Is Healing Within Reach?

journey to healingI have realized that after a narcissistic relationship is over and you think you’re fine, that sometimes the post traumatic stress doesn’t really surface until later. Especially when your entire way of life (friendships, work, ect) was destroyed by the narcissist. Especially when all your support systems are gone. When friends that you were able to keep  tell you to get over it already. Nobody quite understands what it’s like to have someone who you thought “loved” you turn around and try to destroy you. They don’t know what it’s like to be constantly watching over your shoulder because someone keeps stalking you long after the relationship is over. They don’t know what it’s like to have severe trust issues because you’re constantly watching for the “red flags” with new people and you’re even afraid to give anyone your phone number and massively afraid for anyone to know where you live. Because. What if they turn out to be another psycho? It’s sobering to realize that sometimes the worst times come long after the actual relationship has ended.

Hell, I’m not afraid of a broken heart, that’s the least of it. Life goes on after loss of love. But what makes survivors of narcissists/sociopaths afraid is of actual danger. Physical harm. Stalking. Encountering them or their violent friends out in public. Afraid of more narcissists, more psychopaths. Someone else who might put every ounce of their energy into trying to destroy you. That’s what I am afraid of.

You think you’re going along trying to regain your life and then you realize you’re being stalked and/or watched. As the months and months unfold, sometimes into years,  you still find accounts that have been hacked, you find photographs of you where they don’t belong, your belongings are tampered with…..to the point you have to call the police. You wonder if it will ever end. You finally see how you were set up from almost day one with the narcissist, how they actually planted the seeds (in other people’s minds) to paint you as the one who was sadistic and abusive and crazy. As the picture becomes clearer and clearer of what actually happened to you and you live daily with the repercussions of all of it……healing can seem far away…… especially when you think it’s finally over but every time you think that, something else surfaces.  It can feel like the never-ending nightmare.

It’s like a million times easier to get over a “normal” relationship that has gone bad.

It’s been several years for me. I never thought I would be at this point and still be so disabled by “what happened”. And “disabled” is not a term I use lightly or frivolously.   I am going back to therapy. I know that I have to reprogram my brain and I know that I need help doing it. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be “normal” again. I know for sure I will never be the same person I was before all of this.

Some methods that I have researched for releasing trauma include energy healing, Emotional Freedom technique and EDMR.  According to what I have read, those are the most effective techniques for releasing trauma. I would encourage you to research them for yourself. I also know I have to create a new “script” inside my head to actually form new neural pathways in my brain. Essentially, rewiring my own brain. Something tells me that I may need to write a script or a list of affirmations that are specific to what I have dealt with (and individual)  and that will counter-act the negative thoughts that I am so plagued with. I need to recite them all day long, over and over again, until the positive thoughts become second nature again. One thing is for sure, it’s going to take discipline. And I also know that discipline is hard to come by when you are filled with anxiety (and the physical issues that accompany it), fear and depression. But I’m also at a point where I know I have to reach deep inside and find that strength that I know is there and draw upon it. Nobody can do it for me. Only I can do it for myself. I have to seek out and find the good in humanity again. I have to cultivate loving relationships with new people in my life….and this can be very hard when every bit of your trust is gone.

It’s hard when that “one” person you thought loved you turned into a monster who wanted to annihilate you and with him he took the other 99% of the people who you thought cared about you. It can shatter your entire world-view. To this day, my brain still cannot process HOW this could happen. But it did.  And now I have to figure out how to get past it and go on and find a happy life again.

Even writing, such as this blog, is very therapeutic. I know it’s been 5 months since I wrote. That shows you the level of what I call my “paralyzation” (my seeming inability to do much of anything). And in the meantime, a few more people have fallen out of my life. Which definitely has felt like sticks being poked into open wounds. People who I thought cared about me. (Yeah, I misjudged again!!!)  But, you know what? It’s Ok. I have clear conscience knowing that I did my very best with everyone and I was the best friend I possibly could have been.

*****Their behavior is a reflection of who they are, not a reflection of who I am.*****  This is something we have to remember. I have come to realize that we do not need people who are users. It’s better to be alone and/or have very few friends……but REAL friends.

Hang in there, sisters. You’re not alone. This is a long road but I know it’s shaping me/us into women who are so extremely strong. And in the grand scheme of things, perhaps we are being prepared for something much greater than the mundane life that most people experience. Our experiences have shaped us to value what truly, truly matters and to count our blessings for the things that most people take for granted.

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Transformation

bright light

Something transformative is happening and I hope you are all feeling it as well. I am waking up to the truth of who I really am. I am waking up to truths about people around me. At times it’s exhilarating and at times it can be a little shocking as you see the true colors of people who you thought you knew (and you thought they cared about you). It’s been a very wild week, to say the least.

Since the narcissist/sociopath caused me to lose the majority of my friends and also many clients (and my current work has suffered greatly because of it and I am now having severe financial problems) , I am waking up to broader possibilities with my life.  Ever since I was married many, many years ago to an abusive man, I have wanted to help empower women. I guess it got put on the back burner until now (and it took me falling into two more abusive relationships). But now, as we are entering a new paradigm, a new era in our personal as well as collective history, I feel that the time has come to start speaking out and doing the work that my heart feels called to do. I’m not quite sure yet how it’s all going to manifest, but I have some ideas.

It takes a LOT of courage. Because I am realizing that at least two of the men who were abusive to me are still hoovering. One, with his family and the other with his friends. People think we’re crazy when we say we think they are still watching us, but, trust me, I know for a fact that they are. It carries some inherent danger. I know the last man did not like being outed as an abuser and so he did his best to destroy me……and he did destroy my reputation and my standing in the community to protect himself. What he didn’t know was that he did not destroy my spirit……..my spirit has only become stronger and stronger. I’ve also realized that certain family members have been extremely abusive to other family members (and to myself). How do you live in denial for the entirely of your life up until now? I did. But now I see it glaringly. So that’s another consideration, when you start speaking out from your heart and the people who were involved are still in your life. Courage. It takes courage. But, for me, right now, it feels good, it feels like the right thing to do.  (Please note, I would never suggest to anyone that you do anything that would put you into danger.) (And I also do not ever mention names or even the type of relationship it is/was.)

It has taken me a couple of years to arrive at this place of empowerment. I cannot explain what has happened but it has become easy for me to walk away from people who are not treating me respectfully. I walked away from two people last week who had been in my life for many, many years. At the same time though, God or the Universe, or whatever you prefer to call it, sends us good people. I met someone (also last week) who is so unbelievably kind that it blew my mind. I realized that I have gotten “used to” assholes. It shouldn’t be that way, we should never get “used to” being treated badly. We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and kindness. It’s very simple for me now. If you have no respect for me, I walk away. And amazingly I haven’t really missed the ones I walked away from.

I am looking forward to doing work to empower women. All women but especially very young women who did not grow up in an environment where self worth was fostered. If I can help prevent one young woman from entering into an abusive relationship, then I have done my job. If I can empower one woman to take back her life and find her strength and courage AFTER an abusive relationship, then I have done my job.  I have been asking Mother/Father God to show me what the next step on this journey is.

Bless all of you who are exiting an abusive relationship, those who are trying to recover, those who are teaching and empowering other women. Bless you all. May you continue to be strong and shine bright as the beautiful lights that you are.

Olivia Rose

Connect with me at Olivia.Rose2015@yahoo.com If you feel moved to support my work, you can send a donation via pay pal to the above address. You can also connect with me on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319?fref=ts

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.

Even the Clouds Cry

cyring clouds

This is for all of you who wonder how long it takes to recover after a relationship with a sociopath/narcissist. I suppose it varies depending on the extent of the damage. Not only was I played, manipulated, set up, pitted against other people but also ostracized from the entire community I belonged to. It’s been a couple years and nothing has changed. I will never go back again after people have shown their true colors and made me  the target.

I struggled at first with the whole “I thought he loved me” thing and “how could he do this?” . I didn’t really struggle so much with the “I miss him” thing because while I guess I did miss some of the good times I definitely did not miss the bad times. (I accidentally just typed “mad” times That would fit too.) I think I had fallen out of love with him before the relationship actually officially ended and I was relieved not to have to be around him anymore and listen to him scream and curse at me.

I have struggled horrendously with the isolation, the ostracization. I have been so lonely at times.  I have struggled with the PTSD and depression and anxiety. I have struggled with the lack of work that was the direct result of being slandered and ostracized. (I was/am in a profession where your character REALLY matters.)

I have lost the ability to handle things that “normal” people can handle. I tend to go into a post traumatic stress or panic attack over the smallest things. In trying to figure out another “career” I’ve pondered if I could even work in a fast food joint. I don’t think I could. I can no longer adjust to any kind of pressure at all. Joe Shmoe would  order and then trying to fill his order for a Big Mac in a timely fashion probably would set off a panic. Yes, it’s that bad.

I’m sharing so other women who are going through this or have been through it will know they’re not alone.

I’m afraid to stay living here. I’m afraid to move away. I’m afraid I will be alone forever. I’m afraid of trying a new relationship (Really? What the hell?) . Most days, I am paralyzed by lethargy and the only things I can do are see clients (because it’s barely keeping the roof over my head) and take care of my cats (because they can’t feed themselves or change the litter box). Other than that, doing the dishes is a daunting task. Clearing the clutter is nearly impossible. It’s gotten to a sorry state. I’m sure I should be in therapy, but frankly, I cannot afford it. Some might say I should be on an antidepressant but I know they don’t work with my body and I get sick from them. So I rely on anti anxiety medication, blood pressure meds (for when the panic hits) and alcohol. Listening to myself as I write, I know I should get into a support group or look into what the local battered woman’s shelter can offer in the way of therapy. (That’s where I went initially) I sound like a mess. But I’m talking about bad days. Some days are good. And lately, the good days are more than the really bad days.

I’ve written on the good days and I’ve written on the bad days. Today is a bad day. I recently got a tattoo in honor of my new found strength but I’m not feeling it at all today. One of the reasons being that my kitty is getting ready to pass over. I adopted her 3 1/2 months ago, knowing she was elderly, severely neglected and sick. (And people who did this to her are assholes, which is why I seem to prefer felines to people these days.) I told myself it would be OK, that I would give her a good quality of life for her last days. And I did. But now that she’s getting ready to cross over……….there is immense pain coming out of me (thankfully she is not in pain). .It has me wondering if all the pain of the past several years is coming out as well. The fear comes along with it. All the fears. The ones I mentioned already. The fears of how I will pay rent this month. The fear of more loss and abandonment. The fear that maybe I’m just losing my mind and may never be happy again. The fear of remaining paralyzed forever in this mental state.

I tell myself it will be OK. And I know eventually that it will. Happiness will find me once again. And as this sweet little soul returns to the Creator/God/Goddess/Kitty Heaven, I know she will be just fine. I know this is just a bad day. I know that better days will come. I try not to cry too much as it swells up my face and closes down my sinuses and I lose all control. Like a damn that finally breaks.

This is the damage that having been with a narcissist/sociopath does. It’s real. It takes time to heal. Our scars make the bad days even harder to handle, no matter how capable we may seem on the outside. I want to believe that one day life will be “normal” again. That simple things won’t set off bouts of panic and post traumatic stress. Losing a beloved pet is painful for everyone but for someone who has already been traumatized, has very little support systems it can be a major challenge.

Sometimes I ask myself if it really does all have to do with being in a sociopathic relationship. (Because they’ve so conditioned us to think that WE are the ones at fault and WE are the ones who are crazy.)  And the answer is a resounding YES. I did not emerge the same person I was when I went in. Granted, in many ways, I am stronger but on the other hand there is an array of things about me that weren’t there before I met Mr. Douche Bag. I was in a very long term marriage that was abusive and I emerged with a little post traumatic stress but not nearly the level I have now after being with a narcissist sociopath. I would never, ever minimize domestic violence, it is horrendous but there is a difference between abuse and abuse PLUS having your entire way of life destroyed. It’s a double whammy for sure.

So, sometimes it’s one day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at a time. And sometimes one second at a time. Stay in the moment. As a friend said to me, sometimes all you can do is hang on and tell yourself you’ll worry about it tomorrow. And remember that sometimes even the clouds cry but eventually the sun comes out again.

Blessings great and small,

Olivia Rose

Moving Forward in the Aftermath of Ruin

you are amazing

It’s time to get on with it. Time to walk through the fear, the pounding heart, the “what ifs”. For the past several years, I went into hiding. My work has suffered greatly. because of the sociopathic relationship I was in and his band of enablers (flying monkeys), I was attacked, slandered, ridiculed. (To the point I called police about the threats.)  At one point, I tried “coming back out” only to find that his people were still massively hostile towards me and took the first chance they had to slander me and talk their crap about the work I do. It’s been a LOT of anger to work through. I spent years building a career based on character and reputation. After this man came along, it was gone. I lost many clients who were associated with him. I lost an entire community of people…….people who used to come to me for my services and send me referrals….it’s all GONE.

Today I sit here and I’m at a crisis point. I’m out of money. I’m in a bit of a panic. I realize there is a lot of anger inside me because of him and all the opportunities he ruined for me. (He ruined A LOT. And what makes it worse is how he casually admits to me, “Yeah, I know you were ostracized”…….he ADMITS it and doesn’t care.)  I find I can’t even talk about this outside the circles that understand the whole narcissism/sociopath thing because talking to people who’ve been in “normal” relationships (even ones gone bad) cannot comprehend the damage that has taken place. If there were a legal recourse I could take against him, I would, but I know it’s not possible because of how underhanded he did everything and how well he got his flying monkeys to play into it.

I feel FURIOUS today. FURIOUS. Sometimes I wonder if the anger ever does go away.

But I have decided to put it all back out there again. I just ordered new business cards. I updated my work pages and other social media pages. And I DARE someone to make a negative comment about me. Because the day comes (and it finally has, maybe fueled by the fact that I no longer have enough work or money) when you stop hiding. You decide you have to SHINE again. You have to stop hiding your light and who you are because you are fearful of attack. I know it’s not easy, I have PTSD. But I can’t be kept in a prison of fear from this sick individual and all his friends and the community they associate with. I had removed every reference to my work, my contact information, everything because of FEAR of him. I have to get back to the days where I did what I had to do despite the fear. When I got divorced many many years ago, I did it knowing that he might try to kill me or him. It was serious. But I did it. Lost 40 pounds in the process, but I did it. And I don’t think this more recent sociopath would try to physically harm me (but I guess you never know) but he certainly has done tremendous damage discrediting me to the point it’s nearly ruined me financially.

I KNOW who I am. I am a good person. I am compassionate. I care about other people. I know that when it comes to my work, I am EXCELLENT at what I do. And it’s time to “feel the fear and do it anyway” as Susan Jeffers would say. I want to stand on the top of a mountain and scream “FUCK YOU” to Mr. Toxic Waste and all his flying fucking monkeys. But I won’t, I will just get on with my life and get back to work  and make myself into a success again. They say living well is the best revenge.

replacing lies

Ladies, if you are in a situation where you may be physically harmed, please take the proper precautions. I want you to stay safe. But for those of you who have been made to feel like you’re some kind of trash just because you got involved with someone with a black soul………please know……….their darkness was not a reflection of who you are. You were fooled, duped into thinking they were Mr Wonderful and when you found out they weren’t , they set out to destroy you in whatever way they could to protect their wonderful reputation.

I want you to remember you are NOT trash. You are not an asshole. (This seems to be my motto, maybe because I was made to feel that way so many times.) You are a wonderful, amazing woman with much to offer to the world. Please don’t let a sick socio-fuck (pardon my language today) keep you hiding under a barrel. Please let your light start to shine again. The people who love you, will stand by you, the ignorant ones will fall away. PLEASE don’t let them steal your dreams or put out your light. My light has been out for more than a couple years……..it’s TIME To turn it back on again. (As I reflect, I think what a shame that he put me out of commission for so long, but I guess it’s all a process and judging that process serves no good purpose. We do what we can do in the moment.)  Call on your Higher Powers (however you conceive them to be) to help you. Use affirmations. Listen to positive videos. Read empowering books. Don’t let yourself get sucked into the muddy pit of the black soul of the sociopath.

You are amazing. You are wonderful. You are capable. You are compassionate. You are strong. You are powerful. You are beautiful. You are loving. You are kind. You are uniquely you.

I am strong. I am strong. I am strong. You are strong. You are strong. You are strong.

We will succeed.

The Bruno Mars song seems appropriate right about now. Let the words sink in. And believe them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUkgKFfIBJ0   “You are amazing just the way you are!”

In strength and love,

Olivia

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

Female Warriors

warrior angel

I love the examples of women who show us how fearless and brave we can be. I found this article today. I hope you are inspired by it. One of these days, I am going to get a tattoo that says “WARRIOR” because I’m not just a ‘survivor’, I am a WARRIOR WOMAN. And every time we do something that we are fearful about, we get a little stronger and a little more brave and our courage grows……………..

http://mentalfloss.com/article/59287/9-female-warriors-who-made-their-mark-history

With courage,

Olivia

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

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 Fear and Courage of Moving Forward

courage

Healing from a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath takes a very long time. If anyone had ever suggested that I would still be having repercussions from after this long, I would have never believed them. The PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) is still very much there, even after having therapy. It’s something that I am not sure I will ever be able to “turn off”. Perhaps it serves as a useful tool now to protect me, I don’t know, but I do know I’d feel happier without the nearly constant low grade anxiety (and sometimes full blown panic attacks). It can make it very hard to things that other people find ordinary. Being around new people, attending new places can be especially difficult until you learn to trust them. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find that trusting anyone new is difficult and takes a long time…….because as most of us have seen, you can know someone for years and still have them turn against you. Or believe that someone loves you and then have them try to destroy you.

Building a new life can also seem next to impossible. I don’t say these things to discourage you, but to show you that you are not alone in what you are feeling. People will tell you to go out and “make new friends” after you’ve lost all the existing ones. It takes courage and persistence. Depending on what stage of life you’re in, it can be difficult since many people are busy with being partnered and raising children. Also, dating is a huge obstacle to overcome as you learn to trust again and also deal with the triggers. Someone that I could trust told me yesterday that I probably have Complex PTSD, which is a PTSD that has originated from multiple sources of trauma. I have to read more about it, but it sounds likely. Especially if you’ve had multiple relationships with disordered individuals and the trauma in each relationship was slightly (or majorly) different. And when you add to this the “normal” stresses of every day living, it can be overwhelming.

Just last night, someone was texting me long into the night, someone I’ve never met with but felt comfortable enough to share my phone number with. I repeatedly told him I needed to sleep, but he kept texting. I could have turned off the phone but then children or family members wouldn’t have been able to reach me. This morning I blocked the number, since, if you can’t respect that I need sleep and you need to stop texting me, then you’re not going to respect much else. I don’t know if the blocking stops texts or just calls. Then the PTSD kicks in and I start to worry about what kind of “retaliation” he might have because I’ve blocked him. But, I rationalize, he has no idea where I live. So today I feel tired and irritable on a day when I have so much work to do. This is the thought process that you acquire after a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath. It gets easier just to be alone and stay alone (or so it seems). Going out on any kind of a limb, even giving your phone number out, can totally freak you out, especially when you find that there are so many people out there who are just plain inconsiderate and rude (they don’t even have to be a narcissist or sociopath!).

It is such a process and I know we have to keep moving forward. We have to keep focusing on the people and pets and things that bring us joy. We have to be willing to try to trust again and breathe through the angst. We have to be willing to let people get close to us. Little by little maybe we can be able to share bits of our soul again. I know that just feeling like I’ve said “too much” is enough to trigger huge anxiety. I have found lots of prayer to be helpful. Working with your Higher Power (by whatever name you call it) can be immensely calming. Your Higher Power always has your back and if you ask your angels to be with you, they will be, protecting you and helping you to move forward. Call upon your faith, whatever that may mean to you.

I have a big project coming up that is stretching me to the limits of my comfort zone. It’s something an ordinary person wouldn’t have an issue with. I know that the potential is there to open new doors for my career as well as forming new friendships. I have to “feel the fear and do it anyway”. I have to trust. I have to trust my own intuition that this is a good thing for me and I have to trust the other people involved. I have to dive in. To let this opportunity pass me by because of fear would not be a good thing. And, yet, it is so very hard.

While obviously, right now, I don’t have any great words of wisdom about moving forward. And the jerks still show up, like the one last night, who refused to stop texting me when I asked him to. But I write so that others may know they’re not alone in what they’re feeling and experiencing. People do not understand what it’s like to be in (or in the aftermath) of a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath. They don’t want to hear about it anymore and want us to get over it already and move on. What they don’t get is that we desperately want the same thing, but it just isn’t that easy for us. I have found that just the simple every day things become overwhelming to me, living in the manner that I used to live just isn’t possible right now. Everything and everyone becomes a possible threat. It really sucks. The anxiety and PTSD can be super intense.

So, one day at a time. Sometimes one breath at a time. Just one foot in front of the other at a time. Inch by inch, ever so slowly, moving forward. Reach deep inside and find the courage to try some new things that stretch your boundaries. Little by little you’ll find you’re making progress. It’s very hard but I understand. And you’re never alone with this. Never, ever alone. There are countless other survivors of narcissists and sociopaths out there. Feel the fear, breathe and do it anyway. Trust your Higher Power that really amazing good things are on the way.

With endless love and courage,

Olivia

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