Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago · 6 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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The Folly of Shedding Skins

I have been gone awhile and I have missed many splendid writers, thought-provoking concepts and sheer eclectic doozies. I do apologise. Judge me as you will but I plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Sometime mid 2018 two unconnected things happened.

One; I turned 60. Yippee ki yay, I’m thrilled. I don’t actually mind as it brings me onto my last decade deftly. ‘None will live longer than 70 years’ was one of my father’s many proclamations. As five out of his nine children are now deceased, he may be right on that one. Still, even dead, they were allowed no peace, but used as soap-boxes for his endless lament and vent of acrid, eye-watering smoke that veiled the triumphant fun he was having! Good Friday..? As a Roman Catholic of the older-and wiser-than-God-himself school, Good Friday was reserved solely for terrifying us kids with the brutal (albeit accurate) rendition of every step towards, and indeed on, Calgary, that would make Mel Gibson's film look tame. It was his medical knowledge and, as a professorial lecturer of quite some repute, delivery. It wasn’t just about the suffering of Christ, nor was it about redemption, much less - God forbid - resurrection; Easter Sunday seemed to come as a disappointment really. What it was about was dad’s suffering, his abandonment, his sorrow, his pain. Have to say, it felt at times that he was suffering less than we were. Then, there was ‘impalement’….exquisite rendition there that will never leave.

Let’s face it; dad loved his children. Providing they were dead.
Lisa Vanderburg

Oh yes... Two; I became dumb-struck. By a single word, no less! Preaching to the converted here; you know that words have meaning. I’m a rather wordy sort of person, so to shut my mouth takes a Herculean event.

Before I utter that word, that mere scatter of letters, I have to confess; I am cringing in embarrassment. To admit to anyone that a sixty-year old woman of normal intelligence, maybe above-the-norm inquisitiveness (and probably well below the norm on the sanity scale), managed for all these years to miss this, beggars belief. There’s no way to cover over my foolishness, so I’ll just suck it up and spit it out: gaslighting.

I expect you know all about it; along with ‘coercive control’ which has been bandied about of late. As I had long ceased even looking, it was to rock my world and knock my emotional anchoring six ways from Sunday. Believe me; kneeling on grits is way more fun! Post-discovery I even went so far as to offer this priceless gem to another sibling. Oddly, he did not share my exhilaration, but did say he thought dad was a ‘narcissist’. I filed that away with psychopath, sociopath and several other clues, then summarily forgot it. So undeterred, I began the work that would surely bring me some peace!

First I would need to debride the membranes of slough that made up my psyche; do a strip-down:

The Folly of Shedding Skins51041 71


Off with the first of many identities that weren’t mine. Woven within that skin’s threads were Guilt, Condemnation, Shame, Hopelessness.

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Next the skin of: Admonishment, Abandonment, Apathy, Destitution, Burden and Loss.

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The last skins were legion: Isolation, Agony and Desolation.

Each became harder; the last flayed me:  Despair.

I hate that word.







Finally I lined up all my skins and stood back to view them as I brought the mirror up to see what was left.  I prepared myself to feel….something. Relief? Hope? Nope, didn’t happen. 

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They looked rather...dead, no? Maybe what I needed was some introspection to ‘see what’s left’. That mirror was a big mistake.

 When I look in the mirror, I look at the enemy. There is no one to blame for this but myself. I should have bought myself a mirror a long time ago.’ Darryl Strawberry

There was nothing there but a vacuous, shackled child, devoid of hope and stunted in growth. I left the skins sit alone in their room for a great deal of time as I pondered my next move. I had to marinate in that process awhile, shuddering in a thin skin of contempt at my own emptiness.

Next was recognition of my folly. Having resigned the bitterest yearning to just understand the roles of the players (the time for rules long past), the Sarcophagus of Relentless Questions was, nonetheless, shattered; each piece demanding answers with a petulant cacophony that didn’t cease. This feral and fetid cat (along with the skins) was, most definitely, out of the bag.

So I tried a different tack and did some study in psychology. Curiously, for a medical brat, this is a field I have rarely referenced. Along with familial historical and pathological clues, the meaning of ‘narcissism’ and ‘gaslighting’ took form. Like that fabulous ‘Dolly Zoom’ shot of Chief Brody in Jaws (point 2.00 mins), the dawning made my blood run cold.

In a brilliant but horribly revealing blog by Christine Louis de Canonville,  Theologian and Psycologist:
narcissistic behavior; the effects of gaslighting

The intention is to, in a systematic way, target the victim’s mental equilibrium, self confidence, and self esteem so that they are no longer able to function in an independent way. Gaslighting involves the abuser to frequently and systematically withhold factual information from the victim and replacing it with false information. Because of its subtly, this cunning Machiavellian behaviour is a deeply insidious set of manipulations that is difficult for anybody to work out, and with time it finally undermines the mental stability of the victim.
Christine Louis de Canonville

My God, others….know? These words laid me bare for all to see my shame.

She continues:

That is why it is such a dangerous form of abuse. The emotional damage of Gaslighting is huge on the narcissistic victim. When they are exposed to it for long enough, they begin to lose their sense of their own self. Unable to trust their own judgments, they start to question the reality of everything in their life….. The victim becomes depressed and withdrawn, they become totally dependent on the abuser for their sense of reality .
Christine Louis de Canonville

What sense of self? Did I ever really exist….?

In my humiliation and nakedness, I found this in the Huff: how to cope with a narcissistic father by  Shahida Arabi, Contributor

The grandiose self-image and reputation of their fathers rarely matched the coldness and indifference behind closed doors, habituating their children to accept interpersonal danger as the norm.  Narcissists are masters of impression management and the charismatic narcissistic father is no different. As the daughter of a narcissistic father, you may have noticed that your father prioritized his reputation in the community above the happiness or wellbeing of you and your family members (Banschick, 2013).                                                                                                                                                                    Your father was most likely known as generous, friendly and exceptionally charming to all those who knew him in public; yet behind closed doors, he was verbally, emotionally and/or physically abusive to his spouse and children. This is not uncommon in households with a narcissistic parent; their ‘false self’ is rarely a match for the true self within the realm of the family unit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As a result, daughters of narcissistic fathers are likely to have been silenced should they ever have attempted to speak out against the abuse or speak ill of the father within the household or in public.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Combined with gender roles and expectations for young women to be quiet, demure and polite, daughters of narcissistic fathers may have been conditioned to adapt to danger rather than to protect themselves from it.’’

I am undone. The very people (outside of myself) that may eventually find solace in this discovery were my two elder sisters, now are dead; one by her own hand (at a time, I now suspect, she too saw her ‘own self’ and it left her undone too). I understand why now. We had a very cloistered childhood, cleverly cleaved apart from each other by our own fear. Forced not only to be witness to, but become part of his depraved schemes at an age that is completely inappropriate. Every sense of self was systematically destroyed - completely and repeatedly - until he had a nice clean ink blotter to pour his lies onto. We were a privately-educated middle class family of a respected and revered man who no one knew but us.

Such devoted minutiae to manipulation our father had, and so very understanding of the workings of a child’s mind, that we dare tell no one – what could we say anyhow? As adults, we stood accused by any childhood friend that remained. ‘How could you say such vile lies?’ I remember my one friend said before I lost her for good. I almost admired his artful and seamless chance-of-skin in the space of a step through a doorway. That he could expend such sustained energy in the destruction of his kids and first wife, and still earn himself a great deal of money and prestige, is mind-boggling! His brutality was cold, calculating and devastating. Being sequestered alone so long I was utterly unprepared for adult life and I was tossed about so violently, I was exhausted to the point of yearning for death. In the end, there are still questions that I will never find answers to (as most all the parties are dead). I wonder where my father is now. Did he suffer the fate of Sisyphus for tying to put himself above God? I know now he didn’t…maybe couldn’t love us. Mercifully I found that out near 20 years ago; he went too far and exposed his hand. He had a vast intellect, insatiable curiosity and always the most schooled scholar; he was a very passionate, larger-than-life man. I wonder why he became as he was…I have ideas…did he ever really know? Final confession; I loved him. To me, considering the stuff I've shared before and ALL that I haven't, that’s the very worst admission but it’s true.


Post Script: Weeks have passed since the initial draft. This is the final of many rewrites; more words than all of my published works combined. So much for freedom; like Icarus, I am burned by the folly of this exercise. Time to put my skins back on. There was nothing worth uncovering to begin with as that Ship of Such Potential has long sailed.

My hope now is that through this exercise of public admission, I can accept - and truly offer – forgiveness. May the blessed Lord then grant me peace.

All the skins above came from this surreal and magnificent work of art: "Empty Mind" by Shiori Matsumoto - 2001

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Thank you dearly Shiori, for our brief yet wonderful exchanges, magnificent woman! I am forever in your debt for you allowing me to display your wonderful work.



I dedicate this to my children...I can only hope I didn't hurt them too badly. And to my younger brother - forgive me!

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Comments
Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

1 year ago #59

#69
You to, sweet Randall Burns! I am more sane, dammit. :) Wishing you snappy lobsters and placid punters!!

Randall Burns

Randall Burns

1 year ago #58

#68
Better late than never my friend, Happy New Year! Hope everything is well with you

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

1 year ago #57

#67
Sorry Randall Burns! I saw - way too late - that I hadn't responded to you. I did a bit of editing (which I really need to do to the second part) and now it's back up - not my intent! Happy New Decade, dude!

Randall Burns

Randall Burns

2 years ago #56

Powerful, impacting piece Lisa Vanderburg I was moved... I too have been out of touch and am looming up to 60 quickly. I have a piece coming out shortly and will mention you. Going to read "Brand new skin" now. :-)

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #55

#62
#63 #64 Ah, dear Tausif Mundrawala, my friend! I have missed you! It's exactly the contribution of beautiful heart such as yours that have given me the courage to write this...find that illusive truth. As with your loss, and suffering; this is what binds us to make for a tougher hide! So good to hear from you, precious one!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #54

#60
So good to see you; thank you for your comment Lisa Gallagher! I rarely post on LI anymore as it was for my Parkinson's stuff. Being affiliated with a young-onset Parkinson's group has shut my mouth as hubby's in advanced stages. But I missed a lot of good ones here!.

Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

2 years ago #53

It's amazing how one can over come so much after they are able to not only see, but accept the truth. The truth of knowing, they were never the problem. Wonderful story Lisa Vanderburg recently, good read too!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #52

#58
Thank you and AMEN sister!

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

2 years ago #51

#57
Denial is a very power thing Lisa...You have broken the spell and are now living fiercely in truth...That is something narcissists have no concept of...You have succeeded 100%...by LIVING! Much love and peace I send to you;-)

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #50

#56
Straight shooting Cyndi wilkins, look how long it's taken me to realize....how in hell does a child in this enviroment since birth to 'left' know, much less accept; they are fractured. Hence why being had (for me) was so improbable. The dawning took these 60 years. Denial, bury, pretend...worst; hope. I was fearless; most of my life. But this and humor evolved in me for reasons of deflection against the inevitable roast of either mine or another member. It could sometimes 'confound' him....10% success? How in hell does anybody avoid such bereft people? Our children, the prey.....Lord, that sucks. I understand why forgiveness has begun to be a real debate here. I'm with EVERYBODY...but we have to work to all the 'ww's' and the 'how'. Thank you Cyndi for helping me sort through this. You are a love!

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

2 years ago #49

#44
"As they try to care or help a manipulator, the skill of discerning manipulation is one empaths need to learn, but at the same time not have their trust so damaged, that they being scarred emotionally." Right on point CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit...The first lesson is recognizing when you are being 'had'...A manipulator wants attention, BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE IN CONTROL OF IT. If they suspect for a minute you are on to them they will stop at nothing to silence you.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #48

#49
too right sweet Cyndi wilkins! There are family members that cannot 'see' the ramifications of dad's narcissist/psychopath/gaslighting even now! This knowledge rocked me to the core. I wonder if some will STILL never know. Thanks darlin'!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#53
Thank you dear Lisa Vanderburg for renewing the skin of my mind with this superb buzz.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #46

#46
I was running through Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee 'success/failure' buzz with similar things in mind; you have put flesh to it though! Gotta thank you Gerald Hecht, for the offering!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #45

#44
You read it right and illuminated it further CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit. Guess I am an empath - no all of us were. You absolutely correct in pegging him as psychopath too - I believe that to be true. Fantastic link BTW! Thanks for filling me up my friend!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #44

#41
Me too...just wanted to die of exhaustion by age 18 Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee. In the wretched case of your beautiful son, I can't imagine even thinking about forgiveness...unless your son did. To me, that'd be the only way. So sorry sweet Joyce.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #43

#40
I understand completely Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic and I'm am especially grateful for your courage in saying so! Alas, that love of my father was more of a deep desire to feel love in return. I was a child when this started...we all want to please our parents, earn their love. Or maybe it's Stockholm syndrome. Either way, my love was never to be reciprocated.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

2 years ago #42

#34
Narcissist's manipulate to serve themselves and no other...respecting no boundary and inconsiderate of the impact their actions have on another...Their sole focus is to feed their own insatiable need for the attention and praise in the social circles they play like finger puppets...They are so good at what they do an unsuspecting victim is blindsided every time...Eventually the manipulator will be blindsided too...but their own sword...

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #41

#45
Very true Joyce. This is the same reason we should be careful about wearing rose coloured glasses with ideas such as "emotional intelligence". As we build up our awareness about subjects like emotional awareness, so does the corrupt education of a manipulator. That is why some are now talking about the dark side of emotional intelligence. https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/10-ways-manipulators-use-emotional-intelligence-for-evil-and-how-to-fight-back.html It is sad that the innocent among us are caught up like this which the tragedy is discovering how such innocence is raped. Where emotional intelligence helps is when society becomes emotionally mature enough to handle what are in reality the most difficult and challenging conversations we human beings can have or learn to face. We have a long way to go before we as a society are emotionally capable to know what the intelligent in emotional intelligence really is.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #40

#45
Very true Joyce. This is the same reason we should be careful about wearing rose coloured glasses with ideas such as "emotional intelligence". As we build up our awareness about subjects like emotional awareness, so does the corrupt education of a manipulator. That is why some are now talking about the dark side of emotional intelligence. https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/10-ways-manipulators-use-emotional-intelligence-for-evil-and-how-to-fight-back.html It is sad that the innocent among us are caught up like this which the tragedy is discovering how such innocence is raped. Where emotional intelligence helps is when society becomes emotionally mature enough handle what are in reality the most difficult and challenging conversations we human beings can have or learn to face. We have a long way to go before we as a society are emotionally capable to know what the intelligent in emotional intelligence really is.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit In my lifelong journey through psychology, I've come to know that those who call themselves empaths very well have suffered at the hands of others--narcissists. As someone who suffers from hypersensitivity (as do many of those professing to be empaths), I have learned that those who have suffered as children crave love. All children need love--the unconditional kind. When the child of one-of-those does not get what is required to thrive and grow, Mother Nature and survival steps in and redefines abuse as love. It is the food of life. When one is starving; one will make do.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #38

#34
Only scary if the narcissist remains an extension of our our own nervous system. Otherwise we can copy the detachment narcissists have and unattach ourselves from the only power that they know they have over us - which is what they flush into our nervous system. The reality is that narcissists often don't see and usually cannot see what you, I and Cyndi wilkins feels and knows. The sad reality is that it is empaths who are drawn to narcissists, without realizing the high emotional cost and trap they are walking into. That has been documented very well https://lonerwolf.com/empaths-and-narcissists/ The kind of narcissist who clearly knows what we feel and thus manipulate us in the worst way go beyond the label of narcissists - into that even more dangerous category of "having" which is the psychopath. What an empath must never give up is their ability to discern and not just serve another human being for the simple reason that empaths are the greatest among servant leader mindsets. As they try to care or help a manipulator, the skill of discerning manipulation is one empaths need to learn, but at the same time not have their trust so damaged, that they being scarred emotionally. Ultimately, there is also a danger of labelling people and we need to understand the context of the relationship being played out. "Scary" is a reaction so we must know our emotion.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #37

#34
Only scary if the narcissist remains an extension of our our own nervous system. Otherwise we can copy the detachment narcissists have and unattach ourselves from the only power that they know they have over us - which is what the flush into our nervous system. The reality is that narcissists often don't see and usually cannot see what you, I and Cyndi wilkins feels and knows. The sad reality is that it is empaths who are drawn to narcissists, without realizing the high emotional cost and trap they are walking into. That has been documented very well https://lonerwolf.com/empaths-and-narcissists/ The kind of narcissist who clearly knows what we feel and thus manipulate us in the worst way go beyond the label of narcissists - into that even more dangerous category of "having" which is the psychopath. What an empath must never give up is their ability to discern and not just serve another human being for the simple reason that empaths are the greatest among servant leader mindsets. As they try to care or help a manipulator, the skill of discerning manipulation is one empaths need to learn, but at the same time not have their trust so damaged, that they being scarred emotionally. Ultimately, there is also a danger of labelling people and we need to understand the context of the relationship being played out. "Scary" is a reaction so we must know our emotion.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #36

#34
Only scary if the narcissist remains an extension of our our own nervous system. Otherwise we can copy the detachment narcissists have and unattach ourselves from the only power that they know they have over us - which is what the flush into our nervous system. The reality is that narcissists often don't see and usually cannot see what you, I and Cyndi wilkins feels and knows. The sad reality is that it is empaths who are drawn to narcissists, without realizing the high emotional cost and trap they are walking into. That has been documented very well https://lonerwolf.com/empaths-and-narcissists/ The kind of narcissist who clearly knows what we feel and thus manipulate us in the worst way go beyond the label of narcissists - into that even more dangerous category of "having" which is the psychopath. What an empath must never give up is their ability to discern and not just serve another human being for the simple reason that empaths are the greatest among servant leader mindsets. As they try to care or help a manipulator, the skill of discerning manipulation is one empaths need to learn, but at the same time not have their trust so damaged, that they being scarred emotionally. Ultimately, there is also a danger of labelling people and we need to understand the context of the relationship being played out. "Scary" is a reaction so we must know our emotion.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

#27
I remember the day when I learned my little boy had been sexually assaulted. I went to him immediately and said, "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!" Forgiving yourself is not an option. You did nothing wrong. Forgiving your abusers? I never have and never will. I pray for Dante's Hell. Remember--I did nothing wrong. I emerged from a most horrific childhood alive. I never thought I would live to the age of 18. Sad thoughts for a little child.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

2 years ago #34

It's hard to comment on such a topic because I really can't imagine the relationship you described and what did the life look like for you and your siblings. It's even hard to read and feel such intense emotions behind your words. But what made me think is the fact that you loved your father despite everything. Lisa, I can only wish you that forgiveness brings a kind of peace that will help you go on with life.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #33

#32
I am touched by your compassion and understanding @Gerald Hecht (??) Know what you mean about platforms though. I don't do much writing anymore - PD is now too personal. But I am hoping to write more...fiction, I think! Thank you, sweet man!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #32

#31
Bang on the money Ken Boddie! As always, I am grateful for your wisdom and empathy. I'm relieved I finally got [some] of it out. At least enough to free me....got a lot of living to do in a rather short time, Duke of Down-Under!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #31

#30
Thanks darlin' Cyndi wilkins! As always you hit the nail on the head; just praying this exercise works!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #30

#29
Most grateful Ian Weinberg! I'm sure you recognise by now that I'm a little cray-cray :)

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #29

#28
Good article; there must be a point in which every narcissist evolves to manipulate for the sheer pleasure of it rather than 'just business'. Scary....

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

2 years ago #28

Another bold, analytical, and compelling post, Lisa. I suspect that the tortuous process of constructing this baring of your soul is in itself a release to allow the healing process to continue. I bow to Your Grace, the Duchess of Dude, in ongoing awe at the strength of your prose.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

2 years ago #27

The incredibly frustrating part of these cunning manipulators is they are usually held in very high regard in public circles as brilliant intellectuals...Speak out against them and you will be thrown right under that speeding train and branded a liar, Struck a chord with me here Lisa Vanderburg...I know you have written at length about your father and have suffered greatly...No one gets away with murder my friend...and NO ONE manipulates God...All you have to do is look in the mirror and know whatever you put out there will most certainly be reflected back to you...TENFOLD>

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

2 years ago #26

Superb prose and inspiring in many ways Lisa Vanderburg Take a bow for a courageous share.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #25

#26
Look at the extrapolation with leadership https://www.fastcompany.com/90310927/why-so-many-incompetent-men-become-leaders

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #24

#18
Amen to that Praveen! I first must forgive myself (not quite sure for what?...it's just....there). But I also agree with you that forgiveness, like Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier discussed, is the victim's (hate that word!) prerogative - it's the only way out ultimately. It's not an easy task; takes considerable practise to fully embrace. It's harder to even consider that in the third party where it's so obvious the damage and you can do nothing but see the detritus. I'm actually not putting that very well, eh? Should ask Harvey Lloyd :)

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #23

#22
Aw...get better quick CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit! I am deeply touched and encouraged by what you have so lovingly said - in a fever already! I can see what you're saying about narcissism & personal branding; not something I'd even realized before. Shite, what percentage of the population ARE narcissists? Are they all just as deadly? Many questions!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #22

#21
Wow Gerry - great to see you back in the saddle; I thank you for your comment and encouragement!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #21

#20
Lana Liniger my darlin'! God love you...it's the weight that drags us under. Would most definately be better for seeing you, sweetheart!

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #20

#19
Renee, I never granted him power over me and that enraged him. He turned the rage on his kids. That can neither be forgiven nor have any impact me. And so it goes.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #19

Good on you girl, you let it flow and we are that much more appreciative in the process of this cathartic release. Even though I am right now sick like a dog, eyes burning, stomach churning and head clouded by a fever, reading this reminds me that my temporal medical condition is the smallest s of "suffering". By the time the weekend passes I will be right as rain and fit as a fiddle, but your story was a lifetime in the making led by a father who never knew that he was making that life. Narcissism indeed presents us a great challenge which is why you see me rant and rave about personal branding, because in a society of masks, we don't need more masks, to unmask the emotion and to free us from those who were so masked, it is strangely uplifting to have so many paragraphs of unadulterated honesty wash all over me and in the process I echo my respect to you, because you cannot take an Advil for this, it is your truth and I can feel its freeing power and may you grow in the freedom of shedding those old skins, those skins laid down by the mask of narcissism which was not your doing.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

2 years ago #18

#14
We all make choices, Jerry Fletcher. It is as much a choice to internalize and define yourself by the abuse you received as it is to forgive people for being the broken people they are. I've heard it said that forgiveness is for you, and I believe that completely. I have forgiven a lot of people for doing horrendous things to me. They aren't any better for it, but I certainly am. Forgiveness is not about repairing the transgressors. It is about repairing your own soul because thoughts of victimhood don't serve you. Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to like someone or that you approve of what they did on any level. It just means that you are no longer willing to let them occupy space in your mind and that you, with all of your inner strength, have rendered them powerless to colour your day or ruin your life.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #17

#15
So sorry to hear of your suffering Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador - I say this still feeling somewhat selfish in my foolishness....I'm so late to this party, it's already over! And thank you for the welcome, lovely lady!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #16

#14
Hi Jerry Fletcher, and thank you; how lovely to be missed! You're right; it is very hard to even consider forgiveness when you take toll of the devastation left behind and the cost over time. But I'm hoping for a little freedom in my last decade :)

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Powerful read, Lisa Vanderburg says - and so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #14

Welcome back Lisa. I have missed your insight. You are a much better person than me. My ex's father was everything you describe and more. He ruined a wife and four brilliant children. I can't forgive his cruelty. And so it goes.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #13

#11
Thanks for the links and the personal details you've shared Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier....they will be read! I am sorry to hear of your sister's plight. My sister's was just the flip side of the same coin - exposed, there was no where to rum. At least I'm far too old to NOT survive another 10 years! :)

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #12

#10
Esoteric is the perfect fit Debasish Majumder; I guess the point of the exercise was seeing if I could actually find the words. Wonderful to see you!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

2 years ago #11

I have two blog posts that may help you somewhat. I was also raised by a narcissist (my mother) and have siblings who are similarly inclined. I figured out my mother's problem about 5 or 6 years ago. I also have a sibling who took her own life, by the way. She could never untangle the damage in her head. I am a strong woman who married weak, selfish, abusive and manipulative men, but I didn't know then what I know now. It was because of the second husband that I learned to change the talk in my head and connect with my true self. Figuring that out was the only way I could free myself from the damage he was trying to do to me. That's what I like to help others with. Once you truly know who you really are, nobody can ever take it away from you. The first blog post is about manipulation tactics and the second is about the essence of you you really are.https://www.bebee.com/producer/@renee-cormier/six-manipulation-tactics-everyone-should-learn-to-recognize-and-managehttps://www.bebee.com/producer/@renee-cormier/getting-to-know-the-essence-of-you

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

2 years ago #10

after a brief hiatus i have got the opportunity to go through your intriguing and perhaps little esoteric, but cogent indeed Lisa Vanderburg! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz madam.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #9

#7
I confess to sillyness in feeling that it had only happened to me...lol. Thanks so much Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee; truly I feel your considerable strength in that last line: 'Remember--you are not unique; therefore, you are never alone.' I'm grinning now you can see me... :) Hope whatever works out for you!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #8

#5
These vital components and much more are so apparent in the relationship between you and your kids as shown by your recent buzz. Sometimes I think of the loss, but then I can always look up to you and others who have done it right.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

"The intention is to, in a systematic way, target the victim’s mental equilibrium, self confidence, and self esteem so that they are no longer able to function in an independent way. Gaslighting involves the abuser to frequently and systematically withhold factual information from the victim and replacing it with false information. Because of its subtly, this cunning Machiavellian behaviour is a deeply insidious set of manipulations that is difficult for anybody to work out, and with time it finally undermines the mental stability of the victim. Christine Louis de Canonville" Marvelous piece of work. You hit 60? Welcome to the human race. What is said above happens more often than you think. It is a human thing. We may carve it away from such, but... I, too, broke away from the tether of this infernal machine I love so much. Oldness does not allow quick recovery from illness, but I believe I have found a way. We shall see. Exploring yourself is a wonderful adventure. Keep smiling as you do so. Remember--you are not unique; therefore, you are never alone.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #6

Thank you Javier \ud83d\udc1d C\u00e1mara Rica for the share!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
I agree with your comment my friend Lisa. The biggest things kids need for father is trust and love .

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #4

#2
Dude! I am thrilled by your comment Pascal Derrien! It was a BEE-Eye- Tea- See-Aych to write, but if this just fleshes me out and helps others; it'll be worth it!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

2 years ago #3

#1
Thank you so much Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! You certainly don't need a change of skins but are all that a father should be; beloved and TRUSTED by your very-much alive children!

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #2

wow this was a tense read, beautiful, disturbing and powerfully written. The visuals are also breathtaking. Forgiveness yeah I think I am leaning towards that one too. Well done YOU

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

The more I read your scripts, the less I know you my friend Lisa Vanderburg. Father who loves his kids...if they are dead and many more quotes in your buzz that leave me bewildered and wandering if I need to change my skin as well.

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