The proposal

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I realized something startling last night. Almost 20 years ago before I got married for the third time, I knew I wanted to marry my husband. We took a trip to Jamaica and had a honeymoon Villa and I just  knew a proposal was on the way during that trip. Well there was ganja and Coke and liquor, but alas, no proposal. I remember being interiorly crushed. Didn’t he want me to be his wife? What was wrong with me?

Then, sometime later, as in months and months later… We were at the mall and said husband to be pushed a box that was ring size across the table in the food court to me. No words were said. He just gave me the box with a diamond ring in it. No proposal still. But, judging from the size of the diamond, I figured he wanted to get married so that’s what we did.

I had a revelation last night. Why was a wedding proposal from him so blasted important to me? I always wondered that and I now know the answer. I simply wanted someone to love me so much and to want me so much that he would ask me to marry him. The words were important to me. I wanted to know someone cared for me enough to ask me to be his. For almost 2 decades the lack of proposal has been a very small Bee in my bonnet. It isn’t anymore. And I see things so much more clearly now than I ever have before especially when seeing narcissism in full bloom. Why would he give me something so special that he knew I wanted? Well he wouldn’t. Because that’s what narcissists do. They withhold things from the people who love them. And finally, last night, after thinking long and hard about it and bringing this newly acquired knowledge to God, He assured me that the only one I ever truly belonged  to or will ever belong to is Him. And that was more than enough. 

   

My brain…

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…is so fried right now, I don’t even know what to do…sleep because I’m exhausted or stay awake to relish in the end-of-the-day peace…

Alarm 4:15 am. As I walk downstairs, hubs rings my phone. I walk into his bedroom. I’m awake and tell him. That’s not why he was calling me. He was “starving”. At this strange hour, unless you’re about to drive for an hour to run a half marathon, he wanted snacks, bacon, and eggs.… Anything I could put together would be much appreciated. You do realize I’m running a race this morning, right? You have time. As it turned out, I didn’t have time. I drove to Baton Rouge yesterday for absolutely nothing. My race number and T-shirt are going into the trash when I can bear to look at them. I am sad… heartbroken, actually. Even though emotions like that are not allowed under this roof, that’s how I feel. He came home from the hospital last night still suffering from pneumonia. I couldn’t wait to go to church this evening. I had a revelation while I was there. Wives submit to your husbands. I used to be OK with that until… It occurred to me that he submits to no one let alone God. I’m rambling. I’m tired. I carbed up for nothing. It could be worse.

A cherry on the cake of my day is I made plane reservations for my daughters and I for the Los Angeles Marathon. No one knows about that yet. I deserve it. And we are going. My girls will be thrilled. Ssshhhh!!! 😊

Recovery

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I never thought much about ‘recovery’ probably because I was not in it; I was in pain and doing whatever I could to get through the day, believing what was going on was justified. With God’s help and with AA, I will have 20 months sobriety next week! Mind blown.did you know I wasn’t consciously looking to get sober? In my dysfunction & codependency, I latched onto outside forces and influences because I didn’t know how to be my true self. My true self was ruined and I let others define me. Uncool. So, when my loved one went to rehab, I stopped drinking in solidarity because I felt so helpless watching him leave, knowing there was no help I could offer.  

I won’t get into the details now, but looking back – wow. I see how fragile yet strong we humans are. It doesn’t take much to change our course – good or bad – when we are children, we are at the mercy of what is poured into us. Treat us badly & unworthy, we grow up to think we are bad and unworthy. 

We went to NYC the day after Christmas. As we got out of the Uber car, a female holding a sign of a pitifully skinned animal came up to me and shouted at me, “You are a disgusting, pathetic excuse of a human being!!!!” 😳 What did I do? Not.a.thing except continue to walk forward into the Waldorf Astoria. I remember thinking that she and my husband must have gone to the same school because that’s what HE calls me!😕😂😕 So, as I was walking, the female moved from me to my daughter and put the sign in her face. I beckoned my daughters to come inside with me, which they did. My husband was not about to miss the opportunity to brawl, albeit verbally, with fur-protesting-new-Yorkers.  It was quite a spectacle. I felt as if I were listening to one of his at-home tirades and I felt happy that his vitriol was not aimed at me this time. Welcome to the Big Apple!  Of course, the event consumed the next 2 hours…he had to lodge the appropriate complaints with the hotel and then of course involve the police. Sigh. The next morning, he woke me up with news that we would be changing hotels. 

I find that I look at my fb friends posts and I see these happy, smiling pics – I just don’t believe that what I described above is typical for most people. I don’t think the dads bully their wives & children & make everyone feel bad every day. I don’t believe that is normal…even if that has been my normal for decades. And that is where the difficulty lies – I see that life can be different; sober, I know I am strong enough and smart enough to make changes for myself and my children…and that is what I am focused on. Yes, I am fearful…of the fact that such dysfunction has ruled my life for so long, what if I can’t function without the “dys-“?!!! I chuckle as I type that. You know what, though? I am willing to try. 

Red Dragon Scars

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Anger forgets fear,

Heats to almost-glowing…

And I, tho scared inside, 

Won’t tolerate the belittling

Served with screams 

Any longer. 

I lure him away from my young.

I will take this, not you. 

Red Dragon takes the bait

And relishes in the debauchery of it all.

Screams that no one can tame.

Screams that no one would believe.

Centimeters from my face,

Spewing vitriol and bad breath

Hot with whatever moisture

Lives within him. 

And I…

Shaking from fear and disbelief,

Go to console my child.

We can’t live like this, I tell her. 

Wide, scared eyes, filled with fear and disbelief look up to me…

What are you going to do, she asks.

Something. 

God, help us. 

Show us.

Efff’d up

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This was a few weeks back…just didn’t post it till today…

I’m tired. I am dictating this post. Long story short… All hell broke loose on Sunday. If I were a camel my back would be broken. I have been at my apartment since. I have been sober for 19 months and counting. I have worked diligently, open-mindedly, and wholeheartedly on my issues. I have thrown myself at the the feet of God and begged for mercy and guidance and strength. I have willingly sat in every mental health professional’s office that my husband has invited me to. They all say the same thing at some point. My daughters and I are all emotionally abused. It is insidious, mind-boggling, and hard to wrap my mind around sometimes. He doesn’t see it that way at all, of course. Even this week, hearing what a pathetic excuse of a human being I am, he turns around and begs me to fight for our family to stay together. What the fuck is up with that? Well I know the answer. It’s just more sickness. It is a little scary, a little unnerving, and I am not sure how all this will shake out in the end. I can say that I have enjoyed a lot more peace lately… That being this week. The phD today begged us to please retreat into our own corners and let everything settle down.  I am completely 100% down with that plan.  I have been since Sunday and it didn’t take me paying $175 to figure this out. Part of interacting with someone who is emotionally abusive is a mind game where the person receiving the emotional abuse starts to feel a little wobbly, mentally, and even questions if she may actually be the problem after all.

Tomorrow morning, I will get up early, pray and meditate, drink coffee, take a shower, drive my daughter to the bus stop, and go to work and rock babies all morning until noon time.

Funny the way it is…

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…or random brain dump…whatever…

I go to God with everything. Absolutely everything. I used to think He didn’t want to be bothered with “little things” but then I realized that if it concerns me, then it concerns Him. He loves me that much and is always available to help me. I also realized that when I try to run the show, I suck. So, it works out. Hubs take…well, who cares; it’s flawed. It boils down to “I think you should do whatever you want and them go to Him when you need advice.”  Heehee. Lol.  Ummmm….no. Just no.

Why would I want to take the wheel on ANYthing when His way has NEVER failed me? Riddle me that…As I further explained, He has never broken my trust; He has never lead me somewhere and left me; He has never made me feel anything except accepted and loved. THAT feels good.  THAT makes me want to be a better person.

Add in recovery. 12 steps. Lead by people who know the path is through God – HP – call yours what works. My Higher Power is Jesus Christ and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The other cool thing I have learned in recovery is to “live and let live.” I used to be that way, I thought, but getting better has taught me so many things about accepting people and their choices. Period. If God loves me like I am, then who am I to be anything less? 

I have been doing a little experiment for the last week. When I encounter people, I try to make eye contact and genuinely express my gratitude. Results? Crazy cool. A cashier puts change in my hand and I smile and thank her – her eyes light up. I met quite a few homeless people in Santa Fe. I gave them money and food when I was able to. I shook their hands; I asked their names; I pet their dogs; I asked them questions. Normally, I don’t talk about these things because I staunchly believe that defeats the purpose of doing things quietly for God. But it was so amazing. To just stop for a few minutes and be kind to people who have nothing…it was amazing. And the fact that most of them have dogs with them…that just gets me. There they are with nothing, yet they still share what they have with their sweet dogs.  Anyway, my point is, injecting kindness into the world is really gratifying and I am certain it pleases God. 

I am home now. It was a crazy trip. It started with us landing in ABQ & someone in my group…clears throat…was removed before all other passengers for causing a scene. Yep.  The rest of us were all so embarrassed. The scary part? He still thinks he was completely right regardless of who was made uneasy or afraid. 😏 And to see this person come quietly unglued at various times during the trip – often regardless of who was nearby and in earshot – was very unsettling. To see my 16-year old cry – again – and look at me searching for ‘why’ – again…makes me feel sick to my stomach.  He would raise his arms in thanksgiving to God and then in the same sitting, lean over and get in one of my daughter’s faces and tell her to “shut your mouth right now” with as much venom as he could muster. Bottom line…I can’t do this…staying for their sakes is not doing them any favors.  This has taken the express train to sickness like never before and I want off.

I am worn out emotionally.  I don’t want gifts. I want peace. I am tired of upset stomachs, tears, sweaty palms, anxiety, shakiness from fear, walking on egg shells…I’m just done.

Plus, keeping the secret of emotional abuse is just too much for me anymore. It’s real; it’s here; it’s NOT me; it’s him; what I allow is what will continue; I am done.  I am ready to trust God in that area, too. I see now that moments of seemingly normalcy do not erase what has compounded for years; the behavior is still there.

Sigh. Peace.

Skipping around out of necessity :)

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Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Everyone seemed spooked by the prospect of Step 4, yet everyone also touted this step as being one of the big ones. My sponsor was pretty no-nonsense about it. I did what she said. “Write down everybody who has ever pissed you off,” she said. Wow. Okay. Oh, hell yeah, gimme ma notebook.

It took me a long time to complete Step 4. I had a looming history that should have raised many a red flag, but didn’t, to recollect.

So, nervously, recyclable or compostable (I never know) carrying tray of Starbucks in one hand (coffee is a given for me & my sponsor), my red notebook in the other, we met.

Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Weeeellll…that sounded daunting. What if she judged me??? What if she kicked me out & said I was going to Hell?

Fast forward because I have ADD.

None of the bad stuff happened. What did happen was this:

I was freed.

From my own past and the chains that all those rotten secrets held around me were GONE. Fricking gone. Not only did my sponsor listen without judgment and with complete attention and acceptance, she shared her own stuff with me.

I can honestly say I have never been the same since that day. Saying out loud what happened to me, the choices I made, the things I did, was really an experience I have never had. And it was an experience that keeps on giving.

What made me skip ahead to this is this:

Today I bumped into an old childhood friend. We have been friends since forever, I think! Anyway, as we laughed about how we were growing up versus the kind of parents we are now, she politely asked, “Can I ask you about something,” to which I retorted, “Oh, you mean when I stole a car in 8th grade & wrecked it?” “Yes!” I spilled it all out right there. That had been one of my secrets that kept me in bondage – I was babysitting, started drinking tequila, took the car after my other friend came over; we went to our friend’s house & back to the house where I was babysitting. Should have been enough, right? But no, not for this blossoming alcoholic…let’s get back in the car and go back over to that same friend’s house! Upon going home on that trip, I hit a tree. Cops. Parents. Scolding looks. Wait. It gets better. When I got home, my mom came to the door d.r.u.n.k. So, I guess no red flag was going up in her camp…She took my makeup away the next day and gave it back the day after that. I had to pay for the damage myself $1500. Ouch. It took me years to pay it off, but I did. I lost a lot of friends over that – understandably so – what parent would allow that friendship to continue?

The reason I am writing this today is because I know that dreadful story has no hold on me anymore. It lost it’s power the day I took my fifth step. I saw clearly how misguided and “unparented” I was. Yes, I had responsibility in that situation, but as a 13-year-old child, God only knows what was really going on with me. I’m sure in some way it was a twisted cry for help.

And guess what? As I re-told the story to my dear friend, I left out no sordid detail. That’s just part of my story and it certainly doesn’t define me anymore.

Alright, peace out.