Sunday, January 7, 2018

Smile, it can't be that bad....




I saw her at Tim Horton's on a Thursday morning.  Her hair was blonde, stick straight and pulled up in a ponytail.  She had a coffee in her perfectly manicured hand and was clad in yoga pants, which were obviously created for a woman with a body type like hers.  She had a beautiful smile, was super perky and I'm sure she was a nice person.  I will never know, because I ate her alive....

You see, the back story here is this.  My father is sick and our family is struggling to do what's best for him while we figure out our new normal.  It's obvious to many people in my immediate life that I'm not handling this with a whole lot of grace some days.  This Thursday morning was one of those days.

My morning started off with an 8:30 meeting at an assisted living place we were trying to get dad admitted to.  From there I was to swiftly rush my dad to a doctor's appointment for a monthly follow up after his hospital release.  The appointment was for 10:30 am.  With a little bit of luck and pixie dust, I managed to usher my father into his doctor's office at 10:27 am.  At this point I was feeling pretty good about my morning accomplishments, and then the receptionist opened her sliding glass door.

I said: "Good Morning!  We're here for a 10:30 appointment."
She looked at me and said:  "I'm sorry your appointment was for 10:00 am."
At this point I tried to explain all my discharge paperwork said the appointment was for 10:30 am and essentially begged the receptionist to work us into the schedule.
The receptionist simply shrugged her shoulders and said: "Sorry!"

In my normal life, a minor inconvenience like this would not derail me, but on this day, it wrecked me.  It was as if every tear I had not shed for the last several weeks came out right there in the lobby in the worst "ugly cry" I have ever cried.  And once I started crying, I could not stop.  I cried out of frustration, sadness, exhaustion, and just flat out defeat.

Breaking me from my tears was Candy the receptionist saying a little too happily: "I would be happy to reschedule your appointment for you!"  Now, I know when I get that angry, I tend to go from 0-60 in mere seconds, and I have been working on this so I snarked at Candy as nicely as I could muster that we would not be rescheduling our appointment as I ushered my father out the door.  As I was feeling sorry for my dad because he looked so dejected after waiting weeks for his appointment, he said to me: "Emmy, don't cry!  I'm sorry I'm sick and putting you through all this.  Can we go to Tim Horton's for lunch?  I'm hungry."  Quickly I turned off my tears, gathered myself up, swallowed my anger and decided to take my dad out for his favorite chicken noodle soup.

This is where I met Yuppie Barbie.

As my dad hurried through the door of Tim Horton's, on a mission to find the nearest restroom, I brought up the rear.  My father said hello to Yuppie Barbie on his way past her and I glanced at her, still just thinking about my morning and my new life.

And that is when Yuppie Barbie said the sentence that almost ended her life.  A little to perky, with her pony tail swaying, Barbie says:  "Smile!  It can't be that bad!"  Only unbeknownst to Barbie it WAS THAT bad!

Without thinking, and with NO restraint, I swung around, met Barbie eye to eye with a look that could kill, and let it fly: "You know WHAT?!  You have NO idea just how bad IT is right now!  My dad is in the fight of his life against an illness!  I can't find an assisted living place who takes his Medicaid, and without that he's essentially homeless!  His medication is expensive, 100% necessary, and I can't seem to secure a way to pay for it.  Did I mention we're facing foreclosure and the reality that he is loosing EVERYTHING?!  That I am using ALL of my vacation and sick time to take him to appointment after appointment and THIS is my WHOLE life right now?!  And on top of ALL OF THIS, we missed his appointment this morning even though we were exactly where we were supposed to be ON TIME!  So you know what?!  Where life might not be that bad for you, it SUCKS for me currently!"

Quickly Barbie left Tim Horton's and truly I felt bad for unleashing on this woman, but honestly the more I got to thinking about it, when did in become okay to assume you know how another person is feeling, what they're thinking or exactly what struggle they're walking through in life.  Perhaps they don't want to smile because they aren't happy.  Perhaps they just lost their job, recently got a horrible cancer diagnosis, or their child has passed away.  People don't wear signs making it obvious as to what personal struggle they're dealing with, so how about we do each other a favor and say or do something positive to the person facing a difficult time, build them up, let them know we care, and for the love of God folks, lets please stop using the phrase: "Smile!  It can't be that bad!".......

Friday, December 29, 2017

Snow and Slowing Down


Lately I have been in a hurry and honestly I'm quite unsettled in my heart.
I've been on the run for over a month now.
I rush to visit my father in his nursing home every night.
I hustle to work extra  hours in attempt to not use my vacation time to take my dad to his appointments.
 I rush to fulfill my parental duties in order to show my daughter she still has a mom.
I give my wife a half ass version of who a spouse should be.
And as far as laundry or dishes?  Forget it!
I just feel like there is not enough of me to go around.
I'm stretched way too thin.
And every night that I go to bed, I think to myself: "Thank God!  I survived another day!"

Today as I was rushing home from work, it was snowing.  It wasn't a huge amount of snow, but it fell fast, the roads were horrid and because I have been so rushed as of late, my tires were balder than Mr. Clean.  I was on the highway when I tapped my breaks, a little to hard and it happened.  
I lost control of the car.

My decline wasn't fast, but I could feel it.
Gently, I steered the car as it veered off the road, and there I sat.
For a minute I was pissed.

Did God honestly think I needed this?!  
Did He not understand that I needed to get home?!  
That I was hungry and wanted Chipotle?!
Did He not understand that my dogs had to pee?!
That I needed to drop my dad's laundry off to him?!

After  I cursed God for a minute, I realized, I needed to slide off that highway.
I needed a reminder to slow down, and unless God physically put my car in a ditch, I was not going to stop on my own.  After I got out of that ditch, I drove home.
Slowly.
Reflectively.
I came home, fired up the washer and dryer, called my dad and explained I would be by with his laundry first thing in the morning, sat down to watch a Hallmark movie and write.

I needed downtime tonight.
I needed a reminder.
I need a different "game plan".
I need new tires.

Tomorrow is a new day.
I'm going to start it new and refreshed.




Monday, June 12, 2017

Buying a Toad....



Last week when Lilly died, I knew I wanted another dog.  To have a dog die that I was so close to, one whom I trained and competed with, has left a huge hole in my heart.  We have decided to purchase a puppy this time from a reputable breeder.  

Due to the nature of the breeds I love, we decided we wanted a puppy whose background we knew.   Purchasing a dog who's genetic makeup and health history from a breeder who is working to better the breed and whom has been stimulated while growing so we can get a feel for how it's temperament will be, was of utmost importance to us.  It isn't a 100% guarantee I am going to get a dog with an amazing temperament, that is clear of genetic difficulties, however it is a pretty safe place to start.

I just didn't want to rescue this time.  My heart can't handle the pain of working so hard to rehabilitate a dog, only to loose it.  This time if the dog is screwed up, I have no one to blame but myself.  

Nicuk and I are really excited to welcome Toad to our family.
We pick him up this weekend!  


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Just have faith....


I sit here tonight, with a house all to myself, I am moved.

I have learned so much through this journey, even though it's been at times the hardest walk I've ever walked.  Through much thinking and processing, I now know why I had to walk this walk.

Had I never met Pony Girl I would have never left The Reluctant Farmer.  I would have essentially lived with my "friend" for the rest of my life, because that's what was comfortable.  I will never know why I fell so hard for Pony Girl, why I felt so deeply for her, nor why I allowed her to treat me the way she did.  I can only assume I fell for her because I thought I saw something special in her that wasn't really ever present.  I'm sure in some ways I was looking to rescue her.  I have done that in most of my past relationships, and rescuing things, people or animals, is something I'm good at.  I thought I saw someone who was kind, honest, happy, and who had just fallen victim to an abusive lover.  I will never know the truth behind Pony Girl or what made her mind work.  The truth is, I don't care to know any of that.  I don't wish anything bad upon her, I wish her happiness, and I'm simply happy she is no longer a part of my life.

I will say I needed to walk that walk though.  I needed to feel that pain, and above all else I've learned that pain deserves to be felt.  You can't push it away and you can't minimize it.  All you can do is push through it and have faith that with each step, hope and light will find you.

Pain is like a giant ocean wave, crashing upon us, pulling us under, grinding us into the ocean floor.  Faith is the light that directs us upward, and hope is the air we need to breathe on the surface.

Nicuk was a result of that trial, and the reason I now see everything else unfolded exactly how it was supposed to unfold.  I will be forever grateful with how she handled my healing process.  She understood there was no magic way to lesson my agony, there was no way to minimize the abuse I had experienced.  She stood behind me and reminded me the only way to heal was to acknowledge my pain with tears, talking, and time.  She allowed me and encouraged me to feel the heaviness, the hurt, and understands the holes in my soul that are left behind.

Honoring the pain and having hope happens if you just have faith.
She's the proof.
And I love her....

Friday, June 2, 2017

Loosing Hurts



Today I had to put my sweet Lilly to sleep.

Lilly was actually a dog who came to me 3 1/2 years ago after being re-homed several times by various well meaning people, all whom should have never owned a Border Collie.  Luckily, Lilly ended up in a breed rescue, where I adopted her after she was returned by a previous owner.  Unbeknownst to myself and the rescue, Lilly had a bite history with several bites that the owner who turned her back in did not make known, and by the time I had Lilly in my possession, I had already committed to her.

From day one, Lilly was a challenge.  She was bold, fearless, relentless, and had a spirit I admired.  She had a "take no shit" attitude, and was a workaholic.  If you hang around in dog sporting, you will hear folks say:  "Oh, my dog has drive!"  And I will assure you, no matter how many folks have told me that over the last 3 1/2 years, Lilly had more drive than any dog I had ever met.  Sadly, along with this insane work ethic and drive, came some aggression issues.  It was manageable.  I knew it was there, and I felt like I could keep the other folks and animals in my family safe.  Until this week....

The Reluctant Farmer called me while I was on vacation and said Lilly had attacked our pit bull mix, Suzi, on the shoulder, ears and neck.  She had taken Suzi to the vet and had her doctored up, but she wanted my opinion.  It was decided she would separate the dogs and I would deal with Lilly when I got home.  Then The Reluctant Farmer sent me a picture of Suzi and my heart nearly stopped.  Suzi had several puncture wounds about her head/neck, but the worst was this HUGE hematomba that was the size of a small basketball on her shoulder.  It was horrible!  If it was any other dog, I would think that maybe the other dog did something to provoke Lilly, but I can 100% guarantee Suzi has never picked a fight with anyone.    

Last night when Kay and I arrived home, I took one look at Lilly's eyes and knew something was different with my girl.  Call it intuition, call it paying attention to detail, whatever, but I knew something was off in her eyes.  We all discussed Lilly and what this new bout of aggression would mean for our family in terms of  controlling her environment, and it was discussed that her recent change in behaviour was making some of the other family members nervous.  As I was pondering just what to do, I looked down at Lilly and her head started ticking in a seizure like motion.  I called her veterinarian, and made an appointment to bring her in first thing this morning.

Our wonderful veterinarian discussed all of Lilly's symptoms with us, and she said she could refer us for additional testing at a state hospital, but warned us that likely the results would be the same, and she was leaning towards a brain tumor being the cause of Lilly's eyes being off and her suddenly worsening aggression issues.  After a consult, it was decided that in order to keep our family safe and to be fair to Lilly, euthanasia was the best option.

I loved Lilly with my whole heart.  She was one of those rare "soul dogs", the kind that are once in a lifetime companions.  This experience has changed me.  She has changed me.  I'm not sure if I will ever rescue a dog of that caliber again, simply because I'm not sure if my heart can handle the "goodbye" and the feeling of loosing.  I'm at a complete loss right now.....

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Going My Way



"Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you've been and remember the person you were meant to be.  The person you want to be.  The person you are."  H.G. Wells

Today I was reminded exactly why it's important to live for me.  The picture on the left popped up in my friend's Time Hop on Facebook and I was blown away by my transformation.  I remember the picture on the left.  I remember picking out that shirt, before going to play bingo with my friends.  I remember being so mad that the shirt "fit" me.  I was so fat, bigger than I had ever been.  My relationship was not fulfilling and I was convinced I was stuck.  I was convinced if I made a move, I was a jerk.  A jerk who didn't deserve happiness.  I was wrong, and although it has not been a pain free process, I over the last few months have figured out who I am, what I deserve, and I am just going to move forward.  I want to be the best "me".......


I'm going my way.

You are welcome to join me and come along for the ride.  Hell, I will even carry your bags for you!

But, gone are the days when I disembark the train, stand there on the platform, holding someone else's luggage while looking around and saying to myself:  "But, I don't want to be here."

Gone are the days where I hold onto someone else's shit just because that's what a "nice" person does.  I will continue to be "nice", but they can hold their own luggage while I alight the platform or move on down the track.

I'm going to just keep being me.
Doing me.
Living for me.

I want to be surrounded by people who want to be the best version of themselves.
Who want to grow and evolve if needed.

I want to give the best version of me as well as receive the best version of the folks whom are in my life.

I know I may have to wait for the train to pull into the station the second time in order to pick up a few people who missed the train the first time, and I'm okay with that.  We all evolve at different rates.

Just know when the train comes back around and we give/receive the best versions of ourselves, it will have all been worth the wait......

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Narcissistic Dating, and Cowgirls



My attorney has advised me to make it very, very clear that the content of this blog contains my personal thoughts and opinions only. Any similarities between what I post here and real people or real events is mere circumstance. No seriously, just the ramblings, warnings and mere opinions of a badly burned lover.....

I met her at a horse show.
A chance encounter really.
I has a colicing horse, she had Banamine.

I mentioned contacting another woman, who happened to be her ex-girlfriend, about riding lessons because after loosing 40 pounds this year because I wanted to learn to lope a horse.

She was more than happy to give me the lessons instead.  I went to her house for my riding lessons, and she portrayed being this positive person who was so badly abused by her ex-girlfriend, and I bought into it.  We then started dating and for a bit, it was great.  She was funny, happy, had this smile that could light up my soul, 2 great children, and seemed so genuine.  We started with the "I love you's" and talks about the future together.  Then, several weeks into the relationship, shit got real.

Suddenly, things that had been okay were no longer okay and I was being asked to prove myself over and over again.  I was being forced to prove my integrity because she kept saying things like: "If you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing!" or "If you can't prove it, then your lying and I want nothing to do with you."  She had this way of taking something that was her fault, something where I knew I was not in the wrong, and twisting it around and around until I was sure it was my idea.  Like I was the crazy one.

Hi, my name is Emily.  I'm afraid I dated a narcissistic sociopath.

Sociopaths are masters at taking your words and turning them back on you as if you were the crazy one.  When confronted by a lie, they have this innate ability to make you question yourself.  This is a famous characteristic called deflection or manipulation.  They do this because where we all know they lie, cheat, steal, emotionally, physically & financially abuse, they will never admit to that.  They have to take the accountability off of themselves by deflecting your accusations, manipulating your words, and twisting the truth back to you!

Even armed with "evidence" that you are correct, via text or whatnot, the narcissistic sociopath will stare straight at the evidence and deflect your words right back on you!  And God forbid you push for the truth, they then manipulate, twist your words and talk in circles so long that you actually believe their lies.  And let me tell you, there is multiple layers of lies!  This is because it goes against every grain in their body to admit a fault, to a lie, or to a defeat.  They just lie on top of lie, on top of lie.  Like a giant narcissistic sandwich!  And their innocent victim is nothing but a blob of mustard, surrounded by bread and stuck in the middle.....

Pony Girl had text messages on her phone talking to Ex-girlfriend about me:

"I know Emily is not right for me, but she is right for my kids."
"Emily is not even my body type."

I would try to talk to her about it stating that if she didn't like me, I would go, explaining I was not dating her kids, I was dating her.  She would insist: "Oh, you are taking things so personal.  I don't know what I meant by that."  And the next thing you know, after hours of talking in a circle, she would twist it around to make me believe she really did love me, I was a horrible person for not trusting her and I would think in my head: "Wow, I just really read a lot into that text message!"  Um, NOOO!

If you are dating a narcissist or a sociopath, you need to believe your evidence.  You need to hold onto the fact it is the truth.  Do NOT delude yourself into believing your sociopath unless they admit to your evidence.  And do not drop it!  I was guilty, time and time, of this.  We would fight, it would be hours of talking, and the next thing you know I would be holding her on my chest, while she cried, telling her how it would be okay, and I would apologize over and over again.  I now know, I was enabling her to continue the lies, manipulation and deflection.  She needed to be accountable for her words, actions and truth.

Sadly, I saw the same pattern in text messages with her ex-girlfriend.  The ex-girlfriend would be steadfast in her conviction that Pony Girl was "nothing but drama".  She wanted "nothing to do with her" and "her business was better off without her".  And then before you knew it, Pony Girl would have that poor woman eating out of her hand again.  (I can only hope that Ex-Girlfriend came to her senses again later...)  After reading these text messages and watching video I realized that where it takes two people to Tango, Ex-girlfriend was being put through the wringer, and it dawned on me that where Pony Girl had worked super hard to make everyone in her camp believe Ex-Girlfriend was this horribly abusive monster, it's my opinion that most of that was likely lies and bull shit.  Ex-Girlfreind was being made to grovel and "fight for her relationship" just like I was made to.

If you are reading this, are patiently suffering through the hell I just walked through, and your sociopath has not put you in the loony bin with their antics, my advice to you would be this.  First, go pour yourself a glass of wine.  (You deserve it!)  And then take your facts and evidence, make yourself believe again, remember you are not dealing with a normal, truthful, emotionally available individual, and run to the nearest available exit as soon as the crazy train stops.  Because let me tell you, the next step is NOT pretty.  Once a sociopath realizes you are on to them, they just go further into the control factor, trying harder with manipulation and deflection and you will be jumping through even more hoops than you ever have before.

At this point for me it was submitting all my cell phone usage reports and bills.  (I never did figure out what she was looking for.  Someone close to her said:  "Nothing.  She is looking for nothing.  This is what she does.")  I now know this was just a way to control me.

I was not allowed to attend holidays with my family, and when I went to my parents house briefly to drop my daughter off and to visit my nephews, I was accused of lying and was kicked out of her house.  She knew I hated when she accused me of lying, and she did this as a way of controlling me.

I was required to submit medical records for a medical diagnosis my child had 2 years prior.  And when I submitted them  to her, she didn't believe me stating that "Even though it was a hard copy of the medical chart, she needed to do research to see if the therapist was real."  WHAT?!  I didn't even know why this information was pertinent to our relationship.  I now know, it wasn't.  This was just a form of control.

To my friends who tried and tried to get me to run away from this, and the friends who tried to drag me away from this, thank you.  I now see what you saw, and you are right.  This appears to be her true character and I don't surround myself with people like her.  I am sorry you had to witness me walk through this, but thank you for your kindness, listening to me cry and allowing me to heal.  You know I grieve as big as I love, and I love big.

Lastly, Pony Girl if you are reading this I pray for you.  You clearly need to take an honest inventory and work on yourself.  And when you are being honest with yourself, if that ever happens, I hope you realize you gave up someone who was honest, loyal, safe, supportive of you and your barn, and who loved you and your children unconditionally.  A woman who just wanted those same things from you in return.....  And when you read this and your first instinct it to jump and say: " I was honest 100% of the time!"  I want you to stop, take a deep breath, and know I know so much more about you now then I did before and you were far from being the honest person you swore you were.  You need to take ownership of your shit.  Let it start here.......