I am back house sitting and it feels great. It feels so good to enjoy house sitting again. I enjoyed a lovely 6 week sit in Melbourne back in June, which gave me the space after leaving my ex in QLD and making the move away from a toxic situation to heal and entertain friends and learn to be on my own again.
I am building my online income so I can do more and more of this. I am currently house-sitting in a gorgeous cabin on Table Cape, not far from my home base, where I am living with my parents.
The views are amazing and it is a very tranquil spot to relax,
I have had some lovely house sits over the years, all around Melbourne, & Victoria, NSW & Perth, I have enjoyed coastal sits and country sits and beautiful homes and lovely animals.
All with varying lengths from a few days to 3 months. It is a great way to explore areas and live like a local, as that is the only way I travel. I like to blend in. It’s fun exploring areas and having the time to do so.
I gave up house sitting years ago, as I wanted to settle in one spot, which I did in the lovely town of Milawa, in Northeast Victoria, and then after meeting my Ex ( Narc) I moved to Wodonga.
We did enjoy a couple of house sits together. However, he liked to take all the credit for how good he was with the animals.
I look back and not once did he acknowledge that it was my experience and my reputation and reviews that got us the house sit, hence saving us $100’s in accommodation in Perth, where we went for a friend’s wedding, and Melbourne to catch up with family.
They do twist things around to suit themselves.
A home base is important to me and that will not change, however, I will continue to do occasional house sits, mainly in Tassie as there is so much of this lovely state to see. Although I grew up here, I left when I was 30, and there are so many places, I would like to explore and revisit and have more time to enjoy what Tassie has to offer.
I highly recommend house sitting as a great way to travel and explore and happy to share any advice, just reach out.
A couple of things that help are a current Police Check and even some practice sits for friends to get some references.
I have always been crafty, I remember my nana always crocheting, doing very intricate work and cross stitch and I still have some of her doilies she made to this day. Mum was always very crafty, making perspex bags, copper pictures, cross stitch, and many more things. So it was only natural that I followed the same path. I remember doing a latchet look rug and a patchwork quilt when I was young.
When I started a family, I started sewing kids’ clothes and selling them at markets. I loved it as I was able to stay home with them and still earn an income. Was the time before the internet, however, the markets were very busy, as we didn’t have the 7-day-a-week shopping. By the time I had my daughter Jess, I was over it but I always made things. I learned patchwork and making teddy bears and many more things, I also taught Jess to sew and she has a thriving business on Etsy and I am very proud of her. Check out her site here Wesley & Tink
Over the years I have dabbled in painting furniture. I remember doing it with ordinary house paint, back when I lived in Mernda, and have always had a desire to take it seriously. However, living a nomad lifestyle for years, it was never possible until I started the stall at the Daylesford Mill Markets. I really enjoyed my vintage stall. It was a shame to close it, but it was not viable once I moved from Melbourne to regional Victoria.
Meeting the Narc.
It was this time that I met my ex at a local market, selling upcycled things and vintage, as by then I had settled in Milawa and was just getting set up doing some furniture, I had a shed, and room to do things.
At the time he was very helpful and showed an interest in what I did. I now know he was mirroring me, and it was all an act. Read more about Mirroring here.
After only a few months I moved in with him and he made a big show of giving me space in his shed and showing me how to do things with tools again. I thought it was great, but I had no idea he was slowly chipping away and taking my love of doing things from me. There was no interest shown. He joked about how messy I was, and how I had to factor my time in on each piece, making it all about profits and money. This is important if it is a business, however, this was a hobby. and it was for enjoyment. Eventually, I stopped doing things, even selling unfinished pieces, because I had believed I no longer wanted to paint furniture.
However it is in my DNA and last year before we moved to QLD, I decided to paint some of our furniture. I remember one incident where after paying for good paint in a lovely creamy colour, which would suit the Boho / Scandi look better I had decorated the house with, he hated it and made me change the colour to an antique white. We had a massive row about it, so I changed the colour and I only ever painted one piece. It was not the look I was going for and the other piece went to QLD, and to this day it is still unpainted.
I had planned to paint it during our time with our friend, but it was all too hard, I had no desire or energy to do it.
The house we had moved to in QLD had an awesome shed just for me, I was excited to finally have my own shed, and this time I thought I could finally take this painting gig seriously because until then I still had no idea, I was living with a narcissist.
However, that’s not what happened, I was working so much, and had no energy. I thought I didn’t have the time, but that’s not what it was. I now look back and can see, that I was mentally exhausted from the constant arguments and how I was being treated, and he had undermined me so long and taken away my creative spirit that it all felt too hard. I think I only had a couple of sessions in the shed, and that was it.
One of the other things I started to learn was macrame and I loved it, as painting is a messy hobby and I found macrame very relaxing and good meditation.
The Tipping Point
One of the tipping points to make me leave when I did, was a couple of nights before, I was learning plant hangers and I had nearly finished one on a Saturday afternoon, the only time I had to do things, and had to stop as the routine was afternoon drinks, something I went along with it, and initially used to enjoy, I now know it was a control thing.
He went and had his shower, so I decided to finish the plant holder, after getting dinner on. He came out from the shower and checked on dinner, hadn’t said a word, and then he started raging about the fact, that macrame was more important than him, it was Saturday night and I should have been spending time with him, we had plenty of time before dinner, I “should” have joined him in the shower etc etc ( dinner was at 6 every night – another rigid control thing)
By this time I had stopped reacting, So I just picked up the stand, walked out of the room and my only comment was, “ so I am no longer allowed to have a hobby”
I was very aware of the dangers of reactive abuse by this stage, hence I no longer was reacting and lashing back, they push your buttons so much, you appear to be the crazy one and the bully, and they then end up being the victim. It does make things harder when you stop reacting as they hate it, so they keep pushing your buttons to get you to react.
What I do find interesting is he had no hobbies at all, it was only work and more work – this is very common in narcs, it’s all about work and a huge emphasis on money…
Life after living with a narc.
Once I knew I had to leave, I started making plans, and one of the things I decided to do was get back to my crocheting, something else I loved, and do my macrame and do some local markets. A roll of cord I ordered on eBay arrived early on the day I left, (didn’t know I was leaving that day) so that was lucky.
The first thing did when I arrived in Melbourne, was buy some cotton yarn and by the second week I was crocheting bags, and dishcloths and trying out heaps of different patterns,
Crocheting is very soothing and I call it my therapy – as I produced so much, but it certainly helped calm my mind and recover from the emotional abuse. . I believe that has been a huge factor in how I feel today, totally at peace and happy and I feel like me again.
If you are struggling with life, definitely consider doing something, Youtube is brilliant to teach yourself anything. That’s how I learned to crochet & macrame.
With the help of a friend, I came up with the name “ Miss Daisy Rose, Repurposed and Upcycled Home Decor and Macrame I started sourcing fabrics – ladies’ shirts and dresses all in natural fibres to make things to sell, so it’s all about using what is already out in the world, rather than buying new and saving things from landfill. I am an avid op shopper and love that I get to do this all the time. Another thing my ex hated. Everything had to be new.
“It’s not about what it is, It is about what it can become”. Dr Seuss
I did manage to get my sewing machine, left my overlocker behind, it was in a cupboard, I had forgotten about it, I have since picked up another one locally. I sourced some racks to do my macrame, as I left them all behind, I only had an hour to pack. So it’s great to be set up with what I need, op shos and marketplace have been brilliant.
I have recently found a local place, where I can lease a space, and set it up and do my furniture a couple of days a week, which is perfect as it’s not practical to do it where I am living and now I can finally take this painting gig seriously. More to come on that in a few weeks.
I look back and reflect and shake my head sometimes as to how it happened, but you really have no idea what is going on, I certainly was not over painting or doing things it’s just that they suck the life out of you and you have no room to do anything extra, it takes all your energy just to do the normal things.
We only have so much bandwidth ( our processing capacity ) Every mental or physical action takes some bandwidth and when it is overloaded, you can’t cope
I have had so much energy since leaving, it is amazing how much I can get done in a day and I no longer feel drained and exhausted.
Life is certainly better and things are working out nicely.
I encourage you to take up a hobby, as it is the best thing for healing, and your emotional well-being, and I hope this post has been helpful. Feel free to share
I have a lot to be grateful for during my time with this “amazing” man, he did help me to be more confident and dress more confidently in the early stages of our relationship, I never wore dresses before I met him and after encouragement from him, I actually love wearing dresses, something that will continue. Looking back though that is all part of their facade, and the idealisation phase as the control is starting, but it’s so subtle, you think they are doing it to help you, but no – it’s all about them taking charge of your wardrobe and what you can and cannot wear. You don’t notice it as they make you feel so good. He stopped me wearing cardigans because he said it makes you look old. They are all about the image and he couldn’t be with someone that looked old. So I stopped wearing cardigans!!!! I also wore shorts down to my knee, thinking I had wrinkly knees, he encouraged me to wear shorter shorts, and again love them now and will continue while I can.
One thing that stands out now is whenever I bought a dress and I lived in them, especially in the summer, as it was a very hot climate, however they were always, in his eyes too long. I stood my ground and kept them at a length I was happy with, I was in my late 50’s, and I was not a teenager anymore, I look back now and think, he would be wanting me to still be wearing short shorts & dresses well into my 60’s and beyond when really that would be the last thing I would be wearing. We all get to an age where we have to accept, that what we could wear a decade ago, just does not work anymore. I still remember following this lady, I was in NZ at the time on holiday into a hotel bistro on a warm night and she had on white shorts and a tank top and looked quite young, with an older guy. however, once I saw her face, she was well in her 60s and it looked like she was hanging on to her youth, Quite sad really, now I am expecting she was expected to dress like that.!! That would have been me if I hadn’t woken up and walked away.
Image is so important and his catchphrase was looking good for each other, as so many people get slobby and I agree to a point, but it is exhausting to always be looking good. I often had stains on my tops and around the home, but it didn’t worry me, I wore one particular teeshirt toward the end a lot because it had a stain on it, that I know would have really annoyed him!!!! I love being comfortable and again that is their control over you and they mold you into becoming their ideal person. All part of the game and you don’t realise what is happening. I would be getting ready to go out and he would be picking on me, little things like a bit of fluff, etc, or fixing my collar, it was like I couldn’t be trusted to check the mirror before I left the house. We had some arguments about that as I found that very annoying, he always had a comeback with he didn’t want me to be embarrassed,. WTF – it was all about he didn’t want me to embarrass him!! It’s a mind game – the whole lot and because it feels like everything they do is because they care you go along with it, and slowly your self-worth is being eroded away. By now, it is easier to go along with it, so you stop wearing cardigans, you end up making sure you look good all the time and what you wear meets their approval. You throw out clothes to the op shop that no longer work or fit and mold your wardrobe and your image to suit them. I do wish I had my county road ¾ jeans, that I bought many many years ago in San Fran Cisco and loved and they had become fashionable because they had holes in them from wear. . They ended up too big for me as I had lost weight as they were falling off and looked daggy, but that’s what happens and you just don’t realise you are playing into becoming just what they want you to be.
As I look back, I notice that where there were some good things about making changes to my wardrobe, it was also exhausting keeping up with his expectations. I love getting dirty, especially painting, and can happily sit around in paint-spattered clothes, and with paint on me in the early days, he would make a joke about me getting paint behind my knees and how I get paint on my clothes ( i have clothes, especially for painting for that reason) Towards the end it became a massive issue, caused a huge row, because I got paint on the cooktop, and was told I had to learn to be a neat painter.
However, he bragged that he never got paint on his clothes ever, which was true. He was obsessed with cleanliness and his clothes had to be spotless. Whereas I couldn’t care less around the home and had clothes that I wore just around home. – I have even gone to the hardware shop ( before ex) in daggy paint-covered shorts.
The obsession with his image is again one of the traits of a narcissist.
The episode, with the painting, was the final straw, where I woke up to what was happening and realised I was in a verbally abusive relationship. I had heard about narcissists – but didn’t know a lot about them and i had no idea that I was in a relationship with one.
I started doing some more research and found a great support group on Narcisuuits and i discovered in there that I was definitely living with a Covert Narcissist – harder to pick and are very mean and nasty when the mask comes off.
“ A covert narcissist has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) but does not display a sense of self-importance often associated with the condition. They may deal with insecurity and low self-esteem.”
In reflection as I look back on how it all played out, it would be so easy to beat myself up and think to myself, how could i be so stupid, but no, that is not the answer, as I did nothing wrong, I was played and because it is so subtle, you are not aware. So no, I am not beating myself up, I am educating myself, and learning a lot about narcissists and by sharing my story, I hope I am able to help others to also see it. I am not going to be a victim of abuse. Staying in that mode means he still has control over me and that is not happening
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” — Maya Angelou
I will leave this blog here, stay tuned for more to come. Share this with others as you never know, it might just help someone recognize what sort of relationship they are in.
Yes, it was a fairy tale, I was looking for a life partner, and I had decided I wanted to meet someone to set up a house with and create a future with. I was 56 and I didn’t want to be alone. For some reason, I had made the decision, I couldn’t be happy unless I was with someone. Really!!!
How it all began. I had been house-sitting for quite a few years, Uber driving, and earning my income online. I had settled in a lovely part of Northeast Victoria in Milawa, and I was setting up a home. I was upcycling furniture and enjoying myself by making my home a home. I attended a local market as a stall holder only a few weeks after moving there and this lovely Rotarian helped me carry my table. We had an instant connection and the fairy tale began. Coffee that afternoon ended up being dinner, roast lamb to be exact, and he had reeled me in hook line & sinker.
Within 2 weeks he was declaring his love for me and we were spending so much time together. I lived about 50 mins away, so within a month or two he started saying, I could move in with him. I hesitated as it seemed all a bit quick, but they are so convincing and within 5 months I had given up my independence and moved in with him. I look back now and shake my head, as there were so many RED FLAGS, but I had no idea about narcissists.
I am a very trusting person and always see the good in people. So I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. On the surface, he was an amazing guy and we were so good together, in hindsight – it is called the LOVE BOMBING Stage. They also mirror you. They act as someone as though they are just like you and just what you need in order to manipulate you as they please.
Life was great, we set up a house together, and we had some fights, but nothing major, I put it down to learning how to live together. I did start to notice he was quite demanding of my attention, but hey, I thought that was normal. In my last relationship, I was with a guy and we lived in separate houses, so it was totally different, and my marriage to my kid’s dad was not a love affair by any means. We married very young and just drifted apart.
So in my eyes, I really thought I had struck gold and had a real relationship where I was loved and adored. As for RED FLAGS, like 2 ex-wives, a string of girlfriends, moving 500 plus km away to start afresh, I look at that now, and really all the signs were there. I had no idea!!!! I was oblivious to everything.
Life was great – we took country drives, traveled to Perth, and Tassie, and had a great time exploring. I really thought I was settled for life.
Slowly a few things happened, threats every time we had an argument, I had to pack up and leave, but I am stubborn. I had nowhere to go, so I was stuck. And then we would makeup and it would be great again. All the time we were together the 3 years & 3 months though, I was being manipulated, undermined, and isolated from my friends and family.
Again though I had no idea. Most of the time, we were great together and we had a great time together. Again that is how good the Covert Narcissist is at hiding their true agenda. So why would I even think anything was wrong.
Fast forward to a couple of years and we decided to make the move to Queensland that’s where it all started to come apart. That’s for another blog though.
I want to leave you with a few thoughts.
I have learned so much about Narcissuits, especially Covert Narcissists. I have also been blown away by how many people have been affected by them and also know there are so many people that have no idea they are in a narcissistic relationship. So my hope is by sharing my story. and I have lots more to share, as someone who was a very confident person, to be reduced to a person, in my daughter’s words as shrinking!!! I am not going to be quiet, I am shouting from the rooftops to help other women escape from these horrible horrible relationships.
Stay tuned for the continuation of the ” Fairytale” and if you can relate or have had a similar experience comment below