Sunday, October 22, 2017

His blade cuts deep

The blade felt cold in my hand as I held it, fidgeting with it as he railed on the errors of my ways. How could I be so stupid? He pointed out the problems with my logic and reminded me of how lucky I was to have someone who would put up with my fumbles in life. "You are not that stupid and yet you act so stupid." I didn't get the meaning. I didn't think I was stupid. I had just graduated at the top of my class. I got scholarships to pay for it so it didn't have to come out of the family budget. I continued to work and bring money into the household through what ever side job I could get. I managed our business and worked around the clock. I taught our children at home and they have become highly intelligent, hard working individuals who were resourceful and studious. If I was so stupid, then how did I pull off the things I did.

He continued to go on in correcting me in the error of my thinking. I fidgeted with the blade as he continued his speech. It was verbatim almost to the number of minutes paused after each point to allow his reprimand to hit home. The blade was shiny and my glance often followed the reflection of light on the walls of the bedroom. It was no longer cold as it had been in my hands for some time now as he continued his battery of words.

I no longer heard a word he was saying. I didn't even feel anything at all. I was aware of what was going on around me but it didn't even phase me anymore. He slapped me but really, I didn't feel that. I was aware of his hand as it touched my face, but there was no feeling in my face. Was I dreaming? Was I just lost in my thoughts of memory? That I could not tell.

I continued to fidget with the knife as he continued. I did not smell his breath when he got in my face or feel the spit from his mouth as it rolled down my face. He pointed out the hole in the bathroom wall and asked me why did I do that? I must have looked puzzled because before I could open my mouth to say that I did not put the hole in the wall, he shouted at me that my mouth was what caused it. If I could ever learn to keep my mouth shut when being reprimanded then, he continued, we would not have so many holes in the walls. I did know that there was nothing that I could do or say to prove my innocence in any of these situations. Even the kids would tell me later, after he had left for us to contemplate the evil of our ways and correct our misgiving, 'Mom, you know just to keep your mouth shut. It won't make a difference.'

Today was not much different than any other day other than I felt absolutely nothing. His words, the names, even his hands could not be felt. I looked at the knife and began to wonder if there was anything at all that I could feel. The blade when placed against the skin of my arm was not cold or warm. I did not feel it either. He continued with his anger and directed another question towards me. I did not hear it at first so he repeated it. "I don't know how to deal with you except for my anger. You give me no choice. You have tied my hands. Anger is all that I have left to try to fix you. Do you understand how bad that makes me feel? Why do you want to make me feel like such a bad person?" Again, I was not sure that I understood him. I was not pushing him to yell and scream and punch the walls. I had thought that maybe if I was a better person that he would never have to get angry, but that can never be since I never know what is going to make him upset. If I bring him a cup of coffee to the bedroom, he will criticize that I should have left it in the living room. If I leave it by his chair in the living room, he will ask why I didn't bring it to him in the bathroom. There was never a way to please.

I took the blade and ran its point from the inside of my wrist to the bend of my elbow. It was not very hard and only left a faint red line trailed along the path. I looked at the red line, noticing its smoothness for the entire length. He continued his rant.

Still not listening to his words or feeling his anger, I took the blade again and traced the first line. I still did not feel the smoothness of the blade as I followed the previous red line. It did not hurt either and I thought that was very strange. If I did not feel the pain then this must have been a dream. I will eventually wake up from this crazy dream.

The second cut was not as smooth as the first. There were areas that a slight bit of blood was beginning to form on the surface. I was staring at the beads of blood on my arm and wiped at them expecting to see them wipe away. I touched my arm with the back of my hand and felt the blood. It smeared. I looked at it and didn't really understand what I was seeing. He had not noticed my preoccupation with my arm and I knew that he would address the issue of me not giving him my undivided attention while he corrected my bad behavior.

At some point he did finally notice that I had run the blade across my arm and snapped at me, "What do you think you are doing?" He used more colorful words through this entire dialog that I didn't feel necessary to write on the pages. He took my arm in his hand and looked at the bleeding line. By this time, there had been one more cut, much deeper, along the line of the previous two cuts. The blood was beginning to flow, but as before, I did not feel it and kept looking at it as if it were someone else. I looked into his eyes as he again said how stupid I was to do this to my arm. What would people think of him if they saw the wound. It is going to take a while to heal and we had a conference to attend to and now that I had cut this long gash in my arm, how would I explain it.

He threw my arm down and at me. "You are so stupid. If you're going to kill yourself, then please do it in a manner that is less obvious. You embarrass me.

I had no intentions of hurting myself. I wasn't thinking that I was going to die. I just was so numb that I just wanted to know if I could feel anything at all. If I couldn't feel anything, as it seemed was the case here, then this must be a very bad dream and that, by cutting my arm, should wake me. I wanted to wake up and no longer be in this nightmare.




Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tami McConnell is spot on

In my experience (having been married to one for almost 15 years)…this is what I know. Any victim like myself who has spent a great deal of time in this kind of marriage finds themselves to where we are EXPECTED to read their mind and act accordingly to what THEY would want us to do… which is whatever they (in all their perfection) would do. To survive, you get very good at it and learn to predict their thoughts, reactions, and triggers alike. So you find you spend a great deal of time inside their head…to avoid their wrath, you have learn to think like THEY do.

Many people assume from the name “narcissist” that these people are in love with themselves, arrogant, etc. In reality, a narcissist loves noone BECAUSE they actually have a very deep inner loathing of themselves. I know that sounds contradictory compared to their outward behavior ..and in many ways narcissists are nothing if NOT a mass of contradiction. They loathe happiness (in all of its forms) especially in others, because they themselves are never truly happy. They at some point learned to despise all they don't or cannot have. (When the deep envy of a narcissist turns ugly, and it always does, it's always in the form of disgust, hatred, and loathing of whatever it is). No amount of admiration, praise, attention, etc makes them “happy” in anything other than an instantaneous way, and then it's gone just as quickly. This drives their rage…always chasing what always seems to elude them. Nothing is ever enough, good enough, or “right”. Perfection or utter failure, there is no in between.. No amount of material possessions, money, sex, etc ever satisfies them.

The malignant narcissist is sadistic. They consciously enjoy putting people in pain and this will manifest in various ways…they will try to destroy other people's relationships as cruelly as they do their own…they will be sexually sadistic, they will be intentionally cruel at every opportunity that presents itself, or even fabricate a reason to do so if needed…their love and need for constant drama will allow them to fabricate such events and justify it through the “gossip mill” that swirls around them at all times. They can be paranoid and delusional, always on guard for any hint of a possible “threat” (real or imagined). If the threat they perceive fails to manifest even in the teensiest of ways, they will push the situation to create a reaction that will “validate” that the threat is real and retribution, revenge, and punishmrnt are all “in order”. This can make them extremely volatile and even violent and utterly destructive to themselves and everyone close to them.

The dual mirror is extremely obvious with a malignant narcissist. Not only do they want to reflect all of your good qualities to everyone else, they want you to be a true reflection of all they see and view in themselves…which in a word, is PAIN. They need to blame someone for all of this hatred and anger and rage and loathing they feel…by turning you into a mirror of all that is inside of them (the actual cause of their pain is themselves)…it justifies their ruthless devaluation, torture, and brutal discard thinking “now, the problem is gone because YOU are the cause of all of this”. But it isn't, and so the cycle repeats with someone else.

These things are very difficult to describe in words. But in all honesty, I'd rather try to describe it, than you to ever have to experience it.

Tami McConnell on Quora

Friday, July 28, 2017

Crushed Heart of another survivor

I told him yesterday that I wanted a divorce. That was not the first time I told him. It was just that this time I was asking him if he would sign in agreement. We had a long emotional conversation in which I learned of his intense hatred towards me/for me because I did not want to have any more children after Noleen and that I went and got the IUD on my own. I cannot remember all of the details of that period of time, I just remember the deep hurt when he expressed his disappointment when we found out I was having a girl instead of a boy. That cut to the quick as did many other things.

It all makes sense now, his feelings towards me, the anger, the resentment, his feelings of powerlessness with me. I never intended on him feeling that way, I was trying to protect my own self too much of the time. It has been an ugly cycle of hurt and rejection and misunderstanding from the beginning and now the damage is done.

I now know that my feelings that he did not love me were dead on. He did not find me attractive or anything because of how he felt towards me. I am not angry, I am relived and hurt and wounded and ready to move on to healing all at the same time. To stay with him, even if I were to have his boy, would cause greater resentments and hurt in me, feeling that I had been used for another purpose other than he just loved me because I am me. I never had that with him. To just be loved. It was and still is, if I do this I can earn his love, if I do these specific things and make him happy, he will feel aroused for me. I am okay with being out of this very unhealthy and emotionally damaging relationship.

I have the day off and I am going to research how to get my divorce petition written up. If I had the money I would pay the lawyer and go from there. I do not have the whole $750 plus $500 for filing fees. I need for God to provide.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Narcissus, The man, the myth, the legend

There once was a deity in Greek mythology who was a very handsome hunter. His beauty was known and appreciated by many.

His father was known as Cephissus, a God of the river. He was strong and bold as the Boeotia river that flows through Attica in Central Greece. He was considered brave and strong just like the ravenous river that he was god of his reign.

Cephissus' parents, Pontus, a sea god of the Black Sea, and Thalassa, also known as Nepture and a sea goddess in her own right were known by many in their time. As typical of many children that are born of over bearing gods that have given too much privilege to their offspring without responsibility or accountability, this god was just as spoiled. He was cared for to the extent that he could no longer see the needs of others and desired to feed his own needs exclusively. This river god, Cephissus, believed that he could have anything his heart, or flesh, desired.

There was a daughter of a lesser known river god that took Cephissus' breath away. He thought of this beautiful flower often and was consumed by his need to have her. He looked upon her beauty until he could no longer suppress the strength of his needs and so he took Liriope who was so beautiful to behold. Her name meant Face of the Narcissus, and she was as beautiful as the lilys that bloom.

Time passed and this beautiful flower delivered a beautiful baby boy. This boy grew to be more handsome and strong. He was proud of his looks and his strength. So proud that he began to disdain those around him that loved him. He deserved so much more than their adoration.

There was a woman named Echo who fell deeply in love with Narcissus. His looks were beyond anything she had ever seen ever. She followed him as she could not take her eyes off of him. He sensed her following him and called out to her. Eventually Echo revealed herself to him and told him how he was the most handsome man she had ever seen and she attempted to embrace him. Narcissus would have no part of it and pulled away from her. He chastised her and broke her heart as there was no other that she could love as she does him. She lived the rest of her life in loneliness and misery, pining away for his affection.

Narcissus was sought after by male suitors as well. This particular young man was discarded like so many before him. This time, Narcissus gave him a sword in which the young man used to kill himself on the doorstep. He prayed to the gods to teach Narcissus a lesson for all the pain that he had caused to many.

Nemesis was a vicious goddess of revenge and she learned of the pain that Narcissus was causing people with his beauty. She decided that he needed to be taught a lesson and punished for the pain he inflicted on so many. She lured him by a pond that was as clear as a mirror, reflecting his image back at him. He noticed that reflection and immediately fell in love with his own reflection. He starred at himself for a long time and upon realizing that this love that he felt for his own image could never be reciprocated in return, Narcissus decided to take his own life for he could not see how he could exist.

It is this end that was foretold by Teiresias to his parents when they desired to know of his future. He told them that Narcissus would only grow old provided that 'he did not get to know himself'. According to legend, Narcissus is still admiring himself in the underworld where he can long for the attention of his reflection but never receive the love and admiration of that reflection.






 causing

Wounds

There are things in life that wound me. One thing that has wounded me in my marriage is sex. Such a beautiful, tender, lovely, warm and exciting thing...designed to bring two people together laced with intimacy and connection and the deepest, warmest feelings can cut like a razor and lacerate when something is missing.

Intimacy and connection have been missing all of my marriage. I didn't know what it was at first, I just knew that I had such deep pain from day one. I wanted an annulment the second day and I realized I could not get one. Then three months later, I decided I would just divorce. I decided that I could not do it anymore. Then the next day I found out I was pregnant with Biggie and cried and cried because it, this new event was going to complicate my plans.

I am glad I have stayed this long but staying any longer is going to do more damage to me than good. I am hurting in so many ways that I thought I had stopped hurting. I thought the wounds were done and over with, healed and I had accepted and was just going on. But they have not. They are still there, they still happen over and over like a stabbing knife and I know why I keep going back to get hurt. My desire for connection and intimacy is greater than my fear of the pain.

I go back to him for sex, but I am looking for a deep emotional connection. I am looking for love that just is not going to happen. I am looking for something that will last and flourish. I am looking for the water in the desert only to find it is a shining mirage.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Can he change?

You will be the sun and moon to this person. You will be their hero. But with that privilege comes a great responsibility. They will keep you on the pedestal so long as you keep up with the things that they need from you. You once thought that this pedestal was a good place to be and knew that you will one day get the appreciation that you deserve for selflessly giving up of yourself. You smile at the insults because you know that he really doesn't mean what he says. He is just frustrated with stress. You are thrown off balance by his gifts and finally realize that most of those gifts are just things that he liked, not necessarily things that you liked, such as clothes or perfumes that he wanted you to wear. He buys you gifts that he wants, like maybe a kayak or two. You begin to wonder where the benefit is for you in staying in this relationship and you begin to pull away.

As you pull away, he begins to devalue you and drain you. Often he disappears or gives you the silent treatment. He took you off the pedestal and you don't know what happened to make him so evil towards you. The answer to that is that you are no longer giving him the supply of admiration that he wants. You are no longer building him up as you once did earlier in the relationship.

You find that he has another supply of admiration and he goes to her for that support. She tells him how handsome he is and how smart and clever. She tells him how she understands and needs him and only she can fill this void he has. She gives him the admiration that he so craves and tells him how he is doing the right thing. He would eat up the attention that she is giving him because he is selfish. He needs that more than anything else in the world.

When she begins to get tired of filling this need, she may become a little more distant and start telling him that he needs to get help or something that he considers as being less than perfect. He cannot handle being less than perfect. He needs someone to affirm that he is right and he is great. He comes back to his old source of validation and praise. In his mind, he has punished her enough and she will be happy to have him back by her side and will fulfill his need for praise.

Don't do it. Don't take him back. The cycle will not change. He will not change. As hard as it is to do, stay with NO CONTACT. Be thankful for the other source of validation that he has. It is this other source that will give you the time to heal. Don't let him come back to you. He may try. But eventually he will return to the other supply or find another. You are worth so much more than that. You are strong and amazing and your light can shine for others.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chaotic timing

I just had that dream that I posted in the previous entry. I just found a piece of writing that was assigned to us in the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project. We were to describe our lives. I compared mine to a circus.

My life is a circus. It is a constant performance, and I am juggling various acts.
Johnny hasn’t had his breakfast, Willi needs help with homework, Caitlyn is dressing the chickens, Kenny shoes are untied, Michael has disappeared (again), Sean is chasing the cat, Brent is scaring the younger kids, Kevin is complaining (always complaining).

How do I keep up with all of these children?

I walk across the sawdust ground and look up to see the high flying trapeze acts. I am mesmerized.
These are my days of navigating the legos on the floor and washing clothes and feeding children. I am amazed at the disasters these kids come up with.

How do they think of all the things that they do?

I am the ringmaster of my life. I am in charge. I take the whip in my hand and control everything around me that I am capable of controlling.
I am no longer at the mercy of a someone’s whim. I know that I can walk away if it is what is best for me. I no longer  submit myself to someone else’s morals.

How could I have been so gullible?

As I walk across the tightrope, I have no fear for I have a safety net to catch me when I fall. I know that I am not invincible and this net is there for a reason.
The safety net I have is that of my family and friends who are there to support me when it is necessary and help to celebrate my successes.

How could I survive without my loved ones?

I keep the circus within alive, always going, always smiling, not taking life too seriously,
I know that it will work out in the end. I smile at the little things, enjoy the experiences and when the circus tents are packed up and leaving, I will miss the days of the hustle and bustle of our circus days.

How I miss those wonderful days.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chaotic dream - Just like real life

As we were getting our children ready to go to a conference, I struggled with getting all of them bathed and dressed. My husband was sitting in the car waiting for us to 'get our act together' and his frustration was obvious. We finally made our way to the car. I noted that my beautiful hair that I had worked on earlier was now a disheveled mess. I struggled to put it back together as we made it to a parking lot. My husband disappeared. I looked around and I was struggling to get all of our things together. Gracefully (not), I kept dropping things as they slipped from my hands. My arms became more full as the moments passed. I looked towards the direction that we had to walk to get inside the conference. It was a very long walk and really it looked vaguely familiar but mostly different like I had not been there before. There were drivers of trams offering to drive the participants to this particular conference and since I was a bit unsure of where I was going exactly, I caught a ride. I knew that once I got there, all things would be clear and I would know where I am at and how to get back to the car. I was still struggling with all the things I was carrying. As the tram continued on the journey from the parking lot to the conference door, more people boarded and still nothing looked familiar. I overheard some people talking about the price of the entrance to the event and was wondering if I had enough money. I ran into someone who gave me an envelope for some work or participation that I was involved in. I didn't open the envelope because I was still having a hard time holding onto everything. As we got closer and I was looking for my envelope to see if I had enough to pay for the trip, I found that I had lost it. I dropped everything and started to pick it up and found some tickets that would pay for the entrance. It seemed that those tickets belonged to someone else but I still hung onto them as I had no other way to get in. I saw my husband in the distance. He was socializing with friends and had a big smile on his face. I was frustrated with trying to get there and dropping things as I went. I looked down at my feet and noticed that now I had lost my beautiful shoes. Where did they go? I just had them on.

This was my dream last night. It was such a typical chaotic event that was something that we all experienced all too often. It seemed that I was always struggling to keep things together, make appearances that all was wonderful, and living up to the expectations that I tended to fall short of on every occasion. In a way it feels that not much has changed. I am still trying to make sense of all the things that are falling apart around me. I am taking care of the mundane tasks of tying up all the lose ends that my husband has left behind. The nice things out of all this is that this will hopefully be the last time that I have to clean up after him.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Family Rules

It is very exhausting to keep all these rules in mind, but it does make for a somewhat peaceful life. Or does it?
  • Never publicly embarrass him or do silly things that most kids do like pee on the lawn of the church or drink out of the gutter after a heavy rain.
  • Do not point out anything they do, say, are, that might be anything other than perfect. He has the experience that we do not have and does not be questioned. When we are more experienced, then we will understand.
  • Never compare them to someone else in an unflattering light. He is nothing like anyone else and it is best not to confuse the two or compare.
  • Do not talk to them about your negative feelings in response to anything they have said or done. Your feelings need to be educated and you need to accept the lesson he has give us.
  • Avoid getting angry or upset with them for anything. He was put in our life to make us better human beings.
  • Do not outshine them in some way. You can pursue your dreams but do not surpass. If you surpass him, then you will have to be bested in another way.
  • Listen to anything they say. Everything has meaning. If it wasn't important, then he would not have said it.
  • Mirror everything they say. You need to emulate him in all actions because that is the best and most efficient way to be.
  • Act as if everything he says and does is brilliant and you appreciate and admire him at all times because he is the authority.
  • Never criticize the leader of the family. We are under his umbrella of authority and to criticize him would be to take the risk of no longer being under his protection.
  • What happens in this house in private stays in this house and stays private. Do not ever discuss anything whatsoever to anyone about anything.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to tell the end is near in your relationship?

I think back to our three decade relationship and try to find the warning signs. Some of the most recent signs were when the relationship was coming to an end. It was not until there was a source of attention that these signs started showing, but when they did show up, the end was very near.

He gave us less of his attention and became very cold and distant. Often when we went out for dinner, he was on his phone either texting or on social media.

We started to irritate him even with the activities that we once enjoyed. Our costal drives and talks now became silent and often just disagreements and fighting.

We were never good enough. Everything we did was criticized.

He was bored and had no problem displaying how boring we were to him.

We were always walking on eggshells, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Our opinions did not matter. Whatever we said was uneducated. It was his idea or no idea.

He refused to listen to anything we said.
He would respond to our comments with questions, refusing to acknowledge anything or answer any questions.
He would walk out of our lives and refuse to talk to us for days on end. One of the kids when very young use to count how many weeks it had been since their dad talked to them.
He projected everything he did onto us. We were told we didn't care, that we were not listening to him, that we had turned others against him. 

If you see the warning signs then plan your exit. What can you lose out of being prepared? If things actually work out, which I tend to doubt, then you are more independent. If you get out, then you will be glad you had a plan. Without the plan, where would we be?

How did I get here?

They were out of town and heading home. It was a day like any other day. Stopping at a favorite brewery, she looked for a nearby hotel to stay the night. Traveling home is going to be extremely difficult. She paid the bill and waited for him to return from the restroom. A man came up to her and touched her elbow. "I hate to bother you." She turned thinking it was someone trying to hit on her. "Excuse me, but I think that the man that was with you is in the restroom and needs your help." I thank him as I fear the worst possible outcome. I rush to the restroom only to find him passed out on the toilet. It truly was a day just like any other. Maybe with him passed out it would be much easier to just drive home. He will probably sleep the entire trip home.

So tired and at the urging of the man at the bar who took the money for their bill, she decides to stay at a local hotel and then head home in the morning.

She stopped at the hotel, paid for the room and carefully got him up to the room. He was irritable as he often is when he drinks. She got him to bed and silenced his cell phone. She had been calling and texting him constantly. You would think that her marriage would suffer from all the time she spends with him, but her wife seems to be good with it.

He woke up angry and yelling at her. He started yelling "RAPE" and she placed her hand over his mouth to stop his screaming. He continued yelling so she took a pillow to place it over his face to muffle the sound. He kept screaming and thrashing. It was at this moment that she thought how easy it would be to suffocate him. It was at that moment that she realized that she had to get out. She was losing herself in this situation. She no longer felt that she was herself.

The police were called. This was the second time this month that they were called out on him. She was so thankful that she hadn't smothered him now. The fact that she even let the thought cross her mind told her that it was time for her to move on or she would not survive.

What can happen if you stand up to him?

Fear is different for everyone but the narcissist's fear is not the same. They are not necessarily afraid of you unless you have some evidence to be able to prove your side of the story. If you have been controlled by someone for a while and then finally stand up for yourself, they may react as the victim now. This is only another way of controlling the situation. They have pushed you until they have a reaction and now they can play the victim and project everything on you. 
Getting you to react was the goal, as now they can play victim of the big, bad wolf. Again, they do not fear you when you stand up to them unless you have information that will support your claims. They are generally confident and like a big upset bear, but when faced with direct confrontation, they can crumble and it becomes a game to destroy the victim with talking about them, lying to others about them, projecting what they did to their victim as though they were the one that received the abuse.
Run from them and absolutely - Go no contact. If you have no contact then you will take away the fuel that they will have to use against you. 

Do not engage with them unless you have hard evidence. The only thing this type of person fears is being exposed. They don't fear you, they fear that people may believe you. When you talk to people, they don't want to hear the cold facts, they are listening to the sob, emotional story. So really it is a mistake to talk to others about your controller unless you are willing to go through the court system and that is emotionally draining. 

An attorney told me recently that they are representing more and more cases that involve a narcissist. I asked if these situations were becoming more known or if there were truly more incidents out there. The response was that there appears to be more narcissists out there and that we have a generation of entitled people out there that has helped to develop these people. 

This type of person is not going to fear you for standing up to them. They do not feel in the same way that we would expect them to feel. They are more concerned with their supply, their next fix. Just like a drug, that is what controls their actions.  Get free of them as soon as you can and move on.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I love him so why does it have to happen?

They were out of town and heading home. It was a day like any other day. Stopping at a favorite brewery, she looked for a nearby hotel to stay the night. Traveling home is going to be extremely difficult. She paid the bill and waited for him to return from the restroom. A man came up to her and touched her elbow. "I hate to bother you." She turned thinking it was someone trying to hit on her. "Excuse me, but I think that the man that was with you is in the restroom and needs your help." I thank him as I fear the worst possible outcome. I rush to the restroom only to find him passed out on the toilet. It truly was a day just like any other. Maybe with him passed out it would be much easier to just drive home. He will probably sleep the entire trip home.

So tired and at the urging of the man at the bar who took the money for their bill, she decides to stay at a local hotel and then head home in the morning.

She stopped at the hotel, paid for the room and carefully got him up to the room. He was irritable as he often is when he drinks. She got him to bed and silenced his cell phone. She had been calling and texting him constantly. You would think that her marriage would suffer from all the time she spends with him, but her wife seems to be good with it.

He woke up angry and yelling at her. He started yelling "RAPE" and she placed her hand over his mouth to stop his screaming. He continued yelling so she took a pillow to place it over his face to muffle the sound. He kept screaming and thrashing. It was at this moment that she thought how easy it would be to suffocate him. It was at that moment that she realized that she had to get out. She was losing herself in this situation. She no longer felt that she was herself.

The police were called. This was the second time this month that they were called out on him. She was so thankful that she hadn't smothered him now. The fact that she even let the thought cross her mind told her that it was time for her to move on or she would not survive.

Love is strange. But love does not have to hurt those around us.

Monday, June 26, 2017

This was written by another survivor.

I am feeling weird. For the first time in my life I feel like I am making some progress in my emotional healing. I guess there are many unaddressed issues. He brought it up to me that everything is not ok on his end with me. He mentioned something about me not wearing his ring and I said I was not going to until he apologized. Then he started saying some things about me always laying down the law and him feeling like a whipped puppy and I’m holding the newspaper. That is not the case. But I do feel like I need to have the upper hand because I am afraid of him controlling me.

I am still afraid of him abusing me. I am still afraid that I will become comfortable with him and that he will start the verbal abuse again or I will just get used to it again as soon as I let down my guard.

I believe that I love him. I know that I care about him. I want to work on our marriage. I didn’t know that having a love relationship and a partner would be such an emotionally treacherous journey. I wonder if it would be like this if I were with someone else.

I want to keep confronting the things in my life that I feel are bothering me or stopping me in my growth. I kind of hold back at group therapy when he is there. I feel afraid to address the things about him because I don’t really know how to address them. I can only bring things up that I am aware of. There are probably so many things within myself that I am unaware of.

Like this issue with my daughter. She has been acting difficult and angry and I feel alone in my parenting. He doesn’t see that part it just seems like he relishes in the fact that she is angry at me maybe because he identifies with it. I wonder if I should even say anything. What is going to happen is I am going to shut down to him again and look for a way out. That’s what I always do when I feel trapped and cornered. I don’t want to keep on doing that. I want to settle down and be happy.

Why do I even entertain the thought of going to lunch with this other man? Am I still not happy in my marriage that I would look at that? I guess I don’t trust that my marriage or my relationship with him will really pan out. It never has and I don’t have anything to go off of except the fact that he is going to counseling and seems to be trying. I don’t even feel like going out to dance and drink and put myself out there. I feel like curling into a comfortable ball and just being me.

I guess I need to address the issue of me cheating with him. I don’t know why I did that. I guess if I keep asking ‘why’ I will keep on defending my position. Maybe if I just tell him he will just hate me and get away from me. I did it for the same reasons I have always done it – trade sex for a feeling of love. I always equated it with love, just to have those moments of feeling like I am the center of someone’s world and I am important to them, so important that everything stops – time, appointments, distractions, whatever. But then it ends and life goes on.

I still need God. I need Him in my soul. I feel like I am rushing to get some type of answer by going to church. Maybe I should go to church somewhere else so I can go on this journey alone.


I am afraid to admit the cheating, especially the recent episode. I am more afraid of what my daughters would think of me. They would probably hate me and for what. I have so much to lose. Do I want an open and honest relationship with him? Not really. He takes advantage of that. He uses it against me. I don’t know if I want that with anyone right now. I need to work on what is going on with me and continue in my journey.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How did I become a co-dependent?

I have asked myself this question time and time again. How did I become a codependent? I believe that the biggest contributor to me becoming a codependent was denial. I never admitted that anything was wrong. I denied my feelings that there was anything that was not right. I denied that reality was just that, reality, and I kept telling myself that things were not wrong and I was just perceiving them as wrong. I know that this sounds crazy.

I never had the opportunity to develop my self esteem. I was always looking for everyone's approval. I continued to give and give and give, thinking that eventually I would be given approval of what a great job I had done. A codependent is use to having to work for their attention.

A narcissist is just the opposite. They create a false image of theirselves, just like the codependent does, but this person desperately need the attention and affection of others. They need that supply to maintain their self esteem. When they have received their supply of attention, they become the monster.

The narcissist creates anxiety. Their moods can swing one way or another in just a moments notice. They can go into a rage without warning and take it out on those around them that love them most. People around the narcissist are use to walking on egg shells. Because the codependent has made it a habit to deny their feelings and suppress them, they do not run from the urge they have to run.

This was just one step in being a codependent. There were many more steps involved as well.

Her Eyes

I saw it in her eyes
She had no more will to live
It seems it always ends this way
when you give more than you have to give

If there was just some way
that I could reach them all
I want so much to help
How can I hear their call?

She tried to tell just how things were
She showed it through her eyes
Now her hell on earth is over
to never see brighter days.

I wrote this in January of 1986.

There are so many people out there that are fighting the same battle today that I fought for so many years. I remember days that were so dark that all I wanted was to die because it hurt so much. Then there were the good days that followed after the painful days. Where things were wonderful and peaceful. He would give me gifts and treat me like a new bride. Then life would happen. The bills would come due with not enough to pay them. Kids would need things and we would have to choose between this or that. Eventually the pressure got more difficult to bear and the cycle would start again. Each cycle increases with intensity as the cycle phases grow closer together.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Impossible Choices

There are times that there are no win situations and living like this only gets worse as time goes on. At first he was just demanding more time. When I was taking care of our five kids, I was often overwhelmed because I didn't have any help. I asked for help with them and he would start shouting orders to the kids to do things. Often the chores he assigned were not age appropriate, like telling a two year old to take the kitchen trash outside when the bag was as big as the two year old and the dumpster is out back in the alley. It is no wonder there was a trail of trash all the way to the dumpster. I need the help of their father, not a drill sergeant shouting orders.

Eventually we became alienated from our family and friends. We didn't have people over to our house when he was home because we didn't know what might happen. We didn't visit the family either.

At first I thought that he loved me and he just wanted to spend time with me. He often threatened to leave only to unpack his bag as he lectured on how I made him so angry and that he only knew how to deal with me through his anger. I know that he didn't want to leave and as I said, I really thought he loved me. But later I discovered that it wasn't because he loved me that he was not wanting to leave, but he didn't want to leave because he didn't want to feel abandoned. He needed me there to do things for him and give him attention.

When the kids did something wrong and he got involved, he would discipline them. If I interfered because he was going overboard, he would then tell me that I had to choose between him and the kid. I couldn't have both as long as there was a kid in the house that would not obey him. What parent asks another parent to choose between them and their kids? This is a no win situation. If I choose him, although it would temporarily diffuse the situation but then he would hold that against me. What kind of mother would choose someone over their kids? He would lose respect for me.

He wanted control but when I gave him control, he lost respect. If I tried to take control, then he would find faults with the things that I did and demean the things I did.

He wanted me to choose him, and if I did, it was never enough.  If I didn't, then it was an unpardonable sin and he would berate me, calling me all sorts of names.

Relationships are full of compromises, but never should it be one sided with one partner calling all the shots and the other taking orders. When faced with impossible choices, it may be time to reassess the situation. Impossible choices will always be a no win situation.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

He can't love me the way I want to be loved

I was recently talking to a friend who divorced her husband. She and her ex-husband are very good friends which was a foreign concept to me. I had always thought that when I was married to my husband, he was better to other people than he was to his family, so it would be much better to be his friend rather than be his wife. So little did I know. I learned that as difficult as it was being his wife, it was much more difficult trying to leave him.

I didn't realize that he didn't love me until I was talking to this friend. She told me that she felt that her husband didn't feel about her the way she felt about him. He was her everything, her mate for life. Obviously to her, she was not that to him. How did she know that? How could I have known that he didn't love me?

You can see that he doesn't love you if he treats you much worse than he treats others that he is just an acquaintance. An example of this would be when my son came to me and said that his dad would not talk like that if someone else was here. How could my ten year old son see that before I did?

Another way to know that he doesn't love you is when they are not there for you when you need them the most. An example of this would be when our youngest son was hospitalized. The day of surgery, he went to work. I was a breast feeding mother and needed help holding this child since he had to fast from midnight the night before. He cried because he was hungry and my milk would fall. I needed my son's father to help. Where was he? He was at work.

What about when your birthday comes and your spouse goes shopping all day long to buy himself clothes, gadgets and then at the end of the day get you a stationary set with day planner stating that now you can get more done during the day with the planner. What person spends the birthday of their professed love of their life buying for their own pleasure and waits till the end of the day to find a gift on sale and then present them the gift in the store and say, "See honey, I was thinking of your birthday all day long. This is what I am going to get you."

I guess I should have thought something was wrong before we walked down the aisle to matrimony, but then again, I was just a dumb teenager thinking that love cures everything. Just before that fateful day was April Fool's day. The night before we were in a disagreement. It was my mother's birthday and we had spent some time with my mom and brother. He was obviously not wanting to be there and a big fight evolved from a simple misunderstood statement. We were up very late and I had finally gone home to bed. He calls before six the next morning and tells me that he wants to call off the wedding. This was hard for me to understand as I was still half asleep and not comprehending exactly what he was saying. By the time I caught on, he had told me that it was an April Fool's day joke.

If you and your person that you are married to or considering marrying have a complete difference of values, think twice before jumping into that relationship. Try to be on the same plane of understanding.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Polyamorous

Ok, I have heard the term before but I had never really thought about it. I was from a very fundamentalist church that preached monogamous relationships. I knew people of the sixties were into those types of relationships, but I didn't know of any popularity in the present day.

I looked it up to find the definition and found that it means someone who is in a physical and intimate relationship with more than one person. During this time that my spouse was trying to talk me into this, he stated that people sleep with people outside of their marriage all the time and we call it cheating. Being polyamorous just means that you are not considered cheaters anymore, but you are being in committed relationships. He told me that he loved me and that he wanted to share that love with others. He went on to let me know that this new friend of his has so enlightened him to this way of life and he was so excited to find someone just like him.

I talked to my doctor when I went in for a check up. I had become very angry, which was not my normal mental state. I tended to be a quiet person that was more laid back and rolled with the punches. I thought maybe I was going through menopause or at least starting to experience it. He asked me a question. "Did he deserve it?" which threw me off. "Did he deserve it. I am not here to discuss my husband. I am here to fix me." was my reply. I knew I can't fix others; but if I need fixing, I can fix me.

He continued to prod with other questions until I started to burst out with tears, "See I told you that I have become very emotional. Now I am crying in front of you." I told this man that had been my doctor for 30 years about what was going on at home. I had never told anyone. That was the rule. What happens inside, stays inside.

He told me that there was a very small percentage of the population that is reported to live this lifestyle now and that I did not have to accept it. He suggested that unless I was a willing partner, then it was time for me to leave.

I found a counsellor during this time who was actually polyamorous. I didn't seek to find a counsellor who practiced this lifestyle, it just happened to work out this way. I think that I was referred to her because of my situation and that I was trying to figure things out. I still had not left the man that was insisting on this lifestyle.

The counsellor told me that she believed that this had to be something that everyone wanted to be able to be a successful relationship. She felt that if I could not accept this, then I should not be forced into it. She went on to say that people that are truly in this type of relationship would probably say the same thing. Polyamorous should not be forced on anyone.

I began to question myself. I am married to a man that would let me sleep with anyone that I wanted to without fear of being left or called a cheater, then why was I so unhappy?

I knew that I wanted a committed relationship and I thought that I had this commitment because we had five kids together. I wanted to love one man and to be loved by one man. A certain woman in this polyamorous life told me that she got into it because her wife was cheating on her and she wanted to stay committed to the marriage and knew that her wife would not stop cheating. She said she had to make a choice, stay with her wife and love her through all of her faults. She told me that she had to realize that she would never meet all the needs of her wife and she had to deal with that. I have now come to the point that I feel sorry for this woman that was pressured into this lifestyle. She has no respect for herself to demand what she really wants.

Don't blame yourself

When I first split from my spouse, it was nothing that I would have expected. I remember thinking many times that when I left, it would be hard, but nothing I had been through had prepared me for what actually happened.

I had not expected the attack that I got when I left with the kids. Through most of our 36 year relationship, I had often thought that if I ever left him that I would not have any financial help from him, but I did not expect the attack that I ended up getting. He tried to control what I did with money and the car. I didn't answer the phone fast enough so he threatened to take the car. I told a close friend who helped me to leave and he attacked her. How could she put her nose where it doesn't belong. He knew that I had been with him and knew him better than anyone else. I held many secrets that he did not want out and for this reason, and this reason alone, he tried to control me. He could control me when we were living together, but when I was no longer under his thumb, he had to find something to control me.

I asked him when we split up to tell me what I had done wrong.

I read a comment in a conversation he had with his girlfriend on Facebook:

GF: Did you hear from Juli anymore?
Husband: Constantly. It's like we're married or something. She wanted to know if I still loved her.

I remember this day. He was venting to her about how bad I was. I took this hard because I believe I tried very hard to keep our relationship together. I had always prayed that there would be a day when he would come to me and tell me how much he appreciated everything I had done for him. That day never came. I spent our marriage trying to keep him happy, and he never appreciated it and only wanted more. When he told me that he wanted to have a physical relationship with this married woman, he told me that I had given him everything he wanted and now why couldn't I give him this. Just because they were sleeping together, that didn't mean that he wanted a divorce.

The comment that he made about 'it's like we're married or something.' really bothered me too. We were still married and no one had filed for divorce at this point. I just couldn't understand and blamed myself for all of this.

I probably owe this woman a thank you though. If she had not been a sounding board for him, we may have stayed together.  I read her comments to him and I know that she feels that I was wrong and that is ok.

"You know I never wanted it to be like this."

"I didn't want any of this for you but the more in love with you I've fallen, the harder it was to walk away and the harder it has become to just sit back and watch you suffer in this toxic relationship."

I blamed myself too for a very long time. Sometimes I still do. I relive the different things we have done and the things I have said. I keep thinking that I could have made things better, but I seriously doubt that anything I could have done would have changed a thing. I may not have been perfect, but I was not to blame as the one who was toxic. Keep that in mind when you think of your own life and remember: Don't blame yourself.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dreams

I am beginning to believe that when you have a spouse that dies when you have been in a very controlling environment, that the dynamics of your feelings will change. Let me explain . . .

I have not seen my husband more than once in two years and that time was in the courtroom. We did not speak to one another and I am unaware if he even looked my way more than a glance. I was not paying any attention to him. I brought one of those adult coloring books and pens and sat there for the hours that we were there, coloring.

When I left the courtroom I didn't feel any different even though everything appeared to be done. Now all we had to do was sign on the dotted line. I worked with my attorney and got all the stipulations in order then we sent it to his attorney for him to sign. I got a message from him that he had a mess to clean up but he would get back to me.

Later I found he spent a little time in jail and lost his job. I had wondered if he had hit bottom and was ready to get it all together. After all, once you hit bottom, like the prodigal son, you decide that it is much better at father's table where it is warm and the food is comforting.

It was not much later that I discovered he had died at home alone. He was not going to sign the divorce papers. He was never going to apologize for anything he did. He was never going to make things right. I would never hear from him that he appreciated anything that I had done. Those dreams are gone and I will never get them back. But that is going to have to be ok.

My feelings are so complicated. He is gone and will not hurt me or our kids again, but he will never make things right either. I miss the dreams I thought we were going accomplish. I miss the good man that we occasionally saw. I don't miss the ups and downs. I don't miss having to defend myself or kids. I don't miss the drama.

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.