i like the lights and the siren she says

The first of June came and went and he still is on that damn island. I did not make a fuss about him coming home because I knew, somehow, that he was not. If I had to take a guess on when he is coming home, I would say midweek, around the 9th.

And then we are going to go camping, damn it.
I do not know where, I just know that it is going to happen.
That is all I had to say.

(let me explain the message above:
the one and only time Eirik was at my house, we were a bit off of our heads and that was when he told me that he was possibly taking this job in Rørvik for 18 months. “Hey”, I said, “I have a friend that lives there!” As soon as I finished my sentence, something felt wrong at the base of my skull. And then in the pit of my stomach. “Tell him not to go”, I heard from somewhere in my living room. I opened my mouth to tell him that I had a weird feeling about this job but then I stopped. Would he think I was telling him not to go because I was suddenly crazy about him (side note, I was not at the time)? I felt uneasy. This job was a bad idea. Really bad. I could not say so, the words were trapped in my throat. I got up and started to eat candy out of the bowl that was on my antique table. We started to talk about something else but the ominous tone stayed with me for a few more hours. “Tell him not to go, Melinda”. I shrugged it off. How bad could it be? He said he would be home every fourth week.

This was the first weekend of February 2020.

The champagne and the hash that lightly laced the peanut butter won and my brain was taken over by giggles and hormones. It was not until the early hours that I was tucking him into a taxi and kissing his face (not knowing it would be three-quarters of a year before I would do that again) good-bye did I hear, “Tell him not to go, Melinda!”

I shook it off. All of it. His touch, his smell, the premonition. I went into the shower and thought, half-heartedly that I would probably never talk to him again, anyway. It was too fucking nice. We had too much fun. It was not mine to have. Nothing good ever was. So, what difference did it make if he took this job that was a bunch of hours away, and maybe I might not see him? Whatever. Who is to say that I will after today anyway? I know I frowned, I can still feel that frown when I think of how foolish I was that morning.

I refused to let the tenderness of what I experienced penetrate me in any way. I built a wall up immediately so I could keep him out. I already knew he was going to hurt me, why should I pave him a freeway directly to my delicate pink parts?

Even though I knew he was not the heart-hurting type. I just felt so vulnerable.

And I just let him walk into a trap.)

 

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Paul

This post has been on hold for months, if not years. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to type the words I am about to write but know that they have been bellowing to be heard for many a moon.

I was baking a cake tonight. I noticed that the eggs that were once present were not. I asked him (after he sighed and said, “ugh, what now?)” if he remembered how many eggs were left when he made some. He said, very positively, that the kids could not have done it. I did not understand how 12+ eggs could have vanished.

This is just what he does. I must be crazy. These eggs never existed. Someone must have walked into our house and used them. Maybe I am not looking in the fridge hard enough. But under no circumstances did anyone do anything ‘wrong’ beside me.

gaslight
/ˈɡaslʌɪt/
verb
gerund or present participle: gaslighting
  1. manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.

 

I did not even know this was a thing until the nurse I was seeing used the term. I did not notice how often he did it until this summer. I mentioned in this post that Paul and I had an argument. What I did not add was what the argument was about.

He had developed a crush on one of the mothers at Bowie’s school. We will for privacy’s sake call her Linn. He began making playdates with Linn’s daughter and Bowie which at first was cute.

Until one day he offered to take her and her daughter off to a cabin in Røros. He never asked if I minded if he did this. When I said I did mind (I told him if he wanted to spend the weekend with this woman to feel free to but to leave Bowie out of it), he made plans to take him against my wishes.

When I found out about it, I was upset. He told me that I was insane, I was a retard and I should be admitted to a hospital. He went off on me for more than 15 minutes about how awful I was. Mind you, he did this in front of Bowie. We were both in tears.

When Paul apologised, it was only to keep the peace. He did not mean it in the slightest. He was livid that I would stop him from making his move on this woman. I did not know this at the time, but he had not told her his intentions yet and without Bowie, he had no way of getting her alone.

He was using my son to pick up a woman.

He told me that he hated me. Never had he spoke words that felt more truthful since I have met him.

This was in July. Nothing has been the same since. He has been systematically dismantling my authority in the house. He yells at me in front of the kids, he tries to undo all of my rules (I have been the only one making and keeping them for the past two decades. He has never cared about parenting until now). He finds something wrong with everything I say and do. Instead of talking about it like adults, perhaps pulling me aside and asking me why this is like this or why that is like that he makes a scene to show everyone how much power he has.

He called a house meeting to let the kids know that he was in charge of things now and everyone was to report to him. He would be checking chores and the like – he has not done one thing he said he was going to do so everything defaulted back to me but now I have less respect than I did before. The kids now a power play when they see one. They know he will let them do whatever they want and I stick to my guns.

Then there is the CONSTANT chipping away at my sanity. Telling me things are not happening the way I say they are. He will do things just to have leverage against me.

When I tried to talk to him about how bad this has gotten and was there something I could do to make things better he said he felt like I was attacking him.

I asked him what I could do to help.
And I was attacking him.

If I point out that he is gaslighting me as he is doing it, he just stares at me like I am actually demented. Or he will get angry and throw something else awful at me. He needs to point out how bad everything is for him, even as he is belittling me.

He is in therapy and I wonder how much good it is doing him. In the beginning, I was hopeful. I mean, there were some really tense moments, like when he gave me “I am sorry I raped you” flowers. I did not know exactly how to accept those. He had been methodically taking advantage of me while I was dosed up on sleeping pills for years. I got pregnant during one of these episodes. Flowers? What kind of therapist suggests this?

He cheated on me for 75% of our marriage and he found a way to make this my fault too. I believed it was until recently as well. The narrative was simple. I was just not assimilating into this culture well enough and it stressed him out so that is how he found relief (with other foreign women, I would like to point out). It has only been in the past months that I have understood that as my husband he should have taken care to help me. He isolated me on purpose. He hated that as soon as I moved here I made friends within weeks – he lived here for years and had no friends. He resented me and punished me. He was supposed to be my advocate instead he became my jailor.

I took the blame from his parents as well. Everything that goes wrong in their lives is my fault (seriously. One day his dad was chopping wood and something went wrong and he blamed me. To this day I have no idea how I have so much power to ruin someone’s wood chopping experience).

When I mentioned how sick I was of being his family’s scapegoat, he said he was tired of being mine.

I read him the definition of a scapegoat. He said, “Oh. That is not what I meant.”

I asked him what he meant then. He had no answer.

People think he is the nicest human.
He does the strangest things.

When he gets pulled over by the police he changes his persona to country bumpkin – like he does not have a fucking Ph.D. It took me some time to understand how manipulative he was and how often he did things like this to make other people look “bad”. He pretends to be foolish or less than he is but he can be vicious when he needs to be… and lately, he is venomous.

When he fell for Linn he said, “She is the first woman that I have ever met that I could not imagine hurting”.

I remember sitting there thinking, “What in the real fuck? What about the rest of us? What about me? I am mother of your children you goddamn monster.”
I seethed, saturated, radiated in loathing for him in the moments that followed.

He hunted black and brown girls because they could be abused. We were disposable. Petite, middle-aged Norwegian women now they are the prize – they always were. He could treat women of colour like trash because he was always waiting for his princess.

I realised who he was right then.

He was talking about dating trans people too because he was open to the experience but what I heard instead was, “I like to date marginalised people because it gives me power”.

This is why he goes after the women that he does (fat, mentally handicapped, and/or woc) because he knows we are on the bottom of that totem pole so he will be coveted.

I was asked if I thought he was a good person that just sometimes does bad things or a bad person that sometimes does good things. I am not sure how to answer that question. If I were to make a list of the things he has done for me, the good is spotty because behind every positive action is something shitty. It is hard to separate the emotional abuse.

Yes, he was good to come back around to help out after Will died but it also gave him control again. I was nearly free from him – if you recall, Will and I were planning on getting married. We wanted to move to Stavanger and get the heck out of TRD.

Alas,

When I mentioned that I was dating again, Paul seemed pretty alright with it. He was doing his own thing so he did not give me any grief… until it looked like things might get serious and then he got bitchy. I tuned him out and then it did not matter, because this turned into a full-blown situationship so

No need to make a fuss about something that has not evolved yet (maybe there are not enough candies yet? Maybe I need to make him my buddy and walk with him for a while? I bet he would be like 100 KM per damn candy though 😂).

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about to miss everything

Reading some newer ADHD studies and focusing on the children involved, I wonder how I was dismissed for so long. I mean, I get it, I was trained to be “a good girl”. I stayed out of trouble. I only disrupted the class when I was bored. I was not like my brother that was ALWAYS. IN. TROUBLE. If Will had not come into my life and left the way he did, would I have ever found out what was under my mask? Would I have worn it forever? Would I have hopped from therapist to therapist looking for a cure for the rest of my life? Would I have suffered in mediocre relationships, looking for something that… almost felt like an emotion but never quite got there? Maybe someone that could connect with me on one circuit on this blinking fucking wonderboard? Hoping for maybe, perhaps, I could die knowing that a handful of people knew me well enough to say that sometimes I was, “not so bad” (“but man, she was so weird sometimes”).

Connecting and being seen, heard, and my god, loved is a right that we all have yet it has been elusive for me. This armed fortress I have created to keep me from being harmed was breached so I could let in a few choice humans but that weakened spot also let in fear, doubt, and a light dusting of delight.

do you know
I count your heartbeats before you sleep

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tubin’ on tiogue

I have been silent for a few days. Words have felt strange to post here. People have been coming here every few hours from facebook (waiting for me to say something?). My uncle has died and I am unsure what words are expected out of me. I will not bad-mouth the man hours after he died out of respect for the people he left behind. Those people, my aunt & my cousins, I love quite a bit. I know they will go through different stages of their own grief so my complicated story with their father (ex-husband) is neither here nor there. I did not feel anything besides sadness when my aunt told me that he had passed. I was not sad that he was gone – he was not part of my life anyway – I was sad that one more part of my childhood had crumbled away into the sea never to have an explanation.

Have I wondered if he sent my mother cards saying, “thanks for having black kids to take all the heat off of my wrongdoings! You are the best sister anyone could have ever had! kisses!” Of course, I have. Did I expect that he would apologise to me or Nick? Yeah, I did. How can a person go through their lives knowing how much damage they have done? My brother went to jail because of him. My relationship with my mother was strained beyond repair due to his awful conduct. My childhood was lived in prison because no one trusted us because of him. He stole from everyone in our family and Nick and I took the blame. We were treated like criminals at a separate table, while he sat at the family table eating three plates of food while we just watched. Biracial children in a family of fucking racists – we never stood a chance. And my uncle exploited that to his full advantage. I wonder where my family thought all of the stuff went that we stole? What were four and five year old going to do with jewelry? Cash? Pills? Checks? I never did understand that. Toys, snacks, maybe a salt shaker? But when you emptied our pockets and they were empty, what did you think we did, hmm? Did we pass it on to Hector, the Hispanic pre-schooler that we quickly rang up to meet us in the backwoods of Coventry, RI to get the drop? That is right, y’all, Nick and I have been part of an elite baby mafia since BIRTH. All coloured kids are dontchaknow.

I think everyone knew it was him or my mother but it was easier to blame us. Looking back on it with adult eyes, it does not make much sense to think otherwise. They knew my mother was a prostitute hanging out with shady people and my uncle, well, was always up to something. Better to blame them negros than to point fingers at their siblings.

How any self-respecting adult could let that happen is beyond me? How the married-in people (my aunts) or the non-related spectators could let children be on trial all the time shows you how gorilla courts run amok. Oh, the abuse is gross.

People ask me why I do not just give up the ghost and talk to my mother. This is a lot of the reason why – SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO PROTECT US.

SHE FED US TO THEM.

My skin colour, my gender, my inability to understand or defend myself is not just cause for what I was put through. My family acted like animals. This particular uncle was the worst. My story is just one of many.

Humans are not often kind, unfortunately. The least I could do is take my pain and make the air a bit easier to breathe.

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range: 50 feet

I have had a fucking nightmare of a weekend, let me tell you.

I will not get into it all because I do not have the energy but something occurred to me right now-

my mother dated a lot. Some of the men she brought into our lives were good guys. The only one that sucked was the one she kept, of course. There were a few that I remember that taught us things, that cared for us. They left behind the idea that good people did exist.

I remember thinking that if I had kids, I would never bring guys around them.

And then I did. Will died and hurt them.

So bring in Eirik and what have I been doing to him? Jerking him to & fro because I am playing hot potato with my heart. If I let him any closer I have to assume he is going to meet my kids.

I have to make that as undesirable as possible!

I popped, guys. I signed my name on the dotted line and decided that the underworld was better than waiting for happiness to be mine. Fuck, what am I doing?

We get so close and everything gets mushy each time.

It was him that tripped at this finish line this time but it was me that ran with that bottle of accelerant and a book of matches.

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/ˈɛfɪkəsi/

continuing from my WhatsApp post from this morning (see above).

I wonder (now that I have lost some of my train of thought) if some of the problem is that people are afraid of being alone? So, instead of address this issue, people reflect their fears onto others so no one notices how dreadfully sad and lonely they are because they are busy pointing fingers? Perhaps it has nothing to do at all with titles of thornbacks and spinsters and mistresses and kept-women and lovers… it is a mirror that one is avoiding looking in. “If I use these terrible terms on you it will be ignored how grim I am!”

When Will and I broke up the last time, I knew it would be ages before I got together with someone else. I had a tiny baby to care for (for starters) and my head was a wreck. Something in me was changing, even way back then. I was tired of taking what was being given to me just because it was all that was being served. I did not know that I had the right to care about someone and refuse to be with them. I did not know that I could be with someone and leave them when I was exhausted, frightened, feeling unloved, abused, or unheard. I thought it was my occupation to stay until the very end of every single relationship. That was what they hired me for. I was not chosen to be loved or adored. I was the hired help, the domestic, the mental health professional, the breeder, and sometimes, the punching bag… but never ever the loved one.

I did not know.

I do now.

I refuse any situation that does not suit me fully. I step back from anyone that does not make me feel cherished – even if it makes me feel alienated (because I promise you, it does). Not enough attention? Okay, later! Someone else will give it to me, I am really fucking amazing so, um, ta! I do not ask for a lot, but consistency is essential. I refuse to put myself in a situation where I am questioning how someone feels for me ever again.

I would rather be alone.

 

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the light of a dead star

The alignment challenge for today had asked for us to decided if we really wanted our desires or not. We are halfway through the challenge now so it was time to reanalyse. Are we making ourselves too small?

At one am on this first day of this new year, I decided I was done with Eirik. I have been here before, I know. Something with this question made me snap – it was the eternal Janet Jackson question: What Has He Done For Me Lately?

Nothing.

Why do I hang on to him? I already have someone else in my life (let us be honest, more than one someone else) that is interested in me & I do not dislike him. Do I have the bond with him that I do with Eirik? No. He is a completely different person. For one, I do not feel the need to communicate with him every day (which I would like to mention, I did not start). We video chat on a regular basis and have a fantastic time. We laugh a lot & it is just… easy.

My heart is not in it but that is because it belongs to someone else right now. I am loyal, I do not hop from one person to the other. This other person is a friend. Could it be more?

Yeah, if I burn this to the ground first.

I am not sure that I want to. I see too much of a future here.

But for now? I am walking away. The fire starting is tempting, I must admit. A year of this has been exhausting. I am worth more than what he gives me.  Maybe he does not even deserve me at all. Maybe I am not what he wants. Who is to say how any of this works? I would be lying if I were to say that I understand it. I know enough to say that I am tired and I do not want this version of circumstances anymore. He treats me like an option and leaves me no choice but to tell him good-bye & good luck.

I know he loves me. I know he wants me. I know he is being a scaredy-cat.

I also know that I have given him enough chances to suss himself out. Almost 365 of them.

He gives me nothing.

I have a checklist of things that I swore I would not take him back until he did. Ordinary things that guys do when they tend to like you. He had never done one.

1.) sends me a song to listen to that reminds him of me (or just one that he likes that I should listen to)

2.) compliments a photograph I have posted

3.) asks me out, randomly

4.) sends me flowers/ a card/ some odd token of affection

5.) tells me about his friends/family because he wants to share his life with me*

6.) calls me/ video chats with me (in the year I have known him he has rejected every single call I have made to him)

7.) asked me about me

And wow… that list was fucking depressing.

The things I have done for him?

I have lost track. Let me think… but please do not judge me too harshly. I am a giver by nature. I did not know when this started that it would get this out of hand.

1.) I feel weird putting this here but I made cookies for our first date.

2.) I made him an oil that took about a week to make because he said he had never smelled a scent I was talking about. I gave it to him on our second date.

3.) Our third date, he was supposed to bring something but he did not. I provided everything – the alcohol & the food (not that we ate but I baked a bunch of stuff that took quite a bit of time).

4.) Valentine’s Day: I sent him some books I ordered for him on planting seeds indoors and some Pokemon stickers (we were playing Pokemon go together then – we never played again. He said he would update his game in August to play with me but he never did – the one thing he did for me he never kept up with) & some lemon heirloom seeds from my private stash. He never acknowledged that he even got this gift.

5.) When he got depressed around Easter time, I made him a care package and sent it to Rørvik via Peter AND HE NEVER BOTHERED TO PICK IT UP. I spend hundreds of hours on it. I made him paints to keep him occupied while he was in quarantine and not with his family. I sent him herbs and oils to calm his melancholy. I made him cookies that I knew he liked and Easter candy. I bought him a t-shirt from black craft because he was lacking black t-shirts and was rebuilding a stash and I felt for him… no one should be without good black shirts. I was just trying to help. The package ended up being posted to his house because he left it at Peter’s so long. He cared so little about the work I put into it and how much I worried about him.. anyway.

6.) When he did get home, I had Meny send him some cheese and figs and baguettes. This is the only thing he sent me a message to thank me for. I think this was in May.

7.) I gave him some stuff for his birthday: to be honest, I forget what besides a Gemini mug that I originally bought because I thought by then he would be part of my regular life & would be having coffee at my house and we all have star sign mugs. He had not been to my house in months so I just gave it to him. It seemed stupid to keep such a pretty cup in my closet.

8.) When he stopped talking to me, I started knitting squares to keep my hands busy. Those squares turned into an afghan. It had 65 squares, I think. I gave it to him. He never said anything about it.

9.) When I did finally see him, I gave him a Stranger Things t-shirt that I ordered ages ago and a Spock costume shirt that I hoped he could have worn at Halloween time. Oh, and my broken t-shirt from high school.

10.) I made him some masks and gave him a kitten headband when I knew he was home for Christmas. He never said anything about this either but I told him I would make him some. I just left them on his porch and walked away.

11.) I feel like I should add that I made his niece a sweater and left it for his brother. Nothing was said to me about it either. There was a situation about why I gave it directly to him which I had not planned to. I have long decided not to talk about that anymore but in any case, when someone gives you something, you say thank you at the very minimum. Nope. Not a word. It seems to be a family trait. In this case, I was trying to smooth over an awkward moment that was not even my fault and somehow I was thwarted anyway. Over-kindness is sometimes seen as stupidity.

He knows I will be there for him no matter what he does.

But he is incorrect.

As my sense of value in myself grows (and after writing this somehow disgusting list) I really want nothing to do with someone that can take so much from me and still be this way.

You do not have to want someone because they are kind to you but you can be kind enough to let them go.

*the little I know about his family he told me in the first days of our chats. He stopped talking about them after that. I know almost nothing about his friends. Not a name or anything. One whole year of being around him and I could not tell you a damn thing about the people he spends time with.

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forgive me (hindsight, the 2020 edition)

I have spent the better part of these two weeks working on what I broke (for lack of better terminology. I know nothing was broken, there was just bad communication but whatever).

I forgive myself for walking away from what I wanted back in February. I thought by expressing my needs clearly, Eirik would get the hint and either CHANGE or we would go our separate ways.

What I could not have known was how depressed he was already. I need to forgive myself for thinking I had anything to do with that situation or any of the year that followed. I was not responsible for his behaviour. I was not his saviour. It was not my job to light that candle and pray for him daily. Nor would it been my fault if he had taken his life.

I barely knew him.

I did not need to love him because I felt compassion for hurting him because I did not feel seen so I told him I did not like his behaviour so I wanted out. He acted poorly and I was confused on why he would over react to something that a moment ago he did not care about?

I forgive myself for misunderstanding my role in this human’s life.

In any case, I am part of it now.

I did not know how it worked and I forgive myself for thinking I meant more to him than I did. I forgive myself for putting myself in situations where I was vulnerable just to make him feel loved even when I know he did not want it nor could he express it in return.

And by the time he could express his feelings, mine had changed. I forgive myself for this as well. Our relationship had grown into something larger, less insecure, but the foundation was still built on this rubbish heap of sleepless nights and wishes.

As those wishes became reality, I did not trust them. I could only remember the way we began and I allowed history to repeat itself. I forgive myself for having no faith in his heart.

Every moment of every day you have the choice to recreate the life you desire. You do not have to live out the old story, it is in the past where it belongs.

I am sorry for thwarting your happiness, Melinda. I promise I will be more mindful of it when it appears again.

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you always were the one to show me how

Watching old NIN snippets that I have from random shows that I have. Man, I miss live music! 2020 has taken away travel and that has been my way of coping with stress across the board – and I always left my life to go and listen to music.

Last week, I considered taking my life. Here is what happened and why:

My subconscious voice (we call her Felicia in conversation), was trying to help me cope because all of my very few tools were exhausted. As most of us know, our subconscious is there to guide us and keep us safe.

I could not run anywhere. I had no future plans for a holiday or a move. I had nothing to focus on. I was trapped in the crippling now and how much pain I was in.

Why was I in pain? The old story was being repeated even though he said it was not going to be. Is there blame to be put there? No. We are past that. It just needs to be seen for what it is not and let go. Feelings do not need to be justified to have them.

I tried to communicate with him so I would know what to do next. That was not helpful. I did not know how to talk to others about it because he has been prejudged as a negative influence by most and I should just walk away. Even when I explained that this was only a quarter of one side of the story. That is just how it is with people. They saw my pain and said, “Nope, stop this now. He is not holding up his end of the bargain, find someone that will.” End of story.

Even though when they are in similar situations, they hang on until the bitter end and we are supposed to nod our heads and agree.

Humans are hypocrites. We cannot help ourselves. Love us anyway.

So after a week of nothingness, I woke up in a cold sweat and thought very carefully about how I did not want another year of my life to look, feel, or taste like this.  I had plenty of heartache for a dozen people. I would not be happy, why should I bother any longer? No one would blame me. The understanding would be universal. I was sure people would be cross but no one would question my motives.

My subconscious did not speak up against me. It soothed me and told me it was fine to go now. I had done all I could and this method would be the best way to go.

I felt peace for the first time in I cannot tell you when.

Then I slept. Real sleep, in the blackness, no ghosts, no gasping for air, just a void in which time went by.

When I woke up again, my conscious self knew it had a script to rewrite.

The words flew out of me like the breath from my nostrils. I did not know I had been holding it in for so long.

I do not need anyone to make this life liveable for me. That was always for me to do. I do not know why this is a fact I keep dismissing. No one has ever bothered properly but that is okay – I know I am worthy. I know my value. I know who I am.

I had to consider ending my life to find it.

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