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.