Tag Archives: Self Discovery and Healing

How to heal through self reflection

Finding Inner Peace– Lessons Learned From Humpty Dumpty

humpty

I was going through old posts for the book and trying to organize the blog a bit, pull posts over to the new site etc; when I came across one of my favorite posts, I have edited it and am reposting it because I think there are a few new members to the blog who can use it right now. (So if this sounds familiar, you are not having deja vu, you have read it before, here.)

Also it is also going to be the first post on my new site “No Reim’er Reason” which is more focussed on healing ourselves than on the narcissist and would have been the first part of my workshop on finding inner peace and setting boundaries. 

So gather round kiddies, here is lesson #1 on finding inner peace!

Finding Inner Peace – Lessons Learned From Humpty Dumpty

If you have been coming here any length of time you know that I love analogies. I always find it easier to digest something if I have an analogy and my mind always seems to go there; I guess it’s because I’m always looking for the message in everything that happens in my life or around me. Many children’s nursery rhymes have very deep messages in them. I avoided reading many children nursery rhymes to my son for that reason, I didn’t like the message they sent.

I am sure not many people would think of the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty and think it is a profound message for victims of narcissistic abuse.

The narcissist puts you up on the “wall” the pedestal, and when he decides to discard you, you “Take a great fall” and are left in a million pieces; broken, without any idea how to put yourself back together again. Many victim’s frantically look for a man to make them feel loved and “OK” again. But all the kings horses and all the kings men, can’t put you back together again.

Only you can do that. 

I love this song and the way Alex and Sierra sing this, I think most victims of a narc can relate.

The odds are that if you rush to get involved again with another man you will find yourself smack dab in the middle of another narcissistic relationship because you are too needy and they are so enthralled with you, you soak up the attention and it feels so good after the horrible discard of the N. Now, not only has he found the love of his life, you have also; but what you forget is that the N’s don’t love; so it is easy for them to “fall in love” quickly. You on the other hand need time, it is not normal to be able to fall in love that quickly, it is normal to hurt and need time to recover. You meet someone new and in typical narcissist fashion they play your knight in shining armor, doing anything they can to make you feel special and loved. The hurt from the past narc evaporates in the heat of your new passionate love relationship and you think you are healed. The trouble with that is; all you have done is transfer your self worth from one man to another. You are now relying on a different man to provide you with value. You still don’t know your own worth or believe you are lovable and worthy. The new guy puts you back up on the wall but you are teetering, unsteady from the first narc so it doesn’t take as much to send you crashing off the edge again. As with anything fragile that breaks, the next time it breaks even easier and into more pieces.

History repeats itself, you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over until you learn from the experience and he is going to keep treating women like he treated you because there is pay off in it for him, he always wins, the victim loses. 

The only way to make sure you do not become an N magnet is to get to know yourself and become a person you like, until you do you will continue to base your self-worth on the views of others. Until a person is truly broken they don’t have the opportunity to look at all the pieces that make them who they are and decide who they really are.

Victims often describe themselves as “broken” , it seems inadequate but I don’t think there are words that can describe it. Can one person be more broken than another person? I don’t know, I can’t imagine feeling anymore broken than I did when JC and I split.

Many victims who take the time to heal properly and completely and do all the inner work necessary, describe the experience as a “rebirth” and they actually would not change the past because they have attained such a peace and serenity they wouldn’t want to lose it.

As far as my experience with JC, if given the choice of erasing him out of my life, I would not do it. Although the journey getting here was the most painful thing I have ever endured and I have no idea where my future will lead I would not change anything. It is so hard to put into words and I wish I could tell you how you can fast track yourself to this kind of peace and serenity, but the whole painful process, the pain, the tears, the self doubt, battling the need to call him, the sleepless nights all work to bring you here. The more people I talk to about it the more I hear of people who are rewarded for their pain and suffering with an inner peace they have never known before. It is a peace that is not reliant on anyone else’s moods or approval, it is not a fragile thing, it will not break in a million pieces if someone disapproves of you, it is as if you have a secret, a special gift that is given to a chosen few. The ones willing to do the hard work. I believe some people never attain this kind of inner peace because unless you have severe trauma and loss in your life you are never broken enough that you are challenged with putting yourself back together. I believe that true deep personal growth is born out of deep emotional pain and loss. No one does a deep analysis of themselves if life is going along rosie.

How do you get it? Well, when you are broken, when you have no self-confidence and don’t even know who you are anymore, you have no identity because it was so wrapped up in what the N told you about yourself and you were so busy trying to be everything he seemed to want, yet he kept changing his mind. Mixed in are the things you were told you were or should be by everyone else you have ever known, your parents, siblings, bosses, teachers, boyfriends, friends.

All of a sudden you are sitting there, an empty shell of a person, barely able to breathe, unable to put two intelligent thoughts together or decide what to eat for lunch and all around you are tiny pieces of you scattered at your feet.

life

You have no choice, you have to start putting yourself back together, so you pick up a piece, on it is written “too sensitive” you hold it, look at it and study it. Are you too sensitive? Or were you perceptive and he was trying to throw you off track? have you been told before in your life that you were too sensitive? Who told you that? What were they doing, were you too sensitive or were you being perceptive? Ok maybe you are a sensitive person, do you want to be different? can you be different and eventually you take that piece and put it back in the empty shell that is you. It may be modified to some degree but now you are willing to own it, it is part of you.

You pic up another piece, maybe it says ” stupid” so you look at that, study it, are you stupid? you did well in school, who told you that you were stupid? and you decide whether you are going to own that one. You have no proof that you are stupid, you don’t even know why you have packed that for years, you realize you were packing it before you even met the N, so you throw it away, you don’t own that one, and you go on to the next piece and so on. 

it takes a long time, it won’t take place in a day or a week, it is a totally personal thing because only you know the lies you have been told about yourself, the lies you tell yourself. It is hard work, it takes you back to childhood hurts and stuff you have had buried in your sub-conscience for years, a life time. 

I am not saying that i don’t still have moments of self-doubt, those voices in your head are persistent but now I am so aware of them that the minute they start chattering in my head I stop myself and think about what they are saying. Are they correct? or are they old issues that I have resolved and my mind is falling back into old ways of thinking.peace

For example, while with James I always had this fear that if I am myself with people they will eventually see the part of me that JC saw and not like me. JC never identified what it was that he could not live with, what views of mine were so dysfunctional  that he could not live with them, just that he could not live with “my dysfunctional views of the world” and my “warped reality”. I can look back and throughout my whole life I was given the message that, the real me was flawed. I never understood why my family thought I was such a loser and I never asked because I really didn’t want to hear it, I didn’t know how to be anything different. I could fake it, but when you are a fake you always worry about people finding out the truth and not liking you. You always feel you are a failure. Most parents don’t purposely say cruel things and my mother probably doesn’t even remember the day she was standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes and I was standing beside her drying, excitedly tell her about the handsome man at the bank who had asked me out. She stopped washing dishes for a minute and deep in thought she said, “I wonder why on earth he asked YOU out?” and then continued doing the dishes. Or when I heard that my dad had called me a “flake” to his friends, (I know now it was because I knew he was having an affair and he was afraid I was going to blow his cover). Or when my dad searched my room and found my poetry and called a family meeting and read it out loud and laughed and the family all sat there while I was mocked and belittled. I WAS sensitive and shy, from my first memories. It was when I took a personality test at 16 Personalities that I realized, I am a personality type, there are others like me, I am not flawed, I am actually a rare and much needed personality in this world.  

My whole adult life I have had self doubt, I learned to live with it and was able to put a front up. Everyone thought I was confident and self assured and as far as work and my intelligence I was confidence but when it came to my personal relationships and whether I felt attractive or not; I went through hell. If I entertained I would put on a lavish spread of food, the house would be perfect, I would be the perfect host and then once everyone was gone I would pick the whole night apart. “Why did I say that?” “What did they mean by that?” “The meal could have been better.” I would get myself to the point of tears thinking about all the areas I failed and fearing that I did or said something that revealed to everyone that I am a “flake”. No one in my family ever told me exactly what it was about me that made me a flake, my dad started it and my brother picked it up, calling Carrie a flake became a joke; for everyone but me.

So it was perfectly natural when James started saying I was flawed and he couldn’t handle my dysfunctional views; for me to believe him.

Through the healing process I have learned the voices in my head are not always right, I have to stop myself and analyze what the voices were saying to see if there is any truth there. I also have to ask myself, “so what if they did get to know you better and don’t like you? What will happen if they don’t like you?” Nothing!! Life will go on and it’s not that I am unlikable or a bad person, not everyone is going to like me, I don’t like everyone so why do I think everyone should like me? I have peace about it. I like me and I don’t want to change anything about me, I don’t need the approval of any one, I may like people to like me but it is not a need. 

Does that make sense? 

I have a peace about the future, yes I stress about money, that is the big thing right now, but it is something I can not do a lot about right now either. I do what I can and I am doing the things I need to do to make more money but these things take time. I can only do my best and I am at peace with that. I know in the long run I am going to be ok, I just have to make it through these tough times. That is a peace I have never felt before in my life. A peace that comes from facing a challenge you never thought you would survive and making it through.

It is being so thankful for the calm and peace of not having JC in my life causing drama and trauma every chance he gets. It is coming home and knowing what is behind the door. There is still uncertainty in life, challenges, disappointments, there always is….. we don’t need an N in our life creating more. There is nothing more soul-destroying than having the person you love sabotaging your happiness. A person that loves you should rejoice in your happiness not take pleasure from your pain but some of us may have been raised in a family where the people who are supposed to love you actually try to keep you down. People can be selfish that way, many people don’t like to see someone grow, succeed, have confidence; it is as if it diminishes them in some way or they feel by putting you down it makes them look better. We don’t have to own that, we can choose to not take it.

The narcissist never “owns” his shit, he blames everyone else for everything that goes wrong and he won’t even own his own personality, he steals others. There is a huge relief and peace about owning your own shit and knowing when it is not yours to own. When the narcissist tells you that you are too whatever, look at him and tell him, “I refuse to own what you are saying about me.”There is nothing more they can say, how can you argue with someone who refuses to own what you are telling them? 

I find it really interesting that a year ago I had my eyes checked, it had been a few years, probably just before JC and I splitting. MY eyesight had not changed in 20 years. But last time I had them checked my eyesight had improved! who’s eye sight improves with age? Co-incidence? a rather interesting one, seeing as everything in my world seems so much clearer since I left James and embarked on this journey of self discovery.

So before I get on with my day, (it is noon and I still have not showered or dressed) I want you to think about it; if you are lying there broken, don’t expect someone to put you back together again, not the king’s men, not the men on Plenty of Fish or the men on Match.com, just pick up a piece of you and decide if it is yours to own or not and if it isn’t; throw it in the garbage or burn it. Only keep the pieces of you that truly make you who you are and who you are comfortable being; you can’t help but like yourself. Then you won’t need a man and when you do meet a man who loves you, you will be able to enjoy it and not fear losing it because your self-worth won’t be wrapped up in his love.

But I Can’t – But Yes You Can!

How many times have you said it? I can’t, I just can’t, don’t ask me to because I can’t, I hurt too much and I can not survive this pain.

I hate to break it to you, but no matter how hard you fight it, no matter how hard you wish it, you can go kicking and screaming if you want………….. but sooner or later you are going to have to get through this. OK there is one way out, you could kill yourself. I was afraid to say that in case it gave someone the idea committing suicide is the answer, but then I thought, “Who am I kidding? if they are really struggling with pain and feeling they can’t do this, they have already contemplated suicide.”

We read on the blog or elsewhere, victims saying, “That was it, I kicked him to the curb and I never looked back.”

“It’s been a year and I have never been happier, I am in love with a wonderful man and life could not be better.”

And we think, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be happy to be free from his abuse? Why am I still struggling?”

The worst thing a person going through struggles in life can do is to compare themselves to other people, we all heal at our own pace. As much as our experiences are very similar because all N’s got the same “how to” manual and follow the same prescribed steps to destroy their victim, each victim is unique. All narcissists and psychopaths are very similar, (it would kill them to realize how similar they are because they all feel they are so special and unique, when in reality there is nothing special about them at all) I think that is what we find so hard to accept too, we thought we had found someone wonderful and unique and then we learn the truth, that they are a counterfeit human being, no better than a counterfeit $100 bill, worthless.

Criminals have gotten really good at replicating bills but no matter how good they get and how close it is to the real thing to look at; it is never going to be worth anything. You can stand and scream until you are blue in the face, “But look at it! it looks EXACTLY like a $100 bill, it has to be worth something! I refuse to believe it isn’t real! so there! I can’t accept it is not real.”

I am sorry, but you have no choice, a counterfeit is a counterfeit no matter how much you stomp your feet and refuse to admit it.

Narcissists are all the same, they cannot change, no matter how much you scream, “But they seemed so real!!”

The victims ARE real and unique individuals so they are not going to heal at the same pace or in the same way. Real people have feelings, past experiences, different values, different personalities, so to compare the victims and expect all victims to follow a prescribed set of steps and to put a time limit on their healing is unrealistic.

It is a dangerous game to play, I hear it every single day. “You are so strong, I can’t wait to get where you are, it’s been 6 months, 1 year, (sometimes even a few weeks) and I am just not healing, what is wrong with me? when will the pain stop, I can’t do it any more.”

I never felt strong enough to “do it”, not one single day of the last year I was with him and the first year after leaving him. While I was with him I didn’t think I could ever leave, but I knew I couldn’t stay and live. Then I knew I could not go back but I didn’t think I could survive on my own. I didn’t want to face reality, I had no choice. That was the first big step in my healing journey, just admitting I had no choice.  I knew that to continue to live with him was killing me and I could not carry on that way but I had nothing to rebuild with and felt so helpless and hopeless I saw no other choice but to kill myself.

I had tried, my truck was in the shop again, my ex had sabotaged its repairs by calling the shop and telling them to take out the parts they had just installed and he would deliver to them the parts for free and then not done it, meaning my truck was down a whole week without me making money. It meant my bill for labour was going to be more than doubled because I had to pay to have the parts installed twice and take out once, a few thousand dollars, not a huge amount of money but it might as well have been hundreds of thousands. It was money I did not have and as long as my truck was down, would never have.  All the money I had was in the form of coins, maybe $2 or $3, my cupboards were empty, my ex had promised he would come and see me because I had begged him and told him I was hanging by a thread. I didn’t feel I could call anyone. My mom had disowned me over a year prior, I couldn’t call my son, he had his own life and was worried enough about me, that was part of the burden I was packing; I hated being a burden to him, I hated that he worried about me. I was living day to day, what I made in a day gave me enough to survive a day or two at the most, I had no safety net. And I had one thought running through my mind like the needle stuck on a scratch in the record. “I can not do it.”

When I woke up after trying to kill myself and decided I had no choice but to “do it”. I knew I could not do it on my own and that is why I started the blog. To make myself accountable to someone, to declare to the world, “I CAN do it.”

You have to change your inner dialogue, instead of saying, “I can’t do it.” “I wish I was where you are at.” “I wish I was strong like you.” practice saying, “I can do it.” “I will do it, one day at a time, no matter how long it takes.” “I will overcome this.” “I control my destiny and I will do what it takes to learn how to get through this.”

I used to be a real Neil Diamond fan and always loved the song I am I Said not that the words really fit but it kept playing in my head. I almost felt invisible and no one was listening to me, I was literally falling apart in front of everyone’s eyes and no one cared or believed me. I felt as alone as a person can feel I think, well I had Kato, and felt guilty that I was so preoccupied with my troubles I wasn’t loving him like he deserved. I remember I did tell my neighbour that I couldn’t do it any more, I was ready to give up and she had said, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

It is especially scary for a person who has always been self sufficient and strong. I left my ex thinking, “Yeah my heart is breaking but I will overcome this like I have overcome other obstacles in life.” and then it didn’t come together, it wasn’t just losing my ex, it was being broke, having no momentos, no family, no credit. I had never had to face life with nothing.

Some victims are battling the ex for custody of the children, or over property, some have supportive family and a group of friends who rally around them, some have financial means to live comfortably and others (the majority) are left struggling to just put food on the table, others fear for their lives, some had a lousy childhood and some grew up in a loving nurturing home. Don’t compare yourself with others, just because they got through it sooner than you doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

There are many victims who move on quickly, get involved with another man and it appears their life is perfect and other victims look at them and lament why they can’t find a wonderful man and be happy. You don’t know how the story ends. I hear the same story from women and men all the time, “this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have been involved with a narcissist, I am an N magnet.” If you go looking for the quick fix, a man who will love you for who you are, a man who makes you feel sexy, perfect, and loveable you can almost count on meeting another N. They are out there, waiting for someone like you, they want nothing more than to be the man of your dream; you become an N magnet because you are looking outside of yourself for your self worth. You are still believing the myth that you are only valuable if you have a man in your life.

It may hurt like hell, growth usually does, quick fixes seldom last.

I used to get flat tires all the time on my truck, the job I was doing it was a guarantee because I was driving into the scrap yard, I was sure to pick up screws in my tires. I would walk past my truck and hear the hiss of air escaping from a tire and my truck was so big and heavy I never packed a spare tire or jack because a regular jack was not strong enough to hold my truck. If I got a flat it meant calling a tow truck and not just a regular tow truck because if they tried to pick me up the front end of the tow truck would lift off the ground, so they had to send their biggest truck which meant I waited for hours and it cost me hundreds. So I had to find a way to stop the leak until I got to a tire shop and could get it fixed. That inflate a tire stuff didn’t work on my big tires and with the weight of my truck with a load on but I always kept an assortment of screws in my glove box. I would find the screw causing the leak in my tire and find a screw a couple of sizes ligger with a flat broad head on it. I would use a screw driver to remove the screw that was in the tire and replace it with a bigger screw, screw it down tight and 99% of the time it would stop the leak. Brilliant, right!? But once it stopped leaking I would forget about it and it might take a couple of months but eventually it would start to leak again. I would curse at myself for not getting it fixed sooner, find a bigger screw and pray it worked. Sometimes it did and I would get more time and believe it or not a couple of times I procrastinate a 3rd time. (some people just do not learn) No matter how many times I procrastinated, eventually I would end up at a tire shop and getting it fixed properly.

So, yes you  can go for the quick fix, but at some point in time you are going to have to deal with the pain and heal properly; isn’t it better to deal with it now and avoid all the hassle of ending up in the exact same situation time after time?

I watched this TedxTalk this morning about very basic steps to overcoming adversity but they work, check it out here.

Deny Deny Deny

broken hearts hut

 

My son and I were talking while we were driving (me nonstop, it is my job to keep him awake) and I was telling him about the Oscar Pistorious case and how insane it is that he got off. My son has guns and he said too; who shoots through a closed bathroom door, when their girlfriend is not still in bed especially? He said something I hadn’t thought of before. A person is most vulnerable if they go looking for the intruder, which is true. If you think there is an intruder you are better off to pick a location where no one can come up behind you, position yourself and wait. That way you have the element of surprise on your side, you are ready and braced. Especially Pistorious, with no legs, he would have been much safer had he stayed in the bed and waiting until whoever was in the bathroom to came out and anyone who had taken any kind of gun training would have been taught that. ANYONE who has taken shooting lessons or ever even talked to someone who shoots guns knows you do not shoot blindly, like we have all heard in the movies, “Wait until you see the whites of their eyes and then shoot.”

Then I thought of a case locally where a guy got pulled over and the cops found a bunch of high power guns in the vehicle, ammunition, flack jackets, etc and there were two guys in the vehicle with him.The news report said that he told the police he was heading to check out property that was for sale in the area and he had no idea where the guns came from and he didn’t know who those two guys in the car with him were. He didn’t know what they were doing in the car or where they came from. The cops know he knows who was in the car with him and they know he knew there were guns in the car but what can they do if he denies it? If someone denies, denies, denies, you give up. What can you do? I remember having hard evidence, even pictures or letters in his own writing and the wospos would deny it. Either he would deny it or not remember doing it.

He didn’t remember joining dating sites or writing the woman in Africa and telling her he was bringing her to Canada. Eventually the other person ends up getting so frustrated at the total insanity of the situation they just give up the battle. The victim gives up arguing about other women, personal ads or whatever else the N is doing because they know they won’t get anywhere with the N., yet they refuse to walk away because they want the N to admit it. The victim starts to doubt themselves because the N is so adamant in his denial, a normal person, once cornered by hard evidence will buckle and confess, but not the N. He will get even more adamant he is innocent. We want to believe he wouldn’t do it, we don’t want to falsely accuse him, we want there to be some reasonable excuse or at the very least a promise he won’t do it again so we let it slide and tell ourselves, “If I ever catch him again it is over. Or we excuse his actions and tell ourselves it was not that bad but if he ever ……………… (fill in the blanks, with me I excused the personal ads because he wasn’t actually SEEING any of them but the first time I catch him dating one of them I am out of there). We start bargaining with our own sense of right and wrong, we start blurring the lines of our boundaries.

It’s one thing to catch your partner cheating and they admit it and you catch them again, you have a right to be angry and hurt, if they are all decent they say they are sorry even if they aren’t. But with a narcissist, they refuse to acknowledge what they have done, denying you your anger and hurt. Then on top of it all they criticize you for “always being angry” or “always crying” and the victim ends up feeling totally helpless and frustrated with no outlet for their emotions. In order to survive they bury their feelings and shut down.

I had shut down the last couple of months, I couldn’t react when he didn’t come home, his sister who was living with us would say, “Aren’t you mad? I would be furious!” and I just said,”There’s no point.” I had given up. Once you give up it is so much harder to recover because you have so much pain buried and as you heal more appears. It seems like you will never heal, just when you start to feel even a little bit normal something throws you back into the pit of despair and you feel you have made no progress whatsoever. Do not lose hope, you ARE making progress.

In self-preservation your mind blocked much of the abuse. Our minds can handle only so much pain and once it reaches its limit it stops acknowledging it, it is either that or go insane and have a total break down. As you heal your mind brings up the stuff you had buried so you can process it and heal that hurt. When that hurt is healed, more will surface for you to deal with. You will find every time this happens you feel a little lighter than before. The bouts of anxiety become fewer and less severe until you stop being triggered and you no long even look in the pit of despair, it is empty.

Human’s have an amazing ability to heal themselves, cut the human skin and it bleeds, a person can have a huge gaping hole or broken bone on their body and as long as it is cared for, kept sterile, and protected with a bandage or cast and allowed to heal before using it again (ie, not walking on a broken leg too soon) the body will rejuvenate the skin to cover the wound, a bone will knit together again, and in many cases the spot of the injury is even stronger than it was before and over time the scar even fades.But often times the healing process is painful also. Have you ever noticed that an injury is always more painful about 3 days after you get it, it hurts the most when it starts to heal, or if you get a cold or flue it always gets worse before it gets better? So it is with a broken heart, give your heart time to heal, know that it is going to hurt, healing hurts, growth hurts but you will heal if you are patient and take care of your heart, let it heal before you use it again and just like with a broken bone, take it easy for a while. You wouldn’t take your cast off your leg and go jogging, don’t jump into another relationship right away and expect your heart to withstand the pressure, it is going to be tender for a while and easy to rebreak.

Don’t deny your pain, don’t try to hide it, don’t listen to the people who tell you to “get over it” , “forget him and move on” ; to ignore or deny your pain will only bury it and it WILL resurface at some point, probably at a very inappropriate time so might as well deal with it now.

There is no shame in hurting,broken bones heart

the N might have denied your pain,

your friends may deny your pain,

YOU are the only one who knows

what your heart feels,

don’t deny it’s right to heal.