Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pic of my Happy Face





This pic was taken by my husband. My eyes were bleary from having had them dilated earlier that day by the eye doc. Nevertheless, he caught me having fun.







More recent pic. Taken on my last birthday (#47). I was talking--hence the near pucker. Heh.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

dAnna You are beautiful on the outside as well as the inside!!! Thank you for the "Reveal"!!! Sincerely, Jackie

Anonymous said...

Proof positive that N's cannot defeat the human spirit! Kudos for such a wonderful smile and kick-ass look of pure grace.

Anna Valerious said...

ah, man...you guys are so kind. You make me blush and smile simultaneously. Thanks. :o)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being real. You look a bit like the actress Patricia Heaton. It's always funny how we perceive people in our minds when we blog to one another. Lucky you, you look very young for being 40. Well, am hoping the best for you. Keep typing!!

Anna Valerious said...

I'm 47. Thanks.

Steph said...

FORTY-SEVEN? Surely, there's a typo there.

Anna Valerious said...

Ah, nope. No typo.

There is a preservation gene on my mother's side. There isn't one on my dad's side. I get my gray hair from him. Yeah, I cover the gray. I'm probably up to about 20-25% gray now. When I'm up to 75-80% I'm goin' natural.

Steph said...

At least your mom passed along something good. :wry grin:

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

You're gorgeous. And it's not just your pretty features, it's your brave, beautiful spirit shining through.

--L.E.

TJ Kuehn said...

Beautiful - though it would be pretty neat if you really were Turk.

Anna Valerious said...

though it would be pretty neat if you really were Turk.

Yeah, I admit. That would be pretty neat. Kinda weird, though, since he's a guy and this blog says I'm a daughter of a N. Guess that would have been great cover if I was a black, male TV star.

By the way, I've never done the walrus look with straws in my nose. I prefer the freak-look of two peanut M&Ms. It's a real crowd-pleaser.

Cinder Ella said...

You're lovely Anna! You do 47 proud. And, you have a great smile. In fact, your whole face smiles! Thank you for sharing a picture of yourself.

Ella

Anonymous said...

I wish I could look half as pretty as you when I'm 47! ;) Keep smiling gorgeous. As someone already said you're beautiful, both inside and out.

Nancy

Barbara said...

You are even PRETTIER than I suspected!! I am 4 years older than you and look it. You look like you're maybe 31????

Jenny from NY said...

I'm curious as to how you looked before you cut ties with your family. I had a "rebirth" of sorts when I started to awake to the truth about the N's in my life. I had been accused numerous times by a few N's in my life that I was trying to draw attention to myself; wanted to be the center of attention. Truly, that's the total opposite of who I am and I usually go to lengths to become invisible. When I finally realized who and what I was dealing with and that they were trying to keep me down, I started taking better care of myself. Dressing better. Splurging on "good" make-up and getting my hair colored professionally. It's just amazing to me to realize what the N's in our life can to our spirit, mind and body; how we view ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world. Thanks Anna, for sharing yourself with all of us! You truly are beautiful on the outside, but the inside is what counts eternally. The Bible teaches that what comes out of our mouth is in direct correlation to what the condition of our heart is. People's words or their lack there of when something really should be said in a certain case, is my somewhat new test as to the test of their character and the condition of their heart. From your written words -- you have a heart of gold. I'm so enjoying your blog, but it'll take some time to catch-up on the last few years of your life! God bless you and your family. Sincerely, Jenny

Anna Valerious said...

Hi Jenny,

As to how I looked before I cut ties with my family, well, younger and, uh, thinner and prettier. Part of my upbringing included the indoctrination on maintaining ones appearance. I'd say that after cutting ties with my family I worried a hell of a lot less about middle age spread and wrinkles...the two anathemas to my mother. I cut my hair off because I hate the bother of dealing with it. My mother hated my short hair. I dress casually which is a "thou shalt not" for Nmom too. I do wear make-up but only when I have to! Most of the time I don't wear it anymore.

So, I guess I am sorta the opposite of you. Kick the Ns out of my life then I go to seed. Oy.

I am happy to hear that you now spend some time and money on looking good because that usually does redound to feeling better about yourself. For me, I had to learn to let go of the worries about appearance and aging. I say I've had considerable success at that. *grin*

There is a song by the group Diamond Rio called "Wrinkles". It makes me tear up every time I hear it. I doubt it is a song that makes very many people tear up, but it does me. Why? Because of its healthy outlook on aging. The words of the father in this song to his young son reflect the very opposite of what I was taught when I was young. It represents the healthy way to look at the "lived-in look" that age brings. I never got any of those healthy messages from my mother. She fears aging like a vampire fears the wooden stake. She started instructing me on anti-aging techniques long before I was even double digits in age. Anyway, I do take care of my appearance, but have had to learn to not obsess on it. So I had to go the opposite direction you have taken which became much easier once the Ns were out of my life and not always around to critique my appearance.

Thank you for your kind words about my "heart". I have come to greatly admire good character in people when I am lucky enough to meet those with it...and I agree completely...it is inward beauty that is to be pursued and cherished. It is the only beauty that outshines all the vagaries of our bodies waxing old.

Jenny said...

My sister had the same experience as you did when she stopped seeing her Nother-in-law. She always felt like she had to be and look perfect to be around her and her N's daughters. That's wonderful you are now free to be yourself and grow old gracefully and naturally, just like nature intends it to be!

I am all with you on going natural when your hair gets mostly gray. About a week ago I saw a book on Amazon about that subject and it gave me courage and inspiration to do so when the time comes.

One things for sure. Your blog will certainly improve my vocabulary!

Anonymous said...

I agree, you look beautiful and incredibly young for your age ... and happy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have an N sister and have just told her my relationship has always been one sided and expolitative.I had no expectations that she would understand or give me anything back...(why change the habit of a lifetime eh??) I recently discovered some information about NPD from a colleague and it gave me a name for something I felt I had never really articulated properly. So have been reading up and found your blog. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. C x

marjeabea said...

Oh goodness!!! This totally made my day. You have grace and light written all over you...I celebrate your smile along with everyone else who has posted. A lovely photo!! Thanks for sharing you clear and bright spirit with us. Marcella

Linda said...

I too found your blog in a wandering of the internet. It is very inciteful and I have come to the realization that my sister so fits this persona. I have been wondering for years why she is so self-centered. We were raised by the same parents in the same home and are 2 yrs apart (I 48 she 46 now) Neither parent displayed narcissistic tendancies, so I am at a loss as to why she is like this (there is another cousin, 2nd removed that also seems to need to have everyone cater to him & his feelings). I at least feel better now knowing that I am not the cause of her attitude (as she claims) and am going to do a little more research. Thanks for enlightening me. Linda

Anna Valerious said...

The understanding of narcissism that I present here contains this fundamental reality: narcissists create themselves. Your sister is her own creation. No one has to be the cause of her uber-self-centeredness but herself. She alone gets to wear the blame for who she has become. You get to carry on being responsible only for yourself (in terms of character development). That is enough responsibility for anyone to carry.

Someone who stood up for herself said...

You look great, Anna, and your strong spirit shines through that smile of yours. My narcissist mother, who was always jealous of my appearance, made sure I didn't smile for years. At school, one other girl even asked me why I never smiled. I solemnly answered 'I have nothing to smile about.' I have cut off all contact with my family now, and am beginning to feel what it is like to live - to really feel alive, and to feel joy and happiness, instead of pain and foreboding, and more pain and more foreboding...

God bless you, Anna, and thank you so much for this blog. You are a brave and beautiful woman, and you are doing a lot to give people like me strength.

Many regards,

Someone who stood up for herself :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are beautiful, and I'd have guessed mid-30s, tops!

p.s., Great site. Glad I found you!

skylar said...

you are amazingly young looking. I'm 43 and you actually look younger than me. that is even more surprising because I don't wrinkle - yet. last time I was carded was about 2 years ago by a very embarrassed older lady. Could there be a gene in children of N's that keep the wrinkles down?
Anna, your blog has been a grace from heaven. You will certainly go straight there when you die. You are the most beautiful human being I've come across. I thank u from the bottom of my soul. My N ex-boyfriend is much worse than anything I have read here yet. He is up there with Ted Bundy and the green river murder - no I'm not exagerating but I've only very little proof. And yes I do live in the great Northwest where serial killers are bred. I would like to tell you more about it in hopes that you can shed light on what I should do.

Anna Valerious said...

I would like to tell you more about it in hopes that you can shed light on what I should do.

I don't know if I have any light on what you should do, but if you'd like an opinion then go to my profile page to find my email address and send an email.

Heather said...

Hi Anna. I too am a daughter of narcissistic parenting. I've also fallen for a couple of guys resembling this portrait due to my template. It wasn't until I went into therapy that I realized how damaged I was, as well as the damaging choices I had made in my life. You are BEAUTIFUL! You look just like your portrait, only without the long hair and the sword wielding. Thanks for wielding the sword for all of us survivors with this website. Rock on Lady!

Anna Valerious said...

Thanks, Heather, for your kind compliments.

I hope you are well onto your way to a better life.

R. said...

Anna,

Just want to say thanks so much for your blog! Even though you have stopped writing, I appreciate that it is still on the web. I come and read it every time my N-family gets to me.

Even after reading plenty of books about NPDs, your blog is best help for each new crazy situation I encounter. Thanks for being there for us ACONs in recovery!

Best always,

-R.

Anna Valerious said...

Hey, thanks, R! I'm happy you still use the blog as a resource for back up and encouragement. Keep up the good fight!

Kelli said...

You're 47??? I'm 46 and only wish I looked as beautiful as you are.

Thanks for creating this blog. I love it and have learned a lot from it. I appreciate your personal experience, thus exposure through writing of what a Malignant N is and does.

Blessings.

Kelli

Dennis said...

I am very impressed with your knowledge (obviously first hand) and your exellent writing skills. This is a great blog on the subject and you have done an incredible job. Thanks.

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you very much, Dennis.

kelleybean1969 said...

Anna,

I am indebted to you for opening my eyes to understand who my mother is. I spent the better part of 2hrs today reading you site which answered 41 years worth of questions that no one could ever find an answer for. I spent so much of my life roiled in pain and confusion, thinking I was the one who was crazy.

I broke ties with my family on my own accord in June of last year shortly after I had surgery for cancer and leaving my controlling husband of 16 years. They have embraced my exhusband as part of their family now which isn't surprising. :(

Your writings were an epiphany for me today. "Thank you" feels so inadequate for the amount of inner peace and strength I gained from you today.

How can I thank you?

Anna Valerious said...

How can I thank you?

You have already done it. Just knowing you found clarity, answers and even an epiphany here is plenty thanks enough. I'm very happy for you that you've found a way to escape the Ns in your life long before coming here. My heartfelt congratulations on finding freedom. Stay free!

Mary said...

Dear Anna, I found your blog the day I began mine.. your courage and example is helping me find the valorous nature required to knit back the fabric of my life/mind/spirit. Thank and bless you!
with great appreciation,

mary

Pheege said...

I just found it, and I love what I've seen of your blog so far! I'll be back to read more. Thank you for taking the time to build this. :)

Tara P. said...

Thank you for this blog! Your common sense, grounded-in-reality explanations and arguments about narcissism not only give me more inspiration and insight into what I need to learn, but reaffirms what I know I ALREADY KNOW every time I read them. It's empowering and enlightening. THANK you for this.

stefanos said...

Hi Anna, I'm a 30 yr old guy from Athens and I recently found out my mother is a raging narcissist.. I'm really glad I found your blog, thank you for sharing your knowledge. Best wishes from sunny Athens.

P.S. You look so beautiful!