Tag Archives: change

Struggles

I am back! It has been a difficult time for me the past while. I am ordinarily a pretty optimistic person, which has not always worked in my favor when it came to being with James, because I tend to make the best of a situation, it may take me a day or two but I have converted the most horrific dives into homes, or found a way to make ends meet but I think a person gets tired of always finding the positive in every situation and sometimes you just have to feel sorry for yourself. I guess I have been having a pity party, “damn it I don’t want to try any more” attitude.

It felt like the rug was pulled out from under me again and although it has been almost 5 years since James and I split it sent me into a tail spin. Who knows where my life would be if I had stayed with him, but I am pretty damn sure it would be better a hell of a lot better had I never met him and if he hadn’t done his damnest to destroy me financially before we split.

Not getting the funding for school hit me harder than I had anticipated, I was positive I was going to get it and when I didn’t, along with having to walk away from the cabin, and then moving to a place in the heart of where James and I met and then parted ways 10 years later; set me up for a bit of a relapse. You see, where the boat is moored is 5 minutes away from where James used to work and maybe 15 minutes from where we lived when we first met and then moved back to for the last 2 years of our relationship. James got some old war ship for a $1 off Craig’s list years ago and we went on board it and he stripped all the copper out of it, and it was docked at this marina. I have been revisiting old haunts all week, every turn in the road held another memory. I had dealt with the demons when I went back to Mission so I thought I had dealt with the past but being here brought back new demons for me to deal with.  It is getting easier, but I don’t like him being in my head that much, I actually keep thinking I see him in every semi driving by and there is no way he is driving truck in this area. I know he moved away, but my mind is playing tricks on me.

I have done a bit of work on the boat and my brother has had to give me a few quick lessons on emptying the bilge, discharging the black water, filling the water tank, where the breaker box is etc. There is a lot of work to be done on the boat but from a distance it’s not a bad looking boat and I love to fix things up so there is no problem there. There is more than enough room for Stella and I now that I got all the crap off the boat and stored the rest; the only thing I have a problem with is; I am afraid of falling off the boat or Stella falling in. You see, the Fraser River is not the cleanest of rivers and it has a really bad under tow to boot. But Stella has mastered jumping in and out, it only means there is no way I can work outside and let her loose, we have to leave the marina for her to stretch her legs. I can even plant flowers in pots on the wharf and I plan on hanging baskets from the upper deck railing. The people are very friendly and helpful and there is no shortage of single men! I had no idea how many men live on a boat!!

There are some really awesome yachts here and some really scuzzy one’s but everyone is treated the same, if you are on a boat you are “one of the gang”.

There is a free shower facility that is absolutely awesome and so much better than showering in the tiny shower on the boat. Each shower has it’s own little room with a mirror and bench and they are kept immaculate. There is a laundry room and basic cable is free. The only thing missing was the internet and I certainly could not afford to pay for the net, but a few days ago I talked to one of the guys who has the net on his boat and we made a deal where I will pay him $20 to use his internet connection. So after sorting through over 800 emails, I am back!

I am afraid I have not even had the chance to read the comments and if I start to reply to comments I will be forever so I will try to go back and answer any questions but if you don’t get an answer to your question, please ask again.

When I finally got into my email there was a letter from the CEO of the company in charge of my funding for school. I had written the Better Business Bureau and the company complaining about how my file was handled and I heard back from the Better Business Bureau that they were taking on my case and had contacted the company with my complaint and given them until the 17th of April to resolve the issue. But I lost my internet and never heard anything more of course. A week ago the CEO sent me an email asking me to call him, which I did on Friday and I have an appointment to see him this coming Monday. We will see what he has to say, now that I have moved I am out of their jurisdiction but I will keep positive thoughts.

I worked my ass off the past week, moving boxes up and down that damn ramp, emptying the boat of all the crap before I could put my stuff in. I don’t want to have to move again any time soon, I don’t think I could physically. It was the move from hell but I did it. The only thing I need now is some sort of couch to sit on, there is no table or anything to sit on because my brother stripped it out after he got it. It has to be a small couch or something that can be assembled on board because the opening for the sliding door is only 22″ but I find myself spending a whole lot of time in bed because it is the only place comfortable. I am sure something will materialize soon, IKea has one for $200, I know they don’t make the best quality stuff but it would fit, either that or I am going to have to make something.

While unpacking I came across a small box inside a larger box, I couldn’t remember packing it, so when I saw the smaller box I froze, it was right on top of the stuff in the bigger box of last minute things I threw into a box. It was fairly heavy and I slowly opened it to reveal a beautiful vase with a lid taped on top. It was Kato’s ashes. I had never even opened the box containing his ashes, it had just been too painful to lose him. He had been my rock through the worst time of my life and I had never been able to bring myself to spread his ashes. As silly as it may seem I just could not part with him, I had no idea that they had put his ashes in such a lovely urn. All of a sudden I was overtaken with emotion.

Kato was a difficult dog to handle, being dog aggressive and with the health issues he had; but he was my rock. I don’t know how I ever would have made it through sleeping in my truck, living out in the middle of no where, just all the times I held him and cried, all the spiders he killed for me. Stella is not like Kato, she is sweet and I love her to bits, if I outlive her I am sure I will miss her just as much, but she needs me. She relies on me to keep her safe, to provide for her, she is afraid of her own shadow; whereas I needed Kato and he never failed to be there for me and here he was again, in my hands just when I needed him. I don’t think I will ever be able to get rid of his ashes. blk and white Kato

squeaky duck calendar

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But I Can’t – But Yes You Can!

How many times have you said it? I can’t, I just can’t, don’t ask me to because I can’t, I hurt too much and I can not survive this pain.

I hate to break it to you, but no matter how hard you fight it, no matter how hard you wish it, you can go kicking and screaming if you want………….. but sooner or later you are going to have to get through this. OK there is one way out, you could kill yourself. I was afraid to say that in case it gave someone the idea committing suicide is the answer, but then I thought, “Who am I kidding? if they are really struggling with pain and feeling they can’t do this, they have already contemplated suicide.”

We read on the blog or elsewhere, victims saying, “That was it, I kicked him to the curb and I never looked back.”

“It’s been a year and I have never been happier, I am in love with a wonderful man and life could not be better.”

And we think, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be happy to be free from his abuse? Why am I still struggling?”

The worst thing a person going through struggles in life can do is to compare themselves to other people, we all heal at our own pace. As much as our experiences are very similar because all N’s got the same “how to” manual and follow the same prescribed steps to destroy their victim, each victim is unique. All narcissists and psychopaths are very similar, (it would kill them to realize how similar they are because they all feel they are so special and unique, when in reality there is nothing special about them at all) I think that is what we find so hard to accept too, we thought we had found someone wonderful and unique and then we learn the truth, that they are a counterfeit human being, no better than a counterfeit $100 bill, worthless.

Criminals have gotten really good at replicating bills but no matter how good they get and how close it is to the real thing to look at; it is never going to be worth anything. You can stand and scream until you are blue in the face, “But look at it! it looks EXACTLY like a $100 bill, it has to be worth something! I refuse to believe it isn’t real! so there! I can’t accept it is not real.”

I am sorry, but you have no choice, a counterfeit is a counterfeit no matter how much you stomp your feet and refuse to admit it.

Narcissists are all the same, they cannot change, no matter how much you scream, “But they seemed so real!!”

The victims ARE real and unique individuals so they are not going to heal at the same pace or in the same way. Real people have feelings, past experiences, different values, different personalities, so to compare the victims and expect all victims to follow a prescribed set of steps and to put a time limit on their healing is unrealistic.

It is a dangerous game to play, I hear it every single day. “You are so strong, I can’t wait to get where you are, it’s been 6 months, 1 year, (sometimes even a few weeks) and I am just not healing, what is wrong with me? when will the pain stop, I can’t do it any more.”

I never felt strong enough to “do it”, not one single day of the last year I was with him and the first year after leaving him. While I was with him I didn’t think I could ever leave, but I knew I couldn’t stay and live. Then I knew I could not go back but I didn’t think I could survive on my own. I didn’t want to face reality, I had no choice. That was the first big step in my healing journey, just admitting I had no choice.  I knew that to continue to live with him was killing me and I could not carry on that way but I had nothing to rebuild with and felt so helpless and hopeless I saw no other choice but to kill myself.

I had tried, my truck was in the shop again, my ex had sabotaged its repairs by calling the shop and telling them to take out the parts they had just installed and he would deliver to them the parts for free and then not done it, meaning my truck was down a whole week without me making money. It meant my bill for labour was going to be more than doubled because I had to pay to have the parts installed twice and take out once, a few thousand dollars, not a huge amount of money but it might as well have been hundreds of thousands. It was money I did not have and as long as my truck was down, would never have.  All the money I had was in the form of coins, maybe $2 or $3, my cupboards were empty, my ex had promised he would come and see me because I had begged him and told him I was hanging by a thread. I didn’t feel I could call anyone. My mom had disowned me over a year prior, I couldn’t call my son, he had his own life and was worried enough about me, that was part of the burden I was packing; I hated being a burden to him, I hated that he worried about me. I was living day to day, what I made in a day gave me enough to survive a day or two at the most, I had no safety net. And I had one thought running through my mind like the needle stuck on a scratch in the record. “I can not do it.”

When I woke up after trying to kill myself and decided I had no choice but to “do it”. I knew I could not do it on my own and that is why I started the blog. To make myself accountable to someone, to declare to the world, “I CAN do it.”

You have to change your inner dialogue, instead of saying, “I can’t do it.” “I wish I was where you are at.” “I wish I was strong like you.” practice saying, “I can do it.” “I will do it, one day at a time, no matter how long it takes.” “I will overcome this.” “I control my destiny and I will do what it takes to learn how to get through this.”

I used to be a real Neil Diamond fan and always loved the song I am I Said not that the words really fit but it kept playing in my head. I almost felt invisible and no one was listening to me, I was literally falling apart in front of everyone’s eyes and no one cared or believed me. I felt as alone as a person can feel I think, well I had Kato, and felt guilty that I was so preoccupied with my troubles I wasn’t loving him like he deserved. I remember I did tell my neighbour that I couldn’t do it any more, I was ready to give up and she had said, “Don’t be ridiculous.”

It is especially scary for a person who has always been self sufficient and strong. I left my ex thinking, “Yeah my heart is breaking but I will overcome this like I have overcome other obstacles in life.” and then it didn’t come together, it wasn’t just losing my ex, it was being broke, having no momentos, no family, no credit. I had never had to face life with nothing.

Some victims are battling the ex for custody of the children, or over property, some have supportive family and a group of friends who rally around them, some have financial means to live comfortably and others (the majority) are left struggling to just put food on the table, others fear for their lives, some had a lousy childhood and some grew up in a loving nurturing home. Don’t compare yourself with others, just because they got through it sooner than you doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

There are many victims who move on quickly, get involved with another man and it appears their life is perfect and other victims look at them and lament why they can’t find a wonderful man and be happy. You don’t know how the story ends. I hear the same story from women and men all the time, “this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have been involved with a narcissist, I am an N magnet.” If you go looking for the quick fix, a man who will love you for who you are, a man who makes you feel sexy, perfect, and loveable you can almost count on meeting another N. They are out there, waiting for someone like you, they want nothing more than to be the man of your dream; you become an N magnet because you are looking outside of yourself for your self worth. You are still believing the myth that you are only valuable if you have a man in your life.

It may hurt like hell, growth usually does, quick fixes seldom last.

I used to get flat tires all the time on my truck, the job I was doing it was a guarantee because I was driving into the scrap yard, I was sure to pick up screws in my tires. I would walk past my truck and hear the hiss of air escaping from a tire and my truck was so big and heavy I never packed a spare tire or jack because a regular jack was not strong enough to hold my truck. If I got a flat it meant calling a tow truck and not just a regular tow truck because if they tried to pick me up the front end of the tow truck would lift off the ground, so they had to send their biggest truck which meant I waited for hours and it cost me hundreds. So I had to find a way to stop the leak until I got to a tire shop and could get it fixed. That inflate a tire stuff didn’t work on my big tires and with the weight of my truck with a load on but I always kept an assortment of screws in my glove box. I would find the screw causing the leak in my tire and find a screw a couple of sizes ligger with a flat broad head on it. I would use a screw driver to remove the screw that was in the tire and replace it with a bigger screw, screw it down tight and 99% of the time it would stop the leak. Brilliant, right!? But once it stopped leaking I would forget about it and it might take a couple of months but eventually it would start to leak again. I would curse at myself for not getting it fixed sooner, find a bigger screw and pray it worked. Sometimes it did and I would get more time and believe it or not a couple of times I procrastinate a 3rd time. (some people just do not learn) No matter how many times I procrastinated, eventually I would end up at a tire shop and getting it fixed properly.

So, yes you  can go for the quick fix, but at some point in time you are going to have to deal with the pain and heal properly; isn’t it better to deal with it now and avoid all the hassle of ending up in the exact same situation time after time?

I watched this TedxTalk this morning about very basic steps to overcoming adversity but they work, check it out here.

Thanks Giving and Reflections

Up here in Canada it is Thanksgiving Day and as you all know I have much to be thankful for so I won’t bore you with listing them all off again. My family isn’t having a celebration dinner this year, not on the day anyway. I have been extremely sick lately, that is why I haven’t been posting or commenting much, I have been flat-out sick in bed. It started with a sore throat, moved to a head cold and now has settled in my chest. I do worry a bit because I have had pneumonia several times in my life along with bronchitis and once you have had either one you tend to get it again and I am not one to sit still for long and think I can just “work through it” which is not always the case.

Plus my brother’s job, which is absolutely HUGE has to be finished this coming Thursday and seeing as my son is site foreman they are both working this weekend to get the job done.

Two weeks ago my brother had asked me to cook a lunch for the crew on Friday and I had said sure, thinking I would be over this flu and I want to help out as much as I can.  With subtrades there was probably 40 people to feed and my brother requested my Pulled Pork Sandwiches. I worked for 2 days cooked the pork in the slow cooker, making potato salad, coleslaw and marinated peppers plus a dessert. Now I don’t have a stove, well I do have a stove but I haven’t been able to buy propane for the stove for over a year. My heat is electric and being alone I don’t consider having a stove a priority and have gotten by using my microwave, crock pot and an electric pancake griddle, so cooking for 40 presented a bit of a challenge but I got it done and was struggling with this dang flu the whole time.

My brother also hired a chef to do barbecue ribs on the barbecue and my son messaged me after the luncheon that all the guys thought my pulled pork was better than the ribs which was nice to hear because I was worried. When you cook for that many you want it to be good. I was really pleased I pulled it off. I made up a no bake dessert using a graham crust, pudding, cooking apples and thickened them added them to the pudding, mixed in some Cool Whip and sprinkled the top with graham crumbs. The potato salad was red and yellow potatoes and sweet potatoes and really tasty if I say so myself. I had  a bunch of peppers given to me by the neighbour lady and used my blowtorch (left from my scrap hauling days) to “roast” the skins off of them and made a marinade. I heard my brother telling the chef that the peppers were delicious and the chef tell him he didn’t make them, I did! The pulled pork turned out quite spicy but every bit of it and the coleslaw were gone.

I had a rather eye-opening experience while serving this lunch. An ex boyfriend of mine is doing some work for my brother, he had I have remained friendly, we dated for about a year, about 20 years ago. I saw he was leaving just as I was bringing out the food and asked if he wasn’t staying and he said he was vegetarian now. I told him to have some salad and dessert, take some home for his girlfriend, so he took me up on the offer and then we stood talking for a while. He said to me,”Now this is what you should be doing full-time.”

I said, “Oh no, I don’t like to cook THAT much.” my face must have shown my confusion and I could see the confusion on his face.

Then I remembered; I used to love to cook. I was a wonderful cook and entertainer. I used to cook for 30 + people all the time without a second thought, (mind you I always had a fully functioning kitchen and all the serving dishes and large pots etc needed to do it). When he and I dated I always cooked lavish meals, I loved to plan meals, I never followed a recipe and could pull a meal together at the drop of a hat any day of the week because I kept my cupboards so well stocked. When I met the wospos I was a great cook, he used to rave about the meals I could throw together out of seemingly nothing, and then we spent the major part of the next ten years without a kitchen. I realized that anyone who knew me 15+ years ago still views me as this fantastic cook.

For the first few years without a kitchen it really bothered me, cooking and being a homemaker had been such a huge part of me but I adapted and I learned new talents, like painting. After the wospos and I split I was afraid I had forgotten how to cook but obviously I retained some of my cooking skills, the thing I didn’t retain is my passion for it. I can do, I can enjoy doing it on occasion but it is not a something I define myself by any more.

It was an Aha moment for me. I used to show my love for people by cooking for them, I entertained to make friends, cooking and feeding people was who I was; but we all grow and change, my ex is now a vegetarian. People who haven’t spent time with me the past 15 years really don’t know me at all now, sure the basic me is the same but so much of what I thought was important and I couldn’t live without means nothing to me now. But in their place other things have become just as big a part of me, I am even more passionate about the things that are important to me like my blog, my education, helping others, my son, …………..things that really matter.  Who wants “She made a mean pasta sauce” on their headstone? I would much rather have, “She made a positive difference in the world” on mine. The whole time I was cooking lavish meals I was feeling inferior and like I wasn’t living my purpose but I didn’t know what my purpose was. Maybe a person’s purpose changes as they age. Maybe being step mom to 4 kids was my purpose at that time, maybe running a daycare was my purpose for that period of time in my life and now my purpose is to raise awareness about domestic abuse. I just know I have stopped wondering what my purpose in life is and knowing that I have helped someone have a better future is a lot more gratifying than knowing I cooked a good meal.

I had taken Kato’s ashes with me with the intention of spreading them at the river where the wospos and I used to take Kato because this job is very close to where wospos used to work. I went to the river but the tide was in, the river feeds into the ocean; and I couldn’t get to the spot we used to go. I left to go to another spot on the river where Kato and I used to go almost daily behind Amix. I drove past where JC used to work and they are gone, closed. The company had been around forever and all the trucks were parked but the company was gone. Then I went to go the other location and the roads have all been changed and I don’t know how to get there any more. I tried to find another park Kato and I used to go to and once again I could see the road I needed to take but now the new road totally bypasses it and I couldn’t go there either.

In five short years, everything has changed. I stopped going down to that area because I didn’t want to run into the wospos and in that time it has changed so much I hardly recognized it. There was a day I knew the whole area like the back of my hand.

There was a day I could remember exactly what it felt like to kiss the wospos, I could remember the feeling of being in his arms, there was a day I ached for him to hold me. I thought I would never be whole again, that I would never find “me” again.

As much as we want things to stay the same, as much as we don’t want to let go of what we know and we think we can’t survive losing what we have……….everything changes, the world, our world, the people around us. We lose pets, lovers, ourselves but every time we lose some thing we get something in its place, who knows it might even be better than what we had. But we have to know when to let it go, when it no longer serves us to cling to something and be open to accepting what is waiting to take its place. It takes courage to let go of what we know for the unknown but if we don’t we stagnate and we will never grow, we will never be better than we were we will never have better.

So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for change, I am thankful for all the wonderful things that have taken the place of those things that made me who I was because they make me who I am.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all with love.

Narcissists -Nurture or Nature?

I made this comment on another blog very”Narcraiders” If you haven’t been there you should check it out. The post was about how narcissists/psychopaths are made. I typed it all on my phone so excuse any typos, but I said alot and didn’t want to type it all. Here it is-
Betty, This is a very good article and I agree on 99% of it but in my opinion (and I have no formal education on the topic only my own experiences after 10 years with a psychopath/narcissist and research that I have done in my quest for answers to “What the hell happened to me”) I believe narcissists/psychopaths are born disabled. Just like a baby can be born without eye sight, missing a limb or deaf; a N is born with out a soul and will never feel guilt, compassion or remorse.

Through research etc they have invented ways to help people born with disabilities through prosthesis and surgery; thus for there has been no way to give an N a soul and no yellow brick road that leads to a wizard who can give him one.

The reason I believe they are born this way is because not all people with this disorder had a traumatic upbringing yet it doesn’t seem to matter what they upbringing was like they all have almost exactly the some traits and behaviour.

often we hear of a family where there are several children all raised by the same two parents in the same home yet one of them, no matter what the parents did was born trouble. The other children all go on to be normal members of society but the one sibling continues on a course of leaving destruction every where they go. I think upbringing does factor in and that with the right upbringing the N will learn the skills necessary to function in mainstream society. They are probably the scariest of all because they have learned to hide their true selves. The ones raised in abusive homes wouldn’t have been taught how “normal” people live and would have a harder time fitting in.

My ex was raised in a very loving, yet strict home where they tried to accommodate his special needs, from what I’ve heard from all involved in his life, he was trouble from the day he was born almost. Always in trouble with the law, lying, drugs, alcohol, petty crime, yet highly intelligent.

I know of another N who was raised in an extremely abusive home where he was beaten on a regular basis, he has had more incidents with the police and is a little more rough around the edges but the behaviour is almost identical to the one who was raised in a loving home.

Yet, you can find many examples of people raised in horrific circumstances who go on to lead productive normal lives and maintain loving relationships.

In my mind it only makes sense that if a person is the way they are because of some traumatic event, then through counselling and/or meds the damage should be reversible. From the research I’d done there is no evidence showing narcissism has ever successfully been reversed. If a person has a soul, no matter what happens they will always have a soul and experience guilt, and empathy to some degree even if they try to shut off their feelings. But if a person in born without a soul they will never feel as normal people do and there is no hope of recovery or lasting change.

There could be change if they wanted to change because they could learn right from wrong even if they don’t feel it they could fake it; IF they thought there was a need for change. (but they don’t because they don’t care about anyone but themselves and their immediate gratification.) A person born blind can learn brail, they can build a prosthesis limb for a child born without arms or legs, but there is no help for a child born without a soul. That is sad, but for me it is easier to walk away knowing that there is no hope of change.

In my situation I believed I could “fix” my ex, I had read that narcissism was caused by some catAstrophic event in the persons past and they put up this defense. There is always the danger then of thinking if you love them well enough, prove you won’t leave them or hurt them some day they will miraculously see the light and appreciate your efforts. I have heard it said many times and I had the same train of thought, “he’s really just afraid of being hurt again, he is pushing me away before I hurt him, I can’t desert him now”. They are so good at “showing their sweet loving side” at just the right moment so as to keep their victim off balance and believing there really is a sweet hurt little boy deep inside that women stay for decades. But I have not heard of one case where a woman was able to love a narcissist enough that change occurred. You would think that if an N ever had a soul someone, at some time would have been able to heal a narcissists soul; but I certainly have not found any evidence of it occurring.

Thank you for letting me voice my opinion; and that is exactly what it is, MY opinion.

I enjoy your blog very much, as I do Paula’s, and I believe we all have the same goal in mind with each of or blogs and that is to help those who find themselves involved with someone with this disorder, heal and go on to live a life worth living.

My goal is to prove to every victim, every narcissist, and myself that it is possible to survive and thrive after a relationship with a narcissist.

hugs and much love to you and your readers.
Carrie

Quotes For Change

Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous as irresponsible talk.
The right way is not always the popular and easy way.
Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character.

Margaret Chase Smith

From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, from the laziness that is content with half-truths, deliver us.

Ancient Prayer

The ability to pursue a course,
Whether it is a popular one or not, is measured in courage.
The greater the courage, the greater the possibility we will act for change.

Mildred Pitts Walter
From “The Horn Book”