Tina's Story

Life is Like Photography: We Develop from the Negatives

PhotographyI am a really positive person by nature.  I’ve been called a “Pollyanna” — and actually had to look up the definition to ensure that it wasn’t an insult!  The mission of educating the media and the general public on narcissistic personality disorder and cluster B disorders can weigh heavily on even the most positive person. Some of the stories that I read are heart wrenching and leave me in tears for people I don’t even know.

Every week I hear stories from men and women that leave me baffled.  Common sense seems to be absent from much of our family court system.  I am told stories of courtroom corruption that would make your head spin.  Many of these stories serve as reminders that while I feel discouraged; I am actually extremely lucky that I don’t have to deal with corruption. I am faced with a system that doesn’t understand high-conflict divorce and doesn’t know how to deal with it.  My mission is to change that.

It is easy to feel discouraged by the negatives which is why I feel it is extremely important to focus on the positives as they present themselves. The positives could be the person who holds the door open for you at the grocery store or simply the sun shining after two days of rain. I am a believer that positive thoughts make way for more positive thoughts. I wanted to share something positive that happened to me this week– because quite frankly, I am still in shock and writing is how I process things:

I began a new chapter in my life on June 8th of 2012 when my best friend asked me to be his wife. Our wedding is set for the spring of 2013 and we’ve managed to take the term “budget wedding” to a new level. The one item that we haven’t tackled yet is a biggie: the wedding photographer.  We spent last Monday and Tuesday discussing this hurdle and didn’t really come up with a solid answer. I awoke on Wednesday morning to the most amazing, generous email which can only be described as “serendipitous”.

Before I explain, I need to share the back story:

When I put the word out that I was looking for guest bloggers, I never expected to discover “Olivia” — a guest blogger who holds a special place in my heart. Olivia is an inspiring young woman who gives me hope that my daughters will be okay despite the cards that have been dealt to them.  A young woman whom I’ve never met has given me a tremendous amount of hope in the one area of my life that causes me the most unrest: will my daughters come through this and be okay?

A therapist once listed to my entire life story while shaking her head– that day, there was a great emphasis on my extremely dysfunctional childhood.  She explained that children only need one strong person in their life to defy the odds…one dependable voice….or one person who believes in them and breathes encouragement into their soul. For me, that person was my Aunt Bev.  She and I were often separated by 2,000 miles (me in California and she in Illinois) but I knew that she was ALWAYS there for me.  She encouraged me. She was always realistic with me– never telling me what I wanted to hear but telling me what I needed to hear.

I have been blessed with my Aunt Bev and Olivia was blessed with her mother, “Jane”.

Back to the “serendipitous” email:

I awoke to an email on Wednesday morning from Olivia’s mother, Jane- it turns out that she is a wedding photographer.  Jane had read my blog about getting married and offered to fly to my wedding and donate her services: for free.  This is the part where I become speechless again…it took me hours to even respond to her email.  I stared at it.  I called Glenn immediately and shared the news with him.  I stared at the email again.  Speechless.  Filled with gratitude.  Honored that Olivia’s mother will be at my wedding…and hopefully, Olivia will be able to attend.  Nothing would make this day more special then to meet these two women.

This battle has been difficult but it has given me so many positive things in life such as tremendous healing, a voice (complete with a megaphone), camaraderie and immense gratitude. Thank you, Jane and thank you, Olivia!!!!!!  (((HUGS))))

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Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to de-code the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.




5 thoughts on “Life is Like Photography: We Develop from the Negatives

  1. I love this story because I think God graces us with many wonderful things (including connections with special people) during our trials (both in and out of the courtroom!). Like you I love reading Olivia’s posts because I hope my two little grand daughters are able with the strong support of their mom, step-dad, and family members like me that love them can help them get through their childhood years dealing with narcissistic parent and family without falling apart or becoming narcissistic themselves. Olivia gives us hope.

  2. thank you for sharing this Tina. It is a wonderful reminder to keep an eye out for those blessed moments. It’s those moments- no matter how big or how small- that keep us going in the midst of such rough seas. They remind us that yes, there is still good in the world.

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. You deserve loads of happiness.

  3. I’m so sorry you are going through all this with your “N” and that your kids are hurting.

    If it helps, I wish my mom had left my “N” dad and I knew that from a young age (am mid thirties now).

    You sound like a very loving and positive person from the few posts I’ve read so far, especially considering what you are going through. Your girls are very lucky to have such a strong mother to look out for them and to help them navigate the “N” world as they grow up. Sending you loads of love and light to guide you through the trenches.

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