Personal Space

 

It’s Narcissist Friday!   

 

The concept of personal space challenges most of us. Some people seem to have a very small sense of personal space. They push themselves right into your face to talk, sit right next to you, and keep their hands on you too long. Others have a very large sense of personal space. They back away as you come near, and always keep a seat between themselves and the next person. Different cultures handle this differently, as do different families.

Last week I wrote about territoriality and narcissism, how the narcissist needs to control his/her world by maintaining ownership. That was a long post. This one will not be as long. I just want to look at this idea of personal physical space.

Most of the narcissists I have known seem almost phobic about being touched. A pat on the back will seem like an offense. I have seen them wipe themselves off when people have touched them, almost as though they were dirtied or something. I have seen them refuse to take an offered hand, or dance around to avoid a hug. They allow others to think of them as germophobic, but the truth is something more.

At the same time, most of these narcissists (not all) are very generous with their own touching. They will put their hands on someone’s shoulders to give a phony back rub. They will put their arms around someone’s shoulders. They will shake hands and hold on too long. They will hug people of the opposite gender when it might seem unnecessary. Some are even willing to risk harassment charges with their touch.

What’s going on? Well, touch can be a controlling technique. To receive a touch from someone is often to submit to that person, to allow him/her into your personal space. When we allow someone into our space, there is something shared that seems intimate. Lovers look into each others’ eyes and brush lips or cheeks. For someone else to do that would seem creepy or threatening. At the least it would seem inappropriate. The whole concept of personal space is to protect ourselves.

So we can understand why the narcissist doesn’t want to be touched. It’s too open, too risky. People who get too close begin to see things the narcissist would rather they not see. They can’t be submissive or out of control.

And we can also see why the narcissist would want to touch others. If touch is a way of controlling, breaking through personal barriers or boundaries, then the narcissist must at least try. Putting his arm around the young lady is a way to see if she will be receptive to his influence. Putting his hands on a co-worker’s shoulders is a way of exerting his superiority. Stepping in or sitting too close might be a way of threatening. Whenever others are uncomfortable, the narcissist sees an opportunity.

What seems like yet another hard to understand inconsistency in narcissistic behavior is actually quite consistent. The narcissist loves to control, but hates to be controlled. If he/she sees touch as a way to control, expect to see both this overly expressive touching and the fear of being touched.

But listen, if you are a woman and a man touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, tell him to stop and tell him loudly. Yes, that is harassment. It is not an accident or an innocent gesture. We live in a day when men know they have to be careful about touch. Don’t be afraid to challenge the behavior. The narcissist will protest his innocence, but he almost certainly will not do it again if others hear about it. (Yes, the same process could be used if a woman touches a man in an uncomfortable way, but that protest will probably not be as effective. The culture doesn’t understand the reality of that as much yet.)

And if you are a man who is touched by another man in a controlling or condescending way—and you are able—do the same thing to him. If he comes to sit by you and sits right next to you so you are uncomfortable, do the same thing to him when you see him sitting alone. Or, better yet, put something of yours on the seat next to his. See how quickly he moves your stuff or changes seats. If he puts his hands on your shoulders as you sit at your desk, do the same to him. If he thinks he has opened the door to you coming in to his personal space, he will quickly change.

There are always risks to dealing with narcissists. Be careful and be sure you are safe. At the same time, I think the fear of being touched will outweigh the desire to use touch as way of control for the narcissist.

47 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

47 responses to “Personal Space

  1. kay

    Thank you Dave for your generous expending of your heart. I won’t forget EVER these readings. I have recommended this site many times in my personal life for several years, having many women acquaintances/ friends & family distressed, looking for what temporarily relieves. Your insights are opening hearts to be healed…mine specifically.

  2. This is so interesting to me because I was just reading a post a few weeks ago that explained the significance of the way that people shake hands, and how some gain dominance through the handshake. It was fascinating and really made me think about how body language make san impact. I thought it was so important that I went through the whole article with my kids and pointed out the aggressive behaviors, and what they can and should do to thwart another person trying to dominate them and to assert themselves. But it’s not just the handshake, is it? Great article! Thank you.

  3. Rox

    I know this issue about touch well, regarding my N former “best friend.” In fact, it is what initiated my realizing that there was something very wrong with him. He would hug me generously when we were in public and people were watching. But when we were in private, and I would initiate contact, he would tell me NO and pull away sharply. The last time we were together, before I went total NC, we had not seen each other in months, and I went to his office to give him a welcoming hug. As I approached him, he yelled, loudly enough for his assistant to hear, “NO, NO! Conflict of interest!” I was confused, humiliated, and felt worthless. Only after that did I learn what a N was and that I’d been controlled by one through 20 miserable years of “friendship.” That embrace , or lack thereof, was the eye-opener on a long journey back to a healthy life.

  4. Cecilia K

    Thankfully, I haven’t had any memorable experiences of someone violating my personal space, but I do recall a situation where I felt like a man I was dating was being too familiar with some young girls – NOT in a grossly inappropriate way – just in a way that I, at least, would not have appreciated, if I had been one of those girls. (And this was not the same man whom I usually reference in my posts here.) I would be interested to hear any of your opinions on this…

    We were having dinner with some family and a few ladies that my then bf and I had just met (two young girls and their mother). I only remember one of the girl’s names, Courtney, and let’s say the other was McKenzie (the exact name isn’t important for the significance of the story). So anyway, they introduce themselves with their full names, but when my then bf talked to them, he addressed them with little nicknames, like “Cort” and “Mickey” (again, “Mickey” was not the actual name he used, but the point is, he addressed them with nicknames instead of the names they had introduced themselves with).

    Now, to me, this is being too familiar and presumptuous with people you just met, and I shared this with him later, in private (in a respectful way). He got defensive and said they didn’t object when he did that. I said that might have been b/c they were teenagers and had probably been taught to respect their elders, and thought it wouldn’t be polite to correct him. He also said that was just a way he relates to people; he thinks it helps them feel more comfortable around him, to immediately establish a familiarity. He claimed it has helped him win people to Christ. And then he took a dig at me, and said that the only people who have had a problem with him doing that “don’t have good personalities.”

    I said that maybe he could have asked if that was okay first, but he said, “That’s not me.” He said he feels too formal doing that, yet, when he and I first started going out, he claimed that he asked me if he could call me by a nickname, and that I said yes (of course, in our case, he might have been more eager not to offend). I honestly couldn’t remember that conversation, but it could have happened. A little while later, I asked him not to call me that anymore, b/c I didn’t care for the nickname. He asked why I had lied to him when I said it was okay, and I said first, I didn’t remember saying that, and second, if I did, I probably meant it was okay at the time, b/c I thought I would give it a chance. I did give it a chance, and I changed my mind. Anyway, that’s a little off the main point.

    Now, I don’t consider this man narcissistic, per se, but he did exhibit some of the characteristics sometimes, like being a little controlling, always having to be right, being harsh, and not being able to apologize very often (and he is now a pastor, btw). Anyway, just wondering what you all think of this situation. Would it bother you for someone you just met to address you with a nickname, if you had introduced yourself with your proper name?

    • Would it bother me for someone I just met to address me with a nickname, if I had introduced myself with my proper name? I have had this happen and yes, it bothered me, although not terribly. I not only felt like they were being too presumptuous and familiar, I also wondered what was wrong with my name that they felt they had to change it or shorten it.

      But I also wondered if my feeling was “overly sensitive” and if the person meant the nickname as a compliment of sorts. So, like those teenage girls, I said nothing… although I was well past my teens at the time.

      • Cecilia K

        Linda, Thank you for your response. It helps to know that you and Savedbygrace agree with me. And I understand how you wondered if you were being overly sensitive. I tend to wonder that, too, whenever I feel put off by someone’s actions that aren’t overtly mean or offensive. That’s why it helps to ask other people how it makes them feel; if you get a general consensus of others feeling the same way, then it’s probably safe to say that you are not being “too sensitive”. Now, I don’t think I have ever had that happen to me personally (someone calling me by a nickname on first meeting), but if they did, I probably wouldn’t say anything either, maybe to keep from making them feel bad – at least, if there’s not much chance I will ever see them again. If I’m going to have to be around them multiple times, maybe I would speak up. I’m not sure.

    • Savedbygrace

      wow Cecilia K- good link, using a nickname is another way, I believe , for a n to get into our personal space, and also to subtly put a stamp of ‘ownership’ on us- but so easy to deflect if called out ( as you found out)! Yes it would definitely bother me if someone used a nickname for me when just introduced. My n husband used to introduce me to everyone using my nickname and used it all the time himself to the extent that no one ever called me by my real name anymore. It became something I lamented and a real loss for me and one that I was fairly powerless to do much about. I used my real name at work- and liked that. I used to think it was a sign of affection by the n and ‘loving’ my nickname so I found it confusing that I had conflicted emotions about it…but your post has caused me to do a re think, especially as he did know how I felt about it. I do now think it was an ownership thing. My n has a thing about finding out peoples personal names and using them straight up ( like they are long lost friends) eg waiters, shop assistants. It has always embarrassed myself and our teenage kids.I thought it very odd behaviour and was puzzled as to its usefulness to him ( he also used to ‘Christianise’ his motives).. this has shed some light on that!
      He was also way too familiar with ‘greeting’ hugs/kisses at church- very embarrassing for me.. and especially loved charming the teenage girls..
      Thanks Pastor Dave for drawing this aspect of personal space to our attention. Good to bring it into the open as I think in Christian circles we are too polite to risk offending someone by saying something if we are uncomfortable with domeone’s touch. In my experience the guys that are just plain clueless are more than happy to modify their behaviour when the subject is dealt with in an appropriate way with them because they are innocent in their intent. It’s only the n or other character disordered person who would get offended or go on the attack if it was highlighted..

      • Cecilia K

        Hi Savedbygrace! Thank you for your response. I appreciate your agreement with my feelings, and I, too, was embarrassed by this man’s actions. I actually told him that, too, for two reasons: 1) Once, in a different context, he had said he never wanted to embarrass me, so it seemed reasonable that he would want to know that he had, even in this context, so he could avoid doing so again. He felt bad about it, but only in a resentful way–not being sorry that he embarrassed me unintentionally; and 2) A couple of months earlier, he had made it clear that it was not my place to decide what was okay and not okay to tell him (There had been a couple of incidents where I withheld information from him. Although not done with malicious intent on my part, this still resulted in some negative consequences to our relationship.). As a result, I was always fearful of not sharing whatever thought came into my head or how I felt about something, because if he later found out, he would likely pour shame on me with a vengeance and/or break up with me. Deep down, I knew that was no way to live, and it would probably be just as well if we Did break up, which we did a few months after the nickname incident.

        It’s so sad that your husband doesn’t respect your feelings. I’m glad that you at least have your work world where you can be known as you want to be known, and glad that you have this community where you are free to share your heart.

      • Penny

        Omigosh! THAT is so annoyingly typical of a narc….so much so, that in her stellar book “The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists”, author Eleanor Payson mentions this very thing, regarding the narc violating boundaries (personal space) referring to others by the wrong name, or in a denigrating way (i.e.: calling you “honey” when you have repeatedly corrected this). The narc does this in order to control, to demean, to objectify, and of course to “one up”. For someone else to choose what name YOU should be known by is indeed such a violation of your identity that it is unconscionable.

    • Anne

      I hate it when someone calls me by a nickname. It’s presumptuous and I do think it’s also controlling. A long time ago a coworker started making fun of my last name and wouldn’t stop. Then I turned it around and started calling him Dr. Big because his last name was Grande. That shut him up.

  5. Savedbygrace

    Hi Linda lee the above comment was meant to be in answer to your post:)

  6. Savedbygrace

    It’s late! 🙂
    Post is for both:)

  7. jo

    Wow, another good post..thank you for this! My N doesn’t respect my personal space whatsoever. I mentioned last week that I couldn’t even take a shower without coming in. He also touches me inappropriately throughout the day. Out of the blue he would just grab me like im some ragdoll. Or peak down my shirt. He still does it, no matter how many times I tell him not to, and how disgusting it makes me feel.
    I have tried a few times to do things right back to him. Playing around I gave him 4 slaps on the arm, ” love taps’. And I noticed that he gave me exactly 4 right back. I thought that was weird, so I gave him 5 next time… I got exactly 5 back.. I kept it up for about a minute. He would do exactly how many I gave him…and its like that with everything. Something I thought was just playing around…he was trying to win at? He goes to the extreme to be the winner at things that aren’t even a competition. I don’t get it.
    And nope..he cant stand his personal space being disrupted. He looks so awkward when the kids try to give him a hug. It bothers me so much. And its always the tiniest pat back to them. They are your kids, it shouldn’t be hard at all to be affectionate to them! Even in public He gets this puffed up posture and a look that says “back off”. He’s even bumped into people on purpose if they were in the way a little. And hes a pretty tall intimidating guy, so nobody ever says anything to him. He claims to not be afraid of anyone, but that shows me just how insecure he really is. I just don’t understand why he acts that way. No one is bothering him or threatening him in any way, so why be mean to people for no reason? Thank you again..these rants have made me feel so much better!

    • KT

      Wow, I’m beginning to feel like N are a species from another planet!!! It’s just amazing how as I read other’s stories how it describes the N I was dealing with almost to a T!!!! AMAZING!!!

  8. Dove

    That is so funny. We worked in a hospital setting and he was such a germaphobe. I even asked him once why he liked touching others so much and hated them touching him. He said “that’s different.” It made no sense. Now it does.

  9. Penny

    My malignant MIL used to throw open the bathroom door in all her naked glory, so we could all see what great shape she was in for an older woman, (that felt like an ugly, unnecessary visual violation) BUT, if you were to hug her “hello” or “goodbye”, she would squeeze her shoulders in as if you had “cooties”, and keep you at arm’s length. Needless to say, I stopped hugging her years before I finally went NC. Yikes.

  10. hazelnut

    Living with someone with these character disorders is confusing to say the least. Your post Pastor Dave (and many others) helps me understand what was going on in my relationship. One up – one down is the way it’s gotta be! Not doing that anymore. I left after 20 plus years. Living a more emotionally healthy life now with with eyes open but a long way to go. Reading all the experiences of others as you’ve have come into clarity is so helpful. Thank you.

  11. The narcissist in my life is my mother. She demands hugs and when the demand is not met, she plays the kicked puppy. I wouldn’t have minded the hugs so much if it was an embrace and release, but she hangs on and won’t let go until she’s good and ready. She complains about not being hugged enough. She demands grandchildren give her a hug, and I watch parents demand their children comply, even though the children repeatedly say, “No” or shake their heads or attempt to avoid the situation. If I gave her a hug, she wanted a kiss on the cheek, too. If I gave that, she wanted a kiss on the other cheek and wanted to kiss my face. No matter what, it was never enough. Public is an opportunity to demand what she wants, believing others will agree with her and turn against me. A daughter should show her mother love. It never occurred to her I wouldn’t care what others thought of me. She calls me a touch-me-not because I no longer give in to the demands. Makes my skin crawl thinking about it.

    I admit, I wrote this because I was a little confused by the no touch approach when I’m experiencing the opposite. However, writing it how has jogged a few memories. In the distant past, I remember how she was too busy or some other excuse. She adapted the control game. Now, I refuse to play.

    • Penny

      Judy, my MIL is the narc, and she too would demand hugs from my kids, for her only. It’s all about control, not affection.
      My kids adored their Grampa, and they naturally gravitated toward him and away from her, b/c he was “safe”. She remarried after he died, and began demanding my kids hug “their new Grampa . ” I made it clear that he was NOT their Grampa.
      Then she began to demand that they call him “Pops”. Again I refused to comply. She kept suggesting other “pet names” and finally quit when I told her they would call him by his real name, and nothing else.
      She finally quit, but then demanded control & acquiescence in others ways until he, too, died. Needless to say, none of us attended that funeral. It would have been just another “public power play” and for her benefit, not the deceased.
      (I.E.: her 2nd husband didn’t like roasted turkey at the Holidays, so she insisted that we serve ham instead. It didn’t matter that they were guests, and polite guests should not demand & control the menu! I still served turkey, and so one year she folded up a $50 bill and when she “hugged” me, she forced the $50 into my hand and whispered in my ear “go buy a ham”! To others it appeared as tho we were having a “loving” moment, when I reality it was all a pretense.)
      Hugs, no hugs, kisses, no kisses….it’s all about power & control & their “public face”. Yuck.

      • Penny

        Oh, and I forgot to say she would demand & sometimes literally PUSH my kids toward her 2nd husband, saying “give him a hug”. She never did that with their “real” grampa (whom they loved), only with the “fake” one (who didn’t even know their names!) She was desperate to show the world her “one, big, happy family” lie.
        Sick.
        Talk about “wearing a mask” and performing as tho on a stage! It’s all a “stage play”, and the narc is the “star” of the show–everyone else is just a prop or in a “supporting role”. The spotlight is reserved for the narc.
        But everything about a narc is fake. Even hugs & kisses.

      • So much of this sounds familiar. Focusing on one point in particular that demonstrates the insanity: Why didn’t they simply bring ham to share? I know it’s about control. I have to remind myself to stop trying to make sense of the nonsensical.

      • Cecilia K

        Ha ha ha! Judy, so do I! = )

      • Cecilia K

        Penny, ick! So sorry you had to deal with that, but I guess you don’t anymore, thankfully, since you went NC.

        Your “one big happy family lie” remark reminds me of the friend I shared about in the “Do Narcissists Make Themselves Sick?” post. She and her husband divorced last year (on amicable terms, according to her), and before the proceedings were barely underway, she was already dating someone else. They’ve had this really weird situation, where she and her ex (who is really a pretty decent guy) still Technically live together, but she essentially lives with her boyfriend (again, according to her). Anyway, she once posted about how she and her bf, her ex and his gf, and their kids ALL took a vacation together, and she was frequently posting about how well they all get along, and how it’s not weird at all, etc., etc.

        Personally, I think that her ex isn’t really all that wild about it, and he probably didn’t even want to go on that vacation, but she probably berated/manipulated/needled him until he gave in. But that Is just speculation. I have not talked to her ex since their divorce. I recently “unfollowed” this friend on FB, though, after she posted some outrageous comment, and I’ve just had enough of her. Ugh. She is also the type to post FB rants about people who “judge” her for her sinful choices. Basically, I think she considers anyone who expresses disagreement or concern that she claims to follow Christ but doesn’t live like it, as being judgmental. She claims she goes to church more now and has grown closer to God than ever since divorcing her ex and dating/living with her new bf.

    • UnForsaken

      Judy, Penny….yes, yes, yes! Most of the time it’s in public, something I haven’t had to deal with lately, but there are those other weird times too.

      With ‘friends’ like those who needs enemies, Cecelia K. Way to go! Narcs abound but we don’t have to try to be around them…. Thank goodness! I love the amplified Bible on Revilers in – I think – several passages in 1 Cor. and 2 Thes.. Narcs are very like the fools that will not change described in these verses, and it has given me good direction when in doubt about what to do with them.

      One time I had my mouth full as I was backed into a corner (for I think the third ) hug/apology by the enabler, when the N swooped in for a ‘group’ squash. REALLY awful. I was literally surrounded by a painfully rough wall, hard chair, and then they were on the other two sides completely surrounding me. To my memory there was no space left at all. It brought new meaning to the old phrase “cornered”! There are days when things are so creazy it’s as if you might as well shout, ” Kisses all ’round folks…I’ve just joined the circus!” 😉

      • Sorry you had to join, but there’s a relief in knowing one isn’t alone.

      • UnForsaken

        Yes…SO true, Judy! It makes it easier to see the N as a lot smaller with shared perspective here. I can believe that the world isn’t coming to an end right this moment after all! Ironically, in acknowledging how bad it really is, I find God lifting the load and making me glad. I’d rather be in a circus and know it, than in denial pretending I’m not!

    • Judy, the narcissist in my life is my mother, too. After her marriage to my dad ended, my mother went into such a deep depression that she did not bathe for months. When I would come home from school, my mother demanded that I kneel down by the sofa where she lying and put my arms around her. She wanted me to stay like that. “Just hold me! I need to be held!” Oooh…. the smell was so awful it was all I could do not to gag.

      I loved her and I pitied her. I still do, half a century later. But I stopped giving in to her demands many years ago. Which is why I have been the family scapegoat for most of my life.

    • NoLongerSilent

      I’m new to this blog & have been reading Narcissist Friday posts for for a few months now. I can relate to most of the posts but this one really spoke to me.

      My narc is my mother. I went nc with her 6 months ago. One thing that she has done my whole life is demands hugs. I’m 45 now & I can’t stand her touch let all her demanded hugs. This post makes so much sense to me. It was a way for her to control me. To me, it felt like her hug was a way to mark her territory. If I gave a half hearted hug she’d make a comment & demand I give her a better hug. She was in control & if I did not submit & give her a hug to her liking she’d complain & act hurt by my lack of showing her affection. In reality, she was forcing me to submit to her control in my life.

      The last time we were together as a family mother threw a huge fit because my husband & daughter did not drop everything when she arrived to give her a hug. It didn’t matter that my hubby was bbqing our lunch or that my daughter was finishing yard work. All that mattered was that mother had arrived & we were to drop everything & greet her highness.

  12. Ginger

    It seems another way for husbands to control wives and for wives to feel guilty…when their personal space is violated.

  13. Penny

    good grief! I am exhausted just reading all these stories…it seems like all narcs are the same, only different, if you get my drift. Kinda like Satan himself: cunning and calculating, but oh so…. predictable. Chairs, ham, hugs, demands….coffee. Yes, coffee!

    My MIL used to demand that her coffee be a certain temp, and if it was too hot, then she expected “ice cubes on demand” to cool it down, which of course gave her “space” to criticize ME for making it too hot in the first place. If it wasn’t hot enough then I was too stupid to brew it correctly, which then of course it needed to be reheated in the microwave, which I also failed to do to her liking, so then she needed a window opened b/c she was just sweltering from the hot coffee…. in the dead of winter. Who falls of this nonsense?? Seriously???

    No matter what we did, she was the poor little victim-princess-neglected-slighted-saint-misunderstood-marty-of-the-year-who-deserves-a-crown. Now, I can see it: the full-blown narc on open throttle, the center of attention, the victim of a coffee caper, the perennial princess and dictator of all that is holy, all in one.

    What amazes me is that no one calls her on it, even now…..and all the cousins and in-laws line up to be patted on the head by her as the chosen ones…to whom she dangles the crumbs of her “estate”, in order to keep all the minions in line to do her bidding. All the while she spends her money faster on herself, ensuring that there will be nothing left, while promising an inheritance to those who placate her. Why they cannot see it is beyond me.

    • Cecilia K

      Penny, have you written any books (particularly on this subject)? You really have a way with words—and a way of expressing disgust in a humorous way, even if you’re not necessarily intending to be humorous! = )

      • Penny

        Cecilia–thank you, how very kind of you, but no I have not written any books. I love the blog community here, but for me to write a book would feel….ummm, well….a tad narcissistic?! LOL!! Guess I’m still too raw from the battle….
        I love that Dave has this blog, and that he is writing a book, & I so appreciate the wise words of others, but I prefer to stay “off the grid”!!

  14. Gloria

    I so look forward to your Friday posts. I find them encouraging, and a reminder that I am okay. I wonder sometimes if maybe reading this post is making me “harder” of heart. I feel like I am “steeling” myself against this person, then that leads to being harder for me to forgive them. I need to find a balance. I need to forgive daily, but then I feel sad. It is difficult to receive from this person because I cannot trust that I’m not being used to some end.
    Is the only way off the merry-go-round to step out of my 49 year marriage? (yes, this person is my husband) Is it possible to stay AND be content? What am I missing? -Sue

    • Savedbygrace

      Gloria – I struggle with this too- am I being hard hearted ?(I have been married 35 years- separated 2). I remind myself tho that I did not ask to be traumatised and it is not my fault that I need a lot of time to heal and that I don’t feel safe in that relationship anymore, that trust has been broken, repeatedly and over many years… ( it is understandable that it is hard to receive in a relationship when the giver cannot be trusted ) he and sadly, we,are reaping what he has sown.. I have been through intense periods of grief and it is hard to ‘let go’ of dreams and a relationship that so much love and effort has gone into and so much shared history… it is very painful
      I think instead of being hard hearted it is a case of ‘fortifying’ ourselves so that we will not be hurt or taken in again… it is hard to do when you are normally a ‘giving’ person and you have put so much into the marriage.. and marriage should be a safe place where we can relax and be soft hearted.
      There is no one right path – stay or go- but i have found talking with a counselor who specialises in domestic violence has been invaluable. These are not normal relationship dynamics we are dealing with here..
      praying you will know God’s peace and wisdom in the midst of it all x.

  15. I just read through all these comments and I just have to say… WOW… I love you people! I am so very grateful for Pastor Dave and this blog. ❤ ❤ ❤

  16. Just a reminder: I am happy to go through and remove names when necessary. However, if you are uncomfortable with your name appearing, please feel free to use a fake name. You can use a number or initials or whatever you want.

    Your email address will not appear in the comment unless you put it there. I would caution against that, however. Not everyone is as they seem to be. If you want to contact someone personally, I can probably forward a note. Understand that the anonymity of this group is valuable. Some people will not want personal contact.

  17. KT

    Wow, you survived for 49 yrs!?!? I salute you. You are a soldier indeed! Perhaps you need to foster coping mechanisms. Find healing for your mind, body and spirit. Take your power back and rise from your defeated places. Pray for your hubby. Maintain your sanity.

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