Afraid? Indeed, I am always afraid. Will there ever come a day when I am not? I doubt it. I really do. This is why I have chosen to speak out now. Because if not now, then when? Never. I’ll never stop being afraid. And that is the most honest answer I know.
Greater public knowledge of narcissism, its insidious nature, and the many implications of this among the general population is by far our best defense in curbing this very destructive, and ever-growing epidemic in our society.
“Narcissists will never tell you the truth. They live with the fear of abandonment and can’t deal with facing their own shame. Therefore, they will twist the truth, downplay their behavior, blame others and say what ever it takes to remain the victim. They are master manipulators and conartists that don’t believe you are smart enough to figure out the depth of their disloyalty. Their needs will always be more important than telling you any truth that isn’t in their favor.” ~ Shannon L. Alder
When all is said and done, and the fullness of this story has unfolded, it will rightly become known that I wasn’t necessarily a victim. And neither was I the villain. In fact, to confuse matters even further, I’ve come to realize that I could have been the villain just as easily as I could have the victim. It is only in the sequence, separation and season of my life that defines or develops the character I assumed. It’s an unparalleled awareness and complex awakening to just casually step into. But with time and a deeply personal, authentic relationship with my Creator, a tranquility and peace have accompanied this understanding. This is how and why I can at long last share my insights, observations and experiences with…
Welcome Home-Part I
It is beginning. Or I should say, it has begun. An unraveling of a lifetime of spoon fed lies, confusion and fear. Not by one, but two. Two individuals whom I had completely surrendered every part of my being to. Only now have I been able to realize the paralyzing and pervasive control each maintained during alternate seasons of my life. Yet today I claim this life as my own for the first time ever. Never should anyone be entrusted with something so sacred as your being, your life…your very existence. Perhaps due to my initial naivety, and ignorance their demanded control and supervision over every aspect of my life had been accepted, allowed and then shoved deep into my subconscious. Yet after years of too many inconsistencies in stories, and events, as well as how I’d inexplicably become the primary culprit in everyone’s life problems, I began to ask questions. Reaching so far in fact was my responsibility for causing marital problems for a member of the family I hadn’t seen in well over a year, or spoken with more than two times in the same time period. But I was put up on the block and solely blamed for their irreconcilable differences. This was one of many “WTF?” moments I would soon be experiencing.
I’d never experienced tremendous difficulty owning up to my mistakes. You do wrong, you own it. In fact, I’ve never really had to be “caught” doing anything, because through my entire life whenever I’ve attempted to be a rebel, within a matter of hours, I’m curled up into a ball, clinging onto my pillow that’s become completely saturated with oceans of guilt and mascara. I’m not a good rulebreaker. Even after the incident in 2014 that resulted in my arrest, with a blood alcohol level of .397, where did I flee to? Directly underneath the City of Police Headquarters. No Lie. So try as I might, I couldn’t understand why I’d been unable to feel the usual instinctual guilt that has for a lifetime accompanied every single one of my wrongdoings. I could not assess or recognize my culpability in regards to many troubles that were plaguing various family members. Those troubles which, as I was continuously told by my mother, I was responsible for.
After 6 months of sobriety and the continued assertions that I was still somehow the source of discord in the family, I fell off the proverbial wagon one evening ending up crying upon a neighbors shoulder where upon my mother was called. Within hours I was having to swallow a nearly fatal*, brutal discard, served with a heaping side of absolute isolation. This “intervention” of sorts, absent any outline of expectations, goals, or desired outcome, was delivered in 2 parts by a clearly intoxicated family member over the phone. I state delivered in 2 parts because the next day, said family member could not remember the conversation we’d had the day prior, so I was informed for the second time that there was no course of resolution and that basically, they were done with me. 6 months clean and sober. 1 night relapse. Informed by drunk relative that all were finished. On August 12, 2018 upon seeing a social network status update by my mother which stated, “Had a hiccup yesterday but today IS THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY OF MY LIFE!” I pulled the card I’d been carrying since I was 11 years old out of my back pocket and decided to cash it in. The notes were then written, sealed and my departure scheduled.
What happened next was beyond my imagination, but my departure had been cancelled by the CEO/OWNER of my life. And then HIS divine intervention began.
And so a few weeks later, in my best attempt to repair and resolve these horrible but still impossibly unidentifiable malignancies I must surely be infested with, I jumped 100 percent into Recovery. I mean if I was the one source responsible for creating hardship and havoc upon everyone, then surely if I found a solution to my inherent maladaptive behavior, then my family wouldn’t suffer so badly. I loved them. I would do anything for them. I had to fix what was broken so they might love me back.
Throughout my recovery my only focus was to reestablish contact with my family and repair what damages I had inflicted. I wanted more than anything to gain their acceptance and love. However, my objective and God’s will were not in direct alignment. I was provided with a deeply personal revelation, after months of daily attendance of Alcoholics Anonymous, hours of interpersonal work with my sponsor, many hours of advice and support received from an unwavering alliance of friendships and continued abstinence and compliance with the substance abuse classes I’d voluntarily enrolled in. This revelation was a life changing awareness of a deeply embedded and quite effective system of denial.
Come to find out denial and I go way, way, waaayy no,…keep going….ok now you can stop….yeah, that far back. An apology to my very first sponsor whom I treated harshly when she first broached the topic, saying “Well, you don’t know what you don’t know.” What the hell was that supposed to mean Karen? But before long through an amazing shift that occurs within those rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, the understanding of my denial system was a huge step toward in my recovery journey. Soon the realization pushed me to dig deeper. What else had I been refusing to acknowledge? With my inquisitive nature, I found all sorts of ideas that needed replacing, thought patterns which needed an overhaul, lots of internal work and healing was occurring that I still believe to be nothing short of miraculous.
So when I attempted to bring my family on board, and look at how we could together begin a process of repairing some dysfunction within the family unit, I believe perhaps I pushed a bit too far, dug a little too deep, and their denial system had a motherboard ship full of defense systems established to protect well, basically the great and powerful mother who told me she’d never done one thing wrong in her life. I said “Ever?” She said, “Never!” (Well okay Jesus Christ, why you still sitting there, don’t you have some miracles to tend to?)
Before very long I began to unearth an artificial reality which had been carefully constructed and presented to me as the truth, beginning from the time I was a child, perhaps infant even, right up to the very moment I saw the curtain open and the Great Oz was revealed. This would prove to be a truth I wish to have never uncovered…delivering consequences I’d never dreamed possible. I earnestly pray that the last line spoken by The Great and Powerful Oz, will one day come true.
Dorothy: Yes, sir. So we’d like you to keep your promises, if you please, sir.
The Wizard: Not so fast, NOT SO FAST! I’ll have to give the matter a little thought. Go away and come back tomorrow.
Dorothy: Tomorrow? Oh, but I want to go home now!
Tin Man: You’ve had plenty of time to think already!
Cowardly Lion: Yeah!
The Wizard: DO NOT AROUSE THE WRATH OF THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ! I SAID COME BACK TOMORROW!
Dorothy: If you were really Great and Powerful, you’d keep your promises!
The Wizard: [As Toto reveals him behind a curtain] You presume to criticize the Great Oz?! You ungrateful creatures! You’re lucky that I’m only holding this till tomorrow, instead of the next TWENTY YEARS from now! [They notice him] Er… the Great Oz has spoken. [Redraws the curtain hastily] PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN! THE GREAT, er… OZ… HAS SPOKEN!!
Dorothy: [Pulling aside the curtain] Who are you?
The Wizard: Oh, er, [Into a microphone, which increases his voice dramatically] I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL [In normal voice] … Wizard… of Oz.
Dorothy: You are?! I don’t believe you.
The Wizard: I’m afraid it’s true. There’s no other Wizard except me.
Scarecrow: You humbug!
Tin Man: Yeah!
The Wizard: Yes. That’s exactly so. I’m a humbug.
Dorothy: Oh, you’re a very bad man!
The Wizard: Oh, no, my dear, I… I’m a very good man – I’m just a very bad Wizard.
The Wizard of Oz – 1939 PRODUCTION CO. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
“Abusers – they’ll manipulate and they’ll lie to you.
And when you no longer give them that power, they’ll try to manipulate your family or the people close to you instead. Abusers want everyone to hate you just as much as they do. It’s sick. Their lack of morals and integrity is sick. The amount of hate they harbor in their hearts is sick.” ~ LaTasha “Tacha B.” Braxton
Welcome Home – part II
“Usually adult males who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they choose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them. If the first woman they passionately loved, the mother, was not true to her bond of love, then how can they trust that their partner will be true to love. Often in their adult relationships these men act out again and again to test their partner’s love. While the rejected adolescent boy imagines that he can no longer receive his mother’s love because he is not worthy, as a grown man he may act out in ways that are unworthy and yet demand of the woman in his life that she offer him unconditional love. This testing does not heal the wound of the past, it merely reenacts it, for ultimately the woman will become weary of being tested and end the relationship, thus reenacting the abandonment. This drama confirms for many men that they cannot put their trust in love. They decide that it is better to put their faith in being powerful, in being dominant.” ~ Bell Hooks
I actually did believe I was the only one that this had ever happened to, as I was not aware of what narcissistic personality disorder even meant. I just thought because of those damned rose-colored glasses of infatuation, I’d inadvertently stumbled in love with an individual that was walking through society unmedicated and in serious need of treatment. I experienced the full gamete of what domestic violence survivors do. “If only I can love him enough, if only I can convince him I’m not cheating, if only he’d get help.” Well, all those “If only’s” pile up after a while and eventually as was in my case, the abuse began to trickle down to our then 5 year old son.
”some poor little person who’s shaking with fear, he has no way to steer! I’ll just have to save him. Because, after all, A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Horton Hears a Who ~ Dr. Seuss
A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small
The night of “jail” was the wake up call that I needed to stop thinking about how I could help “Him” and start thinking about how I could save us, my child and myself. On the “Jail” night, “He” had kept our little boy locked in his room for nearly 7 hours all the while trying to convince me that “He” knew exactly what he was doing. I was then lectured that because I’d never raised a boy, I simply was not equipped or able to understand a “very basic principle” of parenting a boy in which it was “common that male dominance needed to be established.”
I’ve subsequently learned that part of the method of conditioning and controlling another is to convince the subject/victim that they lack the basic intelligence of most others in society. “He” had me convinced without a shadow of a doubt that I was close to being one of the least intelligent people he’d ever met. And he’d never forget to repeat how he’d been around the world and met a lot of people. ~ KB
I became sicker and sicker as the minutes ticked by, hearing my baby sobbing…for hours, of which he never fell asleep or stopped begging. His little voice breaking apart with each ragged breath from hours spent crying. I can still hear his little voice echo deep in my soul.
“Mommy, please let me out! Pleeeease let me out of jail! I’m so sorrrrry Daddy! Please let me out…. Mommy…please…”
I regret not being willing to risk it all much earlier than I did. Because although there was an enormous price to pay, I believe everything stopped shortly after my arrest. I was informed by a highly trusted source, off the record, that because of the magnitude of the charges I was facing, and having had no prior criminal record, inquiries as to the character, activities, and background of both parties were being conducted. To hear that, “the eyes were no longer on me, but rather somebody else.” I felt such an indescribable peace. KB
I pled with “Him”, please c’mon, it’s been a long time….this can’t be right! As usual “he” continued to establish his dominance.
A dominance which I had quickly learned to surrender to, because engaging in a discussion with another who lacks any ability to reason or who cannot begin to ever admit weakness or error, quickly escalates into an argument. If you’ve never argued with a narcissist, be forewarned, should you present a solid and clear point that the he/she cannot dispute or lacks the capacity to offer an intelligent debate, all Hellfire Crazy will be unleashed. Now if you are lucky enough to have a home of your own and can quickly escape, I guarantee you that you will be in your car slamming that gas petal to the floor, pealing out of the driveway never to return. Oh yeah, more than once I’ve been a witness to that unsuspecting co-worker or neighbor of his who innocently stopped by for dinner and conversation.
But if you were the poor chap (that would be me) that moved way to quickly into this relationship out of ignorance and adoration, well now you’ve gotten yourself into a pickle. A discussion-turns argument, at which upon my first encounter with this scenario, produced my standard go-to in previous relationships, “Well babe, can’t we just agree to disagree?” His booming voice caused a sudden involuntary jolt throughout my body which thereby caused my conscious mind to stall out for a minute. “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” From there on I learned, just say yes, and we all can go to sleep. Say no? Then the things of which nightmares are made of come to life. There are nights I will never speak of. No one would believe me first of all and secondly, why would I or should I expose the darkest nights of my soul to ignorance or denial. It’s over, the days of convincing others, they are done. The truth exists regardless of anyone’s ability to believe it.
I eventually lost it. I told him, “I’m sorry but no… no this isn’t right to do to a five year old child, he’s gotta be starving by now.” I got up quickly before “he” would have a chance to convince me why this was so “necessary” again and rushed down the hall to my little boy’s room. “Alpha male” exploded into a psychotic rage I’d become familiar with, *this time without the quacking, yes you read that correctly…but which was nevertheless, still terrifying as Hell.
As I’d expected, (yet I’d still never been able to successfully brace myself for) “He” was on my heels screaming at me a barrage of accusations regarding how I always disrespect him, how I always think I know everything, how I’m so stupid and yet I always have to think I know everything when I don’t know shit, etc.
When opening the door, my child runs straight into my arms. Before I can react he’s stripped from my arms and tossed onto his bed.
I need to clearly state, “Tossed -Not thrown” because apparently they are technically identified as two very different actions. I don’t want to risk once again be accused of falsifying or distorting any of the actual events that “may or may not have occurred” while residing with the “Male” figure. -god- I think I just threw up in my mouth again. ~ KB
That little boy, my precious child came back swinging and as God as my witness, it was in that very moment I realized, that a five year old child possessed more courage and more internal strength than his very own mother.
And of that, I am still horribly ashamed. ~ kb
“Alpha male” then curled up his fist and pulled his arm back as to throw a man sized punch. There was absolutely ZERO thought in that moment-I just leaped. I grabbed his arm and a scuffle ensued until he realized I was already long gone. There was no backing down – the point of no return had been reached.
This was the moment, looking back upon everything now, I’m convinced that he began to modify his strategy and formulate a successful and faultless exit from a marriage that no longer served him. ~ kb
I now have close to six years free from his abhorrent, psychological attacks, character assassinations, and manipulation. That being said, with clarity of mind and absolute conviction, I believe that the “jail” incident and the recognition that I could no longer be dominated, controlled or contained was when his “She’s mentally unstable and exhibiting erratic behavior” story began to take shape. ~kb
But you know what? Today as I sit at this keyboard, for the first time I am beginning to own a small fraction of that 5 year old boy’s courage. And so with that, I need to state the following:
From where I stand, right now, right here, I don’t give one rat’s ass as to whether my boy was tossed or thrown because all of the Covert Narcissistic Monster’s supporters who’ve called me crazy, who’ve sent me pictures of a Reuger Pistol telling me where I should hold the gun in my mouth to do the world a favor? The blindly disconnected “friends” who’ve fought relentlessly on behalf of this Monster- oh and each one of the “Go Fund Me” Supporters? Listen closely,
“THIS WAS MY CHILD! MY TINY FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD! NOT A RAG DOLL!! TOSSED? THROWN? A TECHNICALITY LIKE THAT EVEN MATTERS?! 6 AND A HALF HOURS CRYING ALONE IN A LOCKED ROOM? BEGGING FOR ME? SO THAT “HE” (YEAH! YOUR “SUCH A NICE GUY” FRIEND) COULD ESTABLISH MALE DOMINANCE? OVER A 30 SOMETHING POUND CHILD?? NO! – I WILL NEVER GIVE A SINGLE ONE OF YOU CREDENCE OVER MY MATERNAL INSTINCTS TO PROTECT MY BABY. NOT THEN, NOT NOW, NOT EVER!” *
That was one, just ONE of the incidents.
* USE OF CAPS DEFINITION AND DISCLAIMER- In typography, all caps (short for “all capitals”) refers to tex or a font in which all letters are capital letters, for example: TEXT IN ALL CAPS. “All caps” may be used for emphasis. In the event you’ve never engaged in written communication with the always strategizing Narcissist or one of their “Flying Monkeys” you would understandably be questioning, why the need for a disclaimer when using caps? The answer is that often times using any method of communication which might be perceived as strength, power, defiance or opposition, results in a barrage of accusations that the author usings “All caps” is unbalanced, dangerous and/or aggressive. When in fact, this is an absolutely normal style of communication to simply express or emphasize a point of contention. This is just one example of how normal human behavior can and will be twisted and manipulated into a false “forced or coerced perception” that serves or supports the Narcissists smear campaign. “All caps” is not an indication of being mentally unstable or indicative of an individual who might be a danger to himself or others. This is ridiculous correct? To provide a disclaimer regarding “All caps”? My intention in doing so is to to shed light on the relentless and crazy-making tactics that the Narcissists and his cohorts will employ to strip away your credibility, and with continuous exposure to this and dozens of other traps only they can contrive, you may very soon begin to question your own sanity. These tactics, snares and scrutinization over your every move, response or behavior are continuous and merciless. Any attempt to engage in a reasonable and logical discussion puts you at risk of becoming ensnared in the Narcissist’s completely fabricated yet highly convincing argument proving their case against you, that you are in fact, just not quite right in the head. NO CONTACT OR GREY ROCK will be your only defense against the barrage of attacks which will be waged by the Narcissist once they know that you’ve seen behind the mask. Once you are onto them, and their agenda, it is not ever in your best interest OR YOUR CHILD’S BEST INTEREST to communicate directly with the Narcissist or their friends and family. GET AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. In my case, once I had retained an attorney, “his”attacks and maneuvers which had been previously successful, now fell to the courtroom floor in a pile of dust.
For those who six years later might continue to call me a liar, or any of the various labels I’ve received for trying to protect my child, honestly I’d expect nothing less.
Why? Because the “Well, it takes two to tango.” mentality which needs to be effectively and immediately shattered. As ignorant as this perspective is, not only does it still exist but it is actually a very common reaction when the abused describes reasons for leaving the relationship. I don’t believe that it’s ignorance but rather a denial system of sorts. Either way, here are the facts. I was there. You were not. My child was there. You? No. No you were not. The Monster? Oh yes, “he” was there. “He” was there every damn day guarding his property, (Us.) while lying to everyone saying he was looking for work. But when the EDD form came in the mail, (the mail I was now restricted from picking up or seeing before he had) and needed to be filled out, he’d pull out the Yellow Pages and start filling in the blanks. Not once did he apply for any job in over two years. Why? I don’t have the answer for that. All I know is that for 24 hours a day seven days a week there was no way out. He’d taken control of the car, my cell phone, our bank account. He had successfully established my full cooperation and compliance allowing him to oversee/approve of all Facebook posts, messages and email communications. He was able to project and maintain the image of a loving husband and father while presenting his happy family to everyone on the outside. And if you weren’t living in his house then I assure you, you were on most assuredly on the outside…and we were on the inside, behind closed doors.
And those damned closed doors I was to soon find out that should they be locked to keep my child and I safe, because his name was on the lease, he possessed every legal right to access entry by using any means necessary, including an axe if need be. He was not in violation of any federal, state or local laws.
WE SEEK WHAT IS FAMILIAR
Five words that two separate therapists had each used to assist me with understanding a truth I was not yet ready for or perhaps subconsciously refused to accept. Regardless of either reason, I simply could not see it at all, until one day that very truth, and I kid you not, literally stood and followed me from room to room demanding that it be seen.
So five years ago I began a pilgrimage in search of the truth. I had no idea that over the course of those 5 years 11,239 other individuals would join me on my journey. Because of them I refused to give up. Did I stumble at times? Most definitely. But I got back up again and again, because the little eyes of my child were always watching and believing in me, even on the days I didn’t believe in myself or anything at all for that matter.
Once you’ve seen the mask slip from a covert narcissist or their “false self” fall away, you simply cannot unsee it. You cannot wish it away, pray it away or deny the reality of who or what that person really is. It’s one of the most terrifying experiences I have encountered when they reveal themselves, whether they do so deliberately or by a simple moment of carelessness. There’s nothing inside. No-one. No-thing. If you haven’t experienced this, be thankful. It is most unnerving and unforgettably surreal. I’ve witnessed this on two separate occasions with two separate individuals. I hope to never see it again.
I knew it in my soul but I just couldn’t bring myself to the place that I needed to be to begin writing. Spiritually, emotionally, physically all of it. I was missing critical pieces of this infinite puzzle. Just recently did I recover one of those sacred missing pieces.
I had never believed that I possessed any intrinsic value or inherent worth as an individual to have the right to speak up, to voice an opinion or to deserve better or demand better not only from others but most importantly from myself. So follows the million dollar question. Why exactly is that?
Not until October 17, 2018, on a lonely autumn afternoon, did I come to believe differently, when a woman I hadn’t seen in 30 years knocked on my door. During that highly emotional and deeply profound visit, I believe a seed had been planted within me. Though it would take a few more months to take root, that encounter has changed all the rules of the game.
Ironically, this was five years to the exact day after my husband had verbally threatened my son and I with an axe. That threat was the catalyst for my subsequent escape from his perverse and autocratic sovereignty only to enter the macrocosmic maze of the mental healthcare system.
The following provides an expanded explanation of “God’s Intervention” from part 1 of Welcome Home.
Only a few weeks following her visit, I slipped badly one night after 6 months of unsupported sobriety. A.K.A. “White knuckling it,” subsequently finding myself alone again in this fiercely, bitter world and undeserving of a family or of even a family intervention.
God already had His plan in motion however, and it was decided upon that I be given a divine and holy intervention. What is that you might ask? Well it was my salvation through God’s channels. There is no way I can deny any of it. I don’t see how it’s possible to coordinate seven different individuals, none of them knowing one another, most of them Christians and all of them scooping me up, and telling me; wait no, showing me that I was no longer alone.
Today reassurances and validations by a specific set of individuals are no longer needed. Because my value was determined by He who created it all. In fact it had been predetermined long before any of this and my true, original worth was my inheritance; my birthright. I was already worthy, loved, needed and so much more by my Divine Creator regardless of anyone’s inability to recognize it, myself included.
I’ve been feverishly blogging for the last several weeks now and upon reflection, I began to have serious reservations about what I was doing. What was the true purpose behind all of this? Was I just digging up unresolved “mommy issues?” (Though deep seated ones at that.). I’m still trying to navigate my way through the undercurrent of this permeating hostility within my soul towards my mother of which hard as I try, I just cannot shake free from.
See in my world I must always maintain the core values of honesty, integrity and humility. In as much I must adhere to belief system embedded decades ago that I am always seeking a purpose or a path which is always to serve a higher good. But is that really true? I’m so hell-bent on getting the truth out of everyone else, it has become impossible to write without asking myself some really difficult questions. Questions that I don’t have answers for right now. That is what I’m hoping to discover through this process. You could say I’m still piecing together the puzzle, of what went wrong, and why, and where. I’d like to believe that I’m not writing these entries out of spite, but rather a single voice that is to one day becomes an echo of healing for all of us.
But perhaps, what if the apple really didn’t fall too far from that tree? What if these very thoughts, my inner most thoughts, mirror my mothers ever shifting precarious position…She’d “like to believe,” so she simply does. Regardless of the facts that reality presents to her on a daily basis, she’d just “like to believe” otherwise.
*Author exhales, a heavy breath, full of question marks…followed by an always unforgiving silence… of a daughter, a grown woman who cannot yet carry the weight of the truth ….that she’s never been truly loved, not even by her very own mother.*
“When we meet and fall into the gravitational pull of a narcissist, we are entering a significant life lesson that involves learning how to create boundaries, self-respect, and resilience. Through trial and error (and a lot of pain), our connection with narcissists teaches us the necessary lessons we need to become mature empaths.” ~ Mateo Sol
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