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.

The “F*ck Offs” You Never Said

my only regret

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,

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

You Are Not Alone

being able to survive

I write to let other women know they are not alone. And sometimes I write on my good days and sometimes I write on my bad days. Lately, it seems like a lot of bad days. I think about whether I need to be in therapy or not. (Please, I always suggest that you consult with a therapist and/or medical doctor) My dr says I have PTSD and I need a therapist. Frankly, even with insurance, I cannot afford it right now. Thanks to the sociopath/narcissist, I lost so many clients and referrals, I cannot afford things anymore. (Thanks, dude!!!)

I know I need to secure more work but somehow I have lost the initiative totally to move my ass and do what needs to be done. And it’s been several years since the narcissist/sociopath, so when do we EVER get over it? When does our drive come back? Maybe it’s about discipline, pushing ourselves, making lists. I am not sure. Maybe it is about therapy. I am not sure anymore. I did therapy. What will they say that will help? I had a male therapist before the female one (she was an angel from God) and the male therapist responded in an email that “most men are narcissists and you are an addict and until you’re read to help yourself………..”    WHAT???? Are you kidding me? I do NOT want to discourage anyone from going to therapy, please GO. I am not a therapist. I am just a fellow survivor.  (And I am not an “addict”, this man was speaking through is own filters after being single for many, many years……….. telling me I was an addict to men. Spare me.) (Please GO to a therapist if you feel you need it. I just share my experiences which were not always good……….but PLEASE if you need help, SEEK IT.)

Right now, with the bills piling up, work is lagging and no new clients are showing up………I’m thinking of moving to another state…….. seriously. For real. Start over. But fortunately, I have grown kids who don’t really need me anymore.  So, for me, these things are an option.

So, I’m not sure what my point was when I started this blog. But if I have reminded anyone that you are NOT ALONE. If have reminded anyone that all this bizarre shit that other people don’t understand is part of what goes on during and in the aftermath of narcissist/sociopathic relationship then I’ve done my job. I went through a horrible divorce years ago and the aftermath is NOTHING in comparison to this. Nearly every day, I have to stop and remind myself, “Wow, I am really NOT an asshole.”  That gives you the scope of understanding of what they do to you.

I keep pushing forward, baby steps at a time. (Not quite as fast as I’d like!)  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Reach out to those who DO care about you. Keep trying. Make plans for the future. Make goals. Make plans to meet up with friends. Join groups that you have similar interests with. Join an exercise class. Go for walks. Get out of the house. Talk with people. Reconnect with old friends. Volunteer. You never know what awaits you around the next corner. Expect miracles and amazing opportunities and people to show up.

There really are great people in the Universe, people who have a caring compassionate heart. There are good opportunities with people who will value your worth instead of belittle it or find it threatening. Keep on keeping on. I say that even on the days that I have a hard time keeping on keeping on.

I recently mediated and a message came to me and what it said was this……..”You cannot change the past. You cannot change what other people did to you. You cannot change who other people are or what they think. You cannot change other people’s actions. So you MUST accept and MOVE ON.” …………………….. That means even if there is nothing left, no friends, very little work, nothing………you cannot change it…………you must CHOOSE to move on.

So make your lists. Set your alarm clock. Get out of bed. Get dressed. Make a routine. Keep on putting one foot in front of the other and go forward, inch by microscopic inch, go forward. Eventually we will arrive at a place that is even more than Ok, it’s true happiness.

a work in progress and with much love,

Olivia

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

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

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

Releasing the Pain

can't forgive you

After a relationship gone sour, we are told to “forgive” and move on. In a relationship with a narcissist or sociopath (far more than just a relationship “gone wrong”);  when we are dealing with abuse (physical and emotional) and often the loss of our lives as we knew them (due to the slandering of our character and reputation by the Narc/Sociopath), the loss of friends, jobs and sometimes entire communities……..when we are totally isolated and trying to rebuild our lives and not even knowing where to start…..the LAST thing we want to think about is “forgiving” the person who caused such destruction. In fact, I think most of us are hoping that the Karma bus will arrive and run them over, and the sooner the better.

In the West and in Western religions, we are taught that we need to “forgive” and even to “turn the other cheek”.  I agree that we need to forgive, but NOT to absolve the other person of wrong-doing but for our own sake. If we hold on to hate, bitterness, hurt and resentment, we open ourselves to illnesses, we stop our own progress in moving forward and we emanate a negative vibe that taints everything we do.  So what do we do? How do we handle this? I will be bluntly honest with you in saying that I have absolutely no desire what-so-ever in forgiving the person who harmed me so badly. However, I DO want to release my pain, bitterness and resentment for MY OWN  sake so that I don’t get sick and/or grow into a bitter, angry old woman.

In Eastern traditions, namely Hinduism, they have a different concept. They don’t believe in “forgiveness” in the traditional Western sense of the word. Instead they believe in offering your hurt, anger, pain, hate, resentment to the Mother Goddess, namely the Goddess Kali. She takes your pain and ingests it (transmutes it). She helps you emerge stronger and more empowered. In Hinduism, it is believed  that everyone creates their “karma” which means they reap the consequences of their actions, so people do not have to “forgive”. Other people’s Karma is between them and their concept of “God”.  This is much the same of the Christian teaching of “You reap what you sow”. The Goddess Kali (and just the idea of a female Diety) might be hard for some to understand and accept, especially if you’ve come from a traditional background. (If the concept of the Goddess and namely Kali does not frighten you, you can learn more by googling “give your pain to Goddess Kali” and you will find more in depth articles.)

My point here is not to push or promote any religion but to say that we need to offer our pain to a Higher Power of our choice, whether it be Jesus, Buddha, the Universe, God or Goddess. We need to offer it up to them so that they can take it from us and heal our hearts. It’s not a process that I can explain in a logical, rational way……it is a spiritual process and practice. It takes faith and trust. No matter how hard I have tried in the past, I cannot seem to heal my own heart. It’s something that is super-natural, done by a force inside me and yet stronger than me in my own humanness. It’s something that works for me because I have not been able (or desiring) to “forgive” on command. It’s not like flipping a switch. But by offering your pain to the Higher Power of your choice, you set spiritual forces into motion that will end up freeing you from your pain.

I think it also helps to realize that as destructive as a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath can be  (and mine was;  his smear campaign left me ostracized from the entire community and I lost 99% of the people who had been in my life and my work was negatively impacted……in addition to the abuse he inflicted which resulted in a struggle with PTSD) we emerge on the other side still ALIVE. Some days we may feel broken and full of despair and depression but eventually we realize that we are stronger than we ever knew. Slowly we realize that our fears are dropping away and we realize that if we can survive “this” with the sociopath, then we can survive anything. Discovering this strength is the greatest gift. We also begin to realize that the worst has already happened……our character has been slandered, our reputations ruined, our lives have been burned to the ground……but…… there when there is nothing left to lose, our true selves begin to emerge. We no longer care what people think of us  because we’ve seen that we could be good people and yet people still will slander and try to destroy us. We begin to step into our own power, strength, and authenticity and suddenly we realize we are beginning to SHINE again. We become these strong, bad-ass women who aren’t afraid of anything anymore and it feels really really good. You also begin to see with real clarity who and what the sociopath really is and you realize that he doesn’t get the right to ruin your life for one more moment. In fact it would be a sacrilege to let him dominate you this way for one second longer. And when you realize all these things, you begin to seek your joy again.

I don’t say any of this lightly because it’s been a few years for me to reach this place. I still have my days (and I had many many many in the past) of being depressed and not even getting dressed but those days are becoming fewer. It fairly recently  that someone shared with me the Eastern perspective of offering my pain to the Higher Power. I had been trying for the past few years to “forgive” and it just wasn’t happening and I was still carrying a lot of resentment. On my own, I had already begun to see the “gifts” that came out of my relationship with the narcissist/sociopath. As for “turning the other cheek”……….well, I don’t know what to say about that. I have no intention of offering him the other side of my face after he’s already punched one side of it.  So we’ll just leave it at that. This isn’t a philosophical debate.

So, if you haven’t done it already, go to your Higher Power and offer them your pain (you may have to keep offering it, many times) and then trust in this spiritual process of healing. You can also leave your abuser in the hands of your Higher Power. Whether you believe in Jesus or Karma, the message is the same, what goes around, comes around. You reap what you sow. So God will take care of your abuser and their relationship (or lack or it) (or lack or remorse) is between them. Either way, you end up free of pain and resentment, free of the desire for revenge and ready to get on with your life as a strong, empowered, free woman who can SPARKLE and SHINE once again.

In strength, love and power,

Olivia

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

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