My New Book Is Almost Ready For Publishing!

Good news!

My current book, “It’s All About ME! The Facts About Maternal Narcissism” is almost ready for publishing in print & ebook forms! I am hopeful to have this done in the very near future. I’d like to say within a few days, but since I never know how I’m going to feel (thank you, C-PTSD), I’ll say within a couple of weeks instead just to be safe. I will post when it is published, & share links of where the books can be purchased.

Thank you everyone for your support & encouragement while writing this difficult book!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism, Writing

A Sad Legacy – The Death Of A Narcissist

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I’m sorry for being missing in action. It’s been a crazy week, but I think all is settling down now & I can get back to writing. At least I sure hope so!

My husband & I were out this past Saturday, & at the last minute decided to stop by a local cemetery. His brother is buried there, as are a former classmate of mine & my mother’s mother. We visited his brother first. It was a painful few minutes- my husband was close to his brother, & his death from AIDS was a painful thing to witness. Then we visited my former classmate, Scott, who died only 4 years after graduation in a car accident. Scott & I weren’t close, but even so, his death was very sad. He was a good person, & died so young. Then we went over to my grandmother’s grave. I felt nothing as I stood there, looking at her bare gravestone- a basic metal plaque with only her name & dates on it. She had no flowers on her grave, nor did I have any desire to put any on there, although I did wish I’d taken some to my late brother in-law & classmate.

I got to thinking after we left. Hubby’s brother has a basic marker- his parents are the very no frills type, so this makes sense. Yet even so, it says “beloved son” on the marker along with his name & dates, & flowers were put on his grave recently. Scott’s family went above & beyond- they got him a huge marble plaque that covers his grave. A lovely poem is on it, Scripture & a picture taken not long before his death along with his name & dates. There are always flowers on his grave, even though he’s been gone since 1993. I even thought about my paternal grandparents. Grandmom died in 1996, Granddad in 2003, yet there is always evidence of someone having been at their graves. They also have a lovely, ornate joint headstone.

And then, there is my mother’s mother.

A basic plaque with only name & dates on it marks my grandmother’s grave. No “beloved mother” or any Scriptures. She didn’t even have flowers in the vase. It made me a bit sad thinking that no one showed love for my grandmother, including me, which made me feel rather guilty. Then I got to thinking about some of the things she did to me. My grandmother was a narcissist, which is obviously where my mother learned her narcissistic ways. She was an evil, cruel woman who cared nothing for anyone, not even her own family, other than what they could do for her. I also remembered how she once saw one of my cousins crying, saying how much our grandmother hurt her once, & she turned away from my cousin, indifferent to her suffering. Countless times, I saw my grandmother hurt my mother with her cruel words & try to start trouble between my mother & father. When my grandmother died, I was upset, but not because I missed her. It was because our relationship was such a waste- she hated me & didn’t mind letting me know that. I was actually relieved when she died, not sad. She had stopped speaking to me a year before, never telling me why. I always waited thinking she would suddenly call, acting like nothing happened, & wanting something from me. When she died, I felt relief knowing that couldn’t happen.

Thinking about all of those things, it makes sense that there is no love shown to my grandmother by putting pretty flowers on her grave. It also looked as if no one has been to her grave in a while as the grass around her grave marker was somewhat overgrown. I didn’t go to her funeral, but from what I heard, there weren’t a lot of people there, nor was there a get together after.

How very sad that few people can be affected by someone’s death. What a legacy to leave! It also reminded me of the Scripture in the Bible that says, “what a man sows, that also shall he reap.” My grandmother sowed a life of discord & heartache, & she is still reaping a harvest of indifference.

I decided to write this out for those of you whose narcissistic mothers have already passed on, are elderly, or if you are thinking about what may happen when your narcissistic mother passes away. My prayer is when that time comes, you don’t feel guilty for not wanting to take flowers to their grave weekly or even for being relieved they are gone. You reap what you sow in life. No one is immune to that law, including narcissistic mothers. After years of abuse at her hand, do you really think you will feel sad for losing her? It is truly a sad legacy, leaving behind a child or grandchild that is glad you’re gone, but it is also a natural occurrence in abuse cases such as with narcissistic mothers.

Also remember when that time comes, you aren’t alone. I dare say most adult children of narcissists feel the same way, but are afraid to admit it to anyone for fear of being judged. If you have someone safe to talk to, then by all means, please talk to them about how you feel. If not, then write it out. I wrote my grandmother a letter after she died, & left it under her grave marker. No one knew I did it at the time. It helped me tremendously, getting out my feelings, even though I knew she obviously never would read it.

Pray about what you’re experiencing too. God can handle hearing it, & knows what you’re feeling & thinking anyway. You can’t shock Him. And, He will comfort you & heal your pain. <3

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Depression And Suicidal Thoughts

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

By now, I’m sure many of you have heard about Robin Williams’ untimely death yesterday. It’s such a great tragedy when someone commits suicide. He seemed like a good man, & was a wonderful actor. I loved his more dramatic roles, such as in “Awakenings”, “What Dreams May Come” & “Insomnia.” He was very talented! I pray God comforts all affected by his tragic death.

My hope is that this sad situation will help to raise awareness of mental illness, depression & suicide prevention & help to remove the stigma of such things. These things should never be taken lightly or mocked, yet sadly they are.

I have spent more time than I care to admit in my life suicidal, & I can tell you, it is a terrifying, dismal place to be when you are in that depth of despair. It feels as though there is no escape other than death, & death seems to be calling you. There is no hope, & no desire to go on living. After all, you believe no one will care if you’re gone anyway, so what is there to live for?

If you are suffering with depression, PTSD or C-PTSD, you know these feelings all too well. Please, please PLEASE do not act like they are no big deal! Talk to someone! If you don’t have someone safe to talk to, there is always the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Their phone number is 1 (800) 273- TALK. Someone is waiting to talk to you there who can help you. Please call them. You are here for a purpose! God loves you as you are, & wants you to be here at this time to fulfill a special purpose that only you can fulfill. You may not feel it, but you are greatly loved, & the world would not be the same without you!!

If you never have battled suicidal feelings, you are truly blessed! Chances are, however, that you may deal with someone who is at some point in your life. Please be gentle, supportive & understanding when talking with them. Listen to what this person has to say. Don’t give them useless advice such as “think happy thoughts.” Being suicidal is much more than thinking negatively. Don’t judge them, & offer input only if you are asked for it. Try to see what the person is saying through their eyes, not yours. Display unconditional love, empathy & support. Pray with this person & for him or her.

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Some Thoughts On Anger

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!

I just read something that said “Never remain silent if someone you suspect is being abused!” I also read something else that encouraged people to speak out against abuse by telling their stories. Something clicked in my little mind when I read both of these things…

I haven’t discussed much publicly about my relationship with my in-laws, because I didn’t want to take a chance on upsetting or embarrassing my husband. As I’ve been writing my current book about maternal narcissism, my narcissistic mother in-law & all she put me through naturally has come to mind. A lot. Even though I really hadn’t thought much about her in a long time since I stopped speaking to her in 2002.

As a result, I am very angry with her right now. Even to the point I hate her instead of feeling my usual indifference. I truly detest the feeling of hatred for anyone!! Thankfully, I know I will forgive her & it will be gone soon, but right now? Yuk.

I think silence about abuse serves so many purposes, none of which are good or healthy, & all of which only benefit the abusive person. Growing up, my mother demanded absolute silence from me regarding what she did, & if she even suspected I was telling anyone, even my father, about what she did to me, I was screamed at & berated. My mother was protected & allowed to abuse me by no one knowing what she did at home, & me acting as if all was fine so no one would be suspicious.

Something else happened during that time, too, that I just thought about today. (And yes, it does connect to my mother in-law, I haven’t forgotten!) Part of maintaining the appearance of normalcy & keeping her abuse a secret meant that I was never allowed to be angry about anything, but especially being abused. If I showed any anger, or even frustration for that matter, my mother told me I have “that Bailey temper” & shamed me for it. (Side note: my family members don’t really have bad tempers. Yes, they get angry sometimes, but doesn’t everyone?! They aren’t destructive or foolish when angry.) As a result, I learned early in my life not to get angry- to stuff those feelings down & ignore them. I have carried this dysfunctional pattern into my adult life, only getting really angry a few times & calming down pretty quickly in the twenty-years I have lived out of my parents’ home.

Until today.

I realized the extent of how badly I have done this burying anger thing today. I do it without thinking about it, it’s just an automatic behavior. So much so that although my mother in-law has obviously hated & mistreated me since we met, I never got really angry with her until today. Sure, I got mad sometimes, & my husband & I fought about her, but the anger was usually short lived. It didn’t help he didn’t like me getting angry with his mother, & would get mad at me for what she did. Today I thought of some of the evil, narcissistic things she has done to me over the last 20 years I’ve known her, & for the first time, I have felt rage & even hatred for her. Somehow, I finally gave myself permission to be angry at her today. I really realized how devious & evil some of the things she has done to me are, & how I did not deserve any of them. It’s scary being angry as I’m not accustomed to it, & I’m not liking hating her. Yet at the same time, it kinda feels good to get angry for once. To realize I didn’t deserve any of her abuse, too. The anger is certainly justified- I could tell some stories that would curl your hair!- & long overdue.

The point (finally, huh? lol) is that I am willing to bet that it isn’t just me. That others of you raised by a narcissistic mother also learned early on to bury your anger, either to help create the illusion of normalcy or so your mother wasn’t “inconvenienced” with your anger. Or both. But I want to tell you today that this is NOT healthy! You have a right to be angry when maddening things happen! You have a right to be angry when you’re abused or mistreated! I like what the Message translation of the Bible says :

Ephesians 4:26-7

” Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”

It is ok to be angry! It is NOT ok to hold in that anger or ignore it, & allow others to treat you badly. This is NOT healthy physically or mentally! It is perfectly ok to be angry sometimes, so long as you don’t sin, & you are willing to forgive your abuser/offender when you are ready to do so. I know, this isn’t popular thinking in Christian circles, but I firmly believe I am right about this topic. How does not getting angry with someone who hurts you a good thing? Not only do you end up hurting physically &/or mentally from holding in that anger, but the person learns it is acceptable behavior to hurt others.

Give yourselves permission today to be angry sometimes. It’s truly ok! God will not hate you or strike you dead for being angry with someone who has hurt you. So get angry when it is appropriate, deal with that anger accordingly, & forgive that person when you are ready & able.

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“You Need To Do Something!”

Why is it when people hear you say something about your abusive parents, they say that YOU need to fix it rather than saying something to your abusive parents? That never fails to amaze me.

Yet again recently, I heard another comment along these lines. It was only one of MANY I’ve heard over the years, & when I thought about that, it really ticked me off. Over the years, I have heard things like, “YOU need to make things better with your parents” or, “YOU need to get into counseling so YOU can figure out how to fix things with your parents!” more times than I can count. The truth is I have tried to make things better with my parents, & even got into counseling when I was seventeen to try to figure out how to make things better with them. I have done all the work while they have done nothing.

Time & time again, I have tried talking to my parents about how their behaviors hurt me, & they don’t make any changes. They don’t listen to me enough to hear what I have said, nor care enough to change anyway. Two examples popped into my mind- I told my father that it really hurt me badly to hear him complain about my mother & their bad marriage to me. He said, “Oh ok. I’m sorry. But-” then he went on to complain about her for another forty-five minutes (I timed it). Since, he has not stopped griping about his marriage problems to me every time we spoke, aside for a short two month period after his sister spoke to him on the topic. Suddenly, he was right back at it again, though. The other example is with my mother. She insults my cats when she sees them. This one is too fat, that one too affectionate, etc. I have told her over & over again to knock it off, yet she didn’t. One day on the phone, she asked if she ever offended me with something she’s said about the cats. *sigh* I told her yes & reminded her that I’d told her to stop it. She was shocked- she claimed she had no idea I was upset, let alone said anything to her.

So please tell me – why I am the one who should do all the work on a relationship with these people?

All relationships are a two way street, whether they are friendships, romantic relationships or a parent & child relationship. Any relationship that is one sided is not healthy! Even healthy relationships may be a bit one sided sometimes, but when that is the norm? It needs to stop, otherwise anger, bitterness & resentment build up in the one who does all of the giving. That person also can lose self-esteem, because she may learn she is simply around to be used.

Don’t take those guilt trips when people tell you that you need to fix things with your abusive parent(s). I don’t, & I don’t believe I am being a bad person for it! You have every right to expect to be treated with civility & simple respect & courtesy, just like every other person. Doing all of the work in a relationship, even with a parent, is NOT civil, respectful or courteous to either person involved.

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Safe vs. Unsafe People

Good day, Dear Readers!

Over the last few years, I have reached the end of my tolerance for dealing with abusive, selfish, manipulative or narcissistic people. Having dealt with a couple of people like this recently, I thought I’d share some ways to recognize safe people vs. unsafe people.  So many people who have survived some type of abuse often attract unsafe people, & have trouble recognizing safe people.  I was that way too, but have learned the difference.  I hope this post will help you to learn the difference!

Safe people respect your time- they don’t assume you are going to wait for them to call or show up at a certain place. Unsafe people, however, have no respect for your time or life.

Safe people ask, rather than make demands. Unsafe people are entitled, believing they deserve whatever they want or need, even at the expense of others.

Safe people do not jump to conclusions. For example, if you don’t answer the phone, they don’t call you back 15 times in a row. Safe people assume you are unavailable, & either wait for you to call them back or they call you back several hours later or the next day. Unsafe people call you back repeatedly, assume you didn’t answer the phone because you are mad at them, or try to make you feel guilty or get mad at you for not answering their call. That is a control tactic- forcing you to deal with them on their terms.

Safe people aren’t judgmental & critical. They don’t say things like, “well if I were you, I would-” or judge or criticize you for decisions you make, things you like, etc. Those are invalidating behaviors are cruel!

Safe people help & support you, rather than mock you or tell you how your problem affects them. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, as I have experienced this many times. The day my dog, Danya, died suddenly & unexpectedly, while my husband & I were trying to gather his body (he was over 100lbs- not easy to move him!) to take him to the vet’s for cremation, my mother called. I told her what happened & what we were doing. She went on & on about how upset she was over his death, not asking once how my husband, I or our pets were doing.

Safe people don’t expect you to be their “trash can.” What I mean is when a person dumps all of their problems on you, & expects you to listen to whatever they want to talk about while ignoring anything you have to say. That is being a trash can. Unsafe people do this trash can thing all of the time.

I hope this helps you to recognize the safe, good people in your life. Remember, you deserve to be surrounded by safe, loving, compassionate, empathetic people. You do NOT deserve to be abused & mistreated!

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Physical Pain, Stress And Trauma

Good morning, Dear Readers!

I was just talking with a friend of mine about the physical pain she suffered with for years. Finally, she found someone who not only believed she was in pain, but also found the solution for her!

This got me to thinking about myself. When I was 19, my mother threw me into a wall. As soon as I hit that wall, I felt & heard what felt like every single vertebrae in my spine pop loudly. The pain & fear of that moment made me black out briefly, it was that intense. It was so bad in fact, I had to quit working a few months later at age 20 because of the pain. I had pain constantly for the next 10 years until one day when I was watching Joyce Meyer on television. After she was done preaching, she prayed specifically for people with back pain. My husband prayed too, although I didn’t know it at the time. Within a few days, my pain was gone!

The early days of that injury were awful. I spent so much time visiting doctors. No one believed I was in pain. No injuries showed up on the xrays. They said my MRI was fine, but it “disappeared” never to be found again, so no one but the one doctor, an especially cruel & sarcastic man, saw the results. One doctor even wrote in his report I was “fine & able to work” in spite of me repeatedly telling him otherwise. I had one doctor, a very sweet, gentle chiropractor, who believed everything I told her. To top it off, my mother, the reason for my pain, told people I was faking it so I wouldn’t have to work. She often poked or slapped me right where my pain was, or handed me something heavy- anything to make me hurt.

It was a painful time in many ways. Aside from the physical pain, it hurt having doctors act like I was crazy, making this whole thing up or being lazy, like my mother said. After about a year or so, I gave up seeing doctors. It was absolutely frustrating & a waste of time. I also doubted the pain I felt. With so few people believing me, & reminding me often of that fact, I really wondered sometimes if I was making it up. Even when I would be in pain, I wondered about it sometimes.

Then in 2010, July 25 was a rough day. While at a now former friend’s wedding reception, a storm moved into the area. As soon as the storm was over, we quickly came home & learned our home had been struck by lightening. The insulation around the one window air conditioner had caught fire, but quickly extinguished itself. Coming so close to losing our home & the furkids terrified me! My husband told my father about it, & the next time we spoke, Dad told me he told my mother what happened. He said “we could’ve lost our daughter” & my mother’s response was “you’re making a big deal out of nothing.” Her lack of caring, although not surprising, was extremely painful for me. I also learned my ex husband’s mother died that day. I’d loved her, so even though I hadn’t seen her in 16 years, it still upset me. Shortly after, one of our cats passed away very suddenly. A couple of weeks later, as I was leaving a store, my shoe caught on the curb, throwing me into traffic where I was almost hit by a truck. Shortly after that, I ended a 22 year long friendship. Somewhere during this very traumatic time, my back went out one day. I woke up in pain, & it got worse until I could barely move. I was afraid I was back to living with the constant pain I had in my 20’s. Thankfully, a friend of mine who does massage helped me quite a bit, & the pain was gone within a few days.

This friend suggested that rather than have a nervous breakdown as I’ve had before, I had a physical one this time. After all, I’d been through a lot recently. I researched stress & back pain. That search led me to PTSD, & how I think it was 55% of people with PTSD suffer lower back pain with no physical cause. That blew me away! It also led to me researching PTSD further, which later led to me researching C-PTSD.

PTSD & C-PTSD can lead to a lot of physical pain with no physical cause. Muscle aches & pains from the stress of being constantly “on guard” are very common, as are headaches, migraines, neck pain, digestive issues & inflammatory disorders (arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc). Personally, I have had arthritis since I was 31, but also get aches & pains all over when the C-PTSD flares up. When I am really stressed, my lower back aches terribly.

If you are suffering with some type of physical pain that your doctors say is “all in your head” or don’t believe is as bad as you say, it may be time to ask for a referral to a mental health professional. You too may be dealing with PTSD or C-PTSD. Or, you may be dealing with too much stress & need to learn healthy ways to cope. In any case, please learn from my experience- no telling how much pain I could have saved myself if I had seen a psychiatrist when I was 19.

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“But That’s Your Mother!” And More So-Called Wisdom

Hello, Dear Readers!

I just thought I’d share part of a conversation I had with a very good friend yesterday…

I told her about some of the things I’ve heard from those with good relationships with their moms. I’m sure you other daughters of narcissistic mothers know these lines too…

But that’s your MOTHER!”
“She won’t be around forever!”
“You need to find a way to get along with your mother!”
“She is the only mother you’ll ever have!”

“She can’t be that bad!”

Oh yea. Fun times.. NOT.

I believe most people who say these things really just can’t believe the outrageous stories of a narcissistic mother. They can be hard to believe, after all. Or, they’re trying to help, albeit in an ignorant way. But whatever their intentions, hearing things like these can be so hurtful & frustrating!

Anyway, I told my friend (whose mom was a wonderful lady yet she understands my complaints about my mom) that I would so love to just turn the conversation around sometime.. when I hear lines like that, I want to say something like, “You’re making that up. My mother hates me, so there is no way your mother actually loves you! She can’t be nearly as good as you say she is! You’re in denial!” Basically, do the same thing to them that they do to me- assume that all mothers are mean because mine is, & see how they like the generalization & being told what to do..

Has anyone ever tried this?? How did it work out? How do you handle snarky comments regarding your relationship with your narcissistic mother?

Just wondering.. :)

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Writing And Book Stuff

I read a wonderful article on writing this morning. It consists of advice from the Master of Horror himself, Stephen King!!

http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-king-on-how-to-write-2014-7? utm_content=buffer61d3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Whether you like his writing or not, if you wish to be an author of any genre, I strongly advise reading this article. The advice just makes sense! These tips are from his book, “On Writing- A Memoir Of The Craft,” which I also highly recommend. I love that book-it’s written very to the point, & it’s easy to understand, too. It’s also entertaining to read- it feels as if Mr. King is talking to you over a cup of coffee- & is chock full of wonderful advice.

And speaking of writing….

My current book about maternal narcissism is getting very close to completion. I hope you readers won’t be disappointed. It’s a bit shorter than I’d anticipated, but I believe it is full of tons of good information for daughters and sons of a narcissistic mother. I also believe the information is good for adult children of a narcissistic father as well.

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Progress On My Newest Book!

Good afternoon, Dear Readers! I thought you might like to see this…

With some very valuable input from the hubby, I created the cover for my new book. I’m not entirely sure this is going to be the title, but probably about 85% sure of it. (I’m toying with changing it from “The Facts About Maternal Narcissism” to “Parental Narcissism. Not sure though!) The wording will be the only thing that changes if I decide to change the title. I like the simplicity yet boldness of the cover.

Here is the front cover…

image

And, here is the back cover…

image

Now that the cover is complete, I’ll be getting back to work on completing the book! It’s getting close!

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