Tag Archives: strength

Definition Of A Strong Independent Woman

I think many people are confused about the traits of a strong independent woman.

They see a woman who’s outspoken, in your face, and will tell you exactly what they think of you, and think she is a strong woman. So many victims will say they need to tell the narcissist what they think of him so he doesn’t think they are weak or that he won.

There are alot of people who view victims of domestic abuse as being weak and needy, when often times the opposite is true.

I had someone say I am “just like your mother”, strong and independent. I was shocked! and said as much; “my mother is opinionated and judgemental, but she is far from strong and independent. I have known women who will give a man shit using language like the proverbial logger. I’ve known women who will make demands of those around her and not back down because she thinks she deserves their compliance and “respect”. Women who will argue, loudly! and angrily because they must always be right, (even though they don’t have a fucking clue what they’re talking about). They will declare someone a loser, stupid, or an asshole based on superficial appearances, or consider someone successful based on outward appearances.

Usually this type of person is in fact quite insecure and very dependent on the approval of others and their opinions tend to change with popular opinion. They are not narcissists but often times they end up inadvertently being the flying monkeys of the narcissist. They are dangerous, because they don’t stand by their convictions or their convictions aren’t based on facts or educated.

A truly strong woman is not in your face, she is not judgemental and makes her decisions about people based on her own experience and gut instincts. A strong woman will stand by her convictions because she has formed them after educating herself and personal experience. She is willing to listen to an opposing opinion without attacking the other person, because her opinion is based on her experience and knowledge and she is confident in her decisions. She will defend her position calmly with facts and isn’t threatened by someone disagreeing with her.

A strong woman doesn’t make rash decisions and weighs the facts.

A strong woman doesn’t go with popular opinion and has strong moral convictions. She defends the people she cares about and will have your back no matter what. She may not have many friends, because she takes the job of “friend” very seriously. She is a loyal and devoted partner who will “stand by her man” when many less strong women would have walked away.

A strong woman isn’t with a man for his money or because she needs a man to take care of her. She is there because of love and will sacrifice her own resources and security because she is confident she can recoup any losses and she doesn’t gauge a person’s value on what they have.

What hurt me far more than being hit by my ex was, the people I loved and trusted the most in my life turning against me because they thought I was weak. (Besides the fact that family of all people especially should be there for you when you are feeling weak)

What they were calling weak was the same self sacrifice and loyalty they had taken for granted from me for years. The same strength they had grown to rely on when their lives fell apart or they had no one in their corner.

A strong woman gets on with life and will prove over and over again what she is made of, without saying a word.

Don’t allow the narcissist to bait you into becoming the psycho vindictive bitch he says you are.

It was when I gave up trying to defend myself and accepted that I only had control over my own actions and not the actions or opinions of the narc or the people who believed his lies, that I was able to find peace. When I made the conscious decision to always live true to my core self and to hell with the rest of the world is when my life started to fall into place.

I didn’t want to remain a victim so I didn’t make it part of my identity. I decided a couple of years ago to just carry on, being me, living honestly, true to my core self; more than ever before in my life. Of course I care what people think of me, I want people to like me, but it doesn’t affect how I operate, I remain true to me.

The other day I was telling a couple of women I have known for about 3 years about being in an abusive relationship because I felt it was relevant to our discussion about the trailer I am fixing up. I didn’t think they thought I was weak, I think the information just gave their opinion of me more depth.

The thing is; I know I am not weak. That knowledge is my secret power. It is that knowledge that puts a smile on my face when someone under estimates what I am capable of.

I always thought I was strong, I had gone through some stuff in my life that alot of people never have to face and I did it with calm control at a young age. I knew I had the strength within me to handle the situation and at those times I had family support also. But I discovered how tremendously strong I am when I faced something I didn’t think I could survive and made it through, totally on my own. Some people never discover how strong they actually are.

The first thought and the first thing I say to a woman who tells me she just left an abuser after, say; 20 plus years is, “You must be an incredibly strong woman.” Not just to leave, but to have stayed 20 years.

I compare it to my dog, Stella. I find it interesting that she is the most nonaggressive dog at the dog park. She stands there observing. Some dogs are just assholes, they will pick up every dog in the park, regardless of size, but they never ever pick up Stella.

There are other dogs that will roll over and show their belly in submission the minute some dog shows them aggression. Stella never shows her belly.

The minute she sees a dog being picked on she wades in and gets in their face barking. If they don’t stop she blocks them with her body and as a last resort she will get her legs around the bully, throw them down and lay on them until they submit.

She never looks for confrontation but she is fearless when it happens. We were walking the other day and there was car parked with a couple in it. The guy was loudly giving the woman shit. Stella was very concerned about it and kept stopping and turning back to look at the car. After the 3rd time I told her, “Ok. Let’s go check it out”. And let her lead the way. She walked straight up to the driver’s door of the car and stared at the man and I stood on the sidewalk watching. The guy stopped yelling and looked at Stella, “Hey Buddy”, he said and then looked at me, looking at him. He stopped yelling and we went on our way.

And you know what? Everyone loves Stella.

My point is this; don’t allow your head or anyone else convince you that you are not strong. A truly strong person is not afraid to show vulnerability and be themselves because they know; whatever comes their way, they will survive it.

Also, you need to realize that the narcissist didn’t take anything from you that you didn’t give away. You always were in control and could have left any time. To confront the narcissist is not going to prove you are strong, it is only going to prove he still has control over your emotions.

Do you have an accurate view of what makes a strong woman?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!

 

 

Merry Christmas Tree Wallpaper

I want to wish everyone a Christmas Day of peace and serenity, filled with friends and family,

lots of food, booze, laughs, and a light heart.

Wherever you may be in this big world I want to thank you for all your support throughout the last year and

the 4 Christmases that came before this one.

I sit here, alone, with carols playing on the radio

Stella is crunching her Christmas bone from Santa

I have peace in my heart

and tears of gratitude in my eyes.

I wish that each one of you

knows you are loved

and just how special you are.

I pray that you are all given the strength to get through the day

and know somewhere deep in your soul that better days are ahead. 

‘Tis The Season

xmas tree

This is my 5th Christmas away from the wospos. I am sitting here remembering that first Christmas away from him, I just wanted to give up and die, but like someone here recently said, they would give up if they could but they don’t know how. That is the problem, we have to carry on even when we don’t want to because we don’t know how to give up. We don’t feel strong enough to carry on, we don’t know how to carry on, but we don’t know how to give up so we end up doing the impossible. We may feel weak, other people who can’t relate to what we have endured may think we are weak because they see us crying, not eating, and looking so broken but the truth is we are being the strongest we will probably ever have to be. Somehow we make it through every single day, some days hanging on to one little frail strand of our sanity.

While I was taking my little “sabbatical” I was still reading the comments every day and was touched by the caring and compassion shown each other, there are some people who have really reached out lately, Ellie, who says it like it is and calls a spade a spade with compassion and caring, Fee, who has been through SO much herself shares so openly and gently in hopes of helping someone else, a new person to the blog Lonely who is right in the middle of her own nightmare and inrecovery who is also facing her own  battles still reach out to others. Ellie is one of the “old timers” as are others who sit quietly in the background reading people’s comments and reach out to offer support when they see a need, (I can’t possibly remember all their names without forgetting someone so please do not be offended if I don’t mention you by name). I am naming those who have been actively commenting recently, but throughout the time I have had this blog there have been many who have offered up their loving support. At times my eyes fill with tears that leak down my cheeks as I read a comment from someone I know only a few days or weeks ago was going through their own terrible pain and self-doubt yet they offer support to someone else. It is such a testament to the type of people who fall victim to a narcissist, even gripped with their own pain they hold out a hand of understanding and support to others. They allow themselves to be vulnerable and reveal their own skeletons in order to put a person at ease and show they are not alone, we all have things we are not proud of.

As I read, a picture came to mind.

Another victim comes in and is hanging over the edge of some huge drop off, they are dangling there, they are tired and struggling to not let go of the frayed rope of sanity they cling to. Below them is a huge black abyss, nothingness waiting to gobble them up and they are so tempted to just let go and allow themselves to fall fall fall and just get it over with but as another strand of rope breaks away a hand appears, and then another one and another and the victim hears voices saying, “Don’t let go, we are here, we will help you.” When she looks up she sees smiling faces and all these hands reaching out and just as her grip on the rope let’s go someone grabs her hand and she feels herself being pulled back to the light and safety.

I get all choked up reading someone who themselves were hanging from that cliff not long ago reaching out to others.

I remember the surprise I felt the first time someone called me strong and said I was an inspiration and my insights had helped them be strong. The LAST thing I had been feeling was strong! but it made me assess where I was and I realized I was no longer hanging by my fingernails, I had some how made it through the days and nights that were a living hell. I didn’t know how, I never thought I would make it but I had so that had to mean I was stronger than I thought.

That’s the thing about strength, we never know how strong we are until we are tested, if we knew we could make it through something it wouldn’t require strength. If you catch my drift.  It is only when we are pushed to the brink of total despair do we exercise our strength.

Let me give you an analogy;

I had never wanted to be a scrap metal hauler, it was actually the LAST thing I wanted to do but I had wanted a truck and any other avenues I had tried to make money with a truck had not been successful so I finally agreed to haul scrap out of desperation. When I first started I was embarrassed, there was such a stigma attached to scrap haulers, that they were uneducated, dishonest and thieves, so I worked after businesses closed for the day as often as I could, so I wasn’t seen by people I knew.

I had a hell of a time lifting some things and on occasion worked hours struggling to load heavy things onto my truck. I would get so frustrated, thinking I could never do it, even end up in tears at times; but my pride would not let me quit. I was determined to figure out a way to get whatever onto my truck. I became quite imaginative in my efforts. I remember one night imparticular I had a big brake drum from a semi that I had run one of my tie downs through and had managed to hoist it up to the edge of my deck but no matter how hard I tried I could not lift it over the edge and onto my deck. I ended up driving all the way home with this thing dangling off the back of my truck. If I would have been seen by the police I would have been ticketed for sure and I am sure any one driving behind me didn’t tail gate watching this 100 lb brake drum swinging from my deck. The next day I was able to stand on something and lift it onto the deck.

After about a year I was able to single-handedly hoist 16 brake drums in a row onto my truck while the mechanic stood watching me, saying he needed a woman like me. (In your dreams buddy, hump your own steel) The day before my first heart attack I had such a load on my truck and was lifting such weight that I had attracted an audience and got a standing ovation when I put the last piece on the truck.

I felt so discouraged that night struggling to get that brake drum on the truck but the next day I managed to get it on and as time went on and as I struggled with other things I started to enjoy the challenge. The embarrassment and shame I had felt about being a scrap hauler was replaced by pride and confidence.  I am still proud of what I was able to accomplish and I am still remembered as the Lady Witha Truck and the first and only woman on the west coast to successfully, honestly and legally and without the help of a man haul scrap for a living.

And so it has been with finding my strength since leaving the wospos, I started off as most victims do, feeling ashamed, embarrassed and very weak. It has only been with time that I have come to realize I am strong and I can do it and over time the shame and embarrassment has been replaced with pride and confidence. I no longer care what assumptions people make about me when they find out I was a victim of abuse because I have proven I am not weak, stupid or in some way lacking. I have gone from being a victim to being a proud survivor and I hope now I can be an example to other victims and a voice for those who come behind me and not found their voice yet.

Five years ago no one could have convinced me that I would ever feel strong again, it was the worst Christmas of my life. JC was introduced to a woman through friends (because unbeknownst to me he had been complaining bitterly about my mistreatment of him for months beforehand), I was hurt, broke, without family or friends. I had been homeless and a girlfriend had arranged for me to move into the trailer next door to her. The guy worked out-of-town and was only home 6 weeks out of the year. I didn’t know him, had only talked to him on the phone and I was hesitant but I didn’t have any options and I could live there for free. I moved in sight unseen and was horrified when I saw the place. It looked like a crack shack if I had ever seen one, filthy, cobwebs draped from the ceiling and brushed my hair as I walked in. He was a heavy smoker and the walls were stained brown, it was dark and dank and God I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t go running back to the wospos so I stayed. I slept with my coat on and put a blanket down for Kato so he didn’t get bugs from the couch on him and I cried. I don’t know what I would have done without my little buddy, he laid his head on my lap, I just remember thinking I can’t do this, I can’t do this!!

It was 3 weeks before Christmas. I wore two pairs of rubber gloves when I cleaned the bathroom and threw the rags away, it took me 8 hours. I went through a couple dozen green garbage bags loading up the garbage, I opened the curtains, washed walls, vacuumed, and washed dishes that had stuff growing on them, I threw away some pots that I just could not stomach trying to clean. One week before Christmas I was finished and the owner was expected home in a few days. I had nowhere to go for Christmas and was not looking forward to spending it with a total stranger, but I was proud of my cleaning job and despite the depression that had overcome me when I saw Christmas trees on sale for $10 I bought one on an impulse. I put it up, it was dry and left needles everywhere but once I got the lights and decorations on it, it looked pretty good. I strung lights outside and decorate the porch with evergreen boughs. I wanted to show my appreciation for him letting me stay there but I had no money and hoped my efforts would convey my gratitude. He was so impressed when he got home, he said he didn’t think he was at the right place.

He wasn’t there more than an hour when he told me he had something to tell me; he had a “little’ crack problem and when he had time off he liked to have a couple of beers and do a “little” crack.  My stomach flipped, I had suspected but had thought my friend would never set it up for me to move in with a crackhead, I thought she must not know.  Long story short, his “little” problem with crack was a huge problem and he spent most of his days home locked in his bedroom. I slept on the couch because he brought a woman home and I didn’t want to be in the bedroom next door to his. They spent all night answering the door, she told me it was her daughter bringing her something. The next time there was someone at the door I answered and an asian man almost jumped off the porch, he looked at the house number to make sure he had the right place and I said, “Wait right here, I’ll go get them.” I couldn’t help myself, I knocked on the bedroom door and told her that her daughter was at the door.

I did cook a turkey and he did come out and eat. I was absolutely and utterly broken. My truck was broken down, I was living with a crackhead stranger, and my family had turned their back on me. It is a blur of misery and every single day I swore I could not survive another day.

I know this Christmas there are a lot of broken souls out there. I know there are people who are thinking they cannot possibly make it through the holidays,  that you will never again enjoy Christmas or have anything to be joyful for again in your life. There is little I can do to ease your pain, I wish I had a magic formula that I could share that would make it all ok for everyone, but I don’t. It is something you are going to have to endure anyway you can, if you have children you will have to put a smile on your face and fake it as best you can and find time for a private little cry when you can. If you do have family or friends, force yourself to go out even for a little while, you will feel better to get out of the house. Surround yourself with loving caring friends if you can. Christmas can be a tough time for some families and if you don’t feel comfortable being with your family don’t force yourself to partake in the sickness, do what feels good for you.

And know, just like every other day of the year, this one also only has 24 hours and it will pass. Try to look forward, not back, there is a new year waiting for you and you don’t know what it holds. That can be scary but it can also be exciting, it is a chance to start your new life, you are in control, you make the decisions from this day forward.

And always remember that you are not alone, we may be thousands of miles apart or only a few blocks, we have never physically hugged or held each other’s hand but we all have a bond and are there for each other. We have a shared knowledge and strength that not everyone else has, we have slept with the devil and survived. If you can survive that you can do one Christmas.

narcissism33