The Compassionate side of NPD

” There is both light and darkness within ourselves ”

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I have not posted in a very long time, and this because in order to share my story with you I would need to first learn it. Healing has no deadlines or time frames. Healing happens every day, and I have a feeling this process will never stop for me.

So what I am trying to share with you today is what it is like to live with Narcissistic personality disorder and what it feels like to be on the other side. I know there is a lot of fear and stigma about the word narcissist and the behavior expected on someone labeled as such. But I want everyone to know that just like most things there are several degrees to this diagnosis and there is also a human side to this illness and not always is there a monster behind it.

So why do we fear narcissists? Is it because we often picture the extreme? Do we imagine a psycho-killer with ill intentions? To be fair those of course they exist but how about those who suffer from the mild symptoms? How about our family systems that have a narcissistic design? Our job structures, family dynamics our government design?

Narcissism is more of a part of our everyday lives than we dare to admit or even explore. For me, it has taken time to accept my diagnosis because I have been afraid that by accepting that I suffer from this disorder then it also means accepting that I have a permanent stain of badness that will never go away. Accepting this to me meant permanence and annihilation of any hope to ever be enough and in a way to attain perfection.

If you ever encounter someone who suffers from NPD, keep in mind that they are suffering inside. The world they grew up was cruel and often evil. No one is born cold and numb inside. We as children come to this world with an open heart and needs that when not met turn into deep wounds. This world we live in is lonely and sad. Pride is always a facade to cover the deep feeling of unworthiness and the fear of rejection.

Recovery has been a  blessing to me. The more I connect with myself, the more I recognize that we as humans share a lot of similar wounds, so we are after all not so different from each other. Compassion is not only good for ourselves but also to keep in mind that there is a piece of us in everyone else.

 

 

Conversations with my inner critic

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I never realized as a child, but I suffered from a lot of anxiety from an early age. My survival was at the center of my existence and truthfully now that I am on the other side it is tough to shut off my defenses and enjoy my life as it is. Sometimes it feels as if parts of me still search and create threats to defend myself from.
Lately, I have become more aware of the protector parts of me, one of them being the inner critic.
This part comes around basically anytime that I am confronted with any sort of challenge whether small or life-changing, she will be there to encourage me, it just happens that her dialogue breaks me down to pieces and it’s hard to enjoy my existence.
I guess now more than ever I understand her purpose in my journey, the things she learned from our childhood and now the things I can teach her as an adult.
Through therapy, I have learned to see these “negative” parts of myself as very wounded yet loving parts within me that merely want the same things I do, although their intentions are pure, their execution turns out very painful.
Recently, I set a goal to learn how to drive, I have wanted this for a very long time, some of you might have heard me say it before, but I have wanted a jeep wrangler since the barbie jeep came out (yep, I am that old). I remember imagining myself driving it all over my yard! I would think about it every day.
Any time I am in front of the wheel this critical part comes out, she is violent in her speech and very disturbing in her insistence of trying to get me to get off the car and not even attempt. She tells me that I will fail, and although I succeed every time, it is still not enough for her.
Through her eyes I have always been ready for the worst outcome and have always been afraid of trying new things.
Through her thought process, I have been afraid to speak my mind and act upon my true desires cause she feels I have all to lose always.
She has been through the worse parts of my life as a child, and she knows first hand how much someone can hurt.
Today I have nothing but love and support for her recovery and introduction to this new world that I am a part of.
Today I want to honor everything she sacrificed to get me through this hell of a war my life had been.
Only if she could see how much love I have now. As this day approaches and her transformation becomes unavoidable, I will keep loving her and patiently be waiting.

Cheers to the warrior inside of me that today I get to call a Survivor and cheers to you too wherever you find yourself in your journey, it is still worth celebrating.

Dear Brother, Dear Sister

I would have given my life away for you. You were everything I dreamed of and everything you never were. I am not here to recriminate, not today but I do wonder how come you never loved me then.

I wonder what burdens your hearts carry and how come I never heard you speak of them. My memories of you seem distant maybe like the distance between us. Maybe today we barely speak or even speak at all but I do think about you both.

Brother, I remember the day you built that little house for me, it really meant a lot. You were always so crafty and always so smart. Just a boy with a lot to learn and little love in your life. But then you both decided to leave in the middle of the night, I always wondered if it was my fault at all? 

If I was the Chichi of the house how come I barely felt love from you, I battle the protectors inside me to admit that all I ever wanted was a loving family. I wonder do I remember correctly? Do I remember at all? Every part of me would like to tell a different story more days than not I fight to disconnect from myself not to feel the horrors I saw.

In this journey I am, I have left so much out, battling delusions and trying to protect your image. Maybe trying to protect myself from letting you both know how much I hurt. I trusted you both, I followed your steps like any little sister would. I wanted to be just like you the super heroes in my story but it turned out you were more like villains and I was a secondary character. So I just wonder why? If without explanations I was thrown on the sidelines.

I was the puppy that followed you around and you used for convenience, it is painful to know I had to protect from you. So almighty and untouchable, so powerful and out of reach.

This is a day of reckoning not so much for you but for me. I cannot protect your image from the pain I feel. You were executioners and I was the victim. 

You are the reason why I barely understand sibling dynamics. Loving families scare me to death and the sound of support sometimes drives me away.

Writing you this letter makes me want to cry but I try not to. You hurt me so much that I sometimes hate the idea of letting myself know you did have that reach. The trust that I put in you both and the sound of it breaking as the years passed.

I don’t trust myself enough and I keep a little critic in me that sounds just like you mocking my every action every day.

Dear Brother, Dear Sister… I am the creator of my story. 

Dear Brother, Dear Sister…. This is not about you anymore. 

Dear Brother, Dear Sister…

For once, I cannot think only about you.

Cutting ties!

”Challenge the thoughts in your mind as they are not your reality.”

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I have been MIA from the world I grew up with for over two years now. It feels like the only with isolation I could listen to the loud voices in my head. Only with time and patience, I started hearing and understanding what they needed, what they still need. I have been avoiding toxic environments, I consider myself to be in recovery, and I cannot allow myself to be around people and places that will make my anxieties worse.

It has been over 2 years since I last spoke to my brother, almost 2 years since I last talked to my dad and I do not recall the last time I have been around my family. I have hesitated opening up about my family in detail cause there are still parts of me attached to them. I still struggle to fully embrace my feelings, and with honesty, I can say I still care about their opinion, so this is why I have distanced. I have been building my strength day by day so I can gain a little bit more of me for me. Writing about my family puts me back on the outsider arena, right in the middle of the river going against the flow. I can almost imagine them reading this and accusing me of being a bad daughter, a terrible sister and probably an unwelcomed member of their club. But here is the thing, I was never a part of it, I was often the source of their enjoyment and the target of their attacks. I was in the middle of the tornado every day of my life. They are the reason why I cannot trust and the reason why my body clenches at the approach of people. I was on a battlefield my whole life, and I was never at peace.

I sacrificed so much that I became spent and tired so these days I have had to be a little bit more selfish and it makes me sad that those who never hurt me in any way are the ones receiving the bitter parts of me. It is overwhelming feeling so untrusting and paranoid all the time. It hurts knowing that I have love around, but I am hesitant to accept it. So here is my message for those whom the shoe fits: Fuck you. I do not want to be a part of you and your family anymore. I do not seek your approval nor do I need it. I relinquish my attachment to you and everything you represent. I accept every part of me without judgment, and I bow to honor my pure heart every day until I die. Once again, Fuck you and everything you are. Haha. Some things cannot be said with grace. It is okay they deserve it!!!

Here is my message for you today: Be happy, enjoy life and love the parts of you that make you feel unlovable cause they are the answer. Be brave enough to choose you and put yourself first.  Be brave enough to tell those who matter how you feel and when you are ready, let go of everything that does not match who you are now and who you look forward to becoming in the future.

The struggle has the answers!

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”Being lonely is easy because being lonely is hard.”

I haven’t written in a while, why? Cause my life is full of excuses and insecurities. One of them is what people think of is who or what I am. I do not remember the last time I did not feel like this and although I want to live in a no fuck given kind of world. This is not as easy as said and done. I feel like I have a lot to share and a lot to teach, as well as a lot to learn and experience.  I think its time for me to move on from this victim and powerless mindset. I owe it to myself, I owe it to me, to be my own savior.

For the longest I have expected so much from the people around me, according to my therapist I have the emotional age of a young adult, I keep this on my mind all the time as I am afraid to repeat the same mistakes I committed in the past. I am constantly afraid to drive people away, I think about my last relationship. the amount of pressure I put on one individual to give, always give. never thinking or even knowing that all those things I expected from her I could and needed to give myself. So when the giving did not meet what I wanted, I left. I moved on and went to find the next source of love and protection. someone else to latch on and put my burdens on top of.

this burdens that were never met by my parents, see? this is the part I missed all along. the part I never knew. I have a void inside, it’s wide and deep like a vortex. I tried to fill it with people and things to own, or even places to go to but it has never worked. This vortex spins in all directions and today It is wrecking me inside, cause I am not giving it what it wants, I am giving it what it needs.

This process is painful for me because people pleasing is always a top concern, this idea that the more I give then, the more I get, the more I please then, the more valuable I become to others. And for a long time I have avoided talking about it cause the world I have lived in and grown up in does not tolerate this kind of honesty.

Forgetting the past and embracing the present does not come easy, I want to wear my insecurities as a badge of honor. Give to the little parts of me what was never given, Give to my hurt little girl inside what she never thought could come from the inside.

I know love is the cure, but I am so used to self-hating that this cycle is one hard one to break.

 

Remeniscing & Trusting.

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I have been looking to define myself for years, trying to create the perfect formula that would make up an acceptable version of me. My decisions have been shaped by the thought of what people would say or would think of my choices and the fear of their judgment and opinions. So I have been creating all these definitions of me in hopes to gain acceptance and prevent rejection. And what this has left me is a lot of anxiety and fear, a lot of unhappiness inside.

Cause although I have been fooling everyone, I have been not fooling myself and if I am not happy inside then what’s the point? Choosing not to be genuine just to gain love but in the end who they really love is not me but my projections and the character behind it. They love the mask I have put on every day.

I find it difficult to be real in this world cause it seems like since we are all wearing masks, we don’t really know who is there for you and who is just acting the way they are supposed to. I often see people around me acting their happiest then 5 minutes later telling me how miserable they feel.

I often feel like I need permission to express my feelings like I need some sort of green card to allow myself to be sad as if it were wrong to be angry and like a  smile is all I need to show to the world. I feel like I have a long list of limiting beliefs I have picked up along the way and now it’s time for me to dump them. The question is how?

I did all this work over the years so I could fit in so I could be a part of something. All so I could belong somewhere, but I never have, never did and probably never will.

So here I am today reminiscing about the main needs my life has been lead by, validation, acceptance, understanding, love, and support. But in the world I grew up in I could not have any of those unless I changed and morphed, I could not have acceptance unless I confirmed with the system and that is what I am today: the costume and the mask I have worn for so long.

Transformation is right around the corner, I hear the bells and the birds and as I am leaving behind these toxic habits and all these things I am used to defining as. I am also leaving behind the person I have spent 29 years but barely know: “Myself.”

8 is great!

The number 8 has a lot of meaning for me, not only does it feel like it is a sign from the universe, it also reminds me of the infinite sign.

Symbolizing unity and perfection in the most divine none earthly way.

8 years ago my journey started, my anxiety broke loose and for years I desperately wanted to find quick fixes and short answers. I would pray at night and cry in hiding or even worse, I would push down and ignored my emotions only to bring myself to a state of emotional explosion.

Every second of my existence I would spend it wishing I could be the person I was before my anxiety disorder broke out like a wild animal in the jungle.

I remembered how I used to feel or not feel rather and how much I missed feeling like “me”.

Now, where I find myself today is being grateful because thanks to that struggle I have been finding myself. Not the character created over the years but the Person I was born to be.

My signature and my essence, my pure full expression unfiltered.

8 years of suffering that have only been healed by understanding.

I often talked about the answers being on the inside and boy! They are!

But you have to search for those answers and you must not be afraid to look.

I created a narrative and a story, one that would be easier to look back and easier to talk about.

My story was highly scripted but incredibly manageable. What a delusion!

And so I lived for years, and I know that many of you live in the same kind of reality. Running from the truth and searching for answers in external sources.

The anxiety, the depression, the insecurity and self doubt. They all has an explanation and reason to be. They need not just happened and you are not broken.

Take this from me: The broken girl who realized the only thing shattered in her was the mask she often wore to hide from her trueSelf.

Allowing Life to Flow

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” The answers hide in places where you never thought to look”

I haven’t written in quite some time, and as always there is a reason, LIFE! I  often get caught up with ”working”. Whether it is working on my actual job or trying to heal myself ahead of my time, it seems like in my mind there is something to do or somewhere to get to.  These days I am more aware of my controlling and compulsive tendencies, but it does not mean I don’t get wrapped around this very enticing cycle.

So much has happened recently, holidays, birthdays, and many challenges, but today I want to share a critical take away from these past months.  There is a specific therapy session that comes to mind,  my therapist used the analogy of having an infection to refer to the trauma I struggle with, I asked how I can cure it, and she said: the self-loving parts inside would be the ones to wrap me around with love and help me heal. It took me some time to truly understand what this means and allow it to happen but today I felt it. I have been performing a job, my whole life. This job was designed to protect me, it made me self-sufficient and independent. it made me determined and hardworking but it also disconnected me from my emotions, it made me detached from the people I loved.

When you are in this kind of mindset it is very hard to allow help, you feel like things can only get done when you are in charge. You don’t really trust anyone and you live life in a loop: wake up-work-sleep-repeat. I am tired of living life like this, especially now cause I can clearly see how beautiful my life has been the past few years, the universe has repaid me in so many ways, and my blessings are boundless. It seems like there is all to win and nothing to lose but the job of the ego lies in remembering and holding on so things never repeat.

There is no perfect equation to heal, and there is no perfect timing either. Although hard at times letting go is the only way to move on, being in the present and living life while allowing the answers to come when its due. I have avoided life for years waiting for the day I’d be entirely ”fixed” to start living, but only when I started taking steps out of this protective shell, only then, things started actually changing and transforming positively.

Day by day I am allowing love to heal me as it is the only way, love that comes from my higher self-energy and love that comes from external sources. Wherever you are today my advice to you would be: Those who hurt you in the past are not a reflection of what you deserve but a demonstration of what they lack. Allow yourself to heal and love, because you are worthy, even when you don’t believe it.

As always cheers to you and your journey, wherever you are today.

I am an organized mess!

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lately, I have been feeling like things are simply falling apart on me, I am not sure if this means I am in the worst place possible or simply at the right place in this healing process. After traveling to the Dominican Republic, I had more clarity to see the many things that need work in my life, a long time ago I learned to create a delusional story of what my reality should look like. I realized I barely have a connection with my mother and my father is far gone from a salvageable relationship.

My parents were the foundation of my existence, they formed everything I think of myself today, I have been scared to be more honest about them cause when I created this alternative reality in my head, my story was more poetic and far less tragic. It hurts to realize how little I had when it comes to emotional support but it also allows me to see how much compassion I need to give myself cause healing can be painful. I need to provide me with what They never offered.

I reminded myself today that the trauma I went through happened overnight and slowly, day by day so my healing process will evolve in the same manner, over time and with lots of patience and love to undo the damage.

This week I went to my first Support group meeting, I thought I would feel more empowered and proud of myself but all I feel is sadness. Being in a room filled with strangers with similar stories did not make me feel safe. It made me feel lonely, I wish I had someone holding my hand the moment I introduced myself and told everyone how scary it was to come forward. I wish healing was easier on the victim.

This weekend has been a hard one to deal with, I have always been a do-er and healing is not about doing, It is all about allowing. This is a challenging truth to accept when the pain hits, and it feels endless and timeless.

So Wherever you are on your journey… Be kind to yourself! This is my best advice to you.

 

 

Wearing myself in Brave.

Way out

I guess I should start this post with a trigger warning, I will share my recent thoughts about sexual abuse and child molestation so be aware what you are about to read might be triggering.

It has taken me some time to be able to even think about writing this article, thinking about it I become overwhelmed with the thought of what will people think? This deep impulse to bury my feelings and pretend I am ok but my desire to be truthful and honest is higher than the fear of rejection.  So I will start my story by saying: Hi, my name is Esmeralda and I am a survivor of child incest and molestation. I will consider this my first step towards healing and recovery and I will share as much as it feels comfortable for the night.

I want my story to inspire others to come forward and if I have to be the first of my tribe well here I am.

I have been afraid for so long to even think about this, this is new information for me as I just remembered about a year ago in August 2016 right before my trip to Cancun. It came as the most explicit memory I ever had, and it felt so real it was almost tangible. Therapy has helped me a lot so a year later after 25 years in the darkness here is step one.

There is so much stigma about sexual abuse in general and so little discussion about it. This is the thing victims are not supposed to talk about, so we dress in shame, and we keep it hidden, our families tell us we should not discuss it, and we believe this is the only way to be okay. This system protects the perpetrator and brings little justice to the child in need.

Today for the first time I searched for support groups to help me explore my feelings and talk to others who have suffered similar trauma. I will consider myself to be in the first steps of this process, but I think tomorrow will be a better day already.

I just want to say thank you for reading and to those who help me be better every day knowingly or not….. You make a difference in my life.

Cheers to healing!