I have little family but I have an aunt. My aunt reminded me today of the prayer of St. Francis. To give to others what you most need. She is not a Christian but she said it’s an apropos relative to karma and that awareness kills karma, once you learn the reason for something, it has no power over you.
Years ago I would not have imagined my aunt, whom I was close with as a child but did not see as a young adult, would be such a guiding force in my life. She told me people come into our lives, even those who damage us, as much because we ask them to, as they want to. That doesn’t mean if you are victimized, that you ‘asked for it‘ (you didn’t) but you play a part. Not meaning you are responsible, but you are not outside of the experience either and when you see that, you can see the flipside of the trauma and the value of the lesson.
By lesson, I do not mean, if you are victimized, that you are ‘being taught a necessary lesson’ because who the heck wants that lesson? But if you experience it, there is a way to turn it into a positive. I wholeheartedly agree. My dear friend Susi Bocks and I talk of this often.
I admire my aunt very much. I was always told not to admire those whom I have and they were open to derision by people who felt it their place to judge. But I’m listening to my gut on this, and I know who I admire and why. I feel it is not my place to judge, it is my place to be a positive thing in this world. That often helps me personally too. I admire her because she has literally gone through hell and not only succeeded, but flourished. She is one of the wisest, brightest, most likable people I have known and it saddens me that I didn’t know her as well earlier, but I’m so glad I know her now.
My whole life, I thought if I did something wrong, ‘karma would get me‘ and I had some fear related to that. But nothing good comes from fear. I now see that we have some power over karma, that it isn’t this force that can wreck us if we slip up, but something we can engage with. By being aware, we can play a part in how karma manifests. After all, we all make mistakes.
One of my ‘mistakes‘ I thought, was letting people into my life, who my gut told me were not healthy for me. I did this relatively recently and deeply regretted it. From the start I knew it was a mistake and the person was not who they said they were, but I felt sorry for them and wanted to help. Rather than regretting this and believing my having to walk away from them, as they became more unwell mentally, would lead to some karmic rejection in my life, I now see, I let them into my life to learn a lesson.
The lesson was I am not the same person was I was at 20 even if I didn’t realize that until recently. It would seem obvious? But in many ways, I focused on how similar I was to my 20 year old self. It’s only now, I see how different I am. My 20 year old self would have gone down the rabbit hole, would have pitied that person until they had power over me, and led to bad experiences of narcissistic personalities trying to dominate and control good people. I wouldn’t have walked away because I would have been triggered by ‘abandoning‘ someone.
The person I am today doesn’t let people do that.
Not long ago I felt if I turned someone away who was pushing my boundaries, I was abandoning them the way I had felt abandoned. I see now that if I carry this martyr complex of being abandoned, around as my yard stick, that’s what I will attract. I also see that from abandonment comes positive things like, compassion, and being a good friend and learning to do things for others because I wanted them done for me when I was young (be the change you want to see and all that).
When my mom initially left, I did not blame her. I understood her needs. I still do. When she rejected me later, people told me I should hate her, because she was ‘doing it again.’ I defended her and said: No she didn’t reject me then. it was what she had to do. I believe this, especially as a feminist. As for now? True, I can’t explain it. The reasons she gave didn’t seem enough, but as I have learned, what seems ‘enough‘ is subjective. Likely for her, it was the last straw. You may ask; What could you have done that would be a last straw? But it’s not about actual wrongs, so much as perceived wrongs. If she perceived things I did in my childhood, to be a litany of wrongs, there could be a last straw. My therapist said this wasn’t true, as at some point people have to do the right thing, which she believed was being a mother to me, but that’s a judgement statement really, as not all of us are born to be mothers.
I don’t hate my mom, I never have. I don’t even think she hates me, I think she just can’t stand me. Which isn’t the same thing. And whilst yes, it will always hurt, especially if I outlive her, I know she did what she had to do (to live well) and I don’t put her in a demonized role, where I play the martyr. This frees me to live my life (yes, without a mom) and be glad of those positive things I did get from her (and there are so many). Literally a day doesn’t go by when something she did/said doesn’t cross my mind in a positive way. I may have wished for her approval, but deep-down I know I am every bit as good as she and do not need anyone’s approval to see that.
Going back to recent events: Narcissists especially, know exquisitely how to push boundaries, they are fat on the idea they’re terribly clever, when in reality they’re following a trope that most Narcissists follow. Often a Narcissist will disguise themselves as an empath even as they are the complete opposite. When I began to feel uncomfortable with intrusion and daily pushed boundaries, I bought into the idea if I did something I would: 1. Hurt them 2. Be incongruous to my ideas of being supportive.
I have learned that while I want to give to others what I most need, as a form of being that change I want to see, and a valuable human being (defined as, someone who helps others and cares) I don’t have to take it to an extreme. It is alright to step away from someone who doesn’t respect me. When I did, I was proud of myself, but they continued to disrespect and demand. Since not being in touch I have felt myself again. I didn’t even know how much they weighed on me until they were gone.
Those of us who do care for others, especially those going through hard times, through no fault of their own, are particularly vulnerable to abuse. When you carry your former abuse with you, you paint a target, unwittingly. Whilst it may be hard not to see through that abuse lens, I see how if I continue to define myself by my losses, disappointments, regrets, sorrows, I will probably live in that place.
This may seem patently obvious to those who do not struggle. But before you judge me, consider, when you suffer from depression it is hard enough to move through the world, let alone think of others, or do the right thing. Coupled with health issues and no family, it is easy to fall into the woe-is-me trap. I am endeavoring to do this less. I can’t say I will stop doing it, or not fall backward, but I am trying. That’s actually all I can do.
As for Narcissists, stalkers and people who play mind-games. Thanks to my aunt I think I have the wisdom to recollect who I was years ago, a strong little girl who gave to others, what she had needed, out of a pure heart. And combining that with an adult who knows people can abuse that kindness, have more boundaries and safety-guards in place, to prevent being taken advantage of again.
You make your own karma. I choose to make mine by caring for others, but not letting them trample me. Hopefully, as we give what we need, we also receive. I believe this. Having met some wonderful people here on WP. Thank you all.
(This doesn’t mean I’m quitting writing out feelings, good and bad. No recovery advocates shutting down those, they’re better exorcized).
23 thoughts on “Revelation”
Amazing (including the singular you) . . . in every way possible.
You’re one of those VERY good friends I mention in my last lines (thank you for being you)
THANK YOU for sharing all of this. It is so, so, so important, and I can absolutely relate. As someone who has loved and lost someone who suffered from BPD and possibly NPD, but disguised as an empath, I’ve looked back so often with the question of why didn’t I just leave when I knew where things were headed? It was what you mentioned- the caring too much to abandon a person in the same way I was abandoned in the past, even though it would have been much wiser and healthier to do so. I’ve felt free and relieved since we went our separate ways, and I didn’t realize that this person was the source of so much anxiety and even a little fear and dread of what the future may have held if we’d continued down that path. I am still learning what it is in myself that draws such people into my life, and admittedly, I am afraid to allow others in because of it. Anyway, thank you as always for your raw honesty and connection, Candice.
An honest forthright appraisal of self discovery and karma. I can very much relate to many aspects of your post, the mother (biological) the narcissist is very dangerous and will drain the life out of you (experience talking). Thank you for some of the revelations, they were definitely a new way of looking at things that happen in life. Your aunt was a wise woman and thus so are you.
This resonates so much!
I haven’t had/taken as much time to read on WP this past year, so I’ve missed on some of your wisdom 😉
I agree with what you wrote here though. And about the setting of boundaries, the necessity of it and so on.
Today, I went to listen to my voice messages on my cell. I realised I had one from the man who put me through the cycle of violence twice in 72h a year ago. I blocked him, so I don’t have his phone number, I am not notified of his calls or that he left a message, I just have the very unpleasant surprise when I check my voicemail for other messages. It triggers my PTSD, sends me back into a panic attack.
I went to tell the police that I was being harassed. They told me it isn’t bad enough that they’re going to do something about it. I have to change my phone number. So, again, the victim is the one with all the inconvenience, having to notify everyone who could have their phone number on file that there is a change. The abuser? Oh, HE is fine. Don’t worry about him. He won’t be bothered!
But like you, all I want is to be allowed to live free of the past. The problem is that hearing him sends me back into a PTSD attack, and I’m back then. UGH!
Ok, I’m going to go write something pleasant, before I go to bed 😀
Your aunt is a wise woman – so are you,
You’re very lucid about yourself. And I never know what your posts will bring. This one forced me to think about how I move in the world, and my motives. Thanks as always x
Thank you my friend that’s a huge compliment, as I really try to be xo
Dearest Dawn, there are so many people out there like this. And if you are the kind of person who tries with others, because you know how it can feel to be ignored, then you will come up against some abusive people. They are so good at turning everything around to make it about you, they will say things like; If you were not this way, if you didn’t respond this way, and normalize their boundary-breaking/disrespecting behavior whilst pathologizing your natural fear response to someone pushing and pushing and pushing. Fortunately because of my day job, I know this and I can see their pathology and I don’t put it on myself but it leaves a nasty taste nonetheless because these people KNOW how to warp truth, that’s what they do, they are narcissists pretending to be empaths. It’s a pretty strange phenomena but the weirdest thing is how many people they fool for a while but how eventually they always reveal themselves. After all, they can try to normalize bat-shit-crazy behavior but when everyone in your life is saying; No it’s not ok to keep bombarding you daily with letters when you have specifically said please do not write me, please do not keep calling, please do not show up where I live, please do not keep violating my boundaries, it becomes apparent and that’s when they lose any ‘power’ they never really had in the first place. I am so sorry this happened and I am so glad you are all right but you are so right about it being hard to be proactive in these cases. I was lucky I did get help from the police as they knew the person in question (I guess they have some kind of record?) but of course it sends you into a tail spin and PTSD I felt very upset initially feeling blackmailed and cornered, but then I realized, and I just let it all go including them and it felt like the most incredible relief as I had been hostage to their sickness without realizing it. We must just be good people and do what we can in this world and not let crazy people put us off trying to help others or be there for others. I wish you only good things xo
Thank you dear one – I appreciate you reading very, very much
Wow thank you so much Andrew xo
I know you are right. I tried. I even had a ceremony, to break something that could have been seen as a remaining bond. I really hoped it would be enough. It’s not so bad. I guess this is one more trial, to see how I’ll react.
Again, I’ll just delete the message.
I’m Ok. I don’t let him have much power over me. Most of the time, I don’t think about him any more. And when I do, I wish him well. I always have. I pity him, really.
Thank you for your long response. It means a lot that you took the time to support me.
I hope you’re doing well. Sending love XO
My limited understanding of people who are that unwell is, do not feed them by responding. The more you respond the more they think ‘I’ve got her attention’ and the whole point is, you don’t want to give them anymore of your time. The police told me to go public about the situation and let all close friends know this was happening to ensure they knew if they received a weird message where it was coming from and the context. Ultimately had it not been for that I would not have given them a second thought and would have just got on with my life, as our continued thriving is the best way we can progress and put them in the past where they belong. Not even the past, but forgotten. We all make bad choices in terms of whom we choose to be kind to, or befriend or get close to, and sometimes it bites us, but I hope both of us can go on to meet people who are not that unwell that they push things on us and try to force us to be things we’re not, because we are grown women who know who and what we are and nobody likes to be pushed. I think that is the strongest red flag out of all of this. If someone feels the need to tell you how you feel, it’s a sign you need to back away. Of course I support you and the book is coming out soon btw! xo YAY!
There’s so much there – Karma’s continuous action and creation, and the, not setting like walls, but tending and management of boundaries that are appropriate to the who or what is on the other side of them. Your aunt has served up a revelation indeed.
Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
TheFeatheredSleep – Life and learning
Yes, one thing I learnt as well! No one should tell me how I feel!
Glad you went public about it. My kids also know all about this guy, as one of his threats was to tell them about my so called “slut” behaviour. Luckily, my kids and I have very healthy discussions around sexuality and they know that, as long as it’s between consenting adults, nothing is shameful, but that revenge porn is a misdemeanour, and that I should go to the police should he make what we did public. That was their first reaction, and I’m SOOOO proud of my kids! 😀
And I’m so happy about the books too. Always proud to be part of them. XO
The hardest thing is if someone is pretending to be empathetic but they are a narcissist, because they can make you feel badly without it being obvious. They can say things like: I’m not trying to shame you for this, when it’s really a passive-aggressive technique for doing just that. There are so many red-flags and I must admit when you look back you can see how many there were, before you realized, and that’s when you see how you went against your gut-instincts which saw them for what they were, from the start. That can be crushing but we all do it, we all want to give people the benefit of the doubt and narcissists know exactly how to manipulate that and try to get what they want. The good part being they fail. We are so happy you are part of them too! (The books!)
She’s wicked smart – I’m so lucky to have her in my life, every time she speaks I learn something. She’s always working on herself which is probably how we should all be.
A great role model, lucky you, and thanks for sharing her widom.
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