The wolf from The Three Little Pigs thinking "Ah feck! This one has boundaries!'

We were reading one of the kids favourite fairy tales a couple of nights ago, The Three Little Pigs, and it occurred to me that the way that the three pigs built their houses – having straw and stick ones blown down first before wising up to bricks – is the way that some of us are with boundaries and our self-esteem.

We might start out doing just enough to eek by (and possibly cutting corners by trying to take shortcuts) and then as we become increasingly aware of our need to treat ourselves with more love, care, trust and respect (probably due to one too many soul sucking experiences), we step it up but might try to hold onto some old habits out of fear of not people pleasing and the perennial fear that, “Hmm, maybe I’m being a bit too tough by having boundaries or not doing what the other person wants, even if it really doesn’t feel good to me?”

It also feels quite difficult initially because as is the case with any change of habits, due to having spent a lot of time on the old habit, it’s a tad unrealistic to expect instant results and so we have to consistently work at the new habit and respond differently to old cues and triggers, and that requires a lot of willpower initially until it becomes more natural.

We secretly question whether ‘all this’ is necessary and still have a secret hope that our happiness lies in someone having to make us the exception to their rule of behaviour, even if that rule is pretty shady or just incompatible with our own core values. We’re afraid of being ourselves because even though it would mean that we’d be living our lives authentically, we still worry that little (or lot) too much about what ‘everyone’ thinks and even compare ourselves unfairly.

But hopefully if we listen to ourselves and learn from the insights that we gain from each experience which are full of positive lessons that can help us to grow, we realise that it’s time to build some self-esteem of more solid stuff (empathy, self-compassion, boundaries, trust, living by your values, healthy beliefs etc), because it helps with our resilience to life’s inevitable bumps plus it actually helps us to feel more secure, confident and able to get on with the business of living our lives authentically by not being ashamed of who we are.

Sometimes when our inner critic is piping up, we can get the impression that maybe we need to go from ‘bricks’ to ‘sticks’ or ‘sticks’ to ‘straw’ because we draw the wrong conclusion that because certain things have happened that it’s about our quality as a person and us being ‘wrong’, when actually, the path to happiness is about increasing our personal security not exacerbating insecurity by stripping down to a barely there existence that leaves us exposed to the elements.

And you know, we’ve gotta be careful of ensuring that our actions match our words because we can make like we’re made of solid stuff when really we’re hiding a wobblier self (like a mock show home without the foundations and proper pipes etc like in the show Arrested Development) which gets revealed as soon as we don’t assert ourselves when our boundaries are crossed or we become driven by the fear of being abandoned.

The great thing about building up your self-esteem is that aside from increasing your happiness, changing your perspective and changing your experiences, if someone decides that they want to have a crack at huffing and puffing at your proverbial house, they’ll get the message that they’re better off jogging on somewhere else and that they can try, but they’ll likely exhaust themselves. They might see you as a challenge and try harder but you’ll be secure enough to think it’s strange, not flattering, that someone’s trying to break you down.

You’ll also find that some people who used to think you were made of ‘straw’ or ‘sticks’ will discover after you’ve possibly used the time away to focus on you, that when they try to engage you, you’re not that person anymore.

Keep building. Remember that there is no destination and life is a journey, so just keep building along the way. Also, you’re worth investing in and ultimately if you treat and regard you with the love, care, trust and respect you deserve, a solid you will be around and with people who want to be solid with you.

Your thoughts?

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121 Responses to Don’t build your self-esteem ‘house’ from straw or sticks

  1. Deb says:

    Is it wrong that I WANT that person to try again so I can show him I am made of bricks now?? I don’t dwell on it but occasionally it still bothers me that he probably thinks I am pining away for him when I’m not!

    • n says:

      you seem to care too much about what he thinks of you. who cares?

    • MSA says:

      @Deb
      Well, as much as I agree with “n”, but I, too, am there. I have decided that I’ve had enough. He broke up with me too many times and returned with tears and sorry’s until I took him back. Every single time, I would wait knowing he’d return and we even became predictable to our friends.
      This time, I swore to myself, Enough is enough… But, due to the reason of our breakup this time being an old flame of his (How pathetic!!), I kinda think he might not try to come back… But, as Deb here, I only want him to “want” to come back, so that he knows I’ve built new boundaries now. I don’t know.. I think we’re probably putting too much weight on their opinions still, but can’t really help it, can we? not 3 days after breakup. Day #3 NC, it’s already killing me! and still no angry emails or messages of any sort despite the tornadoes going on in my mind.
      Btw, is it just me or does NC get harder each day? The breakup, separation and emptiness sinks in more everyday. This is my first ever attempt at NC with anyone, so the whole concept is brand new for me.

      • Lucky escape says:

        Hi msa im new here but so glad i found this site…. i hav same feelings as you and for me nc did get harder especially when you r bombarded with emails texts etc for 8 months!!! But i had to use all my strength to walk away from ‘the one’ as i kicked my morals and self respect into action.. i couldnt let him treat me so badly anymore… im on here tonite for support as feeln tearful… im still not myself and feel as though i have lost a piece of me…. please b strong msa as we all deserve the best… kick him to the kerb…….

      • beth d says:

        msa NC does come with setbacks when it gets harder but you take a deep breath and get your mind off it the best you can. The hard part is when they call you right about the time it is getting hard. I have broken a few times at that point thinking I can talk to him and just move on again. As Nat says you put your hand in the fire and you get burnt. Stay strong It is very early in the game.

      • Lucky_Charms says:

        MSA, NC is very difficult the first few weeks. I have been NC now for 7 months. It is the best decision I ever made. Whatever you do, don’t engage. Pay attention to your own inner life. I am an artist, so it was easy for me to dive into painting and drawing. But whatever you have that you love, concentrate on that. Ignore any impulses to break NC. You might try running, that’s what I did. Oh, did I mention I quit smoking too? Flushing an assclown is the healthiest thing I ever did. You’ll be surprised at all the positives that come out of walking away from a negative situation.

      • Kitaly says:

        “I only want him to “want” to come back, so that he knows I’ve built new boundaries now.”
        But that’s the exact definition of NOT having boundaries! maybe you mean you want him to TRY, and you’ll have the chance to say NO?

    • Tenneil says:

      Deb, I don’t think it’s wrong to feel that way at all. It seems perfectly normal to me, but it’ll pass.

      I’ve been in no contact for my ex-EUAC for nearly six months (with a minor slip up of drunkenly unblocking him on Facebook and accidentally sending a friend request, which I immediately cancelled!), but last week when I was travelling with my friends to the city he lives in (we were long distance), he made contact via my best friend as I’m sure he was too afraid to contact me after that letter I wrote “telling him all about himself”.

      Him getting in contact didn’t make me feel good. In fact, I feel worse because it’s made me start thinking about him more. When I unblocked him from Facebook, I had to wait 48 hours to reblock him (weird Facebook rules!) and it made me so upset. I only felt good about myself when I blocked him again and could no longer gain access into his life and him not into mine. My best friend never replied to his message because it was vague, indirect and just full of crumbs. Obviously, still a douchey EUM!

      My point is – Natalie is SO right when she says you need to validate yourself and stay in no contact. I got “validation” from my ex and all it did was make me feel worse as I work towards rebuilding my self-esteem. I broke no contact and it was like I took a step backwards, which felt like a punch to the stomach of pain I thought I’d gotten over. Like you, I daydreamed so much about him getting in contact with me just so I could reject him the way he rejected me, but being in NC is enough. If you stay in NC, he’ll know you’re made of bricks and just how strong you really are, but it’ll probably also keep him away too.

      Now that my ex knows I want nothing to do with him, he’ll probably stay away forever and even though it’s still a little tough for me as he was my first love, it’s better this way. I just want to get rid of the straws and sticks my self-esteem was once built of and continue building myself up with bricks. Honestly, this is the only thing that has brought me happiness since my ex broke up with me.

      I’ve still got a long way to go in terms of goals I want to achieve for myself, but I look back to see how far I’ve come and I’m proud of myself. Honestly, I cry sometimes because it’s so scary being out of my comfort zone, but at the same time, I feel like I’ve never been in a better place before. One day, I can’t wait to meet a real man who’ll treat me with love, care, trust and respect, the way I treat myself with these values, but for now, I’ll be patient and just concentrate on myself. :)

  2. Jewel-e says:

    Perhaps the underlying meaning of this fairy tale is about boundaries. I’ve never come across an analysis of this one before.

    I have found that now that my “house” is strongly reinforced with bricks, men (wolves) are irrationally angered when I insist on reasonable behavior. Just “reasonable” behavior. They become outraged! Not saying all men are like this, but obviously the ones I have historically attracted are. Im staying safely behind my bricks and letting them show their true colors.

  3. Abby says:

    Right on Natalie.

  4. 2fearce says:

    Lmao! @ “Ah feck! this one has boundaries”
    Hi-larious Nat! I needed that.
    Thanks for reminding me I’m made up of stronger stuff than I think I am (or that I used to be)!!
    Move along wolf… Nothing for u here!

  5. Revolution says:

    Nat,

    Two quick things (for now):

    1. Cool wolf illustration, and
    2. Kudos on incorporating “Arrested Development” into your post. “So you have it.” ;)

  6. Little Star says:

    Nat I love your drawings, they are brilliant and just spot on in every post! Thank you for making me smile:)

  7. edith says:

    Being in the midst and thick of one of these relationships, I can’t seem to get a clear mind or grasp of how I need to handle it all. I have been confused and not thinking straight. Thank you for your blog, as it points me in the right direction and makes me not feel so alone.

    • Kitaly says:

      Just don’t feel like you’re not alone, feel consoled, and stay in the bad relationship. GET OUT of it.

  8. Allison says:

    Love your drawing!!!!

  9. E says:

    I really needed to read this one and it comes at such a good time! I been finally trying to consciously apply my lessons and insert boundaries. And this is all the things I’ve gone through and thought while trying to do so. Kits encouraging cause while we are growing in self esteem and boundaries, you can’t help but doubt and feel maybe you still doing something wrong and especially when your fear of being abandoned kicks in. It was refreshing to read I am not alone in this which is the substance of all your stuff Natalie. I’m so thankful for your wisdom.

  10. Edith says:

    I am in the midst of one of these relationships with a guy who just can’t commit after 4 months. I tried breaking it off a number of times during the first couple of months but he kept coming back to me and I caved. I just started dating after 18 years of being alone & losing over 125 pounds (& still losing). I have been very confused and not thinking straight. I still struggle with self esteem issues & don’t see myself as thin or as pretty. I need to motivate myself to deal with this relationship. I am also in counseling but I want to thank you for your posts, they really do help me to think of the things that I should be doing. Sometimes I cannot find my voice and don’t know if I could break free of this insanity,

    • stacey allam says:

      edith, kudos to you for
      losing all that weight. this
      tells me you can achieve goals. I have lost
      130 pounds in eight years and have maintained it. I never want to think of myself as a thin person, it ill then come back in no time. I go
      to weight wtchers meetings weekly. Now
      about this guy, do you see yourself with him
      in five years if not then listen to you
      intuition and end it. He does not want to commit.
      If hes telling you your the love of his life life and a
      and calling you a stalker to his friends
      run like the plague

  11. Rika says:

    I’ve been building with bricks for a while now, and my ex still thinks that his huffing and puffing will make a dent. I am happy without him, and free, for the first time in a long time. Thank you for your wisdom Natalie. I am often amazed at how specific to my situation it is. :-)

  12. MS says:

    Thanks for this post! Today I was just thinking about how hard is to give up on bad habits but your post put me back on track

  13. Oc says:

    My ex refusing to be accountable for her side of the split has led to no more huffing and puffing from me, thank you very much. I’ve had it. She’s exasperatingly stubborn and I don’t enjoy banging my head against a brick wall of bitchy, cold, indifference.

    Sometimes I think its just pointless to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. If I have to fight with you to get past your nasty exterior, why bother? Not my idea of healthy.

  14. colororange says:

    I had a “ding,ding,ding” moment when I read the last few words to this:

    ” which gets revealed as soon as we don’t assert ourselves when our boundaries are crossed or we become driven by the fear of being abandoned.”

    For survival purposes, as a child, I had to keep my mouth shut. Then as a young teenager I got myself wrapped up in all kinds of messes with some really bad guys and even into my 20′s. I was so afraid, even when I had the courage to speak up, that the person would leave me that I just laid down and took it. I can see now that I can assert myself calmly and however the other person wants to take it is up to him. If he wants to skip out on me because I value myself and just frickin want the basic respect from a person, then that is all on him. It shows me he is NOT the person for me. But maybe the next one could be. I remember a friend of mine in high school wrote a short note in my yearbook. He said “never settle for less”. He was referring to the assclown I was dating at the time. I see now, after all these years later, that even my friend could see I deserved better. Sometimes these things can take a while to sink in but it feels good once it does. Thanks for the lightbulb moment.

  15. EUM-Roberto says:

    This quote applies to me right now: “Gotta be careful of ensuring that our actions match our words because we can make like we’re made of solid stuff when really we’re hiding a wobblier self”.

    I notice that if you slip up even a little bit, the people we put in NC will take that as a crack in your resolve and use that weakness to sneak in again.

    Before BR i was clueless of boundries and that i had a choice of who to let in and who to keep out. I’ve come a long way but have much more inner work to do.

    Thank you all for your replies and i even appreciate the “criticism/tough love/slap in the face with reality” comments because i need that to get it through my thick skull.

  16. Sarah says:

    Nat! You’re site is really helping me re-build myself and this post makes me feel like my NC is really working this time, unlike in the past – I can actually understand what your saying deeply and it’s clicking in my brain. I’ve been in a crazy relationship for over 4 years, going back and forth, getting hurt in about a thousand different ways. Always thinking that he would soon realize how amazing I am for sticking by him through thick and thin – always waiting for the day that he’d miraculously thank his lucky stars for getting a girl like me and FINALLY start loving me the way I needed. WRONG.

    My friends and family have been advising me to get over this relationship for years – and they’re right. But you put it in such a way that doesn’t feel like I’m being judged – but like a friend, sister or trusted advisor would put it.I can’t tell you how much you’ve helped reawaken me to the reality of this shitty relationship.

    So far, 3 months NO CONTACT! He is still the FIRST thought I have every morning, and one of the last thoughts before I go to bed. But no pain is forever. And now I understand that I actually deserve to be happy and respected all the time – not when other people (him) are in the “mood”…..

    I’m moving on girl! xoxoxo

  17. runnergirl says:

    Oh you are so incredible Natalie. I’ve worked so hard to seal my doors and windows from the outside with stucco patch and paint. Now, I’ve got to watch so I don’t huff and puff and blow my house down from the inside! Your message is soothing…I’m keeping building. It’s a daunting task and I keep waiting for the mana from heaven. Maybe the fact that I haven’t succumbed to the notasliga this time means I’m getting it? I’m not that person anymore?
    Love you.

  18. Jo says:

    LOVE this website!!! Nat you have been a God send! I like/share every post on FB in hopes that it will help others. THANK YOU!!!

  19. noquay says:

    When I bought the house here, I was given a lot of crap by colleagues: “this house is too big for you, it’s weird, it’s on the wrong side of town, why do you need all that land, it’s expensive” etc. I bought it because it IS weird (no sterile boxes for this chick) and, unlike 99% of the dwellings here, it is SOLID. Now I am pressured by an on line local who does not have values (is very overweight and drinks too much). It seems like nearly every person I meet I just do not feel it or I see major red flags. No sense in even trying to build any sort of relationship with them because it would be on shaky, unstable, ground. One of these deals where I am in it only to avoid being alone. No go. I may be alone for the rest of my days, may never completely get over the at work AC but neither of those justifies accepting a relationship built of straw.

    • Mymble says:

      Noquay
      You don’t like the hand that life has dealt you, and that you chose. You are miserable. To some extent that is my position too, although the specifics are different (in particular i have young children) But you may have many years left to you, are you going to spend the rest of it feeling angry, sad and upset? You know you do have many options, although they may not all be palatable to you. In some ways you are in a golden cage, in that you are allowing the rich salary and cheap large house to trap you.
      A few years ago, before I had kids, I gave up my well paid job and did 3 years work in a third world country on a subsistence wage. Everything I owned fitted into one suitcase. I felt – free. Really free. The struggle to keep material goods, money and property can be soul destroying. The people I worked amongst had nothing and lived at subsistence level but were happy at a deeper level. Please cherish the life you have, it will all too soon be gone.
      (I realise that this will make you angry BUT at some point we all have to a) learn to love what we have b) do something different in spite of the costs or c) be unhappy and angry. You seem to have chosen c) but really is that what you want?

    • Tanzanite says:

      noquay

      In regards to your home don’t listen to other people.You know what is right for you.

      I just wanted to pick up on the point you made about someone who is overweight having no values. It is often assumed that if someone who is overweight they eat like a pig and don’t exercise (sometimes it’s true)but for those who find it difficult to lose weight there are other considerations-

      .Genetics.

      .Psychological

      .medical conditions

      .Age

      There are probably many more but for me those are the ones that have effected me.I have tried everything.I exercise everyday and eat the correct foods and I do lose weight but it might be as slow as 2 lb a month, another person might do the same and lose 2 lb a week.It is a psychological blow to know you are doing everything right and not getting the loss you think you deserve.I have now come to terms with this and only aim for being the best I can be and there isn’t any rush.Also,I have never had high cholesterol or been dietetic.There is one word I hate more than the word obese and that is morbidly obese.I have never been the latter but I have been obese and I have struggled so much with losing weight, falling into the fat category is a result for me.

      You know whether your friend makes the effort or not.If he was slimmer/healthier/drank less would you like him more ? I am only asking because I have a male friend who is overweight and drinks to much ( on his 2 days off work ) but he is one my best mates.I think it’s because accept each other.I don’t fancy him though.

      Is it simply the fact you don’t fancy him ?

      If you are big on health and fitness and he doesn’t care there is a bit of a clash.

      Do you like him enough to be just friends?

      • EllyB says:

        Tanzanite: I know I’m going to upset a few others here, but in my perception our society’s obsession with weight loss has become just crazy. People come in many different sizes, and most tend to gain weight with age. It’s just natural.

        Maybe this is easier to say for me because I have a BMI of 19 even if I’m in my mid thirties, which is due to some health issue. In my late twenties, I have lost 20 pounds because of this. But this hasn’t made my life any happier. I haven’t started attracting any more great men just because of weight loss either. It has turned out to be pretty unimportant.

        What bothers me though is that I cannot open any web browser without getting bombarded with weight loss ads. It’s as if there was nothing else women might want in their lives anymore. It’s as if nothing else mattered. Seeing this makes me sick to my stomach.

        • Teddie says:

          Ladies, you might enjoy the insights of this panel here (that took place yesterday), the participants are hypnotherapists and explain what weight issues are about and how to be approached: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjrVB03VybM&feature=youtu.be

          • Tanzanite says:

            Teddie

            Thanks for the link.

            Hypnosis is one thing I haven’t tried but most of the things they were saying I already knew.

            My health problems all started whilst I was with the AC.I began to suffer anxiety for the first time in my life and had a prolonged period of stress which I believe lead to my under active thyroid gland.My life before wasn’t perfect but I didn’t suffer anxiety and I was 2 stone lighter.

        • Tanzanite says:

          EllyB

          I know what you mean about weight loss ads everywhere you turn but that’s because there is a lot of money to be made out of selling diet plans and products.I know it’s suggested that our health will improve and it sometimes does but it also makes thousands and thousands of pounds for the diet companies.

          On a more serious note it costs the National Health service thousands of pounds treating weight related issues,so we need to at least try.

          I don’t think it matters if you have a BMI of 19 you’re still entitled to have an opinion and you have a good attitude towards people who are less fortunate,which is great for someone like me.

          At my age I don’t worry about being single for the rest of my life and any improvements I make are for my own benefit and not to feel accepted by other people.

          I do get a lot of stick off my parents about my weight.My dad says he insults me to shame me into losing weight but it just makes me feel bad and has me reaching for he biscuit tin.My mum has lost a lot of weight because of her diabetic condition.She doesn’t half lord it over me because of this and she was also fat until she was diagnosed with this condition.

          It’s pointless trying to explain you have an under active thyroid gland because no one believes you.I will just keep doing what I’m doing.Slow loss is better than no loss.

          I’m old fashioned and I just think it would be so nice if we all treated each other with love,care and respect.( Apart from AC’s ) the only thing for them is NC.

  20. High Heels Backwards says:

    I’m struggling to get over someone who I only dated for 3 weeks, but who blew hot and then totally disappeared on me. I feel like an idiot for my lingering feelings (must accept them…I know), and I realize it was mainly about potential and also about me wanting to submerge myself in him to avoid the challenges of rebuilding my life after divorce. It helps me to read this and to hear that other people also have feelings that linger on. I’m trying to do all the right stuff, but it’s hard. I take heart in the fact that I’m moving forward. Hopefully sometime soon-ish my feelings with match my actions, because now I feel more like an empty shell at times. Talk about needing to build self-esteem! My task is cut out for me. Thanks, Natalie and everyone in the BR community!

    • EUM-Roberto says:

      Mymble – your reply was helpful to me because it’s true. Many times we don’t fully realize all the choices we have. Sometimes you have to make options. And of course that it is ok if you made mistake/wrong choice, because we have it in us to change course when it is no longer bearable. Sometimes you have to get uncomfortable enough to actually make the changes you need. (sometimes have to try out optionC for a while till you get fed up and change the situation).

      High Heels Backwards – Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be glad it was so short. And be glad that he disappeared so soon and did you favor of removing himself from your life. Im also rebuilding my life after divorce and can totally relate to how you feel. It’s only been 6 months since my divorce was final and i am a long way from being ready to date. How long has it been for you?

  21. pinkearth says:

    I do realise that to have a healthy relationship, we must begin with healthy self esteem. I’m learning to love myself more these days.

  22. DiggingDeeper says:

    … luv, luv, luvin’ the wolf Natalie ….

    • Arlena says:

      DiDe, beware, you shouldn’t luv the wolf… (wink, wink)… a staggering number of folks here still fall in love with the wolf.
      I think, Natalie just forgot to add some fierce red on the teeth and for bloodshot eyes. Or, maybe, after 1089 posts Nat was just testing us, if we still get tempted to snuggle up to cute,furry,appearances…
      Nevertheless, I too like Nat’s illustrations. :DD

  23. Swissmiss says:

    This post stimulated something deep in my subconscious. I dreamed an old boyfriend surprised me at my door and protected me against contact attempts by the MM. The MM was outside and leaned down to see in the window, and the boyfriend said, “What is it that you want here exactly?” and the MM went away. I was frightened like a child–I knew the MM was harmful, but wasn’t sure how—and also felt so protected. One of the nicest dreams in months. Tx, Nat, for getting my ‘deeper’ house in order.

  24. 2fearce says:

    Noquay,

    I’m confused… What does someones being overweight have to do with their values??

  25. Debbie says:

    Excellent, excellent post! Clear concise on why and how one should pick themselves to have a happy and healthy life.

  26. AngelFace says:

    Ha!! Love the wolf picture! I’m continuing to build myself, be happy, and enforce boundaries… I’m chilling at the Maui Hawaii airport and reading this while waiting for my plane. Took a perfect 11-day vacation here by myself. I met a few very nice people and had a fun time!!! Focusing on myself and not any X. Love all of you here & Cheers to a very happy SUMMER!!

  27. KangarooSong says:

    Dear Natalie:

    This is the first time I’ve sat down to write a full comment to you after four months of reading your site religiously. I wanted to thank you for your wisdom and brilliance, and your sheer emotional insight and range in articulating some incredibly difficult topics.

    After being abandoned this past winter by a man who was discussing marriage and children within in a month of meeting me, introduced me to his entire family (and I introduced him to mine) and took me around the world, literally, I struggled to regain a sense of self and footing. We had been together for a year an a half. Before dumping me, he revealed a series of lies and emotional (not physical) infidelity to me. He then seemed unable to deal with the fallout and consequences, namely that I was devastated. And angry. Very angry. He said he couldn’t deal with how much he had wrecked the relationship, and then ended it, and left.

    That first week after the breakup, I feared I’d lose my health and my job, as the pain was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I had given everything of myself. I found Baggage Reclaim, read all of your posts on no contact, on boundary-establishment, and put it all into effect immediately. I learned from you in what ways I was dealing with a true narcissist; that I had made subtle, tiny exchanges on my own principles over time in order to keep the peace; that each time I’d fought for respect, expressed my needs or detailed how I was hurt by his actions, that I’d be stonewalled and silenced into giving in and saying, “Don’t worry about it,” though I knew there was so much that was wrong in our interaction. You don’t go from someone detailing the kind of life they want to live with you, to barely being able to respond to you in daily conversation, without some emotional disconnect on their end.

    SO, today marks three months of no contact for me, and I feel pretty good. He’s tried calling, texting, e-mailing and chatting a total of 15 times – the tone going from friendly and Reset-Friend-like to increasingly sad and panicked (“Will you ever talk to me?”) If I hadn’t had the reams of insight you’ve provided your readers here, I wouldn’t understand that these are breadcrumbs meant to sate his ego, and that he is likely more interested in winning than in me. And I’m holding out for good.

    As a result, I’ve regained my self-respect and dignity, refocused on my creative and educational goals, decided to feel NO GUILT about enforcing my boundaries…and ultimately, I feel, the breakup has been on my terms. Because I haven’t accepted the limp-wristed hand of friendship. Because I had to force myself to find every scrap of dignity I had left, in the corners and under the bed, reconstitute myself, stand up, and move, tiny step by tiny step, forward.

    And the end result is brilliant. Thank you for everything, NML, and I am greatly in debt to you. You’re doing the brokenhearted people of the world a great and singular service. You are amazing.

    • Blue Bird says:

      It is good to hear about your experience…gives a lot of hope to those of us who are just getting started. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on a great journey.

    • BethD says:

      Kangaroo. Great job. I so wish I had BR when I first had my breakup. Instead I embarked on a whole lot of mind phukery that wasted so much of my time and energy. Until I found BR I had my own style of NC which entailed torturing him for as long as I could hold out but set me on a horrific roller coaster ride. NC is the path to peace. My ex still tries but not nearly as often. His futile requests for friendship have finally fallen on deaf ears. You can’t move on until they are totally out of your life and you recognized that early on. Kudos!

    • Allison says:

      Kangaroo,

      You are doing wonderfully!

      Stay strong!!!!!

      • KangarooSong says:

        Allison, Beth and Blue Bird, Thank you for commenting and for your support and well wishes! I should have added that of course, the community of ladies here at Baggage Reclaim is unbelievable. You ladies (and a few men I’ve seen) should be congratulated for doing the hard hard work that a lot of people just don’t do. I’ve been inspired by your stories and your comments.

        Thinking about you all, that other women going through the exact same trials as I have been — and imagining you triumphing has given ME strength. If other people are doing it, I can, too. If other people were saying No Contact is the path to peace, as you put it, Beth, then I had to believe it. If other people who have been through worse heartbreak, through more betrayal, through more abuse than I can even imagine, say it works, then dangit, there has to be truth in their words. And boy. Are they right.

        The one thought that’s kept me from breaking NC is how horrible I’ll feel after I talk to him. If I don’t engage, there’s no possibility of MORE pain. I’ve been through enough pain. I refuse to add any more to it. I’ll lose more dignity if I do.

        I wanted to add that the ride has not been smooth as my first post might have suggested. The self-induced mental hell I’ve put myself through is the place I had to work the hardest. I have a very clear memory and an overactive imagination, and I’ve had stretches of total self-loathing and despair. I’ve said “no” to social occasions because I’ve been ashamed of enjoying myself. I have been crippled on my couch or in bed for a whole day, where I would replay old conversations, peek at old e-mails and pictures and then get obsessively lost in the good memories. Our trips to the beach, driving on trips with him, exploring new cities – I have literally never fallen in love so quickly and so hard. He said the same (he said it first, in fact).
        At the time, this both delighted and scared me. I was scared of how much I was feeling, and a voice in my head told me early on that it was going to end in disaster, and that this person was someone to be feared. Looking back, I’m stunned that feeling real fear when I looked at him didn’t make me reel myself in. I’m also mortified that I may have confused a bit of fear for attraction.

        I think what I’ve struggled with most is how deep and real that early feeling of love was. I’ve wondered: If a person can go from saying you are the love of their life to dropping you brutally when things get tough as though you meant absolutely nothing, were my feelings based in illusion? For me, I’ve found a lot of peace in believing that the feelings and the love I felt were in fact real, for me. For him, the love he felt may have been real, for a time, until he had to follow through on his promises. Cue the gospel of the EUM.

        Here’s how I’ve gotten over the good memories. Remember the bad. I mean, really meditate on the bad memories. Step outside of yourself and see yourself, and him, and what he may have done to you or how he treated you, from a detached perspective. It doesn’t matter if he literally crawls back through the dirt to me now, because he can’t stand me not responding (and I have a strong suspicion this may happen, as he’s done this same pattern with several previous women, red flag much?) The fact is, he made promises, he lied, he went out of his way to hurt me, and those actions alone nullify any perfect kiss, any amazing intimacy, his good looks, his humor, his charm, our chemistry. Did he think of my pain when lying? No. So his pain in making the wrong decision now (he told a friend he is heartbroken at his choice) does not impact me.

        I’ve said to the imaginary Ex-, if he was sitting in front of me: If you can’t honor your word, you aren’t the man for me. Simple.

        I’ve also found strength in remembering I AM available, I am emotionally committed, and that’s a blessing. I was loyal, I did my very best, and I cannot lose because of that. Nothing, no love, no effort, no time was wasted despite the ending with him. I put forth my best in all of it, and I kept MY word. Maybe I was oversensitive, maybe I bickered about useless things, but would any of that justify his deceit? Never.

        There are still days I don’t want to get dressed and go to work and call in sick to just mope around in nostalgia. I’ve been becoming more aware of how cut off I’ve become from my own reality over the past year because of this relationship. A few weeks ago, I turned and looked at my co-workers clearly for the first time in months. These interesting, talented people sit near me every day, with ambition, focus and drive, and I was ignoring them. I’d forgotten my friends. I’d forgotten what I love to do because my old partner wasn’t interested in my passion. And this, I think, was the saddest part of how much I changed.

        So truly, if you are just beginning your journey, trust Natalie and No Contact. Dump the pictures and presents, even the really valuable ones, in a garbage bag. Commit to erasing. It’s the path to freedom from the pain. You are a Queen. Don’t forget it! :]

        • beth d says:

          Kangaroo I gave away the designer bags, most of the jewelry but damn I am keeping the rolex! ha ha I love it and I look at it sometimes and say I got your ass good with this one mfer. lol It came after a particularly bad break up when he pulled out all the stops to get me back. You are on the right track. You really do have to look at the bad times and the pain. I also tortured myself with what was real and what wasn’t. If I think about it I can still do that since we had the best times. My attitude now is yes we had good times, he loved me as well as he was capable but…..his capacity for love was low level, he is disordered and I deserved so much more. I also know the devalue and discard routine your ex did. It sounds like your ex has narcissistic tendencies like mine. They may even be high level Narcs. They really aren’t capable of loving in a healthy way.
          Once you get that through your head you will feel so much better. You are doing great!!! Trust me you have avoided a major break up dance that went on way too long in my case before I put permanent NC to work. PS I have a great guy who hasn’t given me a moment of angst and I smile alot!

        • Wiser says:

          “If you can’t honor your word, you aren’t the man for me.” Fabulous. That’s my boundary in a nutshell also. Sounds like you’ve gained a lot of wisdom from your experience – amazing how similar your story is to mine. I was feeling really alone today for some reason and your post helped a lot.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Kangaroo… This part is my story as well: “and ultimately, I feel, the breakup has been on my terms. Because I haven’t accepted the limp-wristed hand of friendship. Because I had to force myself to find every scrap of dignity I had left, in the corners and under the bed, reconstitute myself, stand up, and move, tiny step by tiny step, forward.”
      I have a sense of pride in myself for the way that I handled the break-up. I did it on my terms & as devastated ,sad, hurt,& betrayed I felt it was difficult beyond words but I survived & know I will never look in the rear view mirror. Dealing with a narcissist is challenging & I hope to never encounter another one & if I do I will not engage. Good Luck on your journey.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Kangaroo. That is so wonderful for you. I’m one who has been doing quite well also. It is so true that you can’t move on until you get him out of your life for good. I commend your strength and resolve. It’s people like you for which Natalie writes all her posts.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        I read further that you realize you have much more work to do on yourself. So do we all. Once we turn the corner, we’re all on the track of constantly seeking and cherishing good self care. You will be fine. Yours in the struggle, Tink.

    • gettingfound says:

      Wow Roo and Tink, so so so awesome to hear your stories. I am literally standing on my chair applauding you both right now. xxx

  28. noquay says:

    Mumble
    You are right in many ways and nope, I am not angry. The casa is not cheap, that’s why I cannot get enough for it. I came into this job dirt poor, with little for eventual retirement I also had serious medical bills from my bout with breast cancer. I was never sure how I would feed myself, pay bills in the summers. I was doing all this stuff totally alone. Never want to go back there again. Yep, I come from long lived folk, I want to have a live, vital old age; not have my options limited by poor planning on my part. I have to make up for lost time. Finding a similar academic job at my level is nearly impossible these days. Believe me, I truly have sought out, studied my options. I now have the care of an ailing parent, that is my responsibility although we do not get along. Yep, I am often angry, I was driven from my real home, my marriage broke up because I told the truth about some pollution. I have worked hard here to build a life, start a new program that would benefit many here, I work hard to live my true self and to help others much less fortunate. I am trying hard to make a relationship outside this town, getting out there, using up too much gas. What you describe with the happiness in places where no one has nothing is because they have one another, have true community, look out for one another. I used to have this too. I am not a materialistic person, I own no TV, no fridge, none of most of the accoutrements of American life. Yes, I have property, not here, the only way to preserve, protect, save land in this country is to own it. Sad but true. Mumble, I want much the same, I assume as you, to be honorable, pay my debts, fulfill my obligations to my dad, the last of family, not have to eat cat food in my old age, afford to treat my cancer should it return, love and be loved, have functional community, not hurt anymore. What I had meant by my post was that, just like a house, one’s relations with others must be based on a solid foundation, on solid ground. Just trying to do the best I can, eh?

    • Mymble says:

      Noquay
      I do understand your position, I also have a dilemma which relates to balancing emotional needs/being myself as against financial security. I have chosen the former, that’s the path I am going down but I wake every morning with a tight knot of fear and anxiety about the money side of things and about the wellbeing of the kids..and I wonder will it work for me emotionally anyway? What if it is all for nothing?
      So I am trying to build acceptance and doing the best I can with what there is, and not over feeding my fear fish.

      • Tanzanite says:

        Mymble

        I didn’t realise you had decided to go it alone and your fears are normal but in my experience it wont be all for nothing.You will learn and be stronger emotionally than you have ever been before, even if you don’t think so now.

        I totally understand why anyone would stay in a situation for financial security when there are kids involved.If I could have done things differently I would have prepared for my exit more carefully.

        Before you jump make sure you have packed your parachute.

        I fell without a parachute and I still survived,but I wouldn’t advise it.

      • EllyB says:

        Mymble: I think raising kids can be one of the biggest economic challenges one can face nowadays… Anyway, without knowing your exact circumstances, I’m quite sure you made the right choice.

        Sometimes staying in an abusive environment can damage us so much (both emotionally and physically) that we encounter exactly those economic losses we feared most. Some people end up physically disabled or severely traumatized because of abuse… and find themselves unable to earn a living anymore as a consequence.

        I’ve read many stories of people who suffered workplace bullying for years, and the outcome was very often like this. I think it’s the same with abusive personal relationships. The problem is that we often realize this too late (or almost too late).

        I think opting out quickly (even if it comes with a certain financial cost) is almost never a bad choice.

  29. nancyw says:

    Well you all know I have been struggling. I finally wrote and told him to “let me be and set me free”. From the song Gravity by Sara Bareilles…which is me to a tee! Anyway, he immediately wrote me back (yet he’ll ignore an email for weeks when I write inviting him to something). He said “Oh stop it, Pants. (My nickname). Then he went on to say that he loved me, but was trying not to exploit my generosity and in the bedroom. He said he has a knotted and confused heart and he wants more for me than he can give. But opens he can be more open and that we can get together soon. I had to go to Chicago to a meeting, and I received a text that said “if I was there with you right now I would f— you silly.” Haven’t heard from him since, which means he’s f—ing someone else silly. So he completely ignored my request to leave me alone and let me clear my mind of all things him. I know…I know…I know I need to go NC, but it scares me to death. Just being honest.

    • BethD says:

      Of course he did. You are a perfect fallback girl. Nancy you will never have peace as long as this continues. My ex kept numerous ex gf’s as fallbacks until after one horribly ugly breakup when I told him if I even sniff one ex in the picture we are done. This break up came when I found him chatting up an ex on the Internet and there were def sexual references of old times. She even said “call me”. I went nuts. I was sick to my stomach and dumped him immediately. The begging, crying, she is nothing but a friend bs started. I did break eventually after torturing him for a few months. That breakup I made him pay emotionally and financially. Later when I interrogated him he admitted he was keeping her in the background because he knew I was “difficult” and he never knew when I was going to dump him again since I was quick to end things when he phucked up. It’s funny how I became the difficult gf who he really did treat quite well most of the time. the others were so accommodating but he treated them horribly which of course in hindsight was a huge red flag. Narcs/AC are poison! Nancy you deserve better than a fallback position with a toxic guy. It enables these idiots to believe they are all that when in reality they are disordered assholes.

    • Revolution says:

      Nancy,

      This is going to be harsh, but I’m gonna break it down for you. Ready?

      He said “Oh stop it, Pants.” (after you told him to let you go)

      Translation: “I don’t care about or take your feelings seriously. Don’t make this difficult for me. Just give me what I want, and stop being so dramatic.”

      “Then he went on to say that he loved me, but was trying not to exploit my generosity and in the bedroom.”

      Translation: He knows that he’s taking advantage of you, but he doesn’t want to feel like a bad person. So he’ll say he loves you and is trying to protect you from himself. (What a crock of crap.)

      “He said he has a knotted and confused heart and he wants more for me than he can give.”

      Translation: “Don’t go away just yet! I still want to use you for an ego/actual stroke. But don’t go thinking that this will turn into anything serious either. Because I’m just so special and so much more sensitive than other guys, because I’ve had the TOTALLY RARE experience of having my heart broken in the past. Well, maybe I didn’t ever love those women, but it sure felt like a swift kick in my balls (and ego) when they left me and I never want to feel THAT again. Or wait…maybe I’m just making all this sensitive shit up just to get a little booty…I just can’t keep my lies straight anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m so damn SENSITIVE….” (Again: crock)

      Hi text: “if I was there with you right now I would f— you silly.”

      Translation: “What was all that shit she said about her heart breaking and “let her go”? Pfft!!! Can’t remember. Who cares anyway? I just want to get laid tonight. When will she be back in town….Hmmmm…”

      Sorry but it’s that simple. You will eventually be going NC, I’m guessing, whether it’s your decision to do so or not. Have some dignity and make the move FIRST. Not for the upper hand (because who the hell cares what he thinks?) but for your own sense of self-respect.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Nancy, I have not followed your story from the beginning, but after reading Revolution’s comment, I have to say your situation (although you may think unique) is par from the course. Rev laid it out for you as clear as day. You need to INHALE her very clear wise words and act. You cannot and should not depend on him to leave you alone. If you stop and think seriously, how ridiculous is that? Why should he? YOU HAVE TO BE THE ONE, my dear. YOU have to grab the control in the relationshit and hold fast by stopping him cold. Go NC, total, complete and NEVER, EVER weaken and go back to him. It’s not working, you are not happy, and you’re allowing him to have his way and walk all over you. Get stronger. You have to. There is no other choice and the sooner you realize that the better off you will be. More and more ladies on here are wisening up and flushing the AC’s, EUM’s Narcs, etc who are just colossal leeches. At your rate you can be just where you are now 5 years down the line. Do you have that much time to waste with this asshole? I think not.

      • Tanzanite says:

        Revolution

        Your translations are on a par with Natalie’s and your response to Nancy was hilarious.

        It’s the translations that brought me to my senses.( Nat’s outrageous principle was one of them )

        You have to be ready for them though.

        Nancy,I don’t want you to think I am making light of your situation because I have been there,we all have, it starts to get better at NC even though it wont feel like it at the time.

        Be good to yourself.

    • Allison says:

      Nancy,

      I’m sorry, but you sent that note for a response. If you wanted NC, you would not have made contact.

      When are you going to honest and end this nonsense? You are going in circles!

    • Little Star says:

      Nancyw,

      This is one of my favourite posts, please it: readithttp://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/30-signs-that-someone-isnt-interested-or-is-half-heartedly-interested-in-you-how-to-avoid-being-a-passing-time-candidate/

  30. noquay says:

    2 farce
    There was a typo, the gentleman and I do not share core values. This new smart phone gives me a tiny window to type in, I only see screw ups when I hit publish. Very frustrating. By his own admission, he is a heavy drinker and is indeed obese. These both are indications of not practicing good self care. We must all be able and willing to care about and for ourselves first before caring for another. I know this guy, this is a small town, although he is pursuing me on line, I see the red flags and nope he is not a good match for me, an ultra distance runner who has a strong family history of alcoholism. Like our post says, I am working to build any future relationship on solid ground. This especially important here, in this small town because if things go south, one still has to interact with the person.

  31. noquay says:

    See what I mean, I meant 2 fierce

  32. Peanut says:

    I am moving away from wanting to be the exception to the rule. Some men are nuts and some people (sometimes an alarming number) support their nutty behavior. Warmth, strength, assertiveness, general respect, humbleness, wisdom, care, honesty are all characteristics of good men. Men with these traits are worthy of attention. And by attention I don’t mean idolization, fawning or groveling.

    Humans obsess over freaky people on large scales. Some people are intrinsically different and it isn’t so glamorous. And usually those people are overlooked and have to work hard at creating a life that works for them. They are not people blatantly out to catch attention by being quirky or eccentric. The ladder are the narcissists that populate this world and are stuck in some weird I’d rather not grow up and be responsible time continuum.

    Time stops for no one. We can age with grace and dignity or we can refuse to take the steps into the unknown that are necessary to become better people.

    I used to be so drawn to the bad boy type. The type that just wouldn’t follow the rules. I wanted to be the girl to tame him and make him follow the rules. Then I became a woman, started to act my age and trying to make someone grow up looks pretty bleak.

  33. Peanut says:

    Oc,

    It is wise to associate cold behavior with undesirability. As soon as I read how you described your ex I thought of how I used to engage with men and unfortunately I still find myself reverting to that ‘safe’ behavior. It feels safe as a woman to have a cold bitchy exterior that way I don’t have to risk letting my guard down and being vulnerable to hurt. This strategy backfires because it makes me fair game for unavailable dynamics that end in further pain and compound feelings of rejection while obliterating my already low self esteem.

    I used to relish at the idea of tearing a man down with my wit and intellect. I wanted to dominate every man I was attracted to with my coldness. I thought I had my act so mastered that I could charm and own any man I fancied. I’d intuit their interests, fawn over them and lure them in with all my calculated shrewdness and then BAM, I’d shut down, go cold and apathetic, pull away or strike with veiled condescending insults.

    I did all of these things with the ex. Until something shifted. I chased him without realizing I was chasing my sordid childhood. That man brought up near every painful issue I survived growing up. All unconscious and unintentional on his part. I started to feel my pain and realize I had worth. Then I realized so did he and that I couldn’t go on treating another human like this. I began the painstaking work of healing. Though in order for me to heal I had to break up with this man and stick to no contact as his alcoholism was spinning out of control. I did love him when I left. No contact with him was excruciating. But love and feelings of love (I question how much it was love. I’m not quite sure I’ve ever experienced love on an ongoing basis) are not enough.

  34. KM says:

    Good job. Great article once again highly relevant

  35. Peanut says:

    KangarooSong,

    Welcome. You are a powerful writer. In some ways our situations are very similar. My ex introduced me to his family and friends right away. It was a whirlwind of a dalliance with no foundation based in an ounce of reality.

    Though I mustered up the strength to end our tryst, I was knocking on deaths door from lack of self care and I spent the two days following the breakup crying in a closet.

    It’s been over a year and I’m still not fully put back together. I will get there. I admire your strength. You are inspiring. I wish you well on your journey. We deserve better than hot and cold flashes of a sputtering dalliance.

    I’m so glad I read your comment as I was spinning a bit into nostalgia land with the ex from focusing on the times that felt good all the while losing sight of the big picture; I feel reset and more focused after reading your comment.

  36. 2fearce says:

    Noq,

    Just because you do not have the same values does not mean the other person doesn’t have values or has lesser values than yours. For example, one could argue that being an “ultra runner” is not self care (given the havoc that it can wreak on the body). For some people (maybe or maybe not with this guy idk) being overweight IS self care as it keeps others at arms length.

    I’m touchy about people playing psych. and diagnosing everybody with some disorder or another esp. so we can avoid /don’t have to deal with our own stuff. We are not more or less than the next person. Deal w yours n let him worry about his.

    • jewells says:

      Hi 2 fearce and Noquay, I want to jump in on your debate. I don’t think being obese to keep safe is ‘self care’, it may be a subconscious manifestation of trying to ‘keep safe’ by keeping others away, but is ultimately harmful to self as it is physically unhealthy. I see it as an idicator of a psychololgical state, not a lack of ‘self care’. More perhaps an indication of ‘self loathing’ or ‘insecurity’, perhaps eating is a coping mechanism for them to not ‘feel’. Or perhaps just growing up eating really rich foods in an environment where slimness is not an applied ideal. However, no matter the cause or reason, it’s not ours to judge. Everyone is fighting their own inner battle of what their own personal demons are. We all deserve respect regardless of our outward manifestation.
      I think I’m only sensitive to this because I was teased as a child for being ‘fat’ (amoungst other words). Though I was never ‘fat’, but always been about 10lbs overweight. Didn’t stop my brother and his friends from using it as a torture mechanism. And I certainly didn’t deserve my worth as a human being ascertained by my ‘lack of ideal weight’. I even ran into someone from my childhood who remembered me ‘being bigger’, though I was not any different – THAT’S how insidious mean talk can manifest – it actually effects people’s memories. I was constantly called ‘fat’, so that’s how I’ve been remembered by those who were around to hear it.
      Perhaps it was my slight overweightness that indicated to the exMM that I was insecure enough to approach for an inappropriate relationship, because he certainly believed I was more insecure than I truly was. It’s actually kinda funny now, he told me how I felt about stuff commiserating about my insecurities that I did not have. ie)his roomate (who I’d worked with several years before) warned him ‘that [I] was scary and that he would never date [me]‘ (his roomie is an EUM womanizer) when he told me that his roomate said this, he reckoned that I would be hurt, in fact I told him that it wasn’t an idicator of me, but of his roomie. He failed to listen and comprehend what both his roomate AND I said and carried on his inappropriate courtship dance with me. He judged me by my cover, made assumptions about who I was and learned the hard way that that is not WHO I am inside. Either that or he is an arrogant narcissist who believes that everyone is inferior and unintelligent, there for his utility, and not worth listening to, and that he knows best….until, after enough crap, I realized his charade and I sat up and slapped him, that is….

      • jewells says:

        And now looking back, that is the beginning of me taking my straw and sticks self esteem, and figuring out that I needed to be stronger. That’s what happened in a nutshell really, my self esteem was too malleable, that’s how he got me. Wolf in sheeps clothing, I was fooled by the outer manifestations, and proclamations I wanted to hear and failed to note the indicators that things were amiss…that my boundaries were being breached while I sat believing his pitches and ignoring the little things that were ‘off’ or ‘contrary’ to the words.
        So, I’m now invested in bricks and mortar :)

        • jewells says:

          And going to the gym regularly again so that my exterior matches my interior!

          • beth d says:

            I agree Jewells I always feel better and more confident when I am in shape. Even if my weight doesn’t change if I am not working out regularly, I just don’t feel good mentally or physically. Release those feel good pheromones. It’s a scientific fact and your confidence soars as well!

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Beth. So true what you said about exercise. Is it pheromones? I thought it was endorphins. Correct me here, please. I know we are off the subject, so I just want to say that yes, you do feel so much better emotionally/psychologically when you’re taking care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising regularly.

              • beth d says:

                Tink I have actually heard both phrases. Probably endorphins is the more common expression. Vigorous exercise helps to release the chemicals necessary for the mood-raising high. Yoga is also great as it reduces tension and stress while improving your mood. I try to eat well also. It all helps in that theory of “taking care of you” and treating yourself with respect and care.

  37. Paula says:

    loved it :)

  38. Revolution says:

    Natalie, this was another great post. I especially liked the part where you said:

    “if someone decides that they want to have a crack at huffing and puffing at your proverbial house, they’ll get the message that they’re better off jogging on somewhere else and that they can try, but they’ll likely exhaust themselves. They might see you as a challenge and try harder but you’ll be secure enough to think it’s strange, not flattering, that someone’s trying to break you down.”

    I’ve had a few guy see me as a “challenge” in this way, because I wouldn’t put up with their shit for long (turns out I put up with it longer than I was realizing!). I thought it was flattering that they were trying to get closer to me, despite me being “difficult.” But what I wasn’t realizing is that my hackles were up, (follow the cause and effect here, girls)BECAUSE my “douche spidey senses” were picking up on some serious tomfoolery. Which caused me to go on lockdown. Which caused the douche(s) in question to try to break down my boundaries. Which caused the cycle to continue cycling.

    God, life is so much simpler now. NOW, if someone tries to “break me down”(and make no mistake, it’s a game of the WEAK, and not the strong), even in subtle, playful ways, I go toe-to-toe with them for a split second, showing them that THAT JUST WON’T DO (the ladylike version of “Oh HEEELLLLL NO!”) and then I WALK. No more trying to “convert” the unconvertable (or uninterested). It’s a waste of time for them, and, more importantly, for ME.

    You know what else I find, as I’ve gained a stronger sense of self and self-esteem over the past several years? I am increasingly uncomfortable being around those who DON’T have it. I mean, don’t get me wrong: if I can “help” someone to bolster their self-esteem (that is, if they WANT and SOLICIT my help first), then I’ll gladly do what I can. But it’s just straight-up uncomfortable to be around people who act like doormats.

  39. wolf says:

    I’m working on this. I’m trying to face the abyss, the void, the darkness that fill my heart.
    As a child I was very lonely.
    Until now I’ve often looked for love in the wrong places. I’m slowly changing things, but it’s hard. It’s hard to be strong enough to let the weakness show: the walls have to be made of solid bricks to let the carpet be soft, the sofa cozy and the smell in the kitchen sweet.
    I’ve been giving too much, in hope I would get something back. I have let people feed off my positive energy, my warmth and my love.
    I now know the person I have to cuddle, to encourage, to nourish, to love, is myself.
    Somewhere I read that we should look at ourselves in the mirror, everyday, for at least five minutes. Have you tried? I can’t do it. I don’t like what I see, even though if you could see me you’d think I’m pretty.
    I’m trying, though. Sometimes it’s excruciating. My ex could have given me a family, stability, a long lasting relationship. I had to leave him, though, because he had a cruel soul. He wanted me, but he didn’t care about me as a person. I was his princess, but he didn’t care for my thoughts, my feelings, my true self. He would have killed my wild horses.
    I am free now, and I’m paying the price. Every day I fight with the urge to have him back. Every day is a conscious step away from him and towards myself.
    You and Natalie are helping, and I am so grateful. Sometimes I spend an hour reading posts and comments, and it always helps me to focus back on what’s important and what’s real: me, my life.
    I am scared but I won’t let my fear stop me from being truly happy.

    The best reward for all this work is that sometimes I feel something inside, lightness, almost joy. I’ve spent years always being miserable and feeling those bubbles of joy in my heart makes it worth it all.

    xxx to you, beautiful ladies :)

  40. S.A. says:

    “Keep building. Remember that there is no destination and life is a journey, so just keep building along the way. Also, you’re worth investing in and ultimately if you treat and regard you with the love, care, trust and respect you deserve, a solid you will be around and with people who want to be solid with you.”

    This is an amazing sentiment and I agree with it wholeheartedly. I think we invest too much in people not worth investing in because we are lacking something in our own lives and are struggling to fill this void. So, in times of being single, instead of enjoying our own hobbies, interests, and goals, we spend time chasing EUM’s and people who simply cannot give us what we deserve. I think not only building healthy boundaries but also learning to enjoy life outside of a relationship is key.

    For BR readers who are interested, you can check out more techniques on how to enhance your feeling of overall joy at my blog, A Smart Girl’s Guide to Self-Care, http://selfcarehaven.blogspot.com/. The new blog post, Enhancing the Experience of Joy: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Being Mindful of Happiness is up!

  41. noquay says:

    2 fierce
    Again, saying he had no values was a typo; we all have values, his and mine do not mesh at all, I have told him this in a polite and respectful way. He doesn’t seem to understand this and wants to be an exception to the rule. BTW, after 170 ultras, I have zero injury issues, if I did, I’d be doing something else. My dad, however, has had 15 years of surgeries, illness, near-death incidents due to years of untreated alcoholism and obesity. I don’t wanna ever deal with this with anyone, ever again. It is one thing to support another in their healing from cancer, which often is due to our toxic environment and beyond our control. Been there. Tis entirely another to give up years of ones life to be nursemaid to someone whose conditions has to do with behavior choices that occurred long before you were in the picture. You are right; I am dealing with my issues and give others rt he space to deal with theirs. No trying to caretaker, fix, or change anyone.

  42. noquay says:

    Mymble
    I feel for you. Being a parent is the hardest job there is. Been there, done that. I too balance the emotional with the financial. Not even financial, but doing what is right vs what is selfish. If a person walks away from their mortgage, walks away from caring for a chronically ill parent, solely by choice and not necessity, what would you think of them, I assume not much, as you seem to be an honorable person. Yep, wish my emotional needs could be met, but that may not be possible for a long time. Sucks, but life is rarely fair.

  43. SAB77 says:

    So how does this work when you’re in a brick house at work and with friends (I have no problems setting boundaries with colleagues, bosses, friends, even family), but as soon as I am with a man I like, my boundaries go out the window and I find myself not even in a straw house, but in a house of cards. He could ask me to jump off a bridge and I’d do it.
    Probably not at first, the first few weeks/months, I am strong me, but after a while I literally lose myself, go into doormat-mode, and eventually get dumped because ‘you’re a push-over, not the strong woman I thought you were in the beginning’ (my ex literally said that to me, best feedback/eye-opener ever!).
    How do I change this behaviour?

    • Tinkerbell says:

      SAB77. I have one for you that he actually said to me, too. We were having a mild disagreement on a phone discussion about something I did that he didn’t like. I was feeling guilty and afraid that he would stop seeing me. I was on the verge of tears and told him, “I need you” ( which makes me want to vomit, now). He said to me,” Don’t say that. You don’t love yourself”. I felt so stunned and ashamed. Hearing that from a man who was cheating on his wife and admitted to being a reformed heroine addict, was the wake up call for me. My epiphany, and the beginning of the end, because even though I carried on with him a few more months my eyes were opening and wider and reality was smacking me in the face so hard I could not ignore it. When I went NC it was the first and last time because I never went back on my decision.

      You asked how do you change this doormat behavior? I recommend reading here on BR as much as you can. If you can get professional help, that’s even better (I mean as additional support). If you have any sense at all and a real desire to change, you will. You will see yourself in so many of our stories and know that you are not alone. It will take some time, but you’ll be doing more for yourself than you are doing now. Good luck. Tink.

      • SAB77 says:

        Thanks Tinkerbell for your reply! Yes, I’ve been reading a lot of the posts in the last week, I find them incredibly insightful, sometimes they really seem to have been written about ME personally. I particularly found the one about people pleasing helpful, as that is basically what I do in a relationship. I used to do that a lot with my father, but put a stop to that a few years ago (and it made our relationship better), so I guess the next step is to do that with a future ‘significant other’, first will have to find him though.

    • Tabitha says:

      SAb I do not have any brilliant advice but I thought it may help to know you are not alone. I am kickass at work. Nobody messes with me. I have excellent, fulfilling friendships with a variety of people, both male and female. Men equals doormat behaviour for me, exactly as you described. They are attracted to my “aloof exterior” and then when I roll out the “Please walk all over me” behaviour they are surprised/disgusted/disappointed and withdraw. I have really improved my behaviour since finding BR though. It’s a whole new me, baby step by baby step.

  44. Built myself a backbone says:

    Great Post! Reading some of the comments such as; I just want him to try with me so I can show him I have changed, is translated to; I still have low self esteem and still secretly crave him back…I know this as I used to be the same! When you reach the I don’t care what he does/thinks or even better, you don’t think about him at all, except to shudder and dry heave, then you know you are truly over the AC/EUM for good…I’m nearly there,I’m at the dry heave stage and being there for me ( after 5 yrs on and off in this imaginary/ego stroke relationship, NC for 6 months!) is absouloutely a miracle,,,no its all credit to this site and yes alot of my own hard work x

    • Mymble says:

      Backbone
      The only thing that makes me dry heave is what a doormat I made of myself.
      He is (probably) in my town working 2 blocks away today and tomorrow. Previously I would have been a total nervous wreck hoping/dreading that I might run into him or he might get in touch. (he did shortly before last visit a few months ago & I ignored). Feeling queasy, shaky and sad.
      This time I actually forgot for most of the day and didn’t remember until I was out for lunch – and remembering didn’t stir any emotions. I’d rather not see him, but I don’t care if I do.
      I have too much else going on in my life – eff him. BR has been a big part of getting there and de-romanticising the MM, understanding that his behaviour was formulaic AC/EUM and He Is Just Not That Special! Not to me, at any rate,not any more.

      • beth d says:

        I was far from a doormat but I dry heave myself when I think of some incidents where I smelled shady, gaslighting etc and let it slide probably because he was good for a long time. Maybe I just got tired of the fighting and drama. The main point is you are no longer a doormat and have your head on straighter than ever. That you are out of the fog and that it will never happen again. We have to see the good in this learning experience. Finding BR and realizing they are just not that special!

        • jewells says:

          Hear hear Beth D and Mymble,
          I too smelled the shady, but let it slide not realizing what it meant…ahhhh hindsight what a blessing lol. And yes, formulaic is indeed the word. Too eerily similar these puds are. It’s only cause they mimic emotions and use formulas to get what they want…because they have no true emotion or they won’t risk getting hurt, so they won’t invest, only pretend and and get us to do the investing for their vampirisms… thank goodness for BR and the education that will keep us from falling prey again and again. I’m at a point where I look forward to the day I bump into the one who brought me here, so I can look at him and see what a pathetic empty creature he truly is in reality. Rose tinted glasses have been binned.

          • beth d says:

            Jewells Love this. Mimic emotions and use formulas to manipulate. These damn idiots have all the same plays from the same playbook. It is amazing! lol They really are pathetic, empty creatures. I am adding soul less, game playing, crazy making, drama loving to the mix.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Backbone. You really get it. Yes, when you are finally over him you don’t feel anything and couldn’t care less what he thinks of you, or you think he thinks of you. It is no longer an issue. You don’t want him contacting you for ANY REASON because you have truly moved on. I think we can give ourselves all sorts of reasons for wanting to be contacted, but the real reason is that we’re still stuck and have more work to do. Seeing him ALWAYS represents a set back, if you still care.

  45. Peanut says:

    Deb,

    It is absolutely not wrong for you to want to show your ex just how sturdy your brick walls are. I feel the same. Don’t act on it though. This just lets us know we have more work to do. The goal is sweet sweet indifference where they have no barring in our lives whatsoever.

  46. Oli says:

    I’m on day 32 of No Contact and its been hard and uncomfortable to look within and realize my self esteem was built with straw. My EUM who (I thought) I was in a serious relationship with for two years displayed EVERY red flag behavior. Flip flopping, future faking, drip feeding me info, had a harem of women, lying, shedding crocodile tears and never accepted the breakup on my terms. Thats what they do. These men are all the same and the same story plays out over and over and over again. Same guy different package. I was dumped by mine out of the blue after we decided to give it another shot…turns out he had been cheating while he was still with me and was in an overlapping relationship. I was ultimately discarded for the new woman (I found this out yesterday). I don’t envy her though, that relationship is doomed just like mine was. Im slowly building up the self esteem I feel he slowly chipped away at and Im rebuilding my boundaries on a stronger foundation.
    I am praying that No Contact helps me move forward from this betrayal. Either way I am already transitioning into a stronger more emotionally healthy woman and will be a much better partner for the next guy. I will admit though its been a very hard road.

    • beth d says:

      Oli No contact is key to you getting clarity and moving on. Keep reading and stay the course! It is so worth it.

  47. Jemma says:

    It’s been some time since I’ve made any comments to this site, but because Natalie and you guys were a huge support in my recovery I thought it only right to mention how far I’ve come and how Nat’s advice really does work…I saw the ex AC after months of NC, I was beginning something new with someone else yet the trust issues and walls that I’d had built around me to protect myself was shining like a beacon for the new guy to see. I knew during one heated discussion that I couldn’t move forward until I’d gone back…I don’t think this is for everyone but I knew the ex Ac was back in town, I couldn’t sleep and we’d bumped into eachother without a word earlier that evening. So I went over his. We had the biggest heart to heart and trust me, I know whatever he tells me I have to take with the biggest lumps of salt but I kinda felt that I needed him to know why I’d got mad at him, why he’s upset me. I left feeling a whole lot better, and have no intention of ever going back and here’s why….I realise now that he was like a scratch card, I wasn’t in love with him as I’d always thought, I was chasing the feelings I felt when I was around him when we first met. I liked a couple of things and as I scratched the surface looking for more, for the card to say ‘you’ve won baby!’it didn’t happen. I just bought a bum card. It’s taken a long time to see him for what he’s really like. It’s taken a long time to move forward with my life; I even saved his name under ‘his not that special’in my contacts! But my message is this; for everyone who may be finding it a struggle like I had, don’t you dare give up. It’ll get easier. Love Jemma

    • beth d says:

      Jemma Thanks for sharing. So glad you got closure and peace. We all have to do what we feel is right. It happens differently for all of us and sometimes especially when we feel strong we need that one last talk. They usually reveal themselves and we get clarity since we are looking at them without the foggy glasses on. Love your bum scratch card analogy.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Yes, Yes, Yes, Beth, Mymble and Jewells. And Jewels, don’t forget to post how it goes when you do run into him. Keep working on being strong so that your “nonchalant face” will be REAL, not pretense.

      • jewells says:

        Thanks Tink, will do. I do think after my last death throes of bs cleared, I’m doing fine. It’s funny, it’s still a process, a clearing really, so I’ll come up against a little pile o poo I failed to notice before, so still clearing corners, under furniture, wherever I find it, it will go…. :)

  48. noquay says:

    Tanzanite
    Again, the no values statement was a typo. Cannot see my whole post on this @#$% phone. We all have values, his do not mesh with mine. I know this guy, have ran into him in town. He is a party boy, loves Harley culture, very different from yours trulywho an envenvironmentalist, organic farmer, and silent (no motors) sports enthuiast. This guy drinks heavily, I maybe can drink two glasses of wine, no more than once a week.

  49. noquay says:

    See what I mean about the typos?!

  50. noquay says:

    Jewells
    I went through much the same stuff as a kid that you did because I am very obviously multiracial. Yep, folk come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. That’s great. We all have our preferences, that too is OK. I probably get a lot of rejection because I am not White, do not have big breasts nor perfect legs. Fine. I actually have dated overweight men in the past. Never worked. Had vastly different activity levels, diets, ways we wanted to live. I am descended from obese people on my dads side. I have to really keep active, watch my food/drink consumption to stay where I feel healthiest. I am a small boned person so that means lean and muscular. That same side of the family has heart disease, hypertension, and type II diabetes. Don’t wanna go there. Might as well apologize for the inevitable typos right now.

    • jewells says:

      Hi Noquay,

      I realized after that my post was rather rambling, lost it’s point somewhat and may have inadvertantly seemed to have taken a shot at you, if it did, I apologize. You did seem to come across as judgemental about obese people, but I think you’ve clarified that it’s a clash of lifestyle most likely, the obese part being an indicator for you. Just a suggestion would be to be careful of how you make statements about this, it can come across badly, and a lot of people do struggle with their weight and could take offense whether obese or just a few pounds (a very personal battle for most). It is a touchy subject, and understandably so with women and our self esteem daily bombarded with images of skinny ‘ideal’. Add to that any AC at any time, any place in our lives using it as a hammer to weild against us also. One of my friend’s husband’s uses her weight against her (and he’s no model himself), and she’s told me the things he’s said. I told her that if it was me, he be dead and buried in the backyard….
      Oh, I think I’m digressing again.
      Anyhoo, I’m sure you have been rejected for being non white, that’s a whole other kettle of fish for discussion. On the flip side, I bet you are attractive to many for exactly your mix of heritage. I personally have struggles with who I measure myself by, I hear the mean voices too loudly, they resonate too much, last too long. I’ve been rejected for having a big nose, too small ears, too heavy, being too tall, too short, too pale! What the hell. I’m no model, but I’m not unattractive. Tho, I’m definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, I just have to try and remember to appreciate those who DO find me their cup of tea and forget those who don’t and those who think it’s ok to beat me with their measuring stick. It’s not. Personal choice on the part of others is not a personal reflection on us. Just like when we are not attracted to someone, we wouldn’t want to see them then curl up in a ball and not want go on because they were rejected by us so that must mean that they have no value to anyone…to put it in that perspective it seems rather absurd.
      Anyhoo, digressing again, I just like how I clarify what I need to hear by writing it out. Thank you Noquay for this train of thought :) Ciao exotic one, I’m so glad you have climbed so many hills and conquered so many obstacles in your life, keep being an inspiration.

  51. AfroK says:

    Ah feck! I really need to get some bricks. But I feel so exhausted, I don’t even know how to explain this exhaust ion. The giving up, the feeling like I can’t achieve anything, ever again. I hate the feeling but I feel like it is my reality. How did you, the veterans of BR, survive and keep going? Where did you get the energy and strength and inspiration build your satisfactory lives? I really need that, for me and my beautiful son.

    • Revolution says:

      Afro K,

      *Sigh* Okay, here we go. I’m going to *try* and answer your question. (The sigh is like the sigh you would make when looking at a pile of boulders and figuring out where the toeholds are. So bear with me, please. :))

      It’s a good question. Scratch that: A GREAT question. And I can tell you in no uncertain terms that I’ve BEEN there–a couple of times–the place where you think you can’t find the strength to even think about getting out of bed, let alone making huge life decisions.

      Here’s what I always recommend (and since you asked for our thoughts, I’m giving them to you): Be very practical right now. This is the time to establish a healthy routine. “Healthy” meaning it incorporates a little bit of everything: the physical, the emotional, the spiritual.

      Make a list of things to do EVERY DAY that incorporate all of these parts of life. Make it simple, but stick to it religiously. Here’s an example of mine: I decided that I was going to exercise 3x/week, take my supplements daily,spend 5 minutes thinking about all of the positive things that people said about me during the day, another 5 minutes thinking of the positive things that I enjoy about MYSELF. I was going to pray every day at my work break, thanking God for all of the blessings in my life. I was going to talk to a friend every day. I was going to spend time in the sun (if there was sun) at least 15 minutes a day. Simple things like that. I know that I sound like an “O” magazine article (blecch!!) but these things really do work. Make your own list. Take a piece of paper out and write down these categories: Physical, emotional, spiritual. (And add any other categories you deem important to you.) Then under each category, list an ACTION or two that you can do EVERY DAY, reasonably, for 5-15 minutes. That way it’s not overwhelming and you know you can stick to it.

      Also, you may need some medication and/or supplements if you feel overwhelmed by depression. I know that this is not the discussion for it, and I would tell you to talk to a doctor and/or naturopath, but I use Sam-e and it helps me with my depressive episodes.

      The other thing. It is not going to happen overnight. It’s a slow process, pulling yourself out of the hole. And you can’t do it alone. Don’t underestimate the power of talking to loved ones, and pouring your heart out to them. Before you do, just tell them that you don’t want any advice, you just need a listening ear.

      Last thought here, ‘Fro my dear. Everyone needs to find their “why” in getting out of the hole. For you, it will most likely be your son. And also, if you’re anything like me, at some point you’ll just get sick of sulking through life and isolating yourself due to hurt. You’ll open your eyes to the people and places and opportunities that surround you in the PRESENT and you’ll get sick of that sopping wet, dark blanket you’ve been cloaking yourself with, and you’ll want to join everyone else out in the sun.

      Those are my thoughts, from a person who’s been in the pit for long periods of time. Don’t let life pass you by, Fro. Start making small steps to get out of the pit, no matter how difficult. Life is so, so precious. Don’t waste it in a dark hole when you can be out in the sunlight.

      • Revolution says:

        Afro,

        I forgot to mention (I know, I actually forgot something in that long comment!) that you cannot start building yourself up in the ways that I outlined without FIRST getting out of an abusive relationship and/or environment where you are constantly being torn down. It’s like taking acidopholis while taking antibiotics: it just won’t work because the good that you put in will automatically be destroyed by the bad.

        I think I remember from your past comments, Afro, that you may be in a serious circumstance, so don’t think I’m oversimplifying or making light of things. I’m just outlining what works, and usually the formula for what works is a SIMPLE formula. Not easy, but simple. If you can’t get out of your circumstance alone, find someone you can trust to help you out. Even if it’s slowly but surely. Wishing you all kinds of good things, Afro.

        • Marilyn says:

          I absolutely agree with everything you’ve stated, Revo. I, too, have been there more than once.It is a very slow process, but oh, so good when the AC is finally out of your head!

  52. Sheela says:

    I love this post Nat.
    “Keep building. Remember that there is no destination and life is a journey, so just keep building along the way.” Wise words.

    And may I share that the Three Little Pigs used to be my youngest niece’s fav bedtime story narrated by yours truly:) She’a all grown up now and all of 18!

    Thanks Nat for all that you are and do for us.

    Hugs
    sheela

  53. Kenya says:

    This woman is so very very inspirational. I am giving you thanks Natalie from my heart for helping me begin to get the strength together to leave a complete Assclown, with a capital A.

    After a painful divorce at 25 and a one year old that I have been almost solely responsbile for, my self esteem, already broken from my previous exes dubious, deceitful ways was in absolute tatters.

    Cue the most ridicculous Assclown to waltz into my life and tell me, on the night he met me “I will look after you, raise your child as my own, we are going to my country to live, I have lots of property that we can live in….bla bla bla..never had this connection with anyone can you feel it?”

    This is what I was so desperate to hear, having an extremely difficult, isolated, broken existance for somebody to say they will ease my burden and love me.
    HOW I did not think it was strange somebody was offering such grandiose idealations is beyond me.

    Suffice to say, this man was jealous, controlling and disrespectful in a number of ways, 5 months in I found he not only cheated on me through looking through his phone, he was telling HER he loved her, missed her when he had apparently only been meeting up with her a few days etc … AH – this sounds familiar…and he gave me an STI from her. How utterly humiliating for me.

    What did I do…left him and he future faked his ass off, we are going to buy a home, go on holiday, have a baby. Suddenly he was open, engaging and wanted me completely, when before I have to say his words have really replaced all action. And this one loves to move the goal posts of his promises.

    So what do I do… “Oh he has changed, I am the only woman he has changed for, arent I special doesnt he love me…hasnt my worth been validated by this.”

    And accept this utter waste of time back time and time and time again, actually allowing myself to be blinded to his disgusting ways.

    Doesnt take long for him to slip back into his destructive ways. He never takes my hand and says ‘how are you’ he is an avoidant, secretive and does not wish to engage, preferring to watch the tv in silence or fall asleep, engagement and conversation needs to be totally on his terms, he does disresectful things like says he will spend the day with me then two hours before tells me he is going to pick up his children, does not make plans with me for anything unless it is last minute.

    Basically – he has all signs of an Assclown and a Mr unavailable all rolled into one. Nice.

    What ive realised is that the frog will always be a frog, he may learn to TALK like a prince but his actions will still say FROG.

    I have allowed so much to be tied in and invested in this person, because of my grief of failing my marriage and inability to accept myself and get my self esteem from me, not from a man and I decided after seeing this blog to come down hard and fast to earth. I am too much of a fantasist, active – creative thinker and love to believe in fairy tales, I go for the same men over and over the ones who create a story I like to hear, and run in before I see the proof.
    Natalie …. I am beginning to take time for myself, and have this weekend told him I need to concentrate on my work when really I am getting my head together to begin the NCR.
    You are amazing and inspiring, thank you thank you.

  54. Keetseel says:

    AfroK, I’ve just been through (er, am going through) this. For a long time I knew that if I could just get out and get some exercise I’d feel 1000x better, but had no energy to do it. So….how about finding something that sounds like It Would Be Fun If Only You Were Up For It. I mean, a dance class, a running club, anything that involves being around DIFFERENT people and moving your body. The endorphins in your body will feel MAGICAL and go a long way toward helping you plow through the grief.

  55. Hope says:

    Excellent article, that simply illustrates what so many of don’t do…take care in building a solid foundation for ourselves! Definitely gonna share this on!

  56. Shay says:

    I have to chime in. Two years ago I visited this site and read a lot of inspirational, informative stories. My story is like many. I was with an EUM-Assclown for five years. I left a GOOD man for him too *hangs head low*. I got pregnant by Assclown sperm donor and he hasn’t been in our child’s life at all.

    I’ve since been working on myself…going back to school, taking care of the little one, and just doing some real soul searching. About a month ago, I prayed to God to help me be strong enough for what was coming my way. In this sense I thought I was talking about school, the child in daycare, finances…you know. I, however had no idea that this was going to be another assclown who was going to waltz into my life the very next day!

    All the red flags were there…he kept telling me he had a $100,000 job, and he’d take care of me and my child. A pharmacist who just made it big in the oil industry. He’d say “You can call my friend X, Y and Z…they’ll tell you I’m good.” His favorite line being “You believe me right?” *rolls eyes* He had a kid so we had a lot in common…right? Oh, dear God…here we go again. TONS of people have kids.

    He would text 30x a day, call 10x a day, and I was eating it up…like “boy he’s great”. He said “Baby, I could fall in love with you one day”. And one thing lead to another…

    All of a sudden one night he gets totally wasted, calls me up and starts yelling/cursing at me for no reason! This happened twice! After the last time I hadn’t heard from him in 10 days. Then all of a sudden he calls me up “Hey baby, you’re going to go to church with me today, right?” What?! Oh FUNK no…

    I told him I was drawing the line here and that I didn’t want to see him ever again. He said I was overreacting and he didn’t remember saying those things to me. He has left me 40 messages, and almost 100 texts since Saturday. I’ve been NC since Tuesday, and that’s because he hasn’t been getting the fact that I said I wasn’t interested in him anymore.

    One of the voice mails was him hitting on another girl. Another was him calling me a B…indirectly of course. Another was about how much he thinks he loves me. And another about how HE was used by me! Another saying for me to give him my back account number so he can deposit thousands of dollars in my bank. OMG!!—WHAT?!

    I remember thinking after one week with this crazy dude in my life that I was so much happier before I met him…and that I felt safer. That’s all that matters besides my child, and that’s what is keeping me going. I guess it’s better to only waste 4 weeks vs. 5 years. I must be learning something. I just need more confidence in listening to my gut. He was a dirty scam, scumbbag from the start.

  57. [...] Don’t Build Your Self-Esteem “House” from Straw or Sticks (Baggagereclaim) [...]

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!