Perpetual Losses: Some Examples of My Family’s Dynamic -or- How I Became the Family Scapegoat Part 1

eScapegoatEvery aspect of my family’s toxic dynamic is very sad and alarming to me. And each separate relationship holds its own unique sadness for its own unique reasons.

My relationship with my sister throughout adulthood was one of the most difficult relationships within my family.

There was a lot of contention between us and in later years, I would periodically ruminate about something she’d said or done. I couldn’t reach closure in my mind when it came to certain situations, arguments, disagreements, or some discussions.

It was frustrating and confusing. I knew it came from anger…all that rumination. Now I realize it was lack of resolution also and mostly.  And I knew the remedy would be to talk to her about it. But I’d had the experience of attempting that quite a few times to only be blamed for something else that wasn’t even being discussed. I remember one attempt I told her I didn’t feel accepted by her…and then didn’t have a chance to elaborate.

Her immediate response to my incomplete sentence was, “Well I have issues.”  I wish I could get across that tone of voice. It had an entitled air about it. It was taut. But I didn’t pick up on it at first.

I thought she was going to talk about herself, because when I say “I have issues” I refer to my own flaws.

I said, “OK…we all have those, what do you mean?”

She then proceeded to tell me some things that were wrong with me. Like her perception of how I “push” my point of view about diet and health onto her and others.

This came from my enthusiasm about certain things I’d learned about health after doing some research of my own about a health problem I had years before this conversation took place.

After reading about certain things back then, I’d spoken to her and other family members about it. They knew of the health problem. It was chronic and I felt that conventional medicine wasn’t going to have much in the way of answers for me.

I don’t know, maybe I was too enthusiastic about it but I don’t remember telling any of them that they ‘should’ revamp their diets and lifestyles. I only remember telling them about it, as in having a conversation with people I loved. People I thought loved me too and people I thought who would support me. Or at least listen without jumping to some ridiculous conclusion.

I found that when I attempted resolution about issues my sister and I had between us, I was met with attack instead of any sort of acknowledgement, validation or apology.

She’d roll her eyes, tell me in so many words I was being ridiculous, needed thicker skin and I needed to let go of the past. Complete contradiction on her part.

It was just recently that it was pointed out to me that I suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. Which I think hit me in way that shocked me (?)  since I didn’t seem to react at all. But it’s like that information is still simmering. I think I knew it deep down, but to admit it or put words to it, was a different thing.

(Edit 9/9/17: The reaction was probably more like dissociation. I don’t remember now who told me I might have Stockholm Syndrome…which is trauma bonding.)

I remember as kids, I made my sister laugh. I was almost 6 years older and I taught her how to play board games, card games, I even turned cleaning up into a game. But  I also remember I was more concerned with her feelings than my own. I always gave her her way, distracted her if she started crying, took toys away from my brother if she’d wanted something he already had. So she got what she wanted from me most of the time.

Then in my early 20s I became severely depressed and retreated inside myself.  I also became passive aggressive toward her at times too and one day she turned in physical retaliation.

I often wonder if she felt abandoned by me when I became visibly and obviously depressed and betrayed when I made passive-aggressive remarks…usually because she was acting like she ruled the roost, as one example. But one incident I remember in particular was her staying home from school on a day while our parents were away on a vacation, for the first time leaving the three of us home, with me in charge.

I was given the responsibility to make sure the two of them went to school everyday while our parents were gone. One night, while my sister and her boyfriend were upstairs in bed, my boyfriend, my brother and I were preparing to deep fry some frozen egg rolls. I heated up some oil in a pot and before I knew it, it caught fire. Chaos and panic ensued. Long story short, we were able to prevent utter disaster, but not without some damage.

There was oil all over the kitchen floor, my boyfriend had bad burns on his one hand and refused to go to the hospital. I had to work the next day and I just spread salt all over the floor to prevent anyone slipping.  Next day I went to work…an excruciating day for me as my depression had probably been at its worse around that time, and the depth and intensity of it was still pretty new to me. Although I think I had depression as a child, it wasn’t the same and it became much more intense.

When I got home from work, I found my sister had stayed home and cleaned up the entire mess in the kitchen. Instead of being immediately grateful, I got pissed at her. This despite the dread I had been feeling as I walked home from work, thinking of the project of cleaning up the kitchen I thought I had waiting for me.

I later felt like crap, but in the moment, my thoughts went to the fact that my parents would hold me responsible for her not going to school. So I was angry that her actions would get me in trouble.

(Edit 9/9/17: This is a perfect example of how parents set their kids up to hate each other. I was set up to be responsible for two teenagers getting to school for a week and I was only 20 myself. I was the one who would be punished if they didn’t go to school. So it makes sense that I would lash out at her for not going, despite it being for a fucking good reason. I just wish my siblings could see this.)

The distance widened for a time and then our relationship waxed and waned. We went through a period of time where I believed we were getting close again. But the reality was and remained it was always a surface relationship.

When something emotional came up there was no adult conversation about it. It was an attack on either side. I admit I wasn’t always perfect and didn’t know how to handle my anger either.

So I’d rage about her when she wasn’t around. Or be passive-aggressive with her in my communication.  And apparently she’d rage about me too.

When my sister got engaged, she’d asked me to be in the wedding, while at her and her fiance’s house.

My answer: “Lemme think about it.”

It was the fact that I knew our relationship was fair weathered that made me answer that way. I’m not proud of it and maybe I should’ve just said yes just because she’s my sister. But the facts are facts and this is what happened.

That day, when I left, she’d hugged me on my way out.  So I figured everything was fine and since she was present for our roller coaster relationship too, I just figured she’d understand, you know, be on the same page as I was.

Nope.

Later that week, I got a phone call from my mother. She wanted to know what the deal was. Why would I answer the way I did?  Why wouldn’t I want to be in my sister’s wedding? She told me it wasn’t about me and as per usual let me know I was being selfish.

With such a guilt trip, I gave in. Being too afraid to call my sister, knowing her capacity for rage, I wrote a letter and dropped it into her mailbox. I apologized for being so selfish, but I also explained why I hadn’t been sure, using how I felt about myself at the time though, rather than talking about our relationship. I was too afraid to draw the whole picture.

Later when we spoke, the letter wasn’t enough to diffuse her and she was still quite angry.

I told her, “Since you had the issue with me, you should’ve called me yourself and not had mom do it.”
Her response: “Oh you did not want me to call you. I was really angry.”

And it wasn’t the last time my sister turned our mother into her flying monkey.

It hurts that my sister did that shit, but it hurts even more that my mother actually went along with that crap instead of telling my sister to put her big girl pants on and call me herself.

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Phantom Love

Phantom in the bushes

The saddest thing is
you aren’t who I thought you were.

It’s not you I miss but an idea, a wish,
who I wanted you to be.

The most puzzling experience
and a new one too,

the mourning and grieving
well it’s just plain mysterious

I think it’s that I mourn
the trust I put in self

Ignoring the flags, I waved them away
And continued feeling torn

Always available, to you but not me
I felt like an outsider from day one
all the way through to month twenty-three.

It was never right
we had no foundation

Not a moment to yourself
before you move to reignite

Your flame just as bright
While the game you always hasten

You were just a phantom

You blew in, you blew out
Never a real part of my life

I was an opportunity
Just someone random.

The More I Learn the Bigger the Puzzle

Preface Note:
I can see where this could get a bit confusing. So I will explain a bit.

I’m moving posts from another blog (that’s been marked private) over here to this one. I’m doing some editing, but not changing the gist of the original post. This post here, (below) was written back in March of 2014.

There’s a part where I talk about “my last therapist” but later, I saw two more therapists after her. But it took me awhile to get back to therapy. Turned out though that neither of those therapists were helpful.  I’m in therapy now with a man but I’m reaching that feeling of futility once again. So this post is pretty fitting for that reason.

I also felt like I should clear that piece of the post up because of the fact that I just posted earlier today about my present therapist.

Puzzled Jinjer

Originally written in March 2014
I’ve been trying to pigeon hole…classify my life experience of abuse or the people who have impeded it upon me, my family dynamic and the toxic sludge that is my DNA. In addition I am pretty sure that every single relationship I’ve had outside my family has also been unhealthy and most were also toxic.

I’ve read so much about narcissism, borderlines and quite a few other mental disorders. I’ve experienced my own depression most of my life and I’ve had a few other diagnoses as well.

The last therapist I went to gave me one diagnosis after the first session then diagnosed me again with something else a few weeks later claiming to “only want to help me.”

She seemed to speak in circles and I found myself explaining things to her over again, which showed me she hadn’t listened, twisted facts or simply forgot that I had told her something at all.

I’d swear I was being gas-lighted in therapy.

Another therapist didn’t seem to get the seriousness of the toxicity in my family  and I felt she took things entirely too lightly. And chalked everything up to “problems with relationships.”

Now that I think about it, that’s a ‘blame the victim’ diagnosis.

So my trust in therapists at the moment is absolutely nil.

So, I cannot put any of it into a nice neat box, small or otherwise.

I’ve been trying to think too much in black and white maybe, put it all together like some logical math problem.

It seems to me that mental illnesses and personality disorders and pathologies and the names given them and the behaviors that go along with them are not cut and dry. It seems that maybe not everyone who is narcissistic does the exact same things in every example, although many behaviors are indeed identical.

And I think different people get to see different traits too, depending on the role you play in the life of the disordered one.

Some shit fits and some shit doesn’t. It leaves me confused some days and even a bit paralyzed in writing my tales. Just when I think I’ve got my father pegged or my sister too, I read something that contradicts my original thought…that was formed by something else I’d read before in the first place.

There’s no question of the abuse and the toxicity now and the damage caused. In fact I think it was even more cruel in some ways as it was covert, emotional, verbally manipulative and insidious.

It left no physical bruising for the world to see.  Or for me to see either. I even believed for a long time that I was wrong, I had no reason to be depressed. I was the problem. It’s all in the past.  And I wasn’t beaten to a bloody pulp or sexually molested.

Unless you count my father sitting around on the couch. Foot up legs spread and his “junk” hanging out.

At the moment I don’t know whether an exact label is necessary. I mean my father’s dead so no doctor or therapist will ever diagnose him. Hell, the chance of that happening when he was alive was on the negative side of the number line.

Is it essential to have every piece to the puzzle to heal?

I certainly hope not.

But no matter what behavior or exchange or dynamic I’m analyzing I only have my own experience,  what I’ve read and my own deductions to go by.

And that being said, my experience with abuse has been at the hands of family, so called friends, bosses, a teacher and significant others. Plus some bitch who called (and likely still calls)herself a healer.

It was the last significant other that woke me up and bowled me over at the same time.

It was a blessing and a curse.

If I’d been a healthy individual myself I would have never been with him.

If I hadn’t been with him I may never have come to realize how toxic most relationships in my life were.

If I had been raised to be a healthy individual without abuse… so much time would not have been wasted in my life,  in destructive relationships, taking even more abuse, would not be a factor. And there would be no need for this type of wake up call.

A direction for my life would’ve been easier to figure out for myself. I also probably would’ve had help in that area of my life.

But instead here I am. With a big puzzle to piece together.

What Is Wrong With Me: One More Quote from Women Who Love Too Much

Lonely“I grew up believing there was something very wrong with me. I wasn’t sure what it was, but it had to do with being unacceptable and unlovable. There was no love in our home, just duty. The worst part of it was that we could never talk about the lie we were living, trying when we were out in the world to look better than we were–happier, wealthier, more successful. The pressure to do so was intense but it was virtually unspoken. And I never felt I could even bring it off. I was so afraid that any moment it would become apparent that I just wasn’t as good as everybody else. While I knew how to dress nicely and perform scholastically, I always felt like a fraud. Underneath I knew I was flawed to the very core. If people liked me it was because I was fooling them. If they knew me well, they would go away.”

It’s that last bit that really hits me hard. I remember always feeling that way with significant others. I also always felt that there must be something wrong with them because they were with me.

Of course each one of them was indeed unhealthy, abusive and/or emotionally unavailable.

I also grew up feeling as though something was very wrong with me. But I didn’t always know how to dress nicely and didn’t always do well in school. Not doing well in school was simply punished away as though a good grounding could bring up my grades.

I never got the impression that my parents wanted to put on a front that they were more successful or richer than anyone else. And I never got the impression that it was important for my father to hide his nasty arrogance and narcissism in public.

What seemed to be important was the impression his children gave.

I remember once, when I was about 9 or 10, my father told us to behave and keep quiet when we went to look at a house they were thinking of buying. It was a ‘For Sale by owner’ and the owner was an  older man who showed us around the house.

I don’t know what we talked about but I remember I ended up having quite the conversation with this man about his house.  I don’t remember much about the occasion and I was obviously not worried about what my father had said, but perhaps I interpreted his order of staying quiet to not fuss and have tantrums which wasn’t usually a problem with me anyway. It just came natural for me to ask questions, engage and get answers to whatever my 9 year old mind was pondering.

My father later let me know he was proud of me and impressed with my conversation and the questions I’d asked and the way I’d engaged the man.

It makes me feel proud of myself now to think about this. That I didn’t let my father’s words scare me into complete silence then. And I know that when my father told me he was proud of the way I conducted myself, I know that meant a lot to me then. He wasn’t always an ogre.

When I think back to that though, I realize how easy questions came to me. I remember how genuinely interested I was in the man’s answers and not just asking to hear myself or to show off.

Many years later, I interviewed my father for a school paper I had to write and loved doing it. I had gone off my ‘script’ of questions too, and asked other questions that occurred to me after my father answered a previous question.

I would’ve liked to have been a professional interviewer. I know my father had encouraged that verbally a few times. But I had no idea how to pursue it.

I’m kind of getting off track here. Usually I write about some shitty memory in these posts, but it’s nice to have a couple good ones now and then, right?

It tends to make me think, “What am I doing? See how good he was. I should not be trashing him.”

But he was an ogre a lot of the time. He said shit and did shit that confused and frustrated me. I mean even using the above as an example. He had told us kids to be quiet when we went to look at the house. First off, who the fuck expects kids to be quiet. Abusers do, that’s about it.

And then I wasn’t quiet. I engaged in conversation with a grown man and I held my own. Well, since it got my father’s chest all puffed out with pride, the rules that he set before, changed.  At that point in time, by nine years old, I knew that I’d be OK. That as long as I wasn’t screaming, crying or whining, I’d likely be fine. And I was.

It’s still a decent memory though.

The other two quotes from the book you can find here and here

For All You Family Scapegoats: Another Quote from Women Who Love Too Much

scapegotatcat1“In a dysfunctional family, there is always a shared denial of reality. No matter how serious the problems are, the family does not become dysfunctional unless there is denial operating. Further, should any family member attempt to break through this denial by, for instance, describing the family situation in accurate terms, the rest of the family will usually strongly resist that perception. Often ridicule will be used to bring that person back into line, or failing that, the renegade family member will be excluded from the circle of acceptance, affection, and activity.”

I am/was the family scapegoat and this is exactly what happened to me. To my fellow family scapegoats, please know you are the strong one. You are the Marilyn among the Munsters.

We are able to see the truth of what is really going on. And maybe they can too, somewhere inside them. But to not to be honest and real about it, to bury it deep inside to live a life of lies, denial and double standards is weak.

 

Denial and Control: A Quote from Women Who Love Too Much

Indifferent EwokThis quote from Women Who Love Too Much: When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He’ll Change, helped me understand certain behaviors of mine within relationships. The book itself helped me understand why I chose the ass-hats I’ve chosen.

“Why does the idea of changing someone unhappy, unhealthy or worse into our perfect partner appeal to us women so deeply?  Why is it so alluring, so enduring a concept?

To some, the answer would seem obvious: Embodied in the Judeo-Christian ethic is the concept of helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. We are taught that it is our duty to respond with compassion and generosity when someone has a problem. Not to judge but rather to help; this seems to be our moral obligation.

Unfortunately, these virtuous motives by no means entirely explain the behavior of millions of women who choose to take as partners men who are cruel, indifferent, abusive, emotionally unavailable, addictive, or otherwise unable to be loving and caring. Women who love too much make these choices out of a driving need to control those closest to them. That need to control others originates in a childhood during which many overwhelming emotions are frequently experienced: fear, anger, unbearable tension, guilt, shame, pity for others and for self.

A child growing up in such an environment would be wracked by these emotions to the point of being unable to function unless she developed ways to protect herself. Always, her tools for self-protection include a powerful defense mechanism, denial, and an equally powerful subconscious motivation, control.”

This time around, I’ve chosen someone indifferent. (Which is why the word written above, is in red, bold, italics and underlined). Don’t underestimate the damage this type can do. If response from another person is important to you, it will be hell. It may even be a catalyst into driving you into the arms of someone else, who actually does respond.

Escaping this might seem easy. I mean he wouldn’t care if I left. But at this point there are other factors of dependency. That being the big one. But until I realized it, I think I was futilely continuing to attempt to get something I now know he isn’t even capable of giving. I thought maybe therapy would help but he’s so apathetic and is such an empty pit, it made no difference.

Always Broken

Originally written February 19, 2014

glass-423551_1280

Credit via Pixabay

I’ve been thinking about the words in the title of a book called, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. And in mind word association I think, “Rebuild.”

But what if nothing was ever built in the first place? No foundation to build upon.

What if the roots were always damaged? Rotted with no nourished soil for them to take hold. Only the kind of shit where fungus thrives so well.

What if things just always felt…broken? Then what?

How do I start from scratch to build something good when I have no blueprint, direction, no guide, but my own un-parented mind?

How do I plant roots when I have no one and nothing to grow from?

The road looks too long and useless to even begin. Too far to go. I’ll never get there.

Many years, many jobs, many cycles of depression later…I spend much of my time asking how do I crawl out of the darkness long enough to consistently build a life, earn a living?

Who am I?

Where do I go?

What would fulfill me?

Could I even do it?

How do I get past the trauma?

Trauma…a relatively new word for me in relation to myself. The label put on me for many years was depression. A chemical imbalance to throw pills at.

Not one therapist, nor two hospital stays revealed trauma, despite my willingness to openly state my past, and to even have a family session when suggested.

The psychiatrist there couldn’t see the dysfunction, the roles?

He couldn’t hear my cries of help?

He was not aware of what he was seeing, to tell me what I could not put words to?

He could not understand the chaos and turmoil I so apparently conveyed?

He did not comprehend the pain in my eyes?

All those years, just like my family, I believed it was all because of me.

I’m further traumatized by such a delayed diagnosis. Pissed off because I did my part. I sought out the help. I asked the question: “What the fuck is wrong with me?”

And no one said, “Trauma.” !!!

So much of my life, gone now. And all of it lived up to this point, trapped.

Trapped by others in childhood and trapped within now.

I long to be free.

Waking up is Bitter-Sweet

Originally written Feb. 17, 2014.

Waking Bittersweet

I’ve been asleep. And now I know it’s been all my life. Sadly, I’ve adjusted accordingly and even “reacted normally to abnormal situations.”

Waking up is bittersweet (for lack of a better word) as well as has been gradual.

There have been times that I’ve made a discovery about a betrayal by someone I thought would never do such a thing. More specifically, learned that the behavior was indeed a betrayal, having not realized it previously.

And that’s because in many adverse situations or confrontations, I just figured it was me, since I was the common denominator.  Well it turns out that in certain situations when something bothered me I was actually being reasonable.

The sad thing though is that I had to ask others about it, because I didn’t know. Sometimes the asking was with the expectation to be right…or was it hope? And other times I fully expected to be told I was being an unreasonable bitch.

Then there’s the boundary thing: Not knowing what they were, really and not understanding how to draw them. Being told I was selfish by my mother when saying no to a request had me second guessing myself. In other instances my sister would whine and let me know that she needed what she was asking for and why…however insignificant it was and certainly not thinking of my needs.

Being liked and loved and keeping the peace was more important to me than my own authenticity and well-being. Because what anyone thought of me dictated my well-being…or so I thought…and not even consciously.

I came out of situations when I said no at first, feeling ashamed that I hadn’t said yes to begin with.

That would be “People Pleaser Syndrome. (Richard from Spartan Life Coach talks about PPS on his YouTube channel.)

During the time my father was terminal, my mother became a flying monkey against me for my siblings. I still struggle with the pain of her actions with feelings of frustration and confusion.

There was another time, many years before my father became ill that my mom was a flying monkey for my sister, but I didn’t realize that’s what was going on at the time. And so I question whether there were other times as well that I don’t remember or am not aware of.

Scary to think about that, knowing now how I normalized so much crap that wasn’t. Many more situations, incidents and things that happened, and times I felt like dirt at the end of an incomplete argument, which had actually turned into me being berated.   It explains why I felt the need to go back and ‘rehash.’

That’s because I was simply looking to resolve the issue and now in addition, address the hurt feelings I felt after the so-called discussion was ‘over’. I wanted to move on but I didn’t feel the peace that I was sure was supposed to come with resolving arguments. It never worked out that way, and since I was the one ‘holding on’ to the argument, I just figured I was the one with the problem.

More and more, when I attempted resolve I’d be attacked for not letting it go, for living in the past, and at times, the person I was attempting a discussion with for the purpose of resolution, would then use something from the past to throw in my face and assassinate my character.

It made my head spin but now I see the scapegoating and double standard in so much of the family dynamic, even the gas lighting and why I was so confused and unsettled.

I was usually being the one projected onto, to feel like something was wrong with me, so the person pointing their finger could feel superior and be in the right. According to their twisted mind, they weren’t part of the problem at all and I was all of it.

Thankfully I was able to confide in someone who’s been through a lot of abuse herself. (I’m not thankful that she was abused, but for her presence in my life.) Thanks to her, she played a huge role in helping me to understand how abuse works. How covert and insidious it can be. And how that was taking place in my own family and how each member scapegoated me and how they were doing so as a group.

Not so sweet really. And so very bitter to wake up to the fact that your family doesn’t love you.

Even in learning about all of this I still denied a lot. I still made excuses for them and thought that maybe they wouldn’t have done ‘this’ if I hadn’t done ‘that.’ After all, it turned out my mother believed the entire toxic dynamic within the family started with me.

The sweet…which truthfully isn’t sweet at all, but more a matter of relativity, is that upon the beginning of waking up to the bullshit, I learned the truth and I was awakened to reality.

Reality is all I ever wanted to deal with. I wanted to be real around my family and be safe doing that. But I became too afraid to, as I realized the consequences. I felt trapped among them, whether I was around them or not. I wasn’t free. And as bitter as that truth is, there is still something sweet about being aware and awake to the truth whatever it is.

I prefer this truth that I have awakened to, not to be the truth, but it is and it’s what I have to live with and accept.

I guess that’s where the phrase “It is what it is” came from.

I prefer not to be ignorantly blissful. I wasn’t blissful though. I was constantly miserable. Stressed. Angry. Worried. Exhausted.

I did not see the truth all at once. Sometimes I wished I’d seen it all on the wall in one big informational download. But who wants to accept insidious and covert and even the overt abuse from family?…The people who are supposed to love you. I know I didn’t.

As toxic as it was, I had a role, an identity of sorts. Now I have to learn who I am without them, without that role.

It’s good to remember though, that it was not an identity. It was adaptation to an assigned role. It came to a point that I needed to stay safe within the family also, so to accept it and act accordingly, I believed was helping me do that.

In reality it was making me sick.

I got pummeled time and time and time again. There were times between, that things seemed to be fine. There were good times and we laughed.

But when it came to drawing boundaries, stressful situations and making agreements, the whole facade fell apart.

I do wish I’d known years ago, at least some of what I know now. If nothing else, maybe I could’ve at least used certain situations with my family to learn how to draw boundaries.

That is not to be at the moment though. It’s been a rough time to getting to know who I am without the need to defend, bend and appease.

I’m glad to be awake but at the same time, sad that this is my family. It’s frustrating that so much time was wasted under an opaque veil. I was blinded and was subjected to so much toxic sludge. I put up with so much crap and didn’t know how to set boundaries. Hell I didn’t know anything about boundaries really.

How do you utilize something you don’t know exists?

When Silence is Rusty

silent billy 2Written February 2014.

I’m tired of the silence.

I’m tired of the tension that comes with that silence both within myself and in the presence of those the big ol’ elephants were created with. Knowing issues need to be addressed but also knowing they won’t be received, so in turn won’t be resolved, feels like a rock and a hard place. Or would that be a catch-22?

The problem is that the issues in need of addressing should have been addressed when they came up. But I was not brave enough to do so. Or my freeze response took over and I was tongue tied and as much as mind boggled.

(Edit Saturday 9/9/17: Above I wrote that the issues SHOULD have been addressed when they came up. I don’t like the word should so much. And my opinion on this has changed. In fact, I’m not sure this has ever been my opinion. It would be ideal I suppose, certainly nice, to be quick enough to catch the shit said that bothers you at that very moment. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with approaching someone at a later date when the timing is appropriate. Just because you don’t catch something immediately, or even realize that something said or done bothers you at the moment it’s done, does not cancel out any rights in bringing it up ever again. That is the most ridiculous thing ever said by probably someone who didn’t want to own their shit. God almighty there is a whole post in this very issue. Fuck my family, the can go suck it. They are the perfect example of a bunch of people who don’t want to hear about it. It’s too bad if you’re not quick enough at the time it happens, but even if I was, I’d get a bunch push back and denial anyway because they are monsters.)

When issues aren’t addressed and things that should easily be discussed or even argued through and are not for whatever reason…well that shit festers, much has festered over the years and resolution is non-existent or even desired by the others.

They seem to feel there is no need since ‘it’s’ in the past, but yet they feel the tension too. I know this because those of whom I speak, have said as much. In fact they’ve been free to say even more. Because I listen, because I know that discussing feelings and difficulties strengthens relationships.

(Edit Saturday 9/9/17: The strengthening doesn’t happen though if it’s one sided. You can listen til you’re blue but if they don’t return the act, the relationship will always suck…literally, suck the energy right out of you.)

When it comes to my family, when I’ve tried, I have gotten tongue tied. But depending on who exactly I’m talking to, I am either interrupted, put down for what I say, or both. And so I back down in the moment, again not clear on how to respond. The result: ruminating and becoming angry later.

(Edit 9/9/17: This happened with a so-called healer once when I was staying at her house, being a nanny for the kids that lived there also with their mother. She was quite abusive. Reeled me in to it as well, showing me how to discipline the kids, which I disagreed with. But since she needed things to be quiet for her work, I did what she wanted. I was also afraid of the confrontation. One day I attempted to talk to her and I was so fucking nervous I couldn’t get an entire sentence out without saying ‘you know’ repeatedly half way through every statement as I tried to express to her that what she was doing was wrong. I was so many years away from knowing and understanding narcissism, abuse and narcissistic abuse. She was no healer. She was an abusive cunt.)

Fingers are pointed and my POV is not validated and acknowledged to be ridiculous. I’m too sensitive, I am living too much in the past, I need to let go.

In the case of the abusive healer (what an oxymoron) I was berated for the way I was communicating.

No doubt I fucked up at times too, but I’ll be the first to acknowledge those mistakes and apologize. Apparently I don’t mean enough to them to do the same and instead a double standard is utilized to fit their arguments and I’m ganged up on. (Mostly referring to my family here, not so much the healer I edited in later.)

It’s crazy making.


Update: I have been what I’ll call “No Response” with my family for almost 3 years. I haven’t kept track and I could figure it out if I go back through some emails between my mother and myself. (Which I’m not prepared to do at this moment.) But my father passed in April of 2013 and it was a few months after that, I’d made the first moves to go No Contact.

I use the words No Response because to me “No Contact” is changing all information, not being able to be reached. But my family knows where I live, they know my email address and they know my phone number. And they have used those since I made my decision to sever ties with them, and I don’t respond.  But then I don’t initiate contact either.

 

Silent Billy

Strings of Entanglement

DSCN6752abIn reading the book, The Sociopath Next Door I’m reminded of a very significant time for me…at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012, that brought the end of a (at the risk of being cliche) tumultuous affair. There really isn’t any other word that describes it so well.

Note: I wrote this post quite some time ago and don’t remember the trigger that reminded me of what I’ve written here in this post. But I get reminded a lot when I read. I don’t think my ex AP (affair partner) was a sociopath but he certainly did fit a lot of traits for a narcissist.

I used him as much as he used me.

I was looking for someone to rescue me and I thought he could. This wasn’t conscious, at least not while I was actively engaging. I lied to myself that I loved him.

I was addicted. So hooked and wanted to change him and his behavior to fit my happiness. I was very obviously out of control of the whole situation. The only way to gain it was to walk away and stay away.

But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Every time I tried, I missed him so much I felt like I was missing one of my own limbs.

The affair was an escape from my own life. I hadn’t been doing much with myself and thought it would add excitement for me to get in touch. I looked at one of his photos and (narcisstically)  thought, “He looks so unhappy.”

I hoped my reaching out would lead to other things and was even cock-sure it would, since we’d had an affair before.  In fact, I fell into the same trap within myself thinking that I could be that special person who could make him happy.

I was foolish. I was wrong and I had no business with someone else’s man. He swore she’d cheated on him a number of times and he was done. He’d decided on that before I’d reached out. But the fact remains I hadn’t known that and reached out just the same.

After the break up, I read so much, in order to do more escaping and to hopefully explain what is wrong with him, to help with the pain. To put my mind at ease. I know there was/is plenty wrong with me, starting with my values, at the very least, confused about my values, going after a married man.  That being said though, it was certainly a joint effort.

The break up felt like being hit by a freight train. So I had this overwhelming need to figure him out. I thought that if I could fit him into some mental illness box, I would get relief. I read one book that turned on a bright light bulb and I foolishly thought I would be OK after that.

But the drinking to numb continued. Smoking weed when I got the chance also didn’t stop. At least not for a while. I wish I could remember now how long it was, before I couldn’t get drunk anymore, no matter how much I drank and smoking pot couldn’t cover up the searing pain anymore. But it finally happened. And I was trapped, with myself, with the pain.

So then I started to read to figure me out.

And as I read, I came across information about disorders and thought that I had all of them or at least parts of them.

It gets so bad that I periodically isolate. I feel a lot of shame for one thing. But also I’ve discovered that I don’t know too much about who I am. Getting romantically/sexually involved with a married man isn’t something I ever want to do again, even if he is in the midst of a divorce.

I was too wrapped up in immediate gratification when I got involved with him and not thinking about anything or anyone else.

He incidentally got that divorce. But he is married again…two years after our break up and he’d moved in with her (into her house) just a few months after he’d broken up with me just before Thanksgiving 2011.

He came back before the finale though, before he moved in with her that is.  Told me he and she had broken up. I’d been aware that he was dating her at the time we’d broken up originally. But I was hell bent on winning him back somehow.

In fact I’d been the one to text him after the new year (2012) and beg to see him.  And he did come to see me.

That day he told me, because I wasn’t working and we were no longer in our twenties, things couldn’t possibly work out. He also told me he couldn’t have a healthy relationship until his divorce was final.

Apparently that ‘healthy relationship’ announcement was brought on by his new girl friend’s jealousy, it turns out, because his stbx at the time had posted something on Facebook to make the new girl think he was still fucking the stbx. And now he was also telling me that I wasn’t so crazy for getting jealous before about the same kinda shit. Guess he needed a gauge of yet another woman to see if my emotions were normal.

I didn’t want to accept what he was telling me…that it was hopeless for us. And he drove away, leaving me with the hope that I would be hearing from him again pretty soon. But honestly, I had the feeling that it was the last time I’d see him and that he’d told me that “we can keep talking” just to appease me and get me out of his car.

A week later I got a text:  “You know how I feel about you, but she was there when I got home from seeing you that night. She invited me to move in with her and I’m going to accept. This is my chance to stop working so much. You know how I hate working 60 hours a week. You will always have a piece of my soul. Au Revoir my love.”


I had to go back into the letters I’d written after the break up. Letters I wrote while feeling that searing pain and realized that some things escaped my memory. Letters I’d never send.  The gist is here, in this post. But at the same time, there is a bit more.

It opens up some wounds and I see how he played me and gave me false hope at some points near the end. I see the danger of the possibility of more cognitive dissonance and ruminating, because of the hope I found in his words at the time.

We broke up in November, 2011. He went off and dated L. And then after some time I’d texted him and asked if I could see him. He said no, not at this time.

I let a bit more time go by and I texted him one day and said, “Do I seriously have to live my life without you?”

He sent a text back telling me, “I don’t want to live without you either but I need to get my shit together.”

That actually made me feel better. Maybe it didn’t work out with L because he was thinking too much about me.

These texts were exchanged before his final visit, btw, in case you’ve gotten confused.

And then during that final visit, his words and body language were completely different. Had he changed his mind in between or had he simply been sending a text of least resistance?

What I think happened though is that the two of them did break up but she’d made contact after he’d texted me that sweet little message. He told her that he couldn’t have a relationship until divorced, so felt free enough to come see me when I requested.

But when seeing me, perhaps realized all the issues between us and maybe was even thinking about and comparing me to L. I don’t know. I do know he was preoccupied though and looking back at some of the things he did, it seems as though he knew that was his last visit with me. Stopping to hug me a few times as we walked a trail near my house and then petting my cat a whole lot longer than he ever did before.

So maybe she was there when he got back from seeing me. But maybe she’d asked him before he came to see me and hadn’t been sure of his decision until after he’d seen me.

Four years later though, it no longer matters. But it still makes me sad. The whole situation was sad because all people involved are/were lonely sad people.