Posted in Life, Loss

In the Blink of an Eye

Today, someone who is very dear to me has suffered a tragic loss. It breaks my heart for him. This has definitely caused a profound impact on me. It makes you put things into perspective.

Life is very perplexing and paradoxical in nature. Anything can happen, and more often than not, we don’t have any control over what can occur. Maybe this matters, then again, maybe it doesn’t.

We truly won’t know what does matter most right now, but I am realizing that life’s too short to stress upon what matters and what doesn’t. Somethings may mean the world to you right now, but tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, will it be the same? 

A lot of the things we value right now are more often than not fleeting and momentary things that only give us temporary happiness. What I’m trying to say is that what matters most is something that should matter not just today but everyday for the rest of your life. That’s what matters MOST! And you know what, I’ve realized that you’ll only truly be able to see and know this during the end of your life. So don’t hold a grudge and most importantly, forgive people even if they do not deserve it. 

Relationships with narcissists are not like normal relationships in so many different ways that it’s difficult to keep track. It’s no wonder I sit here wondering why it’s so hard to just “get over it” as I’ve heard so many times.

Intense relationship to say the least. Living on the edge. Highs and lows. Everything is magnified. Dramatic. Epic. I felt like Dorothy living in Oz. Everything was in vivid color. Then I felt like Alice in Wonderland following a rabbit down into a dark hole. Beautiful and awful, losing sight of how to get home.

I found myself in a situation I wouldn’t have been in had it not been for believing lie after lie. Doing things that I would not have done before because my boundaries had been slowly eroded. Behaving in ways that were not logical. Saying off the wall things. Daily emotional overload. It was how I survived. Yet now, I have to understand why I allowed it to happen to “get over it”.

“You analyze every word that comes out of my mouth.” “If I say, ‘Lisa the sky is blue.’ you take each word and pick it apart.” “I don’t know what your talking about.” “She’s just a friend of mine.” “I don’t know what you think you saw, but that didn’t happen.” You take things so seriously, lighten up.”

And it goes on and on and on. Exhausting. Mentally and physically. The stories change and morph into a completely different story. I doubted myself. Was I sure that was how it happen or it was my mind just playing tricks on me. It was just one tiny detail. Why would he even lie about that?

Lies just to lie. Don’t even know where I fit into this world anymore. Made me doubt my own reality. Made me doubt actual facts. Made me doubt the truth. That’s hard to swallow.

I became such a fantastic defensive coordinator for him. Making excuses. Covering up. Keeping things secret. Pulling me deeper into his reality. Having me repeat his story. His version. Rewriting the past and the present until I know longer could remember the actual events.

Now it feels as though I am obsessed by rehashing every detail over and over. But in reality, I am just trying to sort out the facts that have gotten distorted and erased over the past twenty years.

I love puzzles. This is one gigantic puzzle. I keep trying to solve it. Did he really love me? Did he know he was actual hurting me? Was he doing it all on purpose? Could I have done something different? Why do I feel like he just hated me the entire time we were together? What was this all for? No matter how many times I move the pieces of the puzzle around in my head, I still can’t figure out who he truly is.

I don’t even understand me anymore. The shame about my actions that are so out of character. Especially when friends who knew you prior to the apocalypse tell you that you have never acted like this before. Just another piece of the puzzle. Trying to figure out why I kept going back to that dark rabbit hole. I look in the mirror and I see a complete stranger looking back at me.

Betrayals. Lying. Cheating. Then rubbing it in my face. Doing anything possible to make me feel completely worthless. So much repressed pain and trauma. Now these feelings have resurfaced in order to “deal with it”, I am realizing just how deeply violated I was all these years.

To everyone else it’s just a breakup. Just let it go. Believe me, I was married before and that DIVORCE was a walk in the park compared to this hell. This man, wait no, let me call him what someone else did the other day. This predator stole a part of me. My spirit. My soul. My child. The life I had before I met him. So the losses are difficult to add up. But one thing is definite…I will never be the same person I used to be before meeting him.

So for anyone who has a friend going through a breakup from a narc, be patient with them. You don’t understand how confusing their existence is to them now. They can’t explain the totality of what happened to them. It is hard when your reality has been shattered. It’s like coming out of a 20 year fog for me. You can not even begin to fathom how unstable and toxic it now looks to me. Defending someone, loving them unconditionally one minute, then wanting out the next. I’ve learned this is called trauma bonding. Maybe I should’ve paid more attention in my psych rotation.

I am so impatient that I want to “get over” this just as fast as everyone else wants me to. But apparently there is no policy or procedure on the timeline of grief. The waves feel like they will drown me at times. Even though I know now that no matter how strong I am this is going to be the hardest thing I have ever had to face.

As one friend told me, this will be my greatest tragedy, but also my greatest triumph.

Not a Fairytale Ending

But the good thing about writing is that sometimes we can channel that grief into a story.

It’s not so funny anymore to you now that you’ve realized you’ve pushed me to my breaking point.

I did not realize that beginning on my journey of healing how hard it would actually be.

The many different emotions I can switch between in a tenth of a second.

I thought writing my story would be helpful with the healing process. However, the more I write, the more the memories come flooding back as if I am reliving it all over.

I am beginning to wonder if this is the right path for me. One second I am laughing as I remember a moment, the next I am mad as a hornet wishing I could smack someone in the face. Snap, I am ugly crying and feeling the exact heartache I felt during the actual event. Then comes the helplessness.

The what if’s are suffocating. The whys are strangling.

It is exhausting. I sit here dazed wondering to myself how in the holy hell I actually survived it all. And why did I survive? For what purpose? I surely do not feel as though I have one. Not anymore. You see that was all stripped away by him.

So, do I continue down this road I am now on or just give up…again?

If I continue, is this really going to help me or break me further?

If I give up, does he win yet again? Not speaking as this is a game. It is far from it. It’s life. It’s my life. It was our daughters’ life.

But, he always wins.

Just like in this very moment, even though he does not realize it, he is winning.

As I lay here unable to sleep, mind racing, feeling my heart throw PVCs, and unable to catch my breath through it all…why…what if…don’t forget the if only’s screaming in my head.

It’s like he’s pushed his remote and the recorder in my mind is on constant repeat.

And the tape never runs out…

My Story

She wakes up, puts on her scrubs, gathers her work tools needed to perform her job meticulously. Her hair and makeup will be done quickly.

As she drinks her coffee, she stares off blankly silently steeling herself for her on coming shift.

Then she leaves to go take care of people having the worst day of their entire lives. Car wrecks, gunshot wounds, explosions, burns and breaks- from professionals, poor, pastors, addicts, prostitutes, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and families…it doesn’t matter who you are what happened to you.

She will take care of you.

She will come home 14 hours later and remove her shoes that have walked through blood, bile, tears and fire from aching feet and leave them outside.

Sometimes she will not want to talk about it. Sometimes she can’t wait to talk about it. Sometimes she will laugh until she cries. Sometimes she will just cry. However, regardless of those sometimes she will be on time for her next shift.

She is a nurse. She is a hero.

She

Posted in Life

The Girl with the Broken Soul

The thing about a broken soul is that you can’t really see it’s broken just by looking at the owner. Not even the girl with the broken soul can see it, but she can feel every shattered piece hurting.

It is not easy to break a soul. It takes time. A hard life plus unreciprocated love made tiny cracks, one after another. Then one day, it all went tumbling down, crumbling inside of her, into millions of little pieces, just like a broken mirror.

On the outside, that mirror is whole and gives a false image because on the inside are all those broken pieces for no one to see. She wears a smile so beautiful that no one would ever guess all the things the girl has been through. At times, she can not even believe it herself.

The strength of her smile is sometimes hard to carry around. She learned to live with pain and only lets it out at night when she is all alone. The pain comes out as tears, enough tears to soak through her pillowcase.

She trusted too much. She loved too deeply. She gave everything she had. All to the wrong man. She trusted him each time he told her he was sorry. She believed him when he said his love for her was genuine. She trusted when he said she was his forever. He promised her the world and gave her hell.

Life treated her badly. It was a domino effect; deaths, fights, broken trust, and a broken heart. She had become so used to the pain, she used it to obtain her strength.

Everyday she wakes up, even though there are times she wished she didn’t. She breathes, she tries, she exists. She tries to not ask for help. She appears strong and acts tough to her friends and family. She is the first one to help every one around her. She gives everything she wishes someone would give to her.

She is trying not to fall apart. She has learned to live with her brokenness. She is trying to keep the goodness she has left inside of her. She fights to not lose herself. She tries not to be cynical.

She has good days. She does have happiness even how little it might seem at times. Pain can cloud good things, but she knows. She holds tightly to everything she can and uses her strength to keep trying. Trying to move forward.

Posted in Life

Why Does Bad Love Feel So Dang Good?

Recently, a friend and I were discussing that as much as we all talk about finding “The One”, there is another “one” that creeps into our conversations just as much (if not more). You know the one I’m talking about, the one who is “no good for you”,the one whose name immediately popped into your head the moment you read the title. That one.

We all have one. He’s the Mr. Big to your Carrie Bradshaw. He’s the one that no matter how much you believe you both want it, you just can never quite seem to make it work. He’s the one your dad hates, your mom warned you about, and your friends plead with you to just stay away. But they don’t get it. They don’t know what it’s really like when you are together and why it’s so dang hard to stay away.

If love were a diet, you know that the best choice for you is the light, healthy salad with the perfect calorie count. It tastes fine and is good for you, but that luscious chocolate cake from Binion’s…how the heck does anyone say no to that? Besides, you only live once right?

What’s that saying again?

A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.

Why is it that the love that we want always tastes so much sweeter than the love that we know we need? So who are these delicious pieces of…cake?

He’s the one you can never stop thinking about even though you know you should. When his name pops up on your phone, or you hear his name anywhere, your heart immediately kicks into overdrive, even long after the relationship has ended.

He’s your eternal “what if”. When you hear the word “soulmate,” your mind automatically goes to hum because the connection you have is like no other. Destiny. Twin Flames. Past lives. The whole kit and kaboodle. He gets you and you get him. Your conversations are effortless. You can stay up all night talking to each other and you feel like you’ve known each other forever.

Speaking of staying up all night…the sex. Oh my God, the sex. This is epic. The stuff you read about in books, hear about in songs, and see in movies cannot hold a candle to what happens when your bodies intersect…vertically, horizontally, doesn’t matter. Goldilocks has just met her match and everything is “just right”. It’s so good it literally makes you cry and leaves you thinking about it for days after.

But, not surprisingly, no one is perfect and with the good comes the bad. We expect that. But how bad is it really?

He usually will fall into one of two categories: he either know he is no good for you and tries to redeem himself by constantly reminding you that you shouldn’t be with him and that you deserve better; or there isn’t really anything that’s is bad about him per se, but he just brings out the worst in you.

You deserve better, better, better than me. Might be what you want, but I’m not what you need. You’re better, better than you realize. You deserve better, better, better than me. Might be what you want, but I want you to see You’re better off without me in your life. —James Arthur

He’s the one that gets you to convince yourself you’re okay with with his status, the one who tells you to give him time to work it out, or the one who isn’t ready or looking for anything serious. Yet.

Meanwhile, you are secretly saying yes to the dress and every engagement ring on Pinterest like you are planning the Royal Wedding. And then you are surprised when he’s either backed off or you figure out he’s staying in the status quo.

He’s the one, if there is even the slightest, most remote possibility he could be where you are, you scan the place like you are Jason Bourne assessing for a threat. Except you are hoping the threat is real and there will be bodily contact. Lots of it.

He’s the one that on a quiet night home alone (often involving a bottle of wine), you decide it would be a great idea to “just take take a “quick look” and see whatever came of him and what he is up to. You engage in an internet search that would put a CIA background check to shame and inevitably end up calling a friend blubbering unintelligibly that he was “your yummy treat.” Or something to that effect.

He’s the one you have to talk yourself out of texting because you know nothing good ever comes out of it. And then you do it and immediately regret it.

He pops back into your life at the most random and inconvenient times, like after you have just met someone with whom you feel you could finally become serious.

Of course, as quickly as he reappears and captures your attention, he is gone just that fast.

Isn’t hindsight an interesting truth? Why was I ever with you? Seeing clearer than ever before, it’s the last time you walk out my door. — Vera Blue

And who are we? We are the ones who can change them. We are the ones that will make them realize how good it can be “if he just…”

If he just wasn’t intimidated by what strong and successful women we are it could work. If he just sees how awesome we are he will want something more serious. If he just lets down his walls and allows us in he will see how good this can be. If he just would take a leap of faith.

Except that we aren’t the one. And neither is he. So, we end up right back where we started all those years ago. We know how the story ends.

Spoiler Alert: The books and movies we are sold are a load of total crap.

I am pretty sure that Nicholas Sparks is the devil and this is not “The Notebook.” But Noah and Allie ended up together at the end, we cry! Probably only because Allie wasn’t able to remember all the crap he put her through because of her Alzheimer’s. Sorry.

But Carrie and Mr. Big ended up together! What do you think would’ve happened if that third movie was ever made? Just sayin’.

So yeah, bad lobe sure can feel good, but at the end of the day, we know we should probably just give it up if we know what is good for us…and we do.

There is good love out there to be had. The kind that nourishes us and leaves us feeling full…not empty like we just wasted a bunch of calories. We just have to stop picking from the won’t food groups.

Of course, you can always start your diet tomorrow. There might be one last piece of cake left…maybe just a nibble.

Posted in Life

Where’s your pilot?

Awesome comparison on faith!

A conversation took place on a TV show that I was “voluntold” to watch. We’ll use the names Eli and April.  The following is a summary of the conversation throughout the episode.

April – “My whole life, I followed His rules. I studied, I believed, I practiced what I preached. I did every single thing He asked of me.”

Eli – “And that guarantees you what?…..Where is the guarantee?…..Where is it written exactly that if you do this or do that, that everything in your life’s gonna be good, hmmm? Nowhere, in any faith, is there a guarantee.”

April – “I’m not asking for everything to be good all the time. But fair…”

Eli – Fair? Was it fair when Isaac went blind and then his child betrayed him? And where was the fairness when Sara had to wait 99 years before she had a child, and God said, “Sacrifice…

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Posted in Elderly, Life

My Mom

I see her slowing a bit, looking less motherly and more matronly, and I realize mother and mortality are not terms I’ve ever truly considered together.

Her hearing is practically gone, her memory is not as sharp as it used to be, she is not quite as agile. What happened? Just yesterday she was only in her sixties.
All the imperceptible signs of aging that I had never really paid much attention to until, suddenly, they weren’t invisible at all.

I don’t even know when my mother started to age really. She has never looked her age, hmmm, there it is she doesn’t look her age, but in reality, she is that age.

My mother is one of four siblings, all of which have passed. Out of them all, she is, in those admittedly relative terms, very healthy. No heart attacks, diabetes, or even cancer for her. I am grateful. I would hate to watch her suffer.

My mother has aged gracefully. She was and still is a very gorgeous woman. Good genes. She’s a survivor, a fighter, loving, caring, God-fearing with a beautiful,soul. So to have all the images of her and how she looks in my mind and then trying to picture her old, fragile, lonely, using a walker, is unfathomable. She was Wonder Woman. She saved all of humanity.

I’m a planner, but in the abstract. I want to know things will be stable, that they’ll be okay. I’ve never really thought about the future, even as a child. I’m not the most imaginative person –- for me the future was always just more of the present, a mere tug and stretch of the time spectrum. Not a different place and time, just more of now but instead of today, it’s tomorrow, or next year, or my 50’s.

But now I’m starting to see I was wrong as I watch my mom, who, while still my mom, is turning into this other person entirely. This person who needs reading glasses to see her puzzle books. This woman who will tell me a story twice because she thought the first time was to my sister. This person who wishes there was not texting, doesn’t understand email and can’t distinguish her news feed from her wall on Facebook.

A woman I worry will get fragile and vulnerable, or worse, is already fragile and vulnerable.

This person, who despite her current vitality, I worry about her driving by herself, going to WalMart by herself, and even going to the doctor by herself. Although these things make her feel that she still has her independence, it is very nerve-wracking for me. I have different scenarios that have played out in my mind, and think to myself, okay today is the day we will have to take her driving privileges away from her.
How awkward that day will,be when it happens. Seriously, think about it, have you ever suggested or told a parent they were never driving again? How heartbreaking this probably makes them feel. Losing their independence. Losing control.

I want her around forever instead of the obvious alternative. I just don’t like having to watch her get there.

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My Invisible Child

Invisible child, you came to me.
Invisible child, no one could see
how important you were, but
oh, the feelings you did stir.

You were never to hold, never to have,
never to see.
INVISIBLE.
To all, but me.

You came to me 16 years ago,
and made a mark I could not let go.
You’ve lingered in my heart, for all these years
and blinded I’ve been by all the tears.

Weighed down with pain, crushed with guilt,
My wings were clipped and to Hell I’ve slipped.
Darkness prevailed and clouded my eyes,
My heart so scarred, I wished I would die.

A sickness crept in and housed my soul,
and created a blackness, an empty hole.
Imprisoned on the ground, I looked up to the sky,
And secretly I wondered if I could take up wings to fly.

But flight is not the answer,
Wings are not the way.
So I’ve picked myself up off the ground
to find a better way.

The cloud is slowly lifting and
my eyes again can see.
There is so much beauty in this life,
and I know you’re here with me.

I now can see the gifts you’ve brought,
and, oh, Lord, what lessons you have taught!

My invisible child–never to see.

My invisible child–never meant to be.

My invisible child–you are visible to me.
9/7/00