When self-doubt creeps in..

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The above reality, written by the amazing Tina Fuller, is something I feel often when things are stable and my life is drama free. Being the child of two narcissists, it is almost impossible to have long lasting peace when they are still alive. And even when they pass away, you still have to be prepared for even more stress in regards to property, money and their remaining family.

After already feeling miserable the last couple of days after waking up with an incredibly painful and stiff lower back, I got a text yesterday from my father which was extremely difficult to understand..

It was written in Greek with capital letters however more than half the letters were missing from each word. I ended up playing a guessing game trying to construct sentences..

Generally, since I asked him not to contact me again back, I should have completely ignored the message. However, because I could make out from the first sentence, something about tax and money, I knew he had done what I was afraid of.

Before I get to that, I have to explain a little about how certain things work in Greece in regards to putting property in a family member’s name.

In Greece, when a parent wants to put property in their child’s name, they usually follow a very odd but very commiting process. Both the adult child and parent sign a document which states that the adult child becomes the owner of the property, however the child isn’t able to make use of the property (live in it, rent it out etc) until the parent dies. Whilst the parent is still living, he/she is the one that can rent out the property and benefit from it. This can be felt as a little unfair for the adult child, as they aren’t able to do anything at all until the parent dies. Then again, they will still own a home in the end, so overall it is worth it.

In the last couple of years, Greece has introduced a new law which says that all property owners have to pay tax on the home that they own. This tax is based on the size of the property in square meters, the year it was built and the type of property. This tax has to be paid once a year and in the case of my property, which has been used and rented out by my father, he has been the one that has been responsible for paying this tax every year. This was only fair, as he has been earning 600euro every month from it and I haven’t benefited at all.

From my father’s text, it was clear that he no longer wants to pay my share of the tax and that I now have to be responsible for it. The only thing I could make out clearly from his text was that I have to pay 500 euro for the property. He then proceeded to guilt-trip me about how much I hurt him, even though he has never turned against me. Luckily, I was able to block this part out emotionally. I currently feel numb to it and I hope it stays this way.

At the moment, I am left wondering whether this will be the only contact I have from him. I am really hoping that it is and that despite delivering this not so nice message to me about the property tax, that he will continue to respect my wishes of ‘no contact’.

With both my parents as narcissists, I guess I will never fully be at peace until they are gone. As long as they are alive, I have to expect some drama.

If the worst thing that ever happens again with my father, is this tax I have to pay once a year, then it is only a small price to pay for owning a house he designed and built. Although my feelings about this home are very mixed at present, a small part of me will most likely cherish this home one day, when my father is no longer alive. Despite the fact that he turned out to be a very sick person, he was still a very giving & present father until I was 13-14 years old. Those memories will always be mine and I hope that one day, I will be able to look back on my relationship with my father and feel less hurt & less sorrow.

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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 ♥

 

 

Return to sender

It will be a week tomorrow since I posted my last letter to my father. Although I have no idea when and if my letter to him arrived, his secretary who is also a friend, told me he has already sent me a reply.

I promised myself last week that if I received another letter from him, I would send it back unopened.

In all honesty I am contemplating reading it..

Just to see what crazy stuff he has come up with this time..

Or to see his reaction to my farewell letter…

or to see if he is making any threats about lawyers (which I am worried about).

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I am fully aware that by reading his letter again, I will be affected mentally and physically..

That it won’t give me closure and that I can’t trust anything he says as the truth..

That he won’t say anything remotely empathetic or loving and that I will once again be crushed..

So why do it to myself? Why cause myself more pain? Haven’t I had enough already?

It’s going to take a lot of strength to not open it, as I keep wondering whether I will regret it if I don’t read it..

The reality however is that I can’t unread a letter..Once I read it, the words get stuck in my head..

So returning it unopened and unread sends a powerful message..Even more so than asking him not to contact me again..

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Family photos don’t show the truth

Trigger alert *****

Last night I had a gruesome nightmare..I felt incredibly guilty because I took part in covering up a murder of a young woman and knowing that her body was dismembered.I have no idea how she died and why. My father was also in the dream although I don’t remember the details of why he was in it either. All I remember vividly is that I was on the run and was trying to stay hidden and safe..I felt scared and I felt guilty..

It was a very dark and unsettling dream..I am pretty sure it is symbolic of what I am going through right now, with the projected guilt I am feeling of cutting ties with him..

I hope I can stay strong and protect myself..

I just want it to finally be over..

Love Athina ♥

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 ♥

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 ❤

The letter

Following from my last post ‘The end of a chapter’, I decided that the only way to stop the phone-calls that my father keeps making to me is to actually tell him that I no longer want any contact.

I never explicitly told him this when we had our fall out. Once he gave me the silent treatment for a year and ignored me coldly when I visited his office, I decided that the only way to protect myself from further emotional distress , was to just not communicate with him.

Unfortunately, after he was over his ‘narcissistic strop’, he started calling me again, the day after my birthday. He has been making many attempts to re-connect with me by phone but has not once apologised for his behaviour or for the harm he caused me.

Now that I finally let go of the flat that we used in Greece, it felt only natural to inform him of this new development and to make sure that he knows that the responsibility for the flat is back with him. It was always in his name, yet he neglected to pay the bills and maintenance costs. Hubby and I were stuck with them and had to pay them yearly.

In my letter to him, I informed him that we have vacated the flat and that a friend of mine will drop off the key at his office. I informed him that he is responsible for paying the 200euro of maintenance costs and that we have informed the person in charge. I have informed him that I no longer feel comfortable using this flat, due to the current circumstances of our relationship.

The most important thing in this letter however, is the fact that I have finally informed him of my ‘terms & boundaries’. I have clearly stated that I do not use my phone anymore and that I do not see the point of re-connecting with him. I told him that I have had enough disappointment in my life in regards to his behaviour towards me. That I will not tolerate a relationship with a father, who is dysfunctional, controlling & a pathological liar. That I will not tolerate a relationship with a father who is also completely controlled by his malignant wife and who has poisoned him against everybody that truly care for him.

I have told him that if he had truly wanted a relationship with me, he would have told his wife that his relationship with me is important.He would have told his wife that he wanted to visit me in Germany all these years, instead of not doing it because she wouldn’t allow it. He would have used his wealth, to spend quality time with his children and treat everyone fairly. He would have explained to his wife that his children are important to him.

Instead, he allowed her to control him and I missed out on 18 years of a ‘normal’ relationship with my father.

Instead, he allowed her to threaten me. Instead he allowed her to talk badly of me.

Instead, he was abusive to her and his children, which in return made her abusive towards him.

Instead, he attempted to take his own life because of the pressure she had put on him financially.

Instead, he still returned to her and lives under her rules, her control and her nastiness.

Instead, he continues to neglect himself, his health, his children, his colleagues and obsesses constantly about money.

In my letter to him I stated that I deserve to have a father who doesn’t have to lie to spend time with me. I stated that on my wedding day, I deserved to have a Dad that was there completely and not a Dad who was freaking out because he had hadn’t told his wife it was my wedding day. I deserved a Dad that wasn’t hiding and worrying throughout the wedding meal.

I stated that I have done nothing but support him all these years and yet he hasn’t been able to put the effort in when it has mattered.

In the last few lines of this letter, I expressed my gratitude for the good memories I have with him and I wished him well.

This was my farewell letter.

I have told him not to contact me by phone anymore.

I am now patiently awaiting the arrival of this letter, so my friend can hand over the key to him. It was sent registered, so I am able to see when he receives it.

If he does not stop calling me then I will cancel my phone contract as a last resort.

This letter wasn’t easy..This letter was discussed with my therapist. By writing a letter however, I am better able to be in control.

I am not expecting a normal response.

I am hoping that it brings an end to the current situation of uncomfortable voicemails.

Thanks for reading

Athina ♥

The black hole..

I am struggling today..

My father made contact again..I am right on the edge of replying to my father’s messages..phonecalls..just to make them stop! ..I know that won’t happen though…

I don’t want to be sucked into the black hole again..People with NPD do that..They are very good at sucking you back in…Whether it is soppy messages, guilt-trips, the silent treatment etc….I can’t forget this..

My father has NPD and doesn’t see the world the same way I do..

His voicemails were full of complaints..

First voicemail:

”Not even a call for Happy New Year? One day when you have children of your own, you will know that the love of a parent for their child never goes away, no matter what”..

Second voicemail:

”You can see that it is me calling you and yet you continue to ignore my calls. All I wanted was for you to be happy.Wishing you all the best. That’s it from me”

Third call and no voicemail..

His voicemails sound like a cry for attention..His voicemails make ME sound like the heartless daughter who will not respond…

This isn’t so however..

He gave me the silent treatment for nearly a year..and then suddenly decided to make contact again…He ignored my attempts to make contact and he ignored me when I stood in front of him, which hurt like hell..

He is the one who attempted suicide as a way of controlling his wife…He is the one who always chose his NPD wife over his own daughter for the last 12 years…He is the one that didn’t want to make changes in his behaviour and is aware he is treating people badly.He is the one that hired a lawyer against me to return his money..that threatened to kill himself again because I wasn’t doing what he wanted..that hurt me over and over and over again..that abandoned me over and over again..

So why the hell do I feel like a heartless daughter because I wont pick up the phone??!

The biggest difference between the two of us is that he lacks empathy and I don’t ..

I feel absolutely everything & it is exhausting..I feel his pain, I feel his desperation but I know I must continue to keep my distance..

I never explicitly told him that I don’t want any contact anymore, because it was too destructive for my mental health to get back into a conversation with him..

Since he won’t stop making attempts to get back in touch with me, I am starting to realise that he just isn’t getting the message.

I have decided to write him a letter..In this letter I will tell him what my terms are in regards to having contact, if at all..

In this way I don’t have to ‘talk to him’, as talking to him means more drama, more guilt tripping, etc…Every time he calls and leaves a message it unsettles me greatly..

I love him despite everything..I just can’t help that..

It has been an emotional evening and an unsettling start to this week..

On the bright side, I woke up to a snowy Germany today..♥

Love to you all ♥

Athina

What it feels like..

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It is important to let go of the need to try and fix or help your npd/psychopathic parent.

They are not able to change..

They will take you down with them..

They will exhaust you until you have nothing left for yourself..

Always practice self-care and keep minimum or no contact if possible.

Love Athina ♥

Please don’t use this post as your own. Always re-blog and ask for permission if you want to use any of my images.

Ritual abuse survivors are heroes

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Before starting this blog and my own journey of healing from child abuse, I had never come across Ritual abuse..I never knew there was such evil in this world..I knew about psychopaths and narcissists..I knew about some of the awful things that have happened to children who have suffered abuse.I know there are many paedophiles out there who live out their sick fantasies without any care for the long-lasting, life-altering effects on their victims.

The physical, emotional & sexual suffering that a lot of child abuse survivors have endured are known to many. Unfortunately, amongst those many people that have knowledge of this, nothing has been done..This is sad & unfair..

I actually felt guilty that I never knew about ritual abuse..This is something that people need to know about..It is despicable and incomprehensible to me that there are so many sick people out there that cause so much harm. No matter what someone feels or what perversions they may have, they are ultimately the ones that can stop their impulses to harm.

I have met many incredibly brave & awe inspiring survivors of this sort of abuse, who I have the privilege of calling my friends.I will soon be reading their memoirs and although it is very tough to read details of this sort of abuse, it is important to allow these brave survivors to tell their story. It is healing & it is necessary.

For those of you out there, who have experienced this sort of abuse, you are always welcome here. You an inspiration to me.

Much Love Athina ♥♥