In a New York State of Mind….

I have written, at length, about my relationship with my now disowned sister-but words will never portray the betrayal, the loss, the shock.  Back in the day, in our twenties, we did everything together.  I took her with me to Pittsburgh, my ex-husband’s home town, on several occasions, and there were great times, amazing times-but that is another story for another day.

It’s hard to explain what it’s like to find out someone as close as a sibling is a psychopath.  I look back constantly, why, why, why?  There were so many red flags, but my self esteem was in the toilet, and she used everything that was true and decent, my immense love for my family, my spirituality-she used it against me.

“Nothing matters to you more than family, does it Michele?,” she asked one rainy morning, ten or so years ago.   Of course not, I told her.  Family means everything, all we have in this world are each other, mom and dad are gone and we have to take care of the family we have left.                                      

She took this information, digested it, and used it against me for ten years straight.  My husband loved our nieces and nephew-he constantly asked why we didn’t just drive down to Exton, surprise them.  Back then, he didn’t understand the machinations of her twisted mind.  I knew she was punishing me, but where was the crime?

New York is incredibly important to me.  I was born in Utica, my grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles-they were all in upstate New York.  My father, the only person in our family who graduated college, attended St. Lawrence University- and that is where I will spread his ashes in September, standing next to my husband, my familia, who has been hurt and victimized as well, at the hands of her insanity.

Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love does not envy or boast.  Love, in all its messiness and madness, well, love never fails.

In gratitude and remembrance of Stephen James Elkins.   My friend, my partner in crime, my father.  It’s hell here without you daddy, see you on the other side.



Jesus Christ, Superstar

Wow. I feel as if I just stepped off of the longest roller coaster ride of my life. I am drained, physically and emotionally. Feeling a bit woobly this morning, the rain like cats and dogs-I thought to myself, ‘it would be so much easier to sit here and skip church, it’s too yucky, and I’m just too exhausted.’

Preparing to write my previous blog, the words of the song-along with the Holy Spirit-sparked a fire within me that got me up and dressed for the service. After the heart breaking events of our week, Dwain needing it as much as me-I knew I needed my church family-and the ensuing morning would prove my discernment, as it was life affirming, soul filling and just plain mind-blowing. God works in the most baffling and thrilling way-if we are lucky, we will have more than a few moments alone with Jesus that tell you that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, He is with you. He is inside you. And worshipping Christ is your only way of getting to God, it’s just that simple.

We met with Dwain’s parents last evening to discuss our growing concerns about my stepson, Bud. After his vitriolic and frightening assassination of my character and heart-we have yet to hear from him, and his behavior is out of control. I spent a few days angry, really angry/broken. I didn’t eat, couldn’t sleep right, I shook-from head to toe. Ever waking thought was of his face, the veins bulging in his forehead, screaming his hatred and resentment of the woman who “ruined my father’s life.” Dwain also told me that Bud has a problem with “working to pay her SSI income,” and that my friends is what this blog is about. I knew nothing he was saying was true, but the NPD victim in me wondered. “Am I a joke to the entire family? Is it true they think me a “freak?”

By the time we met with my in-laws, I had developed a deep concern for my step son’s well being, the pain he was in-his heart crushed. I believe what happened was a Narcissistic rage brought on by my lack of interest in arguing over his current or ex girlfriend. And when I set my boundaries, telling him that he had a attitude, he realized then and there he couldn’t control me through emotional manipulation. And I became the scapegoat-once again.

While at Hosanna this morning, hearing the music flow over me, feeling the Holy Spirit fill me once again-I glanced toward the prayer closet. When it was clear that the room was free, I walked over to the two elders who ushered me inside. Two of the most amazing prayer warriors I have seen, wept with me as I broke down and asked for prayer for my husband’s broken heart, my stepson’s state of mind, and-finally, for protection for my family-the full and mighty armor of God.

I try not to become discouraged when someone close to me hasn’t the faintest clue about mental health-especially mine. The average person has absolutely no idea how hard we fight to get through a day, how much we hold in and end up taking it out on ourselves, via self harming, drug addiction, alcoholism. Joe Blow does not get it. At all. And it saddens me when I think that Bud hasn’t seen the transformation Jesus has performed in my life. Will I forever be the alcoholic and never get the credit for my sobriety and blessed beyond measure life? Does any of this really matter?

The answer is this: we are loved beyond measure by a merciful father in Heaven, who gave us His world, His one and only Son to cover our sins, so that we may live with him forever in the heavenlies, in paradise-no more pain of any kind. We have so very much to look forward to-it boggles the mind. If we are taken aback by the beauty we see on this planet now, can you IMAGINE what Heaven will be like?

In the meantime? We truly need to love one another with compassion, understanding and respect. Hold on to your beloveds, but lightly-for we are here for the purpose of doing God’s work, and our loved ones belong to Him, no matter how terribly hard it is in the letting go~

My Analyst Told Me……..

About a week ago, my brother sent me an email with the information for a local therapist. I had given up therapy (God and I had this) and frankly, he was concerned. If I am going to face upheaval and pain, I call my bro, as I can emote at whim and he will not judge me. He gives great advice, so I looked so forward to meeting Nancy. The appointment was made for this morning.

I haven’t eaten in two days. I shake, from my feet on up to my hands. I have crying bouts-I cannot sleep through the night, never a problem before. This isn’t good for my Lyme recovery-let’s face it, what happened Wednesday afternoon wouldn’t be good for anyone. I drove in the wrong direction for 30 minutes, so distracted was moi. Finally, after driving miles on slick, rain drenched country roads. And I drove aggressively, fearlessly-which isn’t really me.

I spoke of the “incident” with my stepson in my last blog. How he has walked around in a state of rage for three months now, first depression-now red hot anger. He went on a verbal tirade about how I was a “blood sucking leach,” that I was a “joke” to the entire family. I was in fear of him punching me, and when I tried to go back inside, he blocked my way.

So here I am at Nancy’s pad. I fill out the paperwork and wait. An attractive and cheerful woman greets me with a hug. We sit down and I commence to lose my shit, and cry like a child. She proceeds to ask me a myriad of questions, mainly about brain fog and forgetfulness. By the time she gets to what she thinks I have? My mind is moving one hundred miles in seventy different directions.

“Dissociative Identity Disorder,” she says in a hushed tone.

She gave me the reasons behind her thinking, admitted that it was too early to be sure, gave me a tissue and rescheduled. As I drove to the pharmacy on the way home, it hit me pretty hard. I broke down and called my brother from said pharmacy. I wept through my interaction with the cashier. They know me well. They were concerned.

I have a few questions for sure. I am not going to go head over heels into this without ensuring that she can help me with my PTSD and Narcissistic Abuse syndrome. The only time lapse I remember was two weeks ago, albeit a four hour lapse. I was reading my bible on the couch in the living room, the clock read 8:00 a.m. When I traipsed into the kitchen for a glass of water (I had just received a very upsetting email from my sister)and the stove read 12:30 p.m.

I would poo poo the whole thing if it weren’t for the dichotomy between my mellow self, and my ‘I will cut a bitch” self. But doesn’t everyone have another side to them? DID happens for a few reasons, but in my case she believes that I suffered such devastating trauma from emotional abuse in my childhood, that I created another persona if you will.

Emotionally and physically exhausted, I made an appointment with Nancy for next week. I won’t let this ruin my weekend, as God has the final say on what I am suffering from, and He alone has the cure. Be blessed family.

Policy of Truth

This is a story about authenticity. You can (and I did) go through life codependently, needing to be accepted-no matter the cost to your soul: or you can learn from your trauma, your grief and abuse-and live an honest, authentic and loving existence. I choose the latter, and now that my mood swings have evened out, I believe I can write about the challenges we face when indeed we do have a “policy of truth.”

Some of you have read my blogs and know that I was severely abused by members of my family. And just when I was at the point of feeling the freedom from codependence I realized that there were other narcissists in my life. Unfortunately, they are family-only on my husband’s side. I blame myself for some of it, as for years I let those close to me-including Dwain’s family- walk all over me, shame me, ignore me and spread flat out lies about my character, my life.

What occurred this afternoon will never, ever be forgotten. I am over the shock and gut wrenching pain, but my heart is grieved-and I feel deep betrayal on every level, surround me. I had addressed his attitude after Christmas, and while I didn’t receive an apology, he was cool around me later, copasetic. Yesterday, he came out to the farmette, and walked right by me without saying word one. I could not imgaine what in the WORLD I had done.

So Bud is on the farm again.

Let’s just talk things out I say, in a very reserved, yet friendly manner.

He immediately gives me the glare that narcs around the world are famous for… and blows me off. “You have an attitude,” I mumbled as he went towards his truck.

“Really? Really Michele? Do you want to go a round with me now?” He was in my face, and I began to cry as he uttered (more like in my face screamed-the following phrases, that brought me to my knees in psychic pain. Yes, I am sedated, but I need to write, to share my despair.


He was screaming these things in my face. I now know that I have been victimized by a family of narcissists, and I was visibly shaken, actually terrified by the time he had left. I had no idea what he was talking about, and I cried out, screamed “WHY ARE YOU SAYING THESE THINGS TO ME. THEY ARE LIES? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, PLEASE-please stop.” But he wouldn’t. He chased me up the stairs, and it was then I thought he would hurt me.

I was sick for two hours. In shock, I phoned a friend and she walked me through my panic attack, my crushing blow-I had worked for 20 years, full time. I usually had two jobs, actually. I have single handedly decorated, painted and restored this historical home. I have lush gardens. I volunteer. I am thrifty and extraordinarily forgiving. I never asked anything from him, and I tried to love him, but he rarely let me in. I could feel the hatred, the heat. I was losing my grip on reality, felt as if I would faint. I do the chores on the farm, take care of all of the animals, and ALL housework. I cook and clean to the point of exhaustion (OCD)because I am anxious. Nothing made sense.

And as I knelt and cried, a rumpled mess in the driveway, I realized that I have been right for 25 years. My in laws are hypocrites. They know nothing of mental illness. My maniac of a mother in law is a full blown psychopath. So, she started the campaign against me years ago. She has convinced her only grand son that I am a horrible, greedy, leeching, lazy loser who wants nothing but to ruin my husband, the absolute love of my life-our marriage is strong and loving, we won’t be going back to the days of disruption, jealousy or control. I suspected this for twenty years-and he is in so much pain, anguish the likes I don’t think he has seen since he lost the custody battle.

Dwain came to hold me as I broke down in the kitchen. I put my head in his chest and wept fresh tears-they continue into this morning. I am left in the dust…..and there is nowhere to go but to the God who knows my anguish; and there I will languish by the living waters, until my heart is mended once again.

This is the Weeping Song…..

I was standing in the kitchen last night, eager for my weekend with my baby, in a great mood-until I saw the look on his face.

“Honey, I was going to wait until the weekend……but you need to know.”

Sweet and merciful Jesus, what fresh hell awaits me?  I hate the look he gets when he knows it’s going to hurt me, when he knows my pain will be fresh, and I have to rip the scabs off of old wounds. 

“Your brother and your niece text me earlier in the week, from Lake George.”

Okay, why?  I mentioned before that I knew my family was reading my blogs.  I had blocked everyone from Facebook but my nieces, and perhaps I was naïve in thinking that they would leave me my writing, after taking everything else.  I was wrong, oh so wrong.

He told me a blog I had written earlier in the week had hurt the girls, my nieces.  I could not fathom why they put my husband in the middle.  He has gone through enough and ENOUGH I SAY.  I immediately wrote to my eldest niece, who did not message me back.  I told her I was sorry she was hurt, that it was far from my intention, that I loved her more than words can say.  And then, later in the evening, I awoke-from a nightmare-and ran down to my lap top.  No returned message.  No text or phone call.

Sleepily, I opened my Facebook account and severed the last ties I had to my sister’s side of the family.  I cannot be kept from writing, it is how I process the disturbing reality that my very own blood has turned against me.  Never thinking that the flying monkeys would come in such precious packages, I looked back on the years and years of banishment from the kingdom.  Never a call, a text, a card, a gift…….and then it hit me-they have been lost to me for years, only now I can let go.

I will save the weeping for later, but for now I will write.

Pistols At Dawn

No, this is not a docudrama on the perils of standing on stage props, poor Marilyn Manson.  I loathe everything that man stands for, but I have to admit-the poor CD sales, his broken ankle on the first night of his Heaven Upside Down tour; then the attempt to climb a stage prop of two guns pointed in different directions which resulted in the whole works crushing him-well, that’s a shame, as Jerry Seinfeld would say.  I must admit I did chuckle at first, not that I am gloating, but man o’ day-what do you expect when Satan is the god you serve? It is my prayer that as he recuperates, he has a change of heart-but that’s another story and I am sidetracked.

We were up in the jaw dropping beauty of the Adirondack mountains, on lake Algonquin.  Prior to the trip, I was an anxious and traumatized mess: fake news of the September 23 Armageddon, the flea situation, the hurricanes, the fear of flying high and actually enjoying life for a change-all of this led to a reoccurrence of my PTSD symptoms.  In 25 years my husband and I had not had a “real” vacation together, and as we hit the state of New York, my nerves began to mellow, I was beginning to exhale and I cannot praise God enough for His part in getting us there.

Prior to leaving, we had ripped out carpet, vacuumed every crevice, and at 5:30 in the morning I sprayed the last of the flea killer, and closed up shop.  My “best friend” of twenty-five years was taking care of my only indoor cat, Maya Angelou.  She was to feed her in the evening-I had no problems trusting a grown woman, RN and administrator of a local veteran’s hospital-I left food and instructions on the table.  My in laws were right across the street.  What could possibly go wrong?  As it turned out?  Plenty.

On our third evening there, I turned on my cell phone.  I had planned to stay away from my phone, social media, news venues and the like.  I needed to heal, and I wanted to spare my husband the constant freak outs about the world in which we live.  For whatever reason, I felt a nudge to check to see if all was well in the state of Pennsylvania.  I was relaxed, happy and hadn’t self-harmed in days.  My body was repairing itself, and I looked forward to the next leg of our journey.  We were to spread dad’s ashes on Lake Pleasant, hike Auger Falls, dine in a lovely five star restaurant, and I hadn’t seen Dwain so happy in ages.

The text read-‘Hi sweetheart.  Just wanted you to know that I was over to feed Maya this morning (what?  My father in law was assigned the mornings, why was she even there on a Sunday morning?) and I was wearing white pants.  I was covered in fleas.   Is there anything you would like me to do?’

Holy mother Mary, mother of Jesus, and Joseph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She went on to say that the only room she had been in was the kitchen.  I text her back immediately, telling her to please turn on the air conditioner, asking if she wouldn’t mind setting off a bomb or two DOWNSTAIRS, as Maya the cat stays in the bedroom.  The very reason we hadn’t set off anything upstairs.  I phoned her and left a message, telling her where the vacuum cleaner was, and also reassuring her that I would make this up to her.

In less than the five minutes it took me to do this, my blood pressure sky high, my mellow harshed-I became hysterical-worried about the cat, my friend, the house………it was like being shot from a cannon, and I immediately regressed and began tearing at my skin, bawling like a child, inconsolable.  My husband was livid.  Why?  Why would she text me this news?  How could she be so cruel?  Was she not capable of figuring this out on her own.  And then it hit me.  THERE WERE NO FLEAS IN THE KITCHEN.  I KNOW THIS BECAUSE IT WAS ONE OF THE ONLY ROOMS THAT THE DOG AND CAT WERE COMFORTABLE IN.   There was nary a flea in my abode when we left for New York. My husband took me in his arms, shush honey, it’s okay, I’ll call my father, we will get through this, shhhush baby…….he was in touch with his dad immediately, and Tom was to set off a bomb in the kitchen.  Relief warmed my muscles, the blood returned to my face.

I phoned my brother and told him I would call him when we returned.  I wanted him to know that I was turning said phone off and would not even look at it until our return.  When we were unpacking, the phone must have fallen out of my purse, and there it remained for three days.  I had bought my “friend” a lovely gift for tending to my feline.  I flicked on my phone to call her to see if she was home, but was immediately stopped dead in my tracks.  She had left three voicemails and a text.  She had called each night of our stay, and then left another text:

“If you EVER get around to checking your messages, there are still a number of fleas in the kitchen.  THANK YOU.”

Appalled, I thought back to the many times I had given her the benefit of the doubt when she belittled me.  Because of low self esteem I had clung to her advice, and many times I felt her to be intentionally cruel and callous.  One Summer I had given her a pair of earrings.  I took great care in picking them out, lovely avocado halves, expensive but worth it.  Days went by and I finally called her to ask if she liked the gift:

“Please give them to one of your nieces.  I will put them on the porch.”

Many, many times I had asked myself if it were possible that she was a narcissist.  That is not a term I use lightly, and I pushed the thoughts out of my head immediately.  I thought back to the day I called her, the day my sister sent me the email that would end our relationship.  I had told my sister my feelings, for the first time in, well, ever.  I was hysterical, crushed at the idea of losing my blood, my world upside down, I cried out to her.

“You fucked up Michele.  You fucked up.”  The harder I cried in protest, the louder and meaner her words.

Jesus has taken the scales off of my peepers.  I have learned that highly sensitive and empathetic, albeit broken people are subject to being surrounded by the Jezebel Spirit.  But I am stronger and wiser now.  She is a part of my past, and there will be no confrontation, because at the end of the day, that is exactly what she wants.

Scatter In The Wind……….

This is a story about Narcissistic Abuse and Flying Monkeys. Not for the faint of heart, not for the Abuser, not for the enabler: this story is for US. The victims of Narcissistic (Cluster B personality disorders) mayhem, and the stories you don’t hear-because we are silenced for so long? We think we have no voice, that no one wants to hear us, that we are insignificant-and nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, it is because of your heart, your kindness, your faith, your standing out in any way that disturbs the narc’s version of reality as he or she sees it.

The heartbreaking part for me? I know exactly what went down, how I was blind but now I see. My mother chose me as the scapegoat. The child that nursed her hangovers, cleaned the house, brought her flowers? No matter, her behavior changed the exact moment I spoke up for myself.

“You’ve changed.”

“No one likes a whore.”

“You are a piece of shit.”

She would go for days and days without speaking to me, while my sister had her full attention. She was the baby, she was not only spoiled by my mother, but neglected by my father (he was an alcoholic who travelled for a living, so when he was home? He wasn’t really here.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is caused by the dichotomy of being overloved and underloved at the same exact time. The victims are so shattered that their mind splits and it is their mission to NEVER BE HURT AGAIN. NEVER BE VULNERABLE. NEVER, EVER, EVER BE ABANDONED AGAIN.

Of course, I have a great deal of empathy for the narcissists in my life, and this is because I know the kind of pain that led them to put up psychotic defense mechanisms in order to function. As a matter of fact? Had it not been for my faith I may have ended up on that road. I was quite selfish in my teens and twenties, actually well into my thirties. The change began when I gave my life over to God, and I stopped running away (via drugs, alcohol and sex) and running toward my recovery. This has been an 11 year process, and I can promise you, it has been worth the crippling pain at the hands of a family who just didn’t love me enough to care, include or listen.

I realized last week, and with stunning incredulity, that my brother was not along for the ride. After a concert in Philadelphia, which I was not invited to, he holed up in a recording studio-then spent New Year’s Eve with the rest of my family….he didn’t return my last text, and I don’t expect him to, for he has grown his flying monkey wings and flown out of my sight, my grasp, my life.

This is the crushing reality. Men and women across the globe are rejected, discarded or abused, because they are hated, resented and considered the enemy. If you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, feel free to watch the following video. If you need to talk or chat, please comment and I will move mountains to be of any assistance I can to the very people who make me want to get up in the morning. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be understood, not ignored. And if your entire family leaves you in the dust? Let them scatter in the wind……