Using mindset tools alone, I had overcome and healed from a relationship with a narcissist. One who was adept at taking his time with me to continue the supply.
I had no idea that other narcissists on the spectrum would have different time frames in which they would work their evil. And that I would need mindset tools and faith to release myself.
Some, like the first relationship I healed from, will spend forever in the cycle. They are more subtle in their approach.
Some, as I would find out, only have the goal of breaking you. They are extremely direct, and it becomes quite clear that you are a human doing to them, not a human being.
I don’t play this narcissistic abuse game the way they would like me to. And that displeases them.
I would need to align with my core of self-worth more strongly than ever just to survive this onslaught.
And getting out?
That was a whole new level of strength. And faith.
I met him on a Thursday in August.
I had been having a summer of profound realizations.
I let go of a relationship three months prior to meeting him, because I could feel it wasn’t right for me going forward. The old me never would have done that. She would have held on for dear life, and battled it to the ground to make it right. This new me, though. I knew it wasn’t fair to expect someone or something to be something it isn’t. So I did the right thing, and left as lovingly as possible.
For the next three months I focused on my mission. I wrote. I recorded videos. I coached. I parented. I lived.
And then one day, for some reason, the fact that my formerly-toxic ex-husband was getting remarried struck me. Hard.
I spent time contemplating why it was hitting me like it was.
Did I want him back? That was a hard no.
Was I jealous? Again, no. I had willingly let go of a relationship that was moving in that direction. And I genuinely wanted my ex to be happy.
As I used the tools to work through my discomfort I realized what was going on: I was afraid. I was afraid I wouldn’t find the one I could be completely myself with, without worry of retribution.
Once I had that aha moment, the tightness in my chest released, and everything felt lighter. I knew I had cleared a tough block and I was giddy.
About three hours later, he messaged me. It was the first time a message actually made me laugh out loud, and I took that as a good sign. And given that I had just worked through such a heavy, difficult issue for me, I believed this was a manifestation of what I truly wanted.
We met for drinks, and I ignored the first red flag: when I first saw him my gut said “no.”
I felt it.
But I thought I had worked through such an important issue earlier that day, that it must have just been fear talking.
So I ignored it.
What followed was the most important lesson I’ve learned yet.
Even as I could feel myself being sucked into this relationship, I let it happen.
I did everything on his time, according to what he needed.
It didn’t feel out of integrity, either.
He was so good at tapping into my insecurities without me even realizing it, that anything he suggested seemed like a good idea. And he was seemingly thoughtful about it.
Within the first two weeks he told me he loved me. Now I know what you’re thinking: red flag, lady! But in all honesty, every man I’ve had a significant relationship with has told me that early. It’s always a mutual hard and fast falling. And not all of the relationships have been bad, so to me, that kind of thing isn’t an issue. (It can be, for sure - but it didn’t alert me this time.)
Within the first three weeks, he said: “You’re going to marry me, right?” and “You’ll move in here.”
When I went to his home, it was an escape for me.
At the time, my kids and I were living in a two bedroom apartment. While we experienced so much love and joy there, I wanted more. More for them, and more for me. And I was actively working toward it. Building my business, getting a second master’s degree, expanding my career, all while being the primary (95% of the time ) caregiver for my kids.
It was always my intent to put them first, and I knew they needed me in the way I was there for them. So I made it work.
I didn’t feel dependent on anyone. I was showing my kids how to start from the bottom up and build something meaningful. I shared every win with them. We would dance around that tiny apartment every time I got published, or was hired to help guide another woman.
They were learning how to be powerful in their own right, and it was so, so good.
And this man, cunning as he was, even addressed that. He told me he didn’t want me to feel like I was trapped in his home. He said he wanted to be sure we felt like it was “our” home.
He didn’t mean that, though, as I would find out.
He made it clear before I moved in that he liked things a “certain” way.
Now, let’s be real. We all have our “certain” ways. We’d both been married before, and we’d both been raising kids on our own, so I got it. I have my ways, too, and they seemed to mesh very well with his ways.
So I didn’t see that as an issue, either.
Until it was.
The worst of it was how much he wanted to stifle my oldest darling child.
This bright star of a human has been a trip to raise, and quite frankly, I was exhausted. I had done all of his rearing on my own, and he required a lot of my energy. Which is completely fine. But I was absolutely, thoroughly exhausted.
At the time, my son was still unschooling, and I knew when we made the move into this man’s home, as it was in a different state, my son would need to graduate high school before we left.
To his amazing credit, he did it.
And quite frankly, he needed that nudge. Sometimes he needs those kinds of nudges, as we all do. So, again, I saw the situation as a good thing. For all of us.
I thought I had found a partner. One who would help me keep myself in line with what I truly wanted and believed, even if it was tough.
I thought I had found a better home for my kids.
I thought I had found a better situation to hold my oldest son accountable for truly growing into his own and not just allowing life to pass him by (which is exactly what I thought he was doing).
I also thought I had found a way to allow myself freedom from exhaustion.
The exhaustion from trying to do it all for too long and not giving myself a break.
I kept checking with the man to make sure this is what he wanted. He kept saying: “it needs to be fun.”
I agree that life should be fun. And I espouse focusing on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want, so I listened to him.
I worried, but put it aside.
The red flags were there, but I ignored them.
He made it clear that my oldest child couldn’t behave in certain ways in “his” home (hello, red flag, how are you?), and because I didn’t want that behavior, either, I felt like I would have a partner (finally) in helping to guide my son. My son and I had done just fine on our own, but it’s always good to have a tribe of like-minded people in your corner. I thought I had found that.
All the while, my intuition - my spirit - was screaming at me to stop.
But I left my intuition in the dark. My anxiety, which had been quiet for quite a while, was peaking. I was worried about everything. I thought it was just because there were big changes on the horizon. My Dad used to tell me I didn’t like change.
He was wrong.
My body reacts to change that isn’t aligned with core truth.
And I ignored it.
To be fair, it wasn’t all bad. I make the best of every situation, and my kids, through example, have learned to do the same.
They were not in physical danger, they lived in a nice house, they went to good schools, they made friends, they played sports.
But looking back, we all felt like prisoners. Because it was most definitely HIS house, HIS rules, and what was okay for HIS children and HIM, was not okay for us.
I had been idealized. I had been lovebombed in a way that spoke to my insecurities and made me do things I thought were in line with my truth, but that were not.
And now that I was in HIS home, I was being devalued. Constantly. In many different, small ways.
My children’s behavior was questioned and admonished.
The way I ran my business was questioned.
I was constantly asked what my schedule for the day was.
I was expected to be the maid.
I was expected to be happy all the time.
“What’s wrong NOW?” was said any time I had any concern I wanted to talk about.
I was afraid to mention anything to him, even though I know damn well that good communication is the cornerstone of a good relationship.
I was trying like hell to be a good partner, and I was constantly being shut down.
I am something of a diplomat, and I can see a situation from all angles. And while I’m always happy to look at something from different points of view, I am not known for being a doormat.
Because once I truly see the injustice of something, I will not -- cannot -- shut up about it.
So once I was onto this situation - and it wasn’t too long after we have moved in with him - I became vocal.
He did not appreciate that.
Things got worse.
At one point, I said to him: “This is how I am, and if you don’t like it, I need to know now.” He told me if I didn’t see the need to change, there was nothing he could do. And he clearly did not care if I left.
For a month, I went into “good girl” mode.
Fear of moving my children out of a home that I had just moved them into, thinking it was a wonderful situation for them, made me feel so ridiculously stuck.
So I stayed. And I behaved. I fooled myself into thinking that because he is so good at the mindset game (all sociopaths are - they just don’t take use it for good), I should take note and be stronger.
The anxiety was worse than it had ever been.
And for the first time in my life, my doctor told me I had to start watching my blood pressure.
Just prior to moving in with this man, my blood pressure was the best it had ever been (and it was always good).
During the month of my “good girl” behavior, it was through the roof, and I was terrified.
When I was crying, afraid that I might have a similar fate as my Dad, this man said “there’s always something with you!”
Several days later, he made an unwarranted comment about my oldest son and I didn’t back down.
The fear went away and I stood my ground. I had had enough. I found my boundaries again and I let him know exactly what was what. I was polite, but extremely firm. He called it “yelling” at him, although never once did my voice raise.
And the next day, when I told him if he took that job he was interviewing for across the country, I couldn’t go with him, he said “well, I don’t know what to tell you” and the discard phase began.
He told me he wasn’t going to marry me. He told me I needed to move out.
And fear gripped me unlike anything I’ve felt before, except when my second ex-husband pulled his discard phase card.
This time, not only was I terrified, I was ashamed.
I couldn’t believe I had allowed this to happen.
I questioned everything I knew, and everything I taught (even though I know the power of it).
I also knew that if I was going to be true to my core, as I promised myself I would be, and as always wins out no matter the stifling, I had to be stronger than I had ever been.
I spent time sobbing. I spent time sleeping.
And then I got to work.
I RE-ENGAGED IN RITUAL
I knew I had to get myself back into an empowered mindset.
One of the most glaring red flags was that he mocked my beliefs and rituals. The very things that had brought me success and happiness in the previous two years, I began to feel I didn’t need -- or shouldn’t need. Even though I kept taking action during the months I was with him, I doubted myself, and forgot who I was.
When I realized I had to get my supercharged empowered mindset back, I knew it would require ritual. Consistency. And in order to be consistent, you have to find something that resonates with you.
I believe in the magic of the universe and the power that Godforce flows to and through us.
So I tapped back into that.
I found a meditation ritual that truly resonated with me and I stuck with it. Even if it’s the only thing I did that day.
It’s all about mindset -- the mindset you choose -- and I know better than anyone how important this is.
While I had never truly been happy with this man, I was still devastated. Being discarded as though you are nothing more than a piece of old worn out property hurts no matter what.
I allowed myself those feelings, but I also reminded myself that his view of me did not determine my worth, and my meditation ritual reinforced that.
I USED ACTIVE FAITH TO CREATE MAGNETIC MANTRAS
One of my favorite books is The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn.
She speaks of active faith, meaning we act as if we already have what we desire. Our desires are from God/Source/Universe. We wouldn’t even be aware we wanted something if we weren’t able to have it.
This is where active faith comes in.
You have to act as if you’ve already received what you desire and be THANKFUL for it in advance.
Now let me tell you - I was in a predicament.
I needed to find a three bedroom home for me and my children with a specific geographical location (court mandate), and the schools had to be excellent.
When I first realized I had to find a new home, I was scared. Terrified. Like the kind of terrified where you feel immobilized. So I had to use active faith and create and consistently use magnetic mantras that resonated with what I desired and the core of who I am. It’s the only thing that would work.
I declared what I wanted to find for us. I felt it in my bones. And I gave thanks that I already had it. This caused my desire to be magnetic - because my mindset, heart, and core self were aligned.
Here was the hardest part: when I would find a potential new home and go through the steps to potentially live there, and it would be a “no.”
There were many “no” reasons… it wasn’t in the right neighborhood; it wasn’t in my price range; it wouldn’t be available on time; I just didn’t hear back from the listing person.
It didn’t matter what it was. It added to my fear.
Until I decided not to let it.
I stopped allowing the fear and declared the situation a success, reminding myself that every “no” was bringing me closer to my “yes.”
And you know what?
The home my children and I have now came about in a miraculous way.
This home is in a sought-after neighborhood and when they become available, they go quickly. I just happened upon the listing and just happened to reach out quickly enough to see it first. I took action. But I did so with faith.
All of the potential hurdles I was worried about in finding a home were not present in this situation.
Until one popped up.
Again, I knew what I had to do.
I declared: “The best home for us is already mine.”
That’s some magnetic mantra mojo right there.
And it worked.
Believe, create your magnetic mantras, repeat them consistently, then act as if you’ve already received, even when all around you feels like it isn’t happening.
You will become a magnet to what you desire, and when you stand firm in that belief the outcomes will be miraculous.
You don’t need anyone else to do this for you.
In fact, when I coach, my goal is to make it so the client does not need me.
The most powerful magnetic mantras are always self-created, and that is what I guide other women to do.
So I did it for myself again, this time, with the full belief that the Universe was on my side.
I USED FEAR TO EMPOWER MYSELF SO I COULD ESCAPE THE CYCLE
Once I started to find a new home (I didn’t beg to stay), the discard phase was in full effect. So, too, was an element of hoovering.
Wherever he could make me feel as though I needed him, he would act on it.
And it was predicated on the fact that I had to communicate with him in a way he dictated, and I also had to keep sleeping with him.
I felt trapped, even as I was actively faithing my way into a better situation.
I kept the faith.
I know it is because of this that I did not need him.
I did accept his help with certain things, but I looked at it energetically strictly as “help” not as “control.”
I remained kind and helpful and generous toward him, and that is what I received in return.
Once I was out of his house however, the hoovering began.
Within a day he texted me: “Do you miss us?”
Even writing that makes my stomach turn.
The abuse was so blatant - so obvious to me.
He wanted us to date. He wanted us to be sexually intimate. But he didn’t want the rest of me - all of me.
So I told him no.
Prior to me leaving, he had offered to help me for as long as I needed. Another hoovering attempt that I had chosen to view as truly helpful.
But when I said I wouldn’t go to his house on his terms and sleep with him?
“K. Good luck.” was the response I got.
And I haven’t heard from him since.
It was scary when I thought my safety net was gone. Scary enough that I considered that maybe I needed to play his game.
Thankfully, I was reminded that fear is a call to awareness. That fear is nothing more than energy, and I get to choose how to use it.
So I chose me instead. I remembered that when I leap, the net appears.
So I played my own damn game.
And the fear is gone. If it comes back, I know what to do.
I declare the situation a success, and recognize that the fear is just, as my girl Florence says, the error in my thinking being exposed and put out.
Every single time I use this active faith, including releasing myself from the cycle, it works. And miraculous outcomes present themselves to me because I am honoring who I am at my core.
Part of me wishes I had realized this last August.
The rest of me knows that I would not have so powerfully and completely learned this lesson and the power of active faith were it not for this experience.
And so, I remain grateful. Not only for the experience, but for all of the good that is on its way to me. And on its way to you.
In order to stay free from the narcissistic abuse cycle, it requires:
1 Staying consistent with practices that honor your true self.
2 Honoring your intuition no matter what. NO. MATTER. WHAT. Fear be damned. Honor yourself.
3 Using fear as a tool.