Confessions of a narcissist.

19 01 2015

Redemption comes in the most unlikely of places.  Mine came by way of my three children  Shane, Larkin, and Darbylynne. I met the man of my dreams, almost lost him, and then found Heavenly Father. Through that journey, I learned that being a mother is one of life’s richest blessings, not a curse or a bother.  To my horror, I learned I was exhibiting some narcissistic traits, just like my parents. My children saved me from a life of heartache.  They are my redemption.

Narcissim. One of the most painful personality disorders to be exposed to as a child, can be hard to crawl out of as an adult.  After all, your most import relationships after birth are with your parents.  But what do you do when both your parents are narcissists? Head into counseling and give it time. Pray for your heart to forgive and allow the feelings you work through the validation they need to heal.

My children inspired me to change. They taught me a different way to exist.

Before you can heal, you need to know what exactly you are dealing with. You need to understand it and how to combat it.

Want a really good idea of how a narcissist behaves, research it on these two websites:

http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com

http://www.outofthefog.net/index.html

Combat it with this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

 

If your feeling adventurous, buy  the work book. This is not for the faint hearted. Be ready to do some serious soul-searching.

 

After reading these websites, I mourned my childhood. For three days, I  was depressed and in shock.   I cried. I wept.  I changed.

For the first time in years, my husband and I  had an honest and loving conversation about all the things I experienced growing up. For the first time, we discussed some concerns we both had about my behavior. In this heart-wrenching conversation, I realized how selfish I was with my time, my energy and my love. A rude awakening indeed, but growth is never ever easy.

I morphed into something much better though; despite the hurt feelings and difficult conversation that was needed. I was allowed the freedom to express my anger and hurt and so was he. My best friend comforted me as well. I no longer owned the hurt child from long ago. I broke free from those chains. She still exists but she is free from the bondage of them. Free to feel loved and free to authentically love others.  I could not have done it with out her either.

I had no boundaries what so ever, which of course is one of the biggest signs of adults who have been abused. Children of these parents never learn any boundaries. Everything they do is an extension of their parents.  Every failure, every success, nothing in our skin belongs to us. I saw things in other friendships that I had to fix too, instead of fixing myself. Classic-denial. Critical in every fashion, controlling in every venue too. Two character traits I owned.   I used my happiness with them as a barometer of how much I loved them…..Exactly what a supportive, loving parent should never do to their children!  I cringe when I think back at my early days of motherhood. It took the love of a man and the courage from my Heavenly Father for me to really see what was going on in our house.

Never again. It stops with me. These were the words I spoke to myself when I was growing up. These were the words the dictated my life.

Therapy took on a new direction. Now I had to rewrite the tapes inside my head. Now I had to tweak me!

 

Shane, Larkin and Darbylynne are worth every bit of my energy and time. They are worth every moment in therapy. They are worth every extra effort I need to make, because they were the gifts given to me by my Heavenly Father. I will be held accountable as to their treatment when I look St. Peter in the eye upon my death. How can I do anything less than change the things that hurt and damaged me? If I don’t, they could to hurt and damage them!  Children inherently require time and diligence, because they are  so needy! They are too young to navigate the world without our assistance. They need our gentle, loving hand for guidance. They need us to point the way to our Heavenly Father. At some point, they will require our love and reassurance as they step out into the brave new world laid out before them. How do they do this with selfish, controlling, manipulative parents? How do they do this when they have parents who have never healed or dealt with their issues?  They can’t. It is that simple. They won’t succeed in pretty much anything either. Children of narcissist parents typically don’t even realize how much they are lacking in boundaries, social skills, healthy relationships, and genuine love. Some never have a clue as to why life is so hard and so demanding. Some stay stuck in their own private hell, wondering if they can ever get off the abusive train of narcism. They are conditioned to think they are crazy and they wonder if everyone that comes into their lives will be just as cruel as their parents.  I know this. I lived it daily.

Most victims are unable to recognize the abusive tendencies of this mental disorder, let alone in their own parents.They also fail to see how this mental disorder breeds more narcissistic people, including themselves. They also can’t seem to get away from these people either. Why?  Because those who are victims of narcism are marked. Combine that with lack of knowledge of narcism and it is perfect-storm.  Narcissistic personalities, by their very nature, can spot a person who fits their victim profile.  I know this first hand. When I finally understood what narcissism was and how it affected my life, I quickly said no to those type of people.  I learned boundaries.  For a narcissistic personality, it is all about manipulating another human being, getting ahead, serving the self.  It is about control.

Words are powerful weapons for these types of people. They tweak them and change them to fit their agenda. But there is hope. One extremely powerful word stops it all! You have this word in your arsenal!

No!

Learn to use it. Breath it in and just say it.

No!

This is the best weapon.  Learn to place boundaries up, not just for you, but for your loved ones too.  I take it as a personal challenge to teach my children boundaries now.  They are learning what healthy relationships look like and they are learning how to combat unhealthy ones as well. If I don’t teach them, who will?

No longer will I take the burden of my parents and carry it as my own. No longer will I be the all-encompassing person to make them happy. They have their crosses to bear as I have mine. I have three beautiful children. I refuse to squander this opportunity with them to enable either of them to not grow up and learn from their mistakes. Life is too short. I have learned from my mistakes, I have owned them  and it is time they owned them too.

Redemption; it is found in the most unlikely of places. My children saved me from my parents. My children saved me from myself. My children showed me how save them.

Thanks be to God!

 

~m

Dedicated to Larr. Thanks for the kick in the butt!

 





Possession

7 08 2014

Possession is nine tenths of the law.
We have all heard this at one time or another pertaining to various objects or things we own, especially in disputes over them. How does this apply to our children though? Sitting here in car pool line for VBS , I just can’t let go of something my dear friend Lori said in an earlier conversation.

“Nobody has the right to be around your children. You decide who has the privilege. You are the gate keeper to that access.”

I never took that honor seriously until I started homeschooling. Who we associate with, who we spend time with, sends a silent but unequivocal heavy message to our children.

Heavenly Father commands us to love our neighbor. Jesus asks Peter three separate times if Peter loves Him. Each successive time Peter confirms His love for Jesus, He commands him to tend to His flock. ” Feed My Lambs”, ” Shepard My Sheep”, and “Feed my sheep” (Tyler 2010) Jesus expects us to love one another. Heavenly Father expects us to accept people where they are at too. Ponder those words for a moment. How do you model loving your neighbor to your children? What type of boundaries do you set for loving them? What do those boundaries look like?

I am noticing a disturbing trend over the years. Parents do not seem to be modeling any boundaries for there children. There seems to be a Laissez-Faire attitude towards parenting. Children don’t just pick things up, they need guidance and nurturing.

Our neighborhood has provided many opportunities to love our neighbors with boundaries. Homeschooling placed this at the forefront of our discussions many nights at the dinner table. We live In a lower middle class area, with high crime. Break ins occur frequently. Theft of Christmas and Halloween decorations occur yearly! Neighbors do not take care of their homes like they should and this just encourages those with bad intentions even more.

Access to playing with our children for some of my neighbors is strictly monitored. Some are no longer permitted access any more either. It has to be this way, as Heavenly Father placed it on my heart. Sexual predators are everywhere. Many parents here don’t give a thought about knowing the neighborhood children at all. Many parents do not take the time to even introduce themselves to other parents either. I am not that parent.

Over the past few years, several of my closest friends have dealt with some sort of sexual abuse in their neighborhood or home.
The last 24 hours, I have been on my knees praying for a sweet friend and her daughter. Her daughter refuses talk about what happened to her. All the signs are there. She had been sexually abused somewhere in her short life. Her anger runs deep. She hides her suffering quite well.

This has to be acknowledge and nurtured…..No matter how painful, because any type of abuse, especially sexual is generational. Generational. It will repeat itself. Parenting mindfully is a lot of work. Memories of my own deep dark secret crept up during this time. I never told anyone about my sexual abuse. I shoved it down and hid it. Unlike so many children, I walked away and did not allow it to define me. A neighbor, someone trusted by my parents, inappropriately touched me. These incidents, coupled with a recent one involving a neighborhood child and my daughter reset all our family boundaries.

A little girl in our neighborhood inappropriately touched our daughter. Thankfully I walked in on it. After a long conversation with her mother, my gut screamed denial on the all ready over worked and over burdened neighbor. But my first concern is Darbylynne. Not pleasing her mother or saving her child. Cold hearted as this sounds, I will not allow this happen to her.

Sexual abuse scars the soul. Those scars heal very, very slowly. No longer do I trust people so freely. I have no problem accepting people where the are at, but they will not have access to my children until I know they are safe to be around. We will meet the parents of our neighborhood children, or we will not play with them. Getting to know a bit about them is paramount before my kids are allowed in their home, or even having their kids in ours. I used to feel sorry for those less fortunate than myself and go overboard in my classroom and in my neighborhood to help others. I would sacrifice to help others, I still help when am able but I will not sacrifice my self or my children. There are healthy ways to help others.

It is not a right to be in our lives though. It is a privilege.

I urge you to step outside your four walls and be an active participant in your neighborhood. Your children need you. They need to see you care about their friends. They need you to model how to love your neighbors with healthy boundaries.

Blessing,
M

Zan Tyler, Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential (Anderson, IN: Apologia Press, 2010), 45





Mindfully spending time…

21 07 2014

image

 

Recently our family ticker has focused on the theme of mindful parenting. For myself, it started a year ago with Heavenly Fathers insistence I become more mindful of who and what I spend my time on. For those of you who are unaware, homeschooling is not all about eating bons-bons throughout the day.  It can be a logistical nightmare if you do not learn how to effectively juggle.  You learn, and I might add very quickly, to juggle housework, schooling, spouse time, and the ever important personal  time to prohibit crazy mom syndrome from appearing,  all while juggling activities for  each childs’ individual needs.  It is not an easy feat.  Through this process, I became extremely  mindful about what we did as a family and as a school.   These lessons came crashing down pretty hard on my hubby all at once when Larkin needed him the other night.

Homeschooling is still new to him as he was on his 4th deployment when we experienced our first year. He missed so many things. During this past week off work, our son Larkin, who is shown in the above picture, broke out into another rash.  So often I submit my tired body to the cause of motherhood and whenever nurturing is needed, I jump in head first. Natural instincts kick in during times of stress. This time was different. My son requested his father’s presence until the medicine kicked in for the hives. He wanted Jeff to sleep with him and snuggle with him. This was new territory for both of us.

My hubby and I were never ones for co-sleeping with our children. I changed when we had Darbylynne.  It went into over drive when Jeff deployed.   I needed her with me because I missed him immensely. She was still small and I was lonely.  Additionally, the kids and I started weekly slumber parties.  Sometimes we would read or play games. Sometimes we would invent stories and often times we would pray together.   Now we are constantly asked if they can sleep with us. We even take turns snuggling with them and sleeping with them  in our bed or theirs.

After Jeff and Larkin’s boys night,  my hubby realized  how much the boys needed him. He felt it in his heart.  Keep in mind, I have been praying for this realization for Jeff for two years. I have told him repeatedly how much they need him.  He never felt it until now. It never really sunk in how much they loved him and looked up to him until Larkin expressed a need to be with him.  Over the last few days and series of conversations, this realization has evolved into the idea that what we give our children and what they need are two very different things. Sound familiar?

Three years ago we were paying for the best local private school in the area. I was volunteering and doing all the right things for our children; things that we perceived they needed in order to be successful in this world. The one thing we were not doing though, was spending quality time with them. Rushing from activity to activity was keeping us busy, and we were not mindful of what they really needed, which was our time.  By our actions we were telling our children that the things we do were more important than time we spent with them. Homeschooling forced us to be more mindful of whom we associated with; it forced us to examine what morals we wanted installed in their character. It forced us to reexamine every aspect of our parenting. Character become one of two focal points in our homeschooling education program; mindfulness of Heavenly Father was the other.

We are asked to spend time with Heavenly Father daily and weekly in prayer. We are asked to cultivate a relationship with him. Relationships take effort and time.  Doing things for our children is not the same as spending time with them.  It is in spending time with them, we learn about their personalities and we are able to guide them through their lives. Children need guidance from their parents. They need to be shown how to be Christian men and women in a fallen world and that takes effort and mindfulness on the parents part.

So many parents do the right things and forget to spend time. Society suffers because of this. Prison population is on the rise. Gang membership is on the rise. Teen pregnancy is on the rise as well.   So many parents do not have balance within their own lives to even notice the children they have given birth too. They are too worried about paying the bills and doing their job to even realize the gems they have right in front of them. They leave it to the schools, the neighborhood and the church to raise their children. Trickle down economics does not equate with raising children.

I am not boasting that our family way is the best way to accomplish mindful parenting and I certainly not saying that our way is the correct way. But what I want to challenge you to consider  are you spending enough down time outside TV, play dates, schoolwork, doctors appointments, activities and life in general with your children?  My husband had a great father, but he has no memories of spending quality time with him. He has no memories of sharing intimate thoughts or emotions with him either. He was expected to understand what manhood is without intimate guidance from his father, as was I when it came to motherhood.

I do not want this for my children. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I do not know them intimately, know their quirks, their fears or even what makes them laugh. Heavenly Father expects us to be transparent in our relationship with him as well as intimate too. You can’t be intimate with your children if you do not spend time with them, just like you can’t be intimate with Heavenly Father if you do not make time for Him either.

I really close friend of mine is about to lose  her father in law. In talking  with her yesterday and sharing her story with my hubby, all three of us came to some pretty deep conclusions. Our hearts ache for this situation.  This  man, who will be leaving  this world, knew  he fell short with his children. He was given the gift of more time with a  dilapidating disease.  He did nothing with it though. He never moved into a more intimate relationship with either of his sons.  So as his sons go to see him off, he leaves this world knowing he failed them and this causes baggage. Baggage that could potentially keep him from a beautiful life with Heavenly Father; his soul is in pain when it should be a beautiful time to rejoice. My soul grieves for all the loved ones involved here. I am not sure about you, but when I go see my Heavenly Father I would prefer to not leave behind any unfinished business.

My prayer for you today is you become more mindful of your time and who you are spending it with. I pray you find balance in your own life not only as a parent but also with your spouse.  I pray you are more mindful with how you spend time with your children. Lastly,  I pray they become the focus of your life after Heavenly Father.

Be at peace,

~m

 





For whom do I speak?

16 07 2014

Matthew 10:20

For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

I have messed things up. I have hurt people’s feelings. I have spoken with my heart though and relationships are messy. I have loved others as I am called to, even when it makes no sense for the outside looking in. I have made mistakes. I am a sinner.

Living transparently with His guidance is tough. It is not cut out for the faint hearted. But nothing ever worth its salt is ever easy and if we rely on Him He will get us through it. He says so in Psalms 91.

Unfortunately, too many of us hide behind our fears. Heavenly Father wants us to speak and act boldly. He encourages us to follow Him even when it makes no sense, He expects us to act even when we are overwhelmed and not at the top of our game. Sometimes people and their issues happen to get in the way, because relationships are messy!

I have been afraid to blog because of my fear of what others may think. This was a very difficult hurdle for me to cross over, let alone to admit too. To you my dear reader, I owe you an apology. To my Heavenly Father, I ask for forgiveness from straying from the path He placed before . I had a fearful heart. I was afraid to execute. I ask for His and your grace.

You see this past few years,I gave myself so completely and thoroughly to what my Heavenly Father called me to do.. I forgot that an attack from the other side was emmnant; attacked I was too.

One of the things that hinders my journey is my lack of knowledge on how to have healthy relationships. The mistakes I made caught up with during my time of focus hurt my relationships after. My other hindrance, which is low self esteem, was hijacked by the other side on top of that. So I kept hearing accusations whenever I returned to our current church. I kept feeling shame. Other peoples actions just magnified this situation. The other side used this to keep my relationship with Heavenly Father in a state of fear. I was unable to focus on my task at hand because of the noise I was hearing at church. The other side used my unhealthy relationships to make me feel even more unloved, unimportant and unwelcome at a place I used to love and cherish. For a child of narcissistic parents, this state of mind created another level of heartache. Whenever things fail in my life, I go to place where it is always my fault. This is how I was trained. There was never forgiveness from either my parents. It was all about them.

My relationships at church suffered also because of others humanness. The blockades to heavenly father continued to grow. It was just a matter of time before I stopped attending. Many other things played a part in this decision too, but coming out of it, I realize how beautiful my current friendship are now. They are transparent friendships, which led to spiritual growth and also emotional growth. Authenticity leads to transparency and many people today can’t handle authentic, transparent Godly relationships. Stepping away from some unhealthy ones, lead me to develop healthy relationships with boundaries for the very first time!

I have been told what we do in our family is not christian, it is Wiccan. I have been told I am too passionate. I have been told I am too pushy. I have been told that I may not be at the right church by one of our own pastors as well. People I once respected hurt my heart more than I could adequately describe. But I see now, this was not just about me, but also others.

For someone with my family history , these things ate at the very essence of my soul. My shame for the woman I became at this point was doubled while my husband was gone. But I pressed on.

My Native American heritage is mostly unknown to me. But what I do know and practice could be nothing further from anything dark. I know my heart for The Lord is beautiful and radiates. I am His to command. For the first time ever, albeit small, I understand what it like to be discriminated against for my heritage.

Two years was the length of time it took to come to terms with this situation.
Two years but worth every minute.

What I learned from all of this is walk strongly and boldly for Heavenly Father. Transparency, authenticity are the fruits of the spirit we are to share with one another no matter what the rest of the world does. There will be times when you are misunderstood. There will be people who will judge you. Despite your best efforts to be a follower of the great white spirit someone will always judge you. It will hurt. It may tear your soul up for a time too. Don’t give up though. He will be with you and He will love you despite your fears. Remember too that those in church with you are sinners as well. Otherwise they would not be there.

My prayer for you is walk, speak and act boldly every day for Him!

Blessings,
m





Streakin Shearins

20 10 2013

We are so hung up on clothes.  I am raising my children to be nudists.  Just ask my neighbors and my friends.  We bare all as a family.

Jeff had to of known something like this was coming.  It has always been hard for my army man to let go; to just fly like the wind. Raised Baptist, I have floored him a time or two during our relationship. The first time this happened was when he slept over. Yes we were one of those couples that slept in a bed and  did not have sex. My guy is just not that way…now  me on the other hand…..well….let’s just say I am well versed in sexual gratification. I digress  though, as that is a topic for another day.

We were studying late one night and he slept over. Well for those of you that do not know me, I am an exhibitionist and I prefer to sleep naked. Always have and always will. The red on Jeff’s face when I disrobed to sleep that night was well priceless!

Flash forward to a few years, with 3 beautiful children, and he is presented with an amazing opportunity again to be free. Who would have thought his wife would dare him the ultimate dare?  All three children love  the opportunity to be naked… yup… I have had enough time alone with my babies to encourage them to be as free as I am.. My hubby has been deployed 4 times, what else could I have done?  I implement my grand vision. I want to take the world over one nudist at a time!

So, he came home from Kuwait and we went to Beaufort, SC. We rented a house in St Helena. Located on the most serene, private part of the marsh, how could I resist? We both just woke up. The kids were fixing breakfast when I did it. I dared him to run around the house (outside) naked!  He gave me that “your crazy ” look. He hemmed and hawed. All the while, I egged him on. I mean I lived with this man for 14 years. I know what buttons to push!  The next thing I know, all three children were racing around and around the house; butt-naked.  After that first day, it became a daily activity after breakfast. The Shearin Streakers were born!  My children even tried to see who could run the most laps around the house!  Crazy, I know!

So what is the purpose of the story? Why expose the Shearin Secret Society?

These past few months, I have been evaluating my relationships. Many thing ran through my head just like a ticker.  Was I being the best friend I could be for each of my friends?  Was I honest in a loving way, a manner worthy of Him? Did I owe some friends an apology for some hurt feelings?  Did I need to better  myself in any way?  As I rolled these questions around in my brain, I kept coming back to two words; vulnerability and transparency.   How did these words play into my friendships………Was I vulnerable enough and transparent enough  with my friends, in  manner Heavenly Father would find worthy? I prayed and realized I needed to grow a bit more. I realized I was not.

Heavenly Father expects us to be our most honest and most transparent selves with our family and friends. He expects this in all of our relationships.  He wants us to lean on Him for direction, and comfort, but He requires we be active participants in all of our relationships. We grow  from every interaction within these relationships too.  We learn what personalities we can handle in our lives, while we figure out our strengths and weaknesses.  We learn our boundaries through a foundation of HIM.  We bring glory to Him when we are not only transparent with HIM in our prayers, but in our relationships with others.  Of course, we will run into some problems. We are humans and deal with humans.  Nobody said it would be easy to be vulnerable or transparent. In order to be Light in the darkness, we need to expose our selves. We need to open up our hearts to others and become vulnerable.  In order for the Light to emanate from us, we need to be transparent, just like all of us running around naked in Beaufort, SC.   Mind you, I am not encouraging you run around naked at this point in your neighborhood. I am just asking you to consider stepping outside your comfort zone with Heavenly Father at the Helm. Allow yourself to vulnerable and transparent in your relationships. He will do amazing things with you, I promise!

blessings,

m