The Narcissist’s Wife
“Mike Pazzo was my husband.
He was also a narcissist.
Every conversation with Mike was a fight. I couldn’t hold my own, much less win those fights. Why did every conversation have to be won or lost? Damn, it was exhausting. He beat me down with his barrage of caustic words and his superior argumentative techniques. And he loved it.
Sometimes I’d fall at his feet, prostrate in absolute abject defeat just to get him to stop yelling at me. I’d sit back on my heels and bow to him, which he loathed. I’m not sure whether he was disgusted or infuriated. I’m not even sure whether I was being sarcastic or authentic in my show of submission.
In those moments he would ball up his fists in silent fury—and walk away. That is when I began to wonder when he would hit me. When—not If. It was only a matter of time before his abuse became physical. He was a violent man on the inside.
In that moment, I knew there was no turning back. I was the trapped fox that gnaws off its own foot to escape. Freedom at all costs. Even if you leave part of yourself behind…”
What People Are Saying
I binge read The Narcissist’s Wife all in one day while traveling. I found it completely unputdownable. It sucked me in so that I simply had to finish it. Bravo, Laura Mansfield. This is a tale well told. Highly recommended.
Laura Adams Johnson
Laura Mansfield can weave a tale like no one else – like you are having a conversation with her. I cannot wait to see how successful she becomes! Extremely good read and highly recommended.
The Care and Feeding of Old People
Birthed from a series of Facebook posts Mansfield originally shared to help her cope with the frustrations, heartaches and small joys of caring for her aging parents, Geezer Stories will resonate with an entire generation who are facing similar challenges.
“We are the Taffy Generation,” Mansfield explains, “pulled in two different directions. As we live longer and have children later, we find our parents becoming frail and helpless, just as our children are becoming independent and leaving the nest (or not, but that’s a whole ‘nuther conversation). Just as our babies didn’t come with an operator’s manual, there is no how-to guide for taking care of old folks. We’re all flying blind as our parents slide into their second childhoods.”
Dividing her memoir into “Rules for the Care and Feeding of Old People,” Mansfield tackles the uncomfortable realities of growing old, and those unpleasant End of Life discussions that border on being downright taboo, with equal measures of pathos and playfulness.
“Geezer Stories is about finding the happy in the heartache,” Mansfield muses. “It’s about forgiveness, letting go of the past, loving imperfectly. It’s about accepting our parents’ failings as well as our own. It’s about finding that intangible sense of community and support we all need as we face this uncharted journey of parenting our parents together with compassion and shared understanding. If we can somehow find the humor and humanity in it, perhaps we ease the pain a little—maybe enough to get us through the soul-crushing times. After all, what choice do we really have? None of us are getting out of here alive.”
What People Are Saying
This book describes all of these truths while making sure to find the joy. The writing is rich. Its format reflects our present as well as our past. It is fast but timeless. And it will resonate for generations to come.
Mary M. Barrow, author of Small Moments
I laughed out loud in places, cried in others. I highlighted some places, savored others, and looked forward to reading more. It stimulated thoughtful conversations between my husband and me about growing up, parenting, forgiveness, and how come we were having onions for dinner again (Couldn’t. Put. It. Down.).
Mary Lane DeChellis