Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Surviving Thanksgiving

Okay so Thanksgiving is never super duper fun for me because in the back of my mind there is always but this is about the massacre of an indigenous culture not happy Euro Americans stuffing their faces and it bugs me that other people don't really get that.  But.  This year we decided to go to Donald's aunt and uncle's house for the dreaded Turkey feast.  Cuz it would be less stressful and junk.  For the love of any God somebody please remind me that going somewhere for Thanksgiving is never EVER a good a idea.  Yeah that didn't work so much.

So....it took us six bloody hours to get to the bloody location of the Turkey feast.  Traffic out of Hampton Roads was never this bad when we were hurri-vacing, but it was awful for Thanksgiving.  By the time we finally arrived at our destination we were all too tired to do more than mumble a few words at the relatives and head off to bed.  The next day was the feast itself and we knew that Donald's mother the Sideline Narcissist for anyone who doesn't ever look at all this crap I write  would be there that day.  What we didn't know was that she was staying.  The Entire.  Time.  Really I should have just run into traffic at that point.  The fam would have the insureance money and I'd be out of my holiday misery.  But I digress.  What we also didn't know was that ten other people would be crowding into the house for the roast beast.  Now, anyone who knows anything about Introverts realizes what a problem this is.  We're basically talking Introvert Hell here people.  It was terrible.  Went down into the basement to hide out and breathe for as long as I felt I could without being rude as all get out.  Managed to choke down some of the roast beast and other food type things.  Two hours later when all the extra people had gone away oh look the air really did clear out because I could breathe again I think someone mentioned the N was staying.  This was when I really wanted to walk out into traffic.  I didn't, obviously.  But....the dread and anxiety of the whole visit made the traffic on Sunday really not that bad.

So anyway I did all I could to not be miserable.  Used the SAD light, took the Vitamin D3, and tried to be as social as I could.  Then Bess and I got sick.  Yep.  Stomach bugs are the Devil.

And it was all very uncomfortable as the N would do her passive aggressive thing always when Donald wasn't around and there I was in a house not my own thinking well shit.  If I call her on this crap then I'm going to be starting something with her in their house and they think of her as their sister and aren't I just fucked right now?  So.  Again.  For future reference journeying to a family member's home for celebrating the end of indigenous culture day is just the worst idea ever.

There was an incident with Bess and the N that I didn't realize had happened until later.  Bess found out the N had recorded her after telling her that she wasn't recording her.  So...the N violated her personal boundaries by doing this without her permission.  Bess was very worried that the N would post said video taken very much without consent on Facebook.  So as she's freaking out about that at home she asks if Donald or I should address the issue.  My answer ended up being well she cares more about her relationship with you than with me, and Dad's asleep right now so why don't you just text her?  Tell her what you told me.

So Bess did that and stood up for herself and got the whole mess sorted.  But.  She also now knows that her Grandmother will willingly lie to her.  And I expect will probably lie to her again.  So that relationship is now in the N's hands because Bess won't put up with tactics such as those.  I've taught her over the years that manipulations such as those only hurt her and they're not worth her time.  It will be very interesting to see how that all plays out.

Now if I can just get through this coming weekend when the N is coming out to give the kids their Christmas gifts.  Thankfully I'll have lots of studying to do.  At Starbucks.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tis the Season/Holiday Death Spiral

Some good news to share, finally!  I bought a Suntouch Plus light therapy lamp by Naturebright to help with my Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Cuz going to bed at 7 pm is just not cutting it.  That and I'm tired of being tired all November through March.  This particular light comes with an ionizer if you buy the separate attachment, which I didn't.  Here is information on the model I bought if anyone is interested.  It's a small, portable lamp and was under $100 which fit better into our budget.  I've been using it for a little over a week now and damn....I wish I'd bought this thing 3 years ago when my SAD first started getting bad.  The energy boost is amazing and even though the depression doesn't go away, it does become more manageable.  I also take a Vitamin D3 supplement, which helps, but this light has made a HUGE difference in a very positive way.  One note of caution:  light therapy lamps should not be used by anyone with bipolar disorder.

Other good news:  we are finally supposedly anyway done with the home in New Mexico.  I heard from my Dept. of Veterans Affairs case manager that Carrington Mortgages officially signed off the deed-in-lieu for the house on Nov. 3.  Unsurprisingly I'm still getting mail from the mortgage company who hasn't updated their files.  So once I send a letter off to them stating the VA has it signed off in their system we should be free of that house.  A really big part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop on this, but for now I'm going to be optimistic.

I also called TriCare and switched primary care managers because my Physician's Assistant pcm was just not getting the job done.  So...I need to call and make an appointment with the new doc to get back to physical therapy & request a physical.  Might as well check to make sure my iron & vitamin levels are up to snuff.

We have Thanksgiving coming up next Thursday and we're actually going to Donald's aunt's home this year.  I've got mixed feelings as the Sideline Narcissist will also be there and quite frankly I just don't want to deal with the bullshit drama that accompanies her.  So I will be bringing pumpkin pie, study material, flash drives, and headphones to keep myself sane during the holiday.

Believe it or not we've already started Christmas shopping!  I feel so flippin' accomplished cuz this hasn't happened in YEARS.  I also managed to get the kids' teachers' goodie bags out this week, so huzzah!  When we return from the Thanksgiving festivities there are even more cookies to bake & I need to get more cookie tins.  There is hope all this crap will get done now that I'm using the light therapy lamp.  But many, many naps will be had to make it all possible.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Road So Far

This is going to be rather a long post I suspect.  I was planning on posting an update about what's happened in the last couple of months, and then last night happened.  And last night had an epic amount of suck, so this is going to be longer than I originally thought.

Before I go any further, just a reminder that I don't use my family's real names on my blog, Twitter, or any other social media anymore.  It's to protect their privacy, but I find their online names fun as well.  Quick run down - Donald is my spouse, Bess is the girl, Lightning is the middle boy, Dare is the youngest boy, and I go by Callasyndra.  I suspect at some point the spawn will get their own social media accounts and so nothing I say about them will ever really translate to anything their friends or cyber stalkers could relate to their actual identity.

Probably the biggest thing to happen lately is that Donald and I are in counseling fucking took long enough I've only been asking for three years  with a very good counselor.  Within the first 25 minutes of the first session the counselor told Donald that his mother was controlling him.  It's amazing how he listens to other people rather than his spouse.  Donald was also told he had an adult to child relationship with mother dearest rather than the adult to adult relationship he should have with her at this point in his life.  There have been lots of eye-opening things to come out of this so far, but I'm not sure how much it's actually going to help the marriage.  The events of last night pretty much put down any of the good that came out of the sessions and quite frankly I'm sick of getting constant criticism when I'm expected to be loving and supportive all the freaking time.

I suppose at this point it would be appropriate to segue into last night's event.  Lightning's birthday was Thursday (he's 8 years old now and is amazingly healthy for having had a heart repair at a week old) and last night I took him and a couple of his friends (along with Dare) to play laser tag.  Lightning had played this once before with a friend of his and loved it, so we bought a few games for the kids to play and called it good.  Except that when we got there both of my kids freaked out.  Dare is terrified of the dark so that wasn't a huge surprise, but I wasn't expecting Lightning to flip out since he'd done this before.  The laser tag place was decorated for Halloween (which I love, but the boys tend to get really scared of spooky figures and spooky music.)  The other two boys didn't want to play laser tag if Lightning wasn't going to, so there I was with an upset kid supposed to be celebrating his birthday.  WTF.  The people who owned the place were fantastic and instead let us trade out a game of laser tag for bumper cars, which all of the kids enjoyed.  After that I took them to McDonald's since we didn't get to do the thing they'd been expecting and that seemed to be a hit as well.

Things were going fairly well and we were on the way home when I called Donald to let him know to reheat the pizza.  He tells me over the phone that we're going to have to talk about Lightning's birthday and 'his neuroses' because apparently in his opinion I'd managed to fuck up the kids' night.  Except that I have a functioning brain and pretty much saved the whole thing.  So I said he could totally be in charge of planning Lightning's birthday crap from now on.  He didn't like that idea either.  In all honesty I don't know what the hell he wants, but it really feels like he just wants me to do what he tells me to do.  Yeah that's not happening thank you very much for a functioning brain and the realization that people do not treat you this way unless they have problems.

So the dropping off of the children happened and then we went home.  Bess was waiting at the front door for me saying in quite the dramatic teenage voice "I was just going to text and ask when you were coming home."  Donald then jumped all over her for being demanding (which she was a bit, but I know she doesn't like spending much time with Donald because she feels like all he does is yell at her.)  I'm exhausted and hungry by this time (hypoglycemia is a bitch) so I go into the kitchen to eat something.  Bess and I are sitting at the table eating when I tell Donald he should really just take care of the rest of the birthday planning for Lightning.  At that point it probably would have made life easier for me if he'd just gone with it, but he didn't because "I don't think we should talk about this in front of Bess."  (Lightning has a long and varied history of freaking the hell out over things that probably wouldn't bother anyone else.  This is not a new issue.)  I honestly don't remember what all happened after that except by the end of it I was in tears.  And the one thing blaring through my brain at that point was I NEED A FUCKING DIVORCE.

So I'm going to bring up in our next counseling session that night because one of the big things the counselor has pointed out besides the mother issues is that Donald is very critical.  All the time.  And doesn't even realized he's that way.

Took a bit of time to breathe, process, and go to another counseling session before finishing up this gigantor post.  Still really irritated about the criticism, but we did talk about that in session.  Other things that are happening right now include still having problems with my PCM who for whatever reason doesn't believe I have a pain issue.  My physical therapist has noted in her progress reports that my pain isn't so much helped by physical therapy.  The last appointment with my PCM was Oct. 16 when she signed paperwork for me to get an at home TENS unit (woohoo for pain relief) but then neglected to put in the medical code for said pain relief so now I'm waiting on her.  Again.  And she didn't put in the new referral I needed for physical therapy.  It's time to change PCM's, but I need to check in with my physical therapist and see if she wants me to wait until the new referral goes through first.  It's a big PITA when people don't believe you're hurting because you're still functioning.  I just don't get it - aren't doctors given training on people with high pain tolerances?

Anyhow, we are now at the point in marriage counseling where Donald and I talk about how much we want sex/intimacy in our lives.  And the thing is....I just don't.  I don't want sex at all.  Haven't for some time and mostly think it's because of the trauma from childhood that I STILL can't fully remember.  The really very nice and experienced counselor offered to talk to me privately about the trauma I mentioned very briefly and I just may take him up on that.  Because I've been wanting to talk to someone who knows what the hell they're doing for awhile now.  But the thing is....Donald's all "I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to help you through this" and I just....don't know how to feel about that.  Because our relationship has never been focused on my needs.  So that's gonna take some time to deal with as well.

Lastly, yes this post was named after Supernatural, which Bess and I have been watching on Netflix.  We just got to see the 200th episode aptly titled Fan Fiction and oh my.  It was so very worth a rewatch.  This particular road's far from over and I don't know where it's going to go, but I'm hoping there's going to be a light at the end of that road.  Gotta work on me for a while and see how that goes.  Then I can decide on whether or not the marriage is worth all the work.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Narcissism Resources

I’ve been dealing with Narcissism for about twelve years now.  Little did I know it at the time, but I married into a family who had three members who were extreme Narcissists with enough diagnostic criteria to match Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or NPD).  Once I figured out NPD was actually a thing and I wasn’t losing my mind, I looked all over the internet for information on it.  As I found websites, blogs, articles, and people on Twitter who were also dealing with someone who had NPD in their lives it occurred to me it might be a really good idea to put some of these resources into a blog post.  Because those of us dealing with NPD people need all the help we can get.  So…here it is.  I really hope it’s helpful and please feel free to add any additional resources in the comments J


This was the very first website I found on NPD.  The author has since transitioned, but a family member has kept the site up and running bless their heart.  This was the first place that let me know I wasn’t losing my mind in dealing with the N’s in my husband’s family.  To this day I know people who go to the site for affirmation and solace.

This site is for personality disorders and offers forums, books, links, and maybe most importantly, a section on what to do in an emergency situation with a person who has a personality disorder.

I set the link for this one on what narcissism is for any newbies.  Great information available here – definitely check it out.

Online Communities

This was recommended by a friend who has an N in her life.  Looks like a great community with resources available.

This community was also recommended by an acquaintance with an N in her life.  Looks like pretty good stuff!

Online Articles

Originally I just stuck all the articles up on this post, but as I found more it occurred to me that it might be helpful to have them a bit more organized.  So here are the organized online articles:

Tips and Warnings


Michelle is hysterically funny and very real.  This is a wonderful place to go and visit when you’re feeling frustrated with the N in your life.

This has become so much more than a blog – you could almost say it’s become a community for those who have an N in their lives.  The blog is written under the pseudonym Jesse Blayne (anyone who has a Narcissist in their lives will know why this is written under a pseudonym) and is my very favorite place to go when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  Jesse calls us thrivers = survivors of Narcissism who are thriving.  It’s one of the best feelings to think of yourself that way.


I'll be adding more of these as I come across them.  These are video blogs from youtube, so if you'd rather not watch a video then don't click the links.

How to speak to a Narcissist

This vlog has been placed in the top spot because it has an excellent (about 7 minute long) description of narcissistic behavior.  This is the first vlog I've seen from Dr. Greg Hamlin, but I'll definitely be checking out more of his stuff.

Signs of Verbal Abuse

This vlog is by Noel McDermott who posts lots of good stuff on Twitter.  He gave me permission to post it and I'll be keeping my eye out for any others he puts up.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Here's another one by Noel, which does mention narcissists and gaslighting along with other signs of emotional abuse.

Early Warning Signs

Dr. Craig Malkin is doing a series of videos on Narcissism to help people understand if they're dealing with an extreme narcissist in their lives.  This video gives some early warning signs of gaslighting.

Diagnosing Narcissism

Noel explains how he diagnoses narcissism and also mentions the best thing you can do if involved with a narcissist is take care of you because the narcissist will rarely want to seek the help they need.

Saying No, Being Loved

Boundaries are so important in any relationship and this vlog gives some good tips on how to set a boundary and deal with fall out from that.

How to Set Healthy Boundaries

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to set firm boundaries.  They are meant to protect our inner selves and values.

Empathy and Codependency

It's important to know there's a difference between these two things.  Codependency is a sign of being uncomfortable on your own while empathy is a sign of trying to make another person feel better.

Holidays Rock and Hard Place

This vlog was done by a user on You Tube (Narcissism Survivor) who has lots of videos.  This particular one talks about the holidays and how to deal with people who don't understand the dysfunctional family system.

Traumatic Relationships

Dr. Craig Malkin talks about how trauma and dealing with a narcissist go hand in hand.  Unfortunately, my experience has been that if you've been emotionally traumatized before it tends to attract narcissists and other toxic people.

When the Golden Child Turns

Talks about the scapegoat and golden child in the household of the Narcissist.

You're not Allowed to Have Feelings

Why does the narcissist not allow you to feel?  Have you ever had a discussion with a narcissist and been allowed to express your feelings?  I'm not sure I agree that narcissists can't feel, but I do believe they believe their feelings mean more than anyone else's.

Triggers, Up and Down

This is a good discussion of how the most normal things can trigger someone who's dealt with a narcissist.  This one also talks about childhood sexual trauma so keep that in mind if that's a trigger for you.

The Narcissist's Cycle of Abuse in 4 steps

This vlog is by the You Tube user Understanding Narcissists and presents a good example of the wrath of the Narcissist and how that follows through.  Something that really struck me with this one is the need for the Narcissist to be around someone else.

Adult Children of Narcissists 

There are so many issues adult children of narcissists face, and many of them don't even realize their childhood was mired with emotional abuse.  Others are in complete denial of there ever being a problem.  For those who have realized that just because their parents suck doesn't mean they have to suck - these links are for you.  







On the same note as children who grew up with narcissists as parents there are those who developed codependency because of their relationships with a parent.  Here are some places to go and get information on codependency.






Books – Coming Soon!

There are a couple of books I'll be adding to this section soon.  And as with all the other sections I'll keep adding books as I find them.

The Narcissistic Family:  Diagnosis and Treatment
by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert M. Pressman


This book isn't about NPD per se, but it is about what happens to kids whose parents can't actually take care of them.  Most of the situations in here are about abused kids, or kids raised by alcoholics, but what I noticed is these parents have the same inability to empathize with their kids as a narcissistic parent has.  So, I'm listing it here because it was helpful to me and I hope it will help others, as well.  The actual book review I wrote can be found here.

Other Stuff

Humor is one of the best methods of dealing with NPD in my personal opinion.  So again, in no particular order, are some funny resources:

If anyone wants bigger copies of these please let me know and I can email them to you.  The last picture is from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and I would LOVE to have General Armstrong take care of each and every Narcissist I've ever had to deal with.

This idea is hysterically funny when you think of a Narcissist receiving it, but unlike the previous three funnies this one comes with a common sense warning.  If you have realized someone in your life is a Narcissist then you have probably been on the receiving end of their rage.  While any other person would laugh off getting glitter bombed, a narcissist may very well harass the company until they get the personal information for the individual who slighted them.  Read the FAQ section (located via link at the bottom of the website) carefully and seriously consider if the Narcissist is still in your life whether glitter bombing them is worth the havoc that will ensue.  With that in mind I give you:


I'm not going to list any Twitter users because some of us like our privacy, but if you do a search for #NPD it should bring up quite a few of us.  Please feel free to join in the discussion, but know that Twitter has a wonderful feature called Block.  (Yes we've been trolled by Narcissists on Twitter, too.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Latest Holiday Mess

        I waited until long after the holidays were over to write this because the holidays tend to make me oh so reactive & I tend to not write blogs well in that state.  It’s the insane amount of stress that the holidays induce which makes me such fun person to be around in November and December.  That and the inevitable visit from the least favorite person in my life -> the Sideline Narcissist (otherwise known as my mother-in-law.)
          The irony here is that Donald (actually had to look bag at older blog entries to see what his alt name is hee) Bloody Loves the holidays.  Of course, his contribution to the holidays are usually cooking the turkey and putting up the Christmas tree.  I handle pretty much all of the rest because if it were left to Donald it wouldn’t get done.  (Procrastination does not work well during the holidays.)  So while Donald gets all giddy at the approach of the holidays I pretty much turn into a zombie who tries to feel as little as possible just to get through it.  Yay.
          Anyhow, the inevitable visit occurred as it always does.  And Donald’s anxiety increases as it always does.  And the Sideline Narcissist proceeded to complain about anything and everything in her life because that’s pretty much her modus operandi.  My personal favorite was when she began to talk about her niece referring to her as “Princess ….” and definitely not meaning it in an endearing way.  The kicker was the Sideline Narcissist was obviously jealous of her niece’s relationship with the SN’s sister, but instead of admitting that she painted the niece as being entitled.  (Cue the laughter from those who have ever dealt with a Narcissist.  Cuz this is pretty much their trademark.)  Donald definitely gets points for this next bit as he interrupted her and asked how “Queen Narcissist” (obviously he didn’t call her that, but he did use her first name) would be arranging the visiting times since she was displeased.  It was pretty epic.
          The SN has made several attempts to overtake her niece’s life and it makes me sad that no one in Donald’s family will call her on her shit.  Because of past experience I don’t deal with most of the drama that happens regularly in Donald’s family.  I pretty much just stay as far away from the Sideline Narcissist as possible and educate my kiddos on what are healthy emotional behaviors and those which aren’t. 
          So the holidays are over (Huzzah) but Winter hasn’t left yet and my stupid Seasonal Affective Disorder is in full swing.  Thankfully the depression isn’t as bad as it was last year…it’s the being tired that’s killing me this year.  That and the nerve pain that flares up every Winter.  Also, the Sideline Narcissist is making plans to come out in February.  In my beleaguered state I’m seriously considering getting a hotel room the weekend she’s coming out and giving myself a mini-holiday.  It’ll piss Donald off but I’m finding more and more that I just don’t care.

          On a good note I’m reading a great book called The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron which is giving great insight on so many levels.  It was less than $10 when I purchased it through Amazon, so definitely worth the money.  Also, I’m getting quite a bit of writing accomplished.  So good stuff.  Gotta remember the good stuff when the SAD kicks in and all I want to do is sleep.