Relationship Tips 5-5-19

If you find yourself resonating with any of the following tips, do yourself a favor….run!!!

Your guy lies to you and then tries to minimize it by saying “it wasn’t actually a lie. More like a white lie. “I told a white lie to protect our relationship.” There’s four words for this. He’s full of shit!

Your guy cheats on you. When you find out he somehow finds a way to blame you for his infidelity causing you to stay and worse feel guilty for his transgression.

Your guy calls you names including bitch, psycho, the “C” word. In short, any derogatory word or insult. He brings you down and causes you to feel so insecure and worthless.

He yells at you, throws iPads across the room, becomes extremely volatile and hostile for no reason then demands space. Even telling you you’re not allowed to call for 24 hours because he needs “space”. He needs space because he’s cheating.

Sends pictures of his private parts to other women. You find the messages then he denies it even though you show him the proof.

He Blames and shames you. He is never accountable for his actions.

You find hidden comments on his Facebook page from other women

Manipulates you to the point you question your sanity.

He tells you he needs a woman with money. He’s broke and struggles to pay the rent. Therefore he needs a woman with money so they can pull their resources together. This one is my favorite. He’s a user and a loser!!

He tells you he needs to “drift” to connect with his spirit guide. The Wolf. He claims to be spiritual yet his spirituality leaves you scratching your head.

The universe brought you together. You are soul mates destined to be with each other. Which is why he begins demanding marriage only one month after connecting with you on Facebook and by phone yet you’ve never met each other.

He proposes to you on his knees with a mood ring he bought at a convenience store two days after you find out he’s cheating then becomes angry when you say no.

He sends you this message after leading you to believe the universe brought you together as soul mates to spend your life together.

“Yes we were destined to be together but not necessarily as a couple we were destined to be together because there was work to be done and my work was to show you the way and then you know we got involved and the universe pulled me away (he was cheating) in another direction to help someone else and it’s gonna pull me again. It is what has happened my entire life. I’ve sat in the darkness in my cave at my house for a year and I can’t do that anymore I have to be able to get out and do his work and you know you can’t handle the fact that I am going to be called to other people both men and female and that is the issue and that is what I’m being told now and so that is why everything happened”

When he tells you this…bolt! He’s completely full of crap!!

He tells you he spent the weekend crying in bed after you tell him you need to respect yourself and walk away. Then you see a post from another woman referring to him As a “Wild” man. You confront him and learn he was at a channeling/chanting ritual playing a drum to release all the pain. He apparently became wild. Again…run. It’s shear bologna.

You get this message after confronting him asking “are you seeing someone?”

“Oh my God when do I have time to get into another relationship I’m talking about the work that I’m here to do. The channeling the healing whatever it is it varies it depends all the time. You really never took the time to understand my powers you have only criticized me for having them and doubted them and laughed at them. I channel shit to you all the time and ANN (I didn’t know about Ann. Surprise) come in for me it’s coming from above. But of course you don’t believe that so I don’t know what’s coming, all I know is it’s time for me to get back on my path and be and do what I was put on this planet to do so I don’t have to relive this again. (He believes he’s led many lives. I think he’s a cat) This has been one of the hardest lives I could ever imagine anyone him to leave the things that have gone through the people that have lost the things that of happened to me personally and it’s time for me to step up and do what I’m supposed to do I’m sorry I even mentioned it you can’t handle what what the truth is you can’t handle the truth”

Yup after reading a message like this please know you’re not crazy. He is.

He minimizes all of his actions and always finds a way to blame you and of course his loneliness.

He accuses you of abandoning him.

His only request is you make him your number one priority. Him first, god second and then family.

He believes he was brought to you by the universe to heal you. Yet you relapse after 16 1/2 years and find yourself in crisis counseling. If that’s healing RUN!!!

He’s a powerful spirit, channeler and healer. A professed empath. He knows what you’re thinking, what you’re going to say and can feel you seconds before you call. So he says. Of course what he channels isn’t remotely close to what you’re thinking or were about to say. Here’s an example of a message I received.

“I just deliver the message I’m simply a channeler not a healer The Individual has to determine what to do with the message. Its that simple. I’m not God and only God can heal but we can heal ourselves through prayer and meditation”

My guy insisted the spirits told him we were destined to be together then when he found a new victim the story changed. I challenged him saying “obviously either your spirit guides lied or you did after he sent me the following message. If this isn’t a red flag I don’t know what is.

“Yes I believed that but in what context clearly it was not as a couple. Sadly that is the current truth” this message after I called him out for leading me to believe the universe brought us together. It was our destiny. The truth is he was cheating.

He needs passion and touch. If you don’t give it to him he will find someone to give it to him. Be prepared to be blamed for his infidelity.

He yells profanity at all drivers when driving in his car. One might refer to his behavior as Road Rage.

He is depressed one day, lonely the next and it’s all your fault.

He gets scammed on the internet. Yup…you guessed it. It’s your fault!

He never lets you talk. He dominates the phone call, arguments, conversation. He never listens and when he’s done he hangs up on you or walks away leaving you hanging because you never had the chance to get in a word in edgewise.

He ignores you and makes you feel less than.

If you call him he becomes irritable because your call is inconvenient.

If you ask about his day he takes offense and becomes defensive. You’re “bird dogging” him.

He really believes he’s god. He will claim god is working through him. He might say the Holy Spirit.

He tells you he has no respect for you then says you misunderstood. What part of “I have no respect for you” did I not understand?! Listen if he can’t respect you then you must have the courage to respect yourself and give this guy the boot!!

He says things that are so hurtful then accuses you of taking his words the wrong way. He simply said those things out of anger. It’s your fault for making him angry.

My favorite. I never said that. You’re psycho. You prove it and he still denies it.

He does or says one thing then denies it. This behavior causes you to question your sanity.

If you find yourself feeling nuts. Dreading answering the phone for fear of who will be on the other end. Doctor Love or Doctor Jekyl you’re in a relationship with one messed up guy who you’ve allowed to mess you up!!

He tells you you are possessed by the evil spirit living in your basement. Which includes an open portal where the evil Spirits come and go to possess you. Do not question him. He’s a very powerful force who is simply channeling the message from the spirits. His remedy is quite often move out of your home. Leave everything behind. Marry him and live with him. He will take really good care of you. Hmm I’ll bet! If you haven’t lost your mind you will certainly end up like a character in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

These are just a few red flags based on my experience. I’m sharing because I have found myself insane to the point I lost my dignity, self respect and ability to have a clear mind. There’s a term for men like this. Gas-lighters. If you find yourself resonating with any of these red flags….run and don’t look back. If you have other red flags and you would like to add please share them on the comment line. It’s important to share our stories with others. There are so many victims out there going through the same. It’s up to us and when I say us, I mean both men and women. Yes men find themselves as victims too!!

I received a lengthy email not long ago from a reader. She wrote a very lovely letter. What stood out to me was the following quote.

“You teach people how to treat you – by putting up with it you are teaching this man that it’s okay to do this to you – it’s not! Ask yourself, what would you tell a close friend going through the same trauma?”

These words really hit home. I’m guilty of allowing myself to be treated badly. No more!! No one has the right to treat us like crap. Each and everyone of us deserves better. I’m attaching the reply from a woman after I voiced my pain and concerns over the relationship I found myself in. I hope it resonates and hits home with anyone suffering like it did for me. With that said, I’m not a therapist. I’m simply a blogger sharing my personal experience.

Response from one of my readers below after one of my Facebook posts in a private group.

“I’m reading this and feel so sad, but I also feel resolved for you. You have voiced your fear now it’s time to let it go and gather courage and get the heck out of there. I have had to do this myself, so I know.

Go no contact. Block all methods of contact. Change your addresses, phone numbers, whatever you need to do. Find strength and courage in taking care of yourself first. Move if you have to. Get out of the way and stay out of the way. Surround yourself with people you know you can trust and if for now that’s only your therapist lean on her/him. Call on your need for self-preservation and just do it. To overcome fear we must rely on our strength, and no matter what he has said to you about you it is not you. It is him. Ignore him and move on.

My grandmother has a similar story I’m writing a novel around. It’s about her escape from a toxic 27 year marriage (in the 60s) and is a story of female empowerment following years of domestic oppression. Her courage blows me away, but it was her desperation to get away that drove her. If she can do it, so can you.

Holding space for you. ❤️

You teach people how to treat you – by putting up with it you are teaching this man that it’s okay to do this to you – it’s not! Ask yourself, what would you tell a close friend going through the same trauma?

You are not to blame for his actions. All of the blame here lies squarely on his shoulders. You are not to blame for being scared. He is to blame for placing you in a situation where you are scared. You are not nuts. I have been in an abusive relationship in my past. I did not deserve to be abused. You do not deserve to be treated the way he treats you. You are innocent. You are guilty of nothing. He is to blame for intimidating you, for deliberately treating you in such a way that you feel badly about yourself. You have done absolutely nothing wrong. You are a good person. That is so obvious to me. You’re scared, and rightly so. I’m pretty sure I would be. I feel that being treated badly in the way that you are being treated, especially over a long period of time, would erode your self confidence and interfere with your ability to act. I think it would mine. It took great courage for you to reach out to us in the way that you have. I for one, am so glad that you did. I know that I am not alone in this. Again and again I see people here coming from that caring place as they share and encourage each other. And please, please, get the counseling you need. You will get through this. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Life After Gaslight 5-19-18

Meet “Ron”. “Ron” was a 68 year old retired San Francisco firefighter. He is also my ex-boyfriend. I met “Ron” in 2012. At first, I was apprehensive about him but he was persistent in his pursuit to capture my heart. He showered me with compliments and gifts. He called me cutie pie, baby and would constantly tell me how “fine” I was. He uttered the words “I love you” after knowing me for only a month. I recall thinking his infatuation was too good to be true, but his words also came with his promises of a wonderful life filled with travel, love and affection. He was so sweet, after only a few months he swept me off my feet.  Unfortunately, I quickly learned that this was merely a facade with words he said to all the women he manipulated. “Cutie pie”, “baby”, “fine” and “I love you” was something he had said to all the girls.

Looking back there were a mine field of red flags, however “Ron” had a way with showering me with such kindness in the beginning that it was easy to overlook the flaws. And when I say flaws, I mean some serious issues that no woman should have to deal with ever in their life.

My experience is not unique.
“Ron” is a good guy. I think he has a good side to him. He’s been married twice like most people in America. Both divorces ended due to his infidelity.  He was the cheater but “it wasn’t his fault” or so he claimed. Red flag number one. He was also in a long term relationship with a woman who he referred to as “Mo”. I think because she brought so much havoc and “mo” trouble in to everyone’s life than one can imagine. She certainly brought trouble in to my life.  In her defense, “Ron” brought the insanity out in her. I later found her story with “Ron” was nothing short of tragic. Worse was what he did to his first wife. Sadly she was one of the sweetest women I ever met and in my opinion did not deserve what he did to her.  No woman deserves the kind of treatment myself and I’m sure many others have endured.

“Ron’s” past consisted of drunken behavior. He was an alcoholic/addict who had arrests for driving under the influence under his belt.  He stopped drinking while we were together after humiliating me with his drunken behavior. He also had an infatuation with young women in their twenties and was known to engage in sexual acts with many prostitutes. I later learned he had been on house arrest for engaging in these acts. Of course, I can’t say for sure since this was merely hear say.

“Ron” had a volatile temper and exhibited many mood swings that were enough to turn a sane person in to a psychotic nut. I should know. After three years with this man, I lost my confidence, my self esteem, my self respect, my identity and I felt like I was losing my mind. I really believed I might be crazy. My biggest regret….I only wish I had known these things before I allowed this man to capture my heart.

“Ron” was a pack rat. He had junk all over his condo, which was located in a well to do area of San Francisco. You would have never known it. His condo belonged on an episode of Hoarders. He had so much clutter and he even had old plastic bottles filled with water all over the place. Maybe it was his age.

Two years after I moved in with him he finally opened a carton of lemonade that had been in the refrigerator and had an expiration date of 2010. It had been expired for four years yet he refused to throw it out insisting it was still good. The lemonade was so spoiled when he finally opened the carton to have a glass, he had no choice but to throw it out. What a surprise. Mind you he had vilified me for wanting to throw it the year prior.

“Ron” had odd sleeping habits. He was up all night and slept all day. When I say all day….I mean all day. Often times “Ron” would arise from his slumber at six in the afternoon. Two or three was early for him. He also liked to conserve water. He was a dedicated California resident who only bathed once a month and always on a Thursday. I firmly believe he deserved accolades for being the most conservative California resident during a drought. However, if you ask me he should’ve opened up one of his plastic bottles of old tap water and taken a bath.

At times he had white crust around his ears that was creamy and had the appearance of cradle cap.  At times he smelled so bad I would want to vomit. His solution was wipes (he was the poster child for cottonelle wipes) and he would also use lots of cologne. I often wondered if he was European but was inclined to believe he might be crazy. He led me to believe he was suffering from dementia. In my experience when “Ron” would shower it was His cue for wanting to be intimate.


   “Ron” was wonderful in the beginning. He took me on trips, showered me with gifts,  he catered to my every whim and treated me like a queen. He always held my hand and opened my door.  But that stopped and he would throw the door in my face. He portrayed himself as a family man. An attribute that was merely a facade. He was also lots of fun.  We went dancing and even took salsa lessons. He would hum in my ear every time we danced. He was a terrible salsa dancer but no worries….he would always blame me for his shortcoming and would become extremely verbally abusive.

All his positive attributes stopped three months after moving in with him. That’s when the “real” “Ron” emerged. The trouble only got worse when a his 27 year old Latina Stripper “friend” continued to call and text at all hours of the day including when we were on vacation. Harassment that continued the entire duration of our relationship. “Ron” also began to withhold any contact with me intimately. We went from having an active intimate life to a periodic one, provided it was on his terms. “Ron” had a penile implant. I suspect many of his issues might have stemmed from this creating his own insecurities however, I’ll never know. I will share that on occasion I would wake up in the middle of the night and catch him naked in the bathroom engaging in questionable acts or even plucking his pubic hairs. I found myself in such disbelief that I would run back to bed and keep quiet.

“Ron” did crazy things such as pluck his facial hair while watching tv. He often had a scowl on his face and would pluck to the point he would cause sores on his face. He would often file his feet over the couch. This odd behavior caused me to believe either he was crazy but he convinced me I was crazy for thinking this behavior was odd.

He was very private about everything. He caused me to believe he had many secrets. Especially, since I wasn’t allowed to ask him even simple questions like “how was your day?” I wasn’t allowed to say “have a great day” and God forbid I wasn’t allowed to express how he made me feel. I wasn’t allowed to ask any questions….period!!!  He would explode and punish me  for days calling me names, accusing me of being suspicious and rejecting me to the point I couldn’t breathe. I would cry for days. Rejection can cause so much pain and anguish.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I got zero emotional support from “Ron”. He was extremely un-empathetic and lacked any ounce of compassion. He would insult me and make me feel so bad about myself that more often than not I found myself in the bathroom on my knees crying from the pain this man would cause. Somehow in the midst of it all he managed to blame me for his behavior and would punish me for days by ignoring me and giving me the silent treatment. In my experience, I’m not sure what was worse, chemo or “Ron”. This man made fighting cancer the hardest journey of my entire life.

I posted the following post on Facebook after my first treatment.  The following five treatments were not much different.  In the end he admitted he had treated me poorly because I was no longer attractive. In my defense, when you’re in a fight against cancer, it’s rather hard to remain the beautiful person you once were. Hair loss doesn’t help.  I take solace in knowing God is a just God and my abuser will get his in the end.


    

Ron showered me with love, trips, gifts, fancy dinners, compliments, concerts…..everything and anything. It was short lived and it came at a very painful price. I now know that this is not just my experience, it’s been the experience of many women who have found themselves involved with their “Ron”. While my story may seem tragic I know I’m Not alone. There are many “Ron’s” out there and I feel they dont deserve to have any women in their life. In fact, they should be locked up and throw away the key.

If you happen to be approached by any man who exhibits any of these behaviors, my advice is run and never look back. Do not make the same mistake that I made getting involved with a man like this. It’s hard to get away once he’s got you under his spell.  I can assure you the life you have today will be no more. Happiness, joy, self respect, confidence and love for yourself will be a thing of the past. You will find yourself questioning your own sanity, when clearly the one with the mental issues is your knight in shining armor. However, if you don’t heed my advice and find yourself in a crazy relationship I will warn you..don’t bother reaching out to anyone because no one will believe you. “Ron” had two personalities. The one I dealt with at home and the other who was sweet and loving around his friends. Friends, family, doctors and church begged me to leave him but I resisted their warnings hopeful for the man I initially met to return.  Finally one day, I snapped and saw this man for he really was. I was heartbroken, humiliated and felt like there’s no way out.

On May 16th, 2015 with the help of the Deacon and sisters from my church, I packed up and left this emotionally abusive man. I left this relationship with a broken heart along with a diagnosis of anxiety, severe depression and PTSD caused from this crazy relationship. You might ask “PTSD?!” It’s a result of the war zone I found myself in. The sad part is  I really cared for this man.

Healing from this relationship has taken three years. Counseling was inevitable and it’s taken a lot of strength and determination to come out on the other side. The pain and scars left behind from a three year nightmare has taken a long time to heal. Occasionally I still experience flashbacks. Three years ago I found myself broken hearted and on my knees praying for strength to get through this. I am happy to say I made it.

I’m sharing my story tonight because May 16th was the anniversary of leaving my abuser. On May 16th, I was blessed to be given the opportunity to fly to Maui where I’m spending time with my cousin. I couldn’t put my finger on why this trip fell in to place. It was crazy how it all happened. My friend who owns a condo here offered her condo to me for a week for free. The dates she had available were May 16-24. I accepted her offer not even knowing how I would pay for my flight. My brother and sister in law used their air miles to buy me a ticket. Everything happens for a reason. I knew there was a reason I was coming back to Maui. I love Maui however, Maui is also reminder of the time I shared with my ex. We spent many weeks here together. Today I found an old blog and noticed that May 16th was the day I broke free from my abuser. Three years have passed. I suspect my trip here is somewhat of a Re-birth for me. I no longer have to look behind me. I can finally move forward and what better place to be to begin my new life than to start my new beginning in Maui on vacation with my cousin who is also my best friend.

I don’t particularly enjoy sharing the details of my past relationship. After three years, I’m still so embarrassed. I take comfort knowing there’s a term for what I went through. It’s called “gaslighting”. Gaslighting is a term where someone uses manipulation to cause you to question your own sanity. My “Ron” did just that. Today I’m free from that relationship as well as that toxic environment. Slowly but surely I’ve gotten my confidence back but more importantly my sanity back. Like so many women, I never thought this would happen to me. What I’ve learned is even the smartest and most intelligent women can find themselves in a relationship such as mine. I still ask myself “what was I thinking? How did I allow this to happen to me?” I still have flashbacks and I’m no longer the woman I once was but I’m happy to report I’m a new woman in progress.

Today I’m hopeful again. I’m eager to laugh and have fun again and I believe my knight in shining armor is out there and more importantly I know that when I find him I will never allow him to manipulate me to the point where I lose myself.

Life happens. Today I’m on vacation in Maui. I am waking up to the sound of the ocean and the cool breeze coming in through my lanai. I have no plans other than to spend the day at the farmers market then the beach taking in all that healing spirit Maui has to offer. Life is good again. I heard a quote once that said “I may not be everything I want to be, but thank god I’m not where I used to be!” Truth!! I’m not close to being who I want to be. Thank god I’m Not where I used to be!!

Sobriety Anniversary 3-4-18

Today is my sobriety anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been 16 years since finding myself in the back of a police car on my way to jail after a weekend drinking spree. Ironically that infamous day was on a Sunday in 2002. My dad picked me up that day from jail. I’ll never forget that feeling of complete humiliation. It wasn’t until after my dad passed away in 2011 that my mother shared how my dad had been by my side for three days after as I experienced the withdrawals from alcohol. It’s crazy, but the one thing I still remember is my dad feeding me soup. Four days later I was in rehab where I spent the next 28 days in recovery. My life has never been the same.

Every year I usually re-live my story however this year I would like to do something different. Today I’d like to find the gratitude in the strength god has given me to remain sober. My life changed forever that day. My life hasn’t always been easy since then but the good news is I haven’t faced my challenges drunk. It’s been 16 years and I no longer want to re-live the past. That time in my life is over. Today I’ll just wish myself a happy anniversary and continue moving forward.

Sobriety is hard work but it’s possible. My song today is Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac. I chose this song because my dad was a huge fan of Stevie Nicks. He had the opportunity to meet her many years ago. It was the highlight of his life. Silver Springs is a beautiful song that depicts a love of what could’ve been. Here’s to me and to my dad and to the love that could’ve been if he was still here on this very special anniversary day.

She Came Out Swinging 2-13-17

As of late, the news media has been inundated with news of sexual harassment against women by powerful men in various industries. This has brought on the “ME TOO” movement. A movement where women are taking their power and dignity back.

Last week scandal broke in the White House. It was revealed that the presidents aide had abused his two ex-wives as well as his girlfriend. Despite his history, he was allowed to continue to work in the White House, even being considered for a promotion despite his abusive history. Watching this news has brought back so many feelings that I have fought hard for three years to overcome.

The president of the United States has defended his former aide citing what an incredible job Rob Porter had done while working at the White House. He has shown more concern about the abusers feelings than that of the abused women who endured years of abuse.

On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway made a comment that insinuated abuse only happens to women who are weak. I found her comment to be extremely insulting. I have always been a strong woman however I fell victim to a very abusive relationship. Abuse can happen to anyone!!

I watched the interview of Rob Porter’s ex-wife. My heart started pounding as I heard her describe her personal story. I couldn’t breathe. It was as if she was describing my own story. Her story really hit home. However, as I listened to Jennie Willoughby share, somehow I felt vindicated. I have spent the last three years suffering in silence. Humiliated as I’ve asked myself over and over “how did I let this happen to me?”

What I’ve realized is I’m not the only one this has happened to. I’m hopeful as I watch this movement of strong women come out swinging and take their power back. I’m hopeful somehow abuse will finally be recognized for what it is. Wrong! There is no room in society for any type of abuse against women or men for that matter!

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. On February 8, 2015, I blogged about my Valentine’s Day with my own abuser. I haven’t read it since I wrote it, but it popped up as a memory on my Facebook page today. I have said many times, Facebook has a way with bringing back memories that we’d rather forget. I’m attaching the link for those who would like to get a small glimpse of my experience with my abuser. An experience which I now know has a name attached to it. It’s called “gaslighting”. Once upon a time I loved Valentine’s Day. I haven’t been a fan ever since.

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2015/02/18/the-stranger-in-my-bed-2-18-15/

Three years have passed. It’s been a very long road for me. Healing takes time but it’s possible. I’m proof. I’m healing every day. I’m not mad anymore. The pain no longer rules my life. The memories are still there but that’s what they are. Just memories of a painful time so long ago. Today I’m healing and I’m hopeful again. I’m not yet the woman I want to be but thank god I’m no longer the woman I used to be.

I hope that by sharing my own story, like the many strong women across the nation who have inspired me by having the courage to come out and say “Me Too”, somehow, I can inspire other women to come out swinging and say “Me Too” also.

There’s a song by Tom Petty called “Swinging”. I am posting this song because it inspires me to believe that no matter how hard things get, I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on swinging. I hope it inspires you too.

Crazy Train 9-11-17

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder “How in the heck did I get here?”  You find yourself living a life that seems like a dream and not a good dream at that.  Maybe more like a nightmare.  You’re lying in bed and the only voice in your head is Ozzie Osbourne belting out “All Aboard!!!”  Is your answer yes?  Yeah…Me too!!!

September 14th will be the anniversary of my dad’s passing six years ago.  What a journey it’s been. The only way to describe it…..It has certainly been one hell of a “Crazy Train”.  I have spent the past six years grieving.  When I say grieving, I mean for two years I cried every day.  I slept with my dad’s ashes next to my bed.  I had nightmares every night.  Up until a few months ago I stopped believing my dad was coming back and finally accepted that he was gone.  I’ve spent more days then I can count balling my head off.  I’ve spent six years trying to figure out how to live my life without my dad as my sidekick. I haven’t done a very good job at it either.  Three of those years I found myself fighting cancer among other things including a crazy boyfriend who I should mention was not only a freak, but he was 20 years older than me and made my life even more crazy than it already was. I have battled grief, cancer, abusive relationships, loss of work due to illness, memory loss, anxiety, depression, PTSD and the real clincher, I lost everything I ever worked for.  My life is in financial disarray.  I’m not only rock bottom, I’m even living with my mom.  How embarrassing.  Somehow, this life isn’t what I had in mind for myself.  I feel like George Constanza from Seinfeld.  I’m unemployed, a nut and I live with my “parent” and let me tell ya, living with my mother hasn’t been a cake walk.  I have often joked I’d like to throw momma off this “Crazy Train” I’ve found myself on.

For those of you who have followed me, you know my story.  My story is not your typical Hallmark feel good story.  No, my story is more like a VH1 TV Series.  The difference between my story and say… those reality TV shows on VH1, my story is the real deal.  You can’t make up this crap.  I’ve been on a Crazy Train since September 14, 2011.  Like the song “I’ve been going off the rails”.  The good news is as I approach my dad’s six year anniversary, I find myself coming out of this fog and I’m beginning to hear the whistle blow.  I am beginning to hear Ozzie belt out “Stop Ahead” opposed to “All Aboard”  FINALLY!!

Dying sucks!!!  Especially when the person that dies happens to be your dad, best friend and the only side kick you’ve ever known.  My dad was all of the above to me.  A week before my dad passed away, we were on our way home from seeing his doctor who had told us my dad only had a couple of weeks left to live.  I was devastated.  I asked my dad what I was going to do without him.  I’m not sure if my dad recognized that I was serious.  He told me I was going to be fine and asked me to watch over “Mother Superior”.  My dad’s nickname for my mother. My dad and I had a special bond.  He wasn’t just my dad, he was my best friend. Undoubtedly the most important man in my life.  Was my dad perfect? Hell NO!  Daddy was a rebel!!!  A fun rebel who always looked out for me.  My dad used to say “Velma, men are like greyhound busses.  There’s always another one at the next stop, going to the same place for the same fare”  I believed him which is why I wasn’t one of those women that cried for too long after a break up.  For me it was on to the next.  Unfortunately, while my dad’s words of wisdom came in handy when it came to boyfriends or even an ex-husband, his words of wisdom didn’t include living without him. My dad was and will always be the Greyhound Bus I will never be able to replace.

Today is a new day.  Life is getting better.  I am finally on the mend.  I am ready to start over.  I’m even eager to begin a new phase in my life.  A life without my dad, but a life with purpose.  People always say time heals all wounds.  These words are true, however I don’t believe there should ever be a time limit on how long it should take to heal from the loss of someone you love.  Many people have lost their parents.  Many of them have bounced back in a matter of months.  It took me six years.  My advice to anyone who might be grieving the loss of someone they loved, give yourself some time.  I don’t have a time limit. You shouldn’t either.  It’s different for everyone.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  And if you find yourself waking up from what seems like a bad dream which is actually your life and you hear Ozzie Osbourne belting out “All Aboard”……Don’t worry about it.  In every “Crazy Train” ride, there’s always a stop and a new beginning.  As my dad’s anniversary approaches, I am ready to get off this “Crazy Train” and start living life again.  My dad is no longer with me, but he will always be with me in spirit.  He will always have a place in my heart that is hidden from the world.  My private place where the love for my dad will live on forever or until we meet again.

I Am The Warrior 5-26-17

Dictionary.com defines the word Warrior as follows:

“A person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.”

In my opinion, Velma Perez Dunkin should be listed in the definition.  I am a warrior!  Up until now, I’ve overcome so many challenges in my life. I have taken on those battles and persevered. I haven’t always won however, I’ve always made it to the finish line!  A warrior is a person who shows vigor, courage, determination while persevering through adversities in life. That’s me!! 

I’ve always loved the song “the Warrior” by Scandal. I can certainly resonate to the lyrics when Patty Smyth belts out “shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang! I am the Warrior”. I’ve experienced heartache more than once in my life. I have the scars to prove it. I am certain I don’t stand alone. There are many of us who face adversity everyday however, as Warriors, we persevere. 

I think the real warriors are those who have been brought to their knees but have managed to pick themselves up. Dictionary.com doesn’t mention the warriors who have battled cancer, overcome addictions, persevered through divorce or custody battles. How about all the single moms out there who sacrifice and fight every day to provide for their children? Being a single mom is hard work. It requires tapping in to that warrior spirit that lives inside all of us. To me, that’s a real warrior. 

I’ve had the privilege of serving those who are homeless. Words can’t describe what they have to endure. It takes a warrior to survive life on the streets!  I remember my friend James in San Francisco. He had been transferred to the Bay Area by his job. Suddenly the economy crashed. He lost everything including a place to call home. He found himself in a shelter. While in that shelter, he was stabbed and spent much time in the hospital recovering from the wounds. When he got out, he found himself living in a tent at a parking lot. His only friend was his chocolate lab.

He finally qualified for housing. However,  he was diagnosed with bone cancer. For those of us who have battled cancer as well as the treatment that goes along with fighting the disease, we can attest that it takes a warrior to persevere. James was a warrior. He fought cancer while living in a tent at a parking lot waiting for housing. That my friends is a warrior!!

There are men, women and children who are being abused every day.  Enduring physical, emotional and/or verbal abuse is tough business. It takes a Warrior to endure!! There are children being bullied at school. People overcoming PTSD, depression and/or anxiety. The list goes on. In my opinion these are real life warriors. It takes courage to persevere and overcome. 

Memorial Day is Monday. We honor all those warriors who have served our country and lost their lives in battle. For me, I not only honor those warriors, but I also honor and respect the warriors who are enduring their own personal battles every day. Life is hard. 

I happened to see a Facebook post one day posted by one of my best friends. She posted “Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, You Never Know What You’ll Get”. I pondered that post for several days. After much thought and reflection, I had to disagree. While it’s true, life is similar to a box of chocolates you never know what you’ll get, but we’re talking about a box of chocolate!!! Who cares?! Chocolate is delicious! Who doesn’t love chocolate?! Life….Well it’s not always delicious!! In my opinion life is more like a box of jawbreakers with an occasional box of pop rocks. It’s tough and requires a lot of patience to get to the end while enduring the occasional surprises as well as unexpected explosions along the way. 

I’d like to encourage anyone facing adversity today to put your warrior gear on and keep fighting. Grab your guns and start “shooting at those walls of heartache – bang, bang!”  You’re a Warrior!  I’m a Warrior!!  If Patty Smyth is right the only way those pesky challenges of ours will win is “if they survive….the Warrior!”  That’s you and me! Today remind yourself “I AM the Warrior!! Victory is Mine!”  If you need a little motivation I’m sharing this video with you today as a reminder. I have used this song, among others, throughout the years as inspiration to remind myself “I AM The Warrior”. Face any challenge in front of you  today head on and kick some ass!!! 

Gaslighting 4-28-17

A few days ago I was in the phone with a friend. During the conversation she mentioned the term “gaslighting”. I had never heard the term nor was I aware of what it meant. She briefly explained the term but encouraged me to look it up so I did. I came across the following article written by Natasha Tracy. I copied the article and felt the need to post on my blog this evening. 

This article really hit home for me. It described my previous relationship in complete detail. After reading the article everything made sense. If this article hits home for anyone reading my blog, you’re not alone and You’re Not Crazy!!  

GASLIGHTING DEFINITION, TECHNIQUES AND BEING GASLIGHTED -Natasha Tracy

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting his or her own memory and perceptions. Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse. It makes victims question the very instincts that they have counted on their whole lives, making them unsure of anything. Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless as to their own experience of the situation. Gaslighting often precedes other types of emotional and physical abuse because the victim of gaslighting is more likely to remain in other abusive situations as well.

The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1938 British play “Gas Light” wherein a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy using a variety of tricks causing her to question her own perceptions and sanity. Gas Light was made into a movie both in 1940 and 1944.

Gaslighting Techniques and Examples

There are numerous gaslighting techniques which can make gaslighting more difficult to identify. Gaslighting techniques are used to hide truths that the abuser doesn’t want the victim to realize. Gaslighting abuse can be perpetrated by either women or men.

“Withholding” is one gaslighting technique where the abuser feigns a lack of understanding, refuses to listen and declines sharing his emotions. Gaslighting examples of this would be:

 • “I’m not listening to that crap again tonight.”

 • “You’re just trying to confuse me.”

Another gaslighting technique is “countering,” where an abuser will vehemently call into question a victim’s memory in spite of the victim having remembered things correctly.

 • “Think about when you didn’t remember things correctly last time.”

 • “You thought that last time and you were wrong.”

These techniques throw the victim off the intended subject matter and make them question their own motivations and perceptions rather than the issue at hand.

It is then that the abuser will start to question the experiences, thoughts and opinions more globally through statements said in anger like:

 • “You see everything in the most negative way.”

 • “Well you obviously never believed in me then.”

 • “You have an overactive imagination.”

“Blocking” and “diverting” are gaslighting techniques whereby the abuser again changes the conversation from the subject matter to questioning the victim’s thoughts and controlling the conversation. Gaslighting examples of this include:

 • “I’m not going through that again.”

 • “Where did you get a crazy idea like that?”

 • “Quit bitching.”

 • “You’re hurting me on purpose.”

“Trivializing” is another way of gaslighting. It involves making the victim believe his or her thoughts or needs aren’t important, such as:

 • “You’re going to let something like that come between us?”

Abusive “forgetting” and “denial” can also be forms of gaslighting. In this technique, the abuser pretends to forget things that have really occurred; the abuser may also deny things like promises that have been made that are important to the victim. An abuser might say,

 • “What are you talking about?”

 • “I don’t have to take this.”

 • “You’re making that up.”

Some gaslighters will then mock the victim for their “wrongdoings” and “misperceptions.”

Gaslighting Psychology

The gaslighting techniques are used in conjunction to try to make the victim doubt their own thoughts, memories and actions. Soon the victim is scared to bring up any topic at all for fear they are “wrong” about it or don’t remember the situation correctly.

The worst gaslighters will even create situations that allow for the usage of gaslighting techniques. An example of this is taking the victim’s keys from the place where they are always left, making the victim think she has misplaced them. Then “helping” the victim with her “bad memory” find the keys.

Are You a Victim of Gaslighting Emotional Abuse?

According to author and psychoanalyst Robin Stern, Ph.D., the signs of being a victim of gaslighting emotional abuse include:

 1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself.

 2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.

 3.  You often feel confused and even crazy at work.

 4.  You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.

 5.  You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.

 6.  You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.

 7.  You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

 8.  You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.

 9.  You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.

 10.  You have trouble making simple decisions.

 11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.

 12. You feel hopeless and joyless.

 13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.

 14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.

 15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.