Looming Over Me: Control Games

~by Verity~

You stand, cup of coffee in hand, towering over me, refusing to sit down, too close, your face set in the familiar jaw-jutting meanness.

I try to keep calm – although you are bigger and stronger than I, and I DO feel frozen with fear – because I don’t want this to flare into nastiness.

But when I suggest you might sit down, you glare at me and say, ‘I don’t WANT to…’

Of course you don’t: You have very quickly established your physical superiority over me, and would not wish to forego that big advantage.

But stand up to you, or back down, nothing I do makes any difference.

You say what you say, spite oozing through the thin hole you will allow others to see in your perfect reflection.

It is, you claim, ABOUT MONEY – but I know, for it is obvious, that the usual seething anger is at work here, and that I am being punished, controlled, for something else.

You quiz me on recent purchases, and then, when I do not answer you speedily enough, copy them out on a sheet of paper and present it to me, expecting, I suspect, an apology.

It deteriorates from there, with you suggesting a formal split up of our finances – and making poisonous little cracks about all manner of things.

Shaken to the core, and so scared I can barely breathe, I skip rehearsal and drive, drive, drive, beneath a beautiful half-moon, near to places which soothe, feeling a safety in the inky blackness of narrow country lanes which is absent from home.

I come to rest in a lay-by. Hemmed in between giant resting lorries and couples courting in Cortinas, mediaeval music on the radio, I bend my head forward over the steering wheel and give way to tears.

I do not know what to do. Then or now.

The friend who makes contact stems the blood of wounded panic, and gives me the respite plaster of laughter and care.

I flag the conversation up today – because, for all the controlling games, you have brought up a subject of mutual concern, and it is, after all, only decent, to honour that uneasy thread, to try to give some kind of an answer. We DO spend too much money. That is a fair comment. But the malice and emotional blackmail behind your approach is NOT fair.

You play games from the start: Wanting, initially, to talk to me from the next room (shout, more like, since you have hearing problems), you then come in, sullenly, and stand once more, leaning over me.

When I express my concern about this, you grab a chair higher than mine, with angry bad grace, and position it so that you are far too close for comfort – and are, once again, in the dominant position.

I am so afraid I can hardly breathe; so afraid, in fact, that I become light-headed. I feel tiny and threatened. I want to cry more than you will ever know, more than I can risk telling you.

I cry now because it is so sad that even my tears are used against me. That they become a pawn in the sick chess game of our marriage.

I cry because you know exactly how to frighten me – and have no compunction about using those specialised ‘skills‘ in order to subdue me.

When I tell you that I feel intimidated, you say, ‘So you say,’ and then, ‘As usual…’ – and refuse to back off.

You, as ever, misinterpret my fear for defiance and ask, nastily, ‘What’s with the Death Stare?’

You behave like an angry ten-year old. As always. Once I had compassion for that stuck, hurt little boy, bereft of a parent at age ten – but you will not seek any kind of help, nor will you admit that your behaviour has a serious effect upon others.

But you are NOT ten; you are over sixty, and big and frightening. You are a fully grown man, not a little boy – and your need to emotionally blackmail and terrify, bully and intimidate me is, at times, out of control. Perhaps because you fear – rightly – that I could slip out of your control after all these decades.

You project it all on to me, the way you always have, slipping nasty little hints into the conversation, accusing me of wanting everything my own way; accusing me of living life in a constant state of ‘Fuck you!‘ directed at you and the children. You tacitly accuse me of neglecting them, of being completely selfish.

And, when I point out that you do your own things too – and that I think this is about more than just money – you get sarcastic and childish and walk out, terminating the conversation.

As usual.

And I, despite knowing that I AM safe to seek sanctuary with friends, am too afraid to leave my room – because, if I do, you will use it against me, throw the accusatory rocks at me once more, involve the youngsters one way or another.

As usual.

Or you will bank your rage, try to cover it all over with specious charm – and then go for the jugular at a later date.

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He is the Lie…From Hello to Goodbye

He is the lie, from hello to good-bye.

I love you to I hate you. You’re beautiful to you’re ugly.

It was all a lie.

And I have no room in my life today for lies.

When friends or my family ask, but what about this, or what about that, I tell them. It was all a lie. There was no truth in him.

If I spend my time trying to figure out fact from fiction, all I am doing is trying to prove — I wasn’t so stupid. See, this was true. That’s why I fell in love with him.

Truth is. I fell in love with him because I believed his lie.

When I discovered the truth, I was so enmeshed in his lie, I couldn’t find the truth in me. And so I sank.

He did a lot of horrible, terrorizing things to ensure I stayed hooked into his lies.

In accepting the truth, that what he did was based on lies, I am able to accept that the hooks are also lies — and in that truth comes the power to let them go.

Every so often he’ll sneak up into the back pockets of my mind and settle in for a little visit.

That’s when I have to turn up for me and say, go away. There is nothing in you I believe in. Everything in me I do.

And when the tears and fears and sorrow become too great, I simply breathe, look up into the sky and see once again the limitless possibilities of my life today.

~  M.L. Gallagher – Author of The Dandelion Spirit

Retribution Through Desecration of Your Spirit is not Your Destiny

 

holy-spirit-dove

I’ve read countless testimonies of narcissistic abuse victims indicating their belief that their situation is retribution for past sins.  This false belief can occur during any and all stages of abuse.  It happens because their abuser tells them so, because of the abuser’s subtle suggestions, and/or because the victim’s low self-esteem creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Many victims stay in their abusive environment believing they are somehow gaining salvation through “deserved” punishment.

Your abuse and suffering is not God’s will – but due to someone else’s sin.  God does not want this and He suffers with you. He has wept with you and for you. In the case of marriage, some individuals take verses of the Bible out of context (i.e., (John 13:34, Ephesians 5:21), believing that they have to submit themselves blindly to their spouse in order to receive God’s grace and love, even in cases of abuse.  This is simply not God’s will, and if the abuse continues without signs of stopping, God will understand your wish for a divorce.

Religion aside, many victims autonomously believe they deserve their punishment, aware of mistakes they committed in the past, and stay in an abusive relationship as a form of self-retribution.

If you’re reading this now, and you are keeping yourself in an abusive relationship because you believe you deserve it, you are mistaken.  I don’t know what your past consists of or why you might believe you deserve to be abused, but if this resonates with you, you need to forgive yourself.  You may feel unloved by people in your life, but that doesn’t mean you, as a person, are unlovable.  People act the way they do because of how they feel about themselves, not because of who you are.  You need to start loving yourself the way you deserve to be loved. We may make mistakes, but that doesn’t make us bad people.  There are only bad choices…ones that can usually be rectified.

Every passing minute is a chance to turn it all around.  Stop regretting your past and do something to change in this moment.  This priceless moment in which you are living and breathing.  Retribution can be achieved through love…beginning with accepting and loving yourself.

every-passing-minute

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Practice Mindfulness – “Waves Hitting Canoe” Sound Therapy Meditation

 

The power to heal – Benefits of Sound Therapy

Just as experiencing stress can have harmful effects on the body, relieving stress can produce beneficial ones. Research has shown a strong link between the relaxation response—which is activated when the mind enters a meditative state—and actual physiological changes associated with sound physical and emotional health. The deeper the state of meditation, the more profound the healing.

 

 

Narcissistic Ex Loves New Wife More

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One of the biggest struggles when detaching from an abusive relationship with a Narcissist is the perception that he or she loves their new partner more.  In fact, it enhances feelings of low self-esteem in the former victim so drastically, that many never fully recover, regardless of how much therapy they receive.

Why?  Because of erroneous thinking that originated during childhood and escalated with the Narcissist’s insidious conditioning which began right after the love-bombing stage and grew increasingly worse during the devalue and discard stages.

What do you mean by erroneous thinking? 

When you first met the Narcissist, he or she spent a great deal of time observing you and your thoughts, doubts, insecurities, and weaknesses.  They may have mirrored those feelings in an attempt to give you a feeling of closeness and comradery.  You finally felt accepted, believing you’d found a partner who would love you unconditionally, until…

Once they determined you were in love with them the novelty wore off and they became bored.  This boredom caused them to begin looking for so-called flaws in you.  Since none were readily apparent, they fell back to the struggles you shared with them during moments of “intimacy and kindredness”.  This often happens after you begin to notice inconsistencies in their behavior, which forces them to attack you, taking the focus off of them and their inability to keep up the charade.

Narcissists don’t know love, so your attempt at trying to solve problems in the relationship comes across to them as a personal attack.  They resolve to beat you to the punch.  Thus begins the devalue stage, and is usually when they begin searching for a new target.  However, accepting a grain of accountability would throw off their false persona, so the new driving force in their life is to make YOU believe you’re the reason for their withdrawing their love and affection.  Enter your previous confessions of insecurity and feeling betrayed in the past by friends, family, and/or ex-lovers.

Okay, but still waiting for the erroneous thinking part…

In the context of your believing the Narcissist has chosen a new lover because you’re not good enough, it’s important to rely on facts as opposed to what your abuser says.  He or she is simply exploiting your emotional wounds, most of which likely developed during childhood (which is often out of our conscious awareness) and/or as a result of an emotionally traumatizing event (such as previous emotional abuse).  These wounds typically manifest in the following ways:

  • Heightened fear of abandonment
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Inability to process strong emotions
  • Inability to trust other people
  • Perpetually being in “fight-or-flight” mode
  • Being triggered by random stimuli that you subconsciously associate with a traumatic memory

These symptoms are rooted in false beliefs one has about their worth based on past emotional trauma and are the reason you feel less-than.  These feelings are then intensified by the Narcissist’s cruel interjections that their new partner is better than you.  However, I like to point out that most everything the Narcissist says is a lie, including the comments they make during attacks on your character and appearance.  However, because we’ve internalized harmful messages about who we are from a young age, it’s easy to believe the Narcissist when they deal devastating verbal blows.

Part of healing from Narcissistic abuse includes reframing your beliefs based on reality rather than limiting beliefs you may hold based on how you’ve been treated.  Just because the Narcissist says you’re unattractive or unworthy of respect doesn’t make it true.  These are erroneous beliefs we hold due to negative conditioning, or our internalized story of self.

Erroneous thinking examined

I work with victims of Narcissistic abuse every day.  The things I’ve observed about them are in direct contrast to what they often believe about themselves.  People who reach out to me often feel unattractive, unsuccessful, and hopeless.  The fact of the matter is they’re all very attractive, successful, accomplished, outgoing individuals.  They simply have a faulty belief system.

Replacing old emotional habits with healthier ways of thinking, feeling, behaving, and relating to others begins with taking control of your emotional health.  A great way to start is by taking steps to heal your inner child, who has suffered greatly as a result of your relationship with the Narcissist.

Five-Step Program for Taming Overpowering Stress and Emotions

Psychological Self-Help – Recognize Unconscious Forces

In closing, your Ex doesn’t love the new girlfriend/fiancé more.  It’s important to understood that his leaving you was likely due to your discovery of his false image and not anything related to you.  Additionally, it’s important to remember that the new partner is being love-bombed by the Narcissist, otherwise she wouldn’t willingly enter into a relationship with them.  Moreover, you should acknowledge you are enough…just the way you are.  But, you have to believe it.

Let Me Reach – Group Coaching

 

Dear Readers and Followers,

“Group Coaching continues to increase in popularity for coaches and clients alike. Group coaching brings the coaching conversation into a small group context. It is an intimate conversation space, focused on goal setting, deepening awareness around key issues, taking action, and accountability.

Group coaching clients benefit from the peer learning with others, commonly referred to as the collective wisdom of the group. This peer learning is often as important as the interaction with the coach. Many clients find the process “less on the spot”, giving them more time to reflect and integrate their insights.” **

Let Me Reach will be implementing a group coaching program in order to offer alternate pricing options and to foster a community feel for those who may be uncomfortable with one-on-one coaching.  I am offering a poll to get ideas on timing.  If you are interested in group coaching, please participate in the poll and indicate which time frame would be convenient for you.

 

**thecoachingtoolscompany.com

A Matter of Love…or Cake?

foodsthatmakeyouhappy

I hear it all the time…

My Narcissist broke up with me two months (or two years) ago, but even though he/she has a new partner, they want to stay friends and see me on the down low”.

Yes, the Narcissist continues to see their break-up partner…in intimate ways.  Very, very intimate ways.  All under the guise of, “I know I have a new girlfriend/boyfriend/fiance/spouse, but I still love you”, or “Hey, let’s be friends”, or the all-time classic “Everybody cheats”.

This is really nothing more than a strategic move where the Narcissist paves the way for…

A renewed relationship?  No.

Second chances?  No.

Rekindling the love?  No.

The true answer?  “Friends” with benefits…with you, her, him, and them, ergo a lot of cake-eating.

Seriously, do any of your other friends tell you how worthless you are?  That no one would touch you with a ten-foot pole? Continuously cheat on you?  Would your friends take advantage of you financially or try their best to make you feel like dirt under their shoe…then take a big bite of cake, pretending that nothing dubious is going on?

No, that’s not what friends do.  Therefore, the process of elimination should establish that the Narcissist is not your friend.

They just really like cake.  All kinds of cake.  The best thing you can do?  Stop supplying cake…

ruined cake

 

Why do I Feel so Attached to my Narcissistic Ex?

This is a common question as it relates to how one perceives their attachment to the Narcissist in their life.  In the beginning, it seemed they’d finally met their soul-mate.  The Narcissist showered them with “love”, praise, validation, understanding, and compassion.  They believed they’d finally found a blissful paradise with a partner whom they could grow old with.

This made it all too easy to sweep the first jabs under the rug.  And the next ones, and still the next, until finally, the rug no longer resembled its original flat and sleek form, but a covering for a mountain of debris.

Yet targets of narcissistic abuse try repeatedly to reshape the rug, spreading and evening out the debris to get a semblance of what it first looked like, instead of realizing the rug is ruined and should be thrown out.  When friends and family point out what an eyesore it is, victims remember what it first looked like, exclaiming, “I can’t throw it out!  It’s the best rug I’ve ever had!  No one has a rug like that!”

Targets of abuse don’t want to let go of that person they knew from the beginning of the relationship.  They endure untold misery, over-forgiving the person who claimed to love them and made them feel so special.  Even when the relationship comes to an end, they are left reeling with feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, and guilt.  They confuse their feelings for love.  And though love does play a part, the real reason they feel attached to their abuser is much deeper.

What they’re really missing is feeling loved, accepted, validated, and taken care of – things they never felt before, often as far back as childhood. The false lover they knew from the beginning of the relationship seemed to love them for who they are, with all their faults and weaknesses.  Yet, at the same time made them feel flawless.  In other words, they felt loved unconditionally.

Unconditional love…what victims always give, yet never seem to get in return.

It’s because of this yearning for unconditional love that victims of abuse stay in toxic relationships far past reasonable limits.  What many don’t realize is that they are trying to heal wounds from childhood.  They learned that they had to be perfect and forgiving in order to receive acknowledgement and/or praise.  Otherwise, they were neglected and ostracized.  And so this is what they learned about life and carried into their adult lives, and is what led them straight into the arms of the Narcissist.

What Codependency Looks Like

Although not universal, many codependents go a large part of their lives without really knowing they are, in fact, codependent.  This plays out in ways such as:

  • Feels uncomfortable accepting compliments – Ex: When receiving a compliment on a blouse, the codependent might say, “This old thing?  I only paid a dollar for it at the Goodwill”, or, “Thanks, but I think it makes me look fat”.
  • Has a hard time saying no; gains feelings of worthiness through helping others – Ex: Agreeing to babysit a neighbor’s child even though it would mean giving up personal plans to do so, simply so the neighbor won’t think they’re mean or selfish.
  • Rarely shows feelings of anger or displeasure in order to show others how agreeable they are – Ex: Agreeing to go to a restaurant one doesn’t like in order to avoid seeming inflexible (puts others needs before own)
  • Always seems to be putting out fires for other people – Ex: Covering up a spouse’s alcoholism; calling in sick for them, excusing their unacceptable behaviors at parties.
  • Not trusting their own perceptions – Ex: Believing undue criticism from a shady co-worker or jealous ex of their partner (this is often why victims of narcissistic abuse believe the disparaging comments and accusations made by their abuser)

What to Do

If any of the above sounds like you, there’s a high likelihood that you are Codependent.  The first thing you’ll need to do is leave your abusive partner.  There is absolutely no way to heal while inside of an abusive relationship.

If you’ve already left, Kudos to you!  You can begin taking charge of your life and overcoming your powerlessness through using appropriate tools such as:

Conquering Codependency Mini-Course (you’ll need to provide your name and email address)

Visit Codependents Anonymous to find a meeting near you at CoDa.org

Check out these various tools for Inner Child Healing

Visit Robert Burney’s site Inner Child Healing here on WordPress or visit his Facebook page.

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Have you done Inner Child Healing with positive results?  Please share your tips and comments below!

Numpty Narcissists – 4 Signs Your Disordered Partner is a Nitwit with Nary a Clue

Nitwit

Narcissists love to use intimidation to get what they want.  They threaten, scathe, cajole, and perform underhanded acts that make Bernie Madoff seem like a rookie.  Because of this, many targets of emotional predators (i.e., Narcissists) spend years of valuable time in toxic relationships when they don’t have to.

When dealing with emotional predators, often what keeps one trapped is their perceived notion that they are powerless.  Our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between real or imagined threats, so knowing what one is up against is essential.  Most of the Narcissist’s threats are simply hot air disguised as the real thing.  Below, I dissect the anatomy of common false threats and scorching remarks made by Narcissistic Ninnies:

1)  When you mention the possibility of ending it, your partner tries to intimidate you by saying you’ll be left homeless and penniless. Furthermore, he will take the kids and you’ll never see them again.

Reality:  It seems he isn’t taking into account his three DUI’s and the fact he’s driving on a restricted license.  His spotty employment record won’t look too good, either.  Oh, and let’s not forget about that restraining order that was placed against him by a former girlfriend.

Don’t let this guy’s empty words scare you.  He has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning any court battles.  Besides, his burden of proof would lie in showing you’re an unfit mother.  Judges aren’t prone to ripping children away from their mother unless there is evidence pointing to the necessity of such.  If your record is clean, you have nothing to worry about.  However, in the event you’ve been falsely accused by the Narcissist, read this article on proving your innocence.

2)  He keeps insisting that YOU’RE the only person he’s ever had problems with, and further, the only one who can’t seem to understand him.

Reality:  Let’s observe his last four Exes, shall we?

Ex #1 – See #1 above– She’s the one that had to file a restraining order against the Narc and developed agoraphobia from being stalked relentlessly.  She can no longer leave her home without heavily medicating herself.

Ex #2 – Joined Alcoholics Anonymous, but keeps falling off the wagon (which seems to coincide with your Ex’s attempts to contact her).

Ex #3 – On anti-psychotic meds

Ex #4 – Attacked you in the parking lot at Whole Foods

Notice a pattern?  They all have one common denominator…your Narcissistic partner.

3)  He says to you repeatedly, “No one will ever care for you like I do”, “You should be grateful for what I do for you”, “I made huge sacrifices to be with you”

Reality:  If your Narcissist actually finds gainful employment, he’s always one extended break away from being fired.  That last company layoff where he got the pink slip?  He was actually let go because he wouldn’t stop using his cell phone while on the clock.   His huge sacrifice?  A former source of supply that was letting the Narcissist live as a kept man.  She worked two jobs, paid all the bills, and allowed the Narcissist to stay home.  She kicked him out when she came home early one day and caught him in bed with her neighbor.  He tells you, though, that he met you and “knew he had to leave her”.

4)  He tells you, “You’ll always be a loser”, when you do something he doesn’t like or make a small, common mistake.

Reality:  By telling you that you’re a “loser”, he’s implying that he’s a winner.  Again, it’s important to not focus so much on what he’s saying, but on concrete facts.  Let’s examine the following example:

You:  educated; several promotions at work or you started your own business; symbols of stability such as car, home, and a large networking group(at least before meeting the Narc); strong friendships; could easily obtain positive recommendations from employers and acquaintances

Him:  quits job every year or two (if he lasts that long without being fired); a string of psychotic exes; constantly plotting a way to get on disability; always living with family members or “friends” he’s managed to deceive; could never obtain a positive recommendation (unless it was fake)

Don’t fall victim to the Narcissist’s verbal tomfoolery.  If they repeatedly cheat on you, you aren’t the one breaking up the family…they are.  You’re not insecure and jealous if you’ve discovered their porn addiction and sexts to the new secretary at work.  You aren’t “bipolar” because of your emotional highs and lows…you’ve been emotionally traumatized.

There’s only one way to halt this monkey business and that’s by going No Contact and devising your exit strategy.

**If you’re in a domestic violence situation, please use a safety plan along with your exit strategy.

*** Please note – these behaviors are more typical of the Overt Narcissist.  Cerebral Narcissists are often very successful in their careers and seem to be the epitome of prosperity and intelligence to outsiders.

How did you put a stop to the Narcissist’s shenanigans and go on to live a better life?  Share your story below!

LMR Saturday Survivor – Inspirational Stories from the Front Line – Oct 4th

Victory Woman

Submitted by ~Healing~

I have been true NC for five weeks now. It feels like 6 months. I still get sad but it comes and goes. When I first left him my friends checked on me continuously and supported me 24-7. But after a couple weeks, much like when there is a death in the family, people move on while I am not 100% healed yet. I feel this is when the real self-healing begins and it is hard.

So often I read comments from people who are overcome with sadness while they are commenting and needing help. I recognize that feeling but I also know no matter how sad I get now it is nothing compared to how sad he purposefully used to make me feel. And It is important to point out those other moments when I’m NOT sad and actually enthusiastic and excited about the new possibilities for my future.. I am happy everyday but only because I force myself to be happy – and what I mean by that is when I get upset about a random thought about him, I tell myself it is ok to be upset. I let it go through me and I take deep breaths until that panic-sick feeling in my belly subsides. I walk to a different room or location for a few minutes and look out a window. I tell myself that no matter how upset I am, or how unfair it is that he appears happy while I am left to clean up his crap, that how I feel about it doesn’t matter in the end. It honestly won’t change anything. The situation will be the same. The ONLY way it will affect me is if I let it by contacting him. If I don’t contact him, i win and get one step closer to being ok. I can remember this will pass and I won’t feel like this forever.

People always say life is short…but sometimes I feel the opposite is true. Life is long,- and you and I have all the time in the world to heal and make a better life for ourselves. This will pass, you will pull yourself out of this even if it feels like it takes forever and sometimes circles back on itself, you’ll get there. Just keep going. Smile, know you are not the only one experiencing this, and yes, it will be over one day. Despite what he or she may have told you, only YOU are in control of your feelings after NC. I hope this helps some people the way other comments on here have helped me in the past 5 weeks.