Tag Archives: self worth

And then it was done

It was the best of times…it was the worst of times.

Well, maybe not that dramatic, but working for a psychopath has its ups and downs.

I knew after the first week I was there that it was not the place for me.  Although I have had a lifetime of experience with narcissists this guy took it to a whole new level. That coupled with the fact that I needed to be collecting a paycheck, made it that much harder to just up and leave.  I wanted and need out like never before. In everything there is a lesson…I was going to have to hold on to that for 3 whole fucking years.

This is another of those situations where one moment I had complete faith in the Universe to provide so I jumped in with both feet, then the next I freeze and become “responsible”.  Which really is just another word for scared.  Instead of walking away from a horrible situation, I tried to reason with myself that this was meant to be. There is a lesson here I need to accept.  You deserve this shit.  Anything but have faith in myself, and in the Universe.  So, I stayed, while it ate at me every day.

There were times when I would apply my fucking heart out…then peter out because it seemed like there was no hope in site.  However, I never really gave up.  After I had my fill of the insanity I dug my heels in and with the help of my friends, applied to anywhere and everywhere in hopes to find something that would get me out of that place.

At one point I was reaching out to everyone I had applied to in an effort to see if there was a chance to get an interview. Someone responded…then nothing.  A few weeks later I sent another request and got that interview scheduled.  Sort of long story short, I got the job!!! Close to home, small growing company, better pay and better hours.  I was like having my prayers answered, and I was being rewarded for either putting up with 3 years of bullshit or for my persistence.  Either way, I was on my way out, and I was going to do it my way.

People have quit this place before.  I have seen them be humiliated, shamed and abused during the process. I have listened to lie after lie about why they left, how they were the problem to begin with…after 2 years one guy was still on the shit list and the boss still took every opportunity to bring him up and talk shit.  I was NOT going to subject myself to that.

After I got the offer on the new job, I picked my quit date.  It was going to be a Saturday when I would be the only one in the office, one therapist, and NO big boss.  This was going to take almost two weeks.  I was going to go out on MY terms, without notice and with my head held high.  So, I wrote (with the help of the internet) a professional letter of resignation, explaining that for personal reasons, I would not be giving any notice, but that I knew my co-workers would be able to handle things in my absence.

Needless to say, I was nervous, and yet exhilarated by the thought that after all the abuse, the belittlement, the condensation and negativity I was finally going to be able to walk away.  On that Saturday I showed up to work and did my job as usual.  When it came time to leave, I took my name plate, office key and letter of resignation and put it on the assistant manager’s desk.  I gathered up all my personal items, said goodbye to the therapist still there and sent an update to the assistant manager, manager and big boss on the happenings of the day.  I closed with, please check your email for my letter of resignation.

BOOM!

I left.  Walked out.  Flipped off the building and made my way home.  OOOOHHHHHH….I wonder what they all must be thinking. I’m sure that it was seconds before they were checking their emails and calling each other with a WTF????

The manager tried to call, she was worried about me. I was not falling for that shit.  Then she emailed.  I said I was fine, and that due to personal reasons, this is how it had to be.  I gave no explanation.

When I got my final paycheck, I noticed that my vacation pay was not included.  Being prepared for this (because I know who the fuck I’m dealing with) I sent an email asking when I could expect it.   This is when I was told that is was a use it or lose it policy and that since I gave no notice and would not talk to them that they would not be honoring that.  HA. Bitch, please…I was ready for this exact response.

I sent a follow up email advising that I had read through the office policies, and there was no mention of not receiving unused vacation upon termination.  I also sent an excerpt and link to the Illinois dept of labor outlining that I did indeed have a right to that money.  I clicked send. The email was returned….Send again, returned again.  Apparently, my email was flagged for spam.  OOOhhhhh, they are funny, but they totally underestimate me.  So, I sent it through an alternate email, explaining that if I did not receive the vacation pay earned that I would be filing a complaint with the DOL and including this email along with the rejected effort marked as spam.

“Fine. It’s not worth arguing about.”

That was that…I got my money and was able to put that fucker and his insane business practice behind me once and for all!!!!

Woot woot.

On to a better life…for a while anyway.

 

A clear perspective

I make no secret that I have been in counseling for several years. There is no doubt in my mind that it has saved me in more ways than one.  It did not save my marriage, it did not save my relationship with my mother…it has saved me from thinking that there is something wrong with me.  Sometimes it’s all about validation…I am not wrong for feeling the way I do.  Other times it’s giving me a new perspective on the reasons I am the way I am, and why I feel the way I feel.

Love:

“Wait…are you in love with him?”

I was completely taken aback by that question, and to be completely honest, the thought had come up just a few days earlier.  The answer to that question is as complicated for me as almost anything in my life right now.  The bottom line, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I want to be in love….I feel like after nearly 3 years together we should be in love.  However, love has always been a volatile emotion for me.  My relationships have been wrapped in my taking the blame for all that is wrong, and teaching people that it doesn’t matter how bad you treat me…I will always love you, I will always forgive you.

So what it boils down to is that I do not know what true love is.  I do not know how to be loved in an honest healthy way.  Of course, I do know what it should look like, how it should feel…yet I can’t seem to wrap my little brain around how any of that relates to me.  The task I have been given is to allow myself the opportunity to have the kind of love I truly want.  Dare I say, the kind of love I deserve.

Change:

A couple of weeks ago I had a night where I couldn’t sleep.  First off, I was completely and totally grateful that it wasn’t one of those nights that I was hyper-focused on a conversation, a comment, or feeling.  What did that mean?  Why didn’t I say this or that?  If only I had done this… Ugh, I have had way to many nights like that in the past and it sucks.  This time, it was just calm reflection, but still, the mind would not quiet.  After an hour or so I decided to get out my journal, and write it out.

Each area turned into no less than 3-4 pages.  Apparently I had some things to get off my mind.  The job, the home, the man, the friends, the ex, the smoking, the goals, the weight….There was a lot of shit packed in there that night.  The common thread seemed to commitment (or lack there of) and follow through.  Why oh why can’t I take that great idea, thought or intention, and follow through, focus and commit to any of them.  Well, it seems that I may tend to overthink (I know I was shocked too) (not really) (I’m not fooling anyone) and as was recently suggested “hyper-focus” on emotions that have no real value to the situation.  That isn’t exactly the phrase he used, but the bottom line is I  spend too much time thinking about things, applying inaccurate emotional value to things, situations and people, and not giving myself enough credit or acknowledgement that sometimes and some things are just out of my control.

I have not quit smoking because I am a failure and weak in my commitment.

I have not found a better job because I am not good enough or qualified enough for anything better than this.

I have not sought a better relationship because I don’t really deserve anything better than just the crumbs someone is willing to offer.

I can’t followed though on my yoga, house projects, meal planning, etc etc etc…because you just aren’t good at taking care of shit.

As it has been explained to me…I have a little more in common with my son than I may have been willing to admit to.  None of these things are character flaws…they are more traits of someone with ADD.  I am too focused on having a mediocre life, because it is something familiar and predictable. It is just easier to blame myself for the mediocrity than to actually accept that I could do better and pursue it.  So, it’s time to admit that I might need a little help.

It was suggested, that if I got a little help with what’s going on with my brain, I might be able to stay focused enough to follow through on all those areas of my life that are lacking.

I am not a bad person for having a hard time quitting smoking…I have an addiction that needs to be addressed.

I am not a bad person for wanting to leave my current job…it has served its purpose and I deserve an opportunity to be in a position where my strengths can be appreciated and I can be allowed to grow.

I am not a bed person for wanting a more fulfilling relationship filled with love and commitment…I deserve to be with someone who wants and appreciates what I have and is eager to return the feelings.

I am not a bad person for not staying focused on the tasks that need to be taken care of…I can give myself permission to accept that I need some help.

It’s going to be an interesting journey.  Somehow I’m going to have to admit I am not the flawed person I have been telling myself I am…I am human, sometimes we need a little help, and a clearer perspective.

 

 

Surviving vs Thriving

“You have been conditioned to survive.  You are very good at it.  If there is an apocalypse I want to be with you, because I know you will survive…you and the cockroaches.  What you do not know how to do is to thrive.”

That is what my therapist told me yesterday.  He couldn’t be more right.  I am a survivor.  Look at me still keeping the house going, paying my bills, getting food on the table, car’s still in one piece and running, I haven’t failed at my basic responsibilities.  I’m also anxious, unhappy and unsatisfied.  Yeah me I win at basic survival skills….but fail at a life worth living.

The job is dead end.  I know this. There is no where for me to go, no steps to climb, no room to grow or even fulfill my own potential. Where I am right now is where I will always be.  It will not take me anywhere…ever.  If I ever want to have more than just my basic needs met I’ve got to get out of there.  Homework assignment: Get back online and apply all over the place…stay away from small companies and look for larger corporations that will allow me to grow.

The man is a dead end.  As much as it breaks my heart I know that is true.  Much like the heartbreak of ending my marriage…no matter how much I wanted things to be better, I knew they never would be what I needed, with him.  The truth is that the hunky stallion gave me a peek into something I had never experienced with a relationship. It was beautiful and exactly what I always imagined I relationship should be.  However, it was just a peek.  Then it stopped.  “If you were acting like a mature confident strong woman would you have stayed this long?”  The answer is no.  I would have been done when he said he didn’t have time to give me anything.  What THAT woman would have said is, I like that feeling you gave me, I want more of that and will seek out someone who can give it to me. Instead, I begged for him to give me what he does not have.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Under the Tuscan Sun.  The movie starts with a woman who is confident her life is good.  She soon finds out her husband has been having an affair and want a divorce.  Her life was NOT what she thought it was and she received a very painful awakening.  She goes on a journey of self, following her gut and making what most people (even herself) would think were absolutely crazy choices.  In one scene she has a meltdown.  Screaming how she bought a house for a life she doesn’t have.  When asked what she wanted…she replied.  People to cook for, a family, a wedding in this house.  At that point she was thinking of one particular vision.

At the end of this movie the man who had originally asked her what she wanted came to her and pointed out that she had gotten everything she had asked for.  For the first time she was able to see that indeed she had.  She was cooking for the men working on her house, her friend and baby were living with her…and there had indeed been a wedding.  Everything she wanted…but not exactly how she had envisioned it.

What I love most about this movie is it takes you where most of have been at some point.  Painful realization that the life we are living is nothing like we imagine it to be.  We do the pity party, the break down, the cursing the Universe and everything in it because we have been given a shitty deal.  It isn’t until we pick ourselves up and break out of our little comfort zone that we see how much more life has to offer.  Instead of “I can’t”…give a little “what the hell”.

I could go on doing as I have been…on autopilot, making due with what I have.  Would anyone really fault me for that?  Probably not…although I think eventually people will get tired of hearing the same old sob story over and over again.  I don’t want to hear it myself.  So there is a choice to make, one that anyone of us can make at any point in our lives.  We can stay stuck, surviving…or we can shake things up a little and start thriving.  Let go of those things that are not working for you…the job, the friends, the house…the man (or woman), whatever is keeping you stuck.

Get busy living…or get busy dieing.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

FWB

I have allowed myself to be back in the “game”.  This time it feels different.  I’m no longer desperate or lonely or feel like I need to fill my space with a man.  Given this new attitude and my newly found confidence I have been able to see each and every potential candidate in a more mature way.

Over the last few years I have tried many different online sites in an effort to find some companionship.  I refuse to even attempt to calculate the amount of money spent on the more upscale sites.  I can tell you the amount of return on my investment has most definitely put me in the negative. At this point I can no longer afford to invest in these sites…so I’m pushed into the free ones.  There has to be some quality in there somewhere…at least I’m hoping.

I’m trying Tinder for the first time.  What I like is that you can only communicate with someone who has shown mutual interest.  Makes it easier than filtering through messages from men there is no attraction to.  Well, at least it would seem easier.  I find myself swiping right on men that seem interesting and have something to say about themselves.  There have been approximately 20 mutual matches.  When there’s a match, I send out a message hoping to connect.  So far I’ve gotten about 4 who have returned one message, then nothing else, one who was interesting but lives in another state (how I missed that I have no clue) and two who are offering the ever popular FWB.

As a smart woman, I can see the appeal of the FWB.  For anyone who isn’t really interested in a traditional relationship, you can have sex with someone who also has no interest in a relationship.  For two people who want to keep their freedom, but don’t want to rely on random hook-ups or one night stands…this offers an alternative with no hidden objectives.

What I have learned is that the “benefit” is sex, the “friend” is someone you can have sex with. I hang out with my friends, we do stuff together, movies, dinner…what have you.  That is not part of the F in FWB.  Another thing is that maybe this week I would like a different benefit, perhaps, the benefit I’m looking for is someone to come change out the drippy faucet in the bathroom, or help re-wire a light…or do some “manly” things for me around the house.  Apparently, that is not open for interpretation. The only benefit these men are looking for is sex…without any investment.

The other thing I found out is that accepting an offer of FWB does not allow me the opportunity for a drink or meal.  Pretty much, let’s meet and have sex.  Hmm….well, I do like sex, and I appreciate how “sexy” or “beautiful” you think I am, but why can’t you wine me a little??  Is that too much to ask? Apparently, yes it is.  No matter how “stunning” I am…we’re not going out in public, I’m not taking you to the movies or the local bar.  Again, where’s the real benefit for me??

So thank you for the compliments…I’m sure that there are a lot of women out there who are willing to go right from your compliments to your bed without the desire for anything in between.  I am not one of those women.  Maybe at one time or another that would have been enough.  At this point I’m not interested in how attracted you are to my outside…I’ve got way to much to offer than just something good to look at and a place to tuck your willy.

Just a couple of weeks in and it’s been relatively quiet.  Online and in my head.  I’m not worried about the “what if’s” or whether or not this is all that is out there for me.  I’m trusting the Universe on this one.  Somewhere out these is my partner in crime…the man who has been looking for me.  For now I’m going to just float along this little path…and not take any shit.

 

Trying on something new…Confidence.

During my last therapy session we talked about how I am moving into a new phase.  We talked about how the last few years were not wasted, and how I’m now moving towards the desire to thrive and not just survive, and we talked about confidence.

He said something to me that kind of took me off guard.  “You have no reason whatsoever to not be confident.”  He’s right.  Yet when he said it I felt such and emotional surge…like a child who needed desperately to hear that message from a parent.   Unfortunately, I don’t have the kind of parents who would give me that sort of encouragement…so it’s the type of thing I usually tell myself, only its often surrounded by all the darkness of being raised to believe you are worthless.

I realized that most of the choices I have made in my life have been due to this lack of confidence.  Certainly my choice in relationships would be evidence that I have no sense of that understanding.  I mean really…I’m sure I don’t need to go back and recount all my poor choices in men.  Even with friends…the good one’s I push away.  It’s time to change all of that.

So I was given that “one shot” assignment.  Luckily I was able to put it to practice almost immediately.  I’m back to online dating.  Sigh.  Anyway, this time does feel to me different, and in my ever optimistic thinking (or perhaps wishful thinking), I thought maybe the responses I would get would also be different.

There have been two in particular that made it relatively easy to put this one shot into practice. The first started a conversation when I was getting ready to leave, I said “perhaps we could continue later.” He said “perhaps”.  A few hours later I was back online…and apparently so was he.  Within about 2 mins I get “thanks for reaching out.”

My flag was up. “Was that sarcasm?”

“No truth”

Hmm…”My first instinct is to say you are being a bit nasty, but I’m going to be optimistic here.  How was your day?”

Poof…he was gone.  Guess I got it right the first time.  Apparently I didn’t message him immediately upon signing on so that was my downfall. Oh well.

About two hours later he says “I’m sorry, I thought you were playing games.”

Me?? “Oh, no, I’m not that kind of lady.”

“So when are we going to cuddle?”

Seriously??? “Um you go from thinking I’m playing games to wanting to cuddle?? That’s fast.”

“Hey you only live once.”

Yeah buddy…but not with you. I chose not to respond.  He messaged back a short while later.  “No response.  I guess you’re too uptight for me.

Whatever dude…my choices are unlimited. So I move on.

The next gentleman was 57.  We had a few nice messages then he asked if he could call.  The conversation was nice, I was relaxed and he was pleasant.  Later on he asked if I could send him a selfie to add to my contact.  I hadn’t showered and not really a fan of my personal selfies, so I sent a saved picture.  He said “you didn’t just take that” I said no and explained why.  He said “oh, so I guess I’ll get one out of the shower then.”

No. “Ha ha. Nice try”

He sends me one of him decked out in bears gear sitting in the car.  Then another one.  Then one of him in a towel barely hanging on to cover his junk.

“Too soon.”

“Thought it went well with our conversation.”  I didn’t respond.  “oh, you’re serious.”

“Yes I am.”

“Well, hon, it was just supposed to be fun. You should have just laughed. At least I didn’t send you a picture of my junk.”  Yes, thankfully, but I’m not looking for that shit anymore.  Delete.

After about a half hour he sends me a message “I guess it wouldn’t work with us.  You’re too uptight.”

Clearly, he doesn’t know me. “You didn’t even take the time to get to know me.  Clearly yes, it wouldn’t work out….but it’s not because I’m uptight.”

So there you have it folks.  I’m back in the game!! Can you all throw out a little Woot Woot for me!!

One strike.  Confidence.  Yes indeed…I’m feeling quite good about myself.  There is no room in my life, my mind or my heart for the old shit I used to settle for.

I like this Confidence.  It feels all warm and cozy. I’d better get used to it…it might be the only thing keeping me warm this winter.

 

 

Managing my addiction…

Most people have some kind of addiction or another….even if we aren’t openly aware of it.  There is substance addiction like drugs alcohol or tobacco.  There is addiction to work, or exercise or food.  Then, like me, there are those who suffer from an addiction to patterns or feelings.

My name is Dawn, and I am addicted to giving people too many chances.

Like any addiction I am compelled to give in to those people who have repeatedly proven that they do not deserve it.  I can’t help it.  When presented with an opportunity to use my better judgement, inveritably my addiction rears it’s ugly head and compels me time and again to give anyone I care about another chance.

I’m getting help.  I’m finding out the “why” of my specific addiction.  As it turns out, it goes back to being conditioned that if I do not give someone I care about another chance, then I am not showing that person love.  If I do not forgive the abuse, misunderstanding, hurt or pain that person has caused me, then I must not really care about them.

With any addiction, this continued pattern has not served me well, but I must be getting something out of it, right?  True…there is always a pay off with any addiction, but the bottom line is that it breaks a part of you each and every time you give in to it.  I’m tired of being broken.  I want to be loved…but I do not need to be loved by people who are incapable of loving me in a healthy way.

My counselor has given me an assignment.  One strike.  That’s all I’m allowed to give.  Don’t call when you say you will. Done.  Break a date. Done.  Come in to my home and abuse me…Done.  I laughed…cause I know that this is going to be very tough for me.

I mean come on.  What kind of loving individual would I be if I didn’t give someone another chance???  I couldn’t at first wrap my head around that idea.  Then I realized that people who truly love me, those who deserve my love in return, don’t need a 2nd or 3rd or 99th chance.  They don’t abuse me or mistreat me.  That is not love…well not healthy love anyway.  Breaking this addiction will also make me less and less attractive to the people who thrive on people like me.  What narcissistic individual wants to be with someone who isn’t giving in to their needs?  We established a long time ago that I am a beacon for narcissism…and that needs to stop if I am going to have the life I want…the live I deserve.

So as I travel along this road of live and love…I embrace my new motto.  You get one shot buddy…fuck it up and you’re OUT!!

Accepting the lesson of LOVE

The last two weeks have shown me that Love is my lesson. It shows up in every corner of my day and reminds me that I am still rooted too deeply in fear. So in the true spirit of breaking the patterns I’m embracing my lesson and diving deep within to accept and embrace the fear in an effort to understand and finally let it go.

Let it go.

I’ve acknowledged that fear has held me back in a lot of ways. I’ve also had moments of intense bravery and managed to walk right through my fear in order to get to a better place. However, it seems that I haven’t had enough brave moments, or perhaps I’m not embracing them as fully as I should. Whatever it is, will be uncovered eventually, but for now it is time to work on Love and release the fear.

There is something almost magical about opening your mouth and saying out loud what your soul has been aching to say. “I can’t do this anymore.” Saying those words was both freeing and terrifying at the same time. There is that moment you can feel a huge weight has been lifted from you and yet just as quickly you can feel the desire to back peddle and take back those words. I felt that very same way when I finally told my husband I was done. Oh thank God it’s finally out there…oh shit what the fuck did I just do???

One of the ways I’m learning to let go of fear is to face it and stop lying to myself about how it shows up in my words, my actions and my thoughts. When I react to something someone says, that’s fear. When I hide because I don’t want people to know I am hurting, that’s fear. When I continue to do the same thing over and over again that I know isn’t what I want, that is fear. When I am alone with my thoughts and I tell Myself I am unlovable, that is fear.

Love will set you free. I believe that. You must love yourself as you are before you can love someone else. Ok, that makes sense too. Love is the answer. Indeed…but what is the question? Love. It’s all around me reminding me over and over that this glorious journey of life has always about love. The love you give and the love you receive. It’s something that you must learn to give freely and completely without any expectation or demands.

Love begins and ends with me. I must learn to love myself.

So here is the fear that keeps lurking in the pit of my soul.

I am not lovable. I am not good enough. No one will stay.

Ew. On the surface, I know none of that is true. I have been able to prove that again and again….and yet, they still bubble up. So how do I start to turn those crazy fears around?

I’m not lovable. Fuck that, I’m totally lovable. I’m thoughtful compassionate caring and a complete goof-ball. What’s not lovable about that?

I’m not good enough. Good enough for who? That jerk who said you “weren’t long term material”? Or the idiot that thinks it’s better to be alone than be with you?  I am totally good enough on my own and completely open to finding someone who is daring enough to just how good I am.

No one will stay. Why would I want to hold on to someone who doesn’t want to stay. If they don’t want to stay, they weren’t meant to stay which means there is room for those who will.

Whew. See how easy it was to turn that shit around. Now…practice practice practice. Next time fear shows up I will acknowledge it, embrace it then smack it on the ass as I escort it out.