An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....

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Long Time

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An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« on: October 11, 2015, 09:38:22 PM »
An open letter to my fellow new non’s,

Good afternoon….I have been a member, I think, here on OOTF for just over a year now.  Like many of you, I found this site after multiple Google searches with such terms as “anger,” “does anger destroy a marriage,” “being selfish,” and many of the other adjectives in which we describe our SO’s.  I was, probably like you, naïve in the terms of borderline, narcissism, or other personality disorders which define those people whom we are involved with, either chosen (spouses,) or unchosen (parents/relatives.)  I had been Google searching for months before “OOTF” had popped up on one of my searches.  I know I needed to find this place months before I actually did, but I suppose I was meant to find it at a certain moment of my journey.

I have not been here as long as some members, and my post-PD relationship is recent.  I do not have nearly as much post-PD experience as some, and I know I lack the wisdom of the many “Hero” members on this site.  But I feel I am finally on the downside of healing in my journey (thank God…it was long and I felt like this would never come,) and I just want to let you know, there is hope, and you will get there too.

For many of us, this site is eye opening and unbelievable.  It is validating and freeing for very important reasons, but mainly because we have found a community and online forum where we finally feel someone out there will understand our experiences, and support us in ways that only someone who has walked in our shoes can support us.  We are from all walks of life, but we sit in front of our laptops or cellphones, we log on, and start to read post after post.  We laugh out loud, nod our heads in agreement, share experiences and resources, and even cry for ourselves, and for the others who are here.

My personal experience is that I was married (22 years and 3 children,) to a borderline/narcissist, and at the beginning, I thought he was more borderline, but now, one year post-divorce, I see that he (and his family,) ooze narcissism.  I won’t go into details and examples, (I have plenty of previous posts where I dumped and dumped,) and although I have a good handle on that part of this whole mess of a marriage, I am now (even though my children are young adults at 22, 21, 17,) experiencing parental alienation in leaps and bounds.  In removing myself from my marriage, I took away my ex’s whipping post.  So he now tries to whip me through the kids.  Let me tell you, it is brutal.  But on the bright side, I have learned more about my kids, and more about their needs in a relationship.  I guess that my kids (although at times I wondered if they were more like my ex or more like me,) are growing and also seeing the value and importance of a healthy relationship with their mom.   From what I can gather, they are starting to see my ex for who he is, in their own way, and on their own timelines, (and boy, have I been waiting for this day to come…).

I hung here on OOTF night after night, for months on end.  Sometimes I would get censored by the moderators (I tend to tell people what I think they should do…,) and after my last censor I thought “boy, I better back off a bit,” because I did not want to be thrown off permanently.  This is a good place, it’s peaceful, and I truly love it here.  And sometimes, I received a lot of positive responses to my posts, and I know that I helped my fellow OOTF friends one way or the other, so in the end, I feel it’s all good.  In the beginning, I came here all the time, everytime a little thing happened, to either dump, complain, or solicit advice and feedback.  I am now happy to say that I am able to stand on my own feet more securely than I thought possible, and I am confident in how I handle situations.  Sure, I still trip up every now and again, but it happens less and less as time goes on.  Nonetheless, I took a self-imposed hiatus from this site, and it has been very healing.  At first, I was scared, as this was my safety net.  But then, I found that I began to reach out to the good people in my life, and I would maybe meet a friend for dinner instead of spending another night alone in front of my laptop. 

I started to feel normal, and in starting to feel normal, it hit me how un-normal I was for years on end.  Whew.   I think this is all part of my journey.

With all that being said, I logged on today, and started reading posts.  I feel so sad for all the new people here, it is hard to be where you are right now.  You have been through so much pain, and by the time you get here you very well may be at your “I’m done” moment in your relationship. 

I really just want to send some positive energy and thoughts to all the new people here who are just beginning their journey:

You are stronger than you think you are.

I know how difficult this is for you.

Your hurt will eventually go away (no lie…but it does take a while…)

I feel your pain.

You are not the crazy one.

Repeat.  You are not the crazy one.  (after all, you’re the one searching for help….)

If you think their (your PD,) actions/words/outlook/whatever is a little screwed up, don’t kid yourself, it is… ;)

Some days, you get the bear.  Other days, the bear gets you.  Victories and defeats both have a way of empowering us….

You are not to blame.  If your PD, or SO (or whatever you want to call them…) treated you with dignity and respect, and cherished you, you would not be making the decisions to leave/end/change the relationship, now would you?

You will often be caught off guard.  Especially when things feel like they are beginning to settle.

PTSD is real, and it happens to all of us.  It’s horrible and leaves you feeling like a pile of jello.

You have value. 

My personal mantra:  His treatment of me resulted in him losing the privilege to remain my husband. 

Key word:  PRIVILAGE.  Make them earn it.

Stay in therapy as long as you can.  If it’s not working for you, maybe it’s time for a new therapist.

Don’t ever stop loving.  You are a loving creature by nature.  You just happened to get mixed up with someone who took advantage of that for their personal gain.  There’s plenty of people out there who will return your love, and then some. 

TAKE YOUR TIME when thinking about another relationship.  Heal, heal, heal.  I am two almost two years out from when I filed, over one year from when I left, and just past my year anniversary from my official divorce.  I am so not ready for another relationship, and I just don’t want to go there yet.  Sure, I’m lonely a lot, and you’ll feel that way too.  It’s okay, it passes.

It takes a really, really, really long time for some of us, but that’s okay, you’ll get there.  Don’t stop moving forward.

Don’t let this past relationship define who you will be when all this is all said and done.

It stinks when someone tries to hold you emotionally hostage.

It stinks more when someone tries to hold you emotionally hostage to manipulate you.  It’s hard to navigate.

It’s okay to not know the right thing to do.

You will be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.  So do what is in YOUR best interest. 

You can’t always see crazy coming, you can’t predict crazy, and you certainly can’t reason with crazy.

Words that I now live by when my kids try to pull crazy on me:  “Know that I love you, but also know that this conversation is over.”  Bam.

If you were emotionally, verbally, and/or physically abused, it’s okay to say it.

If you were not the one who made it “wrong,” it’s not your responsibility to fix it to make it “right.” 

If you were not the one who abused, it’s not for you to absorb that responsibility, that consequence, or any outcome.

Hang in, and hold on…….

Love to all of you, wherever you are on your journeys…..

Long Time
“That is life... to begin again when everything is lost!”
― A.J. Cronin

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires and a touch that never hurts"
- Charles Dickens

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Ginger56

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2015, 10:15:36 PM »
Thank you for sharing your lessons learned. I needed to read something like this tonight.  :applause:
Whether it's a parent, sibling, friend, spouse or family member, do not allow them to drag you down a hole for the rest of your life.

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Mariposa

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 12:28:21 AM »
I have learned so much from being on this forum.I've been on for almost 2 years, and things are getting better. I too, have come Out of the FOG.  Even reading about little things like, why would he hit me in my head if I fell asleep before he did, the fact that other people experienced the same thing, meant that I didn't "deserve" it for some reason.

I'm not on it as much as I used to be because I am starting to feel more confident in the choices/actions I make based on the topics/threads I've read about here. 

Hopefully,soon, I can actually give "advice' and "encouragement" to posters. I'm still vulnerable, still reading self-help books, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I have more good days then bad days, the ptsd has significantly decreased. I keep the books "why does he do that?" and "it's my life now" handy when panic starts to set in. Everbody take care!

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atticusfinch

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 01:28:08 AM »
Long Time,

SO good to hear from you!  What a wonderful, thoughtful post!  I think about you often and I'm so glad that you are doing well.  Thanks for the beautiful reminders, I needed them tonight for some reason as well.


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Frustrated77

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 01:39:22 AM »
 :like:

This was beautiful and so heart felt.  Thank you!

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RunningFree

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 11:24:59 AM »
Thanks Long Time,
I'm off to a rough start today and this helps.
When going through Hell, keep going.

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Latchkey

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 03:39:08 PM »
Long Time,

Thank you for posting this. It is beautifully written and it is one of those really wonderful posts that lifts us all up here.

Keep posting as you are able and do check in when real life gives you a break!

Latchkey

 
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When we have the courage to do what we need to do, we unleash mighty forces that come to our aid.

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Sunny

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 04:53:02 PM »
Thanks so much for sharing. It is tough coming Out of the FOG. The bright light can be unbearable sometimes and I want to crawl back in but I know I shouldn't. Really appreciate it.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2015, 12:49:55 PM »
Thank you for sharing your journey and posting this inspirational post holding out hope for peace and healing all of us here.
· Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
· Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
· It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
· If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist

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Rosemarie

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2015, 10:37:04 PM »
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. It is encouraging and real. Your mantra is one I would like to adopt, as I do believe he lost the privilege of having me as an ally. I am looking forward to more sanity as time goes on.
"Communication is to relationship what breathing is to life."  Virginia Satir

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Mariposa

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 03:48:58 PM »
Long Time,

I've reread your post several times. I need to hear it again and again.  I like how you stated " you're damned if you do, damned if you don't, so do what's in your personal interest. I just got the judges decision regarding division of assets, exh had appealed the first one, judge ruled again in my favor. But now I have to worry about the backlash. I was "damned" from the onset of the relationship so I guess his retaliation will be expected and unavoidable.  keep posting. It gives everyone hope.

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gaslightedbug

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 04:02:59 PM »
Being a child alienated by a narcissist... hang in there. don't become angry. ground yourself. and just be there when they need it. Cause they will! My father missed out on my children's first years of life due to how embedded I was in the narcissist not to mention the past 20+ years of mine. He endured A LOT of really bad situations (such as me calling the police on him constantly). Even after seeing in black and white (cause you can't trust anything else) that the narcissist was manipulating EVERYTHING it still took a major attack by the narcissist. Worse than she's ever done and she's done some really bad ones! I can't post much detail yet but just keep telling yourself it's not you. It helps me at least. I wish I could bring my dad to the technology era so he could rehash some of his pain and eventually victory. (It is all just a game when it comes to dealing with the narcissist anyways right.)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 04:04:50 PM by gaslightedbug »

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Long Time

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2015, 01:48:16 AM »
Hi all,

Thank you all so much for the wonderful replies!  I am blown away with how you have embraced these thoughts!

Thank you, too, to the moderators (Latchkey and Spring Butterfly) for posting this to the Welcome Board - that really means so much. 

Ginger56:  These are the things that my present self would tell my past self of a year ago.

Mariposa:  I keep re-reading it too..:)  And yes, since you're damned either way, why give it to him?  Give to yourself!

Atticus:  I have missed you too...:)  I am happy to see you have become a Hero Member....good for you!!  I hope you are doing well, and I hope that life is more peaceful for you...you deserve it..:)

Frustrated 77, RunningFool, and Sunny:  You're here....that means you've hit bottom, and you are climbing up....you've got it...don't let go...

Rosemarie:  That mantra is what helped me get past the guilt, and helped me get out of the mindset that I had to bear the brunt of the "failed marriage."  That was really hard for me to get past, and telling myself he lost that privilege was also the same as telling myself I deserved to be treated with dignity and respect....and so do you.

gaslightedbug:  Welcome to OOTF.  I would love to hear more from your point of view what it was like to be embedded by a narcissist and turned against the other parent in that dynamic.  There are many, many, many posters here who are losing their children to parental alienation, and would probably benefit from your experiences....help us understand what it is we need to do to combat that horrible manipulation of our kids by the narcissistic parent.  It is one of the most heartbreaking things...when children who once loved and cherished a parent suddenly turns their back, and turns away quickly and coldly.  Its amazing the power that the narcissistic/borderline parent has over these children.  I think you will be a great addition to the boards!

I am so happy to be here sharing, and I thank you all for reading my rather long posts!

Take a look again...and you'll see all those thoughts are about YOU and how YOU are feeling....the focus is off of your PD or SO....and the focus is on YOU...once we put that PD relationship in the past....where it belongs....and focus on building relationships with the people whom we love and whom we want to be surrounded by, then we are on the path to healing and happiness...:)

Have a wonderful night, everyone.

Long Time


“That is life... to begin again when everything is lost!”
― A.J. Cronin

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires and a touch that never hurts"
- Charles Dickens

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gaslightedbug

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2015, 01:15:40 PM »
Well I feel a lot of guilt at the moment as it was recently I found the courage? the truth? I'm not sure what I found but I found it. I do feel very guilty for my actions but I also remind myself that it wasn't me. I've had to "condition" myself to repeat you were just a child whenever things are being held against me that happened as a child or the there after affects of those things. I remind my AP that they have to understand I did what I thought was in my (my family's) best interest at the time. I did what I needed to do to survive. I apologized. That was a huge step. I told the family secrets. I know AP didn't want to hear them, but I needed to not to justify myself though. Rather to inform and also validate my own feelings when I made alienating decisions. My AP says the same things you are saying almost word for word. He asks the same questions you ask. All I can tell him though is the feelings I had at the time without any solid evidence of such. I was told to do this or that when I was "scared." My NP used resources to scare me although looking back I had no reason to believe them. Taking me to an emergency shelter and introducing me to a child who's father was severely burned after his alcoholic father set him on fire. I was reminded my AP was considered a "dry alcoholic" as he didn't drink but showed characteristics of an alcoholic I was reminded my AP made my NP "think he could kill her given the chance." Those were the types of things that were used against me. I was even at one point told (as the scapegoat) that I needed to go to AP visits to "protect my siblings." I was told that I had to live with AP alone without my siblings for a summer as my NP "didn't think my younger siblings could stand up against my AP." I can answer questions you have although you will have to understand much of it doesn't make sense as it was in essence conditioning by the NP for years even before the separation. Such as AP also engaged in scapegoating activities over the years. NP used that scapegoating to give me attention and condition me to do what NP wanted. It usually included some sort of victory for her over AP.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 01:24:45 PM by gaslightedbug »

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gaslightedbug

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2015, 01:29:51 PM »
NP would laugh at AP for crying at about the situation when they first separated. That was the first thing I remember. Shortly thereafter I think my AP fell into depression. Maybe was already there. My NP's mockery mixed with negative influence eventually led me to say some extremely mean things. The relationship disintegrated from that point. Me "out of control" and no one "able to control me." That's how my juvenile records describe it. After being placed into a foster home I flourished. It saved my sanity and my life.

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NearlyNormalJimmy

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2015, 12:00:10 PM »
thank you for this open letter.  It's exactly what I needed to read/hear, and had me nearly in tears here at my desk.

I'm rather new here (only just make my first introductory post merely minutes ago) but have already found this site, and posts like this, to be a much needed dose of support and validation.  I have a feeling I'll be re-reading that post a few more times :)  thanks, again.

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Sangita

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2015, 11:24:27 AM »
Dear Long Time,
I am new here on the site and just read your open letter, I really needed it today.
I've gone so quickly from trying to justify my husband's erratic behavior (believing him when he said I 'deserved' the verbal abuse, feeling like I was responsible for his happiness, all the text book stuff) to realizing that there is something much bigger than me at play here. I have felt for some time that I am the crazy one, that there was something wrong with me... now I'm learning to zoom out of the situation and differentiate myself from my husband's behavior.
Thank you for your words and for the encouragement that it gets better.
Love,
Sangita

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par1

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2015, 09:58:31 AM »
New member here and just getting my head around the situation I have lived with for over 20 years. Being a helper and fixer, I had the stupid notion that If I found the right (giving) button everything would be fine. Having read lots on this site and others I now understand what I am dealing in my wife. So, the work begins.

Thank you so much for posting this letter. It gives me hope.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 11:45:15 PM by Latchkey »

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Koru

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2015, 06:08:48 PM »
Some days, you get the bear.  Other days, the bear gets you.  Victories and defeats both have a way of empowering us….

...Words that I now live by when my kids try to pull crazy on me:  “Know that I love you, but also know that this conversation is over.”  Bam.

If you were emotionally, verbally, and/or physically abused, it’s okay to say it.

If you were not the one who made it “wrong,” it’s not your responsibility to fix it to make it “right.” 

If you were not the one who abused, it’s not for you to absorb that responsibility, that consequence, or any outcome.

Hang in, and hold on…….

Love to all of you, wherever you are on your journeys…..

Long Time

Finally I have reached the forum I have needed in the past 2 years. I'm yet to post about the DONMs website but i was hankering for them to open their forum as I needed som uch to vent. I have recently found out about the sheanigans of them closing down... Anyhow, your post LongTime brought tears to my eyes. Especially the footnote quote by Charles Dickens. I read it and had a tingling feeling through my body as I remembered where that is on the wall, in my PD parents downstairs bathroom. Very fitting indeed!

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needed2know

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Re: An open letter to my fellow new (and not so new,) non's....
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2015, 03:59:06 PM »
Being only a few days out of the abuse, reading this, the tears are streaming. I needed to read this, to remember that blaming myself for the things he did is not my responsibility to take on. Thank you! Everyone needs to be reminded from time to time and this couldn't have been put more eloquently and in a better timing for myself and the stage of healing I'm currently in. A million times over thank you!