EP 153: The Push and Pull of a Romantic Relationship with a Narcissist: Dana Diaz

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence Leave a Comment

Dana S. Diaz is a wife, mother, and author of the best-selling book GASPING FOR AIR: THE STRANGLEHOLD OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE. Dana has had life-long experience with narcissistic abuse, beginning in childhood. Her education in journalism and psychology at DePaul University in Chicago gave her the ability to accurately verbalize and express how narcissistic abuse creates confusion and conflict within victims, so that she can help other victims know they are not alone and better understand their own circumstances. Today, Dana is a proud voice for fellow victims who are unable, afraid, or ashamed to share their experiences. She strives to create awareness and understanding to ensure victims are given the support they need to first understand their situation and then begin the healing process. Her first book, chronicling her own abusive marriage that lasted nearly three decades, started as a journal that she hid under the couch cushion in the basement. Dana lives with her husband in Illinois and is in the process of publishing the prequel and sequel to GASPING FOR AIR.


Visit my website to purchase my book, read my blog about narcissistic abuse and related topics, and take my quiz to find out if you are in a relationship with a narcissist.

Link Tree

Website: https://dswministries.org

Email: diana@dswministries.org

Social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DSW-Ministries-230135337033879

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DswMinistries

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxgIpWVQCmjqog0PMK4khDw/playlists

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dswministries/

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, Pandora, Stitcher, Listen Notes

Keep in touch with me! Email subscribe to get my handpicked list of the best resources for abuse survivors! https://thoughtful-composer-4268.ck.page #abuse #trauma

Mentoring https://youtu.be/WWgkERpkIoY

An easy way to help my ministry:

A donation link:

Affiliate links:

Can’t travel to The Holy Land right now? The next best thing is Walking The Bible Lands! Get a free video sample of the Bible lands here!


Get one free month of Blubrry podcast hosting with the promotional code: FAITHFUL


Get quality podcast guests and interviews from PodMatch! Get paid to be a host! Sign up below:


Visit my friends at the Heal Thrive Dream Boutique for some cool T-shirts, jewelry and other merch! Simply share the discount code we created just for you and receive a 10% discount on your order!



Bible Study Notebook From Karen Robinson! Check it out!


Karen Robinson’s Trauma Coaching


Free Healing Coaching Intensive


Dana Diaz

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast, brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer, songwriter, speaker, and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:26] Now, here is Diana.

[00:00:28] Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. I am very grateful that you’re here with me.

[00:00:40] I have announcements to go through here, events that are coming up.

[00:00:45] So first I’m in the process of doing a Facebook group, a private community for the podcast listeners. And so, that’s what I’ll be working on is putting some [00:01:00] content on there and getting the group ready. And when that is up and running, then I will be telling you to join the group.

[00:01:09] I would really like to get to know all of you a bit better and to interact with you on a more personal basis. And I have asked which platform you guys prefer and nobody really responded. So I’m just going to go with Facebook for now, because that’s the most common. And hopefully that we’ll get to know one another and you can meet some new friends that also listen to the podcast.

[00:01:37] So that’s one thing. Second is, I’m going to be part of a summit with Karen Robinson. She’s been on the show before. She’s an abuse advocate like I am. And she’s holding a summit for October. It is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You may know that [00:02:00] already. And so I’ll be one of the speakers at the summit.

[00:02:03] So I would really appreciate it if when I do promote the summit, if you would tell others, invite others to the summit, you hear me every week on the podcast, but invite some friends to the summit. I really love what Karen is doing. She’s amazing. And she’s also going to be my social media manager. So. Hopefully if you guys would go on social media, the DSW Ministries is my social media handle.

[00:02:35] If you guys would go on there and interact with the posts, I would really appreciate that because they work very hard to put those together. So that’s coming up soon and future podcast episodes. I’m in the process of. I’m doing a study on Job, and we all want to know about suffering. Why am I suffering at this stage?

[00:02:59] [00:03:00] Why do Christians suffer? And I’m not going to pretend that I have all the answers, but we’re going to go through the book of Job. It might be a three part series, and we’re going to go through all the questions that you have about Job and about suffering. And we’re going to learn a little bit more about who God is.

[00:03:22] So stay tuned for that. So right now I’m going to introduce our guest that we have today. She’s a expert on narcissism and we have very similar stories. Let me read her bio here. Dana S. Diaz is a wife, mother, and author of the best selling book, Gasping for Air, The Stranglehold of Narcissistic Abuse.

[00:03:48] Dana has life long experience with narcissistic abuse, beginning in childhood. Her education in journalism and psychology at DePaul University in [00:04:00] Chicago gave her the ability to accurately verbalize and express how narcissistic abuse creates confusion and conflict within victims, so that she can help other victims know that they are not alone and better understand their own circumstances.

[00:04:19] Today, Dana is a proud voice for fellow victims who are unable, afraid, or ashamed to share their experiences. She strives to create awareness and understanding to ensure victims are given the support they need to first understand their situation and then begin the healing process. Her first book, Chronicling Her Own Abusive Marriage, that lasted nearly three decades, started as a journal

[00:04:50] that she hid under the couch cushion in the basement. Dana lives with her husband in Illinois and is in the process of publishing the prequel [00:05:00] and sequel to Gasping for Air. Learn more about Dana at www. danasdiaz. com. So without delay, here’s my conversation with Dana Diaz.

[00:05:17] Please welcome my guest today, Dana Diaz. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Thank you for having me. I was saying before the show that my abuser was a narcissist and the things that you say about your abuser were definitely things that my abuser did too. It’s like you say, they have a manual or of some sort that they’re following, but can you define what exactly is a narcissist for those that…

[00:05:47] I have no idea?

[00:05:49] Absolutely. Obviously people spend decades researching this and compiling their version. So I try to keep it very simple. But a narcissist is somebody who feels [00:06:00] that they are entitled to exaltation. Let’s say they are very important and they need you to know they’re important.

[00:06:08] But then there’s some like my ex that are called covert narcissists that come off very humble and almost pitiful where you feel bad for them, but that’s also part of the ploy for you to pump them up and. serve them in some way to serve their ego, fulfill their egotistical need to feel important and to be served.

[00:06:31] And, they just definitely feel like they are superior to others. And again, I, we can get into depth on that, but they are manipulative. They will do so many things like we were talking about. There is like a manual. They say and do things to manipulate you or situations so that.

[00:06:53] It fulfills their ego the way that, they need to be filled. But unfortunately, when they’re doing that, when we talk about narcissistic [00:07:00] abuse, they’re doing it in a way that is actually harming another human being.

[00:07:05] Oh, yeah. And I know my abuser, we were in full time Christian ministry and.

[00:07:13] He was this wonderful person on the outside to everybody. And then behind closed doors, he was a different person and nobody would believe me when I left that my abuser was this horrible person that abused me. Oh, no. And so that, that is really hard.

[00:07:34] It is hard. And a lot of them, that’s the thing that’s most difficult, I think, for victims, because, we live in this fear that we can’t expose them because there’s consequences to that, whether it’s, something like emotional or verbal abuse, but it can extend to sexual abuse, physical abuse, that’s the thing about narcissistic abuse.

[00:07:56] It’s all encompassing. There’s financial abuse involved. [00:08:00] There’s so many things. So your abuse are well enough to know that if you speak up, if you let it be known that they’re this different person behind closed doors, you’re going to get it somehow. And the problem is that’s part of like their MO is that in regular society, many of them are Like you said with your ex, they’re upstanding members of the church.

[00:08:23] They will volunteer and they’re generous and they’re charitable and they’re on foundations and they’re at the soup kitchen and they’re doing all these things. So, and then in the meantime, they’re… Giving people little snippets, making comments, or telling people things about you because they know eventually you’re going to be on to them or say something to somebody, and so they will discredit you.

[00:08:48] They will call you crazy, say that you have mental issues. Oh, she this or he that, because men unfortunately Can also, be abused in different ways, but they [00:09:00] want to set it up so that when you get enough courage to speak up about them, nobody’s going to believe them. Not one person.

[00:09:08] And that’s the worst part of it being, I’m suffering that too. I’ve published this book about my experience in my 25 year long relationship with my narcissist ex. And, there have been people. Regrettably that have that know me or us and read it and have questioned whether I’m telling the truth.

[00:09:32] And I just say, you know what, I don’t need other people to validate. Fortunately, I don’t need other people to validate me anymore, but I know my truth. I know what I’ve been through. My body knows what I’ve been through. My, my mind and my heart know what I’ve been through. So I don’t care anymore what somebody believes or disbelieves, but I, my heart goes out to other victims that are still suffering and that summon up the [00:10:00] courage to say something to somebody, because I just hope that.

[00:10:04] People will understand how much courage that takes because if you don’t believe somebody or express in any way that you don’t believe them, how much are they going to come forward to somebody else or that, it’s going to take that much more effort for them to be brave enough to say something ever again.

[00:10:22] So, and some people don’t live through their circumstances, to be able to speak their truth. So it’s really important that, we do create this awareness that things can look really good. On the outside, we went to t ball games and brought cupcakes and we’re smiling and, everything was great.

[00:10:40] And the thing about narcissistic abuse is it’s not always bad. Really what person is going to stay with somebody that is You know, abusive in whatever way, a hundred percent of the time. I imagine that exists, but realistically how they keep us is [00:11:00] because there are those good times we do laugh, we do enjoy each other’s company once in a while.

[00:11:05] We do have, times where things are really good, but. Then when it’s bad, it’s really bad. And it’s this push and pull and, everything that happens to you and that, the gaslighting and the manipulation and the insults and the demeaning and all these things. And, it just can take it way too far.

[00:11:27] Like in my circumstances I know there were people that when I would be brave enough to come forward and maybe feel somebody out if I could talk to them and it would be, well, has he hit you? Yeah. And I’m like, well, in the course of our relationship, yeah, a crowbar was swung at my head, but he didn’t hit me because I ducked, but I could have been dead.

[00:11:52] There was a gunshot outside my bedroom window. No, bullet didn’t hit me, but I could have died. There was a knife [00:12:00] situation. There was a lot of things that happened. But was I hit? No, but people think that because I didn’t have a bruise or a mark on me, and I couldn’t say that he actually physically struck me, then it must not be abuse.

[00:12:14] But guess what? All the other things that happened, I did have sexual abuse, and I’m sorry, but in a marriage, you can have… Relations that are not consensual and it’s just as horrible and awful. It’s awful. The financial abuse, there’s things that. Like I wasn’t allowed on his checking account.

[00:12:36] I wasn’t allowed. It was his money. My money was our money, but his money was only his money. And then there was, he drained his 401k without telling me during our marriage. So there was no 401k left. And when I finally figured it out, where’s this money? It was gone. It was spent on alcohol and, he chewed tobacco and just [00:13:00] random things, and we’re talking, about a lot of money.

[00:13:03] He never touched me. He never physically hit me. But at the end of our 25 year relationship, I was diagnosed with upper airway resistance syndrome, which is a rare lung disease that is common in abuse victims.

[00:13:19] The neurologist says the way you can sum it up is like having COPD and fibromyalgia all at the same time. So if you can imagine all of the symptoms that on a daily basis, it’s like musical symptoms. I might have digestive issues. I have bradycardia where my heart rate drops so low that I become feverish and so weak that I can barely stand up.

[00:13:42] Obviously the scratchy throat. I can’t get enough air into my lungs. My oxygen levels have gone well below the COVID level. So, they say if you have COVID, it’s 93 percent or lower. My oxygen’s been down to [00:14:00] 83 percent at times. So these are real. Things that, when people say, let it go and all this stuff, I can’t, I have to live with this the rest of my life because of what somebody did to me with words and sometimes non verbally, the silent treatment.

[00:14:15] He would ignore me for days, sometimes weeks, and I see people do this. I don’t want to blame any certain generations, but I do see this a lot among millennials that it’s like this thing now they call it, I guess, ghosting with, if they just like don’t respond to any of your texts for weeks, but also you can be in the physical presence of somebody and like, don’t even see them.

[00:14:41] They act like you’re not there. They don’t hear you. My mother, it’s beyond rude though. It’s actually used as a military tactic. They have done this in Guantanamo Bay to war prisoners, really. So, the cruelty level the [00:15:00] emotional and mental trauma that causes somebody, and that’s a trigger for me because my mother was married.

[00:15:06] Well, she still is to a very overt narcissist. One of these very arrogant, look at me and the status car and the big fancy house and the whole thing. And he knows everything and he’s the best and whatever. But he was actually physically abusive and verbally abusive to me during my childhood because I wasn’t his biological child.

[00:15:27] And that’s one thing that he would do. And then my mother. Also would do because she was very submissive and would go along with him. So I had this happen to me in my childhood, then my ex-husband did this to me. It’s just cruel, it’s awful. So yeah, that’s so, again, this is just an idea of narcissistic abuse.

[00:15:48] It’s so all encompassing. But it is it can have really devastating effects, on the very far end. of domestic violence where people are actually killed and [00:16:00] then I think I fall somewhere in the middle where you, there are a lot of us that, we’ll have lifelong physical symptoms or illnesses, autoimmune conditions that come because of living in fight or flight mode for so long and all that cortisol, the stress hormone pumping through your body.

[00:16:17] I definitely want to unpack more of your childhood. You had A physically abusive stepfather. And when the police came, your parents said they were self inflicted wounds and you went to an institution. Tell us what happened.

[00:16:34] That was a really rough time. I was 16, 16 or 7. I think it was 16. Again, from childhood, my mother was with my stepfather since I was a year old.

[00:16:46] So, I was told actually to call him dad so that nobody would know that he wasn’t my biological father because it was shameful for my mother to have had a teenage pregnancy and I should back up. She hadn’t wanted me and it’s common [00:17:00] knowledge in the family that Even now, I love my grandma, but she’s starting to show signs of dementia, so she says a lot of things over and over, and I have to hear a little too often, how, oh, your mother didn’t want you, but, but grandma and great grandma did, and my godmother and I do have family that loves me, so it’s okay, but well, it’s not, but yeah, but she was emotionally kind of detached and distant from me and just really.

[00:17:29] Like I said, was submissive to her husband. So that whole situation. Yeah. It had actually started with me just feeling really lonely. I had felt very lonely living in a house with two parents that just, it didn’t matter what I said or did. I could not, I, and I was a good kid. I was a really good kid.

[00:17:52] I always tested high. I was in a gifted program. I didn’t, I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. I didn’t drink. I didn’t. I didn’t. I didn’t. [00:18:00] stay out late. I was in bed usually by eight o’clock at night. Like I just, I was good. There was no need to treat me so poorly, but I just was so lonely one night.

[00:18:10] I just, I screamed out and I used some bad words and, just basically said why the F don’t you care about me? Like, what is it? An attack on me ensued where I was slapped and I slapped back and then I was on the ground, straddled upon, hit, punched, strangled, the whole thing. I obviously, when I was able to escape I ran.

[00:18:39] I just ran. I didn’t even know where I was running. I just ran. And this was late at night. It was dark. It was cold. I was very fortunate that Another classmate from my high school happened to be driving down the street and saw me and took me to a friend’s house. So I was safe for the night, but the next day at school, yeah, the, I, I had a lot of marks on me and on my [00:19:00] neck and bruises and obviously and the same clothes I’d had the on the day before.

[00:19:05] So it, concerned some teachers and counselors that ended up calling the police and child services and I was, Scared, but I was thankful because, I had gone to my mother so many times during my childhood and, expressed things that were happening or things that I was told and she would.

[00:19:27] Well, she said she would talk to her husband, but then she would always come back and say, well, he said he didn’t say that. He said he didn’t do that. That I was just trying to get attention. Cause I was jealous of her being with him and it was ridiculous, but either way. So yeah, answered all the police questions, police decided I’m going down to the station with them and, I’m actually.

[00:19:51] I’ll be publishing a book next year about all of this, but I likened it to the scene in the old movie, Annie, the original [00:20:00] one where Mrs. Hannigan’s brother what was it? Lillian Rooster. Rooster was her brother. Yeah. Where? Yes. Where they, went to claim Annie that, Oh, that’s their daughter. And, they had the eyes and the whole thing.

[00:20:15] They were so sad that, just the whole thing. That’s literally the vision I have in my head. That’s what they look like. It was, there was my mother and stepfather that, Oh, Here we are with this difficult daughter and we just don’t know what to do with her and, but we’re so glad you got her back to us safely.

[00:20:33] And I’m sitting there thinking, this all happened last night. You didn’t call the police and tell them I ran away. You didn’t call around to any friends of mine asking where I was. You did not care that I went. I knew that they wanted me gone. But, unfortunately, there was nothing to say. Despite everything I had been through.

[00:20:55] I just sat there completely silent. The police kept looking at me [00:21:00] like, wait, and asking questions that I just, I couldn’t even look at my mother and stepfather. I just looked down because I just, I don’t even have words for it. It’s frustrating. You’re angry. You’re sad. You feel like nobody’s ever going to believe you.

[00:21:14] I was born and raised Catholic too. And I had actually been going to church still on my own and faithful on my own because my mother stopped going because her husband didn’t go and didn’t believe in God. So I continued, but like, I’m sitting there even thinking things like, why did God put me here to suffer?

[00:21:33] Like, why, what did I do? What is so bad about me? God is putting me in that situation. What is so bad about me that my own mother, whose womb I came out of, just refuses to love me. She will not care about me. What is it? What is it? What did I do to deserve this? You just feel like this desperation and this isolation.

[00:21:56] And I just I think I even gave up [00:22:00] on myself. Like I didn’t even think it mattered what I said.

[00:22:04] And your friends did they have normal parents? You knew this wasn’t normal to be treated like this, if you take off, your parents are supposed to come and search for you.

[00:22:14] Well, that was the thing. But, again, dealing with narcissists, I feel like they had, they’d set the stage. Even when I was a kid, my mother, talking on the phone, even to family, and she would say, things about me. Oh, she’s Dana’s so sensitive. She’s so emotional.

[00:22:31] She reacts to everything. And yeah, I was having normal reactions to abuse. So, but I was a kid and the problem is when you’re in an abusive or toxic relationship as an adult, it’s different because you can make choices. Presuming that you have safe options, you can make choices. When you’re a kid, you don’t have it.

[00:22:51] You are stuck there unless child services gets involved and actually does something about it. But, back to the police station and child services. So [00:23:00] the thing about it was. I couldn’t say anything. My mother and stepfather owned a business.

[00:23:05] The police and child services interviewed their employees, asking about them and if they’d ever seen or caught on to anything with me they interviewed neighbors, well, here we go again, like we just said before, my mother, she will give money, lots of it to any charity and very generous and very charitable, my stepfather,

[00:23:28] he is so funny. Everybody loves him to this day. I have to hear, Oh, they’re so great. They’re so great. Yeah. They’re great. Unless you’re me. And that’s the thing. People don’t see what happens and they don’t hear what happens behind closed doors, but who are they going to believe these supposed upstanding citizens that are sitting in the police station, like Lily and Rooster and Annie, or are they going to believe this, teenage girl?

[00:23:53] Who already, has this reputation because of what the mother and stepfather are saying that [00:24:00] she’s difficult. She has mental problems. She’s this, she’s that. So yes, the police they pulled me aside because I refused it. And I just told. The policemen, it’s about the only thing I said was I refused to say one word in front of them because everything they were saying were lies, but everybody was buying into the lies.

[00:24:18] What was I going to say that was going to change anybody’s mind or make anybody see things any differently? So one officer pulled me into a separate little room and he said, well, we’ve talked to your mother and stepfather. You have two options. You can either go home. Or you can go to this they’ve agreed to let you go to this mental institution to get help.

[00:24:41] It was kind of like a children’s, not for children, but like, it was like a home, but an institution. It had a nice, pretty name or something, but you know, it was your, proverbial loony bin. And I just thought, okay, well, this is not. Like happening. It just seems surreal, but there [00:25:00] was no way I was going home.

[00:25:01] So I’m like, that’s fine. Take me wherever you need to take me. And the police drove me straight over there and I was admitted. And the thing about it was while I was there, well, first of all, when I got there here’s the crazy thing that happened. There had been a boy in my class. I think we were sophomores or juniors in high school.

[00:25:22] There had been a boy that just literally disappeared off the face of the earth. It had been for about a month. Nobody knew where he was. Well, I was taken to this facility that night, taken directly to a room with a 12 year old roommate who I later found out was in there for stabbing her best friend.

[00:25:41] So, sleepless nights there. First morning, they say, okay, go and get some breakfast in the, there was like a big, open room that we all basically stayed in. It’s just like the movies when you see, an institution, it’s just a big open room with a bunch of tables and everybody’s just sitting there.

[00:25:58] It’s pretty much what it [00:26:00] is. So I walk in there and there’s this boy that’s been missing from school and he saw me and I saw him and forgive me because I don’t mean offense. I know there are people that have, very serious mental disturbances that they need help with. But we felt like the two normal people in the room that just like, thank God there’s somebody else here that isn’t supposed to be here and found out that his, he said his mother.

[00:26:27] Was an alcoholic and he had been trying to prevent her from hurting herself one night and she got very upset and her punishment for him was admitting him into the facility. She had said that he was trying to, mistreat her, and the cops took him there too. And I thought, is this just the thing that happens in our town?

[00:26:53] Or is this something that like people with money do? You just throw your kid in an [00:27:00] institution because you don’t like how they acted. But thank God I had him. He kind of real quick gave me the lowdown, like, well, listen, you’re only going to be here as long as the insurance pays for it, which is about 30 days.

[00:27:13] And I started to panic. I’m like, I can’t be here for a month. I thought this was going to be for like a day or two and maybe somebody would figure out, my mother and stepfather really weren’t these people they claim to be. And then they’d come and bust me out. And I had actually somebody, another family that I knew from school had offered to take me as fosters or guardians or whatever.

[00:27:35] But you know, my mother and stepfather said no that, and I don’t know why it was up to them when child services was involved, but I just, I panicked. I’m like, I can’t stay here. You almost, when you’re around all of the, the things that were happening around us and the other people, I felt so sad for them because they really did, need to be there and, some delusional and [00:28:00] there were some, crazy things going on around us and.

[00:28:04] When you’re not having those issues, I was treated well. And that was, I think what frustrated me even more was that the doctors, the nurses, the aides, everybody there, even a few of them had expressed to me, well, it’s nice to be around you like somebody that, I don’t, I hate using the word normal, but let’s just say somebody that doesn’t, I didn’t need medication because I was, acting aggressively or hostile. I was. Well mannered, I was polite. It’s just my nature. They could, when I went they had sort of a homeschooling, I don’t know what you’d call it, but they did have like a teacher that would work with all of us. And she’s like, you don’t even need me. I need you to help me teach them.

[00:28:49] Like you’re smart, you’re good. And she’s like, I appreciate just having somebody to talk to. And even the aides, they’re, they would express it. They favored me. And I don’t want to [00:29:00] say that in a. Bad way, but they were just glad to, like I said, for me, it was hard to be immersed into the situation with, when all you’re surrounded with is this chaos.

[00:29:10] And so, psychological issues are and mental disturbances. They’re very complex. And when you have all these people with all these different issues, and they’re all having these, behaviors happening. all at the same time in one big room. I’ve said to people before, it’s enough to make you go a little nuts.

[00:29:31] If you’re not, it’s a lot. So I think, thank God. That these people that the staff there, they didn’t treat me like I was bad or even like how I would get treated at home. I wasn’t difficult. They saw me that, for who I was, which was just, I was a nice girl.

[00:29:51] I was a good kid, I might have had a smart mouth once in a while, but you know, I was a teenager, exactly. But like I [00:30:00] said, I wasn’t like this. So I was glad at least for me at that point, as much as I hated being there, it confirmed for me that I wasn’t. Crazy or sensitive or mentally disturbed or difficult or all these things that my mother and stepfather made me out to be, but, unfortunately they had said it so much to family that, there’s this thing called the illusory truth that if you hear something so often and so many times you take it for truth and people even do it to themselves, it’s, essentially brainwashing.

[00:30:38] But at least there, I had people that could validate for me that it wasn’t me. So obviously when the insurance came up, the doctors saw no reason whatsoever to keep me there. There was no reason for me to have been there at all. And like I said, I had not been medicated with anything, diagnosed with anything.

[00:30:59] It, [00:31:00] but they said, well, unfortunately. Your mother and stepfather admitted you, so the only way out of here is if they. Sign release papers and they weren’t willing to do that until the insurance ran out, because one thing narcissists love is money and they don’t like to share it. So my stepfather certainly, wasn’t going to pay for me to be there, but it certainly was convenient that he had insurance.

[00:31:22] That could pay for me to give them, I guess, the break from their difficult daughter. But it was hard to go back to that. It was hard to go back in after that. I did feel a sense of, on the day that I was released, I’ll never forget it. There was almost even sadness with some of the staff members that I had, talked to while I was there and confided in, and they had become a little attached to me.

[00:31:44] They were sorry to see me go. And I was sorry to be. Leaving them, it but gosh, I didn’t want to go back into that house. I just started counting the days until I was 18 and could legally leave that house.

[00:31:56] And was it a lot worse for you when you went [00:32:00] back to your parents? Did they, get more abusive ?

[00:32:02] See, that’s the strange thing. I think that it did not, but. The silent treatment, because the cops were involved because child authorities had questioned everybody because now the neighbors, even if people are just questioned and they give you, rave reviews as my mother and stepfather got, it was still a form of.

[00:32:24] Because now authorities knew and neighbors knew and the people they worked with knew and it’s always in the back of your mind, we all know somebody. My husband just brought up yesterday about, some person that is on the, was it the sex offender list, but it wasn’t really sexual offense.

[00:32:44] It just happened that the girlfriend just happened to be, not of age, but it was consensual. And I’m like, but you know, nobody knows, but the two of them, that’s not my business, but the idea is there. It’s always going to be in the back of your head. The guy could be completely innocent, [00:33:00] but it’s always in the back of your head, Oh, sex offender list.

[00:33:03] You know what I mean? So same thing with my mother and stepfather, everybody said, Oh, no, they’re perfect. They’re wonderful. They’re charitable. They’re great parents. They’re great to work with all this stuff. But the police had questioned them and child services. So it was a form of exposure. So I was ignored.

[00:33:20] I was treated, the worst, honestly, this is the thing about that too. And I’m just going to say it and I know it’s not the case for all victims of abuse, but the physical abuse I would take physical abuse any day over all the other stuff. What got me, what really affected me out of my childhood, and this started as far back as I can remember, was even five, six years old.

[00:33:47] And if everybody out there listening, think of a five or six year old child, that is a very young age. My stepfather would. Almost on a daily basis, tell me [00:34:00] nobody ever wanted you. Nobody’s ever going to love you. Your mother doesn’t even love you. I shouldn’t have to pay for another man’s child.

[00:34:08] You’re a burden, all these things every day. Imagine telling that to a five or six year old little girl. That’s what he was telling me. And I heard this for most days of my childhood. So. That was the thing that was worse to me because that, there is nothing worse than feeling, the silent treatment makes you feel insignificant, but all those words again, there’s that illusory truth, it’s wrong, they’re wrong.

[00:34:37] But you still believe it and I’m standing here almost 48 years old and it’s taken me many years. I don’t think healing ever stops. I think you will always be on a healing journey, but I have healed so much, but let me tell you, there are still days that I feel like the most worthless piece of crap.

[00:34:57] And it’s because of his [00:35:00] words. I don’t care. You know how many times I was grabbed too tightly, punched, hit, slapped, dragged by my feet, taken by the back of my hair, and my head banged against the wall. I grabbed the phone once to call for help, and I was beaten with the phone, but it was the words. They’ll never leave me.

[00:35:22] I’ve heard that many times. All that sticks and stones may break my bones. That’s, that isn’t true. Words may never hurt me. The words stay forever. They stay forever. Your bones are going to heal. The bruises are going to go away and your body’s great at healing itself, but your brain remembers those things and it affects your entire life.

[00:35:44] I’m so sorry that happened to you. That was so wrong. It is, but I think the worst part of it is that these people get away with it. My stepfather, my ex, even my ex after he got violent, like I said, though, he never touched me. So the [00:36:00] police would not, even the night he shot the gun outside my bedroom, I had six squad cars at my house and they wouldn’t take him away.

[00:36:07] I warn people. I’m not, not like. A crazy person running around. But you know, I tell people literally you walk through your grocery store, you could be at the Walmart, you could be at the gas station, anywhere you go on a daily basis, you do not know. What all these people around you have done, even whether they’re strangers or people you think, you don’t know them, you don’t know what they have done, and that scares me that we live in a world that these people are allowed to walk free and, if a kid bullies your kid at school.

[00:36:40] Sometimes you can get the kids suspended or whatever. What happens when you’re an adult? Because really, this verbal abuse it’s also it leads to, it’s emotional abuse. It’s psychological abuse, but it’s essentially a supreme form of bullying. So why are there not consequences?

[00:36:56] You can’t suspend an adult, from work or [00:37:00] whatever, but. It frustrates me that there’s no consequences and it frustrates me that victims of any kind of abuse are left, we’re seen as the ones who are broken or damaged or all these awful words that I really hate, being used because I’m like, well, wait a second.

[00:37:19] No, I think. My abusers are the ones who are damaged and broken, because how do you do that to another human being? I don’t care if you believe in, whatever religion or whatever God or whatever, higher power. I think what we all have in common is, this responsibility. To just be humans and to love, or at least respect one another, respect life, respect, people’s hearts and minds and just, I don’t know.

[00:37:50] I sound so idealistic. It’s such a simple thing, but if everybody could just go through life respectfully, honestly, like I said, I, [00:38:00] and there are people I’m going to not love, but. I can still find it in my heart not to treat them badly and not to use unkind words. I’ll come home and tell my husband, Oh, so and so, da, but I’m not going to do that because I don’t know if that person, what that person is struggling with.

[00:38:18] Maybe they just heard from their doctor that they have terminal cancer. I don’t know, but I don’t want to be the person that says or does anything or even gives them a wrong look that makes them feel, Any kind of discouragement or God forbid if somebody’s suicidal and you just look at them the wrong way or say the wrong thing or slight them in some way, or at least they perceive it that way.

[00:38:39] And then they go kill themselves. I wouldn’t want that responsibility, but I think we have a responsibility as humans to, take care of each other in a certain way, or at least just be considerate that other people are going through things that you cannot see. You can’t see all of people’s pain.

[00:38:57] You can’t see their wounds. You can’t see, you don’t [00:39:00] know. And I’ve even had it like, I got the hair and the makeup and whatever, but I’ve had people even say, well, you don’t look sick. You don’t look like you have a lung disease. You don’t. Okay. Well, I’m sorry that I don’t walk around like the bride of Chucky with disheveled hair.

[00:39:14] And like, like, yeah. It’s like, if they can’t see it. And the reason I do hair and makeup is because when I didn’t, people would tell me how sick I looked. Oh, you look like you’ve been hit by a bus. You, your skin is so gray. And so I do hair and makeup. And then it’s now I’m not sick.

[00:39:32] It’s like, okay, I can’t win. But how about just respect the fact that I have my issues. You have yours. Can you just be nice? Like Twitter is like a cesspool of. Nobody being nice and you say something innocent and somebody, this troll just pounces on you. And I definitely agree. You gotta be like Jesus was, he was kind even to his enemies.

[00:39:59] Love your [00:40:00] enemies. Treat others as you would like to be treated. The golden rule. Yes, we all want that. Whatever culture you’re from. Everybody wants to be accepted and loved and treated with respect and be able to raise their family in peace and not be afraid of things.

[00:40:17] Exactly. Being in a safe place, so I totally am there, right, right there with you, and I think other people listening can relate to the invisible illnesses that we have. The Body Keeps the Score I always mention that book, and that is exactly what you’re describing, is your body reacts to abuse, and And then you jumped into your relationship with your ex.

[00:40:43] How did you meet your ex husband? Well, I worked in real estate. I was at a real estate office and he walked in and, ironically, I thought he was a jerk. I thought he was a I immediately felt. He was very put off that I didn’t [00:41:00] do this or say that. And I just thought, I remember thinking, what an entitled jerk.

[00:41:05] Like I know your type. I had just moved out like on my own. I was young. I was like just turning 19 or I was 19, but I was out of my mother and stepfather’s lair and I was like, Oh no, I know what that looks like, not going there. But then he showed me this other side another time.

[00:41:29] The thing about. Child abuse when you have 2 parents and I can’t speak to it because I have 2. My stepfather was essentially my parents since he was in my life since I was a year old, but maybe listeners out there have 1 parent and can really 1 parent who. Didn’t favor them in some way, but you know, when you’re abused as a child the rejection from a parent, but in my case, both, I just was so desperate for somebody to love me.

[00:41:56] I wanted to feel. Like I was important to [00:42:00] somebody like I was, I hate to say it almost sounds narcissistic, but I wanted somebody to make me feel important to consider me to love me. And, my ex showed me this other side, but I didn’t, because he’s a covert narcissist and. My stepfather was a very, I always said he was the king of all narcissists.

[00:42:19] He is the ultimate version of what you think a narcissist is. My ex was, I always said he was kind of like Eeyore on the Winnie the Pooh, cartoon or in the books, just like poor me, nothing happens to me. That’s good. But yet there was this complexity about him that he still gave off this sense that Oh, well, you’re supposed to glorify me and you’re supposed to, like, he was entitled to like extra praise or, you know what I mean?

[00:42:47] I wanted nothing to do with him. We actually had a conversation one night and I thought, okay, actually.

[00:42:54] A lot of red flags, not sure I like this guy, but, I don’t have to, I remember, [00:43:00] I always say to people even now, you don’t have to marry him. You’re just dating or hanging out, not marrying him. Yeah. Well, I ended up marrying him, but, I thought, Oh, he’s okay. And then when I was telling him about my family, it’s like he was representing himself as also being the black sheep and the one who was kind of neglected and left out and, his sister was the golden child and, It was, he started using this verbiage.

[00:43:26] It’s the two of us against the world. He said he loved me like within a couple of days, I don’t even know if it was two or three days. And just for somebody like me, that was so desperate for that person and to have that kind of love, to have, I was the one and all this stuff, it sounded really good.

[00:43:46] Yeah, we call that love bombing, right? Yes. Yes. And I was a young girl just out of this abusive house that even though I saw, read flags everywhere, but he [00:44:00] promised me everything. And I, he introduced me to his parents within a week. So I thought, Oh, he must, I know. But to me, I thought fast, but you know, you hear these stories I hear stories like, especially seniors.

[00:44:14] I know, Oh, we knew two weeks in that, we got married after knowing each other three weeks. Like you just know when, and so I thought, Oh, he must have this The depth of his feelings for me must just be that much stronger. And the thing was too, and this was the kicker. His parents were just, his dad, especially, and here’s the girl with daddy issues obviously mommy issues too, but here were these lovely people.

[00:44:41] So like the one part of me was like. There’s no way that he could really be the jerk he comes off as sometimes, if he came from these two perfect, it was like, I called it beaver cleaver, like they were perfect, his dad, especially just took to me, right, just took to me and stuff, but yeah. Oh my [00:45:00] God, like I felt like, we got I know I attached a little too quickly myself, but I wanted them to be my parents, and they took to me and I took to them and, eventually his sister and I became close and I had a family and I had this guy that, yeah, he was.

[00:45:18] Abusive, but you know, here I was enabling it, excusing it. Oh, it started out. He just had a bad day. We all have bad days, or maybe it was me. Maybe I have to be more careful about how I say this or do that. I don’t want to upset him to, that extent, or, it was always these excuses, but he could be so great.

[00:45:40] And he had this great family and I was not willing to let. Go of love and a family. Those were the two things that I had literally, some little girls fantasize about, being brides or princesses or having babies. I fantasized about having love or having parents, [00:46:00] having a, I always wanted a sister and he had a big sister.

[00:46:03] Everything was, I totally can relate with all of this. Yeah, we do. We fall for it. My ex was the same as yours. He would do the love bombing and I met his family who were wonderful.

[00:46:16] And I couldn’t believe that he came from the same family because I was so, manipulated, and well, he abused them too, and

[00:46:26] I liked his family and his extended family, his grandparents. And they just love me to death. I didn’t know any better.

[00:46:33] I’m 20 years old and you marry into the family thinking, okay, things are going to work out, but they don’t. You’re stuck with this abusive person, Yeah. And there’s a lot of things, back to, when people say, well, if it was so bad, why didn’t you leave?

[00:46:49] I don’t think that it’s as simple as that for anybody, anywhere, unless you are 20 years old and have no children with this person and have the financial [00:47:00] capabilities. If you’re assuming you’re living in the same place, to live separately, whatever. It’s not realistic to think somebody can just walk away.

[00:47:09] Especially, my ex had me moved in within six weeks. So now, we were living together, I’m tied to his family. Then obviously when we got married, had a child, we had a house, And I feel bad saying this. There are situations, there are people that can, but for most of us, it’s just not realistic to just, Oh, I’m going to walk away from everything.

[00:47:31] We had a house on fire, which, it’s sad that towards the middle to end of my marriage, I actually hoped for things. I remember a terrible tornado that was literally headed straight for us. I was sitting in my basement with my pets, my kid. Literally praying to God. That this tornado tears my heart house down so that I can leave this marriage.

[00:47:59] I [00:48:00] wanted my house torn to pieces, leveled to the ground so I could leave my marriage. That’s not normal thinking, but this is the desperation we have. But you know, the family was a big part of why I stayed so long. And the kicker was that when I had gotten sick and. I definitely was starting to pull away from him because it just got to the point where I had to start choosing myself or this relationship with him.

[00:48:32] And I wasn’t sure that I was going to survive. If I stayed. Much longer, he actually admitted to me, he drank a lot and, loose lips when he got drunk, he admitted to me cause I had made a comment that, gosh, you’re, I just feel so much distance between your, like your sister doesn’t call anymore.

[00:48:53] Your mother doesn’t, I’m treated like almost ignored and dismissed at family events. Like. What [00:49:00] changed? Like, did I do something? Did something? And he said, no. He said, I’ve been telling them lies about you for years because they liked you better than they liked me and I need them to hate you. And I still don’t know what was said about me.

[00:49:15] I can only imagine. But even now, we’re divorced a few years, no contact whatsoever. But, I remember was it past Thanksgiving or Christmas that our son, he’s 20 years old now, but he was. leaving me on this holiday, whichever holiday it was to go to his dad’s family. And I said, well, say hi to everybody for me.

[00:49:39] I was part of the family for 25 years and he said, Oh no, I’m not bringing your name up. They hate you. And I thought, Oh my gosh, like they’re talking about, that tells me that if my son is aware of that and can just so, Right off the cuff say that, what are they saying about me around my own child?

[00:49:57] And what is, [00:50:00] it’s so disturbing, but that’s the level of hatred that narcissists have when they know they’re going to lose you they will make it very difficult. And the the situation that I had is when we were in ministry, because I would not go to counseling with him after I left.

[00:50:17] He went to every church we had been a part of, and every pastor, he went and told them that I left, and I didn’t, want to go to counseling, and I did all these things, and I was a terrible Christian, and just smeared me all over the place. So nobody, none of my former churches or present churches wanted anything to do with me.

[00:50:38] But my mother and father knew, my mother and father in law knew because he abused them that the things that he were saying weren’t quite true. Right. They had a sense why I left, but we weren’t in contact anymore because of course they have to choose.

[00:50:56] To support their son, Right. Yeah. That’s the thing about it [00:51:00] too, is that I was as frustrated as I was, I did have a couple people that said, well, why don’t you go talk to them and this and that, and I said, but. The thing is, as somebody whose mother has rejected them like from birth basically, and I don’t have a mother should always, even if this was my son, I tried to look at it this way, I’m always going to love my son.

[00:51:21] I’m going to wish that he wasn’t doing or saying the things that he was doing. I would never want to say or do anything to take, to make somebody’s family feel bad about them or turn against them in some ways. So I just let them to this day, they’re going to believe what they want to believe.

[00:51:40] And if it makes them. Feel better, I guess, to think that I’m the monster, I’m the villain, then so be it, because I don’t think it’s kind of like with my mother and stepfather in that situation with police and child services. What am I going to say that, what I’m going to say is exactly the opposite of what he’s saying, [00:52:00] but that he’s their family.

[00:52:01] You know what I mean? I was family for 25 years, but they decided I wasn’t once he started putting that division between us. And it’s a darn shame. I have no words. It’s hard. It’s like I mourned. Even though they’re still alive, I was mourning the deaths of these people and the relationships I had with them on top of divorce and, everything else that was happening and the life and, not that it was necessarily a good one, but there’s a lot of loss and in the end of any relationship, but knowing that there were people that.

[00:52:35] You were so close to and now they’re gone. They don’t want to talk to you. They don’t they’re dead to you or you’re dead to them. It’s awful.

[00:52:42] Is it true that your your husband left you? Yeah, that was a move I did not expect. When he started sensing and they’re perceptive, they have to be to manipulate you, they have to know what you’re thinking before you’re even thinking it, there was [00:53:00] definitely a sense of, I’m done I’m over this a few years prior to when he did actually leave, actually, my son came to me privately Caught me off guard.

[00:53:12] And he just said, just promise me one thing. He said, I know you’re going to leave dad. And I’m like, you do? Cause you try so hard to protect your kids and he said, yeah, but just promise me you’re not going to leave him before I leave for college. Because he says he’s going to make it a living hell and I don’t want to be here to be part of it.

[00:53:33] So I promised him, I’m like, well, I’ve been in it this long. I might as well, get a couple more years. And what’s another few years, right. For my kid, I’ll do anything for my baby. Right. So, yeah I was definitely pulling away. I was once I was diagnosed with this airway, this lung syndrome and autoimmune flares and issues and all this stuff.

[00:53:56] Like I said, I had to decide it was me or him and I didn’t. [00:54:00] Want to be that sick and I didn’t want to die. My body was shutting down to minimal base survival levels. Neurologically, my heart, my muscles, my digestives, like everything. I was literally dying inside. So I chose myself and I was planning.

[00:54:17] I was saving, stocking money. I had a little safe. I kept some, cash in case I needed. But I was definitely planning. He sensed it. He tried the, I got notes that whatever I have to do, I will give up everything in the world. If you don’t leave me, I know you’re going to leave me.

[00:54:35] And I know I’m an a hole, but I don’t know how else to be. And all these pleas that, I probably would have fallen for 20 years earlier, but I was just like, yeah, I’ve been there, done that. Gave him chance after chance after chance. He could be good for like a few days. I think 10 days was the longest that we had ever gone.

[00:54:52] And it’s sad that I counted, but, having 10 maximum days of kindness and good relations with [00:55:00] somebody was not enough for me for the rest of my life. So I chose me. He knew I was leaving. So yeah, I came home from work a little earlier than normal. I had, I just didn’t have as much work as I normally did that day, middle of the afternoon, June 11th, 2020, never forget the day.

[00:55:18] And I remember walking in and like, with the mail and stuff, but like looking around, like something’s off. But I couldn’t tell what, and then I had to go up to my office for something. And when I passed by the master bedroom, not that I had slept in it with him for a very long time, the mattress was bare, there were no pillows.

[00:55:38] There were no sheets, no blanket, nothing. And I looked around, like I started to kind of take account of my, house a little bit, and there were like, even like knickknacks and pictures and things gone. And I’m like, Is he gone? somebody else might be shocked because I had no warning, no notice, but like it occurred to me.

[00:55:55] He would never like have taken all that to wash it. And where was everything else? [00:56:00] So, I’m like, let me see if his clothes are in his closet and I opened his closet and his clothes and that’s when I knew and I should have been devastated. I should have been crying and unhappy, but I honestly was like.

[00:56:12] Thank God, because I thought I was going to have to fight him tooth and nail to get him that heck out of this house, trash takes itself out. But think about this. This is a narcissist. No warning, no notice in the middle of a day, like a coward. He did that because he’s a narcissist. He couldn’t live with the shame of his wife leaving him.

[00:56:34] He had to leave me. Before I could leave him. If you think about this and the sadder thing, the saddest thing about this all, my son came home, oh, I don’t know, maybe an hour later, literally walks in and he literally stopped, did the same thing I did, kind of looked around. I watched him do this because I was in the kitchen, having a water or something.

[00:56:57] And he’s kind of looking around like something’s off. Then [00:57:00] he went to his room. And I thought, oh, I better go tell him, and I’m laughing and it’s not funny, but it was just so strange to me. So I go into his room. I’m like, so, I don’t know how to say this to you, but. It seems your dad decided to leave, like, take his things and, like, move out while we were at work.

[00:57:21] And my son literally, just, nonchalant, like, didn’t even think twice about it. Just looks at me and says, just go get him. He’s just doing this for attention. And it just struck me as so odd because I’m like, here, I’m not dumb. I tried to prevent him from seeing and hearing things, but they see and hear everything.

[00:57:40] He hasn’t seen and heard everything. But he has seen and heard a lot. But the fact that was his reaction, like it wasn’t even a big deal. And you know why? Because it wasn’t the first time that his dad had left. My ex had actually left us a few times before, but they were dramatic big moves with a lot of lead [00:58:00] up and the moving truck and the whole thing.

[00:58:02] So. It was sad to me that here, I hadn’t cried one tear, I was actually relieved. And then here’s my kid that’s like, it didn’t, here I’m thinking, Oh my God, I’m going to have to be supportive for him. His dad left and all this. And he was just like, whatever, he’s just doing it. Just go get him. But it was in that moment that, I just looked at him like, I’m sorry.

[00:58:24] And he’s like, he kind of looked at me like, no you’re kidding. Right. And I’m like, I’m sorry. I said, I’m, I really am, but I can’t do this anymore. I said, if I let him, if I go get him back in here, I don’t know that I’ll get him out and I can’t do, I can’t do this anymore. And he was upset, but he very quickly also realized, there were a lot of rules and a lot of walking on eggshells and a lot of tension and a lot of conflict.

[00:58:51] And even just within a first. The first day or two, I don’t even remember what I was doing that my son said, you don’t have to [00:59:00] do that anymore.

[00:59:00] It was just, you weren’t like high alert and we weren’t anymore. Things were much better, much easier. Much less stress and tension. So, fortunately I was able to. Get a lawyer to get a very fast divorce. And, it still went on and I warn people it doesn’t end just cause a piece of paper divides your financial assets, but hopefully it diminishes with time.

[00:59:28] It’s hard to be a kid and be in the middle of your parents divorce. Cause my parents divorced. I was fortunate enough that I did not have children with my ex and I was able to leave him behind.

[00:59:39] I’m so sorry.

[00:59:40] I can’t imagine what your son had to go through, but how is he doing now? Still teetering between mom and dad, but it’s been a rough ride. There’s a lot there, but like you said, he never wanted to take sides. He definitely knows who his dad is. But at the same time, he has told me [01:00:00] that he knows that I’m going to, I’m fine and I’m going to be fine.

[01:00:03] And I think he has a protective feeling over his dad because he knows his dad. And I think he feels kind of responsible for him. And make sure his dad’s okay. And I love that my son has a beautiful, open, kind heart, but I can’t help.

[01:00:19] My son, he knows who the stable and consistent parent is. He’s like, you’re married now. You have him to take care of you. You’re fine. You’re good. Dad doesn’t have any of that.

[01:00:31] And so he’s going to have to make his own choices and find his own way, but he’s doing it from a place of love and forgiveness. And I can’t argue with that. That means I raised a good boy.

[01:00:45] You mentioned you remarried, so we have to hear the story about how did you meet your now husband?

[01:00:52] So I worked in real estate a long time. And when I first moved to the area, it was almost 20.

[01:00:59] There was [01:01:00] another realtor that lived only a mile away from me that also had, a young boy that was about the same age as my son and we got along so well, just kind of became friends, not close friends, but, I’d say somewhere between acquaintances and friends, if that makes any sense.

[01:01:17] When you see eye to eye with somebody, we just not only clicked, but it was just like, we could finish each other’s sentences.

[01:01:22] We definitely cared very much about each other, loved each other. And yeah, of course I wanted, to be his person and for him to be mine. We sat down like mature adults and said, well, what does life look like? Like, do we need to do this? Do we not like, what are our goals?

[01:01:38] Everything just came together. We had the same thoughts, same ideas. And we just thought, yeah, you know what? It sounds good. Although he’s still surprised me with the proposal.

[01:01:48] The relationship itself was more of a decision. It was based on a friendship, you guys have this foundation, and that was the thing.

[01:01:58] There are days I just look at him like, [01:02:00] this is just. Too easy. This is what I wish for everybody.

[01:02:04] I’m like, wow, I’m married to somebody that likes me and that respects me and that I’m free to actually be myself and, good and bad and everything in between, and I’m not punished and I’m not, there’s no rules to follow. We can just. have good conversations. We can even disagree and still love each other, and share openly our opinions or beliefs or whatever.

[01:02:31] It’s, this is how it’s supposed to be. And I never experienced that before. So it still seems surreal sometimes. He was My gift, so to speak, or my, my reward. And I’m like, well, I don’t know.

[01:02:43] I think that a lot of victims of abuse and especially in toxic relationships, they close themselves off and decide they, they don’t want relationships.

[01:02:52] And I was one of those people. You’re definitely led on whatever path was meant for you, so it’s definitely [01:03:00] possible if you keep your heart open and don’t close it off. Yes, I agree. And I can so relate.

[01:03:06] And we have a marriage of respect and love and trust and it is surreal. It’s like. God gave me this person. God brought us together after he’s come from an abusive relationship too. And God brought us together. So yes, it is a gift, Dana, for sure.

[01:03:23] I kissed a few frogs, but yes I definitely have, I have a keeper. I don’t want to forget to have you talk about your books and where they can find your books that you’re coming out with and the ones you have now.

[01:03:38] Yeah, absolutely. I have one book out right now. It’s called Gasping for Air, The Stranglehold of Narcissistic Abuse. It’s available anywhere you buy books. I, although Bookshelves, we’re still working on. I’ve applied at some of the big box places to get them on the shelves, but you can Amazon, Barnes [01:04:00] Noble, wherever you get books, you can order it online, e book or print.

[01:04:04] I do have two more books. In the works they are written, but we’re, anyone who’s ever tried to write a book at, there’s a process to publish them. So hopefully the next two books, they’re going to be the prequel and the sequel. So the prequel will, delve into my childhood and all of that, that we partially discussed.

[01:04:26] The sequel is actually what a lot of readers of Gasping for Air are waiting for, and that is kind of the, it overlaps a little bit with the end of Gasping for Air with kind of closing out the relationship with my ex because so much did happen. After the divorce but also leading into and I don’t want to give too much away, but another narcissist that I didn’t see coming and I should have, which has taken me [01:05:00] through a Smear campaign like no other caused a lot of damage for me and my husband.

[01:05:07] So it’ll be juicy. And I have a lot of people waiting for that one. So that one will be coming next, probably, I would say early next year. We’re working on that now. So, and then the other one about my childhood will. Hopefully be by the middle to end of next year, it’ll be released, but yeah, check my website, danasdiaz.

[01:05:26] com for updates on all the books. I’m on social media. People can follow me. I have updates there. And I’m always available if anyone wants to message me to reach out and, share your story, give me a quick hello, whatever it is. I do actually respond personally to every message I get.

[01:05:45] So. I’m going to have all that stuff in the show notes for everybody, but it has been awesome getting to know a beautiful person inside and out today.

[01:05:56] Keep in touch and let us know how those other books come out. [01:06:00] You’re welcome to come back on the show anytime.

[01:06:03] Wonderful. I will look forward to that. Thank you so much.

[01:06:06] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You can connect with us at DSW Ministries. org where you’ll find our blog along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next week!

Join in the discussion!