Seeing the Change in Me! :)

Like some of you know, I’ve been seeing Sarge for the last few weeks, and I truly believed, with all my heart, that he was remorseful for his past behavior and was putting in the effort to make changes.  And I saw them.  And I was hopeful.  But yesterday, that hope crashed around me yet again.

OK…this is going to sound crummy, but I know Sarge’s password for his FaceBook account, and I haven’t gotten to the point of trusting him yet.  After 2 bouts of infidelity and the emotional/verbal abuse he put me through, I believe this is a legitimate reaction to my doubts about him.  Soooo…I logged in (and by the way, he has always had access to all of my passwords, accounts, home, etc.  He says he has never used them, but then again, I haven’t given him a reason too.) and read a conversation he had with a friend a mere week ago.  In their back and forth messaging, he told his friend he was on Tinder, had met a woman on social media who he thought was “hot”, and was still not over his ex-girlfriend.  Further, he said he was dating an older woman whose emotional needs were too plenteous to handle.  (And of course, NOTHING positive was said about me.  Nothing).

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Heh??  Really??  MY emotional needs are too much for HIM?  After a year of lies, manipulation, abuse, cheating, and gas lighting, MY emotionality is over the top?  AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!  Who the hell does he think is responsible for this?

Further, I’ve had to handle HIS moods as well.  The anger, depression, confusion, anxiety, unpredictability, raging…all of these emotions that stem from his PTSD and childhood.  I’ve also had to go through his changes of meds and bear the brunt of reactions to starting/ending them.  It’s hasn’t been easy for me either.  But of course, that’s OK!!  (Please say that sentence with a very snarky voice!).

When I saw what he had been messaging, it was yet another punch to my gut.  And I reacted as I always have in the past.  With crying and anger (rightfully so, I believe).  But this only lasted for a few minutes.  Really!  Because here’s the epiphany that came to me:  I was simply ‘responding’ in the way of a set pattern, and not actually ‘feeling’ the true emotion of the situation.  And the tears ended.  Just like that.

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I called Sarge, during the angrily crying bout because I was furious and wanted to confront him.  After a minute or 2, he hung up on me.  Just like that.  REALLY?!  I took all he had to give me this past year, and he can’t face the emotions stemming from what HE was doing to ME?  That he had been lying…again…and setting up yet another situation in which he wanted to cheat on me?  I was the bad guy for being upset…and HE was the innocent party taking MY abuse?   OOOKKKAAAYYY!  And here’s the most frustrating part of the deal:  he would (in front of me…that was always fun…) listen for hours (literally) to his exes rant and rave over mundane things.  Yet here was, caught in his own lies, and I don’t get the courtesy of ranting a bit myself?  Hmmmmm.  I think I deserved at least that much.

You know, once I asked Sarge if he would forgive me if I ever cheated on him, and he said no.  Heh?!  I forgave him twice!  Yet he acted as if that were his due.  That since I forgave him, the trust and respect I had once had for him would magically come back and he had no other work to set things right.  So what I afforded him twice, he’s wouldn’t be willing to do even once.

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Trust is a funny thing.  To have trust in someone is to have confidence in them…in their reliability, in them telling the truth, in their ability and strength (in this case) to change.  Trust is so easy to lose and so very hard to build back up.  It’s like a jigsaw puzzle.  Putting it together can take weeks, but tearing it apart…only seconds.  And to put it back together again takes even longer because some of the pieces are damaged from cramming them in or from the destruction.  How can a person not realize that when you destroy something, tear it up, it’s going to be a long, hard job to put it back together again?  Isn’t that just common sense?

When I was thinking about all of this last night, the one thing that kept running through my mind was that I’m an idiot.  An idiot for believing his words.  For seeing what I thought were positive changes, but what was really just a smoke screen.  And idiot for forgiving him after all he’d put me through.

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Forgiveness is a mercy, and since I feel pity for Sarge and all he’s been through as an abused child and then soldier, I felt a deep need to be kind.  To be loving.  To be giving.  Because I believed he would learn to do the same.  And because that’s who I am and I truly love him.  But instead, he treated me like a fool.

Do I regret letting him back into my life?  Nope.  Because I wasn’t ready to learn the lessons only a narc can teach you the first time around.  And sometimes it takes a hell of a lot longer than even that.  But I think I’m ready now.  And the forgiveness, kindness, empathy, and patience is going to be directed towards someone else special in my life.  Me.  And that’s the way it should be.

Prof K ❤

 

“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

And Confusion Sets In.

In my post yesterday, I talked about how Sarge was going to be taking classes at my college and how upset I was that he will be so close to me…in my safe place!  He’s been texting me regularly since yesterday morning, and told me last night he is also joining the YMCA which is a block from my house.  So now, he’s going to be in my neighborhood regularly too.

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As we are texting, I am yelling at myself and saying, “What are you doing?!  What the hell happened to NO contact?!”  And, I thought I could handle it.  Because I told you how strong I was getting.  How much healthier I am.  And guess what?  I feel the negative thoughts starting to invade my mind again and confusion is setting in.  I feel like I’ve been sober for a couple of months, and someone is offering my drug of choice.  My rehab isn’t over, and that drug, for some reason, is looking mighty good.  I know it’s bad for me.  I know it hurts me.  I know it’s wrong to reach for it.  But just one more hit would feel so good.

Why do I think MY situation is different from everyone else’s?  That I can handle things? That I can be strong and keep boundaries in place when I interact with him?  I’ve been thinking about that all night (I barely slept), and my feelings are all over the place.

I’m feeling that maybe Sarge really is different.  Maybe his PTSD from deployments and child abuse issues are the problem.  Not narcissism.  And I feel such a shame that I let Sarge into my life…and if I can ‘prove’ we can be friendly and have contact, would that shame lessen?  I also know I’m a sucker for false hope…I always think there’s a possibility for so many things to get better. Letting go of hope is so damn hard.  Further, I’m the type of person who tries to love unconditionally.  I know I love my son in that way…there is absolutely nothing he could say or do that would change the love I have for him.  I try to do that in relationships as well.  So, I tend to forgive way too easily, and give in to things to please partners and show them that my unconditional love is real.  And, I’ve been betrayed before, by a psychologist who sexually abused me for years.  Sometimes I feel I have a ‘victim’ mentality and draw toxic men to myself.  It’s almost like a pattern or loop I’m in, albeit a dangerous one.   Sarge is giving me mixed messages…he’s acting as if nothing happened, while also saying he knows what a bastard he’s been.  YES, I know this is a very manipulative tactic he’s using, but being an empath, I wonder if for once, he’s sincere.

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Finally, there’s the denial.  I know it’s true that narcissists can’t love.  I know it.  But, I can’t accept it.  I can’t get to the place in my muddled thinking that Sarge never loved me.  That is was only one sided.  I believe if I actually say those words and admit there were no feelings on his side, I’ll break down.  All of the abuse, manipulation, triangulation, push and pull…would have been for naught.  I can’t face the fact I was just an object.  Just used.  One more time.  By another person who created a situation in which he had power over me.

That psychologist that abused me?  I thought he loved me. I knew what he was doing was wrong and I absolutely HATED what he forced me to do, but in my teen mind, I believed that him ‘wanting’ me was love.  And now I’m in that situation again.  Having to face the fact that I was nothing.  And you know what?  After being treated like nothing a few times, you begin to believe it’s true.

I feel like I don’t really matter much anymore.  That I’m just living my life by getting through my days.  Yesterday, I wanted to be Wonder Woman, and today, I’m feeling like I did weeks ago.  Just because of some texts.  It’s incomprehensible how narcissists ‘glue’ themselves to you, and then just play with you for their pleasure.

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OK.  I’m going to admit something that I believe is true.  I’ve done some bad things in my life.  I’ve hurt people.  I’ve lied.  I’ve stolen.  And I am convinced that Sarge might have been placed in my life as a punishment for my sins.  I know that sounds crazy, but unfortunately, with everything going on, my mind does feel off.  So, maybe because of the hurt I’ve inflicted on others, I deserve this hurt as atonement.  After all, we reap what we sow.

This is what I know:  narcissists know how to hoover…they know how to pull you back in, and I realize that NO contact is what I need.  I know that.  I really do.  But, I just can’t do it again quite yet.  And, I don’t know why the hell I can’t.

Professor K

A Roadblock.

Today I was at school and had 3 classes to teach.  After my 2nd class, a prof, whose office is across from mine, asked if I had gotten back together with ‘that guy’ from last spring.  I said an emphatic NO and asked why he inquired.  He said that the ‘guy’ had been in our office hallway and looking at my teaching schedule on my office door.  Immediately, I get a text from Sarge (I deleted him from my phone…if I only blocked him, I would still have his number which was tempting a couple of weeks ago) saying that he was registering for spring classes.  At my college.  My campus.  My turf.  My safe place.  And I was extremely upset.

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I posted this info in a private Facebook support group I started, and immediately, my AWESOME friend ran down to my office and talked to me.  She could see that I was starting to cry and told me to stop!  “Don’t cry and get upset…get mad!”  And so that’s what I did.  I realized that crying wasn’t going to stop this from happening and I began to really get angry that he would dare invade my professional space!  I’ve been a tenured professor there for 20 years, so obviously, I’m not going anywhere.  And he could go to another college easily.  I talked to my friends in security and they know now if I call them, it’s going to be for a reason and I’ll need them ASAP.  They are my friends too, so I feel comfortable with that.

Now, this actually ties into something my friend and I were talking about last night.  He said he remembered seeing the movie “Evan Almighty” and a quote that Morgan Freeman (‘God’) said to Evan (Steve Carell) resonated with him:

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”

I thought a lot about that last night in terms of strength, happiness, and contentment…the things I’ve been praying to God for.  And I realized this…when we ask God for a specific ‘thing’, why should he just automatically grant it to us.  Wouldn’t we, as his children, learn so much more if he gave us the opportunity to have it?  To ‘earn’ it?  To work for it?  Isn’t that what parents often do anyway?  “You want a car, son?  You need to get a job and work for it!”  And guess what?  The kid who worked for his car is going to appreciate it and care for it much better than the teen who received the car without any effort on his part.

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When I ask God for strength, is putting Sarge in my environment an opportunity to harness my own inner strength and summon the courage to use it?  What about happiness?  Should God just ‘give’ it to me…or should he give me the opportunity to recognize the blessings I have in my life, and find my own happiness with myself and all of my friends and family.

Now, I know this quote came from a movie and I know Morgan Freeman isn’t God, but I also think this is what God does.  When I have just asked for things and haven’t gotten them, I’ve gotten angry with God in the past.  “Hey God!!  You said ‘ask for it and you shall receive’!  Well…I asked, but I sure didn’t get it!”  I wonder if God is shaking his head and saying, “Professor K, it’s right there!!!  Go get it yourself!!!”  And I think I’m learning to do that.

I feel REALLY strong today!!  We texted for a period of time (very brief on my part), and I didn’t get anxious, weepy, or upset.  Because I kept telling myself “YOU ARE STRONG!  IT’S IN YOU!  HARNESS IT!  USE IT!”  And I’m trying my best to do so.  I’ve been saying more and more positive things to myself, as if I’m taping over the negative reel in my mind.

OK…some of you are probably thinking that you felt the same way when your narc re-entered your life.  And maybe tomorrow, I’ll be anxious and upset.  But I know that strength is within me because I got a glimpse of it today.  Maybe it will be buried at times, but hopefully I’ll be able to find the tools I need to dig it out, brush it off, and use it well.

Now, I’m going to be very honest with you…and those of you who are my personal friends (all of you, sweet readers, are my blog friends!) might get distressed by this.  But, I can’t guarantee I won’t see him again before he begins school.  It’s tempting.  I want him to see that I’m stronger now.  More confident.  Feel better about myself.  And I know if I do this, the possibility of getting sucked back in is huge.  Enormous.  And I know that just seeing him once could set me back, and bring all of those negative, terrible feelings up to the surface again.  I don’t think I could go through that another time.  And I know my mom and son agree.  What I put them through this summer was horrible and they went through hell because of me.  I can’t do that to them again.

My best friend and I were talking on the phone today (while he was at work…naughty boy!), and he reminded me of all the things Sarge has done to me.  “Professor K…he used you and humiliated you and abused you and financially broke you and emotionally abused you and psychologically manipulated you and physically hurt you!!!  Remember this!  You are looking at/thinking about what you WANT something to be.  You’re chasing a ghost.  You’ve got to look at what WAS and understand that’s all there is.”

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Wow.  He’s absolutely right.  I keep telling myself that narcissists don’t change.  They don’t miraculously learn to love.  Learn to have empathy.  Learn to feel remorse.  They are who they are.  Period.

But, I have changed.  I have you all reading my words and giving me encouragement and making me feel as if people around the world care about what I say.  That’s amazing!  I have my support group and everyday, we post motivational things to each other and talk to each other when things aren’t going well.  I have my family who are trying so hard to understand the uniqueness of narcissistic abuse and help me through my bad days.  I have friends at school who have my back, and a best friend who would lasso the sun for me.  All of this is making me more confident in knowing I have a foundation of love and support from people who will be watching me like hawks!

I feel sorry for Sarge.  NO…not because he’s a poor narcissist with a disorder.  But because he’ll never know the joy that comes from having TRUE friends, knowing true LOVE, and experiencing growth and change.

But you know what?  We do.

This is what I know:  I was strong before I was pulled into the snare of narcissistic abuse, and I think I’m strong now.  Yes, I’m more wise about what Sarge is, but narcissists are experts at trapping their prey.  He did it once, didn’t he?  So, I know I have to be viligant and work extremely hard at not stepping into his snare another time.

Professor K

My Balancing Act…

To be honest with you, I never heard the word ’empath’ before I began studying narcissistic abuse.  Of course I know what empathy is, but using it as a noun and personal characteristic is new to me, and I love it!  As I started reading all I could on empaths, I kept saying YES YES YES!!  That’s me!!  Finally, I have a word that describes my inability to NOT get emotionally involved at such high levels and why I feel things so terribly deep.  All my life, people have told me I’m just too sensitive and I shouldn’t take things so seriously.  And I’ve tried.  But it’s like telling a narcissist to start feeling love and remorse!  Ain’t gonna happen!

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But, there’s a difference here.  I CAN change…and they cannot.  So, here’s what I’ve really been trying to work on:  balancing being an empath while also being a strong, assertive woman.  I was reading through my Twitter feed the other day, and someone posted that she was balancing being an empath with being a bitch.  And at first, I really liked that!!  But as I got thinking about it, I realized I don’t want to be a ‘bitch’.  To me, that has such a negative connotation and I picture a ‘bitch’ as being too selfish and aggressive.  I don’t want to be too empathic…but I also don’t want to be too combative either.  So, my goal is to nurture the empath in me, while also learning to be strong enough to say NO when I need to and to construct healthy boundaries to keep me safe from those who want to use me.

I’ve always felt too much.  I remember as a kid apologizing to stuffed animals if I ripped them or neglected them for a while. I truly felt what I thought would be their pain.  I remember not being able to hold my tears back in school when I saw someone get hurt and I always tried to help the kids no one else paid attention too.  I knew what that felt like.  I was a mess as a case worker for Child Protective Services.  I worked in this position for 2 years and simply couldn’t handle the horrors I saw everyday.  I never got the kids out of my thoughts, and their pain became my pain as well.  That job beat me down emotionally to where I knew I needed to really work hard at securing a teaching position.  Still today I feel for my students.  Many of them will share things with me that break my heart…and I can’t help but hug them, cry with them, and do anything I can to make it better.  Hubby 3 used to say it wasn’t in my job description to do this.  I shouldn’t be getting so involved in their lives.  I understood what he was saying, and knew he was trying to protect me from the pain, but what he didn’t get was that doing those things is in my ‘personal’ description.  It’s just a part of who I am.  Yesterday, my little dog was barking incessantly and I yelled at her.  I cried after I did so.  I felt bad that I yelled at this little creature who I love so much.

I know my son gets frustrated by my empathic nature.  He doesn’t understand how I can blame myself for things that happened so many years ago and still feel the pain of the situation.  When I think about leaving his dad and feeling as if I shattered my son’s life, I still cry and will sometimes even ask for his forgiveness one more time.  My emotions are such that they never go away…I can’t find closure easily since they are so deeply buried.  The first time my son got his heart broken, I was at a loss as to what to do.  To see my boy in so much pain was excruciating and I wanted to take that burden on myself.  He’s gotten past that breakup which occurred years ago, but I can still think back on the pain I saw in his face and tear up.

Empaths have a hard time letting emotions go.  We ruminate over the sensitive situations and wonder if we could have done something better or different to negate some of what happened.  Feeling this deeply is horrible.  And so VERY hard to explain to those who don’t.  Not that others don’t feel.  Of course not!  It’s just that empaths go a couple of levels deeper, and the deeper you are in something, the harder it is to claw your way out.

That’s why we are such great targets for narcissists.  With just a few interactions with us, narcissists know we are ’emotional’ and sensitive and want to help anyone and everyone we can.  (Unfortunately, we often don’t know how to help ourselves).  We get dragged into their lives with the love and fun they show us at first…and we think we’ve finally met someone who understands us and truly loves us for who we are!  Then, as we start to become devalued by them, we are chided for our sensitivity. We are told we are too emotional.  That we act ‘crazy’.  And we’re snidely asked why in the world we can’t control our tears.  Of course, this all makes us ‘feel’ as if we’ve done something wrong!  Everything was so good in the beginning…WE fell in love.  WE built a strong, emotional connection to this person and they were perfect for us.  So, it only goes to figure that it’s because of US there are troubles.  The rumination starts.  If only we had done this…or maybe we should have done that.  So we try harder.  We give more.  We invest more of ourselves, because the narcissist just needs to FEEL our love in order to be OK.  And when they don’t, the fault is ours.

No wonder victims of narcissistic abuse are so emotionally depleted.  We have given literally everything we have which is so so so much.  And in our eyes, even that wasn’t enough.  Depression kicks in…anxiety becomes almost unmanageable at times…and through it all, we still believe that if we show our narcissist just ONE more time how much we love them, that will make all the difference in the world.

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I’ve finally learned this just isn’t true.  Nothing will make Sarge love me.  Nothing will make Sarge have genuine feelings towards me.  Nothing will make Sarge feel remorse at all of the horrible things he did to me over the last year.  Nothing.

And to be honest, I don’t know if I could go through all of this again.  So I HAVE to become stronger…a Wonder Woman for myself!  Someone inside of me that has learned to say NO!  Has learned to build a fence around her heart.  Not a huge fence with barbed wire on the top.  Nope.  That’s overkill.  But a ‘smart’ fence that keeps the bad out, and lets the good in.  I need my inner Wonder Woman to warn me to trust my instincts more and rely on my inner helping nature a bit less.  To teach me how to put my best interests first.  And to guide me in saying when things need to end…before they become damaging to my spirit.  I need to be a Wonder Woman who still has compassion…but after expressing that compassion, can have it’s hold lessened so it doesn’t keep me bound.  My inner Wonder Woman needs to teach me to accept what I’ve done without ruminating over it time and time again.  And to accept the forgiveness of others and learn to allow closure to occur.  And most of all, my Wonder Woman needs to teach me how to forgive myself when I fall short.  When I do make mistakes.  And to stop me from beating myself up for not being able to use my empathy to fix others.  I’ve got to manage this emotional hole I have, and learn to use more effective tools in digging myself out when I do fall into it too deeply.

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It’s not going to be easy.  It’s a ying/yang sort of thing.  Trying to find a balance between my empathic nature and my inner Wonder Woman.  It’s going to take time, and work, and tenacity, but I’m ready to do that.  After all, doesn’t everyone deserve a heroine in their lives?

This is what I know:  being empathic is a magnet for narcissists.  They can smell them a mile away, and once they’ve spotted their prey, they are ruthless in making sure it’s trapped.  Learning to have the strength to manage that empathic nature is critical so we aren’t used, manipulated, and destroyed again.  If we can’t find that in ourselves, we’re going to keep stepping into these dangerous traps.

Professor K

 

Mixing it Up

I can’t tell you how many Introduction to Psychology classes I’ve taught over the last 23 years, and every time I teach one, I go over the stages of grief as theorized by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.  I used to think these were ‘static’ stages.  That you would stair step through them, starting with the first and ending with the last.  A nice, clean grief process that followed a pattern which could be counted on and understood.  Yep.  That’s what I thought and when I have lost people in the past, the stages did pretty much go the way they were ‘supposed’ too.  But, we all know that NOTHING with narcissists proceeds normally, and I’ve found myself thinking about these stages and finding myself experiencing some of them at the same time…moving through them out of order…and really not able to predict what might be coming next in my ‘grief’ process.

And while we’re on it, I often wonder what it is I’m actually grieving.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  Am I grieving the loss of the relationship I had with Sarge?  Am I grieving because I know he never loved me…never cared for me…never wanted me as a human being but just as a supply to fulfill his own selfish needs?  Am I grieving that I will never look at potential mates again without the fear and ‘paranoia’ they could also be narcissists just priming me for another victimization?  Am I grieving the loss of his kids who I adore?  Am I grieving the loss of my heart?  My spirit?  My confidence?  My self-image? My self-esteem?  Myself?  Is it me I’m grieving for?  Or Sarge?  Or, is it all of the above?  I’m really not sure.

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Bill Watterson – https://thecomicninja.wordpress.com/tag/calvin-and-hobbes/page/6/

When you study Ross, you see that her stages of grief are these:

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  • Denial (this isn’t happening)
  • Anger (how dare this happen)
  • Bargaining (I’ll make a deal with you…)
  • Depression (I can’t believe this happened to me)
  • Acceptance (It’s happened…and I have to move on)

Here’s the problem in dealing with my grief from narc abuse…my stages look like this:

denial, depression, anger, depression, bargaining, denial, depression, bargaining, anger, denial, anger, depression, anger…and you get the point.

My ‘stages’ are a complete roller coaster…exactly like my relationship with Sarge was.  BUT wait…I just realized something as I’m typing this.  I’ve been using the term ‘relationship’ to describe what I had (or didn’t have) with Sarge, and that’s really a misnomer.  A relationship is 2 people who connect together…who have an emotional and intimate bond.  Bond.  Like 2 pieces glued together as one.  That is not what we had.  I had a one-sided ‘interaction’ with him.  Not a bond, but me being just one piece trying my best to connect to this man who I realized was made of a material that could never take hold.  Could never make a connection at all.  It’s like trying to put tape on sand and thinking it will stick.  It won’t.  There’s just nothing there to adhere to.  So, I guess from now on, I need to use the word interaction.  It’s much more descriptive of the situation.

Getting back to my stages of grief, I’m going through them in such an unpredictable way that I don’t know, day to day, which one I’ll be experiencing next.  Some days, my depression is less, and I’m feeling more anger.  Then, like a tidal wave, the depression comes back, worse than ever, and I feel I have to apologize to my friends and family for being down again.  Depression is almost a constant, and anger surfaces from time to time, and it’s been doing so more frequently.

I’ve also bargained.  I’m going to be honest.  When Sarge left the last time, I prayed that God would ‘cure’ him of his narcissism, open his heart to me, and be the person I saw him being in the first stages of our ‘interaction.’  In fact, I prayed a lot.  A whole lot.  God didn’t answer that prayer.  Or, did he?  Did he know that without a ‘soul’, Sarge simply couldn’t be what I needed him to be, so he cut me free from him?  Was God protecting me from further hurt?  I truly think he was.  I believe that God knew how deep I was sinking and how close to hurting myself I was.  And as my ‘Father’, he chose to save me.  To get me out of the abyss I was in, so I could move towards light and life again.

And, I have to admit this as well, I bargained with Sarge many times.  I told him how I understood narcissism now (he is self-proclaimed) and I would build boundaries that would reign in his behavior and give me more power and control in what could be a true relationship.  I told him I would give him more space when he needed it.  I would better learn his cues and behave accordingly.  I told him my love could fix him.  And I believed it.  I still do.  I’m sorry…but I do.

I’m also great at denial.  When I look at pictures of us together (and I try very hard not too…in fact, I’ve cleaned them all out of my office at school so that’s a good thing), I see happy times.  I see our smiles.  I see a man I still love.  I don’t see the monster in the picture, and I wonder, who am I writing about in this blog?  This great guy who I rode horses with and played mini-golf with and went hiking with?  He CAN’T be that bad!  Maybe he’s NOT a narcissist.  Maybe he’s just a very mixed up man who needs a good woman to help him heal from his past.  Then, I look back at my post on the characteristics of narcissists and I understand that he is one…and he can’t be fixed by me…and this ‘interaction’ is truly over.  Denial is so damn easy though.  And sometimes I need this journey to be easier.

Have you noticed what stage I haven’t mentioned at all.  Yep.  Acceptance.  I can not bring myself to acknowledge I was in an abusive, toxic, narcissistic relationship that hurt me to the core of my being, changing me forever in so many ways.  I can’t accept how depressed and anxious I am all the time.  How much debt I’m in which literally makes me feel as if I’m drowning.  I can’t accept this man never loved me.  I can’t accept that.  I can’t bring myself to recognize all of the love was on my side only.  Because that makes me a fool.  A victim.  And admitting this to myself, and accepting it, is something that’s going to take a long time.  I know I need to eventually get to this stage.  I have got to get to acceptance to have closure.  But right now, that door is wide open.  And I’m worried about what I might let inside.

This is what I know:  nothing about narcissistic ‘relationships’ are real or normal or typical of any other relationship out there.  And dammit, that makes the healing and grief process abnormal too.  It’s amazing how powerful narcissists are…they can change everything in your life so very drastically.  Including yourself.

Professor K

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The Rose Colored Glasses are Off!

Yes, I wear glasses.  I got them in 3rd grade and was so proud of them!  Even though contacts are so great now and Lasik surgery is more affordable, I’ll never get rid of my glasses…they are like a part of me.  In fact, my mother says they make me look smart.  Apparently, I look pretty dumb without them! 😉

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When I met Sarge, my glasses were rose colored and he could do nothing wrong.  Nothing.  In fact, for a while, I thought he was as close to perfect as I’d ever find in a mate.  Now, of course, I realize he was mirroring me to give me exactly what I was looking for.  After a while, small things would pop up and I’d excuse them easily.  He had a bad day…he was worried about finding employment…he didn’t like having to live in his grandmother’s basement, etc.  Of course I rationalized his behavior and words…he was near perfect and even he could fall from the pedestal I put him on at times.

Our first couple months were awesome.  We’d go out to dinner (me ALWAYS paying) and he’d say:  “Where does Professor K want to eat?”  He said I deserved to make choices and decisions because my needs and wants were the most important thing to fulfill.  Wow!  I picked the restaurants, the movies, the activities and I thought how wonderful this man is to want to please me so badly.  Then, the devaluation started to occur, and suddenly, my wants and needs weren’t acknowledged at all.  Everything we did centered around him, and if Sarge was having a bad day, I’d have a bad day too.  Obviously, co-dependency kicked in because of his ‘love-bombing’ and I believed I needed this man in my life no matter what.  Plus, my rose colored glasses would see these infractions in a more understanding way.  What he said wasn’t his fault…he had been abused as a child.  What he did wasn’t his fault…he had PTSD from his military deployments.  I knew he COULD be ‘perfect’ for me so of course, these things were just blips.  Nothing to worry about.  Things would get better.  But of course, they didn’t.

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After Sarge left me for the first of many times, I started thinking logical for once and made a pro’s and con’s list…here it is (verbatim but with current commentary in parenthesis) :

PROS:

  • Sex (GREAT at first…then he would withhold it and act like I was a nymphomaniac if I wanted it)
  • Fun riding motorcycles (of which I bought and still owe for… $14,000).
  • Cuddling (when he felt like it and I deserved it)
  • His smile (that was the best part of him and it always melted me)

CONS:

  • Hurtful/horrible words
  • No emotional empathy
  • Lack of support from family attacks (he never defended me…and his family was ruthless at times)
  • Lack of communication
  • Physical abuse
  • Closes self off
  • Never reaches out to me (I had to initiate everything after the idealize stage)
  • Moved out without telling me
  • Acts embarrassingly in public (like a child)
  • Always has to be right (and if he wasn’t right, there was a justifiable reason for it)
  • Selfish (financially, emotionally, sexually, etc.  After Sarge got his first paycheck after finding employment, he bought a $600.00 helmet instead of paying me back for things or getting me something…for some reason, that really hurt.  I made him an awesome t-shirt quilt, bought him a guitar because he said he wanted to play, got him art supplies, etc.  The ONLY thing I have from him is an infantry badge.  At first, I was extremely touched by this, until he ordered more of them and I realized it was not a unique thing.)
  • Never says thank you (nor did he teach his kids to thank me either)
  • Discloses our personal life to others (I can’t believe the things I expressed to him and he would tell his exes and family…it felt extremely violating.)
  • Allows his exes to hurt me (the ex he cheated on me with actually came to my house and put a note in my mailbox saying I was to stay away from her and her children because I was so dangerous.  Me.  Dangerous.  I’ve worked with kids and students all my life and have never ever treated anyone badly.  I have no idea what he told her for her to say that but it was such a blow to my good character).
  • Makes his exes a priority over me (it’s funny…his ex girlfriend can say and do anything to this man…anything.  And he accepts it and forgives it.  If I even tried to bring up a subject he didn’t like, he would either shut down, pull away, or berate me.  Hmmmm.)
  • Has a dysfunctional family (his mom and grandma would never have accepted me although his brothers liked me, as well as his cousin and grandpa).
  • Says and does inappropriate things around his children (even with his kids, he was the center of everything and his kids cry out for attention. I really worry about them.)
  • Addicted to his phone and very secretive about it (hmmmmm…)
  • Won’t follow through with committments

What’s interesting is this, even after writing these down and saving them…looking at them often when he was gone that first time, I still took him back again and again and again.  It’s as if my logical side took over just that once, and then his pulling back and pushing in played on my emotions to the point I could look at the imbalance of this list, and still take him back.  When I made this list, he hadn’t cheated on me yet and even after that, I allowed him back.  Twice.

But guess what?  My rose colored glasses are coming off!  I’m seeing this now so much more clearly.  And over the last couple of weeks, I keep asking myself what I saw in him and why in the world would I ever want him in my life.

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Want me to tell you why?  Because I became addicted.  He played me and manipulated me and indoctrinated me to where I would accept anything.  And I did.  But the more time I’m away from him, the more clearly I’m seeing him.  That’s something I’m so thankful for.  I feel like at least some of my rationality is back, even if my emotions are still a wreck.  The glasses are off.

This is what I know:  after you have been pulled into a narcissistic relationship, your ability to see things clearly is severely altered.  And when people point things out to you, you simply cannot understand why they don’t see the great person underneath the actions.  And I’m going to admit something to you…if he were to come to me again, I’m very scared my emotions would rule.  I pray I would never take him back, but then again, I stayed with him so much longer than I should have.  If he hadn’t discarded me, I’d be with him still.  Distance is making me smarter.  Closeness would make me a victim.  Again.

Professor K

Not Deserving.

I have a best friend, whom I’ve mentioned before, and we’ve been helping each other out a lot these past few weeks.  He was married to a narcissist for years, and then after their divorce, she (literally) moved into his new home while he was at work and never left.  Because of their kids, he stayed with her.  The kids are grown, and she still tries to use them to lure him back into what she still considers their marriage.  He left around the same time Sarge discarded me, and we live just a short walk away from each other.  It’s nice to have a friend during our healing journeys.

Today, he came over to my house after I finished up at school, and I heard a UPS truck out front.  A big box was delivered, and although I order from amazon WAY too much, I wasn’t expecting anything. He told me to open it and when I did, it was an amazing new flute.

I learned to play the flute in 8th grade.  I took piano lessons during elementary school and when band started up in the 5th grade, I just never took part.  I think my parents assumed I wouldn’t practice, since I barely practiced the piano at all.  But I made a friend in Jr. High who was already an excellent flute player.  All of her family was musically inclined, and since we were getting so close, I wanted to be in band with her.  She gave me an old flute she had, and I rode my bike to a music store in town and got a beginners book.  In a couple of weeks, I had taught myself the notes, and I practiced more than I ever dreamed possible.  I was in the lower band starting my sophomore year,  but I finally made the higher band my junior year, and after working with my friend, got second chair next to her first.  Music and band gave me a way to fit in at my high school in a way I hadn’t before.  It was a whole new set of friends and activities.  My friend and I heard about a music camp at a state university close to us, and we both applied and got accepted.  My grandpa, who passed away after my senior year, was so proud of me!  He visited me and my friend a couple of times during our 2 week stay, and called us ‘college girls’ since we were living in dorms.  Every time he and grandma came up, he would insist on taking us out for a steak dinner (the cafeteria food was pretty bad) and then buying us cool stuff in campus town.  He was at every concert I played in and always told me he could hear me the most since I was the best player!  We got to go to camp again our senior year, and once more, grandpa (and grandma!) came up, took us out, and listened to every note we played.  My parents were proud of me, and so was my grandma, but grandpa simply beamed when he would hear me play.  Even when I played horribly.  During senior year, I was offered a small music scholarship for a private university and I accepted.  I couldn’t wait to be a music educator and inspire others like my band teacher always inspired me.

Grandpa was an alcoholic.  Most people on that side of the family are.  And during the summer after my senior year, he got very sick.  He had cirrhosis of the liver and his body was shutting down.  He tried to take my grandma and I on a trip to South Carolina, but we had to call another family member to fly out and drive us home.  It was obvious to grandma and I that grandpa couldn’t drive, wasn’t eating, and was really feeling bad.  When we got home, he went downhill quickly.  Even though we took all of the liquor out of the house (although looking back, it seems silly since the damage was done), he still managed to get a hold of Listerine and would drink that while sitting in his big living room chair.  Grandpa died just days before I was to leave for school.  I had gotten to say goodbye to him before he passed and got through the funeral pretty well.  At the same time, mom and I were gathering all the things I would need for college, and she drove me to the campus and helped me get my dorm room all set up the following weekend.  I wasn’t scared.  I wasn’t excited.  I just ‘was’.

A day after I arrived, I was scheduled to play for the music faculty so they would have an idea of where to place me in the bands.  I stood in front of them with my shiny silver flute, and simply couldn’t play.  Not a note.  My music had died along with my grandpa.  My mom came and picked me up and I started community college later.  I haven’t played the flute since.

Getting my flute today was having someone I love give me back my music.  I am remembering almost everything and have played some simple songs…it feels so good!  And, as I was looking for sheet music and scales online, my friend decided to make me a meatloaf dinner.  Anyone that knows me can testify to how I absolutely love meatloaf.  I haven’t been eating well lately.  When Sarge and I met, I had over $10,000 in the bank.  I am now in debt for $21,000.  I’m not buying many groceries and if it wasn’t for peanut butter and cereal, I wouldn’t be eating much at all.  I’m not destitute by any means, but the payments on these debts are eating up so much of my paycheck, I just don’t have a lot left for groceries.  It’s almost done baking right now, and the smell is literally filling my house with warmth.  I love it.

My friend came in my home office a few minutes ago and asked me if I liked my flute and to tell me that dinner was almost ready.  I started to cry and he asked what was wrong.  Without even thinking, I blurted out:  “I don’t deserve any of this!”  And I meant it.  I mean it.

I’m the one that’s always giving.  And with Sarge, that giving never stopped.  I gave ALL I had emotionally and financially, and he took all I had…my confidence, my self worth, my feeling of being somebody, my feeling that I matter.  He took those things and crushed them in his hands.  He manipulated me until all I did was give, and if I asked for anything like sex, a couple of dollars for a tip on a meal I paid for, a hug, time, etc. he always said NO.  Because I didn’t matter.  Because I didn’t deserve it.

And damn him, I have just found out I have incorporated that into my psyche as well.  It’s like everyday something else happens, and I realize it’s just one more thing I have lost to this narcissist.  I don’t deserve a meatloaf?  That’s what he did to me?  To make me think that even a good meal is too much for me to have?  Yep.  This is what he has done.

I need to resolve this.  I need to know I do deserve things.  Because if I don’t, how will I ever heal?  Do I deserve the cost of a counselor?  Do I deserve friends?  Do I deserve my family?  Do I deserve to eat right?  Do I deserve to have music in my life?  Do I deserve anything at all on this earth?

When Sarge discarded me, I truly thought that he had taken all he could.  How wrong I was.  Even though the relationship is over, Sarge is still taking from me.  Still hurting me.  Still emotionally abusing me.  Still leaving enough of his words and actions in my mind that I hear them over and over again.  I’ve really tried to be open in this blog.  It’s therapeutic for me, and the ‘family’ I’ve found through doing this has been such a support.  But you know what?  There are still things Sarge took from me that I can never admit too.  Still things he said to me that I can’t bring myself to put down into typed words.  Still things he forced me to do that brings shame to me every time I allow myself to think about it.  Sarge is physically gone.  I know I won’t see him again.  But he and his abuse will resonate in my mind forever.  I believe that.  I understand it will get better.  But it will never go away.  And, that’s why narcissists are so dangerous.  They inject you with a poison, sicken you, and even after that poison starts to leave your body, you will always have effects of what it did to you.  Always.

This is what I know:  Narcissists take the ‘whole’ of you.  Every single thing they can get.  They empty you.  And the only thing that stays are their words in your head saying ‘You don’t deserve…you don’t matter…you are nothing’.

Professor K

Rise, Lazarus.

I love reading other blogs, and follow so many great ones.  Yesterday, I was reading narcissistsarechamelons, and came across this particular post: The Last Straw.   In this post, the author talks about narcissists causing a slow death of the person along with their goals, happiness, etc.  I thought a lot about this last night, and know how very true this is.

When people ask me to describe what I’m feeling as a I journey through my narc abuse recovery, I always say the same thing:  as if I’m dead inside.  And I don’t say this lightly.  It’s exactly what I mean.  Right now, I feel as if I have no more life in me.  My light has been covered.  My goals have been given up on.  My faith in humanity has been wiped out, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at others in the same way.  Who is wearing a mask?  Who’s not?  And how in the world do you tell at first?

I talked to my doctor today about my depression.  Not all of it is due to what Sarge has done to me.  There are so many other things that are feeding into it:  there is a history of depression in my family, and many of us have been on antidepressants for many years; my friend and mentor died this past December; my marriage broke up; my nephew was killed.  And I feel like there’s a big, black hole in myself where there used to be so much more.  My doctor is optimistic that I’ll start responding to my upped medication and will grieve my losses in order to go on.  I hope he’s right…because today I told him I really didn’t want to live in this world anymore.

My best friend of 31 years was abused horribly as a young boy.  He went through things I wouldn’t be able to withstand a fraction of.  And he’s a great, kind, sweet man who has helped me immensely.  Hubby 3 was also abused as a kid.  His mom was extremely neglectful and never hugged him or told him she loved him.  His dad beat him with an actual switch almost daily and at times, he barely had enough to eat to keep him alive.  Why?  How can such innocent children be treated in such horrific ways?  And these 2 men are wonderful.  They didn’t become monsters because of their abuse…they became more compassionate to others who suffer through it themselves.  So it’s hard for me to buy into the idea that Sarge is the way he is because of early abuse…his was so much less than these other 2 men experienced.

But, something was triggered in him that caused an evil I’ll never understand.  And that evil is what ended up killing me from the inside out.  I’ve never felt like nothing before, no matter what was happening in my life.  I’ve never just felt ‘nothing’.  It’s an absence of anything positive…and an empty vessel for negative thoughts to take hold.

Look how long it takes to ‘make a baby.’  From start to complete finish it’s 9 months, and once they’re born, they are at the mercy of everyone else.  They are innocent, fragile, needful, aware.  And after knowing how they can be shaped so easily, they then have to spend years growing to their full potential with so many roadblocks in the way.

Is that what I have to do now?  If I’m ‘dead’ inside, does that mean I need to be reborn?  Will it take me 9 months before I feel human again?  Before I feel like I have a place on this planet?  Before I look at the world, smile, and feel grateful that another day has been given to me?  And after those 9 months, how long will it take for me to reach the potential everyone says I still have?  Years?  Years before I can look in the mirror and not feel unworthy for this world?  Years before I can think back to this last year and not feel the gut clenching shame of admitting what I did in my relationship with Sarge?  Years to look at humanity again, and see the good?  Years to trust?  Years to love again?  Years to grow?

It seems exhausting to me.  I’ve already done all of that.  I’ve gotten through childhood, completed my education, raised my family, settled into my career.  The thought of having to re-build another life seems insurmountable.  Because instead of starting from ground zero, I’m starting from a place of no confidence.  Of feeling so undeserving of 2nd chances.  Of not having the childlike excitement that everyday brings, but instead having the burden of feeling I have to get through one more day.

That’s what everyone tells me to do.  Just keep getting through your days and things will get better.  Hmmmm.  Just get through the day.  It’s like a chore.  And where’s the guarantee it will get better?  It hasn’t yet.  And some days, the ‘just getting through’ seems like I’m digging a hole one day and filling it up another.  There’s no progress…just the same motions and the same feelings and the same sense of ‘nothingness’ Sarge has planted inside of me.

But, I’m a strong person.  At least, I used to be.  Maybe one step a day should be my goal.  And when that gets a bit easier, I’ll try 2.  And then 3.  And maybe I’ll learn to ‘walk’ again.  Run again.  And maybe someday, I’ll fly.  I’ll soar.  I’ll have my ‘old’ self back but with lessons learned and friends made.

Am I dead inside?  Yes.  I am.  But every so often I feel a tiny spark.  Just one.  A spark that I know can ignite a storm.  I just need to learn how to nurture that spark and use it to build a fire in me that will burn out the bad, and allow good to come back in.  I hope I can get to that spark soon.

This is what I know:  Narcissists ‘kill’ you inside.  That’s their goal.  To use you and empty you until you are nothing and their supply is satisfied.  It’s not fair.  It’s not right.  It’s not something good people can understand doing.  But these people are out there.  Waiting.  And I pray everyday I never meet one again, simply because I only have 1 resurrection inside of myself.

Professor K

 

The Awakening.

Dear Sarge,

You came into my life and I was a beautiful piece of yarn that you proceeded to tangle up to the point where it can never be unraveled completely again.  You said you loved me just the way I was, and I believed you because I trusted you.  I shared things with you I’ve never shared with another, and you said you understood me.  You held me.  You let me cry.  You made me smile.  You made me happy.  Until you started using all the things I had said and all the needs and wants you saw in me were fodder for your manipulation.  I told you my fears, and you became the ghost.  I told you my needs and you stopped fulfilling them.  I showed you my vulnerabilities and you stomped on them.  And I didn’t fight back because I was too busy trying to understand what was happening and apologizing for being who I am.

You cheated on me.  You left me to have sex with an ex you said you despised.  That you said hurt you.  That you said you would never see again.  Then you came back to me and I took you in.  You didn’t apologize.  You didn’t show remorse.  You got angry when I talked about it and you made me feel there was a lacking in me that forced you to go to someone else.  You made me feel less of a woman.  My confidence bottomed out.  But people deserve second chances, so I gave you one.  And then, you did it again.  I took you back again and I don’t know why.  All I know is I had begun to feel like a nothing.  Do you know what it feels like to be a nothing?  Later, I found out I have HPV and that I had gotten it from you.  You acted shocked when I told you.  But you act so very well.  And when I told you my doctor was concerned about it since it can cause cervical cancer, you said nothing.  Nothing at all.  Do you know how incredibly shameful it was to sit in a doctor’s office and be told that you have an STI?  Something I have never had before in my entire life?  My humiliation was enormous and even writing these words makes me feel dirty.  Makes me feel like dirt.  Like trash.

All I was to you was a body that gave you the supply of whatever it was you desired.  And you’d get bored with the things I bought.  You’d get bored with the activities I planned.  You’d get bored with me.  So, I always had to give more and more and more and I was still willing to give even after you exhausted me.  I gave you so many things it’s going to take me years to get out of debt.  Years.

You are a cult leader…like a Jim Jones.  And at first, the kool-aid quenched a thirst in me.  But Jones was a narcissist and sociopath.  Just like you.  And that kool-aid stopped quenching my thirst, and started me feeling as if a poison had invaded my system.  A poison I had no idea how to eradicate.  A poison that ate me up from the inside out.  You’re sick.  You spread your toxins to me.  Now, I’m battling sickness.  Your toxins have depressed me.  They have made me anxious.  Made me scared.  Made me question everything.  Made me wonder if I’ll ever be able to trust again.  And have made me wonder if I’ll ever allow myself to be with another man again.

How could you do all of this?  Why me?  Was I just an easy target?  Was I just a prize at first…since I was older, more educated, more involved in the community?  Was I just a mark?  A conquest?  Was I ever anything at all to you?  Did you ever, just once, look at me and feel something other than contempt?  Did you ever, for even just a moment, feel love for me?  Do you have a heart?  Do you have a soul?  What’s inside of you?  Nothing?  And is that why you took so much from me?  To fill up that void, and then cursing me because I couldn’t?  Ever?

I made one last attempt to reach you yesterday.  Stupidly thinking that all of this could change.  You could learn to love.  Learn to truly be the person you presented at the beginning.  So, I poured out my heart.  Showed you my soul.  Admitted to my longings for you.  And hours later, after I asked if you had read my message, you said no…you just hadn’t had the time.  I don’t know why that’s become the last straw for me.  It seems so insignificant next to everything else you have done.  It’s just one more unanswered message.  But, it’s one more time of me feeling like nothing…as if my words don’t even deserve to be read.  And, I simply can’t feel like a nothing anymore.

It made me realize something.  I don’t love you.  I don’t even like you.  And I have no respect for you whatsoever as a human being.  I don’t want you.  Because I want myself more.

Saying goodbye to anyone is hard.  But not saying goodbye to you would be the death of my soul.

Professor K

My sweet readers:  last night, I started doodling, having no idea what I wanted to draw.  And what you read poured out of me.  And it felt really good.  Here’s the drawing:

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