This is not the first time I’m making a change. But this time, it is BIG. Really big.
It’s been exactly one year since I left my corporate job at a Silicon Valley startup to give myself one last chance to find my true purpose. I tried to do ‘my own thing’ many times before. But it never worked.
I was a yoga teacher, an organic clothing designer, a raw foods instructor at Whole Foods and hoop dance teacher at Equinox in Palo Alto. Desiring a writing career, in between jobs in real estate development and venture capital, I wrote and self-published a novel. Hardly a bestseller, at least it showed me I can do it.
My Greek breakthrough
In 2013 I went to Santorini and Athens. Upon my return to California, I slipped into a month long depression. I knew I needed to trade my secure life for a backpack and wanderlust, and soon. If not not, I thought I’d die.
It took three years to get my shit together. When I finally did, I met a prince charming. Or so I thought. I delayed my travel plans to spend as much time as I could with this man. Four months later, after a series of soul shattering events, I realized that I almost married a psychopath whose sole purpose was to use my skills for his business and leech off of me.
Crushed, I retuned home to Poland to begin a six month long healing process. What the fuck happened? How did I let myself get tricked?
What followed was a jounrey back in time to uncover old patterns of abuse.
My childhood, deeper scrutiny revealed, was hardly rainbows and unicorns. To escape the daily torment of domestic violence, I used imagination and spent time in nature. This is when I fell in love with storytelling.
My healing led me to research which led me to narcissistic abuse — a form of psychological and emotional manipulation that forces a child or an adult to give up their sovereignty in order to be of service to another.
Narcissistic abuse is experiencing an epidemic these days. Not only are more people giving up on relationships but our current pop culture is feeding the virus. As images of fake perfection mixed with terror and threat fill the airways, people are losing the sense of what it means to be balanced and healthy. Meanwhile, those with people pleasing personality traits are being lured into jobs, relationships and fake stories spewed by media that are detrimental to the sense of their wellbeing and even sanity.
What is needed is more awareness on the subject. Many have been suffering silently for years without realizing the reason why. They have been baited with sweet words and promises into relationships and circumstances only to be denigrated and hurt. Thinking they cannot leave, they choose to stay as their previous identity is shredded to bits.
The abuse cycle
In the initial stages, narcissists use idealisation, or love bombing, to lure their targets into their trap. Then, by alternating between kindness and meanness, they begin the process of degrading their target through devaluation. One of the narcissists favourite types of manipulation tactic is blame shifting. After a particularly steamy fight, they have an uncanny way of making the victim feel that it is their fault.
Once a target is feeling sufficiently bad to start to reconsider their opinion of the narc, they suddenly become sweet and kind. This creates congnitive dissonance in the mind of the victim who cannot decide whether they love them or loathe them.
In narcissistic-codependent relationships, the abuse tends to escalate. Mean remarks and white lies can evolve towards physical violence and gaslighting, a form of lying and denial in which the target feels like they are losing their mind. To have any chance at recovery, it is crucial to leave the toxic relationship and, if at all possible, minimize or better yet — cut all contact.
Until recently, I didin’t realize that I actually grew up in a narcissisitc household where I was groomed to become a people pleaser. No wonder, I attracted sociopathic bosses and psychopathic partners. It turned out that my easy going and in-the-flow attitude was working to my detriment.
My research, instead of making my family happy, became threatening. It didn’t take long for the truth to sink in. I no longer had a home. I needed to get out and soon, lest I risked relapsing into the old patterns. If that were to happen, I’d have to say goodbye to my hopes and dreams.
Here is why:
When a person subjugates herself or himslef to the will of a narcissisitic partner or parent, they never feel like they can succeed. They seek validation of their worth in the other that keeps them always feeling ‘less than,’ in order to keep them dependent on the relationship.
Again, this happens in families, in relationships (romantic and casual) and at work.
So I decided to sail away and look for a new home. I don’t know where I will end up. My plan so far is to travel across the Balkans and visit a friend in Italy, and then after a quick stop in Cali to head on over to Thailand via New Zealand. I decided to document my journey. Below is a link to my first video.
This is BIG. And this time it will work.
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Thank you for your support and much love on your healing journey!