I enjoyed my Birthday this year!What a nice change :-)

Last year, my birthday was full of sadness, longing and disappointment. I was overwhelmed with the loss of the father I thought I’d had.

This year, although we didn’t fly to Greece as we had originally planned and although I am no longer in contact with my father, my birthday actually felt good! My closest friends from London arrived yesterday on my actual birthday and the timing of their arrival was just perfect. I had no time to feel sad and think too much about my Dad. We woke up, got ready and went straight to the airport to pick them up. After that we went straight for brunch and picked up my delicious birthday cake that hubby had ordered a few weeks before.

When we got home, we had cake and tea 🙂 It was absolutely delicious!

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It was so lovely to catch up after 1 year of not seeing them and we thoroughly enjoyed showing them a good time. Later in the afternoon/evening we headed into town, so they could get some gifts for their work colleagues from the Haribo shop and we finished off the evening with a delicious dinner and some cocktails at Hans im Gluck Burger bar.

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Although my anxiety creeped up on me as it’s been ages since I have actually socialised properly with friends, I still managed to keep it under control so it wouldn’t ruin my day.

Unfortunately, anything that requires leaving my comfort zone or routine nowadays, seems to aggravate my anxiety more than it used to. I have become so accustomed to just spending all my time with hubby, that I seem to get anxious if I feel that I have to socialise for 3 days non stop. Luckily though, we have breaks in between and even though my friends are here for 3 days, we still take some time out throughout each day to just chill and have some alone time.

Today we have a chilled out day doing a nature walk in our local area and although it is 30 degrees, which always increases my anxiety due to the heat, I will be organised with refreshments packed in my little rucksack to ease my symptoms when they get bad.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

The fear of messing up..CPTSD

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Those of us who experienced abuse as children are absolutely terrified of messing up. Although making mistakes is a huge part of learning and of life, in an abusive home we got punished for things we didn’t deserve to be punished for and the punishment was directed at our core as a person. It wasn’t the usual discipline that healthy families use.

We were called names such as stupid, slow, dumb, sensitive, bad, unworthy etc. We were emotionally abused over and over again which led us to develop CPTSD. Now as adults we suffer with emotional flashbacks. Every time someone is disappointed in us, we are flashed back into the emotional state of our childhood. We feel small, defenseless, vulnerable, helpless and devastated.

The reason I am writing about this, is because I had a bad day at my morning job on Tuesday. My friend hadn’t told me she wasn’t working with me (usually she always lets me know), so this distracted me a little from my usual routine. I went into hypervigilance mode, checking the charts & dates of rooms I had to set up for the workshops. When we work together, I always start from the ground floor and work my way up through the kitchens and check the rooms on all 4 floors. We usually share the rooms that need setting up when we work together but on that day I had to prioritise and do things slightly differently.

After checking the chart over and over again, I got on with setting up 4 different rooms on various floors and when I was eventually finished, I was very pleased with how I had completed everything.

5 mins before the end of my shift, one of the ladies that was doing one of the workshops, turned up and said that the rooms weren’t set up. I was puzzled and told her that I had just set up 4 rooms. Luckily this lady, was genuinely lovely and had made me feel very comfortable since starting work there. She pointed at the chart and said it’s the 23rd today not the 22nd. What happened unfortunately, was that I had set up Monday’s rooms instead of Tuesday’s. I didn’t need to go in on Monday morning, so I completely misread the chart, thinking that it was Monday.

I was absolutely horrified and apologised immediately. Luckily she was very understanding and had a giggle saying ‘you are getting old’. Her room was only for 4 people, so it wasn’t really a big deal. Unfortunately on the ground floor however, there was a room that needed a 12 person set up and the workshop had already started!

I ran downstairs, dreading the confrontation with the German speaking lady and when I got there she obviously wasn’t pleased at all. She had already set up a trolley with drinks, cups, coffees and biscuits. I once again genuinely apologised and asked her what I could do to make up for my mistake. She just said help me put everything on the table, which meant I had to walk into a room full of people and the workshop presenter and start placing all the cups and drinks on the tables. One of the gentlemen started mumbling to me in German and I was completely lost in my frazzled state. I didn’t undertstand a word he said. Eventually the lady told me, to not worry about finishing it and I left to make a few more fresh coffees.

It took me another 30minutes to undo all the rooms I had set up in vain and return the drinks, freshly made coffees and cups to the kitchen.

Needles to say, I felt absolutely awful and I could hear that voice in my head saying you messed up, you are a failure, you are hopeless, you are slow..I was in a deep emotional flashback, even though nobody was actually that angry. All it took was the disappointed look on the lady’s face, to send me into a devastating flashback.

When I got home, I had a good cry and comforted myself saying ‘you had a flashback, you are not a failure, you just made a mistake’.

My past unfortunately will keep following me around, no matter how simple a mistake I make or how unimportant the actual situation is to an outsider.

As long as I continue to remind myself that I am only human and it is ok to make mistakes, then my flashbacks should hopefully lessen in intensity. They will always remain a challenge but it is one that I have to keep working at overcoming.

Thank for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

Dachshund or returning to UK

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Hubby and I have been talking more and more over the last few days about how our life will continue when his work contract comes to an end next year..Do we leave our comfortable home and life for a life back in the uncertain post brexit future of the UK or do we stay for the long haul and I just have to continue learning the language?!

My number one choice has always been the UK, mainly because I never wanted to leave in the first place. We only left because hubby wasn’t happy in his job in Bournemouth and he only had a short window to find work elsewhere until our money ran out. Germany was the quickest offer he got, so although I had many reservations, we did it anyway..

After the first few months passed of us settling into our new life in Germany, we decided to get married. Things were going downhill in Greece with my father’s depression and I just had this bad feeling. I knew that if I ever wanted to get married with both my parents there, it would have to be that year. We went through with it in October 2014, 7 months into living in Germany. Although it wasn’t the easiest or smoothest wedding day due to stress and family drama, we at least committed to each other and created a new family unit. Both hubby and I always needed to feel a sense of belogning in our life and we finally managed to find it in each other.

Unfortunately, 2 months after we got married I confronted my mother about her dismissal of my feelings most of my life and 7 months later my father attempted suicide. My first year of marriage was utter shite and I had to go back on anti-depressants just to get through that year!Looking back on it now, I am happy it is over! The only thing that made that year a little better was celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary in New York! I had always wanted to go to America and I finally made it there for our special day!

All in all, Germany ended up being a safe haven for me, so I could work through my feelings of grief and disappointment. Although I was out of my comfort zone, Germany became my best friend. The fact that I wasn’t working for the first 2 years of my life here was a blessing in disguise. I was able to develop myself personally, set boundaries, progress heaps and bounds in therapy and even qualify as a life coach.

I finally said goodbye to my father after all the abuse & trauma and managed to slowly  re-create a civil relationship with my mother again, although only through acceptance of her limitations. Although I know life isn’t ever going to be the same again, since acquiring all this new wisdom & knowledge about my abusive parents, I am finally closer to making peace with the family I am left with.

The cutest thing about life here in Germany has been the constant appearance of the ‘Rauhaardackel’! :-)I completely fell in love with these beautiful little wirehaired dachshunds (sausage dogs) and we have been wanting to get one for the last couple of years. In this last month, hubby sent out emails to separate breeders and we came so very close to getting one this summer. We have so much love to give a dog and are also looking forward to the unconditional love that a dog gives back. Germany has at times been lonely, due to lack of friends or family and we know that this little dog would give us so much joy and friendship.

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Over the last weekend, we had numerous chats about moving back to England. On Friday, hubby just announced that we have to move back no matter what! He admitted that he is fed up travelling to work & back 2 hours each day, being the only one who earns enough to support our family and that he would much prefer it if we both worked average jobs full time rather than him doing a stressful job on his own. This is also something I have been wanting for the last 3 years, as I have missed earning a full time wage but have also been wanting to further develop myself in the area of mental health, through work and studies. I have felt like my desire to work in areas that interest me in the UK, has been on hold the last couple of years.

The hardest thing about living abroad is that you discover that there are so many things that are better than in your country. Renting in Germany is like owning a home. You have more freedom to do whatever you want and the rent is only increased once every 10 years. The health-care system is also very good. I have had great support here for both my mental and physical health. We were also able to buy a brand new car with hubby’s savings and we now only purchase food and cosmetics from Organic sources. There are a lot of things that we have grown accustomed to, so another big move again means that we will have to give up a lot of what we currently have.

It also means that we have to give up on our dream of getting our little sausage dog 😦 Moving back to the UK and finding a property to rent that will also accept a small dog, would be a huge challenge. Landlords don’t usually accept pets, so if we were to actually get a dog, it would limit our choice by 80%. This breaks my heart as I desperately want a dog, especially because we have decided we are not having kids.

This is the way it will have to be however. If we want to move back to the UK for my own emotional wellbeing, then having a puppy will just have to wait..

I admitted to hubby that I am so very tired of being around German speaking people..I am genuinely fed up of feeling uncomfortable and like a fish out of water..I usually enjoy getting to know people but my ability to do this here has obviously been hard. Especially now that I have started this new part time job, I always feel on edge when people talk to me and I know I have to reply in German. I never realised how much I would miss speaking English until I moved here!

Having emotional difficulties is already challenging enough to live with..Battling ill mental health is tough enough with all the limitations that come with it. When you already suffer with CPTSD, pushing yourself even further out of your comfort zone is a struggle..I really feel like I have done the best I could do under the circumstances..

To end this long, babbling blog post, I wanted to say that hubby is much closer to accepting that we will be moving back to the UK next year. We have made plans to save as much money as we can so we are comfortable when we move back and we have decided that we will really try to downsize from a 2 bedroom flat to a 1 bedroom in the UK, so we can save even more money for a future deposit on a forever home. I will have to give away or sell most of my unneccesary possessions (dvd collections/art/home decor etc), to make room for a sensible future life in the UK again.

In all honesty, I cannot wait! 🙂

Thanks for reading! ❤

Why you must stop obsessing over the narcissist

When your relationship with the narcissist in your life comes to an end, you will go through a very tumultuous recovery period. You will feel like your world has been turned upside down and your mind and body will be going through withdrawal.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is like being addicted to a drug. They take over your life completely and when the relationship ends, the recovery process becomes an endless battle of fighting the obsessive thoughts and questions you are left with. The trauma bond created is excruciatingly hard to break.

In most cases there is no real closure, as you aren’t ending a relationship with a healthy person. When you are not understood and validated and your feelings are dismissed with guilt-tripping, controlling and manipulating behaviour, it is extremely diffucult for your mind and heart to feel peace.

Eventually however, and after you have spent a long time recovering from this toxic sort of ‘break-up’, there comes a point where the obsessing must come to an end. The introspection and deep inner work must begin. The grieving must take a different direction.

This video is about the importance of reaching that point in your healing.

It is of course, far more complicated if you were unlucky enough to also have a narcissistic family but in general the process is the same.

Realisation →Grief→Obsessing→Trying to make sense of their behaviour→Understanding & Acceptance→Grief→Introspection→Grief→Moving on

Love Athina ♥

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 © All blog posts and images are owned by ‘My Child within-Healing from trauma’ and ‘Courage Coaching’. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

A little bit of drama..

I am back home after my short trip to Scotland and pretty happy to be in the comfort of my own cosy nest.

Last Sunday, hubby drove me to the airport in the morning. Although I was very prepared emotionally for staying at my mother’s home, (after our major fallout 2,5 years ago) my anxiety nevertheless creeped up on me, just as we approached the airport. It actually felt so bad, that I told hubby to keep his mobile on, in case I needed him to come back and get me..

Being around abusive & manipulative individuals will always keep you on guard.  In my mother’s case, because she is a covert narcissist, her abusive behaviours are well concealed..Because I know that she has a tendency to bring up past drama & past hurts, my mind was already in a hypervigilant state.

Luckily I was prepared for the appearance of anxiety, so I took a xanax to at least get me on the plane. Hubby was also flying off to Israel for work, so we would both be away. Separations are always hard.

When I arrived in Edinburgh, it was a lovely sunny day. There were flowers on sale everywhere at the airport and train station for Mother’s Day, and it all felt a little strange.

Although I am mostly over the fact that my Mother is unhealthy, the sadness of not having had a reassuring & unconditionally loving mother is something that I have just had to learn to live with.

When I arrived, my mother picked me up from the station and we went straight to my grandmother’s. It had been 4 years since I had last seen my grandmother, so this was the main reason for my visit. My cousin also turned up with her dog, which made the afternoon feel even more pleasant.

Afterwards, we drove to my mother’s new home and caught up on all things house related that still needed to be finished. It was nice to see her new home, although I have never felt ‘at home’ in any of my mother’s homes in the past 15 years. The normal warmth & deep motherly love have never been a part of my life. There has always been a superficialness in her love towards me, a superficial feeling of empathy and my mother’s hugs have always felt empty, from a very young age. I know it isn’t my mother’s fault, that she has a personality disorder which hurts her children but unfortunately this was the mother I was given.

Over the next few days, we walked around the shops and I stocked up on my favourite Scottish Shortbread, scones and other yummy cakes. We had lunch and dinner with my mum’s older and younger sisters. I spent a lovely afternoon at my aunt’s farm and enjoyed some cuddles with all the lovely animals, including some labrador puppies.

Apart from a little anxiety due to feeling car sick in my mother’s car, I was ok.

In the evening our conversations became deeper and my mother talked about my Dad and how she had tried to take my brother & I away from him when I was only 4. She had seen by that point, how emotionally distant and cruel my father could be and didn’t want to live like that anymore. She had left her most important possessions with British friends in Greece and had prepared for the possibility of not returning. She had asked my Grandparents if they would let her stay with them in Edinburgh, until she figured out what to do next. She told me that they refused to let her go through with her plan. They told her that she had made a choice and had to return to her husband and her life in Greece. That she had a responsibility towards her children.  She admitted to me that she was very hurt at the time by her parents’ lack of support but that she later understood that they were right.

The biggest reason my mother and I had our major fall-out 2,5 years ago was because she had once again dismissed my feelings as being unimportant and had also made excuses as to why she didn’t want me to stay with her for a couple of months, while I worked and earned money for my Masters.

I realised that the lack of unconditional love was generational. If her mother could send her back to a controlling and abusive husband, because she couldn’t deal with the stress of having us, then my mother could do the same to me.

On my last morning in Scotland and 10 min before I was due to catch my train, my mother brought up the past disappointments from 2 years ago, as if she wanted to rub them in my face again. She said that she hoped I understood the reasons why she wasn’t able to have me stay with her. I told her that in my eyes her reasons weren’t that important and that I felt unwanted and that I could never ask her for anything ever again. I also told her that I have accepted that she has limitations and that I should only accept what she can offer me. She seemed to be happy with that last sentence. She said that, if in the future anything awful happened, that of course she would absolutely support me.

Sadly, I will never ask for her support again and I don’t have any expectations of her. I let that go in my grieving 2 years ago and have accepted that my relationship with my mother now, will be a different one.

When I eventually arrived back home in Germany, I was relieved and very tired. I slept like a baby for the next few days. Hubby arrived home too, so all was back to normal.

I may not have a father in my life anymore, but a little drama will still be a small part of my life once a year.

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

 

The quiet after the storm

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I haven’t written an update in awhile in regards to the situation with my father, so decided to let you know what has been happening whilst I have a lazy day in bed..

So far, so good..No more contact, no more phonecalls and no more letters.

Maybe my father has finally got the message that I no longer want a relationship with him..

This is very good..It’s good for my sanity, it’s good for my healing and it’s good for my grieving..

I am hoping that the current quiet time stays that way..

At the end of the month I am bravely heading to Edinburgh to stay with my mother, after almost 2 years of not visiting her at her home. She has just recently moved there from West Sussex, so I thought it could be a new opportunity to be civil but mostly to see my grandmother and the rest of my family..

Through therapy, I decided that I was strong enough and wise enough to continue a relationship with my narcissistic mother, mainly because I didn’t want to lose contact with the rest of my family, especially my cousins.

With my mother, although things aren’t ideal as she still remains a covert narcissist with histrionic traits, I am better equipped to put up with her dysfunction..I am very good at just observing her and don’t allow what she says anymore to affect me..I don’t need her..I don’t value what she says and I see her as this lost child..I have good boundaries and keep repeating the same words when she starts pushing..

If she were to die tomorrow, I wouldn’t be devastasted..This probably may sound harsh to some of you but I have already spent years grieving the mother I didn’t have..

I have already grieved the lack of a healthy mother and I have already grieved the fact that I wasn’t able to find true comfort & empathy in her.

Through my life, I have found warmth in other older women: great aunts, mothers of certain friends etc. I have felt true warmth and empathy in women I unfortunately don’t see very often, due to circumstance and distance. I have found real empathy and love in my hubby and in my friends..

My mother feels more like a needy acquaintance, like a dysfunctional therapy project, which I observe and just write notes on..When you are dealing with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder, you have to learn to distance yourself emotionally..I have definetely managed to do this very well.

It is sad to say this, but unfortunately it is the reality of how I feel..

My brother on the other hand doesn’t want to see her or speak to her at all..He is happiest away from her..It is more complicated for him to speak to her in a careful way, due to his special needs..He thinks like a child in so many ways but understands very deeply that she is dangerous for him..He hasn’t grieved her, as he doesn’t have the capacity to understand his need to grieve for her. He is mostly just angry and very protective of himself which is ok..

I am grateful I have gone through so much recovery and have come out the other side..

Although things have been tough, I am definetely feeling a lot more comfortable in my life..

When I fly to Edinburgh it is actually on Mother’s day! I had no idea when I booked the flights and it is kinda ironic really!

The good thing when I arrive is that I will go straight to my Grandmother’s house and that makes me feel much more comfortable. I don’t get to see her very often but she definetely bears no resemblance to my mother’s ways. My grandmother is cuddly and affectionate and very giving whenever I am with her..It has always made me wonder how on earth my mother turned out so sick. My Grandmother is 92 this year so it has been on my mind to visit her for awhile.

Now that I will no longer be going to Athens as much, due to the situation with my father, trips to Scotland will hopefully become a little more frequent.

Yesterday was a suprisingly good day for me. I had my first day as a part-time nanny for a Greek/German family that live reasonably close to me and it was such a joy to be helping out a truly wonderful mum. Her empathy & love for her children radiated. Her 3 kids were so well behaved and happy. Her husband was supportive and loving.

A new part-time job is just what I need at the moment, to keep me busy when I am not coaching or making youtube videos..I do love kids and always feel so protective towards them due to my background..Even though hubby and I have said we don’t want kids due to my CPTSD, I will always very much enjoy looking after them and protecting them. Maybe one day we can foster children. That is definetely something that I could see myself doing.

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

 

The calm before the storm

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As I predicted, my father’s reply letter arrived today, even though I said I no longer wanted contact.

Last night I went to bed full of anxiety and today I asked my husband to check the mailbox, as I wanted nothing to do with it.

I knew that if I had his letter in my hand, it would be too difficult to not open the envelope and read it.

Luckily, we folded the letter and put it into another envelope and my husband posted it back. I asked him to write the address as well.

I feel sick to my stomach again from all the fluctuating emotions and utterly exhausted from the tension.

I worry that things are going to get worse from now on and that the next letter will be from his lawyer.

I need to find out what my rights are, for taking my dad’s money from our shared account. After his suicide attempt, he scared the shit out of me. I immediately envisioned a future with even more stress from his gold-digging wife. My therapist also warned me that financially things wouldn’t be good, as narcissists and particularly my father are controlling and irresponsible with their money. She said that I have to be prepared for chaos. This is why I took a portion of this money from our account. I also took this money cos I could see how careless he was being towards himself and his health. I wanted to have some money aside to help him in the future, when he had nothing left.

This of course, will no longer be necessary. Now, I am just protecting myself.

Due to the fact that I live with CPTSD, I have never been able to work full time for very long. My chronic exhaustion, bad memory and general bad mental health has made it very hard to even start considering saving money for the future. Most people in their mid 30’s have already started saving for their retirement. I haven’t been able to do this and this scares me.I also know that it isn’t my husband’s responsibility to pay for me, or to pay for any future expenses that I have because of my irresponsible father.

Now that I didn’t read my father’s reply letter and successfuly sent it back, I will crawl into bed and sleep. I will sleep so I don’t have to think about it anymore and I will sleep cos I feel exhausted.

His words will no longer poison my mind..

His desperation will no longer affect me..

His shaming will no longer hurt me..

I have already suffered enough..

Now is my time to focus solely on myself..♥♥

It’s over..

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…and so the final healing begins..

I just sent the last ever letter to my father, the last attempt to make contact…the last time I will ever spend time bargaining and fantasizing in my mind about how to say the perfect words, in hope that he will finally ‘get it’!

The difference this time is that I know he won’t get my words and there is no more hope left.

I also suspect that he won’t understand that this is the end of our relationship and he most likely won’t respect it! He doesn’t understand boundaries or healthy discussion, so it might take him awhile to fully realise what has happened if at all..

Below is what I wrote..

I wrote it mostly for myself, so I could get it off my chest, so I could feel good about my last words to my father..so I could feel empowered..

I received your letter and unfortunately I see that nothing has changed.

You didn’t take the things I wrote to you seriously.

My concerns were of no interest to you whatsoever.

My feelings once again didn’t matter.

The worst of all, is that you once again used emotional blackmail against me to get me to do what you want.

I don’t deserve to be treated this way!

I have been nothing but supportive to you over the years and you obviously don’t appreciate me!

The only thing that you are right about, is the fact that I am cutting off all contact with you from now on.

You aren’t who I thought you were. I no longer have the words to express how saddened I am.

Please don’t contact me again from now on!

Your personal life choices and those choices alone are responsible for the current state you are in.

Love just isn’t enough sometimes.

Take care

A.

I don’t feel any different yet..I don’t feel relief..I don’t feel free..I am hoping this will come with time..I am anxious and feeling guilty, which are the side effects of breaking free from a narcissistically abusive parent.

The side effects are similar to those of breaking free from a cult. When you have had constant programming from an extremely young age, it is very hard to remove those words from your mind.The hardest thing for me personally, is the false guilt & toxic shame that narcissists so nastily manipulate into your conscience.

General symptoms of withdrawal from a cult include confusion, depression, disorientation, insomnia, amnesia, guilt, fear, floating in and out of altered states, suicidal tendencies and emotional outbursts. Going ‘No contact’ with an abusive individual has similar effects. I am currently experiencing nausea, depression, false guilt, anxiety & fear. With time I know the intensity of these feelings will pass..

Hopefully now I really have the time and space to heal..It might be that I still get letters in the post or phonecalls, but as long as my phone is on flight mode and I return the letters unopened, he can’t hurt me anymore..

I am hoping that he doesn’t involve lawyers again..Even if he does however, I am in a different country, so I am relatively safe..

I’d like to finish this post with the words of my therapist…

You are the one sitting in the director’s chair of your life. You get to decide who plays a part in your movie and who doesn’t 🙂

Thanks once again for reading!

Hopefully  I can continue my day as productively as possible now.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love Athina ♥

My narcissistic father’s reply

Unexpectedly, I received a reply letter from my father on Saturday. It took 1 day and a half to get from Greece to Germany, which is incredibly fast, especially because he only paid 0.90 cent to send it. I guess the world is trying to tell me how urgently I must cut ties with him once and for all.

His letter was full of guilt-tripping, lies, fabrications and talk about money.

Malignant narcissists are excruciatingly worse when they age but in all honesty, his reply is pretty much what I expected (minus the last glimmer of hope that I had, for him to say something like ‘forget about the money, I love you, lets talk’)

This is what he wrote after 1 year and a half of not speaking to me:

I can’t say I am happy to have received your letter because you hurt me very much with your words, although I am glad you are ok.

If you really love me, as you say you do, you would have made contact with me to see how I was doing, as you left me in a really bad state when you left Greece, without knowing if I was going to live or die.

A lot of what you said in your letter is right however you had absolutely no right to take my money that I worked so hard to make. I made a stupid mistake recently to buy a new piece of land without selling the house I am currently still living in and I am currently in desperate need of money.

You tell me that you never want to talk about money again, yet you still haven’t returned the money you took.

The reason I removed your photograph at my office is because you hurt me, however I have never seen a photograph of me in your things.

I am not able to write more due to my deep distress however you shouldn’t have let go of the flat you were staying in. I never told you you had to let it go!Now, all you have done is add more stress to my life because I now have to once again pay the maintenance costs etc. It seems you want to cut all ties with me and for this I am sorry.

When I was in the psychiatric clinic and my wife was telling you she had no money to pay it, you never offered to pay with the money you had already taken.

Unfortunately, my depression continues and I am in a very bad way and you have just made we feel a whole lot worse. Thanks a lot!

Can you please return the money?I will appreciate it and then things can go back to how they used to be with us.

I also love you a lot but you hurt me way more than I ever hurt you!

After I read the letter, I took a deep breath and then cried. I cried for the fact that he once again tried to guilt-trip me into returning his money. I cried because he said I never called him after I left Greece and that I left him in a state of life or death, which is ridiculous! I called, left messages and even sent him a birthday card, to which he ignored completely. I visited his place of work, for him to ignore me, as if I was a nobody.He explained why he had removed my photo and then made up the ridiculus fabrication that he has never seen a photo of himself in my things!!! How could he?!He hasn’t visisted my home for 8 years and in the holiday flat in Greece there were 2 photos of him and me when I was younger, which he obviously never noticed. I had also sent him wedding photos of all of us from 2014 which I never saw anywhere in his things.

It is incredible to what lengths a narcissistic parent will fabricate stuff just to achieve the purpose of manipulating and guilt-tripping their child into compliance.

He then accussed me of adding more stress to his life because I let go of the holiday flat that HE had set up in the first place! A flat that he had set up because I could not live in his home of 5 bedrooms, due to his ridiculous dysfunction and his controlling wife.

He also thanked me for making him feel worse! What a childish way to speak to your child?!

and the ‘I love you’ he said at the end, means absolutely nothing when he then says ‘I hurt him more than he ever hurt me’…

The only thing he seems to be sorry about is that he realises that I want to cut all ties with him.

He is probably more sorry about this due to the fact that he won’t get his money back, not due to the fact that he has just lost his daughter.

After this weekend, I realise how deeply I hoped that he might show me a normal human emotion as a parent..That he would realise that he has lost me and that it would matter more to him to re-connect than to talk about his money..

My father has left me nothing..No relationship, no love, no feeling of acceptance, no feeling of gratitude and I am actually disgusted that I am half of this person..I have been fighting a feeling of nauseating emotional pain all weekend and I don’t know what to do with this feeling..I have also been battling a terrifying fear of sending my last letter to him ever, which from an outsider’s point of view is ridiculous. It is ridiculous, because I know that if this was someone else’s blog post I was reading, I would say ‘No contact is essential with this person and you don’t have to be afraid, as you have already been dealing with the loss of this parent anyway.

In my last letter, I will state exclusively that I no longer want any contact and that he no longer has a daughter from this day forward. I will be cancelling my mobile phone number and will return any future letters to him. I have to make sure ‘he really gets it’, that he understands that this is the end of our relationship.

My hubby even offered to call my father at his office and let him know that after I received his letter, I am no longer wanting to talk to him and that it is for good. My hubby would warn him and say, that ”you have one last chance to save your relationship with your daughter and that if you want, you can fly to Germany in a few days and make amends”.If then my father doesn’t do it, then we will both know it is truly over.

I have been feeling extremely low, guilty, torn, worried about his mental health and worried about my own current state of mind. Last night I wanted to end my emotional pain..Knowing that your parent doesn’t love you is the worst pain you will ever know.I also realised how much stronger the trauma bonding is with my father than it was with my mother. When there are so many good memories with your abuser, as well as bad, the trauma bonding is even harder to break. This is why it has been extremely hard for me to completely let go and cut all ties with my father.

I am prepared now however, as I no longer have anything to lose.

I never had a healthy father (or mother), so I have always been an emotional orphan.

This is it!

I will send my last letter to him this week..My phone is on air-flight mode so he cannot call me…Luckily, here in Germany I don’t receive any calls from anyone, as I use Viber and Whatsapp so it isn’t a huge loss to have my phone off.

My sanity comes first and to anybody else out there who has a malignant narcissist for a parent, then ‘No Contact’ is the only way to restore your sanity!

I am soon to find out what this truly feels like.

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Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

The desperation of a father who never learnt from his mistakes

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My half brother and my Dad playing at his home

My Dad always enjoyed spending time with his children. We softened up his heart..He told my mother once that he always had trouble feeling genuine love for anyone but with us children, he could feel it more..

We did all sorts of nice things such as playing ball, going to the park, fishing, going to the funfair and he always brought endless kittens home to us over the years, which were found in the various building sites he would visit when his architecture business was still booming.

He laughed at a lot..He made jokes a lot..

That side of him started disappearing a long time ago unfortunately..

I have a lot of good memories with my Dad when I was younger.He tried to give me more attention when I was still in primary school, because my mother always gave my brother 90% of her attention, due to his epilepsy and learning difficulties. The older I got however, the less attention I had and the lonelier and emptier I felt.

When I look at these photos, I see and remember my Dad’s kind side. I see the love for his kids, even if it wasn’t the kind of love that was enough or healthy.

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My Dad and I when I was 3- 1985

Yesterday, my farewell letter to my dad arrived.

The timing was perfect because my friend also dropped off the key to the flat as well. Before I even got round to checking the tracking number, my mobile started ringing. That’s how I knew my Dad had received the letter. He panicked..

In the afternoon when he was in his offce alone, he made 3 phonecalls and left 4 voicemails begging me to talk to him. He told me I was being too harsh to him.

The desperation in his voice was terribly difficult to hear. The empathetic, loving side of me aches with sadness. I can feel his desperation, his disbelief..

The logical, protective side of me knows it was the right thing to do..

The emotional side of me however is struggling..

If only I didn’t feel the emotional pain ..

His secretary told me this morning that he was already writing a reply letter to me. I feel more comfortable receiving a letter rather than speaking on the phone or hearing his voice in the voicemail messages. With his reply I am still in control of whether I respond or not. I have time to react. I have time to reflect.

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My Dad tickling my older brother and his wife (step-mother who is only 5 years older than me)-2006

All I can say right now is that my grief is strong..The longing for the kinder side of my father is strong. I can’t forget all the bad stuff, all the dysfunction however.My love for him isn’t enough when I have been constantly hurt. My kindness and my ‘heart of gold’ as my dad once described, isn’t enough to put up with the constant dissappointment. He didn’t value me enough in the last years.

I was always the one who was there for my Dad emotionally. The sensitive sucker of a daughter, who was easily manipulated, who was told to act differently, who wasn’t welcome anymore in her father’s home, who wasn’t allowed to see her half brother, all because his wife didn’t want me to..He allowed all of it for his own selfish needs.Yet I still longed for the connection with him.

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I treasured this summer evening-Fishing with my Dad and half brother when he was 6 years old)-

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May 2012-My brother’s birthday in Greece with my Dad joking around with him

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Spring 2010-Dad, I and my half brother

The waiting now is going to be uncomfortable but I am prepared..I will keep busy, see friends, use distractions and hold onto the love in my home with my hubby..

He is my best friend and we always talk everything through so well..

I am so lucky to have him in my life, otherwise I probably would never have had the strength to cope with everything in the last couple of years.

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ❤