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  1. #11
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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    Hi wanda20!

    lol Actually, I totally agree with you. I wasn't expecting anything, but yet I was really disappointed anyway. I got a reply from both my mom and my dad.

    My responses are in --italics--
    -------MOM'S REPLY-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Holly,

    Oh, how I have loved you. From the very first day I saw you. I continued to love you. I could tell you a zillion wonderful real life stories about you and the beautiful baby, active toddler, loving and kind and happy and smart in school when you arrived there. You sang and jumped, and played with the crickets. When I raised you I did not know how to stand up for myself, either, so I didn’t know how to teach you. You were a wonderful student all through school and look at you. You went on to university and got one of the first degrees of any Cunningham or Soper on either side of the family. You have accomplished so much! -- Wow, gushy! --

    And you know what else: you are also such a loving, generous person to others with a real hospitality in your home and with your friends.

    [Here's where she turns this around to make this MY fault] Did you know that with some serious depression, knowing all your accomplishments doesn’t necessarily help? The psychologist I had didn’t know that. The psychiatrist did. I was suicidal and depressed only once in my life, but I had no meds until I saw a psychiatrist. A person’s spouse’s hands are tied. They try to help but it doesn’t usually work in a serious chemical imbalance. -- I think she means that my dad's hands were tied because he didn't know what to do -- This depression had come about when we had a new baby Robin -- my youngest brother, Chris -- my middle brother -- had not slept before Rob’s birth and even at 4 yrs was still not sleeping. I literally was deprived of sleep for too long because of a child’s chemical imbalance. I know I wasn’t a bad person, as you seem to infer. -- I don't think I inferred anywhere that she was a bad person for dealing with my brother Chris --

    When you were an adult, I did notice that when you came to our house, occasionally you’d clamp up whenever something was discussed. -- that's for sure -- But I had hoped we could, if not always agree, at least agree to disagree, -- her idea of 'agree to disagree' is akin to 'swallowing emotions' or 'forgiving each other and moving on as though nothing happened because that's what family does' -- but of course only after you gave your whole-hearted opinion, which you didn’t. David does it so freely. He’ll say, “No disrespect intended, but this is how I see it…” and gives his opinion wholeheartedly. Most families can agree to disagree. By the way, I never had to compete with my siblings. I did work hard to gain self-esteem by working hard. The only person I may have competed with was myself, from time to time. -- she is directly contradicting words I heard her say -- I did need to learn not to work so hard, or at least to take lots of rest at intervals and love myself in those rest periods.

    I did see a psychologist once during a depression I went through. I was helped some but it took about two years to come out of it fully. A psychiatrist would have been better, perhaps. I did not tell you this, but by the time you told me you wanted me to see a psychiatrist/psychologist about Robin and Grace, I already had. -- she seems not to remember but she, in fact, did tell me that she had seen a psychologist once already -- She informed me that obviously, no matter what Dad & I tried to do to show our love for Rob and Grace, it would never get through to them, so we should stay away from them for at least 6 months to give matters a rest and us a rest. -- however apparently she still would call my brother and sister-in-law constantly, is their side of the story, until they finally blocked her -- When Dad & I stayed away, we had to not see them when we went to Edmonton in order to follow the psychologist’s advice. No one is all bad or all good. Them nor us. -- I remember when my brother had planned a visit to my gramma's and of course this was supposed to happen simultaneously when my mom and dad showed up, so apparently my mom caused a bit of havoc and guilt amongst my relatives because she was quite self-pitying and claiming she didn't want to cause trouble, so apparently they drove around for a while --

    At an earlier time, I also saw the psychologist re: Robin’s always being ill for six years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and pressures at my workplace. After I left the correctional centre a year and a half later, there was a grand exit of 6 nurses at once; they left for the same reasons I did. You cannot say I brought those troubles on myself. You would have to blame the other 6 nurses too. -- I don't know why she thinks I am blaming her for leaving that jail; I actually told her I was all for her leaving. I agreed with her that was an awful place to begin with and a poisoned work environment with management --

    Please do not assume you know everything about what I have said or done in other people’s relationships. You’ve visited and heard other family opinions about Dad and me but seldom heard any of the things they said or did to Dad & me. If you did hear, you might see things differently. But we chose to keep it private. -- naturally convenient, because everything they do is kept private. And I do know some of my mom's version of things that she claimed, but it's never the truth, so how is one supposed to believe the Narcissist's side of the story? lol ---

    You cannot coerce anyone to see a psychologist or psychiatrist by giving the person an ultimatum. Personally, I believe if someone is depressed, a psychiatrist is best because they can tell when medication is needed to bring about healing. A regular general practitioner has to believe I need a psychiatrist, which right now at present is not the case. -- nice... Now I am the one trying to coerce her --

    Dad and I have been saying for years that we wanted to move here to BC. -- I know that, but they never ever told us they were buying property, or that they were renting out a place there for a couple years. That info was sprung on us three months before they were actually moving. I was quite surprised that she kept that info to herself for so long, and wonder why she kept it to herself -- It has nothing to do with anyone. -- oh, really? -- We have been visiting old friends here since age 21 and 23. It almost sounds like you want our move to be a failure. You went to the US and we wished you well. -- no she didn't. She was telling my brothers BS about David and also ended up coming to visit because of course then they get to go to Florida free of charge. We called them ONE time for a small loan of about $300, but because we were now married and on our own she decided no, we should figure things out on our own. All I needed was to pay our rent on time because my first paycheque was delayed. It was more like 'well, you deserted us, so you don't get any help from us.' So guess who helped instead? My husband's mother. Yet she feeds and clothes my middle brother and has spent thousands of dollars cleaning up his debt for him and bought him a car and bought him groceries. -- Can you not do that for us? From my experience with depression, I would say if you get suicidal thoughts the psychologist is putting a person at risk by not referring them to a psychiatrist. Psychologists and psychiatrists are often only as good as their own personal level of growth and maturity. Please get a good one. You’re worth it. -- oh brother, I totally do not feel suicidal, I don't know why she thinks I am ---

    Finally, consider taking a copy of your e-mail that you wrote to me, to your counselor and this letter, too. -- well, here it is folks... I'm baring my soul (and my parents' souls)... What do you think? Do I still need the therapy? -- You are going through a really big growth period right now. I only know because I’ve been there. It’s lake having huge waves almost knocking you down and drowning you. During that time, you are barely catching your breath, it seems, but with good support the water does go back gradually and one finds oneself in a new place, a new beginning. During that first part, your friends (or, for that matter, your relatives) may look like your enemies. But afterwards you’ll know who really are your friends. I found myself reading some everyday language book by Carl Jung. He sees depression as the storm before the growth and happiness and development of opposite new sides to one’s personality. -- Ok, so now she's talking to me as though I am a nut and that I need help because of course it's ME not her that needs the help. Classic --

    Sometimes a physical problem can lead to depression. Dr. VanRooyen could check that out for you. For example, your Dad is feeling better since he got off the coricosteroid inhaler he was on for so many years. You’re on one, too. -- again, always offering expert advice: I'm a big girl and I've talked to my doctor several times about my medications and still talk to him about them --

    Search with God for answers. He’s always looking to find you; do you ever look back? He loves you and is the only source of real strength if we but ask. Consider the prayer of Footsteps. But if suicidal thoughts or other thoughts of self-harm hit you – get immediate psychiatric help to get meds. Please don’t risk your life for one minute. -- Here we go. Gotta throw religion into the mix --

    Now, at present, I do take a mild regular dose of anti-anxiety meds daily for the rest of my life and I have no shame about that. Meds are one type of healing included in all of God’s gifts of healing types. I feel well on this. It is from the general practitioner originally being Dr. VanRooyen. Please be certain I know myself well enough now that if that were not working I’d ask for help. There is a history of chemical imbalance on both sides of the family, so anyone in the family need not feel any shame about this. Would we feel shame about any other chemical imbalance: diabetus for example? I know this is a very, very tough journey, but you can find the answers. You will find the answers! -- Well, that's very comforting, coming from her --

    Lastly, we continue to love you, hope for you, pray for you. Please believe that.we simply do not have the answers for you but with God’s strength if you turn and receive it you will find the answers yourself. Then in the future do give your opinion, but try not to assume it’s not important to me. Of course we may differ, but will, if necessary, agree to disagree. I believe some of the time we do agree. Best of all, you’ll stop being your own worst judge. -- sigh - This may be what she's gone through or is going through, not what I am going through--

    Please, though, not a whole lifetime of resentments at one time. Try one issue at a time and I can handle it and so could you. If later you wish to write an e-mail about one issue at a time, hey, I want to be a better listener. Please, I invite you to voice your opinions wholeheartedly but not aggressively, instead, assertively. I know I can’t take another letter like this last one that you sent Your DR./Psychologist can give you info on assertiveness. -- Does anyone else see this as an excuse for me to continue emailing her? It's tempting to send her some single instances of her behaviour over the years a bit at a time so she can easily digest things. However, I get the feeling this is more of a ploy to keep in contact with me, and I have the feeling if I attempt to show her the wrongness in a situation or my feelings, instead of her apologizing, she'll turn around and say that I misinterpreted it or make excuses of why she acted that way -- so it won't be her fault again --




    Love Mom



    P.S. your beautiful pink lily for Mother’s Day brought tears of happiness to my eyes!They reminded me of you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please take time yourself before you write again. -- that was the only thing I sent her for Mother's Day --

    PS We fully intend to still give you that 10,000$ when we are able We had tried to sell Edward and had it on the market and really wanted to be able to let you know where things stood, but you totally squashed that with the statement:” Don’t ever talk to us about the rentals again!” We have and will respect that until you tell us differently. We felt totally caught in a bind. -- nice deflection, now it's also my fault that they 'couldn't tell me about selling that property.' And that property is of --

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------DAD'S REPLY-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It’s hard to know where to start, but I’ve got to get something down because my life’s on hold until I do. I can’t seem to concentrate on anything else while I stew about this – the e-mail’s piling up, now the printer doesn’t work, there are all sorts of other things I should be attending to but can’t seem to focus on until I get this thing out of my head.

    Characterizations of your mother as crazy and conniving and of your father as befuddled and delusional aside, it must be pretty obvious to you that if we really are crazy, we’re hardly likely to seek psychiatric help. And if we’re not crazy, we’re still not very likely to seek psychiatric help, even when given an ultimatum from a child of ours. That can only mean you are putting us in an impossible position in order to justify in your own mind whatever the unspoken threat is that you’ve implied in your ultimatum. -- wow, I didn't even mean it as a threat, I just was desperate to try to get them to do something; backfired I guess --

    As you know, the computer/Internet are my domain, and utterly foreign to your mother. -- the hell it is: she was already mucking around and invading his emails as soon as I said I wasn't going to be calling anymore to protect myself -- It took her two or three days of grueling effort to do her reply on the computer; it just isn’t her medium, just as I abhor the telephone and am very uncomfortable in that medium. And, actually, most people are quite different online than they are in person, so cyberspace isn’t necessarily the best medium to discuss the deeper issues of life. -- oh no, that's why it's so much better to talk on the phone so that she can push my buttons --

    In fact, I really obsessed for a couple of days as to whether I should even show your e-mail to Mom, but in the end it was clear that hearing from you was too important to her, even if it was a devastating bombshell. However, considering the effect it has had on both of us, I would have to say any future long, rambling “you’re crazy and you’ve wrecked my life” e-mail will have to go directly to the Trash bin, and I probably won’t even tell Mom about it. Neither of us feel we deserve this.

    As you can see from her reply, she has undertaken to defend us against your accusations and explain our actions, as well as offer suggestions for your own well-being. I, however, feel that we are under no obligation to do that, and it would be a waste of time anyway, as your mind is made up and anything we say can and will be used against us.

    I miss you, although displaying your art around the house helps, and I can only hope you find a measure of peace and happiness in whatever way you find works best for you.


    Love,

    Dad

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -- Well, there's the proof: it didn't work out. In fact, it backfired a bit. I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm disappointed anyway. If anything, I was more surprised by my dad's reply than mom's. I can see he's totally taken in by her and jumps to her defense, as usual.

    So what are your thoughts? Anyone? My first thought was not to reply at all and just let things be. Ya know, throw in the white flag. Does anyone think that I am the one that needs therapy?? I've gone to therapy about this stuff already, in fact that was part of the reason I sent that note in the first place: I thought of it as a catalyst for me, and something I thought should be said for a long time... Does my email to them (see the one I sent after Mother's Day) make me sound ill?? Do their responses look the same to you, the readers, as it looks to me?
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

  2. #12
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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    Hi Holly
    I think your Mom is extremely convincing and plausible but as I read the letter (and I have read this a couple of times now) I can sense the underlying coldness and arrogance that exists. It's the fact she had the audacity to tell you what you are going through. The letter has been written very carefully and she is very careful to put herself in a positive light and absolve herself from any blame (she is well aware that this is in black and white). There was not a shred of an apology in that letter or even a shred of humility - that is how I see it.
    Holly, it seems to me that you need a second opinion as to what to do. Only you can make your mind up. I got my second opinion from a therapist who knows about NPD. Have you been to see a therapist or a psychologist who knows about NPD?
    Sue

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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    Yes... Well my therapist (whom I have not seen in about a year or more) seems to have a lot of experience with a lot of different types, and he was the one who said he thought it sounded like she had NPD...

    Anyway, I thought it was very amusing that I was told by my mother that I am the one going through something, and again, she turns it all around and makes the reason I sent the letter to her that I am the one who is sick. I said I was "sad and angry" and "frustrated," I didn't say I was depressed. At least I don't think I'm depressed. I've felt like the world was falling down on my head before, and this isn't one of those times. I felt lost during my time growing up with her, but when I became lost as an adult, that was the one and only time (for a couple years) that I saw him.

    I especially like how she mentioned the property on Edward Street. She has several properties and the reason I had hung up on her was the last time I spoke to her on the phone she wanted me to look up something in my local newspaper (and it was an ad for a different property for sale/rent) to verify that it had been worded correctly in the paper. She got so snarky and huffy with me that I hung up the phone and shortly thereafter I blocked her phone number. And then I stated I did not want to have anything to do with rentals anymore. That's because I have to lay down boundaries or she's going to try to get me to check every time she puts an ad in the paper, and there were already some times when she wanted us to take the snow blower down to one of her properties. She happened to 'give' us that snow blower and we were prepared somewhat for the likelihood that she would then expect something from us, and sure enough she did.

    Edward Street was a property that she, my dad and I were on title. The tricky part is the fact that I wasn't talking to her in my early twenties, because she had kicked me out of the house (her last words were 'you won't last more than three weeks' and I stayed away for almost a whole year). So she went around and bought a house for me, and a house for my youngest brother and middle brother. She had me and my youngest brother on title with different properties, but the middle brother apparently she felt had no brains for being on title. The problem with my youngest brother was when my mother did not report income and she was very enmeshed with my youngest brother at the time, and very pissed off that he was marrying a girl that remembered everything in chronological sequence and could out-argue her. So the short story is that my youngest brother played along and took some of the blame for this unreported income and then "somehow" my mother got off scot-free from that audit (but wasn't so lucky with another audit). So now my youngest brother has this black mark on his record with Revenue Canada.

    With me, I never got full disclosure. I didn't know anything about my rights. Sure a real estate lawyer came by for me to sign papers and explained everything but it was way over my head and I thought my mom was doing this out of love. Ha ha ha ha ha (I know, hilarious). So years go by, and my mom kept saying she was going to sell it, and I was under the impression that I would at some point be given a third of whatever the capital gains were as a gift for my graduation. But I started getting wary to her, and asked several times about removing my name off the title. My husband and I even had a real estate fellow come over and do an assessment, and he did not think that in the condition it was in currently that it would sell for anywhere near where my mother claimed she was going to sell it for (being on a flood plain that means no one is allowed to add on to the property, also the fact that it was not 'to code' because my mother always cut corners, and there was some questionable wiring and venting, not to mention black mould was infesting the walls and the basement leaked all the time). So about 3 or 4 months before my parents planned to move to British Columbia, that's when they told us that all this time they had already bought a house and had people renting it out in BC, and that they planned to move there in July.

    Well my stress levels went through the roof because now I was really concerned. I tried to ask my mom again if I could remove my name from the title. As in the past, her voice got all high-pitched and anxious-sounding and she spoke really fast telling me that if I took my name off the title now, somehow it would cost all three of us title owners to lose thousands of dollars. I just wasn't buying it anymore. I wanted to know what my true responsibilities were (and a few friends and relatives were also concerned) if they left and I was the only one on title in the province where said property existed. Sure enough I had to go behind my own mother's back and chat with a real estate agent. Now a few things came up: if there was no property manager then I would be the sole person responsible for that house. I did NOT know that and I was NOT pleased to hear this. My mom later claimed they had someone who was the property manager, but they never bothered to tell me this before, and it was quite silly not to tell me that. My mom had things all mixed up, and I am not sure if it was intentional, but she thought somehow we all owned a third of the house, but that is not how it was at all. We all owned the whole property together. There was no way I was going to cost anyone thousands of dollars if I removed my name from the title. I also learned that if I was the only sibling who was on title on a property, then legally this would mean that I wanted to take the house for profit and be responsible for taxes, etc. This shocked me, because I thought I was on the title in name only. I had not put money into the house (other than what I paid my mother for in cash that wasn't traceable) and had not made repairs or anything, but somehow I would get stuck with the responsibility of looking after a piece of real estate and selling it or renting it out if my parents ever passed away. I did not ever want anything from my mother to profit from her, dead or living.

    So to straighten this all out I again sent my parents an email, giving them the benefit of the doubt that I wasn't accusing them of purposely pulling the wool over my eyes, and went so far as to say that perhaps her real estate lawyers had misinformed her previously or perhaps she had misunderstood. Of course she focused on how I went behind her back, and I kept telling her that I didn't go behind her back. In truth I used the excuse to do a name change, because the property was still in my maiden name. My mother had the audacity to say that I could have told her that I wanted to go in with her to see a lawyer because it didn't sound right to me, but I know for a fact she would have refused and been just as angry for doubting her word as truth.

    She tried to bribe me into telling her why I wanted to take my name off the title, but I already told her why. I didn't have full disclosure and I didn't feel comfortable being on title when she was out-of-province. She was being all nicey-nice because of course I had been to a lawyer and knew she couldn't trick me into or out of anything anymore, and even offered to pay the $200 so I wouldn't have to do that to give all the property back to her. I did all the running around with the paperwork (next time, I will get a lawyer to do it because that was stressful in itself; we had to re-sign paperss and print more stuff off that we had missed printing before, etc). Just as she was going to hand over the cheque (which earlier I told her I was willing to pay for myself, but was just asking if she could pay half)... She said "Now that we are giving you this money, can you tell us why you want your name to be off the title." At which point I got angry and, handing back the cheque to her, I said, "If that's how your going to do this you can keep the cheque and I will be happy to pay for it myself." At which point she back-pedaled and let me have the cheque from her.

    It really nearly made me laugh when my dad said that it was so painful for my mom to write an email. I mean for heaven's sake, he could have brought up the reply window for her and all she'd have to do is type it in, and then he could hit 'send.' How painful is that?? And that statement is also contradictory. When I stopped calling my mom, and blocked her number she made absolutely certain that she interfered every time I sent my dad a message. Soon I couldn't even tell if it was dad or mom writing.

    I will run this past my therapist, if you think it is necessary, but I don't think it's me, I think it's her.
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

  4. #14
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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    What could your mother or father do for you now to alleviate this situation? (in ten words or less).
    Change begins when you practice ordinary courage

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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    Hi Holly,

    I really like what RDW has asked you. Genius!

    I can really see that you are sounding off here and it really sounds like you long for your mom (and dad) to acknowledge what you believe to be true. Your last email goes into a lot of detail re property and I really didn't understand a lot of the jargon. However, I get the general impression and please don't try to explain. The bottom line is, your mom had used you and your siblings to avoid some kind of property tax - the details are irrelavant. This alone tells me that, to her, you don't matter. She is quite prepared to let you (and your siblings) risk getting in trouble so that she can avoid some tax. Her actions speak louder than her words.

    I will run this past my therapist, if you think it is necessary, but I don't think it's me, I think it's her.
    If I think its necessary? What about you?
    I wasn't necessarily meaning you ran it past your therapist - what I meant was, your therapist knows you and is a witness to your character. If it isn't clear to him it is certainly clear to me that your experiences and reactions are very normal for somebody suffering a less than normal situation.

    Sue

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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day



    I am sorry about the lengthy explanations. I guess I felt I needed to get descriptive because I got a bit defensive.

    Anyway... Sorry, 10 words or less...

    (other than going to hell or magically somehow being able to see what they've done)

    I'd be happy if they could just leave me alone, now.
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    It was not the length of your posts that was troubling, I was interested as to what you would simply like your parents to do.
    Change begins when you practice ordinary courage

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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    I'd be happy if they could just leave me alone, now.
    Do you feel able to leave them alone?

  9. #19
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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    After that last letter they sent me, I can see it's pretty much impossible to get them to try to do something to help themselves. They just don't see it. I wanted to try one more time.

    So I did. And that's it then.

    They aren't interested in getting help. They still problems they cause are caused by everyone else and not them. I can't change that, and they are right about that one -- no one can coerce them into seeking help. That would be like trying to force an alcoholic into rehab before they are ready. But I thought they might like to know how I felt and what they could do in order to keep me in their lives.

    Anyhoo, I haven't had any difficulty not contacting them. I didn't even call my mother on Mother's Day. I sent her an e-card. It all seems pretty meaningless now to try to put one more ounce of energy into this, and I don't think I want to be the one to send weekly emails to my mom, like she requested, to tell her what's been bothering me, because that would take up weeks and weeks of my time, probably a whole year! lol And during that time I would be constantly worrying about what she would say, and what I should say. And she would probably try to make an excuse or say I misunderstood her or she doesn't remember or the usual gaslighting techniques... So I am very inclined not to contact them anymore. I feel way more comfortable about it than I was, say, 6 months ago. It's been such a gradual process, over years, definitely not a snap decision.
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

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    Re: Happy Narcissistic Mother's Day

    The bottom line is if you are happy with your decision and can live with the consequences of that decision, good for you. A person can only look after their own life and their own decisions so you are able to make yours and your parents are able to make theirs. That does not mean one must agree with the other they just agree to live their own lives.
    Change begins when you practice ordinary courage

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