Thanks to All

November 28, 2014

Thank you to everyone, for their enthusiastic support. I would reply to each and everyone of you, but I think it’s just easier to respond to all of you at once. But please know I appreciate all of your heartfelt replies. I have come to see you as my extended family. You certainly know more about me than most.

I have indeed failed to take my own advice. Sadly, I am fully aware of where I have failed myself. I am frustrated as well. It is always easier to dole out advice than it is to follow it. Knowledge of the disease does not make you immune to it. That’s why I’m not a shrink. I can only inform people using my own mistakes as an example of what NOT to do.

What I fail to offer as a role-model, I make up for with familiar stories… stories that confirm what others, like me, know all too well.

At the time, inviting my ex to dinner, seemed harmless enough. She claims she is seeing a shrink twice a week and dutifully attending ACOA meetings. She showed no signs of hostility. Although I did sense that every time we had a “good talk”, she would immediately distance herself. That is the way it has always been.

I am Tantalus, a Greek tragedy waiting to be written. I see the dangling grapes before me, close enough to imagine the taste but sufficiently far enough to never know it’s taste. This is not a romanticized excuse for why I failed, it’s an accurate depiction of why I do what I do for those who rightfully ask WHY?

Outsiders will never know why I do what I do. It is true that I am crazy…
crazy for letting these women into my life over and over again. We are all trying to fix the past. I do it through these damaged women. In my own troubled mind, I believe that if I just fix ONE, then I will have fixed all of them.

It is like the gambler who thinks if he just rolls the dice one more time, he will win enough to make up for all his losses. Once again, this is not an excuse but an explanation. If I fail to save myself, at least others know why I failed.

I am tortured by relationships that end EXACTLY the way the last one did. I fool myself into thinking the one in hand is different than the last one, she is less fucked up than the last one. Which may be true, but fucked up nonetheless.

Each one seems more hopeful than the last, which gives the appearance of betterment. If she is going to therapy twice a week, I think “well, that’s an improvement”. I fool myself into believing this is it. This is the one who will restore my faith in love. And then the mask invariably falls off.

It is only after rounds and rounds of failed attempts, that you finally see the REALITY of who you are dealing with… who you have always been dealing with. These troubled souls can only put on an act for so long. When they can put on no more acts, that’s when they really let you have it.

When they know the jig is up, they go FULL CRAZY on you.
When they have the safety blanket of having acquired a brand new replacement (an unwitting victim), they burn the old one down to the ground, including evidence of all their wrongdoing.

She says I need help and she is probably right. But she thinks if I seek help, all her issues will magically melt away. That is her way of saying it was all my fault. Do not mistaken it for concern for my well-being. It is her way of projecting her illness onto me. She is as addicted to the Blame Game as I am to troubled souls. A dysfunctional match made in hell.

She no longer remembers telling me she contemplated suicide. Ah yes, I’ve seen this disappearing act before, where claims of suicidal thoughts magically disappear at the exact moment she has found another victim to manipulate… to torment.

She has found another one she believes is the ONE. And he is soooo much nicer and loving than I ever was. Perfect in every way. Aren’t they always?

I will be fine. With each fucked up relationship, I become a little less emotionally attached. I care a little less. I don’t fall to pieces as easily as I use to. I am back on the bachelor trail. My sense of independence is fully intact.

The downside is I have become more cynical and jaded. I have, over the years, become desensitized to heartbreak, maybe even a little dead inside. But sometimes you have to silence that part of you that cares too much just so you can carry on.

Putting the blog behind me was my way of moving forward, but sadly I have not escaped my problems. Troubled people continue to disrupt my life. I didn’t really have a need to post for a while… until today.

It was suppose to be a Happy Thanksgiving, but things took an unpleasant turn. My sister was coming into town. And in the spirit of the holiday season, I invited my ex to join us. She really liked my sister and my family, so I thought she might enjoy it.

Although we are no longer together, we had been exchanging pleasant texts for the last couple of weeks and she mentioned she was not flying home for the holidays.

So I invited her because I didn’t want her to be alone for the holidays. Although, I did so with some hesitation… and for good reason. I never know how she’s going to react.

Boy, was that a mistake. It was an act of kindness that was not well-received.
Apparently, I’m an asshole for inviting her to share Thanksgiving dinner with us.

To say she did not react well is an understatement. She lashed out at me with all she had. The pleasant texts were forgotten and she split me black once again, as she had done periodically in our relationship.

A week ago, we were reminiscing about a restaurant we had gone to but now was permanently closed. Fast forward a week later, and she claims she wants nothing to do with me.

Although she has said that before. I can’t even count the number of times she told me never to contact her again. And then a week later, she is in my bed again.

All she had to do was say “no thank you”, and I would have been perfectly fine with it. But she used it as an opportunity to blame me for everything that went wrong in the relationship. It is not in her character to say she missed me so. It hurts her pride.

Saying how I ruined everything was her way of telling me she missed me. She was too proud to say how much she loved me, so instead she told me how much I hurt her and treated her like shit.

Which couldn’t be further from the truth. Because if it were true she wouldn’t have come back to me over and over again for two years. Her friends wouldn’t have told her that they’ve never seen her happier.

But the stories change when troubled women slip into devaluation mode… when they are desperately trying to emotionally detach themselves. Suddenly, the friends that said they’ve never seen her happier, now say they can’t stand me. This is according to my jaded ex.

Whenever she splits me black, she forgets all the nice things I do for her. She forgets why she keeps coming back to me. She conveniently forgets many things… when it’s convenient for her.

Once again, she accused me of sleeping with my neighbor. Not because it was true, but because she was always threatened by her. And once she gets something in her mind, it is impossible to change it. She is obsessed with cheating because her last ex and her father were both cheaters. So therefore, I must be a cheater.

The funny thing is she claims she is still good friends with her ex and things have never been better with her father- the abusive drunk father she claimed threw her out of the house because he didn’t like the guy she was dating.

So if her life has always been filled with abusive men, then why am I the only one she shuts out on a regular basis? She claims the difference is she loves me. And yet she will deny that she is afraid of intimacy.

If I suggest that she has serious issues or remind her of her traumatic past, she accuses me of being abusive. The past is too painful for her. So when I remind her of it, she attributes the pain to me. Because it’s easier to blame me than her family.

Oh, this is the best part- she later accuses me of harassment and threatens to file a complaint because the fight she started has now become too much for her to handle.

But this was always the pattern- She would start a fight (aka baiting). But when I respond to HER hostility, she would accuse me of being abusive. When I accuse her of acting crazy, she accuses me of being crazy.

Doesn’t everybody react to being invited to Thanksgiving dinner with hostility and vindictive rage?

This is the sick game she plays and I am a sucker for thinking she will change. She and her therapist claim she doesn’t have BPD. But yet she takes all her games out of the BPD playbook.

She even let it slip out that she was sleeping with another man. This was payback for all the imaginary women she thought I was sleeping with.
No, that’s not a borderline personality at all.

Denial is strong with women who had alcoholic fathers. At least, the ones I’ve known. They grew up with it. So do not expect them to accept criticism lightly. Trust me, they will remember. They will pull out a laundry list of grievances and read it to you as they push you out of the plane.

Troubled women play the push and pull game until the day they find an easy replacement. They just need someone to keep them warm on those cold lonely nights. Any body will do.

It is always important for these woman to feel like they are rejecting you and not the other way around. So they will sneak back into your life after you break up with them, just so they can say they broke up with you. Troubled women are that petty.

It’s That Time

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,
Savory Dish

One man describes his journey from living in denial to getting the help he needed:

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!

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.

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.

Bad Therapists

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.

ACOA Meets BPD

April 4, 2014

The following article talks about the fear of abandonment in the context of ACOA:

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…

Unrealistic Fears
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

Sabotage Relationships
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

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?

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.

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