Who Determines Your Self-Esteem?

I read an interesting quote by Warsan Shire: “Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself- what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing.  Recreate & repeat.”  Since I battle low self-esteem, I thought about the times I felt my most confident in the hopes of recreating them.  It was eye opening.


I realized the times I felt my most confident weren’t when I had some  personal success or even was wearing a pretty new outfit.  Those feelings were always dependent on another person.  When someone obviously enjoyed being with me or a man telling me how pretty I was.


This bothered me.  I don’t like being depending on anyone, especially something so personal.  I asked God why was this happening?  I don’t particularly care what others think of me, so how can I let others determine how I feel about myself?  It makes no sense!  Immediately I knew the answer.


When you grow up with at least one narcissistic parent, you learn early that their opinion of you is what matters.  That parent determines your self-esteem, & sadly, it’s always low as a result.  Even if you get to the point of no longer allowing that person to determine your self-esteem, you don’t always know how to stop this dysfunctional habit.   You continue allowing others to determine your self-worth without even realizing it, like I have done.


Are you doing the same thing?  (If you are unsure, ask God to show you.)  If you are, then know you aren’t alone.  I honestly had no idea I was doing this until I read the above mentioned quote.


I think being aware of what is happening is an important first step, because once you know what the problem is, you can do something to fix it.  After this revelation, I repented.  I told God how sorry I was for allowing anyone but Him to determine my self-esteem & asked for His help to change.  I also asked God to help me get my self-esteem from Him, no one else.


Also, years ago I wrote a list of positive affirmations from the Bible that I included on my website.  I plan on reading this list more often now.  The affirmations can be found here: Positive Affirmations


In all honesty, I don’t know what to expect from here, but I do believe these steps to be a good starting place for me & I hope for you as well, Dear Reader.  I’m praying for you!  <3


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

Body Memories- Yes, They Are Real!

Today, my lower back began to hurt after a long time of no pain.


I hadn’t pay attention to the date.  This time of year in 1990 was turbulent for me.  I was 19 & had moved out of my parents house immediately following my first nervous breakdown that May.  I had been engaged to my now ex husband, but broke up with him shortly after.  I dated two other men over the next few months, one of which I moved in with.  We were very ill suited for each other, & on our third month anniversary, November 23, I told him I was moving out.  He spent most of that night screaming at me.  (Sadly, I was so used to my mother screaming at me, I fell asleep during his ranting- he wasn’t nearly as volatile as she was).  I moved back in with my parents the next day.  That arrangement lasted until the 28th (yes, 4 days) before I had to leave my parents’ house again.  That was the evening my mother threw me into a wall & hurt my back during an argument.


Over the years, I’ve tried not to think much about that time in my life.  The man I lived with has since committed suicide, & after 10 years of back pain, God healed me.  It all seemed over & done with.  Apparently not, though since my body is acting up.


This is what a body memory is like.


Your mind may not remember a traumatic incident, but your body remembers everything.


I think body memories can be a good thing, although they certainly don’t feel good at the time.  They make you question what is happening, which can reveal a repressed memory.  Once a repressed memory is revealed, you must deal with it or continue to repress it.  The best thing I have found to do is deal with it.  Yes, it’s hard.  Yes, it’s painful.  However, I believe memories come back to the conscious mind at a time when you are most able to deal with them.  I think God allows things to be hidden when you simply cannot deal with them, then brings them back to your remembrance when you can.


If you experience sudden pain, anxiety or depression with no known cause, you too may be experiencing a body memory.  Often, body memories are physical but they can be emotional too.  Today  before my back began to hurt, I realized I’ve been extremely emotional, mostly anxious.  If such things happen to you, you aren’t crazy.  You are simply experiencing a body memory!


I would urge you to ask God what is happening, then listen for His answer.  That’s what I finally did, this afternoon when my back began to hurt.  I am glad He showed me what was going on!  Now I know I haven’t physically injured my back & I’m not crazy for being so emotional!


Once He shows you what is happening, then it is time to work with Him on your healing.  Ask God to show you what you need to do.  He truly will!


Also, you need to get your feelings out.  If you can, tell God how you feel.  Sometimes, talking out loud can be too difficult when the subject matter is especially painful.  During those times, you can pray silently, write in your journal or write a letter to the person who abused you.  I urge you never to send that letter- chances are, it’d only cause a great deal of trouble- but writing it then throwing it out, burning it or even keeping it hidden where it can’t be found can be surprisingly helpful.


Rest assured, Dear Reader, if you experience body memories like I do, you really aren’t crazy!  What you are is someone who has experienced trauma, & that is nothing for you to be ashamed of.





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

The Holiday Season Is Upon Us

After years of talking to my readers, I’ve learned that many of us who have either been raised by or married to narcissists, hate the holidays.  Me too!  My narcissistic mother griped constantly about how much work she had to do (yet never hosted a family dinner or party, barely decorated..) & criticized the fact I enjoyed the holidays as if I was abnormal.  As an adult, my narcissistic ex husband spent holidays with his family, whether or not I went with him.  My current husband also spends holidays with his family.  Some people have tried to guilt trip me into attending holiday parties even though I was unable to because my husband was working or I was unavailable.  Others have shamed me for my lack of enthusiasm & tried to force me to “get into the holiday spirit.”   So yes, like many other people, I am no longer a fan of holidays.

In spite of feeling much like I do, many people often feel forced to participate in Thanksgiving & Christmas get togethers.  It is for you I am writing this post.

First, please know that as an adult, you are not obligated to do as you are told regarding gatherings.  You do not have to attend these events if you don’t want to!  You are allowed to do as you see fit.  Attending or not are within your rights!  No one has the right to attempt to manipulate you into going if you don’t want to!  And if they try, you are perfectlly within your rights to ignore their manipulation.

If you opt to go, you have the right to set boundaries.  You need to, in fact, especially if you’re going to have to deal with narcissists.

Decide ahead of time how long you are going to stay, & leave at the time you have settled upon.  You don’t owe anyone explanations of why you have to leave when you do.

Many relatives want to discuss topics you aren’t comfortable with, such as “why don’t you have a boyfriend”. “When are you two getting married”  or “When are you going to have a baby.”   You don’t have to discuss such topics if you don’t want to.  Change the subject, repeatedly if necessary.  You can say you don’t want to discuss this topic.  You can remind the other person that this topic is none of their business.

If you need to leave, you can do that too.  Spending time with narcissists is hard enough, but it potentially can be worse during a holiday get together.  Maybe after a couple of glasses of wine or just because there is an audience, but it can happen.  It may get bad enough for you to want to leave.  You have that right!  If you don’t feel able to just walk out, make an arrangement with a friend ahead of time.  If you call her & let the phone ring a couple of times, she can call you back or text you saying she needs you to come over immediately.

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your holiday season the best you can!

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

God’s Love For You

On this day ten years ago, I was blessed with one of God’s best gifts. My car. Maybe that sounds odd, so just read on- it will make sense.

My granddad had a beautiful 1969 Plymouth Fury when I was born in 1971. Four years later, my father’s car was stolen, & Granddad gave my father this car. In 1979, my father sold the car to a junkyard because he didn’t want to replace the failing transmission & rear end.

In 2005, my father was in the hospital. One Saturday morning, I woke up early, & couldn’t go back to sleep. It was too early for visiting hours, so I suggested to my husband we go to the local flea market, then the hospital.

Once we arrived, I saw a beautiful car at the other end of the parking lot. A green 1969 Fury that looked identical to my granddad’s. My husband suggested I leave a note on the car, saying I’d like to buy it if the seller was interested in selling. I’d never done anything like that before, but decided why not.

The seller did want to sell! He called me two days later. My husband & I met up with him to look at the car better, & decided to buy it. Unfortunately we were refinancing our mortgage so our money was tied up. Thankfully the seller was understanding & patient.

November 23, 2005, I was able to get the car. It was a wonderful day, but things got even better…

My father came by one day to see the car. He said it was his car. I thought he had to be mistaken but he was adamant. Shortly after, he showed back up at my home with an old log book where he had written down maintenance records on some of his cars. He had torn out the pages on the Fury after getting rid of the car, but he had missed the page with the VIN on it. We compared it to the VIN on my Fury, & they were identical! I couldn’t believe it- my car was also Granddad’s car! It was (& still is) a miracle to me that this car is back in my family after 26 years. And, not just any car- my favorite car that either my granddad or my father had. I’ve always loved cars, & there was always something special to me about this one.

I’m telling you this story today, Dear Reader, not only because I love sharing it, but hopefully to inspire you. God is capable of great miracles. All things are possible with God.

God is also very well aware of your deepest desires, even if you aren’t aware of them. I had no idea how much I would love having this car, but God knew & sent her to me. Driving this car is one of the greatest pleasures in my life, & I had no idea until God arranged for me to have her.

God can do the same for you. He can grant you a special blessing too amazing for you to comprehend! Ask Him to bless you! You aren’t being greedy or selfish- you are simply asking Him to do something He wants to do. You will be amazed at what happens!

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Narcissism


Self-esteem is just one of the many things that is stolen by narcissistic abuse.  It can be devastating & causes a great deal of problems in one’s life.  The good news though, is that you can learn to love yourself, & repair the damage the narcissist in your life did to you in this area.

The first step to take is to have a close relationship with God.  Lean on Him & ask Him to help you in this area.  He is a proud father, & has PLENTY of good things to say about you!

Study your Bible.  There is a lot of good information in it regarding who you are as a child of God.  I made a list & put it on my website.  You can see it here:  http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Positive-Affirmations.php

Always remember- when someone criticizes you & it isn’t constructive criticism that is meant to help you, what they say most likely reflects what they feel about themselves, not what they think about you.  Chances are good she is criticizing you in order to make you feel as bad about yourself as she does about herself.

Listen to what people say to you when they complement you.  People don’t complement others just to hear themselves talk.   They complement because they mean it.

Sometimes even an especially unfair incident can make your self esteem kick in.   Last February when I got very sick, only a few people close to me cared.  I lost friends & some that stayed had no desire to hear it if I wasn’t feeling well.  It hurt tremendously, but the unfairness of the situation woke me up.  I realized how wrong this was- I had been there for them repeatedly, yet they couldn’t be bothered with me after facing a life-threatening illness.  It was cruel & unfair.  I realized I deserved better than that, & suddenly my self-esteem was better.  Sometimes being abused, mistreated or taken for granted can work in your favor in that way.  Not that they are good things of course, but sometimes something good can come out of it at least. God really can work good out of bad situations!

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health

Don’t Take The Elderly For Granted! They Can Be A Treasure!

Enjoy the company of your elders.  If you still have grandparents, visit them, & visit them often.  Listen to their stories.  Write them down or record them.  You will learn so much wisdom from them while enjoying yourself at the same time.  You will treasure their stories one day when they are gone.  Some of my best memories involve my great grandmother when I was little or my granddad as an adult.  As a very little girl, my great grandmother & I had fun drawing, playing her favorite card game (Gin Rummy) or even snuggling up while watching the fire works on July 4th.  My granddad taught me a great deal about our family, including many fascinating stories of his & my grandmom’s early days of marriage & raising their family.

Grandparents & others in the elder generation can be such a blessing.  They have seen a lot in their lifetime, & have learned a lot.  They can teach you so much about life &, if they are relatives, about your family history as well.  Not to mention, they can be a lot of fun.  I always got some laughs when I spent time with Granddad.  He had a wonderful sense of humor.

Before Grandmom died in 1996, she & my aunt wrote a small book together that wasn’t published.  It included family history & some fun stories.  She wanted our family to expand on it, but no one did.  So a few years ago, I nagged my relatives for stories they wanted to include in the book.  I added some pictures as well, & ended up with a wonderful finished product with the help of my publisher.  If you feel creative, then I would suggest doing something similar.  It’s a fun project, & with the help of self-publishers, even an amateur can create a lovely finished product that can be passed down & treasured  through the generations.

If, like many of my readers, your elders are narcissists, this can be more complicated.  Don’t feel guilty if your parents are old & you don’t want to spend time with them.  How can you want to spend time with people who abuse you?!  It’s normal to feel that way.  People reap what they sow, & if they sow bad seeds into your life, you normally won’t want to spend time with them.  It took me a long time to realize this & stop feeling so guilty for not wanting to spend more time with my parents.  What you do regarding these people is between you & God only.  Don’t be guilt tripped into spending more time with abusive narcissists just because they’re old.  Being old doesn’t give a person the right to be abusive, & many narcissists only get more abusive as they get older.  You follow your heart & the promptings of God regarding the relationship, not what people have to say.

1 Comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Intrusive Thoughts

In case you don’t know, intrusive thoughts are thoughts that shove their way into your mind & are often impossible to get rid of.  They are very common with PTSD & C-PTSD.  In my experience, a brain injury combined with C-PTSD made them even worse.  Yay me..


A few minutes ago, I had yet another experience with intrusive thoughts.  My newest cat, Minnie Rose, is named after my great grandmom, who I absolutely adore.  She passed when I was 11, but I still have many fond memories of her, some of which replayed in my mind when Minnie Rose walked into the room with me.  Suddenly, I remembered that my parents never asked if I was ok or offered comfort when she died.  My granddad held me & let me cry at her viewing, & that was the only comfort or love I was shown regarding her passing.  I began to get angry that my parents didn’t care that I was grieving or even talk to me about her death.  I decided to get on facebook & distract myself for a little while as I really didn’t feel like dealing with this anger right now.  Even a short break so I could finish my housework in peace would have been nice.  That was a bad idea.  The “today’s memories” feature popped up & in there was a link to this old blog post.  Remembering how cruel my mother was to me last year at this time was very painful.


So now, I’m sitting here pretty pissed off.  Fun times… Not.


This type of thing has happened enough times that I’m used to it.  I also have learned how to handle it in a way that works for me, & I want to share it in the hopes they will work for you as well.


I have yet to find a way to stop intrusive thoughts.  They seem to have a mind of their own.  Also, I’ve noticed when I try, often something else happens that pretty much forces me to deal with what is on my mind.  This has shown me that intrusive thoughts have a purpose.  They serve as a reminder to say, “Now is the time to deal with this!  Get alone, get quiet & get with God so you can do it.”  This is actually a good thing, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.  (Apparently for me they also can serve as fodder for blog entries..lol)


When I can get alone, quiet & with God, I tell Him how I feel.  I let it out, all the anger & ugliness.  In return, He comforts me.  Sometimes (well, often..) I don’t feel like saying things out loud, so instead of talking to Him, I write in my journal as if I am talking to Him.  Either way, God does the same thing- helps me to get rid of the anger &/or hurt & comforts & often heals me from that painful incident.  It’s really that simple.  Healing isn’t always complicated.  Sometimes you just need to get your feelings out, be validated & receive some comfort in return.


Sometimes, I also ask God to tell me the truth about what happened.  Was it right?  Did I deserve it?  His answers are always amazing!  When God tells you that you didn’t deserve to be abused, you can’t help but believe it!  I’ve often sensed His anger at the injustice of the experience I went through, which also, believe it or not, is very healing.  It validates the fact that you were done wrong, very wrong.


Another thing I have noticed is that doing this may help you to release some anger, but acquire a new anger.  A righteous anger.  I know this can be difficult for victims of narcissistic abuse, because we were never allowed to be angry.  Often we carry that dysfunction well into adulthood.  And, as a Christian, many folks misunderstand anger.  They often believe you should forgive & forget, anger is from the devil, & shamed if you feel any anger no matter the situation.  We often feel wrong & ashamed if we feel any anger, so we try to ignore it.  I want to tell you today, Dear Reader, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with righteous anger!  Remember Jesus in the temple, overturning tables & freeing sellers’ livestock for sale?  That was righteous anger.  People were doing something offensive to God, & that enraged Him, as it should have!  Abuse is also offensive to God- why shouldn’t anyone be enraged by that?!


Righteous anger has its place.  It lets you know that something is very wrong & change needs to happen.  It also motivates you to make that change by stirring up your emotions.  I have only recently learned to embrace righteous anger.  It has helped me when I have to deal with my parents & their abusive, dysfunctional behavior.  Realizing that they expect me to behave as they want after how horribly they have treated me makes me angry with that righteous anger.  That anger gives me the strength to be firm in my boundaries & not tolerate things I would have tolerated without that anger.


In conclusion, I know intrusive thoughts are painful, upsetting & disturbing, but please be encouraged, Dear Reader.  They do have a purpose!  Dealing with them as quickly as possible will help you to heal & grow stronger.


Also, when you are done dealing with your intrusive thoughts, don’t forget to take care of yourself!  Emotional work is so exhausting.  Be gentle with yourself.  Pamper yourself.  You’ve earned it!


And now, I’m off to write in my journal then take a relaxing, long shower & goof off for the rest of my day…




Leave a comment

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

Some Information About Living With Mental Illness

Society has skewed so many mental health issues badly.

  • “I about had a panic attack!” is said when someone was really nervous, with no clue to how awful panic attacks really are.
  • Some people think remembering unpleasant things & flashbacks are the same thing.  They fail to realize that during a flashback, it can be almost impossible, or sometimes it is impossible to tell reality from flashback.  You have to fight with every fiber of your being to stay in reality instead of being lost in the awful flashback.
  • They even joke about something upsetting giving them Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dismissing the fact PTSD is caused by extreme trauma.
  • Saying “I’m so depressed” when the truth is they are just sad.  The person has no idea how debilitating depression can be.

Ignorant comments such as this along with the lack of compassion for people with genuine mental illness has done much to create a terrible stigma about mental illness.  The mentally ill are thought of as weak, wallowing in the past, stupid & more.  Even some in the medical field are not immune to having  these warped views.

Living with mental illness & putting up with this cruel stigma is not easy!  If you too have a mental illness, I applaud you!  As if the disorder isn’t bad enough, putting up with the ignorance of others makes it even harder.  It can create so much shame in you that you shouldn’t be forced to carry!

My hope is that writing about my experiences with C-PTSD helps to show that just because a person has a mental disorder doesn’t mean they are crazy, stupid, drama queens or even “less than.”  I’m a normal person who happens to have an illness, that is all.  It doesn’t mean I am weak- quite the opposite, as I’ve always been strong. The fact I have C-PTSD means that I’ve been through repeated traumatic experiences, not that I’m weak or feeling sorry for myself.

That is what you are too, Dear Reader.  If you battle mental illness as well, don’t tolerate people making you feel badly about yourself.  You are fine- you just have an illness.  Would you be ashamed of your illness if you had diabetes, cancer or heart disease?  Then why be ashamed of having a mental illness?  Why should mental illness be something to be ashamed of when physical illness is not?

If you’re like many who read my work & have PTSD or C-PTSD stemming from narcissistic abuse, I also want you to know that you are not alone.  I know it can feel that way sometimes, but it’s not true!  Unfortunately, many others have survived narcissistic abuse only to develop PTSD or C-PTSD as a result.  Sadly, they are normal results from abnormal circumstances like narcissistic abuse.  No one escapes narcissistic abuse unscathed.  Anyone who says they are completely fine is lying, especially to themselves.


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

A Way To Help Yourself Heal From Narcissistic Abuse

I’ve learned that being objective can be a helpful tool regarding your healing from narcissistic abuse.

When you grew up abused by a narcissist, the abnormal was your normal.  Not much phased you, because you were used to so many outrageous & horrible things.  Plus, your narcissistic mother made sure you knew that you never had any real problems- she was the only one who knew suffering.  You were accused of faking being sick or in pain to get attention.  On the off chance you were really sick or had a problem, hers was much worse than yours ever could be.  You also knew you weren’t to bother anyone with your “petty” problems.

The result of growing up like this means that even after you’re aware of narcissistic abuse & its devastating effects, you still don’t think you have the right to be affected by it.  The dysfunctional beliefs your narcissistic mother put on you as a child are naturally deeply ingrained in you.

The truth is though, that these beliefs don’t serve you well.  In fact, they hurt you.  You can become very depressed, because you know you have problems resulting from the abuse you endured, but you feel deep down that you don’t have the right to be affected.  You may even wonder if you’re faking it or exaggerating your problems.  You may even think you’re being too hard on your narcissistic mother.  You feel guilty or even wonder if you are going insane.

None of this is good for you!   You need to be able to look at the situation objectively, without emotion or dysfunctional beliefs if you want to see the truth & begin to heal.  It can be easier than you think to do.

Simply consider your situation differently.  Imagine that a good friend has come to you with this horrible story of growing up with an abusive, narcissistic mother.  What would you tell her?  Would you tell her to get over it or it wasn’t so bad?  Or, would you offer her compassion, telling her she has nothing to be ashamed of, it was terrible what she had been through & other caring things?

Treat yourself as you would treat that good friend of yours, with deep compassion.  Accept that you have been through some serious & traumatic things.  Once you do that, you are validating your pain & you can truly begin to heal.  You most likely will begin to grieve- grieve for your lost childhood, for the pain you endured, for the unfairness of the situation,  for the fact your father didn’t protect you & for the loss of hope that your mother will change into a loving mother one day.  This is a vital step towards healing.  It isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile to go through it.

Leave a comment

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

You Don’t Have To Explain Yourself To Anyone

One thing many people, in particular survivors of narcissistic abuse, seem to have a problem with is over explaining.

If someone asks you to do something that you are unable or unwilling to do, most people will explain in great detail exactly why they can’t or won’t do what is asked of them, even if they have to lie.  The truth however, is that is unnecessary.  And, sometimes it can cause disagreements between both parties involved, especially if the one doing the explaining feels compelled to lie which is often the case.

Did you know that no can be a complete sentence?

Matthew 5:37 states, “Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.” (AMP)

While you may be thinking that you wouldn’t lie, think about how many times you were free yet told someone you had previous plans to avoid doing what they wanted you to do?  I think all of us are guilty of doing this at some point.

Instead of that, why not just say no?  You owe no explanations- a simple no should suffice with most people.

Granted, with narcissists, they feel entitled to a detailed explanation of your “terrible” refusal to serve them, so no doesn’t always work.  Instead, there are some slightly more elaborate answers you can give without offering a long explanation.

“No, I can’t.”

“No, I don’t have time.”

“No, I won’t.”

“No.  It goes against my personal beliefs.”

Whatever you opt to say, remember not to give many details or much personal information.  Narcissists love to use what you say against you or to hurt you, so it’s best to keep details to yourself whenever possible.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Coping With The Changes That Come With C-PTSD, PTSD & Other Brain Injuries

I was reading something this morning by someone with PTSD.  She was discussing the limitations she has gotten as a result of the awful disorder.  I found one thing especially interesting about what she said.  She said rather than getting depressed about these changes, she has chosen to celebrate them, to look at them as a gift.

While this sounds good in theory, I was thinking about it.  I’ve had C-PTSD since 2012 (well, that’s when all the symptoms started- I had many of them all my life), then in February, 2015, I got carbon monoxide poisoning & passed out from it resulting in a concussion which has caused still more damage to my  brain.  There is a lot I can’t do like I once did.  I can’t read books without getting a headache & anxiety.  I can’t write easily- it takes much longer to write anything, even a short email, let alone a book.  My short term memory is awful, & learning new things is extremely difficult.  Loud noises are a problem too, including music, which means I can no longer drive around with my radio blaring- one of my favorite activities. I now have mild dyslexia & chemical sensitivities. I also get tired very quickly & my personality is quite different.

I’m not really feeling like these things are a gift.  I’m going to go out on a limb here & guess that others with PTSD, C-PTSD or other problems with similar symptoms like mild traumatic brain injuries don’t feel it either.

While I’m not saying you should wallow in misery for what you have lost, I think it is a good idea to be realistic.  In my experience, I have learned to grieve, then accept the changes.  It’s painful losing so much of yourself, how can you not grieve that?!  Grieving also clears the way for acceptance, in time, as it is the final stage of grief.

Allow yourself to feel sad that you have new limitations.  You have lost a part of what makes you, you.  You are allowed to feel sad for that!  Angry too!  In time, you will feel less & less sad & angry.  Then you will be more ready to accept these limitations & get to know the new you.

As you’re getting to know the new you, remember to treat yourself gently.  There may be times you feel strong & brave- push yourself as best you can during those times.  Other times, you feel weakened for various reasons, & need to relax.  Just do what you can do & don’t worry about the rest!  I know, easier said than done, but try it anyway.  Pushing too hard does you no justice.  It can make you sick.  When I have pushed myself too hard, there have been times I’ve needed to rest in bed for a day or two to recover.

Also, I am still trying to look at getting to know the new me as something enjoyable.  Like,  getting to know a new friend.  That perspective helps some too.

Dear Reader, be gentle with yourself.  If you have C-PTSD, PTSD or a TBI, you obviously have been through some bad, bad things!  Although you are obviously stronger than what tried to hurt or even kill you, you aren’t quite as strong as you once were.  It’s ok!  It’s normal, considering the circumstances.  Just remember that you aren’t quite as able to handle things like you once could, & adapt to that.  And, don’t forget- with God, all things are possible.  And, He loves you & wants you healed.  Don’t forget to pray for healing too!

Leave a comment

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

Just Because Someone Is A Christian Doesn’t Mean They Are Perfect

It seems to me that people who aren’t Christians think those of us who are should be perfect, never making mistakes or having bad things in our past.  I assume this mindset is perpetuated by the holier than thou Christians who act as if they never made a mistake before.

The truth though is Christians make mistakes.  Before & after we became Christians, we’ve made mistakes.  It’s part of being human.  Accepting Jesus as our Lord & Savior doesn’t change the fact we have made mistakes & will continue to do so until the day we die.

I’m no exception.  I have a divorce in my past that I’m not exactly proud of.  I cheated on my ex husband too.  I’ve also hurt people & I’m not a particularly good daughter.  Do these things mean that I’m a hypocrite or a bad Christian?  I don’t think so.  They show I’m human.

One of the most inspiring pastors I’ve heard preach is a lovely woman whose first book I edited. When I saw her preach, I was moved to tears.  She is a powerful woman of God, yet in her earlier years, she was a drug addict.  Now?  She is an inspiring pastor who helps & inspires countless people on a daily basis.  God is obviously at work in her life.

Don’t let it bother you when people pick apart your walk with God because you have made mistakes in your life.  Everyone makes mistakes, especially before accepting Jesus into their life.  Even after, you’re still going to make mistakes because you’re human & therefore not perfect.  What is most important is that you are trying to be like Jesus.  Your effort counts with God.  He knows you are imperfect, & only expects that you try your best.

Also, don’t forget to apply this to others as well.  Other Christians are just as imperfect as you, so they too will make mistakes.  They may even have sordid pasts.  Don’t let that affect how you treat them, however!  I’ve found the people with the worst pasts are often the most grateful for God’s love & try the hardest to please Him & treat people well.

Of course, if someone is deliberately hateful to you, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries.  In fact, I believe that to be loving, Christian behavior.  God wants what is best for His children, & sometimes “no” is what is best.

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Narcissism Gets Worse With Dementia & Alzheimer’s

As many of you know, my father received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in late July.  (Thank you to everyone who has offered their prayers & support- I appreciate that more than I can say!)  Also, my husband’s father was diagnosed with dementia last year.

My husband & I are both afraid of what the future holds, since these diagnoses are very painful for the victim as well as his family even under the best of circumstances.  Since both of us have very dysfunctional, narcissistic parents, it probably will be even worse than the average case.

Recently, I read that if a person has Narcissistic Personality Disorder prior to the diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, it will get worse as the disease progresses.  My heart sank as I read it, but it did make sense to me.

Alzheimer’s comes on very slowly, & can develop for even years prior to receiving a diagnosis.  The last few years, my father has changed- he is no longer a covert narcissist, but quite overt.

My husband’s father?  He was always the overt narcissist.  Then suddenly he changed- for a while, he softened up a great deal.  My husband even enjoyed spending time with him for the first time.  Around the time of his dementia diagnosis though, he defaulted back to his old ways.

From what I’ve read, the best way to deal with this frustrating & painful situation is to treat them as if you’re dealing with a spoiled child.  Normal boundary setting won’t work anymore, because they won’t remember what you said as their memories fade or know how to react.  However, if you can show them that their actions aren’t getting the desired result, you have a better chance of dealing with them.

Chances are, you are going to need someone to help in your narcissistic parent’s care.  It may be too difficult on you emotionally & physically to be a full time caregiver.  Start looking into options early in the diagnosis, before things get bad.  Your local Department of Aging is a wealth of resources as is the Veteran’s Administration if one or both parents were in the military.  If possible, find out where your parents keep their financial records, bank statements & the like in case they are needed.

One very nice lady at my local Department of Aging gave me very wise advice- always make it about them.  Remind them that something benefits them, & if it also benefits me, leave that part out of the conversation.  Keep all focus on them & you have a much better chance of success with your conversation.

There are also ways to deal with someone with such a disease, whether they are narcissistic or not, that you should know as well.  I admit I don’t know a lot, but these seem like common sense to me.  I used to take my mother’s mother to visit her husband in the nursing home.  His brain was damaged after a stroke, & he became much like someone with Alzheimer’s.  The nursing home kept him in the Alzheimer’s wing because of this, even though he didn’t have the disease.  I don’t think he remembered me at all, so I often stayed in the background while he & my grandmother visited.  I observed the other patients & how they responded to the ways they were treated.  This is some of what I learned.

Be patient.  This person is frustrated too that their mind isn’t working like it once did.  Don’t rush him or her- wait patiently for their answer instead.  If you need to remind them of something, do so gently.

Have a schedule, but be flexible.  For example, if you usually go to the grocery store on Tuesday, but the patient doesn’t feel like it, skip going.  Postpone the trip until the following day.  Or, find someone to sit with him or her while you go alone.

Be respectful.  If someone says they forgot something that you told them, don’t get frustrated & say something like “I told you this six times already!”  Just gently remind him or her again without saying “I already told you…”  Instead, say it like it’s the first time you’re mentioning it when possible.

Respond rather than react.  By this I mean that if the person says something deliberately hurtful to you, stop for a second, take a deep breath to calm down a bit, then respond.  Reacting with anger only upsets you both, & if the person is narcissistic, this can really start problems for you.  I had to do this recently with my father.  He asked how my in-laws are doing.  Mind you, he knows I haven’t spoken to them since 2002 because of how they treated me.  I took a deep breath & told him I don’t know or care- if he cares so much, talk to them about it & leave me out of this.  I said so calmly but firmly (then vented to my poor husband after I hung up the phone..).  So far, no more comments, but if there are, I will say the exact same thing again & again.  He doesn’t get upset, & I don’t end up feeling guilty because I yelled at my father.

Remember, many people with Alzheimer’s or dementia forget someone they knew has passed on or mistake you for someone else.  Just go along with it- what could it hurt if they think you are their mother, for example?   One day while visiting my step grandfather in the nursing home, a man who obviously had advanced Alzheimer’s thought I was his daughter.  I let him.   It seemed to give him joy for a few minutes, he obviously loved his daughter a great deal, then suddenly he was done & walked away.  No harm was done, & he was happy for a brief time.

Sometimes silence is a good thing.  Sometimes just sitting quietly with the person is comforting.  Or kind gestures, such as offering a manicure or combing their hair.

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Should You Be In A Relationship With Your Narcissistic Mother?

God doesn’t want you to be a martyr & stay in relationship with your narcissistic parent if you feel you can’t do it.  It’s not His will you be miserable, but to be happy.  However, that doesn’t mean going no contact is the only option.

No contact is a very drastic move, & one that should be made only after a great deal of prayer & thought on the matter.  It is also not one that you should let other people tell you to make.  You need to decide on your own whether or not it is the right decision for you, & have absolute certainty in your decision.

In 2001 I went no contact with my mother.  She contacted me in 2007, & I decided to allow her back into my life at that point.  I figured I had learned & grown enough that things would be better.  They are, although sometimes they are still extremely hard & painful.  Those times often make me think about going no contact again.  I have prayed about it many times, but I haven’t done it.  In 2001, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was what I had to do.  Now, I have yet to feel that certainty.  I firmly believe that our instincts are given to us by God, so if my instincts aren’t clearly telling me it’s time, then I won’t do it.

If you too feel no contact is not your answer just now, you are not alone!  I talk to many women who are either unwilling or unable to go no contact with their narcissistic mothers.  There are several things you can to do help you manage this painful relationship.

  • First & foremost, lean on God.  Ask Him to help you to know what you need to do, when you need to do it, & how you need to do it.
  • Keep your expectations of your narcissistic mother realistic.  She’ll never be the caring, loving mother you wish she was.  Accept her where she is.  Don’t try to change her. At the same time, refuse to tolerate her abuse.  Accepting her does NOT mean you need to tolerate being abused!
  • Enjoy whatever positive comes out of the relationship.  My mother has times where she is super pleasant & we get along well.  It started in 2013, lasted for I think two months, & shocked me.  It’s happened a few more times since then, & usually doesn’t last more than a couple of days.  Even so, I decided to enjoy them when they happen, & accept the fact they will end soon or that she may never be so nice ever again.  Acceptance means I am not devastated when the niceness is over.
  • Keep conversations as superficial as possible.  Telling your narcissistic mother about your problems, feelings or opinions is like giving her permission to crush you with her words, so keep conversations light.  If she asks what’s new in your life, you say nothing.  How are you- fine.  Brief, uninformative answers are your friend!
  • Show her NO emotion.  Keep all emotions, good bad or indifferent, in check around her, because if you don’t, she will feed off of them.  She will know what buttons to push to hurt you, & repeatedly push said buttons.  Don’t give her the satisfaction.  Then, once you’re away from her, tell God how you feel, write about it in your journal, or talk to a supportive friend.  Holding in emotions isn’t healthy, unfortunately doing so temporarily is a wise thing to do with any narcissist rather than let them see how you feel.
  • Have time limits.  If you only feel strong enough to deal with your mother for an hour visit once a week, that is fine.  Respect it.  Don’t push yourself to stop by her home every other day or talk to her on the phone daily.  It WILL hurt you physically & emotionally.  You’ll be very depressed & sick as the stress compromises your immune system.
  • Remember to pat yourself on the back when you enforce your boundaries & handle dealing with your narcissistic mother well.  Dealing with a narcissist is never easy, so be proud of your successes!
  • Learn from your mistakes.  There will be times you slip up.  You fall for your narcissistic mother’s manipulation or you show her you are angry when she insulted you.  Those things are inevitable, unfortunately.  Rather than beat yourself up for them, learn from them.  How could you have handled the situation better?  Do that the next time.  And you know there WILL be a next time.  Since she saw it upset you this time, she will do it again & again unless you let her know it doesn’t upset you anymore.
  • Take care of your emotional & physical health.  Dealing with any narcissist can take a toll on you, but perhaps none more than your own mother.  If you know you have to see her on Monday, take time on Sunday to relax, to pray, to strengthen yourself in preparation for the visit the following day.
  • Check your motives for staying in this relationship on a regular basis.  Are you doing so because it feels right in your heart, after much prayer?  Or, are you doing so because you’re afraid she’ll tell people you’re a bad daughter or she’ll start some kind of trouble for you?  If your motives are good for you, then you know you’re doing the right thing, even if it is painful sometimes.

Leave a comment

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

Being Feminine Or Masculine

Since I’m female as are the majority of my readers, I’ll write this directed mostly at the ladies, but the information is important for you gentlemen as well.

Narcissistic mothers love to destroy everything they can about their children, right down to destroying their femininity or masculinity.

I’ve always liked so many of the stereotypical girly things along with some more masculine things (like cars) & while growing up, my mother criticized me for them.  I wasn’t feminine enough because I preferred cars to baby dolls, but I was too girly for liking soft, feminine clothing.  I wasn’t really allowed to wear anything too feminine either, & my mother had to approve all my clothes until I moved out.

The result was stifled femininity.  It’s only been the last few years I’ve been letting my feminine side come out, & I feel so much more comfortable!

Can you relate?  Did your narcissistic mother try to destroy your femininity too?

If so, Dear Reader, I’d like to encourage you to take back your femininity!  You won’t regret it!

While I realize some women are naturally less “girly” than others, & there is nothing wrong with that, I’d like to encourage you to take back your femininity as well.  Whatever your level of femininity, it’s yours, & you need to be in control of it, not your abusive narcissistic mother!

So how do you take it back?

For me, I started paying attention to how I felt about feminine things.  I realized some things were more attractive to me when I ignored my mother’s views on femininity.  As an example, my mother only thinks clear, soft pink or mauve nail polish is appropriate.  I started experimenting with other colors.  I now wear almost every color except yellow, red or orange & only because they aren’t good colors for me.  Wearing so many different colors is something I enjoy.

I also realized the stereotypical masculine things I like don’t detract from my femininity.  I love classic cars & drag racing.  I also have no trouble fixing my own car when need be.  I don’t think this affects my femininity at all.  There is nothing wrong with being diverse in your interests!  (Besides, knowing how to fix my car means if I have car trouble, I can make it home, which isn’t a bad thing at all.)

Lastly, I thought about what being a woman, especially a feminine woman, means to me which is what I strive to be.  I think a woman is:

  • Caring
  • Nurturing
  • Generous
  • Loving
  • Helpful
  • Empathetic
  • Encouraging
  • Has integrity
  • Open minded
  • Doesn’t compromise her principles
  • Willing to work hard when needed
  • Has the wisdom to know when she needs to help others & when to step back
  • Appreciates softness
  • Appreciates beauty in all forms
  • Takes care of herself & her appearance
  • Maintains a clean, inviting, cozy home
  • Is always there for her husband, children & others in her life that she loves
  • Is self-sufficient but not too proud to ask for help when needed

Now it’s your turn- what does being a woman (or man) mean to you?

I hope this helps you to let the wonderful man or woman inside you come out!  God made you the way you are for a reason, so why shouldn’t you enjoy every aspect of yourself?


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Losing A Pet

As most of you know, I’m an avid animal lover.  I also have a weird knack for remembering dates.  So, I naturally remember this day in 1990 when I adopted my first cat, Magic…

Magic with Georgie Magic with Fluffy Magic looking handsome Magic chillin'

Magic was very special, my soul mate.  He was extremely intelligent, loving, devoted, protective, a great surrogate daddy to kittens, stubborn, devious & so much more.  He was in my life for over 16 years when he passed away quietly in my arms one afternoon.  Although he’s been gone since January 17, 2007, I still miss him daily.

I was thinking about Magic when something occurred to me.  So many people act like when you lose a pet, it’s no big deal.  “It’s just an animal” they say.  They fail to realize that animal is like a child to you.  You love him, take care of him, provide for him, comfort him when he’s sad or upset & nurse him when he’s sick.  How can you not be shaken to your core when you lose your furry child?!

If you’ve lost a precious pet, I would encourage you to honor his memory in some special way.  It will bring you comfort when grief threatens to overwhelm you, & remind you of fun memories as well.  I have a locket that has a small tuft of Magic’s fur on one  side & his picture on the other.  You could do something similar.  Or, you could get more creative.  A photo album or photo display in your home would be nice.  A special garden with a memorial plaque in your yard also would be nice.  Paint or draw your beloved pet’s picture.  When our neighbor’s Akita dog died, our dog, Bear, was devastated.. he loved Mathilda a great deal.  I decided to knit him an afghan since he liked to nap on them & a couple of my friends sent me squares to add into it.  All squares had two hearts on them in some unique way.  It brought him comfort when he was hurting.  You could do the same for yourself if you are into the yarn arts.  Or, you could sew a quilt.  The possibilities are endless.

Losing a pet is a horrible experience, but it has one good part.  Grieving hard means you loved hard.  As painful as it can be to believe when you first lose your furbaby, one day you will realize that it was worth it, because you had that special little angel in your life.  Remember that when you are in pain- it really will comfort you one day.

And, ignore those who try to invalidate your grief.  They are foolish or cold hearted.  Grieve that precious furbaby however you see fit.  You probably never will stop grieving completely, & that is ok!  It just means you loved that little one a great deal.

Tell God how you feel- He understands. .  In fact, God may bless you in a unique way at this time.  After losing Magic, I was listening to a CD one day, the soundtrack from the show “Touched By An Angel.”  Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on & God spoke to my heart saying, “This is from Magic.”  I can’t hear the song with it’s moving lyrics without thinking of Magic now.  It always brings me joy & reminds me we’ll see each other again one day.  This has happened with other cats I’ve lost, too.  Bubba’s song is “Freebird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Sugar’s is “Not A Day Goes By” (Lonestar), Vincent’s is “Someday We’ll Be Together” (The Supremes), Jasmine’s is “Angel” (Aerosmith), Georgie’s is “Angel Eyes” (Steelheart) & Sneezer’s is “Carrying Your Love With Me” (George Straight).  If God has blessed me like this, He may do the same for you.  Why not ask Him to do so?

Also, if you have other furbabies, then please never take them for granted!  As I’m writing, my Pretty Boy is napping on the sofa, snoring loudly, while Zippy is laying across my wrist as I type, purring loudly.  Their contentment brings me joy.  I love my boys so much, & tell them so all the time, just like I do with the other cats & dog.  Animals, like humans, need to know they are loved.  And, you need to enjoy the time you have with your little furry angels to the fullest!


Filed under Animals, Mental Health

Why Don’t People Care About The Feelings, Needs & Wants Of Children Of Narcissistic Parents?

I’ve realized just recently that all my life, many people have acted like my happiness means absolutely nothing.  It’s like they think I am here to serve, & do so without any feelings or needs of my own.

When I broke up with my ex husband before marrying him a few months later, many people told me I should go back with him because he was miserable without me.  Not one person cared how miserable I was with him, however.

When my father was in the hospital a few years ago, & my mother wouldn’t tell his family or friends, I did via facebook.  (I also provided my parents’ phone number & asked people to tell other relatives what was happening.)  There are a lot of us Baileys, & I don’t have many people’s phone numbers or emails, so facebook was simply the easiest way for me to reach the most people.  One person called my father in the hospital & told him I was a “spoiled little brat” for not calling her personally about this matter.  Other people got upset & chewed me out for using facebook instead of calling them personally.  No one got mad at my mother for failing to tell them anything, even though it was her responsibility to do so.  No one took into consideration the anxiety I was under daily or how exhausted (mentally & physically) I was.

There have been countless times over the years I was going to spend time with a friend & that friend either stood me up or ran very late, without letting me know what was happening, causing me to wait & worry about them.  When I finally did contact them (mind you they didn’t contact me!), no apology was given or any sign that they felt guilty at all for wasting my time or disappointing me.

Do any of these situations sound somewhat familiar to you?

I am reasonably sure that these kinds of situations happen quite a bit to those of us who grew up with narcissistic parents.  The only reason I can come up with is because we are groomed from day one to be subservient.   Our narcissistic parents firmly believe (& instill the belief in us) that we are put on this earth to take care of & please our narcissistic parent with absolutely no regard to our own feelings, wants or needs.  As we grow up, naturally that relationship stays this way, but we extend this dysfunctional role to include others.  Because we believe this is what we are supposed to do, we show others that we believe we deserve to be used & ignore ourselves.  Often even good people will treat us the way we believe we deserve to be treated simply because it’s natural to treat people how you see they expect to be treated, good or bad.

By saying this, please don’t think I’m saying we get what we deserve when people mistreat or use us!  Not by any stretch.  It’s still on an individual to control his/her behavior.  Ultimately, it is the other person’s fault if they are abusive, period.

To deal with this super annoying problem, I have found that getting healthier & increasing my self esteem has done wonders.  I think because I no longer give off that “It’s ok to abuse me” energy.  As I’ve gotten healthier & my self esteem improved, I no longer have any patience for being abused, & I think people pick up on that.

Prayer is extremely helpful as well.  Asking God how to deal appropriately with people who want to abuse me & how to set & enforce healthy boundaries has helped to give me wisdom & strength in bad situations.

Leave a comment

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

It’s Hubby’s Birthday!

Today is Eric’s birthday!!  Like many other adult children of narcissists, it’s a day he’s just as soon forget.  But, I’m hoping we can do something to make it a special day.  He certainly deserves to enjoy his birthday!  Feel free to wish him a happy birthday in the comments if you like- I’ll be sure to share with him.  :)

Keeping along with the birthday theme, I thought I’d take a moment to remind you, Dear Reader, to remember something.  Your birthday is just that- YOURS.  When it comes up, you need to celebrate it however you see fit.  Please don’t treat the day as your narcissistic mother did.  So many made their child’s birthday miserable in some way, & if you experienced that, don’t continue that pattern!  It’s your day- enjoy it however you see fit!

If you can, do something special for yourself on your birthday.  Even if it’s just grabbing a bouquet of flowers for yourself or taking a bubble bath.  It doesn’t have to be on the exact day either- if you can’t take off work, then do something special the following day or over the weekend.

If you’re like my husband & I & prefer to forget your birthday, please know you’re not alone.  I tried for a while to enjoy it, but it didn’t last long.  My birthday last April was awful.  It was just one of many bad ones, & now I’d just as soon forget my birthday completely.  While I’d like to encourage you to at least try to enjoy your day somehow, I understand sometimes that just isn’t going to happen.  Rather than feeling bad about that, try to keep in mind that at least your birthday is still done on your terms.  Ok, admittedly it’d be a lot more fun to do something special for your birthday, but if you don’t feel you can, at least you still are doing your birthday your way.  After all, it is your day, so you are allowed to treat it however you like.  Nothing says you have to have a big celebration for your birthday or even acknowledge it if you aren’t inclined to do so.  You are free to do whatever you want, & that includes doing nothing.

However you wish to handle your birthday, I would like to encourage you to do one thing- refuse to take any phone call or see your narcissistic mother.  Make sure you take this one day for yourself, minus drama, minus snide criticisms, minus guilt trips about how being pregnant with you made her incredibly sick for nine months… give yourself that one day a year without all of that nonsense.  You truly deserve that.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Help For Dealing With Narcissistic Parents

My parents came by for a visit on Thursday.  I didn’t expect it to be a good one.  My mother is always angry with me, & my father was upset I postponed from last week.  For days,  I prayed & worried.

Wednesday, I suddenly got very angry at the fact that my parents have done so much to me, yet believe they are entitled to come into my home anytime & treat my furbabies & I so nastily in our own home.  Mind you, I’m not particularly good with anger.  Growing up, my mother accused me of having “that Bailey temper”, shaming me, if I was angry or even simply just frustrated. I learned early to ignore anger.  It’s only been recently I’ve been trying to deal with anger in a healthy way.  Even so, it still feels awkward to be angry, so Wednesday was a somewhat difficult day.

I realized something though.  I was gaining confidence.  It really started to sink in that I have a right to be angry about the things they have done & continue to do to me.  That anger gave me the confidence to realize I do NOT have to put up with being abused.  If me having boundaries hurts their feelings, that isn’t my problem.

Shortly before they arrived, I remembered something that also helped me.  Years ago, I stopped speaking to my mother 6 years.  During that time, I had planned to visit my Granddad one Saturday.  The night before, he called & said my parents had just called to say they were coming by on that same day.  He said “If you want to do this another time, I’ll understand.”  I thought about doing that, but said no- I want to see him & if he wants to see me too, then I’ll be there in the morning.  He did so we agreed I’d come by the following morning.   That day of the visit, my mother was shocked to see me there.  (Years before, she had tried to ruin my relationship with my grandparents.  I had stopped speaking to them for several years, & at the time of the visit, only had began visiting him again a few months prior)  She did her best to frazzle me with some of her actions, but instead I let her know they wouldn’t work, much to the delight of Granddad who was quite proud of me that day.  I was proud of myself for handling things so well, too!

Remembering that successful event & being angry both helped me to stay strong when my parents came by & successfully, for the first time, limit the time of their visit!  For the first time, I told them when the visit was over, not them staying in my home until they felt like leaving!

My point (finally..lol) is these tricks can help you when it comes to dealing with your narcissistic mother as well.  I know many Christians think anger is from the devil or you’re a terrible person to feel anger, but I completely disagree!  Anger is a normal emotion & it is from God.  Yes, forgiveness is a wonderful thing & should be practiced regularly.  However, anger has its place too.  A righteous anger at injustice is a wonderful motivator for change.  What is the difference?  Being angry at the unfairness of being abused & being angry because you know you have done nothing to deserve abuse, those are examples of righteous anger.  Me being angry because my parents have abused me & think they still have to right to do so is also righteous anger.  God stirred that anger up in me for a reason on Wednesday- to help me be strong & able to set boundaries with my narcissistic parents the next day.

And, God also reminded me of a very successful interaction I’d had with my parents, which was extremely helpful as well.  Remembering how well that previous episode had gone helped me to see that yes, I could be strong.  Yes, I could handle things well.  Yes, I could even be composed when angry.  I could do it!

Dear Reader, what God did for me, He can do for you as well.  I prayed & asked friends to pray for me to have strength for this visit, & God certainly did not disappoint.  I would like to encourage you too, to think on similar things in your life.  Gain courage from your successes, & hold onto that righteous anger!  If you are having trouble, ask God to help you.  He truly will!


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

Is It Self Pity Or Self Compassion?

It seems to be a big thing these days to take pride in not feeling sorry for yourself.  Pick yourself up by your bootstraps!  If you can do that, yay you!

It seems to me though, that this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Compassion is a wonderful thing.  If you are hurting, & someone lets you know that they care or they try to make you feel better, it really helps ease your pain.  Even if the person knows nothing they can do can take away your pain, so they offer you a silent hug or just listen to you talk, these loving gestures can mean the world in times of trouble.

So why is it such a bad to offer yourself these kind of loving gestures?

If I had a friend who had recently experienced something traumatic, I would try to offer her comfort as best I could.  I would tell her to relax while I cleaned her house if she wasn’t feeling up to it or take her to dinner. So why is it any different if I was the one who lost someone to do similar things for myself?  That is NOT self pity- it is self compassion, & I fail to see how it is a bad thing.

Of course, balance must be had.  You can’t feel sorry for yourself 24/7 or you’d be utterly miserable.  That being said though, I think it is quite healthy to feel bad for yourself after experiencing trauma, disappointment, loss or heartbreak.  Basically, you’re telling yourself that you love yourself, & you care about the fact you’re going through a tough time.  What could possibly be so bad about that??

Aside from society’s foolish view on this topic, being someone who has survived narcissistic abuse, it can be difficult for you to give yourself any compassion.  When you are raised by someone who makes it very clear that your pain means nothing, it is very hard to care about yourself.  The more you heal from narcissistic abuse though, the easier it becomes.  The more you finally gain the realization you are worthy & you are lovable, the more self compassion you have.  You finally understand that your narcissistic mother isn’t the only one to have problems.  You have genuine problems too sometimes, & there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself when you are suffering because of them.


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

Shame For Being Abused

We live in a culture where victim blaming is the norm.  People wonder what the woman did to provoke her husband for beating her, & offer her no sympathy because she stays with him.  Rape victims are blamed for being attacked.  If she wasn’t wearing that short skirt or wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t have happened, they say.  Even many adults who were abused as children  are not often believed, & sometimes even blamed.  “If it was really so bad, why didn’t you tell someone?”  “I really can’t see your mother (or father) doing that.”  “I had it worse than you & I’m just fine.”

This leads to a tremendous amount of shame in victims.  They can feel ashamed for being so “weak” as to be affected by what happened, or ashamed it happened at all.  They blame themselves for being abused.  They may feel terribly about themselves because  so many others have had it worse than they did.  They even may wonder if it really happened.  (Not being believed really can lead to that much doubt!)

I’ve been through this myself, & still battle it sometimes (although thank God those times are fewer than they once were).  I especially have trouble with beating myself up for being so weak as to be so damaged from the abuse I endured growing up.  Not healthy & really not wise!

If this describes you too, Dear Reader, please know that you have no reason to be ashamed!  Abusers are the ones who should be ashamed, not their victims!  Just because you were abused doesn’t mean you have done something wrong.  What it means is there is something very wrong with the person who hurt you!

When you feel this way, I’ve found praying to be very helpful.  Telling God just how I feel helps a lot.  Keeping things secret, I think, gives them power. but bringing things into the open releases their hold on you.  Talking about them helps you in that way, especially talking about them with God, who loves you so much & can comfort you like no one else can.

Also, remembering some of the worst events helps too, believe it or not.  It puts the abuse in perspective & reminds you that yes, it really was bad!  It also reminds you that you didn’t, couldn’t, do anything to deserve what you went through.  Write them out if you like- that way you can look back over them the next time you feel that shame creeping in.  The anger over what happened can be helpful.  While I have forgiven my mother for abusing me, I am still angry over the unfairness of it all, & the damage caused by it.  That anger helps me when the shame starts to act up.

Always remind yourself- the blame & shame for you being abused belongs square on the abuser, not on you.  Remind yourself that it is not yours to carry.  If visuals help you, imagine yourself carrying this large, ugly sack.  Then, see yourself handing it over to the person who abused you & walking away, leaving them to hold this sack.


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

Your Mistakes Can Minister To Yourself & Others

Since I’ve learned so much about narcissistic abuse & started writing about it, I’ve had many people contact me looking for answers.  Some I simply can’t help, because helping others is hard on me emotionally.  It’s a tremendous responsibility helping people, & I take it very seriously.  When people ask me for help, I try to offer it to the best of my ability.  Even if I’m writing books or blog posts like this, I want to provide good, helpful, truthful information.

As a result, people look to me as if I have all the answers sometimes.  The fact is though, I don’t.  I also make mistakes.  Lots of them.  And often.

When I first started writing about narcissistic abuse, I was loathe to admit mistakes I’ve made.  Frankly, it can be embarrassing sometimes.  I’ve done some amazingly dumb things!  As time has passed though, I realized that people have more respect for someone who is real, willing to admit their shortcomings & mistakes, than they do for someone who acts as though they never slip up.

So many people in positions like mine seem to be afraid they’ll lose popularity if they admit their flaws.  So instead of being open about themselves, they present a false image of perfection.  This can be extremely discouraging to people following their teaching.  It was for me.  I felt like a failure, like I didn’t have enough faith or not praying the right way.  I felt “less than.”

There are three preachers on TV that I absolutely love & have loved since I first became a Christian- Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes & Joyce Meyer.  Aside from the fact their preaching makes so much sense to me, they also admit their mistakes & shortcomings.  They’re real!  Listening to them or reading their books never makes me feel bad about where I am in life.  Quite the opposite.  They make me realize I’m OK while encouraging me to continue learning & growing.

Another bonus to being open is you lose the shame over your flaws.  Bringing them into the open loosens that shame much like sunlight destroys vampires in the old legends.  Hiding them gives them power over you.  Power to keep you feeling embarrassed & even ashamed of yourself.

The reason I’m telling you this, Dear Reader, is to encourage you.

No doubt that as you recover from narcissistic abuse you will begin to share some of your experiences.  Maybe only with those very close to or maybe you will feel led to write about it like I have.  In any case, I want to encourage you to be open about it.  People will respect you for your transparency.  So few people in the world are genuine these days, & the few that are, are greatly appreciated.  And, if you end up in a position of helping others, they will be encouraged when they realize you, someone who is teaching them, have made mistakes & are able to learn from them.  They also will feel comfortable enough to approach  you.  You may be the only person they tell about their painful experiences, & opening up can help them tremendously.

It’s funny… sometimes your mistakes really can be a part of your ministry to others!


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

Miracles Still Happen

I know many people don’t believe that miracles still happen.  They were just for Biblical days.  I respectfully disagree!  There is no time limit on miracles!

Yesterday I was looking at facebook.  One of my old posts popped up from October 15, 2013.  It was the day I took our cat, Pretty Boy, in for his annual check up.  Since he has diabetes we have to keep on top of his health.  I expected the normal results- he’s doing fine, just check his glucose levels & email us a report.

That isn’t what happened though.

The vet said he lost almost 2 pounds.  She also said something felt odd & she wanted to do an ultrasound.  Blood was drawn, then an ultrasound was done.  A while later, she came back into the exam room with the results of both.  She said Pretty Boy had liver carcinoma, & probably wouldn’t be around much longer.  His liver was enlarged & his red blood cell count was only 25 (it should be 35-45, she said).  I took him home, & prayed for him often.

Then this past February 9, we took Pretty Boy in for his check up.  Another vet, the owner of this hospital who I’ve known for many years, saw him since the first one had changed jobs.  He kept saying Pretty Boy looked “great” & my little guy had gained 2 pounds.  Another vet talked to us about the diabetes he’s lived with since 2011, & said she thought Pretty Boy was going into remission.  The first vet then told me to call him the next day for the results of his blood work.  I did, & was in for a surprise!  He said three times that Pretty Boy’s blood work was “perfect!”  I asked about the liver carcinoma.  He asked what I was talking about, so I explained the previous exam’s results.  He said, “She must have made a mistake- Pretty Boy is doing great.  His blood work is absolutely perfect.”  Prayers were answered, & God healed our sweet kitty!

Pretty Boy’s healing was a miracle, as far as I’m concerned.  As I’m typing this, he’s lying on the sofa, a couple of feet away, grooming himself & looking content.  I’m so grateful to see that!

Healing cancer, whether for a cat or a human, is a miraculous event!  It’s also proof that God still does miracles,  answers prayers & loves His children enough to care about what we care about.

Dear Reader, please be encouraged today.  What God did for my furbaby, He can do for you.  Or if you need a financial miracle instead of a healing , He can do that too.  Praying for the salvation of a loved one?  He can save them as well.  Whatever your need, God has the answer.  All you have to do is ask & know that He is your answer.


Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers

The Narcissistic Apology

Narcissists rarely apologize for anything, but when they do, you can be certain it isn’t a genuine apology.

A genuine apology doesn’t include excuses. Someone who is genuinely sorry for their actions won’t say you made them act that way. That person also will try to change their ways as they don’t want to hurt you like that again.

All of these are foreign concepts to the narcissist.

Narcissists hate to admit they are wrong, & will go to great lengths to avoid it. They will offer excuses as to why what they did was not their fault, or even blame you for making them do what they did. They love to offer the passive/aggressive type of apology- “I’m sorry you feel that way.” “I’m sorry you think what I did was wrong/unfair/hurtful.” All of these actions show that the narcissist is not genuinely sorry for what she did. Most likely, she doesn’t care that she hurt you & only cares that she accomplished whatever it was she wanted to accomplish.

I also realized recently another trick of the narcissistic apology. My father has done this one many times & it wasn’t until recently I caught onto it. He recently apologized to me for not being there enough for me in my life. I was touched- there was no blame or excuses so I assumed it was a genuine apology.  He apologized for missing my fifth birthday because he had to travel for work. I told him it’s fine- not a big deal, it was just a birthday. He went on to say how terrible it was of him, he shouldn’t have gone on that trip. Again I said it was no big deal. I pointed out how many other birthdays he was there for. It was only one birthday. Plus he did other things for me. By the end of the conversation, he was happy.

While there are times I am more than willing to reassure someone who hurt me, this was not one of those times that was a good option. If someone accidentally hurt me once, fine. Bad things happen sometimes. But this was different. My reassurance would have been providing narcissistic supply.  Unfortunately, I realized this after the conversation, & then I felt conned into telling him he was a good father.

Whenever you hear a narcissist apologize to you, remember- it is NOT a genuine apology! Don’t get your hopes up thinking they might finally see the error of their ways & change. The narcissist’s apology is like every other thing they do- it’s only about narcissistic supply.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Narcissists Love To Determine Who You Are- Don’t Let That Happen!

Abusive, narcissistic people somehow believe they have the right to tell you who you are, what you like or don’t like & to determine your worth & value in this world.  When this happens, you can lose yourself if you are not aware of what they are doing.

This happened to me. I really had no idea who I am my entire life.  I was only aware of a very few things that I genuinely felt strongly about.  Everything else was a result of being told that I felt a certain way.  I realized this was happening when I was in my early 30’s, & tried halfheartedly to learn who I really was, who God wanted me to be for a while after that.  Once I hit 40 though, I decided I had to get to know the real me, & I am very glad I did.

I’ve come to learn that the real me is a much more interesting person than the dysfunctional, mousy person that the narcissists in my life tried to make me into.  I have no tolerance for abuse & nastiness, & will call people out on it now.  I have more varied interests now that others are not telling me what I like & don’t like.   I also have learned to trust God, to listen to what He says I am, rather than listen to the warped views of dysfunctional, evil people.

You can find these things & more out about yourself too!

Stop listening to what dysfunctional, selfish people have to say about you.  You have a great deal of value!  You are a unique, special person created by God Himself to do great things!  Start listening to what God says about you & reject what others say.  The motives of any narcissist are always self serving, & not for your best interest at all, so why would you allow someone so dysfunctional to determine anything about you?  Instead, listen to God & listen to your heart.  You’ll discover you are an amazing individual!

Leave a comment

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Validate Yourself

Being a victim of narcissistic abuse is not an easy thing.  You go through the abuse & somehow survive, only to be victimized further by people who invalidate what you have gone through.

I have heard comments such as…

  • “That doesn’t sound so bad…”(from my high school guidance counselor, referring to my mother screaming at me for hours in my teen years)
  • “You just need to understand her better.”
  • “Nobody’s perfect!”
  • “You need to fix things with your parents.  Get into counseling!”
  • “You need to work things out with your parents.  They won’t be around forever yanno!”
  • (from a different counselor after meeting my mother) “I can’t see you anymore- you’re a terrible daughter!”
  • “You need to find things you have in common with your parents!”
  • “You’re too negative!”
  • “I can’t believe they are that bad!”
  • “Are you even sure that happened?  That’s a pretty serious accusation.”
  • Various excuses as to why my narcissistic parents or mother in-law treated me so poorly such as she isn’t intelligent (she isn’t educated- big difference), her mother in-law didn’t like her, etc.
  • Laughing at my story of being abused.

After hearing such things, I felt victimized all over again.

Victim blaming is very common in today’s society, so it’s not surprising these cruel words & more are said to victims of narcissistic abuse daily.

Unfortunately I don’t believe there is any way to avoid them entirely.  All you can do is use wisdom on who you share your story with.  Even when you do this, sometimes people may hurt you by invalidating your pain.

The fact is though that you can validate yourself.  You can heal from narcissistic abuse even if there is no one to support you but God.

To do this, you need to lean on God.  Talk to Him about how you feel.  He can handle it all & wants to be there for you!  Let Him be!

As for you.. you need to trust that what happened was bad.  Admit it to yourself.  No more excuses, no more telling yourself you’re oversensitive or weak.  Narcissistic abuse permeates every part of a person’s being.  It can destroy one’s self-esteem, perception of reality or even sanity.  It is nothing to take lightly!   If you’re having trouble with this, write your story out.  When I wrote my autobiography “Emerging from the Chrysalis” a few years ago, it was hard.  Very hard.  For the first time, I realized just how bad the abuse I have survived really was.  Yet, as hard as it was to see things in black & white, it was very freeing too.  It gave me a new perspective.  I realized I’m a very strong person.  I also realized God must love me a great deal to have gotten me through all of that.  It also helped me to see my parents as they truly are, instead of making excuses for their behavior or thinking I was the one with the problems- I really wasn’t oversensitive, overreacting, reading too much into things, etc.  They have some serious problems & one of those problems is NOT me!

Once you are able to accept the truth about what you have gone through, healing will come.  You will grieve, you will be angry, but these are necessary steps to freedom from narcissistic abuse.  And, the more you validate yourself & heal, the less other people’s invalidation will bother you.  I’m not saying it won’t hurt sometimes- it’s only human to be hurt when your pain is trivialized- but it won’t devastate you as it once did.


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

“You Don’t Look Sick”

I’ve been reading a lot lately about people who have a disease or mental illness, who have the handicapped plates on their car receiving nasty notes on their car that say awful things like “You don’t look sick.  Shame on you for using that parking place when someone who is really sick needs it!”  Or, others who have problems that don’t show outward signs are faced with family members & friends who don’t believe they’re actually sick.  These people are accused of things like looking for attention, faking it so they don’t have to work or even faking their illness so they can get certain drugs.

I’ve been on the receiving end of this myself.  Having C-PTSD, some people think is a walk in the park.  If only!  Try to handle a flashback when you have to focus every ounce of strength on staying in reality versus getting lost in the flashback & I dare you to tell me it’s no big deal.  Earlier this year, I’ve also been through getting a concussion when I passed out from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Each day is now a gamble on how functional I can be, because both have done damage.  But, since I look fine, & usually can hold a conversation fairly well, people assume I’m fine,  or some will flat out insult me when my symptoms show up.

It can be so hard not to internalize people’s cruel, thoughtless words!  All too often, I berate myself for being lazy when I don’t feel up to simple tasks or call myself stupid when I can’t remember things or can’t find the right words to express myself.  Internalizing such things demoralizes you & makes you doubt the legitimacy of your symptoms.  It can make you feel as if you’re crazy.

When I was 19, my mother threw me into a wall so hard, I had back pain for the next 10 years.  No one believed me, except for one chiropractor & my ex husband then later my current husband.  Everyone else said I was faking it, lazy, etc.  It sank in.  I doubted myself many times.  Even in the midst of awful pain, I thought I was making it up so I didn’t have to work (the most common thing I heard).  On good days when the pain wasn’t so bad, I was convinced I had to be lying & my back wasn’t so bad.  It was a terrible feeling!

The fact is, with most injuries, diseases & disorders, you have good & bad days.  Just because last Tuesday was a good day doesn’t mean you were lying about the other bad days!  You simply had a good day!

Most people seem to lack empathy for those suffering from debilitating health problems.  If you are one of them, STOP IT!  How do you think you would feel if you had a serious problem & someone  told you to get over it, stop faking it or even you don’t look sick?  You wouldn’t tolerate it happily, so why should someone else?

If you are someone who has been on the receiving end of such ignorant, heartless statements, please remember that the person saying such nonsense has no idea what you live with each day.  Ignore what they say.  You know what you live with on a daily basis.  You know your painful symptoms all too well.  Ignore their words & believe what you see & feel, what you live with daily.  Those things will show you that you are sick & that you aren’t lazy, faking, etc.  While you take care of yourself, don’t forget to ask God to heal you.  And, pray for the heartless person as well.  Ask God to help them to have an empathetic, compassionate heart so they don’t continue to hurt you or other people.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Inner Faultfinder

Everyone has an inner voice.  That sense of pride when you do a job well is a part of it, as is that other voice that criticizes you when you make a mistake.  For most of us who suffered narcissistic abuse, that inner voice turns into the harshest, cruelest critic you can imagine.

Have you ever done something simple, like spill your drink, & then tell yourself how clumsy you are for doing so?  Or, did you show up late due to circumstances beyond your control such as a flat tire then berate yourself for being so unreliable?  Did your company let you go due to cutbacks, no fault of your own, yet you still told yourself you were a failure?  That is your inner voice turned inner faultfinder.

That voice isn’t naturally cruel.  It turns cruel because of your narcissistic mother.  Her constant put downs & judgments eventually turn inward, & you began to tell yourself the same things she did.  Maybe you use her words, or maybe not, but you become as abusive towards yourself as she is towards you.

Unfortunately, this seems to be a natural event for children of narcissistic mothers.  I wonder if it is because that inner voice stays stuck as a child.  It doesn’t grow up, but instead stays an abused child, wanting to please the impossible to please narcissistic mother.  When you fail  to please her (by making a mistake, spilling something, doing something she wouldn’t approve of, etc.), that inner voice simply repeats what your mother has said (or implied).  I’ve heard that some people who experience trauma at an early age never emotionally grow past that point.  They get stuck at the age of their traumatic experience.  Maybe for some of us who didn’t do that, our inner voice did instead.  It just got stuck in an abusive childhood, & wants so desperately to please the narcissistic mother, it will imitate her actions in an attempt to make it happen.

I have been this way my entire life- extremely critical of myself.  If I forget something, I tell myself how stupid I am.  If I’m feeling under the weather & my husband helps me with or worse yet, does all of the housework, I’m useless & a burden.  If I stub my toe, I’m stupid, clumsy & should’ve known better.  It’s not a pretty inner dialog.  Frankly, it’s gotten old.  I’ve heard enough unfair criticisms in my life to last ten lifetimes, & not only from the narcissists- from myself as well.  I’ve decided it’s time to change.  God has shown me some ways to change this, & I’ll share with you in the hopes they help you as well..

  • Ask for God’s help on the matter.  He will show you creative ways to handle it as He has me.
  • Tell that critic to shut up.  I’m going to say “shut up!” to that awful faultfinding, hyper-critical voice inside every time it says something hateful, then switch my thinking to something else.  Anything to take my mind off what it said.
  • Remind yourself the critic is only an echo of your narcissistic mother, & it’s wrong.  Just like your narcissistic mother, this voice has her best interests at heart, not yours.  Its opinions won’t benefit you.  Ignore it as you do your narcissistic mother’s useless opinions on your life.
  • Years ago, I saw Robb Thompson, a preacher on TV, give a wonderful visual for controlling bad thoughts.  He said they were from the devil, so when bad thoughts came to you, imagine taking the devil by the hand, walking him over to God & saying to the devil, “Ok, now tell Him what you just told me.”  Naturally the devil would be too afraid to say anything so cruel to one of His children in front of God & would back down.

I believe it will take time to make that cruel inner voice less cruel but I think it can be done.  After all, it was trained to be so negative- why can’t it be retrained to be less abusive?


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

How Grief Can Help You Heal

Last night, I dreamed a lot, but don’t remember about what.  I assume one had to do with my mother hurting me badly a few months ago, because when I first woke up, I couldn’t get the incident out of my mind for quite a while.  She asked one day if my ex husband ever hit me.  I said he did once, & her response was to tell me she had no idea.  If she would’ve known, she would’ve called a lawyer.  Didn’t ask if I’d been hurt or anything, just kept the focus on her- how she felt about it & what she would’ve done if she had known.  Apparently she doesn’t remember she saw me shortly after, when I looked rough, complete with bruises on my wrists in the shape of his hands where he’d grabbed me.  She also forgot telling my father she couldn’t imagine what I did to make him hurt me like that.  The conversation hurt so badly, I began crying while she was on the phone, which I try never to do.  Thankfully, she didn’t notice because of being so caught up in her narcissistic monologue.

That incident hurt me terribly.  It left me feeling very depressed for quite some time as I grieved the fact my mother doesn’t care enough about me to remember such a traumatic incident in my life.  I couldn’t even think about it sometimes, because I simply couldn’t tolerate that hurt.

Thankfully, when I woke up this morning & was forced to think of this incident (gotta love intrusive thoughts..), I realized something had changed.  My period of grief was done.  While thinking about it made me a bit sad, it was nothing like it once was, & mostly I was angry.  It was a healthy, righteous anger at the unfairness of the situation.  My own mother doesn’t care enough to remember seeing her daughter bruised & injured.  What kind of mother does that?!  The anger empowered me, & this is a good thing, I think.  It will enable me to be stronger when I have to deal with my mother, to enforce my boundaries better  & to tolerate less nonsense from her than I have been.

Grieving is a vital part of healing from abuse.  Releasing the pain & sadness for all you went through can help to bring you to a healthier perspective of your situation.  It clears your head, allowing room for other, healthier thoughts & emotions to come in.  It certainly did exactly this for me in the above mentioned situation.

I think many people are adverse to grieving the abuse they endured, because they think of it as feeling sorry for themselves.  Society places so much value on picking yourself up by your bootstraps & moving on that people want to just do that, while ignoring the process that enables moving on to happen.  Instead, they tend to ignore their pain, stuffing it down & putting on a happy face.  There is nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself for a time though!  I think of it as self-compassion, rather than self-pity.  If you would feel bad for a friend who told you her painful story, what is wrong with you feeling that same way regarding yourself & your own painful story?

Grieving is more than feeling self-compassion though.  It is processing what happened which allows you to release the pain.  Maybe all of it or maybe only most of it, but once pain is released you are then able to function better & think more clearly.

Allow yourself to grieve over the painful things you’ve experienced!  Cry about them, get angry about them, say out loud that what happened to you was unfair, cruel & simply wrong.  Do what you need to do to get the pain & sadness out of you- you will be much happier in the long run.

For more information, please follow this link to my website: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Grieving.php

Leave a comment

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

One Of God’s Most Precious Gifts- Animals

I’ve always been an avid animal lover, especially cats.  In 2009 after losing my 18 year old tabby cat Sneezer, I thought I’d study what the Bible has to say about animals.  It was very eye opening!  I learned enough to write a full book on the topic, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”  

The Bible has so much to say about God’s love for the wonderful animals that He created.  Two verses though really spoke to my heart about how valuable animals are:

Job 12:7-10  “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”  (ESV)

Job 35:11  “Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’” (ESV)

I’ve always known that animals can make wonderful companions, but they also are wonderful teachers.  After reading those verses, it began to click in my mind just how good they are at teaching.

My first cat, Magic, taught me how to be a good mom to my cats.  He was always loving & patient with them, even the neediest young kittens.  He knew exactly what they needed & how to meet those needs.

Vincent taught me to appreciate the little things & people.  One day I was walking him outside & he stopped to let the cool fall breeze flow through his fur.  The look on his face was sheer bliss.  When it stopped, he looked at me, then grabbed my hand & kissed it, I believe to thank me for allowing him to enjoy the experience of being outside.

Jasmine inspired me to never give up.  She had 4 strokes in just under 2 years, & fought incredibly hard to recover from them, even when a vet told me I should put her down.

If you just pay attention to the animals in your life, you can learn some really amazing things.  I have asked God to help me to learn from my furbabies.  They are also some amazing teachers, always willing to teach you.

I also talk to them just as I talk to people.  Animals are very intelligent, & they truly understand what we say to them, not only the tone of our voices as some wrongly believe.  They also find ways to convey their messages to you.   I remember one time before my dog, Bear, passed.. he  had arthritis really badly, & one day he needed a pain pill.  He came into the kitchen as I was washing dishes & looked at me.  I could tell he was hurting by how he walked, & asked if he was ok.  He looked at the fridge, then me.  I asked if he needed a pill & he barked once as if to say “yes!”  I gave him his pill, & he gave me a kiss in return.

Animals are truly a blessing & a gift straight from God.  If you aren’t enjoying them or enjoying them as much as you could, I urge you to give them a try.  Get to know them.  Ask them questions.  They’ll find a way to answer.  Most of all, love them & enjoy their friendship.  It will bring you great joy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals