"Knowing what I know now, about God and His Sovereignty...
Somewhere there is a heart willing to listen to this story about this little girl, orange carpet, hollyhocks, a small town ...and violence. Somewhere there is surely someone who will read Your story and see the Grace and Mercy in your life...and God will use you to touch that person, for His Glory.

Your story touches my heart, Pat "

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Fist Full Of Pills

Pitch black, stars shining bright, it was well after midnight. A beautiful summer night with the faint sound of sirens.
   I suppose he came home after the bars closed, maybe after they threw him out. He had been suffering all week from a healthy dose of pity served in a bowl of heaping blame. Mom had cut off his finger, and of course, he was still mad.

  Back in the 70's the exercise fad was a rope device that hooked onto a door knob. You would lay on the ground, head up to the door and place your hands and feet in the stirrups, the right arm and left leg would go up, then the other side, scissoring back and forth. She was getting ready to work out and they were once again arguing, she slammed the door and his finger just happened to be right there. He screamed something awful! Holding and shaking his hand, blood cast from floor to ceiling.
The tip was gone, it could not be reattached. He was sent home with meds and new ammunition.
 If you hit someone it must be their fault.......
    especially if they cut your finger off.
On that starry night less than a week later, they were at it again. I had awoke to screams of "Bob, what did you do?"
It wasn't unusual to see him stumbling drunk, but I knew something was different. He could barely stand, he fell down the stairs, he fell off the stoop, he fell to the ground and he laid there. A fist full of pills and a bottle of whiskey had done him in.
I stood outside watching, I could hear the sirens getting louder and I asked God if he would keep them from getting there on time.
I had become a calloused, fed up, skeptical 10 year old, who knew every bar phone number in town. I knew how to roll a drunk for rent money, I knew how to calm his storm by talking him down, I knew more than I needed to.
I was sick of it. Only 1 year into their marriage.....and I was praying for him to die.
 Violence changes a person, even if it is not directly perpetrated upon you.

4th grade-
 Our grading system in school was not A's and B's but U's, M's and L's. Upper, Middle, Lower- in regards to the rest of the class.
 I had been straight U's
I was now straight L's.
I don't know who noticed, if anyone did.

5th grade-
It was a beautiful day, fall I think. The sun was shining in the screen door, I sat in the cascading light, warm, with my back to the door. I was looking at the rectangle of light before me when a shadow moved in front of it. I turned to look.....that day I learned,
when you check yourself in to treatment voluntarily you can check yourself out whenever you like.
 My stomach sank, he walked in. I don't remember the rest of that day. He came home with more pills. Pills that supposedly made it hard to drink alcohol, he took them and he drank and he was very sick, and of course....very angry.

7th grade-
he had gone on many black out drunks that lasted from 3 days to a week or so, this time he never returned. We knew he was alive because he had called my grandma, whining and crying about life to her. For years I feared that shadow would once again appear in the doorway. That shadow only lived on in my dreams

8th grade-
by this time I was well on my way to being a rebellious teen. No excuses, I knew every time I did something wrong...it was wrong, I just really didn't care. I was willing to test all boundaries, a year from promiscuity, I stood on my own cliff of blame. I really hated him, but I also blamed her for her decisions to even bring him, let alone keep him around so long. He was one of many, he just stayed 4 years too long.
A friend and I decided to skip school, 13 yr olds willing to spend the day with high school boys, drinking and driving around. I guess we naively thought that if we went through our mom's medicine cabinets and did a little mixing we could somehow "enhance" the day. We took two of each, the number 16 sticks in my head, I do not remember if that was the total split or the total taken.
My own fist full of pills, chased with liquor.
I remember a few things about that day-
a very near miss, had not others walked in my virginity would have ended unwillingly at 13 rather than willingly at 14.
I remember hanging my head out the car window with dry heaves on Main Street.
I remember fighting to stay awake.
I was sick for days.
No one found out or figured it out. I was in my 20's when it really hit me how lucky I was to have survived that day.

By the grace of God I never became addicted to drugs or booze, anger was my vice.
A false power
A false strength
yet, it made me feel in control to be angry.
Anger like pills will poison you.
It does not lead to control, but discontent.
The bottom of a bottle will not soothe, only numb and when it wears off all feelings return and the cycle must be repeated.
The arms of a stranger will not make you feel loved, you will hate yourself in the morning.

We search for answers. We search for reasons. We look to blame, it is our nature.
Things happen
to me
to you.
Don't blame, it won't change things.
You may never understand why but you must move on. If you poison yourself- stop.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to meall who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” - Jesus

To God be the glory, in all things. We do not have to understand it all, but we can trust he is loving, trustworthy and the only way for us to heal.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mirror Mirror

As the queen stands before her mirror, she waits for the right answer.
"mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
As long as the mirror gave her the answer she was looking for, all was well; but as soon as Snow White became the fairest in the land, the queen was enraged.
Determined to once again capture the mirrors favor she was willing to do anything, and anyone in her way was expendable.
I first saw the concept of associating the world as a mirror when researching Narcissism. It sums it up pretty well. You, in a narcissists life are merely a mirror.
It would seem a cold statement to say you have no value to them, but it would be a true statement.
As in Greek mythology Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection, so it is today with the modern narcissist. Only seeing themselves, unable to love another, the narcissist wastes his or her life admiring themselves and ignoring all others.
If you have one in your life you may wonder what I mean by ignoring, for it seems as though they are the proverbial thorn in your side. Always there, always taking, lying, manipulating, but what they are doing is ignoring you. Ignoring the needs or feelings of others is the only way to survive when you are narcissistic, the world simply gets in your way.
Enter the mirror.
You are a mirror for a narcissist. You must reflect a beautiful image. If you do not, there will be hell to pay.
Should the narcissist gaze upon you, and you in return smile, nod and follow along, you are showing a positive reflection.
Should you frown, disagree or challenge in any way, you have now smudged or cracked the mirror and tainted the reflection.
At any cost the narcissist will not take the blame, you will now be ridiculed, isolated and punished until you once again cast a perfect reflection.
Unable to see both good and bad in a person or situation, they will place you on a list. My mother's categories were 1- They are really shitty to me or 2- they have really changed.
List one was for those who smudged her reflection and list two was for the ones who didn't question her or call her on her lies. You could only be on one list. I often held the number one position on list number one.

Sometimes now as I look back I think it wasn't that bad. All in all, it probably wasn't, but then I read about narcissism, and the pit of my stomach hurts. I quickly get overwhelmed and can read very little, the words cut like knives.

The most profound and sobering comment I ever read was written by Sam Vaknin in Malicious Self Love.( I have written of this in another post as well.)
I am paraphrasing from memory,
 having a narcissist for a mother is like having a 6 year old for a parent. The child has a doll that it plays with, when the child is finished with the doll or has no use for it, they simply throw it on the ground and move on.

a worthless doll
move on to something better

It was the first time I had seen something that validated how I felt. Something that said, it was real. You're not crazy. You didn't imagine it.

It seems a vague memory, all the hurt. Being tossed aside for something better or being displayed when needed seems so long ago, healing is a wonderful thing. Healing allows you to move on and set boundaries,  it keeps you from being tossed aside and ignored.
 Healing is also ongoing, if you have a narcissist in your life, they will reoffend. They will return to your mirror and check their reflection, some days it will go well, others will not. And there will always be hell to pay, you must as the child, spouse, parent or friend of a narcissist- refuse to pay it.

I have also heard it said it is not enough that the narcissist be the center of their universe, but they must also be the center of your universe.
Wicked really.

Further reading on Narcissism
Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers
Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD
NPD Quiz