Articles from August 2012

From Emerging From Broken: Why Setting Personal Boundaries is Not as Easy as it Sounds

By Darlene Ouimet:
Why Setting Personal Boundaries is Not as Easy as it Sounds


When I was defined as “not good enough” or “not worthy” by the actions of others in my life, it is understandable that I believed that definition of “me”. And as long as I believed that the definition of me was correct, I didn’t believe I had a right to HAVE boundaries.

I didn’t believe that I had a choice in my own life about what kind of treatment I had to accept. I didn’t understand that I was being treated badly and that I had a right to say no to that treatment….

Here is the link to the website that I mentioned earlier. I don’t recommend you reading this website other than to see the typical ways that we are encouraged NOT to look at the truth of this stuff but instead are encouraged not to place blame or hold people accountable because somehow it is better for us to skip that part. I got stuck there for many many years.

It didn’t take me very long to achieve all my recovery goals when I stopped trying not to place blame where blame belonged and I live my life today free of emotional pain and resentment.

I am free of depression and dissociation. I set healthy boundaries. I have wonderful relationships based on equal value for all parties in the relationship. I sleep great and I laugh often and I know how to love and accept love.

Her linked website is actually one I looked at while pondering how to set boundaries with both Tracy and Richard, after Tracy had ripped into me one day in April 2008, and because of Richard’s tendency to cancel plans at the last minute.

I decided my boundary was that I would not get close to Tracy because she was too emotionally dangerous.  Unfortunately, Richard and Tracy treated me like I had no right to set such a boundary.

When you implement boundaries and provide consequences for violating them, BPDs/NPDs will often escalate their abusive behaviors, manipulations, hoovering, etc. They hate boundaries, but look out if you cross one of their boundaries. –Dr. Tara Palmatier, comment on The new face of borderline personality disorder…


You Don’t Have to Dance for Them: Moving On

Another wonderful post from Upsi, applicable to probably all or most of us who are dealing with the after-effects of some sort of abuse, and which reminds me of my stalkers.  [Update 6/17/14: She has taken down her blog, so I have removed the link, which has been taken over by a spammer.]  Some quotes:

Have you ever noticed that the edict to “move on” or “get over it” is frequently issued by none other than the brazen reprobates spreading so much misery in the first place?

Who is anyone to define what “moving on” looks like for someone else?  All too often, this sentiment amounts to silencing.  It is used to belittle.  It is the expression of discomfort with someone else’s process, as if any of us has the right to dictate when it is time to move on….

When you have mourned, you will naturally find release.  Don’t let anyone tell you what timeline is right for you.

Yep–My own narc Tracy expressed to me twice that she expected me to just take what she said/did as my due, and then “get over” being hurt over it.

First in a conversation one month after her narcissistic rage and verbal abuse of me, when she told me to “GROW UP and get over feeling hurt over the consequences of” my “behavior” (“behavior” which she was always twisting into something other than what it really was).

And second in her e-mail quoted in Now I’m Being Stalked, in which she said two years is enough time (totally minimizing the destructive nature of the things she said and did, and showing her usual lack of consideration for other people).

So–The one who abused me is the one dictating to me whether and how soon I should “get over it”?  Especially considering the grudge she bore against Todd for lashing back at her after she’d been verbally abusing him

cussing him out, accusing him of motives he did not have, belittling him publicly, and lying about his actions to make him look bad to an entire game forum–

saying some time afterwards that she wanted to see him “at the bottom of the sea.”

And the grudge she bore against me for an entire two and a half years because I did not have the time every day to sit and talk with her all afternoon when she stayed at my house for six weeks, for doing a couple of things which Richard had taught me were perfectly fine things for friends to do but no longer doing them after she objected, and because I refused to get close to a dangerous person whom I witnessed abusing my best friend and his children.

But no, if she gets nasty, I’m supposed to just “grow up” and “get over it.”

No, my abuser/bully does not get to dictate to me how I react to her abuse, or how long my healing process will take.  She does not get to decide whether or not I’ll be hurt by it or–even better–furiously angered by it.  I get to call the shots about my own life.

As Patricia Singleton puts it so eloquently:

I have discovered that those people who tell me to “Let it go now. Move on.” are usually one of two types. They either have never experienced what I have and therefore know nothing about the process that it takes to heal. Or, they have their own abuse issues that they want to stay in denial of.

If you see me going through my issues and haven’t dealt with your own, then my struggle threatens your denial. That is why you tell me to let it go and to move on so that you don’t have to become aware of your own unresolved issues.

I feel sad for those who are still in denial of their own issues. I have little sympathy for those who don’t know what they are talking about because they have never experienced what I have.

If you haven’t been there, you have no idea of what it takes to live my life and to struggle to get better. Don’t tell me to get over it.

If you have been where I am and were able to let go of your issues by healing them, then tell me how you did it. Share your experiences and what worked.

Don’t share your denial of your issues. I don’t need that. I did that, on my own, years ago and I know that denial just helps you continue to live in the pain.

Denial heals nothing. When you are in denial, you aren’t happy. You aren’t free. The only way to freedom is through the pain, not around it.

…Some of you choose to share your own experiences, as I do, by blogging about them online. Others choose to write in private journals. Some of you still continue in the silence because you haven’t found your voice yet.

It is for other incest and childhood abuse survivors that I write of my experiences. Any time that someone survives abuse in any form and can write about that journey, that is inspirational. It isn’t light, funny inspiration. It is sad, thoughtful, sometimes tearful. It is always heartfelt.

Sometimes it comes from a deep well of hurt. It is always healing to be able to bring these thoughts and feelings to the surface and share them with others. It can be educational to share with others who have never experienced abuse in their own lives. Without awareness, you can stop nothing.

As Darlene Ouimet writes:

I heard so many things against speaking about the past.  Questions which are actually statements and judgements more than they are actual questions such as “why do you want to talk about your problems in public” or “why do you want to air your dirty laundry in front of the whole world?”

These judgements always concluded with some version of “you are only making yourself look like a fool.” Statements like that carried with them the all too familiar indication that the speakers (the judges) were concerned for ME; that they truly cared about what was “best for me”.

When I faced the cold hard truth, I began to comprehend the actuality reality; I realized that their concern was never for me. I didn’t need to make myself look like a fool, they did that for me all of my life.

I think of the times they delighted in finding ways to embarrass me or humiliate me in front of others. In fact I think that some of their motives were based on discrediting me in case I ever revealed the truth.

They were not concerned about MY dirty laundry. They were only concerned about what I was exposing about THEM. They didn’t want me to expose THEIR dirty laundry.

And I think this would be a good time to add that if they didn’t KNOW what they were doing was wrong, if they didn’t “know any better” then WHY did they know that they needed to keep me quiet about it?…

But an even bigger eye opener was when I realized the lengths that so many people went to, to make sure I kept quiet.  Like I said, if they did not know their behaviour was wrong, they would not have spent so much energy making sure it didn’t come out in the open.

I wish I had found a website or like this when I was searching for answers all those years.

Nobody was talking about holding family accountable for abuse or about exposing abusers… everyone seemed to be talking about forgiveness or letting go of the past. “Live for today” and “acceptance is the answer” but nobody wanted to talk about WHAT we were supposed to accept!

Were they really telling me to accept that people messed with my head, discounted and devalued me, took advantage of me, taught me that something was “wrong with me”, abused, mistreated and objectified me, and telling me that I should just “get over it”?

In that dysfunctional recovery system, everyone endorsed “keeping the silence” and no one wanted to talk about spending some time actually validating the dysfunction first.

I was never able to put the past behind me until I actually validated the damage that was done. There are even therapists out there that will refuse to work with you if you want to talk about the past!…

I spent only 2 years facing and validate it and all the results that I ever could have hoped for were achieved. So what is so wrong with my way? At least I am living proof that it worked!

I speak and I write EFB because it is my story and MINE to tell. I celebrate the permission I give myself to tell my story after years of being silenced.

It is validating for me and for others to hear the benefits of living in truth. Finding, facing and embracing the truth is what set me free from oppression, depression and the low self esteem that hindered me all of my life before I faced the lies so I could embrace this truth.

Also:  [Update: No longer exists]


You Don’t Have to Dance for Them: The Beauty of Blogging

Upsi, who runs a blog about her experiences with her narcissistic family, ended up much in the same boat as I am when her family found her blog.  I find comfort in reading about this, as she tried to go no contact but her family kept trying to argue with her over how they were portrayed.

From You Don’t Have to Dance for Them: The Beauty of Blogging:

When I started this blog, I was a girl with a story.  I wanted to tell it for people who might be interested.  I wanted to be anonymous, to protect the “real lives” of all involved.

When NM found the blog, it changed.  It had to, because of the nature of the story.  She FOUND it…..


You Don’t Have to Dance for Them: Wrong Tree

Upsi, who runs a blog about her experiences with her narcissistic family, ended up much in the same boat as I am, when her family found her blog.  I find comfort in reading about this, as she tried to go no contact but her family kept trying to argue with her over how they were portrayed.

[Update 8/24/14: Upsi’s blog no longer exists.]

From Upsi’s blog You Don’t Have to Dance for Them, the post “Wrong Tree“:

Sent today, after hearing back from FF on my first response: Dear Family Friend, I find it presumptuous that you hold yourself out as …

You think I’m a dupe?  That I’m living in a victim role and should have moved on by now?  Is it time for me to shut up on my own blog and put on a happy face?

You’ve got all the answers, huh?  I’m the problem, I’ve got to change, everybody else is just fine and dandy?

Telling the truth does not mean that I am seeking revenge, and discovering myself is no more an intentional humiliation of my mother than needing distance from her is abandoning my family.

Did you two have a heated chat on Sunday and you just had to reach out to me to parrot her perspective?  My mother can stop reading my blog any day.  That’s her choice.

I am leaving her alone, it is she who won’t leave me alone.  It is she who wants me to change, wants me to accept her bad behavior.


You Don’t Have to Dance for Them: Lucky

Upsi, who runs a blog about her experiences with her narcissistic family, ended up much in the same boat as I am when her family found her blog.  I find comfort in reading about this, as she tried to go no contact but her family kept trying to argue with her over how they were portrayed.

From “You Don’t Have to Dance for Them: Lucky”:

Narcs drive many people underground – afraid to have any kind of online presence for fear of how the Ns in their lives will use it against them.

Everyday, another great blog shuts down, disappears, closes up shop.  There are many reasons for this, one of which may be acceptance and moving on, but my gut tells me it’s mostly fear….

I feel strong and truthful to keep blogging, keep telling it how I see it, keep breaking silences inside myself one by one, even knowing that my FOO can read anytime.  I will not dance for them….

The shock of knowing everything I wrote here was read by my family took a while to register….

I’ve grown comfortable with it. In the end, I am who I am, this blog is my place to talk and think out loud and be myself. Take it or leave it. Read it or dismiss it. Respect it or call it fiction –that’s not why I’m here. Everyone has a right to their opinion.

One commenter wrote that she “had a brief scare” when she thought her brother found her blog, but she decided to be like Upsi and say, “Screw you!” and not give up her confidence and true self.

Same here….When my narcs first found my blog, at first I hoped they would finally understand me and stop blaming me for the end of the friendship with them.

Then as silence reigned, but they kept checking (3-4 times a day), I began to fear.  Then they turned menacing, actually threatened to sue, thwarted all my attempts to block them, began reading it constantly.

I was scared for a while–but now I’ve thrown open the blockers and let them back in.  I know they’re still checking, and may try to use my words against me, yet I blog anyway.

It’s a chance to finally have my own voice, to say what I want to say, to them and about them.  If they don’t like it, then tough.  They can’t sue me over this!  There are no real names and there are no lies/deliberate falsehoods.

As another commenter put it in Upsi’s post “Proof“:

It’s amazing how your mom’s friend and her daughter continue to gloss over the fact that it was your mom who went out of her way to go online and find your blog – your own online diary.

She read your DIARY – your private thoughts and feelings–and then shared them with anyone and everyone! They keep accusing you of somehow ‘torturing’ your mom and yet if she wasn’t so intrusive, she wouldn’t even know your words were out there!