Smitten with Him

grown-up stuff happens here sometimes

My Stolen Self


I hate you for stealing me from myself

I am so broken that all I can see is the ugly in people

Taking advantage of those who are generous

Lying, cheating and stealing to get what they want

Or to hurt someone deeply

Intentionally

And I am becoming that person

I’ve lost my trust

My willingness to help

It’s so hard to be nice

To remember that everyone has a story I don’t know

My heart used to be eager

Innocent

But it’s dead now

Or maybe in a coma

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Word of the Day: Gaslighting (revisited)

gaslight1944dvd

Do you know what it is?

Wikipedia says:

Gaslighting or gas-lighting[1] is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt her or his own memory, perception, and sanity.[2] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
The term owes its origin to the play Gas Light and its film adaptations, after which it was coined popularly. Now the term even is used in clinical and research literature.

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Taking a Break

I am getting uncomfortable with my closeness to Loverman.

I rely on him to support me when I am down, and he has been there for me a lot lately.

I can trust him.

Mostly.

But he’s not mine. He never will be.

And here is something that I haven’t mentioned to you yet:

at the end of April, I gave Loverman $800 to buy a truck.

He used that $800 to buy the truck (I think).

When I gave him the money I knew that the truck needed work, but I also thought that Loverman would just be swapping engines out with the truck he already had.

I also knew that I would probably never, ever see that money again.

And I was okay with it.

Until I found a cash-machine receipt in my truck, from two weeks after that, showing that he had withdrawn $400 at Mardi Gras Casino at 7:39 on the morning of Saturday, May 17th, 2014.

I found the receipt when I was cleaning out my truck one day at lunch. May 21st to be exact.

I didn’t want to “make a deal” about it. So, I took a chill pill and decided to think on it for a couple of days and wait until I could talk to a very wise friend.

She told me to just leave it be. Not to bother with it, because it was none of my business.

She was right. I shouldn’t have bothered with it, AND I should have thrown the stupid receipt away so I wouldn’t be seeing it stare at me every day from the console of my truck.

But, I didn’t listen to her AND I kept the receipt.

Yesterday morning I was PMSing in the shower and I couldn’t stop thinking about that damned receipt.

Not only had I given him that $800 to buy a truck, I had given him $400 two months before that for him to buy parts for MY truck.

He hasn’t bought those parts yet. He is waiting for a “deal”.

I am afraid that he was using MY $400 on the 17th. He is always claiming never to have any spending cash and now he has $400 to just throw away at a poker machine?

!?!?!?

I needed to talk to Loverman, to communicate with him about my fears and concerns.

In response, he lied to me.

This is mostly how the conversation went after the “I found a receipt in my truck and I want to talk to you about it” part:

ME: If you already had $400 in the bank, why did you need me to give you another $800?

LM: To buy the truck, baby.

ME: I understand that part. But, if you already had half of the money, why did you need me to give you all of it?

LM: I needed that money to pay other bills.

ME: But you didn’t use that money to pay ‘other bills’. That money was withdrawn at a casino on a Saturday morning, at 7:39 – the exact perfect time for you to get there after you had just gotten off of work.

LM: Yeah. I took it out so I would have it later to pay those other bills I told you about.

ME: I am pretty sure that you didn’t have to go halfway up the mountain to find a cash machine which just happened to be at a casino on a SATURDAY morning right after work.

I am foggy on how it ended because he just blew it away like it was nothing, and I wasn’t trying to act like or sound like I thought I was his keeper or anything. Just the keeper of my own money, perhaps?

He didn’t make a big deal about it and we kept talking for a while about what happened with his weekend at work.

I am relieved, in a way, that Loverman didn’t get upset with me for bringing it up, or not believing him. It was just dropped.

Doom-n-Gloom would have had a fit, slammed doors, sulked, and then come back to argue some more.

Twice.

But I know Loverman was lying to me.

He has a gambling problem. Occasionally, he will cop to it. I guess this is not one of those times. I do not believe what he told me, not one bit of it.

This weekend he was just calling a bunch of friends trying to get enough money together to pay “those bills”. He said he almost asked me for $13.

Last Thursday he asked me for $10 gas money and I told him that I couldn’t afford it this week. Little does he know that I could afford it, I was just wondering in the back of my head did he have his own money and was he just asking because he knew I would give?

When our conversation turned, I asked if we were on for our regular date night this week. He said, “No. I have a lot of packing to do. I need to get all my things together before Diva gets us kicked out of her house.”

“Okay, that sucks. I am really super going to miss you!” (because I AM) “Can we at least go skating together Wednesday?”

“I miss you, too, mama. Of course Wednesday skating is on.”

“Well, I can’t wait to see you on Wednesday then!”

After that conversation, while I was finishing up my commute, I decided that maybe I could stand to take a break from Loverman for a week or two. If anything, my pocketbook might thank me!

Next week he won’t want a date night because I will have my period. He is convinced that I can’t go one night without sex when we’re together and he is grossed out by menstruation.

That gives me two weeks without Loverman sexually. Seeing him only for our two, brief skate nights. Texting him less and less often… Him forgetting about me…

Stop it! That’s crazy!

Or is it?

Because that’s what I am trying to do.

I have ‘reactivated’ my membership at Ashley Madison and I sent out 4 messages yesterday.

Already I have a response to one of them and a date for dinner tonight.

At ChoLon!

OMFG!

An attractive man is taking me out to dinner tonight!

To an expensive, cutting edge, restaurant.

And he is fucking paying!

I hope I pick the right dress!

sexydress

I guess I am looking for an other other man. To fill in the gaps (and take me out to dinner and buy me nice things)…

I know I can’t ‘have’ Loverman so I don’t want to get too attached to him – if I sleep with other guys, it might help me to remove some of the attachment. Then maybe I get worried because, if he starts sleeping with someone else, maybe he’s trying to do the same thing…

Hmmm…..

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Word of the Day: Gaslighting

gaslight1944dvd

Do you know what it is?

Wikipedia says:

Gaslighting or gas-lighting[1] is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt her or his own memory, perception, and sanity.[2] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
The term owes its origin to the play Gas Light and its film adaptations, after which it was coined popularly. Now the term even is used in clinical and research literature.

The Urban Dictionary says:

A more psychological definition of gaslighting is “an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim – having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their own memory and perception.”

Your spouse begins telling you things that never really happened. For instance, he says that last week he told you he was going to go to the bar with his buddies this Monday night, but you never remember him telling you that.

Or maybe your boss gets angry because you didn’t prepare the report he asked you to. When you remind him that he usually prepares that particular report, he snaps that he told you to take care of it a few days ago because he was too busy. However, you know he never asked you to do so.

Both of these could be considered gaslighting.

by Your Reality Check, May 31, 2009

Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of Toxic Relationships – Abuse and its Aftermath says:

Ambient abuse is the stealth, subtle, underground currents of maltreatment that sometimes go unnoticed even by the victims themselves, until it is too late. Ambient abuse penetrates and permeates everything – but is difficult to pinpoint and identify. It is ambiguous, atmospheric, diffuse. Hence its insidious and pernicious effects. It is by far the most dangerous kind of abuse there is.

It is the outcome of fear – fear of violence, fear of the unknown, fear of the unpredictable, the capricious, and the arbitrary. It is perpetrated by dropping subtle hints, by disorienting, by constant – and unnecessary – lying, by persistent doubting and demeaning, and by inspiring an air of unmitigated gloom and doom (“gaslighting”).

Ambient abuse, therefore, is the fostering, propagation, and enhancement of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There are no acts of traceable explicit abuse, nor any manipulative settings of control. Yet, the irksome feeling remains, a disagreeable foreboding, a premonition, a bad omen.

In the long term, such an environment erodes the victim’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Self-confidence is shaken badly. Often, the victim adopts a paranoid or schizoid stance and thus renders himself or herself exposed even more to criticism and judgment. The roles are thus reversed: the victim is considered mentally deranged and the abuser – the suffering soul.

Dr. Robin Stern of Psychology Today says (really you should click on the link and read the entire article, it was very good):

How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship . Here are the signs:

  1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
  2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
  3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
  4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.
  5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
  6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
  7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
  8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
  9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
  10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
  11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
  12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
  13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
  14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
  15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

Remember, there is good news about identifying the Gaslight Effect. The good news is that knowledge is power. Once you can name this all too insidious dynamic, you can work towards changing the dynamic, or getting out — take back your reality, and, get more enjoyment from your life and your relationship!

 My father and husband have been doing this to me all my life. My father would tell me that ‘being emotional’ was a weakness and that having cry-baby feelings like mine would get me nowhere in life.

I used to think that I was crazy, that I was hallucinating things. On numerous occasions, I have said to Doom-n-Gloom, “I must be going crazy, because nothing ever is how I remember it with you.”

We would have arguments, and when I would ‘call him out’ on a mistake he would tell me that isn’t how it happened and relate some strange story that didn’t happen in the real world.

In fact, I frequently gaslight myself: telling myself that I am overreacting, that it really can’t be how it seems. I doubt myself and my feelings. I tell myself that my feelings don’t matter, that they are too intense and irrational.

Do you have a ‘gaslighter’ in your life?

gaslight_ingrid_bergman2

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Do you expect honesty?

This lovely post ❤ by The Woman Invisible got me to thinking about affairs and trust and how I cannot be trusted. Not even by Loverman.

… … … … … …

I don’t expect honesty from Loverman, he just gives it to me (I think…). I have no reason to believe that he has lied to me or cheated on me, but if he did I don’t think I would be able to say anything… We have had a lot of talks about jealousy. He has a huge green monster lurking inside of him that he denies. Every girl he has been with, has cheated on him — to the point where he actually caught all of them in the act. I believe him. There’s no reason for me not to.

However, in regards to trusting me… There was a 4-month period when Loverman refused to talk to me; he wouldn’t return my calls or respond to emails, voicemails or texts. It was after we had only been together for about 16 months – almost 6 years ago now… I was an absolute mess; completely attached to him and feeling abandoned by the side of the road. I was trying to hook-up with strangers on Craig’s List and Ashley Madison; I was going out to bars and getting drunk, trying to get someone to fuck me. I ended up with 1 one-night-stand and a FWB situation that did not turn out well. I know that this is the kind of person that I am…

I am not trying to justify my cheating behavior, but I am saying that (in my case) there is truth to the statement “once a cheater, always a cheater”. Even now, when I think about fucking around I am doing it to get back at my husband and parents. I don’t want to hurt Loverman, but I want to hurt the hell out of my husband and I want to disappoint the hell out of my parents.

When I read it here, it sounds insane…

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