Senior portraits of my sister and me.

Senior portraits of my sister and me.

The unfortunate thing about dealing with mean people like narcissists and sociopaths, is that, as good people, our faith in human kindness makes it difficult to believe that mean people are mean deep down. But it’s a lesson we must realize sooner rather than later.

When I was 17, I got into a girl fight. It was New Year’s Eve 1989. I was a senior in high school. My sister was a junior in high school. I was the designated driver that night (like I was most nights) and attended a party at the home of friends who were already graduated from high school. (No adult supervision is the point I’m making.)

Sometime close to midnight, my sister walks into the party crying. It seems she and her friends had tried going to another party, but they were turned away because the girl who lived at the house where the other party was being held didn’t like her. (I’ll call the girl “Shayna” for lack of creativity.)

My sister passes along this account:

After my sister and her friends were denied entry, they turned to leave Shayna’s front porch. Shayna pushed my sister from behind and hit my sister over the head with her Coors Light bottle, knocking my sister off balance and sending her down the porch steps. My sister’s friends helped her to her feet and they all left a little stunned.* My sister, being the kind heart she is, decided to go find me, her big sister, to handle Shayna for her. (Thank you, sister.)

Nearing midnight, myself and a few of my friends pulled up in front of Shayna’s house. Knowing the laws of trespassing even at that young age (kids aren’t stupid), I asked a friend to go knock on the door and to let Shayna know I was there. She did. Shayna came out on the porch and yelled a few expletives at me. I let her finish her shouting. (If you had seen how angry she was flailing in her mini skirt and boots, you would have let her spew too.) Once her diatribe was complete, I had one question for her (which I asked standing approximately 10 yards away from her). I asked:

“Shayna, why do you hate me and my sister so much? What have we ever done to you?”

What does the asshole answer? Something I will NEVER forget. She shouts:

“Because you’re ugly!”

Well, most teenage girls would have gotten their feelings hurt by this. After all, Shayna had been the homecoming queen for a brief moment in time, she was pretty popular, was a cheerleader, and had once dated a football player. Her opinion mattered to a lot of people. But “a lot” of people didn’t include me.

I was raised by a mother who filled all four of her daughters with love and kindness every day. She told us we were beautiful and smart every single day. The opinion of this asshole wasn’t going to convince me that my mother was wrong.

Instead of continuing this ridiculous discussion, I threw my hands in the air and said,

“You’re right, Shayna. I am so very ugly. Now that we have that cleared up between us, maybe you will leave me and my sister alone.”

I chuckled under my breath and started walking to my car. Suddenly, I was struck on the side of my face by none other than Shayna’s cowardly brother. (I had dated the guy for like 10 seconds years before. I broke up with him because he wasn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box. I guess he still held some resentment.) The blow threw me to the ground and into Shayna’s yard. I brought myself up onto my hands and knees. I looked up, and Shayna was coming after me like kids go after candy when the piñata bursts.

She kicks me (while I’m down), and I start rolling and crawling as fast as I can to the edge of her yard. She kicks me again. I roll into the chain-link fence. I try to get up, but my long hair is tangled in the fence. I am stuck. As I am pulling and pulling on my hair in hopes of ripping myself free, I look to my left and see Shayna bracing herself on the fence ready to kick me in the face. I can’t move. I close my eyes and anticipate the pain. It never arrives. I open my eyes, and Shayna is on the ground. Someone had knocked her down before she could annihilate my ugly face and make it even uglier.

I was immediately helped up and rushed away from the scene by a friend I will never forget.

Even though she gave me an answer as to why she hated me and my sister, I couldn’t accept that someone could hate another person so much for reasons that made no sense. Today, however, knowing what I know about narcissists and mean people, I have accepted her answer. Not because I think I’m ugly, but because I know some people will always choose hate over love and there is no explanation. It is what it is. I think we all know who the ugly one is. 🙂


*This detail of the assault was added to the original blog with permission from my sister, who believes she suffered a concussion and remembers little that happened afterwards. 

abuse, Alcohol, domestic violence, Forgiveness, Health, Lessons, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Peace, Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 30 Comments

  1. […] been very protective of my youngest sister (only a year younger) and have gotten myself into altercations protecting her. (Growing up in Appalachia will make you that […]


  2. In reading this it seems like she wanted you to believe you were ugly because she wished you were. She was threatened by you. Nothing you did, just your existence. And I love the title of this post.


  3. I just purchased your book, and I LOVE your blog 🙂 I’ve been in a narcissistic relationship for several years. The information you provide is very, very informative. Thank you for your encouragement and enlightenment. Definitely starting this new year with 2 feet firmly planted.


    • Thank you, lynn812!! I hope you enjoy my book (if that’s possible) and continue sharing here and on other blogs and sites. The more we share of our experience, healing, and recovery, the more we help each other. 🙂


  4. I think you two look adorable — not ugly. And I’m not just saying that. Clearly this woman was jealous of you two. Perhaps she could sense that you both lived in a very loving home an perhaps she didn’t which is why she dislikes the two of you so much. You’d be surprised what can drive someone to hate. I grew up with a girl who hated me an made my life miserable. We were poor and she made sure to rub it in every chance she could get. Many years later (after graduation) I found out her father was molesting her. It all made sense to me after learning of this disturbing news.


    • It is really sad when we learn about tragedies like the girl who bullied you. But I firmly believe that there is no excuse for abuse, and many people grow up in not-so-pleasant environments and never become abusive. I have never learned that “Shayna” suffered anything other than the pain of not getting what she wanted when she wanted it. Hehe! Thank you for sharing your experience. 🙂


  5. Awh you rememberd!!! I miss those care free days.. Take care Paula


  6. I remeber playing with you all in your yard. It was alwasy fun. Your mom was the best!! All four you are so beautiful!!


  7. As you point out, narcissists and mean people are beyond reason. They don’t exist in the same reality as others, and thus, their motivations are completely foreign to us. I always so appreciate your honesty. I learn a great deal.


  8. beautiful pictures! great story of asking the right question! It’s unfortunate that that happened to you but it’s an experience that helps.

    I like and agree with Abbri’s comment: some people are born bad and will die bad.

    It sort of goes against the grain particularly in contrast to any serious religious persuits/activities BUT if you look close at any and all religious beliefs, EVIL exists and it is true, some individuals are born bad/evil and will die as such.

    Our purpose for living is to LEARN how to BE and Evolve not to stay in the ‘gross’ and Devolve. Our lives are to help our souls; some souls are evil and will be that way for eternity.


    • Right on, Gert! I think the harshest reality I have had to face over the last year is that there is evil in humanity. I could read as much as I wanted to about civilization and wars and never truly grasp the darkness until the darkness touched me. And it touched me. And I fought it. But I didn’t win because it’s still out there. So, I’m left to talk and write about it in the hopes of reaching others who have experienced it, too. 🙂


  9. What a memory to have! It’s true, you didn’t forget the words, the hurt, or the resolve to know who you really are…it’s amazing we continue to deal with unbelievable behavior from others when we know it is absurd, untrue, ridiculous, but so hurtful. It’s taken me 55 years!! It’s like we are agents of such incredible strength to bear the brunt of these truly evil entities, (they are not even human almost…), for the purpose of us having to state the truth now, and having the courage to finally finally finally not accept or explain or feel sorry for or rationalize or reason with ANY statements or behavior that treats us with anything less than honor, dignity, and respect 100% of the time. Thank you, again, Paula, for sharing your insights, your pain, and your healing with us. It helps so very much in so many ways.


  10. Your Mother was right: Each of her girls are beautiful!


  11. it’s so sad that people can be this cruel. i’m glad you had the backing of a friend and didn’t belive the words of the narcissist. xo


  12. Not so long ago, before my 6-year P “relationship”, my first thought after reading your story would be “Shayna must have low-esteem as a result of an abusive home situation or something like that.

    Not so anymore. It took 53 year for me to finally get it, some people are born bad and will die bad.


    • I spent many years wondering why she behaved and said the things she said. I mean the girl wanted to really hurt me and would have if my friend hadn’t stepped in. I always thought someone had hurt her or that she had been abused by her boyfriend. But there was and is no excuse for any of it. I refuse to feel sorry for her, either. 🙂


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