The dance..the limit…and on it goes

Most normal people have limits and boundaries. I hate saying ‘normal’ because that is quite a generic term and really who was it who defined normality in the first place? Where did the term come from and what does it really mean. Most define it as not abnormal, conforming to standard and an approximate average. Do we really want to be average? I know I don’t. I know I am not.

It has been a struggle these last months. A constant dance of sadness, despair, heartache, feelings of loss and isolation and then periods of mind numbness and nothingness. And then periods of anger, resentment and frustration at myself, at him, at my parents, my sons illness and other things but mainly the first three. Aside from having him in my thoughts all the time until recently this time forced me to deal with other things I had long buried in the closet and it was sealed. Throw a hearty bout of depression on top and boy…whacko.

As I said, most have limits and boundaries. I realised that mine weren’t where they should be thanks to my dysfunctional childhood. That after my spiel of 2 days ago where it almost seemed as if he had finally gone out of my head he returned again yesterday and so did the tears. When I woke yesterday I felt so bereft because he was there again when I had thought ‘finally’ he had gone. I had tried everything. But the impulse was so strong yesterday. So I levered myself out of bed determined not to spend the day there and went to the gym for the first time in ages. It wasn’t easy but I did it.

And for a while it felt OK. But the problem was I went there almost everyday for months to get my level of fitness and health better over the time leading up to going and seeing him in the U.S and also had the added benefit of losing 15 kilos (33 pounds). And that had stuck with me. He was there the entire session even though I tried to fight it and even as those marvelous endorphin’s kicked in. By the time I got home I was in tears, I wept. How could someone pervade every aspect of my life, my every thought and breath? So profoundly.

I am not a well puppy. The level of cognitive dissonance is alarming and completely psychopathic (Psychopathic can also mean a failure to learn from experience). I am aware of it but I can’t seem to stop it for long.

It comes and goes more now but yesterday was difficult. My sleep should have been better last night after exercise but it was dream riddled and broken. And my first thought this morning was that it is his daughters birthday today (in Australia it is, it is the 10th August) and I wanted to wish her well. Maybe that is it. Maybe it is just the timing. 1 year since we first reconnected and all this bullshit began…the dysfunctional dance.

I know I shouldn’t but I so want to have a drink today to distract myself. No it’s not a habit, but some days it would be easy for it to be. I need music as well…just to forget for another day…

This song is going through my head https://youtu.be/qaGLIKQl8Ag – THE KING IS DEAD by Go West

I think I will finish this later…

She’s AWOL again….Commander Whack Job…grief

I am starting to think that I am kryptonite to psychologists…It seems like the last couple have gone AWOL right at crucial times and I find myself back in the quagmire I seem bogged in. There is no point denying it. I am still in a bad place hence I haven’t blogged for a week. I haven’t had it in me until today.

2 weeks now I haven’t seen my psych. She’s had to cancel two Fridays in a row, the last because she is sick. That is perfectly feasible. People get ill, particularly in winter (Australia..southern hemisphere…winter)..flu season etc. But the same thing happened with the previous psych but her illness was apparently longer so I had to seek out a another.

Being the paranoid, depressed person I am right now I keep thinking its me! Have I outpsyched the psych? I am having serious abandonment issues! No thanks most recently to ‘he who shall remain nameless’.

I’m joking about it at present, I’ve just had cake. I got out of bed and made a cake. Just a moment ago I ate a large slice so I am buzzing on sugar. It was a sultana cake (high fructose as well). Making cake was good for me. It was action in an otherwise inactive day. I haven’t worked out for 3 months almost. I have gained 2 kilos. I don’t care there are worse things.

I have been excessively inactive in the last two weeks. So much so I did not even go outside for almost the entire 2 weeks. I have been back to the black, the dark place where all I did was sleep, read stuff on psychological issues (trying to self help) and broken relationships and narcissists and cried all the time. I felt immense pain and disappointment and hopelessness. And fear. My sons keep me here, nothing else. Thank god they are with their father now and older, I talk to them when able but they have no idea how bad I have been and I don’t want them to know. I know they don’t read my blog.

I have still been thinking about everything to do with Commander Whack Job (I did not coin that phrase, it was in an issue of Psychology today, an article about ‘how to survive a manipulator’). Funny actually, the poor woman who wrote it was a Journalist who was married to a ‘Commander Whack Job’, she called him that because he was ex U.S Navy just like my shithead but this guy was secretly professing to have been a Navy Seal and a whole host of other things and was a complete nutter/lier/manipulator/narcissist and really did a number on her. She ignored the Red Flags too. Apparently even the smartest of people will go cognitive dissonance because they want to believe people are being truthful. The story was a relief to me in a sad way..it made me realise how many other whack jobs there are out there and yet others fall for them and are left hopelessly bereft for a time like I am…hopefully not all of them (the nut jobs) are Ex U.S Navy (I’m sure they aren’t there are lots of great servicemen) and working for Cisco like mine. At least Cisco are getting their money’s worth out of his propensity to be a BIG talker/Narc. I’ve heard him in action on the job, exceptionally convincing, it is something to see. I’d bet his ‘Team’ thinks he is a god.

I know many will say why is she still on about this, its been 3 months, I kick myself all the time about it. In 3 days it will be a year since that connect request I got from him on Linkedin (after not seeing him for 30 years), and now I bloody well wish I had never reconnected with him. The memory of him was perfect from back then (early 80’s), he was handsome, romantic, generous (in some ways I am so glad I no longer have the beautiful jewelry he sent me when I was 16 and 17), he wrote me beautiful letters for a number of years after the ship went out (wrote my guardians when he couldn’t find me as I moved without telling him both overseas and over east as time went on!! I was young and trying to enjoy my life, I wasn’t ready for him then) and he was a gentleman.( He wanted to come back to me and Perth, settle here). I still believe he was that wonderful, then. And then the 30 years happened. The person he was no longer exists and what is in place now…well that’s what I struggle with daily to reconcile, still, 3 months after I walked out of his house with a horrible feeling in my gut that I had to walk out and heartbroken knowing he would shut down on me.

What he wrote and how he spoke to me for hours on the phone in the beginning of the reconnect was almost like the old him. He was pretending to be everything I thought he was and more, he uttered the words ‘I love you’ in the second week of our reconnect when we were on a 2 hour phone conversation Australia to the States, and I should have known then something was off…I kinda did, but I chose to ignore it because I was being love hazed comprehensively and fast and that coupled with the beautiful memory of him from years ago and the fact I was coming out of 17 years of antidepressant medication and a bad depression I HAD NO HOPE. I’m almost certain he knew exactly what he was doing. And everything is consistent with the narcissist playbook, you could tick every box line for line in every heartbroken love hazed narcissist/sociopath survivor blog and website. AND STILL. I loved him. It still hurts like a bastard. I keep thinking maybe there are other reasons for the things that happened that compounded it all like his daughters mother, whom he never married but there is so much he never revealed, he was smart about it. But bit by bit as I continue to post mortem because my mind just won’t let it go for some bloody reason, it is playing detective, and bits of memory of conversations and actions and inactions comeback and haunt me and his comprehensive shutdown/discard has not allowed me the ability to heal at all. The final bit of uncaring cruelty.

I am obsessed it seems, its like he still has control ever me and is sitting back laughing at me and how stupidly I fell for his bullshit. I did it, I hurt myself. I can’t seem to forgive myself for it.

I’m losing it….this is why I stopped writing because I was trying to avoid dragging it up and putting it down because it is still so painful. But it is part of an even bigger picture, a history.

I know I literally have abandonment grief (amongst other things) and even though Joe caused it this time it goes way back. I am also frightened again now about my capacity to be able to handle things if my son starts going down hill again or if I lose him. I had after years finally thought I had come to a place of acceptance about his disease and then this has brought me crumbling down again…my mind….I need my strength back, I feel weak….

Trying to recalibrate…….Days like this…

“When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like this
When there’s no one complaining there’ll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this

When you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this
When no one’s in a hurry there’ll be days like this
When you don’t get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
Oh my mama told me there’ll be days like this

When you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this
When you don’t meet a chancer there’ll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
Then I must remember there’ll be days like this

When everyone is up front and they’re not playing tricks
When you don’t have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
When it’s nobody’s business the way that you wanna live
I just have to remember there’ll be days like this

When no one steps on my dreams there’ll be days like this
When people understand what I mean there’ll be days like this
When you ring out the changes of how everything is
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this”

Lyrics above by Van Morrison the song “Days like this”

The expression that usually means; even though its been a shit day the good one is just around the corner. Scott Thomas says in his review of the lyrics “The singer, steeling himself against disappointments and letdowns, does not want to feel too good on the good days: ‘When all the parts of the puzzle start to seem like they fit / Then I must remember there’ll be days like this.'”

I know what he means…Van that is. I have had so many much better days. Like the day the last time I wrote in my blog. I felt that old familiar feeling of steely resolve coming through and I wanted to march forward with it. And then I remember the let downs and disappointments, sadness and pain. (I know I am much better off than alot of people, I have food and shelter and warmth etc…I know believe me).

I purposely avoided all forms of Media over the weekend again. And alcohol. I took a vacation from human contact again (even though I am still pretty much isolating because of my depression and other reasons), aside from calling and talking to my beautiful sons (that, always makes me feel wonderful, hearing their voices…not as much as putting my arms around them but still).

I am trying to make permanent the things I am learning about myself and my way of thinking. I continue to practice what I have learned and been told by my psych. Trying to find the positive way forward, formulate a plan. At times now I just want to run back into life all guns blazing and then I remember that life as it was up until the point where he and I parted ways and I sunk into the mire of a bad depression is a life I no longer want to be a part of. And I freeze.

That was representative of a life of chaos, pain, loneliness and heartache (not just recent re him but over many years). Of bad decisions and loss. Of not being truthful with myself and living life inauthentically.

The only truth was my love for and my life with my boys, is. Everything else…is a past that I no longer for a vast majority of it want to be associated with although there were definitely good experiences and some good memories in there I am finding it hard to separate it into the keep and throw out piles because it is taking far too long.

There are days, much more now when I feel like I am finally ready to re engage. And then still a day like today will come when I feel like I simply do not have the energy or the capacity and I know what the outcome will be and I fear going back into that same pre all this time and that nothing has or will change.

How did I get here? Why hasn’t it gone away….I see brilliance on the horizon and something keeps dragging me back from the light.

I refuse to take medication. It is a bandaid solution. I have been there too.  Am I supposed to watch the days keep passing by until this magical switch is turned on and I can finally appreciate the marvelous opportunities I have? You could slap me right now, I wouldn’t feel it.

I still, nearly every day think of him (many will never understand this….but most days now only temporarily and almost completely without pain) and on days like today I wonder how a supposedly smart woman can fall so deeply, trust so openly and prize so highly a man who does not have the capacity to feel real love or empathy. Again today because of how I am feeling I have been reading about the barrage of other people…predominantly women but men too who have been ensnared into a relationship with either a sociopath or narcissist and how messed up you become and how long it takes to pull yourself out of horrible place you find yourself in and I fight hard to pull what ounce of sanity I have to remind myself…I am not the only one and I am not alone in this experience and so many have been so much worse off…so much worse off. But I also know how I feel is not just about him, but it was a brutal blow to a fragile, flawed mind.

I am told “the Narcissist has no use whatsoever for that which he can not control” hence the discard and devaluation without a second glance. And I know that the longer it becomes the more apparent it is that he was a narc. No care no empathy. No one with normal feelings and care could have allowed things to end as he did, under our circumstances, a normal person, capable of real connection with human beings would eventually feel some form of guilt or concern that even though they may no longer want to be with this person they would find a way to communicate it so that both parties are able to heal. Would feel some value in the friendship that was. Even though I know this my mind is still betraying me at times remembering and even making up good things and it is that that I am struggling with. How can I go out into the real world like some kind of vulnerable freak. I need to be able to trust myself. There is a strong, smart woman inside there, she is starting to show herself but she needs to be present most of the time not fleetingly and not under the cover of four walls where there is no reality of life.

I am working on trusting myself, it is taking time. And many days now I am starting to and it is gaining momentum…it needs to be constant and consistent. Writing this is helping. I feel the internal struggle and then as I write it starts to dissipate…the power of the fear…I am trying to recalibrate and there will be days like this….

Reporting live from dumb-ass central…..

Yes, you’ve read correctly. Reporting live from dumb- arse central!

I am a dumb-arse! I am slightly smiling as I say it but a dumb-arse nevertheless. After a slightly worse day than others recently (it happens still but not as much or as bad now), I decided in all my wisdom to relax with a glass of Red and some music which is what I tend to do less frequently now because ultimately I know what the outcome will be and after so many months of struggle, learning lessons I don’t want to take the proverbial two steps back. I’ve done so well really?!

Nope. After a few glasses (it was, a nice Spanish Rioja) and not thinking about changing the Ipod from shuffle to the ‘No BS’ mix I specifically made for myself to steer myself away from songs that reminded me of ‘him’…inevitably the ‘him’ songs made their way through the speakers and I reminisced! Torturously, it was as a sneaky pleasure (!) I thought. It’s ok to think of the good things (what little there was) once in a while and fantasise about how things could have been (no chance they ever would have, but I have a vivid imagination particularly after mind-altering substances like alcohol…removes the boundaries..again I committed the ultimate act of self betrayal by emailing him.

Sad, so very sad, but true. He has to this very day stuck to his ‘no contact’ rule, so why couldn’t I? I’m only hurting myself. If he really is a Narc as I am almost certain he is and so is my Pysch then I have been succinctly relegated to the discard pile no longer part of the ‘supply’ chain. My ‘use by’ date long expired.

And by contacting him again I have shown myself to be even more damaged, neurotic and clingy than he told me I was “you need to work on yourself, let go of your dependencies, the past etc etc. I’m here, just don’t take another 30 years”.

I think the most painful part is that he was right. In the love bomb phase where I was bombarded with beautiful lines of care and pseudo love he managed to extract all that he needed to make these summary statements. His ability was astounding, or maybe not so he was playing with a very willing opponent. He told me everything I wanted to hear, and then eventually started the game of with-hold of contact and affection because he knew me so well. He would then come back for periods of a time and do it again “I can’t wait for our first night together. I will make love to you all night. I can’t wait to see you lying underneath me’.

I came to need him like I needed air. I trusted him wholeheartedly and I don’t trust easily.

Even now I can see that my actions only confirm his diagnosis. I can clearly see what I am doing wrong and yet I trip every now and then….no self control. All this therapy and back to almost square one? NOOOOO

NO WAY. Mindset.  And ‘CUE’ text from a concerned friend;

“Alcohol tends to be a catalyst for doing things you shouldn’t, r regressing of some kind.Don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re only human.  And its bound to happen now and then. But maybe getting boozy solo isn’t the best idea” (us Aussies are always to the point, and reasonably laid back! Part of our charm!)

My response “Ya reckon??!!!!” “No more solo endeavours” 😦  thanks my friend.

Now, to build that bridge and get over it!

LOVE AND WHITE LIGHT….the flawed one!

Time out….metamorphosis…from pain to joy..

It’s been quite freeing the last few days walking away from social media and even this blog. Friday I was going to throw caution to the wind and have a different type of time out..with wine and music. I didn’t. And I don’t regret it.

I am starting to see things in a different light, and I like what I see. It is no longer coloured by negativity but a perspective that in every thing which appears to be incredibly painful there is also a blessing. I am finally grateful for my pain because of the incredible joy I have found in the lessons learned. Seriously.

I spent time this weekend doing things I enjoy…true time out. Often laughter, often at myself. At times processing and making sense of things and realising that some things aren’t meant to make sense. It just is.

This will be the possibly the last time I will mention ‘him’ because he no longer matters. There is a much better life beyond him. But part of my necessary processing and final let go was about him.

For example, when I think of ‘him’ now I only feel pity. Pity can be seen as a word to recoil from or patronising but it means to see something through the eyes of compassion amongst other meanings.

He will never know the kind of unconditional love he may have had from someone who cared so deeply, he doesn’t trust it and does not know how to accept it.  Eventually he will know that people will realise how unwell and broken he is inside, including his daughter as she becomes a woman in her own right. She will question his inability to keep a normal relationship for any length of time and his actions. Why is there a trail of brokenness? I sincerely hope that she will come out of her attachment to him whole. I think of her often and feel sad for her.  People who seek to control and hurt others with their actions will always be exposed in the end. He is trapped in perpetual motion that must in itself be incredibly tiring and debilitating to his health as much as at present it is thrilling in what he sees as his’wins’. These wins will eventually become hollow reality. Hollow. You can not hide from your demons they will eventually rise to face you.

His behaviour is part of an illness and it is one that will never subside unless he comes to a place of awareness and want to change. Sadly the track record is fairly damning for narcissists. You may want to be there and help and love them but in a majority of cases there is no way for a narc to accept that help and love because they do not believe they need help. They are unable to see it, or admit to it if they do. Their solid exterior is that only, exterior, inside they are a chaotic mess. What a horrible way to live your life. Always seeking the thrill of your next conquest, your egotistical supply and it never really being enough.

They always find supply because unfortunately there are other ‘brokens’ out there who are easily manipulated by the charm and simply just want and need what is on offer initially. It is very hard to resist. But with a narc, it can’t be offered for a long period of time, the thrill dies off easily, its simply never enough.

It has taken me a while to accept this for what it is. And I feel sadness for him, and for a long time I wanted to help him because I remembered who I thought was a divine promising young man that I fell in love with many years ago, in a very short space of time. I saw something in him, felt it, even though I was very young…now I know what I saw may have existed then but does not now. When I walked out he knew he would never have control of me again so I had lost my appeal…he cut me off. I no longer exist, I am of no use. Narcissists are incapable of empathy. What a gift he gave me in letting me out of his circle of pain. I am grateful.

And it is not what I want for my life and deep inside I knew it at the time I walked out but it has taken all this time to really understand that I was following my instinct, my intuition and that I should always trust myself. Lesson learned, the hard way but learnt nevertheless!:)

The other stuff, things that have weighed me down for so long no longer hold the same type of power or significance. They are significant but now I know it is because it has taught me what I needed to know.

Over this sad time of depression and grief it feels as though I have gone through a metamorphisis; completely emptied myself of despair, felt pain so unbearable, fear of what might happen to me if I let go of these things that bind me and complete confusion. I’ve felt completely alone and yet I coveted the isolation. I needed it to get through this. Part of the change has been to discard what I kept because for a long time I thought without it I could not survive, whether consciously or not it is what I felt I needed…including friendships. I was completely fearful of being alone and therefore kept a hold on ties that never really helped me at all and if anything were toxic.

Admitting to yourself that you have perpetuated this circle of pain of your own volition is extremely tough (admitting your part in it all). But it is necessary in the healing process. You can’t without it.

I have forgiven those that have hurt me or have not been a positive part of my life and even thought they will no longer play a part in it I am grateful that they did in the past. I forgive myself, it is impossible to go through life making decisions that are always right, it’s not human.

I watched an incredibly inspiring movie last night called ‘Belle’. Based in the late 1700’s and on a true story it is about an illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a British admiral who plays an important role in the campaign to abolish slavery in England. It was amazing. It highlighted to me that you do not have to accept the will of others, who impose their own biases and prejudices and expectations. That if you remain true to you and combine it with action what an extraordinary difference you can make not only in your own life but in that of others…in good intention. With love, honesty, compassion and forgiveness.