Narcissism: What’s Next?

Hey All!

Ending the Narcissism series, that was never intended to be a series. I went where I was led.

Examining and researching narcissism brought me back to an old reality of which I often peer back on with nostalgia. I romanticize the good times and forgive and forg- (chaos is a mode I understand and often mistake it for comfort, so the “bad” never really factors into my nostalgia).

In examining ME and my relationships through a scientific psychological lens – everything is less rosy because the relationships are examined without my heart or nostalgiac bias. There was nothing romantic or smooth about how I functioned in those relationships or how those people functioned with me. None of it could really be defined as love. Trauma bonds, for damn sure.

However, I am grateful that it has thrust upon me evolution. Reflection. Self-awareness. Forgiveness. Grace. Humanity.

These relationships were terrific lessons, and that is how I peer back on them now.

I often share that what I hope anyone can take away from my experience is to save yourself the time I gave up so easily; however, the most I can offer you is information to make the best decision for yourself.

The hope you have in a “toxic” relationship, the hope that gets you through each day, is a fucking noose that you are slowly but surely tightening around your neck. And the narcissist you are engaged with isn’t going to ask you why you’re tightening it. They aren’t going to cut you free – they don’t even notice the rope. Your “lucky” if they even notice you.

We are taught not to quit. Not to give up on others. To have empathy for others. To lift each other up. To give. To love. To forgive. However, there must be a balance. There must be keen awareness. There must be reciprocity. We must nourish ourselves, so we can aid in nourishing others.

Once the bell has been rung, there is nothing we can do to undo our trauma. We know that. We know that we are responsible for our choices and our actions. So make a choice for yourself. You can do it. And if it’s difficult for you to leave, try to unpack what part of you needs this, wants it, accepts it? Therapy is fantastic for this. Understanding what compels you to stay can help you understand what YOU bring to the relationship. If the relationship ends and is left unexamined, you’ll only recreate the same relationship again and again.

Being in a narcissitic “toxic” relationship is a solemn place to be. However, it can change. Things can be different for you. The life and the relationship which you envision can be a reality. While in these “toxic” relationships, I had the capacity and strength to do the work, but I instead fixated all my resources on the other instead of myself. We cannot do the work for anyone else. We can only do it for ourselves. You can move through all of this and create peace. I am an example of that. It came from a lot of internal work and therapy, and from that, I am happily married to a true partner. I hope the same for you when it’s your time.

All love.
Ashley

 

Narcissism: Should I Leave Part IV

Good Morning All!

This is the final post on Leaving a Narcissistic Relationship and it’s centered all around you and healing (which I will share more about next week).

Being honest with yourself and having awareness surrounding the relationship is crucial.

All the hope we’ve blinded ourselves with and the investment can make this very difficult. Focus on taking care of yourself and loving yourself the way that you did them. Offer yourself the forgiveness you consistently offered them.

If you have any healing tips, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

All love.

Ashley

Narcissism

Low key flexing my killer PowerPoint skills. 

This week and next, I’ll be diving into narcissism! Ironic, eh?
I feel pulled to discuss this right now for multiple reasons, both personal and otherwise.

I won’t be sharing a book on Thursday; instead, I’ll be doing another post continuing the examination of narcissism. In this particular post, I have pulled information directly from the DSM-5. I intentionally did this because I am not a psychologist and because science overrides my general knowledge on the topic. It’s essential to believe and pull from science. Am I right?

Y’all know I am a big fan of trying to understand human behavior. I believe that understanding and being able to identify these characteristics is massively important. It helps us navigate our social relationships and has the potential to decrease our suffering.

I have suffered because I did not understand this personality disorder. I had STRONG beliefs that I could influence this personality type to, in my personal experience, be more empathetic and loving. Of course, that belief stems from my own issues, which I will dive into – shit, that’s all I ever dive into.

For those who can identify these traits within their intimate relationship partner, I will be posting resources on October 1st (you can also DM me, and I can get them for you). The most significant misunderstanding about being in a narcissistic relationship is, if the abuse of narcissism were physically visible, it would be one of the most devastating depictions of a physical assault.

So here we go, narcissism. 

All love.
Ashley

8-21-2020 Post

 

So, for those who don’t know – I am obsessed with Dr. Ramani. Ever since I found her (thank you YouTube) she has provided me so much clarity concerning my past relationships. 

Recently, I watched one of her Youtube videos (link in bio) where she discussed personalization vs. taking it personally. She tackles all things narcissism, however, I found it helpful for other relationships in my life too. 

The work I have been doing as of late is working with my inner child. 

Growing up, there were 3 different careers I wanted to pursue and my dad told me they all sucked (literally) and since my dad, in my eyes, was the career master I personified all my ideas as dumb. He loved me, he was smarter than me so I listened to his advice. Here I am 35, no career. Being a lawyer (are douchebags), psychologist (too heavy), or fashion designer (dumb because no bachelor’s degree) don’t seem so dumb now. 

Recently, I was talking to my dad about going back to school and he told me to imagine what my career would do to me. He said, “You can’t just check-in and out of that. You’ll have to look at these people in their eyes and listen to horrible stories.” Since I know myself better than I did at 17, I feel confident in the path which honors my strengths as a person. So I was capable of not personifying what he said.  Instead, I was able to put myself in his shoes to examine the root of what he was communicating, he was worried about me; that it would affect me negatively and as a parent that is the last thing you want for you kid. He’s trying to protect me.  

Our upbringings provide us with varying degrees of tools. Some of us have an electric saw some of us have a butter knife. Again to varying degrees, some of us make do with what we’ve been given, while others try to upgrade our tools to make life easier. And it’s super important to remember this. 

He was raised in a volatile alcoholic family – minimizing meant you went unseen and therefore unscathed. It meant safety. His tools are the tools his parents gave him and their tools were non-existent. 

Suffice it to say, do you – follow your heart and every other cliche in this realm. Personification can get you stuck, unable to heal, move forward, feeling unworthy, and full of self-doubt. Even if the intention is good.

We can’t undo the past – the bell has been rung, but it has given me clarity – I wasn’t dumb. My dad just couldn’t say what he felt and instead, he said it the best way he could. And I was 17 and didn’t possess the awareness and the voice I do now to articulate how it made me feel. 

I have been paralyzed in making a bad career decision because of self-doubt created this exact scenario. But who knows, not dead yet. 

8-15-2020 Post

 

 

My daughter is currently obsessed with shadows. We often play a game, when we’re outside, in which I make her shadow “disappear” simply by casting my obviously larger shadow over hers.

In my twenties, I unknowingly played this game all the time. I dated people who casted larger more complicated shadows and I constantly disappeared into their shadows. Now, it took YEEEEEEARS of work to identify while I disappeared in those casted shadows, it also became an uncomfortably comfortable spot to hid. Top that with feeling unseen and man, what a casserole of irony, huh? 

This all was an unintentional creation. I didn’t consciously scheme to have this be my plight. I dated people with large wounds and I wanted to love them so much that they started loving themselves and seeing in themselves what I saw in them. And y’all can guess exactly how that turned out. Or you can read anything I write about because I talk about it all the damn time. I was lost in the sauce. Searching for love and some sort of completion external of me; through my boyfriends. With the beauty of hindsight, I was giving all the love I was seeking a way to people I felt needed it more. Never factoring in that they wouldn’t be capable of reciprocating love because they didn’t even have it for themselves. So I eventually found myself out of gas with no one to help me out. DISAPPOINTED.

Coming out of the shadows, means casting light which exposes EVERYTHING. It means dusting yourself off, getting burned, and finally seeing yourself, for better and for worse. While I was definitely on the receiving end of a lot of terrible crap, being in the shadow didn’t allow me to see myself as anything other than a victim. Someone who was at the mercy of another person’s actions. I never fully realized that I could move out of the shadows – I literally had to be forced out. 

And it’s the best thing that has ever happened. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to see myself more clearly. I’m grateful to all the boyfriends who unknowingly taught me more about myself than I could’ve ever imagined knowing. 

If this resonates with you, let me know. As always, feel free to share – it helps according to marketing people. 

All love. 

Ashley