Tuesday, April 9, 2013


You have no idea how many ways I could go with this post.  I could ramble on about my love for Bonnie Tyler and the song.  I could tell you how awesome said song was in the movie Footloose, and how I can still picture in my mind's eye Kevin Bacon, as Ren McCormick, on that tractor with his shoelace caught in the pedal in a very scary game of Tractor Chicken.  All the while, this song was blaring in the background.  Man, I loved the Footloose soundtrack.  Heck, I loved the movie.  Knew I would love it as soon as the shoes went tapping across the screen at the movie theatre. 

Or, I could relate an obsession with superheroes that started when I was just a kid.  Show me a cartoon and it better have a superhero in it.  The Justice League was my favorite.  And I thought I would die when Lynda Carter played Wonder Woman in the 70s.  Die of spinning in circles, that is.  I really thought I might turn into Supergirl if I spun around long enough, despite the fact that I wasn't an Amazon, and didn't grow up on Island full of women with special powers.  Go figure.

The thing is that all of these things did influence my way of thinking.  I bought into the Idea of All of it.  Even though in my world NONE of it was true.  I didn't actually have any good role models to base relationships.  My grandparents had been married forever, but my grandfather treated my grandmother horribly.  He was a verbal and emotional abuser to everyone in the family.  My other grandmother was divorced five times (as was her mother before her).  That was practically unheard of in those days!!!  My father's side of the family seemed to be looking to set some sort of record.  Not really sure.  They were the "we aren't taking any crap here crowd."  While my mom's side took nothing but crap.  And my parents rarely spoke to one another.  It was all very civil.  There were weeks that they could speak to one another and say nothing more other than, "What's for dinner?" or "Pass the salt."  And I am not joking.  So, I had abuse on one side.  We don't take no crap, we just divorce your ass on the other (pardon my language, but it does get that way sometimes here).  And the happy medium was total shutdown: the way to get along is not speaking.  Total non-communication.  And just for kicks and giggles, my dad was a social worker.  He helped OTHER PEOPLE sort through their problems.  I never got that one since my parents' solution was NOT talking.

So... it isn't surprising that my first boyfriend had verbally abusive tendencies.  Before that, he inflicted other sorts of pain that I just kept coming back for... don't ask me why.  However, the first always explains the latter.  It took me seven years to leave that relationship.  Yeah, that is a head scratcher.  Then, it was almost seven years of what I call "Seinfeld dating."  Those dates were virtually one or two time dates.  Why?  Because the guy did something that annoyed me like eating his peas one at a time at dinner.  Yeah, like that.  Seinfeld dates.  I would just sit there thinking, "Can I spend the rest of my life like this watching this bonehead eating his peas one at time?  This is driving me bananas."  So, the answer was clearly no.  Did I ever explain why there was no second date?  No.  Just moved on...

And then I realized I was in my mid-30s and Robert Downey, Jr. got thrown into jail over drugs.  That caused the Ally and Larry relationship on Ally McBeal to go off the rails, and Ally never recovered.  Ally spun out completely, and so did I.  I know that sounds insane, but that is how that went down.  And the next yo-yo that asked me out and drove me insane with all his junkola... I continued to go out with him.  Previously, I would have ended it.  It made me Crazy.  I knew that he had more going on in the Minus Column than in the Positive Column, but I was 32.  30 freaking 2.  I wanted KIDS.  My.Clock.Is.Ticking.Like.This.

And all of that Holding Out For A Hero that I had been doing went right out Window.  Instead, I married my Grandfather.  Obviously, not my actual Grandfather, but someone just like him.  A verbal and emotional abuser.  Oh, the damage we weave when first we settle.  Yeah, I know I changed the saying. 

Did I know that he was going to be as bad as turned out to be?  No.  Did I think I could handle the situation?  Maybe even change him?  Yes.  Most importantly, were their signs as to the content of his character before the marriage?  Yes.  I would say more so after the engagement than when we were dating.  But, there was time to call it off.  I had alarm bells ringing in my head for months.  You can call those alarm bells, or that Inner Voice, or Your Gut, whatever you want.  Personally, I think it is God.  I believe that God talks to us every day if we only open our ears and listen.  And God tried for months before I said I DO to get me to rethink that position and say I DON'T. 

However, I was determined to take the class.  And my ex-husband was a very hard teacher.  It's just a shame I didn't get the entire lesson plan, because I had to take the class AGAIN with another teacher.  You will hear more about that when we get to the letter "W."  Life lessons are really hard (which is why they are called lessons and not good times). 

Listen to your Inner Voice.  Being alone with someone else is worse than being alone by yourself.  If you are in an abusive situation, get out now.  I eventually learned the power of "No."  That one took a long time.  Taking back your Personal Power is one of longest roads a person who has been abused (verbally, emotionally, and/or physically) will have to walk to get back to themselves.  However, it feels incredible.  And now, I truly am...  

image found on facebook... naturally.

Did you have good role models in your family to form healthy relationships?  Have you ever been in an abusive relationship of any kind?  If so, what did that relationship teach you about yourself?  Have you forgiven yourself for allowing yourself to go down that road?  Have you ever identified or even over-identified with a character on TV or in a movie?  Did your dating years ever feel like a TV show?  Did you ever settle for a wrong relationship simply because you were tired of looking?  Have you learned to listen to your Inner Voice?  Have you ever gone through a process of taking back your Personal Power?  How did that feel?


  1. Robin, sorry to hear you had to endure crappy relationships. It's especially tough when you don't have a lot of uplifting and/or supporting role models.

    Growing up, I was a living, breathing, doormat..I kid you not. Always afraid of what others might think, of being teased, etc.

    Then, and I'm not sure exactly when, I just decided enough was enough and I stopped putting up with the abuse.

    I'm glad you learned the power of "No" and found your inner power. Sometimes, lessons are learned the hard way...but they're still worth learning.

    Stay strong! :)

  2. >> . . . Being alone with someone else is worse than being alone by yourself.

    ...by David & David from their one and only (masterpiece) album ‘Boomtown’ – 1986. Nine tracks that would serve only too well as the musical soundtrack for my life. (Interestingly, the last song on the album is titled ‘HEROES’.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  3. Where you find an abusive male, there is usually the full-blown Narcissist. If the female understands Narcissism there are always tons of red flags strewn along the trail. If the female recognizes a Narcissist as her first mistaken impulse of an undisciplined heart, she should get out fast because she is dealing with a hollow body devoid of emotion, that can never be cured. If she sticks around, she becomes a sure-fire victim. Narcissists were probably around forever, but the name (from mythology) was coined in the 80's and previous to that time, they were just known as womanizers.

    WOW .... Both your grandfather and great, great grandfather were married 5 times. Regular Svengali's at that time.

  4. Mark ~ I spent many years of working double time to please everyone. That makes life very hard, particularly when the person you are most trying to please refuses to be pleased. Or enough is never enough. And I allowed myself to be beaten down to the place of a doormat (someplace I swore I would never be after watching my grandma all those years), so it was pretty shocking to look in the mirror and see what had happened to me! Very opening, actually! One of those defining moments in life, actually. You can only begin to take back your life when you realize you've given it away.

    Stephen ~ I will definitely check out that album. It might not be until after this challenge is over. This blogging every day but Sunday with the A to Z is tough! However, I definitely want to give it a listen. Thanks for sharing.

    Manzanita ~ I now think of these people as Gaping Pits of Need that can simply never be filled by anyone else. I could pour my entire self into them and not fill them up. However, they would allow me to do it. And that is just one of the lessons that I ultimately learned from going a couple rounds with these types of individuals. They cannot be saved. They cannot be loved so much that they are "cured" of this behavior. I cannot make them love themselves enough to stop this insanity. Instead, no one can love them enough, and they bite the hand that feeds them.

    And it was my grandMother and great grandMother on my father's side who each married and divorced FIVE TIMES. They simply refused to put up with any crap from anyone. You treated them badly and you were outta here! Next...

  5. Robin,
    I found my way here thanks to the Challenge and I'm super glad I did. I love the way you write. You're honest and very personable.

    And anyone who posts a Browncoat version of ANYTHING is someone worth knowing :D That video was awesome!

    Happy to "meet" you!

  6. Life is a hard teacher because it gives the test first, the lesson after.

  7. Brave is not the one who is fearless, but the one who is courageous enough to face her fears and conquer them. :)

  8. I really love this post. You are a strong woman and getting stronger. I like what you say about God being our inner voice. I am slowly but surely learning to listen and heed Him/it.

    Abuse is a terrible thing. I was blessed with a happy childhood and fairly normal family. I thank God every day for that.

  9. You, beautiful Robin, DESERVE a hero.

  10. Earlier today read a post that my comment was something about people repeating the same action and expecting a different result. It happens over and over in abuse situations. You get out of one bad one and find someone else just like him or worse. Sadly, I think it's rare for people to realize before they've repeated the process to many times to count. I'm happy that you've found the path. A long post, but a very worthwhile one. I hope you're able to inspire someone else in need. When women realize they don't need a hero, that in fact they need to be their own hero...then things can improve. Agree...great song!


  11. I absolutely LOVE the picture of the dog stuck between the trees at the top of the page!

    New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


  12. Jen ~ Thank you for the lovely compliment. I, too, miss Firefly:(

    Liz ~ You got that right.

    Al ~ Thank you. Giving up is not an option.

    Carol ~ I believe that we need to listen to that Inner Voice more. We also need to break these bad patterns. They can define our entire lives if we allow it.

    Judy ~ Thank you. You are so awesome!

    Sandy ~ I had a realization yesterday that this pattern was all about trying to correct the bad relationship with my grandfather in all of my other relationships. Ironically, my mother was trying to correct her bad relationship with her father. And my dad was trying to correct his bad relationship with his mother. Everyone is just trying to heal that one broken relationship with other people, because we can't heal it at the Source. Of course, that doesn't work and the Pattern just goes on. We must heal ourselves and then we are ready for a healthy relationship.

    Sylvia ~ Thanks for following along. It's always something different here.

  13. Robin: It is up to us. I refuse to allow abusers to continue abusing for a lifetime. The problem is always with the abuser, not the victim. We do have a choice. For me, it is the "chi" we all possess.

    I was also fortunate to have a father that was a great role model, and a wife sent from the heavens.

    Oh. There was also Lynda Carter.

    1. People who don't know anything but unhealthy patterns are attracted to unhealthy relationships (aka abusive ones). It takes a lot of self-awareness to understand that you are in a bad pattern and to seek the help of a therapist so that you can see this all for what it is. Only by fully comprehending what you have been doing can you stop doing it. Then, you can begin to heal yourself and stop engaging in these relationships that will never give anything back to you.

      Yes, you were definitely blessed:)


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