They come in all kinds

You might think you’ve seen it all. Psychopath, sociopath, cheater, abuser, aggressive… No one can blame you for thinking you have seen it all.

Psychopath number one:

I started off with a violent guy. He insulted me, gave me horrific nicknames. It was obvious that he had a problem (not me!), I always knew that much. Still, he destroyed who I was. Not on the outside: I remained strong and happy. Inside, I was worn, torn and broken.

Psychopath number two:

I continued on with a psychopath. A guy who escapes justice just because he knows how to bend the rules and how to get the other ones caught instead of him. If it was not for this, i.e. his intelligence and the amount of time he has available to mill over his diabolical schemes, he would have been locked up a long time ago.

Psychopath number three:

heartFinally, came my deliverance. I met someone who opened my eyes onto a better world, one where love was possible and kindness and honor were a constant. He put his fingers under my chin, made me look him in the eyes and solemnly declared: “I love you!” It was like sealing his faith on my heart. I believed him and I wanted to believe despite the fact that it all seemed so weird.

How to recognise them? I do not know. So despite my better judgement, I stay away from all of them. I cannot for the life of me put any trust in someone else. No matter how hard I try, something pulls me back. No matter how much I try to convince myself that I should not end up alone, I keep the door to my heart closed.

Is there a heart there… still?

Who’s on Top?

I just read the news. Yes, I know, some days, I wonder why. But I had my coffee, a quiet house, and another hour before I really need to get ready. It is sunny outside, I am looking at the apple orchard… what else?

I read Metro on the iPad. It is simple, straight to the point, and I have to say, it gets my brain to wire in a different way. Sometimes I don’t get the title with the first read. So, it is ike deciphering a special code. There was an article about the author of Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne. It was referring to the fact that he was working for intelligence during WW1. However, I read the article and it did not really explain how so… Another piece of information that is “only” in the title.

afghanThere was also this picture, that I am borrowing. I hope they won’t mind. If they do, well, I will be happy, it means they read my blog, I’m famous! But take a look for yourself. This is today in Afghanistan.

A woman, veiled and hidden passes by… a street vendor. When I saw this picture, I seriously wondered.
My first thought was: well, if the man was wearing the veil, no one would buy from him. They would just think he was the curtain to a dog house or something.
My second thought was Oh, my! He IS in a dog house! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against dog houses, but men in “these” countries are supposed to be on top, right?

This picture reminded me of a chat I had with my Dad. He is a lovely man, but he comes from a different time. He was never so lovely to my Mum and now that he is getting older, he is simply becoming bitter and unpleasant. I told him one day that the way he treated my Mum could be called “abuse.” He was extremely surprised, pointed at my Mum and said:
– “This one? I could not put her down, it is impossible!”
In his mind, putting down his woman is the thing to do. Women are “equal but not so equal” to men. According to him, women have it easy: they are liked, they don’t need to work, they can enjoy being home, they don’t need to change a tire on the car or check the oil etc. It goes on and on.

There is no way to explain to my father that women are not “supposed to be put down.” In his mind, having a wife is pretty much like having a dog (what is it with me and dogs this morning?), you need to show you are the leader of the pack or they’ll eat you alive. My father is still at war for some reason.

When I look at this picture, I see that he might not be the only one. And they are right: No one can put down women. See the one on the photo, she might be under the veil and fully covered, but the man is down, and she… is on top!

I am grateful for a lifetime

Seriously? Seriously!

How can I ever get over the misery of my life, the constant scraping for money? The constant worrying when a friend asks “can you pick me up?” and I wonder how I will make the rest of the week on an empty tank. Yet, I say yes, because NO ONE would understand. I live in a country where everyone (else) is wealthy. Poverty does not exist here and, believe it or not, I am poor with five times what my parents earn, combined! I should really move away from here, but, guess what! I can’t afford it.

Still, I get up every day with the fear of opening the letter box, one more bill, one more warning.

Who can live like that? On some days, I accept that this is my life. On other days, I want to push my head above the surface and shout “I can’t live like that, so I will change my life!” Change the odds, this is a fantastic goal, isn’t it?
So, I look around, I see people who are poorer than me. Yes, their bank account might be loaded, they have a big car and a large TV, but they are poor of things money can’t buy.
file000666779339I, on the other hand, have the happiness ready to re-surface in my heart at any minute of the day. I marvel at the sound of birds in the nearby tree, I marvel at the snow falling at the end of April, I thank God for every instant I spend with my boy. I am ready to feel grateful.

Other days of course, I get swamped by the mourning of my past. This tiny window that opens at times take over my ocean of happiness and drag me in a tsunami of guilt, sadness, failure. A tiny window, which, just like on an airplane,  sucks in my entire present into the past.

Oh, it is a daily fight to not let this happen at all! So, I wrote a workbook, to reflect on the actual happiness that IS my life without an abuser, without violence and fear. If you want to share something, fill in the form and I’ll send you the eBook, so that you too, can rejoice for the happiness that IS your life.

Crazy or Stupid?

Needless to say, everyone who had to face a narcissist at some point, knows the power of HIDING. What is your favorite place for hiding?

In my case, I started with hiding behind the bed… I know, right! I put my face in my hands and when I could not see him, obviously, he did not see me either, right? WRONG! He found me there!

kitts3_041So I hid in what I consider to be the strangest place to hide, yet, I see it in movies, everyone goes there: the bathroom. Small space, water (and toilets!), it is still inside the apartment, so no public audience and above all, it has a key on the door.
This door gave great opportunities for kicking and threatening to unbold the hinges etc… Still, somehow, this door, unlike others, never seemed to give in.

My personal take on the topic is that the bathroom is usually in a corner somewhere, so it gives little room for a long start in order to gain speed and force. Also, anyone knows that if you knock down a bathroom door, chances are you will land with your face against the sink or the toilets. Narcissists might be crazy but, we said it many times, they are not stupid!

Something else happens when we hide in the bathroom. Calculation being one of their strength, hence the common qualification as manipulator, they want us cornered. So, once we are in the bathroom, they actually have achieved their goal.
Sure, they can’t reach us, but we also can’t go anywhere.

This was what mostly annoyed me. I ran to the bathroom, bolted the door and a sudden reality downed on me… now what? At some point, I would have to come out and he would win. He inevitably won every time, I always came out, and yet, I kept running to the bathroom again and again…Because, unlike him, I was not crazy, but … I was stupid.

Happy Narcissism Awareness Day!

Is there a day for narcissists’ awareness? Oh, there so should be!

Imagine a day when these guys would be embraced and thanked for giving us the joy of learning how to face them. A day when we would offer them roses Adam’s family style: cut off the roses and offer stems and pricks (no pun intended!). Oh!

I sometimes think it is terrible that the world does not know more about narcissists. I also feel that narcissists should know about themselves… maybe they just don’t realise it.
I remember my ex telling me one day:
– “Maybe you are right. Maybe I actually don’t love you and I am just doing all this so that you stay with me and keep giving me money…” and he was so sad.
– “Don’t be silly!” was my answer.

Really? I was the silly one. He had won another battle. Of course, these little doses of reality pinch the heart of the victim, so we come grovelling back. Ah! They are masters in tormenting people. We must expose them, to the world and to themselves!

Happy Narcissism awareness day!

Write love, kill love

I used to write love stories, or romantic stories. There was love, death, the whole cocktail. I read books about the law of attraction and I wonder if I actually just brought it on to myself.

In my stories, people fell in love with the wrong one, hooked up with the person who blocked their way rather than the one they actually wanted. Then, they died, or their loved one died, or everyone around them died. Pff!

CupidMistakes

Love Short Stories collection for less than $4

Now, with age, I know better, and I have also experienced more, actual death of loved ones, actual betrayal and hooking up with Mr. Wrong.

I write love stories about people who actually make sense together and try hard to make it work. This time, I am not bringing anything on to myself, I am merely using my experience to defeat the sadness around me.

Love, and all its nuances: hate, despair, trust and mistrust, faithfulness and lack of it… I write about love, in all its beauty!

Lies, ties, sighs…

I just read today’s post by positivegirl and it got me thinking about all the lies I had to hear and unwillingly support.

The web of lies

You often hear or read about this: A psychopath traps his victim in a web of lies. When the “victim” is not attached to the psychopath, it is much easier to not be affected. For example, my ex-husband showered his circle with this lie:

file0001761616224– “I have a company in the US. I am a Microsoft software engineer. I make millions of dollars a year. I set up websites, or actually, I have a whole team working for me and setting up websites.”

People looked at him in awe if they were potential victims or ignored him and walked away, with a “Yeah, right!” kind of shrug.

He had several versions of this same lie that he used to solve current issues as they presented themselves: “I am setting up porn sites “(so he could take photos of girls), “my team made a lousy deal and I lost¬† a bundle of money” (when people asked him for cash), “I have to check up with my accountant, all my money is tied up in shares” (when he wanted to get close to someone and proposed to finance a project). It went on and on.

At the beginning, I reacted every time. I jumped on my seat and called him aside: “what the heck is this story?”
The next time he “served” his lie like a gourmet dish, he called to me “Hey, April, how much did I make last month? Can you remember?” All I could do was stare, blush and volunteer “Can’t remember, no clue!” and that was it, I had become his accomplice.

Another example concerns lies about me. One day, I came to meet our common friends. They were all congratulating me: “I knew you had it in you. This is so great. How are you going to start?” First I felt proud because I thought they were actually congratulating me on something I did, but very soon, I understood that I had no idea what they were on about. Then I heard him.

-“Yes, we will adopt kids. Why should we have kids of our own when there are so many unhappy kids in the world? It was actually April’s idea! I have no idea where she finds all that energy, she wants to buy a big house and have about ten adopted kids. If this is what she really wants, who am I to stop her?”

Dah! What could I answer to this? I walked away quickly to avoid questions from my friends related to my new calling. When I got the chance, I confronted him:

– “Why are you doing that?”
-“Well now, everyone is so happy they know you! You are a celebrity! I make you look good!”
-“With lies! I don’t need this. I don’t need people to like me for what I am not. Stop this!”
– “Oh, don’t be angry, you know, it just came out, people were asking me about kids, why we don’t have any etc. I did not know what to say. Why don’t we have kids?”
-“Because you don’t want any!”
-“That’s exactly it! I don’t want kids because there are many unhappy kids in the world. It is better to adopt.”
-“Then, don’t make it my project!”
-“Oh, so, you are so selfish that you don’t care about all the unhappy children and you’d rather bring more children to this unfair world?”

On and on it went. In the end, it did not matter how many doors I slammed to get away from all his lies, it did not matter how many times I told him to fix his lies, or stop lying, there was always a different reason why it made sense to him, hence to the world.
The more I complained, the more public he made his lies, making it practically impossible to come clean because it would mean being at the onset a dramatic scene in front of everyone I knew and people I did not know.
When tension was too much, and he knew I was going to blow, he brought people home, invited friends to stay over, organised endless parties and visits. We went to the restaurant with friends, then to the cinema, then to a bar, nightclub, then breakfast on the beach… We had absolutely no time alone and by the time I could confront him, the lie was carved in stone or forgotten by everyone.