A weight on my shoulders

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Oregon Coast

As much as I love my beach house, and I do love it, and I have spent lots of time there recently, this has been a trying summer so far for me and Blue Eyes. He has been working A LOT. We have been apart. He has been traveling, very few overnights, but many many day trips. Due to business demands, his time at the beach house has been truncated. He has also devoted quite a bit of effort to his mindfulness activities, which in theory is fantastic, but in reality eats into our couple time as well.

Last week was particularly difficult. We spent our 28th wedding anniversary together at the beach house. I had wanted it to be just the two of us, but as it turned out, sometimes life messes with my plans. The Peacemaker has been struggling lately with anxiety and depression. His difficulties come in waves. So, instead of Blue Eyes arriving by himself for a romantic anniversary weekend at the coast, the weekend turned into family time with two fluffy, energetic dogs who LOVE to run around on the beach (much time spent washing them off at the outdoor shower), and a melancholy 23 year old who likes to sulk. Slowly but surely Blue Eyes is working with him on some coping methods and also getting him back to therapy. In the meantime, he is either mine or Blue Eyes’ shadow. The three of us had a lovely dinner together and then, BAM, Blue Eyes came down with a horrible sore throat. All his running around had taken a toll. Also, our architect/designer team had asked if we would mind having photos taken of the house for a publication with a deadline of Aug. 1st. Not only did I have to clean the house in preparation for photos, but we all needed to be away from the house for about six hours. Blue Eyes’ sore throat turned into a cold and then both The Peacemaker and I contracted the cold.

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Oregon Coast

Meanwhile, I had friends visiting the beach house that Tuesday after our anniversary, just about the time the sore throat hit me. The friends only stayed one night, but I still had to change out the bedding and clean bathrooms. Thursday my family arrived for my sister’s birthday celebration. I had invited them nearly two months ago to come out for the occasion, and of course I didn’t want to cancel. By this time my cold was full blown. My big ideas of making my sister a beautiful birthday cake (I love making birthday cakes) was shattered and instead my parents picked up a bakery cake. We had a fine few days with my family, but I sorely missed Blue Eyes, who was at a four-day Mindfulness Retreat (theme: Childhood Wounds) about an hour outside Portland.

We all reunited back in Portland on Sunday and it felt good to have Blue Eyes back, and to have his help with beating this cold (picking up chicken noodle soup from the deli, bringing me herbal tea, and running to the store for medicine, etc…). Unfortunately, when sharing all about his retreat, Blue Eyes threw out his thoughts on making contact with his toxic parents. He has not had contact with them since February 2014, and he has not seen them since August 2013… almost four years since he has set eyes on his parents. All in all, that part of this trauma, recovery, healing period has been bliss for me. After so many years of verbal torture, it was nice to have a break from that, at least. I’m not really sure if the shock and horror at his revelation of being ready to see them again registered on my face, or not, but I could feel a heavy weight descending on me from the moment he mentioned his parents.

I’m not ready to have contact with those people, and I’m pretty sure, just my observation and opinion, that Blue Eyes isn’t either. I’m not quite sure what prompted his desire to make contact, I may have floated off into space after that. I know he said something about hanging around with his parents as three year olds in one of his intense guided meditation sessions at the retreat, but his parents haven’t been innocent three year olds for eight decades. I honestly thought the next time he saw them would be on their death beds. I know that sounds harsh, but they have done some serious damage and they will never change. They will never be nice, or keep boundaries, or treat us with respect and kindness. They will never stop manipulating their children or making them feel worthless. I’m not sure why anyone would want to have contact with them?

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Forest Fire Haze at sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

19 thoughts on “A weight on my shoulders

  1. I imagine BE has an image in his head of the loving parents he wishes to have, and maybe somewhere he has kept some dream alive that they might be able to have that. That would be amazing if that could be, but from what I know it seems unlikely.
    Hope the Peacemaker is unwinding a bit
    ♥️♥️♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I cut my mother out of my life more than 20 years ago. Had I not, I would have ended up dead or in jail long ago.
    I have seen her 4 times since then, most recently twice in one week for family stuff. I felt nothing. Zero. Not good or bad. No impulse to even exchange a single word let alone a conversation of any kind. No regrets of any kind.
    That is the promised land. It can be reached.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, B. I remember you talking about this before, but I cannot remember what it is about your mother that requires no contact. At the beginning, beginning of our relationship nearly 34 years ago, BE idolized his parents, put them on a pedestal to me and told me he had the best family and a great family life. I was at his house for five minutes and could see that he was delusional. He had created a scenario that allowed him to live with the abuse system that had been there since birth. I was too immature to understand all this back then, but I could certainly see and feel the utter dysfunction. I did not grow up being belittled and verbally abused and made to feel worthless every single day of my life. I never ever felt worthless, so I couldn’t fully understand BE. During this recovery process, BE has been able to metabolize some of the truth of his childhood. He was exposed to the reality of sexual abuse, verbal abuse and even some physical abuse. At first there was bitterness towards his family, and much anger. Now, however, with his mindfulness activities, he is gaining compassion for their suffering (as he calls it). I understand, as long as he does not have contact with them, that this is very helpful to him. He has accepted his own diagnosis and recovery and is embracing the fact that he is a speck in the universe, i.e., not everything is about him and his coping and his medicating himself when he feels sad, stressed, empty, whatever. My issue is with him actually coming face to face with them. They are manipulators, vultures, pursuers. His father is judgmental, emotionless, cruel even. His father would not provoke conversation, but the mere sight of him and his judgmental face and posture is haunting. BE’s mother is a full blown narcissist who desires to control everybody and everything. I understand a strong person being able to thwart that power, but BE, it is impossible to reverse 50 years of abuse with 3 1/2 years of tumultuous recovery. I hope he does get to the day where he can be in a room with them and feel nothing, but I just don’t see it happening any time soon. His mother will literally chase him down, yell at him. She is the epitome of self centered and she will do ridiculously inappropriate things in front of others and just pretend it never happened, just to make her presence known or get what she wants. Opening the door to her is like opening the door to the devil. Hopefully someday we will reach the promised land.

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    • Thank you, Moi. I think of you often as well. This online dialogue we have had over the years has been helpful in numerous ways. BE is just now embarking on the EMDR therapy. I am anxious to see where that leads. I hope you are enjoying the summer.

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      • My youngest daughter and my g’daughter are flying in Sunday morning at the crack of dawn. Can’t wait to see them. Other than that very quiet. Yay!
        I looked at my first comment and could not be more Southern! I should have said both of you are often in my thoughts. Nah! That’s not me.
        I wrote an epistle but deleted it. I don’t know BE’s FOO so to think I might have some lame suggestions was ridiculous. I hope EMDR helps.
        Love, love, love your beach house. Hope you enjoy every square inch of it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Quiet sounds so nice! I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun with your girls. And remember, I spent 6 weeks in NC last Fall, so y’all has become part of my lexicon. I wish you wouldn’t delete your words, they mean something to me. I’m sure you have a pretty good grasp of BE’s FOO issues at this point… full blown and aggressive narcissistic mother, emotionally empty belligerent father. Full of abuse, physical, sexual, emotional. BE being a quiet, capitulating child who went deep inside himself to feed his wounds. I hope the EMDR helps too! Your suggestions are never lame. We also love that darn beach house. I’m heading over now to get away from the Portland heat. xx

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          • Aren’t narcissists fun?!!?!! My paternal grandmother was one. Quiet, self effacing, church going narc. She damaged my father and his siblings. I would get phone calls from him saying she was bedridden and at death’s door. Funny, I just saw her at the grocery store. I used to say she had a starring role in a Tennessee Williams’ play. Skewered her children with soft spoken words. My mother, and my aunt, hated her. When she died no one bothered to tell me. I would have given her a Going Away party. Nothin’ says lovin’ like those tiny pin pricks that are excused as constructive criticism. Fortunately I had my maternal grandparents close by to see what healthy love is like. My father was the sweetest man and so damaged. I wish he had outlived her. None of her children did. She was a vampire living off the lifeblood of her children.
            If BE has been a victim of molestation he needs a support group. There is no childhood left after that.
            I am so frustrated at our national mental health care, or the lack of it. Where do these hurt children/men/women go?

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            • Yea, our system is atrocious. BE received therapy for his abuse, and most likely they will get there in EMDR therapy too, and his SA twelve step is a place of positive reinforcement. Most of those men were molested as well. No excuses for starting their own abuse system, but it is important to have people who truly understand. And yes, narcissists come in all shapes sizes etc… sounds like BE’s mom is the opposite of your Grandmother. Regardless of how they present, being raised by one is so destructive. That is so sad your father didn’t get to live in a world without the abuse. It is also difficult to stop the cycle. BE’s mom’s criticisms were more like being stabbed with a knife, but yea, it all hurts.

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  3. Kat, I am still metabolizing the retreat and based on the knot inside me, I am not ready anytime soon. The work on loosening the knot is very deep. I promise you that I will never put you into harms way aand subject you to that abuse system. I was unmindful in even suggesting such. May you be free from suffering, may you have peace. With awareness of your deep suffering and compassion, BE

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    • Hi BE. I just read your recent blog entries. Do you have any sense of what happens to an addict that allows them to appear “normal enough” for a period, to attract a partner, but then once that partner has been “secured” the downward spiral of self destructive behaviors resumes/accelerates? Is it due to feelings of unworthiness relative to the partner? Is it a “proactive” (neurotic of course) way of ensuring the expected eventual abandonment?

      I think a lot of addicts have the ability to seem normal for just long enough to meet and bond with someone and I am interested in your thoughts on the subject.

      shalom
      B

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