Abuse With a Side of Narcissism

This is not going to be a pleasant topic, dear readers, but it’s something I need to put out there.

When you hear people speak of abuse, what’s the scenario that first pops into your mind?  I’m betting you think spousal abuse, child abuse, even abuse towards animals.  That word probably conjures up visions of the raging alcoholic husband beating his wife.  Or is it the parent that neglects their young child’s most basic needs and is heavy handed with punishment? Or maybe elder abuse at the hands of care providers.

What of parental abuse?  It’s out there, but not many people speak of it. Good luck finding support or information on it.  It’s about as easy to find as a pink unicorn wearing a crown of four leaf clovers as it leaps over the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow on its way to greet Santa at the North Pole.  Know what I mean?

Do you believe that the only abuse a person can fall victim to is one where they are physically beaten and have the bruises to show for it?

If so, you are misinformed.  I know, because I have an abusive relationship with a family member. This is not easy to write about.  I feel awful putting a name to this.

I know what you must be thinking. What type of parent puts up with abuse from their children.  I don’t have an answer to that.  This form of abuse is so insidious.  It creeps up on you slowly over time.

As a tot, my son was such a happy baby.  Always smiling and laughing.  I could take him anywhere.  He was no trouble.  Which was such a blessing; I divorced his dad when he was a few months shy of two years old.

Flash forward to the teen years.  That’s where it all started.  It’s normal for teens to mouth off, but his was of epic proportions.  He had no problem telling me to f*ck off in the heat of an argument.  He was always so very quick to run down the list of all the ways in which I was a horrible parent that did nothing for him.  Grounding him did not work, he rarely apologized for his behavior.  In his mind, every foul word directed at me was justified.

They were horrible horrible years.  I never remarried.  How could I bring another person into this mess?

When I would try to speak to his father and ask for help with him, his go-to answer was always ” well, he’s not like that with me”.  Thank you, sperm donor, for confirming I made the right decision in ending our marriage.

Back and forth I went with my son.  Some days great, others sheer hell.  Arguments would escalate quickly and I would end up feeling so confused and exhausted by the end of it.  Therapy, anger management, you name it.  We tried it. Nothing lasted too long and all it did was give me watered down versions of his disdain towards me.

He has moved back home twice now and each time the same thing happens.  He is on his best behavior for a little while, but then history inevitably ends up repeating itself.  I should know better, but when someone tells me they have nowhere to go and ask for help, my mother’s heart makes all the decisions.

He is not a bad person.  I can still see glimmers of a good heart inside of him.  It hurts me to be around him because all I want to do is give him a kiss and a hug and tell him how much he is loved.  Sometimes my mind tricks me into acting as though nothing is wrong and I try to make casual friendly conversation with him.  My efforts are usually greeted with a coldness that is reserved for someone you truly cannot stand the sight of.

This is why I’ve been so quiet lately and have put my writing aside.  When something is wrong with my family life, nothing else seems to matter.

There is a version of his childhood that lives in his head that does not match with my version of his childhood.  To hear him speak, you would think he was abandoned from birth and merely “tolerated”, unloved, un-cared for.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

A good parent cannot let disrespect and down right anarchy go unchecked in a home.  I disciplined and I also loved.  I supported and I reprimanded.  I encouraged and I let consequences of bad decisions be known.

Things have come to a head here.  I feel as though bridges are beginning to burn.  After yet another blowout, I had no choice but to ask him to start looking for another place to live.  It is one thing for a teenager to be disrespectful to a parent.  You almost expect it, all those hormones and peer pressure being what it is.  However, when a 25 year old male stands before the woman that gave him life and calls her a loser, an asshole, among other things…..well, it forces a person’s hand to do something that is very painful.

I’ve worked hard to support a child on my own and I’ve gladly sacrificed many things.  Now its time for rubber to meet the road.  If I continue to allow this behavior towards me to go on, I am afraid of what the outcome will be for both of us.

Clearly, he does not like himself.  How could he?  I think of how I would feel inside if I spoke to my own mother that way.  I think it would be akin to sipping a little dose of poison every day.

I may not have done everything right, and Lord knows I’ve made mistakes.  As parents, we all do.  Nothing I have or have not done warrants this type of cruel treatment.

This post is not to seek out sympathy or to have a pity party.  It about finally coming out and putting a name to what I’ve been living for far too long.  It’s about recognizing a familiar and unhealthy dance between two people.  It’s about new beginnings.  It’s about self acceptance.  It’s about knowing my worth.  It’s about ending a cycle of abuse and choosing a life free of drama and living peacefully.

I am hopeful that things will change, but prepared if they do not.

Monday Weigh In

Happy Monday, all.  This week’s Monday weigh in is….odd.  The scale has not moved up or down.  I stepped on it this morning and I’m still 182.8.  Well, at least I haven’t gained.

Quick update on life out here – my aquafit classes are finished and was bummed to hear that the aquadome will be closed until September for renovations.  Is nothing sacred?

Segway (or is it segue?), If you know anything about Montreal, you know that Summer out here is what we call the Construction Festival.

Our moron of a mayor has taken it upon himself to ok the tearing up of just about every inch of the Decarie expressway and borough streets this side of the island.  I’ve never been to Iraq but can show you pics that would make you believe I’m living in a war torn middle eastern country.

Traffic has been horrendous, parking non existent in some areas and blue collar workers are being pushed to their limits with respect to hours and wages.  So, naturally, they strike.  It cost our fair city $45 million per day for a seven day strike last week before a back to work legislation was passed.

Here’s what the handy work of pissed off construction workers looks like.  Yes, they actually paved AROUND a car.  Oh and don’t all those orange cones just blend so well into the scenery?  They are EVERYWHERE folks.  It’s a freaking nightmare.

Construction  Anyhoooo….a lot has happened out here.  My family life is on the rocks once more.  Last week was brutal emotionally and was feeling depressed over it.  I barely had any energy and stayed away from blogging.  Shame on me.  More info to follow on that.  Must start the day.

Happy Monday all!

Throwback Turdsday

Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s not a typo.  It’s a love story. Sort of.  Let me explain.  See the pic below?  That cute little blonde guy?  He was my first crush.  I still remember his name.  Danny Devries.

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I was totally besotted with him from the first day we met.  Here we are at my 5th birthday party.  See how we wore our birthday hats at the same jaunty angle.  It was meant to be!

Unfortunately, it was an unrequited love.  He barely gave me the time of day.  That is until one day, there was nobody else around.  He gave a barely audible “I guess so” answer to my “want to play?”. I was over the moon!  He didn’t say no!  He had actually acknowledged me.

Danny loved toy trains and matchbox cars.  I still remember it like it was yesterday. There we were, just the two of us, bent over in a squatting position.  He was playing with his hot wheel cars and I was watching, with a goofy grin from ear to ear.  I was so happy that I completely ignored the funny noises my tummy was making.

Twenty minutes later, I realized I was about nineteen minutes too late in ignoring what my intestinal tract was desperately trying to tell me.  There’s something about squatting that instinctively allows mother nature to take over.  Yep, you’ve  probably guessed what was about to go down.  Literally and figuratively speaking.

I shot up like I’d been hit by lightening and started running toward my house, but it was too late.  Mom liked to have me wear dresses in the Summer.  I wish it weren’t so; pants would have saved me the humiliation that was taking place.  I could feel the little poop droplets bouncing out of my drawers and on to the grass as I tried desperately to clench my tiny five year old butt cheeks together and run at top speed at the same time.  Talk about counter productive.

I remember looking back (goodbye, Danny my love!) and seeing a little poop pellet on the walk way, then at the door, then finally one last nugget in back of dad as he was shaving.

I launched myself onto the loo with such vigor that I nearly fell in.  Dad looked over at me, face full of shaving foam, utterly perplexed.  Then it happened.  He was barefoot and stepped in my poop.

My dad was a man of few words, but let me tell you, that man could cuss a blue streak when pissed.  Or in this case, pooped.  At first he thought maybe the dog was the culprit, but she was nowhere to be seen.

My mom heard the commotion, so naturally she had to come into the bathroom.  Followed shortly by the dog.   There we all were, the whole famn damily squeezed together in the bathroom.

Picture it.  The dog was sniffing my deposit, my father was swearing and hopping around the bathroom with one foot held out in front of him, my mom was trying to make sense of it all, and there I was, sitting on the throne, mortified, bobby socks and patent leather shoes with my soiled drawers around my ankles.  I had crapped myself for love.

So that was a foreboding glimpse into the future and what my love life would look like.    Not much has changed over the years, minus the pooping of one’s drawers.  Some folks are lucky in love.  Those folks aren’t me.  As mentioned earlier last week, I’m trying my hand again at online dating.   So far…..nothing.  Oh well, at least I have clean underwear and that’s a good thing.  Am I right??!

 

 

 

Love Is In The Air – Or Not

Ok, so I thought I’d give you a little update on my three days in status on a dating site.

Competition out here is fierce to begin with.  Add to that mix the fact that I’m no longer a 20 something, and what ensues is an exercise in patience, not taking anything personal and of course a little bit of weird and wacky.

As mentioned in a post earlier this week, I’m back in the saddle and trying to meet someone.  I’ve been doing my homework and reading up on how to put together an interesting profile and applying the hints and tips suggested.  Why not?  If I labor over a post on my blog for other people’s enjoyment, shouldn’t I do the same for my dating profile?  Marketing is marketing, regardless of the venue.

One “expert” suggested that if you are past a certain age (kind of like an old piece of fruit?  No longer ripe?) don’t sit around and wait for someone else to reach out.  If you see something you like, make the first move.

So I did.  I made a comment on a dude’s hat, how it suited him and it was a nice pic.  He said thank you and then made his profile hidden.  Woah…..take it easy Monsieur Chapeau.

I had sent a couple winks and likes here and there.  Nothing.  Then it happened.  I got a couple of notices that other members gave some of my pics a thumbs up.  Yay!

I proceeded to log on to the site and those fellows were well into their 60’s and looked like 90 year old Elmer Fudd wannabees.  Boo!

So, yes, I felt a little down.  Started wondering if there is any hope for me at all (day 3 people…).  Then I got a notice that someone sent me an email.  Ooooh! How exciting!« prev | next »

25, xxxxxx, xxxxx, Canada

Seeking women 20 – 45

From: xxxxxxx / Received: May 24

Hey, how are you? You are absolutely stunning! How could I get a date with you?

I was thrilled…but then I noticed the age….25. Good grief, have you lost your mother?  Oh and he wants someone who has a car.  Maybe the bus doesn’t go all the way to the arcade?

So what the heck, I thought I’d have a bit of fun with this.  He might be legit, he might be a scam.  So I wrote back.

Hello, I guess you would just have to…ask 😉

Cue the crickets.   He’s been on all day and no reply back. LOL!

Then I got another email.  This one read:
You have a beautiful smile:)
Totally not my type, but made a deal with myself that I would talk to anyone who made the effort and reached out.  I’m new again to this and honestly have no big expectations other than to maybe meet people here and there for a quick coffee date and see what happens.  Here’s what I wrote (I did not want to give false hope or be rude by ignoring completely) :
Aaaw, thank you. Lovely travel pic. I’m guessing you were in Greece? Lucky you!
Cue the crickets part 2…..nothing.
The fun has just begun, my friends.  Buckle in, I think it’s going to be a bit of a bumpy ride.  Stay tuned.

Sucker for Punishment?

The short and quick answer to that is “yes”.  So, after my little DIY furniture upcycling was completed on Saturday, I finally had a minute to sit down and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

It was hard work, turning a dark espresso stain dresser into a crisp, clean, white vision of beauty.

white dresser

 

I was pretty content, but then this funny feeling came over me.  This has happened a couple times now.  The only way I can express it is to say that it felt like something was missing.

I’ve been single for a while now and honestly, it never bothered me. I’ve always got some project on the go, or volunteering my time to kids at church, doing my thing on the decorating committee, or just spending time with friends and family.

I was sitting in my living room, admiring my surroundings.  A lot of thought and consideration went into every item in there; it took me months to find the perfect coffee table.

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In the quiet of my contentment, this thought ran through my head, clear as a bell:  “You know Chrissie, at some point you’re going to run out of projects and you’ll have to face the reality that it’s time you take care of matters of the heart before it’s too late”.

Woah….epiphany or what?  Merriam Webster offers this definition of that a-ha moment.

  • 3a (1) :  a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) :  an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking (3) :  an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosureb :  a revealing scene or moment.

Oh, it was a revelation, all right.  I was/am dumbfounded.  The truth of why I’m always on the go just kind of snuck up on me. It is time that I focus my energy at meeting someone.  My tried and true excuses did their best to push their way to the surface.  “No! You’re not ready!” and “Wait until you reach your goal weight.  Then you can try.  You probably won’t be successful though.” and of course, the classic “Aren’t you getting a little long in the tooth for this?”

Here’s the thing, I realized that if I wait for the perfect time, it may never happen.  So, I’m back on the online dating wagon.   This time around though, I’m going about it like every other project in my life; with patience, reseach, thoughtfulness, effort and a positive attitude.  I won’t give up until I’m happy with the end results.

I believe in God’s perfect timing in all things.  Here’s what that looks like – it comes at a time when least expected, all pieces just kind of fall into place naturally, like it was meant to be.  Picture a combination lock if you will.  You know that feeling in your hands when you’re turning the dial, and you feel that tension in the wheel just before you hear the “click” and then your lock is open?  That feeling.

Having started this blog has been an incredible eye opener for me on so many levels.  My creativity is at an all time high.  I am feeling good about myself again.  Most importantly though is that I feel hopeful.  You know that feeling when you’re anticipating something good and it happens?  I wake up now every morning with that feeling.

So, like a butterfly, I’m a work in progress with lot of changes happening.  Can’t wait to see the end results!  Thanks so much for reading and supporting me.

 

 

 

Monday Weigh-In

Happy Monday, all!  So I stepped on the scale this morning and….I lost! Official weight: 182.8. Woot woot!  That’s more like it.

It’s a holiday weekend here and I spent most of it refinishing a dresser I just could not bear to part with.  It was very labor intensive, ate up most of my weekend, but now it is finished and I’m super happy with it.  Quality products are definitely worth it.  I’m sure I can get a few more years out of this dresser. It has such a nice clean, crisp look to it now.  There’s something about white furniture in a bedroom that is so soothing for me.

Gotta run, heading out to mom’s for a little visit.

 

Friday Night Solo

I don’t know about you, but I have mixed feelings about Friday nights.  On the one hand, it’s the end of the work week.  Hallelujah!  On the other hand, if you’re single, it’s a bit of a hard transition.

Once upon a time, when my son was little, Friday nights were all about picking up some McDonald’s and letting him pick out a movie at Blockbuster.   Then we would head home, chill, and make our plans for the weekend.

Pre-mommy days consisted of going out for supper, drinks, and getting my dance on with my girlfriends at one of the many hot spots in Montreal.  Boy, the mischief we would get into.  Good times.

Flash forward, one kid, one divorce, a couple of break ups and my life has changed significantly.  Some of the girls have married, some are now single and put more importance on finding a mate than cementing bonds that were forged long ago, and some have just become, well, boring.

Now that I don’t have anyone “needing” to be cared for, fed, loved, paid attention to, knock boots with, my time is my own.  Wow, what a feeling.  It’s time I really embraced this part of my life.

I had a super stressful week at work.  The project I asked to take on following the resignation of a colleague….is a real stinker.  Regretting every moment of having taking the initiative to take it on.

Not wanting to head home, but also not wanting to do anything too crazy, I head to the mall. I had a mother’s day gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket and decided to cash that baby in.

I never thought a trip to the mall could be so satisfying to all senses.  I luxuriated in all things pretty to sight, smell, touch, taste.  I came home happy, relaxed and satisfied.

My first stop was at Bath and Body Works.  Thank you, son, for the gift certificate!

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My Personal Mecca!

You guys….this place…can you say love? The colors, the scents, the displays.

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Really?! I’ll take a lifetime supply!!

Damage done, total cost $1.74.  Yep, you read correctly.  Don’t you just love gift certificates.

Next stop, a little snack.  Friday night is officially “I can eat whatever I want night”.  Naturally, I chose gelato.  This pretty little concoction is made up of a scoop each of lime, grapefuit and toasted coconut.  The perfect blend of tart, fresh and creamy.

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Yummy AND pretty!

The variety at this little shop were a feast for the eyes.  I did my best to behave though.

 

Finally, I sat and enjoyed my treat.  The Aldo boutique had a nice media display going on.  These guys are evil genius’.

This caught my eye.

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Which naturally led me to have a closer look at this…

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Seriously, how adorable are these?

So that was my Friday night solo in a nutshell.  All my senses were indulged and I got to walk around and burn some calories in the process.  Hey, who knows?  Maybe one day a handsome stranger will strike up a conversation and my Friday night solos will turn into a duet.

Happy Saturday, all!