My scarlet letter.


I told my son about my disordered mind
he didn’t argue with that
I think he always knew
and it’s okay
It really is

What isn’t okay is this

He told me
his father got disability backpay
a lot of money
much more than I ever had
obtained on the back of my labor for years
while he refused to even look for work
complained about everything
gaslighted me
turned his flying monkeys on me like a pack of hungry wolves
tried to turn my kids against me
called me a crazy stupid whore
laughed loudly at his own jokes at my expense
especially when he saw how much they hurt
oh, he was so funny
I can’t stop laughing

I’m allowed to say nothing
I won’t throw my kid under the bus
I was lied to again but I could figure things out
I’m left out of the bonanza earned on my sweat and tears and pain
new cars, new furniture and knowing smiles
tell me all I need to know
All I get is more grinding poverty
an old car I can’t get fixed
a life of uncertainty and insecurity
and all those endless bitter comparisons
always the comparisons

My abuser gets to live the high life
new car, new TV, and lots of pot and tea
until he squanders it all
I want to slap his stupid smug face
He doesn’t deserve to be happy
he ruined my life
and gave me his disease

I hate him

This bitterness of which I’m so aware
this envy and this rage
these scorched earth feelings of entitlement
are never far away
forever making me compare myself
and never measuring up
because I’m the loser they tell me I am
and I was born to suffer

this really isn’t fair
I know life isn’t supposed to be fair
but it’s always those with normal lives who need to
santimoniously remind me of that.

Left out and ostracized
over and over again
like a carousel from hell
round and round and round we go
and I can’t get off
there’s nowhere to go

…and no one cares when I scream…

I hate what I become when things go like this
Rage overrides self control
I’m horrified by my childishness
Why can’t I just be happy he’s gone?
My scarlet letter is the “kick me” sign I wear.

Narcissism: the gift that keeps on giving.


7 thoughts on “My scarlet letter.

  1. Hi,
    This is a very powerful piece of writing! With regards to the content, I think that it’s natural to grieve being abused, and that usually involves anger and resentment about the perpetrator’s seemingly great life. What I mean is, please don’t be hard on yourself: I don’t think you’re demonstrating unnatural (pathological) feelings of entitlement here; It sounds like you’re experiencing very natural anger at mistreatment. I don’t think you’re being “childish”, or that you’re a “loser” who was “born to suffer”. The fact that you are working hard to process what has happened and move on with your life gives me the impression that you are a strong person, working at filling in holes that other people forced upon you. Melody Beattie wrote something in The New Codependency about people needing space to grieve to move forward, with emphasis on the fact that they need to tell their story, sometimes in many different ways, in order to figure things out, and we need to have patience for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so confusing. I know what I feel is justified (righteous) anger that probably anyone would feel, but I can’t help mixing up those normal feelings of rage at injustice and abuse with my own narcissistic tendency to be envious of what others have and feeling entitled and victimized. Self awareness has its drawbacks–you can be too hard on yourself and start attributing even justified, normal anger with narcissism. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes. I just know I don’t want to feel this way. Envy is a horrible and bitter emotion that poisons the ability to feel joy and contentment. I’m glad my kids got something out of it, but since he wouldn’t have got all that money without being a parasite for years on my labor, I feel like I’m entitled to get at least enough to get my 14 year old car fixed. Is that too much to ask? But, I’m supposed to be no (well, actually low) contact with him and I’m not supposed to know about any of this, but I do. I would have figured it out anyway. One thing I’m not is stupid.
      My euphoric mood yesterday was ruined because of this.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. He doesn’t deserve to have all of these things off the back of using you, and you are right to feel angry. I can relate to a lot of what you say regarding picking apart your emotions, wondering what it healthy and what isn’t, and also the things you wrote in your other recent posts. (Have you read any of Melody Beattie’s books on codependency? I found The New Codependency very helpful for learning to assert myself better and to have healthier boundaries: i.e. not feel used and mistreated.) Also, I think you write well. 🙂 Love. x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. Knowing him he’ll squander it away in no time. He might already have, with all the new “stuff” he has. I remember back in the 90s, he got $160K from the sale of his mother’s house (he made her sign power of attorney so he got almost all the proceeds although some did go for her medical care since she moved in with us) and the money was gone within a year.


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