Narcissism at it’s best

I have not directly dealt with a full fledged narcissist, but I definitely have been witness to the effects narcissism has on someone you love. For those who don’t know the definition of narcissism here it is.

Narcissism

Excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance. Selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy and a need for admiration. Self-centeredness.

There are certainly different levels of narcissism, and they go right up to full blown abuse. Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. A bruise will eventually fade. There is still no reason to hurt someone you love physically and that is something that is incomprehensible to me, but a bruise fades. When someone gets into your psyche, your brain, and literally makes you feel like you are the deepest level of scum on the Earth, THAT is emotional abuse. We all have rotten days where we are rotten people to a certain degree. As I have said before, none of us are perfect and there is no one that walks this place that we call home with a smile and good intentions every day. I am a good person myself, but let me tell you, I can be super mega b&*$% on certain days of the month and just on a random Monday. I hate Monday’s. But I am not a narcissist. A narcissist goes out of their way to make you feel completely and totally worthless. Like you don’t matter. Like your existence doesn’t matter. They are never wrong and you are never right. Battles are always won with them in the winners circle and you crying outside of it. They are people who have a lot of problems, both mentally and internally and being in a relationship with someone like this is damaging.

A narcissist’s behavior is charming at first. They sweep you off your feet. They make you feel special and beautiful. Sometimes they even buy your love. Eventually once they have sunk their teeth into you they start to change. They aren’t as nice. Frankly, they are straight up mean. As time goes on they almost brainwash you into thinking that you can’t survive without them, and how dare you try. Don’t even think about that. They manipulate and get so deep into your head that you believe that you are nothing. A whole pile of nothing. All the while, you are EVERYTHING. You are strong, just scared. You are beautiful. You are important, even though you are told you aren’t. THEY are replaceable, YOU are not. It took years for my loved one to see this. But they did. And they are better off because of it.

No one deserves to be made to feel unimportant. No one deserves to be undervalued. We are all equal and there isn’t a soul that is better than the next soul. It’s when you finally get to this point where you realize that your life is wasting away because of how someone else feels about you, instead of how you feel about yourself. This is when you get that “big girl panty” talk, or the “grow a pair” talk and hopefully you listen to your loved one who cares so deeply about you. I know I drill it in everyone’s head time and time again, but AGAIN, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are important. Don’t let some insecure, manipulative person get the best of you. Most of what they have said to you is probably how they feel about themself. When you gain the courage to say enough is enough and walk away, then you gain everything back. It probably will take time and a lot of effort and self reflection, but you will get back to the person you were before you met the narcissist. Life is too short to live it trying to please someone who isn’t worth it. Honestly, you’re probably never going to please them completely. A narcissist always finds fault in what you do. They only care about themself. They are not loving individuals. They are fake. They are materialistic. They are all for themselves and not at all for you.

NOT AT ALL FOR YOU. Remember that. If you are in a narcissistic relationship it might be a good time to start talking. Talk to your friends. Talk to your parents. Talk to a therapist. Emotional abuse is something no one should have to go through. I firmly believe that we treat people the way we want to be treated. If you’re being treated like crap, then perhaps it is time to give someone a taste of their own medicine. Admittedly, I am writing this from a deeply personal perspective, but I see the effects that it had on my loved one and now I see the person this loved one is and its amazing. A whole new person with confidence, self esteem and lots of love to give. That’s the kind of person we should all strive to be.

xoxo

Amanda

Dads……

I told you I would write about the importance of fathers and since my oldest child is out hunting with his grandfather and my youngest is spending some quality time with his cousins and his own father I think it’s the perfect time to talk about this. Dads–you are SO important to the children in your lives, the women and everyone else. You carry some pretty heavy loads and play key roles in little lives and big lives.

I will start with my father and the relationship that I have with him. He is somewhat newly retired from the United States Postal Service. He spent many years delivering mail and created quite a rapport with his customers and coworkers. I spent a brief amount of time considering going into the Postal Service simply because of the cookies and gifts that man received every Christmas. When I was told that wasn’t always the norm I chose to take a different path. My father and I have always had a close relationship. He is a guys guy and he loves sports. He was a star athlete in his high school growing up. He even held the school record for 20+ years for making the most points in one basketball game. As a youngster he must have seen some athletic ability in me and created a girl who loved lots of sports. OUR sport was softball. We connected on that. He would cart me to private lessons. We’d do a pitching school. He would drag my teenage ass to the softball field all summer long and make me pitch and bat. At the time, I was a 16-17 year old girl who was more interested in my friends and boys than going to the field on a hot summer day, BUT I did because if I didn’t I would hear about it. Looking back on it now, I think it was not only to get me better at the sport, but probably for him as a father, it was his way to spend some one on one time with me. I appreciate that so much more now than I did then. There are lots of things I appreciate more now because I might be a little wiser and also because I am a parent and see how fast times flying and how the relationship between parent and child becomes a little more “distant.” I guess you just get to a point where its hard to connect, and for him, softball and sports was connecting him to me. Today he has a very strong relationship with not only me, but my BOYS. That man was the most excited person on the planet when he found out he was going to have grandson’s. I know he internally was hoping for at least one of my children to be a boy. I gave him two. Brady and Brett love Poppie. They LOVE summer because in the summer they get to play basketball with Poppie. Their games are intense. My poor 65 year old father is double-teamed by both boys, because of course it is always them against him. He plays with as much heart as those two kids. He is exhausted by the end of summer and probably thankful that the colder weather has arrived. My father has taught me many lessons in life. Kindness. Strength. Compassion. Work Hard. Laugh. Live. He is helping me teach those lessons to my own little men. I would not be disappointed if they turned out to be just like their Poppie.

My ex husband is a very important person in my life. He is my boy’s father. He is a piece of them and I see a lot of him in them. The relationship that he now has with the boys is a strong one. We have all been through a lot and overcome a lot of obstacles but my kids love him to pieces. I appreciate fatherhood because it is such an important part to a child’s life. The role a father plays is instrumental in children. When you have two boys, Dad is REALLY important. I can only relate to a certain degree. I related much easier when they were picking their nose, going to the bathroom in diapers and having nightmares over scary monsters. We have reached a whole new level of boyhood. Puberty is coming and Daddy is going to be the point person for that. His role is pretty solid when it comes to certain aspects and quite frankly, Mom is just going to be support. Not that I am going to leave my kid high and dry, but there are just some things that are designated topics per parent. My Mom dealt with the “period talk.” My Dad definitely did not want anything to do with that conversation. Both my boys rely on their father for a lot of the same things many kids rely on their Dad’s for. Security and safety is probably the most important one. Dad’s are protective shields against the scary things in the world. They make you feel safe. They make you feel comfortable in a somewhat sketchy situation. They probably don’t even realize it. You guys are safeguards and I hope you know that. You make the world a better place. Just because my marriage didn’t work doesn’t really mean I don’t recognize the importance that my exes relationship with our kids means. They hunt. I am not really a hunting advocate only because I am a total softy. The boys were each given lifetime hunting licenses when they were born so basically they have been hunters their whole life. It is just something I have accepted because they LOVE it. Obviously they can’t shoot anything but I have succumbed to the fact that they will be hunters. It is in their blood. It is also something they can do with their Dad and Grandpa. THAT is what I appreciate. My father plays hoops, my ex and his father hunt with the boys. Two totally different ways of spending time together but great one’s. Dad’s and Grandpa’s are supposed to be role models. They are the predecessors to a young man’s life. They instill courage and strength and wisdom. They are supposed to show young men the right way to treat a lady. They are supposed to show a young boy how to defend himself and how to stand up for himself. They show their daughters lots of love and kindness and gentleness. They are a total package. My dad is a guys guy, but he figured out how to raise two girly girls.

You are all important to all of us. I couldn’t do half of what I do without the men in my life. Good or bad, we make it through every day and hopefully appreciate each other for the roles we play in our lives. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, but it definitely takes a village to raise kids. That village is sure to have a tribe of men in it. From a mom–thank you and we love you.

xoxo

Amanda

You are NEVER not enough

I am certain that you have days where you feel like the world is against you. Nothing goes right. Yesterday morning I woke up and I dropped EVERYTHING I put my hands on. I think I dropped the same pair of socks FIVE times before I actually was able to put them on my feet. I had to laugh at myself because in my brain I could only come up with one saying. “Not today Satan.” We all have bad days. We don’t feel well. We are stressed over our lives. We carry that with us everyday. We have children that keep us up all night so we don’t ever feel like we get our rest, and definitely not our recommended 8 hours of sleep. I can only tell you that after feeling this way for a decent amount of time I have accepted the fact that I am enough. I am plenty. YOU are enough. The crazy days wouldn’t be so crazy organized if YOU weren’t orchestrating them. The kids schedules and figuring out where they are supposed to be at such and such a time wouldn’t get done if it weren’t for YOU.

Life is so precious and honestly, so short, that we need to look past the feelings of doubt and know that we are doing enough. I can speak as a single mom, but I have girlfriends who are married and they still struggle. It’s hard being a mom in general. It’s harder being a parent. We live in a world where there is a lot of social and economical problems, WORLD problems, and trying to raise kids in that is really hard. Having a support system around you that cheers you on on the bad days, and is just as much in love with your children as you are, is a true blessing.

Kids are funny. They drive you insane. They make you want to pull all the hair out of your head. My two for instance are at an age where they basically can’t be breathing the same air. They are constantly at each others throats over the most ridiculous things, but at the end of the day they are brothers and I always tell them they will be best friends one day. As much as they test me and my patience, they single handedly make me feel like I am doing ENOUGH. They don’t say it. They don’t have to say it. It’s just this feeling that I have as a Mom. I look at my friends kids and I know it’s no different for them. They look at their Mom’s the same way. Sometimes they all look at us like we have four heads and are the most cheesy people walking Planet Earth, but they love us. Mom’s are really amazing human beings. And I want to also point out that those of us who aren’t Mom’s, but who want to be Mom’s carry the same exact fire inside them. We are all doing a good job and we are all ENOUGH. We are caring. We are compassionate. We are intelligent. We are beautiful. We are some kick ass ladies and we need to own that. There are always going to be bad days. You can’t change that. No one’s life is picture perfect, but be grateful that you are alive and breathing and you get a chance. I always count my blessings. When I think I have it the worst, I think about someone who has cancer, or is having trouble getting pregnant. Someone who may not be able to provide all the things needed for their children. I think about people that are less fortunate than me and I give myself the “big girl panties” speech and try to change my attitude. Admittedly, depending on the day AND the time of month, I can usually do it.

We all make mistakes and no one is perfect. That is just the God’s honest truth. I have made plenty of mistakes in life. I have acted like a complete fool at times. I have probably trusted people I shouldn’t have. I have cheated on grade school exams (although I will never admit that to my kids). I have given out too many chances which isn’t really a mistake. I find it a character flaw in me that basically means I am just a bit of a pushover, maybe? I certainly don’t consider myself perfect and I love that about me. Who wants to be perfect anyway? It’s ok to mess up. It’s ok to yell and scream if your kid is being a total pain in the butt. I know there are people who think a good conversation with your child and really talking it out is the best way to handle a situation, but I can tell you that sometimes that child needs to know who is boss. I love my kids and I do not scream much, but there have been times that I have lost my cool. They have lost theirs too. They scream at me. They scream BACK at me. We all have moments. That is ok.

I am going to end there because my oldest just walked in the door and he’s hungry. Back to being Mom. And don’t worry Dad’s. Your excerpt is coming. We love our Dad’s and are very appreciative to them so don’t feel left out.

xoxo

Amanda

This is ME

Hi, my name is Amanda Saunders and I am NOT a licensed therapist or psychologist and I most certainly don’t have a PhD in giving out medically sound information and advice. I am simply a 35 year old woman who is a single mom to two fantastic kids and I live a very busy life like everyone else. I juggle parenting and co-parenting, a job, family and friends, a personal and social life that is a totally new thing for me and I have been through heartbreak and sadness and all the emotions that go into marriage and divorce and raising kids. I started this blog as a way to therapeutically help myself through a tough period in my life and I am so excited to share my personal stories and victories and hopefully help someone along the way. Knowing I am not the only one that has gone through some pretty testing times is so relieving. With that being said I totally understand that there are people in the world who suffer more and are dealing with things that are beyond the scope of what I have dealt with so I am THANKFUL. That’s appropriate for this time of year. Being THANKFUL.

I am so thankful for so many things in my life, mostly my children. I am the proud mama to two boys, Brady and Brett. My oldest Brady is 12 and my youngest, Brett, is 8 years old. Raising boys as a single mother is not always easy, but definitely always fun (mostly…..). My boys are involved in every ding dang sport known to man. I am exaggerating a bit but they are playing sports year round and I literally get one week in July that is “sports free.” On top of sports they are obviously both in school and they both do very well in school, THANK GOD! I will admittedly say that my 8 year old third grader brought home math homework this year that his 35 year old mother didn’t understand and couldn’t do. I literally had to Google the question to get the answer. I cheated basically. What happened to just adding and subtracting and dividing and multiplying? Now we have number bonding. I don’t even know what number bonding is. That’s after reviewing Google. Still don’t get it. My oldest is on the verge of manhood. He will be 13 next year and we have reached the point of mood swings and sudden aversions to me eating off the same utensil as him. I birthed you. I own that fork. I basically own you until you’re 18, so deal with me eating that bite of ice cream off your spoon. Both my boys are great kids who, like every single child, has their moments but I wouldn’t trade motherhood in for the world. They definitely drive me crazy but they also have helped keep me sane. I am a total girly girl who likes to dress up and wear makeup (although I do appreciate a Sunday indoors with NO makeup and comfy clothes). I am getting to a point with my eldest child where I can see the relatability diminishing some because we are not the same gender and quite frankly, totally opposite. I can’t wait to dive into that topic because as much as I want to help YOU, I need YOUR help TOO!

I was married for 5 years to a nice guy who made some crappy decisions that resulted in a divorce at the tender age of 29. I am not going to sit on this blog and bash those decisions or that person, but I am going to touch on how it made me feel and how I managed to deal with it, because I think in today’s world marriage is taken for granted and it sucks when it ends. We all have our opinions on marriage, but my view hasn’t changed much. I believe in it. I think that it will happen for me again. I just think sometimes it isn’t meant to be for certain people. We are all different and we all value things differently. Marriage was very important to me and when mine ended I struggled a lot, but I had those two boys who picked me up when I was feeling down and I have the most amazing family and friends that are always there for me when things get tough. It’s not easy, but it’s not the end of the world either. Life goes on regardless, and you just have to keep moving with it.

Speaking of family and friends I have amazing parents who are my biggest fans and supporters. I have a younger sister who is a total rock star and who I am proud to call my best friend. My girlfriends are some of THE most important people in my life because they ground me. They tell me like it is and they make me laugh and I value those relationships so much more now than I did ten years ago. I am very BLESSED.

I have no idea what I am going to get out of this but I hope and I pray that if anything it helps one person or makes one person laugh out loud. There are plenty of funny stories that are actually real because I lived them and there are also lots of experiences that pull at your heart and make you want to cry and that’s something I look forward to touching upon too. My life is far from perfect but it is far from awful as well.

xoxo

Amanda