All of our moments should be overflowing with thimbleberry thoughts. So in planting these tiny seeds, in due time and in just the right season, the blossoms of revelations, wisdom, and nourishment might likely produce the sweet and lovely fruit for which others may receive their harvest.
Perhaps you are wondering what exactly IS a thimbleberry. Thimbleberry is a beguilingly tart, aromatic fruit that grows wild in northern climates, thriving in areas with cool summer temperatures. The large, velvety berries have a tangy taste reminiscent of currants and raspberries, with soft seeds that release their nutty flavor when chewed.
All of our moments should be overflowing with thimbleberry-like thoughts. So in planting these tiny seeds, in due time and in just the right season, the blossoms of revelations, wisdom, and nourishment might likely produce the sweet and lovely fruit for which others may receive their harvest.
Please feel free to take whichever seeds of thought you like, and scatter them to the wind, because that is precisely where a miracle may in fact, exist.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Allright, well 3rd times a charm. I have apparently broken about every rule of thumb to be a successful blogger…but then again, I’ve never been in it for success. Creating a ripple is all I really hoped to do, and I believe that is in fact, happening…however small and seemingly insignificant, the ripple is spreading out wider and wider.
I don’t care if anyone remembers my name, because I really wish I’d never had one at times. I know that sounds quite melancholy, yet it’s a simple truth for me. I never fully identified with my name, or self even. It just seems that we are given a name and then a little child career. Now within that career, we little humans can be molded, shaped and formed by our parents, or caregivers, and really the identity never belonged to the child. Well, that’s how it happened for me, and neither did my reality or any of my feelings or perceptions. There just wasn’t a me in the equation.
There were so many things I remember wanting to do as a child, but I could not. It wouldn’t look right. Or the clothes I was dressed in I certainly rarely had a say in any of it. Of course as a young girl I never really cared that much except that I hated lace dresses and leggings. ugh. Absolutely despised them. the lace was stiff and itchy, the tights were, well, tight and always drooping down to my knees so I had to walk funny because for whatever reason they never could be pulled up all the way. So while the boys in our family or friends would be playing and having a good ol time, there I was waddling and scratching and trying to stay clean for mama.
I hated baby dolls with a passion, but Mama loved them. I just never took to them and thought they were creepy. That never stopped me from receiving one every year on my birthday and since we were quite poor that was typically the only toy I ever got. My best memory of a gift was the one year I got a box of crayons, the giant box with 64 colors back then, a box of markers, and lots and lots of construction paper and a large drawing pad. Finally, a real present. One at last, simply for me. I still remember how happy I was coloring and creating for hours alone in my room. I was most happy being alone. Because I could be me. Forty years have passed, and not that much has changed. I never seemed to fit in anywhere…but when I was alone, there was no fitting anywhere, I just got to “be.”
The big 50 came and went without much todo. None in fact. And I was perfectly ok with that. I have certainly gotten far too comfortable going to the store without makeup, now staying home every Friday and Saturday night. I’ve done all the cruising, dancing, mingling and flirting I suppose that one can really do. Typically ending up feeling even more alone, and still remaining with the knowledge of being so apart from the rest of the world. I found myself quite content to sit and watch a good round of Family Feud, or read scripture. I know I sound like 80, but alas…it’s been a difficult road, these 50 years…so I put on my flannel gown, feed my cat, and go to bed whenever the hell I want to go to bed, and I make my own rules, and I choose my own friends and no one is the boss of me…anymore. A lonely liberation indeed. So lonely if fact, suicide sounded quite nice. I ran the film in my mind, wrote the notes, packed precious belongings for each of my children and planned the day. As selfish as it seems to many, I was tired. No, I was more than tired. I was sick. I was exhausted from living up to what everyone expected me to be, for I had become so much less, and a constant disappointment and black sheep, even within my own family. I was in immense emotional pain trying to numb it by any means possible. So as the last candle went out on my cake last year, I was ready to buy the burial insurance and headstone, and quietly take the next off ramp, But then something happened. Something really big happened and that changed everything. Everything.
I went straight to Hell.
I don’t mean figuratively or metaphorically I mean I went to Hell. I got the Grand Tour. Ok, well Hell is not very pretty. It was black, and lonely, and it was for eternity…Now I’m making this sound quite mild. It was sheer terror. I still cannot describe it as horrifying as it was…people just can’t grasp what I’m saying. It was BLACK…BEYOND BLACK… and yet I was AWARE. Fully 1000% aware, that this was eternity, no sleep, none of the 5 senses we have in this physical world….just black and I was PART of the black. It was something I’ll never forget. Later when I could kinda-sorta wrap my head around it, I knew I had a whole lot of living left to do. A whole lot.
So I realized that this life, MY life has been lived for everyone else but me. I think sometimes that can be considered noble and right, but not in my situation, for I was doing it for all the wrong reasons, and there were those reaping the benefits of my sacrifice for all the wrong reasons.
So yes, I have a label chosen by my parents, but see, I arrived here in form, or matter if you will,with no identification whatsoever, other than a spirit wrapped in bones and muscle and screaming to high heaven perhaps for the simple fact that as I was coming down the birth canal, all of a sudden, I realized this is NOT what I signed up for. Well, spiritual amnesia or not…apparently I did in fact sign up because even after three 5150’s, here I am…still.
Living for everyone else began taking a very high toll on my spirit, and I simply wanted out. So if you were wondering why I personally saw Hell, it was because I didn’t want this life any more. Now let’s get real clear on this… I said THIS life. I didn’t comprehend that I could change THIS life around. So I thought I was stuck with it, and I tell you what, I didn’t want one thing to do with staying alive if THIS life was it. Because it was far too painful, far too lonely and far too cruel for anyone in their right mind to even want to continue to exist in THIS life. So when people tell someone to, “Go to Hell!” I jump up and say, “No, no, no, no, no! Don’t say that!…You do NOT understand…”
Sadly most people I’ve explained my experience to don’t believe me. It’s awful. It is so awful knowing what I know for certain…and no one believing me. Especially those I love. It’s become maddening at times. But I have to accept that they are not able to hear, understand, believe or accept many things. This sucks. Really. But I’ve had to accept that it is what it is. They think I’m crazy, I know I’m not. I’m trying to save them, they stay in the dark, wandering and lost.
But I won’t stop. Because someone will in fact, hear me. Whether you’re doing something you know you shouldn’t, carrying on an affair that you know in your heart is wrong. Stop. Just stop. If you have found yourself trapped in a series of lies and deceit, stop. Just stop. Whatever life your living right now that you know is not in direct alignment with the highest potential for which you were born to live, stop. Just stop. Look around you. This is it guys. This is it. If tonight should be the night that you take your very last breath, would you be pleased with all that you have accomplished in THIS life? Or would you have a deep, gut wrenching regret eating away at your soul while you leave THIS life? You can change direction, it’s up to you. There are a billion other lives you can choose from to create, to become. You never, ever have to stay locked in a box that someone has placed you in…even if it was you.
There’s still time to change the road your on. Turn around. If you need to start all over, then do so. It may be your one last shot. I turned around. One of the most terrifying decisions I’ve ever made in my life, leaving behind a world of familiarity and false pretenses, I embarked on becoming well, me. I no longer wake up with dread and fear. For as long as I can remember this is how I would wake up.
Today I wake up with peace and joy and excitement. I used to awaken with panic and anxiety. It is gone. Completely gone with no need of any pharmaceuticals, cannabis…or ANYTHING. A highly personal spiritual evolution and shift occurred the moment I chose to take God’s will as my own, and let go of other’s will for me. Aligning with my Creator’s will, has freed me from bondage and my soul flies fearlessly from form, from matter, from THIS life, I have become, Me.
By removing yourself from the game, THEIR game, it can no longer be played, thereby leaving you safe and the narcissist without an opponent.
Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out? Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you? Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did? Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you? Has he ever shoved, poked, or grabbed you? Has he ever threatened to hurt you? Has he threatened to take your child? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he’ll ever be violent; he already has been.
So you want to know if it’s real? Psychological abuse? And if so, are you being subjected to it? Perhaps you are feeling unsure, yet every time you’re around this person or interacting with this person you experience a myriad of entangled feelings from helplessness, confusion, or fear to a sense that you’ve somehow been coerced into a submission of sorts. There’s very good reason for that. The abuser wants you to remain uncertain and in submission. (In this article, the abuser will be identified as the Narcissist as was in my case and is quite fairly common.)
There’s a multitude of abuse tactics the narcissist has at their disposal and there’s simply no possible way to cover them all in this brief article. From gaslighting, projection, word salads, and discarding, to hoovering, isolation and devaluation, and so many more. Please continue to research this grave form of abuse. Though a few will be addressed here, further education is advised primarily if you are currently in a relationship such as this. It is imperative that you learn how to protect yourself, your mind and your life.
The Narcissist knows exactly what buttons to push and which strings to pull. They commonly have an wide assortment of “tools” including “gears, levers, cables, shift controls”, which are all designed to evoke a specific, desired response, with high probability from you. You walk away not understanding what just happened because you’ve not been consciously aware of the subtle tactics they use. The narcissist has become adept at this manipulation, and the best way, often the only way to beat them at their game, is simply not to play. Without an opponent, there is no game. By removing yourself from the game board their game can no longer be played, thereby leaving you safe, and the narcissist in search of a new opponent.
It’s time to become educated.
It is quite common for the Narcissist to abuse their partner or someone with whom they maintain a close relationship with. If they are controlling or attempting to control through psychological mind games, or manipulation, then yes, they are actual abusers and the psychological abuse is very real. Though they will carefully mask it so that should you attempt to expose either one, your perception will be quickly dismissed and dismantled. There are a variety of interpersonally manipulative mechanisms the Narcissist most assuredly can and will use to discredit you and your own understanding and perception of events.
“Flipping the script,” which in their revised story, you have become the bad guy, the aggressor, or the instigator. In the Narcissist’s rewrite, you are now the abusive one who is doing to them, exactly what it is that they have been doing to you. They may even try to play it out on you, thus causing you to doubt your own recollection, and to question the exact events or conversations that actually took place. If no one really buys into that, the Narcissist will suggest, in a manner expressive of authentic sincerity, love and concern, that you’re just not quite right, you’ve become a bit erratic and /or unstable. And they just don’t know what to do. This is softly implied but the idea has been planted.
The Narcissist will then gently nurture the idea and as it begins to take shape and grow, he will lovingly tend to it until eventually it produces the fruit he’s intended for it to. That fruit being that those around you, even your most relied upon and trusted network of friends and family, indeed your only support system, are now believing that you’ve become emotionally unsteady and by all appearances beginning to come apart at the seams.
Key word here folks, “Appearances…”
The narcissist will cleverly disguise a conversation as friendly and engaging when in reality it is nothing of the kind. It is intended to produce something. He’s looking for any information, an emotion, or a response that can be later utilized to his advantage. The conversation may also be a continuous and consistent way for him to maintain the supply he desperately needs by putting you in and keeping you in, a subordinate and controlled position or role.
One of the most common ways the narcissist will mask the intention of the conversation is to produce throughout the discussion overtones or undercurrents. In other words, the meaning is actually something much deeper, more hostile, or degrading than it may appear just on the surface. So when it’s called out, they’ve already prepared an entrapment based upon your predicted response. It’s not that they’ve studied you and know the exact outcome based upon their interactions with you specifically. It’s that 99% of their engagements with you are based empirically on what again? Normal human behavior. So because you react in the same way that most other human beings on the face of the earth would, you unwittingly become ensnared in the trap they’d set.
What they are hoping to catch in that trap is some kind of proof that you are indeed the instigator, out of control or problem making person which would then substantiate any of the previous assertions they’ve made about you.
An example might be that during an amicable conversation all of a sudden the Narcissist will steer the discussion towards something that has been a point of contention between the two of you in the past. Now to an outsider it will appear as harmless conversation. So you would respond in a way that would be typical for that scenario. But then a normal response from you would be set ablaze with how abnormal you are. It might go something like this, “You’re so defensive. You’re so sensitive. Why are you being like this? You’re making accusations. You’re being paranoid. I’m just expressing concern and you respond as if you’re being attacked.”
NEWSFLASH-YOU INSTINCTUALLY RESPONDED PRECISELY THE WAY YOU DID BECAUSE YOU ARE IN FACT EITHER BEING ATTACKED, OR BEING SET UP FOR AN ATTACK.
You might not have been consciously aware of how the conversation twisted so quickly and you suddenly became the antagonist, but you knew something was up. How did you know? Because our subconscious can pick up all of those ambiguous or obscured subtleties. Your subconscious or gut instinct knows full well that you were under an assault.
You know when it’s real concern and you know when it’s fake. Don’t doubt your intuition, just don’t. It’s an embedded warning system. -or your subconscious trying to tell you something critical that you cannot yet see with the conscious mind. This goes for anyone, even if you are not being abused, but there is that still, small voice about a situation that is saying, “Something doesn’t feel quite right here.”
Another tactic commonly used by the narcissist is deflection. What began as an attempt to engage in a productive conversation regarding a specific issue, should the narcissist find it uncomfortable, or doesn’t want to engage for whatever reason, he just shifts the topic of the conversation onto something else entirely which most often ends up being a discussion about you, and all of your shortcomings or past mistakes will be brought up and highlighted. The original intent of the conversation is then obliterated. A very good explanation of deflection can be obtained here, and it’s important that we all take a look at this.
I have been guilty of this in the past as well, much more so during my active addiction. If someone requested that I submit to a urine sample, I scrambled to pull out a deflection from my playbook like no one else. And although I have used the deflection tactic a time or two, that does not by itself make me a narcissist. The first thing I would expect from the abuser is, well you just admitted that you yourself did this…..etc….etc….Shut up already you little narcissist bully. I guarantee that he/she could never withstand the amount of self reflections and corrections that occur in my daily routine.
My point in all of this is to hopefully guide you into the understanding that if you are consciously aware of these tactics by becoming educated, by learning about them, and by associating them with past experiences, then you won’t have to second-guess yourself. You won’t be doubting the intentions of the person employing these strategies. You will know with confidence that this is textbook manipulation, mind games, abuse, control, or what have you. It’s no longer just, “I feel like I’m being abused.” it is now, “I know I am being abused and here’s why…” and once that knowing with certainty is established, you then possess the ability to immediately expose it and to effectively and efficiently shut it right down.
It’s time to become educated.
If you want awareness about anything, you first must learn about it. This isn’t to say that we’re looking for something, anything to turn into/or twist into some sort of abuse. Remember- that is what THEY do. And be prepared because this is exactly what you’ll be accused of once you become aware of the game. Remember it’s their game, NOT YOURS. I guarantee you they’ll lodge accusations at you saying this – why? Because A. It is precisely what THEY do. And B. Because now that your aware of that specific form of manipulation it becomes no longer effective for the narcissist.
When you do attempt to shut it down, be prepared for the likelihood of witnessing a trip to crazy land. Perhaps accompanied by quacking even. Yes…quacking. They may come at you with highly illogical statements and accusations. Because once the Narcissist knows you’re onto them, the panic often will present itself by a sort of bubbling, if you will, on the surface. You’ll see it in the conversation if your texting or emailing and you’ll hear it in their voice, tone or inflection. If your face to face? Well, just take my advice and NEVER CONFRONT THEM FACE TO FACE. I know from personal experience.
(In ignorance I confronted the male covert narcissist, and the results were disastrous as evidenced by my felony arrest in 2014)
In my UNPROFESSIONAL opinion, upon the revelation that you’re dealing with a narcissist, what I would do if in the same situation I was in, in 2014…
DO NOT ENGAGE. DO NOT EXPOSE. DO NOT TRY TO PROVE YOUR INNOCENCE, THEIR GUILT. NOTHING.
GO NO CONTACT.
IT IS TIME TO BECOME EDUCATED
They might resort to name calling, word salads, or absolutely nonsensical arguments that they are unable to support with anything at all.
Once again, and this cannot be stated often or clearly enough, not only do the Narcissists understand human behavior, They understand NORMAL human behavior. In fact, they are counting on it. I personally believe they understand it so well because they’ve had to study it and mimic it in order to maintain a cover for the false self they’ve become.
Narcissists know how to elicit a typical and normal human response, which out of context (typically the only way the Narcissist can gather any evidence) will support their accusations that you are the unstable, aggressive, or attacking party.
By cleverly twisting, framing and presenting their case against you to others, most likely those closest to you, they will have succeeded in solidifying an alliance against you. Try to not become angry with those who’ve bought the story. Because to them, the Narcissist’s calm and rational explanation and the evidence he or she has been presenting to others (albeit forcefully fabricated evidence) is highly believable.
While at this point you are probably over here ONLY JUST NOW going absolutely Batshit crazy, jumping up and down, pulling your hair and screaming… and the narcissist is over there saying, “See? That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you guys.”
And that alliance he’s been working on? Well they now see you going into complete hysterics and well, now the narcissist’s case against you is not only believable but from everyone’s perspective quite possible and actually even, highly probable.
Without knowing what these tactics are, because they are quite often imperceptible, and it’s next to nearly impossible to understand what’s going on and what’s really at stake. When I say imperceptible it’s not the abuse that’s imperceptible, it is the manner by which they will elicit a specific response. The abuse is calculated and clear. And if no one else is present, it’s an all out assault on the psyche of the victim that none can comprehend. It permeates every part of the victims mind and belief system subsequently altering every facet of their lives.
The abuse is painful. The abuse is deadly. Driving many including myself at one point to the brink of suicide. The abuse is far reaching. The abuse is debilitating. The abuse is real.
It’s time that it be identified as such so that the general public doesn’t continue to simply dismiss it as a bad break up. My God, I pray that one who might identify this kind of abuse, this kind of mental torture, this kind of spirit breaking, soul splintering, mind fragmenting abuse as someone simply going through a bad breakup…For you I pray.
I pray that you never have to distinguish between the two.
Ever wished all of here could learn a thing or two from nature.? Why, everything gets accomplished by each part working together. No need to argue, lie or find justification to manipulate? They’re never concerned with finding fault with one another and they always tell you the truth, no matter what. Hell, if they’re having a bad day you’re gonna straight up know about it. Hurricanes and earthquakes never hold anything back. When their pissed everyone knows it.
And when misty rainbows appear overhead or when a field full of wildflowers presents it’s original masterpiece, well then, Nature must be having herself a mighty fine day. I imagine also, that the wild moss with it’s velvety, glowing warmth never believes the plain, grey rock that which it grows upon is inadequate or inferior.
And have you ever seen winter tell lies about spring so he gets a longer season? (Well to be honest he doesn’t have to lie, sometimes he just darn well takes a longer season),
Does spring gossip about summer so that nobody likes her, and they only like spring?
The bees 🐝 don’t hatch plans to undermine the work of spiders, nor do the trees try to block the sun so that the flowers don’t grow to look more beautiful than the trees.
I think we’ve got it all wrong. Nature, the Cosmos, the seasons, all the reasons and every natural rhythm of our existence are all working in perfect synchronicity and harmony with one another. And what is accomplished? Everything! The results are spectacular and we can watch for hours in awe at the splendor of it all, as it just patiently moves along completely unaffected by it’s own glory. With such precision and the utmost consistency this “energy” (for lack of a better word) continues to maintain an infinitely complex ecosystem that is effective, efficient and self supporting. How businesses might succeed if this concept became their working model! So why is it that still, mankind has been unable to implement anything from this?
Never do you create a superior life, a better outcome or become more stabilized by cutting someone else down at the knees. It’s an impossibility.
For a fleeting moment it might provide an illusion that serves you somehow, but ultimately Father Time will be a powerful teacher when the lesson is taught.And without question, the lesson will always be taught. Whether it is learned? Well that is an entirely different matter.So the point I’m getting at is that I am seeing a shift in human behavior and what would typically be viewed as morally unacceptable, and perhaps even receiving disciplinary action for, is now being held up as a standard. And if the action/behavior is successful, the means or methods in which the outcome was achieved or the acquisition was obtained are irrelevant or even worse, they are duplicated for future models of success. The best analogy I can reference is that it’s as if I am trapped in a glass container where no one can hear me, I’m screaming, “No! Don’t do it! Please stop! I’ve done the same thing before! I’ve gone the same way before…Stop! Suffering will be so much worse! Go the other way!” I continue frantically motioning with my hands and arms, and as I scream in an isolation of silence, they continue to walk away from me hell-bent on going their own way, their own direction, and on a journey which I remember far too well. I’ve experienced the apocalyptic misery of my soul being twisted again and again and again because I chose a defensive posture to protect others from perceiving me to be different, inadequate or discardable. This mechanism only brought to life precisely what I was trying to evade. So I scream one last time, “It doesn’t have to be this way for you! Turn back! There’s still time!” and with a fearful whisper that might never be heard, “My God… how I love you…”
It is then, that I realize with a terribly heavy heart, all my attempts have failed. The trajectory they’ve placed themselves upon, by choices and behaviors has been preset, it’s course already determined. If only my heart they had listened to, rather than the deliberate doubt created by such unappetizing but easily digestible rumors. They couldn’t hear my heart, or feel my love, which only’s intent was to protect them from inevitible sorrow. And so I surrender, once again waving my white flag in the mirage of this reality accepted by the majority-while praying all the while that their eyes be opened to the wondrous beauty that exists within the blissful nirvana of The Truth.
“What’s your favorite number?” I asked as he was beginning to learn numbers and letters.
“Inifinity!” He answered most assuredly.
“But Sweetheart, that’s not a number.” I replied. Before I could explain it to him, he jumped to his feet and ran to get his crayons and paper. “YES IT IS!”, he insisted. “I’ll show you Mommy.” and he sat down and with a broken crayon, the color of sky blue, which by the way colored just the same as the all the others, my 3 1/2 year old carefully crafted a number eight sideways.
The exact sign for infinity.
2 weeks shy of marking one year after my arrest and subsequent incarceration, life looked so very different. Never give up, everything can change in a big way if you just let go and trust in the journey.
I awoke with such beautiful, brisk morning air saturating my lungs, providing this amazing and complex body of mine with oxygen rich blood which enabled my heart to beat, my organs to function perfectly and to awaken to a day full of possibilities. A day to meet someone new, learn something new, experience something new.
I had the privilege of going to a job I enjoy and was able to work with people I genuinely LOVE to be around. I was able to help others and share who I have become through a year of terrible heartache, struggles and self refinement. I walked, and talked and climbed stairs and smiled at the sky. I laughed. I smiled. I loved. And I lived.
I left my job and went to parenting class which I have come to truly enjoy. Learning so much from so many. And making new friends along the way.
When I arrived home my youngest daughter called and we shared an hour of laughter and conversation, that of which 11 months ago would never have occurred. I could hear my precious granddaughter playing in the background. And knowing very soon I will have another beautiful soul to love and cherish.
I spent some time looking at pictures of my son, whom I had surrendered Guardianship to my Lord until He deemed it appropriate for me to step back in. I said my prayers and felt a renewed strength and determination to keep going.
And as the night drew near, I looked at the moon and the deep blue sky. I mean I REALLY looked up at this Awesome galaxy, and contemplated how space just goes on and on. No beginning and no end. And I felt the soft, wet grass of our temporary home, beneath my bare feet.
Then I slowly breathed in the starry night…and as I exhaled, I whispered, “Thank You.”
Before our world came crashing down in the middle of 2013, I remember asking my lil prince what his favorite number was, and he said with absolute confidence, “Infinity!”
I thought that was a different kind of answer… so I told him, “I don’t understand honey, that’s not a number…” He then grabbed a piece of paper and drew the number eight sideways. He was only 3 1/2 years old.
The facial expressions used during the psychological attack are unnerving and theatrically bizarre.
There is an insidious and grave type of domestic abuse that is finally being acknowledged by medical health professionals and addressed by domestic violence programs. It is Psychological and Emotional Abuse and the damaging effects upon the victim’s mental health can be debilitating and long lasting.
This is not to be misconstrued with having a partner or family member that while in an argument may use name-calling or raises their voice on occasion. It is much more pervasive and subversive than that. It is rather, a consistent, unrelenting and deliberately destructive attempt to break the victim down so as the abuser then has complete control over the victim.
Brainwashing is said to reduce its subject’s ability to think critically or independently to allow the introduction of new, unwanted thoughts and ideas into the subject’s mind, as well as to change his or her attitudes, values, and beliefs. Using various forms of mind manipulation the abuser dismantles the victim’s life, relationships and reality.
Psychological abuse is in fact considered domestic violence by health care professionals. Although the actual abuser may suffer from a Narcissistic personality disorder or other pathological mental health disorder, I struggle to say that they “suffer” at all. It is most often their victims that suffer the greatest harm.
Silence harbors secrets. And the abuser’s highest priority is to keep their victim(s) silent, however, in regards to an abuser with pathological traits, mindsets, they are already way ahead of the game. They have already anticipated that the victim may speak out, so they begin a subversive and methodical dismantling of the victims credibility. They do this by raising doubts as to the validity of the victim’s own memory by gaslighting them, making them doubt their experiences in which the abuser revises portions of events and dismissing any opposition raised by the victim. Another preemptive tactic commonly used is to express false great concern while making deceptive statements to others about the victims soundness of mind.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Often times, victims may have low self-esteem or self-worth, and they may be insecure or unsure of themselves. It is common that they were abused in a similar way during their childhood. We seek things that are familiar and therefore we seek relationships that mirror or represent those that we had as children. Substance abuse by victims may develop, as was in my case. I became a textbook alcoholic. The took a number of years to recover from not to mention the therapy and mental health problems which arose during the abuse. There are various professional opinions regarding whether we seek these relationships out so that we can resolve them as adults when we couldn’t as children or that we seek them out out of familiarity and what we already know. We learn quickly how to comply, cooperate and conform. We know how to smile in pictures and we know what we can and cannot talk about. My situation was not as physical as it was psychological. I remember the first time that my intuition told me that was not right, but I brushed it aside. There were many red flags during the courtship, but looking back now I believe that I chose NOT to see them. Does that mean I was deserving of or responsible for the abuse? Because I brushed red flags aside? Or because I let one incident become another, and another? No. The answer is an emphatic and intractable NO!
I am a survivor of domestic abuse which involved psychological abuse and pervasive mind control and I am telling my story in the hopes that it will save at least one soul from the sheer madness, attempted suicides, addictions and dissociative states that I did and that I am convinced were the direct byproducts of years of this type of abuse. Administered first by my mother and then years later by my second husband.
“If environmental risk factors for [mental illness] can be validated and confirmed, there is every reason to expect they will point to preventive measures that lower their risks and morbidity.”
“Of all the ways to lose a person, death is the kindest.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”
Strange how It seems like only yesterday, That I would run and laugh in sweet innocence play.
But now it seems I have come to assume… A place alone in the waiting room.
I’ve raised my children, and lost one too,
Many happy years, yet some days of blue.
I’ve planted seeds to watch them bloom,
But today I sit, alone in the waiting room.
When I was a child and so naïve, It never occurred to me that I’d have to leave My mother’s arms, the scent of her perfume, Memories painfully linger in the waiting room.
I am no longer young, but not quite old,
Though a sickness came and left me cold.
My skin I now wear as some strange costume,
While I pray today, in the waiting room.
Today my blessed grandchildren came for a visit, Bringing their lovely presence to my elderly prison. As the end of visiting hours began to loom, I desperately feared being left alone in the waiting room.
Tomorrow I will be unable to stand or walk, Or raise my head or manage to talk. Yet tomorrow I will embrace my groom, And no longer will I be… alone in the waiting room.
“Of all the ways to lose a person, death is the kindest.”
“You are part of my story, memory and scenery, thank you.”
Your Involvement, Encouragement and Comradery Got Me (and many Others, I’m sure) Through Some Impossibly Treacherous Times. Ya’ll Are My Hero’s!
“In the end, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
A Very Important Message to Facebook and our Gaslight Community:
Every life has a story. Thank you for being a part of mine. I extend my gratitude to every visitor for you are the treasured reader of which my written words have been waiting a very long time for.
If you have journeyed from there, Facebook’s Gaslight page, to here, then please know this. So many days your support and encouragement kept me holding on. Yet even more than that, and I’m sure many of you will know precisely what I mean, it was your gift of validation that I remember the most. To know that I was not alone, that I wasn’t crazy, and that there was a way through this nightmare, that was always my saving grace. So I took one breath at a time, one step at a time and one portion of Hell’s torment at a time. And though you may never have known it, your experiences, your courage, and your strength I carried with me. From custody hearings to the the ICU to rehab and at long last into the arms of the truest victim in all of this, my little boy. Please don’t think for a moment that you don’t matter, that your voice doesn’t matter that your support doesn’t matter because even though you’re not aware of it in the moment you are keeping somebody breathing, hoping, working for another day and another day closer to freedom, to safety, to peace.
“I like gardening — it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.”
— Alice Sebold
Gardening is how I’d been able to escape.
“I give to you my garden, a green thumb though I’m not. The lovely thing of gardens? The plants just plain forgot.”
From even before I found the courage to break free, I would break free in small, sacred splinters of time there.
Of course he resented that as well. He would tear me down about everything and even my ability to grow plants. God grew them – I didn’t have a say so in it. But I would prune things wrong or I would water too much or plant things in the wrong light… it was always too much and never enough. But I had the most beautiful garden and no matter what he said I would just go hide away there. It was as if we had a cherished, clandestine love story, the garden and I-
Often, the smallest thing like the brilliance of about zucchini blossom or the magestic towering sunflowers- these were sometimes the only friends I had after the isolation phase had been implemented. He could say whatever he wanted, but that garden was going to be magnificent no matter what. It had my back. And wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. The uprising in my soul had already begun.
“After a while you learn the subtle difference Between holding a hand and chaining a soul, And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning And company doesn’t mean security, And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts And presents aren’t promises, And you begin to accept your defeats With your head up and your eyes open With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child, And you learn to build all your roads on today, Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans, And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn That even sunshine burns if you get too much. So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure… That you really are strong, And you really do have worth. And you learn and learn… With every goodbye you learn.”