Setting You Free: Stage 3 Narcissistic Abuse

So he left, now what?

The Discard Phase feels like the most painful while you’re going through it.  You’ll wonder how he could suddenly leave and hurt you in such a destructive way after it seemed he was so deeply in love with you.  But once you get through it, and you will because he chose you for your emotional strength, you’ll realize this is the phase where he set you free.

I don’t know how to write about this phase without sharing my personal story. I still find myself shocked over the suddenness and cruel nature of my husband’s departure from our vows, our girls, and our home.  He had a beautiful life and threw it all away… To make it worse, he left on our anniversary week, just before Christmas and our family vacation.  He left directly into the arms of another woman.  How could he be so cruel?  How did this happen?

The Beginning of The End

Sometimes a narcissist will ghost you, soon after the love bombing phase is over. Depending on how long you’ve been together, he may not need to strategize an exit plan that involves devaluing you to family and friends. He will just stop answering calls or texts and leave. If you allow it, he will come and go as he pleases which is why the professionals recommend “no contact” after a narcissist leaves your life.  While this is extremely painful because of how fast he made you fall for him, consider yourself lucky that it didn’t go any further.

For those of us who have been in a long term relationship with a narcissist, the Discard phase is a much longer process. In these cases, it’s likely he has been strategically preparing his departure for a long time.  Since he has to maintain a caring/rescuing outer shell, he will take advantage of every opportunity to destroy your character to his family and friends. 

“She’s so controlling”

Being in a relationship with a Narcissist is like being caught in a storm with no control of the outcome. He is the storm, and you are the collateral damage.  One minute his love is showering you like a warm summer rain, and the next he’s recklessly tearing through your heart.  No matter how many precautions you take, you cannot control the storm, and he knows it.  

“He’s the most generous, caring man I’ve ever known, but when he drinks, he becomes rude, belligerent, sloppy, mean… He completely changes.  I have spent the last few years trying to keep him safe, but I’m failing.  I’m trying to keep him from turning into this other person and from hurting himself.  He’s been hiding pills, steroids, chewing tobacco, alcohol consumption and he is having major health problems as a result. I don’t want to lose him and will do anything to save him.”

No matter how hard you try, you will never control the storm and he will destroy you for trying.

“She’s never happy”  

The narcissist will use the “Prince Charming” image you created of him during the love bombing phase to destroy you to his friends and family.  

“All most people see is what he does for the girls and I so they don’t understand why I can’t just be happy with him. Most of the time, he is a good man.  Other times, he says and does terrible things to me.  People who have seen him do this have justified it, telling me he loves me, which only makes me feel worse for acknowledging this other side of him.  One time, he raged at a football game throwing things, flipping tables, and screaming in my face in front of his dad. Another time, he dragged me down a hallway in front of his best friend.  Both times they told me to let it pass and reminded me how much he loved me. While his friends and family excused it, mine knew nothing about the abuse.  I was not only unhappy, but alone.

He will tell others how unhappy you are, while projecting a perfect image, and they will believe him.

“She doesn’t love me”

He targeted you because you have an abundance of love for others and you have poured out everything you have in order to fill his tank… yet, he’s still empty and he blames you.

“There must have been a hundred times where I kept my mouth shut and succeeded in getting my husband home safely.  While drunk, he’d sling insults and berate me, sometimes for hours at a time, and most of the time, I’d take it.  I’d cry silently into my pillow as he touched me, making sure I wouldn’t leave.  If I did, I’d feel the wrath of all 6’4” 275lbs.  He’d corner me, poking my forehead as he’d yell in my face. He’d slam doors, throw things, punch holes in the wall, and repeatedly say I don’t love him and am ungrateful for all he does for me.  I’d wonder if I was making him feel loved enough and try harder.”

By the end of this relationship, you will stop loving yourself, not him.

“She’s abusive”

After you have endured more abuse than you ever thought you could, he will turn the tables making you look like the abusive one to his close family and friends.  

“One drunken night after repeatedly asking him to leave the bar, he proceeded to drink.  Knowing where this was going, I told him I was leaving and went to the car.  Not wanting to leave him there, I waited, crying and praying I could get him home safely. When he finally came out, 45 minutes later, he was so angry he ripped me out of the car, emptied my entire purse taking everything, my ID, credit cards, phone, and left me alone in the parking lot at 2am.  The next day, he attended a friend’s birthday party without me, showing off the scratches on his arm that resulted in the struggle of pulling me out of the car and taking away everything I needed to get back home.”

Months later, and numerous drunken nights in between, I caught him in a sexual act with one of my best friends in our home. I was so angry, I threw a cologne bottle at him, chipping his tooth. My reaction to his cheating was all he needed to paint me as an abuser.”

No matter how much you try, he will always make his actions, your fault.

It’s Not Your Fault

Whatever your personal story of abuse is, you will probably come out of it feeling responsible.  If you just said less. Controlled less.  Cared less.  Tried harder.  

It’s not your fault.  

A Narcissit’s goal is to make you feel this way about yourself so their actions are justified.  They have already successfully completed the devaluation phase, making you feel like you are the one to blame for their actions, behavior and “unmet needs”.  You will feel like the empty shell that is them, because in showing them unconditional love, they have drained you of your love for yourself.

The END

Over time, some of his friends and family started to distance themselves and I couldn’t understand why.  I’d ask and he’d blame them, saying they were selfish or pointed out their poor life choices. He made it an “us against the world” type of scenario and would remind me often that I was “the best” and how much he loved me. I didn’t realize that he was manipulating us and that it would eventually be his ticket out the door.   

A narcissist will discard you when he feels he can still maintain his outward image, after successfully destroying yours. 

He left suddenly and without concern for anyone else’s feelings. He said he cared, but his actions after leaving were cruel and unusual.  He not only left me, but the girls and never came back for them.  He asked for divorce via text a week after leaving and a day after our wedding anniversary.  He sold our boat to pay his attorney and demanded I not only pay all our bills, but alimony.  He immediately started another relationship, declaring his love for her 2 months after leaving his marriage.  He was a 33 year old man, who went from living in a big, beautiful home with 3 kids, and a devoted wife, to sleeping on an air mattress in his girlfriend’s mother’s home.  

“Choose Me”

When you’re so used to living in chaos, peace doesn’t feel right. I was addicted to his love, that even after everything he did, I tried to get him to come back.  

He gave me hope by “hoovering”, a common narcissist act of saying things that keep you on the line, while doing the complete opposite.  He’d send texts saying things like, “I’ll always love you.  You’ll always be the one.  My life is a mess right now.  I miss you.”  He belittled the new girl by calling her “trash”, “crazy”, “disloyal.”  Finally, I asked him to “choose me” and he did.  He came home and we spent the weekend reconnecting with each other. When he left for football camp, I felt like I had betrayed myself. I had not spent 8 months regaining my sense of safety, security and sanity just to let him take it with him again. 

Setting You Free

After 8 months of peace, I learned that I was not mourning him, I was mourning the dream that he sold me. My Prince was only armor, underneath was an empty, lost soul and there was nothing I could do to fix that. There was no fairy tale.  Only a survival story that started with him and ended with me taking my life back.  

He returned to her and within a month they were pregnant.  I’m sure she’s head over heals in love with him, as I was.   I learned so much about my experience with him, by watching him love bomb and devalue someone else.  It was so painful, but necessary in my healing process.  I am 19 months past the day he discarded me, and thankful now that he set me free. 

  

If you think you are suffering from trauma caused by Narcissistic Abuse, one-on-one therapy is best.  Although shared stories and books help, nothing helped me more than those biweekly appointments which gave me a safe space to share, listen, explore, and heal.  If you can’t get help right away, here are some resources to get you on the road to freedom:

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If you missed the first two post read them here:

Phase 1: https://expertlyflawed.com/2020/07/selling-fairy-tale-narcissistic-abuse/

Phase 2: https://expertlyflawed.com/2020/07/delivering-nightmare-stage-2-narcissism-abuse/

Selling The Fairy Tale: Stage 1 Narcissistic Abuse

Once upon a time

Traditional fairy tales start with a damsel in distress. A beautiful maiden has been ignored, mistreated, forced to serve others, and locked away by people who claim to love her.  As she wonders why she’s so unworthy of love, Prince Charming swoops in and rescues her. 

His undeniable good looks are only part of his charm, as he showers his soon to be Princess with romance beyond her wildest dreams.  He places her on his white horse and they ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after, or at least that’s what we think because that’s where the Disney stories end. 

I survived the fairy tale  

My Prince was just as handsome and charming as Walt could have designed.  He swooped in after my 11 year relationship/marriage traumatically ended, as if on cue. I was feeling unloved, unwanted, and tired of being strong. 

He held me in his big, strong arms and made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. By day, he held my face gently in his hands and kissed me every chance he got, while at night he passionately worshipped every inch of my neglected body. I woke up to him singing me sweet love songs as we planned our next adventure together.  

My perfect man, showered me with roses by the dozen and delivered coffee to my bedside in the morning.  He cooked me dinners, mowed my lawn and helped with chores around the house, anything to make my life easier.  I couldn’t have asked for a more loving, demonstrative father figure for my girls. 

He screamed out his love for me every chance he got, convincing everyone that he was sent from the heavens to give me the love story I deserved.  2 years later, we had a gorgeous wedding day, surrounded by God, family, and our girls. We literally danced off into the sunset and I was completely whisked away by his love.

4 years after our wedding day, Prince Charming left us to rescue another woman and I watched as he lit up her world, as he did mine, with his GIANT sized love and affection.  He worked his magic just as fast and within months of leaving his wife and kids, he was having baby and married to her.  Same Prince, different Princess.  

How could I be so stupid? Was it all even real?  Desperate to find answers, I started therapy and read everything I could about addiction, family trauma, and codependency.  A year later I was still searching to understand why I still felt so connected to him. 

My friend put me on to a social media page about surviving narcissistic abuse, but I wasn’t into it. I didn’t want to look at myself as a victim and I didn’t want to label him a narcissist. After all, isn’t a narcissist is a selfish person? My Prince was actually very loving, all the way up to the day he left.  After sharing these concerns with my friend, she said, “Lisa, I know what you went through, not just because I watched it as your friend, but because I went through it too. Watch it!”  So, I did.

Whoa!  A new world of understanding opened up for me when she described the 3 stages of Narcissistic Abuse.  This was the last piece I needed in my recovery process… 18 months later.  It was the realization I needed to accept my “too good to be true” fairy tale experience and move on from “Prince Charming” for good.  

Over the next week, I’ll be sharing what I learned from reading and watching countless professional resources on narcissistic abuse so that it may help some of you identify the signs and recover as well.  

Phase 1: Idealization “Love Bombing”

What it is:  Love bombing is the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of adoration and attraction. Narcissists are skilled at putting on the mask that their target will find most attractive.

How they do it:

  1. Quick commitments (moving in right away, engagement, baby, marriage)
  2. Undevoted time (as if they didn’t have a life before you) 
  3. Over the top compliments (you’re the best, only one they’ve ever loved) 
  4. Changing their interests to match yours
  5. Changing their beliefs to reflect yours
  6. Convincing you they are your soul mate, one of a kind connection early on

The love bombing phase is where the addiction sets in.  You become addicted to feeling that extreme love and adoration from him. When Stage 2, devaluation sets in, maintaining this addiction will be stronger than just about any awful thing he says or does to you. In fact, you’ll make excuses for him and work hard to make him feel good, losing yourself in the process.

Why they do it: 

  • They find validation in attaining your trust, undevoted love, attention & adoration  
  • They use your genuine, authentic self to fill their emptiness  
  • They seek happiness they can’t find within themselves so your happiness toward them becomes their temporary fix
  • They see something they want in your life and seek to present that image too
  • Ultimately, they want to hide their damaged sense of self with your admirable qualities

During the love bomb phase, the narcissist will quickly reveal upsetting parts of their past, in an attempt to draw you in closer. If you find yourself being more drawn to them for this reason and yearn to help them, you’re a good target.  In healthy relationships we support each other, we don’t try to rescue or save one another.

I think it’s important to end with saying that you can be a strong, intelligent person and experience emotional manipulation. In fact, that can actually make you a target because you have the traits they desire.  

I also believe that many narcissists are completely unaware of their actions.  But, that is no excuse.  If we deeply hurt those we love, we owe it to them, and to ourselves, to look inward and get the help we need to break toxic patterns.

Next stages and blog posts:

Click below to read more about the next stages of Narcissistic Abuse

  • Phase 2: Devaluation
    • Since this is an act, and they have no true sense of self, their mask will start to crack. They will lie, cheat and gaslight you in order to conceal their true identity. You will start to question everything, especially yourself.  
  • Phase 3: Detachment
    •  As their true self is revealed, they will realize they can’t play this role perfectly forever and must find a way to exit the relationship. They will abandon “the one” they vowed to love forever, especially if they have already found someone else to fill their supply.  

 

DIY Game Night

Impromptu game nights are a great way to get younger kids together for a couple hours and create memories to last a lifetime.  Our recent game night, cost us less than $25 for 3 hours of fun… and that was just on food!  We ordered 3 hot and ready pizzas for when the kids arrived and bought some ice cream for after the games.  

I created the games from supplies at home and the kids loved them more than the store bought games.  They had a blast and I’m already brainstorming ideas for games for next time!

Don’t be scared!  Have the kids throw out an invite to some friends, and get ready for a house full of laughter!

Twerk it Out

What you Need:
  • 2 Shoe boxes
  • 2 Pieces of Ribbon
  • 6 Ping pong balls
  • Music
Players:
  • 4-6 players
Assembly:
  • Cut a rectangular hole in each box, big enough for the ping pong balls to fit in.
  • Measure 2 ribbons long enough to fit around the waist of the players
  • Poke a hole on each side of the box and thread ribbon through it.

Game Instructions:

  • Divide players into 2 teams and line them up single file.
  • Place 3 ping pong balls inside each box.
  • Tie the boxes around the waist of the 1st players.
  • Once music begins, player 1 will shake, dance, twerk and jump until each of the balls fall out of the box.  
  • Other players should gather the balls as they fall out so that when Player 1 gets them all out, the balls are placed in the box again, tied around the waist of Player 2, and shaken out.
  • Repeat until all players have had a turn.
  • The first team whose players all successfully shake out the balls, win!

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Pantyhose Bowling

What You Need:
  • 1 Pair of Pantyhose
  • 1 Tennis Ball or Baseball
  • 6 Water Bottles
Players:
  • At least 2
Assembly:
  • Stuff the ball inside one of the legs of the pantyhose
  • Place water bottles in a pyramid on the floor
Directions:
  • Place the pantyhose over the head of player one.
  • Player 1 will swing the ball across the water bottles knocking over as many as they can.
  • Each player gets 2 swings.
  • The player to knock over the most water bottles in 2 swings wins.

 

A Reminder to New Moms

Hey Gorgeous,

Yeah you, with greasy hair, hairy armpits, black circles, and a baby crying on your hip.  I know you smell like a milk factory and while you give up your body to feed your baby, you haven’t had a decent meal in a few days.  The healthy new recipes you once pinned, are replaced by takeout menus and you hate yourself for not caring more about yourself.

Yeah, you.  You’re beautiful and amazing.  You are sustaining human life, think about that, creating, molding, nourishing life.  Amazing. While at times you may feel as though you’ve lost yourself in this process, I hope you realize you’re only sharing your gifts with your child for a little while.  One day, when you have your body back (your waistline and your sanity), you will watch them use your gifts to take on the world.

YOU look at your baby as a miracle of life, but she’s looking at you as her miracle.  Your bond with her is forever and it started the day of her birth.  Nobody can replace you.  You are her entire world but don’t let that responsibility crush you, let it carry you. Through the endless, sleepless nights.  Through the feelings of guilt.  When you feel like you’re not doing enough and when you feel you can’t give anything more. 

Hey you, please remember that even when you feel weak, when you’re crying about everything and on the brink of insanity due to lack of sleep, know that you are strong.  Mothers are the closest form of super heroes we will ever know on Earth.  Your super power is not only in nourishing and sustaining her life, but in nourishing yourself.

One day, you will get a full nights sleep again.  One day, your body will not be constantly on loan to a hungry baby.  One day you will look in the mirror and see a clean, well groomed woman. 

… but today, look at that messy mom in the mirror and appreciate the power, beauty and strength in your reflection. Tell that mama she’s amazing, a miracle, a freakin’ super hero.

Because she is.

Dear Dad, A Letter From A New Mom

Dear Dad,

Congrats on your beautiful baby!  

You watched your wife give birth and were probably awestruck by the miracle of life.  You admired her strength as she brought life into the world.  You probably cried the first time you saw your baby, a living, breathing reflection of you.  You searched his features looking for signs of you or your wife and thanked God he was healthy.  You feel in love with your wife all over again, and that baby only made your love stronger.

Bringing Home Baby

You may have felt helpless as you watched your wife care for your infant like a trained professional.  Maybe you even felt inadequate because she seemed to know so much, and you didn’t know where to begin.

What I hope you see is that she is learning, just like you.  She’s learning her baby’s cues and reacting to them.  She’s reading about babies, she’s talking about babies, everything is babies, babies, babies!  She’s giving herself every minute of the day to the needs of her child.  She’s not a professional, she’s definitely not competing for the best parent award, she’s a new parent, just like you, and she needs you by her side.

Providing for Baby

I’m sure it didn’t take long before you felt the pressure of having to provide for a family now.  That support is obviously important, especially now that your wife is recovering from childbirth and nourishing your child.  She may not return to work for a while or you may have decided to become a one income family.  Whatever the reason, your role as a provider is appreciated and vital to your family.  

I hope that in addition to providing for your family financially, you are able to see the demands of your wife’s new “job”.  Her hours are 24/7 and the job requirements are innumerable.  She’s constantly in training and feeling like she could be doing a better “job”, her boss is rarely satisfied, and her work is NEVER done.  

It takes a tremendous about of physical and emotional strength to be a mom and while she may make it look easy, it’s not.  IF she is forced to do this job alone, after 6 months of 24 hour days where she is always on call and often up all night, she will break down.  You will barely recognize her as the woman you married, because she can barely remember who that woman was.  

A diaper a day, keeps wifezilla away!

I hope that you will recognize that you are a team and equally responsible for the well-being of your baby.  Keep mom mentally healthy by letting her sleep through the night once a week.  Help with one feeding a day or agree to change the diapers after 6pm.  Don’t make her ask, because she won’t, and it will just add to her mental frustration.  Listen to your instincts as a dad, and respond to your baby’s needs as your wife does.

This Too Shall Pass

Having a baby is probably the largest sudden change your relationship will ever see.  It will test your patience and your love.  At first, you may have felt closer to your wife than ever, but soon, the baby’s needs trump everything and mom and dad are left feeling like the neglected ones.  

There will be times, Dad, when you resent your baby.  You’ll want your wife back.  You’ll miss her wild side, when she was fun and let her hair down.  Now it’s always in a pony tail covered in baby spit, smelling like regurgitated milk.

I hope you know that she misses that girl too.  She probably doesn’t even recognize herself in the mirror anymore.  She’ll need your gentle reminders of her strength and beauty, and your understanding if at the end of the day, she just can’t find it in herself to give anymore.  She LOVES that you still find her sexy, smelling like old milk, lookin’ a hot mess.

Dad, your role as a new parent is just as important as your role in caring for your wife during this time.  It’s not about being equal, but your actions can be monumental, and in return, you will receive more love that your giant heart can handle.

Sincerely,

A once overwhelmed, stressed, insane new mom who is now happily in the school-age phase and loving it!


This letter does not apply to all dads and all situations.  Many dads are primary care givers of their infant and deserve the same care during this time.  I feel it’s important to talk about the beauty and the obstacles of life so we can relate to one another and feel less alone during tough times.  Having a baby is life’s greatest gift and understanding how dynamics change can make us appreciate the first year even more.

Ditch The Dolls, Girls Deserve Better Toys

As I was in the middle of a rough Tabata session today, the instructor brought up dolls, and I realized, our girls deserve better toys.  She said she never let her mother buy her daughter those American Girl dolls… and then I was too busy doing kegel exercises in between jumping jacks to hear the rest.  As I was surrounded by women, of all shapes and sizes, lots of mothers, college students, young and old, I realized that the dolls of my youth, did a terrible job of representing my worth as a woman.

As I left Tabata, red faced and drenched with sweat, I felt like a strong, sexy woman.  I didn’t care if my makeup was running, because I didn’t have any on.  I didn’t care that I had armpit stubble every time I went up for an extension. I didn’t care that my chub roll showed each time I sat down, or that my sports bra did a terrible job of hiding my back fat.  I didn’t even care that through the smell of sweat, I detected a faint smell of urine (must do more kegels).

I was the complete opposite of any perfect little girly, girl doll of my youth and yet I felt strong, empowered, and beautiful.  Fuck you, Barbie.  Thanks to you, (and other pink plastic toys) it took me 36 years to get over the definition of feminine in my own head.  In that moment, walking out of the gym in all my glory, I was the definition of woman.  

It’s no wonder that my daughters have never played with Barbie dolls or owned any doll that eats, pees, poops, cries, farts, or whines.  A relative bought them each an American Girls Dolls and they sat in a stuffed animal bin until their blonde silky hair got matted and I gave them away.  Rag dolls and porcelain dolls creep me out, almost as much as a Barbie Doll with a 3 inch thigh gap. These types of dolls serve no purpose in raising self sufficient girls.  

I’d rather my daughters have a doll with dirt on her face.  One who drives her own truck, rather than ride shotgun in a convertible.  I want the dirt to come from fixing her own flat tire and thick, beautiful thighs to show she lifted that truck tire into her flatbed by herself.

A girl needs a set of weights in addition to a kitchen set so she can not only learn to cook her own healthy meals, but build the muscle to become strong.

Instead of a princess castle, she needs a tool set.  The pallet crafts of today, will be tomorrow’s home repairs, making her more independent and empowered.

If you still need to get her dolls, ditch the high fashion outfits and tutus, and buy female dolls dressed like professionals, doctors or scientists.  These are positive images that will inspire them into these careers as they get older.

Pretend play is important, just make sure your kids have a lot of options.  We had a dress up bin that contained princess dresses, but it also had everyday hero costumes like a firefighter, super heroes and professional costumes, like a veterinarian.

Whether you subconsciously buy the same toys you played with as a kid, or you think you’re doing what every other parent does, stop and think of it’s purpose and most importantly, it’s message. Paint the image you want your children to see, don’t let others control that.  


Holiday time is coming! Please consider buying purposeful gifts this year.  If you need toy ideas, click on the red hyper links in the text.  It will bring you to samples through my Amazon account.

How The Me, Too Movement Can Lead To Equality

Me, too

The Me, Too Movement is sweeping Facebook, bringing the realization of sexual harassment to the surface. 

  • According to a survey done by Cosmopolitan, 1 in 3 women have been sexually harassed at work while 1 in 6 have been victims of sexual assault.  These numbers are terrifying for a mom of 3 girls, and should move everyone in this country to make changes that protect our daughters.  

Women do not have the same freedoms as men (PERIOD)

  • Men, do you fear being sexually assaulted when you walk through a parking lot alone?
  • Do you rethink the message an outfit sends a dozen times before leaving the house?
  • Has anyone made you feel like your abilities are solely based on your sex appeal?
  • Has a fun night out turned into terror because you didn’t watch your drink carefully?
  • Have you ever been verbally threatened on the street and then feared for your safety?
  • Have you repeatedly been treated like a sexual object, rather than a human being?

As a girl, my parents taught me:

  • How to dress so I didn’t invite “the wrong kind of attention”
  • Not to drink too much because, “date rape is a thing”
  • Never to walk alone, or leave a friend behind
  • How to “brush off” unwanted attention from boys

These lessons send the wrong messages because when something does happen, (and they have happened to me, as they have to the majority of women) we blame ourselves for not protecting ourselves enough.  We shouldn’t have worn that. We shouldn’t go out for drinks.  We shouldn’t have been walking by ourselves.  We should have said something.  Because of these lessons, we bare the brunt of HIS actions, out of fear we are at fault, fear nobody will believe us and somewhere along the way, we accept that it doesn’t matter.

So, how do we stop sexual harassment?

We have to change the way we teach our sons and our daughters about the opposite sex.  

We have to stop replaying the sexist phrases, shut off the music that promotes violence toward women, and silence the voices that promote discrimination.

It’s no secret men and women are biologically different, but that doesn’t mean we both shouldn’t be granted equal freedoms and mutual respect.  

Daughters

We all need to show our girls that they are not responsible for the actions of her assailant. If a man rapes her, assaults her, or harasses her, it has nothing to do with the fact that she was walking by herself, or that she got dressed up to go out with her friends. It is HIS fault, and she can do something about it by speaking up.  Never make excuses for a boy or man, who makes your daughter feel unsafe.  She deserves to have control over her body at all times.  Foster a relationship of trust so that she can come to you if something happens.  Then, don’t make excuses, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Sons

We need to show our sons that respecting a woman makes him stronger, not weaker.  Moms and dads have the responsibility to show their boys that women are just as STONG as they are beautiful and just as SMART as they are sexy.  When women are appreciated for the qualities that make them HUMAN; their MIND, their ABILITIES, and their IMPORTANCE in this world, the relationship between men and women will be stronger, and most importantly, more equal.

It’s a long process and unfortunately to some, sexual discrimination is so embedded in their psyche that they may never look at it as a problem.  This is not “just the way it is,”  it can change if we take action.  When our daughters can walk down the street, alone, at dusk without fear of being raped, we can stop talking about this.  Until then, get used to the conversation.

It’s Time To Change The American Dream

When my kids grow up, I want their hearts to be free, their souls to be nourished, and their burdens to be few.  

Part III: It’s time to change the American Dream

College grads with more debt than job opportunity.  Jobs that take us away from our families while barely paying us enough to make repairs on our home.  Happy marriages that are statistically more likely to end in divorce.  Entitled kids that can’t see beyond their tiny phone screen.  16 million people suffering from depression in America.  Food that is literally killing us.  These are all things that are “normal” in American society.  All things that are part of the American Dream, we are unconsciously living.

This version of the American Dream is soul crushing and has to be changed.  Recently, my husband and I tried to make some drastic changes to our American Dream.

We put our 2000 square foot home on the market to live in a 700 square foot camper for one year.  We were only going to keep the essentials (clothes, sentimental items, etc), pack them into the truck and travel with our 3 girls across the country (and back).  I had a writing gig for money and of course, we would have some money from the sale of our home.  We were going to document our travels and share with the world our new version of the American Dream.

More importantly, we were going to fulfill our dream of spending a year together as a family, seeing things none of us had ever seen before.  As a teacher, I could teach the kids their online school work to ensure they met the “standards” but in traveling, they would be learning through experience, and there’s no greater lesson than that.  Exploring caverns, and writing about adventures.  Meeting Native Americans and learning about their sacred land. Camping under the stars and learning about science in our true environment.  These lessons would be truly unforgettable.

However, this didn’t happen.  We expected to sell our house in days, it sat on the market for weeks.  We started to get pressure from family regarding our parenting and whether we were thinking of our own children in all this.  It turned nasty, because some were too stuck in their selfish feelings that they were not able to see the amazing experience this would have been.

What I’ve learned is that the majority of people are afraid of change.  They’ll work a dead end job where they spend more time at work than with their family, because they’re afraid to take a risk to try something different.  They’ll listen to their kids complain about countless tests and an epidemic of bullying, because they don’t understand the endless school options now available.

I’ve also learned that many of the people who judge us, are the same people who discriminate against others.  Their fear of the unknown motivates them to have a very closed-minded, one-sided view of the world, and they’re not afraid to give their very judgmental, biased opinion.

While these people are driven by fear, my husband and I are driven by purpose.  Our purpose is to expose our girls to things in life beyond their current understanding.  To bring experience and passion into their lives so when it’s time, they will make decisions based on experience, rather than someone else’s belief.  They will be strengthened through our ability to take a risk without fear of failure and given the confidence to follow through on their dreams.  Most importantly, we’ll give them the freedom to choose because we realize the importance of never telling someone who or what they can be.

Our dream is on hold right now, but it’s not dead.  This year holds a lot of changes and we are very excited to embrace them and share them with all of you.

To be continued…

Want to see how these views were shaped?  See About a Boy and About a Girl.

One Simple Wish for My Children: About a Girl

When my kids grow up, I want their hearts to be free, their souls to be nourished, and their burdens to be few. 

Part II:  About A Girl

Her parents didn’t have money to send her to college, they didn’t even have the means to make sure she finished high school.  She was determined to go to college because there she would have freedom.  All she ever wanted was a happy heart and a soul mate.

She thought she’d be a Sports Broadcaster, do something many women weren’t doing at the time.  She loved football and imaged herself on the sidelines calling the game and talking to athletes.  She was a dreamer.

Unfortunately, without any money, she had to work full time just to pay for part time credits in college.  She was really good at her sales job, so much so that she made more money than her mom did that year.  Her dad, who wasn’t in the picture much, was also in sales and applauded her choice to choose work over school.  She had approval, money, and a boyfriend, but she was unfulfilled.

She worked at that company for 5 years before transferring to another city to follow her boyfriend.  He had his degree, there was never any question that he was going to be in business.  She found sales to drain her and went in search of something more.

She ended up getting married and having babies.  Her heart was full as a stay-at-home mom.  At night, she attended college classes and eventually earned her degree in education.  She loved learning, it fed her soul.

Unfortunately, once she found herself, she lost her husband.

She could have sacrificed herself, forgiven him and moved on, like she had before, but this time even though her heart was breaking her soul was full.  She chose to muster her strength and seek her happiness again.  She found it, within another, but most importantly, within herself.

She never lost faith in herself.  She was given the power of making her own decisions.  She was given the trust to fall, knowing she would have to pick herself up again.  She was given the confidence of unconditional love.

She has a free soul; Society resents her.  She refuses to fit in a mold; Baby boomers judge her.  Her heart can be a bit of a kamikaze; Realists laugh at her.  She doesn’t care.  Her mind is as open as her heart and she refuses to let anyone tell her how or what to think.

How do I use experiences like these to teach my girls how to be happy and empower them to make their own decisions?  Read more below:

Part I:   About a Boy

Part III: Guiding our kids to be happy, healthy, and nourished within.

About a Boy: The American Dream

I have one simple wish for when my children grow up; I want their hearts to be free, their souls to be nourished, and their burdens to be few. 

Part I:  About a boy

It was Senior year, he had taken all the classes his parents told him to take and ended up with a very high GPA as well as a partial scholarship.  When asked what college he was going to, he answered with the same college his mother went to.  When asked what he wanted to major in, he answered with the program his dad guided him toward.

He chose finance because, well, money makes the world go ‘round.  His parents assured him he would have no trouble finding a job after college and that his salary would be along the lines of what he had been raised on.  His parents had money, and their spending whether it be on the design of their beautiful home, or extravagant trips, was never a secret.    

He graduated with a Business Degree in Finance and got a job with a local branch of a Wall Street giant.  Less than a year later, when the greed and corruption of floating money hit the fan, he was let go.  He moved to Tampa to follow his fiancé, and has been crunching numbers with the same company for over 10 years.

He eventually married his high school sweetheart, bought a nice house in the suburbs, and had a couple of kids, but he wasn’t happy.  Why wasn’t all of it enough?

It wasn’t enough because he was living someone else’s dream.

He sacrificed his love of art, and his dreams of living in a big city.  He never took his musical talent seriously, even though music is what nourishes his soul.  He liked the attention of exotic girls, and imaged himself dancing with them until the wee hours of the night at an underground nightclub in London.  The image of himself in his heart and in his soul, were unrealistic compared to who he had to be in the eyes of others, so he killed them.

He stopped dancing.  He stopped making art.  He stopped making music.  He hated his job.  He got divorced.  He felt like he sacrificed it all, for what?

His soul was lost in an American Dream he didn’t create.  It’s like a version of the Truman Show where everyone is controlling your life without you realizing it.  One day you wake up, and go “who’s life I this?  Who am I?”

He lives without true freedom, without a happy soul, and with more burdens than he can carry. 

Want to read more?

Read Part II Here

Read Part III Here