And after realising some things aren’t about what is ‘right and wrong’, some things that can’t be proved, I know that it comes down to personal choices.

I recently became troubled, after everything I have been through, about how our personal truths and views of others, can affect these people.

I knew in my heart that what others were actively doing and knowingly endorsing, was wrong. But, I don’t know, I kind of felt bad writing off someone’s entire existence, even if they were affecting others. In fact, feeling bad about it is an understatement, I felt completely torn over it.

So, I decided that I wasn’t going to tell other people what I thought about them anymore. And instead, speak my truth to the people who need to hear it. Empower others and their truths, too. So that they can make their own decisions, and separate themselves from whatever no longer serves them in the way it should.

Instead of attacking Kim Kardashian for her appalling influence over millions of young girls, speak to girls about their own body image, their own confidence and self-worth.

Instead of telling a controlling or toxic friend that they are controlling or toxic, I’m just going to set personal boundaries instead – instead of engaging in a cycle of abuse (when you react to abusive people and understandably so, it’s called reactive abuse). They abuse you, you react, you give them more power with the guilt you will inevitably feel and it starts all over again.

And, it goes without saying, that if others feel comfortable and secure enough within themselves to speak their mind, to speak their truth, openly and directly, then so be it, too.

I lost that part of myself, and the turmoil it brings me when I try to regain it, is honestly not worth it, for me.

I also wondered about truth a lot. How do we know if what we are seeing is partial, objective, and how do we know if what we are seeing is distorted through our own projections? Is truth a spectrum?

After experiencing the hell of gas-lighting, and the soul-breaking pain of doubting your own reality, I never wanted to be made to feel like that again.

I kind of realised that what reveals itself to you without expectation, is probably the truth. I realised that despite being made to feel crazy, mentally-ill (my nex once evilly told me I had ‘voices’ in my head), super-sensitive and insecure, I wasn’t. That, as real as these things felt to me, they were not true – because they came from the mouth of a person who both had an agenda, and was a compulsive liar.

And in realising this, I realised that we have the duty of knowing ourselves, trusting ourselves, and so, believing in the version of the truth we see.

I promise myself to see blue, even when someone tells me it is pink.

If I can’t look at the same contexts as you, and resolve this deep feeling of knowing something is not right, through communication and compromise, I will not resolve anything.

I promise to trust myself, to believe in myself: I know that everything I suspected of him at the start that he abused me into thinking was wrong, was right; I know that I am intelligent and that I am able, if not too able, to look at other perspectives because I have empathy; I know that I am a good learner when in a safe environment, with people who have shown that they care for me and that I care for them.

And I also promise myself to not aim for perfection. To know that, sometimes, I will get it wrong, and sometimes, I will get it right – and to then act accordingly, whether that is by taking responsibility and apologising, or, setting boundaries and asking for better.

But, when it does come to people with personality disorders, with my nex, this is fact. Unlike other neuro-typical individuals, there isn’t perspective when it comes to judging or analysing/understanding their character. They don’t have a ‘self’, as such. And, although you should avoid confronting them with what they are, because of the severe repercussions it can have, do not ever feel bad, if you do tell them, because it will not affect them as it affects others. It will not send them into some downward spiral because their ‘character’ has been assassinated, as his projections did to me. It will not hurt them, to know they hurt others, because they have little to no empathy. If they have a reaction, no matter what they say, it will come from a place of disbelief that you have the audacity, the strength to even confront it.

It always makes me feel very anxious when reading about narcs’ abusive behaviours online. It really does downplay the sinister nature of these ‘people’, and it’s not until you are a survivor who has seen the blankness behind their eyes, the hell of their tyrannical rampage and the deep scars they leave, that you really understand what they are. It bothered me A LOT. It still does, to be honest. Any survivor does not want to read that their abuser can change: it simply means, what happened could have been avoided and that the cPTSD (most survivors have to deal with) is just collateral damage. Especially when the trauma bonding causes you to believe your abuser can change, as some sort of coping mechanism. It’s even more triggering when you read that your abuser could have been abused themselves for them to become this way, it kind of invalidated my experience. That was also another reason I always stayed with him, I never saw him as responsible for himself because of what he *could* have gone through.

There is no proven link between mental health issues and abuse.

Abuse is a choice.

But, really, as understandable as all of those reactions are, it’s just me self-sabotaging again.

Yes, something may have caused them to be this way. It is arguably impossible for any human being to be anything without a kind of ’cause and effect’ system. In fact, I researched this a part of my EPQ. Michael Rutter believes there is interplay between genes and nurture.

Anyway…

They are what they are now. And this is what we must pay attention to. It is not a survivor’s place, my place, to see what the journey of a narc is after we have gone ‘no contact’. It is our place, however, to understand their disorder, so we can free ourselves from what they broke within our minds. What happens to the narc after, whether they choose to get help or not, learn how to live with their condition, is NONE of our business.

I, personally, do not believe a narc can change – and if they can, I think they have been wrongly diagnosed, or my abuser was something else. There was nothing behind that boy’s eyes.

Abuse IS wrong. You can not rely on what your abuser thinks to be ‘wrong or right’ to now dictate your moral compass, no matter how they have destroyed your self. They are not interested in what is wrong or right; only what serves them, hence their ever changing moral stances, if you can even call them that. You wouldn’t think it was right before, so do not now. It just one of the ‘side effects’.

And, even if I can’t prove it, I have my humanity intact. So I know, in the depth of my core, how other humans should be treated. Anyone who disagrees, either has their humanity in tatters, or, your beliefs are the product of abuse.

Yes, it really does and truly pain me that he is never going to have a fulfilling life, that, at the most, if he decides to, manage his symptoms. But, I cannot lose sight of the fact that it is what it is, and he is what he is.

I, here, promise myself to release myself from the bondage of trying to take someone on their healing journey.

It is now my journey, because of what I have been through, to solely focus on me – and to help, when it is asked for, in a way that protects me also.

There are two people here, and I also have my own healing to deal with. I strongly believe that two people should carry out the depths of their healing away from their relationships, and bring the benefits to it.

We are not therapists.

I promise myself to not let anyone back into my life who has broken me, abandoned me or treated me in a dehumanising way.

If I feel it is appropriate, I will forgive. And I will also know, that in some situations, it is not my forgiveness to give – I won’t be nasty, for my own benefit and character, but I will not entertain any communication: some things go past forgiveness.

The best forgiveness I can give, sometimes, is to simply forget. Forget it, and your existence.

This is my life. And after realising some things aren’t about what is ‘right and wrong’, some things that can’t be proved, I know that it comes down to personal choices. That I needed to build back my self confidence to make these personal life choices. So, I promise myself to release any anxious thoughts, and rather than arguing with them, be brave enough to feel the anxiety, rather than let it manifest into my thoughts.

AJ x

Some Thoughts

It’s normal to question what you do impulsively, but sometimes, I truly believe it is our bodies way of protecting us.

Therapy Session No.2

Yesterday, I had my fifth therapy session.

We caught up a little on what had happened since I had last saw her. We spoke about how my nex had tried to contact me through twitter, and the sort of spiral that sent me into. As well as some difficulties I was having with my new partner, who, for the time being, I have decided to stop seeing, because of some problematic behaviours that deeply affect me.

I cried, this time. It just came out of nowhere. There was no reason for it, I just started crying.

Now, I find it really difficult to connect with my emotions. I cannot just feel my emotions: they build up until I crack under the pressure of something, and then it’s bad.

A lot of the time I feel as if my head isn’t connected to what I’m feeling within (I usually locate my emotions in my chest/stomach area). My mind doesn’t really seem to process my emotions or base my decisions off them anymore, this can be good and bad. Bad because I end up pushing myself way too much and cause myself severe stress, which I then can’t feel and etc; a vicious cycle. Good because emotions can cloud your decision making: it always did with my nex because of how he manipulated those emotions and made me feel overwhelmingly guilty or selfish for leaving him. Which, is probably why I now don’t trust my emotions as much. And maybe even because I lived a whole year of my life in a deeply stressful state of turmoil – and then I became numb.

I guess you base your decisions off your emotions more than your logic, until the point all it does is bring pain. Or, at least that’s what I felt I could do before I met him.

I’m now very impatient with my pain. I can’t just sit with sadness. Ten minutes into feeling what I need to feel and I’m asking my sister when this is going to be over. Being in a constant state of depression and confusion really does build a strong adversity to pain.

I was never like that before: I could cry for days, without worrying about the fact I was crying for days, over a boy.

I guess I’m finding it hard to articulate. I don’t know, it’s just like I’m living in someone else’s head sometimes.

All I do know, is that there is a lot of pain. A lot. And unfortunately, as my half-smashed up kitchen with bent metal saucepans can attest to, it shows up as anger. You’re not vulnerable when you’re angry, you are when you are showing your pain. My nex savaged me when I was vulnerable, and, well, you could say it has had a lasting effect.

I also, again, opened up to her a little more about my relationship with my nex. I told her how he had told me if I was ever pregnant with his child, he would get someone to stab me in the stomach, or kick me, or worse, kill me. That I wouldn’t be able to escape this fate if I tried.

My therapist thinks that he is psychopathic. He is really, really dangerous.

I also told her how, right from the beginning, he made me question myself. As if this what was going on between us was just a process that my 16-year-old self had to learn. And that this is what a relationship with a 19-year-old meant.

“I know people who used to be in our position, and now they have a kid together,” he said after our first argument.

We spoke about this ‘first argument’.

I told her that he done something to make me feel suspicious. He had followed a girl on Instagram who, only 2-days prior, he had completely assasinated her whole character. I found it strange that, as he said, they had ‘made-up’ when he saw her out on the weekend. How can you hate someone that much and then be completely okay with them? But, really, this was just my way of bringing up another issue with him. I asked him how he ‘felt’ towards me.

He couldn’t tell me.

So, I ended it. There and then. I told him that ‘I cannot be with someone who cannot tell me how they feel about me.’

Then, I removed him off my snapchat. And I got a very angry text saying that ‘since you have decided to block me, I want my jacket back.’ Almost as if, looking back on it now, my decision to end it, didn’t really mean it was over. As if he was angry at the fact I did indeed mean it.

He turned up blasting his music at 11:00PM and took the jacket off the doors-step.

His anger made me doubt myself. As if I had done something wrong, something unwarranted, something hurtful – even though I was the one who was with someone who couldn’t tell me how they felt about me, and made me feel insanely insecure.

That, there, was the issue. I was insecure, and rightly so. But I thought that this was my problem, that I had just purposefully pushed someone away. Because, yes, granted, I did act on impulse when I blocked him. It’s normal to question what you do impulsively, but sometimes, I truly believe it is our bodies way of protecting us.

I told my therapist that I was always looking for a way out when I was him, I never felt safe or secure of comfortable. I was scared. And when I realised I couldn’t get out of this, 3 or 4 months in, my next instinct was to root myself so deeply into this relationship with him to try and find some security.

I felt like he was confronting my insecurity and this was an opportunity for me to deal with it. Heal it, almost. I didn’t see it as alarm bells.

So, I got back in contact with him. He punished me for about a week until he would see me to ‘sort it out’. I always find that strange now, how cruel he was, how he enjoyed me being upset, chasing after him. And I never forget how, it must have been 6 days in? I turned around and said that my ‘mistake’ did not warrant this behaviour. And then all of a sudden, it changed. I should have known then that all he was ever going to do was push and push and push me until I reached breaking point, and then very quickly make everything okay.

That, that is the basis for trauma bonding.

He picked me up the next day and I told my therapist how nervous I was when I got in the car. How when he asked me ‘how was your day?’ and then because I didn’t ask him, because I was so preoccupied with my own anxiety, he called me ‘selfish and rude’. My therapist said that’s the thing with these people – they don’t actually know you as other people do, they just know the parts to your self that they can use for their own benefit. Essentially, they pathologically calculate your insecurities right from the beginning and exploit them.

Who even feels that entitled to being asked how their day is?

It makes sense though. He always told me how ‘I only do things for other people at work, so when I need something, they do it.’ He only asked me how my day was, so he could talk about himself. And the anger that caused him when it didn’t happen.

So, we spoke. He told me that because of what had happened with his ex – which is hilarious to look back on now because she is the sweetest girl I know – he could not have my ‘happiness’ in his ‘hands’. That he could no longer be ‘responsible’ for my emotions. Naturally, I just thought he was ending it with me: how can you maintain a close bond like ours without any of those things? And, it makes me so, so furious now, that he only told me his ‘conditions’, if you like, after everything we had already become. He always said what I needed to know, a little bit too late.

He then asked me ‘do you have anything to say?’ And, obviously, given the context, I said ‘No’. What do I have to say to someone who has just ended things with me? I respected him, and anybody else enough, to not argue with his reasoning or what he already knew himself.

Why do people think it’s a good thing when someone is begging for you after you’ve said what you have to say?

It’s sad really, as I said to my therapist, because when he got angry at that ‘no’ and suddenly drove off at a really high speed without giving me the chance to put my seatbelt on, as if I had just ended it? It taught me that I should always have something to say, I should operate with him, without any self-respect.  

And so that happened.

I started to apologise for things that had nothing to do with me. I started to beg and plead – and I said to my therapist how odd it always was, that he endorsed this. A normal person makes a decision and cuts off contact. He never did, he just kept wanting me to beg, and beg some more. And then when I would eventually ‘give up’, his favourite line: ‘I’m always here if you need something.’

The one thing I always needed was for him to just let me go, and never he did.

And it got worse.

I told my therapist how in the midst of it all, when all I wanted was some clarity, because I was so confused, and so sad and so stuck. Never being able to go because I had been manipulated to feel as if I was being selfish, or letting him down. Or because, just as any other normal, rationale, inexperienced even, human being, I did not have the information I needed to make some very big decisions. And I could no longer trust myself, he made sure of that, so I couldn’t just walk away because I thought I had to. ‘You’re so stupid Liv, do you ever use your head?’ Lol, he tells the girl who got 6 9’s in her GCSEs, even though she was too depressed to revise because of him. He tells the girl, who he not that long ago told that ‘the way you think is so unique. People are going to recognise you for it one day.’ But anyway,

In the midst of it all, I would ask him questions. I asked him once if he really loved me, and he replied, ‘I love you, but not in the way you want me to.’

I remember me telling him that ‘you cannot put me in a position where you are too scared to love me, and too scared to lose me.’ That he said he understood this but didn’t agree. Even though he couldn’t tell me what he actually agreed with. He always, always withheld the things I needed in order to free myself from him.

I’ve just remember as well, I never spoke about how I felt anymore to him. My messages were always about him, to him. Never me and how I felt, as a result of him. Even though I was the one who was hurt? Weird.

I’m actually getting a headache writing this.                        

He always held me hostage to this term, too: ‘I am not emotionally repsonsibe for you.’ I used to, even when I had long walked away from him, see if there was any truth here. But, what I’ve realised, is that anything that boy says is weaponised. It is done with the intent to control you, put the blame on you and take away everything you are from yourself.

You don’t learn life lessons here. You don’t realise that something he said was right.

He said to me, right at the end of the relationship, ‘If I repeatedly told you to murder someone, and you did, and we went to court, and that was your defence, you would still go to prison. They wouldn’t believe that.’

Maybe this is why I feel so defensive about my story. Maybe everything he has said to me, about me, is why I feel like I’m not living in my own head anymore.

He told me, on that same phone call, that I had ‘deceived’ him, that I had ‘ulterior motives’. And that truly broke me. It really, really did.

I came off that phone call, thinking I needed to kill myself to save the people I loved, from me.

I felt evil.

So, maybe, that’s why I feel deceitful a lot of the time, inauthentic and wrong.

As if he’s sort of implanted a filter in my head.

Even when I’m writing this now, I fear none of you will read this and think it is as bad as I know it is, and was. He always called me ‘dramatic’.

But I know that however real my thoughts and feelings are, in this present moment, they are not true. Because they came from an inauthentic and insidious place themselves.

It just feels good to be able to finally open up. To feel as if I want to tell someone more.

It was also pointed out to me, as I described that I felt, for my whole life, I have just ploughed through it, that’s why I always feel distanced from it, that I have a ‘fearful-avoidant attachment style’.

It was my homework to go read up on this.

It is a little triggering because, even though nothing that happened last year was my fault, there is a reason why I ‘allowed’ this to happen at the start.

It seems to me, and I’ve touched on it a little before, I have a pattern of abusive relationships in my teens, because these people enable the distance I needed from others. I crave intimacy, hence why I still have relationships, but I cannot cope with the reality of it. What’s better than a self-serving psychopathic, covert, malignant narcissist to enable this behaviour? I always have someone to serve, and I will feel ‘loved’ every so often so I don’t feel the resistance to true and consistent intimacy.

I am invisible in these relationships. And it’s exactly what I’m comfortable with. Because anything else clashes with my fundamental belief that my true-self (which is never exposed in these ‘relationships’) will be abandoned, betrayed (I have a massive issue with trust, only amplified by my nex) and rejected.

The relationship I had with my caregivers in first 3 years of my life was there, but it was unsafe for me. Probably because my mother had mental health issues and treated her 2 year-old as a friend with ‘adult-like’ conversations (that F.A are actually described as).

It’s not that I fear commitment as much, I fear someone committing to me and what that might mean; perhaps again because of the burden of repsonsiblity I had in my relationships in my youth.

It might even be because of something in my teens: your brain doesn’t stop developing until you’re 25. So when I was 13, and my boyfriend hit me because I had made him ‘feel like a b*tch’ – and I never forget how scared I was when I went up to my room, it was like I knew something was going to happen. Or when that same boyfriend tried to do things to me, sexually, when I was alseep. And how for hours on end he would tell me that ‘I’m only with you because I’m tired,’ that I ‘need to go find a f*ckbuddy’, or the relentless interrogating on what I had ‘to offer’.

He even once tried to make me buy a tracksuit for him, that this was the only way he would get back with me. Luckily, I didn’t, because I couldn’t go behind my mum’s back.

It makes me feel sick now, to think of it.

My friend sent me some screenshots of our conversations from that time and I was telling her: ‘he makes me feel like no one is ever going to be able to love me for me.’ I think, from then on, I stopped being ‘myself’ as such, and started becoming exactly what people needed me to be.

It’s funny though. It’s only men who I don’t find it easy to walk away from. Women, I can do it easily. You start to control me, as a woman? You start to infringe on my personal space? You start treating me like sh*t? I have no problem in ending the friendship.

So, I have my dad to thank for for that.

I don’t know it’s difficult, because, truth be told, I’ve not had healthy friendships or relationships for a long time. My last best friend told me: ‘I wish I had never let you off my lead.’ And the other one slept with my nex, after she blamed me for letting him ruining our friendship – that I was the ‘toxic’ one, not him.

So, I mean, getting rid of those relationships was just so fine. More than fine.

Maybe not everything is to do with your attachment style.

Anyway, that’s ‘all’ I had to write for today.

AJ x

T.S No. 2