Six years ago, when on a road trip, we had stopped for treats and Will took a good 15 minutes to decide between types of beef jerky. (How different can they be?) Jen and I would have used the restroom, gotten our drinks and goodies, and stood by the car watching the sun setting while he was still trying to make a choice.
I remember thinking I’ve got to help that kid learn how to choose without worrying about making a mistake. He’d grown accustomed to having his choices doubted and questioned. He’d pick a blue t-shirt and his dad would say, “Why did you pick that color. You should pick green.” He would order a coke, and his dad would say, “No! You are having lemonade.”
Will had a history of making “bad” choices, as far as his dad was concerned, so any time he was faced with making a decision, he was paralyzed. Even if his dad wasn’t there.
Now, when Will drives up to a convenience store, he’s in and out faster than I am. And when it comes to making the big choices, like his first rifle or a pair of skis, he does his homework. He looks at reviews online. He asks for the opinions of others. He’ll search out a clerk at the store and pummel him with questions. When he feels confident with his choice – and he does – he proceeds.
It’s a beautiful thing to see. Continue reading →
I recently pinned a photo of a darling little girl with a quote: “I am thankful for all those difficult people in my life, they have shown me exactly who I do not want to be.” I can’t quit thinking about it. On the one hand, it doesn’t feel good to label someone a “difficult” person. Heck, I’m a difficult person, or so I’ve been told, and being called difficult does not feel good. On the other hand, I struggle with trying to figure out why I click with some and can not click with others, and calling them difficult gets me off the hook. (Why do I waste so much energy worrying about not clicking with someone? –> Lizard brain.)
None of us clicks with everyone, and that’s a blessing. How much time would any of us have if we didn’t naturally filter out some people in order to have more energy to focus on others?
But I liked the pin, and I really liked her dimples. After seeing the message, I realized that I spend too much time trying to figure out why I don’t get on with some. Are they a mirror to me? Are they reflecting back to me the stuff I need to be working on? Are they in my life to teach me some new lesson? Could it be that I am the teacher? Gawd! For their sake, I hope I’m not their teacher.
What does it mean that I don’t click with this person?
The pin told me, “You don’t need to dwell on it. You don’t need to figure it out. You don’t have to understand why you don’t get along. It doesn’t have to mean that there is something wrong with you, or with them. The pin is telling you, ‘Don’t go there. Don’t be that. That isn’t meant for you.'” Continue reading →
When an HSP goes No Contact, it will take some time for calm to seep back in to daily life. Many things that had been a struggle – things that didn’t need to be – become easy again.
Once you’ve gone No Contact, the first time you go to a restaurant, you’ll relax with the realization that you won’t feel the need to catch the waiter’s eye to express a silent apology for the inexcusable way he was treated. Remember how you would wince when the wait staff approached the table? Would your dinner date be friendly, or dismissive? Would she talk down to the waiter, or would he flirt with the waitress?
Even for an HSP, going out in public will be easier now that you don’t have to try to anticipate your partner’s mood.
Pins and needles will find their rightful places in craft projects. You won’t be walking on them any more. Continue reading →
If you have children with a narcissist, you’ve probably read up on how to co-parent with one.
I won’t go into what that looks like, other than to say that an adult with the maturity of a six year old doesn’t have any interest in parenting.
Jen recently turned 14. Somewhere during the day she was heard saying, “Four more years. Four more years until I don’t have to spend my birthdays with him.”
Will turns 18 in less than a month. You can probably imagine who will NOT be invited to Will’s party this year. Continue reading →
“How are you?”
“I’m fine. And you?”
“No, really. How are you?”
“I’m fine. Really.”
“But you don’t sound fine.” Continue reading →
She was sitting in the window and I thought, “See that? That looks like one of those photos on Pinterest.” You’ve seen them. They’re all over the internet. Those pics seem to promise a serene life with steaming cups of tea, stacks of good books, four uninterrupted hours of alone time, and a guarantee of enlightenment through stolen moments of self care.
At least that’s what I think they promise.
I assume the people who take those kinds of pictures have all the time in the world to scout around and look for the perfect photo opportunities. They don’t have to waste precious minutes picking up after their messes.
The Quintessential Pinterest Pinner doesn’t have to file a change of address form for the second time in a year, or sift through her storage unit looking for ice skates or home school supplies or a box of embroidery floss. Continue reading →
Every month this blog gets visited by souls who search, “Why did he dismiss me?” or “Why have I been dismissed?” or “She dismissed me, does she love me?”
In all these years of writing, reading and learning about narcissism, I’ve seen many differing opinions on why the narcissist chooses to dismiss.
- The narcissist dismisses you when you stop being her source.
- You’ve been dismissed because he has found a more enthusiastic source.
- She dismissed you because you no longer buy into her grandiosity or her Mega Supreme-ness. (Good for you!)
Continue reading →
I’ve consumed the Arnica Montana. I rub on the Biofreeze. I do the yoga, the stretching, the lifting of weights and the ibuprofen. Fifteen minutes ago, I wrestled the tennis ball away from the cat and stood against a wall with the ball centered on the hard lump of accumulated stress. I pushed against that tennis ball with enough pressure to bring tears to my eyes. I released and pushed again.
Some of these remedies offer temporary relief. Most of them just keep me busy with applying and sweating and complaining.
The stresses of the last 14 months set up camp in a muscle on the right side of my spine, just below my shoulder blades.
When I am walking, the pain leaves. I don’t know where the pain goes, but that is the only time that I am without pain, so I walk. Continue reading →
Hank placed his cell phone on the bar and sat on a stool.
“You must be done with your shift?” Joe sat on the stool next to Hank.
“Yeah. I’m meeting a friend at the river for a little evening fishing, but I’ve got a few minutes. How are things?”
“Things are …” Joe turned his stool to face Hank. “I gotta ask you something.”
Hank was placing flies in a small tackle box. “Go ahead.” Continue reading →
I had planned to check out the third in the Harry Potter Series, but some lucky kid, who finds him or herself with long, empty summer days, got to it first. Even with an ongoing list of books I’m dying to read, if I go to the library with one particular book in mind, it’s impossible for me to switch gears. But since I can’t go home empty handed, I stopped to see what’s in the New Books.
To preface things a bit, I must explain that I’ve believed in reincarnation since I was in high school. I don’t remember why. (I recently learned that INFJs struggle with remembering much of their childhood, and that certainly applies, in my case.) Also, as an INFJ, I wasn’t influenced by a friend or a relative. But in that way that INFJs have, I simply knew (more like felt) this belief in reincarnation and karma was right for me. Continue reading →
In the same way crows are attracted to shiny objects, INFJs are attracted to helping. It’s in our DNA. We are wired to listen and counsel. We naturally make others a priority.
“Oh, look! There’s a soul in trouble! I must reach out to her. Look, there’s an outstretched hand. I sense his need. I know I can offer some sort of comfort. I’ve got room on my list of priorities. It won’t take much. I’ve got kindness to spare and a few extra moments in my day.”
Is there anything better than helping one who wants help? Is there anything more gratifying than listening with compassion, being asked for help, and providing words or actions that make a difference?
(As I typed those last words, I thought of the few times I’ve been able to genuinely help, and how I felt so connected to the whole, when doing so.) Continue reading →
“I can’t look!” Margaret pulled the hem of her apron up to shield her eyes. “Don’t tell me what he’s saying. I can’t listen to any more.”
Gladys laughed. “Margaret, what are you talking about?”
Margaret let go of her apron with one hand, squinched her eyes shut and pointed. “Over there. That fellow on the bench. He made some kind of mistake, and now he’s mad at himself. Why must they do that?”
Gladys turned to look in the direction of the bench, as Basil approached. “Good afternoon, ladies. What am I missing?”
“Margaret is worried about that fella on the bench. She seems to think he’s being harsh on himself for some sort of transgression.” Continue reading →
Today is the day we’ve planned to drive around in hopes a new kitten will fall in love with our family. Last night, as we said our good nights and brushed teeth, we had a hard time containing our excitement.
This morning, Will has barely made it to the top of the stairs before asking, “What time are we heading out to find a new kitten?”
I assure him that we’ll go as soon as we’ve had a chance to ease in and have coffee.
A half hour later, I’m doing a coconut pull. Invariably, someone needs to ask me a question, or I need to tell the kids something the minute I’ve pulled the spoon from my lips. This morning is no different. Before I hit the shower, I want to tell them what time to plan on heading out to hunt for a new feline sister.
Sometimes the communicating during a coconut pull works. Whether it works or not, it’s always funny – a lot like playing charades. Continue reading →
I woke with a familiar, 40-year-old heartache. I pulled on my robe while heading up to make coffee. With each step, the strong voice in my head chanted, “That’s not love.”
In the dream, it was my birthday. He carefully, and in great deal, explained the gifts he’d purchased. He discussed the lengths he’d gone to in order to find the perfect items. He talked of how he’d spent so much energy tracking down these ideal presents. “Aren’t they beautiful? Do you like how I put this together? I found the perfect gifts, didn’t I?” I reached out to touch the smooth fabric and he said, “Oh, no. These aren’t for you.” I woke with a racing heart and a need to vomit.
The 12 year old deep down inside wanted to scream, “Hey! That’s not right. What about me?”
Fifty-something me knows the futility of trying to explain to one who lacks empathy. It’s equally tiresome to either point out that something hurts feelings, or to pretend that feelings aren’t hurt. I could say, “Hey, that hurts my feelings,” only to be told that it’s not all about me; that he has every right to buy what he wants for whomever he wants, say whatever he likes or do as he pleases.
And the 12 year old with tears welling up in her eyes thinks, “Next year, I’ll be nicer. Next year, he’ll do nice things for me. I’ll be different. I’ll be better.” Continue reading →
A book doesn’t care if you fold the laundry “correctly.” A book doesn’t care what time you put dinner on the table. As far as a book is concerned, you never have to sweep the floor.
A book doesn’t expect anything from you. It doesn’t get mad at you if you have other projects to tend to. A book contentedly waits for you to find a moment to return to it. You can give it 100% of your attention, or let it set there, by the bed, for weeks, before opening it up again. Either way, you aren’t in trouble.
A book doesn’t get jealous of your friends or your family or your successes or the other books you’ve read. A book doesn’t continually remind you of your failings, unless it’s one of those preachy self-help books, but it’d be healthier to stay away from those books anyway.
A book never gives you the stink-eye, or the silent treatment.
A book doesn’t mind if you eat while reading it. It doesn’t care if you dog-ear its corners, or smear a skosh of peanut butter on one of its pages, although the thought of that makes me cringe. Continue reading →