The “personal ATM machine” dream.

personal_atm_machine
This might be the real thing or a toy that teaches kids how to be greedy consumers.

I had a dream I was sitting outside in a park with several rich women. One of them reached into her Fendi bag and pulled out an “automatic personal ATM” about the size of a Notebook that flipped open and had a little screen and keyboard. She punched some data into the machine, and I watched as she checked her balance and then requested cash. The machine spit out the cash from a slot in the front.

I made a dumb comment about not being able to afford something like that because I’m poor. The women just looked at me blankly. Of course they did. What a stupid thing to say.

Then I woke up, and for a moment thought, “Wow! I don’t think anyone’s invented something like that. Maybe I could pitch that idea to someone, they could develop it, and I could get rich!” After all, lots of good ideas come from dreams, right?

But as the fog of dreamland cleared away, I realized there’d be a huge problem with that. If the cash was already in the personal ATM machine, why the hell would someone even need one? They could just keep their cash in their wallet, for God’s sake, instead of having to punch in a bunch of numbers to get it. It certainly wouldn’t be any more secure than a wallet, and such a tiny streamlined thing couldn’t hold more than a few bills at a time anyway.

Out of curiosity, I Googled “personal ATM machine” and it turns out they do actually exist, so obviously someone else thought of it first. The ones available are too big to be held in your hand like a cell phone, like that rich dream-woman’s was.

I laughed when I realized how dumb my dream idea was, but thought it was a good idea for a funny post about a stupid dream.

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I want to reduce the hours I spend at my job.

money-happiness-scale

In order to pay my bills and keep a roof over my head, I currently work for a housecleaning company. I actually don’t mind the work but the job can be VERY physically stressful (though it does keep me in shape and saves me the expense of a gym membership). I also don’t like the way things in the home office are run (I will not go into details here) or the blatant favoritism I have to deal with constantly (which seems to exist in most service jobs).

The office politics really stresses me out and as with most of the other service jobs I’ve held, I’ve reached a point of burnout where I really dread even going to work anymore. I do not really want to look for yet another crappy service job, and writing jobs in this area are practically nonexistent, unless you have a journalism degree which is required to write for one of the local newspapers. Obviously, I’d rather write for a living. I actually used to, when I lived in the northeast about 20 years ago.

If I could, I would write all day, every day. I want more time than the weekends and evenings to do this (because I’m simply too exhausted sometimes to write as much as I’d like). Sometimes I wind up staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning to catch up on reading and posting, but of course then I’m in no condition to be at my job at 8 in the morning. At my age, trying to get by on 3-4 hours of sleep is very unhealthy and then I go to work feeling like absolute crap.

So until something better comes along, I’m considering going from fulltime to part time–working only 4 days a week instead of 5. The job doesn’t offer health insurance anyway, so I really wouldn’t be losing anything except a day’s pay.

My conundrum is that even working 5 days a week, I barely earn enough to pay my bills. I don’t even have cable TV anymore because I can’t afford it (not that I need it). I never go on vacations, not even weekend getaways. I can’t even afford the movies. I drive a 13 year old car with expired tags because I can’t afford to have the repairs done that would get it to pass inspection. My disposable income is almost nonexistent–it actually qualifies me as “poverty level” according to the national tables. So obviously I really can’t afford to lose a day of work.

On the other hand, why should my life consist of spending most of it doing something I don’t really want to be doing? Our narcissistic Powers That Be would like to keep most of us working like dogs, earning slave wages, and possibly dying an early death due to work-related stress with no health insurance or safety nets at all should we become ill, but dammit, I am sick to death of being one of the sheep that feeds their coffers but gets nothing in return but a bare-survival income that does nothing for me but keeps me from being on the streets.

I need an extra day to relax and write as much as I want, and even start writing a book. It’s hard to squeeze everything I’d like to do into weekends and evenings. But the money situation is worrisome too. So I’d like to get your opinions on what YOU would do if you were in my shoes.

Is “survival money” more important than doing something you love, even if that thing you love pays nothing? Or is it better to take the risk to chase happiness and have faith that somehow, even with less time spent working at a humdrum job, the money you need will still be there?

Please do not suggest I approach my family for help. That is not an option for me.

Depressed.

my_head

My daughter moved out last night with her current boyfriend. This was of course the plan, but I’m really in the dumps today because we fought last night. It ended with me telling her to pack up and get out last night, which she did. For a couple of months she has been sleeping on the couch (my roommate–yes, she’s still here but has been a bit better–has the other bedroom) and just got a job last month. She had paid nothing toward the rent because she was saving to move out. I had told her this was okay.

We are usually best friends but because we also both have diagnosed BPD, things can get heated between us sometimes. There can be drama. I hate drama. There was plenty of it last night though. Two things happened that made us fight.

1. When I was in the shower, she stole $10 from my purse. I wasn’t so much upset because this was all the money I had until Friday (which is bad enough–go ahead and try to make $10 last three days), but because I’d started to believe I could trust her again. (She used to steal from me a lot). I confronted her about it and she admitted she took it but called it “borrowing.” This led to a fight, because what she did was STEAL, not BORROW. I told her she didn’t seem that remorseful and that worried me. Later on she did admit she was wrong and admitted it was stealing, but that didn’t happen until several hours later, after she was gone, and it didn’t help my mood at all.

2. My father called her and asked if she had received a gift card and birthday check (her birthday was last week) because he hadn’t heard anything. She never did receive anything in the mail. Now she believes I took it when I got the mail (apparently the check was made out to me) and cashed it and used the gift card without letting her know. I don’t collect the mail (my roommate does, which makes me wonder if SHE took it). I have never stolen from my daughter and never even entertained the thought, but due to the circumstances I could actually understand why she would think along these lines. I’m also afraid my father will believe her over me, if she tells him she thinks I stole from her. I don’t know why I’m worried about this but I just am.

Even so, I was hurt that she would think I would steal from her. I told her I didn’t want to live with someone who not only stole from me, but would accuse me of stealing from them when I didn’t. I can’t convince her it might have been lost in the mail. She isn’t mad anymore but still believes I stole her money. There is nothing I can do to make her think otherwise.

It’s for the best she’s out. She is 22 and too old to be living with mom. I can’t help feeling a little sad though. I’ll miss her, even though I’ll be seeing her almost every day probably. I’m used to having her around.

I have more space now and can actually use the living room again, but because the fight happened late last night, I was so upset and wound up I didn’t sleep at all. I had to call in sick to work today (which always makes me feel guilty). It’s a pretty day and I may go outside for awhile and work in the garden or just sit on the porch and read. But right now I just want to lie on my bed and sleep the day away. I know that will only make things worse. I just want to cry right now.

ETA: I called my father and he said he never sent her anything (he doesn’t trust her and is sort of No Contact with her, so I thought it was odd he would even be sending her money). So she is lying to me though I can’t fathom why she would do that. I am going to confront her with this information and see what she has to say for herself. She doesn’t have NPD but is good at playing some of the Narc games that she learned from her father. BPD’s can be almost as manipulative sometimes.

This is not a nice post.

steam

I committed to complete honesty in my blog, even when it means I have to show an ugly side I prefer others not see. This blog is the only place I can be completely honest about everything regarding myself and the Narcs in my life, so I don’t expect everyone to like this post. In fact, some of you may hate it. It’s ugly, and it’s negative, and it’s petty, but it’s also something that’s REALLY bothering me, and since this blog is, first and foremost, self-therapy, sometimes ugly stuff is going to come up. What I’m going to write about may even make some of you suspect I’m the narcissist, but read further if you want to understand. I really wish I didn’t feel this way and didn’t have to write this ugly post.

I’m going to keep this short because I don’t want to dwell on it. In fact, I’d really just like to forget about it and move on. But I’m obsessing, so maybe writing about it in my blog will help me to let it go. I can’t talk about this with anyone I know IRL.

For those of you who have read my entire story (click the “My Story” link in the green header), you already know I spent many years supporting a man I was no longer married to, allowing him to freeload, trash my house, take over my home, abuse me and my family, and suck me dry financially, spiritually and emotionally for 7 years after we were no longer married to each other.

In 2010 or 2011, Michael applied for disability. I won’t say he isn’t disabled, because in a relative sense he is. I do think his “mental problems” are largely fabricated. The guy is a Narc–that’s his primary mental problem. I don’t believe he is actually Bipolar and he certainly isn’t suffering from PTSD. I don’t think Narcs can suffer from PTSD (can they?) although perhaps they can be bipolar. But I know him, and I know 99% of it is an act, so that he could appear “crazy” enough to get the treatment required by SSI so he would qualify–and also be able to stay in a psyciatric ward during the time when he would have otherwise been homeless.

Keep in mind that Michael didn’t have a second thought about ousting me from MY home (AND taking my kids away from me) back in 2003 when he was working in cahoots with his flying monkey Rachel who had taken over my home. He never apologized for this either. Yet he hates me because I “made him homeless” because after waiting on him hand and foot for 7 years and getting (and asking) nothing in return other than some help with the bills (which because he refused to work he couldn’t provide) I finally tossed him out when I reached my breaking point when he gave my daughter a black eye. I told him way back in 2007 when he first moved back in with me I would not tolerate violence. Well, he broke that promise. If he hadn’t done that, chances are I would still be putting up with him today.

During the time he was waiting for disability, he did so by my charity. If it hadn’t been for me providing him a place to live–and otherwise supporting him, he would probably have died on the streets since no one else would put up with him (and everyone else had kicked him out). He would never have gotten his SSI because no one would have sacrificed their happiness, given over their home, or put up with his intolerable, exploitative behavior for that long.

One day recently I sat down and calculated how much he had cost me over the 7 years he lived with me and the 5 he lived as a human leech and did not contribute one penny to the household expenses. I spent at least $20K on him, including turning over at least a third of my tax returns to him for at least 4 of those years. And this after he whined countless times, “But I don’t cost you anything!” Yeah, right.

Today he got his SSI check–not the regular monthly check, but the back pay going back to the time he stopped working in about 2008. The check he got is for well over $30K. So this useless, narcissistic, evil, hateful, exploitative, pathetic excuse for a human being is being rewarded–on the backs of the two people (me and my daughter) who made it all possible for him (not to mention the taxpayers). And yet….he told my daughter I will not get a dime of this money. Even though he saw how much I struggle financially, even though I work my ass off, even though I do all this with a smile on my face…not once during the time he lived with me did he show one iota of empathy or even offer to help around the house. Even after working all day, I came home and did all the housework–which meant cleaning up after him because he sat here getting high and trashed the house every day.

moneybags

If I was going to make him accountable for what I had to spend on him, I would ask him for $20K. But I will not do that. I feel $3500 is fair. Of course he is not legally obligated to pay me this sum, nor do I have any legal rights to it. I don’t have a case in the eyes of the law. I don’t expect to get a dime from him, in fact, knowing his history with money, I expect he will spent most of it on drugs and gambling, maybe buy himself a nice new car (while my transmission on my 2001 Taurus is almost shot) and find a place to rent. The rest he’ll spend on whims–because that’s the way he operates. He sees something and has to have it right now. Like most narcs, he’s stuck at the emotional level of a very young child. The money he has will probably be gone in six months.
But it still doesn’t make me feel any better. I feel like I’ve been had. Used and used up.

I’m still dirt poor and now the asshat’s got a shitload of money for doing absolutely nothing except use me to freeload off of while he waited to get that money, and the unfairness of it is astounding and infuriating and makes me want to break a lot of things.

bang-head-here

I understand if this sounds incredibly self indulgent, childish, and petty, and I apologize for that. I’m not too proud of it either. But I just don’t understand why Narcs ALWAYS seem to come out ahead, leaving a trail of destruction and misery behind them. I hope there’s a such thing as karma.

The Serenity Prayer comes in handy in times like this.

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The Courage to change the things I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

It’s the only thing I can do.

Don’t judge me because I’m poor.

impoverished
The topic that’s on my mind right now is potentially volatile and can open a huge, rotten, festering can of political worms, so that’s why I’ve been hesitant to write this. But heck, it’s on my mind, and I promised myself and my readers I would hide NOTHING, and I NEED to rant about it because it hits so close to home, so here goes.

Recently, there’s been an increasing number of conservatives (the loudest and most extreme are in the Republican Party) who have abandoned all pretense of caring about those who have less than they do–in fact, they are openly (even proudly) hostile toward the poor, blame-shifting the lousy economy, lack of jobs, and basically all of America’s problems onto the most vulnerable people in our society. American society in particular has become narcissistic, worshiping and rewarding those who have the most money and the most toys, while punishing those who have nothing more than ever before, rubbing salt into their wounds. Their contempt used to be limited to the poor who didn’t work (and those who were milking the system and might have deserved their wrath), but lately it’s extended even to the working poor–men and women who hold up to 2 or 3 jobs and work full-time (and many supporting young children), but due to the low wages they earn that haven’t kept up with an economy rife with inflation and where good jobs are scarce, still can’t lift themselves out of poverty. Empathy is seen as a liability rather than a virtue, and those who have empathy for others are seen as weak. Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” has become the bible of the greedy and self-centered, and no one bats an eyelash, even though Rand herself was a narcissist whose role model was a serial killer.
The verdict is, if you don’t have money, you don’t deserve to live. There are no extenuating circumstances. If you’re poor, it’s your own fault.

Hatred of the poor isn’t anything new (and has been going on throughout human history, but enjoys spurts of popularity from time to time), but lately there hasn’t even been any effort to mask the hatred–it’s in your face constantly. Just watch FOX News, which I don’t. There’s no civility any more, and even less empathy.

It’s really a form of prejudice, no different really than a person of color ostracized and shamed because of the color of their skin. As a person who is currently under severe financial stress and trying to survive on an income barely above minimum wage (and having no outside help or assistance) as well as being a Highly Sensitive Person, I feel these insults keenly and feel diminished and enraged every time I read another article or watch another news show where some self-righteous cretin blathers on about how “the poor choose to be poor,” or that we are lazy, entitled, “welfare queens” with no morals and even less intelligence–and worse yet, dare to hide their ugly and mean-spirited self-righteousness under a cloak of piousness: many (not all) of these small-minded people call themselves Christians. I actually remember hearing some politician (I can’t remember who) who said Jesus wouldn’t give handouts to the poor, and cutting Food Stamps would be the most Christian thing one could do. What I’d like to know is, what God does he worship and what Bible is he reading? How dare he presume to put words like that into Jesus’ mouth, when Jesus himself was all about acceptance and love of the downtrodden and oppressed of his society.

The reason why this open hostility toward the poor is such a huge trigger for me is because that attitude assumes something about me that isn’t true. People who embrace the “you chose to be poor” mindset haven’t walked in my shoes, and they don’t know me or what led to my circumstances. They are presuming something about me based on an ugly stereotype. How is saying all poor people are lazy, stupid and entitled any different from saying all blacks are criminals, or all Jews are dishonest and greedy, or all Italians are dirty and don’t bathe? Now I’m not saying I didn’t make some bad choices because I have. I’m not saying I bear no responsibility for my own circumstances, because I do. I’m not saying it’s my government’s responsibility to lift me into the middle class, because it is not.

But you don’t know me. You have no idea who I am or why I am poor. You can’t, since you probably either never were poor, or if you had to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” you probably didn’t really–you probably had a grandpa, a mom and dad, or a long-lost uncle who helped you through college and graduate school, or helped you get the job you have today, or a loving mother who gave you a place to stay when you were down on your luck. Don’t tell me this does not apply to you. Hillary Clinton said “it takes a village” to raise a child, and she was right: it’s a fact that kids who were not given the opportunities–either in the form of college tuition or some other type of tangible or even just emotional support, are far less likely to become successful.

As an only child of narcissist parents (mostly my mother, but my father was an enabler and N-apologist), I had no financial, physical, or emotional support once I reached the age of 18. I had to pay for my own college education with student loans, while working full time. When I hit rough spots later in life, I never had the option to return home while I got back on my feet. On top of this I was suffering from depression, PTSD, autism, and avoidant personality disorder–and every one of these disorders causes people to become withdrawn, isolated and introverted. I think it’s a legacy a lot of us children of narcissists have been saddled with–there does seem to be some sort of correlation between narcissistic parents and autism (as well as the obvious PTSD and avoidant personality). Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it was believed autism was caused by “refrigerator mothers” but this theory was later rejected–however I do think there is something to it and should be studied further. Autistic adults (and non-autistics who have nevertheless turned inward due to their abuse) have a real handicap in today’s fast paced, competitive society where aggression, brashness and great social skills are a huge plus. Those of us who are intelligent but who don’t do well in a social setting are likely to become lost in the world because we lack the ability to connect and make friends with successful people who could help us. If an autistic adult (or just a painfully shy adult) doesn’t have family support and also lacks a specialized degree or talent (that may or may not be “discovered”), it’s not likely they’ll get very far in life, regardless of their native intelligence. It has nothing to do with how hard they work: I’ve worked my butt off most of my life, at times holding 2-3 jobs AND attending college, so I don’t think my poverty is due to my being “lazy and entitled.” I do not get any “welfare” or even food stamps. Everything I have, I pay from my own pocket, so shut the hell up.

So that’s why I hate it when people make assumptions about why I’m poor, and tell me what I’m doing wrong when they know diddly squat about what makes me tick or what motivates me. I don’t think poverty is a lifestyle “choice”–no one in their right mind would choose a life of struggle, want and heartache. For most of us, it was foisted upon us. And the more you have to worry about basic things like food and shelter, the less energy and time you have to “improve yourself.” But I don’t expect outside assistance or a “government handout” and haven’t asked for any. I try to take the steps necessary to pull myself out of the mire, but I REALLY resent being blamed for my situation when I lacked the advantages most other kids had, then had to somehow find my place in an unempathic, narcissistic, materialistic society where people who are introverted or highly sensitive or who live inside their heads are considered weak, stupid and incompetent because we don’t “schmooze” well with others.

Money. Yep, I’m really going there.

moneyfear

Talking about money is something I hate.  It’s because I don’t have any.   My years of abuse as a victim of psychopathy was so demoralizing that it nearly destroyed all my self confidence (something I never had much of to begin with).   I think being poor is something a lot of people who spent most of their years trapped in the bubble of psychopathy have been forced to deal with–especially if they were the family scapegoat who was always told “you’re a failure” or “you’ll never succeed in anything.”   News flash:  we got brainwashed.   

I have the native intelligence to have become pretty successful, and I did have a few false starts and a promising beginning in publishing many years ago.  But I’ve always had trouble sticking with anything or following it through due to my pathetic self image and negativity.   When I’ve had opportunities either I (or my psychopaths) sabotaged them.

Being a person with autism doesn’t help.   As an Aspie,  I lack the social skills necessary to be able to connect and network well with those who could have helped me.  Family?   Fuggeddabout it!  They were never any help at all.  I won’t go into anymore detail about that in this post; if you’re interested in my sob story you can click on the link at the top “My Story” and link to my memoirs.    You might just want to do that anyway, since you’re interested enough in the topic of NPD and psychopathy to be reading my blog.

So, here’s the good part.   Currently I have a crappy job that barely pays more than minimum wage and I’m supporting myself and my daughter.   I was pretty much resigned to always being one of the “working poor”  especially since I’m over 50.     I didn’t have high hopes for the future.   I felt like I was just marking time until death.

Almost a year ago I kicked out my psychopathic ex-husband, who I wasn’t even married to since 2005, but allowed him to live with me anyway.  Pretty crazy, huh?   Being divorced but allowing him to live with me and use me for  7 years after the divorce.    Can we say insane?

At first being completely independent (and no longer depended on for narcissistic supply) was pretty scary and slow going.  Many times this past year I feared I wouldn’t make it.

I’ve always loved writing but thought I forgot how to write.  Actually I just lost the motivation and desire, and that was due to severe depression and C-PTSD from so many years living under the shadow of psychopaths.   My depression has been lifting, and one day not even two weeks ago I decided I would start a blog.  And here it is.

I’m pretty proud of my blog.    But more than just making me feel good about myself, I realized I never forgot how to write.   In fact, writing’s an addiction now, and I’m posting so much I’m afraid it might be too much and people will get bored.   But evidently they are not, going by the increase in my view and follower counts.

At first I was writing this blog just for me, as self therapy.  And it still is that.  I still have a LOT of shit to work through.  I’m not out of the woods yet.

But now I have a vision beyond just writing for myself.  I want to help others, and I want to make a living blogging while I help others.   I absolutely love doing this.   It’s a passion and I haven’t had a real passion in…forever.

I already got the custom design upgrade (pretty cheap at $30) and am thinking about taking a class in CSS at the community college so I can use those features.   I can try to use the tutorials here but find them a little hard to follow.

If this blog ever gets big (I’m not counting on it but you never know!), I’ll probably be wanting to upgrade to WP.org to get my own domain name and maybe allow ads on my blog which would also bring in a small income.  I have to learn a lot more about this.

Which brings me to my main point, which is a request of sorts.    I was afraid to ask for money because I didn’t set up this blog to make money and it just seems, well, greedy.  But here’s the thing.    You already know I’m strapped for cash and don’t make much on my day job, and I dearly want to keep my blog going, for myself as well as for others who may be helped by it.   But right now, I’m even struggling to pay for Internet access.    I could use some help.

So what I am doing is setting up a Paypal account and a link in the green bar in my header if anyone is interested in donating to my blog (the money would ONLY be used to keep the blog going, not for anything else-you have to trust me on this).   Of course I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to donate, and I don’t actually expect to get any donations.   But anything you could afford would be deeply appreciated.   If you can’t afford anything (or don’t want to donate), no worries!   Following and reading my blog is fantastic support in itself and is more than appreciated, believe me.

But I’m going to throw it up there anyway and see what happens.

One more thing.   I have been meditating a lot recently and there are some great subliminal videos on Youtube to help you do this more effectively and help you relax.    People may be skeptical, but something kind of weird happened.  While browsing meditation videos last night, I came across this one, which promised after viewing it, you would begin to find new ways to attract money you never had before.   I thought of the donation idea today and also decided I want this blog to more than just for myself and also become MY JOB.   So I wonder if these new desires are a manifestation of whatever subliminal “messages” were implanted in my brain last night.

Here is the video I watched.

Even if you’re skeptical about it’s money attracting powers, the images of space and the universe are beautiful beyond belief and the music is very relaxing.