Terrorizing the Little “I”

 

Part of healing is often either re-establishing or establishing one’s voice.  I’m not sure I have ever had much of a voice.  On a scale of 0-10 I am a 9I (introvert).  Speaking isn’t necessarily something I’ve made much of a habit of!  Lol!  I’ve been accused of being a snob, thinking I’m better than others, of being rude, stuck up, blah, blah, blah … none of which is true or at least not for me.  I tend to sit back, listen intently to what others are saying to me and around me.  I take in my surroundings and observe from a distance all the while processing and considering what’s flowing in and out of my thoughts.  As I began to write a couple years ago, what started out as a somewhat meek voice within this platform has grown stronger and bolder.  That part of my voice, though not literally physically vocal, has begun to gain footing and gotten stronger over time as I’ve exercised it.  My literal physical voice has remained fairly mute ….. up until now.

I was listening to the soothing sound of my geldings munch on their breakfast as I mucked their pens in the early morning hours when my phone rang.  I had some time before the kids began showing up and so I decided to go ahead and answer the call.  I stood in the warming New Mexico sun as the voice on the other end of the line explained that I’d been chosen to participate in a podcast interview.  GULP!!!  Though I was listening intently to what was being said, I could feel my throat trying to tighten and my little introverted self scream, “NOOOOOOO!!!”  As I agreed to participate, I felt my little inner introvert faint!  This was waaaaaay outside of our comfort zone!!!  I was fanning my little introvert and waving smelling salts under her nose when the kids arrived.

As the scheduled date and time drew near, I worried about how I may or may not convey my message and I began to question myself, thinking, “Honestly, what is my message anyway?”  I’ve not done any “public” speaking outside of a speech class my freshman year of college.  My head was so jumbled up with what I wanted to share that it felt as if everything was tied in a knotted mess!  I had listened to a few of the interviews that had been recorded by fellow coaches and each one was so well thought out and presented.  I was sure I’d fall flat on my face, after all, I’m terrible at answering things on the fly.  My little inner introvert began to bang loudly on the door yelling, “Cancel!  For the love of everything sacred and quiet, cancel the thing!!!”

The day arrived and after a brief discussion to get to know me, Chris Angell of Groundswell counted down and the interview began.  He would ask a question and my mind would speed 100 miles ahead of my mouth.  I could hear my little inner introvert moan as I stumbled over my words, “You know we need time to chew on and process things before answering!”, she’d say as she slapped her hand over her face.  Chris would smile an encouraging smile and ask a new question and my mind laughed as it out ran my mouth, again.  It was like a cruel game of tag through the dark woods.  Then it happened!  We got disconnected!  I’m sure it was on my end.  Our DSL is terrible and the tiny east coast company that is our service provider out here doesn’t seem to care since they’re the only show in town … for miles!  As I searched my computer for the issue at hand, my little inner introvert wiped the sweat from her brow saying, “Thank goodness that’s over with!  Don’t ever do that to us again!”  And then the connection came back.  “We’ll start again where we left off,” he said, “My team should be able to patch this together without much issue.”  My little introvert fainted … again …

That night I played, replayed and magnified the interview in my head.  I hardly slept thinking about what a terrible job I’d done.  Chris had been such a gracious host and interviewer and I had been a stammering, stuttering, can’t answer a question thoroughly interviewee.  I sent an email the next morning explaining how I felt and asking if I could have a do-over if the patching together didn’t go well.  I figured if it patched together well, then I’d swallow hard and deal with it.  If, however, it didn’t patch together well then maybe I could reschedule and try again.  My little inner introvert was wide eyed in disbelief, “I can’t believe you would put us through that again!“, she cried out!

The best way to reach people is to meet them right where they are at.  For some that is through writing, for others it’s through video and yet others it’s audio.  It may be through social media, email or snail mail.  As I calm my little inner introvert each time I do something waaaaay outside our comfort zone, I remind her that I have a story to tell and hope and encouragement to offer others.  I cannot do that by remaining quiet on the sidelines observing without speaking.  The EGC work is life altering!  It can dramatically shift the trajectory of your life!  I pray that in some way, this interview encourages you.

To learn more about the horses and me, you can go to:

http://untetheredhearts.com/

And keep a lookout, as my website will be shifting and changing to better capture the work I do.  I’m so much more than a specialist in healing from narcissistic partnerships.

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  ❤

 

Accusations of Alienation

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“Alienation.” He said for the umpteenth time!  I was so tired of the accusation hurling toward me like arrows being rapidly fired from a bow, never hitting much less sticking to the target, but flying through the air just the same.  I could feel the words I wanted to fire back welling up in my throat, “Merely saying that word is a manipulative maneuver with fancy verbiage that the courts use to leverage their decisions and rulings around without evidence.  He has NO proof of anything.  The DSM doesn’t even recognize alienation as a thing!”  Instead, I did what I was becoming so good at, I took a deep breath, tightened down the filter on my mouth and watched as he threw the word around half a dozen more times, parading it around the courtroom like a trophy pair of underwear he’d just stolen off a prostitute!

 

Merriam-Webster defines alienation as:

alienation
alien·​ation | \ ˌā-lē-ə-ˈnā-shən  ˌāl-yə-\

Definition of alienation

1a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person’s affections from an object or position of former attachment ESTRANGEMENT alienation … from the values of one’s society and family— S. L. Halleck
2conveyance of property to another

 

Medical Definition of alienation
a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person’s affections from an object or position of former attachment alienation…from the values of one’s society and family— S. L. Halleck

 

Kids are smart, they are resilient and above most everything else, they are observant.  Their survival depends upon it on the most base level.  I cannot count the times I have consoled my kids either together or individually as the weight of what they were told about me by their father and his flying monkeys or what they heard as people spewed lies about me to each other within ear shot of my kids, has hit them.  As they would recall what was said, with tears in their eyes and anguished hearts, I could feel the words that had pierced them like red hot pokers, daggers meant to sear their precious hearts.  Words spread over them like seeds on a field, watered with every opportunity in hopes they would sprout a disliking for me that what grow into hatred and eventually be harvested as complete estrangement from me.  The onslaught was cruel at best!

I was determined from the get-go to do everything within my own power not to talk trash and stoop to his level … ever!  Have I slipped up?  Yes.  The filter I have over my mouth, can at times, like any filter, become jammed up and clogged.  There are times I forget to screw the filter on tight enough and an eye roll, a sigh or an, “Are you kidding me!?!” slips out.  I am generally quick to apologize to the kids and then dismiss myself so I can blow out the filter with the air hose and screw it back on nice and tight.  I wanted my kids to make up their own minds about who he was and is.  I wanted them to form their own opinions around who they believed their father to be.  I didn’t want to taint that with my own emotions, opinions and facts regarding him and so, I’ve kept my mouth shut!

I sat in the courtroom only half listening as he and his attorney did what all of his attorneys he’s hired and fired have done best, manipulate the system into believing he’s a victimized father just trying to do his best to be the bestest dad ever (and yes, I am typing this was the utmost sarcasm!).  All I could think about was how utterly hypocritical everything he was saying was.  He, his partner and their cohorts have taken up trash talking like it’s an Olympic sport in which they may medal!  What’s interesting to me is, that which is meant to harm and maim me, only harms them instead.  My kids are back and forth between both households.  The contrast is extreme. We’re talking north from south, east from west, good vs evil, light vs dark … you get the idea, it’s a major contrast.  And they have been quick to point out the contrast.  On more than a few occasions over the years, both kids have stated how nice it is to be home and not listen to my husband and I rant about the other party.  They talk about how old it gets listening to the other party talk about my husband and I and what “losers” we are.  All I can think each time they share this is I don’t have the time, heart or energy to spend on those people!

As he wound up his testimony and I snapped back to the present, I couldn’t help but think that as much as I loathed being labeled the alienator, I knew they could call me whatever they wanted, label me whatever they decided was fitting in that moment however what was most important to me was and is how my kids see me and the choices I make.

Choose to allow the other parent to paint themselves into their own corner.  Don’t hand them the paint or the paint brush.  It may take time however as your kids mature and get older, they will begin comparing how you act and maybe more importantly, how you choose to speak vs the other parent.  Allow them to form their own opinions about things and remain supportive, loving, and available.  Be the person that sets their phone aside, makes eye contact and listens when they need an ear to hear.  It sounds tough and it’s even tougher to follow through.  Emotions can be a bit challenging to rope.  I assure you, you will be so very happy you did and more importantly, your kids will be able to say that you left the trash talking where it belongs, in the dumpster!

If you find yourself saying, “I wish I could control my mouth.  I wish I had the same filter that I could screw into place and keep my anger, disappointment, hurt and grief to myself when what I really want to do is tell my kids exactly how I feel about the ex!”  I am here to tell you, I can help you with that … we, my horses and me, can help you learn to be that active listener that your kids need.  To be the person that leaves the trash talking to the other party, allowing their kids to form their own opinions as they observe the contrast between the two households.  And, I can help you to release the anger, frustration and hurt penned up inside of you in a healthy productive and cleansing manner that will leave you feeling lighter than you probably have in years.  Schedule an exploratory call with me to see if I’m the coach for you.  It’s free … as in free of expectation, obligation and cost.  Learn more at: http://untetheredhearts.com/

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave” ❤

 

Who I Don’t Want to Become

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“You may not know who you want to be but I’m guessing you have a good idea of who you don’t want to be.” said Coach Moore as he spoke to our football team before their first game of the season.  I listened as the former coach spoke to our boys about what it is to play with class and how to keep fighting when the scoreboard says you’re losing.  He tried to help the kids understand that there is life after football and it’s how they show up at practice, at a game and in life, that truly matters, not the game itself.  As he spoke with the passion of a true coach, a man who loved the kids he’d coached and the opportunity he had to influence them for the betterment of our community and this world, I was struck by what he said.  It was so simplistic and yet so profound.

Within the program I was trained in, anything we might ask of our clients, we were first asked to do ourselves.  Cute, right!?!  Lol!  Not only did we need to get clear for ourselves, we also needed to truly “get” the struggles of each exercise.  One of those exercises that is profoundly enlightening is around values and figuring out what our move toward and move away from values are.  Our values are our operating system and they dictate how we move through this world, our environment, our everyday lives, minute by precious minute.  I have learned over the years to steer so completely clear of my move away value that I wrestled with figuring it out … for months upon painfully frustrating months!!!  You see, that “thing” that you don’t want to feel is more powerful than that which you do want to feel.  You will do anything and I mean a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to not feel whatever your move away value is!  Coach Moore was talking about a move away value when he stated, “… you have a good idea of what you don’t want to be.”

I couldn’t help but saddle up and travel down a well worn trail in my mind.  The one that begs the question, who do you NOT want to be?  Who do your kids NOT want to be?  As I sat at the trail head I recognized that I can only speculate who my kids don’t want to be.  Let’s be real, that’s their business and not mine.  It’s easy as a parent to think we can interject and direct who our kids become however, it’s not up to us.  We set them up to be as successful as possible with solid values and morals and then it is up to them to determine, through their own life experiences and interpretation of those experiences, who they chose to be or not be.  We only have control over who we are, who we are becoming, who we want to be and who we know we do not want to be.  Let’s reframe and own this, I only have control over who I am, who I am becoming, who I want to be and who I know I do not want to become.  And all of this begs the question, is who I know I do not want to become, shaping who it is I do become?

There is song that, I Am They, sings called, “Scars”.  The lyrics start:

Waking up to a new sunrise

Looking back from the other side

I can see now with open eyes

Darkest water and deepest pain

I wouldn’t trade it for anything

‘Cause my brokeness brought me to You

And these wounds are a story You’ll use

So I’m thankful for the scars

‘Cause without them I would’t know Your heart

And I know they’ll always tell of who You are

So forever I am thankful for the scars ….

As Coach Moore continued to speak and I found myself ambling down along that winding trail in my mind sitting astride my solid mount I continued to ponder, who do I NOT want to be?  As easy as it may seem to answer, I encourage and challenge you to dig deep and truly ponder this.  I don’t believe it’s as simple as stating, “I don’t want to be fat.” or “I don’t want to be poor.” or “I don’t want to be dependent.”  Blah, blah, blah …  There is meat and a backstory behind the simplistic.  There is Moore or more behind such a simple query, such a simple statement than that which meets the eye.  Do you know who you are?

I read a sweet book on our way to Oklahoma titled, “Overcomer”, a novelization by Chris Fabry.  A set of, what one of the characters, Coach John Harrison, determines as unfortunate circumstances, takes him from coaching a “real sport” as he says, to coaching a not-sport.  A twist and turn of events lands him in contact with a bedridden man who asks him, “John, if I asked you who you are, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?”  The coach answers time and again and his bedridden acquaintance keeps after Coach Harrison asking each time, “And if that’s stripped away?”  Until they finally get to the heart, the root of who Coach Harrison believes himself to be.

And so I ask you, “Who do you want to be?”  Or rather, “Who do you know you do not want to be?”   The answer may come to you quite quickly and seamingly simply and so in the words of the bedridden man, “And if that’s stripped away?”  If you continue to strip away at each answer and reply your brain is likely automated to answer this question with, what do you come up with?  What is our bottom line?  What is the root of who you want to become?  Who you believe you are and more importantly, who you do not want to be?  If I had to guess, you are rather annoyed and getting ready to exit out of this post.  And that’s okay.  If the question begins to eat at ya a little, surprise you in the middle of the day as you go to eat a bite of your favorite lunch and as you close your eyes hoping to fall asleep, my horses and I are here to help support, encourage and guide you as you dig around to determine your answer to this.  It is beyond our normal reply such as, “I am a mother, daughter, aunt, grandmother, sister, wife, uncle, husband, father, grandfather, etc.”  The answer is beyond the title you have at work, within your community, etc.  The answer lies deep within your soul and it’s been buried beneath all the labels we accumulate throughout our lives.

You can find me at:  http://untetheredhearts.com/

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  ❤

    

Thin Line of Abuse

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If for nothing else, narcissists offer plenty of material to write about and since he reads my “little blog” maybe he’ll see himself through the rest of the world’s eyes ….  nahhh, who am I kidding!  Lol!  We’re talking about a covert narcissist!  They believe themselves to be as close to perfect as is possible!  Due in part to their perfectness, narcissists believe themselves to be above the law and do a particularly impressive job of skating the fine line between breaking the law and not.  We have become a society so hell bent on treating the innocent like guilty criminals and catering to the true criminal that our whole value system has crumbled.

What if I told you that my wasband found it completely appropriate to steal away yet more of my kid’s innocence, hugging his almost 14 year old daughter with an erection?  Our system says that because there was no sexual intent, it’s just a poor choice in parenting.  Can you tell me how it’s determined what the intention of another human is?  Yep, that started my week off with the kids a couple weeks ago.  My daughter said offhandedly that her father hugged her that morning and it was gross.  I thought it was strange that she would say that but hell, I wouldn’t hug him soooo … As I was telling her goodnight, I kissed her on her head and asked, “Hey, what did you mean that your father hugged you and it was gross?  Like he had bad morning breath or something?”  She said, “No mom!  He had a boner when he hugged me and it was disgusting when he pressed against me!  And my brother saw it too!  He was all grossed out and hurried off to his room and shut the door.”  Inside my head I was yelling, “WHAT!?!?!?!”  Quietly I said, “I’m not sure I want to know how you know what that is.”  To which she replied matter of factually with a hint of you’re an idiot, “Sex ed mom!  Sixth grade!  Remember?”  Ahhhh, yes, memory jogged!

What followed was the conversation we’ve had numerous times now.  The one where I remind her that she must advocate for herself when in his “care” and that her body is hers and anytime someone causes her to feel uneasy, uncomfortable or weird, she has every right to ask them to get back from her, to tell them to go away, etc.  I went to bed that night disgusted and furious!  In what part of his sick, twisted brain did it seem like an okay, appropriate, thing to do!?!  He was in his residence, alone with my kids!  I quickly began reminding myself that under his roof, nothing seems to be off limits.  His wife went so far as to utterly ruin the Luke Bryan song, “Knockin’ Boots” for my kids.  It came on the radio while we were in New Mexico and both kids demanded the station be changed.  It’s a catchy tune and I asked what was wrong with the song.  They explained to me that the Sheriffs Deputy laughed at them after asking them if they knew what the song was about and they replied, “Yes, it’s about dancing.”  She was quick to correct them and steal their innocence when she explained to them that it’s about sex!  Again, what gives anyone that right to violate a young mind that way!?!  But hey, just a poor choice in parenting, right?

We went to a football game several hours away.  Our exchanges are at 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and so my daughter rode up with my husband and I and then was to stay with her father that night.  After the game my husband and I left after giving goodbye hugs to her and went to grab something to eat and then go to bed.  The next morning I learned that my wasband decided to party it up in the lobby with the other parents until the wee hours of the morning leaving my daughter in the hotel room alone.  And of course the next day he’s tired, hung over and my daughter is not wanting to ride back to his residence with him.  I’m, as is usual, a rock in a hard place.  There isn’t a thing I can do about the situation.  If he had been drunk, I would have taken her home with me however he wasn’t.  Instead of spending the evening with his daughter enjoying a movie or something nice, he chose to leave her alone in a hotel room while he tied one on!  Oh, but that’s right, just a poor choice in parenting!

I get a text one night with pictures.  My daughter burned her arm pretty badly and she wanted to know what to do.  I told her to run it under cool water for a while and I told her if it was as bad as it looked, it probably needed to get looked at by a doctor.  The next morning I receive pictures of a giant blister that had formed.  Knowing she was in town I suggested that maybe it get looked at as a precaution.  I told her there may not be anything that can be done for it however it looked very much like it needed dressed and bandaged.  My wasband had left my kids in his mother’s care and she, the wife and my wasband refused my daughter’s request to have the burn looked at.  Yep, that’s right, they told her she was just fine.  Knowing that by the time the kids were in my care that evening it would be too late for me to take her in to an urgent care, I called the doctor.  After conferring with him and sharing the pictures I had he recommended I dress and bandage the area and keep a close eye on it for infection.  Some might say my daughter has been denied medical attention and I would wholeheartedly agree however our system says, it’s a poor choice in parenting.

I share this not so much to rant and complain as to step alongside those of you in similar circumstances.  You are NOT alone in your battle.  It’s infuriating, frustrating and utterly dumbfoundly ridiculous!  I encourage you to educate yourself regarding your rights, your children’s rights and educate your self as to what covert narcissism, NPD and sociopathic disorders are.  My horses and I are here to support you when you are ready to take back control of your life and healing.

We can be found at:  http://untetheredhearts.com/

“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  ❤