Life is not about just surviving, we all do that in some form. It is about how we thrive after we survive that matters~Carole Sanek

Surviving the Narcissist

April 18th, 2014

Surviving the Narcissist is front and center in my mind these days because I am approaching my one year anniversary of being blind-sided.  Now I have my life back.  While emotional blood was drawn, it was just my turn and that’s all okay.   It happened to others before me, they have told me their stories.  Unfortunately it will continue, but it is not my place to save people, they have to go through it and come out on the other side as I did and be in a much better place.

 

LOE3 Surviving the Narcissist

LOE3 (Photo credit: Wiki

I am fantastic.  As a matter of fact if I were to come face to face with this person today I would gush about how grateful I am that it all happened – I have changed a lot.  A year ago I would have kicked their ass into a different county.

 

I have done a lot of research since first blood because normally my Narcissist warning system runs at full alert and this is one time it failed me for 3 years.  Yes, I admit it, I missed ALL the signs for over 3 years.

 

Let’s define this:

 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

THE NARCISSIST – This person is an elitist and exists to be adored and admired.

• A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.

• Think Wall Street (Gordon Gecko) or American Gigolo (Richard Gere)

 

 

 

A Narcissist has absolutely no remorse and no conscience. They view others as nothing more than objects
to be used as a means to an end.

 

 

 

A Narcissist demands their sense of self be propped-up by others on a continual basis. This is because they are disconnected from themselves and have no sense of self. Without validation and recognition from the outside world, a Narcissist feels dead inside.

 

 

 

A Narcissist has a very fragile ego and is extremely insecure. They need others to reflect their image back to them in order to feel alive. A
Narcissist is addicted to the spotlight and craves attention and adoration like a drug. They have an insatiable need to be recognized for their achievements, no matter how small or insignificant. They are grandiose and view themselves as much more accomplished than they really are…basically, they are delusional and not in touch with reality. They believe other people worship them.

 

 

 

A Narcissist has a sense of entitlement that is unsurpassed. They demand to be idealized by others. If you do not revere them, they will lash out at you. If you do not agree with them, they will retaliate against you. They have no moral code and no conscience. They simply cannot help themselves. If you do not admire, adore and revere them, they willdevalue and discard you with no remorse.

 

 

 

A Narcissist only surrounds themselves with people who agree with everything they say and worship the ground they walk on.

 

 

 

They feel nothing but contempt and jealousy towards others, especially those who may pose a
threat to them. Anyone they perceive as a threat will be swiftly removed from their court. They view others as objects in their quest for
dominance.

 

 

 

A Narcissist invests all of their energy into ensuring others validate their fragile ego. They live in a frantic state of paranoia that they will
be exposed at any minute. Consumed with avoiding this inevitable
disaster, they have little energy to be genuinely interested in others.

 

Amazing stuff huh?

 

In closing I would just like to say Bon Voyage to this person and I do raise a glass to them now and then for these reasons:

 

  • My business is thriving since my wound healed and I am about to open a second business
  • My relationship with my husband is remarkably improved and thriving
  • My relationship with God is truer and deeper than ever
  • My Narcissist alarm is working really well and won’t fail me again
  • My friends that I surround myself with are real and I let go of those who feed this Narcissist
  • My level of happiness is 99.5%
  • My life is wonderful and I am in control of it

 

 Surviving the Narcissist
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Surviving

March 18th, 2014

Surviving takes strength.  No matter what you are surviving and learning to live with or without, it take so much strength.  I look back on the many blog posts I have written over the years and I see where my flaws are as well as seeing where my strengths lie.  I have written in anger, I have written in humor.  I have written, published and gone back and trashed posts too.  I just did that this morning.

I thought a lot about this today and I came to the realization that in order to break the cycle of writing and living in anger means taking the first step.  That step is letting go of the crumbs that remain that trigger our feelings.  Several years back I wrote a blog post in disappointment and pain about a friendship that was heading downhill fast.  Unfortunately I had allowed myself to be talked into trying one more time to try to do an intervention over a serious drinking problem.  You know how it is when you confront someone with the truth, but they cannot accept it, even if they know it’s the truth?  Things change.  Our friendship disintegrated rapidly after that and sadly not in an honest way.  We should have been honest with each other about why it was ending.

There is another thing that we cling to in life that we need to let go of, and that is the belief we hold on to that people should act the way we would act.  The simple truth is, they won’t, they don’t, they can’t.  They own the way they do things just like we own the way we do things.  Yet we all get our feelings hurt because we hold on to that “I would have or I would never have” done/said/not said that.

The road to recovery takes time – the crumbs need to be swept out of sight.  It’s time to let go and that means doing what we need to do to remove the trigger points.  This morning I began by hiding people on my Facebook so their posts don’t serve as reminders.  It takes strength but it is the first step in moving on from feeling bad to feeling better.  Detach – I highly recommend it.CLS m24 Surviving

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Surviving Letting Go

January 29th, 2014

Surviving letting go brings so many different emotions to the surface of our hearts, guts and brains.  There are all kinds of reasons all of us have let go.  We let go of so many things.   The wrong person, best friendships that dissolve, the bad habit, the people we love who cross over, pets, our favorite sweater, jobs, and a lot more.

Most of us can’t begin to even keep track of all the things we have let go of, except for the letting go that hurts our hearts and turns our guts inside out, even though our brains know it is the right thing to do.  I am writing about letting go of your child as they move on in life, often thousands of miles away, to become what we always wanted them to be-superstars.

We carry our babies under our hearts for 9 months and then we carry them through life.  We know that as they grow we have to give them more freedom, we have to wave goodbye to them as they get in the car for the first time.  We hug them as we take them to college and they scold us for having tears in our eyes.  We are thrilled for them as they begin their adult lives.  We let go more when they fall in love and we remember how we felt when we were their age.

I am not sure we ever really consider that they may move on and out and head thousands of miles away though.  If someone brings it up we push that thought into the recesses of our minds until one day we hear them say “We have big exciting news to share and we want you to be happy for us.”  At that moment our hearts skip a beat, our guts start to grab at us, while our brains tell us to relax and try to look normal.

We say all the right things (that’s our brains kicking in again) but our insides hurt, and we are happy for them yet sad for us.

 

moving van Surviving Letting Go

I watched that moving van pull out of my yard a long time ago and I thought my insides would just shut down.  It’s hard.  It’s really hard.  I remember running down the road to catch a last glimpse of that moving van.  Yes, letting go hurts.

However, we do begin to know and understand that change happens, growth happens, and we know our children grow up.  We also know  amazing opportunities do not happen to everyone.  We were blessed, so blessed to have so much time together.  We know we can board airplanes.  We know our children do come home for the holidays, and other family events.  We have smart phones, we know we can text, email, Instagram, and more.

Our brains are rational about letting go, our hearts and guts are not.

I wrote this for someone I have known for a long time – I have always been “ahead” of you with experiences in life, and yes, I know, as you always pointed out, that I will always be older than you.  That always made me smile.  I smile for you today, and yes I have tears too.

 

 

 

 

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Surviving the Urge to Kick Someone’s Ass

January 25th, 2014

Surviving the urge to kick someone’s ass is not the title I wanted for this article.  I actually wanted to use “Surviving the Urge to Kill Someone”, then I realized that might a little too over-the-top as a title.  I started over.  I used “Surviving the Urge to Beat the Shit Out of Someone” and even though I really wanted to use it, I thought about it and came up with “Surviving the Urge to Kick Someone’s Ass”.  It’s a little kinder and gentler I suppose.

After all I do have an image to uphold and the urge to kill or beat someone is probable not the image I want people to have of me when this article gets indexed by Google.

Let’s get real though, we have all been angry enough to think those words at some time in our lives.  We may have even said them out loud.  Thankfully though most of us are reasonable people who don’t act on our thoughts and we rationally understand that thinking or even saying things like that are an outward or inward explosion of feelings that make us feel better after we say or think them.

Having the urge to kick someone’s ass is different.  I don’t actually want to walk up to them and kick them into the next county for example.  I just want to do something that makes them say “Crap I did not see that one coming!”  I want to catch them off guard, by surprise and yes blindside them with an action/idea/happening that kicks them square in the ass.  Some might see this as a friendly competition when they think this, but I am here to clearly say for me this is NOT a friendly competition.  This is not just about kicking someone’s ass for me, it is about kicking it hard enough to make it difficult for them to get back up completely.  It is about me winning and doing the dance in the end zone of life.  I promise no one will actually be physically hurt .  I am past that feeling (she says with a wink).  No really I am.  I even re-worded a certain board in my Pinterest account because I no longer want to bitch slap this person (she says with another wink).

 

Me You1 Surviving the Urge to Kick Someones Ass

So today, as I was in the shower, my plan came together.  Showers are more than cleansing the body, showers can cleanse the mind too.  I believe that this all worked out for me because timing is everything and I seriously believe there are no accidents.

I recently attended a big social media event that was running over with the biggest thought leaders in social media.  I absorbed so much but put a lot of it on the back burner to simmer.  This morning the pot boiled over and the answer to a question that had been bugging me for 9 months was born.  I finally know how to get past the urge to kick someone’s ass and actually do it.

I seriously promise this will all be done fairly and no blood will be shed (she says with a wink).  No really I promise.

Have to run now and start working on this project – it’s so exciting!

 

 

 

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Surviving The New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight

January 13th, 2014

Yes you heard it here first I will be ready for surviving the new year’s resolution to lose weight.  Damn those resolutions, full speed ahead.  Why the new yrs Surviving The New Years Resolution to Lose Weight heck do we make them?  Do we make them to break them?  I don’t think so but why don’t we just do what we need to do when the spirit moves us rather than wait for the new year?

I need to lose weight.  I absolutely need to lose weight.  I have known that for quite a while.  Menopause wasn’t kind to me, throw in T-2 diabetes, and some bad decisions and I have officially achieved chubby cheeks and they are not on my face.

I resolved to lose weight.

OK so January 1 came (and went) and we boarded a jet plane for Las Vegas.  Now you tell me if you would start counting what ever needs to be counted on a trip to Las Vegas?  I think not.

First stop after checking in to the hotel, B&B Ristorante in the Venetian.  Look out everyone here comes my review of this delicious meal.  It was over-the-t0p delicious.  We were offered a chickpea bruschetta from the chef which went well with my glass of Prosecco.  We ordered a soft mozzarella cheese appetizer also served on bread, and we both had pasta dishes, wine, and Tiramisu.

We walked back to our hotel.  Does that count?  It was 2.4 miles.

We were bad the entire trip.  We ate so much wonderful food, and we drank wine with meals and other wonderful drinks.

The restaurants in Las Vegas are amazing.  It’s a foodie paradise.

At D.Vino in the Monte Carlo I had the best Linguine with White Clam Sauce I ever tasted.

The dinner we had at Red Square in Mandalay Bay before seeing Michael Jackson One  was fabulous.  Beef Stroganoff served over Wild Mushroom Pasta.  Yikes.  OK there was homemade ice cream too.

We walked to the Mandalay Bay – another 2.5 miles, does that count?

We also had wonderful appetizers like Hot Rocks (filet you sear on the 800 degree rock), Kobe Beef Flatbreads, Roast Beef Sliders, and then on our very last day there we walked to The Wynn – and we ate at their newer American tapas restaurant Le Cave.  I started with Ceviche’, Larry ordered Mushroom Grits – oh no!!!!  Those damn grits were so good.  I had Artichoke flatbread – I can still smell it.  No dessert and we did walk round trip 6 miles, does that count?

There were more wonderful food experiences but I find as I write this blog post I am getting hungry so I need to post this and trick my stomach into believing I am not because I want to be able to write a post in 6 months about my success in surviving the new years resolution to lose weight.

 

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Surviving Being the Convenient Friend Until

December 20th, 2013

Surviving being the convenient friend until a better offer comes along was something that happened to me as a teenager.  Marsha, my “best friend” would make plans with me to go out to our local dance club, to the movies, to dinner, whatever, and if a better offer came a long (a date) I got the phone call that cancelled our plans and was left holding the bag marked “loser”.  It hurt.

51YYXFWZRHL. SL300  Surviving Being the Convenient Friend Until

Cover of Loser

I know now that Marsha was not a friend, not a true friend.  Real true friends don’t do this to their friends.  It is a terrible thing to do to anyone because it goes right to the heart of one’s self-esteem.  It is 100% lousy, it is 100% mean, it is 100% crappy, it’s 100% thoughtless.

Many years have passed and wham bam it has happened again.  I opened my heart in friendship to someone I really like a lot and the first time it happened, I actually “called” her on it, and she apologized.  I really appreciated the apology, it meant the world to me.  Life went on and then several times this year we had plans but a better offer came along and I guess I was just supposed to be ok with it.  I wasn’t.  It hurt.  It really hurt.

What’s a more mature woman supposed to do when this happens (again)?   Marsha taught me a huge lesson.  Have more than one friend – simple answer.  I do, and I have a wonderful husband too who encourages me to have girl dates.  I just will pick a different girl from now on it’s all fine because in reality we know who the loser really is, don’t we?

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Surviving After Walking Away in Breast Cancer

September 26th, 2013

I brought this over from my http;//afterbreastcancerrevivingsurvivingthriving.com blog because I drank the breast cancer koolaid, it tasted good at first, then it went bad.

After Breast Cancer I have missed you.  I had some deep soul-searching to do.  I have also been busy with my incredibly successful business.  I needed to heal from being blind-sided by a former friend and partner.  All of this took time or took a toll or took a piece of my heart.

I don’t think there is any betrayal worse than that betrayal that comes from someone you trusted, someone who was almost family, someone who built you up for months only to tear you down in 5 days.

It’s all good now, so I have decided as I approach my 20th year and look back at things I went through recently that I would write about what I am grateful for here.

  • I am grateful that I can honestly say what I do in the name of breast cancer is NOT to put money in my pockets, but to give it to those who need it.
  • I am grateful that I am who I am, NO pretense, that what you see is what you get and that means you would never see me walk around as if I am better than you.
  • I am grateful that everything I have planned in breast cancer is to truly help others, to feed their spirits, and NOT my ego.
  • I am grateful that my husband has NEVER had to have a talk with me about my behavior.
  • I am grateful that I know better than to ever tell someone to NOT have conventional medical treatment.
  • I am grateful that I have NEVER put my hands on someone and told them that I can feel breast cancer in their body because I can’t.
  • I am grateful that I have NEVER said “don’t have a mammogram,” because I wouldn’t.
  • I am grateful that I have never said I had breast cancer twice, the second time I healed myself.
  • I am grateful that I have NEVER said that maybe my beliefs are too “woo-woo” because my beliefs are not.
  • I am grateful that I have NEVER said Stage 4 breast cancer serves the women who have it.

I could write more things I am grateful for – the point of my gratefulness is that when you take the words “never, not, no” out of those things I wrote that I am grateful for you might see what I moved on from and realize that while opposites attract they don’t make good partners in beliefs.

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The Top 10 Reasons I WON’T Shop at WalMart

July 13th, 2013

Here we go with my top 10 reasons I won’t shop at Walmart:

 

5487448787 4f1b8f0da1 m The Top 10 Reasons I WONT Shop at WalMart

Walmart (Photo credit: matteson.norman)

10.  Barefoot shoppers gross me out

 

9.  In 2008 a WalMart employee became an invalid in a truck accident.  When the employee won a lawsuit related to the accident, WalMart    sued the invalid employee to return the $470,000 in insurance payments made by WalMart.  As if WalMart’s future depended on the return of that money.

 

8.   WalMart is under investigation for allegedly bribing 19 Mexico stores. The report did not give a figure for how much Wal-Mart spent on all of the alleged bribes. But it cites instances in which the company allegedly paid $221,000 in bribes to build a store near the ruins in Teotihuacan, as well as $341,000 in alleged bribes to establish a store near the Basilica de Guadalupe without appropriate permits, and another$765,000 in alleged bribes to set up a refrigerated distribution center
in an environmentally fragile area near Mexico City. (WOW I don’t think we are going to see TV ads cutting back prices).

 

7.   Sweatshops in Asian countries for all those cheap clothes they sell (granted other companies were also involved.)

 

6.   The manager who said that female cashiers need to go outside and pick up carts because they need the exercise.

 

5.   http://www.care2.com/causes/walmart-accused-of-using-child-labor-at-shrimp-plant.html

 

4.   All of the above so far and they dump Paula Deen – really?

 

3.   Advertising generic drugs at $4/month and then arguing with me because my doctor wrote for 3 pills a day and 2 is standard dosing (according to them) and I had to pay $10/month or go elsewhere – I went elsewhere.

 

2.  Many people know about the parrot.  A friend in Phoenix sent me a picture of a Macaw on a woman’s shoulder in the check out line.  Don’t get me wrong I do like birds, I have birds, but not only could that bird poop anywhere it wanted to, conceivably if it got loose it could injure people or get injured.

 

1.   The Parrot story used to be my #1 reason – today I have a new #1 reason http://dogingtonpost.com/walmart-employee-fired-for-calling-police-to-report-dog-locked-in-hot-car/#.UeF6AG15lDM  now THIS IS #1 and WalMart you just have NO CLASS!

Everything I wrote here either happened to me, or I used Google by searching for WalMart scandals.  Oh and BTW #WalMart – your ads for being cheaper than Publix all show items that I don’t even consider to be food.  I wouldn’t buy those items.  Try comparing the produce/meat/dairy – you know real food OK?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Top 10 Reasons I WONT Shop at WalMart
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Surviving A Broken Bullshit Meter

June 24th, 2013

I write this for another blog site – don’t you just love the term “bullshit meter” well most of us have one, sometimes it works, sometimes the other person is so good they don’t set it off – so here goes:

bullshit Surviving A Broken Bullshit Meter

They can fail.

I came face to face with my own authenticity recently after being faced with the fact that I had been dilly-dallying around for several years with someone who is far from being authentic at all.

I have always been a highly intuitive person and normally my warning alarm sounds loudly when I am face-to-face with someone who is hiding behind the cloak of sweetness and light.

Being challenged by my own authenticity began over a breakfast meeting in Ft. Lauderdale in April.  A friend of mine who is a Reiki master and holistic massage therapist joined us that morning to explore the potential for being a part of a project in breast cancer.  The meeting did not gel.  I could sense a grayness hovering over all of us, and there was a heaviness in the air.  We have all experienced feelings like this in our lives when things just don’t fit.

Over the next several weeks I was gifted in many different ways over this experience and the time I had spent I do not think of as wasted.  I came to the understanding that while I was fooled by the sweetness and light, it was truly a gift because it brought me to a new exciting place where I could give with real empathy, that I could make a difference by revealing and reveling in my authentic self.

To get there though I was assaulted by the thoughts words and deeds of someone I once considered to be my mentor.

True friends rallied, and my dear friend who joined us that morning explained what she saw that morning which was just the gift I needed.  She sat down at the table with us, started to talk, did some listening, observed the auras, listened to her own gut. She left that day comfortable with the fact she would have turned us down because she recognized that my mentor completely lacked authenticity.

I couldn’t see it because I believed in the dream, I believed in the project.  How can you spot the people in your life that are not authentic?

 

Easy-peasy – here are 9 signs of being authentic:

  • whether they can laugh at their own stupidity.
  • whether they can freely admit that they ‘don’t know’, ‘they were wrong’ or ‘they made a mistake’
  • whether they can take cheeky constructive ridicule from their peers and friends without retaliation or the feelings of emotional hurt
  • whether they can maintain their dignity, authority, respect and presence regardless of their personal attire or appointed position
  • whether they can truly communicate with all people as equals regardless of the other’s rank, wealth or social standing.
  • whether they are ‘comfortable in their own skin‘ and not always pretending to be someone who they aren’t.
  • whether they can ‘look you in the eye‘ and are engaged in the moment as they converse with you
  • whether they can speak their truth graciously, seeking neither offence nor servitude.
  • whether they are humble in the realization that what makes them special in one form of intelligence also make them totally dumb in another.

I call it relying on my bullshit meter.  It failed me, or maybe I ignored it.  I believe anyone who has been through breast cancer has a high functioning bullshit meter.  We are on high alert.  In my case my batteries have been replaced.

How does this all come back to where I am with my own authenticity?  Well I recently started a public figure page on Facebook and it can be found at http://www.facebook.com/CaroleLSanek

I started this page from my inspiring side, but I am a triplet – not for real I am talking about what makes me multi-faceted. There are two other sides of me.  One is the really funny side (it gets me in trouble with people who are not authentic they don’t like being teased), and then there is the sarcastic side but it is done with as little snarky as possible because I want to make people smile not wince.

All three sides will show up on this page – please go take a look at it and see some of my photo/quote creations there too.

Last of all I want to thank my mentor for showing her true colors to me and sending me in a new direction where no one is more important than the other, where real empathy reigns supreme, where we can laugh at each other in front of others.  We are the winners of authenticity, are you one too?

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Surviving a Horrible Crazy Person

June 19th, 2013

Now there’s a title, and the question is how many of us have survived a horrible person?  All of us would probably be the correct answer.

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crazy directions (Photo credit: bijoubaby)

However what if this particular horrible person was so crazy and so good at being crazy that you didn’t realize how horrible they are until it was too late?  How many of us have survived someone like that?  A crazy person.  I mean a legitimately crazy person, someone who tells you that their husband actually has to sit them down to have serious talks about their behavior crazy person.

My husband has had serious talks with me, your spouses have undoubtedly done the same, but in most cases they did not have these talks with us because we are certifiably crazy.

I can hear her saying “Carole, David had to sit me down and have a long long talk with me about my behavior.”  Now call me crazy but I just accepted this and moved past it.  Yet Maya Angelou herself said “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

Oprah Winfrey said “Remember this because it will happen many times in your life.  When people show you who they are the first time believe them.  Not the 29th time……..”

In my case I heard it about 6 times in 2 years so I say ” When someone tells you that their spouse has to sit them down and have a serious talk to them about their behavior run like Hell because they are fucking crazy!”

I look back now and wonder why this man stays with her, and then I realize it is out of a sense of duty because he takes his responsibility seriously.  I do believe he keeps her in check EXCEPT for when he is not around her and her demons take over.

Have you ever been around a crazy person when their demons take over?  Suffice it to say it is best to duck and hide or grab a life vest and a lifeboat if you are on a cruise ship, or hope a parachute is available if you have to open the emergency door on an airplane.

Surviving a horrible crazy person takes a toll on you.  However when it is all over you will burn Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey’s words into your brain or tattoo them on your inner arms – after all their words look better than mine do – but you could just remember “run like Hell” and leave the “because they are fucking crazy” out – after all you never know when a good Christian person might be offended.

PS Don’t be offended by that last sentence – the crazy woman said it offends good Christian people, I didn’t say that.

PS2 I do know and understand that my use of the word “crazy” could be offensive whether you are a good Christian or not.  However this is my story, these are my feelings, my words, and I am writing about my adventure in life with a horrible crazy person.

 

 

 

 

 Surviving a Horrible Crazy Person
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