Boundaries, Rebuilding, Recovery, Starting Over, Survivor

KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS

UNDERSTANDING OUR RESPONSE TO STRESSES
Any weakness in defending or standing up for yourself can be used as weapon to manipulate, control and hurt you at the hands of toxic person or narcissist. Learning to stay steadfast in your decisions and setting healthy boundaries requires us unpacking why we are such pushovers.”

Journaling is one of the best ways to identify what triggers us and brings us to fight or flight mode. Sign up for a cloud-based journal app and start documenting situations where you felt you were feeling panicked, afraid, frustrated or bulldozed.

Capture four things in each journal entry:

The Situation
Really capture what the situation or circumstance was about, the topic, who was involved, where you were, and what you were discussing.

  • How did the environment make you feel?
  • Was the conversation heated or calm?
  • Do you already have a conflict relationship with the person(s) involved?
  • Were you discussing a heated or high-conflict topic? Why?
  • What were the circumstances that lead you to this precipice moment?

How You Felt
Understand how the situation makes you feel emotionally is a great layer to unpack. As you continue to journal, you will notice consistencies in your emotional response.

  • Do you feel safe or threatened?
  • Do you feel victimized in this situation? Why?
  • Do you feel angry or afraid?

Your Physical Response
Our bodies tell us a lot about how we feel about a situation. Look specifically for physical responses to the situation and log each symptom you experience.

  • Can you feel your heart race?
  • Are you sweating?
  • Do you lose feeling in your limbs?
  • Do you have a headache or migraine?
  • Do you feel chilly?
  • Are your ears ringing?
  • Are your fingers cold?
  • Is it hard to catch your breath or breathe normally?

Identify the Trigger
A trigger is the tipping point that sets off our flight/fight response. In identifying triggers, we can start to apply counter balance techniques to keep you calm, manage the situation logically, and maintain your stand,

  • What was said in the situation?
  • Was it the person’s voice?
  • Was it the topic?
  • Were you pressured to respond immediately?
  • Were you threatened physically or verbally?
  • Did you perceive a threat (real or imagined)?
Divorcing a Narc, Healing, Rebuilding, Starting Over

REBUILDING AFTER THE BREAKUP

GET RID OF THE KEEPSAKES
The abuser who once controlled everything is gone. Remove anything that reminds you of your past. Start with a clean slate. Decorate your new home the way you always wanted. You are free now to do whatever makes you happy.”

I’m a handy girl, a fixer-upper who knows how to wire fixtures, fix leaky faucets and paint like a pro. I’m fearless when it comes to decorating. Love art. Love color. Love textures and textiles. Getting a place of my own was absolutely pure bliss after I was free from my toxic ex.

My narc had OCD about our former home together. I had to ask permission to put holes in the walls to hang pictures! Now I hang whatever I want, where I want–and it is absolutely wonderful!

Pitch Keepsakes
The narc will be watching what you take with you in your new life. If you still have contact and are coparenting, the narc will notice if you keep old photos, your wedding dress or a favorite art collection. To the narcissist, it means you are still emotionally attached and that spells an opportunity for you to be Hoovered and suckered back into the relationship you left. It’s best to pitch anything that reminds you of your past with the narcissist.

Light it Up and Let it Go
Some victims find it to be a great release to pile all the keepsakes into a fire pit and watching their past go up in flames. I burned the wedding albums, pawned my diamond, and donated my wedding dress to charity. I tossed art we purchased together in a giant dumpster and threw the wedding china off the back deck to watch it shatter into a million pieces! I felt incredible afterward. Not one wedding photo (or photo of my ex) can be found in my new home today because my new life is no longer about the narcissist. My new life is about peace, happiness, joy and parenting my children on my terms. Living life in the daily moments that make life worth living.

So what are you waiting for? Here are some tips on what to purge.

Set the Right Tone for Your New Life
What you bring into your new home or apartment makes a big difference in making your new place feel warm and welcoming after your toxic breakup. Purge the things that don’t bring you absolute happiness and joy. If you choose to keep an item, switch it up, paint it, or use it in a new way.

Your New Home Should Reflect What You Love
If you love color, PAINT a wall a gorgeously bright or rich color (you can always repaint it if you decided you don’t want it forever). If you’ve always loved shag rugs, BUY one. Do whatever you need to do to build a new home for yourself that makes it feel special and place you want to live and laugh in.

You will find a fun, eclectic collection of art, glass, and paintings in my home. Antiques with new things. Contemporary meets french traditional. Comfy furniture. Soft lighting. You won’t find anything with my ex’s face, any marital mementos, or any objects from my former life. Everything was purged in my departure. That is freedom!