Life Is A Journey Without GPS

I have never been able to read a map worth crap, so it kinda makes sense that my life path tends to take detours. There are people in the world who stay the course their whole life, they set a plan in their twenties and they have pretty well stayed on course from that day forward. Not me!! Why? I think part of it is I get bored, I enjoy a challenge and I tend to be passionate and jump in with both feet before I think to ask “How’s the water?”

The jumping in with both feet used to work out ok for me when I was younger. I didn’t want to ever say “I wonder what would have happened if………” When I met Kristofer’s father he was in the army and transferred to the other side of the country 4 weeks into us starting to date. He said to me one night about a week before he was due to leave, “If I thought you’d say yes I’d ask you to come with me.” and I replied, “If you asked I might say yes.” He asked I said “We’ll see”.

I went to work the next day and put in for a transfer to Borden Ontario, it was a small bank, not likely to have an opening come up for months or a year. I took a couple of weeks vacation and drove with him to Ontario, met his folks (his mother didn’t speak a word of english) I flew home and walked into work and was told my transfer came through and I was to start work in Ontario the next Monday.

I called Victor and asked if he still wanted me to come and he said yes, he still had a week before he had to report for duty so he hopped on a plane, we sold all my furniture and loaded the rest of my stuff in my Honda Civic (diarrhea green) and drove across Canada for the second time in 3 weeks and that was that. It didn’t end up lasting “til death do us part” but we got a son out of the deal and until I met James I thought he was the love of my life.

My heart was broken when we split but he was not a narcissist and he didn’t try to destroy me. We had our reasons for splitting for sure but as anyone who has been with a narcissist knows; a narcissist has their own version of pain that far surpasses anything in the natural world.

I have bought houses on a whim and done well, taken jobs on a whim and had them work out great, my first house after Kris’s dad and I split I got after having a job for 6 months and it was only supposed to be a one year position, I took out a second mortgage to be paid in full in 2 years. I had no idea how I was going to pull it off but I had the job for 12 years and sold the house 4 years later for double my money.

I got used to my life going that way. Sure I would worry, I would be beside myself sometimes with worry about where the mortgage payment was going to come from but I had an excellent credit rating and at one point I had a full time job and a paper route to make ends meet. I always found a way.

After years of things working out I was very confident in my ability to recoup from anything and wasn’t too concerned when I jumped in with both feet because I always bounced back before, I knew I would again.

Until I didn’t. After having my feet kicked out from under me a few times I am not so cocky and confident. At 30 I didn’t anticipate ever having 2 heart attacks, not having money, investments or at least credit! It is a lot harder to recoup when you have nothing to recoup with and you have lost faith in yourself. I feel like I am hanging on the ledge of the highest mountain I have ever climbed and all I need is a little boost up or hand up and I will crest the top and never look back. Deep down I feel that the answer is within my finger tips but I just don’t know what the answer is. Write a book, it usually doesn’t make a person enough money to live on and what do I live on while I write the book? I know a book would open doors that could lead to a comfortable living. I think I have lost my innocence (a narcissist has a tendency to do that to a person) and now I know things don’t always work out but I still believe that things happen for a reason.

Life is such a journey, mine is never boring that is for sure and I cant help but get into my own story; like when you find a really good book and you want to see how it ends, want to flip forward and see what happens next to the character in the book. I like that feeling, I was missing it, I remember having it years ago, prior to James, actually I didn’t lose it until about 1/2 way into the relationship with James.

As much as things have not gone as I had hoped I am quite curious about seeing how this all ends and how many more twists and turns there’s going to be to the plot before we get there. Where is there? Your guess is as good as mine.

The most recent plot changes happened this week. I was so uncertain about going to Oliver. I had said yes immediately because that is me, ready to jump in without really thinking it through, especially when it comes to helping my kid. But I have to remind myself that I do not have the recouping ability I had 25 years ago. I cannot work like a dynamo day after day and “just get the job done.” People who know me are used to me moving and after two days I have all the pictures hung and I am having company for dinner.

That is the mom Kristofer remembers and expects, I think in his mind I froze at age 30, and he is 31, do the math.

Anyway, aside from my car needing new tires, that I have never even done an oil change on the thing and had it two years, it is a 1995 Saturn and might not even make it the 9 hour drive and I could end up broken down in the mountains with no cell service and no money; there were other things holding me back. I was walking away from at least $200 a month extra income per month, all my friends and family, and going to  where I know no one. But the biggest thing holding me back and the thing that made me say yes so quickly to begin with; the mother of my grand daughter.

She is a narcissist, screaming, controlling, vicious, vindictive, psycho narcissist and I wanted to protect my son from her wrath. I was packing one night and thinking about what I was about to do, move all that way because she needed help being a single mom. Women do it every single day, I did it, you hire a babysitter, you adjust your life to accommodate the child. She had promised to move closer to my son but reneged on that promise and moved to the smallest, middle of nowhere town and my son gave up an $80,000 a year job to follow so he could be near his daughter. He can’t find work there, not that pays him enough to pay his child support etc. He is at the age where he has to make some smart career moves, he is in construction and he is already feeling the effects on his body. He has a great talent and reputation and experience to be making $40/hour, he should not have to settle for $25 an hour doing a job he hates. He has fines to pay off before he can drive legally in BC and will go to jail if he is caught driving, he had job offers that would enable him to pay off the debt in 6 months. There was no other reasonable option, jail…….job……. not a decision that takes too much thought. He has always paid his child support and he is a dedicated daddy (his daughter didn’t even know he was her daddy for the first 4 years of her life) long story, but the mom was with another guy and he was daddy. My son was mommy’s friend, he paid his child support, he worked all week, got in his truck on Friday night, drove 12 hours, sleep for a couple of hours, saw his daughter for a couple of hours and then drove all the way back to start work on Monday again and didn’t even have the respect to be called daddy. It burns my butt in the biggest way.

Anyway, he was getting all sorts of flack from the mom and that is why I said I would go, to take the pressure off him. But as I was packing, thinking about moving there I kept thinking, “I just got away from one narcissist who controlled me and now I am willingly going right back into a situation where a narcissist is going to be calling the shots and I am going to be stuck there” The more I thought about it the more pain I had in my chest and I thought I was going to end up in the hospital with heart attack number 3. I had to stop and do some relaxation techniques and the pains passed.

I asked my brother what his thoughts on the move were and he said, the Pros – you are closer to your grand daughter Cons – You have to deal with that psycho bitch everyday. tough call.

My mom thinks it would be a big mistake and most of the people here weren’t to keen on it either. When I looked at all the pros and cons I knew I could not go. It was not the best thing for me. So then I had to break the news, I called my son, he was disappointed for sure, then I had to the mom and chickened out and text messaged instead. You guessed it, she called my son and spewed venom all over him. He called me and was furious. I don’t think I have ever had him that angry with me. I knew his anger was misplaced, I knew he was reacting to her venom but it was an ugly conversation and I started to have such bad chest pains I had to get off the phone. My son text messaged and called the next day to apologize and we are fine. But I should not have said yes before I thought it through, I have to learn to not say yes immediately, it is my go-to reaction from years of jumping in with both  feet and it just doesn’t work for me any more.

It was hard to renege, I don’t renege on promises but I knew in my gut it was a mistake; I am proud of myself that I acted on my gut and didn’t succumb to pressure or guilt. It was a huge step for me and something I have needed to do for many years. It is one of the reasons I went back to James so many times, I would be so thrilled he called and wanted me back I would say yes and then later think, “Why did I say yes? I don’t really want to go back” but I would have said I would and I didn’t want to renege. He had come to me spouting off all the things I had wanted to hear for years and I would think, “I have to go back, he is promising all the things I have asked for.” inside I would be thinking “A little too little too late” but I would go back. If I would have waited a few weeks or days I would have found out they were empty promises.

So that was my growth spurt this week, growing pains and all.

I got a text from my brother the other day asking what my plans were, that he was worried about me and I can live on his boat and we will work it out. So I am going today to take the first load to the boat. I will take pictures and share.

It is going to be different living on a boat, an introduction to living in a Tiny House. I still have to get rid of my furniture but if I build a tiny house I won’t need it anyway. I have been purging for a week. It is going to be a different lifestyle that is for sure.  The boat is my brother’s old boat, he bought himself a newer much nicer boat this summer and my son was going to buy his old boat but then he moved to Oliver and my brother got his old boat back. This big boats are not an easy thing to sell and it has been sitting for a while and can use some polishing and paint which I will do while living in it. he will get more for it fixed up and I will enjoy doing the work.

For now it is a reasonable solution and it keeps me from sleeping in my car.

I have not been able to respond to everyone’s comments and try to answer the ones that seem the most pressing but I am going to be very busy from now until about the 7th of April. I am moving today and tomorrow, cleaning the cabin Saturday, celebrating Easter and my 57th birthday on Sunday at my mom’s and taking the final stuff to the boat on Monday.

Have a great few days and maybe I will post pics later.

Let your light shine!!

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8 thoughts on “Life Is A Journey Without GPS

  1. Sofia Leo

    You made the right decision about moving closer to the narc – it would have ended badly for all of you. It’s sad, but you know you can’t change her and she’s going to poison your granddaughter against you no matter what. So sorry it’s turned out this way and sorry for your son who wants to be a Dad and can’t 😦

    Living on a boat can be wonderful! And you’ll have the option of moving it if you want to 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

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  2. Jerry

    Great news, Carrie. I’m glad you took the time to rethink what you have to do and are putting yourself in first place this time. If you had moved, you’d have put yourself last and ended up devastating your precarious balance of life as you know it. Your son will understand after he thinks it through with the struggles he had to make a living there.

    Maybe you could start writing letters to your granddaughter and just file them away until such a time you can give them to her without her mother running interference. It would at least offer her a perspective at some point in her future where she can more fully understand your situation and your own needs at this time. Sometimes we have to do things that those we love will not understand or accept in the moment but will later be grateful we did.

    You’re a survivor and a healer. Your words and ideas give hope and sustenance to any who have come here in need. The book may or may not happen but from every germ of a thought can grow a tree. You’ll find your way through the uncertainty of the here and now and make your place in this world one which will outlast your physical time on this earth. Keep your faith in yourself, nurture it, watch it take you to a new level in life where all the goodness that resides in your heart and spirit is a shared gift we all get to have a piece of. Most of all, hold tenaciously onto your hope that life will improve. It will as long as you remain on this path you’ve embarked on. Keep up the great work, Carrie. You’re a gift to all of us.

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  3. heyeldi

    You can never go wrong with trusting your gut. You will be a better grandma to your granddaughter this way. She will grow to see how her mother is. And she will see what kind of woman you are as well. Remember she has your blood too!

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  4. Jen

    This post made me so happy for you, Carrie! I know you believe you made the right decision and I do, as well. I look forward to the rest of your story and know you will continue to grow and give back through whatever life throws at you. Big hugs!

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  5. Alice

    Carrie,
    These are GREAT NEWS!
    I am so happy to hear that you chose not to move. You are too young to take up the grand-ma role 24/7 🙂

    I hope that your life on the boat will open new doors for you (in every possible sense). Good luck for the move- I feel that this will be a wonderful summer for all of us:-)) I just made my monthly donation to you to support you, by the way. I hope others will follow. Happy Birthday, and happy Easter!

    Oh, and: my narc was hoovering yesterday, he sent me yet another text message (he does that every 3-6 weeks to “test the waters”). Strangely enough, he ALWAYS sends those messages when I miss him most. So… yesterday has been the forth message since I initiated and enforced no contact in mid-January. I kind of felt it coming… but I resisted the urge to reply once more, and today, I am SO HAPPY I did not reply – it would have sucked me right back into the rabbit hole. Nothing good would have resulted from answering him, I know. But it is so exhausting to resist the hoovering and my own wish for closure (these thoughts of “if only we could talk it through respectfully… if only he told me that he missed me, that he was truly sorry, that he loved me and knew he’d made a mistake… and really meant it!)

    We know better by now, right?

    Sometimes, saying NO to bullsh*t and meaning it – that is: truly having boundaries – is the best way to showing ourselves and others love, care, trust and respect.

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  6. healing

    I feel ya on this one Carrie. Take care of you. We can handle only as much as we can handle.
    Bon Voyage. My thought and prayers are with.

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