Hate that question

This virus is kicking my booty, but I’m crawling to recovery.  A couple of healthy young people I know got over the same thing in about a third of the time it’s taking with me.  This reminds me of various visits to doctors over my adult (married) lifetime.  I remember the first time when I got some kind of rash after my first baby was born.  The doctor was relatively unconcerned about it, but he asked, “Do you have a lot of stress in your life?”

The first time I was asked that question, I was dumbfounded.  I didn’t know how to answer.  I thought… doesn’t everyone?  Did I?  Was it something unusual?  Over the next few decades, I continued to hear doctors ask that question again.  One of them casually commented about my seeming to have no immune system, and then asked the stress question.  Finally, a dentist asked me if I drank a lot of soda pop.  No, I don’t drink it at all ever.  Do I eat a lot of candy?  No, I rarely eat sugar in any form.  The dentist stared at me, and then asked, “Do you have a lot of stress in your life?”

My passive aggressive husband is trying really hard to be nice while I’m sick.  But maybe that’s why it’s so difficult to relax.  Because I know he’s trying.  It’s something he has to work at.  He has to think about it, then work at it.  I’m finding it very difficult to relax deeply on the inside.  It’s hard to explain, but I can see or sense flickerings of his resentments or his self-pity, and then his resultant inner battle to not give in to it.  I’ve told him before to at least try to ‘fake it till you make it’ when it comes to his behaviors.  I see him trying so hard.  Shouldn’t that make me much happier?  It doesn’t.

It’s that despite his efforts and deeds, I still can’t feel or sense any innate pity or compassion from him, the kind of caring that springs from affective empathy.  He’s using cognitive empathy and doing the good deeds, in fact he’s almost like a super dad this last week, but I don’t feel deeply cared about.  I think he feels good about trying harder.  He even said he loved me last night before we fell asleep, instead of the typical empty silence.  Maybe it’s all in my dysfunctional head.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s much easier to be sick when the dishes are getting done and towels are being washed by someone other than me.   I appreciate each and every helpful thing he does, and thank him for it.   Then I get a sweater or blanket and visualize myself getting well and joining a gym.

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This entry was posted in covert abuse, emotional abuse, health, immune system, passive aggressive abuse, recovery from abuse, stress and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Hate that question

  1. Exodus says:

    PJ’s, Maybe you’re approaching the stage of acceptance and apathy. What I mean is that I have reached a point in my relationships with my mother and Norman where they both repulse me sort of like sitting next to a person with really bad breath on a bus. I don’t feel any connection to them whatsoever and want to get away from them as soon as possible. I can’t really explain how or when this happened to me. I don’t feel frustrated or angry at all. I just don’t feel any desire to be friends with them. Maybe because I have spent so many months now imaging myself in a new place, with a new life and new friends and a new job, that I can’t imagine ever allowing them or anyone like them back into my life.
    This isn’t the first time your husband has been nice to you. We both know that good behavior is only temporary because it’s not heart-centered.

    Here’s my advice to you- take it or leave it:
    Gobble up the good behavior- sincere or not- and enjoy every second of it. Don’t put any unrealistic expectations on it or expect anything more permanent to manifest from it. Just enjoy it in the moment and be glad that it’s happening and allow yourself to respond as you would naturally without the dark cloud of doubt hanging nearby. Don’t attempt to waste energy and time analyzing it. It is what it is in the moment. It’s good! Be glad! Maybe the positive flow will continue and maybe it won’t. This may be all you get but at least you got it and have something positive to put into your journal as shallow as it may feel.

    I’ve become a very shallow and selfish woman who has decided to use Norman for my own advantage and I don’t give a hoot whether he resents it or wants to play games with me. No more of my utopian humanitarian peace-making- loving energy will be spent on Norman. No more analyzing him. He is the cold detached narcissist that he’s always been. So, I finally accepted that since he’s in my life at the moment, I may as well use him in the most effective way- as a financial tool that I am going to take advantage of. I’m going to use him wisely. That’s all I care about. All of his hissy fits, his negativity, his insane ramblings, etc.. mean nothing to me because mentally and emotionally, I’m already gone. I see him as an annoying employee that I will fire once they finish their job serving my needs. Once I’m done with him, I’ll just dispose of him N style. I am now his opponent and I have declared war with absolutely no concern for Norman or his future. I wondered what I would do if Norman caught ebola and I honestly wouldn’t even care as long as he stayed away from me.

    I guess I sound really bitter, narcissistic and mean but I’m really not. I just know that I must manifest all I can in this moment for myself and my own well-being and I don’t feel guilty at all for using Norman. No one else is looking out for me and it’s truly unrealistic for me to believe that Norman gives one hoot about my future or my security. BTW, Norman slipped up and exposed his secret that he’s stockpiling money in a safety deposit box. Apparently, no one can touch that. What’s good for him is even better for me. My lawyer and my mother both told me that I better get what I need now because I’ll probably never see my money. Norman has already begun sabotaging his finances but he ain’t seen nothing yet!!

    BTW, going to see a counselor that specializes in Post N abuse tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Hope you feel better soon. In the meantime, smile, be happy and enjoy.

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    • Newshoes says:

      Exodus , I don’t really condone revenge or using someone else but if it gets you the hell out of there, then by all means go for it 😉 and you re at the same point I was last year same time, won’t be long dear and you will make your final move. Take care and stay strong!!

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      • Exodus says:

        New, it’s truly not revenge. It’s what I rightfully deserve! Norman owes me a lot of money BUT you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. I’ll never see that money and I’ve got to be willing to take care of myself and not worry about Norman and his business, etc… I used to worry about him because he’s not capable of doing admin work or taking care of anything …so I thought. Then I realized that he IS capable of finding someone else to do my job. So, oh well! He’s playing very dirty mean right now because he’s got two people advising him how to protect his money from me. I don’t like that New. I’ve never once been a greedy vengeful wife no matter how much I hated him. But, I’ve allowed him and my mother to steal from me and use me for their own gain and I’m not going to allow that anymore! Me first!

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        • newshoes123 says:

          Poor you, didn’t know that…. Obviously you have to look out for yourself, and get a damn good lawyer, I don’t know where you are but I’m sure you can get someone to go for everything you are owed… Shop around and get someone who will make sure to dot the i and cross their t’s. And if you don’t get it all back, get what you can at least to start over again – good luck to you.

          I’ve been writing as well, it’s been helping me at least get my thoughts out there even though they are not very cohesive at times, at least I get to vent a little 🙂

          https://newshoes123.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=24&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

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          • Exodus says:

            New, It’s such a shame that any of us need lawyers. They just seem to make the already bad situation, even worse in many ways ( stirring emotions, making us even more defensive). Unfortunately my lawyer can’t make a poor man wealthy and certainly not a PA poor man who deliberately thrives on being in poverty so that he won’t have to pay me a penny!

            I have a phobia now of any type of PA behavior from anyone. If I meet someone that even slightly seems PA, I get away from them or I get really annoyed, confront them and force them to say what they really mean. I told my therapist that I felt different around my N mother the last time I saw her and she said that it’s because I married my mother and now that I’m emotionally and mentally leaving Norman, I’m also emotionally and mentally detaching from her. She could be right about that. I find them both to be rather repulsive.

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  2. Newshoes says:

    I can’t believe you are still sick… My poor dear. I’m glad you re being looked after, I guess when it comes to it, for sure it would be better if he actually meant all of his efforts and if he did actually mean that he loves you. Perhaps he does, perhaps he wants to be that man… I hope so for you. In the meantime, get stronger and give yourself the much needed rest and love to yourself that you need and deserve. We miss ya xxoo

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  3. Jane Thorne says:

    Sending you soft healing hugs PJ. Xx

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  4. Exodus says:

    PJ’s,
    I sure wish you could have been with me at my therapy appt. because I think you would have left there with more validation and more support than you can imagine. I think I know now that in order to find a good therapist who understands PA abuse, you need to find a younger one. The elders must be uneducated about PA or too burned out to care. This is the second young therapist I’ve seen who is top notch. The woman I saw today is young and has been in practice 22 years. She’s sharp and she asked the right questions including who Norman’s therapist was because she’s very concerned about my safety and how his therapist caused his abuse to escalate.
    When I first sat down she asked me what I was there for. I couldn’t speak at first. I didn’t know where to begin. I started off by asking her if she believed in evil and she said, ‘ Unfortunately, yes I do” and so, I began to tell her about my marriage to Norman. I felt so rushed and discombobulated. I feared that I was going to be carried out of there in white jammies and shackles but, I kept talking. Every so often her face would blanch and her eyes would get big and she had a look of terror. I kept talking.

    She addressed narcissistic injury from my mother, how it’s contributed to my choices and that she CAN help me so that I don’t end up with anymore Normans in my life ever again. She also asked me if I had ever gone back to college and I nodded yes. Before I could elaborate she said, ‘ I’m sure he did everything he could to interfere with that’.

    BUT, the real validation came when she asked me how my mother responded when I told her about my abuse. I told her that mom had been rather indifferent and just said that I allowed this to happen. The counselor said, ‘That’s not completely true and I don’t want you to believe that.’ She told me that it was most likely that I chose Norman because of unhealed narcissistic wounds from my mother, that PA abuse is usually a symptom of some other serious character disorder and that it never reveals itself as abusive until the victim begin to realize how predictable it is in conjunction with specific circumstances- usually after many years if the victim was conditioned by a narcissistic parent. ” a slow drip of arsenic” is how I described it to her and she agreed. I told her how our counselor years ago told us that Norman was PA and how she minimized its effect and never told me how dangerous it could be. My counselor’s sigh indicated to me that she wasn’t all that surprised.

    Then she said, ‘ it sounds like Norman is a sociopath’ and I freaked. I cried and felt so scared. She walked me through de-escalation methods, she told me how to prepare for escape and which rooms to never ever argue in ( kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) – rooms that have no escape. She told me to get an xtra car key and keep it hidden outside near my car. I explained to her that staying calm and not reacting to Norman’s baiting doesn’t help de-escalate him and that I have to ‘ shock him’ in order to divert his attention away from me. I used the example of how I will sometimes say during a verbal attack, ‘ Oh my gosh!! I left my keys in the car” and run out of the house pretending to get them. When I return, he’s always calmer and doesn’t even seem to remember what he was upset about. She explained that when Norman needs to pick a fight with me, he REALLY NEEDS to do that and then she asked if he had a history of substance abuse or addiction. (Ah ha, I knew there was a biological/addictive component to PA abuse)

    Lastly she said, ‘ He’s not stupid” don’t ever underestimate his ability to out-smart you. He’s a survivor. Don’t ignore your intuition or second guess yourself by believing that he’s helpless, over-worked and too tired,ignorant, disabled or unaware of your emotions, schedule, what you are wearing, what you buy, etc.. She said that men like him are quite skilled at playing the coy wolf and are always on the defense, paranoid and insecure and they watch everyone and everything around them like a hawk. ( I almost vomited because this is the reason why my psychopath neighbor cut down everyone’s trees and hedges and why Norman hates closed doors, always eavesdrops on my phone calls, reads my mail,). She also told me that he will continue to try and pick a fight with me because the more desperate he becomes, the harder he will work at proving that I’m the abuser and the aggressor. ” Don’t worry about others believing that he’s the victim. I’m going to get you out of there and you’re going to be fine”, she said.

    I felt sick to my stomach and I cried and cried and cried but I also felt tons stronger and safer just in knowing that I had someone in my life on my side who who understands what I’ve been dealing with. I’m not discounting the support and advice I get on your blog but, we’re all a member of the same choir and it’s not the same as having a stranger’s objective perspective. I don’t feel as vulnerable and alone. I just wish that I had found this counselor a few years ago before I became so broken and isolated and desperate.

    PJ’s please find a good counselor but don’t tell anyone if you decide to pursue it. Norman found out ( somehow) that I was going to therapy this morning and oh did he ever try to interfere with me getting there. I have no idea how he found out. I found my counselor through Psychology Today magazine and she listed very specifically the disorders that she specializes in – PA/N etc…

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    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Hugs hugs hugs… peeking in before bedtime, but I’m still not well, so will reread and respond in the morning.

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    • lost7658 says:

      Exdous ,
      Please just leave Norman. My husband soon to be ex husband sounds exactly like yours . He is dangerous and they will hurt you. I am happy to say I am officially getting a divorced. I filed the papers and my next court date is before November. My husband was just served the papers today. He left me about a month ago and already has a new girlfriend that he is currently love bombing . AKA everything I wanted from him he is currently offering up to her. Which is the same way he attracted me. I don’t really feel sorry for since she was talking to him and sleeping with him while he was / still is married to me and that is not a good person to begin with but at the same time she has no idea what kind of hell she has signed up for. Right now he sends probably about 300 texts a day calls at night , morning, after work , and during his lunch break. He is overbearing and it was a huge red flag when I met him. By the time I noticed how controlling he was I was already dating him and he already started cheating on me a fact I wouldn’t find out until I was married. But ladies let me to tell you he ran out of this house like a bat out of hell. He left me with the rent for a two bedroom condo , the bills, and all of my credit card I acquired because he was always losing his job. I have since gotten a second job and despite the tight money I feel 150 % better than when he lived here. When he first left I was in total shock because I was planning on leaving him. He shut my phone off, closed the bank account, cursed me out and lied to me about already being with someone else. I already knew his game so before he even shut the phone off I bought another phone and sold the phone under his name on EBAY. He now owes $500.00 on the phone and he tried to get me to pay it which I never plan on planning. It isn’t in my name and its not like he is helping me pay anything. I also changed the locks , got the lease and my name and took him off the mail box. He was enraged when he burst into the house after he told me ” this marriage is over” and didn’t come back for 3 days. When he burst the house to do as he pleased I informed him that he was no longer on the lease and that he needed to leave and don’t worry I changed the locks. The guy showed up right when he was here and he told the locksmith guy ” good luck with this bitch”. The guy just looked at him but I stopped my ex from controlling me and I only allowed him to come get his trashy belongings after I went through them. I haven’t talked to him since he left and I hope I never have too besides court. If he even shows up. He did get served and he signed the paper but that doesn’t really mean anything. But I can’t stress enough how much my life has changed. I have lost more weight, my skin is looking great, my stress levels are low , and I sleep a 100 percent better. Once you realize that they never really loved you it is much easier to move on and accept the fact that they are unable to love anyone but themselves. I was so worried about hurting him and leaving him helpless when he is doing just fine without me in fact he could have cared less what happened to me I was no longer useful.

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      • Exodus says:

        Lost, I’m so glad that you filed and that your husband is out of the house and that you’re doing so much better. I noticed the difference in my health improving just from the few days that Norman stays away from here each week.

        I wish Norman would have left me for another woman. Actually, I”ve been wishing that for years but, I wouldn’t have been able to stay in this house alone. I don’t have good/safe neighbors and although Norman isn’t going to save me, his presence is enough to intimidate them from harassing me.

        Isn’t it so amazing how quickly they adapt? Within 15 minutes of telling Norman I was leaving, he was on the phone looking up old ‘ friends’, began his Facebook obsession again and seemed completely thrilled that I was leaving. I always knew I was disposable but, Norman didn’t waste a minute finding a new life. Not once did he ever ask me to stay or did he try to apologize and make amends. He has a girlfriend that he started seeing right after I began packing but he won’t admit to it because he’s too slick and knows I could grind him into the courthouse floor for being unfaithful. However, Norman’s not as smart as I am and I have all the photos, texts, phone records I need of him and his little princess. One of our contractors who works with him is also keeping notes for me. I don’t care anymore about Norman hurting any other woman. No one cared about me. Norman’s parents knew what I was getting and they didn’t warn me or care enough to even help me throughout our marriage. If Norman is good for this new woman and treats her well, then good for them. I know that won’t happen unless she’s happy being abused. She has a little boy and as soon as Norman realizes that the boy comes first, Norman will get jealous and resent the boy. As soon as Norman realizes that he will have to get up in the middle of the night because the boy is sick, the shit will hit the fan. Norman doesn’t like doing anything with children except playing with them.

        I am glad that I have a counselor though because the stress of doing all this alone for the last 4 months has all but killed me physically, emotionally, mentally. It’s been extremely difficult and I have PTSD on top of everything else. My teeth are ground down and hurt all the time now. These men are truly disgusting.

        As far as your situation goes…you really need to stay very much in control and not argue with him at all. Don’t get into any heated discussions or fights. Just ignore him.

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        • Bronze says:

          Mine also let me go very easily – that is until I let him go, as well. Mine did try to pick fights all the way up to the end and paint me as the aggressor and in a sense after it was all over – the emails I sent certainly may show me as being very angry about things he has done. I hope that this has help me work out any unconscious wounds I may have had from my mother – although there is still friction there at times because of her actions to my ex. that I felt were unsupportive. Maybe I now need to work it out with my mother so I don’t marry another one of her except everytime I try she rages and deflects and denies my feelings. It is maddening that unless I am exactly with her as I was with my husband, then we can’t have a relationship. My siblings have the same problem with her so I guess instead of her being in that process – I will need to do it without her. I am just very wary of her and always on edge for the next passive aggressive hurtful zinger. At least, I got rid of the ex who is overseas right now with his gf introducing her to his family. I deactivated my facebook to make sure I didn’t see any happy family pics with me replaced in them…… They sure make a mess of life these Narcissistic men and they really don’t care. They see no value in the things we value at all. It has been easier to move on now that I’ve reached the realisation that he was never going to be the kind of man I needed and his values, morals and ethics were so fundamentally different that I even though I lowered my expectations to virtually nothing, he still couldn’t/wouldn’t live up to virtually nothing.

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          • Exodus says:

            Hi Bronze,
            As bad as any given moment in our marriage was, our emotional narcissistic wounds will cause us to question what we intelligently know as truth. It takes a lot of time to finally realize that these men are truly so broken that they cannot be repaired and we may never fully accept that their abusive behavior was just about them and never about us. Everything in their world is just in THEIR world. We were never loved as individuals we were just extensions of their sick egos. The good thing is that every day that we live without them, is another day closer to total emotional freedom. Until we heal our narcissistic wounds, we’ll never feel completely comfortable and confident in our intelligent wisdom that knows that we did the right thing and that these men are truly as dangerous and evil as they are. We’ve been riding the highs and lows for so long that when we get into a peaceful happy place, we begin to question if things were really just ‘that’ bad. This is normal because we’ve been conditioned to live this way- from chaos, hurt and drama to hopeful honeymoon phase. Just trust in your knowledge that all the years of that perpetual emotional cycling never never never led to anything better and it was inevitable that we would have to end it at some point.
            Thank G-d almighty that I have my journal to refer to because I admit that it’s very easy for me to lose a realistic perspective of what I’ve been enduring all these years. The stress causes me to forget many things that I have endured. I really don’t think I would be leaving now if it were not for my journaling. I have horrible ptsd now and am not able to physically handle any trigger that conjures up Norman experiences.

            Bronze, you’re doing the right thing by turning off the social media and physically disconnecting from that man and anything relating to him. Clear your mind from any thoughts of him and his life today. Let them be and just know that you did the right thing for yourself- for YOU. YOU are what matters. Stay focused on creating a new life and daily experiences with healthy happy strong people that reinforce a positive sense of freedom and champion your life.
            As far as mothers go, you’re right to expect that she too will turn on you in any moment. We’re just as disposable to our mothers as we are to any other narcissist. My brother and I both married N/PA spouses and we’re both suffering horribly from our marriages and it’s truly affected our relationship with our mother. There’s only the three of us left in our family and none of us speaks to each other now. This is all because of our mother who pitted us against each other and well, it backfired on her and now she’s all alone and so are we. I’m not so sure that my brother understands the psychology of our mother’s illness and how it has contributed to his failed marriage, his choices, his current suffering but, I think he’s definitely aware of the discomfort that he feels when relating with our mother. I always assumed that since he had children he would begin to recognize how different his children’s lives are relative to his with his mother and it is true that after his first born, he severed ties with mom for a short time. Again, I don’t think he understood why he did that though. I understand the toxic relationship with my mother more now than ever before and I’ve reached a place where I can accept what my mother and Norman are and not care. I mean, I don’t feel any regret in distancing myself and not wanting my mother in my life and I don’t feel any need to mend anything with them. I feel sad that I don’t have a mother but she is what she is and there’s not a damn thing I can do to help her. If she died tomorrow, I would be here just as alone as I am today so, I may as well just spend my time working on my own healing and not imagining that I might be able to have some kind of relationship with her. I think my relationship with Norman has caused me to see just how sick my mother is and want to stay away from her. I don’t want to waste anymore time suffering because of other people’s character disorders and I certainly don’t want anymore nutjobs in my life for any reason. I’m so beyond ‘ fed-up’ that I just want to work on becoming strong and independent and forming new healthy relationships. We are very blessed to have the gift of insight into ourselves and others. We are blessed to be so strong and courageous. Think of all the people who suffer their entire lives and never understand why. Recently, I had a very enlightening correspondence with a distance relative who has known my mother since birth and the woman shared some very disturbing and yet, affirming information about my mother and how she was always very oppositional, ungrateful, selfish, and more. Her descriptions of specific events as a child and young adult provided immense clarity and understanding of what I endured as a girl and with Norman. To be frank, it’s rather scary for me to know what I’ve endured and that I managed to survive without more wounds than I have. I think I’ve always had an angel protecting me.

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            • Bronze says:

              Thank you – I am trying very hard to rid my mind of him and our marriage and things he has done. It’s like he’s worn a groove through my brain that my thoughts so easily find that track and my challenge now is to fill in that groove and build another that concentrates on me and my children and our physical and mental health. I find that in the marriage I was always striving, always doing etc. and now I don’t seem to have the same impetus and I am now a procrastinator – which is something I’ve never been in my life. That needs to change if I’m to get to where I want/need to be. Thank you for your encouragement and advice – it was very timely for me today. 🙂

              The other thing that puzzles me was/is my ex’s constant refrain that I had ”freedom” and that I think everything is about myself and the world revolved around me. I have no idea how a mother of three who spent her whole life bringing up children and working outside and inside the home, whose whole life actually revolved around HIM and HIS work and free time could be seen by him as thinking I thought the world revolves around me and was so selfish. I guess that must be part of his projection of himself onto me? If I take everything he ever thought or said about me – it is entirely possible to see him in those descriptions. I guess we do the same which is why we spend years looking for the ”good man” we know must exist, because we are projecting ourselves onto them when in fact they are empty inside.

              I’m glad to see you are still on track with your plan. You sound stronger and stronger each time I read here. In a way, your resolve also gives me strength. Have a lovely day (hopefully without Norman!). 🙂

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              • Exodus says:

                Bronze, I have really bad days quite often but I know that the pain and suffering is related to the business of leaving and divorcing and just every day stuff. I’m so exhausted and run down and I think that’s why it’s so easy for me right now to hate Norman and just want to be rid of him.

                That’s an excellent point about how life really slows down once we’re no longer spending all our energy on coping with the daily PA abuse. I know exactly what you mean. It’s like giving up cigarettes and having to figure out what to do with my hand. Addiction is addiction and we became addicted to drama even though we hated it. This may sound petty but, I’ve been making coffee for several weeks now ( was Norman’s job) and I’ve not had to wake up to any mess or broken coffee pot. Just having that much freedom from Norman’s every day coffee abuse has really reduced my stress at night and I sleep better. plus, I have an extra 3 hours a week. yes, I truly spent that much time having to clean up his coffee mess every week.

                It’s very common for these men to accuse us ( and other people) of having all the freedom and fun in life. Norman always ( AND STILL DOES) accused me of that and he always made the excuse that if he could just sit on his ass all day or play a fiddle all day or talk to his friends ( I have none of those) all day on the phone like I do, then he would have time to be thoughtful and kind. I won’t waste time trying to defend myself and neither should you. SO, listen Bronze, put those negative judgments re: all your freedom out of your mind. Our ex-sociopaths knew perfectly well that, that comment would kick us below the belt because they know how hard we worked .They resented everything we did because it reminded them that they couldn’t compete with our conscientious heart centered abilities. Anyone who is heart centered threatens them because they can never achieve that kind of emotional experience. They are empty shells with no soul. Besides, It’s truly ridiculous to even think that you had freedom with 3 kids. Did you lock the children in a closet all day while you partied? Norman also accuses me of just sitting around waiting for HIS money. I had to do the invoicing the other day and he actually said, ‘ The only reason you do the invoicing is because you want my money’. He is such a simple minded hick. I have to do the invoicing because Norman doesn’t know how.

                My counselor keeps telling me that those types of comments are just typical baiting and that I need to be very mature and strong and not allow anything he says to affect me but as you know, it really brings me to rage when he says these things. All I can think about is how much of my life I’ve given up and WASTED being married to him and tolerating his abuse and managing his bad character!! I think about all my health problems, lack of work, lack of education, lack of retirement, etc.. It’s enough to make anyone mad as hell- especially knowing that they NEVER valued anything we did and never cared about our well being at all!! The truth is, they only accused us of the very thing THEY were guilty of – exploiting and objectifying their spouse! It’s very typical for people to accuse others of the very thing they are and it’s even more typical for the N/PA to do that. I’m not a paranoid person because I don’t lie and cheat and steal and play head games. Norman is all of the above and therefore needs to believe that I am in order to justify his own psycho behaviors.

                I’m really trying to remind myself in those heated moments that I’m leaving and that nothing about him matters anymore which includes anything he says about me. This may sound horrible but I sometimes fantasize about him being run over in the street and someone ringing to tell me and I just stand there and say nothing and hang up the phone. That’s truly how I feel and I never want to be with anyone that would elicit that kind of response from me because that’s not the kind of woman I am. Yet, to feel any other way toward a person like Norman would indicate that I have a serious mental disorder.

                Commonsense tells us that if we were truly women who just wanted to use men andtheir money, we would have been savvy enough, like any sociopathic narcissist, to choose a worthy man like busy, wealthy, self reliant happy man, Richard Branson and surely, we would have not stayed with these insecure egocentric men-children since they had nothing positive to offer!! No one could offer me enough money to stay with Norman. Then again, if I had millions, I could buy my own estate and force Norman to be my gardener while I really did party all day long. hahaha It’s awful that it takes us so long to figure out what is wrong with these men and our relationships. By the time I did find out, I was so invested in our home, our business, taxes, etc.. that it seemed hopeless that I would ever find a way out.

                So sister, let us count our many blessings and our freedom. We have learned a most valuable lesson that we should never waste time, even just one minute, wondering if a person needs to change for us. Either they come to us whole or we throw them back!

                Camino Santiago!!!!

                Like

    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Exodus, I’m not sure I’m prepared to invest my small available resources to pay a counselor yet. I am planning to join a gym. I would have by now if I hadn’t been so sick for the last couple weeks.

      I counseled in the past, and it was good and bad (bad as in at times harmful, and at times not worth the money, good was the insight it brought me)

      I’m so glad that you found such a gem at the exact time you needed her!

      Like

      • DaMama7 says:

        I am so glad to have found this blog. I have been married for 20 years and have just been able to put a name with my husband behavior. I was so happy to have found out I wasn’t crazy…..then I got angry and then sad, then depressed (or rather more depressed) then so disappointed….. So many different feelings. Oh! I ate and ate and ate and ate and in about 5 months gain 30 pounds. 😦 I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life now. I thought the more I learned about PA behavior the more I could deal with it. I found out my husband was PA on May 27th this year. I read a lot. I prayed a lot. I just don’t know how to accept trying to have my own life “separate” from my husband??? For 20 years I have chased this man and wanted to be loved by him. I have focused on being a good wife, always learning more and trying hard. I have put so much time and energy into this marriage and now I am supposed to try to not let this PA behavior bother me and build a happy me with someone who is supposed to love me sitting In the same room and he couldn’t care less about me??? How am I supposed to do that? He has what I so desperately want and he is right here in our home. He is a grown man and I am his wife. I want him to be happy and healthy. I want him to be fulfilled. Why, Dear God, why doesn’t he want that for me?? How am I supposed to live like this. I have read not to take his behavior personally but that is almost impossible. I very gently told him I was lonley. I guess he just filed that away somewhere because he didn’t say a thing in response. I probably would have died if hugged me and said sorry. How do I not feel like I need to gasp for love or companionship like I would gasp for air? How do I focus my mind when all seem to think about is what the heck is so wrong with me that I cannot get my husband’s love? Please, have mercy God. How do I do this? Forgive me for being so dramatic. I am tired. Thank you for this blog, and thanks for any advice. I pray for all of us.

        Like

        • Exodus says:

          DaMama,
          Sorry you have had to tolerate this kind of relationship for so long. The damage to spirit is immeasurable. I’m leaving my husband of 18 years and while it’s not easy, I finally have a light at the end of the tunnel and I don’t live in such despair and hopelessness anymore.

          There’s no point in trying to change yourself for the benefit of your marriage. It is true that you are not the reason for your husband’s anger and you are not responsible for his bad character and neglect. If he were just an average typical unhappy man, he would have openly expressed his feelings and sought to either heal or end the marriage and move on. These are not typical unhappy men. They are men who have a pathological mental disorder and therefore, you cannot help your husband. PA disorder isn’t a condition that exists by itself in chronically disturbed people. It coexists with some other personality disorder like Narcissism. Any sort of resolution will only be temporary at best and you will end up in the perpetual cycle of highs and lows while you become conditioned to tolerate less and less. It’s really such an awful way to live and I hope that you will find some way to remove yourself from this type of relationship. Living with my husband was truly a spiritual crisis for me. Not only did I feel that I was betraying myself but I felt that I was betraying G-d by not honoring my self worth. Certainly G-d has a bigger plan for me just as He does for you. I won’t accept that I was meant to become a subservient vegetable.
          I read something interesting this morning that resonated with me about why the Old Testament does not recognize prison as a suitable punishment: ” Torah has no concept of prison as a punishment. Why? Because prison is a futile place. A place where you are told, “You must be here, but you must not change what this place is. You will grow older, but you must not take charge of your life. You will live, but you must not give life.
          But a living human being must make change in his world, must take charge of his life, must give life to others.
          My marriage became a prison and my life and my thoughts became nothing more than examples of futility. I was simply existing in vain with no purpose or the ability to grow and thrive so that I had something to give back in the world. I had accepted that nothing would change and eventually believed that I was so pathetic and damaged that I couldn’t change either!

          It takes time to accept that these men are so broken and can’t be repaired. It took me 18 years to accept that. Well, maybe 15 years. I learned that my husband was PA back in 01 but it’s taken me this long to realize that it will never improve. I guess everyone has their own threshold for what they will tolerate and for how long. Eventually, everyone will hit that threshold and unfortunately, some of us like me, are having to pay a much higher price for staying for so long. My point being that it’s better to leave when your inner voice is telling you to rather than wait for more proof that your inner voice is correct.

          I really hope that you will find a way to become strong and courageous once again and honor yourself with an abundant life of happiness and love.

          Like

        • Seeing the Light says:

          I am so sorry, too, that you have had to tolerate this kind of life. I started realizing a few years ago that I may not be the only problem in my relationship with my pseudo-husband (I can’t call him by the word “husband” anymore – he has never acted like one). I finally put the name to his passive aggression just over a year ago. Like you, I went through those stages of emotions. Like you, I started eating more and more and now weigh more than I ever have or ever thought I would. Before I learned all of this and was seeking to build relationship with him, I thought I was crazy and evil. My health was destroyed and I am now working to put back together whatever pieces are left into some kind of whole. I don’t know what that will look like.

          Please don’t apologize for being dramatic. The woman whose blog this is (PJs) and the women who comment out here understand what you have described. It is agonizing. It is dramatic. What you have been experiencing qualifies as abuse. You have every right to feel the way you feel.

          You will have to decide for yourself what you can and can’t handle and make some weighty decisions for your future. These men rarely change (if ever). Be kind to yourself, give yourself a chance to heal. For my part, I take marriage and divorce very seriously, but my situation has literally been killing me. I no longer feel an obligation to live a marital life with someone who made vows he had either no capacity or no intention to keep. For my part, I am currently living “separated” but with both of us in the same household because I am too ill to leave and have minor children that I will not leave in his custody. I am striving daily to find a way to heal so I can get away from him. What you choose to do about your situation will affect what kind of advice you need to some extent, but in any case, you will need to take care of yourself and detach from the dysfunction of his behaviors and attitudes as much as possible. I’m so sorry.

          Like

          • Exodus says:

            Seeing, I’ve been thinking about you almost every day. I hope you are doing alright despite all the heinous abuse. I feel that I’m being harsh when I speak like that but I can’t think of any diplomatic way to describe how damaging the abuse is. I’m very damaged at this point and my nervous system is completely frazzled. Anything that upsets me is like being electrocuted by a live power line. I’m not exaggerating. I tremble inside and out for hours.
            I’ve got jury duty to deal with this month and I’m sick and nervous about that as well.

            Anyway, I really hope that you’re finding some relief every now and then and that you’re able to find strength to endure from those you love.

            Like

            • Seeing the Light says:

              Exodus, same here. I think about you a lot! I am always relieved when I find you have posted somewhere, and I hear how you are doing. I have just been so worn out! The last two months have been very heavy with work to do, stress, issues. So many times I have wanted to comment and have just been too tired. Yes, I sometimes feel like the language I use to talk about things is so strong, too, but how can it be too strong when so much destruction has been done? If I even began to recount the effect it has had on me, on my kids, and on my family (by virtue of how it removed my ability to help them) and on and on. Unless I find some serious healing, Gregory will have succeeded in shortening my life significantly by the time it’s all said and done. That doesn’t even count all the “what could have beens.” The lives we all could have touched if we hadn’t been bogged down dealing with one demented person. Ugh. There. I’ll stop.

              I know what you mean about your nervous system. Most days my blood pressure is normal and my heart rate is normal to a little fast. I’m breathing in and out. But my brain is telling me that I am suffocating and my organs all feel like they are shaking even though my hands are not. I know you are not exaggerating. It’s horrible. And it’s real. Something is really going on inside our bodies that is not healthy. Sometimes I can’t stand taking a shower because the stimulation of the water messes with me and I can’t breathe right. I have to get out before I aspirate the water flowing down my face. I feel for you. I understand.

              I haven’t found anything that has really brought any relief yet, but I am feeling like I am learning. I have been noticing the effects of my sympathetic nervous system hyper-arousal more at the time it happens. The years of living like this left me feeling in an almost constant state of anxiety with frequent panicky feelings. My fight-or-flight response turns on as soon as I wake up and spikes throughout the day at the drop of a pin (kind of sounds like what you were describing). It is so exhausting!!! Throughout this process of trying to heal emotionally and stop letting him get to me and so on, I have come to notice those moments that it really kicks in and how little it takes. The slightest stressful phone call or kids’ doctor appointment or change in schedule that I have to find the strength to meet all send my nervous system through the roof out of all proportion to the actual event. This kind of stuff is happening multiple times a day. I am starting the self-talk to sort of reason with myself that each one of these things is not an emergency and does not represent some sort of danger. My body and brain have gotten to the point that the smallest stress sets off all kinds of danger alarms. When I noticed it this morning, I thought about the precipitating event and I couldn’t believe the reaction it created in me. If I can get this under control, there may be hope for finding some energy. My therapist is suggesting EMDR to help with it. We’ll see. I know, too, that I need to work on getting quiet before God and finally relaxing in His presence. My situation included a significant amount of spiritual bullying and has left me a little nervous about God, so I figure it’s time to stop letting all the lies and junk get between Him and me. Sometimes when I think back to who I was, I just can’t believe this happened to me and that here with my life more than half over, I have to focus on healing in every way from something like this. It is so surreal.

              I am so sorry about jury duty. I don’t know what else to say, but hang in there. Doesn’t really help, I know.

              It’s so good to hear from you. 🙂 I can’t wait until you are finally away from Norman, once and for all.

              Like

              • Exodus says:

                Seeing, it’s so good to hear from you too.
                The G-d that your husband objectifies and uses is not the same G-d that you believe in. Always remember that!! I do understand how your husband’s ‘religion’ has traumatized you and caused you to feel as you do. Norman became obsessed with a few religious gurus that caused me to feel anxious anytime I heard anything relating to new age spirituality. What a crock! How truly disgusting how these sociopaths use props to give them that sweet kind thoughtful image.

                I did notice this past year that I had subconsciously neglected to talk to G-d and I know it was because I was feeling so hopeless and helpless and so ashamed that I had become such a pathetic woman. Don’t give up Seeing. Trust that He is with you and He is patient and understands. He is gently guiding you.

                You and I really do have the same neuro reaction to stress. Anything that concerns me in the least bit, sets off that horrible sickening trembling. I even mentally prepare myself to go into public because I fear that something will scare me and I’ll have a panic attack. I also have difficulty driving because I feel so nervous /jittery. I’ve done EMDR therapy before. I would recommend trying it. If it works, you’ll know after the first session. Just make certain that the EMDR therapist has the credentials. When I did the EMDR, they used a small machine like thing that had a red light that would go back and forth and I would watch it as the therapist talked to me. I don’t know if that is how all EMDR therapists work. I may try it again but for now I’m using EFT, Bach remedies and I’ve been trying to meditate though I’ve never been good at that. I also use acupuncture to help clear bad energy and your description of how your organs feel suffocated is actually a symptom of bad energy being trapped. I get instant results from acupuncture. However, since acupuncture tends to reorganize energy in your body, sometimes it takes a half hour or an hour after the session to feel like a new person. It’s strange how that works. I’ve had a couple of sessions where I felt even worse when I was about to leave and then suddenly, all that pain cleared and I felt like a brand new woman.

                I hope you feel better today and that you can experience some happiness amidst the pain. What is Gregory doing now? Does he say anything? Does he even notice that there is a problem? Does he just go on about his life like everything is kosher?

                About neglect ( read your comments in another post) Yes! Neglect is absolutely abusive in the worst way. It is truly a spirit-breaker. As you know, Norman has neglected every one of my needs, always dismissed or ignored anything I say and has never been a husband. My therapist even called him a man-child. Sadly, Norman is the way he is today because he was neglected as a child. I will never forgive his parents for what they did to their son. Somehow, I don’t think G-d would think any less of me for feeling that way.

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                • Exodus, thank you so much for the encouragement. Yes, I am trying to sit still and really get to know God – to throw on the garbage heap whatever I believed about His character from my father and from Gregory. When I can calm down long enough to relax, I really do believe He is gentle and understanding.

                  I hope the EFT works for you. I have tried acupuncture on multiple occasions throughout the years and it either did nothing or made me worse for days/weeks afterwards. I am not sure what my energy can handle as far as being stimulated. I get what you mean about the bad energy being trapped. I just have always experienced adverse effects whenever I try anything to touch it. It seems to me that healing – for both of us – will be a long road, as we can convince our brains and hearts and nerves that we are not in danger anymore. Living with this kind of relationship sets us up for such hypervigilance and expectation of danger that it is hard to convince the mind and body that it is okay to stand down from guard duty. But the physical damage to our poor, weary bodies from constantly being on guard is so very serious.

                  Ah, Gregory. Yuck. He truly lives in a delusion. Right now, as long as I don’t rock the boat, yes, he walks around like everything is kosher. Even the way he says “good morning” and “hello” are so full of a fake-y, sing-song lilt like we’re living in a fairy tale and all is well with the world. My kids can’t stand it. One of them has trouble even responding back with “hello” because it’s so offensive given the reality of his relationships with us. He certainly doesn’t bring up anything difficult unless he wants something or he can find something I have done wrong in his mind that he wants an apology for – which I don’t give unless I really owe it – and he can’t stand it if he wants that apology and I won’t give it. I have challenged his deception and lies and manipulation and he has sternly addressed me and said it’s not the case and I need to stop saying it. He is completely lost in the image of himself that he created and he must shut down anything that contradicts it. It’s so creepy the way he goes along just like nothing is wrong – like the foundation of our household isn’t built on mold and rot. All the while still pulling his little tricks and passive aggressive junk, sabotaging us where he can get away with it, and responding to his relationship problems with the children in absolutely adolescent ways, with little snotty remarks you would expect from a 12-year-old. And—reading his Bible in front of us while we are going about our business here and acting like Mr. Mature-Christian-Who-Is-Chosen-Of-God-And-Qualified-To-Teach-And-Lead-Others. I hate to say this because I do not like to judge but it’s so “in your face” that I can’t help but say that it’s wreaks of Pharisaical pride. The kids feel it, too. The whole situation is so ridiculous that it’s surreal.

                  I am of the mind – and I am open to correction – that God does not expect us to forgive where he does not. He loves us and is full of willingness and desire to forgive, but we must want that forgiveness. To continue on in the same offenses without repentance and a desire to be forgiven puts an obstacle in the way of forgiveness. My guess is that if Norman’s parents were ever really broken over what they had done or failed to do and took full responsibility and sought forgiveness and healing for it, that you would forgive them. Just a guess 🙂 But I don’t feel that God places a burden on me to forgive those who don’t want it or see their need for it. I remain willing to forgive should they ever sincerely – and I do mean sincerely – want it. I do not forgive Gregory, because Gregory doesn’t think he has done anything wrong and doesn’t express a desire to be forgiven.

                  It is so good to catch up with you again. I hope your jury duty goes as quickly and painlessly as possible. I’m so eager for you to be away from Norman. I can’t wait to hear that you’re free and getting a new dog!!!

                  Like

                  • Exodus says:

                    Oh my gosh Seeing. I completely understand how truly sick and bizarre and surreal the atmosphere is in your home. Norman’s holier than thou posturing has actually scared me at times. It’s like he’s possessed. How you described Gregory reminded me so much of Norman and that ex boyfriend of mine from years ago ( the Bible thumping N that contacted me about having an affair). It’s probably not uncommon for these men to attach themselves to a religion or some cult like organization where they can shine. Look what Jim Jones managed to accomplish and he was no different than norman or gregory. They trap G-d in their mirrors just like they do anyone else. This makes it all the easier to control others and justify their selfish behavior. My psychopath neighbor did this with his Church, the exboyfriend did the same at his Church and Norman attached himself the Buddhist religion and preached to me like I was some angry bitter loser and treats me like I’m a cold egocentric who lacks any spirituality. It truly is surreal to witness them in their delusional self absorbed state. Last week, Norman was just going about his business one day and noticed that I was rushing around from one office to the other pulling files, talking to insurance adjusters, etc.. and he very calmly but arrogantly asked why I was so busy as if I was faking it because he was home. This infuriated me but I just let it go. I was busy thanks to Norman and his deliberate accident that cost us thousands. I was also trying to do other things and Norman wasn’t doing anything he promised to do. Instead he was making himself a smoothie while accusing me of having to do my work at that time. I reminded him that he needed to take care of A,B and C and he opened up the freezer and said, ‘ Oh well, I’m busy and can’t do that and then began whistling with a deliberate evil arrogance about him that was truly disgusting that I could barely look at him.

                    Your poor child is reacting to a narcissist. This is how I used to react to my mother and still do. Both my brother and I clam-up and can’t openly react to our mother because she’s so over the top insincere and we know she’s just manipulating us.

                    All this makes me so sad Seeing. I wish you and the kids could move in with me.

                    I agree with you about stirring the energy. I worried about the effects of acupuncture in the beginning. It’s worked well for me but it can definitely stir things up when I’m at my worst. The first time I ever went, I was lying on my stomach and my face was down looking through the hole in the headrest. A few minutes into my session, I began crying and crying and I couldn’t stop Seeing. I cried so much that the floor beneath me was covered in tears. That was a really bad year for me and I ended up with Shingles that summer. It was good to cry.

                    I have wrestled with the meaning of forgiveness at different times in my life. I feel the same as you do and if I had children, I don’t think I would ever forgive Norman simply because I think it’s disrespectful to the kids to forgive him for anything he’s done. I think it’s unhealthy to forgive people for continual abusive harmful behavior. These men are not committing isolated accidents and then attempting to amend. They are living a life of perpetual sin. It’s best to let G-d handle their fate.

                    Oh Seeing, I want a new dog so badly. I haven’t told you about another thing that happened the other day. I don’t have time to explain it all at the moment but it had to do with the psychopath neighbor who threatened Norman and I. Norman came inside and was so pale and upset and shaking and told me what happened and I just looked at him and said, ‘ So what did you do to cause him to react that way?” because that is what Norman said to me when the man attacked me the day I had to call the police. Norman said that this time was worse than what I endured. ( of course ) Anyway, this latest experience was so upsetting and jolted me to the core. I have the whole thing on video from my surveillance system. I’ve not been able to sleep and now I have a fever blister on my lip. I’ll be glad when all this over. I’m truly living in hell. It seems to me that there are so many angry people in the world today and that I can’t escape them no matter where I go. I’m so afraid that I’ll move next door to another one. I spoke to a man the other day about a house and the first thing I asked was ‘ is it secluded or near other houses’. I won’t live near anyone ever again I don’t believe.

                    XXOO

                    Like

        • Seeing the Light says:

          Oops, the above comment was in response to you, DaMama7 🙂

          Like

          • DaMama7 says:

            Thank you both for the response and encouragement. I have 7 kids, ages 21-2. My husband and I have been together and married since our senior year of high school. When I got pregnant at age 16 I wanted more then anything to have an intact family- for me meaning no halves or steps. I was hard-headed. I always wanted a family. I knew something wasn’t right with our relationship but couldn’t figure out what. I was the one who was always being “crazy” trying to get his attention or hold our little family together. I was always ignored or belittled when I tried to talk. I think for me the hardest part is just knowing I am not being heard and understood by my husband. It is so painful to try and have a decent conversation and have him slap his forehead, roll his eyes, and say “what are you even talking about? Oh Not this again.” Just to be heard and understood. Even if there could not be love there could be understanding. Yet, he claims he loves me more then anyone else in the entire world. He said I was his best friend. I told him based on his behavior towards me I would have to consider him an enemy! I know that leaving is an option. But for me it isn’t going to be anytime soon. I homeschool our kids and think I can make it for a while longer. I have noticed my anxiety and stress levels are getting crazy. I realize I do need to talk about this, and it looks like I have found a safe place 🙂 I have learned to try not to ask him for anything. That was a revelation to me. I used to argue with him a lot. You know, try to work things out. Now I know how big and terrible this is. I am just trying to figure out how to navigate my marriage. I obviously don’t have boundaries and need to find where to set new ones. I need to take care of myself. I have been working out and eating better. I have a lot of weight to lose. I am realizing I have been abused. When I was struggling with “being a better wife” I should have been making better boundaries. I have a lot to learn. Thank you ladies for reading 🙂

            Like

            • wornout says:

              Exodus and Seeing, what great comments and advice! Exodus, your comment about being a vegetable made me laugh. But it’s so true, I have thought the same thing! And DaMama, you have definitely found a safe place. Everyone here completely understands what you are talking about and how you are feeling. And you are not crazy! That ‘s one of the wonderful things about this group of ladies, their shared experiences are invaluable and will do so much to help you know that you aren’t the crazy one! I’m thinking of you! I hate that we are all having to go through this and live like this. I woudn’t wish this type of treatment on my worst enemy. It’s just awful. Hang in there. You’ve found a whole group of ladies that care.:)

              Like

            • Seeing the Light says:

              DaMama7, it sounds like you have gleaned some wisdom and are making some great strides already. That’s encouraging. 🙂

              You mentioned being ignored. Never underestimate the detrimental effects – on any living being in any kind of relationship – of being ignored. There have been more than enough studies to prove that being ignored can be even more damaging than negative attention. I fully believe ignoring someone is one of the worst ways to abuse them – (especially in the kind of relationship that is exclusive in some way, where you can’t replace the attention you are missing – like spouses or parent-child).

              Like

              • wornout says:

                Seeing, wow, yes, such a good point about being ignored! Soo true. It really is the worst kind of abuse because like you said there is nothing we can do to replace the cared about feeling, bond, etc from your spouse, that should be there. I hadn’t thought about it like that. Such a great insight! What’s so sad is that it feels like they are deliberately doing consistent things and ignoring to subltly make us not feel valued or worth loving.:(

                Like

  5. newshoes123 says:

    does anyone know what”s going on with PJ…
    I’m kind of worried….

    Like

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