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.