Toxic Love and Narcissistic Supply: The Post-Gaslighting Effect

Toxic Love and Narcissistic Supply: The Post-Gaslighting Effect

"Bullies want to abuse you. Instead of allowing that, you can use them as your personal motivators. Power up and let the bully eat your dust." ~Nick Vujicic

The post-gaslighting effect

Are you being emotionally abused by a narcissist? Do you deal with regular episodes of your significant other raging against you, expressing extreme anger, frustration, or outrage -- and have a significant amount seemingly unnecessary drama in your relationship?

Ever feel like you live with, work with or love your own personal bully?

How do you feel after spending time with this person? Do you feel happy, relaxed, loved? Or do you feel stressed, angry, fearful or sick? Be honest with yourself. It's just you and me here. 

Not sure? Here are the 12 signs that you're in love with a narcissist. 

Related: Are you dating a narcissist? Here are the red flags. 

If you're dealing with a narcissist, chances are that spending time with him or her is very bad for you in several ways. Episodes of gaslighting (and other kinds of narcissistic manipulation are used against you. As always, a narcissist's goal is often to not only mess with your confidence but ultimately to gain control over you. 

Often, these episodes involve narcissistic rages in which it can feel like the world will end. These can result in hours, days, weeks or even months of verbal and emotional abuse for even the smallest incident. 

When these attacks happen, your whole world will feel like it just stops, and you won't be able to function until it's over. Even then, your ability to feel normal may be gone for a long time. 

What Happens Inside the Mind of a Narcissistic Supply After a Gaslighting Attack

As you sit in the cold, numb aftermath of yet another attack on your personal character, your thoughts are dulled and foggy. You can't seem to form a complete thought as the sharp, cutting insults replay over and over again in your head.

This torturous soundtrack is accompanied by a small voice in the back of your head, the part of you that remains indignant about the abuse, the part that still knows it's not normal and that you deserve better.

That part of you quietly counters the insults, reminds you that they're all a part of the manipulation tactics the narcissist uses to gain control.

That's the same part of you that truly knows that you're not in a "healthy" relationship and that there's little chance you'll successfully change this person.

That part of your mind races, struggling to form a plan to fix things, to make your escape or to at least find "normal" again.

And it's that part that will ultimately help you to not just exist and survive, but also to really thrive and become the fully realized person you deserve to be.

The longer you remain in a toxic relationship, the more you deny your truths in order to avoid the wrath of this narcissist, the quieter this voice becomes.

When you deny your feelings, when you allow yourself to be told that you're not a real person and that you don't matter - you begin to act as if that is true.

And, by the basic law of attraction, you draw more of that "I don't matter" energy to yourself.

That's because you begin to vibrate that sense of "I'm not good enough." And you become inferior because you believe that you're inferior.

You feel me?

You've got to listen to that voice, or you may lose the ability to hear it.

Don't just listen. Take action and do what you need to do until your life feels good.

Can you remember how it felt to have a life that made you feel good? Can you imagine a life that is good?

If you have a few minutes, imagine what would happen if you woke up tomorrow morning and found that a miracle had happened overnight and all of your problems are gone. What do you see? What does your ideal life look like?

When you can begin to imagine what you consider your perfect life, you can begin to claim it for yourself.

Related: 10 Things You Need to Know if You Love a Narcissist 

Trust Your Intuition

When something doesn't feel right in your gut, trust that feeling and act accordingly. That's your intuition kicking in and it's almost always to your benefit to listen and act accordingly.

Do you hide your relationship problems from people in your life? Would anyone be shocked if they knew what you were really dealing with behind closed doors?

When we stop listening to our true selves, we start losing our identities. We become a shell of ourselves and begin to conform to the expectations of people who, if we're being honest with ourselves, really don't love anyone, not even themselves.

Why do we continue to allow ourselves to be abused?

As a narcissist's supply, we conform to his expectations to the best of our ability, which of course is never quite good enough. We do this, in part, because it is our nature to want to keep the peace and also to please others.

In case you weren't aware, narcissists are almost always attracted to empaths, because we are especially aware of others' emotions and naturally concern ourselves with them.

Narcissists are drawn to empaths because they are easily triggered into action by the emotions and emotional outbreaks that are so common. While some people would recoil and be repulsed initially by their behavior, empaths are wired to want to help emotionally struggling people.

And so we spend our lives trying to fill an unfillable hole, to reach an unreachable standard.

But what we fail to realize is that it doesn't matter how hard we try - the narcissist will never be satisfied, at least not for long. 

We convince ourselves that we just need to do a little better, try a little harder - change a little more, and everything will be okay.

We see ourselves becoming a "not good enough" version of someone else's ideals, rather than a beautiful, vibrant and fully realized version of ourselves.

And if we keep this up for long, our true selves are left for dead, quietly whispering our truths in the back of our minds as we desperately seek to quiet them, to shut them up and out.

All of this, so that we don't have to risk the pain of the emotions that we will inevitably face when we fully realize (and admit to ourselves) the disservice we are doing to ourselves by allowing this abuse to continue.

So what do you do now? Once you've admitted the problem, you've taken the first step toward resolving it.

Personal change must start within. We already know that there's no changing someone else - it's not your place or your right.

So start with yourself. Here are some links to get you started on making the first move toward finding the happiness, peace and general human rights you really deserve.

Want more? 

See my books at BooksAngieWrote.com. There are several on narcissism and recovering from narcissistic abuse in relationships, as well as several that will help you to boost your confidence and create the life you really want. 

Your Turn: Tell Me What You Think!

Now, I want to hear your side of it. Have you been affected by a narcissist's gaslighting attacks? Do you see yourself in any of the above ideas? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. 

 

QB Beauty Guide: How to Have Beautiful Nails

QB Beauty Guide: How to Have Beautiful Nails

Red_nail_art_with_white_stripesThis is why, since old times, there has been a long standing obsession with stunning looking nails initially among ladies.

In the present day the market place is overflowing with different wares to facilitate you to look after your fingernails be it on the hands or toes.

There is a wide variety of grooming tools and cosmetic products available just about everywhere for easy access to great nails. Let us have a look at some of the most basic tools to keep your pincers content!

Nail creams Nail creams are one of the best invented products for hands and feet nails. The nail creams not only help you strengthen your nail by giving them a protein and mineral boost but also protect your nails from getting over dry, chipped or cracked. The nail creams are also known to avoid ail splits and cure them. These days, nail creams come in a combination of hand and nail cream and foot and nail cream. These combinations also help to groom the hand and feet along with the nail and give them a soft and dewy feel and help get rid of calluses, dry skin etc. to give you a well groomed look.

Nail Manicure and Pedicure tools

The best way to take care of and groom your nails is to get a regular manicure and pedicure. Not only will it help your nails but also your hands and feet; not to mention giving you an opportunity to relax and pamper yourself.

The tools for such treatments are varied but a few basic must haves include the following.

  • Nail polish wipes and removers
  • Nail brush
  • Cuticle cream
  • Cuticle cutter
  • cuticle stick
  • cuticle pusher
  •  nail cutter
  • file

When looking for nail polish wipes, try and find lint free wipes as they will not leave any lint residue on your nails post the treatment, allowing you to apply smooth polish on your nails. Also, when choosing a cuticle stick or a cuticle pusher, it is wise to invest in a soft but firm rubber or soft wooden stick. Avoid using a metal cuticle stick as it is harder.

Nail Polish and Polish Remover

There is huge variety of nail varnishes to choose from today. The color pallet is astounding as are the types of varnishes available. You can choose from mild to high frosted shades to high gloss colors and from extreme glitters and metallic’s to gothic shades.

Today you can even find double shaded nail paints which change color when they come in contact with the UV Rays of the sun. The choices are unlimited! When choosing a nail polish remover, it is better to invest a few more dollars and go for a non-alcoholic remover as this will benefit your nails in the long run and prevent nail damage like dryness, breakage etc.

Nail files and buffers

Nail files and nail buffers are the most introductory nail grooming implements available today. These instruments are used to give shape to the nails and top them off with a smooth surface.

The nail file can be used to give any shape to the nail. The most popular shapes are round and square. These shapes are great for everyday wear and give the nails a chic and elegant appearance.

When filing nails to give them shape, it is important to remember to file only in one direction as not doing so will cause them to leave uneven edges and splits on the nail which can cause cracks in the long run.

If your nail surface is a bit uneven or lacks radiance you can select to use a buffer to buff the top of your nail to give it a spontaneous shine and evenness.

Tip: don't buff nails more than a couple of times every three weeks or so as it strips the nail of its natural oils and also thins the nail, making it weaker and more vulnerable to damage. Always top a buffing session with an application of a nail strengthener.

What are your best nail care tips? Share with the community in the comments section!

5 Life Lessons – The Beginning

5 Life Lessons – The Beginning

We all have life lessons we are supposed to learn in this lifetime. Lessons that we either chose or where chosen for us. This is my journey to my 5 lessons.

1861cb29572283d3f95d1b0b87c113f7As George Bernard Shaw once said, life isn't about finding yourself--it's about creating yourself.

After my late husband's passing this last January I went and saw a Medium. The things she said astounded me.

Even today, months later, things she said are making more sense and stuff she said would happen are happening or have happened already.

With this being said one of the messages my husband gave me was that I have 5 lessons to learn while I am on this Earth and I haven't learned a single one. If I do not learn these lessons here they will take a lot longer to learn later. So I am on a mission to make myself a better person, learn the lessons I have taken on in this life, and embrace myself fully as a person.

Let me start with a little history lesson about myself. I did not believe in God. I 100% believed that when we die that was it. Nothing was after that.

Death meant death meant death and you were dead. No "spirit". No "soul". No nothing. Then January 27, 2014 happened and it was like being shot through a cannon towards the unknown and landing right in the middle of something I never believed in and still (honestly) to this day sometimes think I am a little crazy to embrace so fully now. Anywho, with that said I now believe in life after death. I am a total supporter of this and will answer any questions and share my experiences as openly as I can with others.

So, when I went and saw this Medium 3 days after his passing I already knew life after death existed because he showed me in multiple ways since he died. I just needed her to validate these "unconscious thoughts" that were going through my head that I attributed to my dead husband. Also, if she did not validate these things I would have went directly to the mental ward myself trust me. Not only did she tell me the thoughts inside my head in such detail she did so withoutme ever opening my mouth and speaking a word. She spoke my dead husbands words that I had been hearing over and over and over in my head for the past three days. Words I never posted on social media. Words that were special to me and him and no one else in the entire world would have known.

My late husband also had other things he wanted to tell me. The most important one to me right now are my lessons in life. I have to figure out what these lessons are and how to learn them. I watch now. I listen now. I pay attention to people and things. I am more attuned to mysurroundings. I am no longer afraid of making mistakes in life, only of not making enough before I die so I can finally get it right down here on Earth.

My search has just begun. My lessons are still unlearned.

Keep on keepin’ on – or not?

Keep on keepin’ on – or not?

Where do you go when you don’t feel like you’re going anywhere in your trip to being a healthier, smaller version of yourself? What happens to you at that moment in time where you’ve tried (what seems like) everything and nothing is working? Where does your mind and body take you when you’re stuck?

This is always a risky area for me. I would say for a solid eighty percent of my time I am on autopilot. To quote my pal Carolyn, “It’s just what we do now”, meaning going to the gym, eating properly, not binging, not freaking out about every little inconsistency or speed bump in the path, is our new “norm”. lather rinse repeatIt's just what we do. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The other twenty percent of my time is split between the extremes.

Fifteen percent of that time is spent ‘dorphined up, feeling like I’m taking on the world and conquering it bit by bit. Nothing bothers me. Nothing could stand in my way. I have a great attitude and hold my head up high.

In steps that pesky last five percent of my time, which is where I’ve been feeling for the past week. That last five percent is the part that says “you cannot win this game no matter what you do”. I’m living on “screw it” street in my little village and it’s such a dodgy area.  There’s bums on the corners… big bums who haven’t seen a Stairmaster in years.  There are seedy people in the shadows just lurking about waiting for you to trip up so they can dart out and rummage through your bag, stealing your hidden snack. The street pharmacists are on the corners handing out your drug of choice, be it cheesecake, chips or chocolate. Or worse yet, a cocktail of all three.

So where do you go? What do you do? Who do you turn to?

My first line of defense, and I didn’t even realize it until I started writing today, is my husband, Marco. Today, these words actually left my face and entered his ears.

“I’ve been doing horrible with my food. I just feel like saying screw it all”.

Those words were actually audible. To another human besides myself. I really said that to him. That’s when I realized he’s always my first stop on the self-destruction train. I like to run my ideas of giving up past him first.

It’s actually laughable as I write it because of course I’m never going to stop but maybe I just need a break. A break from what?

I’d like to call my second line of defense to the stand - Carolyn. You’ll remember her from this post.

She’s who I turn to next. She’s going to read this, as I run most of my posts past her before publishing and she’ll have some brilliant encouraging words to say. Or a punch in the arm, you know, whatever she feels will work at the time. Never fail though, she’s walking the walk and talking the talk with me.

Keeping in mind that this is still only a mere five percent of my time, sometimes I realize my funk is a bit funkier than I like it to be and I pull out the big guns.

When I left Novarum, the center where I got help for my food issues, they had me write a list of things that just worked for me, mentally and physically. It seemed so silly at the time to write it all down, they were so fresh in my mind, but I did it. I tucked it away in a book and just keep it there.

That’s my “big guns”, a piece of paper with words of wisdom that I wrote myself.

"Following this routine makes me more calm about food choices."

"I no longer hide my eating or have that shame that was associated with hiding and eating."

"If one of my goals ends up backfiring, that's okay. This is all just a huge experiment to find that best fit for my life, which will change and evolve as I do." 

That's just a few of the items on that yellowing piece of paper that I use, third line of defense, to keep me centered.

It is so much more than words on paper though. It takes me back to the basics. Back to where I started winning this thing. Back to the really simple ideas of changing the way I thought about food, myself, myself with food, food with myself and all things related, which in the end, was everything.

I get back to the beginning of this chapter in my life and re-read it like a favorite book.

Then I keep on keeping on because that five percent, that little flash of time, has had its moment of glory and I know how to move on.

postit when u feel like quitting

 

My Spin on “It Takes a Village”

My Spin on “It Takes a Village”

It takes a village to raise a child.

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I fully understood, and came to love that saying. Just knowing “it takes a village” made me feel like there was somebody, and possibly even several somebodies, out there on my side, rooting for me. It made me feel not so alone and not quite so worried that I was screwing up my own little human.

As a parent you need to select your village wisely. Take one wrong piece of advice from the village idiot and you’ll be getting the parental stink-eye from a lot of other folks out there.

I don’t feel “it takes a village” is relative to just parent’s though. It’s important to have a village of support when you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. I take my tribe selection seriously!

I carefully choose the people that I take advice from and who I let into my weight loss bubble. Funny my saying that since I blog about most of it publically, but that’s not what I really mean. When you talk openly about trying to lose weight or change your habits you get input, asked for or not, valued or not. People like to give advice and help. Mostly it’s with a pure heart and good intentions.

I will listen to a lot, from a variety of people, but I only actually take a few people’s advice to heart, adding them to my village. You know what I mean. We all have well intended friends and family who still think the cabbage soup diet is the way to go. Those people would be on the “smile and nod” list and only shown property on the outskirts of town. Whereas hearing what works from a friend who really understands the craziness that is my head, that advice gets filed in the “good stuff, remember that!” and lives nearby in the village of my mind.

Weeding out the village idiots from the village people () can be a tricky and sometimes uncomfortable job. It’s not like they walk around with “I give bad advice intentionally” on their foreheads and sometimes they’re people who you are close with, be it emotionally or in proximity.

I have had office mates who I’ve had to uncomfortably tell “I really appreciate your trying to help but I have a team of people I am working with and it really overwhelms me to receive so much advice. If you wouldn’t mind I’d like to just follow what I’m doing and not get any further input.”

Man, that conversation is a hard one to have. It’s not nice. It has potential to make them feel bad and then you feel bad and nobody wants to feel bad.

Putting yourself first is hard, but important. You and your village are truly vital to your success.

My mental neighborhood starts with the people at Novarum, a health center in the Netherlands. Although I graduated from their bi-weekly sessions over two years ago, I still consider them an integral part of my success thus far. I also know they are there, just a phone call away, should I feel myself sliding down a slippery slope into old habits.

boxing moms

Me and Carolyn prepared to spar

 

Down the road from Novarum lives my pal Carolyn. She just simply gets me. I have interaction with her almost daily and she understands my kind of crazy. And believe me, it’s a special kind of crazy. We all need that one friends that just gets it. On top of being my mental collaborator she’s my sparring partner and workout buddy.

 

 

Me and Hilary, my village grocer

 

My village grocer is Hilary. She’s studied food, is passionate about food and is vocal about food. She’s the delicate balance of information, as I need it and can handle it, and advice. What I love best about her though is that she is always respectful of my boundaries.

 

Cindy, one of my trainers & me - at the gun show

 

Living in their own quiet cul-de-sac are the trainers from my gym. They shout encouragement to me as I tear through my workout. We laugh together when they say “burpees” and I reply with “I hate you”. They intimidated the hell out of me when they first moved into the ‘hood but after giving them a chance I know they want me to succeed just as much as I want to be successful.

 

 

And the best part about my village is my own home. I have the biggest cheerleader kissing me hello and goodbye every day. My husband, Marco, is one of the most understanding, supportive people I’ve encountered throughout my life. He’s seen me struggle with every aspect of the health game, so he knows it’s difficult. He encourages me in a non-pushy way, which can be a delicate dance. He eats what I want to eat because he knows I’m trying to be healthier. He’s gotten on the exercise bandwagon with me when I didn’t have anybody to work out with and we enjoyed it together. He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. There is no better villager than that. Get one of those in your town as soon as you can.

Christmas party

Marco and me

 

What kind of neighbors make up your own mental village?

Magical, Mental, Endorphins

Magical, Mental, Endorphins

I distinctly remember what I felt like prior to getting help for some food issues and previous to working out regularly. For a while, as I mentioned in this post, I avoided being with people, even people I liked. It was a dark, dreary, terrible way to feel every single day.

Now post-workout I also try to avoid people but for a whole other reason.

My name is Sarah and I am an endorphin-aholic.

Let me preface this by letting you know I work out at my office. I am fortunate enough to have a gorgeous, fully equipped gym, complete with enthusiastic trainers and classes, in the lower level of my building. This has its perks. My fortune continues in having a boss that lets me workout during actual “on the clock” hours so I can avoid the gym’s busy periods. Did I mention I love my job and my boss?

I knew exercise was supposed to make you feel better, “they” said. But we all know how “they” can be. “They” have a lot of fickle opinions that change with the wind and the wind seems to whip in a new direction every two weeks.

They were right about endorphins though and I am here to be a witness!

If you’ve never been on an endorphin high let me tell you what you’re missing out on. Imagine taking the tingle of a first kiss and gently mixing it with the excitement of that big drop on a roller coaster and then add a twist – a generous twist - of that adrenaline rush that comes along with your ultimate song being played in a club and you know you’re about to cut a rug. Mix all of that up, add a shot of espresso and voila, that’s how good my post workout endorphins make me feel.

Oh, and they make me chatty (okay, chattier).  How unfortunate for the poor souls who innocently step into the elevator with me post exercise- all ‘dorphined up.

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Sarah and Carolyn enjoying their well deserved endorphins

In the elevator heading back to our desks, my workout buddy, Carolyn, and I have been known to high five one another for pushing so hard stating, “man you killed it today, you ran!”… and then we just continuing to high five every other passenger in the elevator, celebrating our victories. They had no choice. They must high five.

This is endorphins.

Wide eyed and unsure of what just happened, the innocents would step out on their floors and continue with their day. We smiled widely and waved farewell to them (only to later resolve to stop doing that to people, lest we lose our jobs).

Even on days when I didn’t feel like working out but made myself go, I would be awarded with my endorphins. When I can’t be my own cheerleader, it’s like they’re telling me “way to go Sarah, you did it and we’re proud of you.” They rush over me and they simply just make me feel good. They make me feel proud. They make me feel happy. They make me feel alive and strong.

If you’re on the verge of starting an exercise routine or are just entertaining the thought for somewhere down the road please, please just do it. If you can’t because you just aren’t there, mentally, trust in the endorphins to take care of some of your mental health. Take that one little step and get your endorphins running.  You will be so glad you did.