Sunday photo.

I find this old woman beautiful.    You just feel happy looking at that face.

(Photo credit: N/A)

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Happy cat.

Our pets know how to be happy. They never worry about the past or the future; they always are completely in the moment, which I think is the key to happiness.

Here’s my tuxedo cat, Sheldon, enjoying the scratchy spring grass. I think if he was physically capable of smiling, he would be doing just that.  You can click on the photos to get a closer look at this goofy little guy.

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sheldon_2016_5 sheldon_2016_6

 

A glorious day.

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Glorious can’t even begin to describe today. I woke up in a good mood, and decided to run a few errands, but the weather was so pretty and sunny (though a bit blustery) and everything was blooming. The first thing I heard outside my house was a cacophony of birds. Woodland animals are beginning to make their way our of their winter hiding places, and there’s a family of groundhogs that live behind my house, and over the last few days I’ve seen standing in the backyard, sniffing the air on their little hind legs.

(Click all images to enlarge).

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A small green pond on the property of the meditation center, peeking through trees. The trees here are still mostly bare because it’s so high up.

I couldn’t help but feel a little overcome by all the beauty surrounding me, so I decided to make a day of it and take a lone road trip over to Black Mountain, where there is a free meditation center I sometimes go to. The drive into the mountains is beautiful. NC-Highway 9 winds gently through the foothills of the Black Mountains, slowly ascending. I rolled my windows down and listened to music as I drove. Birds sang and the trees that are no longer bare showed every color of the rainbow, and I mean EVERY color.

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Some sort of berries on an ornamental tree.
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I tried to capture the “iridescent fall colors” here but I’m not sure I succeeded.

I don’t know if anyone has noticed this, but I have (and wrote about it last year too). April can sometimes look a lot like mid-October. All the fall colors are there, as the trees begin to put out leaves, but before the chlorophyll that turns them green kicks in. The reverse process happens in the fall–the leaves change colors because they lose chlorophyll as the days become shorter and cooler. The spring “fall” colors correspond exactly to the colors seen in the fall, but are a little more muted and have a kind of translucence to them. But it doesn’t end there. There are pink, white, yellow and lilac blossoms everywhere, and the newly leafed trees contain a wonderful pale green iridescence that’s not present any other time of the year.

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I used to prefer the fall when I was younger, but can’t see how I ever did. In my opinion, fall is lame in comparison. No matter how pretty autumn trees are, you know everything’s dying, and winter is not far away. The colors in the fall also seem sadder and more somber, shading more into deep purples and browns, at least where I live.

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Some formal gardens near my house, on the way home.

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On the street where I live.

Now I’ve got to go listen to U2’s “Beautiful Day,” because it truly was a beautiful day, and I just feel so relaxed and good right now.

Another brick in the wall…nuked!

crumbling-wall

How do I even begin? What happened tonight in my therapy session was a little thing, objectively speaking, really a very little thing. But to me it was a huge, HUGE deal, maybe even a breakthrough of some sort.

I refuse to write a separate post about this, but when I got home from work, my mother called. She had gotten my phone number through my son and I took the call because it was coming from a New York phone and my mother lives in Illinois so I had no idea who it was. Normally I don’t take phone calls if I can’t tell who’s calling but for some reason I took it this time. When I heard her voice, it was like being transported back to being a five year old again. All my mindfulness skills and everything I know about narcissism and No Contact went flying out the window.  I won’t go into detail because nothing of any consequence was said. She told me she just wanted to hear my voice and proceeded to ask a bunch of personal questions. I felt like she was checking up on me for her own benefit, which is probably the case. I put on my fake-nice act and answered her questions as politely as I could, telling her nothing too personal, and finally made an excuse about having a sore throat (which is actually true because I’m still sick) and had to get off the phone.

I brought up the phone call in therapy. I asked my therapist (rhetorically) why I can’t just tell her to bug off. Rationally I know nothing would happen if I did that. I know she’s read my blog so surely she knows how I feel about her. Sure, she might get mad, but really why should I care? What could she do to me? Nothing! He suggested (correctly) that I was programmed from an early age to always respond to her in a certain manner, and that programming is hard to break, and that’s what’s making it so hard for me. I started laughing about the idea of myself being a computer that could be programmed. I looked at him and told him to debug me. He laughed at that, but really it wasn’t funny. I felt a little hysterical.

I’m always a little more emotionally labile when I’m ill, and so this illness he gave me last week acted as a kind of emotional lubricant–or maybe I was just ready and what I’m about to describe was going to happen anyway.

I said I was tired of talking about my mother and I wanted to talk about my transference feelings instead. It’s what I’d been planning to talk about but my mother, even in my therapy sessions, always has a way of drawing all the attention to herself and I wasn’t going to let that happen tonight.   Recently we have been meeting twice a week instead of once a week, but I won’t be able to afford to do that for too much longer, or at least for the next few weeks. I explained hard it is for me to only be able to meet him once a week because of my strong feelings of attachment. He wanted me to elaborate on this and describe how it felt. I had to think about that for awhile. The closest I could come was that it’s a little bit like limerence but without the sexual and obsessive aspects and has a more infantile quality. (There’s also a kind of mindfulness to it that’s impossible to explain but that keeps it from getting out of control.) It’s the way I imagine a baby feels about their primary caregiver. That I’m this little baby and he’s the only person who ever mirrored me or accepted me unconditionally for me. Because of that I feel extra vulnerable with him, too close to my raw core and fearing rejection while at the same time being able to let my guard down in a way I normally can’t. When I was asked to elaborate on the vulnerable feelings I had to think about it for a long time.

Finally I began to explain (in what I felt was a very childlike manner) and to my surprise I started to cry. I’ve come close to crying a couple of times recently, but this time my eyes actually filled up and a couple of tears spilled over (which I wiped away quickly). Sure, I didn’t sob and there weren’t many tears and it all ended quickly, but it happened. For just a minute, I shed real tears in front of another human being! Even more astounding to me than that, I felt no shame doing so. In fact, I was very proud of myself and even while I cried, I knew exactly what was happening and felt really, really good about it. So my tears turned to laughter and he laughed along with me. It was a real, bona fide emotional connection. How can that be? I don’t have those! I don’t connect with people! This was surreal.

“How did you do that?” I asked, sort of gobsmacked.
“I did nothing,” he said. “You did that yourself.” He was smiling.
“Then I guess you’re just the facilitator!”
“Well, I do have a degree!” he said jokingly.
We laughed again. Then the tears almost started again.
“You’re getting emotional,” he observed. “What’s going on?”
“I DON’T KNOW!” I wailed like a three year old. And I didn’t. I didn’t know why I was so emotional, but I felt happy that I was. “I just feel fragile, that’s all.” My lower lip was trembling like a toddler’s.
“I want you to know I think you’re very strong.” His eyes were shining.

So, another brick in that f*cking wall crumbled tonight.
I put my shoes back on (lately I’ve been taking them off and putting my feet on the couch–it seems to help somehow).
As I was leaving, he said our session moved him. I wanted to hug him so much right then but of course I didn’t.

Two kind of incredible things that happened to me yesterday!

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1. I got a new car! It’s a 1999 Toyota Corolla, great condition, runs like a dream. A little low to the ground, but I’ll get used to it. I got it at a low price through a guy through my church (much more trustworthy than relying on Craigslist) who is taking the old Taurus off my hands too. Everyone tells me these cars run forever if you keep them maintained. I know someone who has a Toyota Corolla that has over 400,000 miles on it.

I’d post a photo, but it was dark when I got it, and the car is a dark charcoal gray, and it’s raining. I’ll post one later today though! I’m taking the day off to go take care of things at the tag office. Yay! No more driving around doing free advertising in the company car.

2. I’m always hesitant to post stats-related info, but I told Opinionated Man about it and he told me to go ahead and brag about this so I will. On the 20th, this blog finally entered the Alexa top million website. As of today, it’s ranked at 993,830 globally and at 125,582 in the United States. I know these ranks don’t matter a whole lot until you get into the top 100K or so, but it’s still very encouraging.

I’m just gonna say it, okay?

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I’d really love to be Freshly Pressed®. I wonder if it’s ever going to happen. I just think being Freshly Pressed would be incredibly cool and do wonders for my low self-esteem. If I ever get Freshly Pressed I think I would just die of happiness.

Kill me now!

 

please

Vacation time!

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No, not from this blog–from WORK! For a WHOLE WEEK.

More time to write new blog posts–my REAL job. Yippee!

OMFG. My son won 2nd place in the dance competition!

I can’t believe it. I’m in tears right now. Ethan wanted to make the Top 3 so badly, and he did one better than that (this was out of a group of 50 dancers–he made it to the final ten of the Novice category last night).

He’s been dancing for 3 years and this is the first time he placed in the Top 3.

Here is the tweet he just sent:

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I’ll post the video of his dance performance as soon as it’s up on Youtube. In the meantime, here is his performance at another convention he attended in Orlando, Florida in August, where he was a finalist but did not place. The convention he is at in Illinois has more attendees and making the finals in this competition is more difficult and competitive than the one he attended in Florida.

All that practice has really paid off!


Ethan’s performance at Megaplex 2014 in August.

ETA: Someone on Twitter just posted this photo of him competing today.
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I had a good feeling about this blog today and just logged in and…

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Message from WordPress:

A spike in your stats
Your blog, Lucky Otter’s Haven & Museum of Narcissists, appears to be getting more traffic than usual!

74 hourly views

7 hourly views on average

Is it the changes I made last night to this blog or traffic caused by the surprise appearance by (in)famous narcissist Sam Vaknin?

But why question it? It’s just awesome, is all.

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ETA: I don’t know how to make a screencap of the graph, but this was my best day ever — 436 views!

I figured it out. It wasn’t hard. My stats page shows the two articles about Mr. Vaknin are KILLING it on the web. They both have a lot more views than anything else I’ve posted, and one of them has been linked to Twitter 31 times and both combined on Facebook even more times than that. Going viral maybe?!?!?!o_o
My first article about Sam is now on PAGE TWO of Google. And I thought my article about my son being furry was popular. Whoa.

I know I sound like a horrible narcissist and I apologize for that, but damn, this is EXCITING! I don’t expect it to last though.

Mr. Vaknin should be getting plenty of narcissistic ego-boosting from the fact he’s such a stats-booster. I’m sure he already knows that though. LOL