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Everything posted by RiverLight

  1. Yes, I suppose I may be tougher, though I do feel a bit hardened too. That being said, I do feel happiness coming back into my life again, slowly but surely, and I am looking out for all the red flags in order to keep toxic people away from me. It's been a very up and down process - the healing and recovery phase of abuse - but I am on the path to a brighter, happier and more fulfilling life.
  2. For me, I am working on returning to the person I was before I met my abusive husband. I was happy, I was free and I was full of life. I want the old me back. But, it's hard because I am now hardened due to my experience of so much abuse. I am worn down and worn out. I can hardly get off the couch on some days. I don't know about changing yourself completely in order to break the trauma bond. I think it's a matter of working on your education of abuse, learning the red flags to not ignore, and work on filling your life up in other ways that are fulfilling other than a romantic relationship.
  3. Oh man, do I hear you. I am going through a similar process with my narc husband in terms of the trauma bond. It's a tough thing to break and it can have a very powerful grip on a person, like you're experiencing. I don't have the answers yet on how to break free of it, but I will write more on it as I heal and move forward out of this state into a hopefully far better place. I think a large part of it may have to do with brutally accepting the reality, doing loads of self care work and focusing on your own life and on your own healing process. At least that is what I've read so far. I feel for you, I really do. Thanks so much for your encouraging words, and hugs to you.
  4. Abuse is cyclical and starts with the honeymoon period, followed next by the tension building period, followed next by the explosive period, followed again by the honeymoon stage. In the honeymoon stage, they are love bombing you, and shower you with affection, apologies, gifts, generosity and tears even - this usually follows an incident of abuse, or is how the beginning of the relationship starts. Then inevitably, following a honeymoon period, they then start to devalue, criticize, fear builds up in the victim and tension builds within the abuser - then they finally explode on you and there is an abusive incident, or many abusive incidents, followed once again by apologies, tears, flowers and the honeymoon phase. The victim of abuse becomes trauma bonded to their abuser - which is chemically in the brain the same thing as an addiction. The victim becomes addicted to wanting the good times again from the abuser and will do anything to placate the abuser in order to have that honeymoon or love bombing phase again. The trauma bond is what makes it SO hard to break free from the cycle of abuse and from the abuser themselves. It's the promise of change, of true love, of the good times that is the "hook" that keeps the victim a victim. It takes on average a victim 8 times before they finally can leave the abuser for good because the trauma bond is that strong. It's a Herculean task to break the power of the trauma bond. I, personally, have tried to leave my abusive husband 3 times now. I am never going back to him ever again and this is the last and final time. I am divorcing him and I will stick to my guns this time. I almost divorced him the first time we separated - I came very close, but the trauma bond snapped me right back into his web of deceit, twisted lies and manipulations. And that's exactly what he did - he lied, manipulated and deceived me into thinking that HIS infidelity was in fact, MY fault. So, I got guilted into forgiving him. He even told me - you have no forgiveness for me making ONE mistake. That was a manipulation to guilt me into forgiving him. He also blamed it all on the fact that I had called the police on him the month before. He said that that really screwed him up, that he "wasn't himself" after that incident and that he "acted out of character". And eventually, I believed or rather accepted his BS and finally caved and went back to him. HUGE MISTAKE. We went to couples therapy - another huge mistake. Our therapist started to invalidate my experience of the abuse and my husband manipulated and charmed the therapist. After the fact, I read that you should never attempt couples therapy with an abuser for just that reason - because the abuser will lie, twist things around and will charm the therapist into believing the fault lies with the victim and not the abuser. And that's exactly what happened in my own experience. The therapist kept trying to convince me that I had to change my reactions and responses to my husband and made it seem as though I was constantly misunderstanding my husband's intentions. So it was all my misunderstanding of him - not the fact that my husband has NPD and is an abuser. WOW. So I learned something there, too. I quit therapy altogether with this one therapist. I think my husband still sees him as an individual therapist. But I don't even care. I am breaking the trauma bond slowly but surely and I can feel myself starting to rebound and come back. I have felt and experienced true joy and happiness for the first time in ages. The last time I had felt this way was during our 1st separation, which is very telling. I've only been truly happy when I've been apart from him. M y husband continues to try and manipulate me and love bomb me through lengthy, pathetic texts, but I see right through him. I know who he truly is now, and I am not falling again for his false apologies and empty promises. Because that's all they ever are - false and empty. They have no intention of truly working on themselves or of changing themselves because the narc and abuser never think that they're in the wrong, they blame outwards and they're not truly accountable. And the fact remains, they DO NOT AND CANNOT CHANGE, and most especially a narc. So, now I am resolute, I am stronger, I am feeling happier and more at peace and I am moving in the right direction. I have blocked him on social media and now we only text about divorce details, mainly, although he tries to still love bomb me here and there, like I mentioned. As victims, what we MUST DO is reclaim our own inner power and voice, forgive ourselves for what we did not know and love ourselves foremost. I am pouring my energy into my own life and into my healing and education about abuse. And it's working - the trauma bond is loosening the more I see him for what he truly is - a MONSTER who wants to hurt and harm me. And that IS their intention. It's to harm, to reduce and to make you feel lower than they feel inside about themselves. They carry such self hatred, envy and have such a deep inferiority complex, that they overcompensate by bullying and abusing. NO MORE. I am DONE. I am done with accepting less than what I truly deserve. And I deserve respect, love, true love, and someone who is worthy of my heart and caring. This is a long entry, so if you made it this far, I thank you for reading. And I hope that by writing this, it helps someone else.
  5. What you speak of - the addiction that occurs within the cycle of abuse - is called a trauma bond. Look it up. It's the promise of all that's good that remains to the "hook", keeping you hooked on the notion of the good times and more to come. They love bomb you like crazy, then they abuse and devalue you, then it's tears, apologies and more love bombing to win you back over. It's an endless, crazy making cycle until you decide to exit the ride altogether. Too up and down. I cannot stand that. I need and want consistency, reliability, respect, true love, honesty and fidelity. NOT the opposite, which is what I got regularly enough with my narc husband. He would be good for a couple of months, and that's how long the good times would last. Not OK. Not acceptable. We deserve far far better!
  6. Thank you, dear. It does feel brave, but I am also very alone. I am realizing how lonely I am without him. I will never take him back though. It's over and I don't even love him anymore, I don't think. I have pangs here and there for the good times, but the bad times outweighed those. I am now dealing with being alone and single again, I have very few friends locally to hang out with, and I am now struggling since I first wrote this entry. Still, being lonely and alone to me is far better than being abused. So, there's that.
  7. THANK YOU!!! It's been up and down since I wrote this post, but overall, I have greater peace in my life and greater peace of mind.
  8. WOW - what a turnaround - 180 degrees. I am HAPPY. I am at PEACE. I feel GREAT!!!!! My newfound freedom from being under his thumb, enduring his negativity, gaslighting and insults - I am finally FREE of all his abuse and energy draining toxicity. THANK THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has two more trips before he is fully moved out. This morning he tried to anger me, and it worked. He pushed my buttons and I got mad. He does this deliberately in order to have control over me and my emotions. But, now I am even keel again, doing my thing and am feeling better and happy again. He is pure POISON. GOOD RIDDANCE. Onto far greener pastures - my new life!
  9. THANK YOU!!! I am convinced and there is no changing my mind this time around. He is abusive, and I am getting away from him as fast as I can.
  10. Thanks so much!!! Yes, his abuse has a lot to do with my depression and many of my issues, and it is a very taxing situation. It sucks. He is moving out, but we still have to live together for several more weeks. I told him I no longer love him, which stopped the argument. At first, he was trying to argue that I haven't given him enough of a chance, and that he can work on his issues with a better therapist. It seems it always takes me saying I want a divorce in order for him to come around and admit he has anger issues. It should not have to come to that each and every time. I've been here and done that, and have heard this before from him. Oh, I will change, and I can work on it. No. Enough is enough and he has insulted me for the last time. I am sticking to my guns here.
  11. Thank you so much, and same here! It triggers me like no tomorrow. I hope there's a better future ahead! Thanks
  12. Well, I am now leaving my husband for the second and last time. He has pushed me TOO FAR, and I now know for certain that I've been involved with an abusive narcissist. He had agreed to go to couples counseling with me and individual therapy. He's been in therapy for the last year, and now I see that he hasn't been working on himself at all. He charmed our couples therapist, who looked at me as though I'm the problem. The couples therapist frequently invalidated my perspective, my feelings and my experience of my husband. And my husband simply just paid lip service about therapy to me, and didn't truly want to work on himself. I realized this all too late. Lately, he has been initiating and escalating many fights with me, over nothing. His explosiveness returned and the abuse returned. And I realize that I've been abused all along. He was "good" for a few months there, and I thought everything was improving. I thought HE was improving. But I was wrong. As soon as he experienced the stress over his mother's failing health, he started fighting with me. And, in these fights, he would gaslight me, he would blame shift, he would falsely accuse me and he would insult and demean me and threaten breaking up. It usually started whenever I would challenge or question him or confront him on an angry or barking tone he exhibited. After he called me "crazy" and "psychotic" and told me that there is "something wrong" with me, I had had it. That was the final straw. I also realized that I just do not trust him at all after his infidelity two years ago. He constantly was telling me this happened because we were in a "bad place". That never gave me the confidence that he wouldn't cheat on me again. What if we're in a bad place again, I would ask him. Would you cheat on me? He never truly took full responsibility for his actions, like a true abuser, and he always blamed it on us being in a bad place. What about - I will never do that ever again and I was truly in the wrong? He only said that to me when I am talking about a divorce. So, I've ended things again with him, he will move out, and I've told him I am no longer in love with him. While I regret taking him back, and while I regret allowing him to move back in, I know that this is the right decision. I feel at peace with my decision. He is not a person I can truly love. He doesn't know love and his love is all about power and control over me. And I'm done. Five years of my life wasted, but I've learned and have grown from this unfortunate and most painful experience. Now I have to ask admin to remove all the photos I have on here of him. I don't want any photos of him on my profile anymore.
  13. I really feel BLAH. Things are mediocre, although on paper and in theory, everything is great. I have a good job, a great salary, and a loving husband and marriage. But my dad died in June and his service is at the end of Sept. We're preparing for it, so his death is frequently ever present. I have tried to just move on from it and live life as normal - as though everything is just fine. And it is, really. But I still feel meh. I am in this limbo spot at work where I am not doing the job I was hired to do. I am working in support of my team because I had to cut back on stress and the level of responsibilities I carry. I had had to take a medical leave of absence back in March for one full month. Hence, the reduced responsibilities. Anyways, I am not exactly satisfied with that and am trying to move up, but it's a slow process. I think they are very wary of my breakdown and of that possibly happening again if they give me too much stress. So, hence they are slow to promote me forward. And my husband and I did have a fight the other day, the first in many months. So while things are really good in my marriage otherwise, this fight sort of set me back a bit. I feel blah. It's also Mercury Retrograde soon, and we're in part already in it. which always effects my mood & outlook negatively. I guess that's it. I wish I felt better.
  14. RiverLight

    Getting there

    I'd like to add - I CAN relate. I have tried to lose weight, or let's say I have attempted to lose weight over the last four years. I've gained 15 pounds since I got married, and I hate the extra weight. But I find myself eating more and more junk food, despite my desire to reduce my weight and eat healthier foods. Yesterday and now today I am starting over. And I know it's going to take strong will power to resist sweets and junk food that are in the house, but I am determined to drop at least SOME of this weight. My point is - it does take determination and a strong will to get out of a negative slump. It takes deliberate effort. It may not be easy, but it feels good to take steps towards a goal that you have. A goal that will help you in the long run. Losing weight is just one example, but it can extend to other examples too, like doing more exercise, being more active and replacing negative thoughts with more positive and encouraging thoughts.
  15. RiverLight

    Getting there

    These are all things within your control. You CAN quit smoking. You CAN eat healthier. You CAN be more active. Take baby steps to get there, but take steps. And yes, negativity can be overcome with more positive thoughts. It takes deliberate effort. It's called thought stopping. When you have a negative thought, you must catch yourself and find a more positive thought to replace it with. And, if many bad things have happened, does that mean it will always be that way? NO.... not if you don't choose to see it that way. Good things CAN and WILL happen. One must have hope and faith in the unknown. We don't know what will happen, but holding onto positive hopes for the future is what helps to get me through some rough patches.
  16. Honestly? I have not liked the job since I arrived there, so there's that too. But yeah, my having had issues early on likely impacted them in a major way.
  17. You're lucky you had a union! I don't have that in my job, so they can react however they want to. I hope I can resolve this too - like I wrote above to Sober, I think it will involve me having to find another job. That's likely the best answer.
  18. My doctor said he would provide a note for me. I think my best option is to simply find another job. I have practically given up on this one turning out well.
  19. My job - BIG SIGH - is a nightmare for me. I had to take a month off for mental health reasons early on in my tenure in March. Then, when I returned to work, my psychiatrist suggested in a letter that I have a reduced level of responsibility to avoid high stress, which was a trigger for my mental health issues. So, they gave me very menial tasks over the next many months. After a few months of that, I kept asking for more responsibility, but they wouldn't let me take on any real client work. So I've remained at this lower level since April - that's four months. And now, all I am tasked with is coming up with blog article ideas for every client. That's ALL I am doing, and I am going absolutely sheer nuts doing one single task over and over and over again. So, at this point, I wish they would simply just fire me or lay me off in a way that allows me to collect unemployment benefits. I am absolutely MISERABLE in this job. Each and every day is a painful chore to get through. Eight hours straight of sheer hell. I called in sick last Friday. I took off two days the week before that. I am coming with any excuse to be able to leave work. It's no good. This is all no good, and I worry that my mental health issues have ruined my whole career. Now that I am at a lower level, I have nothing noteworthy to add to my resume that looks good. No bullet points to add underneath this one job. It's terrible! This is also why I wish they would let me go - so that it's easier for me to obtain another job and quickly! It's too hard to interview while you're working full-time. I've interviewed with two companies so far, and both ghosted me after the interview process ended. No rejection, no word, nothing. I am really sick of work in general. It's been a beast for me all these years, and I am getting sick and tired of always having work issues. That's the end of my ranting. LOL.
  20. Thank you so very much. He passed away today. Thankfully, there was no pain and he went peacefully.
  21. We're all gathering at the hospital today to say our goodbyes. I did spend some alone time with dad last night. I told him what my favorite memories are of him, and thanked him for all that he has done for me, like saving me from a mental breakdown in California and putting a roof over my head when I was in need for four plus years. This is very sad, regardless.
  22. My father is ill in the hospital with an incurable terminal lung disease. His condition worsened after he got covid, from which he never truly recovered. And now, he is on oxygen at the hospital, where he has been for over a week now. His condition is progressively getting worse and worse, and he's dying. I have spent every day at the hospital lately, and will go after work again tonight. I have some mixed feelings because my father was neglectful of me and basically was emotionally abusive towards me as a kid. He is the reason why I ended up in so many abusive relationships as an adult. I have mainly forgiven him and I don't think I hold a grudge, but it does bring up mixed feelings for me now that he's on his death bed and living his last days. I have nothing special to say to him that must be said in private. I have only told him that he's been a wonderful father. I actually don't even have any words, and I don't know WHAT to say to him. I am at a loss for words. The only other thing I feel I could say is that he will be sorely missed, and that we will watch over and will take care of mom in his absence. He's 82 and has lived a full life, but without this disease, he could have lived well into his nineties. My mom is 80, is very healthy and is still full of energy and gusto. I hope she will be OK, but she's never lived alone and has never been alone her entire adult life. So this will be a HUGE adjustment for her, after he's gone.
  23. I did fight back a bit after my review in an email to HR, saying it was an unfair review and counter arguing several points made. He won't break me. I won't let him! The problem is, I could lose my job, based on that horrible review. I meet with my CEO in one week, so I will find out then if I have a job or not.
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