Posted in cancer, faith, God, Grace, help, loss, prayer, soul, Thanksgiving

Death Comes For All

I don’t imagine this will be my most popular topic to write about but when you are told that yours may be imminent, it has been cause for me to explore the topic.  It is said that we are born to die.  And it is true, nobody gets out of this life alive.  Even Jesus had to experience physical death before eternal life.

In this day and age we have distanced ourselves from the concept of death.  We have hospice and funeral homes.  But just a century ago, most people died in their own homes, surrounded by family members and death was observed by families, up close and personal.  This is not the case today.  It was also something that many cultures embraced and prepared for.  Whereas, in today’s  society where we avoid the subject or reality of it, at all costs.  I am not saying that I am racing to the grave but I have made a bit of a study of it.

In many cultures or beliefs there is a bit of a ceremony at the time of transition.  Drums are beat, chants are made, music is played.  Here is the US, the priest or pastor is called at times and the last rites are said etc.  But what is all this about?  Is it for the departing soul or for the remaining family?  If you die alone, does it make an eternal difference to the dying?  Many of the dying wait until they are alone to slip away.  They find it difficult to do when surrounded by family and wait and quietly slip away when someone steps away for just a moment.  It’s as if they cling to life while surrounded by family but find it easier to depart when no one is around.  I have heard of this happening many times.

My very first experience with death came when I was 8 years old.  My young and beautiful step sister was dying of brain cancer.  I was very young when the reality that children die too, was thrust upon me.  It was sad and difficult watching a child I played with and cared for, die a slow and agonizing death.  And I am struck with my own cancer in my brain and my gamma knife success, how different it may have been if she had been diagnosed in today’s medical age.

My next death experience came when I had just graduated high school and my great grandmother (who had survived breast cancer in the 1940’s) was dying of leukemia. After graduation, I went to live with my grandparents once again and helped with meals and laundry while Nana took care of Nanny until she drew her last breath.  Nanny was surrounded by loved ones and in her own bed when she died.  The coroner was called, they came and took Nanny away and we had a traditional funeral service for her.

Then came the death of my second husband’s sister.  She drank herself to death.  She had been told where her drinking was taking her but she did not heed the warning and drank herself into full blown liver failure.  I remember being mad about this death it seemed so senseless at the time and she left behind 2 teenagers and a husband.  I later found out about some trauma that must have scarred her on a very deep level that she hid and it most likely ate her alive.  She died in the hospital and was not in her right mind as the toxins (from a failed liver) built up in her system.  It was very sad to watch, especially knowing that she had done this to herself.

Since my breast cancer experience, I have witnessed many folks on their deathbed.  I am a witness to their passing.  I am OK with being there.  I have had very deep conversations with folks who are passing over and I have had a glimpse of what comes after.  There is an after.  This life that we see and experience is not all there is.  Souls (mine and yours) live on beyond the relinquishment of the physical body.  The essence of who we are goes on.  It does not matter what you believe happens after that……know this, you will continue to exist.  The love you expressed, the people you helped, the kindness you showed matters.

Take some time out of your life to figure your next stop.  It always amazes me at how much time is spent preparing for things that MIGHT happen and so little time is spent on what is definitely going to happen, at some point.  Death comes for us ALL, no exception.  What are you doing to prepare for yours??

Microsoft Word - heaven.docx

 

Posted in bitterness, help, loss, narcissism

New Post on Narcissism: Respost

The Timing And Motivation Behind Why Most Narcissists Discard Their Partners

 

Why do narcissists seem to pick the worst possible times to discard their partners? Are they really that cold-blooded that they not only break-up with you, but also plan to do it at a time that would add insult to injury? What would motivate a narcissist to hurt someone they professed to love so much in such a heartless and brutal manner?

I have heard many stories of narcissists dumping their partners right before a major holiday, or on their partner’s birthday, or after their partner shared something very personal. I’ve also heard of narcissists ending relationships right before a special planned event, or when their partner was down on their luck, grieving the loss of a loved one or even diagnosed with a serious illness. The list of heartless, cold and calculating ways that narcissists end relationships continues on and on.

It is not your imagination. Indeed, it is true that the narcissist will purposely plan the timing of their breakups to occur during times when distress or vulnerability is extremely high in your life.

Narcissists thrive from kicking you when you’re down.

Adding to your troubles and blindsiding you increases the odds that you will become completely unhinged by the cruelty of their cold-blooded actions and complete surprise of your expulsion.

Narcissists are fully anticipating you to beg, plead and promise to change even more than you already have when they unexpectedly break things off with you. It is their deranged way of further managing you down the road and fully establishing their superiority and dominance over you. The more that you abandon all dignity in a desperate attempt to try to understand how they could simply dispose of you as though you never meant anything to them, the grander and more in control they feel.

Your pain creates a transitory jolt of self-worth that silences a narcissists nagging feelings of self-loathing. It gives them a temporary rush. Watching your heart break with agony is literally intoxicating to them. It’s the equivalent to a hit of cocaine. Their behavior, post discard, may appear almost manic as they become drunk in their own premeditated ego boost.

Flaunting a new  “supply” or relationship in your face just days or weeks later is their coup de grâce. Emotionally healthy people would feel too ashamed or embarrassed to publicly jump into another relationship so quickly. The narcissist doesn’t. Not in the least.

Why?

Because the narcissist has most likely been planning your discard and smearing your reputation behind your back for weeks, if not much longer. The narcissists’ supporters won’t think twice hearing that you were replaced so suddenly because they have heard all about your alleged faults and misdeeds for quite some time. They more than likely will be happy that the “poor” narcissist has found someone to rescue them from the likes of you.

What should you do if your narcissist breaks up with you unexpectedly and smears your character? Absolutely NOTHING! Their supporters are still under the influence of the narcissist’s stories just like you were. In fact, you’ve probably seen sides of the narcissist that his or her supporters have never seen or could never even possibly imagine. Guess what? You still stayed and hung in there in the haze of your Kool-Aid spiked cocktail mixed with shots of your own cognitive dissonance and unconditional love.

Do not try to defend yourself to your narcissist or their supporters. This is a waste of precious emotional energy that you will need. Do not try to sway the supporters in to siding with you. The narcissist has anticipated the things that you might say and has already countered them by planting a very credible sounding rendition of the truth in the minds of their supporters.

“But it’s NOT fair! Why should I let the narcissist get away with trying to destroy my character and play the victim while I’m the real victim and the one hurting?”

It’s not fair. But narcissists don’t play fair or by the rules. They are morally deficient and lack a conscience. For this reason you can never win a battle against a narcissist. There is no level that they will not stoop to in order to win. Your mind may be able to travel to hateful and horrible places, but your conscience will not allow you to pack your suitcase and follow suit.

You never entered the relationship to play games or “win.” You entered the relationship with an open heart and pure intentions. It may appear that the narcissist has “won” as they are running off happily into the sunset with their new soul mate while you are beyond devastated, just hanging on by your fingertips trying to put the pieces of your life back together and figure out what just happened.

As the fog slowly dissipates and you, like the thousands of survivors before you, will learn that there’s a name for the ABUSE you suffered. It’s called narcissistic abuse. You will realize that the narcissist tried to destroy, devalue and then discard you not because you were unworthy or flawed, but actually just the opposite. The narcissist devalues, destroys and discards from a place of insecurity and inferiority. “All cruelty springs from weakness”. ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Narcissists believe that if they can destroy and dominate good people who possess qualities that they lack, then they can adopt those qualities through some disordered process of osmosis.

If you’ve been discarded, most likely it’s a tribute to your strength.

You started seeing through the charade of the narcissist. You began challenging the narcissist on their lies and hypocrisy. You saw their mask slip and caught a glimpse of the evil, phony person that they have been hiding from you. At that point, you’re no longer a good source of supply. Your expiration date has arrived.

Your inkling or glimpse of the truth of what has been hiding behind the mask invalidates the deluded image the narcissist has of themselves. Their cover has been blown and to survive they need to discard you so that they don’t have to acknowledge the reality of their real, flawed self. To acknowledge the truth of their real-self would shatter the narcissist into pieces from which they could never recover.

Unfortunately, understanding the motivation and timing behind your dismissal does not lessen the torment of the feelings of pain, heart-ache and betrayal. You’ve been lied to, toyed with, and manipulated. Your love has been exploited and used as a weapon against you. Healing from this abuse takes time and tenacity.

When I said that you can never win a battle against a narcissist, I meant that you can never win if you play their game. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose. On the contrary, now that the relationship is over, you are no longer their unwilling opponent in their twisted “love” games. You’re sincere, genuine and you believe that love is not a game where there must always be a winner and a loser. Let the narcissist play the “You’re Always Going To End Up The Loser Game” with someone else.

You may still feel that the narcissist has won and that’s okay. Be patient with yourself. The more time and distance you have away from the narcissist, the more you’ll realize how mentally and emotionally imprisoned you actually were.

You are FREE now. So F.L.Y. (First Love Yourself) and let go of what you know in your mind is not good for you. That way you will be available to receive what you truly want and deserve.

Bree Bonchay
Bree Bonchay is a Los Angeles based Licensed Psychotherapist (LCSW) who believes “relationships are the currency of life”. She’s a relationship expert dedicated to helping people heal from break-ups, recover from toxicrelationships with narcissists and sociopaths and to never settle for a life less than the one they dreamed of. She is a Blogger, Advocate, Facebook Toxic Relationship Recovery Forum Administrator, Radio Guest Expert, and is the Author of her upcoming book, “I Am Free”. http://www.relationshipedia.me/
Posted in God, grief, loss, Uncategorized

New reflections on loss

I just got an email from a friend who just lost her 24-year-old son, in his sleep yesterday. Her pain is incomprehensible. My pain for her is immense. Having a 23-year-old son myself, living in Pennsylvania, it caused me to check his Facebook page. I immediately checked on all my kids to make sure that they were safe. I quickly wrote a note on Taylor’s wall to say that I love him. This is the second May in a row where a Mom I know of  has lost their only child (son). They have been taken suddenly at the same juncture of their young life.  Leaving crushed hearts, broken dreams and hopes in the wake.  Inexplicable and devastating loss.

And now I sit here with an old familiar friend…………sudden, inexplicable loss. We know each other well. We have met many times before. He is like a rude and unwelcome house guest that shows up, tries to take up residence and make himself at home. He wants to live here, you know. He is always looking for a way to barge in and high jack my positive life and outlook. But I will have none of it!  Change and consequently, loss is a part of life!  If you are alive, loss is certain at times.  It will be a part of our human experience.

I will do what loss has taught me to do in the past. I will appreciate today! A new day and an opportunity to bless, help and glorify GOD. I will show deep and abiding gratitude for the people I love and who love me. I will thank GOD for all the wonderful times and memories I have as a MOM. I will endeavor to be truly present and live in the moment and be GRATEFUL for all of it. ALL OF IT!!

And I will be a good friend.  I will respect the privacy needs of my friend and remain available for whatever she needs.  I will also seek God’s comfort and peace for her in her loss.

Posted in faith, healing, loss, narcissism

Narcissism PART II

I have had a bunch of folks write to me privately and ask many questions on this subject.  So here is the post that answers many of those questions:

  • Didn’t you know that you had a narcissist in your life?
  • What are some specific types of things did “your narcissist” do?
  • Why did you put up it?
  • Do you have contact with that person now?
  • How long did it take you to “recover”?
  • How do you feel about that person now?

I have clearly expressed that my life with the narcissist was a roller coaster ride.  Everyday I would walk on eggshells and know that at any time, the switch could be flipped and rage and violence could erupt over really rather trivial things.  The narcissist that I knew was actually very honest with me, on our very first date he proclaimed that “everything was about him”.  At the time I was not aware how true that was.  I thought he was being funny.

The narcissist is a master of disguise.  They actually appear VERY charming and when it suites them, they can really sweep a girl off their feet with romance and candles etc.  But the charm is fleeting and will be turned back off as soon as they have what they want from you. Actually, they are incapable of any genuine emotion towards anyone else except anger, rage etc.  They are not capable of love and anything truly sacrificial.  They will put on a good act from time to time but time will always show that it really is not in their repertoire. They will have a life landscape littered with drama and broken relationships.  They do not have the emotional wherewithal to sustain a relationship with anyone long-term. They will lie about the failure of the relationships around them because the truth is not very attractive.  When I met “my narcissist” he was at the end of a horrible divorce situation, his ex-wife was “crazy” and stalking him.  In retrospect, I now see this was again lies to make me feel sorry for him and because the truth was ugly.  The fact is, I never saw his EX wife, she apparently made a new life for herself and moved on.  She remarried and left the area.

I have heard from others that the same story is being said about me.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am incredibly happy with my post cancer life and have focused on getting well and putting all the drama behind me.  I would not go back to that crazy drama  filled existence for a million + dollars.  The life I have today is positive, sweet and peaceful.  I am sure there is some other poor soul who is enduring the roller coaster now.

Remember, the narcissist will never see themselves as any part of the problem.  The narcissist will constantly accuse you of things that you have not done, and have you defending yourself against the indefensible.  My grandmother always said that people will accuse you of what they are actually capable of. All the accusations are actually them projecting onto you what they are doing or capable of.

And that brings me to the next question.  Why do any of us put up with the narcissist?  First of all, the narcissist will look for someone who is weak or has recently experienced some type of loss.  When I met the narcissist, I had just gone through the loss of a 22 year marriage.  I was alone in Florida and felt very off-balance with my new life.  So, the narcissist is attracted to and finds the emotionally vulnerable.  Also, they will look for the emotionally damaged.  I was definitely damaged and had a diminished self-worth at the time that I met him.  Then, he worked on me and continued to break me down until I really thought I was lost without him.  He isolated me by constantly accusing me of different things so that I would not go out, for fear that it would cause an argument.  I danced and placated but all to no avail, nothing was EVER good enough.

No, I do not have contact with this person now. From the day I was threatened and walked out the door, I made the decision to fight cancer, not him  The very best decision I have ever made was to focus on my health and nothing else.  I saw him over the summer once, I waved just to acknowledge him and he flipped me the bird.  I then saw, he has not moved one inch from where we parted ways.  He is still angry and ugly for no real reason………getting sick was apparently something he did not know how to deal with.

It took me a full year of being very private and focused on my health, for me to get well.  I went to a counselor and she helped me put everything in the right perspective, to talk about all of this and to help me to heal from the trauma of being deserted after my cancer diagnosis.  But remember, it was this crucial betrayal that made me realize, I had a really serious core issue with my self-worth.

How do I feel about this person today……….I forgive them.  I actually pray for him quite regularly.  I know God has a purpose and plan for each and every one of us, including the narcissist.  God loves them just as much as he loves me.  Now all that being said, I do not want this person in my life in any way, shape or form.  My life is GOOD  🙂   I am in a great place. I am HEALTHY……….I am LOVED………..I am WORTHY……………I am SUCCESSFUL………..I am ENOUGH and at peace.

Posted in cancer, God, loss, Post Cancer, Survival

My new LOGO………the Pink Phoenix.

 I have decided to make the PINK PHOENIX my new logo.  I feel it is an appropriate one  as for quite some time, I have felt that I have risen out of the ashes of a much different and previous existence.   If you toss in the radiation experience, it makes the correlation that much stronger.  In my work with cancer patients now, I see it time and again where new and better life springs from a previous one.  I am placing the legend of the phoenix here for those who do not know it.

There is a bird that lays no eggs and has no young. It was here when the world began and is still living today, in a hidden, faraway desert spot. It is the phoenix, the bird of fire.

One day in the beginning times, the sun looked down and saw a large bird with shimmering feathers. They were red and gold–bright and dazzling like the sun itself. The sun called out, “Glorious Phoenix, you shall be my bird and live forever!”

Live forever! The Phoenix was overjoyed to hear these words. It lifted its head and sang, “Sun glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone!”

But the Phoenix was not happy for long. Poor bird. Its feathers were far too beautiful. Men, women, and children were always casing it and trying to trap it. They wanted to have some of those beautiful, shiny feathers for themselves.

“I cannot live here,” thought the phoenix and it flew off toward the east, where the sun rises in the morning.

The Phoenix flew for a long time, and then came to a far away, hidden desert where no humans lived. And there the phoenix remained in peace, flying freely and singing its songs of praise to the sun above.

Almost five hundred years passed. The Phoenix was still alive, but it had grown old. It was often tired, and it had lost much of its strength. It couldn’t soar so high in the sky, nor fly as fast or as far as it was young.

“I don’t want to live like this,” thought the Phoenix. “I want to be young and strong.”

So the Phoenix lifted it’s head and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!” but the sun didn’t answer. Day after day the Phoenix sang. When the sun still didn’t answer, the Phoenix decided to return to the place where it had lived in the beginning and ask the sun one more time.

It flew across the desert, over hills, green valleys, and high mountains. The journey was long, and because the Phoenix was old and weak, it had to rest along the way. Now, the Phoenix has a keen sense of smell and is particularly fond of herbs and spices. So each time it landed, it collected pieces of cinnamon bark and all kinds of fragrant leaves. It tucked some in among its feathers and carried the rest in its claws.

When at last the bird came to the place that had once been its home, it landed on a tall palm tree growing high on a mountainside. Right at the top of the tree, the Phoenix built a nest with the cinnamon bark and lined it with the fragrant leaves. Then the Phoenix flew off and collected some sharp-scented gum called myrrh, which it had seen oozing out of a nearby tree. The Phoenix made an egg from the myrrh and carried the egg back to the nest.

Now everything was ready. The Phoenix sat down in its nest, lifted its head, and sang, “Sun, glorius sun, make me young and strong again!”

This time the sun heard the song. Swiftly it chased the clouds from the sky and stilled the winds and shone down on the mountainside with all its power.

The animals, the snakes, the lizards, and every other bird hid from the sun’s fierce rays — in caves and holes, under shady rocks and trees. Only the Phoenix sat upon its nest and let the suns rays beat down upon it beautiful, shiny feathers.

Suddenly there was a flash of light, flames leaped out of the nest, and the Phoenix became a big round blaze of fire.

After a while the flames died down. The tree was not burnt, nor was the nest. But the Phoenix was gone. In the nest was a heap of silvery-gray ash.

The ash began to tremble and slowly heave itself upward. From under the ash there rose up a young Phoenix. It was small and looked sort of crumpled, but it stretched its neck and lifted its wings and flapped them. Moment by moment it grew, until it was the same size as the old Phoenix. It looked around, found the egg made of myrrh, and hollowed it out. Then it placed the ashes inside and finally closed up the egg. The young Phoenix lifted its head and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone! Forever and ever!”

When the song ended, the wind began to blow, the clouds came scudding across the sky, and the other living creatures crept out of their hiding places.

Then the Phoenix, with the egg in its claws, flew up and away. At the same time, a cloud of birds of all shapes and sizes rose up from the earth and flew behind the Phoenix, singing together, “You are the greatest of birds! You are our king!”

The birds flew with the Phoenix to the temple of the sun that the Egyptians had built at Heliopolis, city of the sun. Then the Phoenix placed the egg with the ashes inside on the sun’s altar.

“Now,” said the Phoenix, “I must fly on alone.” And while the other birds watched, it flew off toward the faraway desert.

The Phoenix lives there still. But every five hundred years, when it begins to feel weak and old, it flies west to the same mountain. There it builds a fragrant nest on top of a palm tree, and there the sun once again burns it to ashes. But each time, the Phoenix rises up from those ashes, fresh and new and young again.