Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ways To Healing

(Article based on my experience)

You begin in shock. In disbelief. You may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress (I did). As you are beginning to re-remember, the feelings are going to be overwhelming. Every emotion under the sun. Chaotic feelings. Tremendous ambivalence. Anger, hatred, vengefulness, murder, all the really nasty stuff. Terrible, soul-tearing loneliness. This is normal, this is you being human. Feel all the feelings, cry an ocean. This is grieving. I cried for 3 years, almost every day. I was comforted by this saying from mystical Judaism, "G-d counts the tears of women" (and men, I'm sure).
At the same time,

L
earn everything you can about psychopathy and pathological narcissism. We are not talking just immature jerks here, or the abusive, but hardcore pathology.

Return to the past and remember and review in detail. This is not obsessing- this preoccupation is very necessary for healing because you are starting from square one -- what you thought existed, did not. So you must find out what really existed- replace the pathway of emotion laden remembrance with the stark, unyielding reality.

It is through the above 3 ways that we emotionally detach-separate ourselves from the psychopath-character disordered, when we begin to grasp the massive deception and subtle, practised erosion of our beings. Always we must trust our gut as we work this out and thru.

Rehearse and reinforce that this was not a normal person, that it was a lie, that it had nothing to do with you (the hardest)- but it did happen to you- and there is no psychological rhyme nor reason to it because psychopaths-character disordered are in a mysterious class by themselves, not really from this planet as we know it.

Know that they wanted something good from you. Remember it.

You will question yourself and that is normal- people who are normal, have consciences, examine themselves, ask themselves what they could have done differently- this is part of reviewing- What could you have done? nothing- you didn't know they were disordered- now you know- learn all you can about how they work-how they did it- that is your task- to see that they manipulated you and that you were no match for them (nor were some "experts" where psychopaths were concerned).

D
iscipline yourself to stop looking at your 'faults' as connected to the psychopath-character disordered specifically - any encounter with anyone can trigger a desire to re-evaluate one's life and behaviour- this is normal and progressive- it's a testament to your desire and ability to grow and transcend, to move forward and blossom- the encounter may provide the spark, the seed- your 'faults' or 'weaknesses' did not cause you to be targetted and manipulated by the character disordered.

Try not to psychologise yourself- do it with a therapist but only one who lays the blame where it belongs- on the perpetrator-abuser. Trust no one on the net to psychologise you- they have no right; and it's the blind leading the blind, imo.

Hang out with people who emotionally support you but do not make you doubt yourself- people who try to tell you or imply that you are somehow at fault - do not confide in anyone who pathologises your behaviour or brings you pathologising theories- a psychopath-character disordered is a relationship anomaly/aberration- normal rules don't apply and neither do theories (for that's all they are, and largely uncompassionate, I think) about us, the survivors. As long as you continue to psychologise yourself about this (non)relationship, you remain attached.

Know that you did not have control over the encounter, that you do not have control over anything except what you choose to believe and do- choose to elevate everything around you. Choose life.

Repair what is broken- Force yourself to Turn away from the face of evil and add something to the world- even while you are in shock, take a moment to be kind to someone, some small thing or kind thought, and take charge of your soul- be the captain. I have overcome a lot of damage just by putting one step in front of the other and laying a new foundation bit by bit in repairing a bit of the world. No one can take that away from me. When you see what you can do to make the world a better place, how the world responds to you, you won't listen to anyone who is only looking to fix you by telling you how you are broken. You have a broken,shattered heart and you already know that. End of story.

What is your goal now that you are moving away from this damaging environment? It's important to have an elevating goal that will inspire you to greatness, spiritual and otherwise. Also see: RegretAndWellbeing

If you are reading this, you are a person of considerable character and thought. You are not willing to lie down and die. You will not allow what happened to defeat you. You survived to get to this place- there is great strength in that.

Know what you stand for, what you are willing to live and to die for. Learn this about yourself as you work things through.

Know that this too shall pass and that the other side is wonderful, is amazing, something that you can't imagine right now. You will amaze yourself. In moments of despair and moments of soul searing loneliness, know that you are not alone. You are supported. And others have gotten through this and you will too. And you will do it with the dignity that is your birthright- in a perfectly human way.

1/28/03, ©2003-2009, InvictaMA, Counseling Psychology.

23 comments:

miss amy said...

Thank You so much for your blog! I just got out of a relationship with an N today and this is incredibly freeing and healing to read these posts. I now realize I never would have been enough. I always knew something was "off" and that his father was an N but never did any research until we broke up today. I feel so lucky to be out of it and on the road to recovery.
Blessings! Amy

Anonymous said...

I agree, all of these links are helpful and comforting. I left an N a week ago, and I know I have a very long, painful road to recovery ahead of me, but that there is help out there and I might just amaze myself once the dust settles and I start feeling like myself again.

Anonymous said...

I am married to a N and am just learning and realizing what I've gotten myself into! We have 3 young children and he provides well for us...there have been episodes that caused me to research and now that I know I feel as though I have awakened from some fog...there are modifications to his behaviour that occurs as I am lovingly honest with him, which helps...but still...the awakening is jarring...your blog has helped me so much! I vascilate betwwen wanting to leave him now and waiting until my last is 18...I also believe in marriage as the bible speaks but it seems that some of that actually encourages this sick behavior! I am coming into my own awakenings...thanks!

Leslie said...

I have to leave comment because I just can not even begin to convey what a massive gift this website is to me. Thank you so very, very much! This is the first site I've found that talks real sense about being the survivor of an encounter with a psychopath/NPD, as I am one. I am *especially* appreciative of the insight into the overwhelming tendancy even of psychologists, never mind friends, to pathologize and blame the victim - I have encountered almost no understanding in any quarter I've looked and that has been very alienating and has kept me STUCK feeling something is so wrong but no avenues of relief.

I was driven to real madness by my psychoguy, I attempted suicide and suffered a nervous breakdown that damaged every aspect of my life for years afterwards. And for years afterwards, I still didn't understand what had happened, nor could I explain it anyone, nor could anyone including therapists explain it to me nor give me any comfort.

Finally now, having read almost every article on this site, I feel I have the right perspective to go forward with and heal - talk about a watershed moment!!!!!

Thank you, Invicta, and everyone who has contributed to the Narcissism Support Resource site. I feel my deep trauma and pain has been taken truly seriously for the first time since the whole encounter happened seven years ago.

Bless you all

Anonymous said...

DeeC
I have survived an encounter with a narcissitic couple. My husband's father, a diagnosed psychopath, and his newest wife. It was a bad situation, one in which I attempted to reveal that the emperor and empress wore no clothes, and I was brutally and viciously attacked verbally and socially. I have and still am experiencing nightmares and periods of despondency. After reading some articles here, I have realized that I am on the road to healing, having reflexively started to reexamine the past (I thought I was obsessing)...and by practicing random acts of kindness. I am not the person they wanted to make me out to be. I am so happy to see a site that encourages the survivor...that is how I feel, like I have survived. I could never have imagined that when I married my husband, I would have such a horrible experience with his father and the latest wife. They seem to be perfectly, if dangerously, matched...

az said...

I am so amazed that I have survived 47 yrs with a N. I did not know why no matter what I did, what I applied it never worked and I blamed myself for 35 yrs. Then I began to set boundaries but still did not know he was N. As I look back over my life I now understand why things never 'changed'. Life was always about him. I was in a holding pattern waiting for God to work in his life. No longer. God is working in mine and not a tear is wasted as He redeems every single one. I am under the same roof but I am free. So free. My counselor gave me the book "Crazy Makers" and it was like my life in these pages. It was the most helpful thing I have done.

Anonymous said...

I find the most difficult feeling is guilt. I read and relate a lot to the other posts and informaion on this site. However the knowledge that I was married and loved a N has left me with a lot of guilt knowing that he is sad and his N comes from a distnict fear of being alone. I struggle with the understanding that I have left him alone and broken my promise as a wife to be by his side always. Does anyone have ideas about this?

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous' post of 1/28, here are some thoughts about guilt over leaving the N alone and sad. One word: self-preservation. It's ironic how caught up we get, as women, nurturers, putting the other above ourselves. When you are dealing with a true N, doing that threatens and damages your own life force, sanity, survival. Is this harmful person's wellbeing more important than yours, whether they can help being that way or not? You have a duty to yourself as a human being to move away from it and leave it.

Selena said...

I am starting to believe that there is hope,and after reading (Ways To Healing) I now realize I am not alone. I started my new life Dec 17th 09. I maybe only taking baby step but evey step is one more away from the N and the abuse.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this whole site. It is a blessing. You are indeed changing the world - one step at a time. I am the daughter of an emotionally abusive N and tend to be attracted to Ns romantically. After a very difficult recent short relationship with one, I am realizing it's time for real healing and moving on to something better. Your site is helping so much! I want to get to the other side of N-free living and I am beginning to believe it is possible.

Anonymous said...

I too was involved with an N for 7 years and had a child with him. We are now involved in a custody battle. I am trying to heal from the deep wounds but the custody battle continues to reveal more lies of our relationship and the absolute reality that I was used from day 1. It is very difficult. However the more I read about the disorder, the better understanding I get that its not me and he is not normal! Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog and wanted to cry. It described exactly what I have been going through since my "final" breakup with my N. My road to recovery is something I want so desperately - but it comes in bits and pieces, however, not as fast as I would like it. I look forward to the day when I am healed (I know I will have scars, but hopefully they will fade too). I should have read more into this person right from the start with his past relationships along with the fact that his father was an N also. His own children don't have anything to do with him either. My marriage to him was the worst thing I could have done...they use that as even a stronger crutch to hurt you more. Many times I was blamed (even though I was the victim) by friends, colleagues, and even therapists who wondered why I continued to stay. The N's coerce you into thinking that they love you when in reality they only use you for their own sick need - to abuse someone else and torture them psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. I remember him actually smirking or smiling at times when he knew he was manipulating and controlling my love for him. He never deserved someone (or any normal person) that loved him the way I did. But of course in his eyes I abandoned him.

Anonymous said...

I find your Blog very informative and refreshing. I've died a thousand deaths. Each and every day is a new experience. Some days are really good... others are horiffic. Through all of this pain and agony I know I'll survive and thrive. I know this because I have a heart of my own. It will love again. Knowing this is knowing that I am recovering.
All the Best!

Sensei said...

beautiful. i am learning to cope and heal through your blog.
thank you

Anonymous said...

I am not alone, I can see. We are divorcing, after 18 years and 2 children. It hurts but I have to remind me he was never the partner I thought I had. I cant stop being who I am. I think this poem describes it best:

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found Invicta's blog. It is objective and open minded

Also his posts about the harm some internet websites can do to victims by posing as support sites, validates my own concern.

Sites, like Vaknins and outofthefog.net that are run by victims of narcissists, pretending to help other victims, but really out to make a profit through self marketing or really simply power hunger people who need to feel better about themselves by making arbitrary rules and believing that they know more than professional psychiatrists, are harmful.

The outofthefog site, even has a moderator known as 2bad who claims to have aspergers.

As is indicative of her syndrome, she is easily triggered by comments not directed at her and frequently misinterprets social cues and non-threatening general statements made about aspergers syndrome.

No one with aspergers should be legally allowed to moderate a message board for abuse survivors.

The site owner is Gary walters, who frequently markets his wedding photography at the site.

Other moderators are Haggis, now known as eclipse and Moglow.

MoGlow changes rules and bans people for posting links to reputable EDU sites that discuss narcissists or aspergers.

If these links dispute Moglow's own personal opinions she bans the member who posted the links, no matter how reputable the source.

Like most people with narcissism or narcissistic traits, she claims to be an expert on a subject, despite having acquired the proper credentials. In addition like most narcissist she can not handle any disagreement. If proven wrong, she becomes enraged and punitive.

Haggis, now known as eclipse, frequently rages about psychiatrists who had the audacity to suggest that perhaps he is the one with the problem rather than his wife.

Haggis (eclipse) would not even consider the possibility that perhaps, he too had a personality disorder and that is why he and his wife had so many difficulties.

In any case in order to heal I think a victim needs to avoid sites that have moderators who seek to build up their fragile egos and low self-esteem by abusing other victims of narcissists.

Perhaps they can not help it because they picked up the traits of their abusers and suffered abuse....but that is only a reason for their abusive behaviors, not an excuse.

Sensei said...

this has helped me SO MUCH.
thank you!

Anonymous said...

Your words apply to those who have suffered at the hands of narcissistic perverse abusers in the workplace.
Thank you so much for your blog, your wisdom, and being able to articulate what I have felt and experienced.
Signed, A traumatized and recovering tenured faculty member

DeBorah said...

The best thing I have ever read, I have been on every site I could find. This makes sense,this was comforting, encouraging. I will survive, however this much I know the very essence of my being has been violated, traumatized in one short year. Yes, I will stand for something..I chose life.

Anonymous said...

I was so relived to know that I was not crazy I just married a narcissist.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info. I was lost in my marriage to my husband. I don't think I will ever trust my judgment regarding a relationship again. Amazingly enough, his grown children from his first marriage pulled me in from the free-fall he had propelled me to. I thought I was the one that was the abnormal, crazy,inept, insecure overthinker.His little secret was that I wasn't his first victim. His children and first wife suffered his manipulative, controlling and silent raging because no one could ever please him. Although he and I are still married in his mind he has relegated me to purgatory because I voiced my displeasure at his "friendship" with a woman in our area. In truth, he would be displeased to know his inability to care about the pain and anguish he has put me through have finally set me free.I tolerate him and I wait. I had given him everything I had but no more . . . ever again.

Parting the Clouds said...

I want to congratulate you for your exceptional blog!

Those who have experienced something, know better and more than the professional ones! I am so happy that you validate people's experiences and value and respect their struggles!!!!

I really want to thank you for your valuable help and insights, you are a gem!!!

A big warm hug to everyone - you are all blessed and strong and beatiful!!!

Anonymous said...

To add to the post dated 17 April 2011 regarding the Out of the Fog website: The admin. hiding behind the nickname "eclipse" orchestrated a smear campaign against the site's former owner 'Gary' and removed him from the position of owner. The member hiding behind the nickname 2Bad is now an administrator and self-admitted "Aspie." The moderator formerly known as Mathcorechick changed her nickname to "XredshoesX and is now an administrator. She is also a self-admitted "Aspie." The site has degenerated into a playground for emotionally unstable moderators and administrators to take out their aggressive behaviors on vulnerable, unsuspecting members. They're banning specific words, targeting members they don't like and antagonizing them while masquerading as a "safe haven" for family members of people having personality disorders. They deliberately prey upon members who are emotionally vulnerable and use them to make themselves look superior. Most of the senior members have left the site because it's been going steadily downhill since they removed the owner. If you're looking for compassionate support and understanding, avoid Out of the Fog dot net like the plague.