How to stop talking to your father. With a smile.

Laugh or you'll cryThere’s no need to stop smiling! Father’s Day should be a time for happiness and sunshine, barbecues and laughs. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, we have to deal with abusive fathers and what they did – or still do – to us. While I would love to ignore creepy, negative people, I still have to deal with them, and I believe there are a few of you who must as well, and so I’m here for you! Keep a smile on your face, keep your dignity and good spirit, but remove the Crazies.

A brief background on why I like to help
My father was physically present, but emotionally absent. He allowed my mother to be a mediator between himself and his daughters, and because of that our family was torn apart. My mother – a sociopathic narcissist – lied to him about our thoughts and actions. In return, he beat us. This placed her as the head of the family – exactly where she wanted to be.

“…if you showed a sign of independence as a child they took it as losing control, they must have absolute control.”

The family friend who wrote that in an email to me was absolutely correct. And even now I’m shocked how accurate his words were. I had a choice: live a suppressed life according to abusive, unstable people, or be happy and be what numerous teachers and coaches knew I was: intelligent and very capable.

So after years of therapy, I’m finally at peace and live a very happy life. With the exception of Father’s Day. It’s a constant reminder of how my father was absent during the times we needed him the most. Fathers should be authoritative and help steer the direction of the family. Instead, he handed-over authority to an unstable, manipulative mother. And even to this day, he allows my mother to fabricate untruths about anyone who attempts to dethrone her.

Because of this, I’ve had to completely disconnect myself from my own family. I found it extremely difficult to do, and every Father’s Day that passes is a reminder that I’ve both done the right thing as well as exactly how alone I am in regard to having a family.

Weak people gather like vultures at a carcass.

If you’re struggling with an abusive father and desperately want to disconnect, these things helped me. I’ve done the following:

1.) Completely cut ties
After years of limiting communication, I finally completely cut ties. I block phone numbers, I block email addresses and I do not give out my mailing address. The psychos in my family needle people until they give in (unfortunately, it has worked on aunts and uncles who have heard entire stories of our abuse).

I refuse to bend. Abuse is still abuse. Even after trying to “work it out” with my parents, they still continue to create fresh ways to destroy their children. As one sister pointed-out, “If it was just that event years ago, I would have forgiven. But they continue to try to hurt me, and for that I’ve had to get them go.”

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2.) Donate all items from the abuser
I’ve had to donate all memories including clothing, sneakers, shoes, gifts, furniture, jewelry. Basically, I’ve had to create an entirely new life for myself.

Ask yourself, “Who do I want to be? Who have I always wanted to be, but couldn’t because of abusive dipshits?” Think of it like this: there are a lot of people out there who will be thankful that you’re giving away dressers, beds, armoires, earrings, necklaces, photo albums.

This is a war, my friend, and you are going to win. You will be happy.

3.) Put away photos
Old photos are in a box in my closet. I don’t take them out unless my son asks about our heritage. That’s it. Other than that, the box stays where it is. I don’t marinate in old memories because it causes negative energy. I don’t need that. As a collective experience, you want to stay as positive as possible – seeing images of a destructive time in your life will not help. Put them away and keep them there. The only reason I would not completely destroy the images is if you need to send one to a lawyer for an Order for Protection. Hey – you didn’t choose this life, they chose it for you. All you can do is work your way out of it the smartest way possible.

4.) Do not respond to shenanigans
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to email, reply, or post about how insane my abusers are. There’s gobs of articles and proof on the internet alone about how their actions are insane and possibly illegal.

But responding will only continue the flow of negative energy.

So while it’s clear that these people thrive on negative reinforcement, negative attention, you will not. In order to end the bullying you’ve got to ignore the bully. I find this infuriating because – to others – it looks like the bully is correct if no one corrects them. But ultimately, you can’t reason with a crazy person, and that’s what they are – crazy. So don’t waste your time on them. You’ve already given enough of yourself to their insanity.

5.) Embrace the fact that your father is a putz, and that you’ll have to do it on your own
This is difficult for me because I don’t think it’s that hard to be a good dad. And so the shock is constantly there.

“Why couldn’t he…”
“Why didn’t he…”
“Why won’t he…”

But I try not to marinate in the disappointment of it. I’ve found other people whom I love to show me what good fathering is. I watch them, embrace them and accept the fact that the universe put me in this position to learn something. And so I shall. And so will you.

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-1Yos

Stay Together for the Kids – Said No Therapist, Ever

IMG_0761.JPG There was a guy I dated that went back to his abusive ex wife for the kids. So instead of making a peaceful loving home for his kids he chose to continue the fighting and aggravation so that he didn’t have to spend money on a divorce. My father did the same thing years ago. After years of struggling to have a relationship with my father I finally cut ties. My ex doesn’t realize-and I’m not about to tell him-that by saving a few dollars he could potentially be losing his children forever. This decision he made is one of those decisions that changed my opinion of our relationship forever. If you can’t save your children I don’t want you. And that’s when I decided to let him go.

I Had it. You Have It.

IMG_0649.JPG Here’s something you may not have even considered: You have the power to save yourself. The strength to save yourself is like an old closet in your home. You may have forgotten it’s there, you may not use it as much as you used to – you may even be afraid to look inside. But when you do, you’ll be thrilled at the strength you forgot you had.

What Not to say when your daughter invites her friend to Thanksgiving dinner

IMG_0646.JPG Here’s a Thanksgiving story that’ll make you want to hug your family: Years ago I invited my best friend to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner because, for various reasons, the rest of her family was unavailable. After hanging up the phone my father asked who I was speaking to. I told him who it was and that because she was alone on Thanksgiving, I invited her to our family’s house. My father then flipped-out on me and within his tirade said, “If you ever invite anyone over for another holiday meal I’ll fucking kill you.” I then called her back and uninvited her, telling her I wouldn’t be eating there as well. I left the house and my family of six – none of whom defended me – and went to the movies. To this day two of those siblings are still in-deep with my parents. Two of us escaped. Sometimes “the orphanage” is the better option. In the years since leaving both my parents and my similarly-mannered ex-husband, my Thanksgivings have been the most beautiful I have ever imagined. And I owe it all to me.

Take Care of You

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I was recently interviewed for a breakup site — quite exciting! And of course they asked me what this past year has done for me. Without question I can say that it’s made me realize my worth more than anything else ever has.

I no longer spend time bending myself to get someone to like me. My mother raised me to believe that I was worthless without a husband, and while I didn’t completely buy into her twisted 1950’s logic, I was still left with a lingering need to feel fulfilled. The last year has shown me that the men I’ve dated in the past didn’t have the capability to fulfill me, that only by being adventurous in doing what I want will I feel fulfilled.

I may not want to remain single my entire life — and I may struggle to figure out if my choices are based on my desires or what I think others may want — but you can be damn certain I’ll never stop questioning the truth behind my decisions in the effort to put myself first.

Dating is like…

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12 Lessons I Learned From My Ex-Men

Lately I’ve been wondering exactly how many life lessons I have to learn before I’m rewarded. If you compare life to school, we should get payouts every few weeks or so. But unfortunately life isn’t the same as school. Can you imagine paying tuition, attending classes and studying for a final exam without ever receiving a final grade, or worse — a diploma? And yet that’s what life offers us: Endless exams without the benefit of a final review.

For some, a lack of final review offers a comforting sigh of relief. But for Capricorns such as myself, it’s like fully stretching a rubber band without ever allowing the Snap!

Considering the lack of Snap!, I started reviewing previous relationships and constructed a list that I could consider Lessons Learned, hoping it’ll soon produce a positive payout. They are:

1.) Innocent Faces Don’t Represent the Innocent 
I dated one guy who I would consider an “All American Pie Boy.” His visual presentation stirred mental images of warm apple pies sitting on window sills while young boys play baseball in woolen trousers all across midwestern Americana. Safe, comforting and honest.

Unfortunately his outer presentation of honesty and integrity belied his deep-seeded affection for a toxic relationship. Thankfully I wasn’t the toxic relationship – but that in itself was a problem. I spent close to a year watching him implode, addicted to an unstable ex with whom he continually played childish mind and manipulation games like they never left high school. It was exhausting and I thankfully realized after connecting too many dots that he was already spinning a web of lies for me. I cut him loose.

2.) Couples Breakup For A Reason
I was like the fly that repeatedly smacked against the same spot on the window pane, hoping for better results with each head whack. Giving men multiple chances has been one of the stupidest repeated mistakes in my dating career. Cheaters, liars, alcoholics. The one lesson I’ve learned: What they had no problem doing once, they did again. There’s a reason why phrases like “Zebras don’t change their stripes,” “Leopards don’t change their spots” and “History repeats itself,” exist.

3.) They Don’t Automatically Know Better
If you’ve read “How My Mother Made Me Desperate,” you’ll understand the devaluing of my intelligence by my parents and how it caused me to question all my decisions. This, in turn, caused me to rely heavily on the opinions of the men I dated — alcoholics and all. Thankfully, because of praise from countless teachers and coaches, I was able to grab hold of the glimmer of hope in myself, get therapy, and eventually see that most of the putzes that I dated were even less informed than I was. I realized I replaced my parents with men — or even friends — allowing them to approve of my choices or tell me how to live my life based on the little facts that I was willing to relay.

4.) Dating Exists so We Can Get to Know Someone
My mother had a way of making me feel like I always had to take any offer that was given. From colleges to jobs to men. And not only did I have to consider the “generous” offer to date, but I also had to consider it may be my only option to wed, as well. I wasn’t taught to go on dates as a casual way of getting to know someone. It was subtly and continuously drilled into me that if I accepted one date, I was locked-in. So if I said yes to the first date, there was already talk by my mother of life integration.

Half the time this sent me running from the good guys — primarily because I wasn’t ready to marry. So I spent years distracting myself with sub-par men out of fear. And since I was brainwashed to believe I wasn’t worth a good man and that he’d eventually cheat, I grew to believe I also couldn’t handle one and was drawn more toward the not-so-good man. Unfortunately in doing so I learned:

5.) Ugly Slobs Screw Up Too
There’s a misnomer that ugly men treat women better because they’re so appreciative of having a good woman. Not so.

In a futile effort to impress my dysfunctional, negative parents, I gained countless scholastic and athletic awards and accolades. But after years of unsuccessful attempts to impress them — due to the changing tides of their expectations — I was still unable to extract the proper parental love based on my own merits. It was at this point that I gave up and accepted being offered-up like a sacrificial lamb to the (alcoholic) son of my parents’ friends. I was exhausted waiting for the right guy to come along.

“At least if he’s not really put-together — no one else will want him and he won’t cheat,” I found myself thinking, not even realizing that he was a serious alcoholic. My thought process focused on my mother’s insistence that all men eventually cheat. Pathetic, I’ll admit. But when you’re riding someone else’s train to Crazy Town you don’t really take full inventory of the passengers. And so I wed.

Four years later I left him, ala Sleeping With the Enemy style. And to this day I feel like I was never a bride, never married and never lived through a honeymoon phase. What I did live through was toxic and terrifying, but without it I would never have awoken to a few much-needed, life altering revelations.

6.) Good Guys Can’t Handle My History & Bad Guys Try to Compete
This is by far the most difficult thing I’ve discovered in the last few years, and I’m hoping that it was only because of how I introduced my history into relationships that sent the good guys running.

I’ve known many good guys in my life. I’ve been in love with them and they loved me. But at those times, because of the mental torment from my parents, I couldn’t handle dating. I’d either retreat completely or reveal too much too soon, thereby overloading them with grisly facts about my home life. They couldn’t handle it because they had never been exposed to that type of dysfunction. Total overload.

In contrast, psychopaths had no problem hearing the dysfunctional details of my life and sometimes even attempted to extend an honest hand of help. Unfortunately their own demons eventually surfaced and we’d always be left in a proverbial “Who’s Life Is Worse” match.

To this day I’m not sure where that leaves me — other than that I need to be friends with someone before dating. But at least I’m now aware.

7.) I Need to Acknowledge My Good Decisions and Stick to Them
Alcoholics. Thieves. Druggies. Cheaters. Thankfully after years of praying and practice I’ve gotten better at accepting the things I can not change, changing the things I can, and recognizing the difference. Ironically most of my bad decisions were second-guesses brought on by parental pre-conditioning. The good decisions? I’m finally starting to roll around in those — beginning with the choice to leave my alcoholic husband without telling my mother of the plan.

8.) Only I Know the Whole Story
After years of being taught that I couldn’t make a correct decision on my own, I started to believe that I couldn’t date on my own as well. And it opened the floodgates for both solicited and unsolicited advice in relationships. Only I knew all the details of situations, but I continually asked for advice from friends. This changed drastically the moment I decided to cut my mother from The Evacuation plans. It was the best decision I ever made.

9.) Compatibility is Always Important
I’ve dated everything from suits to surfers. It took a few years to realize I leaned more toward the “suit who wouldn’t mind surfing,” type of guy, but before that ever happened I was testing the waters in all things coastal.

It’s funny what can happen after graduating college. I went from being well-known in a school of 16 thousand students to a small group of my friends. And because of their new careers and availabilities — and my unwillingness to venture out alone — the pool of potential boyfriends dried up like a maple leaf on a sunny fall day.

Enter one dorky surf guy looking for direction and you’ve entered my alternate dating universe. It was only after we broke up and he kept giving me pitiful looks that I realized I never really wanted to marry the guy anyway. We were ridiculously incompatible. He had no direction, no backbone nor the mental capacity to earn himself either one. I didn’t realize I needed more of a suit — not someone who folds under pressure like a wet Baja Hoodie.

You’d think the major incompatibilities I found in this one fried fellow would deter me from a few more years of aimlessly dating in the wrong genre, but it didn’t. With my mother constantly introducing me as “The last one left [to get married],” and subtly devaluing my personal accomplishments, it’s no wonder I was ready to form a lifelong partnership with just about anyone remotely tolerable.

But dating someone who’s incompatible is like trying to blend oil and water. Only after disowning my mother and starting a year free from dating did I finally accept that dating is just a way to get to know someone, and if you find yourself incompatible, you can go your separate  ways. And most importantly — it’s not an absolutely mandatory part of life.

10.) If He’s More Interested in His Toxic Ex, She Can Have Him
“You can’t save everyone,” I’ve been told multiple times. I’ve witnessed countless men (and women) try to please dysfunctional partners and in the end they always — always — breakup. Whether it takes a few weeks or the couple is able to drag it out to 20 years.

Because no one tried to save me from the toxic relationship with my mother, I feel compelled to help men who had toxic relationships with their ex. I literally thought if they had a good love, it would turn on a light and they’d not only realize, but be strong enough to save themselves. Ridiculous.

They don’t want to be saved. I’m floored by the countless excuses men make in order to stay with someone who’s destroying both their physical and mental health. And what makes it more difficult for me is knowing that their future guarantees one of two things: the end of their relationship anyway, or the end of their life. Instead of seeking happiness, love, peace and partnership, they’re willing to go to the grave in misery. These men  literally do not want to be happy because they choose suffering over love. You can’t save a masochist.

11.) Love Only Works If Both Parties Want a Partnership
I’ve lived at both ends of this spectrum and can attest to how good a relationship can be if both people continually work to keep the relationship a partnership. And yes, this does incorporate respect. Someone who “allows” you to do something isn’t respecting you just as you’re not garnering respect by constantly seeking someone’s authoritative approval.

12.) The First 3-12 Months of Dating is The Honeymoon Phase 
If he can’t pull it out for you during the honeymoon phase (no pun intended!) then the relationship is not worth keeping. Men will work for women they love and if they love them enough it won’t be work. So if you feel like you’re sucking a relationship out of a man (no pun intended!) it’s time to call it quits.

How awesome would it be if life was like the Nickleback song, “Saving Me,” but instead of a death ticker floating over your head, it’s a When You’re Lessons Will Start Paying Off ticker?

Or maybe they are already and we just don’t know it…

-1YOS

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What kind of asshole hangs out with child abusers?

I went to my sons swimming lessons today because for the last classes they let the parents watch. My ex-husband was there obviously because he has my son this weekend. We exchanged some small talk about my son’s swimming efforts when I added, “Oh by the way, I heard more information about my sisters abuse by my parents.” My ex-husband then flipped out saying, “why you got to talk about that?” I replied, “because you’re hanging out with child molesters!”

Apparently also among the years of being physically abused by my parents my mother also had my sister sexually abused by a doctor. My sister had left the family years ago without telling anybody why and my mother spread the rumor that my sister was crazy and angry. Until recently. I had called my sister last year to complain about my parents and she revealed every reason why she left the family and horrid detail. Needless to say I was floored because of the years of manipulation that my mother had putting in, telling everyone my sister was crazy, meanwhile it was my mother who was the one who was crazy – bringing my sister to a doctor repeatedly to have her sexually abused.

Now my husband, who has no parents because he threatened to kill his own mother for her abusing him, doesn’t have any of his parents so he hangs out with my parents. And in the meantime I discovered that his mother was angry because she too was sexually abused by her grandfather and her mother who is my ex-husband’s grandmother knew about it.

Are you keeping up with this?

So basically my ex-husband hangs out with abusive parents but refuses to believe that my sister was sexually abused because he’s desperate to have parents of his own that he’s will ing to go so far as to hang out with sexual abusers in order to have a relationship with any parents at all.

Every time I try to talk to him about any kind of abuse he sides with the abuser. It’s infuriating! What kind of moron hangs out with someone whose abused them for so long or abused other people? It infuriates me that this world is based upon fear. Any it infuriates me that hes stupid and naïve enough to believe that my mother, with a passive aggressive sweetheart low voice, is not an abuser!

Wake up and smell the coffee you moron!

* This entire post was made through Siri, and will be edited so if it doesn’t make sense check back in a day or two and it’ll be updated ha ha 🙂 xo

Who’s got your balls?

On the way to missing the train today I passed a large family with rolling suitcases. They had exited a van and were climbing stairs to the platform. I knew the next trains departed from the opposite side of the station, so as I passed I told the father that they should use the elevator. His reply? He stammered for a second, and with a defeated hand gesture toward his departing group said, “This is what my wife wants.”

Oh Lord. Men, who’ve got your balls? This is not a matter of doing someone else, its a matter of saving the 80-year-old grandma in your group from having a heart attack.

As I walked away I thought about how my father is a flag. Do all men get like that when they’re older? Is it a pipe dream to think that dating/marriage should be a partnership? To go as far as not taking an elevator or even suggesting it just because you think your wife will get angry – are you kidding?

Do men think they have to hand over their balls? Do they think it’s an all-ball-or-nothing situation when they marry? It would actually explain a lot since most of my observations of men have been either all-balls or ball-free.

Guys – there can be a happy medium. In fact, there should be a happy medium. Strive to retain your man-ness. How do you do this? Well, first you’ve got to honestly ask yourself, “Who’s got your balls?”

My Mother is a Stalker

I was told today that (years ago) my mother stalked her ex-fiancee’s kids to the point where he had to get an Order for Protection against her! The very sad thing about this bit of knowledge is that I remember thinking – when i was very young – that my mother was obsessed with the guy. She talked about him all the time. This blows my mind completely!

Now here’s the cinematic part: My mother was also obsessed with me marrying my ex-husband. Turns out my ex-husband’s mother is cousins with my mother’s ex-fiancee.
GOT THAT? I’ll make a flow chart for you all tomorrow!

There’s much more to this story, and now I’m seriously considering a Hollywood script… Stay tuned…

How My Mother Made Me Desperate

We often wonder why some girls are desperate and needy. You would think it’s an inherent need, but sometimes it comes from the folks who are supposed to protect them the most. Case in point:

“We’re going to marry you off to the old widower down the road,” my parents would joke, adding, “Except, we’ll have to throw in some chickens as well” – a clear sign that they didn’t think I was worth anything; they had to “sweeten the pot” with a farm animal. So essentially I was worth less than a farm animal.

This was just one of the many not-so-subtle ways that my parents expressed their view of my value. I had to be married to be worth something, and that no one would want me as I was. I wasn’t good enough.

Eventually all my sisters “found someone,” and I was “left.” I dated here and there, but as nothing panned out, my mother would ask in horrified voice if I was a lesbian, and would introduce me as “the last one left.” Imagine how I felt when – in social circles – she would say, “Oh, and here’s my daughter, Kate. She’s the last one left.”

The last one left? It indicated that I was – in her eyes – the last one of her daughters to do the right thing: obtain the golden ticket and get married. So to my mother, all my other achievements – Deans List, MVP, Captain, Who’s Who of Junior Colleges – twice, Editor In Chief of the college newspaper and Student of the Year – all paled in comparison to being someone’s wife. It was another statement that pissed me off – but being a dutiful daughter, I let it slide. Why? Because my other sisters had issues with my mother! My mother also very artfully manipulated me by saying, “It doesn’t matter what we do to you, Kate, you’ll always come back to us. You’re the good one.” She was a master manipulator.

So those statements, along with dozens of other similar messages, created a need for me to find a husband – even before carrying out my own dreams. But ironically I didn’t radiate desperateness. I wasn’t a slut. I wasn’t “with” every guy I met, and I didn’t want every guy to marry me. I actually had some discrimination. Some.

Sadly, when my dysfunctional mother introduced me to her friend’s equally dysfunctional son, I went for it – hook line and sinker – because of a few things: 1.) I was tired of waiting for a quality guy that I actually wanted to spend the rest of my life with 2.) I was completely intimidated by quality guys 3.) It was a preordained match made by my dysfunctional mother 4.) I was taught my entire life to think that my parents had all the correct answers, and wasn’t ever allowed to question them. So if this guy was my perfect match, I wasn’t about to question it.

Thankfully, the story gets better.

A foundation of years of therapy enabled me to eventually leave my alcoholic husband in a somewhat “Sleeping With the Enemy” style. I call it “The Evacuation.” After my husband left for a long weekend with the boys, I gathered friends at my home to pack my things. Did I tell my mother? No way in hell – I was a clam in the months leading to the evacuation. Twice prior she had convinced me to stay with the alcoholic, so I knew that it was a turning point in my life – she wouldn’t be making any more decisions for me, and I didn’t tell her anything about the evacuation. Needless to say, when I did inform her of the move, she was shocked and tried to convince me to return to him.

I feel like 1 Year of Single is my final phase of the evacuation. Since leaving my ex-husband, I’ve had to completely sever ties with my mother – and I want to rip the control completely out of her hands by not dating for one year. I want to do it on my own terms. And I want to take everything back from the Mother who made me desperate.