From 3rd Person To 2nd

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Memories have been lapping at my mind like waves against a shoreline.  Nothing necessarily repressed,  just memories I’ve viewed (up until recently) through an observational, third person point of view.  I find myself peering at them from a second person point of view as of late, like a friend observing events that occur in our lives.  I have to admit, being in third person has kept things neat, tidy and linear.  I haven’t had to really think about any of it.  I viewed these memories as events along a timeline, no more, no less.  As I begin looking at these events through the eyes of a “friend”, I am slightly dumbfounded.  I find myself somewhat in shock.  Looking at some of the things that have happened in my past, I’m quite floored by the behavior I tolerated … my “normal.”

I was asked after my last blog, “How is it that this personality disorder (narcissism) is not more recognizable by the one who owns it?”  The answer is actually quite simple.  Narcissists are the center of their own universe.  They are never wrong and therefore nothing could ever be wrong with them.  They are the sun and the rest of us peasants orbit around them.  In most every situation they are the victim, a-l-w-a-y-s.   There is no personal responsibility for what they do rather constant blaming.  Everything is always someone else’s fault.  Their truth is the only truth.  Narcissists do not have the ability to empathize, though they learn to mimic empathy when it benefits them.  These are completely self-serving, selfish individuals.

When my baby girl was born the delivery was rough, nothing like what I’d experienced when my son was born.  On the trip home, after being discharged, I had severe back pain.  Every bump and bounce along the road caused excruciating pain!  It had me on the floor board of the pick-up in tears 30 minutes into the 60 minute drive home.  When I called the doctor, he blew me off claiming it was likely back labor even after passing clots the size of grapefruit (instant relief from the back pain).  I wasn’t feeling well at all, passing large clots regularly and voiced those concerns … for six weeks!

After my six week check up at the doctor I still didn’t feel well and was ignored by both the doctor and my then husband.  The day after that check up, I filled the toilet with blood.  I was light headed, queasy and scared.  Here I was, home alone with an infant and a toddler and no one to call for help.  I did what most wives would do, I called my husband for help.  After a long pause (long enough I thought we’d been disconnected) he said, completely annoyed, “Jess, I’m really busy right now.  You’re going to have to figure this out.”  I know, I know, you’re thinking, “That’s absurd!”  Yes, it was though at the time, it didn’t cross my mind that he was being a complete asshole.  He was the sun and I was supposed to orbit around him, his needs, his demands, his everything.  I told him I was concerned I might pass out and pleaded with him to come pick the kids and I up so I could go to the doctor.  Again, a long, annoyed pause and then he said, “I guess I’ll send one of the guys to get you if you’re going to be such a baby about this.”  I remember feeling ashamed and embarrassed that I had even asked for help.  I hated the idea of “one of the guys” showing up to chauffeur me into town.  What if I gushed more blood?  Men are silly about periods, let alone this!!!

A couple hours later the kids and I arrived at his construction office.  As we walked in I was met by a look of utter disdain.  I felt so small.  As I explained that I had left a message for the doctor, I felt a tight cramping in my back that almost dropped me to my knees followed by the now, all too familiar, gush of blood and tissue.  Before I could move I was soaked and standing in a puddle of blood.  I remember feeling clammy, light headed and seeing stars, the color completely drained from my face.  As I looked up from the floor he was yelling, “Get off the carpet!  Damn it Jess!  You are ruining the carpet in my office!  Go, GO, GOOOOOO!!!!!”  My ears were ringing, I was startled, scared and beyond embarrassed.  As the guys came peaking in to see what was going on, I waddled past them in blood soaked pants and shoes squishing like I’d just jumped in a rain puddle.  How in the hell could a man who claimed to love his wife treat her that way!?!  He was more concerned with his carpet and what others might think, than the mother of his children losing excessive amounts of blood right before his eyes!

I wound up in the hospital.  I had been hemorrhaging as my body tried to flush a large piece of placenta … for going on seven weeks!  As I lay in recovery, my beautiful nurse brushed my hair back from my eyes and told me it was the largest amount of tissue they’d ever seen removed.  The fact that I had still been functioning fairly normally was amazing in and of itself.

I was taking attention away from the sun during this event.  No longer was the universe orbiting around the sun.  My problems, no matter how life threatening, were of no consequence to the covert narcissist I was married to.  I was stepping out of line, forgetting my place in the orbit, by requiring his attention and help.  I had broken rank and he was sure to make that known.

My story may be different, it’s not unique.  I file most of the events in my past under the “Can’t Make This Up” file!  The ‘Lifetime’ channel has nothing on me!  My experience surviving the abuse of a covert narcissist has taught me some pretty tough lessons.  My research and study in the disorder affirms what I’ve witnessed and drives me to share what I’m learning.  My practice will offer healing to those at the helm of divorce and  specialize in helping individuals who are healing from the traumas caused by these toxic individuals, narcissists.  The horses are the rainbow under which the work will take place.  I can’t wait!

Coming soon …

 

Ugliness & Safe Keeping

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Divorce … it’s ugly.  I don’t care how amicable the split is, divorce is plain ugly.  My specialty is in high conflict divorce.  Do you know how high conflict divorce is like someone detonating a bomb in the middle of a family?  The collateral damage is extensive and hearts become buried and tethered beneath the rubble.  This type of divorce destroys people.  Many never recover.

High conflict divorces comprise 1% of all divorces and involve a high conflict personality type.  Now I know, plenty of people may claim their divorce is high conflict and I’m sure it feels that way at times due to the high levels of stress associated with divorce however by definition, 99% of divorces are not high conflict.  The pairing of a nurturing individual with a narcissistic one that thrives on conflict and argument, chaos and upheaval, are the components needed to form the most perfectly destructive storm, a high conflict divorce.  The more intense the battling the more excited this high conflict person becomes.  They don’t care what it is they are battling over, they just want the high from the fight.  More often than not, the kids are the golden ticket leading to months and years of hostile litigation.  A narcissist’s dream!

Our legal system has no reference points with which to deal with these divorces and individuals.  Their rulings only add highly flammable fuel to the narcissist’s fire and actually exacerbate the conflict.  Attorneys wind up buried in filings and motions instigated by these individuals and often battle their own burn out when dealing with these types of cases.  Counselors often times aren’t equipped with the expertise to navigate these waters and much like the courts, only fan the flames of conflict in their attempt at mediating the issues at hand.  I’ve journeyed this path and continue to and I can tell you from my experience, it can be very defeating to say the least.

My ‘wasband’ has been out for blood since the day I summoned the courage to bolt out of that abusive relationship.  And not just any blood will do, my blood is what he thirsts for.  Here we are, almost six years later and his appetite for conflict and pain hasn’t subsided.  There are numerous coping mechanisms that I’ve relied heavily on over the years to deal with him and the mud he drags me through.  That said, I cannot seem to find a strategy to block out the heart break and unrest in my soul that I feel every time my kids leave home.  They are subjected to the same mind games, emotional, spiritual and physical abuse I survived.  We’ve had incidents recorded only to be told (by law enforcement and CPS) that “abuse” is a gray area and one person’s definition isn’t the same as another’s.  Essentially, until the kids are either in the ICU or the morgue, what they suffer is not considered abuse.  No, it’s just poor choices in parenting (my blood boils as I type this and yes, I was told this by our judge and law enforcement).

Please understand, the courts tend to humor these assholes (male and female) in the name of neutrality over true justice.  We wouldn’t want to take a stand for what’s truly right and offend anyone – GASP!  That’s career suicide these days.  DHS(CPS), they’re a laughable organization where individuals claim to want what’s best for a child and then quite literally fall asleep in the middle of an interview regarding provable child abuse (not kidding, this happened to the kids and I.  The woman was yawning and nodding off until finally falling asleep while her partner repeatedly stated they were taking these claims very seriously)!  Law enforcement really can’t be bothered especially when one of their own is supporting and perpetuating the abuse (when your kids feel they can’t call for help because … well … “help” lives under their father’s roof, what do you do?).  Counselors minimize the behaviors charmed by the manipulative abusers and their cohorts and encourage everyone to just get along.  Helpful advice really (hand over face, head shaking, “You’ve got to be kidding me!  That’s all you got!?!”).  There aren’t words to describe the frustration, anger and utter astonishment you feel in dealing with any one of these individuals, systems or groups much less all of them.  It’s beyond beating your head against a wall (that actually tends to feel good in comparison) …

I share all of this not to dishearten you rather to simply say, “I get it.”  Man, I’ve walked the path.  I continue to pray for a hedge of protection around my kids both physically and emotionally.  I have a knot in my stomach when they leave for the weekend and don’t rest well until they are safely back in their beds under our roof again for the school week.  “I get it.”  When it seems more stress than I can bear, I slip out to the pasture, take a deep breath and ground myself.  I close my eyes, take in the fresh air, the breeze on my face and the sweetest, softest sound you’ve ever heard … the soft, almost inaudible nicker that beckons me to draw near.  As I open my eyes, I am surrounded by the kindest, biggest hearted, Thoroughbreds, and little Quarter Horse that have ever walked this earth.  Their velvety soft muzzles touch me, their rich chocolate kiss colored eyes search me and their powerful metallic colored bodies surround me.  And all at once all is well and I know that I am in safe keeping.  Just think, you can experience this too!  Coming soon ……

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”