Nothing Here Has Changed…Just the Beat

It takes two to tango……..this song was running through my head this morning, as I slipped and slid through my morning hike.  The fallen leaves, combined with the morning rain, had made the bridges treacherous, and my golden retriever waited with great anticipation-if not impatience, as I crawled along at a snail’s pace.

Jesse sees something, immediately slows down, turns around to look at me.  So accustomed to being alone at this early hour, I never considered his eyes were on a human being.  Finding myself at the slipperiest slope, wet rocks crowding the trail, I look up:  there is indeed a man at the top of the hill.  I cannot see his hair, but I do see his metal detector.  I stop dead in my tracks.  Put down my back pack, and get out my mace.  I remember, instantly, that the man  who stalked me whilst half naked last Summer had one, and that the cops told me that this was against the law at MiddleCreek.  I thought, ‘OK, here’s where I faint, fall apart, run…….’  But the real shocker was this:  I had no fear.

I had just fallen, whilst trying to pee in the woods.  It surprised me how many leaves one can pull out of their naked ass cheeks, but they kept coming, my dog mildly alarmed, came over to aid in my getting it together, so I wasn’t operating at my full potential.  I decided to walk right up to him, hiding my mace in my pocket.  If he had red hair (as my stalker did) I would shoot him straight in the face….if not?  I would tell him that he was breaking the law.

Finally able to see the  man had dark brown locks, I stepped up to the plate.

“Excuse me sir, but watch yourself, those are illegal in this park,” I gently roared.

He reaches in his pocket.  I reach into mine.

“No Englais, por favor.”

With that he pulls out his treasure of the day.  One shell casing and two pennies.

I need to get a day job.

 

The Great Escape…

I am at a place in my life where I have literally lost my proverbial shit. I don’t have the time or patience for what I have allowed to unfold in my life, and that is malignant narcissists circling the wagon, ambulance chasers who suck the life force right out of me, and people are beginning to catch on.

I will get straight to the point, and when I do I hope to move on from this subject, as I have been told that no one wants to hear the stories Narcissist Abuse victims have to tell. One YouTube vlogger had the NERVE to say that our “friends” don’t want to hear the griping, they have no time for us empaths, as every one loves a winner. I quote:

“You are poisoning other people by sharing the toxicity in your life. Be a good friend and keep your pain hidden, keep up the good fight, but don’t let anyone know what you’re up against…..”

For real? Seriously? I am here to tell you, and of course, you know me, I told him as well, that the mere act of trusting anyone is unfathomable to those of us recovering from emotional whiplash. I don’t trust anyone with my heart and soul, thank you very much. This subject is filled with so much angst, emotional abuse and trauma, no one in their right mind would be spewing the toxicity in other’s ears. He doesn’t get it, and he shouldn’t be preaching about the matter. Period.

There is shame involved. You will lose everything that you thought you couldn’t live without. Your loved ones will turn on you. And the last thing we want to do is blow smoke up your ass about how we were treated…as no one will believe us-the narc has them fooled to the point that they think you are crazy, and believe me-I came damn close to a straightjacket and fuzzy bunny slippers.

My step son is one of these abusers. As a child of divorce, he was coddled and spoiled, told that everything he did was right-and more importantly? No one said word one when he treated his own family with disdain, disrespect and apathy. Early on I attributed it to my drinking, but Jude has made it abundantly clear to me that he treats everyone this way, even his own father, his own girlfriend. I tried to step in one morning, and was told that I have no say in rearing my husband’s son. You don’t have to tell me twice, so I shut my mouth and allowed the reign of terror to continue. Yesterday, after a visit in which he left me reeling, I told him that I would not walk on eggshells in my own home.

“Jude, you know if you need to talk, I am here for you.” He is getting ready to break up with the newest girl, as she is madly in love and Jude enjoys the chase. He hasn’t smiled in six months. I know his love life is none of my business, but the way he treats others IS.

With that statement he stormed out of the house, slammed the door. No goodbye, no good riddance, nothing. I had done what no member of our family would even contemplate doing: I (oh the horror) had the nerve to ask how his birthday went.

“Cold.”

I have been banished to the land of Fools Who Want Their Family to Communicate.

I have walked on eggshells my entire life.

I refuse to live this way.

And soon, (not soon enough) I will have enough saved to leave the Narcissist Compound for good. And only then will my healing begin.

A Reason to Cry…

Emotional or stress-related tears are thought to help us through difficult times in a number of ways. Physically, they are thought to wash toxic chemicals out of our bodies, while psychologically giving your feelings a good airing is thought to be a healthy tonic.

I used to cry….and often. Crying is essential to building emotional muscle-a good bout of weeping replenishes us in so many ways: the tears ebb and flow, you often tire out, and after the headache and tears are gone? Voila, a new you, as we all know holding things in, well, not good amigo. Not good.

I rarely cry because I am literally and figuratively all cried out. I managed a few tears on Christmas Eve, but quite frankly I was with my husband, and if there is anything I hate more than bawling, it’s bawling in front of a loved one. Strangers are okay, because you might get a pat on the back or a few encouraging words….but your homeboy? Nada. Men hate to see a woman cry, no doubt. But watching their wives cry is another dimension of reality they can’t abide….it makes them feel helpless, if not hopeless.

So, it’s 2 degrees in Kleinfeltersville. The ground is frozen and I am wearing many layers, a facemask and hoodie-for whatever reason I, for the life of me, cannot find a pair of matching gloves. This happens every Winter, and it drives me crazy. You’d think I would put on my big girl panties and buy a pair, but growing a pair is far more likely.

I hunt antler sheds. Every year, after the mating season, and prior to Spring the deer community sheds their racks, and leave them laying for the mice, rabbits and other forest dwellers to munch-they derive calcium from the bone, and if you are lucky and hard working? You may just find yourself coming upon a big old 12 pointer, not an easy task as they blend into the scenery, snow and cornfields quite well, as God intended.

Last year was an extraordinary season, and I expect no less of myself this Winter. As I approach the woods I mentally prepare myself for the melee: briars the size of my body, limbs lying mercilessly under the freshly fallen snow, terrain so rough you’d be a fool not to take baby steps, ensuring your safety, and that of your golden retriever, who follows you no matter the danger.
About twenty steps in I stepped on some uneven ground, and bent my knee almost completely backwards…..

“Mother FUCKER!!!!!!!,” I scream, but carry on, limping yet steady as she goes. As I turn to check on Jesse, I fall backwards over a tree stump, landing directly on my head. Adding insult to injury, the dog leash I have wrapped around my neck snaps off, and the metal part hits me square in the eye. The tears come then, salty and softly they fall down my face and into the snow covered grass. I remain there, in the fetal position, until I have cried the proverbial river, then pick myself up, brush myself off, and retreat to the environs of my cottage house, where I will put this all behind me, for now.

Exile…

December 23, 2017

Rock bottom. That’s where I’m at right now. The wind knocked out of my very being, my heart beating a million times a minute…I am left in shock, yet determined to get through this evening without taking a gun to my head. I write about mental health awareness, please don’t be alarmed, but yes, I thought of that a few moments back, and then thought this would be selfish and unpleasing to God.

It happens every major holiday. But this year? I was blindsided by my partner, and I have to say more than a bit angry with myself. Why is this happening to me? I ask Yeshua, but the answer-though not really revealed, lies in waiting, for what I don’t know. My heart has been ripped out of my chest and stomped upon (please stop me if I sound like a martyr, the last thing I ever want to project) I am sickened in the stomach and weary, yet I have twenty or so people com-ing this evening, and I must bake and put on the happy face-and I feel Jesus carrying me through the motions, most likely because I have asked him to do so.

I thought we were past the petty bickering, the vitriolic rage-the projection. Instinctively I remember last Christmas, another tear ridden event-and I know the reasons behind this. A few days ago, my mother in law (a covert narcissist) humiliated me in front of a dear friend, by chastising me over buying a new mattress. I know, I’m 56 years old. I know, I know. But this was the proverbial straw, man. She proceeded to triangulate me out of the conversation, and ignored me completely for the duration (ran like my hair was on fire) of the visit. The more I thought about this, the worse my inner rage became. She has acted horrendously, childishly (At this point, I am interrupted by not only my sister in law, but mother in law-pounding on the front door, heavy sigh.)

December 28, 2017

What happened next was a blur of uncertainty, a fall down the Rabbit Hole-a punch in the gut that left me blindsided. My husband had sent mommy up the road, and the feelings of betrayal, well, I was thrown right into an emotionally numb episode of PTSD. I was reliving the trauma of my sister’s abuse, and by another narcissist. I did not realize any of this until five minutes ago, taking advantage of the quiet house, I reached out to Jesus and asked that He and I, together, get to the bottom of my depression, ragged nerves, irritability and emotional withdrawal. Isolating. Paranoia. I am just now returning and kicking my way to the surface. I have so much to tell you, so much to say…….the Feats of Festivus continue, so for now I will say adieu.

Killing Me Softly……

I feel like I have come out of a storm so horrific-well, I am surprised to be on the other side. Giddily picking out the Christmas tree two weeks ago, I was absolutely shocked when my mood took a turn for the worse, and nothing I had planned came to fruition. I felt off balance, sad and at one point? Suicidal. What happened? How did my perception of life become so bleak at such a “joyous” time of year? Why didn’t I feel the touch of Jesus? To the contrary, I felt worthless, drained and angry.

It hit me, and hard, about a week ago. I had been shopping at Kohl’s, and Wilbur’s chocolates……in the spirit of giving, not caring what I received. Every year for the past ten or so, I have made a point out of clothing the homeless. A scarf, hat, mittens….I would go to the corner of 9th and Cumberland and wait it out…look for the neediest person I could find, and surprise them with new winter wear. On one occasion I was convinced I met Jesus, the unassuming man who greeted me with a cheery hello, even though it was 20 degrees and he had no coat. The twinkle in his eyes, the spark of compassion, the gratitude he had shown at a simple gift-yes, that is what I appeared to be searching for…but this year, not a glimpse, not even a flash of what I perceived Christmas was all about.

I was overcome by the videos on YouTube, screaming Christmas was a pagan holiday, and Christians who celebrated it? Pagans themselves. As the ideology sunk in, I felt shame, remorse, anger…..and finally, despair. A huge fight erupted over whether or not I was going to my husband’s family celebration-I had planned an open house for the same day, and my loyalties lay in cleaning our home and baking. As my husband stormed out of the house, I numbly walked upstairs to shower. And then I saw his pistol, hanging on our bedpost….and the thoughts overcame my sensibilities.

I snapped out of that mood by Christmas morning. I felt great joy as I watched my husband open his gifts, as this year I could afford to spoil him, but the real comfort came today, the holidays over-a return to normalcy.

And what I have learned is this: we are the hands and feet of Christ in a very troubled world. I was simply feeling the growing pains that come with the knowledge that things are not what they should be, more heartache and turmoil can be seen in the eyes of the least of these, and celebrating the holiday seemed more of a betrayal than anything. I didn’t get a chance to give of myself this year, not in the ER, not at home, and no, certainly not on the streets of Lebanon.

Tomorrow I return to the hospital-a wiser, more compassionate person. I will go in search of the downtrodden, the lonely, the addicts and prisoners. I will spread the Good News at every turn, and I will give all of the love that remains in my heart to those who have forgotten the song that lies within-for I can do all things, through Christ-who always strengthens me.

Fearless

Now that all has been taken from me, I am finally free of the blackmail. You know the kind: emotional. From my mother, to my sister, to my mother in law, and closest friend, they all had this way about them. Each and every one of them held what mattered to me most against me, and what mattered most, aside from my faith was my family, loving and being loved was extremely important. The heartbreaking fact is, I spent my entire life pouring my heart out to women who were not only enemies, but meant me dire harm.

There is tragedy in this story, but there is also great hope in that I am now free from the bondage of guilt, blame and depression so deep, I am surprised I came out of it. Well, Jesus brought me out of this, and I know he has stood by my side throughout my entire time here on this earth. I am still recovering, but in the happiest of ways. My advice to any of you out there who are feeling broken to pieces for one reason or another? Take this recovery and make something beautiful out of it. Write, paint, sing, play…..give yourself a reason to get up in the morning. Patience with yourself and those around you is imperative, but also the hardest thing to do when you feel your claws coming out. This is my weakest area in my spiritual growth, so believe me when I say, not easy….not easy on the best of days.

When you begin to heal, and dismiss yourself from toxic relationships, you won’t believe the magic that follows. Your creativity is restored, you will feel inspired and what moved me most was the coming home to myself. For the first time in my adult life that I can honestly say I love the child of God that I am, was and will be. I forgive myself. I cherish, or try to, every sunrise, hike, conversation, discovery and place I find myself in. I am not sunshine and roses 24/7, far from it-but when I feel off balance, bitchy, more than the usual rage? I take the time to be alone, in the quiet, with Jesus and the critters. No music. No phone. Just us. It helps, a lot.

And no, I don’t give a damn about my reputation. I am not concerned about what others, who have no intimate knowledge of me, think. I never have. It stings when people in my life shun me for reasons I have no control over. I am not going to defend my actions to anyone, as they have not walked in my shoes and are merely pawns in the narcissist’s game. They are being fed a diet of lies and projections. A lose-lose if there ever was one.

Oh no, not me.