Looking at Old Photos: An Exercise to Help You Reconnect To Yourself When You’ve Forgotten Who You Are

My 2001 interview with Oprah, Lol!

I’m going through old photos while working on my second memoir and found this memory today.

This one is from a trip to Las Vegas in 2001 where I visited Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. I am a huge fan of Oprah, so when I ran into her that day, of course I let her interview me for my upcoming best-selling book. Lol! 😂

I was writing my memories out by hand back then for the book I wanted to write someday and was filing them away in my 3-ring binder.

I used to sit and watch The Oprah Show every chance I had at 4pm and still have the notes I took on the episode where she interviewed authors of memoir on how they approached their writing process.

This exercise of looking back at old photos is helpful for reconnecting to our old selves to see how far we’ve come, and to see how much further we have yet to go. It’s also helpful for abuse survivors who have endured decades of psychological abuse to help us reclaim who we’ve always been at our core, before toxic people projected who they are onto us.

This photo reminds me what I’ve known all along. I’ve lived authentically and genuinely from my heart. I’ve approached my big, convoluted, noisy, messy, busy life with a huge sense of humor, a love of life-long learning, the strength and dedication to keep my word to myself and follow through on my commitments, while showing up for my roles and responsibilities and continued to dream big!

And here I am. Still smiling and laughing. Still learning and growing. Still strong and doing. Still keeping my word. Still showing up. And still dreaming big!

I’m also still very realistic about what a long way I have yet to go, to get to where I dream of being. But, the most important thing about this is I kept my word to MYSELF to write that first book! How is that for learning self-trust, self-love and self-acceptance on your own?

Don’t allow the community that teaches about narcissistic abuse tell that you don’t know how to teach yourself or can’t. If what you see is good and you’re happy with that, keep doing that. If it’s not, have the guts to change it.

And, don’t let narcissistic family project onto YOU who they think you are, or should be, in order to make them comfortable and to keep you in learned helplessness. Be defiant! Be a force to be reckoned with! They’ll get over it. Or they won’t. It’s their choice to make.

Dream big or go home, baby!

projection #protection #dream #do #create #laugh #learn #grow #loveyourself

My First Interview about Steel Town Girl and a Shout Out from my Editor!

Today, I had my very first interview about Steel Town Girl, with Rod Ice from Words on The Loose located in Geauga County, Ohio.

Rod worked for the GCML for 16 years and was also an editor for Gazette Newspapers in Jefferson.

He has a new column called Words On The Loose which has run for a couple of years, it is on FB and the net where he is promoting his books.

Thank you Rod for your interest in my book, my writing and self-publishing process, and for the opportunity to interview.

His books can be viewed and are for available for sale: Here!

You can follow Rod at:

Words On the Loose

Also, I got a shout out on Twitter today from my editor:

I am so lucky to have found this woman, you have no idea! To say she deserves a blog post of her own is an understatement. She is quite impressive! But, in a nutshell she is a freelance writer and editor and has 31 books of her own.

Yowsa!

You can find Lauren (you’re probably pronouncing her name incorrectly) Baratz-Logsted here with her full bio and available books for sale.

I love you Lauren whatever the hell your name is! 😘

Thank again Rod and Lauren!

Forever Grateful for you both,

~Robin

You can check out my new book Steel Town Girl on Amazon and Kindle

And, today I received my author copies.

If you need me, I’ll be signing books and running to the post office!

Lessons of the Motorcycle Man and the Man Next to Me.

motorcycle in the rain

Yesterday we were driving down the highway in a rainstorm. I was excitedly chewing my husband’s ear about all my dreams like I’ve done so many times over seventeen years, and… as it usually does… the conversation turned to my heartache.

I turned to quietly gaze out my window at the gray, rainy day and the trees whirring by. My eyes were getting wet.

A motorcycle came up beside my window, then quickly passed in front of us and over and across into the fast lane. He revved the bike as fast as he could and was off like a light.

“What an idiot!” I said.

“He must really have to be somewhere to be driving like that in this,” my husband said.

It got quiet again.

The word “idiot” rolled around in my head. Who was I to judge?

I thought about it.

“Yeah. Maybe someone’s sick and he’s trying to get to them,” I said. “Or, maybe he’s gotta poop!” I giggled.

Knowing life speaks to me every day, and that there are lessons in the ordinary if we listen, I looked out my window and put my ear to the world.

For me, the lessons were this:

When we stop to criticize someone else and their choices, we’re out of your own business. When we’re out of our own business, it’s usually because there’s something too painful to process right now and we think we’ll deal with it later. But, I know all too well, if we don’t deal with our pain, our pain deals with us. It comes out in bitchy comments, mistreatment of others, name-calling, judgment, joking, over-helping, acting as if we have it all together and busyness in order to forget our own problems. Too much of that, and soon we have physical ailments, and even diagnoses of dis-ease.

The motorcycle man also shared his lesson with me about perseverance, determination, and courage. He told me if we want something bad enough, we get there any way we can… which for him, was on a crotch rocket barreling through a rainstorm. Some get there by the skin of their teeth, some much too late to even matter, and sometimes not at all. But, “the choice is theirs to make.” I was reminded.

My gentle, unassuming husband didn’t assign a negative assumption to the man’s actions. And, it dawned on me that the man sitting next to me was sharing a lesson too. This is why he’s usually blissed out happy on any given day. Because he doesn’t assume bad intent and he stays in his own lane. My judgment of the man on the motorcycle took me out the process of dealing with my feelings because it was too painful. Not an excuse in any way, but people from narcissistic abuse backgrounds, no matter how good life gets, seem to be lacking something. We struggle reconciling then with now. We’re all too often missing a family member. Grappling with negative feedback loops. Or we’re just not all that sure we even deserve happiness?

The heartache that misted my eyes were now tears of gratitude. “Thank you. I hear you,” I said to the sky. “And thank you too, for my husband.” I squeezed his hand.

Back at my window, I hoped the man on the motorcycle got to his destination in time and everything was o.k. “I’m sorry for judging you Mr. motorcycle man, I’m still an imperfect work in progress and I falter sometimes,” I said to him in my mind.

I hope that where ever he was going, he was going to feel his life and listen for the answers that usually come when spent in quiet reflection. Sometimes, if we listen hard enough, even while we’re sitting next to someone we’ve too many times disregarded in the way we always do with people who’ve been in our lives for a long time, we may get the chance to stay in our own business, have the determination to explore what the day is saying, and see people closest to us a little louder. May we don our uniforms of courage to drive erratically into the fast lane and disappear into the thick, gray ominous rainstorms of life before it’s too late.

Because hunkering down against the winds of change, sometimes over a screaming engine and a half-empty gas tank, holding on for dear life for the ride of our lives is the only way I know how to go through heartache.

Hopefully, while squeezing onto someone’s hand.