Monday, May 15, 2017

Addiction affects us all

I called again to see if I can get the death certificate. There are so many people that want that death certificate. I talked with the coroner that did the autopsy. I asked him how long this man had been drinking. Just a guesstimate. He told me that from the looks of the abuse his body suffered, the man had to have been drinking for many years. Wow.

Addiction affects us all. Even though the kids and I were not drinking, his alcoholism affected all of us. We covered for him. We made excuses for him. We did not want to look bad, so we helped him look good. I had no intentions of ever coming out with the information that my husband was an alcoholic. But it seems that there are enough people that know so I guess it is no secrete anymore.

The man was definitely a narcissist. During our three decades together, he proved that over and over again. As I am going through my journal entries through the years, I read it again and again. It is no wonder when he started drinking, we just kept with the same routine. Only now, the situation was much more intense.

For me, I became so involved in the dance that I lost myself in him. I had no knowledge of who I was outside of my relationship with this man. For the kids, being raised by a narcissist is bad enough with the constant not knowing what to do next and walking on egg shells. The emotional neglect was there. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. Sometimes he was an amazing man who was funny, interesting and very loving. No wonder the woman that came into our life and pulled this man away was attracted to him. I remember him showing me her text messages about how much she loved him. Really at first this infuriated me. He may have been a jerk, but he was my jerk, and I did not want to share the man. I know she told me that she didn't want to take him from me, just share the man, but I was going to have no part of it.

Addiction does not only affect the person that is experiencing the addiction. It affects everyone. Just like the drunk driver who hits an innocent person, it will affect others.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Family time is so important



I had a conversation with an old friend recently. It was just a brief chat through Google Hangouts, but something that was said spoke volumes to me. He stated that it was time to go. Which is really not what stood out to me, but it was the statement that followed: It's family time, that rang in my head for hours after. Family time?

Obviously, he made family time a priority. This puzzled me and it should not have. This should have been the norm but in my dysfunctional life, this had never been a norm. A dad had never been a part of family time. Not when I was a child, nor when I was an adult. As a child, family time consisted of my mom and brother. It was no wonder when I grew up, I didn't notice the absence of a dad in our family time.

I am not saying we never had family time. I am just saying that it was not frequent and it was not a priority for the dad in my life nor that of my children's life. It was in that simple statement that I learned so much. Family time is so important. It doesn't have to be a big vacation or anything elaborate. It just needs to be the time you gather together to regroup as a unit. For the kids and I, it was the time sitting around the table during meals (without a book or phone in your hand). It can be at the end of the day when your child comes home after hanging out with friends and they sit on the foot of the bed and tell you about their evening. Family time can be in the car on the way to school, home or game. Family time is the little bits of time you grab in life to connect. 

Family time gets you through the loss of your loved ones, health problems, and the other things that life throws at you. It is the times that you hold dear when you are alone. Cherish your family time. It is so important, especially in the later days.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Was this where it was going to end up anyway?



With the recent passing away of my husband, I have found myself filled with conflicting emotions that I didn't know existed. A couple of years ago, the kids and I had to walk away from him. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done to that point. I implemented no contact rule at the beginning because as our life proved, we would separate and come back together only to do the same routine again later on. This time was a little bit different as he had another supply source. She gave him the attention that he craved and the thoughts of this hurt as much as not having him. I was in turmoil. As the days passed, slowly I became stronger and found that my now peaceful life was much nicer than the ups and downs of the other life. In some ways, I felt that I missed the highs and the lows of our dysfunctional relationship.

Now that he is really gone, there will never be that possibility that he will come back to me. I will never hear the words from him that he appreciated all that I did to help build him up and take care of him. He will never tell our children that they were most important to him. There is no doubt that he loved us all. But I found many years ago that he could never love me in the way that I needed or even in the way that I loved him. I still remember our wedding as though it was yesterday. I remember the feelings I had and the belief that I was marrying my partner for the rest of my life. This was truly the man that I was going to spend my life with and one day we will sit out on the front porch and rock our grandchildren on our laps and talk about the good ole days.

With him REALLY gone, I have no more dreams that one day he will come to his senses and we will have a normal life together. Normal? I had no idea really what normal was. How could I know when all I have experienced my entire life was dysfunction. I am working through my own thoughts and pains to find my own balance and strength. I didn't expect this ending to our life together, but perhaps as I go through the many journals that I have held so close to me through the years, I will find an answer. I think that I know that it never was me. That nothing I could have done would change the outcome. Sometimes we have to accept the inevitable, the truth that we don't want to hear. I tried to rewrite his story, but with every stroke of my pen, the outcome came back to where it is today. Was this always where it was going to end?

Friday, May 5, 2017

You asked for it, you got it


I spent years in denial that anything was wrong. I denied myself the feelings that were so deep in my heart. I questioned even my memories. I did not trust anyone. I did not realize that, in truth, I was as dysfunctional as my partner. I wanted love and thought that by taking care of someone that I would receive love.

I remember one day when I was questioning the love of my narcissist partner. Truly he must love me. We were together for so many years and had several children together. We had our ups and downs, but everyone does. I loved him so very much and thought that there must be something wrong with me otherwise he would show that he love me. I started to believe that maybe that is just how men are, that all men 'loved' the way this man 'loved' me. Maybe I was wanting something more than was even humanly possible. All the while I was questioning his love and thinking something was wrong wit me, my self esteem kept plummeting. I got to the point that I was so afraid of making a wrong decision and having to pay for it later. The thing is, it didn't matter what the decision was. I could be punished for making the same choice one time and ignored later. There was no consistency. It all depended on his emotions at the time.

Tiptoeing as though I was walking on eggshells was a way of life. I was always anxious and waiting for the other shoe to drop. A dear friend confronted me and said, 'You are in a toxic relationship. Get out!'

Again, I was in denial. We just had a little argument. Nothing much.  Besides I probably did something wrong to provoke it. I may have said something wrong or forgot to do something. Who knows?

I didn't realize it. I couldn't see it.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Long time, no see



It has been so long since I opened this blog to write. I have spent the past few months trying to heal. I have been taking the steps to be an independent person that is not bound by low self-esteem. I didn't start out a co-dependent person, or did I?

At a very early age, I learned to read the room that I was in. What I mean by this is that I learned to be able to determine if things were going to be relatively safe around me and I was always looking for an exit plan. I continued that mindset in my marriage because I never knew when things were going to blow up. I would evaluate responses to questions and base my answers on the outcome that I believed it would bring. It didn't matter what I wanted or needed, or so I thought. My believe was that there was something wrong with me so I tried to not feel anything. Eventually I became very efficient without letting what I wanted or needed become an issue. I told myself things like, "When I get myself fixed, then I will be able to work towards the things that I want and need."

I always told myself that I was the one that needed fixing. I finally realized why I always felt that way. I knew that there was no way that I would be able to fix someone else, and as long as I shouldered the blame of being the one that needed fixing, I could work towards a life without all the drama. I can fix me. I can't fix him.

There have been times in the past few months since my entry that I have just sat there in the quiet to let myself feel. I know this sounds a bit weird. Why on earth would someone want to feel the pain that I was feeling? Well, I began to study the pain. What triggered it? Why did I feel a certain way? I know that by giving myself permission to feel, that I would somehow get in touch with my feelings again. I had hidden my feelings for years and did not allow myself that luxury. Now was the time to let the tears flow, let the anger rage, let my mind swirl, and just let go. I got this advice from others that had been through similar situations. I thought it was crazy advice, but I am so glad that I did it because now I allow myself to feel and I can deal with situations as they come up that make me 'feel bad'.

I have more to say and it feels good to be back. To be writing again. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Steps to improving your self esteem




Let go of the early lies that you are not good enough. So many dysfunctional families pass down this trait to their children and it is something that we need to let go of now. You are worth so much and are capable of amazing things. To hold onto the belief that you are not good enough is just holding you back for your destiny. If our bodies can change over the years, which they do, then why can't our beliefs change about our worth?

Self esteem is just how you see your self. It does not depend on what others think of us, but what we truly believe about our selves. There are so many that have been beaten down to feel that we are not worth anything now, but again, this is not true. You are important. Don't compare yourself to the person next to you. Only compare yourself to how you were yesterday, last week, ten years ago, etc. As long as you are improving, then you are doing well.

You were brought into this world good enough and even if there is no one else in the world (which I seriously doubt) that can see this, you are still good enough. Don't accept less. I know a very homely girl growing up and she married a man that she didn't love because she never thought that she was good enough to get the man of her dreams. She was a beautiful woman, but she didn't believe she was good enough. 

Value yourself. You are am amazing person and you deserve to be treated like you are a valuable person, not stepped on and abused. Be proud of who you are and what you can accomplish. Forget about the abuses of yesterday and move on. Learn from it and continue your journey. You are an amazing person.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Dream: Each night it comes, haunting, haunting, haunting . . .

Dreams can sometimes give us an indication as to what is going on and how we try to understand. There was a recurring dream that she had. Over and over, this dream did haunt her. She did not understand it, but was plagued with it with regularity.

Each night it comes, haunting, haunting, haunting . . .

There was a clinically white room that she was looking at. Various instruments were to her left. She noted a bag that was hung from a pole and tubing similar to the aquarium was attached at the bottom of the clear bag. She could see the fluid that was inside the bag. In fact, she could see through the substance as it was clear. Shortly below the bottom of the bag was a cylinder that the tube was plugged into. On the bottom end of this cylinder another plastic tube was inserted. Inside the cylinder bubble, she could see the drip, drip, drip, of the fluid from the bag. The tube continued down the line until she could see its final destination into her arm. There was tape covering the end of the tube but she knew it was an IV. She had many of these before.

She could see a window on her right but she could only see sky from where she was. Nothing more. The clouds were fluffy, like cotton. There were many of them. She noted a bunny floating past, no, a horse. It was hard to tell. She stared at the clouds and tried to make out the shapes.

Fluffy clouds, floating past, floating, floating, floating . . .

A man sat near the foot of the sterile white bed that she was lying on. He was a large man with gray facial hair. He wore a baseball cap on his head and it was turned awkwardly on his head as though he had been asleep. She looked at him and noted the swelling of the blue sweatshirt against his stomach. His right leg was crossed over his left leg and she could see that his right foot was bare. She looked at the left foot and he wore a sandal revealing his toes. A discarded sandal was on the floor nearby his foot. Apparently this is the sandal that belongs on the bare foot. How she hated when he wore sandals. His feet were so ugly to look at. The fungus of the big toes was so thick. She remembered having to cut those toenails and how difficult that was. The smell of them made her nauseous.

She called his name and he opened his eyes. They revealed the tiredness in them as he blinked back the sleep. He came to her bed as she began to beg for him to let her go. Please, let me go. I am in such immense pain and I cannot deal with this any more. Please, I am begging you. Let me go! Her voice was steady, but very weak. Her organs were shutting down one by one. There was so much pain in her core that she could no longer deny it. Her breathing was shallow but steady. Her lungs ached with each deep breath that she tried to take such a shallow breath as not to wince in pain. Her stomach could no longer accept food and do anything with it.

She was slipping away, a little each day, slipping, slipping, slipping