23 things I hate about my life.

toilet

It’s time for a little shameless self pity.

I’m actually not in a negative mood right now, but I was yesterday for awhile and I desperately wanted to vent. It’s great to try to be positive and look at the bright side of things, but to deny the shit in our lives is like denying that sometimes you just have to get it out, whether it’s emotional shit or the other kind. Holding it in is bad for you.

So I’m getting it all out here right now and then moving on.

1. I hate the fact I’m over 50 and make poverty level wages. Being poor does seem to be a common complaint among those of us who were trained to be victims by narcissistic families. We just never learned how to navigate the world and lack the confidence to do it very well.

2. I hate the fact I have a job that has nothing to do with what I really love and don’t really know how I can parlay writing into a career.

3. I hate that I love the beach, live so far away from it, and can’t afford to go. I haven’t been to the beach in six years.

4. I hate the fact I want to date again but am terrified of that prospect too. I don’t want to die alone but worry no one would want to stay with me.

5. I hate the fact I have no health insurance and can’t afford to buy any. I don’t qualify for Obamacare because my income is too low and this state won’t allow me to get Medicaid. We do have a free medical clinic in town but I hate the condescending way they treat you there.

6. I sometimes wonder why the hell I ever moved to this state, although it’s really not so bad.

7. I hate the way I acted when I was younger and cringe in embarrassment and shame thinking about it sometimes. I want to divorce my younger self sometimes and pretend she never existed, even though I know that to heal, I need to make peace with her and learn to love her.

8. Sometimes I feel like a huge loser in life. Of course this idea has been drummed into me by my narcs and I’ve internalized it. It’s not an easy belief to let go of.

9. I hate the fact I sometimes doubt my faith.

10. I hate the way I sometimes still hurt people without meaning to.

11. I hate feeling like I’m always guilty of something and always have to apologize.

12. I hate that I’m so socially awkward that people sometimes think I’m daft. Having hearing issues on top of Aspergers and Avoidant PD sure doesn’t help with this.

13. I hate how fair I am. I can’t tan anymore (I could as a child and teenager) but at least I don’t have wrinkles.

14. I hate that I had an abortion and never got to meet the son I would have had (it was male and would have been born in March or April of 1999 so he’d be 16 now). At the time I didn’t feel like I had a choice.

15. I hate the fact I spent three months in a mental hospital in 1996 and at the time didn’t take the DBT training very seriously. I kept the books and do now though.

16. I hate the fact I wasted my young adult years chasing men and obsessing over finding the perfect man instead of focusing on my education and training for a real career in journalism.

17. I hate the fact I don’t have any close friends IRL. I won’t let anyone get close to me because I’m afraid if they found out too much about me they would hate me.

18. I hate the fact my family of origin sucked and have never been supportive of me or loved me unconditionally and judge me so harshly.

19. I hate the fact my family thinks my mental disorders are just an excuse and take no interest in them or why I have them.

20. When push comes to shove, I still can’t say I’m really a very happy person. I’ve gotten better but I wonder if I’ll ever really be happy. I’m looking into getting a therapist.

21. I wish I had been a better mom when my kids were young. I still beat myself up over not having been there for them when they needed me most.

22. I hate that I haven’t seen my son in two years because he lives 700 miles away and I can’t afford to travel to see him.

23. I hate it that I still have so much trouble speaking up when I’ve been hurt or standing up for myself when my rights have been violated.

That felt kind of good.

toilet_flushing_5

Advertisements

I feel like I’m a bad friend.

bad_friend

Tonight on a whim I looked up an old Facebook friend I hadn’t talked to since 2012 (we had been close from 2009-2011) and was shocked and very upset to learn that she died this past September of Merkel cell carcinoma. She’d had to have part of her jaw and her lips removed and I even saw her post that first announced her terminal cancer diagnosis. She asked for prayers.

I never knew. I never bothered to check in on her until tonight and felt just awful about not having been there at all for her while she was in so much pain and dying. I left a post on her wall (which is still up) telling her to rest in peace and how sorry I was. What else can you say to a dead friend you abandoned? Sure, she was only a Facebook friend but I still feel like an insensitive heel.

About two years ago, another casual friend, someone I had actually known through work who ran a blog about living in poverty in the United States, and who was known to have suffered from major depression, committed suicide. I hadn’t talked to her in several months, and it was her husband who posted about her death on her wall. I learned this horrible news THE DAY AFTER she killed herself. All I could do was offer some kind words to her bereaved husband, who had loved her very much and was understandably devastated. I felt ashamed at not having talked to this woman during the months prior to her suicide and was almost too embarrassed to say anything to her husband.

I always seem to find out bad news about friends and people I used to know on Facebook, which is another reason I don’t like Facebook too much.

But neither of these things are as terrible as the way I treated a close friend of mine from back in the 1980s. Robert was gay and he was one of my best friends for several years. We used to have a blast together, and were even roommates for awhile. I remember planning his 21st birthday party and how much fun it turned out to be (and I hate parties!)

But Robert was also promiscuous and brought strange men home while we were roommates. He also developed schizophrenia around this time, and due to both his bringing men I didn’t know to the apartment and his declining mental condition, I had no other choice but to move out. We continued to remain in touch occasionally even after I married, but over time, as friendships do when lives go in different directions, we lost contact and stopped speaking.

betrayal

Just after my son was born in 1991, I received a phone call from Robert’s sister. She told me Robert was in the hospital and very close to death. He had AIDS and had lost his vision and his mind, and was no longer able to feed himself and had to be cared for like an infant. It occurred to me he probably already had AIDS during the time I knew him. I was shocked at the news and promised to come visit him in the hospital, but I never did. In all honesty, I was afraid to see him like that and chickened out, even though I had intended to go.

He died two weeks later. His sister called again and invited me to the funeral. Again, I didn’t attend because of the guilt I felt over having abandoned him and never visited him in the hospital.

I realized later how selfish this was of me, only caring about my own needs and feeling like seeing him like that would be too upsetting and just plain weird. My friend needed me when he was dying and I let him down. I never forgave myself for that and still pray for God to forgive me for my selfishness. I’m sure He has, but I never really forgave myself.

That’s why I feel like I’m a terrible friend and maybe don’t deserve to have any.

He still lives in my dreams: the story of my abortion.

childs_dream

Although I’m becoming Catholic in less than two weeks, my views on abortion are still more or less pro-choice, depending on the situation (such as rape or incest), but this post isn’t about my political or moral stance on abortion. It’s about something much closer to my heart than my views on political/religious issues.

It’s about the abortion I had in July of 1998, right at the 12th week, which is the deadline for first trimester, uncomplicated abortions.

I made my first confession tonight in preparation for receiving the sacraments of Communion and Confirmation at the Easter mass. A few days ago, Father C. told me to think about what I wanted to talk about in confession. Even though my abortion and infidelity while I was still married to my narcissist are in the distant past now, those were the things I wanted most to confess, because lately both have been weighing on my mind heavily, especially the abortion.

I won’t get into the whole sordid and sad story of my marriage to Michael, as it’s already been written about under “My Story” (links to that are in the header), but the short version is he was a terrible malignant narcissist in every way imaginable–abusive mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically (when he was drinking). I was miserable during the last years of our marriage and wasn’t in the best of mental health, having been hospitalized twice during the late 1990s for major depression and PTSD.

Michael had his own sins to contend with (but he probably never will because of his narcissism), but I was no saint either. As a Borderline–and at that time not yet knowing how to monitor and control my borderline tendencies (I learned those tools during my first psychiatric hospitalization in 1996)–I tended to act out in impulsive, dramatic and inadvertently selfish ways.

As my husband’s primary source of narcissistic supply and his #1 victim, I was frantic, scared, frustrated, depressed and lonely, and longed for love, tenderness and physical affection. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but simply didn’t think of the needs of others, even my own two children, when there was something I wanted to do, like get together with a new lover. In a person with BPD, this self-centeredness is due more to obliviousness to the feelings of others rather than not caring how they feel. Borderlines also have abandonment issues–that is their greatest fear. I was already emotionally abandoned by my narc husband and had always felt abandoned by my parents, and I longed for connection and affection.

I never made a conscious decision to have an affair, but it happened because I didn’t resist the temptation and once underway, I felt that this illicit relationship was something I needed.

At the hotel where I worked as a banquet server, I met a maintenance man there I’ll call Ryan. He was about 8 years younger than me. We got to be friends and talked a lot during our breaks. I felt very comfortable with him. I found out he was also a deejay at the hotel where we both worked. At many of the events and parties I served, Ryan spun discs when it was time for the guests to dance. At those times I’d go up and join him at the booth where he sat, and we’d talk while the guests danced and the music played.

Soon our friendship developed a sexual element. We realized we were both attracted to each other, though love was never part of the equation.

lovers

Michael and I had not had sex (after the love-bombing honeymoon phase of our relationship was over, I would not say what we did together in bed was making love) for several months by the time I met Ryan. About a month after we first met, in April 1998, he invited me to his house and we spent the entire night with our bodies wrapped around each other in his bed. We made love several times that night.

I called my kids and Michael but I didn’t go home that night. I made up some lie about staying with a girlfriend whose mother was ill. I was getting almost as good as Michael with the lying.

Ryan and I continued to see each other when we could. I was already neglecting my children who needed their mother, not to mention leaving them alone with their narc father. I still feel bad about that to this day and try to make it up by being overprotective now when they’re in their 20s and over-protectiveness is the last thing they need or want.

In August or September of that year I realized I’d missed my period and took a home pregnancy test one afternoon when I was home alone. It was positive.

I panicked. It wasn’t my husband’s child because the last time we’d had sex was months before I became pregnant. There was no way I could tell him I was carrying another man’s child–I couldn’t even imagine the abuse that would be inflicted on him or her. He was already abusive to his flesh and blood son, and he had told me he didn’t want any more children. I knew that if I went through with the pregnancy and had the child, both the child and I would be punished and I couldn’t allow that to happen.

I thought about adoption, but again, I would be subject to Michael’s abuse during the pregnancy especially once I started to show, as it would be a constant reminder to him I was pregnant with another man’s child. Then there was the matter of giving up the baby when it was born. I had no idea how I would explain to people how I could give up mine and Michael’s third child (I wouldn’t have dared tell anyone the child was not his).

I couldn’t decide what to do. But I had to make a decision quick–because I was closing in on 11 weeks and after the 12th week, you enter the second trimester and abortion becomes far more dangerous and medically complicated, not to mention more emotionally harrowing.

I have always been iffy about abortion, but at the time, I really didn’t see any other option. So I picked up the phone and called the local abortion clinic. They didn’t have an appointment for a week, which meant I would be right at 12 weeks–almost three months pregnant. I thought my belly was already showing a hint of a bump.

When the day came, I sat down with a nurse who was very friendly and sympathetic. She told me they had to take an ultrasound so they would know the location of the fetus in my womb before going in to remove it.

After the ultrasound, I surprised myself by asking the nurse if I could see it. She looked at me oddly, then shrugged and turned the screen facing me. I saw my baby there, glowing blue-white and floating in what looked like the darkness of space. I could see the little spine through the thin fetal skin, and it was perfect–it looked like a string of tiny seed pearls. I felt hot tears burn behind my eyelids but I didn’t cry. I swallowed hard and asked if she could tell the sex.

ultrasound

She looked at me sympathetically and then looked back at the screen to study it. She told me it was early, but she believed it was male. I just nodded and thought about that. My third child would have been a boy.

“Are you sure you still want to go through with this?” she asked, placing a soft motherly hand on my forearm.
“Yes,” I said.

The procedure itself wasn’t that awful. I was put in a twilight sleep and could barely tell what was going on. It wasn’t until afterwards, when Ryan was driving me home, that I suddenly began to feel sick. I ordered Ryan to pull over, stumbled out of the car, and threw up into the weeds by the side of the road. Even after my stomach emptied itself, I kept dry heaving. I was bleeding (which is normal) and crying from the pain. Ryan was concerned and came over to me (we were still friends after all this). I screamed at him to go away and leave me alone. Total borderline on my part.

At the time, even though I felt guilty about what I did, it didn’t bother me too much. I thought I had done the only thing I could have done. It wasn’t that I didn’t want this child, but that I couldn’t. The only future I could see for him was a childhood filled with abuse and pain meted out by his stepfather, my husband. He would punish me by punishing my child.

I didn’t think terminating that pregnancy bothered me that much, but on some level it must have, because every May, the month he would have been born, I find myself wishing him a happy birthday and telling him how sorry I am. I have done this every year since May of 2000.

In my dreams, I have watched him grow up into the almost 16 year old he would be right now. I always see him at the age he would have been at the time of the dream and he is always running away, fading into dream-space. I keep losing track of him. He always ignores my presence. I’m just some strange woman to him.

Even though this boy grew inside my body for three months, it weighs heavily on my heart that I don’t know him either. I don’t know one thing about him. I don’t know what he likes or dislikes, or what his interests or hobbies are. I don’t know what his personality is like. In my dreams he never talks to me, even if I try to talk to him. He always runs or turns away or dissolves into the dream space. One thing I can tell is that he is hurt and angry. He doesn’t know I’m his mother, but he does know he was inflicted with the ultimate betrayal–not having been allowed to have a life. I know instinctively his hurt and anger is because of this.

gate

There is a metaphysical wall I can never get past. I cannot know his spirit. I know what he looks like, or would have looked like because he always looks like the same person in my dreams. He changes because he’s growing up in dream-time but his face is always the same. He looks like a male version of me when I was young but his hair is much darker than mine.

I never gave him a name. Although I know God has forgiven me, I still regret never having been a mother to this boy, this third child who would have been my two older children’s little brother.

He lives on in my dreams. Maybe one day I will see him in heaven and he will have forgiven me.

Why are we all so old?

old_women

It seems that most of us who have finally left their narcissistic abusers, blog about it, or have finally gone No Contact with their narcissistic FOO’s (family of origin) are not spring chickens. Most of us seem to range from our 40s to 60s.

We are just now finding out, late in life perhaps (but never too late), what WE are really all about and the way we wasted so many years staying with our abusers or allowing them to continue to control us, even from a long distance. Many of us remain terrified of our parents or siblings until a very late age. We unconsciously revert back to our childhood roles when forced to deal with them.

It hurts to realize that our younger years were wasted on being narcissistic supply to someone else, instead of becoming the productive, happy people God meant for us to be. There’s a lot of guilt when we realize how we cheated ourselves out of happiness. We neglected our abilities, abandoned our interests, never developed our minds and talents, and became vulnerable to mental illness, generally dismal self esteem, poverty and even chronic illness due to the abuse we endured. This is the way our narcs wanted us, because a weakened person is not a threat. A weakened person is obedient and won’t leave the narcissist. Most of us were trained from an early age to be supply for other narcissists.

While it’s natural to feel regret for all that we missed out on when we were younger, we need to forgive ourselves. What happened to us wasn’t our fault. It happened because we are nurturers by nature and attract narcissists who see us as easy marks. They are also pathologically envious of the qualities (such as empathy and love) we have that they will never possess. They want what we have but will slowly (or not so slowly) kill us to get it. But those qualities they envy and want so badly will always elude them, because they must come from inside themselves, not from others they have recruited to be their victims. Inside, they are emotional vacuums that are essentially empty but devour the life force from others.

It’s never too late for us to change, but I wonder why it is that you rarely sees narcissistic abuse bloggers who are much younger than their 40’s. Does it really take that long for us to wake up from our delusions that by only pleasing our narc that we will live happily ever after? And WHY does it take that long?

It’s amazing how much I have learned about myself in one short year. I never believed people when they used to tell me I would be so much happier and more confident without my needy malignant narcissist ex-husband feeding off of my patience, my finances, my emotional stability, and even my sanity. I thought this shit was normal. I was accustomed to it. Now I know it was anything but normal. Seriously, you’d have to take a gun and shoot me in the head before I’d go back to living the way I did until just over a year ago.

On abused men.

abused_man

I also sometimes wonder how many men have been victimized by narcissistic/psychopathic women (or other men). I know they exist but there seem to be very few men blogging or writing about their abuse. That’s probably because men have a harder time talking about their feelings, especially on a public blog or forum. To admit having been abused by a woman probably is seen by men as an admission of weakness, even though it’s really anything but.

I think men’s fear of being seen as weak or vulnerable puts them at a huge disadvantage and makes it less likely that they will ever be able to repair the damage done to their minds and emotions. Men are also less likely to enter therapy than women. They may finally leave their abuser, but they continue to suffer alone instead of sharing their pain and journey to wellness with others who have similar stories. I think that’s so sad.