Tag Archives: Breathing

Avoiding Narcissists: Top NV Post

I launched Navigating Vita a little more than a year ago and, like with any anniversary, I’ve been looking back on this time in my life. In my effort to learn what resonates with my readers, I’ve also taken note of which posts are read more than others. If the most popular blog posts are any indicator—finding love and having a good laugh top your list. (And they top mine, too!) So it is with little surprise that one of my first written posts: How NOT to Date a Narcissist remains the all-time favorite: the most searched, read and commented on NV blog post.

Bloggers, by nature, delve into the world of self reflection. And we all can be a bit self absorbed at times, right? But someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)  has a condition that Webster defines as “having an inability to show empathy.” The Mayo Clinic site defines those with NPD as believing “that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings.” Their sense of entitlement can manifest into a myriad of behaviors that can be abusive both emotionally and/or physically.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a destructive narcissist and are back out in the dating world—than I don’t need to tell you that your *top* priority is to avoid falling for another one at all costs. The charming and chameleon qualities of narcissists easily fool people for months—sometimes longer. Wouldn’t it be easier to to end the relationship before you get sucked in and spit out? With that in mind, I sought help from an expert who could point out telltale signs many narcissists exhibit, even in the beginning phase of dating. Debra Cucci, MFT has become somewhat of an expert on this topic as she consults families and runs a workshop in Los Angeles to help women make better choices when dating. Her advice is eye-opening! Finally, there is a concrete list of characteristics that many charming narcissists share—warning signs to take note of during the first few dates. As we all know, Narcissists aren’t gender specific! This article will help anyone avoid falling for this destructive personality who could likely wreck havoc in your life and those of your children.

And after that heavy subject, I’m happy to report that my 2nd most popular post is light as air: 25 Reasons to LOVE Being a Single Mom. I LOVE this silly tongue-in-cheek article that is a compilation of input from *many* single moms out there. Sometimes life is just too hard. The weight of all that is dragging you down can just be exhausting and talking about it doesn’t always make things feel better, does it? In my effort to find how to fill my glass half-full, I started this list and reached out to more than 25 other single moms to see what they’re thankful for. Making this list not only filled my glass half-way—it over-flowed! Laughter truly is the best medicine. Here’s a post guaranteed to cheer you up, put a new spin on your situation—or at least give you a much-needed laugh!

Chiming in at # 3: is Relationship Guru Dr. Pat Allen Sets Me Straight! Also another early blog post. I reached out to Pat Allen, Ph.D., world-renown relationship therapist; best selling author (Getting to I Do) and the resident sex expert on TV’s  Millionaire Matchmaker. Since I was gingerly venturing out into the dating world, after a heartbreak, I thought, who better to help me (and other separated and divorced women) but the top expert herself! She provides simple advice to find Mister Right—and if you’re anything like me, you may just be surprised by how many wrong steps were taken in your search!

For those interested in NV’s top 10 stories, I’ve enclosed a quick run down below. What surprised me the most, when looking at this list, is that the majority of top posts include interviews with experts. I’m gratified that my network as a journalist has helped me reach out and garner interviews with those amazingly talented experts who can really help us in our efforts to find Mr. Right; show our kids love and compassion;  become better parents; examine infidelity; breathe through our anger; show compassion to others who are struggling; and find laughter in the every day. Thanks for reading and being on this journey with me.

Navigating Vita’s Top Ten Posts of All Time:

1. How NOT To Date a Narcissist

2. 25 Reasons to LOVE Being a Single Mom

3. Relationship Guru Dr. Pat Allen Sets Me Straight!

4. Connect With Your Children While They Sleep

5. Top 5 Mistakes Divorcing Parents Make

6. Is Cheating The Only “Rational Choice” for Married Men?

7.Newt Gingrich in Tuscany!

8. The Power of NOT Holding It All (together)

9. An Italian Mom’s Fight To Save Her Daughter

10. Domestic Violence During Divorce: Not a Rarity

Injuries and Answers: What a Week!

This week has been a nutty one for sure. On Tuesday I tore a ligament or ruptured my tendon, still not sure, during a pilates class. It slowed me down quite a bit as you can imagine. Thank GOD for my wonderful boyfriend who picked up my oldest, took him to violin practice and then picked up my three-year-old, fed them, and let me go to the emergency room alone. What a relief! And, lucky me, the ER doc is a tri-athlete (of course, in the South Bay!) and knew exactly what my injury was and how best to deal with it.

Two days later, I refused to cancel an appointment with a specialist for my three-year-old. I managed to hobble to the appointment as my little guy needs help and answers. We have to get to the bottom of why he has been sick most of his little life. He had severe colic at four months of age that lasted three months. He would scream for five hours at a time every evening. He had ear/sinus infections and colds often. This past month he was on antibiotics 20 days out of 31. His colds, bronchitis, asthma, gunky nose and ear infections would always come back. He is chronically sleep-deprived as he has much difficulty falling asleep. I’ve been exhuasted for years as I tend to lie down with him and try to help him sleep. He falls asleep by 9:30 p.m. on a good night, sometimes 11 p.m.! The little guy is cranky and full of nervous energy. He has had two official bouts of pneumonia and I’m convinced at least one other. The specialist I saw last year, after testing him for allergies that came up negative, just asked that I buy a nebulizer and give him albuterol treatments six to seven times a day when a cold first emerges. That is clearly NOT an answer as the asthma meds just get his heart racing and ramp him up so it’s impossible for him to sleep. The doctor I saw last week just gave me a steroid spray and suggested that I do this every day. Also, a bit scary as he’s only three…how long did she want me to continue with steroids? So, instinctively, I’ve just known that it’s critical that he get sleep anyway he can. He mouth breathes a lot and sleeps better when he’s sitting upright. So for the past three years, I’m constantly pushing him in the stroller on runs to let him sleep or driving long distances so he naps upright in the car seat. Whatever works, right?

My little guy napping in the car.

As I mentioned, I hobbled to another specialist/allergist on Thursday. He may not have all the right solutions for my little guy, but I think he discovered the problem. After testing for 16 more allergens and coming up empty, I asked that he check James’ adenoids. It was painful to watch. I held my son down as they stuck tube cameras down his nostrils. Sure enough, even on a “good breathing day” his adenoids were huge. That explains everything! No wonder he can’t sleep when lying flat. No wonder when he has a cold, let alone a sinus or ear infection, he can barely sleep and is cranky and mouth breathing. No wonder he’s hyperactive and cranky due to sleep deprivation. Poor fella. Well, the specialist made me take James to another Doctor on Friday who took four vials of blood to test for any possible antibody/immune system disorders or imbalances. He also asked that I use a steroid spray on his throat for years. He says steroids can reduce adenoid size and you can avoid surgery. Maybe. But I think I’ll find a good Ear/Nose/Throat specialist and have the adenoids removed. My oldest had to be rushed to the ER via ambulance when we lived in London and he was three, due to adenoids. He had sleep apnea and I was terrified listening to his breathing stop and hearing him gasp for breath during the night. Just before his 4th birthday, he finally had to have an emergency adenoidectomy when back in the States. After healing from surgery, my oldest was completely fine. And, he never had another ear infection or breathing issue at night.

I’m SO grateful that my little guy may soon be able to sleep, breathe clearly and live without constant infections and bronchitis. It’s such a relief and so satisfying that this mother’s instinct was right all along. Something other than allergies triggering asthma was at work here. There was a reason my other-wise sweet natured and loving boy would transform into a raging, cranky bugs and a whirling derviche during bedtime hours. I’m convinced that he’ll be a completely different child once he’s able to sleep regularly and there isn’t a constant restriction of oxygen to his brain.

Thank God for tiny miracles. Thank God for intuition. Thank God 3.5 years of sleep deprivation for this family, may soon be coming to an end. Now lets just hope I can manage to stay off my feet! Running, power-walking, sunshine, yoga and pilates were my tools to tackle sleep deprivation and depression. My exercise and the California sunshine got me through my darkest days when parenting a baby alone with my husband in Europe. I’m hooked on the adrenaline and endorphins. They clear my mind, race oxygen to my brain and muscles and bring hope to my heart. I’m not sure what I can do while sitting on my tush that will help keep me sane and uplifted. Maybe I’ll have to invest in a pool membership as something tells me there’s NO way I can stay put for an entire month! But, wow, I’m excited about the future for a restful household.