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, lists

Time flies when you are having fun; right?!

Good morning fellow readers and bloggers.  It is a rainy, chilly day here in the Northwest.  Still dark as I headed out this morning.  Here in Oregon we change our clocks back and forth in the Spring and Fall so we have more dark hours each day during this season.

I hope your morning is starting out well.  I am sitting at my desk thinking about how fast time goes.  Perhaps this is because I have just had another birthday, the kids keep having them too or could be the end of another decade is near.  Remember how as a kid, getting through the school days, weeks and year seemed to take Forever!  Time moved at such a slower pace it seemed. Now in the adult years time seems to be speeding up and it feels like there are not enough hours to accomplish everything each day or even each week.  We hit another new year and we make the same resolutions as the year before because we didn’t come close to where we wanted to be.

In thinking about time moving quickly, I keep coming back to how I choose to live my life.  Am I having the most fun I can?  Am I enjoying more of this life than not?  Do I find myself living in peace, harmony and joy?  Am I accomplishing the goals or moving in the direction of my dreams?

I read every morning.  I love to read.  To write.  To expand my mind with new ideas I may not have heard before or to get lost in a creative story.  During the quiet morning reading, I often choose books or articles that will stretch my mind.  That will help me focus and motivate me to live my best life.  I enjoy reading stories about over-comers, the underdog who has risked everything or helped others and created the life of their dreams.  These are inspiring to me.

As I was reading this morning, this idea about time moving fast and where am I at; hit me anew.  I love my life in so many ways.  In the past 2 years life has changed immensely with adding a partner and two kids to my life.  A new dog! Sending my oldest to college.  And I would not change any of it.   There are things though I personally want to work on.  I want to be more fit.  To write more.  To build a business and create time freedom.  I have been so busy loving and building one area of my life that I have become complacent in other areas.

When we are busy enjoying one area of life, we can often drop the ball in other parts of life that still need our attention.  This has definitely been my experience.  So how do we stay focused on building our best self, in the midst of time flying right by?  How do we stay focused on fun and joy and creating the life of our dreams while juggling all the commitments that come with adulthood?

This is just a small list of a few items we can do to keep on track and continue to create the life you love no matter what age or stage of life you are at.

  1. Decide!  Make a decision about what you want your life to look like.  Be ok that this will change.  What you want in your 20’s may not be the same as what you want in your 40’s or beyond.  But indecision is the killer of dreams, so choose to be a decision maker for your own self!  Maybe create a plan for the month or a year or 5 years.  Just choosing a direction can be difficult so try to find an area that you can more easily make decisions in and decide.
  2. Write!  Set time, even just 10 minutes to write goals and dreams.  To write lists.  I have committed to the practice of writing three things I am thankful for each day.  Along with writing my intentions for myself.  Once I write it down, I have a reference I can look back to track progress as well as clarity.  And writing items that I am grateful for keeps me grounded and in a state of awareness beyond just myself.
  3. Read! I believe reading others thoughts, stories, ideas all help us.  Read anything.  I read a stat somewhere once that something like 80% of the world never reads again after going through school!  It may have been 65%!  But still, either number is staggering to me.  I can not imagine not reading.  There is so much to learn and this is one of the best ways to do so. I suggest finding books that help you with the path you are on.  If you are trying to get healthy, read cookbooks and stories of weight loss or physical breakthroughs.  If you are building a business, read books from other entrepreneurs for ideas and inspiration.  Struggling with any mental health issues, self esteem issues, family issues, you can find stories you will relate to as well as assistance in how to get through those.  Or read for the pure enjoyment of the story.  I try to split it up, about 60% is for my betterment, stories of triumph, biographies, business books, etc.  The other 40% is what I call mind candy; these are just for fun.  Could be historical fiction, romance, mystery, fantasy.  Anything that gets me engaged and lost in the story.  Reading is a sure fire way to enjoy time while it flies by.

I encourage you to try these.  To make even just one small decision toward your dream life.  Each time I write a blog post, I am doing one thing that keeps me moving toward living my best life.  I have wanted to be “published” for so many years and this avenue allows me to feel like I am.  Whether or not you see the results, each step you take will bring you closer to the life you desire.  Each time you Decide to take action, you are one step closer to your dreams and accomplishing those goals.  Each time you Write them down, you have the opportunity to re-read them, carry them with you and track progress.  Each time you Read something outside of your own thoughts and ideas you have the opportunity to learn; which always makes us better.

I hope you are living your best life.  If not in all ways, then do something about it.  Start where you are and get moving.  This life is going to keep on moving forward; how do you choose to enjoy the journey? Are you having fun? If not, you have the power to choose differently.

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (14)

Relaxing. Reading. Breathing. This is my day.

Lost in the written word of others. Someday I’ll finish the stories I need to tell.

We each have a story to tell. I’m reflecting on mine today.

Somedays one just needs to breathe. May your Sunday be as beautiful.

Posted in vocabulary

Friday’s word (28)

Good morning from the Pacific Northwest, USA. It’s early and still dark out, but I’ve a puppy so I’m up daily in the early hours. She’s so sweet it’s not too hard to tend to her. Plus gives me this morning time to ease into the day. I love the quiet and calm of being the only one awake.

Today’s word so fits me, I’m definitely wistful when I enter a bookstore, of any kind really. I think I could live in a bookstore. The smell of books. The excitement when you find just the story you were wanting to read. Curling up in a chair, the coziness and warmth all the books bring. I don’t care what kind, used or new, I just love books.

For those who enjoy reading and books… This word is for you today.

Posted in General

More than words

I like to talk.  I spend time with those who like to talk.  I am pretty sure most of my phone conversations are at least an hour long.  When friends come over, we talk for hours. Sometimes we barely move from our seats as we have so much to say.  When I get to my best friends, oh my!   I am not sure we notice the man or kids around as we have lots to catch up on.

I also love quotes; words in general.  I have quotes all around my house.  In probably almost every room is some quote or just a one-word wall hanging.  My personal Pinterest page is full of quotes that I love or that inspire me. And an entire board of cool words that I like the sound or meaning of.

I like to write so I guess this attachment to words makes sense.  I wrote poetry as a kid to try to understand my emotions or to just escape the angst of those teen years.  I am always writing down ideas for the books I will someday write; starting storylines I will one day finish.  I carry paper and pen almost everywhere I go so I can jot down a thought before I lose it.

As I woke up today, I was struck by the importance we put on words.  We can often be hurt by words said or even unsaid.  We can be lifted up or torn down by things others say to us, or by what we tell ourselves.   But all I could think was how sometimes words are just words.  We often place such a high value on the words we say;  we can forget about actions.

This particular subject was the topic of a recent conversation with a friend.   Their viewpoint was to always speak the truth. That we should be using our words to help others, that we need to share the truths.  And as I do not disagree, my view is more from the place that we sometimes need to know our audience and accept that some are not able to hear beyond the words and see the meaning.  See the intent.  In order to not make ourselves frustrated, perhaps we should focus more on the words we tell ourselves.

I find that some days I really struggle with this need to speak the truth.  With the desire to share what I know to be the reality of certain situations and people.  But then I remember; I am focused on MY growth.  On being the BEST ME; for me, for my kids, for those I choose to keep in my life.  Not to be selfish, but to focus on what I can do to be better, that perhaps it is not part of my path to help certain people.

Sometimes the need to speak or say something should be held in check.  Maybe I don’t always need to be the “wordy chick.”  Maybe I should learn to hold my tongue.  I don’t need to speak the truth to those who do not really wish to hear it.  It is not my job to educate those who do not desire to learn.  Perhaps those that wish to hear, will be the ones I was meant to impact.

My first post on this blog was all about how much can change in one year.  The growth that comes when we choose the right, better path.  Sometimes this is very hard to do.  It does not come without a lot of words, conversations to help us through and actions to back up the choices.

But if we only focus on words and do not follow up with actions, we will never grow or change.  We will sit on the sofa instead of getting up for a walk.  We will watch TV instead of learning that new skill.  Watch others take adventures, try new things, check things off their bucket lists, but not accomplish our own.  Words are important, but the actions we take are so much more so.  Words can sometimes be just words.

I hope you are surrounded in your life with those that will speak freely and honestly. That they give you words to help you be a better you; encourage you.  And when needed, put those words into actions.  Most importantly I hope you take those words and apply an action to them YOURSELF.  Speak words to yourself that build you up, that help you grow, that will teach you and then take the actions needed to accomplish new goals, reach those dreams and be the BEST YOU.

Another installment of a random thought.  🙂
I hope you have a great day and as always please send me your thoughts.