Tag Archives: finding your core self

Heart Breaks Do Heal

When the victim is leaving or has been dumped for the umpteenth time by the narcissist they feel like they can’t go on, won’t survive the pain.

I know I am not alone when I say I felt like I just wanted to die, life was not worth living. I literally had nothing to live for and no hope of ever changing my bleak future.

As my ex had told me, “No man is ever going to want a psycho, paranoid, whining, suicidal bitch like you anyway”

And I don’t share this video in order to make you think your happiness resides in meeting another man and falling in love.

My point in sharing is to say, what seems hopeless, and what feels like the end to you ever being happy again is just one door closing, a door that needed to close in order for you to find your true self and real happiness.

What you think is a perfect fit and what you thought was your future will seem rediculous a few years from now.

So many victims lament that they want to be their “old self”, happy go lucky, niave, innocent, confident, but don’t know how now that they have known true evil.

You can’t go back, nor should you. You wouldn’t have even gotten into that mess, or stayed if there wasn’t something in you that needed fixing.

I believe we should all spend our whole life learning, growing and trying to be our best selves. I don’t think it is a goal we can ever attain.

Anyway, this woman tells a great story I think any divorcing woman can relate to or anyone who can look back to a time they had lost all hope. We never know what the future holds.

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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.

Finding Inner Peace Even When Your World Is Falling Apart

broken heart
I have been rather scarce around here lately. I have started many posts but never completed them, it’s not that I was so busy with other things, just not motivated to do much of anything. My doctor quadrupled my meds which have lousy side effects, there are physical side effects of not too pleasant IBS which make it impossible for me to leave the house some days, itching skin and rashes, lack of motivation, lack of energy and dizziness, plus depression. As if everything else wouldn’t make a person depressed anyway! On top of all that I was recently rear ended and my neck injury from years ago has flared up. So I have not been on here posting or replying to comments much.

I needed to take some time to myself, regroup, and come back fresh, or fresher any way.

Being told by the doctor  I could die at any second kinda threw me for a loop also. We all know we are going to die and most of us have no idea when that will be. I could step out the door and be hit by a truck, struck by lightning, fall in the shower but to be told you shouldn’t be alive or functioning at the level you are makes everything very tentative and uncertain. Then to be denied disability yet again leaves you feeling helpless and totally frustrated. No way you can work without asking to drop dead yet not able to get enough money to live. WTF??!!

I was sent to a counselor to help deal with everything and she said the same thing the last counselor said, “I have every right to be depressed, I don’t need a counselor, I need help financially, I need the government to implement the changes to the welfare system that were recommended in 2009!

Both counselors were surprised at how self aware I am and impressed with my positive and realistic views about life. They both expressed surprise that I was able to accomplish this level of awareness without help of a therapist. I have always had a desire to grow as a person and I have taken several courses on effective communication mainly because I found it difficult to express my feelings without crying or getting angry, I often bottled up my emotions, finally exploding and then regret things I said.

Not everyone is self aware nor wants to be but I credit my own quest for self awareness for my being able to heal myself. Some people swear they healed through yoga and others find inner peace through meditation, but they also require self awareness. I want to share my steps to healing but it may not be for everyone, you have to do what works for you.

It is easy to get stuck in victimhood. No one wants to admit they had anything to do with their own abuse and they cling to their victimhood like a life raft. It becomes their identity, like being a mother or wife can become a person’s identity. As long as they are a victim they don’t have to take responsibility for their hurt. “It’s not MY fault, he lied”. There was a benefit to me to continue being a victim, I don’t have to make any decisions, I didn’t have to face facts, I didn’t have to leave, I didn’t have to stand up for myself and risk being called selfish or having someone not like me. Even people seeing me as a victim was ok because a victim has no fault, after all they are a victim. The only thing about viewing yourself as a victim is that means you are helpless to stop it from ever happening again.

As a victim you can study up on the traits of a narcissist and console yourself by reading them over and over again, that is why it happened, it wasn’t my fault, he is evil, he sucked me in I was helpless. Don’t get me wrong, no one knew what they were getting into and we all were victims in the beginning and we suffered horrible emotional if not physical abuse. But we all ignored a little inner voice that was telling us something was not right.

I know that I was terribly offended if anyone even hinted at the possibility that I had any responsibility for what happened to me. BUT I also was terribly afraid of everything, how could I ever trust the world again, trust myself to keep myself safe. It seemed I was surrounded by narcissists at every turn when in fact they were opportunists and I was in a weakened state. I knew that being able to identify all the narcissists that may come into my life would be impossible because they can morph into exactly what I think I need and I seemed to be surrounded by them at every turn. I was in need of help and understanding so much after my ex and I split and it seemed my weakness attracted them like vultures to a carcass. Narcissists and their flying monkeys are like vultures. There are people in the world who move in to pick the bones after the narcissist is done with you. They will take advantage of your vulnerability and neediness, they are wanna be narcissists, they admire the narcissist and see him as powerful, they don’t know how he does what he does because they aren’t as intelligent, good looking or confident, so they will take his leftovers. When you are bruised and battered they can do as much damage as the narcissist. That is why getting involved with someone too soon after the narcissist is so dangerous; any damage inflicted will be devastating because you are far too fragile to not take it personally. You are not strong enough, you will either fall for another narcissist because he will make you feel like the most beautiful sexy woman on the face of the earth or you will hook up with someone who abuses you right from day one.

So how do you go from victim to survivor? Well first you accept you were a victim, now that you know what he is and you have left him, you stay a victim by choice if you stay in contact. Yes he has fucked with your head, yes you are beaten down and shattered in a million pieces, yes you feel like you can’t live without him but you also know that he is not going to change and any contact with him leaves you feeling further victimized. You DO have control over whether you continue to be hurt by him, he is never going to leave you alone, you must do this for yourself. Once you end all contact you become a survivor, he may occasionally victimize you again with slander etc but you can not control him, you can only control how you handle your reaction. (More on protecting yourself from slander and dealing with his flying monkeys in another post.)

Even though I had gone no contact I still had his voice in my head and vision of him treating the new woman so much better than he treated me, I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew something I didn’t, she was dealing with him so much better than I did and had found the secret to keeping him happy and in love with her. I was driving myself crazy so decided to take an honest look at how I dealt with things and what I could have done differently. When I did this I could see that under the circumstances I reacted the only way I could aside from dumping his ass a lot sooner.

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of putting myself back together I made another choice; I was not going to do anything I was not totally comfortable with. In the past I would agree to do something and later regret it simply because I didn’t know how to say no, I wanted people to like me, whatever. I found I was terribly sensitive which is normal when you are going through a breakup with a narcissist, I was short tempered (I read somewhere that anger is rarely based in anger, it is usually comes from fear, embarrassment, jealousy, insecurity, or some other emotion we may not even know we are feeling). I refused to allow myself to react to anything immediately. There is rarely a need for an immediate response to anything. With every single reaction or action I analyzed why I felt the way I did, why was I angry? why was I hurt? I am sure if you really examine why you feel the way you do you will find an underlying reason or you don’t have the full picture. I found that when I felt pressured to make a decision and waited many times the situation fixed itself or an answer became crystal clear. A narcissist pressures you to make a decision now, he doesn’t want you thinking about things; he is like a spoiled 3 yr old, badgering you until you give in and you make lousy decisions and then you lose faith in your ability to make sound choices; take a deep breath and don’t allow yourself to be rushed.

I also chose to be totally honest about my feelings and not worry so much about expressing myself and offending someone. I would analyze my feelings first and when I was sure what I was feeling, if I still felt the need to discuss the situation I would do so from this new position of honesty.

Let me give you an example of what I mean;
A few years ago Christmas was approaching and my son was trying to make things work with the mother of his child. I was looking forward to my son, granddaughter and her mom coming for Christmas. I assumed they would stay with me Christmas Eve because my son had never been close to his father and I had earned the premo position of Christmas morning gift opening, I had always been the one to make a big deal about Santa etc and I was looking forward to my son and I doing it for my granddaughter together. My mother was having the Christmas Day dinner and as far as I was concerned his father could see him on Boxing Day. Well, you can imagine my disappointment when my son informed me he was going to his dad’s Christmas Eve and he would see me on Boxing Day. I am sure he felt the ice run through my veins through the phone lines. I felt immediately angry, I said I had to go and I would talk to him later. I was furious. I imagined all kinds of reasons why he would choose to do things that way, I took it very personal, extremely personal. I wrote a letter, long letter I did not send. I analyzed why I was so angry. I felt entitled to Christmas Eve, I had always made Christmas so special for my son, I felt it was a slap in the face, I was hurt, not angry. After a few days (there was no need to rush it and I wanted to be calm and rational when I talked to him) I called and asked him why he was choosing to go to his dad’s and not stay at my house, I said that I felt hurt and had really hoped they would spend Christmas Eve at my place.

He explained, they were driving from Kelowna with a 4 and 1/2 year old after work. They would reach his dad’s at 7:30 ish, to come to my house would add another hour and 1/2 to their travel time. His dad has a 2 story home with a set up guest room and I lived in a one bedroom cabin, which would mean two adults, a child and a dog sleeping in a double bed and me on the couch. My mom lives 15 minutes from his father’s house and that is where Christmas dinner was going to be. He also had to pack up his stuff off his boat so he was going to do that on Boxing Day and come for dinner at my place after he was done.

Listening to how and why he had planned things the way he did I became increasingly grateful I had not gotten angry and I felt selfish and silly for having hurt feelings. I offered to not cook a big dinner and help him move instead, suggesting we grab a burger or pizza when we were done. I could hear the relief in his voice. Christmas was wonderful, we opened gifts at my mother’s, it was absolutely perfect, on Boxing Day I helped him pack and we had the whole day to ourselves and laughed and cried, reminisced, he opened up about stuff he could only talk to me about without anyone else there. I was SO happy I had not gotten angry. If I had left things and carried my resentment with me it would not have been a good day. Once again proving to me that trying to guess what other people are thinking, burying my feelings and anger got me nowhere and the only way was to be honest.

When you are in victim mode it is easy to think it’s all about you. Someone can be having a bad day and you will take it personally, someone can honestly not mean to hurt you but you take it as them rejecting you or using you or whatever. If you are honest about what you are feeling and not have an angry knee jerk reaction you may be surprised at the outcome. You are not responsible for everyone’s happiness nor their anger.

Another thing you have to remember is, you may be sad, miserable even but it is not because you are in love with the narcissist. You are sad because of what the narcissist did to you. It is very easy for you and the people around you to think it is all about you still loving the narcissist. Learning to identify what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way will help you realize that you are not hurting because you still love him. You may be sad because your hopes and dreams died, you may be depressed because he left you destitute, you may be lonely, but that does not mean you still love him. Your situation warrants you being sad, you don’t need a psychiatrist, anti-depressants, the narcissist back in your life, someone to love you; what you are feeling is normal, you have every right to feel the way you do and the sooner you accept that the faster you can heal. Thinking you should be further along in healing is going to make you feel worse about yourself and make the feelings of needing him back even stronger. Stop thinking there is something wrong with you.

People are so uncomfortable with  feeling sad, with other people feeling sad, a person feels there is something wrong with them when they aren’t over the N in a month or two. If they are still hurting after 6 months they think there must be something wrong with them. When it is perfectly normal to take a couple of years to get over the abuse of a narcissist. Sadness is not unhealthy!! it is a normal reaction to being abused. Everyone is so used to quick fixes for everything that they feel they should be able to heal in a week or two. THAT is NOT normal! You see the narcissist go off and fall in love and so happy within weeks or days of the break up and you think there is something wrong with you when it is HIM that is not normal!

If it is normal to be able to go from loving a person one day to being madly in love with someone else a few days later then I will stay dysfunctional than you very much!

People are supposed to care, to hurt, to love. The narcissist imitates romance movies, he gave you a fantasy and it is going to take time to sort through all the feelings and get your feet firmly planted in reality again or maybe for the first time in your life.

Inner peace doesn’t come from material possessions, from a good job, from being loved by the right person. It comes from knowing you are being true to yourself and living honestly. Never doing anything because you feel pressured to do it.

You will feel selfish and people (who are used to manipulating you with guilt and believe me you have them in your life and they aren’t all narcissists)in your life may tell you are being selfish at first because you and they are not accustomed to you saying no. People are used to you being a certain way, your children, parents, siblings, friends and they will want you to get tougher with everyone but them, they won’t like the change. But you don’t have to stop doing nice things for people, quite the contrary; when you do things from the heart you do it happily, with no expectations and people will appreciate when you offer to do something you mean it. You will no longer do things because you are a push over or feel guilty. You may lose some people from your life, unhealthy people who don’t like that they lost control of you but when you are living true to yourself you can see how unhealthy those people were in your life and you don’t need everyone to like you.

Some of you may not even realize you have an inner voice, or you may not recognize when your gut instinct is telling you something. You have to become aware of these things, what your stomach is doing, what your body is doing, your body is telling you things all the time, learn to listen to it. We are all born with a natural gut instinct. Some people may say it is God talking to them, some call it intuition, some people say, “Something told me to not go in there” but you have to start focussing on yourself and your feelings and stop listening to your brain.

broken heart 2

Some related posts from the post
Humpty Dumpty
5 Lessons I Learned
Retraining Your Brain
broken glass