Getting On With Life

Being a migrant anywhere I believe you seem to be automatically at a disadvantage. I found a website called Expat Online or something similar. I was surprised to discover many women in a similar situation to myself. The plight of an Australian girl living in Europe had particularly caught my eye. Her experiences had very much mirrored my own and like me she had had no success reaching out for help. In fact her situation was worse than my own. She could not speak the language. When she had tried to get help, the men(including her partner) had stood there chatting and she had had the distinct impression she was being portrayed as crazy.

We did go for several bouts of couple’s counselling. That was a mistake. In fact attending counselling with him was so traumatising, I had flashbacks for ages. I had soon realised he was so plausible, nobody was going to help me and if we split up, he and his awful family would get hold of the children. I was not going to surrender my children to him under any circumstances. I have since read the book The Sociopath Next Door and have decided my instincts were probably correct. I made the decision to sit it out until the children were old enough to be allowed to make their own choices. In the meantime I set about doing my best to make it work. I had even read Dr Phil’s Relationship Rescue. The best advice was to really study your partner. I did this with gusto. I had tried to discover what his needs were and did my best to meet them. I became interested in photography and had become meticulous about storing our photos as one consequence of this.

The photos had really helped me too. I had focussed on the good times and developed strategies to manage his behaviour. By and large this had actually worked really well and I had managed to be relatively happy most of the time. I was open with the children about their dad. I have since discovered Sam Vaknin says much the same thing -basically tell the children the truth His rages in my eyes were the tantrums of a three year old and I would not give in to them under any circumstances. He had improved significantly, although mixing with his family was a major trigger for him. One family member in particular had known exactly how to push his buttons. I ended up going no contact with most of his family. This was not because I had known anything about “No contact” I had just realised it had felt so much better having nothing to do with them. It still does.

I came to feel a bit sorry for my ex at times. I had watched his relationship with his family and had tried to learn from it. I could see he had not really been allowed to develop his own seperate identity. I had recognised he had no idea who he really was. I thought how lucky I was to have been allowed to develop my own seperate identity. I thanked my parents for this many times. He did however triangulate me with his family all the time. As I largely ignored them, it bothered me less and less.

Things had deteriorated again when he had changed jobs and had started to move up the corporate ladder. I had hated the whole corporate wife thing and had refused to conform. My ex had found this frustrating but our children were really well-liked as I had done my best to bring them up with minds of their own. I think this was to some extent respected. They were polite but they did not conform either.

My relationship with my ex had deteriorated on joining the new company. The blokey, chauvinistic culture had really got up my nose and I did not hide it. However I was now fighting to keep things stable on too many fronts. I became deeply unhappy. He had started to completely disregard my opinion on anything. He now had to make absolutely all the decisions. He would sit on his laptop and later his phone and simply plan our lives with no consultation. I had periodic problems with flying monkeys but I would basically tell them to get lost. I have zero tolerance for flying monkeys. I learned to laugh at the narc’s harem. I thought if you are dumb enough to put up with what I have had to, good luck to you. The whole time I had kept my eye on my timeline. If things had not improved by the time the children could make their own decisions, then it would be over.

The end had come a little earlier than I had intended. It was God’s timing which mattered in the end. I had told him his threats no longer intimidated me. I think that was it in his mind. He had then planned a scene.

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The Beginning

Sitting there in my comfortable room one evening, I was poised there with tears trickling down my face, as I listened to Desperado by The Eagles, I had decided to change my life. I had realised that, as in the song, I did indeed have to “Come to my senses.” I made the fateful decision to get serious about dating.

The last guy I dated before the narcissist was actually really nice but I had thought we were no longer a couple, as i had heard nothing from him in a couple of months. He had told me that he would be studying but hearing nothing for so long, I had assumed it was over. I was wrong as it turned out-more of that later.

I had been teaching, saving money and then travelling. I was definitely restless. The big event which I believe may have made me more vulnerable than usual was the death of my grandmother. We had been really close and I had adored her. (Even now I have a small picture of my grandmother by my bed.)

The bar at the dance had been unusually busy. We were standing in a line, in a very English way, waiting for a drink and I had started talking to a guy I knew. The guy standing with him, had soon begun to hold a particular fascination for me. I had discovered he was Australian and having not long returned from Australia myself, I was keen to talk about my trip. To be honest at that time, he had appeared quite distant. When I think about it now, I feel that he had not initially believed I would be good supply. Perhaps he detected that I would be quite hard work, which is perfectly true.

My experiences of travelling had left me independent-minded and something of a free spirit, so I was not a girl, who had danced around her handbag. I was more than happy to dance on my own. I was actually in the middle of a group , when he had appeared smiling and had begun to “strut his stuff” on the dance floor. I had thought he was hilarious. Naively I had assumed I had found another “free spirit”. He did seem a bit in love with himself, even then but I had had no idea of any possible danger. I was strong. I was independent. I had a career, many friends and I had always had a strong sense of self. I had had no reason to believe I would attract a predator, although I now believe he was not the first.We had a great time and I had felt an instant connection. He had seemed to share my quirky sense of humour and fun. Soon he had asked for my number, which I had not been able to recall, as I had only recently moved in. He had instead, given me his. He had given me his home number, his work number, his address etc etc. I had never had a guy give me so much information. Conversation was easy between us. Actually it often was, even towards the end. A few weeks before our split, some woman had actually commented to us, how comfortable and relaxed we had appeared. The irony had really struck me because by that stage, he had not been the only one putting on an act, although my motives had been different.

I have learned much about myself through all this. I had always had many male friends. I was relieved to find somebody, who like me enjoyed friendships with members of the opposite sex. I realise now he had his own personal harem. In fact I now believe he had deliberately paraded me in front of at least one woman(married) with whom he was having an affair. (More of that later..)

I had waited almost a week before calling him. We had soon excitedly organised our first date.

Fake!

Yesterday I thought I had picked up a bargain. I was really pleased with myself. I got it home and did my research then sadly concluded it was a total fake. I was angry and upset with myself for the total waste of money. Using my imagination, I had then sought constructive ways to salvage my mistake. Sadly every time I view it, it now screams (metaphorically) ,

FAKE!!

at me. Why?

Why am I so bothered by my innocent error?Why can I not just simply have fun with my purchase, regardless of its origin?

Unfortunately it is not the first time, I have fallen for a fake. Last time I was taken in by something fake, it was a fake relationship, which had cost me my freedom and had almost taken my identity. This time, at least I had recognised it. This time I had done my research and realised that it was not authentic, before the price was too high. Yes I could still use it (my purchase). It is still quite nice yet simply glancing towards it , somehow gives me a lurch in my stomach. The last time I tried to make the best of something fake, I had eventually let myself be convinced the fake was real. This time I am shrugging my shoulders, ignoring any short term loss I might experience and throwing it out.

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The Inspirational Way One Man Dealt With His Grief

How one ex Disney animator dealt with his grief at losing his wife

This beautiful animation really inspired me this morning. This man used his grief to create something beautiful. I was also reminded that the Taj Mahal was a product of grief. Perhaps those of us still dealing with the loss of a non-existant relationship with a narcissistic abuser, may one day also be able to produce a masterpiece.

Sources:https://youtu.be/I6i8cLXPGQE

BBC

Free School

Another Opportunity To Observe And Learn

One of the new toxic people in my life is trying to gain supply off me.I am going to use this as an opportunity to fine tune my grey rock skills. I have been praying whenever I anticipate an encounter with this being. I am playing dumb and observing them. It is interesting once you understand what is happening. Thank goodness I knew enough to be very guarded around this character. I sensed something, although I had initially wondered whether they were an empath gone awry. I have been an empath, who got off track, so I was inclined to be forgiving.

This was clearly a mistake on my part. I have had to pull right back.

I do miss my naive old self in many ways but I am grateful that I have been awoken from my slumber and shown the truth.

George Santayana

Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge.

Personality Swap

How the narcissist gets us to swap personalities

One of the most chilling examples of this is Hedra in the film Single White Female.

From watching videos and studying the subject, I believe these characters often enter our lives, when we are in a weakened state. In this clip of Single White Female, Hedra ( the toxic flatmate) shows up, just as Alison is crying over a broken relationship. I watched this film when it first came out but have only begun to really understand it now, after my recent experiences. Hedra over time transforms herself into Alison, even eventually adopting Alison’s haircut and red hair.

Sources:From Surviving To Thriving From Surviving To Thriving

Movie Clips