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My final Goodbye- Thank you to a dog

Writing has become my outlet lately because if I have a thought I can write it down and read it later. My brain has been through so many events, it is exhausted, it is sad and I just can’t wait for the day when everything will be a distant memory.

I have been told I am not mentally stable, I have been pushed to my limits and broken down. I have tried to reach out to someone who I thought cared only to be told to just stop being so negative and then I might not be so depressed. I mean of only it was that simple.

I am not mentally unstable, in fact when the source that was telling me I was, eliminated itself, I began to heal.
Even my mum admitted she was so surprised how normal I am now, everyone says it. They tell me I look better, I have confidence back and I don’t seem to be stressed. No one has ever had any issues that this person claimed to have with me, which really says something, perhaps they were the issue all along. I couldn’t trust them, call it gut instinct, no matter how stressed, exhausted, crazy they made me feel something deep down told me I was still in this body, I was still me despite the changes I felt.

I don’t regret my dishonesty to them, because I felt as though things I was telling them were not going to be kept safe, they were using it, they weren’t here to be understanding they were here to gain the upper hand. I protected people in my life who would have only done the same for me. It’s amazing the damage one person can do if they’re determined to win.
I am grateful that my clouded mind, my traumatized memories, my extreme sadness still allowed me to protect those who are still here, supporting me. I didn’t tell everyone’s secrets, they didn’t need to dragged through the mud just because I was.

I am always so reluctant to talk about my past, even to those closest to me. I often find myself saying “I don’t want to seem like I am keeping secrets” by habit, only to be told my best friend “You aren’t, you don’t have to tell me anything you want kept private it isn’t going to affect our friendship”. He is right, the past is the past it doesn’t define the future I could have, but it might if it’s constantly dragged up whenever something isn’t right. Sure I have been affected by past, I don’t doubt, but constantly reminding me about it to try to shift blame or drill it in that I act a certain way because of it, doesn’t help. I hope I am not out of line saying this but speaking on behalf of people who have experienced trauma, it just doesn’t help to associate it with everything that goes wrong in our lives because it could taint new experiences with the wrong opinion.

Tunnel vision are the words I would use to explain the last 8 months, when you work so hard to achieve something, when you brave your own misery to get a job done. Imagine packing up the life you knew, the things you love and treasure the most. You make a daring choice to try to better your life because you aren’t crazy you know the life you are in isn’t the healthiest but you get by, you have found your peace and your direction. When it is all suddenly changed, you become so focused on the new plan.

I know how frantic I was, how stressed I was and I never want to experience it again. It was a time in my life that I reflect on and feel such anxiety, being anxious doesn’t mean you’re crazy either, it doesn’t mean you have this mental diagnoses, or this mental illness, it just simple means you are bloody stressed!
What causes stress is different for everyone, but for me what caused it was the fact that I was making a huge change with another person who was better off than I was yet I was the one with the income and I was the one who was supporting the relationship financially. It takes its toll, I am generous, if I love you I will give without hesitation but the right thing to do is, instead of taking and taking, is to help me out no matter what it takes. If someone is handing over money they are making sacrifices, and a relationship is supposed to be a two-way thing.

I seriously surprise myself because I know all of this yet my tunnel vision causes me to just be plain stupid. I can admit my faults, I can admit I have things I am not ready to talk about so I might avoid it, or if I am really pushed I might lie. I wouldn’t lie to gain, hurt or scam someone ever, I would for the sake of peace if someone wont drop things and I don’t trust them. Even my psychologist said telling those sorts of lies dont make you a bad person, remember that.

It might not seem like a big deal to most people but some will definitely understand, the hardest choice I made was to rehome my dog. I was away, I couldn’t take him where I was going even though believe me I wanted to! I couldn’t afford to support two adults and him, I was overwhelmed and felt very alone. I should not of rehomed him, I should have listened to my instincts and listened to others, the day I handed him over was the day I lost part of me as well.

The people who took him were friends of a friend, who loved dogs and seemed like very caring people and they are. I know this for sure now, after 6 months of tears, and worry about him, whether or not he has a good life, what does he look like now, wishing I could reach out.
My mum who is now closest to me saw my struggle, we are definitely animal loving people and she knew the pain. On my behalf she got in touch with his new owners, who assured me he is very loved and they even sent me photos.
I wasn’t the only one who cried looking at them, she did too. I hadn’t seen him in 8 months, I was sad but happy he was loved, happy that my baby looked happy.

Mum said to me “He has a name tag with a new name” she had zoomed into the picture and saw his dog tag said Jordy. I know he isn’t mine anymore and a new name for him means a new start but my heart shattered.
“I hate him, mum!” is what I sobbed that night, referring to the person I speak of above. I feel used, I feel like I was an ant being tortured by a kid with a magnifying glass, reacting to life on his terms.

I loved that dog so much, he was my savior, he showed me what loyalty and unconditional love really was. He was enough to get me through a dark time and he did it all with the biggest smile I have ever seen.

To me you will always be my Anakin.

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The cunning ways of a Gaslighter

He tore down the walls I had spent years putting up, but that’s all he had to do. I did the rest, I sabotaged my own world on his own terms.

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In my confused twisted mind, a mind that is riddled with thoughts of abuse, sadness and death. I still think he was right, the man who watched me burn.
I can switch from self-blame to hating him to the point where I fantasize about ripping him to shreds. It’s a vicious cycle.

I need to remember, or focus on remembering what I had done to me. I have been psychically abused before, but my bruises and cuts healed, I knew it was wrong, I knew where I stood. There is nothing for me that takes away the pain of being mentally tortured. To be diagnosed with mental problems I don’t have but made to think I actually do. Pushed to the point where I would lose it and that would prove my insanity.

A narcissist needs to be the victim, no matter how much turmoil they inflict upon you, they are the victim in the situation and you are over reacting. Their self-centered personality needs feeding, they need to feel like they’ve won.

This is my personal experience, but if you have ever suffered mental abuse at the hands of a narcissist on some level we are connected and have the mutual understanding of the fear that is endured.

I met a narcissist, I knew he was vain but in some way we all are, its key for our survival and loving yourself to some degree is healthy.
At first I didn’t mind, but months on when I let him into my life, when I shared my darkest thoughts and secrets I became prey. I became clay to be molded, sand to be sculpted.

I was living on his terms, I was gradually destroying my own peace of mind, I was unhappy but I was making my own choices, or was I?
Or was I just told over and over that it was my idea, until my depressed clouded brain believed it. It was my idea to pay for everything, my idea to give away thousands of my own money, my idea to relocate for work to support the both of us, and my idea to leave behind my pets.

It was my idea, but when someone tells you they care, someone who vows to always be there, someone who cannot be easily replaced, will never hurt me. Who supports everything I do, who listens to me when I am sad, who is admired by others, who is hard working….. The list could go on, they were all of this, when they put on their mask.
Underneath, they were none of this.

The cruelest thing I have ever had done to me was be strung along by someone who wanted to be a hero. They knew they only cared about themselves, they watched on by as I made the hardest decisions of my life so far.
I found a new home for my dog, a dog that was my real savior. He was my happiness, my smile on a rough day, my best friend.

I gave a piece of my soul away that day, all the while the narcissist sat upon his self entitled thrown, he held my heart while it shattered, without empathy.

I risk my clinically depressed mind because I was told I was fine I was told to pull myself together and find the way out because that’s what he had to do once, that one time he was suicidal. If you suffer from depression you know it’s not that easy. If you could just stop being sad, you would.

He wanted me to build myself back up in his imagine and was unsatisfied when I couldn’t or wouldn’t.
Nothing was his fault because I was mentally unstable, he couldn’t see that the bane of my existence was him. He caused the break down, he caused the most intense sadness I have ever experienced. Fear, like I have never felt fear before. For my own life, I didn’t trust myself, I could take pills, maybe. Maybe I could end the nightmare because I didn’t know which way was up and out.

I was scolded for reaching out to anyone else, he wanted me to go to him. I was afraid in the end, afraid of what information he would twist and turn into a half fabricated story mixed with truths to convince me of the evidence that I was just remembering incorrectly. I felt my mind slipping, I was confused about what was happening to me.
I began to lie, I would lie to save someone elses privacy from him as well as my own, I would lie to avoid an unnecessary fight, or to remove someone else from the firing line.

I had friends who had to endure also, endure punishment from the self entitled one. They saw from the outside how I had changed, how I was becoming. I was frantic, frustrated, stressed, exhausted. I was all this and he was unchanged, he appeared effortlessly cool and this was his cover.

I had sacrificed, my beloved animals, my happiness, my mental state. According to him he had sacrificed too, and this was his biggest lie. He had not sacrificed, not even his time because if I wanted to see him it was under his terms and conditions. On my hard-earned savings. Seeing me was a free holiday to another part of the world, something for him to brag about online, his travel, his exciting life.
It was my idea though, he never asked for the money. I wouldn’t see him if I didn’t pay and I have never been greedy with money. He knew this, he knew I would cave. I either paid or he wouldn’t bother.

You buy their false persona, their grandiose personality. They make you in some way pity them, their struggle. The struggle that might not even be real, or maybe it is it’s just blow out of proportion.
Their reality is mundane, really. They need to create the false self for others to see, they need to believe they are entitled to justify their shame.
The smallest criticism, fault, or wrong to a narcissist is magnified. They hold grudges for a long time, mostly so they can use it against you later on as an escape goat to shift the blame out of their court.

Being held accountable means they were wrong, they cannot be wrong, they must win.

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The Good Dog

On September 17 2015 I was given the gift of hope in the form of a little white fluffy bundle of whimpers.
I was ecstatic, I think because it had been a long time since I had smiled for more than a few seconds at a time my cheek muscles actually hurt. After a miscarriage (still-born) baby I had, had at 19 weeks from a very abusive relationship it had been months upon months of sadness that I thought would never end. I felt unless, confused and as though I no longer had a place on this earth I could peacefully belong with myself. Those months are a complete blur, every day was the same, every day I had a goal and that was to cope until I went to bed and got up the next day to repeat the process.

I wasn’t medicated, it actually made me feel worse even after a few attempts at it. I felt ill most of the time and I would become completely numb, I did not enjoy the feeling of feeling nothing at all, I would actually rather feel sadness, just to feel something.
I had always grown up with animals as a child and I already owned three cats, as much as I loved them they were outdoor cats at their own will with their own door and seemed to have their own busy little lives.

I called him Anakin, he was a white Labradoodle and on that night in September I did not yet realize how my life would change for the better.
He was a real crybaby, just like a real baby he would wake me up during the night and very early morning, he would howl if I walked out of the room and he did not want to play with his toys he just wanted to sit on my feet. I didn’t realize at the time but something very important was changing in my brain, I had a purpose, I had something to worry about other than myself and I was becoming happier on my own. We were inseparable, if I had to do adult things all I could think about was getting home to him.
He was growing fast and his whimpers had turned to playful barks at my cats who would just ignore him or maybe even chase him which of course he loved.
He learned to appreciate his toys and would absolutely love to rip them apart to get their squeaker out. I love the outdoors, bush walking and hiking was now not a lonesome experience because I had company.

I came from a not so great area in NSW, Australia, it was a farming area with a lot of bush land. It would run off the highway and you often hear stories about feral dogs that had been dumped in certain areas and were breeding. As sad and irresponsible as that is the dogs were far from friendly and often hunted in packs, I couldn’t walk through the bush without some way to protect myself in case I ran into trouble.
Anakin was attacked once, a muscular brown male dog came up behind us out of no where, like a fool of course Anakin got excited, all he ever wanted to do was play. This particular dog did not want to play, it pinned him down and held him there. He yelped and I panicked, I thought maybe I could push it off him but that only made it worse as it thought he was fighting back and it locked onto his throat. I could see red starting to leak onto his white coat, I had to make a split decision which in my mind was kill or be killed.
I kicked this dog as hard as my tiny frame could manage, in the face, it yelped and rolled off Anakin but turned on me.
This dog was probably 35 odd kilograms and I was only 5 more at 40 kilograms, it lunged for me and I for it, I punched it right in the jaw and to my surprise it backed off. A stroke of luck that I wasn’t expecting but I took the chance to grab my now quite large puppy and run. Don’t forget I  was only 40 kilograms and he would of been close to 15 kilo by now.

As scary as that was there was a lesson to be learned, he would now think twice before approaching other dogs, which made trips to the dog park a little bit easier as no one likes a big white popular bear looking puppy bouncing towards them and their Chihuahua. He only wanted to play, he always did, he loved other dogs as much as he loved other people and children. Someone in my neighborhood had given him the nickname ‘Smiley’ because even for a dog he looked so happy all the time.
Our adventures continued, every single hot summer afternoon that year we would head out for a walk, when the day got cool enough to almost deter him from laying down in every muddy puddle he came across. A white dog could completely become a brown one and require washing every night. Labradoodles love water I am sure anyone who has ever owned one knows this.
I had come such a long way, funny how one tiny thing in our lives can just give us enough hope to see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The rest is easy from there, you’re motivated, positive and it shows, people around me noticed and I really felt like myself again.

I guess for you to understand the way it ended for Anakin and I, I have to go onto a bit of a sadder topic. I made a terrible mistake, a mistake that to this very day sings regret to me each time the day hits 4pm, the time Anakin and I would often take off for our walk, we had done this routinely for almost a year a half, my clouded sad brain needed routine.
I met a man, this man wasn’t from Australia so at first it was only an Internet interaction. He was overseas so due to a time zone difference the time I would talk to him using video chat had interrupted my routine with Anakin. I moved our walks to earlier in the day but we still went on them, even during rainy days we spent all the time that I was home together.
For the sake of anonymity I am going to call this guy Beau. I was still pretty fragile, I was living with a friend who kept to himself but was there if I needed him, sometimes I needed someone. I was pretty much a loner, I worked during the nights so I spent my days at home and preferred the company of animals. Beau knew this about me, he didn’t seem to mind and that is what I liked about him, he didn’t seem to judge me and when I had to explain a bit about my previous abuse he seemed to understand. We spoke every night and soon it became a new routine for me, I was happy, I had bonded with another human being and looked forward to speaking to him everyday.
After a few months Beau managed to convince me to fly out and see him in America, I had never traveled before and I didn’t even have a passport and he wanted me to fly out April and it was already the end of May. I wanted to see him, but I was also anxious to do something like that alone, and to meet someone I had never met before. He wanted me to trust him and was very consistent which I liked, it was like his every move was carefully calculated.
Eventually I said yes, I got my passport express and booked my flights, besides I kind of always wanted to go to Los Angeles.
Skipping ahead a little, my tip to Los Angeles went as planned, maybe even better than I thought, I was smitten by Beau and he seemed to feel the same. He was who he said he was and was patient with me being so nervous towards men and the whole wide world but I was happy to return to Anakin. I went back to my own life and was happy I had done something out of my comfort zone.
I missed Beau a lot and I also liked him a lot but he had his ambitions and I had been considering going down a different path, a path that didn’t lead me to Los Angeles. I was thinking of having a baby, on my own, I was very independent and content on my own for the most part and after my last relationship I didn’t really want to get into another but I grieved for the baby I had lost, even though I had Anakin he would still be part of my little family.
I was torn, I liked Beau so much but he was on the other side of the planet and there wasn’t much I thought I could do about it until the conversation of me moving over there came up. At first I knew it wasn’t going to happen, the process seemed tedious, expensive and what about my dog? In all honesty, and this is why I wanted to keep his real name out of it, I was the only one of us who seemed to have money. He was working towards a career and got paid for various things occasionally but it wasn’t a constant income and I worried about the risks of me leaving my job to move and how would I afford to take Anakin with me.

I had spoken to the friend I lived with about it all, and this friend of mine was very well off, he was a coal miner and had two houses of his own and said if Beau makes me happy and he isn’t anything like my previous relationship then go for it and he would loan me some money with no pay back date set until I got on my feet. I was still very hesitant, it was such a big move and what about Anakin?
Beau came out to see me November in the same year I had seen him in April, well I have to be honest once again, I paid for his ticket to come and see me. He asked me to fly back and spend Christmas with him which of course I wanted to so I booked my flights, I mean why not? Only as time went by, a few things had happened, things I wasn’t sure of and he didn’t really like the idea of me having a child that wasn’t his but he wasn’t ready to have one.
Why the rush for a baby you might wonder? Well when I had the miscarriage I had gotten a bad infection in my uterus, I didn’t get the right treatment straight away due to certain circumstances. Even though I had a D&C (dilation and curettage) I still got the infection. I was practically living off antibiotics, each time I thought I was better and finished my prescription the infection would return with vengeance. It had spread to my bladder once and I was peeing blood until I got to the ER. A doctor finally told me I cannot live off antibiotics forever as after a while they stop working when your body gets used to them. They had told me that in the next few years I am going to most likely need a hysterectomy. I would go through good spells where I did not have the infection but then out of the blue it would pop back up, it was becoming more frequent and more aggressive but I held onto the hope to have a child and they said if I consider doing that soon I may be able to go through a pregnancy okay and then have the hysterectomy after that as two pregnancies would be really pushing my limits.

I wanted to be with Beau, I really did love him but always nagging in my mind was the urge to have my own baby, I was torn between the two.
Beau insisted he wasn’t ready for a child even if it wasn’t his, which I absolutely understood and emphasized the fact that I was suffering mentally and psychically and this was also my life as well. He asked me if I could wait, and I should have said no, but like my mother tells me, there is no use in using the words should have.
Anakin and the comforting thought that I was a strong woman and would be happy to be a single mother gave me strength and hope, for some reason, one I don’t understand I started to feel sadness once more. Maybe it was the pressure, because after I told Beau about the money loan and that it might be possible for us to be together if I went to America he asked me to marry him, crazy right?
He even got me a ring, no one had ever loved me before, well at least not another man. I never had a real father and my step father wasn’t the best. I never thought I was good enough to marry, domestic and sexual violence ruled my brain when it came to men, it’s the only type of relationship I had ever had with another man, I was 25, naive, and completely stupid.
I said yes to marrying him, he wasn’t violent, he had patiently sat with me through my anxious times and when he was in Australia he became part of my small family. We could take Anakin with us and be happy, maybe I just don’t have a baby, heaps of people don’t, people choose animals over children all the time. My mum’s friend was one of those people and she is very happy. The move would be expensive, and I had come to learn on my first visit to America that medical wasn’t cheap, I had gotten sick when I flew out there, 15 hours on a plane, my body said nope and gave into infection. Australia has a fantastic health system and if I need the hysterectomy procedure I probably would pay next to nothing if not nothing. Research told me that to get the same procedure in America even if there was an emergency and I was not yet a citizen then we were looking at thousands, thousands I knew Beau and I wouldn’t have so I knew I would need to get the surgery before I left.
Once again, this thought bought me down, I began to stress about money, I needed another job, Beau did a little bit of Uber driving on the side but I was told it was barely and income and he had his own bills to pay anyway. This was when I made the biggest mistake, the sort of thing you wish you had a time machine for to go back. I couldn’t find work in NSW even though I tried and tried, eventually I turned to family in Tasmania who owned tourism businesses and always told me if I wanted a summer job I could get one down there.
So I packed up some stuff to head there for the summer, to earn extra money, to take Anakin to America and have enough left over just in case. I could not take him with me to Tasmania, but I told myself it’s only a few months, you’ll be back for him.
We spent our last day together, walking through the bush for hours, it was the last time I would see him in a few months and I wanted to cherish every moment. The morning I gathered my things to get the train into Sydney to catch my flight, the sky outside was still black. Anakin tried to push his way through the door as well, as usual and like I always did I had to shove him back and tell him to sit otherwise he would have ran across the road to visit my neighbors dogs.

The last words I spoke were I’ll come back for you, and that was the last time I ever saw him, the last time I ever saw my best friend.

I was grateful to be working in a higher paying job that would actually pay me on time, and at first the only thought that got me through was my return home. The town I had gone to was small and very isolated, I worked in a coffee shop which I did enjoy, though it is hard work to stand for hours on end on a concrete floor. It was surprisingly busy, which was exhausting in a little hot cafe, but the busier it was the faster the days went.
I made a friend and we often went for bike rides or bush walks which was a nice distraction as I desperately tried not to think of my past. I had kept myself so busy over the last few years and I realized I didn’t ever reflect on my past, I didn’t grieve for the baby I had lost properly, I just pushed it to the back of my mind in a desperate attempt to forget about it. Pain and loss does strange things to us and any way we find to cope, we do it.
Try and as I may, I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t stop the flashbacks, the thoughts, I could no longer overwrite these terrible memories in my head.
I felt as though I was having to suffer but also the only one who had an income out of Beau and I, he seemed to be having a great time. I was happy for him, but happiness and enjoyment that someone else experiences only stretches so far. I could see his ambitions, his dreams, but I could also see that I needed help, if he wanted me to go to America,  then I needed help to achieve it, he wanted to marry me and I didn’t feel as though we were working together equally.
This was confirmed when I received my second pay, I had worked every day and it was a big pay. This gave me hope, this would go straight into my fund for Anakin, or so I hoped. To add to everything, I found out I was pregnant, I found out too late though I was already going through a miscarriage. It seemed like a late period to me, which sometimes I got but it got worse and worse and was quite painful. I knew what was happening and had to tell Beau, I wasn’t attached to this baby as it was very early days but it stirred something inside of me, something that was planted deep down.
It may have been a desperate attempt to distract myself from sinking, but we went full steam ahead with organizing the wedding, Beau was my home now and to be together was my hope and my goal. I went into full on tunnel vision and shut my emotions off, all I had to do was focus on this goal.
Beau came to me one morning, after we had organized the wedding, he told me he couldn’t get the money for the flights, he looked devastated. This is where I made my second big mistake, yet again, I paid for the flights, they aren’t cheap and it was almost all my last pay I was saving for Anakin. Beau refused to have me pay at first, but I insisted it was okay, I would get paid again, so with my card details he booked the flights. I was glad he was coming, I missed him, but deep down I was also hoping he would refuse and find his own way because I was starting to lose hope, and starting to really question the money situation, money have never been something I really thought of before because I always worked hard and shared costs equally with others in my life.

I had been working in this small town for about six weeks now, Anakin always on my mind, I was very homesick and my mind had been clouded by depression once more that I couldn’t stop, I was slipping.
Beau knew it, he knew how unhappy I was becoming, I do not blame him, I should have walked away because I blame myself but he proposed to me that we do go ahead and have a child. He wanted me to happy, we had spoken about money and how in Australia for me to have the baby would cost next to nothing and in America we were looking at between $10000-$17000. This was a new hope for me once more, I found my motivation yet again and used it to push onward. However, what I failed to understand is my mind wasn’t my own anymore, I needed help, professional help because on surface I was fueled by the desire to gain back my happiness I had lost but deep down I was losing my battle with depression.
Everything turned upside down one day, the day I was informed that Anakin wasn’t happy. He would bark constantly, missing me, searching my room for me, pacing. The friend worked a lot and didn’t have time to give him much attention. The neighbors were irritated at his consistent barking and guilt was eating me alive. My bank account didn’t seem to be growing and business had slowed down in the cafe, I was getting less and less hours of work. I knew that I could no longer handle this on my own, I had enough money to start a family that I saved from when I first decided I could do that, Beau or no Beau. Taking a 45 kilogram very large dog overseas, required a ridiculous amount of money when you take into consideration the vet exam, the quarantine period, the actual flight itself, the cost was becoming more and more out of my reach, I couldn’t do this alone, but I was.

I was stupid, I should of read the warning signs, I loved Beau but he was draining me, financially, I was constantly stressed about money while he was enjoying a freeloader life style with relatives. He would remind me he had bills to pay as well, and the visa to handle, so I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on.

The guilt of Anakin got to me, he wasn’t happy and I knew that feeling all too well, my friend he was staying with suggested we find a new home, he had friends that could take Anakin, they loved dogs and he would have playmates, a pool, the beach.
It was the hardest decision I have had to make but I asked them if he could become part of their family. I was desperate, I was depressed and I was absolutely not thinking clearly.
I should have told Beau I no longer wanted to marry him, I should have walked away, I should have gotten out of that small isolated town and gone home, but there is no use saying should have. I didn’t want to hurt Beau, I loved him as well, I had given up so much to work towards this goal. Beau would tell me it was the best choice, I couldn’t go home because my abusive ex-partner was still on the loose, Los Angeles is the best place for us, for our family, he would often remind me. He was right, he was definitely right, he was never wrong!

He grew impatient with me missing Anakin, he was just a dog. He grew tired of me being upset about a baby I had lost two years ago because he was going to “replace” it. I know he wanted me to be happy, but I now understand that this was not the road to happiness. I grew suicidal, I couldn’t stop the flashbacks, I was reliving trauma and abuse in my me mind at random. I had night terrors and would wake up crying or screaming, which caused my grandmother who I was living with to grow concerned. I was no longer allowed to hang out with my friend from work because Beau didn’t like him, I felt completely alone.
Beau failed to understand my misery, sometimes people just cannot put themselves in someone else’s shoes, I was with him now, I shouldn’t be having flashbacks, I shouldn’t be depressed. That was his thought process, so he started to diagnose me with various mental illnesses. This really scared me, I started to question myself, my judgments, what if I was crazy? I missed a baby I had lost, but it was mixed and twisted with confusion as to why, when I thought of the baby my mind pictured Anakin.
I felt like I couldn’t talk to Beau anymore about my private thoughts, I was worried about stressing him, but also worried that each time he got me to open up things would get worse, information that I wanted to stay private would be bought up over and over, and then analyzed. I felt like I was displayed like an open book and I began to feel shame, shame about my past, shame in myself, I started telling Beau things that weren’t true just to avoid an argument. I started to see my friend I worked with at night-time after Beau had gone to sleep, I was lonely and this friend and I would just talk, it helped me a lot but at the same time I knew what I was doing was wrong, it was going against what Beau wanted, I felt disgusted at myself.

It was all going to be okay, Beau would be here very soon. I needed him, he was all I had left and he would make everything better, he promised. The day he was supposed to get on the plane to come here he told me he didn’t think he would make a good husband, he was a failure and at almost the age of 30 he hadn’t accomplished what he thought he would have by now. It was heart breaking to hear, I cared for him so much, I knew there was issues regarding money but he wasn’t a failure. I have always seen the good in all beings, I search for it within everything and it always conquers the bad for me. He was very upset, I had never seen him really cry before so I pulled myself together to calm him down. I was shocked he did this at the last-minute though, so I continued to calm him and then left the choice up to him, whether he gets on the plane to see me or not he isn’t a failure.
He got on the plane, and when we finally saw each other face to face again, everything melted away that night. I felt safe, mostly from myself, I couldn’t trust myself anymore because my desire to self harm became an everyday thought.
He came all the way back to marry me, he loved me, right?

Months on and we did decide to part ways, it’s a strange feeling because I feel relief and financial freedom for maybe the first time in 6 years. I am not complaining about having to work as I do like working but I never had money on my own in all my young adult life. I never did holidays, or even bought a car because I could never afford it with bills to pay, and always for some reason the only one in either of my relationships that actually worked and had a stable source of income.
Whatever happens in your life, we all make mistakes, we all have to learn and if all this had not of happened to me I would not of learned that even though working and supporting yourself is a part of adult life, I am not put on the earth for the sole purpose of providing for those who are capable but unwillingly to match me equally.
If you love someone work towards a better future with them, and never take from them without giving back just as much.
I have made many mistakes but I can admit to them and I have learned a valuable lesson, if you’re handing over thousands, even if it is willingly then you should just walk away because if someone isn’t willing to work with you as an equal you’re going to end up exhausted no matter how much you love them.

It’s been 7 months since I last saw Anakin, I returned home to NSW but chose not to visit him in fear of hurting him over again by thinking I had come to take him home. I only returned because I was so homesick and I needed to see that, that wasn’t home anymore, and it wasn’t. I have thought about getting Anakin back but he is happy, he has a family and other canine friends, they aren’t strangers so I know he has a great life. Probably a better life than I could ever give him, of course I tell myself that in an attempt to let go. I am still angry, and it might take a while yet for me not to be, I am angry at myself for letting someone take such a hold over me, someone who never really cared.

Animals are such a blessing to us, they heal us with their love, my dog is my savior. Our short time together showed me all I will ever need for years to come about love, loyalty and respect. I have chosen to go into single motherhood alone with the support of my family but I will never forget Anakin and he will always have a part of me.

 

The cruelty of the Narcissist

We all know someone we can class as a little narcissistic, I mean we ourselves are all slightly narcissistic, its key for our survival. It can be become an issue though, an issue that is overlooked and possibly even ignored because a true narcissist is cunning, covert and completely in control of their actions.
My entire life I never thought about narcissistic personality disorder, I mean why would I? It wasn’t a problem for me until I met someone who was a true narcissist and then all hell broke loose.

The most scary part of it is, that they have no idea of the damage they have caused, to them it was no more than a bit of fun. They are so good at being covertly deceitful that they can fool themselves into believing they are a victim no matter what they make anyone else undergo.
Sound familiar? Maybe just reading that makes you frustrated because you have experienced it. You know what I am talking about, it is hard for someone to comprehend if they have not been through it or encountered a true narcissist.

I know it frustrates me beyond words! Some people are lucky they get away, they pick up the broken pieces and find themselves again. I envy those people, I wish I had of gotten out sooner rather than later before it was all engraved in my brain.

A brief history on what happened to me, just for the purpose of an example of what I am talking about.
I sacrificed a life I had made for myself, everything that once kept my depression at bay, for a person who convinced me it would be best. Best for me, my health, my safety I never fully understood why but apparently this person cared enough.
I was paying for most things, airfares, accommodation, their own bills, and pretty much everything else. I wasn’t forced but the way it was presented was that if I did not pay I would not be able to see this person  who loved me and of course I loved them and wanted to give them the world. They knew this and whenever I gave an inch they would take a mile.

In the end, everything was my fault. I was a terrible person, I wasn’t enough to make them happy. I was worn down, exhausted, yet they still wanted me to get up and support them, be open with them, help them achieve their dreams and goals. They went back to their life better off, they had free holidays, bills paid and used it all for their self gain. I was left shattered, empty and feeling like I was the worse person on earth because I wasn’t doing enough. How does that even work?

These sorta of people relish in playing the victim. Their overly inflated ego let’s them create fabricated scenarios where they were wronged when really they were not. You were probably just and fair but if the results aren’t a narcissist getting what they want, they convince themselves you have wronged them.

There is no way to even bother explaining it to them, they cannot see a logical reason unless it is centered around themselves. They live inside a grandiose fantasy that is too addictive and strong to break out of.
This renders them as untrustworthy, they search out your weaknesses to use as ammunition. They can appear to be the most caring, charming, loving person but this doesn’t last. They need you to open up willingly and give them something to use.
Your past doesn’t affect the future you can have if you don’t allow it. If you have had a bad passed, you can still have a better future by moving forward. Don’t let a narcissist use your past and vulnerabilities to keep you in a terrified limbo just because they want to hold you there.

The more hysterical and broken you get the more power they have, you have to understand that they are in control of the situation and you are not crazy. Someone who truly cares about you would not be so cruel.

The cheater vs the hard worker

Sometimes people don’t realise how much they’re actually winning at life. Just because it doesn’t feel like it, just because it’s a slow journey and a hard one doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. The most important thing I have realised in the last year is just how important it is to be able to achieve something without having to use others and to be able to have relationships purely for the joy of it not because you see what that person can do for you.
If you cannot support yourself, and need to use others pay checks because you don’t even have $500 to your name then you’re not working. Anyone can make business cards, anyone can throw together a website and anyone can have 10k followers on instagram. I have 10k followers and I’m no one important, I’m not special but I already know this and I don’t have grandiose fantasies about my abilities.
I wanted to post this because I’ve had so many conversations with people lately who fear they aren’t good enough because all these “entrepreneurs” with their slick websites and business cards have the upper hand. Don’t be fooled, because yes some people work really hard and those people are people like yourself but others do not. I personally know this from experience. Take away their fancy website, their twitter and their bloody business cards and they’re just ordinary people the only thing that remains is their overly inflated ego.
They’re not the hard workers you think they are because their full-time job is actually using other people to gain whatever they can.

The covert narcissist- Gaslighting, mental abuse

A topic between me and my mother lately has been guilt. I have inherited her self blaming characteristic and it isn’t fun.
If you have ever been wronged by another person whether it be your partner, a boss or someone you called a friend. At the end of the day even though you didn’t do anything you still feel guilty, there might be a reason for it, you might have been manipulated.

quote-nobody-can-be-kinder-than-the-narcissist-while-you-react-to-life-in-his-own-terms-elizabeth-bowen-3-31-63It’s called covert aggressive personalities, masters of manipulation but also masters of convincing the world of their charm and selflessness. They’re hard to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for and aren’t selfless at all in fact they’re extremely self-centered.
These types of people use your weaknesses to their advantage, they claim they have your best interests at heart but really they are only looking out for themselves. They say they want the best for you but really they want what is best for them, they want you to reflect a good imagine for themselves.

I personally found with the narcissist in my life that this reflecting could come in many forms but their main goal was to get something out of it. Whether that be helping you and giving you advice that they can brag about later, usually about what great advice they give and make themselves feel good whether it helped you isn’t really priority. Or they might just want you to do something their way because they are so convinced that their way is the only way.

They find sneaky tactics that result in a one way road and that road only goes their way. Even if they aren’t even doing it intentionally they are so convinced that they are right and this can become extremely toxic to be in close relations with. You cannot fight fairly if person you are fighting with cannot see any reason beyond their own.
They are so persistent and can be mentally exhausting when they go above and beyond to convince you they are right and you are not. There is a key word here, a word someone pointed out to me that I found myself using unintentionally when describing this narcissistic person. I would say the word, convinced, he convinced me of things. Actions speak louder than words but no actions were happening but this didn’t matter to him because he seemed to be able to convince me he would do all the things that he said he would do.

These types of people may seem overly caring, they are masters at flattery and they know just what to say to hook you in. This is called love bombing, things progress really quickly, you are showered with attention and affection and you think you have met the love of your life but it doesn’t last. They seem to have an on and an off switch when it comes to love and relationships and if someone can switch their feelings on and off at will then this is a major red flag.
The person who told you that they loved you, they wanted the best for you, they wanted to give you the best future and made so many promises suddenly out of nowhere hits reverse like none of that ever mattered.
For victims or survivors of narcissist abuse this can be heart breaking because usually victims were a narcissists prey for a reason, we are kind, we are giving and we are trusting. We are also easy targets for manipulation.

After this happened to me and the person who appeared to love me most suddenly blamed me for everything that had happened in the past 12 months. Along with other absurd excuses I had never heard of and even asked me to get an abortion at 16 weeks into my pregnancy simply because it would be more convenient for him. At first I believed that everything was my fault, I was a terrible person. Even though I had worked, been the only one of us with a stable income and even given them money to pay bills as well as airfares. I sacrificed my happiness, relocated for work, and gave up a lot for this person because I loved them and when I love someone I give it my all.
This person never made an effort, only saw me if I paid and would boss everyone else about like his little minions if I had a an issue, not once did he prove his greatness and be there for the me in the flesh, but he would tell me how much he cared.
Prime example of actions speaking louder than words, his own pathetic life, and believe me it was, was more important than my mental health. Obviously because they were driving me insane, telling me I was insane and using anything and everything to prove it.

Another scary tactic mental abusers use is gaslighting but this is even scarier when they start to bring other people into it. When they begin to convince people around you that you aren’t okay. You have to remember to tell yourself that weren’t this person before they came along. You were once a happy person living a regular life until you met them. I know it is very hard to do.
They are so good at deceiving that they can even fake emotions such as crying, when I say fake, they do actually cry but they will be thinking of themselves and their hardships in a situation. They’re not actually sorry for you they are sorry for themselves.

Are these people really that callous? I think in my case some of it was unintentional, but then again I am not sure maybe it was calculated and he was more cunning than I give him credit for. I do know that his main focus was himself and because of this I got hurt, worn down and tired of living my life on his terms.
When someone is trying to imply they think you’re crazy yet all the while will accept thousands of dollars from you, and never talk about paying it back, I do think there is something wrong with that. I do feel as though if I had of had the sense back then to take a step back and see it through someone else’s eyes I would have spoken up and said “hey that’s not right!” It was still my choice though, but I am extremely giving. I have done quite a bit for charity in my time and have given the shirt off my own back before to help a kitten in desperate need and walked home in my sports bra and singlet.

If you have had a similar experience with a covert narcissist you are not alone in feeling confused, blaming yourself or feeling guilt. Just remember the narcissist isn’t feeling any of that they just simply go back to the grandiose fantasies they have of themselves and unfortunately are on the hunt for other people they can use to the best of their advantage.

Grief, depression and mental abuse- a lonely journey.

If you suffer from chronic depression, you may have your okay days, and your really low days. I can’t say I have experienced a day in the last 3 years where throughout the whole day I was nothing but happy. Even if I felt very flat, almost lonely in a way. That’s how I would personally describe my depression anyway.

I have experienced infant loss, I have experience domestic violence and mental abuse from a narcissist. I went from one terrible relationship to the next. How? Why? I have asked myself that as well, I have thought maybe I am just not worthy of love. Maybe I am just stupid.
Delving in a bit deeper with a psychologist uncovered something I never would have thought would matter. I am an individual, I am not my mother, I am not her mother, I am me so why does this pattern of abusive relationships keep me in a vicious loop?

My real father, was psychically and emotionally abusive to my mother and she left him when I was a baby. I haven’t met him since, I write to him every now and then and he responds but I don’t have an interest, nor have I ever really had a desire to spend time with him and get to really know him. I have had other father figures in my life and that was enough.
My mother’s, mother was in the same situation when my mum was a baby, an abusive relationship that she had to walk away from.
Now I also was in a very bad relationship, fell pregnant and I too will be a single mother.

History has repeated for a third time it would seem. My psychologist asked me if I have any relationships I can look up to and set an expectation for myself, I don’t actually know of any. I allowed myself to fall into a narcissists trap just because he wasn’t psychically abusive like my last boyfriend. He would often remind me that he was better than my last boyfriend also, I thought it was great. Little did I realize emotional torment would start and I would actually find it a lot harder to recover from than any psychical abuse I had ever experienced.

My mind was more delicate than my body ever was. Especially gone through having a still-born and then not knowing how to cope and isolating myself. I didn’t get the help I needed, I put all my grief and sorrows and locked it away inside the heart of a puppy. This is how my psychologist explained it, I thought I was insane and mistook the puppy for the baby I had lost, even though I knew he was a dog and not human it makes more sense that I would channel my grief into a dog.
It is not uncommon, and sometimes people will put their grief into an object. Then they have trouble parting with it. It becomes a symbol of their loss, something they can look at and touch.

Mine was living and breathing, mine was a puppy and they are hard work not so different from a child really. I knew what he sounded like, I knew he had a little quirky personality, I knew what his fur smelt like.

My grief made me so desperate, I felt like I just had to survive it. I had to survive myself, I had to find purpose otherwise I found myself slipping into darkness. I developed a way to cope with my dog, soon the darkness turned to just grey.
That is when I met someone who saw I was vulnerable and I became a target. I became prey.

I was made to prove myself while they barely lifted a finger, I was forking out thousands of dollars to travel overseas to see them and allow them to travel to me. They didn’t work, they had no money. They weren’t willing to work to afford to see me, they knew I was weak and they knew I would pay. They never offered to pay me back for plane tickets. They would accept it when I would suggest I pay dinner, sometimes really expensive restaurants, hotels, I even paid their bills. I just wanted to be kind because I truly cared for them.

Sometimes it helps to write all this down so I clearly see the way they acted was disgusting.
It gets worse because they were gaslighting me, telling me I had various sorts of disorders. They were using my weaknesses from an abusive past to prove I had all these disorders, just because I was anxious and frightened. They would prolong and heighten the fear so I would act out and then they would pounced on me. They were using things I thought I could trust them with to project any problem back onto me. It came down to it ALWAYS being my fault.

I believed it was, I believed I was a terrible person. I was isolated and felt like this person, this person that I knew I couldn’t trust was the only one I could turn to. I started to have family members turned against me, family members questioned by behavior. It was terrifying for me because that just proved I was losing my mind.
I was told I was negative because of depression, I was told that I shouldn’t be sad any longer for a child I had lost because I was having another, I was having theirs. I was told to find a way out and stop being depressed, basically. It made it worse because I started to force myself to feel happiness when I didn’t and it made me sick.

I have none of those disorders this person claimed I have. I was very stressed, I was very unhappy. Anyone who is working their back side off to support themselves and another adult who doesn’t seem to making an effort in return is stressful. Thinking you’re going insane is stressful, I even checked myself into a hospital one night out of fear of myself. Only to find I was fine, I was rational and I was self-aware, I was explaining the situation and the psychiatrist simply said “You are in an abusive relationship. Get out!”.

I did, and I am fine. I am no longer stressed, I am no longer worried about finances. I am making normal relationships with people and enjoying aspects of life again.
I am not cured of depression, I have my days where I get overwhelmed with grief still but that is okay. There isn’t a time limit on grieving and I found when I allowed myself to have my bad days and stopped forcing myself to have good ones, I began to heal, in my own time.

If someone truly loves you they will wait for you, especially when they knew you suffered all along. If they are impatient, if they expect you to feel happiness when you just cannot find it yet then they’re only inconvenienced for very selfish reasons.

Triangulation- The manipulation tactic. Narcissism abuse.

Triangulation is a manipulation tactic where one person will not communicate directly with another person, instead using a third person to relay communication to the second, thus forming a triangle.

Using this tactic you can manipulate the conversation and what is said between two people, possibly turning them against each other, this is known as divide and conquer.

Pretty scary stuff, especially when you do not know what is being said, you feel the situation slipping completely out of control. At least if the manipulation is happening to you directly and only you, you still in some sense feel as though you have a little control over the situation but if a third-party is involved that’s when you start to feel extremely powerless.

This has happened to me, and of all the narcissism, mind games, and endless fighting I endured this was a breaking point for me when my own mother was dragged into it. My mother can get quite stressed out, naturally like any mother over her children so this was an extremely cruel move.
My now ex husband thought he would try to gain the upper hand by then telling and sending her links to information of various mental disorders he had self diagnosed me with. He wasn’t being direct with me in what he was saying to her and she didn’t know what to do or say to me because she seemed to get a whole different story from me.

This was extremely upsetting and confusing for both of us, when she would have to ask me something to confirm and I would look at her puzzled and say “wait what?!”. Not to mention, my mum has a bad memory, not in the same way I am with certain memories my brain has block and possibly overwritten but early signs of possible Alzheimer’s. She could easily be told something or maybe not told something and then be told she was remembering it wrong or that you never actually said something, and she would surrender and just reply with a confused “oh…“. Very unfair if you really wanted to use that to your advantage.

Not only was he in my head, but my mother felt like he was getting into hers. She said since she started communicating with him she has become increasingly stressed and on edge, I also felt like this but for a majority of the time.

I started to even withhold information about my past or anything I wanted kept private, I would even tell lies! I don’t lie, I normally wouldn’t to my family or close friends that I trust but when you have someone who demands to know everything, who will bring up things you have told them later on when they need to used it to prove their point or just belittle you and make you feel insecure, you feel desperate to avoid it and so I would just lie.
I would never lie to gain things or hurt people, even if I was hurting my ex husband by doing so, I was protecting other people and myself. He wasn’t hurt though, he was just annoyed I was hiding things because he wanted and had to know everything about me all of the time.

I didn’t particularly know my ex husband as he lived overseas and if I wanted to see him I had to pay his way, which I did, regrettably. He could have been doing anything over there, I will never really know, I never got to the point where I found out (never moved overseas to join him).
I had trouble trusting him and I don’t even have an explanation for that, to an extent I did trust him, I trusted the person he appeared to be but something deep down in my gut just didn’t trust him fully at all in the end.

He has gone now, he doesn’t openly contact me as I am no use to him anymore, neither is my mother nor would she talk to him again. I am absolutely fine since he has been gone, I am no longer stressed, my mind feels clear and I feel free.
This says a lot about the circumstances I was in, I have never had an issue or these sort of issues he claimed I had with anyone else before only him, therefore he was the issue.

The phantom friend

It’s like that habit you have where you play with a ring on your finger, or touch an object in the house as you walk passed it every time.
When the object is removed by default you still reach out to touch it, to play with it, before realizing it is no longer there.

So often my hand reaches down to touch the once fluffy large head that always hovered around by my hip. I do it when I am anxious, sad or just not paying attention.

A pet’s peace.
by Tracy M. Johnson
Photo- my dog Anakin
by @biancapacitto (instagram)

anakin