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 →
Lack of Empathy
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.
I was stirring the fettuccine as the door closed behind him. I looked over and noticed she didn’t look up. She didn’t speak. She kept her head down as she focused on her project. Continue reading →
She heard: Your face looks fat; I hate your haircut.
She said: That looks pretty good, but you should have done it this way.
He heard: That looks pretty good, BUT …
They said: Are you sure it’s a good idea to homeschool the kids?
She heard: You’re going to ruin them for life.
He said: I can’t live like this anymore.
She heard: Do things my way or I’m out of here.
He said: I don’t care what we do, you decide.
She heard: I don’t enjoy spending time with you enough to make the effort to decide.
She said: I don’t care what we do, you decide.
He heard: It’s okay if you spend the evening with friends; I won’t be mad if you don’t come home.
He said: That’s okay, bud, I’ll have the shop wax my skis.
He heard: You aren’t capable of waxing my skis.
He said: Maybe you shouldn’t be so sensitive.
She heard: If you didn’t get your feelings hurt so easily, I wouldn’t have to be careful about what I say.
They said: You should write blog posts that are this long, on this many days with these kinds of headings.
She heard: You are doing it all wrong.
He said: I like it better when you do it this way.
She heard: I don’t like you the way you are.
She said: I heard you, but we are doing it my way.
He heard: Don’t bother telling me what you want because I’m not listening anyway.
She said: Pack your bags, we’re going to stay at grandma’s.
They heard: We are going to live with people who let us be who we are.
They said: Love you.
She heard: Love you.
But… if you find yourself on a day when the stars have aligned, the weather isn’t nice enough to do anything else, and you’ve sourced/doted on/adored your narcissist enough, he may acquiesce.
If he agrees, be prepared to hear some of the following:
“Hey, let’s keep the mess on the table. Try to keep all the goo on the paper so it doesn’t get all over the house.”
“We don’t need those pattern thingys. Can’t you borrow some pumpkin carving tools from your mom? I don’t want to have to spend any more than I have to on this project. Besides, I can draw better than the folks that make those patterns.”
“Did you really just get pumpkin slime on your t-shirt?”
“Don’t draw the eyes so close together, that’s not what pumpkins look like.”
“We’ll keep these pumpkins at my house. You guys get your own.”
“Make the mouth bigger. You won’t be able to see it from the street.”
“No, that’s not how to do the eyes. Here, let me show you.”
“Hey, watch it! You got some on the floor.”
“Push up your sleeves. You’re getting it all over everything.”
“You guys aren’t listening to me.”
At this point, the narcissist sighs deeply, asks you to hand him your tools and says, “Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you two go watch a show and I’ll finish the pumpkins. That way they’ll be done right.”
On second thought, don’t ask your favorite narcissist if he wants to carve pumpkins with you.
“You should have used a brush instead of spray paint.” Continue reading →
“How come he says I can use his camera, and then he tells me what pictures to take, and how to take ‘em?” Continue reading →
Braced against the sheer, shaley side of a ravine, holding the handle bar of his bike, he yelled, “Dad! Dad, I need help here. I’m about to lose my bike! Dad! Help!” He was torn between letting his bike fall to the 15 foot pool at the base of the ravine, or worse, falling with his bike. Continue reading →