Update on My Book

It’s been  about a 10 month process, but I finally signed the final documents sending the book to print.

It will be available in 10-15 days at LifeRichPublishing.com and on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and other online retailers in 4-5 weeks.  There will be an E-book version also on Amazon.

I will be posting a video as soon as I see it on the publisher’s website to introduce the book to the world.

Super exciting!

Stay tuned!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!



Learning About Love the Hard Way

When you are in a relationship with a narcissist you might not realize how much they truly do teach you.  You can appreciate all of the lessons once you are out and can sit back and reflect.

I think we all need to reflect on the abusive relationship to not only learn about ourselves, but also learn how we want to be and how we want to be treated.  It sure is an extreme way of going about knowing exactly what we want and how we should act, but lets face it, a lot of us got charmed into a relationship or marriage and have spent some time stuck there.

As I reflect, this is what I try to apply to my new life and relationship:

  1. It’s very important to voice my opinion in my relationship and my partner should listen with respect.
  2. Be grateful for the small things he does to make my life just a little bit better.
  3. Try not to waste time fighting or being mad.  Life is so short and your partner should be your best friend.  Disagreements should be talked about with mutual respect.  If he isn’t a narcissist then he isn’t your enemy.
  4. Try to recognize triggers that bring up the past and realize the new partner is more than likely an innocent by-stander, that is if you picked a partner who isn’t narcissistic
  5. If I react to something negatively, reflect and try to understand why and process it.
  6. Realize that there is something called post narcissistic stress disorder (PNSD).  Read about it and try to understand why you may be anxious, angry, or emotionally numb.
  7. I try to be grateful for every free moment I have.  So much time was wasted fighting and I appreciate the small things now.  Time is precious and so are beautiful mountains for example!
  8. I can spot a narcissist miles away now.  I use my new radar system to my advantage whenever I can.  Knowledge is powerful.  I don’t let them into my space anymore!
  9. I have learned to set healthy boundaries with everyone in life.  I take care of me so I can take care of my family.  It’s okay to say “No!”
  10. I have learned to be present in the moment since I don’t have to fight to survive anymore.

These are just a few lessons.  I try to look at the positive from one of the worst storms anyone could go through.  I hope others reflect like I have and look for the blessings.  They’re there, just look a little harder.  I know what love should look like and I’m mindful of giving love.  If you told me a few years ago that I would be an author, I wouldn’t have believed you.  I felt the nudge and I went for it!  If you feel a nudge, don’t be too quick to ignore it.  Go for it!  Make the horrendous trial you endured into something amazing!


“I’m Used To It”

How many people rationalize their toxic relationships by saying, “Well, I’m used to it so…”  Or how about this, “I think I can change him.”  Or how about this, “Well, things aren’t that bad so…”

Sometimes it’s easier to take the path of least resistance and stay in a toxic relationship.  It’s easier because of money, the kids, or a job.  Sometimes the abuser puts fear into their victim so they don’t leave.  The abuser can use a litany of degrading remarks so that the victim feels like they can’t leave and be on their own.  The scare tactic can be used so the victim remains in the relationship to be used simply for more fuel.  Some abusers threaten to take the kids or threaten to ruin their victim’s reputation forcing the victim to stay and be further abused.

It’s easy to understand why victims stay.  It’s very easy to talk yourself into staying because you think it’s just easier or you are very scared of the unknown of leaving.  It is so tough and I understand.

I think a huge clue in all of this is, if history keeps repeating itself then you need to say to yourself, “Do I want to stay used to it?”  By history repeating itself I mean this:  Do you keep hearing apology after apology but see no change in behavior?  Do the fights keep happening over the same thing again and again?  Do your conversations make you crazy and confused?  Let’s face it, if you have to be a spy then you aren’t in the right relationship, right?

It’s easy to get “used to it.”  Unfortunately, life is short and you will look back and realize how much time you spent miserable.  Is it worth it or are you willing to take a step into the unknown?  Only you can answer that.  Remember you can’t make up time and it’s also hard to reverse the emotional damage done to you.

Remember, not everyone’s story is one of staying and being ground into pieces.  People do leave and they have regained their life.  It might not be right away, but in time healing does occur and the laughs come back.

I want you to laugh again.


Respect yourself with healthy boundaries

What I have learned over time is that setting boundaries with people is sometimes necessary.  It’s not that cutting people out of your life is mean, but instead it’s respecting yourself.

Let’s face it, not everybody gets along.  People have different viewpoints, beliefs, and ways of living.  Diversity can be a good thing, but when people don’t agree there is often a struggle.  Instead of agreeing to disagree with love, there is usually a power struggle, hurt feelings and tension.  Most adults can’t be mature enough to understand that and instead families and friends are torn apart.

I felt empowered lately when I fully realized that a boundary I set four years ago was out of respect for myself.  I was treated very poorly by a family member whom I never really was close to, and I said enough was enough.  I said goodbye.  I’ve been fine with this healthy boundary and I have relief knowing that I cared enough for myself to say no to this person.  I don’t feel mean about my decision, but I have to admit that it’s sad that more love couldn’t have been in the equation.

Who’s in your equation and who needs to go?  Narcissists are very damaged people and they make innocent people victims.  It’s very painful and after you find out how they operate there is more revelation about the storm that can engulf you very quickly.  It’s okay to want a narcissist out of your life.  I’m not saying wishing ill will is the way to go, but calling out truth and being true to your feelings is okay.  Over and over again, I see posts that say they never change and innocent lives are being destroyed by narcissists.

It really seems like common sense to want to move on and never see the person who caused you so much pain.  Is it pain or hatred?  The answer is yes I’m afraid.  It’s okay to hate the abuse you suffered.  I know hate is one of those bad words.  I can use dislike to tone it down a bit.  It’s a tough discussion for sure.  I recently heard an interview with a  mother whose daughter was murdered by a very bad man.  Her words were not very loving toward this man.  Who can blame her?  I can say she dislikes him if that makes you feel better.  I couldn’t imagine what her pain is like.  Pain comes in all forms and it can blur the line of forgiveness so that folks don’t know where they are with their feelings.  I know post narcissistic stress disorder (PNSD) can leave a person emotionally numb.  It’s intense and hard to reckon with.

Healthy boundaries help with the painful people who come into our lives.  Being free of the narcissist who hurt you is the calm after the storm.  If you have children and have to continuously be in contact in some way, the pain will continue most likely.  Narcissists can’t handle a spouse leaving or any exposure of their true self, therefore they continue trying to put you into the darkness with their control.  It takes incredible strength to stay in the light and not get pushed into the darkness by them.  It’s not about the kids.  It’s about you who left them and their goal of making you look bad and making you unhappy.  It’s tough, but knowing these truths can help your journey to emotional health.

What healthy boundaries do you need to set today?  If you allow pain and stress to continue in your life then you may need to set a healthy boundary.  It could save your life.  Why wait one more day?  When you want the pain to stop, there’s no time to worry about hurting someone’s feelings.  Nobody will take care of you, but you and that’s okay.




You can be the Storm

Living with a narcissist is like having a black cloud over your life daily.  They cause a storm that is massively disruptive to every aspect of your current life and your future.

Their storms are their rages, lies, manipulative tactics, smoke screens, cheating, emotional and physical abuse.  They can be quick little showers of rain or a massive storm that seems to last forever.

I grew up in a place that had thunder storms, which is a much different climate than where I live now.  The black clouds would roll in and we would wait for the thunder to start clacking.  We would see the lightning and then count how many seconds until we heard the thunder.  This supposedly would tell us how many miles away the storm actually was.  Not sure if that was true or not, but we counted anyway.  Then the rain would always pour down sometimes longer than other times.  Sometimes we saw hail indicating a more complex bag of weather elements.  I remember having to get off the phone and sit and wait for the storm to pass hoping that the electricity wouldn’t go out.  We had a storm door on the front of the house and we could maybe get sort of close to it to look outside, but not too close just in case the lightning would hit us or the thunder scare us more.  There would be a certain smell to the rain that was not necessarily a bad smell, just different.  Sometimes the sun would come out after the shower.  The raindrops would glisten in the sun’s rays and maybe off in the distance we would see a rainbow if we were lucky.

Living through a narcissistic storm is much different.  There is no good stress or excitement whatsoever.  It’s all negative electricity that amounts to no good.  You might think nothing grows through the rains of their abuse, but you can turn that around.  First you have to understand what the storm is exactly.  You certainly can grow from the experience.  You can face it head on, learn from it and move passed it.  You can be the storm of truth.  You can be the storm of reality.  You can be the storm of exposure.  It’s not an easy storm to become, but mentally be that storm.  Instead of being forced into it, be the force to be reckoned with.  Just put up that umbrella and deflect all the rain away.  I believe in standing in the truth no matter how hard the rain is pouring down.

I hope this encourages you today into a place of calm after the storm or at least into a place of understanding so you can take care of YOU.

“Do not pray for the black clouds to go away, but instead pray for the rains to bring new growth.  For after the rains, there will be a calm like no other.”  (an original quote, by me)


Dear Younger Me

What if you could write a letter to yourself from the future to your younger self?  What would you say?  I know that I’ve learned a lot about strength, faith, and people.

Dear Ilaya,

You are a very strong woman.  Always remember this.  Life will throw you a lot of trials that will seem unbearable at the time.  All trials have a purpose and will  make you stronger.  Look for the blessings and the lessons in all your struggles.  Do not lose faith.

You will meet a prince charming.  He will seem wonderful and perfect.  He is meant to teach you a lot of lessons.  Remember, be strong.  Your purpose in this trial is to help others understand exactly what you have lived and what it’s called.  You must teach others and shed the light.  You will help others understand why they are so confused and exhausted.  Through this horrific trial you will grow in your faith and you will be aware of other prince charmings who are one in the same.  You must learn to go with the flow so that doors will open and the flood of blessings come.

You will endure what feels like a horrendous storm, but in the end you will actually be the storm.  Your life lessons, increased faith, and ability to help others will be increased many fold.  You got this!

Strong people are chosen to go through tough times, so rejoice that you are one of the chosen ones.  You will write a novel one day and this will be a quote in that book:

“Do not pray that the black clouds go away, but instead, pray that the rains bring new growth.  For after the rains, there will be a calm like no other.”

Ilaya Baxter