Okanagan Spring

Apparently, spring has been early, and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it, even when the temperature went up to 30C for a couple of days. It’s more seasonal now, but those warm days ensured that blooms are everywhere, that the hills are verdant, and that lushness prevails. The wine is growing! 🙂

It's green!
It’s green! (And blue!)
More green!
More green! (And blue!) The snow on those far hills has been gone for a couple of weeks now.
And yellow. These beautiful daisy-like wild- flowers are everywhere.
And yellow. These beautiful daisy-like wildflowers are everywhere.
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This very popular trail is on the site of an old railroad track. It’s a favourite walk of M’s and mine.
A final view ... for now.
A final view … for now.

🙂

How is your spring going?

Moving on after the Narcissist

A lot has been written about the difficulties involved in leaving a narcissist, especially if there are children involved.

A lot has also been written about going “no contact” or involving a third party to minimise contact if there are children.

What I haven’t seen a lot about is the business of how to move on after after. That is, after you have left the narcissist or the narcissist has left you,

Life is rich again.
Life is rich again.

and you finally know that you don’t want him or her back again.

After the assets and possessions have been dealt with or the custody issues resolved (and yes, I realise that if there are children, there are likely always going to be problems with the narcissist, but I’m referring to finding a situation that’s perhaps as good as it’s going to get) and the dust has settled.

You have your life back.

Now what?

You might feel deflated.

I’m not kidding.

For example, in my case, it only took four months from the time I separated from my ex-narcissist to the time that my divorce became final. I had a good lawyer who fast-tracked my case on the grounds of cruelty. She was concerned (needless to say, as was I) about his unstable behaviour, the death threats he had made and the continued stalking. The police were involved. He had threatened some of my friends and had written a letter to my employer accusing me of unprofessional behaviour. My employer had turned the letter over to me, unopened.

I also made the difficult decision to buy him off. I’m not wealthy, not by any stretch, but I felt that if money could allow me to turn the corner on this, could secure me some measure of security, then it was worth it.

And all this concerted effort and financial incentive worked.

I was granted a very timely and efficient divorce, without opposition.

The ex-narcissist continued to pursue me for some time afterward, but that tapered off and then eventually stopped. I haven’t heard from him for a couple of years now.

I had gone into counselling to deal with my feelings and sense of inadequacy about this situation, but that, too, stopped. One day, my counsellor told me that I didn’t really need him any more.

So there I was, with my life back. Suddenly.

It was what I had desperately wanted. But it felt strange. Odd.

It felt like something was missing.

And really, something was missing: all that adrenaline, all that worry, all the quick changes to the house with new locks, new doors, a new alarm system. Attempts at measured calls to friends, to the police. But they could tell anyway that I was frantic. Meetings and e-mails. Trips to the bank. Forms and papers. The not sleeping.

And before that, there had been my decision to divorce him. And before that, there had been that terrible life with him. A life of constant stress, of constant hectoring and confusion and volatility. A life in the land of the narcissist. And that is a strange place.

After all that, just being with my real life was no longer familiar. I had to learn it again. And I had to incorporate all the stuff I had learned.

So, I wasn’t really going back to my old life. That was forever gone.

I had a new thing. It was sort of my old life, but also not. I had the same job, the same house, the same friends and the same family. But I was a lot wiser and happier and yes, sadder, especially about how I was also partly responsible for putting myself in this situation. I found myself processing for a long time afterward.

I am still processing, and will likely always be processing.

Because to close the book on an experience like this is to move on before the full set of lessons can become clear.

And that’s dangerous. It might invite false confidence. To think that we know everything we need to know, well, isn’t that kind of narcissistic? There’s always more to learn.

So, once you have finally dumped that narcissist and gotten your life back, allow yourself to explore this new reality.

Take your time, and value the positives that have come from it.

Let yourself be okay with having gotten mixed up with a narcissist.

Incorporate what you have learned into your new/old life.

Realize that you might feel deflated. That’s okay, too.

Remember that a new beginning is a good thing, and don’t forget to be forgiving of yourself.

 

Over to you. 🙂

Iconic Vancouver Island Scenes

The Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean at Otter Point

A trip to Vancouver Island wouldn’t be complete without a couple of shots of its iconic coastline. These enormous logs (above) washed up during the terrific surfs that can occur during winter storms. The logs themselves probably escaped from logging pens or “booms.”

The surf and the rain are doing their jobs.
The surf and the rain are doing their jobs on this old log.

The weather was a comfortable 10C with rain showers and a few sunny periods. The rain was a strong reminder of the fact that Vancouver Island is home to ancient “old growth” rain forest. First Nations peoples and many others have worked hard to save these forests from logging companies. Typically, the forests grow right up to the edge of the ocean.

An old stump imbedded in the gravel beach.
An old stump imbedded in the gravel beach.

This stump has likely been there for a long time; people have carved their names and initials into its deteriorating surface. I can’t help but wonder if this stump is what was left after the tree was cut down for lumber.

Another view of "this old log."
Another view of this beautiful remnant.

The tree itself must have been very old and very magnificient before it died and its remains were washed into the sea. I couldn’t count the rings because of the surf and also because of how worn it is, but I could see many of them, perhaps a hundred. It’s still magnificient, still standing up to the elements that will eventually take it completely.

A Visit to Vancouver Island

M and I went to Vancouver Island for my sister’s internment this week. While there, we said good-bye to my sister while visiting the places she loved on the island where she lived for most of her life.

There's regular floatplane service between Victoria and Vancouver.
There’s regular float plane service between Victoria and Vancouver.
Seals in the harbour. They look cute but can be quite aggressive.
Seals in the harbour. They look cute but can be quite aggressive.
An interesting tree on the pathway around Victoria Harbour
An interesting tree on the pathway around Victoria Harbour. It looks like a giant with outstretched arms.
J loved seafood.
J loved seafood.
The quirky houseboat village.
The quirky houseboat village. Sometimes, tourists will walk right inside people’s homes!
A two-masted schooner used for student training.
Far up the fijord that's part of Victoria harbour.
Far up the fjord that’s part of Victoria harbour.
A tugboat.
A tugboat.
J was a fan of spring bulbs.
J was a fan of spring bulbs.
Seagulls have no respect for historical figures.
Seagulls have no respect for historical figures.

 

Goodbye, J. I love you.

A Few More Okanagan Views

M and I have been doing lots of walking around our new home in British Columbia’s truly spectacular Okanagan Valley. Lots of wine is produced here and the landscape reflects that. There are moderate, wet winters with very hot summers, great for grapes and all the other types of fruit that are grown here. There’s so much more, however. Here’s a sample:

This is the view from Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. It's high above Skaha Lake and is great for rock climbing, but also for us walkers.
This is the view from Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. It’s high above Skaha Lake and is great for rock climbing, but also for us walkers.
Another view from the Skaha Bluffs. It was a beautifully warm day.
Another view from the Skaha Bluffs. It was a beautifully warm day.
There are some furiously fast snow melt creeks in the hills around the village of Naramata. We stopped to admire this particularly stunning example.
There are some furiously fast snow melt creeks in the hills around the village of Naramata. We stopped to admire this particularly stunning example.
A pine forest in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.
A pine forest in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park.

 

We are continually oohing, ahhing and wowing as we explore this amazing place.

We feel truly grateful to be here. 🙂

Sometimes, life is like that.