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Hurricanes, warnings and not wanting to believe

Flooded street outside of my house

The predictions were dire. Hurricane Sandy had been stewing in the Caribbean for days. It was projected to travel up the East Coast of the United States and then make a left turn—heading directly into my home at the Jersey Shore.

A year ago, my husband, Terry, and I had heard similar warnings about Hurricane Irene. Officials were predicting a direct hit and ordered everyone to evacuate the islands along the Jersey Shore. We moved as much as we could from our ground floor, which actually goes down two steps from the sidewalk. It included the queen-sized mattress from the futon in our recreation room, the television, my husband’s drum set, tools and boxes and boxes of Lovefraud materials. Then we evacuated.

Irene came and went. Other parts of the country got smashed, but not us.

Hurricane Sandy

So when those same officials predicted that Sandy was both a hurricane and a nor’easter, the storm of a generation, promising devastation like New Jersey hadn’t seen in many years, well, Terry simply did not believe them. He didn’t think anything could be that bad.

I did. As a kid, I’d played on the beach in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, among cinder block foundations in the sand—all that remained of homes that had been swept away in a hurricane. The first street in Longport, New Jersey, was named 11th street—because 1st through 10th Streets had been consumed by the ocean. People said New Jersey was hit by killer storms every 100 years—and we were overdue.

But then I started to doubt myself. After all, I’d lived in the area for nearly 35 years, and nothing truly bad had happened. There were many scares, and most of them amounted to nothing. Still, as a journalist, I knew that there were honorable reporters who told the truth. And they were saying that even though Hurricane Irene was a dud in our area, Hurricane Sandy would be a terror.

The debate

I wanted to heed the warnings and prepare to evacuate. Terry decided he was not going to leave.

We argued. Terry said I could leave if I wanted to, but he was staying. He said nothing happened the last time, the media just wanted to scare people, local officials were just covering their butts, and the weathermen always get it wrong.

I was torn. In the end I didn’t want to leave my husband alone, so I didn’t actually agree to stay. I just stopped arguing to leave.

I started carrying our possessions from the ground floor upstairs again. Terry went shopping to buy food to ride out the storm in our home. He reluctantly helped me carry the futon mattress upstairs again. He did not move his drums. He put them on top of the empty futon frame.

The storm

The night of Sunday, October 28 wasn’t bad. We heard some wind, but it wasn’t howling. We heard rain, but it wasn’t pelting. We slept well.

But the storm was predicted to hit Monday, along with two high tides, which would be higher than normal because of the full moon. The first high tide was slated for 8 a.m. Long before 8 a.m., water started coming into our basement.

It was actually ground water, percolating up through cracks in the basement floor. We ran a Shop Vac and mopped, and were able to stay ahead of it for maybe an hour, as the bay crept up the street. Slowly, however, the water surrounded our house. Before long, there was two feet of water in the basement. We sloshed through the water, carrying up more items that hadn’t been moved, like Terry’s drums. Other items were consigned to wreckage.

The escape

I freaked out. The hurricane still hadn’t hit land yet, and the next high tide, in 12 hours, would be worse. Terry finally admitted that he was wrong; he had underestimated the danger. So when the water receded at low tide and the streets cleared, we made a run for it. We took our last chance to get out of town.

As we drove away through the rain, I asked Terry why he didn’t believe the warnings. “I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he said. “I just didn’t think it could be that bad.”

And that’s why I’m telling this story. It is an indication of how our beliefs, or lack of belief, can lead us to disregard warnings and evidence. This is how we get in trouble with sociopaths—by never having experienced anything like them, and not believing it is possible for people to actually be that bad. So we fail to act, until it’s almost too late.

Standing in my flooded basement

Epilogue

Although our basement flooded, we made out a lot better than many other areas of New Jersey. Seaside Heights, the location for the infamous Jersey Shore reality TV show, was smashed to smithereens. The streets of many beach communities are filled with tons of wet sand, deposited by the raging ocean. And in New York, a fire wiped out a hundred homes, while firefighters, blocked by floodwaters, couldn’t reach them.

We’re back home. We have electricity, gas, telephone service and Internet, but our heater is ruined. We’ve been hauling trash out since Friday.The entire basement has to be gutted and repaired. But in the end, I am grateful that for us, Hurricane Sandy wasn’t much worse. I feel very badly for the thousands of people who suffered far worse. Below is a video from Sea Bright, New Jersey, which is near where my brothers live (and near where Bruce Springsteen lives).

 

 


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56 Comments on "Hurricanes, warnings and not wanting to believe"

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Hi Donna

So happy to hear you are safe and had minimal damage. There must be an angel on your shoulder that saves you in the nick of time Your story is the perfect analogy to experiencing a psychopath……a part of me is still in denial but that percentage decreases as time goes on.

Oh, Donna…..the photo images and video images are just heartbreaking. I lived on a barrier island for a year, and it was windswept, romantic, and completely vulnerable. As much as I love being near water, I never want to live in sight of water, again.

For the millions of people who have been devastated by the hurricane, my most positive thoughts and prayers of recovery are out there in the Universe. I’m so grateful that you and Terry were spared as much as you were – it could have been so much worse.

Your article talks about beliefs and how adhering to a system of beliefs can result in catastrophe. This is, in essence, how spaths are so able to perpetrate their sins and crimes against others – flawed beliefs. There are “bad people” out there that are frought with malice, just as there are “bad storms” churning out there that will, indeed, lay waste to properties and lives.

Thank you, so very much, for this article and the imagery that brings it all home to each of us. I am so relieved that what was lost can be replaced and repaired.

Brightest and most comforting blessings to you, Terry, and every human being who is despairing what the storm caused.

Donna,
I am glad that you got out. I went to New Orleans after Katrina and most people could not get out. The stores were horrible, bodies floating down the street, grandparents who could not afford gas to leave.

I hope that the lessons of these disasters assist you all.

I agree that I was not aware of my spath because I had never been exposed to someone so evil. The lesson has changed me forever. I also understand the power of these storms. When I rebuilt my house, I have a large balcony off the upstairs in case I ever need to get on the roof to be rescued. I don’t want to have to punch a hole through my roof.

Thanks for all you do and I wish you strength.

We did get clobbered by Hurricane Irene. We were without power for a week. The year before, the state had 17″ of rain in one storm. The flooding was catastrophic.

So, when the predictions for Hurricane Sandy came, the schools were all closed, and the state was asking non-essential government workers to stay home and off the roads, I shot my boss an email asking if we still had work. She said yes, but to use my judgment about coming in.

I decided to stay home. Although the weather wasn’t that bad for the commute going in, I was very concerned if I would be able to make it home. I remembered how bad the roads were after Hurricane Irene.

It angers me that companies do not pay heed to what everybody else is saying. What are they thinking? How does business go on as usual when the rest of the state is told to shut down?

It turned out that our client sent everybody home at 11:30 AM. My company wasn’t informed that the client had left and had decided on its own to send everybody home at 2 PM, but when it got word that everybody else had already left, our employees were let out at 1 PM.

To my company’s credit, a couple of days after Sandy, they sent out emails saying that I had been identified as an employee living in the area impacted by Hurricane Sandy. If I was OK, click 1; if I needed help, click 2.

The devastation in New York and New Jersey is horrendous. I used to live in northern NJ close to NYC so I still have friends in the area. Parts of my state are still without power and it will take a long time before certain areas recover.

Donna, thank you for sharing your story with us. I don’t think the country fully realizes yet what has happened and the impact the storm has had on everyday life. I was very happy to hear that you and your husband are safe.

I hope others pay attention to the storm warnings. Weather forecasters no longer make guesses. They have the science and equipment to make accurate predictions.

Donna, Glad to know that you are safe…sorry about your basement, and I think you are exactly right about why we do not heed the warnings…because as Terry said

“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he said. “I just didn’t think it could be that bad.”

Back in the days when I ironed everything I wore and the bedsheets as well my kids were toddlers and fascinated by the iron. I had seen children who had pulled their mother;s irons off on their faces and I was terrified my kids would do so, so Ii put the heat level at the lowest setting and touched it myself to see it would not blister I let my kids touch it and said “HOT!!!!” it didn’t INJURE them but it smarted and when I would point to something after that and say “Hot!” they would leave it alone..

Sometimes we have to *experience* something before we will truly believe it is REAL, even if we have seen pictures of storms (or other things) hitting others, we don’t want to believe it can happen to **US.**

Glad that you and Terry are safe and that your home is not a total loss.

Donna,
thank God you are safe. It was wise of you to wait for low tide to get out.

Your experience makes a great analogy to the spath encounter. We can’t believe it would happen to us. Then it does. Then we learn. We learn it emotionally as well as intellectually. That is what experience is for, to put the knowledge in our guts, so that it becomes second nature to protect ourselves.

Spaths lack the emotional component to learning, that’s why they don’t learn very well and are so often repeat offenders in prison. It’s not that they don’t know that the iron is hot, they do. Their problem is that it doesn’t hurt very much, so they will inevitably get burned.

GREAT article Donna. You shared a great example of denial and a lesson in human nature.

I live near enough to New Orleans that I’ve seen the consequences to those who thought “it won’t be that bad”. But I was raised “better safe than sorry”, so I know I would not stay to HOPE that things aren’t “that bad”. HOPE is a TERRIBLE game plan. HOPE is what we have when there is NOTHING left.

Donna, your example of denial is especially strong b/c you have experience and still your spouse made a decision to plan based on his experience instead of yours. I am so glad you were safe and that you don’t have a total loss.

It does demonstrate the difficulty in getting heard about the damage from sociopaths. No matter how much experience we have, even our closest loved ones use their experience to dismiss ours. If we can’t convince them, how can we convince strangers?

I’m glad to read that you are safe and well.

Best wishes

Donna – so glad you are alright – I was wondering and worrying. So, so true that we cannot believe it can happen to us – it all seems so surreal and we just cannot wrap our minds around such craziness – weather storms or people storms. Thank you for letting us know your situation – and very best wishes for the recovery for you and all affected.

Yes, the analogy is perfect. These monsters are like super storms destroying everything in their paths.

And you are so, absolutely right on about why we don’t heed those warnings when we encounter a spath in our lives. I can’t remember how many times I’ve told my counselor that “NOTHING in my life had prepared me for the fact that a man would lie about his history, his belief system, his past, etc. in order to defraud me into marrying him.” He lied to me about being a CHRISTIAN. Who does that? Why? Why not tell the truth and meet someone who shares your enthusiasm for darkness, instead of defrauding a trusting Christian woman who wanted nothing but to serve the Lord to the best of her ability? Why? Why? Why?

Not understanding why someone would do this made it difficult for me to accept that someone would do this. So, I rationalized….. He must have meant this, or he must have meant that…. or maybe I misunderstood….

He and his lies caught me completely off guard because it never occurred to me that a man would pretend to be a God fearing Christian in order to dupe a Christian woman into marrying him. And when I began to see little gaps in his story, or those little red flags we so often refer to here, I rationalized them away because I simply could not believe that he was LYING just to DEFRAUD me so I’d marry him. It simply was not part of my life experience. It was not on my radar. He couldn’t be that bad.

I am so thankful for this site. A few months ago when I was still trying to sort out whether or not he was a spath and whether or not a Christian woman should divorce a man like this, I found an article here (I wish I could find it again) which listed the top 10 lies spaths tell during courtship and marriage, and to my utter shock #9 was being a Born Again Christian. This helped me so much because it was confirmation to me that, YES, this DOES happen.

Thank you so much for this site. It’s been so helpful. I only wish I’d found it sooner.

I wish you the best in getting your house back in order and I’m thankful that you are safe.

lovinglem,

I like your post, comments. I agree with everything that you said. Nothing in my life prepared me for a spath – I couldn’t believe that anyone would lie so outrageously and cause SO many problems for himself and his family members (to sort through). My next door neighbor who is a devout Christian (coming from a well-to-do family) divorced her spath after 30+ years of marriage. She told me that at one time she thought it was her biblical duty to stay married to her ex-hubby but over time, the Lord revealed to her that He didn’t want her to be in an abusive marriage, so she kicked the ex-spath to the curb. She’s happy as a lark now.

bluejay,

Thanks. I’m so happy to have a place to read and write about what happened to me. Like your neighbor I stayed in the abusive marriage because every pastor I spoke to told me it was my Christian duty to stay with him and pray for him. God bless these men, they meant well. They just had no frame of reference, and they didn’t understand the true intent of the scriptures. I too prayed for years and finally God helped me to see that my marriage was not a marriage, it was an entrapment and a hostage situation, and that I was not only biblically free to leave him, but that He would protect me and provide for me. And when I say that He “finally showed me” I don’t mean that my God was late in revealing His will, only that I was late in receiving His loving direction.

I’m so happy that your neighbor finally got free. Do you know her well? Did she grieve over all those lost years?

How long did you suffer with your spath? (12 years for me) How are you doing?

Thanks, Donna, for the update. As I noted elsewhere, I was a bit worried when I read that you lived in Egg Harbor Township.

Right on the money with that comparison:

“It is an indication of how our beliefs, or lack of belief, can lead us to disregard warnings and evidence. This is how we get in trouble with sociopaths—by never having experienced anything like them, and not believing it is possible for people to actually be that bad. So we fail to act, until it’s almost too late.”

Each hurricane or person is a new set of probabilities, and their behavior depends not at all on how the last one acted. Nothing about Sandy depended on Irene.

I may have read it here that spaths exploit our tendency to see patterns in behaviors, not anomalies. We’re likely to cover up our concerns with rationalizations to make them “make sense.” If I blew up at the checkout lady at the supermarket today, my mother would probably think I’ve just had a particularly bad day — not that I’m a spath. And she’d be right. With another person, she might be wrong.

Donna,

Super happy you and Terry are safe. Big downer that your home was damaged.

Another reminder to heed life’s warnings. Thank-you….

Hey Everyone…It’s been awhile since I’ve been back here to visit and post. I live at the “Jersey Shore” also…a mile from the State Marina and a few miles from the bay. I was within a 1/4 mile of the mandatory evacuations.

I consider myself very lucky. I live west of Rt.9. East of Rt. 9 has had some major damage. My kids friends’ homes, cars, boats, and even jet skis went floating into the bay…washed away!..

Our churches here are housing people who lost everything…as well as helping people who lost power and still have none.

In the lake community where I live, there are trees on top of houses, power lines still down…and people still don’t have power. It looks like there was an earthquake!

My bff lives in Pt. Pleasant Beach and 50% lost their homes! It’s even worse than here!

Would you believe my x/socio called me to see if I was ok…which I believe was him being more “curious” than “caring”…and his statement was…”Good for those rich people with those homes on the water…and boats!”

OMG…..Some people have NO ability to empathize!!!

Anyway, just checking in to see how everyone is doing…

I feel “blessed” when I watch the news on TV…and see the damaged homes in town…and people who lost so much…
and all I had was a tree fall onto my neighbor’s fence and loss of power for four days! ( Our fireplace was a blessing)…

and I thank God that families are safe and healthy….

Still can’t believe the cruel, unempathetic words from the X!!!

But, overall, people are pulling together and helping each other…which is heartwarming.

Hope everyone is safe and warm….

lovinglem,

I imagine that my neighbor grieves over lost years but I’m guessing at that. I know that I do. She did tell me that when she starts having unpleasant memories of her ex-spath, she’ll lift up her arms and give the spath to Jesus, releasing him into his care. She doesn’t want to spend a lot of time (and energy) recalling the past, becoming angry over the things that he put her through.

Dear lovinglem,

Jesus himself told his disciples that there would come “wolves in sheeps’ clothing” who would come into the church and pretend to be Christians and yet would be followers of Satan.

Look at all the priests and preachers who have stolen from the church, who have raped small children, etc. those I believe are the wolves who pretend to be sheep.

Jesus also told us in another parable that we should know them by their “fruit” by looking at how they ACTED just as we could tell an apple tree by it having apples and a pear tree by its pears, we can also tell a GOOD apple tree from a BAD apple tree because the fruit will not be rotten and bad. We all will have a bad apple in our “fruit” —none of us is perfect, but if you see more and more bad apples fall from the tree, you can pretty well see that it is a BAD tree.

Anyone can claim to be a Christian, but we should watch and see how they ACT and if we see that they are not Christ-like then maybe they are BAD APPLES.

The Apostle Paul says that “if thy brother offend thee, go talk to him privately, if he still won’t listen, go back with witnesses and talk to him, if that doesn’t make him stop his bad behavior, go to the Church, if that doesn’t get him to stop his bad behavior, then treat him as a heathen. Not even to eat with him.” (paraphrased) The point is, if they continue in their hurtful bad ways, NO CONTACT.

Lovinglem, I grew up being told that I had to “pretend it didn’t happen” when someone “offended” me or I would go to hell as I had not “forgiven” them. After all this chaos, I have read the Bible for myself and I see it with “new eyes” and I do not see anywhere that it tells me to allow someone to abuse me. Sure I ” turn the other cheek” when I refuse to fight with a psychopath and I LEAVE. I “love my neighbor” when I treat them well no matter how they treat me, but I am not commanded to associate with them.

Proverbs even tells me that “evil companions corrupt good morals” so I think I should stay away from evil people.

I see the commandments with NEW EYES and no longer look at them through the interpretation of anyone else’s opinions. No one I think has a private telephone line to God that they should tell me what God thinks, I can read the Bible for myself.

Sure, you were conned because you were INNOCENT. Just like Satan conned Eve in the garden of Eden.

tobehappy,

My ex called me to ask me how my parents and sisters were (they live on the east coast and were in the path of the storm). All I could think was “why the H*ll is he asking me that?” He never had one iota of compassion for anyone in my family. This is a man that wouldn’t even consider going with me to my nephew’s funeral and when I argued that I went to his grandfather’s funeral with him he replied, “Well, your nephew doesn’t compare to my grandfather!” Are you kidding me??? I cried my eyes out over that boy. Anyway, my guess is that his parents asked how my family fared in the storm and he didn’t want to appear callous and say what he really wanted to say which would have been, “Who the hell cares about them?” so he asked me so he could say that he asked.

Glad you got through the storm okay.

bluejay,

Your neighbor sounds like a very wise and Godly woman. I wish I had her strength of character. I grieve with hopeless despair for all that I lost and blame myself still for falling for a spath.

ox drover,

I agree completely with your biblical interpretations!! The good Lord allowed me to see those marriage verses in the New Testament with NEW EYES which finally allowed me to leave my wolf/spath/demon without fear of sinning.

I know in my head that I was conned because I am trusting, kind, genuine, etc. but still I blame myself because I should have heeded those warning signs. I truly believe that some of what we call “gut feelings” and “intuition” is God’s Spirit within us. He was trying to warn me, and protect me.

lovinglem,
it does seem like we had to pay some HIGH tuition to learn about spaths. 25.5 years in my case. Yes, it is the time that we wasted on these creatures that is most painful.

So I decided to make the most of the lessons and to make sure I “got it”. When I did that, I saw it from a different perspective. Yes, it was expensive but it was worth it. I learned that these creatures are everywhere. Even my own family. My sister, that I loved with all my heart, is one and she despises me to the point of wanting me dead. My brother, whom I had so much compassion for because of his “depression” is just a run of the mill SPATH!

To be able to spot a spath and to know what you are dealing with is a priceless gift. We have discussed here, how impossible it is to teach someone about spaths, if they haven’t experienced it. The concept just can’t be grasped. It does not compute!

But we get it. So welcome home. You’ve made it. Here’s your diploma. **skylar hands the diploma to lovinglem and moves the tassle on her head to the other side**

tobehappy:

I am glad you are safe.

Thank you Louise..

I feel humbly fortunate that we are safe and our power was restored early on. People in my town still have no power! So, I am blessed here.

There is an overall sense of “doom” here and everyone is solemn and scared. Our “shore” area will not be back to normal for years. Seaside, which is the main resort area, is a mess. It’s only 15 minutes from my home and I spent most of my summer there. Hard to believe that its gone and I can’t imagine how they will rebuild it. It will take time. Lot’s of jobs and money lost now.

I just can’t imagine losing my home and everything in it…..But, everyone is helping…even Home Depot is giving away supplies to people who are helping the less fortunate to clean up and to survive being homeless!

well, we are bracing ourselves for another storm and its so cold outside now..I pray for the workers who are trying to restore power and the people who are in shelters trying to figure out where to go from here…..

tobehappy:

It sounds so awful! I live in an area where we get lots of tornadoes. I am always afraid one is going to hit my house. About eight years ago, a major one did hit just about two minutes from my house. I always think about what it must be like to lose everything. I can’t imagine. I always wonder how the people cope when this happens to them. How do you go on? I can’t imagine losing every single stitch of clothing, everything! I don’t have loved ones to worry about losing since it’s just me so I have only the material things to worry about. I don’t have a lot anyway, but what I do have is mine. It’s very devastating. I am praying for everyone there!

lovinglem,

This morning when I was returning home from dropping my son off at school, I suddenly was thinking about you. It occurred to me that you can serve the Lord by educating others about spaths, their presence in our world (in your own way). Your life experience has taught you about their existence, their destructiveness. Maybe party of your journey is to learn about them, using the information for good (in the present and future). I personally think that the antichrist is/will be the worst spath (of all time). As Jesus said about Satan, “he comes to steal, kill, and destroy”, the spaths resembling him, being his minions (unbeknownst to many of them), doing Satan’s dirty work. The Bible talks about spaths (evil people), no question about it. After the spath experience, I can read the Bible with a better understanding, grasping the fact that spaths are present throughout the Bible. Finally, please don’t be too hard on yourself (feel unnecessary guilt), like Oxy said, you were ignorant (an innocent person) about the existence of spaths so you could easily be duped, taken in by one of them. I figure that part of my journey on earth is/was to discover that there are spaths on the planet, that they’re the cause of pretty much all the misery in our world (past, present, and future).

My neighbor is a very godly woman (way more so than myself). She’s in her 60’s. I could learn a thing or two from her, like, how not to badmouth our spath. She’s an example to me – I need to learn how to keep my mouth shut, refrain from speaking negatively about the spath (for my good and my children’s good).

tobehappy,

I am happy that you are safe and well.

Dear Donna:

I am so sorry to hear about your flooding situation and the devastation of the Jersey Shore. I live in another state now but my childhood memories will always be special to me. Going “down the shore” to Belmar, to the beach and boardwalk was what you waited for all year. I’ve never had a hot dog that tasted the same as the ones we would get there. And Asbury Park, with the rides and the carousel!! But the boardwalk in Belmar is gone now and so many others are like you and your husband, without power, dealing with the damage the storm wrought. Everyone affected is in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Tobehappy, I’m so glad that you’re safe and sound. So many aren’t safe OR sound.

Brightest blessings

Dearest Donna: OMG: I am soo soo sorry for you and the flooding you had at your home
but so happy to know that you are safe and doing alright.

I will be saying prayers for you that you will be able to put
this behind you most post haste.

My love, hugs and wishes are with you.

Dupey
xxoo

My “hurrican Sandy” was my last relationship, the after affects will last a LONG LONG TIME!!!

Prayers go out to all the people who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy!!!

bluejay,

Thank you. I know good can come out of every evil thing that happens to us (Romans 8:28), and I truly want to help others who’ve been hurt by spaths. I did actually meet someone once and I instantly knew she was in danger but I didn’t know why. After a few weeks I realized she was dating a spath. She’s young (18) and had just had a baby with this guy. She was about to marry him. I prayed my heart out that she would see the truth and one day I suddenly knew that I had to call her so I did and she came over for a visit. God told me exactly what to say. It was AMAZING!!! And guess what? This young lady went home and told her mother that she was calling it off!!! They were living together at the time so she was still in danger but fortunately calling off the wedding gave her time to see his true colors. He finally moved out, but he still tries at times to get back together. I pray for this girl all the time.

And now I’ve met another young lady who may be dealing with a spath. I’m praying that the Lord will use me to help her see the truth and protect herself from this guy.

Skylar,

I never thought of it they way you said it, but you’re probably right. Surviving our spaths is probably how we earn our ability to spot these monsters. It amazes me to no small degree that people don’t see spaths when they encounter them. It really shouldn’t amaze me though because that’s how I got duped. I didn’t see it either, not until it was too late. You’re right, it does not compute. Unfortunately not even with Christian pastors and counselors. If only they understood this they could help suffering women so much more.

I’m sorry that you have spath family members. I think that would be even more painful than a spath boyfriend/husband that you could get rid of. So sorry.

lovinglem,
thank you for your sympathy, but I DID get rid of the spath sis and bro. Though I have seen them a couple of times, I do not speak with them. I give them the potted plant treatment.

My spath bro had the audacity to ask me if I was going to be mad at him for the rest of my life and I DID respond, the one time: “you don’t exist.” and I walked away.

Though they and my spath haunt my dreams at times, (like last night!) I refuse to have them in my life. Same goes for a spath uncle I have. He doesn’t exist to me.

I think the words “blood relatives” take on a whole new meaning when those relatives are spaths. Blood Relatives really means: There Will Be Blood.

Skylar,

I’m glad to hear that you got them all out of your life. Yeah, my dreams are often haunted by my ex. I hope that will go away one day.

Skylar,

Gratitude! I love it.

Athena

Tobehappy-I am so glad that you are OK. I have actually been thinking about you since before the storm hit when they were evacuating but haven’t been able to get on here. You are the only person I know that lives up there.

You know I’m from New Orleans so I can relate to what they’re going through. Everyone in New Orleans is praying for those in NJ and NY and are trying to do things to help. We got lucky with Isaac. My power was out for four days and no damage but some fallen trees and down power lines. I know people here who lost everything in Katrina and totally rebuilt and then lost it again in Isaac. It’s really hard for people.

I think of my friend next door who lost everything in Katrina and she lost all the memories from her childhood and that is hard. All those things meant so much to her.

I’m really glad that you’re ok. 🙂

Hello Elizabeth!

Funny, I was just thinking of you tonight! Maybe thats why I logged in here just now.
Thank you for your condolences. I am sure you can relate.
It’s still very shocking that this happened as no one ever expected something like this to happen in this area.
There is an overall feeling of sadness in our whole state…I have friends who have lost their summer homes..and people in town that I know that lost everything. My best friend lives in Pt Pleasant seven blocks from the boardwalk and 50% of her town is homeless. She has lived overseas with her family…in war zones…and she said she is MORE traumatized by this storm than living overseas!

People, like me, moved to South Jersey for the peacefulness of the bay and ocean….I am 15 min from Seaside and the same from Long Beach Island…where I spend most of my summer…almost everyday! That life is over.

The “bay beaches” that I ride my bike to …a few miles in from my house….are GONE! Most of the homes are gone…

I walk in my neighborhood and still see HUGE trees sitting on houses…OMG…I feel like I live where there was just a war!!!

LIfe doesn’t feel the same. I don’t feel normal yet. We are all trying to volunteer to help with donations coming in….

What an awful feeling…And to know that people are a few blocks from me living in church basements…is so sad. I feel like taking them all in…but I have a full house here. I’ve let some people use my shower and sit by the fire when even WE had no power for a few days.

How are YOU doing? I hope well..It’s been a long time and we’ve both been through so much…but it seems so long ago!

How awful for all those who suffered in Hurricane Sandy.

Yes, we all get into a comfort zone and think that can’t happen to us. For instance, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin we got tornado watch every summer. We stopped paying attention cause nothing came of it. Wasn’t until tornadoes touched down that I finally paid attention. Yet, I still wasn’t paying full attention cause while living out here…a tornado flew over our house. It touched down a block away. My son knew it was bad. He kept yelling mom we gotta get out. I could see the sun shining in the west; as the storm was moving towards the east. I said it’s over. Yeah, cause the tornado was over; my house!

Wasn’t until he robbed me of so much money that I realized he wasn’t kidding about being a cheap whore. Wasn’t until he screamed at me in front of a crowd of people that I realized he is totally nuts.

I was hot in pursuit for another man after I broke up with him. I think I was trying to FIX my mistake. and then I gave up. I was so anti-men.

Recently I met a young guy. Much younger than me. I was smitten. He seemed to be so sweet. We hung out that night. Lots of kissy kissy, but nothing else. Haven’t heard from him since Sunday and now it’s Tuesday. I did call and left message to ask if he’s ok? haven’t heard back…

I feel deflated…

I feel played

Yet this is nothing compared to losing your home. or being homeless. I gotta remember this. gotta remember that what little I have is better than losing it.

I have a dumpy mobile home on some land. The bathroom ceiling is ready to cave-in. but at least it’s in one piece for now

Jeannie812, yeah……even with ample warnings, people (including me) tend to become desensitized to the dangers, especially the “red flags” that pop up in potential relationships.

I’m sorry that you are feeling down about the young man. Just as a learning tool, the exspath is significantly younger than I am and he often crowed about how our age difference didn’t matter. Well, it really did, in retrospect. I was targeted for three reasons: money, respectability, and a “safe mommy” figure. The money was the most important aspect for the exspath – once that was gone, I was treated like a gangrenous appendage.

I can completely identify with the dwelling issue – I have no heat, no hot water, and no cookstove. What I have is walls, a roof, and a woodstove. I’ve been boiling water on top of this woodstove for bathing and cooking in a toaster oven (LOL!) and crock pot. And……I’m scavenging for firewood that was left after a regional flood that laid waste to the area because I can’t “purchase” proper seasoned firewood. But, I’m upright, breathing, and determined.

This is not to say that I don’t fall into my hours of despair and self-pity! Oh, yeah…..I throw the BEST pity-parties but I’m usually the only person in attendance. Yeah, I feel the injustice of “no fault” divorce – equitable distribution? LMAO!!!!!

Like I keep telling myself, it’s tragic, but it’s bordering on comical, now. It just keeps getting more ludicrous by the day. Oh, boy……

Have a WONDERFUL day and find that one thing to be grateful for, even if it’s the ability to boil water to make spaghetti!

Brightest blessings!

I’ve been spath-free for a little over six years. I came here when I was about two years out of a roller-coaster ride through hell, with a drug addicted, no-load, opportunist, who made his way through life by riding on the purse strings of women….still does, by the way…..he’s been through at least two others, since me.
It took a long time to process how angry and hurt I was. Then, as crazy as it sounds, when I was finally at acceptance with him, I found myself face to face with the unresolved past…..a marriage I left 17 years ago. Last winter I was up to my ears in it. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays I was obsessively thinking about the past, and I was still hurting.
It seems, now, that I have peeled that onion down to a nub. I feel ok. Hopefully I’ve reached acceptance with this old heart-ache.
I sincerely hope that no new-old onions rear their ugly heads.
I have had nary a date in six years.
I have spent my life from about 14 on, boy crazy, then man crazy….really believing that it was the “NORMAL” thing to find a man, get married and live happily ever after. Now, in my mid-fiftys, I realize that was never meant to be, for me. I married. Twice. And then spent many years between 17 and 48, miserable, and trying to get free. As soon as I was free, I’d start looking for Mr. Right, all over again.
These last six years have been everything I was avoiding by attaching to a man.
They have been the sum total of my fears….being alone, being independant, facing myself.
Now, a little bit about gratitude.
It’s hard to be grateful when your heart is broken. It’s hard to be grateful when your whole world is falling down around you.
But I remember a time when I was being evicted, and had nowhere to go. When I felt totally unloved, and despicable. I was especially despised by myself.
I could not understand how I could have let things get so far out of control…..why I could not let spath drug-addict go, and focus on myself and my life….I was addicted, or trauma-bonded, take your pick. I hit bottom, and ended up in a homeless shelter, for a little while.
Now, after 6 years on my own, I feel gratitude almost every day.
I live in a tiny little house that looks sort of cabinny…It was built in 1754, and has the area’s historical, “circa” plaque on the front door. It is one big room with a fire place in the middle, seperating the kitchen from the bedroom….and I have a small bathroom. No tub, but a roomy shower.
I have no driver’s liscence, probably never will have….DUI… hangs head in shame……….
So, after being unemployed for two years, found a humble (very humble) job, and in a few months, bought an electric bike. 🙂 Gratitude.
In a few more months, I bought a compact, portable washer and dryer. 🙂 Gratitude.
I live very humbly, but I absolutely love it. I am making my way.
Every day, I remember novels I’ve read, like, “The Good Earth” about people starving, or Ely Weiss’s “Night” about the holocast….and I realize just how much I have. I am never hungry, and I am never cold. I have a clean bed with warm blankets and a hot pot of vegitable beef soup.
I don’t go to bed anymore wondering where crack-head is, and why he doesn’t want to come home, I’m not afraid of being evicted, or having the electricity being cut off.
I’m not going to bed, suspicious that X hub is F-ing his hair-twiling, gum-snapping teen-age heart-throb. Ahhhh, no.
I am making my way. Without black-eyes, and busted lips, without a sore heart. Yep. Gratitude. I’m ok.

Kim Frederick…….100% pure inspiration, and a really, REALLY loud:

TOWANDA!!!!!!!

Your experiences, along with everyone else’s, gives me a dose of determination, courage, and reslove that I desperately need at the precise time I need it.

Brightest blessings, and thank you for such an inspiring and encouraging post….

kim:

I respect you more than you can ever know for what you have done with your life. So many women need to look to you for inspiration. So many are afraid; they don’t want to be alone so they keep reaching out for love, but they get disappointed and hurt over and over again. I see it everyday, not only on here, but in “real” life and it’s heartbreaking.

I, too am independent like you and go to sleep at night not wondering about what a crazy man who is supposed to be with me is out doing somewhere else with someone else. I am not sitting at home waiting on dates who never show up, etc. It is freedom; it is peace. I hope everyone finds that…I truly do.

Thank you so much for your post. You stated it so well.

Kimmie, baby, girlfriend, I have watched your transformation and I am so PROUD OF YOU, AND PROUD FOR YOU….and not just proud that you have peeled the old onion about the first marriage.,..but that you are working on the CURRENT problems, like with the SIL who is at least HIGH IN P TRAITS….and the cook who Steals.

How did that work out about the $50 BTW. If you told that I missed it.

(((congratulations and hugs))))

well, Oxy, I went to work the next day with both guns loaded. I said I would NOT pay for another theft. I asked why the cook wasn’t being fired, and why I was being thrown under the bus, over and over again. I told my boss that I was willing to go over her head and speak to her boss…the owner of the business. I mad it clear that she needed to be present during shift change to personally secure the sales money.
I was successful, in so far as she wrote the theft off, and I didn’t pay for it.
The cook is still employed, however, but the boss secures the money everynight.
So, it went ok.
I’ve got the day off. 🙂 Gonna clean my bathroom and wash my bedding.
Hope you are hobbeling along your path of happy destiny, Ox.

Yea, Kim, doing the new dance “the doctor trot” where you trot from doctor to doctor. LOL Fix one thing and something else breaks.

I am glad you are safe, Donna. This is quite an analogy to the damage of a psychopaththey but storms are not evil. I would have stayed too for the excitement of the storm. I was never much afraid of Mother Nature, cautious having grown up in tornado alley but not afraid. I am in awe of her power. I glad you are okay.

Kim,

That is a truly tough but inspiring story of your life! I know others (myself included) who have been to the bottom crying UNCLE UNCLE ok ok I get it. (at least that’s what I felt) when I was on the wrong road and determined to stay to my demise.

I know the peace of physical abuse no longer happening and the peace in your whole being that comes with it. Your humble life is a good one. I don’t know why lessons come so hard for some of us but it sure is a good feeling to come up from there.

Congratulations to you. You are truly an inspiration to continue on as it CAN get better. May your soup pot be plentiful this winter. 🙂

I had the 5 gallon dutch oven to the brim. Called my daughter and sent a loaf of home-made french bread and a half gallon home with her. I will take some to work tomorrow for a co-worker who laments that she doesn’t cook and doesn’t eat healthy. I left about two bowls in the fridge, for dinner, and put the rest in freezer bags, in my freezer.
I think I will continue to do this on my days off, until I have a variety of frozen soups to chose from, on those days that I’m tired and don’t want to be bothered with cooking.
Thanks for the good wishes, Eralyn, and may your soup pot always be full, as well.

kim

nicely done. what an inspiration.

arhena

Kim,

Thanks for the well wishes. I think the soup making is a great idea. Then you’ll be able to pick one for your mood. Do you make stew too?

I think that’s very nice sharing. I had employees when I was single and working all the time, who would bring me some of their great recipes when they made big amounts. I was always grateful. I have very good recipes from them!

I have to say I cook more when I am feeling good about my life. During this court crap, it’s so exhausting and the thought of planning a meal, making the mess, cooking and then the clean up would just face plant me. Many moms are gaunt looking in court! So I wasn’t the only one. 🙂

Symbol of Faith and Hope — and applies to the storms
wrought by “problem people” as well :

“The news media covered every imaginable aspect of Hurricane Sandy, showing us houses lifted off foundations, roller coasters blown into the ocean, boardwalks snapped like matchsticks, entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble. The most horrific images were of Breezy Point, a neighborhood in Queens where more than 100 homes burned to the ground.

At the corner of Oceanside Avenue and Gotham Walk, amid the devastation, a statue of Our Lady remained upright and intact. It withstood the winds and water and flames and falling debris. It was now conspicuous as the one recognizable feature in a field of smoldering destruction. (See: “Amid the Ashes, a Statue of Mary Stands as a Symbol of Survival”.)

An Associated Press photographer… not religious, happened upon the statue in the aftermath of the fire. He was fascinated by the image and took the photo which has become the most memorable and viewed photo of the storm.

As of this writing, more than 432,000 news reports and commentaries of what is being called the Breezy Point Madonna have appeared on the Internet.

The statue was set up in the garden of the McNulty home many years ago. Now, it has become a symbol of faith and hope a reminder that no matter what we may suffer in this world, Our Lady will never abandon us. The statue has attracted many people, some of whom offer a prayer; others leave candles, flowers, written requests or notes of thanksgiving.

The local pastor of St. Thomas More Church, Monsignor Michael J. Curran, visited the site and had this to say: “It will be a symbol of the suffering, but also of our rise from the ashes. It will be a symbol of what we’ve been through but also of our resurrection. It will be a reminder that for all the property we lost, God never left.”

— From The Fatima Center email newletter, late November 2012

— My input :
Catholics should consider saying the Rosary and consciously Offering Up to God or to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and Immaculate Heart of Mary
every last suffering they endured during intervals with
dangerous people whenever one feels reminded about events.

This way, your sufferings will actually spiritually be applied toward the cause of GOOD.
Thus you never lose from even the worst material losses if this prayer is made sincerely, and repetitively each time
the thought occurs to do so.

WHEREAS ! The more one wallows in misery, the more the Evil side gains EVERY TIME one feels negative. depressed or resentful,
unless taken care of this way !

It is not ONE individual, but a whole hierarchy of evil beings who all work together against people who are generally good.

Saying the Rosary and this process of Offering Up is classic theology and very wise. It clears the slate and helps one to move forward courageously and confident that nothing they went through is ever wasted.

This offering up may go to help someone ELSE in peril when needed.
Then, when YOU need the assistance, it will be there for YOU.

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