January 29th, 2011. An opportunity for me to grow?

About 3 weeks ago an online friend who I met through a mutual online friend in the Philadelphia area told me about this opportunity to go to Korea and teach english.  At first I thought it was a joke because the opportunity seemed too good to be true.  She said that she and her girlfriend went to Korea two years ago and have been there ever since… that they went, had their room and board paid for minus $100.00 or so in utilities and were paid $2000.00 a month to work 30 hours each week –and that no taxes were taken out!

I looked into this opportunity a little more by researching it via articles, as well as extensive youtube videos of people who have first-hand experience, and I came to the shocking realization that she was right –it is a great opportunity to travel, learn, grow, and save money!  I heard stories of people who saved between $500.00 and $1000.000 dollars a month and were able to put that towards student loans!

So her I am… I have been presented with this opportunity to teach English to school-age children in South Korea, and I don’t know what to do… I don’t know why the decision to leave behind this unhealthy situation is so difficult.  The reality is I have not been able to find work here, and my health insurance is about to run out, and once I do find work, I will leave this household and literally be all alone in the city living paycheck to paycheck.  It’s a pain here not to mention because I basically cannot drive because it’s stressful with all of th signs, getting lost, parking, etc.  It’s just a bunch to deal with.  I never had a problem parking where I was living before, in the small towns/cities, but this is a city –a metropolitan, and things are different here!

Anyway, would I not jump at the opportunity?  Why am I hesitant to just make a quick decision and go for it?  I already know that the rent will be cheaper there than here for when I live on my own, and I will be making $15.00 an hour and have full medical benefits.  The contracted job that I am looking at here does not include benefits at all.  I would be pulling in $500.00 a week in Korea with no taxes being taken out.  I can save a little money… I won’t have a car, either.  For starters it sounds like a good opportunity, so why am I hesitant?

It’s funny because I write in my journal –both my handwritten and online one, that I would like to be more “spontaneous/care-free” like I used to be, but that something holds me back –what on earth is it?  Is it fear?  Is it all of these negative life experiences that I have encountered?  How do I resolve that?  –Just by “doing” it?  Maybe this is the leap I need to get my life back together?  My logical mind wants to say, “What, moving to another country?!”  And that doesn’t seem logical, but why not?  I mean, why not try something new?  Of course there will be pro’s and con’s, and this is exactly where I get stuck… I think too much.  I think too long, and then before I know it, the opportunity has slipped by.

I just do not like to be “stuck.”  Natalia, the individual who told me about this opportunity said that you can’t just go from one job to the next very easily in the event that you should hate your job.  My problem is I do not like to be unhappy, and more importantly, I do not like to feel stuck, because I feel like I’m wasting my growth.  Growth is extremely important to me, and I cannot rationalize it and say, “Well, it’s only ‘1 year.'”  One year is a long time!  But then again, look what I am doing now… by living with Erin and being in these kinds of situations… I am wasting my growth here, too!  Here I don’t do anything but not live my life and come home fearing her father’s disrespect, selfish, one-sidedness.

I mean, reality check… my energy is absolutely wasted here because I am worrying almost daily what Erin is doing because she is continually dishonest.  Do I really want to deal with that in life?  It’s unfortunate because I honestly wonder whether or not I will ever be able to trust anymore after all of these destructive relationships I’ve had.  I am glad that I finally have “standards” now, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve spent many years hurting… being in one-sided unfulfiling, highly unhealthy, toxic relationships.  So I guess living here I am most definitely wasting my potential because I am unable to get things accomplished.  I am exhausted after only a couple hours of fighting with her… it literally physically drains me… all the mental.

The denial I experience in this situation is back and forth.  Some days I will wake up, and I will think, “Oh, this isn’t as bad as I think…” I say to myself, “I can handle this –no problem!”  The truth is, I can’t.  The truth is I shouldn’t have to… I shouldn’t have to continually be wondering whether or not someone is being honest with me, only to have them defend and justify their hurtful behavior by saying, “I’m entitled to my ‘privacy’.”  That’s such a cop out, and quite frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing it.

Erin rages and rants all the time… I cannot even relax at night until she goes to bed because my mind is left wondering, “Is she cheating on me?”  I wonder this incessantly because of the two times that she completely went behind my back before WITH someone and then the two times she signed up for gay and lesbian meetups… the various crushes that she had on people — first Kelly a classmate, then Tabby a coworker, then Teresa a coworker… and her looking at porn and being on extremely “friendly” terms and beyond obsessed with this EVONY game online… she has flat-out lied to me about stuff involving other people.  She is obsessed with attention.  My counselor said she sounds like a sex addict.  I said that I think she’s a sex and love addict.

At any rate, it’s very hard for me to relax around her and not think, “Hmm, is she looking for someone else to fuck,” or “If she fucking someone?”  Literally 1 week ago she texted me and said something along the lines of how she is thinking about playing the (quote) “bitch card” and dating and fucking people just to be a bitch and get me off her back.  Only a self-righteous narcissist would say that.  She always has to have things her way, yet she will swear that she “compromises” for everyone and doesn’t have her own wishes… yet along with this “poor me” attitude comes a strong sense of entitlement.  She literally will be completely one-sided and say, “I can do whatever the hell I want, when I want, with whom I please.”  This one-sided, wall-like, defensive attitude is in all her affairs.

At any rate, I cannot even go to sleep until she is upstairs, and now she is proposing that she bring her laptop up after bedtime hours and keep it on for a couple hours until she falls asleep… I understand that is her choice, but you also have to understand that I cannot and have not been able to trust her because she literally continually breaks my trust and is dishonest, so I am triggered by things that not only have happened in the past, but that keep happening, and I can’t sleep knowing she may be further hurting me!  We are not even “together” anymore, but that’s besides the point when neither of us have healed because we have not had the physical space.

I am debating taking this opportunity and going to South Korea.

January 28th, 2011. Dream w/family (cousins included), beach, & Jen’s backpack.

I dreamt last night of my family (including cousins) and some of my ex’s… Jen… Amanda… and possibly Erin.  I faintly remember being with my family on vacation somewhere…. we were inside of this vacation rental and there were a bunch of cots.  I remember seeing Jen’s backpack –it was bright orange and gray and she was dating someone as usual.  I remember in the dream really feeling her carefree, light-hearted, zesty, spontaneous personality — it was nice.  I woke up missing her and feeling nostalgic for having dreamt of my family and especially being on vacation with my family.

Outside of our vacation rental was a shore line– either lake or beach.  I faintly remember chasing a sneaker along the shore line that was getting swept away by the tide.  The family, ex’s, and I were outside enjoying the sun and water.  I remember someone’s sneaker who I was in charge of protecting fleeing into the ocean, and I called out to my family –whoever was in the water, to grab it before it was swept away!  I can’t remember which of my family members were in the water, but I know for a fact that my cousin Ashley was, and she had falsely accused me of doing something with one of her sandals that I didn’t do or even touch, and I remember feeling shitty in the dream and thinking, “I always am scapegoated.”

The song below was echoing in my mind when I awoke.

Digital Summer-  Rescue Me

So maybe I’m the one that needed saving
Someone to rescue me from myself
And now the memories are slowy fading
Wish I could see me through the eyes of someone else

I remember the look in your eyes
When you were reaching out to me
And I tried to help you
But now im haunted by the hero that I couldn’t be

So maybe I’m the one that needed saving
Someone to rescue me from myself
And now the memories are slowy fading
Wish I could see me through the eyes of someone else

I drown out my thoughts now
As pathetic as it may seem
So just take it away now, help me forget how
I just stood there frozen by your screams

I know I shouldn’t blame myself
For what I cannot control
It seems so impossible to ever let this go

So maybe I’m the one that needed saving
Someone to rescue me from myself
And now the memories are slowy fading
Wish I could see me through someone else
Maybe I’m the one that needed saving
Can you help me now
Trapt in this life with no way out
Sometimes I wish I was someone else
Someone else

January 27th, 2011. The Realization that my “mother” is sick.

I was re-reading a journal entry I wrote expressing some grief I have as a result of the “relationship,” or lack thereof I had with my “mother” growing up, and I cannot help but wonder if the woman is a female narcissist?  I have no doubt in my mind that she is ill, and likely personality-disordered.

I found an article that describes characteristics of narcissistic mothers, and I thought I would share a few that stand out:

2.  Another major one of the signs of narcissism is that she ‘gaslights’ – i.e. lies and denies. So many of the cruelties are sly and subtle that it’s the cumulative effect which is devastating. But if you try to remind her of previous examples, to show a pattern, she’ll deny flat out that they ever happened.

3.  Another characteristic of a narcissistic mother is that she’s always running you down, often subtly (maybe even by a glance or tone of voice) but equally often overtly.

8.  She’s clever. It’s all subtle. She picks her moments so that there are no witnesses (or no witnesses not also under her dominion, e.g. an enabling father). This makes it very, very hard to explain to others, and adds to the crazy-making head-wreckingness of it all.

9. She talks herself up as being a great mother. “I was so worried about you,” she’ll tell you, but you get a hollow feeling that it wasn’t true. These things are easy to say after all, and require no action or effort.

10.  She divides the family to conquer it. Her children might be golden children or scapegoats. Neither of these is a good position to be in. (Note: not all Narcissistic Mothers do this – mine didn’t.)

12.  She never, ever, ever gives a genuine apology. If forced she might say something like, “I’m sorry if you got upset,” or similar non-apology. She’s more likely to deny that the offensive situation actually occured.

13.  Or another of the signs of narcissism is that she’s very likely to blame you for whatever happened. She’ll never accept responsibility. I complained to my mother once about the fact she talked all the time. Her reply? “Well, you make me so nervous that I talk all the time from nervousness.” I had no answer to that, and to this day cannot think of a proper answer.

16.  But at the same time as lacking empathy, she’s a great student of human emotion. She analyses us (us being the normal ones) all the better to manipulate us.

It reminds me of my dog. My dog studied me intently and knew that a certain shoes and jacket meant a walk and she could get excited. But high heels and handbag meant she wasn’t coming out with me. She had no clue about why the different clothes meant different things, she just knew that they did.

Narcissists are the same. They don’t experience emotion and don’t understand it. But they can observe it and take advantage of it.

18.  She’s selfish. That goes without saying. There’s never any genuine generosity. Any seeming generosity has an ulterior motive. Maybe it’s so she can tell her friends about what she got you. Or maybe it’s so she can throw it in your face at a later date. Or maybe it’s a sly dig, e.g. a book on dieting.

20.  Having said that, they can use gifts of money to gain control over you, to make you dance to their tune. So on the face of it, these gifts seem very generous. But there are always huge strings attached.

27.  She may fail to protect you, by allowing (or, if you’re the scapegoat, even encouraging) others to hurt you.

28.  She may, if she’s a malignant narcissist, even physically abuse you.

36.  She may project her own neurosis onto you. So if she’s worried about her weight, she’s always on about your weight. That was something my own mother did all the time. I was the one who, she said, looked so like her, and she was always telling me about people who said it too. (In fairness, some people said it to me directly.) She wasn’t confident about her own looks so when she said about me looking like her, she’d say, “Poor you.”

37.  She’s often very, very vain. My own mother didn’t fall into this category at all, but many do. They are always perfectly dressed, maybe even overdressed for the occasion, wearing make-up and so on. These women tend to hate ageing and are prime candidates for cosmetic surgery. (Not that everyone who hates ageing and has cosmetic surgery is Narcissistic!)

38.  She interferes in your relationships. She doesn’t want anybody else to be happy without her, because happiness without her presence means she’s – gasp! – not the centre of the universe. So she might stir it, sly underminings of your husband maybe, “He’s not a very good provider, is he?”

A classic is to keep you and your siblings at logger-heads. That way she retains control. She will talk about each of you to the others. She’s like a spider at the centre of a web, manipulating you all. This is called triangulation.

44.  She judges people as being good or bad based on whether they agree with her or not. So, normal people could think of somebody: “I totally disagree with his religious beliefs, politics and economic beliefs. But he’s a very good man”.

Not your Narcissistic Mother! Her philosophy is, “If you agree with me, you’re good. If you don’t, you’re bad.”

Article Link: http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/narcissism-traits.html
Linked journal entry: https://not2bforgot10.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/june-17th-2010-my-past-my-experiences-grievances/

January 27th, 2011. Last night’s “dream…” Erin’s “class.”

I had a dream last night that I initially wanted to say was “disturbing,” but reality-wise, it was unsettling.  When I think of “disturbing,” I think of something dark, scary, and threatening to one’s sense of safety… my dream was not like this, but it was dis-settling and shocking.

My dream last night:

In my dream, Erin and I were both teaching.  It turned out that I couldn’t teach for the day– my class was canceled for some reason, and so I went to Erin’s “class” and a bunch of people- men and women of all ages were there and were coming in.  We were all sitting in a circle-like fashion.  Erin was sitting to the left of me.  All of a sudden someone stood up and announced, “This is a lesbian lovers ACA-something (I think “lovers/singles” but am not positive) meeting!”  I was upset because it had shocked me that Erin was not really teaching a “class” and instead was hosting a lesbian meeting!  I was also upset because I thought that all people of all ages/sex should be allowed to come and that the men, which may have been trans-gender, etc. should be allowed to stay.

I looked to my left shortly after this announcement was made, and Erin had disappeared.  I remember texting her a few times and calling her, and I kept getting her voicemail… I then remember going to my right and going just killing time and looking/waiting for her.  I thought that maybe she had just gone to the bathroom or to take care of something.

The dream soon switched to an outdoors scene/arena, but right beforehand, I recall looking at my cell phone, which was a new “Blackberry” but looked nothing like my new one, –the letters on a couple of the keys on the left-side of the phone were red and green had completely faded right in front of my eyes to where I could not see what I was texting.  Since the phone was new,  I was unable to text, and I had no way of getting a hold of Erin.

The “class” then switched to an outdoors scene, and there was snow and ice (like the weather outside right now, literally).  I was thrown into this outdoor seating area of lesbians… the size of a hug lecture hall; there were maybe 200-300 lesbians, and they were still arriving!  Erin was now “Sarah.”  In other words, Erin was still Erin, and I was looking for Erin physically, but her name had switched to “Sarah,” my ex.  I was looking all over now amongst hundreds of people for Erin and could not spot her.  I was sure now that she had ran off with someone…

The next thing I knew, I was on this sled which was fueled by gasoline because I was able to drive it like a car.  It was a small sled-like car.  Everyone had to introduce themselves to everyone there, and it was my turn.  I remember grabbing the sled-car’s steering wheel with my left hand and cruising around all fast and sort of showing off because I was driving with only one hand like I used to when I was 16, but I had one mission, and that was to find Erin.  So I was “introducing” myself to people, but I was not really “there” –I was on ‘automaton,’ because in the back of my mind, I was looking for Erin.  I think that Erin had turned into “Sarah” in the dream because of the similarities between the two of them… the whole sneaky curious thing….

At any rate, it broke my heart.  There was a song playing in the dream called “The sound of goodbye” by Armin Van Buren.  The lyrics are very short, and are as follows:

“Every face I see
Is cold as ice
Everything i touch is pale
Ever since i lost imagination
Like a stream that flows into the sea
I am lost for all eternity
Ever since you took your love away from me
Some times the sound of goodbye
Is louder than any drumbeat

The lyric that I kept hearing in the dream that I heard loudly, that stood out from the rest of the song, I’ve bolded.  I think I was devastated at what happened.

January 20th, 2011. Making progress w/boundaries and self-respect!

I am deciding to post because I am proud of myself again!  I feel like God is throwing these lessons in my life, and I am handling them appropriately.  So someone from ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) just called me and was acting very strange… she was speaking in a dissociated voice.  She called, and she said, “Emily, it’s me ‘Jen’ from ACOA; I’m calling you from the hospital…”  Anyway, the next phrase out of her mouth was:  “I tried to commit suicide last night.”

I immediately detached, ie: stepped back emotionally right there and did not allow myself to get roped in. I had had a bad feeling about her before sensing that she was unstable.  She actually came into ACOA two weeks ago and didn’t know me and was telling me her life story and about how she’s “unsure” of her sexual identity now, etc.  At any rate, it was very strange, and I gave myself a mental note to step back and be cautious.  When she called me from the hospital it further confirmed my initial impression based off intuition.

She proceeded to tell me a sob story about how her “poor cat” is left at home without anyone to take care of it, etc. and asked me if I would go to her house and feed it!  I knew right then that I had to set a boundary, and so I offered to give her numbers of other member’s in the group.  I feel smart about this decision.  I do not want to get roped into her drama and who knows how long she would even be in the hospital!  So I declined passively I supposed because I didn’t exactly say “No,” but I directed her to other members.

At any rate, I am proud of myself for putting my foot down and not getting roped into this one.  This is the 3rd incident in the past week where I have learned to step back and set appropriate boundaries… more than anything, where I have been able to apply my “principles” or whatever you would call them!  Good work and progress for me!  I will keep journaling.

January 20th, 2011. “Standards.”

This is the second entry I’ve written today.  I am amazed at the type of people I attract into my life… I honestly wonder what that says about me.  I was pondering today, walking to the park and wrote down some of my thoughts.  At any rate, I couldn’t help but notice how bleak everything looked and how cold it was… and the park was lifeless, kind of how I feel now.  I feel like my inner landscape is barren.

I am just realizing how important partner and friendship selection is.  I have added a few people to my facebook through mutual friends and have trying to get to know some of them with a mindful eye and ear.  Typically I will just be friends with anyone who seems to be there, but I can proudly say that I’ve begun to develop standards for myself and am starting to stick to them.  One of the persons I spoke with I am surprised to find out smokes weed every day.  That is not my style, and that is a major red flag.  In the past I might have thought, “Oh, well she’s ‘cute’ or she’s convenient,” ie: always there, there to listen, etc. but  not this time.  I have actually dropped her from my “Get to know” list to the regular “Philadelphia folks” list.

The individuals on my “Get to know” list are people who I think, at first observation, look nice and decent.  Then of course I talk to them… and I find out more, like I did tonight!  I must say that I am a little disappointed that this person who seemed very beautiful in many respects is a daily pot smoker.  I must say honestly that that rained on my parade a little bit because I honestly thought that maybe I had found a potential friend who shares similar values and interests, but the truth is, I don’t want that in my life, and I am trying to change that –lack of self-respect, etc. about myself.

I am simply not going to waste time on people who do not share similar values.  I realize now how important values are, and it’s sad that I never had them before… “standards,” that is.  Honesty, respect, communication, dependability, and commitment are very important values to have, and it honestly wasn’t until being in this relationship with Erin that I could see the importance of these things.  Through not having had them in the relationship with Erin, I learned what matters to me.

So to say the least, that is just one example in which I am proud to say that I am applying some principles that are important to me.  The other one was the other night when I was talking to someone I thought was cute, who I have thought was cute for a very long time, and while I am not looking for a relationship, I was interested in building a friendship with this person.  It turns out the person blew me off two days in a row (we had been texting and had also planned on talking on the phone for 10 minutes so she could tell me about this frightening event that happened to her out of the blue) and her reasoning was because she had “acted stupid.”  I said, “What?”  She skipped around what happened, and finally said to me that she had gone to a lesbian bar and saw “10” of her ex’s and that they still wanted her, etc.

My first reaction was “Okay, she blew me off first off,” two, a lesbian “bar?” (I am not big into drinking but “to each his own;” however, not when it involves dumping me off), and then “10” ex’s?!  And lastly, the “they still want me” like comment she made.  She had mentioned something about an ego stroke.  I am sitting here thinking, “What the hell, are you serious?”  Anyway, that raised some major red flags for me!  Even aside from the fact that she dumped me off, the fact that she had 10 ex’s?!  I mean, “10” fine, okay, lets just pretend that’s okay… she talked about how she “did” stuff with them and how they still “want” her!  (I later found out she kissed them).  At any rate, I am not attracted to any of that… and I’m not sure what you would even call it, because I don’t think it necessarily falls under any of the categories (standards/values) I listed above, so I’m not sure what exactly you’d “call” it.  I just know that if I was involved with someone like that then they obviously have unresolved issues with their ex’s and they also enjoy a lot of physical attention, which does not fly with me in terms of possible future dating relationships!

I later asked this person if she is a loyal person or enjoys polygamy and she said she is very loyal and has “never cheated,” which may be (likely) is true; however, I don’t understand why she needs such an ego boost.  Honestly, that turns me off.  And honestly I was turned off by the fact that she, being single, would act in such a fashion.  Again, I am not sure what you would “call” it, but I would never act in such a way, and I am not interested in pursuing anything with her at any point in the future based off such knowledge.  Which is fine.  I just felt saddened to hear that… It just goes to show that we must really take the time to get to know people before jumping into things… which is exactly what I have been trying to do now.  I have been sort of “screening” people, watching them –how they act/behave, etc. and then making judgments of whether or not I want that type of person in my life and how based off that.

So yeah… Ashley still is the only woman that I have dated that shares similar values.  We shall see what’s to become of this.  I will continue being my lovely self and continue along the path of self growth and discovery…

January 13th, 2011. “Carolina” by Parmalee.

Grief comes and goes in waves… of course I am thinking about Ashley tonight.  I had a dream about her last night.  Sarah was in it.  I am going to type is up and share it when I get a chance sometime this weekend.

Home is where my heart is still beating I don’t know when i’ll see her again I hate to see her cry when I’m leaving But now I’m a thousand miles away again She feels like Carolina (feels like Carolina) Looks like California (looks like California) Shining like those New York lights on Broadway When she looks back I’m behind her I’ll always be there for her She makes me feel like home’s not so far away She feels like Carolina It’s hard to understand the way I’m living I know you think I’m never coming home (never coming home) But I miss your pretty smile, & I’m coming back in a little while But I’m a thousand miles away again She feels like Carolina (feels like Carolina) Looks like California (looks like California) Shining like those New York lights on Broadway When she looks back I’m behind her I’ll always be there for her She makes me feel like home’s not so far away She makes me feel like home’s not so far away No matter how far I go, you know I can’t stop thinking about her

Home is where my heart is still beating I don’t know when i’ll see her again I hate to see her cry when I’m leaving But now I’m a thousand miles away again She feels like Carolina (feels like Carolina) Looks like California (looks like California) Shining like those New York lights on Broadway When she looks back I’m behind her I’ll always be there for her She makes me feel like home’s not so far away She feels like Carolina It’s hard to understand the way I’m living I know you think I’m never coming home (never coming home) But I miss your pretty smile, & I’m coming back in a little while But I’m a thousand miles away again She feels like Carolina (feels like Carolina) Looks like California (looks like California) Shining like those New York lights on Broadway When she looks back I’m behind her I’ll always be there for her She makes me feel like home’s not so far away She makes me feel like home’s not so far away No matter how far I go, you know I can’t stop thinking about her