Something to Think About – The R’s of Life – Romance, A modern fairy story by Sally Cronin


Last week was Valentine’s Day so I shared a post I wrote for USA Today Bestselling Romance author Jacquie Biggar’s website last year – on the subject of keeping the magic of romance alive every day.

In respect of this series, where I explore some of the key elements of our modern lives, I take a light-hearted look at love and romance. Well partly light-hearted, as there are some elements of this universally sought after state of bliss that can be from the dark side.

I thought I would share my modern fairy story with you and the things I have learnt along the way.

Have you ever wondered why the classic fairy stories that involve a beautiful farmer’s daughter, scullery maid or even a princess, who are swept off their feet by a handsome and rich stranger on a white horse; end with the words ‘And they lived happily ever after’?

It was not just because most were written by men, at a time when a woman was a chattel who cooked, cleaned and bore children. Women believed that was their role and yearned for it! The male writers of the fairy stories of the time were definitely headed off to happy ever after!

That may sound a bit cynical, but I can remember as a child being fed the propaganda. Most commonly via bedtime stories and the ‘Happy Ever After’ films that we were allowed to watch in our teen years. Disney had the whole thing down to a fine art. By the time I was sixteen and listening to the crooners of the day, I was convinced that at some point, a rich and handsome stranger was going to gallop into my life and sweep me off into a love filled paradise just made for two.

By the time I was 19 years old I had kissed a few frogs. I also thought that Prince Charming had ridden in a few times, then discovered that in reality they just as quickly rode off into the sunset. Still that is all part of growing up, but because of the indoctrination of childhood, I mistook one particular prince for the real thing.

 

Oh the joy in the royal family, that the princess had been chosen by a prince of such standing in the community. A large wedding was planned and executed by the two queens with the kings simply opened the doors to the treasure houses. The invitation lists in both palaces grew by the hour as dignitaries were invited from far and wide. Many of whom the princess and prince had never met. The reception was a masterpiece of just the right location and the food suitably divine. A vaulted arch of the prince’s entourage lined the drive from the grand cathedral; carriages awaited to take the jubilant bridal party to the festivities.

 

A few glasses of champagne, elegant speeches and a thrown bouquet that was caught by the next lucky bride. Then the prince swept the princess off on his luxurious charger into the sunset to the awaiting bridal chamber.

They call it a day to remember, and certainly as I thought about the celebrations in the weeks and months following, I knew it would be etched on my mind forever; not necessarily for the right reasons. Suddenly the prince was not quite so charming, but still my belief that in the end the magic would prevail, maintained the veil of delusion over my star struck eyes.

However, pretty quickly, what I had believed to be the essence of true romance had vanished, and during the next few years I had some pretty good lessons about the reality of maintaining a one-sided relationship. I was trapped by the web that had been spun around me and I felt it would be impossible to break free without angering so many; particularly at the two royal courts.

But one day, for some reason, the spell lost its power and despite the threat of banishment to a far off land where my shame would not be witnessed by family and friends; I packed up a small bundle of clothes and hit the road.

 

I spent the next three years wandering and keeping well away from anyone who knew me, ending up in the depths of the Welsh mountains where I flirted and flitted through a number of meaningless relationships. I was not going to be caught up in the fairy tale again. I was very happy to be the wicked witch and to spend my life making spells of my own and being loved by cats. My release papers arrived on April 1st which seemed totally appropriate.

Then, would you believe it… a prince arrived in disguise. Quiet and bespectacled and riding an ancient nag that had seen better days. There were no grand or extravagant gestures, just a gentle wearing down of my defenses. But there was magic involved of that I am certain. I felt myself being drawn in despite the walls that I had built around me. A spell was being woven that ensnared me and despite all my best intentions, after only one dinner date, I found myself saying yes to spending a lifetime together with this softly spoken suitor.

The Queen and King back at the castle were I was born were aghast on hearing that I was betrothed again. And to a foreign prince from afar with as yet unknown credentials, who had the audacity to propose on our first date; the Queen announced that she was about to faint.

My prince was not about to let the grass grow under his steed however and he approached the King and asked for his daughter’s hand. Rather hopefully, the king offered him £5 and a step ladder, and an enquiry as to if  there might be an elopement. Which there was, and within six weeks, very quietly and without undue ceremony, we were married.

 

This time just both sets of Kings and Queens and one lady in waiting attended! Drenching rain blessed the union in a small office in Wales. After a celebratory lunch we set off on the prince’s ancient steed to a rather dark castle in the mountains, where the bridal suite, decked in red flock wallpaper, vibrated to the noise emanating from the public bar beneath.

Then it was off to the damp and musty rooms, that we managed to find and afford, whilst we worked hard together to build up enough savings to buy our first modest home. That has set the pattern for the last 39 years, where we have both worked together as a team to keep our relationship strong and to achieve a reasonable expectation of ‘Happy Ever After’.

 

Every fairy story usually has a moral at its heart and for me, that was ‘All that glitters is not gold’ and fancy cars, uniforms, extravagant gestures and empty promises are not worth the paper they are written on.

Thirty-nine years into my second marriage, I have no doubt in my mind that my first disaster was sent to teach me a valuable lesson and to appreciate the real thing when I finally found it.

Considering that statistics show that at least 45% of marriages and civil partnerships end in divorce or separation, at least some of you reading this will have gone through a similar experience with your own modern fairy story!

A few observations I have made along the way.

Overuse of the ‘L’ word

I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to overusing words that are supposed to be used to express ones devotion to another.  I love, sugar, salt, dogs, writing, reading, movies, music, next door’s cat, Tom Selleck, chocolate, red wine, ice-cream, strictly come dancing, buying clothes, shoes and handbags.

So how special does that make my husband feel when I tell him I love him?

Words are very easy to use and they spill from our mouths with increasing thoughtlessness to their actual meaning. Telling someone you love them all the time and expecting them to do likewise, especially when you also use the same expression for all the other ‘things’ in your life, can dilute its meaning.  It is lovely to hear from time to time, especially when accompanied by an act of love that reinforces it.

It is actions that speaker louder than words and you can show how much you love someone every day without having to vocalise the emotion.

A very good reason for that loss of the bond that keeps a relationship strong is our expectations. However realistic we may think we are, we still believe that life is going to be eternally happy when we have found our prince or princess. In truth once the courting days, when we are on our best behaviour and make an effort to look great are over, we find out that perhaps we are not as suited as we thought.

Expectations for some young people are fuelled by the the constant stream of gossip about celebrities and their million pound weddings, 100k dresses and a centrefold spread in ‘Hello’. And the fact, that they are far more likely to break up within seven years,also brings a normalcy to the temporary nature of relationships. Particularly as it seems that it is okay to have another million pound wedding with a 100k dress and lavish party again and again. Recreating the fairy story and quite frankly tarnishing it.

It is certainly true for some that there is an expectation of instant gratification and when it looks like some hard work is needed to make a relationship work, it is easier to leave and find another short term fix.

My sympathy does lie however, with the children who seem to be dragged through the public spats and repeated matrimonials without any say in the matter; and you can only wonder what it does to their perception of love and romance!

It seems that once the honeymoon is over, there comes the period of adjustment when it it is permissible to change anything and everything about your new spouse, so that they conform to your idea of perfection!

Football or basketball might be more of a priority than previously thought and nights out with the girls once a week and clubbing might be tough to give up.

One of the assumptions that we make is that when we get married we will be joined at the hip and do everything together. This might be fine if you get married at 75 or 80 years old, but if you are in your twenties, you are still growing and developing. Being married should not mean losing your individuality and there should be activities that you continue to pursue, as long as it takes your partner into consideration.. In fact over the years you will find that you begin to share more and more and that you grow more alike.

There are plenty of activities that you will share as a couple, including when children arrive; which is a wonderful but labour intensive part of a relationship. Sleepless nights and eighteen years of car-pooling and soccer practice begin to eat into time that might be set aside for romantic gestures. Certainly cash flow is usually also restricted with mortgages and college funds. Life is going to keep pushing your boundaries and if you do not have a strong bond, then it will succeed in tearing you apart.

Then there are the little things we didn’t really notice when we were in the throes of passion. Prince charming does snore, have smelly socks and breaks wind and so does his princess.

One of the most often used excuses by men for their infidelity is ‘My wife does not understand me.’ Which usually means that a wife and mother is spending all her time keeping food on the table, taking care of the children as well as hold down a job and not paying him enough attention.

The most used excuse for women for infidelity, is that the love and romance has gone out of their marriage, and they just wanted to feel beautiful and desired. Which usually means that a man is out working in a stressful job all day, comes home and just wants to eat his meal in peace, watch the television have a beer and get some sleep.

And just a tip… let him take his coat off, have a meal and relax before you tell him the washing machine is broken.

It takes a huge amount of work to keep the various relationship elements alive and well.  A lot more work than some people are willing to put in.

There is nothing wrong with ‘Contentment’

Happiness is this all encompassing emotion that is a high we all expect to achieve; and of course there are moments in your life of sheer joy. However, it is impossible to sustain that for 60 or 70 years. You would be worn out. To be honest your friends and family will be pretty weary of seeing your perpetual smiling face and happiness.  It will simply be too tough for them to compete with the perfection.

It is much healthier to achieve a state of contentment, where you still make the effort to keep love and romance alive, and are able to sustain it. This is when the small gestures such as making cups of tea, holding hands in the movies, cooking a favourite meal or a date night, really come into their own.

And one of the key elements of a healthy and long relationship is the laughter. Without that glue to keep you together, it is easy for one or both of you to descend into misery.

At the end of the day this is just my views on romance and certainly every couple needs to find the formula that works for them. Hopefully I have given you something to think about and if you feel that the romance in your partnership could use some TLC then now is the time to give the matter some serious thought.

©sally cronin 2019

You can find the other chapters in the series in this directory… and your feedback is always welcome: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/something-to-think-about/

 

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Music that Means Something Challenge – Day 3 – A Woman in Love – Barbra Streisand


Sue Vincent kindly nominated me for this challenge.  Music that Means Something to You which entails posting a song a day with the reasons behind your choice… this might include the lyrics or the style of music or perhaps an event that this piece reminds you of.

To read how it should be done here is Sue’s Day 1 – with the music and profound lyrics of Leonard Cohen.  https://scvincent.com/2017/04/08/music-that-means-something-day-1-leonard-cohen/

The rules of the challenge are simple:
Post a song a day for five consecutive days.
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional)
Post the name of the song and a video.
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge.

Today I nominate D.G Kaye (Debby Gies) who I hope might be able to find time to share at least one or two posts on music that means a great deal to her. We share similar tastes across a number of areas and I suspect that we also share some tunes too. Here is one of Debby’s latest blog posts https://dgkayewriter.com/guest-author-feature-uvi-poznansky-dancing-with-air/

The twist in the challenge is that the lyrics should mean something….

Luckily for me I had actually posted a musical memory every week for a year which means that I have 52 of my favourite tracks and artists to choose from for this five day challenge.

As Frank Sinatra would say, 1980 for me was a very good year… I was happy in my job, had a whole bunch of new friends in the area, loved my job as the assistant manager Bontddu Hall near Dolgellau in Wales and on April 1st my divorce was finalised.  An auspicious day if ever there was one.

It had taken me three years and my savings to get over this time in my life but it had been worth it. I was now 27 years old and as I held that precious piece of paper with the words Decree Absolute in bold print emblazoned across it; I vowed that I would never marry again! You know what they say about famous last words don’t you?

Anyway the second great event was that I took and passed my driving test. I had begun driving at age 17 and had several lessons but then ran out of money.

After living midway between Barmouth and Dolgellau for over a year and having walked myself down to a size 10; I decided that I should book some more lessons and take the test. I signed up with Mr. Evans in Dolgellau who would pick me up in his mini in the middle of the afternoon during my couple of hours off.

I have never regretted those lessons on narrow Welsh roads as they have stood me in good stead when driving in various countries and terrains around the world. However, there was one slight problem at that time in my local area…No traffic lights and no roundabouts. Road works were useful for practice but we had to drive 30 miles north of Dolgellau to find a roundabout. We would go around and around this damn thing for about ten minutes before heading back before the lesson finished.

I was very lucky to have met a wonderful friend called Joan who was a district nurse and used her own car for work. On my day off she would let me drive and we travelled the length and breadth of North Wales, up and down mountains to give me as much practice as possible. That August I passed my test in Machynlleth despite stalling at … You guessed it… Traffic lights.

sally wedding day 1980Rightly chuffed with my achievement I set about putting away a little each week towards a car… But of course fate was about to take a hand in my life yet again.

In the first week in September I took a call in reception for a booking for two single rooms with arrival on September 16th for two weeks. I thought at the time that the caller, a Mr. David Cronin, had a lovely Irish accent and when I had booked the rooms and put the telephone down, I turned to one of the receptionists on duty and said jokingly; ‘What a lovely voice, I think I will marry him.’

On the day that Mr. Cronin was due to arrive I had a few extra hours off as I had been filling in for the said receptionist who was off for a week at a family wedding. I came on duty at 6.30 p.m. in my long dress to carry out my evening duties, which were to accompany our guests to their table in the dining-room, and then ensure that they were happy with their meals etc throughout the evening.

Put it this way; I was not disappointed when I met the owner of the voice on the end of the phone for the first time and escorted him to the best table!

For the next two weeks our paths crossed several times and I arranged some business meetings and meals for Mr. Cronin. His room, Number 40, was at the top of the flight of stairs on the first landing and as I checked the hotel before locking up for the night, I would pass by and see a light under the door and wonder about this very nice man.

On the night before he was due to check out, he approached me and asked if, when I finished for the evening, I could meet him for a drink in the Blue Lounge, which intrigued I did. We chatted and completed the Telegraph cryptic crossword whilst enjoying an excellent whisky and water before he handed me a small packet. He said it was a thank you for arranging his meetings so efficiently.

It was a Celtic pendant on a silver chain with a small note in the box… For going beyond the call of duty. Best wishes David Cronin.

I obviously thanked him and was very sad that he would be leaving the next day and  that I would be unlikely to see him again. But he continued to surprise me by asking me out for lunch the following day; when I would be off duty until the evening. Of course I accepted and he booked himself in for a further night rather than travel back to Liverpool. It was at this point that I began calling him David rather than Mr. Cronin.

We had lunch and walked along Harlech beach where they were making a film at the time. As we chatted, stuntmen thundered past dressed in Arab costumes on fiery stallions, kicking up the sand. Talk about romantic.

After work that evening we met up again and talked for a long time. The next morning as we prepared to say goodbye, David simply said… I think there is only one thing for us… Will you marry me?

That was September 29th and we moved in to a small holiday flat together when the hotel closed on October 5th and we were married in Dolgellau registry office five weeks later on November 15th 1980.

sally wedding day 1980

See what I mean about famous last words!!

Of all the songs that year I know that the song that held the most significance for me was Woman in Love by Barbra Streisand. For me love had been very challenging and I had no idea that day in September in 1980 that a voice at the end of the telephone would change my world forever.

Buy A Woman in Love: https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Love-Greatest-Barbra-Streisand/dp/B007M09SQI

Thank you for dropping in to share this challenge with me.  Here are the previous days.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/music-that-means-something-challenge-day-1-younger-than-springtime-south-pacific/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/music-that-means-something-challenge-day-2-brown-sugar-the-rolling-stones/

The Sunday Show – A funny thing happened to author D.G. Kaye


My guest today is Canadian memoir and nonfiction author and blogger D.G. Kaye (D.G.). It is clear that D.G delights both the women she writes for and I suspect the men who sneak a peek with her down to earth and often humorous look at life. There is also a serious side that comes across in D.G’s books and in her blog posts that strips back the layers that are formed in relationships. Those that are good for us and those that are harmful. I will take a closer look at her writing later in the introduction.

D.G was born and raised in Toronto where she still lives and writes about her own life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. She began keeping a journal as she lived through a turbulent childhood which was lacking in emotional support from her narcissistic mother. This challenging start in life was the inspiration for her first book Conflicted Hearts.

Her second book also charts one of the most challenging times in a woman’s life. Those of us who have enjoyed that ‘time of life’ as it is often referred to seldom see the funny side in the hormonally driven changes in our body. However, D.G manages in Meno-What? A Memoir, to not only share her observations and wisdom about this natural phase in our lives, but to bring humour and tips for survival!

Her third and latest book was featured in the Five Star Treatment, Words We Carry, focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. Most of us tend to have our own unique way of putting ourselves down and D.G talks about how and why we do this and how she recognised and overcame her own issues.

Apart from her books, she has also written articles about life, her opinions on people and events as well as contributing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine. She is very interested in natural health care and remedies prompted by her own health issues and that of her family.

One of the very positive aspects of D.G’s writing is that it always leaves you feeling inspired and motivated to be more pro-active with your life in both health and relationship issues.

Here are a couple of quotes that sum up this attitude to life.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return; wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

And her favourite saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favourite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. She loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker hence her Twitter handle!

The Author

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About the book

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

What a great find! December 19, 2013 By Karen B Format:Kindle Edition

Yesterday I happened to come across this book and I am so glad that I did. It made me laugh, it made me sad, it made me angry but most of all, it made me cheer for D.G. Kaye! She writes with candor and insight, passion and heart. It is an easy comfortable read, much like having a conversation and I couldn’t put the book down until the conversation was over. You can feel the little girl’s worry and confusion, the teenager’s guilt and angst, the sadness and the searching of the young woman and finally the strength of the adult. Ms. Kaye writes about the affects her mother’s actions has had on her entire life and the decisions she has made but she is never mean spirited about it and it makes you love her more.

It is a book that makes you think, reflect, understand and most of all it is a book that shows you that with the right attitude and beliefs, you can forgive and move forward. I loved it!

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“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

5.0 out of 5.0 by Kindle Customer

D.G. Kaye uses all her feelings of empathy, compassion, and honesty to reveal the power of WORDS that hurt, destroy, and demean. Words that in most cases have been forced upon us, and we never forget their poignant sting or understand the devastating effects they have on our lives and our relationships. You create the reality that has been engrained in your mind whether it’s wrong, unfair, or just plain mean, spiteful, and filled with envy and jealousy. WE ARE THE “WORDS WE CARRY” THROUGH LIFE! Isn’t it time to delve back to the source to first recognize and then change your self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth?

WORDS start piling up at a very young age…long before we understand why such labels are placed upon us by inconsiderate, angry people, usually our families, who lash out at everyone around them in an attempt to make themselves feel better. Who gets hurt? Just about everyone, including themselves. But the delicate psyche of a child, who is born seeking only love and acceptance, is so susceptible to ridicule, negativity, verbal abuse, and degradation. It is rarely a child’s fault that they are bullied, laughed at, used between adults as weapons in grownup games, or called names that stick like glue.

Ms Kaye reaches back to her personal, traumatic early years to release the WORDS that practically destroyed a beautiful, giving, loving personality. In her easy, flowing writing style, where you feel like you’re communing with your best friend…sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes comedic, always strong and resourceful…you get the best she has to give to show how you too can rescript the WORDS that keep you downtrodden and afraid to ask for and receive what you deserve out of life.

Thank you D.G. for this heartfelt, soul-searching book to set us all free from the “Words We Carry” that only inflict pain and suffering. YOU TOO CAN FIGHT BACK AND WIN!

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Meno-What? A Memoir
D.G. adds a touch of humor to a tale about a not-so-humorous time. While bidding farewell to her dearly departing estrogen, D.G. struggles to tame her raging hormones of fire, relentless dryness, flooding and droughts and other unflattering symptoms.
Join D.G. on her meno-journey to slay the dragons of menopause as she tries to hold on to her sanity, memory, hair, and so much more!

Loved it!!! July 21, 2014 By Annie Edmonds Format:Kindle Edition

Let me tell you that this beautiful woman has a way with words. And she will make you laugh as she describes what it’s like to go through menopause. Anyone that can make you laugh while going through menopause is alright in my book.

D.G Kaye writes about trying to keep her sanity while her hormones are raging. This is something most women can relate too. There’s memory loss, hot flashes, dry spells, and even the dreaded hair loss. She writes all this and so much more in a fun and informative way. This book is filled with lots of love and even more laughter.

D.G. tells you how to take life as it comes and she pulls no punches. She’s a Canuck from Canada that writes from the heart. If you know someone who’s just had a hysterectomy buy this book. In fact every woman reaching that menopause age needs a copy..

The Blogger

D.G writes about life and part of our life cycle is of course death. As we get older we begin to lose those close to us and grief is a very natural part of our existence. It becomes tragic when of course those that we lose are young and vital members of our family. Whatever the circumstances we all have our own way of dealing with the grief and D.G covers this particular issue very sympathetically but also in her usual practical manner.

http://dgkayewriter.com/waiting-stolen-hours/

You will also find excellent articles on divorce, anxiety, changes in our perception of the world including how we become less fearless with age and experience. I recommend that you head over and find out more for yourself.

Now time to meet D.G (Debby) in person and talk a little more in depth about some of her life experiences and also her writing.

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Thank you Debby for joining us today and perhaps we could start with the increasingly documented personality trait labelled Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is only recently that this disorder has become better known as more and more people realise that at some point in their lives they have been subjected to its negative impact. Perhaps you could describe the sort of behaviour that a narcissist would exhibit?

Hello Sally and readers of this wonderful blog. Thank you so much for inviting me to this new series to share my stories here with so many other talented artists and writers.

A narcissist, in laymen’s terms, sees him/herself as the center of existence. They feel as though their appearance and/or words trump everyone else’s. In my mother’s case, she had created a false persona that she had convinced her own self that she was superior. It was her mission to be the most beautiful one in a room, and craved attention so that focus had to be on her at all times.

Everything she talked about was exaggerated to make sure she could captivate her audience with her stories of grandeur. Her wants and needs came first to anyone else’s, including her children’s. She’d go to any lengths to acquire whatever it was she seeked.

Now, some people like to tell lies and paint pretty pictures of themselves for attention, but a true narcissist, as in my mother’s case, actually believes her own stories because she lived in her own ego.

I learned through the years of studying her, that this was a disease, which commonly wasn’t recognized as such. In the last generation, I don’t believe it was prominently diagnosed.

Do we all have some elements of that behaviour and if so what triggers it becoming a full blown disorder?

I don’t believe we all have the elements of becoming a narcissist, but I do believe there can be circumstances or incidents one encounters in life that propel one to becoming narcissistic. I’m no licenced psychologist, but I have to believe it can also be linked to various (undiagnosed) mental disorders, such as depression, which becomes a catalyst to narcissism, used to overcome some troubling issues. I say this because I think that besides my mother’s strife to be the best in show, I sensed a sadness within her that she was trying to conceal, not just to everyone, but also to herself.

She medicated that inner sadness with booze, pills and gambling, intermittently. She came from a poor family, and in a Scarlett O’Hara sort of way, had used her beauty as a weapon to obtain materialistic things in life.

I don’t believe anyone is born a narcissist. I think that it is the situations one lives through, which have a propensity to steer them in that direction as a means to achieve a status to feel better about themselves; and no matter at who’s expense.

It is obvious, as in your case, that a child would feel powerless in that kind of relationship. But is also true that adults of narcissistic parents can still be under the influence of that negativity especially as the parents age. What would be your advice to someone facing that challenge?

I would have to say the statistics show that many adults are still held under the powers of a narcissistic parent. It’s a major feat to become freed from the power that parents hold over us, mainly from their use of guilt as a means to obtain what they demand.

I was petrified to say the word “no” to my mother, my whole life. I danced to her every whim, and there were plenty of them. Children’s psyches are delicate, and grow from what we know and are used to. If we’re obedient, and not defiant children being raised by a narcissist, the odds are we shall remain under their power for the rest of their lives unless we are lucky enough to take a stand to them. For me, it was always unsettling to be around my mother.

We have to find a way for ourselves to live comfortably and deal with that parent (in my case.) It is very unlikely that person will ever change because they don’t believe they are the one with the problem.

I complied with my mother’s demands all my life and it ate away at me like poison, I took her wraths and tantrums because I felt I had to obey. I was the child, no matter what age I was. It took me decades and barrels of courage to get over the feeling that she had entitlement to anything she demanded from me, as a daughter. With a lot of self-therapy and self-analysis, I tried to reason with her to no avail.

I had to learn the hard way that it wasn’t my job, or in my power to fix her. The sickness wouldn’t allow anything positive I had to offer her, register with her. In the end, it was my own self-sanity I had to save, and painfully after so much emotional torment, at 48 years old, I walked away,

Sometimes you have to learn when you can’t fix a broken soul who doesn’t think it needs repairing.

In the UK there are around 120,000 divorces a year which is one of the highest in the European Union. In the US I understand that is around the 2.5 million mark per year. Whatever the figure that is a huge number of men and women and of course millions of children who are faced with this life changing event. What do you believe are the key issues that partners find so difficult to overcome that leads to this very final dissolution of their relationship and family?

Many times people get married for the wrong reasons, varying from anything such as, for material gain, pregnancy, or just settling for a relationship in order not to be alone, just to name a few. Other times, it could be that people marry too young.

Experience shows us that as we grow older, our wants and likes change as we grow. Sometimes people drift into new directions, leaving a partner behind when they no longer share interests. Also, infidelity is a major cause of break-ups, and I believe the promiscuity begins when one isn’t receiving the shared interest, respect, attention or kindness from their partner. They crave acceptance and to be acknowledged or included as a partner in their marriage, and when they stop receiving, they become vulnerable when they meet someone who feeds that need.

What would be your advice to anyone in a relationship who is facing potentially serious issues about some of the communication points they should be discussing with their partners to help prevent a complete breakdown?

We have to communicate our thoughts and feelings to our partners. We have to open our ears and listen back when they express their feelings to us. We should be supporting their work and passions. This must become a two-way street of reciprocation.

If we feel we are giving our all, and we aren’t being paid any mind or consideration for our own thoughts and feelings, this is a good sign we are not in a loving, supportive relationship. This would be the time to seek some outside therapy to salvage a relationship, before it becomes time to sever it.

Back to your writing. What is your next major project and where are you in the process?

I am currently in revisions with my next book (very late with them I might add), about essays on life incidents. In this book, I recall some stories of past years, when life was different, and often simpler. And, of course, there are stories about how the times have changed, and my opinions about how I feel about it.

I’m also writing the sequel to my first book, Conflicted Hearts. I left my first book open to a finish, as my mother was still living at the time of publication. Since that time, she has passed, and I’ve had a lot more realizations and interviews with family members, delving deeper into my mother’s issues, which I didn’t feel was fair to get into while she was alive. I’m hoping to have that book finished and published by summer of 2016.

Now time for the central theme of the Sunday Show interview.. ‘A funny thing happened to me..’

What are the Odds?

I title this situation with the phrase I’ve countlessly repeated many times throughout my life because I’ve often encountered situations in life where the odds were slim of things happening.

Sometimes it wasn’t always a good situation, but in this instance, I lucked out with favourable odds.

When I was twenty-five, I took a leave of absence from my then position as an executive assistant to the general manager of a downtown hotel chain. I had a fantasy that I wanted to fulfil of travelling through the Greek islands. Part of that trip I rented villa on the island of Mykonos for six weeks.

I travelled alone, as I was fiercely independent and had no trouble meeting people and forging friendships.

While I was waiting for three days in Athens for my booked passage over to Mykonos, I had befriended some interesting people staying at my same hotel. One of these people was a lovely Dutch boy, a few years younger than I, who was backpacking through Europe. Another couple I befriended were from Australia, also backpacking and taking on work around Europe to sustain their travels. They were at the same hotel at the same time as I was, all treating themselves to a few days in a nice hotel instead of the usual youth hostels.

When we all parted to go our separate ways, I had given them my address in Mykonos, and invited them to drop by if they were on the island in the coming weeks, and I offered them a room to rent in the villa for a nominal fee. I thought it would be nice for them, and it would also give me some extra pocket money.

Only a few days had gone by in Mykonos, and I had broken my foot getting off a high step on a bus while going into town for some provisions. Now, that situation alone is a story, which you will find in my book Conflicted Hearts, but nonetheless, my foot was broken, and I wasn’t going to another island to have it casted. I saw a doctor who wrapped it tightly in a tensor bandage, gave me crutches, and told me to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. Walking on crutches on the broken cobblestone roads and struggling to get up the small mountain (and down) on the rickety path to the beach was a feat in itself.

 A few days had passed and as I struggled again to get to the beach, and find my rock where I elevated my foot, I laid down my things and began thinking that I should cut my vacation short because it was too hard for me to get around. I was sad and scared about my demise. Tears sprang from eyes in my feelings of defeat. And then moments later, I heard somebody shouting my name.

I was sure it was a call for someone else, as I had yet to make friends with anyone there, except for the jeweller in town who befriended me when I fell off the bus and helped me get to a doctor, then scared the crap out of me. (Again full story in my book.)

I quickly sat up to see where the far away voice was coming from, when I realized God had sent me an angel.

My little Dutch friend had come to visit. He stayed for two weeks. He was so kind and helpful. He prepared meals for me, took me to town and carried my things, and helped me up and down the hilly paths. We shared a great friendship for many years after through letters. And, of course, I never took a dime from him.

Could lightning strike twice? After my Dutch friend left, a mere one day later, the same miracle happened at the beach when my Aussie friends showed up looking for me. They stayed with me for two weeks.

Coincidence? Divine timing? Those who know me well know that I often preach that we meet people; sometimes for reasons, sometimes for a season.

Thank you so much Debby for providing such an important insight into one of the most corrosive relationships that we can find ourselves in and also the strategies that might help us overcome the challenges we face.   Love your story… Coincidence perhaps, but also down to how well liked you were by those you met that they wanted to see you again…

Buy Debby’s books and connect with her… Definitely a ‘must do’.

Links
Author page on – http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/pokercubster
Blog – http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google – http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
About Me – www.about.me/d.g.kaye.writer

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Next week John W. Howell author of My GRL… joining us from Texas.