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 ♥

Halloween-Love it or hate it?

***A mixed blog post about the positive & negatives of Halloween***

**Possibly triggering to SRA survivors***

When I lived in Greece as a child, Halloween was great fun for me. Being half Scottish, I was the only girl in my Greek school that would occassionaly invite friends round for a small Halloween party.It was such a novelty!My mum would help me carve a pumpkin and I would wear different costumes every year. I was fascinated by it, mostly due to the fact that it wasn’t something they celebrated in Greece.My greek friends would also enjoy celebrating it with me .We bobbed for apples and played many other games.

As a young kid, I was at times quite serious and mature for my age, due to being parentified by my mother. Parties & dressing up at Halloween were a great form of escapism for me.. I loved dissappearing into a world of fantasy and play and I very much enjoyed being a kid when I was allowed to be.

As the years went by and I finished school, I moved to England to study my Bachelors in Art. Halloween was suddenly an even bigger part of my life, more so than when I lived in Greece. The shops were filled with decorations,costumes and pumpkins and because I was studying Art, my university had an amazing Halloween ball! I was able to finally dress up properly with my friends and boyfriend at the time and the creativity of the costumes were just incredible.Art students had the most inventive costumes and not all of them were scary. I remember photos of the Simpsons family, the Oompa Loompas from Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie & the Chocolate factory’ and the Adams family.

Even after I graduated and moved to London, I continued enjoying Halloween parties with all my creative friends.We all just loved having a laugh and thinking of creative ways to dress up. So when I think back to how many years I have properly celebrated Halloween, it is a total of around 20 years.

After I moved in with my partner and got married, Halloween stopped being such a big part of  my life anymore. Hubby didn’t really care for it much and generally doesn’t like dressing up. For the last 3 years, I haven’t carved any pumpkins or been to any parties for this reason, as I no longer had anyone close to me who wanted to celebrate it.

Last Year I was in NY for Halloween, which was very interesting. Seeing how people celebrated in the US was good fun, as it was similar to the craziness of London celebrations that I was so used to but with an extra layer of craziness.There was a huge Halloween Parade but also a lot of petty crime.

This year,is the first time I am aware that Halloween is an extremely triggering and traumatic time for alot of people and this is something that deeply saddens me. Before this year I knew nothing about SRA (Satanic ritual abuse).

Now that I am friends with people who have survived this type of abuse and follow their amazingly courageous blogs, it makes me feel strange about Halloween for the first time. The fact that there is something so sinister happening in the background that most people aren’t aware of, is deeply disturbing. The fact that so many innocent victims are tortured and sacrificed at this time of year, is beyond comprehensible but utterly real.

My heart goes out to all SRA survivors at this time of year.I wish there wasn’t such evil in this world and that people who did and still do this, get punished for their disgusting crimes. I also wish that more people were aware that this happens in schools, churches, forests & family homes. That these perpetrators go to extreme lengths to silence their victims and anyone who tries to speak out about the crimes they commit. That these perpetrators literally destroy people’s lives….and that these perpetrators hide behind their social standing as teachers, ministers, parents, friends of parents, doctors and so much more etc..

Halloween, this year and every year from now on I will NOT celebrate you. How can I celebrate you? How can I celebrate you when I know that such horrific things happen.

All I did today was walk in the farmland near my home here in Germany and managed to see my first pumpkin field. This was something I had always wanted to do from a young age and finally managed to do today. This was my last farewell..

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Lamb also joined me on my walk through the pumpkin field..

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View from our balcony- Beautiful autumn colours

Love Athina ♥

2 year wedding anniversary roadtrip

Dear friends,

Hubby and I are driving off tomorrow morning to one of the old towns he lived in from the ages of 5-13. This town is here in Germany and is called Braunschweig. He hasn’t been back there for 20 years so it will be an incredible experience for him to revisit his old neighbourhood.

He remembers it as a lovely town which has one of the happiest houses in the world known as The Happy Rizzi House. The colours and design are by New York pop artist James Rizzi with the help of architect Konrad Kloster.

This is a photo of it below and I am looking forward to seeing it for myself. The heart shaped windows are adorable and it looks like the sort of house you would see in Cartoons.

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Source:http://www.collater.al/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Happy-Rizzi-House-La-stravagante-casa-di-Brunswick-Collater.al-7.jpg

Hubby and I spend our 1st wedding anniversary last year in New York, while he was there for work for 6 weeks and this year we are spending it in Germany but in 2 different cities. Tomorrow will be Braunschweig, where the Rizzi House is situated and on our actual anniversary on Saturday we are spending the day in Hannover.We are also visiting an old neighbour and friend who has just bought her first home there.

Since getting married I have had to deal with a lot of grief and trauma due to my father’s suicide attempt and my subsequent estrangement from him and through also having to accept that both my parents have NPD.

The pain has luckily lessened a great deal and hubby and I have made a lot of progress adjusting to life without any parents. All we have are our close friends and each other.

It is very important for us to create happy memories on our anniversaries each year, as we don’t want to think of our first 2 years of marriage as the toughest, due to all the stress we experienced.

The Rizzi house will make us smile and spending part of our anniversary with a wonderful friend on Saturday is the perfect way to celebrate our married life together.

Love Athina ♥

Mental health-Lets keep talking about it

Until I wait for the arrival of my new webcam, I am continuing to create text videos for my youtube subscibers. After having problems with the sound quality on my youtube videos, I wanted to invest in something that would offer my viewers something much better.

As today is World Mental Health Day, I created a video in honour of this day.

I live with mental illness every day and have done for most of my life, so it is important to keep talking about the importance of our mental health..

Much love

Athina ♥

 

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.

Home sweet home

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Hello dear followers,

I made it back safely to Germany last night and although London was a lovely break away, home is my favourite place in the world..When I say home, I mean my actual flat where all my comforts are..The little bubble of a love nest hubby and I have created, that keeps us safe and loved. I wouldn’t trade it for anywhere!

The reason I am so grateful for our home is because the minute I arrived in London, I was flooded with a wave of anxiety. I felt awful with bad stomach cramps, frequent trips to the toilet, sweating, clammy hands, rapid heart beat, etc.You get the picture!

As much as I was looking forward to seeing my cousin after so many years and finally getting to see their new London flat, I was out of my comfort zone and my body & mind kept reminding me of this.

The fact that it was very humid and warm made matters worst. Heat always exacerbates my anxiety symptoms, as I am sure a lot of you anxiety sufferers can relate to.

In addition to this, the fact that I was staying with someone who I know wouldn’t have compassion for my mental illness, made me feel even more on edge. My aunt is the sort of person who lives by the quotes ‘I live life to the full’ and ‘I never dwell on sad things’. She is also the type of person who doesn’t like being dragged down by other people’s troubles and who loves showing off all the time..Lets just say, we are worlds apart!She is living a lifestyle of luxury, constantly jetting off around the world and doesn’t seem to understand that others around her, don’t have it as good.

Despite this, I managed to enjoy parts of my trip, even though my body was tense 80% of the time..I was annoyed at my inability to relax but then again reminded myself that this is what life is like living with CPTSD.

On my first day there I went to visit my mum and brother. It was lovely to see my brother face to face and see him in his home town. Unfortunately our time together was cut short, as my mother decided to show up an hour early, even though SHE had arranged the time that suited her and somehow seemed to have conveniently forgotten (as narcs do). This was completely unexpected for my brother, so he got up and left immediately when my mother arrived. He hates spending time with her, as he is now also aware of all the abuse he has endured. I  ended up spending 3 hours with my mother which was bearable but I would have much preferred to spend longer with my brother.

In the evening when I returned back to London I went to dinner with my aunt & cousins which was in a lovely part of London I had never been to before, called St Katharine Docks.

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It had many restaurants and pubs scattered around the mini marina and it was very romantic at night when all lit up. We had dinner in a rather posh restaurant and I must admit, this was the biggest challenge of my day, as my anxiety was through the roof and I was exhausted from the heat & travelling of the morning. I don’t particularly like posh restaurants as I was brought up eating at tavernas in Greece, where everyone shares tapas and things are very laid back.The good thing is, I survived without any escalating anxiety and eventually made it home by 11pm.

My last day of my trip was spent doing what I wanted, which was lovely. No stress, no early starts, less travelling round London and a tiny bit of shopping. My anxiety levels were much more bearable and I also went out for dinner with some close friends, so the day ended perfectly.

How do you feel when leaving your comfort zone? Do you get anxious? Or are you someone who loves adventure and never feels stressed?

I’d love to hear your thoughts

Love Athina ♥♥

 

Parental narcissism-Maternal narcissism is the deepest wound

The bond between a mother and her child is such a special one, that people wonder how it is possible for a mother to be abusive towards her child.How can a mother want her child to suffer? How can a mother feel so envious of her daughter’s happiness, that she tries to sabotage it? How can a mother dismiss her child’s successes? This is something that unfortunately happens all the time and more and more survivors of maternal narcissistic abuse are coming to terms with the reality of who their mother really was and unfortunately still is.

In this video, I go through the traits of a narcissistic mother which are identified in a very useful book written by Karyl McBride, a renowned psychologist who has extensively researched narcissistic abuse.

Love Athina ♥

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

 

Last session of EMDR

Thank you to all my recent followers and welcome to my humble abode!

Today I am seeing my therapist again after almost 2 months of not seeing her..

We will be discussing the last session of EMDR we will be doing, to tackle my awful emotional flashbacks when it comes to severe criticism.

Growing up, my father used to help me with my Maths, Physics and Chemistry homework, until it got too much and I always ended up in tears. This was mainly in Secondary school, when things got tougher..Going to Greek school was a pain in the ass, as the way of teaching wasn’t very helpful. A lot of the lessons were mostly taught with the principle of simply memorising what you had learnt, without actually understanding the material.

My father is a perfectionistic overt narcissist (NPD), so everything you did had to be perfect. If you couldn’t understand something, he thought you were stupid. I remember the countless times where we would be doing my homework together when I was 12, 13 years old and he would say things like ”Why can’t you understand it? Are you stupid?”..”How can you not get it, its so simple!”. He would roll his eyes, lose his temper and end up shouting at me. This happened most of the time. I would feel worthless, stupid and unlovable. He treated me differently, he was ashamed of me. He was the sort of person who said ”What would people think?”..

My mother on the other hand, who is a covert narcissist with NPD would always find sly ways to discourage me from ever trying certain things. She would also say you are not good enough, you won’t be able to do it..Don’t be so sensitive, don’t be so pathetic, don’t be so selfish etc etc…You get the idea..So if you think about both your parents constantly criticising you and being unsupportive, then the result is a nervous reck of a person. When it came to learning or trying new things, my self-esteem was almost non existent and I had no idea how to become better, smarter or less selfish!

EMDR is very useful in tackling traumas and emotional flashbacks. The most prominent one I am left with is this tone of voice of annoyed disapproval & criticism.Someone recently found it incredibly ridiculous that I haven’t completed my driving license or learnt German. Simple things to most people, are very difficult for people who were abused their whole life, by the very people who were to supposed to encourage and love them unconditionally.

People who haven’t had to live with flashbacks and trauma and Complex PTSD, have no idea how challenging certain things can be. I generally have no problem learning and trying out new things, if they are things that I am interested in. When it comes to things I find tedious or overwhelming due to my CPTSD, well then it becomes challenging.

Love Athina ❤