Abusive Behaviors That Narcissistic Spouses Think Are Ok

Whatever narcissists do, they believe is ok.  Yet, if someone else does the same thing, that person can be wrong in the narcissist’s eyes.  Narcissists also use that behavior to shame & manipulate their victim.  Examples of this are especially clear in a marriage to a narcissist. 

When a marriage is rocky, it leaves each person very vulnerable.  It can be so easy to compare your spouse unfavorably to that handsome new coworker or that pretty cashier at the store who always smiles.  It also can go farther than that.  Sometimes a person will look at sexy pictures of other people on social media or even pornography.  If this were to happen in a healthy marriage, it would be a warning to both partners that they need to work on their marriage.  Not so with narcissists.  If they are the one looking, they justify it by insulting their partner.  They make sure their partner knows how much more attractive the person they are lusting after is or that if their partner was just better in bed, they wouldn’t have to look elsewhere for satisfaction.  If the non-narcissistic partner is the one looking at others, the narcissist will use this to shame their partner so badly, that partner will do anything the narcissist wants.  They will make the partner feel as if they have to make it up to them for the pain they have caused, yet nothing will be good enough.

Your narcissistic spouse does activities without you.  Most couples don’t share all the same interests, & do things separately periodically.  Narcissistic spouses are different.  They tell their partner they are doing things & the partner is not welcome to join them.  It may even happen often.  And somehow, the partner feels guilty for not attending with their narcissistic spouse.  If the situation is reversed & the partner wants to do something without the narcissist, the partner is accused of being selfish, heartless, & more.  Often, this ruins the event for the partner who feels guilty enough not to attend the event they once looked forward to.

Having secrets is ok for narcissists, but no one else.  Narcissists are very secretive.  Their cell phones are locked & no one is allowed to touch that phone but the narcissist.  If their spouse does the same thing, the spouse is berated, accused of cheating & other things that the spouse is not doing. 

Narcissists will wait a long time to tell someone they are married.  Everyone gets flirted with sometimes, married or not.  Healthy married people may enjoy the flattery, but quickly tell the person flirting that they are married, so thanks but no thanks.  Narcissists aren’t that way.  They may not tell the person they’re married.  They may even have an affair with this person who has no idea that this person is married.  Again, narcissists will find some warped way to justify the behavior such as by telling their partner the partner is physically unattractive or boring in bed.  If the narcissist’s partner did this same thing, even if the end result wasn’t an affair, the narcissist will rage.  There will be no excuse for not telling the flirting person that the partner is married the moment the flirting person said hello, according to the narcissist.

Narcissists may stalk an ex’s social media or even keep in touch with an ex, but their partner isn’t allowed to do the same.  A lot of people are a bit curious about an ex.  They may check their social media once in a while.  Or, they maintain a friendship after the relationship ended.  If their partner has a problem with this, they alter their behavior accordingly.  Narcissists are different, as usual.  They are allowed to stalk their ex either on social media or in real life & allowed to keep in contact with that ex.  If their partner is upset by this, the partner is accused of being jealous, insecure & other things.  Yet, let that partner simply say hi in passing to an ex who just happens to be at the grocery store at the same time, & the narcissist will be livid.

If your spouse behaves in such ways, you are most likely dealing with a narcissist.  These behaviors are NOT healthy & NOT normal!  You need to recognize that these behaviors are abusive & protect yourself accordingly!  Remember they aren’t personal or true.  They are about the narcissist only.  Learn & set healthy boundaries.  Learn about the Gray Rock method.  Most of all pray & let God help you learn what you need to do.

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An Update About My Books

I’ve been toying with the idea of creating some mini books for a while now. Each book being much shorter than the average, & focusing only on one topic at a time. I thought it could be a good idea since narcissism is a pretty overwhelming topic. These books help readers by not inundating them with too much information per book which makes them easier to read & absorb the subject matter. Plus, being shorter books, people can get exactly the information they want at a cheaper price than buying a larger book.

Mini books also are much easier for me to write. It’s almost six years to the day after I survived carbon monoxide poisoning & my brain is still not in a really happy place. I can write obviously, but it’s a much greater struggle now than it once was. I think it’s time to make my life easier in general, including with writing.

I just published the first three, & they’re available at this link on my website: https://cynthiabaileyrug.com/home/books-for-sale/mini-books/

Currently, all are available in only ebook format, but I am considering making them available in print as well. It’s so hard to know what to do like this anymore! People have very definite feelings of print vs ebook format, & those who prefer one over the other change like the wind!

Anyway I hope you like the new ebooks. More will be coming in the future. As I mentioned recently, I’ll be getting rid of my free ebooks by the end of this month. I plan to add more information to them & charge a little for them. Not much, since they’ll still be rather short little ebooks.

Thank you to everyone for being supportive & wonderful! May God bless you! 💖💖

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Things That Scare Narcissists

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15% Off ALL My Print Books

Use code SHOP15 at checkout when you buy any of my print books & get 15% off until January 15, 2021!

Books can be found on my website at: https://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com or visit my publisher’s site directly at: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/CynthiaBaileyRug

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Encouragement For People Still In A Relationship With A Narcissist

January 12, 2018, I had an odd experience. It was my father’s birthday, the first birthday after his death. I was thinking about that when I felt strongly that he wanted God to send me a message.. “Encourage the weak, like me.”  I immediately knew in my heart what that meant.

At that point, it was just over 2 months since my father died, & in that short time, God showed me a great deal about him, including why he didn’t protect me from my mother. One of those things was that he felt trapped in their marriage, unable to escape. I believe that was what he meant by “the weak”, other people who also feel trapped in their situation.

Every January around his birthday, I try to encourage those who are still in relationships with narcissists as a result of that message.

If you’re still in a relationship with the narcissist in your life, I don’t think you’re weak at all.  I think my father used that word because he felt weak for not protecting me & wanted me to know others in similar situations also felt weak.  I get that, but I still don’t think you’re weak.  If you were, I doubt highly that you would have any interest in reading this post or anything else about narcissism.

Maybe you’re forced to stay because of financial reasons.  Narcissists abuse in every way, including financially.  Many narcissistic parents & partners steal money from their victim, ruin their credit, get them fired from their jobs or even forbid them to work. 

Many victims feel a sense of obligation to the narcissist.  My ex husband made me feel as if I owed it to him to be with him, even when I was miserable with him.  He hardly the only one who has done that to a victim.

Many stay because they mistakenly feel as Christians, it’s dishonoring their parents to go no contact or it’s a sin to divorce an abusive partner.  Sadly, many victims are encouraged to think this way either by narcissists & their flying monkeys or by those who don’t understand the Bible very well. 

Another possibility is that you can leave, but feel so beaten down, you don’t think you can leave.  You don’t trust in yourself to make it on your own without the narcissist telling you what to do, how to think, how to feel, what to wear, & on & on.  You don’t think you have any marketable skills to earn a living that could support you & maybe also children. 

Staying in a relationship with a narcissist takes a great deal of inner strength.  Fighting to keep your sanity in a completely insane situation day after day isn’t easy!  It takes a TON of courage & strength.

In spite of what many people say, no contact isn’t an easy solution that fixes all of your problems.  If that is your goal, know being prepared for it won’t happen overnight.  It takes time to build up the courage to do it, & courage to face the aftermath.  The narcissist most likely will create a smear campaign against you & send the flying monkeys.  Mentally preparing for all of that takes time, learning all you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & boundaries, a great deal of prayer & leaning on God to show you what do to, when to do it & how to do it. 

No, Dear Reader.. you aren’t weak.  You are strong.  The fact that you are looking for solutions to your situation shows you have strength.  Know that you will survive this with your sanity & dignity in tact.  Until you know what you need to do, always practice the Gray Rock method, keep & enforce healthy boundaries & focus on your healing.  You can get through this!!

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On Insulting & Critical People

My husband & I were watching a true crime TV show not long ago, as we often do.  On it, a man shot & killed another.  At the time, he was very high on drugs & paranoid.  He mistook a simple comment made by the victim as insulting & disrespectful, which infuriated him enough to shoot this man.

I thought about how ridiculous this is.  Even if the man had been insulting, who cares?!  That was no reason to kill the guy!

Growing up with narcissistic parents, people often go one way or another.  Some turn out like what the comedian Christopher Titus referred to as an insult Navy seal.  After your parent has said unimaginably cruel things to you & called you dreadful names, no one else’s insults can hurt you.  You’ve built up a high tolerance to insults, & it takes a LOT to upset you.  Then there are many other people who have gone the other direction.  They have a thin skin when it comes to insults, & are easily devastated.  You are the folks I am writing this post for.

Nobody likes to be insulted.  Pretty sure that is just a given.  That doesn’t mean insults need to be devastating though.  For one thing, no one can please everyone.  You can be a beautiful person, inside & out, highly intelligent, successful in every area of your life, & someone still will have something negative to say no matter how perfect you are simply because no one can please every single person.

For another thing, emotionally healthy people aren’t judgmental or critical.  They are usually way too focused on managing themselves, learning, growing & being good people to worry about picking someone else apart.  This tells me that the majority of critical people aren’t emotionally healthy, like critical narcissists.  Do you really care about the opinion of someone like that?

Many insults are said out of jealousy.  For an example, a person struggling in college may be very critical of their friend who appears to be sailing through without any problems.

There is also something called morbid envy.  Narcissists are quite prone to this.  They envy someone so much that they are excessively cruel to that person.  They can be extremely nit picky towards the subject of their envy too, such as criticizing small things like a woman having a broken nail or a man’s hair being slightly disheveled.  Another common sign of morbid envy is when a person receives a complement & the narcissist immediately insults either the receiver or giver of the complement or even both.  In any case, morbid envy makes a person very insulting towards others!

And don’t forget.. there is a big difference in someone being insulting & offering constructive criticism.  Constructive criticism is worded to offer help & be as not offensive as possible.  Insults aren’t said to help, but only to hurt.

My point in sharing these thoughts with you is to help you realize that when someone is insulting to you, Dear Reader, it’s not about you.  It’s truly about that person.

What they say also has no basis in reality, only in that person’s dysfunction.  An insulting person is trying to hurt or control you by any means possible.  That doesn’t mean that what they say is true.  In fact, most likely it isn’t even close.

If you can remember these points when you come across someone who is insulting & mean to you, it really will help you to avoid being upset by that person’s nastiness.  A different perspective can be a truly helpful thing sometimes, in particular when it comes to dealing with very dysfunctional, hateful people.

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Some Passive/Aggressive Ways Narcissists Abuse

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Making Some Changes To My Free Ebooks

I just got a email from one of the publishers I use. They will be making some changes that will affect my free ebooks, which has gotten me to do some thinking….

I’ve been considering retiring all of them & republishing with the other publisher I use to gain more exposure. Due to the changes, I plan to do just this.

Since I need to redo the ebooks anyway, I’m going to add more to them & they’ll no longer be free. Probably I’ll only ask a little for them, like maybe $.99 since I don’t plan to add a lot to them.

While these books won’t be free, my website, this blog, my YouTube channel & podcasts all still will be. There is plenty of information on these sources. While I’m glad to share all of the information I can, I need some more balance. I need to start charging for some of it. Helping people is great & I love it, but it also doesn’t pay the bills either!

I’ll retire my free ebooks by January 31, 2021. In the meantime, you can find them at this link:

https://cynthiabaileyrug.com/home/free-e-books/

You can find all of the other links I’ve mentioned on my website at this link:

https://CynthiaBaileyRug.com

Thank you for understanding! God bless you!

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Experiencing Grief After Narcissistic Abuse

A common feeling many people experience after narcissistic abuse is grief.  It makes sense since there is a great deal to grieve!  If the narcissist in question was a parent, you grieve the loss of your childhood, the pain of having a parent who didn’t treat you right or love you, the years wasted trying to please your impossible to please parent, the parent you wish you had & more.  If the narcissist was a spouse, there is grief too, because that person married you not out of love, but out of wanting to use & abuse you.  There is also time wasted with this person that could have been spent in much better ways.  You also may grieve the loss of the person you thought the narcissist was at first.   If you passed up a good person to marry the narcissist, there is regret & grief over losing that good person.  If you had children together, no doubt there is also a great deal of guilt over giving your children this terrible person as a parent. 

Whatever your situation, if you’re grieving after escaping narcissistic abuse, please know you are normal!  It’s awful to experience but it’s also very normal.  Grief isn’t only something to be experienced after someone dies.  It comes after all kinds of losses.

You need to experience & process your grief after narcissistic abuse just as you would after losing someone you love.  It is healing to cry & be angry about the unfairness of it all.  Ignoring it, pretending it isn’t happening or even shaming yourself as if something is wrong with you for feeling this way isn’t healthy at all!

Rather than do those unhealthy things, why not try accepting your feelings without judgment?  They’re not abnormal, they’re not wrong & you aren’t crazy for feeling the way you do.  Stop criticizing them.  Accept them for what they are- your feelings that are completely valid.

As you accept them, sit with them for a while.  Cry or yell if you need to.  I know this can be difficult for those of us shamed for having feelings by our narcissistic parent, so if those are too much, then try writing things out.  If you don’t have a journal, it may be an excellent time to start one.  If you want to be certain no one ever reads it, there are online journals that are private & password protected.  I use Penzu’s free version, but there are plenty of others as well if it doesn’t meet your needs.

I’ve also found writing letters to the narcissist very helpful.  I wrote out everything I thought & felt about what they did, not censoring myself.  The especially important part of this is I never sent the letters.  I wrote them to purge myself of the awful things I felt because of the actions of a narcissist, not to tell the narcissist how they made me feel or to try to make them see the errors of their ways.  Doing such things is a complete waste of time & energy with a narcissist.  In fact, if you do them, chances are you’ll only feel worse after instead of better because the narcissist will try to convince you that you’re oversensitive, overreacting or even crazy.  Instead, I’ve found ripping the letters up & throwing them away or burning them to be very helpful.

If you have a safe friend, relative or even counselor, talking about your grief or praying with them can be very helpful as well. 

You also need to be aware that grief doesn’t have time limits.  You can’t expect to get over the trauma in a set time.  In fact, a part of you most likely always will grieve to some degree, just like when someone you love dies.  It does get easier in time though.  You also learn to rebuild yourself & adapt to your new life without suffering narcissistic abuse. Whatever you choose to do to cope isn’t important.  What matters is that you deal with your grief & accept it as a natural part of the healing process.

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Tactics Used By Narcissists: Nit Picking & Changing The Goals

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Covert Narcissists Are Poisonous

A member of my Facebook group shared a meme made from a quote from author & life coach Lisa Romano.  I don’t remember the meme, but one of her comments on it said this:  “Narcissism at its finest is like carbon monoxide. Your inner world will become chaotic and every aspect of your life will become suffocated by dysfunction, but you will not know from where the poison is coming from.”

Having suffered both narcissistic abuse & carbon monoxide, I really related to this comparison.

While narcissistic abuse is often thought of as loud, sometimes even physically abusive & basically easy to identify, that isn’t always the case.  Overt narcissists are that way of course, but coverts aren’t.  They are so much more subtle.  They can abuse undetected.. much the same way carbon monoxide can injure or even kill.

Carbon monoxide has absolutely no smell whatsoever.  You don’t see it hanging in the air like you would smoke, either.  It silently & subtly does its damage, & you don’t even realize it until the damage has been done.  The day I survived carbon monoxide poisoning, I knew I felt bad, but I didn’t know why.  The thought of calling 911 or my husband for help also never crossed my mind.  The poison ruined my ability to think clearly or recognize what the problem was.

Covert narcissists are much the same way.  They aren’t like their overt counterparts who yell & scream to get their way.  They’re often soft spoken.  They come across as unassuming & meek, sometimes even not very intelligent.  They may help people by donating to or volunteering with charities.  They may be active in their church.  If they are financially comfortable, they’re the first one to give money to someone they know who is struggling.  People not close enough to the covert narcissist to see behind the make usually think they are really good, kind, generous people who will do anything to help someone in need.  This allows covert narcissists to fly under the radar, abusing however they like.  Even If someone does recognize a problem, most likely they’ll excuse the abuse because they claim the person meant well or doesn’t know any better.

What few people see is that covert narcissists wear a very convincing mask.  Behind that mask is someone who rules their family with guilt, shaming, feigned helplessness, or exaggerating or even faking sickness.  These weapons are every bit as effective, if not more so, than an overt narcissist’s screaming & raging while appearing innocent.

Often, these covert narcissists even control their overtly narcissistic spouse by quietly pushing their buttons until the overt narcissist snaps & attacks them either verbally or physically.  Covert narcissists love this, because any witnesses to this see the covert narcissist as the long suffering, wonderful spouse of a crazy & even abusive person.  They also get pity, which they love.  Also in this situation, children of this narcissistic couple automatically side with their covertly narcissistic parent, & become protective of him or her.  They never question why their parent expects their protection when it’s really parents’ job to protect their children instead.  This behavior stays well into adulthood, which usually causes problems in the adult child’s marriage.  Narcissistic parents are usually terrible in-laws.  They expect their adult child to keep them first priority, not their spouse or children.  When the spouse says something, the adult child often protects their covertly narcissistic parent, as they’ve always done, which causes strain in the marriage for which the spouse is blamed.

While there are carbon monoxide detectors to help protect us from that terrible poison, there aren’t such detectors to help us identify covert narcissists.  There are ways you can protect yourself, though.

Pray.  Ask God to give you discernment & wisdom.  Then if you meet someone who you get an inkling about that something isn’t right, pay attention to the feeling!  If their actions seem innocent but leave you feeling guilty or angry, chances are good that you’re in the presence of a covert narcissist.

If you discover you are dealing with a covert narcissist, again, pray.  You’ll need all the wisdom you can get, especially if that covert narcissist is a parent of your spouse.  Remember the Gray Rock method.  When you & your spouse discuss the problem, stay calm, stating only the facts as calmly & logically as you can.  Stick to your boundaries, too.  Showing your anger will make your spouse more protective of that parent & angry with you. 

Remember, just because covert narcissists come across safer than overt ones doesn’t mean they are safe.  They really are like carbon monoxide- they may not appear dangerous, but they absolutely are!

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Remembering Only Good Things After The Death Of A Narcissistic Parent

One thing that has always baffled me is how people talk about how wonderful that person who died was, even though you know very well that person was an absolute jerk.  As if death somehow turned that sinner into a saint.

A few years back, a former friend of mine lost her mother.  Her mother had abused her terribly for her entire life.  Yet, when this woman died, my friend constantly posted on Facebook how much she missed her mother, she loved her & what a beautiful, wonderful person her mother was.  Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore… I had to ask her why she was saying these things after all the terrible things her mother did to her.  She said it helped her to cope with the emotions if she pretended her mother was a good mother.  Not a healthy coping skill by any means, but she was content with it. 

I think many people probably have the same reason for their similar behavior.  Losing someone you love, even someone abusive, is incredibly difficult & painful.

After my mother died, I caught myself remembering the good things about her.  Those few times we got along well, when we could laugh & have fun together.  The time she taught me to crochet when I was 5.  Little things like that.  I also prayed a lot during this time & knew that not only was she in Heaven, but she also was no longer the abusive & cruel person she was before she died.  I realized that I was starting to do somewhat like my former friend did when her abusive mother died, focusing on only the good about my mother.  While she was fine coping in that way, I wasn’t.  It didn’t feel right or healthy to me.  I got in prayer about it & learned some things.

When you love someone dies, you’re going to miss them.  If that person was abusive, you’re going to miss the few good things about them, if there were any.  If not, you’ll miss the person you wish they had been.  Part of grieving is letting go.  You are naturally going to have a harder time letting go of the good things than the bad, or even the good things you wish would have been. 

Remembering the good things brings some normalcy to a very abnormal situation.  There is absolutely nothing normal about coping with the death of a narcissistic parent.  You can feel as if you’re completely alone, you’re crazy or unreasonable. You also most likely will feel that not one single person on the face of the earth understands what you’re feeling, because what you feel isn’t what most people feel when their parent dies.  Focusing on the good, remembering the good things makes you feel more normal.  It’s normal & socially acceptable to miss the good things about your parent.  In most situations, it’s not normal or socially acceptable to feel glad your parent is gone or relief he or she can’t abuse you any longer.  Unfortunately with narcissistic parents, both of those feelings are totally normal, they just don’t feel that way.

It’s incredibly difficult to mourn the death of a narcissistic parent.  It’s easier in a sense to grieve the normal aspects of your parent, whether they were real or what you wish your parent had been like.  Grieving the death of a narcissistic parent can be complex, confusing, infuriating, sad, devastating & so much more.  When you grieve someone you love, basically it boils down to you miss that person.  Of course that’s painful but it isn’t really convoluted.  You don’t have to deal with all the intricacies & complexities that go along with mourning the death of a narcissistic parent.  If you can make your parent more “normal”, it makes the grief process easier by making it less complex.

I don’t think remembering the positive things about your narcissistic parent is a bad thing in general.  However, if you’re in this situation & remember only the good, that should be a red flag that you aren’t coping with your parents’ passing in a healthy way.  It’s ok to remember the awful times & the abuse, & even to be angry about them.  It’s ok to admit to yourself & others that your parent wasn’t exactly parent of the year.  It’s also ok to be glad your parent is gone & you’re finally free.  These things don’t mean you’re a terrible person.  They mean you’re HUMAN!

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When You Feel The Only Way To Save Your Marriage Is To Sacrifice Yourself

Not long ago, something crossed my mind.  I thought it may help some of you who follow my work.

During my first marriage, I was so dysfunctional I wasn’t sure exactly why it wasn’t a good marriage, but I still knew something was wrong.  My ex said it was fine, but I didn’t buy it.  I took my vows very seriously so I spent a lot of time reading marriage books & trying to figure out what I could do to fix these problems that I couldn’t identify.  It was always my job to fix things in relationships, as is often the case of those who have narcissistic parents.  Plus, it seemed logical at the time that if I was the only one who had a problem, I should be the one to deal with the problem.

After my reading & contemplating things, I came up with a solution that I was certain would fix everything.  If I could just ignore any of my own identity, needs, wants, opinions & feelings in favor of his, I just knew that would fix everything. 

Obviously, this didn’t work.  Although I was successful at doing this for a while, even that wasn’t enough.  By the time we got a divorce, I felt like an utter failure & carried the guilt & shame of that for quite some time.

I mentioned this to my best friend recently who admitted she had a very similar experience when married to her ex husband.

If you are married to a narcissist, I would love to help prevent you from going through this pain.  Please, listen to the voice of experience when I tell you that although it seems like simply giving in to a narcissist in every way is an “easy” way to keep the peace, it’s not. 

Losing yourself in this way is a lifetime job, not something you do once & it’s done.  When a narcissist sees you are willing to do this, he or she will expect you to do it over & over, every single day of your relationship.  It makes you miserable & erodes you into a shell of your former self.  As the saying goes, it’s like a death from a thousand cuts. 

Narcissists also are like endless voids when it comes to things that provide them with their narcissistic supply.  Nothing is going to fill that void.  You simply can’t give a narcissist enough supply.  Even when you give everything to a narcissist, it isn’t enough.  I was basically a robot that my ex could control, & it still wasn’t enough to please him.  He still wanted more even though I had nothing left to give, & was angry when I wouldn’t give it.  This is typical! 

Also, behaving in this manner enables the narcissist to be the abusive monster that he or she is.  There are no consequences when someone tolerates abuse, so abusers naturally see no need to stop.  In fact, they often step up the abuse because they know they can do anything they like without fear of repercussions.  In the end, this will destroy you.  It may not physically destroy you, although the stress of living this way certainly has the potential to create an overabundance of health problems, but at the very least it will emotionally destroy you.  By the time my ex & I separated, I lost so much of my identity.  I had no idea who I was, what I really liked, wanted, felt, or needed.  I was well aware though that I carried a great deal of guilt & shame for being entirely at fault for our failed marriage.  If I had any doubt, his friends & family were glad to remind me that everything was my fault.

Dear Reader, if you are in this unenviable situation of being married to someone who wants everything from you while giving nothing in return, please don’t give that person everything!  It doesn’t help the marriage & only creates problems!  Learn from my mistakes & don’t give in.  Instead, take good care of yourself.  Question everything your spouse says about you & demands of you.  Surround yourself with healthy, functional, caring & supportive people.  If your spouse has isolated you from friends & family (as abusers do), there are online support forums full of amazing people who can help you.  And most of all, stay close to God.  Lean on Him, & let Him help you in this painful situation.  I wish you all the best!    

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Victims Of Narcissistic Abuse Have Super Powers

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My Newest Book Is Available!

I’ve been getting tired of writing the same type of book so I’ve been considering other options. One of them is this book. It’s a journal created to help the reader help themselves heal from the damage of narcissistic abuse.

Each month in the journal will focus on one traumatic event, & each week, one aspect of the event. It also schedules time to relax so the healing work doesn’t become overwhelming.

In the future, I may create other similar journals on different topics, but honestly I’m not positive yet. We’ll see where God leads me.

The journal is available only in print, unlike many of my other books. It can be found at this link:

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Dysfunctional Family Holiday Gatherings

During the holiday season, many families get together.  They share a good meal & enjoy each other’s company.  There is no pressure about these gatherings & everyone genuinely looks forward to them.

Then there are the dysfunctional family gatherings.  They are something very different.

On first glance, dysfunctional family gatherings may look the same as their functional counterparts.  Family members get together & share a big meal.  But, that is often where the similarities end.

With dysfunctional families, the stress is terrible.  There is usually intense pressure to show up at the get together no matter what.  Sick?  Who cares?  You aren’t so sick you can’t attend!  Car trouble?  So what?  Figure out how to get there!  You would prefer to spend the day at home or with some friends?  Clearly something is very wrong with you!  No one is as worthy of your time as the dysfunctional family, & the holiday dictator will be highly offended if you even consider spending time with anyone else.  You need to attend this gathering & act like you are happy when you’re there, even if you are miserable.  Your misery means nothing, after all.  This gathering is all about appearances, not about having a good time.

There’s also the dysfunctional clique action.  Some people are going to shun other people or at the very least talk badly about them.  Maybe the other people didn’t bring a large enough casserole.  Maybe their gifts didn’t cost as much as the shunning people think they should have cost.  Maybe the other people weren’t wearing the appropriate holiday attire.  In any case, something will be found to criticize even when there isn’t anything to criticize.

The truth is that very few people genuinely enjoy this get together.  They may dread it but feel no other option is available but to attend & pretend to have a wonderful time. 

So why participate in this gathering at all?  Wouldn’t it just make more sense to do whatever you enjoy on the holidays & forego the dysfunctional family nightmare hoopla?  It would, but few will do that.  There are several reasons why.

One reason is no one wants to anger the holiday dictator.  Doing so can result in guilt trips, anger, &/or shaming.  No one wants this.  Many people think it is simply easier to sacrifice a holiday than to deal with the guilt, anger or shaming.

Another reason is that by participating in these get togethers, it gives the delusion that this family actually is a big, happy, functional family.  They can pretend that everyone gets along & is a “normal” family because after all, they got together for this holiday gathering.  That is a perfectly normal thing to do, so it must prove they are all normal.

When you are aren’t someone who is capable of blindly going along with people’s delusions & denial, these gatherings can be described as nothing less than excruciating.  The fakeness of it all is exhausting & repulsive to those who believe in facing the truth.

When you are faced with these dysfunctional family gatherings, you can cope.  You have choices.

You can choose not to attend.  This decision is a tough one, because those who are in favor of this get together will judge & criticize you harshly for not attending.  Even so, it may be worth it.

You can attend, but with strict boundaries in place.  You can avoid the critics as much as possible.  You also can set a specific time to give to this gathering then leave at the allotted time.

If you attend & the critics start their nastiness, you also can simply say, “Well, isn’t that nice” & walk away.  In the southern part of the United States, that comment is known to be a polite way of saying, “I really don’t care.”   I have said it many times then walked away.  It feels good!  It also tells the critics their opinion means nothing to you. Believe it or not, you do have options during the holiday season.  Exercise them!  It is your right!

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When People Choose To Spend A Holiday With Your Abuser

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Humor As A Helpful Coping Skill

Some time back, I saw a quote.  I don’t recall the name of the author but anyway the quote said something like, “What didn’t kill me made me stronger.  It also gave me a dark & twisted sense of humor.”  Immediately I felt a bit embarrassed because I know that’s me.  My sense of humor can be very dark & twisted.  Quickly though I remembered something.

In my late teen years, I had a good friend a couple of years younger than me.  His mother was also abusive, & his sense of humor could be very dark & twisted like mine.  One day, we were laughing about something & he said, “Yanno, I’m so glad to have a sense of humor.  I really believe that’s helped so much to get me through everything.” 

I believe that former friend was right.  His relationship with his mother never really got better after we grew up.  He had very limited contact with her well before I even knew that “low contact” & “no contact” were healthy options, but kept his sense of humor through it all.  One day we went to a yard sale.  He found a pot for houseplants he liked.  He commented how it looked like a spittoon from the old west & I agreed.  He paid for it then looked at me & said, “Now when Mom comes over, she’ll have a place to spit her chewing tobacco!”  She didn’t chew, but the mental picture of this made me laugh. 

I’ve laughed at some things regarding my mother too.  In high school she accused me of having sex with the entire football team.  I’ve never been promiscuous & was a virgin at the time, so the accusation was ridiculous & hurtful.  Eventually I found humor in it.  My husband has too.  Once in a while, he says something about it & we laugh at the stupidity of the comment.

Sometimes, even in the midst of dark times, humor can be a blessing.  My husband’s favorite ring tone is Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D minor, which happens to be the well known theme song from the old scary movie, “Tales From The Crypt.”  It’s very morbid sounding yet beautiful.  Anyway, while in the ER with his father one night, one of his sisters called, triggering that ring tone.  In spite of the serious situation, he & a few nurses laughed at the ring tone which helped lighten everyone’s mood.  Also, the night we received the death notification about my mother, the funeral home called my husband’s cell as we were talking with a police officer.  Again, Bach’s song played when his phone rang.  The poor policeman looked horrified, but it made me laugh.  Inappropriate?  Sure, but I was so shaken up, that laugh helped to calm me a bit so I could focus on the task at hand.

I know when times are painful, it can feel impossible to laugh.  It may even feel disrespectful to find humor in such a somber situation.  But if at all possible, I want to encourage you to try to find some humor in the situation.  It often can be done.  It also can be an incredibly helpful coping mechanism, so why not use it?

Rather than be offended & hurt by the lies the narcissist accuses you of, try to find the humor in it.  Often their lies are so incredibly outrageous, they’re funny!  Really!  Look at my mother’s lies about me with the entire high school football team.  I was in her presence constantly & had no time for that even if I had the inclination.  It was an outrageous & stupid thing to say.  No doubt the narcissist in your life has also said outrageous & stupid things about you.

I also hope you find a reason to laugh every day.  Find a comedian you like & listen to his or her routines often.  Watch funny movies or tv shows.  Spend time with your friends who make you laugh.  Doing these things will improve your mental health.  You’ll be happier & enjoy life more.

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My Ebooks Are 25% Off Until January 1, 2021

Many of my ebooks are on sale until January 1, 2021! Use code WINTER30 at checkout. See my books at the following link:

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It’s Good Being The Black Sheep!

As a black sheep, I have plenty of experience in the role.  I hope my thoughts here help my fellow black sheep!

To be a black sheep in your family, you have to be very different from that family.  We’re labeled that way because we talk truth rather than denial & we aren’t willing to live in the same dysfunctional patterns as our relatives.  Rather than that being a good thing, we’re ruthlessly judged & criticized for not following in our family’s dysfunctional footsteps.  Rather than applaud our courage for breaking the cycle, we’re called things like crazy & ungrateful, & treated as if we’re the scourge of the earth for going against “family”. 

You also can marry into a family where you’re the black sheep.  I’ve done this as have many other women I know.  My mother in-law hated me from when we first met, which meant her two daughters did as well.  I am very different from all of them.  My interests, beliefs & more are different than theirs.  These differences were obviously a big problem, among other things.  Not submitting to their control was a problem, too.  If I just would’ve let them mold me into whatever they wanted me to be, they might have been able to tolerate me.

It’s not easy being a black sheep because of such treatment.  Your own flesh & blood being so cruel hurts.  Not only their words, but their betrayal too.  Or, in the case of in-laws like mine, it’s frustrating because you never had a chance.  Nothing you could’ve done or done differently would’ve made any difference. 

In these situations, I believe that feeling your emotions is important.  It’s ok to be sad or angry that things are as they are with your family &/or in-laws, or that people you thought loved you would turn their back on you.  It’s ok to be sad or angry that the family of the person you love has so little love & respect for that person, they can’t manage even basic civility to you, that person’s mate.  Any person with even a bit of love in their heart would be emotional about these things! 

Accept people.  This doesn’t mean you should tolerate abuse, of course.  It just means that you accept that these people are in a place of dysfunction & that means you two aren’t going to get along because you want to be healthy.  It’s comparable to a former drug addict.  That person isn’t going to spend time with his former dealer if he wants to maintain his sobriety!  If you want to maintain your functional ways, you’re going to have to avoid dysfunctional people.

Recognize that their mistreatment of you isn’t personal.  It’s merely their dysfunction coming out.  When my father was dying & my family attacked me for not going to say goodbye, God showed me that it had nothing to do with me or my father.  It was about them maintaining their delusions.  My not going was proof our family wasn’t perfect, which is a truth they were unable to accept.  This seems to be common among family members who shun the black sheep.

If you think about it, do you really want to fit in with people like this?  I thought about my family in this context.  Almost every person is fake, judgmental, critical, hypocritical, greedy, wicked & more.  Not long after my mother died I learned a couple of relatives conned a great deal of money out of her after my father died.  How despicable!  I have NO desire for anyone like that in my life, family or not.  If you think about it, you may feel the same way. 

If you’re struggling with your black sheep role, always remember you can talk to your Heavenly Father about it.  God will help you to cope & give you comfort.  Let Him!  He’s more than happy to do that for you.

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When People Disagree With You For Removing Toxic Relatives From Your Life

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Christmas Sale On My Print Books!

All of my print books are 10% off until December 11, 2020 with code FESTIVE10 at checkout.

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Mistreating Cats Is A Huge Red Flag Of Narcissists

I’ve always loved cats deeply.  Unlike my human family, my cats are kind, gentle, love unconditionally, offer support when I need it & so much more.


I realize not every person feels this way about cats.  The good part of that is most of those people offer no judgment.  They simply agree to disagree with me.  They also like animals, & many don’t have any pets because they realize they don’t have the time, money or energy to devote to being a good pet parent.  I completely respect these people. 

Those I don’t respect are the people who blatantly hate animals & have no problem showing it. 

It’s a known fact in the psychological community that many who hate animals may one day turn their hatred on people.  Jeffrey Dahmer tortured cats & other small animals & collected their corpses as a child.  Most everyone knows what atrocities he did in his adult life.

I have found through my own experiences & those of others I’ve spoken with that many narcissists, although not serial killers, dislike animals, & often in particular cats.  I have no scientific evidence to confirm this, but in my observations, I came up with a few ideas why this happens. 

Cats’ brains are similar to human brains.  They often are able to sense manipulation & abusers quickly, & they ardently avoid abusers.  It must be incredibly frustrating for a narcissist that they can rule some people completely, yet they can’t conquer a 10 pound animal.  How insulting that must be to a narcissist!

Some people don’t believe this, but cats understand civility.  Many times, my parents would be getting along fine with one of my cats, then they would say something insulting either to me or the cat.  That cat would either leave the room or scratch my parent.  Every time, they were stunned.  They never understood that cats want civility & basic respect for themselves & their parents.  Not receiving those things or seeing their parent mistreated makes them rightfully angry, & they can act out.

Cats come across as aloof & as if they don’t need people.  Cat parents know this is only how they may appear… they love & depend on their parents a great deal yet aren’t often friendly to many others.  Narcissists often take this behavior as a personal insult rather than a cat simply being a cat.  How dare this cat not shower them with affection!  Something clearly must be wrong with that cat!

If you’re a cat parent & wondering if someone in your life is an unsafe person or even a narcissist, let your cat help you figure it out!

Anyone who comes into your home & insults your cat knowing how much you love him or her is unsafe.  A normal person would keep their negative thoughts to themselves because they wouldn’t want to hurt or offend you.

Anyone who comes into your home & complains because you allow your cat on your sofa or bed is showing signs of control issues.  It’s your home- why would anyone care what your cat does within it?  What happens in your home doesn’t affect them so it’s really no one’s business what happens there. Control freaks think what they want to happen is all that matters, even in someone else’s home.

Some people ask cat parents to lock their cats in another room while they visit.  To me, this is the epitome of selfish & entitled behavior.  The equivalent to this is asking a parent to lock up their human child in a room while visiting.  Most people would agree that would be completely unacceptable & offensive.  Why would it be ok to do this regarding an animal yet not a human?  It isn’t.  It’s a sign of selfishness & someone who wants to be in control.

I firmly believe that how someone treats animals can be a very good indicator of that person’s true character. 

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Unconventional Grief After Narcissistic Abuse

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Anticipation Stress

During a conversation in my Facebook group, I mentioned how for years, my father would call me later in the evenings, up to 10 sometimes, usually just to complain about my mother.  Emotional incest isn’t the best way to end your day!  Plus, being an introvert & talking to people a lot during the day, nights are when I want to avoid people.  I want to relax with hubby, maybe some music, tv, or a craft project. I also get up early & don’t want to be awake at all hours.  I explained this to my father & although he said he understood, he clearly didn’t.  Not only because he lacked empathy but also because he was very extroverted.  He continued his calls until I was at my wit’s end with it.

As a result, one evening, he called at 9:58.  I decided to ignore the call.  He called back several times during the next twenty minutes.  About half an hour later, one of my cousins who lives 450 miles away called.  I almost ignored it because I had a feeling my father put him up to this.  Since he never calls so late, I thought what if this was the one time something is actually wrong?  I answered the call & found out it was my father’s doing.  He called my cousin asking him to call me & have me call my father.  We got into an argument because I refused to call him that night.  The next morning, my father called before 7.  He shamed me for not taking his call & blamed me for making him worry so much that he had to call my cousin & my in-laws.  I was livid yet in spite of that & knowing he was being manipulative & controlling, I felt guilty.  This was on top of already feeling anxious because he clearly thought he had the right to “barge into” my home anytime he wanted via the phone.

This happened in late 2014.  The conversation in my group about this incident made me think of something… I wonder if me having such trouble falling asleep is connected to my father’s upsetting late evening calls.  It could be that my brain still expects my phone to ring at any & all hours to deal with a very stressful conversation.  Logically I know it’s impossible.  My father passed away in October, 2017.  I have no other narcissists in my life, so there isn’t anyone left who would do this to me.  Yet, it happened for a long time & I naturally became “programmed” to expecting late & upsetting calls. 

The dear lady I was discussing this with came up with the term anticipation stress to describe my situation.  Thinking about it, I believe this anticipation stress is pretty common with victims of narcissistic abuse.

Narcissists can be quite unpredictable & they use that to keep their victims on a state of constant high alert.  The more a person is in that state, the more willing they can be to do anything to end this misery.  This means they are more susceptible to being controlled & doing the narcissist’s will.

Even if the narcissist is no longer in the victim’s life, when something miserable happens repeatedly like in my situation, the brain may get stuck in a place of expecting some sort of stress.  It seems to me it’s somewhat like hyper-vigilance.  With hyper-vigilance, you’re constantly looking for signs of any potential danger.  Anticipation stress is somewhat like that, except instead of danger, it’s a stressful & unpleasant situation. 

Unfortunately at this time, I don’t know how to release this anticipation stress, but I absolutely will share anything I figure out!  In the meantime, I hope it helps you to understand what is happening if you are going through something similar.

Sister Renee of Luke 17:3 Ministries is the lady who coined the term “anticipation stress”,  so I’d like to provide a link to her website.  Please check it out.  She is an amazing lady who shares a lot of true, Godly wisdom on the topic of narcissists & surviving their abuse. 

http://www.luke173ministries.org/

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A Useful Problem Solving Tactic

My husband & I were recently talking about the Myers Briggs personalities.  For those of you familiar with the types, he’s an INTJ & I’m INFJ. 

I mentioned how INFJs are often thought of as too logical for the feeling types & too feeling for the logical types, so we don’t always fit in with either.  We use both emotions & logic to make decisions & problem solve, & I find this incredibly useful.  Many people don’t do this.  Since he’s the logical T type, I had to explain how my mind works when there is a situation I need to deal with at hand.  I thought it might help others as well, so I decided to share.

Basically, I think of the situation like I’m looking at a show on tv or a movie.  This allows me to detach emotionally enough to come up with a logical resolution.  He mentioned one of our favorite true crime shows, “Homicide Hunter” with Detective Joe Kenda, because it sounded to him like when they recreate the detective’s work when he first arrived at crime scenes.  It was actually a good description!  If you have seen this show, you know what happens.  They set the detective at the scene & remove the other police officers, witnesses, & victims.  The detective is left with an empty crime scene & he can start piecing together what happened as he looks around.  Certain things get his attention like a pool of blood, a knife in a sink, or items that obviously were spilled.  Each of these clues fits together in his mind & begins to form a picture of what happened. 

That is exactly how I problem solve!  When something happens, I pull away from it for at least a few minutes.  I look at situations & mentally remove unnecessary pieces so I can focus more on the clues.  Emotions enter back in once I have a clearer idea of the situation.  Keeping them out at first allows me not to make an overly emotional assessment of the situation.  Emotions are necessary though so naturally they come back in when they can serve me better. 

An example of this is years ago, someone I didn’t know well accused a man I knew of molesting her sisters as children.  I was taken aback!  She just spouted this out of nowhere plus knowing this person, I couldn’t believe it.  After the conversation was finished, I thought a great deal about it.  It was difficult, especially considering what I write about!  A part of me wanted to tell her she was lying, that’s impossible, but the victim advocate part of me wanted to offer help or at least empathy.  I considered the situation as I described, examining the clues first.  This person & her family didn’t even live in the same state as the accused man for most of their life.  I also saw this man a great deal in my life & not one time, did I see anything even slightly inappropriate in his behavior.  How could he hide his deviant ways for that long?  It’d be impossible!  He also loved children & was a good, Godly man.  I realized either she was misinformed or was lying because she hated the man in question.  I’m grateful that I took the time to consider this situation though because it helped me to find out the truth & treat the person accordingly.  For the record, I never spoke to her again.

If you are in a situation that you need to figure out, I would like to encourage you to try doing it as I suggested.  It really is very helpful for creating good solutions while also giving you a good perspective on the situation that isn’t unbalanced with too little or too much emotion. 

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30% Off Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is having a really good sale on print books. 30% off!! To take advantage, use code BFCM30 at checkout.

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Signs Your Mental Health May Be In Danger

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Protecting Your Spouse From Your Narcissistic Family

If you are in a long term relationship or are married to someone & at least one of you has narcissistic parents or family members, there is something you should know.  Standing up for your partner to your narcissistic parents is one of the most important things you can do in your relationship.

When a couple makes a commitment to each other, a big part of that commitment is taking care of each other.  Part of that involves not tolerating anyone hurting your partner.  If you stand up to someone on behalf of your partner, you show your partner that this person’s well being & safety are extremely important to you.  You prove that you love that person & will do your best to keep them safe.  This is incredibly good for your relationship! 

Not tolerating someone hurting your partner also shows the abusive person that you are well aware of their actions, & there are consequences for their behavior.  Not doing so only proves to an abuser that they can do anything they want without consequences.  This means that they will continue what they have been doing & in time, their behavior will get even worse.  And, your partner will be left feeling abandoned & alone, which is potentially relationship ending.  No one in a committed relationship should feel that way!

If you struggle with defending your partner to your abusive family members, then please consider a couple of things.

If it is your family that mistreats your partner, this means they are your problem!  It is NOT your partner’s job to deal with your family.  If your partner confronts your family rather than you, your family will be highly upset.  That happens in many families, but especially in narcissistic ones.  Chances are they will tell you what a terrible person your partner is, how he or she isn’t good enough to be in your life or other nonsense as a way to deflect your attention from their terrible behavior.  If you are the one to confront them, they still may try to deflect & criticize your partner, but there is a better chance of them listening to you than your partner!

Also if anyone in your family mistreats your partner, they have absolutely no love or respect for you.  If they had any respect or love for you, they would manage to be civil to your partner no matter how much they disliked this person.  If your partner is abusive to you, any children you share or your family, that is a different scenario.  They should civilly address their concerns with you, be loyal to you & care more about your safety than civility.  However, if the reason they dislike your partner is because of simple differences in personality, your family should manage basic civility at the very least to this person out of love for you.  When you love someone, it’s not that hard to be polite to someone they care about even if you can’t stand that person.  I have done it & while it can be hard to be polite to someone you really dislike, reminding yourself of the person you care about can make this much easier.

Dear Reader, if you are in this position of having someone in your family mistreat or even abuse someone you love, then please consider what I have said.  Protect your loved one!  It will protect their mental & physical safety but also help your relationship!  In fact, protecting your loved one will increase the bond you both share.

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How To Handle People Who Shame Adult Children Of Narcissists For How They Treat Their Parents

I saw a comment on one of my old YouTube videos I thought was rather interesting.  The comment said that this person took care of her elderly abusive mother until the end of her life.  She suffered health problems that didn’t run in her family as a result of dealing with their “complicated” relationship, but she is glad she didn’t abandon her like I did my parents.  She went on to say that although she didn’t like my video, she said she’s glad she watched it anyway because she realized maybe she wasn’t such a terrible daughter like me after all. 

Rather than simply delete the stupid comment, I left it up.  It’s sort of a lesson within a lesson.  The original lesson being my video, & the secondary lesson is how to deal with people like this.

This sort of comment happens all the time with adult children of narcissistic parents.  The smug ignoramuses of the world think they have the right to judge how we treated our parents while they truly know nothing of our experiences. We need to be aware that this can happen & how to handle it.

To start with, I believe it’s very important to realize this is a trigger, which is why your reaction may be exceptionally emotional.  Mine certainly was.  I immediately felt rage & wanted to tell this person exactly what I thought of her judgmental words.  I took a few moments to calm down because I recognized my strong reaction was a trigger.  It reminded me of things my own family has said.  If a comment like this is said to you in person or on the phone, you don’t have the luxury of taking a few minutes to calm yourself before responding as I did.  Instead, take a deep breath & let it out slowly.  This will calm your mind & body long enough for you to formulate a good response rather than react.  Reactions in situations like this only cause more problems.  You need to have a calm & calculated response instead.

It’s also important to recognize that a person saying this sort of drivel has some ulterior motive.  Often they are flying monkeys, saying such idiocy to hurt you on behalf of the narcissist.  They may even know the truth but say this anyway simply to hurt you because you hurt the narcissist that they idolize.  In my case, I don’t know this person nor does this person know my parents.  Flying monkey obviously can’t be the case.  I have another idea of what her problem is though…

The commenter in my situation is, I believe, a covert narcissist or at the very least, has narcissistic tendencies.  Covert narcissists will do anything they can to get the word out that they are wonderful, caring, & even martyr like.  That is what this person did with me.  She came across as a loving, devoted daughter who was willing to sacrifice herself & even her health for her abusive mother.  She shamed me for not being a “good daughter” like she obviously was while at the same time building up her martyr image.  I’m glad this person was so obvious in displaying those narcissistic tendencies because that enabled me to know how to handle the situation immediately: provide no narcissistic supply.  I debated deleting the comment, but that would’ve validated to this person how mean & unreasonable I am.  It also would’ve enabled her to look like the victim of my meanness, & provided narcissistic supply.  Instead, I figured it best to respond simply, without emotion.  I said that everyone has to do what they feel is right in their situation.  I did in mine just as she did in hers.  I’m not judging her so please don’t judge mine & if she can’t refrain from that, please stay off my page.  Simple, to the point & calm. 

Whether the person in question in these situations is a narcissist, flying monkey or just some poorly informed person with good intentions, it’s never wise to defend your actions.  Somehow, that always seems to make things worse, so don’t do it!  If you must say something for whatever reason, keep your comments unemotional & logical.  State only the facts, not how you felt.  And, ask logical questions like, “I don’t understand how you think me doing what you think I should makes any sense.  Why should I subject myself to being treated so poorly?”

Lastly, always remember that God is there for you.  If you don’t know what to do, ask Him for help.  Even a prayer as simple as “Please help me!” can work wonders! As the adult child of a narcissistic parent, you need to know how to handle yourself when these situations arise & unfortunately, they will arise.  I hope my situation has given you ideas on how to do that when the time comes. 

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