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 NPD

Narcissist Drama

I have been watching the stats on my site for quite some time now and the most read posts are those about NPD abuse.  I thought that as I moved forward; away from this chapter of my life; writing more about self care this would become less but that does not seem to be the case.  I know this is a still an important topic to discuss.

So I thought I would write something new about NPD in hopes to continue to educate and encourage anyone going through this type of relationship.  Or for those that are on the other side of the abuse but may still need information from time to time.

And one area that I may not have touched on before is the Drama that the Narc thrives on.  The more of it the better.  The more chaos they can create for the primary source, secondary or even one discarded; the more supply they receive.  If the Narc can create drama for you; they get validated somehow.  One who is healthy usually wishes to avoid drama, so this is tough to comprehend.

But when I think of a Narc, my view is that of a flea.  A nasty, annoying little mite that can not survive without a host.  We itch and claw to make them go away.   We watch our pets scratch and shake in attempt to get rid of these. And we put special medication on them to help them.  Just like our pets need our help, we have to help each other in staying the healthy course.  We have to learn some new ways of coping and how to avoid the drama the Narc creates.

So I thought we should explore some ways to combat the drama that might occur when the Narc makes contact. When (NOT IF), the Narc makes contact; we have a choice.  No matter how much time has gone by; no matter if they have moved on; are “committed” to someone else; you are committed to someone else; you have relocated, had no contact for over a year or more; the Narc will make contact.

When the contact is made you may not feel like you had any choices in that moment.  You may be confused as to how they were even able to call you, see you, email you.  You may have felt that you were insulated in your new world.  You might feel, as I did, that the length of time of no contact meant a true moving on.  But don’t let that confusion derail you from the path you are on now. Don’t spend too much time on the how or why.  That doesn’t really matter.

What matters is continuing to focus on your own health.  On your current situation and circumstances.  If you are in a healthy relationship now, continue to thrive.  If you are working on getting healthy and the Narc has broken your no contact boundaries; it’s a reset moment.  It is not a failure on your part!

Here are a few ways to stop the Narc from creating drama in your world:

  1. Tell everyone when they have made contact.  Do not stay silent.  Do not hide the contact from your new, healthy partner, your family and friends.  You did nothing wrong. You need the support of those around you to stay the course.
  2.  Do not give it too much thought and attention.  Let the dark cloud this creates roll past you quickly.  Stay focused on all your progress and the healthy life you have now.
  3.  If need be; re-block phone numbers, emails, any contact information. Change your contact information, like you phone number or email address if need be. Move if you need to.  DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO BE SAFE.
  4. Continue to do the things you enjoy.  DO NOT let the Narc win by confusing your mind.  DO NOT let them live rent free in your head!  (thanks babe for that piece of advice)
  5. Re-evaluate your boundaries and be very clear (with yourself) on the consequences if they are broken.  That may mean knowing how to initiate a restraining order.  That may mean contacting your HR department at work.  Installing cameras around your home.  Alerting the authorities to a stalker situation.

You do not have to be dragged into the drama these folks wish to create.  You are healthy now.  You have choices.  You have boundaries.  And when these are broken, think of these ways to stop the dam from bursting.  Know that you are not alone.  You have strong men and women who have gone before you; who are in this with you and you can continue to move on.

Drama is not a part of our world anymore!

Posted in General

Life isn’t a video game

I used to wake up every day wanting a different life.  I wanted a different body.  I wanted to live somewhere else.  A different house, job, car, etc.  I would start the day thinking about all the things I would change if I could.   Often I would start the day, already wanting a do-over.

From the outside, most would not know that I lived this way.  My head was full of looking at the past, at what I could have done differently that would have me in a different reality today.  I spent a lot of time focused on things I could not change.  If I could just press the reset button…all the things I didn’t like about myself or my life, would be better. Fixed.

All of us have these type of thoughts. Something we’ve said or done that we would like to take back or undo.  A moment we would change if we could.  But spending too much time in this thought pattern seems to hold us back from our true self.   The past has NOTHING for us!  We can not do anything about yesterday, but for some of us, we spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to change it.   We waste a lot of the present, worrying and trying to imagine what we could or should have done.

There is freedom when we stop looking backward and start being present in the current moment.  When we wake up with renewal rather than regret.  When we stop spending so much time worrying about what other people think, instead just love them.  Show up with them.  Be present in this exact moment with them.

Looking backward, we can gain an understanding into others and ourselves, but when we live there; when we take up residency in old houses, old moments, we are blocking ourselves from living with true joy.   This life is not a video game.  We do not get to press the buttons and reset.  There is no do-over.  Spending too much time wishing there was, wastes our energy.  Destroys our joys.  Takes away our ability to stay present.

How often do you want a reset button?    A do-over for this life?  For an event or a moment that you would like to rewind or start new?    It is OK to evaluate a past moment, to learn and allow the lessons to change our reactions in the present.  But if spend too much time living in the past, we lose the joy of today!  Of getting to see what this life has in store for each of us right now.

Living in the past steals our joy.  Stay present.  Learn to live right now!  Throw the game controller away and stop trying to push the reset button.  This life is happening now! Be here! Show up every day for your own life!

Embrace each new day.  Start living in the present moment and watch what joys you start to experience.  See what shows up in your current life, in this moment…it may be so fantastic, you would never imagine wanting another do-over again.

 

 

Posted in General

12 Months, 12 days, 12 hours…

One year, one month, one day; life changes in an instant!  One year ago today, I was waking up to an unexpected surprise.  Having been on and off again with my long term boyfriend, I was kind of surprised to see an email from him when I awoke about midday (the joy of night shift sleep).  We had been kinda arguing and not at the best place when I opened the email.  I was half asleep, so I glanced, tried to process and went back to sleep. It vaguely registered that he had emailed me a proposal!  As in the THE Question many girls want!  To Marry him!  He had asked me to marry him!!!  Quite honestly I thought, he must be out of his mind.

engagement ringI went back to sleep and went into work that evening, not really thinking much of it. Later that evening, we connected and he brought it up, thinking perhaps I was ignoring the email (as was my nature to do).  He was SERIOUS! He meant it!  He asked me directly face to face to marry him and life changed…in less than a 12 hour shift. Less than a moment.

And now 12 months later, life has changed again.  We are no longer together.  We have both moved on and seem to be happier for it.

Marking the time of One Year, brings me new thoughts and revelations about how fast life changes.  How quickly we go from happy to sad,  from joy to sorrow, from laughter to tears.  This day does not hold any negative emotions, but a reminder that once upon a time, there was a boy who asked a girl to marry him.  She said yes.  But they did not end up happily ever after together….but perhaps they are both happier ever after.

Time continues to march on for each of us.  A year later and I wouldn’t trade where I am at.  There are new adventures to be had.  New people to meet.   New ideas to create.  New places to explore.  Whether life changes in 12 months, 12 days, 12 hours or 12 minutes, embrace the new!  Sometimes the view a year later is so much brighter than you can imagine.  The possibilities so endless that you can barely contain the joy in embracing them and moving forward!

How do you embrace the changes, unexpected or unplanned? The ones that bring pain but also joy?  Time continues on, how do you mark the changes?

Always.
Choose Joy.

Jen