Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Aunt That Loved Me

                                          [picture source]
When I was five, I already knew I had been I had been born [or adopted?] into the wrong family. My Aspergers was not welcomed in a family full of personalities where anything "deep" was to be dismissed and being a book worm and having feelings was seen as "weaknesses". As detailed enough on this blog, I did not grow up in a happy household. Beyond the narcissistic abuse, there was never-ending screaming, and yelling. One could never even sit down and rest for a moment as one of the narcissists would go ranting and railing about everything from a shirt hanging over a chair to the wrong number of ice cubes in their drink. Anger was the default emotion with the two emotional Neanderthals I grew up with. So lets just say by age 5, I knew something was seriously wrong with my parents and even one day peering out through a friend's fence, overheard my mother telling a friend how weird I was and how I was "too smart" for my own good. My mother did not love me like other children were loved by their mothers and I knew it this young.

However out of this giant mess, Aunt J. would show me some love, acceptance and memories that I was able to lean on as life proceeded. This may have saved me in that I had someone tell me I was a decent human being among the chaos.

At times, us kids would get sent away to other relatives homes for extended periods of time. I usually looked upon these trips with anticipation and happiness. At age 3 and half, I and my brother lived in New Jersey a short time with other relatives while my sister fought to survive an extremely rare autoimmune disease. She would be one of the few that survived but this took my many months. By the time I was 5, my sister had survived, life continued on, but it was decided I would be sent to a relative's house for the summer while my family vacationed elsewhere. My memories are vague as to why I was sent away for so long but let's just say why I was not unhappy about it!

I took my first plane ride with my mother's best friend on the way back to their hometown. She was a nun who I looked up to at the time and who later left the convent 23 years later. Flying was exciting and being too young to be afraid of air travel, my ears popped and hurt and caused me some pain, so the trip was a tough one.

My aunt lived in a rented white bungalow out in a rural area. Across the street were farms and endless corn fields same as my grandmother's house which wasn't far away. Aunt J. was young then, 22 years of age but to me she was a grown up. Even my own mother was a mere 28 years of age. She was tall and thin with long brown straight hair and dark brown eyes and very intelligent. She had just had her first child, who was 6 months old. My uncle, who years later would write New Age books on Affirmations and go to New Mexico to "find himself" was her husband of a few years who she had married straight out of high school.

She showed me around the house as I got there, and this being the early 70s, I recall the pillows, comfortable chairs, and in one corner the Indian rattan chair with a huge round disc-like back. The living room held her newly purchased leather black couch. She made a tidy welcoming comfortable home.

We would spend much time outdoors, while in front of the house there was a circle driveway and a broken down shed in the backyard which a very large garden was next to. Unlike my parents who yelled at every weed and treated gardening as an exercise in self inflicted misery. Aunt J. loved plants and they blossomed under her care. She had huge broccoli and cauliflower plants, I remember to this day with their huge green and white roundness, big flat leaves and crisp smell.

My father would meanly grouse about my aunt and uncle, "the hippies", to me,  they were just more laid back, fun and nicer. My aunt was into art and alternative interests from health foods to later in life anything Native American including a collection of pottery and dream catchers and camping. We seemed to bond immediately. Sure at times she would tell me, "Be quiet the baby is sleeping!" and other reminders but I felt much more relaxed around her. I felt she understood me more and cared about me. I was so young but remember talking to her about so many things and actually being listened to instead of dismissed.

The summer proceeded, we went on trips to the dam, the woods where I explored natures and visited other relatives and even the neighbors across the street who owned Great Danes as tall as me. I would play with my cousin and he was a happy baby. Learning to draw that summer, copying the comic strip Peanuts into my sketchbook, my aunt's support of my new art talents would impact me for the rest of my life.

This was a period of life that was calm and collected, even though I missed my brother and sister, I wanted to stay living with my Aunt J. and remembered asking her. I was very sad upon leaving. Sometimes I think my wanting to stay increased the problems between me and my mother. I came back to a redecorated bedroom but felt like I had just left "home". Of course I was only 5 going on 6, an adult of good intentions may have asked "Why was my daughter so much happier away from home?"

Over the years my family would visit Aunt J and her family, she would have more children in 1980-two fraternal twins. She loved her children very much, and seemed to share a special bond with them that I ached for myself. She took them camping, read books to them, and shared her love of photography and art with them. Her husband would later leave her for another woman,[around 1982 very soon after the birth of the twins] and this was very hard for her to go through. She continued to provide a decent life for her children, luckily managing to hold on to another house her and her husband had build down the street from my grandmother's house.

We would continue visits, at times when I was over 18, I would drive down to visit. I would talk to her in her kitchen of sailboat glass hangings and bright orange counters. I could share things that weren't as easy to share with other family members. She knew something wasn't right with my mother but of course neither of us knew anything about narcissistic personality disorder or people who operated outside of a conscience and feelings.  I would continue these visits into college. There were a few differences as I aged, but I knew my mother was complaining [smear campaigns] about me all the time to others, and I worked hard to hold those lies back, and I mostly succeeded with her though I did not with my other aunt.

She could continue to work hard and her last job was working with juvenile delinquents at the youth home as a child care worker, a job I would just some years later would replicate as an art teacher in a juvenile home. She faced some economic struggles but kept plugging along.

One of the last conversations I had with Aunt J haunts me to this day, when her son seemed to have a premonition of her death to come only weeks later. I, Aunt J, and her son [the baby of my first and extended stay] were all sitting in her living room. I had driven down from college to visit them. It was 1987 and I was 19 years old. Sleeping on her couch and visiting all the relatives houses that included aunts and uncles and my grandmother's house in a row in rural Midwestern area, we were reminiscing.

[ By the way this is something narcissists will not do, the only person I could share memories with in more recent times has been my brother, the past never existed to my mother and sister, and was wiped away clean where attachment to people and places does not exist.]

 Aunt J brought up the death of her brothers in the late 1960s, one drowned trying to heroically save a friend on a fishing trip when that friend fell into into the river and one died being shot by a jealous lover. The latter uncle, I would find out was murdered within three weeks of my birth just recently. I knew it was the same year [1968] but never knew the timing was so close. How did I find out you might ask? I found a geneaology page last year that a distant cousin had done of my mother's family starting in Germany in 1823. Birth dates and dates of deaths for the deceased were on it. That was strange and I found myself wondering if my mother's dislike of me was tied to this event, but then my mother never seemed to be one to grieve for very long over anyone. I used to tell understanding relatives, that I was disturbed by the fact that when people died in my family they disappeared and never were mentioned again.

My aunt told me more details of these deaths and about these relatives, I had not known. We went on to talk about others who had died including my grandfather and memories about him.  Anyway midway through my then 13 year old cousin started crying, "Why do people have to die, Mom?" and then said "I hope you never die Mom!." He started crying and was almost inconsolable. We were surprised by his outburst but his mother consoled him, hugged him and calmed him down. I distracted him later and we watched David Letterman, one of his favorite shows to watch on non-school nights at the time.

Two weeks later after I returned home, she would be dead. The death was mysterious, a high impact car crash into a tree on the day after Christmas night. Others said she drove too fast for the road, that she had ended up curving on a road into a driveway and a tree she didn't know. This didn't make sense to me because she was in the area she had lived life long. A relative told me she had gotten in an argument with her then boyfriend and gone out to her car emotional. I don't know, the details were and remain fuzzy. The only fact was the crash was high speed, horrific and she was only 36 years old leaving her sons behind. The funeral was horrific, a week of crying. I took the death very hard. I missed my aunt very much. She was the aunt I loved and the aunt that loved me.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dating While Fat: How I Met My Husband.

                                     [picture source]
I never expected to marry. In fact by age 25, my family had written me off as a perpetual spinster. Being an Aspie, shy and fat, I barely had dated. I placed a singles ad, detailing myself as an eccentric artist demanding finally a girlfriend and drug FREE boyfriend. In the ad I admitted I was near 300lbs. [my weight gain had begun around this time]

Using this ad, I dated a Momma's boy architect, a slow security guard, a bi-sexual man who wanted the "experience of being with a large woman", and a laughing gas addict into techno music who at the age of 35 still lived in his parent's basements. There were never any second dates.

Due to all this disappointment, I almost didn't show up on my future husband and I's first date. Expecting disappointment, I talked myself into being polite and showing up at a the Olive Garden where I then lived. It's a good thing I went and didn't let the voice in my head steer me wrong telling me to blow off the date.

He showed up wearing black jeans and leather boots. I was instantly attracted. I had worn a black top with many buttons, a semi-gothic outfit of mine with a black skirt. Oddly we matched. He was large and tall with long blonde hair. Here was no wimp. The physical attraction was strong but so was the other things that lead people to each other. He also was extremely intelligent and I could talk about anything with him. We were talking about poetry, art, music and history. I was smittened.

I was very attracted. I would go home and even write some love poetry. He had kissed me on the cheek. I would go home hoping he'd call. By the second date, we were kissing on the grounds of my old college--I still lived in the town it was in. By the third date, we were joking about getting married. We would go to spend hours and hours in the resort town where he worked as a newspaper reporter. Sometimes I would wait for him and we would go sit on the beach at midnight and into the early morning hours. That was a very romantic place for courtship with it's breaking surf, sunsets over the water, and light houses. I'd recommend the place highly to anyone for falling in love.

Our relationship would go on to be forged in fire over the next years. Both of us probably failed to know what was coming as I have detailed on this blog, with the money and health problems but this April 29, will be the 20th anniversary of that first date. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Does Fat Make People Feel Warmer?

Personally in my case, no, I am always freezing but the thyroid stuff enters into that but heat makes me more uncomfortable on the other end.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I Survived Catholic School and My Parent's Religion


I love this sign. I was educated by nuns in full habit. No, they didn't get the rulers out on us. Corporal punishment was outlawed in my state by that time. In some ways being part of a smaller private school was probably easier on a bookworm fat Aspie, but it's also another way I slid through the cracks in getting any of my neurological differences dealt with outside of being labeled "gifted" at the time and put in a "Great Books" program.

Today I am a born again Christian and no longer Catholic. I left that church when I was 18 years old, but I formed the majority of my childhood memories growing up in a colonial house in a well-heeled suburb next to a large metro city where my father worked. Our house was across the street from the Catholic church, school and convent, rectory, cemetery and my best friend's home. Her father was the church's janitor. I escaped home as much as I could hanging out at all of the above for as many hours as possible between the ages of 7-13 when we moved away. To be frank, my home away from home even with my present major theological differences, probably saved me from a worse fate as I had somewhere to "belong" to and be a part of as a child.


I and my siblings were all born only one year apart from each other. All of us wore uniforms to school-in this case blue checkered plaid, Peter Pan Collars, saddle shoes and in my brother's case, blue pants and button down blue shirt. Some of our nuns were nice. With names like Sister Mary Helen, Margaret, Ann, and other variations.  My fifth grade teacher happened to be my favorite as I became the teacher's pet and stayed after school to help her with grading papers and cleaning the classroom. She told me all the time how smart I was and what a good artist I had become. Many of our nuns were sincere and truly wanted to "help change the world for the better" and desired to impart moral lessons.

Of course we had the mean nuns too including one who taught math and science and some days would just sit and stare at us, on a day she wasn't in the mood to lecture the class. I wonder today if she was forced into teaching via her order, and showing us her unhappiness. I don't think the nun's life ended up being a happy one for all of them. Many taught for little pay and reward and probably ended up leaving the order with the passage of years.

                                               [picture source]

From time to time I'd visit the convent behind the school when getting the rare volunteer task. The nuns lived very simply with a basement recreation room with a piano, concrete floor and folding chairs, and little bedrooms with a twin bed, crucifix and small nightstand next to the bed. I remember thinking there'd be no way I'd join a convent. While 8-10 women had a little bedroom each to call their own and a very austerely furnished house--just with the necessities-- the priests lived in a nice home across the way, with real art on the walls and golden candlesticks on the mantel and a housekeeper. These differences did not escape my youthful notice.

We had one young handsome priest who was very nice to all of us, and he was considered the "cool" priest who talked to all the kids and helped them with their problems. Years later, I would find out he had left the priesthood to get married. Probably all the junior high girls who swooned over him probably wouldn't have been surprised.

My life at the time was full of Catholic rituals and rites. This included Mass twice a week, Soup Suppers, Confession past second grade, Confirmation Class and retreats. The Retreats were fun because they were an excuse to get out of the house for a few days, but one always ended up with priests asking us weird questions and giving us personality tests and endless hours of praying, rosaries and even more boring Masses.

                                         [source Minnesota Public Radio]

My best friend's house was next to the convent, an older house, it  was part of the church complex and given to her family since they were refugees from Vietnam. The family was given jobs upon their arrival which basically was cleaning and maintenance of the church and school. All 5 kids in the family joined in on these tasks, so as I went across the street to play in the wide parking lots, or to spend time after school with my teachers, I would run into Loan and her family. My brother would befriend her brothers and we all hung out together. Her family had braved being shot at in a helicopter during the fall of Saigon, and escaped with their lives to come to America. Loan who was in third grade with me barely knew English when her family first came, but learned it fast.  I spent years immersed in Vietnamese culture, hearing her parents speak the language to the children and each other,  Asian music,  decor, sharing meals such as spicy meat dishes and rice and watching Jerry Lewis movies. I still remember the day I tried talking her dad out of turning two live ducks in a cage into dinner.

Many hours were spent playing kickball or 4-square in the huge expansive parking lots between all the buildings and exploring the cemetery with it's tombstones dated back to the 1800s. Other times, I would accompany Loan and her siblings as they were given cleaning jobs to do and her parents cleaned and polished the school's long green hallways or polished the pews and altar in church.

I was a young Aspie, shy, and mocked for being fat all the time, but with Loan and her brothers I shared a special friendship. This brought a lot of joy to my young life, and leaving on the very day of my thirteenth birthday when my family moved away was especially painful. I would write letters to Loan many of which I still have, until I was into college but we would lose contact with each other when I lost her address by accident and she had just moved due to a marriage. Years later I would have contact with one of her brothers but not be able to regain it with her.

While some of my teachers were happy enough over my decent grades and high test scores, others could not stand my inquisitive nature and found it off-putting. I often got sent to the principal's office for asking the religion teacher too many questions. I would not arrive at my later adult born again Christian faith until after years of "free-thought" and religious exploration and study and at the age of 10, I was a budding atheist. Able to read adult books by the age of 6, I read a Thomas Paine essay in a history book, and grilled the nuns with my questions. They didn't take to this too well. There was one time I was marched off to the rectory for the parish priest to yell at me, for telling a nun in religion class that Purgatory made no sense. I don't think the nuns knew what to do with a kid who was reading the Bible and books like "Late Great Planet Earth" from the library--thus knowing what the evangelicals were up to and other books on everything from evolution to famous atheists coming up with so many questions. Other times I got sent to the principal for a few fights or sassing back to teachers.  However life was easier with the teachers by far then it was at home.....

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Have any of you seen that video, "Pissed Catholic Mother" on Youtube? That one has had nearly 2 million views. I was going to embed it here but there's so many f-bombs I decided not too. The video is of a son saying he is an atheist and saying he doesn't believe in God, and his Catholic mother exploding and basically using every cuss word in the book and she threatens to take all his Christmas presents away. Chances are that is a narcissistic mother.

I saw this video years ago, this is about how well things went for me when I asked any religious questions or dared to say I did not believe in something. I feel sorry for the son in the picture. By the way if I had children, even being a born again Christian, my methods would not include religion via force or coercion.

The weirdness continued even to last year when I wrote about how we were forbidden to talk about anything "religious" at a family dinner I choose not to go to last year. Talk about Controlled minds. As a 40 something adult this crossed the lines of beyond offensive. Just so you know, I witnessed to each adult relative once or twice, and left it at that, and that was at least 10 years ago.

My narcissistic parents did use religion as a "control mechanism". and for "showtime". False pious moments cropped up between screaming and cuss out sessions.  In other words, one could get slapped for forgetting to do the "Sign of the Cross" at dinner just after hearing your Dad scream four letter words in the garage over your brother misplacing a wrench. If one accidentally ate a bologna instead of an egg salad sandwich on a Friday during Lent, all hell would break loose. Hypocrisy doesn't describe one's resultant emotions over that disconnect.

Growing up I was told I would be Catholic and nothing else. For them, I think it was mostly a social and cultural thing but they never missed a Mass. Even today my "golden child" Narcissistic sister who always got mad whenever I tried to talk about the Bible or God, never misses a Mass either. Her kids go to Catholic school too. I came from the kind of family where some relatives banned coming to my wedding because I was married to a lapsed Lutheran. Yes there are still some families like that though things have changed somewhat in the last 20 years.

                                            [picture source]
I still remember the day my mother found out I left the Catholic church to attend another church when I was 18 and out of the house at college, and she started literally screaming "Heathen!" at me as she followed me through the house. I was trying to get away and run upstairs to my bedroom. This word came out over and over as she told me what a horrible person I was.  She ripped up the church bulletin I had left in my bag she had just nosed through without my permission and told me how I was on the slippery slope to hell for being a Catholic "heretic". Ah rather ironic. The Stasi couldn't beat my mother in the control she expected to hold over your heart, mind AND religion. I am the only person in my family who ever has dared to leave the Catholic church "publicly", even those who married someone in another Christian denomination, still participate in all the family church events. My mother required her now husband to join the Catholic church before marrying him. A Methodist for at least 50 years prior, he lined right up. This was history repeating itself as my father left the Orthodox church to join the Roman Catholic church with my mother as well when he married her.

I suppose my mother didn't want to explain to her best friend from school who was a high level nun who worked with bishops but years later left the convent or to her cousin priest about her daughter, but that sort of reaction was over the top. You can just imagine what the reaction was when I tried to ask her about God or heaven, or anything of a spiritual nature when I was a younger child. I learned fast not to talk about those things with my parents. They simply were not interested and would get angry. The displays of piety were just displays.

One weird moment was having my father when we were both in the car driving somewhere tell me when I was around 19, and yelling at me for not being Catholic for the 50th time, that he didn't really believe in Catholicism either, but did it for "social reasons", and that I should too for the "peace". Pleasing my mother came first to that man, including his own and ignoring his children's beliefs, thoughts, desires and needs.

I wasn't that fat as a child by today's standards, but back in the late 1970's I was a fat kid, and teased for it constantly. This is one sad thing I remember about school, which made me cling to the good teachers a bit, and it affected my self esteem to be called "Two Ton Weight" or "Earth Quake" or "Fatty Fatty Two By Four".  I got a nickname too which was based on my last name, and I knew my then, I was "very different" but not sure why. Teachers would send home letters to my parents who ignored them about my difficulty getting along with peers and my being isolated as a result. Some of the nuns kept stricter classrooms but others didn't as well as some low paid lay teachers who let the kids run wild. Aspergers gave me the talent to read multiple books, and remember things making school an easy enterprise from that angle, but the social part of it was bad. I had my Vietnamese friends and one public school friend who was quiet and shy and liked to draw who lived down my street, and not many others.

Catholic school was very different from what public school would have been. In some ways, it was better to be in a small, private school and in other ways worse. I was fortunate to have some friends and teachers who were kind to me and there for me. So I could say "Yes I survived Catholic school and my parents too!"

Update 2019: I am no longer a Christian and have deconverted and returned to the Unitarian Universalist church. I think now about religious things and how much spiritual abuse there is when parents impose a religion on children.

Food for Thought

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Global Obesity Rate Through the Roof! Is it the FAST FOOD?

So what has changed?

More access to "fast food" and corporate food?

Could they be importing the food that has been fattening Americans up for decades overseas?

It's not like everyone woke up and thought let's get fat!

Notice what they say about Mexico being opened to cheap junk food and soda pop in the video above.

The rest of the world is catching up with America.

What they put in fast food, to preserve it, give it a great appearance, be fast and quick is indeed messing with our bodies and metabolisms.

It's not like a billion people on earth decided to start being lazy and overeat, its what's in the food!

"Jail People For Being Fat!"

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"Why Not Throw People In Jail For Being Fat?"

This guy is making a bad argument for marijuana legalization.

I don't do any illegal drugs, but I tend to be very libertarian when it comes to the drug wars given the failure of prohibition and how they have been used to install a police state. The addicts are going to shoot up no matter what even if you get the state to spend $50,000 a year to babysit them for a few years in attempts to stop them. That said if a teen smokes pot with some friends and gets caught, should his life be ruined forever?

My first thought with this article was "Don't give them any new ideas!". Some do-gooder may come up with fat camps by fiat. Of course they won't address the bad food and toxins poisoning the lot of us or how much more a salad is harder to afford then greasy burgers.

Brick Walls and Ice Queens

The worse things about narcissists, is they do not feel. They have one mode inside to "win" and "get over" on YOU and be king or queen of the mountain. I could be dealing with extreme spectrum stuff here, people with no consciences and people with no feelings. I don't know. The psychiatrists would probably have to figure this one out. Some of it certainly is beyond me.

What is their motivations in life? They live in a world of things and appearances, I can't even relate to. One thing I have asked God is why do people who do not care about anyone or anything given so much? I suppose in this world they will have their reward. You have to wonder about people you never have seen cry ever, who seem not to experience any feelings of nostalgia, empathy, compassion, deep thoughts, who never seem to desire a close connection with a friend or anyone else for that matter. It's like they are dead inside, the landscape a terrain of blackness.

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For years I thought maybe my mother and sister are just reticent beyond belief, and the feelings remain "hidden" inside but putting the puzzle pieces together, I realized they were not bothered with pesky emotions, like guilt, loss, grief, sadness, tears, empathy, missing people or anything else that brings humanity to a person. For years I wanted to make sure I was not misjudging both of them but then lost too much of myself, trying to meet them half way, while they never moved one inch, or ever took any of my feelings into account about anything. I wasted so many years trying to get close to people like this, trying to reach out, trying to improve the relationships.

Oh I analyzed everything I did wrong for years, try to be nicer, try to be kinder, try not to be needy, try to offer attention, not overstep boundaries, not impose, so forth and so on. Nothing ever improved no matter what I did until I started thinking maybe the problem was from the OTHER SIDE.

I would write my mother these 5 page letters, saying "Lets try and work this out!" Other times I did confront her, asking her why she treated me the way she did and challenging her to stand up for myself. Such letters she would deny the existence of.  Even now I have resisted writing letters to them both, saying "This is why I left" but have told myself, "Why bother?" You tried to get the message across for years, they simply did not care. How long can you scream into the phone and hear nothing back?

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It's like talking to cold brick walls, who never respond. Two emotions, anger and neutral and nothing in between, not even fear. One thing about brick walls, sometimes you throw the ball out and when it hits ice queens that feel nothing, it bounces off and smacks you in the face.

You ever been around people that make you feel very alone? That is how I felt around both of them.

I was cleaning out an old email box, and saw a letter to my sister where I am appealing to see my nieces and nephews, she was planning to drive right by the apt or something, and how she basically steps over everything I said and anything "emotional" ignored it and then responded in her usual "business-like" cold manner. There were a few letters like that where I was simply ignored.

After I went NC and showed one letter to a friend, that I did no respond to, that friend pointed out that letter had about as much feeling in it as a neighbor one barely knows responding to another neighbor about their noisy dog or something. One even said, it sounds sociopathic, it's so devoid of emotion. That's no sister. Its hard to be on a social website, and see loving families, sisters, and people who had mothers who loved them and realized what I lost. No family is perfect not by any means, but facing what hand I got dealt has not been easy with everything else.

I got acouple "nice" cards from my mother since going NC, but they read like what someone think they should write someone to be "nice". Where there is little feeling in it. ho-hum, send a "nice" card, no skin off her back, and no emotion either.  Her daughter exits her life, and Two big things missing though, she never asks, "Why did you leave?" or "What is wrong?" One friend said, "She already knows what is wrong, Peep."

When I was young, one thing both narc parents would constantly yell at me is, "You are too sensitive, toughen up!". While one can understand a parent maybe not wanting a child to cry over every little thing and to develop some resiliency, I realized just the fact I had feelings around these people seemed to make me an "enemy" of sorts. Parents who got angry at any tears were not normal parents. Any emotions outside of a neutral face mask or anger, seemed to upset them. I was trained to become like them, but failed, and that was a good thing! I no longer feel guilty for being sensitive anymore.

There is no "winning" in going "no contact", you just face the losses. Realizing since the family rotates around the matriarch, you'll never see a lot of people again? You do manage to stop the abuse.  I have no more visits I'll be required to go on why sick.

But how can you replace a family? It's hard. The replacement ones always seem to fall away while the empty place remains where people with souls may have stood. Instead you ended up with these disappointments. Is that crass for me to call someone else a disappointment? But they were. They had no emotions. They had nothing to appeal to. They were just there, standing and staring. I dare say now that I am gone, they will wake up, go shopping, do their dishes, go on another trip, and not give me another thought. Not one iota of loss will cross their inner landscapes. They don't think about me and hopefully one day I'll be able to stop too with God's help.

Interesting Theory

The ironic thing is all the fat hatred, could be making everyone fatter!

Missing That Feeling of Belonging and Missing People

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Aspies hate change. I am on the top of that list. My idea of the happiest life would have been being born into a small village or nice small town and living there the rest of my life. One of my best friends from college, believes in reincarnation, I have openly witnessed the Christian gospel to her but this starts with her surmising. She says, "If you come back, wouldn't you want a life, where you live in a small village life-long and have close life long friends and family that never move away? I usually respond saying reincarnation is not true but that yes, that would be ideal. Yes, I know this would be some people's versions of hell, but we have added on the dictate that the families are loving and kind.

Too much moving ruined my life. My parents began it, and I continued it as an adult and it was always usually related to economic survival. The sociologists write about how economic trials affect a person practically but ignore some of the deeper issues. No one mentions the people you lose over the years, the ebbing away of relationships. I refuse to ever move again. It has to be this town or the old one for the rest of my life. I can't move away from any more local friends or the familiar again.

Being middle-aged and a stranger to so many sucks. I feel no sense of belonging or connection to a place and grieve this.  I had the feeling of belonging for a short time in my old town, but in some ways, I do not think I ever have recovered from that move 7 years ago, and when things economically collapsed there it made it worse. My old church and a volunteer organization I was involved with vanished, that made it even harder.  Even now I worry about things I have here, sliding away.

What goads me in some strange way, is my mother who really does not feel close attachments to anyone or the same sense of loss, was blessed with living her entire youth in a small community and being able to have visits and connections with everyone there for the rest of her life. She sees extended cousins to great-aunts without pause. She just saw the entire family network for the holidays. They come to her while no one visits me.  Funny how that works.

Despite great efforts to avoid this, I have joined the ranks of the "forgotten people". Some may point out, you went "no contact", so that's on you but the door was creaking shut on me from the other side just as much. My husband and I were discussing this, and he said, after his job lay-offs and we moved here which is the same distance from my mother's town as my old town but in a different direction, he noticed how I was cut off even more so. My mother actively worked to destroy relationships behind the scenes telling people lies.

One can't force people to be there, who do not want to be but it can bring some weird feelings. Some say its based on the overall break-up of society. My other long distance and disabled friends tell me their life is like this too. Even the healthy and active folks short on time, tell me how things do not seem the same as they used to be. Some accept it, some have given up, I met one of those people who told me with a straight face they have no friends at all.

Change to me always feels threatening. While there have been a couple good changes in my life such as when I played my own version of "Escape From New York" [insert name of another well-known giant American metro city here] to a small town in the middle of nowhere that brought me some years of happiness, there have been many changes that did not bring good things, but disappointment. Change for me has brought too many losses. I tell my best friends, "I have seen the back end of too many people." Some has been due to losing people to death but other factors have entered into it too. Sometimes it was torture when I was ostracized from my own family, hearing about my mother having the funds to visit every extended cousin and aunt or uncle, while I have not seen some people in years. I feel guilty too. A visit to my old town this fall was canceled due to health concerns, and money. It's like why do I have to work so hard to be present? Why do I have to lack the money and health to make it happen?

With time, and distance a person can become a stranger. Even with intense efforts, I sometimes struggle with the picturing myself as a "photo" that is being erased. Be careful reading 30 year old letters while cleaning out your bedroom and not crying over the lost people either to death, moving away, the march of time, or the machinations of narcissists.

I have not seen any relatives on my father's side of the family in 30 years.

I have not seen relatives on my mother's side of the family in 8 years [these are people I am in contact with]

I have not seen two nephews in 4 years.

I have not seen other nieces and nephews in 2 years.

I have not seen one good college friend since 1993 that I talk to weekly on the phone.

I have not seen my old town or my friends there since 2011.

Being a disabled person in American society, you do get forgotten about and shunted away, while some of us manage to make a few friends and ones who are good about visiting us, for many isolation is a serious problem that can take over one's life. Housebound? It can get serious some times. I feel like life is passing me by. I am invisible.

I put extraordinary effort into not giving in to it, and have a couple good friends that help me beyond just seeing these 4 walls, including one who picked me up to get coffee on a day it warmed up enough for me to escape outside two Saturdays ago. But it can be hard. You feel like a ghost in your life, I have laughed at my weeks being stuck in the apt unable to breathe in cold or too much heat, as like "doing time". I MISS a lot of people. It's like my lack of funds, and ability to travel, wiped too many people away. As I have written before modern American life, with its mobility and rest sucks for the poor, the working class and the disabled.

There's far too many people I miss. There's far too many people I have not seen in YEARS. What should I do about it? See them or pay my rent? I never wanted to become a stranger but I did.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Validating Myself: Better Late then Never!

From the book, "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?" [read this if you are an ACON: Adult Child of a Narcissist]

I am 45 years old and realizing I have more to break free from when it comes to my mother and the view of myself. Being middle-aged and "afraid" of your mother is rather silly isn't it? I have seen blogs though where some 60 somethings admit the same. Keep in mind us Aspies are late-bloomers. I am realizing at this advanced age, how behind I got on so many things. One thing I am asking myself, is "Can I pull off a turn around at this late age?"

One part of the healing from a narcissistic parent, is realizing that validation you yearned for is never going to be there.  This fantasy that one day my mother, would pat my head, and say "I am so sorry!" is never going to happen. She is never going to run to the foot of one of my hospital beds, and cry tears and bring me cups of tea. My sister is never going to hug me, and say "I love you" or tell her children, "Aunt Peep is so fun!" even if the few times I saw them, I'd love to do art lessons with them. I suppose one part of growing up even in latter adulthood, is accepting what "is", not what you wish things were. 

One may ask how long can you cry over your mother and father never loving you?  Dr Laura, would say "GET OVER IT!" and I read her book 15 years ago, that said just that!  I didn't want to be one of those people laying in a corner weeping till I was 60 that my mommy and daddy hated me. Some observers would say, "You can't blame your parents for the way your life turned out!" Thats true, but we can admit some of the influences and history. My parents didn't destroy the US economy or make newspapers obsolete affecting my husband's career,  or invent autoimmune diseases after all. I chose my own professions and even my own religion.

While I discussed my past abuse with my two best friends for years who by the way both had narcissistic mothers of their own to contend with, for some reason middle-age brought some kind of odd crises where I couldn't ignore what was happening to me anymore and where disrespect and covert stuff was being carried into late adulthood.

                                              [picture source "backstabbers"]

During my 20s, enough walk-outs ended overt verbal stuff, but I couldn't stop any of the covert stuff no matter what I did! What a misery! I was low contact and only saw the woman on average 6 times a year for 4-7 hours, but so much craziness was stirred behind the scenes, so much mean things said to me when no one was in the room. I knew there never would be any respect, there never would be any change. She didn't care to hear my side of the story she only cared about her own. Who wants to spend years and years defending yourself to people where INVALIDATION is the given?

Even there I hung in far longer because I did truly need help a few times. A few times, years ago, after the abandoned years in the ghetto, she was generous, but oh what a pound of flesh. I only asked for help when incredibly desperate and there were plenty of times, I did not and went without food, medicine or other necessary items. My 20s, I was fully cut off, so there was no asking for any favors so this was more in my early 30s. She never neglected to throw it in my face either, and how lack of financial blessings were supposedly all my own fault.

                                           [picture source "deviant art"]

The word "LOSER" was duct-taped to my forehead pretty early on as if I had spent my teens smoking pot and getting drunk every night instead of studying and working at a local restaurant. It stayed there, even during the time I graduated from college and was an art teacher at an alternative school because I didn't "make enough money". When I told her, I had to go on disability, she was personally offended and said, "Why do you have to do that, so you can "laze" around the house all day?". I had been in the ER 10 times that year for breathing problems and hospitalized at least for a total of 6 weeks. Even my job had demoted me to night shift because I could no longer handle the rigors of day shift.

                                            [picture source]

What a set up to always feel in the wrong, to always feel like nothing I did was ever right. This is the set-up that leaves many adult children of narcissists carrying incredible burdens and being open to the predatory natures of others, as they seek to people please and walk on eggshells in their own lives knowing that every mistake supposedly makes them a bad person.

With narcissist parents one is never allowed to make mistakes, and if you do, it means you are "at fault".  If I dropped something as simple as a wrench helping my father do his constant projects around the house, he would scream, "There's no such things as accidents!". Everything was a failure and your "choice". Imagine the day I dropped a can of paint at the age of 10 and how that panned out.  Any clumsiness was not poor Aspie motor control but failure!

                                         [picture source]
I was trained that if bad things happen to me, that they are MY FAULT. This means when my old cars broke down in high school, that it was MY FAULT, and not the car or it's broken hose or 25 year old carburetor. All the resultant screaming over any mishap proved this so. This means when bad things happened a little voice inside me says, "It's your fault". I am still struggling with this now. Car break down? My fault. Husband lost his job? My fault. Sick and leg is infected? My fault. I think about that nowadays, what a mind screw that all was. I was never prepared for resiliency or for failure. How does a young person grow along side of people who never admit one failure? How do you develop as a person and how to work through set-backs?

One of my nurses laid it out flat to me this last month while I had nursing care: "being sick is NOT your fault. Stop blaming yourself!" They know I try my best with the exercises, the eating, figured out how much of my body was fluids. People are born with bodies that do not work like others. Some die young because of this. Others live to be middle aged like me struggling for years.

I'll take responsibility for things I did do wrong, and there's been mistakes a long the way, but normal people make mistakes, they are vulnerable and give in to manipulation or have their own personality foibles they struggle with but this is a burden I want to throw off me, like a 2 ton weight to be FREE. Let God determine what I did wrong or didn't do wrong. The court of the narcissists is closed!

I'll be honest in many times in life, I prayed to win the Lotto, to have husband have a book or other publishing event hit it big {I tried to write and publish a book too back in the 90s} so we could come into our own, and not be the lowly ones in the room. Who wants to be seen as a worm, no matter how poor they are? Who wants to be middle aged, and on their knees? It's sad, and I have to admit one of the most painful things about my life. Even now being no contact my mind is plagued with images of me behind a shopping cart, showing up in rags before her door. This too came from the "training", she often yelled at me, that I would end up behind a shopping cart, homeless and bereft and getting everything I deserved! And obviously I have been pretty close to that shopping cart without wanting to be! Add to that the air of superiority, that I wrote about before, and it was a BAD MIXTURE! It's time to claim dignity!

My prayers now are to never be in the streets or desperate. I don't have the health or youth to handle losing my apartment or living in a dangerous area without  needed items like I did in my 20s. My husband says he worries about me always thinking everything is going to be ripped away even when things are going good. This is the crucible it all was born in.

Then add in the fact I live in a society where everything that happens to a person in one's life is seen as a choice. I never chose bad lungs, infertility, severe obesity, or an infected leg. Our society is inherently narcissistic in it's winner take all and losers deserve what they get ethos. The King and Queen of the Mountains don't care about the suffering of anyone else!

The self esteem problems I face are no mystery to me. I know I am working through some serious stuff. I still laugh about that one nay-sayer who wrote on here, "You have issues!". Of course I do! I am in the midst of validating myself and developing long over-due strengths.

Old age, has brought some better ability to take care of myself, and get my needs met, and not take abuse and draw boundaries, but oh what a set-up a narcissistic mother [and father] can do to a person life-long! Trained to excuse yourself just for living and to put all your needs aside for the narcissistic parent, it can take 20 years of adulthood before you realize that your own needs and desires matter just as much as anyone else's. This doesn't mean be cruel to people or be selfish but holding healthy boundaries that never were developed as you grew up.

I know my mother never approved me. I supposed a rational side of me thinks, "Well you were not normal, you were fat and Aspie to the hilt and then as a adult got sicker, and fatter". There was no showing me off to the neighbors and there was this later focus on keeping me secret and hidden away especially after my giant weight gain. One thing we must remember with narcissists appearance is everything. No one is interested in deep explanations or intellectual forays on the science of obesity. All she cared about was being embarrassed by having such a fat daughter. Her friends would even tell me how horrified she was by my weight. Sadly many agreed with her. I didn't enjoy my very personhood stripped away. I feel for any other overweight person who may contend with this. Even if you are extremely fat, you can find beauty. You are beautiful. You will and can find people who will tell you that you are and I have!

                                          [picture source]

When one gets to a certain point, they no longer are in the mode of making excuses for who and what they are. I'm done with that. No more begging for acceptance. No more blaming myself for everything that happened in the universe. Accepting where I have been and how I have gotten there. No more waking up feeling depressed because I am  five hundred pound peep. Seizing what I can of the life I have left. Break free of that scapegoat training where self blame rules. Redefining myself and who I am. Thank God for my love of art as a young person that allowed me to at least see outside the prison walls. Thank God for my relationship with Him that is allowing me to throw the padlock away and walk into the light.

Lonely Holidays and the Lie That You Reap What You Sow