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Arguing with a Narcissist – YouTube Video

Yes! This was my life every day with Captain Bligh! He “begged” me for “communication” as a ruse to browbeat and gaslight me and “prove” his superiority over and over again. Does this video sound like someone you know?

My YouTube Channel has hit over a thousand views in about three weeks. I have no way of knowing if that is “typical” or below average or whatever. But the thought of people spending over 128 hours watching videos of me talk about narcissism. Strange thought.

Here is “Arguing with a Narcissist” a little five minute video. Enjoy!

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Posted by on November 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Defining the Abuse

Here’s a little essay that’s been sitting in my Draft folder for a long time. Someone close to me is suffering at the hands of an ex and perhaps this short list will help enable some emotional distance for them –

Being able to label your abuser’s disorder is a valuable tool, but not nearly as valuable as being able to label the specific abuse that s/he dishes out. Because of my personal experience, I’ll use masculine pronouns, but remember that abusers come in all shapes, sizes and genders.

Just saying, “he’s mean to me,” is not enough – if you tell others they will want specifics (if they even believe you) or they tell you to be nicer to him, and if you’re struggling to identify within your own mind just what the hell is going on, “mean” is much too vague. Chances are, once you learn the names of the abuses you are faced with every day you will be able to better see just what is going on and make a decision as to whether or not you can live with it. It can be very helpful to write down incidents soon after they happen (if it’s safe for you to do so) because so many abusers alternate between bouts of extremely abusive behavior and bouts of “loving” or at least less abusive episodes, which keeps their victim off balance and confused as to who the “real” person is, akin to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the famous story. They may even convince you an episode never happened, causing you to question your perception and even your sanity. Rest assured, it’s all part of the abuser’s plan to keep you quiet and in their control.

The following are definitions with examples as they applied to my personal situation – your mileage may vary. Definitions from Out of the FOG, a wonderful repository of information for those who are involved in some way with people with personality disorders. They have a forum, too, if you want to get support from others in the same boat. Many thanks to JetGirl for the link.

Baiting and picking fights: Starting an argument for no reason, or making an accusation about one thing while maneuvering you into making an admission or concession about something else. With M, this usually meant he was wanting me to give permission for some sort of behavior that he knew I didn’t approve of by getting me to admit that I’ve done something similar in the past, or he wanted me to do something that I didn’t agree with and would hound me until I agreed just to get him to leave me alone. The property tax fight is a good example. Also the whole Facebook thing. And everything from where to store the dog food to when to take a shower – it was all about winning battles for him and he would stop at nothing to make me admit defeat, whatever that meant for him at the moment.

Belittling: A passive/aggressive method of establishing superiority. M did this with just about everyone and it took me a long time to figure out that his offers of “help” were nothing more than put-downs cleverly disguised – I couldn’t really get upset because he was “helping” me and I was taking his “advice” the wrong way if I protested his interference.

Bullying: Physically towards the dog, emotional towards me. Something new every day.

Catastrophizing: Inflating some incident or state of circumstances into a “worst case scenario.” Property taxes. Toilet seal. Old Dog dying. My FB friends. The list goes on and on and was designed to take attention away from whatever issue I was protesting against.

Chaos Manufacture: The practice of unnecessarily creating an environment of confusion. When the first words out of M’s mouth after two weeks away from home were, “I was hoping you would have mowed the lawn,” before any type of greeting were a clue that he was going to make the next few days hell. He would begin a conversation immediately upon my arriving home from work that was designed to put me instantly on guard or to make me angry, just to get a reaction. He then accused me of being a Drama Queen. I never knew what to expect when I picked up the phone or saw him – he would attack out of the blue over nothing to keep me off balance.

Circular Conversations: Obvious what this is – a conversation without end designed, in M’s case, to exhaust me and force me to agree with whatever his agenda was on any particular day. Of course, his stance on any disagreement can and would change whenever he felt whimsical, making it even more difficult maintain a stance on anything.

Denial: When his lies didn’t work, M would simply deny that he said or did something hurtful – when confronted with his e-mail correspondence with an old lover, he denied it. When told that I knew he was lying he Deflected, changing the subject so that it turned back on me.

Emotional Abuse: “Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of Fear, Obligation or Guilt (FOG).” This one covers a wide range of behaviors and was the first “official” term I learned. Pretty much every post here details the emotional abuse I suffered, so no links on this subject🙂 It bears repeating that the abuser uses the non-disordered person’s natural empathy against them to keep them from leaving – if you’re so concerned about how leaving will make you look to others, or you are overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, it’s that much harder to even think of how to get out of the relationship.

Gaslighting: I experienced A LOT of gaslighting at the hands of M. Looking back it was maybe the most powerful tool he used – oh, he didn’t want to convince me I was crazy, just that I didn’t see reality like “normal” people do and I needed his guidance in order to “make something” of my life. In the end, it did make me feel like I was losing my mind.

These were the Top Nine for me, but your milage may vary. Do check out the other 91 ways an abuser manipulates their victim at Out of the FOG.

For me, once I was able to name the Crazy I was living, I was able to gain some emotional distance and begin to move away from my abuser. Without this emotional distance and the rage that came with finally knowing I was not imagining things I would not have been able to break free.

 
 

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An Open Letter To Donald Trump From Some Angry Women.

Trying not to blog about the joke our presidential race has become, but THIS is too important not to share –

Drifting Through My Open Mind

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Dear Mr. Trump… can I call you Mr. Trump? Is that ok? I want you to be happy, that’s very important to me.

Before I get started, let me say this letter isn’t from all women. The Trumpettes surely won’t approve of this message. But this is from most women.

We see right through you. We have all known you at some point. Your ways are not unfamiliar to us. We see through you because we’ve been dealing with you our whole lives.

We heard you call women pigs. And disgusting. And stupid. And bimbos.

We watched as you called a former Ms. Universe “Ms. Piggy” and then spent four days continuing to insult her.

We see your weakness. Your lust for attention at any cost, your need to denigrate women. We see all of it. And we’re mad.

Yes. We’re mad. And fired up. And here’s the thing about us……

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Posted by on October 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Where the fuck is the Karma Bus?

In many ways the Summer has been the best of my life, but in other ways it has sucked sweaty donkey balls.

This is a long one, folks, so if you don’t want to wade through my Brain Dump, the short story is: “management” at the park is killing cats with full support of the Owner who does not need the money “[you] people” pay in rent and if we don’t like it we are welcome to move. The male half of the “management team” is verbally abusing elderly, disabled residents while the female half of the team ensures the Owners are kept inside and oblivious to conditions in the park. I believe the “management team” is robbing the Owners, but the misogynistic, philandering, asshole husband of the actual owner will not hear anything coming from the mouth of one of “[you] people” because he is smarter and richer than any of us will ever be and he would certainly know he was being robbed. HE is not killing cats, but he’s glad they’re “being taken care of.” He fully supports the team he hired and will not hear any of our tales and if we don’t like it, we are welcome to leave.

EDIT: Turns out it’s not at all illegal to kill cats, even if they aren’t your own. It is, however, illegal to kill wildlife, such as nutria or raccoons. Wish I’d known that back in 2014…

All the stuff:

The rent in the Park went up to $400 and we got nothing but trouble for it. I wrote a tiny teaser about getting a new cat, Mr. Big, and while this post has to do with him, it’s not his story, but here’s a random picture for those of you who visit to see pictures of cats –

mrbig

So. A few months ago Noreen (the female half of the “management team” employed by the owners of the park) bitched about the amount of cat poo in the flower beds over near the Big House and how she hated cleaning it up. She directly blamed Yvonne and I, seeing as how we live closest to said flower beds and we’re “trouble makers” and need to be taken down a few pegs. Now, neither of our cats ever went near the Big House to our knowledge, but we both volunteered to come right over and pick up any messes left by our cats because we’re good neighbors and don’t want any trouble.

We thought that was that and went on with our little lives, not knowing a war was brewing and we were about to be caught up in the middle of it. We watched our cats and brought them in when they would come in, but Mr. Big is a fantastic hunter and it seemed cruel to lock him up when he was doing his best to kill all the moles and mice “management” has been complaining about for months. I did point out his kills whenever I saw Noreen and thought maybe it would count in his favor.

A couple of weeks later we were informed that “management” had set up a live trap over near the Big House to catch and “take care of” any cats who were dumb enough to get caught. I fear that’s what happened to Revy. Diane’s cat went missing and she spent all day looking for her. Just after dark, here she came from the direction of the Big House, racing home, terrified and unwilling to go outside for a long time. Was she caught in the trap? It looks suspicious, but there is no proof as the trap mysteriously disappeared that night…

A few weeks later Glenn (the male half of the “management team” employed by the owners of the park) marched up to Yvonne’s trailer at around 0800 and threw a plastic grocery bag of cat poo at her feet and began to yell at and berate her for the mess. It was clear that the bag contained way more poo than could be generated by any one cat overnight, but he was insistent. There were two witnesses who heard him yelling at her, but, being women, they did nothing for fear of him turning on them. He waited until I had left for work to act out his little drama because he knows good and well that I would have been over there, stun gun in hand, to defend Yvonne, no questions asked – he’s a bully and a coward and won’t even look me in the eye.

Before I go on, I need to say that Yvonne is a retired Air Force veteran who is disabled after her spine collapsed. She might be 5 feet tall if she could stand straight, but she is forever bent over and uses a walker to get around. She is compassionate, kind and always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. She is the perfect example of a Good Neighbor. She is quiet and does not want any drama or trouble. She just wants to live a quiet life and be left alone.

After this attack, she refused to call the Sheriff, even though everyone pleaded with her to do so. She was still visibly shaking when I talked to her after work that day. I was enraged but she asked me to keep quiet and not cause any trouble. Fine. It’s not my battle to fight.

Some days later I was informed by Noreen that it was “against the law” to let my cat outside without a leash and a first violation would force her to “write me up.” I told her that the park is in the County and there is no law on the books about cats, therefore her position is entirely unenforceable and she needed to find something more productive to do. A second offense will result in a $50.00 fine, she informed me. And what about my agreement with Alice about my cat, the one we made when I first moved into the park? The laws have changed and I can count on being asked to leave upon a third violation.

Well, huh. I did some research, and there is no law on the books about cats with the City, County or State, but the Manufactured Home Park Association has two rather vague paragraphs about it being the Owner’s responsibility to clean up any “unsanitary” conditions around the park – nothing specific about cats, mind you, but plenty of room to interpret however they like.

Soon, a notice went out about pets needing to be under control at all times, paraphrasing one paragraph and totally leaving out the paragraph about it being the responsibility of the Owner to maintain “sanitary” conditions within the park. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not inclined to follow directions based on paraphrased “laws” handed to me by a tweaker who is about as shady as a person can be, so I went on my way and ignored her and her fucking “laws,” as did everyone else who has cats in the park.

And then I really stepped in it. I was going to Eugene for the weekend and Mr. Big refused to come inside. I asked Yvonne to keep an eye on him and call me if anything hinky went on and away I went. She called me on Sunday afternoon to say that Mr. Big had disappeared somewhere near the Big House and she was heartbroken to have to give me the news. I rushed home, conferred with her for a minute and marched over to “management’s” trailer where I banged on the door in a most un-ladylike manner until Noreen answered.

An aside: who in their right mind wears sunglasses inside a dimly-lit trailer and keeps them on when she steps outside onto her shaded porch? Yeah, a tweaker who knows I know she’s high and doesn’t want to face my wrath.

I asked if she’d seen my cat. In her syrupy false voice, wringing her hands, she replied that no, she hadn’t seen my cat.

I asked if I could look in the trap we all know is set up behind the Big House, just to be sure, ya know?

“Oh, we don’t have the trap any more! The raccoons have moved on so we don’t need it any more…” This was the first I’d heard of a “racoon problem” and I told her I knew it was still set up and demanded to know if my cat had been caught in it.

“Well, it was a live trap, so he wouldn’t have been hurt – we just don’t have the heart to kill anything!” Uh, huh. I reminded her of the Great Nutria Genocide of 2014 and she got all huffy and said, “Oh! So we’re murders now?” I threw up my hands and walked away, knowing I would not get any satisfaction.

Later that evening, just at sunset, Mr. Big showed up. I was actually inside but Diane saw him come running and knocked on my door to get my attention. He was a terrified mess and acted like he’d been confined – I know how he acts after having him in his crate for a couple of hours when I first brought him home – it was the same behavior. I scooped him up and have kept him inside since, where he has proceeded to shred everything that displeases him, including my arms and hands.

Then, it got personal. Yvonne and I (no one else in the park – this will become relevant in a minute) got Pet Violation notices in our mailboxes. We were specifically called out and informed that another violation would result in a fine and a third violation would result in expulsion from the park.

Now, we are reasonable people, Yvonne and I, but after asking around to see if anyone else received a notice (there are at least half a dozen residents who have cats that roam around and like any semi-rural area in this country, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of stray and feral cats wandering the neighborhood) and discovered that no other residents received violation notices. Obviously, this new round of bullshit was directly related to my confronting “management” about the disappearance of my cat.

Yvonne and I decided to go have a talk with the Owners and see just what was really going on – I hadn’t actually seen Alice for two years and hadn’t spoken to Walt for at least 18 months, and Yvonne hadn’t met either one of them.

Cut to the chase, our complaints are irrelevant and we are free to leave if we don’t want to follow the rules as set out and implemented by the “management team.”

When told of Glenn’s attack of Yvonne, Walt shrugged and made the universal hand gesture for “So? Why should I care?”

When asked if he knew cats were being trapped and “taken care of,” he actually SMIRKED at me and said, “Well, I’m not doing it, but I’m glad it’s being done!”

He then started lecturing me about how much money he has and how he doesn’t need the rent that comes in from the park residents, how they’re pouring all the money back into the park to make it look nice so “you people” have a nice place to live but he doesn’t need any of us. I said that he needs to get out into the park so he can see for himself that nothing is being cleaned up, repaired, monitored or in any way tended to outside what he can see from the windows of the house.

The icing on the cake for me was this exchange:

“You might not realize this, but I don’t need your money. I don’t need the $12,000 a month the park brings in…”

I held up a hand. “Wait! How many spaces are there in the park?”

“There’s forty,” he replied.

“40 times $400 is $16,000 dollars a month…”

At that he exploded, “You don’t think I’d know if I was being robbed! How dare you!”

“Hey, I’m just doing the math and I’m trying to tell you that you don’t know what’s going on outside and people are worried about you…”

He started a circular speech about money again and Yvonne and I just left.

It seems pretty clear that the “management team” is keeping the Owners inside and away from the park residents, but we can do nothing. Noreen is their primary caregiver and they will hear nothing against her. They fully support the team they have hired.

Meanwhile, no other residents have been told to confine their cats. “Management’s” dog continues to run loose at every opportunity, pooping all over the place (That’s a $50 fine!) and actually bit Yvonne the other day. When she tried to talk to the Owners about getting the dog’s vaccination info so she didn’t have to seek medical treatment for possible rabies, she was yelled at, shut down and told to go away. AND there’s a guy on the back row growing marijuana on his roof, people are tying their dogs outside their trailers for hours (Yvonne was specifically told she was not allowed to do that) and several trailers regularly have laundry hanging outside – a direct violation, I was told.

I need to move but my need for justice, and yes, maybe a bit of revenge, has me hesitating to do anything too quickly. I can’t help but wish there was some way to call the Karma Bus directly. There is much more to the story, but y’all are surely tired of hearing me rant by now so I’ll sign off and get back to work.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Keeper

How do you know if a person, a lover, a prospective mate, is a “keeper?”

All those things we look for in another: love, affection, respect, chemistry, geeky things in common, compatible baggage, similar outlook on life, same basic views on the Stuff That Matters, all that, but what, for you, was the Definitive Moment?

I had that moment yesterday morning. He brought me tea in bed, with just the right amount of milk and sugar. He did it without asking because he knows I like a cup of tea first thing in the morning. He paid attention when I made tea for myself and remembered what I like. He did it with no thought of anything but seeing me smile.

He’s a Keeper.

I know it might seem like such a small thing, and I’ve written about it here just a little – no man has ever made me a cup of tea in all the 25 years I was in committed relationships, not even once. Not one of them ever bothered to learn what I like or to give me just one little token of their esteem in this humble way. Not one of them seemed to notice that I drink hot tea pretty much every day, much less how I prefer to drink it. While I took pains to learn how they liked their coffee, eggs for breakfast, mixed drinks, their favorite fork, all the little things, they did not bother to do the same for me, and I have to tell you it hurt. A lot. Grand Gestures are not at all what I’m about and in fact they make me wary because I always suspect there will be strings attached and I will pay for any act of “generosity” they might bestow upon me.

But the Little Things? I swoon for the little things every time.

I told him a few weeks ago that I’ve been testing him. I knew it might raise his hackles, but felt I had to come clean. When he asked what I meant, I told him that I’m super-sensitive about some things, that I’ve tossed out what would have been bombs with Captain Bligh, just to see how he reacted and that he’d dodged every one of them, confirming my belief that there is no Mr. Hyde inside him, waiting until I cared too much to let him go easily before changing before my eyes into a monster that would crush my heart.

You know what he did? He said “awwwww….I’ve never lied to you. This is really who I am…” and pulled me into a long hug. And I believe him. He does not resent my testing. In fact, he understands exactly why I had to do it and he’s not hurt by it. We agreed in the beginning to be totally honest with each other and have lived up to that promise even when it was awkward or uncomfortable. He has listened to my rants about the men in my past. He has baggage, too, but it’s similar enough to mine that we’re compatible. We’re both a little bruised by Life and wary because we can’t help ourselves, but together we’ll make it.

He made me a cup tea, and that is everything.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Chaser

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Playing with Fire

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Music

 

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