Sam Vaknin – “Narcissists Helping Victims? Don’t You Believe It”

Appreciate him or despise him, his work has always been on point.

“Self-styled “life coaches”, self-appointed “experts” on narcissism (with and without academic credentials), wannabe and self-important bloggers: they feign sympathy, empathy, aceptance and “love” for victims and survivors of abuse. Actually, the majority of them are malignant narcissists, out to take your money, adulation, and, sometimes, even sexual favors. They want to be your gurus. DON’T LET THEM.”
~Sam Vaknin, Author of “Malignant Self Love Narcissism Revisited

Is it Safe to Marry a Narcissist?

Narc Raiders Snark

safe If your idea of walking around in a suit of armor on the beach with an 8 foot metal pole protruding from your head for good measure during a lightning storm, throwing a plugged in toaster in the bathtub while bathing or disturbing an African honeybee’s nest  while dipped in pollen is your idea of fun, then by all means YES it will be completely safe for you to marry a narcissist.

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Recovery from NPD Abuse…a Journey with Many Options

Few words on this blog post, except to say that even early on something gnawed at me while incessantly googling, venting, purging, and reading blogs and forums on Narcissists, and Psychopaths and Socipaths and others on “The Spectrum”

I know enough to know that most if not all on the spectrum would have a hearty belly laugh at what I am about to lay out on the table.

It takes time but there is choice.

I’ve seen many for years now…at least three years, and some who started on this journey before me continue to cling to how despicable a (Name your Axis II Cluster B disorder) is.

What is hardest to remember is that the one thing they don’t own is our choice.

I’m not big on rainbows, butterflies, magical thinking or even some of that New Agey stuff…

I’m not talking of Kumbaya moments either but today something stirs up in me when a victim or a survivor tries to manipulate my point of view by ‘reminding me’ about everything I “must not forget”…or, what I should “remember.”

I’ve grown tired of remembering.  Why should I remember?  Why would anyone want to remember?

I’ve learned to trust myself…

What you do, how you do it, is up to you.

Maybe you need to be angry for a long time – and that’s cool…I won’t try to sway you…

Maybe you do need rainbows and butterflies or some new spiritual angle…

Whatever’s clever…

For me, in layman’s terms I think some of this is learning how to deprogram then begin to fuck with your own head in order to re-work the canvas…

Something along what I am about to share below is really what worked for me.  There is no rhyme or reason or proof that there is anything to it…but sometimes we choose certain paths because it seems the only way to get away from something that is much more overwhelming to the spirit.  Some things just are…and we choose to accept it or we don’t.

That is not to minimize suffering or invalidate an experience…I accept and agree “Life is Suffering” but we have a choice in terms of how we approach the suffering.  So, even if it’s totally bonkers…for me there was no other choice, the alternative was to remain stuck and destroyed…

I get it’s not for everyone…

As always, take what applies and leave the rest…

Even Psychopaths Need Love

I appreciate choice…it is where my power lies…

Once Upon a Time…

This won’t be a long drawn out diatribe but there are some who have reached out and they’ve expressed a bit of frustration with how long it’s taking to finally get over the walking disasters.

There is no real-time frame for healing, I’m not sure if there is a ‘normal’ time-frame…so to speak…we tend to be so consumed with “TIME”…not just in the sense of a recovery process but in general…everything revolves around time…as if somehow “MAN” can control time and process…pfft!

Anyhoo…

I thought I’d share a story…it’s a true story, I can vouch for it…and maybe it will put some things in perspective…because I don’t care how great things may look to you from the outside looking in…if they’re really narcissists…it ain’t all it’s “made up to look to be” (oh dear Gawd was that ever quite the butchering of the English Language) – I digress I think you get the jest.

I was asked the other day after sharing I might have different views on the whole experience…(and of course this is my personal perspective) what do I see differently, and there are a few things I view with a different lens, but one of the things I’ve concluded – (and I’ve read others share a similar sentiment)…in most cases Narcissists for all the shit they dump are not stupid…they know two things:  When the jig is up and who not to fuck with.  These two things in combination will find them jetting faster than the speed of light.

As I reflect, I am realizing that while my words said “We have a problem, we need to fix it” when I saw no action on his part, while I had ‘hope’ slowly I began to shut down, and fell into a depression.  Of course there were other factors involved but this was someone who just could not get out of the vortex of crisis after crisis and it was wearing me down.  It is one thing to “Stand by your man” it’s quite another to feel you are the parent to a 10-year-old.  “Independence” is nice but this was extreme, except when his ass was in a sling, and it’s not unreasonable to expect someone you are in companionship with will also serve as a crutch when you are in need – but as we know, the minute that happens….They’re gone!

And the rest has been played out in countless blogs, books, you tube videos, podcasts, support forums, so on and so forth…

I looked back and I realized that perhaps the Narc did not leave me…I packed my bags long before he did, the rest was just going through the motions. I had enough. Rather than kicking him to the curb however, for some reason I felt sorry for him, and even though I did try to work things out, he was not willing and we know why he was not willing – because like his new “Muse” or should I say “Feeding Source” shared…”He Used Me”  (excuse me, I have some ‘fainting’ to do)…

Some of you have shared similar stories, tales of the new gal or guy approaching you (more than likely due to some insecurity issues they’re hoping you’ll validate – go figure)…

Just this evening I was talking with a friend who had a similar situation and they shared that the OW actually said:  “I’m willing to share”…and they were serious.

Does this give you a clear picture of what you were dealing with?…

Do you really miss this level of depravity?…

If you’re new to this, you might not see clearly exactly what you ESCAPED but I’m here to tell you he/she did you a great favor stepping out on  you…

AND we don’t even have to view them as horrible people, just disturbed.

Now I can’t really add much more to this whole Narc Raiding thing because that time has pretty much come and gone, I cried my tears, I spent quality time with the dust bunnies on the floor, I’ve dealt with the non-verbal protests of my cats, I’ve done it all and more and today I’m standing tall, proud and thankful…

But some of you might still have doubts, so I’m going to share just one more little story that might validate that maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, next week, next year…might take a few decades…but the shit one does…good or bad…it comes back…and it comes back better than anything any of us could design on our own…I like to call it ‘divine’ justice…

There were once two lovers who were very much in love until…

They weren’t…anymore…

The Male lover wasn’t ‘caught’ cheating directly…at first, but very soon thereafter ended up shacked up with another woman.

One day, the discarded female lover knocked on her lovers new apartment door and she could hear talking and then what turned to whispers on the other side of the door, the voice of her lover on the other side of that door with another woman.

She knocked and knocked and he ignored her knocking, left her out there in the cold after years in a relationship…he did not even give her the courtesy of facing her.  She walked away from the door, sat on a step and cried her eyes out, then she wiped her tears, got in a cab and went home and maybe downed a fifth of Vodka to numb the pain.

This isn’t the end of the story…when you’re with a narcissist just because they leave doesn’t mean it’s the end…it just means they left…

Years went by, this woman carried on with her life, but deep inside, because there was no closure there was still a bit of a flame inside, but not necessarily a flame of love, passion or yearning, this was more the flame that burns when one is not given closure or treated honorably in the face of severed ties.  It was the flame of a slow torture, and one she could not understand because back then words like Narcissism were not as popular as they are today.  He never physically beat her, so what reference point would she have that she was in fact a victim of domestic violence?  He never overtly verbally abused her either, his weapon of choice was passive aggression and intermittent reinforcement…eventually she too went a little nuts, just like the ex before her who eventually committed suicide.

Years passed, she grew stronger but she never fell in love again, she never allowed herself to, instead she retreated and learned to love and nurture her own garden…

Decades would pass before she ever heard from him again.

Eventually he married the other woman on the other side of the door.  From all accounts they were “Happy.”  They were “Happy” for twenty years, until they weren’t…”Happy” anymore…

Twenty years of happy turned to unhappy however, entitled her to half his pension…and half of everything else they acquired during the marriage…I even heard they fought over ownership of the knife when it came time to split the dog in half…luckily some good soul intervened in time and the dog was spared, allegedly he found a new home and he’s done well for himself…the dog that is…

His little girl, born from that whirlwind romance which soon thereafter turned into a “happy” marriage (cough, cough, choke choke) – who is now a big girl in college isn’t very fond of him, but is very fond of the Judge who ordered him to pay for her education…

You might think the final nail in his coffin is the fact he should be retired today enjoying life given his age, but instead must work to meet his ‘legal’ obligations…but that’s just par for the course…sadly many must work past retirement to make the bills so while it’s unfortunate, not everyone who deals with this type of fate is paying off a karmic debt…

I tend to think the real karmic debt that this once “Dapper Don” today is paying is the very visual lugging around of close to 400 pounds, missing teeth and and a head that not by choice is very visibly bald…

While everyone else whose path he’s crossed and of course double crossed is living happily ever after.

#THE END.

♫Falalala La La La LA♫

It’s that time of year again…

Dashing through the snow,
In an one-horse open sleigh,
O’er the narcissists we go,
Laughing all the way.

Jingle Bells
from the Christmas Song Generator.

Get your own song :

Ah, Christmas…the season ’tis upon us…

I have no sage words of advice to get you through, but I too at times have had the Christmas blah’s…they too SHALL pass.  What I do have is my personal experience through the stages and the knowledge that depending upon what you do with the experience, you can and will get to a place where THEY become mascots of many opportunities for humor.  Won’t happen in the beginning or the middle but in the end…oh hell yea once you’re far away you get a real clear view just who IS the superior one in the scenario…I SWEAR you do! I promise you that!

Now, I realize it is not humanly possible for me to address every single nuance and still maintain continuity so I will preface whatever I’m saying with – this ‘thing’ does not discriminate but since I’m a woman I’m gonna be talking about the male gender, but gentlemen out there who have been ‘HAD’ please do feel free to amend and adjust what I’m gonna lay out here to your liking…

Secondly, what I have to say may not apply to all circumstances…for example I might be talking about some busted up has been he ran off with whereas you might feel that ‘SHE’ has taken off with some Hot to Trot up and coming CEO of some Multimillion Dollar Corporation…overall it doesn’t matter…if they both have been scheming it’s in the math…it’s MATH I dare say…and of course part universal law…Everybody gets a turn…

So, first I’d like to address those most vulnerable tonight…the newbies.  I think it is safe to assume this year, Christmas is in the shitter for you…and that just is what it is.  He took off, left you in tatters, you feel robbed, used, abused, discarded and  your self esteem is in the toilet.  I remember those days…when he was off in Lala Land with the new ‘hottie’ he later fooled into making his wife (unless she proposed to HIM, quite possible who knows?)…anyhow, of course there was no fixing the relationship and that is because there wasn’t one to begin with…and that was supposed to leave me broken for life, dying for his love which never came and couldn’t ever because…well…he couldn’t love…

BUT…I was supposed to sit here the rest of my life wondering…WHY?  What is SO WRONG with me?  WHY couldn’t he love ME? OH HEAVEN’S TO MERCY WHY? What does she have that I don’t have? Why is she so special?  Why aren’t I?…OH WHY, WHY, WHY?…and of course I was supposed to fall under the delusion that they were ‘Happy’ and that I was ‘Flawed’ ‘Unlovable’ just a ball of shit at the bottom of his shoes…and I was supposed to register his new-found love, happiness and Pre-connubial bliss that was obtained probably within hours of our last ‘love making‘ session further proof that I was ‘unworthy’…Har-Har (snort, snort)…and when she delivered the newsflash, in a totally “selfless” (translation: INSECURE) attempt to spare me further pain and distress that “HE USED ME” (enter dramatic mood music) Well…I don’t know what I was supposed to do.   By that point I found her just AS comical…truly.  It was like out of a really well below B level blaxploitation film with themes of slavery and you got the “House slave vs. the Field slave” scratching and biting each other, both just as fucked up if you wanna look at their lot in life, but yet somehow the house slave got their ass up on their shoulders cause the slave owner allows them the privilege of being raped by him from time to time in between licking the shit off his shoes.  Yea…it was like that and at the time it wasn’t funny but then she married him.  That was what got my ass rolling on the floor.

Now, I don’t dare second guess the unyielding, earth shattering, passionate, lust filled, all-consuming, soul sucking, suck you dry, peddle your blood on the streets for a buck fifty kind of love they have for each other…I don’t, in fact I believe that’s just the kind of ‘groovy kind of love’ they have for eachother, it just wasn’t good enough for me…but at the time…it was indeed quite the trippy trip.

Then I got to the middle of things…

And I got real spiritual, in a “LORD STRIKE HIM DEAD” kind of way.  The professionals might call it righteous indignation but that is why I shied away from the professionals.  The Lord knew wasn’t a damn thing they could do with me in this phase, it just had to play out.  Christmas rolled around and while I spent it emaciated in my bathrobe and slippers, dishes piled up in the sink and the smell of cat piss to high heaven I sat here dreaming up scenarios of how happy they were while I was left abandoned, alone, with no one but the one lone spider in the corner of the bedroom wall to keep me company.  AND I felt such sorrow, and emptiness, and loneliness because the dream I had was shattered…that’s what I thought…BACK THEN.

Until yea, at some point we connected intermittently, because well…there was no closure, and the lack of closure fucks with your head and gets you to imagine all kinds of things…like for example…is it possible everything I have learned and read might not be true?…You begin to wonder looking at how pathetic you are viewing yourself that perhaps it’s YOU and he/she was right for leaving…UNTIL…

They run out of things to break you down with…the things they used on you all along that you took because you didn’t understand disorder and so you figured they might not be good at expressing themselves…you rationalize…”He/She didn’t REALLY mean what they just said, they meant“…(then you fill in the blanks for them)…because when normal people hear insane things the mind just has this natural ability to filter it in a way that makes logical sense…except there are some things you hear which would require supernatural powers in order to decode which most of us don’t have…

I have to openly admit my mind FAILED when it came to:  “One of your eyes is bigger than the other” (True story)…I mean WTF do you do with that?…

I wanted to say:  “Thank you” but instead found the only way to truly validate him and his ego was to admit my God-given other SHORT coming:  “Yes! and one of my tits is bigger than the other too!”  I hope you can see where I’m going with this…the only thing I regret is not flashing them.

The middle of this process is equally quite a bitch.  The only way around it is through it that is for sure.

But I guess I’m supposed to come up with some kind of eloquent thought-provoking Christmas message to make the Yuletide season bright…and then close with how happy life is at the end…and paint a literary picture with choirs of angels and confetti…

Nah…in the end you just get to own yourself…

In between snickering about how ‘everybody gets a turn’…but not really giving a shit either way exactly when that will happen…but you do know the longer it plays out the worse off it will be for the victim…

AND if you’ve really been given grace…you check yourself when tempted to snicker because you remember just what it was like for you when you sat in that seat…

AND other than that, you don’t give it much thought…

Because you don’t care…

Because you’re thankful…

You don’t have to cook them one more meal,

You don’t have to scrub one more shit stain out their drawers,

You don’t have to smell one more fart out of them,

You don’t have to laugh at their jokes which totally lack a punchline,

You don’t have to cater to their ego and play it small so they can feel big,

You don’t have to listen to them,

You don’t have to be concerned with their needs (which are endless)

You don’t have to pretend you are happy (because truly you never were it was all an illusion YOU created)

You don’t have to do a damn thing for them, you only have to do you, love you, and totally claim the right to self-indulgence…

UNTIL you feel ready and healthy enough

To love again…

This Christmas, don’t stress it if you’re not in a good place…but please do not imagine somehow he got away and is living large…and don’t think the other one is so much better off…

Seriously…think long and hard…

Did they EVER deserve you?

Just be…

Get whatever makes your toes twinkle, glass of wine, two gallons of ice-cream, a day at the spa, whatever it takes to make you feel pampered…you’ve been deprived long enough…DECIDE this time it’s gonna be all about you and don’t even worry if it feels vulgar…Just do it and do it as big as you can…

Merry Christmas…

Happy Holidays…

Whatever is your thing…

Stay blessed.

Hugs!

Narc Raiders Wins Award!!

Dear Members,

I am pleased to announce Narc Raiders has been nominated for a Blog Award.

It is an honor to have been recognized as an official “NARC SLAYER”

I even get a neat badge to display on my Blog…

narcslayer

Now, I am not that WordPress savvy so I hope that the Nomination Committee (that would be Ms. Kim Saeed of Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed fame) doesn’t mind that I cut and paste her announcement so that readers here can understand the process as I walk through the instructions because while I would like to think I’m good with Narc Slaying, a cognitive challenge due to a disability sometimes makes it difficult for me to follow through on very simple instructions…so please bear with me.

First, I’d like to introduce you to Ms. Saeed’s Blog.  The link to her blog can be accessed [HERE].

Next, is the link to the posting which announces the awards and the winners of the award…

THE NARCISSIST SLAYER BLOG AWARD NOMINATIONS

Within the aforementioned Ms. Saeed shares who inspired her to create the award and outlines the rules.  Her post reads as follows:

Thanks to my friend, Ursula, I was inspired to create the Narcissist Slayer blog award.

Narcissists need no introduction.  Once they’ve touched your life, you are changed forever.  They literally strip you down to your deepest insecurities and slam-dunk you into misery and self-loathing; all while they skip down a yellow brick road into the forest with Bambi.

In Ursula’s words:

“A relationship with a Narcissist always feels like a quest. You’re recruited as a hero to save them from dragons of one sort or another. They have so many dramas and stories of dramas. They are male and female damsels in permanent distress. It feels good at first to be seen as a hero on a quest to save such a damsel, it makes love mythical in proportions, you’re a dragon slayer, but at some point you’re going to become the dragon from whom they need saving. They are always the victim in distress and never see themselves as the victimizer. Once you were a hero to them and now they’ve turned you with a wave of their wand of endless illusion into the villain. You are a dragon villain who now realizes that the real dragon villain is the damsel (male or female) who has never been in distress at all, but causes an awful lot of it for others, especially those who try and save them. You can never save them.”

There are many warriors here on WordPress who dedicate their time to creating awareness of these devious soul-killers.  It is my pleasure to nominate the following bloggers for their dedication and time spent on the battlefield:

An Upturned Soul

Phoenix Rising

Psychopath Resistance

Running Away From a Narcissist

Human Rights vs. Stalkers

The Mirror     – I can create a male version of the award :)

Narc Raiders

Ladywithatruck’s Blog

Elisse Stuart

Paula’s Pontifications

Avalanche of the Soul

“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.”
~ Cassandra Clare

The rules for this award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them.

2. Put the award’s logo on your blog.

3. Write a blog post and share the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required.

4.  Inform your nominees on their site.

5.  Share one positive thing that you took away from your relationship with a Narcissist.

So, in following the rules, and I hope I have this right…I have thanked Ms. Saeed for the award on her blog…and I’m thanking her again here…it truly is an honor.

I am familiar with most of her original nominations (as listed above) and agree totally they are really fantastic blogs which I am sure you may appreciate.  It is so important to have access to resources, information and at minimal validation. Sometimes I find that two people can say the same thing but sometimes there is just a certain way someone expresses themselves that makes it truly click…

I expect those on the healing path will wander all over the place in search of answers and validation that they are not crazy…I did it too! I really could not have ever imagined I’d be recognized for being on the same level with so many other talented and committed “Narc Slayers” so thank you…especially to the other members of this “Narc Slaying” village who give of themselves their time, their effort and their energy to help others.

Now, since I am currently in the process of satisfying the award requirements, at this moment…4:24pm, Sunday 12/22/2013 the badge has not been placed on my blog YET (gotta figure out how to do that) but it will be done immediately after I press “POST”…

Okay…so now I’m at the “Write a blog post” part which is “In Progress”…

As mentioned before, I am familiar with most of the bloggers who have been nominated in Ms. Saeed’s post and so would not nominate them twice but wish to give a very public shout out to each and every one of them.  Equally I will visit the others she has nominated whom I have not visited yet.

My adds to this wall of fame include:

HUMAN IN RECOVERY                                                                                                                                                               *Let’s Talk About Domestic Violence* really touched me today

THE ABILITY TO LOVE – RECOVERY FROM PSYCHOPATHIC ABUSE

KIMBERLY HARDING – SOUL HEALING ART

IN THE NET – STORIES OF LIFE AND NARCISSISTIC SURVIVAL

There are many others, and I reserve the right to add to this list…(hehe).  If I happened to have missed you please do not interpret it as a slight, I am currently with the Christmas season upon us suffering a severe case of ‘da fog…

Now, I don’t just follow Narcissist recovery blogs and since many of the ones I do follow have already been named, I don’t anticipate that the following may participate in the awards process; however, I do feel they may be of help to others out there and so I’m going out on a limb and am going to nominate two blogs written by actual licensed Mental Health professionals, and perhaps our ‘visiting’ them will serve as the ‘unspoken’ honor…I make this assumption because their primary focus is not necessarily on NPD/DV healing but they cater to a broader audience…the ‘general’ healing/recovery arena…of which there is a wider spectrum of issues…

The first nominee or my “Winner” in this category goes to:

WHAT A SHRINK THINKS

and the second nominee/Winner in this category goes to:

SCOTT WILLIAMS

On that note…I think I am at the ‘Share your nomination with the nominees’…that requirement will be satisfied momentarily…

Finally…winners have been asked to share one positive thing that you took away from your relationship with a Narcissist…

Oh boyee…so many one things…

Today I have nothing negative to say about the experience. I certainly did not like going through it.  It was painful.  I was literally rendered MUTE for a month.  I could not speak, I was the poster child for lying broken on the floor rocking and sucking my thumb.  I wonder how many truly believe that because I know I may very well appear a lil mouthy and defiant but I was terribly broken and destroyed, I felt so utterly violated, used and exploited.  It was a mindfuck, it was a cluster fuck, it was psychological rape.  There is nothing normal about using someone then discarding them, not to the degree or the manner in which it was executed and my case was especially difficult if only because there were no blatant forms of emotional or physical violence, it all seemed just so ‘fucking ducky’…till it wasn’t and it felt like from day to night…POOF!…I learned that type of behavior of which I had no name for if not pathologically disordered falls under the category of not a very nice human being.

But the positive thing…there is a positive thing to all of this…

This individual was the culminating activity of all the SHIT I allowed into MY life.  Albeit perhaps not through choice, it’s bullshit to say someone had a choice when they lack awareness, and that was not my fault, you can’t know what you don’t know.  If you’ve never burned your hand on a stove, then you can’t be blamed for suffering third degree burns if you don’t know it’s hot.  That’s common sense and there is no psychobabble or theory that could even justify blaming someone who had no clue…and I’m okay with having had no clue, and I laugh at the ‘know it alls‘ who preach otherwise (they really are a comical bunch hey?)…I digress…

The destruction the EXPERIENCE created FORCED me to recognize a lot of things…(and I say experience because I refuse to give HIM credit for anything)…

I learned the TRUTH about…

A lot of lies I had been told…

A lot of bullshit I believed…

It forced me to recognize shoddy behavior and it brought a new word into my life…one I had never thought to consider…(No, not Narcissist)

Boundaries.

and things like…

Self Care…

and the value of being just a little bit selfish…

That martyrdom works in movies, not in real life…

That it’s okay to say NO…

and that I even like saying “NO!” Real loud sometimes…

Like this:

I also learned that no matter what, some people might not warm to me no matter what, and so this fear of being called a “Bitch” is actually my power move…understanding that NO, I’m NOT a bitch, but that unless I’m willing to roll over and play dead, with some people unless I do that, I could bend myself into a pretzel and they’d still call me a bitch…

SO…MISS BITCH it is!…

The experience brought me to me…I learned how to carve the best fucking line in the sand without fear, shame, trepidation and I also learned how to enforce the consequences…

I learned my ‘shit’ with control…and it really was ‘my shit‘ and perhaps part of the root cause of some of my misery…sometimes we THINK if we do XYZ we can control things, and we delude ourselves more that somehow if we can ‘control it’ we’re safe…whatever the “IT” is…

Can’t control SHYTE  except yourself…

I learned the ART of DO YOU (as in self) and that yes, there will be people who don’t have their shit together that would think this is the most selfish thing out there…

But it’s not when  you have been beaten down, depleted and sucked dry by those who damn sure ain’t ‘DOING YOU’…(Literally or figuratively).

Which is why it’s insane to say the focus needs to be on self and then run around focusing on everyone else but yourself.  Follow me?

All that to say, I learned how to “Check myself” and accept there are some really nutty nutters out there but it ain’t personal…it’s life…nutty nutters exist.

I really hope anyone who goes through this heals, recovers and finds their true power.  If you can survive this I dare say…”You’re dangerous” (and that’s a good thing)

Peace, Love, Blessings and many Thanks…

Betty Laluna

Learning the Jargon and Why it’s Important…for Newbies

It is difficult at best for a victim of stealth forms of abuse to articulate exactly where and how the injury took place.  Emotional/psychological abusers don’t always leave bruises – the injury takes place in the mind.  If one is not aware of the various ways psychological abuse takes place, then one will find themselves at a handicap articulating the harm that was done.

In my case I believe the abuse did cause a C-PTSD episode (and just because it’s not recognized in the DSM does not mean it doesn’t exist); however, not being truly aware of my own abuse history, I was unable to spot the red flags early on (because abnormal was ‘normal’) and as the various tactics were doled out, no warning bells sounded.  I assumed I was being ‘too sensitive’ and that ‘one day’ things would change.  The reality for me is that things would never change because I believe this individual is personality disordered.  My only option for ‘change‘ was getting out whether it was by ‘choice’ or ‘circumstances’…their abandonment is actually your blessing you will find in hindsight.

There are some schools of thought that believe those who struggle with BPD can be helped only because on the Axis II Cluster B spectrum they have found that those with BPD actually CAN love but it is their challenge with abandonment that causes them to spiral more towards the Narcissism spectrum when triggered.  I am not a mental health professional, I am not qualified to make any statements about who can be cured, and who can’t and who can love and who can’t…

I can only share resources that might be helpful.

I was terribly disappointed that at the peak of my ‘stress breakdown’ I was unable to articulate exactly WHERE the harm was done…all I had was:  “He had a virtual affair with a woman on Facebook” however the level of harm was not in keeping with the behavior.  I was a heap of hot mess on the floor rocking and sucking my thumb while he was busy shacking up with new supply…I had no method or means to reconcile how I had been destroyed to that level.  I did not know about narcissists, soul suckers and certainly could not comprehend how from night to day my significance to this individual I invested years with could spiral down to ZERO simply because he decided he was bored…

There was a lack of closure, there was no explanation, years invested meant nothing and he was able to scoop up another unsuspecting victim in a matter of weeks…moving her in within a month.  Another individual who obviously is not educated on the red flags.  This of course is NOT my problem…my goal is to create awareness for anyone who is in need and is attempting to understand.

The lack of words makes healing difficult.  I highly recommend if you are new to this that you engage in research in order to understand there was probably nothing you could do to change the circumstances. Even if engaging is part of a pattern (due to childhood abuse or other issues) it’s not about blaming yourself, but rather working towards healing.  I don’t feel comfortable with those who rely on online support forums solely but I do understand how sometimes good professional help is hard to find.  I almost ended up with the diagnosis of bipolar simply because the trauma was so severe.  I tried THREE therapists and not one could identify what was wrong.  I could barely get a word out other than “He had a virtual affair” then I’d collapse in a pile and begin sobbing uncontrollably.

When I learned of a study in my area on PTSD, I did not qualify because I kept going back to a previous traumatic event and so this experience was not the ‘initial’ trigger, I went through life at times being triggered but never understood how or why I would react when certain things occurred.  The questions for the study were limited to within a certain time frame (three to six months) and I could not articulate anything and so the clinician shared: “It sounds like depression” – Well no shit!  BUT it was much much  more than depression and if I were suicidal their incompetence might have been fatal; however, I cannot fully blame the professionals if only because they cannot read a crystal ball, they could not put the pieces together for me, first I had to be able to articulate and I had not connected the dots myself.  Therapists can only arrive at a conclusion based upon what we share and so if we cannot articulate, they have no tools to even begin to unravel where the problem and challenges are.

It is important to be able to explain fully what was done, that is the only way we can be co-pilots in our recovery.  It is also helpful I suppose to be able to understand the concept of repetition compulsion although I surmise a good therapist after some time might be able to walk one through this once the initial crisis is at a level of manageable.

Below are some resources, one a list of 70 traits of people with Personality Disorders ‘engage’ or better said ‘victimize’ their victims and beneath that a video which also outlines various stealth methods of abuse.

I also recommend the website: Goodtherapy.org as there are various methods of treatment and you owe it to yourself to be well-informed on the qualifications of any professional you choose to help you.  It is important that the therapist is a good fit, and sometimes it will be a process of trial and error but do not give up and please, do not rely solely on the advice and opinions of information  you find online.  It is imperative at this time you learn how to best advocate for yourself, taking bits and pieces of what applies and sometimes electing to leave the rest.  One size does not fit all here.

All the best to you on your journey…

Top 70 Traits of People With Personality Disorders

(see also:  Out of the Fog)

For more insight on C-PTSD see:  Effective Treatment for C-PTSD and Early Attachment (PDF)

of additional interest:

The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma

Trauma and Forgiveness by John Miguelis

Intro:

While forgiveness may be an important part of the work with a trauma survivor, the idea that it must happen is something that really doesn’t jive with my experience as a therapist. Many of the survivors I’ve worked with have been able to achieve symptom reduction and acceptance with very little time spent on forgiveness at all.  That may be surprising given that over the years forgiveness has become such a prominent fixture in therapy and highly associated with work involving trauma and loss…continued

The Isolation that Follows…

“The way out of the problem? Or the dead-end relationship? Or the dead-end job? Or sadness? Trust the inspiration that Spirit has been sending to you. Know that what you’ve been thinking and feeling is for a reason. Then take the steps you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll take. True, the path ahead may not be an easy one. But it’s an opportunity for growth. And a new life. And a chance to discover who you really are. What your potential really is? And the source of your spiritual power.”

James Weeks/Across The King’s River

Closure on Imaginary Terms…

angelsI can’t find myself to get all preachy about it like I’ve been inspired from up above but you asked me a question so here goes…

Before I begin let me advise you that it’s never wise to betray a writer because anything and everything that happens to us is free game and if you wanted to be flattered, you should’ve behaved better! (Doesn’t matter that WE did not know I was a writer but I thank you for bringing me here)…’nuff said…

You wanted to know…“How to forgive” and honestly there is no one size fits all answer, I’ve never been in your shoes…oh yes there was that time when you behaved in such a manner so as to leave me stranded WORSE than the shit underneath your shoes BUT somehow I forgave you…or DID I?

“Forgive and Forget” – Oh bullshit! Some things we’ll never forget and therein lies the rub…

HOW.LONG.WILL.YOU.CHOOSE.TO.STAY.ADDICTED.TO.PAIN?

What I have learned is that when we’re talking what we perceive to be a real bad betrayal…I dunno – like UH…serial cheating, lying, devaluing and discarding, or real shoddy shit blamed on compulsion…shit that’s blamed on anything and everything under the sun and LACKING in accountability – it gets mighty hard to forgive…the only thing I could imagine would be a lil easier to handle might be a Draino enema.

BUT you asked ME: “How to forgive?” AND it’s a mighty good question and I’m not sure if I am worthy of authoring the “How-To” but I’ll give it a shot…

Spoken from a line you once shared…not the one:

“If I pick up again get me out of here”…

but the one about:

“Hurt people hurt people”…

I think in order to forgive you have to be able to love.  I also think you have to be willing to accept…

That you loved…

EVEN IF your perception is someone fucked you over.

I think you have to be able to look at them not in the flesh but in the soul, I think you have to connect to their inner child, I think you have to be intimate with that inner child and communicate on that level because it is the inner child that acts out, not the wise adult. The inner child knows their emotions on the primal level before they’re molded. Babies can’t talk so they cry. Toddlers in their struggle for identity embrace “NO!” even when they mean yes…children by nature are narcissistic it is natural and normal for them to relate to the world on “ME ME ME!” terms. I think you have to be willing to choose to be the adult and love anyway…even when it seems there is no hope and someone will be a perpetual asshole. I think you have to just accept they’re powerless over it – it is how they relate, and embrace your powerlessness in the process as well.

Anger is only disguised pain – you have to be willing to go through the pain, feel it, grieve it, lean into it, surrender to it, go down with it, ride it, pound it, then release it…easier said than done. Denial only prolongs it… it has to be vented and purged – it needs an outlet. Only then do you become free and gain some clarity.

People don’t like pain.

They run from it.

They hide from it.

They fight it, suppress it…

They medicate it.

THEY LIE…to themselves and others. They do their best to bury it like cats covering a turd.

Facing ourselves in the mirror takes great courage. Owning our part is hard to face, blaming solves nothing.

“But I did everything right” many say – because it’s easy to say that…

“I did nothing wrong to deserve this!” – we tell ourselves…and maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t.

I tend to believe there are always signs…we CHOOSE to ignore them.

We want to change people…

Mold them…

Control them…

Make them into what we want them to be…

We fall in love with IMAGE and the IDEA and we think in our own ignorance and ego that somehow – YES there are flaws but somehow WE will control those flaws, somehow as if by magic this union will make all the wrongs right, we will love them away…

But the wrongs are embedded.

Broken is broken.

They’re there.

They are part of the core, the blueprint, the symptoms of the repetition compulsion – people ARE who they are and our EGO needs fine tuning when we think somehow we’re going to change things or be the elixir for someone else’s ails…

Rescue missions only work in Disney Movies…

Heroes often fail.

Two broken people will never make a whole.

The problem is that sometimes, one cannot just let it die a slow and natural death – instead one feels the need to carry the torch of scorn forever…because…

Facing pain is hard.

It’s really anger at the self after a certain time…

But we can’t always see this.

How do we forgive?…

Oh there are many answers but perhaps the one that’s worked for me is to recognize the repetition compulsion, understand the other person may very well have their own script going on – one you can’t change, be accountable and make honest amends and understand that sometimes others cannot forgive as easily. They may serve to be reminders of your own negative patterns which you will have to become aware of in order to release. When we’re caught up in repetition compulsions we absorb all the shit toxic people throw at us because they are satisfying the addiction of pain and shame.  Subconsciously we keep going back for more even when in words we say we reject it. When we continue to engage, we’re still feeding it.

The thing is, I think many people get caught up in the religious aspects of ‘forgiveness‘ and think somehow that they get to play high and mighty and absolve someone else for their sins…that’s not our work on this plane…our work has to do with our soul and getting it tight for where it needs to be in order to ascend. That’s got nothing to do with any other souls we might connect with, they have their own work to do.

In order to forgive, you have to be able to forgive yourself and you have to understand what you are angry about within yourself that is blocking your ability to forgive. That’s not always easy, sometimes we seek surrogates to project our shit onto…if we can sense they’re fucked up enough they’re easy targets…we can usually scope out those weaker than us and if we’re not where we need to be and sure of ourselves we’ll titrate down for our own ego’s sake. Sure, someone might appear to be a step up but illusions are tricky like that. I don’t mean this in a materialistic way but rather most of us know what our shadows are, and sometimes when we’re not on top of us and our shit it’s easier to coast with someone who makes it easy because challenges are ‘HARD’…growing takes work and society encourages the slacker lifestyle…even when it professes to abhor it…

BUT what I’m talking about goes much deeper than that…

To forgive you have to grab your ego by the ears and drag it into the corner and give it a good firm time out. You have to realize that in some respects while you have choice, you’re not always in control. You have to accept that assholes exist and you have to be honest when you’ve harmed someone. It’s all about unresolved pain…yours and theirs…and MAYBE they will never gain the wisdom and clarity to see it and that is okay because it’s not about controlling the outcomes but controlling the self and the response to it.

As per the dangling carrots, you have to know when they’re authentic and when they’re plastic and know when calling someone’s bluff is warranted – you have to be sure of this because it can’t be about spite but rather stopping the madness.

You can draw a line in the sand and still forgive but you have to be ready willing and able to either shit or get off the pot……CHOICE…it won’t come easy.