Book Club ~ I

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent psychological suspense. Started off slowly – in a good way – culminated in a wild ride for the last third of the story. I could not put it down. I don’t know if this has been advertised as a book about Narcissist Predatory Disorder of the malignant variety but it is. I started picking up on some early clues and arrived at the end shaken but entertained and thinking this should be required reading for anyone who doesn’t know about or can’t believe just how insidious this behaviour can be. Can’t say more without spoilers. If you’ve been in the protagonist’s shoes – read it. If you don’t think NPD is a serious form of abuse – read it. If you like great a great scary book – read it. This book deserves all the kudos that it’s been receiving.

View all my reviews

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I’m doing far more reading than writing now, making up for time stolen during “the lost years”. When I remember to, I’ll share from Goodreads. My taste for reading material is as eclectic as my choice of subject matter for writing; fair warning.

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Silence Scalpel Sharp

Some of the thoughts that kept me up last night are the hardest for me to wrap my head around:

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How is it possible to become invisible to a person who once loved you beyond reason?

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Finally understanding that someone would rather hurt you than be polite and that a person who you thought knew you inside and out is able to switch himself off emotionally to the pain and suffering he is causing

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That some people use shunning as a form of expression, telling themselves and others that they are the victim. They use silence to control the other person while denying they are the problem. They use passive aggressive punishment because of their own perceived demands by the other person

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Being ignored causes a pain that the body perceives as physical – fact

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I’d rather be hurt quick and clean with a truth than suffer the phantom limb of lost self-esteem and questions for a lifetime

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The only thing ignoring a person conveys is that you are too immature / frightened / calloused to behave decently. How cold can one be to know that your victim is suffering but feel justified to do nothing about it and go on simply ignoring it?

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The ‘Silent Treatment’ is a mind game and it is abusive

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I find it hard to let go if I’ve been led to believe one thing, even if I’m being shown another. I will give someone the benefit of the doubt to my own detriment. I will continue to reach out, to treat them with some version of the former friendship or regard because that is what caring people do. The one trait that I value highly in myself is my empathy and I won’t allow another’s cruelty or rude behaviour stop me from being who I am. If my intentions are perceived as weakness or neediness I can only remind myself that it takes courage and strength to reach out despite my misgivings. Why? Because I know that perceptions can only be changed when people communicate

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We’ve probably all done it or been subject to it. ‘The Silent Treatment’ is a schoolyard tactic and most of us know how quickly the shunned will fall in line. Why though, do adults choose to do this? I’m mystified that in this age that lauds communication, where people are constantly raging about lack of honesty in relationships and whingeing about decency in general; some people still fall back on acting like a bully to make a point or  to get what they want.

~ kei
29 February 2016
(I’m fine, just stringing together some old and recurring thoughts. K~xx)

My Big Fat Reblog

Well, share actually. To keep my post size manageable here and in the feed, I’ve linked rather than reblog.

Kendall F. Person of The Neighbourhood on WP, just wrapped up a three-part series on gossip. It was done in a story format and is incredibly powerful, delving into the motivations of the person who initiates the gossip and blowing up the general attitude that repeating misinformation is harmless.

Y’all have probably seen my shorts, poems and rants about gossip. It’s hard to be completely objective when one has been and continues to be, targeted by a gossip. Kendall’s pieces bring home the point so much better. I hope you’ll take the time to read each of his and perhaps mine too. It is subjective but factual. Gossip hurts.

I’m listing them in link format below and the last link is to an old piece of mine that retells and old Jewish parable about the consequence and effect of malicious words and as I like to refer to gossip, ‘sanctioned slander’.

Comments are welcome on this piece in particular and note that it falls under my writing about Narcissism. Gossip is one of the power tools in the Narc’s tool kit and they use it and their cronies to start it and spread it.

Ask good questions. Start with ‘why is this person telling this?’

~ kei
3 December 2015

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Gossip Part One

Gossip Part Two

Gossip Part Three

Words, Feathers, Rabbis and Letters

Pain For Gain

Trying to write the piece I mentioned last week is harder than I thought.

There have been many days, weeks, months that I never think of Peter or what those two and some years with him were. Unfortunately, writing something hopeful and perhaps even inspiring for people involved with Narcissists or just beginning the process of leaving means that I have to go back and visit that time.

Those panicky, terrified feelings creep back as I remember and there was so much… the mind boggles at the hugeness of the deception. I still can’t fathom it – the why of it.

It didn’t die with him either. I can only hope that those who read the book when it’s out, will find some comfort in knowing they aren’t alone. That’s the worst of it. Feeling alone, barely understanding what’s happened and being judged by others who know nothing about narcissists, sociopaths or pathological liars.

I hope this disruption in my well-being will be worthwhile. That what I have achieved helps someone to break free and move on. Knowing it won’t be easy, knowing there’ll be extremely difficult times but being assured that it’s worth it.

One’s self-esteem, value as a human being and right to live free of this abuse is worth every bit of the struggle.

~ kei
26 November 2015

Hiatus

Hmm… Well that was a bit of temper wasn’t it?

Fact is, I need a break from WordPress. It’s been close to four years, ninety percent of which was spent managing my once fiancé, the Narcissist Poet, our families and the machinations of a  boat load of Apaths invented and real, that he was continually acquiring.

One of them continues to attempt covering up her shitty behaviour by slandering me to other poets on WP. How do I know? One of you told me she does, worse, some believe it.

So.

I’ve been asked to contribute an article about the Survivor’s perspective after escaping a Narcissistic relationship. The article will be published in a new book being published by a respected clinician in the field and I’ll be detailing events and my ongoing recovery in the chapter that I provide.

I’m honoured. My intention has always been to shine a light on this little known and widely misunderstood pathology and I intend to give it my full attention. To that end, I’ll be gone for a while. Eclectic Unconfined has gone private for the duration, all else will be moved to the back burner while I write, regroup and reassess.

My friends will be able to reach me via email as always and for a perspective on how Narcissism can affect your life, reading my blog from the early days on may show you. The initial love, the  creeping doubts, the dawning realization, the awful truth and implosion and sadly, the ongoing fallout. I would have preferred that it had been private but we can’t choose who targets us, only how we pick up the pieces.

This post on Let Me Reach, promises to have a wealth of information to share for those of you who may be looking for answers for yourself, a friend or loved one.

~ kei
14 November 2015

Thank You, Update And October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

First of all, thank you all for your lovely comments on my post about my Daughter’s birthday. I’m still a little bemused that anyone would entrust ME with two humans to raise but we’ve all survived, thrived and are a happy little band of love and silliness.

It was a busy day, as will this one be and I’m still trying to play catch up with you all in person – I’ll get there! In the meantime, just know it means a lot to me that you take the time to visit, read and comment ❤

I do need to share this important post with you from Bree Bonchay’s blog, “RelationshiPedia”. I’m doing a “press this” rather than full “reblog”, only to keep my post to a reasonable length.

Many of you know or have guessed that I was involved for a couple years with a Narcissist. Poetry has helped me to put a few things into a livable context. Concrete help has come from people like Kim Saeed, who I sometimes reblog and Bree is another person who has some very concrete and useful information to share. I highly recommend both for Survivors who want a balanced, respectful and recovery-focused viewpoint.

Bree is putting together a book in honour of  October being National Domestic Violence Awareness month. It will be called: “I Am Free: Healing Stories of Surviving Toxic Relationships With Narcissists & Sociopaths” and the goal is to provide inspirational stories that validate and help survivors learn from first hand accounts.

I don’t know that I’ll be doing this myself but I do know that there are others out there struggling with the lack of information, bizarre misconceptions and general apathy about bringing this form of abuse out of the dark. Survivors of Narcissist Abuse are consistently revictimized by misinformed family, friends and strangers and that must stop.

Please take a moment to read the post about the scope and intent of the book and if you know someone who may have a story to contribute or will benefit from its publication, please reblog, repost or save the link for future reference.

Source: Share Your Story In The Book, “I Am Free” About Surviving Narcissistic Abuse And Help Heal Others

WordPress is an amazingly supportive community and I hope you’ll consider getting the word out about this very real issue.

With gratitude and love
~ kei

Meanwhile, Back At The Internet Café

I wrote this at the height of the “Gaslighting” phase of my two-year relationship with a Narcissist Predator. It’s really strange to go back and read my poetry and short stories from the period. Such highs! Such lows… So much love and romance but also black despair and suicidal tendencies. Scrolling through my journals, I found this draft and smiled a little. It is a sarcastic satirical and black-humoured piece. I was trying to cope with the assemblage of hoydens he’d gathered by writing about them the way he talked about them – never could figure why they just kept on lurking despite his insistence that “they were stalkers, knew he was engaged, were jealous of me”… Anyywaayy…
What I see now is the inkling of my comprehension of the pattern, how Apaths of varying degrees fit in to my story, lending credence, alibis or window-dressing as he required. Truly amazing, the effort he expended to keep me fooled or manipulate me to do certain things (my favourite was “Baby, would you comment more on my blog? People love to see us as a real couple, not just our books”) The funniest part is that “The Ladies” written about here are indeed real people, unlike some of the ones he created. Bruce Jenner had nothing on my poet! And I can actually smile, if ruefully at that today.

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When I look back on how it all went down, I see it as if I was in a horror movie, a very bad, B-grade horror movie.

You know the ones, where you’re in a normal place, doing regular things and you look up to see that everything has gone to black and white. What you thought were people have all morphed into scary doll creatures or zombies and they’ve all turned to stare at you. Meanwhile, bit players drop in and out, talking to the zombie vampire people, buying their coffees, talking and laughing and totally oblivious to the fact that we are now all in a Hammer Film production. You look at this and wonder, like I still do; how can they not see the evil intent? How can they not know that those smiling mouths are full of lies and those pious old gals, gardening grannies and wholesome looking farmers’ daughter types are all bent on messing with lives out of unbridled jealousy and hatred and for their own twisted amusement? You want to yell, “Don’t open the door!” to the protagonist but… it’s you.

All of that came later though. When I first stumbled across it, the cafe was a fun place to be, good eats, good coffee and the owner had a smile and a poem for everyone. It was easy to see that the regulars at the banquette table at the back were indulging in some pretty serious geriatric flirting with the Café owner. He took it good naturedly, and it was nice to see that even those who could barely spell; always received a kind word of encouragement. There were no signs of the undercurrents of crazy when everyone connected to this story first met. Actually, in a Stepford Wives way, the regulars welcomed newcomers in.
That’s how I first became acquainted with them. The Ladies. Or as I later came to think of them: The Post Menopausal & Poseur Poetaster Club, of the Internet Poetry Café.
I like alliteration. Deal with it.

You remember how it was, right? Lots of laughs, inspiration and folks coming and going at all hours, The Ladies gathered at their table; Hist’mina Munchhausen Fibthorne – “Wheezy” to her friends, Maia Witless Artesian, Guerensy Rime Mooerson and Cheri Del’Usional Aprils. All chatting it up with the cafe owner, smiles, moues, coy glances and “What do you think of my stories?” “Can you help me with this sonnet?”

Who ever would have guessed that such ordinary looking grannies, could harbour thoughts worthy of “Arsenic and Old Lace”, not to mention a healthy dose of “Fatal Attraction?” Fitting analogy that. A tale of sinister plots, deceptive old dolls and a plot twist: married and attached gals who would lie, cheat and write their own men out of the script for a chance to get into the handsome Café owner’s pants.

I never would have guessed, naive I suppose. I saw a nice place to stop in to, my battered journals in hand and to share some thoughts with the regulars, The Ladies of the Banquette. Mentors, right? That’s what I was thinking at first.

Monsters, more like.

More like indeed! Like attracts like doesn’t it? As the Café grew in popularity, newcomers joined the original self-appointed harem.  Des DoubledipmyBunn and Anglésa BlueWindyChapeau decided to write themselves in. Fortunately, the Café owner was more a fan of Albert Camus than Archie comics.

Then there was me. Quietly observing, scribbling away as I always had . How could I know that the Café owner would take an interest in my stories? Who ever would have thought that this would so stir the ire of The Ladies and later, their minions? Not me. That’s for damn sure. I walked in there like a lamb to slaughter, they had their poisoned pens aimed and the hot flashes got hotter.

But that’s another story for another day…

~ kei
2013 sometime…