To My Readers and To My Son

After writing yesterday's post, I felt extremely conflicted. There is a lot of embarrassment surrounding the love I had/have for a man who made it very clear he wants nothing to do with me. There is shame about writing this stuff online. Maybe I reveal too much of my life. I know there are friends who think I am too open.

Then I read blogs where women bare all, like Carrie Riemer's blog, Lady with a Truck. I don't compare; I'm trying to find a comfortable place.

Today a friend was direct with me and she was completely right. My focus has been my hurt (Bill) and my focus truly needs to be on my son. He is aware I'm sure of my ups and downs, altho I do try to protect him from that.

I'm close, so very very close to shutting the door on this part of my life (the Bill part). Healing has not been a upward journey. There are ups, downs and periods of no movement. There have been laughter, tears, pain, acting "as if" I'm doing OK, lots of seeking, journaling, reading, learning and praying. Even praising God for all He has brought into my life. I am an honest person and I share honestly with others, usually with little to no shame for that. I have been applauded for my honesty, my ability to look deep into things, for my self-awareness, for my faith and seeking of God.

One thing struck me about one of the articles I shared with you yesterday. In this one, there is a line that read: People with narcissistic traits are known for targeting intelligent, self-sufficient, empathic individuals as partners.

I am an intelligent, self-sufficient person! I posses high emotional intelligence, conflict-resolution skills and the ability to compromise.

I lack self esteem, especially after this 3 year relationship and even more so after being left by ex-husband. I don't think I'm pretty AT ALL. I don't think my body is good enough. I don't think I'm smart enough. I don't think I am mature enough. (Both Bill and Matt made that clear, altho Bill admitted he too had his "crazy" at times. Matt told me once that if he saw me in a bar he'd think I was pretty enough to hit on, but that despite my changes for the better, he knew me on the inside, and that is why he is leaving me. That one comment alone is not something I have gotten over yet.) This is what has happened to me in the past 10 years as I've gained weight, lost my job, lost my marriage, lost a relationship with a man I idealized at times. I disregard my beauty (if there is any). My age-appropriate body. My average to maybe above average intelligence which should be enough. My ability to save money for my future. My strength. My resilience — my therapist made clear that is the one word she uses to describe me! My generosity to others. My cooking skills. My hard work. My creativity (remember those cookies?) My design skills. My style. My work ethics. My ability to come out on the other side. My relationship with God. My desire to constantly seek to be a better person. My ability to tackle problems in their proper perspective. My desire and ability to help and guide others as a mentor. My love of children. My "good mothering" skills with Oliver. My ability to not judge, but rather accept those around me. My ability to be there for others. My honesty. My willingness. My strength. (Blah blah blah!) I forget all that. I don't focus on it.

And in this other article I shared yesterday: The target, who may possess high emotional intelligence, empathy, conflict-resolution skills, and the ability to compromise, may work diligently to respond to the deafening silence. He or she may frequently reach out to the narcissistic person via email, phone, or text to resolve the greatly inflated misunderstanding, and is typically met with continued disdain, contempt, and silence. Essentially, the narcissistic person’s message is one of extreme disapproval to the degree that the silence renders the target so insignificant...

I remember trying to prove my significance to Bill at times – near the end when he was pulling away (sometimes called Devaluing stage).

It becomes an obsession to prove my worth to someone who is rejecting me. While normal people will shudder when they watch a person "put their self-worth in a zip lock baggie and hand it over to another" as one reader, who I respect, wrote to me once, it's something that I have a need to prove. I don't understand why this is so important to me. Other people can walk away and say, WTF?! I deserve better. And that is something I truly want to be able to do. I am not sure why I cannot do it!

I surely hope you don't judge me when you read this. If you want to leave me a comment, please do. Sick of my struggles yet? Ready to stop reading? In a lot of ways it's OK if you are feeling that way. I will keep writing whatever feels comfortable because I need to get it out, because I need to have a voice, and maybe just maybe I can help someone else who has gone thru this to find their own voice some day. It's my journey and it is what it is. I can't change where I'm at, altho I am trying very hard to become a woman who can throw this shit fuck ass to the curb (he's already there because he left me) and gain my power back and hold my head high and let go and be that strong example of a woman with high self-esteem to my son. I want that! I'm working damn hard to be that woman. I've been told I am NOT doing all I can do. This was by a stranger on a forum. I say to her Bullshit. I am. To the best of my abilities, I frickin am.

To my son I say this:

Your mom loves you to the best of her abilities. Which is a lot. I love you dear boy. When you read this blog some day as a man or as a young adult, know that I am not self indulgent. I am not indulging in self pity. I put on a happy face for you. I sit with you and read, hug, cuddle and play (as much as I can). I cook great meals for you and try to serve you wonderful healthy things. I tell you often I love you. I hold you, kiss you and advocate for you at school. I buy you wonderful toys within (and sometime out of) my budget, not out of guilt, but because I think you deserve to have some fun things. I want you to keep up with the other boys but I also want you to learn to be happy with what you have been given. I give you my time, something that is NOT hard for me to do. I enjoy our time together. I say this not to pat myself on the back but to show you how important you are to me. I love you so much. My heart aches for you when you are in pain. You are so strong Oliver. I don't think I could do half of the things you do: living in two different homes. Facing your fears each day when you go to school because you feel intimidated by the structure and the teachers. Your dad and I fight for you there too. And I honor your father and your need for him — and his need — to be there for you. I'd love to have you all to myself. But I know how important your father is to you, how he needs to have a big role in your life. I give up that fight to get what I want because I know you need him. And I respect him. He is a good dad to you, and he loves you so much. When you come here and read this some day, and when you see me aching for Bill, or missing him, just know that I am human too and I have my struggles, some of which I am not proud of. I wish I could have spotted Bill earlier as a man who was not worthy of me, and especially not worthy of you. You deserve better Oliver, and I am working to give that to you. I wish I was better already. I'm broken in some areas. I read recently that God doesn't expect us to be perfect. We are flawed, we humans. We don't get what we want and we do crazy, silly, destructive things to try to fix our hurts. It's only when we fail that we realize sometimes our actions were not the best choices, something I know you learn about in school too. I know you're a smart, brilliant child, and maybe you do pick up on my flaws. Maybe you are the victim of my mistakes. But don't let mommy's mistakes keep you from feeling good about who you are. Because you are a sweet, loving, kind, genuine soul who God loves very very much. And I love you too. So very very much.


  1. This post brought tears to my eyes, Andrea. I do not judge you and know that you are doing all that you can and the best you can under the circumstances. I can feel the struggle you are going through. Some posts show movement forward, others show that you are "standing still" and others relate how you've gone kind of backwards. All normal with what's happened to you. You are human. Forgive yourself. God does. I just know you'll be o.k. How you are with Matt now is so wonderful for Oliver to witness. If you keep writing (which I think is cathartic for you), I'll keep reading and comment from time to time. Baby steps, one day at a time, this too shall pass. I know it all sounds trite but, having gone through something similar to your situation, I do believe and have faith that things will get better for you and for you and Oliver. Keeping you in my heart and prayers.

    xo Elle

    1. Same here (as I mentioned to Cheri)... I look forward to your comments. Maybe you can share your story with me some day. Or write a guest post. And knowing you have gone thru something similar and come out on the other side brings hope to me. Thanks Elle

  2. Golly, I hope no one judges you and that you don't feel judged. I think you are strong and courageous to share your heart and healing so that you and others grow through the open processing. XO

    1. Cheri, it's probably me who judges me... thanks for being here. I look forward to hearing from you. :)

  3. I am not sick of reading. I love your honesty and openness. You are learning through all of this. There is a lesson there, and you are wise to be seeking it! Good for you that you are talking with others, getting help, taking care of yourself ... that is the road to being whole again, and stronger for this experience.

    You are beautiful. But it will not matter until you believe it. Praying each day for you to see yourself as I see you.


    1. Pamela, your comment made me cry... but in a good way. And so thank you...

  4. Andrea,
    I check in here every day just to see how you are. I don't grow tired of hearing where you're at. They call grief and recovery a "journey" because it's not a straight shot to where you're going. Wouldn't that be nice? But no growth would occur.

    In very painful break ups for me, the only true and honest relief has been time. Which is terrible to hear sometimes because I didn't WANT to wait for time. I wanted to do it myself! Today! But there is some solace in knowing that next year, on this day, you won't feel like you do today. That acute sting gets weaker and more distant until sometime, a while from now, where you go "gosh, that was horrible and I still don't think I understand or can reconcile what happened, but I sure am glad the pain has softened." It just does.

    Until then, I look forward to journeying alongside you.

    1. Every day? Thank you. :) Thank you... means a lot.

  5. I have so much hope for you. You are honest with yourself. Sometimes you take a while to get to where you need to be but you are always on your way.

    You are enough. Ok? Just the way you are.

    I admire you, and will pray for your peace of mind.

  6. Something you said struck a chord with me - "It becomes an obsession to prove my worth to someone who is rejecting me." I don't like to blame every last little thing on our childhood but if you have been brought up to be a good girl, there is definitely that wanting to please aspect that is common to many women.
    The love you have for your son is what binds us parents together and you will do anything to protect him emotionally. I think you are doing a fantastic job and echo the words of the above commenter - you are on your way. Be kind to yourself and enjoy those precious memories your little family are creating right now.


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