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!”  🙂

Destiny is Calling Me…

I don’t quite know where to begin, and my mind is racing in seven different directions, in seven different languages. 🙂

I am not fond of speaking of my past, in terms of the darker days. I feel a chill in the air, my mood plummets to the pits of hell-but God took me through those fires for a reason, and I know that my story is your story-you, the addict. And by addiction I don’t mean to chocolate: I’m talking drinking to the point of blackouts; stealing medications from clients; multiple “accidents” and that feeling in the pit of your gut-your guilt, coupled with the pain you are self medicating.

Nasty. Putrid. Bleak.

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“How could I possibly clean myself up? What would I do with all of my raw, searing pain? How could I cope?”

Beloveds, listen to the wise old hoot owl-learn from my mistakes. I spent years running from a traumatic childhood, turned to booze and men, then pills and cocaine. I married the man of my dreams (ok, he is seriously on my nerves today-but we made vows and stuff)and when I had life by the balls? I washed it down the kitchen drain; hook, line and sinker. Ten years of my life are missing, literally. Yet, I am just another sinner, clawing my way out of the rat race; running at warp speed to what I had no idea at the time.

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I ran into the boys from Teen Challenge, an amazing program of hope and sobriety for men of all ages and backgrounds, who have failed in all previous attempts to get sober. Every holiday we see them at our local grocery store. I listened to their stories, we laughed-and cried together. I have an innate connection to the broken-I always will. Even without their stand and wares? I could have picked out those men in a heartbeat.

Addicts have a tell, and it takes one to know one. It’s all in the eyes-which speak to me in various ways. Today it was the look of the haunted. I knew immediately that they were just beginning their journey; the look of sheer panic, yes. But something about them stood out, as if they were old souls or friends I hadn’t seen in some time.

“I just got out of prison, was there for two years. Lost my family, home and job. I tried every program out there, and I relapsed every time-it is an absolute miracle that God found me when He did. It’s Jesus that makes all of the difference! I have my family back, ma’am. And you know who the glory goes to, now, don’t ya?”

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. -Deuteronomy 31:8

Every day you don’t take a drink is a miracle.

Be miraculous~

There Was a Formula

I have been mulling over the idea for some time now: it’s time to change the format of my blog, and with what I have in mind? I think it’s going to be a necessary and positive rearrangement. 🙂

As always, the focus of my writing will be the same: Christ-centered, authentic and sassy-it’s the way I roll, so thank you all for reading my musings! It is my constant prayer that they will reach the eyes that bleed for comfort and community. Here goes nothing!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

The really important things in life can’t be said, only shown.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

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A while back I wrote about a friend from church who had told me God spoke to her in the early morning hours, about me, about my loneliness-as she was going down her prayer list. Unable to sleep, Lisa grabbed her Holy Bible, and asked the Holy Spirit to guide her in prayer. When she came to my name, the message was loud and clear:

She will have beautiful and meaningful relationships. She went on to try to explain just how much of a blessing this would be, but she cried with me instead.

I think of her and that moment often, even daily. Over the past few years, I have traded my sob story for one of real and true joy and reconciliation. Sadly, some of the changes did not suit a few of the people I had been holding on to; long after I knew that there was little left to grasp.

SCRIPTURE OF THIS GLORIOUS DAY

Kind people do themselves a favor, but cruel people bring trouble on themselves. -Proverbs 11:17 NCV

I quietly walked away from those who knew me as my former self. The friends who knew me to be a people pleasing, bleeding heart doormat-who allowed herself to be treated very poorly. I cannot stress the importance of one of the keys to happiness: you’ve heard this a million, zillion times before, but if you don’t love yourselfit will be impossible to gain the respect and love of others.

Although I have decided to keep the posts about Narcissistic Abuse and Complicated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the bare minimum (I have seen professionals who suffered at the hands of a narcissist make careers out of helping other survive the phenomena. While I respect the hell out of these people, I can not, will not allow this family tragedy define who I am. In order to survive, I am putting the past where it belongs. At the moment, the California fires are raging: these are not the usual forest fire-and they are headed oh so steadily towards my brother and his family. I have no way of knowing if they are okay. I have no way of knowing if ANY of my family is okay; so I will let go and let God.

However, there is so much to be said for sticking to your guns-not allowing others to control the narrative. Guard your heart, that’s what the Lord says-and in doing so I have emerged as if a Phoenix rising: finally able to be myself. No peanut gallery comments, such as:

After years of struggling with alcoholism and depression:

“Are you on the right medication? I think you may be Bipolar.”

After hosting mon frère for lunch (last time we spoke, in August)

“Quite sure you suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. Have a great weekend.” Sent via email. And after telling my estranged sister not to bother showing up at my funeral:

“You fucked up Michele. YOU FUCKED UP.” This, by the way, from my “best” friend who almost killed my cat while we were in upstate NY last year on vacation.

SONG OF THE DAY

I spent yesterday with two amazing women I met in exercise class. They are smart and loving and kind, and I am almost out of my mind excited to begin this new phase of my life. And I get to live it as ME!!!!

Yep. Gotta stop sobbing and get busy living.

Blessings.

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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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!”  🙂

Fear and Loathing, in Pennsylvania

 

Sitting in my hidey hole, licking my wounds from a world I often find to harsh to bare.  I’m isolating because my ego is raw.  Ego has no place in my life, and although I try to banish the mere idea of self importance, you and I are human-we hurt for various reasons, but I know in my very heart that Jesus is standing right by us, and our pain and grief are never, ever in vain.

Working two shifts in the ER this week-emotional for hormonal and health related issues-I broke down by my second shift this Friday.  No one was more surprised by my tears than me; looking back I regret my weakness.  But then again, it was a part of His plan all along-and although I look forward to the new blessings and assignments-I will miss my work with the patients in the E.R.  

I couldn’t take another minute-the feelings of absolute isolation, around my colleagues in an Emergency Room I have volunteered in for almost a year.  I am rather intuitive, but when it comes to other people liking/disliking me: I am often the last one to know one I once called friend, turned out to be a foe instead.  I think it is a combination of naivety and the fact that I really, generally, don’t give a frog’s fart about what people think of me.  I am here to tell you all that, for women, high school never ends.

I have absolutely dreaded going in to work these past few months.  Was it the getting up early?  No.  Did I enjoy what I did?  Very much.  Was I afraid of disease, while working around the infirm because of my Lyme disease?  A little.  I prayed.  I went back, and gave it another shot this past month.   The people I work with are not the same crew I was trained by.  A few are the same, but not the sweet, fun loving women I had started out with.

The problem?  A click so exclusive that any one outside of it was ignored.  Flat out “you are invisible” treatment, from adults who should have compassion and respect for others.  The health care field is full of these miscreants.  They get into the health care field for financial reasons, and from what I have seen as of late?  I pray I to God almighty that I am never at the mercy of hospital nurses-or doctors for that matter.

I was standing in the E.R. with about eight other employees.  They were talking to the EMTs who had just stopped in to chat.  I tried to get into the conversation, but was blatantly ignored.  Later, going to sit next to one nurse who could be friendly, at times, I didn’t stick around.  Nothing.  Not one word.

Never a good morning, a thank you or please.  Never a question about my life, my interests, my background.  Nada.  I went blithely on, baking them cookies, bringing them a nut tin for Christmas.  I thought I would make a friend or two at least, as was the pattern in my years of being with groups of people-in any situation.  Church.  Work.  Grocery shopping, for crying out loud-I love people, and having friends or a lack of has never been an issue for me.  Yet this is how I began my life, or the first eleven of them, anyway.  Shunned for being overweight (combined with my mother’s thrift shop finds.  Mom was a fashionista, but the kids at school were vicious.

People hate what they don’t understand.

I read that quote this week, but can’t remember the author.  I worked my patootie off for people who were sitting on their hefty behinds and:  shopping online, playing with their phones, gossiping.  Hell, the last day of work I ended up running to the warehouse for a nurse, and it clicked:  she wasn’t doing anything.  She was shopping, there were no patients.  I left the Emergency Room two hours before my shift was up.  I did not say goodbye.  I finished my work and walked away from the painful truth.  I did not fit in-I was not liked or given any respect whatsoever.

It still makes me a bit sad, but it is what it is.  I have been transferred to patient registration, and I so look forward to the next chapter of my life-pitfalls, assholes and all.

Respect yourself.

 

I Really Don’t Know Love, at All….

 

I have to get back into the swing of my craft-behind on two nominations, and very tightly wound, I tell myself, Relax, just breathe.  Sometimes, life gives us the lemon-oh the betrayal and pain.  And sometimes, a person you adore (and during these times, you wonder why) comes along and purposely tries to steal your joy.  And, for purposes of disclosure, let’s say that person is, and has always been, my husband-for whom I hold out hope, but like I said, I don’t know why.

After all that I have been through, and suffered (often by my own hands) I have finally come to learn the key to peace, in all times.  I have so much to learn about CPTSD, yet who wants to spend an hour, or even a minute reading about a thing so painful?  I was emotionally abused by my mother, but it didn’t end there; she taught me people pleasing, and that no one will love you if you don’t agree with everything they think you should be, do, say, live.  My self esteem was literally broken, shut down, before I obtained sobriety.  And eleven years later, God continues his work on me-He wastes no pain.  Ever.

So, without going into too much detail, started off the weekend in a bad way.  Whenever I am sick, and this time it’s a sinus infection, the man of my dreams takes it personally.  He sulks, and absolutely loathes the idea of me resting-as a matter of fact, we go through something similar each and every time I fall ill.  I am made to feel less than, a monster, a lazy wife-it has become so bad that it takes an act of God to get me to rest during the day.  I have been pushing myself for weeks, not so much as taken an aspirin, and finally, finally yesterday afternoon, I lay down to nap.  Long day in the ER, my head throbbing, legs like jelly-I grabbed a blanket and lay on the couch.

Five minutes later, my husband is home.  I get up, go to the door, kiss him hello.  I tell him my plans and he reddens.  I go to the couch, as I can’t fight my weakness.  No lie, Dwain then proceeds to bring heavy lumber into the living room, and drop it all behind my head.  I was seriously irritated, yet smiled and said, I guess no nap today.

He then punished me by storming out of the house, speaking of me ruining our weekend.

not this girl

NO!  I will not allow you to rob me of my joy.  I will not succumb to the lullaby of peace for peace’s sake-I happen to work really hard on the house, garden, church and volunteering; my 15 cats (most outdoor, but all fixed, all beautiful) and beloved canine, my relationships.  I have new interests, and recently rekindled my love of finding old furniture and bringing it to it’s previous luster.  I hit the ground running at 6 a.m., and forget to eat most days, I am that harried.  So, can you think of one good reason this man is not being childish, and unreasonable.

I went to bed, leaving him a note of displeasure.  It wasn’t kind, I will be honest.  Do you have any experience in arguing with a lunatic when your head is pounding out of its skull, and your throat feels like you swallowed the bottle of hot sauce?  No, bed it was for me.  I didn’t eat, I just escaped by sleeping the sorrow away.

This morning, I couldn’t make myself get out of bed.  I kept getting up, turning around, and going right back to my pillow and throw, my golden retriever.  By 8:30 I was attempting to put my jeans on when my husband arrived at the doorway.  Crap.  No coffee, I’m sick….please don’t let him start another….

“Now, are you ready to apologize to me so we can have a good weekend?”

DID I JUST HEAR WHAT I THINK I HEARD?  SERIOUSLY?  IN 27 YEARS TOGETHER HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO AVOID POKING THE BEAR?  AM I IN THE FREAKING TWILIGHT ZONE, OR BIZARRO WORLD, OR COULD IT POSSIBLY BE THAT THIS IS MY FAULT AS WELL?

It got ugly.  Uglier than he thought it would, I am supposing.

The old me would have gone back to bed and wept about another lost weekend.  I would have slept through this entire day, once again punishing myself.  A key characteristic in Narcissistic Abuse is the fact that they want you on your knees if you upset them, pleading for forgiveness and ready to make amends.

He took off on our Harley, with no helmet, just to piss me off.

I slowly waked upstairs to obtain my hiking gear.  I fed the dog his eggs, and left the house with dishes in the sink.  We went to a bubbling creek, and ran into the nicest couple.

“We hiked the AT last year, but had to get off trail because I had Lyme disease,” the man said.

This is how God works-I have a routine and very rarely does it change.  If I hadn’t been so deeply hurt by Dwain, I would have stayed home, worked in the garden, or cleaned.  I steered off course for a reason, as Abba wastes not one ounce of our pain.

We spoke about Lyme for a bit.  I told him that Stevia works on keeping the Lyme at bay, and eventually eradicates the symptoms you suffer.  He was so appreciative, I could tell his wife was over the moon at the tip-and I smiled, blushing.  We continued our picturesque stroll, and then drove over to the local farmer’s market, where I purchased the most succulent strawberries I’ve had in years.  Once home, we worked in the garden (actually, Jesse ate his Frosty Paw and slept) every step a struggle, but I was determined not to waste this gorgeous weather, here in the Northeast.

I then showered, put on my favorite Summer night wear, perfume and lotions.  I am now sitting in my boudoir, sipping Kombucha and listening to Vivaldi, while finishing this blog and moving on to a nap.

Don’t let anyone steal your joy without permission!  This is not your fault.  The one and only thing that you and I are guilty of?  Planting our own gardens, watering our own flowers, ignoring the capacity for cruelty in others.

Treat yourself with respect, the rest will fall into place:  with or without your better half.