Signs you’ve been abused by a narcissist.

Abuse, takes on many forms and shapes, but one of the most difficult forms of abuse a person can get over/through is narcissistic abuse.  

Here are the signs that you’ve been involved with a narcissist: 

1) You doubt yourself - A narcissist will never take the blame or ownership for his/her actions. S/he points the finger at you or at someone else, and you start to question your self-worth and your actions. You are forced to deal with/accept responsibility for things you didn’t say or do. They will accuse of you being jealous, when you’re not. They will accuse you that you’re doing inappropriate things, when you’re not. It’s because they’re dumping their crap on you, and because they’re the ones doing the cheating and being jealous. You’re a deflection.  

2) Confusion- A narcissist makes you feel confused, like, “what the hell is going on?”  It’s crazy-making, you’re confused by their words and actions, they don’t align. One minute, you’re valued, the next minute, devalued. It’s a constant cycle of huge dips in emotions (highs and lows).  There’s no middle ground with them.  

3) Feeling crazy - A narcissist has a personality disorder that they place upon you. They are projecting their disorder on you. You feel absolutely crazy, your mental health gets put into question. You think you’re going “insane” — out of your mind.  

4) Dissociation - Victims of narcissistic abuse start to disengage or detach themselves from reality, you’re psychologically numb, you lose passion in things you were once interested in, everything loses meaning, there’s a dark cloud that looms over you, this is your body’s natural defense against the abuse, you feel extremely anxious, nervous, scared, depressed, you experience chronic pain, low-self esteem, interpersonal dysfunction, thoughts of suicide. 

5) PTSD - physical numbness, avoidance, memory loss, need for solitude/tendency to isolate, lack of joy and hope, sleeplessness, anxiousness, guilt, disturbing thoughts, fight or flight response and a complete awareness of symptoms. You know that you are being/were abused by a narcissist.  

The only way to free yourself from narcissistic abuse is to get professional help (seek out a therapist who will work through your issues and figure out why you were involved with this person in the first place — usually, stems from childhood, how you were raised, also feelings of guilt that “you’re the only person that can save this person.”)

Remember, people who are narcissistic, don’t know that they are, they are emotionally manipulative and highly seductive, they will pour all kinds of love and affection unto you, they will ramp up the relationship, they will tell you things or make promises to you—they don’t have any intention on keeping, this is to safeguard you (keep you there), they don’t have any personal boundaries, they’re in love with the idea of the person, or being in love with love, rather than the actual relationship itself.

Because they are so charming, you feel like, “wow, this person really loves/likes/cares about me,” they will say/do enough to keep you in their pocket— then, all of a sudden, nothing, it disappears, and you’re left with “chasing the dragon.” You will work overtime in a narcissistic relationship, you will say and do things, you normally wouldn’t do in an otherwise healthy, high-functioning relationship. When you walk away from them, they’ll come back, apologizing, making up excuses for their poor behavior, anything to keep you at bay. They need constant attention from multiple sources to feed their narcissism. An example of this, would be a guy who’s talking to like 3-4 different women at the same time, telling each of them the same things, except leaving out names and the truth, shifting blame, accusing a woman of this when confronted, only to deflect and say things like, “we’re not right for each other.” No shit, sherlock. They’re beguiling and deceptive.  

Once recognition occurs, most sane humans, dissociate with the narcissist. However, the kinds of people who generally allow these people back into their lives have extremely low self-esteem, probably equally as damaged or has a disorder as well (blind leading the blind), doesn’t have much going for them in their lives, or the narcissist has warped their brains so much, they idiotically believe—noodle brain (they’re not very intelligent, self-aware or have self-respect).  

The longer you stay with this person, the more fucked up you will become. You will think, “I’m going to end up in a mental ward.”  It takes a long time to heal from narcissistic abuse, because the human part, wants to believe them, even though you know they’re all kinds of coo-coo, looney-tunes.  

Keep your boundaries up, don’t let them make you believe any less about yourself, know that they need serious help, and no—you can’t save them. 

Save yourself. Don’t let them drown you, kick them off your feet, swim far far away, get to dry land. You will suffocate and die if you stay in this kind of relationship. 

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I see London…

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I see London, I see France, I see London—in my future plans. 

Having lived in NYC for the past 2 years, I’m planning on staying here for another year, because I gave myself 3 years to do NYC proud. And while moving back to California is always an option—it is my “home” after all—having been here, on my own, has taught me, that home is not where you were raised, but home is where the heart is.  And my heart resides within me. 

But, there’s always been a part of me that wanted to live in London. Notting Hill. Brixton. Cambridge. Oxford. Camberwell. Stratford.  Ever since I was little, I always envision myself living here. Going grocery shopping, maybe going back to school, taking up a faux British accent. Maybe not forever, but for at least a little while. 

I love the culture. I love the accent. I love the history. 

Sometimes, I can’t justify it. You’re going to start all over! I guess, if that’s how it’s phrased. Living in NYC, has made me change my perspective on what it means to “start over.”

Starting over means you start with nothing. That’s not true. You have experience under your belt, you have breath of knowledge, you have gumption and will-power. You have yourself.  You know you will make it out okay, you know that you’ll be just fine. 

There’s a learning curve when moving anywhere, for sure, it’s not going to be easy, at least not the first year, it’ll be just as expensive as NYC, if not more. But, maybe, I’m not meant to settle in just one place. Maybe, I’m like a bird, constantly having to flutter her wings, stretch her arms, see beyond what’s comfortable and safe. 

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Elaine Stritch… I don’t give a flying fuck.

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Elaine Stritch. American actress, singer, Tony award winner and Broadway goddess. I love her. Elaine passed away a couple of days ago and the world is saddened by her loss. She was hilarious, a character, one-of-a-kind, talented, and she had this smirk about her, like, “bring it bitches, I don’t give a flying fuck.” 

According to Elaine, “Just like the prostitute once said…it’s not the work, it’s the stares.” 

Her one woman comedy show at Liberty is hysterical. She’s like the crazy grandmother who drinks too much, swears too much, wears inappropriate outfits, or (forgets her pants).  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15a5jz6J0lM

Bless you Elaine. You brought many laughs and much needed-alcohol-induced chuckles.

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"The work that you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life."
- Jessica Hische

5 Stages of Grief

imageWhen dealing with loss, mourning, bereavement and grief, there are 5 stages anyone goes through.  It’s a roller-coster of emotions, an out-of-body experience, spending intense moments in varying stages.  The stages don’t happen chronologically, but each person experiences the five below, at varying times, at different points, until you get to the last stage - acceptance.  

1st Stage - Denial and Isolation (This is not happening to me; I’m going to shut down and everyone else around me.)

2nd Stage - Anger (I hate this person for doing this to me; I hate myself for being involved; I hate that I didn’t get to say this or that.)

3rd Stage - Bargaining (If only I could go back in time, I would re-do all this stuff; deep regret sets in.)

4th Stage - Depression (OMG, this is really happening…I will never feel that again; that person meant the world to me; my life will never be rich or full or filled with joy.)

5th Stage - Acceptance (You finally get off the roller-coaster, you accept everything that happened, you properly mourned the loss of the person, the relationship, the hopes and dreams attached, all of it, you did the best you could, you move on with your life, you have closure.)

Each person mourns or grieves differently and it takes people a long time to “get over it.” You can’t rush someone while they’re hurting, because you have no idea what they’re feeling inside. You have no idea the nightmare they face daily, you have no idea how lost they feel, you have no idea how much they want to die inside, you have no idea. 

Our society doesn’t allow time and space for people to mourn the loss of relationships, we give time off for a funeral, but we don’t give time off for people to process afterward. Or, when people go through breakups, because a breakup is just as intense as a funeral, sometimes even worse, because they still exist, except, the relationship, that person, all your hopes and dreams, your life together, dies to you.  

While you’re grieving, please know that you will feel better. You can’t snap your finger and make it go away.  It will be work, an uphill battle, you will want to give up, but, everyday that passes, you will get a little bit more stronger, a little bit more sympathetic, a little bit more self-aware, a little bit more in-tuned, a little bit more of everything. Those are the small gifts you have to remember during the time you grieve.  

It takes about a year to feel normal, another year to maybe feel happy or have moments of being “happy” again. You will go back and forth, you will feel crazy, you will feel like no one understands you, you will feel like, “why me?”  You are entitled to feel and experience all of those emotions. You are not alone. Everyone in this world has experienced a deep pain, sometimes, more than once, I know I have. But, you will feel like yourself. There’s no easy method to getting over a loss, except forgiving yourself and that person. It’s good to have hope, but having hope also keeps you stuck.  Move forward with your life.  

Sometimes, things just happen. You have to try your best to live your best life, even if you want to break down and cry. If you need a day to cry, then cry. The best place to cry—in the shower. Let the water run down your face and wash away your tears.  Let it out, it’s good for you, you’re purging.  

Peace, love and light.  

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Sucking the Salt

Sucking the salt out of 4 sunflower seeds, Madison sat on a run-down bench facing the Hudson River, and stared at a blank laptop.  She finally had all this idle time to work on her writing—and all she could think about—taking a nap. 

It wasn’t an absence of inspiration that predicated her inability to write something witty or thoughtful…but how the empty space around her, filled her thoughts with descriptive historical images that did absolutely nothing for her creative juices.  

The calm river, a boat basin, a woman eating an ice-cream sandwich, rows of empty benches… “This is crap,” she moaned.  ”There’s got to be something I can write about,” she grunted. 

She looked down at her phone, hoping for a text, any form of interaction that would prompt something extraordinary out of her.  Nothing.  

An hour passed. 

She continued to eat sunflower seeds and stare at her laptop.  I like sunflower seeds.  They remind me of little league.  I liked little league.  I like baseball.

The weather changed drastically, the wind started to pick up, she felt drops of rain gently land on her ponytail.  I should get up and head inside. Instead, she sat on the bench and continued to eat sunflower seeds.  

"It’ll go away," she murmured.  "The sun will be back," she glanced quickly up at the sky and stared back down at her laptop, now damp from the rain and her own tears. 

-SJK

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Getting a pap done, happy happy joy joy.

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Raise your hand if you hate getting a pap done?  ME.  I don’t know what it is, probably the entire process, but I would rather not.  But, it’s part of being a woman, you get someone to poke and prod your situation.  You feel like an animal, like a science project, it’s so uncomfortable.  

My OBGYN is the sweetest Jewish doctor who wears a yamaka, Dr. Ovitsh. He’s my first male OBGYN and I must say, there is a difference. Men have a gentler touch when doing the scrapping and the examination itself. Some of my past female OBGYNs just went in there, OUCH.  

His office is located downtown and he’s been in private practice since 1996. He’s seen a lot of vaginas come through his office. 

The worst part is when you have to make pleasant conversation while, he’s feeling your breasts, asking you to scoot your butt closer to him, as he opens you up like a can of tuna.  

Dr. O:  How’s your summer? 

Me:  Good, relaxing. 

Dr.O:  Everything looks good, healthy. Do you want an xray of your uterus and ovaries? 

Me:  Sure, why not?

He puts jelly over this tube-like instrument, puts it over my stomach and then places it inside my who-ha. I was able to see inside, where my ovaries were located, the lining, he even measured my uterus. Pretty neat.  

Dr. O:  Looks great!

Me:  Thanks. 

Dr. O:  So, are you thinking about having kids? 

Me:  Not you, too. Why, because I have child-bearing hips. 

He laughs.  

Dr.O:  No, but you should really start thinking about it. Have you thought about freezing your eggs? 

Me:  Not really. The way I see it, if I can’t get pregnant naturally, then I’m not supposed to have kids. I don’t want to get in vitro, end up pregnant with quadruplets. Absolutely not.  

Dr. O:  I understand, but definitely start thinking about it. 

Me:  I know there’s all these theories out there about women over the age of 35 having a difficult time getting pregnant, but I’m Asian, we don’t age. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for me. If it is, then so be it. I’m not going to worry about that now.  

He chuckles.  

Dr. O:  You crack me up, do you want a blood work done?

Me:  Yup, check for everything, Doc. From blood pressure to diseases to abnormalities. All of the above.  

Dr. O:  You got it.  If you don’t hear from me by Friday, everything is good to go.  

Me:  Sounds good, thanks for everything.  

I put my clothes back on and left.  Whew, no matter how comfortable I am with my body and sexuality, going to the doctor’s makes me feel like an awkward teenager kissing a boy for the first time. It’s awful.  

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