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.

Unhappy Holidays

when you're asleep

Another day in the life of a survivor on Memorial Day. I fully realize that Memorial Day is a day to honor our war veterans and I honor that but it’s also a day that friends and family gather and celebrate. (I didn’t want to minimize what the day is really about but I think you all understand what I mean.)

So today, I woke up in full blown anxiety, as I often do. I had one client to see, a lovely lady who is always so positive no matter what. She’s in her late 80’s so I suppose she’s seen and done it all and realizes more about life than those of us who are younger do. Maybe one day I will gain her joyful perspective on life. I am working on it, I really am, but I’m not there yet.

From there, I went to help a friend at her office because I had nowhere else to go, nothing to do and nobody to hang out with. During my time in the office, I discovered a large amount of money and a check missing from my purse…… I can’t afford this……..especially since I’m not too busy anymore these days since losing a lot of client referrals and clients due to Mr. Toxic Slime (the narcissist/sociopath who was in my life). I don’t know if somehow it fell out (I lost it?) or it was stolen. Either way, it’s not a good thing.

THEN, my friend (whose office I was helping out in) told me I need to go back to school so that I can actually HELP women who have been abused. That I need to study psychology. Well, Ok, that’s a valid point since the work that I do now is physically demanding and my body has a hard time keeping up with it anymore. And maybe as a psychologist I really could make more of a difference. (I already work in the holistic health/spirituality field).   I also made the mistake of sharing with her that I have been writing a blog (this one). Her response was, “What do you hope to accomplish with that?”  I said, “Well, someday I’d like to write a book. And beyond that, the other blogs and books I have read helped me enormously to know that I was/am not alone in what I have gone though / am going through. And so now I want to share with other women.” Her reply was, “Does it really serve you to STAY in that energy by writing about it?” ………….This really surprised me, because while she is much older than I am, she also lived with significant others and family members who were sociopathic. I told her that despite the fact that it’s been a few years and I’ve tried like hell not to sink in the mud of defeat and despair……..some days I AM still in ‘that energy’.

Nice way to shit on my dream. Thanks. (Be careful who you share your heart/dreams with.)

Today was one of those days. Being ostracized when you’re my age isn’t an easy thing. People think you can just go out and make new friends instantly and easily and then always be included in gatherings. Well, it hasn’t happened. In fact, I think I’ve become known as the girl with PTSD that you have to tread easy around. Great. That helps, right? In addition, by my age, most people are partnered and/or busy with their kids. Nobody has time for the third wheel. I guess this sounds like a pity party. It’s just been a rough day.

It rained heavily this morning. I sort of had a perverse kind of happiness about it because I knew there would be no gatherings or barbecues for me today….and due to the rain, there wouldn’t be any for anyone. (I’m not really that selfish, it was just a fleeting thought.)  But by late afternoon, the sun had come out and the day had turned glorious. People tell us to choose our thoughts…….but I think sometimes the thoughts just show up……..and before we can tell them to “go away”, we’ve already heard what they have to say. I remembered that Mr. Toxic Waste attended a huge (every single year) Memorial Day barbecue and picnic where he served as the very popular and highly esteemed grill master. And I knew that while I was driving home alone to an empty house, he was having the time of his life, still very much the “good guy” and center of attention (his favorite spot).

No matter how hard I try, no matter how many books I read, no matter how many blogs I read…….while I understand intellectually, I CANNOT understand in my heart how someone so abusive could remain so very very popular (only his employers and I knew who he really is) and how I could be the one who has been demonized.

This “recovery” stuff is tiresome. Perhaps people want me to be the “Pollyanna” and not write about or talk about what happened to me. Hell, I want to be a Pollyanna and just be happy. But too often it still isn’t there. Maybe I should have sucked it up and gone to a movie (alone) or out to dinner (alone) rather than coming home to an empty house. Maybe I’m wallowing in it too much. But sometimes it’s just in your face. It is what it is. What are you going to do?  My life was pretty good before I met Mr. Toxic Waste. Or at least the years between him and my ex-husband were pretty good. I had a large group of friends and acquaintances and belonged to a large community of like minded people. Now, to find like minded people where I am not considered a “target”  (I was threatened by his friends and people were openly hostile and aggressive), I have to travel to a different town. Literally.

On the upside, God wants me to know better days are ahead. I got a reply from someone I was trying to contact about my work. (Very nice!) And I saw that another blogger (( http://rapebyfraud.com/2015/05/25/all-aboard-for-the-great-sociopathic-abuse-and-recovery-blog-tour/ )) mentioned my blog in her blog!! How awesome!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!

So tomorrow is another day. It won’t be a holiday of any sort. It will be another day to start over and try again. It will be another day to work on rebuilding my life. I might even think about going back to school and starting a new career. I will most likely think about moving to a new town. (I think about this a lot.)  But for tonight, I think I will have a glass of wine and say a little prayer that better days will be here sooner rather than later. And I WILL NOT think about (ever!!) being quiet about the abuse I have endured and I will never stop writing ………..because I do it not only to raise awareness about domestic violence and narcissistic and sociopathic abuse but I do it so that all of you out there who read these words and have been there and done that  KNOW that you’re not alone in what you’re feeling. And you’re not a freak for not being able to “get over it” and “get on with your life”. One day at a time. One moment at a time. And sometimes one breath at a time.

A glass of wine, some kitty cats and a good book may just be the tonic I need.

Endless hugs,

Olivia

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

The Flying Monkeys aka Friends

flying monkeys

There are so many things that ONLY make sense in retrospect and perhaps ONLY after going to therapy and reading many many books. Realizations and understanding have still been very slow to emerge, so I’m about to share. “Flying Monkeys” has been a term that I’ve encountered (and I really like) that refer to the supporters, fan club, friends, enablers (whatever you wish to call them) of the narcissist/sociopath. The term, of course, refers to the flying monkeys who belonged to the witch in the Wizard of Oz movie. They did her bidding, followed her orders and never questioned her authority (until after she melted, if I remember correctly, then they cheered!).

One thing in my relationship (well, one of many things) that I never could understand until now was the way the Narc’s friends treated me. I am not a loud, boisterous personality and I tend to be very calm and mild mannered. I have never had a problem in my life with people being rude to me (except for that occasional other driver in traffic). Yet, it was one of the first things I noticed with the Narc’s friends. They were all rude and argumentative and extremely inconsiderate of my viewpoints and/or feelings (which I never force on anyone). When I would say anything to him about it, I inevitably got the same answers; either it was my fault (I did or said something to piss them off), or “that’s the way he/she is, and I already warned you about them”, or he would tell me they weren’t rude or that he simply didn’t notice. Now, I have had a few relationships and in most of them I found that the men were somewhat protective and did not let their friends be rude to me……I’m not even sure it was ever an issue, except for with one mama’s boy, whose mama got to be rude to me (but that’s another story). I could not understand how a group of people could be so rude and hostile. I pondered it a lot. I figured at the time that perhaps they just came from a different way of life than I did and this was how they behaved. When I would tell my friends, they would be appalled and tell me that they didn’t know ANYONE who acted this way. What confounded it even more was the Narc’s refusal to confront any of these people about their behavior towards me in any way. shape or form. Even on his social media page, I would notice that his friends would make comments that in very snide ways, demeaned me or belittled what I had to say. There were a few times he would delete my comments, even. So I stopped commenting on his page. More and more, I felt myself being pushed out of the “group”. More and more I felt like an outsider. It was very gradual and very insidious. It messed with my head. He made me think that there was something wrong with me; that I didn’t know how to behave with people. I KNEW this wasn’t true. I have a career that deals one on one with many people and I am very good at it. But, you see, that’s the special gift of the narcissist and sociopath, they can mess with your head so badly until you’re in a tail spin and you have no idea which way is up. You actually end up asking yourself if you really are the asshole that they say you are. I assure you, you are NOT.

Toward the end of the relationship, it got so bad that his friends could insult me straight to my face while he stood BESIDE me and then he would happily turn to them (after our exchange was over) and say something friendly and happy to them as if he had not heard a word. When I would confront him he would tell me that he did not “hear”  them…..that he did not “pay attention” while other people were speaking to me. As I write this, I am thinking to myself, “Ohmygawd, how could I have not seen what was going on?!” But when you’re in the midst of it, you don’t. And narcissists/sociopaths are so good at the role they play. They will tell you all kinds of lies such as “I’m not good at confrontation, I avoid it at all costs.” Or “I am afraid of fights.”  And yet you’ll see them scream bloody murder complete with all out cursing at a stranger in a parking lot who gets in their way or they get fired from their job for anger management issues, or attack their own family members.  However, when it comes to their flying monkeys, their enablers, they will do anything to preserve the image and to stay in good standing with them. What it comes down to is their MASSIVE insecurity and they will do nothing that might anger those who cannot see through them or cause them to lose these supporters and their fan club.

It goes further and this is what took me a bit longer to understand. His “friends” treatment of me was a reflection of HIS treatment of me. (And that really sounds like one of those “WELL, DUH!!” statements.)  When we first started seeing each other we’d meet up with mutual friends and his friends at a local pub. He would often ignore me and cuddle with other women, one in particular, in a corner where they congregated. I would sit alone and ponder this behavior (which doesn’t say much for my own self esteem, but we live and learn). It was obvious that I was NOT included in their “group” and I was so isolated from them that other men (strangers!) would come up to me and offer to buy me a drink. They would get an incredulous look on their faces when I would point out to them my “boyfriend” in the corner with the other woman.  When I would confront him about it, he would tell me that it was” just how this group is, they are cuddly and friendly and it means nothing”. It caused me to ask myself whether I had insecurity issues. I didn’t think I did, so it made me shut my mouth lest they think I was jealous or insecure. (Head games and more head games!! Ohhhh the head games!!)

What I didn’t know and didn’t figure out until much much later was that he was setting me up all along. I will never know for sure exactly (or maybe one day I will)  but I know he said things to people that colored their opinion of me. Narcissists and sociopaths are famous for this. They will drop tidbits about you very slowly, like slow poison, until other people form a whole new opinion of you. Those who refuse to take the bait become HATED by the narc because they see through his ruse.  When I finally ended the relationship with him people came out of nowhere with all kinds of adjectives to describe me………from brutally abusive to jealous and insecure.  The things he said to them while we were together is what gave them “permission” to treat me the way they did and then to respond to me the way they did after the break-up.

During the relationship,  I was harassed on social media (privately and publicly until I blocked the people), insulted to my face by people, and then sent email threats after the break-up (by his friends). A few even brought up medical issues that were private and my past relationships that they knew NOTHING about. (Which I had told him about and obviously he had shared.) One person had the gall to tell me that I suffered from “battered woman’s syndrome” when I spoke of the escalating verbal and emotional abuse that was going on with him. I didn’t see it at the time, but the N/S was using my past experience in a violent relationship to convince people that I was damaged and that what he was doing was OK and I was just over reacting to it .He convinced people that I had mental health issues, that I had hormonal issues, (he joined a support group for men with menopausal women), that I was jealous and insecure and that people needed to walk on eggshells around me……..to the final blow…….that I was being abusive to him! He told people that I was doing to him, EXACTLY what he was actually doing to me…..right down to telling everyone that he was being stalked by me after the relationship ended. (The reality of that was that when he was “stalking” me, calling me and telling me he knew where I was and he was on his way…….and I was in a public place…….the loud phone conversation prompted strangers to approach me and ask if I needed the police to be called.) This treatment went on from the beginning of the relationship all the way to the very bitter end (and beyond). It’s interesting to observe the people in his life who were “nice” to me. His family and his neighbors, literally, that was IT, the two groups of people who actually knew him on a more intimate basis. (Families usually KNOW who you are, especially when you display a violent temper…….and neighbors either see or hear that temper as well, so there are no games to be played with them.)

Granted, the people were stupid, no matter how I try to look at it. Either they were too blind to see the truth or they were too insecure to stray away from the herd mentality and express their own opinions about me. And some of these people, I had literally known for a lifetime, some for 20 years, some for a few years………and then there were “his” friends.  I pondered for several years how something of this magnitude could have happened. How could people be so rude?  How could people you’ve known for years turn on you like that? I could not understand for a very long time.(But my life is so much better off without them!)  The realization came through in talking to the very few (like two) of my friends who disliked him and re-reading emails he had sent me when he was angry(there were a LOT of them). I actually discovered the same phrases  (verbatim) about how he felt towards me that other people used towards me. That was when the light bulb went off inside my head and I knew he had told other people the same thing, using the same words, about me. And beyond this, people knew things about me that they couldn’t possibly have known unless he had shared with them……like the things about my past.

It still mystifies me that other people could be so gullible. But I guess I was gullible myself and I also fell for his mind games for a time. Until I didn’t. And once you see that a monster lives behind the mask of Prince Charming, you become the target to be annihilated. And if you can’t be annihilated, then your character and reputation are the next best things they can destroy. They will do anything to make themselves look like the victim and make you look like the monster.

So, here’s the moral of the story. You’re not insane or hormonally out of control, or jealous or reacting from past experiences. You are reacting the way any normal, sane woman would act in the same situations. You expect your “man” to be there for you, to be supportive and to not tolerate his “friends” disrespecting you in the least. I will never forget asking a friend how he would react if someone treated me this way and I was with him and his response was, “I’d punch them in the mouth”……and that from a person who doesn’t have a violent bone in his body. So, if in your gut, it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If it doesn’t make sense, there’s something wrong. If you have to question whether you ARE insane, you’re not. If you have to ask yourself if you’re really the asshole he says you are, then you’re not. If it doesn’t feel OK, then it’s not. Don’t allow it to continue for an extended period of time or tolerate repeat episodes of the same behavior. Find the nearest door and walk out. All of these things are HUGE RED FLAGS that say RUN RUN RUN and DO NOT LOOK BACK!!!

Find your worth, express your worth, know your worth, embrace your worth.

You are a priceless treasure,

Olivia

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

For The Crappy Days

stronger than you think

It’s been several years for me since I split with the narcissist/sociopath and my life still isn’t even remotely close to being the same. It can take years to rebuild what they,  so quickly and easily and without conscience, destroy. Some days still suck. It’s hard going it alone with very few friends. I’m not going to sugar coat it and lie to anyone. It’s not easy. But there are a lot of us and we are not alone in this. I am finally speaking out, sometimes with a lot of fear…..I worry that “he” will find out and that there will be repercussions. But it would be worse still to live my life as a mouse hiding under a rock. I can’t do that. If I can educate and empower other women, then my life will be complete. If I can do that, then it will make all my own suffering mean something. If women could see the signs right away and GET OUT before the damage is done……..that’s my goal to educate and empower. Imagine if we could start when women are young teenagers………..what a difference we could make.

Initially, I  thought that narcissism and sociopathy were/are rare disorders. They’re not. Statistics have shown that one in every 25 people is a sociopath. So that kinda means they’re everywhere. And there are so many of us who have been their victims. But I don’t prefer to think of myself , or any of you, as victims……..we are survivors, we are victors and we are the warriors. We will go on and we will make the world a better place because we are HERE and we survived. We are HERE, dammit, and we survived!!  On the days that suck, when the loneliness becomes intense, remember you are not alone. You will make it through. I have to believe that a  Divine plan is in action, no matter what your religion. There is a purpose and a reason that you’re going through this. You will be amazed at how strong you will become. You will be amazed at how little you need other people and once you realize these things, there is great freedom in that. Don’t mourn for people who abandoned you because they believed what the N/S told them. If they believed you are that scum, let them go. Don’t try to explain yourself or hold on to them…..show them the DOOR!  Each of us has our karma that awaits us. Because whether you believe in Karma or not, I do believe that you get what you give, and when you kick someone when they’re down, eventually it will return to you, full boomerang effect. Everyone gets what is theirs, eventually, even when appearances don’t show it yet.

So remember how far you’ve come. Remember how strong you are, even on the bad days. Remember how self reliant you’ve become and how freeing that is…….even though the process has been hard as hell. You will make it,  things will get better. The crappy days will become fewer and fewer.

I found this awesome blog last night. It’s well worth reading. She explains so precisely what happens in our relationships with narcissists and sociopaths.      https://afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/your-voice-why-and-how-its-silenced-by-the-abusive-narcissist/

****I do second what she says about choosing when and where to find your voice. DO NOT put yourself in danger to tell your story. The day will come when you safely can but if you’re not in that place yet, please do not put yourself in danger.

Please feel free to reach out to me on my FB page in a private message if you need to. There is strength and support and encouragement in numbers.

With shared strength,

Olivia

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319

Going Up After Rock Bottom

rock bottom JK Rowling

Even though it’s been several years, I am STILL rebuilding my life. Most people don’t realize that a relationship with a narcissist or a sociopath isn’t like a other relationships when you break up. They try to destroy you and your life because you’ve discovered who they truly are and they’re in danger of being “exposed”. They will try every way imaginable to discredit you  and literally destroy what you’ve created and who you’ve become. It takes a very long time to bounce back from this and to create a new life…….which is something that many of us are forced to do. We lose jobs, friends, entire communities. But the good thing about this is that it exposes what was real and true and good in your life because that will abide. And as for the rest of it……the trash has taken itself out.

Even when the rebuilding process is well under way and new opportunities are starting to show up,  (I’m not even talking about romantic pursuits or anything like that) there are still days that loom endlessly before you. You can’t seem to find a friend. And you feel very alone. These kinds of days are still hard. Most people don’t understand, they don’t try to understand and maybe they just can’t……..but some compassion and sympathy (even if they can’t conjure up empathy) would be nice, but we don’t always find it.

My field of work has been in holistic healing for many years, ironically. And now I feel a new passion to help and empower women. All women. But especially women who have been through abusive relationships and relationships with narcissists and sociopaths. This has given me an ignited sense of purpose and passion.

I want to share some very simple things that have helped me get through the bad days and still does on those occasional bad days that still flare up. I’m a work in progress, maybe I always will be, but that’s Ok. As long as we’re going forward.

1.  Reach out to talk to someone. It might be calling someone on the phone, meeting a friend for tea, or even chatting with someone online. It will help you to feel much less isolated and sometimes it can lift your mood entirely.

2.  Examine your self talk (your thoughts). Change what you need to change. Now, I know this can be very hard sometimes, but just stopping the thought that says, “I’m so depressed” and turning it into one that says “I am strong” can do wonders if you keep repeating it over time.

3. Find your passion. This has been a hard one for me. For many years, my life was all about raising my kids and working. When they are grown, then what? But I’m finding that helping other women THRILLS me and it makes this experience I had make so much more sense. Your passion may be political, environmental, helping animals, doing an art, it could be anything……….. there are so many things to choose from that may light up your soul. Start with one and work forward from there.

4. Volunteer. This can be a continuation of #3……….. or you may find that helping others takes your mind off yourself and you may meet some AWESOME people with huge hearts in the process. New friends! Good people!!  (Since many of us are starting over after a relationship with a narc or sociopath).

5. Music and dance. I spent nearly the first year and a half after the end of “the” relationship listening to music and dancing (at public venues). Movement of any kind helps move energy through your body, it helps release the pent up emotions that become lodged (literally and figuratively) inside you. And music is always healing, especially the actual vibrations of “live” music….the instruments and the voices.

6. Exercise. Whatever form you choose. It not only keeps your body fit and healthy, but studies have shown that exercise is the MOST powerful antidepressant. I have found that a  30 minute walk turns into a 60 minute walk and when I’m done, I feel soooooo much better.

7.  Journaling or writing a blog. Journaling is a very very powerful way to release emotions. Blogging may not be the answer for you, depending on how “safe” you are. Some people recovering from a sociopathic or narcissistic relationship need to stay under cover until they are sure that their abuser will not come after them to physically harm them or cause more havoc in their life.

8. Nature. Connecting with nature is a very healing balm. If you live in a place where you can hike (safely ~ always think SAFETY), then that’s awesome. Some of us live in places where it’s harder to connect with nature, but there are always the city parks where you can sit and watch the birds and the trees and the water…….. I remember getting away from where I live a few times in the past few years and into the wilderness and it was truly a blessing to my soul. I found I felt free, I was able to sleep, eat, relax like I was unable to do when I was at “home”.

9. Take a trip if you can. (Continuation of #8) Just getting away into a new environment can have such uplifting effects on your spirit. Some of us even move away eventually but that’s a bigger decision and not one you want to make immediately following a traumatic event….and some of us have obligations that keep us from being able to move, but even a trip of an hour or two away from home can be great.

10. Nurture yourself. Maybe this should be listed as #1. Take care of you. Surround yourself with only people who are kind and supportive. Only frequent environments where you feel safe and comfortable. If you are financially able to do good things for yourself, then do them, and do them without guilt (whatever things make you happy). If you are not financially able to do stuff, do small things that make you feel good. It may be as simple as taking time to meditate or rest when you need to. It may be buying yourself a nice cup of coffee/whatever or a glass of wine. Take time to savor YOU.

11. (This was only going to be ten things but I thought of one more.) Meditate or pray. However you communicate with your Higher Power and however you “listen”, please do it. Meditation and prayer is calming and relaxing to your body and mind. And I know for a fact that our prayers are heard and answered. So talk to your Higher Power and your angels and spiritual guides and then listen, in peace, for the answers.

In the aftermath of an abusive relationship there are many things that we may feel……many emotions are toxic and fueled by others who don’t have a CLUE about what we’ve been through. Continue forward. Take each day one breath at a time. Know that it may take time but you can rebuild your life, and you can rebuild it into something grand and beautiful, filled with love. If our relationship with the toxic person taught us one thing, it is this: We have learned how to recognize what is love and what is not love. And from here on out, we will only build our lives on the solid foundation of love………starting with love for your magnificent, beautiful, amazing self. Life can and will be beautiful and magical again. I promise. I promise to you and I promise to me.

Please share and feel free to connect with me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Journey-of-Olivia-Rose/1632375906981319  and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008896532578

With endless enchantment,

Olivia

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