Posted in NPD

Updated NPD post–A Recovering Narc Victim

I have been debating writing this post. I wrote at the end of the year about wanting to move this blog towards a new place, away from this topic.  But this topic still seems relevant and many of you read or reread the NPD posts so I thought I would provide a sort of “update” on this topic.  I am at a very different place than when I first started blogging about this.  But even with where I’m at now, I still struggle at times. There are still remnants; pieces that are misshapen and need tender care. There are moments of confusion and questioning myself.

I like to think because I’m healthy, have no contact with the narc and am in love and in a healthy relationship that I was all “healed” from the damage. But the truth is, being a victim of any abuse leaves you scared.  Leaves you with moments of doubt and uncertainty.

When you have been a narcissists supply, you have been deceived in a hideous, insidious way. You essentially have your brain warped; mind f’d we call it. The wires have to (in some ways) be reprogrammed to think normally again. And I’m not sure how long that takes.

So I thought I would write what this recovering looks like to me. I am not any authority on abuse or know what you need if in this situation, so please seek help if you are in danger. But I do know what I’ve studied and gone through after experiencing narcissistic abuse. What I’ve done to get healthy and perhaps some of these things can help you as well.

My steps of recovery:

1. Recognizing what abuse is. Reading and studying about narcissistic abuse. The more I learned the more power I developed to fight my mind when it wanted to believe the opposite. When I wanted to think there was actual love there, I had to unlearn the things he made me believe were love.

2. Listening to the voice that says this isn’t right. That gut instinct. The isolation from family and friends, how you’re spoken to, the hot/cold moods, the insistence to please and the forceful ways in which you are made to do so. None of that was okay. And you’re gut almost always knows this. I’ve learned to listen to it now.

3. Absolute zero contact. I read over and over how vital this is to healing and would agree. I blocked, deleted and made sure to avoid any places where any contact would be likely. I’m lucky I was able to follow through. The narc didn’t respect those boundaries all the time, but what matters is that I follow that. Often as the victim we don’t know how to sever the tie and because our brain has been messed up, we become addicted to the abuser. Zero contact was the hardest but most effective action for healing.

4. Journaling and writing about it all helped me feel less alone. Helped me understand more of this type of abuser and gave me a voice I didn’t have in any other way. And writing is a fabulous outlet to help process all the emotions you’re not sure how to handle. Sometimes just getting them out even if to just tear it up helps release those feelings that you have no where else to put them.

5. I focused on my health and creating a life I loved. I didn’t stay focused on the losses. Or the abuse. I would give it thought, write about it and then move onto something else. I read all the time. Kept busy with friends and tried to stay busy.  I became physically active to help in releasing all those happy endorphins; to keep myself positive.

Each of us has to do what we can to heal from abuse. Hopefully we choose to heal and move on in a healthy way. My process has worked for me. And yet I still have moments where I see more work to be done. The wounds are long scared over but they are still there. If you’re in the open wound or scabbed over stage, I recommend seeking help. Be part of a community that will support your healing. Take ideas from others. Read. Write. Healing from narcissistic abuse is a journey. But one you can recover from and move forward to build a beautiful life.

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (5)

This thought hit me hard this morning… My life is proof of this. Everyday I see the fruit of the work I’ve put into my growth. Into changing myself for the better. For learning from my mistakes. Beyond grateful for what those changes have allowed room for in my life.

Keep working. Never give up pursuing your best life.

Posted in General

Anniversary!

I started this blog one year ago today. It was with the intent to offer hope, inspiration and confidence to anyone that might read. It was my way to work through the pain and grief of ending a relationship with a man I loved who was terrible for and to me. My way to understand who he was, why and how he could do the things he did and call that love. By far the blog posts about narcissistic personality disorder and the recovery from that relationship have been the most popular.

It was not my intent to be outspoken about NPD. It wasn’t to demoralize the man I suffered from. It was to understand as much as I could about this type of relationship. All the stages of it I felt were important to share as I researched and worked through the healing process. I wanted to offer hope for anyone in a similar situation. And to show that it is possible to learn to love yourself again after this type of trauma. This blog was started with the intent to help others find their best life, as I worked to find mine.

One year later and almost a year of no contact, I am overjoyed to be in love with my life again. To have accepted the me that could love the Narc and allow that type of abuse. To have worked through the entire process of healing and understand truly what love is and how one should be treated within that love. To have learned how to process loss and see joy on the other side. To tackle my own demons and free myself from their shackles.

This year of blogging has been a journey of so many things. Self-discovery. Raw pain. Vulnerability. Joy. To be on the other side of NPD abuse and to now have a relationship with a man that accepts and understands who I am, who I want to be and helps me along the way in this adventure of life, is a piece of that joy. Knowing WHO I am and working daily to be MY BEST SELF is the greatest part of this journey.

I am thankful for all I learned this last year. Thank you all who have joined me here. To all those who have and still read about NPD, I hope this blog helps provide useful tools. I hope to spend this next year more focused on Joy. On Abundance and Living a Life You Love!

Here’s to more posts and continuing to learn to be our best selves.

Happy Anniversary!

Posted in NPD

The after game—what happens after a “break-up” with a Narc

As we have discussed the stages of a relationship with someone with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) for the past few weeks, we have been able to see the stages that happen during the relationship.  How it begins, what it looks like to be love bombed, the middle when we are devalued.  And the discard, where we think the end, the period lands.  However, when dealing with a Narc, the relationship doesn’t stop at the break-up.  

A Narc has to have a supply.  Narcissists lack empathy and have a desire to win above all else so much so they do not care about the consequences of their behavior.  They will behave in a way after the break-up that will still be a form of abuse.  The Narc views themselves as the victim, every time.  They can’t be exposed; can’t have the real face behind the mask revealed.  And they can not have someone leave them, they cannot be without a source of supply.  

So when you break up with them or even they with you, there will be another stage; more cycles to this toxic relationship.  This is a whole new level of abuse tactics they will use to keep you as a source of supply.  Even if they no longer want a relationship with you, they still want to control you.  The Narc still sees you as someone who belongs to them, they will do many things to attempt to keep that control. 

These are the stages I have researched and many I have experienced myself.  My Narc followed these, in a textbook fashion.  It’s a shame I had not recognized or known about NPD prior to this; it may not have taken close to a year to finally accept the truth and be able to recover and heal. 

The Post Break-up Narc Game: 

  • Hoovering or Boomeranging– “a technique that is named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner and is used by Narcs in order to “suck” their victims back into a relationship with them.” 

    This can come at any time, even months or years later. The Narc does not care about any boundaries you may have set, or if you have a new life, they need to see if they can still use you as a source of supply.

    In my Narc experience, this would happen when I would go silent or not reply to any messages for quite some time (really only about 6weeks) and he would attempt to suck me back in.  He was often successful.  Even after meeting the newest source of supply, even after “re-committing” to her after each time of seeking me out to clear the air, say goodbye or be civil, even when he would create issues in his home, he would still attempt to Hoover!  The latest being 6 weeks ago. 

    Thankfully this time, I finally realized exactly what was happening, he had hoovered me yet again.  After weeks of no contact, coming back to work, he used some of the same old tired lines to reel me back in.  And because of my caring nature, who I am, the affection I had, I started to fall for it.  But because of educating myself and researching NPD, I was able to see that once he thought he had me “back”, he had won again and his usual behavior returned.  Just about instantly.  He didn’t even waste time to pretend, we had done this cycle so many, many times. 

    And once he thought he had me back under his control, he was able to devalue and discard, threaten and just continue the same cycles of abuse.  Having educated myself though, I was able to stop the cycle and go no contact.  Finally! 

    Read this article, it lists common ways in which hoovering is accomplished; EVERY SINGLE one on this list, he did, multiple times:  http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/narcissists-hoovering-techniques/

  • Triangulation— is the act of bringing another person or a group of people into the dynamic of a relationship or interaction to belittle the victim and make the victim “vie” for the attention of the narcissist.

    Good article about this:   https://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2017/05/3-powerful-ways-to-heal-from-the-toxic-triangulation-of-narcissists/ 

    This is often done once the Narc has secured a committed new source of supply.  Once he has sealed that attention he still wants to make sure that his old sources are available as well.  You know, just in case the new source says no, isn’t available or they are bored.  This also creates a triangle where the Narc is at the center, allowing for even more of an ego fix.

    I recall one of the times we were in the middle of a hoover moment, around 8 months ago now, when the new supply was relatively new.  When he had me back where he wanted me and I was wanting to believe all the “I love you” lies.  I was back to showing him love, that he said: “it seems that she wants me more, knowing that you still want me.”  He enjoyed the attention.  He enjoyed attempting to pit me and the new supply against each other.   This was not the first nor the last time he would do this.

    He had done this to me as well when I was the fiance~.  He had been involved with another woman right after one of our breakups, of course, he had to get a new source of supply within a week or two.  But once he and I were back together, he ended it with her, or so I thought.  She was suddenly pregnant and contacting me, telling me he was still sleeping with her, that he loved her, etc.

    In my experience, the Narc really likes to use triangulation.  By having more than one person “fighting” over him, he was able to get a fix from all sources of supply. And reaffirm his narcissistic views. 

  • Slander or Smear campaignit is an intense campaign designed to humiliate an opponent while simultaneously elevating the narcissist

    Article with definition and examples:   https://pro.psychcentral.com/exhausted-woman/2017/03/5-ways-narcissists-smear-others/

    Oh, how this one can blindside you.  If you are not the Narc and just going through a “typical” breakup you might tell your close friends what happened between the two of you.  You will have your side of the story and if being honest, you can admit your own faults as well.

    But when a Narc feels rejected, their supply has left them, gone no contact or exposes them, they will become vicious and make up all sorts of lies to attempt to smear the victim to make them look bad and the Narc good. 

    What I find so amazing about smear campaigns, the Narc often attempts this with folks who know the victim really well.  So they usually know the truth and are able to see right through the made up stories. 

    When the Narc I was involved with tried this, he contacted family and friends who have known me for so many years, they could see right through it.  They have a loyalty he couldn’t understand because Narcs are only loyal to themselves.  And the lies are often times so outrageous, no one who knows the victim usually believes them.


During these moments, these cycles, one other way the Narc will cause abuse and harm to the old and new supply (in my opinion), the Narc will often also use their new source of supply to attempt to smear, devalue or threaten the old supply as well.  They will get the new supply to do their “dirty work” for them.  He has had the latest supply and even had me do it to the aforementioned ex-girlfriend.

By hoovering, triangulating, and smearing, the Narc is able to still keep you are as a supply source.  Those with NPD do not have nor care about boundaries that you may set for yourself to heal and recover from the abuse they have put you through.  They just continue with new ways to cause you harm.  

In order to heal, we must not participate in the post break up game.  We have to become educated and learn to apply the information.  With knowledge and boundaries, we can heal, we can move forward and can find healthy relationships again.  

Next time we will explore ways to heal and how to create a No Contact plan to keep on the road to recovery.  And we will take an honest look at how breaking no contact makes you feel and how you can use that to fuel you to reset those boundaries. 

 

 

Posted in NPD

Road to healing

Recovery from NPD abuse is an ongoing and committed effort.  Blogging about it all is hopefully providing some education and benefiting the recovery process for you all as it is for me.

Now that I have finally accepted that No Contact is the only way to move forward, as every single article, book, video, and blog have all stated, I have started to see real healing.

As I’ve shared,  I work at the same place at the same time as my Narc.  Our workplace is big,  so it’s not often we run into each other and I can do things to help facilitate that.  Park in different places, use different entrances, arrive and leave at different times,  basically never really keep a routine that is easy to track.  But some things you can’t change,  like being on the same committees or teams or being in the common areas at the same time.  I’m fortunate that these don’t require any real interaction and I’m not subjected to even having to look at him. But when I do see him,  I have to occasionally, less and less these days,  remind myself of who he is.

Part of why recovery is soo challenging after an abusive relationship is because our brains have been rewired some.  Being with a narc creates a drug type attachment or need. They are the best manipulators, so great in fact that even when we feel the abuse when we hear the lies when we are confronted with truths, we still choose to be with them. Somehow we ignore our gut instinct that something is not right.  So when we do start to break away,  often the withdrawals are great and that can lead to going back,  again and again.  We will explore that more next week.

In my case,  in order to break the cycle,  I had to get very real with what exactly would I be going back to.  What really would I miss about this person?  Is what they offer me, really worth the pain they bring as well?  Who exactly would I be getting?  Answering these I realized; I’d be getting a man who is a liar. Who less than a couple of hours of leaving his live-in girlfriend,  would be touching me, asking to make love to me, telling me he loves me.  A man who thinks nothing of having the old supply over to his place where he lives with the new supply.  A man who blames others when he doesn’t succeed how he thinks he should.  A man who thinks nothing of taking things that aren’t his.  Of threatening or actually committing crimes.  None of this was nor is, someone I’d want to be bound too or be associated with.  My instinct of not being proud to be on his arm was accurate.   These are the questions I have repeatedly asked and answered as I have started jogging down that recovery path.

Healing begins,  at least in my opinion,  when you go no contact,  when you get through the withdrawal and once you can truly see the person for who they are.  When you accept that you loved the mask,  not the face.  The face is the liar, cheater, abuser; the mask is the smiling, charming chameleon.  Once this is accepted,  healing and moving into an incredible transformation can begin.

As we work towards becoming our best selves, sometimes we have to face hard truths.  Recognizing the things we may struggle with, the areas that we are not to sure we want to evaluate, and the facts about ourselves or others, is tough.  It can be like cleaning a wound, getting the dirt and grime out hurts, but once we do so, we begin to see them scab then scar over.

I am starting to see the scar, rather than the open wound.  I wanted to trust he was who claimed.  I wanted to believe it was love.  I wanted to believe he was not all the things he repeatedly showed me he was.  I wanted to believe the lie.  The truth of loving a Narc was much harder to face.  Cleansing the wound and facing those truths have been painful and a challenge.  But the joy that returns when you start to heal, is worth it.

Let’s keep on the road to healing.  Keep on the path to becoming our best selves and who we want to be!  And when it feels challenging or unbearable, have a set of questions that you ask yourself and answer them honestly.  Get real with what or who you are having to recover from.

Till next time…