Just Wondering

This morning for some reason, when I was making my coffee, I wondered if my ex ever thinks about the times he would rage, and break dishes, and throw food all over the floor, and walk away from it, leaving me crying, scared and having to clean up. I wonder if he remembers ever, when he broke our whole set of 12 Norman Rockwell plates, which we’d purchased at $40 each from Franklin Mint. I wonder if he thinks about what he put me through ever. Or if he just pretends it never happened. I wonder if he ever regrets making us drive hours to and from my son’s hockey games, the whole time verbally assaulting my son.

I’d like to think he does, and regrets all the things he did to me and my son. But, I don’t think so. Most people would feel so bad, once they realized how out of control they had become, and how much they’d hurt people that loved them, that they’d have to make at least an effort to apologize. He’s never apologized to me, except once. He had started a fight with me the day before I was scheduled to have labor induced for my son. Big fight, almost physical, yelling, stomping. I went to my sister-in-laws house for the night and she came with me to the hospital, not him. He finally showed up at the hospital after I’d been in labor all day because his sister shamed him into it. After my son was born by c-section in the middle of the night, he apologized. It was the only time in our 40 years together.

Even S repeatedly apologized for what he did to me. Of course, it didn’t change him, so the apology was only sincere in the moment. But at least there was a moment when he could see what he’d done. And of course, then he went on to spew lies about me to his girlfriend,and tell her intimate things about us, which was very painful for me. Having to listen to the lies come out of her mouth and having him back them up was heartbreaking. But he knew it was wrong. He knew he was doing it to make her secure.

I have forgiven them both for all of it. Their own behavior is something they have to live with. My heart, my psyche has healed from it all. It was all a good lesson for me. One drawback to growing up in a loving family is that you are unaware that there are people out there who would do those things. The reason they do them is because of a flaw they perceive in themselves, not in you. But a loving family of origin also gives you a base of love to fall back on, a way to find your own worth again, and allows you to move forward. I was blessed beyond words to have that.

It’s coincidental, (if you believe in coincidences) that when I came out on the deck this morning in the still dark, and opened my email, the first one I clicked on, by mistake (I actually wanted to open the email above this one), was an email from the Daily Om. It was a lesson from the book A Course In Miracles about forgiveness, and how it is really our only function.

I’m an Aries, and one of my traits is I cannot hold a grudge. For me to be angry for a week over something is really stretching it. Luckily, I am also aggressive and persistent, and know what’s good for me and what’s not. Although with both the men I’ve loved, I accepted the bad behavior for far too long, and kept them in my life far too long. Even if it was just on the periphery. I can still say I love them both, which is important for me, not to hate those I loved intensely. I feel sorry for my ex, because even if he doesn’t face it consciously, he lives a life that demonstrates the effects his behavior had on him, being broke and all alone, and having no relationship with his son. S—I don’t know what effect his behavior has had on him because we don’t talk.  He’s disappeared. But I feel for him anyway, because the games he plays over and over keep away the people who love him.

It’s been a weird morning, thinking about this stuff. Funny what bubbles up. Maybe it’s because I had a date last night with a man who doesn’t seem to be a game player, or manipulative, or controlling. But I can’t say for sure yet, I’ll have to get to know him better to know that. But I think maybe it’s the contrast between him and my old loves that brought this stuff around this morning.

Anyway, it promises to be an extraordinary day today. It was 63 when I came out on the deck before the sunrise. It’s going to get up in the 80’s. People are saying it’s unusual to be so warm in December. I’m more than happy about it. I might be able to wear shorts to the artwalk tonight.

Love and light, everyone.

How I Deal With the Pain of Having Had A Narcissist in My Bed (A Sequel)

This is actually a sequel, I guess, to the narcissist post immediately preceding this post.  In the same newsletter from Oprah.com there was this excerpt from Marianne Williamson’s book “From Tears to Triumph, The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.”

So many people don’t understand how I can forgive my narc, how I can say I still love him, how I can wish good things for him. I think Marianne Williamson explains it here. My quest, my journey, has led me to believe in the power of unconditional love. I believe it is the only thing that can destroy the darkness in people, and the only way to raise the consciousness of all people, is for all of us to try to extend love whenever, wherever we can.

I know he was a classic narc. I know he’s not always happy about that. I know he finds himself in darkness so often, and can’t find a way out. I know he’s been fending for himself since he was tiny, and I know the pain he’s suffered. He’s a classic narc, whose narcissism grew out of some really horrible circumstances.

This article I just copied and will paste below one paragraph from, explains quite well where I am with my emotions for my narcissist. I think the book will probably be next on my booklist to read. I have always said that great beauty can be borne of great pain. I hope this can still be true for my narc at some point in his life, that he’s able to see the soul I’ve always seen and let it shine.

Here are Marianne’s words, with a link to the whole article if you’re interested. Love and light all.

And that is the ultimate deliverance from suffering—the realization that we can be better people because of it. The spiritual journey from emotional pain to inner peace entails a transformation of our personalities, from being someone weakened by suffering to someone honed by it. Yes, we must look at the darkness within ourselves, and forgive others for the darkness that we see within them, in order to experience the miracle of love that only forgiveness brings. Yet, in so doing, we emerge victorious. And within that light, endless miracles abound. For miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. We grow less imprisoned by our fears as we release them to thoughts of love. No longer in denial about our issues, we atone and learn to forgive ourselves. No longer blaming others, we are able to forgive them. We experience a cosmic re-parenting from which we grow, at last, into the adults we were meant to be. This is the greatest story, the story of all stories, and it is the story of every one of us.”


Read more:
http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/the-unexpected-route-to-a-spiritual-miracle#ixzz4GY4zsREc

Why I Forgive

Someone told me tonight that my ability to forgive is amazing.  While that is a compliment, (I think, lol), I thought about it for awhile, and why that is.  I have endured a lot of pain at someone else’s hand, yet I can’t stay angry, and I am constantly looking for a way to forgive, and move on, move forward.

I think that the poster below says it better than anything I could.  Brene Brown explains human nature to me as no one else has ever been able.  When I read this, I know this person doesn’t believe they are worthy of love and belonging.  I know they are, worthy of it, that’s all.  I know everyone is, just because they exist, for no other reason.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what was done to me was right, it doesn’t mean I want that person in my life.  It just means that what they did cannot hurt me anymore, and it recognizes that people are generally doing the best they can.  The best they can based on their level of consciousness at the time.  It doesn’t mean that I want that level in my life.  Forgiveness acknowledges a person’s innate worth.  As she says, it’s an irreducible need of all people to be loved.  I will always love this person.  I have forgiven everything.  And I move on with my life.

 

irreducable need.png

If you have been hurt by someone, or something, and you can’t seem to get your footing back, I highly recommend Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong.  She will help you get off the floor and back to a standing position, to heal your wounds and move on with your life.

Finding a Path

finding a path

Ahhh. End of the weekend. I made dinner for my son and I and am now finishing up my 2nd glass of wine with some dark dak chocolate. 88% cacao. Mmmmmmm It’s really good with red wine.

I’ve been a little introspective today. Thinking about love and forgiveness, hate and anger. I guess I’ve never been good at holding a grudge. Especially since my divorce. At some point I read somewhere that “holding on to hate and anger is like taking poison and thinking the other guy is gonna die.”

It just resonated with me so much. I was so angry at what my ex had done, was doing. Trying to make sure I was penniless, trying to drive a wedge between my son and I. The bullshit that came out of his mouth, at court, just enraged me. And because I couldn’t say or do anything about any of it, it was just eating away at me. It’s awful to wake up every day angry, upset, frustrated, and with a visceral hate for someone.

That was when the spiritual journey began…back in those days. I wanted to find a way through this process that would allow me to still have a life I loved. The universe put the people in my path that I needed. One at a time, it opened up. I learned to meditate, which I still say was the most valuable thing I’ve ever learned to do. I was brought by fate to the gong baths. I somehow was introduced to wonderful teachers, who wrote wonderful books. Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Byron Katie, Liz Gilbert, and, last but not least, Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles.

A Course in Miracles teaches a way to extend love. Period. Fear projects, Love extends. I wanted to find out how to feel, and live unconditional love. Because I didn’t want to feel the opposite.

One of the most important things I learned about unconditional love is, you can’t pick and choose who you love, if that’s what you profess to feel and practice. And in fact, often those people you feel least deserve your love are the ones who need it the most.

Another thing I learned, and this is a recent lesson, that came from the last 6 months of my life, was that the love has to first be turned inward on yourself. You have to take care of yourself, you have to give yourself a break for the things we do that are out of alignment with who we want to be. Because we are all human, we all do them. But I learned long ago, with my son and my divorce that forgiveness of ourselves is the hardest thing to do. I never learned to love myself, to consider what I wanted and what made me happy before I considered the happiness of others. I love Maya Angelou’s quote on this: “I don’t trust someone who says “I love you” but does not love themselves. Beware the naked man selling you a shirt.”

A psychic made me understand this concept in a personal way. She had my dad’s spirit there, and he told her that we never thought about what we wanted growing up, just what had to be done, what was expected of us. I agreed with her, and him, that was true. So, since that happened, I have considered myself, who I want to be, what values I have for myself. She told me to turn the energy of caring on myself. To do reiki on myself, especially my solar plexus, where we hold our emotions, and my sacral chakra, where we hold our creativity.

Writing is my creative outlet. Making jewelry also. Writing helps me to work things out. Making jewelry is good for those times when I’ve been thinking too much, too obsessively about something. It uses another part of my brain. I think the two compliment each other.

So anyway, in a broad sense, I am able to forgive, eventually, most things that have been done to me that were wrong, hard, hurtful. I took my ex cookies and Christmas soup (his mother’s recipe) this Christmas. I’ve called him to check on him. I’ve done similar with others who have hurt me. I guess I have to think that everyone does the best they can with where their consciousness is at the time. I know I have done things and behaved in ways I’m not proud of, because of where my consciousness was at the time.

I said in a blog not more than a few days ago, forgiveness comes with understanding. I believe that is true. I don’t think it means that what was done was ok, that those people can be in your life, but you can let go of the pain and anger and hurt and hate….and take back your power, and be someone you like.

Feeling the love tonight….

Thoughts on Compassion

thich nhat hanh compassion quotes

It seems that winter has hit the northeast USA today.  It is cold, but not unseasonably so.  It’s just hovering around freezing.  But that’s the problem, it’s precipitating, and it’s sleet, not snow.  Frozen pellets falling from the sky.

Thankfully, I don’t have to work.  Thankfully it’s supposed to change to rain by late morning.  However, I had a dental appointment at 8 AM for a crown, which I just canceled.  To get there I have to drive over a huge hill, in some places it would be called a small mountain.  And there are accidents galore on the highways this morning.  I’m guessing that getting out of my driveway would be challenging.  So, now I have to wait to get this crown done.  I hope the tooth does not fall apart in the meantime.

I still am waiting to hear from the vet for an appointment for Maggie.  I called them late last evening, so I’m guessing they will call back this morning.

So, I’m home for the morning anyway.  I think I may make some jewelry.  I have so many lovely stones I can wire-wrap.  I need to use that part of my brain for awhile.  It will refresh my outlook on things.  Give me some perspective. 

Tomorrow I’m going to see Joy  with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert DeNiro with a few of my friends, and get a bite to eat.  Looking forward to it.  Although, I may have to take Maggie to the vet tomorrow also.  If I don’t get an appointment tomorrow, I’ll have to wait til next week, I doubt that it would get done New Year’s Eve. 

I did a guided meditation on Forgiveness this morning.  I chose that one, because I felt I was slipping backwards a bit.  I know from the experience with my ex-husband that the only way I can move forward and truly let go of the past is to forgive.  I see my ex now as the flawed damaged person he is, who is still seeking the unconditional love, though he doesn’t believe in it, and in his damaged psyche, doesn’t believe he deserves it.  Which is how, in my heart, I see Scott too. 

I know too much about both men, I know what their lives were like as children, I know the struggles they went through.  I know my ex’s from experience, from almost 40 years of living with his extended family and seeing the dysfunction in action.  I know Scott’s experience from what he told me.  I believe it to be true, because his actions, and his relationships with his sister and his mother bear the stories out. 

When I know this, and see this, I have to feel compassion.  I don’t have to feel love in the way that I did, I don’t have to want to be with them, but I have to feel compassion.  I am just more comfortable that way. 

I believed with Scott that if I loved him unconditionally, as he had never been, it would eventually bring him around.  That was my Pollyanna side, because one person’s unconditional love for that time was not going to be enough to undo years of conditioning.  It was my naivete.  I was coming off of the power it had to give my son strength, but my son had my unconditional love for his whole life, and had a frame of reference.  Scott had none, and so, had no reason to believe that it was real, that I was not just naive and stupid.  In hindsight, he had affection for me, but it was very mixed with his own self-centered self-absorbed desires, and needs.  He is a typical child of an abusive dysfunctional household. 

My ex’s childhood was similar, with different twists.  I know first hand how verbally and emotionally abusive his father could be, because I worked for him for 20 years, before we bought the business, and he visited it upon me a few times. I also know how his mother passively endorsed the abuse, while professing love for her children. It was not until I left that marriage that I learned about abuse, that I even realized there was a name for what I lived through.  I found an online community of over 8000 members, and I remember reading their posts, thinking “Oh My God!  There are OTHER people who have lived with this!  There’s  NAME for what he did to me!”  I remained very active in that community for at least 5 years.  I went in naive, I came out with an education.  The friends I made there are still some of my closest friends.  We still call on each other as our children deal with the repercussions of abuse.

Combine this education, with embarking on a spiritual path, to regain my sense of self, to rediscover who I was when I left my marriage.  Because when you live with abuse, you end up spending 24/7 just trying to keep the peace.  Just trying to stay a step ahead of the abuser, to protect yourself and your kids.  You try to become what they want, so they will be happy.  Of course, they always change what they want, the minute you achieve it, so that you never know what’s going to come at you.  A true honest mind-fuck of the first degree.

I began to recognize the same pattern with Scott, with his push pull game.  The same thing, in a different form. Which is why I kept trying to break up with him, but was unable to let go.  Until, it’s all I could do to save myself.

I cleansed my pendulums this morning with white sage and asked some very pointed questions.  I got what I believe are real answers, and I’m going to try to follow the path that they put me on. They were questions and answers about dealing with these issues with compassion.  Both men and the issues still come into my head way too much, and I don’t want to fear them, I don’t want to hate them, I don’t want to feel angry. 

There was something for me to learn in both situations, and I think, something for me to teach.  If the student refuses the lesson, that’s not my problem.  I think I’ve learned mine.  I’m open to them, and to any that are still hanging out there for me to learn.

I sense that my ex has been humbled.  Not completely, but he is sounding more like he’s reaching out, that he misses having some communication with someone who knows him.  That’s a good thing.  I won’t get caught in his web again, but it’s possible that now that he’s lost everything, and I mean everything….he can be a little vulnerable, because he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I’m not jumping in, but neither will I be afraid to communicate with him.

Scott, I don’t sense much from.  I think he’s closed whatever small opening he had in his heart that would have allowed love to enter and to extend from him.  I do sense though, that perhaps he’s doing what I suggested, and taking some time to re-evaluate the way he lives.  He’s not doing this because I suggested it, he’s doing it because in his mind he’s lost everything too.  He’s heading into his final years, when he should be retiring, and enjoying life with people he loves, but he’s all alone.  His ploy to keep people in his life based on deception didn’t work.  So I hope he’s going to go within, and try to find his own light.  I still can see that soul, I still can see his light. I have been on an emotional roller coaster with my feelings for him:  love, hate, anger, compassion, longing, repulsion….. 

At the end of the day, I have to go with compassion, because it’s my comfort zone.  It’s what I believe in my heart to be the only way to move forward.  My pendulums seem to concur with that. 

One thing I learned in the abuse community was that hurt people hurt people.  I am no exception.  When each of these men hurt me, I hurt them back.  My words with Scott, while true….were scathing. My actions with my ex, while necessary for my survival and my son’s, blindsided him.  I make no apologies, really, because Scott devastated me, I had to release that pain.  My ex was on a quest to steal my soul…my son…my breath.  If I didn’t leave him we both would have died, literally…because the dysfunction was truly affecting our health.  My son would have never seen that there is a different way to live, he would have been doomed to repeat what he did not understand.

Lord, I did not expect this blog to go here.  But it did, and that’s the reason I write mostly.  To work things out, to express things that I am trying to understand, and in the expression to find the understanding.  If you made it this far, thank you. 

Love and light.

 

 

 

Loving What Is, Until There’s Something Else

Not knowing is hard

But maybe not as hard as the knowing?

If I don’t have the answer yet,

then the possibilities still live,

Right?

To stay in gratitude for what is,

at the moment.

The cool clean air

the early morning sun streaking golden across the sky.

The blanket wrapped around me

And the happy memories filling my head this morning.

What is, is all there is

Until there’s something else.

Moment to moment

forgive yourself and others

and be free.