Warrior

 

 

tattoo 4

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

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

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

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

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

This hangs on my bathroom mirror:

“Woman, I am calling to you

Come, Warrioress

Your Spirit cannot be broken,

Rise to your power, woman

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

 

goddess woman

With Courage and love,

Olivia Rose

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

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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

For The Crappy Days

stronger than you think

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

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

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

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

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

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

With shared strength,

Olivia

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

Going Up After Rock Bottom

rock bottom JK Rowling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With endless enchantment,

Olivia

Connecting with Each Other

strong women

Please join me on my Facebook pages. My goal is to empower, uplift, encourage, educate and support other women who have found themselves in or recovering from relationships that are abusive and/or with narcissists and sociopaths. (Even though abuse is almost synonymous with narcissist and sociopath.) We are strong and stronger still when we unite!!

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

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

Blessings on your journey,

Olivia