The art of second guessing


As has been proven before, in my on-going healing process; I have NOT arrived… yet.

I have been seeing a man for the last month. I’m confident in saying he’s a wonderful man, even though it’s only been a month. He’s apparently NORMAL!! lol! It’s been so long since I’ve met a normal, caring man, that I don’t know how to act. Seriously.

Life for me, isn’t all rosy nor peaceful at the moment. It’s tormentuous as hell. So many things have been going on in my home and around me, that I’m a bit overwhelmed. I tend to lean on my new ‘hopeful’ for support. He’s been wonderful, supportive, caring and steadfast, even though I know it’s stressful for him, too. Most people in general, I would say, would run for the hills. He doesn’t run and stands with me, supporting me in every way. We’ve also been having long talks, either in person or on the phone. He’ll ask questions of me which cause me to think about the answers. I’m honest with him about everything. I answer in the best way that I can, but I find myself second-guessing, not only my answers, but how he may be HEARING the answers. The introspection/extrospection trap that I have been in throughout my life, has become entirely intrusive. It’s continuous in my thoughts, as I try to talk to him. I sound confused and crazy as a result. Yeah, I’m aware of this, too. If the chaos in my life hasn’t been enough to rattle him, our talks just might be, and could cause him to run.

He isn’t trying to rattle me, nor cause me to second guess myself. He’s only trying to know and understand me better. I know this.

What I have stumbled upon, is a newly discovered trigger for PTSD. I didn’t realize this until just this second. Welcome to my thought process, and how intrusive my tendency for self-analysis is. I think while thinking. I mean, I think about my answers about a particular subject, while my introspection and extrospection tendency is spiraling wildly in the background, causing me to second-guess myself, and become anxious about how he might be viewing me.

For the first time in my life, I wish it would stop. Completely.

I am filled with nervousness and anxiety, while in the midst of answering the simplest of questions. He’s asking simple questions which should not cause anything of the sort. Yet, it does.

I don’t know what more to say about it.

I wish it would stop!

I believe this is residual from my jaunt with the Psychopath in my past. As many of you are aware, due to your own experience with the same disordered, evil type of person, they are kings of making you second-guess yourself. It’s the direct result of gas-lighting and crazy-making. Its at the forefront of the abuse they subject you to. It’s insidious.

Even now, the tendency to second-guess myself and my own thoughts, has become paralyzing, while writing this entry.

Enter spiral # umpteen thousand, and one… It’s been a while. Wondered when the spiral would show its ugly head again…

Damn…

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I’ve changed…


My head is literally REELING with things I want to say, here.

A recap… I started my blog 2 weeks after the final court date with my X-monster. I attempted to get a restraining order, and lost. Not because anything I said in my deposition was false, but because I still maintained contact with him on occasion, when he’d call, email, etc. I didn’t want to talk to him, but felt a human and social obligation to keep from being rude. I didn’t want to make waves, so I thought I should stay amicable, protect my job (so I thought)… but then came the final scheme, which alerted me to his REAL nature. He was entirely evil and unpredictable, outside of human standards. It took several tries to finally understand and convince myself of the true level of  his depravity, so I was able to go 100% NO contact. The days that followed were no less than, me, grieving the loss of myself! I walked out and away from that terrible period, being entirely destroyed from the inside, out.

The following days, weeks, months and years, have brought about tremendous learning and healing. It seemed to take forever, and at times didn’t seem to be happening at ALL! But, non-the-less, it was taking place… ever…so…slowly. Definitely NOT fun at all! One thing has remained constant to this day, over 2 years later: I was forever changed. I started out on this journey of mine, being and feeling totally foreign to myself. I didn’t know ME anymore. I was a walking void. A shadow. Thoughts were a haze. My short-term memory in general, has been greatly affected, though I’m happy to say, it’s FINALLY getting better! I thought I was developing a sort of dementia or early onset Alzheimer’s, due to the severity. I’m glad to say I’m a little more like myself. In other ways, I still need work and retraining.

Here are only a few instances I can look back on, in my life, where a finality in one area created a finality in another, totally unrelated, area. The reasons why this is the case, are totally hidden. I can’t understand the how’s or why’s of this phenomenon. It just “is”.

One such time was after divorcing my children’s dad. I had been a horrible nail biter all of my life. It was stress related, I believe. When I divorced him, not only did the marriage end, but so did the nail biting. I didn’t even realize it until a couple of weeks later, when I looked at my nails and found they had been growing and in fact, needed a trim. Strange.

The next instance is my once distorted views of myself and people around me… remnants of a psychopath’s influence and abuse, two years prior. When I was able to end my dealings with the narcissist in my life, I found that I had greater peace regarding the abuse from the former shit-head. I wasn’t worried about the smear campaigns that would inevitably come. I didn’t worry about seeing the latter again, except for the nausea I would inevitably endure as a result.

Remember the ring that I couldn’t face? The one that the psychopath tormented me with? The one I was afraid to dispose of incorrectly, believing that, in doing so would unleash all hell and all manner of evil onto the new owner. Yeah that view was odd and wrong, yet it’s how I felt. Where is that ring now?

On the ring finger of my right hand. It’s pretty and I deserve to enjoy it. He owed me something for the torment, anyway.

My point is, even when your triggers are at their peak or you are missing the abuser, once again falling into the same old trap and cycle… good things are waiting. Wonderful growth and healing. Who knows what will fall away ad you heal? The more you allow yourselves to stay stuck in an endless cycle of abuse, the more you are forcing yourself to endure and cannot receive the abundance of light and peace regarding the abuse at the end.

Here’s the conundrum: you can only do what you are able, at any given time, having to be “ready” to take that mountainous leap, yet to let go is the only way to start YOUR journey. Your life.

You never know what is around the corner, but once you are there, you’ll be glad for it.

How do I know if he isn’t just being a jerk? Red flags that should never be ignored…


So many questions about relationships are out there, but this is one I have personally had over the years, especially after dealing with a Psychopath in my life, and then a Narcissist. Am I being unreasonable? Is my “narc-dar” so fine-tuned that I am actually “labeling” someone, unjustly?

That’s one end of the spectrum…

Lets imagine that my Narcissist radar IS fine tuned, yet (as I have already done) I STILL fall for another one of “them”. Yes, my senses are keen to attributes that people show, which are Narcissistic or Psychopathic… as long as I’m not personally involved with that person in one way or another. That doesn’t mean that I still didn’t see those characteristics. I was battling with the question I posed above. “Maybe I was being unreasonable.” and, “I know the tell-tale red-flags… but I haven’t given things enough time. Maybe I was imagining things…” Maybe I was “un” labeling them, when they SHOULD have been labeled. I was calling them “nice” when I should have called “ass-hole!”.

Do you see the confusion? The unwavering question/answer sessions? I’m going to try to clear this up for all of us. Of course as new survivors, you need to go through purging and processing periods. You NEED to learn to see characteristics in people that DO make your intuition yell. You will become a bit paranoid for a while, just for the sole purpose of never allowing yourself to go through that experience again. After all of the purging and processing, you’ll find yourselves being tested on your “skills” and newly placed (or reaffirmed) boundaries. Ready or not. Much of the time, your first testing will come only when you THINK you are ready and can face any demons that come your way, only to find out that you weren’t as strong as you thought. Trust me, been there, done that, myself.

Lets talk about the “jerks” out there.

When I think of a jerk, I think of a man whose view of women, in general, is skewed by upbringing or personal experiences. To some of them, women are only there to cook, clean, do yard work and bear children. Seen and not heard. Some think they are god’s gift to women, and set out to prove it… in spades. The jerks are out to get as many notches on their belts as humanly possible. To sleep with many women, then brag to their friends, is a glorious, pride-filled accomplishment. The jerks have no self-control, nor do they want any. They cannot control their tempers or their boyish drive. They are out for themselves, without regard for the women (or people in general) who will be hurt by them along the way. Does this make them Narcissistic? Psychopathic? Sometimes, yes, but not always. It ALWAYS, ALWAYS makes them jerks. Will they change in time? Probably, but not always. I personally know of a few “jerks” that became wonderful people as they got a little older. This is NOT the case with Narcissists or Psychopaths.

How can you tell them apart, in the beginning stages of a relationship?

You really can’t tell the nice guys from the jerks or Psychopaths, initially. They always put their best foot forward and their sweetest face on, when pursuing you. They are always nice, considerate, there for you and attentive. Always. The ones with the dark side, don’t want you to see that side of themselves. If they did, then they wouldn’t get the notch on their belt (for the jerks), or solidify their current choice of Narcissistic supply (for the Narc or Psych). The nice guys are in there, too… showing you their nice face, smile, empathy and compassion for others. These good attributes can be mimicked skillfully by the other types. The difference in seeing them for who they are, is in the time you spend getting to KNOW THEM! The ones who are putting on a false front, cannot hold onto that for long. In time, they will become comfortable or haughty. They will become confident that they’ve ensnared their chosen “beloved”, and will let their masks slip. It’s arrogance that will be their down fall, as well as pride and feeling comfortable enough to be themselves.

There are no grand epiphanies or treatments out there that will change the personalities or characteristics of the disordered. Psychopaths will remain psychopaths. Narcissists will always be Narcissists. There’s no “waiting” it out or fixing them. There’s no “loving” them or being “patient” enough, to show them the errors of their ways. What they are, will always be what they are. The only thing you can do to protect yourselves in the long run is by being aware of the base red-flags, which should NEVER be ignored.

The first and biggest red-flag you should be aware of, has nothing really to do with them. It has to do with US! How fast are you falling for the niceties, and allowing your hearts to swoon? Are your boundaries slipping rather quickly, when you KNOW BETTER? Are you falling for someone who hasn’t proven they are who they portray themselves to be? Has it only been a week? A month?

STOP!!!

You are in danger, when you let your heart “go” too early. It’s difficult at times, to keep your head on straight and your heart in check. If you do “fall”, all too often you will find yourself in an abusive situation. In the very least, you will be used as another “notch” or momentary gratification for the jerks. There is a lot to be said for allowing things to be “tried by fire”. We want to believe the best in others. Once our hearts have won the argument, if it happens too early, we have to be right about them at any cost. If abuse starts to show, the internal dialogue shows up, “He’s just had a bad day..”, “I KNOW he’s not like that! He did [this and that] for me..”. Too many times there will be damage done, if you haven’t paid attention early on. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but rarely.

Is he telling you, “you are the one!” and Soul mate“, within just a couple of weeks or a month of dating? How about “I love you!”

Mirroring comes into play, here, when you are dealing with narcissists or Psychopaths. Is he everything you have ever wanted or needed? Is he saying “just the right thing” at “just the right time”? Is he saying or doing those things that no one could possibly know about? Do they instantaneously tug at your heart-strings? This is planned. He’s watched and took note of areas that you need. He’s an ACTOR filling a ROLE for one purpose only. He wants YOU as his personal TOY! NO ONE is that perfect!! Listen to him, when he talks about himself. Do you EVER hear about HIS mistakes in relationships? Or is his ex-wife, girlfriend, etc. “crazy”? They are ALWAYS superficial, when showing you they “care”. It’s always to “do” and “be” what you need at any given time. “Johnny-on-the-spot”. Have they showed you anything that says they care about your heart, other than just words? I don’t mean buying you flowers. What has he done to show you he cares for you as a person or cherishes your heart? If all he does is superficial, self-centered, etc. please get away from them. This is the point when they start throwing exclamations of “love” and “soul-mate”, which is after they are certain you have been ‘caught’ and their supply is secured. You are dealing with someone who is needing a source of supply. Get away quick!

At the very least, he’s showing signs of being insecure. If he is insecure, you will see he cares about you…too much. He will show his “love for you” by being self-sacrificial, almost martyr-ish. This still isn’t a good thing. You might be opening yourself up for a whole lot of jealousy and obsessiveness. No fun, and never, ever good.

But I trusted him!” Yeah, welcome to the club. 

The only way you can protect yourself, is, to give things plenty of time. That is, only if they are showing you “good”, and not anything that would alert you to possibly being narcissistic or psychopathic, such as “mirroring” behaviors, superficiality, self-centeredness, and so-on. Not to worry, soon they will show their “true” colors. The disordered can’t hold their facade for much more than a few weeks. You will begin to see behaviors that are intended to bait you into reactions, no matter how small. Once instance should be questioned but allowed only after speaking up about it. Twice, is a character flaw or outright abusive personality, and you need to get away from that relationship.

If they have proven themselves to be decent and normal human beings, still give things more time. That person might not be right for you. Have you seen their temper yet? I suggest waiting until you, at least, see them irritated. You want to know if their temper is one that will still protect YOU!

You are worth the time it takes to get to know someone. You are important, too. We have only one life. One heart. One psyche. Please pay attention…