Depression caught me at a vulnerable point this morning, stapled me to the floor (to borrow an apt analogy from a good friend). It all happens very quickly, so fast that it can leave you wondering what triggered it.
Because there’s always a trigger. Or, more often, several.
I conduct a mental rundown of a checklist in my head, having found that that strategy helps me to stay in my head, keeping the cerebral side in the driver’s seat, preventing further internal meltdown.
Whether or not I survive overnight is no longer a question. It feels strange to say that it literally had been for quite a while, up until a little over a month ago, when I started staying overnight at my soon-to-be-roommate (spirit brother)’s apartment. Because occasionally, psychopaths do “snap”, creating catastrophic events that take everyone by surprise, because there hadn’t been any outward clues before (there usually are, but they’re subtle and go unnoticed).
So that’s not the issue, at least.
So, what else? I’m sure that the unexpected passing away of my fur-kid just over three weeks ago has something to do with it. He’d died of Feline Infectious Peritonitis, a no-treatment, no-cure virus with zero prognosis and only fatal outcome. He had been too old to develop FIP and too young to pass away from anything else. I’d be lying if I said my heart wasn’t broken.
I also miss two of my fur-girls, because they currently live in my soon-to-be-ex’s apartment. I live very close by, and I see them relatively often, but it still saddens me that I can’t be with them all the time.
Okay, we have one possibility (fur-kids), but I keep searching, in the interests of being thorough and not leaving stones unturned.
The divorce itself is stalled for the time being, my soon-to-be-ex having stalled it when he (understandably) stated that he wanted to consult with an attorney to look over the decree for his protection, but then (not-so-understandably) took two full weeks to choose the attorney, and two more weeks (and counting) with still no further update.
So, Mr Antsy in January-February has become Mr Obstinate in June.
It did not escape me that this sudden downshift coincided near-perfectly with a slight uptick in the activity of my department of the business we co-own. All of the business income funnels into the same joint account, which of course, he wants equal legal access to. I’m sure he’ll shift gears once again if or when my department slows back down again.
I’m fully aware that his ebbing and flowing have nothing to do with sentimental feelings about me. He’s not plagued by memories of laughter or banter or social life when driving down a certain street or walking out to his vehicle. He probably doesn’t gaze longingly at my now-vacant spot on the couch and wonder how he could have treated me so badly. Nor do I expect it, because it doesn’t happen. A pathological narcissist/psychopath is purely and exclusively concerned with what they can derive or extract from you.
There are times when you feel like an object, because to them, you are. From their perception, you are a resource – of money, sex, assets, skills, services (including feeling like a handmaid), chauffeur, anything. They will put on a persona-costume and act in such a way that seems authentic and feels real, but it’s anything but. And they hate to have to give anything up; a divorce reveals that very clearly, when it comes to dividing bank accounts and other assets. They will look for any hanging chad they could possibly exploit, especially in the divorce paperwork.
That in itself is somewhat depressing. Not so much the memories, not anymore. Occasionally, yes, but mostly, no. Rather, it’s the realization that you were never a fellow human being to them, gorgeous ones, and they never loved you or bonded with you like you did them.
So, there’s another likely ingredient to the depression-stapling-potpourri.
And then we have my track record of relationships. I don’t chastise myself; I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Obviously (to me) there were tasks I was meant to accomplish in this lifetime, karmic debt (or something) to be paid back, discoveries to make, concepts to learn, skills to master, personality traits to work on, transformations to go through. And it took several failed and dysfunctional relationships to do that (Top Secret: I’m still not done yet, but at least my eyes are much more open now).
So I know that going forward, it becomes less and less likely that I will ever get tangled up with this sort of disordered personality ever again. That in itself is a refreshing thought, so much so that it does offer a glimmer of hope, knowing the hell that I won’t have to repeat.
But then another question arises. When you consider the magnitude of the swarms of personality-disordered people out there, most of whom are male and single/divorced, and you’ve set a hard boundary for yourself against tolerating that type of behavior or letting yourself get swept off your feet by an atomic love-bomb, you’ve eliminated a significant portion of the available population. The question then becomes, who’s left?
It feels like slim pickin’s out there.
Not that I’m anywhere near ready to date at this time anyway. I’m not interested in a rebound relationship. I’m not interested in any relationship until I’ve done some pretty monumental healing. And while I’m not into male-bashing (or anybody-bashing, for that matter–except the disordered, of course, because, well, they need bashing), it seems to me at times that men are so much work. Even the good ones usually are, to an extent. Mars, Venus, and all that. And I’m exhausted, unsure if I’m up for that kind of challenge.
I’m not jumping the gun, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I promise. 🙂 I’m just thinking ahead. Maybe too far ahead, and/or maybe from the wrong (unhealed) mental and emotional standpoints. But I do know that I’m middle-aged, and it only gets harder to find relationships from here. How much slimmer will those pickin’s be when I finally reach a sufficiently healthy state?
My life is not entirely miserable, however. There are definite bright spots. There always are, even if you have to look harder for them on some days. I do have my blood-family and my spirit-family. I do have my remaining fur-kids, all of whom have escaped FIP complications and are well. I do have a roof over my head and healthy food on hand. I do have my health, mostly. I do have my profession. I have a sound presence of mind. I have tools and strategies and goals and dreams (which you never disclose to a narcissist/psychopath, dear ones!).
I also have my self-care regimen, which, after a necessary seven-month hiatus, I’m proud and relieved and grateful to say that I’m phasing back into. I’ve begun with Lisa A Romano videos on YouTube in the morning, usually two or three hours’ worth, and from here, I also plan to start doing yoga, Pilates, strength training, and/or meditation again (also via YouTube videos). I do plan to re-implement all of the above; it’s just that it’ll likely be gradual so that I can adapt more easily and I’m more likely to stick with it. I look forward to it, though; I had been doing all of these activities before the crisis hit (and I had to rapid-switch into crisis mode), and all had served me very well.
It’s all about one day at a time, dear ones. Making the most of each hour or each time-block. Making each decision the healthiest one available – meals, activities, reading material, etc. Using time wisely and constructively. Showing up for yourself whenever you’re presented with a situation or environment that may not be compatible with you. Practicing self-care, always. Working with what you’ve got, no matter how much or how little. Accepting reality, without giving up or resigning yourself prematurely.
Here I go, turn the page. 🙂 ❤