Tag Archives: Living true to your core self

I’m Not Sure He’s A Narcissist

I can’t count how many times I have heard a woman comment that she isn’t sure her partner is a narcissist. Their partner has many of the traits, but not all.

When I started looking for answers I would Google, “sometimes my husband acts like he hates me” and sites on domestic abuse would come up in the search. I got frustrated, he didn’t hit me, he just acted like he hated me breathing his air, sometimes, not all the time. Sometimes he was very loving. I wanted to know how to fix it. He wasn’t “abusive”, ok well, not all the time. He had hit me once and strangled me once. It wasn’t all the time.

For the longest time I never commented and would just leave the site. I wouldn’t go searching for answers for awhile and then things would get really bad again and I’d go searching again.  When I finally did comment the women seemed so hate filled and told me to just leave him. They weren’t interested in learning how much I loved him, how he was the love of my life. How a person doesn’t “just walk away” from a love like that.

I remember resolving myself to the fact that I was never going to leave even if he didn’t love me. I loved loving him enough, I would be happy just to be in his life and I would take the good when I could, it was worth the bad times. But the bad times always got worse. Just when I thought, “there’s no way he can hurt me worse than this” he’d find a way.

Twenty years ago no one talked about narcissists. About 5 years into the relationship I found a site that gave me hope. It was a couple who said he was a narcissist and she had discovered the secret to fixing him. They sold books and classes instructing women how to fix their narcissistic partner. They made it sound like he was basically a benign self centered normal guy, with a conscience and ability to love.

It wasn’t until I had left my ex that I discovered the truth about narcissists. I thought I must be the only person who had ever experienced the bizarre treatment I had endured from my ex. I was amazed time after time when I wrote about the things he did and people commented, “OMG! You are writing about me!, How did you know?”

I wanted women to know they weren’t alone, that it wasn’t their fault, they couldn’t fix it, and if by sharing my experiences I saved one life, everything I went through would be worth it. Ten years after leaving I can say it was, because I have heard from dozens, if not hundreds of women and men who wrote to thank me.

Unfortunately, most victims feel that they must be able to identify a narcissist in order to protect themselves. They want a set list of traits they can go down and tick the boxes, if the guy ticks enough boxes the woman has “permission” or reason to dump him.

The problem is, the number one trait of a narcissist is, he doesn’t act like a narcissist until he has his victim firmly hooked. By that time he has already done damage to the victim’s self esteem, confidence, and made the victim dependent on him.

In order to truly protect yourself you can’t rely on a list or other people to tell you what to do. A narcissist’s whole m.o. is to create confusion and keep the victim off balance.

It is that indecision and mistrust of your own ability and instincts to make wise choices that got you where you are. If you are living true to your core self and doing what is best for you, there is no grey area, you know what you need to do.

It doesn’t matter if they check all the boxes on a list of narcissistic traits; just because a person is not a narcissist does not make them a good person or someone you should invest your emotions and time in.

I use my son as an example of someone who lives true to his core self and is a mentally healthy person. He looks at life realistically and honestly. He has taught me that staying true to yourself is not selfish, judgemental or unkind. Living true to yourself takes all the drama out of your life, it makes life do much simpler, easier.

Let me give you a recent prime example. My son had been dating a very attractive woman who had alot of traits he really appreciated. I met her and really liked her. He called yesterday to tell me he had broken up with her because in the two months they have been seeing each other there were a few traits she possessed that really made him angry. A few things that went totally against his core principles had happened enough times that he felt he couldn’t keep seeing her. She had more than once been judgemental about a person’s looks or social standing, She was materialistic, and entitled and she just didn’t hold the same values as him. There were things she said that ate at him, made him angry, and he knew it wasn’t his job to change her and he sure wasn’t going to give up his values and beliefs, so he did the only thing he could do and stay true to himself, he ended it. She isn’t a narcissist, well, we will never know for sure because he didn’t stick around long enough to find out.

We are so quick to label anyone who hurts us a narcissist. It dilutes the true toxicity of a narcissist to throw the label around BUT that said, just because someone isn’t a narcissist doesn’t mean you should be with them, try to change to please them, or change them to fit your needs. You DO have to know what your needs are and not settle for less.

If you are on the internet looking for answers because the person you are with is acting in ways that are disrespectful and hurtful of you; you are in a toxic relationship. No diagnoses necessary. The only question you need to ask is, “why am I staying with someone who treats me this badly?

Why am I staying in a relationship that is so confusing I have to look on the net for answers?

If you are in a healthy relationship you would not be on the internet looking for answers.

Not everyone is going to like us. We have to check our ego, and not take it personally that someone rejects us. We have to live true to our core self and when we do, the right person will come along.

The narcissist sweeps the victim off her feet. It’s romantic,  exciting, it takes your breath away and throws the victim off balance.

The surest way to protect yourself if to live true to your core self. I can’t tell you what to do, you need to know, deep inside, what you need to do. Not should do, but what you need to do, for you.

In the beginning of a relationship we are always on our best behavior. It is when we get to know the other person, we find out likes and dislikes, common interests. We do it, so does everyone else, a narcissist does it in order to compile ammunition to control the victim. We do it to make sure this is a person we want to invest our time in. Not everyone is going to like us and we aren’t going to like everyone we meet. Some women want a man in their life so bad, they turn themselves into a pretzel trying to be the woman he wants.

We need to stop put more value on having a man than finding a man who enhances our lives and who we can live true to our core values. A relationship should never make you feel inferior or like you need to change; and you should never ever compromise your values or allow them to cross your boundaries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forgiveness and Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

I commented on a friend’s Facebook post that argued people are wrong to tell the victim of a narcissist that they must forgive the narcissist in order to heal. I agreed and called bullshit!! on forgiveness. This was my comment.

I think sometimes some good old hatred is needed in order to heal and move on. Forgiveness is great with normal healthy people who hurt us. The people capable of truly being sorry and changing. That is what forgiveness is based on in my mind. God knows we all make mistakes and all deserve to be forgiven because we can make amends for our mistakes. But with a narcissist you are dealing with a disordered person who is incapable of ever changing or making amends because he/she does not feel like a normal person. They don’t feel guilt, they are disabled emotionally, they only want forgiveness to use it against you. How can you forgive a lie? A mirage? A hologram?
The only forgiveness needed is for the victim. People who love a victim of a narcissist need to forgive the victim and the victim needs to forgive themselves because no one goes looking to be abused. If they would have known what he was they would not have chosen to be abused. My biggest struggle has been to forgive myself.
On the other hand; it is not healthy to carry hatred and to seek revenge on the narcissist. Hatred and revenge involves obsessing about the narc. Blotting and planning. Consequently putting far too much attention on the narcissist and that is his goal. He would love nothing more than for the victim to spend the rest of their life hating the narcissist. Plus it is counter productive to healing and moving on. Trying to find forgiveness is also counter productive because either way the victim is thinking about the narcissist embedding him deeper in their brain making it even harder to forget him. (Not that we ever truly forget him) the best thing a victim can do is get to know themselves intimately and live true to their core self. To learn to set boundaries in ALL their relationships, to honor their own values and standards and not believe the lies they have been told about themselves for their whole life. Embrace their sensitivity, they are not wrong or defective because they feel and care more than most people. They are rare and special and are needed in the world. They just have to learn how to protect themselves