Monday, October 14, 2013

Navel gazing

I've been dwelling.

Not in the 'living in an abode' kind of dwelling.  I mean ruminating. 

I've gone through so much in the last year regarding cleaning up my brain.  I've FACED and dealt with the facts of my abusive childhood and I feel as though I've - if not filed and organized, I've straightened and swept that area of my head.  It's better in there than it's ever been.

My broken brain is acknowledged and petted every fucking day.  I just say to myself 'THEY broke your brain, bunny - let's just move along here, not your fault' - this when my thoughts get stuck in either some maudlin pity party or else go all Dexter on me.  [do any of you do this, btw?  do you look at say, a homeless guy sleeping along a river bed and wonder what he would do if you ran up and kicked him in the face *hard*?  Now I've made myself sound like a sociopath and I'm telling you I'd never follow through with anything like that - I give food and shoes and clean underpants to the homeless! but why in the hell does my brain GO to that place?  Even unto myself, like when driving across a bridge and I worry I might suddenly decide to DRIVE OFF THE SIDE.  I am not a thrill seeker and no longer feel the need to go to sleep and not wake up, so WTF?  It's like my brain has this side that is all dark and twisted and icky]

I actually sometimes have worser thoughts pop into my head than the above examples.  I think it is because I was exposed to some horrific stuff, possibly sexual abuse stuff, as a little child and so my brain is broken in that regard.  But as I said, I pat myself on the brain-pan and move myself along to greener pastures.  It's all I can do, I have to just re-direct and move along.

[I hate feeling like I'm crazier than anyone else but sometimes the proof is in the pudding.]

Anywhozle.  As I was saying, I've dealt with so much stuff and now the dust is sort of settling and it leaves me thinking of what an unmitigated ASS I have been in my life.  I've touched on this before, but my GOD I made some completely bone-headed self-serving selfish decisions.  I owe apologies to SO MANY people and one of the most important people I owe an apology to is DEAD for chrissakes (Byron) and so while I assume he knows my heart and soul, I do wish I hadn't done what I did.

All of this stuff - I was constantly making decisions NO.  NO I didn't make decisions.  I let the wind and my varying emotional winds and hormones and fears rule me and I just kept leaping from lily pad to lily pad without ever even knowing I could have taken the time to look for the edge of the pond.  I was panicked and running LONG past the time there were any monsters (my dad) chasing me.  I paid all my bills, but you know, sometimes on the last day at the last minute with change from my ashtray.  There was never any forethought.  No plan of action or 'what next' critical thinking.  No idea that tomorrow I might really regret this decision or that leap.

In no particular order, here are a few of my asinine idiotic life decisions.  I hate myself sometimes.

1.  I was working with a friend (turned out to be a narc *surprise!*) we worked for two attorneys.  There was an auxiliary female attorney attached to the same office and she was married to a guy named Greg.  I started having an affair with this Greg guy.  He was a cop!  yeah.  Jeopardized my job which was always precarious at best.  She found out and hilarity ensued.  It was fucked.  I was scared.  This same guy tried to break my arm and little 3-year old Mike got into the fray.

2.  Met a guy via telephone while I was working for an escrow company.  We enjoyed a long and satisfying long-distance flirt.  He drove up to meet me finally and he turned out to be amazingly great, 5 years older than me and had his shit together.  He ran his own business and was just this amazing older MAN.  He thought I was funny(!) and sexy(!!) and smart(!!!) and really, he thought I was the greatest thing since pockets.  He also turned out to be married.  I kept up with that affair in one way or another (meaning it wasn't always sexy-time but it could have been) until I moved to Maryland 2 years ago.  YEAH.

3.  Was sort of but not really dating Byron.  We had been friends since 5th grade and all through high school we flirted (we were in band together!  geeks!) and after high school we started hanging out and he had this HUGE group of guy friends and I was this levi wearing girl who hung out and they treated me like a sister except Byron and I had this *thing* and it was all VERY cute, and very sweet.  This lasted for years.  But we were always dating other people and keep our liaisons quiet.  Then with one thing and another (alcohol, close proximity, horribly non-existent boundaries) I started flirting with HIS YOUNGER BROTHER and thus began the shameful-est part of my life.  SEX WITH BROTHERS.  ("not at the same time in the same bed! but during the same time period!" she hurries to clarify, making her less whore-like, right?) The one (John) knowing and the other, who I really really liked but couldn't really have (Byron) not knowing and then Byron died and I never could understand why all of our friends immediately hated me and it has come to my (much clearer) way of thinking that John told all his (our) friends what a whore I was and so of COURSE they all wouldn't talk to me and oh, this is one thing if I could go back but would have to live through my 20's again, I am thinking I would go back and change this shameful stupid thing.  Also I have learned to HATE John, he didn't have to be a dick.  His brother dying fucked him up but why take it out on me?  He had told me that he loved me, so hell hath no fury like that I guess.

4.  I manipulated the fucking crap out of people in order to get what I needed.  Which sounds so New York but I am talking about couches (used) or rides somewhere or tickets to a concert.  I traded sex for car repairs (not like, on a street corner but by magically dating boys who worked on cars AND who had things like dirt bikes).  I guess I thought I was clever and uh, yeah, I guess that is so.  Women have traded their bodies down through the ages but until recently I never thought of it from that angle.  I just thought I was magically dating car guys.

This is another part of growing up around narcs that we don't talk about much.  they fucked us up as kids and also we have no boundaries, no decision making skills.  I have no passions (except I guess I used to have a passion for married men.  That's not what I'm talking about here tho...) I have no talents besides a small skill at putting my stories out on the webz. 

Picture if you will, a really hopeless Tarzan.  Let's say, Mr. Limpet meets Tarzan.  He flings himself out on a vine, LEAPS to the next one and clutches it with eyes closed, heart PoUnDiNg, and sweaty grip until he's sure he isn't going to fall.  Heart still pounding he LEAPS to the next vine.  And lather, rinse, repeat.  THIS WAS ME.  I could have let go of the fucking vine and slid down.  There was nothing down there.

I could have stopped and built myself a tree house.  I could have just STOPPED MOVING.  Fucking crap. 

Round about the time I met Married Man Via Telephone I was drinking like a fish.  I had just lost all my friends (JOHN) and I was alone and sad and exhausted and tired of dancing.  I met Mike's dad and got pregnant, and while that wasn't the stupidest thing I've ever done as I like Mike's dad and have you met my son?  He's pretty great, it was another in a long line of leaping grasping clutching vine-jumping.

When I turned 39? Mike and I had moved into our last apartment, there in Garden Grove ca.  I stopped dating.  I had realized that the only common denominator in all of my bad decisions was, uh, ME.  So I quit.  I spent almost 2 years single and figuring stuff out.  It was at that time I decided to stop belittling my child abuse and stopped pretending it hadn't happened.  It would take me 10 years to really get it all cleared.

Finding you all helped so much.  I've said it before, but I thought it was just me.  I guess we have all said that, that we thought it was just OUR childhood.  To find out about all of us ULBs... 

I don't really have a point.  I am avoiding looking at or talking about my abusive childhood because I have dug down to the point that I realize some really REALLY shitty things happened to me in Florida.  And some of it makes me sound like a conspiracy theory LOON.  And I just don't want to walk through that right now.

Remember that movie 'Erin Brockovich' and there was this one scene where Erin was trying to get a water sample from a drainage ditch but she absolutely didn't want the water on her - she pulled a dead frog out by the toe and UGH that's how I feel.  If I could research this crap without getting any on me...

But reading about child abuse and thinking about child abuse and writing about child abuse - sometimes I feel like I walked through a giant spider web that was covered in dog crap.  It just gets ALL OVER me, you know?  And I need, recently, to take a (mental, metaphoric) shower and then not get any more on me.

Besides.  I spent all this time (rightfully) blaming all sets of parents in my life for the things that fucked me up.  But recently it has been important for me to acknowledge the ways I screwed up my own self and could have prevented it.

I don't know if it's worth it to contact anybody to apologize in person.  None of the above examples!  Those people can rot in hell - but there are girlfriends from long ago that I feel I owe an apology to, or a thank you to.  But it is SO long ago.  And I don't want to renew a friendship with those people - they were broken too, you know?  I want to acknowledge my own part in my past, and maybe that is enough.

No sense stirring anybody else's life-mud to the top. 


  1. I feel so lost sometimes. I look around at the good I have in my life, and I mostly worry it's all going to slip away. So sometimes I shove it away to beat it to hurting me. It's exhausting and all I really want to do is just BE. Nothing more.

    1. PV. Sometimes, well a lot of times, I feel the way you just described. Terrified that all the good stuff I've worked so hard to bring into my life will just disappear. And it is exhausting.

  2. Gladys, I was just thinking how much you've changed in the past year. The lady who was drinking and driving and avoiding the cop check point....has grown up ;). (I hope you don't see that as condescending. I don't mean it to be.) I'm sure that we all have tons of stuff to still work on, but seriously, you've changed and grown a lot.
    I still have days that I hate looking at this stuff. That I'd like to just give up the blog and quit EXAMINING it all so much . Because after the initial rush of validation, this narc stuff really, fucking bummed me out. Hard.
    But I think it's all good, if we just keep going. Keep walking away from that shit. Learning from it, repenting for that which we did have responsibility for, and trying to be different. Trying to be better.
    I think you've made a lot of progress. And if it sucks sometimes, and you need a break, so be it. Work it at your own pace.

    1. Thanks Jessie. I feel like I've come a hundred miles since then!

  3. My step daughter used to do the same thing, she'd be driving across a bridge and start being afraid that she would drive off it. She has OCD pretty badly. I'm wondering if these dark things rising to the top are a kind of control thing? We are afraid of something, some scary unknown out there, so we substitute it with something else that floats up which we can control??

    Q's Sis

  4. I took anti-depressants for a very short time until a voice in my head started telling me to speed up and drive into telephone poles.

    Somewhere waaaay back someone sexually abused me. I remember it but can't see his face. I'm talking grown man with preschool little girl. It's taken a long time and a lot of therapy but I honestly don't care who it was anymore.

    Also did the married man thing and turned into an alcoholic.

    As for being broken, I think we've glued the pieces back together but the cracks will always be there. We've all done shitty stuff just to survive but we're in a different place now.

    Point is, time to get off the hamster wheel in your head and live life on your own terms.

  5. Gladys, We *all* have a Dark Side. I sometimes think the frantic PC-ness and the Cult of Nice are almost a societal/institutional attempt to flee the reality we are ALL capable of the most horrific, inhumane stuff as well as our very real violations of our own morals/values/ethics; that we too have the potential to be the abusers, the transgressors, as well as the abused, the transgressed. Recently, I saw someone make a comment that she is no longer angry with the perpetrators of her childhood sexual abuse because if she remained angry, that would mean they still retained power over her.
    WTF??? I don't follow that reasoning AT ALL. How in the hell would your NORMAL response to profound violations of you by abusers not result in Anger? And more importantly, how would your anger "give them power over" you? Methinks this person is BS-ing herself or has no clue that anger is a FEELING, NOT a BEHAVIOR. And like any other feeling, it's sending us an important message that we have been transgressed in some way or have transgressed our own very personhood (values/morals/ethics.) Anger denied in my experience became anger deprived-of it's rightful acknowledgement and the now frantic messages it carried for me. Anger exploded in a huge manifestation vis a vie my destroyed living room at the ripe old age of 23.
    "Floating along" on the winds and waves of where ever life took me, I made decisions that were not only informed by my earliest experiences but were continuing to play out in the here-and-now. I felt powerless and rudderless. I engaged in all kinds of self-defeating, self-sabotaging behavior and had my self-lacerating conscience riding my ass like Zorro constantly pointing to this or that and beating me up with, "See TW? You'll NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING! You are profoundly, irrevocably BAD." My choices and behaviors reflected exactly those scripts. I felt powerless because I learned resistance was futile, aka, Learned Helplessness in Action. The Legacy continued.
    I've learned to pay close attention to ALL of my feelings. I've learned when Anger comes knockin' to open the door, invite Anger in and pull up a chair, Anger. I *know* you have an important message for me and you, Anger, will NOT BE DENIED. You *will* get my attention one way or another so Anger is a valued guest, just as any other guest/feeling in the "residence" of self/personhood.

    Certainly, I don't live in a state of anger or marinate in it. But I am no longer afraid of it, no longer afraid of the message it's delivering, no longer subjugated to it. I do not "serve" Anger, it serves me and serves me WELL. I can hold myself accountable for my piss-poor decisions and behaviors that violated myself most fundamentally as well as others. I can also hold the Primary Transgressor(s) accountable as well and allow Anger to surface, to be heard at will without turning into a dangerous, explosive IED. Feelings simply are: What we do-or fail to do-in response to them behaviorally is on us entirely.
    If I ever loose my capacity to feel Anger and more importantly acknowledge *all* of my feelings I will know for sure I have lost my moral compass. I have lost my very humanity. I have continued to deny reality.
    And I will pay dearly for my own hubris-as well I should.

    1. My NF was in a permanent state of anger, so when he got upset he had to up the ante to raging lunatic. I always suppressed my anger, as did the NGC back in the day, because we didn't want to be like the nasty old bugger we called Dad.

      Now I know anger is a feeling that tells us something is not right. This makes me wonder if the narcs deliberately train us to believe that anger, for anyone other than them, is a no-no.

      So, yeah, I get pissed off now and then when people bull shit me. I call them on it and, if they can't accept that, I move on. No need to simmer in it if you deal with it in a healthy and useful way.

    2. >>the narcs deliberately train us to believe that anger, for anyone other than them, is a no-no>>

      My Narcs didn't want me to have any kind of emotion--I couldn't get angry, but I also couldn't be happy. Any sign of pleasure had to be stomped out immediately

  6. Now why don't you sit and ruminate whilst I illuminate the possibilities
    ..Ahem back to regular scheduled programming

    We all have our own personal demons from our past. Mom aka Gladys you know mine better than anyone hell you saw me destroy people purely for my own self-interest. With time and distance comes time to reflect and look back on all the carnage you caused and all the bridges you burned with a smile. But what I’ve come to learn is that like you said YOU messed up your own life. A staff Sergeant I had gave me a great piece of advice in a way i could understand he told me "Never wonder about a bullet downrange" meaning once you've made a decision said something pulled the trigger that round is downrange you can't alter it and you can't alter he harm it causes you or others, just make sure you aim better next time.

    P.V. I constantly feel that way too I have to really try not to pull it all down myself for fear that someone else will.

  7. Michael, NPs pull it down on us at will and willfully. We're expected to be mini "groan-ups" with all the responsibilities and none of the rights. Like the right to just be a kid. Or just be who we are because don't cha know, we're never enough or good enough. Whether we're 6 or 60.
    It's like growing up in The Suck without ever volunteering. We were the draftees and never knew when our tour or enlistment term was up. And no way in hell were they gonna honor any obligation to us or give us a DD214 that was anything but Bad Paper leaving us no option but to Desert.
    Since we were only gonna continue to get screwed anyway at least it would be on our own terms.