"If I could wave a magic wand, I would want all of us to move on to happy, healthy, lives. I have learned though that sometimes, when we least expect it, something happens in our lives that gives us joy. May it happen to you sooner than later." ~Honeybear
Dirtgirl says, “I have learned…that the gift of recovery (from an ecounter with a narcissist) is a new clear clean sharp mirror. We no longer reflect beauty onto ugliness. Once you see it, you cannot "unsee" it. The human body and soul wants to be healthy. If you are quiet enough it leads you where you need to go. And that is painful.”
RB22 says, “I have learned…that it is ok to listen to that small voice inside me saying, “That ain’t normal.” And to trust in that voice. I have learned that education is the key to unlocking the answers to all my questions. There is no co-parenting with N, there is only re-parenting. And through that re-parenting my kids will develop that small voice inside themselves. Fear and anger are emotions that let us know we have been disrespected in some way. Even when we don’t realize it at first, the emotions are there. I have learned that my actions speak louder than my words, and to won my actions like any normal adult would. I am responsible for me and to me. I have also learned that laughter is indeed a healing factor in my life. Peace allows me to heal, laughter helps the healing along.”
Saundra says, "I have learned...that "Family" is not always what it seems to be, or what we think it ought to be. Blood is not thicker than water. I finally realized that those people I thought, should have my best interest at heart, didn't. What I have learned is: look at each relationship, family included, and choose how I want to invest myself in that relationship. The bottom line is, it’s OK to distance oneself from a relationship, even if it’s your family. I found through the years, trying hard to balance myself between everyone's opinion and what I should or shouldn't do, that in the end, I didn't please not ONE person! I have learned that it is OK to shut doors on family when their interference is negative and harmful. It is OK to love them from a distance and it is not OK to take their abuse. My new life will be a closed door and I will be very careful who I let in.”
Bunny says, "I have learned...that food, shelter, clothing (not designer), and having money for medical expenses are the most important things in the world. Nothing, NOTHING else matters. In order to fulfill basic survival needs, you need money. Therefore, money is essential, critical."
Practical Jude says, "I have learned...that I don’t NEED to have a man to be happy. I was born in 1950 and there was no question in my house that you graduated from high school, got a job, found a man, got married and had children. I did all of these things (besides have children) and when one marriage didn’t work out I married again. I may have married N, too, if it were not for knowing down deep he was a pathological liar….and then learning the rest, of course, in time." So all along I didn't need a man to be happy: all along I was fairly independent, all along I could have taken care of myself; all along I didn’t need a man to make me whole."
Freezerburned says, "I have learned...that there are things much worse than "D.I.V.O.R.C.E.". That splitting from the N was not a breakdown of a family, it never was a family, just a slave-driver and some kidnapped peeps. That all my problems stemmed from the mind-numbing nonsense spewing from the N's snarky mouth, and the miasma radiating from the N's festering brain. And that I could heal much better after I got away from that mess. I have learned that I don't need another person to "complete" me. That I can choose to face life without a maN's "help". Even if I have to end up "in a van down by the river" it will be better than living in a cage. It wasn't even a gilded cage, more like a rusty bear trap and lockjaw was a bijch.”
NewWings4MeNow says, "I have learned...that it is possible to survive the unimaginable. That there are ways of living, thinking, and processing that are evil on a scale to which I was never directly exposed. That one human can change the course of another human's life through the abuse of power and control. That divorcing and co-parenting with a disordered person utterly, completely and totally sucks for the children caught in the middle. It changes the direction of their lives completely. That it is possible, however grotesque, to interact with a once-beloved, though we may want them to disappear to cleanse ourselves of their memory.
And, I have learned that the 50% of me who remembers my X-husbaNd during the marriage thinks I could have learned what was necessary to have been able to save my marriage; and the 50% of me that experienced my X-husbaNd during the separation and divorce thinks there was nothing I could have learned or done that would have saved the marriage.…that women divorced this week are treated differently by society than those same women were treated by that same society last week when they weren't divorced. I have learned that I was a good wife to the best of my ability.
Seraphic says, “I learned...that dismantling deeply rooted patterns is a huge undertaking. There will be the sweetness of reward, once the grief subsides."
SusyP14 says, "I have learned...that lies are lethal, that you should leave after the 3rd lie, because that goes beyond any 'misunderstandings'. There is true pathology behind a pathological liar. I have learned that it is a tragic error to re-frame bad behavior as 'author's imagination', or 'cultural differences'. I have learned that the first time someone tells you something and you think: “Why is he telling me that? That does not make any sense,” you should walk out the door. I have learned that if your intuition tells you not 'to rock the boat' and confront someone because they are going to leave, that you should let them leave. I have learned that nothing is more important in a relationship then trust and kindness. And that excitement and good looks do not make up for emotional devastation.”
betterdays says, "I have learned...how to protect my child. I have learned that no matter what N's threats are, I can find people in authority who are bound by law to protect me. If they cannot, I have learned how to obtain and use a taser. Also, no matter what my physical ailments are, I must keep them to myself because other people don't have a clue, and will blame me. Ditto for the abuse--only my friends of twenty or thirty years are safe to tell, others attribute it to a flaw and weakness in me. Therefore, I have learned who my friends are. Most importantly, I have learned how to get away.”
May says, "I have learned...that when I first meet people that they aren't always who they appear to be. Instead of assumimg someone is decent, I am now always assuming that they are possibly not. I'm learning to trust my gut and to not waiver on those feelings.”
Overwhelmed says, “I learned...that my feelings, rational or not, are valuable to me. I learned what unfolds, up close and experienced, to my selfhood if I do not honor my feelings first. I learned that not everyone who SAYS they love you means it. I learned that when it hurts, it isn't exaggerated. I learned that abuse is something society dumbs down over. I learned that trust starts with me trusting myself first. I learned to really listen to the stories a person tells. I learned that just because someone tells me I am something, doesn't mean I am. Just as if someone tells me they are something, if I don't have action based proof, doesn't mean they are. More, I learned that when someone SHOWS who they are, believe them and that involves so much in many directions. I learned that I can let go. I learned that others who have been there understand. I learned I am stronger than I know. I learned I am learning, everyday how to be me again. I learned what it is to really miss yourself, "gosh overwhelmed, I sure do miss you and we will be together again better and happier than ever, soon!"
Too_many says, “I have learned...that all my gut feelings about untrustworthy people (outside my family, at least) from about the age of fourteen were pretty accurate. Just because other people appear to get along with and find someone a great person for years doesn't mean there's not something fundamentally awry. There have just been so many people I've moved away from over the years, or never approached, and always wondered if I was judging too quickly or harshly; I don't think I was. I was doing a good job of protecting myself from harm. I wasn't judging them anyway. I was uncertain enough about their character to keep a safer distance.”
Tango3 says, "I have learned...to never, ever ignore that primeval part of my brain that screams "danger - run!"
CZBZ says, “I have learned...that 1) king-sized beds hold approximately a hundred self-help books before cramping a single woman's rollover space. 2) I have learned that life is unpredictable so pick a partner who can roll with the lifequakes and won't leave you stranded when the foundation starts to shake. 3) I have learned that no matter my strength, resilience and competence, I have my limits. One of those limits is living with someone who does not treat me with respect and dignity. 4) I have learned to let my children love their father. Or not.”
RB22 says, "I have learned...to ask for help when I need it. I have been to food banks, community action agencies for paying of utility bills, my kids are on free lunch program at school, all of these and more are because I asked for help and received it... and acknowledged the gift. Some of these people literally saved my life, in more ways than one. They have restored my sense of goodness in humanity when I was about to give up on everyone and everything. Sometimes it takes me letting go for the universe to show me that what I believed in was correct all along."
smp says, "I have learned...that I am a good woman - who deserves to be treated with respect. My thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are mine - I am not responsible for anyone else. I have learned that how I treated N and the marriage was right and "normal." I have learned to walk through each stage of the grieving process for the loss of the marriage I "believed" I had. I have learned the N is really a sick puppy: "I did not cause it, I can not make it any better - not my responsibility." I have learned it is not my fault I became involved with an N, he is really that devious. I am not dumb nor stupid for believing him. I learned that when I can view him as a bad joke, I may be done!! I do not have to forgive him, nor harbor resentment to be over it and move on with my life. I do not have to become anything other than what I am because of this experience. I like me!!"
Candymom says, "I have learned…that I am allowed to have feelings and the N can’t tell me what to do or control me anymore. He does not define me in anyway and I am a great person, friend and mother. I am worthy of being treated respectfully and with love. I have learned that I matter and I don’t have to put up with the abusiveness anymore from anyone. I am who I am and it is okay to be me!"
Victimnomore says, "I have learned...that if it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. I have learned that Evil exists and it comes in seductive packaging. I have learned that not everyone can be "fixed" and that fixing others is not my job. I have learned that No Contact is not optional, it is necessary. I have learned that adultery is NEVER an option, even if he IS your "soulmate!" ugh!”
Honeybear says, "I have learned...1) That life is a series of changes. Life is ABOUT change, and it is the way we handle the change that determines who we are.
2) People really don't want to hear about our problems continually. They will offer sympathy and empathy on a limited basis, but then they expect us to deal with our issues with a professional if we still can't get our act together. And they are right.
3) Nothing is forever. NOTHING IS FOREVER. Life is a series of changes, and when we accept that everything WILL change and nothing will stay the same, we will be healthier and more forgiving of ourselves and others.
4) Being happy isn't determined by how much money I make, what objects I own, even whether my children are perfect. Happiness is a state of mind and how we greet life grateful for what we DO have. I've had a lot, and I've had very little, and while having enough makes it easier, somehow I still managed to get by during the lean times.
5) People avoid you if you turn bitter. NO ONE wants to spend much time around a whiner, a person who can't let the past go, or someone who can't see anything positive. I know I was headed that way at one time. I determined at one point, that I would NOT end up one of those bitter divorcees who lived out her life bashing her ex and whining about what might have been and what a jerk he was. Well, I DO come here and vent on WoN, but that is healthy.
6) I am not responsible for how my kids turn out in the long scheme of things. I did the best I could do with the light I had when they were growing up, and once they got into their late teens and were pretty much on their own, it was their responsibility, not mine, to be the kind of people they wanted to become. I have done my best and I can let them go to figure out their own Life Journey.
7) When we least expect it, the Universe will surprise us with joy. I was convinced I would die never having been loved, but then I met my husband and I know what it is finally, at 64 years old, to be truly loved and appreciated and I am treated that way. I am cherished.
8) WE HAVE NO CONTROL OR INFLUENCE OVER ANOTHER PERSON UNLESS THEY GIVE US CONTROL OR INFLUENCE.
9) I stayed waaaay beyond the time it was healthy for me. That is why I urge women who know or suspect they are with a narcissist to GET OUT. We have NO influence despite our years with them. I learned that none of it---NONE of it made the slightest difference in the long run. "
10) If I could wave a magic wand, I would want all of us to move on to happy, healthy, lives. I have learned though that sometimes, when we least expect it, something happens in our lives that gives us joy. May it happen to you sooner than later.
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