A warrior is someone who understands the significance of battle. They know what it takes to win. They understand the work, the struggle and the grind. A warrior is someone who has experienced significant loss, pain and hardship, yet manages not to become crushed, embittered or defeated by it. They remain defiant and indestructible in the face of impossible odds. But more importantly, they know that the biggest battle, is the one they fight inside of themselves. When every part of their body is telling them to stop, turn back and give in – they soldier on.
To get through a break-up with a Narcissist, one must become a warrior. To conquer Codependency, one must become a warrior. But when you’re at the cross-roads, you have to choose the course of your life. You can ignore the obvious and stay where you are. You can keep going back, keep doing the same thing, dating the same people and getting the same results, you can say this is too hard and feel sorry for yourself, be a victim, give up and give in, or you can choose a different life, a different path, a different you. Nobody can make this choice for you. It’s yours and yours alone, but know that if you choose to act, rather than adapt, that it’s going to be the biggest battle of your life.
When you come to understand Codependency, you realize, very quickly, that your mind has become conditioned to be your enemy. Your perception of you, your significance and how you fit into the world, has become completely skewed and that perception will dog every piece of data that comes into your consciousness. When your own mind tries to sabotage you, you’ve got to find a way to circumnavigate the fog.
Codependent Mind Tricks
When it comes to self-perception a codependent’s analysis of self is full of misconception, insecurity, doubt, shame, feelings of unworthiness, being flawed and not good enough. These perceptions are not accurate, they’ve just been fed to those afflicted and regurgitated over and over, for a very long time. To combat these perceptions, we have to have an understanding that the tool we use for thinking (our brain) is not working properly, so we have to find a way to separate the deep seeded belief from reality. We do that by understanding that the voice inside of us, that tells us that everything is our fault, that we’re not good enough, that makes us feel bad, that tries to keep us stuck, that tries to justify actions we know are harmful to us, that sabotages our efforts, is not our voice. We are independent observers of that voice. That voice is the critical parent voice – it’s our childhood tape playing over and over again. To get past our codependency we must realize that we are not that voice and that we have the power to change the message that voice gives us by consistently challenging it. We must be mindful of it every time we have a disturbing, self-deprecating, self-sabotaging thought. When we know what it is, what it’s agenda is, we take away its power and its impact on our thoughts and emotions diminishes. Tell that voice to f-off, don’t listen to it. Instead, give it something positive to think about. This is the battle.
When you choose not to battle your thoughts and let them run amok in your brain, they fuel your emotions. The worse your feel, the worse your thoughts get. The worse your thoughts get the worse you feel. They feed each other. Conquering the critical parent voice is about learning how to control your thoughts and your emotions. It’s an on- going battle. From my experience, it doesn’t ever fully go away, but it lessens significantly and it pops up only once and a while. The difference is that when you become a warrior, you’ve learned to manage it, by knowing that it is not you and by challenging it every time it rears its ugly head.
The grind is about knowing that there is no quick fix to this problem. It’s a process. You can’t pay someone to take it away, self-medicating doesn’t work, drugs don’t work, distracting yourself doesn’t work, dating someone else doesn’t make it go away. Only the practice of constantly challenging the way you perceive yourself, your reality, controlling your emotions, using logic, developing self-discipline, learning how to pass back and not absorb the energy of others, learning not to react and retraining your mind, allows you to conquer your Codependency.
The grind is hard. This mental work isn’t for the faint of heart. This type of mental work is like going to the gym for your mind. You have to keep building that mental muscle. Sometimes you’re going to want to give in to that craving to self-sabotage. You’ll be searching for a way to justify it. It will seem overwhelming. You may even become obsessed by it – that’s when you have to stick with the game plan. Anyone can challenge their mind when it’s easy and they’re feeling ok. It’s the warrior that learns to do it when it matters and when the odds seem insurmountable. Warriors understand that it takes self-discipline to stay the course. When you’re in the zone, you become almost militant about the kinds of thoughts and emotions you let into your mind – that’s what the grind is about.
The “I’ll Show You” Chip
As you navigate through the grind you will need to be persistently finding inspiration and motivation. The greatest motivation I have ever seen or experienced is the, I’ll show you,” chip on your shoulder. It’s the angst you take from being mistreated and under-estimated, it’s the pent-up frustration at being rejected and told you weren’t good enough. The warrior takes these feelings and uses them to fuel their actions. It gives them wings and you will find that they will push you farther than any other type of motivating force.
While you have these feelings – use them – don’t waste them, because I promise you, they do not last and you will be forced to find new reasons and new motivations. The warrior takes what’s available and uses it to their advantage.
If conquering Codependency was easy, everyone would do it. It takes insight, persistence, inner strength and determination. It’s the toughest battle you will ever face – the one with yourself. It’s the type of challenge that would make most people give up and give-in. It’s about letting go of the victim mentality and taking control of your life. The one thing I know for sure is that you will never be the same person you were before you walked into the Narcissistic storm, but if you’re very, very lucky, you will find that part of you that is indestructible. You will become the epitome of discipline and you’ll have awakened a part of you that you didn’t even know existed. You will learn how to battle, how to tackle the grind, how to use your motivation to fuel you and you will learn how to achieve victory, despite overwhelming odds – you will become the Warrior.
Savannah, I really appreciate how you articulated this, especially the part about the co-dependent mind tricks and that the ‘tool we use for thinking (our brain) is not working’. I have often relayed to others my frustrations that given that the prism through which I view the world and what goes on around me is cloudy. I can’t trust what my brain tells me about almost every situation and feeling. I am generally worried that because of my negative mental state, I misinterpret the situation when someone does something that leaves me feeling like my boundaries were violated. I feel lied to and betrayed by my biology. And that fear is crippling to the point of inaction when I have interactions that leave me feeling icky (which in turns allows people who really are violating my boundaries to know exactly how shitty they can treat me). But I can’t shake the worry that ‘ what if I am totally off base and not seeing the reality, only what my sick brain tells me’. So question, how do you know when your boundaries have been violated when your brain is telling you falsehoods? How do you simultaneously not listen to that voice but know that you are being true to yourself and your needs in a given situation? I imagine this is a process that needs to be practiced but how does one even know where to begin when they don’t trust their own mind?
Thank you. This was such a motivating read for someone going through codependency recovery. I will be 40 next year and have recently been enlightened about codependency and PTSD following multiple past relationships / friendships with Cluster B people.
It does take a warrior charge to start life afresh and learn to be extra resilient on the off days/weeks. The inner critic is slowly being put into a box and hopefully will be locked shut with a big F@£% You key.
I’m learning to become a warrior! It was a health professional who told me in May that I was being emotionally and psychologically abused. I knew something wasn’t right but I listened to what my Narc said rather than seeing his actions. I’ve sat with this knowledge and watched the abuse happen since May. I stayed in denial for a while – I just didn’t want to believe that this was my reality – it’s so horrible and sinister. I tried to leave in June but 2 days later the emails started – he said exactly what I wanted to hear (he had previously said that if I ended it, he would be fine and would walk away) so I wasn’t prepared for the heart-wrenching emails I received. I got hoovered back in but you cannot un-know that you are in an abusive relationship.
Towards the end of July he said he felt we should have a 7 day break from each other (he didn’t mean it, he was just trying to upset me and trigger my fear of abandonment) I leapt on it – I knew that a 7 day run-up was what I needed to gain the strength and distance to end the relationship. I confirmed to him in email the day it was due to start and his efforts to sabotage the break started right way. I therefore blocked him on my phone. I went away for a few days and received an email from him saying he intended to join me, so I responded that I had plans but would contact him on my return. When I returned I ended it via email and have sent his responses to auto-delete. My good friend Zoe is checking my delete box daily ready to delete any communication from him – 2 emails so far. I am fully prepared to encounter him in person at some point soon – I’ve left him no option. He was so controlling, I can’t imagine that he will allow me to end things on my terms without trying to twist things round to his advantage. My sunglasses will be on, and I have rehearsed in my head walking past him without giving any response, so that will be my default response when it happens.
This is only the beginning of my journey – getting him out of my life is just the start. I couldn’t begin to heal with all the anxiety-inducing craziness he brought into my life. I do tapping (emotional freedom technique) to cope with the anxiety and sadness, I listen to Savannah’s vibrational energy video daily, I listen to her affirmations video daily too and am about to start writing my own hypnotherapy scripts. I know what my issues are and need to give myself a deadline to stop reading about Narc’s and start researching healing from abandonment etc.
Thank you so much Savannah for you helpful posts. I too felt completely trapped in this relationship, paralysed by the fear of the pain I would feel when I left. Reading your posts made me realise this was a prison I created for myself. I am telling myself daily that I am an amazing person and I am starting to believe it.
If I can leave my Narc (who I thought was my soul mate and had tons in common with) anyone reading this can too. Build your support network, start the positive affirmations and buy yourself some distance to weaken the spell these people have us under. Good luck
I am in day 5 since devalue and discard. He did the most cruel thing to me on what was supposed to be a special night. I am there to support his reunion , help as he put it together and I turn around. He had been flirting w the “popular pretty girl” from school . She still is a knockout. Taking tons of pics w her and picking her up for one. I glanced and he was grinding & dancing so sexually & stuck to her super glue could not have kept them closer. They were having the most intense moment I have ever seen. I stood there in disbelief. Humiliated embarrassed a world of emotions stuck in this vortex shock state. I didn’t know what to do. Everyone was noticing and stooped & watching them. All the guys had pined for her forever and still and he felt like the golden chosen one . I walked out. I don’t even know what happened after that. Then when he realized I left he started texting and calling( I didn’t answer) he was mad that I left and abandoned him? He must have hooked up with her or whatever . Next day he says sorry u felt that way and he was going to pool party and its not working out after 4 years . Thank god I have found your blog. I feel devastated and publically humiliated. Thank you again for writing this.
Savannah I am fighting my battle everyday. I try to stay strong. I read your articles at least twice a day to give inspiration and strength. My biggest issue is dealing with my overwhelming desire to see him pay for his sins, lying and cheating. Revenge. I know you have told us over and over again its a waste of our energy and time. I do not want him back. He played me for the biggest fool. I cant shake this. I have blocked him. Though I continue to blast him with horrible texts. Which I am sure he is laughing at. I could believe he has blocked me. Though I do not believe his ego would let him. As you always say positive or negative attention makes them gloat. I am fearful he will seek revenge on me. He has personal and private pictures which he could use against me. This is at the back of my mind. And I still continue to do this. God help me. This is eating at me and I try so hard to be the warrior. I know I am better then this. Have not seen him since last november. It maybe I am trying to jolt a response from him. I know I will never receive any form of apology. At the time he said I could have him back if….. He had my apartment keys. car keys and a tracker on my phone, an expensive gift he would pick and a 3 some. I laughed uncontrollably . I pray I will never text him again. I know his number by heart I can not erase it in my brain. I will read this article over and over again to try to rid myself of this torture and anxiety. You say they live in misery daily with keeping their mask up, the lies they try to keep straight and all their other issues, abandonment and not receiving enough supply. I want more. I know its wrong. Will I ever get over this.
I´ll tell my story and hope that you find the Strength
He took me by storm, was very intense, always around me, telling me how beautiful he thought I was, inside and out, how lucky he was to meet someone like me.
I saw many `RED FLAGS`, he did manage to keep me interest, and we were together little more than a year.
I thought is was a bit weird that under 2 weeks after we meet he would say: I love you and never said it to a woman “first” before and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, tears in his eyes Red flag, I thought at the time his reaction was a bit to intense
I don’t talk about my past relationships, but now that you ask I’ve been married 3 times, red flag
I have” issues” because of my jobs Police/fire-fighter and I don’t want you to run away. I understand that could be hard at times for him.
I never meet a woman like you, all the others was crazy. Big red flag, no taking responsibility at all
Now over the next couple of months, there were still a lot of stuff going on and I thought it was because of his “issues”. He just retired and moved to the place (not his country) I live (not my country either) and that´s were we meet,
So I could understand, he had to adjust to new place and people. I know a lot of people here, where we live and he always said you know everybody here and you are like a mayor, he was jealous because he loves attention, I was getting it and he didn´t like that, I didn´t understand why it was big deal for him, but at the time I thought he would relax over time, when he get used to everything here. One time I asked him don’t you have male friends he said many, but I never saw any or heard that he was talking or texting with any. He always seems to have secrets, but I couldn´t put my finger on it. We were together from day one and slept together from the very beginning everyday.
I’m a very private person so I told him that I was not ready to be in a relationship, I needed to know him better. He accepted but was not happy about it
Next thing he does is changing his relationship on Facebook that he is with me and he is very proud since it’s the first time he ever went in a relationship on Facebook. Now I´m sure it was to tell ex girlfriend how happy he was, she deleted him right after. I was in chock and then my nightmare started. He has like 20-30 woman with whom he is texting, at a point, I ask who are all those women, his answer was don’t worry about them, its just friends and I´m never going to see them again and because we are 50 both of us I thought sure we both have many friends, I though ok.
From that day I got a stalker on Facebook who would sent me text about him, when confronted him he said, I have no idea who it is and what it is about and I shouldn´t worry about it. But it didn’t stop there, now my family and friends gets text too. I told him if you have some unfinished relationship let me know, so I know what I’m dealing with. He got mad at me. That’s where I said stop. I told him to clean up his Facebook, at that point I was sure he didn´t know all those woman, he just like the “likes” he gets when he post and I saw some of the comment, he made to them and I asked him why he comment on those pic and he said I´m only giving all those fat, lonely single woman some attention so they feel good. From that day I knew relationship was going down hill. He knew, so he speed up with his charm and starts to clean up and delete a lot of women. Now he starts talking about moving in together but in 5 months. I said ok and we had some good months after that. His family came to visit and his mom said I never seen my son look at a woman the way he looks at you. So I was still sure everything was fine and it was just that both of us had to adjust, we went on vacation together a couple of times. First time went fantastic 2nd time was a disaster.
Now at this point I´m starting to realize that I do everything, he wants me to do, I realize that I don’t see my friends anymore, I realize that I´m not happy anymore. I realize he is different, he doesn’t get out of bed, he smoke weed from morning to night, want sex when he wants and when I want he cant because he have “issues” I confront him saying what is wrong what happen. He thinks “MY ISSUES”
Breaking our relationship and I don’t trust him and it’s all in my head. I believe it at that point,
So I start to work on my “ISSUSES” But I didn´t get it, why is it that I have issues because of some woman stalks me and he does not care at all? I had other problems with the stalker too; as for now I think he knows who it is and just didn´t care
He flirts with woman when we go out, but it’s all in my head he says and I really start to believe something is serous wrong with me
He calls all his ex-wives’ for wives, ex girlfriends for girlfriend. So I was pretty confused
He started to blame me for almost anything that happen in his life, he start to “teach” me how he wanted things to be, I was laughing at the time and was asking why is those things so important, he would say it´s bc my life always have to be perfect, so ok I understood that bc of his jobs, but I see now it was more of a control issue, he had like between 5-8 alarms going of everyday on his phone, when I ask him why is your alarm going off, it would be silly things and at the end it was things that I had to remember, so I felt more and more controlled by him, he could call me at work and tell me something stupid I had to remember bc his alarm went off.
At that point I realized he wanted me to be perfect (control) in any way, he never called me bad names or anything like that, he was to controlled and always wanted to be looked at as he was in control and calm in anyway, so that he could blame me for being crazy and I understand now it was part of keeping me busy with stuff to do, so I didn´t think so much about what was really going on. I served it to him, so he knew what to d, at any given point, I could say things like, I´m so tired I´m running around and I never sit one minute, he would say, when you are off work, we will just relax, in that way he could control, that I didn´t see my friends, bc I could not change it, that was not an option. Sometimes he wanted to know, what I would wear next day, he wanted me to walk around naked all the time, and he could say, you can take your close off now. It was a time, where he was trying off how far he could go, he knew if he didn´t kept me busy I would start to ask questions
I got more and more tired, sad, angry and confused
I know there was something I was missing, but couldn´t put a finger on it… I felt I was getting insane
I thought, he might have midlife crises, because he often talked about him getting older and he couldn´t do all the things he wanted to do, I thought he meant something like running, but he meant sex, he was scared that he was loosing it, (he was) and that was an embarrassed thing for him, that I knew
When we are out he sits almost on me to show people she´s with me, that got worse over time
His phone has from day one been a mystery, he was texting with all those woman that he calls friends, sisters, somebody he just meet, but always said don´t worry about it, they are no feat to you, you are way over them
I could continue with stories, that I would get everyday, I never knew what I was waking up to, but at that time I was so into him and every time there was a conversation it would end up me being “crazy” and begging him to stop
Now he started to add the woman back again on Facebook, texting them calling when I´m at work and I know it has to stop. So big confrontation and I walk out in the middle of the night (not first time) I decide to leave him alone for a day or 2. Then contact him (always me) and I’m ending up by him for the next couple of days. He says we can´t fix this because you don´t trust me and I agree. I start packing my stuff at his place. Now for the couple of days I stayed with him he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore
But he holds my hand and hugs me every night; he made coffee for me in the morning (he never did before)
That morning he says are you coming tonight and I said no, he always got angry when I asked for my house key, I left and started NC right there, closed my Facebook, and he didn´t know. Facebook is his love
Next couple of days went by and then my friends said today, he added over 50 women on Facebook today. I knew that was going to happen because he is addicted and mad at me, for not contacting him, like I always do. 3 weeks past NC, he doesn’t change his relationship status on Facebook, he doesn’t come and pick up his stuff in my apartment. I sent him a text that his things will be outside next morning. He came pick up, but I didn´t talk or see him.
Now over the next week he starts to go out, checking in everywhere and I know he is waiting for me to text, call, he then change his relationship to divorce, I know a reaction is all he is waiting for, so he can tell me I´m crazy. He now starts sit from a distance and watch me for hours, next thing he does is to come into a bar, where I am, with all my friends, walking over to me saying, I just want to say hallo and you look good, walk out again. He looked very nervous and for a minute I was thinking he misses me, but I know now the reason for this, was that my friends should feel sorry for him, because at that time my friends had all (30 people) deleted him on Facebook, so he knew he was out of the circle. Next day he again hangs out where I´m coming, but I´m not there, my friends are, but they make it very clear for him that they can say hallo to him, but he is not welcome to hang with them. From that day he has been hiding, might be in a new relationship, I have no idea, but the last thing I heard he did was posting on Facebook if anybody know some good dating pages, it was up for 4 hours then is was deleted, I still think he wait for me to react, so he can say we are not together anymore, you are crazy, but he knows deep down I´m very strong, but he didn´t think I could keep up the NC. That I am sure about
I´m getting stronger and stronger but its been a nightmare, its been about 2 months now, since the split up and I am getting back to be me again. Every time I have the feeling, that I either miss him, wants to talk to him. I think about all the stories that I have read about on this blog and other blogs, That helped me to get back to live my life and make sure, he stays out of my life. I hope by telling my story that other woman/men out there get that NC is the best to move on and no question it is tough
Great! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. It really helps normalize my experience and the confidence to keep going!! Warrior On!
You are so right about the epitome of self discipline. This is an area which I’ve been focussing on to try and get myself back on track with thoughts and actions and everytime I start to slip, I remind myself discipline is key and it’s not comfortable but discomfort never lasts for long but failure and dependency certainly do. thank you so much Savannah x
Savannah, that is amazing.
That’s exactly what has happened, and how I feel.
I will try to become the warrior and take what is available and use it to my advantage.
Thanks again x
I’ve sailed my boat a few hundred miles by myself this summer, meeting up with friends and people from my boating association along the way. I was going along this morning admiring the coast and thinking about the wind and the navigation and lunch and I realised that the only voice in my head was mine. That’s such a great step forward from last year when there were three recognisable and quite persistent negative ones. All gone; HURRAH
I’m sitting at anchor, contemplating dinner and knowing that I have made this all happen.
I’ve a way to go on the social side. I look at sailing couples who have a genuine and equal partnership and I get on well with those. Perhaps one day I will be in one but maybe not. Single male sailors need to be very carefully observed. I guess so does any single male. Narcissists rush in where normal people take their time to tread.
This sums it up so well! Since my ex moved out 2 years ago, I’ve been fighting the war for me. And you’re absolutely right, you have to create a highly disciplined and regimented mind. I no longer accept the thoughts that were forced into my head as a child. When I start feel guilt or shame, I step back and question why. Most of the time there is no valid reason, so I tell that stupid thought to get out and move on.
Thank you for your articles. They help so many of us.
This was certainly an article that I needed to read today. I, too, am coming out of ANOTHER relationship with a narcissist. Apparently I am still very co-dependent. I have tried to work with three different therapists but none seem to ever help me. I thought I was much more self aware and self assured, but once again I was attracted to and eventually involved in an unhealthy narcissistic relationship! I really needed to read this article today! I am no longer dating and hopefully I will learn to depend only upon myself and to know that I am a strong and very worthy woman. I always look forward to Mondays because I know your posts will help me. Thank you for all you do!!!!
Another great mantra! I should memorize it so it’s engraved in my brain and ready to be pulled any and every time I need and I need it all the time.
I love the reference to being a warrior, because this journey truly is a battle to overcome self doubt and worthiness with many we encounter. I’ve been through more than one text book narc relationship and battled my way out. Still think “fondly” about some of those moments knowing now even who they truly were. Getting involved even after thinking I was smarter and savvier. Nope. Battle again. This is a continuing battle. As I am not in a romantic relationship now (and may never be?) I’m pruning some of my so called friendships and professional relationships too. I’ve learned over and over that no one is coming to save me. I have to save myself. Every day. Thank you, Savannah, for years of guidance and timely reminders. No contact, when I needed it. I am enough, when I needed it. Self care! You provide the ammunition we need for the battle. Grateful for you and your work!
Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I’m currently climbing out of the cesspool that is codependency, but often slip backwards. You have given me the courage to challenge that awful voice that keeps me low. Again, thank you.
I look forward to reading your weekly advice. It is so right-on for me and much needed to keep my life balanced. Let me also thank you for the reference last week to “The Four Agreements” book, another writer that can make a huge impact on one’s life.
Love you Savannah!
Love this and definitely needed it reinforced! Thank you!