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Recovery from a Narcissistic Relationship

Where Ive been…

So, there has been some serious radio silence from me these past few months. Im sorry. I finally had enough and left him and through all that, while I would have loved to be able to share my journey with you, it seemed like getting on here re-opened the wound and I couldn’t keep doing that if I wanted to heal.

Recovery From a Narcissistic Relationship

That said, I feel like Im doing amazing now! I have spent my time rebuilding my life and learning a TON about blogging and how to support myself both in the “real” world and online. I am changing the direction of the website from being a sad, struggling story, to trying to help people who are going through what I went through. I want this to be a place where you find hope and some answers and not just another reason to cry.

The Cliff-notes Version

As Im sure your wondering, Ill give you the quick version. I told most of the story on my Facebook page, as I was going through it, so you can check it out there as well.

Basically, he went off the deep end. Decided he was going to call both our parents to “tattle” on me. Once he did that, I knew it was over. He was throwing things and screaming and I was so detached it wasn’t even real to me. So I played along and pretended everything was fine. We “made up” and the next morning after he left for work I loaded up my car and the kids and left.

It was the hardest thing I have EVER done. I felt like a total dirtbag the entire time I was packing. I was shaking. I had a whole $2 in my bank account and no cash and no plan and I was leaving him. Like, the entire year before while I was trying to get my life together, and never could manage it was for nothing.

I slept on the couch at my parents for a few nights, signed up for state assistance right away and that came through surprisingly fast. I called an old boss of mine and he offered me a job I could start as soon as I wanted and I re-connected with an old high school girlfriend who offered me a room in her home for as long as I wanted. It was amazing how everything came together for me. I leapt and the net, it appeared! God truly made a path for me and has led me to where I am now. Which is crazy amazing.

Where Im at Now!

I have made so much personal progress, I don’t even recognize myself from before. I look at old pictures and I look grey. Like my sadness can’t even hide inside my skin, its leaching out and stealing the color from the world around me. And now, Im happy. I feel like the weight is gone and I can create a future I can be proud of.

I also don’t feel like my pain was for nothing. I learned SO much, and have been blessed by all your comments sharing that I have helped you, I can only be thankful for my experiences. And maybe that makes me abnormal. I feel like I should be broken and damaged from what I lived thorough, and in ways, I am. But mostly, I feel free and happy and ready to take on my dreams and make them come true.

Yes, I have help. Im off state assistance now and my family is letting me support myself again, but mood wise, I found this amazing natural product called Clear Mood that helps me to focus and not get dragged down by chaos in my mind. I used it before I left and it kept me treading water and functioning at a basic level (rather than hiding in bed all day) but now, its like the extra energy and focus this ADD brain needs! I stopped using Adderall because of the side effects that were beginning to pop up, this fills the gap for me.

And Im going to church again, actually getting involved which is WAY out of my comfort zone. I haven’t been into a church since high school and I think its having a big effect on my heart and helping me to move on with my life.

I met a new guy. Yeah, he has a lot of the same traits as my ex, BUT we work through things and talk about things and communicate. And he doesn’t yell and call me names and blame me for anything. Ill confess, Im not always ready for where being in a healthy relationship takes me. Im not even sure what a healthy relationship looks like most of the time. Im totally in the dark here and I am figuring things out as I go. Im looking for something like, “How to have a healthy relationship 101” or something and Im seriously considering looking into counseling or a workshop just to try and learn some new habits. Because Ive been in survival mode for so many years and Im USED to doing things on my own. But, he’s patient with me and of course, he isn’t perfect either, so were figuring things out as we go. And he makes me happy, no sad, so I think we have the most important part figured out. 🙂

The Future of the Narcissists Wife

Going to be 100% up front here with you guys. I will be adding in a few things to try and both help YOU and make me some money. I have two kids to somehow pay for their sports and college and hopefully someday weddings, and I want to continue to build a strong future for myself. I am going to do everything I can to help YOU find a way to do that as well. So I promise I will only promote or recommend things I have used and KNOW are awesome and will help you. This will never be a sales/e-commerce site. I love the community that we’ve built and my only goal is to help us ALL move forward together and leave the darkness behind.

With all my love and hope for a bright future,

Samantha

 

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31 thoughts on “My Recovery From a Narcissistic Relationship

  1. Carol says:

    WOW! You did it! Hi fives all round.
    How great that you can also see the good in the bad too. Everything is a test and that was a big test and you bravely managed to negotiate it with your dignity, and your children intact.
    All that I’m saying here doesn’t really encompass what a massive amount of effort this has taken you.
    Much love and big big hugs

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Yeah, I know. It would probably be a book though! LOL! 🙂 I think the main thing I learned is that I can do hard things that I don’t even want to do, but NEED to do, and be ok. Im stronger than I knew. And no matter what happens, I will be ok. Thank you for your support!

      1. Carol says:

        I was reading and thinking that you should write a book!!!
        This is a huge problem for many people not just women although they are probably the majority. Girls are taught that being in relationship, is about making compromises (in a healthy relationship – yes of course it is and element). But it is understanding the subtle differences between compromise and control, in the early stages it’s imperceptible – but the more it goes on the greater the gas lighting and the greater the erosion of their own belief system and presence of mind. I had a friend who’s boyfriend convinced her to let him take intimate pictures of her and let him show them to his friends ‘because he was proud to have such a sexy girlfriend’ !!! This was the tip of the ice berg – even though it was the first I had heard of his ‘odd’ requests. I went mad and told her to get rid of him immediately but it still took her a few months because she was so entrenched in the ‘I’m not worthy of him, and I’m so lucky to have him’ web that he had woven around her. He was a total narcissist and was awful to her. I have seen this over and over with lots of dear friends and aquaintances and it makes me so sad that, at the heart of it, they ultimately believe in the good in people (a beautiful thing) and want to see the best of intentions in their partners warped little ways.
        So – that was long, but to be succinct – yes you really really should write a book!
        You are amazing! Xxxxx

      2. Hello Samantha and Carol. My name is Lynnette and I still don’t know how I stumbled upon these articles but I am in tears right now! My husband is in prison and soon due to get out soon and I had been seeking the Lord all this time as to if I should give this thing another try. Our last conversation by phone which was just the other day I realized he was still the same jerk as ever. We have been married for 12 years we have 2 children 12 and 8 and the boys and I have been through so much. I thought he was bipolar but deep down inside I knew something else was going on. I read your article Sam and It felt as if I wrote it myself. From the length of time you were married and the 2 kids, also pursuing your college degree and there was so much more I could go on and on. I had heard of Narc before and someone made a comment abt it but in his defense I kept saying he is bipolar. You don’t know the relief I feel right now and how blessed you are gonna be for sharing this with the world. “The Dark Cloud” hit home with me. My children and I have been doing great since he has been gone I refuse to allow that Dark Cloud back in the atmosphere. In your experience and research do you happen to know if this is a mental disorder , learned behavior. Where does this come from? I want to share something with you and others who may be reading my article. I married my husband in June 2003 and on December 22 2011 preparing for the holiday my husband went out to the shed to get the Christmas decorations and while he was doing that he was also cleaning it out. He sat a bag on the table and I proceeded to open it to clean it out for trash so I could maybe use it for lunch and when I opened the bag there were medicine bottles. so while he was still outside I ran into the bathroom and I googled the names of the medicines and come to find out they were medications for HIV/AIDS. This was in December 2011 so we had been married for 8 years already and I had both of my boys as well. For the record The boys and I are HIV/AIDS free and still are today. I could not comprehend how someone could live with a secret like that get married go to church and still go on with life like nothing was wrong. I waited for him to come back inside from the shed and I confronted him abt the medication and he had the nerve to tell me It wasn’t the case and that the Dr made a mistake. I left him and didn’t have anything to do with him for 2 years. But then Entertained him again because of my children. He played on that as well. I realize his tricks now but I would always beat myself up because I never saw the abuse before hand until it was happening at that very moment. I suffered a nervous breakdown and had to move on because of my children. I’m still not over that. I am so grateful to God that he protected me and my children.A Narcisist Whether man or woman is extremely dangerous! After this came out he showed no remorse at all for his actions I knew after that that something was very wrong. IF THERE IS ANYBODY READING MY STORY PLEASE READ IT AND UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A TRUE STORY AND VERY REAL!!! I DIDNT WANT TO ADMIT THAT I WAS AN ABUSED WOMAN AND IT IS EVEN HARD TO TYPE THIS BUT I AM AND WAS. I DIDNT WANT TO EXCEPT IT BECAUSE I AM SO STRONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE. PLEASE BEWARE OF THE NARCISIST. I WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE HIV/AIDS SOMEONE ELSE MAY NOT BE SO BLESSED. Thank you for reading my story 🙂

  2. Alisa says:

    I’ve been following you for awhile on here. And I’m so proud of you. I too am going through what you went through. The only difference is we didn’t have kids together. He has kids from a previous marriage and so do I .. I’ve left several times to only come back. I’m actually still here. Thank you so much for your story. I can relate to EVERYTHING you’ve said and went through. Hopefully I can find my courage one day soon just as you have!

  3. Ashley says:

    GO GO GO! I left just over two years ago. In the beginning, your blog was the best way for me to feel that I wasn’t alone, that other’s stories helped me understand my own. After a few months, though, I began to stay away from the post and while I’ve ‘liked’ it on FB, I have blocked many of the stories because they take me back to that final horrible night on January 14, 2014.
    I get it.
    I think taking a positive spin on this blog, helpful information, etc, is a good plan. I look forward to see what you grow into as a strong woman, and I am SO happy you’ve seen the other side.
    It’s really great on this side.

  4. lin says:

    Thanks for your words. I left 25 year marriage to an affluent physician who is also an opiate addict and never once thought his underlying personality disorder was severe narcissism. I got used to the passive belittling, the putting me down professionally since I didn’t have the same degree, the putting me down as I embarked on my doctorate. When I left him the full injury showed itself with the rage. For awhile he tried to use his old tricks, sending me cards, flowers, etc. to bring me back. But at the root was his inability to confront yet another relapse and get healthy for the marriage and the family. it’s been a year, and I still have trouble with the no contact rule, still have a little thread left in me hoping he will change. I journal and see how I have changed though. I don’t have financial issues, professionally I am more than fine. But wondering how I never saw what and who he is makes me question my ability to do so again. I have met someone, and like you see some things in common. Just this week I told him what I want from the relationship. It is to be in the here and now, to be treated with kindness and respect, and above all honesty. He is doing all of that, and yes it’s only been a few months, but those months are healing for me. Every day I empower myself and see how I am changing. And the wound is getting smaller. Will it ever completely be healed, I hope so, but I know it has changed me forever. However, with a change leaving such a toxic relationship the growth you acquire is good, it is positive, it is how your life should be, and what you deserve.

    1. Janice Cook says:

      I am so happy for you Lin. You got away and you are moving on. He will never change, and will never be able to give you the love you need. For your new guy, I suggest you rock the boat. Cancel a date at the last minute. Confront him about something that he has done or told you. Question his motives. You know what things your x would be furious with you for and his reaction. The only way you can be sure about the new guy is to see how rationally he reacts…….as if your feelings matter to him. See if he can show empathy for your feelings and offer you comforting words without telling his story instead. Best wishes.

      1. Lin says:

        Wow, if I didn’t know better I would have thought you were listening in to what happen to me last week. My new relationship started to sputter after he brought me to a beautiful resort for the weekend. He stopped texting as much, didn’t return my texts, and overall seemed to be doing the “FADE” as they say. So I confronted him about it, halfway expecting him not to respond. I also accidentally (really accidentally) sent a text to him that was intended for my friend, saying I was going to start seeing several people, not just one and not share so much. Ooops. He then responded with a long text saying he was in the middle of a lot of things; I knew he had just recently lost a high paying job and was looking for another one. He said that he had been dealing with a lot this week, had put “our relationship” to the side, admitted he should have brought me in. But after seeing that “accidental” email I sent said it looked like I was moving on. I responded that I didn’t deserve what he had done, by pulling away, and that I deserved better. He is in Ohio for a few days visiting his family dealing with things, and said he wants to talk when he gets back. Not sure if all of this is positive but I guess what will be will be. I think because of my husband I have abandonment issues, and maybe reacted a little too strong, but still it was good for him to hear that I was willing to move on. Saying what I needed I think was still important. The thing is these relationships to narcissists hurt us and my ex to be is still wedged in my life, manipulating my children, trying to turn them away from me, making up lie after lie and its all about control. For him it’s money. I don’t know if I will ever be able to have a “normal” relationship.

        1. You can have a healthy relationship. I am happy to report that I have been happily married since 1998. X moved out of state and the children are on their own but neither of them seem to want to marry. Who could blame them, after what they had to live with, but I’m encouraging them to seek healing. I had 2 years of counseling, which helped and I accepted Jesus as my Savior, so that is how I was healed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. With the kids, as tempting as it is to expose your x for who he is, don’t do it. The more indifferent you can be, the better, in my experience. He told the kids that the reason we got divorced was because we just weren’t right for each other. I agreed instead of going into depth about it. Believe me, I started out saying what a jerk he was in front of them, but it isn’t something I am proud of now. Best of luck and again, don’t be afraid of saying NO! To your new suitors, just to test them.

          1. Carrie Coyle says:

            My kid know exactly why their dad and I divorced. They saw him constantly berating me, putting me down & verbally attacking me unprovoked ALL the time. My 16 year old was so concerned about me, she went to her school counselor to tell her she was worried about me because of the verbal abuse her dad doled out on me. He never cared that the kids were around. And now that we are freshly divorced, he still bad mouths me to them and lies about things I supposedly said. My oldest knows better. She also says she doesn’t want to listen to it, but she’s too afraid to tell her dad to stop… she knows he’ll go into a tirade. Narcs condition their families (victim) into compliance. They will go from “nice” to bat crap crazy in .01 Second flat. So, gladly, I don’t have to bad mouth my kid’s father to them (not that I would) because they witnessed the demise of our marriage first hand. Narcs are evil in my eyes. No conscience.

            1. Janice Cook says:

              I know the evil. I think we all do. It’s like Narcs are getting their tactics from Satan himself!! My daughter was daddy’s favorite, so she turned a blind eye to his abuse to me. I also divorced him when she was 10 and she blamed me for kicking him out. He did his best to turn her against me.
              She has never acknowledged the abuse to me, but her older brother has because he wasn’t the favorite and he experienced abuse also. It’s a very dark time in my past, and hard to keep reflecting on. I’m grateful to be out of it and happy today.

      2. Lin says:

        The new guy turned out to be a narcissist in disguise. After 2 months of being awesome he ended the relationship because I expressed to him that I liked to have my hand held. Not an order, just what I liked. He turned it into an order, said if he wanted to hold my hand it was his decision. Now I don’t know if I can trust myself with someone else. I have met a new person, who seems to be genuine but they can be like sheep in a wolves coat so to speak. When we are attracted and in a relationship with a narcissist and get out I think we have a very strong tendency to be attracted to another one, under the conscious level.

        1. Janice Cook says:

          Yes, it seems to happen. A Narc will never be attracted to an outwardly strong woman. They prey on Empathetic people with kind and gentle spirits. You will have to change inside yourself and it will take some work on your part. Take a look at your childhood relationships and the confusion areas, maybe you will gain strength in solving some of those issues. The healthier you are, the more you will attract healthy relationships. Be your best friend, and never accept anyone else’s negativity that they project on you, now or in the past.

  5. Carrie Coyle says:

    Samantha, I am proud of you. Yet a bit worried. How long have you been removed from your narc before getting into this new relationship? I only ask because I left my narc one year ago, January 17th, 2015. It took until December 1st to have my divorce be official. During that whole process, dating was the last thing on my mind. I’ve had plenty of offers, but I’m not ready. Mentally, emotionally, just not ready. How can you be?? I don’t feel like a new relationship is the distraction I need. I am focusing on ME for the first time in 17 years. I get to do what I want, when I want without any compromise. I’m focusing on my kids, and getting my life back to a more stable place. I am enjoying my freedom. And until I get over my trust issues and make myself feel more like my OLD self (before the narc sucked my out my soul), I know I can’t make anyone feel fulfilled or happy in a relationship. And yes, I have been “over” my narc for years. Just stayed with him out of fear. I have NO emotional ties. But life with him certainly broke me down. I’ve been to therapy. I’m not depressed, I’m actually quite a bubbly individual. I’m just not ready for a relationship. Not even a date. It goes back to finally being FREE and free to be ME. And that is why I worry about YOU. I want you to have time for YOU before you jump into a relationship… you need to have your freedom. (P.S. I am so proud of you for finally leaving! It’s always scary and traumatic.)

  6. sherrybabi says:

    My divorce was final last Thursday from my narcissist husband. I’m so happy to be free and able to make my own decisions.

    1. Jessica says:

      Congratulations!! My divorce was final this passed Tuesday from my narcissist husband!!! I am FREE!!!

  7. Mia says:

    Good for you Samantha. It is so difficult being in this situation. However God is able and Your testimony will help so many women. I pray for you on your journey and look forward to hearing more of your resources and business endeavors and Ideals.

    Mia

  8. shelby says:

    Samantha- I’m going thru this exact same thing and I’m scared of even washing up every day in fear of how his mood will be. I’ve found condoms n his truck, male enhancement pills, he recently got a settlement from a work.injury of $40k that he already has gone theu in less than 2 months. We have beem married almost 6 years. I’ve never had a wedding ring he refuses to wear his all if a sudden he said it slides off his finger or gets in the way but before he relapsed on meth he wa a great person totally.the opposite of who he is now. He comes home about 430 am every morning says he’s been working. But we have no money ever. He used to love to spend time with our 4 yr old little girl but now he barely talks to.her and he’s always yelling at her. So I sit her down and tell her that daddy is njst stressed out from.other things and doesn’t mean what he says. I don’t want her to think she is the problem cuz she isn’t she just loves her daddy and doesn’t know this side of him cuz she wasn’t born when he did this to me before.
    I just do t know what to do,I have no family that will help me I’m an only child so no siblings to turn too. He knows this too so he knows I need him to be able to ha e a roof over my head and food for our daughter. He knows he has control. He would t even let me work cuz he said he thinks I need to be home all.the time. What for ? To be abused emotionally mentally physically and walk on eggshells all the time? He’s afraid if I got a job I’d eventually lead him. I just don’t know why he has to cheat on me. I’m not ugly I’m a very friendly person in not embarrassing his family loves me his friends like me and they all tell him kf he loses me he’s going tone sorry but he doesn’t listen he doesn’t care. The woman he’s cheated on me with omg I wanted to die are u serious? U call that a woman is what I was thinking in my head. He’s even one as far as asking me to have sex with another couple. I said u want me to have sex with some other guy a d ur going to watch? He said ya it would be cool. That was it for me,I need to get out of this mess before something really bad happens. My little girl deserves a normal life and this is not normal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      You should start looking into options for what you may be able to get through State assistance and a job. Even if you can’t do anything now, there will come a time when leaving is all you can do and having that knowledge can save you. I had $2 in my bank account and no cash when I left, but I knew enough to keep myself going, and get the help I needed until I could get back on my feet. Right now, knowledge really is power. Best of Luck to you! <3

  9. Jessica says:

    Samantha,
    I’ve been following your blog and wondering where you went. I am overjoyed to hear that you finally left!! I’m so proud of you!! I read your blog and had to double check that it wasn’t my own life story I was reading. I left my husband 8 months ago and your blog has helped me realize I am not crazy, as he loves to make me feel, and somethings is seriously wrong with him. Thank you for sharing your story. It is inspiring and helpful to all of us who are in the same boat!!

  10. Gettingit says:

    As you build your writing and business…the topic that most concerns me is my child. Any thoughts on how to help your children through this or how it worked for you and how co-parenting is going are welcome. Thank you for your courage! You did it! I have picked two Narcs and my dad was a narc…my advice would be for you to be careful that you don’t pick another one..listen to red flags and your gut…as empathetic people we tend to forgive a lot of faults which is good but can cause a “rose colored” glasses effect as well. Best wishes!

  11. Valerie says:

    Katherine Woodward Thomas’ book “Conscious Uncoupling” helped me in terms of figuring out what I had brought to the table (eg. Feelings of unworthiness, etc)– I have NO desire to repeat past mistakes or hold onto unwanted baggage…

    After a 20 year marriage to a narcissist and a painful divorce, I am now in a beautiful 2 year relationship with a man who is kind and loving– and builds me up rather than tear me down!

    We all deserve this!!!!!

  12. Gailzinha says:

    This has been a great forum. It would have been so helpful to have known about this site as I navigated my way through separating from my ex. Your story will help other people to know that life really and truly does gets better once you free yourself from the chains of the abuse. When I left him my goal was to survive. I did not even think about happiness or the possibility of a bright future. However, the blessings that have come my way since leaving him are so much more than I could have imagined. Blessings to you all as you claim your life back and begin to thrive once again. Bye the way, I was married him for 24 years. I probably would have never left had it not been for the panic seizures I eventually developed every time I saw him.Those seizures scared me more than being married to him, and that ultimately was the catalyst for change. It’s never too late claim your life back!

  13. Anna says:

    I grew up with a narcissist/emotional abuser for a father, and as you can imagine walking through that as a child was tough. For the longest time I thought my parents marriage was normal, until after going through an identity crisis of sorts I realized what was really going on. I am better now! I have a clarity on the situation, and I am starting to slowly recover and figure things out.
    There is one thing that I’m afraid of. I’m afraid that I will make the same mistake my mom did (we are exactly alike) and marry a narcissist. How can you know that someone is a narcissist before marrying them? I really don’t want my marriage/relatinships to be a repeat of my parents.
    Thanks.
    Anna

  14. Anonymous says:

    I think you have done so well for yourself. Leaving a bad marriage in the middle of the night is really hard. I actually did that once too. Your ex sounds like such a toxic person. So uncaring.

    I think you were becoming healthier for quite some time. Maybe from very early in your marriage. The healthier you get, the more uncomfortable you feel around a narcissist. They pick up on that. So they try to control you even more. When they sense you are starting to know your own self worth to such a degree they can’t control you any more, they really punish you. They sabotage you and turn people against you. Try to humiliate you. It’s called narcissistic rage. And they will punish you as long as it takes for them to feel like you got what you deserved. Then they will stop, but not before. Because, of course, all their self regulation comes from what makes them happy. Not from what gives you comfort. Then they start the cycle all over again.

    You broke out in the middle of the night before he was done punishing you. Heck, he just got started by going to your parents. You escaping probably flipped him out.

    I grew up with a whole family of toxic narcissists. It was horrible. I have major issues with PTSD as a result. I didn’t have a choice to get a different life. I couldn’t leave home at five. Your kids are so lucky you got them out of that. You probably did the best thing in their lives besides giving birth to them.

  15. Nina says:

    I am in the process of leaving after nearly 20 years of marriage to a narc. He is being loving and caring at present as if he knows something is up. I am 68 years old and feel it is not too late to enjoy the rest of my life free of him. Your articles are so pertinent to me. Thank you.

  16. tina says:

    This has been a nightmare.The constant battle which never ends, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, walking on egg shells and feeling defeated.People see this wonderful guy, this funny, fun guy who makes everyone laugh, I remember a young lady of course who he worked with saying he is so funny and I thought Wow, when is that…..who is that person…I am leaving him after 12 years ….I am ready to fight for me, the me I don’t know anymore, the me who loves to take walks and enjoy nature, the me who likes to watch a good movie or read a good book the me who always used to smile and laugh, me me me, finally.

    1. Roxy H says:

      I am so happy to have read your post and happy you are doing amazing. I too walked away from a 20 year marriage that nearly killed me and when I read your post you are right about everything and could not believe I was so blind . Everyone in the family saw it and both my kids , why didn’t I see it. It’s been over for me only a few months leaving me sad I went thru all this too . I believe to be a really strong woman and can’t understand why I let this happen. I am happier now no more yelling, cursing , name calling and so much more. I still cry because I also want to be respected and loved. I thank you for your post made me feel better you got out and are happy. Lots of luck and hugs and God Bless he is protecting you.

  17. linda says:

    You give me hope that I may not have to die in this hell.

  18. Cori Stautzenbach says:

    Wow… I stumbled across your website & I wish I would have a long time ago. I’m currently withstanding the storms of a narcissistic psychopath, with whom I have a child with. Along with you & i’m sure many others have, I took the leap of faith a little too quick & eventually went back after a year of being gone; no longer living in the same house but allowed him to have hus foot in the door before I could shut it & nail it shut. But I’m encouraged by what I read & I’m remaining hopeful, even if no one else notices (which is best for me) peace n love

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