How To Love A Woman Who Has Been To Hell

There is a blog post making its way around on the internet, “How To Love A Woman Who Has Been To Hell and Back” “How To Love A Woman Who Has Been To Hell and Back” 

It is a well written post and I am sure many victims of a narcissist/psychopath can relate, obviously; by the amount of times it has been shared and shown up on friend’s FaceBook feeds; but I take issue with a lot of what it contains. After reading it and thinking about it, more and more I kept thinking, “So, because you were hurt, you now have a license to go around hurting others?” What about the man who was hurt by a narcissistic woman? Almost all narcissists complain about how they were taken advantage of and abused by their previous partners, it is almost a challenge to the new target to try harder, love better, prove they are different. The article is below, read it and think back to how you felt while with the narcissist, my notes are in italics.

Many have tried. Most have failed.

The weak need not attempt, for it will take more strength than you even know you possess; more patience, more resilience, more tenacity, more resolve. It requires a relentless love, one that is determined and not easily defeated. I remember thinking that my ex was just testing me to see if I would walk out on him like all the others, and I was determined to prove to him I loved him and wasn’t going anywhere.

For the woman who has been to hell and back will push you away. She will test you in her desire to know what you are made of, whether you have what it takes to weather her storm. Because she is unpredictable—at times a hurricane, a force of nature that rides on the fury of her suffering; other times a gentle rain, calm, still and quiet. Sounds just like a narcissist to me, my ex used to say his love was cycleable. One day he would love me and the next he acted like he couldn’t stand the fact that I was breathing his air.

When she is the gentle rain that falls in time to her silent tears, love her.

When she is the thunder and lightning and ferocious winds that wreak havoc, love her harder.

She is a contradiction, a pendulum that will forever swing between fear of suffocation and fear of abandonment, and even she will not know how to find the balance between the two. Because today, although she will never tell you, she will feel insecure. She will want you to stay close, to tuck her hair behind her ear and kiss her on her forehead and hold her in the strength of your arms. But tomorrow she will crave her independence, her space, her solitude. Does this not sound familiar to the rest of you? the N pulling you close so he can push you away?

For while you have slept, she has been awake, unable to slow her thoughts, watching clocks and chasing time, trying to make the broken pieces fit, to make sense of it all—of where and how she fits. She fights her demons and slays her dragons, afraid if she goes to sleep they will gain the upper hand, afraid if she goes to sleep she will no longer be in control. Tomorrow she will be tired, and your presence will smother her. She will need only herself. My ex rarely came to bed, it was when he would be on the net putting personal ads in or plotting revenge of some sort. I think he was afraid to sleep for fear of not being in control.

When she reaches out to you, love her.

When she pushes you away, lover her harder.

New situations and places and people and experiences will make her anxious. She will be fiercely independent and long to overcome her fears, all the while as terrified as a small child alone in the big world. Sometimes she will need to be courageous, to prove to herself she has what it takes. Other times she will need you to take her hand and hold it firmly in yours. Sometimes she may not know what she needs, and you will need to read her like a book with worn pages and a tattered spine and be what she needs when she does not know herself.  I often felt like I had to be a mind reader, always struggling to keep the N happy.

When she is brave and steps into the world on her own, love her.

When she is scared, but refuses to take your hand, love her harder.

She will live in fear of not being enough and always being too much—an endless battle to find the middle ground. Ashamed if the scale falls one way or the other, ashamed to be herself for no one has ever loved her both when she is small and also when she is tremendous.

When she feels too much, love her.

When she feels not enough, love her harder. When the narcissists act quite doesn’t measure up or fit the occasion, fill in the blanks for them and assign them emotions they are not feeling.

Sometimes she won’t hurt and the light will shine from her eyes and her laughter will be a rare and precious melody. But sometimes she will hurt so much from the trauma still in her body; she will ache, she will feel pain and anguish. The light will grow dim and the music will fade.

When she is the light, love her.

When she is the darkness, love her harder. Even though you are tired and don’t know the steps any more because the N keeps changing them, keep dancing in hopes that some day they appreciate all you have given up and done for them.

She will always love you with caution, with one foot out the door. For she does not understand a love with no conditions, one that is powerful enough to withstand hard times. She cannot allow herself to fully trust in your love, and she will keep parts of her heart hidden—the parts that have been hurt the most, the parts she can’t risk being hurt again when she has worked so hard to stitch them together.

She will always watch, wait and expect you to leave first. And when you don’t, she has a truth written upon her heart that says you will—it’s only a matter of time, for everyone who loves her leaves her. And so she will seek to sabotage the relationship; she will seek to destroy it, she will seek to leave first, she will seek to hurt you before you can hurt her. This is how she stays in control, this is how she survives, how she will ensure she will not get hurt again.  OMG! how many times did I think my ex was trying to sabotage the wonderful love we had and if I could just prove to him how much I loved him he would eventually relax and enjoy this special love we had.

When she wants to love you, love her.

When she wants to hurt you, love her harder. Your martyrdom will be rewarded.

Being out of control terrifies her. Don’t ever make her feel powerless, trapped or without her freedom. She needs to dance barefoot under enormous blue skies, to feel sand between her toes, to run with wolves as the wind weaves magic through her hair, for here is where her healing is found. Never clip her wings, for if she has the freedom to fly, she will always come back to you.  Never ask for faithfulness or commitment, just prove your loyalty to them and some day, maybe, your selflessness will be rewarded with their love. hahaha

Love her when it’s easy, and love her harder when it’s not.

Love her in a way that will defy all she has ever known love to be.

Love her because you understand with every fiber of your soul the gift of her love, what it has cost her to offer you her fragile heart.

She does not need you. She has chosen you.

Because you have what it takes to survive the storm.

Because even when she doesn’t know how to love, you know how to love harder.  oh yes, your special love is enough to save her from herself, to save the relationship, some day, right? right?

First of all, the person who is writing this is basically saying, “I am helpless to stop being a victim, I have no control over who hurts me or who I hurt because I am damaged goods”. They are putting their self worth and happiness into the hands of the next man who comes along. They are off the hook as far as any responsibility for whether the relationship fails or not and if the guy can’t prove he is a good guy, then it certainly isn’t her fault. If he turns out to be another narcissist and she gets hurt again, it isn’t her fault, she is totally an innocent victim. She might say that she is an open book and wears her heart on her sleeve, she can’t help it, it’s just the way she is. Sigh. Doomed to forever be the victim, why, why, why?????

None of us can be blamed for being the victim of a narcissist when we didn’t know they even existed, and I am not saying that none of us will ever fall victim to another one someday in the future. But if we cloak ourselves in victimhood, relying on anyone but ourselves to keep us safe, we set ourselves up to remain a victim time and time again. In typical victim fashion, I vowed to learn everything I could about narcissists so I could identify one before they hurt me and it scared the hell out of me how many I saw all around me. (all people have narcissistic traits, it is the degree of those traits that determine if a person is a true narcissist) but I guarantee we are all surrounded by narcissists and psychopaths. And with their ability to morph into different characters and personalities, talent for rewriting history and ease at playing the victim or the knight in shining armor make it impossible to identify most of them before its too late.

Whoever wrote this article should not be dating and falling in love, they are too damaged to enter into a healthy relationship. Sorry. That may offend someone of you but; if you are expecting someone else to fix the damage done by the narcissist, or that you have some “get out of jail free card” that allows you to mess with someone else’s heart because you got hurt; you are not ready to date.

First of all, to announce to the world that you are horribly damaged by a narcissist is  like putting a big old bullseye on yourself and saying, “Come get me”. He would love the challenge of winning your trust and then dumping you. You would not believe how many times I have had someone from the blog start dating far too soon, thinking it would heal her/him; only to have them come in crying because they had told the person how badly they had been hurt in the past, “I told them how hurt I had been and that I needed honesty and time to learn to trust again and they cheated on me. How can someone be so cruel, knowing a person has been hurt so badly?” They are forgetting that a narcissist doesn’t care how hurt you were in the past other than it gives him a perfect opportunity to suck you in by pretending to be your soulmate.

So how do you heal? how do you protect yourself?

You have to accept that the narcissist is not the first person to victimize you and tell you lies about yourself. The fact is, had you not been taught to doubt your gut instincts, had you not been told lies about who you were and that your strengths were weaknesses, you never would have been sucked into that dark vortex of narcissistic toxic love. Unfortunately not many people were nurtured and accepted exactly as you are.

I have written on this topic several times before; here is a link you might find helpful

The other thing you have to accept is; you can love someone deeply without sacrificing yourself. Yes, I know, you are sensitive, you feel things more intensely than most, you hate to see someone hurting, you want to fix things for the people you love; but that does not mean you can’t learn to love smart, stop giving trust to someone who has done nothing to earn your trust and then wait to see if they deserve it. You can learn to listen to your gut and believe that your gut never lies to you, you can not allow yourself to be pressured into a relationship too quickly. It doesn’t make it any less romantic, in fact; it should make it more intense and romantic to let the love grow naturally. The narcissist rushes you into a commitment and you allow it because you are afraid if you don’t he will find someone else. If he finds someone else that quickly and easily then there never was a deep love there and you are not really losing anything. On the other hand, by going into a relationship with the baggage from past hurts, expecting that person to accept your erratic moods and love you enough to heal you, you could very well destroy what could have been the love of your life.

You will never go wrong living true to your core self and in total honesty be the best version of you that you can be. Honor and value yourself and then you don’t have to worry about being made a victim, you can trust yourself to protect you.

Advertisements

When I Knew He Had Lost His Control Over Me

I think all victims of narcissistic abuse feel the same way I did; that no matter how hard they tried no one really believed them. The narcissist was telling outrageous lies about the victim and people, family and friends lapped it up; but when the victim tried to tell their side no one would listen. In court, the police, society in general; no one believed them. The victim gets re-victimized over and over again; and every time they are disbelieved or blamed for the demise of the relationship they become more determined to prove their case. They become panic, their nerves are raw, constantly in the fight or flight mode, they wait for the next attack from the narcissist. What will he do this time? When will he strike? How will they ever prove to people he is a narcissist and they are the true victim? They remain a victim even though they have left the narcissist and feel the only way they can heal and move is if the narcissist admits wrong doing.  The narcissist sucks them in time and time again and the victim is revictimized again and again by the narcissist making it even harder for people to believe the abuse because if it was so bad why do they keep going back?

Why do people believe the narcissist and not the victim? Well, its shitty, but people believe the narcissist because he is so calm, rational and certain about events and his “innocence”. He has practised being a “victim” and he doesn’t feel guilt. Guilt, self doubt, taking any blame whatsoever, makes a person look guilty. The narcissist will take some of the blame; “I should have stood up for myself”, “I should have known I couldn’t fix her”, “I shouldn’t have let her push my buttons”. He will cry real tears, AND he started the whole victim act long before he actually left the relationship; while he was still telling the victim that if only she would do this or that, the relationship would be saved. The victim was so busy jumping through endless hoops trying to get the N to love her again, she was oblivious to his campaign to destroy her reputation and make his exit.

Really, when you think about it, the victim is pretty hard to believe. What other people see from a typical victim:

– She has kept her mouth shut about the abuse. Either she is ashamed of the situation she has allowed herself to get into or she was protecting him.

– The victim is an emotional basket case whereas the narcissist is calm.

– The victim seems uncertain about events, time lines, is generally confused.

– And, she keeps going back!

The more she is disbelieved the more anxious she gets and desperate to prove she is the victim. People are turned off by desperation. I don’t know why, but as much as I fight it, I still find myself pulling away from people who are desperate and “Woe is me”.  Yet I have been there, desperate to be believed, understood and validated. I eventually gave up on trying to find validation. I got sick of sounding like a broken record and I knew I could not keep asking, “Why me?” and keep seeing him.

A common trait of the victims of a  narcissist is; they are extremely adept at picking up on the moods of others, were often the peace keepers of the family and they have honed that skill while with the narcissist. Their senses are heightened to the max, looking for cues to the narcissists mood 24/7, trying to avoid conflict and more importantly keep the N happy. Once they leave the N they are still running on “high alert” and are extremely sensitive to everyone’s moods and often times read things into the comments or actions of those around them. They end up living in a constant state of reacting to others, consumed with “What did they mean by that?” “Are they mad at me?” Because everything was their fault while with the narcissist, they feel everything is their fault, always! I realized that it was pretty narcissistic of me:

I was so frustrated trying to please everyone and I was pleasing no one. My mom angry because I had stayed, my ex slandering me to customers, friends and anyone who would listen; even me! twisting facts and rewriting history to suit his agenda, I was going through my days afraid of offending people, afraid of not being believed and not finding compassion and understanding, so I stopped.

It was then that I decided that I was going to live true to me, I was the only one who knew where my heat was, what my intentions were and I chose to never do anything ever again that I was not at peace with. I decided to never let anyone, a.n.y.o.n.e. pressure me into doing something I was not totally at peace with. I analyzed every feeling I had, was I being too sensitive? did I have a right to be angry? and I also decided to stop guessing at what people meant, what people were feeling, what their intentions were and just ask! If my feelings were hurt I would express that and ask for the other person’s side and often times either I had misunderstood their intension or they had not realized they hurt me. I realized that it was so much easier to just express my feelings than try to guess what people were thinking.

The other thing that plagues victims, is their guilt, that is why I don’t advocate revenge. Whenever I got revenge on my ex it felt good at the time and then the guilt would set in and he would use it to his advantage every time. One time when I discovered more of his personal ads on the net I keyed his truck. It felt great at the time but once the adrenaline wore off and he twisted the truth and made me feel guilty, I ended up paying for it for the rest of the relationship and I am sure to this day he is telling everyone what a nut case I am.

I always forgave and forgot; he expected the slate to be swiped clean after every feeble apology but any little mistake or perceived crime of mine was brought up and embellished forever more.

The line between, telling the truth in order to protect myself and revenge blurred. Here is the link to a post I did a few years ago about that blurred line and the narcissist’s need for revenge.  The victim is criticized by the narcissist for their natural instinct to protect themselves.

The only choice the victim has is to live honestly and true to their core beliefs and moral code, that way they can never be manipulated through guilt or threats of “being exposed”. This was proven to me this year when a police officer contacted my mother looking for me because I was “Inciting violence against my ex” through my blog.

My mother was panicked but I stayed surprisingly calm, I knew I would deal with it and I called the cop immediately.  We played telephone tag for a while but eventually connected.  I was calm, rational and not the least bit concerned about whether the cop believed me or not. I felt it welling up in me, that old panicky feeling, the “but he did this or that”, but I pushed it down and stuck to the facts. I knew why I started the blog, I knew what my intention was and is and I knew I didn’t want to go to court or to jail but I also knew I had a right to speak my truth; I just had to find out how to do it legally.

Initially the cop was all business, and I could tell he thought I was a vindictive bitch but the more we talked I could feel him softening and I could tell there was doubt in his mind regarding what my ex had told him and that what I was saying was the truth. But as much as I was tempted to fill the cop in on everything my ex had done, I didn’t; if he had read my blog he knew and that was not the issue. The issue was, how can I speak my truth without getting in trouble with the law and what are my rights.

The link to a post I did on it is here

The point I wanted to make with this post is this:

For the most part, we give the narcissist everything he needs to hurt us and we have to become aware of that and start acting in our best interest. We all have said, “I didn’t ask to be lied to, abused or slandered”. No, none of us knew what we were getting into, but now that we know what we are dealing with, we need to step back and think clearly and not emotionally. It will work in your favor in all your relationships, believe me.

 

 

 

The Top Ten Truths 6 Years Out

I titled this the top ten truths after 6 years out because I am sure you will discover, as I did; that the longer you are out of the relationship with a narcissist the clearer your thinking becomes and what matters to you changes dramatically.

I left my ex in November 2010 and thought I would love him forever and couldn’t live without him. Now 6 years out, six years, SIX YEARS!! OUT !! I can not believe how different my attitude is, how much I have grown as a person and how much inner peace I have found.

Today I wanted to share with you some of the major truths I have discovered personally since leaving the narcissist/psychopath and focussing on MY recovery and happiness.

#1. I CAN survive without him in my life and once I stopped torturing myself with thoughts of “what could have been”, “how unfair it was that I invested so much into the relationship”, stopped trying to justify my actions while in the relationship and stopped wondering how he was treating the new woman; I was able to work on me.

#2. I am not that powerful. I do not have the power to turn a normal loving man into a psychopath and I certainly do not have the ability to change a psychopath into a normal loving human being.

#3. I was not happy. I was so busy trying to make him happy I totally over looked the fact that he could not make me happy and wasn’t even willing to try to make me happy.

#4. Not everyone is going to like me or love me and that is ok. I don’t like everyone I meet so what makes me think I am so great that everyone should love me? Some people are not meant to be friends, that is no reflection on my worth as a person.

#5. Never make decisions because you feel pressured. If you don’t know what you should do, do nothing. Often times the answer will come on its own. Very rarely is there a need to make a decision in panic or anxiety, usually when we feel panicked about something it is because other people are pressuring us. Take time to yourself away from the person pressuring you and use your logical, rational self to decide. ie: the narcissist is pressuring you to go back and try again. You don’t know if you should. What is the worst that can happen if you make him wait? He finds someone else? then your decision is made for you isn’t it?

#6. You can have inner peace even when your world is falling apart. If you live true to your core beliefs and never allow anyone to manipulate you into doing something you are uncomfortable with and if you speak your truth with kindness but conviction; you will always have inner peace no matter what is going on in your life. People confuse inner peace with having everything perfect in your life. But we can have everything we ever thought we needed and wanted and not have inner peace.

#7. You can have disagreements with people and still have a relationship with them. It’s ok to get angry, it is ok to say no, it is ok to walk away. We/I had always worried about what people thought of me, made choices in my life based on what other’s thought I should do or even more dangerous, based on what I thought they wanted me to do. When I decided to live true to myself I found I had to stand up for myself a lot more…….. and that was ok. It felt uncomfortable at first but it got easier and now it feels damn good! I refuse to be pressured into anything and if I am feeling pressured I remove myself from the situation (this year it meant I walked out of my mom’s house on Mother’s Day. I felt a bit of guilt over it, for a short while, but I thought about it and to do anything else would have not been living my truth. She was wanting me to make a decision about a place to live, I was unsure about it, in fact I hated it. So I was taking time to make the decision. As it turns out I did move into the place but negotiated a much better rent, and I still hate the place, it is not home to me, but it was the best option I had/have for now. BUT I have inner peace about it because I made the decision on my own and not because she pressured me into it. Recently she told me, now she can see why I don’t like it and why I was so hesitant.

#8. You will never make everyone happy, there is always going to be someone who thinks you aren’t doing it right, whatever “it” is, so you might as well make yourself happy by living true to yourself.

#9. Living true to yourself does not mean you are being selfish, in fact it makes it easier to be unselfish. If you only do things that are true to your core values and desires; then you can give freely without expectations or disappointments.

#10. When you start living true to your core self there is no need for approval, no need to be right, no guilt, and no need to control.

The greatest truth I learned since leaving my ex is: I am enough, I am a good person and when I live true to my core self and stop listening to other people tell me who I am or should be; I am more confident and self assured. I am at peace.