I have written a lot of “negative” things about my wife, and all of them are the truth as I know it and as I experienced it.  I’ve tried hard to document everything I’ve written with “hard proof,” not glorifying myself, but exposing my blemishes.  I had more disappointment, hurt, and heartbreak than I thought one person could bear, both in my past and especially in my marriage to my wife..  I have always thought that my hardships were intricately linked to my gentleness, to treading upon the earth like a feather blown by the wind, and touching my sorrow brought forth any goodness I had in me.

But being with my wife has given me the gift of unleashing my words and my story, and for that I’m grateful.  I see the world in a new and different way.  I’m now aware that not all people are kind, with good intentions, which may sound dismal.  But on the other side of the coin, I’ve learned that most people are far kinder than I knew.  I’ve seen that I need to love myself more and better, and that in fact, I am lovable.  I’ve seen a mysterious pattern whereby each time I think I’ve stumbled one step lower, some Force stronger than me has guided my path.  I guess that would be God.

I clearly remember one conversation I had with my wife in which she explained to me the most amazing thing.  I was very depressed that day.  She told me that I saw the world in black and white and that I needed to see it in color.  She wasn’t talking about black / white thinking as I understood her.  She was talking about the wonderful kaleidoscope of color that surrounds us, even in simple moments.  If I am one color, it is blue, not “blue” as in down or depressed, but blue as in indigo, sapphire, the sparkling azure of a sunny day, and the deep near-black of a starlit night.  I can’t imagine a prettier color.

I can’t imagine how such wisdom could come from someone who made so many bad choices and did so many wrong things, any more than I can imagine how she had a voice like a choir of angels but used her talents to hurt and deceive people.  But I’ll take the gift with gratitude.

If I stop and really, truly, honestly think about it, I have more to be thankful for than vast numbers of humans on this strange orb circling an unknown sun in a limitless universe.  I have feet that walk, I have ears that hear, I have clean water to drink and a roof over my head … for now.  I can feel the autumn chill kissing my skin, and when I flick the switch, I have light.  I have a brain that romanticizes and tries to use my words like magic.  Because words ARE magic.  And I have YOU, my near 100 followers who indulge my stories, with over 3,000 views thus far.  I will never be Shakespeare or Stephen King or any other famous writer, but my idle thoughts are reaching out to you and to the stardust, and maybe something I’ve said will make you smile today.

I found this video tonight and it made me feel better, you know, like maybe the glass is at least 3/4 full?

If it makes YOU feel better, the following is what I had for breakfast, eaten with a spoon out of the tub, no toast or anything on the side.  It hardly compares to the perfect fried eggs and toast or crumpets my wife used to make for me in “better” days, but it is my triumph because I did it on my own, without being hurt or mistreated, and it filled my tummy.


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About DogDharma

Dog Dharma is written by a human who loves dogs and who believes dogs have attained enlightenment. The human behind Dog Dharma came from humble origins, has faced many trials, enjoyed many adventures, and taken a path less traveled. He claims no special privilege or expertise, and remains humble. Dog Dharma‘s author has learned a few things along the way, and has much yet to learn. He has been told by many people that he has a talent for writing, and aspires to write a book, but is a little too lazy and disorganized, so his blog will suffice for now. He opens a window into his life in the hope that some of his words may be of comfort, some may be a beacon or warning, and perhaps he will connect with like-minded souls. Everything shared comes from a place of openness and honesty, but with no claim that he possesses the Truth. People and places mentioned should be taken as pseudonyms. In many cases, details may be an amalgamation of actual events disguised to protect the “innocent.” Nothing written is to be taken as actual fact, but as the author of Dharma Dog‘s limited understanding. From the mouths of the Beatles: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make
This entry was posted in gratitude, Paula Khier, Paula Simmons, Paula Vanzetti and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Gratitude

  1. maggyann says:

    You are so right words are magic indeed. You use words beautifully and openly so don’t put yourself down. Why should you want to be Shakespeare of Stephen King? Someone (well each of them actually) has already done that and got the T-shirt so you be YOU and some day someone will say I wonder if I’ll ever be as good as Teddy?
    Oh and Philly cheese yum yum. Me likes this on Ryvita black pepper crispbreads, the coolness of the cheese and the sting on the pepper on a crunchy munchy base hmmmmm yes!
    As to the colours thing do you know that with practice you can see your aura colour on a day to day basis. If you lie quietly with eyes closed and concentrate on mentally ‘looking’ at the space where your third eye would be (tween the left and right one and up a wee bit) you will find colours start to flash in and out. Eventually they settle and you will have one predominant hue stuck there. I can’t remember what all the colours mean off hand but hopefully you may well find you are right with your deep jewel blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DogDharma says:

    Can only say one word, Maggie — {{{{hugs}}}}

    Compliments like that are going to have me strutting around like a peacock in full bloom, scratching for sapphire gems!

    Thank you — even my veins look a little bluer. 🙂


  3. This is beautiful. Enough to reblog it. I don’t do that very often and am quite choosy about it. It has to hit me. Hard.

    I don’t know how long you’ve been writing here, DD, but when I started out two years ago, I didn’t think much about stats, ya know? I was in so much pain, it was catharsis. Writing has held me up during the most painful of times and there is something to be said for sharing, even the ‘bad’ stuff, and I’ve had enough psychopaths in my life to make the bad more than good, but this is a reminder to me that there ARE good people in the world. Even if they are truly few. I’m working hard on focusing on that now. I found this post to be inspiring and that’s where the gift is, no matter what.

    I think as writer’s we often devalue our work and most of us know we will never be Stephen King, but for all the books out there, all the blogs, FaceBook pages, etc, there are equally as many readers who will read them and find comfort in them.

    So just know that if even ONE is reading, you’re doing good! Just recently, the follower numbers on my blog caught my eye out of disbelief after I published a post and then (as usual for me), I read them as the reader sees them when I’m done. I saw over a thousand. That’s small time stuff, but I was stunned. When I went and read my stats, I saw 1000-1500 readers a day. I was FLOORED. I’m close to 400,000 views now and one of my posts has been read 80,000 and some change, times. that’s after two years. I never once believed that I would have that many readers at all, the catharsis was/is wonderful, but knowing that maybe more than one person has been helped is the true gift in it all.

    You have something to offer. I love your writing and will keep reading your posts and will share this one too. 🙂


    • DogDharma says:

      Wow, TATL! Your kind response, and re-blogging my post is more evidence of that Force that seems to step in to catch me when I’m flagging. I feel both humbled and impassioned. I am both at a loss for words and yet choked by a geyser ready to spew of its own accord!

      As I must have surely included in one of my previous posts, there was a time when I was paid well for über-technical, geeky writing. I felt so stymied, I used Comic Sans font and inserted cartoons to make my technical documents less dry and endured a bit of razzing for that.

      The subtitle of my blog is “Mysteries explored, hope for healing, sharing the journey” and it was the catharsis you mention that I was chasing. It’s a “hope for healing” because I’m not there yet, but writing what’s in my soul, without downplaying the lingering cognitive dissonance, the gloomier days, or my own blunders is part of the flame that is the “journey.” Time and again, I go back to Emily Dickinson’s poem, “If I can stop one heart from breaking…” So, yes, if just ONE person is helped by having a ring-side seat to my baby-steps toward healing, or learning of the red flags, or having the strength to go “no contact,” or recognizing the patterns, or remembering that they can still feel the kiss of autumn wind, then I will have been blessed in making a difference.

      I created my blog and wrote my first post in December 2011, while I was still mired in my relationship with my wife, and one month after taking an overdose that almost killed me, because I was trapped in a foreign country with no way out, confused by the lies, the gas-lighting, the violence, and all manner of tawdry things.

      From that one first post, my blog sat dormant and untouched until June 2014. My “not nice” mother passed away in February 2012. My wife “destroyed” my beloved dog — her word, not mine — in May 2012. By July 2012, I was back on US soil and was buying toenail clippers, Scotch tape, and a NEW home to replace everything I’d sacrificed to be with my wife. It’s been a damn long, hard journey with many twists and turns. And some still unfolding…

      So I’ve only been blogging in earnest since June of this year. I’d had zero experience with the blogosphere, and it seems like my posts have steadily improved. I was shocked when what I thought was one of my sillier posts, “Notes from My Sofa,” got 6 likes!!!

      I wasn’t following the stats, either. It was all about the catharsis, opening the floodgates of the pain, telling MY truth. I started watching the stats when I unexpectedly heard from my wife’s “minions,” and a couple of other psychopaths from my past. I can’t even CONCEIVE of having 400,000 views!!!

      Now, the stats let me know that, perhaps, some of what I’ve shared has resonated or made a difference, and I THANK YOU so sincerely for your comment and for re-blogging my post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • DD,

        One piece of unsolicited advice: one of the things that is so beautiful about your writing is that you don’t sugar coat the bumps (if not major cement walls the size of those that protect from a flash flood in Cali) in the road.

        For just as many as I’ve gained, I’ve also lost, DD. Sometimes it’s because of my ‘down times’ that I do. People tend to perceive it as negative and sometimes even manipulative. I see it as being real. And being real, to me, is part and parcel of not only my integrity, but my values and morals too. What are we if we are not, if even limited at times, human.

        You’re a beautiful empathic man with a brilliant mind. Just keep being YOU, being REAL. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on The Ability To Love- Recovery From Psychopathic Abuse and commented:
    This blog is very well written, by a male survivor of a disordered one. For those of you who are male survivors with a high level of empathy, this blog is another great resource for recovery. But if you’re an Empath, you’ll feel a sense of kinship, as well as validation through his work. Give it a read sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

    • DogDharma says:

      Still on a learning curve with WordPress, and it’s set up to nest replies 3 deep, so I’ll reply to your last comment here.

      Finding ME again has seemed like a lost cause at imes. Part of what made me such a “delicious target” was being a little too open and honest for my own good. Being fully ME on my blog and not papering over anything has been a part of reclaiming ME.

      I wasn’t going to present myself as a pitiful victim (as much as I detest anyone “blaming the victim” in psychopathic relationships). That is exactly why I’ve disclosed about my prior suicide attempts, being transgendered, my “Marijuana Confession,” etc, all at the risk of being perceived a nutcase. I’m NOT a nutcase, just someone who has had some difficult life circumstances mixed in with some adventures, blessings, and triumphs.

      So, yes, yes, yes — there is NO choice but to be open with my blemishes, and fully human, because that is about reclaiming my integrity that seemed to have vanished when I get involved with my wife and learned, witnessed, and experienced things that left me appalled.

      Part of what I do hope to accomplish is a “safe space” or some support for GLBT survivors. We don’t exactly “fit” in the usual forums. Particularly for those of us who are transgendered, we are “ripe for the picking” because we have such deep and romanticized dreams and hopes where relationships are concerned. Wanting a “soul mate” is universal, but it goes several layers deeper for transgendered people. We are especially vulnerable to the love-bombing, and coming to realize that our cherished dream was a hoax from the beginning is a stab straight to the heart.

      As I’ve shared bits of my story on Facebook, I have been astounded and horrified at how many of my transgendered friends have been victimized and are still being victimized without having a clue about what psychopathy and narcissism really is. And for that matter, I’ve been staggered by the sheer number of “ordinary” victims who are blogging about or sharing their experiences.

      I could really rattle on about this… As I’ve blogged, my weird life, with a BA in psychology and a stint at a field placement in social work at a forensic psychiatric facility, it *should* have made me aware of psychopaths. “Book learning” doesn’t cut it. Everyday psychopaths were as real to me as werewolves and vampires. Even when you’ve been around the bend several times, you don’t “get it” until the last one figuratively or literally punches you in the nose and you put the pieces together. My wife *did* literally and figuratively punch me in the nose!! Now, at long last, I “get it.”

      And I WILL tell my story and reclaim my integrity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • DD…

        Perhaps its my own discomfort with the subject of LGBT and not because I’m against, but rather for, as my son is gay. I’ve gotten a crash course in what his life is like as a gay man and have been witness to attacks on him and on me too simply because he is my GAY son. You know what I mean? I have NO. TIME. for people who wish for their attacks (usually of the evangelical persuasion- I get them in my blog comments too when I mention him, like clockwork), to hurt me or my son.

        I’m not opposed to the ‘idea’ that others don’t agree with who my son IS (not what he ‘chooses’ because it’s NOT a choice and I’m convinced of that), but when the conversation turns to attack, I won’t have it. AT ALL.

        I knew my son was gay by the time he was about four. Being an empath, you kinda get a ‘feeling’ about this stuff. That feeling grew stronger as he got older. I never denied it and never stopped loving my son. I was not happy with the way he came out. No, it wasn’t about his being gay at all and I told him so, it was something else that I discovered that floored me. And to this day, is so excruciating, that I’ve not told many about it.
        Aside from this, I’ve ALWAYS allowed LBGT kiddos into my home, just as I did minorities. Some of these kids, when they came out to their parents, were tossed out of their homes and I fostered one of them for awhile. It’s quite a scene to watch a fifteen year old child, literally DISSOLVE in your lap, due to the rejection of that pain.

        I’ve also met my son’s friends who were Transgender. One of them is now ‘fully’ female. It’s so weird to me, really. She looks better (hot) as a female then she ever did as a guy. She looks like she BELONGS to herself…she owns herself. She went to beauty school and has made a fantastic life for herself. But the brutality with how she was treated by potential lovers and/or partners was appalling. She was clear, she said, about the ‘differences’ in anatomy before transition was complete and even though it was known by a potential lover/partner, she was BADLY used and wounded. Oddly this strengthened her but she also had the support of her mother and family and that made a HUGE difference in her ability to continue the transition and tell the rest of the world to fuck off that didn’t like it. Excuse my language, please.

        I’ve also had the pleasure of mentoring/supporting survivors who are LGBT. There are different dynamics involved and the drama is very, very high. I asked my son about this some time ago, why that is. His answer was that men can be as much of ‘bitches’ even WORSE at times, then women can be in relationship. Hard to imagine.

        While my door has been open to a variety of people, with a plethora of differing backgrounds and situations, so far I’ve managed, but I know when the differences are clear too and where LGBT survivors are better off with care, not only from a qualified trauma therapist (sorry about that, DD, I’m a HUGE advocate of therapeutic process for trauma), but also from those who can relate to the dynamics in the relationship. Admittedly, while I’m not clueless, I do feel sometimes that I’m not qualified to support in this area where someone who has shared those experiences would be.

        I hope I’ve not said anything here that comes off as ignorant and I can’t pretend to know your experiences, but I can definitely empathize with them, as well as the beauty in your written word.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you. It’s so healing to hear a mans perspective. It’s all the same pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. DogDharma says:

    TATL, you’ve said nothing offensive whatsoever. On the contrary, your son is lucky to have a mom as insightful and caring as you.

    Yes, indeed, men can be as “bitchy” as the female stereotype — a particular caricature for gay men. As for me, I’m still searching out my “inner bitch.” 🙂

    Being told I was doomed to an eternity in hell for being me and for something I didn’t “choose” by those of the evangelical persuasion — no sane person would choose this path — is what turned me off of religion. Part of the blow-back from my world being ripped to shreds by my wife has been a renewed interest in spirituality beyond the Buddhism I embraced. God is Love, Jesus is Love, Buddha is Love, and Love is the antithesis of psychopaths.

    No one who isn’t GLBT can fully understand what it is like to be gay or transgendered or both any more than one can understand what it is like to the target of a psychopath. Our pain makes us sound like the “crazy” ones, and we even doubt our own sanity for a while, until the healing has progressed.

    But Empaths CAN by definition empathize, and that too is what Love is all about.


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