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handle a pandemic

Really God? Now I’m Supposed To Handle a Pandemic Too?

handle a pandemic

 

I wrote an article a few weeks ago titled, “How Are We Single Moms Coping with COVID19?” That was last month, and it literally feels like 6 months ago.

The COVID19 Pandemic has been devastating. As of the date of this writing, 9 million people have filed for unemployment in the United States. I almost became one of them last week.

As a single parent, the thought of that made my divorce look like a walk in a sunny park. It got me thinking about how I would respond to this.

I also threw my hands up and said, “Really God? Now I’m supposed to handle a Pandemic too?

All my sisters are retired. They clearly all married much better than me. They retired young with a plethora of life still to be lived and loved along with large bank accounts to assist them in this living and loving endeavor. I wasn’t so lucky.

I have carried the financial responsibilities of my family for over 20 years and retirement is not an option for another 15 years. My company laid off over 90 people last week due to the economic hit by COVID19 in the tourism industry.

Up until the morning before the layoffs were identified, I was certain that I was going to be part of the wrecking ball. Gratefully I was spared. I don’t know how, but I was.

The survivor’s guilt I felt was enormous as I said goodbye to so many wonderful friends. But as I looked at my two kids, a sense of appreciation and relief washed over me. As the days passed after the announcements were made, I found myself one-night lying in bed with the sudden realization that I had never even contemplated my getting the virus. It seemed almost inconsequential to experience sickness or death.

My panic was, how am I going to support my family?

And then the next thoughts I had were of all the life changing events that have happened after my divorce that I was held to navigate alone.

I endured the deaths of both my parents alone.

I navigated my daughter through the suicide of her best friend and the bullying of her high school friends, alone.

I navigated losing my job a decade ago during another economic crisis and as a result almost lost our home.

I have had utilities turned off and begged a friend to loan me some money so I could pay my daughters school tuition, the repair of my car and my mortgage all at once because my paycheck wouldn’t stretch that far. I promised I would pay him back when I got my bonus at the end of the quarter; and I did.

I have stayed true to every promise I have ever made to my children through what I thought would be every conceivable situation.

And yet, here I am once again facing another mountain to climb.

My job is safe for now yes. I am 1 of 4 Sales Directors retained from an original team of 20. I will now be doing the job of many people, at less pay due to a pay cut and with no administrative assistant to support me any longer.

And yet I feel blessed. Again.

The blessings I feel are strange to quantify.

My two kids are home. A lot. I live in L.A. where the “Safer at Home” order is in place.

The results of this is that we are talking to each other more. We are cooking together. We are cleaning together. We are just together.

My career has always required a lot of travel. With no travel being conducted in these days of COVID19 I have had to calm myself down and quiet my inner vagabond. It has taken me a little while, but I am slowing my roll quite well these days. And my kids are too.

We are getting to know each other in a different way. The topic of a Global Pandemic has made us all a little more vulnerable with questions, fears, hopes and aspirations all being discussed. This is now officially part of our story.

Like when my mother told me the story of her being a child in the Depression and her father losing the family farm. It made an indelible impression on her life forever. I wonder what kind of an impression all this will make on our kids as they enter their adult lives.

I hope that they will just see that when a family comes together…when people come together with a common goal even by practicing social distancing, good things can happen too. Good things that will last a lifetime for them by the example they see in us.

As single moms we secretly want someone, anyone to recognize us for all that we carry and just offer to do it all for us. What I have found in this time of COVID19 is gratitude and recognition I wasn’t expecting from my family and friends.

Those who I worked alongside and who were laid off called and messaged me to tell me how glad they were that I had been retained. They knew I was a single parent and they were grateful that I was spared. Grateful that “I” was spared!

The character that showed in these people is immeasurable.

And it is “I” who am grateful for them. They took a bullet for me in many ways.

I am not going to minimize myself in any way because I do know I work hard and have earned a place at the table. But they have too. And because I am now 60 years old, and at that margin of COVIOD19 population that are identified as somewhat vulnerable, both my kids have stepped up and offered to do many things they otherwise never have before.

That being go to the grocery store, getting gas in my car, picking up a to-go dinner and many more things that would keep me being in a gathering environment. They realized in short order all that I do to make them whole on a daily basis. Or perhaps they just see me as their “Prize Filly” and I guess it’s in their best interest to keep me healthy! But, I’m grateful none the less.

They recognize all that I have endured and were not about to let a Pandemic stop their mom from keeping on. Only this time I will do it wearing the mask my daughter made me and the meals my son is cooking me! Life is still good. Pandemic or no Pandemic!

So, the answer to my question of, ““Really God? Now I’m supposed to handle a Pandemic too? I say, YES! You have been me through a lot in the past 20 years and I have faith in You, Myself and My Kids and we can get through this too.

Just another day in a sunny park! Or will be soon!

The post Really God? Now I’m Supposed To Handle a Pandemic Too? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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narcissist

How to Handle a Narcissist: My Top 3 Tips For Keeping Your Cool

narcissist

 

Each one of us has had to deal with a narcissist at some point or another.  Whether it was an ex, a boss, or a family member, dealing with a narcissist can be challenging and exhausting as all hell!

I get asked a lot, “How do I deal with someone that has to win at all costs?” Well, this is the million-dollar question in high conflict divorce cases.

Narcissists have this remarkable ability to make you feel like you are the crazy one like you are wrong for thinking the way you think, and for feeling the way you feel. It’s as if they have this superpower, a gift that plants doubt inside you that makes you second guess your choices.

How do they do it?!

Let me first paint a picture of who you are dealing with here. These are some common characteristics that define a narcissist.:

  • Narcissists are ego-driven (meaning everything they do is to feed their ego)
  • The need to win is a top priority
  • They have to be right at all costs
  • They need to be superior
  • Their worth is tied to their achievements
  • They need to control others in order to support the outcome they desire. They need to be seen as “the good guy/girl”
  • They don’t think the rules apply to them
  • They think they know more about the law than their own lawyer

Do any of these ring true? If so, you may be dealing with a narcissist.

Here are my tips on how to handle a narcissist:

Don’t fight back!

You already know that you will never win, and you will never get them to empathize with your point of view.  So why do you keep fighting it? If they say the sky is red, then let it be red.  Narcissists thrive on anyone that supplies them with the drugs they need, and that drug is “being right.”  You will keep spinning in the hamster wheel of getting nowhere with someone that will never say to you, “You know what Amy, you are right, I didn’t see things your way.” And continuing to fight will only mirror more of what you don’t want, which is a narcissist in your face.

Let go of any expectations.

What do I mean by this? I realize some of you have no choice but to deal with a narcissist, so going radio silent on them may not be a viable option.  If you have no choice other than to deal with this person, then having expectations will be the death of your sanity. Hopes that they will do the right thing, that they care about your best interest (or the interest of anyone other than themselves for that matter), or that they can carry a conversation that doesn’t have their own selfish needs at the top of their mind–IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!

Remember who you are and what you value.

It’s easy to get sucked into a vicious cycle of crazy when you are dealing with a narcissist. You feel like you are continually having to defend yourself and prove yourself to everyone.  You may continuously be defending who you are as a mother, as a partner, and as a daughter and friend.

Why are you defending yourself? Because a part of you may be feeling that they are right, or that you need to prove your self-worth.  You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone.  You are worthy just as you are, and anyone that doesn’t see it, well, they don’t belong in your life.

You need to remember what it is you value.  Do you value peace and harmony? Do you value love and acceptance? Do you value REAL connection? If so, then put the gloves down, and understand that nobody can take your self-worth away.

If what you fight against you get more of, then getting in the rink with a narcissist will only get you more blows to the face. Narcissists need people to inflate their egos, so if you cut the supply, they will find another victim to feed on.  Take the path of least resistance, and surround yourself with people that love and support you, with people that know your worth.

If you find yourself in what feels like an impossible situation with a narcissist, please take advantage of a complimentary session with me.  I would love to see how I may help you navigate through this challenging situation.

Here is the link:  mailchi.mp/efa3cb1f474d/complimentary-session

The post How to Handle a Narcissist: My Top 3 Tips For Keeping Your Cool appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Is the Coronavirus Affecting Your Divorce? How You Should Handle It

Is the Coronavirus Affecting Your Divorce? How You Should Handle It

We are dealing with a time of global crisis. Your personal lifestyle has been affected by school closings, business closings and court closings. And, if you’re in a divorce, this is affecting that too! But, there is something you can do.

The post Is the Coronavirus Affecting Your Divorce? How You Should Handle It appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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How to Handle Divorce in a Family Business

How to Handle Divorce in a Family Business

Here are some tips on how to handle a divorce when your rely on your partner in a family business.

The post How to Handle Divorce in a Family Business appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Holidays On (N)ice: How to Handle Holiday Disagreements

Holidays On (N)ice: How to Handle Holiday Disagreements

If you want to disagree nicely with your family members this Thanksgiving, here are five basic tools that might help you do so.

The post Holidays On (N)ice: How to Handle Holiday Disagreements appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Paralyzed By Divorce Documents

Paralyzed By Divorce Documents? 5 Ways to Handle it Like a Boss

Paralyzed By Divorce Documents

Are you flooded with documents that have verbiage such as litigation, custody, child support, alimony, mediation, petitioner, respondent, hearing date, rulings, request for order, etc.? Just reading these words is enough to kick your anxiety into overdrive.

I remember a time when I did anything and everything to avoid reading court documents and attorney letters. The site of them would literally be enough to suffocate me.

It’s hard enough coming to the realization that your marriage is over. The proverbial body isn’t even cold yet and already you are getting slapped with way more than you can chew. More than likely one of you didn’t even want the divorce, but suddenly it becomes a race to get to the finish line. Whether you wanted the divorce or not, it’s time to get to work and handle your business like a boss.

Paralyzed By Divorce Documents?

Here’s what’s on your to-do list:

1.  Remove yourself from the victim mindset.  You can’t handle business if you are giving your emotions away, and you are stuck in blame mode. See this with different eyes. See it as if it were a business, and you and your business partner need to part ways because the partnership is no longer serving your vision.

I know this may sound cold and disconnected, but right now you need to practice detachment, at least until you find your power again. You have invested your energy in this marriage and now you need to energetically detach from it and take back control. If you want to know how to cut energetic cords check out my blog post right here

2.  Enlist a new ‘business partner.’ Someone you can trust that will help you see things without all the emotional baggage. It could be a friend, family member, coach, mentor, etc. Anyone who can be a pillar of strength for you and help you handle your business. I can’t say enough for the people who helped me through that difficult time.

I remember letting documents and emails sit for days with knots in my stomach, thinking, “I’m not cut out for this.” This was something I couldn’t avoid, but until I was able to find my power again, I needed support.

Be careful not to let just anyone on your team. Whomever you decide to enlist should not throw fuel on an already burning flame. They should be able to leave their own emotions at the door and detach from the outcome. This is how lawyers do their job. They really have no personal investment in your divorce. They are there to help you move through the process. This is exactly what you need, someone who will help you move through this process and not stay stuck in it.

You certainly can have your lawyer help you with this process, but in my experience, it is very costly, and you will just be one of their many cases they have sitting on their desk. Ultimately, this is your livelihood and your family, so you need to make sure you go over everything with a fine-tooth comb. There were many moments in my attorney’s office where they were talking at me, going over all the documents, and I left their office with my head spinning not knowing what just happened.

There were times I just needed someone to sit by my side and let me know everything was going to be ok.  Or, just sit with me as I read through the emails.

3.  Give yourself permission to practice self-love and self-care.  You may see things on those documents that are emotionally heavy. There may even be lies or elaborate versions of situations that make you out to be this terrible person. All of a sudden, this person you once shared a life with becomes a person you need to “protect” yourself from.

It’s a shame people feel they need to protect themselves instead of healing themselves, but the courts in my experience are not designed for healing. Healing is a personal journey that is yours and yours alone.

Self-love can happen when you switch intentions from defending to healing. Defending is a distraction. Defending is an external job, it’s on the outside of yourself. Healing, on the other hand, is internal.  My healing started with asking, “What do I need at this moment? What have I neglected? How did I get here? What still needs to be looked at? How can I give more love and compassion to myself?”

I remember being in a constant fight and flight mode. There was no resting period because my mind was racing at all the possibilities. I was in protection mode. I was surviving and trying to navigate in a world I didn’t feel safe in. When we don’t feel safe everything gets turned inside out.

At this time what you need is tender loving care. Try and find things to do that will fill up your gas tank when you are on empty. Believe me, I know this is hard, but you have to find moments of joy between all the chaos. Find things to do that will take your focus off the heaviness, even just for a moment.

4.  Use this time to reflect.  I love the saying how you do anything is how you do everything. Those papers, documents, and orders made me feel powerless. This powerlessness didn’t just show up during the divorce process. It was there my entire life, and I was forced to face it when I had no other option.

So, what else are you running from, and why? What else do you avoid? Do you avoid conflict at all costs? Are there other situations that you felt took your power away? It’s time to go deeper and see where else this is showing up in your life.

5.  Change your language! Your words carry so much power. Whatever you speak will become your reality. I want you to be very mindful about the words you are using that are describing your experience.  If you are using language such as;  this is exhausting, I feel paralyzed, I don’t think I can do this, this is draining me, I don’t have it in me…this will become your reality.

I get it, we aren’t all cut out to be lawyers. And yes, this process does change you. But, you are so much stronger than you think. Even if you don’t believe it right now in your body, start saying affirmations that empower you to change your mindset.

Say affirmations daily! I AM STRONG. I CAN DO THIS. I AM BOLD.  NOTHING WILL TAKE MY POWER AWAY.  I AM LOVED.  I AM FREE.  I AM GUIDED. 

You may not see it now, but divorce when handled with self-love, has the capacity to grow you like nothing else, but only when you are able to point the finger inward. You have an opportunity to look at where your triggers are and heal them. I am a firm believer that there are no winners or losers in divorce, only opportunities to heal and grow. 

The post Paralyzed By Divorce Documents? 5 Ways to Handle it Like a Boss appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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How to Handle Cybersecurity Concerns During a Divorce

How to Handle Cybersecurity Concerns During a Divorce

Divorce is hard. Keeping your information safe might be harder. Using these four tips to handle cybersecurity concerns during your divorce can make the process easier and less stressful.

The post How to Handle Cybersecurity Concerns During a Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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domestic abuse victim

How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce?

domestic abuse victim

 

Domestic abuse typically occurs behind closed doors. If you have experienced continued emotional or physical abuse from your partner, do not remain silent any longer. It’s time for you to experience a sense of calmness and security; it’s time for a divorce.

If you are a domestic abuse victim seeking a divorce, you will need a compassionate yet professional lawyer by your side, every step of the way. They can help protect your rights as well as help you feel safe in your life even after the divorce has been settled.

Different types of abuse:

Abuse has been defined as a pattern of behavior displayed by one person in an effort to gain and maintain control over another. Take note that when we say a pattern of behavior, we mean that this is something that is occurring more than once. While it is easy to assume physical or violent behaviors when talking about abuse, it is important to know there are many different ways your partner can be abusing you.

You may not even realize that you have been experiencing abuse in your relationship if you only consider physical or violent behavior as abuse.

Below we’re going to discuss some of the behaviors your partner may be exhibiting that fall under the term abuse:

  • Physical Abuse – This can include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling, physically restraining someone against their will, driving recklessly with your partner in the car, or in general making someone feel physically unsafe.
  • Sexual Abuse – While sexual abuse can be physical, it can also be non-physical as well. This can include rape, forced sexual acts, withholding sex, using sex as a weapon or even to pass judgment or assign value. Not only can sexual abuse have an effect on your body, but it can take a huge toll on your emotions and mental state.
  • Verbal/Emotional Abuse – These types of abuse may be harder to spot, but using words against your partner can cause severe emotional damage that can take a long time to recover from. This can include spreading lies, calling someone stupid or ugly, or even talking down to your partner.
  • Mental Psychological – In this case, your partner is likely abusing you through actions or words that have been attacking your sense of mental health and wellbeing.
  • Financial/Economic – Abusers will find any way possible to maintain their control, this can include controlling your households budgeting, not allowing you to have access to accounts, withholding spending money, preventing you from having a job or earning your own money.
  • Cultural/Identity – You partner may be using your identity or cultural beliefs as a way to cause you to suffer or control you. This can include not allowing you to follow dietary customs, preventing you from dressing accordingly to your beliefs, using racial slurs, threating to out them to their friends and family.

How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce?

Where do I start?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you need to find the courage within yourself to advocate for your own rights and happiness. The first thing to ask yourself is if you feel physically safe in the environment in which you live. If you live with your spouse and feel threatened by potential violence from your spouse, you must seek safety before anything else. You may wish to call the police. It is only after you feel safe that you should look into legal matters.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Once you are in a safe environment, it is best to begin your search for a lawyer as soon as possible. Seeking assistance quickly regarding divorce can help you battle legal matters and gain freedom in your life. You’ll be able to sort through the following topics:

  • Child Custody – It is likely that if someone is abusing their partner, they will potentially abuse their child sometime in their life. A lawyer can make sure both you and your child/children are protected from the abuser.
  • Division of Marital Property – In some cases, the behavior of the abuser can impact the outcome of how the property is divided, giving the victim the larger share.
  • Order of Protection – A lawyer can help you file for an order of protection against your abuser. It will state that your abuser cannot have contact with you. Having an order of protection can help you feel safe during and after the divorce process.

Seek Assistance:

Do not feel trapped in an unhealthy, abusive marriage. Muster up the courage to find a lawyer who supports you throughout the entire legal process in order to end your unhappiness and worry. Going through the court system can be an effective way to end your marriage as well as feeling like someone has your back during this time. Find the strength to save yourself from domestic violence and live the life you want.

It’s time to take action. If you or someone you know is caught up in an abusive relationship, know there is a way out. Asking for help shouldn’t be something you are afraid of. Get in touch with a legal team who cares about you, and your well being.

The post How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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