You just DECIDED today, right now, in this moment, that your ex doesn't get to treat you like that anymore?
"He can no longer treat me like shit."
"He can no longer treat me like shit."
Let’s chat about our circles, shall we? Our people, friends, family, sisters, confidants, pastors, counselors, co-workers.
It may seem obvious to surround yourself with people who support you. You believe your parents love and support you and your sister wants you to be happy. Of course your best friend just wants to see you with a new guy. Your co-worker keeps telling you what you should do even though she's never been through a divorce. You've got people seemingly 'on your side', but yet you feel very alone.
If you've told someone closest to you something very vulnerable about a challenge you're facing, whether you're co-parenting with the abuser or you’re battling it out in court and your friend makes a hurtful comment, or they doubt what you're saying is true, or they give you advice that's very generic and run of the mill that might work for other people divorcing, but not us with narcissists, then your people are not helping you.
You've got people in your life who claim ‘Switzerland neutrality’, because “there are always two sides to every story”, or they're advising you what you should have done or what you should do now. Realize their advice and attitudes are coming from their life experiences. And if that does not involve a narcissist or abuse, you don't need to be listening to them.
I know it’s hard to hear what I'm saying. You might think your circle of people is already really small and you don't want to alienate anybody because then there would hardly be anyone left!
That’s actually okay, because if the people that are in your already small circle are telling you things that are harmful, hurtful, not supportive, or they’re making you doubt yourself, you don't want to continue confiding in them.
Think about your people as you read below.
You tell them your story and they feel terrible for you. They express how sorry they are that you’re going through a tough time, but they have nothing to offer you other than maybe taking you to dinner and taking your mind off of things for a bit. They're still in your life, but you’re not going to divulge all the details of your situation and expect to be deeply supported.
This could also be people, that after you’ve described how awful your post-abuse situation is, they look at you with fear in their face. They’re so far removed from being able to understand that they are scared to even be near you or they're scared for their own marriage. These are people who tell you to “just get over it” or “it takes two to tango”.
These people believe you as you describe the horrific abuse of you and your kids, pre and post separation. They are ‘on your side’. They might watch your kids if you need to go to court. These are people who “get it” to some degree of what you’re dealing with in the abuser/narcissist and will go the extra mile to actually help you in some way, shape or form. However, they aren't the people that are going to be able to really understand where you're coming from and give you solid advice. Their support only goes so far.
These are your people! Where you call them up crying for the 50th time, because you are so upset over what your ex just did in front of the kids, how your ex just verbally abused you at a custody exchange. They never say to you, stop talking to me about it. Aren't you over it by now? Can't you just move on?
No, those are the people you move to circle one.
Circle Three people say, come over or I'm coming over. And even if they haven't gone through abuse, for whatever reason, they have a knowing. They support you in your decisions. They cheer you on and want nothing more than to see you happy and thriving. They help you trust yourself, they help you heal. They believe you. These are your Circle Three people.
I encourage you to take a piece of paper and categorize your people into these three circles. You may find there is a reason you have not been feeling supported by your tribe, and that there’s a need to change who you confide in going forward.
I explained this in greater detail, including an example from my story, with more guidance on how to move people from circle to circle in order to protect your heart and your confidence. Listen to that HERE.
Holidays. Birthdays. Vacations. Special Events. Trips.
Every single time, the narc would create massive, gut-wrenching, drama.
Every. Single. Time.
Once he made such a stink - threatening to separate - that I cancelled a girls trip the morning of my flight, so I could stay home and 'work things out' with him.
Another time, the night before a huge business presentation in front of 500+ people, he kept me up till 3am, emotionally bashing me, holding me hostage to listen to his ranting and raving as I cried for hours over what I could not control (his BS)!
The LAST time I allowed this to happen was on a Christmas Eve. As I joyfully assembled a My Little Pony castle for our daughter, heart full of gratitude having just finished a year of surgeries, chemotherapy and recovery from breast cancer, he started a fight. I cannot recall over what, because for narcs, it could be over anything and nothing at all. I remember that sinking feeling, that I had to 'take it' and listen to him spout lies and bring up the past over and over again so that he wouldn't wake up our kid.
Sitting here, years removed from being ‘with’ him, on a holiday weekend, and I feel anxious.
I give myself grace for feeling this way. For crying and letting it out.
Trauma forms in so many layers, and this feels like another one peeling back, exposing the wound underneath, ready to be healed. I allow the feelings to flow through me, but I don’t stay in that place.
I’ve come to believe I create my reality.
I realize I’m ‘hiding’ because I feel anxious and nervous- and also fully responsible for all of it - creating my life, building my business, my daughter's entire upbringing, cleaning the house, cooking the meals, making the money, self-development, doing all the things in my business, cultivating friendships. And healing from decades of trauma.
So I cry and let it out. Then I pick myself up.
I’m grateful for this moment, to identify why I feel the yuck. Now I can take action.
THIS is powerful. THIS is the EXACT fucking option I didn’t feel I had during those spoiled, trauma-filled events with the narc.
I DECIDE. I get to decide how I want my life to go now.
I get to make my money, I get to build my business that feels so damn good and aligned with my highest desire to help other women through this shit.
I get to buy my dream home, my dream car, and hire professionals to clean my home.
I get to prepare my heart for the deep romantic love of a physically and emotionally healthy man (whom I believe God has fully designed for me, and me for him).
I get to shape and guide my daughter into the woman God designed her to be!
This is IT!
THIS IS FREEDOM!
THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN WISHING FOR!
So, I wipe my eyes, take a deep breath, rub JOY oil over my heart and VALOR oil over my neck - and I TAKE HOLD of THIS LIFE, THIS OPPORTUNITY.
THANK YOU JESUS.Read more...