Thursday, September 5, 2013

Experiencing and reflecting on the world

During one of my latest therapy sessions, my therapist was describing how we sense the world around us with our five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. That every one of them has a multitude of sub-senses that we experience and can reflect on. For example if I dip my hand into water: is it cold or warm? Is it still or flowing between my fingers? How does it feel? Do I like that feeling? If I see a work of art: is it black & white or colorful? Is it large or small? Is its surface shiny or not? How does it make me feel? Do I like that feeling? If I hear a sound: is it high-pitched or low? Is it a noise, a musical sound or a voice? If a voice, is it male or female? Is it hoarse or smooth? How does it make me feel? Do I like that feeling?

This was the point where I was already sobbing. I have realized that I never had the chance of experiencing the world on my own and forming my opinions and reflections on it. I was so extremely angry and disappointed and sad, that I was denied the wonderful opportunity of getting to know my relationship with the world when I was so little. It never occurred to me that I could explore things and form my opinion about them. I never thought that I felt anything when dipping my hand into water or touching a stone. I never knew I could decide whether I liked that feeling or not.

Anger is good. It shows me when something is not right for me. I have to take credit for being able to feel anger when I should feel anger.

When I met something that was new to me, NM already had an opinion about it and she made sure that I never even knew that I could have mine. She was always excited to show things to me, to teach me things (so I appeared smart and she could project her self onto me and appear smart as well) . So I had tons of experience, but never really my own. She loved to hike, so we went hiking, touched trees and flowers, sat on high ledges and looked down into the depths, collected stones and leaves. This sounds adventurous and wonderful right? It was. I loved hiking, because she said I loved hiking. I always climbed rock walls and never understood why it was weird. I was always told that I loved that. Turns out, I have fear of heights. When I much later told her, I was mocked: 'but you loved to climb rock walls'!

NM was always ready to let me know how I felt about anything. When I touched something it was always commented on 'it feels so awfully cold right'? 'It feels so rough doesn't it'? 'It feels so good to touch that right'? When I accompanied her to wherever she wanted to go (we always were going somewhere), it was always 'so fun' or 'so exciting' or 'oh, c'mon Scatha, you LOVE this or that, sure you want to come, it will be awesome you see'! So I was told that I loved to get up early and do stuff all day. Turns out that yes, I like going out sometimes, but most of the time I feel better to just read a good book at home for example. And I am definitely a night owl.

It is tearing me apart because I simply don't know now whether we really had cool times together when I was a kid, or whether I was just made to believe that we did. I remember constantly being told that I had the best mom in the world at that most children only got expensive toys but parents never played with them or went to places with them, and that my parents were so much better. And I was envied by other children because NM did everything with me. But they had friends. They had time. They knew about things out there in the world like cartoons and toys and swearwords and cool clothes. I knew nothing about these, since I had no life outside NM. I was kept under a bell jar, and she hovered over me.

I have never approached the world keeping in mind that I could decide how I feel about it. I have absolutely no idea how to do that at all. Sometimes I just knew that I didn't agree with NM (about clothes, or food, or movies, but that was already in my teens). With fundamental stuff like surfaces, weather conditions, or the like, I have no clue. I know what I was told about how I feel about things. But how do you know whether you really like it or not?

Aaaargh. I'm SO frustrated!

So I guess while trying to be a teenager the first time, I should also start being a 1-year-old, chewing on stuff and touching stuff and smelling stuff and listening to stuff and gazing at stuff? Gosh, people at my age have weddings and kids and puppies.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A narc ghost of the past

I have run into my EXNB's photos by accident. We have been living together for years, and I was madly, insanely in love with him, and I was completely addicted to him. For me, he was my personal drug. He was THE love of my life. It was me, who ended the relationship, while I was still deeply in love with him. It took all my strength, it took my sanity, and it almost took my life.

(I slept at my FOO's place after he left, since I thought I would find support and family and the like there. All I got was teaching NM that no boyfriend meant me living with her again (I could bang my head in the wall all day long for this). And all I got as 'comfort' was getting told a few days later by her to 'get over it already' because my sadness annoyed her)

And back then, I didn't even know that he was a narc (or that NM was a narc).

After a few days he left, I begged on my knees for him to come back to me. It lasted for a few months more.

When I found out that he was a full-blown narc, who consciously hunted me down and made me his brainless, dribbling slave, who gaslighted the living cr*p out of me and who almost drove me insane, we were already separated, because he has kicked my ass out with some vague lie of 'needing some time apart'. (yeah, he already had a new victim to pursue, and I was in his way).

I spent my days and nights with reading about narcissism, and the whole puzzle just got solved. And I decided to run like hell and never to look back and never ever to see him or talk to him or even think about him. I knew that if I ever did that, I would be on my knees before him again without thinking, and that I would be the happiest person in the world to sacrifice myself for someone who didn't even exist in the first place. He just replicated me and wore my personality as a Scatha-coat to make me believe that he was just like me. That we were like twins in heart and soul. (I realized that when he started wearing the skin of his new victim who was nothing like me, and he turned into her in an instant. It was horrifying to watch).

So I made my vows of abstinence, which he sensed (he always did) and called in the first second I was sober from my delirium with him. He told me the exact words I ever wanted to hear in my life. I didn't have the strength to say no, but I told him that I would contact him when I had the time. I never did.

Last week, I accidentally bumped into some photos of him circling around his newest prey (it was completely by accident, I expected puppy photos in the puppy photo album of this woman on FB, and ended up seeing his face). It completely threw me off balance. He still has this unique otherworldly beauty that no woman can resist (not even NM, but that's another story, she always loved to try to take my boyfriends away from me). I guess the reason why he looks so handsome and forever young is that he sucks the living soul out of everyone he lays his eyes on, like a real life vampire.

It hurt like hell. And I needed all my strength to resist contacting him or at least stalking him. I miss him madly. Well, not him, he never was and never will be. I miss the image that he wore around me. I miss the feverish love, the addiction, the high, the infatuation, the madness, that neverending thirst, and the knowledge that the love of the most perfect being on Earth is mine. And then I realized that these were not my own feelings, but automatic reactions to the trigger of seeing him, and echoes of memories. I am not like this anymore.

And this whole sh*t has never ever existed.

What I've realized now are the following:
  • I am done with illusions and lies. I am not interested in having any relationship with projected images. I want someone who is real and human
  • I am a f*cking superhero for getting out of this sh*t on my own and staying out of it.
  • I never ever ever want to be back in that situation again. I choose love over addiction. I choose honesty over gaslighting and mind-tricks. I choose healthy over crazy. I choose me over abuse.
  • I'm proud of myself, and it feels SO F*CKING GOOD to be me.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

No to abuse

I've talked to EF. Told him that me and DB would not be attending his birthday if NM was there. I offered to invite him to dinner with us to a restaurant of his choice, and give presents to him there. I told him that the abuse I had to endure from NM during every single 'family celebration' was now coming to an end, and that I won't participate in that anymore.

He claimed he did not know about any abuse and that he didn't care about presents anyway, and that he would not celebrate without NM because he didn't want to 'have problems because of that'.

I told him that if that was the truth, I was happy that at least he did not feel as awful as I did for my whole life. And also that whether or not it is true, but what is true is that he never protected me. He didn't refute that.

I said I accepted that and asked if he had any suggestion for celebrating, if not on that day but any other day, but without NM.

We agreed that the three of us could go to a chocolate bar someday.

When I got home from talking to EF, I felt suicidal again, but now I have managed to recognize it as something that I was conditioned to feel whenever I said a firm no against letting NM abuse me. (I still think that it is disgusting and scary that someone could condition their child to this.)

Sometimes I feel like the worst daughter, sometimes I could cry like a baby 'I want my mommyyyyy', sometimes I feel that I'm making the worst mistake of my life, and sometimes I feel brave. I want to cling to the latter.

First step towards creating boundaries and protecting them.

Met NM today accidentally. DB was invited for a snack over at their place. She knew I had somewhere else to be so I was out of the question. He politely turned the invitation down and we went on with our business.

One more step.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Family celebrations and professions

First there was DB's birthday. I reminded my FOO beforehand so that they remember when it was, and I also told them what to buy so that they wouldn't give some crap to him. After we agreed on everything (and we even visited them on that day), they conveniently 'forgot' it, and asked me after several days have passed, about the date of DB's birthday. And of course, NM baked the cake that she knows I hate. What a surprise.

Then, I attended to a family celebration with my FOO. I was quite reluctant to participate at all, but it was supposed to be about me, and I arranged it with DB before, that we would only stay for a short time and then leave.

It was the usual narc get-together. I got presents that I would have never wanted for myself and that did not make me happy at all. NM even told me that she knew what I would have liked to get as a present, but she was not getting it for me, because she 'could not compete with DB in buying those kinds of presents for me anyway'.

The whole event was about NM talking (meaning spitting venom) about a certain subject that she knows nothing about and that she loathes (and that happens to be DB's profession and hobby as well). She kept flooding DB with 'information' and 'knowledge', while saying that well, she knew nothing about the subject, but anyway, she knew 'how these things worked' and that 'it is nothing else but conspiracy and money laundry'. She kept attacking DB and twisting every sentence he said, she kept confronting him with sentences like 'you said A about a subject before and now you say B about a completely different subject, so you have contradicted yourself' - waiting for DB to take the bait.

I'm extremely proud of DB, because he was all the while confident about his expertise and his knowledge, he did not get into meaningless fights with NM, and kept his emotional distance.

After this, he asked me 'what the hell was this all about?' and 'where did she even want to get with all this?', and we did not seem to find any answer. And then we realized: EF brought up the subject in the first place (I don't know his opinion on this field because it was one of the 'forbidden' topics that was never allowed to be talked about in the family, since NM loathed it). He showed interest in it, and it seemed that he was happy that he could finally talk to someone (DB) about it, especially because DB knew so much about it. They had a really great time talking to each other, for a few sentences - and this was when NM interrupted and stole the show for herself.

When we left, NM told us that she hoped that for the next event (EF's birthday is coming soon) we would not 'run away so fast', and that we could have a 'real family event' with spending lot of time together, eating lot of food, etc. (I told them that they should not prepare food for me because we had plans for having dinner at a restaurant afterwards). I was so enraged by this time that I couldn't even answer properly, but I felt like exploding. I walked out of the door, when she ran after me, jumped on me and force-kissed me, while cursing me because I left without kissing her. The whole thing was so disgusting.

So, while still being half-blind from rage, I told DB that I would not attend EF's birthday at all, because I'm not going through this shit again. He was trying to comfort me and telling me that NM did not harm him at all and that he did not take her attacks on his career choice and hobby personally, but I am still enraged. How dare she!

And now, I'm scared out of my mind, because somehow I would have to tell EF that I will not be visiting them on his birthday, nor his celebration of his professional successes that he was looking forward a lot (which would also be an evening with NM and him and nobody else). I know I could offer giving him his presents somewhere else in private (and he would refuse and be extremely offended). It has always been the most important thing in my FOO to attend family events and to act like as if we had any connection to each other whatsoever. Missing any of these is taboo, and postponing it by even one single day (even if it is my birthday) is close to blasphemy.

I feel nothing but disgust. I want to celebrate EF, but I don't want NM anywhere near me. And he does not want to be celebrated without her. I feel stuck.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The lifelong secret

I don't even know what to say about it or how to phrase it. For some, it might mean nothing. For me, it meant the whole world and it has happened a very long time ago.

It is a mutual burden and blessing at the same time, that I share with a person whom I haven't seen for more than half of my life. NM knew about it because back then I didn't know I wasn't supposed to share deeply personal things with her. I was very sad at that time, and she, instead of showing empathy or compassion, was screaming at me.

I thought this person has forgot it a long time ago. I built my whole life (and my insecurities and walls and many of my dysfunctions) around this thought. I've learned recently that this person has cared about this as much as I did, if not more, and that it was never forgotten.

This new knowledge made my world turn completely upside down and it almost crashed me. I was extremely happy and extremely devastated at the same time. I have realized that all this time, while I was thinking that we were not communicating because of the sad parts, it was never forgotten. I was never forgotten. I was never alone. And someone cared about me all that time. And I did care, as well.

I thought that was it and I was to go on with my life, and I could build my new foundations on this newly received peace, forgiveness and redemption. I didn't know however, that NM would learn about it.

This person was as shocked and as happy and as puzzled and as relieved as I am, and really really needed to tell this to someone after years and years of silence: someone who can be trusted. And just happened to meet NM after a long time, and spend time together, without knowing that she could cause more harm than good to me. And as a result, NM now knows about this secret. She acted as a very understanding and empathic and loving woman when she heard it, and gave her promise not to ever mention this conversation to me.

I called her after learning that she knows, but she acted as nothing happened. She didn't even mention it. So she might have been honest, or she might have other plans.

Me and DB, we will meet NM soon in person. I wonder whether she is really capable of some empathy and spare me, just once in my lifetime, or...

...or whether she realized that now has the perfect weapon to ruin my life forever, including my relationship with DB. And for this, she only has to tell him what she learned.

The only thing I can protect myself with is that DB knows she cannot be trusted, so he trusts me more. And therefore, I can hope that she does tell him, and then I tell him that she was lying, he would believe.

This would be the last thing I would ever want to do. I have promised myself that he would know everything about me and that I would always want to be honest with him. And I never ever thought that this past event would come and haunt me. I can say that I could almost make myself believe that it never existed.

I can't tell you what the secret is, because it would reveal my identity. It is nothing illegal, nothing wrong, it was just a situation that is very personal and that I wanted to forget forever. And that now affects my present, even though I thought it never would.

I'll know in a few days, whether NM is capable of empathy towards me or whether she really wants to destroy me.

I'm trying to hope that NM will not talk about this, but deep inside, I'm scared sh*tless.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Drama opportunities

We travelled to the place where the funeral was to happen. It was quite a long trip. My FOO and I have stayed with DGM's husband for a few days, to help out and to keep him company. DB couldn't attend, but I knew this was the case.

So I was prepared to spend days locked up together with NM and EF. The only reason why I chose this because I was doing this for DGM, and because I wanted to test how firm my new boundaries were.

I also knew that these sad events would be like an amusement park for NM. All the sadness, all the drama, and all these grandiose events that she could twist and turn so that she would be the star.

I managed to watch her from an emotional distance, and from this angle, what she does is really pathetic and ridiculous. It was sometimes infuriating and disgusting too, but I just didn't care. All I cared about was DGM and her widowed husband.

And yes, NM has tried to stab through my boundaries, she tried everything that she could think of. And she failed.

For her, drama was everywhere, and she did everything she could to turn all eyes and all attention on here. (sarcastic remarks from me in brackets)
  • The means of travel we used was too uncomfortable for her.
  • She had to sit next to people. Whoah.
  • She could not get free spirits or wine to drink, to calm her down (since this whole thing was soooo stressful for her)
  • The bed DGM's husband provided was way too uncomfortable (but she did not want to pay for a hotel room of course).
  • She had to listen to DGM's husband crying over his beloved wife's death. It was impolite, improper and upsetting of him. He was not being considerate of her enough, that she needed her sleep. She was genuinely surprised that he was mourning, he didn't even love DGM anyway, he was lying about loving her for decades. So why bother at all?
  • That DGM's husband was mourning and crying, made her feel very uncomfortable. She wanted to go home. She could not take all this stress. How boring and upsetting it was to keep listening to him sobbing or talking about his recently deceased wife. How irritating this whole thing was to her, and she was such a hero to endure it.
  • The funeral sounded so scary. She hates funerals, they remind her of death (guess her own demise, huh?)
  • At the funeral, there were other relatives (what a surprise). And she couldn't chat with all of them. (wow... what a surprise again... what did you expect? a house party?)
  • Some of the relatives didn't even want to chat with her (how rude that they were too busy mourning than to discuss her successes that she wanted to brag about)
  • None of the children were enthusiastic (they haven't seen her for a decade or more and I doubt they even knew who she was) to being dragged through the funeral home by her, to me, while she bragged to me about how successful they were in their studies at high school or college and how they were so much better than me in choosing their future professions that must be paying more than mine does. When I told her that a funeral was probably not the best time to jump them and aggressively interrogate them about school and money, she was genuinely surprised.
  • The coffee was way too hot, and not strong enough.
  • Also, there was not enough quality food.
  • She had to see images of DGM and how shocking that was, that she had to look at the images of someone who was deceased.
  • She was genuinely disgusted by mourning people, or sad people. How uncomfortable that was, that she had to see sad and ugly red-eyed people.
  • She was constantly worried about the way she looked. She wanted to look elegant and beautiful, so she wore a light dress.
  • She then complained about being cold because of the AC, and how she was going to have kidney failure or lung problems. It was all the AC's fault, not her, being under-dressed.
  • She forbade me to wear my (bit worn) sweater, because it was 'not appropriate enough for a funeral'. It was black, and it was warm. But no, I would have made her look bad, if I turned up wearing that cr*p, standing beside her.
  • She hated everyone else's clothes. They were not appropriate, elegant, nice, decent, beautiful, or black enough. She was the only one apparently who knew how to dress.
  • We knew that part of the funeral would be held at an open air place, with ground and grass. She nevertheless wore high heels than complained about the difficulty of walking in high heels in grass.
  • She thought it was inappropriate that EF had to participate in the main parts of the funeral (being DGM's son, and closest relative). She considered it weird and unnecessary. Also us, being considered closest relatives (she never liked her).
  • DGM's husband was so grief-stricken that he did not want to have dinner together with relatives and friends after the funeral. He just wanted to go home and be alone. NM considered this disrespectful and exclaimed that he was throwing temper tantrums like a 2-years-old.
  • She offered to make breakfast for him. He refused. She was offended. (she wanted to act like a replacement wife for him, to prove that it didn't matter to him that DGM died, that he didn't love her at all and just needed her as a slave to cook for him, and as long as he got food, he wasn't even grieving... this didn't work)
  • She cooked lunch for him, then complained that she constantly has to cook for him and do stuff for him, while he was doing useless stuff like crying.
  • She was genuinely offended when he was talking about his deceased wife during lunch. How boring that was, constantly having to have DGM as a topic.
  • He went to buy some groceries and he left his money at home (gosh, I wouldn't be able to find the store at all if I was in his shoes) so she had to pay for them. This must have been an evil plan to rip her off with money.
  • I could go on, but you see the point.
I purposefully booked seats so that we would sit as far from each other as possible. So my travel was very pleasant.

NM attempted to freak out about this, and attempted to accuse me about not wanting to 'sit next to each other and chat pleasantly all the way long', but I shrugged her off.

I had meaningful and deep conversations with DGM's husband. We even hugged each other. I could console him a bit, and he said that it helped him a lot that I was with him during these difficult days. It was also good that we shared our love towards DGM and we could talk about our happy times together, and that she was a very good and loving person.

I got some really personal items from DGM's, that dated back to my early childhood. NM demanded that I show them to her. I firmly said no. She was furious, then accused, then demanded, then cried, so attempted the whole scale, to get what she wanted. I told her no again and said that it was too personal and painful for me to discuss, so no matter what she did, I would not be showing them to her. She then wanted to hug me. She literally chased me around the house, while I kept telling her that I would not hug her either. That I did not want to be hugged. By. Her. She went through her whole repertoire again. When she attempted to literally jump me, I stepped aside, and said NO in a very calm, but very firm and authoritative manner. She was shocked, started screaming and crying that I hated her and now she knew it. I left her there.

After this, she arrived a few minutes later as if nothing has happened. So that's how her 'I'm dying from desperation because my daughter does not love me' act was genuine.

I've managed to really experience how she was all about herself and nothing else, how she was a complete emotional illiterate, and how she had absolutely no clue about empathy or grief. I've also managed to keep my boundaries. I'm getting to know the new me.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Relief - guilt

EF has called me, sobbing, telling me that 'Mom has died'.

My first reaction was to rush to the place where he was, to be there, to comfort him.

My heart was thumping as fast as never before, and I've tried to search my soul as quickly as I could to find something inside myself. A feeling, a thought, anything that would have been appropriate. The only thing I've found was...

Relief. Safety. And happiness. And pity for EF.

It took minutes until I've realized that EF was babbling about DGM and not NM.

Suddenly I felt the deepest disappointment rushing through me.

All my thoughts and feelings are gone now. I feel nothing but guilt.

I am the worst person in the world.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Good to remember?

I have realized that it is really difficult for me to do anything ONLY for myself, when there is no 'useful' side-effect, or someone else's added joy, but only my own joy or happiness. It feels like going against everything I think is sane or healthy. It's like sticking your hand in fire, while all your body and mind is screaming inside at you, not to do it.

DB has been great at taking care of me while I was ill. The turning point came when I had to prepare medication and other things to help - for myself, on my own. I have somehow managed to do it, because I convinced myself that it is useful if I get better, because then I can continue my work, my projects, and moreover, help others better.

My therapist got me thinking about what would happen if I was to do something for me - that has no health benefits, or helping-others-benefits, that resulted in nothing else but me feeling happy for a moment or two.

To be honest, it feels repulsive. Or disgusting. I have the need, or the desire to feel good, to do things for myself, but I don't know how to forgive myself for that (if this makes any sense).

My therapist also asked me if I liked simple, easily available joys, like watching trees, or having a bubble bath. Now, the latter triggered the hell out of me. It brought back a memory when I tried to make a bubble bath for myself while I was still living with my FOO and was a teen. I put candles around the tub, made some tea and everything was really relaxing and cool. Until NM realized what I was doing. She told me it was like I was lying on my catafalque, and that it was not 'advisable' for me to do it ever again because I could have burned something anyway (note, it was a bathroom. The candles were next to the tub, the only thing they could burn was the water in the tub, or the tiles).

After this event (and also before it, anyway) my bath times were controlled and supervised, even when I was in my twenties. There was no lock on the door, and I had to call for her when I had a bath, to wash my back. If I didn't, she came anyway, but I could not predict when. Or whether she came at all. I had no chance to relax, or even to enjoy the water. I hated being touched. I had to listen to endless speeches about how ugly I looked, with detailed descriptions.

I feel disgusted of myself when I'm writing this.

My therapist referred to this invasion of my private space and my body as what any person would call it. I can't get myself to write down that word now. But that was when I felt the air freeze around me and I started sobbing, while pictures started to try to invade my conscious mind. Detached memory fragments that I can't really make anything out of, and I have tried my hardest not to let them surface. I feel panic and disgust.

Until now, I was confident that it was good for me to put together the bits and pieces. Now, I'm not so sure anymore. The last thing I want now is to remember anything in connection with those memory fragment flashes, I've experienced.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coffee with a spoonful of honesty

I've had my coffee with EF.

Sorry if I will be rambling incoherently.

I was asked about the locks. I said the truth: that they did not work. He did not want to dig into the subject any further.

We talked about NM and that I was not willing to see her more frequently. EF claimed that he did not understand the whys. I asked him whether he felt he could handle my honesty and stay open-minded, because we both know he has a history of walling up inside when being confronted or hearing something that did not fit his view of the world.

He said yes, and I have tried to be as honest to him as possible, while staying in an adult state, focused, calm, loving, warm, firm and persistent. I have managed to stay this way until he left.

He claimed that he believed me, and that I was honest with him, but he did not know anything about all of this. He acted as if I was talking about my repeated encounters with UFOs, but he also tried really hard to be open. What I sensed was that he, for the first time in my life, believed me, despite that he had a completely different reality from mine. I assured him that I loved him and loved talking to him, but I stated that I was intent on focusing on my life, my relationship and my healing, and that being in touch with NM constantly is not an option for me anymore.

His only question was a bit frightened, confused, and completely clueless 'what the hell can I do now with all this?' And he answered it with a 'It seems that there is nothing that I can do'. The 'this' referred to NM and her attitude, behavior and all the related results.

I told him that being a narc is like being an addict, only worse. The first step is admitting that there is a problem, realizing that said problem has overgrown her, and that she needs professional help. I also told him that unlike being an addict, being a narc is mostly incurable (he knows that), and that therapists specialized in treating narcs are really really rare in our region, if not completely nonexistent.

He was completely puzzled when I told him about my life and experiences with NM (well, it wasn't much, you can't really explain narcissism and a lifetime of gaslighting, emotional incest and suffering in a few hours), repeatedly stating that he knew absolutely nothing about all this, although he admitted that he perceived some of my memories as his own, claiming that 'I also disagreed with her actions at that time'.

I told him that he might not have known these on a conscious level - knowing his history of escaping inside his head when anything confrontational happened, but that I also knew that he was enabling NM's actions by not protecting me, or leaving me alone with her. I also told him that the reason why he rarely witnessed anything was that she has always been extremely careful to ensure that she was alone with me when she abused me. That this was the whole point.

He told me how strongly NM wanted not to become like NGM. That she did everything she could to avoid that. I told him that doing the exact opposite of a certain kind of abuse leaded to an equal amount of abuse of a different, but similarly unbearable (or worse) kind. That I considered this tragic, but that this does not change the fact that she should have sought professional help and spend years in therapy before even thinking about having a child.

He left with acting accepting and believing towards me. I also sensed he was sad.

Since I have managed to stay in my adult state, I have also experienced his own blackouts. They were vaguely visible for the naked eye, but I was consciously searching for clues when he would wall up or feel an irresistible desire to run away. I have counted at least three instances: gazing into the distance with dreamy, unfocused eyes for blackouts, and becoming wide-eyed and extremely twitchy when feeling the desire to run.

He claimed that he is now not getting all the abuse that I got (which I tend to believe), but I also think that he does not consciously realize that he is being abused.

I reassured him that there are several people who know what is going on, and that they care about him and me.

He told me one thing about the lock incident: that when NM barged in, neither me, nor DB said hello to her, and that this impoliteness and rudeness made her cry for a whole day. That she was devastated. He also added that he was standing too far from her to hear what was or was not going on (conveniently out of the blast range, I added in my head).

When he left, and I stayed there for a while to pay the bill and gather my thoughts, I had a few really bad moments that included the thoughts of:
  • I was killing my father. He would die in a heart attack because I was honest with him.
  • I am crazy. The whole thing I told him never was and is not real. I was misinterpreting reality that was that I had a good and loving mother. I was overreacting.
  • That now my lies, overreacting and crazyness were killing my father.
  • That on my way home, I will certainly meet NM and she will abuse the living soul out of me.
  • That I was stupid because I forgot to tell him the most important part: the engulfing, all-consuming, suffocating, you-must-not-have-your-own-identity, love-equals-no-boundaries part. And that because of my miscommunication he will not understand anything. That despite all my efforts, I have failed miserably.

I'm more or less over these now. I have talked to DB who has confirmed my memory that we both said hello to NM. He also reassured me that I was not the crazy one and that this is again one more proof to that. I love that he sees what I see. That he sees gaslighting for what it is.

I am proud of myself for staying in an adult state, for being open and honest, for realizing some more truths. Also for not having high hopes for EF to believe me completely, or for anything to change in my FOO. The change is in me.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Changing locks

I've changed the locks. Of course, my NM and EF just happened to wander around the time I have made it done. NM knocked in and shouted HELLOOO. I bet there will be 'consequences'. They will demand answers and stuff.

I'm so happy with my new locks. I love them. Yay.

Another story from the past weekend (when the books-stuff happened). First, EF cancelled our lunch, sending me a text saying that 'Your mom is gone. I'm cancelling all programs today.' I've called him to ask wtf, he said that she was simply gone, he did not want to talk to anyone. I instantly knew what this was about, but also knew that this was no way over, and we did not receive the 'gift' of not having to visit for Easter.

This was a very theatrical move. NM felt she was not getting enough attention, so she turned into a hysterical diva and stormed out. She has done this before (EF did not remember this, but oh, I do). My guess is, she thought we would visit them for lunch (and not talk to EF), EF would have had to admit that she was gone, we would have all felt guilty and maybe also corner EF for what he must have done to poor NM, or maybe we would have been cornered also, DB would have been there as an outsider witness to tell me and EF how awful we were behaving towards NM, and then she would have come back and we would have been groveling on our knees begging for forgiveness, so that she could trample over all three of us.

LOL. This did not turn out the way she planned.

I told DB that they now will have three options and she will definitely choose one. Either NM will arrive exactly after we have had lunch on our own and demand our visit. Or she would call in the evening to invite us for dinner and behave as nothing had ever happened. Or wait until DB was gone, and bombard me with text messages demanding me to visit without DB.

She chose all three options. She arrived back at noon (I have heard their door lock), invited us cheerfully for dinner (where the book incident happened), and then bombarded me with text messages to visit them for breakfast every weekday after that.

EF called me yesterday with the 'We need to talk' speech. I told him that I will be available for him, in a coffee house, on Wednesday.

I'm considering this as an opportunity for practicing my new skills of resisting NM's demands and EF's suffering and puppy eyes and trying to act as an authoritarian father.

I don't feel fear. What I suppose the topics will be are my new locks, that I do not visit frequently enough, and my general selfishness, me being unloving, inconsiderate, ingrate, and me destroying our family, and they nevertheless missing me and loving me.

I wish I could tell him that though I like talking to him about science, arts, or the-meaning-of-life, I have no respect for him. That I see him as nothing more but NM's puppet. That I know he never hesitated sacrificing me for saving himself from NM's wrath. That their marriage is their own responsibility and I'm not dealing with it anymore. That their emotional state is also their own responsibility. That my responsibility is my own life and nothing else. That I decide who I spend my time with, and as I can handle situations when people I care about decide to no longer be a part of my life, they can also do that, or get professional help. I wish he would not wall up inside the moment I start being honest. I wish he would really hear me.

I know that I have tried a million times. I know, this has failed a million times. So honesty and being open does not work. But I am not willing to keep up a false facade that is not true either. If I play his game by saying 'I'm not discussing this right now' over and over again will not get me anywhere either.

I don't feel fear. I feel a sort of sadness. And I feel stuck. I have stopped wanting them as parent figures in my life. I have realized that it is not and never have been possible. (I guess it is also unwise to tell him this). I just feel the human need of laying down foundations.

I don't even know what my question is.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Two books - one book

I had a book once, from a scholar I really respect. It was a quite rare book, only one edition, with a unique dark blue cover.

I have lost that book (another story), and was very sad.

EF remembered the book, and how I missed it (it was partly his responsibility that I could not get that book back). So I received it as a present for Christmas, it was the same dark blue edition, but he had the author sign it for me. I was very happy. I showed it to DB, and also the author's signature.

We visited my FOO to have breakfast together and celebrate Easter. I was surprised to find a friend of my family there, it was unusual to see someone 'not family' visiting them during the holidays. But I was sort of happy because I was pretty sure that NM would try to act nice as long as anyone else sees her. DB and me got a book as a present for Easter. My book was a book from the scholar I respect. With a unique dark blue cover, signed by the author, for me.

Due to my conditioning, my first reaction was not to show any reaction and to hide that they did something weird or nasty (especially if what they did harmed me in any way). Especially because someone else was also there, their friend. So when they repeatedly asked whether I was happy, I said I was and I tried to act surprised. Even when at home, DB mentioned that he remembers me having something of that 'book series' already, and asked me to search for the other book, I told him that I did not want to look for it right now rather than admitting that something was going on.

I could only manage to tell him after a day has passed, that something was really weird and that I thought I got the same book as a present - twice in a row. (I still consider this as a progress, that I have managed to tell this to him, and not to cover for my FOO).

I asked DB whether I was completely crazy or he also remembered me getting the exact same book earlier as a present. He remembered.

I have checked whether I somehow got two identical books. Nope. No other dark blue book on the shelves.

I don't remember lending them the book I got earlier (that does not really mean anything, I tend to forget things easily, but I don't think I would have given this to them. I value it too much. However, I still have to consider the possibility that I could have 'forgot', the way I sometimes dissociate and 'black out' when NM is mentally torturing me).
  1. I wonder whether one of them used the keys they have to my apartment and took the book.
  2. Or I completely forgot lending them the book, and then they were either that senile to give the same book as a present to me in 4 months' time,
  3. Or they really don't give a damn that much, which is basically the same for me
  4. Or they are gaslighting the cr*p out of me (back to option #1)

Nevertheless, I have called the locksmiths, and I'm getting a new lock on my door.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Because ENGF is family

I know that NGM used illness as means to get anything she wanted, and justify all evil she has done. NM is just doing the same. No matter who is ill, she uses it to justify things and to get her way.

I have decided not to visit ENGF, as it was only a means for NM to 1) show off her 'perfect family', to 2) show me a 'good example' of how elderly abusive parents should be taken care of (she is going out of her way in hoping that now ENGF is old and not too healthy, he will finally see the error of his ways and lift NM from being the Scapegoat to becoming the Golden Child which will never happen of course) that I must also follow according to her, if she gets old/ill, and to 3) be able to stay alone with me and abuse me.

I have called ENGF. I asked how he was, we spoke for around 2 minutes.

As I have suspected when I could think clearly after NM's last phone attack, ENGF is coming out of hospital already. No, he did not die. No, he was not on the verge of dieing. He has to take a few pills and he is good to go. As usual, NM was lying again.

To be honest, I don't give a damn about ENGF. He never cared about me. He never loved me. I never got to know him. He was never a 'grandfather' for me, I don't even have a clue what grandparents are. I only saw him a few times during my life, since NM never let me close to her parents (I would have done the same if I was her, they were even more narcs than she is), only under constant supervision.

I only had a sort of 'relationship' with him for like 1-2 years, when I was in college. I was extremely depressed, and we sometimes met for a coffee and talked about mundane stuff. This has abruptly ended when he had a new (heavily abusive) relationship. He has decided not to visit any of us again, and never talked to me after that, only if I called him, and even then, he was purposefully mean to me.

He is also a pathological liar, and gaslighter. I remember when I called to say happy birthday to him. A few weeks after, he was screaming at me in front of my family for not even caring to call him for his birthday (note: he never calls me on mine). EF just told him one thing: 'You know, I was standing right next to you when Scatha called, and I heard her saying happy birthday.' As you have already guessed, ENGF still sticked to his truth, yelling at EF also that he was lieing for my sake, and how ungrateful and inconsiderate I am. Guess where NM learned all this shit.

The only thing I know about ENGF is that he is biologically related to me. That he is the extremely abusive father of NM who still abuses the hell out of her. Who has nothing but expectations towards me, but never gives anything. I feel that he has never loved me. I feel no emotional connection to him. And 'because he is your grandfather' is far from enough for me. Especially because this sentence is supposed to mean 'be a well-behaved doormat, contact him on a weekly basis so that he could twist his knife in your emotional wounds that hurt the most, you must support him in abusing you, because he is your grandfather'.

He (and NM) has a quite extended family (who are either abusive, enmeshed with each other in a very sick way, or rapists) who became flying monkeys whenever I don't fit in with their insane sick enmeshments. So I expect to receive a few calls about me not visiting ENGF in the hospital.

EF sent me an email commanding me to call ENGF. I told him that I have already done so. Lol.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Second run

I am really proud of myself, because I have managed to go running despite the traumatic phone call with NM that followed my first. And I will go again today. Yay. I'm doing something good for myself without anyone knowing. Just because I want to take care of ME. No one ever told me this can be so awesome.

EF is trying to contact me, yesterday I got a very short info request about a website, which I replied, and some other 'fun' stuff that I did not.

Today I have received an email again. It was very brief, with one question. My translation will be a bit weird in English, but this is how I can best convey the subtle content. 'Maybe we can (phrased as is it possible, but also meaning are we allowed to, or can be interpreted as a very sarcastic and commanding demand, or scolding, depending on the vocal tone) see You Both in the weekend?'

My guess is: he has been appointed as the official Flying Monkey again, to lure me in. Either with kindness, 'strict parental force', or even by displaying suffering that could only end if I was willing to become a doormat and sacrifice myself.

I'm still debating myself what to answer.

What I would really wish to answer is: NO, YOU CAN NOT. We are busy. And after the way NM behaved during her last phone call, I wouldn't visit even if we had the time.

I have told DB that I would like to discuss our answer to this invite before I do anything.

I am really interested in your opinion. (besides installing an axe in their front door, or somewhere else).

Monday, March 11, 2013

My first run

I have decided to nurture myself and start running. I could not achieve much, and it was more walking than running, but I've still done 1.5 miles as a start. I even liked it. Until NM called me. I did not pick it up, because I did not want her to interrupt my first run ever (but she did already, anyway). She then sent a text message stating, that she already called twice.

I got home, was proud of myself that I could finally get out of my chair and do something for myself, took a good shower, and ordered my favorite 'lowcarb' food to have something for lunch tomorrow, as a little present for myself.

Then the phone rang again. And I have decided to pick it up.

I don't want to go into details, but most of the time NM cursed me for being a very bad person. She was heavily gaslighting, turning around everything I said (and I did not even say more than like 5 sentences). She told me I was crazy and evil, several times. The most triggering part was that this was mostly the reenactment of our phone conversation that I wrote about in The day when EF almost died, only ENGF being the 'protagonist' in hospital. Without the part when she told me I was killing EF. Although she did mentioned, that I would not know if they, NM and EF were dieing, because I was not picking up the phone, so I was basically killing both of them. I have managed to get the name of the hospital from her and 'this might be your last chance to see him alive' as a comment, but nothing else.

I told her that I did not need to be cursed, told how bad a person I was, and other stuff. NM commanded me to bring DB with me so that she could sit us both down and tell us how evil I was and how I cannot continue behaving this way. (I knew she wanted to do something to him, I knew it! My senses were right again!)

She completely negated that I, in fact, visited her, in person, last week. Then when I mentioned it, she did not accept it as a fact, or reality either. Gaslighting as its heaviest.

After I realized, that I was not going to learn anything new about ENGF, I hung up. I suppose her next move would have been sending EF at me as a flying monkey, since she was repeating my words to him, saying something like 'talk to her', but I did not wait for that.

After I hung up, I turned off all lights, and spent the following two hours crawled up into a ball, in the pitch-dark closet, crying. And I dreaded the moment when my food would have showed up at my doorstep and me having to open my door, giving a chance for NM to get to me, if she happened to peek out her front door. I finally got the food, without any interference.

I have talked to DB on the phone, he said I was not the crazy one and that he was sorry. At least he did not think I was crazy.

I have managed to refrain from starting to drink alcohol or smoking a cigarette, or eating what I have ordered instantly.

But I will leave my apartment between 6 and 7AM tomorrow. I feel a very strong urge to run away as far as possible, and going to work early seems the least self-harming option from it all.

I know, that this episode was a very heavy emotional flashback. I'm starting to feel less urge to self-harm, and less fear. I want to get better. I want to heal.

I am still capable of being proud of myself for going out to run today. And I will do it again, no matter how triggering it might be tomorrow.

Pink cupcakes

I have adored the pink cupcakes my FOO makes, since I was very little. ENGF's female relatives were especially awesome at making them, and NM has learned from them how to produce the exact same taste.

If there could be only one type of sweet food in the world, I would vote for my FOO's pink cupcakes.

Last week, I have planned to 'sleep in' a bit, since I was way too exhausted from working until midnight almost every day. Then the doorbell rang at 7AM. When I have realized what has happened, climbed out of my dream, crouched out of my bed and hobbled to the door, the person who has ringed my bell was already gone. So was my dream. I have heard a faint 'clank' which was fairly similar to the sound of NM's front door, so I thought that it was them. I was furious, but managed to sleep a bit more.

A few days after that, NM called. She informed me, that she had 'cupcakes with her', and that she tried to contact me 'several times', so that she could give some to me. Now I was sure that it was her, who woke me up. I did not tell her that I have heard the doorbell, nor that I knew she did not contact me 'several times', but only once. I had no unanswered calls on my phone. She was simply lying. Her next sentence was a question: 'Do I have to put them in a bag and put them in front of your door so that you would get them'?

It was not a question. It was an annoyed imperative. She. Wanted. To. Give. Me. Cupcakes. Period. And she was irritated, that she did not succeed. How fucked up is that? Forcing your 'gift' on someone, no matter if they are sleeping, working, taking  a 'nap' with their DB or anything else.

I told her, that if I have time, I will contact her about the cupcakes. She said hi then, so I hung up. (and I have heard that she still continued talking after she said goodbye, which is also her usual tactic of checking whether I could be held up for another four hours). I did not fall for that.

My problems with this (besides the obvious) are the following:
  • She said 'cupcakes'. Not 'the pink cupcakes you adore', but 'cupcakes'. I think it was a way to make me think that it was the special pink ones, and then presenting me some shitty ordinary cupcakes (that I hate anyway) from the bakery. And then not being responsible for luring me into meeting her, with a lie. And putting all the responsibility on me, to decrypt her vague message, and then bear all the consequences.
  • She knows that one of the things I consider serious is the Great Lent, before Easter. Not because of religious reasons (although it is also there in the background), but mainly because I consider it good for my health both physically and mentally, and because for some reason, this is the time of the year when fasting is the easiest. Since I am not really fond of meat anyway, I usually follow a low-carb, more veggies, more organic food, no sugar diet. She knows it, and she resents me for it. She spits out the word 'diet' like it was equal to kidnapping children. She does everything in her power to make me fail. She wants to be the thinner one, but she never works out, or eats healthy. Cupcakes are nothing but sugar and carbs. I love them, but not now, thanks. This is a clear boundary violation.
  • She also knows, that I have explicitly told both her and EF not to ever ring my doorbell. Several times. This is a clear boundary violation.
  • I hate getting presents from her. They always come with a price. And what I hate more is unwanted food. First, for the abovementioned reason. Second, because there is always a plate accompanying said food, that I have to wash and then return which forecasts one more compulsory contact with her. I do not want to do that. Third, it is a covert communication of 'you cannot even make food for yourself, you depend on me or you die, you are not a real woman because you cannot bake such things for DB but I can bake for him to show who the real woman is here, you are unlovable, you are worthless'. I know this, because I've heard these sentences enough, accompanying food gifts. And I'm not accepting it.
  • I don't want anything that is forced on me. Even if it is the most delicious food on Earth, I do not want it. (and yes, it is difficult to resist even the thought)
  • She knows, that I was working on all weekend (when I should have visited them for the 'cupcakes'). She also knew that DB was away all weekend, also working. Meaning that I was alone and there was no one around to protect or comfort me, if anything went wrong. A huge red flag again.
She called me again, yesterday evening. I did not pick it up. I then fought through a half-hour anxiety attack of what torture might come as a punishment for me not picking up the phone, but then it went away. I guess it would have been about the cupcakes again.

So, no for cupcakes. Even if they were the pink ones.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Covert interrogation

I have visited FOO for a short time. I could control the situation quite well, until I was getting ready to leave. I remember standing at the front door, suddenly 'waking up' to openly talking about very private details of my relationship with DB and our current situation. I have no clue how I got there, especially because I was focusing on not to talk about anything personal with NM.

What I remember that she tried to corner me alone a few times while I was there, suddenly asking about how our relationship was going, and I clearly remember ignoring these questions altogether.

How did I get in the position of unvoluntarily spilling the beans? It always happens when I 'black out' (I suppose I am dissociating then).

I know that when I was living with NM, she was never satisfied with her very long and very painful interrogation and torture processes with me, until she knew literally everything about me and my day she was interested in, including all my feelings, thoughts, minor details such as the pencil color I was using, what I ate for lunch, and everything about bowel movements, etc.

I know that I should somehow detect this dissociative phase before it happens, because after I'm in it, I don't even notice until the discussion takes some abhorrent turn that snaps me out of it.

I know that this mechanism was formed by me, at that time when it was a working method for protecting my life and my sanity, but now I do not need it anymore. I just don't know how to get rid of it.

I feel disgusted and embarrassed. I feel angry at myself for being too weak and falling in the same trap again. I feel angry at NM for doing this to me.

Note to self: her tactic is always to isolate me first and then attack. She very rarely does this when there is anyone around.

I have again realized, that I am not alert enough yet to stay alone with her in the same room. I am getting better, but in the end, I still lose the battle sometimes, always when I am alone with her. I don't want that. I don't want to stay alone with her. I wish I could ask DB to never ever leave my side, not even for a second, when NM is around. I'm unsure whether I should 'do this alone' and train myself to endure, or whether it is a reasonable thing to ask.

Another thing I have noticed though, is how badly she wants to see DB. I don't know the motives but I do feel a red flag waving each time she mentions that we should really really visit her together.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Not making everybody's problems go away

Another situation came up, where I had the great chance of make someone's problems go away.

It was an emergency situation, involving hospitals, authorities, and one of my best friends. Friend had psychological issues for a while now (though before last year was one of the strongest and most normal people I have known), and I was helping her whenever I could. In this emergency, my first thought was to jump right in and become the knight in shining armor.

Helping as such would have required devoting my life (including maybe sacrificing my work, my relationship, and everything else for nearly a week) to said friend and taking legal responsibility for friend's descendants.

I have casually mentioned the issue to DB, and his first reaction was one question.

"You do realize, that this is now the dividing line between helping your friend and taking your friend's problems onto you?"

This was all I needed.

Yes, I needed this nudge (and thank God for DB, and his clear mind), but at least, I suddenly saw the situation as it was. It was a problem (although a huge one) of someone else. It was my friend's responsibility to take, and my friend's problem to solve. Not mine. I could show empathy, I could offer supporting words, but I did not have any obligation to give my life up.

I knew that me saying no could have brought more difficulties to my friend. I also felt sorry for the present situation. But I do not feel sorry for saying no.

This help would not have been real help. It would have prevented my friend from experiencing that it was possible to get out of this situation without my help. Without any outside help. To experience inner strength. To learn from mistakes.

I helped my friend by saying no. I helped myself by saying no.

One step forward for me again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making everybody's problems go away

I think this could have been the motto or the perfect description of the reason of my existence for as long as I can remember.

I still have the disease of "perfection" as one of my favorite bloggers calls it. I constantly feel the urge of "fixing" everyone's problems, lives, whatevers. Even when I have absolutely nothing to do with them.

It's so difficult to distinguish between "my problems" and "their problems" since I was never taught the difference. "Their problems" were always "my problems" in a very internal way. If anyone near me was sad, angry, frustrated, or felt any negative feelings besides utter bliss, it was instantly interpreted as my fault. Either because I caused it by not wearing what NM wanted me to, by not pretending to be happy enough to participate in an event I did not want to, or by not showing gratitude after months for a present that clearly showed how NM did not know me. Or, because there was another cause for the person's unhappiness, but nevertheless, I have become magically appointed as the only one who could fix it.

This way, I was suddenly responsible for being for NM a devoted, loving and accepting father and a mother whom she never had, a devoted, loving, passionate and supportive husband who was always on business trips, a cheerful, fun, loving and supportive friend, whom she never had, and all other people that she needed at the moment. And at the same time, providing this be-whom-I-want-you-to-be service to everyone else who happened to be around. Switching between alternate selves, if that was required.

I still don't know how to say no to other people's desires, even if we are not even really connected. When I somehow still have the strength to do so (and it takes a LOT of strength to deny someone something, at least for me), I feel desperate. I feel that I have failed the other person. That I, myself, willingly have caused pain. That I am now responsible for making it right.

The original recipe was getting an unrealistic request, saying yes and hoping that the other person will not realize that I was not doing the thing they asked. This, of course, never really worked, but it at least bought me some time.
If it was inevitable, the other method was saying no, then instantly regretting it, saying yes, then yes again a thousand times, and going out of my way to make amends for saying no in the first place. This is who I do not want to be anymore.

I am now in a situation, where I had to say no to a person, to whom I am not really close to, but whom I still like a lot, about a project we both really care about. I know it is reasonable and logical to say no, and that it would have caused me a lot of extra work, difficulties with no real benefits to say yes. I still feel very sad, and helpless. My instincts still tell me to say yes. I have almost failed to resist, but I'm still sticking to my decision.

I want to be able to differentiate between my problems and other people's problems. Dealing with mine, and letting them deal with theirs.

I hate being conditioned as a very eager and willing doormat. I want to be me, whoever that is. I want to get to know the real me.

I hope this will get easier in time. Now, it is really difficult.

I have not talked to NM for a week now. I'm getting more and more balanced again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Renovation - invasion

We have agreed with EF long ago (5 years) that he would help me do the things in my apartment that I am physically unable to, and that are essential to living as such. He is the archetype of procrastination, and I was so far the "oh well, maybe next time then" - type. So I'm still living with undone stuff.

NM also promised me to help me finish creating a few very necessary things - to which it was a prerequisite to have EF's part finished.

(I would have done these a thousand times without them, but the problem is that the issue is a very special one and they happen to own everything that is required)

At last, EF came over to do at least a part of what he has promised ages ago. He dragged NM along, so that "she can measure what she has to, to finish creating what she started", for me.

I had a few large boxes in a few rooms that had presents for them, and since they were so large, we could not hide them anywhere. We did not want my FOO to see them before their big event either.

So in the meantime, I could not help EF a thing, because I had to babysit NM (to prevent her from opening the boxes), who was talking, whining, and constantly nosing around the rooms, touching everything, asking a tons of questions about each and every piece of furniture, book, decoration, and dust bunny. She was loudly making nasty remarks about EF (how bad he was at doing what he did, how slow he was, how unprofessional he was). And when she was not cursing EF, she was after me, snapping hideous comments here and there, and of course criticizing everything about my apartment, my life, and generally, me.

I feel my progress: I did not black out, I did not even hear most of what NM said, nor cared about them. But I still feel her presence lingering in the rooms.

She could have just did her thing in two minutes, and leave. But no, she had to ruin all. She purposefully separated me from EF and DB, as always, and attempted to get at me. She failed.

I still feel my own safe haven invaded though. I know, that I will have to endure at least one more of this with both NM and EF included. I hate receiving ANYTHING from them. I loathe needing their assistance or help. There is always a price, much higher than what I can, or intend to pay. I hate to be dependent on them.

I have got a very beautiful and rare present from one of my friends. EF offered his help to get me to the meeting point in time, so that she could give it to me before she boarded her plane. He forgot it, of course, I was almost late, and had to take a last minute cab. He arrived after that, apologized and helped me take the present home. Then he made me promise that I would never tell NM that he saw the thing, and that he never saw me, and that I would kindly contact NM to ask her to view my property and to invite him along.

Why the hell does he always want ME to lie for HIM? How pathetic is that, that he has to keep it a secret that he talks to his own daughter? And why the hell would I have to invite NM over to show her that I have got anything?

And yes, they will be in my apartment again to finish what they have started, and I hate it from my gut already.

I feel invaded again on so many levels.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Calm or the storm

So far, everything is ok. I rarely see or talk to NM, and I'm happy this way. I wonder how long I can go on like this before the sh*tstorm comes. Anyway, I'm calmer, happier and more content in general. It feels good. I'm still constantly looking over my shoulders in anticipation of something coming from my FOO's direction.

I'm starting to realize, that my life has never been calm at all. I had always lived with trying to survive turbulent emotions, either on one extreme or the other: Heaven or Hell. It was a constant mixture of yearning for the unreachable, waiting for another thrill-dose of a few hours spent with an unavailable love interest, then forcing myself to show no emotions at all when I got home to my FOO. Then withstanding another hell-on-earth session with NM while forcing myself not to show any emotions. Then spending the rest of the night doing anything that helped me avoiding killing myself. Either drinking, smoking, music, reading, computer. Then waking up crying from horrible nightmares, and realizing that they were still better than my life.

I don't know what to do with calm. I have my tools for surviving the extremes. I know how to survive hatred, unacceptance, accusations, gaslighting, emotional blackmail, threats. I know how to survive being unloved, rejected, tossed aside. I know how to survive being engulfed. I know how to survive being the third one in a relationship; being in a relationship where I am constantly cheated on; living with a full-blown narc spouse; falling madly in love with people whom I not in a relationship with, while having someone waiting for me at home.

Normal. Ordinary. Calm. What the hell am I supposed to do with this?

I have never done drugs thanks God, but I feel like as if I was constantly in need of my daily fix. That is, the emotional rollercoaster. I constantly feel the urge to do something insane, to wreak havoc on my own life, to keep others falling in love with me, to deal with my art projects until dawn, to stay out until dawn, to party, to talk to people and change the world, to be bad.

And if I don't keep myself constantly on very strong and conflicting emotions, I feel like I'm exploding, or falling apart.

For so long, I wanted nothing else but to have a calm, ordinary, normal life, with someone who loves me and whom I love, to go home and cook lunch, to do happy things together, to get married, have children, and live happily ever after.

Now, I don't have a freaking clue.

The only time I really feel alive is when I'm extremely energetic, full with life, madly in love with DB, while also madly in love with at least one someone else, severely depressed, feel completely alone, and extremely tired. All at the same time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Being the perfect child

I'm starting to realize that my feelings and my own self have both been forbidden from a very very young age, and this can be the reason behind all the family stories about how "perfectly behaved" and "special" I was. The stories about me were:

I was a baby that never cried. The explanation was that my mother was so perfect, that she paid attention to every sound I made, no matter how faint it was, and she attended to my every need, so I did not have to cry at all. Sometimes she mentioned that she never could bear when babies cried, and that she decided that if she would ever have a child, that child would never cry at all.

I was a toddler that no one noticed. Friends and relatives came to visit my parents and they always thought I was at my grandparents' house. Until NM proudly led them to me. I was usually sitting in a corner, silently minding my own business. I never ran around, I never destroyed any toy, I never unpacked my whole toy box and left them scattered around, I never touched anything that was not mine, I have never opened wardrobes or drawers, I never touched porcelain vases or valuable sculptures or any decoration, I never screamed, I have never been a "terrible two".

I was a kindergarten-aged child who hated everyone in her age. They were all like children. When they visited us, they unpacked and destroyed my toys, then left them scattered. They ran. They screamed. They opened all the wardrobes, pulled out the drawers, started playing with a toy and moved on to the next in two minutes. Before they came, NM made sure that I knew this would happen. When they left, NM always came into my room and told me: See, Scatha, how awful all they are? They are bad, bad kids, they are not good, they cannot behave. See, Scatha, how they destroyed your toys that you always take good care of? See, now all things that they have scattered around, now Scatha and NM has to pack away, to spend such a long time having to clean up the mess they made, to fix what they broke, and all is left to us, because they didn't even make the effort to pack away things, see? If we visited them, NM always told me after we left, how everyone thought that all rules applied to us. That I wasn't allowed to play as I wished when I was visiting someone, because I was the guest, and how they allowed themselves to do anything they pleased at our place, because they were the guests. And how unfair all of this was. I loathed children. I dreaded the time when they visited us. I looked forward the time when they left. In the meantime, sometimes I enjoyed playing with them, because they were company, and they seemed to like me. But the overall feeling was hatred, disgust, despair, sadness.

I preferred the company of adults and they did not want to be friends with me. The visiting parents wanted to talk to my parents, and "let children play". I did not want to play, I wanted to talk to the grownups about science, books, or anything like that. They did not understand my behavior and I was usually pushed away with "you are only a child, you don't know anything about [topic], don't talk into adults' business". I was trying to express my views on politics, or economy, talk about interesting biological facts or how the different cloud types influence the weather. I was still under 7. I felt isolated, I did not belong to the children, and I did not belong to the adults either.

The only love I got was when NM paraded around with my accomplishments. How I could read at the age of one and the half. Show Scatha, read this complex medicine description to NM's Friend. See, NM's Friend, how clever is Scatha? Now, Scatha, tell the doctor lady how many bones (I knew almost all of them) you can name in the human body. Show her the lifelike drawing of the human organs you made. Now, Scatha, tell the poems you wrote to Grampy, I am sure he would love to hear them.
  • NM: Scatha, would you like to sing the song you wrote to Auntie, show him how talented you are. 
  • Scatha: No, Mommy, I'd rather not, (thinking: I hate performing, I am not that confident, I just want to disappear)
  • NM: Sure Scatha, you would like to sing to him
  • Scatha: no please Mommy, I'd rather not sing now
  • NM: But Auntie woud surely LOVE to hear you sing, don't you, Auntie?
  • Auntie (everyone fell for this trick): Yes, NM, I would love Scatha sing, she must be cute
  • NM: Hear, Scatha, he would love to hear you sing, you don't want to make Auntie and Mommy sad, do you?
  • Scatha: pleaaaaase Mommyyyyyy pleaaaaase nooooo I dont waaaant tooo
  • NM: You are rude, surly, impolite and inconsiderate. How can you do that to Auntie and Mommy. How can you want to deliberatly make Auntie sad. How cruel you must be to do this to her. You WILL sing.
  • Scatha: :sings and hopes that she can disappear afterwards:
  • NM: See, how impolite and bad you were, you did not want to sing for Auntie to show how good you are, now she is happy that you did sing for her, you ARE happy Auntie, aren't you?!
  • Auntie: Yes, yes, it was wonderful, how talented your child is, amazing.
 And then, she harvested all the praise. Sometimes I was praised too, for what I could do, for my grades, for the things I knew, for being way more adult than my age. But I was never praised for my ability to love, my values, or for being myself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Proud of myself

I feel proud for two reasons.

The first is, that after one and a half weeks of not talking to my mother, she called me (and acted as if nothing has happened, this still weirds me out). We talked about the weather, she foreshadowed that she and EF will both die, I did not react the way she expected me to, and then I hung up. Before that, she told me that she would call me again in the evening to inform me that they are safe (there was nothing threatening their life, but she loves to create drama to feel more important and get more narcissistic supply). I told her that if I don't pick up, I am busy, and she should text me if she wants to tell me anything. I didn't ever intend to answer the phone, and so when she called, I let it ring. After a few hours, she texted me, and I did not answer that either (it included them being OK and an invitation for breakfast). I answered the text the next day, around noon, stating that I'm happy that they are OK, and I'm at work.

I have managed to stay myself. Yay!
I know that she will attempt to reach me, and that I might or might not be successful in protecting myself, but I do consider this as a thumbs up. I consider this as a success, and if I relapse, if I stumble, even if I fall, I will not consider it as a failure, but merely as another step.

The other reason is quite weird, but I still feel good for some reason. We have discovered, with my therapist, that there is simply no aspect in my childhood, that was healthy, normal or functional. I think I feel proud because
  • I'm the "best" at something, even if it is something very sad.
  • I feel validated, I feel that all my feelings from my early childhood that something was "off" in my family, are supported by measurable facts now.
  • Despite all of that, I am still here, and I am still capable of working on myself and raising myself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A free weekend

I haven't heard of NM since the last phone-related event. I feel lighter and closer to my own self every passing minute. There is a tangible difference between not having to even think about her for days, and between being constantly bombarded and smothered by her emails, text messages, phone calls, visits, or other attempts at completely occupying my every thought.

Yesterday morning I knew that I would hear of her soon, and that with each passing day that I spend with something else than groveling at her feet will add to the pile of sh*tstorm that she intends to hurl at me as soon as she figures out the cruelest way possible. But I couldn't care less now. She had the chance of saying what she wanted, now she has the chance to contemplate on why I did not return her calls. I bet she will not ever do that though.

She did send her one and only flying monkey though: EF, who sent me a short email including some music (we both love music, whereas NM not really), I guess it was a way of saying hi, and then he added "I hope you are well, kisses". A bit before midnight, when I got home, I sent some music back to him, added that I just got home and as a result was tired, but otherwise nothing special, kisses.

If he only wanted to know whether I was alive, and whether we are okay, he knows now. If he wanted to spy for NM, I will know soon, since there was no useful information for NM in my mail, and she will be furious.

I feel much better without her constantly devouring me.

My therapist and DB have both told me that I am making a huge progress in my reactions to NM's behavior, and now I give myself the pleasure of being proud of myself for getting this far.

I don't have any illusions, she will attack me soon. And I intend to remain myself instead of being dragged back to her psycho-play.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Holidays, phone issues

We have spent Christmas with DB's family due to health issues. The first thing his mother told us, when we told them that we could be either here or there was, that she loves us no matter what, and we do what is best for us now. NM started with accusing us that we didn't spend the holidays there and started guilt tripping.

I have called her that night to wish happy holidays, but she was cold and claimed that she had to spend the holidays completely alone (despite EF standing next to her).

After that, we were there almost every day until New Year's Day.

Yesterday she called me and I didn't want to deal with her (since we met already in the morning), so I didn't pick the phone up. And as it has happened before, in a few hours I became suicidal, and could do nothing more than sit in my room and pray not to kill myself.

Today, EF whammed at me as her best flying monkey, that I was rude and impolite lately, because I didn't call on New Year's Eve, didn't return NM's yesterday, and her text message today at dawn. That I texted her on New Year's Eve, that we spent half day there on New Year's Day, that I spent two hours at their place yesterday did not matter.

Today, I have called NM to ask why she called yesterday. Guess what. I was guilt tripped, emotional blackmailed, she was sobbing, claiming that I was cold as ice, that I was not loving, not kind, that I was commanding her like some policeman, that she can never reach me, that she wants some solution that she could always reach me whenever she wanted to and that she would leave notes on my door if I don't pick up the phone at 7AM. And also asked me whether I use my phone only for them to reach me or whether anyone else knows my number (I didn't even understand this question). I replied that I wanted respect, that I am asleep at night and that I have done nothing else but listen to her in all my life. And that I do not have time for this since I have to work, so either she tells me what she wanted yesterday, or I have to go back to my responsibilities. Of course she didn't tell me, just went on with how inaccessible, unloving and cruel I was. I told her that I had no more time for this, that I had to go and hung up. Not five minutes have passed, and NM has already called me twice.

Again, I'm the evil one.

I'm completely freaked out. This is downright scary, and I have absolutely no idea what to do. I have goosebumps all over and I'm shaking and panicking.

I have this feeling in my gut that she will attempt suicide today.