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Teen with Narcissistic Tendencies. Help.
September 5, 2014 3:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm Dean of Students/Special Ed teacher at a therapeutic high school and I really need some help about how to work with a teen who has narcissistic tendencies.

We're a smaller highschool of about 80 kids; most of the kids have histories of trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety and many hany have diagnoses of emotional disabilities.

We have a new teen, Libby. Libby's behaviors are causing everyone to pull out their hair because we've never had a kid like this before. She has NOT been diagnosed with anything; her history involves years of school refusal, her parents sending her to wilderness, boarding, Waldorf and other private programs; she went to all for a few weeks and she left. She's now with us and our goal is to get her to come to school and eventually graduate. She's 17 and has one year of high school credit.

She has received no formal diagnosis and she does not have any form of autism, but presents with behaviors typical of narcissists. And we have little idea how to support her.

After speaking with staff and clinicians, everyone reports these behaviors:

* She very rarely stops talking. Mostly about herself, but when not doing that she will otherwise make large, non-related leaps about her strongly held (and always inaccurate) opinions. She has said to staff that she likes to argue and that's all she really wants to do.

* Here's a recent example. In history, the teacher was having the kids brainstorm the differences between humans and our earliest ancestors. Students said humans share language, ideas, create art, have government, religion, etc. and Libby continually poked holes in everything, asserting that some chimps can speak, create art, have religion. I may not be getting this across strongly enough but all she wanted to do was disprove everyone, using arguments that were completely inaccurate.

* She does this in every class and during lunch as well.

* When she's not disproving everyone, she's incredibly nasty about others. She refers to others disparagingly by their appearance (I'm the Miley Cyrus Wannabe, there's the douchebag with the hats...).

* So here's the thing. I want to help this kid. And I need to help staff with tools to deal with her. We've already learned that if we ask her to say more about her idea and share, she ramps into scary hostility quickly and goes off on nonsensical tangents. If we ignore her, she gets louder. If we send her our of the room to speak with admins, she's back at it immediately.

She seems to only find value in tearing people down. None of us have ever worked with a kid so unable to read social cues, unable to stop herself, so clearly unhappy, and right now, unable to do school.

As a therapeutic school, we get that she's got things going on, and she's trying to express her unhappiness. We want to work with her, not punish her. We get there are issues. What we can't figure out is to help her learn where the line is and how to reign herself in.

She has been spoken to 1:1, we've modeled how to express herself in a more appropriate manner, and she appears during those times to understand, but then she's right back at it. Teachers have tried putting down sticky notes of warning, nothing changes.

To be clear, this isn't Asperger's. It's just the talking, no other signs.

How do we help a kid with overwhelming negativity and hostility? And one who can't seemingly stop talking and alienating everyone around her?
posted by kinetic to Education (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
She needs a therapist. That was me. She's had a hard time with nobody to trust and she's looking for absolute truths....something irrefutable...because nothing in her life has not let her down. She's looking to poke holes in the statements of generally accepted truth because she's certain there are holes. And she's putting people in pigeon holes to feel safe about who they are. Making her own facts, her own truths. She won't care that you hate her, because she knows you will inevitably. You need to get her trust. Don't be too gentle. She respects firm and decisive.


At least, that's who I was and how I was. I'm better now but I'm still looking for holes and a bit of an arsehole at times.
posted by taff at 3:52 AM on September 5 [7 favorites]


She needs a therapist.

She has an outside therapist and an in-school therapist who she sees daily. She also has weekly group therapy where she tries to talk over everyone, and kids have left in tears because of her.

We understand that she's looking for absolutes. I mean, we get why she's acting this way.

The question is...how do we best support her, within the context of the classroom and within the milieu? We need tools.
posted by kinetic at 3:55 AM on September 5


Have you talked to her about why you believe she acts the way she does?

"I see that you want absolutes, that you're looking for holes all the time. I'm happy for us to find them, because you're right, we accept more truths than we should...but you need to journal the statements you want to challenge and meet up with each respective teacher and nut out the biggest 5 at the end of each week. You can decide on the five, or I'm happy to meet with you and help you walk through the list before presenting it to your maths, English, history teacher for discussion. Interrupting and being rude won't get you a meeting, but a journal of points you disagree with will. My door is open."
posted by taff at 4:35 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Can you show her how her love of arguing and poking holes can be a strength? Get her involved in a debate club. Assign her papers where she has to argue against some strong opinion. Run mock trials or mock UN sessions in classes. Treat arguing with authority as a good thing as long as she does it in writing or in appropriate situations, and using good evidence and sources. If she wants to argue with the school about rules or something, get her to write her arguments in letter form, and if she does a good job, occasionally let her win some concession.
posted by lollusc at 4:39 AM on September 5 [5 favorites]


I have no expertise in this but I would try to channel this by, for example, assigning her to make a list in class of ways in which contemporary humans are different from our earliest ancestors and are not different from our earliest ancestors. In other words, get her to debate with herself whenever possible?
posted by DarlingBri at 4:53 AM on September 5 [5 favorites]


You might want to talk to the therapists about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and push with her parents for getting a better diagnosis. They're reluctant to do them before 18, but she's coming up to an age where it could be possible.

You might want to connect with previous teachers and schools to get ideas on what worked. If she's dominating conversations in classrooms, you can put limits on how many times she participates with something graphic like ten conversation cards to use per class.
posted by viggorlijah at 4:57 AM on September 5 [5 favorites]


The people at this camp may have some resources for you.
posted by Melismata at 5:19 AM on September 5


I would contact other alternative schools who have probably had students like this. I work in special education with cognitive disabilities and we've consulted with other schools who aren't as experienced in the severe disabilities we know a lot about. I just feel you've tried what you know so it's time to seek outside resources.
posted by Aranquis at 5:19 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


I have two thoughts. One is that you should be careful of thinking about her as narcissistic. I know you were careful to say "narcissistic tendencies" instead of NPD, but still try not to put her into a diagnostic framework involving a personality disorder. Teenagers don't yet have the stability to have personality disorders according to standard APA criteria, I believe, and it might be better to try to think differently.

Second, to me this girl sounds like she is intellectualizing a significant amount of anger, but what you've said in the specific example from class doesn't sound wrong. It sounds like a more complicated picture of what are indeed *actual* difficult to define differences bw humans and other animals. I get that she pokes holes in everything but perhaps her arguments could be dealt with differently. For example,instead of simply being annoyed that she was disagreeing with others' points, what if the teacher had said, for example, "OK, chimps do have a kind of language, what is different about chimp communication than human language?" Or "hmmm maybe we aren't that easily distinguished in these ways?" and incorporated her ideas into the conversation -- allowing difference to be more part of the brainstorm more than such a threat to a single threaded process?

And then yes, rules about how often she can participate in any given conversation. For example, you have to allow five people to speak before you speak again. Simple, turn taking rules.
posted by third rail at 5:26 AM on September 5 [14 favorites]


I wonder if looking for resources on managing gifted kids, especially younger ones, in the classroom might be helpful because of the needing to disprove everyone thing. Your chimpanzee example sounds very much like the sort of thing I would have done in fourth or fifth grade--other students were giving clearly wrong answers and that was frustrating.* You've said Libby will try and poke holes even when she's totally wrong, but I can imagine some of the same things work regardless of whether the student is right.

*Seriously, I'm still upset about the time in the fifth grade where I tried to point out that we had been told in the fourth grade that the liver wasn't an organ and the other kids acted like I was an idiot, totally missing what in my fifth grade mind was a clever remark about, I don't know, the reliability of what you're taught in school.
posted by hoyland at 5:38 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Here's what I think might have helped me: can you focus her on _helping_ other students, rather than just noticing problems? It's nearly impossible, sometimes, to believe that there's anything useful one can do, especially when one has so little power.

Having a way to solve some of the problems that she sees could be a true gift to her and everyone. Solving problems requires you to visualize and believe that improvement is possible. Achieving small victories like this (please start small, with a high probability of success) will help build her belief that the world can be made better, and that her life can be better. Maybe she could be a meliorist.
posted by amtho at 7:46 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Folks - the OP is clear about trying to build on her arguements: "We've already learned that if we ask her to say more about her idea and share, she ramps into scary hostility quickly and goes off on nonsensical tangents."
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:08 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


To be clear, this isn't Asperger's. It's just the talking, no other signs.

I'm sure you're working from a lot more information than I have, but I would be really cautious about jumping to conclusions when assessing AS in girls. There's a huge gap between diagnosis rates in males and females, with 10 boys diagnosed for every girl when estimates of the actual rate of occurrence are closer to 4:1, and many of the classic AS signs in boys don't manifest quite the same way in girls. Girls with AS will also tend to hide many of their symptoms more effectively due to socialization and higher stigma; you might never know that she had obsessive special interests if you didn't pry it out of her. Girls with AS are often misdiagnosed as borderline, bipolar, or narcissistic and they tend to be great mimics even though that mimicry is often out of their control (does one of her parents have NPD?).

Many of the symptoms you cite read as possible AS to me: taking things overly literally, arguing inconsequential points endlessly, completely unable to read social cues, presumably unable to make and keep close friends, overly blunt about their judgments of others, highly inflexible. Does she do well with a very predictable routine? Does she speak a little formally sometimes?

Just something to think about - I'm sure my teachers would have said that AS was out of the question for me too, but several bad diagnoses later, I realize that's because they would mostly have been looking for male-skewed symptoms and that I hid my symptoms very, very well (even while acting out in other ways).
posted by dialetheia at 8:39 AM on September 5 [6 favorites]


I have an idea for part of this challenge. In some odd way, I think that I was like this except that I gave the alternative point of view/pointed a hole through an argument, and then after a few rebuffs shut down and refused to engage/partiicipate rather than lash out, so this is where I am coming from. I suspect many people have/had this commonality as a young person.

So let's go back to the brainstorming activity, monkeys vs. humans. Set up ground rules for brainstorming and what brainstorming is. You just want to present ideas to consider and eliminate the ones that will not be productive later. But the idea is to brainstorm, respect everyone's ideas, and get as many people to participate as possible. So you could say, for example, what is the universe. Maybe it is infinite. Another person could say it is in a square. Another could say it is in a circle. Thats fine, you are brainstorming, list as many ideas as possible. I would nth the "take turns" above or everyone won't get to contribute.

Then comes part B. Decide which ideas to accept/reject. Perhaps it is by consensus (a vote). But it is not the end. All students can have the option of finding outside evidence that the model is not correct. Agree on a source (mine is pubmed and peer reviewed references, I think high school students are not too young for this, but use whatever agreed about references by the high school facilitator). Challenge all students to find contrary evidence and if it is valid, a foot note will be added to that idea. But it should be presented outside class, during office hours, online, whatever is agreed upon. My bet is that she can and will find counter evidence, but use this activity to give her actual tools to engage with the conversation and be acknowledged. IF she or another student finds strong evidence to the contrary, then it should be presented in class, whether it is a sentence or hand out the article.
posted by Wolfster at 9:44 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


So let's go back to the brainstorming activity, monkeys vs. humans. Set up ground rules for brainstorming and what brainstorming is.

We've tried this. She will argue that's not what SHE wants to do, that's not what anyone wants to do, that they tried to make her do this in other schools and it's stupid, that's not HER definition of a class discussion, and that everything and everyone are stupid. She will ramp up quickly and Part B doesn't ever happen.

I appreciate the input about rigidity and it's possible leaning toward Asperger's, but it's not Asperger's.

It's this rigid hostility about EVERYTHING.

And to clarify my example before it's further misunderstood, she was adamant that chimpanzees literally speak English. She would not be persuaded otherwise. And they also have religions and some are Christian and worship God. Seriously, it was ALL wildly wrong and she was 100% adamant that she was right.
posted by kinetic at 10:01 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Can you set up a token economy, where she gets rewards for letting other people speak, or for saying a positive thing about someone? (That's such a 101 thing I suppose you've already done it.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:15 AM on September 5


she was adamant that chimpanzees literally speak English. She would not be persuaded otherwise. And they also have religions and some are Christian and worship God. Seriously, it was ALL wildly wrong and she was 100% adamant that she was right.

I have to say, if I were in high school and asked to brainstorm a simple list about how humans are different than their ancestors with items like "language" and "art," and if I were feeling that basically I was supposed to agree and that intellectual consensus was the expected climate -- and if I sensed that *this brainstormed list itself was wrong* because it was way, way too simple -- I also would have been tempted to throw in outlandish assertions. Being a more compliant kid, I would have just written those outlandish things down and passed them to a snickering friend, or maybe kept them to myself, but i would have felt like saying them out loud.

If I sensed the whole atmosphere in the classroom was supposed to be total centripetal energy, I would have wanted to turn it to centrifugal energy. And if I had been a kid who was troubled enough not to care about getting in trouble, maybe I would have done it.

And if I sensed a teacher was asking me to "share" my wrong ideas through gritted teeth because everyone already thought I was a big PITA problem, I would not have shared my ideas. If I thought people were saying they wanted to help me when I was saying wild things, I would have felt -- though not been able to say -- that I wanted to rebel against the power structure that felt condescending to me.

I get that this kid is a problem everywhere she goes, but -- am I wrong? please ignore if I am wrong -- there is an implicit tone in the question that although you want to help her, she is uppity, that troubled kids are supposed to be humble in some way I can't quite think they are all going to comply with. Seriously -- saying the principal looks like a Miley Cyrus Wannabe doesn't sound that horrible. Just not very.. respectful.

Surely if your school is for disturbed kids, you have policies for what happens when they break rules. Let this kid say whatever she wants when it's her turn to talk. If she talks more than her turn, treat it like any other rule infraction. But don't make it seem like she's supposed to make her ideas fit in or that she's supposed to be coherently humble. I think a kid like this will push back harder if she senses that ideas and contributions are supposed to be a consensus.
posted by third rail at 10:59 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


She sounds really angry.

her history involves years of school refusal, her parents sending her to wilderness, boarding, Waldorf and other private programs; she went to all for a few weeks and she left

Without knowing more, it sounds a little like her parents have been pawning her off to experts. Maybe there's something in their relationships? Are her parents engaged and concerned or exasperated and distant? Maybe it'd be an idea to involve them more closely, perhaps in therapy?

I know she's got some individual therapy, but is there anyone who she might feel cares about and really listens to her?
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:19 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


She has said to staff that she likes to argue and that's all she really wants to do.

This is extremely common with twice exceptional kids. Kids who have a high IQ and also some kind of learning disability, especially if they have not been diagnosed properly, often can't find another good way to get their intellectual needs met. It is a lazy means to get their needs met and it may be the only thing they know how to do.

My oldest son was like this when he was little. After he was finally identified as gifted and learning disabled, I was able to break him of it. It took two years but he never went back to being an utterly intractable asshole after that. Once I realized that he basically did this when bored, I began trying to give him something more constructive to occupy his mind.

Twice exceptional kids with no proper identification are often tortured souls. Being unable to get their intellectual needs met means their mind is starving and it literally starts making them crazy. My oldest son gets really, really wonky and difficult to deal with when he isn't getting enough intellectual stimulation. He was 16 before we figured out what worked for him.

Twice exceptional kids are hard to ID. Their strengths mask the weaknesses and the weaknesses mask the strength. Socially, they can read as being of average intelligence. This does nothing to help them deal with a combination of big strengths and big weaknesses.

I would try to get her assessed academically, not in terms of mental health but in terms of IQ and learning disabilities. If you can find some means to get her the intellectual stimulation she craves in spite of her difficulties, she will likely become a lot less difficult to deal with.

Additionally, having dealt with a few narcissists a good deal (including my oldest son), it helps to frame everything in terms that refer back to them. I raised my son on a policy of enlightened self interest. I told him consistently what was in it for him and did not expect him. For example, when he was about 8 years old and being a chronic, horrendous obnoxious asshole, after about 6 weeks of being tortured by him -- because watching me squirm was fun and entertaining and he didn't 'care' about my feelings -- I finally told him "The point at which you will care about my feelings is the point at which you want something from me and I tell you: NO, what the hell have you done for me lately?" We had a longish discussion about what that could mean and he got it through his thick skull that his cushy life could get fairly miserable without me being abusive. All I had to do was start withdrawing a lot of the niceties he took for granted.

So, I have learned to explain why he should care about what I want rather than simply insisting he should. I have learned to say "Here are the negatives that can occur if you misbehave and here are the positives that can occur when you handle things better." It's a bit more complicated than that -- it helps that I have a lot of compassion for him, I am very supportive, I have a proven track record of doing right by him, etc -- but simply as a communication device, his brain processes the information more effectively when I use language that tells him how it impacts him in specific. Otherwise a lot of social expectations simply fall on deaf ears. He doesn't get it.
posted by Michele in California at 11:46 AM on September 5 [8 favorites]


Oops:

I told him consistently what was in it for him and did not expect him.


I am not sure where I was going with that when it got butchered in editing. But it would work to say I did not expect him to just know or just understand the social stuff. He just doesn't. He really needs it clearly spelled out.

He is 27. Years of spelling it out means he does get it these days. But he just does not have the wiring other people have where they just have some inborn ability to go "But, OF COURSE blah blah blah" about social stuff. He was always "But, ma, WHY?!" His internal wiring boils down to "but why should I do anything for anyone else? Shit. What a waste of my fucking time! bwa ha ha ha ha!" So ms compassionate (that's me) had lots of long discussions with him about how "When your own mother gets tired of your shit and wants nothing more to do with your sorry ass, your life is going to get super duper hard. Cuz the rest of the planet already doesn't want anything to do with you. So let's try to not go there, mmmmkay?"
posted by Michele in California at 1:04 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


None of us have ever worked with a kid so unable to read social cues, unable to stop herself, so clearly unhappy, and right now, unable to do school.

This is how my attention deficit disorder manifested when I was younger. Adderall has really helped calm me down.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:33 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Here's a nice chart of female Asperger's traits. Not intending to push the AS thing at all, just wanted to provide some additional info that I didn't have time to find for my first comment. Best of luck, I hope she is able to find some peace.
posted by dialetheia at 3:37 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Surely if your school is for disturbed kids, you have policies for what happens when they break rules.

Yes to this, and I'm curious about the context overall. What are the consequences for this kid if she absolutely can't or won't comply with your rules about classroom deportment? Does she get kicked out and not get to graduate from high school, or what? You have written that you don't want to punish her, and I agree with that impulse, but it would be good to know what framework she is dealing with.
posted by BibiRose at 6:12 AM on September 6


What are the consequences for this kid if she absolutely can't or won't comply with your rules about classroom deportment?

All of our kids have proven track records of leaving other schools. Either they stopped going or they were asked to leave.

Because they know every trick in the book to get out of school, a big part of our therapeutic work involves individualizing success plans to ensure buy-in from the students to come to school, follow rules, and eventually graduate. It's a slow process with a lot of our kids.

When students don't comply with general expectations, they meet with their clinician. We work to figure out what the kid needs to do to get through school.

In cases where students choose to do nothing, those kids don't pass. Sometimes it can take a few semesters of failing all their classes for them to step up.

In cases where kids are outright overly disruptive and interfering with other students' learning, we call parents and have meetings to come up with options. This usually involves the kid working in an alternate space with slow exposure therapy to get them back into classes.

Sometimes we've had kids end up doing independent studies because they couldn't function within a classroom.

With this new student, we're all assuming that she's using her first line of defense of trying to be sent away, as that is her history.
posted by kinetic at 7:39 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


I agree that her behavior makes me think that she's got a lot of academic/intellectual intelligence, so she's bored by the classes and doesn't take them seriously -- but she's got very little social/emotional intelligence, so she's overwhelmed and confused by the other students and teachers and starts flipping out and freaking out at the smallest social or emotional challenge (like a class discussion or one-on-one attention from an authority figure or lunchroom talk or group therapy, etc).

Anger can be a pretty "easy" emotion to express, since it doesn't make you seem or even feel vulnerable. Is she able to identify and understand what she's actually feeling at any given time, *or* is she interpreting every emotion as anger (since that's a familiar and not frightening/vulnerable thing to feel)? Or she might be so alienated from her own emotions that she frequently doesn't even realize that she's feeling anything at all until she starts really explicitly expressing anger (i.e., does she realize she's upset -- and not necessarily angry, even -- before she starts yelling, etc?). I think that when she's feeling overwhelmed or lonely or confused or anything like that in class or with the other students (which is virtually always, because she's out of her depth socially/emotionally), she's reacting as though she's angry -- and likely even believes that she's angry or believes she's "calm"/feeling nothing much. So I think it might be helpful if you worked with her on identifying and acknowledging her own emotions. If you try to work with her on that while she's already in the midst of flipping out, she's probably just going to scream "anger!" or something at you, but it's something that she might be able to work on in quieter times -- I assume that you have programs for helping students learn how to identify and deal with their emotions, since you work with kids with EDs?

Also, since she's having a lot of trouble socially and seems overwhelmed socially, maybe some structured social support and teaching would make her feel more comfortable and less freaked out, and give her the social skills and emotional stability to start interacting with the other students and the teachers more appropriately. If even the group therapy is too much for her to handle without her getting wound up, is there a lower level of social support/teaching that you could do with her? It sounds like she has the social skills of a young child, and basically zero problem solving ability w/r/t social problems, and imo I think you've got to start with where she's at, instead of where she "should" be because she's 17.

I also second creating a *very* structured, predictable environment for her. She seems to me to be doing the classic kid thing of being terrified that nobody has things under control, and deciding implicitly she therefore needs to take control of things herself (albeit, it a counter-productive, obnoxious way, because she doesn't actually have the skill or knowledge to be in control of everything/the school/her life). I disagree with the idea of trying to persuade her to go along with things because they're more logical or productive, because that's just going to make her feel, again, that nobody is in charge and therefore everything is chaos. I think that the best thing would be if you're able to convince her that things *aren't* in chaos and that she can count on things going in a predictable and safe way that she can definitely handle. Not that the world is actually like that, but she seems so massively insecure and freaked out that she needs that reassurance right now.
posted by rue72 at 11:13 AM on September 27


Wanted to update. We did a lot of intensive work with her about framing, about specifically the things we appreciated about her and where she was doing really well (and this was in no way an easy list to compile as she went out of her way to berate, insult, curse at and belittle students and staff), we created an independent study for her to try.

She decided to stop coming to school two weeks ago and we have not seen her since. Her parents call in every morning, say, "No Libby today," and that's the end of it.

We're all disappointed in this turn of events. But we can't help everyone, I suppose.
posted by kinetic at 4:50 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]


What if you wrote her a letter (or rang her personally ) and asked her to come back because of the x/y/z personal things about her that you and the staff had appreciated and noticed. A proactive approach might be better than passively waiting. Just a thought.
posted by taff at 7:15 PM on October 9


We're all disappointed in this turn of events. But we can't help everyone, I suppose.

It's only been two weeks. You don't yet know how the whole thing will play out. Frankly, it sounds to me like you hit a nerve -- like you did something effective and it scares her that she might need to actually make an effort, do a little changing, that kind of thing. When I learned about face blindness and told my older son I thought he was face blind, he did major denial stuff and I dropped it. It took him six weeks to be comfortable admitting that it hit a nerve and we had a quiet little talk just between the two of us where I was very hands off (keeping my big fat blabber mouth mostly closed) and mostly let him talk so he wouldn't clam up again.

She is old enough that this is an entrenched thing already, in spite of her young age, and you are likely the first school that didn't just tell her she was bad and she was the problem. She has likely built up this whole defense mechanism and justification for her bad behavior and so on. Getting treated like a human being for a change can make a person feel vulnerable and threatened in a way that the abuse no longer does once you are inured to everyone else being an asshole.

I think you did good and I think, ultimately, this is really between her and her parents, who have apparently been shuffling her off to various schools to make it the school's problem, not the parents' problem. And sometimes we do not get to learn how much we impacted someone's life. Or sometimes we learn it a long time later.

But I wouldn't yet jump to any conclusions. My oldest son dropped out of preschool at age 3 because it was too much for him but then, a month later, he wanted to go back. It was too late to go back. The slot was already full and the school year was nearly over. A few weeks later, I stuck him in a two week summer camp thing they did and that satisfied him. So I wouldn't assume this is show is over just yet. I mean, the parents are still calling. They haven't yet said "We are done with you." Given they have known her longer than you have, I would take their behavior as a signal that they have not yet given up, which may suggest she sometimes does this and then later changes her mind.
posted by Michele in California at 10:36 AM on October 10


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