I am working on getting away from my abusive partner – although I am finding it more and more difficult. I want to start a new life, but something is holding me back and I don’t know what. I guess it’s fear.
Maybe one day I’ll feel strong enough!!!
“One day” is not a day of the week, sadly.
What your words tell me is this:
Not only have you learnt to settle for crumbs, but you are prepared to settle for less and less of those.
You’re still working to do something you’re finding more and more difficult. And you’re hoping that one day you’ll feel strong enough to do this thing you find more and more difficult.
This week I was working with a very bright man who isn’t able to achieve the professional success he desires, because he needs other people to validate him. (Do you see those pesky “Other People” raising their nasty little heads, again?)
He can’t believe he is as good as he says he thinks he is, until someone makes him feel that good.
What does my client share with you?
He shares with you the need to wait – for as long as it takes – until someone, or something, happens along to produce the mind-shift he needs.
Because he is male he made his argument sound almost logical. You won’t be surprised to learn he didn’t mention the words “fairy god-mother”, at all. But, for all that, what he was doing was practising Magic Wand Thinking.
He was waiting for the person, or event, to materialize, out of the wide blue younder, that would transform his thinking and enable him to take action.
He was sitting tight, waiting for that to happen, because he felt that was all he could do… until I showed him a better way.
The vision of a ball and chain sprang into my mind.
Suppose you want to run a marathon. It’s something you want to do for your own satisfaction ; you don’t feel a need to do it in any 2 hours and 15 minutes. You just want to complete it. In fact, you aren’t too bothered whether you run the whole way, or run as far as you can and then walk the rest.
You know completing that marathon, one way or another, will give you a massive sense of achievement, because you’ve talked about doing it for years. It will make you look at yourself with a whole new respect…
But, still, you don’t do it, do you?
You don’t do it, because you’re waiting for someone to tell you, with total, incontrovertible certainty that you can do it.
There’s just one incy wincy problem. You know you’ll never be able to believe you can do it, until you meet with someone who can make you believe you can. However, because you feel a tad pathetic and ashamed of having so little self-belief, you hide away.
Instead of pulling on your trainers, getting out there, and putting yourself in the way of somebody who could help you – not to mention building your fitness and stamina – you hide away, waiting for it to happen, one day.
One day, and some day, are not days of the week.
Obviously, this scenario is a vicious circle.
And the big problem with vicious circles – all vicious circles – is that they become increasingly vicious, over time.
Of course, circumstances play a part in vicious circles.
But, in the end, it is our thinking, far more than our circumstances that keep us stuck going round vicious circles, time and time again.
Your thinking about what is too difficult, too frightening, or too unsafe, is a ball and chain around your leg.
You never said you needed to win the marathon, you just wanted to take part, and complete it. And, if people dressed like chickens, wearing space suits, or people aged 80+ like Clarence Hartley can, then so can you.
But you do have to take some action.
Nobody’s saying you should get out there tomorrow and attempt to run 26.2 miles. Now, that would be daunting.
But suppose you were to commit to removing the ball and chain from your ankle. If you were to do that, if you were to strike that negative thinking from your life – and, trust me, it’s nowhere near as hard as you imagine it is – what difference would that make to your freedom of movement?
How would that affect your capacity to participate, successfully, in your very own, personal marathon?
“Yes, but…” you’re probably saying.
“Yes, but…” is just your ball and chain speaking. (For a metal ball and chain that should be an inanimate object, it sure does a lot of talking!!)
Take a look at these words of William Hutchinson Murray (commonly, and wrongly, ascribed to Goethe).
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back… the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
Let me tell you about a client of mine who was certain she could never leave an abusive marriage because she had health problems, a mountain of debt, difficult relationships with her parents and children, beloved pets she couldn’t leave – which meant she could never rent an apartment, even if she could find one she could afford – and was too old to get a decent job.
She got a great job, a beautiful apartment, with pets allowed, got her health problems under control, resolved the painful relationship with her parents, and opened a new dialogue with her children.
You see, the day came when she looked down at her ball and chain, and decided she wanted to be rid of it. She wanted the shot at her own, personal marathon. She need that to be able to live with herself.
She was frightened sick, at times. But courage is just staying one step ahead of your fears. A lot of the time, she felt exhilarated and excited as never before. She took action, and she used the support of my teleclass program to make sure she was always one step ahead of her fears.
Jolene, you’re probably scared you could never gather enough momentum to get into your stride.
That’s not true.
The only thing that stops you achieving the momentum you desire is that wretched ball and chain.
Women often ask me: “how can I get through this?” The answer I give them is this: “You will get through this. You will come out the other side. But if you’re struggling, it’s a sign that it’s just too hard for you to do alone. You need help.”
Please remember, ‘ the darkest hour is just before dawn’. My support teleclasses will give you the help, focus and strength you need.
Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.
The 5 Simple Steps to Healing from Narcissistic Abuse
Over the next 5 days, I'll send you some lessons and tips that I've found have really helped women to heal from narcissistic abuse. Starting with the basics.