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The Danger Of Holding On

Carrie Reimer:

This blog post holds true for all things in life. Possessions, relationships, jobs…….. sometimes you have to let go in order for something better to come in.

Originally posted on Lessons From the End of a Marriage:

One of my guilty (okay, so I don’t really feel guilty about it but it seems like I should) summer pleasures is catching a few minutes of television during the day. Last week, I saw the last few segments of the show, My 600-Pound Life. In this episode, a super-morbidly obese woman was in the hospital and being considered for bariatric surgery. The surgeon was reticent, both because of the patient’s extreme size and her refusal to attempt to walk.

It was the latter issue that grabbed my attention.

There were several scenes shown that all followed the same pattern:

“You need to walk. It’s critical for your health and recovery.”

“I can’t walk. I just can’t do it. I’m not feeling well.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I just don’t feel well.”

“I’m going to get some people here to help you get up.”

After the nurses or EMTs were summoned, they…

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8 Rep Day

strength

I had an epiphany today watching Matthew Hussey. He was right.

What am I talking about?

Well, let me step back a bit. i have been asked, or even had the statement made; the counselor said it on Friday after hearing about what i have gone through the past 10 + years, especially the last almost 5 years. I don’t know how you did it and then she asked me flat out, “How did you do it?”

So many times victims of abuse come into the blog and they say, “I don’t know how I will ever love again.” “how will I trust again?” “How will I survive this?” and they sometimes email me thinking I must have some secret that I don’t share on the blog, and if they email me privately i will share it with them. The secret to surviving and healing after narcissistic abuse.

I used to weight train, I was really into it like an addiction, it was an addiction. I traded an eating disorder for weight training and I was always pushing myself to lift heavier and heavier and sometimes like Mathew Hussey relates; your mind tells you, “There is no way you can do this, it is too much weight.” but if we lower our expectations our brain says, “Oh I can do THAT.”

stay with the program

This is the Mathew Hussey video I am referring to, watch it and then I will explain further how i healed and put myself back together.

When I thought about doing no contact forever, i would panic and immediately feel like calling him. Being told I should not love him and never speak to him again was too much for my brain to handle and it would immediately give up. if I couldn’t do it forever, what was the point in even trying?

I knew this thing the mind does from when I used to diet. If I thought “I can never have chocolate cake again” I would immediately crave chocolate cake. So it made sense to me that when I told myself I could never talk to James again I immediately craved James. So I told myself I will not call or text today, or in the beginning it was this hour. Once I made it through a couple of days, I wasn’t making it through an hour it was day by day. I didn’t tell anyone I was going no contact, most of all not him. I knew that if I verbalized it to him I would immediately want to talk to him and once again I would prove to him how weak I was.

After a couple of weeks it became easier to not call because I had gone this long……I didn’t want to have to start over again going hour by hour. I had enough time away from him that he was no longer making me feel guilty and less than and I didn’t want to take the chance of talking to him and being put right back to where I had been for so long; feeling like shit and being treated like dirt.

I never marked the days off on the calendar, I never wrote in my diary that “today I stopped talking to James.” I didn’t tell him, “I will not be talking to you any more.” It was just me, taking it one hour at a time, I could call him at any time if I wanted to and I didn’t want to, not bad enough to do it.

It was the same with not loving him, I gave myself permission to love him. My love had been real and true; just because he didn’t love me, it didn’t diminish MY love. I wish it was that simple, but it isn’t. If we had loved them just because they loved us we would have fallen out of love long ago. We loved them despite the fact that they didn’t treat us lovingly, so really nothing had changed, we just stopped burying our head in the sand. So I told myself “you can love him, you just can’t be with him.” I would envision myself with him after we both died, together for eternity. I just could not be with him now in this world at this time. It may not work for everyone but I didn’t make a decision to stop loving him and could not tell you when I actually stopped loving him, maybe I never did stop. There is a part of me that still loves that part of him that I originally fell in love with. Hell it was the most romantic time of my life, it was exciting, I never felt more loved and alive than I did at that time. I loved the most unconditionally and deeper than I had ever loved before and as painful as it was; I loved loving him. I can’t erase that, I can’t and don’t want to erase 10 years of my life. Sure it is painful to think he never really loved me, but I loved him and that is who we are talking about here, ME and I loved well and loved doing it so why should I diminish MY love because he was a sick son of a bitch?

The putting myself back together again was overwhelming. I had no idea where to start, how to start, I was totally broken, how to do fix something when you don’t even have a starting point? I remember thinking to myself that putting myself back together again was just too insurmountable and I gave up. But then I decided I would take one trait, whatever one popped up that day and work on that one trait. Really analyze it and decide if it was mine to own or not. Did I like this part of me? if I didn’t I didn’t keep it, but then I had to decide what would take up that spot, if I was not going to handle that facet of my life like I had in the past, I had to figure out how I would handle it and honestly ask myself if it was reasonable of me to expect that of myself.

When I moved into that hell hole of a trailer with no power, sewer or running water; if I would have known I was going to live there over a year, I probably would have killed myself. For 2 full years I thought every single day that I can not do this one more day. But I would do it one more day, and then another day and another, until I had done 2 years of singular days.

If I would have known how tough the last 5 years was going to be and in the beginning told myself, “you have to do this for 5 years.” I would have given up. Those 5 years have not been all bad and I learned a lot from them, I grew a lot and now I would not trade them or wish them away but if I would have projected too far ahead I would have given up before I even got started.

If I allow myself to go there I think, “I can not move one more time. I just can not do it.” But deep down I know I can and I will when the time comes, but that time is not now so I have to let it go and not worry about it until it is time and know that when the time comes I will move again and I will get through it.

All I am saying is this, don’t overwhelm yourself by projecting to far into the future. Don’t worry about loving again or trusting again; deal with the issues at hand, they are enough for right now. When the time is right, you will love again and you will trust again, and if you don’t trust again, you will deal with it at that time. How can you worry about trusting a man you haven’t even met yet?

make it an 8 rep day, not a 1o rep day, maybe it will only be a one rep day at first. But trust that you can do anything for a day.

Back Again I See

Im back

Hi, so you are back again; it’s been awhile, but I have been expecting you. How did I know you would be back?  because you are like me; I did this for 6 years before I faced the truth. I hope you don’t do it as long as I did, that is why I started the blog, in hopes of saving some people precious time and more damage. But there is no shame in being a slow learner, you won’t hear me criticize you, that would be the pot calling the kettle black.

What happened this time? You caught him with another personal ad? or was it worse, you caught him with another woman. Or did he stay out all night or disappear for a few days and refuse to answer his phone? Or did you plan for days to have a talk with him about something, plan your words ever so carefully only for him to blow up at you and call you a selfish, paranoid bitch and blame you for everything and a simple conversation ended with him storming out the door as he spit out that it was over, YOU really did it this time!! He wants out!!

I know

It has been many years now for me, but I remember those days well. Oh boy do I! Initially I would be so angry I would be relieved he was gone, but it wouldn’t take long and his words would sting, the tears would sting my eyes and the self doubt would start. I would start to shake, I would go over my words, how had such a well planned conversation turned so ugly, how could he misunderstand what I was saying and twist my words like that. I never even got out what I wanted to say and he had me so confused and flustered I stumbled over my words and forgot everything I wanted to say. I hadn’t been angry, I was trying to figure out how to make things better and next thing I knew he was screaming at me and I was crying and screaming back and it all got so out of control and hate filled. I said things I didn’t mean and he wouldn’t stop badgering me and I lost it. I never used to lose it like that, I have always been calm and rational; why do I lose control like that with him?

I would try to call him, he wouldn’t answer, I would panic, maybe this time he really meant it, maybe this time it really was over. I would pace the floor, unable to eat, work, sleep, needing to talk to him, to fix things, to make it right again, have him love me again. But he wouldn’t answer his phone and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, everyone was sick of hearing about it and I always went back.

I would run to the internet. There weren’t near as many sites back then but I would devour any information I could find, spending hours confirming it wasn’t me. It was easy because he fit every description of a narcissist I read, I would print out the list of traits and even highlight sections with yellow, orange, and green nodding my head in agreement, even talking to myself out loud, “Omg! that is US!! I would print off that section and reread it over and over. It comforted me, I could tell myself I was better off without him. Sometimes I would even comment, describing how cruel he was and everyone would tell me no contact was the only way to get over him. I would tell myself, right! no contact! I never want to talk to him again! He’s an asshole, I don’t need him, he is sick, he is a narcissist!! look at all the traits you ticked off the list that he has!! You are SO much better off without him. I could keep it up for a few days, until the phone rang and I would jump 3 feet in the air and pray it was him. I answer and be cool, I was just going to see what he wanted, what lies he was going to tell me this time. I knew what he was now and I could be strong.

But he would be using his sweet voice, call me “Baby”, and ask how I was. He would say he missed me, i would say, “You really hurt me this time James.” and he would say he was so sorry, and in a whispered voice say he loved me. To hear those words would be like cooling salve on a burn, my resolve would leave me, I could feel the wave of relief wash over me, he still loved me.

He would ask to come over and I would try to be strong but I knew the battle was lost, all I wanted was to make love to him and we would be back together. The highlighted lists would be put away, the websites forgotten and I would convince myself that, “Yes, he had a lot of the traits but he would never cheat on me, we were different; we had a special love, stronger than what those other women had with their men. They don’t understand because they have never loved like this. When two people love each other as much as James and I love each other, it is stronger than both of you, you don’t just walk away from a love like that. And I knew, when I looked in his eyes, when his mouth was on mine and his strong hand held mine, when he picked me up and packed me into the bedroom; that I could never love anyone like I loved him and I knew he felt the same. It scared him, that is why he tried to sabotage it, it was so intense it was almost more than either one of us could handle. But I was not giving up on him, on our love.

I even went years not looking on the net, I totally forgot about him being a narcissist because for one, he could be really sweet at times, I knew he loved me and I thought it was his fear of getting hurt that made him act the way he did. He went years without hitting me also, I still didn’t know at that time what gas lighting was or that someone can destroy your soul and never touch you physically. I still thought my truck breaking down was God’s way of keeping us together. And there was always some good reason to stay until the present trauma or drama calmed down. I remember praying to God, more like bargaining with God, “If you let him get off this time (when he was caught with all the stolen cars) I will stay with him.” He got off. Or I would pray that God would open James heart and eyes and know how much I loved him and he would come and apologize. Or I would ask for a sign telling what to do and my truck would break down or James would get sick or injured and I would nurse him back to health.

I convinced myself that he would never really do anything about the personal ads, he just needed to know he could get another woman if he wanted to, he was just afraid that I might leave him. So I set about showing him how much I loved him, whether he said it back or not, I would say I love you. I would vow to not get angry and only see the good things he did, praise him when he did well and be grateful, appreciative, and show him how much I loved him. I didn’t need him to come to bed every single night, I told him even 3 nights a week would make me happy. Then of course he made sure he didn’t come to bed. God forbid Carrie would be happy!! I paid my own way for everything and even paid his way for most things and if he needed money I gave it freely, money had always been an issue with us and I was not going to allow it to drive a wedge between us. I hadn’t worked for a couple of years and I had been reliant on him, once I started hauling scrap I made sure to not be a burden on him and the last two years I went too far the other way, paying for everything and he was stealing off my truck but I told myself we were a couple, what was mine was his and I shouldn’t worry about only my end of things. I told myself that when it came time that I needed help he would come through. OK, ok I already said I was in denial, stop laughing!!

I did not say anything bad about him to anyone, I know how a person can get in a bad habit of finding fault with a partner, it becomes habit to bitch about them, and I had decided to stick it out, no point in bitching about him. I loved him warts and all and I had given up fighting it. I was going to love him to the best of my ability and do everything I could to prove how much I loved him whether he accepted it or not. It was all I could do, I had tried leaving, I had tried reasoning with him, explaining, getting angry, and none of it had worked so I gave myself permission to just love him with every fibre of my being. It felt good to love someone that much, so much that you stopped demanding respect, stop worrying about whether you were getting equal back, to just love someone totally without reservation or expectations, to just accept each day and what he gave me that day. But it was killing me and he didn’t appreciate it, he loathed me for it. it made him sick, the more i loved unconditionally the more he hated me and the looked at me with hatred in his eyes. The more he rubbed my nose in the fact that he had other women.

And that is when he said it was over and I knew he meant it, I knew in my gut it was truly over and I left. a shell of the person I had once been. And I ran back to the internet, dug out those old highlighted lists and consoled myself with the fact that he was a narcissist. And this time he had all the traits, he had cheated on me, we didn’t have anything special, our love wasn’t stronger than those other couples. All victims of an N are the same, we all go through the same denial, magical thinking, searching for answers and not liking the answers we find.

This might not be the time you face the truth, you might have to do this a few more times, hey! I totally understand and don’t judge you for it. Just know you are always welcome back, we are here waiting, and when you really face the truth we will give you a virtual shoulder to cry on and hand to hold.

But, from one slow learner to another; get out sooner than later; please. And when you are thinking about going back; come back here I’ll be waiting.

Some Times You Just Have to Laugh

I have had a couple of days that have had such a mixed bag of events and emotions, I just have to laugh.

I think a few people were confused by my last post I typed it off in a hurry and maybe didn’t explain myself fully.

For one thing the counselor appointment had nothing to do with being investigated, I had the appointment long before the investigation thing came up. My worker at the funding office thought I needed someone to talk to considering all I have had to deal with and I haven’t been to a counselor at all since long before I even met James and thought, “Hey! why not maybe I do need to talk to someone.” The counselor’s office is right next door to the office where I go to get my funding package done and the girl was even kind enough to give me a gas card to get there.

I ended up with an eye infection and missed my first appointment because I wear contact lens’s and couldn’t drive without them. My eyes cleared up in a couple of days. I researched it on the net and found an article that recommended boiling a cup of water and adding a teaspoon of honey to it and letting it cool. Then several times a day put drops of the honey water in your eyes and it worked!! But then I had to put my same contact lens’s in and it came back so I have been fighting this eye infection for over a week now but i think I am winning that battle.

So back to the counselor. A very sweet young girl, probably younger than my son but that doesn’t mean she isn’t good. She was very welcoming and easy to talk to. I was a little teary because I was concerned about money and this investigation but I filled her in briefly about what I have been through the past 15 years. Very condensed version. I told her about the blog, about how I was broken, sitting on the couch failed my suicide attempt and started putting the pieces of me back together. She said that my attitude was exactly what she hopes to accomplish when she counsels someone, she was amazed that I had done all that healing and was as strong and together as I am without seeing a counselor. She got a big smile on her face when she asked what school I wanted to attend and she agreed with me that it is a great school and would offer exactly the courses I needed. She said that she felt my goal of going into schools with a program and becoming a life skills coach working with victims of abuse was my calling and that I had found my purpose in life. She said that she didn’t think I needed counseling, that I had ever right to be upset about my situation right now and that if I could find work or get funded for school I would be fine. My mental state is fine and healthy.

She did mention that she would like to keep talking to me but only because she would love to learn more about how I healed myself and more about domestic abuse but not because she felt i needed it and she felt I probably had enough on my plate without fitting her into my life. But her door is always open if I do need someone to talk to, even just a sounding board.

I am thinking maybe I will talk to her about giving workshops through that office or the funding office free at first, but maybe i can get some valuable experience. I really enjoyed our visit and I really liked her and I gave her my blog name so if she wanted to learn more she can read here.

So counselor. Good.

i went back home and put in my 4th call to the investigating officer, and left my 4th message. Of course she called me back 1/2 way through the day. I had already been into the counselor and so was low on gas. She wanted me to bring in all this paperwork and then I could get my cheque. I said I didn’t have the gas to run around and gather all this paperwork. She said, “Well how were you going to get your cheque?” I said that I didn’t know seeing as it was supposed to go directly into my account. She said “Well when you figure out how you are going to get your cheque bring the paperwork in and have them fax it to me and wait for your cheque.” So with my gas gauge below E I headed out to the welfare office with my paperwork. I handed it and waited, they were rude, I swear to God those people need a lesson in people skills, they treat everyone on welfare like they are the scum of the earth. Anyway, not a word from anyone and at 4 o”clock the lock the doors and leave me sitting in my car. When I had handed my papers to the woman I had said I was going to take a seat and she had said, “No just stand there.” I said, “No I have a heart condition and with this heat, I am going to sit down because I am not feeling well.” and I took a seat. maybe she didn’t like that oh well.

Anyway I am sitting in my car, having pains behind my shoulder again when a woman who just missed picking up her cheque by 2 minutes, they locked the door as she ran up came up to the car and asked me if I could call her a cab. I didn’t know the number for a cab and we started talking, she was a talker, rather hyper but nice enough. Finally she opened the passenger door and asked if she could sit down inside the car. She kept saying i could get a cheap apartment where she lives only $450 a month plus utilities. I asked how she can afford that when her cheque is only $610 and she said that she goes into houses that are going to be demolished and steals the copper and wire and she could use someone with a vehicle to help her. I said, “No offense and I am not judging you because you gotta do what you gotta do but I can’t break the law.” She kept babbling on about how I should move in where she is and she is going to help me and I am thinking, “How do I get rid of this woman?” Finally she asked for a ride home and I said my gas gauge was below E but if she was on my way home I would drop her off. I did feel bad for her and it was so hot. We ended up going off in another direction than the one I would have taken to get home and finally we pull in the driveway. The house next door is the “safe house” for abused women and there are a bunch of guys hanging around in front and her roommate is walking back and forth on the street in front. the roommate wants a ride to money Mart and I said I had no gas and she said she would give me something once she cashed her cheque. I am thinking, this is only getting worse. I left, promising I would come back for a visit and asked the woman if she could get a ride back home from Money Mart and she said yes. OK we are almost at Money Mart only 2 blocks to go and the car runs out of gas. I tell the woman to not worry about me, go to Money Mart I would be fine. I wanted her out of my car, the hyper woman had told me her roommate was stealing from her and then when the roommate got in the car she told me the hyper woman was stealing from her. I just wanted to get away from them both. This is the kind of place they expect you to live and even that was more than anyone can afford without stealing.

I still had my $15 for gas so I started walking first i stopped at a car lot and said i had run out of gas and had a heart condition, did they have any gas I could buy. No. I asked for a cold drink and they pointed at the pop machine. I had a dollar for a pop.

I went to 5 auto repair shops and one of them had a jerry can but they were closing in an hour and didn’t think I could get back from a gas station before they closed. I told them all I had a heart condition and not one of them offered to give me a ride nothing. At 5 to 6 after a full hour of trying to get help I saw a Harley shop, I thought, if any one is going to help me it will be a biker. I was right these guys were great, got me gas made me a funnel out of a pop bottle and refused to take any money. I thanked them over and over again. Got back to my car, and to a gas station and home by 7. Poor Stella had been locked up all day in the hot boat without going pee for 12 hours. She was SO happy to see me.  and I was happy to be “home”.

Welfare office. Bad

helping someone out. Good Bad.

Running out of gas Bad, Good.

Getting home to Stella’s kisses. Good.

Somehow through it all I am holding my own and through the help of many people here. I can’t say too much but thank you for all the support from many of you. You are angels and really got me through a bleak day, weekend, week, month,…………year, 5 years.

My mom called and we had a good talk. That made a huge difference too.

Now I am off to answer some of the comments made the past few days.

I