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Lazy Brain and the Narcissistic Sociopath

8 Apr

This morning I was catching up on my blog reading, and I came across a post from the end of March by Paula’s Pontifications.  It is titled Lazy Brain and the Narcissistic Sociopath.  I vaguely remember seeing it when she published it, but I wasn’t up for more reading on narcissistic sociopaths at the time.  It can be very emotionally draining to re-live my time with him, as I inevitably do whenever I examine this topic.  I get flashbacks and realize how much I was manipulated.  It makes me feel like a victim, which I absolutely hate.  Sometimes it also makes me pity him and the place where he will be trapped forever – his dysfunctional mind.  When I feel sorry for him, I immediately start reprimanding myself: feeling sorry for him is part of the reason I got trapped in that vicious cycle.  I worry that I’m living too much in the past.  Then I remind myself that processing past hurts is part of healing from them.

These feelings and insights can be overwhelming when I’m not prepared for them.  However, it is also validating to read the experiences and research of others into the disorder that lived in my house, shared my bed, and gave me its last name.  Of course it wasn’t the disorder I was married to, but a man who had it.  Still, there doesn’t seem to be much of a practical difference.  The stories of others who have dealt with someone like him are all surprisingly similar.  Things they share happened to me.  They could be talking about him.  In fact, they are, even if they never met him.  Because he is a narcissistic sociopath.  This article reinforced that.  The term “lazy brain” is so perfect, as is the following description, that I had to re-post them both here.

lazy_brain

“Somewhere along the path of development, a narcissistic sociopath‘s brain ceases to grow. Instead of the circuitry inside his brain getting excited about learning something new and solving a problem in a new and different way, the circuitry opts out.

“Abort! Abort! This one is too tough to solve. Just keep doing what we always do: cry, pout, blame and run away. It works so well.”

And the sociopath’s brain keeps doing this — sending the same message. As a result, the sociopath continues to cry, pout, blame and run away regardless of age. This childish behavior is one of the reasons why so many victims initially blame his inability to communicate effectively and come to collaborative resolutions on, what they deduce and assume to be, the sociopath’s lack of life experiences. Victims assume the sociopath is so rigid in his thinking because he has never been in a situation where he has had to consider another person or a group of people. And because we are empathetic, we set aside our frustrations, and instead, we feel pity for these people who seem to have been living in a protective bubble their entire lives.

(Strike one against us and our so-called advanced cognitive thinking skills!)

After all, the rest of us (who are not pathological) experience the growing pains of our teenage years with complete immersion and energy and gusto. Our brains work overtime. We cry and battle ourselves and other teenagers and our parents. But we learn valuable lessons about respect and empathy and how to treat others as we wish to be treated. As teenagers, we experience a level of cognitive development that is so high and constant that it sometimes makes us feel like we’re losing our minds. And in a way we are. We are losing the primitive thinking patterns that guided us as infants, toddlers and children. Our brain’s cognitive development during our teenage years is life-changing. It’s a rite of passage. Once reached we are thrust head-first into adulthood and feeling empowered with the necessary brain power and thinking skills to help us take on all of the responsibilities associated with being productive, loving and kind.

The sociopath does not attain a rite of passage like the rest of us. He cheats his way into adulthood, because the sociopath spends his teenage years regressing mentally and emotionally. All problems are solved by rebelling but never facing the consequences of those rebellions. Someone is always there bailing him out and telling him it was someone else’s fault and not to worry. This “bailout” sends the message to the sociopath’s brain that says, “You don’t have to change, man. Look how easy it is to keep being an infant and toddler and manipulating everyone around you so you can have your own way in the end? Why learn how to think beyond your primitive brain? Why bother? Why be accountable? Relax. Sit back. Enjoy the ride.”

And that message keeps getting sent, which results in the sociopath’s increased feelings of entitlement and lazy, lazy thinking.

Entitlement and lazy thinking leads to lazy work ethic (or no work ethic). Many sociopaths who do not have degrees or who barely graduated high school will tell you that their life experiences make up for their lack of education. They will even go as far as putting down those with degrees and declaring them as being sheep easily manipulated and trained.

When and if you hear this, think “splitting.” This is a great example of their black and white thinking. All good and all bad. I’ve met some lazy thinkers with degrees, but also some of the most intelligent people I have met in this world do not have a college education. They are also not sociopaths. To me, if you’re going to claim your life experiences make up for any formal education you could have pursued, show me. Talk to me. Tell me what you’re passionate about and why. Sociopath’s can’t show you beyond the passion and lust they have for material possessions, and that’s just sad to me.

With his perpetual lazy thinking and entitlement, the sociopath continues living in his protective bubble of ignorance and inability to discover any real passion other than a passion for conning and abusing people and situations.

And if you start questioning the sociopath’s con, his brain will send that same and comforting message to him:

“Abort! Abort! This one is too tough to manipulate. Just keep doing what you’ve always done: cry, pout, blame and run away.”

When and if your relationship with a sociopath ends, remember that they can’t help themselves and they will never change. It’s impossible to reprogram something with defective parts no matter how much cognitive-behavioral therapy you thrust upon the sociopath. You might THINK the glitch has been fixed, but the machine has a memory, and the glitch is too comfortable and too familiar to be considered a true glitch to the machine. The machine misses the glitch and will inevitably seek out that place of comfort, like a baby seeking a nipple.

The abuse and con games never end.

Unless the sociopath has committed a prosecutable offense against you or a loved one, let the sociopath go in peace so you can find your peace. It’s better this way.”

Parts of this were so accurate that I have to repeat them AGAIN, with additional commentary.

“…because we are empathetic, we set aside our frustrations, and instead, we feel pity for these people…”  I have always felt that empathy was one of my strengths.  I constantly try to put myself in someone else’s shoes.  Maybe it is because I read so much as a child and got practice reading other people’s thoughts, feelings their emotions, getting pulled into their stories and adventures and fears and triumphs.  Maybe it is because my mother was so kind and thoughtful and always asked me to consider the feelings of others (and made me genuinely apologize with reasons and understanding of what it is I had done wrong).  No matter the reason for my empathy, I often did feel pity for his situation, his excuses, his issues, and the fact that his parents didn’t do those things for him (at least according to him).  I was constantly setting aside my own feelings, my own concerns, and my own frustrations because I was taught that love is selfless and accepting and forgiving.  So I put myself aside, I tried to accept his shortfalls, and I forgave him again and again when he lied because he was “trying to change.”

“He cheats his way into adulthood, because the sociopath spends his teenage years regressing mentally and emotionally. All problems are solved by rebelling but never facing the consequences of those rebellions. Someone is always there bailing him out and telling him it was someone else’s fault and not to worry.”  This is so accurate that it was scary the first time I read it.  He spent his teenage years selling pot, skipping school, back-talking teachers, doing drugs, drinking, partying, and being reckless, but he never had consequences.  In fact, his parents were right there fighting the school when they suspended him for selling drugs.  They defended him and made it the school’s fault.  They played right into his victim mentality by believing and reinforcing that the teachers and principal were out to get him.  I saw the below cartoon the other day.  The “today” side is exactly how they were when it came to his truancy and drug use and distribution.

unknauthor_problem-cartoon

“And if you start questioning the sociopath’s con, his brain will send that same comforting message to him:  ‘Abort! Abort! This one is too tough to manipulate. Just keep doing what you’ve always done: cry, pout, blame and run away.'”  When I finally got wise to his game and stopped accepting the constant lies and manipulation, he went right back to his comfort zone.  He cried and pouted, first to me, then to anyone who would listen.  He blamed me, called me a “nut job,” denied even cheating on me or causing any of the problems in our marriage, then ran away.  He does these dive bombs still where he swoops in to cry and blame me, then runs away again.  I just hope that the “run away” instinct extends to signing the divorce papers next week…

“When and if your relationship with a sociopath ends, remember that they can’t help themselves and they will never change. It’s impossible to reprogram something with defective parts no matter how much cognitive-behavioral therapy you thrust upon the sociopath. You might THINK the glitch has been fixed, but the machine has a memory, and the glitch is too comfortable and too familiar to be considered a true glitch to the machine. The machine misses the glitch and will inevitably seek out that place of comfort, like a baby seeking a nipple.  The abuse and con games never end. How wise.  How true.  I know that he won’t change.  Again, the empathetic side of me is sad about this.  I feel sad that he discontinued all therapy and SA meetings and that he will never get over the glitch in his machine.  The part of me that loved him, despite how screwed up he is, wishes things could be different for him, even though he will never be part of my life again.  The truth is that I never could have saved him.  He was only doing those things to appease me and as part of his continual manipulation of my emotions and empathy.  They weren’t “working.”  All I have to do is look back at all of the lies that unraveled again and again, despite his “work” and “progress.”  Nothing ever really changed.  It was just hidden a little deeper, covered with a new lie – meetings or therapy or “disclosure.”

“Unless the sociopath has committed a prosecutable offense against you or a loved one, let the sociopath go in peace so you can find your peace. It’s better this way.”  While not a “prosecutable offense,” I do have the legal matter of the divorce to attend to.  Our 6 month separation mark is coming up – April 13th (this Saturday) is it.  The date I can officially start the divorce process.  Of course the 13th isn’t a business day, so that means the 15th…  My lawyer is standing by with the paperwork, ready to serve him.  Then there is a process that can be as long as 2-3 months or as short as 20 days depending on how cooperative he is.  I can hope that he wants to get this done and over with quickly, but realistically I am going to assume that he will make things difficult just to be petty.  Either way, I have already let him go in my heart.  There’s just that little matter of severing the legal ties and getting him to stop texting me and stalking me online.  But I suppose that’s just something I’ll have to deal with and ignore since I’m done with letting him disturb my peace.  I’m not longer part of his narcissist universe.

NARCISSIST

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Failure.

4 Apr

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Failure: What does it mean?  When asked about my #1 fear, failure is always my answer.  Not spiders or snakes or drowning.  Those things don’t worry me at all.  Just the word failure, however, strikes fear into my heart.  Appropriately enough, the very first reading assignment I was given in my Master’s class was on failure – and learning to embrace and even celebrate it.  The article was “Fail Faster, Succeed Sooner” by Dr. Cheryl Lenz.

The entire time that I was reading I could feel my internal struggle, the desire to proclaim that the author was wrong and to run in the other direction.  I have discovered that she is not incorrect, though.  Life has taught me that failure cannot be avoided, therefore it should be embraced.  I’m not quite there yet, however.  Failure is still something I struggle against.

The concept of learning through failures (actually seeking them out, even), is something I vehemently fought against.  My mind was screaming that I learned just fine without ever failing.  That’s not really true, though.  Although I have never, ever received an ‘F,’ I have certainly never achieved perfection, either.  In fact, I know that it isn’t even possible.  Still, as I was reading my perfectionist mind was finding typos and mentally correcting them (like the word “prefect” instead of “perfect” at the top of page 154 – I wonder if that was intentional to drive people like me crazy?).

When I stop, take a breath, and really think about failure and what we can learn from it, I can see the wisdom in embracing it.  It is undeniably true that no one does anything flawlessly the first time.  I have also found that sometimes we learn the most from discovering how NOT to approach a problem, task, or process.  I used to feel like my failures were something to be embarrassed about, and to hide from the world.  That was my perfectionism in full force, telling me that anything less than exactly what I set out to do wasn’t worth anything.  As I’ve grown and been faced with less than perfect outcomes, I have also discovered that not all failures can be private. And some that could be maybe shouldn’t be. When I make myself vulnerable and admit my humanity I have found that people relate to me more.  No one is perfect, but even though we all know that we still try to keep up the façade.

Walking away from my marriage, admitting that I made a poor choice in a partner, and pursuing divorce was terrifying – probably the scariest thing I’ve done so far.  I never thought I would be divorced.  I believe in love and marriage.  “Giving up” on my marriage was something I didn’t want to do.  Sometimes you don’t have control over things, though.  I didn’t have any control over my husband’s addiction, his lies, his narcissist personality, or his lack of desire to be honest and trustworthy in our marriage.  I am figuring out how to give up control and learning from disappointments in life the hard way (because I’m a stubborn person).  Every day I strive to accept that I can’t plan out my life.  I can have goals and work towards them, but I cannot predict where life might take me.

A failure is only truly a negative thing when we let it be the end of the road.  I have been guilty of seeing a failure coming, and trying to avoid it at all costs, even if it meant giving up and walking away.  That has made me miss out on experiences that I could have learned from and grown as a person.  It is important to know your limitations, but we shouldn’t allow fear of failure to hold us back from achieving our dreams.  Resiliency is a gift, and it should be encouraged and honed.  I suppose that is one thing that failure teaches us.  🙂

Failure

Being with a Narcissistic Sociopath – Part 1

12 Mar

A few weeks ago I found a link to a blog written by a very strong woman.  Her goal is to create awareness of personality disorders and how these disorders destroy marriages/intimate partner relationships and are at the center of abuse/domestic violence cases.  She has a lot of great information.  One particular post, Identifying a Narcissistic Sociopath, really struck home.  I have read it many times.

I see so many characteristics of a narcissistic sociopath in Mr. Mess.  So much so that I wanted to re-post the list here with my comments and maybe a few examples from my life.  My comments are in blue.  The rest is the text of the original blog post:

Do you know what it feels like to be locked up, placed in a dungeon of a partner’s creation? If so, you’re not alone. If not, pray you never do.

Abuse comes in many forms and affects many people in the victim’s life.  Emotional, physical, and sexual abuses are equally degrading and harmful. One is not better than the other or worse than the other. They are ALL abuse.

This story is specifically about emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissistic sociopath.

According to Dr. Martha Stout’s book The Sociopath Next Door, sociopaths make up 4% of western society (Stout, 2010). That’s about 1 in 25 people walking around among us without a conscience, without the ability to measure, or care to measure, the morality of their decisions and actions. Would you know how to identify a sociopath if you saw one, met one, started an intimate relationship or entered into a business contract with one? More than likely, your answer is No, because unlike what we read on the television news or see in Hollywood movies, sociopaths aren’t just serial killers and murderers. Rather, they are members of our communities who we would never suspect of evil or wrong doing and who seamlessly blend into society with the rest of us. How? Through lies, manipulations, and more lies.  Lies, manipulation, and more lies”… Sounds familiar.

In romance, narcissistic sociopaths often appear too good to be true. They are charming, agreeable, and engaging. The narcissistic sociopath loves (or seems to love) everything about you. He hooks you. Then he breaks you. His emotional abuse is VERY subtle. The victim may not know she is being victimized until it is nearly too late.

Identifying narcissistic sociopaths

Although not all narcissists are sociopaths, all sociopaths are narcissists (Stout 2010). Therefore, if you can identify a narcissist, you’re one step closer to being able to recognize a sociopath. Below is a definition of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and a list of narcissistic traits taken directly from the website of Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self-Love. (If you know someone who fits at least 5 or more of these traits, a psychiatrist could easily diagnose him/her as having NPD.)

The DSM-IV-TR defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as “an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts,” such as family life and work.  I don’t know about the sociopath part, but already the narcissist side is looking incredibly fitting…

1. Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);  This manifested itself very, very early with Mr. Mess.  He told me when we first met that he was a construction foreman.  In fact, he was a temp worker on the line at a company that formed concrete beams.  He wasn’t even an employee of the company itself (and was never actually hired on there, despite his insistence that he was the best person who worked there).  He had no supervisory duties at all.  There are so many other examples that we could be here all day on just this one point.  He always had an opinion on something, and his opinion was always right, even if it was based on absolutely nothing (no facts, no reasoning, just because he said so).  He got enraged if I ever questioned his claims or lack of proof.

2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;  Oh, he always had this.  He is studying to become a chef right now, and always talked about opening his own restaurant, becoming a famous chef, and all of these other things that are pie in the sky type fantasies because he had no concrete plans to make them happen (yet was convinced they somehow were going to come true).  He would watch cooking competitions and act like he could win them with his little to no experience.  He would go on about how he was the best person in his class, yet he consistently did poorly on his practical exams.  Again, too many examples to go through.

3. Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions); Hmmm… maybe not so much on this one.  He was never elitist about the institutions he was part of (his cooking school is a community college, not that he acted that way when he was glorifying his cooking abilities).  He DID always look down at others in his classes and meetings.  He thought he was soooo much better than them, and would constantly complain about the people in his groups.

4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);  Oh, absolutely.  That man wanted a standing ovation every time he did the slightest thing right.  He was always wanting people to tell him how wonderful he was, and would lie to get the attention and admiration he wanted.  He needed positive affirmation for every.single.thing. or he would become pouty and childish.

5. Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment;  Entitled.  That describes him to a T.  He feels like he should get what he wants because it’s what he wants.  He felt like he “deserved” things just because.  Even with the tax refund, he feels like he should get part of it because he deserves it, because he “needs” it.  He fully admits that I took a loss on the car and that he is the reason all of the extra options were added that made it upside down.  He acknowledges that his “half” of the tax refund doesn’t even cover my loss and that he agreed to give me the $2K.  But somehow he STILL thinks that he is entitled.  He has always had completely “unreasonable expectations,” and his parents for sure set him up to believe that he should get some sort of “priority treatment.”  Hell, they got him out of drug charges and school suspensions, and he still laughs at how smart he was to get away with it (with their help).

6. Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;  Without the ability to manipulate and live off of other people, I don’t think he could even exist.  Before me, he was unemployed for several months and literally moving from couch to couch, bumming off of his friends.  He used me to buy him a car (more than one actually – the last 3 vehicles he had were either mine, paid for by me, or financed by me). 

7. Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;  He certainly was never able to accept or empathize with my feelings, needs, preferences and priorities.  He could lie and pretend for a while, but his true nature always came out.  He literally had no concern for my health, and his actions made that increasingly obvious.  I have never once seen him put himself last for anyone or put anyone else’s feelings or needs before his own desires.  I think he is probably incapable of that.

8. Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;  Reading the first half of this, I wasn’t sure…  Then I got to the second sentence and it started to make sense.  He definitely did feel like people were “out to get” him.  I think it’s part of the entitlement and the inability to take responsibility for his own actions.  Either way, things were always someone else’s fault.  If something went wrong it was because someone else didn’t want him to succeed.  Just like this marriage being over is because I didn’t give him enough of a chance.

9. Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law”, and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy (http://samvak.tripod.com).  Oh, yeah.  His parents played a huge part in that.  They got him and his brother and sister out of all sorts of legal trouble, and he felt entitled.  He couldn’t stand being contradicted, especially when he was wrong. In fact, that was when he could get the most indignant and petty.

So yep, I was definitely with a narcissist.  I knew that much already.  It was nice to see this list here in black and white.

22 Jan

I absolutely love this post. It is raw and honest and dead-on about many of the emotions that come up when someone has lied to you and betrayed you for years. I was right there with her, reliving my own marriage, during this entire post.

When she talked about giving your everything to someone, only to have them give you barely anything except lies in return, I was nodding my head, remembering that pain. When she spoke of the embarrassment, especially this line –

“I was the blind idiot who’d made it my life’s mission to be your number-one cheerleader and help you boost your career…”

– I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about. When she mentioned second-guessing herself when she knew there was something wrong, yet being fed yet more lies, I could unfortunately relate on a deep level. When she talked about her anger and urge to break ribs and cause as much physical pain as he inflicted emotionally, since he seems to have a lack of empathy or any ability to understand what he has put her through, I wanted to cheer.  These lines are haunting:

“I need you to feel the pain that I feel, the pain that you’ve caused me — that is, if, someday, you ever become capable of feeling emotions like this. Like you’re strapped to a table, inexplicably and hideously alive, simultaneously witnessing and feeling the bloody, stabbing-death of your own happiness. And the Hollow Empty that’s left in its absence.”

And finally, the wonderful realization at the end that she needs to cut her losses and let go of that anger to finally move on… It filled me with such hope and peace for her. The reality of our situations, the truth that we have to face is that “he is not who or what I want/need him to be!” There is such freedom with those realizations. Accepting those things, acknowledging our pain and brokenness, then moving on with our heads held high is simply beautiful.

Money Mash Up & Enjoying Myself

14 Jan

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photo credit ~ Artwork by Ame Hughes, Intuitive Artist

This morning I am participating in Money Mash Up 1/14, hosted by simply stacia.  Thanks for the interesting questions.  Money is one area that I will have a few changes to this year, so I’m glad for the opportunity to think about it a bit.

1.  The most money I’ve spent last week was for bills.  I get paid twice per month, and last week was my first payday.  I paid all of my bills except my mortgage with that check.  That means I paid sewer, water, electricity, internet, TV, credit cards, my new car payment (the most expensive of the bunch), car insurance, trash pickup, and dog food.  Oh, you meant not bill-related?  In that case, I spent $4.49 for an ebook on my Kindle Saturday night.

2.  A low-cost or free thing I did this past week was went to lunch with my Mom and sister at Panera.  My Mom picked up the bill (how sweet of her), but even if she hadn’t the meal was cheap, delicious, and healthy.  Better was the company.  It was great to spend time with them both, have a nice chat in the middle of the day, and get a break from work.  It was the only lunch I ate out last week, although I had the urge a few times.  I’m glad that I waited to indulge myself when I had the company of two amazing women. 

3.  The one thing I did for another was took my sister up to my job on Saturday to pick up a battery for her boyfriend’s car.  I was able to get it basically at cost and save him quite a bit of money.

4.  Something I really need to accomplish this week is relax and enjoy my birthday!  Today I have a ton of stuff to get accomplished at work and at home, but starting tomorrow I am going to focus on just having fun and living my life. 

5.  I’m dying to try _____ this year.  Hmmmm…  This is a great question.  I’m dying to try putting myself first.  I’ve never done that before.  I know that isn’t a particular “experience,” but I am going to be my own priority this year.  I’m going to laugh, love, live, and stop second-guessing myself.  It already sounds wonderful!

Thanks again Stacia for coming up with these questions and posting the challenge every week.  It’s a good reminder of what’s important.

Thoughts & Quotes About Trust

8 Jan

The concept of trust is something that I struggled with in my last relationship quite a bit (as you know if you’ve read this blog at all).  As I move forward and put my past behind me, I know that I will also need to open my heart and learn to trust again.  In theory, that seems like it should be difficult considering everything that I’ve been through.  However, I already have more peace and trust in my heart in this moment than I did for the last year or two combined.

Part of that comes from no longer having the constant lies in my life.  However, I think I no longer have the constant lies in my life because of a deeper change in ME.  I have learned that my trust is within my control – who I trust, what I trust them with, and what I accept or don’t.  I can give trust away freely in some circumstances and require much more for other types of trust.  I can loan someone my trust, but always be mindful of how they are treating that precious gift.  My trust can be taken away in small increments, or all at once.  My trust in one person can and should be based entirely on their actions.  I can trust in varying degrees – I may trust one person with my entire heart and soul and mind, and another person just enough to hang out and talk football.

I feel a certain freedom in making that revelation, which probably seems so basic to most people.  Trust used to seem like an absolute thing.  I’m not sure why, since I am generally a “shades of gray” person (now the book has added a dirty connotation to that phrase), instead of someone who sees things in black or white.  Trust always seemed like a straight-forward concept, though.  Either you trusted someone or you didn’t.  Simple, right?

I used to trust easily – I took almost anyone I met entirely at their word.  There was a time when I believed that people were inherently good.  I got burned so much that I flipped my mentality.  I came to believe that virtually everyone is twisted, corruptable, and out for themselves.  I trusted hardly anyone with hardly anything.  The people who I did let in, though, got my absolute trust.  If I had to choose between trusting my instincts or someone I loved, I would opt for the latter.  Trusting everyone naïvely and trusting a few people more than I trusted myself were both unhealthy ways of thinking.  Now I believe I finally understand where the middle ground is.

Yesterday I saw a quote about trust that I loved.  I thought about this topic all night, and today I wanted to find that quote again.  I did find it, but I also found many more that inspired me in different ways.  I would like to share those quotes and pictures below with a little commentary.

This first inspirational tidbit isn’t necessarily about trust.  To me, though, it’s about trusting my destiny and realizing that it is up to me to make the best out of everything.  I read this, and it makes me think of all of the moments that led me to where I am now – the big ones, the difficult ones, the tiny ones that I didn’t think meant anything, the joys and sorrows…  Everything we experience tells us something else about who we are, and what we do with those moments will define us forever.  I want my life, my moments, and my experiences to bring me to a place of deeper understanding, happiness, and authenticity.

Trust-Quotes-103

This next quote is about trusting yourself – that voice inside that tells you what is right for you and what isn’t.  I’m not going to disregard that voice again no matter what.  I have learned that I have to trust myself first and foremost.  No one can tell me what to believe, who to trust, what to do, or what is the right path for my life.  That means I have a lot of responsibility and a lot of freedom to determine where my life should go.

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I absolutely love the 16 “harsh truths” in this quote.  I have faced each and every one of these truths in the recent past, and I’m learning every day to embrace them.  I can’t change the past, there is a lot I don’t know, I will fail, and I can’t control much of anything.  Information and knowledge are not the same thing, I have to prove my own value and worth to be successful, and I will never feel 100% ready for something new, so it’s best to just dive in.  I can only get out what I put in, but I won’t always get what I want.  Someone else will always have more than me.   Life isn’t easy, good friends will come and go, people won’t always like me, and nothing in life is guaranteed.  With that in mind, the only person who can make me happy is me.  When I accept all of these things it makes me stronger and more able to really live!

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This one is self-explanatory.  It’s what happened in my last relationship.  In fact, by the end I was trying to use the eraser dust because that was all that was left of my trust.

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This next quote is both hilarious and entirely true.  This is why I think that lies of omission are just as dangerous as blatant lies.  A little bit of truth is a very, very dangerous thing.  I always want to make sure that I’ve got the whole truth and the entire picture.  If not, my trust won’t last long at all.

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Yet another simple truth – the truth is always simple.

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This is the quote I saw yesterday that started this entire train of thought.  I am trying not to be a bitter person who doesn’t give their trust away at all, however I believe that trust is fragile.  When I give it to someone, I truly hope that they treat it as such.  Don’t make me regret trusting you if you want me in your life in any capacity because I no longer stick around to be damaged.

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This quote is sweet and optimistic and hopeful.  It is a good mantra.  Pink also happens to be my favorite color at the moment – along with red, black, silver, sparkly (I know, technically not a color, but go with it), and purple.  I want my future to be full of laughter, kissing, happiness, pretty things, miracles, and strength of character.  I believe I will truly be fulfilled then because with those things and love you can’t go wrong.

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Okay, I have to throw this one in just because I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw it.

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I’m going to end with this one because it resonates with me.  The next person I let into my heart and my life full-time will have to be someone who lives their truth, not simply speaks it.  I have learned that words alone are cheap.  My future trust will be based on what I see, not on what I hear.  I’m looking for integrity, strength of character, and actions.  Just know, if you can’t prove it, if you aren’t going to follow through, and if you’re not in this all the way you’re better off not wasting my time.  🙂

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Many Thanks (I’m a Fabulous Gutter Blogger)

21 Dec

I really want to say thank you to those of you that have offered me support and positive comments recently.  I have also gotten a few wonderful, flattering awards.  I might have missed one with my scatterbrain, so if I did I apologize in advance.

I received the Liebster Award from the wonderful our24yeargap.  She is juggling so many balls in her life, and doing it all under an incredible amount of pressure.  I am honored that she nominated me for this award, and I definitely want to apologize for being such a procrastinator that I have only gotten around to posting it until over a month after she gave it to me.  I’m bad (more details later)!  🙂

This award comes with rules and questions.  I am not going to follow the rules that well, but I will answer the questions that she took the time to think up for me.

Rules (for those of you that actually follow the rules):

  • When one receives the award, one posts 11 random facts about oneself and answers the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure one notifies the blogger that one nominated them!)
  • One writes up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
  • One is not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated one’s own blog!
  • One pastes the award picture into ones blog. (You can google the image, there are plenty of them!)

Okay, so I’m not really going to do much of that.  Here is my take on those rules, in order:

  • If you want to know some random stuff about me, look to the right and select the sub-category Silly Questions under Random Thoughts.
  • Anyone who reads my blog and wants to follow those rules and answer some questions, consider yourself nominated.  I love everything that each one of you writes, and I just can’t pick favorites.
  • Nope.  I like the questions that our24yeargap proposed.  Answer those.  🙂
  • That’s a stupid rule.  Since I’m using her questions, though, she’s probably glad not to have to do this all again.
  • Done

Now, to answer her questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging?  To get the crazy thoughts out of my head and makes sense out of being married to a pathologically lying sex addict.
  2. Are you where you want to be in life?  I’m closer than I ever have been before to my true goal – happiness.  At the same time, I’m farther away from the “vision” I had in my head of where that happiness would come from and what it would look like.  Surprisingly, letting go of “where I want to be in life” has taken me to a place where I am feeling content, fulfilled, optimistic, happy, and successful.  Go figure.
  3. What is your favorite thing about life?  Sharing it with wonderful people.  Specifically, my family and the ones that I love.  Also singing.
  4. Do you have an animal you love and that loves you unconditionally?  Absolutely.  My dog Buddy is the sweetest, best, most fantastic animal in the world.  I love him sooo much.
  5. What is/are your favorite book(s)?  There are so many fantastic books out there.  I have a room filled with them.  Books take you on adventures, introduce you to new worlds, show you wonders, teach you things, transport you to wherever you want to be, and so, so much more.  Some of my favorite books include Black Beauty, The Cay, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, My Sister’s Keeper, Wicked, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Are You My Mother? (I had to throw that one in – such a cute book!), anything written by James Patterson, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and the list just keeps going all day long.  I also want to note that any book that was turned into a movie on the list above I read BEFORE the movie came out.  And, like you’ve probably heard a million times, the book is always better than the movie!!!
  6. Can you recommend a book I should read or a movie I should watch?  Any of the books/movies listed above that you haven’t.  Also, everyone on Earth has probably seen these, but I really love Taken, Fried Green Tomatoes, Gran Torino,
  7. Do you know any firefighters/paramedics/EMTs out there? Other than myself of course. What’s their story?  A few of my high school friends are volunteer firefighters/ EMTs.  I don’t know their “story” per say, but I do know that they are all dedicated, great people.
  8. Describe yourself to me in 3 words. Would your friends agree with that?  Complicated.  Smart.  Strong.  And yes, my friends would agree.
  9. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?  A singer or a lawyer.
  10. What is your favorite time of the year?  Christmas!  And Fall when the leaves start changing and the air has that wonderful crispness even though the days are still beautiful.
  11. Tell me a secret, one you have never told anyone.  I don’t really think I have any secrets that I’ve never told anyone.  I’m a pretty open book to the people that I care about the deepest.

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The next award I received is a brand new one from the very sexy, honest, and amazing work spouse story.  She and one other blogger have created a new award to celebrate “gutter bloggers” – their term for those of us who pour our hearts out and air our dirty laundry over the internet by sharing our relationship and sexual experiences.  You can read up about the award and the term here.

I was beyond excited to learn about that term, this new award, and floored to be in the first round of nominations.  Little ol’ me?  Really?!  🙂  I didn’t realize that my corner of the blogosphere was that interesting, especially as compared to some of the other bloggers who were nominated.  I also thought I might have been a bit too reserved on here.  Then I thought – fuck it!  If India thinks I deserve it and she created the award, then I deserve it!  🙂  If only she knew how very, very appropriate it really is (message me later girl if you want the juicy details ;)).

So, here’s how things go with this award:

Fabulous Gutter Blogger Award Rules of Acceptance

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. (Written thanks, kisses, oral sex, all of the above – whatever seems appropriate.)  Hmmm…  I like some of those suggestions.  How naughty of you!
  2. Link back to their blog in your post.  Done.
  3. Post the image of the Award on your blog.  Gladly!
  4. Copy and answer the six questions from their blog post.  See below.
  5. Nominate nine bloggers, link to them and let them know they’ve been nominated.  This part is time consuming, so I will probably do the linking and such in the morning.  I will come back and edit this to do it right.  This is one award worth special consideration. 

The fun bit: Questions!

  1. What’s the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done?  Kinky is so relative.  Something that I consider normal may be very kinky to another person, and vice versa.  Some of the things on my “kinky list” include: being in a same-sex relationship, being blindfolded, spanked, and I’ll stop there although there is more in consideration of some of my readers.
  2. What do you now know about sex that you wish you’d have known earlier in life?  Sex can be fantastic and fun and exciting and liberating and amazing if you have a partner who is connected with you, cares about you, and is honest and vulnerable.  Apparently that happens in real life to real people, not just in movies or stories.  Not so much if you’re with a sex addict.  Then it’s weird, repressed, fast (at least with my ex), infrequent, and full of secrecy selfishness (on his part) and dissatisfaction (on my part).  At least now I know what bad sex is like…
  3. Is there any gutter fantasy you’d like to try?(tell us what it is)  I’m not sure what a “gutter fantasy” is…  Maybe I need that urban dictionary again.  I’m guessing it is a sexual fantasy that you have heard about/ read from a fellow gutter blogger (that last part may or may not be a requirement…?).  In that case, I can say that I am more than intrigued by BDSM play the way India described it in her post – the “unplugged version.”  That is a neat term.  All the talk of silk scarves, leather, mind/body play, and no hesitation is very hot.
  4. What’s the funniest bedroom situation you’ve ever been in?  Funniest?  That takes a little bit of thought.  I think that sex should be fun and involve laughter and humor and looking like an idiot sometimes with each other.  I just can’t think of a particular time like that right now.  I have very limited sexual partners to pull from (very limited).  Right now the humor of my two long-term relationships is completely eluding me.  I was just at a Christmas party where someone joked about using their blinking Rudolph nose as a ball gag.  That was pretty funny.  It was also at a work function, not the bedroom, and I was not involved in any way – so I don’t think that meets the requirements.  I’ll get back to you when I have some funny (haha) not funny (pathetic and sad) bedroom situations to report.
  5. Has gutter blogging taught you anything?  Gutter blogging has taught me everything.  It has taught me how to live.  It has taught me how to express myself.  It has taught me what I deserve.  It has taught me freedom and self-expression and how wonderful and supportive strangers can be.  This blog, this community, this creative process has been a lifeline.  It has kept me sane.  It has brought me to deep revelations about myself, my relationships, the direction of my life, my expectations, and so much more.  I’ve also found an outlet for expressing my sexuality in a positive, open way.  It’s fantastic!
  6. What is your favourite post from the person who nominated you?  I love the post Something like a spiritual connection.  I know that the situation didn’t pan out, things are very different now, and all of that.  However, in the spirit of this award especially, I found it incredibly sensual, very hot, and a bit of a tease (and who doesn’t love a good tease?).

And there you have it.  Now it’s really late, and I need to get to bed so I can go to work tomorrow and be half-way useful.

12 Changes

12 Dec

In honor of 12/12/12, here is a little inspirational photo with 12 signs that you are experiencing a “spiritual awakening.”  I’m not sure how I feel about that term, but I do like the 12 “symptoms.”

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Here are 12 positive things I have noticed about myself and my life lately:

  1. When I’m not being crushed by lies and depression, I’m apparently a very fun, bubbly person who people like to be around.  Go figure!
  2. I enjoy being active.  The more I do, the less tired I am.  It’s weird and counter-intuitive, but I’m loving it.
  3. When you are enjoying life, taking positive action, being active, and connecting with people there is far, far less time in the day for watching TV.  I’m not missing it at all.  (Okay, in all honesty there are still a few things I won’t be able to stop watching – The Middle and Grey’s Anatomy – there will always be time for you!)
  4. Smart phones are awesome.  I shouldn’t have held out so long before I caved.  Having a phone from the 21st century has its perks.  My smart phone is almost smarter than me, but I’m learning.
  5. Smiling is amazing.
  6. People can be amazing, too.  They also sometimes cause the action in #5 instead of pain, hurt, betrayal, and tears.
  7. I can be my different, sarcastic, irreverent, honest, goofy, vulnerable, sappy, smart-ass self and those people I mentioned in #1 and #6 seem to like me more.  It’s an odd sensation, but one that I’m starting to enjoy.
  8. I am my worse critic.  I realize now that that when I shut up and let myself be me, flaws and all, I can still be happy.
  9. I deserve to be valued and respected.  As soon as I recognized that, the universe delivered people who see my value and give me respect.  I guess when I stop trying to make things happen, they do just happen.
  10. I have the absolute best family in the entire world.
  11. Peace of mind is priceless.
  12. I have to love myself first and foremost in order to accept love from others.  I am still working on this one.  However, I am more and more confident every day that I am getting closer to understanding what I need, what I want, what I deserve, and all that the world has to offer.  In the meantime, I’m going to have fun and not overthink things (or at least try not to).

I also want to express gratitude to the various people who have given me awards lately.  I hate being ungrateful, and I’m not ignoring you.  I just find that I have less and less time to blog now that I’m being more active and doing more things outside of rooms with computers in them (both in my work and personal life).  Also, the holidays are approaching (rapidly), and I am less prepared than I have ever been.  I want you all to know now that I am honored by the awards.  I will get to accepting them all and following all of the rules.  I swear!  I just can’t promise you when that will be.  😀

Feeling my way forward in the darkness

23 Nov

Holy shit! It’s like we’re married to the same pathetic excuse for a man. I kept holding out for so long that he would make an effort, fight for me, give this relationship his all. I am finally accepting that isn’t going to happen. I have also realized that logic has absolutely nothing to do with anything when it comes to him. It’s like it doesn’t exist. They have their own twisted up view of the world and no amount of reality will make any difference. We will move forward and have great lives. There are better men out there.

Honesty is Overrated (and Other Lies we Tell Ourselves to Get By)

22 Nov

Honesty is NOT overrated! You deserve it. I deserve it. There is someone out there who is willing to give it to us!

Broken American Dream Diaries

He’s lying. Again. So what? Honesty is overrated, right?

Isn’t keeping the family together better than breaking us up? Is my desire for honesty so great that I will end up divorcing husband?

And what if I move on, tearing our family up in the process, in the name of honesty. Will it be worth it?

Is trusting your spouse overrated? We’re not talking big lies here. Those matter. And those have been told in this house, as well. But the little things: where husband is tonight, for example. Little lies, big lies, in-between lies. They all violate our pact of trust and honesty.

Can you build a life together with scant respect for the truth?

A lie about tonight’s whereabouts leads to tension tomorrow. We told Big Bro that we would take him and Little Dude somewhere fun with the whole family. The zoo if it’s not too cold…

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Speaking Up

17 Nov

Today I reached out to the employee I was traveling with and apologized if I made her uncomfortable over this last week.  There were several times I thought she might have gotten more of my reality and drama than I ever like to show in the business world.  She responded very positively.  She said that she didn’t feel uncomfortable and she knows that it’s real life.  She said it was great to get to know me, she’s been there herself, and she has a lot of respect for me.

Once again, I’ve been able to connect with someone who is awesome, supports me, and genuinely cares.  I didn’t really think that was possible for me, but I’ve obviously been under-estimating myself, my value as a person, and how spectacular people really can be.  I know for a fact that I have formed deep connections and friendships with at least 3 people over this last week, and probably more with a little effort on my part.

I was watching Emily Owens, M.D. tonight (in my DVR of course), and a quote stood out to me.  Some people say that show is a bad knock-off of Grey’s Anatomy.  While I agree it isn’t as good, there are some nice moments.  Here’s what I scrambled to transcribe and rewinded my DVR 3 times to get down:

“When it’s important enough, you speak up.  You tell people what you need.  You show them who you are.  You expose yourself.  You ask.  And you do this knowing that there are consequences.  There is collateral damage, but you’ve chosen this.  So you can’t feel guilty about it.  You just can’t.”

So I’m not feeling guilty for my decision to keep moving forward.  I hope you don’t feel guilty, either, for making the hard decisions in your life and putting yourself out there.  It will pay off in the end.

I Do Not Follow the 90/10 Rule

17 Nov

This past week we were taught that when you are getting to know someone, especially a prospective customer, they should talk 90% of the time and you should talk 10%.  Apparently studies have shown that the more someone else talks, the better they like you.  I admitted several times over the course of our training that the 90/10 rule is the hardest part of prospecting for me.  Hell, it’s the hardest part of life.

As you all have come to realize by now, I am verbose.  I am also an over-thinker, an overachiever, and a perfectionist.  I want to tell someone everything I can, especially if I really believe in what I’m talking about.  Another tidbit of knowledge I gained, “Don’t spill all your candy in the lobby.”  Sometimes less is more.  It’s a hard lesson for me to apply.

The Friendly, Silent, Questioning Stare is also a great tool for a top sales-person.  I think it translates to life very well, too.  One of our trainers said that in the beginning he would sit there after asking for the sale and feel all of the unsaid words bubbling up from inside, just waiting to erupt like a volcano. He would think of what he didn’t mention, what he could have done better, and want to break the silence.  A 30-second pause would feel like 3 hours.  He had to use every ounce of his strength to push those words down and wait for the other person’s response.

I easily recognize that talking too much is a fault of mine.  I am working on fixing that, although I know I’m still not very good at it.  One of the reasons is that my brain is full to the limit with countless thoughts, ideas, feelings, desires, hopes, fears, uncertainties, doubts, and emotions busting at the seams to get out.

Just to give you a slight hint at the current shit-storm in my brain, here are random snippets of things that are bouncing around in my head.  I’m not going to try to organize these thoughts, and they are in no particular order, just what happened to pop into my brain as I was typing.

  • “Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile goals.”  That is the most inspiring thing I learned at my sales training.  I heard it at the very, very end (even after the test).  In fact, I got misty-eyed.  You would have to listen to the entire presentation to understand, but this resonated with me so strongly.  I am a success if I’m taking steps towards a worthwhile goal, and I definitely think I’m doing that right now.
  • Just because I’ve wasted some time floundering around being lied to and deceived doesn’t mean I’m not successful or I can’t be in the future.  Maybe it means the goal I had wasn’t worthwhile (trying to make a marriage work with someone who hasn’t told you the truth since day 1).  Or maybe I had to do that floundering in order to understand what is worthwhile and what isn’t.
  • “If you’re not making mistakes, you aren’t doing it right.”  Wise words from a friend spoken to me last Saturday.  I’ve been letting that ping around in my brain ever since, and I like it.  I am finding it easier and easier to admit to the areas where I’m making mistakes, partly because I know it gets me closer to where I want to be.  Life is full of beauty and mystery and wonder, but you have to take chances and sometimes make errors in order to grow, learn, and get where you want to be.

  • “He has always been unsure about me, unhappy, dishonest and cheating from the earliest moments.  All the while I was living in blithe ignorance of what was really going on.”  From a woman whose life seems eerily similar to mine right now, emilylonging, in her post Were things ever good?  Those words ring so true.  We were in two different relationships.  I never had the full truth.  I was living in blissful ignorance (some of my own making), and every single “good memory” we have ever had together is tainted in some way with a lie, deception, or half-truth.

***All of this time I had somehow convinced myself that this was the best it could ever get for me – that not dying was the same as living.***

There is so, so much more, but that’s just a taste.  A great friend of mine told me that there’s nothing not complicated about me.  That’s very true.  For now, I’m going to accept the fact that I think and talk too much.  It seems like some people still like me anyway.

Inspirational Photos

17 Nov

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That last one is where I’m living right now.

Operating with integrity when it feels so good to act like an ass

13 Nov

This is something that I am working on right now – letting go of his recovery. It is on him. He needs to learn to take positive action for himself. If we have any chance of ever making this marriage work there can be no more lies. He has to take responsibility for really doing the work. If he can’t then I need to recognize that means he doesn’t want this enough. I can’t want it enough for both of us. And I have to recognize that sometimes there is a time to let go completely.

Another quote from this great new blogger also caught my eye today.  She said, “It’s up to him to grab a shovel and dig himself out now, dig this marriage out. It’s his turn to work hard and to solve things, if that’s what he wants. He caused this mess in the first place.”  It’s true.  It is up to him to prove to me that he is committed and willing to put the effort in that this marriage requires.  It’s time for him to be the pig.

Find a Way or Find an Excuse?

17 Oct

If something is important, you’ll find a way.  If it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse.

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