How to Win an Argument with a Narcissist

Just walk away.

Seriously, that’s it. Just walk away.

The more you argue with a narcissist, the more power you give them. You will never convince a narcissist that he (or she!) may be wrong. Instead, you will just continue to give them voice for their already inflated ego. You will become more and more frustrated and they will become more and more convinced of their “rightness.” Eventually, you will give up or give in, because really, that’s the only way the argument will ever end. Imagine if you had saved yourself all that energy and just walked away.

They will still think they are the better and bigger person. I mean, that will never change. But they will not have succeeded in making you feel smaller, and that is where the victory lies. See, a narcissist keeps his ego inflated by trying to deflate yours. The smaller your ego gets, the bigger his gets. That’s how they work. They wear you down while building themselves up. While you argue, you give them all the power.  They know eventually, you will give in, and that’s where they get their power.

narcissism

[nahr-suh-siz-em]
noun
1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
Synonyms: self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.

When you walk away, you take away their power. If you won’t argue with him, it doesn’t even matter if he was right. Because he didn’t get to PROVE to you he was right! He didn’t get to inflate his ego or build up his self-esteem. He didn’t get the chance to show you how superior he is to you. And for a narcissist, that is the the point. Their sense of self depends on showing how superior they are.

So, just walk away. In fact, RUN. As fast as you can. Out of his life.

Because you know the truth about him. And that is where you get your power.

Love and Loss

It’s been over a month and I still can’t figure out how to put this down in writing. On March 17, I found out that my first love, G, who I’ve written about several times, had died. His body couldn’t withstand the years of alcohol abuse. Words to describe how I feel about this are jumbled in my head. Devastated. sad, guilty, heartbroken, empty, angry, disappointed…I’ve run the gauntlet of emotions. Apparently this is normal when you lose someone you love.

This is my first up close and personal experience with loss. Two of my grandparents have passed away, and I miss them greatly, but we are usually prepared for that loss. The sudden loss of someone young and with so much life ahead of him is not something I know how to deal with. I get to a point where I think I’ve accepted it and then it comes out of nowhere and hits me like a ton of bricks. The grief, all over again. The disbelief. The feeling that I’m having a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. Because, G can’t be gone. He just…can’t. There are things I still needed to say and words I needed to hear. Forgiveness to give and apologies to offer. Love. Anger. Laughter. Tears. There is just so much left. I’m not ready to say goodbye.

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After I got the news, I went up to the lake. I needed to walk in the sand. It was March 17, and the first semi-nice spring day we’d had. The sand was wet. And cold. But, there were things I needed to say, and that was the only way I could of think to do it. To try to find a way that maybe he could hear me.

I told him how sorry I am. Sorry for not being a better friend. Sorry for not being there when he needed me. Sorry for not being more patient. Sorry for treating his alcoholism as something he could control. Sorry for not trying harder to get him help. Because I am just so sorry. For everything.

I also told him I forgive him. For being an alcoholic. For not being strong enough to get help. For all the times he hurt me, or disappointed me. I forgave him for everything.

I told him I love him. That I will always love him. That he was my first and only true love. I told him that I know he loved me. And that I know he would have been a better boyfriend, if he could have been.

These are things we should have said while he was still alive but I waited too long. At the time of his death, we hadn’t spoken in about 6 months. After my last visit, his behavior became more and more erratic. His texts began to resemble the ones he used to send after we broke up, ten years ago. Back then, I was still reeling from the hurt and pain of our relationship, and he wouldn’t let me move on. I finally resorted to having my phone # changed. Back then, and now, he just couldn’t seem to understand how inappropriate his behavior was. So, finally, I blocked him. He couldn’t call or write me. I thought about him a lot, and considered unblocking him several times. I wondered if enough time had passed that he would be able to handle our friendship. Each time I considered it, I decided I wasn’t ready to go there quite yet.

So, I’ll never know how many times he might have tried to reach out to me. Near the end of his life, he was mostly alone. He alienated or pushed away most of his friends. His mom was the only person he remained close with (and he lived with her.) She tells me he called a rehab facility twice in the last year of his life. He never followed through though. I can’t help but wonder if I had been there, to support and encourage him, maybe he could have found the strength to try. These are burdens I will carry for the rest of my life.

Our romantic relationship ended a long time ago, but I never stopped loving G. I never stopped hoping he would find a way to get better, and to find peace within himself. At his memorial service, his mom and I talked. She said she believes that he is finally at peace. That in death he is able to find the peace he couldn’t while alive. At the time, I didn’t agree. The idea of him dying, alone, and thinking that I hated him, couldn’t possibly have brought him peace. But, she told me that he knew I didn’t hate him. He knew how much I loved him. And that he loved me very much. As I keep replaying that conversation in my head, I think about the line from the movie, ‘The Notebook’ that says,11071608_10205535486120040_4395214951610705403_o

I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

I don’t think any love can ever really duplicate your first love but I hope that someday, I find someone who who I can love fully, and who can love me fully. But if I don’t, I will be comforted in knowing that I have loved someone with all my heart and soul, and I have been loved by another’s heart and soul. And that will have to be enough.

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Kids say the darndest things

If you are not friends with me on facebook, you are missing out on all the hilarious things that come out of my Boo Boo’s mouth. These are all direct quotes from my facebook timeline.

As he runs past me in the living room,

I have to go poop super bad! When you have to go super bad you have to just run! Like, for your life!

Boo Boo called me “bro” this morning. When I stopped laughing I asked him if he knew what that means, and he said, “it’s like another word for pal, mom…” If he had added a “duh,” I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Conversation while driving in the car, and on the phone with my sister:

Me: “so, you want me to go to in the opposite direction from where I need to go, in the freezing cold, drag Boo Boo into a grocery store, and buy you one can of beans and bring it to your house?”
Aimee: “yes. Please.”
Me: ” you owe me Big time.”
Aimee: “thank you”
Boo Boo: “we’re going to the store to buy a can of beans? This is RIDICULOUS. stupid beans.”

This kid has an answer for everything. Me, “please stop arguing with me and just do what I asked.” Boo Boo, “then you stop arguing with me!” Me, “Just put the marbles away!” Boo Boo, “Stop always bossing me around and telling me what to do!”

And then there was this: Boo Boo has decided he wants to start saving his money so he can give it to the kids in Guatemala who can’t afford to go to school. So, we are off to buy a new piggy bank, while my heart bursts with pride 💕” Have I mentioned how much I love my kid?

Boo Boo and I had a small disagreement.
Boo Boo: “I’m sorry I was mean to you mommy.”
Me: “I’m sorry I snapped at you sweetie.”
Boo Boo: “I’m sorry I was going to throw you out the window.”
At least he was sorry?
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Boo Boo and I are spending Thanksgiving with my sister & family. I was explaining earlier that his cousins are moving to Germany soon so a lot of their stuff is already on a boat to meet them there. He asked about where we will sleep while there, and wanted to make sure they still have a tv. Randomly later he says, very concerned,

mommy, did they take all their tissues to go on the boat? Because I get a lot of boogers in my nose.

I assured him the movers did not pack the tissues for Germany yet and there would be some there for him to use.

Boo Boo and I just had a bit of confusion over the words principal and criminal. Rest assured, he now understands that his principal won’t be killing anybody dead anytime soon.

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First Day of Kindergarten Disaster. This one is going in the scrapbook. **I’ll preface this with, Boo Boo is fine. He’s staying at school and he is completely over it now.** So, I got a call from the health room at school. Boo  Boo got his arm stuck in a RAIN GUTTER. (it’s not an actual in use rain gutter, they’ve attached old gutters to a fence to make tubes for the kids to slide stuff down, if that makes sense.) Boo  Boo put something down the gutter and then put his arm in to get it back, and his arm got stuck.

They had to DETACH the gutter from the fence and they went inside with the gutter ON HIS ARM. They were worried they would have to call someone to cut it off, but luckily after calming down for a few minutes, he was able to slide his arm out on his own. I was able to talk to him on the phone and he is cheerful now and seems fine, although he does say, “it hurt a whole lot.”

3 Day Refresh – an honest review

So, if you’ve read my blog in the past, you know I’ve done the 3 day refresh before, with mixed results. I lost 5 lbs the first time I did it, about 6 months ago. But it was HARD. I felt horrible and sick for most of it. I was pretty sure I could contribute a lot of the negatives to caffeine withdrawl. I’m a 1-2 cups of coffee/day person, with a couple diet cokes added in later in the day. So, to go cold turkey was probably not a good idea. I was drinking green tea to try to help the headache but it just wasn’t cutting it. By day 2 I felt sluggish, had a horrible headache, and just felt crappy all around. And sorry for the TMI, but I was backed up, and didn’t go to the bathroom for the entire 3 days! So by day 3 I felt even more bloated than when I started, and hadn’t lost any weight. Amazingly I woke up on day 4 and had dropped 5 lbs. My system also finally *ahem* cleared out, and I felt much better. I definitely wasn’t planning on ever doing it again!

But, this week I decided to try the 3 Day Refresh one more time. After the holidays and several months of just plain bad eating, I was feeling so bloated and sluggish. I really decided I would jump start with a 3 day refresh, then tackle a 21 day fix. And hopefully lose the 10 lbs I’ve gained in the last few months! It’s amazing what time does to memory, I know I hated it last time but I was convinced it must not have been as bad as I remember. HaHa!

The truth is, it actually wasn’t as bad as I remembered. But, that’s because I modified the plan from the beginning. Now, I know die-hard beachbody coaches and clean eating fans probably won’t agree with my methods. But I don’t really care. Because it’s all about doing what’s right for MY body. I know my body better than anyone, and I also just know myself. So, off the bat, I decided I would drink coffee this time. I usually drink my coffee in the mornings in my shakeology so I decided to just keep that the same. I drink 12-16 oz iced coffee, add a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 stevia packet, and a scoop of chocolate vegan shakeology. First of all, YUM. I drink this every single day and I absolutely love it. The plan calls for shakeology in the morning and stevia is allowed. It also says black coffee is okay if you really need it. So, really my only cheat was the splash of almond milk.

My other big modification is the one that will get some people all up in arms. I’m drinking Diet Coke. YES. DIET COKE. Evil, evil Diet Coke. OMG, everyone, I am drinking artificial sweetener. There, I said it, I admit it, I’m going to beachbody hell. Look, I know. I know diet soda is not good for me. I know the artificial sweeteners have been linked to all kinds of health problems, and apparently also increase cravings for sweets. And yes, I’d like to stop drinking it. But, it’s just soooo GOOD.

The thing is, I’m trying really hard here to do the clean eating thing, to live a healthier lifestyle and get in better shape. And it’s HARD. And if I’m following the plan 90%, well, that’s about 90% healthier than I was last week with my pizza and cookies. So, that said, I also added a little extra food to the 3 day plan, because I know that my body needs it.

I absolutely love beachbody programs, and the nutrition plans that come with them. But, at the same time, there is a LOT of pressure from other coaches to follow them PERFECTLY. God forbid you admit to drinking diet soda, or skipping a few workouts. I think all that pressure scares people off! They think, “oh, I’m not perfect, I cannot do this 100%” so they don’t even try! And that’s where I completely disagree. You know what? If you follow the plan even 50%, you are still doing better than you were before you started!

So, this round is going better. I feel a lot better, probably because I’m not going through caffeine withdrawal. I get pretty hungry by the late afternoon, but part of that is just my schedule. I don’t get home until after 6 so it’s a long wait between the afternoon snack and dinner. I don’t feel sluggish or dizzy like last time. (Again, just because of caffeine maybe?)

So, here is what the plan calls for vs. what I actually ate on day 1.

Breakfast
Plan: What I ate:
Shakeology with 12 oz water Shakeology with 12 oz coffee, splash of almond milk, and stevia.
1 Serving of Fruit 1 Banana (= 2 servings of fruit
Mid-Morning
Fiber Sweep with 8 oz water Fiber Sweep with 10oz water
Lunch
Vanilla Fresh Shake with 10 oz water Vanilla Fresh Shake with 12 oz water
1 Serving Fruit 1 cup of grapes (= 2 servings of fruit)
1 serving Veggie Cucumber = 1 serving Veggie
1 serving healthy fat 2 TBSP Hummus = 1 serving healthy fat
Mid-Afternoon
1 serving veggie Cucumber = 1 serving veggie
1 serving health fat 2 TBSP Hummus = 1 serving healthy fat
Dinner
Vanilla Fresh Shake with 10 oz water Vanilla Fresh Shake with 12 oz water, 1 packet of stevia, cinnamon
1 meal from Dinner Recipes List Coconut steamed veggies = 2 Servings

At the end of day 1, I felt great. The veggies for dinner were really yummy and I wasn’t hungry at all!

On day 2, I followed this almost exactly, until I got to dinner. I was really hungry and had a little bit of a headache. Seriously, the thought of eating just veggies again for dinner made me want to vomit. I ended up eating an Amy’s Organic pasta with veggies bowl. And a big spoonful of peanut butter! But then I felt fine. So far today (day 3) I’m doing good. I brought veggies with apples and almond butter for lunch, and hummus w/ cucumber for the afternoon snack. I’ll have to see how I feel by dinner. Not sure if I can survive on just seasoned green beans, which is the plan.

Just FYI – the Fiber Sweep is gross. It’s grainy, like drinking sand. On day one I thought I might vomit afterwards. Day 2 was even worse, I had to really force it down. Day 3 somehow I managed to just chug down all in one big gulp. I guess it was the knowledge that it was the last one that got me through!

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The good news is, I’m not feeling so bloated and backed up this time. Actually, the exact opposite has happened, more like what you would expect with a “cleanse.” I do feel pretty sorry for everyone who has to be in close contact with me these past few days. 🙂 And as of this morning, I’m down 3 lbs. We’ll see what the scale says tomorrow for the final weigh in!

One thing I want to address is the question of whether to work out or not on the refresh. The user guide says mild to moderate exercise is fine. I disagree, strongly. You are only eating about 900 calories. It’s just enough to get through the day, really. Last round, I didn’t actually work out but I did exert myself physically, by going for a jog/walk with my son and playing outside with him. This time I really took it easy and I felt much, much better. I have heard the same from a few other people, that working out on this plan really wiped them out. So, beachbody says it’s fine. I say, it’s 3 days, better to just take it easy. 

Would I do this again? Possibly. Now that I’ve found an approach that works for me, I think it’s doable. It’s not the most pleasant 3 days ever, but I’m also paying for months of excess and indulgence here! I do think it’s worth it in the long run, *IF* I keep up with the clean eating and keep the weight off.

I start the 21 day fix on Monday. I’ve done 2 round already and love it! As a single mom, I’ve found it very easy to adapt to my lifestyle. I have some modifications for that plan as well, mostly ways to fit it into my crazy life, and I will be writing them up in my next post. Stay tuned!

Full Disclosure, I am a beachbody coach. I’m mostly what you would call a “discount coach.” I figured out a long time ago that my monthly supply of shakeology would cheaper if I signed up as a coach, so that’s what I did. And, I save 25% on any programs I want to order. Win-Win. If you want to try anything out, feel free to email me or visit my website, I’m happy to help. And I won’t pressure you to be perfect 🙂 

Christmas for 2

It’s hard to get into the holiday spirit as a single mom. But, tell that to my five year old! He has enough holiday cheer for both of us. So…it’s all about grinning and faking it. I did my best.

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Small tree for a small apartment

We needed a  spot to hang our stockings.

We needed a spot to hang our stockings, so I made a fireplace out of cardboard boxes. Don’t ask me where I found the motivation to do this because I am so not crafty. Every once in a while the mood strikes me though.

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Then we got sick. And yes, we have an elf. Don’t judge me. I hate the fucker, but Thomas is a part of our family now.

And, Ms. Claus struck again. I'm telling you, Santa is overrated. I'm sure she does all the work anyway.

And, Ms. Claus struck again. I’m telling you, Santa is overrated. I’m sure she does all the work anyway.

On the road again…

I don’t usually write about my “real” job on here. Not because it’s not interesting, but because it usually doesn’t effect my life as a single mom. I go to work, I get to be a grownup for 8 hours, then I go home and be mom again. But, this week, my job is overlapping with my duties as mom.

I leave Monday morning to go to Guatemala for 8 days!
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UPAVIM is located in La Esperanza, an impoverished community located in Zone 12 of Guatemala City

I’m totally freaking out. The longest I’ve ever been apart from Boo Boo is 2 nights, and I cried myself to sleep the second night because I missed him so much. I’m so excited about this trip (more about that in a minute) but it’s overshadowed by all the anxiety I feel about leaving. It’s got me thinking about so many issues I’ve been putting off for so long. Like, I don’t have a will. I don’t even have a legal custody agreement! Boo Boo’s father has never asked to see him or attempted to be involved in our lives in any way, so it’s never really seemed necessary to go through the hassle of a legal custody fight. Not to mention the legal fees that would be involved. (I have no idea if he would fight me on it or not. He hates me, so I could totally see him refusing to agree to my terms, just out of spite.)

Now that I’m leaving the country, and actually traveling to an area that is not particularly safe, I am overwhelmed by the idea that if something happened to me, I don’t know what would happen to Boo Boo. Another reason I’ve put off writing a will and dealing with the legal aspects of this situation is that I honestly don’t  know who I would leave Boo Boo with in the event that I was unable to care for him. I mean, my parents and both of my sisters would love him and care for him unconditionally, so there is nothing to worry about in that aspect. But, each has limitations in their ability to take on another child.

My parents are financially and responsibly, the best choice to care for him. We lived with my parents until just a few months ago and Boo Boo is very, very close to them. But, they are  obviously older and physically I think would be overwhelmed with full-time care of a 5 year old. Plus, they finally have all their kids out of the house, it would be a huge life change for them to take on a child again. I also think Boo Boo would be very lonely. My youngest sister would be a great choice in that they live close to my parents and Boo Boo already spends a lot of time with them. He is very close with his cousins and I know my sister would love him like her own. But, she and her husband are financially not in a position to take on another child and it’s not like I have any money to leave them to help on that end! My other sister and her husband are probably the most logical choice. Her husband is in the army so financially they are the most stable and able to take on another child. But I worry so much about the instability of army life, and because they don’t live locally, Boo Boo spends the least amount of time with them right now. If something happened to me, I think stability would be so important for him and uprooting his life to move to a different state or even a different country would be so hard on him.

Okay, now I’m going to cry just thinking about this. But, now you understand why I haven’t ever dealt with this before. I can tell you one thing for certain. If something happened to me, I know Boo Boo would be well taken care of and loved by his entire family. And I know if it ever came to it, they would fight with every penny they have to keep him away from his emotionally stunted, absentee father. But please, God, do not ever let that happen.

Okay, so back to my trip! I am so excited to travel again! I was so lucky to live in Germany for a few years before Boo Boo was born and really got the travel bug in my blood I think. If I could, I would spend the rest of my life traveling around the the world. Parenthood has put a bit of a crimp on my finances and I’ve been pretty stationary for the past 5 years. Although I am going to miss Boo Boo with every fiber of my being, I am also sooo ready to get back out there in the world. For 8 days, I will be responsible only for me. My life will revolve around what I want to do and I can go places and do things that do have to be child friendly and I don’t have to worry about a babysitter. For 8 days I will be an independent woman again!!!

The organization I work for, called UPAVIM Crafts, is based in Guatemala City. We sell fair trade products made by a women’s cooperative in a community called La Esperanza. This community is plagued by poverty, violence, gangs and other atrocities that as Americans, we cannot ever fully comprehend. UPAVIM stands for “unidas para vivir mejor,” and translates to “united for a better life.” The UPAVIM complex in Guatemala houses not only the crafts division where the artisans make the beautiful products we sell, but also a bakery, a soy production facility, a daycare center, a Montessori preschool, an English language primary school, a tutoring center, a library, and volunteer housing. I am so honored to be able to visit and meet the women who work there.

I will be writing about my trip on the UPAVIM blog, if you would like to read about my adventures be sure to check it out!