One of the true blessings of the work I do, is getting to help people carry the burdens of life with them for a little while; to hear their real, unvarnished stories even when those stories are heartbreaking to share. A few months ago a woman named Sarah emailed me asking if I might have time to speak with……
When I first got out of my abusive relationship, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out and understand my Ex. I found things like the ‘Cycle of Abuse’, and Narcissism, and those things helped me understand myself and my own reactions.
Now I’ve been researching more about myself, and learning that I have my own tendencies that make me vulnerable to Narcissistic partners. This is an excellent article worth considering, and I think it is important that we grow from researching everything about our abuser, and begin focusing on ourselves and how we can become stronger, more whole people.
Of the two extremes, codependents (unlike narcissists) are generally seen as the warm and fussy ones. Self sacrificing and eager to please, they are an absolute delight to be around if you are the kind of person who likes to freely take and accept all they have to give and there are many who do. Codependents get involved with a certain type because like a jigsaw puzzle they fit together nicely. One constantly gives, one constantly takes. A perfect dysfunctional meeting and matching of ideals. Of course this situation is normally doomed to failure and when the house comes crashing down, the codependent suffers more than most. The reason being they have invested heavily in the relationship and stand to lose much more in their view. This is usually because they have lost themselves in the relationship and identified themselves through their partner. The idea of splitting such intensity (not…
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Some dreams hit so vividly they feel like life, inexplicable as they might be. This dream from last week has stuck with me. I always wanted children, but besides my ex not exhibiting much rational judgment, I have some health difficulties that may make it troublesome. A bit of an outlier of a post, considering my content so far.
But I wonder, what dreams have stuck with you? Do you attribute meaning to them? I usually can trace the thought processes that are my brain working out problems in my sleep, if I put effort into it. My dreams have always been extremely vivid, and I’ve only recently realized that isn’t always standard. Anyhow. Sometimes the muse demands I put words to page, so here they are.
Most people, when they see rolling hills and wide grassy expanses feel a sense of joy and relief in the beauty of the world. In reality, I can entirely relate to this and even crave the peace and quiet and regenerative qualities of the great outdoors.
Yet, with anxiety, the emotional counterpoint of those rolling green hills takes a darker turn. Beneath that beauty, lies a minefield, and if I’m to function, I have to find a way to cross it.
Love is a funny word, when you come to think of it. So many meanings and applications. I know how to love: with my family, with my intimate girlfriends who have kept me sane and supported, with my friends children or my pets. All of those things come easily to me.
When I think of love, I’ve often interpreted it in the past as action. If we love someone, we look for and strive to meet their needs so that they feel valued. A relationship is formed when that person offers the same to us. As a piece of the relational puzzle, it is a really important one. But I’ve come to learn that actions cannot exist in a void, and love itself is too multi-faceted for any strict, single definition. But, to get back to my original train of thought… Continue reading
Shame involves that pervasive gut-twist of fear. It is the awareness that someone has learned some deeply hidden truth about you and they may think less of you, because you think less of you for it.
When I first left my ex-husband, I felt a lot of shame. That inner voice didn’t just whisper, it battered me with my own judgmental thoughts. It weighed me down physically and emotionally. Thoughts that were harsher than I would offer any other person in my situation.
Some times it is still difficult to find the words that lay closest to my soul. To be truly vulnerable. To be truly myself.
But it is getting better.
Saturday I met some of Guy’s friends for the first time, the first part of the day I hung out and studied. The second part I played a few games. The last third of the time at their house we discussed the world at large, concepts of personal responsibility, thoughts on the issues our society here in America are facing. We didn’t always agree on the solutions, but I think the essence of our motivations were similar enough, and understood enough, we were able to have a genuine conversation.
One that I immensely enjoyed, for the first time in nearly a decade. Continue reading
Despair greeted me when I awoke this morning, opening my eyes to the light pouring in the window. My heart pounded, and it took a little time to place the objects in my room.
None of his things.
None of the rooms present in my dreams.
Although I immediately relaxed from that state of near panic, I’ve been on edge all day. For a few moments, I thought everything of these past 18 months had been but a dream. In it’s place, the actual dream placed me back with my ex. The location, however, was the house I grew up in. We had his niece staying with us, roughly 9 years in my dream, and another teenage girl. I returned home from work, and found them both uneasy. The older girl was supposed to stay with us, but had called to be picked up, even though it would take a few hours.
We all moved on eggshells. Me, as I didn’t want to subject the younger girls to my ex’s verbal diatribes. I don’t recall what happened next, but my ex followed me about the circular house, screaming his anger at me.
I eventually turned around, and stood up for myself. At the least, yelling back that it was not alright for him to treat me in that manner. His response was to become sulky-angry, and he stormed off to hide in the office.
The older girl went out the front door to wait outside for her ride. The niece looked at me with wide eyes, and I heard from her that my ex had been vocalizing this kind of anger while I was gone. I started gathering things, and quietly told the girl that if my ex came out of my room to just go out to the car. She wanted her things first, but unfortunately they were in the office where my ex was.
I went to try and retrieve them, and my ex opened the door when I got there, staring at me with his cold death stare and a freezing anger. The kind of anger that led to things breaking, while I held my breath and wondered if, this time, I would be next.
That is when I awoke.
I have been trying to shake that dream off all day, with little luck. I can’t focus. Can’t study. So I decided to write it down. Try and put it into words in an effort to dump it from my mind.
I am safe.
I am out.
He can’t reach me now.
I just wish my nervous system would get the memo.