Tag Archives: negativity

It Is What It Is – Let It Be

The wonderful thing about having to put yourself back together after having a narcissist all but destroy you, is getting to create who you are meant to be without the pressure to be  something you’re not. As I continue to put the pieces together and strive to be the best most authentic version of me, I look at how other people operate in life. I continually make note of the characteristics I admire in others and traits that I recognize in myself and don’t like.

As children, we rely on others to teach us who we are. In those first 5 – 6 years our brains absorb information that forms how we view ourselves for the rest of our lives, good and bad. If we are told lies we will repeat those lies to ourselves, over and over until they become truth. Alot of people are oblivious to the fact that they aren’t living an authentic life.

I consider it a gift to be given a second chance to be all that I can be, to be comfortable in my skin, and live a life I am proud of. I believe in life long learning and people should never stop striving to be better. Few people can sit back and say, “I am the best I can be.” The past 10 + years I have come to the realization I have spent most of my life trying to be like my mother; a person I consider to be shallow and self-serving. I have been made to feel something is wrong with me because I cared, loved deeply, and considered how my actions and words affected others. I struggled with knowing what was and wasn’t mine to pack.

I continually listen and read information from experts, Oprah Soul Sunday, Brene Brown, Eckhart, Deepak, and the like; taking in information in my quest to continue to grow. I watch how the people I admire handle their lives.

One of the people I admire the most is my son, it amazes me that a child I raised has such a healthy approach to life. He has the wonderful ability to be a caring, giving individual who still lives life on his terms and remains true to his core self. Throughout his childhood I was criticized for giving him to much of a voice to express his feelings, loved him too much, wasn’t strict enough, and encouraged him too much. I guess somehow deep inside I wanted better for him and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I didn’t want him living a lie and coming up short like I had.

I never had a preconceived notion of who he should be. Never expected him to choose a certain profession, make alot of money, or attain a certain level of success. The only things I insisted on while he was growing up was honesty, not judge others, be hard working, and generous to those less fortunate. I remember telling him the only expectations I had of him was for him to be a productive member of society. I can’t take credit for the man he has become because he has met other people in his life who have influenced him, good and bad.

His motto in life is, “It is what it is”. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, or avoiding responsibility.

“It is what it is”, is accepting life, not trying to control things you can not control, not trying to manipulate things to happen the way and in the time frame, you want them to, and not worrying about things that may never happen. It is not getting angry about things someone does that don’t concern you.

It is owning YOUR actions and reactions. It is accepting life and people at face value, not how you wish they were. It is owning your happiness, it is the source of inner peace.

I wasn’t raised this way and didn’t raise my son this way. I was raised by a mother who pretended to be caring, who controlled her little world, who believes that; how things look is more important than how things are. Who buried her head in the sand and put her fingers in her ears and loudly sang “Lalalala”; because what she couldn’t see, couldn’t hurt her. And she loved me when I played by her rules and presented an image her friends would approve of. My father tried to mold me into the woman my mother wasn’t and said as much through my whole childhood, “you are going to be a better wife than your mother, YOU are going to know how to keep your husband happy.” “If you don’t behave I will take your brother and leave your mother”.

What a weight to put on a small child, no wonder I went most of my life thinking I was responsible for everyone’s happiness or anger and that if I wasn’t “good”, people I love will leave.

It is no surprise to me that I felt totally broken after I left the narcissist. I am thankful for the experience now because I believe it was the only way I was ever going to break free of the expectations of others and my fear of losing the people I love, and live true to my core self and be who I was meant to be.

If I am not aware I can still fall into old patterns, especially when I am with my mother. She always finds someone she can critique and deem, “wrong”. They don’t just live life differently from how she lives her life, they are living their life wrong. They don’t keep their house clean enough, they are fat because they don’t eat right, they don’t dress properly, they don’t parent right (which is the biggest “what the fuck?” because her parenting style was based on how things looked). Forever the expert on every fucking thing and now it makes me angry when she starts “tisk, tisk, tisking”. First of all, who made her the judge of how people should live? People can have a dirty house and still be a good person. I may not want to eat at that person’s house if the cats walk all over the counters, but they are still a good person and it is none of my business how their house looks. Yes, I suppose her friend is over weight because she eats too much, but her friend is 70+ years old and it is none of my business and it doesn’t change who the person is.  My mother could choose to not go out for dinner with her friend, instead of going for dinner and later talk behind her back to me by comparing what she ate compared to what her friend ate.  She could ask her friend to take walks with her. Her friend was involved with an abusive controling man, my mother would never allow a man to treat her like that. But when her friend broke up with the man my mother invited him over to play cards.

Did I mention this woman is supposedly a “friend”. Instead of just listening to my mother and agreeing, like I used to, I now will confront her on her actions by saying, “why would you invite him over when you think he is so bad for your friend?” Her reply, “Well he’s not like that with me”. “But she is supposedly your friend, if you want her to dump him, why would you still be his friend?”

Or, “Yeah I guess so and so’s house is dirty, it’s always been dirty, I don’t know why, I suppose they don’t have a hang up about having a perfect home like you. I don’t really care. They aren’t going to change. It’s not my problem.”

The other thing I have struggled with most of my life that I learned from her. Catastrophing (I don’t think that’s a real word) everything. It’s the ability to turn any positive moment into a negative by projecting everything that could go wrong. It’s the “what ifs”. It’s the false concern, “I hope this doesn’t happen”.

I can think of so many times I was excited about something and my mother was able to burst my bubble in seconds. She doesn’t mean to. She engages her mouth before her mind. For example, I was asked out by a really handsome, popular guy. Her response, “I wonder why he asked you out”. Or I’d have an idea for a business, her first thought was, “If someone could make money doing that, someone would be doing it already”. My art was junk until her friends saw value in it. When my son was in his teens he was getting into trouble, had quit school and she thought I should “wash my hands of him” and when I refused, she sold my house out from under me and gave me 2 weeks to be out.

She did it twice to me, she held my mortgage in order to “help” me and ended up selling it out from under me both times. For a long time I held alot of resentment towards her because of it. I am sure I never would have gone back to my ex if she hadn’t made me homeless, both times. But I have had to let the resentment go. I have told her the consequences of her actions. I don’t let her believe her delusions but I also understand she has her own history, her own warped view of who she is and her own survival mechanisms. We all do. The best any of us can do is to strive to be better and not allow our screwed up past affect our kids.

I still worry about my son but I also trust that he is quite capable of dealing with whatever happens. He is the most capable man I know. He’s an adult and if he want my opinion or advice, he has no problem asking for it. He knows I will always have his back.

So many times in life, the things that cause us the most strife and sleepless night, are the things we have absolutely no control over. When we try to “make” things happen the way we want them to. When we let what we wish would happen influence the choices we make.

My ex hurt me, yes; but the most painful experience of my life was my mother selling my house which forced me into the position of not being there for him. It broke my heart and it made me more reliant on my ex because he encouraged me to not give up on my son.

In all honesty, I can’t say how things would have turned out if my mother hadn’t sold my house. I didn’t know what to do with my son, I was drinking too much, he wasn’t listening to me, my self esteem was wrapped up in whether I had a man or not, my life, I had 3 marriages under my belt. Who knows where my life would have gone. I can’t dwell on the “what if’s”, and the “if only’s”; all I have is “what is”.

All I can do is live life honestly and remain true to my core self. I can hold myself accountable for my actions and what I allow into my life, from this day forward. I can not change the past, wishing things would have been different, is a huge waste of mental and emotional energy. Feeling sorry for myself and remaining a victim does nothing for my self esteem, or to improve my future.

The interesting thing about living true to my core values is; I am more confident and I never feel like a failure. When you live your life trying to please others you can’t help but feel like at any moment people are going to discover you are a fake and not like you any more. When you live true to your core self, you know people like you for you. There is no fear, no self doubt, no second guessing if you are doing the right thing, and no one else to blame.

Live life on your terms, don’t let anyone influence your decisions and you will live a life without regret.

So many times the victim of a narcissist wants the “quick fix” to healing. They think healing will come if they meet a new guy who loves them. I have heard people say it time and time again, “I want to meet a man who loves me for me.” Or someone will say to the victim, “You just need to meet a nice guy”. “Some man will love you for you”. Your self worth should never be reliant on who loves you. Your happiness and confidence needs to come from knowing you are living your best life regardless of whether you have a man or not. The minute you make your happiness dependent on a man, you are giving that person control of your happiness and self worth. Whether you are loved or not should never be determined by whether another person approves of you.

Positive vs Negative

It was recently suggested to me on my Face Book to not read anything negative for a month because I should surround myself with happy thought for my own good.

I think many survivors of abuse have heard similar “advice” from well meaning “friends” and family. They view your pain as a negative thing, the fact that you are not “just getting over it and putting it behind you” is perceived as staying in the past and dwelling on the negative.

I remember worrying about being a “downer”, when your whole world comes crashing in around you and no one seems to understand your incapacitating pain it can force you to suppress your pain which is so unhealthy. Pain does not have to be a “bad” thing, it usually means you are going though a life changing period of growth. Unfortunately real personal growth often comes from personal loss or some traumatic event.

I don’t believe in feeling sorry for yourself and forever being the victim; yes something horrible happened to you and you need to put your big girl panties on (or man up) and play the cards you are dealt, no one can do it for you. BUT the odd pity party is allowed, tears are healing, in fact it is scientifically proven that tears wash toxins out of your body. That is why people will say they “Had a really good cry” because often times you do feel better after a good cry. It DOES help to talk about what happened to you, your brain needs to process the events in order to understand and know what to do with it. When you are in an abusive relationship as a form of survival the brain blocks a lot of the pain, you simply can not deal with it all at once, there is so much drama and trauma going on, the victim has to just let some things go. But it is never gone, it lays dormant until you are strong enough to deal with it. That is what I have come to describe as a “healing crisis”. Just when you feel you are finally starting to heal and get stronger, something happens and you are thrown back into a pit of despair. You feel you have made no progress at all, you will never heal!! you feel like giving up. DON’T!! believe it or not it is a good thing, you have gotten strong enough that now you can deal with some of that buried hurt. Believe me, you want to get it all out now, cleanse yourself of all those toxins so you can face the future free of all that negativity. Talking about your ex, crying, reliving the past are all signs of healing and that is a positive. Looking at the “bright side” is what kept you in the abusive relationship.

Facing reality can be perceived as a negative or a positive. Fluffy kittens and inspirational poems can be perceived as positivity but then a video of an abused pit bull being rescued from a dog fighting ring might provoke tears and even anger at the thought people who would do this to any living thing exist in the world could be perceived as negative, or is it positive because there are people out there who will not tolerate it and do what they can to bring awareness and dedicate their lives to saving these poor dogs and giving them a life of love and caring?

Is it negative of me to make people face the fact that domestic abuse is rampant in the world and one in 3 women will suffer abuse at the hands of someone they love or is it positive of me to take the most horrific experience of my life and use it as a tool to inform society and tell other victims that they are not crazy and they are not alone?

It is negative to go through life as a victim but I see nothing negative about going through life a survivor, raising awareness and helping others who follow behind me.
Jane Goodall has spent her life saving gorilla’s and speaking about how we are destroying the world and trying to educate society on how to live a more sustainable life. Is that negative? I see her as an amazingly positive strong woman who stands by her convictions and has been relentless in her pursuits no matter what the perceived cost was to her personally. I am not comparing myself to Jane Goodall by any stretch of the imagination, she is someone I have the utmost respect for and could only hope to cause the positive changes in the world that she has. But I do feel driven to do what I can, I am only one voice but maybe by speaking out I give others a voice or the courage to speak out, or at the very least by example show other victims that they too can be a survivor.

Some people may view my life and think that when I had the 3000 sq ft home and entertained friends and family with lavish meals and spent hundreds of dollars on elaborate Christmas celebrations and $100 hanging baskets adorned my house every summer as positive and living in a 14 ft 40 year old holiday trailer with its seams busting open as a negative. But in order to judge you would have to know how I feel inside. When I was in the 3000 sq ft home my face broke out so badly it looked like someone threw acid in my face, I was in so much pain with my neck my shoulder atrophied and I was hooked on pain pills and after every dinner or party I hosted I agonized over every little detail thinking how I could have done better. Whether my toilet was clean or dirty was more important than spontaneously hopping in the car and going for a picnic with the family. Doing what others thought I should be doing was more important than doing what made me happy. I also drank copious amounts of wine every day.

Today I can barely make it through one cooler and two will make me rosey cheeked and giggly, my toilet can be dirty and I can actually go to bed with dirty dishes in my sink. I do what makes me happy and if other people don’t like it, well too bad. And I am very proud of the little glamperized trailer I managed to fix up. Oh there were times I was pretty negative about that dang thing, I tried so many different ways to close in that back end, it challenged me in many ways, my tools are still in Clearwater, I was doing it alone and having a man to help would have made it easier (actually I probably wouldn’t have been doing it at all if I had a man around to do it), I almost killed myself while stripping the paint off the counters and table top, but now that it is finished I am so proud of what I accomplished. People who were too polite to tell me what they really thought admitted they thought I had just bought a piece of shit I would be stuck with forever. I could live in 14 feet and be happy, because I have inner peace and pride in myself. That is why my ex can’t get to me any more. I don’t care what he has, where he lives or if she was able to exorcise the evil out of him and give him a heart, I know how he treated me and so far all he has done is blame me for my own abuse and try to sabotage anything good that comes into my life. That is not the actions of a healthy or changed man. I rest my case. No one can ever make me feel less than because I live true to me.

Of course practicality has to come into play also and I have moved into a basement suite where stella has a fenced yard and it is cheaper than a campsite. I could view it as a negative that I did all that work on the trailer and now can’t even live in it or I can view it as a positive learning experience and use it to one day fix up another little bit larger trailer to live in.

I was at my first visit with a counselor for PTSD on Monday. She was asking me questions and I was answering truthfully and as you can well imagine I only skimmed the surface of what I went through with my ex. At once point she blurted out “Holy Fuck!” and then covered her mouth and excused her language. At the end of the session she asked me what I got out of the relationship with my ex and I for the first time in the whole hour I had been there I got tears in my eyes as I told her about the blog and how gratifying it is to me every time I get a comment or email saying I saved someone’s sanity or even life. I also told her about feeling like a puzzle someone had dropped on the floor with some pieces missing and pieces from a puzzle that didn’t belong and not having a clue how to put myself back together. How I took every piece of the puzzle that I have always been told was me and examined it and decided whether it belonged in my puzzle or not and some things I kept but worked on changing some aspect of, like being too sensitive or reacting without thinking and the end result is; I would not change a thing from my past because I have gained so much from the experience and have so much more inner peace and live my life true to me and no one else.
She concluded by saying she thinks I have a very clear idea of who I am, have dealt with things appropriately and she is actually amazed I was able to do it without help. What I am dealing with is no longer the abuse from my ex, it is the abuse by the welfare system and society post abuse. She said that sometimes it helps a person to deal with situational stress and depression to just talk about it in a safe environment and I agree. I am not depressed about my ex or the abuse, I am depressed and frustrated by a horribly inadequate welfare system that does nothing to help a person get back on their feet, in fact they put obstacles in the way.
For a long time all I could talk about was what I went through with my ex, it consumed me at all times but I could see people shutting down and I actually got sick of talking about it. It took a long time and I can’t tell you exactly when things changed but I am able to have a normal conversation, even make small talk (something I had totally forgotten how to do), my sense of humor is back and my ex is not the top thing on my mind.
Have no doubt, if someone near me makes a false judgment about victims of abuse, makes some uneducated declaration of “what they would do” I take the opportunity to educate them. Is that being negative? I don’t think so, I think it shows a person can survive abuse, discuss abuse in a calm and rational way without falling apart without it consuming every conversation all night.
Negativity vs positivity is all in the individual’s perception and mindset. Burying pain, ignoring a problem, putting your head in the sand, never ever makes a problem go away.

Retraining Your Brain To Be More Confident and Positive

Jason Mraz Sunshine Song

The narcissist is a master at faking it. He is so good at it that he doesn’t even have to “make it” ( fake it til you make it, you know?) The narcissist/ psychopath comes across as confident, in control, intelligent, worldly, and trustworthy. At least mine did, and as with most people I found those traits to be very attractive and sexy.

Let’s face it, people are drawn to confident, intelligent, in control people. We tend to trust them because they seem to know what they are talking about, what they want out of life and they seem to know how to get it. People don’t like wishy washy, sorry, they just don’t. They don’t like loud and brash egomaniacs either but my narc didn’t come across that way, did yours at first?

Many of us were targeted by the Narc because we too were self assured, intelligent and trustworthy, and trusting and giving and forgiving and empathetic and good listeners and  and and……..

By the time the narcissist/psychopath was done with us we were none of those things, we were left a shell of the person we once were, not even a good looking shell. We had either lost a lot of weight or gained it, some of us lost hair, others got a lot greyer, more wrinkled, and we all lost that sparkle in our eyes and our zest for life. Most of all we have lost all confidence in our ability to do pretty much anything. We are barely functioning with the N waiting for us to drop so he can kick us when we’re down or kick our feet out from under us if we get up.

Pretty hard to muster up any confidence when this is where you are in your life. I love Ted TalkX, that is my “go to” place for inspirational videos on any subject, so that is where I went today looking for resources to help some of you with your confidence and changing your life around from negative to positive. I have always done self talk and positive reinforcement with myself, for years I have had conversation and arguments in my head with myself so when I was left a shell I did have some past experience at building myself back up. It took me a long time because i didn’t have help so I am hoping these videos will help you speed up the process for yourselves. First I found this Ted TalkX video about building confidence.

And then I found this video on Ted TalkX about how people get stuck in the negatives. I have noticed that people tend to get stuck in a negative state and can’t bring themselves out of it, I didn’t realize there had actually been a study done on it. (I should have known there would be a study, there is a study on everything under the sun) I found it very interesting though.

Black_Clouds_by_aowTNT

Negative breeds negative so it is very hard to break away from that mind set and to break the cycle. I had never experienced the effects of negativity before in my life until I met my ex, yet he always told me he couldn’t handle my negativity! Right.

In my life BJC (before JC), things always had a way of working out, I didn’t expect bad things to happen. I looked forward to Christmas, birthdays, going home after work, I looked forward to my days, my life, and then with my ex I stopped expecting positive things to happen and found myself waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time. If I had plans to go somewhere, I grew more and more nervous and tense wondering if I would get there or would he start a fight, would the car break down………..I knew he would do something, but what? It got to the point that IF I did make it to wherever I wanted to go, I was surprised. But you can never enjoy anything when you are always on edge waiting for something bad to happen.

You get programed to expect the worst, your brain stops thinking of all the good things that can happen and only focuses on the bad stuff. And you know what? if all you think about is negative shit, that is what you get in your life. It just works that way.

I had managed to maintain a positive outlook on life for most of the 10 years I was with my ex. Every time we split good things just fell in my lap. (he wasn’t around to screw it up) It was amazing, I would only have to think “I need a couch” and by the end of the day someone would give me one. I would pray in the morning to make $500 and by the end of the day I would make $499.95. Even my mother couldn’t help but be impressed by how reliable my good luck was.

It must have pissed off  my ex emmensely!! They hate happy people who get stuff, they want it all for themselves.

So when I left the last time I was confident that things would go as they always did, once I was out of the control of the ex my life would fall into place again, good things would start happening. But they didn’t. nope. I was so deep into negativity I couldn’t see the light of day. That last two years with him, without the support of my family, without friends, and with him doing his level best to make sure he destroyed me this time had taken its toll and I was fearful, negative and had lost all faith in God or anything good ever happening in my life. I tried to fake it til I made it, I prayed and nothing happened, i sunk deeper into despair and negativity. I knew the negativity was not working in my favor but how do you think positive when nothing good is happening around you?

There were good things happening, but I couldn’t see them for the black cloud that hung over my head. I was also still in contact with the ex and he fed my negativity by continuing to sabotage my truck, texting and then not replying when I answered, saying he was coming over and then not showing up, promising me money and then reneging, you name it he did it, dropping a little crumb of nice every once in a while to keep me hooked. I was totally dependent on him to feel good. Scary position to put yourself in, one call from him, a short conversation and I could make it through the night. He was my drug, my oxegen, he was my life.

So how did I turn things around? It took a long time, the results of my efforts didn’t appear for a long time and I was about to lose hope but I kept faking it until I made it. I would go out there and smile and chat with people and pretend I was happy. I might cry all the way home but I put on a happy face when I was out. I blogged a lot. I loved my puppies and trust me I bitched a lot about how unfair the world was and how I was never going to overcome all these obstacles.

But I would take a long walk with the dogs and appreciate the mountains, the babbling creek, the fresh blueberries I picked every morning and I did a lot of self talk. All it took was for one good thing to happen and my whole life took on a more positive glow. I got the job at Ccon, it was the catalyst and i went with it. I got the house deal, I found money I didn’t know I had and once I was on a roll it just kept coming.

Now, bad shit has happened since, I have had two heart attacks, two strokes, I lost my job and I can no longer afford to buy this house. The ex tried his best to destroy everything good that had come into my life and it didn’t work. I still can find myself worrying about what he might pull next but I don’t dwell on it because I don’t want to bring that negativity back into my life. I have never lost my positive attitude since things switch over. It is so much easier to stay positive than try to dig yourself out of negativity I am afraid of the ex and his black cloud. I would never go back to him because i found out how hard it is to rid yourself of that black fog that permeates everything and blocks the sun. A toxic black cloud of evil negativity that will suck the life right out of you.

Start small, keep a journal and write down something you are thankful for every single day. It may seem silly, or impossible, but everyone has something to be thankful for, force yourself. You may think it can’t help, you are too down, there is no help for you. I call bullshit. I have been there and I know it works. You have to start somewhere and sometime, might as well be now.

sun through clouds