with an abusive controling man, my mother would never allow a man to treat her like that. But when her friend broke up with the man my mother invited him over to play cards.

Did I mention this woman is supposedly a “friend”. Instead of just listening to my mother and agreeing, like I used to, I now will confront her on her actions by saying, “why would you invite him over when you think he is so bad for your friend?” Her reply, “Well he’s not like that with me”. “But she is supposedly your friend, if you want her to dump him, why would you still be his friend?”

Or, “Yeah I guess so and so’s house is dirty, it’s always been dirty, I don’t know why, I suppose they don’t have a hang up about having a perfect home like you. I don’t really care. They aren’t going to change. It’s not my problem.”

The other thing I have struggled with most of my life that I learned from her. Catastrophing (I don’t think that’s a real word) everything. It’s the ability to turn any positive moment into a negative by projecting everything that could go wrong. It’s the “what ifs”. It’s the false concern, “I hope this doesn’t happen”.

I can think of so many times I was excited about something and my mother was able to burst my bubble in seconds. She doesn’t mean to. She engages her mouth before her mind. For example, I was asked out by a really handsome, popular guy. Her response, “I wonder why he asked you out”. Or I’d have an idea for a business, her first thought was, “If someone could make money doing that, someone would be doing it already”. My art was junk until her friends saw value in it. When my son was in his teens he was getting into trouble, had quit school and she thought I should “wash my hands of him” and when I refused, she sold my house out from under me and gave me 2 weeks to be out.

She did it twice to me, she held my mortgage in order to “help” me and ended up selling it out from under me both times. For a long time I held alot of resentment towards her because of it. I am sure I never would have gone back to my ex if she hadn’t made me homeless, both times. But I have had to let the resentment go. I have told her the consequences of her actions. I don’t let her believe her delusions but I also understand she has her own history, her own warped view of who she is and her own survival mechanisms. We all do. The best any of us can do is to strive to be better and not allow our screwed up past affect our kids.

I still worry about my son but I also trust that he is quite capable of dealing with whatever happens. He is the most capable man I know. He’s an adult and if he want my opinion or advice, he has no problem asking for it. He knows I will always have his back.

So many times in life, the things that cause us the most strife and sleepless night, are the things we have absolutely no control over. When we try to “make” things happen the way we want them to. When we let what we wish would happen influence the choices we make.

My ex hurt me, yes; but the most painful experience of my life was my mother selling my house which forced me into the position of not being there for him. It broke my heart and it made me more reliant on my ex because he encouraged me to not give up on my son.

In all honesty, I can’t say how things would have turned out if my mother hadn’t sold my house. I didn’t know what to do with my son, I was drinking too much, he wasn’t listening to me, my self esteem was wrapped up in whether I had a man or not, my life, I had 3 marriages under my belt. Who knows where my life would have gone. I can’t dwell on the “what if’s”, and the “if only’s”; all I have is “what is”.

All I can do is live life honestly and remain true to my core self. I can hold myself accountable for my actions and what I allow into my life, from this day forward. I can not change the past, wishing things would have been different, is a huge waste of mental and emotional energy. Feeling sorry for myself and remaining a victim does nothing for my self esteem, or to improve my future.

The interesting thing about living true to my core values is; I am more confident and I never feel like a failure. When you live your life trying to please others you can’t help but feel like at any moment people are going to discover you are a fake and not like you any more. When you live true to your core self, you know people like you for you. There is no fear, no self doubt, no second guessing if you are doing the right thing, and no one else to blame.

Live life on your terms, don’t let anyone influence your decisions and you will live a life without regret.

So many times the victim of a narcissist wants the “quick fix” to healing. They think healing will come if they meet a new guy who loves them. I have heard people say it time and time again, “I want to meet a man who loves me for me.” Or someone will say to the victim, “You just need to meet a nice guy”. “Some man will love you for you”. Your self worth should never be reliant on who loves you. Your happiness and confidence needs to come from knowing you are living your best life regardless of whether you have a man or not. The minute you make your happiness dependent on a man, you are giving that person control of your happiness and self worth. Whether you are loved or not should never be determined by whether another person approves of you.

Number One Search Term – How Do I Make A Narcissist Love Me

It's hard to soar like an eagle when you fly with seagulls.

It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you fly with a seagull.

I did a search to see the number one search term people used that brought them to my blog, after ladywithatruck; which doesn’t really count, the top search was, “How do I make a narcissist love me”.

Wow! How do I answer that? the short answer is, “You can’t.” because they quite simply don’t know how to love.

I want to ask of this/these people;

1. How do you know he is a narcissist? If you know he is a narcissist then you must have read up on them and if you have read up on them you must know that they cannot ever truly love anyone, not even themselves. I am assuming the person searching for answers has been love bombed by a narcissist and then systematically devalued and discarded and they want to go back to those wonderful heady days when they first met the narcissist. I am sure if you know he is a narcissist you have been on many websites researching so I also assume you haven’t been able to find one site dedicated to getting a narcissist back.

Anyone who has researched narcissists knows there are sites telling you how to leave a narcissist, how to go no contact from a narcissist, how to co-parent with a narcissist, the horror of being with a narcissist, but out of the hundreds of thousands of sites on the internet you have not found one site that will tell you how to keep one or get one to love you.

The only way to get a narcissist to act like he loves you is to dump him, but that kinda defeats the whole purpose doesn’t it? But it’s fact, it’s a “between a rock and a hard place” situation that makes a relationship with a narcissist impossible. NOT improbable, IMPOSSIBLE! as in:

im·pos·si·ble

imˈpäsəb(ə)l/

adjective

  1. not able to occur, exist, or be done.

    “a seemingly impossible task”

I tried it, so I know what I am talking about, I am not guessing, I am basing my opinion on my experience and 4 years of research. You can manipulate a narcissist to kinda “behave” for a while but it isn’t sustainable, for one thing you are manipulating him so it isn’t a true relationship. I mean in order to get a narcissist to take an interest in you and act like he loves you, you must reject him totally. They hate rejection and it will more than likely cause them to start on a campaign to win you back. The catch here is, the minute you go back to him the abuse starts again. So to keep him semi interested you have to maintain the distance and disinterest in him long-term, which is all but impossible because with any relationship, in order for the relationship to survive there has to be growth and closeness. What is the point of loving someone you can never show love to? and who is never there for you and you can never be there for him because you have to be guarded at all times and never show you care. You may be able to do it with someone who was ambivalent about a relationship with you but a narcissist is actively working at destroying you and constantly doing things to cause you pain and suffering. No matter how hard you try to not care he will make you care somehow, he won’t give up until he does, it doesn’t have to be love, he just wants you to care, you can be angry, hurt, sad, horrified, terrified, it makes no nevermind to him, it is all caring.

The longer you play the game of appearing to not care the harder he will try to win you back and make you believe he really does love you so eventually one of two things will happen.

1. You will start to believe he loves you, crave the closeness he is offering and you will show your true self and be loving, take him back and stock-vector-bam-73381684 you are right back in the relationship and vulnerable again; he takes full advantage of your vulnerability, pats himself on the back for his brilliance and the abuse starts all over again.

2. He will get sick of your disinterest and move on. You being distant gives him the perfect excuse to be looking elsewhere, after all he was cheating when you were in a “committed” relationship so now he is a free agent to do as he pleases and he will make sure you know all about the other women he is seeing. A narcissist MUST have someone worshipping him at all times, he hates to be alone, he must have someone waiting at home and several on the hook. He wants someone to bleed for him and if it isn’t you he will be actively looking for your replacement but continue to keep you on the hook until he finds her.

So, you see? it is impossible, no matter which way you look at it, it is not possible to make a narcissist love you.

Some of us get stuck in the “if only’s”; If only he would stop lying, If only he would see how much I do for him, If only he would come to bed at night, If only he would get a job, If only he would stop cheating.

I would be happy if he just came home at night, or I would be happy if he would just stop cheating.

happiness

 

We end up in a relationship that lasts years, even decades sustained on wishful thinking, empty promises and faded memories of a love that never was.

And what makes us so terribly unhappy is the not only the abuse but the fact that we are not living true to ourselves, we know we don’t deserve to be abused, we know we shouldn’t be accepting the behaviour we are from the N yet do and that causes a lot of inner turmoil and unhappiness. Often times the narcissist is also living on the edge of the law which goes against our belief system, or they are into drugs, weird sex, all sorts of things that are not true to our morals and beliefs yet we compromise our values in order to keep the relationship and that causes us a lot of anxiety. That is what is called cognitive dissonance, and why we lie to ourselves, because we have to make sense of the bizarre world we live in if we are going to stay so we minimize the abuse, assign different meaning to the actions of the N, because to stay with him we must do things that are against our grain and we become miserable and even more dependent on him because if we aren’t living true to ourselves we rely on him even more for approval and acceptance because we don’t approve of how we live and we fear no one else will either.

We find ourselves acting in ways we hate, we become suspicious, jealous, negative, angry, hurt and resentful. We lash out and say things we regret, we may even do something in revenge and feel guilty afterwards. Perhaps we even become physically abusive, or we start to hide money, we check his phone and his internet activity, and try to catch him doing something wrong, or if you are like me, I was trying to prove my suspicions were wrong. I didn’t want to find anything but I always did.

Our moods are governed by how he treats us, if he has a moment of kindness or generosity we are buoyed, hopeful and so damn grateful but normally we walk on egg shells, trying to anticipate his needs and appease him and when we have time we spend it trying to figure out what he is up to, what he meant by that, if he is lying, who he is screwing and searching on the net for answers for why he is the way he is and how to make him love us.

Is it any wonder the victim becomes a shell of the person they used to be? How can you remain YOU when all you think about is HIM. All your energy is being put into him and you are getting nothing back, of course you are depleted and feel empty. People need love, kindness and compassion; they can live without a partner because there are always friends and family to give you that kindness and compassion but if you isolate yourself and your only source of love and kindness is an abusive asshole; you shrivel up and die inside. No matter how filled with goodness and love a person is, if you are constantly ridiculed, and are never enough, if you continually give all you have to give and are still told you are not good enough you will become someone you don’t know, needy, insecure, shut off, fearful, paranoid, and then he leaves you because you are too needy, too paranoid, irrational, too sensitive, angry, etc.

So what is the answer? The answer is STOP. Just stop. Stop the spying, the researching, the obsessing about what he is doing and feeling and concentrate on what you are feeling and doing. You don’t have to leave him if you don’t want to, just stop catering to his every whim and start doing things that make you happy; believe me the rest will take care of itself.

There are few things more unattractive to the opposite sex than someone who is needy and clingy, but as much as a narcissist complains that you are too needy and clingy he does everything within his power to make you that way, and as I said before it is inevitable when you are in a relationship with a narcissist.

A healthy man or woman does not want to be the center of someone’s universe, they do not want to be responsible for someone else’s happiness or their bad mood. A healthy person wants the person they are with to find happiness in being with them but they do not want to be their only source of happiness. To be reliant on one person for your every mood and feeling (and eventually you very existence) is a very vulnerable spot to be in, of course the N has total control over your whole world and that is why when he dumps you it is so devastating.

the past

The happiest people in the world, the people other people want to spend time with are the people who find their happiness in many areas of their life. They have interests that they enjoy with other people or by themselves, a partner enhances their life but is not their whole life. It doesn’t mean they love the person any less,  it simply means they are autonomous, they don’t exist through someone else.

It is why women suffer with “empty nest syndrome”, they were someone’s mother for so long their don’t know who they are unless they are so-and-so’s mom. I went through a really tough time after James and I split and I lost my truck, I had nothing to identify myself with. I had always been my father’s daughter, someone’s wife, and after Kris was born I was “Kris’s mom” then I was James’s wife, and even after that ended I was “the Lady Witha Truck”.

All of a sudden I was just Carrie and I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t own anything, I didn’t have a job, I was nobody’s wife, I didn’t have money, I was just me, but who was I? I had to rediscover me and figure out what I stood for, what did I want to do with the rest of my life with nothing to hold me back, we usually have someone to consider when we make life choices, how it will affect our kids, our lover, our job……….but when you have none of that and you are only responsible for your own happiness and your own choices it can be daunting. No one else to blame for your decisions, no one to sway you one way or the other, it was damned scary; especially after having someone control every aspect of your life. I am still discovering me and sorting through the parts of me I don’t like and the parts I want to keep and doing my own self-analysis. There is no one telling me what I should do or think but I disappoint myself sometimes, wish I would have handled a situation better or I look at my motives for doing something. Even with the blog I check myself on an ongoing basis to make sure I am doing it for the right reasons and not because of the expectations of others or because I feel I have no other options. If I can’t do it with passion and honesty then I don’t want to do it and to be honest if I was not getting anything out of it I wouldn’t want to do it either. I could not continue to support, listen, share, and give of myself if I didn’t get something back. I would not be doing a good job of it either because I would get resentful and it would become a chore and depressing.

Whenever we put all our energy into one thing we create an unhealthy relationship that is doomed to fail, we must have diversity in our lives and we must derive pleasure from many things; it can be friends, nature, a pet, a sport, music, yoga, meditation, reading, walking……… anything that give us an inner peace and personal enjoyment, things that feed our soul, no one else’s.

The narcissist will not be happy if you start deriving pleasure away from him and he will do everything he can to prevent it from happening, that is why he doesn’t want you to work or have friends or any interests he has not approved.  They want to control every aspect of your life. I remember with James, I enjoyed landscaping and got a job for a landscaping company, he disabled my truck so I couldn’t get to work and found me a job with a landscaper he had met. He thought I had talent as a painter but he wanted me to do pinstriping on vehicles. He wanted to control everything so he could give it and he could take it away, that is why they seem supportive at times, because they want to be able to take the support away, you can’t miss something you never had.

Once you start to find happiness on your own you become very protective of your happiness, you don’t want to go back because you know he will do something to take  it away. You will also find that the need to have a man in your life disappears, you may still want a man in your life, but only if he gives you the space to do the things you enjoy. You will find that men (healthy men) will find you more attractive because you aren’t needy or desperate, you aren’t looking for your joy in someone else, you have joy in your soul. There is nothing wrong with getting pleasure from helping others, there is nothing wrong with being a giving person as long as you don’t give more than you can afford to give and as long as you live true to yourself and what you want in life. When you see you are off course and not living true to your core beliefs and it is because you are compromising your standards to accommodate someone else it is time to  admit this person is not healthy for you and you need to stop and analyze what you want from life and in your life.

Here is a great video on how to change someone so you can be happy. Changing Others