I decided to write my story

I decided to write as much as I remember of the 16 years+ in book format. 

I don’t know if I’ll try to have it published or not.  I hope writing it would at least bring awareness to a major issue that laws don’t have a current way to deal with, even here in North America.

I think it’s important that the public be aware that I consider what happened to me a form of human trafficking… I mean he never forced me into the sex trade with others but he did bring me here with lies and deceit in order to force me to be his own personal slave.  He intended from day one to dangle my illegal status over my head and no one saw it coming… not even the “helpful” border guards that bought into his lies too.  That’s how a charming individual like him got me here.  He talked a helpful soul into “speeding up the process” and then never filed any of the papers they gave him.
…and… no one checked on a follow through… because that’s where their job ended…

It’s clear to me now that he had absolutely no intent on ever doing my paperwork and that he enjoyed every single moment of [mental /emotional] torture he could inflict on me over the entirety of the marriage.  He enjoyed smearing me to his family / friends and forcing me to have little contact with my own family and friends back in Canada.

And that the border crossing guards need to absolutely be taught to test for and recognize sociopaths and narcissism.  They are the ones that manipulate, cajole, twist truth and push to get their way.  They use loopholes to get away with bad behaviors.  They laugh in the face of laws and play mind games with their intended targets. I guarantee that had the helpful soul at the border not fallen to his charming romantic stories, he would have thrown a hissy fit worthy of an overgrown child and I would not have landed here with no status.

*** I do not, however put any blame on the border guard(s) involved.  I mean, I was tricked too.  You can’t stop something from happening if you’ve got no clue about it.

Thus I think it’s imperative that they be trained to deal with these situations (by recognizing sociopaths and narcissists)  to prevent them in the future… well it may be more difficult now considering that the border is somewhat more difficult to cross now then it used to be when I was brought over, but if it can help prevent any future person (anywhere in the world) from getting into the mess I found myself in for 16 years, be it here in the States or up North in Canada, or…anywhere really, then I will write my story.

***Because things need to change. ***
People need to open their eyes to what’s going on.

There needs to be follow-ups and accountability
…for those who essentially marry foreigners in order to “obtain their own personal slaves”, to force them to cook, clean, have sex and comply to their ever-changing demands while confusing the heck out of them with gas lighting, blame shifting and word salads (among other tactics), who rip their target’s already shaky self-esteem and confidence until they are so shattered and confused they no longer know who they are.  Leaving them feeling unsure of themselves, doubting themselves and feeling crazy.
Those who brought them here claiming love but spend the entirety of the marriage torturing them emotionally, mentally, threatening them, holding children and paperwork /legal status over their heads, 
Destroying / stealing belongings brought over (often family heirlooms), often using the very legal system to “keep them in line” and keep them fearful and isolated.

and ohhhh how easy it is for them to do exactly that, use the very laws and very authority of government and police to entrap their target once the marriage is in place.  And so very few manage to find a way out, especially if the abuse is not physical.  Tough to prove, because they are very, very good at using loopholes and laws, at twisting things around using just enough truth to catch folks into those lies.

anyway… I am not the only one who was/ is in this situation.  I’ve met others… they have similar stories by abusive partners or former partners both here (United States) and in Canada.  I’m sure other countries have folks who share similar stories.  In some countries there is even less hope for those in charge to listen to their plight.

Their stories are not mine to share, but I wish to impress on those in charge or those in contact with them that things need to change.  No system is perfect but education and speaking our truth is important.  Awareness brings change, either protection on a personal level (hmmm, I don’t want to be caught in a mess like this so I have to find out my options) or on a legal level (we will work to protect our citizens from getting stuck abroad / we will help foreigners caught up in these abusive situations) and it begins where failure is maximum: training those who are at the forefront of those situations to both recognize and not dismiss a potential situation that could become abusive.

If the guards had known the potential, would they still have given him the out he needed?  Would they have fallen for his charismatic tricks and lies as I did?

There needs to be tougher penalties for those who commit these crimes, maybe given time limits for paperwork to be completed for those who bring foreigners into marriages.  Stiffer penalties and maybe even forensic psychological testing for both the citizen and foreign partner to evaluate if either is a sociopath or narcissist in order to help prevent abuse.  Training for DV advocates and counselors to maybe understand that simply holding legal status over someone’s head is a serious issue that should not be ignored even if there are no bruises, black eyes, broken bones.  Maybe a different help system put in place.  And definitely something within immigration itself to prevent recurring offenders.  That if the person brings a foreigner into a marriage and dangle paperwork/ legal status over their heads they can no longer bring a foreigner into such a marriage in the future by being blocked from doing so by immigration itself.

Bottom line, there needs to be serious change.

I am forever grateful to those who helped me get to where I am on my journey and to those who continue or add their help now and in the future. To those who will join their voices to mine in order to help the system change.  I will forever hope to open the eyes of the world on this issue and hope my story will prevent any more of this type of situation.

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Wow.. end of part of my journey

I’m still struggling with learning to deal with toxic people, still learning to not in return become toxic.
I’m learning that whatever inner strength I possess is frightening to many and having been beaten down so long it’s not under control just yet. I know in time I’ll have that under control as well.
Meanwhile I’ve unfortunately discovered that setting new and strong healthy boundaries tends to run people off… something I’m learning to accept as something others don’t often accept.
I’m still struggling to get a job, not sure why I haven’t gotten past the interviews.  4 interviews in about 5 months is very good.

and yesterday I got a notice that my green card is finally on it’s way.

After almost 2 years no contact with someone who dangled my paperwork over my head for 16 years, I’ll finally be a legal permanent resident.  ❤

I’ve come to a point where I don’t want to handle the toxic that is the downstairs neighbor and her friends.  I need to figure out how I’m going to move, how I’m going to manage.  If it’s time to go it on my own and figure out what to do next.  2 years has been a long road and I’ve no clue where I’m going yet.

setting boundaries and becoming more assertive

up until this month, I thought I was doing pretty good with my recovery.  I was learning plenty with and without help, I was done with the nightmares, done with the divorce, done with a huge chunk of the social anxiety and PTSD.

Now? As I struggle to learn to become more assertive and try to put healthy boundaries there, things seem to be going sideways.  Folks that had seemingly no issue with me now do.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to manage my empathy, i.e. not over do it on the being helpful or advice giving… sort of step back… problem is I’m struggling with that.  I’d been doing so well, but this is a tough one for me.  This is where I’m struggling… because I’ve never been assertive, ever unless I was angry or pushed to a limit.

As a child, I was bullied at school and it wasn’t safe to be assertive.

later on I was a loner so being assertive just wasn’t necessary.

then a bad relationship with the narc ex… assertiveness went from calling him out on his BS to regretting it from his revenge tactics and then just not being safe doing it.

When I left a year and a half ago, I wasn’t very assertive, there were moments when I could be, but not much.

Now, attempting to find that balance seems to get me in trouble no matter what I do… I feel like I’m back walking on eggshells and I’ve realized that along with short term memory issues, my brain hurts, deep in the center.

I know from that one article that abuse can shrink the one part of your brain and increase the larger primal response center… so it seems that it’s affecting it enough now to actually cause severe pain.  Mostly when I start feeling like I did back in the relationship.  And here I thought I had been able to undo some of the damage the abuse had caused.  I guess I was mistaken.

I wonder if anyone else is going through and can actually pin point the pain right in the deep center of the brain.

I am trying to not sink into any sort of depression but it’s very difficult…

I had found welcoming places / people and now… it looks like my struggling with assertiveness is certainly causing issues.  My stepping back and trying to be assertive is being taken the wrong way, big time.  Even with folks who know I have been through abuse and have issues I’m working on… but I guess the fact I was doing so well until now, and no longer am, sort of put that in question.

all I can add to that is that being INFJ sucks… I feel more and more like an alien on this planet

great video

i’ve gained knowledge over the past few years, I’ve fought and struggled to rebuild, still am.  I’ve done tremendous amount of healing and realized I always had boundaries but did not know how to enforce them, did not know how to tell when they were bypassed by someone close to me.  I allowed for more disrespect then I should have because I was missing one thing: deal-breakers and enforcement of my own rules.

Here is a great video that will help.

though I disagree, at least in some cases, where some knowledge of how narcissists operate and has helped me by giving me closure into the fact that the ex was never going to change and how deep my own gullibility had gone, which in fact helped me move on and heal, as well as set my barriers and tolerance levels as I heal.  I am very close to being able to say i’ve healed.  I know that I will have to keep a close eye on monitoring those boundaries and not letting anyone cross them for a while, until it becomes second nature.  I think there is a risk of addiction for some people who have been abused to thread by that research of knowledge, but I also think I’ve gotten my answers and am satisfied with the things I learned and am ready to move on.

In any instance of learning and healing there comes a point where any more information becomes mere icing on the cake.  It is not necessary.  It may keep you entrapped at a level where you do not move forward any more.  That is the danger point.  That is where you must move on and continue to grow or risk stagnating in that stage of your healing process.  It is a very real risk for many.  Therefore if you thread that path, you must keep in touch with yourself and your needs and recognize when it is time to move forward to continue healing.

It will make you tired, it will drain you but there is a moment when the PTSD/C-PTSD is triggered after you leave, and this may be on-going at different situations as parts may awaken under different circumstances, not all at once.  Those are the triggers you need to notice, those are the triggers you have to learn to handle and deal with.  Once you have a grasp on your triggers, and healing may not be linear so there may be additional triggers later on and the more triggers the more healing you need and the more effort you have to put in in order to effectively heal.

There is a stage where you relive memories that have happened and may co-mingle with dreams of instances that did not happen.  It’s important to sort out what really happened from the rest, as best you can.  It is necessary to relive those moments and be able to know you were not crazy and you were not the one that caused these things to happen.  For this, knowledge.
Not everyone had the insight to be able to do this on a conscious level in addition to the subconscious level (because your subconscious mind will eventually purge the trauma in it’s own time, but understanding with insight on a conscious level can help speed it up for some people.  Others require medication just to cope with the trauma.  Keep in mind that everyone is different in their healing method and processes.

another stage has been to focus on myself, my lacks, my “broken pieces”, as some would refer to them, and work on what I need to say or do in some situations and which situations is it safer to not respond and pretend I did not hear.  Which instances is it best to stand up and say “STOP” and to whom.  When is it safe for me to be assertive and when is it alright to be kind and help others.  When is it better to stop helping someone (usually after you helped them once and they:
– begin to assume they are entitled to that help
– breach boundaries and/or make you feel bad or uncomfortable for having tried to help
– are not grateful for and/or insult you even though you gave them help
– are asking for help from you at a bad time and cannot understand that you cannot help them this time or at this time)

There is a stage when you must work not only on your assertiveness, but also on timing for certain responses.

Remind yourself that you are still learning and that you may make mistakes.  Be kind to yourself in those instants, you are doing the best you can and learning new skills which is never an easy thing to do.  You will goof up, you will mess up and those that get upset by your mistakes are likely to be toxic people anyway.  Those that matter will understand.

it is always very important that you do not get “stuck” at one stage or another of your recovery but it is just as important that you stay there long enough not to return later… balance… know yourself, know where you need more help (or try to figure it out) and when it has served its purpose, know to move on to the next stage of healing.

anyway, enough rambling about stages of healing… enjoy the video

The only two things you need to avoid EVER attracting another narcissist, by Kim Saeed

Quoted with permission to do so…

“as much as you’d love to expose the person who abused [you, or your children, or someone else and/or their children], keep in mind” [that there are legal consequences to posting their photo or putting their name with the label “abuser”] “and also know that those who refuse to see it still won’t, those who fall for said abuser won’t listen anyway, they’ll just label you as the problem and continue to fall for the abuser’s charisma. You cannot make someone see the truth if they don’t want to. It sucks, but it is what it is.

Focus on recovery and helping those that know the truth escape, heal and rebuild.

Post about red flags and boundaries, post about how to recognize an abusive person but know that you cannot do the legwork for people, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink it. Trust that the smart ones will wake up from the info provided on who around them is abusive. That is all you can/should do to help. Please understand that pointing fingers only gives the abusive manipulator tools to hurt you 😦 ❤ “

I wonder…

Along your healing journey you’re bound to come accross “empaths versus narcissists”

well I have no clue if that is how we should refer to it, there are some of us that definitely feel emotions others seem to lack… so I wonder..

and it led me to consider the following in my musings…

As an INFJ personality type, I like to educate myself and learn all I can and then think on it… I wonder how many INFJ’s opt to not speak their observations but I think sometimes our insight might benefit a world that is often not ready to listen… often because we don’t have the diploma they feel we should have… and again I wonder how many INFJ’s even reach this level of insight because I have not seen too many INFJ’s let alone any who openly put out their ideas in written word (except maybe daily things on facebook)

and so I wondered this morning…

” I wonder if narcissism is an over-compensatory sense of fight or flight mode caused by early trauma… I wonder if your hippocampus shrunk too much early on, your Amygdala grew overly big to compensate, and my kind somehow recovers / fights it while your kind does not… the exagerated PTSD and C-PTSD effect…

I mean… many empaths have dealt with narcs early on, be it parents, family members or outside narcs (school bullies as early as day care, peers and sometimes even a teacher)

in early childhood, when the brain is first forming, then it would set how the brain is wired and it would take your kind a lot more effort to recover especially once adult since the brain is set in it’s wiring at that point… so children could still be nudged out of it (increasingly difficult as they get older) while adults would be very difficult to treat as their brain is resistant to alterations on wiring…

ah the joys of neuro science.. which I know nothing of btw…

would that not be something if that were the case then narcissism could be “cured” or prevented,

LOL but what do I know?”

I just tend to make connections other folks never make which has been a wonder to me that no one else makes them… In any case, maybe this will get someone who has the proper degree of learning to think on it and maybe research this, though I hate to think anyone would become “a guinea pig” to experiments, I also think that if the solution were this simple then we could cure a lot of the abuse this world is full of…

I’m not one of those folks that are happy deciding what’s ethical and morally right… I have my moral compass and sometimes the answer is not black or white, it is a shade of grey that we cannot easily define as right or wrong… not my place to decide it at this time either… but the idea is out there now and people should decide for themselves if they would like to be studied or not…

choice… I am always all about choice… because I know what it’s like to have that choice taken from me… but we are humans, we have choices even when we don’t think we do…//

enough philosophy about neuro science and the human condition 😛

back to my life and struggles…
or back to yours if you look at it from your side of the screen 😀

Signs of trauma

Sometime in the 16 year abusive relationship I had lost hearing in my right ear.

it came out of nowhere and could have any cause…

I was going for eval on it this year, having gotten medical insurance, something I did not have for most of the relationship and when I did have it he made it near impossible to get medical care anyway.

The tests I underwent for my hearing loss included an MRI, where the tech asked me if I’d suffered brain damage.  The only thing I could reply with was “I don’t recall ever sustaining any” and was left feeling like maybe I had but couldn’t recall. I know some head trauma can come with a side of amnesia so I was left shaken and unsure, worried and frightened.  What if he had done something to me I had no memory of?

I had noticed holes in my short-term memory in the last 6 months… interestingly, I have left the abusive situation in mid January 2016 and it took over a full year for this to creep up on me.

I have always been a person that “knows what I know” and a lot of the abuse centered about him denying his own behaviors and making me doubt it happened or doubt myself.  These holes in my memory paired with the question “Did you suffer brain damage?” had me terribly worried these past few months.

I was left wondering if the abuse/trauma would lead me to becoming senile as I get older…

Today I came across an article that explains it.  Although I have no clue why it took this long to trigger… but then it took a trigger for the PTSD to kick in as well.

I am left wondering what other side effects of the abuse are waiting in the wings to ambush me.

That said, I hope this article sheds light on a few facts for you if you find yourself no longer able to recall certain things.

https://letmereach.com/2016/01/17/the-little-known-reasons-why-you-need-to-leave-the-narcissist-asap/

I am still left to wonder if the damage is reversible and if I can heal my brain somehow… this can’t be permanent.  I know the human body and minds have a great capacity to heal itself, so I refuse to give up and I will try to coax some sort of healing or reversal.  I refuse to accept it as final.