The kids have gone to a visit with their mum for a week. My turn to write a big post on something that I have been looking at. Being that Today was the day one year ago that I no longer accepted abuse from my ex-to-be partner. The 10th of July was the day the children and I gave up. So I want to have a look at the life behind the closed door that was our home in a bit of a different way. So please read on and I hope this this can help you or help you understand me a bit better.
We’re not gonna take it
Yup you can hear the 80’s music playing, if not here is this for you.
As lot of Transpeople (sorry going to generalize at this point the stats are to high) we accept abuse from so many sources by saying to ourselves, “this is what we have to put up with cause we are Trans if we want love”. At some point we need to be like the song and not take it any more. We need to look at ourselves with the body positive and listen to our soul who might be saying to us “you are worth more than this”. This abuse like mine might be coming in the form of…
Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone.
Belittling and degrading a person is a toxic person’s forte and their tone of voice is only one tool in their toolbox. Sarcasm can be a fun mode of communication when both parties are engaged, but some people use it chronically as a way to manipulate you and degrade you. If you in any way react to it, you must be “too sensitive.”
While this is a bit hard to say that this alone is abuse, it is. It might be delivered to you with other things such as this…
Love-bombing and devaluation.
Toxic people put you through an idealization phase until you’re sufficiently hooked and invested in beginning a friendship or relationship with you. Then, they begin to devalue you while insulting the very things they admired in the first place. Another variation of this is when a toxic individual puts you on a pedestal while aggressively devaluing and attacking someone else who threatens their sense of superiority.
Now like my experience, you are only at the second part of what I went through which is a multi faceted event. A lot of what I am going to point out is not going to happen 24/7 or even everyday. But it is slow cunning and builds in it consistency until the point you don’t know what is going on much like the Frog in the pot story (does not matter if the story is true, you get my point).
When we get to the point where the actions of the other party become the norm and we tell ourselves we can deal with it. But it does not stop there sometimes like what I went through. But even then I still accepted it as the norm until one event said this is not right. Lets get to the next part of what you might be experiencing or seeing another person going through.
Smear campaigns and stalking.
When a toxic person can’t control the way you see yourself, they start to control how others see you; they play the martyr while you’re labeled the toxic one. A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on lest you decide to detach and cut ties with this toxic person. They may even stalk and harass you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behavior while projecting it onto you.
Now in my case I never had the stalking part of this but the smear side well enough that when I told the few friends I was allowed to have that were hers as well (BIG FUCKING SIGN RIGHT THERE), they need to make a choice and chose my life or hers. One of them got so mad that even though they did not know what was going on behind closed doors they trusted everything she said to them and came out and attacked my on Facebook calling me “Sick and in need of help for taking the children and leaving”. Once again without even knowing what went on behind closed doors. So lets get to the next part.
Toxic people condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They do this by sneaking in covert and overt put-downs about the qualities and traits they once idealized as well as sabotaging your goals, ruining celebrations, vacations and holidays. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. Like Pavlov’s dogs, you’re essentially “trained” over time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling.
This is a tough one because it is very very sneaky. In my life I love music, art and role playing. My Music collection is very different than most people. I can safely say that I have Opera to hard core Heavy Metal in that collection. I was conditioned to not play Hard Rock or even Queen cause she hated it so much. It got to the point that I was hiding that I was listening to them I could never admit that I enjoyed those styles. I would hide in my office and listen to music or sneak a CD in to the car to listen when she was not there. I used to love Airbrushing I was going to get back to it, I kept a few of my past works around to remind myself of the happiness it brought me. I know my style is not for everyone, but to me it is mine and I love it. To her is was an eyesore and was not allowed to be shown in the house. When we left I left those as well as other pieces and she damaged favorite one beyond repair. I kept it cause I loved it so much even with the damage. I have this one piece of art that was my grandfathers, growing up it meant the world to me, cause I look at it and I see him. I remember where it was the first time I saw it. I know the exact place he had it in his office. To this day I have it were I can see it always, cause I loved him so much. When she was in my life I heard over and over again how much she hated this painting. She knew why I loved it and she knew my love for my grandfather. Over time it was moved from place to place each time being placed in a space that it could be less seen by myself and others. When we left I had to leave that painting cause the children were more important than anything else in the whole world to me. One day I went back to get some of my things and this painting was placed outside in a open shipping container exposed to the elements and possible theft. Little bit by little bit things that are of value to you are destroyed or damaged. You become conditioned to it….. Looking back there are things that are gone that cannot be replaced. I accepted that it was my wife over my possessions, family or friends. Which were really part of who I was. Simple things like a Coke glass which was given to me by “My” oldest daughter that she “broke”. To more complex issues like my children in a different country that she did not like and told me several times how she felt about them. That is a very hard spot to be in. Lets keep going…..I want to show a little bit more…..
These people sometime preemptively blow anything they perceive as a threat to their superiority out of proportion. In their world, only they can ever be right and anyone who dares to say otherwise creates a narcissistic injury that results in narcissistic rage. As Mark Goulston, M.D. asserts, narcissistic rage does not result from low self-esteem but rather a high sense of entitlement and false sense of superiority.
This one plagued me day in day out. It is such a low fucking thing to do, what it reminds you of is grade school name calling. But it is not that simple. The ex-to-be used to tell others and myself I was bad with money. Okay I will admit that to a point, I pay my bills on time and I work off the ones I cannot pay fully. I don’t see a reason in my life to stock pile money. I don’t see a reason to keep chasing a carrot when you have a fully belly. In the past I have worked myself to the bone. But it got me no where and it did not make me happy. So she started calling me names to myself or others. It got so bad……. In 2012 she needed surgery, I found the doctor. I made the appointment cause she was not able to walk or talk at that point. When she got out of the hospital she was disabled. I became her carer, I got paid to do it. 24/7 I was at her beckon call, I had no time to myself. But I was labeled and called Lazy, unproductive, useless, hopeless and many other names. I even took a side job to get out of the house and bring in more money to make her happy. Though i was still called names. The old story of Sticks and stone can break my bone but names can never hurt me. Is nothing but FUCKING BULLSHIT! They erode you bit by bit. They tear at the very core of you. My wonderful Daughter one day started calling my these names as well cause she was conditioned as well that it was acceptable to do so. I lashed out at her in a fit of anger and to this day I am so sorry. But even when I lashed out I did not see that what was going on was my cup was running over. Sorry it does not end here…..
Nonsensical conversations from hell.
If you think you’re going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness.
The date is set in stone it cannot be changed, even the government can’t change it. November the 23, 2002 we were married. A great day, I loved this day on a level cause without it our three little children would never be. We were married for 14 years of those 14 years we have only had 2, yes TWO anniversaries without any dramas. That was because she planned them to the core mind you, I got blamed for doing nothing…. It got so bad that I planned for the Dramas on that day. I marked it on my calendar not cause i did not want to forget it, cause I needed to be ready for the fallout of the day. I needed to be ready for a fight that made no sense, none, nada, zero, zip and zilch. But it happened and it was my fault even when i did nothing wrong. I saw this and I accepted it as married life…..
This topic FUCKS with your mind it stresses you out of your level of understanding. You cannot grasp how crazy some of these insane conversations can be. But you are left thinking that it is your fault…. I can’t go on with this part…Next
Most importantly, toxic abusers love to maintain control in whatever way they can. They isolate you, maintain control over your finances and social networks, and micromanage every facet of your life. Yet the most powerful mechanism they have for control is toying with your emotions.
This is the last one I went through. This one still to this day brings tears to my eyes. It is fucked in the head. A little over a year ago I called my mum in the US to talk to her cause I had a feeling something was off. I could not put my finger on it, but it was as tangible as a brick. So I made the call we talked for a bit and she said the following “Al, I need to tell you something.” my heart started to sink, my mum never said this before to me ever it was not like her to say these words. She told me that she had told the ex-to-be that she was dying and not to tell me until after she was dead. The reasons do not matter and I forgive her for those reasons cause faced with life ending who gives a shit. Many tears were had after that point.
The ex-to-be was good, she set this up real well. I have known a few fuckers in my life, but this took the First Place Prize. It was 3 am my mum told me she was going to die. I knocked on the ex-to-be bedroom door (we slept in separate rooms at this point, a whole other story of control). She told me to come in I asked her about what my mum said she told her. I was answered back with a stone cold face saying “No your mom never told me that”, I broke down and cried right in front of her. Not cause my mum was dying, but cause I knew deep down inside I was being lied to. In the a couple of hours later she called the police and told them I busted into her room and started abusing her. Needless to say I got an apology from the police department for the actions that took place that day.
If there is one thing I have learned from the research above is that when you feel something is off, it is. IT IS! it is…. Over the years (14 of them) I was told stories about the ex-to-be exhusband. They were bad, stories of abuse, stories of missing money, stories homelessness that left me feeling a bit confused at times, cause 1+1 did not equal 2. Stories that made me feel like I was doing the same as he did. When we fled, I was scared I was beyond scared. We hid and hid well. We begged for help. I was scared to send the children to school for 2 months. Toxic people sometimes can be so good at what they do and the sad part is they don’t know why they are doing it at all. There is no reward for being that low. They don’t put you on a stage and say you are the best cause your an asshole. I feel bad cause my oldest Jasmine does not know the truth about her birth father. I now know that all of the stories were not true. I read the divorce papers, all of them. I do know there was an issue that took place that 1+1= another story in another location. I know that he did not handle the story as well as he could have and did the wrong thing. I hope that someday Jasmine tries to forgive the past and talk it out with him and bring him into her life cause the lie is so big…..
People will be toxic at times, but being a toxic person is a whole other issue. I know as Trans we might accept this toxic environment cause we have become conditioned to it, we have low self value or whatever it might be.
(I play this song a lot, to remind me of who I am)
But please take value in who you are. There is a wonderful world out there. One filled with love. Once we left I felt a love from my children that was clouded over by the toxic environment we were in. I go to bed and rest in the arms of calm, happiness, love, kindness, friendship. I write this crazy blog cause my life is one big roller coaster at times. I have learned so much about myself from it and from my readers. Really there is help out there if you are walking in shoes that I once did. Toxic people need help and you need a life without them. One year later, I am happy… you can be as well.