The Beauty Lies in Choice

I happened upon a quote on FB today:

“RELATIONS: What you had confused with companionship, he had confused with convenience. You wanted to give it, he wanted to take it. You did it hoping he would stay, he did it knowing he would leave. Patience really is a virtue in these instances otherwise fair exchange won’t be a robbery. No way he should accidentally end up on top of you without you deliberately laying up under him first..Be encouraged but more importantly, know contrary to popular belief, you choose who you want love…don’t let them choose you”
~ Kerry E. Wagner

On the surface, for those of us targeted – technically we had no choice – we had no way of knowing we were being targeted.

Sure there might have been ‘red flags’ but for some reason, we dismissed them.

The positive thing about this experience is the wisdom and awareness gained.

With education and understanding we can now move forward and if healing is successful, we will understand the importance of listening to that ‘inner voice’ learn to trust our judgement and use discernment…

Moving forward if we choose, we can own ‘Choice’

A ‘Musing’ on Helping Others

Many that have fallen prey to a pathological (myself included) report there seemed to be an element of what they term ‘Codependency’…I don’t buy that label.  It is a convenient label created to make money.  Codependency originally came out of the rooms of AA – and it was a label applied to the spouses and family members of addicts – and it was a label to explain the alleged ‘flaws’ and ‘character defects’ of those who loved ‘addicts’ who were oftentimes great manipulators.  Such manipulation either a side effect of the addiction, or perhaps an individual who suffered a personality disorder.  Either way, I don’t think it quite right to ‘blame’ someone and accuse them of having or being something that stemmed from what they believed was love yet they were in many respects powerless because they were never led to ‘understanding’…

There is a lot of ‘tuff love’ being touted out there, and while I have witnessed with my own eyes and experienced how difficult it is for an addict to change their ways, some are able to kick the habit but unless they are really led to healing may for life continue with the behaviours (hence the ‘Once and addict always an addict philosophy).  Nonetheless, I can’t at this juncture find myself condemning an addict – (Many end up addicts self medicating trauma that was missed) I have surrendered to the notion that I might not have the skill or ability to help or reach one, but they do not deserve condemnation – they are people too – as are the personality disordered.  Equally, I have had the good fortune of interacting with addicts who have found recovery and walk that walk everyday and have made tremendous strides in their lives. Addiction is not an area of expertise for me…I can only speak from what I read in this particular area, and what I personally experienced having been in a relationship with one.  Nonetheless, this brings me to a status I saw on FB today and my mixed feelings about the statement….

“Its NICE to help people, BUT do not help a person that is not willing to help themselves…”

Looking back on the experience, and reflecting upon stories others have shared…many report this unexplained desire to ‘help’ the pathological – oftentimes he/she presented with a sob story…maybe not right off the top…first the disordered one reeled you in and got you hooked, then their steamer trunks of issues were released and we got caught up in the drama.  The narcs were desperately looking to feed and somehow we lost ourselves most likely due in a big part to their masterful skills at manipulation. Many of us criticize ourselves for falling into this trap but I think that is a mistake.  While I am a proponent for accountability, and I think the facts of what the disorder is rings true…I think many of us simply made an error in judgement operating in the light, we got caught up.  Nonetheless, I think it is crucial we guard against allowing this experience to leave us jaded.

I believe that when we examine matters spiritual (whatever you believe in) true giving is without condition.  On the human plane, it is natural and normal to have expectations.  Expectation can be considered a portion of self-respect – for self care it is normal to expect reciprocity and it is important not to give so much that we are left depleted; however, oftentimes when we play back the tapes, we find a ton of resentment is lurking inside of us for all that we gave.  The resentment is amplified when we realize that we were taken by a con.

What has helped me to overcome this ‘resentment’ is stepping outside of the box for a moment and considering the source of MY actions and the motivation for them.  At the time, I did whatever I did, I gave whatever I gave with pure intentions.  I did it out of a feeling of deep love.  While this individual was incapable of appreciating that, valuing that, respecting that, and a host of other things NORMAL people can do for someone who extends the hand of not only ‘LOVE’ but friendship…their inability to ‘connect’ to me on this level, or to anyone for that matter – still has NOTHING to do with me…I AM capable of love, I DID act in LOVE and that is what the ‘Universe’ or ‘THE CREATOR’ or whatever deity you believe in asks of all of us…that is part of the contract.  There are no disclaimers such as: “Only do it if the person is not personality disordered” THEREFORE, none of what we did negates or subtracts from our essence or our ACTION.

When I read that quote I was taken for a loop – because it is my feeling that if we are going to operate in love, then we love freely and we give freely. Some people (spirits, souls) will not be bound to us forever, that is just a condition of life…and while some may cause great pain, and it is wise and prudent to disengage or detach from those who cannot love, or who are wired to cause harm, we don’t have to necessarily cling to hate…we can detach and we can do this with love.  We don’t have to ‘forgive’…we can ‘release’…we can be ‘indifferent’ if that is the best we can get to…I believe the universe understands this, and as long as we release the negative and allow the universe to handle the rest…we won’t get a ‘spiritual’ demerit so to speak.  Clinging to the hate and anger destroys us…BUT we must feel it and purge it in order to break free…and we must not be hard on ourselves for feeling what we feel because the creator doesn’t create substandard products (that would be us) and put a lot of thought into our design.

This experience lends itself to the opportunity to gain wisdom and with that discernment; however, it is said, and I believe LOVE is the universal answer.  Not the romantic love we see in movies, not LUST, not PASSION, nor any of the other frivolous and shallow emotions we believe are love…but PURE, NON JUDGEMENTAL, free-floating LOVE.

If you’re new to this process I get you’re not gonna buy this…you have a ton more cuss words, and vile things to get off your chest; however, in time, you will eventually get where I’m coming from…

LOVE is not judging…when we speak of refusing to help those who can’t help themselves…I don’t encourage enabling…but with the gifts of wisdom, connection to spirit, and compassion we will find times where one may be so weak they can’t help themselves.  I believe that with discernment, there is no crime to lending a helping hand…let us remember the moment we were on the floor and how someone crossed our path and lent us a helping hand…we should use wisdom and ask for guidance from above in all we endeavor; however, as long as we embrace ultimately we have the power and are operating without selfish motives, if an individual is unable to reciprocate, once we condition our minds to giving freely, there will be no disappointment if only because we are giving without expectation.  Moreover the more we become educated, the more we will be able to spot those who can do harm and we can limit if not completely detach from that type of negativity or dysfunction…CHOICE!

In hindsight, I realize it was my expectation that led me to such disappointment.  In this particular case, I was dealing with a pathological…and it was in recognizing the motivation for my ‘giving’  that I was able to release and let go…the same way I would not hold cancer and someone’s death against them because they could no longer hold on…I know that “Man” has many labels for pathologicals and many will argue intent…at the end of the day, I’ve seen brain scans of the disordered…there is actual damage to the brain with these disordered ones.  It’s not my job to explain WHY they were put here on this earth and I’d label myself delusional if I tried to convince anyone I knew that answer…I trust instead the universe had a message for me…and I had to go through the bumps and the bruises to gain some insight and wisdom…no more – no less.  We came here alone…there is no law that says our spirit cleaves to anything other than SOURCE…and with that in mind, it was not my job to hold on to that which the Universe did not intend for me…but with what I thought was the universe’s taking away from me, I learned it actually GAVE…it FORCED me to dig and begin to embark on a journey towards SELF…someone that in 40 years I realized I had NO CLUE about at all!

Hugs,

Betty

See Also: A Psychopath’s Brain

The Rejection Letter

Having been a victim Narcissistic Personality Disorder Abuse, a very covert, stealth but extremely psychologically damaging form of domestic violence, I was amazed at how difficult it was to obtain competent mental health services to address the ‘trauma’ which at the time, due to a lack of awareness I could not articulate.  Much to my chagrin, it distresses me to report that my circumstances are not unique.

On any given day, a simple google search will lead someone seeking clarity to a support forum…but not ALL are created equal…let the victim beware.  It’s no secret that victims, through sheer desperation troll many a forum and/or website in search of answers, validation and support simply to achieve some semblance of grounding when just coming out of an abusive situation (especially if you’ve been involved with a narcissist).  Your entire sense of self is shattered.  A victim doubts their sanity, there is a pervasive sense of isolation and loneliness, shame, utter devastation and depletion.  If the abuser was a ‘good’ narcissist, more than likely the victim has the added bonus of having to deal with symptoms of PTSD.  If there is a history of child abuse, possibly C-PTSD.  Due to the fact that I am not a mental health professional, you are welcome to take my words with a grain of salt as you so choose and instead follow the sage advice of  the ‘experts’ who have a piece of paper under their belts which documents they’ve been formally educated and read a few good textbooks with general knowledge on mental health disorders; as well as, completed  a few rounds in clinical practice where the “gods” of the mental health industry get to affix labels to the general population -except for perhaps Narcissists and Psychopaths because anyone who has been in an abusive situation with a Narc and/or a Psychopath or most on the Axis II Cluster B Spectrum of the DSM knows, the ‘experts’ throw their hands up when it comes to this ‘special’ bunch of disordered individuals.  They get a ‘very special’ label…INCURABLE.  Eventually, these ‘experts’ progress to private practice where  they get their honorary pen and clip board and also get to decide which pill will make it all go away.  Yes, this article is biased because I have tried therapy a few times in my life with no success.  I also have done my research and know that at one time in our “Mental Health” profession’s history, they were all seen as quacks!  OUCH! Yes, sometimes the truth hurts but it is what it is…are there good therapists out there?  YES

It is not my intention to  shame the entire industry,  just those who on a daily basis perhaps due to their own undisclosed personality disorder wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims who are in need of competent help.  I hold the universities and training institutions in contempt for this massive and dismal failure, and my government for allowing the insurance companies and big pharma to run the game making cost effectiveness and the production of little purple pills the priority rather than striving to create programs of quality that would at least produce a population of mental health professionals that ‘get it.’ ESPECIALLY WHEN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS SUCH A LOOMING THREAT TO OUR SOCIETY.  Whether one chooses to pay attention or not, Domestic Violence has a domino effect.  It affects every fiber of society.

I presume that it would require an entire encyclopedic essay to document and outline the reasons why I feel the way I do…but having gone through this journey for a year now, having had experience as a victim, interacting on a forum that has traffic of close to 4 million visits a month, having then been given the experience of moderating on such a forum, having done research, reading, sharing, and learning from others who are also desperately searching for answers and sharing resources from all over the globe, and now having started my own little group, not only on Facebook but having launched a social support network of my own, I think I’ve put in enough “man hours” to qualify for a Ph.D in terms of understanding the dynamics involved when it comes to Narcissistic Personality Disorder and/or Psychopaths.  I am not unique, nor am I ‘special’  any other victim who has run against this wall most certainly can ‘boast’ of the same earned credentials, even if they are not ‘recognized’ in professional mental health circles.  I am of the opinion, recovered victims could actually train our current mental health professionals, we’ve specialized in this area, it was required in order to heal.  What choice did we have?  The therapists certainly did not get it in most cases.

In an effort to bring better resources to members of my Narc Raiders group on both FB and Ning, I have reached out to many who are considered ‘leaders’ in recovery.  Some established, some up and coming.  I make it a practice to try to keep my finger on the pulse as in this endeavor, knowledge is not only power, it is a tool for healing.  My background in Communications as well as my natural curiosity leaves me in a position where I am constantly on a quest for ‘information’ it’s just who I am.

Recently, I was introduced to an individual who is also involved in efforts to raise awareness of abuse.  While each of our stories are unique, what bonds us is the experience of trauma, pain and victimization.  Personally, I am not a proponent for the “Lifetime Victim” label, but I am savvy enough to understand that healing comes in stages and it is a basic part of human connection to be able to validate someone in pain. In a situation such as domestic violence it is important to allow someone to BE the victim without judgement.  Allow someone to purge and get it out, no matter how ‘irrational’ or ‘insane’ or ‘angry’ or ‘enraged’ or ‘incomprehensible’ it might seem to the average “Joe” who if he hasn’t lived it will never quite be able to comprehend the trauma the LIVING HELL that ensues when one is a victim of Domestic Violence, especially when the method of attack is psychological.

Having walked this walk…and finding my own healing by utilizing an online support forum… I learned that my feelings were a normal response to an ABnormal situation.  I found myself again.  Since I am not a published author, nor have alphabet soup following my name, I can only offer that the most important part of recovery has to do with educating oneself and getting it out in any way, shape form or fashion one needs to, in a safe environment, FREE of Judgment….PERIOD.

After being trapped and trained to walk on eggshells, having been gas lighted, subjected to intermittent reinforcement and possibly trauma bonded, the last thing ANY victim needs is suppression…victims need to feel what they feel and get it out! Being able to express myself freely without judgement is what allowed me to heal…it is what ‘cured’ me when the therapists did not ‘get it’ and I healed without that purple pill – although I encourage everyone to do whatever they need to do to heal including taking that purple pill if it helps.

Earlier today, I received a letter from an individual I invited on board…an individual who has had her own walk in abuse and recovery and who is currently in the process of publishing a book.  This individual also gives lectures and is allegedly a child advocate…I will maintain the confidentiality of this individual’s identity as I respect everyone’s right to heal and/or move forward in whatever fashion is comfortable for them; however, I was once again triggered, as it was clear to me that despite this individuals good faith efforts, I am not sure how instrumental they would be if in fact, they are attempting to offer healing to others…the journey can be ugly sometimes and one has to roll with the punches…here’s the letter:

Dear Betty,

I am writing to you to apologize, but I had to leave your NARC Raider Group on FB. It has nothing to do with you, but I cannot be a part of a group where some of the members slander and demean the people who have hurt them.

I know that vengeance is sweet, but when I wrote my book, I never used melodrama of slander to speak about the people who hurt me. Using these tactics don’t just belittle them it belittles us, AND I CANNOT BE A PART OF THAT.

When I talk to people who are abused my program is with respect, love and understanding for the victim and the abuser. It took me a long time to be able to feel that way, but within professional therapy and spiritual guidance I am able to do so.

Being a public speaker, activist and advocate for children, I have to aspire to certain guidelines as to who and what I associate.

Please understand this and my reasons for leaving the group!

While I respect this individual’s path, and appreciate the courtesy of a letter, this is an example of what I mean when I say be careful whom you follow.  YES…there is a time when we have to put those demons to rest…clinging to hate destroys us. Call me psychologically damaged but personally, I don’t think I’ll ever ‘love’ my abuser EVER again.  Will I hate him? No…he’s not worth my constant rumination and thoughts…I don’t get paid to do that; however, what was so offensive to me:

Being a public speaker, activist and advocate for children, I have to aspire to certain guidelines as to who and what I associate.

I can’t even comment on this…I am not even going to question motive…I just thought this spoke volumes on so many levels…why not try:

“Being a victim of abuse, a public speaker, activist, and advocate for children, I empathize with the plight of victims and I aspire to continue to do my best to help others the best way I know how?”

I have to end this here…as I always say…Be careful whom you follow, educate yourself, share, purge, HEAL and make the goal to be your own guru.

Hugs,

Betty (who will be hanging with the ‘undesirables’…always)

9-5-11