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.

Even the Clouds Cry

cyring clouds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings great and small,

Olivia Rose

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