Tag Archives: narcissistic abuse

Within: A Note to the Trolls and Other Thoughts

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Dear Troll,
Are you he,
the one who procreated with me
and then left,
blaming me for everything?
Or are you one of his minions,
currying favor with him,
by feeding the thought
that I’m the crazy one?
Just curious…
don’t you have anything better to do,
than to scour the internet
looking for proof
that his lies about me are true?
I am a woman
making my way back on my feet
after a devastating loss.
Are you his new victim?
Do you believe the story that he loves you?
He told me he loved me once.
But when all was said and done,
it was easier to blame me for his pain
than to man up and work on himself.
Dear Troll,
You can troll all you want.
He can say that I am “whining” online.
But I will not stop speaking my truth.
And someday you might discover
that the things you criticize in me
are the disowned places in you
crying out for your loving attention.
When you feel ready to access those places,
you’ll stop pointing your finger at others
and go in the only real direction
that you haven’t yet explored…
within.

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Yesterday in a text message my ex-husband accused me of “whining online.” If you look at my post yesterday, you’ll see I talked about some challenges I’m currently going through: his underpayment of court-ordered support and the subsequent need to take legal action, as well as my need to secure new health insurance. Admittedly I was a bit startled when he referenced my online activity—choosing words that confirmed he had read my post—because it got me thinking that he or someone else is trolling this blog, stirring up adversity and feeding the story that there is something wrong with me. I speak this out into space, because I’m discovering more and more that abuse and shame can’t exist out in the open. Our secrets make us sick, and I won’t keep it a secret that the man I once loved is deciding to take liberties with the agreement he signed his name on, and justifying withholding funds from court-ordered support for me and his children with his twisted logic. I speak this out in the open, because unfortunately, underpayment or no payment of child support is the norm in our society, and those who have a legal responsibility to provide support to their children and former partners somehow manage to dodge the law and dodge the consequences that the law would mete out if they were caught in a timely fashion. I speak this out because I want this trend to change. I realize that if it has been this awful for me—coming from relative privilege (education, resources, community, job)—how must it be for the population of underprivileged single moms out there who don’t have access to the same resources? Finally, my words are my power. By speaking my truth I know who I am. I will not back down. I plan on fighting a good fight, for myself and all moms everywhere who struggle to know what their future will hold in a time of such volatility and uncertainty.

And to you trolls out there, whether you are he himself, or his new intimate victim, or one of his “friends,” keep reading. Enjoy my posts. Have fun. May you be safe, happy, healthy, peaceful and at ease. And may the pure light of awareness shine upon you and lead you to the realization that what you do to another you do to yourself, so that you can begin helping instead of continuing to hurt. When you feed a story like this, it helps no one. I stand with my hand stretched out in friendship, and you can take it at any time. The choice is yours.

A Dream is Enough

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The quote above is from Deida’s book The Way of the Superior Man

After being told for so long
by the one I had pledged to love
that there was something wrong with me,
that I was good for nothing,
lazy, selfish, irresponsible,
and at the cause of all
our collective misfortunes,
it goes without saying
that it feels quite refreshing to be alone.
Without all of the noise,
the criticism, the discouragement,
the manipulation, the control
and—let’s be plain—the abuse,
I can finally begin
to tease apart the threads of the veil
that had been woven around
my eyes, my mind, my body, my heart.
I can finally begin to discern
what is real and true for me,
who I really am.
As I learn to exist in this new reality
and heal my bruises and tend to my wounds,
I feel myself growing stronger, more sure
of the good that surrounds me,
the good within me.
As I connect with and exist inside this good,
I allow myself to dream about what is possible.
I dream about deep, intimate connection
first with myself,
and then, one day, with another.
I dream about a man
who is aware of his presence,
who sees his depth of awareness
as his most valuable asset.
I dream about myself
standing in my power and grace with this man,
who wants to honor me with his strength,
as I honor him with my devotion.
For now it is a dream.
For now, a dream is enough.

Scary Freedom

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Being held hostage for so long
makes freedom scary when it comes,
and I curse my tormentor
for finding another captive to ensnare.
I curse her, his new prey,
for allowing herself to be captivated by his charms.
I suppose I should instead feel sorry for her,
walking right into his trap as she has.
I suppose I should only feel compassion
as I look at their one year “anniversary” photo,
glasses of champagne on the table,
looking so pleased with themselves.
It’s only a matter of time
before he does to her
what he did to me.
And I’m free.
I’m free.
I’M FREE.
Why does freedom feel so scary?

The In Laws

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My kids come back home today
and they tell me
(Insert Husband’s Mistress’s name here)
is going with us to Utah in July!
I’m flattened.
In a state of shock.
I think I might have gasped.
My daughter asks
Are you jealous, Mom?
And I answer
No, not jealous…I’m…I’m…surprised.
I text him a litany of curse words
to make any sailor proud.
Then I text his Mormon mother,
my (still) mother in law,
the woman I called Mom for seven years.
Are you okay with them
sharing a bed in your home
when we are still married?
I don’t want my children exposed
to their adulterous behavior.
She answers back,
That’s never allowed in my house.
But talk to him. Not me.  That’s it.
Then I text his dad and his stepmom.
Neither one of them answers.
No surprise there.
I mean, after seven good years of marriage
and still together after eight,
what’s one daughter in law
down the drain?
I guess I’m disposable to them
Just like I was to him.
Luckily there was a CoDA meeting tonight.

NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 21: To Narcissus (With Video!)

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What a timely and fitting prompt from NaPoWriMo today!  The invitation is to play with the myth of Narcissus in some way. I’ve always loved Greek mythology, and the tale of Narcissus alway struck me as sad—dying of unrequited love of self.  But now that my husband is out of the house and I’ve had time to really consider the effects on my mind, body and spirit of living eight years with my husband’s pathological narcissim, the tale has become a lot more personal.  Before I realized the nature of our relationship and how damaging his words and actions were to me and my self-esteem in the course of our marriage, I always thought narcissists were annoyingly self-absorbed people whom we love anyway, because everyone deserves love, and we all exhibit degrees of narcissism now and again.  It’s human nature, isn’t it, after all, to become periodically fixated on one’s self, one’s happiness, one’s life path, and the ways and means we go about achieving what we think we need to be fulfilled?  But then I learned about narcissistic abuse—gaslighting, smear campaigns, isolation, criticism, financial abuse, and it came crashing down on me what I had endured during our time together, always trying to help him be happy, always being told that I was the source of his unhappiness.  I realize that I’ve been traumatized by my time with this man, and I internalized a lot of what he told me.  I’m in the process of unpacking the stories and sifting through my inner landscape to find some ground and some truth about myself. Yes, today’s prompt is timely.  Here goes.

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Poor boy, you fell so deeply in love
with what you believed to be true about yourself,
you wasted away into a dream and died.
The one I thought I knew was a phantom,
haunting the pool that claimed your life.
I tried to save you but you were already dead,
and as real as you seemed, you were just an apparition,
a poltergeist, making lots of noise, breaking things,
howling like a ghoul, frightening me,
recruiting me into this fantasy of living
as you drew me nearer and nearer
to your realm of death.
You nearly took me too,
so invested was I in resurrecting you
that I began to deny my very Self
and all of her needs.
But the spring came, and with it my own resurrection.
I saw my spirit come to life and resist the chains
you attempted to throw around me.
They were just a mirage, like the rest of you;
loud, messy, impressive,
but without any weight or strength,
substanceless, like your love, like your life,
like your work, like all of you.
Rest in peace, fair Narcissus.
I’m going back to the realm of the living now.
I’ll visit you each spring,
lay a flower on your grave,
pay my respects,
but know this:
You cannot hurt me any more.
You are nothing to me now.
Nothing more
than the whispers of wind
that caress my cheek,
reminding me of the long life I have left to live.

Mine Alone

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Sitting here wondering why.
I managed to find a safe space within myself
and then he pulls the rug out again.
And now I’m falling again,
and the floor opens up,
and the earth opens up,
and I fall clear to the other side
into space.
And I’m free falling again.
When will the ground hold?
When will my safe space
extend to a place outside of myself,
a space where he can’t bother me,
a space that’s mine
and mine alone?

How Could He?

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He has moved on.
Some nights he’s gone
all night.
Another woman’s bed,
and my head
explodes,
too many episodes
of grief and drama.
The trauma of such loss
of intimacy and trust
and I’m told to just
move on,
as if there were some switch
to flick
so I don’t think about
how one time he picked me
to be his lawfully wedded wife,
which I still am.
Grief.
Rage.
Resentment.
I found condoms in his bag
after he told me I was crazy,
after he blew me off,
after he said
he wouldn’t talk about this with me.
I told him he couldn’t gaslight me
any longer;
I’m stronger than that.
Crying, calling him lazy
for giving up,
a coward for doing it this way.
And the felt sense of injustice.
He shows up in the morning
sheepish for one second.
Then slithers around my children
pretending like he cares
after leaving me alone with them
night after night after night.
And I’m supposed
to go along with this?
How could he?