I Can’t Move On If You Are Standing on My Toes: After Narcissism


depression, divorce, narcissism

I was in a conference room with two attorneys and my former husband.  On the chalkboard was this quote: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
The four of us were together for a collaborative law meeting.  One of the attorneys said, “I like that quote but I don’t understand it.”  Over a year later we were no further along and in fact my former husband and I were even worse off.

The quote is from Albert Einstein.  If you can’t comprehend the simple, elegant logic of that statement  the problems being addressed will never go away.

Problems have solutions.  We may not know them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Trying to solve life situations or problems by faulty logic or clichéd fuzzy emotional sayings isn’t going to solve them.  “It’s all for the best. ” (How do you know?).  “Win-win.”  (He stole from me. Why should he win anything else?)  “Just move on.” (I would but you’re stepping on my toes.)

Oprah isn’t going to save you, lawyers certainly won’t, and therapists with analysis paralysis syndrome won’t, and unless you take the hero’s journey, you aren’t going to save yourself, either.

What is the hero’s journey and how does an everyday person commuting on the freeway from home to work take such a journey?

The hero’s journey is the life path we take.  We find that no matter what we do, how much we try and how hard we work, our life is  full of potholes, trauma, despair, things we never expected, temptations, and the feelings of failure.  And then we stand up to them, find a way around, make do, accept some, fight others, change what we can, teach others, love, and when we get tired we teach the lessons to others and pass the wisdom on, The Hero’s Journay is a life well lived, with all its problems, and the wisdom shared.

Doing so brings meaning to the trauma we have survived and allows us to share the journey’s lessons. Pain is not destiny but a place we grow from.

I write about narcissism so we can all move on, in our way, with the things we want and deserve, because we want to, not because we are told to,  and I will never step on your toes.

Ann Bradley


  1. This leaves only the option that a man can be a narcissistic manipulator with nothing but cliches. Guess what, I spent 20 years with a woman who has used countless hollywood movie cliches and pop songs as the explanation for everything. It’s not all on the guys.

    • No, it isn’t only men. And if you look around you will see I often acknowledge that and clearly label my list of characteristics as properly belonging to both male and female.You might also want to see my website http://www.narcissisticwomen.com I fully recognize the narcissism of both sexes. So sorry you had one in your life. It isn’t easy for anyone. Best, Ann

  2. That quote is wonderful, thanks! (I get it)
    I came out of a severely abusive narcissistic relationship, and the first gigantic (and painful) lesson I learned was being inside the relationship looks completely different than being outside the relationship, so I understand that quote relating to that especially. It’s a different logic in the relationship, different reality, and now I also know why ‘external’ people don’t understand why victims stay so long, or return, within an abusive relationship.

  3. Im not saying u are a (N )I’m simply looking and trying to figure out what is going on here. Why do u continue to believe I’m so ignorant? Like I really didn’t read between these lines. You see what I’m talking about,no of course not, yes you financially took great care of me an d MY kids, but these past few years, I would swea you feel and hit your head!all your deceitful games, and manipulating action w the web, network,all my past few phones that u had the upper hand in, very odd, and hurtful, belittling behavior. From you. Yes it is you, why do u think I haven’t reported this bullying behavior with the web authorities? I don’t want to get you in troubling I want you to stop, and see how controlling you truly are. You have spyware,key logger spy ware on my tablet,my phone, the I pad. My whole freaking web viewing is completely manipulated by YOU! Even my damn car! MY CAR! Now you are really getting ballsy with messing w the bank account! I’m not leaving this alone!!!!!! Il be damn if your gonna move and fake transactions to pay for your whores!!!! I don’t care that you work it’s OUR money!!!! You married me stayed so long knowing you never cared, much less like me all these years and wasted my life and your own!!!! So that’s on you! You are the complete and MAIN reason I’m in such a major depressed state, with your emotional taunting, and gas lighting bullshit! Look I hate relying on u financially, but when I try to get out of this and start doing, feeling better, you deliberately throw me back under! Did you really think I would just continue living like this? As much as I love you, yea I’m crazy knowing how bad and hurtful you talk about me, I’m not! And I will not let the girl think its ok to stay in a unhealthy marraige. Your cheating and lying has ruined the respect I felt toward you, now I know it was all a ploy, just to get out of living w her, then you go right back and screw around with her still!!! Who knows how long you were doing her and others probably always have cheated since the beginning I know that know! You know it was YOU who gave me this herpes virus!F—- whatever u could pay or find on CL. Let’s just get it done with! It will be cheaper for you to not make things harder than they are already. No this is not what I want, I love my family and you are the suppose to be the leader here, I love you still down to my stinking ass heart, the one u have stepped on over and over. But I cannot and will not stay w you and your cheating and lying habitual life habits anymore! You have destroyed my self worth, self esteem, and at times my will to want to live. I very aware you would just love for me to do away w myself, u only lock the gun to save your butt. God forbid I ever get that close, you will not be allowed to fake cry at my death to come out clean as a whistle. I will leave all necessary proof and document showing you were constantly tormenting me watching me cry, and making my self sick due to your lack of any compation, and much verbal abuse. They will not think I’m crazy as you have made so many attempts to have my family believe. Your own family now has been tainted by your lies about me and our life, u have failed to tell them any wrong doing on your part. That’s why they no longer come when there in town it’s you blaming ME! Saying Im not wanting them here! I HAVE NEVER SAID that an u know it. Sorry I’m not as confident in myself when it come to speaking the language that I at least got to practice and be more comfortable when I worked. I want so bad to be able to get up find me a job so I can get back to my old self.im just not capable now with the situation in in. And once we start the divorce process, well I’m really not going to for a bit, I will need to heal emotionally firs, before I have a complete nervous breakdown.whoever you are supporting and trying to take care of financially I suggest you stop! This family household comes first!!!!! Or else, no more games gaby no more! The last thing I what is to bring out all our dirty laundry and cost this divorce way more than need be. I’m sure you have stuff you would love to throw me under the bus with but that will only cause me to retaliate and that’s not what I want.you are being completely unfair and what your doing stalking me and monitoring my every move in the privacy of my own home is illegal! Spying on every message text phone call and location I go like I’m a prisoner or something. Besides u see I go NOWHERE and talk to NOONE u should of removed all your surveillance on me. And leave my social accts alone( meaning ) yahoo gmail eBay all my retail dept sites and card info. I have proof u cleared those payment from the bank resulting in my credit. So enough is enough. This is why I’m searching for disorders because what your doing is very abnormal ( stop being in denial) I told u long ago I would stand by and help you if u were honest and u choose to throw a huge tantrum so I have tried to somehow still be a supportive wife even while you were tormenting me! Having sex w u knowing u can’t stand me and have no attraction to me and are sleeping w god only knows what and how much u have wasted on it. Ever since u hadley the bigger payment while I was struggling getting out of bed u are the reason our acct would be overdrawn every week!!! I wasn’t catching on, so u got sloppier and irresponsible making false transactions and moving the money over so u could pay for your indiscretion!!we can do this the easier way or the most expensive and emotional draining and hurtful way possible this all will affect our girls either way, but the least amount of hurt towards them is what I want and I would hope you too. Don’t let your ego get the best of u. Remember I’m not doing this for any other reason than u decided u wanted more than what u already had. Never did u attempt to discuss your feelings or aggravation and unhappiness with me.

  4. I wonder if there is a cartoon showing someone stepping on another’s toes while saying to him, ‘Why don’t you just move on’ ? Or the victim saying, ‘When are you going to stop stepping on my toes’ and the N saying ‘I don’t know what you mean’.

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