Article: Closure without Contact "Let go of the Illusion, find and listen to the Truth, Move on with more Love in your Heart"; You're Free
This article is especially written for those who have experienced 'sudden break up' and consequently heart brokeness, shock and PTSD because they were left with so many unanswered questions. For those who were given the 'silent treatment', for those who tried to get answers but we're fooled by lies and deceit, for all those who came to the conclusion that the person they were involved with turned out to be a pathological liar, a narcissist or even worse a psychopath. If you're really lucky you get all 3 in 1 package (like I did). You didn't know such 'evil' existed, NOW YOU DO. Consider it a gift/test from the Universe/from above because once you get through this you can READ ANYONE.
Let me give you some tools how to deal with the aftermath of the break up in order to come to a form of closure.
"For the purpose of this article I will refer to 'the psychopath' because he/she has a mental disorder (psyche = mind, pathology = disease). Let me very clear...Although in the entertainment industry, the word psychopath is pretty much synonymous with murderous madman, most psychopaths in reality aren’t violent or sadistic. The most important characteristics of a psychopath revolve not around violence, but around lack of empathy, selfishness, and manipulation. True, some psychopaths may use these traits to commit crimes, but others rely on their manipulative nature and ability to charm for other things. As a psychologist I am licensed to 'diagnose', although I don't like putting labels on people. I have chosen this profession because I want to help 'sick' people and un-label them. Unfortunately literature shows that psychopathic behaviour is very difficult to treat because the ones affected will do their very best to deny it or cover it up. Even for professionals its hard to discover but once you 'see' you 'know'.
All survivors of psychopathic abuse know how extremely difficult it is to cut 'ties', to come to any kind of healthy closure after the psychopath has left you 'out of the blue'. Usually they'll tell you that they aren't 'happy' any more (they're bored), that they choose 'themselves' (they're ego-centered and selfish) and/or that they can't continue the relationship because of incompatibility (which is an excuse because they're afraid you'll find out the truth, i.o.w. they feel that their true identity will be unveiled soon so they try to protect themselves). So when they drop the bomb that the relationship is over you're basically left clueless and in disbelief.
If you have experienced this or if you ever are to go through such a confusing ordeal the best thing to do is NO CONTACT.
"Don't make the mistake I made. I tried to get answers immediately from my ex but he completely disregarded me, blocked me on FB, WhatsApp and SMS. We were together for 3 years, engaged to get married, so to not get any replies to any of my Q's was very painful (to say the least). That's not how you treat each other. That's not adult behaviour. And because of this a lot of BELLS went ringing. My inner voice saying something was terribly wrong but I wouldn't believe that it was possible that I had become the victim of a master manipulator, a chameleon, an opportunist, a psychopath..sleeping with my enemy. I searched the Internet and brought out my Psychology books and when I read, recognised and relived our relationship in my mind then I saw and knew. He's fits most of the criteria of a psychopath. They are the worst of the worst. So I wrote him a 'Good bye Letter' and established 'NO CONTACT' after 4 weeks, something I should had done from the very start of the break up".
Most survivors of psychopath abuse try to pick up the pieces of their shattered hearts and lives all by themselves after 'no contact' is implemented. Many survivors write that what they want more than anything is to find closure. Some hope that they can somehow obtain that closure from the psychopaths. Others are convinced that closure is absolutely impossible. All survivors wonder, at some point during their recovery journeys, if they will ever find a way out of the darkness.
The good news is, YES, closure is possible. And the bad news is NO, it will not come from the psychopaths! It must come from within. The following are points on a possible path toward closure. This road map does not have a timeline, and many of the points overlap:
1. Try to let go of the illusion
The first step in healing psychopathic abuse is to stop all contact with the person. And the only way to do that is to let go of the image you had of the person you loved. Unfortunately and sadly, that person never existed. He or she was only an illusion, a mask the psychopath created in order to mirror and manipulate you. As crushingly hard as it is and as much as it hurts, the only way to find freedom is to stop believing in that illusion.
"I clearly remember the first encounter with my ex; I thought he was the perfect partner for me! He seemed to understand me so well, and we had all the right things in common. It almost felt too good to be true! Then when I discovered that I had been so deeply betrayed by him, in ways I never imagined were possible, I realized it always was too good to be true. All of it was a lie…except for me and my feelings for him. I was real, and my feelings were real. And in the midst of the intense pain, I held on to the light—the light of truth—that was just barely left in my soul. Letting go of the “dream man” he pretended to be brought me closer to my own heart.
So please take my advice and do your best to let go of the 'illusion'. When you let go, you’ll start to find the real you".
2. Search for answers—but stay safe!
"When I realized that I had been involved with a psychopath, I had a very strong urge to go on what I call “my truth-finding mission.” Everyone around me—absolutely everyone—discouraged me from investigating. But I felt deeply compelled to uncover as many lies as I could, so I disregarded their advice. It turned out that I made the right decision, because I conducted my mission without making contact with my ex or anyone connected to him. I also did not reveal my new knowledge to him or his fan club, although I desperately wanted to. Finally, when I exhausted every anonymous avenue available to me, I stopped. I was far from healed, and I uncovered only a portion of the truth, but I felt that I had reclaimed a part of myself. The entire process was an important step in rebuilding my self-respect.
It is completely okay to search for as many answers as you can, to uncover as much of the truth as possible, as long as you follow the no contact rule".
3. Research psychopathy
An encounter with a psychopath is not like a normal relationship, which means the aftermath is going to be very different from a typical breakup. Survivors are left with so many WHY questions, and those questions need to be answered in order for healing to occur. Survivors also tend to blame themselves for what happened, often because others do not understand what they have been through and usually make insensitive statements like, “Why did you stay?” or “Why didn’t you see the signs?” or “It takes two to tango.”
But psychopaths are abnormal! At the time of the first encounter, you did not know that people like this exist. They'll seem so nice, so charming, so perfect and you were innocent.
Be ready for others to discourage you from “focusing on them”—they might imply that it delays your recovery—but researching psychopathy actually helps you make much progress in your own healing. By learning to recognise the common tactics and games of psychopathic predators, you will realise that the abuse was never your fault. By learning how the psychopathic mind works, you will realize you were set up from the very beginning. And when it all begins to click for you, that’s when you start to reclaim your power!
4. Allow yourself to feel and think
All normal human beings attempt to avoid pain. Yet, paradoxically, it is by facing the pain and moving through it that we find beauty, because on the other side of our deepest suffering, we have the opportunity to experience the greatest joy.
As you heal, you will find yourself moving back and forth through the stages of grief that are unique to the aftermath of an encounter with a psychopath (I'll dedicate another article on this grieving part).
Allow yourself to feel all emotions as they come over you, which will most likely happen in waves. Also, allow the thoughts of the psychopath in when they overwhelm your mind, even though you may feel as if you are going crazy because you can think of nothing else. Continuously pushing the obsessive thoughts away can actually be more harmful than helpful.
You most likely are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, and it is important to find resources that can help you work through the trauma of what has happened. This might include therapy and/or other healing techniques (like yoga, meditation, Reiki, Sound therapy, keeping a diary of thoughts, writing poems because you'll experience feelings and creativity like never before, etc).
Amazingly, if you step into the pain instead of run from it, you begin to see who you are at a deeper level. You develop self-respect and self-love and new confidence. You learn to trust your intuition. And when you are able to trust yourself, then you will start to find others who are worthy of your trust.
5. Accept what you can and cannot control
"When I learned the truth about the psychopath, I was extremely disturbed to realize that such people exist in the world (and so close to me). All of a sudden my dream relationship was over, and I was deeply upset to see the psychopath move on to his new target, seemingly happy, posting pictures and saying how wonderful life is only 3 months after we were supposed to get married. But even this is documented in the books. The psychopath will show his new victory very soon to the world (like a hunter is proud of his new pray) for he has no conscience, suffers from a total lack of discretion, integrity and decent behaviour. They don't care about the devastation they left behind (innocent 'broken' people).
Thing is I discovered that the affair with his 'new love of his life' had been going on for quite some time during our relationship. Not only with her, no no no... he had a whole collection of women. When people showed me the pictures of this new conquest I was disturbed but also prepared because I already knew. Off course he presents himself online like the 'Mr Zen of Love or the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama' thereby making himself utterly 'ridiculous'.
It also proofs to me that I don't have to expose the psychopath for the monster he is, he will eventually do it himself because 'actions' speak louder then words and if your life is filled with different "loves of your life" then it will become very difficult at a certain time to be taken seriously. The world will see how the psychopath continues to repeat the same destructive behaviour. It will become predictable and clear. It's like digging your own grave, but I just call it Karma.
So I don't have to do anything to stop him from lying, manipulating and hurting others. I know I can't convince his new target of the truth (yet, see former articles). And I know I can't make him feel remorseful for what he did to me and others who preceded me.
What WE (the women he left) can do is focus on our own healing and our own life. When I made the choice to do that, one day at a time, I gradually felt happier and more peaceful. I still wage a daily struggle to relinquish the desire to control what I cannot control, but, thankfully, it is not nearly as difficult as it used to be.
You will never receive traditional “closure” from the psychopath. But the light you can discover within your own soul is so much better!
6. Trust in your own unique truth
Perhaps the most significant epiphany during my recovery came when I finally was able to believe in myself and trust in my own truth. Psychopaths are eerily similar in so many ways, and yet many of the details of my encounter seemed so different from other survivors’ stories. As I struggled to make sense out of what had happened to me, I heard so many opinions from so many people about how to heal, about who I was, about who I should be, about what to believe. I questioned myself, as I always had, and as long as my intense self-doubt remained, my pain lingered. Ironically, it was only after reading survivor story after survivor story, so similar to mine and yet so different, that the fog began to lift. Only after reading so many other stories, and only after seeing my own worth, was I able to see the truth in my experience. I still have doubts, about so many things, but now I put them in perspective and listen first to the voice within my heart.
You have a similar voice in your own heart. Listen to it.
And please hold on to this truth: "You can find closure without contact, and you can find peace on the other side of the nightmare. Read and learn about psychopathy, move through the pain, take back your power, and most of all, strive daily to believe in and love yourself, your most AUTHENTIC SELF. You are your own best guide, go slow sweet beautiful soul and if you need me I am there. Together we shall warn others, aid in prevention and/or help recover, Namaste"
Published by Badass Yoga Rebel, a happy survivor of narcissistic/psychopathic abuse
This is part Three on Narcissism, follow up to Part One and Two (see previous articles). These Red Flag Series are a prelude to my book "I can't read you" which will be published end of 2016.
Trust me ...I can read him now and a lot of other people with me! Funny thing is I am grateful for the experience because it gave my a higher insight and it healed a lot of old wounds. He had to come into my life story to fulfil his part. Like with every soap opera actors enter and leave the stage again. I keep on writing my own script and I have to thank him for an important side role he played to well.
Note by author: "I tend to talk in terms of the narcissist being a male but female narcissists exist and are just as destructive. The phases of the relationship are the same whether the narcissist is male or female".
Following article is a "future letter" to the next victim.
Note by author: "I know your name (victim), I know how he found you. I feel a lot, get answers through meditation, I know where to look and I do my research. What I regret is that I can't help you because you won't believe me right now. You're still in Phase 1 (you're still in the first 6-7 months of honeymoon/idealisation phase, maybe it will last an year or so if you're lucky, it all depends on how much you adore and supply him, especially with sex but he'll grow tired and bored with and you'll get frustrated of having the relationship become one-sided). Eventually I can help you see the truth and overcome your break up if you let me, for it's become my mission to help victims find and love themselves again.
I am a ReBalance counsellor, a healer, a psychologist, a yoga teacher and a survivor of narcissistic abuse by the same man.
My name is Corinne, alias Badass Yoga Rebel, also known as Happy Buddha Aruba. I am sane of Mind, healthy of Body and strong in Spirit. I speak my truth, appreciated by many and hated by others. I know. I don't care. I feel protected. If no one talks about this then he will get away with it each time.
So most probably there will come a time that you want to talk to me. I can sense it and I have a lot of answers for you".
"So, you are wondering what the hell happened aren’t you? You thought you had met your soul mate and you were the luckiest person in the world. Of course in phase 1 you weren’t questioning your relationship, but like a switch going off everything changed, even if you can’t put your finger on it, something is very wrong. You entered phase 2, for a while you just chalked it up to him having a bad day, or maybe he seemed sick, maybe he has a brain tumor, or he's having a nervous breakdown, it took a while before you started searching for answers about why the love of your life had turned on you.
Note by author: "I was into the relationship for more then 2 1/2 years about to get married to him before I went looking for answers and even then, once I found NPD in my old Psychology books from university and he fitted the description almost to a T and our relationship followed the same stages described on various websites, I still couldn't believe he could be unfaithful or would discard me so callously. I believe everyone has good in them because I meet so many amazing souls/clients on a daily base".
It is almost impossible to get your head around the notion he could ever just toss you aside like you meant nothing and not even look back. If anything; while you are reeling in pain from the relationship ending he’ll take the opportunity to give you a kick in the guts a few times for good measure and make sure you know it is all your fault.
If you are in phase 2 and think you are hurt and confused please believe me it is nothing compared to the excruciating pain of phase 3. You would be doing yourself a HUGE favor to get out now. Let me give you a brief overview of the 3 phases.
During this phase he's very loving and is on his best behavior. He can be extremely charming and loving, which often makes you fall head over heels in love with him.
Note by author: "In the beginning I felt he cared for me more than I cared for him but I had never been loved like that in my life and that is very hard to walk away from. I was perfect in his eyes, to quote him, “Don’t ever change, I love you just the way you are.”
If he's cheating on his present partner with a new lover, it is often more due to the actions of him than the lover that the relationship started in a first place.
While pursuing a new lover, he's often claiming that he is very unhappy or dissatisfied in his current relationship, the woman takes him for granted or abuses his good nature. He will say he has tried and tried and done his grieving of the relationship long ago.
He has had to stay because he’s afraid she’ll try to kill herself if he leaves, or she just won’t accept that its over. He's about to get a divorce/separation, has never felt as strongly towards anyone else as he's now feeling towards the new lover, etc.
If you are the married one he'll become your best friend and perhaps even befriend your husband, he'lll point out how your husband takes you for granted, tell you he wishes he had a woman like you, he will (pretend to) be your perfect match, totally into you, always so happy to see or hear from you, wanting to know all about you, your hopes and dreams, you will feel attractive, appreciated, it will be exciting, his romantic gestures will take your breath away, the love-making like nothing you have ever experienced before, you will feel like the sexiest most desirable woman on earth.
You'll feel you must have this man in your life, you can face anything as long as he has you in his arms. It is intoxicating, you can not believe your good fortune to meet this wonderful man and he proclaims to love you until the day you'll die.
He knows how to say all the right things to make you fall hard.
Unfortunately this “honeymoon” period never lasts for long. He soon grows bored and restless and starts to look for another provider of a narcissistic supply or will try to recycle a previous ex..
This is when you enter the devaluation phase.
During this phase his behavior changes, he becomes cold and uncaring almost overnight. This is when the “mask drops” and you see the real person. He no longer tells you how much he loves you, but instead becomes increasingly critical towards you. Suddenly he finds all sorts of flaws in your behavior and possibly also in the way you look. You start to feel increasingly unhappy and depressed, because you have no idea what you have done to deserve to be treated this way. You'll try to “make him love you again”, however nothing you do seems to be good enough and what he wants seems to change with the wind. He accuses you of things you aren’t thinking or doing, is controlling, twists your words, where once you could talk about anything calmly and rationally, now every thing turns into a discussion. He accuses you of being paranoid, yet he'll be snooping through your phone and computer.
A rule to remember; "If his lips are moving, he's lying".
He can look you right in the eye and tell you a lie, he can cry real tears and could get an academy award for his acting abilities.
He may be loving in public and then treat you with disdain when you get home, yet expect you to stay loving and giving until he's firmed enmeshed in a new relationship. It will be a very confusing time you, one minute you're treated with disgust and the next he's loving, you're blamed for the problems in the relationship but anything you do to mend the fences is never good enough. You'll be accused of causing conflict, yet if you give into him you'll treated even worse.
Once he drains his supply, the supply refuses to comply with his demands or when he finds better supply he's ready to move on and if he doesn't have new supply lined up he'll set out to find a new source. At this point he is obvious in his infidelity, short tempered and generally acts as if he hates sharing his air with you.
He'll pick his new love interest by what they have to offer him, it might just be a roof over his head, your reputation, perhaps to advance his career, a surrogate parent for his child, status in the community, or something as simply as sex.
You'll find yourself walking on eggshells for fear of sending him into a rage. Everything is your fault, you are paranoid, too sensitive, causing drama and you should know he hates drama. More than likely some addiction like obsessively watching porn has surfaced or he forces you to perform sex acts you aren’t comfortable with, the great sex you once had is a distant memory unless he's trying to win you over after a really bad fight.
During this phase he may start to look for another provider of a narcissistic supply and may end up cheating or having an affair, however still keeping the current spouse hooked, just in case the new relationship does not work out the way he's hoping. He'll get a huge ego boost from thinking that two people (the current spouse and the secret lover) are “madly in love” with them. Plus he'll get off on being able to pull something off right under your nose.
He'll fly into a rage that you could possibly think he would ever cheat on you and turn the tables so you end up apologizing for accusing him or for some other crime you committed months or years ago. His crimes are brushed under the carpet while yours are always brought up and never forgiven, even crimes you didn’t commit or even think about committing.
They often play one against the other creating "triangulation", and then sit back and watch the show. Nothing feeds the ego like having two lovers fighting for your affections; doing the “pick me” dance. Often times he'll leave evidence of his cheating around for you to find because your pain serves up such delicious narcissistic supply.
During the discarding phase he becomes totally indifferent to your needs or pain. Once you're no longer useful to him he'll discard you like yesterday’s garbage. When he reaches this phase, there is no chance to reason with him.
Many survivors will say that the discard “came out of the blue” everything was fine and then he sent an email saying it was over, he just packs his suitcase and leaves you or you're thrown out of the house with nothing, and he's immediately involved with “the next love of their life” and you're portrayed as the psycho bitch.
But when you talk to other survivors it comes out that there were signs but he denied their suspicions, accused them of not loving him enough or that things just couldn't go back to the way they were.
Note by author: "I realised at a certain time that I had been emotionally and psychologically abused but had gotten so used to him being distant that the discord had just become “the way we are” and I was OK with it still because I believed he would never truly leave me and was going through an emotional time himself".
Then you'll discover that he was planning his exit for a long time, has been slandering you behind your back, hiding or stealing money, and has his next replacement(s) lined up.
If you try to beg him to get back together with you, you are only feeding his ego and providing him with a transient source of a narcissistic supply. He wants you devastated at the thought of losing him and you'll end up drained, confused, with your confidence and self-esteem in shreds.
A feeling of doom pervades everything in your life and you could suffer from PTSD (if you're already had some troublesome relationships and that's exactly the reason why he picked you). There is no way to have an amicable split from him. When he's done with you he is not happy to just walk away, he wants to destroy you and your reputation. He will turn your friends and your own/his family against you.
Out of loyalty you won't talk behind his back so no one believes you when you try to explain what went on in the relationship. He has already told everyone who will listen that you're a paranoid psychopath who has made his life hell, so anything you say is taken as being vindictive and you're the psycho liar he claims you to be.
He must win, and that means he must take everything from you, your reputation in particular. In his mind if you are of no use to him you're worthless.
He'll take great pleasure in rubbing your nose in his new relationship and blame you for the relationship failing. He'll say how he has met the next love of his life, she is calm and rational, they are soul mates now.
He'll taunt you to kill yourself, accuse you to your face of doing exactly what he did to you, twist the facts to make himself look the victim, he'll never admit to any fault in the relationship and if you're not careful you'll end up friendless with no support system because he carefully planned his exit and will just deny deny deny any of your claims of abuse.
It will be your worst nightmare, like he stepped into the twilight zone and you're helpless against the vindictiveness of the narc. After all who can believe anyone can be that cruel and conniving. That is why only someone who have been there can understand and will believe YOU.
Then, just when you are starting to heal and get your legs under you he'll pop back into your life, professing his love, tears and all, apologising for everything he ever did and you believe your prayers have been answered, the man you fell in love with is back and you fall lovingly into his arms. The arms of a devil.
Be careful, as he holds you telling you how much he loves you and how sorry he is, he's secretly laughing and giving himself a pat on the back for being so clever and irresistible, and planning how he will punish you for being so stupid as to believe him.
In his mind you deserve to be punished for your gullibility and he feels so superior to have that kind of control over you. The cycle begins again only much worse this time.
Please be aware...and talk to me first for I'll never take his BS ever again. If you think this is all you're mistaken. I have a whole file on all his tricks and lies. It will make interesting reading material, for the majority hard to comprehend but it's true.
This relationship will be the roller coaster ride of your life, so buckle up. You'll be physically ill once you step out but you'll survive. Once you get grounded again, it's time to move on, unafraid and positive like you were before he ever entered your life. The ride in itself will give you great insight in yourself and for this we have to be grateful for without him you'd probably had not known.
If you need help I'm here. Just remember: "Silence is GOLDEN, don't talk to him when he's done with you".
As a writer and educator it's hard for me to stay quiet. He has given me the opportunity to develop my writing skills (and maybe that was his part in my life film for I always had the ambition to write but wasn't sure on a subject). Another reason we came into each others live was so to show each other that we're different and not at all compatible. I am an very ambitious woman, make my own money and I continue to search for ways to help other people believe in themselves and do the same. And I think this is where we differ most. I believe in honesty, goodness and togetherness where he remains dishonest, causes pain and says his 'goodbyes' to walk his path all by himself for he'll never truly let someone in. Through this 'pain' he leaves us with we find ourselves (and hopefully one day he'll be ready to confront himself, acknowledge himself and find his true soul).
So I guess he thought that I would be quiet like all others who preceded but in this he's mistaken. I am only trying to help but I will never take him serious again, once the glass (trust) is broken it's hard to repair it again. And if he doesn't want to tell me the truth and continues to BS then he has to take that elsewhere. My part in his life film is done and I wish I could have helped him overcome (maybe I did give him a clue how to look in the right direction, I don't know). I hope I did and if not then I hope you do or someone else.
You know where to find me,
Published by Badass Yoga Rebel, a happy survivor of narcissistic abuse.
Part Two on Narcissism (Coming soon Red Flags 7 through 10).
Note by Author: Please read Red Flag Series - Part One, "Idealisation Phase" first (former post on Narcassism, Red Flags #1 through 6)
You'll win no discussion with them because they won't change their opinion
Forget about discussing and resolving issues with a narcopath. Isn’t ever going to happen. Why? Because narcissistic sociopathic people do not like to be held accountable for their actions.
They will invalidate your feelings, deny what happened or try to turn the tables. What’s even more absurd is if they're anything like him, he will accuse you of hurting him!
It’s likely you will see a combination of all these reactions, as well as what psychologists refer to as "narcissistic rage." This is an adult temper tantrum, similar to what you'd see in a two-year-old who can't get his way.
Trying to get your narcopathic boy- or girlfriend to take responsibility for the harm (s)he’s caused you and countless others will likely put an end of your relationship.
Try not to mourn this fake love match for too long. Your life will be much more peaceful without him.
By the time you've noticed the relationship is one sided, it's already entered the "devaluing phase".
At first, narcopaths will idealize you, just like they will your family and friends. However, inevitably, you will do something to "disappoint" them. That's when they remove you from your pedestal and replace you with someone else or an old ex they can recycle.
You may not even be aware that you “disappointed” him/her. This could be something as simple as making a joke about their new hair style, making a remark that doesn't fit their beliefs, not jumping up when they need your help, not giving money when they want it, not agreeing with them on a certain topic or asking questions once you get suspicious something is 'wrong'. It won’t even cross your mind these are deal breakers, because in a real relationship, they are not deal breakers.
Once they begin to devalue you, that's when you’ll notice more moodiness, coupled with critical remarks and subtle attacks on your character. This is also when the narcopath takes the opportunity to conduct a smear campaign. They'll accomplish their mission of destruction by getting others to turn against you, after they've heard outrageous lies about your character, and you’ll never know, because most people won’t confront you with what they heard. Someone will, though, and it will be at that moment you realize (s)he was spreading lies and gossip about you. (S)he does this to feel powerful and to garner sympathy.
By all means, confront them with how you feel about their abusive and manipulative ways. If you don’t then you’ll forever be walking on eggshells, worried the least little tiff will spell doom for your relationship.
Get a little perspective here. Normal relationships aren’t like this. Normal relationships are based on love and trust, give and take.
If (s)he doesn’t SHOW you (s)he loves you, and you FEEL (s)he can’t be trusted to be loyal to you, and (s)he never gives anything to the relationship, but takes everything, then why are you even concerned. Kick them out of your life. Will it hurt? It probably will, but it won’t hurt near as long as staying in an abusive one-sided relationship, now, will it?
Above all, don't expect an apology, or any real change on their part. As a matter of fact they will tell you bluntly that they have no intention to change or can't change. Any promises of change (s)he makes are only to fool you. Has (s)he kept ANY promises (s)he’s made to you? NO.
I rest my case.
Published by Badass Yoga Rebel, a happy survivor of narcissistic abuse
Part One on Narcissism (Run Like Hell if you're already experiencing 6 of the mentioned Red Flags in this article; 4 more coming soon)
Note by Author: These Red Flag Series are an introduction to the novel "I can't read you" which I am currently working on. It's a true love/horror story based on my own personal experiences. Narcissism is found more among men then women and it really isn't all that negative unless it's used to gain personal benefit in an unremorseful way. Each one of us has narcissistic traits, some just have them more pronounced then others. And those who are classified as true narcissists, those are the one you have to be extra cautious of.
He Isn't my Soulmate - Never Was
He came on strong. He seemed to have the same values, interests, goals, philosophies, tastes, habits I had. He admired my intellect, ambition, honesty and sincerity. He admired the way the two of us got along together, he loved the closeness with me (he said).
He wanted to marry me quickly and even fantasized about having (another) child, and would get very emotional when I told him I wasn't ready for that step yet. He faked integrity, appeared helpful, comforting, generous in his ‘idealization’ of me.
It didn’t last – it never lasts. Eventually Jekyll turns into Hyde.
In the first few months of the relationship, everyone said we fit together perfectly, and how good we were for each other. It seemed like we were mirror images of each other, and we were. He made sure of this. It’s a trait of narcissistic sociopaths called “mirroring”.
Idealization is the first step in the narcissistic sociopath’s grooming process. Also known as 'love-bombing', it quickly broke down my guard, unlocked my heart, and modified my brain chemicals to become addicted to the pleasure centers firing away.
The excessive flattery and compliments played on my deepest vanities and insecurities—qualities I didn’t even knew I possessed.
He fed me constant praise and attention through my phone (SMS or WhatsApp), Facebook DM's and email inbox. Within a matter of weeks, the two of us had our own set of inside jokes, pet names, and cute songs.
Note by author: Looking back, I can see how insane the whole thing was?
How did he do it? He used a variety of brainwashing techniques to win me over. If I think back, I realise he emphasised these six major points (red flags) during the first months of the relationship:
Red Flag #1. We have so much in common
How many times hadn't he told me: “We see the world the same way. We have the same sense of humor. We’re both so empathetic, constantly helping out our friends and family members. We are perfect for each other.”
He repeatedly drilled these points home, often times even going so far as to say: “We’re practically the same person.” He spent a lot of time listening to me and always responding that he felt the same way, until I eventually came to believe that I had met the only person in the world who felt the same way I did.
Note by author: Don't you remember remarking how weird it seemed, meeting someone so similar to yourself? You know why? Because it is flat-out impossible (and creepy) for two people to be identical in every way.Normal people have differences. It’s what makes life interesting. But narcissistic sociopaths like him can skip this complication because they don't have an identity. He does not have a sense of self. Like a chameleon, they will transform every part of their personality to become your perfect match.
Red Flag #2. We have the same hopes and dreams
He consumed my present life, but he also took over my future, by making many long-term promises to me, like "I'll never leave, no matter what. We'll always be together. We'll grow old together and be happy until we'll die". He repeated these promised so frequent that I started to believe them and this ensured me that he was highly invested in the relationship. He took this a step further, quickly discussing major life events like marriage and moving in together.
Note by author: These are decisions that typically take years in a healthy relationship. I had my doubts early on, and thought things were moving too fast, his promises and fake dreams for our future made those doubts and fears fade.
Red Flag #3. We share the same insecurities
He never actually said this, of course, because in his mind, he has none, but he sure sniffed out my vulnerabilities. Then, he mirrored them to drive up my sympathy—a manipulative technique to make me want to heal his problems with the same care I would hope to receive myself.
Note by author: I am an empathetic person, and not really attacked to blatant butt-kissing. I have always been attracted to the innocent, sympathetic people. This increased exponentially with him, when I also recognised his insecurities as my own. I saw someone feeling inferior (like I had felt during my early adulthood being raised by a narcopath mother and an emphatic father) and I believed that I knew how to make him feel better.
He was like no one else, because he genuinely seemed to adore all of my efforts. He compared me to past exes, idealising me above everyone else. It’s as if all of my energies finally had a purpose.
I perceived him in a sympathetic light, my natural instincts kicked in, and I did everything I could to prove how much I cared and loved him. But know I realise that he sees insecurities in a very different way—a tool for manipulation and control. His childlike “baby” routine is a perfect way to mask these intentions.
Red Flag #4. You are so beautiful
He was always obsessed with the way I looked. I never met another human being who commented so frequently on my clothes when we would go out, my hair when it was styled straight (which he liked more then my natural curly hair), my skin and athletic figure, my pictures, or whatever other superficial quality he would choose to focus on. At first, these felt like compliments. He couldn’t believe how beautiful I am —he told me often he didn’t even feel worthy of being my partner. He would say I could get any man I wanted and how lucky he felt having found me on Facebook (not realising that was his tactic, he finds his women either through social media or dating sites) – and, just as planned, I reassured him he was the only one for me.
Going along with the above point about insecurities, I began to return all of this flattery. I wanted to make sure how adequate he was—that he would understand how attractive I thought he was. And that’s what he was aiming for. By showering me with compliments, he knew he could expect the adoration to rebound shortly. Suddenly, he became very comfortable sharing photos of himself. He would send me nude photos/videos of himself and kept insisting I would send him some of mine (which I didn't because I too shy to do this).
Our relationship became an unending exchange of praise and approval.
I began to place my self-esteem into his words, because he was so reliably positive. I actually felt myself glowing. I would spend more and more time improving my appearance to keep him impressed.
Red Flag #5. I’ve never felt this way in my life
This is where the comparisons begin. He held me in high regard, far above all of his other relationships. He explained—in detail—every one of the reasons why I was better than his other exes. He couldn't remember the last time he was ever this happy.
I constantly heard sweeping declarations like, “I can’t believe how lucky I am.” Statements like these played on my innate desire to make others happy. He convinced me that I was providing him with a special sort of joy, something that he could not find in anyone else. This became a point of pride for me—believing that I was the one he wanted, despite all of his other admirers.
He referred to me as “perfect” and “awesome”, which, over time, became an overwhelming source of cognitive dissonance when the words inevitably changed to “crazy” and “jealous”.
Note by author: As I worked through these memories (during my post traumatic stress disorder period after the break up), I realised that his compliments were always shallow and calculated. He had done it with everyone. But for each target, the idealize phase had been somewhat different.
However, one thing remains true throughout our relationship: "He really had “never felt this way” in his life because he never actually had been given the opportunity to accomplish to live his dream (which is living on a tropical island) and he never had felt the love and happiness that he so frequently proclaimed".
I know now that he oscillates between a continuous contempt, envy, and boredom and will do anything to make his own distorted dreams come through. Nothing more.
Red Flag #6. We are soul mates
Narcissistic sociopaths love the idea of soul mates. It implies something different than love. It says that there are higher powers at work. That you are meant to be together. It means that they consume your entire being—mind and body alike. It creates a psychic bond that lasts long after the relationship has ended.
Perhaps there is a small part in all of us that longs for a soul mate. The perfect person to complete our lives. Someone with whom we can share everything—a lover and a best friend.
And there is nothing wrong with that. I cannot stress this point enough.
He manipulated my dreams and fantasies about creating a nice warm home for our children (he has a son and I have a daughter), where they would feel secure and welcome always, sharing a sense of family, but that does not make them my weaknesses. I still have a strong desire for providing a safe heaven and all my friends and clients know that they're always welcome in my nest, my paradise.
After being discarded by a narcissistic sociopath, many survivors denounce everything about their past life, raising a permanent guard to protect themselves from more abuse.
Please don’t do this.
If you believe in soul mates, you will find a real one. You will find a man or woman who is full of gentle compassion & kindness.
You will never question your heart because of him or her.
Your love will blossom on its own, without all of the manufactured intensity.
He was not my soul mate, nor will he never be. I was fooled to believe so.
To be my soul mate, you would—of course—need to have a soul.
Published by Badass Yoga Rebel, a happy survivor of narcissistic abuse.
Poem: Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time
There was a girl.
She believed in magic
She believed she could be anything she wanted to be.
She believed she would grow up and that all of her dreams would come true.
She believed she would have love, be love and give love.
She never doubted that belief.
She never doubted herself.
She dressed up.
She wore her heart in her smile.
Close your eyes.
You can hear her laughter.
You can see her joy.
You can see this girl.
Once upon a time,
There was a young lady.
She tried hard.
She did her best.
She followed the rules.
She did as she was led to believe was right.
She found love, fell in love and lost love too.
She built a wall.
She fell down.
She made mistakes.
She lost her voice.
She lost herself.
She found it hard to smile.
Close your eyes.
You can feel her pain.
You know her suffering.
You know that feeling.
Once upon a time.
There was a woman.
She felt something.
She heard the call.
It took a long time
For the right words to come.
She listened to her heart.
She listened to her soul.
She listened to her intuition.
She began to trust in herself, in the future and in her story.
She started to believe again.
She started to believe that all of her dreams would come true.
She started to believe that she had the magic.
She started to remember that she was love, could have love and give love.
She started to believe in herself again.
She threw away the doubt.
She dressed up.
She wore her heart in her smile.
Close your eyes.
You can hear her laughter
You can see her joy
You can feel it.
30 Most Important Lessons in My Life
Gratitude for 30 of the most important lessons in my Life...
1. I don't want to be a taker, I am a giver.
2. I don't want to be a manipulator, I am self-controlled.
3. I don't want to be an intimidator, I give people free choice.
4. I don't want to be a con artist, I choose to be real.
5. I don't want to be a remodelled woman, I choose to stay natural.
6. I don't want to be a sadomasochist, I don't inflict pain.
7. I don't want to be a player or be played upon, I am sincere and no fool.
8. I don't want to be a cheater, I play by the rules.
9. I don't want to be a coward, I have no fear, I am courageous.
10. I don't hold my hand up or ask for money, I work hard and make my own.
11. I don't want to go broke, I save and invest.
12. I don't want to be ignorant and stupid, I educate myself and investigate.
13. I don't want to live my life with secrets, I am an open-book.
14. I don't want to swallow my frustration, I am raw and honest.
15. I don't want to blame others for my mistakes, I take responsibility.
16. I don't want to lie or be lied to, I tell the truth and deserve nothing less but the truth.
17. I don't want to search for the ideal person, I love imperfections.
18. I don't want to depend on other's adoration, attention or appreciation, I have a healthy sense of self-love and confidence.
19. I don't want to be disrespectful or unfaithful, I want to be committed, honour and protect the ones I love.
20. I don't want to run from 'issues', I prefer to communicate and resolve.
21. I don't want to live in the past, I am present.
22. I don't want to desert my child for my own selfish needs, I am a mother and I take my role as parent very seriously.
23. I don't want to distance myself, I want to be close, hug and feel.
24. I don't want to be addicted, I try my best to stay clean and pure.
25. I don't want to be alone (but I can and love it sometimes), I prefer to be together, united in mind, body and spirit.
26. I don't want to be sad or depressed, I choose to be HAPPY.
27. I don't want to miss out on lessons by difficult people, I want to learn and be a student.
28. I don't want to stay stuck in one place, I want to travel and explore.
29. I don't want to hide myself, I am right here and you can find me.
30. In a nutshell....I don't want to pretend to be someone other then ME, authentic and that's what you'll get.
I am Happy Buddha Aruba, a Badass Yoga Rebel, Namaste
POEM: "The Invitation"
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed yourself and our child(ren).
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.
POEM: "Mr Jekyll or Hyde"
I remember the first time
I looked into your eyes
I would never have guessed
it was all a disguise
so full of charm
taught by the best
you took out your weapon
and aimed at my chest
you smiled as I bled
and laughed as I cried
I was so confused
were you Jekyll or Hyde
I guess you thought
I'd never survive
the things I found out
the stories, the lies
I was so taken
by all that you where
that I was blinded to the reality
of what had really occured
shaken and crying
it took a lot of time
but I healed, and found
what was mine
I picked myself up
from of the floor
as you silently walked
out the front door
now YOU are powerless
and everyone can see
the thing that I found
when you left, it was....ME
Thank you I am FREE.
By Badass Yoga Rebel.
Insight: "Take of the Mask"
Contributed by Badass Yoga Daughter JM
What's Really Going On? There is so much clutter. So much in the way.
This is why so many of us can't see underneath. I say "under" because metaphorically we comprehend layers, even though the vastness and the all encompassing truth is that our own minds have dreamed them up.
What is left when you peel it all away? We pack on the layers, the stuff, and all the while we think it's helping, it is only suffocating us. The vices, the distractions, the cover-ups that we so eagerly insert when the truth starts to peak through.
The intellect, strings of words, titles, tasks and unnecessary busy work that we hide behind when the truth is too much to submerse in.
The social norms, the excess, the plans, the memories, the relationships we materialize because something needs to appear like a purpose to fill the hole we think exists.
The hole is the truth.
The emptiness is the truth.
The everything is the truth.
The nothing is the truth.
The truth is what is BEHIND THE MASK.
The truth is what haunts you when you reach for your vice.
The truth is what makes you sad and anxious.
The reality is that most people aren't living their truth, and that aches in such a deep way that we will do anything and everything not to feel it.
We don't follow our hearts.
We don't listen to our intuition.
We don't live for our passions.
We don't give all we have.
We are guarded, we follow rules, we fester like infected wounds afraid of fresh air.
The truth bites you in the ass and demands the shifts necessary to re-align you to your balance. If you are willing to surrender to all of the raging fear, that comes from an insane leap of faith, then there is freedom waiting for you.
So long as you hide behind your layers you will just keep building higher walls. The power of the truth will bang on those walls with such vigor and ferocity it will inevitably drive you out of your stagnancy and towards change.
You have to choose it.
Why wait until you have no other option but to see it?
See it now.
Live it now.
It's scary. It's hard.
It's more deeply worth it than any other endeavor your life holds.
So cut the shit and hear the truth speaking to you.
Then respond and find the treasure hidden inside...your authentic self.
Poem: "She's a Woman"
She’s a woman who knows everything (& nothing).
She’s a woman who knows the beauty of being alone and of being together.
She’s a woman who is hard-headed, who is not afraid to speak her mind, who can be stubborn and passionate and wants to have the occasional debate because she wants to learn how you think and how you see the world.
She’s a woman who questions assumptions (including her own), explores ideas, breaks molds.
She’s a woman who is naturally curious. She wants to be stretched.
She’s a woman who wants to change your mind and she wants her own mind changed.
She’s a woman who knows fear, abuse, loss and deep grieve.
She’s a woman who isn’t scared to get naked. She knows that her own beauty lies in knowing her true value (but now and then she forgets, and then you can step in to remind her).
She’s a woman who knows her way around her own heart and is not afraid to break it. She knows what it wants and she stands up for it with conviction.
She’s a woman who knows how to make real eye contact, because she values intimacy. She thrives on her capacity to build authentic relationships and surrounds herself with only this kind.
She’s a woman who knows that she loves at least one thing fiercely: her child(ren), her work, her art, her trade, her garden, her animals.
She’s a woman who knows that taking/offering space to grow can sometimes be the best kind of love that one person can offer another, even when this means saying goodbye.
She’s a woman who you are unsure of at first, not because she doesn’t seem like enough but because she scares you a little bit in her realness. Yet she continues to surprise and challenge you in this very way every time you see her.
She’s a woman who knows how to laugh at herself, who might sometimes just crack the corniest jokes but they make you smile anyway.
She’s a woman who sees as much possibility in sitting in silence as she does exploring every nook: world, body, mind and soul. She holds a quiet confidence. She walks with purpose.
She’s a woman who knows that her heart is fragile. When it becomes too melty and heavy she might tuck herself away to feel better: let her. Then drop her a note or stop by for tea to lighten her up (she will need this but might not be able to ask for it).
She’s a woman who will drop everything in a millisecond to help a friend in need.
She’s a woman who knows that love is something that comes from inside, not something that she can ‘get’ from someone else, because she knows that she is love(d).
She’s a woman who accepts herself today but (gently) pushes herself to be better the next. You will want to do the same by just being around her.
She’s woman who understands the problems with being ‘too busy.’
She’s a woman who is sure about this one thing: that we can never really be sure about anything. Because life is fluid. And each day she realizes how beautiful and scary this is, and so she humbles herself to it. She starts each every day looking to learn, experience, create, teach something new, because she knows that this is what makes life (worth living).
She’s a woman who knows art and music. She may not create it herself but she needs it to move through her because it makes her (and the world) better.
She’s a woman who understands the value of taking a risk, who is not afraid of making a mistake because she knows how to pick herself back up after she falls. She’s ready to accept your offer to help her up the next time she does.
She’s a woman, not a girl. But when the little girl in her comes out now and then (and she will), you will still love her as the woman that she is.
She's a woman who will not tolerate any BS and once she finds out that she has been deceived will take measurements that it will not happen again. She will reject you and forgive you for her heart is gentle and big enough...and then she'll move on by herself.
So to conclude she' a woman who wants to understand herself a little better each day. She wants to understand all of you too. You may not have met this woman yet. Let me introduce her: She’s Badass Yoga Rebel, her own Happy Buddha…She’s Me.
We all remember that moment when we break up with someone we love and consumed with so much pain and disappointment, swear not to fall in love again. It is normal to feel this way as we feel vulnerable and want to protect ourselves. It is a fear-based reaction, a survival instinct, a way to cope with the feelings of abandonment, insecurity, despair and disappointment that we all have experienced one way or another in our lives.
But we always have a choice, to cover it all up, run away and forget about the experience, or to look deep inside, taking responsibility for the experience we co-created and make the best out of it.
If we go for the first option which feels like the easiest way out of our misery, life will take care of it and will keep bringing the same story over and over until we have no choice and at some point go for choice number two and decide to overcome it and learn from it.
True healing only happens when we open our hearts again to forgive ourselves, forgive the wonderful teacher whom served as our mirror and decide to take better care of ourselves, respect, nurture and accept who we are, with our qualities and defects. It is only when we truly overstep the drama story we created and understand that it was just one more story, one more experience, one more chapter of our book called the story of my life.
Always choose love over fear. Love is expanding, love calls for new adventures, new experiences to enrich your existence. Love keeps you alive and vibrant, unfortunately the problem here is that we attach to the subject of our love and believe that our love has two legs and can run away out of the door and we will feel empty and incomplete again. This is a fear-based believe that needs to be removed once and for all.
Love is free, has no boundaries, therefore; does not belong to anything or anyone external from us. Love is born and is nurtured inside our hearts, we are the creators of such energy but we forget that comes from the deepest core of our being.
The pain and suffering that comes from separating from somebody we love comes from our attachment to the person and our false believe that he/she is the owner of that love. Do yourself and him/her a favor and free your lover from that burden.
Always remember that the love you create is only yours and yours to share, the more you share, the more it grows, the more magic you can create in your life, miracles will happen. Stop believing that you are incomplete without the subject of your love, because love must come first, and then the subject will come second.
By Peaceful Warrior
It will hurt for years or maybe a life time after you loose a soul you have truly loved in your life: a (ex)husband, mother, father, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, boyfriend, animal, etc.
A certain song suddenly triggers you, something someone says, a place you visited together, a movie you're watching, things you bought together, a photo of the two of together when everything was still good, a dream...
Everything can hit you all at once, tears start flowing and a deep sense of grieve and happiness is felt at the same time...
But FAITH, over time, helps you to deal with these losses and will help you to slowly move on and be content and happy!
I am at this point in my life right now.
Contributed by my BADASS SURROGATE MOM, Conny Ridgeway-Johnson
Insight: "Unconditional Love"
Sometimes we fall apart! And you know why? So we can pick ourselves up and stand stronger and taller. It's an opportunity to rebuild ourselves the way we wish we were all along!
The ones that matter the most are the ones who catch us with open arms. Unconditional love, pure love and the only ones who really know the strength of our love are our children. After all they are the ONLY ones who really know how our heart beats from the inside.
So when you fall, pick yourself up, laugh, continuing walking and stand proud and firm,
Continue to Shine Bright!
Contributed by my BADASS YOGA SISTERS, Maria Pucci and Arnalda Lampe
A big thank you from your other BADASS YOGA SISTER, sisterhood counts, PEACE, xC
Insight: "The Truth"
It's called truth.
It is real.
All things exist only in duality. Nothing at all is without an opposite. Nothing is sunshine and rainbows all the time. Seeing the good in people, means ultimately seeing all of their pain, sorrow and discomfort as well.
Compassion is seeing all of people, and loving them anyways but also not to take any bullshit, to refuse to only show sparkly parts and to refuse to avoid to sticky subjects, the true reality of this human dilemma.
This soul work we do is deep, dark, intense and it stings equally to the sweetness. People who choose to run around these truths, to point fingers anywhere other than the mirror are simply not ready.
We can admit to our faults, our sore spots, our resentments, our fears and all the things that we're so fiercely working with each day of our existence. This is what makes us real, raw and open human beings.
So we wear every wound proudly as we work with them, reveal them and hopefully in sharing these truths aid others in mending and simmering as well.
Contributed by my BADASS YOGA DAUGHTER, Jessi Marino
PS. A love quote from your BADASS YOGA REBEL MOM: "Only authentic souls know who to help each other progress in life, we don't hide behind masks, we're real, raw, loving and open. We're Women Warriors! Keep on sharing your beautiful insights",
Song: "Rise" by Tom Francis
And she decided to hold up her head while going through the changes that had been coming for a while. She had been hiding from the dangers that are hidden in the bright light. "It" slipped through the fingers of her hands that used to held her up high. There is still a feeling that lingers and it overflows her cup. Her head still looks for answers that her heart already knows. She will fight the battles in her life and takes her chances, knowing that it's the final state: "I'm gonna rise".
About the Author
Badass Yoga Rebel, otherwise known as Corinne Voermans, founder of Happy Buddha Aruba writes about all sorts of topics but primarily about how to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others based upon her own life experiences and challenges. With the help of many co-authors its her mission to help and support others going through rough times. May there be light at the end of the stairway to heaven. Realise that before we get there you're going to sweat. The steps can be filled with obstacles. You could fall a couple times by taking a misstep but in the end its about the climb and reaching the top. Don't be scared, you're not alone, others will help you move on so be fearless through the struggles of life for it's the only way of becoming your true authentic self. Namaste