For those struggling with enforcing old or even new boundaries, this post by JerkBusters is a MUST read! It’s everything that we all need to believe deep down, and say to others who aren’t willing to respect us or our boundaries.
Over the past year and a half, my sleep has been interrupted and intruded by dreams about my X monster.
The first one was soon after I ran from him. He came to my bedroom window, which faced the store he worked at. He accused me of taking something from him and wanted it back. The feel of the dream was that he lost some drugs (to my knowledge, he didn’t do drugs) and thought I turned him in. I told him to leave and called the police.
There were a couple more later on, that I don’t remember now. Last night I dreamed I talked to him (my x) on the phone. He apologized for what he did to me, and tried to sound like he’d changed. “I know you don’t trust me, but if you ever need anything I hope you will call me.” The funny thing about that is it was the exact words of a co-worker who is interested in me, last night. About the dream? I wasn’t phased by it, and woke up thinking “Utter bullshit!”
I don’t trust this co-worker. He’s after what he wants, without regard to my boundaries. Of course I don’t trust him. He is very nice but I’m really guarded. The red-flags are screaming and very very bright. More so, in the state I’m in, still. Guarded. My emotions and concerns are fine tuned to any and all red flags. I’m grateful for that.
This is worth a post! I wanted to encourage you all to take some time at this website: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Evelyn_Roberts_Brooks .
These articles are timely for many of us who are learning the hard things about ourselves, in order to change. Those that are recognizing the need for boundaries, why they should be there and why they are not. I recommend that every seasoned survivor read each article. There is room to question some of her ideas, but not many! Worth your time, believe me!
I feel it’s important, right now, to recap on changing in the beginning. I remember what it was like for me as a new survivor. At the time, I could still be construed as a ‘victim’, because that’s what I was. A victim of severe abuse. Psychological abuse. Covert, vindictive, absolutely hateful abuse by a clinically diagnosable Psychopath.
The day I won my freedom was met with a lot of fear with every step. Fear that was never a part of me, before my experience. Paranoia around people, which was foreign to me. I absolutely hated what was left of me, because of him. I still do, for the record.
I walked with determination in my step, and elation in my heart to finally be rid of that plague on humanity. The fact remained, however, that everything I was conditioned to be was something I wanted to shake off IMMEDIATELY. The effects of his torment felt like millions of spiders crawling all over and inside of me. To an arachniphobe, you can get the picture. I wasted no time trying to shake off his influences and voice. His conditioning. Every time I was hit with that anxiety around people, or in the attempt to do something for myself, I was determined to prove him wrong. I could hear his voice in the back of my head, or feel the anxiety he created when I would express my desire to sing, for instance. I remembered when any subject I spoke of, would be met with negativity and anger. It produced a constant anxiety, as I was afraid to say anything to him. I was afraid to DO anything, fearful of the onslaught that it would create. When I was free, I wanted to eradicate any negative ANYTHING from my thoughts and emotions.
Each time I felt fear or uncertainty, I dug my heals in deeper and fought against him. Each time I felt it, I saw his face and heard his voice. He was my driving force to gain my confidence back. He took it. He couldn’t have it. I wanted it back, and away from the clutches of someone evil. Music, especially. It was mine. It was me. It was and is at the root of everything I find beautiful, comforting, understanding and strengthening. He tried to take away my confidence and desire to sing. Just to sing. He touched something that was sacred to me from the time I was a little girl. It wasn’t his to take, yet he affected my confidence and created uncertainty in that area, among others.
I dug in my heals each time I heard his voice or saw his face. I decided to take back what was solely mine. I fought against him by working and fighting in direct opposition to the fear. It was effective at the time. The hatred I had about that, was a strength for me, at the time. During the same time, I was hit incessantly with a negative influx of his lies told to me during the duration of the “relationship”. It affected me most when I was alone with my thoughts. Driving was the worst. At first, I thought it was coming from me and my own thoughts. I was reaffirming every lie and type of conditioned thought, by replaying the scenario in my head. Being an introspector, I soon realized that every lie and negativity I heard in my mind was being said in HIS VOICE. I couldn’t turn up the radio loud enough. I had to find another way to drown his voice. I thought about the best ways to do this, and came up with positive affirmations as an option. But that was just a new pattern of thought, created by another person. It was helpful, don’t get me wrong, but not as effective as I would like. When I noticed a negative thought, usually about myself, I started cutting it off immediately, and finding something positive to replace it with. Anything positive. At first it was difficult and I felt pretty silly, though I was alone at the time. A negative thought or lie would creep in and with the first thing I saw at the time, I spoke something positive about it out loud. It could be an old building or a dandelion on the side of the road. I remember yelling in my car, “That’s not ME!!”, using that as a way to cut it off and affirm what I knew to be true.
This was a difficult time for me, yet a very strengthening time. I was determined to shake off his effects. I was driven to get rid of his voice and his face in my mind. All because of hatred. I hadn’t found the ability to hate him yet, but hating what was left of me because of him, was a no-brainer.
As a newly free victim, you may or may not have fought for your freedom like I did. Most are dropped by the abuser, without warning, leaving you grasping at straws trying to find some solid ground. You are hurt and confused by the sudden discarding. I can’t pretend to know what that is like, in the wake of Narcissist or Psychopath abuse. I wasn’t left longing for the abuser. I wasn’t full of “love”, only to have the object of my affections suddenly drop the relationship for another. I was glad to be rid of him.
My situation made it easier to want to get my life back. By that, I mean my life prior to the abuser. I wanted ME back, and without his influence staining every step.
As time went on, I found certain things were changing. When I finally silenced his voice in my head, I felt like I had hit a brick wall in my progress. I realized that I hadn’t really hit a brick wall, but I actually conquered the first step, and it wasn’t an issue anymore. That required a change of focus and direction.
From the beginning, I have had the driving force to gain my life back, and be comfortable being myself. Since the abusers influences and effects are so deep, this is taking a lot of time. I was only in the relationship for a little over a year, yet he affected me very strongly and deeply. There is damage done, some that I don’t know how I will overcome it. Other effects have been trampled, thank God!
With each step that you determinedly undertake, you will find yourself conquering each one, though the direction to do that might be hidden, as each subsequent direction might be as well. I say this all the time, only because it’s at the root of every success you will have in your healing process, as well as in the rest of your life. No matter what happens, or hard things come, ALWAYS move your feet! Never ever stop! You won’t succeed if you resign yourself to the lies that you “can’t”. You won’t heal if you settle for what “is”.
Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Press on toward the goal ahead. It’s life, after all.
When you’ve just emerged from an unhealthy relationship, the last thing on your mind might be the idea of dating again. Do give yourself adequate time to heal and to assess your life, rather than rushing into another relationship. If you are not used to being alone, it may feel like your best course is to hurry up and start dating a lot of new people right away, with the goal of finding a new relationship to enjoy.
However, if you don’t give yourself sufficient time to see your own part in the abusive relationship and why you stayed in it, you are more likely than not to simply attract the same sort of controlling person into your life all over again. To help you spend your transition time wisely, and prepare to move on and begin dating healthier people this time, I’ve created a virtual “tool kit” for you to use.
The components of this tool kit are these five items:
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7022407
Excellent article! Click the link to read it in it’s entirety…http://ezinearticles.com/?Dealing-With-Psychological-Abuse—How-to-Move-on-and-Date-Again&id=7022407
A while ago, projectwhitespace (http://projectwhitespace.com) asked me to list the process of healing, chronologically. I still plan to do that, but it will take a some thought and recollection of events and stages. At this point, I believe I am closer than ever to the end of the process. However, I don’t think the “process” will be completely over, ever. That’s not to say I am defeated in the least.
I have struggled, strong-armed and analyzed my way throughout the process. Some things have worked and others…well…just didn’t! I must say, though, I NEVER want to go through any of that, ever again! Once is enough for me to learn my lessons. Learning is one thing. Putting them into practice is something completely different. It means you have to step out of everything you have ever been and live a new, different life. It means that you have to choose to live differently, with different boundaries and learning how to respect yourself in order to insist those boundaries NEVER be crossed again. The reasons you choose, have to be the right ones in order to succeed.
If you choose to make those necessary changes, due to the hatred you have toward the abuser, then you will find your steps will be that much harder. If you do it because of “hatred” or even because of your desire to never live through the abuse again, the chances of failing are greater. The chances that you will fall into the same old patterns, later, are that much higher.
You see, if you make the changes with hatred being the power behind the decisions, then your whole focus is on the abuser and not yourself. It’s the same with the decision based on the desire to never be abused again. Your focus is on your pain, experiences and yes, the abuser him/herself. The abuser doesn’t deserve any more of YOU! That includes time spent focusing on the abuse and even explaining yourself to others, and why you are so guarded. The explanations and need to express them, will be dealt with in another post, as I think it’s an important topic for survivors.
Your focus in the process of making better, healthier choices, needs to surround YOU, what is best for you and so on, not because of the hatred or fear surrounding potential of another abusive situation, but because you DESERVE TO LIVE healthier! You deserve a better life. After all, the reason you are healing is because you LOVE yourself! You need to change out of love for yourself, and belief that “better” and “healthier” is your calling in life.
Take your mind off the abuse and the abuser. Don’t talk about it anymore, unless there is another survivor you are needing to help. As for the rest of the world, it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! I mean, explaining the whys and what-fors of everything regarding who you are, and why. Yes, we need to bring awareness. YES we need to be there for others. But as to someone else critiquing who you are or your life, now… They need to find another conversation topic, or you can redirect it. You are so much better and that type of thing just keeps you stuck. This, in itself, needs to become a new boundary for you. You are better than your past, and they need to see it. Really, the only one who matters, is you. You are what is important, now.
When the time comes, you will be able to find the desire to put off the old, and make room for everything NEW and BEAUTIFUL!
I was finding this to be pretty difficult for me. Then came Rudy, the new addition to my home. He’s helping me stay busy, for his own benefit. It’s keeping my mind off the past, and able to move forward. I’m being challenged to help another in need. He’s anxious and fearful regarding car rides. He’s bitten others due to that fear. I need to help him with this, and quell the fear. The best way to do this, is hard to choose.
For you, having a dog may or may not be the right direction to take. A hobby is a good way, but make sure it’s an active one. Start making it a habit to go for long, early morning walks. Anything to be PRODUCTIVE!
I strongly recommend that, when you find yourself deciding to make difficult changes, first make sure your focus behind the change is the right one. Yourself. Period. Next, get busy! Stop talking about the painful things that you have so painstakingly been fighting to get past. Focus on becoming a healthier liver!
Have a wonderful day, today! See how long you can go without talking or thinking about what “is wrong with you” or that “others don’t understand”. No more abuse talk, unless it’s truly necessary! There is much more around you and the world. Beautiful topics. Uplifting to yourself and others.
Strength and peace!!
As I have said before, I analyze so much, my mind never stops moving. Of course, I’ve been constantly analyzing my new boy, Rudy. He’s been wonderful, by the way. The first day by himself, I came home from work and found nothing out of place, except for a few pillows thrown off my loveseat, and the blinds pushed back a little. Nothing torn up and no messes. He hadn’t gone out for a number of hours, so I knew he had to ‘go’. He met me at the door with his ball poised and ready to go outside. He had to play ball for a good 20 minutes before he would even THINK about going potty. What a good boy!
I talked to someone about some of his issues and the challenges I have ahead in helping him get past them. The first one is walking on a leash. He’s insecure as heck! Couple that with being one very smart, energetic cattle dog, and you have a problem with walking on a leash. For some reason, he feels more secure if he can look into your eyes. The first day I took him for his first walk. He spent much of the time walking backwards, trying to gaze into my eyes. He walked in front of me, and every time I tried to direct him to the side, he got agitated and started jumping and nipping. He got my leg once, which is healing now. He didn’t mean to hurt me, but still it can’t be ignored. From that point on, I made him sit down on the spot, when he started jumping at me. I wouldn’t let him continue again until he let me step out first, with him at my side. Since his weakness is being able to see my face, I decided the best thing is to insist he be at my side, while NOT looking at him at all. Everything I did from that point on was seen peripherally by myself. My hand guided and praised from that point. The only time I let him look into my eyes was when he did good on the leash. It’s only been 2 days, and he’s already making wonderful progress!! Once I get him to walk semi-normally, and he has a little more confidence with the situation, then the “heel” command and action will be introduced. Not until he’s more confident about the walk and secure in letting me do the leading. His old family friend stopped by today while I was at work. It was prearranged that he come into the house while I was gone, and spend time with Rudy. I told him where Rudy’s leash was, and the two of them took a walk together. I told the man what I’ve been doing, and recommended that he continue during the walk, should Rudy start acting up. The man raved about how good Rudy did! He said, “I was told that Rudy was horrible on a leash. I don’t think he’s gone for walks on a leash, much. Rudy did great! He walked right with me without any trouble!” Exactly what I wanted to hear 🙂
The biggest challenge is his fear of cars. Not in general, but getting into one to go for a ride. I’ve never seen a dog so afraid to get into a car, in my life! Every time he had to go to the vet, for instance, he’s been strong-armed into the car. He’s been forced to leave his home, to do whatever…even for a short time. The fact that it was forced, and he was all but tackled down, has built fear and distrust in this poor baby. The fear in this dog is so bad, that he’s bitten people for forcing him into a car. My goal is to relieve this debilitating anxiety he has, and turn car rides into something he loves! I see stops for kid-sized ice cream cones in his future this summer 🙂 But first, he has to be able to get in the car on his own. I have a game plan for this, but I’ll just be “winging” it, as I’m really not sure how I’m going to tackle this one. His nails are badly overgrown and he’s having no part of letting me trim them. He’s in need of a bath and he’s severely overweight, at approximately 100 lbs. He’s a larger mid-sized dog, and he should weigh between 55 and 65 lbs. He’s too heavy for me to lift into the tub right now and he’s sure as heck not going in willingly! I need to get him to the groomers for a good once-over.
Like I said in the beginning of this post; I’ve been analyzing my new friend. I talked to someone about his issues and my challenges regarding them. As I was describing Rudy’s problems to this person, I realized that he and I are fighting the same problems! Anxiety about certain scenarios…a type of PTSD. Distrust and insecurity. I see these things as debilitating to my boy, as they are robbing him of so much more that is available to him. Things that would excite him, like camping or just riding in the car across town. The insecurity surrounding the leash is being rectified. He knows I haven’t disappeared, just because he can’t see my face at all times. He’s settling down, now, in that regard.
Even though this isn’t the most ‘ideal’ home for him, I believe very much that God knew exactly what we both needed. In helping Rudy get past his anxiety, distrust and insecurity, I am learning things about myself, too. All Rudy needs is a firm (not at all mean) loving hand, someone to play ball with, and LOTS OF PRAISE. He needs to know that he’s important and loved. I’m seeing a dog that I have never met, though I’ve known Rudy for years. I hear my friend’s words about him, describing him as uncontrollable and stubborn. That he needed to “settle down”. He’s not a lap-dog, though he loves attention. He’s an Australian Shepherd. Energetic and smart. A working dog. Lack of stimulation creates those unwanted behaviors. In walking him at least once per day, I’m also getting exercise that I’ve been avoiding like the plague. At night, I run his rear-end off, throwing his beloved ball.
A sad situation brought Rudy to me. He was orphaned by the death of his ‘Momma’. She (my friend’s mother) and my friend talked about her wishes for her dogs, before she died. My friend’s mother asked her if I would want to take Rudy. my friend asked me, Friday, after she passed away. I didn’t think taking a dog in would be fair to the dog, prior to this. I thought about it and craved it, but reasoned myself out of it. I agreed to ask my landlord, thinking she wouldn’t ever approve, and she was ok with my having Rudy.
He’s become quite the miracle for me.
I can’t really say that I’m out of the latest spiral, but I can say that with every one I have had, something surprising has always come out of it. It’s usually in the form of an epiphany or something strengthening for my journey. A new revelation that will make the rest of my travels that much easier. This past weekend was met with much sadness surrounding myself, my best friend and her family. Included in that are a few dogs and cats. I was asked to take one dog into my home. I’ve been wishing I had a dog, lately. I’ve always loved dogs, and have always been more at peace with one in my life, but the way my living situation is, it’s really not fair to any dog to bring them into my home. I work full time which means that the dog in my life will spend a lot of time alone. Yet, I was asked if I could. This particular dog and I have been acquainted over the years. I’ve done my fair share of exhausting ball throwing for this guy. Now, he needed me to love him as part of my own family.
Fair or not, I’m going to give this a shot. He’s a high energy breed…an Australian Shepherd. He also has a lot of anxiety about separation or the potential of it. He’s scared to death of car rides. Now, he’s lost the only Mamma he’s ever known. I’m worried for him, yet I think he’ll be ok. I know he’s a God-send for me.
I picked him up this morning and brought him home. Due to his anxiety and fear of cars, his introduction to the ride ahead, was less than ideal. After the trip home, we’ve been playing ball for literally hours! Just when I think he’s exhausted himself, here he comes with the ball again, dropping it in my lap or wanting to go outside for a run. It was all about him today. I was concerned that he wouldn’t eat for a few days, because of the trauma of the weekend. He’s eating just fine, but doesn’t want to let me out of his sight.
I have talked to the other family members who live in the same town I do, and they have agreed to help me with his transition, checking in on him and spending time with him while I’m at work. Tomorrow, I go back. The family members won’t be able to be here for him tomorrow, which concerns me a great deal! I can only hope for the best in the coming days. He’s always been a house dog, but has also always had someone with him.
I’ve always had a dog, throughout my life. The last 6 months have been the first time in my life I haven’t had one. I miss the sweetness of the relationship with a dog. I miss the unconditional love they are so gifted at showing. I’ve missed having my friend with me during the hardest times. This time, I need him every bit as much as he needs me.
I think God knew. I hope he will meet us in the middle, and ease this lovely boy’s transition and anxiety.
This isn’t a “woe as me” post, though it’s going to sound like one.
I’m beginning to believe that our healing comes in cycles (at least mine seems to do that). We begin the process with the realization that “something” isn’t right about our chosen partner, or our relationship with them. We research everything, trying to find a name for the beast. Once we have found some peace, we move forward, becoming stronger day by day. We are able to find some pride in ourselves. All of a sudden, we are thrust back to almost the beginning, where we continue to try to understand WHY we are HERE again. It goes like this, over and over. The cycle, spirals upward, never completely falling to the depths of where we started, though it’s painful to fall, no matter the distance. I believe we fall, not because we are clinging onto the ‘victim’ mindset, but because there are unresolved issues that are screaming to be dealt with. Until we learn what they are or they show themselves, we will continue to fall until we learn to combat them. At least, this is my theory. I don’t know if I’m right. This is another theory: It could also be that I truly am completely losing control, and I don’t want to accept that.
I’m battle-weary. This past week, after my latest tale-spin, I find that I have yet to come completely out of it, as I normally do with a new understanding and epiphany. I came to an understanding which I believe in, 100%.
I’ve been keeping from talking about my experiences with my X, yet it isn’t silent. For instance; I was driving yesterday and passed a gruesome looking man, walking down the street. One of the areas I drive through, regularly, is something I call, “Hooker Haven”. There are always throngs of men standing on empty street corners, waiting for their favorite ‘hooker-de-jour’, to come back from her latest outing. The man I passed was walking to his “hangout”. He looked at me as I passed him, with that same old nasty look, like someone on the prowl. I swear I saw a bit of drool dripping from his chin. Yeah, it was repulsive to me. More than that, though, it made me want to hide. He looked at me like meat to someone who hadn’t eaten in days.
I’ve never been able to stand the repulsiveness of that scenario. Now, however, it’s met with fear. I understand that this is a direct result of my experience with my own predator.
I get done with my run, and then try to appear “normal” to others around me. This is impossible, since I had just experienced something that brought fear to me. I feel off and awkward around co-workers as a result.
Being a delivery person again, is also a trigger. I’m afraid to pick up the radio for anyone other than the dispatcher. My X used this avenue to torment me, too. He did it daily and several times a day. Sometimes all day long. I was afraid to talk to him, and afraid NOT to talk to him, fearing the inevitable onslaught that would surely come. It did anyway.
I’m ready for the upward spiral, now. This shit is bogus!
Yeah, you read that right. “spontaneous healing”. Contrary to popular opinion from others who haven’t lived through it… SPONTANEOUS HEALING DOES NOT EXIST!
Our closest friends, who have never been where we have been, will say something like, “How long has it been since you have been away from him?” and “Don’t you think you should be getting past this by now?” It’s the same old proverbial sideways look and statement, “Why don’t you just get OVER IT?” They might say it with love for you, their friend. They want to see you happy. That’s nothing to be upset about. Those people have your best interests at heart, and always will. The fact remains that, since they have never lived through what you have, (during the hell with a psychological abuser) they can’t understand why you are still guarded. They can’t understand the person you describe, or the manner of abuse that you were subjected to. “At least ‘he’ didn’t hit you.” Honestly, I would have rather he hit me, instead of the chosen method of abuse.
Those wonderful friends try to see “both sides” of the situation you were in, and incorrectly think, “You could have hurt him without knowing.” or, “It sounds like ‘he’ has been hurt in the past.” It’s the same old shit I used to feed myself when I dealt with ANY OTHER abusive relationship in my past. It’s this line of thinking that always kept me trapped. Your friend, being unable to see past the humanity that they believe is in everyone, (as I once did as well) thinks that you have all but lost your mind as you talk to them about the individual who has no conscience, no empathy or remorse, and a complete inability to feel emotion or understand anyone who does. As a survivor, I can’t begin to tell you how painful this is to hear from your closest friends. They truly don’t mean to hurt or upset you. They are only trying to help you the best way they know how.
You can’t compare a person who has poor self-control, someone who lashes out at you or hits out of anger and yet is STILL HUMAN, to the Psychopath. There is no comparison. One is human, with human traits but has a lack of self-control, or is just a plain old ass-hole. The other is a psychopath and fits none of these things. The psychopath does what he/she does, just because it’s fun for them. They enjoy seeing their victim writhing in pain (whether physical, emotional or psychological), and soak up the knowedge that they alone, caused it. They caused lasting damage.
The battle, once we are free from the abuser, is to heal from the abuse. There’s a lot to heal from. The hardest of all is “unlearning” the new conditioning that the psychopath has laid out to perfectly, in your psyche. At least, that’s the thing I see as the hardest to get past. Though, I am only just grazing the surface of the effects for myself, right now. We also MUST fight to learn the hard things about ourselves and the way we dealt with every relationship, and how we actually enabled the abuser to abuse us. We didn’t love or trust ourselves enough to LISTEN to the internal warnings we were given. We must learn about the hard things, then work HARD to change those things about ourselves. It isn’t just because we have to, in order to live free and whole from now on, but because we are WORTH IT! We deserve all things GOOD in our lives. We deserve to be treated like we matter, and deserve to stop mistreatment towards us, from others. It’s because we DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER!
My job has changed at work. I’m no longer where I am surrounded by people, or able to interact with them. I’m back in a delivery vehicle. I’m not doing very well as a result. Just doing deliveries again, is a trigger for me. As long as I am able to drive one with a radio, it can be tolerable. Without a radio, I am left to my own thoughts, and being hyper-aware of every trigger I have.
I didn’t know there were so many. Several are new and just showing themselves.
I wanted to tell my friend about this, but chose not to. It just doesn’t matter.
The illusion of “spontaneous healing” is a wonderful fairy tale. I wish it was something I could just accept and move on. As things stand, I have to fight and keep on fighting.
Now the new triggers, which bring out more fear in me than I knew I had. I feel like I’m losing complete control, and don’t know how to stop it. No place is safe, right now.
Spontaneous healing. I wish it existed. Believe me!