Monday, August 6, 2012


I found this statement in
I couldn't have said it better.

By: Ann Molinaro

I have read almost every piece of information on the internet about abusive men and narcissists. I have read many stories about the strong courage of women and men that have fallen in love with them. I have been trying to understand how so many of us get hooked into these relationships. I only found out last year the name for my pain, narcissists, not your ordinary abuser, if there is such a thing.

They all lack empathy or they would not be that way.  Some of us came from abusive homes, some of us came from semi normal homes. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a normal home life. Your profession, your income, your nationality, no matter your background, it can happen to anyone, even psychiatrist can be taken in.

How do they invade our minds and change our thinking about everything? We end up questioning our sanity and wondering who we were or are, from our encounter with one. That is why recovery is so difficult. These people slowly and methodically destroy our hearts and minds. They take pieces of us, bit by bit, over time, you don’t even know you are being robbed, till you are depleted of everything. You then mix in the confusion, of good times, appears to be loving and human, and the bad, incapable of love, not human at all.

You think you will be able to get the good guy, if only you can turn yourself inside out for him. You know there is that good side of him, so he has you hooked and thinking you can get that good guy. You just need to love him more and put a little work into it.

You love that good guy, you know he exists, he is connected with love, pleasure and good times. Your focus and goal is all about getting that guy. You no longer think about yourself and what you want in the relationship, you will have it all when you get that good guy all the time. It will just be perfect and you live happily ever after.

What we don’t know, is narcissists and abusers are at war in their heads, they take prisoners, not partners. You became a prisoner in is private hidden war. He brainwashed and tortured you every day in your relationship. He knew exactly what to do, to break your spirit so he could gain control of you.

You became a prisoner in his private hidden war. He told you what to feel and think, and when he felt like it, he rewarded you with some crumbs of kindness. We are so starved of real human love, we eat up those crumbs of kindness and crave our next meal from them. We are starving for a human being to return our love and appreciate us. They gain power over us by mixing pain and pleasure, thinking we will end up with the human one but, THEY DO NOT EXIST.

When it is over, whether you have been dumped or trying to get away from them, you have survived and emotional holocaust, brain washed and tortured, and you wonder why you are having such a hard time getting over it. You are left to sift through the destruction and rubble to find pieces of yourself.

You have to try to remember who you were to even begin to put yourself back together. You try to think, what you did do wrong, where and when did it go wrong, what did you miss, what more could you have done, how could you be so stupid, why would you put with it, why did I stay, why didn’t I leave, why can’t I just move on?

Never ending questions trying to make some sense of it all, but it will never make sense. It had nothing to do with you. Then we think we are codependent, we enabled our abuser, we loved too much, we had no self esteem to have to have left this happen to us.

We now feel ashamed of ourselves, for letting this happen. We end up feeling and being responsible for it all. They go on, taking in more prisoners and totally unaffected by it all. He blamed everything on you, made you responsible for everything that happened and then you are basically told you brought it on your self.

Maybe there are some people who are codependent, but it does not apply to everyone. It does not apply to prisoners taken in by narcissists and abusers and tortured in their camps, your lovely, picture perfect home. They are from another planet, they come for the hearts and minds of the loving, caring people on our planet. They look like us, and they can act like us. You have no way of knowing who they are till you are in their camp. It can happen to anyone. They need a never ending supply to live every day of their lives.

A normal divorce or break up is hard, but this is so much more. They rearranged your mind, depleted and deleted every thing that was you, sucked you dry and you wonder why you are having a hard time of it? You were a kind, loving, caring human being with an out standing capacity to love, they have none of that. You just did not know people like this existed, now you know.

You can still be fooled, keep the warning signs in your head. Set up boundaries how you wish to be treated from now on and don’t ever settle for anything else. I always treated people the way I would like to be treated, now I know, not every one feels that way. Some things in life do not or ever will make sense at all, narcissists and abusers are two of those things. So as long as we question ourselves and try to make sense of it, we keep them in our heads. The feelings you are feeling are all normal when you have been a prisoner of war.

Sadly for us who have survived this, understanding and support is hard to find. You have to live it to know what it is like. The road to recovery is facing it all, releasing the memories, they will never make sense. You can now make sense of the insane behavior, you had nothing to do with it, it was not you.

Focus on yourself and what you want to do. You can’t rush it, you must have the same amount of patience and love you gave your partner, but his time for you, you deserve it. I have learned not to say, “This is the worst thing that could have happened to me,” worse things can and do happen every day. Now I say, no one died, I am healthy, I will be OK… I have the blessing of tomorrow, another day, I will do better tomorrow.

Don’t beat yourself anymore, you came in contact with a non human from another planet. You are more aware than rest of the world, warn everyone you know, in case they encounter one.


I began to lose myself in my first marriage where even his Mom recognized that I was being "Gas-lighted".  A form of psychological abuse in which the victim begins to doubt their own memory by false information being fed to them. The term comes from the play Gaslight and the movie starring Ingrid Bergman.  The man in these works uses tricks to convince his wife that she is crazy.  I was beginning to feel that way during our 18 year relationship.

My next marriage was made up of every form of abuse and during this time I no longer believed in myself.  I didn't know who I was and felt I didn't deserve any better than what I had.  I did as I was told but never could please him.

When I finally was able to get away I went to a man who preyed on vulnerable women, and continued to do so for years to come. By then I was resigning myself to the life I was dealt.  

It took his illness and hospitalization and the ensuing responsibilities I had to take over to make me remember the person I should have been and thus began my process to become ME. 

I like me.  I like the person I have become and no man will ever take "me" away again.  I have been blessed to have found a man who admits to his previous flaws. He knows that I no longer give second chances when my mind or health are threatened. This man has proven to me time and time again that he wants me to never feel the pain I felt for so many years.  He wants me to always know that I am loved.

I deserve no less.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sibling Rivalry to the End

I know this makes me sound anti-American but I don't particularly car for the Olympics.  When I'm watching the events I feel like I'm watching gym class. So I avoid it.  

That said, this week's Red Writing Hood prompt was "Going for the Gold", with our choice of three different Olympic-themed challenges.  I chose the 100 meter Sprint in which I have 100 words to write on conflict, competition or game. 

We weren't raised to be competitive. My folks really didn't care what we did with our lives. Even so, my Mom said my sister always felt the need to compete against me. Because life dealt her a bad hand, she competed by taking family and friends away no matter what she had to say to do so.

When my brother's married, they and their wives continued the attacks. The lies, the betrayal, the ostracizing. I tried to make them stop but the competition continues to this day. Despite how far I move or try to avoid them – it continues.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

So... At Last We Meet

One of the things that I managed to teach my children through the example of my relationship with the love of my life, Johannes, is that long-distance relationships DO work.  

They take a stronger LOVE - to be able to survive long periods without being near one another.
They take complete TRUST in one another - to be able to withstand those who will attempt to tear the two of you apart by trying to put a doubt in the other's mind ... and there will be those people. 
They take complete FAITHFULNESS - so that you always remember with whom your true love lies and so that they keep their trust in you.
They take absolute HONESTY - no half-truths or white lies. Once a shadow of a doubt is placed upon you, then the trust is gone. Besides, why lie? The little things aren't worth it and if you have an unforgivable secret then you probably shouldn't be together anyway.


It is with those beliefs that India has managed to keep her relationship with her sweetheart, Cody, strong. The two of them have been a couple almost as long as Johannes and I.  Unlike the two of us, who have gotten together on several occasions, these two didn't finally physically meet until they had been together for a year and a half. Thank goodness for computers, telephones and Skype (well, that would still be computers, wouldn't it?)

Cody and his mom, Sharon, drove five hours across the state so that Cody could take India to the Prom.  Now that is a love for your child!  When they first arrived, we had breakfast and then Cody discovered our box of "Table Topics" sitting on the table.  So he began asking us the questions on the cards.

They are such a cute couple.

Eventually we made it to Addie's Ice Cream Parlor for her delicious home-made ice cream, and more photos.  While we sat in the little patio, I thought how nice the backdrop of the four-mile long lake in our town would be so I made the kids go across the street and pose for me.

Really - what a beautiful back-drop, and what a cute couple.

I love this photo!

They were getting a bit irritated with the endless photo taking but India should know by now to accept it.

Sharon drove all the way here just so the kids could be together for a dance.  That is too sweet!

Since India will be heading away to college soon, I thought she should sign Addie's wall.

Of course Cody should too.

More Cute Couple pictures.

India was a little nervous pinning on the boutonniere. 

Not nearly as nervous as Cody was to pin on her corsage. Sharon ended up helping.

Now, the moment we've all been waiting for - Prom!

At least they thought the non-stop photo taking was amusing now.

Deal with it, Cody!  I like taking pictures.

The next morning, Jerome decided to hang out with his new friend (and play with my cell) before Cody and Sharon headed back to the Albany area - and home.

"Roughing it"

Recently I found a group on LinkedIn that gave me yet another outlet for my writing. Each day we are given a prompt to use for inspiration. This challenge was to think of two things I loved to do as a child and to write about one of them. 


What would I consider to be my most loved childhood activities?  The two that come to mind would be camping out in the back yard in my Dad's WWII era tent and riding my bicycle throughout most of our county roads.  By far, my favourite of the two would be camping.


Dad had been a soldier during WWII, which made me quite an after-thought in his plan for a family, since I fell into the tail-end of the Baby-Boomers. Despite their ages, my folks still made sure I had lots of fun as a child. 

One of our activities was when the neighbour girls and I would sleep on folding lawn chairs in a secluded part of our back yard directly below our breakfast room windows.  Protected from the street lights and hidden between lilacs bushes and the retaining wall for the terrace, all that we could see were back lawns spread out in front of us

We would spend our summer nights in sleeping bags on these lounges until I was twelve. At first we used the old style metal chaise lounges which had a bar that ran directly under our backs when they were fully reclined.  Eventually, our parents began replacing them with chaises that had plastic straps.  These felt so much better and made sleeping much more comfortable - except for those times when someone didn't lock the legs and so a sudden shift in their sleep would sent them to the ground.

The only times we couldn't sleep "under the stars" was during fair week. You see, we lived two blocks from the county fair grounds.  A great location for a kid but uncomfortable for parents.  Once the carnies were out of town, we could go back outside at night again.  My folks and two of my neighbours kept their homes unlocked so that we could run inside if we needed, and sometimes we did.  Usually on nights when it would suddenly rain we would end up on my screened-in porch three stories above my backyard, where we had been sleeping. 

After I turned 12, my Dad took his tent out of hiding in our basement and set it up for us.  This was a tall canvas tent which had an umbrella-like frame and an awning in the front.  Dad decided the tent would work best behind our garage - another secluded area. We had a hedgerow on one side and a huge Jasmine bush on the other, the garage behind us and the two 30 foot Maples overhead. Four of us could sleep comfortably and there we stayed all summer. 

Across the lawn, just over the property line was "The Fort".  This was a wood and pajco construction building that the boys had built on the neighbour's lawn and from which we were banned.  Well, everyone but I.  They paid me a dollar a week to clean and I was allowed to hang out if they weren't in it (I would bring a book and lounge around, reading).  Any patch repairs were done with more pajco, of which we had an endless supply.  One of my neighbours was manager at the plant so he would bring us scrap rolls whenever we needed them. 

Our sleep-outs didn't involve much sleeping.  We lived in the next block from the school and just two blocks from "Downtown".  Every night we would go to Mercer's Dairy and buy Doritos and soda.  Then we would go to the kindergarten playground and eat while we played on the swings and other equipment. Around one or two am we would head over to the tent and play one of the many board games we had stashed away.  Occasionally I would get over-tired and break out into fits of hysterical, uncontrollable laughing - but it always passed and we went on with our fun.

Somehow we always managed to wake with the chill of the morning and raid whichever kitchen had the best breakfast foods.