Remembrance Day

30 Days of Gratitude- Day 11 30 Days of Gratitude- Day 11 (Photo credit: aussiegall)

I first published this post on November 11, 2013 and then again in 2015. As a tribute to my family’s veterans and all those many, many others, here it is again. Thank you for your service. We will remember.

In Canada, today is Remembrance Day. Today, we remember those who have given their lives to preserve the greater good, those who gave us what we have today.

Both my parents were veterans of World War II. My dad escaped from Dunkirk and later, in 1944, helped to liberate France and the Netherlands. He went all the way to Hamburg, Germany, before being sent back to England and to my mother.

My mother served in the British army as a radar operator during the London blitz. Her father, a World War I veteran, was a “spotter” who alerted higher command that enemy planes were coming across the channel.

One day, a fighter saw him and killed him.

Three of her brothers served in the army, one of whom was captured. He spent four years in a prisoner of war camp and was finally liberated in 1945. According to my mother, he was completely changed and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for the rest of his life.

Another brother died during his service to the navy, and a third in France. A sister-in-law died in a bombing raid.

My parents worked hard while escaping attacks and facing every kind of rationing imaginable, to say nothing of the constant fear of death. This left them with an enduring determination that their kids would never face the same fears, privation, or responsibility. There had been no guarantees that they would be successful with the task they were given.

But they were successful. And we enjoy the benefits of that success today, a success written in blood.

In Canada, the following excerpt from For the Fallen is recited at Remembrance Day services around the country. Here, this recitation is known as The Act of Remembrance.

For the Fallen ~ Laurence Binyon

They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old:

age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

Yes.

Rebel Coffee Cake/Blogger Awards Nominations

I have been nominated for a blogging award. 🙂

I’m not going to do the award requirements but I do want to pass on the names of the nominator and the other nominees.

In particular, please take a look around Cecilia Kennedy’s Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks blog. Lots of good recipes and tips. Many thanks for the nomination, Cecilia. Much appreciated.

https://wp.me/p8ngk4-pL

And, enjoy a photo of Yellowknife’s Back Bay on Great Slave Lake.

Happy Monday after the clocks have fallen back.

Crossing the Mighty Mackenzie River

The Mackenzie River is the largest river system in Canada and the second largest in North America.

It is so big that in places it looks like an ocean or huge lake. It even has a vanishing point.

Driving across the bridge that spans the Mackenzie going south from Yellowknife doesn’t capture that effect. However, this photo from July almost does. Not quite.

Aren’t these blues amazing?

Greetings from the fabulous lakes and waterways of the Northwest Territories.

Mourning the Loss of a Narcissist

There are many types of losses, most of which are natural and normal, even if they hurt like hell. Most of us will experience the loss of parents and grandparents, the loss of a relationship or two, the loss of a friendship. Some losses are much worse than others; the loss of a child, for instance.

Even under the best of circumstances, loss carries a huge emotional load, but when you’re dealing with the loss of a narcissist, there are whole other dimensions to consider.

It’s not just the actual physical loss: the loss of the person, the loss of that relationship, the loss of that duo-dom.

It’s the loss of much of yourself.

You’re stuck in mud, your feet becoming larger and larger as the mud adheres to your shoes and tries to hold you tightly.

You’re not just hurting from the loss of the relationship, you’re hurting from the loss of yourself: your self-confidence, your judgement, your logic.

Breakups are painful, but when the breakup involves a narcissist, there is so much more to navigate. Narcissists are litigious and aggressive, so a good lawyer (read expensive) might be required. In my case, the ex-N became threatening and I had to go to the police. I had to change my door locks, install an alarm system and hire a security company.

In the meantime, he was hammering away with every type of hoover he could think of.

At the time I didn’t know that that behaviour had a name and I didn’t know about no contact. I just wanted to get his stuff out of my house.

The simple fact is that you might not even realise until much later what you have been involved with, and until that becomes clear, the mud will stick to your shoes in a big way.

When I got my ex-N out of my life, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about narcissism, but I knew that he had to go and I had to get help.

I was fortunate on several levels: there were no children, I had financial stability (my ex-N put a huge dent in that but I was essentially okay), and I had a good supplementary heath plan and could afford counselling.

The counselling portion of my quest to reclaim my life was very important because I wasn’t just mourning the loss of a relationship; I had to come to terms with the underlying reasons for my involvement with the narcissist.

That was hard – very hard. It required me to look at myself in ways that were uncomfortable and difficult.

I had to get to know myself better. And getting to know myself was paramount because it is my best defense against further involvement with another N.

In the meantime, my sense of self, my judgement and confidence were all on life support and I had no trust in them at all.

I had to rebuild, and the structure that came out is nothing that I expected. I like it though. It’s a good structure, even if it’s not pretty.

Most of all, I had to let myself grieve: I had to recognise the guilt and stupidity I felt about myself, forgive myself for that part of my humanity, and allow myself some relief from the self-criticism.

With help, I let myself off the hook and began to learn what I need to learn from this experience.

What are your thoughts about mourning?

More Yellowknife

This photo shows a recent overcast day at a small lake just outside of Yellowknife. To me, the landscape is iconically northern-looking with much evidence of the Canadian Shield covered by short trees. Clear ice is also forming on this pond. Probably enough to walk on, but I wouldn’t take the chance yet.

And, one more shot of Yellowknife at night. I love the rising crescent moon and the distant clouds.

I felt very contemplative while watching this changing view.