Living on the Bright Side

For every entry I write regarding emotional abuse and identifying the tactics narcissists use to maintain control over your life, I feel the need to write a second entry regarding life after freeing yourself from the crazy-making cycle. (Yes – life after does exist! Not only does it exist, but it is also beautiful and bright and wonderful!)

So you have left the toxicity behind, most likely after many failed attempts. Without the constant ups and downs and drama and heartache, you find yourself with all this time on your hands. The time you once spent worrying and trying to do damage control is now all yours – so what the hell do you do with it? You grow, that’s what you do!

Spend this time redefining your life – everything from rekindling interests you had given up while enmeshed in the life-sucking toxicity to reintroducing yourself to who you really are deep in your soul. Don’t worry – you are still in there somewhere, and you are every bit as beautiful and wonderful as you were when you slowly began to lose yourself.

Spoil yourself. Take time to heal. Learn to love yourself again.

During this transitional period, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to go absolutely no contact with the ex-narcissist. They will see you are not only surviving but also thriving in their absence (how dare you!!!) and they will do everything in their power to bring you back down. Remember that you are the one in control now. BLOCK THEM FROM ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE.

Moving on and finding that the beauty of the world still exists all around you is not going to happen overnight. It took me nearly two years before I felt “healed”. The path to happiness is not straight or smooth, but every bump and twist in the road is another lesson, another triumph, another test you can ace if you put your mind to it. And every baby step is worth the struggle, because what awaits you at the end of the path is AMAZING. It is freedom. It is happiness. It is love. It is peace. And, most importantly, it is all yours.

Go get it, because you deserve it.

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SAY HELLO!!!

When I started my blog a few weeks ago, I intended for it to be a type of therapeutic journal that may have a couple of followers who are going through similar situations, most likely people I know from Minnesota. I never thought it would be reaching people in Sweden, India, Japan, Australia, Greece…this is so cool!!!

If you are reading this, where are you from? How did you come across my blog? Say hello!

Bygones Will Never Be Bygones

Remember that time seven years ago when you said hello to your ex-boyfriend at the grocery store? Or that time you lied about your whereabouts because you wanted to go to your friend’s bachelorette party but knew your partner would never allow it? How about the time at the very beginning of your relationship when he ghosted you for weeks so you assumed your relationship was nonexistent and went on a date with somebody else?

Of course you remember, because a narcissist will never let you forget.

Narcissists are impossible to hold accountable or responsible for their own actions and will always turn the tables on their victims. For example, you find out your husband of eight years has been seeing the receptionist at his work. You confront him and he reminds you of every single thing you have done wrong since 1994. Pretty soon you find yourself apologizing for decades-past transgressions (that you have most likely already apologized a thousand times for) and what he has done/is doing is out of the spotlight, ignored, nonexistent.

Narcissists do not forgive and forget. They hold onto every little perceived transgression and will use it against you when it comes in handy to them. They cheated on you? Well, what about the time you tried to break up with them six years ago? Remember that? Aren’t you still sorry for how that made them feel? I mean, if you hadn’t done that horrible thing all those years ago, they never would have done whatever it is they just did. Your past actions caused this, is what they will tell you. And you will believe them, until you don’t.

When most people make mistakes, they will feel bad about it, confess, and apologize. The person they have hurt will either accept the apology or decide to move on. Narcissists do not accept apologies, they use them as ammunition against you in future arguments to defend their behavior. Sometimes they will even stay in a relationship just to punish the person who has wronged them. They will pretend to accept the apology, yet bring up the issue or incident every day to make you feel bad. They won’t get over anything you have done to them, and they won’t let you get over it or forget it, either.

Find a healthy relationship where you are both allowed to make mistakes, are both able to learn from problems that may arise, and you grow together from what you learn. You don’t deserve to be punished for the rest of your life if you make a mistake and learn from it. You deserve better.

Oh How I Tried. Oh How I Cried, Until the Day he Broke Me. Life with a Sociopathic Love Rat | No 2 Abuse

Oh How I Tried. Oh How I Cried, Until the Day he Broke Me. Life with a Sociopathic Love Rat | No 2 Abuse
— Read on www.no2abuse.com/index.php/articles/comments/oh-how-i-tried.-oh-how-i-cried-until-the-day-he-broke-me.-life-with-a-socio

The Future is Bright

In the aftermath of an emotionally abusive relationship, life can be overwhelming, feel like complete chaos. One minute you may feel free and euphoric and confident in your decision, and then find yourself drowning in worry and self-doubt the next.

You will have the typical worries that come with every separation/divorce – Will the kids come out of this unscathed? Will we have to sell the family home? Can I take care of myself and the kids physically, financially, and emotionally all on my own?

And then you will have the worries that come with leaving a narcissist – Is he going to brainwash the kids and make them hate me for leaving him? Is he going to tell everyone we know that the divorce was my fault or I’m crazy? Is he going to burn down my house at night while I’m sleeping???

When I find myself getting overwhelmed (which, I admit, has been quite often lately since he continues to harass me) I need to take a minute to step back from the present and imagine what life will look like for the kids and I in a year from now. We will have a peaceful home where we no longer have to walk on eggshells. I will have my own income, whether it’s a book deal or a job with the school this fall, or both. I will continue to rekindle friendships that I had to leave behind when I was controlled by my ex. Maybe I will have a new relationship with a man who treats both me and the kids beautifully and is everything my ex never was.

All I know is that in a year from now we will all be in a healthier place. Our lives will not be filled with drama and disappointment on a daily basis, things will have fallen into place, and the chaos will return to order. It may not be easy, but it will still be.

So in those moments where you feel like giving up, imagine your future and how wonderful you are going to make it. Fight to turn it into your reality. And before you know it, your future will be your present.

Life will be good again. I promise.

No More Chances

If your relationship with a narcissistic partner went anything like mine, you found yourself wasting far too much time trying to not only explain your feelings, but also trying to get the narcissist to understand. Or maybe even to care about the way you felt (haha). You would send endless texts baring your soul, suggesting ways to fix the relationship, attempting to address all the issues that needed to be discussed. You would send links to articles you felt could be beneficial to your relationship. You tried to coax them into couples therapy. You tried everything, talking until you were blue in the face, frantic to find a solution to fix this relationship.

In response, your narcissist would stonewall you (my ex’s #1 personal favorite), gaslight you, minimize your feelings, completely dismiss what you said and instead comment on the weather… Their apathy would infuriate you and their control tactics would cause you to question your sanity. The narcissist is loving all the energy and power they are getting out of seeing your misery.

Everything I stated above is why I will never miss my ex. Ever.

A few days ago, he sent me a message asking “When did you become so unhappy with us?” I wanted to throw my phone.

Instead, I laughed. I laughed hard.

Now that I can see his behaviors and tactics for what they are, this was a pathetic attempt at roping me back into the cycle of abuse. “Oh, I never realized you were so unhappy. Let me fix this” probably could have sucked me back in at one point in time, but not anymore.

Now I am in a place where I can call him out on his bullshit. When did I become so unhappy?!?!?Are you kidding me?!?!? If he honestly doesn’t know the answer to that (which I can guarantee he does), then he must be a complete idiot. By asking me that question, he is telling me that he has never listened to one thing I have said in the past few years. That he didn’t read the articles I sent him. That he was ignoring all my attempts at fixing things.

And you know what? Nothing has changed. If I were to fall for this, it would be the same thing. The same issues would still exist, as would his refusal to address any of them.

The more you educate yourself on the tactics of narcissists, the more you can protect yourself from the manipulation.

Do not fall for it.

Remember, you deserve better than that.

“You Ruined My Life”

You know, it kind of amazes me that I left my husband months ago, and he is still providing constant fodder for my blog. No matter how many times I tell him to leave me alone, he just keeps coming at me with more. And with every punch he throws, I come up with a new lesson I have learned and hope to pass on to others going through this same crap.

“You ruined my life.” That was the text I got before bed last night. I’m not sure if he likes to text me at bedtime in the hopes of keeping me up thinking of him at night or if that’s just when he’s drunk enough to muster up the nerve to be such a jerk, but it’s getting old.

My first reaction to reading this message was anger. After all the hell he has put our kids and I through, he’s going to blame the outcome on me?!? Was I the one who forced him to work 500 miles away from home for six years? Was I the one who fed him booze until that became the most central part of his life? Was I the one who forced him to constantly seek out other women when he needed his ego stroked? Was I the one who told him he should have as little contact with his kids as possible so they barely know each other?

No.

I spent years begging him to move home so we could both work. He chose to stay in Williston because it made him look good. It made others believe he was out there busting his ass to take care of his family, when in reality he stayed because he enjoyed the bachelor lifestyle. His one and only responsibility has always been to just show up for work, and he likes it that way. It was the easy way out for him.

I spent years suggesting he drink less/go to AA meetings/ reach out to family members for help. His alcoholism was (is) completely out of control and he knows it, yet he still chooses to pretend it’s not a problem.

I spent years competing with the other women…I am over that, and not even going to go into it, but I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the one finding him dates on the Williston back-pages.

I spent years warning him of what would happen if he didn’t try to be more involved with he kids. When I got really mad about it he would call them for two or three days in a row and then go MIA again. In fact, the other day he was sending me messages asking why the kids won’t talk to him and why they hate him – he said he had been trying to get in touch with them for days with no response. I checked the kids phones and there were no missed or received calls or messages from him – he just wanted a reason for me to feel sorry for him. Poor baby, your kids don’t like you after you pretended they didn’t exist for six years? Not my problem.

After going through this list in my head and realizing he is definitely the one responsible for ruining his own life, I was left with the question all victims of narcissists wonder – how could he possibly be blaming this on me???

What I came up with is this – I ruined his life (in his mind) by not letting him ruin mine. I escaped, I moved on, and I am rekindling friendships and doing what makes me happy while he is stuck in the lonely life he created for himself.

The fact that my life is not ruined is what is ruining his.

So, if he wants to say “You ruined my life” I will take that as a compliment. It means I was too strong for him to hold down and without my energy source feeding his ego he is miserable. And that is the hell he created for himself.

As for me, I’ll continue creating my own paradise without feeling guilty.