Dear Narcissist,

Unfortunately we still have to deal with you, however we will not engage in your games. We know that you’ll continue to manipulate everything around you to try to get your way, get a response, or get ahead in any way that you can. We know that you care more about yourself than the people that should matter more. We know that you’re going to keep painting yourself as a victim and that you’re going to continue to attempt to create high conflict. Aside from this notice of intent, we will no longer respond to those situations. Furthermore we will begin to teach others and give them the strength to dismantle the narcissists in their own lives. You no longer have the ability to cause any pain or discomfort in ours. In time, people will see who you really are.

Sincerely,

Fed Up

LizMom

My 5 year old [future] stepdaughter called me mommy over the weekend.

At first I figured it to be one of those moments where a 5 year old calls every woman mommy. The almost 7 year old says “That’s not Mom, that’s Liz.” The 5 yo retorts “So?” The 7yo asks me what I want them to call me. I say “Sweetie, you can call me whatever you want. I don’t care.” They came up with a plethora of pet names, one even being Sharpie; when the 7yo suggested LizMom, there was a cheer from the 5yo.

It seemed like the simplest of gestures and notions, but I could see the wheels turning in my stepson’s mind. Just a couple of weeks ago during Thanksgiving at his grandma’s he says to me, “Did you know that you’re going to be my stepmom soon?” I said, “Yeah?! Is that okay with you??” He paused for a moment, contemplating. He tried to hide his face a little, but the biggest smile crept across him as he said yes and that he’d like that a lot.

Later that evening, he tells me that I am now the LizMom and “catches me” with his WaterBall Pokeball thing. (I’m still learning ok? My godson prefers Mario and Minecraft. Pokemon is new to me; I wasn’t that kind of nerd growing up. But I’m really really good at building pokemons out of Legos apparently!)  Anyways he tells me he’s going to keep me, except for when I need to cook for him of course. I now live in a blue WaterBall. Perfect!

I am the LizMom. They usually still just call me Liz or Izzy, which is fine. LizMom is fine. And unless they’re just hell-bent on it, I actually prefer to not be known as “Mom.” I know their biological mother is rather sensitive and insecure and I don’t want to be bundled under the same lable. I’m a bonus.

Regardless of what I am called, I am a part of the tribe. They have accepted me. They have made me their own.

I am the LizMom.

Ben Moss Sucks

Congratulations Ben Moss! You have essentially lost out on a lifetime of potential sales in addition to potential sales of those that my grievances reach.

Once upon a time, there was a man that was on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring. He went to many stores and eventually found what he was looking for. The sales associate, Dana, was amazing. He bought the ring. Eventually he proposed. His future Mrs. said yes. It was almost a happily ever after.

He went back to Ben Moss a while later to purchase wedding bands for his future bride. Unfortunately they didn’t quite fit the engagement ring, so the bride-to-be went on an adventure to visit the store! She became acquainted with Dana who was magnificently helpful and arranged for a quote from their designer for a custom wedding band and a quote from the Goldsmith to just alter the purchased bands. A response from the designer was had that same day, but after that? No word. Silence.

The bride-to-be called. She emailed. She got no reply. After over 2 weeks passed, she got fed up and had the man call. Eventually he got through and spoke with the manager. The manager apologized and said to come in the next day, that he would go and pick the rings up personally. So the couple went to Ben Moss the next evening. The sales associate had no idea what was going on. The manager looked at the couple like they had seven heads. The manager stated that their beloved Dana had quit her job and shifted all blame to her. And also didn’t have the rings.

The couple had to make another trip to Ben Moss two days later to finally get their rings back. The manager continued to blame Dana and took zero responsibility for letting the situation fall through the cracks. He also offered no solutions to correct or make up for the problem. He didn’t even bother to have the engagement ring cleaned or inspected per schedule while in his possession.

Ben Moss, you may want to consider the quality of managers that you put into your stores. I’m no stranger to retail management, which is probably why I’m so pissed off. When you screw something up by such a massive scale and hold someone’s property for weeks longer than anticipated, MAKE UP FOR IT!!!! Don’t allow someone to just blame someone else. Yeah it sucks when an employee quits, but it’s a manager’s responsibility to follow up with their customers and clients and not just let them fall to the wayside. Clean the jewelry, offer an in store credit or a coupon or something to at least attempt to retain your customers. Never again.

Update:  Days after this post was made, a lengthy conversation with the regional manager was had, and we were at least finally offered an adequate apology & a discount for a future purchase.  I still won’t step foot in there, but at least we finally got some acknowledgement regarding the sub-par service.

Perspective

You ever have one of those days where it’s just one thing after another and another? My fiance’s car has been in the shop the past week so he’s been using mine. We go out this morning to find that someone side swiped my car. No big damage…and no note. Just decided to leave some paint and a few scratches behind. Then, upon starting to drive off, he realizes my tire is about as flat as flat gets because it picked up a nail, likely due to the new construction next door. Then, after everything was said and done, I accidentally dumped my lukewarm coffee on the dog. –sigh

You know what though? I ain’t even mad about it. Yeah it sucks that the other half had to be a little late to work for it, but everything could have been a lot worse. It’s a $20 tire repair and a $5 buffer to blend the scratch in. As for the dog….well he probably smells a little better now! 😉 No one is hurt. There’s no irreparable damage. Everyone is alive and healthy.

It’s all about perspective. It’s about seeing things for what they are, acknowledgement of what they could be, and going from there. That flat tire could have been four flat tires or a broken axel. That side swipe and paint with no note could have been a direct t-bone hit destroying everything with no note. The coffee could have been scaulding hot and caused significant burns. Or this morning could have been uneventful and perfect. It wasn’t. But it could have certainly been worse.

I know that a lot of people would have just thrown their hands up in the air and had a fit about nothing going right. Not everything had been going right, but not everything had gone wrong either. The next time you have one of those mornings, I challenge you to count your blessings. Sure, your day could be better, but how could it have been worse? Try to change your perspective and see your no good awful kind of day in a different light!

A Stepmother’s Impact

The other morning, I told my stepmom that I was going to cook some perogies for my fiance for lunch. I could hear a little crack in her voice as she replied. Were those a few tears welling up? When I was younger, we cooked together quite a bit. We hadn’t made perogies in probably 15+ years, but I knew that my simply remembering resonated within her.

Those who know her may baulk at the idea that my stepmom means so much to me. If you were to ask her about her life, she would tell you that she was a complete screw-up. Maybe she was. She’s a felon that spent many years in a penitentiary. She drinks. A lot. She smokes cigarettes and pot. She cusses like a sailor. She dances to the beat of her own drum. You can note all of the bad things you want about her, but that woman saved my life.

The first time I met my stepmom wasn’t much different from one of my first encounters with my own [future] stepkids. We went out to the beach with my father, had lunch, and spent the day in the sun. She taught me how to swim (and likely scared the hell out of my dad in the process when the riptide came rolling in.) I don’t remember how old I was… 6 maybe? I didn’t really understand who she was at the time or what role she would play in my life. She didn’t shower me in a ton of gifts or toys or anything. She was just someone that gave me undivided quality attention, which at the time, I desperately needed.

My parents separated when I was very young. I didn’t understand why at the time, but in hindsight I’m extremely thankful. They’re both toxic people; together they were like fire and gasoline. My mother was abusive – physically, mentally, emotionally. My father is a tried and true narcissist, but did the best he could with the obstacles my mother put in front of him. “The best he could” didn’t amount to much, but at least he always accepted me for who I was. After their divorce, I had a multitude of stepfathers, but it was my stepmom who stuck to me like glue. No matter what happened, she was there. She stood in my corner, silently screaming at the world… much like how I’ve felt through my fiance’s custody battle. She did what she could to advocate what was best for me, not what was best for either of my parents, despite not having the ability to have much of a voice in anything.

As I got older, I was a bit of a troubled teen. I still made straight A’s in school and was as smart as a tack, but I hated the world. Depression from abuse consumed me. At 15, I moved in with my grandparents, then shortly after, moved into my father’s house. Though I was free from being physically abused, I still had to deal with having a narcissistic parent. I went from one hell to another. And then there was my stepmom. She stood in the fires of that hell in order to provide me a small space of peace. She stood up for me and protected me from everyone that was against me. She got up in the faces of my family’s hierarchy and reminded them that I am a product of my environment, that if they didn’t like who I was becoming, then they needed to change my environment.

Though I lived most of my childhood with my mother, I don’t really have any good memories of her. Between abandoning my little brother plus the way she treated me, my father, and everyone around her, made me resent her with a fury. We haven’t seen each other in almost 8 years. I don’t hold any ill feelings towards her anymore; she simply doesn’t exist in my world. The feelings I have felt about her in the past, though, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My relationship with my father is rocky at best, but we talk. But the strength of my stepmother’s love remains unbroken.

My stepmother set an example of things to not do in my life that would make things more difficult. Her past taught me consequences of doing anything that that could get me into any serious trouble. Her support taught me that despite what I came from, I was worth something. She instilled value into my life by stepping up to the plate and standing up for me. She taught me how to stand up for myself and how to stand up for others. She was the first to teach me the meaning of love.

To my future stepkids, I hope that I can live up to the kind of impact my stepmom had on me. I will always be there for you and cherish you no matter what. I will always do everything in my power to advocate what’s best for you, not necessarily what’s best for your parents. And like my stepmom did for me, I will always love you as if you were my own. ❤️

It’s the Little Things

Recently, a mutual friend told me that my fiance and I give her hope in the department of love.  Over the past week I’ve been asking myself how did we get to the point where we inspire others?   What lead us here?  What makes our love unique and wholesome?

My fiance and I met on World of Warcraft.  I know, I know.  Go ahead, get your laughs out of the way.  We met, he helped me along as a new player and taught me how to play, and in short, we became friends.  As months passed, our conversations got more personal.  We learned about each others’ lives and pasts, our situations at the time, and what we’d like our futures to be like.  He was a role model to me, that there was life beyond what I grew up with.  I was his pillar of strength to finally stand up for himself.  We learned that we were polar opposite carbon copies of one another.  We had similar outlooks on life.  We had the same feelings regarding traumas in our lives.  We became each others’ rock in order to try to figure out how to get through the situations that were on our plates at the time.  Things weren’t working out with our previous partners no matter what we tried, and thus we decided to develop a partnership with each other.  We both traveled for a mini vacation and finally met in person.  Ever since, we decided to keep each other, despite all the hurdles that we’d have to jump in order to actually be together.  Eventually he proposed and I started seriously planning the means to migrate to another country.

Relationships can be tough.  What made us think that we could make this work?   Well, we started as friends and I think that made all the difference in the world.  When we got to know each other, we didn’t have an agenda.  It was simply being supportive of one another.  Not just hearing the other when they spoke, but actually listening.  Acknowledgement and appreciation played a big part as well.  It was also the little things.  We’ve tackled a long distance situation.  We’ve spent our relationship 1500 miles apart, making a point to visit each other as often as possible, but visits are never enough.  The little things have kept everything going.  Good morning texts, constant communication, Netflix & Google Hangouts & Chill dates, unique gaming adventures.   Random letters/cards in the mail or memes messaged.  His 6am phone calls on my way to work, or my calls on lunch in the middle of the day.  Random little things that meant “hey, I’m thinking of you.”  We’ve shown more appreciation and spent more time with each other 1500 miles apart than most couples do under the same roof.  That’s not to say that everything has been all peaches & cream.  We do fight.  But we fight fair.  Our ability to communicate has a lot to do with how we work out problems and come up with solutions.  Especially the coming up with solutions part.  Neither of us allow for anything to just be swept under the rug.   I call him out on his shenanigans, he puts me in my place if I’m out of line, and we figure it out.

Maybe we’re inspiring because of our capability to work through literally anything.  Or maybe it’s because we speak of and to each other with so much love and conviction.  Maybe it’s because we actually show how much we care about one another.  Whatever the reason, I’m glad that we have the ability to give others hope.  ♥

For the Noms

I never had a solid idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Sure, with the way that my mind thinks and operates, how I’m able to consider different opinions and see different sides of things, I really wanted to be a lawyer.  I was compassionate and cared about others, wanting to help them, so I also wanted to be a doctor of some sort or work in the medical field.  Law and Medical school both require far more financial backing than what I was ever privy to.  So in addition to working in event management, I pursued a career in emergency medical services.  I learned that doing something to help others was definitely what I wanted to do in life, but EMS was not the answer.  (I don’t have the patience for people who abuse the system.  Or abuse others.  Or themselves.)  So what’s the solution?

In my early 20’s, I faced some pretty heavy medical issues.  Due to being a carrier for a host of genetic issues, doctors were hellbent on thinking that I had a degree of Marfan’s Syndrome and that my symptoms were caused by a heart defect.  After spending time with a Holter monitor, tilt table tests, and various other stress tests, they simply couldn’t figure it out.  As an EMT student, I was learning about anatomy and was tracking my glucose (and other vitals) for practice.  When I felt one of my syncope episodes coming on, I checked my sugar again just before passing out.  Low and behold, my sugar was plummeting at a rapid pace.  A tech student figuring out what a panel of physicians couldn’t.  /flex  Because I was so young, thin, and otherwise healthy, the possibility of being a diabetic didn’t cross anyone’s mind, but some additional lab work confirmed it.  I was a type 2 diabetic with postprandial hypoglycemia.  A diagnosis only meant prescriptions and a host of misinformation.  They wanted to treat the symptoms, but did nothing for the actual problem.  All varieties of Metformin made me exhaustively sick and I wasn’t about to start shooting insulin.  So what’s the solution?

The solution to both problems was learning about nutrition.  I felt that prescriptions were nothing more than putting a band-aid across a bullet hole.  I knew that I wasn’t the only person facing odd health issues that wanted a more permanent fix than having to take medicine for the rest of my life.  Decades ago these issues weren’t fixed with a pill or an injection.  So I hit the books.  I took my training in anatomy a step further and learned about what we put into our bodies did to us.  If sugar was the problem, why take a pill to better handle the sugar.  Why not just cut out the source of the problem?  I learned about low carb diets, low fat diets, plant based, meat based, paleo, intermittent fasting, and everything in between.  Obviously since I wasn’t a lawyer or a doctor, I couldn’t afford free ranged organic everything, so I learned how to buy the best quality of foods for the budget that I had.  I figured out what was worth splurging on and what I could get away with at a lower quality.  In a matter of months, not years, but months, I cut my A1c in half.  I had to change my body’s homeostasis.  As years passed, my pancreas did enough healing that I’ve been in normal glucose ranges without medications for a few years in a row now.  Along the way, I’ve been able to educate my physicians on my methods, and in turn, have hopefully helped others through them.

For the first time in my life, I’m excited to go back to college.  I’ve put quite a bit of time and effort looking into different programs and credentials.  The goal is to become certified in holistic nutrition – and perhaps even become a registered dietitian – so that I can open my own clinic.  Since the US isn’t as receptive to alternative solutions yet, I’ll start this venture in Canada where the views on healthcare are vastly different.  I want to be able to help people that have a diagnosis for their ailments to find another way to deal with it.  I want to help people change their relationships with food and to become the best versions of themselves.  I already have an opportunity to speak to a small group about the value and basics of nutrition and help them manage healthier choices within their means!  I’m ridiculously excited to turn over a new leaf in life and actually do what I feel that I’m called to do.

Here’s to new adventures! /cheer