Last week, I turned thirty-six. I’ve finally decided that I’m so done with the pain, denial, false guilt and sundry miseries resulting from decades of narcissistic abuse. I want to be happy. I want to be free.
Easily said. Less easily done.
I’ve been so unhappy for so long that it’s become a way of life. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried very hard to feel happy and not have “B.O. of the personality.” I’ve perfected the “happy” act. And there have been thousands of truly happy moments, good laughs and self-unaware times of bliss in my life.
I have everything to be grateful and happy about. A husband without peer, who I treasure more each day. (Happy 4th Anniversary, Honey!) Wonderful friends who’ve stuck with me through my highest and lowest moments. Two wonderful puppies who wag, lick and love unconditionally. A warm cottage. Reliable transportation. Work I enjoy. Food in the fridge and water from the tap. And at least sixty bottles of nail polish. What more does a girl need?
And yet…and yet…every day is a struggle to keep a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. It’s getting jolly old.
Click here to read the full article on PsychCentral!
Anyone struggling to recover from emotional abuse has probably been told, “Oh, just forgive, forget and get over it!” What a slap to the face! As I chronicle my own journey of healing from narcissistic abuse on Narcissism Meets Normalcy and the Huffington Post, pissed-off readers post comments like this frequently! I bet you’ve heard it a lot too. So let’s chat about it, shall we?
Get Over It!Let’s say a drunk driver hits you head-on and you’re in hospital recovering from multiple injuries. A family member waltzes into your hospital room, hands on hips, sportin’ a ‘tude, a perturbed impatient expression on their face. “Snap out of it!” they say. “Chop, chop. Out of that hospital bed! Forgive, forget and get over it!”
How cruel, you say! That’s inhumane!
Yeah, it is. So why is it okay to say it to victims of emotional abuse?
Click to read the full article!
Beware the religious narcissist.
They speak with the omniscient voice of God. Wield the sword of His judgment. Brandish the rod of His power. They wear the mantle of His righteousness. They goin’ straight to Heaven, baby.
And you, you back-slidden heathen? Well, you ain’t!
Exploitation of Holy Scripture is at its finest when you give a narcissist a Bible. In fact, all cult leaders have narcissistic tendencies. You can take it to the bank!
My narcissists “got religion” in 1980. Or so they claimed.
Uh huh, whatever.
Read all about it here!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today isn’t just about loving your honey. It’s about loving yourself too and self-care is one of the main ways we love ourselves. But first, have you read Part 1 of this article?
What Is Self-Care?
I define self-care as anything that cracks the catatonic shell protecting your heart and allows you to feel your feelings, to weep, to feel empathy for yourself and to heal.
For me self-care is anything gentle, tender and beautiful that releases the floodgates of tears, without effort.
It may be a birdsong. The glimpse of a rainbow. The fragrance of a flower.
You’ll know it when you feel it. It’s a feeling like no other.
Click here to read the full article on PsychCentral!
Since when did narcissists ever play fair?
You quote their words exactly and they weasel out of them.
They misquote and twist your words, then judged you for what you never said, thought, wrote nor meant.
But that’s narcissistic clairvoyance for ya’. They know you better than you know you!
When you’re dealing with narcissists, there’s the “Official Story” and the “Truth.” And never shall the twain meet.
Click here to read all about what I learned from tangling with a religious narcissist!
When I think back on all the thousands of parental criticisms made "for my good" over thirty years, my blood boils. Hundreds, nay, thousands of 'em. It sta, not because I was bad, but because I was 15 and that's the time narcissistic parents start feeling nervous because their kid is growing up and they might, just might, lose control.
I was 14 and shocked by all the criticisms suddenly blind-siding me. They ranged from making me believe I was an (almost) slut to something as vague as, "Shake my hand and commit to 'try harder.'" To this day I wonder how much harder I could try. I already had a 4.0 GPA. And the blind-siding hurt worse than the criticisms themselves.
But no one (except my husband, Michael, and God), and I mean no one, is going to criticize me, lecture me nor shame me anymore.
It's done. Over! I'm damn near 40 years old and frickin' fine the way I am.
In the words of Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!"
Or in the words of comedian Eddie Murphy, "It's my [blog] and if you don't like it, get the frick out." Click here to watch that hysterically funny moment!
To read the full article on Huffington Post, click here!
The Secret Pain of Caretakers
Finally, someone is speaking out for the millions of caretakers worldwide.
The ones who vicariously suffer, deep in their hearts, as they watch their loved one's cringe with pain, day after day, year after year.
The wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters who silently scream because they just can't handle the stress, the worry, the workload any longer.
The long-suffering, smiley caretakers with the perfect bedside manner on the verge of burnout.
There was a time when I wanted to scream too. The pain of watching my husband cope with Level 10 physical pain each and every day was emotionally unbearable.
Physical pain can be treated with medications and pain killers. But what eases the pain in the heart of the caregiver who witnesses their loved one suffer, day in and day out? It's lonely, traumatizing and totally triggered my codependence.
I wrote about this experience in the Huffington Post article entitled, The Secret Pain of Caretakers, in the hopes it will help other caregivers feel less alone, validated and comforted. Click here to subscribe to receive daily updates on new articles! Follow @lenorathewriter on Twitter! Become a fan on HuffPost and check out my new blog on PsychCentral!
Click here to read The Secret Pain of Caretakers!
I’ve got the leakiest tear ducts on the planets. Seems like I’m always sniffling about this or weeping about that. If it’s not adorable videos of babies making my eyes well up, it’s videos of ecstatic dogs welcoming their master home from serving overseas. Any sentimental YouTube video can get me hullabalooing into my hankie in no time. It came as quite a shock to my husband when we married in 2012. Now he thinks I’m both hysterical funny and extremely soft-hearted.
There’s only one scenario where my tear ducts dry up. My own pain. I simply cannot cry for myself. Tried it. Made all the right noises. Huffed and puffed. Nothin’. Eyes remained dry as a bone.
And it’s a huge problem. Tears aren’t just salty water. Their chemical compositions vary depending on the emotion that stimulated them. Even their structure when seen under a microscope is vastly different depending on the scenario. Personally, I can feel my heart aching behind my eyes. It’s a kind of burning, kind of pressurized sensation behind my eyeballs. Only tears release the pain in both my eyes and my heart. It feels like tears purge the toxic chemicals in the tears, but perhaps I’m just being fanciful.
Which brings us back to the original problem. I can’t cry. And too often my original pain becomes translated into the secondary emotion of anger.
Click here to read the whole article on PsychCentral!
Love Makes It So Confusing
In some ways, healing from narcissistic abuse would be so much easier if I hadn’t felt so loved. Yes, truly loved by the engulfing narcs. The juxtaposition of love versus abuse is so confusing I can feel the pressure building inside my skull each time I think about it.
Click here to read the whole article on Psych Central!
WOW! I'm overwhelmed by all the "Me Too's" in your comments on my blogs this week. And now, thousands more can join our ranks in healing from narcissistic abuse together. Introducing "Narcissism Meets Normalcy" on Psych Central.
Click here to read my introductory blog! Be sure to subscribe to receive daily updates by email!