'A few years ago, I had a quite traumatic relationship experience, which left me drained, mentally as well as physically: I wasn't sure any more WHO I was. I actually wasn't sure of anything any more, having been deceived and lied to. At the time, I lived in FL and jumping on my bike every day, to not have to think and also to tire myself out, helped me to put myself in a somewhat better position. For about 3 months, I would cycle up to 500 Mi a week. As I was regaining my strength, at least physically, I was still dealing with the aftermath of mental abuse. I decided therefore, to remove myself from society (so I thought), and undertake a solo ride along the Continental Divide, from Banff, Canada to the Mexican Border of Antelope Wells, NM. I had never really ridden a mountain bike before, let alone navigated through the boonies for almost 3000 Mi. I thought, this was the appropriate medicine. And, oh boy, was I right! It ended up being THE best decision, I had ever made. When I arrived in Antelope Wells, NM, I had taken back my power and found a new love for humanity: I had met the most caring and kind people along this very special ride and nature had soothed my wounds.
For a few years, I had been thinking, how to help others, who might be going through similar dark times, to climb (bike) back into the light.
Now, I understand, that not everyone wants to go on a 3000 Mi ride through the wilderness. Organizing multi day Womens' Empowerment Rides in the outdoors, struck me as a great way to pass on, what I had learnt.
We, a team of 10 women, just completed successfully a ride along the White Rim Trail at the Island in the Sky, UT. This is an approximately 100 Mi ride over 4 days (low mileage), off road. I was witness to life changing journeys over the course of 3 months, which included training and many other activities. It did for these women, exactly what it had done for me, a few years back.
Please, take a look at our ‘GALLERY’ to get a better idea, of this wonderful journey.
Reach out, if you are struggling and want to create a positive, lasting change through an active life and sports.
~ ANGELA (Organizer)
The following real life story, is of one of our TEAM members, who does not wish to be named. Thank you for sharing R.S.
'I AM SCARED TO TELL MY STORY for fear of retaliation. But I was asked to share it so that it might help others in a similar situation, and for that reason I will.
I’ll start at the beginning: I was 29 and hoping to meet a true partner with whom to share life’s journeys. Then I did. He had humor, was intelligent and we seemed to have similar backgrounds and values. Very soon–perhaps too soon–we were engaged. We both traveled for work and only saw one another on weekends. When we did, life was good. Within a few months, we got a place together and married.
Soon, however, I learned that if he was giving me the silent treatment, he must be upset about something. To me, nearly everything that upset him was the result of a misunderstanding. But not to him. He always believed I deliberately said or did something mean or wrong. He’d get out his journal and read me his entry about said incident. The journal—his subjective interpretation—was taken as reality, even telling me what my true motives were when they conflicted with what I had said they were. He used his journal as a weapon, even ten years later in Court.
Early in the marriage, we signed up for a half marathon. He ran such distances regularly. But I was intimidated: This would be my longest distance yet. I trained hard and pushed myself for this big personal goal. Finally, race day came. I pushed myself harder than ever, lungs burning with legs like lead. I knew he’d finish ahead of me so I was anticipating how amazed he’d be, seeing me finish well ahead of the expected time. I crossed the line! And… he was nowhere to be found. I searched, knowing he’d be so proud and we could congratulate one another on our races, but he wasn’t anywhere. Eventually I found him some distance away with his father. He didn’t even ask about my race. This lack of support or even apparent interest in my life surprised me at the time, but turned out to be typical.
There are numerous examples similar to this race. I realized he was only interested in himself. To test this, when I volunteered regularly at a senior center for months I decided not to mention it unless he asked about my day. To this day he still has no idea I did that.
When anything went wrong, it was my fault. There was constant criticism and me trying harder to please him, to earn his love, and somehow never measuring up. I walked on eggshells whenever he was around, and felt emotionally and physically relieved whenever he flew out for the work week. The relationship felt distant. Fortunately, at some point I figured it out: This marriage was NOT normal and the problem was not with me.
Like most people heading for divorce, I had wanted it to be quiet and swift. I hardly told a soul. Then a dear friend forwarded me an email he and many others had received from my ex. It was nasty, full of horrible, ugly lies about me and portraying my ex as an innocent victim. Despite ten years of his emotional abuse, I was stunned. Those of you who have tried to leave narcissists will understand--and I much later learned--that character assassinations are nearly always done because the narcissist feels the need to appear blameless. Image is everything.
Nearly every year since I filed for divorce, my ex has taken me to court over some matter. He had even forced me to the court-ordered mediator, only to disagree with her outcome and take me to court anyway. A narcissist believes he is always right. For example, he filed grievances against two psychologists involved with our case for ‘extreme bias,’ because they said things about him he didn’t like in their parental evaluation report.
Even now, nearly six years after my divorce was granted, I find myself heading back to court yet again. When co-parenting with a narcissist, emails that should be about logistics for the children become further opportunities to regurgitate his victimhood and self-righteousness, and continue to heap blame and false accusations. One solution is to use an email filter so that one is no longer directly subject to such abuse. Now he’s taking me to Court over my filter. And so it continues, and the funds flow to defend myself yet again.
What gives me the strength to survive this is my determination to no longer be a victim. Even more, I’m focused on the maxim: “You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.”
So … I am choosing joy. The more he tries to ‘win’ and hurt me, the more grateful I am that I’m no longer with him. I am stronger now. I choose to have joy in my life and to have positive life goals that I’m excited to reach. In addition to close relationships with my children, I am doing physical achievements I never thought possible and gaining and deepening female friendships. Those are my motivations for this ride.
Life IS good.'