So, today in my writing group, I was given a picture prompt. It was a painting called “Kittens in a Cage”, and depicted two or three kittens, one of them in a bird cage. There was also a mama cat, sitting there looking rather annoyed as her babies played in the cage. The cage appeared to be on a table with a red velvet cloth covering it, stuck in the corner of a Victorian home, complete with satin wallpaper.
So I’m looking at this picture, and all that comes to mind is my Grandma’s house, the one she lived in when I was growing up. The house was amazing, and gorgeous. It had a formal parlor with a grand staircase running down one side, along with a beautiful chandelier that hung from a cathedral ceiling. The living room area was quite proper and opened into a majestic dining area, with an even more amazing chandelier to boast. The kitchen was off the formal dining area, and that’s where everyone ate three hundred and sixty days per year. Only certain holidays and special occasions warranted use of the Dining Room. Then, the formal china would be broken out, and the family dressed for dinner.
The basement was equally exciting, and it walked out to a huge back yard, complete with in-ground pool and a playground better than any park could offer, as far as I was concerned. The second floor of the house was full of bedrooms and bathrooms, including a nursery for whichever baby happened to be in the house at the time. If one walked through the nursery, she could find the stairs to the attic. This was no ordinary attic. It was as big as the rest of the house and the ceilings were about ten feet. There was a large bay window on one end, and the floor plan was completely open. They’d decorated it for my aunts, teens back then, so the carpet was blue and green shag and the walls were painted with stars and moons on a deep blue background. The furniture was contemporary for the time, and while the room was so unlike the rest of the house, it seemed to be a perfect topper. It was my very favorite part of the place.
The attic was a special place, to be sure, and receiving an invitation to go up was like Christmas for the little kids. Hanging out with my teenage aunts was a privilege that didn’t come often, but when it did, we thought we were on top of the world! My aunts were so kind to us, and as an adult, I realize how special that really is.
So as I’m writing this, it occurs to me that Grandma’s house might just make a great setting for a good story. Always good to have a setting.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.