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#9044 - 01/18/10 09:22 AM Re: My Story-Part 1 [Re: Dianne E.]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
GETTING BACK ON MY FEET

I struggled through my first year in Seattle, finally landing a short term job by the 6th month I was there. Once the job ended, my lease was up and I couldn't find other work fast enough to continue paying my rent. The Psychopath enjoyed exercising the position he was in to refuse me anything I asked of him. The keep away game, one of his favorites. At that point I had explained the situation and asked to move in. He laughed and told me to get my life together, I could NOT live with him, while telling me how much he loved me at other times.

Phrases like "I'm not capable of dealing with you in a relationship" and "you don't love me, you love the idea of who decided to think i am" as, though I had projected this onto him instead of the reality that he had presented me with a false image mirroring to me what he wanted me to believe and "you don't love me you NEED me" "you only want me because your life isn't working", as tho he wasn't a direct factor in causing this to be the case and "This was a lousy, miserable relationship-you are addicted to your idea of want it to be not what it is", as though he wasn't responsible for making it what it was.

Punishing me for falling prey to all of his manipulations and invalidating the validity of my feelings because he knew he had manipulated me in the first place. I was still very much under mind control.

At some point, I began to recognize how the entire situation, from the brutal discard in CA thru his "suggesting" I move up and live across town and the continuing degradation and abuse, had all been a sick twisted game of control and manipulation. His goal having been to create a mindless controllable puppet out of me. The game went something like, "If you want to be with me-that makes you stupid cause you fell for my game and you have just given me the control to manipulate you by withholding what you want, if you walk away, I will come after you because you are a challenge and I will pull out all the stops until I get you to fall for my game again so I can prove how powerful I am, how stupid you really are for wanting to come back to someone who just got away with using and abusing the hell out of you and I can destroy you for having gotten away in the first place and I will take away everything you were able to build in that time because I don't have those things and you do.". But I hadn't reached that point yet-it came in retrospect 18 years later.

I did, however, reach out to an old friend in California and relayed my plight. He owned a communal house in the mountains of santa cruz, ca and a housemate had just moved out, he said the rent was cheap-so I left Seattle and took him up on the offer. I was surrounded by people for the first time in 2 years. I was accepted for who I was and how I was (traumatized and all). Most in that house took an immediate dislike of the Psychopath and through many conversations with the friend who had invited me to stay-I was clued in to the fact I had been abused. He was the first to put the picture together for me. I believe true healing had begun for me in that house.

I was able to get work at Apple Computer by my second month there. Ironically, the Psychopath had remained in contact with me and upon learning that I had landed that job had begun stepping up his contact, even flew out to see me several times and had me fly up to Seattle. We now flew back and forth to see each other almost every weekend. For the first time since we had dated, I was seeing a different demeanor in him-he was no longer patronizing, dismissive of me or rude-he had completely morphed back into the man I had fallen in love with.

As a matter of fact, he was overly supportive in just about everything that was going on in my life-like night and day. I was constantly praised, told how much he loved me and promised how much better things were going to be. It had only been 6 months, since I had been told "You can't live with me" yet now...he was putting out the suggestion that I move into his apartment with him. Three months later, my contract at Apple had ended. The Psychopath flew down and I rented a U-Haul which he helped me pack up and drove the truck while I followed in my car. I was back in Seattle and living with the Psychopath again 1.5 years after he had walked out on me.

I failed to notice the correlation between the rise in my self-esteem and all of the Psychopath's flattery and supportiveness-I guess this is what is called the pumping up-I had no idea it was a tactic or that I had been sucked into it...but it was to establish a pattern that would persist for 16 years: seduction, trap me via my commitment, destabilize me by thru continual verbal and psychological abuse, creating chaos in my life and destroying the progress I made when not with him, slandering me all over town by making it appear that it was me who was a problem/he who was some kind of victim, execute a brutal discard once I was completely destroyed, wait until I had almost completely rebuilt and then come back in supportive, loving, concerned and helpful-to fix the remainder of the destruction he had caused in the first place.

I don't know how to clearly relate the most phenomenal aspect in that pattern was how genuinely his personality would change when he was seducing me back-in spite of what I knew he had done to me, he could make himself appear so completely different that I would find myself seriously doubting the validity of my memories of the torture-Cognitive Dissonance, I think-I could not rectify the complete and total difference in how he was and ended up discarding my own knowledge of the abuse as a misinterpretation of reality-how could someone so loving and perfect have really done to me what I "thought" I remembered.

I also could not handle the knowledge of how sadistic and cruel and truly evil he had been (why would anyone do those kinds bizarre and sadistic things?) -my mind did not want to acknowledge that kind of evil existed, it was easier to deny my perceptions than to admit to the existence of that kind of insane cruelty and the fact that he had indeed perpetrated it against me. His mother had convinced me that I perceived the abuse incorrectly anyway-that it was really me who was unstable and not able to handle the normal ups and downs of life, "my boundaries were too weak in relationships" and that I was projecting "my own failings/inadequacies" onto my abuser, I was really the sicko or I was driven to seek out victimization due to some mental defect. And all outside parties around us served to back this up-thanks to the web of deceit he had created to keep the abuse secret. It was me. me. me. They saw my life falling apart, me unable to succeed at the simplest of things at the time but they did not see the angel-faced Psychopath wreaking the havoc that was creating that effect. Throughout the entire experience with the Psychopath, his mother played a major role in manipulating my perceptions in tandem with the Psychopath. Until I spoke with my friend in CA I had no other perspective.

I know now, that abusers do this-it's how they mask what they are really doing behind the scenes, allowing them to get away with the abuse by discrediting in advance "via appearances" anything their victims might say in protest or do in seeking help from the outside-the impenetrable wall of enforced secrecy, Ps are complete pros at it. But the experience of having lived through it was so completely horrific-I was compelled into a self-protective denial to "safe guard" my sanity. He came back before I had ever fully mentally or emotionally healed, while my sense of self and my self-esteem were still battered. My longing for the pain of the loss of myself and outright rejection of my humanity to be alleviated made what he was offering a relief.

My perspective would suddenly change entirely. Looking back, I can say that resuming the relationship always felt like a major accomplishment-like my love and efforts had not been in vain, that we had made it through the rough part and the future was ahead-he would keep his promises and we would grow stronger from having been through so much, we would build that life together and have that happy ending and I could enforce my own denial of the experience of his abuse, shed the shame of having been the cause of that torture through my own defectiveness and the humiliation of my own helpless reactions to the torture through his acceptance of me. I believed in him-AGAIN and whole-heartedly.

I moved in, unpacked, started my job search and within 2 weeks had landed a job with Microsoft. The environment was empowering. The more my independence, contentment and success began to show, the more insecure the Psychopath got. The undermining started to happen again-although I didn't recognize it for what it was at the time. The game playing kicked in.

The Psychopath started flirting with women, staying out later at night, spending more time with his own friends instead of on mutual activities and because I was now able to do the same, he began to escalate his behavior, I guess in an attempt to control what he perceived to be his dwindling control over me. He hooked up with some really seedy people to hang around, in particular, a women who was a book keeper for his boss (she was embezzling funds) and he would talk about her to me endlessly (he later said he was trying to make me jealous).

He pushed it all too far one night, after weeks and weeks of ambient abuse-let me know he was spending the evening with her and some other sorts of inferences. He had ignored my repeated requests that he discontinue talking about her all the time and spending most of his time with her and I guess my anger had been building up. I had been trying to be adult about that childishness, without realizing the effect that disrespect was having on my well-being. I was considering that it was time to put an end to the relationship and unfortunately before I could do that, I just lost it finally and reacted...the night he spent with her alone,
I went out with a male friend from work and I did not return home until the next morning. I am not proud of my reaction-it was not characteristic of me at all but I understand how it happened.

He was still asleep when I came in, I woke him up and I told him where I had been. He was enraged, livid, scary. I asked if there were any hope of us going to counseling in order to work through this. He screamed at me, went downstairs and grabbed a knife, pulled one of my paintings off the wall (I am a painter) and he slashed the painting into ribbons, then turned to me and told me to GET OUT. I moved out. I attempted for several weeks to see if he was willing to work through things. I felt extremely guilty and ashamed of my behavior -it was perfect-I was the bad guy so his emotional manipulations and game playing leading up to the incident never had to come into question. He refused to speak to me for over a month and I finally gave up-I started to date.

I got a massive promotion at work and was catapulted into high profile, highly paid and very prestigious position...all of a sudden I found myself on a fast track up and it only kept getting better and better I had begun building the life that I wanted for myself-no longer considering the Psychopath in any of my choices. He started to call. He'd seen me around town, he knew what was going on in my career, he also knew I had been dating.

He told me he wanted to work things out and I think I agreed to meet with him to talk at some point. Before that could even happen, he let himself into my apartment with his key (I had forgotten he even had a key to my apartment) early on a Saturday morning when my then boyfriend of 4 months had spent the night with me-the Psychopath raged at me making a big scene, scaring the heck out of me. I got my key back and got him to leave and I realized that I no longer wanted to ever work things out with the Psychopath anymore. That was also the end of my relationship with my current boyfriend. Within this several months away from the Psychopath, I had begun to reframe my entire experience with him up to that point-including the abuse of the first year together and I had acknowledged that the abuse had been very real and the extent of it had been severe I was horrified that I had been treated that way by him and I had accepted that it had not been my fault, I had not caused my abuse at his hands-he was to blame for that- I wanted to put it and him behind me. I remember at a point of clarity, telling him that had realized when he was actively abusing me that all of the projections-everything he had been accusing me of HE had been doing to me and that I could not ever go through that kind of horror again. I don't remember how he explained that one.

I agreed to remain friends with him, although most of my focus was completely on my career now. I would see him from time to time but declined most invitations. Within that year and a half apart, he had begun to lose weight, he grew very depressed-even shaved his head, he begged me to give our relationship another chance, he loved me and missed me. He started to pursue me relentlessly, attempting to get me to agree to things like staying monogamous to him and re-committing, I had thought I had made it clear I didn't want to be with him-the more I said NO, the more relentless he became. I felt guilty and unable to handle the situation. Cutting back on contact resulted in his kicking up the effort. He continued attempting to wear down my resolve as I continued to handle it all very poorly-it did not occur to me that I could completely cut him off-go NC and we still bumped into each other around town or sometimes at events because of mutual friends. I started dating again and he would call and check up on me often and would get angry if he "caught me" with a date...this should have been a red flag because it indicated he was not viewing me as a separate person with the rights to live my life as I chose but rather as his object -i was still HIS until he decided to discard me like useless trash. He seemed to believe he had the right to expect monogamy and commitment from me even though I was no longer with him simply because he wanted me back-he viewed the dating I did at this time as my having cheated on him, I was to discover years later.

But he was so persistent that my resolve broke down-I started to think, wow-he really must have loved me all along to go thru all of this and maybe I did make a mistake and I am not being fair. I started to believe people really COULD change. So by the 6th month of being out-I agreed to consider taking him back and working things out if he would agree to a year of therapy and to cut down on his drinking. He did both things. He also became very charming and supportive once again...this time, because he had been on good behavior for such a long period of time, 1.5 years, and I was now truly enjoying his company and we'd had a lot of good times together (on my dime), I believed him when he said his behavior in the past had just been immaturity and that he loved me and would never treat me that way ever again, that he had grown up and he knew he wanted a future with me.

I believed I was "strong enough to never accept abuse again", a damaging concept that had been fed to me by his mother and which I adopted-damaging because it promoted the belief still that I was somehow responsible for his manipulative and abuse of me because I was defective (not strong enough to prevent it) and even more dangerous because it provided a false sense of the ability to retain control my life around a man who could never be trusted not to manipulate me to meet his own ends or destroy me on a whim. The more access he/his mother (who played a major role in shaping my perceptions also) had to my mind, the more my own perceptions changed...when I read this as I type, I can clearly see how I went from KNOWING without doubt that the abuse had not been my fault, was nothing I caused and was nothing I could have prevented, to going to the opposite extreme in thinking again, that somehow, something inside me was to blame.

Sure enough, the nicer he got, the more I minimize the experience of the prior abuse in my mind...eventually getting to the point where I wondered how I could have ever though he was capable of such wretched things and I must just not have been very strong when it was happening so I must have over-emphasized the severity of it in my mind. He-shape shifted his personality until it was like night and day-he WAS the perfect man for me-this man, who I could never depend on, who had consistently tricked me into trusting him only to pull the rug out from under me, who had not only destroyed me through abuse but in reality barely got by living paycheck to paycheck due to all sorts of addictions and irresponsibility, self-centeredness, was the perfect man. The Cognitive Dissonance, like that of the first time I took him back, had set in and I did not recognize the pattern yet.

14 yrs later, he would tell me that he spent the whole time in counseling talking with the therapist about what a self-centered, narcissist I was and how he had been advised to go find someone who would love him for who he was, that I was abusive and could not love. OMG that was a real eye-opener. Therapy for him, was nothing but a means to get me back, manipulate the therapist into stroking his ego and a means to learn a few more manipulative tactics to use on me. But I had not realized it at that time. He also knew my financial status-which was very, very good, as I had been paying for most of our times together, as he was always broke due to his irresponsibility, drunkenness and compulsive spending. Unfortunately for me, it was my money NOT me, he was after.

I quit my job at the end of that 1.5 years out of the relationship, as it had become to demanding and I needed to slow down. The Psychopath had completed his year of therapy and I agreed to resume the relationship.



Edited by Dianne E. (01/18/10 09:23 AM)
Edit Reason: combining posts

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#9045 - 01/18/10 09:25 AM Re: My Story-Part 1 [Re: Dianne E.]
Dianne E. Offline

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Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
ANOTHER KIND OF HELL

While my abuser was still in "therapy," I had hoped the therapy was going to help him either deal with letting go of me or tackle his control and abuse issues. I felt extremely uncomfortable-like maybe I wasn't being clear enough about my intentions, I was a little afraid of his persistence and I struggled to assert my wishes without being nasty. I dated him more and more toward the end of that 1.5 year period of time. My income was almost 3x his, my company provided a huge entertainment account and I was able to bring guests on my trips, so he accompanied me often and I ended up footing the bill for most of our other endeavors.

I noticed over the time the relationship had been severed and we had lived apart, that he did not seem to respect my boundaries (see us as separate)-I often wonder if I wasn't completely firm enough or if he simply did not acknowledge a word I said...but I said no a lot and no seemed only to mean, "keep pressuring me until I wore down." I started to resent his demands and his expectations that I would commit to rebuilding a relationship with him when I had told him for over a year, that I liked being single and did not want to be in a relationship with anyone. I understand now, that once he had made the decision that he "wanted back," he was viewing the situation as though the relationship had never broken up -was merely a separation, so what seemed like odd demands to me over the past year, was clearer to me.

I was about to buy a house for myself and had no intentions of his living in it with me, in fact, I had offered a female co-worker the option of renting one of the bedrooms. My abuser asked if he could come with me to meet the realtor, I was very clear that I was buying the home for myself and fully intended to continue to live separately from him but I let him see the house and meet the realtor. Rather then cement myself into a home purchase, I re-assessed my career stability and found that it actually made sense for me to resign and find a position which wasn't so taxing. Over the months leading up to my career transition, my abuser had changed quite a bit-backing way off and ceased to pressure me. He had been very supportive to me through a difficult incident, I had begun to enjoy his company quite a bit and as his 1 year mark of continual therapy approached, I agreed to reconcile and we had begun discussions about rebuilding the relationship and our plans for the future.

What I had thought had been "working out the specifics" -like whose apartment we would live in...turned out to have been coercive -he had refused to live in mine stating that he would be uncomfortable there...so I compromised. It wasn't until a few years later that I recognized this moment in time had been the set-up.

Four months after I had started a slower-paced job and moved into his apartment, he stated he wanted to move back to California because the rain in Seattle was making him depressed. He had set up the situation to his own advantage by:
1. Persuading me to take him back and rebuild our relationship under the guise of wanting to continue building a life together mutually while hiding ulterior motives/agenda (wanting to move back to CA)
2. Immediately insisting we live in his apartment using guilt (he wouldn't feel comfortable in mine as I had been dating while we were separated)
3. Presenting the desire to move back to the town he grew up in just several months after I made the commitment to take him back AND had moved in with him
---> I just realized, all of it was about HIM...HE wanted me back, HE didn't want to leave his own apartment, HE wanted to move back to California. There was nothing at all about me in there-it was entirely all about him and I was the tool he was using to achieve what he wanted. I don't even think he entertained the notion that he even loved me-he knew I had money & that I was a means to finance his move.

I wish I had seen the manipulation clearly at that point but I didn't, I did have a twinge in my gut but I could not identify it and overrode it because I had committed myself, I wanted what he had promised when he got me to take him back-the REAL opportunity to build a reciprocal relationship together and the chance to recoup my prior emotional losses, as he had promised to show me, that he had grown in therapy, dealt with his control issues and learned to be a part of a mutual relationship. After what "we" had been through, our relationship could only grow stronger, if I only would trust him and let him prove it to me. He said a lot of flowery things like that..."We made it through the tough part...." and unfortunately, I would hear the same line again, years down the road.

Getting back to the move -how it ended up going:
- I agreed to move back to CA thinking it would at least give me the chance to work for a company other than Microsoft
- I Found a job in advance and negotiated a 1000.00 bonus which was to cover my moving costs but was folded into my salary. The job was half my salary and the cost of living in CA was 3 times that of Seattle
- I paid for almost the entire move, apartment, deposits, hotels more than 6000.00 of the bat. He paid for the truck.
- He insisted that I give him half my bonus because he paid for the truck. (OMG-I was so stupid).
- He asked me to be patient while "he got on his feet" <---5 years later, when I separated from him, he had still never gotten on his feet
- He came complete with 60,000 worth of debt
- He insisted we could only live in the most expensive county in the bay, as he needed his work license from that county, and the apartment had to be on the top floor, corner, have a garage, a fireplace and allow pets
- He asked me to allow his drunk friend from Seattle to move down with us and stay in our townhouse while the 2 of them set up a business together
- He went to work for a drunk friend but the work was inconsistent, 1/2 days and sporadic, while they drank in the bars the rest of the day and he continued when he got home.
- He got layed off pretty quickly. He attempted to get his business started at the same time he was encouraging his drunk friend who was now living in the townhouse to drink more (the man had been a recovered alcoholic until the Psychopath got him started drinking again)
-Now the bulk of the rent (which went from 1400.00 to 2400.00 pr mo, fell on me) neither the Psychopath or his friend were paying me their share-the Psychopath often paying close to his share, the friend paying nothing.
- The Psychopath kept trying to get me to agree to marry him
-I kept having to do things that damaged me further in order to keep up with the mounting bills (like not file my estimated taxes and just take the hit at years end)
- I tried to keep track of their running tab of what they owed me in an attempt to protect myself but it was futile and useless-I was never going to see a dime of it
- They both kept drinking immense amounts of alcohol, the Psychopath spending the majority of his pay on booze and never spending any money on us or me or really doing anything for me but taking
- I ended up paying for most of the extracurricular activities, if I attempted to get him to pay for half, I was told I was being unfair as he was broke. I also started paying for the alcohol, as it kept ending up in the grocery shopping
- The friend started getting more and more depressed until it became a very hostile environment. The Psychopath ripped him up behind his back, calling him miserable and passive-aggressive, while trying to get me involved with sharing in his abusiveness toward the man...I now suspect that the Psychopath was humiliating him and verbally abusing him while they were at work-basically using this guy as a scapegoat in order to feel superior (because he couldn't bite the hand that was feeding him at the time)
- There were plenty of empty promises-he was going to buy a new bureau and bed to contribute-but never did (all of the furniture, electronics, etc were mine)
-He kept pressuring me to look for a house to buy, while doing nothing to contribute toward that happening-spending any money he got on himself and going further into debt on credit
-His compulsive spending, on himself and his friends and refusal to pay off his debt had become a bone of contention- he promised to deal with it but never did a thing about it

Now when I read over this list...I think to myself, OMG, how could you NOT have seen how totally used you were being, how entirely disrespectful and downright sleazy all of this behavior is...but the events happened over time, gradually accumulating and I also remember the blame-shifting, logical excuses, promises, sly deflections, brain twisting verbal side-steps. And I remember how entirely weighed down with responsibility I was-on auto-pilot, too busy functioning to see or think straight, emotionally numb, tired.

By the end of the first year, though-I knew I was angry, anxious, unhappy, unsettled, feeling manipulated yet unable to identify why or how it happened. I felt like my life was no longer mine and I had been reduced to nothing but a means for someone else's ends.

I quit the job I had taken to move (I hated it, it was an abusive atmosphere) and found a contract at slightly higher pay, my first client-I had started what would become a successful consulting business. The rent kept increasing. They kept drinking, the Ps credit card debt kept mounting and his self-centeredness got worse and worse. I started working as many hours as I could in order to keep a roof over our heads and to avoid coming "home" to see both drunks lounging on my furniture, eating the food I bought, enjoying my tv.

-NOTHING ABOUT THIS WAS MY LIFE-MY LIFE WAS GONE and I WAS IN SHOCK, BEWILDERED unclear as to how any of this had happened. I was unfair or selfish if I said anything about it. I was impatient or out of touch with the little guy-not understanding how the real world struggles, due to my unfair advantages, "you have money, I don't. You don't know what it's like to struggle" <---See My Story-Part 1 for the irony of that statement, he had already SHOWN me what struggle was

At various points throughout this 3.5 year period of time I attempted to take corrective action:
- I tried to identify all of the areas in which I had been manipulated and attempted to address them
- I demanded the Psychopath get a real job. He did this eventually but dragged his feet and ignored me at first (I demanded...there was no discussing, no solution-finding, no concern for me and how his behavior was affecting me) there were plenty of empty promises.
- I brought up his continual debt on a regular basis-he ignored me and refused to address it while making empty promises to do something about it
- I demanded the Psychopath take action to make the friend move out. He fought me on this trying to put it back on me-I held my ground and made him deal with it (I was livid that he pulled that)
- The Psychopath folded his attempt at the business even tho he had begun to be successful at it (I will never get that one)
- The Psychopath got in with the UNION finally, his life long dream-consistent work with benefits. Things improved a bit when that happened but the rent kept going up and his blowing off the rest of his responsibility/promises continued.

In light of the changes (even though it was like pulling teeth to gain those) I was getting depressed. This was not a relationship-I was a babysitter 24/7, if I missed even 1 beat, I ended up manipulated 6 ways to Sunday or multiple issues only to be discovered at a later date. Sadly, I began to think back to conversations with the Psychopath's mother-the ones where she told me to "accept him as he is," "fix YOURSELF or your relationships will never work" and my heart sunk...had I ended up in this HELL because I somehow thought I needed to prove something to myself? Partially-yes, I bought into that lie, but I had believed the Psychopath when he told me he was a changed man, he loved me and he wanted the chance to make up for how he had treated me in the past, wanted to re-build our relationship and build our future together. I wondered why I was putting myself through this when, not only did it no longer feel like my life, but nothing was ever going to come back to me from the other end-or it would have been all along....I would periodically have flashes of my own perceptions cutting through the fog only to fall back under.

By the 3rd year, I had started to realize he had basically set me up for this, lied to me about his intentions of wanting a relationship (no conversations even happened, just manipulation and empty promises, no mutual goals occurred because he promised but never followed thru) and no matter what I did and said-nothing was changing anything-so he clearly did not care about me or my feelings and needs, I was like his mother not his girlfriend, nothing more and I never wanted a situation like that.

The costs to me were mounting by the second. I was lonely and got no emotional support from him either. I started resenting him, spending as much time as possible with my friends, contemplating ending the relationship as I had given up hope and was so angry at being manipulated into the situation. I felt trapped, unable to change things. I began to question my resentment and the "fairness" of it, questioning the validity of my own feelings and perceptions.

I began to examine my resentment, recognizing that I was now, in my mind, holding him responsible for my unhappiness, when it was up to me to decide that I had enough of lies and behavior that would never change, the needs that were not being met, the expectations that were being ignored. I wanted my life back. Was I being fair, was I that incapable of communication or was it intentional ignoring on his part, was I giving up hope when there was a chance that things could be changed?

I feared the influence of his mother might be having an impact on my feelings-"do it on your terms now" as though she was promoting the validity of a controlling relationship-I did not want a controlling one-but had her suggestion somehow infiltrated my consciousness - leading me to feel entitled to call the shots and entitled to anger if his behavior was not following MY ideas of what it should? Was I thinking I had the right to judge him for not living up to my "on my terms" expectations? I knew I had the right to decide that I'd had enough.

"HE doesn't want to take responsibility for himself," She also said regularly...again, I could not determine if that felt true. Was he intentionally doing this stuff, or was he flailing in the midst of bad job market (it was) uncertain of which way to go, handling it in a way that might not be optimal but might be the best way he could figure out. Was he really being irresponsible or was he getting beaten down by his "failures," self-medicating thru alcohol to alleviate the stress of living paycheck to paycheck and making no progress in life. Was he lying to me on purpose or did he really hope and believe that he was going to be able to pull it together. Was he starting to exhibit signs of depression because my resentment was starting to leak out-was I being fair?

I hate that I allowed his mother anywhere near my mind-made it much more difficult for me to sort out where my beliefs and feelings were coming from-were they mine or were they hers. She had a talent for obliterating boundaries which rivaled her son's skill. In combination with the Psychopath's confusing logic and mega-manipulations, the fog was thick. Self-doubt, confusion, skewed perceptions-frustration...when he was not in my life, I was not in this kind of confusion and constant struggle, maybe his mother was right, I thought, maybe I am incapable of being in a relationship. I thought I had gained strength in the previous years - now I doubted, my perceptions and become so easily manipulated again. It had become impossible to think clearly.

I began to question what I wanted from a relationship, knowing this was not it. I wanted an equal partner not a son. I wanted to be appreciated, valued, supported in my efforts and joined in mutual goals, not manipulated conned, undermined, used and lied to constantly. I wanted reciprocity and it had become pretty clear I HAD NOT AND would NOT BE GETTING ANY RECIPROCITY. All it had become was a struggle on my part to institute damage control and self-protect as much as possible and it was time for me to end it if this was the case.

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