This web blog is my journey out of a near fatal addiction to methamphetamine, alcohol, self mutilation and multiple suicide attempts, back to self.
Fearlessly examined is a history of decades of the pernicious Narcissistic Abuse, Gaslighting, and sheer chaos our family endured for decades by a seriously affected mother. This personality of sheer madness would later become my compass of sorts, and how I would later choose various manners of ultimate self destruction. The severe psychological abuse I experienced by first my mother and years later my second husband drove me into multiple 5150’s, a serious substance abuse disorder, and at last the court system. The court system which I’d previously had involvement with, having worked for a local prominent attorney for over five years.
Well, long story short, I tried to murder one of them. By the grace of God, and with Jack Daniels Honey Tennessee Whiskey as an accomplice, I failed miserably. A blood alcohol level of .397 ensured that not only would I not succeed, but that I would then “hide” myself directly beneath the police department following the foolish, drunken attempt.
I have publicly acknowledged my responsibility and ownership for the situations I was indeed responsible for, and have held myself accountable for all of my actions. Intoxicated at the time or not, I step into my accountability for creating terrible damage for myself, but most importantly for others, far after the abuse had ended.
That being said, numerous psychological games and tactics were executed at the time by two individuals to manipulate and control me. They’ve maneuvered their way quite effectively out of any culpability in the matter and process of destroying a life. And for this reason, I refuse to harbor their secrets by my silence.
I will continue to write with fearless honesty, as perhaps someone else might need to hear that they’re not alone. I was, and still continue to feel very alone. When family sides with the abuser, it’s a difficult if not impossible matter to process. So I process this acceptance through writing.
My purpose of breaking my silence is to promote a greater understanding and Awareness of Covert Narcissistic Abuse and to educate the general population about this serious mental disorder and the likelihood of further victimization due to lack of information and education by those that work in our court system, child protection programs and our public education system.
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.
As the once majestic horses climbed and descended pitifully impaled upon their poles, we should have realized that we would soon become them. Piercing through our existence was the dark entity we knew only as our master. Mercilessly driving us to go up and down for eternity and round in circles for infinity. And all anyone could do was watch in horror…or turn away.
Catch Me If You Can
Euphoric Recall – One Addict’s Interpretation
Part 1 of 2
By Kacie Brockman
Euphoric Recall during early recovery from substance abuse can be brutal and relentless. Triggers are the mosquito-like ghosts of just about anything your consciousness experienced during active addiction. Body and mind have been chemically and/or neurologically changed and a hyper-awareness of what might normally appear insignificant can “trigger” or awaken Euphoric Recall. This can be people, places, and things as we all are aware of, but it can detect even the bare minimum of a correlation and become a trigger. The smell from a neighbor’s barbeque, the tart iciness of a slushie, or maybe simply the sound of a cat purring. It’s crazy, right? So why exactly then is it that Euphoric Recall is the main culprit in so many relapses? This two-part article intends to redefine this discreet little homewrecker, many of us in recovery have at times considered harmless, or just a daydream. Alcoholics and Addicts alike, both in and out of recovery frequently like to meander way out to our mind’s backlot of memories, many of them fragmented, but nonetheless continue to linger around waiting to be picked up and polished off.
Considering that we might wait for days sometimes for the tiny ping of a returned text notifying us that the connect has come through. Driving 30 miles out of town, 30 miles back, only to then tweeze leg stubble until the sun rises too quickly as if to chastise us before the rest of society does. While we are pursuing bits of nothing that ever lasted, nothing that could be touched or tasted, or heard or seen, our very real, tangible, life sustaining reality is crumbling at our feet, yet we barely take notice.
Now once upon a time, those tiny specks supplied the perfect safety release. All the intrinsic and pervasive emotions, the shit emotions they could be called, would simply vanish into thin air. Emotional trauma, chaos, fear, anxiety, rage, confusion, humiliation, isolation, abandonment, not-good-enough, rejection, all of it, any of it was gone. POOF! Just like that. They were GONE. EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT…. GONE. I’m really trying to make a point here guys. GONE.
I was 11 when I conceived of suicide for the first time. My son is 11. This continues to bewilder me. What on earth could possibly have occurred in that brief period of an 11-year-old’s lifespan to bring forth the need to escape reality that badly? I was 13 when I found my first safety release valve, and so I stayed alive. I truly believe these mechanisms evolve out of the need to sustain life. I cannot substantiate that with any empirical evidence, or any evidence at all for that matter, other than the fact that I am still here to write this article. How about you? How old were you if or when the thought of dying drifted across your mind and sounded better than living? So tragic that what we believed was saving us was taking us into a new dimension of fear, the kind that only nightmares are made of. So, let’s recap, shall we? Euphoric Recall will have us analyzing our first few times of riding the carousel of catastrophes. We blot or blur out most, if not all, of the miserably misguided events that soon followed. All that remained was unparalleled confidence, bliss. Still, most of all, we’d been extricated from some emotional wreckage, that which many of us were far too young even to identify, let alone articulate and navigate through. That which we were experiencing when we initially got loaded or high or buzzed or stopped eating, we would then spend a significant portion of our lives running after that which we will never catch. Does that appear to be a logical, rational being? Or does that sound sick? Sadly, many who’ve not experienced addiction themselves or up close and personal have decided that it is within the addict’s cognitive capacity to think about the behavior and the consequences. So it is determined that they possess a clear and deliberate attempt to manipulate, lie, cheat, steal, betray, harm, even in the worst of cases, kill?
As I am about to deviate off-topic, please stay with me. Weigh the possibility of a chemical or neurological “hook” that is fastened into the mind of a future addict. What if it was not only plausible but probable? What if, the first few times or so that experimentation occurred, a bond or attachment to specifically compatible receptors did, in fact, occur. So hypothetically, a particular genetic disposition or makeup combined with trauma (i.e., post-Vietnam addicted vets) determines why one is an addict, and one is not. Now take the word (hypothetical) out and replace it with the word “Scientifically.” How does it all look now? Are we still the dredge of society? The junkies, the addicts, the unsightly homeless population tarnishing your exceptional communities? Are we still the lepers that you read about in Church on Sundays? Because if we are, look beside you. Your son, your sister, your spouse…it can occur at any time to anyone. I was 42 when I tipped over and became an alcoholic, and I was 44 when I became addicted to crystal methamphetamine. Before that, I was a child care provider and worked in the legal field. It can strike anyone at any time. So don’t just look beside you, look in front of you, into a mirror. It might just as well be you. “There but for the grace of God goes John Bradford.”
Scientific research is, in fact advancing in the field of addiction and recovery, that one person’s brain is far more susceptible to addiction than another’s might be.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Carousel of Pain
Euphoric Recall – One Addicts Interpretation
Part 2 of 2
By Kacie Brockman
Trigger is the ever so slight nudge of awareness to Euphoric Recall. Euphoric Recall is the memory of the first ride, or the good times. And when these memories are held onto for too long, and polished just so….almost as if a genies lamp were to be polished, suddenly the harmless daydream erupts into a cloud of circus-like confetti blotting out years, perhaps even decades that we spent in chains, bound to a ruthless master. Some of us might stay just a bit too long, holding onto that memory. As we commence to look around, we see the last of the confetti floating to the ground softly, encompassing our feet, and we relive going to the amusement park for the very first time.
There was nothing like the first time as we climbed onto the carousel of what we believed would be the ride of our lives, the epitome of absolute unbridled freedom. Some of us chose the beautiful running horses while others picked the curious, exotic animals. And when it began, how exciting, and fun and free we felt for the first time, we were ungoverned adults now. While the whimsical melody played along, many of us believed we were free from control, we were adults now who should never have to answer to anyone ever again! But alas, the ride ended much to quickly and so we wanted to go back, and again. But suddenly the ride changed, we didn’t know exactly when but it stopped being fun. And then, it started to become scary actually. Before long were we thrown off our magic carousel and forced to walk, sometimes crawl, or run even as we were chained to the ride. After a minute, the brightly colored animals were now dark and gruesome, as if the electrical current surging through the machinery was far too hot, burning and charring the exotic zebras, giraffes, and gazelles black from the inside out. The once carefree experience of the ride had destroyed its very own. So it only seemed fitting that we became the animals which we once carelessly floated upon, and it was us forced to go round in circles, over and over. It was as if the lethal acidity was feasting upon our pain and despair. By absorbing all the energy produced from the misery of thousands and thousands of poor shackled souls, the show could go on. We became nothing but a sideshow of suffering, while the corrosive compounds and lethal toxins we proceeded to consume in vast quantities began to play havoc with our minds.
All of this to silence the consuming fear. I can recall the relentless and merciless vows of retribution that my sickened mind would convince me of should I ever break loose and run for freedom? The irony of this entire metaphor is that it is the ride, it is our addiction that will deliver these horrifying consequences, not surrender, recovery, and step-work. Looking back, most if not all of us realize that the sense of sheer dread created by this masquerade of some meridian was all an illusion. Smoke and mirrors. As the once majestic horses climbed and descended pitifully impaled upon their poles, we should have realized that we would soon become them. Piercing through our existence was the dark entity we knew only as our master. Mercilessly driving us…to go up and down for eternity and round in circles for infinity. And all anyone could do was watch in horror…or turn away.
You precious recovering soul who’s reading this right now, you might have the face, the voice, the experience that another one of us needs to connect with to stop the madness, the sheer insanity of such an imprisoned hellish ride. Your account of surrendering might hold the key for many to consider recovery by surrendering to freedom. Your unique experience might illuminate a different path, something they haven’t tried before. Fighting against the machine alone is futile, but if they can identify as us, like you, they might be able to resuscitate their fighting warrior within. Your voice in the rooms, your very presence and experience might jolt the newcomer to look up for that oh so precious 60-second window to leave behind the shadows and the shackles of the caustic carousel that’s spiraling towards an inescapable tomb.
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The 1001 pennies represent the various personalities the narcissist hides behind as well as all the lies they juggle at one time.
Smear my name, smear my face it was never your place to erase or replace me. Your lies and distortions reported by you and blown way out of proportion
I know who you are, 1001 pennies in a Mason jar. And we were to guess how many inside while you ran for cover and Found a place to hide from what you’ve done and what you never did so now I’m forced To open the lid… Of your mason jar.
The pain inside will never hide the soul of who I am yet behind your lies and confusion I’m not alive. I’m just an infusion. I was here but you took my place and my face you wished to erase. But I’m not going down not today not tomorrow not ever again you forced my hand and now you think you might win. I’m not like you thank god I’ll never understand who you are because you hide like 1001 pennies in that mason jar.
I cannot breathe I cannot see a way out because my voice is a whisper and yours always a shout. Words I put down like the act of a clown, you can see, I will never be…like you.
I wrote this poem exactly one year ago regarding my mother, after she coached the entire family to blacklist me. Their decision pushed me gravely close to committing suicide. I was harshly admonished by a family member, so I went silent. But 1 year later, I am fighting back.
You are the maypole someone I will never become. You’ve worked years to create something that I will never be.
Why can’t you see?
This is my fault and I’m to blame- I am to bow down and own every ounce of your shame, but I will never stoop so low to play your game.
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.
“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.”