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Thread: How did you get your life together after the Narcissist

  1. #21
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    Hello

    Yes thank you so much, As you mention, Its about getting to the root of why we allowed them in in the first place. I also saw strong parallels between my father and this man. SO yes, on some level, maybe I was trying to resolve my relationship wth my father.
    I am definitely the black sheep, its something we've said openly in my family. Im still debating whether going home for xmas is a good idea or not this year, we dont openly fight but there is a lot of undercurrent.
    Id love to know what resources helped you. Lets PM.
    Thank You.
    CP

  2. #22
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    Originally Posted by Cocoapetal
    Hello

    Yes thank you so much, As you mention, Its about getting to the root of why we allowed them in in the first place. I also saw strong parallels between my father and this man. SO yes, on some level, maybe I was trying to resolve my relationship wth my father.
    I am definitely the black sheep, its something we've said openly in my family. Im still debating whether going home for xmas is a good idea or not this year, we dont openly fight but there is a lot of undercurrent.
    Id love to know what resources helped you. Lets PM.
    Thank You.
    CP
    Sent you a PM with links. Please let me know if you did not receive it.

    I just returned from Thanksgiving with my NPD mom and some other assorted family members with....issues, lol.

    In previous years, there have been blow-outs, doors slammed, drive-aways, crying.

    This year, one particular person tried so hard to create a major scene, with me at the center. In previous years, this would have created such a scene, that none of us would have spoken until probably late Spring of the following year, not kidding.

    But just this weekend, when this drama occurred, I calmly went to sleep, and the next morning, I calmly had a discussion with the people involved, and I calmly explained something, while maintaining my position (I'm always expected to give in, be the doormat), and I sat there with a smile on my face, my arms open, and a level tone. Guess what we all did next.....we all went out to breakfast and had the rest of our weekend, all getting along.

    I 1000% attribute this to the help I've received, in the form of the sites I sent you and the therapist I sent you. Which took ONE VISIT.

    We cannot keep these people out of our lives, nor can we do the "I'm not visiting them for xyz holiday" forever.

    In my case, I like too many other family members to cut off the bad ones. So, I get along, but I maintain my boundaries, maintain my positions about certain things, while not letting myself get pushed around. All with a smile, a normal tone of voice, and a sense of calm.

  3. #23
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    I did recieve the PM, Thank you :)

    You're right, If i dont go home, Id be the only one who isnt around for xmas. I cant cut them out forever even though I want to.

    SO good to hear that you were able to hold on to yourself in situations that are usually triggering. I guess they are used to you reacting in a certain way/ be a doormat and you didnt give in this time. How long have you been on this "journey'?
    DO you have a daily list of recovery things that you do?
    As mentioned earlier, Im making a new morning routine for myself.. I haven't had one for years now.
    xx

  4. #24
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    I avoided diagnosing him and victimizing myself. I chalked up my experience as a lousy one and decided what I wanted to learn in terms of actual life skills as opposed to carrying around my 'story' to keep myself small.

    Since we get to decide whether our experiences will strengthen us and make us wiser and more confident as we move forward, or whether we will stagnate and drill ourselves into a deeper hole to climb out of, I made it a private goal to surprise myself with my resilience and ability to bounce back to create a fabulous future for myself.

    We select the voice we run in our own head. It's a habit that we can't change unless we recognize what WE are doing with it. A coach at work said that it takes 21 days for a new habit to anchor into automatic behavior, so I opted to monitor and 'catch' my critical voice and switch it to one on an inspiring coach. It was the best, most effective life change I've ever made.

    To this day I notice my inner voice defaulting to little mantras like, "I can do this..." or, "I'll give this my best shot..." or cheesy statements like, "I love you, babe, we've got this..." I also make a deliberate choice each morning about what kind of day I intend to have.

    You body will play out your intentions. If you're telling yourself lousy things to fight against all the time you're making each day into an unnecessarily difficult climb, and your body will revolt against all that hard work. I'd consider using meditation to teach myself how to 'float'. I'd start opting to float through my days as an observer who inspires me with the same kindness and encouragement I'd give to a friend.

    If you can regard your highest intelligence as your friend rather than an adversarial judge and jury, you'll teach yourself how to thrive. No ex is worth withering over.

    Head high.
    I love the part about selecting the voice in our head. Im going to actively try and internalise that . Ill spend the next few weeks developing my inner cheer leader.
    yes I agree, my body follows my intentions. Sometimes I dont want to get out of bed. Few days later I am sick and can hardly leave the house..
    I know its psychosomatic as Im hardly ever sick.
    I like the part about ditching the story, its easy to get attached to being a victim. I dont want this in myself, I know i fall into that ditch sometimes.

    thanks again for your reply

    xx
    CP

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  6. #25
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    Originally Posted by Cocoapetal
    How long have you been on this "journey'?
    DO you have a daily list of recovery things that you do?
    I broke up with my NPD guy a little over a year ago, and it was through the ending of that relationship that I finally recognized the pattern and the similarities in other relationships, although this one really threw me for such a loop, as his mask was on so tight, and I missed/ignored so many of the signs.

    A few months into our relationship, I went to a therapist, as I thought I was crazy. She immediately, in one session, had this whole thing pegged, but I walked away from her, as I didn't want to hear it. I wanted to hear "hearts and roses", but what I got was "liar and narcissist". One year later, I returned to her, and she smiled when I said, "um, I'm back.....you were so right".

    As for daily rituals, etc., I don't really do any of that. I first went through bouts of reading and watching youtube videos and doing some of the other things I PM'd you about (the phone call, the Skype therapist). I'd become obsessed, taking hours and hours, watching & reading. Then, I'd lay off of it, for literally months, and then go back to it.

    Just now, after listening to "Dirty John", I picked up on so much more that happened in my situation, so I've been researching more.

    And I'm researching so much that, as I said, I'm seriously looking into a therapy certification with an NPD focus. I talked to a therapist friend a few months ago, as she is focusing more on it as well.

    All the stuff that's advised is fine: going for walks, yoga, hot baths, pedicures.....blah blah blahbity blah.

    There is deep-rooted stuff from your childhood that must be sorted out before you can take one more step in any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Even female friendships. If you look back on your female friendships, I bet you'll find some ways in which you "played small", possibly early in childhood. I know I did, and this is simply us acting out what we grew up with.

    You will need to sort out your legal/business situation as soon as possible. The best advice I have for dealing with him is Gray Rock. I'm sure you've heard of it? It's to be as boring as a "gray rock" whenever you do need to speak. Monotone voice, simple facts, don't ask about him, don't tell him anything about yourself.

    I just read about a woman who has to deal with her NPD ex-husband, with the kids. She goes so "gray rock" it has stopped him in his tracks.
    He'll say:
    "Well since you didn't pack her purple socks, I'm going to try to get more visitation. You'll be hearing from my lawyer!!!"
    And she'll respond:
    "Her purple socks got torn. I washed them with that new detergent, you know, the one with the yellow package? It got my towels so clean, and my t-shirts smelled so wonderful! I had a coupon for it. They had chicken thighs on special! I'm going to make this new recipe I found online. My friend Sarah found it, and it was so awesome. I think I'll try that new pan I just got. I've been dying to try it.
    Speaking of the washing machine, I saw an ad for a new dryer. Can you believe how much they are now?"
    And she goes on and on, with the most boring of details, until he finally just goes, "Um, ok, bye", and he forgets what he was harassing her about!

  7. #26
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    That's awesome, LH. I love that tactic.

    My ex husband used to harass me about money. I sometimes had to ask for an advance on the monthly child support because unexpected expenses came up. I knew I'd have to listen to a 20 minute lecture on how irresponsible I was with money. So I'd just hold the phone away from my ear and every so often I'd hold it up to my mouth to say "Yes, you're right. I know, I am irresponsible". I always got the advance lol. As long as I verbally agreed with him he would send that check!

  8. #27
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    That's awesome, LH. I love that tactic.

    My ex husband used to harass me about money. I sometimes had to ask for an advance on the monthly child support because unexpected expenses came up. I knew I'd have to listen to a 20 minute lecture on how irresponsible I was with money. So I'd just hold the phone away from my ear and every so often I'd hold it up to my mouth to say "Yes, you're right. I know, I am irresponsible". I always got the advance lol. As long as I verbally agreed with him he would send that check!
    Ha! That's actually another tactic that was written about in the same article. Just agree, give them the positive reinforcement they need.

    I use that one with my mother. Works every time.

  9. #28
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    Originally Posted by Cocoapetal
    I love the part about selecting the voice in our head. Im going to actively try and internalise that . Ill spend the next few weeks developing my inner cheer leader.
    I've found it helpful to play my 'adult' voice in response to the whiney child who wants to see things negatively and hang on to past hurts. I've helped my small self envision some carrot in the future, and I talk myself into getting THERE instead of hiding behind unnecessary barriers. So it's not about doing fake rah-rah's when I don't feel up to them, it's about finding my true inner motivation: How can I behave my way into someday being proud of how I handled this time when I look back?

    Originally Posted by Cocoapetal
    yes I agree, my body follows my intentions. Sometimes I dont want to get out of bed. Few days later I am sick and can hardly leave the house..
    I know its psychosomatic as Im hardly ever sick.
    Use bribery. Set up rewards for every small milestone, and then work your way toward earning those. Whether it's treating yourself to favorite takeout if you can move through your workday focused on lifting UP the people around you, or whether it's shopping for new bedding on the weekend if you can identify 1 new potential friend that week--little games like this always move me out of my own way, and they direct my focus onto what kind of service I can be to someone else.

    During times of grief or anxiety, I temporarily fill my calendar with commitments to friends, neighbors and family that I won't break. Whenever I 'show up' for other people, I feel valuable for making someone else's life easier during a time when I can't enjoy very much myself. When I'm tenderized by grief, I can relax my ego and be kind and more generous to the shortcomings of others. I can relax into being a good listener instead of trying to drive anyone's perceptions of me. This grounds me, and it's strengthened my bonds with people in ways that never would have been possible before.

    Originally Posted by Cocoapetal
    I like the part about ditching the story, its easy to get attached to being a victim. I dont want this in myself, I know i fall into that ditch sometimes.
    Yes! The 'story' could have become a real growth killer for me. So rather than adopting a victim role, I appreciate the experience for opening my eyes to the strength and resilience I want to gain as life skills. The idea that I can become BETTER from a lousy experience had not occurred to me before.

    Head high, we all learn by living.

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