Tag Archives: living honestly

Lowering Your Standards Does Not Raise Your Self Worth

When we “settle” for less than we deserve, whether we realize it or not; our self-worth suffers.

When we met the narcissist we thought he was a high quality person, someone with principles and high standards, someone in line with our high standards and morals. As we got to know him better we started to witness things that hinted he was not as moral as he pretends to be. A questionable business deal, a friendship destroyed by some disloyalty of his, accusations of wrong doing. You might not be able to identify anything specific but your gut is telling you something is off.

You don’t want to falsely accuse him so you don’t confront him at first or if you do, you are careful to not sound accusatory.

With my ex it was when a neighbor offered to let him buy a motorcycle really cheap because it wasn’t running. My ex didn’t have the $400 so the guy said he could pay over time but the bike would stay with him until it was paid for.

My ex immediately started checking Craigslist for Swap/Trade Ads and found one where a guy wanted to trade a BWM for a motorcycle.

He called the guy and was talking like he had just been out for a ride on the bike and had owned it for a couple of years. He told the guy he would bring the bike down and come look at the car.

He went to the owner of the bike and begged to take the bike home so he could work on it so it would be running when he had it paid for. The owner said OK but he was keeping the registration.

My ex had the bike in his shop less than an hour and had it running. He loaded it on his flat deck and drove out of the park we lived in.

When the owner of the bike got home from work all the neighbors told him my ex had left the park with his bike on the truck. He was furious and I didn’t blame him, I was furious. He couldn’t trade something he hadn’t paid for.

My ex came home with the BMW but the owner of the car wouldn’t give him the registration until he got the registration for the bike.

I was pissed! Now what was he going to do? I knew it!! A person should never lie, it always bites you in the ass. But he was not the least bit concerned. He told me to mind my own business, this is how people do business all the time. I had to let it go but it drove me crazy with worry. What were the neighbors thinking? I was such an honest person.

After a week of the two guys calling him constantly wanting the reggie or money he took the wheels off the BMW and sold them for $400, paid for the bike, got the registration and took it to the owner of the BMW.

He bought the bike owner a bottle of wine and everyone was happy.

I thought maybe I was wrong.

There were other questionable deals and he always told me to shut up and mind my own business, I didn’t know anything about wheeling and dealing. People were always getting upset with him, he was accused of stealing but somehow he always avoided being charged with anything.

I thought perhaps I was being too black and white and maybe there were grey areas of the law. I knew I had always been inflexible when it came to breaking the law, drugs, fidelity.

The more I compromised the more he pushed the boundaries. Life with him was a constant contradiction, praising the Lord one day and stealing the next. Being charitable and kind to others and selfish and mean with me.

He would be so sweet butter would melt in his mouth in front of the neighbors but then every time I walked out of the house by myself the neighbors would come running to complain about how inconsiderate he was. I told them to speak to him directly because I had no control over what he did. I had tried to explain why the neighbors were upset about him working in his shop at 2 am, but it seemed the more I tried to explain the more he did it. He enjoyed pissing people off, yet would try to smooth things over and it always worked.

It was as if he was trying to force me down to his level. At times he used my good reputation to his advantage. People would tend to believe he must be telling the truth because an honest person like me wouldn’t be with someone who wasn’t honest and I always staunchly defended him. I truly thought he was honest just naive. How naive of ME!! I still wonder about some things being the truth or bullshit.

My God, there were so many questionable incidents and for years I gave him the benefit of doubt explaining over and over again that; if you take something that doesn’t belong to you people think you are stealing. I know it sounds crazy to be explaining that to a 40 year old man but he always has some excuse. It was in the garbage so he took it, someone who doesn’t work there any more gave it to him, the boss said he could take it but forgot he said it or changed his mind.

In the 10 years I was with him I had 3 vehicles stolen and he had 3 stolen and totalled one for the insurance money. (I can’t prove it but I know) Six vehicles stolen in 10 years. But I finally did get smart and would keep my registration hidden from him. Now that is a healthy relationship! You hide the registration from the man you love, your soul mate, what does that tell you?

He got fired from every job he ever had. When he had a job he would work 7 days a week. I think because then he would be alone at work and able to steal shit plus he wanted to make sure no one figured out what he was doing. I have never known anyone who went to work one morning and his key no longer fit the lock on the door and he was fired. They were holding his final pay cheque and his tools box was either confiscated or outside the gate.

It happened to him 3 times! And for half of our relationship he was self employed!

I used to insure his truck because I got a 43% discount on my insurance and he had a 43% surcharge added to his. I signed a transfer and tax form in case something happened to me he could sign it over to his name. He told me he had lost it and gave me another one to sign. I was going to fill out the details like the VIN # and he said not to bother, he would fill it in. He kept losing them and I had signed half a dozen of them until one day I ran into a friend. He was on the way to the bank to get money out because he was buying a truck from my ex. I offered to drive him to the bank and I asked which truck he was buying. The blue one parked out front? No the yellow one parked out back.

I argued “No, you can’t be, that’s my truck.”

He insisted that was the truck he was buying, he even had a transfer and tax form with my signature on it!!!

Alarm bells, sirens were ringing, lights were flashing, my own foot came up and kicked me in the ass.

Needless to say, he never bought my truck BUT my truck never ran again either.

* Narcissists do not like to be thwarted.

There were distinct stages of denial I went through until I was in full blown cognitive dissonance before I came full circle to reality again. See if you can relate to any of these.

– At first I truly believed with all my heart he was totally honest and could never break the law or lie. How did I know this-he told me. That’s how. And he said it with such conviction. He had this innocent, country boy, charm going on and I defended him ferociously!

– After he had been accused several times of stealing I still told myself he was stupid. He didn’t mean to steal, it was a misunderstanding. How did I know this? Well, because he told me they misunderstood his motives.

– I eventually got to the stage of telling myself I was not responsible for his actions. I would just turn a blind eye to what he was doing in business, his “deals” and lead my life honestly. I stopped trying to “fix” the messes he created.

– There was one problem with not cleaning up his messes. His messes almost definitely automatically became my messes and I would have to deal with them. If he lost his job, we couldn’t pay the rent, we got evicted, I would have to clean up the mess. Guys he has pissed off run us off the road while I’m driving becomes my problem also. Guys he stole from call me and threaten to come over and stay with me until he shows up and they are drunk and yelling about blood flowing and I end up driving around with my dog afraid to go home; it is now MY problem.

– I started to want to warn new friends he made. Like, how do you casually tell someone “don’t do any business deals with him and you might want to start locking your shop. He tends to have a lot of misunderstandings that will cost you money.”

– I started to not tell people he was my boyfriend, especially customers. The voices in my head kept saying, “How can you love someone you are ashamed to admit is your boyfriend?

– I would make deals with myself. If he gets arrested: I am out of here. When I had dumped him one time he came to me saying he had volunteered to go on a missionary trip to Sudan Africa. I thought, “If he actually goes and does this, I will give him another chance.” It took me years to get the truth about what happened in Sudan and it was anything but charitable.

– Finally I could not deny it any longer and could not rationalize it any more. There were no more excuses, I could not turn a blind eye, could not teach him right from wrong, was ashamed to be seen with him, couldn’t trust him to not destroy my truck (in fact I knew without a doubt he WAS sabotaging my truck). I refused to haul anything for him because I was afraid it was stolen. I broke up with him but I made a crucial mistake; I didn’t go no contact.

Any access a narcissist has to you is a bad thing for you!

Miraculously I had managed to retain my good reputation; a person has nothing without their reputation. I was proud of that.

I did not realize how a narcissist operates, well to be honest I didn’t know what I was dealing with at that time. But I have since found out that a narcissist will totally turn the tables on the victim. What he did to you he will say you did to him. The only reason he stole stuff was cuz I drove him to it with my demands for more. I sat my lazy ass on the couch all day drinking, eating bon bons and cracking the whip. He just could not make me happy.

The only reason he screwed around was because I was a suspicious psycho bitch.

He purposely sabotaged my work truck so I couldn’t pay my debts. And he called all my customers with anonymous complaints and then spread the “fake news” so it became fact that I could not be trusted. He called employers as a “concerned citizen”. I figured out what he was doing when I found his blog where he was talking about how a concerned citizen had called my boss. Funny thing is I had purposely not told a soul so if he knew he had to be the one who made the call.

But, having to defend yourself, constantly doing damage control, and wondering who he has talked to, all wears you down. Your self esteem, already low due to his gas lighting and abuse; melts through the cracks.

It makes it so much harder to recover. You either get sick like me and just give up or you move away.

The very best thing you can do? Avoid the whole shit show in the first place! What a novel idea!!

– Don’t trust someone just because they say they are honest – wait and see how they operate over time.

– When you see that their values don’t align with yours. Walk!! Immediately! It is not your job to teach anyone else how to be a good person. If they are over the age of 6 and are lying and stealing it’s too late to change them.

Remember- who you hang out with IS a reflection on you. Are you proud of who you are with? Do you feel perfectly comfortable telling anyone what goes on behind closed doors? Would you want your best friend or daughter dating this guy?

My ex used to say I made him look like an asshole when I talked to people about our relationship. My reply was, “If telling the truth makes you look like an asshole, maybe you should stop acting like an asshole.”

You should never have to lie or cover for your partner. Sure there are things you don’t talk about, like your sex life but you should never have to lie or make excuses for the person you love.

Finding Inner Peace Even When Your World Is Falling Apart

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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.

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