Thursday, July 19, 2012


I'm hearing more and more that people I know are discovering this blog. Friends, family, etc.

I hope this blog is decent explanation as to why I used to operate the way I did, and I'm really not sorry for what happened to me, but I'm definitely sorry that I've treated some people the way I did through all of it. I've been kind of selfish and judgmental for quite a few years, assuming that people couldn't and wouldn't understand what I was going through, and it's time for me to stop playing around, pointing fingers, etc.

If I needed people to understand, I should have stopped just assuming I was life's victim and explained myself. I should have said I was confused and embarrassed and in pain. I should have explained that I irrationally felt like people were judging me and should have definitely stopped evading the fact that I'm imperfect. There are quite a few people whose forgiveness I don't really expect, but I'd definitely be ecstatic to have.

There are those few who gave me their time, advice, worry, love, etc. and I spent too much time reminding myself I was non-deserving and a victim of judgment from every angle and I burned those bridges.

I want to take the time to tell you I appreciate all of the emotional effort you put into me, and although I refused it at the time, I recognize all of the strain my guilt has put you through.

I'm going to make a much more dedicated effort to letting you know that I love your friendship and want you in my life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This post has to be brief because I have some things going on at work, and I have a whole bunch of budgeting and planning to do.

DH and I found a place to live yesterday that is actually PERFECT but is stretching the budget in ways that are profound. We're going to try to make it work by making sure both of us pick up enough work time to cover everything we have to cover.

Like I've mentioned before, I'm going to get some assistance from my aunt and my uncle who live close to where we're living, and that help is going to make such a difference in so many ways.

Stay tuned for budgeting and photos, etc.

Sorry to be so quick!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Guilt, Revisited

Yesterday, I was given a blessing. My aunt and uncle offered to help me absolve my credit card debt in one sign of a pen. They also let me know they'd cosign on an apartment with DH and me/pay for deposit and first month's rent so we can get a move on with our life and start saving money for things that matter like buying a house (instead of playing catch up for the next 10 years with my bills). This was supposed to be a very exciting time. With my PTSD and intense need to fall back into the attitude of a DoNM in mind, though, you can imagine this was a lot for me to bear.

I feel like I asked for too much and like I'm really undeserving of anyone's help.

I feel like I'm being greedy and playing a victim that needs a handout.

DH did not appreciate my negative attitude in a time where I should be overflowing with great joy. We talked about how it is instinct for me to feel guilty when I receive help because that's how my NM made me feel like I was supposed to be. Most importantly, however, he told me the only way to recover from what is happening to me is to stop taking the mindset of a victim.

Although his tough love is necessary, I feel like I'm not there yet. Like I just put this on the top shelf and forgot about it, instead of actually acknowledging all of the things that have happened to me and how I feel about NM/the situation. If I can't define how I'm feeling, I can't get over it.

I have to read Dr. McBride's book "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?" again and continue to write about how I'm feeling to really approach recovery. Maybe then I can finally tell myself that I deserve love and kindness and I can start feeling happy.

Has something like this ever happened to you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reaching Out and my Graduation Party

I've been hoping that this blog will serve as a connection for suffering DoNMs that find solace in knowing they are not alone. I'm hoping to hear similar stories to mine about how your NM or NF ruined your day or your wedding or your graduation. I'm hoping to hear about the constant burden of your own thoughts on your happiness. We truly aren't alone in this journey, and I think knowing that others are going through the same thing is relieving, to say the least.

 I'm going to start off with a story, and maybe you'll hear in it a story that sounds almost like yours and you can share yours.

When I graduated from college, my NM *insisted* we had to have a party (note: this party happened about a year later when things were "more convenient for her"). I, having graduated early, insisted it was not necessary to coordinate any big festivities as I was already working and really didn't have the time or energy to really involve myself in planning a party I would like (note 2: a graduation party is supposed to be in the style the graduate would like). So of course she decided to take matters into her own hands and coordinate the entire thing herself, and ultimately therefore to her own personal liking at not mine. I figured this would have happened anyway, whether I was an interested party in this or not, so I decided to not really care and just let her N not affect my daily business.

She ended up deciding to throw the party at an EXTREMELY fancy NYC establishment that is stuffy and reminds me of old Italian people and general snootiness. The walls are oak-paneled and whittled cherubs and acanthus leaves line the walls (along with gold-leafed crap and marble catch my drift.) Anyone would tell you this was in direct contrast to any party I had envisioned, which would have probably included a tent, a backyard, and a LOT of Bacardi Mojito. I had to comment on my general discontent with this place, as I was hoping to invite friends and not all of them can afford the kind of gifts or attire a place like this establishment would suggest...a lot of them wouldn't come simply on the fact that it was too uppity for them. This was a problem my NM was anticipating, and probably reveled in excitement that I could only invite my seemingly wealthy friends who would give me gifts. Perhaps one of my rich male friends would even propose. Who knows how her mind works...I digress.

I was dating DH at the time and he had moved up to be with me in NY. Clearly, after all of the negative things she had heard about him through a mutual friend trying to be a horrible person, he was not going to be invited. He couldn't afford a proper suit anyway, she must have thought! The issue with the fact that I was going to be forced to leave him at home is something that still eats at him to this day.

When it came time for music, I knew I had it in the bag. My long time friend is a DJ (and even fits into her rich kid category!) and I was hoping he'd coordinate the music so I could at least tolerate the night. At this point, NM's N energy was on full-blast and she hired her own live band who play exclusively old time music with a focus on Sinatra. I think I wanted to die at this point. I wasn't able to choose the food, my guests, the drinks, my outfit, the music....NM didn't even care that I was unhappy. Think of the gifts, she'd tell me. Yeah, they were the only reason I was going to go. I was going to get the money and the items and pay off my debt and perhaps have a little surplus to survive until I got the hell out of there.

Fast forward to the actual night when I was forced to kiss DH goodbye and see his misery (I REALLY didn't want to cause massive commotion and not show up to my own party), and reluctantly endured the misery of mingling with people that make my stomach turn. Thankfully, there were a few people there that were enjoyable (coworkers, godbrother, one cousin), but besides that, it was the executed plan on NM in all of her glory. This was a fancy cocktail event from hell. It was a gathering of old rich people who liked to rub each others egos -- my NM and EF's lawyers, accountants, and wealthy friends. I could have thrown up. The music was horrible and I couldn't hide my disgust from them. I left as quickly as I could (NM had had a little bit to drink so she was a little more normal), and when she asked me how I liked the "amazing party she threw for me", I told her what I felt. I had a miserable time, I came for the gifts, and it is a shame that she can't get her ego together and let her children have their glory. Clearly that did not go over well with her, and her frustration with the fact that I could not be what she wanted culminated in that night. Since then, she has been plotting my eviction, a breakup between me and DH (didn't work so well!!), and my financial instability that would potentially drive me into the ground (again, didn't work so well!).

I probably should have stood up for myself more effectively, but I've learned a few things since then as my relationship with DH and his family has developed.

Do you have a story about your NM or NF's ridiculousness?

Check out this ridiculous family photo. It's like the mafia rebirth.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grandmom and My Refreshed Lesson

DH and I went to spend some time with DH's grandmother this weekend. (MIL's mom). After getting into way too much conversation about her new chihuahua and his adorable mannerisms (aka the boring stuff you talk about when you're first spending time with someone), finally we made it into conversation about her past and the memories she has of being a wife, raising a family, the kinds of jobs she has had, her parents and growing up in war times, etc. They were the real stories of people (including herself) who have suffered through ups and downs, happiness and poverty, youth and age, single life, children, the whole nine yards. Let me tell you: I soak this kind of stuff up. I love old people, even the cranky ones. I told DH and I will repeat myself over and over again, I could sit with her all day and listen. It's like a time machine...only cuter.**

Like she told me the story of how her father had to change jobs and moved from a tin manufacturing plant to a weapons making facility for the war and how that changed his income and sense of family the war directly affected this community and her family. He was a good man but he grew tired after the war came. She told another about  how she worked operating a switchboard and how she loved the sense of independence she got from having her own career even though it changed the relationship between her and her husband. I could go on and on, but the woman has just told so many stories this weekend, I can barely keep track! What made it even better was the fact that she took out all her jewelry, clothes and photos and showed them off with so much pride. One necklace she still has was a gift that her father gave to her mother the day she was born because she was their first child -- that necklace is 80 years old! We were there until around 10pm on Saturday AND Sunday (we came back to help her move her bed), and even then I didn't want to leave!

It's just different than what I'm used to, though, because she didn't show things off because of their value, but because they were really meaningful to her in a way that has stuck over many decades. In my family, it is custom to show things off because they were expensive or made some indication toward their wealth (ie their rarity, the fact that xyz celebrity from who knows when owned the same thing). This was definitely not the same thing. Even my own grandmother who I admired for her confident attitude, beauty, style and grace was definitely a severe N. No wonder it rubbed off on my own mother -- her mother taught her that the woman, while center of the household, is also center of the universe in compensation for her actions. What ridiculousness. 

DH's grandmom showed me things that she was proud of because she loved them or because they made a positive gesture towards her children and grandchildren. She collects porcelain dolls and Barbies that she finds pretty, and people have given her some over the years to add to her collection as well. It was an excellent change of pace that definitely reminded me that I have a new family to love.

She even gave me her reproduction of the 1960's Solo in the Spotlight Barbie, the only reproduction that has come out since then. I don't even care about its value, it must be such a tough thing to part with your collection and fear that it is going into hands that don't understand its meaning. I am so thankful and plan to keep that in my room or my little girl's room (if I ever have one, I hope and pray that it's not for a while!)

We even talked about crocheting and I'm going to practice and try to make her a blanket in return for the Barbie, I think that would be a nice gesture.

Anyway, I was reminded that money has nothing to do with the impact and legacy you can leave for people (right now she lives almost exclusively on her social security income, etc.), and there are just some people who can't help but spread their cuteness and people take advantage of that. People forget that she just wants company and wants to share her memories--some unnamed individuals sit and keep their ears open while their eyes are on the goods she may leave them when she passes. I choose not to live that way. I was also reminded of why I love DH because it was just instinct for him to help her (getting her bedroom rearranged to get more AC circulating around, buying her groceries, closing some unused vents, etc.) and that need in him isn't going to get extinguished because he is tired. He expects nothing in return except love from his family and I plan on extending that to our relationship for a long time.

It is just these little things that keep me on the right track.

Stay tuned for my terrible attempt at crocheting. ;)

**Cuteness in old people comes from the fact that a) they hobble b) they say things like, "golly gee!" and "dag nammit!" and c) their ears are big, to name a few.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dreamboard, Cont.

So far, this is what I've come up with for my dream board (courtesy of I'm really not a person who dreams in grandiose fantasies; rather, I'd just like to have a life where I love my job, my family, my pets, and can find the time for some own personal introspection and peace. I'd like to be able to expand my mind and read some Jane Austen again and perhaps delve back into philosophy and other things that make one well-rounded (aka a class you were annoyed by when you were in college freshman year). Most importantly, I want to be able to get back to (at least around) the city I love, perhaps settle down in the suburbs of New York (maybe Long Island somewhere), and at least come to terms with the relationship I've had with my parents. I want to confidently stand on my own two feet (financially, emotionally, etc.) and take care of both my physical and mental health instead of constantly dreading what people think and the guilt I feel for not being perfect. I want DH to stop getting discouraged and remember I feed off of positivity and easily fall into traps of despair, self deprecation and pessimism because it is what I'm used to.

I just really want to get into a mindset where my analytical self and my emotional self can be in agreement with each other. Where I'm happy to be me and perfectly content with not being exactly what others want.

Every day, this task is a challenge. I face bouts of discouragement from financial strain, disagreements with DH that seem to last for eons, family issues, trust issues, and definitely a lot of self loathing and way too much personal critiquing. I'm trying to work on getting everything rolling in a positive direction so I can wake up one day and realize I did it.

Can't wait to say those words: I did it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dream Board/My Boss

I've decided that I've been too discouraged lately. I've been swamped with emotions of abandonment, loss, frustration, anxiety, confusion, exhaustion....all over a plethora of grandiose issues like my relationship with my family, DH, IL's, boss at work...the list can go on and on. I can feel myself slipping into bad posture, fatigue, etc. and I know this is not a path I want to go down. I need to dig deep and find a way to make sure I remain on track so I can see MY dreams realized.

This evening when I get home from work, I'm going to create a dream board and share it with everyone. It will include clippings of quotes I love, images that inspire me, and it will stand for everything I believe in and everything that I want. This way, when I'm feeling discouraged, I can look at the pictures I've included on the board and feel a re-inspired "me" beneath all the yuckiness.

Stay tuned for that.

In other news, I have to say that I've discovered that my new boss is a bit of an N. He enjoys yelling at telling other people how insignificant and stupid they are, and have brought many of my co-workers to tears now (another one quit). For example, he told my coworker that she messed up issuing a check when he sat with her and helped her do it. Afterwards, he told her that the only answer he wanted to the issue was that "she was wrong and apologetic." She conceded, but found herself as confused and frustrated as I had been many times in my life with my NM. It is strange, but I have to say my experience with my out-of-control NM has made the situation easier for me to handle and allows me to move on with my day because...for lack of a better phrase...I've had it worse. I know how to deal with someone who thinks he or she said and done everything perfectly and can't admit their mistakes. NM is the queen of that. She'd tell me she said something that she didn't and I'd be stuck with the blame. He kind of does the same thing, especially to the other woman that works with me (who is a doll and listens to all of my griping for an unnaturally long amount of time). This is cake to me. However, the issue I'm grappling with right now is whether I should have to put up with people like that. Maybe they find me and feed off of my subordinate nature while facing authority. DH says I should stick around and see how it continues, as I'm not really the one who has had the major issues with him. That's what I'm going to go with right now, and I'm going to rely on his fresh insight to tell me if the situation goes south. Knowing me, I'd probably stick it out forever, even if I were miserable and never got a raise, because I'd probably think I deserved it. Good thing I can recognize this issue now, at least that's a step in the right direction.

To all of you who are struggling with NMs and NFs, please feel free to get in touch with me.