In a nutshell…

You know, when I re-made this blog, I wanted SO very much to go from victim to survivor and I felt I could simply make myself do that if I forced myself and tried hard enough.  I know now that was a wish…not what actually happens in reality.  (Where are you, Fairy Godmother?).

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Truthfully, I’m still struggling and I’m doing a disservice by pretending I’m not.  Oh, I’m BETTER!!  SO much better!!  I can get out of bed without spending minutes struggling to force myself out of it.  I can shop, run, eat out by myself and feel good about it.  I can get through a day without crying…not many, but some.  I can see the blessings I have and am thankful for my family, pets, home, career, etc.  But there are still hard days.

There are still days where I wonder if I want to continue in this life.  Days where I want to hide from the world.  Where I ‘nest’ and make excuses to family and friends as to why I can’t see them.  Days where I cry and I don’t know when I’ll be able to stop.  Days I struggle with my depression, and then beat myself up for not being stronger.  Days I hear people saying ‘Enough…you have to think positively’ and I do.  I really do.  But the pain of this past year is still with me, and I can’t pretend otherwise.  I just can’t.

Getting better and healing, I’ve learned, is a process.  Not an act.  Sometimes when I find myself sad and weepy, I wonder just what it is I’m crying for.

Hubby 3 and I separated right around Christmas last year, and things had started getting bad during Thanksgiving, when I chose to go be with my son, instead of staying home with hubby.  I’ve always gone to spend Thanksgiving with my son and hubby was always fine with it.  I’m not sure what triggered his animosity last year, but it was the last straw in many ways.  This past week, I found out something about my marriage which I had suspected, but wasn’t sure of.  And it’s that my hubby has been with someone else for a period of time.  I truly blamed myself for our lack of intimacy (e.g. closeness and sex) these past couple of years, and when he moved out, he insisted he was living in the detached garage of a friend that didn’t even have electricity.  I asked his address numerous times, and he would always say he was ashamed to tell me since he was living so poorly.  I wondered about this since he makes what I do…has 7 Harleys (I had a scooter)…and got a houseful of furniture that I had previously purchased.  But I believed him because I loved him…and still do.  When I received our divorce papers in the mail the other day, I saw his address and looked it up.  Then drove by.  He’s living in a house much nicer than mine, and there’s no detached garage.  His work truck was in the drive and his van by the curb.  I called him about it and finally, after a long while, he admitted he had been living with someone and had been doing so since he left.  Have you ever heard the expression ‘I felt like I’d been sucker punched?’  That’s what I felt.  I literally lost my breath and felt like throwing up.  No matter what ever happened between hubby and me, I always believed we were genuine with each other.  We revealed things to each other I’ve NEVER ever shared with anyone else, and he did the same.  To find out he’d moved in with someone, while LYING about it, hurt like bloody hell.  It makes me question our last 2 years together, and I’m so furious at him for making me feel the separation was all about me.  Yes, like I said, I still love him.  But, my respect and trust in him is gone.  And that breaks my heart.

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My mentor died on Dec. 28th.  He was a prof of Political Science and from the day I started teaching as an adjunct, he was my friend, ally, and mentor.  He took me under his wing, and not 1 day went by where he didn’t joke with me, hug me, talk to me, or make me smile and feel good.  He did the same for my son.  My son was 3 when I started teaching part-time, and I’d often bring him to school with me while I graded or picked things up.  Larry always treated my son like gold…was really like a Godfather to him.  Once, when my son was around 10, he was at school with me while Larry had a class.  Larry saw him, and let my son ‘lecture’ to his students.  My son did incredibly well, and Larry was duly impressed!  When my son was a student at the college, Larry always gave him and his friends lunch money and hung out with them at times.  I know my son loved him as much as I did.

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Here’s something I’ve never really talked about before, but I’m ready now.  Do you remember the story about the U.S.S. John McCain that was hit by a commercial liner and 10 navy men died this August?  One of those was my nephew, Logan.  My son and Logan were born only 5 months apart, and us 2 families lived only a mile apart. Further, our house was built on my hubby’s parent’s property so Logan and his siblings were often at Grandma’s and next door to us.  My son was always over to be with them.  The kids often played at our house too, and my son and Logan were always on the same ball teams, soccer teams, boy scout troops, etc.  I also did a lot with my son during the summers and Logan and his siblings were included.  Trips to the zoo…swimming almost everyday…going to playgrounds…and I loved it.  After my son’s dad and I got divorced, I never stopped being in contact with my in-laws and these wonderful kids.  Like my sister always says, “Blood is thicker than water, but love is stronger than both!”  And it’s true.  My nephews and niece weren’t ‘in-law’…they were MINE.

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As Logan and his brother got older, they went to my college and took some of my classes!  It was a hoot and they always loved it when I would tell my students that I changed their diapers when they were babies!  If they weren’t in my classroom (even when they didn’t have class with me but just wanted to sit in), they were in my office or we were making a McDonald’s run over my lunch hour.  Those years at school with them were so awesome.  Before Logan left for what was to be a years long deployment, he came to see me.  We couldn’t stop hugging and I cried the entire time.  Before he said goodbye, the last thing Logan said to me was that he loved me so much and I was another mom to him.  Wow.  I told him he was another son as well.  Period.  When the ships collided, Logan was on the top deck.  Safe.  But, despite his superior’s order not too, my nephew ran down to the bottom deck because his friends were down there.  He saved 3 of his friends, before he was caught in a compartment and drowned.  My 24 year old nephew knowingly risked, and gave, his life for these other men.  All 3 were pallbearers at his funeral, and one of them became a father a couple of weeks after the accident.  I miss Logan like hell.  He was the cutest, funniest, orneriest, silliest kid and I loved his spunk.  A memorial was put up at Pearl Harbor honoring the fallen, and there were boots lined up with the badges of the sailors.  On Logan’s badge was my last picture taken with him.  He carried me around.  Me.  And I’ll carry him in my heart forever.

The student who is stalking me and harassing me is still out there too (please excuse the language in these texts…but I wanted you to see what I’m dealing with…it turns into gibberish and apparently, he was drunk.  I’ve also taken off any identifying information.).

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He has not been formally expelled from my college yet, despite the blatant, written threats against my life.  My yard was full of pistachios the other day which can be fatal to dogs in large quantities, and I have a feeling it was him who scattered them.  I also have seen a car, like his, parked where I walk my dog and have the sense of being watched.  This man, who started by writing me love poems, and ended by telling me I was a Jewish whore who he damned to hell…a kike…a ‘Lydia Lampshade’ is still living blocks from me, and not yet banned from campus.  I feel like a sitting duck.  It’s stressful to think I have to be on the lookout every minute.

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Security on campus walks me to and from my classes and my door is locked after my classes begin.  I feel as if my campus is now a prison and I hate it. My safe, fun, personal space is now a scary one.

Over these past months I’ve written so much about Sarge, and yes, I’m still struggling with the effects of his abuse too.  Things he has said to me resonate in my mind, and everything I’ve ever been proud of like crafting, my degrees, my position at the college he has put down, made fun of, and has forced me to hear these negative words over and over in my mind.  When this happens, I fight it.  But let’s be honest, those words are still in there.  We can push them down…but we can’t force ourselves to forget them.  And on bad days, those words take on much more emphasis.  I’m also very much coping with the infidelity.  Now that I know my hubby did the same, it magnifies its’ significance and makes me question what I’M doing wrong that these 2 men chose to cheat on me.  My sexual self-esteem is pretty low right now.

This has been the worst year of my 50 year life, and as I read back to this, I simply can’t believe everything that’s happened.  It’s almost to the point of it sounding made-up!  I wish it were.

So, I’m going to allow myself to have good days, but bad days too.  I’m not going to feel guilty for crying.  For mourning.  For being depressed.  It’s not that I’m not moving forward.  It’s because I need to grieve my losses and come to terms with all the things I have experienced this year.  Making a sun-shiney blog isn’t my big fix.  I thought it would be.  I hoped it would reflect something new in me that was healed and ready to go full steam ahead.  Life is harder than that though, isn’t it?  I have sunshine, but I still have clouds and rain too.  And, I’ve learned it’s OK.  Life isn’t all great.  And life isn’t all bad.  It’s taking each day as it comes.  Doing the best you can.  And allowing yourself to feel genuinely about what’s happening.  And that, my friends, is what I’m going to do.

I love you all.

Prof K ❤

 

 

Toughen Up, Guys!

Yesterday, I showed a documentary in my class called “Tough Guise 2” with Jackson Katz.  It is all about the way the media has ‘hypermasculinized’ men, just like they have ‘hypersexualized’ women.  Boys are socialized into this role where they can’t show emotion or sensitivity without the threat of bullying or being labeled a ‘fag’ or ‘sissy’.  They are forced to put on a mask (a guise) and always act tough.  In fact, they are made to believe that toughness and aggressiveness are the only acceptable ways to show you’re a man.  And it’s not just the media showing this…it’s also peers, family, etc.  How many times have you heard someone say to their son: “Big boys don’t cry!”  or “Toughen up, son!”  or “Quit being so sensitive!”.  And as they get older, how about “Grow a set!”  “Be a man!”  And the list of commands go on.

Take a look at the statistics presented in the film: (http://www.mediaed.org/transcripts/Tough-Guise-2-Transcript.pdf):

• 86% of armed robberies are committed by men.
• 77% of aggravated assaults are committed by men.
• 87% of stalkers are men.
• 86% of domestic violence incidents resulting in physical injury are perpetrated by men.
• 99% of rapes are committed by men.
• Men commit approximately 90% of murders.
• Over the past 30 years, 61 of the last 62 mass shootings have been committed by men.

The reason we watched this particular film is because we’ve been studying gender issues in my Intro to Sociology classes.  When people think of ‘gender’ studies, they assume we talk about women.  After all, we’re the one’s who are oppressed…we make less money, have less political power, and are more likely to be raped, assaulted, and harassed than men.  But, men have a gender too!!  And I believe it’s so important to make sure their issues are heard as well.  In fact, I believe that men suffer from oppression too.  If you are only allowed to behave in 1 strict, conforming manner, you are living in a tiny little box.  Women have bigger boxes…we can act ‘masculine’ (to a degree) without being hassled. When I was little, I loved playing with trucks and Lincoln Logs, and climbing the tree in my grandparents yard after I played a game of basketball on their driveway.  And it was OK!  But, had a boy played with dolls, preferred tea sets over footballs, or wanted to spend time crafting instead of wrestling around on the floor, he would have been stopped.  And no matter how gender neutral we might be, I truly believe parents help their boys climb into their box.  I remember saying things to my son at times like “It’s ok…just toughen up…”.  I’m sorry I did…I’m sorry I fed into the idea that boys have to learn to be this tough man so early in life, but I did it because I knew the repercussions of NOT doing so.  I wanted my son to be respected.  To fit in.  To not be the one who is victimized in the class.  So I justify making my son into a man.  And I question whether this was right or not.

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When I mention the word ‘feminism’ in my class, I ALWAYS get groans and rolled eyes.  I think many believe this means a woman who hates men and wants to take over the world!  No.  (Although at times, I see how taking over might be a good thing…heaven knows the men aren’t running things well right now!).  Anyhoo…when I explain that feminism means “Biology is not Destiny”, their attitude starts to change.  I ask the young men in my classes if they want their daughters to have the same opportunities as their sons.  They all nod and say yes.  So, there you go.  They are feminists too!!

But shouldn’t men also have the same opportunities in being able to show EVERY emotion the good Lord gave us?  Instead of having to stifle the majority of them, and only show the ‘tough’ ones?  Isn’t that oppression too?  Isn’t that a lack of opportunity in being a fully formed human?  Hmmmm.  In fact, it’s interesting how the division between the genders is getting WORSE instead of better.  EVERYTHING is genderized!!  Laxatives, ear plugs, pens, razors, pop, crackers, crayons, earbuds, and the list goes on!  It wasn’t like this when I was a kid/young adult.  A pen was a pen.  Crayons were crayons.  Crackers were crackers.  Why in the world does everything have to be either pink or blue?  Even for adults?  Sheesh!

Now, during this particular unit, I also teach about Domestic Violence.  When I was a grad student, I took a 40 hour DV class so that I could do an 150 hour internship at the local Domestic Violence shelter.  At that time, statistics stated that a woman is beaten every 15 seconds by her boyfriend or husband.  Now?  It’s every 9 seconds.  The problem is getting worse…not better.  Yet we have so many more facilities, knowledge, and public service announcements than ever before.  But it’s not working.  If it was, these stats would be getting better…not worse.

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My point with this?  Tie these 2 things together:  the hypermasculinization of men and the increase in violence against women, and there you go.  I believe we have, and are, raising men to only know how to emote through anger or aggression.  Men who believe they must demand respect.  Men who were taught that crying, having sensitivity, and being empathic are ‘sissy’ things.  Men who have learned that to be tough is to be a man.  Is it no wonder the violence against women in our country is the way it is?

Yes, of course I know this issue is much more complicated and there are multiple reasons Domestic Violence happens.  But I simply can’t believe there’s not a correlation between these 2 things.

So, the question is this?  How can we get away from forcing our boys to be only ‘tough’ men?  Only aggressive men?  Only stoic men?  Only men who believe any emotion one might label feminine is bad…like nurturance, empathy, and sensitivity?  Until we figure this out, the violence against women is not going to get better.  It’s going to get worse.  Like it already has.

Professor K ❤

 

Finding my Voice…

OK…I haven’t posted for a few days because I’m having difficulty with something.  I just can’t find my voice.

First, I renamed my blog MePointToo.  Do you get it?  It’s like a new upgrade of me!  But instead of using “2”, I decided to use “TOO” because it adds that I’m important ‘too’!  OK…now that I’ve typed it out, it sounds a little hokey, but I thought it was clever! :/

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Anyhoo…when I was writing about Sarge and our time together, I felt like I had my voice.  My purpose of starting my blog in the first place was to have a forum, whether people followed it or not, to work through issues I was experiencing that was tied to the narc abuse I was involved in.  I also wanted, if others started following me, to be a support to them as well.  To validate what they were going through and to show a ‘journal’ of my own healing (which I think will be ongoing for a very long time) which was a bit different from the more informative websites already out there.  And with the response I got, I think that worked.  But I also know that people felt I was dwelling too much.  Ruminating too much.  Feeling too sorry for myself.  And as I thought about it, I agreed that I needed to be more positive.  More forward thinking. More PROactive than REactive.

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I adore Dr. Phil.  My sister has always watched him, and after downloading the OWN app, I’ve been watching him myself every chance I get!  I hear him speak a lot about ‘self-talk’ and really take that idea seriously.  I too believe we have ‘tapes’ in our heads, and if we have a negative tape playing all of the time, it’s going to cause the negativity to gain even more power.  And if we have a positive one going, it’s going to have much better consequences.  I’m trying, as I get through my days, to turn off the negative when I recognize it, and put in the positive.  And I’m liking the changes happening!

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But it doesn’t mean I still don’t hurt and I’m still not struggling with issues.  Sometimes, I feel as if there are time limits put on our feelings.  OK, you’ve grieved for 6 months, you’re done.  That type of thing.  And although I’m working VERY hard to move forward, it doesn’t mean I’m still not dealing with things.  I don’t want people to think that.  I don’t want my fellow narc sufferers to think I waved a magic wand and I’m all better now.  Not at all.  We’re all still in this together.

However, I want to help myself move forward and have better self-talk through this upgraded blog!  And, I’m having a hell of a time finding my voice in it!!  Actually, I’m having a hell of a time finding my voice IN MYSELF too!

OK…positive talk.  Here’s what I’m saying to myself…in fact, when I run, I actually use some of these as mantras!  “You are strong!  You are deserving!  You can beat anything!  You are special!  You don’t need someone to complete you!  You are enough!  You can be proud of yourself!”

But see, when I do this, I feel like it’s ‘braggy’!  I’m so used to cutting myself down or minimizing compliments, that it’s actually difficult to say these things to MYSELF!! I feel like by doing it, I’m being the narcissist!

Hmmmmmm…we all know that Narc Personality Disorder is a real and dangerous thing…in the same cluster as psychopathy and sociopathy.  BUT…is there a ‘healthy’ dose of narcissism?  Is it all bad?  Are we focusing on the EXTREME, dangerous aspects of the PERSONALITY DISORDER, while there’s also ‘adaptive’ or mild narcissism?  For example, we all know that narcissism is a grandiose sense of self and self-love.  Now, take out the grandiose.  Sense of self and self-love?  That’s a good thing!!  Narcs have exaggerated ideas about their capabilities…they are overly confident to the degree of being hypersensitive to criticism and believing they are never wrong.  But, wouldn’t a moderate degree of self-confidence be a good thing?  What about self-esteem?  Self-sufficiency?  A feeling that you can take care of yourself, stand up for yourself, while also understanding you can learn from others and take their perspective as well?

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I liken this to alcohol.  A couple of drinks can loosen you up and make you feel good.  And that’s OK!!  It’s called moderation!  However, drinking until you pass out is horrible!  That’s when the drinking has gone too far…you’ve over imbibed…you’ve taken something that can be good (glass of red wine every day for the heart?), and used it to the extreme.

So, maybe I’m working on being a bit more ‘narcissist’…a bit more accepting of myself, a bit more self-confident, a bit more feeling like it’s OK to believe in myself and have love for myself.  Is this a healthy dose?  I’m thinking it is!  For all of us!

I once had someone tell me this:  “In the end, it’s only going to be you.”  And they were right.  You know, I’ve lost friends over Sarge…dignity among my family members, some of whom I’m even ashamed to face…and very much my own self-respect.  All because of this disorder and how it was used against me.

But I’m also gaining a sense of who I am…who I NEED to be…who I CAN be…who I WANT to be.  I’m seeing that I need to grow…look ahead…believe in myself more.

So…was the narc abuse worth it?  NO.  Period.  But the lessons I’m learning from it will help me…are helping me.  However, this education came at a high price…one none of us should have to pay.  But, if something…anything good comes out of it, it just might be a bit beneficial…maybe.

Professor K ❤

In a world where you can be anything…be kind.

Let me ask you all a question.  When did it become such a bad thing in our society to be ‘nice’?  Really.  It seems like being mean gets all the attention.  “Bad Girls Club”, “The Real Housewives” series, “The Bachelor and Bachelorette”…magazines that showcase horrible behavior in order to sell more copies…fights being filmed in order for the uploader to get more views…bullies who push their victims to hurt themselves and even commit suicide…and the list goes on.

I’m a nice person.  My family says I’m nice.  My students say I’m nice.  My friends say I’m nice.  But, as I learned last week, being nice is sometimes a bad thing.  Let me explain.

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I had a student who was my age and for the first couple of weeks of class, we clashed.  I thought some of his comments were stated in a way to provoke me, so I met with him one on one and found that he was an intelligent man who was more inquisitive than others in the class.  He assured me his comments and questions were genuine, and we started to get along much better.   I told him I was a blogger (love that word!) and he asked for the URL.  I don’t share my blog with everyone in my life…since there are very personal things on here.  But, I thought he could appreciate the content.  He started e-mailing me various questions, and I gave him my cell number because it’s much easier for me to get to my texts than to my e-mail so often.  Remember, this is college and we are the same age.  Many faculty include their personal numbers on their syllabi, and getting together with students outside of class isn’t unheard of.  I remember going to a professors’ house for a party once and it was awesome to see him as a ‘person’ instead of just my ‘prof’.

Anyhoo…after a few days, the content of his texts became sexually inappropriate, and I sent him a message telling him that needed to stop.  He agreed we started texting again about everyday things, and I felt as if we could be friends once class was over and he was no longer my student.

Last week, he started texting me in the middle of the night.  It started with a couple of love poems, and then, when I didn’t answer (I was sleeping), the texts became more and more vulgar, irate, and threatening.  He sent around 30 texts during a 5 hour period.  One of them ‘damned me to hell’, while another called me ‘a Jew whore’.  More included things like making lampshades out of me and calling me names I will not type.  All of them included disgusting language…things he wanted to do to me…and cursing at me because I wouldn’t answer him.  I think you get my drift.

Now, let me clarify something.  I’ve always been fascinated with Jewish culture and read anything and everything I can on it.  For my 30th birthday, my mom had a cake made that said “Happy Bar Mitzvah, Marvin!” because I always teased her about why I didn’t have a Bat Mitzvah!  I love Cynthia Freeman books in which she writes so poignantly about generations of Jewish families and their culture and issues, as well as reading Elie Wiesel and Zoe Heller.  I’ve also studied the Holocaust for years, and lecture on it in my classes.  Anyway…I did the 23 and ME genetic testing kit, and when it came back, it showed that on my mother’s side, my 4th great-grandparents back, were 100% Ashkenazi Jew.  As these ancestors married non-Jewish folk, the amount of Jewish heritage became less and less until it’s hardly there.  But I have some.  And I think that’s really cool.

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We talk about ethnicity in my Intro to Sociology classes, and I share my report with my students to encourage them to have their own DNA analyzed and to also see an example of genetic ancestry.  That’s how this particular student knew I had some drops of Jewish blood, and sent the texts referring to that.

Are you kidding me?  Because I have a SMALL percentage of Jewishness, that’s going to be used against me in such a vulgar, despicable, hateful way?

I’m a white woman.  And I’ve experienced very little discrimination in my life.  All of my profs and later, my male colleagues and deans have been nothing but supportive of me as I’ve gone through college and then built my career as a professor.

But now, seeing that people can take something about you…something you can’t control like ethnicity (and of course race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, developmental disabilities, etc.) and make it so spiteful and ugly was shocking to me.  It gave me a teeny insight into how minorities are treated in our society everyday and it makes me…well…to be honest, I have no idea what word to use.  It’s simply horrible.

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I talk about prejudice and discrimination in my classes…and I’ve had black students, gay students, and transgender students talk to me about terrible things they have experienced.  Simply because of who they are.  Simply because of a color.  A preference.  A knowledge of their true self.  That’s it.  And that’s the basis for hatred?  What kind of world are we living in?

I tried to get an Order of Protection against this student, and the judge, at AN EMERGENCY HEARING WHERE THE LAW STATES THE RESPONDENT CAN’T BE THERE SINCE THEY ARE THE THREAT, allowed this man to BE IN THE COURTROOM WITH A LAWYER and allowed him to ‘testify’, submit ‘evidence’, and question me.  I had to act as my own lawyer (per the judge’s order) and actually question this man at an EMERGENCY HEARING AGAINST HIM (and yes, there was a police report filed because the texts were considered to be so threatening)!  It was completely wrong…I was ambushed by these men…and I left during a recess because I’m not a lawyer and had absolutely no idea why the Judge would allow this man to be there.  They are supposed to be served papers AFTER the EMERGENCY HEARING and then a trial date set where BOTH can attend with representation.  It was hellish at best.  (And yes, I’m pursuing this so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.  What if this had been a battered woman, and she had to go against the man still living in her home?  She would have walked away and gone back to even more abuse…it’s terrible to even think about).

So…this man, who turned our ‘friendship’ into something so ugly and outrageous is basically the ‘winner’.   Simply because I wasn’t awake in the middle of the night to answer his first texts.  Wow.

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At any rate, here’s what my friends and family told me: “Professor K, you just can’t be so nice to people anymore.  People will use it against you and hurt you.  Stop being so kind!  It’s simply a different world now.”  And these people, who I love, are right!  Look where kindness and niceness can get us.  Look how people will use anything they can against you.  Look at how something ‘good’ can turn ‘bad’ so quickly.

I don’t want to live in a world where kindness and niceness are bad.  I don’t want a future grandbaby to grow up in such a world.  I want the nice and kind to be the rule…not the exception.  How can we make this happen?  And for all of you out there, who have been harassed, hurt, discriminated against, and judged because of who you are, I’m truly sorry.  For anything and everything you have suffered.  I got a teeny taste of it, and for people to face that every day is unimaginable to me.  I pray for the day this all stops.  Where we accept each other for our character…and nothing else.  And for those of you who live this everyday, God bless you.  You are special.  You are loved.  And you are respected.  Especially by me.

Professor K ❤

A New Beginning!

Did you notice anything new about my blog?  It’s brighter and I’ve changed the direction I want to go!  And I’m so glad I have you all along for the ride!!

I’ve been talking about narc abuse for quite a while now and feel like I’ve said what I’ve needed and wanted to say, and was getting to the point of being stressed and upset by writing all I have.  I think that’s good though…because I was able to get a lot of things OUT and reconcile a lot of things in my life.  It’s been very cathartic.

So many times, I portrayed myself as a victim.  And, since I try hard to be honest, I have to accept responsibility for much of what’s happened to me.  I wasn’t perfect in my marriages…I made a lot mistakes…some small and some big.  Some very shameful and many I wish I could ‘undo’.  I wasn’t a perfect wife or mom…in fact, at times, I was pretty shitty.

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Isn’t that hard to admit?  This is going to sound very 1950’s, but I  LOVE being a wife and I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom.  My happiest days in my life were when my son was a little guy and hadn’t started school yet.  Everyday, we’d do something fun and spend all of our time together.  He was the most adorable, smart, sweet, funny kid ever, and if I could go back and do it again, I would in a heartbeat.  I love the comic below…and I always tell my son that I just want to ‘unzip’ him for a day!  His response?  A perfect eye roll!

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But, I did a lot of wrong things with my son too.  I yelled, I said rotten stuff…and the worst?  I feel like I destroyed his family when I left his father.  There were so many factors in that decision, and I’m not all to blame.  But I take a lot of it.  And I need too.  And I regret with all my heart that my son became a product of divorce.  For that, I’ll never forgive myself.

And my husbands?  I was a good wife.  Good.  Not perfect…just good.  I tried and they tried, but it just wasn’t enough.  I made horrible mistakes and understand my role in my marriages’ demise.  I’ve apologized to all my husbands for this.  In fact, I called hubby 1 a few days ago, and we talked.  He was so gracious and we had a great conversation after having been divorced for 23 years.  I said I was sorry and he did the same…and that felt really good.  Hubby 3 and I talk everyday, and we both fight over who is to blame the most for our impending divorce.  But we also laugh about it.  We get along even better now, and despite everything that occurred in our marriage, we are family forever.  Every Father’s Day, I send my son’s dad a text thanking him for the best gift in the world.  He doesn’t respond, but it makes me feel good to do that anyway.  Because it’s true.  Without him, I wouldn’t have my precious son.  And he’s a winner.

I know I wasn’t the easiest kid and teen to parent. I’m hypersensitive and I know I made my parents walk on eggs so much.  I get upset easily (shocker, huh?) and did some pretty crappy things as a kid.  As I’ve gone back to read previous posts, it sounds like I blame my parents for the things in my life that have gone wrong.  I apologize to them for that.  They did the very best they could…which is what all of us do.  I am the one who makes the choices for my own behavior…and the consequences are mine as well.  Mine alone.

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The situation with Sarge is a bit different.  As in all relationships, I made mistakes with him as well.  But, I also know I didn’t deserve ANY of his abuse or infidelity.  NO one does.  Period.  And he has apologized for it all.  I think it’s sincere.  I hope that it is.  But even though we are trying to figure out what we might be to one another, I know he has deep seated problems and needs help.  He has realized that as well and is getting it.  And for that, I’m glad.

So…there it is.

And now, here I go!  I’m so much more (as all of you are) than a victim of abuse.  I’m a great crafter thanks to my mom and sister.  Mom taught my sis and I how to sew and we all make awesome quilts.  You are going to be bombarded with pics!!  My sister spent, literally, hours teaching me to crochet.  Her patience was more than I would have had.  But, as she does in all things she starts, she succeeded and you’ll see the results of that as well!  I also LOVE to loom bead (just gave a bracelet to a friend today), and do zentangle drawings too.  So relaxing!!

I’m also “Professor K” and there is nothing I would rather do on this earth than be the teacher I am!  I thank God everyday for my position and know how lucky I am to be able to go to work, have a great time, and get paid for it.  Wow!!  Over the years, I’ve had thousands of students.  And each of them were special to me.  Truly.  I’ve learned from them as much as they’ve learned from me, and some of them will be my family forever!  How lucky is that?

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I love to run, hike, walk my dogs, ride motorcycles and bikes, read anything and everything I can get my hands on (Wally Lamb…John Irving…Anne Tyler…Jodi Piccoult…) and every book is a treasure!  My parents encouraged reading and my sis and I would go to the bookmobile every Saturday to get new selections!  At times, we could barely carry them home!

I’m 50 years old…and I want to make this new start in my life a great one.  I’m ready to move forward and embrace living alone and learning about me!  My sis and I were talking the other day, and she said how we both have the tendency to give, give, give.  And she said we should allow ourselves to take as well!  Not selfishly…but in a healthy way.  Sometimes it needs to be about others…but sometimes, it needs to be all about you!!  That’s an OK thing to do!!  And you know what??  I’m ready for that!!

Come on my journey with me…grow with me…strengthen with me…laugh with me…cry with me…learn with me.  You all have been AWESOME in my on-going recovery, and now I want you along for some good times too!  Will you come along for the ride?

Hey Ho!!  Let’s Go!!

Professor K 🙂

“And the Beat Goes On…”

Over the last few days, I’ve been receiving many anonymous comments on this blog.  I approved and replied to one of them, but haven’t on the others.  I don’t know if these comments are being authored by the same person or not, but I wanted to address this issue as a whole.

First, most of the comments are telling me how foolish and ‘idiotic’ I’m being by letting Sarge back into my life.  And, had I been reading this blog myself, I would have readily agreed.  But, two things have made me understand my actions:

  1. My knowledge of the complexity of Narcissistic Abuse and the psychological manipulation present which changes your entire ability to see things rationally.
  2. The new understanding that being inside a situation is much different than being on the outside.  Being objective and emotionally detached is always easier than being subjective and emotionally enmeshed.  How often have you been able to see issues in other people easier than recognizing similar issues in yourself?

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I think we live in a very judgmental society.  We are bombarded with the media berating others in order to sell their magazines, promote their reality shows, and sell themselves as the best commodity.  It’s almost as if by making people smaller, we can appear bigger.  Or, by pointing out the poor choices of others, we can feel better about the choices we make ourselves.

It’s a bullying world right now, and a very different one from when I grew up.  Back then, bullies were the people in your classes or your neighborhood that you could escape from by walking into your own home.  Nowadays?  Bullies are everywhere.  Literally.  They hide behind their tablets, phones, and computers and incite, preach, taunt, and inflame with the anonymity our technology now provides.  It’s constant.  And safe places?  I don’t really believe they exist anymore.

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Anonymity is a curious thing to me.  Why, if we are expressing a belief or opinion we obviously find valid, do we hide ourselves from it?  Why do we not identify ourselves and why is it that the more hateful the voice, the more layers the person wraps around themselves to protect their own selves from retribution.  If you believe in an idea and have worded it appropriately, why would you have to hide at all?  Shouldn’t we, if we are expressing ourselves, be proud of our stand?  Shouldn’t we at least take ownership of it?

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When I started this blog, I was just learning about Narcissistic Abuse.  And I’m still learning.  I was just recovering  And I’m still recovering.  I think things like this are a process.  Some people are very strong and emotionally resilient, and can extricate themselves from situations quickly and permanently.  Others are less so, and the process may take more time.  And more mistakes.

I know I have family and friends who disapprove of the choices I have made, and continue to make.  And although their opinions might be hurtful at times, I respect very much them being straightforward and honest with me.  I really do.  And in this blog, I’m trying my very best to be straightforward and honest too.  Sometimes it’s difficult to paint an entire picture in a paragraph or two.  I’m being open and honest to the point where it’s painful at times, but I’m determined to do it.  Not so others can necessarily learn from my mistakes, but so they know there is someone else on this ride with them who will support them when they fall.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

This is what I know:  people do the best they can…and truthful, forthright comments can be very helpful and welcome.  But sometimes we have to make our own choices…our own mistakes…our own consequences.  And it’s always nice to know there are people around to soften the hurt that might entail.  If it happens to you, I’m here.

Professor K

Pandora’s Box

My best friend and I went shopping today and he was just thrilled to look at beads for an hour with me.  As we walked around our local mall, we started talking about the upcoming holidays, and I told him how I was dreading them so much.  Last Christmas was when hubby 3 moved out, and it was a horrible time.  I have always loved Christmas, but am wondering if there will now be a dark cloud around it as well.

I was also telling my friend how much I hate summers.  I actually love the hot weather and doing outdoor things, but summers have always seemed to be the time when bad things tend to happen.  My grandpa died during the summer after a long illness and both hubby 1 and hubby 2 left me during summer months.  I thought my bad summers were over, until this past summer happened.

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As I think back to it, I can’t remember most of July and August.  I truly can’t.  I remember bits and pieces, but there are such huge gaps, those months barely register at all.  My friend told me how worried he was about me.  How he and my mom took care of me.  About how I cried uncontrollably for hours at a time, and mentioned suicide a lot.  About how I could barely dress myself, get out of the house, or eat.  Teaching my summer class was all I accomplished, and I remember little of that too.  I’ve taught this particular class so many times I’ve always said I can do it in my sleep, and apparently I did.  I do know I broke down in front of my class on a few occasions, because some of those students have recently told me.  I’m ashamed of that.  I never want to put that burden on my sweet students and I’ve always taken so much pride in my teaching and the reputation I have earned on my campus.

I do remember this though:  I took a handful of pills one evening when I was alone, but threw them up in fear a few minutes later.  What I had wanted to do was too scary for me to carry out.  And I thank God for that.  I know how my family would have suffered if I had been successful, and in hindsight, I can’t believe I even contemplated doing that to my son.

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I talk about suicide a lot in my psychology classes and never thought I would be facing these thoughts myself.  One of the first things I teach my students is that suicide is not about death.  It’s all about ending the pain you’re in.  And sometimes, death seems like the only way to make that happen.  People who are suicidal live in a tunnel.  A long, dark, scary tunnel where no light can enter, and the tunnel is filled only with misery.  There’s no way to get out of a tunnel…especially one with no doors, and the helplessness of facing another day in that dark, dark space is horrifying.  When you’re in the tunnel, you see nothing else.  Feel only the ache of your pain and depression and nothing around you matters at all.  Nothing. If hell was a place on earth, this would be it.

I absolutely hate the idea of having been in that tunnel.  I remember times I could barely breathe in it..barely talk.  I remember wanting to go to sleep and never wake up.  I remember telling my doctor that there was something very wrong with me.

But I don’t remember it all.  And I think that’s a good thing.  Our minds are wonderful contraptions and just as our bodies protect ourselves with our immune system, our minds do the same.  It understands when we need to repress experiences instead of facing them.  It instinctively knows what we can handle, and what we can’t.  As my friend was telling me about how I acted this summer, I couldn’t believe the person he was describing was me.  He was talking about this woman who was so out of it, she couldn’t be trusted to drive at times.  Why can’t I remember?  Why can’t I see all of that now?  Because, sometimes when you open a door that’s been closed, you have to face things you may not be ready to encounter yet.

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Remember Pandora’s Box that was full of all the worlds evil?  Zeus told Pandora not to open it, but being curious, she did anyway and all of the ills of the world were released.  She hastily worked to close the box back up, and after she succeeded, only hope was left inside.  My box is this summer.  I want to open it and see who I was when I was recovering from the brunt of the narcissistic abuse I suffered.  Why?  Because I need to be reminded of the harm that can come to me?  Because I need to remember how far down I was pushed so I can be more vigilant in protecting myself from further abuse?

I think I already know how horrible it was, and I’m building myself up day by day and feeling so much stronger and confident.  But, as I admitted in my previous post, Sarge is back in my life and I’m not remembering the bad as much as I’m remembering the good.  I’m seeing him differently.  He’s been sharing more with me.  About his childhood.  About the abuse he endured during that time.  He’s shown me a vulnerability I’ve never seen before and has listened to me more than he ever has.  And I like it.  Actually, I love it.  We are more on the same ‘page’ than we have ever been.  Bliss.

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No.  It’s not bliss.  It’s still complicated and I’m still struggling SO much with things he did to me.  Especially the infidelity.  I believe it was him doing this to me numerous times during 2 different weeks that finally brought me down.  I handled, the best I could, the manipulation, verbal assaults, etc. but for some reason, the infidelity was the kicker.  I think it’s because I felt so ‘less than’.  So foolish.  So used.  So nothing.  It was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.

But, I’m not broken anymore.  And although I have forgiven Sarge the infidelity (regardless of the fact he’s never asked for it), I haven’t forgotten.  I never will.  Ever.  I can’t.  I can’t go back to that tunnel.  And I am going to do my damn best not too.  I will never be as vulnerable.  I won’t allow it.  I can’t.  I deserve more than living in darkness…I deserve the light.  And although I’m not ready to open the entire box of what happened this summer, maybe I don’t need too.  Not yet.  Because just seeing a peek of it is enough of a lesson for now.

Professor K

P.S.  Please call for help if you, or anyone you love have signs of being suicidal.

Love you all. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

“What tangled webs we do weave…”

O.K.  I’m talking to Sarge.  Spending a bit of time with him.  And if you are asking why, I could do one of two things:  I could lie and claim I don’t know why I let this man, who hurt me so badly, back into my life.   Or, I could tell you the truth.  Let’s do that.

I guess the first reason is because of the feelings I still have for him.  I know that sounds crazy, and as I read in it print, I agree.  But, my heart can’t let go.  Wait, that’s a fib.  My heart could let go, but I simply  not ready to do that yet.

As I’ve been writing this blog, with Sarge being the principal reason behind it, it’s as if Sarge and “__” have become 2 different people.  It’s almost like Sarge is now a character I’m only writing about, while “__” is a different person all together.  Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance?  It’s when you feel mental discomfort/anguish because you are believing in 2 different and conflicting beliefs, and your mind is going back and forth, trying to figure out how to make sense of this dichotomy.  Rationally, I know Sarge and “__” are the same man.  I get that.

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BUT, it’s as if Sarge is Dr. Jekyll and “__” is Mr. Hyde.  And trying to reconcile that these 2 men exist together (the good man and the evil man) within “__” is very difficult to do.  It’s much easier to put all of the bad that happened to me onto Sarge, while I remember all of the good when I’m with “__”.   And yes, this sounds like an excuse with an impressive psychological concept backing it up, because I suppose it is.  But it’s the only way I can see “__” and quash my hurt feelings.

Another reason I let him back into my life (in a very limited way), is simple.  I love him.  Period.  It’s not rational.  In fact, it’s nonsensical.  But I have to admit it’s true.  There is still love in my heart for this man.  But I realized something last night as we were talking.  I’m not in his.  And it’s not because he’s a self-proclaimed narcissist, which I’m strongly reconsidering is really Adult Reactive Attachment Disorder (more about that in my next post), it’s because he loves (yes…loves…) his ex.  The woman he cheated on with me.  The woman who broke up his marriage…abused him…destroyed his belongings…interfered negatively with his military career…and still plays him for her own fun.  Yes.  This is who he loves.

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You know, when I believed he didn’t have the capacity for love, I better understood, however painful it was, that it wasn’t necessarily a lack in me…but a lack in him instead.  But when he talked about his love for this other woman last evening, it took my breath away.  One moment, he says he hates her to the point of wanting to seek vengeance for all she’s done, and the next, he’s talking about her goodness and how happy they once were.  As he was saying these words, I realized something.  It applied to me as well, which also showed me how deeply these feelings reside in him since I’m experiencing the same things.  At times I hate him.  At times I love him.  At all times, he has enough of an emotional hold on me that I can feel these different psychological states so passionately.  That’s what he doesn’t understand.  To hate someone…to talk about someone (no matter well or not) …to ruminate over someone (like he does) …to tell the same stories about someone over and over again…shows love.  If you don’t love someone, you are not going to be intensely invested in them, regardless of how confusing that investment is.

Sarge told me he was letting go of her.  As he said it, I could see in his face, and hear in the tone of his voice, this was a process that was going to take a lot of time and effort.  A process that pained him.  I asked if he had any love in his heart for me and he said he did.  But how can you have 2 people in your heart at the same time?

Do I?  I know I still love hubby 3.  But it’s not a passionate, “in-love” type feeling.  It’s a love based on a history together, a friendship, and a sense of family.  He’s my friend.  In fact, all of my friends have a place in my heart.  However, the difference to me is clear:  I love them dearly, but I love Sarge passionately.  Sarge though, loves ex passionately, and although I believe he does have some feelings for me, it’s not the same at all.  She’s the ‘love’ in his heart.  And I’m thinking I’m just the ‘left-overs’.

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I guess the question is this:  how can I continue to interact with a man who doesn’t love me ‘best’?  Because of my own loving nature and the fact I’m a forgiving person?  Now that I know he does have a capacity for love, will he be able to love me back?  And is it really love he’s feeling for his ex?  Their relationship was toxic from the start and began with an open marriage.  She is an un-medicated bi-polar and is also (from everything I’ve heard) a narcissist herself.  Maybe they are just tangled up in this abusive web both contribute to and understand.  Personally, I feel they ‘feed’ off of one another.  They both manipulate, triangulate, and use each other in so many different ways.  They both want to ‘win’ this continuing fight that always seems to be present, and because of this, neither will let go first.  After all, that would be conceding to the battle, and narcissists need to win.  If so, their relationship will never be over, and where does that put me?

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I’m not a stupid woman.  But I know I’m a woman who is still working very hard on creating and maintaining appropriate boundaries.  I’m also reminding myself, again and again, of the pain Sarge put me through.  Last night, he was talking about the pain his ex heaped on him, and I expressed it was exactly what I was going through myself.  He tried to deny it though, by saying his pain was worse.  It’s almost like he can’t comprehend what he DID do to me and the effects it had on my heart and soul.  He minimizes his abuse of me, while talking regularly about what she has done to him.  And guess what?  The stories are damn similar.  He can feel the pain from her.  But he can’t yet admit, nor apologize, for the same pain he inflicted on me.  At one point, he asked if I’d ever been hurt enough to contemplate suicide.  And I said yes.  This summer.  Because he wasn’t here to see my breakdown, he has no comprehension of what I went through.  It’s not real to him.  It’s just a time when we were apart for a couple of months and he was living his life, while I was wanting to end my own.

So, where do I go from here?  I know where I need to go.  I know the healthy route to take.  I know I’m getting so much stronger and I know I will survive if I let him go.  The thing is, I don’t want too.

This is what I know:  letting go of a narcissist is so very difficult to do.  They entangle you in a web and to extricate yourself from it is one of the hardest things you’ll have to do in a relationship.  And unfortunately, that web, at times, can be a comfortable home.

Professor K

“It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” ~ Rocky Balboa

When my son was in high school, he had a girlfriend and was crazy about her.  She was his first love, and he thought she would be his last.  You see, my son was different than most other young men his age.  He has always been more mature than his peers, and is a very decisive person.  When he makes up his mind about something, that’s pretty much it.  He’s not one to make rash decisions and when he does make a choice about something, it means he’s quite serious about it.  So, when he said his girlfriend was his forever, I believed him as well.  After 2 years, they broke up and my son was devastated.  He is very introverted in terms of his feelings, and I remember him lying on his futon and telling me he just didn’t know what to do about his emotional reaction…his grief.  Because of his (self-proclaimed) lesser sensitivity in other areas of his life, he was gobsmacked at the feelings that flooded him.  At one point, not knowing how to handle this wave, he put his fist through his bedroom wall and I was greatly concerned he would hurt himself as well.

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As time has a way of doing, his grief lessened and he began dating again.  He got engaged to a nice young woman who he was in love with, but after a while of living together, they realized they were incompatible and the engagement was cancelled.  My son will be moving home within the next few months from living a few states away (I simply can’t wait!) and obviously, his ex-fiancé will not be coming, even though they are still close.  As he told me about the broken engagement, he did so in a very calm way.  I asked him if he was upset and he stated he was, but the way he has been handling it has been admirable.

This summer, when the grief of Sarge and the abuse I endured came to its’ fullest fruition, I was, of course, heartbroken.  My way of handling the enormous feelings I had was to cry, ruminate, hide myself, seriously consider suicide and was going to be hospitalized until my doctor and counselor helped me avoid that situation through other means.  I, like my son, was at a loss on how to handle the despair I was feeling…along with the emotions tied to the abuse that was present in our relationship.

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I talked to my son, or actually cried and tried to formulate words during our conversations, and asked him how he could be doing so well regarding his cancelled engagement.  This is what he said to me:  “Mom…you need to grow tougher skin and not allow yourself to be hurt so badly.  After my high school breakup, I promised I would never let myself get hurt to that degree again.  And I haven’t.”

I thought about this a lot over the next few weeks, and have come to understand that building a thicker wall around my heart is necessary.  After this summer, I simply can’t go through the same again.  So, the construction has started.  I’m learning to see that things Sarge said to me aren’t true.  Just because a person feels a certain way about you, it certainly doesn’t mean that is who you are.

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When I was with him, I believed the things Sarge said to me and was also convinced I deserved the abuse he perpetrated on me too.  I believed I was worthless.  Not important.  Just an object that had been used.  I believed I deserved his discards and abusive ways.  I believed his infidelity was because of a lack in me.  I believed issues with his family and ex-wife were my fault.  And on and on and on.

I’m finally coming to understand these things aren’t true.  I do have worth and I’m an important person simply because I’m a child of God.  I’m not an object to be used, but a woman who deserves love and respect because that’s what I bring to a relationship.  I did NOT deserve his discards…I deserved a man who would sincerely talk out problems and work at managing conflict.  I certainly didn’t deserve his abuse, and his infidelity was because of a lack in him.   A lack of boundaries and not being able to see the hurt infidelity causes another.  It was his sexual issue…not mine.  I didn’t deserve the triangulation he used against me with his family, ex-wife, and infidelity partner, and I understand now he was pitting me against them for his own purposes.   And…I believe that no matter what I might have said or done, I did NOT deserve to be caught in the web of a narcissist.

I’m feeling my heart getting stronger and like my son, I’m realizing I will NEVER allow myself to hurt like this again.  Never.  I’m going to be much more careful with my heart, and protect it the best I can.  I know I can depend on me.  I know I’m a valuable person.  I know that I have realized what my boundaries must be.  I know I can toughen up.  And I’m determined to do so.

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There’s a lot of negative things Sarge left me with.  But here’s the positive:  he’s strengthened my resolve and has forced me to become a tougher woman whose first responsibility is to herself.  For that, and only that, I thank him.

This is what I know:  we can change, grow, and learn to be more vigilant when it comes to matters of the heart.  We can learn to protect ourselves against toxic people and toughen our resolve.  We can learn new methods of coping and come to realize we are enough as we are, and that we can depend on ourselves fully.  We no longer have to allow a partner to determine how we feel…how we see ourselves…how we react.  How about this?  Let’s start toughening up together.

Professor K

“You’re Gonna Make it After All!”

Do any of you know who Mary Richards is?  She was a character played by Mary Tyler Moore, on a show of the same name, and was the first never married, independent woman who lived the single life happily while focusing on her career first, and men second.  The show ran from 1970-1977 with a brilliant cast, and I absolutely loved, and still love, watching it.

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Mary’s single apartment was so funky with the shag carpet and plants all around and she reveled in making her own choices and directing her own life, without the ‘support’ or ‘addition’ of a man!

This is the first time I’ve ever truly lived alone..it’s only been a couple of months now but I’m loving it…which is a HUGE surprise to me!  After I graduated from high school, I lived with mom and step-father, until my junior year of college when I moved into an apartment on campus with 3 roommates.  I hated it!  Two of my roommates were rude and difficult to get along with, but worse, I missed my future hubby who was still in my hometown.  After junior year was completed, we got married and were together for 4 years.  Then, I was single and living alone for 5 months and I absolutely despised it!  I was 26 and very much wanting to start a family, and I felt a desperation in terms of finding someone to make that dream come true.  I was also scared to death!  Every sound was a burglar and I literally had to take my little mutt dog down the stairs with me to be brave enough to go into my basement to do laundry!  It was horrible!  But then hubby 2 and I started seeing each other, however, he lived in another state and the visits were only a couple of times a month.  I got pregnant (my sweet son was NOT an accident, but an awesome surprise!) during our Thanksgiving visit (go figure) and married hubby 2.  After we divorced 13 years later, my son and I lived together until hubby 3 and I married.  Whew!  I basically went from one home to another in quick succession and never really embraced the single life at all.

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To be honest with you, I was really scared to try it again.  Or, maybe even truly try it for the first time.  I had gotten to the point where I thought I was simply too co-dependent (yes, I hate that word too) to live on my own happily.  Because I always had one, I felt I wasn’t complete without a man.  I was dependent on men to show me my value and worth, and by having a man around the house all of the time allowed me to NOT face some of my issues since I was too busy ‘doing for’ them.  They were almost like a buffer between ‘housewifey’ me and the inner me that needed some work…badly.

The first couple of weeks after Sarge left, I cried and cried.  Buckets.  It got to where I wondered if I would ever stop.  I know I was crying for Sarge and for the abuse I had endured with him, but I believe I was also crying because I would be alone.  Completely alone (except for my fur babies and feathered friend!).  Forcing myself to get out of bed everyday was a chore…and I dreaded the hours ahead of me.  Besides school, I would plan on how to fill them up until I could get to bed and not have to face anything at all.

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Hmmmm.  Well, I have always been a voracious reader, but hadn’t had much of an opportunity to do so this past year, so I started reading again.  For hours.  Because there isn’t anyone I have to be accountable too.  I can eat when I want and what I want.  I can nap and not worry about waking up before a hubby gets home and needs dinner.  I can loom and sew to my hearts content.  I can go to bed anytime I want, and wake up on my schedule on the weekends.  If I don’t feel like vacuuming, I don’t.  There’s no hubby to keep a sparkling house for, and I’m finding that some dust and dog hair really don’t bother me much at all.  I only have to do laundry when MY clothes basket is full, and if I leave things out, I know where they will be the next day.

In fact, I’m getting a little selfish with my time!  Sometimes when friends or family want to come over, I’ll say ‘Not Today!’ because I’m enjoying my solitude so much.  That’s HUGE for me!!  To WANT to be alone!

And facing myself and my issues?  I’ve been able to do that.  I’ll think about things I believe or done or regret and work them out.  If I want to cry or yell or blog or draw or eat candy bars as I deal with things, I do it.  And I’m trying very hard to put closure on things I’ve ruminated too much over, and I’m focusing so much more of my energy on the future.  I think I’m the healthiest me I’ve been in a long time.

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Now…am I still healing from the narcissistic abuse?  Yes.  I said I was the healthiest I’ve been for a while, but no where near where I want to be.  I know I still feel the effects of his words, abuse, manipulation, and most of all, his infidelity which is so difficult to get over.  To him, it was just an aberration and ‘she’ started it.  To me, it was a crushing blow to my heart, my ego, and my self-image.  But the process has started!  I’m getting ‘better’ everyday, and going home to my dogs after school and spending my afternoons and evenings alone feel really great!  I’m learning things about myself I never really knew and instead of being co-dependent (dammit…there’s that word again!) on a man, I’m learning to be dependent on me!  That’s a great feeling!

This is what I know…being alone is scary.  Particularly when you are recovering from a toxic relationship which has you feeling as if you aren’t worthy or capable of anything.  But you are.  You are strong.  You are competent.  You are a precious, priceless, worthwhile soul and you can do anything.  It just takes one step.  Then another.  And then another.  And you know what?  I’ll be here for your journey as you are for mine.

Professor K