Overcoming narcissism and healing from emotional abuse are so important to your mental health and to living a life of freedom, confidence and peace. Today, we're going to be talking to Carrie Miller about red flags, narcissistic relationships, NLP and a bunch of other really exciting other stuff. But before we start, I want to brainstorm ways that I can help ease your healing journey. Imagine you're standing on a cliff and on the other side of a deep canyon is the life that you dream of a partner who connects with you, supports you loves you empowers you makes you laugh makes you smile, a life filled with freedom and confidence and peace and unwavering happiness. I've been where you are now, standing on the edge of the cliff dreaming of that life. And I've built the bridge between where you are now. And that dream life that seems so far away. Let me walk you across that bridge and literally hand you the life of your dreams. It's possible. I've walked this path with 1000s of survivors who live a free, confident and peaceful life now, let's walk this path together. Don't waste any more time feeling worthless or exhausted. Schedule a free call with me today. At schedule a call with Marissa. It's exactly how it sounds. schedule a call with marissa.com.
Welcome back to healing from emotional abuse. Today I have on Carrie Miller. Carrie Miller is a licensed massage therapist and a trained NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner which is awesome. who specializes in helping women find themselves after narcissistic relationships. As a survivor herself. She was trapped in narcissistic toxic relationships for 23 years, one with her high school sweetheart and another long term relationship a little bit later. And she'll get more into that as we go. today. We're gonna chat about her story, how she overcame her abuse and started healing and building confidence and what she does to help other survivors overcome narcissism. Hi, Carrie, welcome on. I'm so excited to have you today. Hi, Marissa. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. Of course, we're so happy to have you. I love NLP. I think that it's so interesting. So I definitely want to dive into them later. But would you mind telling us your story? Sure.
I dated my high school sweetheart for a total of six years, we were married for almost four didn't start out as a as an abusive relationship. He was basically my knight in shining armor, you know, he treated me well, my doors, he did things that no other guy ever did. And just fell head over heels. The longer in the relationship we went, things happened red flags, I thought I was so in love that, you know, I can overlook those things. Once we got married, things really started to change. And I'm not even sure where you know, a timeframe but telling me that I couldn't do things because I couldn't I wouldn't make any money or, you know, all my friends sucked. You know, didn't like anybody I was with, or that I hung around with. So just start started distancing myself from those people because my husband didn't like them. That's what I was supposed to do. Right? Couldn't have any male friends because all they wanted to do was get my pants, you know, and just bashed me for all the male friends I had and my best friend, thank God, she was still my best friend. We went through a rough patch, but my best friend from first grade, I don't like her, you can hang around her. I gave up my best friend since first grade for him. It's my husband, he's telling me I can't hang around these people. Like I have to listen to him. Right? You know, and all of the things he was telling me and just the self confidence stuff, just you know, with the toilet, if you don't even realize it when it's happening. Couldn't keep a job for two years because of the things that were going on in the relationship. He had this way of always turning things around on onto me, it'd be my fault. I caught him going through some of my stuff, my personal stuff one day, so I was questioning him about it. Well, two minutes in all of a sudden is my whole were arguing about something else totally took the spotlight off of themselves. He wanted to be a state trooper. So he's really great at interrogation tactics and turning things around in used it on me all the time. He broke up with me several times, I always took him back. He had a really good way of hoovering me back in cold sucking it back in, he would go out with his friends, because, you know, by this time, I didn't have any friends, he would go out with his friends leave me home wouldn't come home, all night long. I'm walking out the door to go to work the next day. And he's coming home in thought that that was okay. wasn't financially helping with anything. I remember one instance where we moved into a new apartment and had to buy some furniture. So I went out and I bought a matching table, sofa back table to put in our entranceway. He gets so upset with me over that he went out and he bought a $7,000 motorcycle, and didn't tell me and thought that was okay. He had this look that he he always gave me that. I always knew that, oh, I'm in trouble now. We're young, and it's like, wait till we get home. And then I was in court. He just, he had this way of talking. That didn't sound like he was talking down to you. He had me convinced that my parents were the worst parents in the world. We talked about having kids, you know, and he's like, Well, just look at the way your mom raised you Why would you want to have kids? Would you raise it just like your mom did? And yeah, just it was unbelievable. The things that he would say and had me convinced of. So yeah, I started distancing myself from my parents thinking, you know, oh, my God, he's right. They're so bad that I'm the way I am. Because of them. You know, without me even realizing it isolated me from people and family. And the only people that we would ever go see would be his family. In You know, I just after the third time of taking him back in the staying out all night, and not telling me where he was at what he was doing and who he was with. And I had just had enough. I was tired of feeling like crap and being alone. And so I finally said, I'm done. He tried to Hoover me back in the akiem and crawl that is literally on his knees crying. Please don't leave me. I love you. And if you're trying to have these big crocodile tears down his face, and I'm just looked at him, and I'm like, No, I'm done. You had your chance. You don't want me, I'm not gonna let you continue to treat me this way. And then shortly after that started the second relationship. This is something that I normally don't do, I was I started dating somebody that I work with being lonely and just coming out of a bad relationship after six years and not getting any attention. And then all of a sudden, getting that great attention again, from somebody else ended up spending 16 years with this man moved in together after two years, not long after we started living together, he would say things just to get a reaction out of me, which was out of the ordinary for him, because it's not something he had did when we were just eating. And it wasn't all the time. And it just kind of progressively got worse from there. Once a while he'd call me name and get really so angry at me over over silly things and call me a name. And I'm like, Okay, it's just because he's angry, no big deal. Over the years, it progressively got worse, would make make me believe that the way I remembered things happening didn't actually happen. The gaslighting was unreal, making me think that I crazy for feeling the way I was feeling for thinking the way I was thinking, being told You're too sensitive. You know, just get over it, telling me oh, you're overweight you need, you need to start working out. So I start working out. And then he tells me oh, you can't work out in the house, you're gonna wear a hole in the rug. So I would go and work out in the barn on the cement floor. And then could only do that for a while because my back would hurt so bad and hardly walk. You know, just made my life so difficult, made sure that I was paying for things more than he was. So I was always financially living paycheck to paycheck. I was laid off at one point on unemployment. And our agreement was I would pay for the groceries every month. And you know, being on unemployment, you don't have a ton of money to go for a month, you know, and I would come home with this little bit of groceries and he's like, Well, just because you're on an unemployment doesn't mean I have to eat like a popper. So I would have to spend my entire unemployment check on food for him so he could eat like a king. Just he would I would clean the house and he'd come behind me and redo it all because I didn't do it good enough. The first time I
move my stuff that Tommy just things to make you really feel like you were you're crazy. I know I put this here Where did it go? You know and all of a sudden it's on the dresser in the bedroom. It's Seems so simplistic when he when I'm talking about it. And so well, that doesn't sound like abuse. But all of the things that he did that added up over the years in the progression of it, and the things he what he said, and the looks on his face when he said it in the last four years of our relationship, every time we got in a fight it was Fuck you, you know, you're you know, you stupid training. Are you stupid idiot, you're such a twat, you know, just the name calling out where's the swearing at? You got worse, and his wife, but he tells me you don't just get respect, you have to earn respect. So basically, he was telling me I have no respect for you. Even though you're my wife, the ghosting, he was really good at that. He goes to me once for eight days. In totally not look, sound a word nothing acted like I didn't even exist for eight days. You were in the same house in the same house. Yep. I never knew what I was going to come home to if he was going to be in a good mood or bad mood and, or anything in between. I walked on eggshells for eight to 10 years of our relationship, because you couldn't piss him off. If the house was clean. When he came home, he blew a gasket. And if it wasn't clean to his specifications, how did you get out? What did you do? The breaking point for me in that relationship was at this point he was he was sleeping on the couch every night. And I was sleeping in the bedroom. And he worked kind of a second shift swing shift. So when he got home at 1112 o'clock at night, he'd stay up until two three o'clock in the morning and then sleep until 1112 o'clock in the afternoon. And we had a dog. So he's in the living room sleeping on the couch and I'm in the bathroom. The dog is outside barking, he wakes up because of the dog barking, comes to the bathroom, punches open the door. It slams into the curio cabinet. I can't believe the glass didn't break in the look of rage. The complete look in his stance I was trapped in this bathroom with this man. So enraged, I thought he was gonna I was gonna hit me. I thought he was gonna beat me because the dog was barking. In the words that just came out of his mouth. I couldn't believe he was talking to me that way. With the look on his face in I don't know why he walked away. And he didn't come into the bathroom. He let me out. I grabbed the dog and I went to my parents house. In that today I asked my parents, if I divorced him, Can I move in? In a set? Absolutely. And I said I'm bringing the dog with me. Is that okay? And they said yes. That's negotiable. That was a non negotiable I got my dog has come on with me. I'm not leaving him here with this guy. They will never forget the look on his face that day. And I have always said I will never be one of those women that a guy will hit you and I wasn't going to stick around to find out if this or that was my self competence and my self esteem was zip. I don't know how I survived. Afterwards, maintaining a life. I felt like I was this big. I was the worst person on earth. No one's ever gonna love me. For me. I always have to change to make people you know, so that people will love me in when I change. That's not even good enough. Just this whole perfectionist persona that I was trying to put together was never good enough. During our relationship, I turned to alcohol to cope, because I never knew what I was going to come home to and it was easier to deal with it. If I was buzzed drinking 45 bottles of wine a week, I became a workaholic. Because I didn't want to come home. I'd leave for work as soon as early as possible. And I'd stay at work as late as possible because they didn't want to didn't want to be there with them. I was able to save up enough money to pay for a lawyer. It took about three months. And I told him I says I'm done. I'm walking away. In that conversation he called me the narcissist will never admit there are exactly I forgiven them. And I have I didn't do it for him. I did it for me.
I'm all about forgiveness being for the survivor and not for the abuser right we forgive so that we let go because holding on to it doesn't serve us in a positive way at all. And it doesn't impact our abuser or narcissist. It's literally just holding us back. So can you talk about maybe what you did that helped you forgive him and move forward or if there was any like there's a typical Give, that'd be amazing. Yeah. So even before I, I filed for divorce, I knew that there had to be something better that I can't live like this. So I started doing guided meditations. And one of the ones that I used to listen to every day was Doreen Virtue in cutting the cords and calling the angels down. And in going through this, it was like I don't like I don't 20 or 30 minute guided meditation to cut these chords. So I did that a lot. And that really helped. I did a lot of Louise Hays stuff from Hay House, you know, looking in the mirror and telling myself, I love you, you're perfect the way you are, you know, just a lot of that type of stuff. I think that took me a couple of years, just knowing that it was still eating at me. And in his eye, he was so much that I forgave him a lot. For my healing, I had to forgive myself more for letting myself get sucked into all of that. And that knowing that what was going on was unhealthy. I think that's more important for healing. Is the forgiving yourself versus the the forgiving the abuser. For my perspective anyway. I agree. 100%. Was there like a feeling that you had, when you forgive yourself? And forgive him? Did you have a, like, a divine feeling or anything when that happened? Yeah, I think there was more of a lighter feeling, which kind of progressed into the feeling happier and allowing myself to feel happy, not feeling guilty for feeling happy. And I think once I finally forgave myself, for allowing this to happen, and twice, you know, for for so long, I was finally able to get into a new relationship in a healthy relationship and see, the things that weren't supposed to happen versus the things that are supposed to happen. I think when we get stuck in that, that wallowing of that victim mentality, we're so stuck on all of the things that have happened. That's all we see, in order to get beyond seeing that, in experiencing that stuff is is the self forgiveness, and then the forgiving the abuser and saying, I am no longer going to allow that to control me or my life. I want to move on beyond there. I want to laugh and I want to smile. I deserve to be happy. I'm worthy of happiness, I'm gonna cry. And just realizing that I never even knew narcissism existed, until I was almost over with the second relationship. And that it's so prevalent in a world in the work that you do in the work that all these other people are doing to help these people help, you know, through the verbal and emotional abuse is so wonderful. I never knew that. That stuff existed until I got into the healing portion of it. And even six years after leaving that relationship, still feeling the unworthiness. I you know, I'm not even I don't deserve to be loved. I'm not perfect, I have to be perfect before anybody will love me. That still is cycling in the background in your unconscious mind. I think I found this lady who was my business mentor for massage therapy, massage therapy business. She's a NLP master trainer. And I went through her class and became certified in NLP. And the breakthrough that I have had with the techniques from NLP, to release all of those unconscious beliefs about myself that were installed from somebody else has just been phenomenal. That's
incredible. You don't even realize the self sabotaging habits you have. Because it's so habitual that even in my new relationship, you know, I'm like, I feel like this is going down that same road even though it's it's healthy and we're happy I feel like there's there's something wrong and why is that if I'm happy if we have a healthy relationship Why does Why does it feel like something's wrong get past that honeymoon phase in it starts to get it starts to get normal, you know, normal or mundane? Or you know, you get used you get into your rhythm and your your habits with each other whatever. You start putting on weight be a little lacks and you know, doing all that stuff and that's what was happening with me he was you know, turning back to wine and starting to put on the weight in eating food. You know, that was the other thing is I turned to food oh my god
and I'm just like If there's something going on here, and I can't figure it out, I, you know, I started working out twice a day for three months and didn't lose a single pound. And I'm like, What is going on here? This is not right. And that's not long after that I on NLP and had a breakthrough session with Rebecca and come to find out, you know my breakfast session was hurt with her was I can't lose weight no matter what I do I can't lose weight. Well it came down to that was just a symptom of I felt unworthy of love, I have to be perfect to be loved and filling it with food. That and I didn't even realize I was doing this I would eat every meal I would eat so much I would eat I almost puked in not even realizing I'm not full until I want I'm almost puking. Because I want to fill that void inside. I'm not loving, or being loved or not even loving myself with food, I had my breakthrough session with her. And within two months, I think it was two or three months, I can't remember, I lost 16 pounds. Wow, I say, you know, just by releasing that unconscious belief, I no longer need food to fill the void inside me. Even the realization of knowing that's what you're doing is huge. Bringing the unconscious to the conscious and bringing awareness to it. Everything we do all day long, 95% of our actions are habitual, they're unconsciously done. So unconsciously eating to the point of puking at every meal. And then realizing Wait a minute, this isn't how you're supposed to feel after you eat. It's just it's so crazy to me that changing that one little habit of negative self talk released so much stress and tension and emotion from your body that you were able to drop weight like that. Yeah, we're just our bodies are programmed to keep us safe. And to keep us surviving. And making that one little change can be so life changing. Absolutely. You know, I'm still working on the perfectionist part. I thought I had that pretty well lived. But I still feel like you know, there's some lingering fingers of that hanging on but it's not just even people who have been abused is everybody has these unconscious beliefs that are running the program, that you don't even realize they're sabotaging you. And they're not even your beliefs. They are things that have been installed in you by your parents, your grandparents, your teachers, your pastors, your preachers, the government, the police, you know, whoever have people of authority, that at the time may have been okay, if whatever feeling you attached to that, at the time, became an unconscious belief and is still running in the background. And it may no longer be serving you. But it's stopping you from living your life the way you want to live it. I talk to these ladies all the time, who are still in narcissistic relationships and are I don't know that I can leave, I want to go back, I missed them. And just even some of them. They're saying, I'm to the point I'm done, I want to take my life. And I'm just like, I feel for them so deeply that I just want to reach out and tell them no, you're just we all we have to do is change a couple beliefs in you it is so easy. And that's the thing with NLP is you don't have to relive all of the stuff that you've been through to change those beliefs. You don't have to sit in a counselor's office and rehash every incident and replay everything in your mind to get past it and heal from it. Absolutely, exactly. I told my mentors, this is something this is something I have been looking my entire life. I've been looking for this, I never never knew what it was. It blew my mind. There are some things you have to do when you do coaching with NLP, that can be really difficult. But the difficulty is there to help you change the unconscious belief and release it. We make it for you to do your unconscious belief more difficult, so that it's easier to release it. If that makes sense. Do you put in the work, you put in the effort so that like the reward is greater than the risk? If that makes sense?
Right? The behavior becomes so much more difficult with the tasking that we give you in NLP, that you no longer want to do that behavior. So it changes into something else and it's usually install a more positive better belief for you. And it's easier for you to do that belief. That's incorrect. So as long as you're willing to do that work and get that new positive belief, then there's no stopping you. You're basically just reprogramming your brain to stop believing the crap and the nasty things and the negative messages that we're being told by our abusers, and in our past by other people, you're just rewriting them, it stinks, because you have to try and remember all the horrible things that they've said to you. But once you remember them all, you can rewrite them. And I just think that's awesome. And you're you're healthier, and happier and live lighter. And that heaviness on your shoulders and in your chest just isn't there anymore. Totally free. Absolutely. I know, it's been a life changer for me. Even with my massage therapy, business, releasing all of that negative self talk and unconscious beliefs, my massage therapy business is taking off again. Oh, yeah, I've reached a new, a new height with that, when I first started, I've been on my private practice on my own for five years. And for the first two or three years, I have never been able to get booked out beyond a certain point, and then things start to wane off a little bit. It's that whole self sabotaging thing, you know, I get to a point where I believe I can't do any better than that. I did my breakthrough session I releasing a lot of that stuff. In one of one of the the limiting beliefs I had from the abuse is, if you can't see me, you can't humiliate me. So you can't abuse me. So unconsciously I was doing things so people couldn't see me. So I only had a certain amount of people who were coming to my business or could see my business. So my business plateaued at a certain way, releasing all of those negative beliefs in self sabotaging behaviors. Within two weeks, my business became booked out four weeks in advance. Hey, congrats. That's awesome. Thank you. It's like, how can that happen? How does that work? In you stop doing the things. It I don't even know what they were, but just stop doing the things that were holding me back from other people seeing who I am in my work in it seeing my business in a cassette, all it took was two weeks. And it just I'm like, you've got to be kidding me. This is all you know, I spent half my life in abusive relationships, in feeling shitty and crappy about myself. And in nobody loves me in for six years of my life thinking my parents were the worst people on Earth in they can't believe they raised me the way they did. And you know, oh my God, my sisters are so bad. And knowing that his belief of trying to whatever his belief was was trying, you know, his narcissistic behavior of isolating me to try to control me, and letting him do that. Installing those negative beliefs. In hindsight, you can heal from this, you can have whatever you want, you can be whoever you are, and whoever you want to be. It is okay. And if people who don't agree with you, or accept you for who you are and who you want to be, and it's okay to walk away from them. There are more people in the world to associate with it having your tribe.
Yes. It's true is everything you said is true. I agree. 100%. It's so hard to see it when you're in it, like you had said earlier. But when you're out of you're like, oh my god, I can't believe I let this person get away with all of that. I mean, when you were telling your story about your high school sweetheart, it really sent me back to my my first abusive relationship. A lot of the things were the same, you know, he started off great and thoughtful and charming, and then it just like snap changed. And then it was the demeaning and but when I was there, all I could think about was, I know him I know deep down and and he's charming and kind and considerate. But he's not he was showing me his true colors hiding in plain sight, and so was yours, you know, and so to all narcissists, first they hook us and then they show their true colors. But there are like, but like you said that there are people out there who will love you and accept you for who you are and encourage you not to sacrifice yourself for somebody else. So you're in a healthy relationship now, which is incredible, and you deserve it. So portugu Can you tell us a little bit about how it feels? Does it feel different? Yeah. Wow. To be able to have a conversation about Something that you disagree about it actually an actual adult conversation. There's no yelling, there's no swearing, there's no name calling, coming to a peaceful resolution in just a conversation. The first time that happened, I'm just like, wow, that's real, we can do that. It's a foreign concept, you know? Just absolutely having the ability to laugh at him in at myself and us in the amount of laughter in the house has been so great. I mean, I truly believe laughter is the best medicine for 23 years, there wasn't much laughter. And everything was so serious and everything was so. So dull. Seeing everything with a brighter view, I guess, a brighter vision, a brighter lens, enjoying life, again, experiencing life again, experiencing what it really feels like to be loved, and not have to change myself. To think I'm being loved. He accepts all my flaws. I accept his in. It's okay. Good. I'm so happy that you found that, you know, it's amazing. I'm sure it feels extra amazing. Having endured what you endured for so long. And finally having somebody to come home to that's just easy. It is in the support in the uplifting in when I chose to open my business, he was off for it. And he was right there looking for places in spaces with the painting walls and putting up trim. And you know, just being able to depend on him is huge. Because Exner number two, I couldn't ask him to do anything because he would tell me no, or would never follow through. And I always have to figure out how to get these things done on my own. And if I have to hire contractors to come in here and do all this stuff, I don't know that. He's like, Yeah, I can help you to be want me to pay, you know, do it because I love you. And I don't have to beg him to come to my family functions. Let's just go visit. Okay. Ex narc. Number one the day my sister got married, he showed up at the church and says I don't feel good. I'm going home and bailed out MST on my sister's wedding. It's just stuff like that we both have. We have plans for two weeks in the day. And I'm not going mean I go to visitation and then have to go and make excuses. Right? in not having to do that now. And having him be the one to say visit your mom. Yeah, all those things.