Signing Off

It is with a heavy heart that I have decided not to continue my journey on Insta, Twitter or blog. Unfortunately, navigating this journey of trying to shed light on narcissism and domestic violence has caused more harm to my healing. I have encountered more flashbacks, triggers, anxiety and nightmares so it is time for me to sign off.

Stay strong. Stay beautiful. Stay safe.

Life Milestones

When thinking about life, remember:

Day to day life is a challenge. A struggle. So many ups, so many downs, so many paths unknown.

No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of anxiety can change the future.

Always have light guiding you to your serenity.

Haunting Nightmares

All day feeling on edge not knowing why. Hands constantly shaking as if hopped up on caffeine. Heart beating loudly as if asking to be heard. Mind racing to figure out “what’s happening?”.

At night, the answer finally comes. A flashback. Something not thought of since high school and couldn’t recall after waking.

Sleepless night causing a zombie like day. When will it end? Will it ever end?

Failure… Life failed me, I failed me

Last night I cried myself to sleep wishing I was back with my ex. That despite all the abuse, I would at least feel wanted.

All I have ever wanted, all anyone with a soul wants…is to be loved for who they are. They want to hear “I love you” daily, be held and hugged and kissed daily, they want to spend time with their significant other. Not sitting on opposite couches watching tv while the other person works, but spend actual quality time together.

This concept of quality time seems to be a fairy tale. When did life become work focused vs family focused? Life is miserable without your essential needs being met, including emotional needs.

Failed career, failed marriage, failing at life. Where do you go from here?

You deserve happiness

Forgiveness is the best form of love. It takes a strong person to say sorry and an even bigger person to forgive.

As we embark on the 2019 Holiday season, remember it’s okay to take a break, a moment for yourself. It’s okay to be selfish if it means rediscovering your own power and happiness.

Give yourself the gift of forgiveness this year. Though it will be the hardest thing you do on your road to recovery, it will also be the greatest moment and achievement. In doing so, means you will have achieved SELF LOVE.

Am I going insane or is this really happening?

Emotional abuse usually takes place in private, meaning there are no witnesses validating your experience. After months or years of being emotionally abused, you begin to distrust your perceptions and even your sanity. Since you have invested your time and your heart in the relationship and your world revolves around him / her, you end up making excuses or downplaying the impact of the abuser’s behaviors.

While physical abuse is easy to recognize, emotional abuse can be less obvious. The scars left may not be visible to the eye, but doesn’t mean they’re any less painful. It’s crucial for family members and friends to know what to look for.

An abusive partner may criticize, insult, blame, belittle, withhold affection, threaten, gaslight, humiliate or stonewall in order to gain / maintain power and control in the relationship. They may even exercise control over your money, where you go, how you dress and whom you associate with.

In an article published by HuffPost, relationship experts shared seven toxic habits of emotionally abusive partners :

  1. they refuse to take responsibility for their actions and find ways to blame you for anything that goes wrong instead
  2. at first, they may try to appear loving and attentive to rope you in, but it doesn’t last long
  3. they undermine your strengths and minimize your accomplishments
  4. they lash out when you disagree with them
  5. they make excuses for their destructive behavior
  6. they isolate you from your family and friends so you become completely dependent on them
  7. they put unrealistic expectations on you and the relationship

Is behavior of a narcissist under his/her control?

Consider this:

  • They turn ON their charm for outsiders
  • They can adjust their behavior instantly
  • They ‘perform’ for their fans / audience

When the audience leaves, OFF comes the mask.

“Narcissists are keen observers of their potential prey. They seize upon the insecure, unsure & chronically pessimistic. It’s incumbent on the recovering SLD (Self-Love Deficient) to heal & grow. As unsavory prey, narcissist seeks to satiate their remorseless appetite elsewhere.” @RossRosenberg1

How to disarm a Narcissist

When dating a narcissist, or worse…being married to a narcissist, the scariest thing is thinking about how to end the relationship safely. Since narcissism is a mental health disorder, you never know how the person is going to react and therefore, need to be aware that things could get physically dangerous.

Here are five steps to disarming the narcissist:

  1. break all forms of communication
  2. heal beyond the emotional connection – release the trauma from your being and heal the parts of you that require healing to wholeness
  3. build your inner identity – create a thrive identity, a true self where narcissists don’t play
  4. connect to the true source – your true connection releasing you into knowing at the deepest level of your being that you are adored and nourished beyond measure simply because you exist
  5. generate your own life

Seems easy right? No. This is the hardest thing you are going to have to do. Depending on how long you have been in this relationship, is how long the person has been playing mind games. You are going to have to break the spell they had on you, essentially reprogram your brain to heal.

How to prepare for a breakup with a narcissist:

  • constantly remind yourself that you deserve better
  • strengthen your relationships with your empathetic friends
  • build a support network with friends and family who can help remind you what is reality
  • urge your partner to to therapy
  • get a therapist yourself

You cannot change a person with narcissistic behaviors or make them happy by loving them enough or by changing yourself to meet their whims and desires. Believe me, I know, I tried for 14 years in my marriage and another 4 years prior with someone else. For 18 years, I was a big disappointment, but the truth is…they were never in tune with me and the same is for you. They will never be empathetic to your experiences and you will always feel empty after an interaction with them. Break the cycle…YOU deserve better.

Think you can spot a narcissist?

Spotting a narcissist is difficult unless you’re a qualified mental health expert, and even then it can be difficult to diagnose. When you’re romantically involved with one, it’s even harder to spot a narcissist because you’re not thinking, “Are they a narcissist?” You’re wondering if how you’re being treated is healthy and sustainable in the long-run.

The most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists nine criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, but specifies that a person only needs to meet five of the nine to qualify them clinically as a narcissist.

Official criteria for NPD diagnosis:

  1. grandiose sense of self-importance
  2. preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. belief they’re special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
  4. need for excessive admiration
  5. sense of entitlement
  6. interpersonally exploitative behavior
  7. lack of empathy
  8. envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them
  9. demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

Are you thinking, “OMG, this is sounding way too familiar.” “He/she fits five or more of these criteria…what do I do now?” Don’t worry, the next blog will give you tips on how to handle the situation. For now…SPREAD THE WORD!

Narcissism…the original con artist

Fewer than 200K US narcissistic cases are diagnosed per year making narcissism a rare disease. Narcissistic personality disorder is found more commonly in men with symptoms that include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement. The cause is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Unfortunately there is no cure, but talk therapy can help after professional diagnosis.

Psychology Today writes that narcissism causes friction in relationships due to lack of empathy. It may also manifest as antagonism, fueled by grandiosity and attention-seeking. Narcissists see themselves as superior, viewing everyone else as inferior and may be intolerant of disagreement or questioning.

Narcissists have a hunger for appreciation or admiration, a sense of specialness and a desire to be the center of attention, and an expectation of special treatment reflecting perceived higher status. These traits and others can prove damaging in relationships whether romantic, familial or professional. In addition to thinking they are better and more deserving than others, research suggests narcissists often admit to an awareness that they are more self-centered.