The Scent of Insanity

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Lifehouse – From Where You Are

It’s that time again:  crisp air, clear blue sunny skies, scents of pumpkin flock the stores next to back-to-school paraphernalia.

Feeling down and lonely with my thoughts all over the goddamn place, I decide to take a jaunt to the nearby Dollar General and treat myself to a seasonally scented candle.  Candles are soothing and fill this house with nostalgic smells of impending autumns long past when life made some sort of sense.

Within 3 minutes of browsing the aisles, I realize I’ve overstepped.  All the cute Halloween decorations remind me of how thrilled I used to be decorating the house with cute Halloween stuff for my daughters and their friends.

Flashbacks like sporadic scenes from various movies start flipping through my mind…

Brain decides to pretend it’s any year at all prior to 2012: Oh, the girls would really love those sparkly sunflower yard ornaments. Those cute pumpkins would be perfect for the girls’ rooms…

The back-to school stuff reminds me of gathering supplies; browsing the aisles with two absolutely amazing children while discussing all the foreseeable fears, problems, and excitements of heading into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th grade….  Me, chatting along with them, trying to be totally nonchalant about my fears of having enough money for all the school supplies they need and silently praying I might have enough for at least one thing they each just want.

FUCK!  Now, I’m in the goddamn Dollar General crying.  Should have stayed home.  At least there, no one can see me be pathetic.

I keep my face turned toward and buried in the crowded shelves, away from any customers, mortified with the tears I can’t stop and hiding my face deeply engrossed in whatever the hell’s displayed on that shelf.

Ah…at last!  The candles! Hot tears still streaming down my face, I sniff the Pumpkin Pie, The Pecan Muffin, the Apple Currant…  Okay, so I smell all the fucking candles, desperately hoping the movie snippets playing in my head will stop so I can pull myself together enough to select one and face the cashier.

I am GOING TO TREAT MYSELF TO A CANDLE, DAMMIT!  Today, this time, I am NOT sneaking right back out the door empty handed and desperate to hide my crybaby face.

NO!

I select the Apple Currant candle since it carries the least agony of nostalgia.

I make it through the check out with what I tell myself are just curious odd looks from the cashier at my tear stained red face, probably scrunched in desperate focus to not start crying again.

I step outside the store with my little plastic yellow bag and suddenly out of nowhere, I smell the very distinct and ancient scent of – of all things – my elementary school cafeteria?  

Grainy pink soap and doughy pizza burgers, the scent almost seems speckled with tiny flecks of gold sparkles in the cafeteria’s linoleum floor.

For whatever reason, this olfactory nostalgia sets the ridiculous crybaby in me off again. Now, I’m walking to my car sobbing through the Dollar General parking lot.

Christ almighty, what the hell is wrong with me?  I’m a goddamn sloppy pathetic mess of obnoxious tears and inescapable agony.

In my car, I keep my head down, fervently hoping no one sees me pathetically bawling like this, like a pitiful, unstable, insane person  The pain tearing through my heart is UNBEARABLE!

I can’t.  I just can’t.

Maybe I should go back in and grab a bottle of that cheap wine they sell?  Maybe I could go home, light my lovely scented candle and treat myself to a glass or two of a mildly mind-numbing beverage?

No.  Then I’d just be plagued with guilt and frantic over whether that means I’m a raging alcoholic like the narcissists and my children accused when my dad died.  Wine won’t bring any real moments of relief anyway.  Forget it.

Nah, I’ll just bite down on the wooden spoon and hold my breath through this soul ripping agony au naturelle, no choice but to suffer through every damn pinch, stab, punch, and pull as usual.

There is no solution to this pain.  There is no fix, not temporary or permanent.

Keep a candle burning in the window til they come home. When they finally arrive home again, they’ll love the comforting smell in the house and remember the truth of all our years together, happy…  I can almost see the delighted smiles on their face as they say, Momma, it smells so good in here! as they realize I never really stopped waiting for them.

Once home, I immediately put the candle in the window, like I have since my children betrayed, attacked, and abandoned, and shunned me.

I no longer can remember how it feels to not hurt all the time.

I forget what my face feels like to smile.  I can’t remember the sound of my own laugh.  I don’t remember what I look like without the deep agony-bearing furrow in between my eyes.

But I can remember the smell of my elementary school cafeteria.

And I vaguely remember the delight of getting hugs from my children every day and every night.

I distantly…like looking way down a dark underground tunnel…squinting my eyes to see way to the tiny end… remember the security of hearing my dad’s voice on the other end of a phone call.

And, I can remember the sound of giggles and laughter being a part of every single day.  Then, I  suddenly feel the depth of pain to remember that we didn’t go one full day in 15 years without the sound of carefree laughter floating around our lives.

I remember the sound, but I can’t hear it anymore.

Anywhere.

Keep a candle burning in the window til they come home.

I think it’s now more like, keep a candle burning in the window til I get to go home Wherever home is, I’m not sure anymore, but it’s GOT to be somewhere — anywhere —  that makes this infuriating, unbearable, constant pain stop once and for all.

Now, I’ll keep a candle burning in the window til the day comes when I finally get to go home.

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A Father’s Grace

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Awhile back, I was sharing memories of my dad with someone and they said something that deeply bothered me. She said, You just exaggerate your dad’s good qualities. No one is that perfect. You’re romanticizing him now because he’s dead. For fuck’s sake, no one’s perfect!

I’m not sure why that person was so frustrated with me sharing a few of my dad’s most admirable qualities, but this was out of line for so many reasons.

I admire and cherish so many things about my dad, but I’m fully aware that he was not perfect by any means.

He was wonderful in many ways, but he could be a real son of a bitch once in awhile too. He also could be a serious pain in the ass.

I choose not to share many of those stories. Yeah, partly because he’s dead and I prefer to focus and share the good stuff.

But also because I can count on one hand the times my dad was a jerk and I can say with complete honesty that not once did my dad act like a jerk or do something hurtful, or make a grievous mistake without apologizing. He fucked up like anyone does, but unlike narcissists like my mother and my ex, he always admitted when he was wrong, apologized and then always followed through on his apologies by not repeating that error.

Holding grudges and retaining anger are not natural states for me. By nature, I’m eager to forgive. Few people in my life have ever apologized or even admitted their mistakes or hurtful actions. So, in my world, when someone apologizes and deliberately doesn’t repeat the hurt, the wrong is corrected in my heart. I might still remember the hurt or disappointment of it all… and my dad did hurt me a few times in my life…. but I forgave him and I just don’t dwell on people’s mistakes.

God knows I’ve made enough mistakes of my own! And I’ve rarely been graced with true forgiveness…except from my dad.

I learned real forgiveness from my dad; because my dad showed me (and many others) such beautiful amazing grace

I confess, once in awhile, I recall a few hurtful things my dad did in my lifetime, and they still hurt a little, but then I only become immediately grateful that I had someone teach me the grace of true forgiveness and the integrity to honestly admit my mistakes and imperfections, face up to them… learn from them who and what I don’t want to be.

If not for this man as my father, his easy grace and natural integrity, I’d never have known anything but anger, blame, and infinite punishment for my own numerous flaws and imperfections. The narcissists in my life showed me plenty of that nasty, soul demeaning, perfection-demanding impossible shit.

How could I ever choose to be anything but eternally grateful? Even for the few hurtful things he did….?

How could I ever not embrace the beautiful qualities I learned and acquired from those very things?

And why would I ever? How could I be like a narcissist and bitterly spread his few imperfections and mistakes around? Why would I ever take a handful of this man’s imperfections and use them to slander and belittle him like narcissists do?

In my mind, every hurtful thing my dad did to me is truly irrelevant and unimportant. And it was irrelevant even before he died. In my heart, his beauty and grace that came directly from those things outshine any lingering hurt or resentment I could ever feel.

I’ve forgiven him the way he demonstrated forgiveness. Grace and integrity make true forgiveness easy.

I will forever focus on his beautiful qualities. I will forever honor this man’s memory. That’s not exaggerating. That’s not romanticizing?!

Dammit.

That’s truth.

The truth of my dad; who was amazing,

incredible,

imperfect,

and so very easy to forgive.

Hindsight Vomit

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When our dad died, I’d wanted to share little tidbits with my sister of who he was … who he’d become over the 25-some years she’d had very little to do with him at all.

He’d been the center of mine and my daughters’ world. Our rock, our saving grace, our everything that was hope and decency in our very challenging lives.

I bought into her exaggerated whispers of heartache dripping with excessive never before seen or heard compassion.

Hook, line, and sinker, I bought it. I assumed her pain had to come close to my own, although she’d barely acknowledged him for over 25 years.

Still, the loss had to be great for her too, right? Maybe even more so for her because she’d been so uncaring and uninvolved… who was I to assume our pain and loss ran the deepest? The most catastrophic?

So every opportunity I had to share some little story of his kindness, his beautiful heart, his selflessness and dedication, I jumped at because I wanted her to get the chance to see his last 25 years accurately. I wanted her to know our dad even though she’d chosen not to know him so well for many years.

When I told her the charming story of his new-ish lazy boy recliner he’d recently bought… how he’d struggled with the thought of spending that much on himself for a chair he loved, how proud of that chair he’d been, how much he’d enjoyed it after allowing himself such a much deserved simple luxury, she looked at me with vacant eyes and said, Do you think we can return it?

My dad’s rare luxurious indulgence : a leather recliner!

i thought to myself, RETURN IT?? After the story i just shared with you? Omg, this chair meant so much to him! He was so proud of it! Why would we ever try to return it?

When she scoured through his kitchen cabinets and came to the set of dishes he’d had since before we were born, I brought up memories of him cooking delicious meals for us and never looking my way at all, she simply said, Yeah…. these are so vintage they might actually be worth some money!

The priceless dishes of fond childhood meals

I thought to myself, SELL THEM? The memories that come with these dishes are quite literally countless and priceless to me. I will cherish them every time I even look at them. Every meal eaten in them will feel infinitely special for their memories. Why would we ever sell them?

When she filtered through his finances with prying greedy eyes, I told her how generous he’d been with my children and me, how I wasn’t sure how we’d have survived sometimes without his generosity. She scoffed and very snidely said, Gawdddd, he didn’t live on much, did he?

I thought to myself, yeah, he worked hard to be able to have some security but mostly he worked hard to help my children and I with basics and a few luxuries now and then to make us smile. He lived simply his entire life just to be able to do these things. Greed, extravagance, and excess just weren’t in his nature.

In the probate attorney’s office as the lawyer went through what our dad literally worked his entire life to save for retirement, as I felt I might vomit just thinking about spending a penny of his hard earned lifetime achievement, as I sobbed with every part of my body and soul, and said, I don’t really care about his money; he worked a lifetime for that and he never got to really enjoy it. She eagerly and quite brightly said, I care about the money! I wanna hear about the money!!

Yet, when I insisted we honor his last wishes and jointly be executors of his estate; when I said I felt like it was wrong to have her do it alone, no matter how much she manipulated me and feigned compassion to get me to give her that.. when I said, he’s done so much for me and my children, I want so much to honor his wishes and at the least, now help take care of resolving his entire life. I feel it’s the least I can do for him now.

She sneered in sheer undisguised disgust and said, You don’t want to do that for him. You only care about yourself. You only want to do it for yourself.

And, as usual, I felt confused. How could taking care of his estate and his belongings, wrapping up the final details of my dad’s entire life… How could doing that ever be all about me?  It actually was physically painful to me to be rifling through his entire life… handling the last pieces of everything he ever was, did, or had.  In it for myself??? That didn’t even make sense to me…

It never occurred to me then that her intentions were completely devious and so the thought of anyone wanting to do it just because it was his wish, just to feel like I’d honored his last wishes, just to feel that I’d finally be able to do something for him..one last thing….

Anything that sincere and noble in his honor was utterly foreign to someone so overwhelmed with the excitement of benefiting from his death in every possible way she could finagle.

What a filthy disgusting sociopath, so goddamn excited for how much she could gain from her dad’s sudden death  that she literally couldn’t even conceive of someone truly just desperate to honor his memory and cherish the last chance to ever take care of him in some way… even if it only was after he was dead.

The thought now of me treating her as if she genuinely hurt or as if she had even lost anything at all, makes me want to puke.

Yeah, our loss was definitely “equal”. I was definitely “in it for myself”…

Holy hell, hindsight is painfully 20/20.

Collecting Dust

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Head spinning

like a little girl twirling to lose her balance

In an empty world built of

lies and broken trust.

Wise words from long ago

slice through brain cells

both dead and alive

with a razor’s heartless precision.

Uncertain which weighs more true,

the scale shakes and

shivers like memories built on sand castles of betrayal

scattering… like dust in the wind…

What to do with a fully wasted life of

false love and true lies?

A life so riddled with bullets

it’s unrecognizable as a life at all.

It doesn’t pulsate with life.

Where nothing was real

not even hope

or faith

or trust

or friendship

or family

and especially not love…

Love was the ultimate lie

-a clever, cunning weapon of mass destruction.

Dust collecting rapidly on the

senseless scrambles of

memories that never were….

The Helpful Three

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YOU’RE A FUCKING SLUT WHO’S LIED TO ME MY WHOLE LIFE!

These were the last words I ever heard from my amazing beloved 15 year old firstborn and adored daughter before parental alienation syndrome took completely over my life.

It was about 8 days after I buried my father, I’d been lied to non-stop by my estranged mother and sister the entire time while I had attempted to juggle the emotional, mental, and physical shock of this sudden and totally unexpected grave loss.  The shock had manifested with mental confusion, emotional agony and had been accompanied by the severe immediate onset of various physical effects.

The nausea had hit first and had not ceased since that initial phone call from my sister who in a very purposeful soft and tender voice informed me my dad had dropped dead 5 hours earlier in Los Angeles, California and continued that gentle hushed dripping compassion tone while informing me of various probate laws she had apparently researched in the 5 hours waiting to inform me my dad had dropped dead.

Quite literally unable to eat, I had been existing on ginger ale and an occasional cracker since that day.  Interestingly enough, from the day before his funeral, I had also had sudden back pain so severe, I could not stand up straight and had walked hunched almost in half for 3 days.  The hotel shared a parking lot with an medi-center, I had hobbled to the morning of the funeral in desperation for help so I could make it to my dad’s funeral that day.  I did make it through the funeral with the assistance of the pain pills the medi-center had prescribed.

At the time, this back pain was confounding.  I had never in my life experienced back pain or had back issues. In hindsight, I find it fascinating that those days after arriving in Ohio where we buried my dad, while I was planning the funeral, my children had been spending time with my estranged mother, sister, and ex (my children’s father).  I had been excessively grateful to these people for spending this time with my children while I suffered through the physical hell which had settled in as well as the emotional agony of planning my dad’s funeral.  The irony is that my back pain set precisely simultaneous to these “helpful” people stabbing me in the back to my children with outrageous lies about me, their mother, as I thanked them graciously every day for helping me by spending quality time with my children.

I had watched Lexi grow more hostile and sarcastic to me each day we were in Ohio and it was hurtful as she had never in her life treated me with such bitter smoldering and random disdain ever in her 15 years.  I did not respond in kind to this sudden hatefulness or even acknowledge it, I simply assumed my daughter was rightfully angry at the sudden loss of her grandpa.  I had no one to offer me personal support, except my sister’s constant exaggerated over-the-top gentle “kindness” which was actually very thinly veiled manipulation that I grant her sole-executor of our dad’s estate.

I had no one.  I was surrounded by only the very people who had abandoned me 13 years earlier and my ex who had mentally abused me and our children and then stole our family home to punish me for not tolerating his cruelty to our children, specifically our youngest Savannah but Lexi hadn’t been totally excluded in that cruelty either.

These three snakes, plus my children, were who surrounded me as I hunch-backed my way through burying my dad.  So when Lexi suddenly started treating me with nothing but sneering hostile sarcasm, I did not respond.  I assumed she needed a safe place to vent her pain and anger over losing her grandpa and I was more than willing to be her target as long as she needed to be angry.

However, the night she screamed these words, YOU’RE A FUCKING SLUT WHO’S LIED TO ME MY WHOLE LIFE!, I was immediately more confused and discombobulated, but my instincts told me that the suddenly “so very helpful three” had created something pretty nasty in my devastated and vulnerable 15 year-old daughter while I had entrusted them to provide supporting love and compassion to my children while I planned their grandpa’s funeral. None of the “helpful three” had ever provided love, support, or compassion to me, but I had not ever expected them to be willing to take advantage of my hurting and heartbroken children.

So, I learned the hard way  how deep their hatred for me really ran.  They actually all three hated me enough to literally lie and manipulate my children during this moist vulnerable and painful life crisis.  I’ll never forgive myself for being so naive as to not assume they’d grab this opportunity to drench my children in poison.  I really should have known better.  They’d never shown any level of genuine conscience or authentic sincerity in my entire life.  In fact, as far as I had involvement with these “helpful three”, they’d acted as nothing better than greedy, punishing, hateful sociopathic insidiously evil snakes slithering around the wake of our devastation with greedy opportunistic delight.

I own that stupidity.  I take responsibility for it completely.  None of these three people had ever shown me they were anything but the snakes they were.  I don’t know why I assumed grabbing this rare and wonderful time of vulnerability to poison my children with their hate would ever be off-limits.  Bit, I did.  I suppose I looked at my amazing two daughters, so loving, so wonderful, so hurt by this loss, and never fathomed anyone could hate me enough to want to hurt them.  That was just unfathomable.

Oh my,  this was intended to be a post about my oldest being a confessed liar and even still, I can’t help but wander off to place the blame where it truly lies.  Even as my now adult daughter continues her lies and embraces treating me even worse than the “helpful three” ever did, I can’t bring myself to hold her responsible for this.

Is that more proof of my stupidity?  My desperate need to live in denial of sociopaths (the very kind of denial that made this possible at all)?  Or is it the depth of a mother’s love and willingness to love and try to protect her children at any personal cost?

I don’t know.  And, I know what it is doesn’t matter any more.

A few months ago in a very brief moment of acknowledging I exist, Lexi told me she had been lying to me for years prior to my dad’s death.  I guess she grasped this moment of my desperation to have any communication at all with my child, to blow my wounds up and take a nice directed stab deeper into them, claiming our entire relationship (the one I thought we had) had all been nothing but a lie….for years.

When she told me this, it had knocked the wind out of me.  I had no idea how to even reply to such a deep and permanent stab.  I immediately began sobbing and desperately trying not to let her hear my sobs and make her angry enough to end this communication ,albeit cruel stabs, it was still precious moments of hearing my child’s voice and her acknowledging I exist at all.

Beggars most definitely can’t be choosers, right?

And at this point, the “helpful three” had stolen my family, stolen my future, and stolen my childhood, but I held tightly to the 15 years I’d struggled through raising my children alone.  The memory of those precious 15 years of the heart-to-heart mother daughter chats I’d always dreamed of having as a child.  The 15 years of wild giggles and belly laughs I’d prayed for sharing with my mother as a child.  The studying together and making it fun I’d longed to have as a child. The environment of unconditional love and trust I’d always wished for as a child.  The heart-filled memories of desperately learning with my beloved two girls how to mother my children in all the ways I hadn’t ever known, but had dreamed of as a child.  In the 6 years since they were poisoned against me, I had held onto this.  Sure of only one last thing, these could never be taken from me.  They could steal my past, destroy my future, but I would always have those 15 years of truth and happiness (with struggle too, of course) that no one could never ever take from my children and me.

Lo and behold, in one statement, Lexi had taken even this.

So, stifling my sobs for a moment of silence after her claim that our entire relationship had been a lie, I finally very quietly (desperate she not hear my stifled sobbing, creaky begging voice and scream at or hang up on me) pleaded with her, Okay Lexi, may I please ask you something though? Without you getting mad?

Was anything ever true between us?  Did I do anything right?  Ever?  Were you ever actually as happy and full of love for me as you pretended?  Was anything ever actually true or good, Lexi?

Of course it was, Momma!  I have a million wonderful memories with you that I cherish!

(Still holding back my sobs) Oh, thank God it wasn’t all a lie then… Okay, may I ask you something else without making you mad?

When did it all become a lie?  Was our relationship when we lived in our house on Roosevelt which you once claimed was the happiest time of your life and most treasure memories, was that real?

Here, I was desperate to sort through my memories of our life together and needed to know what I could still believe was real because those memories were all I’d held onto for the six years my children had pretended I didn’t exist and made outrageous claims of enduring lifetimes of abuse.  All that had kept me going that someday my children would remember the truth, stop the cruelty, and let me back in their lives…

Oh, I dunno Momma…  I guess when I was really little?  I wasn’t lying when I was little and didn’t know any better…

Okay Lexi.  Well, thank you for being honest and not getting mad at me for asking.  I’m sorry you felt you had to lie to me most of your life.  I’m sorry we didn’t actually have the relationship I thought we had.  I’m sorry my best efforts to give you everything I didn’t have and never knew fell so drastically short.  I truly never knew.  I truly believed we had a wonderful open and honest, loving relationship.  I don’t know why you felt the need to start lying to me.  That’s exactly the opposite of what I’d tried to create and what I thought I’d done well.  I wish I’d known how to do it right.  I wish I’d known you felt this way.   I’d have done anything in my power to fix it, but I could never fix something I wasn’t even aware of.  I’m sorry.  I guess I should have just known.  I didn’t though.  I really didn’t know, Lexi.  I really thought we were happy, we were close, and we were honest.  I was literally clueless and I’m so sad because if only I’d known…  I would have done anything.  Anything.  This was my only goal in life from the day I knew you were growing in my body. I would have done anything.  Anything for you. 

At this point, I was openly sobbing and Lexi , clearly bored and possibly frustrated, had to go.

After we hung up, devastated and in utter shock and confusion, my whole body shaking, I, a grown woman who had endured gang rapes, many punches to the face, being strangled until I passed out, being slapped, having my face shoved into broken glass, being betrayed, a massive stroke, having my home stolen, being totally abandoned, and  overcome the lifelong confusing hatred of my own mother…. I just sobbed and wailed like an infant, staring at my phone in disbelief.

I suppose it’s better to know the truth, right?  As deeply as it stabs, as much as it doesn’t make any more sense than all the lies, as much as it goes against my every memory of reality, as much as it feels like it’s going to kill me with the worst pain I’ve ever known, it’s better to know the truth, I suppose….

In just one sentence, my beloved child, had literally severed my last lifeline.  Now, even my most treasured memories were poisoned and destroyed, labeled as nothing but more lies and betrayals, from the one of two people in the world I loved and trusted most; I’d have done (and did do) anything for.

The last thread of hope ripped away so nonchalantly, with as much care and concern and deliberation as a snake devouring its unknowing prey.

This is my beloved child.  This is my own heart outside my body.  This is the person I would take a bullet for, would give my dreams up for, would willingly give my last crumb, my last cent, my life, my love, my world.  This is she.

She also needed to take my last hope, my last memory of truth and happiness.  She’d had to have that too.  Nothing I’d ever had to give was good enough for her anyway.  Nothing I’d ever striven to give her even had come close to being good enough. I would do anything for this child of mine.  Anything.

Why did this hurt and shock me so much?  This was, quite literally, exactly the only “love” I’d ever been shown in my entire life except by my dead dad.  It’s exactly the way I’d always been “loved”.

So, I gave it to her.  And said, thank you.

ADELE – ‘Make You Feel My Love’

 

 

 

 

Trapped Shards

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glass

Perhaps a big part of the reason malignant narcissists are so successful in their abuse is that it’s extraordinarily difficult to tell the story of these monsters’ insidious tactics.

Stories of bloody noses, broken bones, overt verbal abuse, and harsh sexual violence are obvious and easy to tell.

Stories of looks that inspire terror, 55 tiny little “harmless” digs a day, subtle financial abuse slowly over time, seemingly innocent manipulations, etc, these are far more difficult to tell and explain the damage they do.  And particularly difficult when the average attention span exceeds about 2 inches from any person’s self-involvement.

Who has the care or time to sit and listen to someone explain such subtle and clever intricacies of abuse with multiple layers of impact that build upon one another over time like millions of tiny glass shards.  One little glass shard in your skin seems harmless and such a ridiculous thing to cry over.  5 tiny glass shards?  Really?  Just pull em out, clean the area, and get on with it. 25 tiny glass shards?  Well,  that’s unfortunate, but again, pull them out, clean the wounds, and get on with it. Shit happens.  There’s still just no need to go to a doctor and explain the story of each and every shard, how each individual shard got embedded into your skin, and how painful each one was or wasn’t at the time of entry.  A doctor wouldn’t need to hear those minute and lengthy details and it’s unlikely he’d have the time or patience to listen to it all even if each shard’s story was somehow relevant.

You’re not a whiner.  You’re not a pity whore or desperate for sympathy.  Maybe you even deserved some of those shards?  Maybe you even knowingly went back to the scene after the first 15 shards?

Do’t be ridiculous.  You just pull them out as best you can, clean the area, and get on with it, obviously determinedly hoping to avoid the shard infested area in the future.  You’re not stupid.  You’ll simply choose to stay far away from that danger zone.  If you can’t clean them all up, you’ll walk around it, even if it takes incredible cautious and care.

You’ll just tip-toe around the shards from now on.  And get on with it.

But what happens when you get 10,000 tiny glass shards in your skin?  Still, the damage is relatively minimal.  Just get to the time consuming task of pulling them out, clean the wound, and get on with it.

You might need to see a doctor at this point, but still you aren’t going to load the doctor down with how each and every shard got in there.  It’s senseless.  You just say you had an accident, get the care your wounds need, and get on with trying to clean or tip-toe around the avoid the danger zone again. Surely, you’re not stupid enough to  intentionally walk carelessly in that same area?  Right?  Why bother anyone with the boring story of each and every stab, every piercing of your flesh that subtly pinched or stung?  It’s irrelevant and it’s just dull.

Take care of it and get on with it.

So, what happens when you get 25,000 tiny slivers of glass embedded in your skin?  You dismissed the 5, then the 25, then the 10,000.  Now you have 25,000 and more keep coming even as you’re still pulling the last batch out.  You don’t understand where they’re even coming from at this point.  They just keep coming and now with more speed than you can pull them out.  Confusion settles in.  You doubt yourself because who could be clumsy or stupid enough to keep inadvertently hitting that danger zone of shattered glass?  It seems like a moving target, but you just can’t understand what, how, or why.  You just know they sting and they seem to be gaining momentum the harder you try to avoid them.

After a few years of this, with millions of “harmless” shards embedded as well as a few far less subtle, deeper daggers and stabs throughout that time that have done more significant damage.  Suddenly, you’re actually damaged and the damage is confusingly extensive.  Now, how does one go back to explaining those first 5 shards?

What about after 48 years of it?

How do you expect anyone at this point, even a doctor or friend or therapist, to bother with the time, effort, and extensive bother of listening to the details of every embedded shard, the maddening impossibility of avoiding the danger zone despite constant exhausting effort to locate, repair, and clean up the site?  Really, it’s too far gone to repair or resolve now anyway, so why burden others with that weight?

Who would care enough to be burdened anyway?

You can tell the story of the first 5 shards or maybe the last 20 shards, or maybe you just selectively choose to explain only those random shards that were not so subtle in their damage?  Only tell the worst of the billions?

No one can be burdened with the whole senseless lifelong story of every ridiculous shard you now have piercing your skin.  But there’s too many to ever remove now.  And a handful of 15 minute selective explanations could never even begin to adequately describe the depth of damage or the permanent pain of all the deeply embedded ancient shards still ripping your skin…underneath the surface.  Stabbing you relentlessly, always ripping through your flesh, under the surface…. unseen to the naked eye.

And yet, how would you ever explain the amount of damage without that burden? How do you ever get to them all to remove them and clean and repair the wounds without that ridiculous burden?

Sun Porches and Socrates

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On a good day, I can step onto this tiny sun porch in this old nostalgic house haunted with a million memories of laughter, love, and joy.

Closing my eyes, it’s August of 1993. There’s a young girl sitting on that tired bamboo sofa covered in sun-faded flowers, her long tanned legs curled up under her, messy sun-kissed blonde ponytail that wishes it were drenched in sand and sun whipping about on the beach.

I can see her so clearly, I almost can convince myself to reach out and touch her. Have a conversation with her. Advise her…. Warn her maybe?

I’m not sure if I should….

But she’s too deep in concentration, brow furrowed, nose buried in a heavy textbook absolutely determined to intelligently decipher these wise debates between Aristotle and Socrates. At least enough to make her own clear arguments on any essay question put to her in the near future.

It’s her first semester of college. Her daddy is 100 feet or so away, his feet propped up on his favorite old blue lazy-boy recliner. The soothing soft sounds of golf play on the television, he dozes in and out, having just returned home from 18 holes in the perfect Michigan sun.

It’s summer of 1993. Her whole life is ahead of her. Her daddy will live forever. She’s confident she will be deeply loved someday by a wonderful man and they will have a beautiful happy family after she’s an established attorney providing legal counsel for the poor and underrepresented.

Her only concerns in this world are getting an A- not a B- on her political science exam Thursday, who she’ll hang out with Friday night, how she’ll manage to pay for 4 years of college, and if the weather will be as nice on Saturday so she can go to the beach since she’s had to spend this perfect summer week studying to make certain her GPA remains high enough to qualify for the honors courses.

She’s hopeful that her mom will love her…someday. She doesn’t really worry about such things though. She’s too determined and far too optimistic to stress. All she has to do is work hard and be a good human being. She just instinctively knows that she’ll be the most amazing human being, lawyer, wife, and mother someday.

She believes without hesitation that all the worst life can do to her is behind her.

All the best is yet to come.

Any possibility of future failure and a life full of empty loneliness and agonizing daily terrors aren’t even glimmers of thoughts in her head.

She doesn’t know she’s beautiful and I want to convince her. She’s endless optimism, an infinite summer frolicking on the beach. She’s hope and faith. She’s trust and kindness. I want to bottle that up, wrap it in cashmere and keep it safely tucked away in a drawer for some day when she’ll desperately need to believe in such things again.

I’ve so much to tell her. Dammit, she’s right there… and she needs to know…

She’ll never know or understand how i envy her. Even if I could tell her, she’d just set about to debate with me on the silly futility of envy and compassionately tell me every beautiful thing she sees in me that I can’t see at all.

I like her so much but she’ll never know that either until it’s too late and everything that she is and all that she believes has been depleted… vanished.

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Your misuse — hijacked amygdala

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They can tell you Because you’re not going to back down You won’t sell your sisters for a side ways glance You won’t burn your bra, you may need it to strangle someone You have the same look All of you The ones with green hair and multiple piercings who say fuck off before you […]

via Your misuse — hijacked amygdala

How I Got Here. Part 1

Love is useless

As I am writing this I have fallen into the deepest hole in my life. I have been through so much in the last seven years, but more on that later. Right now I sit here heart broken, unemployed and working myself back up from a nervous breakdown. I have been seeing a therapist once a week and they have put me on antidepressants. One thing I have learned is these so called “happy pills” actually just make me numb and unable to cry. Do the thoughts of suicide still creep into my mind? Well of course but I have at least learned that these are negative thoughts that can be curbed and controlled.

How did I get here? Well, it all started with my divorce. I was married for twelve years and the marriage was slowly dying a slow death. I had been sleeping on the couch…

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Understanding the process with PERSPECTIVE! — After Narcissistic Abuse

With abuse we mourn the loss of reality in our life, along with dreams, memories, time together, small laughs and shared experiences. We mourn the loss of our life as if a part of us was suffocated or died from this hideous abuse. Our emotional/psychological scars cause us to doubt and question the truth of […]

via Understanding the process with PERSPECTIVE! — After Narcissistic Abuse