Monthly Archives: February 2017

“Back to Black”

I like this version better than Amy Winehouse’s. It’s darker, slower, it fits me better.

 

He left no time to regret
Kept his dick wet
With his same old safe bet
Me and my head high
And my tears dry
Get on without my guy

You went back to what you knew
So far removed from all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I’ll go back to black

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

I go back to us

I love you much
It’s not enough
You love blow and I love puff
And life is like a pipe
And I’m a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

Black, black, black, black, black, black, black,
I go back to…
I go back to…

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to…

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to black

On love and heartbreak : Couples

To know that your existence is rejected by a parent is devastating. What effects do this rejection and parental narcissism have on your love life? How about bullying in school and so on?

Every effect.

 

One of the biggest struggles for me is to believe that anyone can love me. Why would they if even my father didn’t?

As I approach middle age, I still can’t answer that. I’ve no clue.

 

I exist because I have a use: for my parents to conform to expectations. For another member of the family to satisfy his fantasy.

Any man who has shown interest in me can only want me for sex.

Pity sex for the fat girl.

Selfish sex because here’s an opportunity to get some from someone who’s so desperate for attention she’ll do anything.

Win-a-bet sex because he can crow about it and either say how horrible it was or how he did her such a generous favour.

Desperate sex because nobody else is available for them at that time.

They don’t love me. They may not even like me.

Oh sorry, one of them did love me. At least that is what he said.

Nobody loved me more than he did. It would be amazing to teach me everything there is to know about sex. And yes, his wife did know. I was a young teenager and he is an incestuous paedophile.

God, how I hate using those words. I hate how he talked to me and how he wanted me. He never raped me, “just” touched me but it still makes me shudder. And WTF?! His wife knows?! I’m not even going to go there but how’s that for an introduction to what sex and love can be?!

 

I was never starved of healthier male attention. It was still nice to be wanted even if it was just for a moment. Some stayed a little longer than others. One even turned into my best friend! It was definitely worth getting through the awkwardness of turning our couple hood into friendship.

Other relationships brought me different things. One petered out by my fault. I didn’t show him I wanted it to go anywhere. I had learned to hide my feelings and wants too well because I was taught I am not entitled to have them. It opened my eyes on how closed I was.

 

I dated one man who taught me many things. He was my Christian Grey but without the money. The attraction was strong but we were so very wrong together. You can try and make that work all you want, it just won’t. He was also seeing someone else. He was open and honest about her with me from the start. As it turned out I’m not the jealous type. I was also fine with him teaching me what he did but that lifestyle just isn’t me. I understand very well how this kind of relationship works for some, how it is based on respect and trust. I understand how most people don’t understand that. I stopped seeing him because there is something inherently wrong with me putting myself in a situation where I am once again at the “mercy of someone else’s control” when I was so desperately in need of being allowed to be my own person. Contrary to how my life forced me to be, I am not submissive. But I did trust him and that is a big thing. He didn’t lie, cheat or hide.

 

And then there’s always one guy who is a total asshole. He chose to disappear and ghost me.  Seriously, what kind of a pathetic, childish coward does that?  I can take the rejection. Teenagers who don’t know any better I can understand I suppose, but a grown-up? Until I started writing this it never occurred to me why I took it so badly. Ghosting is torture to someone with my background. I have the right to exist. I have the right to respect, to be rejected like a human being and not silently wished into inexistence.

 

Eventually you find someone who suits you even though it might not be perfect you balance each other out nicely and you decide to build a life, have kids, buy a house… Where the difficulties here come in is that we each have insecurities that we have transposed onto each other and makes it feel less free and comfortable, it shuts down our communication. He loves me. Head knows it. Heart still waits for him to wake up and leave. Maybe Heart will stop being louder than Head someday.

 

I don’t know if or how long we’ll last or which of us will bow out first, whether it will be by choice of a new life or because we’ve grown too old and our bodies fail. We’re just taking it one day at a time. We’ve fought for us and continue to do so. I’ve even done what most people would consider to be unforgivable and ended many relationships and marriages. I met someone else. It’s not easy every day but no matter what I’ve thrown at him (mugs a couple of times, words most of the time) he has stayed. Every time he does, he proves me wrong.

 

Maybe I am not unlovable after all, but I am socially inept.

 

Trusting anyone is hard. The minute I have the slightest doubt something is being hidden, unsaid, or is just a lie all my walls and barriers and alarm systems go up, the heavy weaponry comes out and I close myself off. These barriers very rarely come back down again. Once the trust is broken, I don’t know how to fix it. I will torture myself about every single detail afterwards expecting them to be a lie again. Every little change in expression is some judgement or rejection of me, something hidden. Anything anyone says, regardless of subject or person has the potential to be a lie and a manipulation.

My abusive family and school bullies made me this way. It’s exhausting. They have made me lonely and difficult and paranoid. Being alone inside a fortress is no fun.

 

On love and heartbreak: Parents

You don’t need to have fallen in love to get your heart broken.

Anyone you care about can do that.

We all love and we all need to be loved. We need to be loved more than anything else.  The most important love any human needs is that of their parents. As a baby, as a child, as a grown-up. Loving our children is how we’ve survived as a species. Would you risk your own life to defend someone you do not love deeply?

What happens when one or both parents don’t love their child?

Nothing good.

 

I don’t believe my father loved me. He said he did but I never believed him. He hugged me but that always felt wrong. Call it instinct. When you live with narcissists, abusers, you learn to read them. You see the body language, the very slight change in expression, the subtle shift in their tone of voice. You’re learning to see danger before it happens. I wonder if that’s why I get a sense about people. Recognising a lie easily, knowing two people got into an argument after the fact just because I feel it in the air when I walk into the room.

 

I hated being hugged by him. It wasn’t a generous and warm hug. It was always when I least wanted or needed one. That’s normal, the hug was for him to satisfy whatever inadequacy he felt at that moment.

 

He had a child because that is what you do when you get married and are bullied by your mother. You do what she wants. He had a second child because he had to have a boy, because that is what you do. You have 2 children and at least one of them has to be a boy.

I was never told I should have been a boy. They never needed to say it, I still knew.

 

My dad did, once, in a moment of anger and frustration, tell the truth. I don’t have the slightest shred of a doubt that for once he said what he really meant. By accident. For one short moment, he lost control.

 

“I regret making you, you ruined my life”.

 

That one sentence deserves a paragraph all to itself.

 

25 years later I still hear that sentence every day. Like it was yesterday. I hear his tone, his voice. I see the look on his face. I feel the utter shock those words caused.

At the time, there was just shock, like a hard slap in the face you never saw coming.

How can you say that to your child? Now that I have my own kids I understand this even less.

When the shock wore off the pain came. Nothing anyone has ever said, bar one instance I will talk about in another post, has ever come close to hurting that much.

 

He despised my existence.

He wanted me to not be alive.

 

There’s nothing more effective to blow someone’s self-confidence.

If your own parent does not love you, how can anyone else?

If your parent would prefer you to not be alive, how do you live?

When I talk about guilt, more specifically the guilt of just being alive, people don’t really get it. It shocks them that I could say such a thing. You feel them crumble a little on the inside at the idea. I avoid the subject more often than not.

I am an empath, he is a narc. He doesn’t know guilt. All I know is guilt. So yes, guilty of being alive.

I really don’t have words to express how debilitating that is.

 

Recommended reading:

The gift of fear: Gavin de Becker

Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt

 

On labels.

 

Why do we hate putting labels on things and people so much? Is it so bad to describe something or someone with a term? Does that mean the label can never change ever again? Why should it stay forever?

 

Where I live we avoid labels like the plague.

You get sick, your doctor treats you but telling you “You have …. “ happens less and less often.

I want my labels.

I want my diagnosis.

I need to have something concrete to read up on, to research, to call it. It can’t just be this undefined black cloud I’m scared to look at straight in the eye. To face it bravely, I need to know what I’m up against in a succinct way. A collection of symptoms isn’t clear enough for me it makes it all more complicated.

I want the people treating me to use the words. I want to use my words when I talk about this. Anxiety. Major Depression. BED. PTSD.
When I use, doctors get scared? You can see their eyes widen every time, they pause. You can see the thought bubble floating over their head: “oh my god she used the internet”.

I do the thing we mustn’t do. I self-diagnosed. I didn’t actually. They did but they seem to think that using those words is like calling “He Who Mustn’t Be Named” Voldemort.

 

Use the words.

Name things.

Hiding from the words just makes the illness more mysterious and scary and complicated to deal with.

 

 

Pill popping

Finding the right medication has been a barrel of laughs.

Some will answer (and have answered) “well why don’t you just get it together and live without?”

Because without I don’t live. Literally. I can barely manage with the stuff. Without… I’d no longer be here. I see it during every dip between the different meds. Why they think I would endure this for no valid reason is beyond me.

Unless you’ve been there you might not know that to switch meds you get off the first one then start on the second one a couple weeks later. Those in between weeks mean that what little positive effect the pill had wears out and you completely crash. Then the new pill takes a while to reach its full effect.

It’s hard finding the right drug that will help you just right and not make things worse of more complicated.

I’ve been all over the place with that.

 

Cipramil. That one was like having my head permanent l attached between 2 long planks. One above my head stopping any good feeling. The other plank was under my chin stopping any feeling going the other way. Basically, you live with no emotion, you just in a perfectly flat neutral daze all the time. For someone who’s gone to extremes, having nothing is too close to death. I can’t see the point.

 

Effexor. I can’t really remember why I stopped that one. Possibly excessive sweating.

 

Wellbutrin. Now there’s a fun one. It gave me hallucinations. Nothing frightening or serious, just a distortion of reality that nearly resulted in the car being towed because I invented a parking space that wasn’t one. I couldn’t let go on and discover if it got worse with time. Getting off that was also fun. Imagine an electric spark, sort of like a short circuit in a plug. Now imagine that sensation in your brain. Every few minutes at its worst. It tappers out over a few weeks but it never went away completely. Occasionally I’d have a quick reminder.

 

I used two different sleeping pills too. The insomnia was at its worst around this time. I’d manage 4 hours in 2h portions. 5 hours on a good day. You can function like that but not forever. And lack of sleeps makes the depression worse which causes more difficulties sleeping. So you attack the problem where you can.

I stopped taking those after about a year.

Sipralexa. We (Doctor and I) based the next choice on which was the least bad. This one was ok compared to the others. I stayed on that for a couple of years. The dosage wasn’t enough but it was as much as I could stand. It makes me sweat. Not just a little. I’d wake up soaked in the middle of the night. The slightest effort means it’s pouring down me. We tried upping the does a couple of times when things got too dark but just sitting down not doing anything made me sweat to the point of dripping. We tried combining that with another pill that could help reduce the sweating but as he explained it “it depends on which tap was opened by the Sipralexa. These pills could close a tap but not necessarily the right one”. Basically, it’s like testing for a leak in your house plumbing that you can’t find. That didn’t solve the issue so changed back down to a dosage I can sort of live with.

It’s not been the most effective. My depression has slowly gone downhill. So we’ve changed again. But didn’t do those transition weeks. Since I am clearly not reacting well to traditional  anti-depressants we’ve switched to antipsychotics. I know how it sounds but I don’t care, I need this. Something. Anything that helps me stay alive long enough to deal with my shit and be ok. They are used in patients who, like me, don’t react to antidepressants. They also act as a sort of sleeping pill.

I stopped the Sipralexa when I started the Quetiapine. I’m in my third week of electric brain shocks. They seem to happen when I suddenly look in a different direction. I have less and less of them but emotionally it’s not easy going. I’m either angry or weepy. I’ll cry in front of a cartoon. Something moving? Tears. Sad? Tears. Tired? Tears. And anger in between.

I’ll be going to the doctor again in a few days.

The good side: I’ve stopped sweating 🙂

The change in my body temperature means I’m more often cold than anything else. After years off being too warm and all those liters of sweat, it’s a pleasant change. I can wear all my clothes again.

 

Silent Abuse

I agree with what the article just below says about verbal abuse being pictured as screaming and out of control behaviour but I was never abused in that way.

My abuse was gaslighting, hypercriticality and generally being ignored in a very subtle way. It doesn’t look like abuse, it doesn’t sound like it either, it’s invisible to anyone outside.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/tech-support/201701/the-truth-about-quiet-verbal-abuse

 

My grandmother was a prominent figure in my life, we lived next door to her so she was always there. She is a narcissist of the bullying type. My father is a narcissist too but tends towards the opposite end by playing the victim and gaslighting to keep things all about him. Or rejecting things that happened that do no suit him by lying and twisting the truth. One squashes you with their will, the other turns your best feature against you and squashes you with your own empathy. Both result in extreme amounts of guilt. The guilt of just being alive.

Both of them are hypercritical.

I have kept that with me. I will never be perfect enough for me, I will certainly never be perfect enough for them. Their perfects aren’t even the same so I have to reach 3 different kinds of perfects.

Yes it’s ridiculous.

But it is like that.

I believe my first mistake was being born a girl. I could not carry the family name or respect the tradition of the first name either.

When my first child was born my partner and I discussed what surname should have. Well he suggested that we add my name to his. My answer of “NO WAY” closely followed the coffee that came out through nose from the shock of the idea. *

The discussion lasted about the time it took to clean up my mess and was never mentioned again except in anecdote later down the line.

All mistakes subsequent to birth were having opinions, ideas and needs and not reaching that ridiculously high perfection bar.

“Children should be seen and not heard” accurately sums up my childhood. We can’t make mess, noise, need anything, look anything other than what they consider appropriate, we have to be a point of pride in that whatever relates to us improves how the outside world see them. That it is good for us or makes us happy is irrelevant, we are not an individual, we are an accessory. It’s all about appearances.

The rules I had to live by were rather Victorian. I watched Downton Abbey and could really relate to the way the family lived. We were not rich but the great grandparents were either military or bourgeois. One was a judge.

You follow orders, you do things the right way, in the right order, with the right people to appear as upper class as possible but without depriving the elders of anything.

It wasn’t particularly strict in my house but not adhering to the “rules” made you less worthy when you were already worth nothing. I was an inconvenience, born because that’s what you do when you get married. I grew up to being made to take on board opposing things.

One day I needed shoes. I only had one pair and they had holes in the soles. Dad said we couldn’t afford new shoes and I’d have to make do. Two days later he brings back a print he got professionally framed. For having used that exact service I know that cost more than my shoes at the time. His want was more important than my need and my need didn’t show. The underside and m shoe and my wet foot isn’t apparent.

I’m told to lose weight frequently. From an early age my body was already displeasing to them.

My grandmother often reminded me that if she put on weight my grandfather would leave her. The point was very clear. If you’re overweight you’re unlovable.

At the same time, at every meal, I was told to empty my plate because of the starving children in Africa. “Empty your plate or you’ll sit there all afternoon” sometimes I did sit there all afternoon alone and miserable. To this day I don’t eat cream cheese or spinach.

I had to eat less but at the same time you have a second helping because not having one is an insult to the cook (my grand-mother in this instance) and nothing seemed worth dealing that.

When you’re given no love, when you’re allowed no emotion, need or want, you fill up with what you can get. In my case food. I developed Binge Eating Disorder. Those few seconds of pleasure, that full feeling were just filling a void I didn’t know how else to fill. If you hate me I may as well give you a reason for it. If I’m fat and unlovable maybe the man who touches me will stop loving me and stop touching me. 30 years later food is still a struggle.

I was not allowed my own emotions. Anything negative was thrown back at me with a “ be ridiculous” or “don’t exaggerate”, “don’t be silly” and a hundred other variants of this.

I always had to smile because I have “such a nice smile and you look so unattractive when you don’t. People don’t like people who don’t smile”. I don’t think I was ever asked why I was feeling glum. According to my grandmother people also don’t like people who say no. “You should always say yes to everything” accentuating again that I am not allowed emotion, I am not allowed to be me. I don’t count.

Do I rationalise this behaviour? Yes.

Their brains are not wired the same, it’s not their fault, they were brought up to believe this, she lived through the war and was a refugee, they had lost everything, I owe them so I just have to accept it. They are my family I have to love them.

But no. It’s not ok, it’s still abuse. I don’t want them in my life because they break me. I don’t love them because I don’t love people who disrespect, who hurt, who chose the way that will serve them best and step on everyone else. I do not love the person who will hit me hard enough that I fall on the floor then kick me in the ribs. I do not love the person who thinks that a grown man putting his hand between the legs of a child and makes the child uncomfortable is ok.

So I walked away and closed the door.

I was told “But they are your family, you can’t walk away, you’ll regret it.” Countless times. They are my family but I can and I won’t.

Yes, it hurt. It’s really very hard to give up on the idea of the parent you need and hope they will magically turn into some day but narcissists cannot see the error of their ways, they cannot change and become empathetic. They cannot apologize because according to them they did nothing wrong. That dream parent will never happen and I grieved that idea. I still do. I grieve for the love I didn’t get. I grieve for the dream of an apology, an honest heart to heart, for the hug that is meant and doesn’t leave me rigid with apprehension.

I’m also told, always in a sorry and sad voice, that I am depriving my kids of a family. No. A family is love and support, not just genetics. I am depriving my children of similar abuse. I am depriving my kids of seeing their own mother destroyed by her family. I am depriving them of experiencing rejection as much as I can. I am protecting them.

Would you tell your sister, cousin, to stay with her abusive husband? To stay in the job where she is harassed? Would you tell her to stay with the person who is sexually harassing her? No. You’ll tell her to get out, file against them, go to the police. You’d help them escape if they asked you too.

That we are genetically related to the person harming us should not change this.

I will never regret it.

*I have considered changing my name but it is still my identity with all its flaws and pain.   Calling myself something else seems too alien. I don’t want or like my surname but I also can’t imagine it being anything else. I have considered my mothers’ maiden name but it’s very common, like Smith for this country whereas my name is rare, recognisable, unspellable for locals. It’s a link to my multicultural side that I have a hard time giving up on. I want my children to grow up multicultural and open minded.

I recommend reading:

“Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers “ by Dr. Karyl McBride Ph.D.  (this also applies for narc mothers and grandparents although that parenting link is considered to be less damaging than for the mother. )

And “The Body Never Lies” by Alice Miller

Statement

This was originaly posted on Facebook on the 9th November 2016.

 

I had vowed not to post about politics anymore but I feel sick.

I was gropped by a man 20 years older than me for all my childhood. Americans have just said that’s ok.

I have been abused psychologically by a narcissistic parent and grandparent. Americans have just said that’s ok.

I lost a job I loved for the decade I was there because head office was manipulated by a narcissist who was my manager. They refused to do what they should have legally done to avoid paying. I lost almost everything. Americans have just said that’s ok.

I was ripped off by a multinational who lied and cheated to get my money. Americans have said this is ok.

I am a woman. Americans have just said I am worth less.

I have an eating disorder as a result of my past and struggle with my weight and have been bullied for it. Apparently I am also worthless and Americans have just told the world that bullying and discrimination against not white people, fat people, handicapped people, women, is ok.

Americans have told the world that the way to success it to use and abuse and that it is ok to do so.

America, you have elected an malignant narcissist, you chose a dictator.

I try hard to have faith in humanity despite my experience proving the contrary but after Brexit where one of my nationalities rejected the other and now this…. I really feel invalidated as a human being.

Now before you start slamming my post: Yes there is more to it than that, no Clinton is also not a good choice, yes there is other pain and suffering in the world, yes the media is biased, no I am not willing to bypass all emotions and just accept because it is unacceptable and rebelling, resisting is the only way I have, quite literally, survived so far.
And yes of course there are other Americans who don’t think this way and you are welcome to couch surf here if you want to escape your country and look for a new home.

On fear

Fear has taken over my life. It’s there all the time every minute of the day.

I’m not sure when this started, it seems to have just grown out of nowhere. I mean everyone is afraid of different things all along their lives. Arachnophobia, the future, getting hurt physically or emotionally, losing a job, speaking in public and that’s perfectly normal. What’s not normal is when it stops you functioning properly.

It’s taken me a while to understand that it’s not just apprehension. There is some of that of course but not only.

This fear just falls short of paralysing and has taken on a life of its own that does its best to consume me every chance it gets. This happens for every single thing that doesn’t go absolutely smoothly and that involves anyone other than just me. That does make it an issue doesn’t it!

For the most part the worst parts of my life happened because someone inflicted themselves on me. I’m not perfect, I’m not blameless, on the contrary but I tend towards the other side where all the misery around me is somehow my fault. That is how I was brought up. Nothing was good enough. One sentence my father told me stays with me. It’s on repeat. Over and over again in my mind, so real it’s like I’ve teleported back to that moment: “I regret making you. You ruined my life”.  So sometimes the misery around me is just because I am alive. I don’t actually have to do anything particular.

But that’s for another post later on.

Back to fear…

When there’s a hiccup everything goes into overdrive. My brain and body are focused only on protecting me from what they perceive to be an attack. This fight or flight instinct kicks in at inopportune moments. It isn’t necessarily that someone is deliberately trying to harm me but my mind and body don’t understand that in the moment. They both just react and an overpowering panic sets in telling me that I cannot deal with this and should hide. I’m terrified that this hiccup will hurt me (psychologically). I fear it’ll bring death. Not by the hand of the person facing me but by my own, because I feel so close to drowning, I can’t handle yet another drama and I’m scared how far down that spiral will take me. I’ve seen the end of it and I know it hurts to be there. Either I make it stop or I work my way back up it.

The question is: what, in fact, is harming me? The event itself or my reaction?

Probably both.

Either way my survival depends on refusing to be taken advantage of and hanging onto the idea that I am not insane. Unfortunately I most certainly come across as a lunatic in those moments.

Being insane, delusional terrifies me. I have serious doubts about my state of mind. I’m told I’m not but it’s hard to believe anything anyone tells me.

My reality is in question and these doubts are the result of gaslighting. My gaslighter being my father. Funnily enough I never doubted my sanity while I was under his influence. I believed what I believed and argued and fought for it. I resisted. This has only become an issue after I freed myself from him. I severed all contact with almost my entire family.

Perhaps I worry about this because I am allowed to now. The pressure has dropped and all this emotional gunk has come crashing down like a horrible tsunami.

I filed a formal complaint for abuse against another memeber of my family. My father said I made it all up. I know I didn’t but he still tried to play me.

I got ripped off by a big multinational. I know it’s not my fault, there are many others in the same situation with the same company. I am in contact with them so unless I’m making up these people I know it’s real.

I had an issue with my accountant. What I have been claiming was confirmed by my partner but I know I provoked some of that ill feeling by overreacting. What happened there touched on all my sore points.

I loved someone who loved me back, then from one day to the next he backtracked and stopped loving me. The change was so quick, unexpected and extreme that I still question myself. Did I see things between us that were not there? I know he lied to me but where exactly is the lie?

My biggest fears are not being believed when truth and honesty, even if it’s ugly, is possibly the most important to me.

Rejection, whatever the reason and regardless of how minor or important, crushes me completely. I have a hard time with relationships taking a hairpin turn. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone important or if it’s some person I work with from a distance; when suddenly things turn from great to “yeah there’s an issue here” I get lost in pain and panic.

I spend most of my time shifting between anger (against the other person and against myself for having been such an idiot) and despair and wondering to what extent I am actually crazy.

I genuinely don’t have a proper answer to whether I am sane or not, my head and heart disagree on this but I’m working on it.

I’m told to let it go either to detach myself or to just let the emotion flood over me no holds barred just to exorcise it but I can’t because I will drown.

What would really happen if I did drown, would it be like falling through an illusion and realising it’s actually fine, or would I stop breathing? I don’t know and I’m too scared to find out.