I went to my brother’s cottage this weekend and I got to spend some quality time with my nephews and niece.  We swam and played volleyball and badminton and ran around like children.  As we played another game of badminton, my five year old nephew Jacob, who isn’t as agile or coordinated as the rest of us, looked at me and shouted, “Let me win one Auntie.”

“What do I always say?” I asked.

“You gotta earn it.” He answered ritualistically, while rolling his eyes.

“And why does Auntie always say that?”

“Cuz nobody gives you anything in life, you have to stand on your own two feet and do it yourself.”

I explained to him that if I let him win, then his victory wouldn’t mean anything. That there would come a day, that he will beat Auntie at everything and when he does earn his victory, it won’t be a hollow one – it will mean something.

I often pull my brother’s little ones aside and give them Auntie’s words of wisdom.  They probably don’t grasp what I’m really trying to tell them, with their young, immature minds, but it’s my hope that they will all grow up feeling valued and loved and that they will grow into good, kind people and live their lives with integrity.

After we were done playing, I sat by myself and stared out at the lake thinking about some of the emails I had received this week that had a similar theme.

One reader emailed me and had listed all the love crimes of her Narcissistic partner, repeated over and over again how her life was a living hell and how she couldn’t cope one more day with him, but she couldn’t leave him, because all her money was tied up in their joint business and she didn’t want to walk away with nothing. She then asked me to come up with a solution for her.

Another challenged me, stating, “I have no money, no job, no relatives or friends to help me get away from him– what am I to do – I bet you can’t solve that one Sav.”  Like she was trying to stump me with her problems.

So many readers propose their supposed no-win relationship scenarios and hand them over to me  – as if the onus of solving their problems now falls squarely on my shoulders.  They’ve already convinced themselves that there’s no way out, so they don’t bother trying and there’s very little anyone can do to change their mindset.

A lot of people talk about change and they want an easy fix, but they don’t want to work for it. They want to take a pill, numb themselves, or have someone else do all the heavy lifting.

Some people aren’t happy and they just like to complain. They have no intention of ever doing anything to improve their situation, they’ve resigned themselves to misery, but somehow they believe that if they complain about it enough, something will magically happen.

To all of those people, I’m going to give you some of Auntie Savannah’s words of wisdom, or in this case some tough love:

This is your life – YOURS. Its success and/or failure, is 100% your responsibility. If you are miserably unhappy, then do something about it – change something, do something.  There is no point spending your time complaining if you aren’t prepared to do anything to help yourself. It’s no one else’s job to fix you. It’s no one else’s job to rescue you.  You have to rescue yourself –  you.

Yes, everyone’s situation is different, some are inarguably complicated, but they all share one common element and that is – that there is always a choice. There is always a way. You’ve all heard the saying, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” This is what we call a fundamental truth, because we all know if we truly want something badly enough, we will find a way – or make one.

I don’t mind giving advice, but I can’t go over everyone’s individual situation and devise an escape plan. What I can do is give you the formula for change. The rest is up to you.  It’s an equation and it’s pretty simple:

Change = A Plan + Action

Devising a plan:  If you want to leave your relationship, start thinking about how you can achieve this and what your stumbling blocks will be.  Get out a paper and a pen and start figuring things out. Find out how much it will cost you to move out, pay rent, pay your bills, buy groceries and then figure out how much you will need to earn to accomplish that. What kinds of jobs are available. What are you qualified for.  Start thinking about it. Start investigating, asking questions and looking into your options.

When you are devising this plan DON’T – that is a capital D – do not, share it with your Narcissist. You know how difficult everyday life is without the threat of leaving, one thing we all know for sure, is that they do not handle rejection well.  You don’t know what to expect, so keep your plans to yourself.  If you were dealing with a nice, caring, respectful partner and it just wasn’t working out, then I would certainly advocate a deep conversation, which would allow you both to start making separate plans for your futures, but in this case you have to know by now that rather than see you happy and moving on, a Narcissist will make every attempt to stifle your plans.  To them you are their possession . They will undermine your efforts. They will insult you, put you down. They will manipulate you. They will threaten. They will disrupt and interfere as much as you let them. Always remember, they don’t want you to succeed – they want you to fail. They are vengeful and truly believe that you don’t have a right to your own life and your own happiness – so tell them nothing.

The next step is to put your plan into action: If money is an issue and you’ve figured out how much your independence will cost you, then polish up that resume, hit the pavement, start making those calls, and going to interviews.

“But Sav I have kids. I’m a stay home mom.” Then start looking after other people’s children, become a mini daycare, or look into starting a home based business – there are  millions of ideas and there are even books on home business ideas – investigate. Contact your government about programs and monetary assistance and daycare for single parents.

Once you’ve got your plan be mindful of it every day and keep moving in the direction of your goals. Put one foot in front of the other and with each step, you’ll move closer and closer to your freedom.  You will be amazed at how the simple act of creating a plan and putting it into motion will affect you in very positive ways.

This is your life. You decide how this story goes and who the main characters will be. Stop being a spectator and make yours epic.

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