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…

Posted in NPD

Love Bombing; stage one of dating a narcissist

As I’ve shared, I spent almost 3yrs in a relationship with someone with NPD. And have gone through many of the typical stages after a break up for the past year. Grieving and healing from this type of relationship seems to be more difficult than usual,  which I’ve also researched is the norm.

For those in this type of relationship or who are attempting to move on from,  I hope the next few weeks of going through the stages and recovery options I’ve learned, will be helpful.

Learning about NPD has helped me accept and start to work through what this person put me through.   I’ve watched some great youtube channels and read some great books and blogs that I will recognize throughout these posts.  Hearing others experiences, thoughts and ideas for getting past this,  has been invaluable.

This is a great post about the stages that happen after a break up that has been spot on in my experience, we will look more at her site as her books have been very informative: (what happens when you discard narcissist)
https://selfcarehaven.wordpress.com/

Today,  we’ll just touch on the first stage: Love Bombing

“Love bombing is a seductive tactic, where a manipulative person tries to control another individual with “bombs,” brimming from day one.” (nypost)

This is the stage where you first meet.  You are showered with attention, time, gifts, and praise.  Where you are constantly texting or talking but to an extreme.  Where inappropriate gifts are given.  It is not normal to spend hundreds or thousands within a week or two of knowing someone.  (not saying all relationships that move quickly or are extravagant are signs of NPD, but something to watch for).

It’s that “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” concept.  During the love bombing stage, the Narc spends a lot of time and energy making you feel valued, exalted, praises you often, and showers you with gifts, flowers, trips.  They want to be in constant contact.  Again the idea here is in excess.

An excerpt from another site:
https://blog.melanietoniaevans.com/love-bombing-when-its-too-good-to-be-true/

The start of a love bombing episode with a narcissist is TOTAL idealization. Valuable and consistent sources of narcissistic supply are necessary for the narcissist to escape into his or her magical world again of being adored, special, unique and ‘wonderful’.

When a narcissist decides a love partner is a valuable source of narcissistic supply – he or she will completely overrate, idealize this person and put them on a pedestal.

Rushing, which of course includes love bombing are all the signs of instant gratification which narcissists are famous for (I need energy / attention / drama / stuff now and quickly to avoid my inner demons and tortured true self.) 

Anyone who puts their heart on their sleeve immediately, or asks you for a committed relationship after one date (or even a few), or starts showering you with intense and incredible compliments straight away is VERY suspect.

This is NOT what normal healthy adults do.

When a narcissist is in the courting phase of securing narcissistic supply, he or she thrust all available energy at the target of new narcissistic supply. The narcissist is full of energy, excited, and very forthcoming with future dreams and plans (which of course are everything you want to hear). Energy, gifts, compliments, effort, charms, talents and emotions are lavished on the new target.”

When dating, there is a healthy amount of time and attention we offer a new potential partner.  But when dating a Narc, there is no such thing as a healthy balance of time or energy.  The Narc wants all your time, all your focus.  They have a hard time sharing you with anyone else, including children or family.  They will try to convince you that you are “beautiful, smart, sexy, fun, the best they have ever met, etc” so they can secure their new narcissistic supply.  Because they need this supply to survive, this love bombing stage is a whirlwind, it needs to happen fast. It is exciting and fun.  It feels real and genuine.  They are masters at telling you everything you have ever wanted to hear and making you feel good.

This stage is where they hook you.  The Narc is charming and overly attentive, making you feel like a “queen.”   They tell you over and over how wonderful you are.  They often use the words “I love you” very early and very quickly.  Again, try to remember if dating someone that “if they seem too good to be true, they probably are.”  And if they want to move at what seems lightening speed, this is another red flag.

Love Bombing is where they hook you.  Read the signs.  Know what is considered healthy behaviors, healthy and balanced ways of courting; of dating someone new.  Pay attention, this is where your brain becomes dependent on the “drug” they offer.  And you become their source of supply.

In my experience, the love bombing stage was amazing.  It felt good to be showered with time, energy, attention.  To hear how amazing, wonderful and beautiful I was.  To have one be so attentive and want to be with me all the time.  He took me shopping, paid for pampering, barely let me lift a finger for things such as meals or cleaning.  He took care of everything.  He lavished me and my kids with gifts.  He pushed to get to know my kids right away.  He was the definition of “over the top.”   (one note…if your family or friends comment that the lavish gifts seem a bit odd or inappropriate, take this into consideration early, try not to shake this off…your circle knows you, they only want the best for you.)

The reality was, he was building me up, creating a chemical bond in my brain to be attached to him.  To need his “love” so I would continue to be his supply.  And once he had me where he wanted, he was able to move to the next stage, which we will explore next time.

Some videos to check out:

 

 

Posted in NPD

Breaking silence

Earlier, I watched a video a girlfriend shared on her FB page, all about domestic violence.  And what struck me from it, was when she finally realized the abuse as abuse she broke her silence. She told everyone she said.  Everyone! She stressed that we have to break the silence. Staying quiet allows the abuse to continue.  We have to be willing to share our stories.

I thought about her words today as I was deciding what to blog about.  And as I stated in my video the other day, I will dedicate one day a week to discussing abuse.  It is an important topic to focus on as it is happening every day all over the world.  Many think that abuse is only physical, but psychological abuse is also just as damaging.  Abuse in any form is not ok and even though you can not physically see the effects of NPD abuse, it is still detrimental to the victims, their children, families, etc.

Even as I am moving forward and away from this chapter of life, the conversation about abuse is important.  Because my experience is with someone with NPD, I will focus on that and hopefully, bring some education and assistance to those that may be dealing with the same thing or who are trying to understand what is happening in their relationship.

It is important to state:  No matter how you get into any relationship,  no matter the circumstances, no matter if you’re a wife, girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, friend, or not, male or female;  NO one has the right to threaten you.  NO one has the right to harm you.  There are NO reasons or justifications for abuse in any form.  

I have been in and out of a relationship with someone with NPD for more than 3 years.  I was targeted and pursued aggressively, even though he was married at the beginning.  I was just one of many he pursued in his marriage.  One of many that fell for his charm. Because of my own empathetic nature, my own lack of love, my own vulnerability at that time, I fell for the lines he was giving me.  I even ended up agreeing to marry him but shortly after called off the engagement.  And the past year since then has been even more of the NPD cycle, as I will share.  Those who have been a part of this cycle know what I am talking about.  You know the highs and lows and how difficult it is to get away from a Narcissist. We don’t ever intend to be here, nor think this will be us, so it’s hard to accept it. It’s hard to admit that’s what it was.  That I was just a pawn in his chess game.  It is hard to get past the anger that this knowledge brings.

But in order to heal and move forward, we need to first know, this is not our fault.  Anyone who abuses another, the blame rests on them, not the one who cares for them.  As we accept this and start to set and follow clear boundaries, such as No contact, we can begin to move toward a better place.

Learning about NPD has been invaluable.  Has opened my eyes to see things more clearly and to start to understand the type of person I thought loved me, that I loved.  Seeking the help needed to get away and protection from possible harm,  I see more clearly the mental illness.  I can see the obsessiveness of the abuser, such as when receiving multiple messages in less than 5 minutes.  Or when threating harm if I do not “go away” even though I am not in any contact.  Most recently a threat with his gun and knife.  Sometimes breaking the silence can seem impossible to do, but for me, every time I have stayed quiet, the door was kept open for further contact and I am no longer willing to allow that.

We will explore the different stages or cycles of this.  From the Love-Bombing to the No contact ideas.  In my experience, from how it started to how it has ended, almost our entire “relationship” has followed these patterns.   I want to understand this disorder, the abuse, why I was targeted and what to avoid so I am never a victim of this again.

We all have a voice for a reason.  I believe we each have a story, have experiences that we wish we didn’t but that maybe some good can come from. This is MY story.  It has been my reality, regardless of how the Narc or anyone else perceives it.  Regardless if it makes others uncomfortable to hear the truth.  Regardless of how others may think things started or my role in it, abuse is unacceptable. Being a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, ex any of these, friend…NOTHING makes threats, harm or abuse okay.  No matter what role you are in life, you are worthy to be treated with respect.  Basic human rights…but as we will see NPD abusers do not see anyone as having any real value, they are all only a potential supply.  We will explore more of this in the weeks to come.  We will look at the books and blogs that I have researched to gain knowledge and wisdom to never be a victim of this again.

NPD abuse is very real.  Many have been and still are victims of this and it is a just as real as physical abuse.  Actually often leads to physical harm.   As my experience has been, Narc’s have no regard for the law, there is no hesitation in doing things that “normal” brains know are wrong and likely to end in trouble.  They will stop at nothing to keep you silent.  To stop the truth from coming out.  I have been harassed, stalked, threatened, by him and others for him but helping you and myself understand this kind of abuse is important.

May all who have been abused stop staying silent!  May we learn the things to avoid.  Learn the potential warning signs, learn the red flags and what is considered “normal” relationship behaviors and normal break-up behaviors.  Knowing what to avoid and the signs of NPD abuse is just one step.  Sharing stories is how we get the knowledge out.  Sharing resources and sharing the recovery is how we help each other heal.

A few sites to check out about NPD abuse that I have found insightful and helpful. I look forward to learning and healing together.  Each post, I will try to highlight different resources, knowledge is always powerful.

http://www.sun-gazing.com/7signsmanipulate/

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/37285214/posts/7182

http://queenbeeing.com/big-secret-narcissistic-abuse-recovery/

 

 

 

Posted in General

Keep climbing

I am a bit off the schedule of writing and posting this week.  I have gone back to work and am overly tired.  This week was challenging and at times frustrating as I am adjusting to being back to work after many months of dealing with back pain, surgery, and recovery.

Hopeful and optimistic while being a bit nervous at this change, I thought I would make today’s post about some of the quotes I have around and read often lately.  In order to not slide backward and create new pains, I am learning to change behaviors that I had never really thought about before.  The movements we do daily have an effect on our bodies.  Sitting for prolonged periods of time is the worst for me.  As we work in corporate America, we often sit way too much.

Changing long-term habits can be challenging and difficult.  As we’ve established, I am a words girl, so I share with you some of the quotes I use to keep myself motivated and progressing forward. Maybe some of these will be helpful to you as well.

motivational quotes

In order to improve we have to always be moving in a forward motion.  We have to keep climbing, even when it looks or feels impossible.  Stay motivated.  Stay positive.  Climbing the hills or mountains to making ourselves the best version we can be is always worth the effort.

Let me know if you have some quotes that you use to help keep you motivated.