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.

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.

A word added…

I came across an interesting article this morning and it brought back a memory that I now wish to share somewhat.

For a long time I wrote annoyed posts on my facebook wall about his behavior, having picked up on the fact that he would stop acting like a complete GIT the moment his behaviors were made public.  I had no clue at the time that he was a narcissist and did not want to be exposed.

It both let out frustrations and got results in that he would know I posted about it and he would then actively actually stop behaving that way.  I thought at the time he might do it out of shame or to make me out to be the liar… I did not care anymore so long as it got the result I was hoping for… and it did.

I was sinking slowly into depression and unhappiness, stressed, unloved by a guy who had claimed to love me until the night after we got married… and then I became his enemy… He hated on me, ignored me, allowed his family (younger siblings – still in high school) to be abusive to me and when we moved out of his mother’s home – on my demand because I was not going to put up with in-laws being abusive, then a lot of his own behaviors turned into what I might qualify as “mildly abusive”.

Though I did not know the term “gas lighting”, it was there.  There was devaluation and criticism.  I only thought he was “being an @$$” and did not know it was abuse back then, though there is no doubt that he began to take my rights away and make false promises long before the end of the relationship… or I should now say end of my side of the relationship, seeing as it was the only one that existed other then his false pretense to ensnare me into marrying him.  The fact that there was a country border now between myself and my family/friends was sufficient to instantly isolate me.  The fact I had a 6 month old child [with him] born before we got married insured I would have trouble making new friends or having time to go out and meet new people – in my case my absolute devotion to my family made it even more of a fact.

So the facebook posts, internet being the only method for me to keep in touch with family/friends across the North American border – and taken or permitted at his will – were there when I sank into depression under the weight of depression, loneliness, hate from my husband and stress.
I began seeking out friends online, my own BFF having her own battle with her narc ex and being unable to be online much because of it and other reasons.

I found a site I didn’t realize was a dating site but I was on there to meet friends, no more and that I did.  I also had to fend off what I believe were either very desperate males or more narcs targeting me, possibly both.  But I used the site’s chat and made some very good friends, before realizing it to be a dating site and not wanting to get in trouble, some of which went on their way but others remained.  So before deleting the account – less it be a reason for false accusations- I added the few friends on facebook.

There, I would post about his behavior and one of these friends I will forever be grateful to, posted an article I since lost.  Curious, I read it from top to bottom and as I read I began to cry.  Suddenly everything I had been through made sense.  Everything I was dealing with had a name: “NPD – Narcissistic Personality Disorder”.  I knew then and there what I was dealing with.  I knew he knew what he was doing to me.  I had suspected strongly how he never had cared for me but just claimed he did in the beginning, but now it was confirmed.  I had felt a long time like a slave, a maid, a babysitter for his progeny (not a mother to our kid(s) at all) and his own personal wh*re (excuse the strong language).  It was confirmed that those things are exactly what he saw me as… his property.

There is that in me that balks and rebels at unfair treatment and that refuses to be used or mistreated.  Parts of me, might be arrogance or pride, might be something else… but it wakes up anger and refusal to be subjected to that.  It brought out my claws and I fought back.  That part of me will never bow down for it is fierce and is not afraid to wage a silent war and it is neither tamable or destructible.  It just is.  I am not a victim, I am a warrior.  I fight on.  Maybe he saw it in me as he decided to use the name “Warrior Spirit” to cause mayhem and chaos – I do not know if he stole the names from someone we knew online who died or if he created it and manipulated others using the name, but I know he later on used it to “ruin his account and online life” among a certain group of people claiming it was me or one of my friends.  His scape-goating of me was not new by then as he blamed me for all of his own self-sabotage for years before that.  Those familiar with alika-kadri (most beautiful destiny indeed, but not YOURS, never YOURS and never again to fall for your lies, deceits, manipulations and tricks) would also be familiar with the name “Warrior Spirit” but may not have a clue that he may have been behind the name… now you know that I strongly suspect that he was… and hurt a lot of people in the process.

I ended up researching much on the subject of narcissism and abuse and now I wish to share this one that I read this very morning.  I hope you find it helpful in some way.