too close for comfort

Have you ever been through an experience and then afterwards you watch someone close to you repeat it?

To explain… My ex husband’s sister in law called me to let me know her husband (ex’s brother) left her and their kids after 18 years. I knew years ago that they were going through some hard times but thought things had worked out. I should have known better that when you are dealing with narcissists and addicts, it doesn’t really get and stay better. I guess it was just a matter of time or depending how much she can put up with. It’s been so hard to sit back and watch. I literally have a front row to a slow motion train wreck.. wait let me clarify. It’s almost like a roller coaster ride before the train actually wrecks.  She first calls me and says they are for sure getting divorced. He left and said he needs to finally be freed from this life so he can be who he is meant to be and that she is holding him back. To give you a little of back story, she married this man and have done EVERYTHING for him and their family. She has basically lost who she was so that she could be a good wife and mom. They have 4 kids. She is beautiful. She works out every day and then cuts hair out of her house to bring in more money so that they can survive. He has been caught cheating in the past. He has been caught out at the clubs while she thought he was working late at night. He has a severe spending habit. So I watch her work her ass off so that they can get by. She is human and I am sure she doesn’t handle his hurtful choices great all the time, but what woman would? So he manipulates her by saying that she is so angry and resentful and he can’t live with her like that anymore. She recently found out last year he went and got fixed without telling her. Umm let’s talk about a huge red flag. She has found condoms and whiskey in his golf clubs.  Yet he continues to say he is innocent of cheating on her, and he can’t be with someone like her and that she is too controlling. I thought she was going to be strong and see through his manipulation tactics, but instead I’ve witnessed her caving. Calling him bawling saying she will change and do what she can to be the woman she needs. I find myself coaching her trying to wake her up so she doesn’t fall into this trap. I’m almost in shock that ANY woman can be this blind. But that was me for years. The abuser distracts you from the real issue by confusing you. Well yes, excuse her for being human and dealing with the lying constantly.. sorry she isn’t more loving! He is giving her the silent treatment, and she leaves him messages begging him to come home. He even told her that unless she proved herself to him, he wouldn’t even think about it. I’ve been sending her information on what I have read about narcissists and what they do to manipulate you, and I see the light go on and then somehow, she is immediately back to missing him.

Through this, I’ve noticed myself starting to miss my ex. WHAT? How can this happen when I am reminded of what I went through? I don’t understand.

So many women and men fall into this traps and I wish I could do something. This is completely out of my control. How can I help her through this and not let it affect me? You know I even got a message from my ex telling me that it is best if I stay out of their drama and not talk to her. How controlling is that? I thank God every day I can see more clear than I did a few months and years ago.I just wish I could do something. This is hurting me and I wish I could be next to her to walk her to the happier path, but at the same time I am struggling with being single. So I want to tell her to try to make it work because being single SUCKS but at the same time, that lifestyle of never knowing if your husband is going to come home that night is not happiness or what I hoped for either.

I wish she could see how beautiful she is and how I view her. She could get any man and he would love her and those kids. She doesn’t deserve this abuse any longer.

XoXo

hello, my name is doris

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Have any of you seen this movie? Last night after my kids went with their dad, I rented it on Amazon and sat down with my cheese and crackers and thought I would just get some useless entertainment. By the end, I had an extra shot of anxiety pulsing through all my veins.

Let me explain. Doris is an older adorable lady played by Sally Field. She has spent most of her life taking care of her mother, never getting out and really living a life of her own, just to find herself with a crush on a younger man in her office. She starts getting out of her comfort zone by becoming friends with him and his friends. She takes every little nice comment he says to her as a come on, while they look at her almost like an art piece.

When I was going through my divorce, I started seeing a man. As I look back, it was a very toxic relationship because I was deep into my addiction and he was the source that fed it. However, during the course of our almost 2 year relationship, I thought I truly loved him. I felt a sense of intimacy that I had been truly lacking for years in my marriage. We both were addicts and it gave us a bond that was awful and ugly, but very real. We always talked about staying together and getting healthy. I think we both wanted that ultimately, but I was stupid and naive. Now that I have got myself out of this black hole that I was in, that wasn’t really living at all. He gave me what I wanted at the time. He took away my pain or covered it up and kept me distracted as I went through the most difficult time in my life. There was no way in hell I could have ever gone through with the divorce if I wasn’t completely numb. I know that is super unhealthy to say, but I believe it to be true. I tried for 12 years. I really wish I could have, I wouldn’t have had to go through hell on earth detour and maybe, I would be in a much different place today if I would have done things differently. But I am here today, sober, away from the every day abuse, standing on my own two feet, alive, healthy, and thriving, with a lot of life’s lessons stored throughout my body. So onto where I was going with this.. After I got away from my boyfriend and got sober, I haven’t been with anyone else. I have really learned to live alone with my kids. I haven’t had an ounce of intimacy. I haven’t even had interest in anyone specific. And throughout this time my fear has grown bigger and bigger into getting comfortable with my life and being too apprehensive or picky or whatever the case may be to ever be with anyone else. I have watched so many people get married, divorced, start dating, find love again, and get re-married and I am still in the same place. I’ve tried telling myself that this is my time to get healthy and give my kids everything I got, and I believe that to be true, but what if it’s also just an excuse cause I don’t know how to look myself in the mirror and say “no one wants me.”?

I have played around with online dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble. I do them because I have no commitment to anyone, I can just “see” what’s out there. With Tinder, I only put my pictures from 5 years ago where my hair was long and beautiful, I was thinner, life was very different for me then. There is hardly ever a time with Tinder that if I swipe right (meaning I am interested in their profile and pic, that they don’t match up with me (meaning they are interested in me back). But with Bumble I threw in more recent pictures, as hard as it was. I felt like I wasn’t being honest with the person I am today, which is why I felt it was time to be more honest. I only get 10% matches. This is very hard for me to admit to. They aren’t interested in the new me. My hair is short and growing out after losing it with my health scares, and I don’t feel like I used to. It’s like a stab in the heart every time. It hurts so bad and takes the self-esteem that I’ve been slowly back building and it bulldozes it back down to nothing. I have to be honest, I am not used to having interest from other men. So every time this happens, I am reminded of my fear and how I might be stuck alone forever. Maybe I am not what other men want and especially the single men. I am not a spring chicken anymore. Things are changing for me every day. And I am dealing with all these new emotions while being sober. It’s challenging cause the pain is real and it hits deep. I even found myself missing my ex husband and ex boyfriend. This is something I don’t want to feel.

So yes, this movie was entertaining, but it scared the living hell out of me. I can honestly say, I sometimes feel like I am the Doris in my life right now. The men that used to find me attractive and give me attention, do not anymore. I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now and find myself very lonely, comfortable, and not ready to put myself out there and watching others live their lives, like I am doing currently. I keep telling myself AGE AND STAGE. I am just at a different stage in life and that will change. Am I lying to myself?

XoXo

losing it all

Once upon a time I had it all. The perfect life. Or it looked like it, and that’s all that matters right? I look back and I was beautiful. I had the perfect family. The perfect body. The perfect kids. The perfect house. The perfect friends. I was one lucky girl. And like many of us are guilty of, during the time, I was so focused on what I didn’t have. I was bulimic. I was trying to keep my husband from straying. I was trying to keep up with all the Smith’s and the Jones’s next door. I was trying to cut back from taking 30 pain killers that day so I didn’t have to “feel”. I was trying to run that extra mile a little faster. I was attempting to be a better cook. The list could go on and on and on. It was never enough, I was never enough. I look back at my old pictures and I looked great and my life looked amazing, but my eyes are dark, empty, and sad. I am screaming out my insecurities and personal torment, hoping and praying someone would save me. Little did I know my life would soon be taking a huge turn for the worse, falling apart, and I would end up losing all the things I didn’t realize I had, all along.

I should have seen it coming. Looking back, the signs were all there. I should have known. I had many sleepless nights next to my husband of 10 years, questioning whether he was staying faithful after his 1st affair.. That was very painful, but what was even more excruciating was the mind games that he played with me, the criticizing, always being blamed for any and everything that went wrong, the walking on egg-shells, the silent treatment, always being told to do better, etc.. I knew there was something wrong with how he treated me, but I didn’t realize there was an actual name for it. Narcissism or NCP (narcissistic personality disorder). I used to always say he was narcissistic, but I didn’t realize the extent of what that word meant until we started our divorce and I started educating myself and the light bulb came on. I finally felt understood after years and years of not being able to describe what he would do to me, such as the gas lighting and silent treatments and putting me in knots until I thought I was crazy or there was something wrong with me. It was as if these professionals had studied our relationship the entire 10 years and put a name to it.

As I was dealing with a lot of this pain, I was taking whatever I could get my hands on and still be a decent mother. I say decent because, I still kept up the front and functioned, but I kept myself distracted from actually living. It was almost impossible to be present. But I guess that’s how I wanted it. Eventually as most addicts explain, I was introduced to black … No one ever used the word heroin. I often wondered if they would have used that wording, if I would have run? But at the time, I was in such a the perfect place for that drug to come in and completely take over my life. Boy, do I ever wish I could have put a huge barrier between myself and these so called friends and the pain that drove me to that dark place. Just like any addicts story, I didn’t immediately become a junkie like you imagine. I stayed as a “high functioning” addict for a while. During this time, the drugs did their job by putting me in a very numb place where I didn’t want to deal with my husbands bull shit nor did I have to feel the pain that I was in on a daily basis. I would never say that drugs were EVER a good thing, but they gave me the push I needed to leave him. It’s almost like I knew I would NEVER leave him. I would stay and deal with him hurting me for the rest of my life and the only way I could do it was if I was completely in a drugged up or numb place. If I could change anything, I would have done it the right way where I was sober and clear-headed, where I could start the healing process and not take myself down a darker more challenging path. But leave it up to me to learn everything the hard way:)

The divorce was grueling. He knew I was not in my right frame of mind, so it was super easy to blame me for the divorce, but he had to know deep down that he put us in the path of destruction, and I pulled the trigger. Like my dad would always say, ” you can only kick a dog so much until they run away and never come back.” It was kinda the same thing with me. Slowly, my health started dwindling. I thought it was from using. And maybe it was. But I think there was something wrong with me from beforehand, and from using and my stress, it made it get ten times worse. I had WEIRD symptoms. Stuff I could never describe without feeling insane. I would attempt going to doctor after doctor, and they would say that I need to go to a therapist. Itching all over, hair falling out of my head like crazy, feeling like I had a tight headband on my head all the time as if I was losing all my feeling in my head and not getting any circulation in my head, hands, feet, etc.. The way my hair was growing on my head was wrong. Weird right?  No one believed me, I thought I was going crazy till one day I woke up and there was a huge bald spot right in the middle of my head at the crown. It was devastating. My eye lashes and eyebrows had fallen out. I didn’t even recognize myself. People thought I was doing it to myself. My skin looked and felt so different. I really wanted to die. During this time, I watched my husband with this beautiful girl he had an affair during our marriage. It was so hard not to use and keep numbing myself. The pain was too raw. I really begged to not wake up in the morning so many nights. No one understood how dark I felt and was. I lost all my friends that I had for so many years. It was such a confusing time because I knew I was doing things I shouldn’t, but my health was unbearable and the emotional pain with my divorce hurt just as bad. My poor parents tried time after time to help pull me out of this hole I was in, and I would try but fall back every time.

I’ll never forget trying to wear wigs. It wasn’t something I could do. I hated faking I had hair.  I just wanted to stay in a dark house and never come out. I couldn’t look in the mirror. The only time I spent with my kids was watching movies in my room because I couldn’t go out and do anything with them. People that knew me didn’t recognize me. My feet and legs started swelling. No one could give me answers. I ended up in the hospital at detox and just hoping that if I got clean that my health would get better. I relapsed right out of the hospital. Met some awesome people along the way but couldn’t get better. I watched my kids play outside while I was in a dark room. I watched my family go do fun things while I laid in bed almost dead. My life revolved around my addiction and the shame that consumed me. It was a deadly cycle.

After a few years, I never thought I could or would be a normal person. Looking at old pictures were too hard for me. For so long I thought I was ugly when I was beautiful. I thought I was fat, when really I was healthy and thin. I was a great mom when I thought I was a bad one. I was a great wife when I thought he could do better. Why did it take me going through something so tragic to learn such valuable lessons? I don’t know how I pulled myself out of such a dark place, but somehow I did and today I am a year and 8 months sober. I repeat, I AM ONE YEAR AND 8 WHOLE MONTHS SOBER!!!! It is an honest to God miracle. After finally getting a diagnosis called Diffuse Alopecia (extremely rare) my hair is finally coming in. I still deal with every day problems and my health isn’t perfect but I finally feel “normal” and happy. I still deal with my narcissistic ex and his on and off  again “girlfriend”. My life is far from perfect, but I appreciate my life at a whole new level. My whole life is my kids and I don’t take one day for granted like I did before. I am not as thin as I was once, but no longer do I throw up my food or count every calorie. After losing it all, I now have everything and I am so proud to be where I am. There isn’t one person out there that doesn’t have their insecurities and isn’t struggling  with being okay with who they are, but why get to the point of losing it all before you can appreciate your flaws and enjoy the ride along the way?

Having my sobriety and health is worth everything I went through. I am proud of who I am today and what I have overcome. For anyone in the dark place, no matter at what stage. DO NOT GIVE UP. If I can to where I am today, there is hope for you. Your life matters. You are important and worth it. Life is hard and the struggle is absolutely real, you aren’t alone. No one is perfect. Nobody lives a perfect life. But I now have the rest of my life to enjoy and live, might as well learn to love myself along the way.

XoXo