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Looking Forward August 26, 2015

Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Personal.
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I last posted in February just a week before my mother died. She was old and she was ill, so it was not a surprise. But still… Just nine weeks later my husband’s mother died. She, too, was old. But she knew exactly what was going on and was ready to move on. But still…

I assured my students that both of our mothers had long happy lives. To be honest, while I received lovely notes from parents, my students were most affected by the death of our 18-year-old pig, Maisie, last October  Maisie was a larger than life pig with a larger than life personality. I still can’t bring myself to scrub the mud off the side door where she’d push her way inside.

And now our 15-year-old dog, Petey, has become a three-legged dog, so he literally has one foot in the grave. There’s another hole to be dug. It’s been quite the year, but don’t we all have years like that? I’m not complaining. It is what it is. It’s called Life. We’ve also had lots of laughs along with the tears.

I’d planned that last year would be my final year of teaching. I loved the kids (okay, most of them), but after 11 years of teaching, I, too, was ready to move on.  I take no responsibility that Jon Stewart also decided it was time to jump ship.

So far, (in no particular order), I’ve:

  • Cleaned all of the teacher crap out of my car (11 years worth!)
  • Started writing about things NOT related to Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Planted an LA Noir garden of black pansies and black dahlias (Did you know that in Portuguese, pansies are called “Perfect Love?”) Pansies were my mother’s favorite flower.
  • Became an Airbnb Superhost with my husband. I like that badge on our photo. It’s not the Purple Heart, but I’ll take it. We have met so many wonderful and interesting people.
  • Watched the first season of Poldark.
  • Successfully signed up for the AFA aka Obamacare. Whew! Glad to have that option.
  • Cooked THREE tortillas español with our guest Ana for a huge paella party before she and Francesco returned to Portugal. Sad face.
  • Enjoyed many conversations in español with Francesco. He can now say that people “have issues” and when having a tech problem he says, “I’m no Apple Genius!”
  • Discovered the online language program Duolingo and am determined to finally become fluent in Spanish – my husband says he feels like he’s living with a teenager addicted to video games. I highly recommend this program. It’s free! Ding!
  • Discovered Michael Connelly’s crime books which are a great way to pass a  hot summer night.
  • Booked a trip to England to go on a Thelma & Louise road trip with my best friend Lesley through England & Wales.

So, life is good. I haven’t got this all figured out yet, but I’m moving forward. It’s been said you can’t write a new chapter of your life if you’re constantly rereading the last one. That’s my segue to Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

I’ve been tempted to write about NPD, but in the last year I’ve been so lucky to have had so many kind people in my life to help smooth the bumpy ride that I haven’t felt compelled to revisit this topic though I still read voraciously about it.

For a smile each day, I visit Esther the Wonder Pig on Facebook. I find it makes me a better person, as I’m often reminded, “Why would anyone choose to be anything but kind?”

There’s been so much in the news about narcissism. Just google “Donald Trump Narcissist” and you are set with reading for the rest of August. Yes, he is exactly how most people envision a Narcissist. A bragging, brash bully. If you dare to question/cross him, he spews venom. Ugh!

But in reality, most narcissists are small men (yes, there are women too) who are not charismatic leaders. They are legends in their own mind presiding over, no make that lording over, their nearest and dearest. My concern is that although Narcissism is now in the lexicon (unlike when I started blogging), most people envision someone like Trump. Not everyone beats their drum so loudly.

Over the years, I’ve had numerous people send me a photo of the narcissist who darkened their door. They wanted me to see for myself just how drop dead gorgeous this person was. Now you can see, Jan, why I can’t move on?

What I received were photos of the most average looking people you can imagine. This only goes to show how Narcissists are able to swoop in and crop dust with fairy dust. The unsuspecting are still picking fairy dust out of their eyes and hair when the Narcissist’s mask begins to slip.  Ahhh, but that’s a story for another post.

Enough about me. I’m hoping all of those reading this have a plan to move forward. Sometimes we take two steps back and then one step forward, but as long as you’re headed in the right direction, there’s hope. Remember, “Why would anyone choose to be anything but kind?” Surround yourself with people who are.