What is the True Story of Divorce?

Every movie, every tv show, every book has such a similar plot of what divorce looks like. Well, what we wish divorce looked like in the real world. I am really wondering why and how they keep writing the same story over and over again. Where are the real stories? The stories of panic attacks from fearing severe money issues because the narcissistic man is playing dark, threatening games over the thick stack of papers to determine your future. Or the crying yourself to sleep when you don’t want to stay awake and feel the blood dripping from the stab wounds of betrayal after betrayal rising to the service every day. The truth and the reality are so tough to go through so I imagine it is harder to show it on the big screen or in print. No one wants to read about or see the dim depressed characters that draw the real picture that is divorce. Do they?

I find the truth inspiring. I find the truth empowering to conquer the pain of it all. The pain of moving on and acceptance of what was, what is and what will be. If we show the truth, then more people will not feel so alone in the uphill journey to see an unobstructed, glowing sunset promising a better tomorrow. So what is the truth of divorce from my line of sight? Well, I know it is not everyone’s story. Everyone has his/her own story of what life looks like, especially after heartbreak. But mine is not a rom-com with some hunk chasing me to take my blues away and make my pain disappear in his bulging muscles all the while making my ex completely jealous so I feel better about what he did to me soooo many times. That would be awesome if that was the picture right now. I would love to shove how great I am back in my ex’s face and make him think again about what he did to me. Reality check. He won’t ever see this though. Not because there is no hunk waiting to wrap me in his muscles but because he is a narcissist who cannot see remorse or regret for losing me like a normal person could. I have to always remember this. Maybe the next divorce show or movie should be about the pain of living with and divorcing a narcissistic addict and trying to co-parent with him. This might end up in the horror/suspense genre.

I have been watching so many tv shows and movies that have these women left in a heap on the cold bathroom floor, but wait it only lasts for a scene then it’s excitement of singlehood taking over. These women in their 40’s are attracting younger men. I mean really like standing at a bar in a sea of beautiful people and the young guy looks at this older woman and wants her? Or they are on Tinder and having the time of their lives? They can move from bed to bed and it doesn’t emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically affect them in any way? Somehow the kids’ adjustments takes a very short time and they are not asking hard questions to which there are no good unharming answers? When does this happen in the real world? Does this happen in the real world? Not in my real world. I don’t have anyone asking for my number (granted I live in a small area and there are not many places to go). I am scared of dating apps. To be honest I feel it is a scream of desperation and dance for the younger crowds. My own children have asked me not to date yet. They saw how he allowed women to take their places after the separation. They were definitely not the priority that they hoped to be with him. That’s the story on my marriage. Women and friends were always more important. More worthy of his time and affection. We were just here if he needed us. He left his family behind so easily for the truly single bachelor life and never looked back in regret.

Heartbreak doesn’t easily heal within a few weeks so that you can suddenly move on and trust again. There are no men out there waiting to swoop in from a barstool and make me feel like my heart was never demolished from endless cheating and emotional abuse for too many years. If they are out there looking for me then I am living in the wrong story. I just have such severe trust issues from all the endless amounts of lies, secrets and manipulations. I don’t even think I would believe someone who complimented my looks or my soul. I have been ripped down so far with words and actions telling me and making me feel that I am not worth much. He has me so brainwashed that I am not someone who would get a right swipe. That I am not beautiful enough. That I am not the type of woman someone wants for a date or wants to stay with. What has this awful man done to me? How did I get here? Why can’t they show this side of the journey? The endless days and nights of feeling such intense pain that you think your body is going to explode. The days when you discover that your husband has been living many lives during your marriage and you don’t know what to do or which one you are. Or the questionable moments when you are scared that you made the wrong choices in the divorce and are going to end up in that bad financial place that never seemed possible. That you can’t trust anyone, even your lawyer. These are real. These are the realities of divorcing a narcissistic addict. Whether he is sober or not the narcissistic piece is always turned on and ready for a demeaning battle to stab you one more time. The stabs are never enough to kill, but just enough to scar with longterm pain.

I would love to walk into a bar and feel like someone really sees me. Someone would really want me. Not just for a quick one night stand or for games, that sounds awful and more damaging right now. But really want me as I am. No filters. No highlights. Just me and my baggage. Someone who would want to help me drop my baggage and show me love really does exist and narcissists and sociopaths do not rule this real world that I live in every day.

I am sending out to all the movie and television productions to show a reality of narcissistic abuse and the damage and fears that it creates in the victims. There are no bruises to show what we are going through in marriage or in divorce. We put on a smile and dress up to hide the pain. We put it all on to look good and feel good again. We forgot how to feel good. We were told that we were nothing and didn’t deserve to feel good. We sadly started to believe this too. Now we just want to feel good. To feel beautiful. To feel like we are healing finally. We want peace and happiness. We deserve this all. We so deserve this all. We want to make our exes look at us with regret and sadness for what they did and didn’t do (this we will never get though, not with a narcissist or sociopath on the other side of the table). We want to feel normal again, that’s it. I would love to see what this looks like on the big screen. Someday maybe. Maybe I will have to write it and share it with the world so we can feel normal in all our pain, sadness, grief and desire to heal first before anything. Although it would be nice to do this in the bulging muscles of some hunk…I have never felt that in my life so I would like to feel it once. wink, wink.

Breathe Out Pretending, Breathe In Realities. Breathe Out Low-Esteem, Breathe In Confidence. Breathe Out Fears, Breathe In Adventures. Breathe Out Crying, Breathe in Laughing Again. Breathe Out Loneliness, Breathe In Wholeness.

Is the “Devil in Disguise” Really That Far-Fetched?

I have been watching the Netflix show “Lucifer” with my son during this stay at home quarantine. We are on season 4 already but we have been watching a few shows at the same time. The show drew me in immediately. I laughed and cringed and carried a crush for Lucifer Morningstar. I mean he is very handsome, tall, confident, charming, smart, extrovert, a bad boy, an entertainer and can seem caring for some of the characters. Wow! Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Well, you get it right? He is too good to be true from that initial introduction. Yes, he is too good to be true. Ultimately, he is the devil in a human body to cover that scary face that he never wants regular people to see. He hides it. He only uses the red eyes and devil face when he needs someone to cooperate with his investigation. Sound familiar?

Well, it is familiar. To me it is familiar. I didn’t see the not so invisible thread from this entire show before but I do now. He is the embodiment of narcissism. The greatest definition of a narcissist is “The Devil in Disguise. ” I used to always think of my husband as the living version of Jekyll and Hyde. The same person and the only thing they had in common is the “y” but add a few different letters and it is a new person. The narcissist wants us to believe that he is this amazing, caring, compassionate and honest good person. We do believe it too. We believe it so much that we defend him at every chance. We get so deep into his swamp’s quicksand pool that we can’t get out. We start to settle in to this confining, painful life full of lies and secrets with him. We are brainwashed to believe that WE are the majority of the problems. We are made to believe that we didn’t love him the way he should be loved because he believes that we should give love to the highest power even when we are receiving the lowest amounts. We didn’t treat him the way he thinks he should be treated for being the great person that he is in his mind. We questioned our doubts and angered the narcissist and this was unfair to him to be questioned about anything. We didn’t give him the attention that his wonderful, occasional actions deserved but really it s that he requires the attention to keep his ego fueled every day. I was even told that it was my fault that he cheated. No, not his own choices to break our vows and our marriage, AND my heart. Once it was because I had to take care of two very sick small children. At times, I slept holding the newborn to make sure that she was still breathing or slept on the bathroom floor with an alarm clock to run a steam shower every hour for them. Exhausted and worried, I still would gather myself together with hair done and makeup on to greet him when he came to bed at night. I made him special dinners after a long day of work. I tried to keep the house as clean as possible to no “over stress” him. (He said it would add to his anxiety and increase his need to use drugs again.) I basically walked on eggshells all day, every day to make him happy and want to stay. Still have no idea why I stayed. He wasn’t worth staying for. I had seen the mask slip and the red eyes flare and red charred skin peek through that human exterior. I had seen glimpses of the aggressively loud and abusive devil come through in glints. The blames thrown back at me made me take a pause and when I looked back up from the blow he placed on my heart and made me stop breathing for a second, the mask was fixed and the eyes were back to normal. It is so scary that we cannot register the feelings we have after it happens. We just try to breathe again with a normal in and out beat.

Businessinsider.com posted a great article, “Phrases to Know if You’re Dating a Narcissist.” The main problem is that you don’t know they are a narcissist until it is too late and you are too deep into the dark, vermin-ridden woods with them. They also discuss sociopaths in the article. I do believe that my experience was not only painted by a narcissist but decorated by his super strength level of sociopathic traits. Dr. Martha Stout wrote a book called “The Sociopath Next Door” and makes some profound points that hit me as harder as his harsh words have done. She says, “It’s like the ‘frog in the saucepan’ analogy.” You put a live frog in a warm water and it swims and enjoys the water until the heat is turned up slowly so that the frog dies slowly, never realizing it is being boiled to death. Yikes! At least the lobster screams in the hot water. How do they draw us into the pot though without us knowing. I mean we are smart, caring people. They ask all of the right questions to know where we are the weakest and what makes us and has made us hurt the most in life. They get to know our fears, our past heartbreak, our regrets, our likes and dislikes. They get to know all about us. Seems so nice to have someone so interested in us like they are. Lucifer stares at the potential bad guy and slowly asks in the nicest voice, “What is that you desire?” The answer to this is often used against them to solve the case and may put them in jail. Our hearts make us special and beautiful but they are the key to destroying us too (not to normal people they aren’t just dark souls). Narcissists and Sociopaths know this and are overly excited to get to know everything about us so that they can turn it all on us later. That is what gets us into that pot of warm soothing water in the first place…false charm and manipulated caring questions. I am glad that I found a way out of the pot before I boiled to death from the heat of this devil-like abuse.

In the show, Lucifer starts to feel the loving, caring feelings that it takes to make a real relationship work. I mean mutually work to benefit both people. But sadly, he is the devil and the feelings of selfishness, ego and pride still stand in the way of his growth. In the show, the characters keep reminding him that he was once an angel. We saw an angel when we first met these narcissistic, sociopathic, addicted souls too. They presented us with the angel version to lure us into the candy house only to shove us into the warm water and turn up the heat slowly over time.

I am not finished with the show, but I did leave it at a place where my heart is heavy with the imagery it paints for my own life. His wings are changing from angel to demon. I have seen that happening in my own life over the past years and even more now as we try to finish a very painful divorce that has been going on for over a year. It is like trying to talk to the “Devil in disguise” at times and everything is so confusing and hurtful. I read books about divorcing a narcissist. I wish I could say that they have helped me deal with it all. They did give me some useful pointers in dealing with him or speaking to him so as to not be lashed with his harsh words or cruel actions. If I am lashed, I am learning to not let it take me down. Like in the show, Lucifer cannot be killed except around the detective who he loves. Sound familiar again? The one you love can hurt you the most. Even kill you. I am learning to wear armor and protection when communicating or just seeing him. I don’t want to die from his illnesses. They are his burden to carry, not mine. They were never mine to carry. I tried to love him so much that he would drop the burdens and become the man I thought I had met and the man he said he wanted to be. That man who he pretended to be and said he wanted to be was just a fictional character and never existed. I gave my love for years and years to someone who threw it out like it was worthless trash. He has repeatedly shown me that he isn’t worth my love or my life. I deserve to have light not dark. To have happiness not sadness. To have laughter not tears. To have healing not regret. To have love not torture. To have goodness not evil. I deserve so much more than what a “Devil in disguise” can give me or my family. We deserve better than all that he has given us and continues to give us. YOU deserve more than all of this too. You are a beautiful, loving soul that is worth so much more than what they can offer you in life.

So if you get a chance to watch Lucifer, I recommend it. It is like a visual study of a narcissist’s brain and why we do fall for them in the beginning stages of their love bombing with lies, manipulations and masks of greatest to hide their true dark self. I still admit that Lucifer still has his attractive points but they are becoming less and less and now I just see the weak angry soul filled with all the qualities we run from in life. We have to pay attention to people and not jump into the pot of inviting water that they give us. If they are for real and have good souls worthy of our time and love, the water will be there but it will never be there to kill us like the narcissist, sociopath or addict wants to do.

Breathe Out Pain, Breathe In Strength. Breathe Out Lies, Breathe It Truths. Breathe Out Abuse, Breathe In Healing. Breathe Out Loneliness, Breathe In Peace In Being Alone. Breathe Out Fake People, Breathe In Real People. Breathe Out Being Conned, Breathe In Patience To Know Someone Well. Breathe Out Anger For Being Conned By The Narcissist, Breathe In Your Power To Love and Care (ESP For Yourself)

The Crystal Ball is Cracked!

Ever wish that you had that “magic crystal ball” so many people refer to when in doubt? I have always envisioned this ball about the size of gigantic disco ball hanging about the dance floor with the best music ever. My imagination always goes to glittery, sparkly moments…that’s the unicorn collecting child in me. Yes, I had many unicorns in my bright yellow room. My inner child is great! Off the track though, sorry. So yes, I wish that I had that ever-so-telling crystal ball about now. So many questions to ask. So much time at home to ask them.

Knowing the future, or even just a snippet of it, would be such a help. Such a relief from the worry and stress of not knowing what is around the sharp edged corners of these days. There is so much stress and worry when going through a divorce. It is even harder when you are dealing with someone who seems to suffer from Narcissistic and Pathological Lying Issues. This is when the crystal ball would shed some illuminating rainbow-hued light onto a very dark space and time. When divorcing in a scenario like this, it is so hard to know what is the reality and what is the hologram. I have held onto the hologram of lies and manipulations for so long that reality is like a foreign image to me. Now I desperately need reality to get my foundation back and start over on firmer ground. Sounds so easy. It did sound so easy. But it isn’t so easy. For me reality is fleeting lately. Will I go to a new setting with firmer foundation? Or will have to stay on the shaky ground of my existing home? Will this pandemic change the way things turn out? Will I find a job that can sustain family minus one (my ex is minus one if that wasn’t clear)? Will I ever feel the comfort in dating again? Will my children be settled enough to see me date again (they have asked me to hold off for some time as they are not ready for that)?

Where is that shiny ball when you need it? I would love answers to any of the questions. I would prefer answers to all of the questions but will settle for a few, or maybe one. I am really not high maintenance. Never was, so why start now. I know, I know. You don’t have to remind me or treat me like I am delusional. There is no real crystal ball or a way of knowing what the future holds. I have to accept what was, what is and what will be. I have to take all my realities, that at times I begrudgingly drag like a bag of dirty laundry, and travel to a better day where I can heal and grow. I have to have faith that God has a greater plan than the pain I have endured at the hands of emotional abuse and still feeling in therapy for the trauma and stress issues it has caused me today. These are all moments where the crystal ball would be an easy solution to a very difficult situation, but my crystal ball will have to be faith like the sun shining over the horizon every day. God knows my heart and my pain and my hopes. He will protect and guide me towards the best vision in any glorious round sphere of enlightenment.

So the lesson that I have learned in this solitude of a pandemic is to slow down and breathe in the faith that we are held in the strong arms of God and we will get through this to our own rainbows and unicorns. My crystal ball may be cracked and not working but my hope is not shattered.

Breathe Out Anxiety, Breathe In Hope. Breathe Out Worry, Breathe In Serenity. Breathe Out Fears, Breathe In Calm. Breathe Out Loneliness, Breathe In Self-Love. Breathe Out Questions, Breathe In Faith.

What Do I Want?

Being at home for over a month has given me a lot of time to think. Some good thoughts. Some not so good thoughts. But a dominant thought entering the depths of my overworked brain is, “What do I want after all of this?” Big, loaded questions this is. Well, it is to me. I haven’t allowed myself to keep this question in my mind over the past few years. I was scared that the answer would tell me to leave the miserable marriage that I was trying to make better and save and start only taking care of myself. I would sit in movie theaters and dream of the days working on sets and acting in those independent and major motion films. I would watch TV and miss my days of running scripts, working late night crashes for the live show and watching Saturday Night Live from the balcony every Saturday. I happily gave up these dreams for a future with a great family of my own. I stayed in a town that was not a definition of who I am, but did so for the promise of a good, happy life. I learned a valuable lesson in the past 19 years…don’t build your life on someone else’s promise. Especially someone whom I did not know all that well; I mean I really only knew what he told me about himself and from his not-so-reliable friends. I did have someone warn me about him and who he is. I had signs, many signs that would have scared most people. But his love bombing and creation of who he wanted me to see was very strong. I wanted to believe him. I knew I was worthy of a promise like this. I know I am worthy of a promise like this. I was and am worthy of truly being loved, so why wouldn’t this be truth that he loved me this way and it was worth giving up my dreams for him and our future family?

Well, my family isn’t the promise that I was gifted all those years ago. I was promised something and promised the same in return…faithful, loyal, respect, love, friendship and safety. I gave all of those through all the years. I never once cheated; I respected him as a person and as my husband; I loved him through all his ups and downs and supported him through recovery from drugs and women issues; I was his friend, partner and lover; I tried to make a safe place for him to recover and grow into the person he constantly said that he wanted to be. With extreme sadness, he did not keep his promises to me. He cheated many times with many women and in many different ways over the years; He didn’t respect me or our vows with honesty and loyalty; He lied to and manipulated me since we started dating (I didn’t even realize most of it until now); He couldn’t have loved me because love doesn’t hurt someone, watch them cry in pain and do it again and again; He did offer me friendship as long as I didn’t challenge his lies or secrets or addictions (his “friends” always support his all of his choices); He didn’t give me safety when I couldn’t rely on him for protecting me and my heart. The only promise that was kept was the promise of children. We had talked about having 3 or 4 children. He told me that he wanted many little pairs of feet running around and that he wanted a big family and yada yada yada. I was so sad that the third pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and marked the end of trying for me as his addiction and affairs escalated just before that awful day. I loved being a mom and wife so much. I never thought I would be married or have kids. I was going to be an “Auntie Mame” type woman. But I was greatly surprised that this life me something that I never had known would bring such large amounts of happiness and love…children. He said he wanted all this and I blindly believed his words which turned out to be empty of honesty and value.

Now I am a very happy mother of two wonderful souls that bring me unbelievable amounts of joy and love. I never knew being a mother would be this amazing. I loved being a wife just as much. I spent my days enjoying things that brought them happiness and love from my enormous heart. Now I give all that love to my two children and dog. The wife part of my life has been erased and I have let it go…completely let it go. I have to be okay with this. I will be okay with this. I am okay with this. Not being a wife and sharing in the work of the family and financial life with my husband and partner, has made me consider now what I want in life to fill that vacant part. What do I want to do now? Do I want to take back my dreams of film and television? Do I want to pursue my dreams of writing? Do I want to reach my dreams of creating art for other to appreciate? Do I want to pack my dreams in a suitcase and travel the world? So many ideas. So much to think about while staying home. Where to start? Where to go?

I have decided that this is God’s gift of a new life. Perhaps God took me here to make me better for the path I was on before meeting this person who beat me down to a bottom that I never imagined possible. I have to forget about the promises that an unreliable person gave to me and threw out like the trash. I am not trash. My dreams are not trash. They were just shelved by me years back. Now I am taking them off the shelf and reviewing them, carefully reviewing them. I am thinking that my passion to create a lasting impact through words and art is my calling. I will start where I can. I have an amazing voice full of pain, love, compassion and honesty. I have the gifts of creativity to enhance this voice. So get ready! Here I come to conquer the world of film, TV, writing and art. Just can’t wait to see which one will sprout first for me and show my children that their mom can do it on her own. And to show me that I can do it on my own like I have for so many years before I met a man who made me feel so “less than.” Thanks to him, I have gotten stronger because I had to get stronger while knowing I was completely alone these past years and did it. We all can be better and take our dreams back and get what we want from life if we just meditate on our souls to find what that is.

Breathe Out Broken Promises from Someone, Breathe In New Promises to Yourself. Breathe Out Grief, Breathe In Progress. Breathe Out Worry, Breathe In Strength. Breathe Out Old Ways, Breathe In Renewed Spirit.

What Day Is It Anyway?

The day, the time, the date…anyone know? Doesn’t it seem like when you get up in the morning that there is no rush, nor urgency to be anywhere? Snooze on the alarm doesn’t hold much power anymore. Especially on a day like today when the rain is falling from the thick dark clouds and cool winds are pushing you back under the covers. I think a great description for me on these days is motivational slumber. Lack of things to really do on a time schedule. Lack of urgency other than getting back to the latest binge watch. But there are urgent items on my list. Feels like these days, they are written in invisible ink and I can’t find the flashlight to see them.

So today I am going to sit down and really embrace those items I don’t want to see. The emotional pain that I need to deal with today. The mental stresses of the future that I need to start sorting through and getting things in order and ready. The physical relief that I can get from some exercise and movement. All of these things can help my inner peace and patience. I read my nightly inspiration before bed last night and it talked about patience. Patience is really the key to so much these days. Patience can make daily functions easier and more tolerable. Patience can give us clearer vision free from the obstructions of anger, sadness and fear. Patience can calm our hearts and minds to take on only that which we can handle that day. Patience is what breathes life into the Alanon and AA saying…One Day at a Time! Why I called this blog, Breathe, One Day at a Time. Patience with ourselves; patience with others; patience with the world around us. Patience is the key for today to not feel that you have to solve your divorce today, to figure out where you will work again, to figure out where you will live in a few months, to figure out the details of anything. You can solve only what you can. You can get ready for the divorce to end but not make it all happen today. You can look at jobs, get your resume ready and maybe even start sending it out to get ahead of the others applying. You can review housing options in different areas. You can save $10 here and $15 there to pay off something in a few months. It will all be okay. It may not be “the okay” that you wanted but it will be okay. I believe that. I have faith that God will never work so hard for us to good only to hurt us. It is hard for many of us to trust because we have been hurt by trusting others way too many times. Patience…you will get there. I am still a work in progress but at least I am working towards betterment. Some days better than others. But I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be honest. And being honest with myself will lead to being patient with what I can handle that day and progress will come naturally.

So today I wish you all well with your movement towards betterment and peace. Have patience with yourself. Do not allow the bad days to not cause guilt or shame or anger. We all have them and they are great tools to getting through the pain with strength and grace. Sending love and support to everyone today.

Breathe Out for 10 seconds and Breathe In for 10 Seconds…do this five times, 7 if needed and have the patience you need to get through today.

Feel Like I Have Been Living In “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Did you ever watch The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu? During this Quarantine, I have been binge watching it in the down times. Wow. All I can say is, “Wow!” At first, I thought this was a real far stretch as an alternate world that could only be in books and movies. No one could take over and ambush the souls of so many so quickly and so strongly. Right? Right. I had to believe that. Because a world where women were just weaker and so insignificant seems so, well, unrealistic.

But after watching episode after episode after episode, it became more real than fiction. It became a visual impersonation of what it is like to live with severe narcissism. It felt painful and searing in my heart that the torture and imprisonment that these women were under was all too real. It was what I felt. Like I was being subjected to stay in a house where I had an evil commander using me to have his kids and make him look powerful and important but I was just someone he used to get that done. I could’ve been any other girl in a red dress with the right parts. It didn’t matter. I was being used for the person that I was. For what I had to give him. I was chosen because I could properly fill his need. I could play the role of a good wife and mother. I could fulfill his need for love, affection and attention as a solid wife and partner when he didn’t have “another woman” to fill his ego-driven needs. I was a faithful woman to make him feel that special attention that only a faithful wife can. I spent years helping friends and women in the Ala-non and affair recovery programs feel better and heal and sometimes get out of the bonds keeping them attached. But I stayed and endured. I stayed and tolerated. I stayed and got more and more hurt by his behaviors. I never wanted to be a victim or weak. So I was strong for everyone else, except myself. I carried on like I was fine, okay and even normal. But I wasn’t. I was growing more and more empty with each passing year. I just wanted to make my children feel like this was a solid, happy family. Like we were normal. These women in the show, they pretend these babies are their babies. They pretend to give birth to them. She pretends even if the child is completely different race, that it is her child. I pretended we were a happy, normal family for so many years. I started to believe my own lies in my head. Finding needles in the laundry isn’t normal. Being in the car as family and a text shows up on the screen reading, “Sweetie, I want sex.”; isn’t normal. Having another woman and her kids sleep in our house with our kids while I am visiting with family isn’t normal. Having a child come to me crying with a needle in his hand and knowing what it is, isn’t normal. Having daddy constantly disappearing or leaving early, isn’t normal. Having daddy falling asleep on the couch just after getting up everyday, isn’t normal. Having daddy disappear at Disney to go to a close-by bathroom, isn’t normal. Having daddy forget Mother’s Day one year, isn’t normal. Having daddy choose his friends over his family and say that out loud, isn’t normal. Yet I made these things okay, fine or tolerable by me so it seemed normal to them. I made excuses for him. I made excuses to myself for his behaviors. So that I felt less pain. So I didn’t crumble under the truth. They knew as they got older and saw friend’s families in action…that what we had isn’t normal. What had I done? Why had I lied to myself? Why had I let them live this lie too?

I was not different then these women in the show. I was sweeping all of his male egos under the rug and pretending it was okay. Pretending that I was okay. Pretending that it was all okay. I realized watching this show that I am a piece of each of these female roles in this new harsh society called Gilead.

I was part submissive Wife of the Commander. I had the family and pretended it was all normal. I knew my husband went astray. (Never knew to the extent that I do know now). I knew that it was a double standard and I could not do that or else I would be beaten up by him with a very mean and harsh divorce or worse. He would break me in some way for not being faithful to him; he was the greatest thing that could have happened to me and an amazing husband in his eyes and mind. I was to know and accept the other women happened and move on with him and forgive and forget. No questions asked. At least I didn’t have to sit and watch him and women like in Gilead. But I did have to read many different texts and emails to and from many different women that were as visual as being in the room. And as hard to forget ever reading.

I was part Handmaid. I was asked to lay with him in hopes of making babies for our image. Don’t get me wrong I wanted children so badly. I wanted the family. I was devastated when I lost one at 39 during the first month. But it was God’s hand in that because he was using drugs and cheating at the time and it only got much worse after that. I was asked to also be submissive to him and not asked questions or doubt him in any way. I was criticized if I thought differently about him and his actions that were inflicting extreme pain on me. I walked on eggshells to not upset or stir the pot and bring anger to my days. It was exhausting and depressing at the same time. I felt so trapped in emotions of fear, sadness, confusion and frustration.

I was part Martha. I cooked and cleaned and stayed home to take care of the “chores”. I was actually subtly criticized at times if the house wasn’t clean enough or I didn’t feel like making dinner. I had to ask if I could buy things because I felt guilty spending his hard earned money because I just stayed at home with the kids. I didn’t just come up with that feeling. It was slowly implanted with sarcasm and little comments over time. To remind me how lucky I was to have a husband like him. The money was never what I wanted. I wanted love and security in my partner’s faithfulness to me and us.

I was part a Jezebel. I acted like his sleazy girlfriend too. This part is one thing of marriage that I enjoyed. That feeling of being safe and sexual with one person. No fears of what just having sex meant. Safety in fidelity. But I was just another Jezebel in his show. I was maybe Monday and Saturday nights. The other nights were filled with other Jezebels working that shift. There was no physical safety there. I had to endure three std tests. So frightening and humiliating for a married woman.

It is crazy how one show can bring so many emotions to the surface. How one show can make an understanding of a complex, not normal situation. How one show can have such a profound affect on the healing process of Narcissistic Abuse. This really is a closer look at Narcissism and the extreme effects it has on those around the person inflicted with this heinous illness. I was extremely affected by the heinous illness of Narcissism. I am extremely affected by the heinous illness of Narcissism. Some of these women got out and escaped to Canada, the free safe land. They carried the pain and scars suffered under Gilead. I escaped from the tyrannical forces of Narcissism but I will always carry the scars and pains of living under its harsh hands and words. I will adjust my sails for calmer waters but I will always have those inner scars to remind me to never go back. To remind me that that is a place I do not belong. To remind me that normal is love. Normal is a family that doesn’t have to pretend. Normal is a family that feels safe. Normal is a family that supports each other. Normal is trust. Normal is honesty. Normal is acceptance and understanding. Normal is being a family completely together. Normal is now. Normal is wanting to escape to safety in “Canada”. Normal is starting over and healing in my own way and time.

Breathe Out Suppression, Breathe In Freedoms. Breathe Out Pretending, Breathe In Honesty. Breathe Out Staying in Pain, Breathe In Leaving for Peace. Breathe Out Fear, Breathe In Safety. Breathe Out Isn’t Normal, Breathe In Normal.

God speed on this journey to freedoms from pain, sadness and not being enough. You are worth it all and deserve it all.

Why is it so hard to heal?

I have spent a year trying to heal after leaving him, finally. I mean really heal. I finally blocked his number. I only emailed about money and kids during our separation and divorce process. I tried to only email. Somethings, when in this awful process, are not email worthy. Sometimes you need a quick response or to actually talk about it. Or you want him to know you do exist and are not the ghost like he treats you as. But this just is so painful for me. Such a trigger to hear the anger and irritation in his voice. The same sound that has plagued me for years with criticism, lies, harsh words, denials and manipulations. The same voice that used to tell me he promised us a future. The same voice that promised to love me and never hurt me like I was before. The same voice that denied way too many times to count that he wasn’t cheating or ever had sex with someone. The same voice that swore on his own kids’ and his father’s lives at times when he was lying (as I found out much later). The same voice that used his twisted mind to yell at me when I was crying, not just tears but sobbing, about the pain I felt from another sign of a women or drugs that I had found. The same voice that talked in circles and changed his stories four or five times to make me the crazy one for even thinking that he was cheating or using drugs again or doubting him in any way. Then the same voice that would tell me how much he loved me and wanted to change and make our marriage better the very next day. Only to find out that he was just worried that he would get caught because he was cheating with one or more women. Because he was using drugs. Because I was right and on to his lies and secrets. He hated to be exposed for his lies.

I was constantly punished for realizing the lies and secrets that he was holding. I was always the bad guy because he was not keeping his promises and vows to me and our marriage. I never cheated. I never lived another life behind his back. I was his wife and only his wife. I was a mother and loved every minute of it. I was thankful and appreciative for his hard work. I tried to show him that with cards, flowers, gifts, meals, texts, etc. But nothing was good enough. I never felt good enough. I was compared to other women. “You should dress like that.” Or, “Your hair would great that color.” I would dress like that, wasn’t good enough. I would change my hair color, not good enough. I was starting to break down into a pile of nothingness because he was making me believe that that is exactly what I was…nothing. He made me believe this when he spoke with his painful voice filled with criticisms, anger, lies, manipulations and false promises. He had me trapped in his web of deceit and I had no idea how entangled I was. Now I realize, but the damage has been done. He had spun me so tight that I couldn’t move. He never fully killed me. Just drained me enough to ensure that I would not go too far. He needed me in a way. He needed to look like a successful family man. Strippers, young sleazy girls and other addicts looking for fun don’t make you look successful at all. I was just a prisoner for his facade.

I know you are thinking, “Why didn’t she leave sooner?” Great question. I wish that I had an answer for that one. I really wish I had an answer for that one. But I was so exhausted and so beaten up that I couldn’t move. I didn’t think I could do it on my own. He had me believing that I needed him. He had me so confused and hurt. I just wanted him to love me like I loved him. And I couldn’t understand why he didn’t love me. I mean I was a great wife to him. I loved him and treated him well. I was not denying him any pleasure at all. I tried date nights all dressed up as sexy as I could get or just sitting in front of a fire watching a movie with a great dinner. I even gave up drinking wine or alcohol in front of him unless he told me he wanted me to have a glass…I did this for 10 years for him. He was supposedly clean and sober and I wanted to support that. He wasn’t clean and sober for 90% of our relationship, so I have found out now. Painful living a lie for so long and you thought it was the truth.

That is why I hurt so much now. Acceptance is so tough when you don’t even understand what you are accepting. There is no clear definition of truth and lies anymore. There is no validation from him because he doesn’t believe the truth. He is still living in the lies and denials of the past as the truth and said he would not go there to help us or me ever. I don’t even know what was real between us. So I have just had to embrace it all as the reality I never understood and that I was not part of it in the way I had thought. I have had to accept so many more women and drugs and people and issues and pain than I ever thought possible. This has not been easy in any way over this past year of learning the truths that lurked in the shadows for 18 years. When you loved someone and believed in them so much and they turn out to not be that person…What do you do with that? Where do you start?

So in trying to heal this year, I burned all my wedding photos of us together. I burned all the photos of us together at any time. I had to burn the past that I was not the truth so that I could move on from the false reality of love and promises to the honest reality of betrayal and pain that was our marriage. It has made it easier to move past the past, but at times it just hurts so much that I wasn’t loved in return. I know people, who deal with addiction, narcissism, sociopathic tendencies and other personality issues, cannot really ever love anyone but themselves. Knowing this makes it better but not always easier. It is a process that can take years to recover from the severe emotional abuse and triggers of trauma. I am willing to work all the way through that. I just wish on days like this that it would move faster towards peace and serenity and not feeling so abused and taken advantage of by the person you gave your heart to. But sadly some people still cannot care about your pain because they would have to accept their part in it to care. I seems he cannot accept his part as he dumps his past off the cliff and just walks away towards a new life. I know that I am a good person and don’t deserve this pain given to me by him. I deserve better. I deserved better. I will get better for myself and someone will treat me better when I do heal. I am not the bad person that he has made me out to be nor was I the problem in our marriage. I tried my best to reach him and save us and our family. I couldn’t do that alone and that is well, that is okay. One day at a time I will get better and stronger and the past will be burned like the photos on that summer evening. And my occasional pain will just be a reminder of what I deserve and what I will no longer accept in my life.

I know I usually do the Breathe Out, Breathe In….Today just BREATHE IN and OUT and feel better

Who Is This Stranger I Was With?

Time at home like this makes those procrastinated projects jump to the front of the line. Like Winnie the Pooh says, “Oh bother.” It isn’t just about cleaning and organizing for some of us though. It is an effort in emotional control because the stuff we are organizing is filled with pain and confusion and can lead to awful triggers that take you down a very dark rabbit hole. I can stumble upon an airline ticket in a piece of luggage and remember the trip like it was yesterday, yet it was really years ago. Some of the trips bring up good memories of moments where I experienced family adventures that I never could have expected. Some trips bring up so much pain and sadness that it feels as if the moment is again in real time. Triggers are tricky. The good ones can help a bad day, but the bad ones can open an almost healed wound that hurts for days. Many of the “memories” I come across in cleaning and organizing make me think a lot. Think a lot about what, why and who? The most confusing and heartbreaking is who. Who is this person in the photograph? Who is this man that I married? Why does he not even resemble this old picture anymore? How does that happen?

I look at those pictures and think to myself why would someone pretend to be someone else for so long? How can they do that? This man looking back at me in those pictures is not the man of today. He is not the man who I saw years ago smile at me and laugh for good reasons. How did I see someone so different than now? He is that person and always was that person who is standing there today. He didn’t get worse. I just wasn’t allowed to see the worse. As I am reading in my book “Splitting” about divorcing a narcissist, I realize that these men and women wear masks. Many many masks that are different for everyone they come in contact with on their daily walk. My ex-husband wore many masks but I never got to see the real man behind them until we separated. It is a person filled with so much darkness and pain who wants to project all that onto those who finally see him for who he really is. It is like looking behind the curtain of Oz but he doesn’t reward you with a heart. It is more like he peels off that man costume and out comes the Wicked Witch of the West to torture you for revealing her cover. She doesn’t give you a heart, she takes your heart right out of your chest and laughs as the blood drips down her hands onto your feet. And then the flying monkeys enter and use your heart in a game of keep away. Every so often throw it the Wicked Witch as she pierces it with her long black nails and watches the blood drip more with a smile on her face. Wonder why they call narcissist’s aides flying monkeys? The narcissist has them so hyped on believing his lies that they do as he says and think he is a great leader. They see you as the awful person he has made drawn you as. I heard from others that I have been portrayed as a mean wife and mother (farthest thing from the truth). Crazy how at the end of the movie, when the witch melted away, they realize how wrong it all was and how controlled they were. And they see Dorothy for who she really is…a good person just wanting her family and home back. Sound familiar? Finally that movie makes more sense to me.

These masks are laid out in full color as I look through the photographs in the storage room. Whether he was playing rich and powerful businessman to those he wanted to impress, a loving husband to me, a doting father and husband to his family, a rich, single man to women, a man who can do what he wants to his friends, an addict to his aa group, etc. Why can’t you just be one person with one life and be that person to everyone? I have learned the answer to that is rather simple but yet very complicated. It is called narcissism, sociopath and borderline personality disorders that affect these people’s souls and minds. It is NOT an excuse, it is an answer. We need answers to feel like we are not crazy from the many faces we can meet in one day with this person. This person tells me that he loves me and just me and would never cheat on me while he is secretly sexting other women. He tells me he loves me when he comes home for having sex with one of them and lies about where he was with zero remorse. He tells his friends about his secret girls like they are trophies and make him a better man because he has a wife and girlfriends and no one is the smarter except him. He tells his kids that he wants to build his family a great home for all of us to live together and have a great future. Yet the reality is that he spending the money on other things and lending to “friends” to make him look better to these women and so-called friends where his ego is all powerful. This man wants to be the hero to everyone but his own family. I see this in all these triggers that I find on my organizing project. Pictures of his past that paint a better picture of the college guy who never really grew up. Pictures that cast a false light on a family man who looked out of place because underneath you can see his discomfort with being there in that moment. Never looked that closely at these pictures until now. Until I knew what I was really looking at.

Yes, being locked up in the room with all this stuff that can open old wounds is so hard and the reason I procrastinate the project. It has to be done. The water needs to be poured on the Wicked Witch of Narcissism. He is who he is and it will never change. He will never change. He will have a closet full of masks and wear them all day, every day because it is his ego that guides him. So every time that I look at a picture and feel shame for falling for the con of this grifter trying to steal my soul, I have to remember that he isn’t that person in the picture at that moment. His physical appearance isn’t who he is. His darkness and pain is who he is. Some pictures may not expose this. Some do. I was made to believe a lie and I am not a weak person because of it. I am strong because I loved someone who kept trying to hurt me. I kept trying to love this man into the light and out of his pain and addictions. There is nothing wrong with that at all. If anything, I have grown to believe that all this has made me a better person. I am wiser to the masks some wear. Yes, we all have them. Many days my mask is one with a smile so no one can see my pure pain inside. So what do I do with all these triggers of the past? I do what I need to do. I dispose of them so I don’t keep living the lie that he loved me. If I keep hold on the idea that this man could love me and still do all of the heinous things that he did to me, then the pain will never go away and the questions of what, why and who will haunt me forever. So I clean the clutter and throw out what is not needed anymore. Like that say at the end of every Alanon meeting, “Take what you like and leave the rest.” I have chosen to leave the memories of him and our marriage forever and never look upon them again. Being done is a good feeling full of hope in healing. I am done with his masks and the memories good and bad because to me they were all just part of play he was performing. The play was cancelled and no one wants tickets. The doors are closed forever.

God bless you on this journey to take that bucket of water and pour it on the painful memories and wash them away forever. Take those painful “memories” and throw them away, burn them, melt them in water so you can heal. You are worth the healing and the light to shine brighter inside of you. Don’t feel bad for being made to believe something that you wanted to be true because you loved him or her. You are amazing for loving an unlovable person. You are strong and compassionate and worthy of all great things. Never forget that and move on towards a better day and happier life.

Breathe out triggers, Breathe in good times. Breathe out stuff of the past, Breathe in new tokens of better days. Breathe out the narcissist, Breathe in your good soul. Breathe out regret, Breathe in regrowth.

Quarantined In Our Thoughts and Feelings

This whole idea of being quarantined during this health crisis really makes me think. I have been thinking about so much. There is too much time to think. There is too much time and not enough routine distractions. Trying to find good things to do instead of sorting through the clutter in my head. These are difficult days for someone trying to heal from new loss, past trauma or profound changes on the horizon. Empty time creates racing minds and troubled hearts. As I am going on week three inside my home with limited outings, I have been battling with painful feelings and memories as I sit in a house that once housed a family of four. A house that held dreams and hopes of the three still living here. A house that promised a future of togetherness and love for us as family of four. We had to face these changes and accept that we can keep these hopes and dreams for a future as a family of three and hopefully in a new home. A home that will keep these hopes and dreams safe for us. I thought all of these intense feelings were because I was feeling so alone without physical contact to friends and family. It isn’t. This awful pain was triggered by the walls that witnessed the emotional abuse and they started to talk to me about the honest loneliness of this family over the years. The loneliness of living with a drug addict. The loneliness of living with a narcissistic personality. The loneliness of living with a sociopathic personality. The loneliness of living with an ego bigger than the Stalin statue. The loneliness of living with constant emotional and mental abuse. Being stuck in my house with nowhere to go and nothing really to do, I feel like I am back in this horrible marriage that I was stuck in and had nowhere to go. I feel the sadness of the loss of the dreams and hopes all three of us had for this home and this family. The feelings are overwhelming lately.

It is crazy to me that certain events can trigger such deep pain to fester up and infect our souls and minds again and again. This is how I know for sure that this was not a typical marriage. This was not a divorce because we fell out of love or married too young and grew apart. This was a divorce because I didn’t want to wither up and die from the abuse that was dissolving my soul. For years I felt myself weakening inside. I had the symptoms. Many of the symptoms on the lists for abuse. I just didn’t have the bruises and scars on the outside like I associated with abuse. I started with a few internal symptoms and thought it will get better. He will get better. I will get better. The symptoms got worse and more in number. I got worse and more in pain. By the end I was so numb to it all that I didn’t even see the truth flashing at me like a cop car at midnight trying to pull me over. I was so quarantined within this marriage that I just stayed put and made myself believe that it was all good. I started to believe that all the lies and manipulations and secrets were not that bad even though I would lose 10 pounds in a month or cry myself to sleep nights in a row. I made myself believe that he really loved me beneath it all and he would see me as the wonderful wife I was. I lied to myself that this was all going to be okay when he got sober. I believed it was his addiction that abused me not him. That feeling alone in a marriage was okay for a wife of an active addict. Not just okay but normal. That being quarantined by his disease and his abuse was normal. I thought if I stayed put for a certain amount of time that it would all be better and I would feel loved and not alone. It wasn’t his addiction that made him abuse me; it was him. He got sober and nothing changed. He always cheated and lied no matter what. I was being held inside the walls of a terrible, painful marriage and needed to find a way out to survive and heal from the toxic virus trying to kill me.

Nothing is normal about being quarantined. Humans are made to be with other humans. We are not a solitary species. We need love and appreciation to feel good and thrive. How can you get that if you are alone and have no contact with other people? You can’t get that and something inside just hurts. Something inside fears this emptiness. Something inside cries over the vacancy sign to which no one responds. I can’t believe I survived in quarantine for the past 12 or more years. It may have been longer but I was unaware because I was lying to myself for so long about who he really was. Maybe I was alone, stuck in an empty relationship for more years than that. I think I know that answer, but I don’t want the truth. That is a truth to finally accept would hurt too much. I know that truth and it is that he never loved me and I was alone from the start. I just can’t fully accept that yet. Not just yet. I am working on it, especially now that I have so much time in this isolated feeling running through my entire being. It is the most painful thing to accept…that you were never loved, just duped into believing someone’s lies about how they felt.

So I have had too much undistracted time lately to think about the past and being at peace to completely set the pain free like a newly pardoned prisoner. I hate too much time. I like the distractions of a busy life. Distractions are the best tools for not having to think about anything. I need to find distractions now. I pray for them to come my way. I am trying to create them with working from home. I am trying to create them for my kids too and no not just school work. They are feeling the pain too as I can tell. A mother knows her babies so well. They had hopes and dreams of this house and this family that are held in the walls keeping them locked in at this time. I understand their pain. I live their pain. We were all disappointed in how life turned out for our family. We are all grieving the loss of a family we wanted so badly together. I held my son as he cried about it all to me just the other night. Tears that hurt my heart to the core. Tears that I felt guilty about because I want to protect them from pain. But this pain is one I have to remind myself that I did not cause, cannot cure and cannot control for them. I can just love them and support them through the healing. I can sit with them and hold them while they have to be quarantined with their own thoughts and feelings. I can distract them with good things that are reminders to have hope in the promises of a better tomorrow and my love. We will all get through this time, some better than others. We all have things to overcome and heal from. I pray that you all make it through this time of being alone and heal and grow stronger from it.

Breathe Out Toxins, Breathe In Healing. Breathe Out Pain, Breathe In Comfort. Breathe Out Loneliness, Breathe In Wholeness. Breathe Out Abuse, Breathe In Love. Breathe Out Guilt, Breathe In Patience. Breathe Out The Past, Breathe In Your New Future.

FEARS – The Fog of Confusion

Sitting here today, I cannot about the word Coronavirus. It is everywhere. It is a word that instills fear and angst to everyone who reads it and thinks about what it means. We get these awful images and ideas in our heads about the look of this virus and how it can hurt us all. The most scary part of it all is that we don’t really know about it. There are no clear answers of what exactly to look for in symptoms, where to go if you think you have it, what will happen and what are the chances of recovery. These are all things that we need to understand to feel better about this fear looming in the air around us. Questions and confusion equal fear of what we do not know or understand. Fear can make you sick or make you believe that you are sick. Fear can be a virus on its own.

These fears about a virus, spreading and affecting us all, are not that different from fears about other situations. How many coastal people had such heightened fears of tsunamis after the largest one in history? How many hurricanes after created fears of hitting the same area twice in a month? How many young men had growing fears in the 90’s that the draft would be used again and they didn’t know how to fight in a war? History gives us fear but it also teaches us lessons to help the fear understand how to change. This is why the governments are acting swiftly to contain the virus to protect everyone. They have learned from history how to change the way things are done now. Fear can create a desire for change and a desire for security and safety. Fear sounds like a bad thing but actually it can be a positive force for change and movement towards betterment.

I have been talking about such large areas of fear. Fear can be your own virus making you sick instead of propelling you into a new, positive start. I know first hand how fear can prohibit a person from being who they really are and want to be. There are so many fears that I have gone through in life…fear of failure, fear of success (yes, you correctly read that one), fear of unknown, fear of love, fear of trusting, fear of not knowing what to do, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being pretty enough, fear of not being smart enough, fear of the past, fear of betrayal, fear of death and now fear of the Coronavirus…well, you get it. A lot of fears have run through my mind over the years. These fears don’t have to come one at a time. Some fears come as a bundle package. This is when it is harder to find the helpful, strong lighthouse in a deep fog creating so much confusion that I cannot seem to know what is up or down, right or left. It is terrifying. I start to panic. I search for the right direction only to become exhausted, confused and frustrated leading to an even more intense fear where my head and heart are both unable to work. The sweat starts beading up on my forward. My heart starts to pound so hard it is audible. My head feels like it tripled in weight for the size of my shoulders holding it up. The bones in my legs feel like hot Jello. Then I start talking to myself through the tears overflowing in my terrified eyes. It is not a pretty sight. But it is me with intense fears.

I hate this feeling. I hate fear. I feel so helpless, so weak. I have to remember it is normal. We are just humans trying to stay strong in a very messed up world. Fear is natural in that environment. But it doesn’t have to take us over and consume our days anymore. Instead of running around for the answers, sit and breathe. Think about it all and rationally sort it out. Pray and ask for the guidance and strength to find your footing and direction. Until then just sit and breathe. Patience is the sword to take down fear. I have feared that I will never get over the pain that my husband of 16 years had given me. The pain was intense some days that I couldn’t find air to breathe. I couldn’t figure out how to breathe normal again. What was normal anymore? This fear was gripping my heart and my mind and spreading to every part of my body to contaminate it with pain and sadness. Fear that I was never good enough to have true love, never pretty enough to have someone really want to be with me, never smart enough to see the many red flags and lies, never strong enough to stand up for myself, never mean enough to not get taken advantage of, never being able to trust again…it was a bundle package that all at once arrived to my doorstep. A package I never ordered nor wanted. But it was mine at that moment and instead of fear it, I had to open it and look at each part and have the patience to understand what is was and why it wasn’t mine to keep. These are things that I didn’t order; they were given to me. So I sat and breathed through each one. With a lot of patience for myself, I got through it. The fog lifted so I could get up and move on. I took those fears and learned from them so next time that they visit me, I can know better how to manage them and dispose of them. My ex gave me these fears, it is my choice to keep them and let his virus affect me forever or throw them out and take my life back for me.

Don’t let confusion and not understanding create a fear in you that hurts everything inside your body. Fear can make you sick. Fear can greatly affect your life, in a good or bad way. Take your fear and look at it. If you need to learn about what is confusing and you are not understanding, ask someone to help. Someone you trust. Pray for understanding and patience to beat out the fears. And take what the fear teaches you to make changes that can help that fear dissolve for you It will. Just have faith. Right now listen to the consistency in advice on how to stay safe and don’t let the fears overcome you.

Breathe out fear, Breathe in patience. Breathe out confusion, Breathe in understanding. Breathe out fog, Breathe in warm sunshine. Breathe out frustration, Breathe acceptance. Breathe out the negative, Breathe in the positive.

And pray for all those affected by this terrible virus causing fears in so many around the world. We all need prayers in this world today. God bless you all with safety, love and healing.