Over chocolate milk, Rice Krispies and coffee we had a venting session about yesterday’s dad visit. It used to be that our rants were punctuated with tears and “How long do we have to do these visits?” Now the rants are filled with laughs, OMGs, “Can you believe hims?” and “How long do we have to do these visits?” Continue reading →
I’m on my way to a dentist appointment. I’m wearing a cotton skirt, sandals, a faded denim blouse and a smile. I can’t remember the last time I wore nylons or had a manicure. I’m thinking about how much more garden I have to turn up before we get to start planting. I make a mental note to stop at the hardware store after the dentist. I’ll get washers to fix the hose, check out the bedding plants and grab a bag of briquettes. It’s warm enough for burgers on the grill tonight. The sun tea should be ready in time for dinner.
The elevator doors close and a woman in a tailored business suit turns, looks me up and down and says, “So what do you do?”
I guide two outstanding young people through the minefield of dealing with a narcissistic parent. I homeschool, practice living on a budget, and work from home. I wrote a couple motivational books for those in difficult relationships, and I’m working on a novel. I blog about narcissism to shed light on NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Through stories and pictures, I show how good life can be when brave steps are taken to leave an abusive relationship. Creativity, humor and harmony are on my list of priorities, right after my kids, reading and sleep. I drink too much coffee and try not to take myself too seriously.
Thanks for asking.
What do you do?”
The doors opened. As she stepped one heel out of the elevator, she looked over her shoulder and said, “Are you hiring?”
I watched the desert dust go down the drain and reached for a towel. As I stood up after wrapping my hair, I saw the spider. It had been hiding in the folds of the towel, minding its own business. I stepped from the shower and laughed at myself.
In the old days, I’d have let out a scream. I learned to stifle screams at a young age. The best deterrent for a little girl is to have her dad make fun of her when she screams at a big hairy spider. (Those screams inside my head were louder than the ones I dared to let out.)
More recently, I would have grabbed a shoe and attacked the critter. If Jenny had been standing there, I would have gone into action and saved the day.
I pulled the shower curtain closed, leaving the spider to crawl up the damp stall.
I got to thinking about what scares me now.
I’m not afraid to travel alone with two kids.
I’m not afraid of heights, but I do hang on to Will and Jenny when they venture too close to the edge.
I’m not afraid of the dark or spiders or monsters under the bed.
I’m not afraid of strangers or big cities or camping in the woods.
I’m not afraid of wrinkles or gray hairs or mirrors. (I am making progress on getting over my fear of swim suits.)
I’ve lived with narcissists.
Not much scares me any more.
Leaving town is easy. As you take off from the runway, you will breathe deep and relax. You may even splurge on a cocktail for yourself and a couple of pops for the kids. You will count out loud the number of days that will happily pass without the stress of a dad visit. Continue reading →
Have you ever stood outside waiting for the 4th of July Fireworks to start while swatting mosquitoes and listening to the bats as they whiz by your head? The first chrysanthemum explodes and your kid says, “Mom, how will I know when it’s the grand finale?” Continue reading →
My idea of spring cleaning consists of blowing the dust off the stuff on the high shelf just enough to release the cobwebs that are anchored there. When a quick puff didn’t take care of things, I reached up to pull this jar down. It’s been on my bathroom shelf since we moved to this home. Continue reading →
before they get to do all the fun stuff?” - R L LaFevers, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos
“One of you grab the iPad and look up stele. Check out the images.” Continue reading →
I see how you wince when I come running out of my bedroom with my braids flying, wearing socks that don’t match. I’m not being lazy, you know, I like my socks this way. Continue reading →
Guest Post by Zaira
“Mom, how old do I have to be again before I don’t have to visit dad anymore? I have already made my decision that I want to live with you.”
“You do live with me, honey.”
“I know, but I mean all the time. Every spring break and winter holiday and summer vacation.”
“But then you won’t see your dad.”
“Yes, but we have the memories…”
It doesn’t matter how much I reinforce that it is important to have a relationship with his dad. Nor does it matter that he doesn’t complain too much out loud. These conversations reinforce what I already know.
He is struggling inside.
Oh, how I know about that!
I know what it’s like when it’s all confused and churning inside, but on the outside it doesn’t appear that anything is wrong. To think that I have to wait a couple more years before he has a voice for himself makes my insides knotty.
I wonder to myself, why wait? But I know the system. I know it has to come at a time when it is right and unfortunately, something has to happen on the outside for them to listen. You can’t use history because they believe it will be different this time and as long as the stage lights are on, it may be.
But inside it won’t be.