Tag Archives: living an authentic life

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.

What To Expect When You Leave A Narcissist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And one more for good measure.

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

Being Yourself And Being OK With That

I watched this video from Matthew Hussey this morning and saw validity in what he was saying about allowing and accepting a person for who they are but I also think it is the mistake many victims make; when the narcissist starts to let his mask slip we don’t walk away when we see the ugliness.

But I think the problem goes alot further than that, I think “we”, society in general, but particularly the victims of a narcissist tends to hold themselves to such high standards and that is one of the factors keeping the victim in the relationship.

My mother was saying something the other day that wasn’t very complimentary about a person and she said, “You would never do that.” I thought about it, I don’t know if I would do what that person did because I have not lived their life. She was talking about the woman in a relationship inviting the in-laws over, acknowledging birthdays etc and saying I had always had the in-laws over send cards, bought gifts and all those things a “perfect daughter in-law” would do. I look back and can clearly see that what I was doing was playing the role of “Perfect Domestic Partner” and for the most part I was not comfortable in the role, didn’t want the role and was afraid I was going to be discovered as a fake.

Let me explain: I didn’t realize I was a fake, I was being what I had always been told I was, I didn’t know any better. Just like my mom saying I would never be like this other woman she was being critical of, she may not have been criticizing me, but she was sending a very clear message that I should not be like that and that was “bad”. So you can see how we are influenced growing up, there are very subtle messages embedded in our brains telling us how and who we need to be in order to be excepted and “OK”.

The problem is everyone has their own idea of what ideal is and if we try to be everyone’s ideal person we are going to spend our life always feeling like we don’t quite measure up or that we are going to be discovered to be a fraud.

Although I was confident, or had learned to project a confident image; I never had inner peace, I always felt judged, like I was failing somehow, that I had to live up to some high standard to be loved, that I was on the  brink of being discovered and then rejected when “they” discovered the real me. I never talked about feeling that way because I thought I must be the only one who was living this lie. I felt everyone but me was totally comfortable in their skin and were being totally themselves and I was the only imposter. I also thought I was the only woman going through what I was with my ex only to discover there are hundreds of thousands women going through what I went through. So I am taking a wild guess that I am not the only one who was/is trying trying to live up to impossible standards.

When my ex started instilling self doubt in me and started the devaluing stage he always spoke about the “something” he had seen in me from the beginning but he had thought he could “help” me with “it” and he loved me enough to overlook “it”. But he was just too healthy and “normal” to live with my “dysfunctional” way of looking at things. In the 10 years we were together he never identified “it” and I could guess at any number of flaws “it” could be. I asked, begged him to tell me what “it” was but he never told me. I know now that he couldn’t tell me, he just knew that most people fear they have an “it” and he was happy to let me fill in my own blank. He told me other people saw the “it” and agreed with him; I started to fear making friends in case they too saw the “it” and rejected me.

When you live in a dysfunctional family or are raised by narcissistic parents you grow up fearing the “it” yet no one ever identifies “it”, you just know you are not living up to everyone’s standards, you may be hitting the mark one day and then failing miserably the next, never knowing for sure what you are doing wrong, what “it” is about you that makes people be so mean to you. You are told “it” is that you are too sensitive, so you try to not let things bother you; but they do bother you, inside you still hurt and you learn to shut down your feelings, hide your true self, play the role that is expected of you, you end up jumping through other people’s hoops and they keep expecting you to jump higher and you always feel like a failure and never know when you are going to be criticized for “it” because you still don’t know what “it” is and you end up being a hamster on a wheel trying to please people, afraid to be yourself because “you” are flawed, not good enough,

Maybe you have learned to fake self confidence, you are successful at work, you have learned to stand tall and not take shit from anyone, but inside you still don’t know what “It” is and you feel like a fake, like “they” are going to discover you don’t know what you are doing, you are not who you pretend to be and “they” are going to reject you.

You meet the narcissist and he loves you just the way you are! all of you, you have never been loved like that before, he wants to know all about you, he wants to be with you all the time, you feel truly loved and accepted and your confidence grows, you feel sexy, attractive, and loved, yes loved for all of you! You are lovable!! Hallelujah! So when the narcissist starts to show sides of himself you don’t like who are you to reject him when you know you certainly aren’t perfect. You are going to love him the way he loves you and show him how good it feels to be loved flaws and all. Once he feels how it feels to be loved unconditionally, he will cherish it like you do and you will ride off into the sunset together to live happily ever after.

But then he discovers “it” and the discard begins. You break up, are heart broken; but if you are like me, you don’t want to be with anyone who doesn’t want to be with you, you prepare for the breakup. But he comes home from work or calls you mid day and acts like nothing ever happened, he says you are too sensitive, you are relieved, but still unsure of what “it” is.

You have friends and family telling you that you shouldn’t go back but he is so loving again and everyone is telling you that there is something wrong with you. I remember saying to my ex an my mother, “I don’t know why you don’t like each other, you both think I am terribly flawed in some way.”

By the time we broke up for good and he found someone else, a new “soul” mate I was a shell of the woman I used to be, I didn’t fit anyone’s idea of who I should be, I didn’t know who I was any more. I couldn’t breath, I could sit on the couch for days, staring into space, I would forget to blink, to breath, I couldn’t sleep, but I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t listen to music, I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because I didn’t want to hear how flawed I was for loving him and he couldn’t hide his loathing for me.

How was I supposed to carry on? when I didn’t even know who I was any more?

I was shattered into a million pieces, where did I start to put myself back together? when there is nothing left of you it is overwhelming to try to think about fixing yourself.So I did the only thing I could think of to do. I had to go to work and I knew who I was at work, I could fake it at work, but as soon as my work day ended I broke down into tears again. I would park on the side of the road and dissolve into tears. It went on for weeks, months, and I knew I had to function at a deeper level than just “Lady Witha Truck” and my ex was working double time trying to destroy my business and my good name. How was I supposed to survive this?

First of all I set out to find answers to the question, “What the hell happened to me?” but that did not give ME back, I knew what he was but who was I? I used to be OCD about my house being clean and now I would leave dishes until they grew mold, not doing dishes until I had nothing clean to eat off of. I even bought plastic utensils and literally threw pots away because I could not bring myself to wash them. My mother would come to my place and just start to clean as soon as she walked in. I was ashamed but not enough to do something about it. My memory failed me time after time, I would be consistently late, (something I had never been before), I forgot birthdays, I didn’t have the energy to do special things for people.

I started to beat myself up for not being able to be “my old self”. And then something changed inside me and I realized I had never been my authentic self. Why was I only concerned about my house being dirty when my mother came over? Could it be because I had never cared about my house being spotless and I was doing it because my mother had always done it? Had I really enjoyed the elaborate entertaining I had done? No. I had pt myself through hell before, during and after, berating myself if everything wasn’t perfect. I had never enjoyed being social that much and had always gone home and relived the whole evening and dissected everything I had said all night. I had had a real drinking problem for a lot of those years because it was my liquid courage. I didn’t drink any more, I had changed, whether the people who knew me liked it or not, I was never going to be the person I was. I gave up trying to revive the old me and set out to discover who I really was, honestly, and without influence from anyone else. I didn’t have anything better to do. I was not able to be the old me and I was barely functioning at any level, I might as well take the opportunity to figure out who I was. That is when the real healing began.

More to come in future posts.