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Monthly Archives: December 2013

On the cusp of a New Year

Wow. 2013 went by faster than any other year I can remember! My personal New Year doesn’t start until January 21 (my first narc-free day) but since most of the Western world uses January 1 as the official day, I will too. For now.

A year ago I was still living with the narc, enduring his constant complaints about feeling “under compensated,” enduring his lectures about how I “control” every aspect of our lives, especially the dinner menu, how he’s helpless and can’t contain his emotions but he loves me very, very much. I was done making excuses, fully aware of what a monster he is and counting the days until my escape.

I’m proud to say that 2013 has been my happiest and most productive year as a fully-fledged adult person 🙂 I have learned more, accomplished more, lived more this past year than any that went before.

I have bright hopes for the future and wish all of you a safe, happy and prosperous 2014.

For those of you in toxic relationships, I wish for you the strength to get out – there really is a good life here on the other side. Jump on in, the water’s fine 🙂

For those of you who are recently out of toxic relationships, congratulations! The hard part is over. Really, it is. Go forward with hope and courage and good things will be yours.

Thank you all for following along on my journey back to life and for being so supportive and wise when I thought I was all alone.

Since everyone else is doing it, here’s my annual report, just for fun.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Happy, I totally Rock!

 

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Holiday Cheer

I’ve been AWOL for the last five days, doing all that Holiday Stuff that’s so popular this time of year. Awana came over to spend a couple days with us. Here you see her spinning and trying to enjoy a piece of toast. Sabu was doing her best to get that last bite for herself, but Awana was oblivious:DSCN0477

 

Awana is one of those people who hasn’t lived with pets for some time and is either unaware or has forgotten what it’s like to eat anything with a critter in the house. She is able to leisurely have a bite of toast, set it down, drink a sip of tea, talk awhile and pick the toast back up, confident that it will be right there under her questing fingertips when she’s ready for it again.Sabu (mostly) doesn’t steal from her. Yet.

I, on the other hand, must grasp my food to my chest, balancing a tea cup on my lap (setting it on the table is an invitation for getting it knocked over,) taking quick bites and swallowing fast, before dog or cat manage to knock something free and gobble it down before I can rescue it. Revy is always at my elbow, or even trying to climb onto the plate if there’s chicken or ham involved, and Sabu is forever leaning on my knees, bumping my arm or leg with her nose to get me to hurry up and get to the last bite already! She always gets the last bite and is not at all patient about waiting for it. It can be exhausting, I tell you.

DSCN0479On Christmas day we drove up to Portland to my Sister’s house for lunch and catching up. Sadly, most of my pictures turned out awful (I truly hate my new camera and moan about the one that was stolen each time I bring out the POS) but there are a few that are fit to show.

 

DSCN0480Sis’ tree. Cool, yes? It was much prettier IRL. It disassembles and goes into a box after The Season. Easy-peasy!

DSCN0484This is Maya. She is an odd cat. Very interested to see what you’re eating, but not at all interested in having a bite. It’s like she needs to know for the sake of knowing.

The quilt was well received and we all settled down for taco soup, which was fab-u-lous! Even better heated up the next day!

A couple hours of visiting and we were off to the dog park and to take Harley home. Turns out The Boy did not have many clothes fit to wear in public (at least by Mom and Grandma standards) and so I insisted that I would be back on Friday to take him shopping. And for a haircut.

Sadly, it was unnecessary to humiliate him by forcing him to try on clothes and model them for me at the crowded store – I had five pairs of new jeans in The Stash (don’t ask) that fit him perfectly. We did venture out for some thrifting and food shopping as well as a haircut. Another trip to a dog park and Sabu and I headed home.

Awana was gone, so the beasties and I started in on another project and cleaning house. I spent a couple hours Saturday and Sunday in the Studio working on a scrappy quilt that is now ready for tying and binding. The trailer is clean, the plants are behind a new protective barrier that looks slightly less White Trash than the cardboard I was using before, and I even managed to do some cooking for lunches this week. Sabu got to go to the dog park six days in a row. Lil’ Dude got some new clothes – more about that in another post 🙂

All in all, it was a very happy and productive five days off!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Family, Friends, Happy, Holidays

 

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Taking back breakfast

DSCN0461As you all know, the narc had food issues. There were a million rules about food, its proper preparation, the consequences of wasting it, my inability to use “proper language” when describing it, his inability to remember what I like to eat and of course the many arguments about tortillas. Sigh.

Breakfast was no different. He insisted on eating oatmeal every morning. Every.Morning. With coffee, made just the way he likes it. Okie-dokie! I was on board for oatmeal because I really like it spread a bite at a time on toast. Yum! Oh, but wait! The first time he saw me eating it that way (we won’t talk about the horrors of eating bread!) he sneered at me and said that I was “eating like a ten-year-old!” and that was no way for an adult to eat oatmeal. I continued to eat toast with my oatmeal, but never again did I eat it “like a ten-year-old.” Just another small erosion of my Self.

The narc eats a lot of oatmeal and is also a cheapskate, so he insisted that I buy a 25-pound bag of Old Fashioned Oats (no other kind was acceptable, not even for a bit of variety) from the local bulk food store. This bag was stored in a musty cupboard behind my chair where it sat at the kitchen table.

::Just a word about the seating arrangement – there was just enough room for me to get into my chair, and not an inch more. You see, moving the table so I could actually sit comfortably was impractical, because that would mean that HE wouldn’t have three feet clear to maneuver around his chair (when it was pulled out for sitting) on the other side of the table, and it would interfere with the “traffic pattern,” never-mind that it was almost always just the two of us and if we were sitting down to a meal neither one of us was walking through the “traffic pattern.”::

So, in order to re-fill the re-purposed cat food containers (gack!) that lived in the cupboard by the stove (this particular duty never fell to him, rest assured) I had to move out my chair, move out the extra chair, get down on my knees, open the cupboard door as far as it would go, and squeeze the oatmeal bag out through the opening. I would fill the containers and reverse the process, being sure to put the chairs back exactly so, per instructions.

Because of the awkwardness of the cupboard, it was rarely opened and was used to store canned goods. As a result, it smelled musty and was damp after a rain storm. Since the oats had to be stored in the original bag (buying more plastic to clutter up our lives was against The Rules, even if it would mean fresher food. Using glass jars that I already owned was out of the question, too) you can imagine what the oatmeal tasted like at the bottom of the bag. And no, throwing it out was not an option because wasting food was akin to cold-blooded murder in the narc’s book.

Whew! Bad memories make my gut churn.

I hope y’all don’t think I’m crazy for this long prelude to say that yesterday I had oatmeal for breakfast. At 11:00. With tea and toast. While sitting on the couch, letting the dog do her best Begging Tricks. I used a ton of butter on the toast and I covered each delicious bite with oatmeal (with sugar added – another no-no in Narcland!) It was so delicious that I had the exact same meal (another no-no in Narcland!) for dinner. It was just as good, English muffin bread for the second round.

I smiled as I ate my fresh-from-the-round-box quick oats covered in real milk (“Milk is for babies! You’re going to die from drinking all that milk!”) with sugar drizzled on top. Sheesh! I’m sitting at work getting hungry all over again 🙂

Another small victory. Can “normal” be far behind?

 
33 Comments

Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Digging Out, Emotional Abuse, Food & Drink, Narcland

 

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The Concise Dictionary of Narcissists and Sociopaths

This is so true! My narc would re-define words within the same conversation to suit his needs at the moment. I never knew if a word would have the same meaning from day to day, making it impossible to defend my self like “all thinking adults can do.” You see, he valued debate as a tool to “higher understanding” and lectured me often about how I had to be ready at any moment to defend my opinion. He liked to test me by changing his point of view on whatever subject struck his fancy at the moment and then chastise me when I didn’t take the opposing view. You know, just for fun. Crazy making in the extreme!

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

One Year Ago Part Three

Last December was a very bad month for me. The narc was amping up his abuses because I finally had a handle on his tactics, a look behind his mask, and he was not happy at all.

November ended with a fight about moving some plywood, of all things. He got mad that I didn’t jump up from my desk where I was doing paying work to help him before he needed to ask. The argument went round and round until I just didn’t care any more and shut down, refusing to respond to him at all. He pretended to “make an effort to change” which I knew was just another tactic to bring me back in line.

Because of my wonderful readers and lots of internet research, by December I knew I was dealing with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and that there was no cure, no hope, and no reason to say with the asshole. I started to turn his conversational beatings around on him, refusing to play his games. I admit I found it thrilling, like poking the tiger in the cage at the zoo. Now that I was no longer emotionally invested in the relationship, I didn’t care if I made him mad and said what I really felt with no regard to what he might think. It was Sofia Uncensored. He hated it. I reveled in his hate. His anger and switching tactics only fueled my own anger and determination to get the hell out.

When he could no longer move me to tears or talk me into submission he changed his approach: suddenly he was helpless, unable to keep his finances in order, broke, sick, depressed, unable to remember a host of little things from one day to the next. He became a toddler again and he expected me to pick up his slack and take care of all his needs.

I had money in my bank account and a plan for the next time he left town, but he seemed determined to not leave me alone. I tried my best to keep from rocking the boat while standing up for myself – not an easy task. I didn’t want him to kick me out before I was ready to go, but I had a backup plan just in case.

And then Christmas was upon us, and he did his usual gift thing. I bought him clothes, careful to choose exactly what he said he wanted. He took back some clothes that he had given to me and whined constantly about how he felt like he’d been taken advantage of all these years by “everyone,” including me and that was why he wasn’t where he wanted to be in his life and why he could not be happy and treat me well. He was laying the guilt on thick at every opportunity.

I was angry. So very angry. I was very impatiently waiting for him to go out of town again so I could put my escape plan into motion. I was keeping many secrets from him and I felt justified in doing so because of his lies and manipulations. I no longer loved him. I did hate him with a red hot fiery passion and I knew that hatred was the primary force keeping my head above water, paddling slowly forward, looking for an opening to get away.

In less than a month I would be free. That last month was the hardest to endure, but I made it and have been narc free for almost a year!

Thank you all for traveling along with me on this journey.

 

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Respect

Something happened at work yesterday that I don’t quite understand.

You might not realize this about me, but social situations are awkward. I don’t play well with others. I have a hard time hiding my irritation when confronted with Stupid or Ignorant and this can make people tense around me. Small talk is not easy for me, as I don’t follow sports, forensic TV shows or politics when I can avoid it. I don’t go to church, did not attend a nearby college, and don’t have any hobbies that involve guns, trucks or beer. This makes me an obvious social dud ’round these parts.

Over the years I have learned to just keep my mouth shut whenever possible.

All of the guys here are Nice Men – there is no tension or malice in them, none of the narc traits I know so well, just a bunch of nice guys who don’t talk dirty or make inappropriate comments or jokes. They don’t badmouth anyone or cuss or show up drunk or hungover. Now that I think about it, it’s kinda creepy. I wonder which one of them is a serial killer? Just kidding! I feel very comfortable around all of them and feel that we work well as a team.

Everyone uses names when speaking to each other. Like, a lot. “Good morning, Sofia,” etc. Constantly. It kinda freaks me out. I mean, we all know who we are, right? It feels stilted and formal to me, but maybe it’s normal?

Also, every time I leave my little room and walk to another area, the guys all clear a path like I’m the Queen or something. I mean, they really get out of the way – flattening themselves up against the wall, ducking back into doorways, making an elaborate display of letting me pass.

Do I smell? I haven’t bowled anyone over in years, so they shouldn’t be afraid that I’ll run into them. Are they afraid that I’ll grope them? Do I look like I have a disease or condition that is contagious? Is my expression threatening? I don’t think so, but…

So yesterday Kyle came out of the copier room as I was going by and he jumped back, making a noise through his nose like he was annoyed.

I joked, “Ha! Didn’t run into you that time, either!”

“It’s respect, Sofia!” he snapped.

I laughed because, really? He’s Number One (if The Boss is the Captain) at this company and if anything, I should show him respect, so WTF? He was plainly annoyed and tight-jawed the rest of the day and I found my stomach in knots all night over the incident, if it can be called that.

Is this some sort of social ritual that I don’t recognize? Am I a total social nerd? Okay, I am, but surely I would have noticed this kind of behavior before reaching the grand old age of 44!

Why in the world would these men be treating me this way? I am no delicate flower, wilting at the slightest touch. I don’t burst into tears or otherwise get emotional if I can’t get to the copier before someone else. I am not the Queen here (that would be The Boss’ wife) and I don’t think I put on an attitude that suggests I feel superior in any way to any of my co-workers, but I could be wrong – my Social Skills module has been known to be faulty on occasion…

It just feels strange and I need your opinion, dear readers. Do I just accept this treatment because it’s not a backhanded compliment, but is sincere and the way Normal People act in an office environment, or is something else going on that I don’t recognize? What’s it like in your office?

 
33 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2013 in right?, Social Interaction

 

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Dry, Frozen Wasteland

DSCN0457

Pretty, no?

Here we are at Monday again. The pond at the park is frozen over. The ducks have moved elsewhere. The squirrels are capering about like maniacs, making any walking with Sabu a tug-of-war adventure. All doors but the front passenger door on my car are frozen shut.

Friday I did not leave the water dripping when I went to work. I would only be gone 5 hours or so and I was worried that the drain would freeze and I’d come home to water all over the floor. Big mistake. The water line to the kitchen froze, but it was fine as there was still water to the bath sink and toilet. Not HOT water because the hot water tank is up by the kitchen sink, but it was water.

I awoke Saturday morning because I was cold. Had Mr. Right Toasty deserted me? Were we to have only three nights of blissful slumber before he failed? Do I still have the receipt to return him to the store? I was sorely disappointed because I thought it was True Love between us – he would get plugged in at bedtime and keep me warm and happy all night long and in return I would care for him, carefully folding him and storing his cord in a safe place until it was time for him to do his job again.

Before I started to cry at the injustice of it all, I realized my nose was cold. Ears, too. Mr. Right Toasty doesn’t warm those parts, and now that I thought about it, the furnace wasn’t coming on. Shit! Ran out of propane. Sigh.

No worries – the nearest place to purchase propane is less than half a mile away and even if my car wouldn’t start, I could load a tank onto my hand truck and walk that far. It wouldn’t be fun, but it could be done. Checked the outside temp. 17* F. Inside temp? 42* F. Not good. I’m really, really, OVER Winter already!

There was some drama after filling the propane tanks, but it all turned out well in the end.

The water situation, however, remains dire. It’s a long story that I posted over on Travels with Towanda.

The Crazy Knitting Project continues, although the going is slower than I had hoped. I don’t think I’ll make the deadline. All this Winter Crap is just exhausting.

Work is slow today, for which I am thankful as I spent the night only half sleeping, listening to the furnace cycle on and off and the various creaks and moans of the trailer as it slowly turns into a block of ice. If everything thaws without incident it will be a miracle. As it is, there are some areas that will have to be attended to ASAP because I think I have a couple of leaks. Sigh. I wanted adventure, right? I tell ya, I did not plan on freezing my ass off this Winter, wondering when the floor was finally going to fall through the forward slide.

Fun times!

 
15 Comments

Posted by on December 9, 2013 in RV Living, Stuff that Pisses Me Off!, Weather

 

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