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After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 15 – Comfort and Joy

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, the turn of the year, the winter solstice and all the holidays of the “dark” time of the year are celebrations of the miracle of renewal. The harvest and colorful leaf fall of autumn is over, and the seasons are turning again to the beginning of the annual cycle of life. Our gifts, all our gatherings, the lights and candles are all expressions of joy in our shared warmth, and our faith and hope in our survival through the cold months to the blooming of spring again.

This morning, reading in bed (Richard Powers’ Prisoners Dilemma), I found this line: “Inside each of us is a script of the greater epic writ little, an atlas of politics so abundant it threats to fill us full to breaking.”

It made me want to write you about the “politics” of getting over a relationship with a sociopath. Sociopaths challenge our faith and hope. Our faith in ourselves, and the goodness of the world. And our hope that there are happy endings for us, or that anything we do will be enough to prevail over the forces of evil or the random destruction that appears in any life. In some ways, this is the biggest challenge of healing — to recover our easy belief that we are precious in the world and that what we need is here for us. Somewhere in our hearts, we remember feeling that way. But we are struggling with a terrible lesson that seems to prove otherwise.

As I write this today, I am looking out the windows behind my desk at a grey sky. Sleet is coming and dangerous roads. The snow is frozen hard on the ground, and dozens of finches, cardinals and jays are at the feeders. At dawn, deer came to nibble on the ears of corn my son scattered at the edge of the woods. My furnace died earlier this week, on a day where the temperature never climbed above 25, and it was 12 hours before the repairmen figured out how to get it going again. Now, with the heat turned up, and me wrapped in sweaters and fleece and woolen socks, my fingers and toes are chilled by the cold that falls through the storm windows.

Elsewhere in the house, my years-old Christmas cactus is blooming beside a wildly-sprigging rosemary bush that looks vaguely like a Christmas tree. Wrinkled but still sweet apples, picked months ago from a local orchard, wait to be peeled and mixed with mincemeat for a pie. A leg of lamb is in the refrigerator for Christmas dinner with a man who was an untrustworthy lover, but a loyal and delightful friend. After dinner, we will go to the movies with my son to see Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes.

All of it stories of risk and survival, disaster and renewal, the fine edge we walk and the mysterious providence that brings us to each new day. Even the most blessed life encounters harsh weather, and sometimes we find ourselves in trouble that taxes us beyond our conventional wisdom. When our rules don’t work, and our usual insurance policies don’t suffice, we are challenged. And often, we don’t know what it means.

Does it mean that somehow we have fallen from grace, that our luck has changed and we are no longer loved by the world? Does it mean that we are broken in some fundamental way, and no longer dare to be comfortable with ourselves? Does it mean that the world is darker than we once imagined, and that we must struggle harder for less?

This is what a great philosopher called the “dark night of the soul.” In this midst of this challenge, there is something truly great happening. A kind of personal miracle that — depending on how we think about things — occurs in our intellect, emotions or spirit. When faced by something we do not understand and cannot manage with our usual tools, we are learning and growing. Like the germs of life stirring in the seeds buried in the cold earth, we are experiencing the birth of something new in ourselves.

Because the challenge is threatening, because it makes us question ourselves and what we know, the first part of the learning seems like recognition of evil in the world. Sociopaths seem to be dark messengers, informing us that our love, goodness and hope cannot triumph over their selfishness, greed and senseless destruction. But in time, we come to realize that this lesson is not really about evil at all, but despair.

This is about a war — profound and eternal — of belief. Are we, as sociopaths believe, essentially alone in an uncaring and untrustworthy world, forced by circumstance and entitled by the survival instinct to take whatever we can grab for ourselves? Or is there something about us that is blessed by connection to something larger — the love we share with other people, our dependence on the combined strength of our communities, our instinct that an infinite wisdom and strength exists beyond our imagining, larger than us, but also part of us? And that we are meant, by some birthright that we can hardly explain but that is clearly part of our deep character, to find lasting peace, understanding and gratitude.

What we ultimately learn from an intimate encounter with a sociopath is that this battle is not in the world, but in ourselves. The sociopath triggers our fears, our insecurities, our willingness to give up what we value for the illusion that the ultimate source of love or safety is outside of us. In their betrayals, in the brutal disappointments they return for our commitment to the gorgeous illusions they cast to draw us in, we are thrown back on ourselves. They prove to us, in a way that is a perfect mirror of however much we were willing to give them to make this illusion real, that the first source of our love, safety and greatest wisdom is inside of us. That, however important shared love and community may be, the foundation of everything good in our lives is inside us.

It is about what we believe. At base, under all the little rules we’ve picked up from parents and teachers, under all the little restrictions we’ve placed on ourselves as a result of old traumas, under all the lingering resentments or fears we’ve never resolved, is what we believe about ourselves and this life. It is what, under it all, we know to be the truth and the meaning of our stories.

Our lives, like the life of every other living thing, are about survival and growth and learning. Our lives are about understanding more as we age, an evolving wisdom that sometimes grows out of joy and triumph and sometimes out of pain and loss. Our lives are about trying, not waiting around for something to happen, but also believing that trying is not just us working at what we see. Trying also magically attracts new resources to us. Everyone here on LoveFraud knows how trying to get better brought us here, and here we found resources that simply zoomed toward us, challenging us in good ways to wake up to new ideas and use them. That is how the world works.

Our lives are also about seasons. Not just the season of age, but the seasons of mastery. We have little challenges to learn on a daily basis, and we have huge challenges that we inherited, and that are so much part of the fabric of our family’s history or the state of the entire world that a lifetime may not be enough to understand it all or master its opportunities. We learn the immediate things — how to change a diaper, work the e-mail, get along with a boss, drive in the snow. But our lifetimes are also about those immense inherited questions, and part of the meaning of our life is how much we do learn and how our learning affects the great whole.

Nothing, not one breath or molecule of these recoveries from grief and loss, is wasted. We are part of a great turning of seasons. What we do here is important. We are important. The world and the great spirit that gives it life force have given us a gift, an opportunity to learn something amazing. About ourselves. About the meaning of love and belonging, as well as solitary courage. About how to be whole in the face of adversity. About the great cycle of renewal in ourselves, and how truly dependable is the fact that we are meant to learn, grow, thrive, bloom again, and face new challenges as we feel strong enough for a thrilling new learning experience.

The earth is turning toward sunnier days. Seasons when we take the warmth and light for granted. So are we.

As Oxy likes to remind us, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Not just to endure. But to recover joy, confidence and belief that every bit of this is a gift, sent to us to help us clear our internal decks, get rid of fear and grief and anger, and open our minds to the bright spirit of faith and hope, peace and joy, understanding and gratitude that is our birthright, that lives in the center of our beings.

Namaste. The light in me salutes the light in you.

Kathy

Posted in: Kathleen Hawk

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199 Comments on "After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 15 – Comfort and Joy"

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Dear Kathy,

Thanks for your Christmas card! I hope your leg of lamb and mincemeat pie turn out wonderful for you!

Celebrating our joy, our peace, and living FREE is not only appropriate on holidays and special events, but a gift we can give ourselves EVERY day as a blessing.

This time of year we tend to get “sentimental” about old memories of holidays past, and sometimes I think the media make us think that somehow our quiet celebrations don’t meaure up to the “Great Holidays” we see on commercials to temp us to buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to make our family and ourselves “happy” with the purchase.

In reality, it isn’t what we buy for ourselves or others, or what kind of feast we have that makes us “happy” but a sense that we are complete within oursleves. Whole within ourselves. That is what gives us joy and peace and contentment.

The Bible says (paraphrased) that a CRUST OF BREAD eaten in peace is worth more than a FEAST eaten with discontent and discord. That is so true. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves what is truly worthwhile, what is truly good, and realize that no “bought” gift can give us peace, we can only give that to ourselves out of a self caring and self loving heart!

Thank you for all your contributions to the wonderful family here at LF and for sharing your heart and thoughts with the rest of us. Happy holidays and a great P-FREE new year to you and yours! (((hugs))) and my prayers for us all.

While I have UN-enjoyed the “white christmas” we got frm Mother nature along with floods and high winds, the day itself (inside a comfy warm home looking outside, not being outside LOL) It has been a wonderful, peaceful and comforting day spent in peaceful, mundane and relaxing things, visiting with good friends on the telephone and by e-mail as far away as a dear friend in singapore, and of course the good friends here at LF who are scattered all over both hemispheres and from east to west!

I must admit I would like to visit Gem in her sun-dreanched land of Oz for a few days! LOL

Happy holidays to everyone, no matter how you celebrate!

Kathleen:
Thank you for your beautiful way of writing.
Your light has guided me more than you know!!!
Merry Christmas to you.
XXOO
EB

Thank you, Kathy, for this beutiful Christmas card. And thank you for being a light amidst the darkness…and guiding so many towards the light for a brighter tomorrow.

Happy Holiday wishes to each and every one here at LF and thank you for the gifts of friendship, kindness, support and wisdom that have been given so generously through the year.

HP

Yes thank you for the beautiful well written Christmas card. I would like to wish everyone reading happy holidays and love and all that stuff. My Christmas wish is that all of you can find your way back to the place you were before you were wounded, or like Kathy points to a better place afterwards filled with the knowledge that you are all the better now for withstanding your personal “dark night of the soul”. Prayer does help as I can attest that God has brought me through more troubles enough to make Samson look like an easy case. And it continues… I always wondered reading about Samson- man that guy never learns, but isn’t that what being human is all about? And that is why we needed the rest of the story, Jesus. And I guess reading Bible stories might help put in perspective what some others went through- Jonah couldn’t email from the belly of the whale… I also have been reading and watching the story of Ernest Shackleton- not in the Bible who along with his crew made it through almost 3 years in the Antarctic facing certain disaster time and time again. We had one day of snow and ice here, and I thought the end was approaching. Sorry so long.

Kathy – Thank you. That was beautiful.

Dear Kathy, thank you so much for the Christmas card and the kindness and your wisdom you very generously share with all of us. I need in times of bad weather and turmoil a lighthouse that horns through the fog, to keep me away from danger and helps me to the right direction, to not despair and to show me the way through it I have to find for myself. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your posts which mean so much to me.

To all the LF-readers I wish merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Hi, everyone!
This is Gem calling you, from “Down under”, the beautiful land of Oz. It has been SO hot,{over 38 deg.C,} and over 90 % humidity, but yesterday, Xmas day, it rained,and it was a benison and a blessing.Raining today as well,{Boxing day.} Our wonderful new “kids” from Iran arrived, we had a lovely lunch, all prepared by me. First, we had seafood starters, scallops in a cream and mushroom sauce, with tarragon. Delicious! Then breast of turkey, already stuffed with cranberry sage and onion. Much more suitable than awhole bird that wed still be eating in a weeks time. With it, roast potatoes, red cabbage cooked with oranges, cinnamon ,clove, nutmeg and butter. It was YUM!Plusa small ham with orange and cranberry glaze.
Then individual mini pavlovas,[store bought but v. nice, with fresh berries, { strawberies and blueberries,} and cream.Then good coffee. Wish I could have invited all you guys! You were all with me in thought. We had such a fun day, Abbas took lots of pics,-I wish I could send some to you!
They stayed overnight, as they have a long way to drive home to their tiny rented flat. Its quite noisy where they live, so they really appreciated having a good rest and good sleep!
We watched 3 fun DVDs, _”Charlottes Web,” do any of you know it? My daughter loved the book by TE White when she was a litle non spath girl. Also watched “Babe, about a pig who wanted to be “sheep pig,” and not end up as bacon, and “Ratatouille”, a new one, {very funny,} about a rat with a passion to be a great french chef.They left today , loaded down with frozen dinners, presents, goodwill, they were so happy and WE were so happy to have them stay over.
Here is Royas card to me,
On the envelope it said,
Merry Christmas to best Mum and dad in allover the world!
Roya and Abbas,X
Inside this is what Roya wrote,
” May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow. Wish you lots of love, joy, and happiness.
May this Christmas be so special that you never ever feel lonely again, and be surrounded by loved ones throughout!
“Merry Xmas,
From your Children
Roya and Abbas. We love you very much. 25th Dec.,2009.
My heart is full. My daughters didnt ring, neither did my Grandkids, but it didnt matter. My cup truly runneth over!
Hope you all either enjoyed or survived xmas, anda very happy, and spath free new year to all my wonderfil LF friends!
Kathy, Oxy, Eb,and all of you you are all AWESOME. We are all getting there. Love, {{HUGS}}!! Gem.XXX

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hi Gem
I was thinking about pavlova just the other day. I used to cook professionally; I loved making pavlova. They are simple, beautiful, impressive and yummy. I really miss cooking pro. Can’t do it anymore due to injuring my hands.

Sounds like a lovely loving day. My gram has new ‘grandkids’ too – two young folk from Africa who were conducting some surveys on aging that she participated in. They stuck with her all the time they were in college in her city. It was a very rewarding relationship all the way around.

You just never know where you will find real love and affection.

all best,
one step

I feel a bit crazy today…lots of thinking about relationships..
In astrology.. both mars and mercury are retrograding… and that means.. lots of reflection back.. and whether you have an interest in all this .. I think that there is something to it…so I am going into it to clean stuff out of my memory in understanding…and recognition..

So if you find yourself going over things.. this might be why..

Geminigirl,
Hi girlfriend…I am so happy to hear that your holiday was so happy! You deserve that.
I love that movie, Babe with the pig. I actually miss watching those kind of movies. Me and my son used to watch them all the time when he was younger. One of my all time favorites is Lion King. About the circle of life.
Your dinner sounded delsh…..
Tell me what is boxing day?

Best wishes to you in the new year…XXXX

Thanks Witty! I hope that your Xmas was happy, under the circumstances you are in right now. All the best to you too, for the New year! May you havea spath -free one!
Boxing day is an old english custom, it was traditionally the only day of the year when the maidservants got to leave the stately homes they worked such long hours in as maids. They went home to their Mothers and their Mums sent them back with boxes of food, new clothes, etc. Also theLord and Lady of the manor gave the servants nice gifts then, and nice food.I didnt realise Boxing day isnt celebrated in the U.S.!
Have you seen the movie “Ratatouille” about a rat who longs to bea great french chef? Roya brought it over, its so funny!
I love “Charlotte Web”too. About a pig and the spider, Charlotte, who saved the life of Wilbur, the baby pig.
Lots of Love, and you are in my thoughts dear Witty,
Gem.{{HUGS!}}} XXX

Kathy

You write in a way that really speaks of my experience. It’s profound. I am stuck somewhere around the middle part where you say:

This is what a great philosopher called the “dark night of the soul.” In this midst of this challenge, there is something truly great happening. A kind of personal miracle that ”“ depending on how we think about things ”“ occurs in our intellect, emotions or spirit. When faced by something we do not understand and cannot manage with our usual tools, we are learning and growing. Like the germs of life stirring in the seeds buried in the cold earth, we are experiencing the birth of something new in ourselves.

Here is where I reside at the moment. Dark night of the soul. In a void. weighing up the light and dark and feeling like the light shines especially bright near the blackest parts.

something continues to change even though I am alone again with my cats after a really beautiful Christmas where I sat with family and trusted my every instinct and kept talking, saying what I felt and thought, bringing up topics and blending in and listening. Hey it was great!

So I downloaded some Itunes and i’m laughing at my choice!!! very out of character for me….Lady Ga Ga’s BAD ROMANCE (she even mentions psycho in it, but you know she is on top of it…what a powerful song) followed by Disco stick, and then Fergie’s London Bridge….ha ha I was dancing off the turkey pounds to the sound of female sexuality and how powerful that is (don’t know why) Ended with Fergie’s big girls don’t cry

it’s the way Hugh Heffner looks really kind of sad surrounded by pink platinum blondes…they are denigrated in one way the way he has reduced them to lap dog status but you can feel the last laugh is on him as these women get rich and powerful exploiting back on him with an edge. These are my thoughts for the New Year….germs of life stirring…yes yes!

Thanks Kathy

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hey staying sane –
might want to add EB’s new anthem, which i listened to last night for the first time:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpZm1TstpjQ

I have been fantasizing about doing a ‘sock puppet show’ for youtube – thought this would be a good ‘out tro’ song.

and if you look to the right – you’ll see me sitting in the void, too.

Just a quick one – thanks Kathleen – that is good inspiration for today:) Another quote that calls to mind is “the darkest hour is just before the dawn” – very true – may this horrible experience be our true awakening to lives of gold .

Love the anthem EB! This has been my f**** you anthem …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McdqerXrwXE

It’s very apt – no more poison killing my emotions – I will not be frozen.

Happy holidays to all my LF friends – I wish I could have hosted you all as well:)

This article is so wonderful. I am finding that while Iwas with the S, I wasn’t living in reality. They have a way of distorting it to keep you snowed and in their control. There’s something so cleverly conning about these people. I am finding out that my reality is just wonderful now.

style1 – against all logic, I ,too, have found “something to it” with regard to astrology. Thanks for sharing… I have misplaced my book and didn’t realize both were retrograde. There is a second full moon at New Year’s as well. 🙂
HP

one/joy_step_at_a_time

well, goodie, just what i need, to be more freakin nuts!

Staying Sane, ITA — One step’s reccomendation of EB’s theme song always hits the right note when needed! 🙂
HP

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hecates path – ahh, I learned somehting new tonight – ITA!

Thanks one step & EB

I enjoyed the song very much. One step it’s heartening to know you are in this void somewhere to the right. Will we ever get out of here?

pollyannanomore
Yay great anthem. I will Not be Broken (limp limp)

Hecates path
what’s ITA? EB’s theme song is great. Kind of bored yawn response to evil! lol

lol Stayingsane … I am kind of limping along at the moment – it’s that time of the year for reflection and looking back and forward and I just seem to be filled with sighs and sadness tonight 🙁 Why are they so damned hard to get over???

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Staying Sane:
A friend sent me a new link for a lily allen song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WxDrVUrSvI&NR=1

yes, we will get out of the void. and hey polyannanomore – lots of room over here in the void with SS and me. a burden shared is a burden halved. a joy shared is a joy doubled.

ITA – i totally agree – had to google it last night. I love google. Google has helped me keep my sanity in this last while.

Kathy, no apologies! i read every word and hungered for more… really. At the risk of sounding repetitious, your words are amazing and thoughtprovoking. I continue to appreciate the “theoretical” and real world wisdom you so willingly share here. At times, I get frustrated with my progress, triggers, residual pain… and today your words served as a much needed reminder that while I have miles to go I have indeed come far in this journey, in this processing, and in my acknowledgement of the darkness in order to find the light. My words are nowhere near as clear and eloquent as yours but hopefully this makes sense… and hopefully my appreciation for you, your experience and wisdom is also evident. I needed this today and an so glad that I am off work and able to partake in some LF therapy.

Kathy’s words and insight reminded me of this quote:

“Though my soul may set in darkness,
It will rise in perfect light,
I have loved the stars too fondly
To be fearful of the night.”
– Sarah Williams

I’m starting to put together more pieces……
About my ‘parents’…..
Looking back over the past 10 years or so…..I see that I have been asked if there is something I need or want.
When I respond…..I get the opposite…..
The S did this too…..ALL THE TIME.
I guess because I chose to build a ‘life’ with this fraud, he had more ‘stock’ in me than my parents.
If he knew my birthday was important for me…..he’d ignore it…..or bring something trinkety a few days later…..saying he got it on sale…..with some sort of pride that he was ‘doing me a favor’….
Well…..it’s clear it’s the same as with the parents…..
About 6 years ago…..they were visiting and I was in the recliner with the afgan she had knitted years earlier…..it had a big hole in it and she asked why…..I told her because I like it to cover my feet and it has stretched over time and holes developed……she said it was awful I had such a holey blanket and she would knit me what I wanted…..she asked wat color I would like and I told her…..
I said, well if you do, here’s what I’d like…..I’d like it to cover my feet and a hole in the center, like a poncho so it’s long enougn to cover all of me…..my feet, arms, back and all….
We talked about it for some time and she fully understood what I was seeking…..
Fast forward, six years……she calls last week to tell me I should be getting a box in the mail, it was a long time coming and I would know what it was…..I figured…..the poncho afgan thing…… She also made comments abuot not having heat upstairs and this would keep me warm….blah, blah….

So…..at the risk of sounding like an ungrateful bitch……here goes…..
Christmas am….I opened the box…..
It’s a lap blanket……it’s much smaller than the old holed up one and no poncho style….it doesn’t cover a 1/4 of me……
WTF????
Oh, yeah…and with the extra wool….I have a matching scarf to keep the upper part of me warm as I sit in the cold upstairs….(i’m sure slippers are en route next).

I had the same feeling come over me……as I had for years with the S.
I DONT NEED A OVERSIZED SHAWL…..She asked me what I wanted……dumb me thought this is what I would receive…..

I don’t even know how to describe it…….it’s kinda like the crazy making behaviors…..it’s NOT like I can complain to her…..she’d pull the ungrateful card… Oh, how you don’t appreciate my efforts….etc…
To me….it’s just another example and brings up all the times she’s done the same fucking thing to me……
like going 1/2 way……

It’s like me saying how I’d really appreciate a scarf in this cold weather and really needing one……and getting tube sox.
Be thankful?????

I know it’s the thought that counts in a gift……and the thought I see in her doing this is another selfish malicious mind fuck.

It leads into so many other things…triggers…..
Like last week during this phone call she made to alert me of my package……she also made a comment on how THEY choose to spend their money on themselves…..traveling…..
Where the hell did that come from…..
Yes, we sit here trying to modify the mtg…..need to save money by not turning on the heat upstairs……and they are
unsolicited….i may say…..REMINDING me of HOW they choose to spend their money?????

She also, finally disclosed my father is ‘unwell’…..my only response I could muster up was……..”OH, SUCH AS LIFE”…..
This is the statement she has made to me over and over and over and over……so I back at’d her with it……

Looking back at how they responded with such envy when we purchased this house……my fathers response when he was being showed the home was……’wheres the money laundering room’……. I was pissed off…..I had worked my ASS off, finding my own career, saved like hell……and this is the ‘hey I’m proud of you kiddo……response from my father……

I now see……they are jelouse of me…..(WIERD) and when I am experienceing hardships……they couldn’t be happier……
Let’s never help EB……let’s keep her ‘off balance’……..let’s try and make her dependant on us…….
FUCK YOU…..i’d rather live under a bridge…..with my lap blanket shawl ugly colored thing with matching scarf!!!!!

I have never asked my parents for anything…..they loaned me 8K on my first house AND THEY PUT A SECOND ON THE HOUSE TO SECURE THE LOAN……
Reading this, it would seem as I had a track record of borrowing money and asking them for things…..NOT SO…..that 8K was the only money I borrowed AND I PAID IT BACK IN a year and a half!!!! Doubled up on payments etc….
They have given my molester brother tons of money over the years…..supported him, stored shit for him, paid his monthly bills and CONTINUE to babysit him…..I have always been independant and they HATE THIS!!!!
As a parent, this makes no sense to me……I want my kids to do much better than me……make more money, marry the perfect partner for them, have more happiness and take life by the balls…….I just can’t imagine wanting/wishing ill for my children……either consciously or subconsciously…….
I will be proud of them for THEIR achievements…..

Not so with my parents……
So…..I sit here wondering wht the hell to do with this damn scarf and lap throw……maybe I can use it as a sling to carry in the firewood thats’ really gonna keep me warm!!!!

Sorry……just a rant!

EB,

I SO get your rant. And though most of my own stories don’t trigger my ire or hurt in the telling, I am still working on the damage, to my beliefs, left in their wake. But here is a little taste of my momster……

Years ago I received a package from my mother, for my birthday. On top was a cute pair of undies, with the price tag on. Went to look at the undies underneath, and they were all clean (and washed), USED undies. And she has oodles of money. This was my birthday present, after not speaking to her for 5 years. A wierd narcissistic ‘invitation’ to reconnect with a poison arrow thrown in for punishment.

When I divorced 5 years ago my mother’s supporting line was the classic “Well now you don’t have a pot to piss in, or a window to throw it out!”. Then when I bought my apartment, she walked in, looked at the 700sq feet, and exclaimed “I guess your father and I won’t be sleeping here when we visit”. No “I’m so proud of you….you earn your own way in the world…..you have really turned this situation around…..how happy you must be to own your first place….”

I get that my mother has her own unacknowledged/unhealed narcissistic wounds. That she could not give to me what she is still needing (mirroring, ‘cherishment’, affirmation, encouragement, and acceptance). I have learned, recently, that her mother was a bonefide n/p, that she knew her, probably p, husband was having sex with one of her four daughters, and had molested many of us grand daughters. My stepfather tells me that she was really horrible to my mom, and belittled her for nearly everything. And my mother visited her EVERY day, trying to win her over. She bought her nice things, and my grandmother trashtalked my mom till the end.

It can be a cycle of deprivation that goes on forever, until we wake up. Kathleen points out, so well, how our experiences with the n/p’s do have the effect of us WANTING to wake up, allowing for a disruption in the cycle of wrong-headed, and self-abusing beliefs.

So glad you are awake- loving and encouraging your children! And I like the idea of using the lap throw as a wood-sling. Perfect.

Goodwill is also a good way of recycling those ‘nasty gifts’, and sorta changing the energy around them to that of the true spirit of giving.

One Step and SS – the void is a good description of what this ennui is. I write endlessly without saying anything – am in turns angry, sad, hopeless, hopeful and empty. It’s a strange place to be. I no longer get the intense pain from hoping he can be different and being punched in the gut each time evidence emerges that he can’t be – that was truly awful.

But now my worry is I can’t move beyond this yet – it’s taking such a long time. I think to myself ‘you’ve broken up with him – long time ago so why is it so significant to find out he is a raging P? Why does that make the difference now? And why can’t you just forget it and move on like a normal breakup?’

My mind answers ‘because you have to now review everything in light of a crucial piece of evidence that was missing at the time – it’s like re-opening a murder case years later when the final piece of the puzzle has been found’

I feel almost as though I am meant to review everything, but the problem is when I try to look back I am struck with a blur most of the time. I can’t remember. It’s scary how much is forgotten or repressed. I get an incident coming up every now and then and write it down to understand it, but can’t remember the everyday interactions or the arguments. I know there were lots of them, but I don’t recall them. It’s almost like the years were a mist that I drifted through with no conscious awareness.

EB I can relate to not getting what you ask for from parents.

As an adult, I am looking for what that small incident taught me and how it fed into the later P relationship. It taught me that my wishes don’t count, my voice isn’t heard and my desires don’t matter. It also taught me there is no point in speaking up as people will inevitably disappoint you in one way or another. And to be grateful for whatever crumbs are thrown your way. It taught me that others know better than me what I want and to shut up when I don’t get what I want.

I feel angry to see how denied my personhood was back then and still is today. Such a simple interaction started setting me up for the horror of the relationship with the P by encouraging me to denigrate my own personhood and put the feelings and wishes of others before my own. And there were thousands of those interactions throughout my childhood to reinforce the message that my voice doesn’t count – others do – any others but just not me.

I see how this plunge to the bottom in the relationship with the P was strongly correlated to the abuse perpetrated against me during childhood. I had no rights to any opinion, no right to express any other emotion than happiness and was to be seen and not heard. And who is there for me when I need that nurturance? nobody. My pain is denied ‘oh you’re exaggerating – it can’t have been that bad’ ‘Is this your new obsession that he has a personality disorder? Last year you thought he was just depressed’ ‘Cheer up – you’re always looking miserable these days.’It’s about time you were moving on – he’s gone now so you can stop going on about him’

None of these understandings help me to FEEL any better though. I see the links clearly and understand how I was essentially groomed for being in an abusive relationship by virtue of my upbringing, but knowing these things and understanding them at a deep level doesn’t help me feel better about what happened. I still feel a fool. I still feel mad he took so many years from me and has no remorse about any of it. I still feel sad that the facade had to end.

SO perhaps this is the void -= maybe the void is a waiting place while all these individual understandings mesh up to create a solid history we can relate to and move on with. I don’t know but I sure hope to graduate from here soon! After the hellish pain of the relationship, I didn’t expect any more pain on ending it and am finding it difficult to cope with due to my fragility at the moment. I so wish I had never met him. But I’m trying to look at it as a learning gift that forces me to examine the past in my childhood and put all the pieces together.

Please have a good day everyone!

So….what your saying….is when i visit the shelters looking for a new puppy…..I should curve my expectations of the puppy being able to sing opera? How about Classical….is that lowering my expectation sufficiently?
🙂

What you say is….as always….so right on…..
I have asked myself, why I bother….why I can’t just say to them DO NOT CALL ME, or at least not answer the phone when she calls…..I think it’s because I want any and all info on if/when the S contacts them….even the tidbits they throw at me…..a month later….

The only thing I want from them, I CAN”T HAVE. A ‘normal’ relationship….the fantasy of what I thought I had with them……visits, shopping, meals, holidays blah, blah…..I wanted them to be good gparents to the kids….but they are NOT.
They could care less…..they thrive on the negative and I think they just set us all up to talk about the negative…..and perpetuate it…..
My mother is the kind of woman to volunteer for whatever…..and at home bitch about it relentlessly….but when volunteering she’s the belle of the ball…..she’s FAKE.
But, I do know…..I can’t have what I want, I will never get what I need from them and the whole relationship is dead…..
Part of me wishes for them to be dead, so I can have a nice relationship openly with my aunt and cousins without everyone keeping ‘secrets’ or being drilled from my mother about why they see us, why tey invite us to dinner, what did she give YOU for christmas,mothers day, birthday….etc…..
It’s a family deal….and I have a better relationship of acceptance from my aunt (her twin). And my mother HATES THIS!!!

I feel a similar betrayal as I did with the S…..and I knew this would ooozzzee out of me, and I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle it head on….emotionally…..I’d like some peace in 2010….but….dealing with it would offer me peace…..

I’ve always been the ‘shocking’ one in the family of ‘nice lies’, it’s what Ive been dealing with my whole life…..I raise the ruckus…..I allow the neighbors to see we are not perfect as portrayed, I tell others about being molested by their golden child……I beat to my own drum……I am not the nice lie….like them……
SO I have lived my life with punishment……getting the friggen baby blankets and ugly scarfs……
OMG….I just remembered, when I was first pregers…..I needed a crib…..I GOT A DRILL!!!!!!!
ANother example!
ANyways…..I really don’t want to play the game….I knew this all along and the only way I can exit the game is to exit…..
My reserve is my kids….I feel I have to keep some sort of ‘opening’ there because they will attack my kids…..and how can my kids swallow the pill that their GP’s are the same cloth as their father……in different ways…..
They see the behaviors of their father…..clear as day.
And they see and have pulled away from GP’s to some extent….but still have contact…..
Mother drills them about me and i have requested them to say nothing about me or my life to GP’s….
I see Gp’s doing the ‘splitting’ thing with the kids…..kids don’t always tell me when they have spoken to Gp’s…..
I don’t know…..
I can’t control any of it…..I DO KNOW THIS>
And I can’t change any of it…….

Thanks for your input Kathy, it means so much….
in the meantime….I keep writing and writing……

I need to find a prego friend in need of a warm blanket…..
ANY TAKERS? I can throw in cookbooks for free too!
The only expectation is a thank you note to mother.
🙂

Erin Brock..
Oh wow!… Reading your post made me want to cry.. it carried such emotion…

FYI.. I am the independant on in my family.. my parents were hardest on me.. not that they didn’t help me when I needed it. But I watched them spoil the others and give give give.. and I was beat the hell up for anything that I needed.. or any mistake.. as time went on… I realized that I was the lucky one…

And I came to an understanding…

My Dad whom I thought thought I was some failure since he seemed to be so hard on me…
was telling people and it got back to me. that I was his independant one.. that I was the only one that lived away from the family .. that I am a talented this and that.. that I always tell him the truth and I am always right.. that I am the apple of his eye..

then one night in a soulful talk.. he told me that there were times, that he wished that I was the only one that he had.. because I was the brightess, the most beautiful and the best…

I just stared at him in disbelief.. I had thought that I was a bitter disppointment to him in some way.. that I had let him down and was therefore banished and criticised to death..

then I felt sorry for my siblings hearing him say this to me..
one of my sisters told me when she got her doctorate that it didn’t matter what she did because Dad would always love you more…

I felt like the worst when my Dad thinks very hightly of me..
and my sisters treated me badly at times because they could feel that he thought I was special…

I watched them get things that I had to fight for.. I felt like I paid with my soul when I needed help.. one of my sisters’ children squandered an amount of money of my father’s that I will not state because it is an unbelievable amount and he seemed to skate by.. and I think had I done that my father would’ve disowned me.. as I was raked over the coals for doing so much less… every little infraction it seemed that I got anniliated…

BUT now.. I see… I was given a gift..the gift of character.. the gift of hoaning my character and I am glad and I stand proud….

I hope my writing this means something to you..

“I need to find a prego friend in need of a warm blanket….ANY TAKERS?”

🙂

Thanks Polly, Slim and Style for your response and sharing your parental stories…..
I feel like I am ‘starting over’, fresh scabs being peeled back…..the knowledge of my parents……it’s not a shock and it’s not a secret to me…..i just haven’t dealt with it like I should….head on…..
I have obviously been ‘grieving’ the loss of the parental relationship from the minute I was admitted to the hospital….actually a few years earlier, they did some crap when i moved the S’s grandmother in a retirement home….they pulled the wierdest things, the whole family was shocked by thier treatment of me…..then it got worse….a few years later upon hospitalization….and they abandoned me and called the S to ‘come save the day’….you must be with your wife…..she’s dying…..
It started the whole unraveling mess of me being held ‘hostage’ by the S during my illness….and I’m sure, extended my recovery for several years with the stress of his crap.
This blew open the whole bag of who i ‘counted’ on as ‘family’….and BOY was I wrong…..
I educated myself about the ex……and recognized behaviors from the parents…..but I could only do so much to keep from jumping into the grand canyon and being done with it all…..AND I WASN”T GOING TO DO THAT……so the parental issue got set ‘aside’…..it wasn’t ‘in my face’, The Ex was…..and my health was……
I just had too much on my plate….Now, I got my health, and divorce…..and I guess it’s time to address the reality of the parental crapola.
Maybe it’s easier…..because I know what I know…..I have researched toxic persons and know they are toxic…..
But, I maybe have to start with the grief of the loss of the fantasy of what I wanted my parents to be.
It will be easier as the kids grow and fly on their own…..

I know at this point there is nothing my mother could do that i would be happy about….I have become so critical of her that I pick her apart…..
I did this with the S.
Maybe it’s my way of placing a distance between us…..confirming the behaviors….by concentrating on them…..
But, at this point I see nothing good in my parents….
My fathers brother was a total dickwad….I mean TOTAL WAD!!!
I used to tell my father……if you turn out to be as bitter and nasty and argumentative as him…..you will run off your family….
AND HERE HE IS.
The dickwad brother died a few years ago….alone….no one knew he was dead for days…..because he was so unpleasant to be around, no one checked in on him…..
It was the cleaning lady who found him…..and there was only 5 people at his memorial…..and no one knew what to say….so no one spoke…..
my brother said it was so weird, he has never been to anything like that, awkward.

I found these gloves in a thrift store on Saturday….they were stupid looking….gloves with reindeer antlers sticking out from them……WTF???
I thought, who would buy those, and for what purpose???
Then I thought…..hey, i should get those for mother……maybe a birthday gift???
Give it right back at her…..call her, tell her a box is on it’s way and I’m so excited…..give me a call when you open it….I just know your’lll like it…..i thought of you immediately.
You know what….she’d just call me and tell me how much she liked them and always wanted something like that.

That would not be teaching her what I want from her though….so disregard.

Used undies……NICE!!! I do think it’s about the ‘packaging’….put the nice bow on top with the pretty paper….get you excited that you have contact after 5 years and are sharing gifts…..gee, warm fuzzy ……then the package is opened….and kaboom…..used panties!!!

Polly, Denied pain, denied emotions, denied feelings….yeah….it’s the validation we are after….i guess the answer to that is the validation can only come from within.

“maybe the void is a waiting place while all these individual understandings mesh up to create a solid history we can relate to and move on with.”

This is what I call putting the puzzle pieces together……i think your on to something with this statement!! For sure.
Graduation day in NOT only in June……

Slim:
Perception…..it’s the inner dilema between reality and fantasy….
It’s like the popular cheerleader…..everyone thinks she has it all together and happy as pie……
she has, what other teens want….on the outside…..but in reality, she is jsut as miserable being a teen as they are…..just different experiences…..
Everyone wants straight hair when they have curly, everyone wants to be tall when short….
We just need to validate ourselves…..
Character is important, awareness of ‘who’ you are and ‘who’ you’d like to be is important…..
Thanks for writing and sharing!!!!
Every stroke means something to me!
Thanks guys!
XXOO
EB

Rosa:
Now I dont want you and Oxy to fight over the blanket?
I also have a scarf, just as hideious!

Did someone say Prego Friend?? 🙂

Erin, your timing could not be more perfect!!
My 30th birthday is only a few months away! 🙂 🙂

I’m sticking with the 29-year-old pregnant woman scenario until the end of the year (only 3 more days).

~Tiny blankets must be en vogue this season. I also recieved a “beautiful” blanket for Christmas from my cousin.
She followed up with an e-mail that read, “If you don’t like it, give it to the Humane Society.”
The blanket would actually be nice, if I were 2 feet shorter than what I am. My cousin is getting up there in years.
Enough said.
God bless her. Her intentions were good.

Always had a knack with the timing thing…..

How bout if we trade….at least yours was made with good intentions….
and at least she authorized you to pass it along….

On second thought…..
I may keep it, we may get a puppy to brighten our days……(of course, Kathleen highly recommended an opera signing one….) so the pups may need to keep her vocal cords warm in my freezing house.
GREAT IDEA!!!!

FIGHT? FIGHT?

Who wants to fight for it? Put yer dukes up, bare knuckles, no gloves, eye gouging, ear biting, bare knuckled blood bath and the LOSER HAS TO TAKE THE BLANKET!!!!

ROTFLMAO

OXY….you provide me the BEST VISUALS…….
🙂

You crack me up!!!
Thanks for the laugh!
**don’t forget the scarf….that has to go too!

“This may sound like total nonsense (because it is), but I felt responsible for him”.

…doesn’t sound like nonsense to me…been there! They are really great manipulators: they control us so well that they make us believe we are the ones in control!

I can’t tell you how hard I am laughing now Kathleen…..
I’m in tears…….
The beauty of posting…..
Ya just never know who your posting over!
At any rate….I did…AS ALWAYS…appreciate and enjoy your post….even though at the time I did have my mind on what opera I prefered my puppy of choice to be singing…..
I love you!!!!

Okay, if I have to fight someone to keep from taking the stinking ugly scarf I am PREPARED TO DIE FOR MY RIGHT NOT TO HAVE IT! I will go down fighting to the death–well, either that or a HANG NAIL, one or the other, whichever comes first! LOL

Glad you got a laugh, guys! I’m doing more and more of that lately, laughing, that is!

Even with the anxiety about the parole board and so on, my son C and I have been poppinig back and forth with the WISE CRACKS since a couple of days before Christmas, and son D is only about an hour away from coming back home, had to detour through Oklahoma City to avoid the icy roads and contrustion AND icy roads through Tulsa, more bad weather on the way tomorrow night so may be in for it again, even NY Eve supposed to be bad weather, so DRUNKS playing BUMPER CARS on ICY ROADS ON NY’S EVE, sounds like a good time to STAY HOME and celebrate with you guys!

Gotta go now, the books I ordered myself for my birthday got here today and I’m gonna go read MaryJo’s book, can’t wait! Have a good night guys!

ROTFLMAO………..STOP. STOP….i’m going to pee the pants..

I’ve been listening to phantom of the opera music in my car this week….driving home about an hours ride….I noticed the toxic – sociopathic words in the music that I have loved for so long…..
I remember one time after the S came home (from what I now assume was a ‘titty’ bar, out all night) He was supposed to be home for something importiant and ‘blew’ it off….I was so pissed in the morning…..I mean PISSED OFF!
The kids were little and we went upstairs and I showed them my ‘new’ CD…..I ROCKED IT …..window shaking loud…..and sang at the top of my lungs as the kids danced….like stomped on the floor……right above the bedroom.
All to the phantom……boom, boom, boom ,boom, boom……
As the asshole went to bed…..We took a break…..made sure he was just falling off to the deeep sleep you get to when you’ve been up all night…..and had a oncore…..but added pots and pans to the mix……We had a ball……and the kids just thoguht we were having fun…..Oh, we were, we were!!!!

So….has anyone listened to the words like masquerade and phantom……

Ok you guys are cracking me up with the fighting over the blanket and scarf thing. Thanks for putting a smile on my face today. I could really use some laughter.
Today has been kind of a downer for me. My sister has been here for the last 2 months visiting from England and we’ve always been very close. We’ve always been best friends. She credits me with finishing raising her. (Both of my parents checked out when she was in high school due to their marital problems, so I took over) She’s a brilliant young woman. Beautiful, smart, funny, life of the party. She has recently moved to England because she’s engaged to an English guy and has decided to go to grad school there. I am very proud of her for accomplishing so much at 24. But I never imagined my sister and I living so far away, so that bums me out. She’s the only sibling I have. But she left today, and over this last weekend, she really, REALLY made me think twice about out relationship. Maybe we’re not as close as I thought? And this makes me very sad.
She really hasn’t been very supportive with the break up of my ex S. She was along for a lot of the ride. My ex and her became pretty close too. So she knows all the details and once things went to shit, she could only tell me to move on. Besides that, her support was lacking. In fact, we were at a restuarant last week and I tried to talk to her about it, and once again she rolled her eyes and in her bitchy tone told me, “I’m not talking about this with you. You need to get over it and I can’t believe you’re still so hung up.” So I lost it in the restuarant and cried and told her how unsupportive I thought she was. She didn’t really have any response. Here I’m pouring my guts out in a restaurant, looking like a crazy woman and she sat there….cold.
Then this past weekend, her and MY best friend wanted to go out dancing. Well, it happened to be the place where I met my ex and I told them I wasn’t comfortable going there. Too many memories and I knew I wouldn’t enjoy myself. And I didn’t want to see his friends, and god for bid if he showed up there. Told them I would be up for anything else though!! Well, they got on the phone with each other and because this particular place was free vodka all night they decided that they didn’t give a shit if I went or not, didn’t even try and come up with somewhere else to go so I could be comfortable, and went! I was SHOCKED to say the least. I have never felt so left out in my life. I now am lower on the totem poll than a free night of vodka. WOW! Here it’s my sister’s last weekend here and I probably won’t see her for at least 6 months and going out to some fucking club serving free vokda is more important than spending some time somehwere else with your only sister.
So they crawled in the next day and I completely ignored them. They could tell I wasn’t happy. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife. So my friend left. My sister then, with attitutde, says, “Are you mad at ME for some reason??” So I explained to her how I felt, and she rolled her eyes and didn’t see anything wrong with her choice. Told me that that’s what SHE wanted to do. And it’s not her problem that I’m so insecure that I can’t go places because they are going to remind me of my ex. GASP. This was clearly not the response I thought I was going to get. Not from my little sister that I’ve supported 110% through EVERYTHING!! Not my little sister that I thought I was so close to. So the last 24 hours of her visit here were awful. I didn’t speak a word to her. And she said to me earlier..”so this is how you’re going to be my last day here?” Like I owe it to her to bend over backwards and be nice. HA! I didn’t even get off the couch to say goodbye to her today.
So now I feel guilty. I’m the older sister. I should set the example. But today I just feel like, F her! She didn’t give a shit about my feelings over the weekend. And if I meant that much to her then a night of free vodka wouldn’t have swayed her decision. It just makes me really sad. I feel like I’ve already lost my little sister to some guy in England and now even when she’s here, I don’t feel like I’m important. It’s the same feeling I got with my ex. I’ve never considered my sister to have any bad traits, but since she’s been engaged and living in England with her privilaged life, now I feel like I’m of no use to her anymore. Well, I am if she needs a ride to and from the airport. So this past weekend has been sort of eye opening as far as my relationship with my sister goes.
I don’t know how to feel really. I don’t know if I’m just being oversensitive or I’m realizing that my sister has changed. Sigh. Not a good feeling. And on top of that, one of my cats ran away. Actually it’s my sister’s cat, but she’s mine too since I’ve had her here for 8 years. She’s been missing for two weeks. I’ve put up signs, looked at shelters, looked around all the surroundings neighborhoods….Nothing. So today is filled with loss for me. I’m ok, just trying to stay strong. Trying to figure out my feelings. Just needed to vent I guess.
I LOVE being able to come here and sort out my thoughts. And I’m so THANKFUL for all of you here. Thankful for your stories, support and advice. And thank you for making me laugh today! I needed it! HUGS to everyone!

Amber:
I think, until they are in ‘need’ (our support system), people in general do NOT live up to our expectations of support.
The rolled eye thing must be infuriating for you……as my mothers “such as life’ comments…..
It is a lack of validation.
I bet you….if the shoe was on the other foot….she’d have your undying suport…..and forego the free vodka!

It is hurtful when we give so much to others and they do not return the ‘favor’ in the times we need them…..but this is what we must realize….if we have NO expectations of others….they can’t disappoint.

The good thing is….you will have time to think about your response to her…..and how your going to deal with your bff.
Honesty is key with your emotions…..but Kathleen nailed it today…..teach them what you need.

Sorry it worked out this way…..I am sure you never inteneded or expected this….
I believe we go through an evolution of looking at people in our lives through different eyes….as we grow ‘older’ and wiser.

XXOO
EB

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