Me too! You sound good; yep, your X is the true a$$.
My S16 did the 30 hour famine recently. It's such a great experience; although I don't know how they do it! They did find an empty potato chip bag in the morning in the trashcan though; so somebody cracked! My D10 wants to do it next year and I think I will do it too (be one of the parent chaperones). It's a great program....
Donna, birthdays can be tough. Mine is tomorrow and I guess I should be thankful that my STBX is thoughtful enough to take me and the kids out for dinner (oops, that will be outside the guidelines for my tremendous new diet! ). It's still a different world than the one I lived for 17 years as a married man. We all just carry on and do the best we can with what we've got. I hope today is a better one for you
Thanks, Wii. I really don't think I have the constitution to sit through dinner with my ex; not at this point, anyway. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and don't focus on what isn't (pun intended).
After the hour or two pity party (after a pretty good day), I fell asleep and woke up back in a better frame of mind. Things have continued to look up.
I am still reading more about narcissism...not really sure why at this point, since it doesn't really matter. Part of it is, I think, to figure out why I was with a person like this for so very long, if he really is a narcissist. It is to try to delve farther into my own issues and see what I have to work on.
Oh, and a MUCH smaller part of my life, now! Spent the weekend with a snow day Fri (great late birthday present), supporting my daughter who did the 30 hour famine to raise $ and awareness for world hunger... Then, son's ROTC Military Ball was Saturday - dressed up, ceremony, filet mignon, dancing..... Sunday was Sunday school and a great, reflective and respectful class (a big thing with middle school kids), rest....
I am sitting in the psych dept of my local hospital. A friend of mine from AlAnon is in crisis, and asked that I come by. She has been in recovery for more than 9 years, but has just got the bomb from her second husband about a month ago. Man, it sucks. She knows that she has to let him figure things out on her own, but it is making her crazy that she can't talk to him, that he lashes out, etc. We've all been there. She knows what she has to do, but is struggling. I think she will get some meds today; not sure if she will be admitted. I am glad to be where I am, so I can be there for her. Looks like I might have a roommate for a few days...
Donna, there are books on emotionally abusive relationships, which narcissism certainly creates. Two come to mind, Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse by Gregory L Jantz and The Emotionally Abusive Relationship by Beverly Engel. My wife had/has narcissistic traits, so my IC said. I too wonder why I stayed so long in a R that was giving me nothing particularly healthy. I still believe part of the reason was that I did not want to give up family, I couldn't do that to the kids unless I saw no other alternative and that day did come until then I DB'd!But another part is that maybe it was easy to be in a R where the lines were clear "it's all about me, baby!" and I'm a caregiver so I went for it. When a R centres on one person you don't have to risk sharing yourself, your fears, your dreams...you just try to please. In many ways it's a really simple and uncomplicated R, you know the rules and they never change. Anyway, I'm just just thinking out loud Glad you're feeling better.
It is a full month since I posted to my own thread.
First, I wanted to thank any and all of my friends who have helped me walk this path...I can't imagine how I would have survived it without this place.
Now, a brief update.
Things are really good for me. Again, Peaceful. I am comfortable in my own skin. I'm reminded of that title, "How Stella got her Groove Back." That's where I am, back in my own groove.
Work at teaching elem art is wonderful, frustrating, challenging, exhilerating....I am so fortunate to not only have a job, but one that I love. And I am back "on." Back to hamming it up with the kids, getting creative, being silly or empathetic or caring or strict, whatever the kids need.
My home is in much better shape - I can't believe it took me this long to finally hire someone to come in and help me clean. No guilt here! For $70/week (which will drop to $35/week when I switch over to every other week in May), I come home to a house that is clean. Because I know she is coming, I spend my time decluttering and making room for her - MUCH more productive!! No more burning out or resentment over not being able to do it all!! I figure that I receive $200/week in alimony, so this is to replace the man-power that is missing - I also gave up being guilty about having someone shovel the snow when it was crazy-deep, doing the big fall clean-up, etc. That is what this money is for. Peace.
I am about to finish the weaning-off process from the Effexor - lowest dose, now cutting the pill in half. Should be done before the April vacation week. Also, speaking with my IC, we agreed that we would wrap that up, too. Meeting once a month a few times, then once over the summer...always available via email, but it was good to know that we both sensed it was time.
I am going to a wellness center - addressing the adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, weight gain....nutritionist, PT, chiropractic....I had been doing a Zumba class (LOVED it!!) but pinched a nerve in my lower back from sneezing, so healing that up. Finally found a halter that my nutty dog can't wiggle out of, so walking with her, now. The weather today is PERFECT at 70! Suppliments, mega - VItamin D. No more starch (which is a sad thing for this pseudo-Guinea, who is missing her pasta!) for a while - just veggies and lean protein for a while.
I am loving Spring - it is the one season that I always focus on not missing...I have missed it in the past. Such a fleeting thing, and too easy to get caught up in all the Have To-s. My forsynthia is in bloom, along with the crocus and daffodils...fruit trees will come soon. Went with D10 yesterday to buy pansies. Decorated Easter eggs. Opened every window in the house. Every day it doesn't rain, I go sit in the grass in the yard, listen to the spring peepers, breathe in all the life that is waking and warming up.
Church is still an important outlet for me. I go to services on Sundays. I help decorate the altar (and get to be creative - but wow, was it strange to stand up there the first few times! I was literally shaking!). I attend a Women's Spirituality group on Saturday mornings with a fantastic group of women, all ages. We are just about to complete our Lenten studies, and worked through and shared our own wildernesses. Powerful stuff...so much of the same messages coming to me from so many different avenues (therapy, self-help books, our boards, AlAnon, other random articles that come across my path, even professional development for teaching) - I'm listening. And still growing.
My friend with the marriage-falling-apart-thing stayed with me for a week. She is needy, and sad, and so confused. I've given her lots of resources, try to not talk too much but listen more. Her husband is going through MLC and is very confused, hot and cold. No idea if they will make it, but I am there for her when I can be. I have had to turn off the ringer on my phone and screen calls, though, as she calls when I am at work or at appts - just keeping healthy boundaries. I've given her the number to Crisis hotline a few times. I am happily surprised that it doesn't bring up lots of crap for me, no rumination....illustrates how far I've come.
Like I said, I am content. I had a profile online, but I forget about it all the time. Cancelling the subscription due to lack of interest (mine!). Just no urgent need. Hard to imagine devoting the time to someone else right now, anyway. I've focused on my friendships much more, and it feels good. Like-minded people. Open.
My kids are dealing - I think pretty normally. S14 has me a bit sad as I watch him struggle with his grades, but I think I've done all that I can do for him at this point. Emails to teachers, dropping an elective and getting him into a supervised study hall, pulling him from his beloved ROTC Drill team after school, checking his planner for homework and missing assignments... He just doesn't seem to be able to connect that his lack of work outside of school is going to impact him and his future choices. 9th grade counts. His teachers and I agree that he is more than capable - should be an A-B student. But he just doesn't do homework, won't study, remains unorganized....I am seriously considering ADHD meds. This semester snowballed and he didn't get the study hall in time to make up all his work, so we will see as the new one starts. Our district is so small that he can't repeat a class unless he out-and-out fails. Get a D, and it stays a D. Between that and some expected-but-still-a-pain pushing of limits.....sometimes feels like dealing with him as a 3 yr old again. I actually start counting when he won't get off the couch to do something that needs to be done or won't close the computer. He knows that if I get to three, he is either grounded the rest of that day and the next (waste my time, I waste yours) or the tech gadget is gone for minimum 24 hours. Seems to be working, but can be exhausting, too.
D10 is my overly-worried child, eager to please to a fault. Attached at my hip when home, and is getting more demanding of my attention. Very sensitive. I am setting up boundaries with her, too. Pointing out when she is not thinking of the other person (example - waking me up at 6am on a Saturday because she "wants me.") Lots of reassuring and concentrating on the postives.
So, I guess that's the low-down. I have Easter this year (YAY!!!). Ex picked the kids up today at 3:30 and they are home tomorrow night. I am putting together eggs to hide for Sunday morning, along with their baskets, today. Decorating a bit.
Life is good. I can hardly believe I finally got here, but here I am Much love to all of us who feel so deeply and from the heart...