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.



Believing The Lies Because The Truth Is Too Ugly – Part One


inconvenient truthI think every victim of a psychopath/narcissist has done it; chosen to believe the lies because to believe what they know to be true is just too ugly.  In a romantic relationship it is often much easier to believe that we somehow “misinterpreted”, “misunderstood” or caused the abusive behavior because to believe someone we love could do those horrible things is just too much for our brains to wrap around. How could we love someone capable of intentionally causing such harm to someone else? But on a bigger scale, we don’t want to acknowledge someone who evil even exists. We all want to believe there is good in everyone and if they commit an atrocious act there must be a reasonable explanation.

And even more than our belief in the good in all people, and our refusal to believe we could love someone so vile, is our reluctance to take the personal loss of giving up the love of our life. We have invested in this person, not just money, but we have sacrificed a lot in the name of love. Many of us gave up family and friends, moved to a strange town or country, had children with the person, we have invested ourselves, we have given this person more than we have ever given any person we have loved; we have revealed ourselves totally, given up our darkest secrets, laid naked and bared our souls to this person. To face the fact that he purposely set us up, that our trust was horribly misplaced and we willingly walked into a trap, that it was all a facade, is just too much to bear so we continue to lie to ourselves and refuse to see the truth even when it is slapping us in the face and the bank account is in overdraft.

We blindly continue having unprotected sex with a man we suspect of cheating because we don’t want to face his wrath, we continue to give money to a man who never pays us back because we have invested so much already we can’t walk away now, we keep thinking that our investment is going to pay off someday and that if we walk away now we lose and the next woman will reap the benefits of our efforts. We don’t want to lose almost as much as the narcissist feel he must win, and the N counts on that fundamental human trait; the more a person feels they have invested the more they  will invest.

truth is truth

At first we don’t trust ourselves, our perception, so many times a victim says, “I don’t have proof” so they wait for proof and they tell themselves if they ever have “proof” of his cheating or catch him in a bald face lie THEN they will leave. But we are given the proof time after time and we refuse to leave, why? Because we don’t want to lose, we don’t want to hurt, we feel we can’t survive without him, he loved us like no one else ever has, they love us despite our flaws, they say they love us and we are perfect for them; no one has ever loved us like that, we know we are flawed (everyone is), we know we are not always easy to love, (no one is) how can we walk away from that? So we tell ourselves that if he can love us with all our flaws, we will prove to him that we love him despite his flaws and he will appreciate us for our faithful, unconditional love; just as we do him.

Victims are usually “emotionally mature” people who are careful to communicate in such a way as to not attack a person’s character. We have taken courses or read books on effective communication skills; we know that you should never say things like “you always”, and we should focus on the action and not attack the person themselves; we are to use terms like, “I feel”. But the narcissist doesn’t play by the same rules, he has no problem attacking our character, he has no problem telling us we are “bad”, he has no problem blaming us for his actions and we are quite willing to look at our part in the problems of the relationship. WE know we aren’t perfect and like they say in all the relationship books, “you can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself” so we do, we try to treat the N as we want to be treated, we try to emulate faithfulness, honesty and trustworthiness thinking we will get the same in return. But all we do is dig ourselves into a deeper hole and invest more of ourselves making it harder and harder to walk away. Every time we have an epiphany and think we have figured “it” out and have the answers; every time we go back into the relationship with a new attitude and think “If I do this or change that, it will all be ok” we hand over a bit more of ourselves until we feel we have too much to lose to walk away now.

And he is not appreciating our efforts, as soon as we change this or that he changes the rules and wants something else, we end up doing this dance where he is shooting at our feet and we keep dancing but he never runs out of bullets and we get weaker and tired until we stop dancing and think, let him shoot me, I can’t do the dance any more.

We walk, limp away, admit defeat and we believe we just weren’t good enough, we couldn’t dance fast enough, and we feel sorry for him because we know that he is going to have to go along ways to find some other woman who will love him like we did, who is willing to invest as much as we did, who will look past his flaws and see the real man that we know is in there.  We know that behind that ego and arrogant attitude is a man who has been severely hurt by past lovers (or his parents). When you first met him, when he was the sweet sensitive guy you first met; he opened up to you and showed his vulnerable side. You know he is just afraid of being alone, that deep down he is just a scared little boy who is afraid of being hurt again so when he comes to you and tells you he loves you and wants to try again; you go back. You are even more sure now that if you just hang in there and love him enough he will get over this insecurity and allow himself to love you. You will nurture him, love him like he has never been loved before and you will prove to him that he doesn’t have to push you away, you aren’t going to leave, ever, he can trust your love. And he does, he trusts that you love him so much that he can do anything to you and you will always be there for him, you will take any abuse he dishes out and he loathes you for it. He looks at you as a pitiful sucker who deserves to be hurt because you are so inferior to him.  It’s like that line some comedian used to say, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would let someone like me join.” The narcissist doesn’t respect anyone who could love him and take his bullshit.

Why do you continue to take it, well because you know that if you don’t he will find someone who will, he will walk away and the relationship will be over. So you don’t “just take it” you get angry, you tell him how you feel, you refuse to accept his behavior, you tell him you expect fidelity, you are not afraid to speak your mind, to stand up for what you believe is right, you aren’t a door mat. But wait, you are still there and didn’t he just wipe his feet on you again?

I went back for many reasons, many times it was because I truly believed that he would be so sorry one day when he realized what he had lost, when he couldn’t find another woman who understood him and accepted him like I did. I felt he needed me, no one else could look past the shitty things he did, how he sabotaged himself and see the sweet, childlike innocent man I saw and knew was buried inside. I knew he was socially challenged, he just didn’t understand that things he did were wrong, he had good intentions, he was lacking confidence and did the things he did because of his own insecurities, it wasn’t personal. I KNEW he loved me, he was just afraid to relax and enjoy it because he was afraid of getting hurt.

Even when I had proof of other women, even after he was engaged to another woman I still believed he would never find another woman who would sacrifice like I did, who would love him as unconditionally as I did. My own ego, my own confidence in my ability to love with my whole being was my undoing. I didn’t want to lose, I didn’t want to admit defeat.

But as much as that trait was my undoing in the relationship and made me stay much longer than I should have it is also the thing that gave me the strength to come back from the ashes and heal.
Accepting the truth was critical to being able to finally walk away and stop lying to myself. I don’t think I fully accepted the truth until long after it was over and he had moved on. It was not until he twisted everything that ever happened in the relationship around to make me look like the nutcase and himself the victim that the light bulb really went on. When it became clear that he was out to destroy me by slandering me and trying to get me fired and evicted that I realized all those times I had suspected him of sabotaging my truck and other things he tried to make seem like I was just paranoid, I had been right. When I heard the lies he was telling everyone who would listen and making himself look like the poor hard done by guy who had only ever loved me and nothing he did was ever good enough, when he said to me that he was afraid of what I would do to HIM, I knew everything he had ever told me about the women in his past, how he had been taken advantage of; was all lies. He had orchestrated the whole thing, he had known from day one what he was doing, there was no “misunderstanding”, he was not naive and insecure; he was an evil, conniving, and dangerous person who knew all along what he was doing and he had laid out his defense for actions long before he did them. I realized that all the times he called me paranoid and suspicious and I doubted myself and I had been right all along and should have listened to my gut. It was when I accepted that I had lied to myself almost as much as he had lied to me and that I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I would have trusted myself more than I trusted him that I fully accepted the truth. When he told me that it was my own fault he hurt me because I kept taking him back I had to look at myself; I had to admit he was right, and if he was right then I was not just a victim of his abuse I was also a victim of my self doubt and the lies I told myself.

I remember thinking to myself, praying, that he would tell me a good enough lie that I could lie to myself. And then I heard this song. I love the way you lie

This is the lyrics version of the song because if a person doesn’t really listen to the lyrics they might mistake this to be a love song, a song about two people so in love they are afraid of losing the other person, that in some sick way it is love that drives them to abuse. It is a lie victims tell themselves all the time, the same lie I told myself about why he sabotaged my truck, “He loves me so much he doesn’t want to lose me, if he keeps my truck from working I won’t leave him.” I convinced myself that in some sick way it was a sign that he didn’t want to lose me and I comforted myself with that. (It is amazing what we can convince ourselves of when we are desperate). It had nothing to do with love, in fact it was the exact opposite of love, it was a need possess, destroy and discard when he was finished with me. It was control, ownership, it was sucking the life out of someone, but it was not love. Don’t ever mistake abuse for love. At about 3:15 into the song his dialogue songs so familiar to my hears, one minute blaming her, the next taking the blame himself, one minute promising to change and all the while knowing in his head he is lying and it will happen again and again. He says, “Don’t you see the sincerity in my eyes?”

The combination of 6 things helped me heal.

1. Admitting I did have some power over being abused, that I did know the truth but ignored it, (was hard to swallow) showed me that I do have the ability to protect myself against a psychopath/narcissist.

2. Knowing that dealing with crazy, trying to make sense of crazy, trying to assign normal emotions to crazy; will drive you crazy and make you do things you would never do ordinarily.

3. Knowing that I am strong enough to withstand the abuse and keep standing and keep trying is nothing to be ashamed of.

4. Knowing that he was the flawed one and the one lacking, not me.

5. Realizing even if I didn’t want to, I was going to survive.

6. Once I had realized and accepted 1-5 I realized it was up to me from that point on to decide how I was going to recover and whether I would go on to live a happy life somehow, someway, someday.

A Journey Back In Time And A Glimpse To The Future

I recently was asked by the Canadian Center for Victims of Violence to write my story of domestic abuse for their monthly newsletter. She explained that the newsletter is read by law enforcement, politicians and other people responsible for change.

I was of course honored to be asked but also felt the pressure of responsibility that I was being given an opportunity to make a difference in the way victims of abuse are viewed. I wanted to show that victims of abuse are not weak, co-dependent and some how responsible for their abuse and that abusers can be someone you would never suspect. I wanted to convey how my cries for help were ignored and how important it is to believe and support victims. The woman who asked me to write the article said it could be 2000 words and if it went longer they would break it up into two parts, one would be published in Sept and the other in Oct. As you all know I can tend to get wordy but thought I could manage to tell my story in 4000 words. 

It took me a couple of weeks of stops and starts, whole days spent trying to find the words only at the end of the day trashing the whole thing and starting over again the next day

I would find myself typing away and having to stop, watch a video or I would have to lay down and take a nap, I started dreaming about James, not night mares just dreams with him in them. I started to feel depressed. I didn’t know where this was coming from, I have been writing about my relationship with James for 3 years without a problem. I was unable to stay on task, I spent days literally typing a paragraph and then napping for an hour, whole days wasted thinking and not accomplishing anything. I started to worry I would never get the article written, nothing flowed. 

I eventually went to the doctor and got anti depressants, something I have avoided for 3 years, but I had to get a handle on this lack of motivation, I have my application for funding to re educate to complete and it requires a lot of time and I hadn’t even started on it. I had two open houses to prepare for, one each of the last two Sundays. I was feeling overwhelmed and I was concerned enough to consider giving up the blog and abandoning my plans for going back to school. 

Then it hit me why I can write here and I couldn’t write one 4000 word article for a publication and it was the same reason I had struggled when I wrote the article for the magazine. When I write for the blog I take an incident and write about an aspect of the relationship, or I am responding to a comment made by someone coming into the blog, someone asks a specific question and I relate my experiences as a way of answering their query. I realized that I have never had to tell my story from start to finish, I have remembered the whole relationship and written about every aspect of the relationship and even had epiphanies while writing here but I have never looked at the relationship in it’s entirety.

When I got to 14,000 words and still was not done telling my story I realized I was in big trouble, no problem I only had to cut it down by 10,000 words!! and I hadn’t even touched on whole segments of my life with James. I wanted to explain the whole relationship in a way that people would really “get it” but you know what? there are no words that can adequately describe what the victim goes through and I need to stop feeling I have to justify why I stayed as long as I did.

On Monday I started to cut it down and by Tuesday I had it down to 9,300 (or something close) words. I stayed up until 3 am Tuesday to get it finished but I got it done. I had relived the whole relationship from the first time I met him, I relived the excited anticipation of our first date, the feelings of love growing and I remembered thinking how lucky I felt, I remembered how strange it felt to sleep with him at first and how after not too long I couldn’t sleep without him and how I thought I could get through anything as long as I could lay my head on his chest at the end of the day. I remembered how for 10 years I got butterflies in my stomach every time I heard his vehicle or saw him pull in the driveway. I remembered how hearing his voice always made me smile even at the worst times. God I loved that man, I thought I knew him inside and out, I thought I knew his passions and what made him happy, I thought he was always going to be in my life and the bad shit I saw was not the real him; I thought I knew the “real” James and the connection was too strong for either one of us to deny. I relived it and let it go.

When I wrote out all the times he screwed around, all the times he demanded I pay him money, the times he threatened me and hit me or destroyed my stuff, the times I woke up and found him sleeping with his face on the keyboard of his laptop because he had been watching porn and fell asleep and another little piece of my soul broke away. And when I thought about all the lies, the horrible soul crushing lies and how he tormented me with blame, shame and gas-lighting, I could finally connect the two men who were one. 

Then I did something I haven’t done for a long time, I went and looked at his picture. i stared at it, I tried to remember what his voice sounded like, how his lips felt, what he smelled like, how his hands felt, I remembered I always loved his hands, hard working big hands that made me feel so safe and in the end threatened my safety. I looked long and hard at the pictures and for the life of me I don’t know what I saw in him, why I thought he was so sexy and good looking. And I looked at a picture of him and Marisa and I really stared at it trying to, I don’t know, see something I missed? What I saw was a woman in love in the early pictures of them and a woman in pain in the last pictures. I know she thought as I did that she had met her soul mate and was so blessed to have found this wonderful man and I am sure she is thinking they will be together forever and no woman has ever loved him like she does and she knows him better than anyone ever has. That destiny brought them together and for better or worse they will always be together. I realized that the man I was looking at was not the James I knew, not the James I met and not the James I left. This James is Marisa’s James, mine is dead. 

After I emailed my article off with a note saying “I know this is 5 x’s longer than it should be and I give you my full permission to edit it all you want, I just can not work on it any longer.” Then at 3:01 am I went in to check my blog activity before I went to bed and there right at the top at 2:57:34 was Powell River and my heart stopped. Just the thought that he was in my blog at that exact time caused a reaction, what was the reaction about? I only knew I wanted to get out of there right now and clicked the screen closed and went to bed. 

The next night I was tired because I was up so late the night before and fell asleep on the couch. I was awakened by Stella barking and realized someone was knocking at the door. I checked the clock, 11:15 pm, my heart was pounding almost out of my chest and I went to the door and asked who it was and they said, “It’s me”. I stepped back from the door and yelled “Who?” and they said “Wayne”. I felt myself exhale and realized I had been holding my breath; and I realized why I had to get out of the blog tracking app and why it was so hard to write about the relationship in it’s entirety. I am truly afraid of him, and the fear comes from not knowing who I was in love with for 10 years, and because I have every reason to be afraid.

I realized, truly saw how dysfunctional the relationship was, and how I tried to make it normal and deal with it normally and how futile it all was. By writing it out in it’s entirety I saw how crazy life had become, the tiny thread of hope I clung to for so long. It didn’t make me sad or angry or fill me with regret; it made me think, “My God you really are strong, how did you survive it? how did you go on day after day?” and I realized how far I have come. And once again I am back in peace with my life and I never took even one of the anti–depressants. 

As things tend to go in life I went into my Facebook for the first time since the end of July when I started writing the article and there was a message from James’s son’s mother. MY heart stopped and I checked it right away, fearing something had happened to James’s son . But they were at a family reunion in a town in BC. i guess they don’t really know BC and didn’t realize they were at least a 12 hour drive from me because she said that James’s son would really like to see me. I felt so bad because the message was over 2 weeks old. I messaged back that I had just gotten the message and she messaged back that they were home now. I told her it would have been too far for me to drive anyway but for sure to give her son a hug for me and if they ever get a little further west to for sure give me a call. 

It was kinda the icing on the cake and was another reason I was glad I was in James’s life, I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t been with him when his son came out to live with him. Things happen for a reason, I believe that more than ever,

On another up note, my cabin did not sell and it is the last weekend of the summer so it is unlikely it will sell now until next spring, one day, one month, one year at a time and it just keeps getting better. 

Oh and I got my article back from the woman at Victim’s of Violence with some editing and what she had done made sense and made it easier for me to edit it and we got it done. Her comments:

“I have read over your story in detail now- WOW! Your last copy looked great! “

It ended up being just over 8,000 words and will be printed in its entirety in the Sept newsletter. 

I am very happy with the end results. Thank God for editors!

I Didn’t Know My Own Strength – Whitney Houston

None of us know our own strength until we are tested. If it was easy it wouldn’t be called strength. You never know how strong you are until you think you aren’t strong enough but everyday somehow you make it through; and you look back and wonder how you ever survived it. But you did, you are stronger than you know, stronger than “he” gave you credit for, and you are strong enough.

Picking Up the Pieces

What’s it like to find yourself trapped in darkness so thick you can’t breathe from the choking, so dense you can hardly move, yet somehow you managed to break free of the shackles that have you bound, immobilized, and ensnared?

What’s is like to find yourself emotionally naked, gashed open, and so vulnerable you felt like your heart had been ripped out of your chest, yet you somehow managed to reclaim the core of who you are and rebuild yourself and patch the hole left inside?

What’s it like being chained in the abyss, darkness enveloping you except for the sole dust-laden beam of light cascading through, falling upon your head, as the lions, ravenous and desperate in hunger, lurk around you, encircle you, and prepare to pounce, yet somehow you are stolen away to safety at the right time in your hour of need?

What’s it like be cast…

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Kelly’s Message Of Healing

I received this message today and want to share it with everyone. This is a message of hope for those of you still struggling with no contact and thinking you will never heal. I cried when I read it, happy tears.

Good Morning Ladies

It’s been awhile since I posted and I thought I would give an update. I keep this blog feeding to my e-mail as a reminder as to how far I have come and where I don’t want to ever be again. 

Carrie, Thank you for continuing this blog and providing a safe place for people find the understanding and support needed to being healing!

My N’ is effectively as much out of my life as one can be with three kids. The divorce paperwork was signed on 9/11 even though our hearing was on the 31 of July. I came out of the courtroom with a huge sense of relief.

The N’ maintained full physical custody of the kids, only two are under age now. Not what I necessarily wanted, but it saved from putting them the court system yet again. My kids know that I am there for them and just a phone call away and they aren’t little anymore 18, 15 and 12. The N’ is trying to play superdad and do everything I did for 16 years without his help and he’s stumbling pretty hard.
He, in typical N fashion, has played the mayrtar card of poor me I am single dad doing it all on my own the ex won’t help. Which I am okay with. I have learned that it’s okay to stand back and watch and wait to be asked for help. Yes, I know that he won’t ask for it because then he has to admit he isn’t as great as he thinks he is.

I do have to say that the day of court hearing for our divorce, he was almost an hour. He didn’t think he needed to be at the courthouse that he could just handle it all over the phone. Neither his lawyer or mine know where that idea of his ever came up at. It’s nice to know that after two years of battling uphill to settle what is fair the eyes of court that’s all over. At the end he was pretty much done running me through the wringer.

The thought process on this was that if he continued to press as hard as was about how awful of a person I am that it would bite him in the ass. I had three different counselor’s comeback showing that he was abusive in the marriage, that I did not have anger management problems and that he was alienating the kids from me. This last one is still a problem, but it’s a battle the kids are going to have to pick up and battle,  mainly because I no longer fit the N’s world so he can’t be bothered or doesn’t know how to encourage common curtiesy and respect to me as their mom.

I like knowing that I can freely move forward with my own life and even though I had already started that I can now continue with no restrictions.

My boyfriend and I still going strong and have wonderful communication. He is gentle with me when I come across the situations that make me want to draw back. He regonizes the causes and gives the moral and emotional support I need to know that I am not going to have the rug ripped out from under me. We enjoy the small moments in life and look at the future as an adventure to be had. 

Being N’ free is great and there are days I would love to thank him for the experience that he gave me. Without the nightmare that he gave me, I may not have learned to appreciate the little things in life. I wouldn’t fully appreciate that it’s okay to someone that you love them over and over again in ten minutes just because you can. Without his nightmare I wouldn’t have realized the amount of strength that I have in me. I go out and look for the positives in life. I have put my pieces back together and the picture is no long the same and it’s okay. Life is great!

Good Luck to all of you! Hang in there and be strong. Each step you take a way from your N’ will only help you realize your own strength. Keep in mind it is your strength that drew the N’ to you and it’s that same strength that will pull you through!

There is life and light after the narcissist, I promise! Hugs Carrie