Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?

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Snowwhite79

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Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« on: February 26, 2016, 11:53:21 AM »
Hi everyone,

I went NC with my NF (also undiagnosed AS) almost a year ago after repeated rages/threats/guilt trips/insults/name calling on and off for 4 years since I became a mother.  It was a lifetime of emotional abuse towards my mom and I before that but I never realized all of this until now, and physical abuse towards my mom when I was little.  My mom is an enabler, they are still married, she is brainwashed and has taken on some of his traits now unfortunately.  I am still in contact with her but it is hard.  I am an only child.  She refuses to acknowledge that any of his behavior is wrong or deserves this sort of treatment from me.  In their eyes, I am the bad guy and I've been repeatedly told by both of them to "put it behind you".  I'm aware that is a narcissistic's way of releasing themselves from responsibilities for their actions.  I've also learned that narcissistic people with these issues tend to accuse others of "holding a grudge" or "holding on to the past", which is what I'm accused of.  It's not just holding on to the past if it was a consistent routine and it hurts that much!  I mean, you can't just go through life treating people like this and then when they hold you to your behavior then tell them THEY are the one with the problem!

I've been seeing a therapist and that helps tremendously.  However instead of the immense hurt and frustration that comes from his rage at me, now all I feel is guilt and anxiety.  I have tried journaling, meditation, yoga and research.  It consumes my mind.  I wonder if I switched to LC now with the knowledge that I have and kept up strict boundaries that maybe some of my guilt and anxiety will lessen.  I've given up hope that I can ever have a caring, "normal" and mentally healthy father or a normal and supportive family for that matter, but I guess I'm just trying to find the best balance for me to live in peace.  The least hurtful way to live because as we all know, it's not easy to live with a family like this.

Has anyone tried switching to this and how did you do it? 

I do know the phrase, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."  I'm not expecting anything to change, but wondering if I would feel less guilt and worry towards myself if I bridged back the gap somewhat but didn't allow him into my life as he was before and if he does rage at me again then don't engage.  I would hang up or leave and not respond because we all know there's no point.

Thank you for listening.   

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JG65

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2016, 01:09:48 PM »
Dear Snowwhite79,

I don't know that I have great answers for you, but I just started therapy as well after cutting off contact with my NPD father 6 months ago.  I think the guilt and anxiety are part of the grieving process.  I am also obsessed with the topic of NPD and asked my therapist to help me past that.  He said it is a normal part of the process.

I think the cause is that I am trying to integrate my father's NPD into my history and who I am.  I was in denial for all of my life, and this is a seismic shift in what I believe my story was.  And, cutting off contact is also a seismic shift. 

I'm also interested in exploring whether I can somehow transition from NC to LC.  Someone once posted a question on a board:  What would you hope to get out of the relationship if you did that?  It keeps me from trying to go to LC, because going back to the relationship would yield nothing for me that would be positive.  It wouldn't even relieve guilt because my father's health is poor and at some point, unless he dies suddenly, he is going to reach a point where someone needs to manage his care.  I know this because I've already done it 2+ times.  So, I'd feel guilty saying I'm not willing to take on his care. 

And, I think interacting with him would kick up the emotions I have--anger, hurt, sadness as I speak to him.  I'm a different person today than I was before going NC and now I know so much more about how he operates.  I don't think I could speak to him without calling him out on his behavior.  I'd lose all respect for myself. 

Anyway, I'm just starting therapy and hope it will bring me to a place where I'm more at peace with whatever decision I make.  My therapist is himself a victim of narcissistic abuse, so I'm hopeful that while the future won't be perfect, I'll be in a more comfortable place. 

It sounds like you have a young child.  No one is more important than that child and yourself.  Your child and yourself are your first priority.  Anything that compromises that is a deal-breaker.  No matter what happens, your child is not going to suffer the pain you have suffered because of your parents. 
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences - Robert Louis Stevenson

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Bloomie

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2016, 01:13:50 PM »
Snowwhite79 - Something that is important to embrace that may bring some peace and lessen the anxiety you are feeling is the freedom we have, as grown adults, to engage, disengage, change up the level of engagement in relationships. Relationships have a natural ebb and flow - even full contact, loving relationships.

Having grown up in a disordered home myself for a long time I held to my parent's expectations that I would be in the front row seat in the audience of their lives always, every day, in every situation. Once I released myself from that unhealthy expectation that was keeping me too close for comfort, I didn't quite know what level of contact to have to keep myself safe and protect my core self and family from some of the more abusive behaviors from my parents.

Do you truly want some kind of contact with your father? That is the real question. What do you want? You wisely state they are who they are and are not going to change. So, in light of who your parents are, what level of contact do you believe your father can manage himself respectfully in?

Another thing that came to mind as I was reading your post - could you be misidentifying your emotions of guilt and anxiety? Could you actually be feeling the course of emotions that accompany grief? This is a tremendous time of awakening to the painful reality of the toxicity of your parent's relationship and their issues and your father's abusive treatment of you and your mom. This is a lot to process and takes time to sort through. Not to mention begin to heal from.

Would it be helpful to think of this NC time with your father as a door that is closed, but not locked? Like when we need peace and quiet to rest? Taking time away for yourself to heal, process, restore and recover yourself is good self care. Take as long as you need in order to rest and breathe and take in all that you are learning. The hard inner work you are doing in therapy and alone is draining and takes a great deal out of you.

Only you can know what is best to do. I would just gently caution to take care of you first and go slowly if you do decide to reengage. Sending you peace, wisdom, and strength!!

 

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daughter

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2016, 07:49:33 PM »
I speak from the viewpoint of a former "dutiful daughter" SG to two malevolent npd-enmeshed parents, NBM and enabler-enforcer NF. 

I finally chose NC in my mid-50s, me always the SG, after difficult decades of steadfast obedience and selflessly passive compliance to my parents' expectations and demands.  It's very difficult for an adult-daughter like me, who's been long-term "parentified", who's groomed to be "dutiful and obedient", who's endured NBM's and NF's bad behavior, boundary violations, and self-absorbed narcissism, to give myself "permission" to "go NC".  Trying to establish boundaries, to practice "medium chill", this hadn't worked for me.  Even when bolstered by therapy and OOTF clear-eyed thinking post-NC, it's still difficult to re-engage with pd-disordered abusive parents.  For me it would now be impossible.  Our parents rarely implement positive change, rarely change their behavioral norms, no matter how long, or how dramatic, our NC period.  Often, post-NC "re-engagement" quickly unspools into coping with same dysfunctional relationship parameters and abusive parental behavior.  (That was my experience, resuming contact after 4 months NC coupled w/4 months therapy, a decade before I "went NC" again.)  My pd-disordered parents didn't change, or become nicer or "better people"; their behavior actually worsened. 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 08:01:51 PM by daughter »

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Malini

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2016, 08:42:42 PM »
The process of coming OOTF is really difficult and painful. I am NC for over 3 years, with both parents.

Many times during the process I really thought I might as well just go back to toeing the company line to relieve the pain and fear. After all, I'd been doing it for almost 50 years, knew the drill, it hadn't killed me, so why not?

I didn't give in to that temptation because of my children. As I started my journey, my parents just behaved hatefully to my teenage children who had nothing to do with anything.  I remembered all the ruined family celebrations, abuse and manipulative behaviour and knew that I couldn't go backwards because I would be opening the door to more bad behaviour which I probably wouldn't be able to contain. . Also, I realised that to go LC, I would have to invest so much time and energy in setting and maintaining boundaries, that the relationship would be empty of any real connection, and in the end I would maybe have less guilt but I would not have 'more relationship' or even a changed relationship.

I truly hoped that I could bring about change, but three years down the line, she is still smearing me, harassing my children and telling people that I better not try and turn up at a death bed, or else.
With what I know now, I believed that even if I had attempted returning to LC, and braced her anger and shaming, I'd probably have returned to NC by now.

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Daughter 15

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2016, 05:24:03 PM »
Snow White, your story is almost identical to mine. I had to read it and the comments along with it to give myself clarity about breaking NC with NF and EnMom after a tearful VM from EnMom. It was tough to listen to. As I really began to think about her VM, I could still hear her shifting all blame to me by her telling me to call her as soon as I could get my heart right. I thought about trying to reach out to just her and trying to ask her why she stays with NF. Then I think back on how she allowed him to treat us horribly. She endured it too. She didn't stick up for us when we were children though. A part of me wonders if she wants my FOC back in her life so that she won't have to be the only recipient of NF's abuse. She'd rather him unleash it on my children to give herself a break for awhile. The more I read these comments, the more I know I can't go back. The others are right. What would I be accomplishing?  My parents won't change. They'll drain me and will probably try to invoke MORE guilt because I chose NC in the first place. Its a no-win situation. I'd love to be able to get them the professional help they need but they don't want it. I can't do it to my FOC and I can't risk my own mental stability. I'm mentally sound. I can't risk losing my mind.

Think about what you want to accomplish by doing this. I don't think the guilt will go away by breaking NC. N's invest their lives in manipulating others to feel guilt for THEIR actions. You've done all you can. I've done all I can. The N's have to do their part-- which, unfortunately, almost never happens.
You'll end up really disappointed if you expect people will do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.

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Snowwhite79

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 12:57:03 AM »
Thank you everyone for your advice! 

Don't worry, I have not gotten back into contact.  But it is hard.  My dad keeps calling and calling.  He is relentless in his attempts to contact me.  And then the voicemails are all nice.  But he does not and has never said he is sorry.  He just keeps saying let's put this behind us.  He also would like for my daughters and I to come visit him and my mom but never mentions my husband (my husband didn't do anything at all and hasn't even been involved in these fights).

Many people on this board say they are happy now being NC.  I wish I could say the same.  I feel like both options are equally depressing.  I feel completely isolated now and have no family.  I do have 2 young children and an ongoing medical situation with an out of state doctor with one of them that requires a tremendous amount of positive motivation and thinking, so I obviously don't need someone in my life who makes things more difficult.

Is there anything I can do to help get rid of the sadness and isolation I feel from being NC?

His constant attempts to contact me give me anxiety and makes my heart race.  I just want to call him back and ether get in a fight with him or just agree with whatever he says with no personality just to get him off my back!  It makes me 2ND guess what I am
Doing although no one thinks me getting back into contact is a good idea because we all know how it is going to turn out.  And he just acts like it was one small fight and I'm just dragging it along.  My mom told me that "people get over things".  He is so mentally sick he can't see he is abusing me every chance he gets?  He doesn't care?  He wants to try and force me back into
His abusive ways?  That's how it always turns out so why would this time be any different?!   

When will this get easier?  My original question about switching to LC was just me trying to brainstorm a way that might be more liveable than where I was at before NC and where I'm at now.

I feel terrorized that I was born into a family with such mental anguish.  I want to focus only on the good things in my life that I'm very thankful for and banish all of the fear, uncertainty and sadness from this situation away.  I get really excited to celebrate upcoming holidays with my kids to try and make things fun and special, but at the same time dread holidays because I know it's just another day I am reminded of my failure FOO and the heartbreak that goes along with it.

For the first 6 months or so of all of his my husband talked to me at length about it and now when I talk about it it kind of seems he is sick of it and expects me to just be over it now because we've talked about it so much. 

I told my mom a story the other day about what a disaster the kitchen was when I got home from work because my husband had minor surgery that day, she jumped right on the opportunity to make a mad face and mean comment about him even though that's not even what I was saying.  For some reason my parents hate my husband and his family and they truly did nothing at all to them except be nice to them!

I feel like my parents hate me too after all of the things they have said to me that I do Wrong.  But really I know now from months of therapy that I am not the one who has done wrong.  But if j am so bad in their eyes, why in the world does my dad want to be in contact with me so badly?!  So he has someone to control again?!  The very thought of dealing with him anymore is beyond exasperating to me!

Has anyone started a new hobby after going NC they can recommend?  I've been doing yoga a lot and that helps somewhat.  Should I get a dog?  More cats?  I'm really open to suggestions!


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Snowwhite79

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 01:11:07 AM »
Also a few more thoughts to previous questions posed -

I think what I'm looking to gain if I did switch to LC is maybe an engaged behavior that tells him he doesn't control me.  Like seeing him or speaking to him very occasionally but not like before and not giving him anything sincere to throw back at me.  When I'm in harder mental times of my Life, don't talk to
Him at all.  I feel
Like if I had a charade going that seemed like I was in contact (and not forcibly out of contact like I am
Now), maybe just maybe my mom and my relationship would be good again (it gets bad when I go against my dad because that makes her mad and disrupts our fake healthy family she likes to pretend we have because she just ignores all the abuse he does to her and brushes it under the rug).  Because of this setup my whole
Life, I'm Programmed to be ashamed at myself for fighting (which I feel I'm doing by being NC)  and feel Horrible about myself if I hold anyone accountable for their wrongful actions.  Growing up, when my dad had one of his rages, it was expected we would get over it as quickly as it started and if we didn't then we were obviously the bad guys and deserved what we got.
I recently read something that said you owe your parents nothing, in regards to narcissistic and abusive relationships.  That made me feel a bt better.

But even after all of this in depth knowledge and therapy I've gone through in the past year since my lightbulb moment, I STILL have moments where I wonder if I've over dramatized this and I am really the only one standing in my own way to just having a family.  The feelings are all terribly confusing.

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Daughter 15

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 11:20:42 AM »
Again, I think your feelings are completely normal. Your post could've easily been written by me. I hated the Narcissitic rages that left everyone upset except NF. He felt so much better after he'd go off on us and then acted like we were being too sensitive. He actually said that too. I still continue to struggle with some of the feelings you're dealing with. I think what has helped me so much is 1) researching the disorder and understanding NF's motives. After learning that he doesn't love anyone but himself, that everyone is used by him for personal gain and that toying with people is a fun challenge for him, it helped me to realize  I couldn't rationalize with someone showing such soiciopathic, sadistic behaviors 2) coming back to this forum when I begin to experience obligation and guilt. I read the experiences of others and remind myself that I can't be the only one working on the relationship. My parents will tell you they've tried everything to repair the relationship. However, when I really step back and look at everything, I see my dad has never once shown remorse and will even say that he's done nothing wrong. He throws all blame onto me disguised in a deceptive veil of martyrdom and being the victim of my "unforgiveness" 3) I made a list of some of the hurtful things he's done. I did it not to hold things against him but to have something to return to that would help me remember why I've chosen NC. It reminds me that I'm putting my FOC in real danger regarding our own emotional/mental health if we place ourselves in a situation where his brainwashing attempts and distortions of reality can affect our own perceptions 4) I'm a woman of faith so I'm able to look at the bible and see those who behaved in like manner and realize that God allowed them to remove themselves from the situation or He removed them! 5) I rely on a close friend to keep me in check. She listens to me and understands even though it's not something she's been through personally 6) I remember one thing a counselor said to me and I keep going back to it. He said to remember that if I'd been a victim of ongoing physical or sexual abuse, then I wouldn't think twice about removing my FOC from the abuse, so what makes emotional abuse any different?  It's still very dangerous. You're doing the right thing for your FOC. Don't let manipulation and deception confuse you. They've studied your behavior your entire life. They're a team and they know you have a good heart. They're taking advantage of it. You can be sure of it.
You'll end up really disappointed if you expect people will do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.

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Snowwhite79

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2016, 04:23:58 PM »
Thank you, Daughter15!  Your post is so helpful and it completely pushed me out of my guilt funk I was in this week.  I am back to the confidence stage of my NC.  The fact is, he's an abuser and I don't want to be abused any longer.  I shouldn't have to feel guilty about that.  I really appreciate you writing out the list of things that help you.  I will continue to reference it in my healing journey!

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Daughter 15

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2016, 01:22:43 AM »
Snowhite, I'm glad it helped. I have to refer back to my list to keep myself in check. My FOC is priority so I want to make sure I always have my children's best interests in mind with any decision I make. If it helps, my children are teens and don't miss their grandparents. They're glad I made the choice to break ties. They want nothing to do with my dysfunctional parents. I hope you continue to have clarity. Sorry you're dealing with that.
You'll end up really disappointed if you expect people will do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.

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biggerfish

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2016, 09:18:23 PM »
I have been NC for almost two years now. I am only now coming out of the other side of guilt, anxiety, and panic attacks. But I made the decision that alleviating my symptoms is not reason enough to resume contact. I don't want to be led by my symptoms. And in my case I still have my own family to put first. Thus I decided I have bigger fish to fry. That's how I named myself.  :tongue2:

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JG65

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2016, 12:18:55 PM »
Snowwhite79,

I wanted to share where I am after 3 weeks of therapy because I think it may help you too. 

I had the question about potentially reconnecting at some point in the future and my therapist said this (paraphrasing):  no, never.  My relationship with my dad has caused me harm.  I'm just starting to heal from it and it is not insignificant.  When I interact with him, I get re injured.  One issue I have is that I try to wall off my feelings.  I don't want to be vulnerable and I don't want to admit how hurt and injured I am.

I'm hearing a little of that in what you wrote.  Your father has been injuring you since you were a child.  It has caused you deep harm.  It isn't trivial and you aren't being overly dramatic.  Your dad can never understand why you cut off contact, so you are going to need to find closure within yourself.

When my therapist said I should not reconnect with my dad, I felt liberated.  I find myself crying a lot, but it is more mourning for the child and young teen I never got to be.  At the same time, I feel a much deeper calm and tranquility.  Even the colors outside seem different, brighter and clearer.
Perhaps this is just what acceptance feels like. 

Anyway, if it helps at all, Consider giving yourself permission and a commitment to never contact your father again. It is going to give you an opportunity for happiness, freedom and authenticity that you won't have with your father in your life.
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences - Robert Louis Stevenson

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Miss T

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2016, 05:10:23 AM »
Also a few more thoughts to previous questions posed -

I think what I'm looking to gain if I did switch to LC is maybe an engaged behavior that tells him he doesn't control me.  Like seeing him or speaking to him very occasionally but not like before and not giving him anything sincere to throw back at me.  When I'm in harder mental times of my Life, don't talk to
Him at all.
 I'm Programmed to be ashamed at myself for fighting (which I feel I'm doing by being NC)  and feel Horrible about myself if I hold anyone accountable for their wrongful actions.
I recently read something that said you owe your parents nothing, in regards to narcissistic and abusive relationships.  That made me feel a bt better.

But even after all of this in depth knowledge and therapy I've gone through in the past year since my lightbulb moment, I STILL have moments where I wonder if I've over dramatized this and I am really the only one standing in my own way to just having a family.  The feelings are all terribly confusing.

You expressed a feeling of being alone. Do you think maybe you want to have contact so you won't feel as alone?
As an only child to a single mother who was and still is emotionally abusive towards me, divorced recently from a husband who was physically and emotionally abusive, I feel completely alone.
And I think sometimes that I might prefer being treated badly than feeling such loneliness. And then I remind myself I felt alone before NC and divorce too. Only then there was no hope for a better life. There's hope now right?
I'm sorry to hear your husband isn't giving you the support you need right now. I actually never once told my ex-husband that I disliked my mother. But I did talk about it to my post-divorce boyfriend. He was so supportive for a few months, but after about 6 months he seemed to stop caring. Acting like it was old news. But it's not old news to me. The memories and feelings are coming up now, everyday stronger.

3 months into NC, 2 months of LC before that, and everyday I find myself considering VLC, sometimes even returning to my ex-husband. Milliseconds. These thoughts are programmed into my brain like a virus.
Loneliness can be overcome, friendships and bonds can be created.
My mother and my ex-husband will never change.
I'll take hope over the same old crap I've endured for 37 years already.



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bopper

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2016, 07:27:17 PM »
Thank you everyone for your advice! 

Don't worry, I have not gotten back into contact.  But it is hard.  My dad keeps calling and calling.  He is relentless in his attempts to contact me.  And then the voicemails are all nice.  But he does not and has never said he is sorry.  He just keeps saying let's put this behind us.  He also would like for my daughters and I to come visit him and my mom but never mentions my husband (my husband didn't do anything at all and hasn't even been involved in these fights).

Many people on this board say they are happy now being NC.  I wish I could say the same.  I feel like both options are equally depressing.  I feel completely isolated now and have no family.  I do have 2 young children and an ongoing medical situation with an out of state doctor with one of them that requires a tremendous amount of positive motivation and thinking, so I obviously don't need someone in my life who makes things more difficult.



I think part of your problem is that you are not NC.  They are still contacting you.

You need to use technology to help you...block their number, change your number, get a google voice number and tell them that you have changed your number and don't look at it, or I belived that google voice sends you voice mails in email, so you could have someone else screen them for you.
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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Souz

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Re: Switching to LC from NC for almost a year?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2016, 10:48:56 AM »
I really sympathize with you, I have been struggling with very similar feelings. I can relate so much to your desire to go LC to relieve the guilt. I have asked myself the same thing so many times.  I have worried that the guilt and anxiety I have felt in NC would have worse effects on me than having my mom in my life did. At least then, I had the parts of our cycle when things were ok.  So, I have decided a few times that I will have to open up that door. I have told myself that I will just make the boundaries so black and white that they will be easier to maintain.  But every time I decide that I will open the door, something deep inside quietly just says, not yet..  And so I haven't done it. And I'm so glad. That doesn't mean I never will. It just means that right now, I'm still in too raw of a place to expose myself to someone who has abused me. I don't have the skills yet to navigate that relationship in a way that protects myself and my family from the things I needed away from in the first place.

I also agree with Bopper about blocking contact. Even if the voicemails are nice, it is adding to the guilt and definitely the anxiety.  My mom has sent gifts over several times for bdays and holidays. Sometimes with toxic messages and sometimes with nice messages. The nice messages are harder than the insensitive stuff. When she is insensitive it is a reminder at least of why I am doing this. The nice messages only confuse me. Am I making too much of things?  She does do some really nice things..  I am now no longer allowing gifts and cards from her. I feel the first real sense of relief in so long after having told my dad not to bring anything else from her over to our house. I'm no longer bracing myself for the next bday/holiday.

I really was beginning to doubt that I could handle NC and I am beginning to realize I was still in the fog. And that it takes a long time for some of us to get out, but there is peace ahead if we can be kind to ourselves, get the help we need and prevent any further damage while we heal.

As far as hobbies, I took up crochet. I am crocheting a big, cozy warm blanket and it has been fantastic therapy. It is meditative and comforting. 
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 10:50:57 AM by Souz »
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