Category: Red Flags

Top 4 reasons why you should heed what your body is telling you

 

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We all inhabit our bodies but have you noticed how we pay little attention to it when it speaks, whispers or gives us a nudge about that nth cup of coffee we’re drinking, that pack of cigarettes we have consumed, or the 4-hour sleep we just had?

Are we simply too busy to take care of ourselves?

Do you listen to your body when it aches or do you get annoyed instead and make sure that any pain you feel is immediately quelled by medication, food, an entertaining distraction or even by a relationship?

When a pang of emotional pain comes up, do you feel into it or do you brush it away for maybe another day or two or more until you conveniently forget there was a twinge of feeling in the first place?

Or maybe you literally hurtle on and pretend that you haven’t felt or aren’t feeling anything at all?

I did all these and more. The end result was not a pretty sight or experience – though it was tremendously a learning one.

I finally listened to my body when I had no choice. When I did, it gave me all I needed to know about my choices, my life and my Self. All the answers to the questions I ever had were literally right under my nose, I just didn’t pay attention.

I had to learn the below lessons the hard way enough for me to know the following statements as truths:

 

1 Our body knows more than our head ever could

 

“We have to give our bodies credit for their innate wisdom. We also don’t need to know exactly why something is happening in our bodies in order to respond to it. You don’t need to know why your heart is racing or why you feel like crying. Understanding comes after you have allowed yourself to experience what you’re feeling.

Healing is an organic process that happens in the body as well as in the intellect. So if you are feeling “out of sorts” or “off balance,” just be with that feeling; allow it to come up. After you have allowed yourself to experience it, take a moment and go back over the events yourself to experience it, take a moment and go back over the events of the last few hours or days. If you are feeling ill or having symptoms, reflecting on recent events may give you a clue about what preceded the symptoms.”

Dr. Christiane Northrup, Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom p. 53

 

For years I dismissed, denied the messages my body was telling me. I didn’t pay attention to my gut feelings even when it was shouting at me to do so.

My head was blissfully unaware that my body was already showing signs of sadness, unexpressed anger, anxiety and misery that it gave me an ultimatum: deny to death the reality staring right in front of me OR live in the lightness of truth and freedom. I chose the former. As a result, I experienced a slew of physical problems that I shrugged off as inconveniences.

For instance, during the last three years of my being in a pseudolove relationship, my red blood cell count was below the normal; I had gastroesophageal reflux disease; I felt weak, fatigued and heavy during the afternoons; I was obese; I found it difficult to deeply inhale and exhale; I was always catching my breath; I had idiopathic urticaria which kept me up at night; I had insomnia; the entire left part of my body – from my head down to my feet – was in pain; I had TMJ dysfunction.

Psychologically, I felt fearful, anxious, I was constantly doubting myself. I had no energy for work.

I felt so unsure about my decisions and I was constantly questioning my choices. I snapped at anyone and everyone for trivial reasons. I’d cry for no reason. I was constantly afraid.

Little did I know that all these were signs my body was giving off. My body was forcing me to pay attention to the abuse and lies I was receiving from my narc-ex as well as the lies and denials I was telling myself.

When I finally faced and paid attention to my emotional issues, the physical symptoms I experienced dissolved.

My gastroesophageal reflux disease cleared when I did the healing work that helped me let go of my fears and admit my  denials.

I was able to sleep soundly at night when I was able to name the dysfunction my narc-ex had as well as acknowledge my being codependent.

Acknowledging and accepting my flaws and mistakes were painful but doing so literally lightened my emotional and physical load.

The pain on the entire left side of my body literally lifted and dissolved when I cried my guts out. I was able to do deep, deep, deep breathing when I faced, acknowledged, experienced and went into my sadness and grief.

Doing all these helped me realize that my body was aching to get all these emotional toxins of abuse out of my system, it was only waiting for me to pay attention to it.

 

2 My head could stay in denial but my body couldn’t, no matter how hard I try.

“We deny because we’re built to see what we want to see.”

Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear

 

I was in denial about being in denial that it was impossible for me to see something that was right in front of me.

To be fair to my body, it was extremely patient. It tried its best to work with what I was giving it – or more appropriately what I was denying it. But the truth was simply too powerful to be disregarded.

 

Essentially, my convictions were simply too flimsy when held to the light of honesty. And my body made sure it let me know it wasn’t happy with my decisions.

 

Ultimately, living the truth saved my life, my heart and my soul. I was sincerely renewed by it.  But the process was not easy. I was dismissing the truth for a long time because I was afraid it would be painful.

I was afraid I’d lose everything I held dear.

I was afraid I’d have nothing and I’d be back to square one.

I was afraid that I’d struggle, be unhappy and miserable.

I was also afraid of what everyone would think of me. I was terrified that all I worked hard for will be destroyed.

Guess what, all these things happened anyway BECAUSE I dismissed the truth; BECAUSE I didn’t follow my gut feelings.

I was actually already sad and miserable before I realized I was. Everything I was afraid to lose were everything I never had in the first place. I lost all the illusions my head was working overtime to build and maintain.

I also realized I was simply propping up the illusions I wanted to believe.

 

There are simple and easy ways to listen and heed what your body is telling you.

All you have to do is be open to its mutterings and pay attention. You don’t need to do anything big or dramatic.

Start from where you are right now.

What are you doing?

What are you feeling?

Is there something in this post or this site that resonates with you?

Notice how you’re breathing.

Are any thoughts coming up right now? If there are, observe them. Watch them.

Be aware of your whole body right now.

Be aware of your eyes looking at the computer screen or while reading these words.

Be aware of your hands. Where are they? What are they doing?

Be aware of your fingers.

Be aware of your feet. Feel where they are stepping on.

Be aware of your toes.

These are simple, fast and easy ways to connect with your body.

Another way is to stand in front of the mirror and look at your face.

Look at your eyes and say, “I love you.”

Look at your nose and say, “I love you.”

Look at your lips and say, “I love you.”

Look at the space between your nose and lips then say, “I love you.”

Look at your chin and say, “I love you.”

Look at your cheeks and say, “I love you.”

Look at your forehead and say, “I love you.”

Look at the space between your eyes and eyebrow and say, “I love you.”

Now, what do you feel? Sure, these may be cheesy or corny but what have you got to lose by not doing these? All you need to do is be aware.

Let your feelings out if you need to. Simply allow it and be with it.

Your head may lie and deny, but your body can’t.

“The body never lies.”

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

 

 

3         The body has a mind of its own, and it’s not in the brain, it’s in the gut.

Some call this intuition. Some call this gut feel.

In the medical field, the gut is referred to as the second brain. It is `equipped with its own reflexes and senses. Its behavior is independent from the brain.’

“The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

“The system is way too complicated to have evolved only to make sure things move out of your colon,” says Emeran Mayer, professor of physiology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). For example, scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around.

The second brain informs our state of mind in other more obscure ways, as well. “A big part of our emotions are probably influenced by the nerves in our gut,” Mayer says. Butterflies in the stomach—signaling in the gut as part of our physiological stress response..”

 

Japanese Samurais call the space two inches below the navel as Hara.  Samurais are taught early on to focus on this space before they go to a fight. Putting attention on the Hara allows them to fight intuitively and be aware of things they couldn’t wrap their head around.

“They say that when you are fighting there is no time. Mind needs time to function; it calculates. If you are attacked and your mind thinks about how to protect, you have missed the point already, you have lost.

…Below the navel there is a center, the hara, which functions timelessly. If the focusing is at the hara and the fighter is fighting, then this fight is intuitive, not intellectual. Before you attack him, he knows. It is a subtle feeling in the hara, not in the head. It is not an inference…Before you attack him, before you think of attacking him, the thought has reached him. His hara is hit and he is ready to protect himself. Even before you have attacked, he is in defense, he has protected himself.”

 

For years I had doubts and misgivings about my narc-ex. The first time I saw him –  without knowing anything about him or even talking to him – the word that instantly popped in my head was the word “gigolo.” Of course I had to dismiss this as I had no proof.

I also thought, “How mean of me to judge someone I don’t even know!” Fourteen years later, my gut feelings proved me right.

I also had goose bumps when, a mere week after we met, he presented to me a 20+ page story of a psychologically-troubled man who had a wife named “Jen” – which he later carelessly and obviously altered to “Jem” when he saw my discomfort. He blamed me later on for not appreciating his effort to place my name on the story.

I made sure my doubts were dismissed and rationalized away. Looking back now, the “doubts” and “misgivings” I felt were actually REAL yet I focused on things that will distract me from these. I didn’t want these doubts to be real. I wanted them to go away.

Little did I know, my body was already aware of the truth and it was doing its best to help me pay attention. It wanted me to be aware of feelings, danger signals I didn’t want to look at or acknowledge. Now I know I should have. Now that you know, make sure you do.

“I am where I am now because I followed my gut.”

Oprah

 

4          Don’t under estimate the power of the body.

The body is a different entity in itself. I now know better to treat it the way I would treat a friend, family or person I respect, love and care for.

Essentially, my body is the first and foremost partner I need to know about and be in love with – not someone else.

I also now know that the least we could do is value and appreciate every cell in our body. These cells understand what our mind can’t grasp. Nothing escapes their attention.

“..whereas the mind can deceive, be deceived, get confused, or misinterpret, the body cannot lie. Its response to past trauma or present danger is infallible. The body is the messenger of our intuition. Its job is to wake us up – to alert us to a present or pending threat or correctly interpret past trauma.”

Peter Calhoun

 

If you can listen to your iPod, radio or iTunes, you can easily listen to your body. If you have the time and energy to wear headphones and listen to music, there is no reason for you to not listen to the messages your body is giving off.

All you need to do is be aware of the fact that your body is always looking out for your best interest.

For ways on how to listen and heed what your body is telling you – I will be giving away a free ebook: ‘Tools I Used to Leave, Heal and Recover from a Pseudo-Love Relationship” very soon.

Photo Credit: LaVladina via Photopin cc

 

Narcissism and Codependence are Made For Each Other

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If my ex was a narcissist, what was I?

This question came up when I was in the midst of all these information about  Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

It seemed inevitable to ask what it was about me that made someone who has this personality disorder be `attracted’ to me?

Also, it seemed incomplete – now that I have found the truth about my ex – if I didn’t  find out the truth about myself.

Reading my journal from more than a decade ago revealed cringing details about how I looked at and devalued my self.

I thought of myself as “inferior.” I felt so insecure, I thought I looked “stupid,” “I hated myself” and even judged myself as “totally irrelevant.”

At 20, I felt so desperate for a relationship and was lonely. I felt no one could like me.

My negative self-beliefs trumped the hard truths I couldn’t see: that I am worthy, I am lovable, I am beautiful – I just didn’t believe I was.

From my journal entries I realized the following truths:

  • I had low self-esteem
  • I talked derogatorily towards myself
  • I hated myself
  • I was too hard on myself
  • I was mean to myself before my ex ever was
  • I idealized my ex
  • I saw my ex as I wanted to see him and not as what he really was
  • I dismissed my feelings of doubt and ambivalence about the relationship

 

Could I have attracted someone who thought and felt the same way I thought and felt about myself?

Was my ex attracted to me because he sensed my insecurity and knew he could manipulate this to his advantage?

Was I disrespectful towards my ex by idealizing him?

Was I being self-disrespectful by being too hard on myself? By calling myself stupid? By talking down on myself?

Was I dishonoring my own opinions, dismissing my own thoughts when I didn’t pay attention to the doubts I sensed about my ex and the relationship?

 

Along with my research about Narcissism, I also encountered the term Codependent and Inverted Narcissist.

In Sam Vaknin’s site, he defines codependents as:

 

Codependents

People who depend on other people for their emotional gratification and the performance of Ego or daily functions. They are needy, demanding, and submissive. They fear abandonment, cling and display immature behaviours in their effort to maintain the “relationship” with their companion or mate upon whom they depend. No matter what abuse is inflicted upon them – they remain in the relationship. By eagerly becoming victims, codependents seek to control their abusers.

Inverted Narcissist

Also called “covert narcissist”, this is a co-dependent who depends exclusively on narcissists (narcissist-co-dependent). If you are living with a narcissist, have a relationship with one, if you are married to one, if you are working with a narcissist, etc. – it does NOT mean that you are an inverted narcissist.

To “qualify” as an inverted narcissist, you must CRAVE to be in a relationship with a narcissist, regardless of any abuse inflicted on you by him/her. You must ACTIVELY seek relationships with narcissists and ONLY with narcissists, no matter what your (bitter and traumatic) past experience has been. You must feel EMPTY and UNHAPPY in relationships with ANY OTHER kind of person. Only then, and if you satisfy the other diagnostic criteria of a Dependent Personality Disorder, can you be safely labelled an “inverted narcissist”.

 

Melanie Tonia Evans, in her online radio show at BlogTalk Radio, describes Codependence and Narcissism and how these seem to go hand in hand.

Melanie Tonia discusses Narcissism and Co-dependence

Listen to internet radio with Empowered Love Radio on Blog Talk Radio

 

Melanie Tonia Evans’ website also offers a self-test questionnaire to assess how much codependent one is. Go to http://www.melanietoniaevans.com/articles/codependency-issues.htm

 

In the book Co-Dependence Healing the Human Condition by Charles L Whitfield, M.D. the following are a few definitions of Co-Dependence:

  • A multidimensional (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) condition manifested by any suffering and dysfunction that is associated with or due to focusing on the needs and behavior of others. It may be mild to severe and most people have it. It can mimic, be associated with and aggravate many physical, psychological and spiritual conditions. It develops from turning the responsibility for our life and happiness over to our ego (false self) and to others. It is treatable and recovery is possible.

 

  • An exaggerated dependent pattern of learned behaviors, beliefs and feelings that make life painful. It is a dependence on people and things outside the self, along with neglect of the self to the point of having little self-identity.

 

  • A stress-induced preoccupation with another’s life, leading to mal-adaptive behavior.

 

  • Those self-defeating learned behaviors or character defects that result in a diminished capacity to initiate, or participate in, loving relationships.

 

  • A person who has let someone else’s behavior affect him or her, and is obsessed with controlling other people’s behavior.

 

  • Individuals who organize their lives – decision-making, perceptions, beliefs, values – around someone or something else.

 

  • A disease wherein a person has difficulty: experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem; setting functional boundaries; owning and expressing their own reality; taking care of their adult needs and wants; experiencing and expressing their reality moderately.

 

  • A pattern of painful dependence on compulsive behaviors and on approval from others in an attempt to find safety, self-worth and a sense of identity. Recovery is possible.

 

  • A stressful learned behavior associated with an unhealthy focus on the needs of others and/or attempting to take responsibility for or control the thoughts, feelings or behavior of others..motivated by a need for safety, acceptance amd self-worth.

 

  • A learned behavior, expressed by dependencies on people and things outside the self; these dependencies include neglecting and diminishing of one’s own identity. The false self that emerges is often expressed through compulsive habits, addictions and other disorders that further increase alienation from the person’s true identity, fostering a sense of shame.

 

  • A maladaptive bonding within a family system. To survive psychologically and socially in this dysfunctional family, the child adopts patterns of thinking, acting and feeling that at first dull the pain but finally are self-negating in themselves. These patterns become internalized and form an essential part of the personality and world view of the individual. The child continues to practice these self-destructive patterns of thinking, behaving and feeling in adulthood and in so doing recreates over and over again the bonding in which the destructive patterns originated.

 

  • A particular form of unconscious loving..an agreement between people to stay locked in unconscious patterns..an unconscious conspiracy between two or more people to feel bad and limit each other’s potential, (wherein) the freedom of each is limited. Inequality is a hallmark.

 

  • An often-fatal disease of emotional confusion, marked by severe alienation from one’s own feelings. Living for and through others, due to the inadequate development of self-love as a true basis for loving others. Variously defined as: the addiction to living for others at the expense of one’s own development; the substitution of adaptation for honest self-expression; the vicious cycle of using and blaming that arises when we make others responsible for what we feel and do; the mechanism of control / controlling that locks people into futile dependencies and impossible demands; abuse and discontinuing disguised in the attitudes and gestures of love, loyalty, devotion, caretaking, people pleasing. Any combination of the above.

 

  • A spiritual condition, the shadow side of our love nature..a “dis-ease” of unequal relationships being acted out, of giving our power away.

 

Was I codependent?

I did depend on my ex for my emotional gratification and felt that he could complete me. I also felt I was nothing without his presence in my life.

I did stay in the relationship despite the overt and covert abuse I experienced all the while hoping he’d change, `fess up or be accountable – but he never did.

I did crave to be in a relationship with my ex regardless of the abuse he inflicted. At that time, I was afraid that if I left my ex, I’d be in a similar abusive relationship with someone else so I thought the devil I knew was better than the devil I didn’t.

I was also ambivalent in leaving the relationship yet was also unsure if I wanted to stay. I was afraid to be alone but I was also afraid to be out in the world on my own.

I depended on my ex to make me happy, to make me feel good.

I focused on how to help heal him but not how to help heal my Self.

I wanted to make him stop hurting me but I did nothing to stop myself from wanting to be with him.

I admit, yes I was codependent.

I acknowledge that I wanted to love and be loved. I realize that all human beings want to love and be loved but this should not trump self-safety and security. Abandoning my self for the sake of saving the relationship and for the sake of keeping my attachment towards my ex was not authentically loving myself and was therefore an unhealthy way to `love.’

Essentially, it was not love at all but pseudo-love.

It was not love that kept me from leaving – it was my addiction towards the relationship; it was my need to make him accountable; it was my desire for him to change; it was my desire for him to love me the way I wanted him to love me.

It was my beliefs and expectations that things can be better if I tried hard enough; it was my fears of being alone and facing the unknown that kept me in the relationship, not love.

I also had an unhealthy sense of self. I was too hard on myself. I didn’t acknowledge my own needs, safety and self-worth that I was lead on easily to any machinations and manipulations I received from my narcissist-ex who knew how to use my weaknesses to his advantage.

I only had the strength to let go when I felt I’ve finally had enough. I had to ultimately decide not to allow him to hurt me anymore. No more.

When I did let go, I realized that I needed to love myself authentically before anyone else could.

Admitting I was codependent was remarkably empowering. Though acknowledging it for the very first time was tremendously gut-wrenching.

 

Yet, knowing that my thoughts, actions, beliefs and perception towards my self conveniently fell under the traits of codependence helped me to be aware of how much I devalued my self, how I undervalued my worth, how I constantly looked outside to fill my feelings of lack, how I didn’t appreciate my self (no matter how much good qualities I have).

Admitting I was codependent made me mindful of how much I needed to take care of my Self for my own sake. It was only then that I realized how much I took myself for granted and how much I dismissed my own thoughts, my own feelings and my own value.

Knowledge about codependence also made me understand the fact that, if I allowed my ex to do all those things to me, imagine all the good things I can do FOR me.

Being aware and knowing that I had a hand in my situation, and that I am accountable for my actions and feelings gave me the freedom to be kind and compassionate towards my Self.

Honestly, it is scary not having anyone or anything to blame or put my dysfunctions on yet it is also liberating. It made me step up to the plate knowing and feeling that what I have I must take care of, who I am I must value, what I do I must be responsible for.

Knowing I was codependent was not a death sentence. It helped me look at myself honestly. It also forced me to treat myself better and to Love myself the way I should have long before.

Do you think you’re codependent too?

Being codependent is not something you need to feel ashamed of.  It is something you simply have to be aware of.

Once you are aware of your less-than feelings about your self or any codependent traits you possess, you give yourself permission to bring these to the light of your understanding.

Doing this gives you the power to choose whether you should continue being codependent or not. Ultimately, you then realize how taking care of YOU will always be for your best interest and that you can never go wrong once you begin loving your self authentically.

“You will never be truly free if you must depend on another for verification of who you are.” Frank Kinslow

 

Coming Soon:Know more of what codependents say and do, better yet find out if the codependent is you Ebook.

Photo Credit: Flavia Brandi via Photopin cc

 

What Narcissists Do to Make You Break No Contact and What You Must Do to Keep It

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Though No Contact is the time to honor your space by leaving out the narcissist in your life, it is also the moment where they ramp up their efforts to hook you back in.

What narcs do to make you break No Contact:

  1.  Narcissists know enough information about you to use these against you.
  2.  Narcissists can use flattery.
  3. Narcissists could appeal to your guilt
  4. Narcissists could appeal to your need for romance
  5. They could appeal to your hope for a better life with him or that he will finally change.
  6. They could even take advantage of your inability to let go.
  7. They could also make you believe that your dreams can now finally come true.
  8. They could even “apologize” and express pseudo-“regret” or pseudo-“remorse.”
  9. They could play the pity card and claim they feel sick or they could use a personal tragedy to get you to offer comfort or sympathy
  10. They could use other people (proxies/third parties) to get a message through you

What you must remember and be always aware of:

 

1. All of the above are simply tactics, maneuvers and strategies to get you to make contact.

 

2. If your narcissist knows you are easily swayed by positive efforts, he will use these and push all your feel-good buttons.

 

3. A narcissist’s objective is to make you react. That is all.

 

4. All a narcissist needs is your attention – it is one of the initial supplies narcissists mine once they sense you are detaching from him.

 

5. Narcissists want to keep in contact with you not because they love you, it’s because they want control over you.

They want to use you. They don’t see you as a human being. You are their fix.

It is not about you being with them and finally cared for /attended to or “loved,” you are only there to do their bidding.

 

6. If they sense you are detaching and that you are taking steps to be on your own – independent from him – he will do all he could to keep you entangled and still dependent.

 

7. Narcissists could use intimidation and threats.  These include threats to destroy your life, credibility or future via statements such as: “No man could ever find you worthy,” “No man would love you as much as I love you,” etc.

 

8. Narcissists could also feign sincerity, express simulated remorse or pseudo-admit accountability. They only do so when, according to Mel Tonia Evans, `they have hit rock bottom.’

Even if they have nothing to lose, their “apology” is never really an admission of accountability, guilt or remorse. It is only a ploy, a bluff to make you believe they are sorry or remorseful – but they never are.

This becomes obvious since their focus is on why they deserve to be forgiven.

Their focus is on themselves saying “sorry” and convincing you why they must receive your forgiveness, NOT on what they specifically did which they should be sorry for.

Their priority is themselves and not on you whom they have hurt. Plus, you are expected to accept their apology since, in their minds, they have now done the “right” thing.

“For some people, their sorry might be tailored to be personal– it depends on the narcissist and their victim.

Some apologies may offer specifics– even many specifics– but it will still generally lack any depth– you will feel YOUR emotions, you will not feel THEIR emotions.

It will come across as superficial when you factor out your own emotional involvement.

Its tone will also generally be “me-centric”, rather than being about the person being apologized to or from their perspective, because narcissists have difficulty taking on the perspective of someone who is not them.

It will usually not involve an acceptance of real wrongs committed, and any personal responsibility will be self-centered and usually pretty superficial.

They’ll use words that appeal to your emotions to mask the superficial tone.

They make up for what’s missing with excessive or overly flowery language.

It’ll read more like a greeting card apology than something a real person would say when they mean it.

Apologies should demonstrate humility, shame (and guilt) if it’s genuine, it shouldn’t demonstrate desperation or poetry.”

Keith Dunnigan

 

“The vital points truly are it is only a pathological self that can operate in conscienceless ways with no ability to be remorseful and accountable.

Normal people can slip but if they do they take responsibility and have empathy for the damage their behaviour has caused, and they rebuild relationships rather than continuously destroying them.

Not later, as in days, weeks, months or years, and healthy people do not need to have it pointed out or ‘shown’ – they have enough inner resources to ‘know’ they have done the wrong thing, rather than twist it around to be denied, or projected as someone else’s fault.

The narcissistic level of accountability for their behaviour (if they ever finally do it) is also tainted with pathological behaviour. The ‘sorries’ are always followed by a ‘but’ which is generally pointing out your flaws, or an excuse, justification or some form of disowning the accountability.

The truth is narcs because of their disordered minds generally don’t think they have done anything wrong, because they cant access peripheral, they just don’t have the resources to not make it all about themself…”

Melanie Tonia Evans

 

9 The objective of the narcissist is to confuse or – as I would describe it – lay an egg or time bomb in your head hoping that once it hatches or explodes, you will come running back to him for help / support / a hug / a shoulder to cry on / or demand justice from him / accountability / fairness.

 

10 He will use anything and everything in his arsenal to hook you back in.

 

What you must do:

1 No matter what happens, DO NOT make contact

Months after I began No Contact, my ex managed to communicate to a common friend that `It was me he really loved and all I had to do was say yes to (marrying him) and things will change’ – this was despite the fact that my narc-ex was going to be married in a few months.

I did not make contact.

After some months, it was my mother who told me that my ex sent her a message on Yahoo chat where he explained he was marrying someone else because I refused to marry him.

I did not make contact.

After a few more months, he sent me a birthday greeting through email wishing me `God bless’ and that ‘all my dreams come true’ (with a subtly added jibe), “though they may sometimes seem lofty.”

I still did not make contact.

After years of not hearing from him as I have blocked him from my email accounts, my mother received an email from him on Christmas day detailing a personal tragedy in his life that prompted a general `apology’ for “everything he did or didn’t do.”

I still did not make contact.

Then a few days later on New Year’s Eve, I received a text message from my Insurance agent – whom my ex also knew. It was a forwarded message from my narc-ex asking my insurance agent to “Say hi” to me in his behalf.

I STILL DID NOT MAKE CONTACT.

DO NOT answer his calls.

DO NOT respond to his text messages.

DO NOT respond to his emails.

BLOCK his email, his phone number, etc.

BLOCK him from your life.

 

2  Remember: He doesn’t love you. He only wants to extract supply from you.

If you think his apology is sincere; if you think his claims that he will change is real and that you actually see positive changes in him, know that this is short-lived. This “change” only lasts until he knows you’re hooked. Once you are hooked, expect him to return back to his rage-filled, abusive, manipulative, controlling self.

I have made numerous failed attempts to establish NO CONTACT during the years of my relationship with my narc-ex. Always, I’d be taken in by his constant calls, his pleadings, his efforts to make me feel better, his apologies. Always, I’d forgive him. I’d always believed he’d change. I always gave him the benefit of the doubt.

When I broke up with him because of his being physically abusive, he promised he would never physically hurt me again. And he never did.

However, it was later on when I realized that his being abusive morphed into something I wasn’t able to detect as there were no longer physical bruises.

What I did feel was constant low-level anxiety, a feeling of constant worry and guilt.

I suffered from obsessive ruminating thoughts, I had difficulty sleeping, my body was in pain, I was overweight, I felt constantly weak, fatigued and run-down, I was always short of breath.

It turns out, he has been lying; he has been emotionally, mentally, psychologically manipulating/abusing me and telling lies about me to others the same way he has been telling lies to me about others.

I decided to no longer be his supply, regardless of how saccharine sweet and seemingly sincere his efforts are to “make it work.”

 

3  Know that he is not your knight in shining armor

No Contact is specially difficult during times when you feel emotionally vulnerable that you can’t help but think of him and the good things he did for you.

Be aware that this is you missing his FICTIONAL side.  This is you craving for a relationship or love from a make-believe character.

The least he could do is give you pseudolove as well as pseudorescue you from the same predicament he put you in, but he only does this so he can put you back in the same merry-go-round of pain.

Do not allow yourself to be sucked in.

He is not your knight in shining armor.

He is not your rescuer.

He is the reason why you feel like hell.

He cannot solve the problems he himself caused. He could only add on more problems so you can temporarily forget the previous ones he made.

Once you make contact, your hurt and pain would multiply ten-fold.  In my experience, my narc-ex was never accountable for the hurts he did or the lies he dished out when we were together so it was logically impossible for him to ever be accountable. It was therefore healthier for me to do No Contact.

 

4  Write it down / Talk it out / Go to forums

It is easy to doubt yourself during No Contact.  There may be times you’d wonder if everything was all in your head.

You might also consider saving the relationship or meet up with your narcissist or just say `hi’ for `old time’s sake.’

If you find yourself entertaining these thoughts, write them down.

Journal them. Write down all your experiences with your narcissist.

Once you do, you will usually see patterns emerge which you weren’t aware of. You could even see how he has been pushing your buttons. You could even realize your own patterns and how you allowed yourself to enmesh in his web of poison.

Writing these down helps you organize any jumbled thoughts you have or at least purge them out from your system.

Start a Gratitude Notebook. List down the little or big things you are thankful for each day. Doing this helps center your attention to details you find positively meaningful. It also keeps your energy up and makes you look at the brighter side of life.

Start a Gratitude Notebook the first day, the first instance you do No Contact. It keeps you focused on maintaining No Contact and in healing your self.

It is also best to talk out your experiences with someone who understands and is non-judgmental of what you have gone through.

Go to forums and share your experience. Doing so helps you purge out your feelings while also learning from other people’s experience.

If there is no one you feel you could talk to, go to NPD forums. There you will see similar experiences of others. You can also learn from them as well as share your own story. A few of the forums you can go to are listed below.

http://www.psychforums.com/narcissistic-personality/

http://www.lisaescott.com/forum/all-about-him

http://bnarcissisticabuserecovery.runboard.com/

http://blog.melanietoniaevans.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MelanieToniaEvans?__req=f

The important thing is for you to have space that allows you to freely express yourself amongst people who understand and authentically empathize with you.

 

5   Focus on your healing

Continuing to do No Contact is effortlessly possible if this is complemented with tools to support your healing and recovery.

According to Melanie Tonia Evans, it is so important as soon as possible to work on yourself emotionally – vibrationally so that you don’t feed fear, outrage and distress – which makes the onslaughts even more extreme.

Truly when we do become the vibrational inner creator of solidness, peace and detachment it is so interesting to see how powerless narcs become to affect or damage our life.”

 

Cleaning and clearing your self from the emotional muck of being used / abused / lied to / manipulated, is important.

This is the value of No Contact. It gives you breathing room to evolve.

It also removes any poison in your system. No Contact is the perfect time to empty yourself out and take in the new you.

Focusing on your healing and recovery is one of the critical benefits of No Contact. Do not take this for granted.

Act on these critical musts so you can avoid a narcissist’s poisonous influence.

No Contact is one small step to keep your Self safe, it is also a giant leap towards loving your Self and experiencing authentic freedom and empowerment.

 

This poem sums up the beauty of No Contact.

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do

it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

 She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

 She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

 She didn’t call the prayer line.

 She didn’t utter one word.

 She just let go.

 No one was around when it happened.

 There was no applause or congratulations.

 No one thanked her or praised her.

 No one noticed a thing.

 Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

 There was no effort.

 There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

 In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone

forevermore…

–   Ernest Holmes (or Rev. Safire Rose, no one seems to know which)

From Tosha Silver’s Facebook page

 

Photo Credit: Peddhapati via Photopin cc

 

What is Narcissistic Supply?

Sam Vaknin, a self-confessed narcissist and author;  publisher of Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited 2001, explains Narcissistic Supply:

 

“The narcissist…is the mental equivalent of an alcoholic. He is insatiable..

The narcissist…proceeds to harvest reactions…from family members, friends, co-workers, neighbours, business partners and from colleagues. If these – the adulation, admiration, attention, fear, respect, applause, affirmation – are not forthcoming, the narcissist demands them, or extorts them. Money, compliments, a favourable critique…a sexual conquest are all converted into the same currency in the narcissist’s mind.

This currency is what I call Narcissistic Supply.

NS includes all forms of attention – both positive and negative: fame, notoriety, adulation, fear, applause, approval. Whenever the narcissist gets attention, positive or negative, whenever he is in the “limelight”, it constitutes NS. If he can manipulate people or influence them – positively or negatively – it qualifies as NS.

Narcissists have no enemies. They have only Sources of Narcissistic Supply. An enemy means attention means supply. One holds sway over one’s enemy. If the narcissist has the power to provoke emotions in you, then you are still a Source of Supply to him, regardless of which emotions are provoked.

Narcissistic Supply, both primary and secondary, is perishable goods. The narcissist consumes it and has to replenish it. As is the case with other drug addictions, to produce the same effect, he is forced to increase the dosage as he goes.

One should be careful not to romanticise the narcissist. His remorse and good behaviour are always linked to fears of losing his sources.”

 

 

When I learned all about Narcissistic Supply, I stopped all forms of communication with my narc-ex.

I also finally realized the reason for my narc-ex’s panicky reaction when he thinks he’s losing his connection with me was not because he loved me or was authentically worried about my welfare – it was because I was his fix.

He was pursuing me because he was afraid to lose his stockpile. To him, I was his stash.

I was not a person to him. He never saw me as a person with human concerns. He only saw me as a provider and giver of his wants. He only saw me as someone he could mine.

I was there to make him feel NOT like a bottomless empty pit and he kept coming back for what I can give him, not for who I am.

I was not a person to him. In his mind, I was a thing to be used, expended, abused and which he could extract any and all supply from.

 

A relationship dynamic with a narcissist involves the tried and tested patterns of idealization, devaluation and discard.

The below explanation by Sam Vaknin reveals why a narcissist’s “pursuit of a woman” should not be equated to “love:”

Interacting with the opposite sex and “doing business” are the two main Triggers of Secondary Narcissistic Supply (SNS). The narcissist mistakenly interprets his narcissistic needs as emotions. To him, the pursuit of a woman (a Source of Secondary Narcissistic Supply – SSNS), for instance, is what others call “love” or “passion”.

While the narcissist uses up his supply, his partner serves as a silent (and admiring) witness to the narcissist’s “great moments” and “achievements”. Thus, the narcissist’s female friend “accumulates” the narcissist’s “grand and “illustrious past”. When Primary Narcissistic Supply is low, she “releases” the supply she had accumulated. This she does by reminding the narcissist of those moments of glory that she had witnessed. She helps the narcissist to regulate his sense of self-worth.

This function – of Narcissistic Supply accumulation and release – is performed by all SSNS, male or female, inanimate or institutional. The narcissist’s co-workers, bosses, colleagues, neighbours, partners, and friends are all potential SSNS. They all witness the narcissist’s past accomplishments and can remind him of them when new supply runs dry.

Narcissists are forever in pursuit of Narcissistic Supply. They are oblivious to the passage of time and are not constrained by any behavioural consistency, “rules” of conduct, or moral considerations. Signal to the narcissist that you are a willing source, and he is bound to try to extract Narcissistic Supply from you by any and all means.

This is a reflex. The narcissist would have reacted absolutely the same way to any other source because, to him, all sources are interchangeable.

Some Sources of Supply are ideal (from the narcissist’s point of view): sufficiently intelligent, sufficiently gullible, submissive, reasonably (but not overly) inferior to the narcissist, in possession of a good memory (with which to regulate the flow of Narcissistic Supply), available but not imposing, not explicitly or overtly manipulative, undemanding, attractive (if the narcissist is somatic). In short: a Galathea-Pygmallion type.

Additionally, narcissists simply get tired of their sources. They get bored. There is no mathematical formula which governs this. It depends on numerous variables. Usually, the relationship lasts until the narcissist “gets used” to the source and its stimulating effects wear off or until a better Source of Supply presents itself.

 

“Even quarrelling with people and confronting them constitute NS. Perhaps not the conflict itself, but the narcissist’s ability to influence other people, to make them feel the way he wants, to manipulate them, to make them do something or refrain from doing it – all count as forms of narcissistic supply.”

 

Are you being treated like a supply?

Are you reading this now because you feel something’s off with your relationship and you could relate to the above descriptions? Maybe the below checklist could help you know.

 

You are allowing yourself to be his Narcissistic Supply if:

You pay more attention to his needs than your own.

You feel you are your partner’s friend, best friend, lover, psychiatrist, mother, financial source, guide, guardian and everything else.

You feel the responsibility to constantly make your partner feel better.

You feel easily affected / swayed / persuaded by what your partner says / does.

You feel reluctant to criticize, even constructively, your partner for fear of his anger, rage or negative reaction towards you; or for fear that he will blame you as the cause of his negative feelings.

You always think of him – even if you’re not with him and specially when you’re with him – and how you can make him happy; how you can satisfy him; how you can make him not feel sad / not feel angry; how he can like you more; how he can dislike you less; how you can give him more of what he wants.

You go out of your way to give / provide him with anything he needs but he doesn’t do the same for you – and it is okay with you. It is also okay if you don’t do the same for yourself.

You adjust to his moods, tantrums and do your best to keep the peace sans your real feelings.

 

 

If you say “Yes” to one or more of these statements, you are allowing yourself to be his Narcissistic Supply.

Remember, being someone’s significant other does not equate to you being his narcissistic supply. You do not deserve to be anyone’s narcissistic supply. You are a person who deserves love, respect.

You are not someone’s milking cow.

You are not helping the person you’re giving supply to by being an narcissistic supplier yourself. You are merely enabling him to further devolve and you are taking yourself along with him.

Do yourself a favor and attend to your own needs first for your betterment. Doing so makes him aware of your self-worth and how he should treat you – with dignity and empathy. It also makes you aware of your self-worth. You also give your Self the Love and Respect you deserve.

You are not helping him by staying in the relationship. You are merely enabling him to continue being his worst self; you are not helping him evolve; you are allowing him to continue on the path to entropy.

Being with him / staying with him won’t save him. Only he can save himself.

The least he could do is admit and acknowledge his abuse, his narcissism. You have no responsibility for his healing. He first needs to admit he needs healing and allow him to take the necessary steps to do this.

If he doesn’t want to, you therefore have the responsibility to set Your Self free, to care for your Self and go through your own process of healing.

Remember, he can only treat you in a way you allow him to – this statement puts the power on YOU and not on him or anyone else.

He only has power over you if you let him.

“Special love note to anyone beating yourself up for being ‘snared’ by an illusion under these transits. Please, please forgive yourself!

Some people are absolute MASTERS at creating and drawing others in their webs, whether intentionally or not. Some are simply acting from their unconconscious insecurities or need for attention…or devotion. And they served a profound purpose to show you what you REALLY deserve. Saturn is always a blessing.

So here’s what matters. Forgive yourself, love yourself, absorb the lesson of your own shimmering beauty and value, kiss your bruises, and …say goodbye.”

Tosha Silver

 

Photo Credit: ValetheKid via Photopin cc

 

Red Flags: What are the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

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There is a definitive cluster of behaviors present in narcissistic individuals which cuts through culture, geography, race, socio-economic status, physical attributes, educational status.

Though narcs (narcissists) wear many different masks and one might not look exactly like another, there are consistencies one could find in the behavior of an NPD individual.

Consider the below signs as relationship red flags you should pay attention to, because I didn’t.

In my experience, these are a few of the hallmarks of a person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

 

1 Self-centeredness

A narcissist’s self-centeredness is extremely pathological it knows no bounds. Any conversation with them about a random thing, event or person would end up being about them.

If a narcissist wants sex and you’re not in the mood, this is enough to send him in a rage or provoke guilt about your `selfishness’ in depriving him of what he wants.

Any thing narcs say and do is meant to be about them / is meant to benefit their identity, their image, and fulfill their wants.

It is always about what they can get from you. They – their needs, their wants – always come first above everything and everyone else.

If you’re in a relationship where you wondered, “Why can’t he make time for me, when I do my best to make time for him?”, see if this is a consistent occurrence. If it is, the most helpful question to ask is: “Is he in pseudolove with me?” And the best question to ask yourself is, “Why am I allowing it?”

2 No empathy

Narcissists are not capable of feeling other people’s emotions. They regard others as an appendage, an extension, a tool – literally an extra hand they could will to do their bidding.

Narcissists do not see people as individuals. They see others as a pawn they can manipulate; an endless supply source they could mine; a tool or object they can use to fulfill their wants, fantasies or to help maintain / build their identity.

Thus they are unable to feel empathy as it is impossible for them to feel anything for tools, objects or an appendage. They have no regard for other people’s feelings and emotions. To narcissists, empathy is an alien concept because they can only care for their own feelings, needs, satisfaction.

 

3  Causes confusion

Narcissists intentionally cause confusion – it is one of the hallmarks of narcissism. Their objective is for you to lose your ability to think straight. This inability helps them to manipulate and control you better.

Confusion breeds mental and emotional exhaustion.  If you’re mentally and emotionally exhausted, it is difficult for you to know what is the right and appropriate thing to do in the situation you’re in.

It therefore provides narcissists the opportunity to get the upper hand and manipulate you to do their bidding. At times, sowing confusion is something narcissists do as if by default, it is also something they enjoy doing.

 

4 Presents himself as a victim, `the poor one’

“Another way that the narcissist’s ego gets special attention is through the role of being a victim…the narcissist can hide behind misfortune and victimization in order to shame you into feeling and believing that they suffer more than you do.

They will say that you don’t care enough for them. They will make you feel that you have not done enough to help them. The ego wants attention, control, gain, and power over others by positioning itself as a “poor and helpless” victim. It does this; all the while it soaks up the attention and control over others.”

 

5 Need to attach to a person and establish a relationship quick.

NPD individuals want to attach to a person quick because they know they are putting on an act and are constantly aware that the curtain would fall on them anytime.

They therefore need to hook with someone swiftly so that person will have difficulty letting go once the pseudo-lover’s NPD behaviors emerge.

 

6 No accountability / Constantly blames

NPDs dislike owning up and admitting their faults. It is always someone else’s sin / misdemeanor for whatever misfortune / bad luck / negative event that is happening in their lives.

They’d rather hurt others or project onto others their own shortcomings than acknowledge something negatively true about themselves.

 

7  Arrogance

According to Truth Wizard EyesforLies“People who are arrogant are not compassionate, they are often self-centered and self-serving..It should put you on alert that these people have a higher propensity to care less about others..That equates into a higher likelihood to commit offenses against others, (from) deception to much worse..”

 

8  Violates boundaries

Narcissists feel entitled because they see people not as individuals but as extensions, possessions and objects that are supposed to fulfill their needs and can be manipulated.

 


 

 

The obvious question now is, if these are a narcissist’s negative traits or if he’s really this bad, why would anyone want to be in a relationship with a narcissist?

In my experience, I even stayed with my narc-ex.

Why?

Truthfully, my codependence helped me look beyond his abuse.

I also wanted to believe that my ex was “the one” so I had to deny the truth that was staring at me right in the face.

 


 

9 It is also a fact that Narcissists are charming, suave and smooth.

My grandmother liked my narc-ex and had a soft spot for him.

My nieces and nephews adored him and always looked forward to him coming to the house during Christmas because he always had gifts for everyone.

My friends thought he was the boy-next-door type who couldn’t hurt a fly. Even a client from work who met my ex advised me that he was a “good man.”

My narc-ex was decent-looking.

He had decent friends and had a good-paying job. Looking at him from the outside, he seemed “stable.” My brother thought he came from a `good school’ and had `good breeding.’

He was nice and polite.

My narc-ex was sweet when he wanted to. A common friend claimed that my ex would always talk about how much he loved me and what his plans were for us in the future.

Our common friend also said he was asked by my ex to accompany him to look for an engagement ring for me. Our common friend even saw my ex cry when my ex learned I did not want to marry him – naturally, my narcissist-ex conveniently left out the reasons why.

My ex was also remarkably polite during times he wanted to. Before he held my hand in public during the early part of our relationship, he would always ask: “Could I hold your hand?”

When we’re crossing the street, he always went to the side where the vehicles would be coming.

When he would arrive in our house, he would knock and I would have the door open for him and beckon him to come in. Still, he would ask my permission if he could enter the house.

His seeming sweetness interspersed with his rudeness and boundary violations that I felt confused. To clear my confusion, I dismissed the bad things he did and noticed only the good things.

I lied to myself and made sure I explained away his abuses as something he didn’t mean to do; that he was just in a difficult time in his life thus his rage; that he really loved me he just allowed his bad traits to get the better of him; that he needed me to feel cared for and loved and that if I cared for him / stayed with him enough, he will change.

 

 

But the fact remains,

Narcissism is imitating by being.  It is method acting all the time.

Psychiatrist Harvey Cleckley, M.D., describes this as a “mask of sanity.”

 

 

 

Every good thing I knew about my ex for all the years we were together was fiction. It was an act the whole time.

 

Narcissists manage to initially present themselves in a way that would fit the expectations people – or their targets – have of them. Doing so enables them to lure, blend in and capture one’s interest, if not one’s heart.

 

In the movie `I am Fishead,’ Paul Babiak (author of the book Snakes in Suits) describe specific characteristics of psychopaths which are similar to narcissists:

“What you see when you actually interact with them is the mask they are presenting with only a glimmer here and there of the dark side. And so, if we learn from headlines and movies that psychopaths have this dark side and we go out and look for it we’re not going to see it and we conclude they don’t really exist. But you probably met one, you just haven’t seen behind the mask.”

 

Relationship expert Melanie Tonia Evans, who also went through a horrendous narcissistic relationship, offers a comprehensive list as well as descriptions of what a narcissist says and do, go to:

http://www.melanietoniaevans.com/articles/narcissist-behaviours.htm.

 

She also has an online radio show one episode of which featured the common language used by the narcissist.

The Language of the Narcissist

Listen to internet radio with Empowered Love Radio on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

If by reading this post you think, feel and sense that you are with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, please know that staying in such a relationship will not make anything better.

 

If you are curious to know if he will ever hurt or betray you again, ask yourself if he already has. Then, remember that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  Also, ask yourself if he has owned up or if he has been authentically accountable for the hurts he inflicted. If he has not done so then or now, there is a good chance he never will.

 

If you think you alone can change him or by giving more of your self you will help open his mind or heart to love you more, be aware that this is `hope’ talking to your best self. If he is not loving you now, it is highly improbable for him to ever love you in the future.

Photo Credit: VeRoNiK@ GR via Photopin cc

 

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