Category Archives: Survival

In 9 months, I could have

… had a baby.  Ok, I’m just kidding. You’ve determine from my last post, this girl is a bit too old for that.  I could have visited several countries. I could have remodeled my entire home.  There was so much I could have done in 9 months.

What I did with 9 months was rid myself of the negativity, the all-encompassing fog and a narcissist that I had foolishly allowed in my life.  I reclaimed myself. I reclaimed my life.

For 9  months (and a few days), I would not speak to him even if I were face-to-face.  If by happenstance, I saw him, I casually looked away. I made it obvious that there was nothing here for him.  I went into full-blown No Contact.

When I first began reading blog after blog about narcissism and those who possess this personality disorder, I could not fathom how not speaking to a person would allow me the freedom from the emotions, the pain and the unsettled spirit I was experiencing.  I was not a proponent.  I tried semi-no contact but generally failed. I foolishly told myself we could be friends. That didn’t work.   (Another blogger wrote friendship is nothing more than a license to disrespect.)  She was right.  We could be neighbors.  Plain ol’ foolishness.  What made my situation relatively unique is the narcissist who invaded my life lived but a stone’s throw away from my front door. With my emotions being what they were, I needed to close this chapter for once and for all.  Somehow, someway.

There is nothing like an impetus to give you what you need to do what you need to do!  Who would have thought that $2.50 would bring me to my senses, would be that force of energy I so desperately needed.  Yes, $2.50!  How silly is that. With all the crab legs, Bailey’s and coffee, lamb chops, and home-cooked meals,  that I had freely given and lovingly prepared for him, it took a $2.50 plant to set me straight, put me on the right path.

I had purchased plants for both of us. They were on sale for something like 75% off.  They were tropical plants that would need to be taken inside from the brutal winters in my state.  One beautiful summer day, while we were discussing the plants, he casually informs me he was going to give the plant to his ‘friend’ when he dug it up.  His ‘friend’ is code word for one of his many lovers. And, I remind you all that he has many.  I counted 20 once (I’ll explain this later, another blog, another day).

I was horrified, not as much because he was going to give the plant to another woman, but because he saw absolutely nothing wrong with telling me. I remarked to him that he was not giving anything away that I had purchased.  The next verbal exchange was even more mind blowing.  I commented “I’m selfish like that”.  Ready for this … he agreed.  Seriously! Of course, I was kidding but he wasn’t.  He actually considered me selfish because this one time I was not going to be the idiot that I had been since December 2012. I was not giving him carte blanche to give something to another woman that I had purchased for him.

What happens next nailed it for me.  One of his lovers came over, parked her car and they drove off for a day of fun and sun. It was a beautiful day. Sun was shining. It was hot. And, I would have also loved to have enjoyed the day as well with someone special. I would realize later that I had hit my bottom with this insanity.  I felt lost, downtrodden and bereft. There was a knot in the pit of my stomach. If you were to ask me that day would I survive this onslaught on my feelings, on my heart, would I get through the day, I would have told you NO.  I did not think I could have felt any worse than I did that very moment.

I called a sister friend.  She arrives (unexpectedly) with a bottle of Margarita in tow. I drank a glass or two. We ate.  She left. I got in my bed and just simply felt bad. There is no other word to describe how I felt. I just felt bad. I would repeatedly ask myself how could someone you treat so well, treat you so badly.

I had allowed myself to be disrespected so many times but this would be the last time.  And, not just by him, by anyone. I was determined to turn this around.  As I said in a previous blog I was not going to hurt … another second, another minute, another hour or another day . This would be the day I’d find the determination I needed, the determination I lacked when I proclaimed I was going to stop hurting!

I woke up that next morning and began an amazing journey. He text, I did not respond. He called, I did not answer. I saw him, I did not speak. I was done, done, and DONE!

For the next 9 months, he was invisible.  I went about healing my heart, my soul and my  mind.  It was exhilarating.  I knew my real challenge would come when the weather broke. The weather broke. I remained determined to shut this individual out of my life.

Of course, being the girl that I am, I had to test my resolve.  So, after 9 months and some days, I sent him a text. Of course, this was after he playfully threw rocks while I was walking my dog.  It was after he yelled “boo” out of the window.  It was even after he had called claiming I had dropped a $20 bill while I was walking my pooch one Sunday morning.  He could keep the $20. I texted him the day, he repeatedly honked his horn while I was again walking my dog.  He pounced on that text.

We began to chat a little. I made sure it was always initiated by him. I discovered I was no longer affected by his fake charm. And of course, he turned it on. He tried to entice and seduce me but I knew better this time.   I certainly thought more of myself.  He asked me over but I effortlessly declined.  I was not going to start anything back up with him. No way, no how. (More on this another blog, another day.)

I realized more than anything was though I had a scar, a pretty deep one, my feelings toward him had drastically changed.  I saw him for the person that he was.  A womanizing, misogynistic, narcissist who preys on women.

After watching the women come and go … sometimes it would be months before they would reappear, I decided I was the one who would never go back to such a dark and ugly place with such a dark and ugly person.  I did not need to feel so badly about myself, so trapped and lost ever again.

It has been three months of periodic chatting. Now, however, I realize I just simply do not like him as a person. It defies all odds, everything we believe, everything we know to be true in this life, to continue to tolerate someone treating us badly, with such little disregard for our feelings.

I no longer care why he behaves the way he does. I am not trying to figure out the pathology of his disorder.  I am only concerned with …

Treating Myself Wonderfully Each and Every Day.

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I was not going to hurt…

I loathe, detest, despise, dislike, abhor feeling bad.  Sure we all do.  But some of us can stand it maybe a tad bit better than others.  I hate it!!!  What’s important here is not who can and who can’t as much as how much I hate it. I hate it so badly that it would become the catalyst I needed to find consolation, peace, solace, relief and happiness, someway, somehow, somewhere.  This girl was not going any further into the depths of misery than I had already gone.  Then I had allowed myself to be taken.  I was going to get out of misery. And, I was going to be better, get better and move on.

I simply … was … not … going … to … hurt another minute, hour, day or week.  So, I definitely wasn’t going to spend another year in the misery I had created for myself out of ignorance and as another blogger so aptly quoted the definition of insanity “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I had spent nearly all of my adult life in go-nowhere relationships with men who were either broken, wounded, emotionally unavailable and now I realize some may even have been narcissists, misogynists or even sociopaths. I made excuses, forgave not just poor behavior but bad behaviors.  I would say through all of the bad relationships, I now realize that the Saving Grace of my awesome God saved me over and over again.  Repeatedly, I was able to get out and move on with hardly any scars. I would continue to trust. I continued to believe in huMANity.  And, I continued to be in hurtful relationships!

My relationship with a narcissist has shown me how careless I had been with my heart.  I can still trust but I need to be more discerning.  I must believe what I see is what they are.  I must not make excuses for bad behavior.  If he is a lying, cheating, debaucherous, womanizing fool, I will accept that and keep on stepping. There is no other way! No excuses, no compromising. He is not the man for me. To simplify it, I don’t need him and I don’t want him.

As I sit here on another cold and blustery day — yep you guessed it with my Bailey’s and coffee — I write in my blog and read the writings of other sister friends in the struggle. And Lord knows being in a narcissistic relationship is a struggle.  It is one that will suck the life out of you.  It strikes at your very core.  It hurts you so deeply and so badly that you honestly believe the pain is physical! That was me in 2013.  That was my pain.  I was suffocating.

And then I decided I … was … not … going … to … hurt!  I … was … not … going … to … hurt another second. The pain had to go away and it had to go away right freaking now!  I set out on a mission to feel better.  I needed a plan.  First stage — counseling. I nearly ran into the counselor’s office!

At one point, I would beat myself up mercilessly for allowing such foolishness into my life. Sister friends and counselor urged me to stop blaming myself.  Little did I know then, that was yet another stage of my plan of action.  It actually helped in the healing. I needed to blame myself. Why? Because I was taking responsibility for my part in the nonsense.  I had watched this man and his shenanigan’s for ten years.  I knew better.  Good Lord what was I thinking?

I prayed and asked for guidance.  That guidance came in the form of showing me he was a narcissist.  Who knew?  Seems everyone but me.  When I realized narcissism was real, I saw him differently.  I saw him as flawed, as broken thereby a weak man.  I do not like weak men!  I no longer blamed me.  He was clinically ill.  There was nothing I had done to cause this.  I think sometimes I may have forgiven him before I forgave myself.  Forgiving myself was a bit of a challenge.  Forgiving him not so much.  He was a womanizer.  I knew that! Why? Now, that I did not know.

And then because I … was … not … going … to … hurt, I started to turn it all around to a positive. I needed this experience.  I needed something to bring me out of a fog that I was in that was only getting more and more dense. I needed a wake-up call.  The narcissist gave me just that. He made me realize that I deserve a wonderful, kind and loving man. One who does not wear a mask, one who does not lure you in and then BAM, the floor drops out from underneath you.

My relationship with this man caused me to have expectations.  It has changed me. I will never date a married man, a man who I know is in a committed relationship ever again.  I definitely will not be a part of anyone’s harem.  And, as far as the sex goes, he will have to work harder at it before I turn over my special lady parts.

I am now on the right track.  My self-esteem, my love for me improves daily.  Each and everyday I think of my wants and needs. I made a mistake.  But, I will not allow that faux pas to cause me any long-term damage.  I will move on to better and greater heights.  I will live better than I have ever thought I would or could.  And, I will spend how ever many days I need alone, absolving myself, loving myself and improving me.

No I … was … not … going … to … hurt any longer. I am going to be happy in love with me, my new best friend!

Treat yourselves better than well!  Treat yourselves WONDERFULLY!

Rethinking the possibilities…

Overvalue, devalue, discard.  I think I began to pack up at the devalue stage! I had noticed the vague insults and the nastiness. I was repeatedly telling my girlfriends “I’m not liking the way he treats me.”

Discard is such an ugly, negative word. Let’s rethink the possibilities and turn it into a positive.

So did he discard me OR did I discard him? I realized today I was NOT discarded.  If everything I have read is true about the narcissist, rather than leave you, they simply shelve you until the next time they want to bestow their presence on you.  How silly is this?  As if you’ll remain shelved.  Narcissists are hoarders of women.   Without realizing it, I was becoming a source of Primary Narcissistic Supply.

I have a girlfriend who I confide in often. In fact, she helped me get through the darkest days with my narcissist.  As I was emerging from that dark place, I sent him a text expressing my dissatisfaction with the sex he had been serving up. But what does anyone expect from a man who seemingly beds a different woman every night. Somebody’s not gonna get it right. And I’ll be damned if it will be me.

My girlfriend has repeatedly drilled in my head, he did not dump you, you dumped him. She knew that If I wanted to be with him, I could.  On his terms! I no longer want to be with him. I no longer want to share his bed. I no longer want to pretend I did not see what I saw or knew what I know.  His lifestyle is dishonest and debaucherous. It is an illusion! And, it is not for me.

So was I actually discarded?  Or, alternatively did I become disillusioned, disappointed, disabused, fed up, dissatisfied and discontented and discard him! Some may say I am in denial, but I don’t think so. As I review the year’s activities and my state of mind, I simply became physically and emotionally drained and tired of his shenanigans!

So those of you who believe you have been discarded, rethink the possibility that you just may have been the discarder, not the discardee. I write this primarily for those of us who want to feel better.  It is for those of us who want to take the negative and turn it into a positive.  We were actually strong enough to walk away from someone we thought we wanted. We packed up our toys and went home. Never to be mistreated in such a callous and disheartening manner again.

I wanted my power back.  So I took it and my toys and went home to stay!

I am not bitter. I am not angry. I am happy. I have forgiven me and him!  I mean can you actually be angry with someone for being who they are? Absolutely not. On the other hand, you owe it to yourself to dismiss him (or her) and the shenanigans. I watch the women traipsing in and out of his home/hotel* daily and think to myself … if you only knew what I know! Some days, I want to scream, he’s narcissist, “run” “save yourself“! Would they even listen?  I wonder if they even pay attention to the signs I noticed and discounted right off the bat. *I sometimes refer to his home as a hotel!

Were we enlightened?  Of course we were. Did we search out these blogs and found there were many of us who had shared this very same experience? I know I did.  Did we not gobble up all the information we possibly could on narcissism and what it does to our very souls?  Certainly.

We are not the victims we may have at one time thought we were.  We are not discards as we once believed.  We are brave women (and men) who freed ourselves of someone not worthy of our love, our time and all that we have to give!

Yes, I discarded him! This is my reality.  I am a brand new me.  I am like the mythological phoenix.  I have new life.   And, with my new life, I come first!

Treat yourselves well!

Surviving the Narcissist …

I read this today and thought how apropos it was for those of us who have experienced and survived (or will survive — yes you will) relationships with a narcissist.

The negative committee was convening a meeting inside my head this morning.  So, I pounded the gavel and dismissed the meeting.  I got out bed, showered, dressed, walked my puppy and decided to do something constructive.  I remembered the old adage “an idle mind is the devil’s playhouse”!  Devil, you will not make my head your playhouse.  Not today, you won’t.

This morning was kind of interesting as I found myself nearly face-to-face with one of his lovers who had seemingly shared his bed last night.

As I was leaving home, I ran into his overnight guest.  The one who had been out-of-the-picture and re-emerged last weekend.  I used to envy her spending time with a man for whom I shared a weakness.  Not any longer.  While I don’t pity her, I do think to myself … if you only knew, you would have stayed gone.

I am not only surviving my relationship with a narcissist but I have renewed strength and love for myself.

1. I have made peace with my past and my recent faux pas.  I will not allow this to define me. I have moved on. More importantly and the hardest part for me was to forgive myself! I am forgiven.

2. What others think of me does not concern me.  It is none of my business. It is difficult for someone like me who doesn’t want others to know how foolish I have been, given the knowledge I possessed! I realize now that others can only understand what I felt if they experienced the same pain.  A relationship with a narcissist has its own brand of pain.

3.  Time heals almost everything, give it time.  I gave myself healing time.  I embraced my heartache. I did not run from it.  I grieved (and did I grieve).  I deserved to grieve a little, however, I refused to let it linger.

4.  I no longer compare my life to others and though being non-judgmental was  a catalyst for my error in judgment, I am striving to be more discerning.  I realize this has been my journey and my journey alone.  I don’t expect others to understand it.  My focused is solely on me and making sense of my life’s journey.

5.  I work diligently on ceasing playing around in my head most of the time.  I am one who wants to know all the answers. And, I want to know them now.  I realize now that God is there, watching over me and gives me what I need when I need it.  Those answers I seek, He will give them to me in his own time, not mine!

6.  I am solely, unequivocally responsible for my happiness. After all it is my happiness. I promise myself to work at being happy everyday of my life. it becomes easier and easier each day.

7.  I am smiling and laughing more.  The problems in the world do not belong to me.  I cannot and will not carry the world’s burdens on my shoulders. They are too narrow.  Besides … do I really want to anyway?  Mmmmm Nope!

And, I added a few of my own as I heal from my narcissistic relationship.

8. I remind myself every single day of my attributes. I am attractive, smart, fun-loving, genuine, warm and caring.

9. I made a negative experience, a positive … I am a better me.  My positives have surfaced.  I have new-found self-esteemed. And, I love me!

10. I have expectations.  I did NOT have them before my narcissist.  I do now!  I expect any man in my life to treat me with love and respect.  And, I will not be a member of anybody’s harem!

11. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be loved. I deserve all of God’s many blessings!

12. As another blogger stated, I will not allow him to live a better life than me.  I have discovered me in the midst of his chaos.

You can too!

Treat yourselves well!