Monthly Archives: March 2016

Drinkin’ the Kool-Aid (The Perfect Pairing with a Narcissist)

Drinkin’ the Kool-Aid (The Perfect Pairing with a Narcissist)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

There wasn’t a particular flavor of Kool-Aid I liked the best.  

I drank them all.  

I began acquiring a taste for it on our very First Date.  

 

We sat in a Pub near the college campus, dining on pizza, and I listened sympathetically to your Life-story.  

As I was pouring myself some beer from the pitcher we shared… little did I know,  I was actually filling my glass to the brim with Kool-Aid.

 

It all started so innocently.  

Your stories pulled deeply on my heartstrings.

 

You spoke of the financial hardships of growing-up in a big family 

(even though, years later I’d learn your definition of “hardships” could be conceived as a “luxury”  by many).

You matter-of-factly described how you were a victim of being raised in a stoic home, with little emotion or expression of love or affection.  

You explained how this caused deep emotional scars in your 5 siblings… then, humbly boasted how you were able to rise above it all.  

 

I felt so sorry for you, I literally felt my heart break into pieces.

 

In blaring contrast, I’d been raised on the opposite end of the spectrum, in an overly emotional home.  My family hugged & kissed to the point of possible suffocation.  

I wanted to jump out of my seat, smother you in hugs & kisses and make everything better.

 

As the night went on, you told more and more stories and I drank more and more Kool-Aid.  

So, when the bill came and you realized you had forgotten your wallet, I couldn’t reach into my purse fast enough.  

 

I wanted to save you from feeling any more pain… any embarrassment or humiliation.

(l didn’t realize, you were incapable of feeling such emotions)

 

That night our bond was formed right there and then.  

We were perfect for eachother.  

 

I wanted to nurture you and fix everything.  

And you were more than willing to have someone take over all the duties & responsibilities of making your day-to-day life as comfortable as possible.

 

It was a match made in heaven, we were married within 18-months… 

and started our family.

 

As the years passed, I became really good at pouring glasses full of Kool-Aid for friends… family… and even our own kids.  

 

If anyone noticed your detached or self-absorbed traits… I was quick with an excuse or explanation to rationalize your behavior.  

 

Because if I didn’t protect you, then I would risk exposing our family was a sham.  Or worse, I would have to admit that I had failed to fix anything.

 

Behind closed doors, it was all about you; your physical needs, your need to win and the kids and I only mattered when we somehow enhanced your personal gain.  

 

The more financially successful we became… the more you were obsessed with your looks and fancy toys…

And again, the kids and I only seemed to matter when you could “show others” the lavish lifestyle you provided for us.

 

You were so emotionally distant, you weren’t even in our same galaxy.   And you couldn’t understand why that was a problem…

After all, look at the luxurious lifestyle you provided.  Why would anyone need more??

 

Truth is, we probably would have lived in our make-pretend “Happily-Ever-After” forever…

If you hadn’t met that “someone” on a business trip in Montreal and asked for a divorce. 

 

It wasn’t until our divorce when I learned the extent of the damage you could leave in your wake.  The depth of darkness and pain you could cause in our lives.

 

I thought avoiding a court battle and simply agreeing to all your demands would result in a quick and drama free divorce…  

It took only 3 Months to end  a 24 Year marriage.

 

I had no idea you would continuously drag me through the Family Court System FOR YEARS…

Its been 8 years and you just filed another petition!!!  

 

And even though it only wastes the Courts valuable time & resources, causes unnecessary stress and deeply affects our children…

You. Just. Wont. Stop.

You. Just. Wont. Move. On. 

 

You have an insatiable need to take more and more from me.  In your mind you have justified unspeakable court-actions against me.

 

You have an insatiable need to manipulate the Courts to get what you want.  The legal arena has become your obsession… your personal platform… and boy do you love that stage!!

 

Karyl McBride writes:

 

The narcissist will continue to try to blame their partner and harm their partner. They do it by these long, extended, contentious divorce cases that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We need more education for professionals in the divorce field so that the custody evaluators and family law people and therapists know what they’re dealing with. They also can be seduced by the narcissist.

   

One of the saddest days of my life was in a courtroom, when I saw you lie so convincingly (under oath!!!) without even flinching.  

 

You were always so good at it… cunningly spinning your lies around a kernel of truth.  

A master of manipulation, to the point where, you can make everyone question  their understanding of the truth.

 

It was finally, at that moment, when I could no longer deny, who you were.

There was no more Kool-Aid to provide the “Ignorance of Illusion”.

 

On the drive home from the courthouse that day, I had to face the fact,

because I chose you to be the father of my children…  

they would face a lifetime of pain.  

 

The guilt was more than I could bare… 

my heart was shattered & I wept openly for them.

 

It was a time of deep guilt and painful mourning, but it eventually gave rise to clarity.  

 

You will never change or listen to reason, and are only capable of causing disappointment, frustration and pain for us…

if we have some freedom from the bondage of your manipulation….

then we have a chance at real happiness.

 

Similar to the 1999 movie The Matrix, I had faced the choice of  

The Blue Pill– remaining in a fabricated, fantasy world

or

The Red Pill– living the painful, difficult life of reality.

 

Real healing can only start when we can expose (and accept) what we’re dealing with… because,

only an Authentic Life is truly worth living.

.  Click on this link below…

The Tell Tale Signs To Help You Recognize A Covert Narcissist

 

The truth will be your Bridge Back Home 

 

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Keep it Simple…. Keep it Real.  

Sounds easy, huh??  Well, turns out (sometimes) it’s not so easy.  

Sometimes we become trapped by the Illusions of Life, and it’s hard to break free.

 

I recently had a birthday.

And like many people, my birthday’s not just a time to indulge in  

the-once-a-year-guilt-free-dark-chocolate-cake-n-mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream

it’s also a time for self-reflection.

 

This year I reflected upon the importance of “Keeping it Simple and Real”.  

Reminding myself to slow down and strive for clarity, balance and harmony.  

And remembering, sometimes the challenges in our lives, often teach us the best lessons.

 

I was a newlywed during the Reagan Era and was swooped-up into the,

More Is Better Mentality.  

Reaganomics resulted in the greatest Wall Street Bull Market since the 1920s.  

It was an Era of Great Prosperity… generating more wealth, for American families, than any other time in US History!!

 

And in keeping with Madonna’s (1985) mega-hit “Material Girl”… my lifestyle mirrored the relevant lyrics of the time:

Cause we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

 

I checked ALL the boxes:

  • Town & Country McMansion 
  • Luxury Cars
  • Country Club Memberships
  • Black-tie Galas
  • Exclusive Resort Vacations
  • More & More & More!!

So, what insight did I gain from acquiring so much stuff during the 80s???

#1.  It was exhausting.

#2.  It made life chaotic, complicated and confusing!

#3.  Sometimes material things become a replacement for the

        more meaningful things in life.  

 

About a decade ago…there was one day that clearly put it all into perspective for me:

 

I was at a stop light and looked at the woman in the car next to me.  

She was lovely and had a look of luxury.  

Her hair perfectly coiffed, awesome sunglasses, expensive jewelry

and she had that confident smile and overall look of contentment.  

I noticed she was driving a Mercedes-Benz

and made a mental note to myself:

 

“Of course she’s HAPPY…

she’s living the dream in her fancy Mercedes,

with all of her  fancy “things”…”

 

In contrast, I felt worn-out, stressed, empty….

genuinely wanting.

It was easy for me to believe she had what I needed.

And as the light turned green, and I glanced back to the road ahead of me…

I noticed the Mercedes-Benz symbol on my own steering wheel

of my brand-new car.

 

Turns out for me, More wasn’t Better and Fancy things weren’t the answer!

 

Shortly after that day of reckoning…

I was faced with a choice between the two (material things or meaningful things), and I handed them all over in exchange for ___________.  

   (You Name It… Just Fill-in-the-Blank)

 Freedom

  Harmony

Reality

Clarity

Peace

                                                                          Truth

                                                                            Etc…

 

I handed it all back to the hollow person I shared that life with… (on a Silver Platter in fact, LoL) and I had No Regrets.

 

All of those Things were just providing smoke n’ mirrors to create an illusion and confuse me into believing, it was a Good Life…

when the truth was, I was in an empty relationship and I wasn’t living my life authentically.

I longed for something simple and real.

 

Don’t get me wrong… some people can live that exclusive “Town & Country Lifestyle”,

authentically and happily  (or at least I think they do??)…

it just wasn’t a good fit for me.  

It all became a band-aid and distraction to cover-up what was really missing…

what was truly important.

 

Of course, I still love pretty things and adventurous travel… But, I feel (at this ripe old age) the Bridges I’ve crossed have helped me to finally arrive Back  Home

Full Circle, where I belong, where I want to be.

 

Ironically, my sister sent me this Birthday Card which pretty much sums it up!!

IMG_1560
.  

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real & Smile Along The Way!!!

 

International Women’s Day (Really?!?!)

International Women’s Day (Really?!?!)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

I was all set to write today’s blog…

Until I opened up my computer and Google informed me it was:

International Women’s Day.  

 

.Watch Video Clip Here!!

 

After watching the clip, I decided to abandon my original idea. 

Instead, I decided to write about what it’s like to be a woman in 2016 from my perspective, and my opinion on International Women’s Day.

 

Many of you will vehemently disagree with me… and that’s fine.  

It’s just my opinion… and one inalienable right We Women Do Have is:    

 The Freedom to Agree, to Disagree.

 

First of all, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as International Women’s Day!!!  

Frankly, I’m a little humiliated anyone thinks we need one.

And… WoW, was I surprised by my very strong reaction to watching that clip!!

 

It made me very sad to see those women and young girls saying:

“One day I will … ___________ (fill in the blank).”

 

Why did this make me so sad???   

 

Because, I have never in my life seen anything more outrageously ridiculous than women trying to be E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. !!!

 

It’s 2016, for God’s sake, and we are still fighting and thrashing and stomping our feet saying that We Want Equality (With Men)!

It seems women want to do EVERYTHING a man can do and be everything a man can be.

 

But, do we have an International Men’s Day???

Do we see men saying:

“One day I will be the Prima Ballerina performing Odette or Odile in Swan Lake.”

Or,

“One day I will deliver a baby without pain medication.”

I don’t think so!!

 

I mean… when are women going to embrace being women???  

WE. ARE.  DIFFERENT!  

 

Face the reality.  Does being different make us less than a man???  

Of course Not!  

But for goodness sake can we finally just accept we are Different, and own it?

(Let’s ROCK IT Ladies!!)

We can do things men can’t, and men can do things we can’t.  Period!

 

Social media defines the second wave of feminism as the Women’s Movement of the 60s, which focused on issues like: sexuality, family, the workplace, de facto inequalities and legal inequalities.  

  • They fought hard for women’s rights and equality.  
  • They had many valid concerns. (I am a huge proponent of equal pay for equal work.)  
  • They also paved the way for women to be doctors, astronauts, company CEO’s and possibly even President of the United States.  

 

The Women’s Movement said we could be anything we wanted…

We.  Could.  Have.  It.  All!

(Cough-Cough-Bullsh*t!!!)

 

Hum????  Let’s take a close look at things…

We were liberated and given endless opportunities.  Right?

So, how’s that working for us??

Did it improve our lives… our lifestyle???

Or are we F#*%ed ?!?

 

Let’s ask Mrs. Nowak.   The Astronaut, Wife and Mother of Three, who looked like she had it all.  

You remember her… the woman who drove cross-country in diapers to kidnap her ex lover’s new girlfriend.

 

Or we can ask the woman who wants to be President of the United States, if she has it all… the high-power career and the happy, fulfilling marriage, etc… or is it just one big LIE.

 

I do think it’s great women have so many more opportunities than they had years ago.

BUT, let’s be realistic and honest… 

Having. It. All. Comes. With. A. PRICE.

So, if your going to grab that Big Brass Ring, do it with your eyes wide open.

Today, Women Have Many Choices…

Which Means We Have To Make Them As Carefully As Ever!!

 

I see so many of today’s women running themselves ragged, trying to Have It All!

For example, in a “typical” family: 2.5 children, where the husband and wife both work…

The mom typically drops the kids off early in the morning at daycare,

then works a full day and rushes back to pick them up

(with groceries wilting in the car)

so she can rush home and make dinner,

throw in a load of laundry,

bathe the kids, put them to bed

and clean up the house,

before collapsing in bed,

So she can wake-up and Do It All again tomorrow!!!

 

Sometimes the mom and dad equally split the parental and household responsibilities… but that is rare.  

Because even in 2016… Unfortunately, the man’s job still trumps the woman’s.

He’s more likely to travel & have early morning/late night business meetings,

leaving her home to do it all alone.

Yes… I know there are some exceptions, but that’s the problem…

they’re the “exceptions” and not the rule.

 

Whether we want to admit it or not… the default caretaker of parental and household responsibilities (by nature), still falls on the shoulders of the woman.

 

Equality in our domestic roles/responsibilities

have not adapted as quickly as

equality in our workplace roles/responsibilities.

 ♦

We should have first focused on creating the changes

in the infrastructure of our society,

necessary to accommodate

the changes of equality we ultimately wanted

for women in our society.

 ♦

WE put the damn cart before the horse and

now we’re killing ourselves to make it work!!!

 

 

This International Women’s Day campaign asks the question?

How will you mark the day?

 

I’d like to mark the day by making a suggestion:

Yes… the system is broken.

And we need to fix it.

I just believe in using a different solution.

Let’s stop trying to fit a round peg in a square hole

and finally decide to drill a round hole!!

How will you mark the day? 

 

 

 

 

Oscars 2016 (Just One More Perspective!!)

Oscars 2016 (Just One More Perspective!!)

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

There were few things, in my childhood home, as highly anticipated as Oscar Night!

To say my family LOVED Motion Pictures and everything pertaining to them, would be an understatement.

 

So, as my husband and I sat down to watch the 88th Annual Academy Awards, I felt like a giddy schoolgirl… literally on the edge of my seat.  

It was a Sunday night in the middle of a long, grey winter and as the curtain rose at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, I was ready to be Entertained!!

 

I was not disappointed.  WoW, What A Show!  

 

The bases were loaded and the AMPAS finally hit a Home-run:

  1. The evening began with Chris Rock’s highly anticipated monologue, due to all the frenzy surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.  And he “Rocked” it, plain and simple… (while also, single handedly helping the Girl Scouts of America)  What a guy!!  
  2. The Dolby Theatre provided a venue truly representative of the Old Hollywood Glamour we love so much.
  3. The set designs were SPECTACULAR, the music captivating, everyone looked absolutely stunning… a refreshing contrast to the dreariness of the season.

And… yes… it was wayyyy toooo looong!! To quote Chris Rock: “It was Infomercial long!”.

But, that is why we have Tevo.

 

So, the following morning, I finished watching the show in the comfort of my cozy pajamas… with a cup of steaming hot coffee in one hand and the all so powerful remote control in the other.  

I had intended to fast forward through the boring stuff… but to my surprise there was very little boring stuff.

 In fact, there was a lot of good stuff… A. Lot. Of. Truisms.   

*/tro͞oˌizəms/: Invaluable, Undoubted Truths, we sometimes forget

*(definition via mrs. bridges )

 

I almost FF’d through the Best Documentary Short Subject category, but was SO GLAD I didn’t.

Because, I would have missed Louis C.K.’s presentation, which was possibly one of the evening’s funniest.  And the winner, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s acceptance speech was one of the night’s best.  

Both moments were full of Truisms.

 

Sharmeen won for her short: “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” and when she took the stage to receive her award, she also took the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the “Power of Film”.  

She spoke about empowering women and providing a more just society for them.

 

This year the Academy tried something new, which allowed acceptance speeches to be less about the winner and who they wanted to thank… and more about what was important to them, to their work, their craft.  It provided a platform for…

Their Truisms.

During the speech, there was a ticker-tape streaming along the bottom of the TV screen with the names of all the people they wanted to “Thank”.

Obviously, this is a really good idea… but a little too late, for Oscar winners like; Hillary, Sean, Sandra and Emma–                         who All forgot to thank their spouses in their acceptance speeches, and who were All coincidentally,               eventually divorced.

Not only did this brilliant new idea cutdown on the length of acceptance speeches, the need for tiny scraps of paper crumpled in the winner’s sweaty palm,

and hopefully a decline in Hollywood divorces

But the best part is, it gave the Oscar recipients the opportunity to really speak from their heart.  

 

Leo, Best Actor, spoke about his concern for our Earth’s Sustainable Resources.  

He reminded us to, “not take this planet for granted”.  His words were well thought out, valid and powerful (after all he did have 22 years to edit this speech).  

And if he follows his own advice, and decreases his personal consumption of Fossil Fuels, then he would truly make a positive impact on our environment.   

Come on Leo… Fly commercial, we promise not to bite!!  

 

My favorite speech of the evening was when Director Asif Kapadia accepted the Oscar, along with Producer James Gay-Rees for the Best Documentary Feature.  

Their film was “Amy: The Girl Behind the Name”.

It explored the infamous singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse’s life, career and

untimely death

Kapadia spoke of Amy, the girl.

He described her as really beautiful, amazing, funny, intelligent, witty, special and also as someone who needed looking after.  

It was those last five prolific words that probably provided the greatest insight into “who” was The Girl Behind the Name.  

 

And one of the evening’s greatest highlights was when trailblazer Jenny Beavan walked confidently up to the stage and proudly accepted the Best Costume Design Oscar for her work in “Mad Max;Fury Road”.

To the shock of many in attendance, Jenny “literally” wore her Truisms on her back… in the form of a black leather jacket (the studded skull on the back, adding a dash of Hollywood glimmer).  Then she sweetly reminded us:

“I just want to say one quite serious thing. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but actually it could be horribly prophetic, ‘Mad Max,‘” she said. “If we’re not kinder to each other, and if we don’t stop polluting our atmosphere, so you know, it could happen.”

Click Here

 to see the audiences jaw-dropping reaction…

Well done Jenny… Well Done!!  

     

There are sure to be many articles and blog posts providing different perspectives on The 88th Academy Awards show.  I’m sure people will find fault across a wide range of issues from picking apart acceptance speeches, to what outfits attendee’s wore.  

And that’s what this country is based on: Freedom of Speech (and the Freedom of Thought and Opinions).

 

In my opinion, this year’s show was entertaining on that superficial, glitzy Hollywood level we’re drawn to like a moth to flame… giving us the junk-food glimpse into the intriguing lives of the Rich & Famous we can’t resist.

But, more importantly, this Oscar Night spoke to my heart… my soul… and provided Truisms on some pretty important topics.

 

If you don’t believe me, grab a Girl Scout Cookie, a cup of coffee and watch this…

#TilitHappenstoYou

 

And if you want to be prepared for the 89th Academy Awards… click here…

Gotta Love Huffington Post!

Watching the Oscars, is one of my Favorite Mid-Winter Bridges Back  Home!!

How about you???