Tag Archives: finding my best self

Life Goals Through Painful Times

When we leave the narcissist; because the truth is, in the end, most of us have to do the physical leaving. Even though he treats you like shit and says its over, he never actually leaves, but keeps hoovering and blaming us for the failed relationship. It is such an extremely painful time, you are losing what you believe is your soul mate, being blamed for it AND have to find the strength to physically move and often times you are losing your career, lifestyle, friends and family at the same time. For victims of a narcissist it is often the bleakest time of their life.

So how do you survive it, move on from it, find happiness again, ever trust a man again?

First of all, allow yourself to grieve and accept that you are going to hurt for awhile, perhaps a long while. You will shorten the length of time you hurt by not picking at the scab. Like any injury, it takes longer to heal if you keep ripping the scab off. How many times in your childhood did you hear, “Stop picking at the scab! It will leave a scar.”

Every time you allow the narcissist into your life by not maintaining no contact, you are in essence ripping the scab off. If you want to stop hurting, stop doing the thing that hurts you. I remember thinking, “I will feel so much better if I can tell him what I really think.” Or thinking I had an epiphany and needed to share my new awareness with him. OR I discovered another lie he had told me and I needed to confront him. But, you know something, every single time I contacted him I ended up feeling worse. I never ever felt better.

At first, just a text or quick phone call got me through the day, satisfied my addiction. All I needed was a few words. A text saying how was your day, anything at all. But it never failed, it always ended up with him not replying to my text for days and me waiting. Or I had an epiphany about our relationship (like he is a narcissist) and wanted to share it with him. It never gave me the satisfaction I thought it would because a narcissist isn’t interested in learning, growing, or the truth. He will never admit to fault, will always blame you and will twist the facts and rewrite history to suit him and hurt you. The only way you win against a narcissist is when you refuse to engage.

Whatever you do, don’t tell him he is narcissist, it will not go the way you think/hope it will. He will NOT feel terrible, remorseful, or shame. He WILL accuse you of being a narcissist and tell all your friends that you are the narcissist and he is the victim.

Understand this, once you know what you are dealing with, the responsibility for your pain shifts from his shoulders to yours. Not past pain, that was his fault, but stopping future pain, is all your responsibility. The future is what YOU make it.

Don’t make being a victim your identity. Once you leave the relationship, you are no longer a victim of abuse, you are a survivor of abuse. Act like a survivor. Being a victim can get comfortable, it’s kinda convenient to never take responsibility for your life. People don’t like to hang around victims though, people get sick of a person always whining about how they are the victim. Truth be told, life sucks sometimes and bad things happen to good people.

Life isn’t always fair. When you are in the depths of despair and think you can’t survive, think about what other people have gone through, survived, and found happiness. No matter how bad things are in your life, there is always someone dealing with worse. For example; my cousin was married to her true soul mate, after an abusive relationship ended, she met the love of her life. At almost 40 she had her first child. And then her husband died of cancer. How is that fair?

I reminded myself of that when I started to say things like “Why me!?” Sure, she didn’t have to see him loving someone else, rubbing salt into the wound. Isn’t it self absorbed to think she would hurt less than you? She lost her real true soul mate. You lost a fake asshole who tried to destroy you, are you going to let him? Or, are you going to prove to him that he under estimated your strength.

What about the women who, trying to escape brutality, starvation, traveled through a living hell to get to the US seeking safety and asylum only to have their children ripped from their arms and taken away forever, and then were sent back to the country they were running from. How does she survive?

The Jews who survived when their lover, their whole family, were killed, and they were tortured and starved, and yet they lived, thrived, and eventually loved again.

People who survived 9/11. A mother who’s child goes missing or dies. It’s hard to not get very self absorbed about your pain. It’s rather narcissistic to think your pain is worse or that for some reason you should be exempt from being in pain. I’m not saying you don’t deserve to cry, that you aren’t suffering, or minimize what you are going through. I am only saying; you are not alone and you can and will survive this, but only if you take the time to heal and not try to find a bandaid in the form of a new relationship.

Burying your hurt by immediately starting to date again will only delay your suffering. The odds are that you will meet another narcissist because you are a prime target. A narcissist is always sweet and madly in love in the beginning, they always say exactly what you need to hear, they sweep you off your feet and you are so needy you absorb the attention like a dry sponge. And there you are, exactly where you started, only this time the pain is twice as bad.

The other option could be, you meet a really great guy and destroy the relationship with your suspicions and basically making him pay for the things your ex did.

The truth is, a truly healthy person doesn’t want to fix you, they don’t want to pack your baggage and it’s selfish of you to expect they should. You owe it to the next person to come into the relationship as a whole healed healthy person, able to be your best self.

Social media can be a great place to find support through blogs, videos, Facebook groups, but it can also be a very dangerous place to be. It’s easy to sit for hours with other victims of N abuse and share stories of abuse, feeding off of others pain. I have gone to some support sites where the same women are there year after year, never really healing, never moving on, because they can’t, they keep reliving their pain. They become as attached to their pain as they were to the narcissist. They don’t want to give up their pain because the pain keeps them attached to the narcissist. Constantly analyzing why he did this or that, what he is doing now. It feeds our pain, feeds our fears, and feeds negativity, and we feel special. It can be very easy to get into a “all men are assholes” mindset. You meet a new guy and he does or says something that confuses you and you go into a support site for the opinion of the others, other victims, because you don’t trust your own gut instincts and aren’t healed.

There is no guarantee that learning everything you can about narcissists is going to protect you from getting involved with another one.

It is extremely important to learn what you are dealing with and that you are not alone but at some point you need to grow and heal. I fully expect women to stop coming to my site eventually because they have moved on and don’t want to rehash their pain any more. It’s great to show support to other victims as long as it doesn’t hold you back from finding true happiness and living your life. There will always be occasions when you will be able to support other victims. Go out and live your life, opportunities to be the light for other victims of abuse will present themselves when you least expect it, a dinner party, a chance to educate a group of people who have misconceptions about why women stay in abuse.

Another negative associated with too much social media is, people make their lives seem so perfect. They Photoshop their photos, they rave about their boyfriend, their material possessions, everyone is competing with the Kardashians. That is not real life. Everyone is not living a perfect happy life except you.

Social media is a great time waster, been there done that! Sucked into the internet vortex for hours and hours. Instead of devouring everything you can about narcissists, try focusing on self improvement. Improve your communication skills, learn how to do something new or perfect a talent you have. For me it was painting, self awareness and self improvement. Feeding my good traits, being my best self, not feeding the negativity. I took a personality test on 16 Personalities.com that I found most helpful in understanding why I am the way I am and that I am not too anything, I am a personality type and that’s ok.

I have always viewed life experiences as an opportunity to learn something, grow and then share, in hopes it helps others. I never expected to be homeless in my life, when I found myself homeless I looked at it as an opportunity to learn something. What I discovered was, I had many false judgements about who becomes homeless and why. I had a paradigm shift and I became a better person, not so judgemental. God gives us lessons in life, sometimes they are painful lessons. I’ve heard God makes a person experience the same lesson over and over again until they learn the lesson. I can be a slow learner, so now try to learn the lesson the first time.

For me, the thought that I had wasted 10 years of my life loving a lie was not acceptable. I had to learn something and IF I could help even one other woman avoid the pain I was experiencing, if I saved one life; then it wasn’t all for nothing. I could live with it. No time in a person’s life should be a waste, we should always learn something. What lesson are you meant to learn?

I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to leave the world a little bit better because they were here. Find your unique gift to the world.

A few other truths you need to know;

#1 – you never know how strong you are until you do what you didn’t think you could. If it was easy, it wouldn’t require strength.

#2 – There is a reason people say they had a “good cry”. It is not weakness to cry, crying is good for you, allow yourself time to cry. I alloted half an hour every morning to cry, then I put on my makeup and got on with my day. At the end of the day I had another pity party. Tears quite literally wash the toxicity from the body and the narcissist leaves behind a lot of toxicity.

3. Relax, stop beating yourself up about not healing fast enough. Those well meaning friends that say, “The best way to get over a man is to get under a new man”, are wrong. The friends who say, “It’s been a month, you should be over him by now”, are not real friends. There is no right way to grieve, no magic time limit, to fully heal could take years, if you do it right.

4. That said, you need to put the work into healing. Obsessing is not healing. “But I can’t stop thinking about him. He is all I think about, dream about, he fills every minute of every day. I can’t stop my mind.”

5. Yes you can. You control what you think about. Your mind only knows what you put in it and the irony is, the more you think about something the deeper the pathway to that thought is embedded in your mind and the more your mind goes there. For however long you were with the narcissist, he made sure you were thinking about him 24/7 and now you have to retrain your brain to think of something else. That requires work on your part. When you catch yourself obsessing about him you have to consciously change your thoughts. Think of it this way; when you start a new job or learn a new skill like driving; at first you have to force yourself to learn new things, you make notes, you feel like you will never learn the job. But after not too long it just comes naturally, you drive without thinking about it, you do your job without checking your notes. I used to answer the phone for Fraser Valley Foods, it took a long time for the greeting to flow off my tongue but after awhile, I would answer my personal phone, “Fraser Valley Foods, Carrie speaking”. When you catch yourself obsessing about how she is getting all the things you wanted, his best; change the scene to her crying because he didn’t come home all night, picture her filled with self doubt because he has twisted the facts.

6. Of course they appear happy, she is just like you, she is believing his lies, he is being everything she ever wanted, they are in the honeymoon stage. He wants you to think it was all your fault, he wants all his friends to think it was all you and she is feeling smug because she has the wonderful man you lost. History repeats itself. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. A toxic person does not change.

Besides, to dwell on what might be going on in their relationship does YOU no good. It’s over. Wishing is not going to make it better. If onlys, only torture you. IF you truly feel you could have done something different and changed the outcome, figure it out and vow to never do it again. Analyze the relationship honestly, how could you have changed to make him treat you better. Not get angry he cheated? Not get angry he destroyed your personal property? Not have any expectations of him to be honest, committed, or contribute financially? What exactly could you have done to make him stay? And if you would have done those things, would you have been happy?

You know you wouldn’t have been happy because you weren’t happy in the relationship. I always say I stayed 9 and 1/2 years too long in a 10 year relationship. I was unhappy for over 9 years and spent that 9 years thinking “I just want him to go back to being the man I met”, “If I can just explain it in a way he understands, he will stop hurting me”, “If I love him well enough, sacrifice enough, he will love me back”. In the process I gave up my moral standards, compromised my core beliefs and allowed him to cross all my boundaries. There is no way a person can be happy if they aren’t living true to themselves.

7. There is only one way to have inner peace in life. Only one way to find true lasting love and that is to live true to your core values and morals. Make living your best life, your life goal and you will find happiness and miraculously having a man in your life won’t be such a necessity. When you love yourself completely, little flaws and all, you don’t have to ask for others opinion on what you should do. When you are truly connected to your core values you stop trying to be what the man wants and start looking for a man who compliments you and you become a better version of you.

8. We all meet narcissists every day, they are every where, there is no avoiding them. You can go through life afraid, suspicious, paranoid, as a victim or martyr. Or you can go through life knowing your core self is exactly who you need to be and that as long as you live true to you, no one can ever make you feel less than again.

9. If you meet another narcissist, don’t automatically go to “What’s wrong with me? Why do I attract narcissists?” To a narcissist everyone is a potential victim, meeting a narcissist does not automatically make you a victim. The key is, to walk away. Be thankful you were able to peg him for what he is and you dodged a bullet, you didn’t stick around waiting for him to change. THAT is what made you a victim.

10. Finally, who and how they love you does NOT give or take away your value. When you value yourself by how someone else treats you, you are giving that person the power to control your every emotion. No healthy person wants that power. There is something very annoying about a person who is always taking the relationship’s temperature because they are dependent on the relationship to set their self esteem or mood for the day. No one wants to be with a needy person.

We all have days when we feel needy but a love partner should not consistently make you feel needy or insecure.

Ten Year Anniversary

Ten years ago, I put everything I owned on my flat deck and drove away from the hell hole I had shared with my ex, with my little buddy, Kato, riding shot gun.

I was able to pull enough money together to insure my truck for one day. My ex had all but destroyed my truck but I was able to limp it to my friend’s trailer. She had arranged for me to stay in her neighbor’s trailer while he was working in Alberta. I had an almost full pack of smokes and $5 and as I drove away I felt defeated, empty and hopeless. I wasn’t filled with anger, fear or sadness; just numb, emotionless, no hate, no hope.

I pulled in the driveway and she came out of the trailer and stood in the driveway. I got out of my truck and she said, “I owe you an apology. Its alot worse than I thought.”

I asked what she meant and she said, “It’s probably best if you just go in and look for yourself. I’ll be in my trailer if you want to talk.”

I walked through the door and felt like someone punch me in the guts. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was worse than any crack house I’d ever seen. There was shit piled every where, pizza boxes with rock hard pizza still inside, pots with food past the point of decay sat on the counter. Tobacco brown streaks ran down the walls, the roof had leaked and the insulation and wiring hung from the ceiling, there was a dim single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. I wove myself through the piles of garbage, it was dank, depressing, and defeating.

What the hell was I going to do? I couldn’t live there! Where was I going to go? Just turn around and go back to my ex? Maybe I could get back there before he even got home from work and he wouldn’t know I ever left.

I went over to my friend’s trailer, she looked stricken, “I am so sorry. I really didn’t know it was that bad. What are you going to do?”

I was numb, it had taken everything I had to load up my stuff and drive there, I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t give my ex the satisfaction. I had enough pride left or maybe was just too tired; to turn around and go back. I wanted to sleep, I couldn’t make any decisions.

So I chose to stay the night and see how I felt in the morning. Kato and I went back to the trailer. I knew he needed to eat. He was my faithful little buddy, where ever I was, he was by my side. I didn’t want him catching something off the couch or carpets, so I threw a blanket over the couch, sat down and patted the spot beside me. He jumped up and laid his head on my lap. A year ran down my cheek and landed on his head. He looked up at me, questioning me with his eyes. “It’s ok Pook-a-roo, we’ll be ok.” He put his head back down on my lap and I leaned against his body. I didn’t take my coat or boots off, too afraid of what might crawl on us as we slept.

I woke up a few hours later with a kink in my neck and a hole in my heart. I weighed my options:

I knew I couldn’t go back, I knew if I went crawling back my ex would make my life hell, worse than ever, it was November and only going to get colder, I couldn’t sleep in my truck, I had no money. I took a better look at the trailer in the light of day, opened the curtains and walked from room to room. It made my skin crawl. The bathroom made me gag. The floor was peeling up around the edges, around the toilet was urine stained and peppered with cigarette burn marks. The whole house was full of garbage, I was surprised I didn’t see any sign of rats, yet.

I was able to make a few bucks and bought cleaning supplies, 6 pairs of rubber gloves, and a scrub brush. For the next 2 days I worked nonstop cleaning. I wore 2 pairs of rubber gloves one inside the other and spent 6 hours cleaning the bathroom.

I did a whole post on this years ago with a bunch of pictures, before and after, so won’t go into it now.

I thought I wanted to die, I thought I couldn’t survive. I sat for days staring into space. I had to remind myself to blink, breath. I even thought maybe I could just forget to breath and die.

Every single day I thought,”I can’t do this one more day”. But I would get through the day, wake up the next morning, and do it again. For 722 days, then someone called me strong. And I looked at it through a different lens. I thought I was weak but I made it through all those days, and I became a survivor, not a victim any more.

The secret to healing and moving on is to change your mindset; instead of playing the victim, where he controls your pain, happiness, and self worth, think of yourself as a survivor, no longer controlled by the narcissist.

Believe it or not, I lived in way worse places than this place. Mainly because I didn’t go no contact and my ex continued to destroy me. Even when I went no contact I didn’t hide well enough and he found me and did everything he could to destroy me, for 5 yrs.

I look back now and can’t believe I ever loved him or thought I couldn’t live without him. You may not think you can either or that you need another man to get you through this. All you need is you. Take this time to get to know the real you and live true to that person. That is all any of us need. Love to you all. ❤️

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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