After five months of the silent treatment, for some transgression I only vaguely understood, you re-appeared: “Happy Mother’s Day, stranger.”
I responded, thinking, as usual, “I can take it.”
You started, immediately, trying to get me to do things you wanted. The difference this time was that this time, I stood my ground. I’ve gotten past the smoke and mirrors and see clearly what the game is. As soon as I resisted you changed your tune, blowing hot and cold and distancing yourself, revealing how insincere your overtures really were. It was just like before.
The last time we were together you asked me why I kept going back. I told you I care about you and love being around you. Then I asked why you keep asking for me and you said you “don’t care” if I’m there or not. This was one of your few clear statements, confirming that how you were treating me was the true reflection of how you felt about me. The rest was mind games to get me to do whatever you wanted. Lies.
I DID care, very much. There was a time when I was in love with you and did everything I could to make it work. You took it all, while hiding my existence and denying to anyone who asked that there was anything going on between us. After three years, I was still “just a pal”, and you were doing whatever you wanted, with no regard for me or my feelings. I was devastated.
You lied, cheated, screamed at me, put me down and belittled me; you asked for all the favors, and just took whatever you wanted, but never offered a thing in return; you flirted while I was right there and online with strangers; if we went out, you never asked what I wanted to do, and then would ignore me the whole time, expecting that I wait for you and drive you home; you demanded I show up when you wanted and would push me away until next time you needed something; you NEVER came to see me; you talked to ex-girlfriends and potential ones, giving them compliments and presents, while you starved me for affection.
I was exhausted; I felt like I didn’t matter and I got depressed and constantly worried. I was anxious to the point of not being able to make decisions or eat, waiting for the next terrible thing. I spent most of my time lonely and ruminating.
I slept beside you even though it was a torment because you didn’t love me. It was such a violation of my values and integrity that I was in a constant state of self-disgust.
I tried to leave you, but struggled to stay away, thinking your disrespect of my need for space was actually love. I drank too much so I wouldn’t have to think about how humiliating it all was. I was destroying myself with my own hopes and expectations and you finished the job with your callous user mentality.
That prolonged silent treatment freed me. I became stronger and less angry. I was more productive than I had been in almost three years. I was able to engage properly with my friends and family and did better at work. I took a holiday. I enjoyed everything more.
And within a week of you contacting me again, I slipped backward. Anxiety, depression, and rumination quickly returned. My mind and body reacted to you very strongly and it was unbearable, after knowing how much better I am without you.
I can barely remember what made me fall in love with you because every memory is tainted by something awful you did. I know it would never be better, no matter what you say when you need something and push for another chance. As ever before, your words and actions do not match and I can no longer fool myself into believing only the pretty things.
My mind and heart have been forever altered by you.
One of the things you may not know about the QueenBeeing coaches is that each of us is also a survivor of narcissistic abuse herself. A few months back, I shared the truth about my own abuse, and after receiving many supportive comments from our community, I asked my fellow coaches to do the same. The next in this series was published just now, and I wanted to be sure to share it with you here so you didn’t miss it.
All I knew that day was that I was so deeply in love with him and utterly convinced he was good for my life. I thought he had my best interests at heart and so I thought everything he did and said was just to improve our relationship and make us better people, both individually and as a couple.
I couldn’t see why this was happening. As the argument began and the twisted confusion of what I know now was gaslighting then silent treatment commenced, I didn’t understand that he wanted me to be unable to speak or think intelligently.
I met him online and we chatted for some time before we met. He picked me up as I had no car which I thought was sweet at the time. A bit old school.
I met his friends where he socialized and they all were really nice.
Things started to go wrong when someone who knew him asked me if he had ever hit me. I was shocked and asked him about it he was very defensive and quite nasty about it which upset me.
I let it pass.
Over the years the red flags should have been enough for me to walk away. There was no depth to our relationship. I discussed what happened when I was a child with my father and his response was a friend who had been sent to prison for abuse and how he couldn’t believe this person had done it. Not the response I had expected really.
There were good times and when they were good they were really good. However, when they were bad they were horrendous.
For example, I remember being locked in the house so that I couldn’t leave to the point I nearly called the police.
Another time, we went away with a group of friends. It was always four of us – never just me and him. We were laid in bed and I just said an innocent comment in a normal tone of voice to which he went ballistic.
This left me prepared to find my own way home in a strange country with no idea how to get to the airport. Once he realized I was serious, he launched my suitcase in the road.
Red flags, wow, manipulation, no empathy, not prepared to have a two-way conversation where I felt heard and my feelings mattered. Being called names, belittled and put down for the person that I am. Standing and shouting in my face so close that he was spitting his anger at me. The anger was something else. Negativity with life in general.
I should have never put up with any of it.
I am a caring and loving person who would do anything for anyone if I can. And yet, I was told I was inconsiderate, uncaring…and the expletives…I am unsure of what I haven’t been called.
I think we so desperately want someone to give us the love and affection that we are prepared to give another if only they could treat us right.
The frustration of twisted conversations saw me exhibiting behaviors that I am disgusted by. I won’t beat myself up for them though. I have never been like that in any other relationship I have ever had before.
Weeks of abuse, bullying, manipulating…and him saying he wasn’t doing it anymore; however, the abusive messages still flowed.
My last message was simply, “see ya.”
We live in the same village and go to the same club. There was a trip away this weekend which I did not go to. But I still went to the social club. I still have friends. One of the girls on Friday told me that he hit his ex-wife and another lady. She said she couldn’t tell me when we were together.
Now I am rebuilding me, I know that I am not the names I was called. I know that I deserve to be treated better than that and that I deserve love and respect and someone who can work together to build something close intimate and happy.
I don’t really have a support network so finding this site for me is amazing in helping me along my journey. I do have a strong sense of self, I know who I am.
If I could offer anyone any piece of advice it would be this:
Should you ever find yourself googling abusive relationships and narcissists you need to get out of it. It won’t change and the fact you are googling that stuff should be a massive red flag. One that I didn’t recognize at the time.
If anybody treats you in a way that doesn’t sit right with your gut leave life is so short. If someone can see you upset and not care run away as fast as your feet will carry you. You deserve to be loved by someone who wants to make you happy and see you smile someone who feels like your best friend, not your worst enemy.
Know your worth and know you are worth so much more. xx
This is an unpublished letter I wrote to my narcissist colleague about six years ago. All of this happened in the first three years of my interviewing and hiring this person. She was eventually fired for unprofessional behavior (including using a topless photo as her Facebook profile image). There is no personally identifying information in the letter.
Are you serious right now? How do you justify asking the person who interviewed you for your job, and personally signed off on your work visa, “What qualifies you to take on [PR Project X]?”
Overconfidence is one thing, but you’re arrogant and extremely ignorant to the point where you’re embarrassing yourself and don’t even realize it. Let me count the ways you compensate for having a fragile ego. For example, we were at lunch with four other colleagues and you frowned and said “don’t like” restaurants that serve four-course meals with formal cutlery settings.
And before you pretend you can really afford a Hermes Birkin, we all know that was a PU knockoff you plonked down in the center of the table. The handbag is supposed to be made of crocodile skin and you shouldn’t have it because new import laws make it illegal to bring one into this country.
Please avoid chewing your meal open-mouthed while holding the fork vertically in your clenched fist, while stabbing it onto the ceramic plate, and clanging the tines against your teeth.
What was I saying? An authentic, used Birkin can cost more than a new A-Class Mercedes Benz, so why are you hitchhiking? Their Hondas cost less than your handbag. And, if you can afford a real Birkin, why did you tell me that $80 is EXPENSIVE for a designer canvas tote when I mentioned that I got mine at 98% off?
Also, why did you have a colleague telephone City Hall on your behalf to complain that your health insurance is expensive when your monthly premium costs half the price of one pair of the (supposedly authentic) Tory Burch shoes you’re wearing. You have them in assorted colors to match your outfits. You are wearing two years’ worth of premiums every week.
By the way, that Emporio Armani wristwatch costs $200. While you were acting like the newly arrived cat that got the couture cream after I complimented you, please note that your colleague sitting next to you was on her second rose gold Omega. She misplaced the first one, and bought a new one because she couldn’t bother to look for it. She doesn’t talk about it, so you didn’t notice.
My favorite part is the fake engagement ring. The stone is too large so it is easy to see about ten colors beaming out of it. If your boyfriend can afford a real diamond that size, he would have brought you to the store to have the ring sized to match you. The mixed metal band is tarnished (blackish brown) and is swiveling around on your finger. The whole thing looks tacky. At least do some research if you want to really fool people. It’s not the fakery that bothers me, it’s the laziness. A lot of women in the office wear real diamond accessories, so they either think you’re not sensible or that your boyfriend is cheap.
Also, if you’re going to wear a real five-carat diamond ring, a real Hermes Birkin, and five pairs of Tory Burch shoes, how come you can’t afford to visit a salon to style your hair? You’re acting all high society, so why the flat, dull tresses and ratty-looking scrunchies?
On a more serious note, use of laxatives to control your weight is causing you to be malnourished and is messing with your hormones and brain function. Your colleagues told me so. Boasting to them about your eating disorder being a trend was a bad idea. Some of them were genuinely disturbed by your words.
Out of concern, I offered to teach you how to grill your daily lunch salmon to get the most nutritional value, but you said you prefer bland food.
But answer your question, “how am I qualified”, I co-hosted a radio show while still in high school, do several media interviews and profiles every year, designed swimwear for the tourist board of a developed country, wrote and directed ten stage plays, wrote and produced PSAs at the request of City Hall, and consult with NPOs.
So, if I’m not qualified to do a public relations project, then neither are you, you resume-embellishing, “I did six HOURS of a media literacy college course and therefore I’m an expert at producing radio segments”, PU knockoff Birkin toting, open-mouth chewing and smacking, spiteful, ungrateful, presumptuous, pompous human!
I was raised in an ideal family, according to most people who know them. Relatively high standing in their community, very well known and respected in their religious network.
But behind closed doors, my parents and my siblings bullied me mercilessly, usually amongst themselves but sometimes in front of others too.
This trend has continued recently, as they have been ‘framing’ me online.
What has been most devastating is that everybody seems convinced that they are wonderful people and believe their lies, but nobody will believe what I have gone through.
They think that I am crazy (which my family freely implies). Maybe some people are aware of who they really are, but they’re afraid that they would be on the receiving end of their antics if they show any sign of siding with any of the people they pick on.
I cringe when I recall how I was unable to avoid the abuse due to the way that I was raised to be such a ‘good girl’ no matter what happened to me. In the network people think my parents are brilliant parents because they appeared to have such nice children. I was actually inviting and drawing abuse to me like a magnet.
It was not until I had some space from my family and children of my own that I realized how terribly my own mother treated me and managed to step away from the toxic network that I was raised in. I could never treat my own children the way she has treated me; nor would I allow anyone to. I want to raise my children in a way that they do not tolerate staying around for anyone who tries to hurt them. The love for my children has been a huge inspiration for me in my healing.
My family enjoyed pushing all my buttons to provoke me and when I snapped they would shame me for being so terrible and call me crazy. I now realize this was gaslighting. At the dinner table, they would call me names and make fun of me: they told me that I would be a lonely old spinster with cats that nobody would want to be around. I was afraid for years that believing this was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
One sibling would do all in her power to destroy my friendships, to have them only be friends to her, this also applied to my boyfriends. Another would do all in her power to have my boyfriends date her.
I was madly in love with one boy and foolishly confided to her that I knew he wasn’t the best looking guy ever…but that whenever I saw him my heart skipped a beat. The relationship started to go downhill very fast after this.
When he broke off with me angrily saying that ‘I wasn’t so good looking and he could do better than me’, I realized what had happened. One of my siblings begged me to lend them money when I had just gotten paid. I explained that I really needed that cash for my rent at the end of the month. They insisted they would have the money back to me in time for when the rent was due. When I followed up on this they told me they had sent the money to my mom’s account, my mom denied receiving it. I was left in trouble to pay my rent and to this day I don’t know who was lying about the money.
In desperation, I stopped bringing home any of my friends or boyfriends. I met a man and without their interference, things progressed and we got engaged.
One month before I was due to be married, my younger sister (who had previously said she would never get married), announced that she was engaged to be married. The wedding date? One week before mine.
I asked my mother (who was splitting the money she was contributing as her gift for my wedding with my sister) how she could let my sister do this. My mother’s reply was ‘Do what?’
This was my life. I asked my mother who is famous for her baking if she would make my wedding cake, and she agreed. The day before the wedding, I learned she had changed her mind. She had no intention to make the cake.
I was amazed…she is the woman who is always there for anyone who needs it at church, having made so many wedding cakes for my friends. She makes them beautiful wedding shawls and knits blankets for their babies.
But when it comes to me, nothing.
My sister couldn’t have her wedding the week before mine, as she had forgotten to sign a document and instead, she got married on the day of my husband and my wedding reception in his country.
I was unable to attend her wedding.
I couldn’t understand what it was for the longest time… that I seemed to be surrounded by awful people and I believed that I must be imagining it.
Was I imagining it or was it really just me?
It turns out that it actually was me, but not how I expected. I was attracting these kinds of people into my life and allowing them to stay.
And in the meantime, they were not giving any room for healthier relationships to draw close to me.
I had had enough.
In one year, I cut contact with three women that I considered to be close friends because they all were becoming increasingly abusive toward me, verbally and emotionally manipulative. Then my own mother in law physically intimidated and threatened me in my home in front of my children. At this point, I started to make the connections to my upbringing and the dynamic that I had been drawn into.
I had never challenged anyone before and my mother in law did not take the “no contact” kindly as it threatened her reputation. My MIL took the opportunity at a family wedding to try to create a scene to make herself look innocent and me the aggressor.
I had one of my children with me and I realized at this point that she would stop at nothing to protect her facade. So refuse to allow the children near her without close supervision. I hadn’t recognized her narcissism at all until that last time she would be in our home and then it came super clear from every single interaction after that.
She told me to forgive her and get over it. She referred to my husband only as ‘My son’ and the children as ‘my grandchildren’ as though they were not people in their own right.
She emailed me, copying my husband, and implied that I was sabotaging his birthday and not allowing him to spend it with family.
The truth was I was actually quoting what he had told me to write so it backfired somewhat. She almost did succeed in splitting up our family as my husband struggled to accept the reality of his mother and how she was affecting me.
Virtually his entire family are in denial and downplay what she does. I can see that my husband is like me in ways- a people pleaser.. and I see that as I have gotten stronger and happier, learned boundaries and no longer apologize for doing what works for my family, so has he too.
We are are in our 40’s and finally have allowed ourselves to have peace and be truly happy! My heart is with you who feel alone navigating this in your life. Do not let the bastards get you down. Do not let them push you into choosing to isolate yourself further.
I almost deleted my Facebook account several times. Had I done it, I would have cut myself off from what would become my largest support while coming to terms with everything. For a long time, I thought that maybe it was all my own fault as I was told that I am deserving of the treatment I received, but now I know that it is not.
I never go out of my way to hurt anyone. I still feel I’m doing something ‘wrong’ sharing this even though I know in my head that I’m not. Just part of the process of healing.
Be patient with and kind to yourself. Reading and learning as much as you can can help with healing. I’ve learned ‘not to wrestle with pigs, because we both get dirty and the pig likes it.’
When one door closes it truly does allow space for another to open, and you can choose to keep it open or close it to make space for another if it does not bring a mutually fulfilling and rewarding relationship. Big hugs!
Did this story speak to you? You might want to check out these resources.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou
I have probably sat down in front of this very laptop and started, erased, and restarted this story many more than I truly even remember. Until recently I was unable to figure out why it was that a story that I can recall in my mind so vividly was so hard to put down into words.
My whole life it seems, helping others to tell their story, remember ever slightest detail is something I have done naturally, and in a lot of cases without even trying. People have been coming up to me my whole life to tell me their “stories”, I can see them as if they are words that flow together in my mind with total ease and comfort, but when it comes to my own story I have been at a loss for almost a year.
I guess it is kind of like one of those book report projects we all had as kids. First, you panic, then you procrastinate, sometimes never even reading the book, and then when it is about time to turn in the report you try and cram all the knowledge you should have been learning about the whole time into one or two nights of no sleep and anxiety.
Not that my story is a report that has to be submitted, there is no time limit on such things. I just didn’t have the parts of the story that I hadn’t researched in a way. What I mean is, how can you tell a story about a story if you don’t have all the information before you begin to write the report? You can’t really, I mean not completely, and as a trauma survivor with my personality type, if it isn’t honest, correct and just right all the way around, nobody is ever going to read it, because I will never finish it.
That was the struggle of the story of me. I know or I knew that in order to get over what had happened to you in the past, and to get beyond what was I had to at least put down the story you read today on paper, and if I gathered a little courage along the way, like I have done today, and be able to share this story then, I guess, I am all the better for it.
Where do you start if the beginning was a lie and the ending was not happy, don’t all stories need an ending and a beginning? Don’t all fairy tales end with “Happily ever after?” I didn’t have the facts so telling this story as I was saying was truly hard……….until today. Today is a whole new day and the fact that today the ending of the past and the beginning of the future that I have had stolen from me my entire life.
I am not going to start the story from the beginning as most stories are told, I can’t really start there for that story has yet to be remembered or told truthfully, so I can’t tell you a story I haven’t the whole or even the right pieces. Those pieces you need to put that puzzle together. This story is the story that brought me to this place today, to be writing this story, I share with you this day.
This story begins in October of 2009 when I accepted an invitation to a Halloween party that I knew I didn’t belong at. I had attempted to decline the invitation on several occasions before finally giving in, but this would turn out to be a night that would change my life forever (and not for the better).
When we arrived at the party, I was excited and terrified all at once. I mean I had no idea where I was, I hadn’t a clue whose party this was, and truth be told, the one who had invited me to go so many times on this fateful day was no close friend of mine, but rather a relative to a friend – who wasn’t so close either.
I was nervous, to say the least, and I truly wasn’t looking for a date; I was just getting over the fact that the man that I loved had been cheating on me with other people, not of the female gender.
To say my ego was a little shot would be putting it mildly.
We arrived in the normal fashion for this girl I speak of…loud and obnoxious but not in the way that was in any way attractive or appealing, more like in the way a bull runs through a china shop. She wasn’t single at the time, so not only was I at a party I wasn’t too thrilled to be attending, but now I was also the third wheel to a party I didn’t think I was going to enjoy. This would not be the only wrong choice I would make this evening.
As I was wandering around this compound of bikers in the middle of the city, full of people laughing and the most incredible Halloween Party décor I had ever seen, I turned around to see him walking towards the gate. He was a pretty large man in stature, wearing a cowboy hat with a long trench coat; he looked like every man I had ever dreamed up all into one guy. He was handsome, assure, assertive, sexy…and he had this grin that mad me melt right there that very evening.
I had no idea who this man was when he strolled into my path, but it seemed that everyone else had some idea and he could not keep his eyes off of me. I found it hotter than the longest day in the desert and sexier than Brad Pitt in the movie Legends of the Fall.
I could not look away either, it seemed.
We spend the whole night talking, laughing, and making out like we were teenagers in his truck in the parking lot of that very clubhouse parking lot, and from that moment, from that very night, I would be his to do, ask, or demand from without hesitation or thought.
He promised me everything and more. He told me of the places we would travel together, and the things I would see. He said I would be safe and have nothing to fear for he was my night on a white horse and it was true…steel horses, but for a girl who has never ridden any other kind of white horse, he was perfect in every way.
We spent every waking moment together from that moment on – at least when we had the moments to spend. By Christmas, we had moved in together. My son was like a gift from God to him, and I was a woman who had all he ever needed and more. He said all the things every girl (okay, every girl like me) would love to hear, and for the first 2 years, he did just that. I could do no wrong and he took me places I would have never seen on my own. He made that first Christmas for me and my son the most amazing Christmas ever. He did everything perfectly. He promised things, and most of the time he would deliver on those promises.
After about two months of us living together in this honeymoon bliss, the red flags started. Maybe I noticed those small hints that things are not right, but I did as he had hoped and ignored them all. I told that little voice inside, and my intuition and even that little chick on my shoulder to shut the hell up, I was just being paranoid; that this could not be real I was imagining it. I told myself I would stop thinking this way now.
Things would go downhill from here. Despite the many signs I should’ve taken seriously, the worst part was that I had brought my son with me into this relationship. This would lead to devastating consequences that I pay for even to this day.
It might have been around this time that I started to think of him as “the boogie man,” you know, the evil creature who hides under your bed when you’re a kid, lying in wait for the perfect moment to do unspeakable things to you?
He would use my son as one of those tools he spoke of on a daily basis. The ones I wouldn’t come to understand, even to this day. He would speak of these tools that he would use to help to train the human brain to be more submissive. There were micro hints that he would make, but not so clear to the point where a girl who swore that she would give this relationship everything she had and more everything she had.
Hindsight would tell me now that I did give him my all. I am no longer the girl that you hear of at the beginning of this story. I am not as naive to speak as I once was. I am no longer the girl who will give all that she is to someone she thought would fix all those things inside her she wasn’t even aware had been broken.
By 2014, things in my life had gone downhill in a hurry. I was no longer that bright shiny new toy that he treasured with all his lies. The girl that could do no wrong. Now, I was the girl who could do no right, with a son who was the devil incarnated. He wouldn’t hurt him, no not physically, but being one who is so highly empathetic I can literally feel the weight of the world some days, the pain he was causing internally would leave emotional scars I have yet to heal even 280+ days after running from this hell of my own creation.
During the summer of this fateful year, I had learned that my daughters (who had been abducted by their father 10 years earlier) had finally been found by social services. So, after a decade of not seeing or hearing from either of them, they called and wanted me to give up my parental rights.
It seemed that the department had caught wind of where they were, and after another evaluation of the situation, had come to the conclusion that the man that had taken them was insane and they would be better off where they were.
The boogie man would not only not care that this was happening in my life, but would go out of his way to make it impossible for me to do anything other than sign this piece of paper.
By this point, I was doing my best to make sure that anybody who I cared about in life was as far from me as possible. I had seen the alternative and the emotional and physical pain this would cost them and myself certainly outweighed any thought of me actually fighting this order. So I signed the paper. I had lost my girls before I had even gotten them back. Again. He had no care or thought or even a nice word in this time of total pain. He would use this day later on as a knife to drive deeper into my soul.
Shortly after losing what I had thought was left of my heart, my son would be walking back to our place in hell. One day that summer, he was approached by a girl with a semi-automatic weapon and a demand for his money he had worked all summer to obtain. I would lose a little more of my soul this day, not because of the loss of my son – he was the bravest, most quick-minded kid I would ever know. I would lose because of the boogie man’s statements afterward and the things that had yet to come.
One month after this trying event, school started a new year, my son would gain the courage to walk and attend this school, even though his brush with death had happened on that same property. The girl who’d robbed him attended the high school less than a block away and every day as he walked out the door, I would die a little more. The boogie man loved this thought immensely. It would turn out to be another one of his tools for manipulation.
By August of this year, things had calmed slightly. I mean not completely, the house main water main had broken, and the pipes under the house had burst, and life could not get much worse, or so I thought. I also learned that you can’t fly without wings, by jumping off the roof of this very house and landing on my feet. If you ever find yourself in this situation and have any presence of mind, I recommend not landing on your feet for it shatters every bone in your ankle and crushes whatever is left of your soul.
After having the 3-hour surgery it requires to put these bones back together, I didn’t feel much of anything anymore. The boogie man would come to believe that any kind of physical therapy would be too much for him to be able to assist me with. I could walk to the physical therapist if I would like and he left the state for the next two weeks. Leaving his “family” without money, transportation, food or even a thought. I would proceed to try and fix my own ankle, find food for my son and myself, take care of every phone call need and requirement, and not lose my mind. By the end of this two week period, I would lose one of these very important tools needed to proceed with life.
The Discard Phase
After what felt like forever, I finally found the time to slip into a bathtub one morning, not easily; everything hurt at this point. I couldn’t afford the pain medication or the trip to the pharmacy, which was miles from my home, and trust me walking to the 7-11 for cigarettes was enough to stop me in my forward motion.
To be honest it just plain hurt.
So here I am in this bathtub, laying there with my leg lying outside the tub because it truly had holes the size of a quarter in different places. Then the phone rang.
Great, I thought. I will just let it go to voice mail.
Then it rang again, and then again, and then the boogie man’s “There’s an asshole calling” ring would ring. This would get me out of this tub to answer the phone, to answer to the screaming insults from the pit of my soul, only to find that the prior two calls were the junior high school.
It seemed that there had been a rumor that a pipe bomb had been placed upon the roof of the school and they were evacuating all the students to the high school. At this point, I was about to lose it.
Remember the girl, the one with the semi-automatic weapon? Yeah, she attended this very high school, and they were sending my son to the mouth of hell. Even though the administration had been alerted to this matter, they seemed to have forgotten that this girl was attending this school. I lost it. Literally.
Do you remember “The Count” from Sesame Street? He did the neatest trick with numbers. He could pull number calculations or even just numbers out of his ear, and they would literally come out in a puff of smoke.
Now as a kid this really didn’t mean much to me, but on this day, this day of sheer panic and devastating mind-blowing torture, I was back there in that very show. I was standing there in my towel crying, as I had never cried before.
Nobody could tell me where my son was at this moment.
I wasn’t walking that well because I was still on crutches and the boogie man, although on the phone non-stop, wasn’t helping.
In fact, he was explaining to what an idiot I was for not knowing that someone wanted to blow up the school my son was attending and that they would send him to the place I feared every day.
I stood there in fear, and all of a sudden I was The Count in that morning kids show. It was truly the weirdest thing I had and have experienced to this day. I remember telling myself that I was going to need what I saw floating away from my head so easily and that I was going to miss it, but for now, I needed to be stronger than I had been and whatever it was floating away was getting in the way.
Then I got the biggest smile I had had in years for a split second, before being left in a fog that I still struggle with to this day.
Complications and Navigating the Fog
I would spend the next 3 years walking around in circles in this fog. I had no idea what it was or why this was happening. I would find the strength to send my son to live with his dad to keep him safe from the boogie man and I would stay to take care of the monster I had created.
In the summer of 2017, I would receive a phone call from my aunt, who I had not spoken to in over 10 years about my mother, the one who had left me behind at every turn in my life.
Turns out, she had developed Alzheimer’s from a stroke nobody had known she had.
Before I knew what hit me, I was thrown into taking care of her, and the boogie man every day of my existence. Back and forth between his house and hers. Not caring is I lived, not caring if I died. The fog that had come in, and that made it pretty easy to not have any personal feelings whatsoever; that was until the day I accidentally downloaded an app onto my cell phone that would open my eyes to the reasons for the fog I was in, the world of toxic personalities, the torture that comes with loving these people, and the fact that it was ok to choose myself.
Finally, Choosing Me
I made a choice in July of 2018, a choice that I had never known was possible or even an option. I chose myself, for the first time since the age of 14, I chose myself, and I walked away. From everyone. Everyone I had ever known, everyone I had ever loved. The boogie man, the woman I called mom (who turns out may not even be related to me in any shape or form). I just walked away.
I made a great choice, choosing me over death has defiantly put the mind back into my fog, but the place I would choose to land was even worse than before, for I went to a friend’s house who would spend the next 269 days doing her best to lead me back into the mouth of hell.
Two weeks ago I choose to leave there as well.
I’m writing this story from a Domestic Violence Shelter. I am homeless. Jobless. I haven’t the direction or foresight most people take for granted every day, but I can feel life is becoming worth living again. I still don’t dream, although this may be a good thing for I haven’t any nightmares either. Not the kind where I am awake, nor the kind when I sleep. A new life. A new beginning. A new me, for the girl at the beginning of this story, died that day with The Count from the show I watched so long ago. A life that was never lived at all. A life where it is ok to just be me. Just Jenn.