To move forward, I must rewind…
6 Word Story Challenge
To move forward, I must rewind…
6 Word Story Challenge
Right now I’m in no hurry to fold. The longer I can sit at the table, the longer I have to set my affairs in order. I know how to read every face that’s made. I can see right through the shades meant to hide his lyin’ eyes. He’s trying to call my bluff, but he should know by now that I never bluff when I play cards. But I’m finally calling his. Right now I’m slowly walking away, but when I am fully ready, I will be running full speed ahead. I have my particular timeline in mind. Some days are much harder than others to keep a poker face. No matter, should I need to go all in, I am prepared if need be. But I hope to draw out the game to suit my benefit a wee bit longer. Until not only will he be all out of aces, but then all will be in my hand.
Song of the day: The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
He might have saved himself by the bell that rang 3 hours earlier than my proclaimed deadline. Thus, my last post was written a bit prematurely. But it gives me more time to plan and get my proverbial sh!t together which will only put me in a better place anyway in the long run. The only way I want to leave on the emergency plan is if I’m backed in to a corner. Because I will leave on my terms, with my dignity in tact. I am finally standing up for myself, and as shallow as it might sound, I will not let him believe that he is leaving me under any circumstances. I need to do this for my own assertiveness building tool kit. I need him to know that I’m the one calling the shots and that I have the upper hand for the first time in this relationship.
It’s amazing to me that now that I have turned the tables and am basically pulling a him on him, that he doesn’t even know how to handle it. He seems pretty certain that I’m cheating on him. He thinks it’s ok for him to stay out all hours of the night and for the first time I’m not questioning him or wondering or worried about where he is. And now when I stay out with no checking in and things don’t seem to add up in his mind, I get the third degree when I come home. It’s hilarious to me that all the years he gave me reasons to be suspicious and I would act paranoid, he’d act as though not trusting him was an act of crazy making on my part. And here we are on the flip side and who is crazy making now? Him. When I have been 100% innocent in all that I do. Sure, some of the things that I am doing right now do seem out of the ordinary for me because I flipped a switch and some of them might sound a bit off, like the fact that a music groupI started subbing for is called “Hotel Paradise Orchestra”. But I swear, I couldn’t make this crap up if I tried. But this all gives him rise to be on alert that I am cheating and to be amping up the mindgames. And just because I am playing along, doesn’t mean my resolve has weakened.
I might be worried about the process of how everything will shake out, but I have never felt stronger and never been more excited or felt more ready to feel free. I can’t wait to get to the other side. They always say that you will keep repeating the same pattern until you learn your lesson and until you finally break the pathology. And this pathology that I have lived for 40 years will finally be broken for good. I can say with complete authority that I will never end up in a situation like this ever again. I can see this a mile away now. I am on to these people. I am strong enough now to stand up for myself. I won’t let anyone bring me down ever again.
I might always be an empath, but I have this neat little switch inside of me. And when I see with complete clarity someone or some situation for what it truly is in its full gory, painful details, I’m completely done and just don’t feel the good stuff anymore. And I don’t feel the hurt anymore. Annoyed, irritated, stung, empty maybe, but no more tears, no more knots in the pit of my stomach, no more love, no more longing, no more desire.
I look younger and thinner and more beautiful than I have in years. He thinks I strut around the house looking good and knowing I look good for the first time, probably in our whole relationship, because he always made me feel bad about myself and made me feel not good enough. For the first time, I found the confidence from inside myself and haven’t looked to anyone else for the validation. Probably all the more reason for him to think I’m cheating as well. Oh well, guess he should have appreciated what he had while he had it. Guess he should have made me feel loved and made me feel beautiful. Guess he should have made me feel like I was more important than all the other stuff he puts above me in his life. But he couldn’t, can’t and won’t. Because he’s a sociopath. And that will never change. It can never change. And that has nothing to do with me. I am worthy of so much more.
No. Wrong. Maybe that is the amount that understand you from your warped point of view. I probably used to be included in that number. That was when I played IN to your game rather than PLAYING your game. Now, I am actually THE only person who truly understands you. But you’ll never see that. Because I see you better than you see yourself. You’re so deep in to lying to the world that you also lie to yourself. I do have a natural gift for seeing through people’s layers of bullshit and seeing through to the core of what they’re trying to hide. It’s as if I have x-ray psyche vision.
I’ve said it for so many years now. The hypochrisy has been reaching the levels of what I grew up around. You KNEW how much I hated that. And you condemn him for that character traits too and still. And yet. And yet. Here you are doing it too. How do you not see this? How do you not see that the same things you yell at and about your daughters for, you do. How can I sit here and try to create good habits in them when you are setting a bad example ALL over the place?
For all your bravado, and all your talk of defending my honor, I sit here and can only come up with one time that you did so where it was not motivated by some other self serving motive. And that was the time you called and reemed out the clarinet repair man who had my clarinets for over a month and I was at his house trying to catch them at home to pick my clarinets up and they weren’t home. And even then, there still could have been the outside motivation of being worried that you might have to buy me a new set of clarinets. The time you told my mom off to tell my dad off the night of my bridal shower it was because of the things he had also said about you and because at that point you may have thought you had nothing to lose because I had been told I was being cut out of their will if I married you. It hurts like hell that you still haven’t gone next door and had the conversation you swore you would have in defense of me. Even having an AR 15 rifle pointed at me (granted it was by a cop), as I innocently walked my students out one morning thanks to the next door neighbors isn’t enough to motivate you to action over words.
All of the questions, all of the oddities that weren’t adding up, all of the confusion, all of the anger, all of the emptiness….it is all starting to synchronize. I can’t believe I missed it all this time.
To be loved unconditionally. To have someone defend me. To be wanted. Apparently these are all too tall of an order for pretty much all of the biggest key players in my life. When I finally have all of those things in place within myself, look out world, because I will be a completely indestructible force that no one can wreckon with.
My song of the day: Synchronicity by The Police
In the same manner that people with Cluster B personality disorders feign emotions, I have had to mimic their manipulative masterminds. It has become a matter of my mental and physical survival in what has become the cold and harsh world of this empath.
I was raised by an adoptive father who has full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder and an adoptive mother who was raised by a mother who had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, who then raised me with narcissistic parenting as well. She became the Flying Monkey of my Narcissistic father who treated me as his Emotional Partner because he didn’t have anything in common with my mother. So he smothered me and took over my life. My activities became his activities. Many of my friends saw this as a parent who loved his child and was just involved and were envious if they had parents who were absent from their lives. But my dad took it to a completely different extreme. Every. Single. Activity. I did, he was overly involved in. He was a co-leader of my girl scout troop. He was the Band Parents President of my band. He made a point of getting in close to MY friends, to make sure that my friends even sided with him whenever I was upset about something like teenagers get. I couldn’t even have friends who were on my side. It has a name. Emotional Incest. I was my dad’s surrogate wife.
My dad would do inappropriate things too. He was struggling with his sexual identity at the time (still does). At the time no one knew he was gay yet. We hadn’t caught him yet. But I had my suspicions, I just hadn’t told my mom yet. He found it funny to ooze out his gayness in other ways like sending postcards of naked men or men in bikini’s to other men (friends of his) anonymously and would send them from different states when he’d travel to try and throw them off so they wouldn’t know it was him. He told my friends about his little scheme. One of my friends who was laughing about it and placating him, my dad decided to do that to. He warned him about it, that he was going to do it and said it in a joking manner, but then he did it. A freshman or sophmore boy in high school receiving a postcard addressed to him in the mail of a guy in a bikini….awesome!!!! I am so lucky that friend and his parents had a decent sense of humor. That could have gone really bad.
It would make sense that I while still under the thumb of my dad, that I would be easily wooed by someone who on the outside seemed to vastly different from my dad, yet somehow apparently something deep inside of me knew something felt like home to me.
After meeting my birthdad, I also found out that my husband is much like him as well. In looks, mannerisms, the loner status, the background in how things went with the ex-wives, the rock music and rock musician potential (one having led more of the real lifestyle and one lacking the opportunity to but having the innate ability for it), both who ooze the brooding pessimism, etc….So even without having met this man, there was something encoded within me to have chosen these traits when choosing a mate.
It is said that we keep having situations attracted to us until we resolve them. And obviously this is a prime example for me. It is even more true to have been said for girls marrying their dads and boys marrying their moms, the Oedipus Complex. Apparently, I have fallen right in to that trap.
Yesterday I met with a friend who explores spirituality and psychology and philosophy much in a similar fashion to the way that I do. As we were discussing my present state of mind and how to become unstuck from my sick cycle of a carousel, she spoke of my need to forgive myself. She felt I needed to stop my self loathing and needed to forgive myself. I struggle with this concept because many of my hang ups were created from my childhood, when I was innocent and didn’t do anything to deserve the manipulation that was done to my mind which has become the voice which continues to play in my head on constant repeat. When she asked me to name one of the things that I struggle with that started when I was young and still continues, I named that I never feel smart enough. It turned into quite a visceral reaction (another thing I struggle with that I medicate in order to temper because that is something many people can’t handle about me, and it does become too exhausting for me as well). Feeling smart enough is a hard thing to feel confident about when I still have my dad letting me know (just a week and a half ago) that he doesn’t think so (even though I know he does), and my husband making comments that make me feel dumb from time to time. I have constant reminders when I might not be street smart enough or have an airheaded moment. They are always pointed out to me and I am made fun of for those moments.
I am starting to come to a conclusion that I am caught in another cluster cycle. One of a different strain this time, however. The headgames have just become what I do with some people in my life. I had to become good at them in order to mentally survive my childhood. Ignorance isn’t bliss in my world. With my intelligence constantly being challenged, I don’t like to feel as if the wool is being pulled over my eyes. I don’t like people thinking they can outsmart me and have control over me. I have tried to take the high road with these people, and when I have they only find some other way in the heat of the moment to take advantage of the fact that I am an empath and I don’t think fast on my feet and fear confrontation. And so I end up “losing” most fights. And so I have ended up playing their games back to them. Subtly letting them know in their own language that I am on to them and everything they try to hide from me and every way they try to get in my head. I let them know I am two steps ahead of them always. I never let on exactly how much I know but I always let them know in some way enough that they know the jig is up, and I watch them do a 180 and change their tactics.
Some people probably wonder if I do all of this manipulating and headgames, then doesn’t that make me a cluster b also? If you ask any of my nornal friends, they would all tell you that I don’t play any of those head games with them. I only do it with those who start them with me for survival purposes. One of these days this wolf will shed her sheep’s clothing and show that she really is the dominant wolf and she won’t be afraid of the vicious wolves any longer. For she has no need to scare with fear and gnarled teeth. She will lead with confidence and boundaries.
There is a question out there that asks, “Have you ever been so mad that you are calm?” I could also substitute the word mad for hurt. There have been a couple of times in my life that I have gotten to this point. And when I have, I have numbed out. I have flipped my Humanity Switch. The most significant time in my life that I did this I had done it for a span of about 4 years. It was after I got out a a relationship with an abusive ex boyfriend who was probably an NPD, and had just figured out about my dad being gay and confronting him about it. It was during this period of time that I ended up falling prey to my current situation. It seemed so opposite of everything I had known but subconsciously I must have known deep inside it was a return to home base, to the familiar.
My song of the day: Sheep by Pink Floyd
There are many qualities about my personality that I consider to be highly unique and rare. Qualities that I don’t come across in many people, and if I do come across any of them, certainly not all of these qualities wrapped up in to one person. And while I’m incredibly proud of who I am due to these qualities, it also causes me to feel very lonely in this world, and makes relating to others much more complex.
-I am extremely empathetic. I feel so deeply for living things that I went flexaterian (part time vegeterian-eat meat when I’m out at restaurants, other people’s houses etc..) because I feel guilty eating animals. I am empathetic with people I am close to and my mood is easily shifted by others because I pick up on their energy waves and synch to them.
-I have a sort of psychic energy intuition gift where I can sense the truth about people. I can tell whether someone’s a good or bad person within minutes of meeting them. I can tell when there something wrong with people I know, even those I’m not that close with. I can tell by looking at them, hearing them speak, sometimes just by their demeanor. I can read people’s psychology and what they are up to many times. I often know more about a person’s intentions and real character than they know about themselves. This is all a gift and a curse.
-I admit when I am wrong. All the time.e, every time. If I am confronted by someone who says that I upset them, did something wrong, calls me out on hypocritical behavior, heard me say something about them behind their back that I was not able to say to their face etc…I never attempt to deny what I have done, and I apologize for my behavior. I do often try to explain why I did what I did, and often people try to tell me that I am passing blame by doing this. But they are misconstruing what I am saying. Perhaps it is because too many people in this world DO pass blame that it is a common defense mechanism to use that as a default setting. When I try to explain my mistake, I still have apologized and taken complete ownership of what I have done. And anyone who knows me knows that I am CONSTANTLY working on myself and that as any true apology should be, I follow my apology with changing my actions in the future. My explanation that follows my mistake is to try to give that person a little insight in to my headspace. But somehow that ends up getting turned around in to me placing blame. Because if their actions are mentioned anywhere in my explanation…God forbid they take ANY responsibility for their own actions too. Which tells me that their main goal in confronting me is to place blame on me rather than to heal a relationship, which should always be a cooperative and two way street. If and when the shoe is on the other foot, I accept what is said to me and I adjust my actions accordingly. Which is why my head resides in a constant state of guilt, more than most people in this world.
-I am a peace keeper and a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict. I fear conflict. I’m sure this is a result of the conplex-PTSD of my birth story and childhood and my abandonment issues and constant desire to feel loved and wanted. While everyone else has no problem with a random lurch whenever they are even the slightest bit irritated, I withhold almost all of my pain inside. Meanwhile, also being continuously affected by everyone else’s issues that they take up with me. And many people read me like a book and see that they can take less responsibility than a person should for their own life, because I will end up heaping it all upon myself and they can continue to unload on me as if everything were my fault. When in all actuality they should be equally, if not more, responsible for half the situations they place upon my shoulders.
Once upon a time I used to have a voice that I used more frequently. While I’ve always been scared of conflict, I didn’t seem quite as afraid to speak up as I am now. Years and years of attracting all the wrong people into my life has torn down my self esteem and caused me to constantly question myself and how I perceive the world. It is hard to trust myself when it has seemed like the majority disagree with me or believe my way of thinking is skewed.
I am starting to gain more confidence in my perspective through the lens of other people as of late. This is helping me see that I am not as crazy as others have caused me to feel for the majority of my life. I may have over-emotional responses sometimes, but somehow it seems that there is a very distinct dichotomy within me. Even if I have a knee-jerk emotional reaction, I am able to still see the raw information from an intellectual level and process it as such. I have been allowing my heart (emotions) to rule the roost as a monopoly. I need to let my head (intellect) start seeping in a little more.
I can see through people and all the games they play. They may think they have me in a trance, under their spell, but make no mistake. I am only operating out of a mixture of love and fear, but ignorance is never bliss in my world. I could be a private investigator if I wanted to. I am a truth seeker. People in my world are only getting away with things because I have been too scared to take the risk of changing the roles or changing the paradigm and my life’s course. I do care about the people in my life and constantly feel empathetic towards their struggles as well. But at some point I am going to love myself enough to put myself first. And many of the people in my life probably won’t like that version of me because they have gotten very used to getting their way.
My song of the day is Me by Paula Cole
This has been one of my favorite songs since it came out. I feel it is a wonderful representation of who my soul is and how it is represented by my personality.
Monday, August 13, 2018: My adoptive dad’s 75th birthday. The one with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
I dial the phone for my obligatory birthday phone call. He will be up to visit next weekend so we can celebrate in person. It’s his 75th, so it’s normal that he would want to celebrate a special birthday with his only daughter. But it always amuses my friends that this is not an out of the ordinary affair. Every single birthday of my parents they fly up to celebrate with me. But, I digress…
The phone call goes pretty smoothly for the first 3/4 of it. Things have been fairly normal between us for the last month and a half. But I’m always on eggshells, knowing it’s only a matter of time before he pulls some sort of head game tactic on me. And that day he decided to give himself a birthday present and pull the trigger again to the war he declared inside my head when I was 3 that I have been fighting ever since.
Nearing the end of the conversation he begins to tell me of his visit with his niece from the end of July. A niece that I reconnected him with due to people from his family finding me via Facebook in search of information for a family history geneology project. He had lost touch with her for quite some time and when I reconnected them, they began to visit with each other in person. She and I remain friends on Facebook.
He told me that she spoke so highly of me and sung my praises and gave me compliments. As he began to recite one of the compliments she gave me, within the same breath he also passed along the fact that he apparently disagrees with her complimenting me. He said, “She said that you were so smart….but whatever…ok (in a gutteral, disapproving tone)”.
It really is a double entendre to me. He says it as if he doesn’t agree that I’m smart. When in all reality he does think that I’m smart. This is him trying to make me feel that I am not because my intellect scares him. I scare him. I intimidate him. I am his worst enemy. Because I am only one of two people in this world who has ever dared to stand up to him and has not been cut out of his life. The other one has backed off because her mother has asked her to. But I don’t. I play his game back to him and I see him for everything that he is, and no one else does. Everyone else falls pretty to his charismatic spell. And he doesn’t know how to handle me because I am the only one he can’t control. I am the only one he can’t keep under his thumb. And he doesn’t know what to do with that. I am a good actress and even though he has affected me deeply and destroyed my self esteem through and through, he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know how afraid of him I’ve always been and still am. I don’t really let that show.
But since he made his little insidious remark, even though I can sit here and intellectualize all of this, it still rocks me to my core. Even though it is, in a way, an actual compliment, that he thinks of me as smarter than him that he has to stoop to that level to insult me in order to try to keep me down, it hurts that he cannot love me the way I deserve love from a parent.
People with NPD are of course by definition not capable of feeling and showing love. And victims are always told that we should not take this personally. But my dad was capable of loving his dead boyfriend (while remaining married to my mother, leading a double life and forcing us to maintain his secret identity to the world). So why not me? Why am I not good enough for him to love?
Is it because men are not programmed for unconditional love of a child the way women are? (Though I never received this from either of my mom’s either, but that’s a topic for a different post). Is it because I’m adopted and he just wasn’t able to relate to me because I’m different than him genetically?
I’ve been binge watching the TV series “One Tree Hill” and they depict three parental figures that seem to have NPD. Each one of them are more overt than my adoptive dad ever was and do more heinous things than he ever did. But each of them at some point in the show has some sort of epiphany with their child, where they realize they mistreated their child and we’re not a good parent and they genuinely feel sorry for what they have done and try to make up for it in their words or deeds. While they may end up reverting back to their wicked ways again at some point, each of them have at least one huge point of redemption where they truly realize themselves and admit it to their child. My dad will never see himself and will never have that epiphany. And that leaves me with alot of questions. I know the tv series characters are fictional, but do narcissists have at least one true epiphany moment? Even though I have flat out told him who he is, he has not come to terms with it or made any sort of apology or admitted to any wrongdoing. And this will never change. Of that I am 100% certain.
My song of the day is Karma Chameleon by Boy George and the Culture Club
This was my favorite song for a period of time when it first came out. I used to think it was come-a come-a come-a come-a come-a chameleon. I didn’t even know the word karma. My parents never corrected me. They sang it the same way. They didn’t know either that it was karma. I don’t know if they even knew that word back then. My dad loved the song too. He had a weird obsession with Boy George. That should have tipped off my mom something was a little off, especially years later when he had that same type of weird obsession with movies like the Bird Cage, and To Wong Fu and Tootsie…He wasn’t a drag queen, but he did end up gay…
Every day is like survival
You’re my lover not my rival
Every day is like survival
You’re my lover not my rival
I’m a man without conviction
I’m a man who doesn’t know
How to sell a contradiction
You come and go
You come and go