Warrior

 

 

tattoo 4

I realized in one of my previous posts about Warrior Women, I mentioned that I might get a tattoo one day. Well, I finally did it.  Three weeks ago, I went and got it done. It’s over my heart, on the left side of my upper chest. I had to overcome all the “societal” and “parental” stigmas about getting a tattoo. (I grew up being taught that they are not “nice”.)

Well, I don’t think I am “nice” anymore. I am pleasant, well mannered and  polite but I don’t stand silently for any kind of abuse or human injustice anymore. I have become the Warrior. And you know what? It feels really really good. I recently had to chuckle inwardly a bit because I don’t think the men I was in abusive relationships with ever thought or dreamed that their little “mouse” would become a roaring “lion” but I am getting there.

The Warrior Woman knows how to stand up for herself. She also stands up for others who have no voice. The children. The elderly. Animals. The planet. And anyone on the planet who is suffering from injustices. She has found her voice and she knows how to use it. She is not ashamed of her trials because they’ve made her who she is today……..a strong, independent woman. I frequently say that I LOVE who I have become and I really do. My trials have been hell, they really have. I’ve had a LOT of “bad” days. I’ve had three relationships from hell. I made bad choices. But I have learned so much. And I have become the Warrior Woman.

And it’s all good. Nobody has to like me and it doesn’t matter anymore. While it’s great to have lots of friends, I’ve shown myself that I don’t need them. I can survive betrayal. I have come to enjoy my own company. It’s lovely liberation. I walk proud these days with my head held high. I still battle PTSD at times and last week I cried a river when my beloved cat passed away. I still freak out about financial issues. And every now and then I get triggered from all the past shit. But deep inside I know I’ve come this far, and I have survived this much and I know that I will be just fine.

I wish for all of you that you come to know just how strong you really are. That you understand that you do not need a man in your life to survive, and especially, not a man who disrespects you in any way, shape or form. I wish for all of you that you find your beautiful Warrior Goddess self.

This hangs on my bathroom mirror:

“Woman, I am calling to you

Come, Warrioress

Your Spirit cannot be broken,

Rise to your power, woman

You are Goddess Divine!! ”  (by Nirvani Teasley)

 

goddess woman

With Courage and love,

Olivia Rose

You can connect with me or send a donation via Pay Pal at Olivia.Rose2015@yahoo.com or on Facebook at :  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319?fref=ts

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Scream it From the Rooftops: I am WORTHY

you are worthy

We’re taught to be “good girls”, “do as your told”……..if you grew up in a dysfunctional home, then the message is deep……your not good enough, not worthy, not pretty, not smart……..nothing is ever enough.  Never, never enough. So you grow up striving to please everyone. You meet a man who echos back to you what you heard in your youth. You don’t ever even realize that you’re intelligent, capable or attractive. And you just continue to strive to keep everyone happy, to please everyone until some massive life event makes you wake up.

My first wake up was ending my many year marriage. I made the decision while pinned to the wall with a butcher knife over my head. I was terrified, beyond terrified, to be on my own. Even though I had run a successful business, that I hated, I was still terrified. I had never heard anyone say, “You can do it”. I struggled with an anxiety disorder and PTSD even then. And THEN, I got away from him. I realized, much to my total amazement, that I was capable. I was intelligent. I was even attractive. I never knew these things before in my life.

I escaped the marriage but deep inside my self worth hadn’t changed. The messages from my youth and also my (ex) husband stayed with me. I still believed I was not good enough. Not good enough to find a man who would treat me with respect. It’s not something we realize on the surface, it’s buried deep inside of us. If we were fully aware of and could fix it, I know we would.

So, the years passed and I had various relationships with men who cheated, lied, took my money, wouldn’t commit, and left me high and dry with two children to take care of. One guy even cleaned out the house. He took the TV, stereo, and (game) Play Station. I had paid for all of it on my credit cards. I later filed for bankruptcy, $50,000 dollars in debt and a single mom. (My kids were about 8 and 15 at the time.)  Fortunately, none of these men were verbally or physically abusive to me. Even though I  their actions were extremely abusive. (“I’m sorry, I really do love you” as they were taking all my stuff. What the fuck.)

Then I met a man who seemed to be really awesome. He was good to me. Until a family tragedy struck and his mother decided to hate me and wanted me out of her son’s life. Even though, again, I was doing pretty well, paying most of the bills and the dude couldn’t AFFORD to live on his own. He turned from a sweet, kind soul into a monster. I was excluded at all family functions, including holidays. It didn’t bother him that I was home alone on holidays as long as his mother was happy. I was told point blank that I would never be allowed to be around his family and that he would NEVER “stand up for me” to his mother. I sat at home on countless Sundays while his family attended church and then had “family and friend brunches”.  I left that relationship 50 pounds thinner, sick  and an emotional wreck. Was it abusive? Yes. Emotionally very much so.

What was I thinking through all of this?

THEN, I met the icing on the cake of life. (And that’s absolute sarcasm.) He was/is a narcissist/sociopath. Again, it started great, as all relationships do. But soon, very soon, I started to notice big things that were highly inappropriate. I let them go. Why? Well, because that program was still running in my head that said I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t smart enough. I couldn’t tell “normal” from “inappropriate”. Maybe I was just too stupid to know how “real people” act in the “real world”. Within 18 months, I was left with nothing that I started with. In the many years since my divorce, I lost everything that I had built over those years, thanks to this man. I lost all my friends, my professional standing/reputation in the community and  my spiritual standing within the community. I was ostracized.  Why? (And it took me several years and some therapy to understand this.) Because he was a sociopath/narcissist and when I started to tell folks that he was abusive, he went  on an all out campaign to discredit me and make me look insane and abusive (to protect his OWN reputation). And he succeeded.

I was/am  financially ruined. My career was/is extremely damaged to the point that I’m not sure it can bounce back in this same city. I have very bad PTSD. I cannot afford any more therapy and I do not do well on the medicines that they normally prescribe for it. When you combine all these factors, it makes a dismal picture. I’m not sure what is next, thanks to this monster who came into my life and made it his job to ruin it. Literally.

This morning I was reflecting on my past. Because I’m trying to figure out what to do for my future. I’m not sure how the bills are even going to get paid this month. It starts with the ex husband. He never paid child support in the amount that the judge ordered because I was too “people pleasing” and I let it slide. He never paid any child support at all during my eldest’s last year in high school and none at all during my youngest’s high school years and now his college years. Yet, I see that he and his new wife live in a high end house, they send their child to private school and they take frequent vacations to other countries. Why? Because I didn’t have enough self worth to stand up for myself and my children. I look at the man who took all my stuff and left me $50,000 in debt. I am sure that there was some kind of criminal charge I could have filed against him too. He had no right to remove items from my home that I had paid for. But, again, I didn’t pursue it. . I look at the emotionally abusive man that came after all that and I realize I should have walked away as soon as he chose to exile me from his life. Instead I stayed and “tried to make it work” and almost became very ill myself from the stress. And THEN of course, came the narcissist/sociopath. I realize that this man was so smart and so clever that there was nothing I could have done except for ONE THING and that would have been to walk away INSTANTLY as soon as I saw my boundaries were being violated. He may have still went on a campaign to destroy me, I guess we will never know. But I’m quite sure that a lot of the damage would have been avoided if I had left him during month one or two rather than month 18.

Finally, I know who I am. I know what I deserve. I know that I am worthy of the best. I know that I deserve respect. I know that I am beautiful. I know that I deserve to be treated with kindness. I know that I deserve people who are honest and have integrity. I finally know now what I do not want. I know what I will not stand for. I know what the red flags are and I’m healthy enough to see them and RUN away when they present themselves. I no longer care if I do not “please” other people by continuing to be their doormat.Frankly, I don’t care who “likes” me or not.  This lesson was learned with much expense and sacrifice. I sit here, several years after the fact of the last Prince Harming and I STILL have not been able to rebuild my life. It’s been a very very high price to have to pay.

Many women who are in abusive relationships have the same issues that I did. They do not feel “good enough” or worthy. They grew up without affirmation that they were enough in every way: smart enough, strong enough, capable enough, pretty enough, good enough. Then when they met men who echoed the same things, they were used to it. They thought, that’s just the way it is. I must be “nice”. I mustn’t  rock the boat. I have to settle for anything I can get, since I’m not good enough to attract someone better.  I must keep all people happy. At the expense of my own soul and life with damage that extended even to the quality of life that my children lived. (They are adults now, but we’re still struggling with college expenses. With no help from “daddy”.)

No. No more. I am still alive to be able to tell you this: YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE ENOUGH IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. PLEASE DO NOT LET A MAN OR ANYONE ELSE TELL YOU OTHERWISE. YOU DO NOT OWE THE WORLD SACRIFICES. YOU DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT. YOU (AND YOUR CHILDREN) DESERVE TO HAVE WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY YOURS. RUN, don’t walk, AWAY FROM ANYONE WHO DOES NOT TREAT YOU WITH THE DIGNITY AND RESPECT THAT IS RIGHTFULLY YOURS.

I wish that I could teach this lesson to every young girl and young woman before they get to the place where they will allow a man to do it to them. I wish I could be the nurturing mother to these girls who never will hear these messages in their homes. I wish I knew at age 13 what I know now. But here’s the good news, the one ray of light, I will never, ever again repeat the same mistakes in choosing romantic partners and I hope you won’t either, no matter how much you think you “love” them. “Love” does not diminish or dismiss or disrespect you in any way at all.

Please share widely, especially if you know someone who may need to hear this message.

I love you~

Olivia Rose  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319?ref=hl

If you find that my work is helpful and you would like to make a donation, you can send one via Pay Pal to: Olivia.Rose2015@yahoo.com.  Thank you. You can also contact me at this email or connect with me on Facebook.

You Deserve to Be Heard

Healthy boundaries

Being in a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath changes you. I’d like to think that after all the deception, pain and betrayal that you change for the better.

One thing I know for sure is that you lose your tolerance for bullshit. You begin to recognize it instantly and you realize that you’ve been there, done that and that there is no room for it in your life anymore. You have boundaries that you never had before. And this is a GOOD thing.

Some people will try to tell you that you’re too “sensitive” or you need to “lighten up” or “let it go” and, if you notice, those are the SAME people who want to continue to tread on your newly found boundaries. And they want to get away with it. So your voice and your intolerance to being their door mat is something they don’t really like. (Ha. That’s putting it mildly.)

I have come to realize that I DESERVE to be treated with respect, courtesy and dignity. It doesn’t matter if someone agrees with me  OR NOT. It’s about manners. And too many people lack manners at all today. I don’t care if you don’t understand the pain that I am feeling. It doesn’t matter to me whether you care or understand what’s going on in my life (such as when a death occurs). I don’t care. I expect to be treated with respect regardless of how you see the situation or how you feel about it.

When someone experiences a great loss, such as a death, we use manners. Responses such as “Bummer” or “Let’s go have a drink and start a happy new week” or silence (ignoring the situation) are no longer acceptable to me. I expect to be heard and acknowledged. This means “I am sorry for your loss” (or something very similar)  is an acceptable response. I don’t really think that’s too much to ask. Of anyone. It’s not that hard.

Now, if that makes me a bitch, then so be it. If a person does not display common courtesy and respect, then they don’t need to be in my space. So maybe their response of  “bummer” is actually a gift to show me who they really are and how concerned they really are. People who openly act like assholes are much easier to weed out of your life.

Some may argue that some people “just don’t know what to say” and this is true. How do you respond to someone who has just had not one, but three, major losses? There is nothing to say. I know that. So you say, “I’m sorry.” You might throw in, “My love and prayers are with you.” But to say something like “Bummer”? Nope, sorry, unacceptable. Unless of course the person saying it has some kind of documented brain injury or a mentally incapacitating illness.

Hold tight to your boundaries. The narcissist/sociopathic relationship taught you what is not acceptable and what you will never tolerate ever again.

You deserved to be recognized. You have a right to have your feelings. You have a right to express them.

You do NOT deserve to be dismissed. You do not deserve to be ignored.

The narcissist/sociopath tried to teach you that you do not deserve to be treated with respect. They tried to teach you that you do not deserve to be heard. They tried to teach you that your feelings do not matter.

You do matter. Your feelings do matter. You do have the right to be heard. You do have the right to be treated with the utmost respect, by everyone that you come into contact with. And it is a given that you will come into contact with those who have no respect, no compassion, no time to hear you. And that’s OK, it’s their issue not yours. So just keep walking and don’t look back.

Olivia Rose https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319?ref=hl

The “F*ck Offs” You Never Said

my only regret

I haven’t written anything recently. I need to get back to it because I know that the writing and sharing as well as reading what others share is very therapeutic. Sometimes it is discouraging because nothing seems to change and I wonder how long it really does take to recover from being in a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath. I’ve come to realize that while all domestic violence is horrible, there is something even more sinister and disabling about the narcissist/sociopath. One might wonder how they differ. All I can say is in previous abusive relationships, I escaped with my life and my friends/acquaintances still with me. When I used the “Get Out of Hell” card with the narcissist/sociopath, I was left with nothing. No friends. No reputation. No standing in the community. He impacted every part of my life that he possibly could, in every negative way that he possibly could. The reason why? So people wouldn’t think he was abusive. It took me a really long time to understand (because “normal” minds don’t think this way) that it was a HUGE set up. He made me out to be insane, abusive, crazy and  violent to protect himself.When in actuality, he was the abuser. I remember once he told me that he never hit his (one) ex girlfriend even when she “appeared in a public place that I told her not to come to”. Funny boy. Big balls you have telling people where they may or may not appear in public places and WOW upon WOW………you didn’t “hit” her for it.(How very fucking chivalrous of you? NOT.)    Funny how things work out, though;  his friends may still believe in him, his employer, however, did NOT. (Karma is a bitch but only if you are.)  He is still playing the victim several years later. Some things will never change. If it aint’ me, then it’s the job, then it’s the homeowners association………poor boy, somebody is ALWAYS “attacking” him.

When I think about the friends I lost, I realize that I lost about 98% of them directly because of his lies and the other 2% because I changed. I don’t view people and the world the same way. I have no place in my heart or mind for people who lack compassion at all. I think I recently lost two more friends who had been there for years. I just find I have no tolerance for bullshit. One slammed someone for their success. I asked, “Why can’t we just be happy when people succeed instead of being jealous and back biting?” Hmmm. Maybe that wasn’t the response they were looking for. With another, she criticized my love for animals, in a very nasty way. I couldn’t quite figure out how my personal preferences or how I choose to live had any impact at all on her and instead of blowing it off, I replied “My pets are more loyal than people”. Quite honest but again, not the response she was looking for. So I didn’t hear from her again…..a friendship that had spanned 30 plus years.

People who have watched you be a door mat for many years aren’t quite prepared when you STOP acting like one and you acquire a voice and an opinion that doesn’t coddle theirs.

I’ve written before about asking myself if I really am just an asshole because I can’t seem to move forward or keep friends anymore. And someone said the most amazing thing to me. They said, “You’re not an asshole. But what if you are? So what? Say what you feel. Live your life the way you need to and if people don’t like it, so what?” And I thought, “Yeah….really……so what.”  I also recently found something that really jumped out at me. It was a quote and it said something to the effect of “The ‘fuck yous’ you didn’t say are the ones you most regret.”  Absofuckinglutely. So I guess the “friends” that I’m stopping in their tracks when they try to bash me or someone close to me are actually the “fuck yous” that I AM saying now. And you know what? It’s ok. It’s good. And I DO regret the ones I didn’t say in the past.

I’ve lived my last few years in hiding. So afraid that “they” might find what I have to say. I lived in fear after being told to shut up and stop writing. Well, here goes. To anyone who might be reading this and sharing it, and recognizing who I am:  a big FUCK YOU. Yeah you heard me, FUCK YOU.  You’re an imbecile for blindly following the masses (the assses). Oh, wait. Maybe you’re not an imbecile but maybe you just don’t have one tiny ounce of self esteem to do what you know in your heart is the RIGHT thing and you have to do what keeps you popular because God forbid that YOU might have to start YOUR life all over again with no friends, no career and no reputation. Right? And furthermore, you’re despicable for protecting a man and continuing to stand by him when you KNOW that he is an abusive human being. He was abusive to me. Very much so and you knew it. You saw it. So much so that I still have massive post traumatic stress. So much so that when he got fired, his boss cleared the entire office because the staff was “afraid” of him. Really? Yes, really. He actually told me the story as if I might have sympathy for him.  But I know what happened between you and him. It’s always the “victim” story that he feeds you,  and like someone who absolutely lacks the capacity to think for themselves, you eat it up. Poor, poor misunderstood, attacked, hurt boy. Until you question something that he wants you to stay quiet about and then you’ll get attacked. (So, yeah, you better not piss him off or rock the boat.)  So. As of right now, I don’t feel sorry for you but I feel disdain that you can’t think for yourself. But whatever, it’s your life. It’s kind of pathetic. No, not “kind of”, it IS pathetic.

Damn, you know, until I started writing this piece I was feeling like a loser. Depressed. (Yes, depressed, no doubt.) An asshole, perhaps. (Not) With no life. (No, there’s a LOT of life in front of me.) And you know what? I realize I am none of those things (except maybe depressed). And I realize that I am not a pathetic sheep who blindly has chosen to follow a group, a man, or anything that insults my soul. And in that, there is great strength. I was willing to speak MY TRUTH, to live MY TRUTH, to WALK my TRUTH……and with it was great cost…….ostracization, great harm to my career, great harm to my own self esteem (which really should be at an all time HIGH) and a lot of loneliness. But you know what? The people who are in my world NOW are real. They don’t fall for the bullshit of needing to be accepted and popular. Damn, reminds me of high school. I had friends but I didn’t do all the stuff that I didn’t feel called to do just to be “popular”.  I realize now that there aren’t that many like me. Like us. Those who have walked through the fire and emerged, albeit, different, but we survived. And not only did we survive but we continue to do so and we know that better days lie ahead of us. And we’ve become TRUE champions for justice and for the underdog. We see the world with new eyes. Eyes that are not so quick to judge. Eyes that see real pain. Eyes that see compassion. And with it has comes a total intolerance for bullshit, hypocrisy, ignorance, hate and the “need” to adapt to convention. Whether it be the convention of the world or the convention of your particular clique. Part of me wants to say, “Grow the fuck up” but another part of me says, “Who cares. Keep playing small and pleasing those in your immediate circle. Stay popular.” You think you have real friends, but you don’t. You have a clique  that you belong to. I outgrew that shit in high school.

So, here we are again, ladies. Those of you who have been a “true” victim to a narcissist/sociopath, hold your head high. Know that you’ve walked through the fires of which some don’t survive. (God rest their souls in peace.) But you’re still here, you’re still kicking. So get out there, start to live again. Be yourself in all your glorious wonder. All your glorious FUCKING wonder. You are stardust and shine.  Know that the ones who will love you for who you are WILL SHOW UP. They will. I promise. I am still waiting……….but I know I need to put myself out there a little more. I know I don’t suck. I know I am not an asshole. …….I am one who has discovered boundaries. ………..Know that you are a WARRIOR. You’ve passed the initiation of the ultimate of abuse. Life will eventually go on. It will never be the same…….but this is a GOOD thing, but life will go on. You have learned the greatest lesson ever. NOT all human beings care, they are not all good. Evil, does indeed, exist. Never again will you let someone abuse and use you and then throw you under the bus when you reveal the truth about them. When you meet a person like this again, TRUST ME, you won’t get much farther than past “Hello”.

Sisters, keep fighting the good fight. I know it’s not easy. It’s not easy for me yet and it’s been several years. But keep on shining. Don’t let the assholes dull your shine. Keep on keeping on. Know that you are loved beyond measure by the Creator and by me. It will be OK. Eventually it will be OK. Hold on to this thought. And Happy Anniversary, Asshole. A few years ago around this time, I got played my “Get Out of Hell” card. It definitely wasn’t “Get Out of Hell Free”………I have paid the price. A very high price. But I still have my integrity. AND,  I don’t have your sorry middle aged, unemployed ass (Karma’s a bitch) and your crew of flying monkeys  to drag around with me anymore.

Can I get an “Amen. Hallelujah”, anyone?

Much love,

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

Desperation Is a STINKY Perfume

stinky smell cat

One of the  biggest lessons I’ve had to learn is this: Never make decisions based from desperation.

It’s a theme that the Universe keeps bringing back into my face and I’d like to say, I think I finally “got” it. (Let’s hope so.) When you make a decision from a place of desperation……being desperate…..thinking there is no other way or no other hope, it usually ALWAYS turns out badly. Maybe there are some exceptions, but for me, it always turned out BAD BAD BAD.

I settled when I got married. I thought marriage was better than other options in my life at the time. WRONG.

Early into my marriage, I took a job that I hated…….the people were awful…….it’s been 25 years and I still think of them with regret. What was I thinking? “Where else can I get a job for this measly amount of money with people who treat me like shit?” I am SURE there were many other options.

Then I stayed with the husband for nearly 20 years. He was abusive. Was it desperation that kept me with him? Did I think I couldn’t survive on my own? Was it guilt?

Finally I broke free from marriage and I started a new career.  (Yay me!! But many lessons were still to follow!!)

After my divorce, I continued the pattern of making choices from desperation but it was getting better…..at least I wasn’t choosing or staying at jobs that I hated. I was learning to have faith. Little did I know, this faith was going to take almost another 20 years to come to full fruition.

My problem was I kept choosing men who were not good for me. Because I was desperate. I was lonely. There was the one who drank and cheated and left me in huge debt. There was the one who had a personal ad the whole time he was dating me and he was “screening” and dating other women, looking for “the one”. There was the guy who wanted a lifestyle of kink and domination (a way I refused to live) who also was involved with other women while seeing me. I even made a long distance move for a man who wouldn’t commit to me, never told me he loved me, and after 5 months, ended the relationship (after I’d given up everything I owned to move). At this point, one might ask, “Didn’t she learn yet??”

No, unfortunately I hadn’t. I kept making bad decisions. The next prince I chose really did seem at first like a super nice guy and people thought I “had done good”. But what they didn’t know was that he didn’t own a car and spent LOTS of money each month on his happy herb supply that went up in smoke.  We were happy for awhile till his mama decided to hate me and that was the end of that……because I didn’t know he was a mama’s boy and had no mind of his own………and I didn’t take too well to being excluded from all family activities and holidays and being blatantly told I was not welcome. The next guy was sweet but I raced into it again, being lonely, wanting a companion. At first he was handsome and fun and silly but soon it became apparent that he didn’t have respect for me…..he was rude in front of family and friends. What do you say to your parents when your boyfriend walks across their living room passing gas with each step he takes………? Yeah. Tell me again why I needed to stay with these two? (Areyoufuckingkiddingme?)  Afraid to be alone? Afraid no one else would want me?

The last one was the icing on my cake. People said he was super duper nice. Mr. Wonderful. Give you the shirt off his back kind of guy. We were introduced by mutual friends. How could it go wrong? Well, right away, it did. And it went from a little wrong to totally destroying my life by the time we were done. He was a narcissist with sociopathic tendencies that put me back into therapy. I saw red flags almost from day one. But he had an excuse for everything, namely that this is “how people act” and “where have you been” and “we’re just having fun, it doesn’t mean anything.” My cue to walk out the door (and it’s funny, we can all define that ONE moment) was when we were in a bar with all HIS friends and he was all cuddled up with another woman, so cuddled up, in fact, that other (strangers) men were hitting on me and asking to buy me drinks. I appeared to be in the bar alone. Now THAT was my cue to call a cab and go home. And never look back or come back.

BUT. Instead I had a conversation with myself that I had over this man many times. I said, “What if this is as good as it gets?”  “What if there is no one else out there that I can be compatible with?” He said he wanted to marry me. I believed him. But his actions weren’t loving and I knew that. Yet, I stayed for nearly 2 years. I kept saying, “I can do this, I can do this” like the Little Engine That Could. (A children’s fable.) And yet, I was becoming desperately unhappy, I was almost sick, I had constant anxiety and panic attacks. His rages and name calling made me fear for my physical safety, not to mention my emotional and mental health. Finally, after being emotionally dragged through the mud, having my career damaged and my reputation ruined and being ostracized from the community, I ended the relationship with Mr. Toxic Waste. Why did I stay so long? Did I think I would never find anyone better than him? (ohmygod!!)

During the same time frame, I had some very wealthy clients who I saw frequently. The husband was extremely rude to me, ungrateful and refused to pay the full price for the service I provide. His rational was that even though he was a mega multi millionaire, he should have a discount for the frequency in which I saw him and his wife. I dealt with this for six years (almost to the day). Until one day, as per his usual self, he had a tantrum because I was 2 minutes late. (This was not the first time it happened.) And we had a dispute about what time our appointment was. I had had enough. I told him I must have dreamed up the time he told me to be there. He became furious and literally threw me out of his home. I never went back. Why did I put up with it for six years? Because I thought I couldn’t find other clients? Because I thought I had to put up with is abuse to earn money?

I guess things come to a head because during this same time period, I ended my relationship with a childhood friend as well. She choose to side with the abusive ex. She told me that I was a bitch and inferred that I deserved what happened to me. In retrospect, I realized she had always had a mean streak and insulted me whenever she thought she could get away with it. I was patient and kind to her because she had a pretty big weight problem and I knew she had some issues with her self esteem. So I allowed the insults……….because………why? If I didn’t, I might not have a friend to hang around with?

The theme was always the same. I thought I wasn’t good enough to find better jobs or a man who would treat me right. Or friends who were respectful and supportive.  My decisions were based on desperation. I was desperate for money. Or desperate for a companion. Or desperate not to be alone. DESPERATION. And being desperate stems from a huge lack of self esteem. Of thinking that you do not deserve better!!!! Of thinking that you have to put up with SHIT.

Desperation makes a very stinky perfume. I heard that line in a movie but I can’t remember what movie it was. But it stuck in my head. I think desperation emanates off of us and it attracts characters who can sense it and who will take advantage of us. Desperation smells like shit and literally attracts shit into your life. Like dog poop attracts flies.

It’s vital to find your self esteem. You are the Queen. The Goddess. The Warrior. You deserve the best. You deserve your own love and respect and when you love and respect yourself, you will not accept less from anyone else. Make your choices from a place of what is BEST for you, what makes you HAPPY and what builds you up instead of diminishes you. When you start to do this, you have to have faith that the Universe/God will take care of you. You will have what you need. And you will find happiness.

Here’s to healthy choices,

Olivia

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319?ref=hl

Before and After

I don't care what you think of me

Who were you before you met the narcissist/sociopath and who did you become after your toxic relationship with them? I was unfortunate (or fortunate? We’ll get to this in a moment) to have had 2 or possibly 3 relationships with these kinds of toxic men.  One was many many years ago and I had pretty much recovered (or so I thought) and the more recent one was a few years ago.

So who was I when I met the first man?

When I speak of these relationships, I am speaking specifically of those with narcissist/sociopaths, not relationships that were relatively normal.

Before: ( First relationship: Long before age 40) 

1.   A Doormat.  I was the the typical people pleaser. I could not stand up for myself or my needs.

2.   Afraid and silent.  I was afraid to even disagree with him or he might hit me. I had no voice.

3.  Out of control of my own life. Wasn’t allowed to make my own decisions or think for myself about even the kinds of foods I wanted to eat.

4.  Young and foolish with a belief that people can change.

5.  Accepting every accusation and believing that I was the trash that he said I was because if only I could be a better wife, he would change.

During: (Second relationship, after age 40)  I have to preface this with saying I made a promise to myself that when I turned 40 I would be myself, stand my ground, speak up for my needs……..I still had some learning to do…..)

1.  I was still a doormat. He and his friends would go out of their way to make fun of me and then tell me I was too sensitive so I tried to “tone down” my reactions and not be “so sensitive”.

2.  Still silent. When he ridiculed who and what I was/am, I tried to join in the joke making and go along with the “fun”.

3.  Out of control of my life. Going to parties and associating with people and doing things that I would NEVER done but these were his “friends” and these were things he liked. Again, not even in control of choosing what I might like to eat. I’ve never heard anyone insist that you’re going to try a food and LIKE it (except when you’re like 5 years old.)

4.   Believing him when he told me that he could and/or had changed and it “wouldn’t happen again”.

5.  Believing I was an asshole who no one liked and that I created it by my own attitude and  him saying “Well, what did you expect??”

The good news was this. The first relationship, I did for nearly 20 years. I finally got out because I knew if I didn’t that I would die. In the second relationship, nearly 15 years after the first, I had grown up. Initially, I put up with all his bullshit because he played the game so well, as all narcissists do. I believed he was the nice guy that everyone adored……except for when, behind closed doors with me, he wasn’t.  I didn’t put up a fight at first, I tried to roll with the punches and the jokes and the ridiculing and his hateful rages. I thought, at first, that it was my “fault” for making him so mad. That was just the result of my old conditioning. (Time to let that shit go!)  But, then enough was enough. Fortunately, I had grown enough that this relationship only lasted a couple years instead of 20. But even a couple of years was way too much and was also plenty of time for him to set me up and ultimately ruin the life that I had built.

When I had had enough and started standing up for myself, my power came back like a lion. I roared. I don’t think he was accustomed to anyone roaring at him or even disagreeing in the voice of a mouse. I refused to tolerate the jokes anymore or his playing with other women or his ridiculing me and my children or raging and cursing me.  I think this was the beginning of my downfall but also the return of my power. He saw that I saw who he really is/was and he wasn’t going to allow it to be brought to the attention of anyone. So he started the smear campaign and setting me up so that when the final chips fell, I was the one who looked like an abusive lunatic. He did all of this without my knowledge at all. If I had known what to look for and the subtle signs, I would have known, but he was expert at his manipulations. I knew that something weird, something insidious was happening at the time, but I could not put my finger on it.

When I finally had had enough, I broke up with him. It wasn’t that easy or clear cut. Lots of unbelievable stuff was going on. When his friends publicly slandered my reputation and character, I asked him to help me and “stand up for me”. He didn’t. In fact, he threw fuel on their fire and made it far worse. From there, I was ostracized from the entire community. I lost 99.9% of my friends. (Even ones from childhood.) My own family thought I was crazy at first………except those who lived with me who had witnessed the fights, live and in person and over speaker phone. (HA!)

So during the process, what happened?

I refused to submit to more crap, the way I had during the first relationship. I refused to be bullied. Was it that easy? No. I had vomiting panic attacks at times. I stayed very slim because half the time I couldn’t eat because of the anxiety. I had nightmares.  But I stood up for myself after a time. I argued back. I didn’t let him get away with telling me “that’s just how I am and how my friends are” when the behavior was unacceptable. And ultimately, I got totally ostracized and lost all of my friends BECAUSE I HAD FOUND MY VOICE. (Hallelujah, the angels sang!!)  But I figure what I lost wasn’t real because those who really know you and love you don’t  believe in the antics of a CLOWN that they’ve only known for a short time. Oh, yes, it was horribly painful and lonely. And at times it still is.

This is who I have become: (and it’s glorious!!) 

1.  I am nobody’s doormat and I never will be again.

2.   I have a voice and I’m not afraid to use it. At times, stuff blurts out of my mouth (no, it’s not rude or inappropriate) and I say what I feel with assertiveness. To find your own voice is the one of the most amazing things you will ever do.

3.   I have learned to argue effectively. (Which could sound more like a vice, but trust me, after 40-plus years as a doormat, it’s wonderful.)

4.   I am not afraid of anyone or what they think.

5.   I am not afraid to be myself. When you’ve lost your entire community and all your friends and your reputation and your credibility, there is not much else to lose and you simply don’t care anymore what people think. Either they like you or they don’t. Their choice. Not your business. Very liberating.

6.  Not afraid to be “alone”. I have learned to travel alone, be home alone, go for days without talking to many people, eat out alone, go to the movies alone. Sure, I would prefer a companion, but learning to be alone and be OK with it is very liberating as well.

7.   I am STRONG. I have survived. Not only have I survived but I have thrived. I have rebuilt my business and my self esteem.

8.   My spirituality has become even stronger than it ever was.

9.   I have clear boundaries that will NEVER be violated again.

10.  I don’t take crap from anyone. I have learned the lessons, learned to recognize the red flags and I have an instant rejection button for anyone who does not respect my feelings and/or boundaries. I have no tolerance for rudeness and I don’t make excuses to justify anyone’s shitty behavior.

11.  I am BRAVE. I have COURAGE.

12.  I trust my own INTUITION. If it does not feel right, then it’s probably not right!!!!!

So, in other words, this has been quite the journey  that I don’t wish on anyone. HOWEVER, I LOVE the woman I have become.  I love, love, love ME!!!  I would never go back to who I was in the past. I won’t lie or sugar coat it, I still have bad days. I still work on letting go of resentment, sometimes I still hurt,  but I also know that I never would have become who I am now (which will serve me well for the rest of my life) had I not gone through this final “learning” phase. I know I can accomplish anything and survive anything, and that, my dear friends, is priceless.

We are Strong Women. We are Brave Women. We are Powerful Women. We are Warrior Women. We are children of the Most High Divine. We are Wonder Woman. We have looked EVIL in the eye and lived to tell the tale. Instead of getting down on yourself for the “mistakes” you’ve made, allow yourself to dwell on how strong you really are and the amazing, glorious woman you have become. You will NOT be kept down. You will soar like the eagle. And magnificent days stretch out before us, all we have to do is keep moving forward.

strong women 2

With power and strength,

Olivia

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319?ref=hl

The Sociopath and Your Former Friends

it is your fault

It’s been quite the journey and it’s time to start sharing it. I have been so helped my so many other women who have shared their stories about their experiences with a sociopath or narcissist. Their stories have helped me to know that I have not been crazy in what I was dealing with. (If you don’t understand what’s going on, it’s beyond confusing, and the narcissist/sociopath wants you to think that you ARE crazy.)

After several years away from him, pieces of the puzzle are still falling into place. I had the very huge realization the other day that only my friends who either saw through him and therefore disliked him OR the people who never met him or interacted with him at all are the ONLY ones who still remain in my life today. I realized that every one of my “friends” who he also befriended, are no longer a part of my life. People who were my friends first, some for longer than 30 years, he befriended and they’re gone. Anybody that he interacted with, even in a small way, is no longer part of my life. I realize that whatever he told them was very convincing. I realized that if there was an award for fantastic acting, he should win it. To be able to convince people that I’d known for 15 to 30 years that I was somehow a bad, unstable, or crazy person……….it’s something I don’t think I will ever truly understand. For someone to be able to have that level of persuasion over people. But narcissists and sociopaths do have this ability. If someone has known you for that long and they can be convinced that you’re not a good person, then they don’t deserve to be in your life. So let them go.

Someone once asked me if these people came back and asked me to forgive them and told me that they now saw who he really is , how would I respond? I said, I would thank them for their apology…..but go back to being friends with them? NEVER. Once the knife is turned in your back and you’ve been so badly betrayed, there is no more trust. It’s over.

Things begin to make some semblance of sense after awhile. My former “best” friend of over 30 years asked me what I had “done now” to deserve to be abused. (the question was posed to me a couple of years ago.)  The implications of this didn’t sink in at first. I just knew the friendship was over. Because what true friend, who has known you for over 30 years, can think you did something to “deserve” being abused? Aren’t friends supposed to be protective of their friends? I know I always have been. So when you get enough distance to see clearly, I realize I was painted as some kind of monster who did “things” that made people hate me and take the side of the poor, broken hearted sociopath. The part I will never, ever understand is how people can be so weak minded as to believe this kind of non-sense. But I guess I’ve always been a leader and never a follower and I’ve been accused of being stubborn……….but that’s not such a bad thing, It means I don’t just blindly take anyone’s word for anything. I watch and listen and make my own decision. Not all people (apparently most of them) aren’t blessed with such gifts. They just do what makes them popular among their peer group. And if everyone else says you must be a piece of shit, then they sit back and agree. It’s sad actually to have so little control of your own thought processes and opinions. When I tried to explain to this woman, who I had known for over 30 years, that maybe she perceived me as a “bitch” because for the first time in my whole life, I was learning boundaries (a little too late to salvage my life before the sociopath) and she looked me in the eye and said “You ARE A BITCH” ……….now here’s my question. If this is what you really thought, why have you been my friend for over 30 years. Really?

I was ostracized from my entire community. Not one member of the community ever came back to even see if I was still alive. Of course, the narcissist/sociopath said it was my fault (everything will always be your fault) because I had started to form boundaries before the final blow out. How it can go from women knowing you are being abused and being willing to  send their own husband to your home to make sure you’re safe to calling you “brutal and abusive” shows how cunning and manipulative the narcissist/sociopath really is. How I went (in people’s minds) from being the one who was being abused (I was) to being the abuser is still beyond me.

In my final closure with him, which took place recently, I was called a liar (I was called a liar so many times, I lost count). I could see something happen with my own eyes and still be called a liar when I brought it to his attention. Then he told me “Believe what you want.” I had to chuckle because I read an article recently about narcissist/sociopaths and it said this is their favorite line. I think I must have heard it a million times. When they have no other logical argument and they know you can see through them, they have two standard replies; either you’re full of shit or “believe what you want”. Well, obviously I have.

He unknowingly gave me more pieces to the puzzle that helped me finally be able to cement in my mind who and what he is. When he recently lost his job, the company took huge precautions to make sure no other staff member could be put in danger (everyone got 2 hours paid time off while he was fired). His employers saw what I saw. I was told by him that if his family member died, he really would’t care, but his other family would be sad. He also told me that while he knew I was ostracized, his life had also changed, that his social life would never be the same. (Although he’s still invited to and attending all the same parties with all the same people.) I commented that his life had moved on nicely and the callousness of his reply was chilling, he said, “Of course. Life changes.”  While I still struggle with being ostracized, having very few friends and rebuilding a life that took me 16 years to build, which he destroyed in 2 years. Then after this conversation, he asked me to have dinner with him. WHAAAATTTTT? Are you kidding me? I asked him why he would want to have dinner with someone like me who is so full of shit and a liar? Nah. Not that I ever would anyway, but I knew what he wanted. He’s sadistic and I know takes pleasure in having the power to cause harm.

I wondered to myself why I even picked up the phone when he called. I had a lot of other things going on that were far more important. But I see now that this final conversation was a gift to me to find the closure. To be able to listen from a place of pure detachment and realize that this man is not capable of “feeling” anything beyond what makes him happy or amuses him. It was the final conversation that cut the cords for me. I was no longer deceived by his unending claims (to this day) of his love for me. I could finally see that he didn’t care and had never cared. I guess some would say that it wasn’t rocket science……anyone who deliberately sells you out………..throws you under a bus……..obviously does not care about you. But the narcissist/sociopath plays such a mind game that the reality of what takes place becomes very very blurred. They try to make you believe that they love you so much and may go to great lengths to show it, but then the opposite end of this spectrum is the horrible, ugly things they do ….and the abuse…..then try to convince you that it was your fault. I was once told that by him that I had the ability to make him angrier than anyone else on earth because he loved me more than anyone else on earth. Now, truly, what kind of logic is that?

It’s time to tell my story so that other women will know that they’re not alone in what they’re dealing with. Thank you to all the women who helped me to come to understanding by sharing their stories. Watch here for more blogs and, in time, my book. You are not alone in this. And it is my sincere prayer that you get out of the situation with a narcissist/sociopath as quickly as you can.

With understanding,
Olivia Rose

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