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.

Beauty in music

In one of my old posts, I wrote about how much music kept me sane when I was neglected as a teenager..Lyrics have always been very important to me in combination with piano or acoustic guitar..They touch me deep inside and I get chills when I can relate to the song completely-cognitively, emotionally and acoustically..

I also wrote so many poems as a coping mechanism..A lot of them expressed the anger I had to swallow in those difficult years, when I wasn’t allowed to have a voice..They expressed escaping from the pain I was in and being free of the constant invalidation..

I love this song..It is beautiful in so many ways…

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 ♥

 

 

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 ♥

Parentless at Christmas

Christmas time isn’t always as cheerful as it is meant to be..It isn’t what you see on tv or in films..It isn’t all happy, with big families, presents and lots of love..It has most definetely not been this way for me..

Christmas is a tumultuous time for those of us with trauma & loss..It is a deeply disappointing time for those of us who are parentless..

This empty hole inside me has resurfaced with even more of a vengeance..

All the depressing thoughts that say ‘I am bad, I am not enough, I am guilty’ are whispering in my ear..How can any child not feel emotional pain when their own parent is not able to love them unconditionally?!

I am missing my Dad at the moment..The Dad I thought I had & hoped I had all these years, until reality really hit me hard last year when he turned against me..

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Nothing can ever replace the loss of healthy parents…The bereavement of this sort of loss can last a lifetime because you ‘never really knew what healthy parenting is supposed to feel like’..

This is how I am feeling at the moment..There is a rawness and disappointment..A deep desire to be held by a mother or father who loves you deeply and unconditionally..who accepts you..who wants the best for you..who loves spending time with you..who is able to guide you and comfort you…I still dream about this feeling..

I have seen it in other peoples’ parents and have an idea of what it is supposed to feel like but I just can’t quite hold this feeling in…..because it will never be mine….

I will only have ‘surrogate parents’ out there, who are other older friends who have shown more sensitivity and love than my own parents ever did..and that is still not enough..

To all of my parentless friends and fellow bloggers who are struggling with grief this Christmas,

I hear you and feel for you. It is tough to feel such emptiness..It is tough to have grown up with trauma & emotional neglect…

All I can say is….. hold onto the people that you do have in your life right now and be grateful for the smallest things..for these things help to keep you going..♥

Intensive language courses can be exhausting

Dear friends and fellow bloggers,

I apologise for being away from the blogging world recently. I am struggling to keep up with my new routine at the moment, so my YouTube videos on my channel have had priority, as well as the important decision to finally start German lessons.

Yes, I finally gave in!! I have signed up to an intensive 7 week course!

Hubby and I were discussing our future in Germany a few weeks ago and I was talking about whether moving back to the UK would be a good idea or not after all.

I still want to do my Art Therapy MA in the future, which I will now have to re-apply for, (as I have lost my unconditional offer after 2,5 years of not starting) however our life here in Germany has been good due to my husband’s job. It has provided security, health insurance & a cosy home. Germany has been extremely kind to me over the last 2,5 years.

Looking back on that time, I have come to realise that I needed these years away from full time work, in order to fully grieve the loss of my parents and in order to continue my healing journey. Grieving the loss of the healthy parents I never had was extremely painful, time consuming but absolutely necessary..Germany gave me that time..My husband’s work gave me that time..

In these 2,5 years I have:

1.grieved extensively

2.dealt with 1 last family drama when my father attempted suicide

3.gone no contact with my father

4.married my husband

5.started the gym

6.studied Cognitive Behavioural Coaching & completed my qualification as seen below 🙂

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7. continued my healing in therapy & achieved a new sense of freedom from this healing

8.grown in confidence

9.met some amazing bloggers which I am lucky enough to also call friends.

10.had EMDR therapy to minimise my emotional flashbacks & nightmares

11.learnt how to make homemade bread, homemade pizza & other vegetarian dishes for my hubby

12.learnt new creative hobbies

13.started blogging & vlogging

and finally 14. started learning German

Now it may seem VERY strange that learning German is the last thing on my list but there were many reasons for this. Firstly, it isn’t a language I particularly like and secondly it is a difficult language to learn.

The main reason for not learning straight away however, is because I was originally only going to stay in Germany for 6 months, whilst hubby settled in to his new job. I was then going to head back to Sheffield to start my Art Therapy MA.

When we realised that this would be a little too costly, whilst we were also preparing to get married, I then ended up defering my course and just stayed on in Germany for the full year. After I got married, I was thrown in the deep end in regards to family dramas with my parents, so ended up spending the next year grieving and suffering greatly with my CPTSD & depression. It’s incredible how big a part mental illness can take up in your life sometimes!

Germany has been very kind to me and for this I am grateful…My husband’s insurance covered all my therapy sessions over the last 2 years, which would have otherwise been very expensive or almost non existent if I was in the UK. I have taken baby steps in achieving goals I never thought I could achieve and I am currently in a very good place in regards to my mental health. Although I am still on anti-depressants and fortnightly therapy, I am feeling more at peace with myself as a person and have developed a new sense of self-compassion and confidence I never had before.

My decision to FINALLY start German lessons was because of the discussion of leaving Germany or staying. I thought that the only way to truly know if I could stay in Germany more long term, would be to give the language a try and hopefully get a part-time job.Having a part-time job would enable me to save money for a pension when I am old and wrinkly. At the moment I am not able to do this on a few hours of coaching with my new business.

I promised myself that I would give learning Germany my best try and if after completing the course I still didn’t feel confident in getting a job, then we would move back to the UK and start over.

These 2,5 years have been the longest time hubby and I have lived in one place without moving. Since we met almost 5 years ago, we have lived in many different towns and places. Now that we are nearly in our mid 30’s we would like to settle somewhere for longer and get a dog.

At the moment, Germany and specifically Bonn still feels like home.

I have completed 4 days of my intensive German course and I must admit it is incredibly tiring as there is so much to learn in a short space of time. Unfortunately with my CPTSD, I have problems with my memory so I have to repeat stuff over and over again until I can properly learn it..Although I attend classes every day for 4 hours, I still have to spend 3 hours just doing the homework at the end of each day.Today I have given myself the afternoon off to blog and just relax!

I am so glad it is Friday 🙂

So once again, I am sorry if I have been a bit distant dear friends..This will continue for the next 7 weeks but I will try and catch up each weekend with writing, as well as reading your posts!

Love Athina ♥

Loving parents-Unknown territory..

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Today I was thinking about how lucky people are, who are part of a loving and close family..

The type of family you can turn to when something goes terribly wrong. The type of family you know will feel your pain and will offer to help you even if you don’t ask..The type of family that would always put a roof over your head, even if they didn’t have the space or money.

When I am not keeping myself busy, there are these moments of calm where I sit back and imagine how my life could have been if I was lucky enough to have such a family.

As Christmas quickly approaches, my heart aches once again with this deep feeling of sadness.I’ve had this feeling since I was a child.

I know my parents couldn’t have done more due to their NPD, however that doesn’t change that deep longing for comfort in the arms of a loving parent.

My husband unfortunately also shares this feeling with me, although not in exactly the same way. He luckily had a mentally healthy mother who managed to bring him up with integrity, unconditional love and by always putting his needs first. She unfortunately suffered with an autoimmune disease however and was physically suffering when my husband was only a child. His father was not a part of his life so he also never felt this feeling of safety & security. He had to leave home when he was only 12, so his mother’s illness didn’t affect him more than it already had.This was to prevent codependency, which could have been detrimental in his life otherwise. He went to school abroad and lived with 2 separate host families, who sadly weren’t very comforting. He then moved abroad again to live with his half sister, her Dad and his partner in Greece. He managed to finish school there and create some wonderful memories with friends, however nothing seemed to fill that void of ‘missing out’. His mother died when he was in his early twenties and he didn’t have a choice but to just accept it.

Now we are both in our 30’s and we can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to have family like this to turn to. Even as a mentally stable adult, people still need their parents. For those of us however who missed out on a nurturing and stable family home, this is all the more challenging. My own mother tells me how she doesn’t know how she would cope if her mother died. My grandmother is 92 and my mother is 63. This feels incredibly unfair to me..How the hell am I supposed to feel, when I am only 34 and my mother has never even felt like a mother?! She is still a child in so many ways and I had to grow up fast from a very young age. I was also the scapegoat in my family with my brother being the golden child. He was the one with the disability and his needs did and will always come first.

As much love as my husband and I share (which I am incredibly grateful for) this doesn’t make up for the lack of belonging we both feel. It is an emptiness that unfortunately doesn’t go away and all we can do is create a family of our own. We have both decided we don’t want to have children, as we feel a deep sadness about the direction the world is headed in. If we don’t feel safe in it as adults, how the hell are we supposed to protect our children?

We will be hopefully getting a dog next year which we are both extremely happy about and we have agreed that if I ever feel the need in the future to look after and care for a child, then we could consider fostering. I have looked after children for over 8 years and still currently caring for a 4 year old here in Germany who only has his mum. This poor kid is already showing signs of abandonment issues due to his father’s lack of interest in him and he is a wonderful little boy with a brilliant, hard working mum. It gives me immense happiness to care for those in need and I will continue to do so, even without children of my own.

I will leave you with this cute photo of the dog breed we will be getting next year 🙂 Hopefully we can find a rescue dog, as that is always the best thing to do.

Thanks for reading x

Love Athina ♥

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© All blog posts and images are owned by me and My child within. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

The orphans of abuse

It took me such a long time through my journey of healing, to realise that I was always an orphan growing up..Yes, I had parents..Yes I was fed and clothed and had a roof over my head..Yes I went on holidays from the age of 3 until I was 16 with my family..Yes I had an education..It is more than most ‘genuine orphans’ had..Those who didn’t have their own home and were abandoned by their parents or lost their parents to death..who didn’t have their basic needs met due to poverty & illness..who were neglected severely..who changed foster homes time and time again..

I don’t claim to compare myself to those children and adult children..

When I talk about orphans of abuse, I mean the orphans who never felt loved by their parents..Who never felt supported or safe in their home..Who were never able to be true to themselves..Who were never able to grow up with confidence and inner stability..Who were never able to express their thoughts or feelings, due to fear of punishment or being ignored..

I talk about the emotional orphan..I am an emotional orphan..

This blog post is dedicated to all you emotional orphans out there, who never felt loved, who still feel that you can’t trust others or be loved..who still struggle with mental health problems..who never got the chance to choose your parents..who never had the opportunity to live without trauma..

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With the appropriate healing & support, you can find that love within yourself..Self-compassion is key to filling that emptiness..Grieving the lack of emotional comfort & love, is also crucial to healing..

Intolerance to vulnerability shows you that there are so many emotionally insensitive or incapable people out there, that refuse to talk about difficult emotions..

This isn’t healthy..It is dysfunctional..

Prevent emotional orphanhood…

Love Athina ♥♥

© 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.

Run.Rabbit.Run.Ptsd award

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My dearest friend Lottie started this Run.Rabbit.Run.PTSD award

The wonderful https://theblackwallblog.wordpress.com/ nominated me for this award and I am really grateful. Both bloggers are remarkable writers in their own right.

Please check out their blogs as listed above.

Thank you  for considering me for this award, that previously was known as the Blogger Recognition Award.


The rules:

Thank the blog who nominated you, share the link and award on your blog.

Write a brief story on how you started blogging and

any advice you would give to a new blogger.

Select nominees (max 15)

Advise nominees.

I started blogging over a year ago now, as a way to heal from the discovery that both my parents have narcissistic personality disorder. It was a very painful time for me, as my father had just attempted suicide, so I was suffering with really bad ptsd. Since then I have shared my experiences, courage & hope in my journey of grieving the healthy parents I never had and growing in confidence & self-compassion.

I have since qualified as a life coach, specialising in supporting others in their journey of healing from narcissistic abuse and try to be a mental health advocate for Complex PTSD in particular and reducing the stigma associated with recovery.

The advice I would give new bloggers is to give your fellow bloggers a chance. It is mostly a loving & supportive community. Be supportive to others as well as writing your own posts. Take the time to acknowledge what others have written and leave comments when you can. Friendships can be formed through the blogging world and healing is a huge part of it for those with mental illness.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers:

https://dbestmentalhealthblog.wordpress.com/

https://justbreathe826.wordpress.com/

https://thesecretdance.wordpress.com/

https://outloudkaren.com/

They have all had struggles with mental health, so as a mental health advocate I would like to give them the attention they deserve.

Love Athina ♥