May 19, 2014
Dear faithful readers,
After much thought, I have decided it’s time to move on. It’s time to say goodbye to Savory Dish. If you know what this blog means to all of us, then you know this was not an easy decision.
I have learned a lot over the years. I have connected the dots and finally found the answers and the validation I needed. I like to think I am stronger and healthier because of this.
I am meeting healthier people and saying goodbye to those who don’t fit the bill. Nobody is perfect, but we owe it to ourselves to find people who will bring us happiness. Long-lasting happiness.
This blog helped me through some tough times and I thank all those who helped.
But now is the time for closure so I can make room for other things. The lessons I’ve learned will not be forgotten. They will always be with me. But it’s time to put them behind me.
I won’t be posting any more posts or responding to comments. But I will leave the blog up so others can have access to the info here.
I wish you all the best and hope you all find a way to heal. I am happy to see many of you have already done so. Or are well on your way.
Be well and best wishes,
May 7, 2014
For many years, I denied that there was any effect from growing up in a household where alcoholism was present, telling friends “I got out OK, it didn’t bother me.”
Yet by my early ‘30s, I constantly struggled to cope with life. I finally admitted to myself that, when I was growing up, my parent’s drinking had affected me. I couldn’t develop intimate relationships or even let people get close. I needed everyone to approve of everything I did. I was really frightened by anger – especially my own! Authority figures – and that was almost anyone but me – frightened me terribly!
If I received personal criticism, it was devastating. I was overly responsible, couldn’t stand up for myself, felt like I was stuffing my feelings, had a low sense of self esteem. I was terribly dependent – if I got focused on someone, I would cling to them to avoid feeling abandoned – and I felt abandoned all the time anyway. Things were spinning out of control, and only getting worse.
Finally in 1983, at age 33, I did something about it. I went to a 12 step meeting for people who were living with an alcoholic, because that seemed like the closest fit to what I would have experienced. After the meeting, a woman – who I had never seen before and haven’t seen since, but who was an angel for me, said:
“You know, there’s this new group for people who grew up with alcoholism.
It’s called Adult Children of Alcoholics.”
As soon as I heard that, just the name of the group resonated with me for some reason. I explored the resource, and started reading the “characteristics we have in common as a result of being brought up in an alcoholic household.” I was blown away – it was describing my world!
May 2, 2014
I was trying to find more material on why borderlines shut down and run away. Then I stumbled upon this blurb about emotional vulnerability:
Individuals with BPD have difficulties regulating several, if not all, emotions. They have a very high sensitivity to stimuli – even small things set them off. They respond to even low levels of stress. And when emotionally aroused, they take longer to return to a baseline level of emotion. Thus, they are emotionally vulnerable. The more emotionally vulnerable a person is the more they need to be able to regulate emotion effectively. BPD individuals tend to regulate emotions by either shutting down (avoiding emotions) or escape (intense overreaction). Under the influence of intense (positive or negative) emotions, they are impulsive (unable to inhibit inappropriate behaviors). In other words, they are unable to inhibit mood-dependent actions.
Family members of BPD individuals often feel that they are “walking on eggs” because BPD individuals are so emotionally sensitive and tend to over-react.
Emotional intensity means that emotions are extreme and difficult to regulate. On the negative side, partings may precipitate intense feelings of loss, annoyance may turn into rage, and apprehension may escalate to a panic attack or out of control feelings of terror. On the positive side, they may fall in love at the drop of a hat, experience joy more easily, and be more susceptible to spiritual experiences.
Emotions affect thinking. Emotional arousal narrows the attention. The more emotionally aroused you become, the more pertinent and compelling emotion-relevant material becomes. Therefore, when emotionally aroused, emotions dominate perception, judgment, and behavior. For example, when angered, those with BPD find it hard to let go of thoughts and feelings that reinforce their anger.
“Slow return to emotional baseline” means that emotional reactions are long lasting. Basic normal emotions are fleeting and generally adaptive, lasting only seconds to minutes. For the borderline, emotions are long-lasting because they are amplified with sustained attention and reactivated with memories.
Shutting down and running away may be the only way you can deal with feelings of rejection or “hitting rock bottom” when you are emotionally vulnerable. Projecting these undesirable emotions onto others is your way of distancing yourself. It is your way of feeling in control. But feeling in control is very different than being in control.
April 24, 2014
When I think about all the damaged women I let into my life, the thing that hurts the most is the betrayal. I’m not talking about cheating. I’m talking about the things a damaged woman does to avoid heartbreak. I’m talking about devaluation.
She distances herself from you by devaluating you and everything you did for her. Two days ago, you might have been the best thing since sliced bread. But if something you did triggers the fear of abandonment, watch out. Prepare to be vilified.
You may have treated her like a princess. You may have treated her better than any man has EVER treated her. But that is exactly why she NEEDS to devaluate you. Only then can she ease her feelings of rejection.
Only then can she feel like the one who is rejecting you. Do not underestimate how important this is for a damaged woman. She must always feel like she is the rejector. Not the rejectee.
It doesn’t take much for a damaged woman to turn on you. If you aren’t giving her 120% of your attention, then she has all she needs to turn on you. If you don’t agree to move in with her, then you’re an asshole. If you don’t put up with her high-drama, then you’re an insensitive prick.
The last ex accused me of having a bad temper. This was after she spent three months devaluating me and everything I had done for her. Her friends had never seen her happier, but she insists I tormented her. Which is why she was so heartbroken when I broke up with her. Which is why she said she hit rock bottom.
A damaged woman is too damaged to know her version of the story just doesn’t add up. If I was indeed such a tremendous jerk, wouldn’t she be jumping for joy after I broke up with her? Wouldn’t getting over me be a piece of cake?
The truth is I gave all of these women the love they never had as a child. But that did not stop them from insisting that I was the worst thing that ever happened to them. These were women who were abused/neglected by alcoholic parents. In some cases, they were sexually molested, raped and lord knows what else. But I was the worst thing that happened to them.
In return for all the love I showed them, they denied all of it. Erased history for their own convenience. That, my friends, is what betrayal feels like.
April 15, 2014
It never fails. I finally get someone to go seek therapy and they spend the whole time complaining about me.
My borderline ex… the one who claims she cut her wrists, claims she was sexually molested, claims she was raped… went to a therapist after I threatened to leave her. And after three sessions, she claims she had all the tools necessary to deal with life. A lifetime of trauma cured in three sessions. It’s a miracle.
Oh, but my latest ex has her beat. She went to ONE session and she has finally figured out that I was the problem all along. She and her therapist have agreed that my attempts to get her to seek help is my way of asserting control over her.
She told the therapist that I have a bad temper. But of course failed to mention her own. Yes, I threw her bags out. After she went on another verbally abusive rant. Funny how she never mentioned that to her therapist.
Nor did she mention her obsessive-compulsive need to play the victim and bait me into battle. Whenever she picks a fight with me, somehow she always ends up playing the poor defenseless victim and I am cast as the terrible bully.
This is their MO. Their disease. They pick fights so they can play the victim. They are addicted to victimhood. Silent abusers play this game all the time. Then they recruit proxies and enablers to back them up. They even manage to manipulate therapists.
This is why many therapists refuse to treat BPD. These therapists know the game. They know about the manipulations. But not every therapist is wise to those games.
Somehow troubled women are very good at finding that ONE therapist who will take their side and give them permission to play the victim. Empower them to play the victim.
There are bad parents. There are bad girlfriends. It makes sense that there are bad therapists. Thanks to bad therapists, troubled women never have to take responsibility for their behavior.
They have learned that if they put the focus on you, they never have to worry about self-examination. Do they go to a therapist to talk about their alcoholic and adulterous father? Or the relative who sexually abused them? Nope.
According to their therapist, telling them they need help is worse than all those crimes put together.
April 4, 2014
Growing up with parental alcoholism can cause some children to become absolutely terrified of abandonment. Many times, the alcoholic parent physically leaves the family — or, if they remain, is emotionally unavailable — leading children to feel unworthy, rejected and abandoned.
As they grow into adulthood, their fear of abandonment can affect the relationships that they form. They find themselves holding on to unhealthy relationships or never allowing anyone to become close in the first place, out of fear of rejection and abandonment. These experiences, although common in adult children of alcoholics, can represent the outcome of a variety of developmental issues, however…
I still struggle, however, with feelings of fear that those I love will reject me or abandon me and I struggle with self-worth. I constantly feel that I need to be doing more in order to feel worthy. I work too hard, sacrifice too much, and have unrealistic fears. — Dragonfly
An Unhealthy Marriage
I suddenly ended an important healthy relationship and settled for an unhealthy marriage. I fear rejection and abandonment. I probably will need life long counseling. I’ve resolved many fears but it’s hard standing up for myself. — Emotionally Stunted
Often I End Relationships
I have constant approval seeking, fear of confrontation and trouble with romantic relationships. Most notably, I isolate myself from others when I am feeling bad. I also fear abandonment and often end relationships with others to avoid being left by them, in the future. — Marie
Filling the Empty Hole
I was confused and still, to this day, have serious issues with abandonment and trusting others, little self-worth, low self-esteem, emptiness and depression. I am 30 and doubt I will ever be able to fill the empty hole in my broken heart. — Erin
Feel Like I’m Unworthy
I can’t stand chaos, or when people get very angry. I never take time for myself because I feel like I’m unworthy. I have also put up with a ton of crap because I’m scared to be abandoned. — Anonymous
I have a really hard time with relationships because I have a fear of being abandoned because of my dad. Recently, I found a man that I really “let in” for the first time in my life at age 30. Unfortunately, I sabotaged that relationship because I have been made to be independent to a fault from being raised by alcoholics. I can’t accept that sometimes I need comfort too. — Jean
March 31, 2014
Faithful readers know that I recently broke up with someone. And that person then blocked all contact. Not cool. The amusing part was that she accused me of not being able to handle rejection. Whaaaat?
Ummm, I seem to recall that I was the one that broke up with her. Anyways, there was no point arguing who broke up with whom. I just laughed.
I laughed because the same thing happened years ago when I told my borderline ex I would not move to LA with her. And she told me the same exact thing. LOL. She got everyone else to believe her too.
Who has a problem dealing with rejection? Who has a problem with intimacy? Who pushes people away when they get too close? Who blocks and runs at the first sign of rejection? Who loves the attention and the drama? Who has a problem with just being friends?
Are you sure it’s me?
March 30, 2014
Part-time wedding blogger, Stephanie Hallett claims she is a feminist. But when you look at the feminist topics she has chosen to write (of which there are many), she has chosen to place her focus solely on rape.
We can all agree rape is a terrible crime. But why would someone devote their whole career to writing about rape? Is there something Stephanie Hallett is trying to tell us? Is there a dark past that has yet to be revealed?
Instead of writing about women who have risen above their circumstances, she has decided to put her laser-like focus on women who have been victimized. Rather than write about female empowerment she is obsessed with tales of victimization. Is this what feminism is about?
Everything this woman writes at Ms Magazine is designed to instill fear/hatred of men in women. The irony is she writes for wedding blogs as well. Love and Hate. All in one package. Where have we seen this kind of ambivalence? This is a very confused woman.
Rape Culture is a hot topic amongst “feminists” like Hallett. It’s the theory that we live in a rapey world full of rapists. They claim society is teaching their male offspring that it’s ok to rape. They would have you believe all women are in danger of being raped.
It’s a pretty wild theory as theories go. One should know that these theories were put forth by women with doctorates. But these are not doctorates in Psychology or Sociology. These are doctorates in Women Studies and Feminist Theories. Women who have doctorates in legitimizing misandry.
The only women I know who have claimed to be raped are ones who have a family history of sexual abuse and alcoholism. Mental health professionals have also observed this tendency. Do they know something we don’t?
Other studies have shown that alleged rapists and women who claimed to be raped come from similar families. Families mired in chaos and childhood abuse. Families that have a history of personality disorders and alcoholism.
But Stephanie Hallett doesn’t write about such topics. And Ms Magazine chooses to delete comments regarding such topics. What are these “feminists” hiding?
Amongst the many topics they are uncomfortable with is the topic of Cluster B personality disorders, especially the kind that causes a woman to be obsessed with victimhood. The kind that creates attention-seeking behaviors.
We’re not talking about normal attention-seeking behaviors like putting on a pretty dress. We’re talking about the scary kind- like flirting with every guy at a college party and then claiming some asshole raped you in your drunken stupor.
I’ve known my fair share of troubled women. I know they will do anything to get attention and sympathy. I’ve known women who cut their wrists or swallow a whole bottle of painkillers just to get attention. I’ve known women who tell stories of child abuse to lure unsuspecting white knights.
One has to wonder why a wedding blogger would write about rape. But if you think about it, there is a common thread. Both satisfy a narcissistic/histrionic thirst for attention. Both give the narcissist a FALSE sense of importance. The kind that comes with playing a martyr and a bride.
There is a darker story here. One that Stephanie Hallett has yet to write. It didn’t happen at a college beer fest. It happened in their childhood… in their own household.
It involved acts that you would think would never happen to a child in their own home… by people you would think would never commit such a heinous crime. But Stephanie Hallett is not yet ready to write about such things. Those stories are under lock and key.
One can only hope these women get the help they need to unlock those dark stories. Because women obsessed with victimhood are stuck in a prison. And the only way they can be free is to unlock their past.
They need to learn that true freedom comes from honesty. Not denial. Not tales of delusion and deception. And it certainly doesn’t come from making a public spectacle of one’s self or masquerading as some warrior for social justice.
March 28, 2014
Assuming you’ve made the break (if you haven’t, you’ll be stuck in stage four indefinitely…or worse), you will quickly be catapulted into stage five. Once your Cluster B realises you’ve gained the strength to walk away, he/she will cut you loose…completely. You will find this both shocking and possibly even hurtful at first, but believe me, it’s by far the best thing.
Once you have rejected a Cluster B (you always reject them, they never do anything to drive you away…remember, they are always the wronged party), there is no going back. You will be dropped, and left high and dry. This is the stage when it becomes clear that you were never loved.
You realise during the release stage that your Cluster B is not capable of feeling love. He/she lacks empathy and emotion. If there are children involved, it becomes painfully apparent during this stage that they too are just objects to a Cluster B. It’s a devastating realisation, and it will send you into free-fall for a while, but you MUST accept it as the truth.
The person you fell in love with never existed, it was all an illusion. There’s no easy way to deal with the release stage. You may feel elated one minute, then terrified the next. Again, get support from wherever you can. Look back over your time together and try to pin-point and acknowledge the different phases. This will help you to come to terms with what has happened, and accept the role you played in your Cluster B’s life. Don’t turn the anger in on yourself. It was NOT your fault.
Your Cluster B had this problem before you met, and he/she will continue to have this problem long after you’re gone. Cluster B’s rarely go to get help for themselves. They cannot acknowledge that they have a problem.
Psychologists treat the Cluster B’s victims, rarely the Cluster B’s themselves. I strongly recommend that you get professional psychological support during the release stage. The only way you can let it go, is to understand it. And to do this you need expert guidance. Draw comfort from the fact that you are not in this alone……and be proud that you managed to escape. Many don’t.
March 28, 2014
It’s a bit of a cliche. But I can tell you daddy issues are real. Show me a woman who had a bad father and I will show you a woman who struggles with intimacy.
I never really thought about alcoholism until I started dating daughters of alcoholics. I grew up with parents who hardly touched the stuff. My dad can’t even finish a whole beer.
I have since learned that alcoholism is just the tip of the iceberg- a symptom of a much bigger problem.
When a woman tells you that alcoholism has been in her family for generations she might be telling you that her family has a history of personality disorders and self-medication.
When she tells you about family drama, she is telling you that she was conditioned for chaos. And her behavior will reflect that.
Expect her to be a drama queen. Expect her to start a fight at inopportune moments and carry a grudge like you wouldn’t believe.
My father was less than perfect. Moody as hell. But I appreciate the fact that he did not drink. It would have made his mood swings even worse.
So I can only imagine what it is like to live in a household where addiction is ever-present. The instability would cause anyone to fear abandonment.
Some of these women also witnessed infidelity in their families. My parents fought a lot. It was distressing to see my parents scream at each other. Maybe even traumatic.
But as bad as things got, they would find a way to work it out. I was grateful that neither of them cheated on each other. Because I have seen how parental infidelity can create terrible insecurities.
The last woman I dated was obsessed with infidelity. Scarred by it, really. She witnessed it as child and then experienced it in her adulthood. She often accused me of it.
One time, she came over and I was doing my laundry. She suspected that, because I was washing my bed sheets, I must have slept with another woman. Every woman I knew was a suspect. She assumed I slept with everyone.
She claimed she had a sixth sense about these things. But it is more accurate to say that she was traumatized and this made her hyper-sensitive. Delusional at times. Constantly looking for evidence of my infidelity. It got old, quick.
This behavior only made me keep my distance. I ended the relationship many times because it was incessant. Not because I wanted to sleep with other women. I was satisfied in that department. It was the emotional department that made me wonder if I deserved better.
I kept my distance because she was moody and quick-tempered. She could be sweet and loving one minute and then one wrong word would cause her to flip out. It reminded me too much of my last borderline ex.
Every time she shut me out and blocked my number, I withdrew even more. She did that so many times I can’t even count. And then she wonders why I wouldn’t commit and why I kept putting on the brakes.
In an effort to make me feel guilty, she told me she tried so hard to love me. But she is delusional. I told her over and over again she needed to work on her issues first.
She didn’t visit a therapist until after I broke up with her for the last time. And that was only so she could complain about MY issues. Not hers.
I was not shy about telling her about my concerns. But she ignored my concerns. Rarely did she ever apologize for all the horrible fits of rage or passive-aggressive tactics.
Under these circumstance how could she claim that she tried to make it work? How could she expect me to take the relationship seriously?
Every time she would block my number, I’d go out and try to forget about her. I wasn’t going to sit home and feel sorry for myself or wait by the phone until she felt like calling me again.
But according to her, that was evidence that I was unfaithful. Because if I was faithful, I would have continued to call a number that was blocked. I was to sit obediently in the doghouse. No thanks.
Time and time again, I took her back, hoping she would see the error of her ways. But that only served to reinforce her bad habits. It said that no matter how badly she behaved I would always take her back.
I did this because whenever my parents fought, my dad would take my mom back and forget anything that was said. This was my horrible model for relationships.
The fear of rejection is strong in the woman I recently broke up with. She claims I don’t communicate with her properly. But in reality, she doesn’t listen when I say things she doesn’t want to hear. She does not take criticism well.
Every time I would talk about her past or point out her daddy issues, she would accuse me of verbal abuse. And then made the suggestion that anyone capable of verbal abuse was also capable of physical abuse.
That was a huge red flag for me. I knew this relationship was doomed when she started making wild accusations and suppositions.
I had seen this act before and I knew it would not end well. I knew this was a woman addicted to victimhood.
You would think that she would be happy to finally learn why she acts the way she does. But she probably has no
idea. When you grow up dysfunctional,
that is normal for you.
She has serious daddy issues. A daddy who once kicked her out of the house because he didn’t like the guy she was dating. This is where she gets her fear of abandonment/rejection.
But she insists that she and her father have made amends. She was so desperate for his love, she donated a kidney when his failed. In essence, she was always looking for the love she did not get as a child. It took one of her organs to get her heart’s desire.
I suppose that is why I attract women like this. I give them the love and affection they never got as a child.
A child raised by neglectful parents is like a person who hasn’t eaten for days. They are starved for attention. They will call you everyday, text you every hour. Until they block you and tell you to move the fuck on.
When that childhood fear of abandonment creeps up, then look out. You will see the darkside. You will feel the sharp pain of someone stabbing you in the back and then wiping you from existence. This is their form of justice. Abandonment is in their blood.
Fight and flight. These are the two modes of operation for a woman with daddy issues. A woman who uses either tactic as a weapon is a silent abuser.
She is lying if she says she isn’t trying to hurt you. She is in denial because she doesn’t want to acknowledge how much she is hurting you.
She is in too much pain to think about yours. Pain that causes her to over-react and blow things out of proportion.
The truth is part of her IS punishing you for re-awakening feelings she has worked very hard to forget.
Women with unresolved (untreated) daddy issues are reluctant to punish their fathers. So instead, they punish you. You are the surrogate. You are the punching bag. Whatever toxic hatred they have built up over a lifetime is now unleashed upon you.
It’s not just women either. I have seen the effects of alcoholic/abusive fathers on men as well. The effects are identical. We can no longer deny the effect that alcoholism and abuse have on children. We must learn to recognize the signs of ACOA and BPD.
We are all reluctant to say we had bad parents. But none of us would be in this situation if that were NOT the case.
I’m not talking about blaming parents for doing a shitty job. I’m talking about acknowledging the harm that has been done and then taking measures to treat the harm.
Because these disorders are both traumatic and contagious. Without aggressive and lengthy treatment, it will spread like a virus ruining one life after another. Until we say enough is enough.
Anybody walking around with an untreated head wound would be considered crazy. But we witness people walking around with emotional trauma and we say nothing. We shrug our shoulders as if we expect such trauma to heal itself.
ACOAs and BPs are not evil. The last woman I dated was a wonderful person. At times, she was very supportive and sensitive to my needs. That’s why I loved her. But she was too sensitive and that made it feel like walking across a minefield.
When you love someone, you try to make it work. It’s just terribly frustrating when you realize there is nothing you can do… except cut your losses.