Lard

I don’t know but I just needed to get this out. I know it is a diversion from my therapy that all of you guys are helping me through, but this just annoys me.

I come from a family that always took its food seriously. We all cook mostly from scratch. And don’t ask me why, I somehow thought it would be a good idea to invite a bunch of people over to celebrate Thanksgiving.

It is the anniversary of the day that my life took a new turn. Thanksgiving 2011 was the day that my then husband had returned from his extended “business trip” to share the holiday with the family.  He was all sweet and charming to everyone and even made a huge elaborate drunken thank you speech about his amazing wife  (me) and how he would not be where he was if it were not for me. Later after everyone left, I got the real news.

So now I have invited way too many people, none who can cook to share this holiday. Hopefully there is safety in numbers. Last year was a disaster because I just broke down in tears crying. It was just my son and one of his friends.

I make pies from scratch. I like to use lard. Most years I have gotten it mailed to me from a farm in Pennsylvania (I live in California!). This year I did not get anything like that together. So I went out here in my health conscious environment to look for some lard to make some incredibly flaky pie crusts.

I live in the land of chicken sausage and turkey bacon. So when I asked for lard, I got a confused look as to what was I talking about. Then when they finally understood what I was requesting, you should see the looks of disgust that I have gotten. I finally got irritated and looked at the butcher and said that it was way easier to buy heroin in this town than it is to buy lard. And it is more socially acceptable.

I know about the heroin transactions because I used to park outside a McDonlad’s so I could piggy back on the wifi location. It was scary the transactions that I witnessed in that parking lot. This is not a slum area and it was less than a block from that Whole Foods where I got the disgusted look from the butcher.

So I know there are clinical studies etc. to say otherwise, but my mother (the Narc I write about) is 96, still drives and looks like she is maybe 75 years old. She grew up on pork fat. She told me stories about how before refrigeration, pickled meat was stored in the cool areas of the basement in crocks of lard. Meat was just scooped out of there and fried up with some veggies and potatoes.

And pie crusts were always made of lard.

I am a big fan of Dr. Mercola. He says that there are 3 types of people who live on this planet. The first group should only eat chicken and fish, little fat and endless carbs. The second group is the most common group who should eat a Mediterranean diet which is equal portions of everything. Then there is the third group and they should be eating lots of rich fat, meat, veggies and little to no carbs. I think I am somewhere in between  group 2 and 3.

I really do not adhere to this, but it gave me permission to take the plunge and eat fat. Now I eat less, I am satisfied and I never have hunger pangs or cravings. I even lost a little weight, but nothing to speak of.

I know that a lot of you may not agree with me, but it does work for me. I read this on the HuffPo.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/28/cooking-with-lard-baking_n_5212804.html

Look at the comments. Hostility.

Everybody loves to talk about how they think diversity is important. What about diversity of thought and eating habits? Do we have to wait until someone we love to get on TV and give us permission?

I have been eating coconut oil for more than 20 years. I have always loved and craved it from the time that I spent living in SE Asia.  I could only buy it at a certain health food store for years. Same looks of disgust when I would ask for that. Now everybody can’t eat enough of the stuff.

Anybody still eat margarine?

Cigarette smoking is another one. I love when people feign coughing when someone dares to smoke within 20 feet of them and then they go smoke their vape pen. Smelling that gives me a headache.

I really don’t smoke, I had one cigarette last year, but I do not think that someone “is less than” because they smoke cigarettes. And why is it ok to shame cigarette smokers and be ok with people that smoke pot all of the time?

I still have an ashtray in my house, I am not sure if you can even buy them anymore in this state. But I keep it for those that drop by and want to imbibe.  I do still make them go outside, but I live in Southern California. It is never that cold.

The Narcissists We All Love

Reading  about all these allegations about Bill Cosby has gotten me thinking about how we can choose to ignore  another one’s “shortcomings” if the rest of the person is appealing to us.

Who did not like Dr. Huxtable? On TV he portrayed such a great dad and husband. Sometimes we confuse the public persona as the real person. It is so easy to believe what we want to see. I understand that these stories are only allegations of rape, but for me there are too many.

And these stories about the drug that these women were given hits too close to home. The same thing happened to me back in the 1970’s. I know most of the doubters say why did it take so long for them to come forward? And why did they not tell anyone or do anything?

I can only tell you of my own personal experience.

First of all it started out pretty innocent. A friend and I were invited to visit the quarters of Captain of the ship that we were traveling on. We were offered a cocktail and that is the last thing I remembered. When I woke up in the early hours of the morning, I was laying on the couch. I just got up and went back to my cabin and I went to sleep with my clothes on too tired to change. My friend that I had gone to the Captains quarters with was already there asleep in her bed. I was still too out of it to think anything had happened. I somehow was not thinking about anything but lying down.

When I woke up, my friend had asked me what had happened the night before.  I told her I did not remember anything but I woke up on the couch in the Captains quarters. She told me that while sitting there talking to the Captain that she was feeling strange and just got up and left. A steward found her wandering the deck and escorted her back to our cabin.

When I got up to go to the bathroom that morning, I noticed that the crotch of my baggy silk pants that I was wearing was completely torn. It was like it had been ripped open on the seams. That was the only indication that I knew something had happened. It still haunts me today.

We disembarked the ship that afternoon. And outside of my friend knowing about what may have happened, I have never really talked about it. I only admitted it to one other person. The reason I told that person was because he was doubting a story that his girlfriend had told him about a similar experience of being drugged.

It really does happen and so many of us just try to move on. It is almost like we justify ignoring it because we barely remember or like me don’t remember it all.

Some may say, why did we go to his quarters?  Everyone did, he entertained a lot of the passengers in his quarters. He was not some slimy character. He looked like someone’s dad.

Narcissists hide amongst us all and I believe that it is so hard to tell. I believe we can be some of their biggest fans, unbeknownst to us.

I feel that so many of our politicians get away with so much, especially, if he is one of your guys. It is so easy to overlook one’s shortcomings when the narcissist is on your side fighting your fight.

Think about our sport heroes and everyone else in the entertainment industry.

One of the persons that shocked me the most was Steve Jobs. Who is more loved and revered than him? My favorite is his 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford. “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” You got to love it.

I was so shocked when I read some of the excerpts from the expose from Chrisann Brennan, the mother of his first child. It took him decades before he would even acknowledge his daughter. While making millions and maybe billions, he kept his daughter and her mom on welfare, not even keeping up with support. Even after a paternity test proved he was the father, he dismissed it and said that 28% of the population could be the father (this was in the olden days before accurate DNA tests).

Yes he was a visionary and contributed a lot. But do we overlook this trait? Do we let it slide? His daughter eventually did.

It is amazing how a whole lot of money, power, good looks, charisma etc. can help us overlook those pesky little misdeeds. The excuses that they make somehow are much more acceptable than the ones the others make that have none of those characteristics.

We humans are so multidimensional. We all carry some good and some bad. But some of us can hide our darkness so well or obscure it in plain sight.

The best Narcissists are those that can generate a group of admirers.  As an observer, those are the ones we are easiest fooled by, especially if that persona is reinforced by the media or even a large group. Those people can even help the Narcissist to evoke our sympathy and support.  They even have the power to convince us that it is the victims who are at fault with their diabolical intentions.

The constant reinforcement of the media or the group helps us to keep seeing what we want to see. It helps us to maintain that narrative that we love and desire to perpetuate about them.  We like to protect those Narcissists that we all love.

Silence is Not Always Golden.

I have sources that I am not willing to divulge now regarding some of the things that my X is doing. The reason that I cannot just “move on” regarding his life is because I am always looking for information to dispute the many lies that my X is attempting regarding our divorce.

One of the things that I have been hearing from one of my sources about is that my X has been disparaging the new girlfriend behind her back for a while now. They only moved in together the beginning of this year, at least, that is when they made it official.

Not soon after that, his complaints had already started.

I actually do feel kind of sorry for her, because I also know from other sources that she is completely oblivious to it. I feel that he makes sure of that by still playing the romantic game to her.

She moved to Hawaii in the beginning of October.  She is apparently under the impression that she is setting up the nest for the someday pending divorce.  I had gotten word through my attorney that my X wanted to settle quickly in September but neither my attorney nor I have heard anything since.

I have also heard that he is celebrating that the girlfriend is gone and his expression is “good riddance”.

But who knows how that will pan out. I know my X likes to keep all of his options open.

I was a very difficult and demanding girlfriend in the start. I did this on purpose. My intent was to show my worst. I even refused to move to Hawaii with him. Everybody thought I was crazy to miss out on such an exotic opportunity.  Lucky for me that I was not interested back then. I cannot even imagine how much more isolated I would have felt being on an island!  Somehow not conceding to his wishes seemed to keep our relationship running better than when I let all my defenses down and started to be nice and considerate.

So some people’s first impression of me was that I was the “undeserving girlfriend”

Our courtship lasted for a few years. It was first a long distance relationship and eventually we moved in together. Back then he was still on his very best behavior.

He always acted as though he was so proud of me and who I was. He would brag to anyone who would listen to him about me. I cannot tell you how many times his proud words about me came back to me.

Everyone who met him said that he could not stop talking about me. They all loved him and they thought I was so lucky to find someone who appreciated me so much.

Things did not start to change until after we were married and it was gradual. We had a few decent years in the beginning. Who knows how decent they actually were? After all, emotional abuse was a more familiar feeling to me than it was to most people. It was how I grew up. The basic red flags for a normal person would be considered normal behavior to me.

There were still lots of gifts, lots of time together going out, trips, flowers, romantic letters and gestures of love and passion. So it all looked good on the outside. Everyone was amazed at what a thoughtful and loving husband I had.

I was definitely swept up in the romance and trying to maintain that “special bond”.  At least that was what everyone was telling me that I had.  Now I understand that I have an abnormally high tolerance to chaotic relationships and I had very little sense of my own self.

Everybody thought he was such a great guy. What would I know? I was the person that could not even get along with my own mother.  So many years I endured the acceptance that I was the difficult person. That is what I was taught growing up.

My X was the talkative charismatic type and I was the quiet reserved type. I was never a believer of airing my dirty laundry to other people. I felt that it was something that I needed to deal with my husband.

My silence worked against me, because I thought I was keeping our matters private. I did not think it was right to disparage my husband to others. I realize now that my X thought otherwise and aired his version of our “dirty laundry” to anyone that listened. He was the victim that was being taken horrible advantage of. I was the nasty, undeserving, “never happy” wife.

I remembered that I had always felt that friends and acquaintances looked at me with suspicion. There was always a feeling gnawing in my gut that something was askew, but that feeling was always over-ridden by my feelings that I was “less than”.

I believed that I was unable to get along with anyone.  The only time that I remember when I was happy was when I lived on my own.

My self- image and propensity to keep to myself was the perfect storm for my X to play the victim to our mutual friends and family. I see now that my X probably garnered lots of sympathy from mutual friends and family that I was a difficult wife. So many people were more drawn to him.

I had always felt a distance to most of our mutual friends. But feeling distant to people was not an unfamiliar feeling to me. I still thought it was just me, I was different. Now I think I realize why many of those treated me with suspicion.

God only knows when his stories started. I look back now and I feel that this may have been going on for most of our relationship. I have come to this conclusion now, especially since I hear how he is treating the new girlfriend.

He always loved looking like the hero/ martyr.

Maybe this explains the indifference that I felt from many of our mutual friends. Some of them were outwardly cruel to me. There were times that some of their treatment of me brought me to tears. I was bullied.

I was also bullied as a child. I remember attempting to go to my mother for comfort. In her anger she had told me it was my fault.  She told me that I deserved it because of the kind of person I was and what I looked like. My mother was embarrassed of me and the negative attention that I garnered.

I had no one to turn to.

So during my entire childhood, I endured all the tauntings and bullying  on my own, in silence. I was too ashamed to tell anyone.  Eventually the bullying stopped and I started to make friends as I grew older. Looking back, I seem to remember that time that the bullying subsided, correlated with my rebellion against my mother.  Coincidence? IDK

So when the adult bullying came, I just thought that I deserved it. When I confided in my X about how hurt I was about specific incidences that occurred, he defended his friends instead of me. It was a familiar response to things that only hurt me. I just kept the pain to myself.

I am even crying now at this pain. At least now I am getting it out.

I am no longer silent.

Boiling A Frog

I remember reading once that if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out. On the other hand, if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and very gradually, turn up the heat the frog will not notice and will just stay there and boil to death.

The theory is that a frog will just continually try to acclimatize to the heat. Because it is only a gradual temperature increase, it will not perceive the danger and just allow itself to be cooked death.

I am not here to say that this is factual but I cannot think of a greater metaphor to what happened to me.

When I first met him, he was the sweetest and most sincere (or so he seemed) man you could ever imagine. All my friends loved him. I of course was on my guard. I never trusted men.

I spent my entire 20’s in short-term relationships.  Sometimes, I think that is what my allure was to men. I enjoyed life and saw no reason to pursue anything serious. From my own personal experiences, I never saw marriage and family in a positive light. I felt women never flourished in marriage. I chose to pursue other things in life, like travel, and that I did. However, after a while that got boring too. So somewhere, after I turned 30, I finally got serious. My first serious relationship was a disaster, but after a year of that dysfunction, I had enough sense to pack up and leave.

So when I met him, I was on my guard and boy did I test him. I was demanding and aloof and still he pursued me. The details of our meeting are too complex to go into now. I just want to state, I was not pursuing him. Eventually my barriers were broken down and we got engaged and then married. We lived together in those blissful days of a new relationship.

He always talked about me in such an admiring way. He put me on a pedestal and even my friends joked that he treated me like a goddess. Never in my life, had I been treated so well. He was too good to be true (!).

As our marriage progressed, and I got pregnant, things slowly changed and his attentiveness started to disappear. I kept thinking that I could fix this and I took responsibility for my faults. As the years passed and our son grew, the attentiveness eventually morphed into neglect and emotional abuse.

For whatever reason, I thought it was important to keep the family together. So everyday I just struggled to maintain harmony in our family. That simple feat consumed me so much for so many years that I evolved into a broken spirit. I was boiling to my death. I did not have enough sense or will to jump out of that boiling pot of water.

I never realized how much I missed his tone of admiration for me. That realization came to me when I finally heard him talking that way again. It dug up memories that I had buried so long ago. Only this time he was not using my name, he was using hers.

I knew then in my heart what was going on. But you have to understand that in spite of what I knew in my heart, I was deceived and played to an unconscionable degree by him. It was not until irrefutable proof was literally put before me, I got perfect clarity.

That clarity awoke my spirit and gave me the sense to jump out of that boiling pot of water, stand up, and fight.  I got an attorney.

Since then, it has been a long and arduous struggle. At least I did not die in that pot of water and I am alive now to fight another day.