Emotional Drought? We Need to Carry Love On

Love has taken on a entirely new form it seems. It lost its honest soul that motivates people to do good for good and be the light inside of the darkness. To stand up for a cause in the right way. To show support without aggression. To speak the truth without yelling. To embrace another without expectations. To simply love without strings or judgements. To not abuse someone who offers you love and support. When did love become such a shadow hiding in every day life? Maybe it always has been this way, but I am just now starting to understand it and really see it and feel it deep within my heart. Maybe it is the path my life is on at this time and love is harder to see through the many shadows around me.

Have you ever felt that the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Well, that is how I am feeling lately for so many reasons. I have spent the past 15 years in an emotionally abusive marriage where I did everything to make this narcissistic addict love me, see me and want to be with me. I allowed him to make me believe that I would never be enough, that there was something wrong with me. He did leave visible bruises with his fists of anger but he made my spirit and heart bleed with lies, secrets and manipulations of anger towards my love for him and us. I even reached out my severely weak hand to lift him up during his drug use. I loved enough to see him and the big picture than just myself. Living this way drains the energy from a soul. This drains the pools of love because you give and give from your resevoir but do not receive more to fill it back up in return. It is an emotional drought of your soul. You drain the tank and just run on empty for years. Eventually, you can no longer sustain yourself, you heart, your mind, your spirit running on nothing, not even fumes. However depleted I became, I am proud that I can love this way and still can even after being so beaten for my love. I can carry love on.

Coronavirus brought fear and people doing all they could to protect themselves and those that they love. But it was so sad to me that it grew anger and blame for other countries and governments. It brought out protests for what people saw as their right to choose a mask or not. A simple mask could save a life. Maybe your life. Maybe your loved one’s life. Maybe one of the worker’s who is saving lives. Simple mask showed love for others and yourself. This virus brought out people hoarding simple items that could save lives of those working to save lives. All for economic gain of themselves? Is money more important than a human life? There was definitely so many good acts and such positivity spread by the medical workers and people spending hard earned money to help others. The picture that stands in my mind is this one nurse in a mask standing up to a mass of protesters without masks. Such love in one person to stand up and show how simple love for each other can be displayed. What was she doing wrong? Her job to save lives of everyone, even that protester? Her own life was on the line to save more. That is love from the deepest place of a heart. Saving others at the expense of yourself. Why can’t love rule and we stand together? It hurts my soul that there is a sea of aggression and darkness trying to push love away. But we can carry love on.

Now these protests. These protests. So much aggression and darkness abounds behind the fires and broken glass. Where is the love for George and the others who have wrongfully died. These acts are not love for these victims. Stealing a new pair of Nikes from a store is not love. Shooting a cop in the head to show that you protest this is not love for George. Ruining the lives on innocent business owners just trying to survive after the shutdown, this is not love for George. Why is it so much easier to fuel hatred than it is to fuel love? Why can’t everyone in this world stand in unison, in silence, dressed in all black to mourn the loss of love and acceptance and working together to make this world a better place to live? Why can’t these protests mimic the cities where cops and civilians walk hand in hand in love and solidarity to create a consciousness of positive change. That would be love growing out of pain. That would be love dominating the new movement towards a better tomorrow. We can carry love on.

Today, I am feeling that this darkness over the world is the saddest weight laying on my soul. When did we get so lost in ourselves? When did we get so lost in the true meaning of “love one another” that we were taught as children? People are so ego driven with aggressive tones of wanting what they feel is best for themselves without the big picture coming into their view. From the narcissist in my life doing what pleases only him regardless of the bleeding souls on his path to the protesters losing site of the reasons behind what they are doing for a change towards the better, we are living in a world where love seems to be hiding in the shadows because it was put there. We are living in an emotional drought of love and acceptance. We are all in different places in our lives and affected by these places in different ways. Some are living in love and are here to help it grow again by spreading their rich supply from their souls. Others are so dehydrated by the missing positivity that they need love and to feel love again. We can love ourselves first and foremost to make sure that it never dies. But rememberer that loving yourself is not about an ego or self-advancement at the cost of others. Loving yourself actually helps you love others better. Can we all just love without the pain that grows from ignorance, selfishness and hatred? We can learn from pain, even the pain we may have caused in the past. Learn from it and grow into a loving and accepting soul. We are all made from the same dirt and start life in the same way. So why do we fight each other? I pray that God embraces us and guides us to a better tomorrow where we can grab the hand of a neighbor and hold it tightly until the love starts to grow again and diminishes the darkness hanging over this world. We can carry love on.

Breathe Out Hatred, Breathe In Love. Breathe Out Violence, Breathe In Love. Breathe Out Impulsive Aggression, Breathe In Love. Breathe Out Emotional Drought, Breathe in Love. Breathe Out Darkness, Breathe In Love.

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)

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.

Emotional Whiplash

I have been driving in traffic for years. I am not talking standard, just busy street traffic at rush hour. I am talking about that kind of traffic that moves along at a steady pace then BAM! it stops. You inch along and at times even contemplate taking a service road or an alternate route. That traffic that becomes so infuriating and you just can’t even hear the radio pounding from your dashboard. All you can hear and feel is your heart beating and your blood temperature rising. When you are just about to take the next exit, you see the flashing lights and get past the congestion to start going at a steady pace again. Wait! Don’t get too comfortable and convinced that you will get there on time. Stop. Go. Stop. Go.

Relationships with someone who suffers from addictions and/or narcissism are just like this picture of traffic. Sometimes everything is moving along at a good, steady pace towards your destination. Other times you are just trying to find a way to breathe from all the congestion and chaos. I label my experience for the past many many years as “Emotional Whiplash”. Just like physical whiplash that leaves you in pain and unable to turn your head to see the world around you, emotional whiplash leaves you in pain and unable to focus on anything but the person in front of you. He keeps you going with false hopes and lies to continue with him on his steady pace towards his own darkness. Then he makes you stop in the middle of life, crippled with despair and the inability to find an alternate way other than his way. Sometimes you become that accident or broken down car sitting on the side causing everyone else to stop or slow down. This sick person is like that passenger who keeps saying, “Get in that lane, it’s moving faster. No, go back to this lane.” Yeh, you know that passenger. Then if you change to his lane and it slows down, he blames you for changing lanes. It is always a reminder how wrong you are and how he is better in so many ways. When you finally arrive at the destination on that day, he is all loving and supportive of you in a distorted false loving way. But it is the best love you can get from him, so you feel calmer and pleased that he sees you like that. The whiplash comes when it all just happens again the next time you are stuck in the traffic of his addiction and narcissism. The extremely painful whiplash from feeling good and bad in the relationship you so desperately wanted to be “stuck” in every day. Love. Anger. Love. Anger.

Living in a marriage like this for way too long has given me chronic pain from the emotional whiplash of the “false” love and rejection cycle. First, he couldn’t get enough of me and pursued me with such passion. It felt great. No, it felt amazing to think someone was really like me and wanted me like I wanted him. He was easy to fall in love with then. He made himself easy to fall in love with then. He was a professional at love bombing women as I have learned throughout our marriage from the many others to whom he was doing the same things. Love bombing brings you in so fast that you don’t have time to breathe or think except about them. This happened to me and we married so fast after just meeting. It seemed like a romantic movie in the making. There was no second or third level of the process. We went from dating, quick marriage and newlyweds to just a middle of fog and confusion. He played games of rejection and love for 14 years. Chronic whiplash of love and rejection; love and lies. I thought it was normal for a relationship to have ups and downs. Take the good and the bad in a marriage, right? For good times and bad? For sickness and in health? Well, yeah all that was constant. Sickness…5 rehabs in 10 years. Health…well, never sure, maybe about 1-2 years of sobriety after counting a few weeks here and a few months there. This added to the terrible whiplash. I would think he was clean and sober. Looked for the same signs of relapse every time he would get clean. I would find familiar “items” and only get yelled at for finding them or for looking for them. So I was whipped between loving to save him and letting go to let him die. Nothing was right by him. Nothing. I would approach with love and fear and get the devil yelling at me and punching walls and doors right by me. The next day I would get this man saying he was sorry and wanted to be better and make our marriage better. Only to get verbally beat up hours or days later. I was the crazy one much of the time to think that he wanted to change and make our marriage better. He only would change the habit or drug to throw me off and to get even higher than before. Or placate me to stop looking or trying to help him survive. I was trying to get him to take a better route and get off this highway of disaster. Then to make it worse, he would add new addictions like women and material stuff. His addictions progressed into a terrifying place as he could no longer drive anywhere near the speed limit. I was suffering more and more from the back and forth of love and anger – love and rejection – love and lies. And the cheating added to the drug addiction made the whiplash more frequent and more painful every time he would reject me and give false love to keep me from leaving. Wow, the cheating was worse than the drug use. It was like being on the interstate across this large country and EVERY city had a major accident that delayed you. I didn’t know about some of these women until we separated and things started to surface. The “signs” of other women were like billboards on your way to South of the Border on I95. I realized that he started cheating about two years after my first child (well, that I know of). I do believe that he was always a cheater when I look back at those times that just didn’t add up even when we were first living together. I put up with so many painful moments of seeing things, reading things and hearing things that I shouldn’t have. No wife should. No one who truly loves someone should. Then I turned to him in pain and got verbally beaten up for the truth of his actions. I was always at fault. My fault for stumbling upon the information. My fault for not believing his insane stories that constantly changed. It was my fault for having a sick baby. It was my fault for everything all of the time. It was even my fault that he lied about drugs. Why? Because I didn’t approve so he had to hide it from me. Yes, it was all my fault. I started to believe some of it and that I was starting to go a bit crazy and imagining some what was true. I wasn’t. Whiplash of love and anger – love and rejection – love and lies. He was doing exactly what I saw, read and heard. He even told a girl on the phone that he loved her. Of course, he lied in a grand way and made a big deal about me not correctly hearing him and definitely not being on the phone with her (phone records don’t lie). This was the first major accident that I came across on this long journey. The emotional whiplash from the many women throughout our marriage is beyond any pain that an actual case of chronic whiplash would cause me. I even started to work on healing from it all when we separated. But there was no healing as long as he was still on the road with me (no longer in my car but on the same road) and running around with women, bad behaviors and lies. There are far too many women stories going back to the beginning to start talking about now. That will be another article where you may need a glass or two of wine in order to get through it all. Yes, I have had jaws drop at my “accidents” that I have had to get past on this road of his addictions and narcissism. This emotional whiplash has been the greatest pain to me. False loving gestures (thinking and hoping that they were authentic) followed by the ultimate rejections…lying and betrayals in every way possible. Even verbal rejection of me as a person was mixed in there at times. I started to believe his words too. Crazy how sick we become and how normal sitting in traffic and seeing bad accidents becomes to us. Even crazier how normal it becomes to be the broken down car on the side of the road causing the traffic. It even became normal to be in the major accident that everyone stopped to look at in the middle of the road and get back into the demolished car and keep driving to his destination. I am getting car sick just thinking about all of this chaos of constant stopping and going. I stopped looking at the reason for these stops and starts and just kept finding a way to get passed them without turning off his road. I was in so much pain and so sick from it all and never stopped to look at myself anymore. I had started to believe the things he was putting into my mind. I just allowed myself to keep getting hurt and walk around in pain. I was so traumatized by the constant back and forth of love and anger – love and rejection – love and lies.

I finally had to turn off and take an alternate route when he went to rehab again and I found a dating site with an alias and fake life with no kids or relationship. The worst stop and the worst whiplash came when he had only been home a month and he texted my friend the wrong text at my birthday party, yes my party. He meant to text his new girl, a mother in my daughter’s class, that he loved kissing her. This was the same day he professed to me that he loved me and wanted to make this next year great for us. He even got mad at me for not believing his revolving lies around this text. The story changed about four times and somehow I was the bad person for even thinking he was lying and being hurt by the words I read. He acted out by going to a hotel the next weekend, lying about it and then making me feel bad for questioning the hotel receipt that I found. Then he would make me think he wanted to make it better and do the right thing by doing a few of the marriage recovery steps. Only he was still carrying on with her and lied again about staying over in a hotel after a “business” meeting that was close enough to come home. I had such severe emotional whiplash that I couldn’t tolerate the pain or breathe normal. The pain of being whipped between love and anger – love and rejection – love and lies was and is beyond words and I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew there was only one route to take off this dangerous road…DIVORCE. I was so beaten up by the emotional whiplash from his hurtful rejections and crazy love cycles to keep me confused and lost. He was in control. I looked in the mirror and realized that I wasn’t driving at all during these years. I was the passenger suggesting alternate routes. Sometimes telling him he was wrong to stay on this road. I am sure it annoyed him to hear that he was on the wrong road that offered him selfish rewards for his own pleasure. I saw that the alternate routes promised a better way for both of us. I was reading WAZE how to go around the troubled spots and make it safely home. He didn’t want any GPS telling him how to drive. I was the passenger of someone who was very sick, sober or not. I am lucky to be alive. I am now in the driver’s seat of my own life. He is not in the car with me anymore. He is on a road of his own choosing, not mine. I can breathe at times. But sadly his sickness is still there and affecting me. Now his “women” are adding to the pain and whiplash with their chaos and his behaviors with them. One of his new girls (yes I said one because I hear from others in town that she is not the only one) has proceeded to send me a picture of them, texted me using his phone about how he is cheating on her and even a picture he sent her from our bed when he was professing to love me and rants about him and other women taking the same nudie photos he did with her. Whiplash of moving on and anger – moving on and rejection – moving on and lies. I just want to stop this whiplash that he seems to love giving me with lies about these women, our divorce and what he is doing in a very small town that affects me and his children. Small town and lots of mutual friends creates no secrets. But sick as he is, he continued to lie to me through all of this torture from his disgusting behaviors being put on me by the talkings of so many and the sightings of myself. There will always be stand stills, slow downs and accidents to get past but I can hear the music and stay calm because I am not the passenger in a car driven by someone who doesn’t care about sharing the journey with me or if I am even safe and loved. And my whiplash from all of the emotional and verbal abuse and harsh destructive actions will take a lot of therapy in order to heal. BUT I know now that I AM worth the time and effort to heal. I am worthy of genuine love, honesty and serenity regardless of the traffic on the road. There is grief over losing someone but sometimes passengers are not meant to take the whole journey with us. They may just be there to teach us an important lesson for the roads ahead. I have learned a lot about myself and understanding the caution signs others give us as to who they really are and how they can affect our journey in good or bad ways. Pay attention to the signs, whether positive or negative, on the side of the road. Don’t let the false love and rejection cycles of these very sick people trap you in a dangerous journey that only leads to darkness and pain. You will live in constant back and forth of love and anger – love and rejection – love and lies. You can drive your own car on this journey. I am still in so much pain from years of emotional whiplash but I am learning how to recoup and grow stronger every day. I am learning how to not allow him to continue whipping me around with his selfish behaviors, constant lies and anger. He most likely will never change but I don’t have to stay on his road of chaos and destruction anymore. Just remember sometimes it is important to pull over the car and rest so you don’t get into another bad accident. Take care of yourself now.

Breathe out impatience and breathe in patience. Breathe out being lost and breathe in finding yourself. Breathe out toxic people and breathe in genuine love. Breathe out chaos and breathe in calm. Breathe out getting there on time and breathe in getting there when you are ready. Breathe out rejection and breathe in self-acceptance.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

I loved this in Snow White. A mirror that can actually see deeper than the surface of the reflection in it. I always wanted a mirror that could really look at me and tell me what was what. Can you imagine really being seen like that? Well, we are seen like that in just an average mirror. We are the “mirror mirror” part of this story. It is not a fairy tale that leads to happily ever afters into a sunset while riding on a beautiful horse and holding hands with a handsome man or gorgeous woman. It is the truth. It is the true reality. It is what is staring back at us in that mirror. YOU. You know yourself like no one can ever know you. You know what you like and don’t like. You know what makes you happy and what makes you sad. You know your favorite color or your most despised color in the crayon box. Why are we all so scared of that true reflection?

We all want to look in that mirror and see a supermodel looking back with no imperfections and an amazing post-worthy life. But I have to be honest about this idea, it is non-existent. Even the most beautiful supermodel looks in the mirror and sees something wrong. You may not see it. She does. When I was young, I was skinny. I was size 00 and weighed less than 100 pounds. Then the scale tipped to 102. At 16, I thought that is why I don’t have a date. I am fat. So I starved myself. I didn’t eat for an entire month. Just shakes everyday and lots and lots of exercise. For my return to high school, I would look like a supermodel (a short one but regardless a gorgeous model) who was desired by all. Well, weight didn’t change my life. My fears changed my life. It wasn’t fat looking back at me. It was fear. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of rejection. Fear of being not good enough. Fear of not being everything that I wanted to be. That fear turned into a wall of protection that never allowed me the ability to open up to anyone for many years. I think it all goes back to getting made fun of in elementary school because someone liked me. Then two kids teased me when they realized who I liked. They left fake notes on my desk and laughed when I read them. It continued to Junior High. They teased me because the bad kid in class liked me. (I was quite the fashionista then too LOL.) I was scared that letting anyone know how I felt about another person would open me up for more ridicule especially if those feelings were not reciprocated. So when I looked in the mirror, I saw a girl stuffed with so many feelings and fear that she looked fat from it all.

Unfortunately, I unstuffed myself later in life to the wrong person. When I met him, I was struggling with my reflection. I was a bit lost in life but was not living in despair just limbo of which path to take. There were many options to choose from as a young single woman with possibilities surfacing. I met him and he set a stage for the perfect opportunity to open up my over protection heart. I unstuffed. I felt so good. I felt so safe. I felt so light and thin. I felt beautiful to myself and to someone else. It was like I had imagined. I was so happy to find him and marry him. We started a family. I felt even more amazing.

Then I started looking into the mirror and seeing an image I didn’t recognize anymore. Eyes filled with sadness. Skin weathered with stress. Body exhausted with emotions. She wasn’t fat or thin. She wasn’t happy or sad. She wasn’t pretty or ugly. What was she? Who was she? How did I become like this? I spent hours trying to change her to be what he wanted and needed. I added and subtracted so much of myself that I was a mismatch of random pieces. I was like faceless ghost of who I once was. I was like this after 15 years of narcissistic emotional abuse from the man she married. The man whom I unstuffed myself to and thought loved me regardless of it. He took all that stuffing and used it against me to destroy me piece by piece until all that was left was a woman in so much pain that she didn’t recognize her own reflection.

Narcissistic Emotional Abuse is real. It is so painful that there is no true way to describe it with words. It takes our reflection and makes it so scary that we no longer even want to look. You are not alone. There are so many of us going through this too. We have opened up to an emotional abuser. It is okay. We can heal. I see my reflection now and see the lines. They are there from squinting to look at a beautiful sunset or sunrise. They are there because my kids gave me the joys of laughter. They are there because God reminds me to smile when a friend gives me flowers or a stranger holds a door for me. They are there because they are part of my beautiful story that created my beautiful soul radiating through my eyes and every line. I walked away from the narcissist. I can see the strength in my body.

Love yourself. You are beautiful. You are treasured. You are loved. YOU ARE ENOUGH today and always. Some days will be hard to look in the mirror. Just remember where you have been, what you have learned and where you are going. Look in the mirror and say, “HELLO GORGEOUS, YOU GOT THIS AND WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH!”

Breathe out the negativity. Breathe in the positivity. Breathe out the ugly. Breathe in the beauty. Breathe out the loneliness. Breathe in the power of you.

Why I am here?

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

unknown

Peace comes from breathing out the bad and breathing in the good. People can try to take our peace, our love, our happiness and so much more from us. We must hold on to our hearts and minds every day, one day at a time.

Please, join me on this journey of discovering how to handle the rough seas and enjoy the sunsets on every horizon.

WHO AM I?

I am not a therapist or licensed professional. I am a warrior of my own life and my heart. I am conquering the demons of others that attempt to take me down. I have experienced the good and the bad in life and used it to learn about taking on the battle over the next hill.

I will not give guidance or tell anyone how to live or what to do. I am just a friend and supporter in recovery who shares her stories of strength, hope and faith. I have these people in my life who have reminded me how to stand when I was lying on the floor. We all need friends and support when dealing with the demons of addiction, narcissism, personality disorders and abuse. I read any amazing quote on Pinterest, “Sometimes angels are just ordinary people that help us believe in miracles again.” I believe my friends and support are angels sent to help me when it is too dark to see a way out.

Just please, do not use this as a substitution for professional help or support groups. They are so important for your recovery to get all the help necessary to heal the wounds left by someone else.

If a loved one or you is in need of treatment for an addiction, contact SAMHSA Substance and Mental Health Services Administration for guidance on finding the right help. 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

If someone is abusing you, please get help immediately. It is never okay for anyone to physically or mentally hurt you. Contact National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit at www.thehotline.org

I love sunsets. They remind me that I have survived another hard day or I have enjoyed another great day, whichever way I can look at it in that moment of glorious color. Sunsets make us stop and look for the beauty in every day. It is there and waiting to show us gratitude, hope, strength, faith and love. Remember, tomorrow is always another day to start over and do better and feel better. God bless you on this journey of self-forgiveness and healing from the trauma that has brought you here. We can always start over from where we stand at this moment, we don’t have to wait for a sunrise.