Catharsis

I have quite a bit of Post Traumatic Stress from an abusive marriage many years ago and a more recent abusive relationship with a Narcissist. I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. I wasn’t sure if writing would stir up the PTSD but I really have felt compelled to write and share my story. Although I am a long way from being healed, part of the journey has been reading blogs and Facebook pages and books that tell other women’s stories…..and just knowing I am not alone has been huge. I have found (so far) to my surprise that writing seems to lift the fog and depression and actually makes me feel better. Perhaps it is like a catharsis, especially when I’ve become very sensitive to saying anything to most people because I actually get a “get over it already” in response. (Maybe I should re-evaluate why these people are in my life, because I would never dream of telling anyone to “get over it” no matter how absurd I thought their issue was.)

One of the more troublesome aspects of recovery has been the feeling of absolute overwhelment when it has come to getting anything done. Thankfully, I have still been able to work and do my job well but everything else has been difficult…..from making phone calls to cleaning the house. I don’t have people over because the house is in such total disarray. I seem to just want to sit and stare at Facebook or sit and stare outside or take a nap. I’ve become aware that I at least need to start exercising. (So that my muscles don’t atrophy?)  And I do know that exercise is a really good remedy for depression (scientifically proven) as is the Vitamin D.  I’ve also read that making a routine is very good. With the type of work that I do, I don’t always have a set routine so things like sleeping too much becomes too easy. Like I mentioned in an earlier blog, I did just start antidepressants and while I am not big on “pills”, I felt that, for me, it was time.

I am on Facebook if anyone would like to connect with me. We need all the support we can get.

Peace and love,

Olivia                https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008896532578

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You’re Definitely Not an A**hole

surrounded by assholes

Since your time with the Narcissist do you ever find yourself wondering if you really are just an asshole? I lost all my “friends” (I use the word “friends” loosely and in quotation marks) so maybe I AM just an asshole.  During the time with the N, I also very slowly learned boundaries and how to stand up for myself. (Which has actually been a very very good thing.) But more than a year later, I still have those occasional moments where I say to myself, “Maybe you just ARE an asshole!” But I realize that being with someone so cruel and abusive (and the gas lighting and mind games) that the N played were designed to rob me of all my self esteem so that thinking I’m an asshole would be his objective.

I went on a date with a man who I really believe was married ….. (there were a few signs)…..and dating still scares the holy crap out of me, so I drank too much on the dates. (I wasn’t falling down stumbling drunk or even “drunk” at all, just comfortably tipsy.) And today I was talking about it with my adult son and I said, “He really was a nice guy….but I think he was married…..and I was terrified of dating…..and so I drank too much and I don’t think he liked that I drank so much.” And my son said, “Would you just listen to yourself??? You find a way to justify the bad behavior of anyone!!” He continued, “I could punch you in the face right now and tomorrow you’d say it was your fault because you talked too much.”

Wow. Just wow. Now, my son would NEVER hit or harm me, he was making a point and a very valid one at that. He is a young adult with a very old soul.He made me really stop and think again.  He’s right,  I can find a way to justify almost anyone’s crappy behavior and make it into my fault (The guy was married, I called him out on it, he didn’t like that and he broke off the dating, but it was my fault for drinking too much…….. HUH????)  I have to remember that  because I have boundaries and a sense of what is right or wrong in the way people treat me (dating a married man is definitely NOT Ok) does NOT make me an asshole.  The narcissist wanted me to think that I was an asshole……wanted me to think so, when, in fact, it was him talking about me behind my back about how horrible I was (abusing and stalking  him and all is what he told people, which was totally fabricated) and THAT was why people didn’t like me anymore, NOT because I  was just an asshole who  didn’t treat people right and agree with them when I should have.

I had another friend recently. (I don’t think I do anymore.) I knew him for many many many many years and felt safe with him. We would occasionally “hook up”. So when I asked if he had plans for some of the holidays, I got ignored.  When I asked if he would like to attend an event with me, I got ignored. So I got tired of him ignoring the questions and I said, “An answer would be nice, at your convenience of course, and if the answer is NO, then that’s fine, just say No.”  Well, because I just asked for the respect of receiving an answer to a question…..I never heard from him again since then. (Which was what prompted the whole “maybe I am just an asshole” debate inside my head.)

And here’s my point. The Narcissist/Abuser/Sociopath wanted you to think you were a worthless, no good, piece of crap so that you would depend totally on him for everything. So that you would surrender and do whatever he wanted you to do. So that you would go along with his boundary crossing ways all allow him and his friends to walk on you and abuse you. The less self esteem you have, the more control they have over you.

You’re not an asshole. You’re not worthless. You’re not a piece of shit or full of shit (as I was so often told and called). You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are intelligent. You are deserving of respect and love and courtesy just like anybody else. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. You are allowed to have your boundaries and people are NOT allowed to cross them

We have to get rid of all these old tapes that keep playing inside our heads telling us that we are less than and not worthy and that  we have to just settle for what anyone wants from us. Not true, not true, not true. We are worthy. When I discovered boundaries, I was called a “bitch” to my face from someone who had been in my life since I was a child. Well, if bitch means you’re not a doormat, then please, yes, I AM a bitch. And realize that people do this to you because they LIKED the you that was the doormat. You’re not anyone’s  doormat anymore.

Peace and love,

Olivia Rose

Thank You

thank you note

I have wanted to start writing this blog for so long and it feels so good to finally start.

Thank you to all of you who have been blogging for years because reading what you have written has helped me so very very much. Your encouragement has meant the world to me while being surrounded by people who can never understand what it’s been like to be involved with a narcissist.

Peace and love,

Olivia

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008896532578

One Small Step

it's going to be OK

It’s been a really difficult few years…..since about 2009. And “really difficult” is probably a huge understatement. I read somewhere that pain and discomfort means you are experiencing growth…..moving beyond the current place that you’re at into a new and unknown territory. Being involved with an abusive relationship with a narcissist left my life in shambles, I lost everything that it took many many years to build. When I hear myself tell the story, I can hardly believe it myself. I still wonder how it happened and how it went so far. It sounds like a tale out of a psychotic movie. How can one person turn every friend you have against you? Well, after reading about 15 books and countless blogs and talking with many other people, I have a pretty good idea how it happens but my brain still won’t process it and accept that it’s possible. I’m not sure my brain will ever understand…..I don’t possess the brain of a sociopath in order to think like they do.

I spent a very long time trying to become amicable with the narcissist.  (I will refer to him as “N” from here on.) And I found that amicable is just not possible with this kind of person. They have no empathy for your pain. They will say the right words one moment (and you think you’ve found that person you fell in love with) but then in the next second attack you with venomous force. It takes a very long time to realize that “amicable”  is never going to happen and you have to finally let go of that hope. There will be no friendship.

Like a death, I believe you go through stages. The first is anger. “How could you do this to me??” You seek and seek for explanations.(And your seeking could go on forever until YOU choose to stop.)  You seek compassion. You seek understanding. Nobody (except for those who have gone through it themselves) seem to understand. People will even tell you “Get over it already. Move on.” But the N plays such a mind game with you that it is incredibly hard to just “move on” like you would after an ordinary break up. We try so hard to understand something that a normal person (who does possess empathy and compassion) will NEVER understand. This phase can take a very long time to get through. You may find you develop physical ailments related to carrying so much anger. There is no easy solution. Talking to a qualified counselor is an option if you can find one who understands the victim of a Narcissist. (Not many do.) You can join support groups. I have found countless women who have experienced the same thing I did. That alone is a huge comfort. There are also many books you can read and blogs that will help you to understand.

After the anger phase, I believe the grief phase begins. For me, it is not a grief of “lost love”. I finally see him for who he is. I understand that the man I fell in love with was an illusion. He knew how to play the role of Prince Charming to the world but behind closed doors, he was a demon to be feared. And, yes, I feared him with every ounce of my being.  I don’t miss the screaming, cursing and name calling with his spittle hitting my face as he cursed me. What I grieve is the loss of my way of life. I lost most of the people I considered friends. Of course, in retrospect, you realize that these people were never your friends to begin with if they could believe such crazy lies about you that he told. I miss the social groups that I belonged to for many years that I now find myself ostracized from. I miss being able to pick up the phone and connect with people. I have 3 people left in my life locally that I can connect with. I learned how to do everything alone. (Which is hard but worth being able to do.) I think, for me, the holidays brought out the grief. There were no parties, no gatherings, no friends. The holidays emphasized my loneliness. Yes, I have made new friends but it is not the same. New friends already have their own social circles and families and it takes a very long time to be accepted and fit in. It’s not the same as having life long (or many year friendships). But we also know that in every ending is a new beginning. I did go to some gatherings. People were kind. But for nearly every one I attended, I cried all the way home.

Sometimes we need help getting past the pain. We have to seek out therapy and in some cases we have to seek out medication. While I believe medication is a last resort (for me anyway), today I started a prescription of an antidepressant. I have high hopes that taking it will help me to crawl out of this black hole that I seem to be stuck in. Depression is a horrible feeling. (And of course if you feel suicidal, call 911 immediately.) It’s a huge thing for me to start an antidepressant and to admit it. And even more than that…..I am praying that it works. I suffer from not only depression but Post Traumatic Stress  stemming from a culmination of 3 abusive relationships, anxiety and panic attacks. I am ready to feel better and have my life back.

I realize that in addition to the medication that I have to do other things to take care of myself. I need to fill my mind with the most positive and inspirational stuff I can find. I have to do things that give me joy. I have to eat properly. I have to get enough rest. I have to exercise. Today I started the medication. Tomorrow, I turn over a new leaf and seek out those things that bring me joy. I will eat better and exercise too. Just getting out and sitting in the sun can help you feel uplifted.

And more than anything else, we must know and remember that it will be OK…….if not today, then one day soon. It will all be OK. And while our memories remain (we would never want to “forget” and repeat this experience again), we can find love, joy and peace once again. So take one small step (or big step……going on medication was definitely a big step for me!!) towards your goal. You are never alone.

Love and peace,

Olivia               https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008896532578