narcissism and emotional abuse

Happy New Year, You Insubordinate Child!

This past weekend, my mother’s question to me: Why are you taking down the Christmas tree before New Year’s Day?

My reply: I don’t know, I just have this feeling or superstition that I don’t want to take the old year into the new year with me. A fresh start, a clean and organized house on the first day of the year makes me feel like the remainder of the year will be smoother and organized or I can handle it better. Some small way for me to feel like I have some control in a world where so much is out of our control. Plus, it’s productive and not hurting anyone.

Her reply to my answer: that’s stupid.

Me: How is it any different than cooking pork and sauerkraut every year, on New Year’s Day? Because it’s a tradition and supposed to bring you good luck? It’s a food. And a tradition. And we know pickled sour cabbage and pig parts can’t really bring a person luck, yet you do it because it makes you feel like you’re doing some small thing to control what you can. And I’m a vegetarian anyways. My need to purge and clean are the same for me. Plus my kids aren’t with me, which makes me sad and lonely so I’m doing something productive to make myself feel better.

Mother Dearest’s reply to what I just said: you’re stupid.

Me: Good talk. Now go away. I’m purging trash. (In my head I said that because aloud makes no difference to ignorant unkind people.) I just walked away.

This later lead to a conversation about how she is no one’s subordinate and that I am her subordinate and always will be. I’m 48 years old but my mother believes she is superior to everyone. And that as her child, I must obey her always. That I may not have an opinion that differs from hers. Doing so makes me insubordinate. As long as she makes no sense to me, I’m good. I don’t want to understand her way of thinking.

An irony here is that I blog to help myself feel better. It’s a form of purging out the old and unwanted stuff. The stuff that keeps you tied down, or at minimal, stuck in the same spot. I also feel like it helps people to better understand me and why I react, don’t react, or just generally view things the way I do. But I do this anonymously so that doesn’t really work. I started doing this after confiding in people, friends and family, purging what happens to me so I can get it out there and feel better about myself. Maybe have a few people say “wow, that is crazy! Sorry that happens to you. No wonder you’re guarded or hurt easily. No wonder you’re afraid.” But what I got a majority of the time was to “get over it!” Or told that I’m too negative. So I blog to keep my mind clearer but it also does at times feel like it keeps me stuck. Until I remind myself that I mostly blog for me. If it can help one other person not feel alone or keep them from feeling like they’re losing their mind, that’s great. If it can make someone look at a person in their life who is sad or seems down on their luck, or who seems lonely….if they really look at what that person has been through or what they are going through and it gives them pause and makes them slow down and not judge, but instead have some empathy or compassion, then I have done something good. And that also helps me feel better.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Emotional Abuse

A family member said some very hurtful things to me a few months ago. We didn’t talk for about a month. Later, around Thanksgiving time this person wanted to talk, but not about our argument, they wanted to just talk and act like nothing happened. When I said I wasn’t ok with that, based on how our last conversation had gone, and tried to talk about the argument, get them to explain why they said the hurtful things, this person said I said hurtful things too. I asked about what things I said. They told me they didn’t have the energy to talk about it. And that was that, an abrupt end to them messaging me.

This is how emotional abusers operate. They throw out statements like “yeah, well you did this too and you did that” and when asked to back it up or give examples, so a chance is given to explain or apologize, they shut you down. Why? Because there are either no examples to give or they don’t want to go down the path of accountability. They don’t want to hear that they hurt you. They don’t want to hear that their behavior was cruel and unkind. In my situation it is even more of a head-scratcher because this family member tells everyone how life is too short to be angry and they are spiritual now and there are energies and what you put out is what you attract. And to be kind. To be genuine. To be happy. Just “Be.” This person doesn’t tell anyone about the shit-storm of wrongs they have committed against family and friends. They now hide behind doing charitable work and putting out books and going on tours, being a motivational speaker. Fuck as many people as you want but claim spirituality and that justifies it all. It’s different. It’s love and openness and being clairvoyant. That’s how to live your life, didn’t you know this?

Then this person sends me the quote pictured, just yesterday. Another example of emotional abuse. How can I possible respond to this quote? I’m not angry. I’m hurt. If I say anything, explain anything, they are the bigger person because they’re going into 2019 forgiving me? Life is too short to be negative? I did reply. I said I wasn’t angry with anyone and wished them a happy new year. They wished me the best year yet! Oh how awesome is this person?! How big of them. Best part for them is they don’t have to talk about the hurtful things said to me a few months ago! They get to tell the story about they reached out to me, because spiritual people forgive! So inspiring! This person gets to dismiss my feelings because that’s what their love is all about! They rock!

I’m not angry, I’m hurt. And if this person needs to do this to feel like the bigger and better person, (I am the most negative person they have ever met and I make them sick- their words) they can have this one. I’m not angry. I’m just done. It doesn’t matter if a person is your family, if they’re toxic and continue to make you feel bad about yourself, you need to find ways to minimize contact. I am doing that. And while I’m sad, deeply sad, I have accepted this. I’ll blog to get it out of my system and then I’ll move along. Life IS too short.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Why I Want to Be Left Alone

Why does this enrage me so much: being asked out or hit on or having gross comments made to me by older men? TWO ARE THE FATHERS OF GIRLS I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH! Ffs. I seriously can’t take this shit. And the best part (heavy sarcasm) is when I gasp or say something to reject them, they say it’s my fault for being irresistible. I’m too kind. They can’t help themselves. Wtf is that?

I need to rename my blog because there is no more broken heart. How about “Adventures of a Pissed Off Single Mom?” I’m open to suggestions.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Selective Anonymity and Past Reflections

The three great former loves in my life all did not turn out to be the men I thought they were. What does that say about me and my clouded vision of love and who they appeared to be? A crook, a narcissist and a man who can’t love and uses women until he admits he can’t fake it anymore. What they left behind is a woman who is now single but gaining strength daily. That’s not to say I don’t still get sad and I’m not lonely. It just means I don’t need a man to define me. And I’ll never again settle. I can only realize these things if I face my past and try to understand what led me to become involved with these men in the first place. I make no apologies for talking about it. Here, in anonymity, it’s safER. I’ve made the mistake of telling a handful of people about my blog and with that comes the associated risk of them telling others it’s me. Is it really a mistake though? One recent person did share my anonymous post, exposing my identity, as far as I can tell. But I really don’t care because if telling a criminal I know about his past made him not want to text me anymore, what did I really lose? I (we actually ) decided we would not date and had not communicated in a few weeks and then out of the blue he messaged me wanting a truce. Somewhere in between that message and when I finally did reply, (maybe 12 hours later?) I believe this person I shared my blog with this guy which talked about this criminal and she told him. So thanks for that A, it saved me explaining to him that I knew he had a record, saved me from having to listen to his excuses of why what he did wasn’t as bad as his criminal friends/associates and they’re in prison, and that he wasn’t in federal prison so there’s that. Saved me from doubting myself. Saved me from explaining how what he did affected numerous people, his ex wife and child included. And that exposing only the parts he deems necessary to share, it is still deceit. So thanks, A. You can tell him that.

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Divorce and Narcissism

On-Line Dating & Text Messaging

Not good. Not good at all, for me. Or maybe it’s just me who fails to state what I feel effectively. Maybe I am the problem. Whether it’s a new person, an old flame who finds you to reconnect or something in between, it’s just been a pitiful experience for me. Nothing beats face to face talks. You can pay attention. Hear inflections and see body language. You lose that with texting, unless you know the person very well, and even then sometimes there are misunderstandings. But some texts are clear. And mean only one thing. These are some of the things I’ve heard:

“Send me nudes.” This is a very common thing these days. The digital age is killing me. I’m not ever going to be “down” with this.

“Aren’t you very sexual?” after I stated I wasn’t comfortable with sexting as an icebreaker.

“Meet me tonight” said by a man who posted no pictures and would tell me nothing about his real name and then cursed me for saying no.

“I’ll smack your ass if you do that again! Oh, but maybe you’d like that?” This was his reply to me apologizing for taking a bit to reply because I was busy.

And the best: being contacting by a boyfriend from 24 years ago and feeling excitement. He was always so special and never forgotten. No romantic love was still felt after all these years but the chance to begin reconnecting and learning who each of us had become was exciting and fun. I was still fond of him. I was nervous. We met for dinner. I had an amazing time and was looking forward to seeing him again to keep catching up. He was smart and funny and kind and polite. And yes, still just as handsome as he was 24 years ago! But I blew it. I didn’t harp on the past with him, the past where we were a couple. But I did mention he looked great, very much the same. We kissed goodnight but nothing intense. A quick kiss on the lips. I asked if it was ok to kiss him goodnight. He kissed me and then promised he would contact me to meet up again because he had a great time. And that was it. Apparently that makes me appear to want to snag him up and get married. Like tomorrow? Not my intentions. But I guess wanting to kiss a handsome guy goodnight is frightening for the guy? It’s ok for flirtatious things to be said to me by him. But me? Nope. I didn’t get that rule book. So I ruined it. Damn me.

Sad. There’s no where I can meet anyone new, in person, on my own. I took that step feeling like it was the only way. But I forgot my most important lesson and discovery: I am ok. Being single isn’t the end of my world. It’s a lonely world but I am alive and I deserve more. No settling. No filtering who I am to please others or make sure they are comfortable. No going back. I’ve learned from my past and I like the present me. The old me would have tried to fix whatever he made me feel I did was wrong. Not this time.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Boundaries

I made it through another Thanksgiving holiday and am preparing to fully enter this holiday season with all the strength and positivity I can muster.

It’s a challenge when you fight depression every day and have no place to call “safe.” Home life is stressful with my mother. Her health isn’t great. Her words are sharp and cruel and it is a daily struggle to put on my shield of deflection from her viciousness, and be able to shield my kids from it as well. One minute she says the most awful things and the next is saying how much she loves her grandkids and would do anything for them. Until they just…..live. And make their own choices. And express themselves. Then she tells us we are disgusting and if we continue to be who we are, we have to get out. We hear her on the phone with her family and she counsels them, telling the wonderful things like “you can’t threaten people and impose your will on others.” Or “don’t let differences keep you from having a relationship with your family.” I have no words. And I don’t recognize this pillar of strength and wisdom who sits before me doling out sage advice. She is my ex. In another body. She cares more about what strangers and distant family think than the people she lives with. Perpetuates the “do as I say and not as I do” movement.

But I get up every day and try to suck it up. Be strong and set a good example for my kids. I’m learning how to set boundaries and those aren’t received well by some people in my life. That adds to my depression because while I know it is necessary and healthy in the long run, the sting of the people who resist my boundaries is sharp.

My sister told me several weeks ago I am the most negative person she has ever met and that I make her sick. This was during a phone call where I asked if she was willing to have a conference call with my brother, my mother and me, because our mother wanted to discuss her estate planning. The conference call was my mother’s request. I was trying to set it up and make it happen for my mother. My brother agreed. My sister accused me of planting seeds in my mother’s head. Of wanting all my mother’s things after she dies. The more I tried to explain the more angry my sister became until we were yelling at each other and then those cruel words were said. I asked her if she was drinking because it has been my experience with her that when she drinks, she becomes irrational and mean. I am negative because I’m facing the reality that our mother is aging and should make these decisions now while she still has the mental capacity to do so because I don’t want to have to make those choices? I am negative because I vent when bad things happen to me? I am negative because I choose to stay in a house with my mom, who isn’t kind, but that’s my choice? It is my choice. But I don’t stay because I’m a freeloader. I don’t stay because I’m a glutton for mistreatment. I stay because I’m trying to help my children. And I’m here because cruel or not, my mother is getting older and her health is deteriorating and she needs help. I realize if I left, she would be alone and that she has isolated herself by behaving in ways that are unspeakable at times so people don’t want to be around her. But I am me. And I am not the most negative person ever. I have compassion and a strong desire to do what’s right. It’s easy for someone who lives far away to tell me what to do because they don’t see it or experience it firsthand. Yet when I share what’s happening, that makes me negative? No. I don’t believe that. The part where my sister said “you make me sick,” is what hurt the most. And I do worry about how negative I must sound but I vent about the negative things as a release. I need to get them out of my mouth and out of my body so I don’t cling to them and let them hurt me. Shouldn’t I be able to do that with my siblings, who know what our mother is like? Who know how bad my divorce was? Who know how hard it was for me to get a job and now have the ugly things happening at that job? I thought that was what unconditional love and support was built upon? Giving a person a safe place to vent and to be compassionate. My sister reached out a few days ago and when I expressed anxiety over speaking with her due to what happened in our last conversation, she said she didn’t have animosity towards anyone. I told her I don’t either, I’m just hurt by her words. And I told her that. Her reply was that she was hurt by words too. I asked what words hurt her. I want to know so I can reflect and apologize or further explain. Her reply to my question was that she didn’t have the energy to get into it. So very much like my mother, there is this method they follow: do and say hurtful things. Don’t speak for weeks. Then act like nothing ever happened. I don’t operate that way. We still have not discussed anything. That’s not animosity. That’s self preservation. That’s me setting boundaries. You don’t get to hurt me and then ignore me and then act like all is fine and I’m the one with the problem. Or animosity. And you’re the bigger better person because you tried to reach out to me? No. I deserve to enforce my own boundaries. And the ironic part? My sister told her daughters I hate her. Which I can assure you I don’t. But what I find remarkable is that she didn’t tell them what she said to me, what we fought about. She left out every detail that included her anger and unkind words to me yet she stressed and stretched anything I did or said that could be used as a reason to make herself the victim. I was nearly speechless when I heard this. I made no effort to reach out to my sister because I knew it would not be resolved and I was and am protecting myself. People are afraid of her. I am one of those people, but I have boundaries now.

My kids are going to be traveling to see their father right after Christmas and staying until after the New Year. It will be my first holiday being all alone since my separation and divorce. I’m sad but am trying to see some positives here. I can focus on just me and heal my mind. The thoughts of betrayal creep in. I know they are not really betraying me. He is their father and they want him in their lives. But I struggle with hearing how sad they are that he moved so far away and that they are finally at a good place with him. I want to scream sometimes. How can they forget that he was he person who put us all here? The person who chose to move away was him. And it’s easy to be at a good place with a parent when that parent doesn’t have to parent you. Doesn’t have to deal with the daily stresses and teenage behaviors. Doesn’t have to do the shopping and cooking and cleaning and running kids all around? Yeah. They’re at a good place. Well yay them! So being alone for the New Year night not be so bad. I can work on getting to a good place, with myself.

Work is still not a “safe” place for me either. The owner is a tool. A fake. And a giant child who doesn’t like being told when he has done something wrong. Instead of an apology, he turns every situation around and places the blame that belongs to him onto someone else. He has actually said that there is zero trust between him and I. He isn’t wrong. But then he said it is UP TO ME to make any and all efforts to attempt to rebuild the trust between us. And that I am never to share anything personal with him ever again because in doing so, I opened the door for him to make an inappropriate comment about my breasts to him. He one, doesn’t have to worry about me sharing anything with him ever again and two, I hope he holds his breath waiting for ME to work on rebuilding trust between the two of us. Regardless, I keep to myself and work like a champ. I get my work done plus the work of others. I help and I am dedicated to making the place a success. I’m still looking for another job elsewhere but the pickins are slim. I’ll keep at my search because I need to find a safe place. Just one place where I can be myself.

This pattern I see, of others not wanting to accept the blame for their actions that cause hurt or where they were wrong? Of ignoring the situation for long periods of time and then suddenly reappearing as if nothing happened? Of worrying about how they appear in the public eye but not even closely matching that view in private? I wonder what role I have in this pattern? My first step in understanding this is recognizing these are the people I see. I see them. I recognize the behaviors. And I am setting boundaries. Like it or not, they can not and I will not let them in any more. I don’t care if they are family or long-time friends, work associates or bosses. You may not come in. I think that is my role. I never set boundaries before. Anywhere in my life. A long time married male friend says something sexually inappropriate to me? I try to laugh it off so I don’t embarrass them. A co-worker says the same? My reaction is the same. Family or friends hurt me? I never say much. So they keep doing it. Kids share info about their father that I don’t want to hear and that hurts me? I let them talk because I want to support them. But who supports me? This is why I HAVE to set boundaries.

This blog post is a bit all over the place, so for anyone reading it, sorry about that. I just needed to get this out of my head and down where I can see it. That always helps me feel better.

So happy holidays. I am going to do my best to be bright and merry. It’s going to be exhausting and draining but I don’t want to let this depression get the best of me and I’m hoping my newly set boundaries will help with that.

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Divorce and Narcissism

#Hats

Today I faced my issue at work with the owner who says inappropriate things to me. I was nervous and scared. But I did it. I told him how I felt. I gave examples of the times he has said things to me that are “off.” The most recent is found in my blog just before this one, but it is basically him making a comment about me and a breast reduction, in response to my news of not needing a day off for a second scheduled biopsy. His way of addressing this was cold and filled with gaslighting and deflection. He remembered that I had shared a joke made by a medical person about my breast size, as in I’m small so a breast reduction was nothing I needed to worry about. I don’t even remember the specific joke but it was told. And so his reply to his comment to me was that I “opened the door on this one. Don’t you remember?” He said this in a forceful, angered, suggestive tone. There were two other people invited to the meeting. He also admitted it was in poor taste but his main objective was to place the blame on me. One person in the meeting spoke up and disagreed. He told her she had a right to her opinion but dismissed her and said it to me again.

I vaguely recalled the joke and told him that while I did share that, that was not an open invitation for him to chime in. None of the other management team members that I shared the exact same news with made any sort of joke, not one. Only him. I told him that the way he apologized to me right after was inappropriate. He was loud and drew attention to the situation, causing other coworkers to see and hear and ask me later what that was all about.

I don’t feel any good came from meeting with him today. I was able to tell him how I felt and give him examples, but my experience with people like him show me it makes no difference. He made sure to focus on what he felt I did wrong and that he was embarrassed. He he he. He even began the meeting by stating he was embarrassed and that I was about to be embarrassed as well because I invited two others to the meeting, so he had no choice. But he was the one who said we needed the meeting and that it didn’t have to be with him alone, that I could invite someone else so I didn’t need to be alone with him. So I invited his aunt who is also part of HR, and I also invited the general manager who is a strong and respected female at the business. So he started the meeting he said we should have with the “You opened the door on this one.” If I wasn’t recovering from gaslighting and narcissistic abuse, I would have been so confused by his behavior and words. I was a little confused but it was more like “what in the actual fuck is happening and how in the actual fuck do you keep on spewing such atrocious garbage from the hole in your face and not die from choking on your words?” Yeah. That kind of confusion. I saw and heard him clearly. He is a disgusting human being.

I don’t regret telling him he was wrong. And I don’t regret facing my fears. But I was shown again that self-centered people who are fake and worry about looking good to the public are rarely good in private. I had witnesses there in the meeting and while they know what happened, if I should ever think of going anywhere else with this such as filing a complaint with the EEOC, I’m sure they wouldn’t back me up. Everyone is out for themselves. He ended the meeting by letting me know it will take HIM a long time to learn to trust ME AGAIN. And that he could see I didn’t trust him. But he wouldn’t fire me over it. He “wasn’t like that.” (I had shared that I was nervous I could lose my job over this.) He also let me know that his divorce was finalized this week and he was going through a lot so this was exceptionally difficult for him to have to deal with. Gee I’m sorry. How dare I ask him to be held accountable for his words and actions when he is having a rough time of things. It’s not like I’m waiting for a biopsy to tell me if I have cancer. Or that I haven’t been through a lot. Who hasn’t? So let’s all go make inappropriate jokes and use the “my life is hard” card to get out of jail free! Fucking idiot is what he is. An idiot in a hat.

While I want so badly to post this picture for many to see, because they’d figure out it was him, I can’t post it anywhere but here, anonymously. His other business, is based on building trust and openly and honestly communicating with respect to others, focusing on the workplace. Yep. You read that correctly. So here is my picture. Hats. He always wears these ridiculous hats. He uses #hats in all of his media posts. He wears purple hats and red hats. Ridiculous hats. So I made this picture. At least I can have a good laugh here when I see it.

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