The Latest News

23 Feb

All is well here, just busy. Posted  my latest condensation adventures (more to come) over on Travels with Towanda.

After his blow-up over my rejection of his V-day proposal, M’s tune has changed. Again. He has decided to start taking the Cymbalta his doctor recommended and he’s reading up on neuroscience!

Speaking of pain and pain management, two things. First, since I started taking the Cymbalta, my pain has significantly reduced, which has had a remarkable affect on my attitude.
Second, I am reading a free book I picked up on-line, called Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are. It’s about brain imaging, such as fMRI and PET and how that has helped understand brain function. It has a long chapter on chronic pain and another on Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. In both cases, they talk about how these conditions actually erode brain cells and function. A person with chronic pain for three or four years can actually loose 10% of the neuron function of their brain! But there is a new therapy called “mindfulness training”, which is similar to meditation and promotes learning compassion (for self and others) as a treatment and restorative to brain function. All kinds of dysfunctional behavior are associated with these two conditions, including lack of impulse control.

Picture me rolling my eyes and saying, “Duh!” What about MY PTSD? Narcissistic Personality Disorder also causes all of his symptoms, but so far I have not said anything about my theories about his behavior.

And later he starts in (again) with the sympathy ploy (the bold is mine):

This book I’ve been reading about brain imaging puts the lie to the old theories I have been repeating about how people don’t learn and change as they age. In fact, the imaging shows that brain cells and neurons are in constant regeneration up to about 75.

Apparently current psychological theory (based on imaging) indicates that people with chronic pain often do exactly what I’ve done – they overwork themselves to mask the pain because it buries the trauma. I’ve known that all along, but had convinced myself it was productive and good. I’ve even tried to hook you into it. And you already know how this kind of counter-intuitive thinking caused so much trouble for us. I know you tried to convince me otherwise, but you must remember I’ve been locked into this for a long time, it all fed into the hard-work ethic I was raised with.
The imaging shows that the stress caused by all this actually damages brain cells. What they are saying, though is that re-training is very effective and fast. An eight week course based on the theories in the book you got me (thank you!) coupled with drug therapy such as I’m doing now can turn my life around.

It’s been pretty amazing to me how just coming to understand this has already made a big difference in my emotional state. The Cymbalta evened out my stress in three days and it’s getting better everyday. I used to feel this panicky flutter in my chest when something “got me going” and it’s gone. For the first few days after you left, I felt like that a lot and was telling myself, that’s the trigger I need to pay attention to, which I think I told you at the time. Tonight when I drove home, there was a truck right on my tail and instead of getting the chest flutter and feeling the blood rise to my face, I just watched closely and felt completely calm. Can’t even remember having a reaction like that in that situation!

My back is sore, but not pinched. It no longer feels like someone is stabbing me with an icepick. And this is after spending a few days cramped under the cockpit of B’s boat!!! I actually (to my surprise) cracked-up the office staff at the clinic today. Don’t feel too jokey, but the old sense of humor popped out anyway.

One thing has not changed much, though and that’s how much I miss you. I woke up today and just couldn’t believe you were gone. That feeling stuck with me all day, just can’t believe you’re not in my life and may be gone forever. It feels like forever already. I don’t know what I’ll do if you don’t come back and try to love me as before. When I look there, it’s just a huge empty space.

Poor Man with all his empty space! Not. He wrote asking  me to please call him, that all this e-mail is exhausting. My reply was, “You say that e-mail is exhausting, but I find talking on the phone is exhausting because I don’t have time to think about my reply and feel that we end up in circular conversations that get us nowhere. This is easier for me right now.”

He let it drop and sent just one line last  night: “Thank you for who you are and all you have given me. You are amazing.”

Whatever. He couldn’t see how fucking amazing I am when I was right there next to him, but a week or so on Cymbalta and he sees the light? Color me doubtful.

Anyone have a good link to some info about Cymbalta? Not the Customer Review crap, but something with a bit more meat to it? I want to know how soon a person can start seeing results and what those results might be, etc.

He wants to take an extended sailing cruise over the Summer and has asked me if I’ll come live in his house and take care of it and the animals. No specifics on what that means – does he expect that I’ll pay the bills? Does he think I will move back in while he’s gone? Does he realize that house sitters get paid? I told him I would consider it as I haven’t found a home for the bunnies yet. What say you?


Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Deceptions, Emotional Abuse, Gaslighting, Narcissist


Tags: , ,

46 responses to “The Latest News

  1. behindthemaskofabuse

    February 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I would say don’t do it payed or not! I wanted to ask a question and I hope it’s not to forward, if it is, please forgive me. Why do you still have contact with him at all?
    He’s still trying to manipulate you. It still hasn’t sunk in with him that you’re not going back.

    I don’t know about Cymbalta but i do know it won’t cure narcissism and abusive behaviour!

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Guess I should have said that M is sending this stuff to me, but I am not answering unless it’s a very short response as in my post. I have not responded at all to his “new man” comments. I did send him a Kindle book as a gift (the book he refers to in his note) that is about meditation and finding inner peace. This is a one-sided conversation he (as usual) is engaging in – there is no need for me to respond at all for him to continue. Nothing new as of last night, though. Mr. Hyde will be appearing again soon, I’m sure 🙂

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        February 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

        oh okay, i was just concerned. yes likely Mr. Hyde will be back! they don’t go long without getting angry when they’re not getting their way! lol

  2. Bethany

    February 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t know about Cymbalta but I do now every anti-depressant that my ex took, took at least two weeks to take effect and it didn’t do anything but make him feel “happier” he was still abusive and manipulative. I am 95% sure the Cymalta hasn’t done anything for him yet, and that this is all just an act.
    As for the house sitting I wouldn’t do it. He wants to have as much contact as he can manipulate out of you and will only work harder to get more and more. Every time you give an inch he will fight for a mile. It is all part of the abuse game.
    I am reading a book called “why does he do that” you can get it on the Kindle and it is the best book I have ever read on the subject of abuse. I recommend that you get it and read it before you make anymore steps in you recovery 🙂

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Yeah, that’s my thought, too – assholes will be assholes no matter what medication they take 🙂

      I took your advice and bought the book you recommended.

      I have not been responding to his e-mails except occasionally in very short replies and never relating to his declarations of love or his supposed attitude change.

      I knew you all would agree with my gut about the house sitting thing. I can just see him “coming home early” to “surprise” me and the situation getting ugly. There is no win for me there so I will tell him no if it comes up again. He can hire someone 🙂

      • Bethany

        February 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        I am glad you got the book and I know you are smart enough not to respond to his email 🙂 we worry about you but if you continue to follow your gut you will be fine ❤

      • Sofia Leo

        February 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm

        With all of you to be accountable to, I know I’ll be fine 🙂

  3. Melanie

    February 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I say, don’t do it. It feels like a trap.

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      That’s what my gut said 😀

      • Melanie

        February 24, 2013 at 3:55 am

        Our guts don’t try to rationalize, they just know.

      • Sofia Leo

        February 25, 2013 at 8:15 am

        And I wish that we had been trained as little girls to totally trust our guts, that the creeping feeling is a very real warning to heed. I for one would not have ended up in this place. Maybe there would be fewer abusers out there if there were fewer susceptible young women for them to prey on.

      • Melanie

        February 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

        I agree.

  4. Janine

    February 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    This is from the FDA based on the clinical studies:

    17.4 Continuing the Therapy Prescribed
    While patients may notice improvement with Cymbalta therapy in 1 to 4 weeks, they should be advised to continue therapy as directed.

    Click to access 021427s040s041lbl.pdf

    The long winded updates have to be exhausting for you. I hope you can get the strength soon to tell him to stop. He is still a large part of your life because he is forcing himself in and you are letting him know it is ok by reading his emails. Kind of covert abuse. Just something for you to think about. We can only move as fast as we are able. Stay strong.

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Thanks, Janine!

      The updates are nothing to me – I don’t have to open the e-mail until I want to, and I don’t have to answer them at all. I have not been responding to his bullshit the way he wants me to and expect he will soon try another tactic.

      Meanwhile, I’m unpacking and figuring out how to strap everything down in Towanda for a possible move up the hill to be Awana’s neighbor – I have no time for M’s bullshit 🙂

  5. Janine

    February 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Oh yeah, I’d say no to the house sitting. Just my 2 cents there. Clean break, you have no kids! This is dragging on and on. He is never going to let you go until you cut the cord.

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      We’re all in agreement, then 😀 Other than the F2F a couple of weeks ago, there has been no back-and-forth, just his monologues via e-mail and a couple of terse replies from me.

  6. JackieP

    February 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Do NOT house sit!! It’s just another ploy. Also, like behindthemask, I wonder why also you are still having so much contact? The more you interact the more it feeds his ego and the more he thinks he can get you back. He will lie, manipulate and anything else he thinks will work. Please don’t play into his hands. Cut off as much contact as possible. If it’s just the rabbits then DO something about them and stop emailing him. Please Please just stop. He is slowly reeling you back in.

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      My gut said it was a bad idea to house-sit. I have not responded to his request and will say no if it comes up again. These notes are one-sided. I posted them to keep track of what he does to try to reel me back in. His pleas are going unanswered. Really 😀 He sends me long notes, I don’t answer, he sends another, I don’t answer, he sends a plea for me to call him, I ignore that, too…It’s like a train wreck I can’t look away from, but I’m driving right on by :-

      • JackieP

        February 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm

        Ah now things are much clearer. I only asked because even though we only know each other on here I care. I’ve been where you are. So I know what it’s like. Kudos for not answering. He will try more stuff. They don’t give up till it’s loud and clear it’s over. Even then they sometimes still don’t give up. Good for you for standing strong! hugs

  7. H. Stern

    February 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    My husband has very bad PTSD, and it’s a daily struggle for him. We’ve developed a lifestyle and techniques to help him cope, but what I want to say is this: he doesn’t use it as an excuse to be a total asshole. I’m not going to say he’s NEVER been a jerk to me during the middle of a flashback, or while he’s being triggered, but when the storm passes, he realizes what he’s done and makes honest efforts toward changing. And he has. And what drives me up a fucking wall is when people use their disorders to trauma as an EXCUSE to be a dick.

    Here’s the other thing I’m going to say: watch yourself. Color you “doubtful”? I would hope we could color you “completely unconvinced.” I wouldn’t judge you if you decided he had changed and you wanted to go back to him, but I would hope that you would give it VERY careful consideration before making any motions in that direction.

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Exactly! We all end up with baggage. It’s what we do with that baggage that makes us good or “bad” people. We (as adults, children are a different kettle of fish) have Free Will. We can choose to let our baggage define us or we can choose to rise above it. Because we had a rotten childhood, or tragic events shaped our lives, does not give us the right to abuse others.

      I guess I’m still trying to be “nice” in case he ever reads here. Don’t know why. I didn’t want to say, “what a fucking joke! That man will never change!” but I’m not sure why I phrased it the way I did. Feeling too tired to be pissed off tonight, I guess 🙂

      It doesn’t really matter if he changes – he has damaged our relationship too much for me to ever go back. Obviously I have issues of my own to deal with if I let someone like him walk all over me and until I get myself in a better place I have no business being involved with him or anyone else.

      Besides, I’m having way too much fun to even consider going back to such a limited existence 🙂

      • H. Stern

        February 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        Well, I understand the “wanting to be nice,” but there is a bit of liberation to a blog. I can be mean, I can say the things I “shouldn’t” want to say, because ultimately, what are the odds I’ll ever be well known for some crap I post up here? Nobody will see it. It’s like our communal diaries, and there’s a freedom to coming here and saying “FUCK ALL OF THIS” and then going back to my life.

        But my point is, I’m glad you know where you stand, and that you’re not looking back. We all have our issues, you’re right, and maybe this is the time in your life when you focus completely on yourself for a while… and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      • Sofia Leo

        February 25, 2013 at 8:14 am

        Right you are. Last week I gave my Mom the location of this here blog, so there’s a bit of self-censoring going on that I need to drop. As I read “Why Does He Do That?” it becomes clearer that I don’t owe him any benefit of any doubt or kind words – he is an abuser and deserves nothing positive from me. The training is hard to shake, though, especially now that I have some physical distance from him and can breathe again – was it really that bad? Do I have the right to skewer this asshole on my blog? Yes. Yes, I do!

        Maybe I won’t ever be famous for my words here, but maybe I’ll grow up to be Dooce 🙂

  8. 3kids2cats1divorce

    February 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    You left. It’s over. No housesitting. Your instincts are spot-on; you keep rockin’ it, sister!

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks for the affirmation!

  9. El Guapo

    February 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Glad you haven’t changed your mind on keeping your distance, or letting him sway you to come back.
    Do you think it would be a good idea to housesit for him? He’d be able to make legitimate requests to see you to go over stuff, and it would give him easier access to you.

    • Sofia Leo

      February 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      It would not be a good idea to house sit for him. I knew that in my gut, but I wanted to post about it here to get confirmation. The process of leaving a Narc is so complicated, emotionally, that I want to document my feelings so that when I doubt myself, I can read back here and know that I did the right thing. One thing he does not need is easier access to me or a reason for me to be in closer contact with him.

      • El Guapo

        February 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        Good for you!
        Also glad your commenters agree with your instincts.
        Soon you won’t need us at all! 😉

      • Sofia Leo

        February 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        Aw, I’ll always need you guys, G!

  10. notyourvictim

    February 24, 2013 at 9:40 am

  11. Jenny

    February 25, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Can’t believe M wants you to house sit….yep lure you back to the home….NOT!!! Trust your gut always!!

    • Sofia Leo

      February 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

      I know, right? What was he thinking? He and his ex did house sit and dog sit for each other, so on the surface it sounds perfectly reasonable, but there is a creepiness about the whole thing and the first thought I had was that he would come back “early” (or maybe not even really leave?) to “surprise” me and force some sort of confrontation or something equally sinister. Listening to my gut on this one!

  12. lookingforward2012

    February 25, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Reading this made me feel icky.

    • Sofia Leo

      February 25, 2013 at 8:08 am

      Writing it wasn’t pleasant, either 🙂 His manipulations are getting more subtle.

  13. justamumzy

    February 25, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Keep on keepin sista!

  14. Jenny

    February 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Hurry up and find a new home for the bunnies so you can cut off all communication with him, then he will know you are serious for him to get out of your life, any talking back and forth just gives him hope he can get you to come back! He needs to fix himself and it is going to take counciling to figure himself out , not just the meds. You deserve so much better, you can’t FIX him, nor should you have to!!

    • Sofia Leo

      February 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      This week he has been silent, and I am relieved. No takers yet for the buns. No room for them here at the moment, but maybe I can work something out. Awana just gasped in horror 😀

  15. Jenny

    February 25, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I really respect your need to do this blog, wish I had done it when I went thru hell with mine, I did alittle but not enough to remind me ” he really does not give a rats ass about you” I got away and it would be another 8 yrs before I remarried. I look back and see how I was treated and how my kids think that was normal behavior and now I have had trouble making it clear to the kids that it was not normal and I am not the one with the problem! They have been so brainwashed to believe it’s ok to hurt others and never say they are sorry for their actions. Sad!!

    • Sofia Leo

      February 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Documentation is key for my sanity 🙂 I really had no idea how bad it was, but here it is in black and white, no denying or gaslighting can refute my truth! Thank the powers that be for the interwebs!

  16. Jenny

    February 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I agree, maybe that is why I kept all my lawyers paper work to prove some day I was not the crazy one. I have it written in black and white that he was a asshole from BOTH lawyers!!

  17. Jenny

    February 27, 2013 at 8:48 am

    only when I had the law on my side did he finally back off and leave me alone and he does not mess with Dan!! Dan is not a fighter, he’d just ignore their silly crap.

  18. Lee

    February 28, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I used to engage my ex in her desired conversations about “our relationship.” All it did was drag me down and keep me tethered to the old, broken relationship I used to live with, and the broken life associated with it. Oh, and it wasted oodles and oodles of my time. Just as when we were together, she reliably disagreed with everything I said, told me I was “crazy” and “paranoid” for feeling the way I did, and never gained an ounce of respect for me or my boundaries. She still trash-talks me to the kids six years after she left. (But I have a good, solid relationship with them.) I’ve now adopted a strict policy of talking and responding to her only on subjects that I legally have to–mostly involving custody arrangements. Life is getting better. Only a couple years left of this required contact, and then I’m fully free! Once you’ve been able to arrange other “custody” for your bunnies, you can be fully free too! 🙂

    • Sofia Leo

      March 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      I’m happy to hear that your relationship with our kids is good. Too often parents trash talk and tear down the other parent. I never saw the point in that and did not do it with my son, even though his father is a pretty nasty piece of work.

      The only thing I harped on to my son was that his father is an alcoholic and an addict and he (my son) has the genetic predisposition to become addicted easily and cannot just “have fun” with drugs or alcohol. I started at a very young age to educate him and so far it seems to have stuck. He does drink beer, but I don’t think he’s tried anything more powerful. I hope.

      It’s so hard to deal with these damaged people when there are kids involved. I feel for you in your situation.


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