Who’s Wearing the Trousers

 

I survived a week that tried to kill my faith in humanity-and I am here to tell you that most of it is all in the past.  Past tense.  Passed away.  Goneo…

Everyone has a bad hair day, week or even month.  But as I swung my legs over the bed and began the process of waking up this morning-I remembered.  Cliché perhaps, but if He brings you to it, I am telling you, He will bring you through it.  There have been times of utter tragedy and hopelessness-and I gauge my struggles by what I have conquered in the earlier years of my life.  My mother’s death at 59.  My anorexia.  My attempt at suicide.  The loss of my sister and her family.  And the worst to date-the loss of my father-who meant the world and more to me.  The way I look at things-pain can either break you or make you-and I am strong and stoic: at least until something little comes along and puts a crack in the veneer.  My mother had this character trait: she remained brilliantly heroic through my father’s coma; my father’s affair; weeks where we had no money for groceries-and she had three kids to raise on her own-daddy travelled for a living.  But God forbid she broke a nail, or spilled a cup of coffee-it was then that she cracked, and all hell broke loose.

Ah, as a child I thought her weak.  As a grown woman I see her as a heroine in a steamy, often comical story.  She had a great sense of humor, frankly, when there was no reason to laugh.  Fabulous weaponry-I use it often.  My brother, who is one year younger than I (Irish twins) is the funniest man I have ever met.  His humor is Elkinsesque,  and I say that with great love.  If you grow up in a dysfunctional family unit, the way you see life depends on how your parents dealt with trauma, stress, worries.  Just a bunch of comedians, that’s what we are.  That way no one sees the crack in the veneer.  We have no “tell” around others; that is until one of us walks into a patio door, or hits there head on the corner cupboard-that, my friends, is when we spontaneously combust into flames.  Hysteria ensues, and I pity the inanimate objects and people who are left in the wake of our wrath.

And so it was that I had a nuclear meltdown on Friday afternoon.

Fuck. You. Fleas.

I ranted, I raved, I raised my fists at the heavens.  Why?  Why am I being tortured to the point of committing Hare Kari?  I have treated my home for fleas each and every day since March.  My poor dog has been treated with Frontline (what a joke), diatomaceous earth, pills, dog collars and allergy medication.  The other day, my son’s girlfriend went to pet him: big poofs of dirt rose like clouds, she gasped:

“Oh, my goodness gracious, why is he so, umm, dusty?”  

The look on her face was priceless.  I explained about the diatomaceous dirt, and she nodded, as if I was speaking Taiwanese, or Kling On-the language that Sheldon invented.

No.  She did not understand-how could she if I don’t?  I vacuum ad nauseum, each and every day.  I have natural flea spray, but my husband hyperventilates if I use it anywhere near him.  I have flea powder-it works really well, for about ten minutes.  I can’t bare to see my dog scratch-it runs right through me.  I feel inept, inadequate, a bad doggy mom, bad human for that matter.  We keep the air conditioning running, 24/7.  All cats (13 outdoor, 3 indoor) have been treated.  This happens almost every year, but the past two have been horrendous!  And this is where my best friend comes in.

“Jesus, I refuse to pray ONE MORE PRAYER about the flea situation.  Clearly, you either don’t care or aren’t listening.  I’m done.  Nothing against you, but why should I even bother?”

Inevitably, my attention is drawn to reality:  cancer, the Deep State, missing children, a friend’s diagnoses.  He shushes my fears and reminds me to pick up my cross, be a brave little soldier.  He tells me that God answers prayers in His time-not ours.   I am thusly humbled, and more times than not?  I get down on my knees and beg His forgiveness.

It’s okay to be angry with God.  If you’re angry with him, you believe in Him.  He wants to hear your petitions.  So, we are okay, Jesus and myself.  Just aces.

Just as long as he never lets me down again. 🙂

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I Hope My Premonition Misses

 

I have some feelings I’d like to vomit out onto you.  I say “vomit” because that’s what this feels like, a terrible case of the worst flu ever.  I’ve been doing some pretty good avoidance therapy, and the time to deal with this is now.  No more backlogs of grief.  No more pain at the hands of others, period.

I couldn’t pull off a real hike, so Jesse and I roamed the nature park at Middlecreek.  The recent 15 inches of rain has served to keep the brooks and streams bubbling, and what is more comforting that the sound of Living Waters?  Can’t think of anything to be honest.  Jesus calls us to the water, it is there you will find him waiting, arms open, washing over you like His grace tends to do.  I have to admit I have been called to the water my entire life.  First, in Avalon, New Jersey-where my father took us every Summer, for two weeks.  He would rent a beautiful home, as close to the beach as he could get.  That was in our older years.  As children we would stay at the Windrift  hotel.  Oh the Windrift…some of my greatest memories.  That began a profound love affair with the ocean.  Sadly, I haven’t seen one is years.

While vacationing in the Adirondacks, I discovered that lakes draw me in as well, and the ethereal beauty of Wells, New York will be seared in my memory; I even plan on retiring there is ten or so years, God willing.  The entire time we were there?  I felt more at home than anywhere else, with the exception of my childhood home.  My entire relation lives in upstate New York-and just listening to their voices, whether at the grocery store, a restaurant or cozy boutique…I heard my mother, my Aunt Thelma, and grandma Stacey.

I am weeping because I long for the days when family meant something to people.  I rue, I say rue the day I admitted to my sister/enemy my greatest weakness/asset.

“Family means everything to you, doesn’t it Michele?”

Years before I had awoken to the Jezebel she has been to me, I was crying about my need to be closer to my brother.  I wish I had answered, No.  I can take it or leave it.  You know, the grey rock technique.   I could not have known then (as it was God’s will to keep me in the dark) that she would take each and every family member, and methodically convince them that I was bat shit crazy/selfish/committable; that she is the victim in all of this malarkey.

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Oh sweet Jesus, how I loved my nieces and nephew.

I won’t go into the gory details, as I have written ad nauseum on this subject.  She is not the victim, she is the predator.

I don’t get it, I don’t believe you-why doesn’t anyone else see the narcissism?, my brother gushes.  I can see the hostility in his eyes and I know why.  I am not a needy, broken toy who needs his immediate attention.  I grew brass balls after last Summer, and the people in my life are only beginning to see the new and improved version of moi.  Oh, they don’t like it, but they’ll get over the discomfort.  I taught them how to treat me poorly, as I didn’t speak up after being disrespected.  The low self esteem one feels when the females in her family emotionally taunted, manipulated and abused me, for reasons of jealousy, resentment and rage: the anger coming from a place of HOW DARE SHE BE HAPPY????

You want to ruin a narc’s day?  Be happy.  Don’t let anything they say or do get to you.  Don’t give them the pleasure of dragging you down.  Put on the full armor of the God you serve-He will never leave or forsake you.

Seriously?  I sent him at least ten or so videos on the subject of NPD and the resulting CPTSD I was suffering.   Last Summer, when I was weak and broken and needy-I could feel his support, sense his seriousness about the manner.  Alas, my weakness a thing of the past-I roar like a lioness when my boundaries are broken.  I truly believe that nothing is worth losing yourself over.

True.  I did stomp off into the living room-we had been talking at the kitchen table.  I was looking for a video that could make him understand what it means to a victim of NPD, when their own family betrays and mocks their disease.

Narcissists do not have high self esteem.  Far from it, deep down inside they are the most insecure people out there.  They were abused/spoiled as children.  They have no sense of self.  Note:  not all narcs are alike.  In my case, I reached out to her and she is not willing to do, well, anything toward healing.  I still love her.  But I cannot be the person to help her.

So, like my main man Stevie, I hope it’s not a premonition.  I thought my brother and I were getting closer, but his visit took us back to square one.

“Cause this time could mean, goodbye.”

 

 

My Weapon of Choice…..

Scrolling through videos this morning, waiting for inspiration. This video caught my attention, and it is just perfect for the topic. What is your weapon of choice when the haters are getting you down? How do you escape the bullets shot in your direction? What do you do when cruelty and evil darken your door?

Of course, my weapon is the full armor of God. At least that is the first place I go…….for strength, love and compassion-wisdom, grace and peace. I
submerge myself in the scriptures, and there I find truth, a rare commodity in this day and age: but always on pointe, never changing-it comforts me to know that Jesus knows my heart, inside and out. I have faced challenges this past year that would break Hercules, yet I am stronger by the minute, so much so that I am not the same person I was mere weeks, months or years ago.

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He keeps me strong. On the straight and narrow. Do I slip up? Often. Does He forgive me? Indubitably.

And after I come out of my bible-induced trance? Why, I dance…..of course!

…Don’t Hear a Word I Say

 

 

Oy vey.  Those are the only words, sorely lacking proper explanation aside.  Oy vey.

My mother would have said:  Jesus, Christ, Mary and Joseph, and all of the Saints.

My father would have said: Judas Priest Mary Lou!

Daddy didn’t curse in front of us often, but when he did?  My mother’s name almost always came next.  Mom was a full blooded Irish lass from back in the day:  when I say “lass” I mean a tiny, driven, trash talking mama…four feet ten in heels, she could have intimidated the Pope.  It only took a look, but mom didn’t know this.  When something didn’t suit?  You seriously wished that Jesus would come and take you, right there and then.

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs

This picture caught my eye, its’ unleveled beauty-my heart swelling at the idea that there are loving, functional families out and about in this world.  Yes, I mean, we were raised by perfectly well-meaning alcoholics, who could not have predicted that two out of three of their children would be in therapy, for life.  Good times…

So, this miscommunication  (hey, I’m being nice :)) I had with my brother – mea culpa, and apparently, my bad baby.  Here’s the thing about dealing with familial relationships after narcissistic abuse, and a diagnoses of CPTSD:  if you have a brain in your head, you are going to be ON GUARD, my amigos….on guard permanently.  Against betrayal, lack of validation, triangulation and actual loss of family.  You don’t trust your dog, for crying out loud.  It is what it is, and you can’t blame u6s-we are damaged goods, for life.

So, apparently, while standing my ground and putting up boundaries (he did say he didn’t believe me, hell, he was lucky it just triggered me-I could have had a meltdown extraordinaire-however, I am guilty of raising my voice, and asking him to leave my abode.  I had no idea that this hurt him deeply, so much so that he searched near and far for a diagnoses that would explain why his sister of 56 years just ripped him a new one for the first time-ever.

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Craig and myself. Circa 2017

Among my strengths (and weaknesses) is my strong desire to protect those I love.  Who am I kidding?  I don’t think I could purposely hurt another human being; let alone my brother, who has held my hand through my first AA meeting, sat the night with me after a car accident and listened to my story of personal and searing pain forever.  Yes, he has been a victim in this mess, and if a Flying Monkey?  Unknowingly?  I think so.

So, this weekend was some of the most Godawful PMS, in recent history, that I can recall.  In an attempt to help me, along with what I believe to be a true concern; and also to help him understand why he didn’t recognize his own sister.  So, the poor guy sends me an email about Borderline Personality Disorder.  I immediately freak out

You are gaslighting me.

I knew I couldn’t trust you, did she put you up to this?  How dare you not validate my achievements in the recovery of addiction???!!!  

RESPECT MY AUTHORITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was the same day my poor husband drove home in a flash flood and I lost my shit on him (hey, I didn’t know there was a flood) because he was late.  Flat out, full blown screaming in his face.  On my gawd…that wasn’t the only daytime drama.  Why after telling me he was going to hand a tree stand in the woods with his son-I heard trail camera 😦  I truly wish I could say hilarity ensued- but I ended up making an ass out of me, as I assumed he was simply hanging a camera.

Yep, his hair flew in the winds of my voice…I am not quiet when angry, I get all Irishy and shit.

Long story short, I hurt my brother.

Long story short, I didn’t take his feelings into consideration.  I apologized for yelling, but I ended up unnerving the poor lad.

Long story short?  God is asking me to take a leap of faith, and trust that my favorite sibling is not out to shame, dismember or hurt my heart.

I think Jesus wants me to hang on to him for dear life, for a number of reasons.

I am down with that.

 

 

 

Tupelo Honey

 

The day is murky and bleak.  If I must watch one more moment of the John McCain memorial, (for days now) I will pull my eyes from their sockets and call it a day.

Actually, this day has been pretty mind numbingly, head poundingly awful…I’ve missed as much of it as possible, by laying in the fetal position with my cat Pooh Bear…his fat Maine Coon hind quarters tickling my nose;  somehow irritating and soothing as a mother’s hand on her child’s forehead, all in the same breath.  Jesse let out a sigh of content; his mommy wasn’t running around a mess of nervous energy-she was in one spot, with him.

Day Three of Diagnoses From Well Meaning (or psychotic) Family Member.

I took my last Doxy today-it always bums me out, this being the fourth time with this nasty disease called Lyme; it’s many variations twist and turn as the tick and deer population in Pennsylvania and New York grows on.  And, ironically, I feel worse than I did in the beginning-hoping temporarily, but some fresh hell of a virus, for sure.

I begin the morning with the house to myself.  My husband takes the dog and ventures out at 5:30 a.m., off to look for deer trails and the treasures of a forest at the break of dawn.  I thought about not opening my brother’s latest email.  And I’m telling you, he brings this insanity up in the beginning of a holiday or weekend.  My attitude was quite different this morning, and after reading about my proposed anorexic, dysfunctional mind and how concerned he is about me-that part cracks me up.  I could be slithering across my kitchen floor, dripping in blood and human excrement, and he wouldn’t bat an eyelash.  Years ago, when I told him my boyfriend had beaten me senseless, my brother responded:

“I think Terry Love is a nice guy.”

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If we hadn’t been working at Houlihan’s at that moment in time?  I would have bitch slapped that kid to Planet Uranus.  What every victim wants to hear…what a great guy her predator can be.  Jesus Mighty.

I am at the point where I am either laughing or crying over my family’s barrage of unwanted advice, head shrinking and bitterness.  I believe my brother a man of compassion, but that isn’t saying I don’t want to punch him in the solar plexus 98% of the time, as of late.

I try to rest, but dreams of floating death brings me back to my bedroom.  I had watched an Obsolete Oddity vid on YouTube prior to laying down.  I love the narrator’s British rogue, and the stories are both fascinating and terrifying.  It was about the death of a model in the 1800’s.  She had married her painter after posing for him for years.  She was a sarcastic sort, had long red hair and a big heart-but anorexia and drug and alcohol abuse killed her.  His final painting was of her, floating in the bathtub-hauntingly beautiful-morbid and dreadful.

I finally get my sorry ass out of bed.

I practically crawl into the living room.  I take it all in, my country cottage-beams bearing antique baskets and dried lavender, rose and sage.  My husband, napping on the couch, the way his  mouth forms perfect lips as he sleeps. Jesse, by my side, gives me his goofy, hair lip face  I look outside at the mountains, and come back to earth.

And I hum this tune, as I struggle to face a day that the Lord hath made.

I shall rejoice, and be glad in it.

I Hope My Premonition Misses

 

I have some feelings I’d like to vomit out onto you.  I say “vomit” because that’s what this feels like, a terrible case of the worst flu ever.  I’ve been doing some pretty good avoidance therapy, and the time to deal with this is now.  No more backlogs of grief.  No more pain at the hands of others, period.

I couldn’t pull off a real hike, so Jesse and I roamed the nature park at Middlecreek.  The recent 15 inches of rain has served to keep the brooks and streams bubbling, and what is more comforting that the sound of Living Waters?  Can’t think of anything to be honest.  Jesus calls us to the water, it is there you will find him waiting, arms open, washing over you like His grace tends to do.  I have to admit I have been called to the water my entire life.  First, in Avalon, New Jersey-where my father took us every Summer, for two weeks.  He would rent a beautiful home, as close to the beach as he could get.  That was in our older years.  As children we would stay at the Windrift  hotel.  Oh the Windrift…some of my greatest memories.  That began a profound love affair with the ocean.  Sadly, I haven’t seen one is years.

While vacationing in the Adirondacks, I discovered that lakes draw me in as well, and the ethereal beauty of Wells, New York will be seared in my memory; I even plan on retiring there is ten or so years, God willing.  The entire time we were there?  I felt more at home than anywhere else, with the exception of my childhood home.  My entire relation lives in upstate New York-and just listening to their voices, whether at the grocery store, a restaurant or cozy boutique…I heard my mother, my Aunt Thelma, and grandma Stacey.

I am weeping because I long for the days when family meant something to people.  I rue, I say rue the day I admitted to my sister/enemy my greatest weakness/asset.

“Family means everything to you, doesn’t it Michele?”

Years before I had awoken to the Jezebel she has been to me, I was crying about my need to be closer to my brother.  I wish I had answered, No.  I can take it or leave it.  You know, the grey rock technique.   I could not have known then (as it was God’s will to keep me in the dark) that she would take each and every family member, and methodically convince them that I was bat shit crazy/selfish/committable; that she is the victim in all of this malarkey.

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Oh sweet Jesus, how I loved my nieces and nephew.

I won’t go into the gory details, as I have written ad nauseum on this subject.  She is not the victim, she is the predator.

I don’t get it, I don’t believe you-why doesn’t anyone else see the narcissism?, my brother gushes.  I can see the hostility in his eyes and I know why.  I am not a needy, broken toy who needs his immediate attention.  I grew brass balls after last Summer, and the people in my life are only beginning to see the new and improved version of moi.  Oh, they don’t like it, but they’ll get over the discomfort.  I taught them how to treat me poorly, as I didn’t speak up after being disrespected.  The low self esteem one feels when the females in her family emotionally taunted, manipulated and abused me, for reasons of jealousy, resentment and rage: the anger coming from a place of HOW DARE SHE BE HAPPY????

You want to ruin a narc’s day?  Be happy.  Don’t let anything they say or do get to you.  Don’t give them the pleasure of dragging you down.  Put on the full armor of the God you serve-He will never leave or forsake you.

Seriously?  I sent him at least ten or so videos on the subject of NPD and the resulting CPTSD I was suffering.   Last Summer, when I was weak and broken and needy-I could feel his support, sense his seriousness about the manner.  Alas, my weakness a thing of the past-I roar like a lioness when my boundaries are broken.  I truly believe that nothing is worth losing yourself over.

True.  I did stomp off into the living room-we had been talking at the kitchen table.  I was looking for a video that could make him understand what it means to a victim of NPD, when their own family betrays and mocks their disease.

Narcissists do not have high self esteem.  Far from it, deep down inside they are the most insecure people out there.  They were abused/spoiled as children.  They have no sense of self.  Note:  not all narcs are alike.  In my case, I reached out to her and she is not willing to do, well, anything toward healing.  I still love her.  But I cannot be the person to help her.

So, like my main man Stevie, I hope it’s not a premonition.  I thought my brother and I were getting closer, but his visit took us back to square one.

“Cause this time could mean, goodbye.”

 

 

The Tango…

 

This morning I opened my bible to do a bible dip.  I ask God a question or pray a prayer and voila!  It is right on the money, ninety percent of the time.  Today was no different, but it did blow my mind.  In anticipation of seeing my brother (he did end up finding a vehicle) I needed to speak to God.  I needed to ask for strength-and courage to speak my truth in a way that would not be misunderstood.  Still half sick after receiving his text last evening-the text in which he told me that  my sister was the nicest, kindest person he new.

My sister abused me emotionally, for many years-the last twelve being the worst.  I suffer from CPTSD as a result of the trauma.  Insidious and cruel, she took advantage of my neediness and kind heart.  She took my nieces and nephew from me; demolished any chance of a relationship with my brother and the gaslighting became so traumatizing I was bedridden with depression and anxiety.  I couldn’t work, I couldn’t sleep, and I could not understand why I felt so terribly alone.  The abuse became unbearable, after I became sober and shook the black sheep image-oh Lord was that the wrong thing to do.  In Spring I went no contact, after a ruined vacation and her inability to allow me my own self, my own opinion.  She needed me to tell her how wonderful she was-and I was in such need of human connection that I allowed her to be the sole authority over my world.  

Last Summer, my brother and I had a visit in which I told him my story, but only because he pled with me to do so-after the fallout, after I relapsed, before I began healing.  I was terrified to open my mouth.  My husband had just begun to believe me.  Craig and I sat down and had a really good talk.  He was so understanding.  Victims of NPD have a deep seated fear that no one will believe them-because the abuse happens when no one is looking-they are pros at keeping the mask on.

This is the verse I came to

If you have come in peace to help me, we are friends.  But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our ancestors see it and punish you.

– 1 Chronicles 1:15

Actually it is 1:sixteen, but my crap pc won’t do fours or sixes.  Blerg.

He is sitting at my kitchen table.  He tells me he doesn’t believe me because he has never, nor has anyone else in the family noticed any narcissistic traits.  Why would she do this to only one person?

I dropped the dishtowel.  Every nerve of my body on fire, my heart pounding, I screamed:

How can you not believe me?  I told you hours of stories, I have 17 years of journals to prove what I am saying.  WHY IN THE HELL WOULD I MAKE THIS SHIT UP?  Were you there last year when she made it impossible for me and my poor husband to go on a vacation with my own family, even though we were staying miles away, IN A DIFFERENT HOUSE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!????

I asked him to leave.  I asked more than once.  I was devastated.  But whatever happened, I was going to speak my peace, stand in my conviction and use my voice.

“I believe you, (his tone changing) but personally I just don’t see it in her.”

We came to an agreement not too far into the argument.

“I don’t and haven’t tried to come in between you and her.  I don’t expect you to change anything.  Let us not bring her into any conversations.  I will let it go.  I will try to trust him.

And the tango continues, one step at a time.