Talking About Narcissistic Abuse

When you begin to heal from the narcissistic abuse you experienced, you begin to talk about it.  This can mean your narcissist learns about it, & that is never pretty.  All narcissists seem to think their victims should stay quiet, never telling anyone of the pain they inflict.  Victims should simply take any & all abuse with a smile, never questioning or challenging the narcissist.  After all, this scenario is best for the narcissist, & that is all the narcissist cares about.

 

Talking about your experiences can be very difficult- friends & family may invalidate or abandon you, & it just feels so strange to discuss something that was supposed to be just between you & your abuser since you can feel as if you’re betraying her.  As difficult as it can be though, it’s especially when the narcissist gets angry with you for daring to talk, but do it anyway!  The narcissist gave you no choice when she abused you, so why should you give her the power to take away your voice?  This is your story & you have the right to share it if you want to do so.  Don’t let anyone silence you, not even your narcissistic mother.

 

Other Christians may point you towards Scripture such as  Proverbs 17:9 “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”  (KJV), 1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”  (KJV) or even Exodus 20:12  “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (KJV)  While these Scriptures are certainly valuable, they don’t really apply in this type of situation.

 

If you are discussing what happened to you in order to heal, there is nothing wrong with that.  How could there be?!  You just want to heal!  Seems perfectly normal to me!

 

If you’re discussing your experiences to help raise awareness of narcissistic abuse, you’re trying to help others.  Again, how could there be anything wrong with that?!

 

Even if you confront your narcissistic parent in the hopes of changing their abusive ways, this isn’t dishonorable when it is done in a respectful way.  Cussing the parent out, not good of course, but saying, “It hurts me when you ..” is perfectly respectful.  Love, God’s kind of love, wants what is best for people, & improving bad behavior of a narcissist is a loving thing.

 

If you feel you need to talk about your experiences, then never let anyone silence you.  Yes, use wisdom regarding who you talk with- avoid those flying monkeys who are close to the narcissist or those who are naturally invalidating.  But, if you feel you need to discuss your situation, do it!  Whether it’s only with a close friend or therapist, or even being so bold as to write your autobiography, do it!  God will show you what to do & how to do it.  You won’t be sorry!

 

 

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Some Ways To Deal With Narcissists

Most people who know anything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder say the only way to deal with a narcissist is not to deal with a narcissist.  Cut ties with them & never look back.

 

Sometimes, though, that isn’t a possible solution, & other times, it isn’t a desired one for various reasons.  I understand this- I have opted to go limited contact with my narcissistic mother.  This comes with challenges, but even so, in my heart I believe it is the right solution for me.

 

Limited contact has forced me to get creative with ways to deal with her.  Today I thought I would share some of them for those of you who are also still in a relationship with your narcissistic mothers.

 

  • Distance.  It’s really our friend.  Limit your contact with your narcissistic mother as much as possible.  When you visit her or are on the phone with her, limit your time with her to what you’re comfortable with.
  • Keep focused.  Narcissists love to gaslight & confuse their victims.  Don’t let her distract you.  Keep the conversation on the topic at hand, not how much more successful your sister is, what a good daughter her friend has or how badly you’ve disappointed your mother by not doing what she thinks you should do with your life.
  • Always respond, never react.  Reacting happens out of emotion where responding happens after a moment of contemplation.  When your narcissistic mother angers you, stop for a second.  Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, then speak.
  • Keep your sense of humor.  It’ll help you keep your sanity when you realize just how over the top ridiculous some of her antics really are.  It also helps her nastiness hurt you less when you can laugh.
  • Be emotionless.  While stuffing your emotions is not a good thing in general, in the presence of narcissists, it is a necessary survival tactic.  If you show your hurt or anger to a narcissist, they see they have power over you & get even more abusive.  Showing no emotions while in their presence minimizes the verbal abuse.  Then, once you leave them, find a safe outlet for your anger & frustration.  Journalling, talking to a safe & supportive friend, etc.
  • Use logic.  Want to frazzle your narcissistic mother?  Use logic. For example, if you lose your job & your narcissistic mother responds by reminding you that you have rent & a car payment, you can respond by asking (in a very matter of fact tone of voice) how is this supposed to help you?  Did she really think this hadn’t crossed your mind?  She won’t know how to respond to you.
  • Live your life on your terms.  Nothing will drive a narcissistic mother crazier than you living your life, your way.  It will bother her that she can’t make you do whatever it is she thinks you need to do with your life.  And the best part is you will enjoy your life!

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Do You Protect Your Narcissistic Parents?

I believe many of us raised by narcissistic parents are very protective of those parents.  We try never to hurt their feelings, or we don’t discuss how they abused us, keeping their dirty little secret.  While very common, this can be very damaging to do!  It angers you, which can lead to health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure or even diabetes.  Mentally, it takes a toll on you as well.  It can leave you feeling depressed, angry or damage your self esteem because putting abusive people as a priority over yourself makes you feel worthless.
While I’m not saying yell a laundry list of their sins from the rooftops or cuss them out every time they abuse you, I am saying it isn’t your job to protect your narcissistic parents.  Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  (KJV)  People need to receive consequences of their actions, both good & bad, so they can learn & grow.  Consequences teach a person & help them to learn & grow.  Admittedly, narcissists aren’t exactly fans of self-improvement, but that doesn’t mean that the opportunities for such shouldn’t be there.  Interrupting the natural laws of sowing & reaping doesn’t help anyone in the long run.  It only enables their poor behavior which teaches them they can continue to mistreat you, & can cause you physical or mental health problems.
So why do it?  Why would anyone protect their abusive narcissistic parents?  I think there are a few reasons.
Narcissistic parents train their children from the moment of their birth to take care of them.  Children are supposed to be their narcissistic parents’ emotional caregiver (emotional incest).  Protect that parent from any kind of discomfort or pain at all costs.  It’s OK if the child is hurt, that is not important, but never the parent.
Part of protecting narcissistic parents is to pretend the abuse isn’t happening.  The child always knows that she is never to confront her mother about being abusive nor is she to tell anyone about it.  Secrecy becomes deeply ingrained in the child.  So much so, secrecy is second nature for her.
Narcissistic parents destroy their children’s self-esteem.  Their children grow up believing they are nothing, they don’t matter & they have absolutely no value to anyone.  This means they also believe that they have zero rights.  These children believe that the abusive parent is much more valuable than they are, so they can’t speak up.  They don’t have the right to do so.
I believe these three things work together to create a perfect storm, if you will, where the adult child of narcissistic parents grows up willing to do anything to protect her narcissistic parents in any way possible.
How do you replace this dysfunctional pattern with a healthier one?
First & foremost, as always, ask God for help.  Pray for guidance, wisdom & anything you may need to change this pattern.
Work on improving your self-esteem.  Don’t forget that you have just as much value as anyone else.  The better your self-esteem is, the more willing you are to make yourself a priority & to take care of yourself.
Remember the law of sowing & reaping.  That law is God’s law- it is NOT your place to interrupt it for anyone, not even your parents.  There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with telling your narcissistic mother you will not tolerate her abusive behavior.  There is also nothing wrong with answering someone’s questions truthfully if they ask about your relationship with your mother.
If you feel the desire to discuss the abuse you endured, that is OK.  You aren’t doing something bad or wrong.  I aim to discuss my experiences in a matter of fact way so as not to be disrespectful to my parents.  If they ever read anything I write, as angry & hurt as they may be, at least I can have a clear conscience that I was not cruel or trying to hurt them.  Talking about your experiences shouldn’t be done out of revenge or desire to cause pain, but instead to help yourself & maybe others as well.
It isn’t easy to stop protecting your parents after a lifetime of doing so.  Chances are you are going to slip up sometimes.  Don’t beat yourself up for that!  It happens.  We all make mistakes!  Just keep on trying, & the more you try, the easier it will get for you to behave in a more functional, healthy fashion.

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Even Strong People Have Needs

I’ve always been a strong person.  In fact, the night of my first nervous breakdown, thanks to my mother’s verbal attack, I didn’t sleep at all, then went to work the following morning.  That’s pretty strong!

 

As the years have passed, I developed C-PTSD that left me much less able to cope.  Three years after that, I got a brain injury from passing out from carbon monoxide & hitting my head.  The TBI changed me a great deal.  One of those changes is I’m no longer the strong chick I once was.  I get overwhelmed by the tiniest things, such as having to change my daily routine.  And, if I’m already stressed, it gets even worse.

 

I’m still getting used to not being strong anymore.  I’ve noticed though, that people around me haven’t seemed to notice the change.  People still think I’m able to handle pretty much anything which isn’t even close to reality.

 

When you’re a strong person, people tend to forget that you need help or need a break sometimes, too.  Even if you haven’t changed like I have, you still need help or a break.  Everyone does, but often people forget that when they are accustomed to relying on you.

 

If you are in this position, then it’s time for a change.  No one, no matter how strong, can keep going indefinitely.  Everyone needs help sometimes, & there is no shame in asking for that help.  It’s time to start telling people you need a break or asking for help.  I know it’s hard to do when you aren’t used to doing it, so don’t forget to ask God to help you in this area!

 

Ask God also to help you to have & enforce good boundaries.  Don’t keep pushing yourself when you’re exhausted.  You have the right to take care of your physical & mental health!

 

Remember, “no” can be a very good word sometimes.  If people look to you for help or support constantly, they aren’t looking to God.  He is where they should be looking, not you.  God should be that person’s everything, not you!

 

One thing that helps me a lot is alone time.  If you’re an introvert too, then be sure to tell people you need time alone to recharge.  Some extroverts don’t like to hear that, but that isn’t your problem.  Make sure they understand that it’s not them- alone time makes you feel like being around others makes them feel.  Take the alone time you need.  Or, if you’re an extrovert, then plan fun times with good friends or go to parties so you can recharge.

 

Remember, just because you’re strong doesn’t mean you need to be strong 24/7/365.  Everyone needs breaks & help sometimes.  There is no shame in that!  Besides, taking care of yourself also means you’ll be more able to help others when they do need you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pray? For Them?!

This is a lovely, wonderful post from a friend of mine.. please read it. Thank you.

a freckled lass

When my mother was in my life, I recall how much I prayed that the Lord would change her heart, I prayed that He would soften her heart that she might cry out to Him and recognize all the evil she had done, namely to me.  I did that for years.  I even tried loving her into loving me – which, in hindsight, may not have been very effective because I grew up with such a warped definition of love.  Loving others has never been my strong suit, the fear of being rejected is still present in my life.  When rejected by a mother and then a decade later by your father and siblings, its a wound that remains really raw for a really long time.

I prayed everyday for her when she was in my life and my whole family.  I wanted them to know this indescribable joy and…

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Do You Validate Abuse?

Most of us who have experienced abuse in our childhood have trouble standing up for ourselves even as adults.  It feels wrong, like something you should never do.

 

But, did it ever cross your mind that by not defending yourself, you are validating the abuse?  It gives the abuser permission to treat you however they want to.

 

 

Unfortunately with narcissists, it’s not always easy to put a stop to their evil actions.  They seem to think they have the right to do anything they want to whomever they want.  Even so, it’s a good idea to set some boundaries with them.

 

Remember, with narcissists, you can’t set boundaries like you can with normal people.  Normal people will respect it when you say that something they did hurt you.  They will apologize & try to make it up to you when appropriate.  Narcissists are the complete opposite- they will not only refuse to apologize, but remember what you complain about to do it more often.  They also may blame you for making them do that, being oversensitive or even making things up.

 

You have to get creative in setting boundaries with narcissists.

 

First, ask God for creative ideas.  He will NOT disappoint you!  Once, my mother told me where a former teacher of mine works.  She said he asked about me & she told him I don’t work (apparently being an author isn’t a real job.. could’ve fooled me!).  That made me angry, her discounting my writing yet again.  In venting to God, He put an idea in my head.  I made up new business cards, & when I saw this teacher with my parents a couple of weeks later, proceeded to give him one in front of my mother.  The look of shock on her face was priceless!  And, she couldn’t say a thing or else she would have looked bad in front of my old teacher.  HA!

 

Secondly, always do your best to appear happy or neutral when setting a boundary.  Never show your hurt or anger, as I mentioned above.  Also, it flusters them when you can set a boundary cheerfully after their valiant attempt to hurt you.  When they get flustered, they will stop what they are doing.

 

And, don’t forget- subject changes can be your friend.  Rather than saying you don’t want to talk about whatever topic they are using to hurt you, change the subject.  It may not always work, but it will help you sometimes.  Just be sure to keep changing the topic back to what they wanted to talk about if they try to change it back.

 

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Book Sale!

My publisher is having a sale again.  15% off all print books & free mail shipping through May 16, 2016.  Use code MAYSHIP15 at checkout to take advantage of the sale.

 

Go to the link below to see my books:

 

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

 

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The Fear Of Hurting Other People

Many adult children of narcissistic parents have an issue with being overly concerned with hurting the feelings of other people.  I wonder if it’s because early on, we learned that we were not to make any waves.  Just silently serve our narcissistic mothers when needed, & otherwise we were to blend silently into the background.  Speaking up & hurting someone’s feelings would make us more human & less “tool like”, which would make using us wrong.  And we all know, narcissists can’t be wrong!

As a grown woman, I still have a problem in this area.  I would rather do something I am unwilling to do than say no & potentially hurt someone’s feelings.  I would rather ignore my own hurt at someone’s thoughtlessness & tell them that it’s ok rather than speak up about how wrong what they did is, even knowing that they need to realize their actions were unacceptable.

This sort of behavior is unhealthy.  Keeping things inside rather than speaking up isn’t good for your physical or mental health at all.  High blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease & diabetes can result as well as depression, anxiety, bitterness & self-destructive behaviors.

I’m not saying you have to spew forth every bad thought that comes to mind or even be harsh with your words.  However, there are times you need to say something, & there is nothing wrong with that.  You need to have a healthy discernment of when to speak up & when to stay quiet, as well as the courage to speak up when necessary & wisdom on what words to use.

I know it sounds difficult (or even impossible), but it can be done.  I’m working on improving in this area myself.

Prayer is of the utmost importance.  Asking God to help you in this area, giving you what you need to accomplish what must be done.  He will do it!  Just follow the promptings He places in your heart.

Also, the more you heal, the more dysfunctional you realize this behavior is, & the more willing you are to change it to get away from the dysfunction.  That willingness helps to give you courage to make the appropriate changes.

Work on your self esteem.  The better you feel about yourself, the more willing you are to make yourself a priority, & to take care of yourself.  You will realize you do have the right to have reasonable boundaries, & if someone hurts you either deliberately or accidentally, it’s perfectly fine to speak up to them about their actions.

You also need to know that there is a difference between hurting & harming.  Hurting someone is temporary.  They’ll get over that pain quickly.  Harming however, the damage goes much deeper. Hurting comes from facing painful truths (such as admitting that something you did hurt someone else).  Even so, it can make a person learn & grow.  Harming, however, causes damage.  So, if you tell someone what they did hurt you or set a boundary, there is nothing harming in either of those things.

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Stealing Your Grief

I coined this phrase, stealing grief, after losing my sweet kitty, Vincent.  Vincent had been my granddad’s cat, & a cousin took him after Granddad died.  Several years later, she asked me to baby sit him while she moved, then said I could keep him.  I was blessed to have him for just over 2 years when he passed away very suddenly & unexpectedly.  Losing him was especially hard for me, not only because he was an awesome cat, but he had been Granddad’s best friend.  I felt like I was losing a part of Granddad as well as losing Vincent.  The combined loss was devastating.

 

I told my father about losing Vincent a day or so after his death.  The following day, my mother called as I was not only grieving but in bed sick with the flu.  She told me my father told her about Vincent.  She also said how he was never happy with me- he was only happy with Granddad.  He was miserable in my home, according to her.  Between feeling very sick & grieving, I couldn’t even respond to what she said.  I just cried.  Her words hurt me to my core, even though I knew they weren’t true.  For a while, I was so hurt, I focused on that instead of grieving Vincent.  I felt my grief process had been stolen due to the hurt I felt from my mother’s hatefulness.

 

Prior to that incident, when losing cats, if my mother even acknowledged the loss, she told me that they were better off dead than with me as their mom or “oh well.. at least you don’t have any sick ones now.”  Each time her callous & evil words interrupted my natural grief process, leaving me wounded & hurting even more than usual because of being oversensitive due to grief.  I stopped telling my parents when we’ve lost furbabies because of this.

 

I realized that this was done purposely.  My mother, in typical narcissistic fashion, likes to hurt me, & when I’m already hurting, she is capable of hurting me much more deeply than usual.  She is opportunistic, kicking me when I’m down, as narcissists are.

 

I also realized that this isn’t simply another jab at me.  It’s incredibly disrespectful to my furbabies, because she is distracting me from the natural course of grieving the loss of a wonderful creature.

 

I know that grief isn’t fun.  In fact, it feels like hell on Earth when you’re going through it.  However, it’s also necessary if you are to process the pain of losing someone you love in a healthy manner.  It’s the price you pay for loving someone.  It shouldn’t be interrupted!  It should be allowed to run its course until you reach that place of acceptance that the one you love is gone, & you can begin to adapt to your new life without that person.

 

Interrupting grief drags the process out & makes it much harder than it already is.  It adds to & prolongs your suffering, which is no doubt what the narcissist enjoys so much.  Now your grief will take longer & be harder, plus she was able to dump more pain on you!  YAY!  Sick?  Oh yea.  But that’s how narcissists think.

 

I have learned the hard way that this has to stop.  I can’t make my parents stop trying to steal my grief, but I can continue grieving in a healthy way in spite of them.

 

When we lost our 16 year old tabby cat with an attitude, Weeble on May 2, a few days later, my parents & I got into a big argument.  I mentioned it in this post.  It was extremely hurtful, even though I’d been expecting a fight, just not quite this exact one.  In the heat of the fight, I told my father I couldn’t deal with this topic since I’d just lost Weeble.  I ended up telling him 2 things about that- please don’t tell my mother because I don’t need to hear her nastiness & I also need time to myself to grieve.  He disregarded this & called me non stop two days later, trying to bully me into answering the phone, because HE wanted to talk to me.  My wishes meant nothing apparently.  When I finally did talk to him, I told him again I need time to myself, leave me alone. This past Monday, my parents’ number showed up on my caller ID repeatedly.  Again.  UGH!  Wednesday night, my mother called & my husband talked to her since I wasn’t up to it.  Would be nice if they listened when I set boundaries.. sheesh.

 

Anyway, I’ve taken the time to mentally put his & my mother’s horrible behavior on the back burner.  I imagine putting them in a box, & putting it on a shelf, to deal with later, when I am able to.  For now, I’m focusing on my grief.  I’m grieving fully the loss of a beautiful, wonderful little girl who made my life better, which she deserves & I need to do.

 

If you too end up in this painful position with a narcissist, then please remember this!  Don’t let them steal your grief.  You need to take care of yourself during this fragile time.  If you need space, take it & without guilt.  If you must deal with your narcissistic parent(s), then try doing as I have- imagine putting her (them) in a box & placing it on a shelf, until you are able to deal with that pain.  I know that stuffing emotions is a bad thing, but this is different- it’s simply postponing dealing with them temporarily until you are more able to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Was Mother’s Day?

Although I didn’t write a specific Mother’s Day post this year, I was thinking of everyone & praying for you.  I hope the day was a good one for all of you, in spite of your narcissistic mother!

 

I found some humor in the day.  The IFC channel showed “Mommie Dearest” over & over all day long.. guessing someone who thought of this has a bad or narcissistic mom.

 

I noticed my stats for this blog, & as usual, lots of people read my posts on the day.  It’s really sad, isn’t it?  So many people suffer on what should be a lovely day.

 

It’s hard to know what to do on Mother’s Day when you have a narcissistic mother, isn’t it?  I’ve done many things, such as spend time with my furkids, go out to lunch with hubby,  feel sad that my mother & I have such a lousy relationship, watch horror movies & yes, even watch “Mommie Dearest” today.  As a child, I spent the day with my mother, made her cards & other little gifts.

 

I think what is important is to do whatever feels right to you.  Some may feel the need to grieve their bad relationship with their narcissistic mother on Mother’s Day while others prefer to focus on doing something fun with their own children.  Some celebrate the ladies in their lives who have been good role models for them, others choose to ignore the day completely.

 

I really don’t see anything wrong with any of those options.  You need to do what you feel in your heart is right for you.  Coping with the pain of having a narcissistic mother isn’t easy.  There is no one size fits all solution, either.  Do what feels right to you, that gives you comfort, & ignore what anyone else has to say.  Self care is vital to your mental health, especially on one of the hardest days of the year.

 

 

 

 

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And Life Got Even More Interesting..

Last Thursday evening, I ended up in a heated discussion with my parents over the phone.  It got ugly.  Really ugly.  Honestly, I don’t remember all of the details of the conversation. I was so hurt by it all I blocked a lot out immediately.  Funzies.  Not.

 
My father called Thursday night.  He apologized as soon as I answered for not going to the mother in-law’s funeral.  “We would’ve gone, but we didn’t know until we read it in the paper..”   I noticed his tone was kinda shaming, like I should’ve told him, but I ignored that.  I said, “why would you have gone?”  “We wanted to pay our respects!”  “To a woman who hated me from the day we met & treated me like dirt?”  He went on to say they wanted to pay their respects & see my father in-law.  I said she treated me like s**t for years, why give her respect?  He started back peddling & said, “I told your mother that..”  Yea, spare me.  I don’t believe that for a moment.  Somewhere in the conversation, I forget exactly where, I also told him I felt betrayed that he cared more about her than me.  He didn’t say a word in response.

 

He then brought up the cemetery plots my parents bought Eric & I so we could be buried with them probably 15 years ago by now.  (Mind you, they never asked us if we wanted that, or even if we wanted to be buried over cremated.  It was decided we would be buried with them, period.).  He asked what I wanted them to do with them.  I said get rid of them. I’m being cremated & Eric doesn’t want to be buried in Glen Burnie any more than I would.  He said he was sure Eric’s father had Eric’s plot anyway, since he’d want to be with his son.  Really?!  Also, why do we need to discuss this now?!  I told him Eric would figure out where he wants to be buried, & I can’t deal with any of this conversation right now, because I lost one of my babies.  He said he was sorry to hear that, & I thanked him.  Also said please don’t tell mom, because I don’t want to hear the usual “she’s better off dead than with me as her mom” comments.  He said he wouldn’t, but I’m not holding my breath.  Then my father asked if Eric was home, & I said no.  “Oh. Mom wants to talk to him.”  I said tough, he’s not here.  “She’ll talk to you then..”   Oh joy…

 
So my mother got on the phone & started the same apologizing for “disappointing my father in-law” by not being at the funeral.  Yea, like he lost sleep over this. He’s seen my parents in person twice in the 22 years Eric & I have been together.  Guessing they weren’t even a blip on his radar since he was busy burying his wife of 65 years!   I said “You too eh?  Nice.  Why are you two so damned worried about her?!  Why do you care at all after how badly she treated me all those years?!”  My mother said, “That’s Eric’s mother!”  I said, “But I’m your daughter!  I feel really betrayed!”  You could’ve heard crickets.  Dead silence for a few seconds.   Then my mother asked if I would’ve been mad if they went.  I said, “Yes!  She treated me like dirt!  Don’t you know anything about loyalty?!  She then said, “But she’s his MOTHER!”  I reminded her that this lovely mother in-law of mine choked me when we told her we got married.  More crickets.  SERIOUSLY?!  Not a peep?!  I sarcastically thanked my mother for caring so much more about Eric’s mother than me.  That’s really fricken awesome.  I said more but I forget what it was.  My mother kept playing deaf saying, “I can’t hear you Honey- you need to speak up!”  I was yelling!   It was a game to her to make me yell more.  I know it well- she does it often.  (in all honesty she has hearing trouble, but she also uses it when convenient to her.)  So I said “Yanno, I can’t deal with you & this topic.  I’m done talking about it.  What else do you have to talk about anyway?”  “Well my back hurts….”  “I’ve seen Dr. Silva twice since I went to the hospital…”  (went to the ER a couple of weeks ago & learned she has vertigo- nothing serious).   I said, “Of course.. whatever.”  That really ticked her off & she said, “Well I guess I should let you go then.”  (she was really mad I didn’t even care about her health complaints).  I said, “Yes, you really should.  Goodbye.”  We both pretty much hung up on each other at that point.

 

Sadly, I knew this was coming when my husband said his mother’s obituary would be in the local papers earlier in the week.  (My parents get a local paper & my mother reads the obituaries first thing.  I knew she would want to make some fuss over this to me, rather than simply send her condolences to my husband.)  Unfortunately because of grieving after losing my precious little kitty last Monday, I’m more sensitive than usual so it hit me harder than it normally would have.

 

Normally, I don’t flip out on my parents or cuss at them.  I’m a pretty reasonable person, & able to tolerate a lot of hurtful words & actions from them because I am so accustomed to them.  You would think they would’ve been surprised I raised my voice & used bad language, but they acted like this happens every day.  They were completely unaffected by my reaction.  Stone cold!  Neither had one word to say when I said I felt betrayed that they cared more for someone who has hurt me than me.  Honestly, being ignored like that hurt more than when my mother has told me I’m stupid for feeling a certain way.  Being ignored is the ultimate invalidation, I think.  It says, “You’re not even worth acknowledging.  You don’t matter enough for me to use my breath to speak to you.”

 

So now, I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I really don’t.  My mother was extremely angry with me last night, so she may not want to speak to me again.  And frankly, I’m fine with that.  I’ve opted to go low contact for years now, & it’s been hard.  (No contact never really felt right which is why I stuck with low contact)  Maybe this is God’s way of ending it.  I don’t know.   Time will tell, I suppose.

 

I did get a call from my father yesterday morning.  He said he was sorry- he & my mother thought they should pay their respects to the Rug family, it wasn’t anything against me, I matter (could’ve fooled me!) & also there was no excuse for how badly my late mother in-law treated me.  My father likes to say what he thinks you expect him to say, but truthfully, he doesn’t have the empathy to understand truly what I feel.  There was more to the conversation, but it wasn’t even worth talking about.  I’m sure he thinks it means all is fine now, but it’s not fine.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to answer his call, but I know my father- if I didn’t take that call, he’d call me back constantly until I answered.  I hate that, so I figured I might as well get it over with.  Chances are good now he won’t call me for a while, so I’m going to enjoy the break.

 

I also wonder… I firmly believe that if you opt to confront narcissists, your best bet is to be calm & collected.  Don’t show that you’re hurt or angry because it only gives them more ammunition to hurt you.  During our argument, I was completely the opposite of that.  I wonder if that was what they needed.  Neither of my parents get consequences for their actions from anyone but me, & I have let a LOT slide.  Maybe it was time they saw all the pain that their actions have caused.  Maybe it sunk in on some level that they caused me a great deal of hurt by caring more about complete strangers than their own daughter.  I doubt it, but I sure hope so.  I hope this all wasn’t in vain, & there was a real purpose for it.  I believe God can make something good come out of anything, so He can do it with this situation too.

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s Happening In My World

April 30, my husband’s mother died suddenly.  Well, sorta suddenly.  She’s been sick for quite some time but no one expected her to pass in her sleep early that morning.

 

That same day, one of our cats stopped eating.  May 2, Weeble passed away suddenly & unexpectedly at 16 years old.

 

It’s been a rough week around here!  As a result, I’m taking time to myself.  My blog posts will continue posting as normal, thank you WordPress for allowing me to schedule posts in advance, but I need some time to myself to grieve my precious kitty. Since getting sick last year, I haven’t been able to handle negative emotions as well as I once did.  Weeble is my first big loss since then, & I’m not doing so well emotionally.  I need some time to grieve & recover.

 

Sadly, I am not grieving the death of my mother in-law at all.  Our relationship was so toxic that I stopped speaking to her in 2002.  I feel somewhat bad for not feeling anything, but sadly, I believe this is normal.  Narcissistic abuse is horrible.  Aside from the fact it causes so much pain & suffering, it also destroys your love for the narcissist.  That is how I felt about my mother in-law.  I felt nothing for her for a long time.

 

I do feel for my husband, though, & need to be able to help him if he needs anything from me.  And, I can’t help him if I’m not able to replenish myself.  So, I’ll be taking a little time to myself to do just that & grieve my sweet Weeble.  If you comment or try to contact me & get no response, please be patient- I will respond to you as soon as I’m able.  Thank you for your understanding.  xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking Care Of Yourself

I realize my posts can be repetitive sometimes, & this time is no different.  The reason is I feel the need to share things as God places in my heart, & sometimes He must feel a topic bears repeating.

 

Today, I feel God wants me to remind you to take breaks.

 

Learning about narcissism, even how you can heal from it, can be extremely draining.  It can exhaust you mentally & physically because it’s such an intense subject.  Even learning how to heal can be extremely exhausting, because the abuse is so insidious & invasive.  Being exhausted is not only unpleasant, but can lead to physical & emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, muscle pain, headaches & more.

 

Today, I feel God wants you to know it’s OK, & even necessary, to take breaks.

 

I understand sometimes that can be hard, especially in the early stages of healing.  It’s so incredible to find out that you really are NOT the problem!  You’re normal & reacting normally to very abnormal circumstances.  You want to learn more about NPD as well as ways for you to heal.  All of this is great, but truly, you can’t focus on such things 24/7.  So take frequent breaks where you refuse to think about such things.

 

There is no scale of how often you need to take breaks.  Simply follow your heart.  If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, that means it’s time to take a break.  If you’re becoming irritable, it’s time for a break.  If you feel overly emotional, physically tired or even just out of sorts, it’s time for a break.  Signs like this are your mind & body’s way of saying it’s time to relax & stop focusing on such intense topics for a while.

 

There also is no steadfast rules of what you need to do when you take a break.  Do whatever you enjoy that relaxes you.  I love herbal teas, crocheting & fun movies or music.  I also spend more time with the furkids or hang out with close friends.  What little things can you do that help relax you?  Then do it & enjoy yourself!

 

Narcissistic abuse is no laughing matter.  It is extremely painful & invasive to the victims.  Always remember that, & remember that taking frequent respites from such an intense & negative topic will help you in the long run.  xoxo

 

 

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When People Come To You With Problems, How Do You Treat Them?

I think most of us who have experienced abuse have met at least one person who, upon sharing our story, invalidated us & caused a great deal of pain.  The person who says you’re suffering because you haven’t prayed enough, you don’t have enough faith, let it go- that’s in the past,  I don’t know why you insist on hanging onto this when all you need to do is forgive & forget…

 

Unfortunately it isn’t just people who haven’t been abused who say such things.  Sometimes it is people who have been through trauma, yet refuse to deal with it.  They honestly think they are healed from the damage when in fact, all they have done is sweep the entire incident & aftermath under the rug.

 

Healing isn’t pretty, & sometimes we all need some help getting through.  When someone comes to you for help, how do you respond?  Do you tell her to pray more or do you cry with her?

 

While certainly prayer is wonderful & a vital ingredient to healing, sometimes people need more than you saying you’ll pray for or with them.  They need someone to hug them, to hold them while they cry or even get angry for them.  They need someone who won’t judge them even if they cussing like a drunken sailor or wishing their abuser was dead.  They need understanding, compassion & validation!

 

How do you treat people who come to you with problems?  Do you simply say you’ll pray with them or are you willing to get into the trenches with them?

 

Getting more involved can be a tricky thing for someone who’s been abused, as hearing another person’s story may trigger your own issues.  It also can be extremely emotionally & physically draining.  If you do opt to help another, then build yourself up as much as possible.  Pray & ask God for whatever you need.  Journal if it helps you.  Be good to yourself- eat healthy, get plenty of rest, relax..whatever helps you to feel good.

 

And remember, it is incredibly rewarding helping other people, even when it is hard!  Recently, I wasn’t feeling particularly well when a friend called me.  Someone she knew was having emotional problems & the more she told me, the more I realized it was due to being raised by a narcissist.  By the time we hung up, I felt so much better.  Being able to provide information that helped her, helped me.

 

Truly helping other people, above praying with & for them, can be a wonderfully rewarding experience.  You are blessing not only the other person, but yourself as well.

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Narcissists & Consequences

So many victims of narcissistic abuse wonder why the narcissist seems to stroll happily through life without consequences for their actions while their victims are left to suffer alone or are even blamed for what was done to them.  It’s so unfair!

 

This came to mind recently.  I had a flashback.  When thinking about it later, my mind wandered to when I was 19, my mother threw me into a wall & hurt my back.  She has not had any consequences for her actions in the 26 years since that happened.  My father said he tried talking to her about it not long after it happened, & she just said “Are you ever going to let that go?”  He dropped the subject.  I never said anything to her- I was too afraid of it happening again, or her doing something worse. Also why I never called the police, even though now I wish I would have.  My ex husband (who I was with at the time) also never did anything aside from tell me how hard it was on him, what she had done.

 

In fact, I think my father blames me for what happened that night.  A year or two ago, for whatever odd reason, he mentioned that incident & told me I didn’t need to apologize for busting up the wall- he was able to repair it.  Excuse me?  The wall was busted up because my mother threw me into it, so no, I have no plans on apologizing for that.

 

Sadly, I think this is pretty typical.  I can’t think of one victim I’ve spoken with who doesn’t have a similar story.  And like me, they are baffled that the narcissist who abused them received no consequences for their actions.  They’re also angry, which is certainly understandable.  It’s extremely unfair!  We’re the ones who suffered because of them, & they don’t get so much as a scolding for what they’ve done!

 

I really am not sure why this happens.  Maybe it’s because people are afraid of the narcissists.  If you don’t know much about NPD or have limited experience with a narcissist, the overt narcissist can be very intimidating.  Their rages can be terrifying.  Or, if the narcissist in question is a covert narcissist, maybe people are afraid of hurting them.  Covert narcissists love to play the innocent victim.  (They can make their victim apologize to them- they are that convincing).  They make the person confronting them feel guilty, even ashamed, & certainly no one wants to feel that way!

 

Some who know a little about narcissism believe that NPD is something beyond control.  They believe the term “disorder” means that the narcissist cannot control her actions at all, when the rest of us know absolutely she can & does on a regular basis.

 

Or, maybe it’s because victims are the sane, rational ones, & other people think the sane, rational one should “be the bigger person” in the relationship, the one to forgive & forget, & the one to ignore the narcissist’s “flaws”.

 

Whatever the reason, I know it’s incredibly frustrating that people don’t allow the narcissist any consequences for the abuse she dishes out.  Just once, wouldn’t it be amazing to see her get told off for how horribly she treats other people?   Maybe not the most good Christian attitude, but in all honesty, what victim of a narcissist hasn’t felt that way at some point?  I sure have!

 

So instead of waiting on others, why not give the narcissist consequences yourself?  I’m not saying go cuss her out.  If you’re a Christian, act like it!  But, there are ways to give a narcissist the deserved consequences without being vengeful.

 

Boundaries.  Have & be willing to enforce good, healthy boundaries.  You have every right to tell her no, you won’t tolerate that or do that.  Let her figure out how to do something herself or have something done if it’s something you don’t feel you should do or if it goes against your morals.  Or, for example, if you’re with your narcissistic mother & have had enough, tell her you’re going home (or need to hang up the phone).  If your narcissistic mother is like mine, she expects you to deal with her until she’s tired of you & dismisses you.  It will irk her to no end if you end the visit or call first, but it is entirely your right to do so!  She doesn’t need to get her way all the time & you need to take care of your physical & mental health.

 

Don’t allow her to order you around.  My mother is a big one for barking out orders, rather than saying something like “Would you please get that for me?”  Instead, it’s “Hand me that.”  A few months ago, I noticed this.  (Sadly, it took my entire life to notice it..)  I decided to change how I reacted to her orders.  Rather than blindly obeying, I do a couple of things.  Sometimes I tell her “In a minute” or “Ok, later” instead of interrupting what I was doing.  Other times, I do as she wanted & say “Since you asked so nicely, here is the item you wanted.  You’re welcome.”  This annoys my mother, but she has started to say “please” sometimes.  It’s a little thing, but it means a lot to me to be treated with simple respect rather than being treated like the hired help.

 

My mother also employs a very common coping skill, especially with narcissists.  She reinvents the past.  According to her, she was quite the impressive mother.  Many other victims I’ve spoken with go through this with their narcissistic mother, too.  Rather than validating her delusions, you have the right to tell her that isn’t what happened & tell her the truth.  In all honesty, I don’t do this with my mother because I see a tremendous amount of guilt in her for how she’s treated me.  I don’t think she could handle me telling her the facts & shattering her delusion.  Even so, I refuse to validate her stories.  “I don’t remember it that way” or “I don’t remember that happening at all” work for me.  She then changes the subject before I can say what the truth was.  It’s not a perfect solution but it works for us.  She can still use that coping mechanism (as dysfunctional as it is) without me validating it.  It’s her right to use it, after all.  It’s also my right to refuse to condone it.

 

Narcissists may not always get the consequences they deserve, but they do need some nonetheless.  Consequences teach us how to treat other people, & frankly, who needs to learn how to treat people if not a narcissist?  Consequences may not make them treat you like a non-narcissist would, but they most likely will improve the way they treat you in some ways.  They also will gain a little respect for you for not allowing them to push you around so much anymore.  Not that they’ll admit that, of course, but it still happens.

 

 

 

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Sale On My Books- 20% Off & Free Shipping

My publisher is having another sale!  Use code APRSHIP20 at checkout to receive 20% all print books & free mail shipping until May 1.

 

You can find my books at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Getting Things Out

There are times I can look at intrusive thoughts objectively, & be glad they basically force me to deal with painful things.  Unfortunately though, most times, I get highly annoyed.

 

Today has been one of those days.

 

I was changing my cats’ litter boxes this morning (the glamorous life of an author- don’t be too jealous..lol) when for no obvious reason, something came to mind.

 

A few years ago, I shared a picture of something I liked on facebook.  I said I thought the item was pretty.  That’s all.  I assumed it was done other than possibly a couple of friends might enjoy seeing it as well, which is why I shared it.  I was wrong.  Two people I knew & was close to jumped on me viciously, as if me liking something different than they liked made me a terrible person.

 

As I was trying to ignore this obnoxious memory because I simply didn’t want to remember it, I remembered other similar times  from these same people.  They were extremely snarky & critical about many things with me.  So much so in fact that the love I once felt for them eventually vanished & was replaced with indifference.   It’s hurtful, remembering such things from people I once cared a great deal about.

 

I was thinking about these things earlier & suddenly realized how I was coping with them.  While I was alone & changing the cat litter, I was talking out loud, as if I was talking to the people who hurt me.  I asked what gave them the right to talk to me this way?  Why do they think it’s ok to talk so badly to me, especially when they are so nice to other people?  I said it’s pure crap- they have zero right to treat me so cruelly.  I don’t deserve this!  I have treated them with nothing but love & respect & it’s completely unfair to do this to me.  What difference does it make if I like something they don’t?!  Will the world fall apart?!  No.  It doesn’t matter, even if my taste was terrible.  It simply doesn’t matter.  I’m not hurting anyone!

 

Suddenly I realized something… this is how I’ve always dealt with painful, even abusive incidents.  I think it must be something God put in me, even before I believed in His existence.

 

Growing up, not only was I an only child, but my mother kept me abnormally close.  I wasn’t allowed to get close to anyone else, so I had no friends or family that I could talk to.  It was an unspoken rule not to tell anyone anything that happened in my parents’ home.  Once I was in my teens & my mother’s abuse was at its peak, I was screamed at if my mother even simply suspected I was “airing our dirty laundry” by telling others about her abuse.

 

I obviously had to learn ways to cope with my pain alone.  It was my only choice to survive the abuse with any semblance of sanity in tact.  And somehow this way to cope came to me when I was very young.  I only can credit God with this coping skill, even though (I’m loathe to admit this) I didn’t believe in His existence at the time.
The reason I’m telling you this today, Dear Reader, is that this coping skill may be helpful for you too.  Whether you talk out loud as I did earlier, you write in a private journal, or you write letters you never send, it’s helpful to get out the pain you feel inside.  Carrying around hurt & anger is unhealthy, physically & mentally.  You deserve so much better than that!  Get your pain OUT!!  Continuing to carry it around does you absolutely no good but only does you harm.

 

Whether you are hurt or deal with painful intrusive memories, then please, deal with it in whatever way helps you the most.  I know it’s hard, but it’s also necessary.  The more you deal with your pain, the less of a hold it has on you, & the happier & healthier you will be.

 

After this morning’s intrusive memories, I admit it, I’m very tired.  Emotional work is so draining.  However, I’m glad it happened.  I was able to get out a lot of hurt & anger.  There is still some more to deal with, but even so, there is much less than there was!  That is a big step in the right direction.  What worked for me may work for you as well!  Isn’t it worth a try?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feeling Ashamed Of Being A Victim Of Narcissistic Abuse

Being a victim of narcissistic abuse is often a very shameful  feeling.  If the narcissist was our parent, we are often ashamed of the fact that our parent didn’t love us & that our childhood was so different than other kids’.  If it was a spouse, that too is embarrassing because we feel stupid- how could we not know how bad a person he was?  How could we be so stupid, we ask ourselves.

While feeling this way is understandable, that doesn’t mean it is right.

As the victim, you had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  You are innocent.  What was done to you was done because of someone else’s dysfunction, not because of anything you did.  Damage was done to that person long before you came along.  Nothing you did could have made that person do what was done to you.

As you are healing, rather than hiding your problems, why not discuss them?  Be open with safe people as you feel able to discuss things.  Again, you have nothing to be ashamed of.  You are damaged because someone deliberately hurt you.  Would you be ashamed of yourself for having a broken leg if someone hit your leg with a tire iron?  Then why be ashamed of having C-PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc. after surviving narcissistic abuse?  You reacted normally to a very abnormal situation.

Talking about what you have experienced helps you & it also helps others.  It puts a face to narcissistic abuse.  It shows that the victims aren’t crazy, drama queens (or kings), or overreacting like so many people think.  It also shows that narcissistic abuse can happen to anyone, no matter how intelligent or how strong they are.

I’m not saying it’s necessary to talk non stop about narcissistic abuse.  That isn’t good for anyone to focus constantly on something so negative.  I’m saying though to be more balanced.  There is nothing for you to be ashamed of.  You have nothing to hide.  Don’t carry the shame of what was done to you for another day.  That shame belongs on your abuser’s shoulders, not yours.  Let him or her carry the shame & refuse to carry it any longer!

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Do People Think You Need To Do All Of The Work In Relationships?

I’ve noticed a common thread among those who have been through narcissistic abuse.  We’re the ones people seem to think need to put all of the work & make all of the concessions in relationships.

 

So many others I’ve spoken to who have been raised by at least one narcissistic parent have heard the same things by at least a few people: “You need to fix things with your mother (or father or both)!”  “She (or he or they) won’t be around forever!  You need to make things right with your mother (or father or parents)!”  “You should see a counselor.  Maybe he could help you figure out what you’re doing wrong”

 

I’ve heard those things & more myself:

  • When my first marriage was falling apart, I was told I needed to make it work or I needed to change to fix things.
  • When having problems with my in-laws, some people said I needed to make changes so we got along better.  Be the bigger person & forgive & forget, etc., don’t take the constant insults personally, & (this may be my personal least favorite one) if I didn’t have anything to hide, it shouldn’t bother me my mother in-law snooped through my purse at every opportunity.
  • I mentioned to someone that my husband watches some sports, & when he does, I go into another room, find something else to do or go out.  Her response was to scold me, telling me I needed to start watching sports with him in spite of my lifelong intense hatred of sports other than Nascar, drag racing & demolition derbies.  Interestingly, she never told my husband he needs to learn to do things I enjoy, like crocheting.  I was the one who was supposed to change, according to this person.  (Just FYI- although I hate sports, I did start watching Nascar races because my husband was into it, & it turns out I enjoyed it.  I’m all for trying something new for the sake of your spouse.)
  • When in marriage counseling, we were having money problems.  The counselor told me what I needed to do to earn extra money.  No suggestions were given to my husband, even though at the time, he was the one in charge of our finances.

 

Do these scenarios sound familiar to you?  If so, doesn’t this get under your skin?!  It sure does me!

 

I’ve wondered why this happens to so many of us.  So many people behave exactly the same way!  So what’s behind it?  I have some theories…

 

Relating to our narcissistic parents only, some people are truly blessed with great parents.  In fact, they can’t even fathom a parent who would mistreat, let alone abuse a child.  Narcissistic abuse can be hard to wrap your mind around- I still have trouble with it sometimes & I lived it!  Maybe these people have an even harder time doing so because they came from such a loving home.

 

People who know our narcissistic parents probably believe the lies they are told about us.  After all, narcissists are notoriously good actors & liars- it’s hard not to believe their stories, sometimes even after you’ve seen the truth.  Chances are, these people are told we’re the problem.  If they believe the lies, then naturally they’ll think we need to do all of the work with our relationship with our parents.  If we’ve been so bad to them, we need to make it up to them.  It’s only fair, right??

 

They also most likely have seen us serving or catering to our narcissistic parents, & blindly go along with our parents’ attitude that it’s up to us to do for them.  This could include fixing any problems in the relationship.

 

For those who don’t necessarily know our narcissistic parents, they probably pick up on us as the damaged people we are.  The people who believe that we’re always wrong & we need to fix things because that is what our narcissistic parents instilled in us when we were very young.  Even as we heal, that “vibe” can still be there for a long time, & people pick up on it.  In fact, when people treat us as if it’s our job to fix something, we may automatically do so just because it’s such a deeply ingrained habit.  This reinforces the belief that fixing things is our responsibility.

 

Or, if people don’t pick up on that “fixing vibe”, they may see you as a very responsible, mature person & the other person in the relationship as immature or irresponsible.  They figure since the immature, irresponsible person won’t do what is necessary to fix things, the mature & responsible one will, so they push that person to do all of the work.  The mature one should be the “bigger person” since the other person is incapable (or so they believe) of behaving properly.

 

I don’t know if these things are completely accurate, as I’ve never read anything on this topic before.  They’re just some random thoughts that popped into my mind, & I thought I’d share them since other people have mentioned this being an issue in their lives as well.

 

Remember though, Dear Reader, it’s not always your job to fix problems!  Sure, fix what you can.  If you’ve made mistakes or hurt others, do what you can to make things right.  But, you do NOT need to do all of the work in relationships, & don’t let anyone pressure you into believing that nonsense!  One person cannot make a relationship work- it’s impossible!  It takes two people to make a relationship work, no matter the nature of the relationship.

 

 

 

 

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

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness

There are no pretty ribbons or months dedicated to narcissistic abuse awareness or to help comfort or inspire victims.  This seems so wrong to me since narcissistic abuse really is an epidemic.

 

A few months back, I created The Butterfly Project in an attempt to change this.  It hasn’t felt like enough, though.

 

I recently decided to make bracelets that I hope will comfort & inspire victims as well as raise awareness.   I did my best to keep the cost reasonable & quality decent.

 

For more detailed information, click the link below.

http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Narcissistic-Abuse-Awareness-Bracelets.php

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Growing Older

I read something interesting recently.  It said if you have a negative attitude about growing older, it can increase your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be 45 years old & am wondering when & how this happened.  lol  Not necessarily that I feel old, but it seems like I just turned 30 last year.  Time speeds by so fast!

 

It’s also rather scary because of the things I have seen.  Older folks’ bodies failing them, loss of independence, losing friends & loved ones.  It can be scary thinking that one day not so far off, that could be me.

 

Rather than indulging in that kind of thinking, dreading & fearing getting older, I’ve decided to think of getting older as a new journey.  I’ve also decided to embrace the good things that come with getting older.

 

Many older people have a certain comfortable way about them.  They realize that their many years have given them plenty of experience & wisdom.  They aren’t the naive young men & women they once were who trusted the wrong people or who had no idea what to do in a crisis situation.  The comedian Christopher Titus once said something along the lines of people who have been through some stuff know when things are about to hit the fan, you step to the side of the fan.   It’s very true!  Having plenty of experience is a good thing & grants you a great deal of wisdom you can’t gain from books.

 

This experience also grants them a certain freedom.  Freedom to enforce healthy boundaries with no guilt, freedom to wear what they like without caring what others think, & freedom to be completely themselves, without apology.  This freedom is a wonderful thing!

 

Just because you aren’t 22 anymore  doesn’t mean your life is over.  Sometimes, it’s only beginning.  Joyce Meyer didn’t start preaching until she was in her 40’s, I believe.  Laura Ingals WIlder, author of the “Little House On The Prairie” books began her literary career at 44.  Morgan Freeman only became a well known actor after his role in “Glory” at age 52.  Colonel Harland Sanders started KFC at the age of 65!

 

And, if you’re worried about losing your looks, forget that!  Look at Salma Hayak- she is in her late 40’s or maybe even 50, & stunning.  Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christie Brinkley & Valerie Bertinelli are all over 50 & I think even prettier now than in their younger days.

 

If you’re worried about losing your looks, learn ways to take care of yourself to age gracefully as these beautiful women have.  I’ll share my skin care secret with you so you can start there if you like.  I exfoliate my skin often, at least a couple of times a week with a scrub I make myself from equal parts ground oatmeal (I grind it into a powder in the blender), corn meal & salt.  I do this in the shower- put some of this mixture in my hand, mix it with water, then rub it on my skin for a few moments & rinse.  I follow this with a good moisturizer after the shower.  In the winter, my skin gets extremely dry, so I need to use a heavy moisturizer.  The rest of the time, I use another concoction I make.  I make very strong green tea & add olive oil to it.  About 1 part olive oil to 3 parts tea.  You can adjust the ratio but be aware- too much oil can leave your skin feeling greasy.   It absorbs quickly & leaves my skin feeling soft & looking glowing.

 

There are some definite perks to growing older.  Why not decide to embrace them today?  Even if you are reading this & young, it’s never too early to make this decision.  xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shipping Sale On My Books!

My publisher is offering free mail shipping or 50% off ground shipping until Friday.  Use code APRSHIP50 at checkout.

 

My books are available at this link:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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What You Do Always Matters

God showed me recently how valuable any small act of kindness is to people.

 

In the early 2000’s, my husband & I sponsored a young girl & her brother in the Philippines.  We wrote back & forth.  We had pictures of both kids.  Then at one point, I forget what, but something came up & we couldn’t send the money one month.  The organization we went through gave them to another family to sponsor although we were planning to send more to make up for the month we lost.

 

I wondered what happened to the kids.  We kept their pictures & prayed for them periodically.

 

Then a few days ago, I got a friend’s request & message from a young woman.  This stunning young lady is the once young girl we sponsored!  She wanted to find us to thank us for helping her as a little girl.

 

I’m in shock, but it’s a good shock!  I never expected to hear from her again.

 

For a while, I’ve felt like anything good I do isn’t really important.  It’s just what I should do as a Christian- bless & help other people.  Plus, growing up with narcissists, doing for others feels like it is just what I am supposed to do.  I’m sure you know what I mean- narcissists raise their children to do for them.  They make their children believe their only purpose is to do for them, to be used, so the children carry that belief into adulthood.  Even other people often treat them as if they owe the other people to do for them, like the narcissistic parent did.  Honestly, this is how I have always felt.

 

I guess God was tired of me feeling as if what I do for others doesn’t matter or make much difference, because hearing from this young lady really showed me it does matter.  Even small gestures make a big difference!  It didn’t cost much, what we sent to the organization, but it helped to put her through school.  I forgot until she reminded me, but I had sent her pictures of our pets.  She said she loved the pictures, as she is an avid animal lover.  Little things, but they made a big difference to her.

 

Dear Reader, please learn from this story.  Whatever you do for others makes a difference!  Even small gestures that don’t feel important, are very important.  Maybe not to you, but they are very important to someone, even if you are unaware of that fact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Animals Grieve Too

On this day in 2014, my husband & I lost one of our special cats, Georgie.  We adopted him & his brother, Pretty Boy, when they were only about 4 weeks old.  They were adorable tiny, fluffy black powder puffs, born to a stray living in a local lady’s yard.  She said she was going to have animal control take all of the cats later in the week.  Rather than let them take their chances at the shelter, we decided to adopt the brothers.  After all, we had lost 2 cats in a short time prior, & another one was dying from cancer- we knew she had very little time left.  Kittens always help to cheer us up (they’re so fun & silly!), these two were in need, black cats are the least likely to be adopted & also my personal favorites.  It seemed like everything was saying we needed to adopt these two precious little boys.

 

That was in 2002, & in the 12 years we had both boys, we had a lot of laughs, mostly because of Georgie.  He was mischievous & ornery, where his brother is much more serious.  In spite of their very different personalities, they were inseparable.  Georgie was always Pretty Boy’s protector- if another cat went to mess with Pretty Boy, Georgie intervened, even if the other cat only wanted to play.  When Pretty Boy was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, Georgie was always there to comfort his brother, especially when he came home smelling like the world’s most horrible place, the vet’s office.

 

Then on April 16, 2014, I realized around 10:00 that I hadn’t seen Georgie since the previous night.  I texted my husband who said he hadn’t either.  I thought maybe Georgie sneaked outside (as he had a couple of times before), or was hiding somewhere napping. I searched the house & couldn’t find him.  He didn’t come when I called, which was very unusual.  In a panic, I asked my husband to come home & help me find him.  He found Georgie in our bedroom closet.  Apparently he passed away in his sleep, why we don’t know.

 

 

Pretty Boy was devastated, & as you may know, stress & emotions can play havoc with one’s blood glucose levels.  For a month, Pretty Boy’s already sensitive levels could jump 600 points or sink 600 points in a 12 hour period.  Thankfully, his glucose levels started to level out after about a month.  Pretty Boy has not been the same since losing his brother.  He became even more serious, but at least he has developed closer friendships with the other cats.

 

Losing a furbaby is excruciating for people, but we aren’t the only ones who suffer.  Their furry family suffers too.  Blood related or not, if you have more than one pet, chances are good that they are bonded to some degree.  Maybe they don’t show their love as openly as Georgie & Pretty Boy, but there is a bond there.   I have had 27 cats in my adult life, & have lost 17 to date, plus had 3 dogs & lost 2 of them.  I can tell you that the survivors always grieve.  Not all grieve as hard as my Pretty Boy did for his brother, but there was still a great deal of pain when others passed on.  I have seen it over & over

 

If you have lost a furbaby, please remember this!  I know you are suffering, but so are your surviving furbabies.  You need to help each other through the grief process.  It will help you both to get through & bond you even closer.

 

How do you help when you feel like you’re falling apart?  First, pray.  Ask God to help you to help your furbaby.  Pray for your furbaby- lay your hands on him or her & pray out loud.  I have yet to have one pet not like this.  They understand what you are doing, & they do appreciate it!  Mine certainly have.

 

Offer your surviving furbaby extra love.  Lots of snuggles & saying “I love you” truly help you both a great deal.  Don’t think animals don’t know what you’re saying, only the tone of voice- they understand exactly what you’re saying!  And, like humans, hearing a heart felt “I love you” is always welcomed, but especially when they are hurting.  This helps you too- when you receive snuggles in return, it helps to lift your spirits.

 

You can take your baby for a walk- not only dogs enjoy walks, but some cats do as well.  In fact, some cats enjoy walking with a harness & leash, believe it or not.  If your kitty isn’t a fan, they make pet strollers that safely protect your cat in a netted cage of sorts, allowing her to enjoy the fresh air & remain protected at the same time.

 

Playing is always a good bonding experience with your pet, & it helps to elevate both your moods.  I have yet to meet a dog who didn’t love a good game of fetch or tug of war.  Most cats enjoy cat nip, chasing a piece of string or rope & some even enjoy jingle bells or small crinkle balls.  The experience also helps to cheer you up because it’s such fun watching your furbaby have fun.

 

Losing a pet is a painful, horrible experience, but never forget, it also hurts your other pets.  They need you now more than ever, & you need them.

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Don’t Carry Another’s Shame

Toxic shame is often caused by abusive, parentalizing parents.  They ignore their child’s needs, feelings & wants to make their child believe she is only alive to take care of her parents’ emotional needs or provide that precious narcissistic supply.  She believes she has no right to wants, needs or emotions, & because she does have them, she often grows up with toxic shame that affects all areas of her life.

 

However, this is not the only way a person can have a root of toxic shame.  One way is when a dysfunctional person puts their shame on you.

 

This happens by projection.  Projection is when someone knows they are a certain way, yet blame you for being exactly that way while denying they are that way.  Narcissists are notorious projectionists.  They love to put their insecurities & flaws onto others, so they can get angry about them without accepting any personal responsibility.  As an example, one of my sisters in-law once told my husband I look down on their family.  She screamed at my husband about that during a phone call one day in I think it was 2002.  He was baffled as was I, since the thought of being better than them never occurred to me.  In fact, my husband & I agreed that it was the other way around- they look down on me.  That is projection.

 

Shame can be projected as well.  Narcissists are full of shame.  (Although they act extremely confident, it is just a show.  They are extremely insecure inside, which is why they act so confident.  They are trying to convince themselves & other people that they are as good, talented, beautiful, etc. as they claim to be.)  Projection is among their favorite coping skills.  To deal with this shame they feel, they will do their best to put it on their victim, so they don’t have to deal with it.

 

My mother did this a great deal.  When her abuse was at its peak when I was 17-19, she would scream at me, & tell me I made her act that way.  If I would just act right, she wouldn’t have to practice “tough love” on me.  All my life, if I was angry or even simply frustrated, she would accuse me of having “that Bailey temper” & shame me for having such a bad temper when the truth is she was the one with the wicked temper, not me.  Sometimes to this day, she still tries to shame me, even things beyond my control, such as if I get sick or injured.

 

Actions like that were her trying to put the shame she felt inside on me.

 

Can you relate, Dear Reader?  Did you experience your narcissistic mother trying to make you carry her shame?

 

If so, refuse to carry her shame any longer!  It’s not your place to carry her shame, to feel ashamed because of things that were beyond your control.

 

Make a decision that you will NOT carry her shame a moment longer.  If it helps, imagine taking a sack of some sort to your mother & laying it at her feet then walking away.  Sometimes visuals like that can help.

 

Ask God to show you ways you’re carrying her shame & how to stop it.  With me, I noticed that when I discussed things with my mother, I always phrased things from my perspective.  “I felt she was abusive when she…”  “I got thrown into a wall by my mother.”  God showed me that I was carrying the blame & all of the responsibility  for her actions, including her shame when it all belonged squarely on her shoulders.

 

I hope this helps you to be free of carrying around that toxic shame that isn’t yours to carry!  You deserve so much better than that!

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Avoiding Infidelity

I read recently that 30-60% of all married couples are affected by infidelity at some point in their marriage.  That is a staggering statistic!  Infidelity is possibly the most painful thing a couple can go through, so why are so many people cheating?

 

I firmly believe one reason, possibly the main reason, is because when a couple is going through difficulties, it is easy to look at someone else & think they are so much better than that man or woman you’re married to.  Temptation can easily become too much at that point.  I admit, I fell into that trap myself before I was a Christian.  Before I married my ex husband, I broke our engagement & told him I wanted to see other people.  I did just that, but for a few months later we were married,  I continued seeing one other man for several months until the guilt of what I was doing was too much for me to handle.  I did this because I was unhappy with my ex husband from very early in our relationship.  I had married my ex out of guilt (he was very manipulative & I was easily manipulated back then), not love, & was unhappy.  The man I was seeing was much different than my ex.  He was fun, kind & smart.  He made me feel desirable, witty, smart & more.  I had a hard time letting that go, especially when I compared him to my ex.

 

Another reason for infidelity is selfishness, often to the point of narcissism.  So many people are only concerned with themselves, that they don’t even care that what they do may hurt other people, even to the point they will cheat on their spouse.  You can identify these people easily- they are the ones that don’t want to quit their porn addiction because they claim that isn’t cheating.  They fail to realize that Matthew 5:27-8 say otherwise (27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NLT)).  They also ignore the fact that their addiction is destroying their spouse.

 

How do you avoid this awful pitfall?  By treating your spouse like the most important person in your world.  Remind him constantly how proud you are of him, & mean it.  Tell her often how beautiful she is, & mean that.  Say please & thank you on a regular basis.  Never take that wonderful person you married for granted, because there are no guarantees in life- your situation can change in an instant.  Play together- whether it is video games, board games, ping pong or sports, have fun together & do it often.  Arrange dates often, & spend  time talking, without the TV, without your cell phones.  Refuse to talk about the fact you don’t have the money to make the car payment or your son is failing algebra, & just talk about each other- your hopes & dreams, what you want from each other (& pledge to do it!).  Most importantly, don’t forget to pray together.  It is truly a bonding experience!

 

Marriage isn’t always easy.  It’ll never be perfect either, but it can be a happy, comfortable safe haven with your best friend & lover.  If you & your spouse decide to make it that way, & both of you work on it, then chances of infidelity destroying your marriage can virtually disappear.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Miscellaneous

An Update About An Update & Lessons Learned

Recently I shared a personal update in this post.  I mentioned how I realized I needed to start taking more frequent breaks.  I even asked a good friend to monitor my Facebook group when I feel I need a break.  So, a few days ago, I asked her to monitor it for the first time.  I had yet another awful headache & figured what better time to take a break.  Spend the afternoon relaxing, watching tv, maybe crocheting, while staying away from the blog, group & anything related to narcissism.

 

Sounds good in theory.  In reality though?  I botched that one big time.

 

I spent that afternoon continually checking my group & blog.  I forced myself not to respond, but at I at least read what was posted.

 

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

So much for a break.

 

Again, I haven’t been “practicing what I preach.”  I’ve been beating myself up over this.  I mean really- my group is amazing.  What could happen if I took the afternoon away from it?!  If someone needs support, other group members jump right in & support each other in spite of their own problems.  Same with those who read my blog- if people see comments by someone in need of information &/or support, they jump in.  My presence isn’t necessary 100% of the time.

 

I really hate that overdeveloped sense of responsibility.  It’s so annoying.  It’s also yet one more awful result of being raised by narcissistic, parentalizing parents.

 

What I learned from this experience is this…

 

  • Little victories should still be counted.  Like me only reading & not responding in my group that afternoon.  it still counts!  It’s a step in the right direction.
  • Victories can’t be had overnight.  Be patient with yourself when trying to make changes, especially to something as deeply ingrained as that overdeveloped sense of responsibility.
  • Old habits die hard, as the saying goes.  Keep on trying, & it’ll happen.  Maybe not the first time you try making that change, but it’ll happen if you keep on, keepin’ on.
  • Don’t beat yourself up.  Easier said than done, I know.  Just remember, you’re human.  That means you’re going to make mistakes sometimes.  It’s ok.  Things happen.  Just learn from those mistakes & move on.  Don’t dwell on how badly you screwed up when you did *fill in the blank.*  We all make mistakes, & sometimes big ole honkin’ ones!  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t need Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Being Positive Doesn’t Fix Everything

I’ve been seeing so much lately about thinking positive, how a positive outlook can fix any problem in life.  It sounds great, but I disagree.

Thinking positive is certainly a good thing.  It can help you not to be discouraged or depressed.  In fact, I even have what I call “Positive Monday” every week in my facebook group, where I share something good in my life & encourage others to do the same.  That being said though, sometimes you have to be real.  There is nothing wrong with being upset when something bad happens.  It’s ok to grieve & be negative for a while after losing a loved one, being unfairly fired, finding out your spouse cheated on you or being mistreated.

Also, being realistic rather than optimistic helps you to avoid being constantly disappointed.  Optimists are constantly disappointed, because they naively expect everything to turn out well.  Unfortunately for them, that isn’t realistic!  Sometimes life is great & things turn out well, but not always.  I am a firm believer in hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.  For example, last February when I got carbon monoxide poisoning & a concussion when I passed out from it, I did a lot of research on both.  I learned that recovery is very long & slow, & in many cases, a person never fully recovers from carbon monoxide poisoning or a brain injury, even a so called mild one like a concussion.  While I hoped to be one of the few to fully or nearly fully recover, I accepted the fact it may never happen.  My symptoms have not improved in a long time, & I accept that.  I’m disappointed, sure, but not devastated because I knew it was possible, which I believe is about as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Positive thinking also won’t heal you from the effects of abuse.  What will help you is to face what happened head on, talking about it, praying about it, getting angry about it then forgiving the person who hurt you.  Ignoring it or making excuses for the abuser (“he was abused as a child”, for example) does not benefit anyone, least of all you.

I just wanted to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to have some balance in your thinking.   There is no shame in being realistic rather than optimistic.  There is no shame when positive thinking doesn’t fix everything for you.

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A Personal Update & The Importance Of Taking Breaks

I vowed some time ago to keep my blog real, to be honest about my experiences, both the good & bad ones.  My hope is that you can learn from my mistakes.

 

A few days ago, I read a quote on Facebook from the book “Boundaries” by Drs. Cloud & Townsend.  It says,

 

“Another damaging effect of abuse or molestation is the destruction of a sense of ownership over the victim’s soul.  In fact, victims often feel like they are public property- that their resources, body & time should be available to others just for the asking.”

 

Although I’ve read “Boundaries” several times, I never related to that quote so well as I have recently.  It perfectly sums up how I’ve always felt.

 

Interestingly, this quote came to my attention a couple of hours after receiving a message from one of my readers.  When I saw I had a message, I cringed a bit.  Not because the person was someone I didn’t like (she was lovely to talk with) or I didn’t want to help this person, but because I have gotten so tired lately of all things narcissism.  I’ve also been more depressed than usual for about a month.  Considering my feelings & then this quote, I immediately realized something about myself.  I haven’t been practicing what I preach.  I haven’t been taking frequent breaks.  I slipped back into the old, dysfunctional habit of feeling as if I need to be there for anyone & everyone, at all times, always being the strong one & fixing everything.

 

*bangs head into walls*

 

I really hate backsliding!  It’s especially insulting since I was doing better in this area.  God showed me a few months ago that when I got so sick in 2015 from carbon monoxide poisoning, one of the reasons was basically to force me to take better care of myself.  Since getting sick, sometimes now my body &/or mind gets extremely tired & I have no choice but to rest, which has proven to be a good thing.  At least until this past month, when I slid back into ignoring my physical & mental health, pushing myself past my limits.

 

I decided the other day this has to stop.  Right now, I have a sick kitty who needs my attention & I also need a break from all things narcissism.

 

I started by asking a very close friend to help me manage my group by being an admin in there.  When I need a break, she can keep an eye on things.  When I told my group, they were incredibly supportive.  Another dear friend who is in my group sent me a private message, telling me it’s ok to take breaks, I don’t always have to be the strong one & she is there for me.  I was very moved by the wonderful show of support & love!  Truly, my group is amazing.  :)  If you’re interested in joining, you can check it out here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/

 

While I was recovering last year, I was able to write many blog posts.  So many, I have them written 3 months in advance.  Plus wordpress publishes them to Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin, etc. automatically.  I don’t write blog posts every other day, as it may look since that’s when they are published.  Please keep that in mind if you try to contact me via this blog or my social network sites.  If I don’t respond quickly, please forgive me, but I needed a break.  Otherwise, I’ll respond quickly.

 

Interestingly since I decided to take breaks, I already feel less pressure & depressed.  Knowing I can take breaks as needed has taken a large weight off my shoulders!

 

My reason for this post, Dear Reader, is two fold.  For one thing, I want you to know what is happening, so if I don’t respond to you in a timely manner, you won’t feel that I don’t care.  I truly do!  I also care about myself, though, & know being “on call” is too much pressure for me to handle.

 

For another thing, I want you to learn from my mistake.  Never, ever forget that Narcissistic Personality Disorder & recovering from narcissistic abuse are extremely serious, complex & painful topics.  Frequent breaks from thinking & talking about narcissism are absolutely vital to one’s mental & physical health!  I think it is very normal to obsess at first.  Once you have an answer to why someone treated you as they did, it’s only natural to want to know more about why they behaved that way.  It also feels so good to learn that you aren’t the problem as you were told you were.  Who wouldn’t want to understand why they were blamed for being abused?!  And, since narcissism is so complex, it’s pretty much a bottomless pit of things you can learn about it.  You should learn about narcissism.  It will empower you to do so.  That being said though, due to its complex nature & the pain of narcissistic abuse, you will need to take frequent breaks away from the topics.  During those times, refuse to think about or discuss narcissism.  Relax.  Do things you enjoy.  The balance will help you to stay strong & avoid depression.  You’ll know when you need a break, too- your mood will sink & you’ll be thinking about narcissism constantly.  Listen to these cues!  I didn’t, & look what has happened to me.  Please learn from my mistakes & don’t make the same ones I have!

 

Take good care of yourself, Dear Reader!  I’m praying for you as I hope you pray for me!  xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

“You Can’t Blame Her Forever!”

So many  who grew up in happy homes tell those of us who didn’t that we can’t blame our abusive parents forever.  We have to take responsibility for ourselves one of these days!

 

While this sounds good, I have an issue with it.

 

Parents are responsible for raising their children.  Some do a wonderful job, putting a great deal of time & effort into making sure their children grow up happy, healthy & loved.  Other parents aren’t so good.  They tear down their child rather than build her up.   They expect their child to take care of them, rather than taking care of her as God intended.  They are so self-absorbed that they have no time or energy to devote to their child.  Some may not even meet the child’s basic needs such as food, clothing or shelter.  Others may use their child to meet their needs, & take their anger out on the child or sexually abuse her.  When parents behave in such ways, that child will grow up scarred, either physically or emotionally or both.

 

Abused children grow up with problems.  Some have lifelong injuries because of the physical or sexual abuse they survived at the hand of their parents.  Some have addictions due to their desire to escape the pain inside caused by their upbringing.  And often, many have PTSD or C-PTSD.

 

How can you not blame your abusive parent as long as you have such problems because of that abusive parent, especially when those problems interfere with your daily life even years later?!

 

I firmly believe that the abusive parent deserves 100% of the blame for the problems that he or she caused.  No one can do anything to deserve being abused!  Abusing is the responsibility of the abuser, never the victim.

 

That being said, the victim does have some responsibility.

 

It is the victim’s responsibility to heal as best she can from the abuse she endured.  It is up to the victim to seek help, to research or do whatever she needs to heal.  While some problems may be lifelong such as PTSD or C-PTSD, she certainly can learn ways to manage her symptoms.

 

It is also the victim’s responsibility to be sure that she doesn’t repeat the familiar patterns of abuse.  Sometimes those who were abused as children become abusers.  I don’t understand how this works exactly, but it is a pretty common phenomenon.  It is up to the victim not to allow this to happen!

 

It is up to the victim to learn & grow as a person, rather than stay the stifled person she was raised to be.  It is her responsibility to become the person God wants her to be, even when it clashes with what her abusive parents wanted her to become.

 

It is also the victim’s responsibility to forgive her abuser.   Mark 11:25 says,  “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”  (ESV)  I know it is hard to forgive others, especially when they deliberately hurt you.  I know they don’t deserve your forgiveness.  However, I also know that you deserve better than to carry around bitterness & anger inside of you!  Don’t get me wrong- I don’t mean you need to forgive & forget.  That only sets you up for further abuse.  I am saying that you can, in time & with God’s help, release the anger you feel inside.  You will be so much happier for it!  Your health will benefit too, as repressed anger can create a myriad of physical & emotional health problems such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, heart problems, kidney problems & more.

 

Lastly, I believe it is also the victim’s responsibility to educate others & help to raise awareness.  For example, many people have heard the term narcissistic abuse, but do they really know what it means?  Probably not, so why not start a blog on the topic?  Write about your experiences or what you are learning as you heal.  If you wish, do so using a false name.  Writing the truth using your real name can be a scary prospect since you wonder if the abuser will learn about your writing.  I know- it honestly makes me very anxious sometimes that my parents will learn what I write about (as it is, they don’t have a computer, but they do have flying monkey relatives who do).  If you don’t feel confident in writing a blog, then what about checking into laws on the kind of abuse you endured?  Do you see where the laws need changing?  Then look into changing those laws!  Start petitions or create a website on the topic.  There are plenty of ways you can make your painful experiences count for something!

 

 

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