Tears Dry On Their Own

 

I don’t understand, why do I stress the man? When there are  much greater things at hand?                                                                                 -Amy Winehouse

 

I had a bad hair day, and as I lick my wounds, I will do what I am wont to do when grief, of any kind, beckons. I turn to my writing, and process best I can.  I spent my former life running from anything “feeling.” As a result I suffer a backlog of grief.  I have worked through so much, the glory going to Jesus, who has shadowed my life, since childhood.  And of course, it was the Prince of Peace I turned to-after a hike and shower did nothing to shake the chill of a sadness I could not name.

I hadn’t felt this dull malaise in a long time.  The full moon always takes a toll on my psyche-I suffer a bizarre change of attitude at this time of the month, and it just happens to coincide with my period.  No, it’s not pretty-trust me!  I don’t relish having the temperament of Medusa on crack, but hey-who am I to question?

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I think we all have our codependency days.  Days when you’d be happy if your monster in law called you-just so you know you aren’t invisible.  This morning I checked my blog stats, and although I’m a big girl with a medium-thick skin?  Well, let’s just say I awoke to no texts, Facebook notifications, phone calls or fuck-yous.  As the morning went on, I had the unpleasant task of having to pick something up at my in laws home, conveniently located directly across the street.  Insert hair pulling here.

I spotted my monster, standing out on her front porch.  I told the dog to stay, and yelled my intentions, hoping she would hear me, so I wouldn’t have to knock on the door and go through the whole, sordid pretense.

OMG, WE HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN WEEKS, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY MOST RECENT PURCHASE, THIS DISH CLOTH-CLEARLY THE MOST SUPERIOR DISH CLOTH THIS SIDE OF THE PACOS, AND LOOK!  IT MATCHES MY COFFEE POT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Nah.  I’ll pass.

But something really weird happened.  She. ran. from. me.  I knew this to be true, because I have the moves of a full out ninja when it comes to avoiding my in laws.  I know all the tricks.  As I walked down the road, she walked faster.  I approached the front door, and knocked.

No answer.

She reappeared after I had returned to my home, picking weeds in a garden that is frozen solid.

Now, on good hair days this would not have phased me.  However, as the possibility of my invisibility grew, I was actually offended.

Later in the day, I phoned a girl friend to see if she’d be going to aerobics class.  She never returned my call.

These ridiculous nonissues prevailed the entire day.  I got good and quiet with God.

“What’s wrong with me, Abba?  Where is this over sensitivity coming from?  Where’s my self esteem?  Remind me of who I am in You.”

Tears dripped down my cheeks.  I knew this feeling only too well, although I hadn’t felt it in some time.  I have found myself in the midst of pain and confusion, as I wonder aloud why I had allowed it to happen.

My best friend is a narcissist.  I have known this for months, since the day she spat venom at 45 mph, into my voicemail.  Called me a liar, told me she’d tell the girls in class what I said about my in laws.  None of it made sense, but then again-I never listened to the entire voicemail.  After this incident, she begged me to forgive her-and that’s when I made my fatal mistake.

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I couldn’t put my finger on the sense of loss, anxiety and sense of impending doom.  I began tearing at my skin, stymied by my own inertia.  Recently, she was giving me the silent treatment-a well known, passive aggressive technique of the Jezebel.  They gaslight you into thinking it is you who’s the psychopath.  Narcissistic Injury-feel free to do your research in that department, if God forbid, you too are suffering.

I listened to the entire voicemail.

My skin crawled as I heard the vitriolic rage.

The moral of the story?  Go with your gut, especially if you have been the victim of Narcissistic Abuse.  There are resources online to help you understand the disease, the symptoms of CPTSD, and begin to heal the codependency that brought you to this place of utter despair.

Kill Jezebel.

 

 

She’s Got No Heart

 

Fear is here to stay, love is here for a visit. –  Elvis Costello

Oh my GAWD I am going to freak the fuck out!  Clearly, my mother in law has not read and agreed to my Zero Tolerance for Bullshit of Any Kind policy.  Hormonal as it is, (yes, I am 57 years old and I still menstruate. There, I said it) I was in no freaking mood for this voicemail:

Hello, it’s your ((passive aggressive, narcissist)) mother in law.  We need to get shopping for the flowers for our anniversary party (DON’T GET ME STARTED-HER ANNIVERSARY WAS IN DECEMBER)  I’m going to have to find someone else to do the arrangements, I suppose. Love you.  (Seriously????  REALLY????)  Serenity now.

My husband tried to give them an anniversary party back in December, but it snowed and the restaurant closed-leaving him with 30 pounds of cake and a shit load of calls to make.  Now, oh I fear I may spontaneously combust-the unmitigated gall!  Air bitch slap.  Three months ago, she asked that I do the floral arrangements for her tables (yes, she rented out a fire hall-for all 7 of her friends.)  I promptly agreed.  She took me to her armoire, which was full of depression glass, porcelain vases and country crocks.  I had everything I needed, and knew I would still have flowers in my garden come October.

“These are perfect, and I’ll have flowers.  No need to go shopping,” I smiled.

But NO!!!  Why God?  Haven’t I suffered enough?  What fresh hell awaits?

It’s a bluegrass shindig.  I was a florist, and I know that her stock of containers were perfect for a bluegrass event.  I told her what I thought I would do.  I picked both of my wedding gowns within five minutes of opening the shop door.  I am not long on patience, it’s one of my imperfections, among many-needless to say, I hoped we could agree, and quickly.

“Oh, maybe we should do silk flowers, and I think we should buy blue, uniform vases…now wait, we can go to the dollar store and……yada, yada, yada, well, we’ll get right on this.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. 

I tell her in September, we’ll go whenever you want.  The date came and she couldn’t go.  That was two, count em, two days ago.  She has done this stupid shit for 27 years, and I won’t go through one more hair pulling event.  That’s my hair that would be pulled out by the end of this train wreck.

I scream at my husband, let me at her, what the?, who does she think she’s screwing with……..scream, cry, belch.  No, he says, just call her.

Frustrated to the point of rage, I ring her up.  Straight to voicemail.

Hey Dolly, why don’t you just go ahead and find someone else.  Love you!”  🙂

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I live out in the country, way out: but that doesn’t mean I have no neighbors. I think Jesus made it perfectly clear, but I am not the one to judge. I have issues, too. Just recently? I was doing a bit of ruminating about my sin, and I came to the horrifying conclusion that all of my friends are “beautiful” people. I am actually a bit surprised at my prejudice, as I assumed that I had a big heart, for all people. I do, however it seems to me it’s a whole lot easier to love attractive people. I am deeply shamed by this, and will work on it ASAP.

About five years ago, I found myself embedded in a screaming match with my neighbor, Jeanne. I stopped walking my dog around our neighborhood after this incident, and I have her to thank. Jeanne and her family had recently moved to our tiny burb, and I never would have known if not for her dog, Cujo; who promptly scared the life force out of my golden retriever. After calling for immediate restraint, I heard this:

“Oh, for crying out loud, it’s just a German Shepherd,” came her response, loud and clear. You don’t know me, or how I get when people get in my face. I am a Gemini, through and through. I am simultaneously the nicest and meanest person you will ever meet-just depends on what you’re dishing out on that particular day.

Years later, I am standing with Jeanne.  Who, indeed, proved to be a horse’s ass.  But this particular day, back in February, she caught me while hunting sheds, in the field below her farm.  We took up talking and I told her I was going through a bout of Lyme.  She, in turn, told me to come up to the house, to hear about Essential Oils!!!  I must have been gravely ill, because I actually went, thinking that she was trying to help me.  What. On. Earth. Was I thinking?

Anyway, the neighbor who lives in between myself and Jeanne, is a 90 year old, Pennsylvania Dutch, busy body extraordinaire.  She knows all of the gossip in the neighborhood.  We don’t get involved, ever.  So, I haven’t been close to Ruth in years, as I knew she wasn’t fond of me.  How did I know this?  I have it on good authority, it came from the horse’s mouth. Apparently, Ruth said this to my in laws:

“You can say a lot of things about Michele, but she sure does take good care of her animals.”

So, there’s that.  And a whole bunch of other stuff I have already flushed down the commode.

Here’s the thang:  we cannot wrap ourselves up in others’ perceptions of us.  Ninety percent of the time?  They are going on gossip, unearned reputations-not the Holy Spirit or the love of Jesus in their hearts.

So, I would like to wrap this up by saying this to anyone and everyone who delights in being in my bizness:

You people are the human version of menstrual cramps.

 

And Go Our Separate Ways…

What if you woke up one day and every person, place and memory turned out to be an illusion? What if all that you knew to be true was pulled out from beneath you, and turning to Jesus was your only means of comfort? Would you give up, or would you fight with everything in you to resurrect your life and any and all hope left?

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When did things change? Or better yet, when did you d ecide that your life was just that, yours? That you had every right in the world to have your own opinion, your own faith, your own convictions…even if the comments from the peanut gallery were set up to rob you of all self esteem, authenticity, and strength.

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If you were this girl? You would turn to pills and alcohol to numb the pain and blur the lines. And I did this for years and years: too sensitive to live life on life’s terms, too strong to end it (and I did attempt that twice-that is twice that I can recall) and surrounded on all sides by people who claimed to care for you. You knew better, of course. It began as a trickle of doubt, turned into raging river of certainty, and by the time God brought you through to the other side? You knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that these sheeple wanted nothing more than to bring you down, and kick you while you lay there bleeding.

As we face another holiday, I am more determined than ever to turn the page. I will be having Christmas at my home, rather than trotting down the road to monster in lawville. Thanksgiving, an unmitigated disaster, brought the point home and hard: take your life back, stand up and for once and for all stop punishing yourself! You tried to love them, but they brought you nothing but pain and regret. You simply cannot fix stupid, and when you see stupid-run for your very lives.

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Don’t worry about what people think. Don’t waste a second listening to what people think. Hold your head up, walk the straight and narrow road that leads to the Heavenlies, and while you’re at it? Kick some ass along the way.

Crazy For Trying…

Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph (AND ALL OF THE SAINTS!!!) this has been the roller coaster of ALL roller coaster days!!!! Mercy mighty, I praise God each and every day for putting weed on this great earth; and if not for the medicinal side effects? This girl would not only be drinking again, but I’m pretty sure she’d find some Flakka and end it. It is a flat out miracle that I did not pick up today. Miracle.

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I have thanked Jesus profusely: for giving me the strength to set my boundaries-let’s just say the narcissists in my life are not fond of the 2.0 version of myself, as I can’t be emotionally manipulated, codependent or disrespected for one more millisecond. Alas, I am guilty of coming off a bit harsh-but only because I was once such a people pleaser that I would actually obsess about my friends or lack thereof. If I didn’t have a certain amount of friends, I would consider myself banned to the land of no friends at all; as my mother pushed her friends away due to social anxiety, I felt I was doomed to repeat the cycle.

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So, Dwain ended up going down and picking up the eight blue vases (actually, wine glasses :()from his mother last evening, at my bequest. I had not yet spoken to her after the hang up the day before. After twenty eight years of her passive aggressive bullying-yes, indeedy do-just like my sister and my mother before her-I had tripped the light fantastic and simply ended the call. I haven’t hung up on anyone in a very, very long time. I used the hang up as a means of dealing with my rage and ineptitude at coming up with something pithy to say. Realizing that this was incredibly rude, I began suffering migraines after stressful phone conversations. Now? It takes heaven and earth to get my ass to make a phone call. I loathe talking on my cell phone, there is no comfortable way, and I hate speaker phone. I also added to my humiliation the habit of the ‘drink and dial,’ which brought grave consequences. Alcohol and the phone are forever linked-hey, add a cigarette to the mix and what we have here is a R E L A P S E.

Smell what I’m stepping in?

I arranged the flowers I harvested from my garden (my mother in law offered hers, but I would be damned if I would use even one of her flowers. Why? Because that is all I would hear at the party tomorrow-the reason for the arrangements-

“And she used MY flowers, no way she could have done this without My help.”

The woman danced with a broom at my wedding reception, people. Yeah, the struggle is real. So I finish the arrangements, and a huge argument with my husband begins; simply because I asked him to drop them off at the fire hall tomorrow morning. I hadn’t planned on going to the shin dig, as the simple task of creating a few floral arrangements had turned into Armageddon-and I wasn’t about to head back into the war zone without a few months of space between her and myself. My husband, once again, did not believe me when I told him just that. He balked:

“I will go with you to drop off the flowers, when we go to the party tomorrow.”

It’s like this: I see no reason why, on God’s green planet, that Dwain cannot understand that his mother is snarky. I do not, I repeat, I do not want to come in between he and his mother. Trust me. But when I mentioned the fact that I wish he would just stick up for his wife, once and for all, he says this:

“Michele, I have been sticking up for you for thirty years.”

Poor Dwain. He’s just like Phil on Modern Family, he never fails to say the worst possible thing at the worst POSSIBLE moment. Great, I know his parents don’t like me, but really? Nice. Good to know.

Really.

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Faster Than the Speed of Light…

 

HELL hath no fury greater than a gardener who can’t find her gardening tools; and if that raging lunatic is me, well, then so be it.  I believe I have told you all that my in laws live directly across the street-and they have silenced me for years and years.  Well, homey don’t play that crap anymore.  I will play my music as loud as I can, and when I find out that you have taken my last kitty litter jug, which I use to water my flowers, man, I have ZERO SYMPATHY.  BLASPHEMER.

I didn’t even begin to garden until I got my butt good and sober.  In my late forties, a doctor had recommended it to ease the symptoms of menopause, and I will be forever grateful.  My father was a master gardener, but the only thing I could get close enough to learn (mom didn’t want us in the kitchen, dad didn’t want us in the garden) was Miracle Grow, Miracle Grow, Miracle Grow!

So, here we are, this morning…I’m happy, I am amongst the roses.  Even though it rained for the last few days, the soil is parched, and I go for my watering cans.  Well, what fresh hell is this?  My father in law has taken at least ten of these containers over the last two years.  He did not ask.  They are quite well off, but apparently, rather than buy their own containers-they walked up the road and took mine.  Sounds silly, not?  Oh, silly isn’t the word, baby.  I didn’t find out who had taken them until a visit last Spring, when my father in law said:

“Hey, Shell, I took a few of your watering jugs, you know, we fill them with rain water and use it for the gardens.”

If looks could kill, he would be laying on his garage floor-trust me.

It added to my thought process at that time:  you don’t matter, you are irrelevant, no one cares about your property, why would ANYONE respect you or your things?

Amen and AMEN-I don’t think that way any longer.  I do have boundaries, and, even though I may seem to be a harmless, little honey bee, in reality I ROAR LIKE THE BUMBLES!!!  When those closest to you have messed with your head, it changes you.  Once you stop feeling sorry for yourself, God plants a seed.

Go move that mountain.  Go break some rules.  Ensure people respect you.

And it was with those thoughts in mind that I played this song at volume ear bleed, and danced my way through the garden this morning.

Laugh out loud, they can dish it out, but man o’ day-they can’t take it.

Not for a second.  🙂

She’s Got No Heart

 

Fear is here to stay, love is here for a visit. –  Elvis Costello

Oh my GAWD I am going to freak the fuck out!  Clearly, my mother in law has not read and agreed to my Zero Tolerance for Bullshit of Any Kind policy.  Hormonal as it is, (yes, I am 57 years old and I still menstruate. There, I said it) I was in no freaking mood for this voicemail:

Hello, it’s your ((passive aggressive, narcissist)) mother in law.  We need to get shopping for the flowers for our anniversary party (DON’T GET ME STARTED-HER ANNIVERSARY WAS IN DECEMBER)  I’m going to have to find someone else to do the arrangements, I suppose. Love you.  (Seriously????  REALLY????)  Serenity now.

My husband tried to give them an anniversary party back in December, but it snowed and the restaurant closed-leaving him with 30 pounds of cake and a shit load of calls to make.  Now, oh I fear I may spontaneously combust-the unmitigated gall!  Air bitch slap.  Three months ago, she asked that I do the floral arrangements for her tables (yes, she rented out a fire hall-for all 7 of her friends.)  I promptly agreed.  She took me to her armoire, which was full of depression glass, porcelain vases and country crocks.  I had everything I needed, and knew I would still have flowers in my garden come October.

“These are perfect, and I’ll have flowers.  No need to go shopping,” I smiled.

But NO!!!  Why God?  Haven’t I suffered enough?  What fresh hell awaits?

It’s a bluegrass shindig.  I was a florist, and I know that her stock of containers were perfect for a bluegrass event.  I told her what I thought I would do.  I picked both of my wedding gowns within five minutes of opening the shop door.  I am not long on patience, it’s one of my imperfections, among many-needless to say, I hoped we could agree, and quickly.

“Oh, maybe we should do silk flowers, and I think we should buy blue, uniform vases…now wait, we can go to the dollar store and……yada, yada, yada, well, we’ll get right on this.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. 

I tell her in September, we’ll go whenever you want.  The date came and she couldn’t go.  That was two, count em, two days ago.  She has done this stupid shit for 27 years, and I won’t go through one more hair pulling event.  That’s my hair that would be pulled out by the end of this train wreck.

I scream at my husband, let me at her, what the?, who does she think she’s screwing with……..scream, cry, belch.  No, he says, just call her.

Frustrated to the point of rage, I ring her up.  Straight to voicemail.

Hey Dolly, why don’t you just go ahead and find someone else.  Love you!”  🙂