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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival => Members' Stories => Topic started by: sea storm on October 14, 2008, 06:17:53 PM

Title: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on October 14, 2008, 06:17:53 PM
I realize that each man that I "fell in love with" was someone that I felt I had to constantly try to please.  Looking back I realize that they were very narcissistic  and would qualify using Dr. Hare's checklist.  I was set up for this pattern because my mother was narcissistic.  She was a wounded soul, I am sure, but my sympathy for her has stood in the way of my healing. For most of my remembered childhood, I wanted to make my mom happy and tried to something that would help her to feel happy with me. This did not work. In my relationships with men ( and often with women) I would fall into a passive role and try to be helpful, wise and kind.  Of course, I could not keep this up and realized that I was carrying the load in these relationships.
It is hard to explain.  Often the person was charismatic, very intelligent, controlling and bossy.  I was a good "right hand man" or power behind the thrown.  This left me feeling frustrated and depressed.
My first marriage was at age 19. My husband and I went to live on a remote island where we worked on a tug, logsalvaging.  He was very charismatic and verbally quite brilliant.  People would say," Oh, he is the most christlike person I have ever met", or " He is the most laudable man I have ever known". These guys weren't living with him as his wife. At home, he was sneering, sarcastic and cruel. He often hit me and would come home drunk. He would leave for weeks at a time while I stayed behind in a little house with no electricity or running water.  The perfect set up for isolation and dominance.  I was dependent on him to run the boat and chop the wood and for bottomline survival. 
We later got a fishboat and that was better because I got to interact with other people( mostly other fishermen but they were kind to me and felt respected for the first time in a long time.)
Basically, I felt like a slave and I was treated like one.  It got worse and worse.  Always, I thought that if I tried harder it would get better.  Unfortuneately, my husband started to drink heavily and got into using cocaine.  This developed into dealing cocaine.  I had no idea and no frame of reference to compare my life to.  At that time and in that culture, cocaine was a groovy recreational drug and people who did not use it were considered the deviant ones.  My husband was involved with lots of women on the island and this was a nightmare.
This legend of him being such a great man continued. He is a very good sea captain, good problem solver, does not react to stress by overreacting.   This is true.  I admired that side of him too. However, he had no empathy for my little girl or me.  I was stuck with him for life due to his being my daughter's father and the fortune he made doing illegal things. Because he bought houses for relatives and did other magnamous things he continued to be put on a pedastal. This really sounds irrational but it is very true.
He paid for our daughter's wedding and it was huge.  I have little money.  I was like Banquo's ghost at the wedding and was not included in anything. 
I have very bitter memories of my time with him. For instance, he knocked me out cold when I went to breastfeed the baby while we were on the fishboat.  The contrast between who he was in public and who he was as a husband was very confusing and aweful for me.  I shrank away to almost nothing.
The hoops for pleasing him were beyond my reach. I worked on the boat, was a gourmet cook, He never washed a dish, we had a pretty great sex life,I was a good mom. I do remember the neverending denigration and contempt.  I realize now that he had no empathy and he had the cool, unflappable , steely calm of a psychopath.  He could charm people  with this act of brilliance and humility that was saved for the unintiated.  Along the way, friends who worked with him or got involved in the abuse of drugs fell by the wayside. Some went to prison and some commited suicide.  This did not faze him.

When I left him I was lucky to get away. I just had enough of a sense of self to know that something was terrible wrong. That night he had been out with someones wife. He came home and told me something really obscene and I left.  He probably did not remember the next day.  He had a couple of women lined up and soon went off with one of his best friends wife.

This last relationship lasted seven years.  I had that same exhillerated feeling of having met my soul mate and transcending to a place of love and ecstacy. ( This must be a warning sign). Looking back, he was meeting my needs and intuiting just what I wanted.   I knew his past. He had two ex-wives and an ex mistress that was involved with him for many years.  However, I thought this was just because he had not found the right one ( Another warning sign).  He was a very adept liar.  His mother warned me that everything that came out of his mouth was a lie.  I thought she was beastly. ( another sign).  Turns out she was right. So was his ex wife. But there was no way I was going to believe them.  My hormones and every part of me wanted him. Even desperately wanted him.
maybe it will help to write this.  I will write more later
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on October 16, 2008, 06:44:41 PM
I felt inadequate when I was telling my story.  Maybe I need to hear my own voice and not worry about what other people think.  So I will continue.

I knew this man for many years.  We had worked together in the past and I thought he was kind and attentive.  I moved to a remote part of the island to get a really good job.  There had been major cutbacks in the field I was working in and I needed to go where the work was.  I thought that the job would be easier in a small place but it wasnt because there is such a huge need in the Aboriginal Community.  My caseload was bigger than ever and they were very hostile at first.  As I gained their trust more people came for service.  Almost every day there were disclosures of horrendous abuse.  i was vulnerable and once again isolated.  This is when my N showed up. He dropped by my place of work. I was so glad to see him because I liked him and because I was so depleted of self esteem and there was zero support for me in my work.  At that time I was building a dream bed and breakfast too. I was living in the middle of a forest clearing in a little trailer.   I felt good about myself for working hard and making my dream happen. The builders were good guys and I was involved in creating the place.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on October 16, 2008, 07:12:12 PM
He visited me and stayed overnight. He lied about being separated from his wife.  In reality they were going to couples counselling.  We got drunk the first night but I thought nothing of it.  When I found out he was not separated I told him I did not want to see him anymore.  I did not see him for a few months.  He contacted me and said they were separated. This was a lie.  I had no way of knowing because he lived five hours away by car.
He was such a dear sweet guy. He had darling pet names for me  and would say " I love you darling" often. He was attentive and such a gentle, receptive, funny guy and still mach enough to be a perfect guy.  he could listen and he could talk about his life.  He was such a poor waif in the love department. His mom sent him to a brutal private school, his wives were each aweful but in different ways.  He could never explain what they did specifically. He was losing his hearing and his heart would skip beats.  He was accident prone in a big way.  I would laugh uproariously when he would pretend he was a wouned puppy.  This was so close to what was becoming a very powerful bonding process in our relationship. I was the Nurse from the Crimea who would loyally and devotedly mend his wounds.  At first he responded by doing whatever I asked.  He seemed kind of malleable.  I did not take advantage of this. Now I see that he was just making sure the hook was sunk.

Gradually, I realized that his flu symptoms were really withdrawl symptoms.  He was drinking very heavily, still seeing his wife and exwife and who know who else.   He saw me on weekends and would arrive  drunk but functioning. He did not wobble but he was severely impaired.  I saw him hide his bottle in his car from the upstairs window. So there was all that alcoholic behaviour happening. He explained his cordial and affectionate relationships with his old girlfriends and wives as gentlemanly behaviour. Graduallly I would catch things like an email from his ex calling him sweet names and saying what peak experiences they had shared. The greatest in her life.  Hmmm That sounded pretty friendly indeed.  I would believe him when he said that she was delusional, or just trying to cause trouble.  He was amazingly convincing. Not just vaguely but truly and even a bit outraged at having his integrity challenged. I learned to  back off.  I should have hired a private detective.   he had told me that his ex's were all nuts or whatever and I did not contact them. One wife said that he was a pathological liar.  She tried to convince me.  At the same time she was envious of our relationship and so I thought it was sour grapes. Big mistake.  So I was in a fog of denial and so hooked that I could not bear to see the truth.

He was struggling so hard and seemed so beautifully noble and stoic about his difficulties.  He could not get a job after his partner asked him to leave their business. For years after this he was looking for an executive consulting position where he could work from home.  He would apply for a couple of jobs a year and do zero follow up or research.  I began to support him.  He kept saying we would be together forever.  WHen his mom died he would pay me back. I bought him into a business and remortgaged my house.  This business did not thrive.  He could have done other things but appeared pained when it was not up to his lofty standards.  Somehow his idea about himself and his abilities did not match up with his performance. ( Understatement).  Later I found out that when he did make money he squirrelled it away for himself. I was paying the mortgage on the house and all the rest of it. Food, car insurance, business expenses, utilities everything.

Slowly , sort of like a frog getting boiled over a long period of time, I lost the ability to stand up for myself.  The denigration was suble and relentless.  He definitely employed his children in this.  I ended up paying for a trip for him and his son. Only later did I realize I paid for a very big vacation for BOTH of them. I thought his son paid his own way.  My partner convinced me that I was too irresponsible to handle the bills and the bank account.  BIG MISTAKE.  Probably at least two years and maybe four years before he left he was draining the bank account and syphoning money into his own account or RSPs.  I caught him taking ten thousand for his airplane from the building account.  He was so indignant that I backed off. HE said " YOu dont realize how much that plane means to me and I am in our relationship until the day I die".  I was a cooked frog for sure. It got much worse.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on October 21, 2008, 06:02:11 PM
I try to make order of the huge chaos that came out of that relationship. I try to find out what my part was and what part his was.  I try to understand why someone lies and lies and lies.  Is it just the dying of a relationship?  This goes beyond that.  The lengths he went to destroy every part of my life and to denigrate,humiliate and play with me were bizarre.

For instance, years ago I told him I was assaulted by an old boyfriend. I was held for hours and forced to do humiliating things.  This was very traumatic for me.  We had not talked about it for years.  Then about 6 months after he left I heard from an aquaintance that he had called her and told her that I was delusional and that I made up that story. He knew this because he has super clearance and can access police records.  He said that there was no record of a charge being laid that day.  He did not know what day it was or what year it was.  He did not have that clearance. What an elaborate way to slander me with someone I work with????.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on October 22, 2008, 05:05:05 PM
It felt horrible to have that battering experience used against me.  And to be accused of lying about it.  Then I started to realize how incredibly devious and calculating to file that away to use in order to besmirch my reputation with a person I work with.  Obviousely he had developed some kind of relationship with her and he was telling her all this stuff about me.  I wondered what else he told other people that I never heard about.
Who is this monster? 
He would tell me that the only reason he did not help with housework was because the house was such a mess.  If it was not a mess he would do housework.  I was working full time and he was at home unemployed.  When I came home and asked if he was going to make dinner he would wait for hours before starting to cook it.  Or he would say,I was going to make dinner but I could not find anything in the house to make ( the freezer was full and there was lots to cook). The excuses were like an eight year old would make. Or he would say," I resent having to jump up and tidy the house just because you are coming home from work. How dare you expect me to jump to your tune".  Somehow I was the bad person who was returning from a gruelling job and expecting him to do something.  Anything.  Dishes once every three days. Anything.
He would also go Sniff Sniff. Something really stinks. Its the Kitty Litter. Cant you at least change the cat litter ( It was his cat and I changed the litter 99 times out of a 100.

Obviously this stuff was not fair. However, when I would try to work things out, using every method I had learned in conflict resolution it was like hitting a brick wall.  He would talk but it was around, over, under and doing doughnuts around the issue.  He might say. My ex wife keeps such a serene and tidy house.  Sort of threatening me that there were women who would love to have him around.  As I got frustrated he would look at me with contempt and say " Youre having an episode ". Youre psychotic.  This really wore me down.  I got to feel really deranged. My intuitions and observations were called idiotic and wrong.  He looked at me once after not doing a speck of housework for weeks, " Do you honestly think that I would put our relationship in jeopardy by not helping with HOUSEWORK".   How could he sAy that ????????? This is just an example.  Often I cant really explain the manoevers or believe them.

I was so shocked by his bad behaviour because he had been so doting and loving before.  I guess I just could not grasp it.  I could not understand why he would not try to make it work.  The game of doing as little as possible was like living with a bratty twelve year old.  But I was caught and hooked and sucked in like a magnet or something.  I was desperate to make it work.  I did not want to see. I wanted to reinforce the positive.  Except this game was a very different game and those rules did not apply.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: seastorm on March 28, 2010, 03:29:33 PM
I'm back. Its been a long time. I look back on the story and it helps make order out of chaos. How easy it was for me to jump higher and higher hoops because of the threats. Mostly the threat of other women or of him leaving.

Logically, most women would give him the boot. But I loved the smell of him, the sound of his voice, his bigness tall and sheltering. He was still funny and would be a lovely conversationalist and would be supportive about some things. He was very supportive in keeping in my horrible job. He was really freaked out if it looked like I could not cut it anymore. I wanted to leave my job desperately because there was so much childhood sexual abuse and no follow up to help those children. When that would happen, he would say very grimly that we will lose the house and basically everything.  Meanwhile he had a property worth sixty thousand, and rsps worth 200,000. Nothing would get him to work.  He did the odd things but nothing that required him to work everyday.  He had a delusion about his family that they were famous on the Westcoast and kind of a royalty. They had been rich but lost most of it. His mother had money but she did not share it. He had been raised by nannies and sent to private school so he had very charming and polished manners. Of course so does Satan. Good manners really fool a lot of people, including me. Now I think these overly posh and controlling manners are phoney and misleading.
I began to fall apart. I wanted to keep the marriage together as I loved him. He had quit drinking, been to rehab and I thought that was the greatest gift god could give. However, his behaviour was worse in some ways after he stopped drinking. He was harder and more like a twelve year old. It seemed I became like his mother. I did all the garden work, all the housework, tried to orchestrate lovely dinners with our children, worked at a tough job.  I started to feel exhausted. I have  a good constitution but I couldn't do all that.  I resented coming home and never having dinner made or housework done while he swanned around maintaining his delusion of being a big shot.
I developed some kind of debiliatating muscle pain in my legs. I had to crawl down the stairs to do the laundry and I asked him to put up a rail to help me down the stairs. He was annoyed and replied as if I was making up my physical pain," from now on I will do my own laundry". The pain in my legs grew worse and spread to my whole body. I though I must have FibroMyalgia or somesuch.

I continued to go to work. My job was not the kind where you can withdraw or have sort of down days and make up reasons for it like doing paperwork. I went to four schools and had meetings where I had a pivotal role as coordinator. Finally, I just hit the wall emotionally and mentally.  I told E. that he had to help, and if he didnt to get out.  Meanwhile he was having at least one affair. I think my body knew this. It was horribly painful to sleep next to him. He complained about me moving in bed when I had not. I checked one time and purposely stayed absolutely still. He said, " You're wiggling. Im gong to sleep downstairs" There was a room down stairs that was humourously called" The Pouting Room". I thought this was darling when he called it that when we moved in. I though he was joking and that it is good to have space from each other, but it really was a room that was filled with his past.
We went for couples counseling but he did not follow through with the exercises to communicate. Little did I know that he had started up an affair on the Internet with an old girlfriend from highschool named Colleen. This started in January and by February she was telling him that they were wonderfully compatible astrologically and that he had learned a lot from his past relationship, and signing Kiss,Hug, Kiss, Hug.
He took the twenty thousand dollars my mom left me and put it in his account. So by March he had thirty thousand dollars that was clearly mine in his own account. My income tax return and my mom's estate. He was still acting as if he was totally in the relationship but was withdrawn in many ways. He escalated the denigration. It was neverending but subtle. Sometimes not so subtle. He invited his daughter to stay with us and it became a gruesome triangle where they were the loving couple and I was an annoying sidekick. She was very denigrating to me to. Her tone of voice was so condescending and arrogant. I was ready to go completely insane.
When she left for awhile Edward started to call me psychotic and delusional. He imagined that I was stealing his antiques. He had some Native art that was valuable. I would not do this in a million years. It did not occur to me. I became a monster in his eyes: delusional, suicidal, homocidal, psychotic.  He phoned my sister once and told her I was suicidal and homocidal. She is a psychiatric nurse and very experiences. She just said, " Oh Ok thanks for letting me know". She knew I was neither. She did worry that he was trying to destroy me. She later told me that if he said things like that I could be committed.  She thought he was dangerous.

This may be boring but playing it back can heal me. I have tried so hard to blot it out and push it back but I need to remember the horror of it. Someday he will be back, as charming as can be and want something from me. Maybe my life. In the afterlog I live with having a hundred thousand dollars drained from my saving and stuck in a big house that I cant sell that has a huge mortgage.  I have to be strong. I cant afford to get trapped again.

I hope my story helps someone else.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: seastorm on June 21, 2010, 12:25:15 AM
I dont know why my story is posted here but I dont like it being here. Is there some way to delete it ?

Sea storm
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: seastorm on June 21, 2010, 07:18:45 PM
Thanks for removing my story from the other board. It is best to stay over here where it is a little more private.

Sea storm
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on December 25, 2013, 03:47:25 AM
This is sea storm back after a very long time. This message board was my life line for a very long time.  It has been six years and for the first three years I probably came to visit once a day. It seemed that nowhere else was as safe and the people so empathic.

I spent a lot of time trying to make sense of what happened. It took a few years for me to realize the full extent of his lies and realize how much money he took from me. Probably about 150,000 dollars. It wiped out my retirement savings, cost me my house and job. Many people thought I was a raving madwoman.  I probably was and I have a lot more sympathy for women who completely fall apart physically and mentally. I see them trying to make sense of what happened to them and struggling desperately for a shred of self confidence and hope.  I took me years to feel hope again.  I remember saying that I was at the gates of hope. Willing to believe that there might be hope but feeling so broken that I could not feel it.

Information would come to me indirectly. I found pictures of his new wife's daughter doing something erotic. It really blew my mind and i realized that he was an unethical sleeze. I would realize parts of the puzzle all of a sudden out of the blue. Like OH  he was taking the money out of the account and pretending to spend it on things for us but he was lying. There were so many things like that. The denial did not just drop like a curtain. As I healed I would put together things. Like how he defrauded people and got away with it or alienated them.

I think that revenge was on my mind but I did not do anything. I kept praying to release the anger and resentment I felt. He became ill and eventually died a horrible death from Porphyria.  Ironically, sun and alcohol really trigger this. He was going to Mexico and drinking heavily again. He became very bizarre. It was sad to me that he had to suffer so much. Doctor;s did not diagnose him early enough. Today is the anniversary of his death.  I wondered how I would feel. I sold the house last week too. So this Christmas I just wanted to be quiet and reflective. I burned some candles for him and my mom.  Love is confusing. I just loved their souls and not their bad behaviour.  I picked fir boughs to make the house smell nice.  I listened to a buddhist chant on YouTube.
I felt happy and soooo grateful that I was not screaming inside anymore.  I was in so much pain for years after he left and left me holding a trailer truck load of lies, deception, fraud, bills, ruined reputation, ill health.

At his funeral were several of his lady friends, ex wives and women who were part of his psychological trapline. His new wife said in the obituary that he had many loves but in the end he was her true love.  It was her last weapon.  I wonder if she realized what she had in him. Maybe not. He ploughed much of his money into a loving oceanfront house he shared with her.

I have learned that there are men and women who want to pyschologically kill the people close to them.  I know that E. was a narcissist and my psychiatrist said he was a psychopath.  Leaving was not enough.  He really enjoyed hurting me and it made him gleeful.  That is pretty weird.

Now I have friends who are kind and gentle. I can be alone and happy. I have started my own little store online selling Japanese antiques. I am writing  a book. I have a grand child who is three.  I have peace.

For the broken ones whose hearts are hurting more than is bearable, just keep going.  Keep coming to this very healing place and listen to what the beautiful emotional warriors here have to say.  Let their love in.  It is a soft place to fall. There is hope and have faith that you will eventually be ok even if now it seems impossible.  One really important bit of advice is :  No one else should be able to control you to the extent that you are hurting.  Walk, crawl or run away because you will only get weaker and weaker from abuse. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ABUSED.

Blessings pilgrims. Merry Christmas and lots of love to you

Sea Storm
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on March 06, 2014, 03:05:05 PM
Hmmmmm I just read the things I said and it is like an older wiser sister looking back at her hurt younger sister. I feel  so angry at what I let him do.  I would really kick ass now and say things like Whoa there buddy! Back right off or If you think you can do that to me you are completely out of your mind.  Or I would say " Hey little sister we are getting out of here now. You cannot stay for one more minute. He is emotionally flaying you alive and smiling while he does it. I get it he isn't fooling me. I trust my intuition and he is screwing with your mind and you are getting too weak to withstand it." 

That feels good.

Some people tried to tell me but I would not listen. My sister and my daughter. They could not stand what was happening to me. Very much like one of dracula's victims.  There was high sexuality and masochism/sadism in that too. Well for Pete's sake I am a whole, healthy person now. Wel, maybe not so much.  I am not on fire or running screaming into the night or waking up wishing I was dead.  That is enough. But there is more. I started a business that I have always wanted to do.  Buying and selling Chinese and Japanese Antiques. I love to research things and delve into their historical mysteries, china clouds, Shanghai, Han emperors, poetic Samurai and warrior court ladies. Now, I have a rudder again and a star to guide me.

A friend told me that the brain does not know the difference between emotional pain and physical pain.  That really struck me because society does not realize that at all. Just the odd person. One out of 100 or so. Take aspirin and it can help.  Well, I would have done anything to escape the pain but there was no escape.  It went on for years and still does at times. I am the one who can go sideways if it all gets triggered again. Buying a house is putting me through it again.  The old feelings of being shunned, scorned, ugly, wrong, inadequate come out and throw a net over me and I am trapped back there again. So I read Japanese poems by otagaki Rengetsu about being close to nature and loving good things in the moment. I am tender with myself now. It is not enough but it helps.
Following my interests helps. Finding friends it is ok to cry with helps.  I want to live and thrive and have moments of it. I had therapy with Jin Shin Doh and found that helped a lot and also EMDR rapid eye movement desensitization.  And I loved my daughter back to a relationship with her which was nearly impossible but now it is good.

This may not help you but it helps me to keep this record and show that i am getting better.
Don't play in Hell because it is stronger than me. Alcoholics live in Hell and he was stronger than me. Porphyria was stronger than me. Werewolves are stronger than me. Narcissists are definately werewolves.  They are so good at enticing and scheming to get their victims. In the myth the victims don't live.  They die horrible deaths. This so dramatic and it really is in real life too.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on March 09, 2014, 04:47:25 PM
My tag says  "I feel like a doormat" and it goes on from there for years. Today I am laughing at that. For Pete's sake I can't have been feeling like a doormat for seven years!!!!
I finally sold the house on the beautiful river that was needing a lot of work and into which I seemed to sink all the money I had. This is good. Although it is perched like a ship 30 feet above the big river and is staggeringly beautiful (the view) it is time to go. I found a smaller house on a lot that is very cute and better designed because it has four bedrooms and room for my Janpanese antiques shop. I am enthralled with Japanese history, their sense of aesthetic and the beauty and depth of their art. Right now I love Rnegetsu who was a Budhist nun and samuarai warrior, mother, wife and zen artist. Her bowls are very primitive and you can see her thumb print on them. Then she writes an haiku poem like:  Ater they threw me out of the inn into the snow, You came along little bird, would you like to come to Kyoto with me."  So there she was. A lovely Budhist nun who lived impoverished but she lived a beautiful life making bowls for the tea ceremony and writing Haiku. Most of her poems ring like bells. I have a bowl that has one of her poems on it. Not sure if it is real but the Japanese antiques are mostly real. I feel good to help out the Japanese after all they have been through. I relate to Rengetsu and wish to make my life simpler, gentler, in the moment, full of gratitude.
Who knows why I threw myself into the fire. I thought it was love but love is not that destructive. I have a lot to learn. The only thing to do when it hurts all the time is to walk away. At least I have learned that.
I was holding on too tight. Better to let go. Especially if you see the back of your lover. Let him go. I did not have the resources to do that. Now I do. I love myself enough. Enough to know that the price of love should not be unbearable suffering. I can't love someone out of their addictions.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on March 10, 2014, 05:36:06 PM
I notice that over 6000 people have read my story.  That is pretty amazing. Like a stadium full of people.
Once when I was commercial fishing up north we went to a small Native village. There were coins on the street here and there. I went to pick one up and someone said" Dont do that! It's for Elsie". Next day I decided to go to church there. A penticostal church. A woman stood up and she said,   " I don't care if you think I'm crazy .... My name is Elsie and  I AM GOING TO JERUSALEM"

Everyone started singing and going Pentecostal.  I never forgot it even though it is thirty years ago. The village took care of her by dropping coins anonymously. There were a lot of coins dropped.  She stood up and she was unique and it was ok.  She had faith and hope.

All these people heard me go crazy.  But I came back. It took a long time but people hear dropped coins in the street and heard me say that I wanted to survive and get to Jerusalem. Jerusalem for me is peace.  I don't always have peace but most of the time. What a relief. Not to be squandered.

I have the flu today because  I have been too busy. Busy getting a life, buying a house, building my business, studying Noh drama, cuddling the cat and taking care of my four years of undone texes. 
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on March 28, 2014, 04:27:50 PM
I was doing well while I was in control. While I was living life simple, small, unthreatening. Language is amazing and there seems to be word for everything. Before " mental illness" there were words for feelings and they were legitimate. I am feeling sad and overwhelmed. All this changing is whipping up a storm in me and it is all silently going on in my head. I am moving from beside the river to a little house. Mostly I think that is a very good idea. But my feelings don't like it. It is the death of a dream. I know... Oh booo hooo. Poor you. You should be grateful you have a roof over your head. That is the struggle. I am applying for pension and can't stand to open a letter or deal with paperwork. This sounds pathetic and another oh boo hoo.  I didn't pay taxes while I was in the throes of my romp with the narcissist.
So I marshalled my resources and got an accountant and she quickly saw the sorry story, sold my house after having it on the market for five years ( this is a dying mill town), repaired my relationships with my sister and daughter.  All this change has triggered a big reaction. I am back in the bad place. I am reliving every trauma in my dreams. I can suppress them during the day mostly. I think I see my ex driving around town and looking younger and happier ( he died Dec 2012).  I want revenge again and I know that those resentments only poison me.  I feel poisoned. Thats it. The body does not know the difference between emotional and physical pain. The odd thought of complete hopelessness creeps in. But not like before. I couldn't get even near the gates of hope, let alone have hope.

I am not in control. I find that mindfulness helps, chanting silently, looking at nature, petting the cat, talking to my sister, going for Jin Shin Doh massage and therapy.  I don't have trouble opening up but I do have trouble is I open up. It feels so unsafe. It is the old boogy men back because I took on a lot. Oh yes, my business is lovely but not making a profit.  It is getting slowly better. Occasionally, someone really creepy enters the picture and  because it is online it attracts psychos from all over the world. Once again I am realizing that I should just cut creepy people off immediately and not deal with them but I have gotten burned a few times. I know I need to amp up business and move to the next step but I can't right now as I am wading up to my chest in oatmeal.

Maybe I am mentally ill. I don't think so. I take medication to stay even remotely functioning. Antidepressant. I think I am a recovering survivor of a narcissist.  I am one of the survivors.  I did everything possible to survive. But there is no plateau that stays firm. I need to have compassion for myself through all these changes. These are adult decisions and have required a lot of work. Its been a bit too much. I don't cry all day, I can sleep at night, I call someone or another everyday and I keep going sort of.  I sleep about 12 house a day. I will just have to ride it out.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on April 04, 2014, 08:56:01 PM
I realize that the vulnerability to being used by a narcissist started young. The final piece after marrying two narcissists was the reallzation that my mother was a narcissist who also suffered from PTSD. They used to tease her as a child and call her vague Mary. I looked at her face at a huge company picnic among hundreds of faces and she looked so sad. She would be about 8 and was being sexually abused by someone in the family.  She was a remarkable beauty with blond hair and blue eyes. She left home at fourteen and in those days, as now, no one leaves home that early unless the is an awfully good reason. My mom said that her good looks had caused her a lot of problems and I am sure it did. She picked berries in the summers and worked as a housemaid babysitter in the winter. By the time she was twenty one she had buried two fiancées who were casualties from war.
Mom married my dad who was fourteen years older than her and in their whole married  life of forty years she never told him she loved him. It was not much fun for her.  They took in his aged parents who were religious zealots and dad's very disturbed twelve year old son.  He was a peeping tom, stole women's clothes off clothes lines and cut up mom's clothes with scissors. Then Mom had two babies who died. One was a stillborn baby and the other only lived a few months. I did not learn this until I was in my forties.
Mom was kind of incapable of  listening. She could not follow a tv show but would fold paper bags through the whole show. She never kissed my dad. She never hugged me as a child. Never. I was Never read a bedtime story. She was always busy. My dad worked hard physically so he was beat by the time he came home. I think he looked at us kids like
who are these people???  He just did not connect. He grew up during the depression on a farm and they lost the farm. His dad was a preacher and they moved twelve times in three years.  The father was good at starting churches and that is what he did.
One nice thing I heard was that he always let me eat dinner on his lap until I was five years old. Someone said to him, Oh, you shouldn't let her do that and he said,
 No, its ok. She will grow up soon enough. My brother was a raging maniac so it was safer to be with dad during dinner. I can't remember hardly anything from my childhood. Zero. Even though I have had lots of therapy it is buried. Mostly the house was dead and I was alone. I was glad to go to school and did very well there. My teacher thought I was the perfect child in grade four.

I knew my mom was unhappy and I tried to make her happy. This was not really possible and she  rarely responded very much.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on April 07, 2014, 05:06:15 AM
I don't remember much of my childhood. I remember that my mom thought my brother who was eight years older than me and four years older than my sister. He was really brutal to me and my sister. He physically hit us and punched us for what seemed like no reason. I remember running around the corner at about age 4 and he jumped at me and punched me in the stomach as hard as he could. He had a lot of contempt for me and called me the donkey, Little Lotta and baby Huey. I was big for my age and this was devastating to my self esteem. I don't know what happened but when my sister was six, she was pushed off the back porch which was about 10 fee high and she fell onto the concrete and cracked her scull. This was never ever talked about. My brother and his friend were with her when this happened. I knew that it was never safe to be alone with him for even five minutes. My mom would say,
What did you do to make him angry?   So there was no help there. She formed this alliance with him and she would say to him that we were bitches. We weren't bitches.  But it was so weird when she would do that and throw us to the woves like that. He would hurt us and then we would be bitches.
My brother had a deadly anger and would snap. For some reason I would not back down from him. I did not care if he killed me. I would go at him like a banshee. It was so unfair and wicked and I just would not back down at peril of my life. He left me alone mostly because i would go at him like a buzz saw. He was  big guy and did weight lifting etc. Once he was mad at me and he put his fist through the plaster. Luckily I moved my head. This seemed like a normal day. No one did anything about it. No one even noticed. The wall was patched up. This is plaster....  it takes a lot to put a hole in plaster. i would have been 9 and he was 17.
My brothers contempt was the worst though. He really hated me. He just hated period.
My mom would say that I was her star on one hand and then repeat that I was an unwanted child. She would tell this story to anyone who came by and if we were together with them. She would relate that I was unwanted and it was nearly the end of her to have another child. I would just go numb. It was so crushing. If I invited a friend from hight school she would tell that story about me being unwanted. In some ways I think she envied my because I was very good in school and at athletics and dancing. I could just do stuff. For my mom I think this was hard because she had to leave school at age 14. All this talk about being unwanted really hurt me. But there was no shutting her up once she started.
She just could not say anything nice about me. She tried by paying for dance lessons and that sort of thing. But it was impossible to sit with her and have a talk. It was unthinkable. No hugs, no nurturing, no connection. It is a wonder I didn't go completely crazy. My father was a lot older than my mom and he just stayed in his room and played with his coin collection. He did not intervene, he dd not talk. Nothing. He did not hit though. If he did intervene which he rarely did, it was just a few short words that we jumped to attention to and obeyed. I think it was pretty lonely for him as my mom never showed him affection.  There was no overt guidance and I was grateful for the television. Something must have happened and they were both numb and gone. I don't think my dad even liked me. My sister was more of a mother to me in a lot of ways but her way of coping was to go and stay at her friends house every weekend.
I had no social skills and it was very hard to make friends but I managed to. I would study how to do it and try to act in such a way as to make a friend. God this sounds creepy.  I don't think this was obvious as I was a perfect child at school. On the highway patrole, captain of the volleyball team, first in my class. No one gave a fig if I was good at school and it was hard on my brother as he was always in trouble at school and didn't get good grades. So my report card was to be kept quiet so it didn't bother him.

I am just writing this and it does not make sense to me. Maybe it will.
Each good friend I made moved away.  Kirsti moved back to Norway, Ingrid moved to Portland, Ellie moved to another city, Karen got pregnant in grade eight and disappeared, Wendy got pregnant in grade eight and disappeared. We had lockers beside each other for two years and then one day her locker was empty and she was gone. She had gotten pregnant by a 26 year old minister and they went to live in Berkeley California. I was really shocked.  I phoned her mother and she told me. She was please that Wendy had married so well. Pretty creepy. She was only fifteen. At fifteen I felt very alone. My sister moved out of the house and did not look back.  I remember thinking that if someone would love me I would do anything for them.  I would be so grateful.
Although I continued to be first at school and did not have to study i was unbearably lonely. My mom made a suite in our house so that I did not have to live with her and dad. I don't exactly know why. Or maybe i do. My mom was sick of kids.
I tried hard to make my mom happy. Nothing pleased her.
I had a friend but she was a very conditional friend. Her parents were Nazis. Everything looked so proper and lovely on the surface but it was all rather strange.  Her dad played German marching songs and her mom said that the happiest days of her life were in the Hilter youth camp. They were very strict with Ingrid and made her study and practice the piano a lot. Their disapproval of me dripped off them. I was pretty artsy and that irritated them I am sure. I was glad to have a friend at school. I went to a school where there were mostly rich kids and mostly Jewish kids and I was neither. I felt like a complete outsider and I was. There are a thousand subtle things that separate the classes. I don't care  if people are Jewish and I wish it went both ways. It seems ridiculous to me.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on April 10, 2014, 04:15:15 PM
It seems so dangerous to bring up painful things from the past and I didn't want to. Sometimes this is a good thing.

After i wrote that out and risked sayings those things and didn't care if I was judged or not, I slept.  I had the most amazing dream about being with Edward in another better life and he just rowed away and in my dream I heard voices saying just let it go. More like a choir of angels. It was a very balancing dream and a real gift for me. My heart kind of rolled over like after a too long sleep and I woke up full of energy. I have been living in a featherbed of sorrow for too long.

One part of the dream involved a seagull stealing someones keyes. I dived in the water knowing exactly where they were but I couldn't find them. Like knowing edward so well but he is dead and gone. There were other very old treasures there but I left them, just happy they were there. I believe , now more than ever, that people give each other energy and it can be transferred through time and space. This surge of joy just came out of the blue and i have felt if for several days now.
I can open my heart now. To sound, and taste and singing and beauty. Really be alive with all senses. I am reading about the poets of Kyoto and their poems.  They lived very simply. I don't know why people didn't help them more. So impoverished but shining in spirit. Their is no house that is too humble if a virtuous person lives there. Such a good thought and nurturing.

I was so full of energy and mowed the lawn, visited my garden and tended it vigourously. My sister phoned and told me she had a healing dream too.  Hmmmmmmm pretty synchronous. She dreamt that she dived for something and she got it.  She felt healed by the dream too.  She thought it showed her that she is strong and competent and doesn't have to feel ashamed anymore.
What are the odds of that. Two sisters dreaming similar dreams?????? Pretty wonderful.
So releasing the past and telling my story is working.  It is not like texting a friend and saying "Having a great day" that is for sure.

There is some very deep sharing that goes on here.  Like telling a confessor the real rendition of life, the one that heals. Like talking to a kind taxi driver who is a deep listerner on a rainy night on a long cab ride.Like reading Edgar Allen Poe's  poem "Nevermore" and seeing Gustaf Dore's illustrations.  I saw the loss in those pictures and understood what he meant by nevermore. The person is still in the room and you can feel what it is like to have them pressed against your body but they are gone and your mind cant accept it. The creature that keeps saying Nevermore is like the harbinger of doom but it is true and you have to hear it over and over.

After i wrote about my mom I began to have insight inte her life. I could see her in the attic where she slept with her three sisters. I realized that they each had two hooks for their clothes.  One for a coat and one for a dress.  That was all. The attic was not insulated and it was small. you climbed up through a small closet in their parents bedroom I know because visited the house. The unmarried eldest brother  stayed in the house his whole life and didn't change it. His siblings treated him like a prince. He was a mean spirited 
man whose greatest strength was contempt. At least that is the way he presented himself.  The tradition of the oldest son being the golden child was really acted out in that family. My brother was the eldest son and he was much the same. Spoiled and nasty.
This brother treated my mother with such contempt but she said " Oh he doesn't mean it" . She said this her whole life. I wish she didn't let him do that to her but she seemed to be under a bizarre spell and would not hear the cruelty of his words. He woulld call her a dummy.....  So wicked to say that to her. She was not a dummy at all but she believed him.

I have to think about the impact of her being checked out and acting like a robot.  It didn't provide safety for me or love. But I feel sorry for her. She just got stopped before the starting gate.  i didn't and I thank her for that. She imparted resiliency to me and lots of people don't have that. I have enough.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on April 10, 2014, 04:25:21 PM
An Epigraph in Praise of My Humble Home
A mountain needn't be high;
It is famous so long as there is a deity on it.
A lake needn't be deep;
It has supernatural power so long as there is a dragon in it.
My home is humble,
But it enjoys the fame of virtue so long as I am living in it.
The moss creeping onto the doorsteps turns them green.
The color of the grass reflected through the bamboo curtains turns the room blue.
Erudite scholars come in good spirits to talk with me,
And among my guests there is no unlearned common man.
In this humble room, I can enjoy playing my plainly decorated qin, or read the Buddhist Scriptures quietly,
Without the disturbance of the noisy that jar on the ears, or the solemn burden of reading official documents.
My humble home is like the thatched hut of Zhuge Liang of Nanyang, or the Pavilion Ziyun of Xishu.
Confucius once said: "How could we call a room humble as long as there is a virtuous man in it?"

Written about three hundred years ago and translated from a  Chinese Scroll
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on May 17, 2014, 07:50:13 PM
I was very lost in love. It was like jumping off a bridge and taking flight. Of course it didn't work. You can't do that with an alcoholic and a narcissist.  Lately, I think about him and cry about it quite a lot. Cleaning out the garage and seeing the shrimp net he put together himself, seeing the huge yellow cedar mast with the trolling poles and all the rigging just makes me so sad. The way of life is gone and the man is gone too.
I have to get rid of that stuff and it costs a lot to get rid of it. It seems strange and alien to toss it away. There are big bronze fittings that are works of art holding it together and I remember rough sees where my life depended on these fitting holding. The trolling poles went out when it was scarey rough out in order to stabilize the boat in the huge waves. They were aluminum and cost thousands. I tried to give them away but no one came though. The naitives have taken over the fishery and they aren[t allowed to use them..
I would just like to tell someone.
So a guy who collects scrap metal came and he didn't seem to want them either but in the end he took them after taking a chainsaw to the mast. I am glad i wasn't there when he did that. I mast 12 inches in diameter at the bottom and rising forty feet of clear cedar. Probably fifty years old. When I looked at the top of the mast and saw the mast light I could hardly believe my eyes. On the very top was an old mustard jar and it was screwed in and used as the top mast light. Every other light was top of the line bronze. I asked the guy to leave me the last ten feet of the mast as I couldn't part with it. Such endearing ingenuity. There would be a story there. I just don't know it. The guy who was taking the stuff had been a shrimp and cod fisherman and he said he understood why I was keeping it. I noticed he left me a ten foot piece of the mast  too. There is an anchor from herring fishing.

This guy said that he must have been crazy to take the risks he did when he was fishing. That is very true. I remember that too. There is a way of life that is going, just like the way of life of the buffalo. It won't come again and it is not replaced by something better. Inside the garage are halibut jigs that are huge and were used on off days. Halibut can be huge and it is good to keep a gun on board as they are mighty fish and sometimes it is ... I just heard the chainsaw and went out and he had sawn the mast all up and its gone. He did a thorough job. I am bawiling my eyes out.  Oh well.
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on May 17, 2014, 08:08:57 PM
Pretty soon I am going to go to my new old house that is smaller and not on the river. I need to go. I need to have something good and new. Just a change from being the keeper of the past.
It is just that I cry a lot.

When I was on my own after the fishboat I got my own fishboat and did it. That was like this. Such a huge undertaking. I used to dream that the boat was not being pumped out and was sinking and I would wake up in a sweat feeling like vomiting. It was a 42 foot boat. In the dream I could not figure out all the mechanical things involved which was true most of the time. I  had to learn it the hard way. I am a very unlikely boat owner.

I quit my job. It was killing me.  It paid a lot but it was like I was in a Noh Play and wearing a chain around my waist and dragging all these sad and beaten children around. There was no hope for us except a miracle. Of course they don't happen a lot. I am very flexible and can act well so I could play the roll of a professional and say articulate and well informed things but the whole culture of the job was toxic and stupid. The school system. I can't get those years back but at least I left. In the end I could not change anything and it was devouring me.

God I am sad today.

It wasn't until now that I have had the courage to move from here. There were angels who helped along the way. I remember when I headed north for Prince Rupert and ultimately Alaska that a fisherman on the dock said
 " It is gong to take an angel to get you to Prince Rupert"  He was right. It was foolhardy. But I made it and did the job.  It was a frigging nighmare but also like a religious experience in dealing with fear and overcoming obstacles.

After a while I won't miss the things that are gone. The people that are gone, That part of me that is gone too. And a good thing too.

I know it has helped to write this.  Change stirs up the bottom like the prop on a big boat when it is leaving the dock at low tide. I always  liked that. Leaving the dock. The pure potential of leaving, the fresher air and the cutting ties.

Memories come to the surface with all this action. I need to watch them and not get hooked.

Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: Hopalong on May 18, 2014, 08:14:18 AM
You are getting born into peace, Sea.
Peace can be very frightening after having to fight for survival.

The culture you loved has changed -- as it will continue to.
But the nature you love will continue to be its nature, absorbing
what it has to. It will always be.

You have had an amazing life. I think happiness is actually
still ahead for you. Simplicity is going to hurt less than you think.

You are such a good writer -- I wish you'd write a memoir.
I'd gladly buy it.

Thank you for telling your stories here, Sea.
I feel enriched and moved when I read you, and more than
when I read the paid writers I hunt down every day.

love (and count me a stop on that road trip!)
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on May 18, 2014, 12:35:01 PM
Thanks for that Hops. I value your thoughts and intuition a lot.

Life really is like Beethoven's Fifth sometimes. Or like an opera. I know it is all poetry deep in my heart. Just like you do. I like your stories too and love the insight in them and the flow. Light and shadow. Painting is the same.

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Sea storm
Title: Re: I feel like such a doormat.
Post by: sea storm on October 16, 2016, 06:53:27 PM
Years later I read what I wrote and cringe at the title
"I feel like such a doormat"

I did feel like a doormat and a victim forever. Somewhere along the line I had to learn and admit that I played a part in my victimization. Where were the points of power that I failed to grab onto, and where was the situation and system so much bigger than I could possibly grapple with?
I could have left my abusive husband much sooner, I could have followed my dream, I could have moved to Italy, I could have been a writer or an artist. Definately my choice there. At times I was a screaming banshee and a shameless hussy and lots of other things that I thought were my entitlement because I was wounded. I just didn't know better.
Self pity is a bottomless pit that sucked me down way too far and too long. Real grief was mixed inextricably with it.
I will grieve for the child in me who was not loved. Now I realize my parents, husbands, did not have the ability to love. Somehow I have compassion for them and have taken back my power.
I have so much more peace and simplicity now. I just made a beautiful mushroom soup and picked fresh bay leaves from the garden. It was deliscious, fragrant, hot, satifying. Deeply.
I cried remembering it is the anniversary of my own personal atom bomb going off in 2007. It felt searing to cry like that but no no longer frightening. I have the strength and insight to know it will pass.

Life isn't about being happy all the time. Knowing that helps. I am writing now about the past. That was WAY too dangerous before and now it is hard to approach, exhilarating to do.

Speaking out to all these strangers, more than thirteen thousand, quiets my soul. At the same time the detachment from you all is sad. I am often lonely. Now I can concentrate enough to get out and get going. I can breathe and stay alone and dance around in my art and writing. It is enough. The storm is over.