Thursday, February 14, 2013


I'm in a phase where I'm kind of living again without obsessing and analyzing and wondering if I'm human all the time.

I'm working on my dissertation. I had two papers published recently and am attending a conference soon. I'm excited about this. I no longer feel like enjoying doing my research and presenting it to others is narcissistic or ACoNish - it's me, it's human.

I work out. I watch movies with my husband and sometimes play with my kids. Sometimes I take a break from them, too.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a worse parent than my parents in some ways. And that's OK, too. They're not monsters in my mind any more. Nor are they perfect.

They actually often tried to be good parents, but in sometimes wrong ways and for the wrong reasons. So others could see them as good parents. So they could see themselves as good parents.

I said "NO" to my father a few days ago. No, I didn't want to call my elementary school teacher just because my father had contacted him and the guy wanted to hear from me because I was "so successful." No, there was no need for my father to justify and excuse me because I was "so busy" - I explained I had no obligation to call anyone I didn't want to call.

I wasn't scared or even overly triumphant. It was just normal.

Today, I believe I'm going to say to my therapist that I want to stop for now. I'm not sure what more I can get at this point via this particular method. I've had some good insights, but I feel I've reached a plateau - one I actually feel good at right now.

I'm going to use the money for my daughter's swim classes.


  1. Sounds like your life is busy and full of good things, PA and you are in a good place right now. I'm excited for you as you work on your dissertation, feel comfortable saying "No" to your father and finding a balance in your life in general. Also, congratulations on the publications of your work-that's quite an achievement!
    My personal feeling FWIW is T isn't a life time commitment; we know when we're ready to discontinue. And you sound very ready.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your journey thus far. Your thoughts, feelings, experiences and Leonard Cohen selections ;) have given me much to reflect on as well.

  2. I love seeing the way in which you have developed over the last few years (especially the last year), and am very inspired by it.

    One thing, though — you need to work on not feeling that you are doing a worse job than your parents. This feeling may actually get in the way of being the normal, human parent that you are. Perhaps you could talk about this feeling during your last session? Don't be so hard on yourself. Look at your normal, happy, opinionated kids who actually feel comfortable enough to have melt downs and to scream right in front of you. You're obviously doing something right. I don't believe us ACONs ever felt free enough to throw tantrums, or even to cry.


  3. PA,
    I love this post. I love that there's so much YOU: your voice, your choices, your life - in it. You sound strong, friend. Verrrrrry strong.


  4. "I wasn't scared or even overly triumphant. It was just normal."

    I think I'm getting to this place too. At first, it seemed "un-normal" to be...well, to just respond without some huge emotional attachment to it. Like a normal human being. But it's nice to remove a lot of the "ACoN" from my life and just start living.

    Wishing you continued contentment!

  5. I designed the phoenix graphic you're using as your avatar back in 2005.

    I have used my design on t-shirts, mugs, my podcast, and blogs, and I have not given anyone permission to use. it.

    Please change your avatar immediately.

  6. Done. Sorry for any inconvenience. I just needed a picture of a phoenix rising, found yours on google images and used it. It's a good graphic.

    I have now drawn my own rising phoenix in Paint and will be using that instead.

  7. thank you to all of you for your pure honesty...for the comfort the familiarity of your words brings to my broken heart...tattered soul...but one that is determined to conquer this twist of mother passed away almost 3 yrs ago and since then, i have never been more terrified and alone...yet possess an odd sense of clarity that is becoming "easier" to father is a malignant narcissist to the most cruel...abusive...mean...and down right gut wrenching family has abandoned me since her death and i am a survivor of severe domestic violence..abuse and torture....i am learning to truly "see" me....forgive me and begin my intellectual and emotional journey towards validation and closure (of some kind) heart thanks u all...


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