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I have been giving a lot of thought to those compassionate empathetic people who have had bad experiences where they trusted and gave their heart, where their commitment and loyalty was taken advantage of, and most of all, those who have experienced the psychological tangle of narcissism in their relationships.

Primarily, if anyone ever says that you, your behavior, your caring, or relationship caused them to be angry, harm, to behave badly, or abuse in any way, GET OUT!  An emotionally and mentally mature person is responsible for their own behaviors and claiming otherwise is the first red flag.

This is a mentally and emotionally draining and toxic relationship for those with high levels of empathy.  Because of how strongly we feel about human relations, and expect people to behave as positively and cooperatively as we, we hope to “love” someone out of that kind of behavior or think that time will change a narcissistic personality.

Unfortunately, and what is so exceedingly difficult for empathic individuals, it feels like a defeat to try and accept that the relationship cannot become healthy in time.  Our nature is to pour so much caring and attention on the other person, that we remain in these toxic and draining relationships for far longer than is healthy for us.

Rational people don’t twist and condemn.  There is no attempt to attack with a “witness” loyal to them to draw sides (triangulation) or make an argument seem cogent.  A narcissist will try to convince you that you did or did not say, do, act, behave, offend and then claim that you don’t remember to create doubt or question your mentality(gaslighting).  Sensitive people will question their own behavior or sanity in an attempt to satisfy the claims of someone that they care for to create a peaceful environment.

There are many emotional vampires who love the combination of adoration, drama, fierce loyalty, protection, and lavish amounts of time, effort, and highly focused attention.

Not only does this kind of toxic relationship leave psychological scars, but affects those around who witness it, like children.  Healing is a very long road and support from trained social workers or therapists can be very beneficial.

It is painfully difficult when there are families involved because no one wants to break up a home and damage is done trying to break those ties from binding future generations.  But, if you can shine a little of the light that you willingly and freely shine upon others, on yourself with self-care and reestablish some self esteem, your burden will be lessened, some of your energy will be restored, and you can begin to fray those cords that have held you.

It is not easy by any means to break free as the two-sided behaviors of a toxic person can pull you in by being so loving and kind at times.  But, remember that you cannot save others until you save yourself and find a space to breathe easier and more fully.

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I hope today brings you a little sunshine to shine brightly on you and your spirit.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/shock/

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enough Is Enough.”

how_to_heal_a_broken_heart_001

once I am done i am done

One of the hardest lessons to learn in human interaction is when it is time to let go. If you are empathetic, it takes longer to learn this lesson, but when you are done you are done. It is our tendency to give everything in our relationships. Because we operate with so much integrity and idealism about human nature, it is difficult to realize that someone we cared for and trusted could so completely turn his/her back on us.

We function more from feeling than logic, so we don’t analyze the calculations of obsession or addiction; we think that the more we care, the more we can change the situation. We think that the more we explain, the more they will understand. In fact, our belief in others is so great, that we are naïve to their obsessions, because it would never occur to us to behave in such a way.

However, to someone who has their addictions – whether to drugs, money, power, fame, love, — their personal brand of narcissism means that they cannot think about anyone but themselves. They play a good game and mask it. To those of us who are not looking for that kind of behavior, it can go on for years before we realize the truth.

Once you have given everything you have, the paralysis of discovery can be devastating. We believe so greatly in personal growth and development that we wonder why we did not see it, or, how could our intuition miss it? We fall into old patterns of thought and trust; we honor our history and struggle to doubt someone’s duplicity. Instead of acknowledging someone else’s selfishness, and inability to function in a healthy relationship, we first question ourselves. Where did we go wrong? What if I had been more ___________ ? Fill in any adjective, and yet, it will still not be enough to overcome someone else’s baser nature.

It was many years until I discovered that the robbery of many of my personal belongings, including all of my treasured antique jewelry from my parents and grandparents, was orchestrated by my best friend to get money to buy drugs. She was so strung out, apparently, that she was high most of the time. I did not look for that kind of addiction because I was too busy working hard, trying to make my own way in the world, and expecting only the best from the people I cared about.

It has happened at other times, in different contexts, and it is a bitter lesson to absorb. I have forgotten some of the names of the guys I dated in college, but I have never forgotten the name of the woman who schemed to gain power and access, stabbing me in the back in the process. She asked me where I saw myself in five years…… the ubiquitous, but popular question in the employment world. I was fresh from my newfound education and idealism and spoke about the skills I could bring to the team. A week later, I was told that there was a personality conflict with her (that I was totally unaware of, so fabricated was the situation) and that I would be let go with six months of severance.

Giving your heart to someone, and placing your fragile and delicate nature to someone with narcissistic or obsessive motives, can cause years of pain and doubt. We cannot love someone out of their violent or selfish nature. We cannot love someone out of their demons, their battles, or any other disorder. Especially, when they blame us for the root cause…. Nothing we could ever do is enough for someone with a hole of emptiness, trauma or lack within. Trusting in the best of people, believing that they will operate with the same level of commitment, or give themselves over to change, is easy compared to letting them go. To give up on someone is so antithetical to our natures; it takes years for the truth to be absorbed. When we finally get to the bottom of our emotional storehouses, and have taken the emotional, verbal, or mental (or physical) abuse, we can take no more. But, we give up a lot before we get to that point and then discover that the person we committed ourselves to was merely an illusion.

We beat ourselves up for not knowing, not recognizing, not collecting the signs along the way. In hindsight, we can see how we tried to disbelieve what they had shown us. We grieve, we mourn our loss. We tried to help them to exceed their suspicions, insecurities, and fears. Their self-esteem could never be raised high enough to achieve homeostasis.

We are wrung out; we gave all that we had within us to make them stronger. Now, in order to save ourselves, we must give up on them. Surrendering to defeat is not in our idealistic natures. We hold other people to our own standards of ethical behavior, never thinking that they could be so far removed from their humanity or respect.

Starting over is hard, especially when you have invested so much time and emotion into the situation. Fear, or indecision, may hold us back. The seeds of doubt that have been created in us, by that person, make us question all that we hold dear. We don’t know if we are up to the task of change. The unknown is a scary place, so we stay where we are, however toxic it is to our soul and well-being.

When you get to the point where you can no longer defend, nor deny their true self, it is time to let go. Try not to look back. You will want to, and will turn the situation over and over again in your mind, but keep trying to give it away, and try not to take it back. This is when your faith must take over. Believe that you will be taken care of and find that healthy place where you can lay your head at night and begin rebuilding your own strength and belief systems. Use whatever tools you can find to allow yourself to receive on your own behalf. Dig deep for the monumental strength it takes to advance one tiny step. It is time to heal your own heart and your own life. Don’t turn cold to others, or doubt their sincerity, because someone abused yours.

Let out your deep breaths, and cords of pain, slowly, until you can once again, let go.

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Thank you for stopping by. I would love to hear what you have to say.
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linus cartoon_humanityPeople put so much stress on themselves all year long, but between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the internal perfectionist kvetches very loudly. “Everything has to be just perfect” is a tough taskmaster; parties, menus, gifts, clothes, music — so many choices, and the pressure to recreate mystical unicorns of holidays past, can add to already mounting anxiety. With long term unemployment, fear in the economy and crushing debt, not to mention dysfunctional families and jobs, there is more than enough stress to go around. Here are some ideas to help you navigate through some of it now and the whole year through. Wishing You All the Best!!

The Chart

Editor’s note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity: the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

I have been examining stress from every which angle for the past six months.

And since, by now, I have sufficiently stressed out my editor and probably some readers with essays that often run well over  my assigned length, this week I’m offering up a lightning round of some of the most compelling stress-busting strategies I’ve come across.

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