The Restricted List

So yesterday I was having a pretty good day.  I had been feeling so under the weather. Having only had this one bad sunburn in my life, I had no idea how much a sunburn takes out of a person.  Eek! So anyway I was feeling better. I cleaned the house, worked out. Then I showered and was ready to enjoy an evening home with my family.  So I’m warming up some dinner. We had tons of leftovers and I’m trying to tell my husband about an email I received about a new PBS show I thought we might like.  He interrupts me immediately, because he thinks I’m trying to dictate the evening, even though I’m not because we couldn’t even watch the show. I’m so tired of being interrupted and cut off. I’m so tired of fighting to even speak. Anyway I said “I’m just trying to have a normal conversation.” He flew off the handle because I used the word normal. He was offended and tried to tell me I say this to him constantly. Honestly it’s all lies. I may have said this to him a few times over the past year, because we don’t have normal conversations. He is incapable of having a normal conversation. So this has been added to the ever growing list of things I’m not allowed to say. I’m so over it. I just don’t even care anymore. I said it the way I did, because I was saying, “hey I’m not trying to dictate anything we can’t watch the show anyway, I just thought I’d tell you about the show.’ He took it as “you are incapable of having a normal conversation.” Why did he take it that way, because that is his truth and he knows it.

I’m so tired of having to walk on eggshells. I’ve noticed my conversation skills have lessened over the years. I use to be able to write and speak so eloquently. All the isolation over the years has not served me well. I’m ready to get back out into the world.

 

 

The Big Picture

Once you really start to look into NPD you realize things are much deeper than you ever imagined. I joined a group that has really helped me see things more clearly.  For example my husband is a VERY offensive driver. He has been pulled over so many times that he truly has no idea how many times. He has had to attend driving school on more than one occasion.  Truthfully it would probably be best if the next time he is pulled over for driving 20-25 MPH over the speed limit, he were actually taken to jail.  That said, jail probably wouldn’t even phase him. He really does think he is above everything and everyone. The rules don’t apply to him.  So the post below really struck a nerve with me.

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For years I have asked him to drive a little less offensively while other people are in the car. Then I stopped asking and just stared immediately getting on my phone when we were in the car. I can honestly say that I have had neck and shoulder issues from his driving. My head is often slammed into the back of my headrest. While I have always known his driving is horrible, it wasn’t until I read this post that I realized the truth in the situation. Since I have lessened my complaining about his driving, my head is slammed into the headrest even more often, but the truth is that over the past couple of years I’ve grown numb and stopped saying much at all. They slowly destroy your will to care about even your own safety.

Not too long ago he was driving my truck really aggressively. I aways have a knife in my truck. Generally to cut hay bales and such. Anyway my knife which never causes any problems when I’m driving was flying around in the upper dashboard glove compartment. He can’t handle anything rattling while he’s driving. He gets ticked off and pulls the knife out of the glove compartment and is trying to put it in the other glove compartment by me in the passenger area. I’m on my phone of course, trying to ignore his ridiculousness.  He then gets insanely pissed because he wants me to automatically take care of it for him, even though he didn’t say a word to me or ask for help. He said something crappy to me and I responded nonchalantly with something along the lines of “well I didn’t want it moved, it is my truck and I like it where I had it.”

He gunned the truck crossing lanes, and then slammed on the breaks parking the truck in the middle of a not too busy intersection and got out of the truck and started walking. I sat there for a minute thinking WTF just happened. Then I climbed over to the driver seat and started driving. I started off leaving him, but I turned back around and picked him up.  In hindsight, I really wish I would have just left him there. He deserved that, but in general, I always do the “right” thing. I don’t have it in me to be unkind. Probably from all the abuse more than anything, but when I think about it, I don’t want to ever be unkind to anyone, especially now. I don’t deserve to be hurt and neither does anyone else.

Now I realize how controlling this behavior is, but I cannot even express in words how hard it is to see the abuse when you are in the tornado. The biggest part of my life right now is learning how to see the abuse to begin with. I have to recognize the unhealthy behaviors to heal these wounds, and not allow anyone to treat me like this.

I’m sure it is almost impossible to understand this from the outside looking in. Truthfully I don’t think anyone can fully understand it, unless they have experienced it.

 

Afterthought: When I was in labor with our first child. I was in horrible pain because she was not positioned correctly. He drove 10 mph under the speed limit the hole way there. I remember saying “if there ever was a time to speed like you always do, it would be now.” He actually took pleasure in seeing my pain. Everything is a mind game, that the victims don’t even know is being played.

All that Glitters is Not Gold

This old saying could not be more true. What haunts me is how great of a life we could have, if this man was not abusive and could just learn how to feel like a normal human being. Financially secure, with a great home, and smart beautiful children, horses, dogs, could have had chickens coming. A ranch with an amazing view and so much potential. I dreamed of attending graduations, weddings and births as a solid family, having our grandchildren as much as our children would allow us. Growing old as slowly as possible.  LOL

A girlfriend just told me that no one would ever know the suffering and turmoil that engulfs me daily, because from the outside it looks like I have it all. Some may wonder, when they don’t ever see posts of or about my husband on FB, but I only post the happy stuff. Not because I’m afraid exactly to post other stuff, it’s because the other stuff is too hard and sad, and everyone says we shouldn’t post that stuff anyway. I feel like we should be able to post anything we want, respectively, but I guess I’m a rare bird.  I still do not bash the man who has made me feel so small and worthless to this world. I’m not that person. I’m too kind.

Narcissists love the good, moral, kind, generous souls of the world. They love trying to break the moral boundaries of a good person. They feed off the confusing and disoriented state they set out to put us in. One minute this person is acting like they love you “don’t want to live without you” and the next they are telling you that no one likes you because you are such a bitch. One minute they tell you they support your business and the next they tell you what a burden you are for running a business from our home. It is a whirlwind of a mind f@*k!

So where am I now? Grieving for the family I’m losing. Grieving for the future I wanted more than anything, all while trying to pick myself up again from square one. I’m trying to figure it all out and make my girls proud of me. I’m trying to be strong.

I Fell Silent

So often I would fall completely silent in his rage. His rage that never made any sense to me i.e. I would want to talk about the fact that we had not had any date nights, and maybe we could try to have more. This to me is something normal we should be able to talk about, but all of a sudden I’m in a whirlwind of screaming, and him coming at me like he’s going to hit me, and my mind can’t even understand what the hell is going on. It is hard for me to remember what all the fights were about, because there were so many and rarely were they over anything important.  We don’t have little fights about money or nagging. Sitting here typing away I realize that the fights were always huge if I wanted or needed anything i.e. a little more help with the household this week, because I’m going to be slammed with work. Nope, it isn’t going to happen, because he does enough, he does just as much as me, if not more (in his mind).  The funny thing is now that my girls are old enough to see and understand, I’m not as conflicted with this, because I have backup that I never even asked for.

The other day my 10 year old said to her father “you always say you do so much work, but I don’t really see it. Mom is always working and you are sleeping in, watching movies and playing softball.” I can’t even tell you how much that meant to me.

I do work all the time. I do more than my share, especially right now. I need this house to be complete, so we can sell it. He isn’t going to do much to help (his words “I’m not going to bust my ass on a house you want to sell”, so it is up to me. I need to make a good profit off this house to survive.

I will never understand why Narcissists don’t see the truth. I will never understand being so heartless and uncaring. It’s like they don’t stand for anything, there is absolutely no emotional connection or talk of anything beyond surface level. I can think of a couple of times, where I’ve gone into my passionate explanation of what equality should be, and it’s like talking to a wall. If you ever want to get me fired up, just start taking to me about freedom and how all people deserve to be treated, yet I’ve allowed myself to be abused for years.

Actually I didn’t allow it, I was abused in a way that I never saw it coming.  I didn’t even know I was suffering from abuse, until our therapist told me. It is straight up brainwashing, and if you are someone who loves deeply and gives all of yourself, you are a prime target. You don’t even know what is going on, even though you know it isn’t quite normal. Then your idea of normal changes. I had to ask a girlfriend about her idea of normal, just to see if I was actually crazy like he says.  You find yourself questioning everything and hurting so deeply, you think there is something wrong with you. Then you feel so broken, you don’t know where to start.

I think the best way my abuser got me was tricking me into thinking I was getting the beautiful family I’ve always wanted.  Coming from a broken home, I’ve never wanted that for my children, so he knew I would do all I could to keep this family together. Even now I’d giving anything for a loving supportive family, that in my mind I see as being so easy to have.  Just stop hurting me. I’m one of the most forgiving people you could ever meet.  Please stop hurting me.

So I caved and texted him

Me – “Do you care about how the things you have said to me over the years have effected me and made me feel about myself and our relationship?

Him – “yes”

Me – “Then why do you keep doing it?”

Him – “Why don’t you EVER have sex with me? Why is there always an excuse? Why can’t you be happy with your life?”

Narcissists will never face questions. They just turn everything back around on you and leave you with nothing. There is no understanding it.  They don’t care about how you feel, they only care about themselves.

Empty Shell

Today I feel like an empty shell. I’m struggling to find the words to type. I use to have so much going for me. Now I’m so afraid of life. I’ve made so many bad decisions. I’ve given up so much of myself for someone else. I don’t mean my children. I think that mothers give up and gain a great deal with motherhood. I just mean that I have maneuvered my entire life around a man that doesn’t even love me. When I asked him years ago why he married me his response was “you were well rounded and motivated.” How I can decipher that now knowing what I do about NPD is that I am good at many things and I will work hard to please him. Even though that is the truth, I’ve spent years trying to do enough to be appreciated or even possibly praised by him, but it never comes and heaven forbid I’m actually having a bad day where I need a little encouragement. That is one thing I’ve learned to never ask for, because those are the days where I will get a whirlwind of crap, just to break me a little more. The days he knows I don’t have the energy to even fight it.

No matter how much I educate myself on NPD, I don’t understand how a person who claimed to love you, really just wanted to destroy you. I wish I would have hid myself away, rather than be where I am today. I wish I could have been smarter. I don’t want to feel broken and alone.

I guess that brings me to why am I  writing a blog.  I literally have a couple of friends I could reach out to and one has known for years, some of what I’ve been through, but when you talk to people about it, they don’t really fully understand how hard it is to think straight. I want to do the very best for my girls, and at the same time, I just want to move back home where I have support and where I have family to help me get back on my feet.

I’m completely lost, and alone. How do I get through this?

Why

Some days you just ask yourself why over and over. Why are things this way? Why didn’t I make better choices? Why me?

I can’t help but wonder what I did to deserve being treated this way. I’m far from perfect, but I know I’m kind. I know I don’t say hurtful things, besides the occasional “why are you being such a dick to me?” It slips out when I can’t take any more yelling or insults.

Over the last couple of weeks I was laughed at when I mentioned how having to rebuild my business after I had finally reached the point of really being profitable and secure in my career. That really hurt me.  Is it normal to be so hurt, when you put your blood sweat and tears into building something from the ground up, or am I too sensitive?  He always tells me I’m too sensitive, but I rarely cry. I take in all of my surroundings, and I can generally feel what other people are feeling. I can sense when people need something. I’ve always thought this was a gift.  Sometimes complete strangers breakdown and give me their life story in a public bathroom, or any time I’m on a plane. It makes me feel human and connected to people. To my husband however, these are just words to get me to shut up.  Words to keep me from asking anything of him.

We truly do not have a connection. He doesn’t really feel, at least not like most people do. He doesn’t have meaningful relationships with anyone. He doesn’t ever just spend time with people. Everything has to be action related or movies, so that you don’t have to talk. We recently went to a BBQ where I had a couple of really great conversations with other guests and he was off playing volleyball with the middle school boys, so that he didn’t have to participate in the conversations being had. I never really noticed this before. We’ve never had couple friends. The only time we do things with other couples, is in a large group.  Now I understand why. He can mingle and often try to be the life of the party, without actually connecting with anyone.

While I always knew something was off with our relationship and that he hurt me often, I didn’t actually understand what was going on until our counselor told me about NPD. Now so many things are so much more clear, but it doesn’t change how deeply I’m mourning for my family now. My husband on the other hand is doing his typical dance of over the top happiness, acting like his world is so much better now that we are ending our relationship. He even told me that one day I’ll look back and realize how great he is and how great my life was, but he will never miss me or regret not having me to deal with anymore.

I’m still unclear on what he “deals” with. I don’t nag him about anything. I cook. I clean. I take care of the kiddos. I contribute financially. I do the grocery shopping. I have done more than my share of the remodel work. I even got everything ready for his family to visit, and went shopping for them even though a day before they arrived he told me how awful I am. I think there is a good chance that this had more to do with breaking me down, so I seem like a pitiful excuse of a person to them.  I realized years ago, he would always pick a fight with me before we were suppose to do something with friends or family. It use to defeat me, where I would not go, or I would be a little miserable while we were out.  While it isn’t always easy for me, I’ve been trying to find more of my old outgoing self in these circumstances, even though I’m hurting. I don’t want people to see my pain or think I’m a snob or rude person. I’m really not.

For being so sensitive, I’ve truly had to be so incredibly strong and self assuring for so many years. It’s funny how I can’t say even a truthful negative thing about my husband i.e. you didn’t get the project quite right, but he can practically tear me limb by limb, and I have to somehow heal myself without even an apology.

The biggest why I’m asking myself these days, is why did I move after the consoler told me about the abuse? Why do I always hope for the best in him?

Why Do We Stay

Reflecting on why I’m writing this blog, I really just started to feel like a baby. In so many ways I don’t feel like I have the right to complain about how I’m treated, because I should be strong enough and independent enough to just leave, but the truth is I don’t have anywhere to go.  I can’t just up and leave. We have animals that depend solely on me that I cannot relocate.  Yeah, I really got myself in deep.  I’ve always been one to carry hope and think everything will work out.  I see how it could work out, because in my mind I don’t understand how someone could marry someone they don’t love.

This brings me to the fact that I do believe that my husband loves me in his own way. He loves what I do for him, even though he won’t admit it. He loves having a person who does the cleaning and the grocery shopping. He loves that I break my back to get things done around this house and on the off days where my illnesses keep me from getting anything done, he makes sure to ask what I accomplished for the day. Where I have to admit not much. In a healthy relationship little things like these wouldn’t be any big deal, but when someone devalues you, every little dig breaks you.  He doesn’t say “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well, or can I make you dinner tonight?” He says “oh” and walks away.

I get stuck in this whirlwind of wondering if it is selfish of me to want to be taken care of every now and then? Is there something wrong with me for wanting my significant other to pat me on the back every now and then. Should I just be confident enough in myself to never need words of encouragement? Is there something wrong with me for wanting to think my husband thinks I’m the prettiest girl in the room? I use to think that you obviously felt like your significant other was pretty amazing, or you wouldn’t be with them, but over the years I’ve learned this not to be true, well not in my marriage anyway.

When we were first married, my husband ended up telling me that he chose me, because I was the most well rounded person one night. Now I feel like you need a little back story on me.  I have probably had some high expectations in life.  I’ve always been that person who stands out, who sings the national anthem at the high school game, who pushes herself to win more awards in military leadership school than any one student ever has, the person who heads up food drives and volunteers at the local VA hospital. I’m that person who use to shine a little. I admit that people have treated me like I was special for much of my life, mainly because I truly always push myself to be the best I can be in any given situation.

As you get older, you realize there are millions of amazing people in this world.  I don’t actually feel like I’m special or that I need other people to think I’m special. I prefer not to make myself standout anymore. That said, I feel like I will always want to think I’m special to my husband. Truthfully I want to feel like my significant other thinks I’m amazing, but the more we are together, the less I feel anything good about myself.

I was the mom who made sure to breastfeed for at least a year, and make all their baby food myself. Not to date myself, but this was before it was the cool thing to do. I was just being me. I made dinner every night and packed my husband a lunch for the next day. I found out he didn’t eat my lunches, he just threw them away or let a coworker eat them while he ate out. So I stopped packing his lunch. Then came the criticisms of my cooking. Now I am the first to admit that I’m not an amazing cook by any means, but what I do know how to cook, I cook well.  When you have a Latino compliment your burritos, you know they must me good, right!? LOL. When I cook for a party or for Thanksgiving, I receive high praise. My husband however doesn’t value my cooking. This doesn’t make me want to keep trying, heck food isn’t that important to me anymore.

So we played on a coed softball team. Man I loved getting out there at first. I was having so much fun. I work alone, so getting to have fun with friends at least once a week was awesome and I liked practicing. I’m an alright softball player. I’m not the typical female college softball player. I’m a girly girl in many ways, but I’m a solid player. I’m a base hitter and generally don’t make many errors.  I’m just not a superstar.  That said, I can hit pretty darn well, especially for my size. I can often burn the fielders my first time up to bat, because they move in after looking at me. So we are at batting practice and my husbands friend says “man, there are not many women who can hit the ball like your wife.” My husband was like “eh.” Overhearing this made me feel good and horrible about myself all in one moment. I still don’t understand why this man married me, if he doesn’t see value in me. I’m constantly wondering what I could have done differently to make him see value in me.

As I get older I feel like I wasted my good years on someone who never has and never will appreciate me. I gave up a lucrative career to stay home with our children, and time does not do most of us any favors.

So I’m left with a lingering question. Is it normal to want to feel like an amazing person to our significant other? Is it normal to want to feel like a rockstar in bed, and that this person sees the virtue in you as well? Or on the other hand, is this character flaw on my part that means I’m just too needy?

Where to Begin

Over a year ago our marriage counselor gave me a few materials to read. She told me she believed I was experiencing narcissistic abuse from my husband who she has diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.  Now there is a large spectrum to the degree in which a person has NPD. My husband is not a sociopath or psychopath. This disorder does not affect his day to day life with his friends, coworkers, family, or strangers.  I am his target. I am the one who endures his wrath. Ahh his wrath, I should just leave.  That is what many will think, heck it is what I say most of the time, but it isn’t that simple.  It would have been a little more simple for me a little less than a year ago, if I could have just been smart enough not to move across the country and uproot my financial security, but I guess hindsight is 20/20.

I’m currently in a downward spiral of when things go bad. I’ve noticed a pattern.  When I am completely self sufficient and I need nothing of him. When I’m taking care of all my duties without bothering him, life can move on fairly easily. I don’t mean we can have a fulfilling relationship where I feel loved and cared for, but the day to day life can be okay. What always kills me is in my own mind I see the possibility of a great life. We have two beautiful children, we both take care of ourselves, we are both intelligent people, my husband makes a good living and I contribute solidly. None of that seems to matter though, because we live in a world of competition, hurt and neglect.

This move has been very hard on me.  Honestly I feel like a fool.  I know why I wanted to move, but I wish I would have been in a better headspace to make the decision not to move.  I’m not busy here yet with work. I had worked really hard to get myself in a great financial position to leave, now it will truly be quite sometime before we can actually afford to divorce or separate without drowning financially.  I have to regrow my business or find a new career.  I’ve started applying for jobs, but we are quite remote.  I also have a few debilitating illnesses, so commuting let alone working full-time would be very difficult for me.

I have been very nervous about getting my business back up and running.  We are remote, and people will have to drive a little ways to reach me.  I’ve also been struggling with being lonely and when you work alone, it is much harder to make friends. Basically all of the things I use to do weekly are too far or don’t even exist here, so I’m having a rough go of this move.  I miss many things I didn’t realize how much I would miss. I truly feel like I’m on the verge of depression and struggling to keep myself well physically.

Feeling like I’m at my worst I reached out to my husband about how I was feeling he said “when aren’t you at your worst? I’m so over dealing with you.” Honestly, I don’t know what he has had to “deal with.” I never talk to him about my health, because if I do, then I’m a complainer. I live with three debilitating illnesses, and I wonder if there is something wrong with me for wanting him or someone to notice how much I do even though it is often very difficult for me. I know people with one of my illnesses who see themselves as a warrior. I would love to be seen that way. Lately I’ve felt like I’m on the verge of depression, but I’ve been trying to work through it.  I have not neglected any duties or stopped working on the house we gutted and are remodeling. I haven’t asked him to help me with any housework or “my duties.”

This is where it gets tricky.  Even though I can sit here and try to rationalize the truth, his words break me. It’s been 13 years of this, and I honestly think dealing with the completely irrational yelling and name calling was easier. He’s gotten smarter on how to hurt me.  I guess as I’ve gotten older calling me a crass word doesn’t effect me as much anymore, and he knows it, so he goes for the more psychological wounds.

I don’t know if anyone will read this, or if it is complete rubbish to you, but I just needed to start sharing and hopefully healing while I try to figure all this out.