An episode for all those who have suffered the abuse of a Narcissist. Jeanne shares an open letter she wrote to the Narcissists in her life in an effort to let go of the hurt they've caused and to show how they've helped her uncover the power of her silent strength.
Jeanne recently posted an open letter to Narcissists on her blog. If you've ever dealt with a Narcissist in your life, then you know the absolute emotional devastation that this can bring to you. This is intensified when you are perhaps already a person that is afraid of conflict, that prefers to avoid it, and also when you come from a background where you weren't equipped to deal with your emotions properly and you weren't equipped to understand the power of your own strength. So you probably have really bad boundaries.
And like Jeanne, you probably keep finding yourself in situations where you're making friends with the wrong people, you're entering the wrong types of relationships, you're attracting the wrong types of relationships. Each time of course you think it's completely different. And then when it eventually implodes, it's so clear. All of the similarities become so clear. It has been a really difficult thing for Jeanne to deal with the Narcissists in her life, because it usually starts from a young age, and it's usually somebody close to you that acts this way.
Jeanne explores the emotional impact narcissists have had on her life, the consequences of gaslighting, and the power of finding her silent strength.
Follow Jeanne on Instagram
Subscribe to the FIGGI Life.
Shop the FIGGI Sensi-Soul Skincare Regimen for dry and sensitive skin.
[00:00:00.410] - Jeanne
Hello, FIGGI Goddess, and welcome to another episode of the My FIGGI Life podcast. Today I'm going to delve into something I think a lot of us deal with a lot more than we think, and we think we're alone and dealing with this alone, but it's so much more common than we think it is. I'm going to talk a little bit about my experiences with the Narcissists in my life.
[00:00:25.400] - Jeanne
I recently wrote an open letter. Dear Narcissist, it's me, Jeanne. It's on the blog, which you can see, and I am just going to share my experience through that.
[00:00:37.450] - Speaker 3
Welcome, Goddess, to your sacred space. This is the My FIGGI Life podcast, where we openly discuss life's wins and losses on our journeys to self discovery. This is your best life. This is your FIGGI life. And now here is your host, Jeanne.
[00:00:57.330] - Intro
So if you've ever dealt with a Narcissist in your life, then you know the absolute emotional devastation that this can bring to you. This is intensified when you are perhaps already a person that is afraid of conflict, that prefers to avoid it, and also when you come from a background where you weren't equipped to deal with your emotions properly and you weren't equipped to understand the power of your own strength. So you probably have really bad boundaries. And like me, you probably keep finding yourself in situations where you're making friends with the wrong people, you're entering the wrong types of relationships, you're attracting the wrong types of relationships. Each time of course you think it's completely different. And then when it eventually implodes, it's so clear. All of the similarities become so clear. It has been a really difficult thing for me to deal with the Narcissists in my life, because you may have a friend that acts this way, you may have a family member that acts this way, you may have a loved one that acts this way. But you may also know that it usually starts from a young age, and it's usually somebody close to you.
[00:02:27.920] - Jeanne
Loved ones, people you look up to, which makes it a lot more difficult. Like it makes the manipulation so much more intense. It makes the emotional manipulation so much more intense. The gas lighting, that whole idea of doubting your own reality, doubting how things really happened and what was really said. And was it really said this way?
[00:02:54.760] - Intro
And perhaps you're overreacting and you're rethinking everything. And it really does feel sometimes like you're the one that's going crazy and you're always imagining things and you're the mean one and you're the one misinterpreting events and conversations.
[00:03:12.490] - Jeanne
This would be hard enough if it's one of your best friends, but if it's family members and if it's loved ones, it's so much harder because you have this blood bond. And especially if it has been coming along from a younger age. Because then you also have this whole societal structure of they're the adult, you're the child. They're right, you're wrong. This whole thing of respecting your elders and it just makes this whole kind of mess of what it creates for you so much worse. And for me, it has really affected it still affects my life every single day, especially the effect it had on my self-confidence. And I see that a lot in my relationships, especially new friendships that I build and my business relationships and my business dealings.
[00:04:03.630] - Jeanne
I've learned a lot and I've grown a lot in terms of the business world. But I really, really struggle with being super assertive and saying, no, I'm the diplomatic one. I'm always looking for a diplomatic solution. As my husband would say. I'm not the hammer. I'm almost like the therapist looking for a solution that would fit everybody. Usually that doesn't fit me at all. You understand what I'm talking about here if you've dealt with this before, and it really does impact your life and continue to impact your life every day. If I just think even just this week, I had a super tense and difficult situation at work that I had to deal with, and it took me so long to stand up for myself and resolve it because I always go back to that point of, oh, maybe I misinterpreted it. Okay, let me read the email again. And just make sure that I'm not overreacting or maybe I remembered something incorrectly or maybe I said something incorrectly. It always goes back to that point of you being so convinced that you need to doubt your reality of how events took place. And for me, that's one of the most brutal type of abuses that can be committed against another person. I really feel it is this way, so I will say it as strongly as I feel it, that rape of the mind, your mind and your mental state is the most sacred thing, I think, that you hold to yourself. It doesn't really matter what kind of person you are. We all have instances, daily instances, where we are alone with ourselves. We withdraw within ourselves. We sort things out within our own minds. And to have that impacted to such a degree where you're always doubting yourself, you can't even say you're always doubting your reality. Because when you deal and have dealt with people like this for most of your life, you don't even see it as your reality anymore. You start seeing it as your version of the reality, which becomes even more dangerous.
[00:06:13.630] - Jeanne
So, if you can relate to this at all, I hope this episode is for you. And I just want to let you know that you are not alone. Please comment. Please share this episode. Tell me how you feel. Tell me the challenges that you've been dealing with in terms of this, and I'm just going to go ahead and read this open letter to you. Hopefully you find some purpose, some hope, some help in this even if it is just to feel a kinship with somebody else that has been going through it.
[00:06:50.370] - Jeanne
Dear Narcissist, it's me, Jeanne. I am the weak, timid girl who apologizes for being alive, the girl who always seeks diplomatic solutions while avoiding all conflict like the plague. We've met many times, and my interactions with you have left me with many scars. I want to let go of this poison now. You see, I'm on this mission to let go of it all. All the noise, all the negativity, all the nonsense and everything not serving me anymore. I'm writing this letter to you to express how I feel.
[00:07:29.180] - Jeanne
The sad thing is that you would probably read this letter and not realize that you are part of the problem. After all, I was the one willingly giving away my powers. So I form the other half of this equation. There is a good chance you would see anything and everything around you as contributing to your heartache and sorrow while being utterly oblivious to the pain you cause others. That's your nature. You come in all shapes and sizes. But the hurt you caused me comes in only one form a painful doubt of my reality, abilities, and gifts. I invest in working on myself, bettering myself, and being honest about my flaws. Gosh, I have so many. I take a lot of responsibility here, too. Because in most instances, I have allowed you to treat me this way, allowed you to affect me the way you do. And I continue to allow you to dictate my life and choices. In many ways, I cannot blame this on you. Because although you hold much power over me, you cannot enter my domain without an invitation. Nope. That's on me. Since I can remember, I have been a peacemaker.
[00:08:47.170] - Jeanne
Walking on eggshells was as natural to me as breathing. I took it upon myself to ensure peace. This meant bringing in humor when possible, and above all else, explaining and apologizing for everything. Was it my fault? It doesn't matter. I apologize anyway. Will it make things better? Just apologize. The best way to deal with my fear of your anger apologize. As a young adult, I struggled increasingly with the baggage you dropped on my shoulders. I had more than enough baggage to get rid of on my own. But I constantly carried the load you insisted was somehow also my responsibility. I will never be what others call strong.
[00:09:35.660] - Jeanne
I will never come down like a hammer in difficult situations. I won't scream and say hateful things I can't take back. And I won't engage in your brutal business tactics during tense negotiations. I can lie and say I will work on it. But let's be honest. This is not me, and it will never be me. If I spend all my energy trying to be this version of a human. I will always fall back to my natural tendencies. To happily hide in the shadows, withdraw. Under the desk and invest an excessive amount of time keeping everyone happy so I can avoid the dreaded conflict. And that's okay because I've learned that we all have strengths. We all share in each other's energy and are all in this world and life together. This means we get to call upon each other in times when we need the strengths of others. Just like someone would seek me out to assist in successfully resolving a crisis through diplomatic means, I may call on someone else to tell it like it is when harsher tactics are definitely necessary. I've learned many things about me and subsequently about you in my life. You are genuinely a unique shapeshifter. You come in many forms and show up in many life situations. And a version of you will probably still be present when my little girl is old enough to deal with the ones that come after you. But for now, here are a few things you need to know about me. First, I am not avoiding the conversation. Just because you thrive on actively seeking and often finding conflict does not make me weak if I do not choose to engage in it.
[00:11:32.850] - Jeanne
Not every situation needs a harsh exchange with a win or lose, all or nothing approach. You only know how to resolve an issue by starting a fight, setting your goalposts, and pressuring me into the ring with you. I do not have to partake in this. I can comfortably sit on the side-lines and choose not to submit my mental and emotional wellbeing to the verbal abuse and overall stress of unnecessary conflict that he is about to ensue. I understand that there is often no point in engaging with someone that argues for the sake of arguing. Instead, I sit back, listen calmly, choose my words wisely, and walk away to take the time I need to come up with the most peaceful response or solution I can. I don't choose to engage in this trap you set for me. It doesn't mean I actively seek to avoid conflict, don't want to participate in the conversation, or don't want to resolve the issue. It just means I search for a better way to address it. Disagreements are reasonable, and it's necessary to express these. However, it's not always essential to make it an all-out war.
[00:12:49.670] - Jeanne
The second thing you should know about me is, contrary to popular belief, I am not weak. I know business rules somehow dictate that you have to be a ball buster and that you cannot be perceived to be weak. Add to that the fact I am a woman and it gets even more complicated. Am I not challenging enough? I'm a walkover? Am I too harsh that I'm a witch? You mistakenly believe the best way to get what you want from me is to pressure me, disrespect me, and loudly voice your needs and opinions. You need to remember the respect and reach I have established professionally and how far my network reaches. Just because I don't lower myself to your level doesn't mean I'm weak. It means I'm quietly observing, noting what I've learned about you, and mentally adding you to my denial list. Yes, that means I won't be bringing my business to you anymore. You will lose my recommendations to others, and I will gladly give other opportunities. Above you, writing emails in bold, treating me like an invalid, and explaining basic concepts like I have no idea of contracts or business, is another giant mistake on your part. I may not scream, shout, or even state my case, but I am the one who makes the final decisions. I can create opportunities, and I can choose not to offer these. So please don't mistake my calm, quiet nature as a weakness.
[00:14:26.830] - Jeanne
You need to know and understand my time is valuable too. I know in your world it's sometimes hard to accept that there are others occupying space in this world. Others have calendars, commitments, families, and heaven forbid, hobbies outside work. You are so oblivious to the struggles of others and yet so incredibly aware of all the difficulties you face. While you continue to breathe through life without stopping to lend a hand, the world keeps turning. It's not okay to disrespect my time by constantly changing appointments, cancelling events, or amending arrangements already made. Something else you should know is that you are responsible for your actions. This may be the hardest one for you to digest. You and only you, are responsible for the words that leave your mouth. You are responsible for every action you take and every choice you make. We all have circumstances that influence our life, but when it comes to decision time, it's on you. We all need to live with that responsibility. And just because you have a general lack of empathy for anyone that's not you, doesn't mean you are magically absolved from this. I may be afraid of conflict, and I may not want to let this negativity into my life, but that is my form of necessary self-preservation. I have given up enough to people like you.
[00:16:01.190] - Jeanne
You do need to know. Even though I don't choose to engage in your war of words, it doesn't mean that you don't cut me deeply in your world. It's just words which you often don't mean. The next step after your brutal attack is always to forget about it because it's over and done with. Well, that may be true for you. To me, however, your words remain. They deeply puncture my heart and constantly turn around in my thoughts and dreams. Words have meaning to me, and I refuse to use them to break down others. While you're judging me for running away or being scared, I've already silently cut you out of my life and positioned you safely behind my boundaries. The last thing you should know about me is that I have unique gifts. While you can achieve a lot. There are different ways to reach the same goals. You're often a high flying achiever, a no nonsense, powerhouse driven decision maker, and highly confident in your abilities. But has it ever occurred to you, though, that I don't need to be any of those things to achieve the same or even more? Yes, I'm sensitive, but this allows me to pick up on highly subtle cues from others.
[00:17:32.270] - Jeanne
This helps me read a room, listen to my gut, and make excellent decisions about the people I work with, the people I choose to help, and those I choose to spend my time with. I may not like shouting snide remarks and cutthroat sarcasm. However, I have an uncanny ability to calm and resolve high strung crises and create unique solutions that fit everyone. Therefore, while I may not be the hammer, I can recognize the skills of others and deliver a message more poignantly when needed. While I don't approach new business with demands and rigidity, I build blasting relationships with professionals who are often willing to go the extra mile for me because I either give them the benefit of the doubt or evoke loyalty from them. While you often have a one and done deal of a lifetime, clients come back to me repeatedly because I treat them respectfully, I compromise, and I find different solutions when called for. So, dear Narcissist, before you judge my ability to achieve, be successful, or opine on my qualities as a human being again, please remember that there is also such a thing as silent strength. I thank you deeply for teaching me this.
[00:18:54.440] - Jeanne
I thank you for keeping me humble, and I thank you for making me such a creative problem solver. Just because I prefer not to take part in your passive aggressive antics doesn't mean I am incapable of resolving the situation. I am, however, avoiding resolving this situation in a destructive and counterintuitive way. All my love and light, Jean.