by Amanda Jane Avis

“WOOSH, ZOOM, WHIR!” are the sounds I heard, as I hurriedly threw my collection of cute and sexy panties on the bed. Which to choose? Lace? Satin? Pastel? I felt a cold sweat of nerves brewing, despite having just showered. The thrill of the unknown, anxious anticipation were the causes of my physical and emotional state. I had just been invited to the apartment of a man I was dating. Twenty years old and so naive, open hearted, enthusiastic and easy to please.

You’d think these traits as wonderful boosts and head starts for big things to come, my success and happiness. But what transpired at that one bedroom, nearly empty apartment in Westwood, CA affected me to the point of carrying its burden like a college backpack filled to the brim with every text book required throughout my UCLA career.

I chose a floral patterned, cotton thong. Not too frilly, but certainly sexy. I threw on some leggings and a UCLA sweatshirt and drove to his bachelor abode with such giddiness, I roll my eyes just reminiscing. When our touches brought the temperature in the room to a boil, I found myself lying on top of him with his hands just beginning to slide under my waistband. I thought, “I hope he likes the panties I chose!” He barely stopped kissing me to say, “I know what these are.” “Yes, my G-string,” I replied. “No,” he said. “These are stretch marks. I feel your stretch marks.”

WHAT? EXCUSE ME?! I was dumbfounded, completely and utterly stunned, confused, bewildered; a total deer in headlights moment. My body was on auto pilot, as I continued to reciprocate his lips’ movement. Silence accompanied my shock. I waited to hear him say he was simply teasing, that he’d never suggest there was anything amiss about what he felt on my thighs and bum. My goodness, regardless of my petite stature and non existent trunk, booty, derrière, I simply was not equipped to respond to such a comment that was meant to cut to my core.

He did not qualify his statement. He did not recant or explain it. This was the moment I needed to pull up my pants and march out the door…no, RUN and never look back! However, I stayed. I remained there with him and continued a relationship for a year, constantly hearing jibes about my body, my hair, my face and how they could be improved to his liking and acceptance.

You see, when dealing with someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), their responses to you and how you show up, no matter what, are criticized and the mass manipulation they practice has a power over those who are the slightest bit vulnerable, insecure and empathic. Why? Why did I stay in this confinement? I still don’t have a solid answer, twenty years after the fact. But I am reminded of this very innocent, turned hurtful scenario when I hear about other women who gave up their voice, their power.

I am not angry with myself anymore for this. I know now that I needed to learn some grand lessons about life, self love and respect. I am also positive that my daughter will be reminded, daily of her awesomeness, in every aspect of her being.

I chose to stay put that day, to be small. I chose that it was acceptable to shrink myself physically, mentally and emotionally so that the man who claimed such devout and sincere love for me could stand taller and have the platform to puff his chest broader. That expansion in him was a gift from me by agreeing to minimize myself.

Such sacrifice. No more. When words are so hurtful and damaging that they become believable and almost doctrine, and our actions follow suit, we have become an indentured servant. Only an enormous shift in our world has the potential strength to change our thinking. Our inner dialogue must come from the heart in order to heal and regain courage to be ourselves…beautifully, and perfectly flawed with the power to give and receive truth, love and be better, forever.

Amanda Jane Avis is a mover, writer, mother and dancer. To learn more, visit and

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