The most unsafe place

The most unsafe place when you’re with a passive aggressive is to be vulnerable and to need.

I’m struggling so much to believe and accept something.  This morning I found out that a cousin of mine died.  She spent much time at our house when we were kids, and grew up to be a funny, beautiful woman.  We haven’t talked or seen each other for the last handful of years.  How did that happen?  How did I get so tired and isolated that I’ve lost touch with people?  I didn’t know she had cancer until I found out this morning that she died yesterday.

I’ve been looking at pictures and crying on and off.

I was crying on and off.  I stopped, and pulled myself together, because he was escalating and giving off what to me were warning signs. 

We had a work meeting, and he was subtly condescending, impatient etc. That’s when it started to hit me that I needed to compartmentalize my feelings until a safer time.

Then he had an argument with our youngest son.  It was a legitimate issue, but he handled it in such a bogus way with unnecessary drama.

Draining.  No affection.  No support.

Just minutes ago, he talked about how tired he was, and that he didn’t have much to give.  I said, “Okay.”

At least after all these years, I’m finally expecting him to be difficult and unsafe if I’m vulnerable and have any intense personal needs.

Like the ability to grieve.

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17 Responses to The most unsafe place

  1. ChickenLadyMovedToTown says:

    Makes my heart ache to hear about you losing your cousin. Take care, PJ. You’re on my heart today.


  2. Exodus says:

    PJ’s my heart goes out to you. It’s in these moments that we feel great depths of loneliness. I too have had to grieve all my losses alone and even worse, as you say, our forlornness seems to incite ugliness in these men. I suppose that to the narcissist, sincere grieving might be perceived as a threat since they can’t express sincere emotion. I suppose too that when we are feeling down, their negativity appears to be more intense. Of all the negative and ugly experiences I’ve had with Norman, it’s when I’m grieving that I despise him and despise my circumstances the most. I will never be able to relate to a cold detached heart.

    I totally get how you’re feeling. Grief seems to cause us to examine so many different elements of our life. It’s such an intense and enlightening experience. Have you read ‘ Grief Observed’ by C.S.Lewis? I read it /listen to it when I’m alone in my grief and I find immense comfort in his words. I feel as though Lewis is with me, a friend who understands.

    I remember 8 years ago, at my grandmother’s funeral and when the minister read Psalm 23, I burst into tears because it was my grandmother’s favorite and she and I read it together every day that we were together. My mother looked at me in shock and horror that I was crying and her wide-eyed expression quickly turned to a glaring scold as if I was betraying her by grieving for my loss. My niece looked up me with the most beautiful and sad look and she reached over to hold my hand. My mother became jealous, angry and she got up when the funeral was over and walked away angry at me. I don’t know how to relate to that PJ’s. I thought about how sad it is that there are people like Norman and my mother who are so broken that they live such a shallow life never knowing Divinely inspired love.

    When my stepfather died in 97, I called Norman at work for support. I thought that was a normal thing to do, right? Wrong. I was panicked, crying and feeling completely desperate in my father’s final moments as they removed the feeding tube. I wanted Norman to come home. Norman was silent on the phone and then when I was finished talking about my dad, he started talking about the guys and the jobs they were doing that day. Norman was laughing and carrying on and he never acknowledged what I was experiencing or what I was feeling. He didn’t come home. That was the very first time that I began questioning Norman’s personality and character. I was clueless then and it never occurred to me that I would even know someone in my lifetime who could detach from reality and not feel any compassion or empathy. Since then, I’ve suffered enormous losses- always alone. Thanks to Norman, I am more educated and wiser about character disorders and realize that the world is full of narcissists that have some defect that prevents them from experiencing life like normal humans were intended to experience it. I know that all the love in the world will not inspire them to be any different than they are. It’s a complete waste of life and energy to invest in these broken people. I know that sounds cold and ugly but it’s the cold and ugly and painful truth about some people.

    PJ’s, when we live with people that hinder our ability to express ourselves, we are not living a spiritual life and we are living a life in vain- depriving ourselves of living G-d’s purpose for us and hurting not only ourselves but those who want to love us and those who would benefit from our love. Knowing this has tortured me for years. I feel that I have betrayed G-d and His purpose for me. Maybe it’s wrong to think that way but, I can’t help it.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, and especially sorry that you have to hide your feelings so not as to appear vulnerable. I’ ‘ve always thought it’s because they need to be the centre of attention and can’t bear that you have a legitimate reason to receive other’s sympathy.


  4. fern says:

    It is very much a crappy way to live, but the sooner you realize that he has nothing, NOTHING AT ALL, to offer you, the better off you’ll be. I’ve been married to my narc/pa for ‘only’ 23 very long and rocky years and had my eyes yanked opened to that ugly truth ages ago. Now that I keep my expectations of him as low as humanly possible, I’m not affected *quite* as fundamentally by his perplexing behavior as I did back when I held reasonable and perfectly normal expectations of him. And I’m much better for it…. because while I do hope and intend to get the heck out of this situation one of these days (when the timing is right), in the meantime I must do what I can to maintain my sanity….


  5. Jane D. says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. That is tough.

    Living with these guys is unbelievably draining. You are right not to try to get from him what he will not give to you.

    I ask from my friends some of what a woman in a healthy marriage would ask of her husband. I have also started making more friends that are single moms.


  6. GainingStrength says:

    When I received the letter in the mail with the date of my pretrial I was hit with sudden and deep sadness. Why? I couldn’t figure it out. Shouldn’t I be happy that my marriage is finally over? Why the sadness? I prayed and wisdom was granted to me…I was grieving the loss of my marriage. NOT the loss of my husband, but the loss of the marriage.

    I realized this grieving is NORMAL and EXPECTED and I will have to go through it. I didn’t expect this sadness, but I wanted our marriage to work and no matter how hard I tried, it didn’t. And now I will go through this grieving alone and know it is okay and it will take time to get through it. It’s hard doing it alone, but in my case it will be better without him criticizing, belittling, or demeaning my grief.


    • Exodus says:

      I couldn’t agree more Grieving. My heart goes out to you. I understand your grief and you’re right that it’s normal. The end of a marriage – even a bad one- or the loss of a loved one ( loved or not so loved) encompasses the loss of everything related to time and space. I’m grieving too even though I’m anxious to be free from the source of my pain. I hate to admit this but even my pain became my friend in a bizarre way. I knew my pain better than anyone else in my life really. I lived with it each day, managed it, felt it, dreamed about removing it, tried to heal it. So, I guess in some ways we grieve that loss as well as crazy as that may sound to someone. I had a very dear relationship with emotional pain!
      Hang in there and know that your progress provides hope for me and others who want to part ways with the source of our pain.


      • newshoes123 says:

        It’s the same for me, every step I take reminds me that I wouldn’t be in this position if I didn’t have a pa husband. It makes me mad but mostly it makes me sad for those two people who when they got married had wonderful dreams and plans. All those are now gone. It’s sad really and I still blame myself of course (working through therapy on that one). I think about the day when those papers arrive and I have to acknowledge that all is said and done – and even though I know it’s for the best – it breaks my heart.


        • Exodus says:

          Thank you for putting words to my thoughts Newshoes. Yes, I’m mad too. I’m angry at Norman for putting me in this position of once again having to fix and repair my life because of him. I know that it takes two to screw up a marriage and my fault was choosing his sorry bum to begin with but I’m not responsible for anything else other than hanging on to a fantasy that he would normalize one day. As you say, all the hard work we invested in our homes, all the plans, everything- done. Yes, it angers me that at 53 years old, I”m having to begin again like I was a HS or college grad. I’m trying not to get down and instead try and look at this in a positive way as an exciting new beginning. But, hey, you and I both know that it feels like hell.
          I’m in a very sad/bad mood today. When I first started packing weeks ago, Norman kept saying how he was going to help me, that all he wanted for me was to be happy, that he really cared about me, blah blah blah full of shit nonsense. Please forgive me for cursing but I need to at the moment. He has not lifted one box, not helped me at all and today he came into the house and chewed me out for having boxes all over HIS house. It’s always been about his/hers, mine/your’s. He’s always in competition with me, always has been. He’s my opponent. The man is insane. I’ve asked him many times what he would suggest I do with the boxes and he of course responds with his typical, ‘ You’re right, I should have never said anything, you always have to have it your way’ and he walked off. It’s only a matter of time before he attacks me again.

          Newshoes, I know it’s hard for us right now but I really really do believe that once we get through the first few nights alone in our new place and we adapt to our own space, we’ll truly appreciate our freedom and we’ll be writing each other wondering how in the hell we could have tolerated such people in our lives!


        • WritesinPJ's says:

          newshoes, I’m sad with you while you grieve the loss of the dreams, but I hope new ones arrive that you’ll share with us here.


    • AlonewithGod says:

      Exactly!! I am the same way, Gaining. I guess we are all grieving something. I am grieving the loss of my marriage too. Don’t really miss my ex; he was so abusive to me and my daughter. I thought a bad marriage was better than no marriage at all, and kept trying to do the right thing. Even when I didn’t feel like it. He was easily bored; no way to keep him entertained, absolutely no personal communication. He got worse with each passing year. I still have feelings for him and I know one day those feelings will finally go away. I don’t really like being alone, but I was alone in the marriage anyway. I am grieving because it is all so sad and I wasted 18 yrs with a man I never should have married. When I start with the self-pity, I remind myself that he was ok in the beginning. I thought he was a good man, but after 3 yrs, he changed dramatically. The last 15 yrs were pretty much a nightmare. But none of it is our fault; we are compassionate women, loving and committed. God sees our hearts and spirits. And God heals our broken hearts. My ex absolutely mowed me down with malice and evil intent. It still hurts deeply, but, yes, it is better than being cursed at, passively punished, called names, pushed, mocked, threatened and ignored.


      • Exodus says:

        Alone, reading your post really touched me and I wanted to reach out to you and give you a big hug and tell you that you’re not alone. You have a daughter, you have G-d and you have friends. Focus on those blessings in your life and nurture the relationships you do have and one day you will have a partner to share your life with that is worthy of your generous love.

        You described exactly how I feel and what I’ve been through.

        I love to love. I love sharing my life with someone and feeling that unity with a special person but I always settled for less. I found a letter/poem written by a man who I had dated from Church. I only dated him a few times ( before I met Norman). After only two dates, he wrote me a poem and in it were all the things that he noticed about me..that I was brutally honest and transparent, very generous and kind, very loving and peaceful, a good cook, a wonderful homemaker, passionate in my work. This man was so wonderful to me but I didn’t feel worthy of his love. Stupid me. I chose Norman instead because Norman seemed safer and easier. Easier? Well yes. I wouldn’t feel so flawed around Norman. I would shine with Norman. The path of evil is always before us and evil is always willing and ready to pounce on the weak, afraid and desperate. Norman has never once acknowledged any good qualities about me because he’s full of jealousy and resentment that I am those things. It’s hard to believe how anyone could hate themselves so much and be full of so much anger that they can’t appreciate the blessings in their life but that’s exactly what shame and anger do.

        Despite how broken they are, we too were broken in some way that caused us to choose them. Fear and desperation causes us to ignore our Faith in G-d’s wisdom ( when we actually need His guidance the most!) and we end up defaulting to our ego’s stupid self defeating choices. G-d has offered me many wonderful opportunities in life and I didn’t feel worthy of accepting them and feared failing and disappointing Him. I didn’t realize that He wouldn’t give me something that I wasn’t worthy of. I was very stubborn, very afraid. I guess having Norman in my life was necessary for me to learn to quit selling myself short. I’ve lost everything and I’m completely humbled.


        • WritesinPJ's says:

          Exodus, I think I understand your comments. Humility from loss is also something I’ve been feeling and experiencing, but in a positive way I hope.


          • Exodus says:

            PJ’s, it’s difficult for me not to beat myself up for being so stubborn, so self defeating and not honoring myself with a good husband. But, I know that G-d allowed me to take this most painful journey in my life because it was necessary for me to suffer this in order to grow into the woman that I should have been all along. Some of us need more learning than others but it doesn’t mean we are weaker or less of anything. We just needed an advanced education 😀 I really hope that one day you will find a way to live the life you deserve. You have so much to offer PJ’s. You’re so talented and so loving and I know that you could blossom from being nurtured in the right conditions.


  7. Newshoes says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your cousin PJ, I lost a family member recently too . All I got was a sorry by text.


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