Sunday, May 15, 2016
The Stages of Recovery From ?
It has been quite a road. A road which I still travel. I don't know if anyone ever reaches the end. So what is it for me?
None of those words fit for me...or maybe it is that that more than one do?
Grief and loss do not really fit in my situation.
I experienced "grief" years ago.
Grief : deep sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, heartache, heartbreak, agony, suffering, woe, dejection, despair
I LIVED with those things for too many years to count. DURING the relationship but not after it. My life was hijacked, my mind was twisted, my faith trampled, my children abused, my views distorted, my soul stolen, my sanity questioned, my support system corrupted, my self-esteem crushed and my self-assuredness demolished. THAT was the grief...this was NOT grief.
Loss- the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value.
No...does not fit. What I lost was not of value and I was well aware of that.
Betrayal- to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty.
CERTAINLY, there was betrayal, but that betrayal was not NEW and, truth be known, I was already aware of it. Replacement with another woman was the LEAST profound of the betrayal that I experienced. I slept next to the betrayer for YEARS, in the knowledge that he was betraying me. What could be WORSE than that?
Certainly an end to that betrayal was MUCH preferable.
Abuse- cruel, malicious and/or violent treatment of a person or animal.
This was happening all along. THIS meant the end of abuse not the beginning.
SO THEN, from WHAT am I recovering?
I have been thinking about it for a long time. I think that if any of those things were more true, this might be easier for me to understand.
But I do not grieve or feel a loss. I have never wished, for one MOMENT to return to what was. I glory in my escape with my life and my sanity.
I glory in my freedom and the freedom of my children.
In my opinion, I am trying to recover from many, many years of deliberate psychological manipulation, brainwashing and gaslighting.
I struggle with recovery from the instilled belief that I may be insane, my perceptions incorrect, being told that the world does NOT exist as I see it.
I struggle with recovery from the instilled belief that even things I ALWAYS thought I could be certain of...the trust of family members, my intelligence, my strength, my stubborn nature, the love of my children, the way others perceived me, the belief that I was trusted, believed, respected...might not have been as certain as I thought.
I struggle with recovery from the knowledge that there ARE people such as these people. This knowledge has changed EVERYTHING...everything about how I see, how I think, how I behave.
I struggle to deal with how very easily, they are able to fool others...to turn them...to convince them...to ruin them...to control them and to recruit them into doing EVIL things with only their mind control.
AND I struggle with the fact that they do this without an ounce of regret, guilt or shame but with the true belief that they have every right to do so...and the knowledge that they enjoy it.
I never miss him, I never grieve for what was, I never have memories of the "good times" and I never wonder "What if?" Those things were completely erased, and all questions answered, the day that mask was removed and I saw, with clear horror, that I lived in total ignorance of what slept in my bed for 18 years.
From that day to this one...I have no desire to be in contact with him, hear his voice, see him or even be aware of his existence.
What I am trying to recover is not FROM anything...I am simply trying to recover what I was BEFORE I was unfortunate enough to meet him.
So, if you will excuse the profanity...I am recovering from a giant, colossal, life changing mind-f*ck.
I KNOW that I will never see anything as I did before...because you cannot UNKNOW the truth.
One thing is for certain...while I may never be quite the same...I can spot the signs of their disease in a heartbeat now. It will never happen again, of that I am certain.
I am ALIVE, growing, rediscovering what made me "me" and I will never go back to being spiritually dead.
It is now someone else's turn to learn that horrible secret.
at 1:06 PM
Monday, May 9, 2016
I was reminded of this by a friend.
I found this so profound and felt it was so true, I wanted to share everywhere I share ...
I had a therapist give me an analogy of "Forrest Gump" that really was quite interesting.
She said it is one thing that explains why many people were so captivated by that movie and the characters.
Made a great deal of sense to me.
Forrest, although obviously not extremely intelligent, was PURELY innocent and completely accepting. He saw no bad in others, read nothing into their motivations.
He was very truthful and never afraid to do what he felt was right. He ran when he wanted, stopped when he wanted.
He did not feel above any job or task and he worked hard, but he never worried about the future.
He cared for everyone and accepted them just as they were.
He was self-possessed. He did not care what people thought of him and he internalized nothing that anyone said to him, and yet he remained kind and he was always happy.
He did not run from his troubles and he only fought when he felt he had to.
Jennie represented our instinct to FLEE and Captain Dan represented our instinct to FIGHT. Those are the defences they used to cope with the world...and they were miserable.
It was very easy to understand WHY they used these defenses as they had both endured great trauma. Both felt that Forrest was non-reactive because he was "damaged" and, although they both cared for him, they rejected him over and over. They felt that he was too innocent and too "damaged" to understand their positions and that this is why he remained the way he was.
Eventually, and with consistency, Forrest was able to help them break through their defences and learn acceptance.
In the end, once they stopped "Fighting and Fleeing" they found happiness as well. (Although Jenny did not have happiness for very long.)
Forrest did NOT completely abandon his rights or himself. If it was appropriate (and needed) he would flee or he would fight. He was NOT a doormat.
In short, he was the perfect human being, with perfect boundaries and no need to desire to alter the boundaries of other people...despite the fact that MUCH of the world saw ONLY his "handicap". His handicap became a gift to all those he touched.
This did not keep tragedy from touching his life, and it did not protect him from all pain...but it made him able to accept the pain, work through it, and move forward.
Her take on it is that we need to fight against what our minds (those of us with the "curse" of normal/high intelligence) tell us and attempt to think
"What would Forrest do?"
at 5:46 AM
Sunday, May 1, 2016
We ALL have narcissistic tendencies.....we hear it all the time. That is true if you are talking about the fact that we all need self-love and boundaries in order to survive. Without those things, we are likely to be unable to cope with life on a daily basis.
The only thing I beg to differ with about that statement is that there is a difference between acting narcissistically on occasion and BEING a NARCISSIST.
If we choose what is best for US we may see that as being selfish...but a TRUE narcissist behaves that way at all times. They never do anything else...unless they are attempting to gain something from appearing to be selfless.
I MY opinion...the two DEFINING characteristics of a truly NARCISSISTIC/Predatory individual are:
- Lack of true empathy
- The absolute inability to internalize responsibility, blame or guilt
Now, I am not a psychologist or a mental health professional and I speak in terms of the N/S/P with whom I dealt. I am lucky enough to have dodged all but ONE in my lifetime (too bad my luck did not hold out).
No one knows better than we do that the predator can, and will, FAKE these attributes from time to time...but only for a PURPOSE. If you completely disregard the WORDS THEY SAY and watch their actions...it becomes crystal clear that they do not comprehend either of these things.
The abuser I dealt with was the VERY DEFINITION of a Covert, Socialized, Narcissistic, Sociopath.
Those who are currently in his "favor" would dispute this, of course...just as I WOULD HAVE when I was under his spell.
No matter....it is what it is...and it IS their turn to ride the roller coaster to Hell. My ride is over and I paid for my ticket.
The true topic of this post is that I have a very specific method that I will use, going forward, if I should EVER decide that I might want to try getting into another relationship.
No matter how fooled I was, no matter how much I tried to give him the benefit of every doubt. No matter how much he "love bombed" and "brain washed" me...and no matter how many RED FLAGS waved in the air that I CHOSE to ignore...the TRUTH is this.
Not ONCE in 20 yrs, did he ever admit being wrong about ANYTHING. Not just in OUR relationship but in his life in general.
Not ONCE did he express feeling GUILTY
or say "I wish I had not done that"
or "I guess maybe she was having a bad day and I likely over-reacted"
or "I really need to work on being more patient"
or "Maybe I did not make myself clear"
or "Maybe I should go talk to him because I might have misunderstood"
or "I got angry when I really shouldn't have"
or even "I really do not take criticism very well"
NOT A SINGLE TIME.
He was the most self-assured, rigid, judgmental, absolutely CONFIDENT person I had ever met.
He had NO ABILITY to see things from a different point of view...no sympathy for the "errors" of others...had absolutely no CONCEPT that any view or opinion could have merit accept for his own.
This did not change AFTER the honeymoon, love bombing period. This is just what he is, what he always was and all he knows how to ever be. I now know this to be a VERY BIG red flag.
So, for me, I will ask one question of anyone I ever even THINK about getting involved with. For ME, this is the question that will tell me what I need to know.
"Thinking back on your life, what is one wrong think you have done to hurt someone else that you have felt guilt about since that time and that you wish you could go back and undo?"
Yes, indeed, some of them might be able to think up some lie/story pretty quick...but if they are truly covert predators, lacking all guilt and empathy, you can bet the story will likely come with a "but I did it because..." or "I wouldn't have done it if..." At least in the case of a predator such as the one I dealt with. Likely they will have to think long and hard to try to manipulate things to make themselves appear to be the victim in some way.
I can think of at least three things, off the top of my head, just in my teens and 20's alone.
I lay you odds that the predator I dealt with would be speechless...
at 2:54 PM