I love this time of the year, it’s a time of setting new years resolutions, new goals, and exciting plans for the year to come.
As I look back on the year that is about to end, the changes that happened during the year have been mindblowing.
The year started with the exciting plans of moving to Queensland with my partner, from Country Victoria, and settling into our country home on 5 acres. This has been a dream of mine for ages, to live in a cottage in the country. Fast forward a few months and I was packing up and leaving that beautiful area, with only what I could fit in the car. I was discarded, by who I now know is a narcissist. He decided I had served my purpose and became very nasty and I was not putting up with that.
I miss our little house and our visiting kangaroos and the quiet location, but I certainly don’t miss him. I enjoyed a couple of months in Melbourne, catching up with all my friends and family. I have had limited contact with the last couple of years. Partly Covid, but mainly the EX. Looking back the red flags were there. I had no idea what a Narcissist was, I do now!! Melbourne was great, but I couldn’t live there again, it was no longer home for me, so Tasmania, where I grew up, was the place to be.
I have, with the help from family, renovated an old shed on Mum & dads block as a bedsit for me and it has given me the independence I crave, yet still close by for my elderly parents. Perfect solution. I have decorated my space, just the way I like, and no one to criticizse me or make fun of the quirky things I do.
Tassie Life is great and it is certainly different. weather is more moderate and less extreme than Victorian weather. So a whole new wardrobe – thank goodness for op shops as I left the relationship with $20 in my purse, Financial abuse was another thing I left behind.
I started a cleaning business, to bring in some money when I got to Tassie. I could have easily signed up for a carers pension, as Dad has been diagnosed with MND, but that was not an option, as, at 59, I need to think about my financial future. It has been a busy few months, getting the room finished, which it is now and I am starting to get back on my feet financially.
The changes keep coming
I started an online business in personal development, a couple of years ago, which I had enjoyed building, however, once I got to Tassie, I couldn’t get back into it, my ex is part of the business, and energetically he is still part of it. It was costing me money every month, almost as much as my car payment. So I made the decision, to walk away from that business, and do something different, where there was no connection to the EX.
I have been in direct selling, for most of my working life, and qualified for many overseas trips and bought a house and new cars over that time. Due to not getting the right financial advice and not planning for the future – I am not set up the way I should be. So I decided the answer is to get back into what I know with a new company. As I want to buy my own home, a country cottage, this time with my name on the title. I never want to be at the mercy of landlords and the uncertainty of renting. I also have a car in my ex’s name and mine, so that has to go too. I have also missed traveling and so looking forward to a new journey, with a beautiful company, and anti-aging hair & skincare products. I am building a team of like-minded women who are like me, looking for financial stability.
Being financially secure is huge for me, I am not interested in flashy things. I am practical and want to have the income to live comfortably, be able to help my kids and parents out, and not rely on government assistance ever!! So many women in their 50s & 60s are living in precarious situations, on the verge of homelessness and having no job prospects, as too old. It’s scary and also our superannuation is also nonexistent. I have a solution to help women get back on track and change their futures. Direct Selling changed my life many years ago and I am forever grateful. Reach out if you want to talk more about what I am doing.
I am excited about my new journey as I close this year out. It is a year, that will go down as the most challenging year ever, but also the year that has taught me the most lessons. I am resilient, I have bounced back from narcissistic abuse, and I am happier, healthier, and focused on creating a whole new future.
Tasmania was never a place I was ever going to move back to, but I am so glad I did. It is a lovely peaceful, healing place, and so very beautiful.
I have reconnected with friends from my school days and made lovely new friends and strengthened other relationships. Time with my mum and dad is very precious, so I am enjoying this time with them, and being able to help them out in their later years is a gift.
I am no longer cleaning as that was trading time for $$$ and not going to help me to buy a home. I am now fully focused on building my direct selling business and also having time to help out Mum & Dad as they need it. I choose how I spend my time and that is hugely important to me. Every day is a gift and I plan to enjoy it.
I have set my goals and put plans in place and I am so ready to kick off 2023 next week and create a completely new future. In the meantime, I am enjoying this time with my family. My youngest grandson and his mum & dad, who are visiting from Melbourne, and some downtime.
I am back house sitting and it feels great. It feels so good to enjoy house sitting again. I enjoyed a lovely 6 week sit in Melbourne back in June, which gave me the space after leaving my ex in QLD and making the move away from a toxic situation to heal and entertain friends and learn to be on my own again.
I am building my online income so I can do more and more of this. I am currently house-sitting in a gorgeous cabin on Table Cape, not far from my home base, where I am living with my parents.
The views are amazing and it is a very tranquil spot to relax,
I have had some lovely house sits over the years, all around Melbourne, & Victoria, NSW & Perth, I have enjoyed coastal sits and country sits and beautiful homes and lovely animals.
All with varying lengths from a few days to 3 months. It is a great way to explore areas and live like a local, as that is the only way I travel. I like to blend in. It’s fun exploring areas and having the time to do so.
I gave up house sitting years ago, as I wanted to settle in one spot, which I did in the lovely town of Milawa, in Northeast Victoria, and then after meeting my Ex ( Narc) I moved to Wodonga.
We did enjoy a couple of house sits together. However, he liked to take all the credit for how good he was with the animals.
I look back and not once did he acknowledge that it was my experience and my reputation and reviews that got us the house sit, hence saving us $100’s in accommodation in Perth, where we went for a friend’s wedding, and Melbourne to catch up with family.
They do twist things around to suit themselves.
A home base is important to me and that will not change, however, I will continue to do occasional house sits, mainly in Tassie as there is so much of this lovely state to see. Although I grew up here, I left when I was 30, and there are so many places, I would like to explore and revisit and have more time to enjoy what Tassie has to offer.
I highly recommend house sitting as a great way to travel and explore and happy to share any advice, just reach out.
A couple of things that help are a current Police Check and even some practice sits for friends to get some references.
I have always been crafty, I remember my nana always crocheting, doing very intricate work and cross stitch and I still have some of her doilies she made to this day. Mum was always very crafty, making perspex bags, copper pictures, cross stitch, and many more things. So it was only natural that I followed the same path. I remember doing a latchet look rug and a patchwork quilt when I was young.
When I started a family, I started sewing kids’ clothes and selling them at markets. I loved it as I was able to stay home with them and still earn an income. Was the time before the internet, however, the markets were very busy, as we didn’t have the 7-day-a-week shopping. By the time I had my daughter Jess, I was over it but I always made things. I learned patchwork and making teddy bears and many more things, I also taught Jess to sew and she has a thriving business on Etsy and I am very proud of her. Check out her site here Wesley & Tink
Over the years I have dabbled in painting furniture. I remember doing it with ordinary house paint, back when I lived in Mernda, and have always had a desire to take it seriously. However, living a nomad lifestyle for years, it was never possible until I started the stall at the Daylesford Mill Markets. I really enjoyed my vintage stall. It was a shame to close it, but it was not viable once I moved from Melbourne to regional Victoria.
Meeting the Narc.
It was this time that I met my ex at a local market, selling upcycled things and vintage, as by then I had settled in Milawa and was just getting set up doing some furniture, I had a shed, and room to do things.
At the time he was very helpful and showed an interest in what I did. I now know he was mirroring me, and it was all an act. Read more about Mirroring here.
After only a few months I moved in with him and he made a big show of giving me space in his shed and showing me how to do things with tools again. I thought it was great, but I had no idea he was slowly chipping away and taking my love of doing things from me. There was no interest shown. He joked about how messy I was, and how I had to factor my time in on each piece, making it all about profits and money. This is important if it is a business, however, this was a hobby. and it was for enjoyment. Eventually, I stopped doing things, even selling unfinished pieces, because I had believed I no longer wanted to paint furniture.
However it is in my DNA and last year before we moved to QLD, I decided to paint some of our furniture. I remember one incident where after paying for good paint in a lovely creamy colour, which would suit the Boho / Scandi look better I had decorated the house with, he hated it and made me change the colour to an antique white. We had a massive row about it, so I changed the colour and I only ever painted one piece. It was not the look I was going for and the other piece went to QLD, and to this day it is still unpainted.
I had planned to paint it during our time with our friend, but it was all too hard, I had no desire or energy to do it.
The house we had moved to in QLD had an awesome shed just for me, I was excited to finally have my own shed, and this time I thought I could finally take this painting gig seriously because until then I still had no idea, I was living with a narcissist.
However, that’s not what happened, I was working so much, and had no energy. I thought I didn’t have the time, but that’s not what it was. I now look back and can see, that I was mentally exhausted from the constant arguments and how I was being treated, and he had undermined me so long and taken away my creative spirit that it all felt too hard. I think I only had a couple of sessions in the shed, and that was it.
One of the other things I started to learn was macrame and I loved it, as painting is a messy hobby and I found macrame very relaxing and good meditation.
The Tipping Point
One of the tipping points to make me leave when I did, was a couple of nights before, I was learning plant hangers and I had nearly finished one on a Saturday afternoon, the only time I had to do things, and had to stop as the routine was afternoon drinks, something I went along with it, and initially used to enjoy, I now know it was a control thing.
He went and had his shower, so I decided to finish the plant holder, after getting dinner on. He came out from the shower and checked on dinner, hadn’t said a word, and then he started raging about the fact, that macrame was more important than him, it was Saturday night and I should have been spending time with him, we had plenty of time before dinner, I “should” have joined him in the shower etc etc ( dinner was at 6 every night – another rigid control thing)
By this time I had stopped reacting, So I just picked up the stand, walked out of the room and my only comment was, “ so I am no longer allowed to have a hobby”
I was very aware of the dangers of reactive abuse by this stage, hence I no longer was reacting and lashing back, they push your buttons so much, you appear to be the crazy one and the bully, and they then end up being the victim. It does make things harder when you stop reacting as they hate it, so they keep pushing your buttons to get you to react.
What I do find interesting is he had no hobbies at all, it was only work and more work – this is very common in narcs, it’s all about work and a huge emphasis on money…
Life after living with a narc.
Once I knew I had to leave, I started making plans, and one of the things I decided to do was get back to my crocheting, something else I loved, and do my macrame and do some local markets. A roll of cord I ordered on eBay arrived early on the day I left, (didn’t know I was leaving that day) so that was lucky.
The first thing did when I arrived in Melbourne, was buy some cotton yarn and by the second week I was crocheting bags, and dishcloths and trying out heaps of different patterns,
Crocheting is very soothing and I call it my therapy – as I produced so much, but it certainly helped calm my mind and recover from the emotional abuse. . I believe that has been a huge factor in how I feel today, totally at peace and happy and I feel like me again.
If you are struggling with life, definitely consider doing something, Youtube is brilliant to teach yourself anything. That’s how I learned to crochet & macrame.
With the help of a friend, I came up with the name “ Miss Daisy Rose, Repurposed and Upcycled Home Decor and Macrame I started sourcing fabrics – ladies’ shirts and dresses all in natural fibres to make things to sell, so it’s all about using what is already out in the world, rather than buying new and saving things from landfill. I am an avid op shopper and love that I get to do this all the time. Another thing my ex hated. Everything had to be new.
“It’s not about what it is, It is about what it can become”. Dr Seuss
I did manage to get my sewing machine, left my overlocker behind, it was in a cupboard, I had forgotten about it, I have since picked up another one locally. I sourced some racks to do my macrame, as I left them all behind, I only had an hour to pack. So it’s great to be set up with what I need, op shos and marketplace have been brilliant.
I have recently found a local place, where I can lease a space, and set it up and do my furniture a couple of days a week, which is perfect as it’s not practical to do it where I am living and now I can finally take this painting gig seriously. More to come on that in a few weeks.
I look back and reflect and shake my head sometimes as to how it happened, but you really have no idea what is going on, I certainly was not over painting or doing things it’s just that they suck the life out of you and you have no room to do anything extra, it takes all your energy just to do the normal things.
We only have so much bandwidth ( our processing capacity ) Every mental or physical action takes some bandwidth and when it is overloaded, you can’t cope
I have had so much energy since leaving, it is amazing how much I can get done in a day and I no longer feel drained and exhausted.
Life is certainly better and things are working out nicely.
I encourage you to take up a hobby, as it is the best thing for healing, and your emotional well-being, and I hope this post has been helpful. Feel free to share
I have a lot to be grateful for during my time with this “amazing” man, he did help me to be more confident and dress more confidently in the early stages of our relationship, I never wore dresses before I met him and after encouragement from him, I actually love wearing dresses, something that will continue. Looking back though that is all part of their facade, and the idealisation phase as the control is starting, but it’s so subtle, you think they are doing it to help you, but no – it’s all about them taking charge of your wardrobe and what you can and cannot wear. You don’t notice it as they make you feel so good. He stopped me wearing cardigans because he said it makes you look old. They are all about the image and he couldn’t be with someone that looked old. So I stopped wearing cardigans!!!! I also wore shorts down to my knee, thinking I had wrinkly knees, he encouraged me to wear shorter shorts, and again love them now and will continue while I can.
One thing that stands out now is whenever I bought a dress and I lived in them, especially in the summer, as it was a very hot climate, however they were always, in his eyes too long. I stood my ground and kept them at a length I was happy with, I was in my late 50’s, and I was not a teenager anymore, I look back now and think, he would be wanting me to still be wearing short shorts & dresses well into my 60’s and beyond when really that would be the last thing I would be wearing. We all get to an age where we have to accept, that what we could wear a decade ago, just does not work anymore. I still remember following this lady, I was in NZ at the time on holiday into a hotel bistro on a warm night and she had on white shorts and a tank top and looked quite young, with an older guy. however, once I saw her face, she was well in her 60s and it looked like she was hanging on to her youth, Quite sad really, now I am expecting she was expected to dress like that.!! That would have been me if I hadn’t woken up and walked away.
Image is so important and his catchphrase was looking good for each other, as so many people get slobby and I agree to a point, but it is exhausting to always be looking good. I often had stains on my tops and around the home, but it didn’t worry me, I wore one particular teeshirt toward the end a lot because it had a stain on it, that I know would have really annoyed him!!!! I love being comfortable and again that is their control over you and they mold you into becoming their ideal person. All part of the game and you don’t realise what is happening. I would be getting ready to go out and he would be picking on me, little things like a bit of fluff, etc, or fixing my collar, it was like I couldn’t be trusted to check the mirror before I left the house. We had some arguments about that as I found that very annoying, he always had a comeback with he didn’t want me to be embarrassed,. WTF – it was all about he didn’t want me to embarrass him!! It’s a mind game – the whole lot and because it feels like everything they do is because they care you go along with it, and slowly your self-worth is being eroded away. By now, it is easier to go along with it, so you stop wearing cardigans, you end up making sure you look good all the time and what you wear meets their approval. You throw out clothes to the op shop that no longer work or fit and mold your wardrobe and your image to suit them. I do wish I had my county road ¾ jeans, that I bought many many years ago in San Fran Cisco and loved and they had become fashionable because they had holes in them from wear. . They ended up too big for me as I had lost weight as they were falling off and looked daggy, but that’s what happens and you just don’t realise you are playing into becoming just what they want you to be.
As I look back, I notice that where there were some good things about making changes to my wardrobe, it was also exhausting keeping up with his expectations. I love getting dirty, especially painting, and can happily sit around in paint-spattered clothes, and with paint on me in the early days, he would make a joke about me getting paint behind my knees and how I get paint on my clothes ( i have clothes, especially for painting for that reason) Towards the end it became a massive issue, caused a huge row, because I got paint on the cooktop, and was told I had to learn to be a neat painter.
However, he bragged that he never got paint on his clothes ever, which was true. He was obsessed with cleanliness and his clothes had to be spotless. Whereas I couldn’t care less around the home and had clothes that I wore just around home. – I have even gone to the hardware shop ( before ex) in daggy paint-covered shorts.
The obsession with his image is again one of the traits of a narcissist.
The episode, with the painting, was the final straw, where I woke up to what was happening and realised I was in a verbally abusive relationship. I had heard about narcissists – but didn’t know a lot about them and i had no idea that I was in a relationship with one.
I started doing some more research and found a great support group on Narcisuuits and i discovered in there that I was definitely living with a Covert Narcissist – harder to pick and are very mean and nasty when the mask comes off.
“ A covert narcissist has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) but does not display a sense of self-importance often associated with the condition. They may deal with insecurity and low self-esteem.”
In reflection as I look back on how it all played out, it would be so easy to beat myself up and think to myself, how could i be so stupid, but no, that is not the answer, as I did nothing wrong, I was played and because it is so subtle, you are not aware. So no, I am not beating myself up, I am educating myself, and learning a lot about narcissists and by sharing my story, I hope I am able to help others to also see it. I am not going to be a victim of abuse. Staying in that mode means he still has control over me and that is not happening
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” — Maya Angelou
I will leave this blog here, stay tuned for more to come. Share this with others as you never know, it might just help someone recognize what sort of relationship they are in.