What “Inner Peace” Feels Like

September 17, 2016

Life has really been getting to you lately.

You feel overwhelmed — from the inside out.  Things are manageable, but somehow not right.  Something is wrong.  You’re feeling the pressure, and you know that something has to give.  You can FEEL it in your body, in your chest, in your breath.

Something is brewing inside you.  It’s right there, but just out of sight, like something underwater near the surface.  Your breathing is quick and shallow, and you’re sighing a lot.  Your brow is furrowed.  You do not feel peace.

All you want to do is be alone.  You need to get by yourself, away from people, in a quiet place where you can do whatever you need to do.  But you can’t.  Not yet.  So you compose yourself while you can, for as long as it takes, until you don’t have to be around people for a while.

Until you don’t have responsibilities to tend to.

Finally, you’re alone.  You don’t know what to do.  You pace the floor, wringing your hands.  You want to call somebody and talk, but you don’t want to talk to anyone, so you don’t.  They wouldn’t understand where you are right now anyway.

Hell, YOU don’t understand where you are right now.  You just want it to stop.  You just want relief.  You just want it to end.  So you give up fighting it.  There’s nowhere else to go, and no way to escape yourself, so you surrender to what you feel is about to come.

Then what’s inside you comes bubbling up out of you.

Like melting ice, the tears come first as a trickle.  Then, like a dam breaking, the pain comes along with them.  You drop to the floor, to your knees, and submit.  The hopelessness of your defeat brings self-pity, then feelings of loss and heartbreak.

But your heart is not breaking.  It was already broken.  The grief of loss is coming out of your broken heart, where it sat like mortar among broken bricks, hardened and misshapen, probably for a long time.

Injustice was done to you, and you FEEL it.  Beneath the pain, you feel anger, and you rage to the Heavens and the Earth.  You clench your fists and grit your teeth.  You writhe and pound the floor, eyes closed, face grimacing, tears and snot flowing.

After the anger come sorrow and agony.

Your wailing is like labor contractions, like you’re pushing something out of you with great effort.  Every inhale brings a long, contracted exhale that tightens the muscles in your chest and belly.  Your whole body tightens, then releases, again and again, with each breath.

You might even scream at the peak of the depth of your suffering.

Layer upon layer of toxic and painful emotion is leaving your body.  Sadness, then anger.  Grief, then rage.  You suffer your own suffering, seemingly all at once.  You’re feeling the pain NOW that you didn’t feel completely THEN; you’re unloading the heaviness that’s been hiding within you.

When you finally squeeze out the last bit of this poison from your heart, your whole body tightens into a ball.  You exhale one final time, completely, and your breathing stops — for one intense moment.

Then, like a faucet being slowly turned off, the tidal wave subsides.  The tears and snot stop flowing.  Your muscles relax and go limp.  You take a new breath that fills you more deeply than before, and you exhale it easily and completely.  Breathing comes easier now, steady and slow, unlike it did an hour before.

All is quiet.

With the storm now past, you lie there alone and motionless, feeling and listening to your own inner calm.  Your body is exhausted.

In the silence, you’re aware that a burden has just left you.  The pain is gone and there is more space within you.  There’s no more angst, no more worry, no more anxiety, no more trouble.  Not in this moment.

Nothing is brewing inside you or troubling the surface anymore.  You’re just here now, breathing slowly and deeply…in peace.


20 Things I “Should” Have Said to Narcissists in My Life…But Didn’t

September 5, 2016

We’ve all had those times when we thought:

“Man! I should have said _______! I wish I’d thought of it then!”

This is a tongue-in-cheek list of comebacks that a (hopefully former) target of Narcissistic abuse might wish he or she had said after a Narcissist has just thrown down the latest red flag, or a deal-breaker.

These are meant to entertain (and maybe facilitate healing and recovery for) folks who have been there.  I’m not suggesting in any way that anyone should actually say any of these to a real, live person!

These are NOT problem-solving communication strategies (which don’t work for very long with Narcissists anyway)—and, depending on the situation, any or all of them might be dangerous to say to an easily enraged person.

In real life, the best thing to say to a Narcissist or Borderline is as little as possible, before and after carefully and peacefully making one’s exit. Leave the talk therapy to the talk therapists, who are trained to do it, and tend to your own well-being.

So, just for the fun of it, these are humorous but empowering comebacks that I personally might have said (but didn’t) in real-life situations with various Narcissists and Borderlines I’ve been close to over the years, in response to things that they have actually said or done.

I would never say most of these things to a Narcissist or Borderline in person. There’s just no point in it, and no need to. In real life, I would simply end the conflict by removing myself from the situation with as little conversation (drama) as possible.


1. What’s that? I’ll never find anyone who will love me as much as you do, sacrifice as much as you have for our relationship, or give up as much as you have to be with me? It sounds like you’d be way better off without me. Let’s make it happen, starting…now!

2. I’m sorry to cut you off in mid-rant, but I don’t spend my time with people who call me those names, speak to me at that volume, or use profanity with that much poison. Especially not all three, like you’re doing now. Goodbye.

3. If you really cared about my relationship with my kids, you’d stop calling and texting me with drama and emotional chaos when I’m spending time with them. See ya!

4. No, I’m really not the cause of all of your problems. But let’s find out. Later, gator.  I’m sure everything will be better for you tomorrow.

5. If you think you “might” have multiple personalities, I think I “might” believe that either 1) you do, 2) you’re crazy, or 3) you’re just trying to manipulate me. Either way, I only date one person at a time, and I require that they be both sane and decent. Happy trails!

6. I see that you’re trying to bully me right now. Let’s see if you can do it all by yourself. Ciao!

7. You say that you (destroyed my stuff/told lies about me/said horrible things to me) because you were upset? I say you’ve shown me that you have no self-control and I should probably fear for my life around you. So I’m done being around you now.

8. I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention to your tirade. I was blocking your number before I go, in case I forget to do it after I leave—that is, leave you—for good.  Like, right now.

9. I know you seem very humble right now, and your apology sounded very sincere. However, since this is like the 20th time you’ve played this game with me, I’m going to start playing a new game. It’s called “Life Without You.” So long!

10. Wow. I’m amazed that one person can tell so many lies in such a short time. I think I’ll tell you a lie now: I’ll still be here with you in one minute.

11. I’m glad that you felt the need to confess that you went through all my Facebook and text messages while I was (gone/asleep) the other day. I have a confession to make, too. I don’t date people who have such disregard for my own personal boundaries and privacy, so I’m going to stop dating you immediately.

12. Sure, I’ll throw out all of the notes I saved from high school and the photos that were lying safely in my keepsake box in the closet while I was at work and you were sitting in my apartment with nothing better to do than rummage through my personal things. I’ll do it right after I throw you out of my life. Oh, and yes, I’m actually keeping my old notes and photos instead of you.

13. Thank you for accidentally dropping your mask so I could see what a spiteful, vindictive person you are underneath that sexy exterior. Unfortunately, I’d rather masturbate than have sex with someone like that, so I’m going to go home now and enjoy a night to myself—the first in a long string of many nights alone that I’m frankly looking forward to after enduring your shit for so long.

14. That’s such a delicious (meal/dessert/treat) that you (cooked/bought) me to try to make up for dumping me last (week/month) and screwing your ex. I hope you like it, because I’m eating an entire pizza by myself tonight and watching 300.  With my phone off.

15. If you were speaking Chinese, what you just said wouldn’t bother me. However, you were speaking English, so I’m just going to forget you exist. Bye!

16. I appreciate you confessing that you drank too much at a party and had a sexual encounter with your ex while I was out of town.  Looks like it’s time for me to move on now.

17. If you wake me up in the middle of the night to fight with me one more time, I’m going to leave and go sleep in a hotel room for the night.  No, wait.  Once was enough.  Enjoy having the house all to yourself from now on.

18. You said I’m a what?  Oh, you must have me confused with somebody else.  I’ll just go now so you can find that person.  I don’t want to mess up your search for the perfect partner.

19. Ah, yes.  It’s all about you.  Everything revolves around youYou’re the judge, jury, and executioner.  What you say goes.  You’re the boss.  If I had seen this in you sooner, I would have left just as fast as I’m about to leave now.

20. No, I don’t understand.  I know and see that your behavior over time took a nose dive from angelic to suck, and I hear you justifying it now with excuses of being (drunk/hurt/angry/scared/etc.) to me now, but I don’t feel or act that way.  I can’t relate to it.  Frankly, I don’t want to.

I’d rather just be a decent human being than try to twist my mind to accept that the rules don’t apply to you and that you have a free pass to do whatever you want, without consequence or accountability.  Guess what?  You don’t.  Let me show you by removing myself from your world.

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