The cardiac arrest I suffered in January last year had quite an impact on my life. And, despite that, it also turned out to be a beautiful gift. It took me a while to write the recent blog.
The past year
The path that followed in the past year had periods where it felt turbulent and serene at other times, and sometimes these alternated rapidly. It was an intense period and I regularly felt like a bouncing ball … you know, like a ping pong ball bouncing on a stone floor.
I had expected early last year that I had learned to deal with the big losses in my life … the loss of Anne Birgit, my daughter, and Mary-Anne, my spouse. I thought that in doing so I had simultaneously learned to deal with the other losses in my life. On the contrary, during the training as a professional grief counsellor at the “Land van Rouw” and completed in the same period, I encountered layers of loss and grief from my childhood and adolescence … such as the lack of love, as if I did not matter, was not seen by my parents and grandparents and, was not taught the language of love and emotions. Hence, putting my feelings into words is quite a task. Although I was aware of this, the understanding struck me like lightning out of the blue.
In a clear moment
That clear moment came after a conversation with one of the supervisors of the program. It came down to this:
– Sometimes I feel fine, sometimes, let us subtly phrase it, not so fine. In fact, I am constantly in a state of survival because of the lack of love from my parents and grandparents. As if I did not matter, was not acknowledged, not seen by them and, had no right to exist.
– I have not had a chance. From my parents and grandparents, I have not learned to feel and to love. As a result, I am at a tremendous disadvantage. My neurological connections related to feeling and love are only beginning to appear now … decades later.
– When you recall moments from your childhood. What do you encounter inside? Be exceptionally curious about the why and try to articulate that from there.
– But I do not have words … words I am searching for describing my emotions … and words give limitations at the same time. Then start by describing your bodily sensations. Words will come naturally … and sometimes they will not.
– Learn to trust your body! Well … feeling is one thing with me … it is my weak point. Feeling is and remains for me a work in progress. I used to learn from people’s assessments that strong points also have a complementary side; I am (very) good at … also has a shadow side. In short, can I use my impotence about feeling and emotions as a strong point?
As I was writing this, two lines from Anne Birgit on her urn came back to my mind:
“Do what your heart tells you … Do not be afraid with what you do!”
Those simple words from my daughter on her urn, empower me to continue my life’s path with confidence. That is a wonderful gift, isn’t it?
So what is that life path?
Share loss and grief experiences, both professionally and from personal experiences to others in similar situations to help them to learn to cope with their loss and grief … and to get on with their lives again. They may even discover possibilities they had not previously thought possible.
In sharing my experiences, I am thinking primarily of:
Counseling parents who are about to lose or have lost a child.
People counseling who are terminally ill.
Counseling people in learning to cope with their loss and grief in general.
As I look at it now, I am sure the list will get longer. We’ll see.
I hope to meet you in person or on this website or the Foundation’s Facebook page.
With heartfelt greetings, Hans Fransen
Share this post with other people within your network
When you have finally reached the deepest point, you really cannot go any deeper, you are dependent on your own strength… and you slowly realize how powerful you really are and who you are. Only then does the restoration of your life, of your Being and especially the recovery of your Soul begins.
Losing yourself is about the consequences someone has in a narcissistic relationship. Within narcissistic partner relationships it does not always have to be the man who is the narcissist… although it usually seems so… it can also be the woman… or even a parent in parent-child relationships.
A few months ago, two blogs about narcissism were published with many responses, questions, and conversations as a result. This blog tries to answer these.
The aim of the Foundation is to guide and support people in learning to deal with loss and grief in the broadest sense. Hence, we are not concerned with the narcissist and how you are diagnosed as a narcissist. What matters to us are the people who have fallen victim to the narcissist… who somehow got away from it and now have to deal independently with the traumatic consequences of the relationship… that these people are often only a faint reflection are what they used to be … the pain they experienced … maybe also mistreated … physically, emotionally and mentally … raped or worse. What we do is guiding these people and learning to deal with the traumatic consequences they have suffered within the relationship.
Can you recognize a narcissist?
How wonderful would it be that in advance you can recognize a narcissist? You could read books from psychology about that. But when you fall in love it just happens to you.
For example, I know the story of a woman who fell in love with a man who worked in the same department as she was. Her colleagues warned her that the man had a drinking problem. It did not help. The woman was head over heels in love with the man and her love was answered. After a year, the woman broke off the relationship. Curiously, her colleagues asked why the relationship was broken. Her answer was… yes, you guessed it… the man had a drinking problem. Love makes blind.
The beginning of a narcissistic relationship
In the beginning of a narcissistic relationship it is only roses and moonshine. Both you and the people around you think that you have the perfect partner… that you have found your dream partner. He does everything for you. He is sweet and caring. Want to know everything about you. Have long conversations to meet all your needs. Gives you beautiful roses. And let the whole world enjoy and see how good and caring he is for you.
But then it starts to itch, and the world declares you crazy
After a while, the relationship begins to change very imperceptibly. You are controlled… isolated… you may even be abused… physically, emotionally, and mentally… raped or worse. But in such a way that nothing can be seen on the outside … especially not for the people around you. Slowly, very slowly, you are beginning to realize that you are in a traumatic relationship. Then when you start to complain to the people around you, start to get emotional, they don’t understand anything about it… because the narcissist is still just as sweet, kind, caring and ready for you to the outside world. You get reactions like: “I don’t recognize it at all. He is so sweet and caring for you. Act normal, it’s up to you!” All they see is gosh… he is painting for you… a boyfriend standing at your door with red roses… he does everything for you… and then you are quickly considered as crazy. And eventually in your environment one after another starts to drop out and you are all alone… which makes it even more painful after everything you have been through. It is mainly the frustration and anger that you are left with because of the injustice … but also your self-confidence and uncertainty. The problem is getting bigger and bigger for you… because you are being broken down in such a way… that you only have the feeling that you are no longer worth anything at all… that you have lost yourself.
In the end, you manage to leave
Breaking a healthy relationship, for whatever reason, gives you grief and loss… you spend a shorter or longer time learning to deal with or perhaps even resolve your grief.
Breaking a narcissistic relationship is of a completely different order … more intense … more traumatic. You can hardly compare leaving a narcissist to be breaking off a healthy relationship. Leaving with a narcissist… where the relationship is ultimately one major trauma of everything you have experienced from one day to the next… there you come out with a broken heart, but this time also with a broken Soul.
And then it starts
The people around you still have little understanding for you and soon say: “Well be glad he’s gone!” You are too… it is not about that… but you are also concerned with the consequences… you have lost everything… and this time it is not just about the material, financial, or social part. However, after such a relationship there is nothing left of your confidence and self-esteem. You have lost your inner happiness, your Light and your Being. Those are not things you have after breaking up a normal relationship. That is why it feels so different. It is not only that your partner is gone… you have also lost yourself, that is much worse. Before you have found that again… your own Light… that is a vastly different, very intense loss process. Which in this case is a process that unfortunately will not be finished for a long time.
A rounding off
You come as a strong person in a narcissistic relationship, the narcissist does that for you. That is probably the challenge. Because if you are not a strong person, you are not interesting enough for the narcissist to feed the ego and they just walk past you. As if their life’s mission is to find a strong person who is full of life … and then eventually leave them with suicidal tendencies. And… then you also get the outside world over you. Instead of getting support … you do not get support … because your entire environment also attacks you … after all, it is all up to you.
When you have finally reached the deepest point in a narcissistic relationship, you really cannot go any deeper, you are dependent on your own strength… and you slowly realize how powerful you really are and who you are. Only then does the restoration of your life, of your Being and especially the recovery of your Soul begin.
If you are in this situation or want to get out, you can always contact us. For personal contact you can reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Share this post with other people within your network
Two people who each have their own point of view, their own opinion and no matter how you look at it, both are right. That is allowed and there is nothing wrong with that. But when with one of the two violent emotions play a major role, like sadness, fear or pain, then it’s important that both are willing to understand the other’s point of view. Understanding, so that the bond between the two is not severed but strengthened!
The current blog, “don’t leave me alone,” is about two people with the fictitious names Kathy and Tanya. Both have a different even opposite view of the same situation. That is possible and should be okay. But when intense emotions play a major role at Kathy … then it is important that both can talk to each other … and … can understand each other’s opinion. “And then what,” you may think. “Can’t you have a difference of opinion?” Yes, you can. But it becomes a different story when intense grief or a serious illness play a role with Kathy. Relationships can sever or even end; as with Kathy who is afraid of being left alone. Whatever you think, it happens in daily life and it “hurts people.” Nobody wants that, right?
Kathy has no shortage of friends and,
just like my daughter Anne Birgit, she’s a beautiful young woman. However, on
the outside, you can’t see she’s seriously ill. And Kathy too had to cope with
the necessary blows in her life with the result that the brilliant light she
really is, rarely comes out.
Kathy has undergone a whole range of
chemo treatments and radiation treatments. During the last consultation with
the specialist, he indicated that the treatments will continue to work in her
body for months before something can be said about the result.
It is already the second time for
Kathy in her life that she has undergone such a series of treatments. She can still
clearly remember the first series. How relieved and happy she was after she was
told that she was free of tumours … that she could celebrate life again.
The results of the second series will take months to come. Until then, Kathy is not really in a party mood, let alone to celebrate life because the treatments have been completed. She can still remember the enormous disappointment and especially her anger when the tumours returned for the second time. Until then, Kathy is full of hope that the treatments have achieved the intended effect. On the other hand, she is so afraid of being disappointed again because she realizes what that will mean for her sooner rather than later.
Like Kathy, Tanya is a beautiful
young woman who is full of energy and who is always ready to throw a party as
soon as there is anything to celebrate.
Tanya also had the necessary setbacks
in her life … yes, who didn’t. But when you don’t know it or don’t look deep
into her eyes, everything indicates that life seems to be one big party for Tanya,
and she enjoys it to the fullest.
Tanya and Kathy are close friends.
The treatments Kathy had to undergo for almost a year took a great toll. She
was more often in bed than not and too tired to do anything. Tanya made sure
that at least Kathy was eating … that is if she could keep in that little bit,
she was able to eat … and … take care of herself.
When Kathy returned after all those
intense treatments from the last consultation, it was just natural for Tanya
that this should be celebrated. That’s what you do … it makes sense … you
have completed a phase … you can go on with life, right?
Don’t leave me alone
Kathy had a different opinion. She still remembered the conversation with the specialist, the uncertainties expressed in it and Kathy also remembered the result of that first series of treatments. The enormous relief and joy she felt at the time when they told her that she was free of cancer, and a few years later the intense sadness, the anger and the fear that the tumours had returned. Now Kathy is afraid, so afraid of being disappointed again.
“What do you mean, party? There’s
nothing to celebrate” Kathy says to Tanya who doesn’t agree with her. For Tanya
there definitely something is to celebrate. The treatments are completed, aren’t
they? And with this difference in thinking … this difference in opinion … a
difference in point of view that is so logical and obvious for each of them …
that it’s impossible for them to understand each other’s point of view.
And at this point the relationship between Tanya and Kathy starts to wane and Kathy’s cry for help, “don’t leave me alone,” becomes a reality eventually.
But on the other hand, maybe Kathy’s fear has made Tanya as frightened as she is. Or … there is something that Tanya has been touched by or afraid of … which dilutes the relationship. Or … maybe … yes, you can think of and accept anything, but it’s not something you can get along with it.
How to proceed from here
For me it is crystal clear that Kathy and Tanya should discuss this with each other … and … keep talking to each other so Kathy doesn’t feel left alone. Yes, it’s clear to me, but do they think so too?
In my opinion, it is necessary that Kathy and Tanya sit together at the table and each tells her story about … what is felt … missed … should be celebrated … or not … or what they might be even afraid of.
also be beneficial to do this together with a “mediator” so that, in
addition to helping in expressing each other’s words to the other, at the same
time he or she can foster the understanding that both look at the same
situation in their own unique way.
Both have a
point, but it is important that they can understand each other’s point of view
… so that the relationship between Kathy and Tanya does not gets diluted …
but instead … becomes stronger.
experience that people start from their own opinion, or their own view they
have of the another. That’s obvious, you might think, but in my opinion, it
will be something completely different when that image is based on a series of
assumptions. The reality regarding others is usually different and much more
complex than we initially thought or assumed. That is why it is wise to keep
talking to them in order to get a better understanding for each other. The same
applies to people we think we know very well or for a long time.
You could also assume that everyone is correct. To illustrate this, imagine you are standing in a mountain landscape. The image that you see is determined from where you look at it. When you let everyone tell you what that landscape looks like, you will hear different stories depending on where these people were standing … in that same landscape.
communicating with the other person, it is important that we are prepared to
adjust our own opinions about the other person if that should prove so during
the conversation. And there is often another bottleneck because not everyone
can just do this or want to do this.
The core of the case used in “don’t leave me alone” is not unique. There are countless examples in which communication between people is the cause that they do not understand each other … with all possible consequences … like the one in “Farewell“.
Like in the used case of this blog in which two people each have their own point of view or their own opinion. No matter how you look at it, both are correct. That is allowed and there is nothing wrong with that. But when one of the two experiences violent emotions, such as sadness, fear or pain, then it is important that everyone can understand the other’s point of view, so that one of them doesn’t feel left alone in the end!
Share this post with other people within your network