I know when I first left James and to be quite honest a couple of years after I had a really bad time finding anything to be thankful for. Looking back I can see why the constant barrage of criticism, rejection, and negative energy drains a person of all their optimism. For years, every time I had some place special to go the anxiety would build up to the day and then invariably my vehicle would break down and I would either not go at all or break down 1/2way there and spend the day on the side of the road waiting to be rescued.
We were always broke, I don’t understand why, there was no reason really; for a large part of the time we were together I was working, (if he let me) and he was capable of making excellent money, even if I wasn’t working. But we never had money so we were always on the verge of being homeless or homeless. Those times that we were split my life always went so much better ( it was my fault I didn’t recognize that as a sign and not go back to him) and within months of going back to him we would be in financial straights.
We both had trucks and we could have done really well working together and when he was broke he certainly took advantage of my connections. When I had met him I was a girly girly, I got my nails done every few weeks, tanned, had my hair styled regularly and I had never even changed a tire or changed my oil, I wouldn’t even attempt to try and fix anything mechanical.
He would be loading scrap and I would sit in the truck and wait. Usually it was late at night and I would sleep because he would insist I come along. I changed a lot over the course of ten years, I learned all about hauling scrap, mainly because that is what James was into and if you can’t beat them you join them. I grew to love it, challenging myself, learning to drive the truck, getting stronger; we worked well together. I knew that if he just stopped trying to sabotage ME, we could have had a very successful business, my connections and business sense and his talent at fixing things; we would have done great. But he could not handle me being successful, as much as he bragged about me, enjoyed taking stuff off my truck and made a ton of money taking stuff off my truck and got quite a nice collection of equipment off my truck, and he liked being the Lady Witha Truck’s significant other, he hated me for it. He didn’t want to be equals, he didn’t want to be a successful couple, he didn’t want to make money the honest way. And more than anything he didn’t want me to be happy, confident, well liked, respected, successful and he didn’t want life to go smoothly. He needed the drama and trauma, the constant chaos, living on the edge all the time, if life was going good, he had to do something to upset the apple cart.
James was not a team player, he was not the other half of a loving happy couple; nor did he want to be, he did everything within his power to NOT cooperate. There was no way, no matter what I did, that we ever could have been happy or ever been secure financially or otherwise.
I am talking about this today because of who I met yesterday.
A very kind soul from the blog donated $50 and I have gained some weight since leaving James. I was a 7/8, even a 5/6 sometimes while with him and now I am a solid 9/10. I am happy with that, I think I look a lot healthier and being too skinny ages a person but I literally have nothing to wear. I have had to throw out almost my whole wardrobe. I have a few nice things for winter but I have been cutting off my jeans to make shorts. I have had my son’s dog for a week and I am taking him to my son today. I am busting to tell you where I am going but will show some willpower.
I haven’t seen my boy since Christmas and I am really excited about seeing him today and I really wanted him to see me looking good. I want him to be proud when he sees me, like I am of him. I want him to see me and be proud to introduce me to his friends. I know he loves me, that is not it. Don’t we all want the people we love to be proud of us? When he was a teenager I attracted a lot of attention, his buddies thought I was a “milf” and sorry, I took that as a compliment, he used to get pissed off when his buddies were checking me out, but I know he was proud of me. So I was indulging my ego and wanting a little bit of that again. At 57 you can not be a milf, or even a cougar, but I wanted to look classy, put together; you know what I mean? So anyway, I went to value village and told myself I wouldn’t buy anything unless I looked really good in it. There is no point in buying something unless I really feel comfortable and attractive in it. I filled my cart with shorts, short skirts, capri’s, long skirts and short and long dresses and started trying things on. it has been ages since I shopped and I kept pushing the guilt out of my mind. The “I should be buying food, paying a bill”‘s kept creeping in but I persevered and it was looking like I wasn’t going to find anything suitable anyway. I had 3 dresses left and put on a dress that was almost an orange colour, it had spaghetti straps, fitted bust (and now I have some boobs back so I filled it out) it came to just below mid calf and had gold trim and gold embroidery around the bottom foot and 1/2 of the dress. I came out of the dressing room to check it out in the big mirror and the salesgirl said, “That looks great on you.” I said, “Really??” she went on and on about it being perfect for me, I was tall enough to wear it. I told her where I was going and she said it was perfect. Just as I was going in the dressing room to try on another one, a lady going into the change room beside me piped up and said it looked really good on me. I was like, “Oh, really? gee maybe I had better have another look at this dress.” The lady’s husband had taken a seat, obviously getting comfy for a fashion show from his wife. They were an attractive couple, they both had laughing eyes and the nicest smiles, they kinda looked like each other. (you know how they say couples start to look like each other)
I put on another dress and I really liked it on me, it is bright, red, orange, yellow, turquoise, black and white floral, it is long, just above the ankle, once again a fitted bust and it clings to my body just enough to show I have shape. I liked it. I went out to check it out in the big mirror and went and found the sales girl who had liked the other one. She was at the cash register but saw me, I put up my hands in a “well what do you think?” gesture and she beamed, gave me two thumbs up and said, “That’s the one!’ oooooooo I was so excited. Now if the nice lady liked it, I would buy it, so I waited for her to come out of the dressing room. She did and her husband and I agreed the top looked great on her. Then I said, “I have been waiting to ask you what you think” and I did a little turn. She said too that it was the one. I was giddy. I told them why I was buying a dress, I was seeing my boy for the first time in 6 months and he was taking me to dinner. I needed something I could walk around in all day and still go to dinner in. They agreed it was perfect. Giddy!!
Her husband said, yep, it looks great on you, no one will believe you are your son’s mother. I looked at her, gave her two thumbs up and said “You have a keeper there!” She beamed and said, “I know it!” and he said, “I got a keeper too”.
I changed back into my cutoffs and when I came out of the dressing room the husband told me they were just about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, been together 51 years. It was on the tip of my tongue to say, “Wow, your one relationship lasted longer than all of mine put together. But that would have been sprinkling acid on a beautiful rose, I didn’t want to him to lose that smile. He was beaming, he was so obviously in love with her, with his family, he was proud and I was so happy for them both. He told me that 50 years ago they made a vow and they stuck to it. I said i bet there were times you felt like walking out the door, but you had made a promise and you weren’t going to bail. He said exactly, he said that young people these days don’t take their vows seriously, it’s too easy for couples to just go their separate ways, both his sons are divorced. He said the secret to lasting was finding the right one, communication, agreeing to disagree and not always having to be right, faith in God, and never criticizing a person’s character. “You can get angry, you can’t be together 50 years and not get angry with the person,” he said. “But neither of us ever cut the other one down. There are some things you just can’t take back later. like calling a person stupid, or a bitch or worse.” he went on, “Once you say things like that, there is no undoing it. It is in that person’s head and it never goes away. They will always hear that voice in their head. you are stupid. We never did that and THAT is the secret to lasting 50 years. And wanting the same things, working towards the same things and finding someone you are compatible with. He said he knew he got really lucky with his wife, that he met a sweetheart and he knew it and he wasn’t going to let her go.
She came out of the dressing room and I congratulated her on coming up to her 50th and she beamed and said, “I got lucky.” I beamed. I told them that they had made my day, that I love to meet people who have stuck it out, stayed true to their vows and I could see why, because they were both lovely people. They looked at each other with mutual admiration and respect and he patted her hand. I said I bet both of you have changed, grown over the years, and they said a the same time, “But we never grew apart.” She went on to say that they had both come from pretty abusive backgrounds, big families and not loving homes. They kept their eyes on each other the whole time she talked. She said, “We made a vow to ourselves and to each other that we were going to do it better. We were going to raise our family with love and respect and we never broke that vow.” He nodded in agreement, I beamed.
Then she said, ” There were days that I looked at him and thought; Who are you and where is my husband?’ and they both laughed. He said, “After 50 years, I aaaalmost have her trained.” his eyes twinkled and he laughed a heartily, I could tell that face was used to laughing. She leaned forward as if to tell me a secret and said, “And I have him almost convinced that he almost has me trained.” and we all laughed. and it felt wonderful. We wished each other a good day and he said, “Enjoy your time with your boy, you are going to look great.” and I told them what a pleasure it was to meet them.
I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face the rest of the day and every where I went people were smiling at me. It happens a lot these days, with the black cloud of narcissism lifted it is so much easier to find joy in the simple things. I didn’t tell them I had come from an abusive relationship and envied them because I didn’t want to tarnish all the good positive energy they were exuding by even mentioning that toxic waste.
That was not it for the day though. I went to the grocery store and as I was leaving the greeter at the door asked me how I was today and I stopped and said I was great, how was he? He is a little mentally challenged, in his 40’s at least if not 50’s and he told me his dad had just died. Not something you expect to hear out of the mouth of the greeter at Walmart. I said I was sorry to hear that and he went on to tell me the whole story. His dad lived in Kelowna but his mom had died when they lived in Oliver so she was buried there and they had buried his dad beside his mom. His dad had wanted it that way. I asked how old his mom was when she died and he told me 88 and his dad had been 97 and 1/2,. I couldn’t help but exclaim, “Wow!! well at least you know he had a good long life, you can ask to live much longer than that.” he told me his dad lost his driver’s license when he was 94!! His parents had been married 60 years.
I wanted to share my day. The victims of abuse often start to feel there is no such thing as true love, that there are no good ones left, or they are doomed to spend their life alone. Don’t tell yourself lies, that is what the narcissist wanted you to believe, that this was as good as it gets, you won’t find anyone better, you don’t deserve better, so accept it and accept that to expect love is unrealistic and expecting too much.
What I learned about lasting love yesterday was this:
1. Find the right one. Someone with the same values, the same goals. You both have to feel lucky.
2. Take the time to really get to know the person and discuss your goals, how you want the relationship to work, what do you see in he future. Be specific. If you don’t have the same goals you are going to butt heads.
3. Mean it when you take your vows. Really take them to heart. Not I will love you until something better comes along, you both have to be in it for the long haul.
4. Communicate, getting angry is ok, but never cut a person down. Think before you speak because there are things that can cut a person to the quick and you can never take them back and the person will hear those words for the rest of their life. if you love this person why would you want to hurt them like that.
5. Allow the person to grow, encourage them to grow and be the best they can be, NOT what you want them to be.
6. Have the same values, morals and boundaries.
7. Treat each other with respect always.
8. Respect yourself enough to not accept less.
9. show the world your love for each other. Men, it is ok to show love for your wife, let her know you feel lucky and ladies, tell him you feel lucky and when two people show their love for each other there is no jealousy or suspicion; you never have to ask, “Do you love me” .
10. Hold hands, laugh, smile lots, and share the workload. The nice man was telling me that his wife was mowing the grass the other day and the neighbor told her it was man’s work. There is no man’s work or woman’s work, you work together for the common good of the family. I agreed! I will gladly mow the grass if a man will cook me dinner.
My life is still unsettled, I still am cut off welfare, I still don’t know if I will get my funding for school, James is still James, and I don’t have any where to move to yet, but I just can not make myself get anxiety stricken, that dang inner peace stands in the way. Inner peace comes from living true to yourself, only when you live true to your core beliefs will you find inner peace and once you do, it doesn’t matter what happens no one can take it away from you. Remove the toxicity and the negativity, feelings of gloom and doom and negative self talk will disappear with it. It will take time and work, believe me; I thought I would never believe in the goodness in the world. All I saw was selfish, evil, nasty, jealousy, backstabbing and that was all that seemed to come into my life. Try as I might to think positive, (negativity breed more negativity) it seemed I was bombarded with negativity constantly. How can a person be positive when all they get is negativity?
It takes work, putting mind over matter, finding the little things in life that are positive and just don’t give up, don’t give in to it and STAY NO CONTACT. Keep that toxic shit out of your life.
Have a great day all. sending positive energy your way.