In the beginning of the end of my toxic relationship with my X-monster, I can’t say things were pleasant, easy or anything of the sort. There was nothing easy at all. The easy thing, however, would have been to allow myself to be defeated by the emotional/psychological rape and minefield I had been subjected to. I couldn’t stand the idea that, with every painful echo of his voice left in my thoughts and memories, he would be allowed to win this battle. He set out to create a moldable glob. One that he could manipulate into being. One that he could pressure into silence for the duration of whatever life I would have left. I couldn’t stand the thought that in getting into the relationship, I willingly went to war. The war was over my own psychological health and being. I couldn’t stand the idea, after fighting so hard to get away in the end, that he could ultimately win.
I wouldn’t and could most definitely NEVER allow him to win. For the sake of all that is or ever was, good.
I’ve mentioned before, how, after initially getting away from the monster, I was hit with daily anxiety attacks for about 2 weeks after. I want to stop and make known that in the middle of several of these episodes, I DID try to call in to work and try to get the day off. Things were so excruciating for me in the beginning that it was VERY difficult to just leave my own home. I was scared, pure and simple. Even though I didn’t initiate this step myself, it became the first step toward later and greater healing. My boss said simply, “No, we really need you to come in.” This was his common response each time I tried to cry “uncle” in those days that were pure hell for me. I was forced to leave my home and go to work. I didn’t want to go. I got angry at his supposed callousness toward my plight. I was angry at him, but I still went to work. I didn’t want others to suffer for my absence. I couldn’t afford the time off financially, either. I sheepishly opened my door, walked to the carport, checked for any sign of my X lurking around, then RAN to my car! I have recently called my boss to thank him for that. He didn’t know it, but he was instrumental in the beginning stages of my recovery, and may have well saved my life. He didn’t know how to respond, but said, “thank you..”. He must have thought I was off my rocker. I don’t care. I appreciated that in his refusal to give me the day off, he actually DID help me in the biggest way.
1) in the beginning of healing from a toxic relationship, it is MOST IMPERATTIVE for you to MOVE! I don’t mean to move from your home, but refuse to allow yourself to be a prisoner to the hell that is from mental and emotional purging. That’s what I attributed the anxiety attacks to. I was in an ever-increasing state of severe anxiety, at the hands of my psychopathic X. When I was finally free, that overload had to go SOMEWHERE. It was natural for it to come out in some way. It had to. Pick up your normal, daily routine IMMEDIATELY, regardless how you feel. Move your feet, especially when it seems impossible. It’ll give you strength for the rest of your healing recovery.
I realize that even though things seem as though it has been easy for me to move forward, I can assure you, nothing has been easy or simple. The only thing has been at all easy is, DECIDING NOT TO BE STUCK. All I knew is, I didn’t want to hang onto anything left from that POS. That included lingering lack of confidence, fear, being unsure and scared of my surroundings, etc. I recognized the areas that were important to me, were a favorite choice of attack for him. I refused to let him win. I wanted things back. I wanted ME back…everything that made me, me, that he tried to destroy. I set out to reaffirm who I am, and the areas that meant so much to me as an individual. Keep in mind that this part of the process has taken pretty much the entire past year to get to this point. Everything I would do, was out of necessity for survival and to contradict every area my X tried to infiltrate. If he tried to shock me out of confidence in any particular area (such as singing for instance), I was determined to take it back, in whatever means I could. If he said, “You suck at “—” “, I would purposefully fight against it by acting in direct opposition to that conditioning. That’s pretty much the avenue that’s been taken through out this process. I would see his face and hear his voice in every “I can’t” statement that would hit me, or the, “I’m scared” statements, and decide to do the exact opposite. I was still afraid, but I couldn’t let him win…EVER. I took back as much confidence as I could. There are areas that I haven’t found out how to conquer yet, but as my life over this past year and 1/2 has proved to me… each victory truly HAS showed with each first uncertain step.
There has never been any “self-help” books for me, or “How to” articles. All I had to go on has been the support of other bloggers that I’ve met in this blogosphere, which I don’t mean to negate in the LEAST! Without your support and strength, I wouldn’t be doing near this well. I also had the putrid taste in my mouth left from that puke’s psycho-babble, and I wanted nothing to do with it. I recognized that the entire relationship, including every tiny bit of ammo he tried to use against me from the beginning, was nothing but falsities and absolute LIES. I wanted no part of anything left after I got away from him.
After my thinking shifted from him and the relationship, to me and what about me needed to change so I don’t have any sort of repeat ever again in my life, I started doing some serious soul-searching. I had a few talks with my Mom during this, which helped me to gain a better understanding as to WHO I am, and how I came to have some of the issues I’ve had throughout my life. Each one of these things that have transpired, has worked together to bring me to this place, now.
There isn’t one thing that I’ve tried with confidence, other than the fact that I needed to do “something”. In regards to boundaries, it was sort of by accident that I formed a game plan. I haven’t “arrived” there, of course, in that I am nowhere near completely and 100% confident and comfortable in every situation. Not in the least, really, though this is getting better. With more practice, I know this will continue to grow and thrive. I recognized the fact that the boundaries I had that WERE solid, were shaky in the aftermath of the pathological, toxic relationship. I had to reaffirm those boundaries, first. But everything had been shaken. EVERYTHING! I only recognized the need…not the “how’s”. Step one… learn to recognize and accept when your intuition is trying to get your attention. Learn to act accordingly. Let “no” be the #1 word you say in such an instance. It may be easier to walk away from the situation or person entirely, until you are stronger in that area. I just “started” doing this. It was the direction that seemed the most obvious. It was easy to recognize that it was HIGH time that I believed my own intuition. It’s easy to say that, I believe, after getting out of a relationship with a Narc or Psychopath. Intuition is important, necessary and 100% unequivocally, absolutely CORRECT…absolutely EVERY time! This fact has finally been beaten into my otherwise once senseless head! Ok, I finally get it and accept it. It’s easy to accept when so many areas are still raw and painful.
Start allowing yourself to “see” the difficult facts about yourself, which caught his attention in the first place, and then enabled the abuse to continue. You are NOT a bad person, nor is any of the abuse YOUR FAULT!!! Please believe that. However, that said, there are personality characteristics that are attractive to the psychopath, sociopath and/or narcissist. High levels of empathy and caring, exist in the target. If a person has ever been abused as a child, this is something that is most often visible to the predator. It means that the intended target might have some self-esteem issues (just an example) and are an easy meal. The target doesn’t need to tell the psychopath about her abusive past. He already knows by watching and taking mental note. Again, this is NOT your fault! YOU ARE NOT BAD!! However, it is in the weakened areas within us, that enabled the abuse to start, but most of all to CONTINUE! It’s why we didn’t get out sooner. It’s why he was able to manipulate and redirect our thinking for a time. It’s why we isolated ourselves from friends and family. it’s why we willingly lived in fear. Why would we do that??
This is another step that started with being unsure of which direction and step to take. I recognized my previous inability to believe my own intuition…as if I actually knew better… yeah right! My past can attest to how wrong my thinking has been throughout my life, until now. What makes it so hard to stand up for ourselves? Fear of negative emotion? Do we believe that our existence is actually for the guys in the world? Are we REALLY meant to be and remain as, tools?
Each one of us has a different story to tell, as to why we would allow for such atrocities in our lives. There are many reasons. Repeated invalidation while growing up. Previous physical, mental, emotional or even sexual abuse by others..maybe by family member, preacher, childcare provider…what was your Achilles heel? I believe I can safely say, NONE OF US…NOT ONE…HAS EVER WANTED TO ENDURE ANY ABUSE FROM ANYONE! None of us wanted the abuse. We didn’t go into the relationship, thinking, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he manipulated me into relaxing my boundaries enough that he could keep me silent around others?” Of course we didn’t. However, in our actions and refusal to stand up for ourselves, the Psychopath actually treats us as if we “asked” for him to be abusive. In our inaction, we invalidated our need to be treated as wonderful loving people, and instead we validated HIS need to CONTROL AND ABUSE US! How do we break this?
Quietly, at first, if it’s necessary to teach ourselves. The important things is in the action. it’s in recognizing our own need for boundaries, holding fast to them..and expecting others to respect them as well. If someone is being disrespectful of our boundaries, it’ll spark some “red-flag” moments. Learn to recognize these times, and DON’T HESITATE to react. It doesn’t mean to be mean to someone. It does mean, however, that you express in some way, your displeasure. You re-emphasize that particular boundary and demand that it be honored. If that person refuses, then walk away from them. They aren’t worth your time. You don’t have to appologize or leave an explaination for your departure. It’s in your departure that they will understand. They already know they were being an ass. You don’t have to tell them. Each time, you will become stronger and more self-assured.
This is the place I’m in now, but with some wonderful twists showing along the way.
Succeeding in the recovery/healing process is, quite litterally, a step away. With each action there is an equal and opposite REACTION. If you start moving forward (whatever direction that might be for you), recovery will meet you in the middle. Every step, every motion, every necessary progression. Recovery and healing will come…and keep coming…even if you don’t know “how” to accomplish “something”. All you need to do is do “something” that is moving progressively forward. You will find your way through.
This is a long process, but as long as we NEVER stop, or call defeat, we will make it.
I’m stronger than I was yesterday. I’m most definitely stronger than I was a year ago! I’m glad for guiding hands…where ever they are. I see the evidence…