Leaving A Toxic Situation

 

For some leaving a toxic situation may look like this:

run running GIF

 

Others may feel they need to leave their situation like this:

backing up homer simpson GIF

See also

https://familytreeourstory.com/2018/03/13/dealing-with-predators-2/

 

Gifs Source: Giphy.Com

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A Mind Of Our Own

When you are the victim of narcissistic abuse, you are caught in a web.  I know at times  I even felt a degree of security, while trapped and wrapped tightly in their silken threads.

stuck on you animation GIF by Barbara Pozzi

 

Each thread has to be removed and be prepared, this will probably take time. Escape can take patience, courage and determination. I am in the process I believe of breaking the very last of these silken bonds. Like a spider sitting in the corner of a web, these beings seem to sense movement and struggle. They then go back to secure their victim with more web and perhaps another paralysing bite. I try to ensure I am one meal not worth the consequences these days.

I am probably a bit unusual in that through my teacher training, I recognised much of what he was doing but I could not bring myself to completely face the fact that, it was entirely deliberate. In my mind, one day he was going to come to me apologise and own his behaviour, whereupon we would live happily ever after.

sorry customer service GIF by Slanted Studios

 

I watched him try to train us all.  As a teacher I know children often crave attention more than anything else. Any attention is usually better than being ignored. He would deliberately re-enforce negative behaviour by rewarding it with his attention. He would encourage them to ignore boundaries by saying “No” to them and immediately caving once they(the children) started to badger him. If you have to co-parent with a toxic partner, whether you are living with them or not, you have to work doubly hard on teaching boundaries. I watched the way he tried to use language to program us all. My counter would usually be to ask my youngsters,

What do you want?

or

What do you like?

or

What do you think?

to help them develop their own opinions, likes and dislikes.

One of my children wrote him a powerful missive, once they had hit their teens, basically telling him what they thought. He had immediately became the unappreciated victim. This had helped to put an end to  one important aspect of his shenanigans however. I think the most important thing anybody trying to co-parent with a toxic partner can do. is to teach them(the children) to think for themselves. They will turn on you at times but it nonetheless means, in my opinion, you have done your job. My youngsters will also tell me without hesitation when they feel I am wrong about something. This can be challenging at times but I remember once thanking my father for encouraging me to have a mind of my own. I truly recognised what a precious gift this was, once I realised the number of people, who had not been allowed to think for themselves or to hold their own opinions.

Gifs fron Giphy.Com

https://giphy.com/

Putting Victims in a Position of Strength

Why are we not assessing the advice we give to people caught in toxic/domestic violence situations?

Time and time again, victims are murdered, when they are attempting to leave. In my view, we need to do a lot more than provide shelters although I believe they also have their place.

Off the top of my head when a person is leaving a situation they believe to be potentially dangerous, relevant authorities should be ready to offer immediate protection to those under threat.

I would like to see more perpetrators removed rather than victims forced to flee. I nearly fled on several occasions but in the end the system supported us and helped us to stay put. I think this can help mentally put victims in a position of strength. It also sends a strong message to offenders. If necessary, cameras should be installed and monitored. Perhaps an individual family under threat could be assigned an officer to advise and support them. Each officer could perhaps be dealing with a number of families.  They could also liaise with schools. Any concerns could be immediately reported to the family’s allocated officer and if necessary pro-active measures taken. I have several ideas about this. For example putting perpetrators under house arrest or the use of bracelets.until the situation is managed. Why should victims always feel like we should be the ones who have to hide away?

All this sounds expensive but in comparison to dealing with the expense of the way we currently handle these situations, I think this could ultimately prove cost-effective.

I know for us, being able to stay put was of huge benefit. In many ways I began once again to feel empowered and to be able to begin to reclaim my life.

 

 

Leaving

Mostly the advice is “Run!” when you are dealing with toxic characters. Personally I do not think this is generally a good idea. It depends on how long these characters have been in your life and various other factors. It seems to me that current thinking and attitudes are not working. Too many people are winding up dead or seriously injured. I believe leaving a toxic person, is best and most safely achieved through careful planning and as much as possible, (initially at least) trying not to get the toxic person offside. If you can somehow let them believe it was all their idea, even better. As with a predatory animal, no sudden moves. I had several times through the process particularly early on, when I had felt we were unsafe. I only feel I can admit this now.  I liked to keep him where I could see him and what he was up to.  I did have hopes for some miraculous cure for his toxic behaviour in the beginning. This was a good thing for me (it may not be for everybody) as it gave me time. I needed that time to set me on the road to recovery from my PTSD and to begin to sort my life out. I had not really realised how much damage he had done, until I had begun to be free of him. I was both physically and mentally exhausted for quite a long while. I found a great counsellor(who had also experienced narcissistic abuse) to help me through my recovery. I went every week for  about six months, then monthly. After about eight months I was able to stop going.

I didn’t worry about the money. I knew I had to recover in order to be there for everybody else.

I also joined Meetup.com and started rebuilding my social life and going out and about again.

www.meetup.com

Making me and my recovery the number one priority was the most important thing I did. Ultimately this helped everybody.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Today I write about a topic that I have tended to avoid – my family of origin. I have been unable to clear one particular relatively recent event, from my mind. I believe it was a deliberate act of cruelty by my brother, aided and abetted by my parent.

I had to manoeuvre my way past his huge dog to find a seat in the lounge of the family home. Nobody had attempted to shift the dog. I delicately picked my way past it, when I had needed to go to the bathroom. I had almost successfully negotiated the obstacle course which had been made for me, when my ex thought he would join in on the fun and yell out my name, finally causing me to stumble, much I am sure, to their delight.

dog gif GIF

I do not understand quite why I have suddenly become so furious about this. God stepped in, as he has done my entire life. I realise there is absolutely no point in tackling anybody about their treatment of me. I am quite sure they would be able to squeeze out tears and successfully recast themselves and the dog as victims. I am a dog lover myself but I do not believe my needs should have ranked below those of the aforementioned pet.

Gif sourced from Giphy.Com

https://giphy.com

Some Predators are Returning to Areas where they are not ‘Supposed’ to Be — The Jaguar

This also resonated for me, for those of us dealing with predatory people.

Dana Kobilinsky, a science writer for The Wildlife Society, recently published a fascinating article. It concerns predatory animals appearing in seemingly ‘new’ habitats. The article tells the story of Brian Silliman: a biologist who was studying food webs in a saltmarsh on a Georgia island. While performing field work at night, Silliman had a frightening […]

via Some Predators are Returning to Areas where they are not ‘Supposed’ to Be — The Jaguar