A Work In Progress

I am a work in progress and so is this blog.

First, some chronology to set the stage:

5 1/2 years ago –  Stuff three boxes, buckle two young kids into car seats, leave husband,  nice house, financially secure future, perpetual stomach aches and nicest yard* I’ll ever tend.

5 years, 5 months ago – Discover NPD and naively present the concept to narcissistic husband and helplessly watch as message falls on deaf ears.

5 years, 3 months ago – Buy tiny, cozy, safe home for the three of us.  Put holes in walls, roll in grass that is never fertilized, refuse to make beds, leave projects out in plain sight, smile and laugh every day.

4 years, 4 months ago – Youngest starts public school.  Take a temporary, part-time job with family.  Rush between commitments like every other family in the U.S.  Stomach aches start to make a reappearance.

4 years ago – Divorce is finalized. Kids seem to be coping well with divorce, not so well with public school.

—– This period is a blur of dealing with antics from the Narcissist, homework, a less-than-fulfilling job, homeowner chores and the roller coaster of a long-distance relationship.  Pepcid makes a comeback.

2 years, 8 months ago – Friend suggests the possibility that I blog about narcissism – for my healing and the potential help of others.  He sets me up with blog framework.  I struggle to write first post.

2 years, 5 months ago – Scrape together the courage to write the first post of Surviving Narcissism.

—– Nobody is reading and I don’t care.  The process is beyond cathartic.  My fingers have never typed faster.  My brain empties out onto the blog.  Healing begins.

2 years, 4 months ago – The first comment on the blog.  OMG!  People are reading here!

—–  Read lots on SEO, blog statistics, traffic counts, proper headings, adwords and stuff.  None of it feels right.  Rather than follow the experts, follow gut.  Keep writing, healing and seeing where this takes us.

2 years, 2 months ago – Quit job.  Buy less Pepcid.

2 years, 1 month ago – Pull kids from public school, ending nightmares.

—– Prolific period of writing, creating, learning and thriving for the three of us.  Friendships develop on the blog.  Connections are made.  Continue to develop tools for dealing with the N.  Tools are shared on the blog.  Feedback is good.  Still no interest in SEO or “proven” methods for making money on a blog.  Healing trumps money.

1 year, 11 months ago — Start Seeing My Path.

—– Creativity oozes out of this house.  Stomach aches are fleeting, depending on recent N visits.  Overall attitude is positive with occasional attacks of self-doubt or “what if” conversations.  Try to field questions – “What is your plan?”  “Is that the right choice?”  “What about their future?” – from others with grace.  Still listening to gut.

 

 

5 months ago – Published Seeing My Path on my own – my way, in a format that my gut approved.

__________

At five and a half years and counting, we are healthier, happier and stronger.  We still deal with narcissism on a not-so-much daily basis.  We don’t dread visits like we used to because we know how to handle them.

We are happily blazing a different trail than most, and our guts lead the way.

Feelings are our compasses.

We continually head in a direction that feels right.  If either one of us starts to feel uncomfortable with something, we hit the skids, park on the couch and re-evaluate.

Communication is our favorite tool.  We talk about everything.  If things get tense, it’s because we haven’t talked enough.

___________

As far as this blog and the writing goes, I’m working on another ebook.  Words Got Her Home  is a compilation of all the best words and tools that got us to this point.

In the meantime, I’ve reconsidered how I should price things.  I’ve been writing on this blog for over two years.  I avoid ads, membership lists, sign-ups and newsletters.   None of those things feel right to me.

I want to get my story on surviving with narcissism out there in an effort to provide some kind of help for those seeking.  That being said, I’d also like to earn some money for all this work.

This is all a work in progress.

 

As are we all.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

* Yard work was the therapy that helped me survive.

 

 

 

 

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21 comments

  1. A new book! I can’t wait! I love how happy and relaxed you and your kids are.

  2. YOU are priceless….your work is worth millions!!!!!!!
    I am with Pat…can’t wait!

  3. Z,

    YOU are amazing. Just look at your boys if/when you have any doubts.

    Love ya. ;)

  4. Yard work has saved my sanity so many times I’ve quit counting. Communing with nature while the kids run pell mell around the backyard is just the best thing in the world. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I know I’m not the only one who’s been helped by your wonderful blog :)

  5. Oh Ms Jesse!

    I am so touched by your writing, and this time is no exception.

    I spent this past weekend at a workshop where the director talked about feelings too. Following them. Healing them. Listening to them.

    Thanks to you and your kids for being such awesome examples of what can happen if you listen to your heart.

    …and for reminding me.

  6. Thanks, Jenn!

    Sometimes, it’s the looking forward to the gardening therapy in the Spring that gets us through the Winter!

    Thanks for reading, dear. ;)

  7. Donna,

    I like to imagine where this world would be if we all gave feelings the credence they deserve.

    Especially kids… if we raised them – from the start (with excellent guidance, of course) – to listen and pay attention to feelings, how many issues would be avoided?

  8. Bless you Jesse for the courage you have shown to your kids and to all of us! Thanks for being out here and sharing healing words and humor and truth.

    I am cheering for you and your beautiful kids!

  9. I get goosebumps and feel like crying happy tears a little bit whenever I read your posts…but especially this one. “Healing trumps money.” creates a special zeal inside me. A former, young client of mine is launching her blog this week…her mom has narcissisim (is a narcissist? is? has?) and at 19 this kid has wrapped her brain around what that really means, what it did and has done to her and she is writing her way out of it. I can only be profoundly astounded. I am grateful to be a witness if that’s what I’m meant to be…but part of me also longs to join the chorus (quietly, maybe, in the back row since I’ve never really liked the sound of my own voice but hearing your voices makes me want to sing.)

  10. Lynn,

    Thanks! Encouragement is what keeps us all moving forward.

  11. Elizabeth,

    Your voice will make the chorus that much richer.

    If you can, if she gives you permission, could you/would you share her blog with us?

    Sending hugs. ;)

  12. Jesse,
    You are inspiring. Thank you for sharing. It/You make a difference.

  13. Sandi,

    Thank you for reading. ;)

  14. Jesse, I will ask her, for sure. Oh my. :)

  15. Elizabeth,

    Keep us posted.

  16. can’t wait for the new book, YEA for doing what you love! :)

  17. NM,

    That’s what makes me leap out of bed in the morning. Well.. first and foremost, of course, I leap for Jen and Will. ;)

  18. Jesse,
    Thank you for your story. I’ve been reading about narcissism for a few years since my narcissistic husband left me for someone who “finally understood” him. Translate: he met someone who idolized him and made him the center of her world in ways I no longer would nor could. Now I’m living and working in Vienna, Austria and I am continually amazed–I mean utterly amazed–that I am so free. I orbit my own center now rather than his. I had developed an inflammatory stress response that has all but disappeared since we’ve split and over and over and over, though I still catch myself replaying the drama of living with a disconnected, self-absorbed intellectual, I shriek with delight over how lucky I am to have woken up, to have cracked out of what I thought was a loving marriage. Let’s just say, I’m learning to define things more honestly these days. And I’m loving my life of travel and European work. Raising a glass to you, Jesse. Keep writing, keep growing, stay honest. You’ve helped me today.
    Cado

  19. Cado,

    Thanks for writing.

    I love how you appreciate how good you have it now. I admire your strength. I don’t hear any bitterness in your email.

    I’m almost to that point – beyond bitterness. I’ll get there. And I do know those “shrieks of delight”. ;)

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