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Living with Crazy makes you Crazy

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     I lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for 30 years. My life was built there. It is where we bought our first home, had our second child, made friends and enjoyed the fruits of our labor. I stayed home and took care of our daughters, our life and my husband when he was home. I was so proud and grateful for all his hard work. But time and time again, a terrible secret would be revealed about my now ex-husband. I convinced myself over and over that all men used porn. He told me all the pilots went to strip clubs and I needed to understand. I learned he had cheated on me with flight attendants but he convinced me that it was my fault. Then the phone call came from the police detective. Turns out all those trips to the hardware store, were actually trips to spy on girls at an apartment swimming pool and masturbate at the same time. He was a peeping tom! Of course you say, she definitely left now. Sad to say, I didn’t. He convinced me he would get help and he also said it was my fault. If I hadn’t married him when he was so young, (24) he wouldn’t feel like he had missed out on all the available sex.

   Time and time again, I’d find porn and it escalated. I found rape porn. I threatened to leave but here is a piece of advice, do not make a threat if you don’t intend to follow through with it. Again he agreed to go to counseling but it didn’t last long. His drinking increased, more strip clubs and our relationship slowly deteriorated. After one full year of counseling with a pastor/counselor, he confessed to using prostitutes at erotic massage parlors. Now hold onto your hat for this one ladies and gentlemen; it wasn’t real sex because he only paid for hand jobs. Did I leave? No. By now I was fully buried and not able to make a sound decision. He had eroded away any sense of value I had. We spent $7,000 going to The Meadows Clinic in Wickenburg, AZ. He never did any of the things they told him to do to get better.We ended up living separate lives but in the same house for two years. I know I should have left him countless times, but I loved him and hoped to work it out.

   Now for those of you who have never lived with a narcissist, you will never be able to understand. But imagine standing on a sandy beach and slowly over time the sand begins to sink. It happens so slowly, you don’t even realize it is happening. You are busy enjoying the sunset. You are busy watching the waves. You are busy thinking about the life you have. And then one day you realize that you’ve been buried alive underneath the sand that has slowly been eroding away. That is life with a narcissist. If you go to Living with a Narcissist or Life with a Narcissistic Psychopath you can find more information. It will help explain why I didn’t leave. Why I waited for him to leave me.

   After the divorce I spiraled out of control. I had written my life story and the chapters I saw in my future included my ex-husband, our daughters and their future families, travel, our friends and a secure life. When he left, he didn’t look back. It was as though our daughters and I never existed. At the age of 54, he walked away from 30 years of marriage and a life we had built. And I am not exaggerating. He lied to me and took $3000 of the $9000 cash I got in the divorce settlement. Our daughter had to try to explain to him that he had lied about needing the money. He never got it. Our daughters and son-in-law met with him and told him they would be there and stand by his side as he got help. But he never, even to this day has admitted he has any problems. Classic narcissistic behavior, he has no empathy for others, nor can he ever see or accept that he might have a problem. Sadly our daughters have fully cut him out of their lives.

   I did lose it for a while. I spiraled downward as he went right into a new relationship with a much younger woman. I stalked him. I harassed him. It is not something I am proud of but after you have lived with someone whose goal is to slowly drive you crazy, it can’t be surprising to end up crazy. I got myself together and left the country for 3 months. When I came back, I was still sad but no longer a crazy lady.

   Why am I telling you all of this? Because if you are unhappy and feel bad about yourself, if you feel like you walk on eggshells in your relationship then start reading the articles on those links. Don’t let a someone steal years of your life from you and then discard you like a piece of trash without batting an eye. You don’t want to end up where I am. I am almost 56, unemployed, living in a new city with no friends and worry things won’t change. That is why I am blogging. I am hoping it helps me begin to rewrite this new chapter of my life in a positive and good way.

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If we were walking in the garden. . .

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     If we were walking in the garden, I would tell you how good it feels to have company, to not be alone for another 24 hours.

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    If we were walking in the garden, I would bring you up-to-date on my job search. You would learn I received another rejection with the same lame excuse. We have decided to move forward with another candidate. When I ask for specific suggestions, they give no feedback. I listened to NPR the other day and the entire broadcast on my way home was about the fact age discrimination is real and active in the job market. So where does that leave me at almost 56?

    If we were walking in the garden, I would ask for a hug because now that DSC_0020I no longer live with my daughter or near my other daughter, I am completely hug deprived. I always told my girls you needed 10 hugs a day to be happy and healthy,

DSC_0010   If we were walking in the garden, I would be quiet. I would listen for birds. I would listen to the waterfall. I would take in all the sounds and allow them to quiet my spirit.

   If we were walking in the garden, I’d ask if money was no object what DSC_0009would you do and where would you go? I would listen to your dreams and encourage you to follow them.

  DSC_0017 If we were walking in the garden, I would thank you for taking some of your day to spend with me because we know we make time for what we feel is important. If your friends aren’t spending time with you, contacting you or remembering you even in a small way, you know your friendship is not important to them.

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If we were walking in the garden, I would ask would you like to take a walk again on another day>

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Speaking up or Fitting in?

I made a comment on another book review blog. Bookowly  The blogger had reviewed a graphic novel that she had difficulty deciding if it was written for older teens or younger kids. She didn’t like the book despite all sorts of positive reviews on other sites. I responded that reviews are so misleading. I believe too many people are afraid to speak up and say they don’t like a book or movie if most of the reviews are positive. I have read too many bad books and seen too many bad movies after reading a host of views singing their praises.

Why are we so afraid to speak up and go against the grain? We live in a society where individualism is preached yet when it comes time to be an individual, people shy away. We do it all the time in all the aspects of our lives. We think as individuals but tend too many times to act as a group. When was the last time you disagreed with a group of friends? Not a one on one basis, but in a group?

I remember being with a group of women in my age group and they were discussing Hooters. Not a single woman had anything positive to say about the young women that worked there. They were busy passing judgment and talked as they knew these young women’s life situations. Now Hooters  isn’t my choice of restaurants but I spoke up. I said that they were doing nothing illegal and didn’t we all trade on our looks from time to time in our lives? They berated me because the girls are so sexual. I can assure you that there was only one woman (devout Mormon) in our group who hadn’t at some time worn short shorts, tank tops and more sexual clothing when we were young. I stood my ground. I said they were judging young women who were doing the best they knew how to make a living. Maybe they were supporting a family, paying for school etc. We didn’t know. And if they didn’t like “breastraunts” then they should take action and create other opportunities for young women.

I created some enemies that evening. And it wasn’t too many years after that evening our group broke up. We had met the first Wednesday of the month for 13 years and it had taken me that long to realize I didn’t want to be in that mindset of women. So stop and think. Ask yourself if you always go along with the group, the majority opinion or do you really speak up for yourself.