Codependency Recovery: Do’s and Don’ts of Setting Boundaries with a Narcissist.


I’m not sure where it’s going.

For now, this it to help me own and embody my own wisdom as I set, reflect on, and adjust my boundaries with BK- the father of my two boys and the wonderfully covert narcissist in my life.

It’s an ongoing list. Updated often. Here goes: 

When changing boundaries:


Don’t: concern yourself with whether your narcissist  will like, or even understand, what you’re doing.

Don’t worry about whether you come across as “nice.” Tightened boundaries aren’t going to feel “nice” to those who’ve reaped the benefits of the “looser” terms.

Don’t over-explain your motivation behind the boundaries to your N. For example, don’t tell your  N that you’re doing it as part of your recovery. This exposes vulnerability and gives your N a means to fuck with your head. Don’t tell N it’s about their pathology, either. This will trigger narcissistic injury and they’ll likely go on the offence. Just state the boundary as clearly and with as much neutrality as you can, and move on.

And breathe.

Do Breathe.

12/20 I write online to engage with Other, in my journal to engage with Self. Other is everything seemingly outside of Self. I say seemingly because I know somewhere deep inside that nothing exists outside of Self. It’s all an illusion, I get that, but it’s a damn powerful one. I find myself pulled back and forth between the two, perhaps more interested- habituated to- Other.  Self has been tempting me more than usual, lately. And She’s easier to be around these days. I’m actually enjoying Her company, which makes me more clear around Other.
Speaking of Other-
BK has been here a lot. Every day. He’s stayed over four nights in a row. In the mancave with the boys. This is wonderful when I don’t over think it and maybe pretty sweet even when I do. It’s my Detachment Practice. He’s not my business. I can love him and coparent with him and maybe even be his friend at some point, but his journey is his own. As I long I keep this in mind we’re good. When I go into the future and project all that could happen I get into trouble with it.
My unexamined stressful thought:
I wont be able to move on if he’s around all the time.
The truth I found:
Yes, I will, when it’s time. But right now it’s not time for that sort of distraction, anyway. It’s time for me to focus on my Self, my purpose, my kids and their growth….so much to get a grip on, no time for drama.
Speaking of drama, he’s AWOL again. He’s hereherehere and then…poof. No call no show. The good news? It doesn’t consume me anymore. It doesn’t throw me off my groove. I know longer allow myself the distraction of stressing over it.
Does it hurt the boys? I don’t know. It doesn’t give them an ideal impression of where a father should spend his time but I might as well normalize it.
It doesn’t have to be awkward.
My unexamined stressful thought:
I have a lot to do this week and he’s bailing on me. 
He should be communicative right now because Christmas is just a few days away. 
The truth I found:
This isn’t about me. He’s stressed, too. How can I best take care of myself? Calendar when he DOES get here, figure out the best way to spend what time I have. KNOW that I have plenty of time to get ready for Christmas because all I really need to get ready is to get my heart in a good place. 


This, from a wise friend on Facebook:

You become what you do with your focus and your intention. If you spend your days with people you don’t feel connected with, if you spend your life in a relationship with a person you don’t really want to be with, if you spend your life working on a part of your business that is not particularly important, this is your life. These acts are what comprise your time here on earth.
If you spend your time micromanaging your life or someone else’s life or if you spend a large part of your day scrolling on facebook or checking emails you are likely to experience disappointment. If you spend your time feeding your addictions or numbing yourself you are likely to experience loss and grief at some point.
If you spend your time with people you deeply connect with, if you minimize your checking emails and facebook scrolling and maximize your human connection time, your joyful learning, creating, gardening, community building time, your earth based time or whatever is close to your deep body-soul-being then your life may be quite different.
Surrender to the other life that is waiting for you. You don’t have to force yourself, just follow your real joy with fierce focus and intent and let some greater power work through you. If you live in this way, you will spiral upwards; even more love will come into your life
Your real talents and powers are right there under your nose, you have had them all along. The treasure is buried in your back garden
If you locate and work on the most important, the most courageous, easeful and soul-uplifting human or earth connections or parts of your business that you can, then you may begin to take flight and experience freedom. If you focus on the things that really serve life on earth then your life may begin to take on the contours of your dreams and your deepest soul.

~ Jason Hine

M just now….

M: Ya know, Mom, it’s true that knowledge is power. But it’s ALSO true that it’s dangerous when misused, just like Power.
Me: Hmmm…. That’s a good point. What brought that thought up?
M: Just my head. I’m sure the game I’ve been playing helped, though. That’s kinda the theme of it….the perils of misused knowledge. A kid can really learn a lot from video games.
Gleefully flaps his hands a little, clearly satisfied with himself… walks away….


Night and Day

As the water cools this time of year M can be most easily persuaded to swim at sunset “when the name of the day alliterates with the sun.” He quickly dives through a few waves, checks out the sailboats and heads back to shore where I wrap him in as many towels as possible. He spends the rest of the time telling me about his latest gaming ventures, pondering life and people watching.

D will go in anytime- no matter what sound starts the name of the day. He finds random kids to play wave-diving games with and usually has to be persuaded out from under the sea foam with promises of Truffle fries at Shaka Shack Burgers on the way home. No chit chat after- just giggles as I warm him up and race him to the car.

I marvel often at how different they are from each other.
They’re my night and day.

getting to ‘go bigger’

The weekend went smoothly. I stayed grounded, clear. I focused on my own process and on being present and kind to the boys.
Ending Saturday in meditation with lovely humans in a beautiful space helped me feel calm and safe. I spent plenty of time Sunday creating a cozy spot for myself on a small couch on the in the family room, where I started two books: Gay Hendricks’ Learning to Love Yourself and Mary and Ronald Hulnick’s Loyalty to Your Soul.
R was around most of the time. Our communication was boundaried, friendly, calm. It also got deep. He seemed surprisingly interested in Saturday’s meditation experience and in what I’m up to with my personal development, in general. I told him a bit about the soul work and about my intentions of studying spiritual psychology, soul memory, etc…
He’s been interested in spiritual, alternative realms for a while now  but his level of interest surprised me. I’ve been introducing him to spiritual stuff  since we met in the mid nineties when I was living in a conscious, spirit focused community in Durango. He’s typically been more interested in what he finds on his own than whatever I come up with.
So I answered his questions and often reminded myself to stick to the truth of things; to stay focused. To detach.
He had a lot to say about his enthusiasm for the spiritual path I seem to be on.  and how he thinks more and more people are on a spiritual path, that we’re all in this together, yada yada….
I’m conflicted about this because, as good as it could ultimately be to have R on board with and- for now- financially supportive of my spiritual development, i still find myself fearing and resisting the idea that at some point he’s going to spring the toxic woman  on me.  I mind a lot less that he’s still involved with her and if he moved out next week to live with her I’m more confident than ever in my ability to adjust.
I also don’t think it’s coming anytime soon; he’s still full of talk about plans for the future.  I don’t  see ANY of it as signs of hope, like I used to. I understand that he’s just confused and scattered, as usual.
There’s also a blooming, healthy part of mySelf who KNOWS plans of more of the same with this guy is NOT a reason to be hopeful….I’m excited about what else (and- every so often sometimes even WHO else) is out there for me when I step up to a higher way of being, when I come into my own….
My concern is that, perhaps, he’s going to want to keep living together like this and then, instead of moving out, he’ll try to let the worlds collide, figuring that, since I’m so “evolved” now, I’ll be open to reacquainting myself with her and her children.
I’m more interested in WHY this concerns me than the concern itself, though, so I’ll call that progress. Part of the WHY is easy enough. My gut tells me she’s entitled, desperate, aggressive, delusional in her Self perception, and enabled in her delusions by sketchy spiritual “healers.”
The other part of the WHY it concerns me is due to my own insecurity about thriving in my own right..if I was really on a path and if I was confident in it she wouldn’t worry me at all.
The good news is that I’m not as afraid of him cutting me off at her request; partly because I don’t think he would and partly because I intend to get myself into a much better financial state…I just need time to do it and my gut tells me I’ll have time.
Also, lately I’ve been protected by the idea that everything is going to work out, that all I need to do is stay focused and place myself on the right path, and the Universe will provide. I’m starting to think in terms of what I have to offer as a teacher and, perhaps, a healer.
I wish I could say this translates into confidence or a plan at this point, but I’m working on staying optimistic. I’m also working on not “working” at things so much, on not “working” my molehill sized problems into mountains of worry and fear.
Speaking of fear, I actually on some level FEAR her reentry into my life.  I fear a potential loss of my newly found Self and a potential slip off the path I’m on. I feel like she literally wants to step into my entire family with her delusions of personal power and I’m getting “hits,” for lack of a better word, that she’s got a very negative perception of me. Ironically, I feel like I’m the threat to her life.
The thing is, my gut tells me that she doesn’t have what she  thinks has going on spiritually. She’s high on ego and low on authentic depth. She’s pretty milk toast, as far as I an tell, and I don’t have time for that.
I think she’s talked to an egoic  “healer” or two and, between that and her family’s wealth,  she’s convinced herself that what SHE wants is what the collective conscious wants. I got a hit about her ego when I first met her. The first thought I had was “pushy,” but I smiled and blinked it away.
I blinked so much away.
Now I’m staring straight ahead. Mostly.
So I want to stop the fear and I want to create a protection from her that will ultimately prevent her from ever entering my life in a significant way, even if she ends up with R for the long haul.
I guess this is where boundaries come in.
Perhaps the thing to do is what I’m already dong, to become so rock solid in my focus, so sure of my path, that she becomes irrelevant. Already, even the fear is almost more of a fear of mosquitoes…more of an annoyance…a repulsion. I want to find a way to bless this situation. I’ve been listening to Caroline Myss again…she mentions the importance of finding a way to come to terms with, to “bless” situations because it will visit our biological systems if we don’t.
I guess I need to rise so high on my own path, to stay so far out of pettiness and all those other small ways of being, that I bless her from a distance. And I don’t have to hurry to that place. Plenty to do.
Note to Self: for now, to just let it all go. Give it up to my Higher Power. Surrender Self. Go Bigger. Envision.

giving up my ticket

12.1.15 morning pages
“Our soul is like a soft and gentle flower, it needs to be nurtured, cared for, tended to, with sufficient sunlight, fresh air and freedom to bloom into its most precious and beautiful form. This, my friend, is self-love.”
― Miya Yamanouchi
How will you nurture your soul today?
If R comes home in time I’ll go for an early morning walk. I’m sitting in the sunlight now. I can feel its warmth on my head and shoulders and see its golden glow on my hair.
How will you honor your freedom?
Freedom from R’s business, for starters. I’ve given myself that. I’ve given up my ticket to the R show and he knows it. I’ve told him so and I’ve proven it by snuffing out his drama with a commitment to total non-reaction. I’ve claimed and honored my freedom from hearing about his grandiose escapades, his relationship kerflufles, and, ultimately, his drama laden fall from grace with a small minded, entitled, whiny woman who’s decided that their union is so powerful, so in line with the collective consciousness that they can deceive and betray their current partners and prematurely engage their respective children as part of their courting.
I’m free of her. I’m free of both of them. I’ve successfully stepped out of the show. I hear nothing about her or his dealings with her, professional or otherwise. It’s awkward and uncomfortable at times around the house but there’s a lot more truth in the awkwardness than in the pseudo-relationship we had going for far too long. This is where I am now. I hope it lasts. It’s a good starting point, a jumping off point for bigger, better things. For more freedom.