Is Healing Within Reach?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Warrior

 

 

tattoo 4

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

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

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

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

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

This hangs on my bathroom mirror:

“Woman, I am calling to you

Come, Warrioress

Your Spirit cannot be broken,

Rise to your power, woman

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

 

goddess woman

With Courage and love,

Olivia Rose

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

Transformation

bright light

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olivia Rose

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

You Deserve to Be Heard

Healthy boundaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before and After

I don't care what you think of me

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

So who was I when I met the first man?

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

Before: ( First relationship: Long before age 40) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So during the process, what happened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11.  I am BRAVE. I have COURAGE.

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

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

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

strong women 2

With power and strength,

Olivia

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