I finally got the divorced papers signed. I have been waiting for this day for what feels like an eternity. I anticipated this day so many times over this past year. Imagined the feeling of looking like a before and after of extreme weight loss. Like I would feel so much lighter and better. But I do and I don’t. I feel like it should be better. Maybe because I didn’t get that theatrical moment when my attorney slammed his attorney to get me the best settlement and make him pay for hurting me so badly. Like the attorney was the long arm of consequences for his terrible abuse of lies, secrets, manipulations, betrayals and gaslighting. Does that ever happen in real life? Where you feel like everything you had to endure was recognized and you feel validated and compensated? Like that great attorney in movies and TV who finds that one piece of evidence to make you feel like you can walk away with your head held high and proud that you did it right all along. I haven’t heard of that yet. I have heard too many stories where the dark souled spouse comes out on top. It’s like if they rewarded Madoff with house arrest in his two favorite mansions and could still fly back and forth on his private luxury jet. Like why do bad people get rewards? It all seems very hard to embrace that some people will walk with what they want no matter who they are and how they act. Don’t get it at all. Call me strange but I do still believe in justice for all. I love the idea everyone gets what they deserve. I deserve love, loyalty and acceptance but it never seems to happen. If I ever find someone to do this, I will cherish him everyday. This has brought me gratitude for so much. It has also brought me lack of trust in the process of relationships and the ending of them. But I still don’t understand my feelings. Kind of outer body thing going on. Looking at what I am going through over the years and not fully believing this is my life now. I will come to terms with it and will pray that justice is served to everyone. I have to believe in karma and the hand of it always reaches to everyone, either with good or bad consequences. So if he hurt me so badly for so many years with so many women and so many cruel intentions through lies and secrets, why does it make it harder to accept even though I know that he is severe narcissistic personality who will never change and never was who he pretended to be? Loaded question, huh? Yeh, I am pretty heavy in spirit after watching this evil fog cover the world I thought I knew. Sorry but mixed emotions are not a good cocktail for fun. Don’t get me wrong. I do not love him anymore at all. I never want him back in my life ever again in any capacity. Seeing him and knowing who he really is just disgusts me to the deepest part of my heart. My heart actually shrinks back when it sees him or hears his fake voice filled with constant lies and manipulations to so many people. I am mixed because part of me is so sad at the dream of a family with someone to share it with but I know and am continually grateful for my children who help me find hope, love and courage every day. Just accepting my new normal as a single mom, like accepting that masks and temperatures are the new normal for our society. Adjustments and emotions often butt heads and have difficulty finding common footing to stand strong. I will be strong again and am getter stronger every day. I finally moved out of the home I raised my children in and created memories of holidays and adventures with them there. Sadly, it was not possible to stay and continue this lifeline. Too many factors stole us of this opportunity to continue growing there. Now we are closer to family who wants to be with us and guide us through this process of healing and growth towards lighter days and comfort in progress. I am so grateful I have this now, for them and for me. I will survive. We will survive. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. I am entering into the Mrs. Universe body building contest next year if this is true. (Well, not really but feel like I should be able to win or at least place at this point.). No one likes carry a bag of mixed emotions over her wary shoulders but sometimes we have to so that we reach the destination meant for your souls to find happiness, love and peace. I will embrace my emotions one by one and work on getting them to leave rather than stay once I understand and deal with them.
just breathe in and out with good deep breathes. In and out. ♥️ It will be okay. You will be okay. You will be better than okay soon enough. You are loved and appreciated by me at this very moment. ♥️
The sun is warm to the skin and the breeze is gentle enough to maintain the constant coolness of comfort. The waves are softly rolling unto the shore with every passing boat. Waves are beautiful to look at and to listen to while the sun dances on the surface behind them. Waves are the sound of constant change in the water and the shoreline. When the winds are extremely calm there are silent waves but the storms create crashing waves that alter every sand in reach of its power.
Our lives are full of waves. Waves that allow us to wade into the water and enjoy the peace and stillness with a calm spirit. Waves that flow with such force and move us unto to a different part of the beach. Our waves are produced by the world around us and within us. The light breeze of getting a better job and stepping into calmer more soothing waters. The torrent winds of living with an active addict that crash us into the shore and leave us exhausted from fighting the riptides of chaos. The storm clouds creating larger waves that push us down the beach unto new sands that offer us a different perspective on our life. Change can be so good when we are stagnant from fears of changing or drowning in the pain of someone’s else actions towards us. Living with a narcissist, sociopath, borderline personality disorder or addict that is not willing to address his/her issues and doesn’t want to change for himself and his/her loved ones is the most exhausting life of treading water in a sea of ever changing levels and force. I know that I am looking forward to change of a new start at a new life where I am not treading the deep and dark stormy waters of his painful actions and words trying to drown me. I have been fighting these waters for 18 years now and I am done and am so excited to swim up to a new beach with softer sands and calmer waves.
Waves of change can be managed in different ways. They can be fought until near deadly exhaustion consumes your soul. Or they can be ridden to a new place where only healing and recovery welcome you on the shore. I choose the latter of these. My arms, legs, heart and mind are exhausted from the first option. I am worth more than the first option. I don’t deserve to be held under the waves only to be let up for enough oxygen to keep my alive. I deserve to feel the sun’s loving warmth wrap around my skin and reach into my soul. I deserve to feel the safety of the soft sand on my feet as I walk towards a new sunset promising a better day when I wake. I deserve love, happiness, respect and honesty. I ride the wave away from the painful man trying to drown me and towards a new life in a better place. A place where I can provide safety, security and healing for me and my children.
Remember sometimes we cannot ride these waves alone and we need friends and family to encourage us away from the near death every day. These dark souls make us believe that we are not worth anything but the storm. Healing is a process when dealing with the PTSD of abuse from someone who sick. It is not a short ride but it is an important ride. Reach out for help. Reach out to those who love you and want you to be better and alive. Pray for help. God, your friends and your family do not want to see you go below the surface. They want to see you on the shore with them; they want to see you to celebrate life because they know that you are worth it. Believe them. Be gentle as you may be so used to treading waters and swimming away will not always be easy. Believe in yourself. Believe in your worth. Believe in a better life.
Breathe Out Deep, Dark Water, Breathe In Warm Sun. Breathe Out Fear, Breathe In Comfort. Breathe Out Others Pain, Breathe In Your Healing. Breathe Out Exhaustion, Breathe In Rest.
We all have them…pressure points that when pushed, we respond with certain emotions. Some people cry over Hallmark commercials when that little hand surprises a grandmother with a card for her birthday. Some people cry when they are in fear of the girl entering the dark house alone in a horror movie. Some people laugh when the girl is entering the dark house alone in the horror movie. Some people get so mad that are called to act about injustices on the news that are not in their towns. Some people get so depressed about injustices on the news. We all react differently in situations, but we all will react according to the pressure put on certain prominent emotions that surface for us based our experiences…Pressure Points of Emotion! Acupuncture but with sharp needles pushing on our brain and heart.
I realized that my pressure points are so highly sensitive lately. It definitely doesn’t take a sharp point to make them react. My most sensitive pressure point lately is anger and frustration. And when going through the highly sensitive field of divorce that is covered by various landmines, I have been pushed with his words and actions sometimes to the brink of insanity. Sometimes the burning sense of anger for the lack of empathy and understanding for what he has put me through is overwhelming. In times like this it is hard to find that space of calm and peace where you can gain the clarity and sanity required to breathe in and out until calmness returns to your inner being. I try to have a mantra, a prayer, a vision or a place to go to when this happens. Why is it so hard to grasp that at times of extreme pressure? Like I cannot see clearly from the instant fog covering all directions to safety. I am sure you know that feeling of confusion and standing alone if you have been through heartbreak of any kind. Or if you are like me, you have that one person who knows exactly where those pressure points are and pushes them so easily. I feel like he pushes them because he likes the reactions from me. He likes to see me twitch with emotions and uncomfortableness. I have read that narcissistic people get to know you well so that they know where to push you. I am feeling this way lately.
So what do you do during these times when tears come for no reason? There is no Hallmark commercial or sad movie on TV to make you cry. There is no horror movie making you scream in fear. But there is a situation happening in your own lives that triggers one or more emotions. The true insanity comes when they trigger them together…sadness and anger is the worst combination. I feel torn between crying and screaming. And then I tend to do both. Yelling while tears are flowing down my face unto my shirt. I am eventually drenched in tears of sadness and sweat of painful hot anger. Either way, I am not comfortable or healing in peace. I just want peace and comfort over these emotions. I don’t want to become consumed by these. I become someone whom I do not want to be in that moment. I don’t do well in conflict and anger. Sadly, these days in this divorce, he has me on a roller coaster of extreme emotions where I am so nauseous and just want to stop this ride and get out of the park. This ride is fueled by anger and sadness. This too shall pass right?
I need to understand my pressure points and what activates them and their reactions so that I do not react quickly or become someone that I do want to become in tense situations. This is not an easy task when flooded by emotional storms that start drowning your heart and mind. I am going to take deep breathes and think before I speak or react from now on, especially when he tries to push those points leading to anger, pain and tears. It will help me get through that turbulence and not into a new storm because of my emotions. I can create my own storms too. I have to remember this. Always remember this. I have been consumed by pain and emotions lately to the point that I cannot hear my own words sometimes and cannot see how my anger hurts my own soul. Staying in bed isn’t solving my problems. Yelling isn’t solving anything. Talking out of turn isn’t solving anything. I need to see the solutions like the lighthouse guiding me in the fog, instead of letting the fog consume me into fear, anger and sadness. We can all do this if we focus inward and pray very hard. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, The courage to change the things that I can and The wisdom to know the difference.” This should release those sharp needles pushing on the our pain and fears.
Breathe Out Anger, Breathe In Calm. Breathe Out Fear, Breathe In Peace. Breathe Out Anxiety, Breathe In Calm. Breathe Out Irritation, Breathe In Peace. Breathe Out Tears & Sadness, Breathe In Calm. Breathe Out The Heaviness, Breathe In Peace & Calm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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