Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday Reflections–How do you fight?

It’s another Sunday that I am reflecting on this weekend and as couples do, we had a moment of disagreement.  This has me thinking about how we you go to battle over different thoughts, ideals or interpretations of things in couplehood?  How do you disagree, be upset or angry and yet still be loving as well?  Is this even possible?

I have read before that how a couple fights is one of the biggest determinations of their success and longevity.  How they speak and react to each other will predict if they will stand the test of time  I have no idea if this is true or not, but I can understand why this would be a large part of a relationship success study.

In an argument; when your feelings are hurt, you feel misunderstood, or you are just plain angry, most of us are not thinking clearly and often not behaving at our best.  How can we make sure our voice or view is heard while still showing respect and care to the one we love?

Having a successful relationship takes a lot of work.  It is not easy and yet I believe our human nature is to fight against this fact.  We want it to be smooth all the time.  We do not desire to argue and disagree or hurt each others feelings.  Human nature is often lazy (although we do not like to believe this; at least I do not) and to have a healthy relationship takes effort, time and energy that we do not always feel like expending.

In evaluating our disagreement post fact and knowing we desire to be among those who are successful in relationships, I thought I would share what I think are the ways to argue in a healthy way with your partner.

  1. Keep voices calm and at normal volume.  I know this may be very tough to do, but this is the person you love, why would you want to yell or scream at them?
  2. Stay committed to the issue at hand.  This can be tough, especially if you are the one who has done something to offend.  Our desire is to fight back; defend our self and take “the heat off us” so to speak.  Turning the argument into another one does not solve the first issue, stay on topic.
  3. Arguing should be done privately. Find a time that you can be alone without children or others.  Never in front of friends or in public.
  4. Stay respectful.  Know and believe that that your partner is desiring the same goal; to have a healthy, loving relationship.  Stay away from attacking each other and use I statements rather than You statements.  If you didn’t study this in school, here is what I mean: An I statement is a way to communicate that focuses on your own feelings or thoughts rather than those characteristics of the recipient.  An example of this would be: “I feel angry when the dishes are often left in the sink rather than put in the dishwasher, it makes me feel unappreciated and that I am the only one that pays attention to cleaning the kitchen.”  This is better than attacking and saying “You never wash the dishes, you do not care about a clean kitchen.” etc.    I know this is very challenging in the beginning, but the more you practice this, it becomes easier and easier.
  5. Forgive and apologize quickly.  Say you are sorry when you do something wrong.  Choose reconciliation over being right.  You are building a partnership, this requires an immense amount of grace for yourself and the one you love.

When we live with any other human we are going to have disagreements.  Living with others can help refine and shape us into our best selves if we let it. Arguments can teach us new things about our partner and give us the opportunity to grow closer.  And in choosing to live your best self; learning, changing and adapting is a requirement.  There will be struggles along the way, but perhaps these few tools will help you if you are navigating this life with another.

Have a blessed day.  Continue in choosing the path that leads you to your best life.

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 General

Healthy relationships; a few items that are required in my view

I’m all about relationships these days. Perhaps it’s finally finding my perfect for me partner. Perhaps it’s getting engaged and focusing on creating our future. Or it’s that I’m very content and happy in this life, having learned what it takes to create a life I love.

I’ve been pondering on whether or not to make this post; because in some ways this topic is subjective. We each may see good but not necessarily healthy.

So I preface this with stating these are my views of what healthy is. What are must haves. What is required. How healthy looks to me.

After leaving a mentally abusive environment and taking the time to heal and figure out my part in the drama, I was open to finding real love. I committed to doing the work on myself so I could be capable of a healthy relationship.

And in doing that work the past few years, I’ve learned some things. Here are 5 Signs of a healthy relationship:

1. You know yourself. You love yourself. By this I mean, you are confident in what you want, what your needs are and know you’re worth having those met. You continue to grow and learn so that you’re becoming a better partner all the time.

2. You respect your partner and they respect you. This in an action word. Healthy partners speak to each other respectfully. Behave respectfully. Actions and words of respect are vital.

  • 3. You can be alone. Your partner can be alone. Choosing to have some independence in the midst of a partnership is important. You may come together as a couple but you are still an individual. Having your own goals and dreams are just as important as the ones you have together.
  • 4. You can compromise. Having a long term relationship requires the ability to put another’s needs as equally important as your own. Accepting that your partner is not you, bring their own point of view of how things are to be done and background story is vital to learning how to meet in the middle.

    5. You trust each other. Not just in the way of commitment, but in sharing of yourself. Trusting that my partner genuinely desires the best for me. For us. Showing the same. Believing being together makes us better people than apart.

    These all seem so simple and obvious when reading this list. And they really are. I could add many more items as well. But the tough part is in the action. Loving and sharing a life with someone requires work. Requires commitment to that work. A healthy relationship isn’t free from stress, tough moments, or angry moments. But it is one of committed actions to show you love and care for each other. It’s building a partnership.

    I was taught love is a verb. Having had more unhealthy than not, it’s an amazing experience to be in a healthy relationship.

    In creating the best life for yourself, learning what you need to be healthy personally, is the first step. Once you can be healthy independently, you have the ability to learn how to be healthy and loving in a partnership.

    My best life includes a partner. After many years alone it’s an amazing feeling to have a partner who shows love in action. Who helps create a life I love everyday. Who helps me be my best self.

    What do you see as your best life? Wether or not it includes a partner doesn’t matter. We are always capable of learning and growing so we have good relationships with whomever we encounter.

    May you keep working at being healthy. At building a life you love.

    Posted in Sunday quotes

    Sunday reflections (20)

    I’ve been sharing a lot about joy as that is my usual state and I really want to share how possible it is to overcome the past and move forward to having a life you love. But I do have off days too. Today is one of those. I am cranky. Tired. Easily annoyed. Kinda wishing I’d just stayed in bed. There’s no real reason I can attribute this mood to other than it’s just an off day.

    Do you feel like that at times? Where you’re just crabby and don’t really feel like talking to anyone? How do you tackle cranky emotions when they crop up?

    In continually seeking to be my best self, I have found one of the best ways for me to change my attitude and mood is to be alone. And also to exercise.

    It’s a beautiful sunny day here. Perfect for walking to the park or taking a long bike ride. Sometimes deep breathing and sitting quietly in the fresh air helps to clear the mind.

    Think I’m going to head to find a place of peace. To sit quietly and close my eyes and refocus my thoughts.

    I hope when you experience an off day, you have a goto method the helps you redirect to finding your better self. We all have cranky, edgy, negative attitudes but we can choose how long we walk in that state. We can choose to find a way back to peace and joy within our selves.

    I hope you have a great beginning to your week. Here’s a couple pictures from our family hike yesterday; a beautiful moment I think I’ll focus on.

    Latourelle Falls.

    Posted in General

    My cup runneth over.

    I know I’ve written often about gratitude but I have to again. This is a reoccurring theme these days. Today I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness for my life! I’m feeling sappy and smiling. Beautifully exhausted as we stayed up too late enjoying time without kids, which is a rare event.

    The past (almost) year has been life changing. So many changes and more to come. But tackling life with a partner that loves and respects you is amazing, makes me believe anything is possible.

    Not every moment of every day is wonderful. We get tired. We get short with the ones we love. But even those moments, once mended, bring us closer and create so much growth and connection that I can’t help but be thankful for them.

    Just wanted to share the joy. And this message of gratitude. Hope you are having just as wonderful of a day.

    There is something amazing that happens to your soul when you stay in a state of thanksgiving. It pours out of you. Smiles and laughter are hard to contain.