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
Until next time
I really respect your strength and honesty
Hi Julie. I have just read your story. So sad that this happened to you. You are now free to live your life your way. I love seeing your posts . I identify with you on a lot of things. I love to crochet, sew and lots of craft . I find that these things help with my peace of mind after having breast cancer. Wishing you all the best in your future. I will keep following your posts, and maybe we will meet one day. Stay strong. Irene Hynes X
Thank you Irene for your lovely message, we do have a lot in common and let’s plan that, I will be heading to the mainland often, so will let you know.
Hi Julie.Ive been refurbishing furniture for 2 yrs now.After starting I found out about chalk paint.I don’t make a lot of money out of it but it’s a hobby and gives me something to do .I’m sorry to hear about your past relationship and hope you find peace in little old Wynyard
Thanks, Kim, loving being back in little old Wynyard 🙂
I’m so glad you found your way back to being you again! Creating is so much about self expression and you clearly didn’t get to have the ability to express yourself within that relationship. You seem so much happier now!
Thanks, LaShelle, totally agree, felt very stifled