Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Who Loves Salad? I Do!

Here is a salad I ate the other day at a restaurant., the one day I could escape outside this month since we had a very brief warm-up. I love salad. This was a chef's salad but of course I had to tell them to remove regular cheese and eggs from it which I am allergic to. I like to make salads and make everything from bean salad with sweet onions and Newman's Own Balsamic Vinegar to coming up with concoctions over iceberg lettuce or organic greens. Here are some salad-making links.

50 Meal-Worthy Vegan Salads

Vegan Salad on Pinterest

Regular Salad Recipes on Pinterest

Monday, December 30, 2013

They Don't Care About the Constitution Anymore

Cartoon from "Studied The Constitution. Didn't Like It." {Ted Rall's blog}
It's scary to see how America is giving up all its freedoms that previously made it a great country. Bush started this and Obama is continuing at hyper-speed to remove freedoms such as the right to a trial among American citizens. Rall is usually more liberal then me, but seems to be a liberal that is an independent thinker instead of a Kool-Aid drinker for Obama. There are people on all sides with integrity to know what is happening is WRONG.

Good for Michigan: Michigan Nullifies NDAA's Indefinite Detention.

My Apartment Clean Out

My apartment is being cleaned out by me, to attempt to have a more healthy life. Today I am working on the bookshelves full of thousands of books, some thrift people will be very happy very soon. The above picture is just one corner. This place was/is jam-packed. Eight hundred square feet of living space really isn't cutting it anymore but everyone has to do what they can. I needed more money to really live life the way it needed lived, but have in my mindset that I need to live the best way I can with what I have. I barely hold to to this apartment financially but should enjoy it to it's fullest.

 This task will be a week-long one.

 I am getting a hospital bed soon to elevate my extremely swollen abdomen and left leg. They know I have body-wide lymphedema now, I am STILL at this point exploring medical avenues. My leg is far more controlled and uninfected but that takes 4 wrappings a day to maintain. In the spring, I will be going to a hospital clinic, when I am not housebound to deal with my severe lymphedema [already diagnosed] and possible lipedema problems to figure out what the next steps will be and more intense therapies.

My Occupational Therapist has been very helpful and I feel more hope in being able to function with my health problems. She has taught me exercises to help with stamina and focus and how to break down tasks into smaller pieces and manage the heart and breathing problems, that often led me to get overtired and to go give up. Sometimes it seems insane to me that I expend so much energy just trying to keep a small apartment from imploding even with husband's help in doing the laundry and with the errands, but maybe that it is the way of the world.

 There is a lot of pushing past problems I have struggled with all my life,even with my own self-imposed structure and rules. Even with my Aspergers, serious focus problems in sensory tests were discovered. I kind of knew about this already. My ability to do school work well most of the time papered over a lot of other serious functional problems in life. Adults who can't focus outside of being able to read 10 books or even write on a blog for fun, don't get much accomplished. Add in sensory processing problems, and well there are times I wish many of these things had been dealt with well before 45 years of age.

Anyhow I plan to get this place cleaned out as much as possible. My kitchen and bedroom are already in far more order. Some techniques I have learned have helped me in functioning in everyday life.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Very Old Painting of Mine

I painted this oil painting, when I was 22 years old, that's over 20 years ago. It is actually right in front of my eyes as I have it hanging up behind the table with the sit-up computer. This painting is around 4 by 3 feet so is larger. The meaning of this painting always seemed interesting to me, at the time, I thought of a girl looking at her horizons or what awaited her. Almost like intuition knowing there'd be rocks to climb over.

Surviving December Blues

[picture from Charming Charlie Tumblr]

Poor Charlie Brown. I was always into Peanuts and often I think Charles Schultz and I would have been soul mates considering his outlook. He always got to the right of the heart of the issue. I should post about my fandom regarding Charles Schultz and Peanuts soon.

Seasonal affective disorder mixed with 100% house-bound-ness like I am in jail, is not always pleasant. I've had one day outside living like a normal person in the last four weeks. It may warm up tomorrow and Friday to 40 degrees and perhaps the outside world will see my presence. Here's hoping. Around the third or fourth week of imprisonment, some of us feel funny. There was one winter so bad, 90 days straight passed by of staring out the window. If I had money, I would winter somewhere else, but it's not an option. Heat bugs me too so moving South is not a solution.

 Some Depression creeps like cat through a window, back to some of us when the days get shorter and darker. I have had it's struggles life-long, and have had to manage it the best I could, but December is known as the month I dread. Once I'm over it's hump, Jan and Feb aren't always so easy too, but for some reason December stands out more.  I'm involuntarily away from my peer counseling group which does not help. I should get one of those light-boxes maybe but some circumstances are impacting things. Waking up sometimes I wish I was a happy "normal" person who did not have their body dictate so much of their life. The sin of envy combined with the "should of, would of, could of" Sometimes in the morning I wake up and think "What happened?" How did I get this sick? How did so many things fall out of my hands or out of my reach?"

 A person can know they have some gifts and worth but regret is a river that can drown you and right now, I'm trying to swim for land. I'm praying to God too in doing so.

I'm trying to focus on maintaining myself, my kind medical professionals helping me with getting a bed to elevate my legs, to managing my apt--organization, Aspie focus and sensory problems, and how to get things done with serious cardio-pulmonary issues. One thing I've learned is I need to slow down, rather then work myself into a frenzy collapsing because my lungs and body have checked out. The walking and exercise has helped. All medical scores have improved including blood pressure and the rest. My leg has shrunk. I've been watching old movies, and doing cards and talking with friends and trying some semblance of happiness. Part of the formula here, is DO THE BEST THAT YOU CAN

I feel badly about how things panned out with the family. So much regret. One website helped me saying, relationships are two way streets, and if you are the one who is always trying, and the effort on the other end is at the extreme minimal or even toxic in terms of the narcissists, it's not your fault! They say going no contact is hardest during the holiday season and in the first year. With the family I lost, I will have contact with some of the kind ones, but I know my mother will remain central and I'm on the outs. Part of me thinks what if I had been healthy, or had money or have achieved more in my life? Would I have been "somebody" to them? If that is what it took, then it would have meant nothing anyway. My mother had her party where she gave out presents and almond bark, and well let's just say she is far more in the middle of everyone's vision then me. I will never know the satisfaction of grandchildren or a family or many things she has enjoyed in her life. It's kind of funny how things work out that way in this world.

December is not a fun time for every human being out there. If you are lonely or not feeling the holiday cheer, remember others out there are feeling the same. Not everyone celebrates Christmas too including some Christians who are not Jehovah Witnesses and many others. There are others who have walked away from the go-go greed fest too based on secular reasons.

  For those of you who find this a tough time of year, I will pray for you and trust me there is some of us who understand. If you have been broke for years all the focus on presents and shopping, can stink too. You watch people who seem to have endless buckets of money sink money equal to your rent just for the specialness of a TV being flat screened instead of a giant box.  You can comment here if you want. The forced smiles and the rest can be a trial. If I was not housebound, I would go do some work to forget myself, such as at a soup kitchen and am working on some cards for those in the hospital which I'll be working on after I write on here but many do not find this the happiest time of the year. Many of my friends have been good to me, one keeping up regular visits I always enjoy and another calling me every few days, to help keep my spirits up.

  Some of us await January 2nd, praying for the relief it will bring. Most Decembers of the last 10-15 years, I've been housebound with my bad lungs. It is not one of my most happiest or memorable months though there are others that keep me inside too. One sometimes has to look at pictures of last spring to know some sunshine and good times will return.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"14 Painful Examples of Fat-Shaming"

                                          [picture source]
14 Painful Examples of Fat Shaming

"Blogger Melissa McEwan created the #FatMicroagressions hashtag to start a conversation about the inappropriate and hurtful comments directed at overweight people on a regular basis. Microaggression, a term coined by Professor Chester Middlebrook Pierce in 1970, refers to small acts of aggression towards people of a certain group -- usually those of non-privileged races, classes or ethnicities."

Fat Microaggressions, hmm to me these may amount sometimes to the look you may get while existing in a fat body. Of course one does not want to enter the world of paranoia where you think every person hates you because you are fat but fat micro-aggressions for me would be this list:

1. Chairs with arms and going into doctor offices without any non-armed chairs.

2. Hip restaurants that have all high stools and little uncomfortable chairs.

3. Stores that always stop at size 26 or even 32. 

4. People who say at buffets, "That's all you can eat?" One time I ate 2 plates of food at a Chinese buffet, and the owner came up to me and said, "Don't you like our food?" I said, I ate two plates, I'm full, she didn't believe me.

5. Being told if I ate a certain diet, it would fix all my bodily problems.

6. People who don't understand that bodies do not work the same.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Narcissist Family Events: "When I Visit My Family I Will Rent A Car"

One joke that was told in my household, with my husband and me was "When I Visit My Family I Will Rent a Car" [Stuart Smalley style]. I would add to this, "When I Visit My Family I Will Always Have a Hotel Room to Escape to." Stuart Smalley was an entertaining character, no one told him about no contact!

My matriarchial narcissist ruled the roost. Our family events were ones of the tribe paying homage to the chief, with a big dinner put on for all.  These were not ones of free talking or loose fun, imagine prim people sitting on straight on the edges of sofas. Everyone measured their words as to not offend the queen or "queens" when my grandmother was still alive. I wrote about the time last year where my mother wrote an email about topics that were not allowed. This really was about producing the PERFECT picture of a family rather then dealing with the individuals as people. Sometimes going to these things was like going to a play, playing your proper part and then walking off. Narcissists desired the stage show they directed.

 I got more satisfaction watching paint dry. Sometimes with a relative I liked or hadn't lost their soul to the narcissists, I'd try to drag them "off stage" to have a real conversation. This could happen with my brother and a few cousins--the people I kept contact with, but never with any of the others. I remember trying to get my Aunt who is the scapegoat and a few others "off stage"  and out of ear shot of the rest but they were too busy trying to please the queens to take note of the likes of me even if they just saw them last week and hadn't seen me in two years.

While the food was tasty, family members would parade their children and babies, brag about their jobs, and it was almost like going on a job interview. Who has the best job? Who has the most children? People without children even if infertile were deemed "selfish", those without jobs, deemed "lazy". Every morsel of food eaten analyzed and up for comment. Don't get hungry at a different time from the narcissists.

This was no place to relax and be yourself.  Everyone was focused on impressing one another and gathering the kind regard of my narcissistic mother or grandmother. These family dynamics were disturbing enough. Some family members who were not present, sometimes would be in for a "bonding over putting someone down" session. My brother's ex wife was often in for it, my scapegoat aunt too, though that got lesser as she was invited and taken to more events the more submissive she became to my mother, and who ever else was on the "bad" list that week/month/or year. Screw up and you were cannon fodder.

Add in hardcore neo-con [on the freedom hating side] Republican politics that condemned everyone without a job or money, as being a "loser" or "not trying hard enough" and oddly a mixture of the worse ideological things modern culture has to offer and some of the conversations got kind of harsh. You simply were not allowed to have another opinion. Last year she tried to pre-empt any conversation she would not like, and actually sent us all a list of things we could not talk about in email, these ranged from God to homosexuality to some bill before Congress I can't remember right now. With the God rule, being a Christian, I felt like I was being asked to commit an act of idolatry to Nero and pals and did not show up. They didn't know where to pigeon-hold me which seemed to make them more angry.

During one family event where I broke my Stuart Smalley rule and actually [horrors] sat in a car with my mother on a trip to my grandmother's for the first time in 15 years. She broke endless speed limits as I sat there mouth clenched, all this for trying to make nice and get to "closer" to my family. She yelled at then 30 something year old me to stop fidgeting, and that I should wear pants and not dresses all the time. That is a day that will live on in infamy, one telling moment was her dogging out the farmers we bought some vegetables from their home stand, saying they were dirty and disgusting and me replying and saying, "One isn't going to be perfectly clean, farming for a living". No one was immune. Everything could be held up to criticism, your weight, your clothes, the way you moved. If they weren't telling you that your life was a mess, they would get find something else small to pick on. Everyone else was failures while the narcissists especially my mother and sister were "perfect".

My father when he was alive and part of the family events combined his seething rage, put downs, and screaming fits with all of the above. His later absence rendered the family events more calm on the surface. There were times, he wanted to make you cry to show off to the others. Having one's father order you around like a slave in front of cousins demanding exactly three ice cubes in every drink and others was not too cool. He had no problem disrespecting two of his own children in front of others and seemed to glory in it.  No one ever defended a kid against their narcissist torturer.

If anyone drank or was high at my family events, they did it in secret and kept it on the down-low. I never had any substance abuse problems in my life as a teetotaler and never touch any drugs except prescription ones that are all non-narcotic, but Benadryl became my "lite" tranquilizer of choice to cope with my family. I could go two months without needing it for any allergies and pop a couple to take the edge of everything, a light "buzz" to help envelop me in a cocoon to deal with the sharks.

I still remember the other scapegoats and those who were poor, coming to the family events like they were having teeth pulled. My scapegoat aunt would come just to eat, saying around a total of 10 words and disappear into her broken down trailer next door to my grandmother's house citing fatigue. One uncle with his silent children--now all adults in their very late 20s living at home with few prospects and no mates who are the new targets being called "losers" in our dying economy, would sit there eating and not saying a word. Were they afraid to talk? One wonders.

Intellectually, as we sat at the table, or later watching TV, my brain would freeze and silence would take over and I would wonder what could I talk about? Every topic had to be instantly assessed to make sure it was safe. Being an Aspie, this was a nightmare. I couldn't talk about current events with people offended by the slightest digression in opinion. I couldn't talk about books because none of them ever read and hadn't visited a library in years save for my brother. I couldn't talk about personal stuff because that opened me for attack. One could only drag out discussion of the weather so long or compliment one of the narcissists on their new furniture or shopping acumen so I became quiet and over the years dare I say sunk into the background. While today I think this is one of the many things that made me a "stranger", what other choice did I have around people who got angry every time I opened my mouth?

I would stand up for myself from time to time as it was mandated like the time both my mother and grandmother attacked me for being fat, ironically during a lunch where they pigged out on pizza and I just had a turkey sandwich because I am lactose intolerant and yelled back, "Do you think my body works like yours?"

One thing I used to pray to God, was "How could you give me a family like this"? Where there was no one I could really talk to? [things were better with my brother and a couple cousins but even there I had to gently lead them away from the manipulation of the narcissists and it got wearing]. Facebook I am sure was strange for some of them seeing all these friends of mine profess out and out love for me, something that never happened in our family where the prevailing attitude was one of utter disgust and not being good enough. With some of these relatives, who I like and care about, I feel bad, that our relationships have been so adversely affected. I posted this for their sake and yes for some of my own, today on my Facebook page:

No Contact for the first time during the holidays is tough terrain.  This is supposedly the no-contact hump, that if you manage to cross things will get easier. I hope so. There is this feeling of GUILT. I've seen psychologists warn against "fear, guilt and obligation" before online, the so called FOG that can keep one enmeshed in toxic relationships. It's what kept me dragging myself to all these family events where I was invisible and a "worm". I had to sit back and ask, "What are you doing?" Self care actually had me refusing events almost an entire year before I went totally no contact.

There are some family members I care about and still have some contact with, but I wonder if I ever will be able to see them again since the only family gatherings and visits that happen rotate around the nexus of the narcissist matriarch. Being no contact for me, may actually mean never seeing one relative ever again in person, even the ones I want to see. This is one reason I stayed low contact for so many years too but one gets to the point where they can do it anymore. Even in the video I linked to where Stuart debates going to a family Christmas gathering or not, saying "Ill go, No, I won't go." That was me for years. Even the stress in these last few years triggered infections or a kidney stone almost on cue.

In my case part of my "giving up" [no contact et. al.] rotated around the very that my health couldn't take it anymore.  No one was coming to see me. One loved best friend knows I am unable to get out to where she lives, so she comes to me. Actually this would describe several friends but with my family that never happened. The ones I am in contact with, are the one who are more financially limited like me, so I understand.

There was one Thanksgiving where the temperature dropped into the low and mid 30s which is beyond what I am comfortable at lung wise [the 20s would have put me into the hospital] and I pressed on, hoping it would be on the warmer end. My reward was hiding the endless asthma attacks and breathing problems in the bathroom, throwing up a few times. The stress of keeping a smile on my face and keeping it together made it even tougher. My mother's house was not a place where someone would give you a bed to lie down on if you took ill. It never was a place of comfort. A rented hotel room for one night helped me keep it together in front of them.

This was hard. Sometimes I would literally cry if the temperatures nose-dived leaving me no options, trying to see nieces and nephews I had not seen in two years and truly do miss, and feel heartbreak at not being able to have formed closer relationships with. But some of you may ask "What is missing here"? There was absolutely no accommodations from the others. My mother had a downstairs bedroom but because she is such a neat-freak and so uptight, I never could ask her even to put my swollen leg and stomach up. Nothing. No one came here or visited even if they driving by one mile from where I live, they were always too "busy". These are folks who drive 1,500 miles to Florida back and forth and other sojurns for hundreds of miles. I live 75 miles away from my mother. My grandmother's old home and where the family is meeting is almost 200 miles away.

Going on visits I could not physically handle bought me breathing problems and leg infections. Remember I'm a woman where I qualified for housebound services. I haven't left my apartment but once in the last three weeks on a day where it hit 49-50 degrees. Yesterday I had breathing problems from the temperature going down to the teens. I did not need to go to the hospital-my inhalers worked but I was under serious strain.

 The Baby Boomer modern American experiment of having families separate by hundreds and thousands of miles worked when people had expendable income to travel and buy a new car every two years, but for Generation X and the Millennials, it has meant more isolation and more loneliness and far more stress! Some lose their families due to poverty and distance--which applies to me quite a bit, even before any chosen no contact, and others go into hock trying to step up, visit and get presents they can't afford. As I have written before, this is a system where wealthier family members earn more of the families notice and attention, and where poverty and illness can render you invisible.

December is the hardest month of the year for me, since my housebound time begins and its 100% house-bound-ness now, where a cool or warmer day just doesn't happen to break up the monotony like in the summer. Being outside of this all and getting some perspective, I realized now how utterly selfish, that all the travel was to be one way for so many years. Narcissists however have that insidious way of doing things, blaming you for everything, even non-chosen health problems and setting things up so you are in the pleasing them department instead of pleasing yourself.

I found out from one relative I have some contact with, that my NM is having a big blow out holiday party, with a rented hall this weekend for the annual family gathering. Even if I was not "no contact" with them, it'd be too cold to go.  Of course what am I missing? Not much.  Once I get over the false guilt that is slowly ebbing away, I can already feel the RELIEF coming....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Richard Simmons Goes Bonkers"

This is kind of sad. Warning you will find this video very alarming. Well diet guru, Richard Simmons, has gotten older and hopefully he will have figured out, the 1980s are over, and most young people may not even recognize his name now.  I honestly haven't seen him anywhere in years on TV. I don't watch mainstream news shows except rarely. This video is very crazy. Please watch it at least half way in to see how far things disintegrate. It shocked me.

 I never liked Richard Simmons, he's not my cup of tea but this interview is SCARY.  Notice when he says to the interviewer, "it's about me!"  I always felt sorry for the fat women who would burst out in tears on talk shows to Richard Simmons, and always felt uneasy about it. Like he was the histrionic conductor of misdirected emotions from fat people. I had to quit reading this books or watching his shows, because he made me feel lousy, and while I danced to the Oldies a few times for the exercise, I was still fat.

The misquoting of the Bible literally made me cringe, "when you have self worth, you inherit the earth", um, Richard, it says the MEEK will inherit the earth. Obviously he went through hard times and was bullied in high school. He seems very depressed and mentions that he has buried a lot of people to obesity. Sigh, well even I will admit the war on obesity has failed. My own war, I've been stuck in the trenches and barely staying alive, just kind of holding the same line despite endless efforts on multiple fronts so on that score I can understand the tears. However I believe Simmons has damaged many fat people by pushing the false status quo of the diet industrial complex while he purports to CARE.

Simmons does the nauseating fake crying though some of the emotions may be real, he seems to overdo it.  Richard Simmons maybe today could come out and say "Look the diets and exercise is failing, something more is going on here. We are not winning this war!" Yeah I'm dreaming. He seems to be more a distraction rather then anyone who will bring truth to the whole mess. There's no one whose going to derail the money train that is enjoying it's benefits.

Then he goes into a litany about parade floats and the rest that makes absolutely no sense. The "conspiracy" website Vigilante Citizen maybe would tell us Richard Simmon's "programming" is breaking down if they saw this video and reported on it. Some will know what I am talking about a la Brittany Spears style. Maybe this is Simmon's public head shaving event, but he makes no sense and seriously engages in "word salad" as the pyschiatrists would say! I watched this seriously worried for his mental health. Why does he keep wanting to crawl across the table towards the interviewer? The lewd gesture he keeps making with his mouth is disgusting.

Is he cracking up because he looks out at the landscape and sees the lost war on obesity? I don't know. This is one scary video......

Why is the one creep laughing in the background as he slips back and forth from lucidity to delusion?

More mild weirdness earlier on:

Stranger stuff on another TV show...

Disturbing....if this wasn't some famous guy with money acting like this, they'd getting him some help. Everyone laughs but I do not see what is so funny. I think we should have compassion for those with mental health problems and challenges, but I feel bad watching him. Something is very off. I do not think he is faking "craziness" only for attention.

This picture says it all....

                                                      [picture source]

He always has been "wacky" and even was 25 years ago but this is new terrain....

Fat and Fit Doesn't Exist?

Well I've said myself there's no 400 and 500lb marathoners, but how fat do they mean? Does one have to be stick thin to be in shape? Once the fat is on, it's harder to exercise too. I have to go do my walk after I type here, it's cold--I have to do in the apartment hallway which is fortunately long and now I can traverse it twice instead of just once, but exercise for me is only keeping me mobile and doesn't have magic life-changing effects beyond that. I do wish someone would get to the core basics of fat, one can tell all us fat people, yeah you're unfit but what is that going to change if no one is able to lose weight and keep it off.

It's Cold!

                                         [picture source-Pinterest]

How are you faring in this cold weather? I'm housebound, I can hear the wind out there, and it's very very cold. Global warming where are you? You'd think we have few more mild Decembers then this!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ban on Trans-Fats

It's odd how they are willing to ban this, but do nothing about the GMOs, and MSG.....

Can you imagine a Weight-Gain Ad NOW?

Wow, times have changed....

My leg is progressing

Wrapping my leg has shrunk it down. I am shocked at how small the leg is under the fluid. I can walk a lot easier. It is being wrapped 4-5 times a day so this takes some time. My hope regarding my leg is far more. Three months without an infection is a good thing.

See: The Swelling.

Feeling Invisible

                                        [picture source]

Feeling Invisible

"The problem with this is that when you are not acknowledged, when you cannot see yourself mirrored in others, when they do not reflect back to you, like answering your questions or laughing at your jokes or responding to your greetings in an appropriate way, if your sense of self is not immensely secure, you begin to lose it.
And if you get enough of that kind of treatment from the significant people in your life, you begin to feel invisible, too…you begin to wonder if there is really anything to see, since nobody else seems to see it.
It goes deeper than that, even. Have you ever said something in a group of people and nobody even acknowledged you spoke? Have you ever asked a question and the person to whom it is directed acts as if you were not even in the room? Have you ever been in a group and what you have to say is not ignored so much as it is not even heard? Absent strong self-esteem, such experiences can make you feel disconnected, unbalanced…as if you exist only at their pleasure and the rest of the time you don’t. It makes you feel unimportant, devalued, diminished, invisible, shunned".

This is an excellent article about growing up as the scapegoat in a narcissistic family. They do render you invisible, voiceless like you are not even there. For me silent treatment and being unable to communicate was a given. The number of silent moments with my mother reached to the ceiling as I tried to reach out, and received only silence and anger in response. There was no true sharing, no being known.

One thing that happened to me when wanting to see more of family members is they would tell me, "We have our own lives" as if I was a bother or nuisance. It was strange how they always gave me this message to tell me to "go away". I always had my own life and community too. I was not bothering them to visit me every month, or even every year. Once you reach a certain age and place, you will stop asking and you know that going to empty wells is a waste of time.

There was always the message of get back in line, you are low on the priority list. For me it started very young. My very ill sister came first during my young years. Later my sick father's needs came first, but even when everyone was healthy, I was in the background, just there.  One thing that happens if someone is a scapegoat in a dysfunctional family system, is the narcissist or narcissists train the others not to devote time to you. You are rendered obsolete to them.

I knew I grew up, knowing outside of my close friends, no one was really listening to me. My opinions were shouted down, my values, and who I was ignored. It was like a tree falling in the forest with some standing there shrugging their shoulders and going ho-hum.  My narcissistic mother and sister shared nothing with me. I have realized "withholding" where a person shares nothing of their mind, emotions, and thoughts with you is an insidious form of abuse. You become an "outsider", unheard, unseen, and unthought of, and breaking this up or standing up to it is impossible. Demand to be seen, heard, noticed, and recognized as a human being and then you are told you are a bother, we are busy, we have our lives. You feel like a sap trying to draw attention from those who don't want to give it. As a child, you're kind of trapped, under their rules, you can only go seek out others so much, as an adult, you have to reach the point, and tell yourself, that there is nothing more I can do, I tried. Trying to seek the love and attention of people who do not have it to give, is very unhealthy.  There were times as a child and teen I literally faded into the wallpaper. What does that do to someone in the long run?

Years later this would worse, as moving, distance, and money problems triggered some of my problems that are rooted in these early family experiences. When I left my small town community in 2007, it was grief, I felt like I had lost another family [which included a church and co-op I was close to] and I really HAD.

I know I will never move again, since I lost my last community, the grief was so great, I refuse to leave the friends and things I have now. I never had a family so I need to have a community to be attached to. I need roots. There is no way on earth I will ever let myself rip up the roots again. The last time took too far of a toll, I just recovered in the last couple of years due to new friends and opportunities. I have told husband I will not do it again.

I don't take loss well. I know inside I have a lot of grief. Too many people have been taken away from me via many circumstances. I suppose this is part of the human condition. It is never easy to "lose" anyone or to imagine what may have been. I think not really having family in this world or growing up in a family system where you are rendered as "nothing" can take a toll. Some of us survive and thrive via close friends who love us, we connect to communities--I know I did and have. Even then this early "lack of love" can take a lifelong toll on many others.

Some of us are not well-suited for modern life, and it's transient nature. There is a reason Bowling Alone is one of my favorite books. I have told one close friend of many years duration, that my dream life would have been one in the same area where I grew up in a place and stayed and had those roots I always have grasped for.

I hope one day I will have a feeling of belonging somewhere in this world. Even with the few family members I talk to now, it's long distance stuff--a few Facebook hellos, nothing "too deep". I do not expect anything more any more.

The blogger talks about the times she had to realize that people weren't ignoring her on purpose via her family baggage. That is something I worked through years ago. If your family has the default setting of ignoring you, this doesn't mean others with their responsibilities are too. Here one has to have grace and understanding for other people and unload the family mode, when dealing with others.

My friends and community groups etc, treat me decent but I know inside, there was this feeling of being invisible that stayed with me because of how I was raised too that I had to overcome. Narcs draw in attention like a iron fillings draw to a magnet. The times of being a "ghost" in the room with all the "look at me" narcissists who demanded full attention did take their toll on me too. I am a more shy person, who via my housebound times, avoids attention. Think there's a reason you don't see my mug plastered on this blog? That probably is part of it. I have very close friends but I know this developed a "going into myself" solitary outlook. I also know I love and value people very strongly. I never want anyone to feel alone or rejected.

Some of these effects may be lifelong, the feeling like you have had no feeling of belonging anywhere? This feeling of not belonging of being untethered? It's a hard one to carry in this life, that's for sure. How does one overcome this? My Christian friends tell me, this world is not our true home, and one day, we will be with God's family. All my friends, are "family" as it were to me, in this world. I know today people "see" me.