When Enough Is Enough

She could remember when seeing his name in her Inbox made her heart race with excitement.  Now seeing his name in her Inbox made her palms sweat.  She let the cursor hover over his name.  She didn’t want to click to open his email.

She’d have to decide what to write back.

Did she even want to write back?

Being nice was her thing.  She’d been supportive.  She’d been there.  She’d listened and responded.

Was there anything positive coming out of this relationship?  If this was positive, why did it feel bad?

Were there healthier places to invest this energy?

Was she opening and answering emails because she was afraid there wouldn’t be another to come along.

She closed her laptop and stared out the window at the park.


Her daughter came up and said, “Mom…  are you interruptible?  Can I ask you something?”

She looked into her daughter’s blue eyes and found the answer she’d been looking for:

Would she – one day – want her kids to
pin their hopes on this kind of relationship?


She opened her laptop and deleted his email before opening it.

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  1. Isn’t it amazing how our kids can teach us things everyday? Hope you guys have a wonderful week!

  2. Jenn,

    I know. It drives me crazy when I forget that those lessons are right in front of me.

    You all have a great week, too!

  3. Life’s little lessons . . . no – BIG lessons wrapped in little packages

  4. I often think, “Why can’t I just say no?”

    I will hint around it, hesitate, try to let them down nicely. Why does it pain me to say, “you are not for me, move on.”

    And then I think if I did get the kahunas to say it. would they acknowledge it? Or would they persist? Does it matter what I say at all?

    Even if I say nothing, the answer is there. No response will still result in another email, another text, another phone call. Their thought is that persistence is key. My thought is screaming NPD!

  5. Z,

    And as I was telling Jenny the other day… each time you don’t stick up for yourself, you might as well give a little piece of yourself away.

    Each time I don’t say, “No,” I feel a little more precious energy seep out of my pores.

  6. So true!
    Makes me think about the new hire that ditched us for another job (even though he had ours and was slated to start, he thought at the last minute that he did not meet the requirements and gave into pressure to start the other…in FL!). Instead of saying no or I need some time to the other employer, he made a poor decision. Instead of putting himself first, he thought of the ‘friend’ that put him forward as an applicant for the other job and how the job may be better for a family (even though he doesn’t have one yet). Instead of letting him go for putting others first, I talked. I told him that he needed to make the decision for himself, his friend would understand, and that if he did not want to join our group, it was ok to say so. We wanted him to make the right choice for himself. He is on his way back.

  7. Z,

    Way to go!!

    That’s what we can do! Remind each other – when the time is right – that it’s okay to put ourselves first and not be so darned accommodating.

    There’s two ends to that spectrum: on one end we find those that put themselves first at every opportunity; on the other end are those that don’t believe in ever being the top priority.

    I’m slowly crawling my way to the middle.

  8. I hate to say this, but GET A JOB.
    Whatever will let you not need his alimony, and therefore let your kids spend less time with that SOB.
    I know you like spending every moment with your kids, but your kids are paying for it.
    I’m amazed you go skiing since the kids have to “pay” for it with dreadful visits if you want to keep getting alimony.

    I’m getting sick of your whining about him. Your kids have it FAR WORSE, but you won’t find ways of not needing his money. You can’t have it all ways.

  9. Robin,

    Whether I have a “job” outside the home or not … the court determines how often he sees the kids. The only way to prevent visits is to move … away from close family and friends. I had considered that in the past, but have come to realize that without the net of family and friends, my kids would be much worse off.

    We don’t ski – as a family – with their father, so that is not an issue. My son occasionally goes with his father and a friend. My son asks to go. Should I tell him, “No,” or is he learning to deal with his father while he gets to do something he loves doing?

    I hate to say this but there are a million blogs out there about narcissism, if you don’t like my whining, don’t come back.

  10. Processing emotion isn’t whining – it’s a way to deal with personal experiences. And dealing with a person who has NPD requires lots of processing. I’m very grateful for Jesse beginning this blog on why it is so important to process through what we feel. This is one of the best blogs I’ve read on dealing with the emotions that NPD brings into peoples’ lives and I continue to be impressed by the support of the thrivers who frequent this blog.

  11. Jenn,

    Thanks a million.

    I still say that the kids and I wouldn’t be at the healthy point that we find ourselves in right now if it weren’t for the feedback received from those who take the time to comment on this blog.

    I’m so glad you are part of the Thrivers, Jenn. ;)

  12. Sounds like Robin is more angry at situations in her life and was triggered by your blog.

    Care to share more, Robin?

    (Altho I know I can’t make Jesse approve your comments…) :)

  13. Donna,

    I love your kind heart.

    For the record, Robin sent me an apology yesterday. I asked for her permission to post her apology here, in an effort to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive.

    I’ve not heard back.

    Donna, thanks for sending warm ripples in her direction.

    love ya

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